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Computing power at the device level is transforming process applications



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On the edge

Computing power at the device level is transforming process applications by Jm Montague





At the IIoT crossroads

Smarter polymer blending

A look from the trenches at digitalization, big data and Industry 4.0. by Gregory K. McMillan

A new Otto Bock plant uses Profinet and 18 smart drives to blend plastics properly. by Jeanne Schweder


CONTROL (ISSN 1049-5541) is published monthly by PUTMAN MEDIA COMPANY (also publishers of CONTROL DESIGN, CHEMICAL PROCESSING, FOOD PROCESSING, PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURING, PLANT SERVICES and SMART INDUSTRY), 1501 E. Woodfield Rd., Ste. 400N, Schaumburg, IL 60173. (Phone 630/467-1300; Fax 630/467-1124.) Address all correspondence to Editorial and Executive Offices, same address. Periodicals Postage Paid at Schaumburg, IL, and at additional mailing offices. Printed in the United States. © Putman Media 2019. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or part without consent of the copyright owner. Postmaster: Please send change of address to Putman Media, PO Box 1888, Cedar Rapids IA 52406-1888; 1-800-553-8878 ext. 5020. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Qualified-reader subscriptions are accepted from Operating Management in the control industry at no charge. To apply for a free subscription, email To non-qualified subscribers in the Unites States and its possessions, subscriptions are $96.00 per year. Single copies are $15. International subscriptions are accepted at $200 (Airmail only.) CONTROL assumes no responsibility for validity of claims in items reported. Canada Post International Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40028661. Canadian Mail Distributor Information: Frontier/BWI,PO Box 1051,Fort Erie,Ontario, Canada, L2A 5N8.

FEBRUARY 2019 • 5

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Departments 9 EDITOR’S PAGE A new aristocracy The robot revolution is poised to put automation professionals in control.

15 CONTROL ONLINE Our most recent, valuable and popular offerings at

43 DEVELOP YOUR POTENTIAL The elephant To bridge it, understand the rationale behind the academic-practice gap.

45 ASK THE EXPERTS Compressor rod position detection And how quickly we need to bring global warming under control.

16 FEEDBACK We still need fossil fuels; Focus on solutions, not FUD; Why wasn’t Lenze in the Top 50?

18 OTHER VOICES Living with legacy systems Line up sources of obsolete components before failures cause unplanned downtime.

20 ON THE BUS Grandpappy of device diagnostics Modbus gave us our first “open” communications between analyzers and controllers.

22 WITHOUT WIRES Wireless sensor sweet spots How battery life interacts with update rate to define the most practical applications.

23 IN PROCESS OPAF launches O-PAS standard; Pepperl+Fuchs buys Comtrol

25 RESOURCES Level leverage A monthly topical guide to web-hosted papers, tutorials, videos and other educational materials.

47 ROUNDUP Enclosures, workstations and purge systems Recent and interesting products under the topic of the month.

49 EXCLUSIVE SCADA goes mobile-responsive Induction Automation's Ignition 8 handles larger systems and adds a module for interface-building and visualization.

50 EXCLUSIVE Combined controller paves way for IIoT Rockwell Automation's Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5480 runs control and Windows on the same chip.

51 CONTROL TALK How to support gender diversity Things we can do to improve our profession by advocating women engineers.

53 CLASSIFIED/AD INDEX Find your favorite advertisers listed neatly in alphabetical order.

54 CONTROL REPORT Text to talk Control Amplified turns conversation into content—if you can listen instead of read.

CIRCULATION Food & Kindred Products................................................................................ 10,106

Paper & Allied Products.................................................................................... 2,856

Chemicals & Allied Products............................................................................. 8,919

Pharmaceuticals............................................................................................... 3,945

Systems Integrators & Engineering Design Firms............................................... 8,681

Rubber & Miscellaneous Plastic Products.......................................................... 3,762

Primary Metal Industries................................................................................... 4,657

Stone, Clay, Glass & Concrete Products............................................................. 1,686

Electric, Gas & Sanitary Services....................................................................... 3,481

Textile Mill Products............................................................................................. 802

Petroleum Refining & Related Industries........................................................... 4,016

Tobacco Products................................................................................................ 110

Miscellaneous Manufacturers............................................................................ 6,982

Total Circulation.............................................................................................. 60,003 

FEBRUARY 2019 • 7

POWER We stock enough power to brew a 12 oz. cup of coffee for the entire population of New Orleans.

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The new aristocracy The robot revolution is poised to put automation professionals in control.

MY son the political theorist likes to remind me of Aristotle’s model of society, where people fall into one of three classes: the aristocracy, the craftsmen and the slaves. “The aristocrats have leisure and education, and therefore use their time to pursue the good. They are ‘the virtuous.’ The craftsmen or artisans have less leisure and less education, and therefore use their time to pursue wealth and/or status. They are ‘the vulgar.’ The slaves have very little leisure and education, and therefore are used as tools to create leisure and education for other people. They are ‘the slavish,’” he writes (https://benjaminstudebaker. com/2018/12/08/are-we-trying-to-make-everyone-an-aristocrat-or-a-peasant). You can argue about the details, but few Americans wouldn't see the reason behind this notion of three classes based on social status and wealth. Over the past few years, we’ve been barraged with news about increased levels of automation, and dreaded or enjoyed the potential of robots to free the slavish (or take our jobs) by doing drudgery and producing the essentials of life. Robots will clean our houses, drive our cars, and certainly become the brains and muscle of production in manufacturing. We’ve salved our concerns by listening to reports that automation doesn’t replace the slaves, that it elevates their work and creates a new demand for qualified craftsmen and artisans, and all will be well if we can just change our priorities and education system (STEM!) to feed the new beasts. We admire the people we see as modern aristocrats—the rich and sometimes famous—for being role models and engines that make possible the capitalism that lets us be (more or less) comfortable. We imagine them as decent human beings, motivated at least as much by their need to live in a contented, stable society as by their hunger for ever more money, real estate and power. But, that American dream took a significant hit at the recent World Economic Forum global meeting of the politically and financially well-endowed in Davos, Switzerland, where The New York Times

(NYT) reported, “In public, many executives wring their hands over the negative consequences that artificial intelligence and automation could have for workers…But in private settings, including meetings with the leaders of the many consulting and technology firms whose pop-up storefronts line the Davos Promenade, these executives tell a different story: They're racing to automate their own workforces to stay ahead of the competition, with little regard for the impact on workers. The NYT article also quoted Mohit Joshi, president, Infosys, who said, “Earlier, they had incremental, 5% to 10% goals in reducing their workforce. Now they’re saying, ‘Why can’t we do it with 1% of the people we have?” As the experts in automation whom the Davos billionaires must enlist to transform our society by shifting work from people to capital equipment, allowing them to literally own the machines that generate wealth instead of renting pesky people by the hour, you’re uniquely positioned to guide this transition. You can toady up, turn your back on the newly jobless, and just be thankful you have the skills to survive. Or, you can serve as a check and balance, doing all you can to help those millionaires see the wisdom of expanding their wealth and influence by retraining, elevating and leveraging the value of the human workforce. In the end, as economic inequality grows and discontent makes the world more dangerous, the rich, their friends and families will thrive behind walls, armed guards and the governments they purchase by proxy. The merely comfortable will be more vulnerable to a society with the deteriorating infrastructure, poor education and third-world services of societies where the economic security of the bottom 90% becomes more precarious. You’ll probably never be welcome in Davos, but you can bring your automation expertise to the people who deserve it most.


You can serve as a check and balance, doing all you can to help those millionaires see the wisdom of retraining, elevating and leveraging the value of the human workforce.

FEBRUARY 2019 • 9




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Control Amplified on the edge

Missed opportunities in process control The disparity between theory and practice is growing because of leaders in process control leaving the stage and users not being given the time to explore and innovate. Greg McMillan addresses this situation with a specific and comprehensive list.

In the latest Control Amplified podcast, "Computing at the edge," executive editor Jim Montague is joined by Peter Zornio, CTO at Emerson Automation Solutions, to discuss computing at the edge of process automation and control systems. They talk about how today's edge computing differs from former distributed control efforts, how edge computing works, and how users can take advantage of it. Download and subscribe to Control Amplified on your smart device now to keep up with this great supplemental content. controltalkblog/missed-opportunitiesin-process-control-part-1

2019 S4 Conference: Observations and challenges especially for engineering Joe Weiss offers his observations from the 2019 S4 Conference, noting the heavy focus on OT networks and IT/OT convergence.

How to add nonincendive to existing wiring practices In addition to explaining the two contrasting nonincendive approaches—energy-limited and non-arcing—this whitepaper offers guidance about how combining nonincendive circuits, components and equipment with other Division 2 protection methods can benefit engineers and installers of equipment and devices. Download this whitepaper to learn about the energy-limited approach, the non-arcing approach, combining nonincendive with other wiring methods, and replacing explosion-proof with nonincendive circuits, components and equipment.

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A faster way to monitor radiation damage Researchers at MIT and Sandia National Laboratories develop a system to continuously monitor radiationinduced changes to materials.

IWiM nominations open through March 31 Putman Media is accepting nominations for the 2019 class of Influential Women in Manufacturing through March 31. The IWiM program is focused on recognizing women who are making a difference in the manufacturing space. Nominate a woman from your organization who demonstrates thought leadership, fosters growth in other women in manufacturing, and has helped her team move forward through her achievements. Nominees can be from any manufacturing industry, at any level and in any country.

Top 10 articles of 2018 Here are the Top 10 most viewed articles on in 2018.

2019 Readers' Choice Awards Engineering, installing and maintaining automation systems for safe, efficient, quality production takes many talents. One of the most important tools in your belt is your hard-won knowledge of what works. But no single automation professional is expert in every category of process control hardware, software and systems necessary to support today's plant. Where do you turn when it's time to find a new source for a less familiar need of your facility? Who do you consult? Why not look to fellow professionals? That's who we poll to determine the annual Readers' Choice Awards. Download your copy of the awards list now to have a repository of the best solution providers for all of your facility's needs.




ControlGlobal E-News Multimedia Alerts White Paper Alerts TAP VINTAGE EXPERTISE End users toast the companies that provide the best in process control.

ENGINEERING, installing and maintaining automation systems for safe, efficient, quality production takes many talents. Along with a real grip on the technologies and techniques of process control, you must have a good understanding of manufacturing principles, finances, people and more. One of the most important tools in your belt is your hard-won knowledge of what works. Through real-world experience, you’ve found products and brands you can rely on to give the best combination of performance, ease of use, reliability and reasonable cost. But no single automation professional is expert in every one of the myriad categories of process control hardware, software and systems necessary to properly support today’s plant. Where do you turn when it’s time to identify a new source for one of the less familiar needs 26 • JANUARY 2019

by Control staff

of your facility? Who do you want to consult—your purchasing department? Your local reps? Magazine editors? The web? How about your fellow professionals who read Control? That’s who we poll to determine our annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

A veritable who’s who The professionals who took the time and made the effort to complete our lengthy, fill-in-the-blank surveys worked hard at it. For each of more than 80 categories, they decided whether or not they had the experience to name up to three suppliers who, in their opinion, deliver the best technology. If so, they decided who those suppliers would be, ranked them one to three, typed in their names, and moved on.

Go to and follow instructions to register for our free weekly e-newsletters.

FEBRUARY 2019 • 15

FEEDBACK 1501 E. Woodfield Road, Suite 400N Schaumburg, Illinois 60173

In Memory of Julie Cappelletti-Lange, Vice President 1984-2012

We still need fossil fuels I enjoyed your January column (“Electricity in the air,” Jan. ’19, p. 9, www. Yes, all this rhetoric about electric vehicles is getting a bit complicated and specious, with kilowatthours per 100 miles, equivalent gasoline, CO2 emissions per mile, etc. Yes, electric cars have zero emissions in operation—sorta. Nobody says much about where the electricity comes from. Whether it be fossil, natural gas, nuclear, etc., there is an environmental cost in terms of air pollution and global warming. I had my students take the general efficiency of internal combustion engines (gas and diesel), gas turbines, all types of fuel at steam generator plants, etc., to determine the ultimate overall efficiency for operation of an electric-powered vehicle. Some interesting numbers. No doubt the future is a bunch of electric vehicles, especially for the "last mile" and other applications, but to write off fossil fuels is a bit much. Keep Béla Lipták involved, his monthly columns are great. KIRK ROSENHAN

Focus on solutions, not FUD Regarding Joe Weiss’ “Unfettered” blog post ( unfettered/sensor-security-issues-area-global-issue-yet-they-are-not-beingaddressed-and-people-are-dying), every cyber assessment report of reputable operations technology security has addressed the sensor issues for many years. There are multiple issues and some compensating controls. Sensor integrity is of key importance, and we are fully aware of this. But let us not create fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) by mixing up cyber security issues with not-security-related accidents such as LionAir, Turkish Airlines flight 1951, or even Bhopal (which was caused by much more than a single 16 • FEBRUARY 2019

EDITORIAL TEAM Editor in Chief Paul Studebaker, Executive Editor Jim Montague, Digital Engagement Manager Amanda Del Buono, Contributing Editor John Rezabek Columnists Béla Lipták, Greg McMillan, Ian Verhappen CONNECTING THE UNCONNECTABLE EMPATHY’S ROLE IN HMI DESIGN MCMILLAN’S PERSONALITY SPLITS LISTEN TO WEAK SIGNALS

Editorial Assistant Lori Goldberg DESIGN & PRODUCTION TEAM VP, Creative & Production Steve Herner,

sensor failure). The issues are clear, we should focus on solutions.

