Plant engineering and beyond

Last month's Web Update ("Your resource for a better you") called attention to resources available on or through Plant Engineering Online (www.plantengineering.

By Len O'Neal August 1, 1999

Last month’s Web Update (“Your resource for a better you”) called attention to resources available on or through Plant Engineering Online ( that have been developed to meet the skills development, training, and education needs of our readers. Consider it our way to assist those in the plant engineering market wishing to reach new heights, or to go vertical, if you will. And while we will continue to add to the online arsenal for such reader needs, it’s also important to take note of the resources available to those readers who, out of either necessity or personal desire, need to expand their knowledge and abilities beyond plant engineering functions. In some cases, as past surveys have shown, this need is sometimes due to the expanding role of the plant engineer. So for those in need of or interested in going horizontal, this article highlights some resources from our manufacturing partner web sites, many of which can be accessed directly from the related PE channel on Plant Engineering Online.

If control and automation are areas where you could use some help, then check out Control Engineering Online’s control and automation tutorials (see the “Instruments and controls” channel) for an aggregate view of their Back to Basics columns and other tutorials. Also available from Control Engineering Online is a recently published glossary of networking terms.

Can’t find a term in the Control Engineering glossary? Try the information technology glossary from Manufacturing Systems , with terms dedicated to client/server computing, production management, and process automation. Both of these glossaries can be accessed from the “Computers and software” channel.

One more glossary to note: The equipment glossary at the Modern Materials Handling web site, accessible from the “Material handling” channel, provides illustrations and descriptions of different types of material handling equipment.

Getting your hands more and more dirty with maintenance equipment and technologies? Be sure to reference these resources: The toolbox from Assembly Online (“Tools and welding” channel), which features an adhesive selector guide, torque calculators, and conversion programs; and the Coating Alternative Guide from the Industrial Paint & Powder web site (“Paints and protective coatings” channel).

If the supply chain is your next calling, then two of our partner web sites are sure to help. The Industrial Distribution web site ( helps you keep on top of the distribution industry with its annual survey and top 100 distributors list, both accessible via the “ID Marketplace” link. And at Purchasing Online (, you can fill your information void by purchasing a book from their bookstore, or use their transaction price service to purchase a commodity price history on chemicals, metals, and more.

Note: These and more manufacturing-related web sites can be accessed from the Manufacturing Marketplace (