Ideas in Automation

As you can see, Control Engineering has undergone a bit of a redesign with this issue. Our reasons for doing this are three-fold: give the content a brighter, cleaner appearance, thereby making it easier to navigate through the issue; provide improved ways to spotlight the vast amount of online content we create daily; and to highlight new areas of coverage.

10/01/2008


As you can see, Control Engineering has undergone a bit of a redesign with this issue. Our reasons for doing this are three-fold: give the content a brighter, cleaner appearance, thereby making it easier to navigate through the issue; provide improved ways to spotlight the vast amount of online content we create daily; and to highlight new areas of coverage. The new content area debuting in this issue is called “Ideas in Automation” (on page 74). The point of this section is to call attention to the application of industrial automation and controls in industries outside of manufacturing. Good ideas often arise from the most unlikely areas.

We all know how easy it is to get trapped in a knowledge comfort zone and how easy it then becomes to dismiss certain ideas as ill-fitted to our tasks. But we also all know that new, out-of-the-box ideas are exactly what we need to spark new ways of thinking and generate real advances for ourselves and our companies.

Kicking off the “Ideas in Automation” section is a look behind the scenes at the automation and computing that bring Disney’s newest attraction, “Toy Story Midway Mania,” to life. Running over an Ethernet backbone (the first time Disney has done this for an entire ride), this new ride blends interactive guest participation into a moving attraction with 3D graphics and on-vehicle scoring. The marriage of PLCs, motors and drives, wireless and wired communication, and high-end computing in this ride is a true testament to what’s possible in a high-volume environment with today’s automation technologies.

Disney rarely allows the media to get a close look at the inner workings of its attractions, making this article and its associated pictures and videos all the more unique and insightful. Special thanks goes to Disney alliance partner Siemens for helping us get the behind-the-scenes tour.

Upcoming “Ideas in Automation” articles will look at OPC use in Broadway stage show automation, new power transmission designs used in motors for major airport baggage handling systems, HMIs and home automation technologies, and energy savings lessons from farming applications.

In the meantime, stay tuned for two other new sections set to debut next month. Rest assured that the introduction of these new sections will not replace the tried-and-true, core engineering articles for which Control Engineering is so well known. All that coverage will remain. These new sections are pure value add for our valued audience.

david.greenfield@reedbusiness.com





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on preventing compressed air leaks and centrifugal air compressor basics and best practices for the "fifth utility" in manufacturing plants.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me