What is a Distributed Control System?

In a recent blog post we paid tribute to Dick Morley and his pivotal contribution to the process automation industry: the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). Since the PLC and Distributed Control System (DCS) are both instrumental in controlling complex production processes, people occasionally use the two terms interchangeably. While the two are related, their applications are notably different.

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The Power of the Hear-See-Do Learning Method

There is an old proverb that goes: “If you test a fish on how well it climbs a tree, it will think it’s a failure.” While this proverb is often used in relation to traditional K-12 education, it stands true in just about any educational scenario…

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Dick Morley and the Story of the PLC

It’s been a few months since Dick Morley passed away. While a younger generation of engineers may be unfamiliar with Morley’s work, those that work in production environments are most certainly beneficiaries of his invention of the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)…

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4 Reasons the OSI PI Data Historian is King of the Market

Data historians are a “must have” technology and among the automation market’s options the PI Historian from OSIsoft is the gold standard. OSIsoft has more-or-less led the historian market from its inception in 1980. The reason: OSI has continuously innovated to assure that the PI Historian is highly efficient and that it provides the preferred platform for higher value data…

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What Does Controller Output Reveal About FCE Health and Asset Reliability?

Remember the Far Side?  Of course you do, but do you remember the one depicting the boy who leans his whole body forward as he pushes against a door that clearly reads “Pull”?  Although the sign leading up to the building shows “Midvale School for the Gifted” this particular student doesn’t seem to get it.  Any possibility of progress is blocked by a physical constraint…

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What Do I Need to Know About OSI’s Asset Framework?

Asset Framework from OSIsoft changes a manufacturer’s ability to extract value from plant data. It takes the seemingly infinite number of tags registered within the data historian and organizes them in an intelligent, hierarchical manner. This structure is increasingly valuable as plants apply sensor technologies to more and more equipment for the purpose of monitoring performance.

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What Effect Does Noise Have on Controller Tuning?

Noise – that random variation in your data signals – is seemingly everywhere. Low frequency process and high frequency signal noise are two sources that directly affect control. There’s no avoiding it. Indeed, when tuning PID controllers practitioners simply need to deal with it. As they say: It is what it is!

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