Tracking trends: Predictions for instrumentation, data acquisition, sensors, and networking

New implementations of industrial temperature control loops by electronic temperature controllers are expected to decline through 2005, according to a study by Venture Development Corp. (VDC), Natick, MA. The study indicated that a growing number of users intend to implement temperature control loops in PLCs, distributed control systems (DCSs), and PCs.

08/06/2003


New implementations of industrial temperature control loops by electronic temperature controllers are expected to decline through 2005, according to a study by Venture Development Corp. (VDC), Natick, MA. The study indicated that a growing number of users intend to implement temperature control loops in PLCs, distributed control systems (DCSs), and PCs.

The evolution of industrial temperature control progressed from manual control to mechanical and electromechanical thermostats, to electronic controllers, to process controls using PLCs, DCSs, and PCs. This evolution is driven by users wanting more features as well as better integration of controls.

According to the survey, PLCs are expected to gain the largest share of new temperature control loop implementations through 2005. However, this is not true for all industries. Electronic temperature controller implementations are expected to decline in all industries. The largest decline is expected among users in the pulp and paper industries; the least decline is expected among users in the food and beverage industries.

DAQ gaining ground

Another VDC study found that users of external chassis and module data acquisition (DAQ) products plan to make greater use of Universal Serial Bus (USB), Ethernet, Firewire (IEEE-1394), and wireless networks for data communication.

The survey polled DAQ users regarding current requirements, as well as requirements by 2007. Products identified in the survey were external chassis and modules, which includes data loggers, distributed/remote I/O, paperless chart recorders, PC front ends, and standalone systems as well as plug-in analog I/O boards classified by bus architecture, which includes compact PCI, ISA, PC/104, PCI, PCMCIA (PC cards), PXI, VME, and VXI.

Among external chassis and module users, significant shifts are expected in the communication networks they will use. Performance requirements will drive most of this shift. Higher data rates will be necessary because of increasing sample data rates, the number of parameters being monitored, and increasing resolution requirements. Ease of installation and use, and price will affect the market as well.

Transducer and transmitter trends shift

A recent study, also by VDC, evaluates and forecasts the U.S. market for various technologies used in process transmitters, nonprocess transducers and transmitters, and component-level pressure sensors, which include solid-state devices that are supplied as silicon chips or with limited packaging that allows them to be incorporated into transducers and transmitters.

In 2002, shipments of pressure transducers and transmitters in dollar volumes totaled $1.230 billion. Transducers and transmitters with pressure output only amounted to 93.5% of this volume, whereas multivariable types equaled 6.5%.

However, in 2007, shipments of pressure transducers and transmitters in dollar volumes are expected to total $1.443 billion. Pressure output types will fall to 85.3% of this volume, whereas multivariable types will amount to 14.7%

The survey stated that the reasons for this growth are cost savings, higher reliability, space savings, easier calibration, and reduction in process intrusion or penetration.

Multivariable pressure-sensing devices combine pressure output with one or more other types of sensing output — usually temperature — into a single unit.

Industrial control networking outlook

The largest percentage of smart process transmitters are shipped with the Highway Addressable Remote Transducer (HART) communication interface. HART is expected to continue to account for a large number of shipments during the next 5 yr because of the large installed base of instrumentation using this technology and products for maintenance or repair. However, for new and retrofit applications other fieldbuses are gaining ground.

HART was developed by Rosemount in the late 1980s, and became an open standard in 1990. HART provides bidirectional digital communication simultaneously with the 4%%MDASSML%%20 mA standard used by traditional instrumentation.

ODVA adopts time synchronization standard

The Open Device Vendors Association (ODVA) announced its plans to add time synchronization services for real-time control applications to its Common Industrial Protocol (CIP). Users will benefit from expanded application coverage of current fieldbuses, such as DeviceNet and Ethernet/IP.

This coverage includes sequence-of-events recording, distributed motion control, and other distributed applications that require increased coordination of control. The CIPsync system will be based on the recent IEEE-1588 standard.

Timing requirements placed on measurement and control systems are becoming more demanding. Also, distributed control and networking are becoming more prevalent. In the past, users had to rely on programming combined with communication technologies to accommodate timing constraints.

These constraints necessitated an alternate means of enforcing the timing requirements of these measurement and control systems. One way to accomplish this is for system components to have built-in real-time clocks that can synchronize with each other.

Measurement and control systems have certain specific requirements for implementing clock synchronization technology. These requirements include:

  • Timing accuracy must be in the submicrosecond range

  • The technology must be available on multiple industrial networking protocols, including Ethernet

  • Administration should be minimal

  • The technology must be capable of implementation on low-cost and low-end devices

  • The network resources should be minimal.

    • IEEE-1588 addresses the clock synchronization requirements of measurement and control systems. It defines a protocol that enables precise synchronization of clocks with network communication, local computing, and distributed objects.

      The protocol will enable systems that include clocks of various inherent precisions, resolutions, and stabilities to synchronize. The default behavior of the protocol will allow simple systems to be installed and operated without requiring administrative attention of users.



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Industrial Analytics
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
IIoT: Operations & IT
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me