Upgrading a DCS with an HMI graphical user interface

Mar 10, 2016 3:43:54 PM | Posted by Art Howell

Upgrading a distributed control system (DCS) with a human-machine interface (HMI) was a simple process until the development team tried duplicating the functionality and identifying tag information.

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Windows 10: Upgrade or not?

Nov 30, 2015 4:30:00 PM | Posted by Art Howell

After a major diversion with Windows 8, Microsoft has virtually started over with this version of Windows 10 and appears to be back on track with what the PC based community wants and expects. Windows 10 has fixed some of the pitfalls of Windows 8.

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Automation resource taxation

Mar 18, 2015 4:48:00 AM | Posted by Art Howell

Today’s engineers are faced with having to keep up on new technologies as well as maintaining older systems, and oftentimes integrating the two. See three examples on automation resource taxation.

Is it my imagination, or are today’s automation resources being heavily taxed? Today’s engineers are faced with an onslaught of technology that seems to be growing exponentially. On top of keeping up with all the new technologies, engineers are faced with having to maintain older technologies as well. There are so many varieties of products on the market that the integration of all these different technologies is becoming increasingly taxing, as well. For instance, there are many ways for these devices to communicate information, different network types, and protocols. A basic knowledge of communication networks and protocols is a must.

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Microsoft Windows: The evolution and where MS operating systems stand today

Jan 10, 2014 4:22:41 AM | Posted by Art Howell

Since the 1980s Microsoft has been a leader in operating systems, but these days the competition with Android and Apple devices has them struggling to keep up.

My recent posts have entertained the subjects of PCs in the workplace and virtual machines and how they fit into the workplace. Following suit, I’d like to touch on some Microsoft (MS) Windows history and what possible role the operating system (OS) might play in the future of computing.

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PCs In The Workplace: Will They Survive?

Jul 9, 2013 2:53:00 AM | Posted by Art Howell

I have noticed a lot of chatter lately on various forums and in articles about how tablets and smartphones are starting to become significant players in today’s workplace. The word is that the new devices are slowly replacing the PC on more common tasks such as email and even more complex tasks such as process control. This brings up an interesting question, how will the steady popularity and functionality of tablets and smartphones affect the presence of the PC in the workplace? Will the PC survive or will it gradually yield more tasks away to the newer devices? Or will it revamp and reverse the downward trend and sliding market share?

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How Virtual Machines Can Fit In Your Workplace

Jun 25, 2013 3:34:00 AM | Posted by Art Howell

A virtual machine (VM) is essentially a software implementation of a machine (i.e., a computer) that runs in a virtual environment and executes programs like a physical machine. The processor and hardware are shared between the machine and the VM. The concept was originally designed to help programmers who wanted the flexibility to be able to run several different operating systems on a single machine instead of having to purchase several machines. This helped cut down on initial hardware costs and upkeep.

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Selecting A Control System

Jul 31, 2012 6:25:10 AM | Posted by Art Howell

As process control engineers, we are constantly faced with having to choose a type of control system that is a best fit for the application. If you’re an end user, you probably will not need to make this kind of selection as often as we do, so you might not keep up-to-date with the latest technologies. There are many types and manufacturers out there to choose from, and careful consideration must be taken when deciding what type of system to implement into an automatic control application, especially since these systems will often remain in place for many years. A bad decision could haunt you for a long time.

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