Art Director Jennifer Dakas,


Senior Production Manager Anetta Gauthier, PUBLISHING TEAM

Why wasn’t Lenze in the Top 50? We just had a quick look at the current Top 50 list (Oct. ’18, p. 60, www.controlglobal. com/articles/2018/top-50-automation-companies-of-2017-digitalization-takes-over) and were very surprised to not see Lenze included. Is it possible that our numbers we sent out too early and maybe got lost in the time before publication? If it was a timing problem, what would be the best time for our numbers to be sent, so we don't miss this opportunity in the next publication? MATTHEW VARNEY Manager, Manufacturing Operations EL

Group Publisher/VP Content Keith Larson, Midwest/Southeast Regional Sales Manager Greg Zamin, 704/256-5433, Fax: 704/256-5434 Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Manager Dave Fisher, 508/543-5172, Fax 508/543-3061 West Coast/Mountain Regional Sales Manager Jeff Mylin, 847/516-5879, Fax: 630/625-1124 Classifieds Manager Lori Goldberg, Subscriptions/Circulation: Patricia Donatiu. Circulation Manager, 888/644-1803 EXECUTIVE TEAM

Lenze Americas

Matthew, as you imagine, we mistakenly overlooked the revenue report from Lenze. For the 2017 calendar year reported in October, 2018, Lenze's North America revenue of $84.9 million would have placed the company at 47th; its global revenue of $739.5 million would put it 37th. We have communicated with our contacts at ARC Advisory Group who verify and compile our Top 50. They vetted these figures and will strive to consider Lenze in the future. We regret the error. —Paul Studebaker, editor in chief

President & CEO John M. Cappelletti VP, CFO Rick Kasper Foster Reprints Corporate Account Executive Jill Kaletha, 219-878-6094 Finalist Jesse H. Neal Award, 2013 and 2016 Jesse H. Neal Award Winner Eleven ASBPE Editorial Excellence Awards Twenty-five ASBPE Excellence in Graphics Awards ASBPE Magazine of the Year Finalist, 2009 and 2016 Four Ozzie awards for graphics excellence

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Living with legacy systems Line up sources of obsolete components before failures cause unplanned downtime.

JONATHAN WILKINS Director, EU Automation

By choosing a reputable industrial parts supplier, reconditioned equipment will always be cleaned, serviced and upgraded to optimum working order before it is put back onto the market.

18 • FEBRUARY 2019

THERE’S a knack to sourcing used and obsolete automation components for process control, and infrastructure in place to ensure discontinued parts such as PLCs, human machine interfaces (HMIs) and motors, aren’t completely eradicated. Downtime of one part can result in downtime of many parts. For example, if a long-standing PLC takes a turn for the worse, plant managers may find that entire production lines go down. The situation is far from ideal and needs resolving fast. For legacy equipment, obsolescence takes away the luxury of ordering a replacement straight from the original parts manufacturer’s catalog. Discontinued automation is testing even the strongest supply chains across the world. Without the right obsolete parts supplier on tap, plant managers are faced with trying to source new machines that are compatible with old technology. In the worst-case scenario, this sometimes results in overhauling entire systems to bring a production line back up. This is a costly approach, not only in terms of capital expenditure, but also the time taken to install the parts and train the workforce on operating this new machinery. It’s important to note that while this theoretical case appears to modernize a factory, that’s often a fallacy. If legacy equipment has been working effectively for 50 years, what's really been gained by upgrading the production line to brand new equipment? Wouldn't it make more sense to source an exact match for the part, and live out another few decades of reliability and predictability? Testing components: Concerns over sourcing reconditioned obsolete parts are common, but are soon quashed by the right supplier. The main concern is whether the part is up to standard. Ask your obsolete part supplier about the testing and checking processes that take place before a part is dispatched—they should be thorough. By choosing a reputable industrial parts supplier, reconditioned equipment will always be cleaned, serviced and upgraded to optimum working order before it is put back onto the market. A reconditioned motor, for instance, would be

tested extensively to ensure it functions properly and is free of defects, and the supplier should be able to prove this testing has taken place. Similarly, the supplier should provide a guarantee for the product’s reliability. EU Automation, for instance, offers a 12-month guarantee on its reconditioned parts. No country limits: When the hunt is on for a specific process control part, obsolete part suppliers should be willing to go to the end of the earth to help customers. An extensive in-house stock certainly makes it more likely to have a part available for immediate dispatch, but there may be situations where the parts supplier needs to work harder to find a specific part. For example, a U.S. parts supplier may need to import a rare part from as far as Europe, Asia or Africa. In these cases, make sure there are no hidden rush fees, handling fees or other hidden charges. Ask the questions upfront so there is less likely to be uncertainty when the invoice arrives. Plan ahead: So far, the aforementioned examples have been somewhat reactive, waiting for parts to break down before sourcing the replacement. As parts in a factory or processing plant get older, it becomes more important to think ahead of time. This means building the relationship with an obsolete part supplier now to discuss the potential availability of specific legacy parts. After all, knowing who to call could mean the difference between a day of downtime, and a week. Similarly, advancements in condition monitoring are helping maintenance managers gain realtime insight into the condition of parts. Not only is this enabling more effective maintenance, for example, replacing a bearing before catastrophic failure of an entire machine ensues, it means that obsolete machines that will need replacing in the next year can be sourced now. The infrastructure is in place to keep downtime attributed to part obsolescence to a minimum. Find an obsolete part supplier that has the sheer determination to find the right part, no matter how rare it may be.



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Grandpappy of device diagnostics Modbus gave us our first “open” communications between analyzers and controllers.

JOHN REZABEK Contributing Editor

Rather than placing advanced control loops in manual whenever the results were driving the process somewhere clearly unreasonable, the loop could shed to some more conservative mode, and the operator could be alerted.

20 • FEBRUARY 2019

IT was 1983, and detailed engineering for the project was in full swing. The goal: to extract thenvaluable aromatic hydrocarbons—molecules containing the benzene ring—from a gasoline stream. The project required a significant number of gas chromatographs (GC): online analyzers for separating and quantifying individual components of a process stream. These complex, online instruments were necessary for the licensor (the inventor and developer of the aromatics processing technology) to make crucial process adjustments, as well as prove that their design was meeting the client’s specifications. Complex analyzers created a few challenges for instrument designers and engineers of that day, as well as the end users who had to maintain them. In the case of the aromatics project, one of the first challenges was bringing the numerous 4-20 mA outputs into the first-generation DCS. The four to eight outputs from each GC required a lot of DCS analog inputs, which was costly and consumed a lot of capacity, including physical space, in the early DCS. Both the GC’s Optichrome 2100 system and the TDC-2000 DCS were microprocessor-based, but each used its own unique network interface, protocol and physical layer (typically coaxial cable). What we called a PC wasn’t necessarily a personal computer, as that had only recently entered the vernacular. The original PC, the programmable controller from Modicon (now part of Schneider Electric), had only recently introduced Modbus for interconnecting its controllers. This open standard was only beginning to be explored for connecting disparate digital devices. Within a few years, programmable controllers became PLCs, and the Modbus interface for both process GCs and DCSs became a routinely touted feature—in fact, the path by which many systems of the day proclaimed “openness.” It was not inexpensive nor especially easy to exploit the technology for getting data digitally from the GC network (or other systems, for example, PLCs). But it was well worth it. Not only did it eliminate the need for

scores of analog loops (and all the associated wiring, loop diagrams, checkout, etc.), but it also allowed the controls engineer to actively monitor the health of every GC. Each GC was tied to a unique Modbus ID, so rudimentary checks by those who configured the interface were enough to validate the loops. Optichrome GCs, for example, included the sample time of each result as a standard feature, and later versions even included some error checking based on flatline detection (e.g., are new results identical to the last set). This meant that data validation could be incorporated in closed-loop control schemes. Rather than placing advanced control loops in manual (and thereafter left in that state) whenever the results were driving the process somewhere clearly unreasonable (such as cutting column reflux to nil), the loop could shed to some more conservative mode (local auto, for example), and the operator could be alerted to a measurement issue. Having a measurement device report its results digitally—frequently with little loss of significant digits for the 16-bit systems of the day—was one benefit. A huge reduction in wiring and all the associated engineering was another. And having a time stamp of sorts provided by the measuring device along with its health is something we take for granted where bussed communications are exploited. Controllers don’t use measurements unless they are “good.” When the use of microprocessors in everyday instruments like valve positioners and transmitters became commonplace, it was natural to start thinking that all computerbased field devices should communicate digitally, and the same benefits and more would ensue. It took a decade or two, but today, they do. Controls specialists seeking to employ analyzers should avoid the rut of analog communications. Modern systems support numerous buses as well as Ethernet and OPC (not necessarily the simplest, least expensive, or most reliable choice). Design your controls to make use of digitally integrated analyzers and associated diagnostics.

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Wireless sensor sweet spots How battery life interacts with update rate to define the most practical applications.

IAN VERHAPPEN Senior Project Manager, Automation, CIMA+

With today’s computing power, the smart people working in our industry have developed a number of fancy tricks to compensate for the effects of delayed measurements.

22 • FEBRUARY 2019

THOUGH the majority of instrument and controls engineers have an electrical background (confirmed by the surprise people still have when I tell them I was trained as a chemical engineer and, like them, “fell” into this profession), we all need to remember that the reason we are installing all our sensors, control elements and control systems is to control and manage the process. The point of this message is that process dynamics need to be part of the design process. With wired devices that are not power-constrained, the update rate is decided by the I/O card and controller. Battery-powered wireless devices, however, do need to manage their energy consumption, and the most common way of doing so is by configuration settings of the update rate. Though update rates for wireless sensor networks (WSN), WirelessHART and ISA100.11a can be as short as 0.5 sec., as the update frequency is increased, there is an associated exponential decrease in battery life. As expected, the largest impact is at the faster update rates that might be required for closed-loop control. Longer update periods (beyond 60 sec.) are constrained by basic battery life physics more than the update rate, thus setting the limit on the slower-update-rate side of the equations. So how do we balance the update rate and battery life? Basic control theory recommends that the update rate of the measurement shall be a minimum of three times faster than the process time constant. I personally prefer an update rate of six times the process time constant, if possible, because then I am sure to observe all stages of an oscillatory process. However, using the threetimes-faster basis for a temperature loop (where measured temperature changes with a sensor inside a thermowell can be 16 sec. or longer, given how much time is required for heat to penetrate the thermowell and its mass), the required wireless update rate would be roughly 5 sec. Since WSN cycles increase by doubling each time, the closest approximation for this loop is a 4-sec. update rate.

Industry practice and experience also recommend the update rate should be four to 10 times faster than the time constant of the process for regulatory closed-loop control, so though it’s at the low end, the 4 sec. update rate would also work in this example. Another, non-process-related consideration in addition to battery life is the impact traffic may have on the network itself, and in particular, the access point or gateway. One WSN manufacturer recommends keeping update rates no faster than 4 sec. since doing so can impact the total number of wireless devices that can be put on a gateway. Therefore, the 4 sec. update rate for this example works well by meeting all three minimum criteria. Temperature is one example of a slow process. Level measurement, especially in large tanks, is another. These sorts of measurements are well suited to wireless sensing because they can operate with slower update rates, and when you consider that large tanks and tank farms are widely distributed, not having to install cable infrastructure makes a lot of sense. With today’s computing power, the smart people working in our industry have developed a number of fancy tricks, such as custom P&ID algorithms for wireless networks that consider lag, other control algorithms (such as Smith Predictors, developed in 1957), or other math to compensate for the effects of delayed measurements. (Some would say mask rather than compensate, especially if they are used improperly by a person not understanding and applying first principles correctly.) Despite all the advances we have made and continue to make with our control systems, it is always good to remember why we are implementing the application, as well as the underlying associated engineering principles, and basic laws of physics and chemistry that need to be followed. Not everyone makes a good controls engineer, technician or practitioner, however, if you remember the basic laws of physics and chemistry, the chances of succeeding going up significantly.


OPAF launches O-PAS standard The Open Process Automation Forum launches preliminary Open-Process Automation Standard (O-PAS) THE Open Group ( vendor-neutral technology consortium reported on Feb. 5 at the ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Fla., that it's launched its new Open-Process Automation Standard (O-PAS), Version 1.0. It's being published as a preliminary that addresses emerging technology, and may incorporate some changes before it's published as a full Open Group standard. Developed by the Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF,, the standard will provide a vendor-neutral reference architecture to enable the construction of scalable, reliable, interoperable and secure process automation systems. O-PAS 1.0 is focused on meeting the minimum standard and specification requirements for federated process automation systems, using an open and interoperable reference architecture. A key tenet of O-PAS is to adopt "fit-for-purpose" industry standards that presently exist in the marketplace. As a result, the standard will incorporate a variety of functional elements already provided by multiple vendors, including security with ANSI/ISA 62443 (adopted by IEC as IEC 62443), connectivity with OPC UA, and systems management with DMTF Redfish. O-PAS 1.0 includes five main parts: • Part 1—Technical architecture overview that's an architectural overview of the current release and how it fits with the overall targeted standard. It provides an overall perspective of the vision to be attained by the standard. • Part 2—Security that uses ANSI/ISA 62443 to form the basis for compliance with the security requirements of the Open Process Automation (OPA) Ecosystem and provides direction and consistency, from a security perspective, for the development of the other parts, particularly Part 4 and Part 5. • Part 3—Profiles, which specifies the primary profiles for O-PAS conformant components and how they contribute, along with Version 1.0, to the interoperability required for component connectivity and systems management. • Part 4--Connectivity Framework (OCF) that specifies interfaces necessary for base connectivity for client-server and publish-subscribe environments. • Part 5—System Management of a process automation system that covers different management functions, including managing hardware, operating systems and platform software, applications and networks. Its scope addresses hardware management only. Future versions will address the other system management functions. “The publication of O-PAS 1.0 represents a significant achievement by the Open Group and OPAF in a very short space of time,” says Steve Nunn, CEO of the Open Group. “End user demand for standards enabling interoperability is increasing due

to the business need to reduce capital costs for process control, along with making scalability and cybersecurity capabilities an inherent part of these systems. This new standard will address both business and technical challenges in process automation, and will resonate with many different vertical industries. My congratulations to the members of the forum for all their hard work and commitment to success in this initiative.” Ed Harrington, forum director for OPAF at the Open Group, added that, “The launch of the first OPAF standard demonstrates the growing need for practical guidance in the development of process control systems. Since the launch of the forum, we've seen more than 80 member organizations become directly involved with the development of this new reference architecture. The resulting O-PAS will be a ‘standard of standards’ to bring greater unity and consistency in how process automation is achieved.”

