Smart Grid: Is Your Business Poised to Reap the Benefits?
How much energy do you use? And, more to the point, how much energy do you waste and how much does that cost?
Not too long ago the power grid was strictly a transmission system. From the end user's perspective it was as dumb as a box of rocks and hadn't changed significantly in 40 years, but that is changing.
With a dramatic surge in both energy demand and associated costs already underwayoil has gone from $20 per barrel to $100 per barrel and spiked at $147 per barrel along the waya great deal of attention has been leveled at how we can reduce our energy usage and expenditures and applying intelligence and automation to our energy transmission systemsthe Gridis high on the list.
“Smart Grid is suddenly an idea whose time has come because we can't afford to stand still. I firmly believe that the speed and magnitude of change we'll see from Smart Grid will rival the Internet revolution,” says Raj Batra, president of the Alpharetta, Ga.-based Industry Automation Division for Siemens U.S. Batra was addressing the issues and opportunities surrounding smart grids at CSIA2010, a large conference for systems integrators... Read more
New Controllers Extend Integration to Small Systems
In an ideal world every widget and system in an automation environment would be fully integrated into your control system.
The value of even the smallest piece of operational information has increased exponentially as high end automation systems that manage manufacturing execution, maintenance, supply chain management and even capable-to-promise decisions all want as much detailed process information as they can possibly get from the automation system. And as this demand for data has increased, the pressure to collect it has paralleled it.
However, as any automation professional knows, the world is not an ideal place, especially for those trying to design smaller systems that don't need the power or I/O channels of large PLCs. Traditionally, automation engineers designing small systems have had limited options when it comes to meeting this need.
Option #1, common off the shelf micro-PLCs (supporting fewer than 128 I/O channels) are problematic because, generally speaking, they don't deliver the advanced integration capabilities needed to seamlessly connect to other devices... Read more
Crown Valley Brewery Delivers Quality Craft Beer While Lowering Costs Through Automation
Alexander Graham Bell said that the existence of beer “is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
Although renowned for his innovations and inventions, it is unlikely Bell would recognize a modern brewery. While the basic process remains unchanged from that used in Bell's 1800s, and indeed back thousands of years before that to Ancient Egypt and Sumeria, today's brewing process is managed by a series of integrated automation systems including sensors, valves, HMI/SCADA and MES that gives the brewmaster unprecedented control over his recipes and the quality of his product.
Accordingly, launching a world-class brewery from scratch is no small endeavour and when Crown Valley Brewery in Ste. Genevieve, Mo. decided to expand its existing line of wines and spirits to include beer Bryan Siddle, director of operations, visited breweries in Washington, California, New York, Illinois, Poland, Germany and Italy to find out how the best of the best get the job done... Read more
Video Tutorials: Control System Fault Simulation
Part 4 - Fault and Diagnostic Simulation with STEP7 PLC-SIM software
Learn how easy it is to simulate System and Process faults to test your logic and diagnostic messaging in Simulation mode. This is part four of a four part series showcasing the time and cost saving benefits of the STEP7 PLC-SIM software... View now