Where the data are
There’s no telling where equipment connectivity will take us, but we’ve got a pretty decent assessment of where we are now and what the immediate future holds.
Industrial networks have changed. What was once the realm of the end-user plant’s engineering team is now as much a part of machine-design considerations as which controllers or sensors to use.
Many machine components now have embedded…
Where do you get the I/O for the IIoT?
From AVB to TSN in the automotive industry
What is time-sensitive networking?
How time-sensitive networking enables the IIoT
Smaller components, bigger EMC issues
Miniaturization opens the door for electromagnetic interference.
Let’s get small. All the cool kids are doing it. It’s more lightweight, it’s less expensive, and it requires a much smaller footprint. The aerospace industry’s been doing it for years. It just makes sense.
Component miniaturization has been…
Case Study: Field logic controller solves a clean-in-place application
How distributed I/O can work on packaging lines
I/O innovations ─ drive machine control with input and output
Don't let poor wire and cable decisions slow down your next project
Since one bad wire can spoil the show, there are several essential considerations when selecting what type of wire to use in a control system.
Wire, hookup wire to be specific, is the unsung hero of a control system. Making the connections is what ties all the electrical hardware together. Since one bad wire can spoil the show, there are several essential considerations when selecting what…
The rise of the 3D Printing Machines
DHS cybersecurity director on avoiding security vulnerabilities when connecting to the IIoT
How do you protect controllers from cyber attacks?
11 experts discuss the Industrial Internet of Things
The app for IIoT interface
OPC-UA could be the universal translator that connects the machines in the Industrial Internet of Things.
Have you heard enough about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)? Have you had enough of the marketing to fill you up for a year?
Get ready for some more. In fall of 2015, in Toronto, where I kind of live, there was an OPC-UA North American…
Hannover Messe showcases Industry 4.0 innovations
IML announces next round of projects targeted toward small, medium manufacturers
Avoid drowning in data with data analytics software
Cognitive computing in the cloud is smarter than you might think
Various technologies in wireless sensors
The Latest Online Tools and Resources on Wireless Sensors
Control Design's quarterly section highlights some of the latest online tools and resources for various technologies. In this case, it covers wireless sensors.
Many of these kinds of sensors work on a wireless sensor network (WSN) as spatially dispersed and dedicated devices for monitoring the physical condition of industrial and process environments. The data they collect is organized at a central location, where it can be analyzed to optimize processes or used to monitor errors, so operators can take timely action. There are numerous types of wireless sensors, ranging from temperature to impact, strain, pressure, level, vibration and more.
A Simple Way to Add New Sensors?
WirelessHART is pertinent to the wireless sensors topic because…
Going mobile? Things you should know
How to make informed decisions on network choices
Filling systems with experience
What's a Wireless Ethernet Standard?
Networking devices for harsh environments
Components are tested for temperature and vibration extremes at RuggedCom.
I’m a software guy, so, when I was invited to Siemens’ RuggedCom plant tour, I was intrigued, as well as excited to see what these guys were doing.
RuggedCom started as a Canadian innovation story in 2002. It grew quickly and found the eye of…
How can sensing technologies help to diagnose machine health?
Sensors provide early indication of equipment degradation.
We asked a panel of 15 industry experts: What impact do sensing technologies have on the ability to diagnose machine problems?
Paula Hollywood, ARC Advisory Group: In the case of diagnosing machine health, monitoring sensors, specifically, vibration…
The role of augmented reality and virtual reality in machine diagnostics
Better diagnostics through remote connectivity
Cybersecurity concerns need to be addressed before connecting industrial assets
Case Study: Startup and commissioning without the hassle or expense
How to tune PID loops
Servo-motor applications and temperature-control applications often need training after the auto-tune.
A Control Design reader wrote to us: I often have difficulty tuning PID loops, especially for temperature control applications and servo-motor motion applications. If I use a temperature controller, the auto-tune built into the device often works…
PLCs, PACs and IPCs ─ controller terminology explained
Dwindling automation staffs open door for supplier help
How to close the PLC security gap
What are the differences between PLCs, PACs and IPCs?
Back in the 1960s, there was only the PLC. The PC hadn’t been invented yet, and the term PAC was decades away from creation by ARC Advisory Group. But now, all three of these names and others are tossed around with abandon, leading machine…
The more controls change, the more familiar they become
Keep it simple with ladder diagram
Top 10 most-read articles of 2015
The IoTPAC combines control and a virtual HMI
The basics of power supplies in industrial machinery
Although power supplies just keep getting better, these well developed devices still must be properly specified and connected.
A variety of power sources are typically required to operate industrial machinery. This includes the plant line side ac voltage down to the electronic devices—power supplies—used to convert the ac to dc voltage. Not only is the type of power…
How much effect will linear power supplies’ EMI have on machine controls?
