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PLCs, PACs December 16, 2022

PLC module coordinates real-time data in coal shipping application

A coal shipping company improved their supply chain and operations by reducing inefficiency and waste with PLC modules.

By Deane Horn
PLCs, PACs December 12, 2020

Migrating legacy PLC programs to modern PLC hardware

Zero downtime is a requirement for many water/wastewater processes, often necessitating upgrading legacy automation by migrating existing code

By Raju Nair
PLCs, PACs June 30, 2020

Moving toward self-assembly machine automation systems

Evolving PLC and PAC platforms, networking, and programming methods are leading to self-assembled machine automation systems, reducing risk and user integration efforts.

By Keith McNab
PLCs, PACs May 4, 2020

Open-source benefits for industrial controllers

New controller options make it possible to add open-source features to industrial-grade automation. Think of industrial versions of Raspberry Pi or Arduino controllers.

By Bill Dehner
PLCs, PACs January 7, 2020

Modern controllers ease upgrades

Legacy industrial automation systems must eventually be ripped and replaced or upgraded. See four challenges and five benefits of upgrades using modern controllers.

By Vibhoosh Gupta
PLCs, PACs July 30, 2019

Evaluate controller options for industrial applications

Choosing the best industrial controller requires evaluation of automation, communication and security needs.

By Benson Hougland
PLCs, PACs February 1, 2019

GOV+ electronic speed governor by Altronic LLC

The GOV+ electronic speed governor provides closed loop speed control of an engine by controlling an actuator.

By Altronic, LLC
PLCs, PACs November 2, 2018

Evaluating bridge and gantry cranes

Properly sized, designed, and installed bridge and gantry cranes dramatically increase production, significantly reduce material handling costs, and substantially lower the risk of employee injury. A properly maintained crane lasts at least 20 yr, could reach 50 yr or more, and occasionally outlives the structure or company originally housing or using the equipment.

By Ron Holzhauer, Managing Editor, Plant Engineering Magazine
PLCs, PACs November 2, 2018

Flow controllers

Model 80 series mass flow controllers for precise gas measurement are now available in stainless steel. These controllers provide stable control of gas flow ranges as low as 0 to 50 sccm. Units are also available with aluminum construction for added value; displays are optional on all configurations.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 2, 2018

Software is abundant for plant engineers

Plant engineers continue to demand efficient, affordable, and well supported software. And software suppliers are keeping up with plant engineers' demands. Here's a sampling of recent software offerings plant engineers should find useful.Software tracks employees' timeEmployee Proj Clock software is an employee project time tracking tool.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs September 10, 2018

2018 Programmable Controllers Study

Five industrial controller findings

By Amanda Pelliccione
PLCs, PACs February 2, 2018

Manufacturing off to a strong start in 2018

PMI Index remains above 59% as employment, new orders and production remain in a growth mode.

By Bob Vavra, CFE Media
PLCs, PACs December 15, 2017

2017 Top Plant: Data-driven pioneers

The Rockwell Automation plant in Twinsburg, Ohio combines its in-house technology, the power of Lean manufacturing and a relentless attention to training and waste reduction.

By Jack Smith, Content Manager, CFE Media
PLCs, PACs December 11, 2017

Electric devices provide a better connection to smart maintenance systems

Smart actuators provide the capability for variable maintenance functions. Smart actuators and other electrical devices lower maintenance and manufacturing costs.

By David Buckley, Motion Industries and Hakan Persson, Thomson Industries
PLCs, PACs December 1, 2017

Manufacturing growth keeps blazing through 2017

PMI slips to 58.2% in November, but index is well above 10% growth rate for the year

By Bob Vavra, CFE Media
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2017

Hurricanes create an ill wind, but PMI remains strong

Manufacturing index falls to 58.7% but stays in growth mode despite price increases.

By Bob Vavra, Content Manager, CFE Media
PLCs, PACs September 20, 2017

A NEW approach to the Skills Gap

For over a decade, the Northeast Wisconsin (NEW) Manufacturing Alliance has been working to address the region's shortage of skilled labor and redefine the manufacturing industry's image.

By Andy Bushmaker, KI; Ann Franz, NEW Manufacturing Alliance
PLCs, PACs September 14, 2017

How to run effective food processing equipment design meetings

Efficient and effective design meetings play a huge role in ensuring your schedule doesn’t stall and that the best decisions are made.

By Michael Mittelsteadt, Stellar
PLCs, PACs July 11, 2017

Hidden Figures no more; Infor names AI platform for NASA mathematics pioneer

Coleman platform announced at Inforum event in New York

By Bob Vavra, Content Manager, CFE Media
PLCs, PACs November 18, 2016

Choosing the right PLC panel

Programmable logic controller (PLC) panels come in almost every shape and size with some of them being freestanding and others being wall-mounted and choosing the right solution for a particular application can be difficult.

By David Manney, L&S Electric
PLCs, PACs October 14, 2016

The human-human interface

While machines generated a great deal of attention at IMTS, the human element remains a key component of manufacturing.

By Bob Vavra
PLCs, PACs September 2, 2016

IMTS returns to Chicago for 2016

Largest North American manufacturing show features 2,000 exhibitors.

By CFE Media
PLCs, PACs June 20, 2016

Machine vision devices in high I/O applications

The BitBox is controlled solely by a BitFlow frame grabber, using the same API, driver and manual.

By BitFlow
PLCs, PACs June 9, 2016

Smart manufacturing: What if they threw a revolution and nobody came?

Let’s face it: The majority of manufacturing organizations just isn’t realizing the promises of “smart manufacturing.” We aren’t seeing the improved productivity, optimized production, higher levels of safety, enhanced security, accelerated decision-making, reduced regulatory effort or faster market response times that current technology enables.

By Patrick Weber
PLCs, PACs May 17, 2016

Input DIN rail signal conditioner

The DRSL-U isolated universal input DIN rail signal conditioner provides technology for galvanic isolation of process signals to SCADA systems or PLC equipment.

By Omega
PLCs, PACs April 4, 2016

Honoring manufacturing’s future

Infor receives Product of the Year Grand Award, Phoenix Contact accepts Top Plant, Leaders Under 40 honored.

By Bob Vavra
PLCs, PACs December 3, 2015

Compressed air monitor for plant, machine operations

The MSE6-E2M automatically monitors and optimizes compressed air use and alerts plant personnel to system leaks for reduced energy consumption and improved machine operation.

By Festo
PLCs, PACs October 8, 2015

Compact generator for sterilization, humidification applications

CSM-C 600’s compact generator produces up to 1,275 lb/hr of clean steam at 45 psig and is ideal in any applications that relies on sterilization or humidification.

By Spirax Sarco, Inc.
PLCs, PACs October 7, 2015

As Partner Country, U.S. to showcase manufacturing strength, growth

As Partner Country, U.S. to showcase manufacturing strength and growth as the world's largest manufacturing economy at the world's largest industrial technology event.

By Bob Vavra
PLCs, PACs October 5, 2015

Manufacturing Day touts strong jobs, technology

Across America, students and political leaders get a first-hand view of U.S. plants

By Bob Vavra
PLCs, PACs September 3, 2015

HMI panel for communication protocols

TP30000 series HMI panel that consumes less energy and produces less heat to support various communication protocols.

By Phoenix Contact
PLCs, PACs September 2, 2015

Current transducer for measuring current in three phases

The RCTrms 3-ph current transducer delivers a convenient, safe, and accurate solution for measuring current in three phases.

By Power Electronic Measurements Ltd
PLCs, PACs September 15, 2014

2014 Engineering Leader Under 40: Brian Zakrajsek

Senior Electrical Engineer; Koch Modular Process Systems LLC; Paramus, N.J.

By CFE Media
PLCs, PACs July 16, 2014

Pennsylvania schools benefit from STEM donations

Bosch, Siemens contribute to help advance software use, get more women in manufacturing

By Bob Vavra, Content Manager, CFE Media
PLCs, PACs May 12, 2014

Top 5 Plant Engineering articles, May 5-11

Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Plant Engineering’s five most-clicked articles from last week, May 5-11, including articles about energy efficiency in pneumatic systems, Schneider Electric accelerating its transformation, strategies for using Microsoft Windows XP after its support ends April 8, contract maintenance, and improving PPE usage for manufacturing safety.

By Jessica DuBois-Maahs, CFE Media
PLCs, PACs March 18, 2014

Top 5 Plant Engineering articles, March 10-16

Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Plant Engineering’s five most-clicked articles from last week, March 10-16, including articles about remote monitoring, manufacturing growth, autonomous maintenance, PLC programming, and reshoring.

By Jessica DuBois-Maahs
PLCs, PACs March 6, 2014

As manufacturing changes, it’s time to take some risks

Futurist Jack Uldrich sees what's coming next, and encourages manufacturers to jump on the trends while presenting at the MFG Meeting in Phoenix.

By Bob Vavra
PLCs, PACs March 4, 2014

Manufacturing is back. Now what?

Three manufacturing-association presidents, NTMA, PMA, and AMT, discuss ways to ensure the manufacturing sector’s long-term growth. Manufacturing Skills gap Jobs Technology Tooling Machining Metalforming Tax reform Manufacturers Fabricating

By Bill Gaskin, Dave Tilstone and Douglas Woods
PLCs, PACs January 27, 2014

Top five Plant Engineering stories, Jan. 20-26, 2014

Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Plant Engineering's five most clicked articles from last week, Jan. 20-26, 2014, including articles about Schneider Electric and Invensys, safety compliance, PLC programming, burner replacement, and eye wash safety.

By Jessica DuBois-Maahs, Jordan Schultz
PLCs, PACs January 15, 2014

PLC programming: 5 mistakes to avoid

Stick with your architecture and remember to reuse your code

By Daniel Fenton
PLCs, PACs March 7, 2013

After 2012 slip, motion control business headed higher

MCA report finds orders are up after 1% sales decline in 2012

PLCs, PACs February 18, 2013

Additive manufacturing is shaping the future

3D printing technology will change the way we make things

By Bob Vavra
PLCs, PACs February 15, 2013

Personal air conditioner

The Dual Action PAC is a lightweight vest designed to deliver cool or warm air to a user's torso neck, allowing users to work in tough conditions and hazardous conditions regardless of the season.

PLCs, PACs January 3, 2013

LED revenue will peak this decade

The 2012 market size is projected to be about $10.9 billion, with $2.9 billion in lighting and $8.0 billion in all other applications.

By IHS Inc.
PLCs, PACs November 19, 2012

Siemens, Bentley Systems to partner on digital factory systems

Goal is toi create 'digital factory infrastructure'

PLCs, PACs November 19, 2012

2012 POY Finalists: Electrical Controls

Finalists in the Electrical Controls category for the Plant Engineering 2012 Product of the Year competition.

By Brittany Merchut
PLCs, PACs November 19, 2012

2012 POY Finalists: Material Handling Systems

Finalists in the Material Handling Systems category for the Plant Engineering 2012 Product of the Year competition.

By Brittany Merchut
PLCs, PACs October 30, 2012

PV module prices continue to slide, but signs of recovery appear on the horizon

A decline in pricing as well as slowing growth in key worldwide markets will serve to keep the global photovoltaic (PV) market for solar modules depressed for the rest of the year, according to IHS.

By Source: IHS
PLCs, PACs August 7, 2012

Daily Insight for August 7, 2012

Chrysler puts 3D manufacturing to the test; pharma manufacturer to expand three plants

By Bob Vavra, Content Manager, Plant Engineering
PLCs, PACs July 16, 2012

10 tips to measure training ROI

If you can’t prove a return on your training program – real learning that is adopted and applied—then you run the risk of having it cut back or even losing it.

By ESI International
PLCs, PACs May 2, 2012

ADAS raw data driving up demand for MCUs

The microcontroller market is expected to grow from $70 million to over $150 million by 2019 thanks to growing demand for raw data processing from associated driver assistance sensors.

By Ben Scott – Market Analyst, IMS Research (IHS Inc.)
PLCs, PACs April 23, 2012

Cloud-based transportation management suite

Release from Descartes Systems Group integrates transportation management, small package shipping, fleet routing, mobile applications and telematics.

By Source: Descartes Systems Group
PLCs, PACs April 17, 2012

PV module suppliers switch tactics as wafer prices fall 70%

The average price of photovoltaic wafers in the first quarter of 2012 fell by more than 70% due to a global oversupply leading companies to buy in their wafer supply according to the latest research released by IMS Research.

By Source: IMS Research (IHS Inc.)
PLCs, PACs March 15, 2012

LED lighting to drive $3 billion power semiconductor market in 2016

A recent report reveals a rapid uptake of LED lighting will result in a potential market of 19 billion power semiconductor units by 2016.

By Source: IMS Research
PLCs, PACs March 13, 2012

Robotic palletizing components

The PalletPack 460 is a pre-engineered package of robotic palletizing components featuring the IRB 460 robot.

By ABB Robotics
PLCs, PACs February 6, 2012

High-speed doors

Rite-Hite's Split Second and FasTrax doors are designed to be extremely fast and safe while minimizing energy loss and unwanted air filtration.

PLCs, PACs December 14, 2011

Designing new SCADA systems

Reduce design time and achieve better results when developing a new SCADA project for Windows or Windows Embedded platform.