Pepperl+Fuchs buys Comtrol Pepperl+Fuchs announced Feb. 1 that it has acquired Comtrol Corp. ( effective the same day. Comtrol will become part of Pepperl+Fuchs' Factory Automation Division, and will remain in Minneapolis, Minn., so its customers can source products and conduct business as usual. Comtrol customers will benefit from the division's global reach, and gain access to added automation technologies. Comtrol is a 38-year-old pioneer in industrial Ethernet communications and IO-Link gateway products, and is known for its RocketPort and other products. Its technologies will complement Pepperl+Fuchs’ portfolio of Sensorik 4.0 sensor solutions and interfaces, which include AS-Interface, IO-Link masters and industrial connectors. Expanding its Ethernet communication products and field-interfacing devices helps fulfill Pepperl+Fuchs’ Industry 4.0 strategy, and will enable it to provide more solutions that close the gap between field devices and the control level. “An enhanced Pepperl+Fuchs IO-Link product range will help our customers improve the flow of data from field devices to the control level and the cloud," says Reiner Müller, president of the Factory Automation Division at Pepperl+Fuchs. "Customers will be able to turn to a single, trusted partner to help develop their newest digital business processes.” Bradford Beale, president of Comtrol, adds that, “Comtrol thanks it’s loyal customers for their support and business over the past 38 years, and we look forward to continuing our great technology leadership and innovation in serial, Ethernet and IOLink solutions. Comtrol is excited to join Pepperl+Fuchs in creating new IoT and Industry 4.0 innovations.” FEBRUARY 2019 • 23


SIGNALS AND INDICATORS • I ndegy ( announced Jan. 31 that it's integrated Indegy Industrial Cybersecurity Suite with IBM’s ( QRadar Security Intelligence Platform to bridges the visibility gap between enterprise information technology (IT) environments and industrial and operations technology (OT) environments. They add that combining Indegy Industrial Cybersecurity Suite and IBM QRadar will provide the deep visibility, security and control required to close the blind spot between enterprise IT and industrial ICS networks. • Bedrock Automation ( reported Jan. 31 that Temblor Petroleum is implementing Bedrock Open Secure Automation (OSA) for a cloud-based wellhead control and data-sharing application. The application enables Temblor to monitor and operate wellheads remotely, providing secure realtime production data while minimizing the requirements for onsite operators. Bedrock OSA provides the control infrastructure automating operation at two wellheads, but will also scale to operate more wells in the future. It controls tank levels, pumps, compres-

24 • FEBRUARY 2019

sors, separators, duct valves and other devices, and is cyber hardened by the Bedrock Cybershield security designed into to its electronics. • Harting Technology Group ( reported Jan. 16 that it's opened a production facility near the Polish city of Bydgoszcz, Poland, where its subsidiary Harting Customised Solutions (HCS) presently manufactures tailor-made solutions in its 500-square-meter facility. These products and solutions are primarily intended for mechanical and plant engineering. • Schneider Electric ( announced Jan. 15 that it's signed a global partnership agreement with Nozomi Networks ( to collaborate, and provide customers with advanced anomaly detection, vulnerability assessment and other cybersecurity solutions and services, helping them to control, prevent and mitigate risks to their operations and business performance. They report their partnership will enable Schneider Electric to respond more aggressively to immediate demand for operational technology cybersecurity services


Level leverage Control's monthly resource guide BASIC TYPES EDUCATION


The 10-minute video, "Process control basics: level measurement," is presented by Control editor-in-chief Paul Studebaker, and is part of its Educational Video Series. It covers the difficulties of sensing levels, application issues, advantages and disadvantages of common technologies, such as mechanical, magnetostrictive, capacitance/RF admittance, ultrasonic, differential pressure, radar and guided wave radar, laser level, nuclear, radar and other methods. It's at www.

This YouTube playlist of more than 40 short product videos on level measurement technologies begins with "Focusing radar level measurement" and includes handling foam, condensate, buildup and other conditions. They're at query=level+measurement+vega


12 WAYS TO MEASURE FLUIDS This online article, "A dozens ways to measure fluid level," details all the essential level measurement methods, their history, how they've evolved, and more recent innovations. The three main categories include established, hydrostatic and modern technologies. It's at https:// ABB


MEASUREMENT, INSTRUMENT SELECTION Two articles, "Level measurement" by Donald Gillum and "The art of level instrument selection" by Hunter Vegas, cover essential level measurement methods, and how to decide which to specify for particular applications. The first is at special-section-level-measurement/ The second is at ISA

ULTRASONIC VS. GUIDED WAVE RADAR The 17-minute video, "Ultrasonic level versus guided wave radar level," is presented by Jason Beck of FloCorp, who compares and contrasts the pros and cons of these two wellknown level measurement technologies. It's located at watch?v=siAMerrbpPU FLO-CORP.

CAPACITANCE SUMMARIES This four-page article, "Thinking caps: understanding capacitance level measurement," shows how to understand and apply capacitance technologies, as well as their advantages and limitations. It's at sensor-systems/CaseStudies/pi_00302_ en.pdf. A second article, "Capacitance level measurement," also covers basic principles, and offers a selection guide. It's at CAP_LEV_MEAS.PDF SIEMENS OMEGA ENGINEERING


The 58-minute video, "Basics of Magnetic Level Measurement," by Mike DeLacluyse of Lesman Instrtument Co., and Jim Linahan of Wika, defines magnetic level indicators; shows how they work and how they're used; compares single- and dual-chamber configuration options; covers measurement technology options; and presents sample applications. It's at watch?v=Z3bcCmfktiU


This online article, "Introduction to level measurement," covers float switches, non-contact and contact ultrasonic and capacitance technologies; offers links to applications including storage tanks, cooling towers and life sciences; and gves a list of questions users should answer to pick the right level measurement device. It's at levelmeasurement.html OMEGA ENGINEERING



This playlist of 43 short, slickly animated product videos on level measurement technologies begins with "Vibronic measuring principle animation" and includes vivid representations of tank gauging, gamma modular, radiometric measurement, time of flight and many other useful principles. They're at query=level+measurement+endress

If you know of any tools and resources we didn’t include, send them to with “Resource” in the subject line, and we’ll add them to the website.

FEBRUARY 2019 • 25

Beyond distributed

Computing power at the device level is transforming process applications | by Jim Montague ITS name sounds slightly exotic and dangerous, probably because of all the cutting and bleeding attributed to it. Buzzwords aside, the "edge" is just another place to crunch numbers. It's this portability—the fact that microprocessors can perform their calculations almost anywhere—that gives edge networking, computing, monitoring, automation and control its true value. For awhile, it appeared that all production information was on its way to the cloud, but those services and their developers and users have since realized there was far too much data for them to handle, while many networks still face connectivity, latency and reliability hurdles. Fortunately, edge computing in or close to sensors, instruments, analyzers, I/O, controls and other plant-floor devices is enabling routine data gathering, storage on databases and latency-reducing data processing in many process applications, while also delivering less burdensome reports-by-exception, anomalies and longer-term trends for analysis to the cloud and other enterprise-level users (Figure 1). 26 • FEBRUARY 2019

"The edge means using general-purpose computing power as close as possible to the physical world where data is generated," says Benson Hougland, vice president of marketing and product strategy at Opto 22 (www. "This is different from the distributed control of the past because, while we're moving some of the same decision-making ability to the edge, distributed control was run by a large CPU that managed all its nodes, but had less horsepower, and relied more on networking connections. Edge computing spreads its intelligence, CPUs and memory more widely, can operate more autonomously, pre-processes data, and can initiate communications to get data where it needs to go." For instance, Plummer's Environmental Services (https://plummersenv. com) in Byron Center, Mich., collects and disposes of non-hazardous, liquid waste, usually containing detergents and solvents from industrial cleaning and degreasing applications. However, its operators recently had difficulty pumping from their tanker truck to Plummer's 65,000-gallon holding tank because the only way to tell if there was enough room was to visually inspect it, which led to misestimates, spills into a containment area, and costly cleanups. As a result, Plummer's enlisted system integrator Perceptive Controls ( in Plainwell, Mich., which implemented an ultrasonic level sensor at the top of the tank and connected it to a SNAP PAC R-series controller from Opto 22. It triggers alert lights, alarms horns, and emails when the tank reaches capacity, while an Internet protocol (IP) camera mounted at the top provides a real-time view of the tank level. Opto 22's groov mobile interface makes tank level data and live video available on operators' smart phones and tablet PCs. Subsequent project phases were expected to add pump controls and

Definitions and databases

automatic shutoffs, as well as realtime tank monitoring at clients' holding tanks for dispatching trucks before the tanks could be too full and possibly hinder production. Steffen Ochsenreither, business development manager for products and solutions including IIoT, Endress+Hauser ( com), adds, "There are many similarities between distributed control and edge computing, such as remote connectivity and decentralization, but we believe they're not exactly the same because distributed control is always supervised. While the edge is just doing monitoring for now, its future might become more and more autonomous control by local intelligence that runs operations, and synchs with supervisory systems periodically via IIoT protocols such as message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT) or narrowand low-bandwidth, long-range, widearea network (LoRaWAN) wireless."

Once initial exposure to edge computing indicates how it might be applied on the plant floor, potential users seek to fit its concepts into their industries. However, because so many edge devices like network gateways and even their microprocessors come from the information technology (IT) side, many process industry users are learning its language, as well as developing their own lingo to describe how those functions are deployed. "As digital transformation has come into the forefront, we're seeing a new vocabulary emerge for it," says Peter Zornio, CTO at Emerson Automation Solutions ( "For example, an edge gateway used to be just a gateway, RTU or controller, while the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is really just SCADA over the Internet. However, as the IT community discovered IoT and digital transformation technologies, they started coming up

Noise frequency Predictive maintenance for verticals


Big data analysis

Open API

Connectivity management

Model training

Wired or wireless WAN connections

Edge computing equipment Edge


Local apps

Open API

Runtime firmware/software update

Things of verticals




Machine tools


Data collection and processing Sensing

Engineering machinery


Industrial washers

LOGICAL ARCHITECTURE FOR EDGE COMPUTING Figure 1: Several of the primary players on the edge, their functions, and some of the equipment they can monitor and control are compared to more cloud-based functions in the "Introduction to edge computing in IIoT" whitepaper by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC, Edge Computing Task Group. Source: IIC FEBRUARY 2019 • 27


DATABASE SAVES FOR RAINY DAYS It's hard to get more on the edge than out in the ocean, but that's where edge computing devices can really prove their worth. For example, among its operations in the Austral and San Jorge basins, state-run Empresa Nacional del Petróleo ( Argentina operates five offshore oil and gas platforms near Magallenes. These production platforms report data from close to 146,000 tags and measurements, and 69 devices running Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP and other protocols to five individual servers and a local supervisory server, which retransmits the data to a remote server onshore at ENAP's Magallenes Reception Battery (MRB). The operation also includes 15 clients, 80 screens, six MySQL servers and one SQL server. However, due to bad weather, communication between the platform-based servers and the MRB is sometimes interrupted and data is lost, according to Gabriel Alejandro Acuña, electrical engineer at Weisz Bolivia SRL (, which helped ENAP resolve its network issues. "All control points were isolated during these interruptions," said Acuña. "The supervisory staff had difficulty reviewing the information, and the management staff was totally isolated in obtaining information." In a phased upgrade, Weisz and ENAP integrated the controls at the five platforms with web- and Java-based Ignition SCADA software from Inductive Automation (https:// Each Ignition server was also given its own, independent database, enabled "transaction groups" to send data, and was configured with a hub-andspoke topology to help ensure delivery. The Ignition server has double redundancy, so the SCADA system won't be out of service when a server is being maintained. "On the ground, a cluster of three servers was installed," explained Acuña. "These host a virtualized Ignition server, which contains the 'supervision' application that allows navigation between all applications from any location in the corporate network. This server has two projects, one for controlling the reception battery, and another application that allows supervisors and management personnel to navigate through all the applications at sea and on land as their user level allows. This configuration allows personnel in Buenos Aires to access information in Rio Gallegos.” Besides improved availability and better monitoring and control of the five platforms and MRB, Acuña reports that Ignition's more capable and independent servers also let ENAP access corporate information in real time; publish according to requirements of Argentina's Secretariat of Energy; generate reports for analytics required by other ENAP departments; access more asset management data; perform event auditing to register all accesses and modifications to the SCADA system; and move between applications without changing users.

