Mark T. Hoske
A study of 500 global manufacturers shows that industry leaders believe technology can improve upskilling efforts and production outcomes. Other manufacturing topics in the study include production challenges, roadblocks to 2023 goals, sustainability efforts, workforce trends, and technology adoption.
Control system integrators serve as the hardware, software and networking glue to help plan, design and integrate automation and controls projects.
Think Again: Industrial challenges such as carbon emission reductions, increased capacity and skilled labor shortages require factory automation and process control users apply more digitalization and require interoperability.
Automation can help optimize industrial operations, as noted at ROKLive, a recent conference on industrial operations, maintenance, engineering, and enterprise-wide solutions automation, linking operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT).
Think Again: Are automation and controls helping to fill the growing manufacturing skills gap? Control Engineering research, “Purchasing Considerations for Automation Systems & Control Systems” shows an increase in spending for the next 12 months in most categories.
Think Again: Business is strong for automation, as explained by speakers at the A3 Business Forum in February.
Automation users are more likely to purchase from companies supporting standards that promote interoperability: Among findings in Control Engineering research.
Emerson’s sensors and analytics help Colgate-Palmolive save energy and optimize production processes in manufacturing facilities, decreasing its carbon footprint. Other Emerson technologies applied to food processing and packaging were shown at Pack Expo Las Vegas, including controls, augmented reality, and pneumatics.
Motion system efficiency, more than induction motor efficiency, also depends on electrical input power, variable frequency drives, gearboxes and transmission elements like chains and belts. Learn more in an Oct. 22 CFE Media and Technology Virtual Training Week course.
Modern advances in controls and connectivity are increasing considerations for safety validations, according to an Oct. 20 CFE Media and Technology Virtual Training Week course.
A lifecycle approach for digital and physical asset management adds efficiency to capital projects, handover and associated maintenance and reliability management activities and in other ways.
Artificial intelligence (AI) techniques are helping control and maintenance effectiveness, and an application demonstration shows how process simulation and machine teaching builds AI-based controllers to resolve industry problems, as shown in an Oct. 21 Virtual Training Week course.
Additive manufacturing uses sophisticated motion controls and moves seamlessly from design to manufacturing; 3D printing with metal progresses.
Advanced motion controls, real-time sensing and monitoring, and quality assurance add value to additive manufacturing (3D printing) machines that use metals and can cost well over $1 million, and available through contract manufacturers.
More additive manufacturing is expected, lower costs, higher speeds with 20 part numbers available. Depending on the complexity of the part, the technology can print 60 to 100 times faster than other laser-based printing processes, allowing high-volume production.
Additive manufacturing uses sophisticated motion controls and moves from seamlessly from design to manufacturing; 3D printing with metal continues to progress.
Agile, resilient operations derive from tools that make real-time data visible and useful. See post COVID-19 pandemic advice, including from a manufacturer, Anchor Glass.
An encoder part number reference website, www.autotechsmartencoder.net, deciphers more than 200,000 size-25 encoder combinations, gives descriptions and replacement options with next-day delivery for orders placed by 6 p.m. CST; 10 two-button-programmable encoders are said to cover all combinations.
Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) provided benchmarking factors to improve operational and financial performance, as well as recruiting and retention for engineering and technology personnel.
Warehousing industry has huge automation potential, and artificial intelligence-driven robotics technologies are helping with labor shortages, rapid online sales growth, and greater demands for faster deliveries, according to a ProMatDX 2021 session. See 7 reasons for AI-enabled intralogistics robots.
With industrial digital transformation as the theme, the 2021 Hannover Messe Digital Edition kicked off a week of more than 1,500 program activities with more than 500 speakers, April 12-16, covering trends in industry, energy and logistics with experts from business, science and industry. See the 2021 Hermes Award winner.
Industrial control systems require secure remote connections. Did the pandemic help IT to understand OT needs and help OT to see IT concerns about cybersecurity and remote access?
Recent research indicates more operational technology and information technology collaboration, and 40% are spending more to do it. See a dozen bits of OT/IT collaboration advice.
Below are more answers resulting from a cybersecurity webcast on cybersecurity architectures, training, best practices, risk assessment and trends based on research.
Collaborative robots use artificial intelligence (AI) to increase usefulness in dynamically changing workspaces. Cobot factory applications can create more space between workers, lowering COVID-19 risk for manufacturers while increasing throughput.
Applying vibration and temperature sensors with wireless transmitters, paired to local or cloud diagnostics, can help keep pumps running safely and reliably.
Automation innovation has opportunities to help with COVID-19 pandemic response, energy efficiency, robotics, non-contact motion control using superconductivity, training and by creating increased interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Industrial robotic software, industrial networks and cloud-based technologies are helping to improve industrial robotic health, improve robotic uptime and better manage robotic assets.
Electrical and automation design software can help with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) automation implementations in seven ways. See product examples.
In the New Products for Engineers Database by CFE Media and Technology, 5 of the top 6 products cover control of air or cleaning, since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11.
How are engineers applying what they’ve learned to help during the COVID-19 pandemic? See six ways automation and control engineering industry knowledge can help.
