Two MAVERICKs awarded Engineering Leaders <40 Award

Sep 21, 2015 11:32:50 AM | Posted by Paul Galeski

We are very excited to announce that not one, but two of our fellow MAVERICKs have been awarded an Engineering Leaders <40 Award by Control Engineering and Plant Engineering. MAVERICK’s Justin Robinson and Miguel Gutierrez have been included on a list that is comprised of dedicated engineers that give hope to the future of manufacturing. Read on to see what Control Engineering and Plant Engineering had to say about these outstanding young engineers. 

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Switching power supply selection pointers

Sep 17, 2015 3:50:53 PM | Posted by Dan Auringer

The linear power supplies of the past are being replaced with today’s switching type that are smaller, lighter, and more cost effective, but require several additional considerations for their specification.

Over the years I have had to provide consulting/engineering for PLC and DCS control panel hardware that literally cannot be shutdown. One item most often over looked is the switching power supply. What is best suited for application? The linear power supplies of the past are being replaced with today’s switching type that are smaller, lighter, and more cost effective, but require several additional considerations for their specification.

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Choosing software versions wisely

Sep 8, 2015 4:46:05 PM | Posted by Adam Schuman

Every project requires clear scope and definition on what platform and software version will be used, but determining the most beneficial software version to use can easily be overlooked.

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Creative Teamwork

Aug 26, 2015 11:02:42 AM | Posted by MayAnn Stroup

In order for the whole project to be successful, each part of the project must be successful, and all the parts must work together. In that way, there really is only one team.

Last night I dreamed about St. Isidore of Seville.  In my dream he explained, “I’m here to give you a look at the afterlife.”  I replied, “I’m glad to meet you, St. Isidore. You’re a good choice of guide for someone in process automation!”  He laughed and said, “True, but I almost couldn’t make it, there’s a bad computer virus going around.” 

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Safety instrumented systems: Tips from the trenches: Part II

Aug 5, 2015 11:08:20 AM | Posted by Jay Griffin

The two-part installment introduces safety instrumented systems (SIS) and outlines specific tips on designing, developing, and verifying SIS applications.

Part one of this article outlined the purpose and application of the safety instrumentedsystem (SIS) as well as specific nuances with the safety integrity layer (SIL) calculations and general tips to consider when designing, developing and verifying a safety instrumented system. Keep in mind that the SIS is used for safety, not basic control. While the basic process control system (BPCS) is the workhorse of automation, the SIS is the last line of defense for the process and intended as a critical shutdown system. This second and final installment of the article wraps up by exploring tips for SIS hardware and the control system interface.

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Safety instrumented systems: Tips from the trenches: Part I

Jul 30, 2015 9:25:25 AM | Posted by Jay Griffin

The two-part installment introduces safety instrumented systems (SIS) and outlines specific tips on designing, developing, and verifying SIS applications.

Today’s article focuses on the purpose and application of the SIS as well as safety integrity layer (SIL) calculations. The second installment will finish up with exploring tips for SIS hardwarde and the control system interface. 

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Legacy Software Blues

Jul 21, 2015 3:57:00 PM | Posted by Tim Gentry

Is Your Customer’s Legacy Software Platform Holding Them Back? Virtualization Can Offer Them a Safe and Affordable Path Forward.

When integrators do a really good job, sometimes we give our clients a false sense of permanence. The rock solid system you set them up with performs flawlessly. So well, in fact, that they never have to think about it, much less considered upgrading. Why would they when their current system works, operators are familiar with it and, most importantly, it’s paid for?   

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Timekeeping protocols for control systems: What time is it?

Jul 9, 2015 10:20:57 AM | Posted by Robert Henderson

Do we care what time it is?

Do you have a control system that only uses buttons and lights to interact with operators?  Is it missing real-time trending, alarm historian and regulatory reporting?  There are certainly control systems that don't have a need for accurate clocks, but they are few and far between.  Let us assume you do not have one of those systems and keeping time is vital to your operations.

It is always good to have accurate time, but it is more important to have synchronized time.  If every clock in the building is 10 minutes slow, then you can still tell which of two events happened first. You're going to have a big problem on your hands if your DCS has one time, your database server has another, a PLC has a third, and they all drift independently. Sequence of Events (SOE) operations, time stamped I/O and alarming, and synchronized motion are all applications that mandate synchronized clocks.

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