By Fabio Terezinho, InduSoft, Inc.
PLCs, PACs December 9, 2011

Ethernet grows but Fieldbus is alive and well!

Ethernet is on the rise and is growing faster than Fieldbus, but overall Fieldbus usage is still greater than Ethernet.

By John Morse, Senior Analyst, IMS Research
PLCs, PACs November 7, 2011

Precision gearing – ‘Value lines’ growing faster than lowest backlash

Recovery in the machine tool and robotics sectors suggest a slow, but steady growth for the precision gearing industry, though it will not exceed 2008 levels until 2013.

By Robert Carter, Principal Analyst Power Transmission, IMS Research
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2011

2011 POY Finalists: HVAC

Finalists in HVAC in Plant Engineering’s 2011 Product of the Year competition

By Edited by Amanda McLeman, Plant Engineering
PLCs, PACs August 23, 2011

Flexera Software launches InstallShield 2012

InstallShield 2012 has a Suite Installation feature that can bundle multiple products together into a single installation. It also feature a new setup launcher that can conditionally run multiple installations.

By Flexera Software
PLCs, PACs August 15, 2011

In depth: Partnerships as a growth opportunity

Plant Engineering asked Doug Woods, president of AMT, about productivity, manufacturing recovery, and the challenges he’s faced in 2011.

By Bob Vavra, Content Manager
PLCs, PACs May 13, 2011

Integrate maintenance, automation for success

Engineering solutions are important to preserving capital and productivity.

By Jack Smith, BIT Writing and Editing Services
PLCs, PACs May 11, 2011

Johnson Controls builds automotive battery distribution center

The 400,000-sq-ft distribution center can handle up to 14 million units per year and create up to 225 jobs in Middletown, Del.

By Source: Johnson Controls Inc.
PLCs, PACs April 26, 2011

Power firm gets NERC-CIP boost

PAS inked a deal with a power generation producer in the Southeast of the U.S. to help manage process alarms and automation configurations at 15 of its sites, as well as aid in compliance with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation Critical Infrastructure Protection standards.

By Gregory Hale; Source: ISS Source
PLCs, PACs April 25, 2011

National manufacturing survey finds two-thirds intend to raise prices over next six months

Number planning price increases nearly doubles from six months ago as raw material and energy prices cause worry

By SOURCE: Grant Thornton LLP
PLCs, PACs April 4, 2011

AutomationDirect Renews Partnership with Kepware for Communications

AutomationDirect selects Kepware as an OPC server partner, delivering communications to their line of DirectLOGIC PLCs, Ethernet remote I/O, and Productivity3000 PACs.

By Source: AutomationDirect
PLCs, PACs March 14, 2011

Stuxnet Report II: A Worm’s Life

Stuxnet is a computer worm designed to infect Siemens SIMATIC WinCC and S7 PLC products, either installed as part of a PCS 7 system, or operating on their own

By Eric Byres, Andrew Ginter and Joel Langill
PLCs, PACs February 25, 2011

Bus coupler connects EtherNet/IP with modular, extendable electronic terminal blocks

The Bus Coupler from Beckhoff recognizes the terminals to which it is connected, and performs the assignment of the inputs and outputs to the words of the process image automatically.

PLCs, PACs February 25, 2011

Get connected to your data

MES helps sort through information to deliver measured performance

By Richard Witucki, Schneider Electric
PLCs, PACs February 14, 2011

Energy management, analysis tool for energy intensive industrial processes

The Production Energy Optimization solution, from Schneider Electric, provides visibility to measure and analyze energy consumption to maximize industrial processes

PLCs, PACs January 26, 2011

BAT Controllers enable centralized management

Belden produces three new Hirschmann BAT WLC Controllers, providing fast data communications, optimum network availability for large WLAN networks

PLCs, PACs January 21, 2011

Alabama Robotics Technology Park to Educate in Emerging Robotics, Automation Technologies

Three-phase project will provide in-depth training on all aspects of robotics, including safety, with safety solutions provided by Omron STI.

PLCs, PACs January 14, 2011

Flowmeter ideal for spraying, coating equipment, test stands

The compact Cubemass Coriolis flowmeter from Endress+Hauser is ideal for OEMs that build spraying equipment, coating equipment, test stands and process skids. Suitable for use in hazardous environments worldwide.

PLCs, PACs January 3, 2011

What is happening to third-party I/O suppliers?

Traditional PLC system suppliers still hold a dominant position in the I/O modules market, facing increasing competition from “non-traditional” PLC suppliers or “third-party” I/O suppliers, which took over one quarter of the world market for remote PLC I/O modules

By IMS Research
PLCs, PACs December 16, 2010

Motion controller provides complete control, monitoring

New controller extends advanced control, monitoring and communications functionality to 1 and 1.5 axis applications.

By Source: Marketing Communications
PLCs, PACs December 2, 2010

Packaged LED market shares

We have recently updated market shares for a new report, both for 2009 as well as a provisional market share for 2010. For Samsung LED and LG Innotek, we looked at the values of packaged LEDs even those contained in a module and counted all of their packaged LED business, whether merchant or captive.

By IMS Research
PLCs, PACs November 15, 2010

2010 POY Finalists: Software

Plant Engineering's 2010 Product of the Year finalists featured in the Software category.

PLCs, PACs September 13, 2010

Infor Express to offer pre-configured solutions suite

Fast implementation one of the keys to new engineering/business package

PLCs, PACs August 13, 2010

Cat gets ready to dig into Texas

Company to build 600,000 sq ft manufacturing facility to build excavation equipment

PLCs, PACs August 12, 2010

Compressed air audits let you find the leaks in your system

An easy first step in improving system efficiency in this type of system is to identify and eliminate any false demand in the system such as dormant processes that are still connected to the air system or infrequently used processes that constantly draw air.

By James Green and George Mankos, Ingersoll Rand
PLCs, PACs July 15, 2010

The potential — and potential pitfalls — of the Smart Grid

The main challenges facing Smart Grids – doing more with less and improving efficiency, reliability, security and environmental sustainability, will depend on a combination of sensor, communication, information and control technologies to make the whole grid smart

By Excerpt from the ABB Journal
PLCs, PACs April 8, 2010

Special Report: Signal conditioners ensure signal integrity

Employed wherever temperature, pressure, flow, speed or other process values are measured and controlled, signal conditioners help protect these measurements from being corrupted as they transmit the measurement data from the field where the sensors collect data to the plant control room.

By Jeffrey Kilburn, Rockwell Automation
PLCs, PACs April 1, 2010

Universal signal conditioners

Universal signal conditioners convert, isolate and transmit signals from a wide variety of process sensors and controller I/O. The DIN-rail mountable models support scalable input signals including mA, Vdc, thermocouple, RTDs, linear resistance and potentiometer signals. These models feature mA and Vdc outputs, while the 84116 model adds two individually programmable relays for alarm and contro...

PLCs, PACs April 1, 2010

Signal conditioners ensure signal integrity

Like a fuel injector in a high-performance engine, signal conditioners perform a critical, yet often under-recognized function. Signal conditioners isolate, transmit and convert a wide range of process signals into a format that is compatible with the receiving device such as a programmable logic controller.

By Jeffrey Kilburn, Rockwell Automation
PLCs, PACs March 24, 2010

Temperature measurement handbook

Omega's newly released "Temperature Measurement Handbook, 7th Edition" features more than 2,000 full-color pages of detailed information and specifications on more than 40,000 products for process measurement and control.

PLCs, PACs March 9, 2010

USB-based DAQ and control I/O modules

This line of small form factor USB-based data acquisition and control I/O modules features a high-speed USB 2.0, multifunction board with 16 channels of 16-bit resolution analog outputs along with two 16-bit analog inputs and 16 digital I/O lines packaged in a small, rugged, industrial enclosure.

PLCs, PACs March 6, 2010

ARC: Process automation sector facing pricing, growth pressures

Automation supplier revenues continued to fall throughout 2009 as compared to 2008. Dedham, MA-based ARC Advisory Group expects that year-on-year comparisons between 2008 and 2009 will experience a decline, with modest growth in 2010. ARC sees signs that the manufacturing recovery has begun but its continued success depends on the ability of the financial markets to return to normal functioning. Small, medium, and large businesses have all been strained by the inability to access short-term capital.

By Bob Vavra
PLCs, PACs March 1, 2010

The next big thing in plant communication networks

Communications networks are viewed like highways. We need them, but who really thinks about them? Not viewing communication networks as strategically important to plant operations, however, closes off conceptually a whole new world of automation capabilities and effectiveness. In the 1950s, there were numerous roadways, and commerce thrived in the United States.

By Charles Lukasik, CC-Link Partner Association, North America
PLCs, PACs March 1, 2010

DeviceNet baghouse controller

The B-PAC series of baghouse performance analyzers and controllers feature advanced intelligence such as the ability to instantly detect and locate failed solenoids and filter leaks. The controllers also lower energy use by employing intelligent pulse cleaning. DeviceNet communications allow integration with Allen-Bradley PLCs and access to information in the intelligent controls.

PLCs, PACs March 1, 2010

Push-in terminal blocks

Modular PIT terminal blocks use push-in technology to reduce insertion force by 50%. The terminal blocks are easy to operate, reduce fatigue and are suitable for installations with limited space or hard-to-access wiring. Available in a 2.5-square-mm cross section, the terminal blocks accept ferrules of 22 to 14 AWG.

PLCs, PACs March 1, 2010

Optimize your process; manage your assets

Whether managing changes to automation systems or responding to control loop behaviors, one thing is certain: As automation systems increase in complexity, performance expectations also increase. And as performance expectations become more demanding, maintaining these automation assets has never been more critical.

PLCs, PACs March 1, 2010

Industrial radios

Industrial Hotspots bring 802.11n technology to high-capacity industrial automation networks. The family of radios provides reliable I/O message delivery, industrial temperature range and hazardous location ratings, as well as RADIUS security for centralized management of security policies, VLANs for network traffic segmentation and quality of service for data prioritization and dual radio func...

PLCs, PACs March 1, 2010

Control system lifespan: How long is long enough?

At a recent control system supplier’s user group, the presenter laying out the technology roadmap said that the company is designing its systems for at least a 30-year lifespan. Is that possible, and is it a good idea? If you’re trying to determine what the practical lifespan for a control system is, you may have to wait a few more years.

By Peter Welander, Control Engineering
PLCs, PACs March 1, 2010

ARC: Process automation faces growth decline

Automation supplier revenues continued to fall throughout 2009 as compared to 2008. Dedham, MA-based ARC Advisory Group expects that year-on-year comparisons between 2008 and 2009 will experience a decline, with modest growth in 2010. ARC sees signs that the manufacturing recovery has begun but its continued success depends on the ability of the financial markets to return to normal functioning.

PLCs, PACs February 24, 2010

Feeder control module

This single-feeder control module is a closed-loop rate controller designed to be used with auger, belt and vibratory-based feeders, and mounts directly into an Allen-Bradley ControlLogix chassis.

PLCs, PACs February 24, 2010

Compact temperature controllers

This compact temperature controller family features universal temperature sensor inputs, an informative display that can show alarm or change of status without a separate HMI and a 1/32 DIN panel face with short mounting depth.

PLCs, PACs February 19, 2010

Bosch-Rexroth opens new Website

Offers access to production information and literature

By Bob Vavra
PLCs, PACs February 10, 2010

Automated independent backup system

This automated independent backup standalone safety instrumented system backs up current process control trip logic and meets the requirements of IEC 61511. The system includes an IEC 61508 logic solver that is functionally independent from the process control system, supplements existing logic and meets all appropriate safety standards.

PLCs, PACs January 11, 2010

Take a closer look at your alarm management system

When was the last time you really looked at your facility’s alarm management system? Is it doing the job it is supposed to do? Is it doing the job it could be doing? Good alarm management practices can benefit any facility: They promote better use of resources, allow the plant to operate more efficiently, and, perhaps most critically, help it achieve the competitive edge needed to survive...

By Alan Cone, Siemens Industry Inc.
PLCs, PACs January 1, 2010

Tube, ceramic heaters

Space-Ray Infrared Heaters will show its complete line of tube and ceramic heaters including its recently introduced positive pressure low intensity tube heaters with its patent-pending Innovative Tube Integrity Safety System at the upcoming AHR Expo in Orlando at booth 1410. In 2009, Space-Ray celebrated its 60th Anniversary since it manufactured its original gas-fired burner, entering the bus...

PLCs, PACs December 19, 2009

PAC packs seven communication ports

This PAC is a modular, rack-based system of up to 116,000 I/O points with local, expansion and remote I/O bases and an assortment of discrete, analog and specialty I/O modules.

PLCs, PACs December 15, 2009

Find, track the right metrics

Performance monitoring is not new. The concept of regular reporting has been around for as long as manufacturing operations have been in place. However, the pursuit of real-time performance management (RPM) requires managers to actively consider which metrics effectively track key processes and enable process improvements.

By Catherine Jablonsky, AspenTech
PLCs, PACs November 9, 2009

New generation of PACs

This programmable automation controller product line integrates control, information processing and networking in a single control system with a unique, scalable, dual controller architecture.

