News from PLANT ENGINEERING: Week of March 13

March 10, 2006

ISA committee to study fieldbus standard

A new ISA committee will focus on developing a standard to help accelerate the implementation and widespread uses of fieldbus devices throughout industry.

The committee will be formed to create a standard that adopts the generic language specified by IEC 61804 to describe the properties of automation system components. The specified language is capable of describing device parameters and their dependencies, device functions, graphical representations, and interactions with control devices.

The language, Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL), is used to create an Electronic Device Descriptions (EDD) file. These files may be used with appropriate tools to support parameter handling, operation, and monitoring of automation system components.

The applications of EDDL may include devices such as generic digital and analog input/output modules, motion controllers, human machine interfaces, transmitters, on-off and regulating valves, closed-loop controllers, encoders, hydraulic valves, and programmable controllers.

The Electronic Device Description Language is a result of cooperation among the consortia of Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation, PROFIBUS Nutzerorganisation e.V., and the OPC Foundation. Enhancements recently added and officially approved as part of the IEC 61804 maintenance cycle extend the capabilities of EDDL to provide an industry standard solution for advanced visualization of intelligent device information. Through this cooperative effort, the proven integrity of existing EDD technology is maintained across all three communication technologies (PROFIBUS, FF, and HART). There are more than 15 million installed devices that use the existing EDDL.

What Have You Done about Arc Flash?
Join Plant Engineering magazine on May 25, 2006, 1 p.m. CDT to learn strategies that help reduce arc flash risks, and minimize potential for arc flash and arc blast incidents from our panel of experts. Click Here.

New product preview for National Manufacturing Week:

Looking for some hot new products on the show floor at National Manufacturing Week? Here’s a preview of some of them. Go to for a look at what’s new at NMW this year.

National Manufacturing Week preview

PLANT ENGINEERING editor Bob Vavra is among the experts you can here from in this exclusive preview of the 2006 National Manufacturing Week events. Click here to view the On-Demand Webcast and listen to industry experts and keynote speakers talk about this year’s event on March 20-23 in Rosemont, IL.

Campbell Awards highlight safety excellence

The Robert W. Campbell Award Program Committee’s call for applications for the 2006 award seeks successful business models from organizations that excel in both SH&E and business performance. Case studies must demonstrate how measurable achievement in SH&E performance is linked to productivity, profitability and other measures of business performance.Companies compete within separate size categories; 1,000 or more employees, and fewer than 1,000 employees.

This award is co-developed by its administrator, the National Safety Council, and its underwriter, Exxon Mobil Corporation. PLANT ENGINEERING magazine is a contributing sponsor to the award. In addition, the Award is supported by a global network of organizations that provide worldwide outreach.

Written submittals are reviewed by an international panel of experts.Winning success stories are published and showcased at various conferences throughout the year.Applications for the 2006 award competition are due June 30.Evaluation criteria and submission requirements are available at .

OSHA, warehouse group alliance highlight forklift safety

OSHA and the International Warehouse Logistics Association have renewed their alliance for another two years to further improve worker safety and health in the areas of forklift operations, materials handling, and hazard communication and chemical safety. The Alliance was first initiated in February 2004.
“Renewing our Alliance with IWLA allows us to continue our joint efforts to enhance the safety and health of thousands of workers employed in the warehouse logistics industry,” said acting OSHA administrator Jonathan L. Snare. “Together, we’ll continue to provide valuable information and training resources on issues directly related to the warehouse industry, including a strong focus on forklift safety and youth workers.”
“I am pleased to reaffirm this important Alliance with OSHA on behalf of the more than 430 warehouse logistics companies IWLA represents,” said Alex Glann, Acting President and CEO of IWLA. “Working with OSHA the past two years we have expanded these efforts, enhancing the safety of the estimated 500,000 workers employed in the logistics industry. I look forward to what the future will bring.”
IWLA and OSHA will continue working with owners and operators in the warehousing industry to provide IWLA members and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources. Special attention will be paid to increasing hard-to-reach and youth workers’ access to safety and health information and training resources.

ARC conference to focus on enterprise performance

Top industry visionaries will share their experiences and best practices for driving manufacturer enterprise performance at ARC Advisory Group’s Fourteenth Annual Forum, “ Driving Enterprise Performance through Next Generation Manufacturing Concepts ”.

This event will bring together over 400 top industry executives to explore best practices for driving top performance from all plant and supply chain resources though coordination across four key performance drivers: Design, Operate, Maintain and Synchronize. The forum will run from June 26-28, 2006 at the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel in Boston.

Product design, plant design, operational excellence, asset management, and supply chain are all critical to Enterprise Performance. Manufacturers must beat the competition in each of these areas to survive in today’s challenging markets. And, they must drive interoperability across areas to win.

