Top Control Engineering articles, September 2011

HMI, safety system bypass, control engineering technologies save the world, using smartphones as a HART handheld, video on plant performance, direct drive for wind turbines, industrial Ethernet, online events, and energy efficiency for regenerative braking, among other articles.


Most-visited articles at during September 2011 included using an iPhone as an HMI, safety system bypass, control engineering technologies save the world, using smartphones as a HART handheld, video on plant performance, direct drive for wind turbines, industrial Ethernet, online events, and energy efficiency for regenerative braking, and a linear motion tutorial. Descriptions and links to those most-visited articles follow.

Control Engineering Cover story: Consumer-grade smartphones and tablet computers are fast becoming commonplace extensions of industrial networks.September 2011 most popular Control Engineering online articles

An iPhone as Your Next HMI? - Consumer-grade smartphones and tablet computers are fast becoming commonplace extensions of industrial networks, permitting process monitoring and, even (gasp!) process control.

When should you bypass your safety system? - How can it be considered "good engineering practice" to bypass your safety instrumented system (SIS) during critical times with your process? See diagrams.

Shelley Gretlein, NI director of software marketing at NIWeek 2011; Courtesy: National InstrumentsThink Again: Control engineering technologies can save the world - Apply the control loop—sense, decide, actuate—to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering’s 14 Engineering Grand Challenges, giving the world a better, more just, future. See photos; link to related stories, videos.

Smartphone as HART hand-held - ProComSol releases DevCom2000 Mobile software to communicate with HART instrumentation.

Video: Making your plant performance reporting more interactive - What will tomorrow’s “morning meeting” look like? ABB gives a preview of what’s going on in the lab and what your future HMI may look like.

The rotor of Siemens’ 6-MW DD wind turbine is shown being fitted to the nacelle at the company’s test site in Denmark. Courtesy: SiemensDirect-drive Wind Turbines Flex Muscles –  A different drive train design that eliminates the gearbox between a turbine’s rotor and generator is attracting wind turbine manufacturers in the quest for higher power output, increased offshore reliability, and potential cost savings over the system’s lifetime. See photos, diagram, links.

Industrial Ethernet interconnects an automotive body and assembly plant with integrated conveyor and robotic applications. Courtesy: BeldenIndustrial Ethernet Integrates Machinery and Robotics - How a robust industrial Ethernet network can include machines and robots, while providing high performance, uptime, and enterprise-wide connectivity. Link to table of Ethernet protocols, more advice.

Online learning events: Automation Summit, pump efficiency, fieldbus, industrial Ethernet - Multiple online learning events are available through CFE Media publications, including the Manufacturing/Automation Summit, webcast on pump and process efficiency, fieldbus, and industrial Ethernet, among others. See more information and links to register, below.

Figure 5: Vehicle on slope; Courtesy: PMDEnergy Efficiency: Regenerative Braking - Instead of wasting the potential energy associated with the BackEMF voltage of a vehicle's electric motor via heat loss, it can be used to recharge the battery and therefore recover energy for higher system efficiency. Certain manufacturing processes can be made more efficient in similar ways. See diagrams, graphics, and equations.

Bosch Rexroth linear motionBack to Basics: Motion, guidance, positioning - Setting any object in motion makes it necessary to transfer power and overcome friction. For millennia humankind has used rollers and slides; modern technologies are much better. Here’s a quick guide to types of linear guides.

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Also see:

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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