Power Supplies Get Smarter
High-End Protection for Low Power
Getting to a Better–and-Cleaner Power Source For Machine Builders
Romeo Engineering leverages PC-based control to improve manufacturing speed and accuracy
Engineering-and-design firm doubles production throughput and quadruples speed of CNC machine while cutting costs.
Any application, any time: Fort Worth, Texas-based engineering firm Romeo Engineering (REI) takes flexibility in manufacturing beyond the next level, developing and building sophisticated manufacturing equipment. With applications ranging from…
Trends helping to simplify machine control
Decades have fine-tuned control software functions and capabilities
Interrupted manufacturing in the age of PCs and software
Is machine learning smart enough to help industry?
Case Study: Harry Major Machine modern gantry improves plant uptime, recovery time
Absolute Machine Tools acquires distributor Machine Tool Technology-21
Mazak debuts new technologies for CNC control, remote connectivity
Automation in Agriculture—how FireFly's turf harvesting machine ups productivity
Infographic: If You Use Stepper Motors Are They Open or Closed Loop? (2014)
February 2014 Survey Results Show 53% of Respondents Use Closed-Loop Stepper Motors
An electronic survey of Control Design readers was conducted in February 2014 in order to identify usage and application trends in motion, drives and motor technology among the industrial machine builders that comprise Control Design's readership.
47% of respondents who use stepper motors use open-loop steppers; 53% use closed-loop.
Read all survey results.
Robroy Enclosures acquires ATTABOX Industrial Enclosures
According to Robroy Enclosures, this acquisition will complement its current brand: Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures.
Robroy Enclosures Inc., a subsidiary of Robroy Industries, Inc., has acquired the assets of ATTABOX Industrial Enclosures.
According to Robroy Enclosures, this acquisition will complement its current brand: Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures. ATTABOX polycarbonate enclosures ─ which are manufactured in the U.S. ─ provide engineered enclosures for the industrial, solar, electrical, telecommunications, HVAC, instrumentation/control, government, oil and gas and construction markets, says Robroy Enclosures .
ATTABOX enclosures meet NEMA Type 3R, 4, 4X, 12, and Type 6P standards, and are rated for IP68. ATTABOX manufactures sizes ranging from 6x4x4 to 24x24x10.
"Our combined enclosures team is excited to bring another market leader ─…
Intertek collaborates with Pepperl+Fuchs on first Hazardous Locations Panel shop project
Design basics of control enclosures in machines, automation and industry
Experts weigh in on best practices for control panel housings
Safety Relay or Safety-Rated PLC?
Safety Applications Become More Complex When More Than Three Inputs Must Be Monitored and Controlled
Machine and robot builders often need safety-rated monitoring and control, which can be accomplished with safety-rated relays or PLCs. "Many applications could use either a safety relay or PLC, but the choice depends on four main considerations: complexity, flexibility, availability and footprint," says George Schuster, senior industry specialist for the automotive team at Rockwell Automation.
SEE ALSO: Safety Relays or Better Diagnostics?
Safety applications become complex when more than about three inputs must be monitored and controlled, or when communication over a digital network is required. "Safety relays are hardwired to perform simple diagnostics and logic, and work well when the amount of safety points in the application are…
Relays: Out With the Old?
UI LABS is requesting problem statement proposals from Illinois manufacturers interested in participating in the current round of projects.
The Illinois Manufacturing Lab (IML), a partnership between UI LABS and the University of Illinois with support from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, has announced a second round of advanced manufacturing research projects targeted toward small and medium manufacturers (SMMs).
“At UI LABS, we understand how digital technologies are transforming industries like manufacturing,” said Caralynn Nowinski Collens, M.D., chief executive officer of UI LABS. “The Illinois Manufacturing Lab empowers small and medium manufacturers across the state by taking advances in digital manufacturing and getting them into the hands of these business owners.”
According to the IML, it is looking for opportunities to assist…
How design software impacts development time, predictive modeling and thermal management
NIST Project to Give Design Software New Digital Threads
ECAD: Simple or Complex?
How to streamline the design process with collaboration tools and more
Control panel design starts with the basics
Don't confuse control panel design with the environmental rating or physical configuration of the enclosure.
Control panel design starts with the basics, and it's not just about selecting a cabinet and back panel to house your electrical control hardware. It's about creating a design to control a machine or process. To do that, hardware must be purchased…
How does the investment in software training compare to the returns?
Autodesk, Siemens sign agreement to increase software interoperability
Panel building advances OEM’s delivery times
Mouser Electronics, Grant Imahara launch International Space Station Design Challenge
The real impact of robotics and automation advancements
This is what makes a great controls engineer or designer
The winning combination for successful design, programming and manufacturing
Motion application drives stepper or servo selection
Will the stepper motor work poorly in a servo application, or will the servo motor be overkill for the stepper application?
