"The Best Of" The Answer to Your Problems

A lot of great questions have been asked by readers of CONTROL DESIGN magazine's The Answer to Your Problems column over the last few years. Here is a compilation of those questions, along with their answers, which appeared in both the magazine and on ControlDesign.com. Have a quandary? Save yourself the hefty consulting fees by getting The Answer to Your Problems here.

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QUESTIONS PREVIOUSLY ANSWERED

We need standards advice
04/09/2007
A reader wants to know what the European and Asian equivalents to UL, NEC, and NFPA are. And what about WEEE and RoHS? Find out the answers and learn where you can go for help regarding standards.

I need a well-supported network
03/07/2007
A reader wants to know what his best options are for finding a control network with sufficient vendor and industry support for multiple sources of controllers, motors, drives, sensors, and components.

    

The Answer to Your Problems

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We have power-supply problems
02/04/2007
Readers offer up advice on installing redundant, DIN-rail, 24 V, switch-mode power supplies in parallel in this installment of The Answer to Your Problems.

Do handheld OIs make sense?
01/05/2007
A reader looks for shared experiences regarding cost savings that can be realized with the usage of a wireless or plug-in handheld OI to take care of all their additional in-line networking functions. 

We need machine vision advise
11/08/2006
A custom machine builder gets answers to its problems concerning the pros and cons of buying a turn-key, all-in-one vision sensor package vs. something more versatile and powerful.

Should we switch to PC-based control?
10/10/2006
A supplier of machines to the contract liquid-filling industry seeks advice on whether it should augment its PLC controls with a PC-based HMI or convert entirely to PC-based control to obtain needed connectivity.

How do I choose a digital recorder?
09/09/2006
A reader considers using web-based recorders to help with remote diagnoses, but will he have to give up any functionality with web-based vs. today's digitals? And what about software considerations?

How should we secure the operator panel?
08/10/2006
A reader wants to know if they shopuld be looking for fingerprint or retina scanners or the like when upgrading security features, and if they are cost-effective compared to more traditional security measures.

What’s all this about FPGAs?
06/06/2006
In this installment of The Answer to Your Problems, a reader receives advice on how to use field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) as an embedded controller alternative to provide unique behaviors.

How to measure velocity of fragile solids
05/10/2006
In this installment of The Answer to Your Problems, a reader is offered suggestions on how to measure material velocity and flow rate at several key positions when pneumatically conveying very friable materials.

Does dual-core processing have advantages?
04/06/2006
Now that dual-core processors are available from AMD and Intel, does anyone think there could be task management performance advantages...

How should we train?
03/07/2006
A small specialty machine builder with designs on growing out of its currently regional market presence finds out what other builders...

What are critical E-CAD features?
02/26/2006
Readers offer up advice on how to evaluate the worth of an electrical CAD program in this installment of The Answer to Your...

You think you’ve got PID troubles?
01/11/2006
Factory Automation: A builder of turnkey, PLC-based batching and blending systems is finding it increasingly harder to control some loops...

Should I learn object-based programming?
11/10/2005
What are the advantages and downsides of becoming functional in object-oriented programming, and how hard is it to learn? Check out The...

Which vision system data protocol should you use?
09/07/2005
Offering an integrated vision system for packaged goods machinery presents several data communications protocol options. Check out what...

What are the limits to embedded XP?
07/14/2005
What does real-life performance experience tell us about whether using XP Embedded without a third-party kernel is a good idea? Check out...

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