From packaging to tuning to visualization
Applied Automation covers aspects of the bagging process, PID tuning, and HMI system standardization in the December 2013 issue.
The cover story in this issue of Applied Automation talks about packaging specifically, the bagging process. Industrial bag packaging machines are designed to fill plastic and paper bags with dry bulk products, such as powders, granules, or flakes. The author points out that efficient, effective, and accurate bagging is a direct result of optimizing the relationship between the bagging machine, the bag, and the product. Finding the right combination of these three factors should be obvious. However, if one of them changes, one-or sometimes both-of the others may need to change as well.
This issue also includes an article about PID tuning—a topic frequently covered by Applied Automation, Control Engineering, and Plant Engineering. My first exposure to PID tuning was a vintage ISA training film (not a video; the film predated even VCRs) about tuning pneumatic controls. The concepts are the same. However, the ways they are applied continue to advance. The author provides PID tuning advice, explains different tuning processes, and explains the theory behind modeling processes. Automatic tuning software can greatly simplify the PID tuning process in many cases. Although automatic software has been around for more than 30 years in one form or another, it continues to advance as well.
The third article revisits HMIs—another topic that continues to be popular among automation and control professionals. In this article, the author advocates HMI system standardization, which involves using standard graphics, naming conventions, and application design concepts to provide a consistent look and feel among multiple HMIs throughout the plant. The author contends that HMI standardization can increase productivity, simplify operation, and reduce operating costs.
Check out the links to the stories below.
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Annual Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.