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Control loop question answered
June 2019, Michael Brown Control Engineering
Control loop expert Michael Brown recently received a question from reader, Hansell Williams. The question relates to applying neural network and machine learning concepts to plant automation and control. ...

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Nick Denbow’s European report: Trends in plant monitoring
March 2019
Early last year, the interest from many large automation and sensor suppliers focused on condition monitoring, for example, using wireless communications to monitor the condition of the motors and bearings ...

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Now might be the time to have a talk with your IT service provider
March 2019, Absolute Perspectives, IT in Manufacturing
The Gartner hype cycle provides a simple graphic representation of how emerging technologies are adopted in the market. The principle is quite simple: a new technology (such as augmented reality) will ...

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Nick Denbow’s European report: Will UK industry pull out of the Brexit torpor?
February 2019
Whether the UK – whoever is in charge – decides in March to remain in the EU, drop out, or make a negotiated partial exit, the last year has been disastrous for UK industrial investment in instrumentation ...

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New toolkits for innovation
January 2019, Absolute Perspectives
Why you might want to bypass the DCS and scada systems.

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Emerging technologies pose a pressing governance challenge
December 2018
As the year draws to a close, multiple factors compel the continuation of the Industry 4.0 theme and its challenges, particularly those related to governance. Many readers of this column, as well as social ...

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Nick Denbow’s European report: Condition monitoring resurrected yet again as sensors get smarter
December 2018
Back in the mists of time, that is, in the sixties, the engineers in charge of the gas turbines used to generate electricity in power stations, and others monitoring helicopter gearboxes, used sensors ...

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First rack-mounted switches that comply with the IEC 61850-3 Edition 2 Class 2 Standard
November 2018, RJ Connect
In today’s industrial processing environment, industrial Ethernet has become a de-facto standard to connect to the company’s PLCs in manufacturing, IEDs in substations and cameras for CCTV, in harsh environments. All of these demand ruggedised networking switches to ensure stable communications to the company’s scada, ERP and MES software. Often, industrial networking products are installed in and around the production areas where they are subjected to high temperatures, vibrations and electrical noise from VSDs and motors.

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Nick Denbow's European report: Japan reopens nuclear power plants while progress is slow elsewhere
November 2018
The Fukushima nuclear power plant accident occurred back in March 2011. Following that disaster, Japan ordered the close-down of all the nuclear generating plants in the country – there were 42 of them, ...

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The Digitalisation Productivity Bonus
October 2018, Siemens Digital Industries
Siemens researches the value of digitalisation to manufacturers.

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How adding services to products could start your journey towards an Industry 4.0 solution
October 2018, Absolute Perspectives, IT in Manufacturing
For manufacturers, digital transformation involves understanding a range of new technologies and applying these to both create new business and to improve the current operation. Industry 4.0 provides ...

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Nick Denbow’s European report: Vision sensors, the brain and intelligent data processing
October 2018
At a certain age, around 70, our bodies begin to show signs of wear. What becomes apparent is that our built in control loops and data processing software steps in to compensate, and covers the gaps in ...

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Economic thought and lessons from China
October 2018
Through my past experience occupying various roles across multiple industries and institutions in South Africa, in both the private and public sectors, one thought that inextricably captures my imagination ...

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Industrial control system cybersecurity - Part 5: ICS network segmentation.
October 2018, Nclose, IT in Manufacturing
In the last three articles on cybersecurity in ICS environments, we have covered risk assessments, asset discovery and vulnerability management, environment hardening and security monitoring. In the penultimate ...

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Integrity management key for ­industrial assets
September 2018
What is AIM? Integrity management is a key component for a successful asset management programme. The main objective of asset management initiatives is to ensure that assets perform their required functions ...

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Nick Denbow's European report: DC power distribution is efficient but the Internet is greedy
September 2018, News
Changes in the technology around us that we work with and even create when involved with automation and control, are having a wider effect on society as a whole. Two areas that have been influenced this ...

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Case History 162: Optimising an interesting temperature control.
September 2018, Michael Brown Control Engineering
I have often written about the huge advantages of using cascade control on processes with very slow dynamics. It is particularly useful when it comes to most temperature related processes, which are normally ...

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Nick Denbow’s European report: Leaps in technology: implants and liquid lenses
August 2018
Whilst pacemakers and other implants have become fairly commonplace in medical treatment systems, these still rely on battery technology, and have a limited life. When dealing with electrodes or sensor ...

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Oratile's opinion: Business strategy
August 2018
Digitising business models and leveraging technology in ways that differentiate a company from its competitors.

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How real is augmented reality?
Technews Industry Guide: Industrial Internet of Things & Industry 4.0, Absolute Perspectives
At the ore face the drilling process was indeed an eye opener, hot, uncomfortable and hazardous in nature. Knowing where to drill to optimise the blast pattern is a skilled operation. When drilling started ...

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