IIC celebrates 2nd anniversary, elects new steering committee members
Launched in March 2014, the IIC now has more than 250 member organizations ─ an increase of 150 in the past year.
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) recently celebrated its second anniversary and announced two new steering committee positions by special election. Launched in March 2014, the IIC now has more than 250 member organizations ─ an increase of 150 in the past year─ including large global corporations, start-ups, systems integrators, research institutions, universities and government agencies.
According to the IIC, during its second business year it achieved several milestones. Publication of the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA) and a Vocabulary Technical Report established two reference resources for driving the adoption of the Industrial Internet. The organization also announced testbeds across many vertical…
Balluff wraps up first Automation-In-Action college tour
Hannover Messe: Obama, Merkel experience ABB’s new smart sensor digital technology
CC-Link Partner Association opens new office in Mexico
Object Management Group, OPC Foundation announce strategy for DDS and OPC UA connectivity standards
I/O innovations ─ drive machine control with input and output
Flexibility and modularity move I/O into new territory.
Input/output (I/O) devices are the linchpins of a machine’s automation system. The input could be inbound sensor data, and the output might be outbound actuator commands, but the automation scheme is dependent on the I/O, be it digital or analog,…
Fundamentals of analog inputs: How to choose the right device
Case Study: High-tech woodworking equipment made in America
Modular design shrinks big machine problems
What’s the best way to protect low-power circuits?
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
IML announces next round of projects targeted toward small, medium manufacturers
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…
Avoid drowning in data with data analytics software
Cognitive computing in the cloud is smarter than you might think
Yokogawa acquires cloud data service provider Industrial Evolution Inc.
Why HMI innovations may promise better access control
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…
Advantech and Inventec join together to form new company AIMobile
AIMobile will focus on the development and manufacturing of industrial handheld mobile devices targeting retail, in-vehicle, field service and medical applications.
Inventec, design and manufacturing service provider of notebook computers, servers and mobile devices, and Advantech, provider of Industrial Intelligent Systems, announced they will enter a strategic alliance agreement to form a new company, AIMobile Co. Ltd.
Capital contributions to the joint venture will be in an anticipated total amount of NT$1,000 million. According to reports, Inventec and Advantech will hold 55% and 45% of the equity, respectively. AIMobile will focus on the development and manufacturing of industrial handheld mobile devices targeting retail, in-vehicle, field service and medical applications.
“The strategic alliance between Inventec and Advantech is a win-win situation,” said Richard Lee, chairman of Inventec…
Augmented reality lets the equipment help you diagnose the problem
Emerging HMI trends and benefits of platform independence
Modular mining system combines remote monitoring, operation with redundancy for safety
POSITAL supports University4Industry, online education tool for IIoT innovations
Dick Morley receives CSIA first-ever lifetime achievement award
The award was announced at the April 21 CSIA annual business meeting and awards dinner.
Members of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) recently gave "father of the PLC" Dick Morley the organization's first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award was presented to Morley at his assisted-living residence in March by CSIA…
The more controls change, the more familiar they become
Use PLC programming, not custom code
Keep it simple with ladder diagram
PLCs and PACs are still the heavyweight when it comes to system/machine logic.
Control choices can vary, sometimes by application or sometimes by engineers’ preferences or expertise. The more the needle moves, the more it stays in the same place. Futurists constantly predict the demise of the PLC, and yet its use is as…
Top 10 most-read articles of 2015
The IoTPAC combines control and a virtual HMI
Spotlight on Pearson Packaging Systems: It all started with a six-pack
How much effect will linear power supplies’ EMI have on machine controls?
A machine builder asks about the trade-offs between a switched mode power supply and linear regulated.
We’re trying to save cabinet space by changing from a linear regulated power supply to a switched mode power supply. From what I understand, we’ll get a higher power density with a smaller footprint, while the power factor is about the same. My biggest concern is, with so many devices offering built-in intelligence these days, will a switching power supply create so much electromagnetic interference that it will cause a controls problem on our form, fill and seal machines?
Any mounting recommendations to reduce EMI? What about unregulated? And how close are power supplies to offering their own control capabilities, or is that already available?
Power Supplies Get Smarter
High-End Protection for Low Power
Getting to a Better–and-Cleaner Power Source For Machine Builders
Why Fluid Power Matters as a Machine Motion Source
Is machine learning smart enough to help industry?
How access to massive amounts of data benefits machine design, control systems, production, maintenance and business.
With the three leading technologies of business and industry today—Internet of Things (IoT), the cloud and big data—the world is moving quickly into a new era: the Overwhelmed With Information Age. Too much information is a reality. Digging…
A variety of improved options are provided by industrial PCs
Siemens to acquire simulation software supplier CD-adapco
Absolute Machine Tools acquires distributor Machine Tool Technology-21
MTT-21 distributes CNC machine tools, such as Kitamura.
