Tips for a Successful ControlNet System

Aug 19, 2016 9:30:00 AM | Posted by John Boyd

Even though industrial Ethernet networks are becoming more common, some users still need to maintain and install ControlNet systems.

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The Smart Manufacturing Revolution

Aug 17, 2016 2:22:45 PM | Posted by John Clemons

Smart manufacturing is having a global impact on the manufacturing industry as a whole and turning it into an economic powerhouse.

Smart manufacturing seems to have the whole world's attention right now. Government leaders from countries such as Germany, France, the United Kingdom, India, China, and the U.S. are banking on smart manufacturing's potential to strengthen their manufacturing industries and their economies with an infusion of advanced information technologies (IT) and a 21st-century business mindset.

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Lessons and Advice to Make VFD Commissioning Easier

Aug 8, 2016 3:54:02 PM | Posted by Dan Auringer

With variable frequency drive (VFD) commissioning, aspects such as design, codes and standards, and the nature of a specific project need to be considered.

How valuable is a reduction in installation and commissioning time? Investigating some of the items discussed below can help users in choosing, configuration, and commissioning variable frequency drives (VFDs). 

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3 Steps to Help Close a Skills Gap

Aug 4, 2016 3:21:03 PM | Posted by Ram Ramamoorthy

Hiring the right employees is hard enough, but how do you also ensure they have the right skills?

If you’re like most manufacturers, your most experienced employees are also those closest to retirement. Replacing them without creating quality gaps won’t be easy or cheap – studies show that without a proper knowledge transfer plan, the cost to replace a senior engineer is between 300% and 500% of the senior employee’s salary. Putting the proper training procedures into place can help ensure no tribal knowledge is lost when your senior employees hand over the keys.

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Size Matters When Selecting the Right Enclosure

Jul 27, 2016 2:54:15 PM | Posted by Joe Weathers

Panel location and budget are always thought about when building control rooms, but aspects such as size, spacing, NEMA rating, mounting, and heating and cooling need to be considered, as well.

Control panel enclosure sizing almost always represents a challenge faced by automation system designers. Electrical room sizes tend to be established last after the floor plan, process areas, mechanical equipment, piping, etc., so they often tend to have too little space allocated.

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Storyboarding as the First Step in High-Performance HMI Migration

Jul 20, 2016 9:32:43 AM | Posted by Jim Ford

Storyboarding as the first step in high-performance HMI migrationThe first step in migrating to a high-performance human-machine interface (HP-HMI) should always be storyboarding, which offers a visual representation of the layout and hierarchy of the new high-performance graphics (HPGs). This helps operators become an active part of the migration planning process.

Human-machine interface (HMI) migration can be a painful process—especially for operators who have resisted the move from 1st or 2nd generation CRT-based graphics to the new world of gray-scale, ASM-compliant displays with little color and greater concentration of process and instrumentation. One of the prime benefits of migrating to high-performance HMI (HP-HMI) is a reduction in the total number of graphics by as much as 25 to 50%.

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Binary Math and Absolute Encoders

Jul 13, 2016 10:00:00 AM | Posted by Jeff Monforton

An absolute encoder, while necessary and useful, can offer some challenges if the user doesn’t understand the mathematics of how they work and function.

There are numerous applications that employ encoders in automation control. The purposes are too numerous to list. However, there is one type of encoder that is used that does offer some challenges to those unfamiliar with the mathematics of how they work: The absolute encoder.
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Things to Consider When Creating a Deployment Plan

Jul 6, 2016 9:57:16 AM | Posted by Jeff Haywood

Too much work goes into project planning to forget about a deployment plan. The deployment plan should include safety requirements and be used by both your team and the customer to ensure project success. 

In this day and age, everyone has a plan. People have one-year plans, five-year plans, ten-year plans, and other plans designed to help them forge ahead and prepare for the future and the unexpected.

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