Establishing reliable communication links to lift stations, booster pumps, water tanks, and other remote locations is a must-have requirement for IT and communication engineers in the water/wastewater market. Just about every water district is leveraging the 900 GHz band for this communication – and they aren’t the only ones – resulting in a saturated network and poor connectivity. There’s a better way.Read More
Part 1 of this series introduced the concepts of Proportional (P), Integral (I), and Derivative (D) terms in a PID loop to automatically control a process so that it can react to unforeseen changes. The changes can be either in the Process Variable (PV) or Setpoint (SP) and it is brought under control by altering the Control Variable (CV). In this blog post we will explore the role played by each term using simplified examples and basic arithmetic.Read More
If you missed the Ignition Community Conference (ICC) last week, you missed a great one! Vertech was well represented from all three of our offices, and we all enjoyed hearing how others are using Ignition, watching the Travis vs. Kevin buildathon (#TeamTravis), and enjoying some after hours refreshment at the Fat Rabbit Public House. Chris McLaughlin's presentation giving tips for successful MES implementations was very well received. Most of all we were excited to learn about the new features in the long-awaited Ignition 8.0 release and the new Perspective visualization module. Here are four new features we think topped the list this year:Read More
NXP Semiconductor was facing several issues with an aging control system for its ultra-pure water (UPW) plant in Chandler, AZ. The Allen-Bradley PLC-5 control systems were state of the art when installed in the late 1990s, but most of the components are now discontinued or deemed “active mature.” The two main problems NXP Semiconductor was facing with the system included:Read More
The MQTT protocol is rapidly being adopted as a reliable, efficient protocol in modern industrial data collection applications. MQTT uses a variety of techniques to provide highly efficient use of bandwidth to collect data from a wide range of sources and then make that data available to interested subscribers. Cirrus Link Solutions provides various modules for Inductive Automation Ignition enabling applications to take advantage of this protocol for building IIoT and SCADA applications.Read More
This month, our ICS Cyber Security Survival Guide was featured in The Industrial Ethernet Book– the only internationally distributed journal dedicated to industrial Ethernet and wireless technologies. As the respected Internet of Things authority, The Industrial Ethernet Book is a trusted resource for forward-thinking plant manager and network administrators in manufacturing.Read More
There are two independent web development type modules in Ignition that allow one to host a custom API or web page on a web server directly from Ignition – the WebDev module by Inductive Automation and the Web Services module by Sepasoft. Both of these modules allow external systems (ERP, SAP, DBs, etc.) to interact with Ignition, which can be used as a central hub for bidirectional data processing for these systems. The two main classes of web services are REST (Representational State Transfer) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol). REST is available through both modules and can utilize JSON and XML data formats, while SOAP is available only through the Web Services module and only utilizes XML data formats.Read More
Why is it when you send out a request for quotation (RFQ) to potential vendors, you end with a stack of widely different prices and proposals that are about as comparable as apples and oranges? You’re probably not going to accept the highest bid with its extraneous add-ons, but if you choose the lowest bid, there’s a strong likelihood you’ll end up with multiple change orders after the project begins. What’s the secret to setting up your automation project for success right from the start?Read More
Back in 1834, Samuel Taylor wrote a poem titled “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” that is still famous in part for its line “water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” Much like those ill-fated mariners, our manufacturing enterprises accumulate ever larger oceans of data, but we struggle to squeeze a drop of information from them. Data analytics to the rescue! From looking at what happened in the past to predicting what might occur in the future, knowing how to effectively apply big data analytics techniques on your plant floor can provide numerous time, cost, and resource saving benefits.
Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) have been the secret advantage of large manufacturers since the early 90’s, and they have reaped the benefits of lower manufacturing costs and higher profits. The good news is that everything has changed in the last decade. Whether you call it a technological revolution, Industry 4.0 or some other buzz word, it can’t be denied that a change is occurring. Software and protocols have improved drastically, automated data is available from all areas of the facility, and the financial entry point for MES systems has become attainable.