This Week's Editor's Pick
Nick Denbow’s European report: Leaps in technology: implants and liquid lenses
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
Oratile's opinion: Business strategy
Digitising business models and leveraging technology in ways that differentiate a company from its competitors.
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
Success through measurement expertise and product innovation
July 2018, GHM Messtechnik SA, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
Since inception, the GHM Group has constantly sought to add layers of exper-tise and competence through the development and acquisition of brands, which not only offer precision measurement, but also bring a dynamic cross-over of synergies to customers.
Industrial control system cybersecurity
July 2018, Nclose
In the last three articles on cybersecurity in ICS environments, we have covered risk assessments, asset discovery and vulnerability management, and environment hardening. In this month’s article, we
Nick Denbow’s European report: Fieldbus, government interference and news from the UK
July 2018, News
The German organisation Profibus & Profinet International (PI) publishes annual statistics on the numbers of devices installed with interfaces equipped with their communication technologies, which also
Nick Denbow’s European report: Technology disruption and profiting from university R&D
It is almost a part of engineering folklore that the UK is slow to realise the potential of its inventions. The jet engine, computing and television are perhaps the best-known examples of British inventions
Digital twins, science-fiction or reality?
June 2018, Absolute Perspectives
Industrie 4.0 introduces the somewhat abstract concept of a ‘digital twin’. But is this really new, does it actually exist anywhere in practice, and if so, what steps should be followed to build one?
An automation customer speaks
The engineering institutions, systems integrators, suppliers and seminar groups within the automation industry in South Africa are all concerned, and rightfully so, with the lack of active participation
Open Process Automation moves to the proof of concept stage
Open Process Automation was once again a hot topic at the 2018 ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Florida, earlier this year. Among the highlights was the session focusing on the current status of several
Case History 160: More problems with control
May 2018, Michael Brown Control Engineering, Motion Control & Drives
In a recent assignment to sort out problems being experienced in a petrochemical refinery, I came across the following two examples: Drum pressure misbehaving
The first was with the control of an
If a machine can do it, why not learn something else?
By the end of 2017, The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reported an estimated 60 000 imports of multipurpose industrial robots into Africa. From a South African perspective,
Case History 159: Bad valves again hampering control.
March 2018, Michael Brown Control Engineering
It still fascinates me that so many control problems are caused by poor operation of control valves. I have encountered and recorded hundreds of cases of such problems. What is amazing is that many plant
Nick Denbow’s European report: Process plants as weapons of war
February 2018, News
Malware over the Internet has replaced the large gunboat that was dispatched in previous times – say 200 years ago – to send a message to the heart of a rival nation, indicating that relationships were
Nick Denbow’s European report: Benefiting from technology transfer between modern industries
This month, I take a different look at how technology can be transferred between industries, and used to solve heart-wrenching problems. Always touted as the birthplace of new technology applications,
Trends in process safety systems
Market is changing
The global process safety systems market is changing in a rapid and dramatic way. Less industrialised countries continue efforts to grow their economies and build mega plants. These
Case History 158: Report on temperature control of an autoclave
January 2018, Michael Brown Control Engineering, Motion Control & Drives
I was recently asked to help with a client who treats a product in an autoclave and was complaining that they always got overshoot on a step setpoint change to holding temperature. The following is taken
Innovating in the process industry with PLM
December 2017, Absolute Perspectives, IT in Manufacturing
There might be an opportunity for you to adopt a proven technique from another industry in a new way and thereby gain a competitive edge for your business in its own niche.
Nick Denbow’s European report: Bürkert’s investment in SAW technology now paying off
December 2017, News
The SAW (surface acoustic wave) technique offers fascinating opportunities for many different styles of monitoring sensor. The first example seen many years ago really impressed me: it was called TorqSense,
Will OPC UA TSN prevail over industrial Ethernet?
December 2017, IT in Manufacturing
OPC UA is a vendor-independent communication protocol designed for industrial use. TSN (time-sensitive networking) is a further development of the IEEE Ethernet standards. Together, they aim to offer
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