Winners: Application and Programming Software
Winners of the 2007 Engineers' Choice Awards
Application software: SolidWorks 2008
SolidWorks Office is a complete 3D CAD solution, providing product design teams with all the mechanical CAD, data management, and design validation tools needed in an affordable package. SolidWorks 2008 includes several new features that are helping to bridge the gap between designers and manufacturing. A highlight in these new features is DFMXpress, a validation tool that identifies geometry that is overly expensive or impossible to make via conventional machining operations. SolidWorks 2008 also features more than 250 customer-driven enhancements, including a streamlined user interface, improved on-screen real-time design editing, and the ability to automate repetitive design tasks.
Enterprise integration & analysis: FactoryTalk Historian Site Edition
FactoryTalk Historian SE collects high-speed, detailed data from any control system or human-machine interface software, and provides manufacturers with sophisticated data analysis and reporting capabilities across process and discrete applications. This new application builds upon industry-leading historian technology licensed from OSIsoft and leverages the FactoryTalk Services Platform for premier integration with Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture. FactoryTalk Historian SE provides the capability to collect, store, analyze, and visualize data using a powerful engine and a set of reporting tools such as time-series trends, bar charts, pie charts, tabular trends, and an easy report generator using Microsoft Excel. It also uses compressed storage data algorithms to contain vast amounts of data in small formats.
Programming software: LabVIEW 8.5
Building on nearly 10 years of investment in multithreading technology, LabVIEW 8.5 significantly reduces programming complexity commonly associated with multicore- and FPGA-based control systems. With the parallel dataflow language of LabVIEW, users can easily map applications to multicore and FPGA architectures for data streaming, control, analysis and signal processing. Building on the automatic multithreading capability of earlier versions, LabVIEW 8.5 scales user applications based on the total available number of cores and delivers enhanced thread-safe drivers and libraries to improve throughput for RF, high-speed digital I/O and mixed-signal test applications. LabVIEW 8.5 also delivers symmetric multiprocessing with the LabVIEW Real-Time environment where designers of can load-balance tasks across multiple cores without sacrificing determinism.
Application software: promis-e 2007– ECT International Inc.
promis-e 2007 from ECT International is software for control system design and documentation including electrical schematics, panel layouts, wire lists, bill of materials, and more.
Enterprise integration & analysis: Proficy Tracker - GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms
Proficy Tracker software from GE Fanuc monitors and manages the execution of production orders, therefore optimizing manufacturing processes, effectively managing inventories and efficiently scheduling resources and materials.
Programming software: Wonderware System Platform 3.0 - Invensys
Wonderware System Platform 3.0 provides one, scalable industrial automation and information management application platform for all SCADA, supervisory HMI, and production and performance management needs.
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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.