PLCs, PACs November 1, 2009

Sorting out PID controller differences

Back in college, I learned that the ubiquitous proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control algorithm consists of three operators or terms acting on the error signal as shown in the “Theoretical PID algorithm” graphic.

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Consulting Editor, Control Engineering
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2009

OEE: achieving real-time process visibility

While most modern equipment on the factory floor offers some degree of performance and productivity monitoring, tying equipment and devices together for meaningful and immediate expressions of productivity often remains a hurdle. However, overcoming this challenge pays big dividends. In a 1999 SMRP conference presentation on Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), Rohm and Haas Corp.

By David Harris, Red Lion
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2009

Manage energy, accountability with automation integration

Energy in all its forms (i.e., electricity, water, compressed air, gas and steam) may be the lifeblood of manufacturing, but information – and more specifically, the ability to turn information into results – is proving to be the linchpin for managing energy costs. Why? The old adage is true: Information is power.

By Robert Konerman, Schneider Electric
PLCs, PACs October 27, 2009

E-Stops and Your Compliance

STOP! Are you confusing stopping categories and risk categories? Do you wire your e-stops to a standard (non Safety) PLC or controller in order to comply with the mandatory category 0 or 1 stop? And, does your identified hazard require redundant circuits with continuous self checking and automatic diagnostics? Think twice is my advice! Yes, safety standards such as NFPA 79, clause requires that an e-stop “shall function as either Category 0 or a Category 1 stop” as determined by the risk assessment. These are stopping functions with categories as defined by NFPA 79, clause 9.2.2. Furthermore, your required risk analysis may require mitigation of a risk or hazard identified as Cat. 3 or 4.

By J.B. Titus
PLCs, PACs October 27, 2009

Compact multi-axis robot

Robot features compact wrist design, vision guidance and network connectivity.

PLCs, PACs October 1, 2009

Double-diaphragm pumps

The A100 advanced plastic air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps can now be electronically controlled with a PLC for use where an electrical interface is needed. This capability makes them ideal for batching applications. The pumps are equipped with a two-position, four-way solenoid valve that has a single operator and spring return.

PLCs, PACs September 28, 2009

High-density, 16-point I/O modules

The 16-point I/O ribbon-cable modules offer compact solutions for streamlining control-to-machine wiring. With the flat ribbon cable, the modules facilitate the use of pre-wired assemblies to minimize wiring time and errors.

PLCs, PACs September 1, 2009

GE Intelligent Platforms bornas FANUC joint venture ends

GE and FANUC announced today that the two companies have agreed to dissolve the GE Fanuc Automation Corporation joint venture. This agreement would allow each company to refocus its investments to grow its existing businesses and pursue its respective core industry expertise. GE and FANUC expect the transaction to be completed by the end of this year, subject to satisfactory customary closing c...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs September 1, 2009

Bag compactor

The new design of the bag compactor offers many advantages. The bag compactor can be connected directly to the side of the bag dump station so that the operator can insert the empty bag directly into the bag compactor and utilizing the effects of the integral dust collector to avoid spilling any excess powder on the floor.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs August 18, 2009

GE, FANUC dissolve joint partnership

GE Intelligent Software division to focus on enterprise software, automation

By Bob Vavra
PLCs, PACs August 14, 2009

Integrated Safety – or Not! …Plus 6 Comments; Do You Agree?

We’ve all heard lots of arguments both for and against a fully integrated architecture for safety and general control. In the process world they’ve maintained a separate SIS (Safety Instrumented System) solution for safety creating a separate layer in their architecture for performing the safety functions. However, in the machine world when PLC’s were introduced in the 1970’s, standards groups rushed to exclude PLC’s from anything safety because the early technology wasn’t very reliable.

By J.B. Titus
PLCs, PACs August 6, 2009

Robotics orders continue to show decline

Decreased buying by auto industry, OEMs offset other gains

PLCs, PACs July 30, 2009

Compact motor starter

This compact weld-free starter offers the combined functionality of a circuit breaker, contactor and electronic overload relay to reduce engineering and assembly costs while simplifying commissioning.

PLCs, PACs July 29, 2009

Free RS-Logix 5000 instructions

The free Add-On instructions for Allen-Bradley RS-Logix 5000 allow Allen-Bradley PLC users to implement control logic that supports the functionality of certain distributed I/O modules.

PLCs, PACs July 13, 2009

Temp control selection commercial, not technical

A recent study conducted by VDC Research Group indicates that the global market for the industrial electronic temperature controllers under the study is forecast to decline at a 0.7% per year rate through 2013.

PLCs, PACs July 13, 2009

Rockwell Automation offers free software

Free software, available by download, is designed to help MicroLogix users reduce acquisition and installation costs, as well as streamline programming and troubleshooting.

PLCs, PACs July 9, 2009

PLC market sees sharp decline for 2009

ARC study says growth will accelerate over next five years

By PLE Staff
PLCs, PACs June 9, 2009

500 MHz Pentium-class SBC

This Singe-Board Computer includes the CPU, video, Ethernet, USB, COM ports, EIDE controller, digital I/O, mouse, PC 97 audio and keyboard controllers on one board.

PLCs, PACs May 1, 2009

Ethernet ports

The new ILC 170 ETH 2TX controller features two Ethernet ports, allowing easier networking for small applications. The ILC 170 is the latest addition to the ILC 1xx series of small, programmable controllers from Phoenix Contact. The ILC 170’s two Ethernet ports come with a built-in Ethernet switch, eliminating the need for a separate Ethernet switch in certain applications.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs May 1, 2009

Electrical rules of the road

The National Electrical Code definition of overcurrent includes short-circuit, ground-fault, and overload situations, with overcurrent protection typically being provided by fuses or circuit breakers known as Overcurrent Protection Devices (OCPD).

By Bob Lang
PLCs, PACs March 23, 2009

Removable data storage

Support has been added for microSD flash memory cards on SNAP PAC controllers, providing high volume data storage capabilities, as well as new options for distributing and testing control strategies and firmware.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs March 1, 2009

Letters to the Editor – 2009-03-01 – 2009-03-01

Readers sound off on relays and PLCs; water and waste water redundancies

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs March 1, 2009

Downturn a good time to review, improve process optimization

The global economic slowdown seemed to hit with full force this past fall. Financing for capital projects began to tighten, and hurdles to justify capital projects began to rise. For many process manufacturers, these economic conditions have caused a shift in business objectives from increasing production to decreasing the costs of goods sold.

By Jim Cahill, Emerson Process Management
PLCs, PACs February 26, 2009

ARC study: Discrete automation spending to slump, then rebound

Emerging economies still driving growth, study concludes

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs February 24, 2009

deviceWISE makes connection to Oracle

System testing earns ILS Technology product Oracle certification

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs February 24, 2009

Wireless I/O module pair

This pair of wireless I/O modules requires no software or PC connection and can be driven by either dc or ac signal sources.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs February 1, 2009

Study: Wireless use in food, beverage

KEYWORD: WIRELESS Increasing population and growing consumer demand for packaged foods has forced the food and beverage industry to look at new technologies that provide flexibility, easiness of operation and constant tracking of the production process. This demands continuous monitoring and efficient traceability of the entire production process in the food manufacturing plant.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs February 1, 2009

Motor control relays: Workhorses of the control world

Motor control relays are heavy-duty relays used to control motor starters and other industrial components. More specifically, they are typically used to energize the coil of a motor starter or contactor, which in turn starts a motor. A motor protective relay is a type of motor control relay used to prevent the coil of a motor starter or contactor from being energized.

By David Brandt, Eaton Corp.
PLCs, PACs January 26, 2009

Leveraging the economics of small PLCs

Can't afford a high-end PLC, but still need the functionality?

By Michael P Foley, Eaton Corp.
PLCs, PACs January 23, 2009

Circuit breaker with adjustable amp rating

The Guard family of circuit breakers features an electronic chip and magnetic control to provide precise overload protection and allow the user to achieve exact trip time.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs January 1, 2009

Water/wastewater: achieving the three levels of redundancy

To provide reliable water and wastewater treatment, municipalities must provide a 24-hour operation on a shoestring budget while battling constantly changing regulations, influent criteria, new security concerns and aging infrastructures. To address these challenges, many facilities are either considering an upgrade of their current automation system or installing automation for the first time.

By Grant Van Hemert, P.E., Water and Wastewater Competency Center, Schneider Electric
PLCs, PACs January 1, 2009

Air compressor

The ShopTek lubricated rotary screw air compressor combines rotary screw technology in a compact belt-drive package suitable for light manufacturing and numerous other applications.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs December 20, 2008

Do PLCs eliminate need for a DCS?

A PLC for process control can appear to be less expensive, but… Bill Lydon, contributing editor at has talked with a number of control engineers that are trying to sort out this issue to make decisions.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs December 9, 2008

Four signal conditioner channels in a 1-inch footprint

These multi-channel analog signal conditioners can be used to isolate, convert, boost and split analog signals.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs December 1, 2008

Temperature, process controller

The EZ-ZONE RM is a configurable rail mount multi-loop temperature/process controller that integrates an entire assembly of control loop functionality into one DIN-rail mounted package.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 5, 2008

Process system

The 250 I/O-size, Proficy process system is a single-computer product, targeted at smaller applications and OEMs. The system’s multi-disciplined PACSystems controller handle process, discrete and motion control applications. The system’s control features include a comprehensive set of function blocks for regulatory control, user-defined function blocks designed to control algorithms and system integrators that lock the blocks to protect intellectual properties.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2008

Micro-brick PLC line

The CLICK PLC is the first in a new generation of inexpensive PLC components designed to offer practical features in an easy-to-use, compact yet expandable design. This line of micro-brick PLCs with stackable I/O modules is suitable for first-time users as well as experienced programmers. By itself, a powered CLICK CPU unit can function as a complete PLC system.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2008

Using condensing and modulating boilers to increase operating efficiency

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, almost 60% of boilers in the United States are more than 25 years old.

By Mark Croce, AERCO International
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2008

Drivex creates win-win with visualization software

Leo Willis and the small three-man engineering team at Drivex Inc. are heading back to the future, where his industrial control systems business is primed for growth reminiscent of its heydays during the 1980s and 1990s. “We’ve got the perfect Petri dish for innovation and success here in Livermore, California.

By Harold Muma, Siemens Energy & Automation
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2008

Compact Ethernet expansion chassis

The NI 9144 expansion chassis adds deterministic Ethernet I/O to NI CompactRIO or NI PAC system. The eight-slot chassis for NI C series modules communicates over EtherCAT. The expansion chassis features real-time distributed I/O over standard Ethernet cable; compact size; two Ethernet ports; and industrial specifications for harsh environments.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2008

HVAC – 2008-11-01

Evaporative cooler The KUBE low-profile evaporative cooler is 48 inches tall and employs the patented FreshWater slinger wheel technology, which distributes evaporative, atomized water across all air inlets to provide efficient cooling. The unit can provide from 3,000 to 30,000 cfm with variable-speed control. Heating is provided via an indirect heat exchanger, up to 400,000 BTUs per unit.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2008

I/O modules added to micro PLC line

New I/O modules have been added to the SIMATIC S7-200 micro PLC product line. The EM231 series eight-channel analog input module supports industry standard unipolar 0-10 Vdc; 0-5 Vdc; 0-20 mA and bipolar +/- 5 Vdc; and +/-2.5 Vdc input signals. The EM232 series four-channel analog output module supports both 0-10 Vdc and 0-20 mA output signals.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs October 21, 2008

Temperature controller in 1/16 DIN package

This single-loop process temperature controller can operate in ON/OFF or PID modes, accepts multiple sensor types and can do auto-tuning.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs October 15, 2008

Development software

The GP-Pro EX version 2.2 application development software features a combination of HMI functions, including multimedia capability, remote PC access, high-speed device linking and built-in control logic editor. The software’s designed users include OEMs that need to speed application development and end-users that need to standardize on one HMI package. The software features enhanced local remote security traceability, direct interface to a range of devices, including PLCs, motion controllers, vision systems and bar code scanners, smart simulation, shortcuts and expanded object animation capabilities.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs October 6, 2008

Ethernet adapter for ABB drives

This Ethernet adapter connects ABB’s ACS350 drives with EtherNet/IP and Modbus/TCP networks.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs September 25, 2008

ISA celebrates 40 years of PLC technology at ISA EXPO 2008

PLC showcase will highlight the very first PLC and its evolution over the past 40 years. 

