101 Tips for a Successful Automation Career

Tip #92: Make Reset Time and Feedforward Action Smarter

The reset time can be approximated as a factor of the deadtime, but this dimensionless factor can range from 0.5 to 40 depending upon the type of process. The control literature has focused on self-regulating processes with process time constants in the same range as the deadtime and with little treatment of deadtime dominant processes, […]

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Conveying gratitude to ISA members for bringing energy and vitality to the Society

I’m very pleased to report that ISA Automation Week 2013, which was held last week in Nashville, Tenn., was a resounding success. The technical program was highly thought-provoking and packed with critical insights and information that attendees can put to use immediately in their work settings and careers. Such a high-profile, demanding, and resource-intensive conference […]

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ISA education and training in December features new course offerings

December introduces two new course offerings from ISA.  Instrument Calibration and Documentation for FDA-Regulated Industries features practical information and hands-on experience on principles of electronic process control instrumentation used in pharmaceutical and other life science industries.  Process Automation Boot Camp For Non-Maintenance Personnel is the second new class from ISA that offers a basic overview […]

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101 Tips for a Successful Automation Career

Tip #5: Admit Your Errors

This tip is really an extension of the previous “Never Lie” tip. Every engineer in the history of the world has made mistakes. In fact, the best engineers are the ones who have made LOTS of mistakes—and learned from them. As mentioned previously, pain is instructive, and a painful mistake is a wonderful way to […]

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What are the Keys to Integrating Automation, MES and Business Systems?

Delivering an integrated manufacturing execution system (MES) is complex; however, by focusing on the key factors outlined in this article, successful projects have been implemented. Folklore among many automation and IT professionals is that MES projects are complex, expensive, and never complete. This article illustrates how to develop a high-level understanding of the MES system […]

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What are the Advantages of Electronic Document Management for the Automation Industry?

Electronic document management systems can be an engineer’s best friend – a tool that is proven to enhance the productivity of its users and will liberate engineers from the most tedious aspects of their job, improving the quality and accuracy of their work through accurate documentation. Integrated electronic document management systems – electrical computer-aided engineering […]

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Consider the Big Picture When Justifying an Automation Project

Clearly, any new automation project requires economic justification.  While this often involves hard “dollars and cents” quantification of cost savings from increased production, reduced raw material costs, or increased uptime; it is also about “soft” benefits, such as reducing risks and improving agility.  All contribute to making your company more competitive.  This article will focus […]

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Understanding Safety Life Cycles

The international standard IEC/EN 61508 has been widely accepted as the basis for the specification, design, and operation of safety instrumented systems (SIS). In general, IEC/EN 61508 uses a formulation based on risk assessment: An assessment of the risk is undertaken and, on the basis of this assessment, the necessary safety integrity level (SIL) is […]

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