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Find the reliable information you've come to expect from editors, along with links to useful online articles, whitepapers and product guidance from inside the OEM community

By Rick Pedraza

Special to the Web: 10 Years of Control Design
As we approach the celebration of our 10th anniversary in June, we’re devoting a special section on to a look back at how machine automation has changed since our inaugural issue in 1997. In January, our intrepid columnist Jeremy Pollard reflected on the way Microsoft-based technology changed the face of machine control during that period ("A Look Back at Microsoft in Manufacturing"), and last month, he took a look at what’s happened over the past 10 years to the venerable PLC and its supporting cast ("Back to the books: PLC easy reader"). This month, take a look back on machine-related standards by reading "Making Sense of Standards," by our Executive Editor Jim Montague.

But in case you miss any of these reports, which will be published throughout the year, we’re housing them all for you at Each month, another feature will be added to the 10-year anniversary section of the website, along with a new flashback list of significant news events that occurred during the past 10 years. A kind of, do you remember when? We can’t help but wonder what you remember about 1997.

To take a look back on our 10-year anniversary and the last 10 years in machine automation, or to just take our flashback quiz if you think your steel-trap memory is in fine working order.

Product Roundups at Your Fingertips
Product searches on the web can be daunting, so we’ve boiled down all the marketing hoopla from press release descriptions and turned them into something useful. Check out our collection of product-family-specific roundups compiled at, and find the software, hardware, and resources you need quickly and easily.


The ins and outs of I/P transducers
I/P transducers are relatively simple devices, but there are numerous factors to take into account before selecting one. This paper provides a complete understanding of the factors involved in making the correct product selection, installation, and maintenance.

Use of feedback devices in closed loop systems
Closed loop systems use feedback signals for stabilization, speed and position information. There are a variety of devices to provide this data, such as the analog tachometer, optical encoder, Hall sensor, and resolver. In this white paper, each of these devices will be defined and explained.


Take our Web Poll on using RTOS with PC-based control
If you use PC-based machine control, do you employ a third-party RTOS kernel? If yes, who handles integration issues? If no, do you expect to during the next 3-5 years. Take our new Web Poll and let us know.

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