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Linking Machines to IT Systems

Linking Machines to IT Systems

Once upon a time, individual machines were stranded on an island, or just linked to other machines using a few discrete I/O and dry contact relays. Then came machine-to-machine data links such as a proprietary PLC-based network. Today, and certainly in the future, machines are being linked to IT systems.
 
Simulation Has Its Advantages

Simulation Has Its Advantages

Creating an accurate software simulation for a complex system can be difficult, but there are many reasons to do it. Creating simulations of automated equipment, processes, and robot sequences is a great way to validate controller programming, test hardware settings, and check HMI configurations—all without cycling the actual equipment.  There can be many advantages to simulation, ... Read More
 
Manufacturing Wants You

Manufacturing Wants You

As veterans leave the military, manufacturers are recruiting for their skills. I grew up in Dalton, Georgia. Known as the “Carpet Capitol of the World,” it seemed there was either a carpet mill or a carpet dealer on every corner.
 
Beyond the Machine: OEMs Provide System Integration

Beyond the Machine: OEMs Provide System Integration

Machine builders use technologies and expertise to provide system integration services that were once the realm of systems integrators and engineering firms. As automation systems become more integrated, the design, installation and commissioning of machines and robots on the factory floor can be a complex process. The machines must interact not only with existing production ... Read More
 
Industrial Ethernet or Fieldbus Network?

Industrial Ethernet or Fieldbus Network?

With only about a quarter of the overall installed base of industrial networking using 4-20 mA and other hardwired methods, fieldbus communication systems are becoming the de facto choice for automation. Now the debate is shifting to the question of whether fieldbus-based networks will remain the standard or if it will be supplanted by industrial ... Read More
 
Machine Automation 2010: What’s Hot and What’s Not

Machine Automation 2010: What’s Hot and What’s Not

Machine and Robot Builders Look Ahead to the New Decade As a new decade dawns, machine and robot builder OEMs are looking to embrace new trends and put the past behind them. Recent economic travails seem to be lessening, especially in the developing world. The hope is for continued improvement in the world economy, spurring ... Read More
 
Industry Slims Down, Peps Up

Industry Slims Down, Peps Up

Manufacturers Are Discovering That Producing Smarter Means Cutting Energy It now seems like a thousand years ago, but before the wave of economic bad news, many managers and executives had been weighed down by out of control energy prices, and with a fear that the world was reaching peak oil production and things would get ... Read More
 
New Motor Efficiency Standards: What Motor Users Need to Know

New Motor Efficiency Standards: What Motor Users Need to Know

New legislation, namely the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, aims to increase production of renewable energy; increase efficiency of products, buildings and vehicles; and promote research and deployment of greenhouse gas capture and storage. The eventual goal is to move the United States toward greater autonomy in acquiring resources to meet its ... Read More