titleEngineer Resources

Here you will find articles, white papers, case studies and more designed to help you find fresh ideas for your automation needs. The majority of the content here is written by independent industry professionals from various sources.

Is EtherCAT the answer?

September 14, 2017
Standards-based IP used over low-power link technologies.

Best practices for energy-efficient machines

May 29, 2015
Machine control designs are changing to integrate best practices in energy management. These steps include measurement and monitoring of energy use and control and optimization to minimize energy consumption.

2015 Energy Management Study: Reducing energy consumption on the plant floor

May 19, 2015
Respondents to the Plant Engineering 2015 Energy Management Study identified six high-level findings impacting the manufacturing industries today. See findings and access full report.

Validation among insecurities

April 22, 2015
Network security: Implement a secure patch management approach for industrial controls. Today’s industrial control system (ICS) threats can target outdated systems or careless errors on the network. Securing connected machines in the industrial sector has complexities that differ from protecting a business datacenter.

Gas Technology: Craft brewers watch energy dollars

April 16, 2015
Smaller microbreweries, especially startups, are often located in facilities that were originally designed for other purposes. These might include warehouses, factories, or store buildings. Space is often at a premium, and compromises in energy systems may be unavoidable.

Measure motor efficiency to understand VFD's value

March 04, 2015
Multi-phase ac induction motors have traditionally dominated the electric motor industry. The industry has improved overall motor efficiency in each subsequent NEMA-MG 1 motor standard revision. To make sense of motor efficiency, one must understand what efficiency losses are attributed to.

Optimizing your HMI on the plant floor

January 28, 2015
The benefits of optimizing a human-machine interface (HMI) include increased worker safety, improved production, and reduced time needed to make critical decisions if the data presented on the screen is clear, concise, and easy to interpret in real-time.

Control Engineering 2014 Mobility Study

January 09, 2015
According to the data in this report, benefits for using mobile devices on the plant floor include easier data access and increase productivity, 74% of users are allowed to use this technology on their plant network, and more than half of respondents expect an increase in mobility products and service spending in 2015.

Improving servo system accuracy

December 05, 2014
Servomotor systems: Careful selection of servomotors, machine actuators, and related components provides precise accuracy in motion control applications. Designers and machine builders should carefully select and review the required components, and online selection tools can help define choices. To achieve maximum performance, all servo systems need tuning at initial power-up along with proper software configuration and programming. See 8 critical components for precision motion control.

Cloud-connected HMIs support smarter decisions

November 03, 2014
HMI integration: Cloud-based solutions can help highly connected enterprises retrieve plant data faster and more efficiently, where and when they need it, through human-machine interfaces (HMIs). In Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things concepts, smart factories have real-time access to plant floor information, enabling management, engineers, and technicians to gather information and make decisions based on collected data.

Predictive maintenance leverages data to revolutionize operations

October 17, 2014
Technology Update: It is crucial to act on insights to yield the full benefits of data-enabled predictive maintenance. Plant data is a largely untapped but powerful tool that facility managers can leverage to implement a highly efficient maintenance regime across their plant, from an individual machine to an entire facility.

Profinet: Mediate the rift between control engineering and IT

July 10, 2014
Control engineers need to know that IT is not the enemy, and IT needs to know that Ethernet on the plant floor is not Ethernet in the office.

What is the future of operator terminals?

June 30, 2014
Fully integrated and highly functional operator terminals are enticing machine builders and end-user alike to migrate from more basic products.

Isolate your automated Ethernet network for improved efficiency and security

April 28, 2014
By isolating automation Ethernet networks, companies will see improvements and benefits in the following three areas: Network speed, simplified data, and network security.

Big data can drive big energy savings

February 18, 2014
Advanced analytic technologies enable “virtual audits,” enhancing manufacturers’ ability to pinpoint—and reverse—energy waste on plant floors.