28 • FEBRUARY 2019

with sexier terms for what we'd already been doing in process automation for 30 or 40 years. These are used to explain operations technology (OT) to IT's bigger audience and community that aren't familiar with it. Even the term "OT" that describes technology and systems at the plant level was created for this transition. So now the "edge" is where process data, analytics and results are done at the OT or plant layer, rather than sending it to a control room, off premise, or to the cloud. As a result, edge computing is another new generation of plant-level systems for taking data from sensors and automation systems, and using it to generate new, valuable, action-oriented information, such as energy consumption for optimization, reliability and failure prediction, and better process safety. To contribute to increasing edge efforts, Emerson Plantweb Insight software presently runs in PCs at the network level of sensors and wireless gateways, but Zornio reports it will soon also run inside those gateways directly, where it will continue to do jobs like predicting and reporting pump performance, advising users when to clean equipment, and alerting about upcoming failures. "It's just a choice of where you want to run your data processing. This usually depends on how much latency you're prepared to accept or other factors, for example, maybe your application needs fast analysis of vibration data," adds Zornio. "This is why Emerson's solutions can run at the sensor or control network layer, a server at an integrated operations center, or the cloud. We'll always have a natural split between what happens at the edge or in the cloud for a lot of applications, but I don't think process control itself is going to leave the edge. It will still be done at the plant or device level, even as indirect, high-level analysis happens elsewhere."

Organizing at the precipice One snag with the edge computing idea is it's hard to decide what's on the edge or not. "From the cloud computing perspective, everything below it is on the periphery," says Bob McIlvride, communications director at Skkynet ( "However, from the control room's point of view, everything outside it is on the edge, while even on the plant floor, the edge may not be viewed as beginning until the production level sensors and other devices. The edge is just putting computing power where it's needed, and filtering and reducing how much data goes to the cloud." It seems everyone has to think of themselves as at the center. However, once enough edge-related concepts, terminology and comparisons have been at least partly agreed on, developers and users report that edge computing starts to impact the basic structures of their plant- and device-level systems. "Edge computing also enables a more loosely coupled architecture, which allows users to build solutions that are unique to the needs of their applications," adds Opto 22's Hougland. "The issue is always network latency, but now much of it can be taken out because not every reading has to be sent to a

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ter, and the edge device can look at the data points and send back just what's needed. This approach also helps security because tightly coupled architectures use dumb, distributed devices that aren't secure by definition, while smarter edge devices can decide who gets to connect according to what parameters. This is like comparing an old telephone to a smart phone, which is the classic example of an edge device that's mobile, has more memory and an array of built-in sensors, and can deliver computing power and run software including PLC programs and custom code wherever needed. "The edge flattens the usual, stitchedtogether architecture of HMIs, gateways, OPC UA, historians/databases and other tasks into one manageable and secure thing (Figure 2). A regular PC can do general-purpose computing, but then

30 • FEBRUARY 2019

users must pay to manage, license, maintain updates, and secure it. Once they get an edge device doing these jobs, users are saying, 'Hey, I can get rid of my PC," plus they're also easier for IT to manage. Just as many people use their smart phones and other mobile device more than their laptops and other PCs for office and personal tasks, the same is happening in process automation." Travis Cox, co-director of sales engineering at Inductive, adds that, "Edge computing can be broken up into three categories. The first is using edge devices to bridge gaps between legacy networking protocols and fieldbuses to newer, publish-subscribe ones like MQTT. Edge devices can be embedded in PCs like those from Advantech, gateways like Opto 22's groov, Raspberry Pi boards, or any fog computing platform

such as modern switches and routers. There's so much legacy equipment and protocols out there that they can't all be replaced, so gateways and other edge devices are critically important." Cox adds that adopting an openstandard protocol like MQTT creates an enterprise service bus for the industrial world. "This is a common area that also allows auto-discovery of data without mapping and without having to know whose end devices are used," explains Cox. "This allows for plug-and-play on any platform. For example, the legacy equipment needed to talk to 1,000 oil and gas wells would include a complex polling engineer, 900-MHz telemetry, and slow polling devices from the control system. However, Freewave is now providing its 900-MHz devices with fog computing, which means if PLCs and


radios are already at the wells, then the user can run SCADA software such as Ignition, talk to PLCs and poll them locally, store and forward data, publish by exception, eliminate legacy polling engines, not need to add a PC at each well, and get more useful data faster." Cox's second edge computing category is local operating interfaces that can run with minimal hardware, which allows more local HMIs and greater production visibility, especially during network failures. "Previously, HMIs were physically wired to PLCs, but this was costly, usually dedicated to only one purpose, and users didn't like it because they couldn't add different software to any device like they can with apps on tablet PCs and smart phones," Cox explains. "This is why our Ignition Edge Panel is low-cost and allows unlimited tags, so users can put an

The problem: complex current IoT architecture Sensor



OPC server

Edge gateway

Cloud applications

The solution: flatten the IoT architecture Sensor

PAC* with edge computing

Cloud applications

*Programmable automation controller

FLATTEN THE IOT ARCHITECTURE Figure 2: An essential advantage of edge computing is it can collapse several layers of traditional control and communication networks, such as PLCs, PCs, OPC servers and edge gateways, and combine them into one streamlined, optimized and secured architecture that can input physical signals and output IoT-ready data with TCP/IP, HTTP, MQTT and RESTful APIs, according to the "Edge Computing Primer" whitepaper by Opto 22 ( Source: Opto 22

Automating functions. Simplifying operations. Modernizing protection.

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ENABLING THE EDGE Even though gateways and other edge components are increasingly easy to use, it still requires a learning curve to migrate from legacy networking to devices that are simpler and smarter, but still represent a substantial change for individual applications. Tom Buckley, IoT global business development manager at Iconics (www., has several suggestions for getting edge devices up and running, and giving them the best chance for success: • Enlist OT and IT personnel to communicate and collaborate on any edge project. OT knows the process application and its requirement, while IT likely knows the most about which edge devices to use. • Develop requirements and specifications with input from everyone, including latency of the application, whether real-time response is needed, and adding time to reach the cloud and back in latency calculations. • Decide what information needs to go to the cloud and other enterprise levels, and on what schedule it needs to be sent. • Determine what specific types of support technology will meet the project's specifications, such as wired or wireless, or will connecting to sensors be done via Bluetooth, radio frequency or local wiring? • Because device drivers are still needed to reach many legacy components, check if planned edge devices need gate translators for protocols like OPC UA, BACnet, SNMP and others.

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HMI anywhere. But it isn't just an island because it can network to a corporate or central control system to send and manage data. This common, standard software and networking like MQTT is a big shift from proprietary because users can add other software without having to change their infrastructure." Thanks to joining network protocols and enabling local interfaces, Cox adds his third edge category is the ROI and value it can deliver by running algorithms, models and machine learning close to where production data is generated. "This means local analytics enabling instant tuning of processes using more sophisticated models, better production forecasts, and improved equipment failure models and predictions," says Cox.

Wireless extends edge Of course, just as it helps other networks make previously unworkable leaps,



Industrial Wall-mount

Stainless Steel


wireless is also helping edge computing devices, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications and cloud services reach components, signals and data they couldn't acquire otherwise. For instance, to reduce overhead costs and increase efficiency, safety and reporting accuracy at the same time, Fairfield Oil and Gas Corp. in Oklahoma City, Okla., recently worked with Freewave Technologies Inc. ( to implement its ZumDash Small SCADA app in conjunction with Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud-computing service. ZumDash uses Freewave's ZumIQ application environment platform, and is deployed on its app-hosting and app-programmable ZumLink 900 series radios. Together, they allow users to monitor operations remotely, execute logic, visualize trends and generate reports, which in Fairfield's case means minimizing trips by vehicle for manual sensor inspections, which can exceed $20,000 per year. Initial implementation by Fairfield included automating and monitoring five wells, each with a maximum of three tanks and three pressure sensors. The edge solution had to be vendor-neutral because it was too costly for Fairfield to remove existing sensors and meters. Alarm, tank-level and pressure sensor data had to be accessible from web-enabled devices. Fairfield also wanted to: • Access and control production from any device; • Automate reporting with 24/7 access to real-time reports, daily reporting of pumper accuracy vs. automation accuracy, monthly reports of run tickets vs. production runs, and annual reporting of real-time decline curves; • Implement proactive maintenance by identifying problems before they occur; • View historical data and trends; • Automate alarms and alert protocols to web-based PC, Mac, Android or iOS devices, and provide: high-level alerts to crude purchasers; no-flow alerts after six hours of no flow; sudden drop alerts due to tank leaks, thefts or purchaser pick up; separation alerts of high bottoms due to too

much water in crude vessels; highpressure alerts; and flow alerts due to increases, decreases or stops. To avoid disrupting any of Fairfield's operations, Freewave software engineers

also set up a Modbus-based simulator to validate the ZumDash solution as part of the development process. Next, a 900MHz ZumLink Z9-PE radio was added at each well to pull in sensor data from

FEBRUARY 2019 • 33


existing OleumTech gateways via Modbus, and deliver via cell modem. Each Z9-PE radio was preloaded with ZumIQ software for app programmability, and has 512 MB of RAM and 1 GB of flash memory to store up to 30 days of data. In addition, with a ZumIQ-developed app, each radio also converts Modbus data to MQTT for publishing real-time data to AWS in the cloud. Because status and trend data from the wells is visible and accessible on web-based devices, staff trips to the sites were reduced, as well as the cost of sending every data packet to a PLC network or the cloud. Brian Joe, global product manager for Emerson's wireless group, reports its Plantweb Insight software can run standalone, on a server or in an edge gateway, take data wirelessly from multiple sensors, and run it through analysis models to give users better data for more-informed decisions. "Similar data was gathered for decades, but most was done manually and periodically, so it wasn't consistent or reliable, and couldn't help improve decisions," says Joe. "With wireless, it makes economic sense to collect more datapoints and monitor equipment continuously. Instead of getting one measurement per month, we can now get hundreds per hour, and get vastly better trends and analysis."

Joe reports that 3M ( recently implemented Plantweb Insight software for steam traps and pumps at its chemical plant in Decatur, Ala. Personnel at 3M implemented the software on five problematic steam traps at its boiler house, and within weeks, the software alerted them to four failed traps, representing $100,000 in excess energy costs if the steam traps had been left unrepaired. Likewise, 3M also added Plantweb Insight to two chiller water pumps, and now receives continuous measurements and reliable, consistent, holistic information about their health, allowing the company to reduce costly manual inspection rounds, while staffers can view their condition on an intuitive dashboard. "Users can run edge devices and software close to their processes, and get results in minutes or seconds instead of hours or days," adds Joe. "This lets them identify abnormal situations as they occur. For example, heat exchangers foul, so they're usually cleaned on a schedule. Now, our models can recognize fouling rates using continuous temperature, flow and pressure data to determine more accurately if they need to be cleaned or not, and send alerts when they do. This can save a lot in terms of efficiency and maintenance costs."

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CP10 vs. Best Competitors Efficiency (%) 95.2

94.5 94.3

130,000 72,000 69,000


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34 • FEBRUARY 2019


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Lifetime (hours)

45,000 #4

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Aids and aided by IT-OT convergence One unexpected benefit of edge computing is that it can apparently enable OT and IT professionals to collaborate more effectively. "Edge devices bring IT and OT together for common goals like predictive maintenance because they can push more data from field devices to higher-level systems more often," says Endress+Hauser's Ochsenreither. "Much of this data was already in many instruments, but it was locked in, and could only be downloaded manually or with added effort. For example, when it comes to self-diagnostics of the instruments, users would have to write down the diagnostic code from the display, look it up in manuals, learn what to do, and go back and make adjustments. Now we have edge devices like our SGC 500 gateway that can get more and better information automatically. The process still runs as before, but now users have in-depth diagnostics, and can learn what needs to be done before they go out. SGC 500 does analytics, health diagnostics and predictive tasks, but all its software applications use data from other edge devices. These applications will be launched in the U.S. later this year.'' Because remote and/or limited-connectivity operations must prioritize the data they send to the enterprise or cloud, Endress+Hauser has developed its Smart System, which combines sensing, measurement and gateway functions to collect, aggregate and store information before sending it to the cloud, reports Ochsenreither. It was recently released in Europe and is expected to be released this year in the U.S. "Smart System measures continuously, and users decide whether it updates the data to the cloud every 15, 30 or 60 minutes," says Ochsenreither. "It also takes a snapshot of data just before sending it to the cloud, and checks the diagnostics of connected sensors and reports on their health or if anything is wrong."