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs September 17, 2008

Manual mistake: New survey proves the need for automated time & attendance

A new survey by workforce management solutions specialist CyberShift and the American Payroll Association (APA) on employee time-entry management finds continued usage of relatively antiquated methods of recording time—e.g., manually recording employee hours on paper-based forms or Excel spreadsheets—a practice that results in plenty of errors.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
PLCs, PACs September 15, 2008

Process manufacturing, automation, DCS market remain strong

The market for process manufacturing and automation remains strong despite global economic concerns. A leading indication of this strength is the global distributed control system (DCS) market, which grew by almost 13% between 2006 and 2007 and is expected to grow through 2012 with the overall CAGR of just under 10%, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs August 26, 2008

Ramp/soak temperature controllers

This controller series accepts most temperature sensor and voltage inputs, has 16 segments and mounts in a 1/16 DIN space.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs August 15, 2008

Control platform

The ILC 150 VLC is a compact embedded control platform for small- to medium-sized applications. A built-in Ethernet port accommodates networking and data exchange to a supervisory system. All VLC control platforms have integrated EtherNet/IP capability for either scanning I/O or for providing application status information to supervisory systems.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs August 8, 2008

Parts accumulator

The Rota-Rack parts accumulator enables bar-fed CNC lathes to run unattended for extended amounts of time.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs July 15, 2008

Robotic welding package

The Power Wave i400 and AutoDrive 4R system integrate with the FANUC R-30iA controller or as a separate configuration to meet weld cell requirements. Waveform Control Technology enables processes such as Rapid Arc, Power Mode and TOTAL s2f. The digital communication connects via ArcLink over a CAN connection or with ArcLink XT, which connects via Ethernet.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs July 15, 2008

Level controller

The CE-compliant LVCN414 is a non-contact level controller for continuous and switching applications. The 4-20 mA output can drive a local display or PLC to monitor process level or control automation applications. Configurable through a USB connection, the controller comes with a software calibration kit that is compatible with Windows XP.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs July 15, 2008

Sustainable production commitment addresses manufacturing challenges

Multiple converging drivers are culminating in the move toward green manufacturing and sustainable production – and the global push for sustainability is demanding that companies manufacture their products in a more responsible manner. One such driver is consumer demand for products from companies involved in sustainable business practices.

By John Nesi, Rockwell Automation
PLCs, PACs July 15, 2008

HUG announcements focus on wireless, safety, training

Honeywell announced technology advances in a variety of areas at its annual Honeywell Users Group (HUG) event in Phoenix. The June 16 and 17 announcements include an operator training system for refining processes; wireless networks, and safety products.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs June 19, 2008

Information exchange: Honeywell user group forum serves as venue for controls, instrumentation advances

Phoenix, AZ — As ideas and insight are exchanged this week among end users, system integrators, and technology developers at the Honeywell Users Group Americas Symposium (HUG), Honeywell announced technology advances in multiple areas. The June 16 and 17 announcements include an operator training system for refining processes; microwave radar level sensors, wireless networks, and safety products; as well as pharmaceutical MES, data analysis, and process automation software introductions.The annual HUG conference , June 15-20,Concurrent Honeywell Process Solutions announcements included the following: Honeywell says its updated wireless products will upgrade to the promised standard with an over-the-air software update. Shown are the Honeywell XYR 6000 wireless transmitters and OneWireless multinode. Wireless is ready to comply with ISA100 standard: Updated Honeywell OneWireless industrial wireless network equipment ( see photo ) is designed to be compatible with the end user-driven ISA100.11a industrial wireless communication standard.

By Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering
PLCs, PACs June 18, 2008

Enhanced Ethernet I/O modules

These Ethernet I/O modules have a new firmware enhancement that adds advanced Peer-to-Peer and Graphic Condition Logic functionality.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs June 18, 2008

Honeywell Users Group: Controls, instrumentation advance

As ideas and insights are exchanged this week among end-users, system integrators, and technology developers at the Honeywell Users Group Americas Symposium, Honeywell announced technology advances in training, process sensors, wireless, safety, and MES software.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs June 10, 2008

Global manufacturing strength helps PLC market grow

ARC study projects 33% growth; market wants programmable automation controller (PAC)

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs June 4, 2008

Cooper Bussmann adds Ethernet/IP to wireless monitoring system

Cooper Bussmann has added Ethernet/IP communication to its Cooper InVision System, which uses clip-on wireless sensors, wireless mesh routers and the Cooper InVision gateway to monitor critical electrical circuit activity in any facility.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs May 15, 2008

Door controller

The Matrix System Gateway is an intelligent Ethernet-to-485 converter/switch that automatically maintains connections between the system’s third-tier intelligent door controllers and second-tier building controller.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs May 15, 2008

Belt sorters

UniSort sliding shoe and linear belt sorters provide automated calibration, monitoring and diagnostic testing to monitor and manage sorting systems.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs May 15, 2008


The 2320 large-character inkjet printer provides high-resolution on-line printing of variable data on corrugated shipping containers for applications that require code heights of up to 2 inches.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs May 9, 2008

Series device servers

The EKI-1521 and EKI-1522 allow RS-232/422/485 serial devices to remotely monitor, manage, and control Ethernet and IP networks.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs May 6, 2008

RoHS compliant temperature and limit controllers

A line of on-off temperature control and limit control products are now compliant with the RoHS directive.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs April 24, 2008

Bus-ready HMI

The HMI offers more that 64,000 colors, and is available in 12-inch TFT-displays, and 15- and 19-inch touch screen models to handle complex visualization tasks.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs April 21, 2008

Kepware, GE Fanuc integrate products, software

A joint development team from Kepware Technologies and GE Fanuc worked to integrate KEPServerEX and drivers into GE Fanuc's Proficy Machine Edition View software.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs April 15, 2008

Acument acquires, reopens Camcar

In a move that will create jobs and open a new chapter in the city’s long history of supplying assembly systems and technology to global producers of commercial and military aircraft, Acument Global Technologies Inc. announced it will re-enter the high-performance aerospace threaded fastener market with the opening of a production complex in Rockford, IL.

By Jack Smith
PLCs, PACs April 15, 2008

New white paper additions provide a variety of plant-floor knowledge

White papers and case studies provide a wealth of knowledge on specific subjects for busy plant engineers. From issues ranging from OEE to spray performance, from Fieldbus to insulation, this site offers a growing library of white papers to help bring online users up to date on the latest innovative thinking.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs April 15, 2008

Moving toward PACs

Years ago, it was easier to delimit the scenarios that mandated use of a programmable logic controller versus those of some sort of PC-based control.

By Matt Mekschun, Schneider Electric
PLCs, PACs April 15, 2008

Application of RFID technology in the manufacturing process

The use of RFID technology in the manufacturing process can bring many benefits and potential cost savings. RFID technology has been more rapidly accepted in the manufacturing process because the RFID technology can be a reusable product when the RFID tags are embedded into fixtures used in the manufacturing process.

By Mark Waggoner, Kim Automation Inc.
PLCs, PACs March 25, 2008

PLC touch panels

PLC touch panels are designed to enhance data acquisition, and include Ethernet connectivity options and simple programming.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs March 15, 2008

Dealing with moisture inside electric heaters

Those who work with electronics usually equate water and electricity as a bad combination – and for good reason. Labels can be found on many kitchen appliances and bathroom electronics such as electric knives and hair dryers, warning users that a shock can occur if the device comes into contact with water.

By John Pape, Watlow
PLCs, PACs February 15, 2008

Batch controller

The DL8000 microprocessor-based batch delivery controller is designed to resolve batch control requirements for liquid custody transfer applications. The controller is configurable for different batch loading applications using ROCLINK 800 software and is programmable for PLC tasks. Emerson Process Management www.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs February 15, 2008

Gripping component

The Smart Gripper is designed to deliver precise gripping capabilities and can be integrated with various robots.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs February 1, 2008

Kevin Parker: Gauging the changing nature of change

Given a constant interplay between ruling management concepts—such as lean production or globalization—and an information technology (IT) infrastructure integral to the business process, manufacturing systems are always changing. This is a good thing, as evidenced by productivity statistics, which reveal the very real gains in productivity growth experienced in the manufacturing i...

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
PLCs, PACs January 31, 2008

Programmable gateways

BL programmable gateways are IP67-rated and use local network logic to perform complex tasks.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs January 23, 2008

Reduced size PLC

The reduced size PLC features four controller styles, remote communication, easy connectivity to drives and I/O and a built-in display.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs January 15, 2008

Embedded PC

The CX1010 mid-range embedded PC features Windows XP Embedded or Windows CE and a 500 MHz Pentium MMX-compatible processor. It offers CPU performance suitable for a range of automation and control applications. Bundled with TwinCAT PLC software and Windows operating system, the EtherCAT-ready embedded PC can operate as a high-performance PLC and motion controller that can be used with or withou...

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs January 15, 2008

EtherNet/IP safety I/O module

The Allen-Bradley CompactBlock Guard I/O on EtherNet/IP detects failures at the I/O and field-device level while enhancing operator protection in many applications including robotic, point-of-operation, guard-monitoring and remote control applications. It communicates over the EtherNet/IP network using CIP Safety protocol, making it compatible with Ethernet infrastructure devices including wire...

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs January 15, 2008

China developing strategic strength in PLC market: ARC

Buoyant foreign direct investment flowing into China, accompanied by rising consumer demand, is propelling the country’s manufacturing sector, which in turn is driving the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) market in China. The China market for PLCs is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 12.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs December 17, 2007


* ARC: China's strength in PLC market * IFS with top international award * Hannover Fair update

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs December 15, 2007

High bay fluorescent fixture

The GreenBay high bay fluorescent fixture features high-performance reflectors; are available in a variety of photometric distributions and spacing criteria; and are finished with a polyester powder-coating system. Channel and socket brackets are manufactured from 22-gauge galvanized material. Standard ballasts are Class-P, HPF, non-PCB, Sound Rated A and UL/CSA certified where applicable.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs December 13, 2007

DeviceNet gateways

Two new DeviceNet gateways come in K20 housing styles, are available in single- or dual-channel versions and connect AS-Interface to upper-level controllers.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs December 1, 2007

Rockwell partners eye information management

The industrial machinery and equipment skid partners that use Rockwell Automation controllers in their products are still the bread and butter of Rockwell's Automation Fair, but not all exhibitors at this annual event are hardware-focused. This year's event, held in mid-November in Chicago—saw increased population by exhibitors that stress information management.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 15, 2007

Web-enabled PAC

The model 5300 Programmable Automation Controller (PAC) features advanced motion control and next-generation programming tools. It controls up to 64 axes, has multiple CPU capability with up to 1,024 I/O points per CPU, a built-in Web server, a modular architecture, Ethernet QuickLink remote I/O, a rugged industrial design and a removable Flash disk with up to 2 GB of storage.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 15, 2007


The 771 Milliamp process clamp meter measures 4-20-mA output signals from transmitters in process and industrial control system applications without breaking the current loop. The meter measures with an accuracy of 0.2%, with resolution and sensitivity to 0.01 mA for testing and troubleshooting PLC and control system analog I/O.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 15, 2007

USB adapter

The Profibus USB Adapter is designed to interface PLC or PC-based applications with industrial devices. It is RoHS compliant, supports USB 2.0, has a robust aluminum housing and is powered via USB. The adapter runs on Windows 32-bit architectures. The included software contains protocols; a graphical console for configuration; diagnostic tools; and a set of data servers, which includes OPC DA, ...

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 15, 2007

Mid-range PAC

The Modicon M340 Programmable Automation Controller (PAC) simplifies setup and implementation by means of a single programming tool. The PAC can be configured using the Unity software suite, which offers a choice of five IEC languages, graphic programming and online help. It has 4 MB of internal memory, upgradeable to 16 MB.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 15, 2007

Spill containment system

Spill Preparedness Control Center enables the user to identify which Spill Pac to use for a spill or leak. The product is available in a visible 18 by 18 by 3-inch, color-coded bag, which is designed to be placed on machinery or equipment. The Spill Pac can contain as much as 10 gallons, and the vacuum-packed, foil-laminated unit can be customized to fit PPE suits, extra gloves and goggles, and...

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 15, 2007

Controller – 2007-11-15

The AirTouch Analyzer PLC offers monitoring and operational capabilities on regenerative dryers. Its color touchscreen allows the operator to monitor the state and conditions of the dryer in addition to facilitating troubleshooting. Its ladder logic programming can be advanced one line at a time, and by switching from automatic to manual mode, the operator can advance one command line at a time...

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 9, 2007

Sudipta Bhattacharya appointed president of Wonderware

A veteran of SAP, Bhattacharya joined the Invensys business unit in August and succeeds Mike Bradley in its top post.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs October 26, 2007

Drum crusher/in-drum compactor

The drum crusher/in-drum compactor is suitable for use in Class I, Division I areas and reduces waste volumes for disposal. The compactor is explosion proof and features 60,000-pounds of compaction force, along with a welded-steel construction and a non-sparking compaction chamber. The compactor crushes drums to as small as 4 inches.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs October 17, 2007

Language barriers: Is ladder logic all you need?

Since there continues to be a large installed base of PLCs that have been programmed using ladder logic, this well-accepted software remains a staple in the industry. Ladder logic definitely has time on its side. But there's a feeling within the industry that limiting PLC programming software language to only ladder logic could be counterproductive in some applications. It’s useful to examine both ladder logic and the other programming languages defined by the IEC, as well as their benefits.