Absolute Machine Tools, Inc. has reached an agreement to acquire Chicago-based distributor Machine Tool Technology – 21, Inc. (MTT-21) into its operations. MTT-21 distributes CNC machine tools, such as Kitamura.
“This acquisition combines the global resources of our company with the capabilities and excellent local reputation of MTT-21," said Steve Ortner, Absolute president. "It is evidence of Absolute Machine Tools’ dedication to Illinois and Wisconsin manufacturers, and also confirms the company’s strength in a down market.”
With the merger, Absolute has added more machine tool professionals to its Midwest Technical Center in Elgin, Ill. New personnel includes the following:
Mark Ulanov, president and owner of MTT-21, Inc.
Mazak debuts new technologies for CNC control, remote connectivity
Which Encoder Communication Protocol Is Right for Our Application?
Take control of control software
Automation in Agriculture—how FireFly's turf harvesting machine ups productivity
A sod palletizing system built for use on the farm reduces operating costs and increase productivity.
Bringing a high-end control system, programming and mechanical design to FireFly's automated turf harvesting machine proves technology and automation work well in agriculture applications. Not only is the FireFly ProSlab 155 more efficient and…
PLC vs. programmable relay
Why we should combine engineering with innovative methodologies
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.
Intertek collaborates with Pepperl+Fuchs on first Hazardous Locations Panel shop project
The Hazardous Locations Panel Program provides an alternative approach to certification for manufacturers who custom-build or mass-produce industrial control panels.
Intertek has partnered with Pepperl+Fuchs to pilot its ETL Hazardous Locations Panel Program, marking the first complete project under Intertek’s new hazardous areas panel shop certification offering.
According to Intertek, the Hazardous Locations Panel Program provides an alternative approach to certification for manufacturers who custom-build or mass-produce industrial control panels, which are subject to extensive and stringent conformity assessment requirements. Under the program, which includes on-site training, quarterly inspections and annual auditing, manufacturers can produce custom control panels and conduct their own testing under Intertek’s SATELLITE Data Acceptance Program to certify products under the ETL mark.
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?
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
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
Yokogawa and Shell develop next-generation software suite
Agile project management control design methods
Sensors: Automation for Nanopositioning Systems
Targeted Detection With Presence Sensing
Machine Checklist: Fundamental energy-saving ideas
Schneider Electric offers a list of fundamental energy-saving ideas.
Control Design Editor in Chief Mike Bacidore in his feature, "A new level of energy efficiency for machine builders, system integrators," details how machine builders and system integrators have found ways to bring energy savings to customers. As…
A new level of energy efficiency for machine builders, system integrators
Nanotec to highlight innovative ideas for use of motors and controllers
7 ways to make sure your motor measures up
Electronic controls synchronize motion for Hagerty Steel & Aluminum
Danfoss Drives trumpets the future in New Orleans
With the 2015 acquisition of Vacon, Danfoss Drives became a formidable global drives supplier with personnel is more than 50 countries.
More than 20% of Danfoss Drives’ 4,800 employees are research-and-development engineers. That’s a significant investment in the future. Include the acquisition of Vacon to its resumé, and Danfoss had quite a bit to trumpet at its international conference in New Orleans in March.
With the 2015 acquisition of Vacon, Danfoss Drives became a formidable global drives supplier with personnel is more than 50 countries. The Danfoss portfolio can now meet low-voltage, medium-voltage and high-voltage needs of energy-intensive industries, such as mining, food and beverage and pulp/paper, but also water/wastewater, oil and gas, marine, HVAC and chemicals. In North America, Danfoss has eight locations and more than 100 drives specialists serving…
Peter Hammond recalls the birth of the medium-voltage drive
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
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?
A machine builder wants to know the tradeoffs between stepper motors and servo motors for its CNC machines
We've been using stepper motors in the CNC machines we build. However, we sometimes lose steps because of the heavy table. We’ve considered putting a feedback device on the stepper application to optimize torque, but is there a better solution? Would a servo motor solve this? What are the tradeoffs?
See also: Two controls engineers discuss servo motors
When Industrial Steppers Measure Up
Infographic: If You Use Stepper Motors Are They Open or Closed Loop?
Benefits of Small Stepper Motors
Motion Control Joins the Efficiency Revolution
How to get energy efficiency under control
Robots Become Routine in Machine Designs
Servos Are Fun to Say and Are Useful For Most Automation Applications
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
Programming standardization through IEC 61131
As software takes on a larger role, so do its costs.
Software continues to rise as a percentage of automation development costs. Enhancements or maintenance of the code can be more than double the initial costs. That's why standards are important. They're designed to improve productivity, quality and…
Commission machines with the swipe of a finger
Motion Control Association and Motor & Motion Association announce new merger
International Minecraft 'Builder Bowl' tournament announced
N. American robotics market records strongest opening quarter ever
The RIA estimates that some 262,000 robots are now at use in North American factories, which is third to Japan and China in robot use.
