Today's Featured News Headlines from Automation.com 

Taming the pharmaceutical validation dragon
August 28, 2014

Taming the pharmaceutical validation dragon

By Robert Harrison, COPA-DATA
It takes an average of twelve years and over £200m to get a new drug from the laboratory onto the shelf. As a result, the pharmaceutical industry is well known for its prudence, especially regarding the uptake of new technologies. Here’s how appropriate technologies can help, rather than hinder, essential regulatory compliance including ISO 50001 and FDA 21 CFR Part 11.

August 26, 2014

TopView software monitors power use in the UK

Balancing the supply and demand of electricity is a dynamic challenge and a mandatory requirement for electricity providers on the grid in the UK. Endeco Technologies uses TopView to monitor site power.

eWON connects HIMA and Allen Bradley PLCs at gas plant
August 26, 2014

eWON connects HIMA and Allen Bradley PLCs at gas plant

The Summail Gas Plant has an Integrated Control & Safety System which consists of a Process Control System, Emergency Shutdown System, Fire & Gas Detection System, SCADA server, and Alarm annunciation systems, but their PLCs couldn't talk to each other.

Internet of Things: Big Impediments, Big Needs
August 25, 2014

Internet of Things: Big Impediments, Big Needs

By IDTech
It is true that virtual IP addresses can be created for the nodes in a network that only has internet connection at backhaul but this does not offer sensing or the other main benefits of a genuine Internet of Things.

Get Smart When it Comes to Part Numbering
August 25, 2014

Get Smart When it Comes to Part Numbering

By Dennis Gilhooley, Jr., Ultra Consultants
Many manufacturers have come to the conclusion that “smart” part numbering is an unwieldy approach to part numbering and data analysis. Instead, leading companies are shifting from “smart” to what is termed as “insignificant” or unique part numbers.

ERP Selection:  The Place to Start
August 25, 2014

ERP Selection: The Place to Start

By Dennis Gilhooley, Jr., Ultra Consultants
ERP selection is typically driven by a common set of conditions, including poor access to information, core systems that are difficult to use, and an over-reliance on standalone systems that function as islands of information. Organizations saddled with legacy solutions often don’t know where to begin when it comes to an ERP selection project.

Advanced Process Control Evolution
August 25, 2014

Advanced Process Control Evolution

By Bill Lydon, Editor
They say, “What goes around comes around.” I think this is happening with Advanced Process Control (APC) and Model Predictive Control (MPC). There seems to be a renewed interest in APC, and the systems, while not trivial, seem to be easier to use and lower cost.

Building a Robust Industrial Ethernet Network In W&WW Treatment Plants
August 22, 2014

Building a Robust Industrial Ethernet Network In W&WW Treatment Plants

By Roger Yue, Antaira
Having a redundant Ethernet network is important to W&WW management, because many plants are still legacy, meaning they were either built with a stand-alone station or have a traditional star topology Ethernet network.

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Energy Harvesting Via Wireless to Reduce Energy Usage
August 22, 2014

Energy Harvesting Via Wireless to Reduce Energy Usage

By Jim O’Callaghan, EnOcean
Energy harvesting wireless technology stems from a simple observation – where sensor data resides, sufficient ambient energy exists to power sensors and radio communications. Harvestable energy sources include: motion, indoor light and temperature differentials.

Top five things that go wrong with electric motors
August 22, 2014

Top five things that go wrong with electric motors

By Jonathan Wilkins, European Automation
There are myriad issues that can cause electric motors to fail. However, among this rogue’s gallery of problems there is a set of usual suspects that crop up more often than the others.

5 Places You May Have Hidden Paper on Your Shop Floor
August 22, 2014

5 Places You May Have Hidden Paper on Your Shop Floor

By Greg Goodwin, LNS Research
If you’re currently planning on implementing a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) or other applications in the Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) space, you may think you have all the shop-floor areas and situations that still use manual, paper-based processes identified, but this may not necessarily be the case.

PcVue SCADA Automates Dry Docks in Pearl Harbor
August 22, 2014

PcVue SCADA Automates Dry Docks in Pearl Harbor

The dry dock operation has been automated using supervisory and data acquisition systems (SCADA) from PcVue, which control a network of Limitorque actuators.

August 20, 2014

NetSuite’s ERP Lawsuit - What Did We Learn?

By T. Lee Wylie
The recent news regarding a lawsuit filed by Kentwool against NetSuite demonstrates that all ERP solutions are not manufacturing ERP solutions. It also cautions ERP vendors that knowing what you don’t know is a very valuable asset.

Weiss rotary indexing table cuts test time for parts
August 19, 2014

Weiss rotary indexing table cuts test time for parts

Geissler wanted to accelerate cycle times for a test bench that performed the final inspection of precision turned parts. They replaced a pneumatic rotary indexing table with a directly driven TO series rotary indexing table from Weiss.

Automation Lessons Learned at Iron Bridge Water Plant
August 18, 2014

Automation Lessons Learned at Iron Bridge Water Plant

By Bill Lydon, Editor
The Iron Bridge plant was originally built in the 1980s to treat about 5 million gallons of wastewater per day. After several modifications and upgrades, it can now treat and reclaim up to 40 million gallons in that same 24-hour period. The facilities standardized on Siemens controls, drives, power distribution, and Profibus and PROFINET communications network.

Stereo 3D machine vision cameras help robot bin picker
August 15, 2014

Stereo 3D machine vision cameras help robot bin picker

BsAutomatisierung in Rosenfeld,Germany, uses Ensenso 3D vision cameras in its robotic bin-picking cells to pick individual, randomly aligned parts out of a container and pass them on to downstream production processes.

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UNIGEN starts up Werum's PAS-X MES in only four months
August 14, 2014

UNIGEN starts up Werum's PAS-X MES in only four months

PAS-X was delivered with the entire user interface in Japanese. Werum carried out this project in cooperation with their Japanese integration partner CST Chiyoda System Technologies.

August 12, 2014

Three ways how real time information could help you improve operations

By Luigi De Bernardini, Autoware
It’s important to analyze production data to understand what factors caused loss of quality, production or efficiency. However, it is much more useful to be able to recognize in real time the onset of any problem and be able to intervene and reduce the possibility of compromising the production target.

Moving motor protection into the 21st century
August 12, 2014

Moving motor protection into the 21st century

By Kip Larson, Littelfuse
This article discusses today’s motor protection relays and explain how they can be used not only to protect motors but also to simplify integration, diagnose problems, and provide control variables.

How Your Plant Can Lower its Bills Using Power Factor Correction
August 12, 2014

How Your Plant Can Lower its Bills Using Power Factor Correction

By Stewart Thompson, CAS DataLoggers
Power Factor (PF) is the ratio of real power to the apparent power flowing to the load from the source. From a business standpoint it’s important to understand how having a low Power Factor raises your plant or factory’s power bill.