Step up, jump in Getting involved with edge computing and automation is designed to be relatively simple and straightforward, but it does require redefining some traditional relationships with legacy devices and networks—and the willingness to change some mindsets, too. "Data processing is heading towards more distributed hardware and software, where users don't have to stick with one vendor, but can instead employ best-in-class devices," says Inductive's Cox. "This means leveraging open, secure standards like OPC UA, MQTT and RESTful API. This is different than networking via EtherNet/IP and Profinet, and is more like the Internet where HTML is transmitted over HTTP. This is where openstandard, plug-and-play networking can unlock some real power for the industrial world. For instance, MQTT is like HTTP because it uses Sparkplug messaging that defines data before it's transferred. This is what allows two different systems to access and understand data from each other, and know whose devices are being used and what their data means without the mapping that used to be required. "Anyone can say their network protocol is open, but if it's not truly interoperable and easy to understand, then it's not open. Openness means plug-and-play access, inspection and data transfers between two systems or devices that doesn't require users to write mapping and translate protocols. This is what's enabling data science, machine learning, and building and applying models to be combined with operations. This is where real ITOT convergence happens."

t/h lb⁄cf lb⁄h °Brix

fact Continuous flow measurement with air or gas entrainments in the medium OPTIMASS series – technology driven by KROHNE • Coriolis mass flowmeters with Entrained Gas Management (EGMTM): no loss of measurement with gas and air entrainments up to 100% • Considerable improvements with: - Plant start-up and shut-down - Air-containing products - Troubleshooting in the process • Measurement of mass, volume, density, temperature and flow velocity as well as concentration with one device • Ex, SIL2/3, EHEDG, 3A, FDA, CIP/SIP; CT: MID 2014/32/EU, OIML, API&AGA compliant

More facts about the OPTIMASS series:


At the IIoT A look from the trenches at digitalization, big data and Industry 4.0.


by Gregory K. McMillan

WE are at a crucial junction. Yoga Berra famously said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” When it comes to IIoT, we will, and there may be no looking back if we continue on what seems to be the more appealing path. Judging by the number of articles and even university programs with IIoT in the title, it’s being regarded as not only as the next best thing, but perhaps the all-time best thing and the only thing. It’s interesting that I found the content of one online university program and article with IIoT in the title actually had nothing much to do with IIoT. Here, we try to address some of the practical issues of IIoT, digitalization, big data and Industry 4.0 to give realistic and useful guidance. Executives may not understand process control, but can relate to information technology (IT) because their world is governed by IT. They may be thinking, why do we need all those engineers in hardhats? Fortunately, we see them asking experienced automation professionals in the ISA Mentor program to take IIoT on the right road. To see how important this is, let’s learn from the past. IIoT is the future, one way or another. The following stories are just a warning to make sure we take the right road. The mistakes I saw led to many of the later recommendations for a successful future with IIoT, where engineers and technicians are empowered and enlightened. We are at the crossroads. 36 • FEBRUARY 2019

Lessons from the past I survived the era of expert systems, neural networks and fuzzy logic. I dabbled in them, and had a few small productive applications. It turns out that the level alarm and dryer moisture prediction could have been done by material and energy balances, and pH control by a model predictive control. Fortunately, most of my time was spent on first-principal dynamic modeling, and improving valve response and PID control strategies. The dozen or so people who were working on these leading-edge technologies were all gone after about 15 years as was $25 million worth of engineering time and software, with few lasting successes. They were all given packages, so maybe it turned out OK for them. I never got a package. The company wanted me to stay, but I eventually retired to avoid putting my retirement at risk due to bankruptcy. In the 1990s, I witnessed a specialist from the leading supplier of multivariate statistical process control (MVSPC) come into a plant I supported. He had no plant experience, but was a highly educated data scientist. After a couple of weeks, he was extremely excited about all the great predictions in continuous sheet line quality he developed by simply dumping all the plant data into his software, including the far upstream batch operations. All of the predictions were bogus and bizarre to the point of being comical. We could laugh because his time

was free in the hope we would buy the software. Remember the promise of a “lights out” control room over 30 years ago with the introduction of the DCS? I saw one 20 years ago. The plant was shut down after the total solution to long-retired expertise was an emulation that had little to do with actual plant or its control system, and no documentation or training by people with plant knowledge.

Threats and promises IIoT can provide a synergy of accountants, data scientists, process engineers, analyzer specialists, automation professionals, operators and maintenance technicians working together, eliminating silos. This sense of community can spur creativity and deeper involvement. The many layers of automation and expertise can be exploited. I think back on the opportunity assessments, when we had all of these people in the same room looking at historical data and opportunity sizing sheets. The insights and solutions we quickly gained led to process control improvements with yearly benefits that averaged 5% of the cost of goods. IIoT can potentially put us all functionally in the same virtual room with much more intelligent access to knowledge with an eye on better alarm management, HMI, procedure automation, batch control, instrumentation, basic and advanced


control, and operator performance. If we take the wrong road, the room may only have a data scientist, potentially resulting in a “lights out” plant. Too much data that doesn’t include changes in the process inputs and consequential changes in the process outputs, covering the possible range of operation, can result in tight models with false alerts and conclusions. For batch operations, 50 batches might be about right for data analytics, making sure they cover the full range of the quality assurance (QA) value (e.g., end-of-batch lab quality result). Know your process and what measurements are important for that stage of processing. Take into account when controllers are not in service. Eliminate outliers. Strip off measurements that are obviously not applicable. For tight control, look at changes in the manipulated variable. If the flow measurement does not have sufficient rangeability, the knowledge is in the controller output. Batch operations require incredible ranges of utility flows as they progress from starting conditions, low level and no conversion to final operating conditions, high level and high conversion. Avoid flow measurements that are only relevant for a short period or are shared by other equipment units. When an operator sees something unusual, the first question often asked is: what maintenance is being done? Maintenance records need to be timely

and integrated into and accounted for in-system analysis. Simple calibration checks (a common occurrence for pH electrodes) can lead to false alerts.

Delve into data analytics Data analytics are valuable for showing a batch is different. I personally see the worm plot of a QA value versus two principal components as useful, where the head of the worm is the most recent batch and the tail is the oldest batch. Outliers must be eliminated, of course. Ideally, you want the worm to be tightly coiling around the best QA value. While the incentive is greater for high-value, biologic products, there are challenges with models of biological processes due to multiplicative effects (neural networks and data analytic models assume additive effects). Almost every first-principle model (FPM) has specific growth and product formation rates, which are the result of a multiplication of factors each between 0 and 1 to detail the effect of temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, glucose, amino acid (e.g., glutamine) and inhibitors (e.g., lactic acid). Thus, each factor changes the effect of every other factor. You can understand this by realizing that, if the temperature is too high, cells are not going to grow and may die. It doesn’t matter if there's enough oxygen or glucose. Similarly, if there isn’t enough oxygen, it doesn’t matter if the other conditions are fine. One

Local experts

Centralized expertise

Third-party expert services

Automation network

On-premise or cloud-hosted


Your own center Integrated operations center Monitoring and diagnostics center

Third-party monitoring and analysis platform Diagnosis or work instructions Equipment data

Equipment data


DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY CAN SOLVE OLD PROBLEMS The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is at its best when it solves the ancient problem of breaking down silos and bringing to bear the combined knowledge and perspectives of local, corporate and third-party experts.

way to address this problem is to make all factors as close to 1 and as constant as possible, except for the one of interest. It's been shown that data analytics can identify the limitation and/or inhibition FPM parameter for one condition, such as the effect of glucose concentration via the Michaelis-Menten equation, if other factors are constant and nearly 1. Process control is about changes in process inputs and changes in process outputs. If there's no change, you can’t identify the process gain or dynamics. We know this is necessary in the identification of models for MPC, and for PID tuning and feedforward control. We often forget this in the datasets used to develop data models. A smart Design of Experiments (DOE) is really best to get datasets that show changes in process outputs for changes in process inputs, and to cover the range of interest. If setpoints are changed for different production rates and products, existing historical data may be rich enough if carefully pruned. Remember, neural network models, like statistical models, are correlations and not cause-and-effect. Review by people knowledgeable in the process and control system is essential. Time synchronization of process inputs with process outputs is needed for continuous models, but not necessarily for batch models, explaining the notable successes in predicting batch endpoints. Often, delays are inserted on continuous process inputs. This is sufficient for plug flow volumes such as dryers, where the dynamics are principally a transport delay. For back mixed volumes, such as vessels and columns, a time lag and delay should be used that's dependent on production rate. Neural network models are more difficult to troubleshoot than data analytic models, and are vulnerable to correlated inputs (data analytics benefits from principal component analysis and drill-down to contributors). Neural network models can introduce localized reversal of slope and bizarre extrapolation beyond training data not seen in data analytics. Their FEBRUARY 2019 • 37

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piecewise linear fit can successfully model nonlinear batch profiles. To me, this is similar in principle to using signal characterizers to provide a piecewise fit of titration curves.

Cover the basics Recycle can cause a snowballing effect unless there's a flow loop with a fixed setpoint in the recycle path. Contaminants and inerts are often not measured and can accumulate. Unmeasured disturbances are a general, pervasive problem. Limit cycles, interactions and resonance cause confusing situations, often best deciphered using power spectrum analysis and selectively putting loops in manual. What happened first may also be a timely clue, as proven by the age-old value of the first-out sequence. More extensive and better measurements and automation (e.g., PID control and procedure automation) increases process repeatability and knowledge. Portable wireless transmitters can track down problems and monitor plant performance. Temperature transmitters with clamp-on sensors on coil, jacket or heat exchanger inlet and outlet piping can be used to detect fouling. Passing the inlet temperature through a dead time block with the dead time set equal to the transportation delay can synchronize the inlet with the outlet temperature. For reactors, conversion can be computed, enabling progression of batch or accumulation of contaminants or inerts. There are also significant opportunities in using wireless measurements for pipe corrosion, spill detection, pump vibration and steam trap operation.

News from the front Danaca Jordan, an original protégée of the ISA Mentor Program with more than eight years of plant experience in process control, offers the following perspective as she moves into her new IIoT role: “We're realizing greater data integration between business and production systems than ever before. By pulling information from sources other than just process instruments, like schedules, orders, raw materials, work history, etc., and combining it with process data, we're able to develop and put near-real-time, business-related metrics in front of chemical plant operators and front-line supervision. This empowers them to control, optimize and make decisions on information that they previously would have only seen the results of in a monthly static report. This is requiring data scientists to learn new ways to handle time series data, and engineers to design and determine what metrics are actionable with data they couldn’t previously access.” Process/Industrial Instruments and Controls Handbook, Sixth Edition, 2019, by Hunter Vegas and I, offers focused guidance on how to improve and measure process performance. A key insight is that myriad improvements can be categorized as increases in process efficiency, capacity, flexibility and safety. Increases in process efficiency show up primarily as decreases in the ratio of the running average of raw material mass or energy used to the running average of product mass produced. Increases in process capacity show up as an increased running 38 • FEBRUARY 2019


average of product mass produced. In addition, process capacity increases can be the result of higher production rates, faster startups, better ability to deal with abnormal operation, and greater onstream time. In all cases, product mass must meet customer specifications. Flexibility shows up as the ability to meet different production rates or different product requirements. Safety shows up as minimizing activations of the safety instrumented system (SIS) besides the obvious metric of minimizing the number of incidents including near misses.

Measure progress The period for metrics must be large enough to eliminate noise and inverse response, and to provide the ability to make decisions based on objective and process type. For evaluating operator and control system actions, the period is normally the cycle time and operator shift for batch and continuous processes, respectively. The period is a month for correlation with accounting metrics. For alerting operators as fast as possible to the consequence of actions taken (e.g., changing controller setpoint or

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mode), the period can be reduced to be as short as six times the total loop dead time. The metrics at the end of a month, batch or shift is historized. Especially important is the translation of online metrics to the bottom line effect on production unit profitability in the plant accounting system. This means that benefits must be reported on a monthly basis, and presented per accounting format and procedures. Obvious but often not addressed is the buy-in by the plant accounting department and plant management. This is best done by real-time accounting. A digital twin as part of a virtual plant offers considerable knowledge, including experimentation. Online metrics can be developed that can moved to the actual plant to provide indications of plant efficiency and capacity in dollars with intelligent time frames (e.g., shift, batch and accounting month). The proper use of IIoT should increase the performance of engineers and technicians, freeing them up to focus on higher levels of accomplishment. We are at the IIoT crossroads. Let’s all work together to take the right road to a more intelligent future.


Liquid Level Transmitters

SAFETY By Design, NOT Safety by Approval Not all hazardous area approvals are the same. Special conditions of use allow inferior products to be approved with caveats. These inferior products have safety approvals but the burden is on the end user to make sure the installation is safe and the special conditions have been accounted for. Level Plus® Tank Slayer® flexible level transmitter is SAFE by design and only uses a 100% stainless steel braided hose and offset weighted floats. The design is a SAFE system that does not require caveats. MTS mandates the robust metal hose not because it is the cheapest option but because it is the SAFEST option.

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FEBRUARY 2019 • 39

A new Otto Bock plant uses Profinet and smart drives to mix liquid plastics more accurately

by Jeanne Schweder

UNTIL the 1950s, the Otto Bock company focused on fabricating prostheses, which were still made of wood. However, even as supplies of appropriate wood became scarce, the firm was already considering more suitable materials, which turned out to be synthetics such as plastics. Founded by Mr. Otto Bock in Germany in 1919, following World War I, the company has marketed polyurethane foam products and systems for more than 60 years. Otto Bock Kunststoff GmbH is headquartered in Duderstadt, while its North American headquarters were established in 1958 in Minneapolis, Minn. More recently, it was wholly acquired by FoamPartner/ Conzzeta AG ( based in Wolfhausen, Switzerland. Otto Bock reports its 5,000 employees focus on efficient, high-quality manufacturing at all its facilities in Germany, the U.S. and China. That efficiency, whether it's on the production line or in engineering design, is the primary goal, but achieving it requires an integrated approach where every element contributes to the greater whole. This big-picture view was the driving force for engineering recommendations made by system integrator Process Automation Solutions (PAS, for a new Otto Bock plant in Rochester Mills, Mich., near Detroit. Located in Atkinson, N.H., PAS is an associate member of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA, Built in 2018 next to the company's production facility, workstations at the new plant blend liquid polymers for the soft, nonflammable, sound-absorbing plastic parts used inside vehicles or similar applications. The result of PAS' input was a state-of40 • FEBRUARY 2019

the-art controls system built on a foundation of Profinet and 18 smart drives from Siemens (Figure 1). "Our thought is to always save as much money for clients as possible, though that doesn't always mean the lowest initial cost," says Ingo Magura, senior project manager at PAS. "We tend to review with clients all aspects. For instance, using a reputable electrical installation contractor with a history of such projects may be a better long-term fit than a subcontractor that is less expensive at first, but has no experience with control system installations."