The stepper and servo motor each has its advantages and disadvantages. Both integrate well with a variety of control systems and provide high-performance linear and rotary motion capabilities. While the motor technology and control is well developed…
ABB opens new drives, motors testing laboratory
HTI Technology acquires Klauber Machine & Gear
How to size a motor
Improved PLC speed combined with servo drives makes for a flexible system with no tradeoffs in precision.
Harry Major Machine (HMM) provides industrial production solutions and services, specializing in the design and manufacture of automated parts handling systems, industrial parts washers, assembly machines and special machines.
Our facilities include…
How to select a variable frequency drive
As machine trends change, motion requirements stay unaffected
Danfoss Drives trumpets the future in New Orleans
Pneumatic use is all about the fundamentals
Once clean, dry air at the proper pressure is connected and safe, get control of the pneumatic cylinders, actuators and motors with proper valve selection and flow control.
Supplying clean, dry air is an important starting point to long and reliable valve operation in industrial machines and equipment. However, switching the air through the proper type of valve to control the cylinder, actuator or air motor is where is where fluid power is controlled.
Pneumatics are a great choice for many machine linear and rotary applications. Unless the machine requires accurate, programmable motion-positioning electric motors or the high-force capabilities of hydraulics, a pneumatic solution is often the best and most popular choice. Instead of electricity, design in some pneumatic air preparation hardware, tubing, valves, solenoids and flow controls, connect to the pneumatic cylinders, actuators and motors and get the…
Case Study: How this OEM controls in-line winders with pneumatics
How fast and accurate automation equipment produces a precise Swiss watch
The Straight Skinny on Linear Motion
What's 'Pnew' in Pneumatics?
6 surprising capabilities of modern hydraulics
Who would think this technology is highly precise, energy-efficient and ready today for Industry 4.0 applications?
Anyone gaining only a superfluous familiarity with fluid technology will easily underestimate the performance and intelligence of modern hydraulics. Who would think this technology is highly precise, energy-efficient and ready today for Industry 4.0…
Webinar: Preparing for Ebola in the Water Sector
Hydroforming For Machine Builders Gets 21st-Century Makeover
The Lowdown on Hydraulics
The development of an open-air, cost-effective 3D printer platform
Linear actuator expertise led the way to development of an open-air and cost-effective 3D printer platform.
"Designing, developing and building a large-format 3D printer, in our case, started due to a project need," states Joseph Binka, additive manufacturing engineer at 3D Platform (3DP) in Roscoe, Illinois. "It also helped that some of the custom…
Encoders and resolvers—giving you a sense of where things are
Why coordination is key for specifying a motion control system
Is a stepper or servo best for torque optimization?
When Industrial Steppers Measure Up
November Showcase: Valves, Control Systems, Motors and More
New Wireless Application Boosts Safety at Harcros
Integrated axes crank up cold working
Speculating on Valve Futures
PLCopen Software Construction Guidelines released
It contains 63 rules for software programming, and is spread over different sections, such as: naming rules, comment rules, coding practice, languages and vendor specific IEC 61131-3 extensions.
The PLCopen Coding Guidelines version 1.0 ─ as part of PLCopen's Software Construction Guidelines initiative ─ have been released to the public and are available on the association's website for downloading.
According to PLCopen, although there are guidelines for many programming languages out there, it's hard to find guidelines for the area of industrial control, e.g. IEC 61131-3 and its PLCopen extensions. Even without this, PLCopen points out, the software in the industrial environment is becoming more important, software projects are becoming larger and the costs of errors are increasing.
In order to deal with the complexity of larger programs, one needs modern software development processes supporting a structured approach and…
Programming standardization through IEC 61131
Commission machines with the swipe of a finger
Motion Control Association and Motor & Motion Association announce new merger
International Minecraft 'Builder Bowl' tournament announced
Yaskawa Motoman receives reaccreditation status from IACET
Yaskawa Academy has been an Accredited Provider since 1993.
The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) has awarded reaccreditation status to the Motoman Robotics Division of Yaskawa America, Inc.
Yaskawa Academy (formerly known as Motoman Technical Education Center – MTEC) has been an Accredited Provider since 1993. IACET Accredited Providers are the only organizations approved to offer IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs). The accreditation period extends for five years and includes all programs offered or created during that time.
“Yaskawa Motoman is proud of our educational programs which train hundreds of engineers and manufacturing personnel each year in important robotics skills,” said Doug Burnside, vice president of customer satisfaction for…
QComp wins ABB 2016 North American Robotics Value Provider Award
Are robots denser in China?
