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.

5 ways SCADA can improve food and beverage manufacturing

Automation of food and beverage manufacturing processes provides manufacturers with value-adding advantages along the entire supply chain, all the way from the field, through the factory to the end user. SCADA is one automation solution that can improve production efficiency and increase profitability. Here, we look at five areas of food and beverage manufacturing that benefit from SCADA.

Price versus value: Maximising the value of your SCADA

It’s a dilemma that everyone faces when having to choose between more than one product or service; price or value? While a poor purchasing decision may not have an impact on an everyday purchase, when it comes to choosing a systems integrator to install or maintain a complex SCADA system, the wrong choice could be costly in more ways than one. In this article we look at what defines ‘value’ in SCADA installations, and why value should be the determining factor for any project rather than just the price.

PLC Code - Good vs Bad

There are differing schools of thought when it comes to programming PLC’s as to what is the ‘best’ way to achieve a successful outcome from the control system side of things. On the surface PLC programming is not too difficult, add a few rungs or lines of code and presto, the system works, however what happens if a system expansion is required or changes are needed to be implemented by someone other than the original writer of the code? Not all PLC code is created equal, so how can you differentiate good code from bad?