Top 5 Control Engineering articles, April 27 to May 4

Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Control Engineering's five most-clicked articles from last week, April 27 to May 4, including articles about operator interface graphics, software patching, prototyping peer-to-peer applications for the Internet of Things, real-time data integration in the digital oil field, and building a maintenance management program for valves.


1. Operator interface graphics 101

Graphics on an operator interface can range from very simple to extremely complex, so when creating them there are a few tips you should keep in mind. 

2. Software patching is vital to secure operations, but introduces more risks

End of Microsoft Windows XP support raises concerns about industrial networks, connections to PC-based assets, and software patching. Assess software patching risks with 11 critical questions. In manufacturing plant floor applications, security and safety are an integrated concern. Control system cyber security is not the same as desktop PC security. 

3. Prototyping peer-to-peer applications for the industrial Internet of things

Programming peer-to-peer (machine-to-machine) architecture is challenging for the broad application space of the industrial Internet of things. A unified programming environment provides an intuitive method for publishing and subscribing to data of interest over the network. 

4. Real-time data integration in the digital oil field

Real-time data integration is a crucial aspect of the digital oil field, but to make its integration successful, production engineers must implement a data infrastructure based on four key elements.

5. Building a maintenance management program for valves

Diagnostics from smart valve actuators using HART communication can save maintenance costs and improve plant reliability when used in a comprehensive maintenance management program. This is often the first big victory of a program.

The list was developed using CFE Media's web analytics for stories viewed on, April 27 to May 4, for articles published within the last two months.

- Jessica DuBois-Maahs, associate content manager, CFE Media,

Anonymous , 05/08/14 10:37 PM:

A successful Maintenance program requires cooperation, dedication, and participation at all levels
and cannot succeed without everyone involved
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 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...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

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.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

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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.