Polymer blending process To begin its batch process, Otto Bock receives truck deliveries of different polymers, which are transferred by automated pumps into one of four storage tanks. Operators then start one of their 20 recipes, and add different polymers in varying quantities to one of three mixing tanks, which circulate and mix the raw materials before the operators manually add quantities of special additives. When a batch is approved by the quality assurance/ control department (QA/QC), the final liquid polymer product is automatically pumped into 1,000-kg totes, smaller storage bins, or into other trucks for delivery to customers. Tight batch process control is critical for ensuring final product quality, and requires controlling setpoints, current flow and motor speeds, as well as monitoring equipment status to detect potential faults. This process criticality helped underscore the case for using networked smart drives for Otto Bock's new control system, which would allow online diagnostics from the engineering station as well as remote accessibility.

"Exact quantities are key to this polymer blending application, including the amount pumped from a storage tank into a mixing tank, and also the quantity of finished product transferred into the totes before shipping," says Magura. "In this case, tight batch control means speed for agitation while mixing product, so exact quantities are pumped. Upgrading to automated systems from the company's former manual procedures has labor efficiencies and increases accuracy."

The smart approach Although Otto Bock originally intended to use a traditional, motor-mounted drive system, PAS calculated that using networked smart drives would significantly reduce engineering, hardware and commissioning time and costs, as well as contribute additional information needed for measuring system performance. "In the old facility, there was an old control system by a little known brand with limited capabilities and pretty much no support," adds Magura. "The new system is energy-efficient, automated (reducing manual intervention), allows automatic reports, and is remote-accessible through a secure connection." Control components in the polymer blending solution by PAS include Siemens TIA Portal v15 software, WinCC SCADA system, S7-1515 CPU and remote I/O rack, as well as 18 Siemens Sinamics G120 drives and two Siemens Comfort panel field HMIs— all networked with Profinet. The drives work with 460-V, 3-phase NEMA motors, ranging from 1.25 kw to 11 kW, which serve the blending application's pumps and agitators (Figure 2). "Having the smart drives, Profinet and the control system allows for seamless integration," says Magura, who was confident that this

integrated approach would achieve the goals set for the new blending facility, and details how using smart drives networked by Profinet reduced Otto Bock's hardware and commissioning expenses. "Since Profinet already connects all the components, commissioning time is drastically reduced compared to using traditional drives, which require that a dedicated cable be hooked up to each drive from an engineering laptop PC for commissioning," he explains. "In contrast, with smart drives connected by Profinet to the PLC, there's just one Ethernet cable, compared to eight that would have been needed if Ethernet wasn't used."

SMART DRIVE CABINET Figure 1: To control the accuracy and quality of its liquid polymer blending process, Otto Bock worked with system integrator PAS to design a control system built on a foundation of Profinet and 18 smart drives from Siemens. Source: PAS FEBRUARY 2019 • 41


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Scalance S615

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S7-1517 CPU

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P1 192 .168 .2.1 P2 P3 P4

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Sinamics G120s Z5_DP 3

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Profinet Profinet 192 .168 .1.9

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Scalance Xb 008 unmanaged industrial Ethernet switch

ENGINEERING SETUP WITH PROFINET Figure 2: Control components in the polymer blending solution by PAS include Siemens TIA Portal v15 software, WinCC SCADA system, S7-1515 CPU and remote I/O rack, as well as 18 Siemens Sinamics G120 drives and two Siemens Comfort panel field HMIs—all networked with ProfiNet. The drives work with 460 V, 3 ph NEMA motors, ranging from 1.25 kw to 11 kW, which serve the blending application's pumps and agitators. Source: PAS The functions of these cables include: • Speed setpoint (4-20 mA); • Actual speed (4-20 mA); • Actual current (4-20 mA); • Drive Ready (discrete input); • Drive Enable (discrete output); • Drive Fault (discrete input); • Drive START (discrete output); and • Drive STOP (discrete output). "Since no additional hardware such as I/O cards is required to read the actual speed of the drive/motor, this technology enhances accuracy. Plus, when you multiply these cabling and I/O costs by 18 drives, it becomes evident that a smart bus system reduces both hardware and cable installation costs. The cabling and I/O would have cost at least $31,000 more if hadn't wired the drives to the PLC using Profinet." In addition, remote access to PAS has been implemented with Siemens Sinema Remote Connect system, which is secure and allows us to perform software modifications or troubleshoot remotely. Production adjustments can be from a password-protected screen on the WinCC SCADA system.

Otto Bock and PAS, according to Magura. "Profinet is deterministic, so we can fine tune the control loops immediately and efficiently," he said. "In addition, we have all the measured values from the devices at our disposal, such as hours run, which can be sent from a drive to the PLC in a few mouse clicks. That's efficient engineering. "By using this fully integrated control system platform, including the drives, HMIs and Profinet, we were able to estimate our engineering costs more tightly, reduce the price to the customer, and demonstrate that PAS is a more efficient solution partner." Finally, key performance indicators (KPI) can be easily calculated using the vast amount of data now available from the company's polymer blending application. This Profinet networked system also makes it easy for users to add new KPIs by analyzing data from the smart drives. These KPIs also bring further insights into Otto Bock's network and manufacturing process, and are potentially critical for planning preventive maintenance and future hardware upgrades. "As for the future, Otto Bock has similar blending systems in Germany and Asia," concludes Magura. "So, the goals of its U.S. team apply these best practices in the other facilities."

Multiple ongoing gains

Jeanne Schweder has written about automation technologies for more

Beyond initial equipment and commissioning savings, deploying smart drives and Profinet is paying ongoing dividends for both

than 20 years, and has been a freelance writer for the past seven

42 • FEBRUARY 2019

years. She can be reached at


The elephant To bridge it, understand the rationale behind the academic-practice gap.

ELEPHANTS are awesome. But even washed before a parade, as the beasts lumber by, it’s not a desirable odor for those in the front row. The particular elephant is not responsible. It's an elephant because its DNA is elephant DNA, which has evolved to be best suited for the ancient elephant environment. Whether you want to think the present elephant is the result of natural selection from random DNA perturbations, or creative DNA designed by an intelligence beyond us, is irrelevant. Today’s elephant is right for the elephant’s environment. Its attributes (size, speed, lifespan, drivers to care for babies, the food it eats, how it acquires food, how it digests food, defense against predators, etc.) all combine to create an animal that's successful in the tropical environment. The particular elephant can't be blamed for choosing a body that I find malodorous. Its ancestry didn't consider me when it was becoming today’s elephant, an entity best suited to its ancestors’ environment. If we discover that the undesirable odor is the result of their diet and digestion processes, and decide to feed all elephants fish, or change the biotic balance in their digestion, they may not survive. If we decide to move all the elephants to a colder environment, they may not survive. If we change the natural environment from the complex aspects for which they were designed to be successful, they may not survive. This, of course, is not about elephants. It is about the academic-practice gap. There is a common complaint from the practice community that college courses in process control don’t teach the right topics. It’s often called the gap. Industry has often tried to relay to academe the body of knowledge that's important for process control, but something makes engineering instructors ignore that. They still shape the course to be about differential equations and Laplace transforms. Like elephants in their habitat, players within the academic environment have evolved practices and procedures to best survive in the

academic environment. If we gave an elephant a choice to eat plants or fish, it will choose to eat the plants. If we give the professor a choice of what to teach, they choose topics for their well-being. Instructors choose the books for the course, and a successful author is one who writes a text that will be chosen. Authors know that closedform mathematical analysis provides academic stature, and it’s a familiar and useful skill to the instructor. By contrast, practice-relevant methods for choosing cascade; expedient and online tuning of controllers; selecting filtering; designing a cross-limiting structure; specifying where to locate a valve and which valve Cv and characteristic to choose; selecting sensor type and location; adjusting pump capacity to be compatible with the instrument system; calculating SIL and such are substantially grounded in heuristics and judgement about the context. Although this knowledge is essential to become a process control technologist, this means that any of many student answers to an exercise could be right, or that a student’s solution approach could have partially undesirable aspects. A grader must have significant practice experience to relay to the student the nuances that led to point deductions. This makes grading difficult. By contrast, if the professor assigns a mathematical derivation with one right answer, and every other answer wrong because of concept or derivation errors, then it's simple, convenient and safe to grade. And, the grading can then be off-loaded to a teaching assistant! The student can’t argue that the Laplace transform of an integral could be "s". But, the student could argue that cross-limiting control was not the right answer because the professor didn't adequately describe the impact of one variable not following-up and not leadingdown another variable relative to the complexity and cost issues of a cross-limiting solution. It's difficult to completely include context in test questions, and context is important. Further, most faculty members aren’t hired because they have practice expertise. They're hired


It’s not the professor’s fault. It’s not the program’s fault. Their ancestry evolved today’s academic process based on survival of the program and professor within the academic environment.

FEBRUARY 2019 • 43


because of their potential to bring in science-based funding to support the graduate research program, and their potential generation of publications leading to perceived intellectual leadership among the world academic community. It would be rare for an academic program to have a control practice expert teaching the course. More likely, the instructor will have had the one academic process control course, years prior, and think that it’s about mathematics. And, if they happen to look at a practice-oriented book, they will recognize that other style that, for them, leads to unsafe assessment of student learning. They will choose a book that appeals to their interest, embodies their knowledge, has academic stature and afďŹ rmation, and permits TAs to do the grading on defensible black-or-white answers. Already working 60 hours a week for tenure, striving to ďŹ nd research funding to ďŹ ll the salary void of summer funding, and trying to meet family obligations, you can’t blame a professor for making and rationalizing expedient choices for managing a course. It’s not the professor’s fault. It is not the program’s fault. Their ancestry evolved today’s academic process based on survival of the program and professor in the academic environment. Even if



44 • FEBRUARY 2019

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the professor wishes to provide a career-relevant course, the experiment will lead to the instructor’s unwellness, and return the course to mathematical science. I think differential equations and Laplace notation should be included in the process control course, but those topics should be taught as needed to provide the grounding for the important topics, not as the key content of the course. It’s not that the current courses teach wrong things; it’s just that the environment shapes professors who place too much focus on things of minor need in practice. Contrasting industrial attempts to guide process control courses, there are also academic surveys of instructors about what they choose for course content to identify a consensus of best practices. If the elephant was told elements of the best diet for a bird, would the elephant eat it? Or would the elephant follow best practices of the elephant community? If we want to change what is taught in the classroom, then we need to change the environment in which current practices have evolved. But then, the instructional practices and faculty persona that evolved academically would not be suitable. If we change the academic environment, the faculty members will have to evolve. Fortunately, humans can adapt their behavior to changes in their political-economic system. Changing behavior is different from changing the machine. Primitive villagers learn better ways to manage life with training from Peace Corps and similar organizations. People can survive after a political revolution in their country. Children can address their parents on a ďŹ rst-name basis in the presence of customers, when they grow up and become a partner in the family business. And professors can teach the design courses, where the students’ subjective choices need to be defended. Many programs hire instructors with the title of clinical, adjunct or professor of practice to provide practice-relevant expertise. Though this is often very difďŹ cult to defend within the academic environment, it can happen. Don’t blame the gap on the instructor or the program. Humans designed the game rules of the university environment, and that environment is the reason we have a gap. The situation is not exclusive to engineering. It's common professionally and worldwide. Search the Internet for “seeking to bridge the academic-practice gap,â€? I found much about the gap, but no organizations seeking to bridge it. What can you do? Bridge your personal theory-to-practice gap with information in periodicals, product bulletins, industry sponsored training courses and books written by practitioners. Don’t study more academic theory, but also don’t reject the fundamentals from your college courses. There's a right set of topics that enable you to understand the rational for best practices. Build your bridge, the one you need to connect the fundamentals to the practice. In school, you were told to learn what the teachers provided. But now, you must look elsewhere to develop your potential.


Compressor rod position detection And how quickly we need to bring global warming under control.

