Control systems and automation

Controlling every aspect of your system, including process control and efficient information flow.


 

Articles in this Section

XTS enables compact and fast linear machine

Filling machines need an innovative design combining ‘compact’ with a high filling speed.
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When failure is not an option

Serial-to-Ethernet can benefit engineers to centralise remote management, to access, control, or monitor the status of field serial devices.
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7 Steps to designing an optimal battery-based solution to reduce diesel costs of telecom towers

To reduce their dependency on diesel generators, telecom companies are adopting battery-based solutions at their towers and base stations in remote sites.
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Scaling down a small island control and distribution system for use as a Microgrid power solution in Africa

Provision of an electric plant, control system and support infrastructure for managing an electrical grid on a relatively small island (similar to an off-grid network) in the Caribbean.
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Industrial cyber security and control systems

A breach in cyber security can affect country-wide operation in the case of critical facilities.
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Breaking the Surface - Servo terminals move virtual ocean

In this unique installation large amounts of data are collected via sensors and must be transferred to the controller and processed very quickly using PC- and EtherCAT-based control.
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Machine Automation Controller (MAC) meets market needs effectively

Today, with MAC, the potential for value is being realised more than ever before. more than ever before.
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IEC-61850: Promise and pitfalls

Selecting the right protocol, with the right mix of features and functions, will enable the exchange of all desired data and decide the success of any substation automation project.
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Scientific automation in wind turbines

Automation systems for wind turbines should be based on a scientific approach, integrating the required measuring equipment in a standard control architecture.
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Saving energy in the Smart Grid era

How electrical distribution efficiency can be modernised to leverage the promise of the Smart Grid while reducing distribution-related losses and costs.
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Data analytics technology for optimal building performance

Data analytics is one of the most effective tools that building managers can use to improve the operation of their facilities.
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Rise of IP-based camera surveillance systems

IP-based video solutions have capabilities that cannot be matched by analogue CCTV camera systems.
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Convergence of energy data acquisition and ‘Big Data’

Optimised acquisition of data in public buildings allows for efficient data monitoring – using the city of Aachen in Germany as an example.
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Conveyor control system for mining

A conveyor control system that is easy to use and easy to extend leads to significant savings.
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Ethernet – the communication infrastructure for your mission critical safety system?

Ethernet is a fit for mission critical safety system, if planned, installed, configured and maintained correctly.
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Cyber-physical design challenge

Cyber-physical Systems are engineered to interact with their environment through the coupling of distributed computational and physical components.
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Successful energy management based on integrated energy measurement

Scientific automation is the foundation for comprehensive energy monitoring, from individual machines to entire building sites.
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Model based simulation application – coal power plant

The crucial exercise of modelling and simulation to forecast the true dynamics of the behaviour of Eskom’s Benson coal power plant.
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Scalable HMI : Integrated Engineering for the entire HMI portfolio

An engineering system that facilitates the easy and efficient configuration of various HMI devices.
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Halting harmful harmonics

This article explores active and passive filtering techniques for harmonic mitigation.
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In style with Installed Base Services

When a decision was made to refresh the entire IT network, Rhovan mine also chose to upgrade its PLC network with the latest hardware and software from Schneider Electric.
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Revamp – slashes energy costs and boosts efficiency

A company reduces its costs through more efficient equipment control; it is able to select a better tariff to suit its power usage, further reducing its electricity bills.
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London trains on time… with new embedded database technology

It takes state-of-the-art technology to eliminate train stoppages on the busy London Underground.
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Kenyan electrical distribution network improves as DAS is deployed

Kenya’s first 11 kV Distribution Automation System (DAS) has improved operational efficiency of the Mombasa electrical distribution network.
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Reliability and security on modern Ethernet networks

Reliability and security are key to planning and designing a communication network for mission critical communications.
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Smart connectivity in large, awkward buildings

Real time access to drive behavioural change, responsiveness to price signals and linkage to Smart appliances, can only be achieved through effective Smart device connectivity.
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Industrial automation - basic overview

The word ‘automation’ means to control an industrial machine or process without human intervention. Siemens has two main types of automation systems – ‘Factory Automation’ and ‘Process Automation’.
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Ten mistakes to avoid in data quality management

While information systems improve, the quality of data deteriorates. How can this unacceptable situation be turned around?
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Tips and tricks for ideal SCADA communications

Utility operators with an understanding of the communication requirements of their smart grid are much more likely to find a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system that meets their requirements.
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Function integration saves time

Function integration offers increased functionality and reliability, reduced interfaces and it saves time along the entire value chain.
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Measuring the quality of operator alarms

A review of some of the factors causing a focus on Alarm Quality and a proposal that an Alarm Quality Index be an easily calculated, easily understood metric.
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Energy monitoring + targeting in utilities – an overall strategy

Monitoring and targeting strategy proposal that will assist in achieving sustainable energy savings in key energy user utilities in processes.
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Measuring malt spirit strength

An ideal instrument for online alcohol concentration measurement in whiskey stills.
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Logic solver application software and operator interface

Structured functional logic, with operator interface displays, can improve safety in process plants.
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How reliable are industrial Ethernet products?

Network and device reliability are critical – thus raising the question: ‘How reliable are industrial Ethernet products?’
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Reliable backbone communication infrastructures for smart grid systems

Put a reliable and stable smart grid solution in place and the result will be minimal downtime and expense.
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Growth in internet use and data centres presents challenges for uninterruptible power

Only 30% of the world’s population have an internet connection and the remaining 70% are demanding it; the need, therefore, for data centres will increase significantly.
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Automation system migration

Automation system migration plays a role when incorporating new technology into an old plant.
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Cooling today's sizzling hot data centres

When choosing between room, row, or rack-based cooling for data centres, the performance characteristics of the cooling methods must relate to practical issues that may affect the design and operation of the data centre.
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Illustrating the technology behind industrial-grade NAS.

