EC: APL Version 8
Software - HMI software: APL is the standard library for Simatic PCS 7 V8.0 offering new and improved functionalities and visually-attractive GUIs for a higher level of operator experience. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
The advanced process library (APL) for version 8 is a database of controller function blocks [including advanced process control (APC)], variable frequency drives and other channel drivers, and graphic icons and faceplates. It is based on the many years of experience of project engineers and plant operators and takes into account the latest NAMUR recommendations and PNO specifications.
The APL features intuitive operator displays like the new loop preview window, which allows operators to see set point differences (internal versus external values) before making changes allowing them to anticipate the process response. The APL faceplates are adapted to the needs of operating staff, allowing not only optimum operation of the process, but also a good overview of the system status. With these user-oriented APC functions, sophisticated APC applications for small and medium-sized installations are easy and cost-effective to implement. The optional industry library supports drivers for touch panels and the integration of Simatic S7 Package Units (AS 300 controllers) into Simatic PCS 7 applications.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.