YuMi wins IERA award for top invention, entrepreneurship in robotics
World record: 248,000 industrial robots transform the global economy
How to make the right safety and sensing decisions
Frost & Sullivan spotlights MEMSIC’s AMR sensor technology
Balluff wraps up first Automation-In-Action college tour
How machine vision systems and robots have influenced each other
Photo Research merges with JADAK
Effective June 13, Photo Research relocated its production, service, calibration and customer service operations California to New York.
Photo Research (PR) has merged with its Novanta sister company JADAK, a manufacturer of machine vision, radio-frequency identification (RFID) and bar code products for the health care and life science industries.
Effective June 13, Photo Research relocated its production, service, calibration and customer service operations from Chatsworth, Calif., to JADAK headquarters in Syracuse, N.Y.
“PR has been a worldwide, trusted brand for more than 70 years, and the company will only be enhanced by joining forces with JADAK,” said Janie Goddard, president of JADAK. “By combining to create what we call the ‘Vision Technology Center of Excellence,’ we will be able to leverage a large and diverse set of engineering and technology…
N. American 2016 machine vision market contracts fall 11% in first quarter
New machine vision systems, components show off future of the market
The impact non-vision sensing and robotics have on each other
Targeted Detection With Presence Sensing
Proximity Sensors Enable Object Detection to Determine What is Where
To be sure you hit a target, you have to see or somehow sense it. That truth lies behind the theory and practice of presence sensors, which are used to determine whether a box, bottle, piece of metal, or something else is there or not. Armed with…
Push, Pull, Show and Tell: Standalone Devices Play an Important Role in Operator Interfaces
Presence Sensors Travel into New Automation Applications
How sensing technologies bring human-like sensitivities to the machine interface
Presence Sensing: The Basics
Process variables and the art of calibrating instruments
Sensors: Automation for Nanopositioning Systems
Smart Technology to Drive Smarter Process Plants
The popularity of integrated control and safety continues to improve
It’s been a slow road for integrated control and safety, but its use and the related safety standards are maturing.
Machine safety is required, so how are builders and industry making it happen? Is it safe for you to stick your hand in there (Figure 1)? Getting started with integrated control and safety is a project-by-project decision.
Integrated control and…
How industry is attempting to keep humans safe from robots
Modular mining system combines remote monitoring, operation with redundancy for safety
Case Study: How PCMC makes functional safety an integral part of its equipment
When machines need intrinsic safety
Our expert panel guides you through step-by-step considerations when it comes to presence sensing and machine guarding.
Safety and presence sensing are key considerations in machine design. This six-person panel of safety and sensor veterans addresses some of the important points that must be addressed.
From deciding between a mechanical guard or a light curtain or…
Applications that will benefit from collaborative robot innovations
Will the IIoT enable robots to modify engineering capacity?
Non-rewritable memory eliminates hacker access to controller.
An industrial control system (ICS) is used to control equipment in a local area such as a production plant, while a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system is used to control equipment in a wide geographical area such as an electric…
Phoenix Contact partners with exida for functional safety, cybersecurity services
DMDII announces 6 research awards in digital manufacturing disciplines
The manufacturing industry is on the verge of an evolution
CC-Link Partner Association celebrates 15th anniversary
Vendor-supplied or open-source HMI software?
Functionality needs could require an industrial PC-based system.
When an HMI project requires more functionality than that offered by self-contained touchscreen units, the next step is to use an industrial PC-based system. The PC can be a traditional keyboard and mouse if the environment allows, or an integrated…
Harsh environments call for more rugged components
PLC+HMI enables critical stress testing
Why you should look for the 'Embedded HMI' label
HMI setup time just got shorter with the e!Display line
22 tips to ensure control panel maintainability
Some considerations for designers and builders of control panels that will help ensure the panels' maintainability.
One of our most popular articles on control panel design comes from a 2014 article by Don Fitchett, president of Business Industrial Network, an industrial training company, on considerations for designers and builders of control panels to help…
What’s the best way to measure, control and display?
Universal Panel Meter is configurable for measurement, display or control
Panel Meters Take on PLC Chores
A variety of improved options are provided by industrial PCs
How controls make for a better machine
Computer-controlled graphic interfaces may be the norm, but harsh environments often call for more rugged components.
The original human-machine interface (HMI) devices—buttons, selector switches, indicator lamps, buzzers and horns—are still widely used on equipment even if the main control interface is a computer-controlled graphical device. In some…
Do stack lights make the most sense for my assembly line?
Hillshire Brands operators improve visibility into production data with alarm management to cut waste
Manage Network Conflict: Provide Clarity on Which Applications Take Precedence
How do we tone down machine device chatter?
Consider the Need for Safety Switches
A Beacon for Wireless Signal Integrity
Smart Ethernet in New LDT for Automation Industries