By Stephen L. Arnold, Schneider Electric
PLCs, PACs October 15, 2007

Reader Feedback – 2007-10-15

Readers share more Tips, Tricks After Tips & Tricks ran in the August issue, we got a few more great ideas to share with readers: A great way to remove broken bolts is to use an AIR scribe (not electric) with a sharp point to back the bolt out. It acts as a miniature impact. I used this technique at Caterpillar for 30 years with great success.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs October 12, 2007

Layer-forming palletizer

The new robotic layer-forming palletizing solution uses a four-axis robot to positively orient and position cases or packages when forming layers on pallets.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs October 2, 2007

Custom flat cable fabrication

Custom cable assembly fabrication services provide custom shaped flat silicone cables that allow for very precise cable routing without folding, kinking or pinching and contribute to the elimination of signal failures.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs September 24, 2007

Advantech, University of Cincinnati partner to create e-Manufacturing Lab

The Industrial Automation Group of Advantech and the University of Cincinnati have formed a partnership to create the Advantech e-Manufacturing Lab to promote research, development and educational programs for students and professionals.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs September 7, 2007

PMMI bundles event and media properties into integrated package

The packaging trade association puts its trade shows, Web site and magazine together in an all-in-one package for buyers and sellers.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs September 5, 2007

Industrial control shipments surge

NEMA’s Primary Industrial Controls Index increased 7% between the first and second quarters of 2007 up 8.6% year-over-year.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs August 31, 2007

Dofasco licenses oil-spray monitoring technology

IQ Manufacturing Solutions (IQMS), a provider of intelligent machine vision solutions, is expanding its product offering with Dofasco’s oil-spray monitoring technology.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs August 24, 2007

ABB partners with LeMatic to provide solutions to baked goods industry

ABB Robotics and LeMatic, Inc. have formed a “preferred partnership” to design and implement product handling, packaging and palletizing solutions for the food industry

By Staff
PLCs, PACs August 24, 2007

Denso Robotics opens training center

Denso Robotics recently opened a new customer training center at its manufacturing plant in Maryville, TN.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs August 15, 2007

Dream It. Do It. videos focus on career motivation

A series of new videos at feature young plant engineers and manufacturing workers talking about their career goals and motivations for choosing manufacturing careers. The videos include young men and women with careers in brewing, winemaking, bioprocessing, aerospace engineering and discrete manufacturing.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs August 15, 2007

Understanding harmonics:

By now, every electrical engineer has heard something about harmonics. Harmonics are generated by nonlinear loads such as traditional variable-speed drives, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems and any other power conversion device that changes ac into dc with some form of rectifier bridge. Any device that draws a pulse of current from the electrical network for less than the entire volta...

By Rudy T. Wodrich, Schneider Electric/Square D
PLCs, PACs July 18, 2007

Partinence, Intercim announce merger

Pertinence has signed an agreement to merge with US based Intercim. The combined company , Intercim, LLC, will offer an enterprise execution solution combining Intercim's manufacturing execution software and Pertinence's manufacturing intelligence capabilities."This business merger truly emanates from Intercim's and Pertinence's greatest strengths: our mutual focus on customer success," said Intercim President and CEO, John Todd. "The uniqueness of Pertinence's causal and proactive analysis solution added to Intercim's current suite of process planning, MES, emergent process and quality management capabilities fills a vital need for manufacturers of advanced products."In addition to broadening Intercim's and Pertinence's global presence, Intercim, LLC will offer a unique set of capabilities to manufacturing customers where time and yield are critical: aerospace and defense, semiconductor, automotive and life sciences.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs June 27, 2007

Apprion’s Lambright discusses wireless issues, new system

Next generation ION system addresses security reliability and scalability in large process manufacturing plant wireless network applications.

By Jack Smith
PLCs, PACs June 21, 2007

Sadlowski, Batra reflect on UGS acquisition

Speaking on June 12 at Siemens Automation Summit in Orlando, FL, Dennis Sadlowski, president and CEO, Siemens Energy & Automation (effective July 1, 2007) said, “Combined portfolios of (Siemens) A&D and UGS will enhance customer efficiency and success throughout the entire product life cycle."

By Jack Smith, Senior Editor
PLCs, PACs June 15, 2007

NAM: Slowing manufacturing growth may accelerate later in 2007

The May 2007 economic outlook from the National Association of Manufacturers pointed to an economy currently stuck in low gear, that should accelerate slightly in the second half of 2007. “An improved trade picture and positive consumer spending will continue to be offset by a downturn in housing, pullbacks in inventories and sluggish business investment, notably in industrial equipment,&...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs June 15, 2007

Infrared temperature sensor

The ILA series non-contact sensor measures temperatures from 32 to 932 degrees F and provides linear 4-20 mA, 0-5 Vdc or thermocouple output. The two-wire signal is compatible with most indicators, controllers, recorders or data loggers, without the need for special interfacing or signal conditioning. The sensor is suitable for most materials, including food, paper, textiles, plastics, leather, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, rubber, coal and asphalt. Dwyer Instruments, Inc.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs June 15, 2007

OEE: Using metrics to manage, improve performance

Overall equipment effectiveness has become one of the most popular manufacturing metrics in recent years. Plant and operations managers use OEE to measure performance at the machine, line and plant levels. Operational executives use OEE to set stretch objectives for the organization at the plant and enterprise levels.

By David L. Brochu, Acumence
PLCs, PACs May 15, 2007

The importance of reassessing MES value after deployment

One of the hot technologies in manufacturing is manufacturing execution systems, and one of the hot questions is how you measure value for the investment in MES.

By Manufacturing Summit
PLCs, PACs May 15, 2007

IP20 block I/O system

The Ethernet Modbus TCP (UDP) connectivity with the IP20 BradControl block I/O system connects industrial I/O devices to a PLC or PC controller over industrial networks. The TCP (UDP) network adapter operates as a slave device in an Ethernet control system, gathering signals and data from local field devices through the expansion modules. The network adapter module manages all communications with the expansion modules and supplies dc power to the attached local processors.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs May 15, 2007

Schneider, Citect release integrated software

Since its acquisition of Citect Pty Ltd a year ago, Schneider Electric has begun integrating Citect’s automation offerings with the Telemecanique and Modicon brands. The most recent integrated introduction is Vijeo Citect supervision software. The HMI/SCADA software is to be unified in Schneider-preferred architectures.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs May 15, 2007

Fanless SBC

The SBC operates in temperatures ranging from -40 to 85 degrees C without needing a fan. It integrates the CPU, video, Ethernet, USB, COM, LPT, mouse, audio and keyboard controllers onto one board that measures 3.6 x 3.8 inches. PPM-GX runs x86-compatible software for space and power-limited embedded designs.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs May 11, 2007

Controller – 2007-05-11

The ModCon 75 is a preprogrammed PLC designed to work specifically with the Ultima X gas monitor with X3 technology. A self-configuring and compact device, it can control and display up to 25 Ultima X3 gas monitors. The controller offers ModBUS RTU output and an optional Ethernet interface.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs April 25, 2007

Single-axis motion control

The IndraMotion for Trans system, scalable single axis control solution is specifically designed to replace legacy motion controls found in thousands of metal cutting tools. The system consists of the power amplifier and a scalable controller section, which offers an integrated IEC61131-3 PLC and includes ready-to-use software. Project data management, startup, adaptations and reuse of engineering are easy to do with the uniform engineering software.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs April 25, 2007

Industrial Relays

The RIDERSERIES II relays are comprised of a line of base sockets combined with a line of industrial relays that can speed installation for the OEM and provide reliability and ease of maintenance for process industry users. The sockets feature connection technology choices including Weidmuller’s Push-In connection technology that can reduce installation time up to 75%. The relay contacts can switch loads up to 16A at 24VDC or 230VAC for power or signal switching.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs March 9, 2007

Motor testing system

The Micro Dyne System is designed specifically for testing micro, low-torque motors, resolving to 0.0004 mN%%POINT%%m on a 2 mN%%POINT%%m scale. It has a maximum kinetic power rating of 4 watts and a maximum speed rating of 100,000 rpm. The system includes a Hysteresis dynamometer; a motor fixture; an electronics unit featuring a dynamometer controller, a wattmeter, a power relay and a USB interface; testing and calibration software; and connection cables and calibration weights.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs March 1, 2007

Cushioning machine

The Airplus machine can produce ½-inch wave cells or ¾-inch quilt cells at a speed of 30 FPM using ambient air. On-demand production frees warehouse space. A 30-pound roll of 13-inch film produces a full 12-inch web, which is perforated every 6 inches, yielding 95 cubic feet of quilt cushioning or 75 cubic feet of wave cushioning.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs March 1, 2007

Control software

AristaControlCenter software works in conjunction with ArtistaNET or ArtistaUSB display controllers to control multiple displays simultaneously, displaying similar or different content with just one user PC via connection to a LAN or USB interface. The functionality eliminates the need for client PCs at each monitor, simplifying installation.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs March 1, 2007

Motion control design module

The SoftMotion development module empowers machine builders and original equipment manufacturers to create customized motion controllers using software and deploy them for any NI hardware platform. OEMs and machine builders can use a range of pre-built motion functions and control algorithms to quickly create motion controllers based on specific application requirements as well as price and per...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs February 6, 2007

NEMA predicts continued demand for industrial controls, drives

A recent NEMA study indicates a strong demand for industrial controls. From Sept. through Dec.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs February 1, 2007

Safe operator panels

The Termex family of intrinsically safe text and graphic operator panels feature a monochrome LCD for flexible and cost-effective PLC and computer-based operation and monitoring of machines and processes located in hazardous areas. ATEX-certified for Zone 1 hazardous area use, the panels are well suited for fixed or mobile use in oil and gas applications.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs February 1, 2007

UPS on the front line

Computers in industrial plants and other types of technical operations have moved to the production floor. And with millions of dollars at stake in guaranteeing near-absolute power reliability for production lines, UPS manufacturers have been tasked with creating hardy systems that can withstand the extreme environments of manufacturing facilities.

By Scott Siddens, Contributing Editor
PLCs, PACs January 2, 2007

Firmware version includes advanced diagnostics

The 9000 Series Version 3 firmware Ring Manager, which uses N-TRON’s N-Ring technology, offers expanded ring size capacity, detailed fault diagnostic and a standard heal time of 30 ms. For managing, detecting and restoring ring breaks, the device configured as a Ring Manager sends out “Self Health” and “Ring Control” periodically around the ring. If these packets are successfully routed around the ring within the allocated time window, the ring is declared to be intact.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs December 15, 2006

Maintenance software – 2006-12-15

FilterWare for baghouses and most types of dust collection systems enables automating process control, maintenance management and EPA compliance needs. FilterWare provides instant maintenance diagnostics, process visualization, report generation and remote services. The HMI/SCADA and reporting software interfaces with the company’s range of baghouse controllers, sensors and CEMs.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs December 13, 2006

Corporate citizenship, community outreach at BMW Manufacturing

While innovation, new technologies and best practices are key components of a plant’s production, its community outreach contributes significantly to its public identity. Being a good corporate citizen is a big part of what makes a Top Plant, and BMW Manufacturing Company in upstate South Carolina accomplishes that in a variety of ways: Corporate giving totaled $8.7 million from 1996 through 2005, with contributions going to organizations that include the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, several local hospitals, healthcare groups, research organizations, conservation foundations and chambers of commerce, among many others The Classroom Guide Program invites educators to expose their students to real-world manufacturing, providing the students an opportunity to apply what they learn in math, science and technology classes to an earnest industrial environment BMW Manufacturing sponsors the annual Teacher of the Year Award It supports Leadership Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER), an inquiry-based science kit program that’s designed to help teachers instruct students effectively while making learning science fun. The program is integrated with reading, writing and math to engage students’ interest BMW Manufacturing has donated numerous robots and robot controllers to a variety of learning and/or vocational institutes The annual BMW Charity Pro-Am at the Cliffs Golf Tournament brings in celebrities to raise money and awareness for local charities.

By Edited by Kevin Campbell
PLCs, PACs December 1, 2006

Compact CNC platform

The IndraMotion MTX compact is a CNC solution for high-production machining centers, handling systems or simple auxiliary units. It provides high performance in a small footprint while improving machine cycle times and part quality. Capable of controlling up to eight axes in two NC channels with an IndraLogic PLC, it can process up to 200 NC blocks per second and has a 30-block look-ahead rate ...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs December 1, 2006

Workforce development

Business is booming at Lincoln Machine, a 70-employee machine shop at the east end of Nebraska's state capital. With local clients such as Kawasaki, Goodyear and Square D, the facility hums with activity. It is a highly-specialized business: custom automated manufacturing equipment, machine re-tooling and retrofit.

By Bob Vavra, Editor
PLCs, PACs November 15, 2006

Watlow opens factory in China

Watlow has opened a new manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China to serve its customers that currently have a presence there. It will manufacture tubular heaters at this facility, which held a grand opening event on Oct. 30, 2006.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 8, 2006

Plug connector system offers connection choices

COMBI plug connectors, is a modular‘plug-and-play’ system available in three connection technologies:screw, spring and IDC.It is the latest addition to the Clipline Complete System, and its connectors plug into any DIN-mounted pluggable terminal blocks, regardless of the connection technology. The connector system uses the same plug-in zone in all basic terminal blocks, whatever the connection technology.The standard plugs (UP, SP, QP) feature the wire exit on top, while plugs with screw and spring-cage technology (UPBV, SPV) feature additional plugs with side wire exit. Standardized bridging, marking and testing accessories are available.The user can choose between two options for wire entry: the space-saving top entry, or the low-profile side entry.The system allows quick change or replacement in plug-and-play applications.Plugs are available in pre-assembled position sizes or individually for self-assembly, enabling the user to create unique solutions based on application requirements. Phoenix Contact Inc.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 8, 2006

NEMA index shows decline in economic growth, industrial control prospects

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s Primary Industrial Controls Index fell 2.8% between the second and third quarter of 2006. This marks the second consecutive quarter-to-quarter decline in the index since the second half of 2002. Conditions have clearly cooled down from the torrid pace of last year as the topline index dropped 0.1% on a year-over-year basis, which represents the first such decline in three years.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2006

Strategic maintenance, plant floor integration drive improvements

With maintenance-related activities accounting for a substantial portion of the total operating costs for manufacturing plants, manufacturers are placing increased emphasis on effectively managing production equipment and achieving the optimum level of asset utilization. While maintenance departments are relying on increasingly more powerful data collection and process tools, manufacturers can ...

