The number of controllers available in the market are almost as many as the number of applications in which they are used. Most controllers are application independent and can be used for more than one purpose. So which one would you choose? A PLC, a PAC, a DCS or a IPC? Names are of little importance when compared to the functionality of a device.
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have standardized and almost perfected a charade that involves the use of programmable automation controller, distributed input/output, a touchscreen operator interface and features such as data logging and charting to achieve automation. Today, companies are looking out for architectures that would help them instill “smartness” in their plants and be a part of the major industrial revolutions that are just around the corner.
The industrial sector is heavily reliant on PID controllers for all sorts of automation needs. A control loop is a fundamental feedback mechanism that is put in place to bridge the gap between the measured process variable and the desired set-point. Controllers are used to apply the appropriate corrective efforts through interfaces called actuators that can drive the variable up or down. The controller applies the corrective effort in a loop, until the error is eliminated up to the desired accuracy.
Understanding the applications and practical limitations of industrial control panels is essential to guarantee proper usage as per the situation and requirements. According to the NEC (National Electrical Code) section 409.2, industrial control panels are defined as an assembly of two or more power circuit components or any combination of power and control circuit components. Industrial panels are factory-wired assemblies of control equipment like switches, motor controllers, relays, etc. However, it must be noted that UL listed industrial panels do not include any externally connected load.
Gordon Moore articulated his all-famous Moore’s Law surrounding computing performance over 50 years ago, and its no less than a wonder that the statement has stood the test of time. The semiconductor industry continues to enhance computing power into more confined spaces at shockingly lower prices, providing consumers with incredible number of benefits.
The Glove Unique Reprocessing Unit (GURU) built by Pentamaster, an automation provider in Malaysia is a perfect case study for observing such advancements in technology. In two of the seven workstations, the GURU system has allowed the company to halve the number of industrial PCs driving the machine-vision modules.
Preventive maintenance is the best approach when it comes to ensuring higher uptimes, greater productivity and maximizing motor efficiency. Unscheduled downtime in plant operations can lead to loss of business and lower client confidence, therefore having preventive schemes in place can alleviate such issues, while extending the motor’s life.
The Process Control Industry is heavily dominated by proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controllers, however even these marvelous components have their own limitations. The behavior of PID loops is difficult to understand, something which gets worse whenever a fault arises, and troubleshooting is required. Nonetheless, technicians & engineers strive to achieve coherence between the three building blocks of the controller, i.e. proportional, integral & derivative actions.
When wiring motor starters, contactors and pilot devices, paying attention to the resources being delegated through intelligent planning can do wonders.
Our personal lives are so much influenced by the latest happenings in the world of technology, that we often can’t wait to get out hands on the latest phones, devices & software, waiting up in queues if necessary. But the same can’t be said for our work environment, why?
Most companies are still bound to their old systems in one way or another, simply because of the principle, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. It is high time that we understand that fixing something isn’t the only reason for an upgrade. Increasing the efficiency of a process, making it more productive & streamlined and reducing risk of injury are some solid milestones that can be achieved by upgrading a conventional system.
Machines are built to ease up work load on manual labors, but at the end of the day they’re controlled by users. The platform that allows these machines to be controlled by users is known as HMI or Human Machine Interface. An HMI is simply an interface, and a very broad term that can be used for devices such as MP3 players & household appliances to process control systems in manufacturing industries. An HMI provides a visual representation of a system, and gives the user real-time monitoring & control capabilities, increasing productivity in a user-friendly manner.
Topics: HMI Panels