PID math demystified, part 3: More on derivative control

Posted by Scott Hayes on October 25, 2013 @ 9:19 am

Consider how a PD controller would work, without an integral function. Would you ever want to use that approach?

To investigate how derivative action works, let’s look at a proportional derivative or PD controller. PID controllers are far more Conceptually, the derivative in this case refers to how fast the error is changing. So, if we take the change in error divided by the change in time we get the slope.common than PD alone, but we already have an understanding of the integral component’s effects from the first two parts of this series, so we don’t need to review i... Continue Reading

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An HMI is more than just icing on a cake

Posted by Miguel Gutierrez on October 23, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

Since it’s the way that users interact with a control system, don’t underestimate the importance of an effective HMI. It makes a huge difference to users now and down the road.

There are multiple HMI (human machine interface) platforms to choose from, with different styles and preferences driven by many kinds of variables. Driving variables can include integrator preference, customer preference, industry preference, technical support/availability, integrator support/availability, off the shelf software versus custom software, budget, and what best fits. Regardless the platform and driving factors, an HMI makes a control system complete. An HMI application might originate at a computer in Anytown, USA, with an integrator at the helm that probably had too much coffee. But at the end, the HMI application will live, change, and grow with the end-user. The bottom line for an ... Continue Reading

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What Kind of MES Do You Need?

Posted by John Clemons on October 8, 2013 @ 8:58 am

Asking yourself a few questions about what your manufacturing execution system needs to do can help sort out a large and complex project.

shutterstock_135182663I often have people ask me questions like, “Which MES should we use?” Or, “What kind of MES should we get?” My short answer is always, “What kind of MES do you need?” That’s always the best place to start, asking yourself what you need. What are your requirements? What are the business needs? That usually starts a much longer discussion on MESs in general and then gets into ... Continue Reading

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Network Architecture Of The Future: It’s Now

Posted by Robert Henderson on October 1, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

Plan your process networks long before you need them.

We have all seen the situation: a new piece of equipment has to be connected to some network right now, because the facility manager has labeled it critical and it must appear on the monthly reports. So it gets tied into the nearest network, or perhaps an odd gateway is installed to connect it to an existing system, or maybe we have to install an extra communications module to let it talk over some other protocol. Next month, we go through a similar process when a new interlock between unconnected equipment needs to be installed, so we rig something up to get from A to B. Follow this process for a few years and the process control network diagrams begin to look like spaghetti. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can future-proof your networks by building a detaile... Continue Reading

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New Ideas for Quality Management – Part 6

Posted by John Clemons on September 26, 2013 @ 7:29 am

As I promised last time, I’m finally wrapping up this topic on the management of manufacturing quality. If you’ve been following all this, you’ll know that there are lots of cool new ideas out there and lots of cool new technology as well. It all means that you can have a pretty big impact on the shop floor and a pretty big impact on the bottom line for your company. Long RoadWhat I thought I’d do with this post is try to wrap up this topic, and try to give you a bit of a road map on how to make some changes and how to get from where you are to where you want to be. But, before I start I guess I need to mention a few things... Continue Reading

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