The North American robotics market has set new records to begin 2016, according to Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group.
A total of 7,406 robots, valued at approximately $402 million, were ordered from North American companies during the first quarter of 2016. The number of units ordered in the first three months of 2016 is a new record among opening quarters, growing seven percent over the same period in 2015.
Order revenue, however, decreased by eight percent in the first quarter. Robot shipments also set a new opening quarter record, with 7,125 robots valued at $448 million being shipped to North American customers. This represents growth of two percent in units and 21% in dollars over the same quarter of…
World Robotics Federation: Industrial robots post new sales record in 2015
How industry is attempting to keep humans safe from robots
Technical advancements making robots easier to integrate
How machine vision systems and robots have influenced each other
Frost & Sullivan spotlights MEMSIC’s AMR sensor technology
MEMSIC’s AMR sensors are already implemented in consumer electronics, such as smartphones and tablets.
Frost & Sullivan last month recognized MEMSIC, Inc., as its recipient of the 2016 North American Technology Innovation award. According to Frost & Sullivan, by investing in innovative and effective processes, design and manufacturing…
The impact non-vision sensing and robotics have on each other
Applications that will benefit from collaborative robot innovations
Is machine vision changing robots, or are robots changing machine vision?
Is machine vision changing robots, or are robots changing machine vision? With robotics playing such a pivotal role in the future of discrete manufacturing, we asked a seasoned panel of industry for their insights and predictions on the role of…
AIA calling on applicants for Vision Show Startup Competition
Will the IIoT enable robots to modify engineering capacity?
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
Evolution of nanotechnology and nanomanufacturing impose demanding performance requirements
Multi-axis nanopositioning systems are widely used in most of modern nanotechnology and nanomanufacturing applications, such as scanning probe microscopy, nanofabrication and nano-patterning (e-beam lithography, for example), as well as various…
Smart Technology to Drive Smarter Process Plants
Posital-Fraba is Named Global Rockwell Encompass Partner
What is being done to ensure the number of robot-related deaths remains as low as it’s been, if not lower?
Keeping humans safe from robots is one of the most important considerations, as we enter the age of collaborative robots. With robotics playing such a pivotal role in the future of discrete manufacturing, we asked a seasoned panel of industry for…
Case Study: How PCMC makes functional safety an integral part of its equipment
When machines need intrinsic safety
Make risk assessment your critical first step in functional machine safety design
What makes collaborative robots safe for human interaction?
Phoenix Contact partners with exida for functional safety, cybersecurity services
“Through this partnership, exida provides Phoenix Contact with an extensive assessment offering that can help our customers improve their business."
Phoenix Contact USA has entered into a strategic partnership with exida LLC to provide functional safety and cybersecurity assessments.
According to Phoenix Contact USA, unsafe or unsecured processes can put a company at risk in many ways, but properly identifying functional safety and cybersecurity risks is a challenge in itself. Phoenix Contact USA says recognizing and implementing solutions that meet the latest industry standards to mitigate those risks is exida’s specialty.
“Through this partnership, exida provides Phoenix Contact with an extensive assessment offering that can help our customers improve their business,” said Spencer Bolgard, vice president and general manager of Phoenix Contact USA. “The expertise provided by…
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
Virtually every HMI software vendor has embraced HTML5.
Almost all machine builders understand the benefits of remote access to PC-based and embedded HMI servers by remote thin clients such as tablets and smartphones, but some still need convincing.
Mobility is here. Or is it over there? It’s…
HMI software often starts with the hardware
Remote access goes fully mobile with HTML5 standard
Cornerstone Technical Group becomes Progea distributor for Movicon software
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
How controls make for a better machine
InduSoft releases InduSoft Web Studio v8.0
How do we communicate with aging PCs?
Do stack lights make the most sense for my assembly line?
Which signaling devices make the most sense in a varied and sometimes harsh environment?
A Control Design reader writes: I have a problem, and it may be the stack lights. I'm designing the control system for a large multi-station assembly line in an automotive application. In previous projects, I mounted stack lights and alarm annunciation directly to the main control enclosures and connected digital I/O. Unfortunately, this wasn’t always the best location, and the devices were poorly sealed.
What are some better options for mounting, operating and acknowledging system status and signaling devices? The stack lights will need up to five colors and need to include an audible alarm. These signaling devices must be able to handle a harsh industrial environment and the mounting location varies.
Please join the discussion using…
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?
Better Tools Benefit Alarms
Consider the Need for Safety Switches
A Beacon for Wireless Signal Integrity
Smart Ethernet in New LDT for Automation Industries
BYOD Gains Traction as Employees Demand Access from Mobile Devices