Top Control Engineering articles, April 2012

The most-visited articles at during April 2012 included articles on process control and safety systems, mobile engineering applications, alarm rationalization, machine control, industrial energy savings, and machine guarding, among others.


Most-read Control Engineering online articles for April 2012 at included articles on articles on process control and safety systems, mobile engineering applications, alarm rationalization, machine control, industrial energy savings, and machine guarding, among others. More about each article and links follow.

Emerson Process adds “tweeting” function to flagship DeltaV so it can reach out to operators. The system will establish friends, compose messages, and interact independently. Exclusive video: Jim Cahill explains new concept, operation.

Social media and process control merge using artificial intelligence

Emerson Process adds “tweeting” function to flagship DeltaV so it can reach out to operators. The system will establish friends, compose messages, and interact independently. Exclusive video: Jim Cahill explains new concept, operation. [April 1 – April Fool’s Day posting.]




Figure 3: Here a separate shutoff valve, XV-101, has been added. There are no shared components and thus no single points of failure.


When can the process control system, safety system share field devices?

An SIS and BPCS can sometimes share components, but not without careful analysis.



Apps for Engineers - Product Exclusive

CFE Media’s Apps For Engineers software is an “app of aps,” providing an interactive directory of approximately 60 mobile engineering-related software applications useful for Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer areas of coverage.


A rational approach to alarm rationalization

While it may not be your favorite activity, thoughtful alarm rationalization pays major operational dividends in the long run and will keep your operators happier.


Functional elements diagram. Source: Rockwell Automation

Moving up from hardwired relay logic

If you’re still trying to control machine functions with relays and discrete electromechanical devices, you should be looking at the small and inexpensive PLCs available these days.

Their versatility and simplicity may surprise you.



Building maintenance personnel can easily monitor and control chiller operation from the touchscreen using graphic icons and simple commands.Cut Chiller Energy Costs by 30%

Industrial Energy Management: Prepackaged retrofit for centrifugal compressor chiller also said to reduce required maintenance and extend operating life.



Machine Guarding: Trouble shooting old systems is doomed with iPad skills

Do today's new hires have what it takes? Over the past 10 years machine safety has experienced probably the greatest transformation since the advent of machine control technology, which sets the stage for an organizational skills gap discussion. Are the skilled trades persons entering industry over the past ten years equipped to evaluate and trouble shoot 40-year-old control systems without any connection for plugging in a lap top computer?



Construction of Vogtle unit 3 turbine building foundation basement continues in this March 5 image. Courtesy: Southern Company.U.S. nuclear power update: A 2012 overture?

The first new operating license in 34 years was approved in early February 2012 by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for two reactors at Southern Nuclear Operating Co.’s Vogtle power plant located near Augusta, Ga. Other license approvals are pending. The industry is at a crossroad with positive and negative developments. Link to photos, videos.


Nightmare Recovery

How to avoid nightmare system integration projects: When an automation project is far astray, there may be a point where you must call in reinforcements to clean up rather than scrap it. Here’s how to recover from that nightmare project and what signs might point to a future nightmare.


Production Energy Optimization Profile

Industrial Energy Management: We can’t necessarily see energy being wasted, but it can be identified and tracked on the road to lower costs in manufacturing and process industries.


Links to the next five most-read online articles


Mobile industrial worker


Self-sculpting sand: Algorithms could help with micro robotics


Direct-drive Wind Turbines Flex Muscles


Top Control Engineering articles, March 2012


2012 Engineers' Choice Awards: Winners


Among most popular Control Engineering pages are:

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Motors and Drives


Online Training Center - Control Engineering

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Integrator Guide - Search the online Automation Integrator Guide by selecting from the categories below. Selecting multiple criteria will narrow your search results. Integrators wishing to apply for their own listing can do so. 

- Compiled by Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering,

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