Editor's Choice


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Loop Signatures 1: Introduction to the Loop Problem Signatures series
May 2020, Michael Brown Control Engineering
Over the years I have had many requests to write a book giving more detailed explanations of some of the problems I have encountered in my work on practical loop optimisation. I am by nature and inclination ...

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Loop Signatures 2: The two classes of processes.
July 2020, Michael Brown Control Engineering
This article will discuss the two classes of processes called self-regulating and integrating (or ramping) processes. This subject is absolutely vital to regulatory control, but strangely is seldom taught ...

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From the editor's desk: The virtual business assistant
8 June 2020, Technews Publishing (SA Instrumentation & Control)
Have you ever wished someone would automate the daily grind of routine tasks and set you free to focus on the more engaging aspects of your job?

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From the editor's desk: The virtual business assistant
June 2020, Technews Publishing (SA Instrumentation & Control)
Enter robotic process automation (RPA), a disruptive workplace technology that uses software “robots” to mimic many of the repetitive interactions human beings have with their computers. It performs such ...

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Case History 172: Interesting controls in a copper extraction plant.
June 2020, Michael Brown Control Engineering
In my 30 years devoted to optimising controls in industrial process plants in many countries, I thought that I had seen all the possible process dynamics that one would encounter. Imagine my surprise ...

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The emergence of a new future in the energy sector
April 2020
Adaptively complex and persistent challenges in Africa are driving the need for a new future in the energy sector. Lack of access to energy, (more than 600 million people in Africa with no access to energy) ...

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Case History 171: Instability in a metallurgical plant
March 2020, Michael Brown Control Engineering
I have written several articles about the unique problems I have encountered, specifically in the mining processing industry. This article is about some experiences in a mining operation where recently ...

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Case History 170
January 2020
As mentioned in earlier articles, the integral (or I term) in the controller is a brilliant thing. It is an extremely elegant and simple solution for eliminating offset in control. However, like everything ...

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Beyond Capex and Opex
November 2019
How do we finance IT? We identify a need, we test the waters with a PoC (proof of concept), then we get the green light after we prove the value. We know roughly how much it will cost by looking at the ...

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The technology landscape: insights from 2019 conferences
November 2019, SAIMC
Industry leaders and governmental agencies across the globe recognise technology as the cornerstone for economic development. President Cyril Ramaphosa famously posited: “The clear implication for South ...

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Case History 169: Tuning a very difficult temperature control loop
November 2019
As I have mentioned in previous articles, Greg McMillan, one of the world’s top control experts, has said that he finds temperature control loops generally the worst optimised processes as most people ...

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Top tips to help you implement 4IR projects that deliver value
September 2019, IT in Manufacturing
In the just over 10 years I have spent working on IT projects in the manufacturing space, the amount of new fads and IT jargon that has to be adopted has reached the heavens, and ascended into other realms. ...

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Smart devices for Ex areas: Unbelievably simple mistakes that prevent control.
September 2019, Michael Brown Control Engineering, Motion Control & Drives
I am often astounded by finding really basic problems with controls in plants, which have operated that way for years. These problems are so basic that one can only wonder at how these controls could ...

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Nick Denbow’s European report: Ex-rated site inspection video camera transmits remotely
August 2019
Librestream and ecom, a brand of the Pepperl+Fuchs group, announced a major collaboration at the Offshore Technology Exhibition in Houston in May. This joint development aims to ease and improve safety ...

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Preparing fertile ground for a successful IIoT project
Technews Industry Guide: Industrial Internet of Things & Industry 4.0, Absolute Perspectives
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a collection of emerging technologies that together have the potential to create significant business value and even create new business models.

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Case History 167: Test your analytical capabilities
July 2019, Michael Brown Control Engineering, Motion Control & Drives
Answer to the question at the end of Case History 166 (www.instrumentation.co.za/8690r) In the last Case History article, I suggested you try and see what was not so good about a level control, which ...

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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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