“These are all key issues on the minds of manufacturing executives today,” said ARC president and founder Andy Chatha. “At the forum, top manufacturers will present the strategies, technologies, and best practices they are using to address these challenges as well as the real benefits they are seeing from their efforts.”

For more information, go to .

SME Education Foundation expands technology camps

Dynamic opportunities for middle school students to learn more about career opportunities in manufacturing, engineering, science and technology at STEPS (Science, Technology & Engineering Preview Summer) camps are being expanded and accelerated by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation. Corporate funding has been provided by the Caterpillar Foundation, DaimlerChrysler Corporation and Ford Motor Company.

STEPS was created in 1997 at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, a Malcolm Baldrige award-winning university, as part of a major effort to attract more women and minorities into the field of engineering early in their academic life. Almost $1.3 million has been invested in STEPS to inspire more than 4,000 young people to explore careers. In 2006, STEPS camps will be held at 12 schools in 7 states.

For information and applications on the 2006 STEPS camps, contact the individual schools or visit

Illinois :

Bradley University
Peoria, Ill.
Sponsor: Caterpillar Foundation
June 18-23 – a co-ed, day camp for 9th-12th grade students.
Contact: Richard L. Green at

Michigan :

Central Michigan University (New)
Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
July 17-21 – a day camp for 8th and 9th grade girls
Contact: David Kelly at

Gogebic Community College (New)
Ironwood, Mich.
July 24-29 (Possible 2nd week), a day camp for 6th–8th grade girls
Contact: Lorrie S. Stahl at

Grand Valley State University
Allendale, Mich.
June 19-22, June 26-29, a day camp for 7th grade girls – ages 11-13.
Contact: Margo Dill at

Oakland Community College (New)
Auburn Hills, Mich.
Sponsor: DaimlerChrysler Corporation
July 30-Aug. 5 – a residential camp for 10th – 12th grade girls (Minimum age 16).
Contact: Marikay L. Clancy at

University of Detroit Mercy
Detroit, Mich.
Sponsor: Ford Motor Company
June 18-23, June 25-30, a residential camp for 9th and 10th grade girls.
Contact: Dan Maggio at

Minnesota :

University of St. Thomas
St. Paul, Minn.
Middle School: June 25-29, July 9-13, July 16-20 and July 23-27 – a residential camp for 6th grade girls.
High School: June 18-22, a residential camp for 10th grade girls.
Contact: Jacki Kubal at

South Dakota :

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (New)
Rapid City, S.D.
July 9-14, residential camp for 6th and 9th grade girls.
Contact: Nancy Anderson-Smith at

Wisconsin :

University of Wisconsin-Stout
Menomonie, Wis.
Middle School: July 9-13, July 16-23, July 23-27, July 30-Aug 3 – a residential camp for 10th grade girls.
High School: June 18-23, a residential camp for 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade girls.
Contact: Pete Heimdahl at

Did you miss the Feb. 23 Webcast on Power Factor Correction? “Improving Electrical Efficiency through Power Factor Correction” featured electrical efficiency and power quality experts from Schneider Electric, ABB, Eaton Electrical and Siemens Energy & Automation. If you missed it, you can still view this archived Webcast by clicking here.

Voice your views

Preparing for a capital purchase in 2006? What’s at the top of your list?
This month’s PE Poll question at asks, “What capital purchase does your plant need to make next: Motors, drives, software, pumps, HVAC or compressors?”
Check out the March issue of PLANT ENGINEERING for the results of February’s PE Poll question.


Four major shows coming in March
Four major manufacturing events will make March a busy month for those wanting to stay up to date with the latest in trends and products.

Rosemont , IL : National Manufacturing Week kicks off a four day run on March 20 at its new venue, the StephensConvention Center in Rosemont, IL, which is adjacent to O’Hare International Airport. The show features 1,200 exhibitors, more than 250 education sessions and has been a must-see event for plant engineers for decades.

New York City : INTERPHEX is held every other year, and this year’s event at the JavitsConvention Center on March 21 to March 23 will cover such issues as pharmaceutical globalization, contamination control, and RFID. As one of the fastest-growing areas of manufacturing, pharmaceutical companies and the technologies that help them grow will both be on display.

Los Angeles: The Society of Manufacturing Engineers will have its annual meeting, “The Total Manufacturing Experience” on March 27 to March 29 at the Los AngelesConvention Center. The WESTEC 2006 Advanced Productivity Exposition, features technology products and supplier services from 150 categories representing 2,500 international product lines.

Cleveland :The 2006 Material Handling & Logistics Show and Conference (NA 2006) . The three-day biannual event begins March 27 at Cleveland’s I-XCenter. This year’s conference features a free Executive Forum, more than 60 free show floor educational seminars, an RFIDEducationCenter, two detailed educational workshops and a two and one-half day short course outlining leading-edge equipment and technology solutions.