Understanding State-Full Programming Methods

Jul 2, 2013 3:47:00 AM | Posted by Jeff Monforton

When considering the solution to a programming task, there is generally no shortage of approaches. These typically range from the mundane to the extremely complicated. There is one approach to consider when solving a problem and that is through the use of a state machine.

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ABB Automation 800xA Control System Services

Jul 1, 2013 3:00:00 AM | Posted by Control Engineering Team

MAVERICK Technologies has the trained professionals to satisfy all of your ABB 800xA system needs. Our engineers have project experience with batch control, continuous control, discrete manufacturing and SIS applications utilizing industrial IT. MAVERICK specializes in 800xA system architecture design, system configuration, system maintenance and upgrades as well as migration planning and execution from virtually any DCS or PLC platform. Our device and 3rd party interface experience includes ethernet/IP, Modbus, ModbusTCP, PROFINET, PROFIBUS, OPC, TRIO, HART and Foundation Fieldbus. We can help enhance and maintain your control system through expertise with asset management, information management history and reporting as well as system diagnostics and server and client virtualization. Our engineers are well versed and trained in OperateIT, Control Builder M and the PG2 and VB6 process graphics editors. Whether you are planning an expansion of an existing system or a migration from a legacy ABB or alternate DCS platform, MAVERICK Technologies has the industry experience and technical capabilities to handle your ABB 800xA system requirements.

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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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Flying By The Seat Of Your Pants?

Jun 19, 2013 4:18:00 AM | Posted by Bruce Brandt

There was a time in the history of aviation when “flying by the seat of your pants” had real meaning given the relative lack of gages in an early airplane’s cockpit. Yet, in many ways we still operate our plants this way. We instrument what we consider to be critical measurements based on historical operation, but we don’t necessarily perform a detailed analysis of the process to determine if there are other things that might be just as important to the operation in terms of throughput or quality or, possibly even more importantly, to uptime and equipment longevity. Even those organizations that don’t have a “run it till it breaks” mentality don’t necessarily make the best use of the instrumentation they have, while more thoughtful companies install things that could be beneficial in improving uptime and operation of the facility.

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Exceeding Expectations and/or Destined for Failure

Jun 11, 2013 3:33:00 AM | Posted by Andy Crossman

Is your control system exceeding expectations by performing in an environment for which it is not rated, operating beyond its rated temperature, powering loads beyond the documented capacity, or is it destined for failure? So which is it, or is it more than one? In most cases where an issue is present, the answer is yes to more than one, including the last one: the equipment is functioning beyond rated capacity and destined for failure, yet the owner is unaware.

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A Few Tools For Continuous Improvement

Jun 4, 2013 3:41:00 AM | Posted by John Clemons

These days everyone has a continuous improvement program of some kind. Six Sigma is used quite extensively as is Lean Manufacturing. Some companies stick to one approach while others tailor their own programs using the best ideas from a wide variety of different sources.

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Growing The Next Generation

May 28, 2013 3:47:00 AM | Posted by Bruce Brandt

Too many companies have lost their capacity to train inexperienced engineers. How can we hope to replace the practical knowledge lost to retirement?

A lot has been written lately about the shortage of candidates for positions in the process control field and how we’re going to grow the next generation of process control engineers and technicians. As with a lot of other careers, companies have grown accustomed to being able to pick and choose between candidates in recent years. That is coming to an end as more and more of my contemporaries finally decide to retire and as more and more of the installed base of control systems become terminally obsolete. Corporations have also gotten used to doing more with fewer people. The problem is that those they kept have their hands full just keeping things running. There’s no time to teach new people how to do the work.

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Should You Be An Early Adopter Of Microsoft Server 2012 For Today’s Control Systems?

May 21, 2013 4:05:00 AM | Posted by John Boyd

A call came in the other day from a customer asking about replacing some legacy operator workstations and a primary domain controller server. He wanted to know if it would be possible to use Microsoft Windows 8 Professional or Server 2012 as the operating systems with the new workstations and primary domain controller, so he can get the most out of the longevity of the new software.

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