Analysis: Control Engineering Top 20 articles of 2007

Oak Brook, IL — Control Engineering tells what the leading articles of 2007 were, as read online at the Control Engineering Web site. Have your competitors learned something to make their jobs easier? Did you see these? High-ranking topics include: PID, control valve actuators, encoders, stepper motors, control design for clean in place (CIP) applications, industrial Ethernet hardware, and security. Links are provided.


Oak Brook, IL – Here are the leading articles posted at Control Engineering ’s Website during 2007 ranked by the number of page views. If you didn’t look at these articles the first time around, take a few minutes to read a few, save a link to this piece, and get back to it a few times during lunch. (You’d hate to think your competitors had a chance to get help from these, if you haven’t.) High-ranking topics include: PID, control valve actuators, encoders, stepper motors, control design for clean in place (CIP) applications, industrial Ethernet hardware, and security. The top 10 articles are described; links to the top 20 articles are in the table below .

1. March cover story: The Three Faces of PID . Proportional-integral-derivative control is among the most consistently read topics over the years, as readers seek understanding into basic control algorithms. Among top viewed articles from 2007 posted prior to last year, advanced tuning and PID-related items accounted for six of 20.

2. January Product Research: Control Valve Actuators . Actuators, one-third of the control loop, rank high here and with motors, below.

3. May 2007 Salary Survey: More Challenge, More Income . Subscribers always like to hear how they’re doing compared to peers. Salary information also is available in a customizable database in the

Control Engineering Resource Center


4. March online news: Magnetic encoders help break 7-second motorcycle quarter-mile record . Engineering that enables extreme anything remains of interest to many, whose first engineering-related interests may have been with motorcycles or cars.

5. March feature: Stepper Motion Evolution . ...more actuation helps move things along.

6. March Inside Process: Control Design for CIP Systems. Clean in place is consider a batch process by itself, and managing that asset more effectively is becoming more important.

7. June cover story: Who Puts the 'Industrial' in Ethernet? Loads of technology descriptions, tips, and links make this especially useful, with a related podcast.

8. April cover story: 10 Control System Security Threats . If you’re not protecting your control systems in these areas, you’re not protected. Several podcasts offer more security advice.

9. March News: ABB users discover new products, each other. This look at an active company focused users group provides insight into what can be gained through participation.

10. March new product: Software optimizes all instruments. The idea of software helping to optimize all instruments raises the prospect of increasing usefulness while reducing complexity.

More observations follow the top 20 articles of 2007 .

1. Cover story: The Three Faces of PID 11. Motor efficiency: NEMA expands energy saving program to 50 Hz
2. Product Research: Control Valve Actuators 12. Managing Alarms
3. 2007 Salary Survey: More Challenge, More Income 13. Customer Satisfaction Survey: In Search of Satisfaction
4. Magnetic encoders help break 7-second motorcycle quarter-mile record 14. Brushless PM Torque Motors
5. Stepper Motion Evolution 15. Inside Machines Extreme Machine: Compact Precision Robotics
6. Inside Process: Control Design for CIP Systems 16. Technology Update: Ladder logic: Strengths, weaknesses
7. Cover story: Who Puts the 'Industrial' in Ethernet? 17. Cover story: Visualizing temperature
8. Cover story: 10 Control System Security Threats 18. Product Research: Using Flowmeters
9. Collaboration: ABB users discover new products, each other 19. Inside Process PLC-Based Control Systems Go Off-Shore
10. Unification: Software optimizes all instruments 20. New knowledge: 60 GB math object advances engineering

When technology does something cool, it ranks high, as encoders help break motorcycle speed record (No. 4) and when hard science discovery has potential to help engineering, as with 60 GB math object (No. 20).

Ranking is by number of page views for the year. Articles posted earlier in the year had an advantage. The evidence: 7 of 10 of the top 10 and 65% of the top 20 were published in the first quarter. More time online obviously helped more users find the topics they needed. Given that, I’ll follow up with a 2007 monthly snapshot, which will show more recent best-read topics.

Print versus electronic : Five top articles were first made public by electronic means; 15 by print first (although, of course, the print items also became electronic when posted on the site).

Why and how : People find articles posted to through various means: because they subscribe to Control Engineering print edition and see a print-based reference to something online; use the search function atop ; receive one of about a dozen email newsletters; browse the site; use general search engines like Google; or follow a link from another location. Linking to an article you like from your own Web site is perfectly fine, although those seeking more than a brief citation and link should consult with a

Control Engineering online licensing and reprint


Next week, I’ll post the links of the top 20 articles for 2007 that were posted in prior years.

Happy learning!

Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief
Control Engineering News Desk
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