Choosing a PLC: Things to consider

In a previous article we looked at the differences between cold, warm and hot redundancy, and how to determine which of these is best suited for your application. Here, we continue this discussion, looking at what to consider when selecting a programmable logic controller (PLC), as well as some of the different vendors available.

Cold, warm and hot redundancy: determining how much you need

Reliability requirements in process control systems are different for every industry, and for some this may require PLC redundancy in the automation system to keep people and equipment safe. Some processes will require very little or moderate intervention, while failures or delays cannot be tolerated in other processes. Here, we look at different types of redundancy and where they should be used.

Reducing risks by selecting a qualified engineer

Despite the complex nature of engineering work and the pivotal role engineers play in ensuring public safety, most engineers in Australia are not currently required to hold a formal registration or licence. To reduce the risks of work that does not meet professional standards, it is important to look for providers who have professional registration. Here, we look at professional registrations programs in Australia so you can choose a qualified engineer

A functional safety approach to control systems design

As an increasing number of products and systems in the automation industry incorporate complex software and hardware, safety-related functions are becoming more challenging to implement. Both manufacturers and operators of automation systems need to ensure operations are running at maximum efficiency, while also being safe. Selecting a control systems engineer that is certified in functional safety is therefore increasingly important to ensure correct execution of commands and functions for system and product safety.

Where is the SCADA market heading?

The supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) market is set to continue growing in Australia and overseas due to an increasing number of applications, and a growing need for safety and asset control. A report has predicts the global SCADA market will grow by more than US$40 billion by 2023. Here we take a look at the opportunities for SCADA and what factors could hold it back.

Optimising draglines with PLC coding

Unlike most equipment used in earthmoving, the design and control systems for draglines have for the most part remained unchanged since they were first invented in the early 1900’s. However, since the early 2000’s some advances in systems and methodologies have occurred, with universal dig dump (UDD) technology representing the first major change in decades. The key to maximising the productivity gains provided by UDD is through optimised PLC code.

Overcoming the challenges of implementing an Energy Management System

Energy Management Systems (EMS) have become popular as a way to improve energy efficiency, maximise return and minimise environmental impacts by eliminating waste through building and process optimisation. However, there are a number of challenges that need to be overcome when implementing such systems in order for the most benefit to be realised.