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ISA Education Programs in March Feature Wide Offerings

Training and education classes, webinars, exam prep and online courses for March feature new programs such as the integrator version of the popular automation engineering survival training, a process automation boot camp for non-maintenance personnel and the Spanish-language version of the safety instrumented systems course. Over four consecutive weeks in March, ISA subject-matter experts will […]

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10 Pitfalls of DIY Control Systems

The debate over the virtues of the distributed control system (DCS) vs. the programmable logic controller (PLC) has been ongoing since these two architectures came into existence 40 years ago. But as functionality differences narrow and price points align, the arguments are getting more intense than ever. The DCS has always focused on distributing control […]

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Young Women Operating The Control Panel

How to Determine the Health of a Reference Electrode

The reference electrode should provide a fixed reference potential and a path of electrical continuity from the internal reference element via a porous surface or aperture between the reference electrolyte and the process called a liquid junction. Coating of the reference junction can cause slow equilibration. Process ions, such as cyanide, can cause precipitation of […]

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How Do You Balance Connectivity with Security on the Plant Floor?

Manufacturing facilities increasingly are becoming reliant on network connectivity to improve operational efficiency.  Getting an internet connection on the plant floor without running it through the enterprise IT department is quick and it gets the job done – as long as the network is only connected when your equipment or software vendor is providing remote […]

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Can Variable-Speed Drives Increase Process Efficiency and Reduce Energy Use?

There is a high potential to reduce pumping-energy-consumption cost through properly designing and selecting the pumping system and controls. Electrical motor-driven pump systems account for nearly 20 percent of the world energy use and 25-50 percent of the total electrical energy use in certain industrial facilities. Pump energy consumption is often one of the larger […]

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Why Is Instrumentation Critical for the Automation Professional?

This tip is actually a compilation of Tip #1 “Never Stop Learning” and Greg’s tip on “Seek Principles,” Tip #66. As a young engineer I spent a great deal of time and effort learning how instrumentation worked. Once I had a thorough understanding of that information, I could evaluate competing instrumentation designs and better select […]

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How Can You Ensure Success With Your MES Project?

MES, which stands for Manufacturing Execution Systems, encompasses a wide range of functionality.  There’s everything from equipment management to labor management, quality management to material management, and recipe management to batch management, not to mention decision support, visibility, reporting, and a whole host of other functions.  Just look at the MESA models to see how […]

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How to use Mobile Devices to Improve Operator Effectiveness

Today’s workforce is on the go, and mobility is the new norm. Operational information is no longer limited to the traditional control room, but instead extends well beyond physical plant walls – available anytime, anywhere, to anyone who needs it. By leveraging effective processes, along with smart phones and other hand-held devices, companies are able […]

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Robust Vibration Control at Critical Resonant Modes Using Indirect-Driven Self-Sensing Actuation in Mechatronic Systems

Abstract: This paper presents an improved indirect-driven self-sensing actuation circuit for robust vibration control of piezoelectrically actuated flexible structures in mechatronic systems. The circuit acts as a high-pass filter and provides better self-sensing strain signals with wider sensing bandwidth and higher signal-to-noise ratio. An adaptive non-model-based control is used to compensate for the structural vibrations […]

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