By Mike Laszkiewicz, Rockwell Automation
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2006

Integrated motion and sequential control

CompactLogicx 1768-L43 programmable automation controller provides integrated motion and sequential control in one unit. The PAC is capable of controlling up to four axes of coordinated motion over a SERCOS network and provides connectivity to EtherNet/IP, ControlNet, or DeviceNet networks. Motion and sequential functions are programmed with a single programming environment using descriptive tags.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2006

PLC test

PLC Test is designed to measure knowledge and skills in repair and maintenance of Programmable Logic Controllers. The test covers PLC and I/O Basics, Ladder Logic, Programming Basics, Peripherals and Systems and Troubleshooting PLCs. This test was professionally developed with items of known and documented reliability and validity and is objectively scored with one answer per question.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2006

Throughput analyzer

The ActivApplications throughput analyzer identifies resources that are constraining product flow within high-volume, discrete manufacturing facilities. A prepackaged application, it features the patent-pending throughput capability metric, which uses information captured from the automation layer in the plant to identify and qualify a resource's performance against the overall plant Takt time.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2006

Integrated temperature power control

The EZ-ZONE ST integrated control loop integrates temperature control, power control, safety shut-down and power disconnect in a single package. It features a PID temperature controller already connected to a high-amperage, solid-state relay (SSR), with the option of adding a properly-sized heat sink, current measurement, an over/under temperature limit, a definite-purpose mechanical contactor ...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2006

Schneider’s Initi@tive 2006 showcases company’s solutions

Nearly 1,400 Schneider Electric North American Operating Division customers packed the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, FL, from Sept. 28–30 attending “Initi@tive 2006: the Gateway to the New Electric World.” Schneider Electric showcased its applications and solutions in power, automation and control to its customers and partners.

By Jack Smith
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2006

Encoderless belt scale

The AIScale self-powered conveyor belt scale incorporates a dc generator that provides varying dc excitation voltage for the load cells and wireless transmitter. Rotary encoder or special integrators are not necessary because the dc generator senses belt speed. Weight per unit can be displayed on a panel meter or used as a PLC input for further conversion, display or control.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs October 3, 2006

UPS for the Mac

MGE UPS Systems introduced what is reported to be the industry's first universal support for Macintosh OS X with the latest release of its Solution-Pac Power Management Software. For Intel-based and legacy Mac hardware protected by an MGE UPS, the software assures added security for connected systems by verifying the UPS connections and, in the event of a prolonged power outage, initiating a graceful shutdown when the UPS battery level is low. Although the Mac OS is very stable in many ways, any Unix-based OS can be especially susceptible to system corruption resulting from any hard shutdown such as those that occur when power fails.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs October 1, 2006

Schneider Electric launches Motion Competency Center

The North American Operating Division of Schneider Electric announced the launch of the Schneider Electric Motion Competency Center, with headquarters in Plymouth, MI. Schneider Electric is drawing on the motion control expertise of Berger Lahr, a company of Schneider Electric, and its existing assets, to create a single resource in the U.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs September 5, 2006

Block I/O system

The Block I/O system is designed for industrial in-cabinet use. The IP20 system is an effective way to connect industrial I/O devices to a PLC or PC controller over an industrial network. Standard DIN-rail mounting makes it convenient to install, and adds flexibility to the design.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs September 1, 2006

Control Loop

EZ-ZONE ST is the first product to integrate temperature control, power control, safety shut-down and power disconnect in a single package. It features a PID temperature controller already connected to a high amperage solid-state relay with the option of adding a properly sized heat sink, current measurement, an over/under temperature limit, a definite purpose mechanical contactor and digital c...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs September 1, 2006

Handheld terminal

The GuardPLC handheld terminal helps maintenance workers program and configure Allen-Bradley GuardPLC safety controllers and I/O modules without the hassle of bringing a personal computer to the plant floor. The handheld terminal can connect to any GuardPLC device on an Ethernet network. Programs can be stored on the terminal’s onboard flash memory or on removable multimedia memory cards,...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs September 1, 2006

Motion control package

Controller-based Motion Logic platform highlights the IndraMotion MLC system, providing real-time motion control for up to 16 axes per controller in applications such as cartoners and form/fill/seal machines. The MLC is a high-value controller-based motion control system specifically designed for packaging machines with centralized or distributed architectures and a maximum of 16 axes per contr...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs September 1, 2006

Technology, culture changes drive improved maintenance

An audit completed recently at the utilities section of a large U.S. paper mill revealed that overtime was accounting for 38% of maintenance activities. Work orders were backlogged and costly reactive (corrective) maintenance was rampant. Employees were spending so much time 'fighting fires’ just to keep the boilers operating that they didn’t have time for most of the maintenance ta...

By Mark Nord, Asset Optimization Consultant, Emerson Process Management
PLCs, PACs August 8, 2006

Siemens partners with Control Engineering magazine to produce FactoryVisionTM, an online, interactive medium for delivering engineering information

FactoryVisionTM helps engineers find solutions for today's challenges through a state-of-the-art portal containing products, applications, and live tutorial sessions Hosted by Control Engineering, Siemens’s FactoryVisionTMpresents different overviews of live control and HMI applications from an end user, original equipment manufacturer, system integrator, and supplier point of view. The engaging Flash technology interface gives each engineer a unique automation experience with a customized system as his/her final destination. FactoryVisionTMshows how integrated control and HMI systems enable the engineer to visualize his/her factory at its full capabilities. FactoryVisionTMoffers information on manufacturing applications for control and visualization, such as localized machine control, control rooms, assembly and test, water treatment, and remote access via the Web.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs June 16, 2006

DuPont selects Siemens as global process control alliance partner

Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. announced that it has been selected as one of two guidelined distributed control systems suppliers for DuPont. "DuPont selected Siemens as one of its process control suppliers based on a Six Sigma project that evaluated technology, five-year life-cycle costs and long-term benefits to DuPont," said Dennis Inverso, DuPont alliance manager. "Siemens distributed control systems, the latest addition to the list of Siemens products used by DuPont, provides an integrated approach that most effectively meets DuPont's changing business needs." Through this global alliance, Siemens has earned the distinction of being the only DuPont process control supplier selected in all three categories: distributed control systems, programmable logic controllers and PLC-based process control systems. "It is an honor to be selected as one of only two distributed control systems suppliers for DuPont," said Gene Wills, Siemens global corporate account manager for DuPont.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs June 1, 2006

Robust market continues for industrial controls

NEMA’s Primary Industrial Controls Index increased 6.1% between the fourth quarter of 2005 and the first quarter of 2006, marking the 10th consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth in the index and its highest reading since the first quarter of 2001. “While a portion of this growth reflects a typical seasonal demand growth, market conditions for industrial automation and controls...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs May 18, 2006

Parker Hannifin acquires Crane’s Resistoflex Aerospace business

Parker Hannifin has acquired Resistoflex Aerospace, a $16 million business, from the Crane Company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “Resistoflex Aerospace has served the specialized needs of aerospace customers for 70 years,” said Greg A. Ward, president of Crane Aerospace.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs May 5, 2006

NEMA’s Primary Industrial Controls Index increases 6.1% during first quarter

NEMA’s Primary Industrial Controls Index increased 6.1% between the fourth quarter of 2005 and the first quarter of 2006. This marks the tenth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth in the index and its highest reading since the first quarter of 2001. “While a portion of this growth reflects a typical seasonal demand growth, market conditions for industrial automation and controls equipment clearly remain strong as sales jumped more than 12 percent compared to the same period a year ago,” said Brian Lego, director, economic analysis for NEMA. At the same time, the Primary Industrial Controls and Adjustable Speed Drive Index touched a new all-time high for its five-year history.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs May 1, 2006

Closed-loop control takes on new form

Watlow EZ-ZONE ST integrated control loop architecture combines multiple control functions into a single package. The integrated controller combines a PID temperature controller, solid state power controller, properly sized heat sink, over/under temperature safety limit, definite-purpose mechanical contactor/disconnect, current measurement and digital communications into one package.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs April 7, 2006

Siemens exec named to Fieldbus board

The Fieldbus Foundation has named Hans-Georg Kumpfmueller, president of the Siemens AG Process Instrumentation & Analytics Division, to its board of directors. In addition to Chairman John Berra of Emerson Process Management, current foundation members include: Kenneth Deken, Rockwell Automation; David Eisner, Honeywell; Motofumi Matsumura, Fuji; Shuzo Kaihori, Yokogawa; Jim Porter, DuPont; Claude Ricaud, Schneider Electric; Ron Szanyi, ExxonMobil; Mark Taft, ABB; Hirozume Sone, Yamatake Corporation, John Eva, Invensys; and Kumpfmueller. "Hans-Georg Kumpfmueller will be a valuable asset to our organization as a director. He is a well-respected industry figure with extensive experience in the fields of instrumentation and analytical sciences,” said Fieldbus Foundation president and CEO Richard Timoney. “We welcome his contributions to the Fieldbus Foundation, as well as the continued support of Siemens AG." Kumpfmueller holds a degree in electronics engineering, and has an extensive career history in the automation industry.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs March 1, 2006

Specialty machine builders: A view from the supplier

I call it the Growth Mode Effect. Companies small and large are getting into financial trouble, ultimately filing for bankruptcy. As a supplier of automation equipment, specialty machine builders are some of our most important customers and at times our biggest worry. When their business models fail we also must deal with the consequences: financial losses due to unpaid invoices and the loss of...

By Helge Hornis, Ph.D.
PLCs, PACs January 31, 2006

Newark responds to UK’s RoHS interpretation

Newark InOne, a subsidiary of global distributor Premier Farnell plc has implemented a comprehensive quality assurance policy to help its customers mitigate compliance risks associated with the European Union's Restriction of certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. The RoHS Directive restricts the use of lead and five other substances in electrical and electronic products sold into all EU countries after July 1, 2006, but each country is left to decide how compliance should be demonstrated. In the UK, its appointed RoHS compliance enforcer, the National Weights and Measures Laboratory, has stated that a producer will need to show more than certificates of compliance if its product's compliance status is contested. The producer will need to demonstrate that it has taken undefined "reasonable steps" to confirm the accuracy of the documentation it received for the parts that were designed in, or assembled into its finished product. To meet this requirement from the UK, Newark InOne and its sister European distributor, Farnell InOne, have developed a 10-step quality assurance policy with due diligence procedures that serve to give their customers confidence in the RoHS compliance status of parts they purchase from them.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs January 1, 2006

New Energy Policy Act sparks a fresh look at HVAC efficiency

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 encourages industry businesses to enter into voluntary programs with the Department of Energy to reduce energy consumption by at least 2.5% annually. In addition, the policy not only creates energy conservation standards for products including commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, commercial refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, and...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs December 1, 2005

Digital-to-analog converters

Eight new multi-channel monolithic digital-to-analog converters pack the highest concentration of analog signal processing performance in a single device to resolve design challenges in industrial and instrumentation applications. New programmable on-chip features, such as calibration registers (to compensate for signal errors) and automatic shutdown, ensure system reliability in harsh, high vo...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs December 1, 2005

Maximize your industrial Ethernet performance

A successful plant floor Ethernet deployment involves increasing system performance, leveraging switch capabilities, understanding standardized protocols and making diagnostics and network management software work for you. Switch selection The decision of which switch type to use for a particular application depends on your networking needs and your plant automation strategy.

By Larry Komarek, Phoenix Contact, Inc.
PLCs, PACs December 1, 2005

Low-flow meters and controls

Emerson Process Management's latest models of its Brooks Instrument QUANTIM Coriolis family of low-flow meters and controllers have a NEMA 4x/IP65 weatherproof package, and are fully approved for service in Class 1 Division 2 / Zone 2 or Class 1 Division 1 Groups C&D / Zone 1 explosion-proof environments.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 17, 2005

Web Exclusive: Maximize your industrial Ethernet performance

You’ve learned all the basics about Ethernet over the last three months in a special PLANT ENGINEERING magazine series. Now how do you effectively take that knowledge to the plant floor? In the Web-exclusive final part of his series, Larry Komarek of Phoenix Contact takes a look at how to make the right choices to maximize your Ethernet system. Maximize your industrial Ethernet performance Phoenix Contact, Inc. A successful plant floor Ethernet deployment involves increasing system performance, leveraging switch capabilities, understanding standardized protocols and making diagnostics and network management software work for you. Switch selection The decision of which switch type to use for a particular application depends on your networking needs and your plant automation strategy.