Q: We're facing a problem of high readings of rod position in four-cylinder reciprocating compressors. The probes are GE in XY configuration for each cylinder. The probes have been verified for linearity and installed. On starting the compressors, the value of position magnitude crossed more than 1,300 microns with position angle of 14°. We've experienced unreliable readings of rod positions, and when alarm conditions caused the machine to stop, no wear been found on the rider ring. This has occurred many times. Please suggest what could be causing the false readings. BHARTENDU NAYAK

A: You mentioned rod drop sensor and XY. For clear understanding, please send me the P&ID or general arrangement, so I can understand exact positions. Further, when you checked linearity and factor using a wobulator, did you also use target material that was the same as that of the shaft? A wobulator has typical target material which must be replaced by materials that are similar to that of the shaft. Also, did you check the 3500 rack configuration software to ensure the probe factor is the same as you calculated via the wobulator? DEBASIS GUHA

[The specialized nature of proximity probe measurements requires a specialized calibration instrument, capable of introducing fixed gap (i.e., position), changing gap (i.e., vibration), and rotative speed signals into the transducer for verification and testing purposes. One example is the Bently Nevada TK-3, where a fixed gap is provided by clamping the probe into a stationery position, while a movable target on a spindle micrometer is adjusted. Simulated vibration is provided by clamping the probe into a movable swing arm, observing

a precision-machined wobble plate that rotates, and introducing a known amount of changing gap with each rotation. Finally, shaft rotative speed is simulated by observing a notch on the side of the rotating wobble plate. TK-3 wobulator provides all of these functions in a portable kit that allows users to test and verify the entire measurement path, from the tip of the probe all the way through to the monitor’s visual indicators, relay contacts, and digital/analog interfaces.–Ed.]

This column is moderated by Béla Lipták (, automation and safety consultant and editor of the Instrument and Automation Engineers’ Handbook (IAEH). If you have an automation-related question for this column, write to

Q: In your column, "Is global warming like level control?" (Dec. ’18, p. 46,, you explained that global temperature will continue to rise even after we cut back on our carbon emission. You compared this process to that of a tank of water, in which the level will contonue to rise even if we start filling it slower. That logic makes good sense, but you did not give numbers on when will our "tank" (the carbon concentration in the atmosphere) will get to the level set as a limit by the Paris Agreement—how much time do we have to make this "control loop" function? Z. FRIEDMANN

A: Excellent question. To answer it, I prepared Figure 1, in which the values of the four key variables of this process are shown over about a century. I simplified the plot by substituting straight lines for the nonlinear curves and distinguished them by color. Green is the weight in gigatons of the accumulated carbon in the atmosphere (GTC), brown is the CO2 concentration in the air in parts per million (CO2 ppm), blue is the weight in gigatons of the yearly emitted carbon (DTyC), and red is the total rise of global temperature in °C. At the top, I've shown the temperature rise limit set by the Paris Agreement (1.5 °C). FEBRUARY 2019 • 45







11 10

















CO2, ppm

0.8 300






200 300










100 1










Sam e



Paris Agreement



CO2, 1.5 ppm



0 1920

1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050

CARBON AND TEMPERATURE TRENDS Figure 1: Global CO2 emissions (blue line) are currently accelerating, which if continued, will cause global warming to reach the Paris Agreement limit of 1.5 °C as early as 2040. Year As you can see in the figure, the planet is warming very slowly (1 °C to 2 °C per century). This might be suprising with such a great heat input from the sun, which equals the heat content of four Hiroshima bombs per second. The reason is the trumendous cooling capacity of the oceans and ice caps at the poles. As to the amount of ice, Antarctica alone is larger than the U.S. and is covered by a 7,000-foot-thick mountain of ice, which is the height of six Empire State buildings. Imagine what happens to the ocean levels when all that ice has melted. 46 • FEBRUARY 2019

Now, when process control engineers looks at this process and are told to return it to preindustrial conditions, they would configure a control loop to do it. The setpoint of the loop is a 0.0 °C temperature rise (which corresponds to a CO2 concentration of 300 ppm), and the manipulated variable is the CO2 emission rate (flow into the atmosphere) because that flow causes the heating. So, we have a temperature control loop that's throttling (reducing) the emission flow. This flow today is 10 GTyC per year—in other words, about 1.5 tons of carbon (about 5 tons of CO2 per year) is sent into the at-

mosphere per person on our planet. But we have two problems that need to be answered before this loop will function: 1.W hat do we manipulate to lower the flow of emission? 2. How do we remove the excess CO2 (880 - 580 = 300 GTC) that's alseady accumulated during the past century? Answering these questions is not easy. I'm in the process of writing a book on this very subject, which will be published later this year by ISA. In answering the first question, we see on the figure that if our emission rate rises at about the same rate as it does today, we'll reach and exceed the limit set by the Paris Agreement by 2050-60. Naturally, if the rate rises, we'll reach the Paris limit sooner. As of today, that is the case, as global emission increased by 3.4% last year compared to 2017. If that continues, the Paris limit will be reached by around 2040 (with the consequence we all know). So, how do we go about throttling the yearly emission? The answer is obvious: by making it profitable to do. And how do we make it profitable? By taxing the use of fossil energy and investing the collected tax into subsidizing the development of green energy use. Solving the other problem (removing the accumulated 300 GTC of carbon from the air) is more difficult and it will take many pages in my forthcoming book to cover it. Here, I will just say that we have two options: Option A is to do nothing, which will result in continued rising of the global temperature and will bring the known consequences, or Option B, which is to develop new technologies. Some of my ideas have already published in Control in connection with the reversible fuel cell (RFC), which you can also learn about by listening to: cfm/2011/8/25/Science-&-TechnologyAuthor-Series-Bela-G-Liptak:-Post-OilEnergy-Technology. BÉLA LIPTÁK


Enclosures get their close-up Boxes, workstations and purge systems deliver protection in deversifying shapes and sizes. FIBERGLASS AND POLYCARBONATE


AttaBox brand from Robroy Enclosures are non-metallic, corrosion-resistant, polycarbonate, fiberglass-reinforced polyester and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) enclosures available in pushbutton, window and clear cover; keylocking; fiberglass; and NEMA 1, 3, 3R, 3S, 4X, 6P, 12, 13 formats. AttaBox Freedom, Commander, Centurion, MachoBox and Triton enclosures feature Robroy's SolarGuard fiberglass-reinforced polyester formulation for maximum UV resistance in a corrosion-resistant, non-metallic enclosure.

Bebco EPS 7500 Series Ex pzc/Type Z compact purge and pressurization system is designed for Class I or II/Div. 2 and Zone 2/22 locations. It can run fully automatic or manual, and purges a common enclosure of hazardous gas or dust to maintain positive pressure. Bebco EPS 7500 effectively reduces the classification in a protected enclosure to a non-hazardous area. It carries ATEX and IECEx certifications, is UL listed, and operates in an extremely small footprint of only 5.8 x 3.8 x 1.9 in.





SE 8 modular enclosure comes in 16-gauge carbon or stainless-steel, and features a reversible TS 8 door. For larger systems, it's available with a double-door starting at 39 in. Both the carbon and stainless steel versions of the single door model are UL-rated Type 12, Type 4 and 3R, while in both materials, the double-door models are rated Type 12. SE 8 interchangeable accessories include base; plinth, cable base and flex-block; locking system; and comfort handle inserts.

Designed for washdown environments, NEMA 4X IceStation Titan (IS603027-4X) enclosure body is made of 14-gauge, type 304 stainless steel, and has 12-gauge doors with a #3F vertical finish. This enclosure is 60-in. high x 28-in. wide x 27in. deep, and has a sloped top for easier cleaning and water run-off. Titan can be customized with sliding shelf brackets, 19in. rack-mount rails, dual waterproof USB ports for outside connections, sealed cable entry glands, power strips, sub-panels and various thermal management options.


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PeriShelter outdoor shelters have externally accessible touchscreen HMIs, panels that provide access to electrical connections, I/O terminations, and hybrid passive/ active cooling based on a combination of unpowered passive and active powered technologies that can ensure stable and reliable operating environments for control and instrumentation electronics. If an active cooling element should fail, the passive cooling system retains enough capacity to keep the shelter cool for days.

Hammond 1455 Series enclosure is for equipment interfacing or housing PC boards that mount horizontally by sliding into internal slots extruded into the enclosure body. Its rugged body is made of extruded aluminum with a minimum thickness of 0.06 in. (1.5mm) and sizing capabilities for standard Eurocards. Other features of 1455 include a slide-removable “belly” plate in the extruded housing (except in smaller sizes ‘A’ through ‘D’); choice of clear, black, blue or red anodized finish; and self-adhesive rubber feet.


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Industrial Case System (ICS) housings come in nine widths, six heights and five depths. They feature standardized device connections, such as RJ45, D-SUB, and USB, and a variety of PCB terminal block or connection options, making them suitable for communication interfaces, controllers and power supplies. ICS is designed for use in IP20 control cabinets, and can be mounted on a DIN rail. They operate between -40 and 100 °C, making them suitable for use in process industries and other harsh environments.

Impulse dual sit/stand consoles include two independently adjustable work surfaces for the most adaptability to give the widest range of users the ergonomic benefits of a sit/stand system. Work surfaces are finished in durable, high-pressure laminate, and feature Safeguard Edge protective bumpers. Impulse's electric-lift legs have a load capacity of 520 pounds to raise or lower the work surface height between 30 in. and 46 in., and offer three user-configurable presets.





Bulletin 598 enclosures have general-purpose, junction box and replacement options for indoors and outdoors. They include UL Type 3R, 4, 4X, 12 and 13 rainproof, watertight, corrosion-resistant, dust-tight and IP66 protection ratings. Metal NEMA motor starter boxes are available in multiple configurations and ratings, while pushbutton enclosures are available in one- to four-hole configurations for indoors and outdoors, and also come in UL Type 4, 4x, 12 and 13 watertight, corrosion-resistant, dust-tight and IP66.

NEMA 4X ARCA-IEC Series enclosure has added a pad-lockable swing handle option. Available in portrait or landscape orientation, it's watertight and made of high-impact, UV-resistant, WiFi-friendly polycarbonate that won't dent, rust, crack or bloom like steel or fiberglass. ARCA-IEC also weighs less and is easier to modify than metal or fiberglass. Its thermoplastic composition flexes and returns to shape. It also has a formed-in-place PUR gasket that makes an airtight fit to keep components dust-free and dry.


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HyShed sanitary enclosures prevent moisture or chemical entry with a replaceable, FDA-grade, blue silicone gasket. They also comply with IP69K (DIN) and IP69 (IEC), and are certified to comply with NSF and Type 4X. HyShed is also reported to be the first enclosure to hold a 3-A System Component Qualification certificate. HyShed is made of 304 stainless steel, has a No. 4 Dairy protective finish, and offers 18 hinge cover models, five screw cover models, and a variety of new IP69K-rated accessories.

Using a vented design to protect electronics from hands or tools, but allow entry of air and moisture for applications that need environmental exposure, 1551V series ABS plastic miniature sensor enclosures feature wall-mounting slots on the base, snapfit closure assembly for repeated opening, four PC board standoffs molded into the interior, and a wire entry knockout on the base that can be removed with a screwdriver. Available four sizes, 1551Vs come in in three colors (black, gray, and white).



48 • FEBRUARY 2019


SCADA goes mobile-responsive Ignition software transforms to aid large enterprises and mobile/smart device users.

IT'S often said that good things come to those who wait. So, as much as its many users enjoy working with Ignition SCADA software and succeed with it, they've also been using Version 7 for the past nine years and have been more than ready for some new capabilities. Well, after two years in development, the wait is over and Ignition 8 has landed. However, it's been upgraded to the point that it's morphed from web-based SCADA software into a full-blown industrial application platform, according to Carl Gould, co-director of software engineering at Inductive. "There were two trends inspiring development of Ignition 8," says Gould. "The first was Inductive Automation's market position evolved, and systems of one or a few sites that Ignition went into five years ago grew along with their organizations, and now they need tools that go with enterprise-sized deployments. The challenge for many large enterprises is workflow—trying to manage applications across many sites, developing standard corporate templates, and synching all their deployments. "Ignition 8 helps with all these because its primary features for large enterprises are compatibility with source control systems and improved collaboration development. Also, because Inductive Automation's licensing has no tag limits, many users built bigger and bigger systems over the years. As a result, we also reengineered the underlying tag system in Ignition, so it's faster again and uses less resources." Not surprisingly, the second major development that inspired Ignition 8 is that smart phones and tablet PCs have taken over industry, just like they've done on the mainstream/consumer side. "Ignition 7's desktop-based technology didn't serve the requirements of smart, mobile devices as gracefully as needed," explained Gould. "This is why we developed Ignition 8's biggest, new feature—Ignition Perspective Module—which is a drag-and-drop design and application-building environment in Ignition 8 that lets users construct mobile-capable and -responsive screens, interfaces and applications that best meet their unique requirements." After users create interfaces and applications, Ignition Perspective Module also serves as their visualization system. It's available in two versions, mobile and browser, which can be used on their own or together. To further aid its increasing users and expanding enterprises, Ignition 8 lets multiple designers work on the same projects at the same time, use the same resources without locking each other out, and merge all of their changes together. "Ignition Perspective Module is for all of our customers who have been asking for a first-class, web-based, industrial, application-builder

PLANT FLOOR IN HAND Ignition 8 software with its Perspective Module design environment is a pure-web, full-mobile, no plug-ins, interface-building and visualization system. platform and SCADA system," adds Gould. With the tag system improvements that are part of Ignition 8, edits to definitions of user-defined types (UDTs) are applied much faster, making large tag models more responsive. "In Ignition 7, if a user wanted to add an alarm to 1,000 valves, they'd have to build all those tags, and wait a minute for the devices to update," explained Gould. "Ignition 8 can use UDTs to apply these changes on the fly in 10 milliseconds." Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Ignition Perspective Module is its ability to bring in information from the smart phones and other mobile devices on which it's running. "We found it can use data from the GPS, camera, Bluetooth, accelerometer and other devices on the smart phone, and users want to incorporate this input into their industrial applications," explains Gould. "For example, just as a smart phone's GPS knows where its users are and directs them to the right location, our users driving around in an oil field can now have phones that know what well they're at and bring up the right screen for it. This is really exciting because Ignition 8 and apps built with Ignition Perspective Module can take advantage of all the data from the smart phone's sensors and its capabilities." For more information, visit ignition/whatsnew FEBRUARY 2019 • 49


Combined controller paves way for IIoT Logix control engine and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise operating system run on same Intel Quad Core i7 CPU.

