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

Posted by John Boyd on May 21, 2013 @ 9:05 am

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. After further research, I could find no reason not to leverage Server 2012 on the new primary domain controller. I checked with the primary control vendor supporting this particular customer, and they saw no reason not to use Server 2012 on the primary domain controller. I went a step further and checked with colleagues on their experiences with the differences between Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012. Since there were no issues identified, I recommended the customer move forward with purchasing and installi... Continue Reading

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PID Math Demystified (Part 2)

Posted by Scott Hayes on May 14, 2013 @ 8:33 am

You’ve seen the equations, but have you thought about how those elements work together? Part 2: Adding integral and derivative to the mix.

Last week we started with proportional. Now let’s look at the next part of the equation, the integral component: The most striking (and scariest) part of this equation is the big integral sign in the middle. If you’ve had high school calculus, you think to yourself, “I’ve got this. Integrals don’t scare me. I just need to find the area under the curve from time zero to time t of the error function.” But, this is the real world. What is time zero? How do I integrate an error function? The good news is that the real definition is much simpler than calculus. What the PID function does is take a portion of the error and adds it to a running total. This running total, sometimes called reset, is added to the output. Since reset... Continue Reading

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Exclusive Webinar: Alarm Management Bootcamp

Posted by Paul Galeski on May 13, 2013 @ 10:22 am

May 30, 2013
12 p.m. EST (9 a.m. PST)
Brought to you by the ISA and MAVERICK Technologies
dark bannerLearn how to whip your alarm system into shape! Two of the industry’s top alarm management experts will share their insight with you in this exclusive (and free!) webinar. These are real engineers presenting real solutions and real results. Top... Continue Reading

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PID Math Demystified (Part 1)

Posted by Scott Hayes on May 7, 2013 @ 9:37 am

You've seen the equations, but have you thought about how those elements work together? Part 1: The basic concepts and proportional control.

Most process control engineers have been exposed to the basic equation in a form that looks something like this: More than you want to swallow in one bite? Let’s break this down into the major components:   Output: u(t)  is the output of the controller at the end of the scan. If the output of the controller is a valve, then the output is the valve position that the controller is requesting after it has seen the inputs. In most controllers, this is actually the change in output from 50%. So if u(t) = 0 then the valve output is 50%; if u(t) = 1 then the valve output is 51%; and if u(t) = -2 then the valve output is 48%. You get the idea. But what’s important is that it’s not a change in... Continue Reading

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Automation Week: The Future of Manufacturing is in Your Hands

Posted by Paul Galeski on May 6, 2013 @ 8:51 am

Safety. People. Business. Technology. In the world of automation, they’re all connected.

In today’s complex automation environments, decisions made and actions taken in one area, such as migrating to a new technology, can sometimes have adverse and unforeseen affects in others, ranging from higher total cost of ownership to concerns over employee training and plant safety. mav automation weekOrganizations that take an integrated approach to process management and operational improvement—one that proactively incorporates the needs and requirements of safety, people, busine... Continue Reading

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