An industrial-grade network-attached storage (NAS) must cope with vibration and shock, remain stable in both low and high temperatures, provide reliable network and power redundancy and be resistant to dust, water, and wind.
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Advanced decision support system for waste water treatment works

A solution used in a South African waste water treatment works (WWTWs), is being installed at other WWTWs.
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Powering digital systems in power stations

Wireless technology can pay handsome dividends - if implemented properly.
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Optimising PLC network performance and management

When vendors offer a selection of switches and gateways, consideration must be given as to how these devices can impact the automation network as a whole.
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Real but hidden danger of network timing breach

If a portion of the network goes down, the clocks on every network device suddenly take on added importance.
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EtherCAT - the Ethernet fieldbus

When optimally applied, EtherCAT’s performance is characterised by improved accuracy, greater throughput, and lowered costs.
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Ethernet/IP + Integrated CIP Motion

The addition of integrated CIP Motion to Ethernet/IP means that companies can handle automation, discrete, process, safety and motion on a single network.
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Monitoring environmental conditions – made easy

Business efficiency is dependent on connected computer systems; therefore, ensuring the reliability, performance and security of monitoring devices is essential.
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Wireless communication solutions for international utility applications

As more applications become automated, especially within the electric power industry, utilities should find new developments to ensure optimal communication.
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Real-time water network management

Real-time data in water network management enables operators to make better and smarter decisions – and ultimately provide clean water to millions.
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Running substations on Ethernet network

It is essential that a substation communications network has a fully effective security solution.
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Multiple Spanning Tree (MST) for industrial networks

Network engineers should consider solutions such as Multiple Spanning Tree for industrial networks.
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DNP3, IEC 60870-5: IEC 61850: In-depth understanding

IEC 61850 is the future benchmark for telecontrol - helping to make integration both at the master and subordinates standardised.
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Successful industrial automation framework of the future

What is a pre-engineered solution and what benefits does it bring?
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SCADA - right for you!

Answer a few simple questions to ensure that you select the right SCADA system for your workplace.
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Network determinism

This deterministic Ethernet network retains the openness and flexibility of a typical industrial Ethernet environment.
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Industrial environments demand robust IPC design

Advice as to how to overcome the challenges when designing an industrial PC platform.
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Reduce variables - reduce cost

Increase productivity by reducing the number of variables in your process control system.
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Simplicity and compatibility - essential to device integration

Systems in processing industries should be simple and compatible making life cycle management cost-effective.
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Wits University micro brewery automation project

Create a brewery? A dream, perhaps, for many students… but a reality (albeit a ‘micro’ reality) for a group of Wits students whose ‘micro brewery automation’ project took two years to complete!
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Remote maintenance of recycling machines

Secure and stable connection of recycling machines to a teleservice portal means that machine downtimes are shortened as a result of prompt service.
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Wireless – not a ‘set it, forget it’ solution

Wireless is being used more than ever in control architectures because it is flexible, versatile and can be cost effective. However, there are concerns about security, reliability, and capacity.
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Unified diagnostic concept for industrial networks

A recently developed unified diagnostics concept comprises a combination of remote monitoring and central analysis.
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Data communications – heart of the network

Communications are the backbone of the industrial, utility and military worlds, data communications being the heart of the network.
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Advantages of RIO Architecture

RIO architecture can empower domain experts and system architects to collaborate with a common design tool to implement a better system more efficiently.
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Ethernet - only as good as planning process

Network planning and implementation form the foundation for future growth requirements and should not be taken lightly when it comes to automating utility and industrial sites.
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What is Intelligent Wireless Sensing Technology?

In today’s uncertain world, we need to view issues of security very differently from the way we have viewed them in the past.
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Logic module with on-board Ethernet

Through consistent focus on user and market requirements, as well as new trends in automation technology, the logic module has become the market leader.
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What the operator sees

In today’s world of IP networks, the possibility exists for more advanced camera systems than in previous legacy analogue systems. The benefits provided by using a professional, well commissioned camera network should not be under-estimated.
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Tips when cabling an industrial communications system

The cabling of an industrial communications system is reliable and cost-effective when correctly implemented. Avoid typical problems by observing certain rules.
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Times they are a-changing

In view of Crown Publications celebrating 25 years in the industry in November 2011, this author considers how the image of the engineer changed during this period. In the nineteen-eighties, the electronic age was in its infancy.
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Systems integrator - this is for you!

Companies can reduce the upfront costs of new control systems by choosing a design that utilises the existing IP network infrastructure for communication of modern control and monitoring systems.
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Secure IACS projects by design, not default

The concept of a MAC (Main Automation Contractor) required vendors to become involved in the project lifecycle earlier to influence key decisions when they can provide the greatest impact to both cost and overall functionality of the solution.
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Process Automation and Control - critical

Process Automation and Control (PA&C) has, to date, delivered substantial benefits to Sasol for safe, stable and optimised operations.
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Manufacturing intelligence… a personal perspective

A visit to Rockwell Automation in Chicago… and the author returns with insight into the concept of ‘manufacturing intelligence’ which is integral to the future planning of this major automation company.
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Enter PC - thirty years ago

The company which features in this article began manufacturing and implementing industrial PCs in 1986. At the time it was a ground-breaking idea for industrial control technology.
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A walk down ‘industrial automation’ lane

In view of Crown Publications celebrating 25 years in the industry in November 2011, this author looks back and wonders how everyone managed without the technology and gadgets that, in the twenty-first century, we take for granted!
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