WHEN you have a good foundation, you can construct something cool on it, especially if your community really needs it. In the case of Rockwell Automation's ControlLogix and CompactLogix controllers and software, building on their long experience is enabling the company to start filling the persistent gap between traditional, proprietary control architectures and CPUs and more recent, thirdparty, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) microprocessors and devices. The result is the new Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5480 programmable controller, which combines a Logix control engine and Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Enterprise operating system in an Intel CPU-based platform, according to Jason Shaw, global product manager for controllers at Rockwell Automation. This new programmable controller runs Logix control and Windows 10 in parallel, allowing users to view equipment and application data at their source. "In the past, if users wanted to run PLCs, PACs and other devices in conjunction with COTS CPUs and other components, it required a lot of integration to provide the value of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in the manufacturing space," says Shaw. "CompactLogix 5480 addresses this performance gap because it's a true IIoT device that uses an Intel Quad Core i7 CPU to run Rockwell Automation's high-performance, real-time control engine and a COTS operating system at the same time. This provides insights close to where they’re produced, enabling users to make smarter, faster operating decisions, react better to issues, and increase productivity." Though it was challenging to combine the Logix architecture and technology with Intel i7 and Microsoft for the first 50 • FEBRUARY 2019

UNIFIED CONTROLLER Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5480 controller runs a Logix control engine and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise operating system simultaneously on an Intel Quad Core i7 microprocessor to make it a true IIoT device, which gives users better data at its source to enable better decisions. Source: Rockwell Automation time, Shaw explains, "We relied heavily on the design engineers and our other partners at Intel and Microsoft to learn what would be happening in this chipset, and integrate their IP under the hood. This was a different design, so we had to be cautious at the outset, and make certain it was developed correctly." Consequently, from a functional standpoint, CompactLogix 5480 can reduce latency by performing real-time data collection at the device level, and users can view control information at its source, while other data can be sent on up to the enterprise or cloud. Its ability to run Windows applications on-premise can also reduce the need for a separate PC on the plant floor and shrink equipment footprints. The controller also incorporates multiple security functions, including user authentication and authorization,

role-based access, and digitally signed encryption. And, because its Windows operating system runs independently from the control engine, any disruptions to the operating system won't affect machine or line control. "The CompactLogix 5480 can be used for line control and supervisory control," adds Shaw. "It can run software packages like Rockwell Automation's FactoryTalk software or Windows-based ThinManager software. This controller supports up to 250 nodes of components networked by EtherNet/IP, as well as up to 150 axes of motion." On its hardware and communications side, CompactLogix 5480 possesses four Gigabit Ethernet ports, including three EtherNet/IP ports for real-time Logix and one for dedicated network interfacing by Windows 10 IoT. These interfaces can display industrial monitoring connections, while its two USB 3.0 ports allow connections to computing peripherals and other devices. The CompactLogix 5480 is also equipped with Rockwell Automation's standard 0-60 °C temperature operating range for its controllers. "Overall, the CompactLogix 5480 provides true information technology/operations technology (IT/OT) functionality at the device and production levels where their information is first generated and resides," concludes Shaw. "We believe this is the best, most efficient way to turn data into valuable, actionable knowledge for users and their enterprises. The CompactLogix 5480 is a true expression of Rockwell Automation's vision for The Connected Enterprise." For more information, visit http://


How to support gender diversity Things we can do to improve our profession by advocating women engineers.

GREG: Over my 50-year career in the automation profession, the best performers in terms of communication skill complementing technical capability were mainly women. However, many of them moved on to other professions where they felt more at home, and their verbal aptitude was more valued. As I was standing in the Mimic simulation software booth at a user group's exhibition hall, Diane Doise, a very experienced automation engineer at a major plant, stopped by and started an interesting and humorous dialog. Diane is the Outreach Chair for the Society of Woman Engineers, Baton Rouge, La. I thought she would be a great person to feature in a Control Talk column. This first column focuses on neglecting the opportunity to benefit from the contributions of more women in the workplace. Future columns with Diane will focus on technical problems and solutions. What are the percentages of women engineers? DIANE: About 20% of engineering graduates are women—of course, it varies with types of engineering degrees. However, only about 12% of practicing engineers are women. Many women leave engineering because of the workplace culture. We have “Outreach” and “Women in STEM” programs, but many females don’t see engineering as a desirable career for women. Science shows women with high math scores also have high verbal scores. This gives them a lot of career options outside of engineering. GREG: What is making the engineering workplace undesirable? DIANE: Unconscious bias plays a large role in our organizational culture. This bias is engrained into how our brains work—a universal, deeply engrained stereotype. We like people who are similar to ourselves. The workplace was designed by men with men in mind. This is seen in little things we don’t even realize we're doing. It’s not malicious; it’s the way we were raised and trained. So, the

approach to helping women succeed is often to “fix” the women, effectively turning them into men. There is recognition of the value of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, but we haven’t been successful in achieving gender equality in the workplace. GREG: How can we turn this around and take advantage of the perspectives and skills of women? DIANE: We need men to help women make this cultural change in the workplace (12% can’t change 88%). For example, men had to vote to give women the right to vote. Men must become advocates for more gender diversity. One way to do this is by addressing their unconscious biases. The problem is not just at the beginning of the career pipeline, but at the end. Unless there is change, women will continue to leave the engineering field, and engineering will continue to not be seen as a women-friendly career. This causes not just loss of talent, but the company investment in an employee. Men can watch for biases and take actions to make the workplace more inclusive. Diversity doesn’t work unless there is inclusion.

GREG MCMILLAN Gregory K. McMillan captures the wisdom of talented leaders in process control, and adds his perspective based on more than 50 years of experience, cartoons by Ted Williams, and (web-only) Top 10 lists. Find more of Greg's conceptual and principle-based knowledge in his Control Talk blog. Greg welcomes comments and column suggestions at ControlTalk@

GREG: What are the biases?

DIANE: I recently went out to lunch with some women who are all engineers—two in their 20s, one in her 30s and in middle management, and two in their 40s—and discussed several gender biases. It’s important to realize that these biases are generally not malicious, but are mostly due to our culture and a lack of awareness. We talked about three different types of gender bias: Bro talk: The use of objectifying language, such as “chick,” “girl,” “sissy,” “honey,” “sweetie” and “babe.” If you wouldn’t say it to a man, you shouldn’t say it to a woman. I’m trying to stop using “girl” to refer to an adult woman. Generally, when a man calls another man a “boy,” it’s in a FEBRUARY 2019 • 51


negative context. This language makes a woman feel less than her male counterparts. Gender should also not be inserted into an accolade. For example Instead of saying “great job for a woman,” simply say “great job.” Additionally, our language uses male plural references like “you guys,” which is gender-exclusive. For once, the South is doing something right—we use “y’all,” which is genderneutral. We need to be more conscious of what we say and how it affects others. Interrupting: Women are interrupted, ignored or shut down at an alarming rate in the workplace. Women are coached to speak up, but then when we do, we're then told to “turn it down.” The problem is largely unintentional. Women being told to disengage is not good for the bottom line. We need to seek women’s input despite sounding different. We need to encourage women to speak up, and actively engage them. Saying “no interruptions” as an upfront rule in a meeting can be helpful to everyone, and if you see it, help out by stopping the interrupter and asking them to wait for the speaker to finish.

Tightrope: Women constantly walk a tightrope at work. Do we want to be competent or to be liked? Women are pushed back for behavior seen as too masculine. The more successful a man, the more the man is liked, but it’s not the same for women. The difference between being assertive and aggressive is not as wide for women. I have experienced the need in expressing and employing my confidence to not be too bold. And, men seem to have less empathy if a woman is being held back or disvalued. Being seen as not feminine enough has affected our ability. Ask if a woman being categorized as “aggressive” is doing something different than a male coworker. If women are getting the same results, they should get the same promotions. Ambitious women in the engineering culture are being pushed back rather than being pulled up into leadership. We need to change how we see behavior. Gender shouldn’t matter. I don’t want to be a “lady.” I don’t want to give up the floor. This unconscious bias is very damaging to the success of women engineers in the workplace. By increasing our awareness, we can change and benefit from inclusivity.

People who are most successful as business leaders have high emotional awareness. We need to realize that if a person rubs you the wrong way, it may be because you have opposite personalities. So, how do I change my behavior and like them and then they like me? It becomes a tightrope. How do we get the full benefit of people’s skills and knowledge if there are different sets of rules for women and men? GREG: I had a personality test that showed my personality can be categorized foremost as being sympathetic and open, next as analytical, then as being social (largely through humor) and very little as being assertive. My verbal SAT scores were as high as my math scores. This explains why I do the Control Talk column, many articles and books, plus the Mentor Program to share knowledge and advance the profession. It also explains why the knowledge is not being directly used as much as anticipated. I learned to change my “checklists” asking people to consider an extensive list of problems and solutions to be “best practices” stating directly what needs to be done. Knowing your personality can be quite helpful. You can make corrections and address your limitations. DIANE: I’m extroverted. I speak a second or so ahead of my thoughts. I find it better to jot down my ideas instead of injecting them spontaneously. Recognizing who you are and your strengths and weaknesses is helpful. It might be a natural reaction, but as humans we have the logic and ability to change. My natural tendency is big-picture thinking, but I’ve had to learn how to be more detail-oriented to be a successful controls engineer.

For what went wrong here and the rest of the top 10 things we can all do to welcome women engineers, visit 52 • FEBRUARY 2019

Read more about influential women in manufacturing or nominate one who deserves recognition at www.controlglobal. com/industrynews/2018/putman-mediaannounces-inaugural-class-of-influentialwomen-in-manufacturing.


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2019 class of Influential Women in Manufacturing Nominate a woman from your organization who is making a difference in the manufacturing space.

Nominations are open through March 31.

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Text to talk Control Amplified turns conversation into content—if you can listen instead of read.

JIM MONTAGUE Executive Editor

They're basically the same as the interviews I do with all willing participants. The only difference is I'm trying to ask much better questions, like Dick Cavett, if you remember his long-ago TV show.

54 • FEBRUARY 2019

BACK when we started doing some videos about machine builders for Control Design magazine, somebody tossed me a handheld microphone, and I wondered, "What am I supposed to do with this thing?" So I stared at it for a little while, and then a longer while, and even panicked slightly before realizing that 1) I have little or no shame and 2) I could ask the same questions in audio and video that I've always asked in print. Whew! What a relief! This was a very helpful realization because it freed my mind from another of the little mental prisons we can get stuck in when faced with the unexpected or hard to understand, or when we have too little information or too much. Anyway, we went on to do something like a dozen or more videos, which I think are still watchable somewhere at Lined up on one webpage, their only glaring error was that I wore the same, old sport coat in every single one! Terrific. How professional. We contemplated doing similar in-the trenches videos for Control, but understandably, pretty much zero plant managers engineers were interested in video shoots of their process applications. More recently, we've done many podcasts with the friendly analysts at ARC Advisory Group, who examine our monthly cover article topics in greater detail. I thought these were great talks, but much like the videos, they languished with a few dozen listeners/viewers, until we suspended efforts because they didn't look like they could generate at least some interest in the long run. We're not doing this as a hobby, after all. Undaunted, or likely too foolish to quit, we've been giving audio another shot lately. This is mainly because our new digital engagement manager Amanda Del Buono assures me that podcasts are definitely a thing, and got us signed up to make them available at the iTunes Store, Google Play and on Control's YouTube channel, where they can hopefully reach more listeners. Apparently, many people like to listen to them during commutes or exercise sessions. I know many

non-fiction and fiction podcasts, like NPR's Serial and other true-crime dramas are very popular, but I didn't consider that this phenomenon would reach us. As a result, I've recorded four new podcasts over the past several weeks for our new series that we're calling Control Amplified (www.controlglobal. com/podcasts/control-amplified). So far, I've interviewed ARC's Craig Resnick and Larry O'Brien about their October 2018 cover article on the Control/ARC Top 50 global and North American automation vendors, and Emerson's Bob Karshnia and Peter Zornio about the December feature on wireless and this issue's edge computing cover article, respectively. They're basically the same as the interviews I do with all willing participants, as I struggle to learn what's new and useful about the topics I'm covering, and they strive to explain them to me. The only difference is that I'm trying to ask much better questions, like Dick Cavett, if you remember his long-ago TV show. I'm also trying to take better notes, so I don't have to ask subjects to repeat themselves. Plus, just like any good conversation, I've discovered my sources and I need to talk about what we're going to talk about before recording, so we can balance controlling our discussion without being boring, while also keeping our exchanges lively without any of my free associations sending it off the tracks. I suspect this is an occupational hazard that many audio and video presenters have to deal with regularly. Of course, this balancing act is another reason I hesitated and stared again when the idea of podcasts was revived. On second thought, I'd recommend a little staring, panicking and puzzling. It's great for getting the gears moving. Starting with the best-quality questions I can formulate, and ending with interview subjects, who I'm certain are cornerstone experts in their fields, we'll try to make Control Amplified into a series of podcasts that are worthy of being downloaded. As usual, any questions or suggestions are welcome. You know where to find me.

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