Moving parts from a bin to a precise location has required repetitive human agility or talent to address vision, programming and robotic integration challenges. A pre-integrated kit can shorten time to productivity, helping machine tending and pick-and-place robotic applications. See May 12 live webcast and 7 tips below.
Research analysis, advice: Adverse effects of Coronavirus more than doubled in just a week for visitors to Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, Oil & Gas Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer websites taking a survey on COVID-19 impacts on engineering. For respondents answering March 11 to 19 and March 20 to 25, 13% felt a “great deal” of impact in the first week and 35% the next week.
Coronavirus impact data was collected from March 12 to 17 from visitors to Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, Oil & Gas Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer websites. Half of respondents’ business have negative effects; half have supply chain problems. Results cover impact on business, company responses, travel, future outlook, government strategies and other topics.
Success of robotic applications requires putting the right robot with the right application. Learn more from system integrators from the webcast, “Robotic applications: What robots should and shouldn’t be doing,” including collaborative robots, motion, pitfalls, and more.
Engineers like facts and seek credible information sources on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) effects to the engineering-related world. Engineers also have technologies, processes and expert advice that can help. See Control Engineering highlights.
When should a robot be used for what industrial applications and why? Learn from and ask your questions of expert speakers. Share your challenges in a live webcast poll. A PDH credit is available for this RCEP webcast.
This advice will help with the decision between an industrial mirrored server or twin edge devices when designing a new computing system or control system architecture. Short video gives three edge computing tips.
Microsoft Windows 7 expired on Jan. 14, and manufacturers’ human-machine interface (HMI) software may still need help migrating to a supported operating system. System integrators can provide migration assistance to lower cybersecurity risk.
Think again: Did you have 2020 vision? How clear were your foresights? Predictions of automation, controls, and instrumentation for 2020 were spot on, though perhaps closer to the ideal than to where most are. Are you making these changes quickly enough to stay competitive?
Technology Update on robotic welding: Learn how a collaborative robot could help with welding applications.
Leonard (Len) W. Moore, P.E., founder and owner of Moore Industries-International Inc., an industrial and automation control company, passed at the age of 85.
Process control productivity requires education for optimal technology specification, integration and use. Industrial suppliers are among those doing the educating.
Think Again: Remote monitoring, sensors, analytics and real-time intelligence is helping those who manufacture, use, and repair motors and attached critical assets to avoid downtime with prescriptive maintenance technologies, says EASA and Plant Engineering research.
Technology update: Collaborative robots used in industrial applications can be easier than traditional robotics for set up and redeployment, producing rapid return on investments (ROIs) in many diverse applications, according to one robot manufacturer.
What attributes are needed in automated test equipment (ATE)? What automation should be considered for ATE designs? See 10 questions to ask when applying automation.
Companies need to be open to new technologies to see fundamental paradigm shifts in productivity, beyond incremental improvements. Rapid increases in productivity, visibility, flexibility, and agility are needed.
Technology update: Digitalization was are among key trends for manufacturing and process facilities highlighted in the media session at ARC Forum 2019.
Technology update: Cybersecurity remains a key concern for manufacturing and process facilities as explained in the media session at ARC Forum 2019.
Technology update: Optimization is among key trends for manufacturing and process facilities highlighted in the media session at ARC Forum 2019.
Five ways to lower robotic system risks: Industrial safety, while a widely used term, is a misnomer; nothing is without risk. When something is declared safe in an industrial setting, those involved should think again about risk assessment and determine if the risk is acceptable.
Think Again: A group of end users is telling automation vendors that interoperability is needed for process automation, as explained at the ARC Forum in February. The vision is standards-based open, secure, interoperable process automation architecture commercially available by 2021. The Open Process Automation Forum is working on what’s needed and needs your help.
Serving as a universal message transport for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) application development, MQTT can be used to decouple devices from applications, thereby freeing infrastructures from any single operating system, application, or hardware platform, according to explanations offered at Inductive Automation’s Ignition Community Conference 2016.
Think Again application summaries: Machine data integration saves time, predictive maintenance avoids unplanned downtime, and a control room designed for 2020 attracts young engineering prospects, among other benefits.
Think Again automation application example: predictive maintenance avoids unplanned downtime and improves service offerings, among other benefits, for an oil rig equipment provider.
Trigg Technologies LLC uses a cloud-based platform and remote monitoring to improve custody transfer services accuracy and reliability for crude oil and petroleum products.
Industrial Internet, predictive analytics and new machine-human collaboration in the workplace can significantly boost productivity, create new jobs and skills, and minimize unplanned downtime in major industries, GE said, with the potential to save on more than 300 million hours in servicing complex machines. GE released 14 predictive software technologies to help with that and reduce emissions as well. See comments from industry leaders, photos, and info graphic.
With the InduSoft acquisition, Invensys (currently with a recommended offer from Schneider Electric to be acquired) further expands human-machine interface (HMI) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) offerings for the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sector. Invensys owns Wonderware HMI software, Foxboro, Triconex, SimSci-Esscor, and Avantis brands. Video: How InduSoft and Wonderware work together, added on Oct. 24.
For those grounded in wired networks, untangling wireless-related issues for plant-floor applications can be as intimidating as reworking networked I/O connections without documentation. If you haven’t jumped into wireless communications yet on the plant floor, or even if you have, here are some questions and answers to help clear the air about wireless.