Top 5 Control Engineering articles, May 19-25

Articles about things noncontrol people should know about control engineers, fixing PID, the world’s largest wind turbine test facility, reducing harmonics, and automation improving an alternator test system were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, May 19-25. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.


1. 7 things noncontrol people should know about control engineers

A few basic differences between control engineers and others in the plant can hinder progress toward optimization. Start a conversation to improve communications and controls. See examples and career advice. Send a link to these seven things other people should know about control engineers, so they understand.

2. Fixing PID, Part 2

Proportional-integral-derivative controllers may be ubiquitous, but they're not perfect.

3. World's largest wind turbine test facility aims to resolve stresses of more wind generation

Clemson University created what it calls the world's largest 15-megawatt (MW) Wind Turbine Drivetrain Test facility to create new technologies for the energy market. The facility, which opened November 2013, uses National Instruments (NI) integrated hardware and software tools.

4. Reducing harmonics with IEEE 519 practices, procedures

Technology Update: Industrial facilities should include a system evaluation, including a harmonic distortion analysis, while planning facility construction or expansion. Vendors of nonlinear loads, such as variable frequency drives, can provide services and recommend equipment that will reduce harmonics to comply with IEEE 519.

5. Automation improves alternator test system

Inside Machines: Motorcar Parts of America, an autoparts rebuilder, decided to design and build a new testing system in house using a programmable automation controller (PAC) and human machine interface (HMI). An auto parts rebuilder used off-the-shelf automation components to test remanufactured alternators quickly and efficiently.

The list was developed using CFE Media's web analytics for stories viewed on, May 19-25, for articles published within the last two months.

- Chris Vavra, content specialist, CFE Media,

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