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Industrial Processing Equipment Blog

The Industrial Processing Equipment Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about fluid and gas handling equipment; thermal processing; solids handling; and filtration, separation and recycling. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Smart Machines for Smarter Processing

Posted February 26, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Two of the forces driving improved automation and control systems are the need to tailor products for individual customers and the demand for higher quality and productivity. One technique for achieving these goals is to use a decentralized control system based on smart machines. The ability to combine multiple control systems and heterogeneous computing architectures - a key feature of smart machine technologies - enables intelligent factories that can more easily adjust to changing conditions.


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Future Trends in Process Automation

Posted December 05, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Process industries, as with the hybrid and discrete production sectors, will increase integration among field devices and supervisory control and data (SCADA) systems, as well as between the integrated plant network and business systems. To accomplish this goal, it is projected the industry will invest more than $100 billion globally, split between modernization and green-field installations. According to this report from Processing Magazine, the best way to implement these changes is by using standard Ethernet and Internet technologies, as embodied in the Common Internet Protocol (CIP™) and EtherNet IP™.


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2 comments; last comment on 12/07/2015
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Industrial Internet of Things — Problems to be Solved

Posted November 07, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

The IIoT is happening. It's propelled by optimized automated processes and large amounts of actionable information. Data analytics software, smart sensors, and a generation of engineers who have grown up using the Internet are easing the path. Even so, challenges remain. Of primary concern: the number of connected devices will be growing into the trillions and each one will have to be uniquely identified. Replacing the IPv4 addressing protocol with IPv6 will provide the addresses, but managing them will not be easy. This piece from Automation.com cites additional hurdles.


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2 comments; last comment on 11/11/2015
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Cloud Computing for the Industrial Internet of Things?

Posted July 27, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Cloud computing is broadly accepted for the enterprise, but less so for factory automation. ISA Intech details pros and cons of using the cloud for industrial processes. For example, the public cloud might arbitrarily shift its allocation of resources to balance its services. But that's unacceptable for real-time automation, which needs reliable high-speed availability. Private cloud services can be a good answer however. They can provide historian, analytics, and even complete Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) functions. The article predicts that as cloud computing becomes better understood, it will be a useful tool for automation engineers.


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11 comments; last comment on 07/30/2015
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Is Artificial Intelligence the Next Step for Control Systems?

Posted March 28, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

What are the current and future prospects for artificial intelligence (AI) within the field of industrial control? A machine's ability to meet changing conditions without operator intervention forms the basis for AI, but limits have yet to be worked out. Control Engineering reports there must be general agreement not only on a working definition of AI, but what AI can be used for. Applications that could benefit from AI include computer vision, human-computer interaction, sensing, and robotics.


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16 comments; last comment on 04/01/2015
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Time is Now to Bet on IoT/Industry 4.0

Posted January 09, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

The big Y2K scare was a golden opportunity for operations managers to update and expand their automation systems, recalls Control Engineering. According to this article, we're now at a comparable moment due to all of the talk about Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT). Corporate Managers don't want to be left behind, so they're encouraging their automation engineers to lay out plans for getting aboard. Now may be is the best time for control engineers to secure the funding needed to expand and upgrade system integration, ensuring an information-rich real-time picture of their operations going forward.


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