By Larry Komarek
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2005

Flexible PAC has Ethernet interface

cFP-2120 Compact FieldPoint programmable automation controller (PAC) manages up to eight analog and digital I/O modules. Features include small, rugged platform; stand-alone, embedded real-time controller or PC-based distributed I/O Ethernet interface; redundant dual 11–30 Vdc supply inputs; low power consumption; communication bus isolated from I/O; data logging capability; and self diag...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2005

Software hosts interactive HMI projects on CTC controllers

The CT webHMI software program allows users to create an interactive HMI project and then download it to a CTC Blue Fusion Automation Controller for access on browser-based devices. This eliminates the need for a dedicated HMI device at the machine. It also allows an operator to monitor all machines through multiple browser windows.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2005

Networked motor management system improves boiler cleaning system

Burning fossil fuels efficiently and economically is vital for power companies when it comes to meeting the ever-increasing demand for electricity by a growing world economy. The efficiency of a boiler is determined largely by the cleanliness of its heating transfer surfaces. This is why power companies spend increasingly more effort in modernizing their boiler cleaning systems.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2005

ARC study finds PLC growth ‘robust’

As the world economy rebounded to a strong year in 2004, the heightening demand from various emerging markets created robust growth for the worldwide Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) market. The worldwide market for PLCs is expected to grow at a annual growth rate of 5.9% over the next five years.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2005

Automatic calibrator for gas detection

Galaxy automated record keeping and calibration test system for portable gas detection instruments. Users place instruments in the test stand and the system performs tests automatically. The system does not require a computer, controller or network interface. Other features include instrument charging, battery pack, memory card, test receipt printer and an inline gas cylinder holder.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2005

Nano PLC offers Bluetooth, Ethernet

Twido nano PLC with Bluetooth wireless gateway can be programmed through either Bluetooth wireless or Ethernet. This allows wireless control up to 30 feet from PLC and the capability to monitor diagnostics and troubleshoot using a PDA, simplifying maintenance and troubleshooting for plant personnel. Features include four high-density analog I/O expansion modules and enhanced processor with embe...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs October 1, 2005

Controller – 2005-10-01

Omega's PHUCN600 and PHUTX600 Series are packaged in NEMA 4X polycarbonate enclosure for heavy-duty applications such as industrial wastewater neutralization, municipal water and wastewater, pulp and paper and process control. The PHUCN600 Series multi-parameter controller is a microprocessor-based controller capable of measuring one of the following parameters, pH, ORP or conductivity.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs August 1, 2005

Schneider Electric expands Telemecanique PLC distribution

Schneider Electric will supply Telemecanique PLCs and related automation products through its Square D distribution channel, effective July 1. According to Schneider Electric, this decision followed growing customer demand for automation products outside traditional industrial applications. Bill Snyder, Vice President, Channel Development, for Schneider Electric said that the company will conti...

By Jack Smith
PLCs, PACs May 9, 2005

Insider tips on buying a SCADA system

One of the most important and difficult decisions is often the very first decision: do you upgrade with internal resources or hire an outside consultant?

By Frank Kling, Control Systems International, Inc.
PLCs, PACs April 1, 2005


Portable AC units MovinCool's Office Pro 36 portable air conditioner protects against heat-related problems, especially data loss to computer and telecom equipment. The Office Pro 36 provides 36,000 Btu/h of cooling and operates on 230V power. Simply attach a duct to remove the heat and it will keep electronics operating by providing air-conditioning down to 65°F.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs April 1, 2005

Instrumentation – 2005-04-01

Networked sensor R-Series magnetostrictive position sensor is now offered with standard CANbus, DeviceNet, and Profibus outputs. Sensor is available in flexible, hydraulic, profile and high-pressure sensing element application housings. Fieldbus models also offer multiple magnet sensing with up to 15 positions and five velocities simultaneously. MTS Systems Corp.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs March 10, 2005

Factors affecting life cycle of motor control centers

This is part two of a two-part series. The first part appeared in the February issue. Maintaining electrical infrastructure in the manufacturing plant is a challenge. In this environment, electrical gear is subjected to every extreme of heat, dirt, chemicals, misuse, abuse, and good old-fashioned hard use.

By Douglas H. Sandberg
PLCs, PACs January 10, 2005

Software and computers – 2005-01-10

PDA calculation software The Electrist is an industrial software suite for the Palm PDA operating systems. Software contains electrical and electronic calculations, and more than 90 formulas and variations. Electronic calculators include Ohm's Law, resistor color code, inductance, capacitance, and dB.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 10, 2004

Understanding surge suppression

When thunderstorms occur, do you watch the natural pyrotechnics in awe and wonder? Or do you dread what could be happening back at the plant? Many plants are protected from the effects of lightning and other electrical surges by only luck and hope — thin comfort considering that North America is one of the most lightning-prone areas on the planet.

By Mike Nager, Phoenix Contact, Inc., Harrisburg, PA
PLCs, PACs November 10, 2004

Electrical Power – 2004-11-10

Fuse flags failure Global Pro is a fuse and holder system with remote blown-fuse indication capability. The compact touch-safe system connects to a PLC or automation system and remotely alerts maintenance people that a fuse requires replacement. Other indication methods include status light, red flag, and a popup indicator pin that protrudes out of the top of the fuse. Littelfuse, Inc.; POWR-GARD Products : TO VOTE, WRITE 95 ON BALLOT For more information, write 95 on card Fuse protects motor controllers Amp-Trap high-speed Class J (HJH) fuses are UL 248-8 listed and combine the overload capacity and dimensions of a standard Class J fuse with the performance of a semiconductor fuse to provide protection for electronic motor controllers as well as branch circuits as required by NEC.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs October 10, 2004

Electrical – 2004-10-10

Switch relay Latching Switch Relay (LSR) can be used for latching, reclosing, or a programming relay for local or remote SCADA-compatible switch. Relay can open, close, and maintain up to 20 normally open (NO) and normally closed (NC) contacts. Electroswitch , , Write 309 on PE card Adjustable speed drive SECO SV3000 ac adjustable speed flux vector drive performs like a dc drive but can be used with equipment driven by conventional ac drives. Drive features NEMA 4/12 enclosures through 40 hp, and line fuses standard through 100 hp. Danaher Motion, Linear Motion Systems , , Write 310 on PE card Turbine generators GPB family of turbine generators produces power outputs from 1072 to 17,000 kW and heat recovery from 11.1 to 79.4 MBtu/hr for onsite power generating applications.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs September 10, 2004

Basics of testing flame detectors: Part 1

Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part series on how to test and troubleshoot various types of industrial flame detectors. The second part will appear in the October issue. The flame detector is one the most important safety devices within the combustion chamber of industrial heating equipment such as steam boilers, drying kilns, or industrial ovens.

By George Allen
PLCs, PACs August 9, 2004

Instruments & Controls – 2004-08-09

IR-to-TC converter OSM101 infrared-to-analog converter module is a portable, miniature, low-cost, battery-powered unit that converts noncontact infrared energy to a compensated K-type thermocouple output. It operates with thermocouple metering, display, or recording devices. Unit uses laser circle/dot sighting for ease of aiming.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs June 10, 2004

Building a better sensor safety network

Actuator sensor interface (AS-i) is a 2-wire networking solution for discrete I/O, analog data, encoders, and intelligent sensors. When the first components were introduced, AS-i was quickly accepted as a fast and low-cost method of transmitting binary I/O data from the field to the PLC. With 31 I/O nodes, the system handled a total of 124 inputs and 124 outputs (4 I/O for each I/O node).

By Helge Hornis, Ph.D., Intelligent Systems Manager, Pepperl+Fuchs, Twinsburg, OH
PLCs, PACs May 10, 2004

Instruments and Controls – 2004-05-10

Safety networking system Safety at Work (SaW) system integrates standard mechanical safety devices into most standard PLCs and operates on one 2-wire flat cable that carries power and signal to each safety device, eliminating the need to wire them to the main cabinet individually. Using the AS-i protocol, the system is comprised of a safety monitor, control platform interface, safety input modules, and SaW e-stop buttons. Safety monitor and control platform interface reside in main control cabinet and are responsible for translation of network safety messages.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs April 8, 2004

2003 Shingo Prize Winners

The Shingo Prize promotes awareness of lean manufacturing concepts and recognizes companies that achieve world-class manufacturing status. It is named for Dr. Shigeo Shingo a leading expert in improving manufacturing processes. The prize is presented to manufacturing sites that have achieved dramatic performance improvements.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs March 10, 2004

Instruments and controls – 2004-03-10

Pressure gauges Thermoplastic pressure gauges monitor vacuum and positive system pressures up to 15,000 psi and feature 41/2 and 6-in. dial sizes. Gauges have lower back mount and bottom mount configurations, and are available with male NPT or tube adapter end connections. Swagelok Co.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs March 10, 2004

New organization addresses safety

Siemens Energy & Automation announced recently the formation of Safety Integrated U.S.A., an organization that brings together multidimensional safety teams, technology, and products serving both the process and discrete industries. It was formed to maximize Siemens' proprietary Safety Integrated technology across all U.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs February 10, 2004

Instruments & Controls – 2004-02-10

Intelligent IR camera sounds alarms ThermoVision A20 intelligent infrared (IR) camera allows users to remotely monitor and instantly identify thermal anomalies and irregular heat patterns in devices, events, and processes before failures occur. The ultracompact IR camera accepts interchangeable lenses and features high-resolution IR video, extensive output functionality, and locally or remotely configurable logic. Camera is web-enabled and provides for remote monitoring, multivariable alarms, and advanced control capabilities, which include autonomous reaction to programmable thermal parameters.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs December 10, 2003

Managing compressed air systems

In a period that has seen increased revenue hard to come by, companies have been forced to squeeze even tighter on operating expenses. When you look behind the scenes of a 'healthy company,' you may see double-digit earnings but with revenue increases as low as 2%.

By Michael O'Connor, Gardner Denver Inc., for the Compressed Air and Gas Institute
PLCs, PACs December 10, 2003

Data collection: Improving efficiency on the plant floor

We need to breathe life back into manufacturing! I realize that the answers to manufacturing's problems are not simple or straightforward. The complexities of a global economy along with the thirst for constantly increasing profits and stock prices has forced many companies to change their ways of doing business.

By Ron Iannacone
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2003

Instruments – 2003-11-01

IR camera is easy to use IR FlexCam infrared camera for noncontact temperature measurement and predictive maintenance use is ergonomically designed for ease of use. The 180-deg articulating lens joint and large display facilitate scanning of awkwardly positioned targets. Camera includes FlexView image storage and analysis software, which retains the 14-bit temperature values and provides image and problem analysis capabilities. Infrared Solutions : , TO VOTE, WRITE 16 ON BALLOT For more information, write 16 on card Flowmeter saves space DIVA compact flowmeter for saturated steam features density compensation, wide turndown and exceptional accuracy.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs October 10, 2003

Managing Predictive Maintenance

In many companies today, maintenance is not treated as a strategic business function. Over the last decade, however, it has been clearly shown that maintenance has tremendous impact on a company's profitability. In cases where maintenance doesn't seem to contribute to a company's profitability, it is usually due to the fact maintenance is never developed strategically.

By Terry Wireman, Senior Industry Analyst, Genesis Solutions, Ridgefield, CT
PLCs, PACs September 10, 2003

Instruments & Controls – 2003-09-10

RTD transmitter SPRTX Series of high performance, low cost, industrial RTD two-wire transmitters feature a hermetically sealed miniature signal conditioner built into a connector housing. The transmitter connects directly to a 3-wire RTD probe, and conditions and linearizes across a dedicated temperature range providing a standard 4_20-mA current output, which can be transmitted thousands of feet away from the sensor over two wires to an indicating meter, controller, PLC, computer, datalogger, or chart recorder. OMEGA Engineering, Inc. , , Write 323 on PE card.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs June 12, 2003

PLCs vs. PCs for industrial control

Since the dawn of the programmable logic controller (PLC), plants have come to expect reliability, stability, and simplicity from them. However, software controls running on personal computers (PCs) have made inroads to industrial automation and process control in recent years.

By Jack Smith, Senior Editor, Plant Engineering Magazine
PLCs, PACs June 12, 2003

Instruments and Controls – 2003-06-12

IR thermometer Model IR201 is a small, lightweight noncontact infrared (IR) thermometer with laser pointer. The thermometer measures surface temperatures from -58 to 518 F with 1-deg resolution. The narrow field of view measures a 1-in.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs June 15, 2002

Installing precision air conditioning systems

Computers, workstations, industrial controllers and other sensitive electronic equipment require high-performance precision air conditioning systems to maintain stringent control of temperature and humidity. For example, what happens if there is too little or too much humidity in the air? Excessively low humidity can cause static electricity that can interfere with proper equipment operation.

By Dave Kelley, Liebert Corp., Columbus, OH
PLCs, PACs April 15, 2002

Suggestions & Solutions – 2002-04-15

Flex your cables Chainflex continuous-flex cables are designed specifically for use in cable carrier applications. All aspects of design and materials have been optimized for long service life in demanding flexing applications. Chainflex is available from stock in more than 400 sizes and styles, from shielded and unshielded power cables to twisted pair to bus cables.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs March 11, 2002

Innovative compressed air solutions

As the cost of energy continues to rise, so does the cost of operating a compressed air system. Floor space in plants has become increasingly expensive as well. Cost pressures like these force plant managers to identify and employ innovative methods to cut compressed air costs.Fortunately, air compressor technology continues to improve.

By Elie Lutfy, Atlas Copco Compressors, Inc., Holyoke, MA
PLCs, PACs January 15, 2002

Using infrared heating

When considering a new heating system or modifications to an existing one, cost and efficiency are paramount. In addition to the actual cost of a system and the energy to run it, consideration must be given to decreased morale and productivity when workers are uncomfortable in their environment.

By Michael Barker, Aitken Products Inc., Geneva, OH
PLCs, PACs September 28, 2001

Compressed air controls: simple to state-of-the-art

Controls of a compressed air system requires knowledge of how the system works. R. Scot Foss of Plant Air Technology explains various control systems, how they work, and their suitability in various applications. Some examples help to illustrate system effectiveness.

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs September 27, 2001

Control systems introduced for coal mining conveyor applications

New control systems from Rockwell Automation simplify maintenance, reduce downtime and increase product selection, service and support for coal miners

By Plant Engineering Staff
PLCs, PACs September 1, 2001

Product Intros – 2001-09-01

Collect multifunction vibration data The Vibscanner lightweight data collector features built-in sensors for 10 important machine parameters, including vibration acceleration and displacement and velocity according to ISO standards. Also measured is shock pulse for bearing damage and lubrication condition, pump cavitation, process parameters, inspection codes, temperature, and rpm. Ludeca, Inc. Circle 371 Bin tilters save backs Bin tilters for ergonomic work positioning come in 2000-lb and 4000-lb capacities with 87-deg of tilt. Two portable models handle bins, two portable straddle models handle pallets, and two stationary models handle containers.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs August 1, 2001

Automation issues: SCADA and surveys

Lord Corporation, Erie, PA, produces parts for the aerospace industry. They must be manufactured to precise standards and are unusable if specific production data are not available. The company is required by the FAA to collect and maintain detailed records. In the past, it kept those records by hand.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs June 1, 2001

Guide to instrument and control buses

Key concepts GPIB and serial buses are the most common instrument interfaces. Bridge products convert equipment from one bus type to another. The future of instrument control will be that of a mixed I/O world. General purpose interface buses (GPIBs), also called (IEEE 488), and serial buses have been around for more than 20 yr and are the most common types present in instruments.

By Vanessa Trujillo, Instrument Connectivity Manager, National Instruments, Austin, TX
PLCs, PACs May 1, 2001

Plant Engineering Software – 2001-05-01

Program recommends welding practices Arc Works WeldSelector and WeldCalculator have been added to the company's line of software products. WeldSelector is a knowledge system that suggests suitable electrodes, American Welding Society (AWS) recommended practices, and pre/post weld heat treatments. WeldCalculator allows users to compare weld processes and to develop an effective cost-reduction p...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs December 1, 2000

Plant Engineering Software – 2000-12-01

Scheduling software manages resources Resource Manager 2001 is a low-cost planning and scheduling software package designed as an add-on to Excel.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 2000

Compressed Air – 2000-11-01

Two-stage air compressor is oil-free KNW Series is the world's only oil-free, two-stage, rotary screw air compressor in 20, 25, 30, and 40-hp sizes. It is available in air and water-cooled versions.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs October 1, 2000

Understanding programmable controllers

A programmable controller, or PLC as it is commonly known, is the heart of an industrial control system (Fig. 1).

By Jeanine Katzel, Senior Editor, Plant Engineering Magazine
PLCs, PACs July 1, 2000

Take steps to travel the write road to success

It's an all too familiar story. Dateline: Buffalo, NY -An assistant plant engineer approaches his boss about a recently announced promotion to project supervisor.

By Ray Dreyfack, Contributing Editor, Plant Engineering magazine
PLCs, PACs June 1, 2000

Primer on compressed air filtration

Key concepts Compressed air filters must remove solids, aerosols, vapors, and gases. Contaminants come from intake air, the compressor, and the piping system.

By Dan Ryan, Chief Engineer, Parker Hannifin Corp., Finite Filter Div., Oxford, MI
PLCs, PACs March 1, 2000

Palm-sized PLC

VersaMax Micro PLC combines powerful control and I/O functions in a compact, low-cost device that fits into the palm of your hand. The device is available in two sizes with I/O counts of 14 and 28 points.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs March 1, 2000

Integrating plant systems puts data where you need it, when you need it

No one disputes the notion that desktop computing is changing plant and facility engineering as dramatically as PCs changed accounting.

By Ralph Rio
PLCs, PACs March 1, 2000

Automation solutions

This 469-p catalog is an information-packed guide to automation products and services. Products include controllers, motion control systems, software, operator control stations, and more.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs January 1, 2000

PC and measurement advances provide tools for better maintenance

Recognizing opportunities in new instrumentation designs can provide the basis for greater productivity throughout the industrial plant, particularly in maintenance.

By Joseph P. Keithley
PLCs, PACs December 1, 1999

HMI software increases performance, productivity

SIMATIC WinCC 5.0 is scalable, client-server based HMI software running on Windows NT.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs December 1, 1999

Manager corrects Ethernet faults

RM-1 is designed for Ethernet redundant ring systems using rail hubs and switches. It automatically supervises the ring structure and is responsible for detection and bypass of network faults within 300 ms of their occurrence.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs December 1, 1999

Toolset provides DCS power at PLC cost

Procidia leverages the web to provide a powerful set of easy-to-use tools throughout a system's life cycle -- from specification to startup through production and maintenance.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 1999

Multifunction protective relay reduces wiring

Siprotec 4 family of multifunction protection and automation products operates as protection relays, RTUs, programmable logic controllers, meters, equipment monitors, local annunciator/controllers, and fault record- ers.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs October 1, 1999

Testing control circuits

Problem: How can you test 12 and 24-V control circuits in discrete relay and PLC control panels? Solution: A 24-V LED panel lamp assembly with a concentric Fresnel lens and 6-in.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs October 1, 1999

I/O solutions

A 76-p product catalog features several new items, plus a broad range of VMEbus boards, PC (PCI/ISA bus) cards, and IndustryPack (ANSI/VITA 4) mezzanine modules. The boards perform analog I/O, digital I/O, and serial communication functions.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs September 1, 1999

Dust collectors save floor space

The 1100 Series dust collectors combine the efficiency and operating economy of a cyclone separator in a com- pact, space-saving size that makes them well suited for small machine tools, especially in areas where floor space is limited.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs August 1, 1999

HMI software promotes simple controller setup

Watview, HMI software to set up and monitor Watlow temperature and process controllers, operates under Windows 95, 98, and NT 4.0 and provides a pictorial view of key control parameters for up to 32 controllers.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs August 1, 1999

Temperature control

Comprehensive catalog offers a line of temperature control solutions. The 168-p publication includes microprocessor and analog temperature/process controllers, solid-state relays, temperature sensing devices, and more.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs July 1, 1999

Achieving real-time measurement and control in a Windows environment

Real-time measurement and control, depending on the particular application and its requirements, means different things to different people. Users who require a response time in microseconds see their application as real time.

By Jim Borton
PLCs, PACs June 1, 1999

Temperature controllers

A comprehensive catalog features an entire line of temperature control products. The 168-p publication includes microprocessor and analog temperature/process controllers, hot runner controllers, SCR controls, and solid-state relays.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs April 1, 1999

PLC programmer is fast and easy-to-use

VersaPro PLC programming software for Windows-based PCs boosts productivity with easy-to-use graphically-based configuration tools.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs February 1, 1999

Give security measures top priority when implementing internet applications

It has often been said that a business' most valuable asset is the data it generates, and nowhere is that statement more true than in the manufacturing and process industries.

By Carole Gunst
PLCs, PACs January 1, 1999

Selecting compressed air system controls

Compressed air systems are critical for most manufacturing facilities. They are typically the third most expensive operating system after HVAC and lighting, and in some industries, the most costly utility.

By Gary Ruff
PLCs, PACs December 1, 1998

Integrated control station operates on networks

Operator Control Station is a logic controller with integrated operator interface and networking. A single software package allows users to configure OI screens, develop ladder logic, and configure the communication network.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs December 1, 1998

Module offers communication to gas sensors

Addressable Output Module is the first gas risk management system offering digital communications from the sensors to the controller.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs December 1, 1998

Module allows PLCs to interface with major controls

The 1560-PDP Profibus DP Module allows Profibus-based PLCs to interface directly with SCANport-based devices, SMC Dialog Plus motor controllers, and SMP-3 Smart Motor Protector.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 1998

Open architecture system adapts to control applications

Modicon Momentum open architecture control system fulfills many roles in a variety of automation strategies from PC-based control systems and DCSs to traditional, stand-alone PLC control systems.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 1998

System extends open control networks to existing components

LonPoint System integrates new and legacy field devices to interoperable control systems. Distributed system eliminates the need for centralized controllers and lowers installation costs.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 1998

PC-based control system improves boiler operation, efficiency

A new boiler control package installed as part of a PC-based control system solved operating problems for the Roanoke, VA, Locomotive Shops of Norfolk Southern Corp.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 1, 1998

Intrinsically safe controllers rated for hazardous environments

Intrinsically safe remote controllers for hazardous environments do not cause sparking or ignite combustible gases or flammable materials.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs October 1, 1998

Pirani gauges

A 6-p brochure on Pirani vacuum gauges includes applications, technical overview, specifications, and dimensions. The brochure describes sensors for the range 10-(super 4)-100 Torr, and includes digital and analog controllers.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs October 1, 1998

Heater controls

A 200-p catalog presents detailed product and application information on temperature, power, and process controls, systems, and peripherals.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs October 1, 1998

Humidity controller mounts remotely

RHCN-3 relative humidity controller has a probe that uses a thin film polymer capacitive sensor that can be mounted thousands of feet from the controller box.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs September 1, 1998

All kinds of instruments

Analytical and Environmental Electronics, a 32-p selection of instruments, features handheld and industrial meters, controllers, preamps, transmitters, and recorders for pH, ORP, conductivity, humidity, dissolved oxygen, and related measurements.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs September 1, 1998

Initiate those honesty tests!

Absolutely not!" That was Chief Executive Officer John Fowler's response to Plant Engineer Vince Wilcox's suggestion that honesty testing be added to other assessment criteria in screening and hiring job applicants.

By Raymond Dreyfack
PLCs, PACs August 1, 1998

Getting ready for the next 100 yr

The Temperature Handbook, 21st Century Preview Edition contains up-to-date listings for thermocouple probes, sensors, connectors, and wire.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs August 1, 1998

Optimizing building automation system performance

Nearly all industrial facilities have a building automation system (BAS) of some kind. The question is: How well are they using it? The answer, unfortunately, is that in most cases plants are not applying these assets to their full capability.

By Jeanine Katzel
PLCs, PACs July 1, 1998

PLC guide

A thoroughly illustrated 8-p brochure presents a PLC selection guide. The literature includes descriptions of a complete line of micro, small, midsize, and large PLCs.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs July 1, 1998

PLC regulates up to 256 I/Os

VersaMax PLC can control up to 256 I/Os and be used in standalone or distributed applications. The unit offers plug-and-play simplicity and auto configuration for automatic recognition of system changes and additions.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs July 1, 1998

Portable vibration analyzer stores data

Bal Pac 1000 reads vibration from two pickups and measures both displacement and velocity amplitudes as low as 0.000005-in. displacement. Collected data can be stored and later downloaded to a PC for use with PM programs.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs June 1, 1998

Looking to the next century

The Temperature Handbook 21st Century Preview Edition includes listings for thermocouple probes, sensors, connectors, and wire; and sections covering meters, recorders, transmitters, controllers, instrumentation, and data acquisition products.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs May 1, 1998

Controller stores values in nonvolatile memory

PS4A open loop controller features a scalable output and display, digital display of setpoint, nonvolatile memory for all adjustable values, and setpoint security. Accuracy is ± 0.25% full scale. Barksdale, Inc.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs May 1, 1998

Interface panel connects to most process controls

Paradigm Family of operator interface panels can be programmed by EDICT-97 to provide for intuitive configuration of the operator interface's behavior.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs April 1, 1998

Interface connects devices to Ethernets

Serial EDAS interface connects RS-232 machines, instruments, PLCs, controllers, scales, gauges, smart sensors, and other devices directly to Ethernet networks.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs March 1, 1998

Level indicator sends remote signal

Mini SureSite Indicators have electrical output transmitters that continuously send level data to remote receivers, recorders, or controllers. Transmitter accuracy is 3/8 in. Units operate with liquids pressurized up to 400 psi and heated to 400 F.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs January 1, 1998

Instrumentation info

A full-color, 256-p databook features the Infinity series of microprocessor-based digital instrumentation. The catalog includes detailed specifications on panel meters, controllers, signal conditioners, and transmitters.

By Staff

A Letter From The Editor

Since 1947, plant engineers, plant managers, maintenance supervisors and manufacturing leaders have turned to Plant Engineering for the information they needed to run their plants smarter, safer, faster and better. Plant Engineering's editors stay on top of the latest trends in manufacturing at every corner of the plant floor. The major content areas include electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, automation engineering and maintenance and management.

Amara Rozgus - Plant Engineering