Get Connected in the New Year
It's that time of year again—time to make New Year's resolutions. Quit smoking. Lose weight. Go to the health club. Pay off your holiday credit card bills. Spend more time with your kids.To your list of resolutions, Control Engineering has three more to suggest. First, Get connected. In 1998, we'll see more applications become network-aware than ever before.
Jane S. Gerold
It's that time of year again—time to make New Year's resolutions. Quit smoking. Lose weight. Go to the health club. Pay off your holiday credit card bills. Spend more time with your kids.
To your list of resolutions, Control Engineering has three more to suggest. First, Get connected. In 1998, we'll see more applications become network-aware than ever before. This month's cover story, "1998: The Year of the Network," provides an overview of the major industrial network standards. You'll find tips on which network to use for which application; market information, such as installed base and future growth projections; and news from the networks' vendors and users groups.
Also part of this month's network series is an article on "Selecting the Right Industrial Network." A network checklist uses a Q&A approach to network selection. What level of communication do you need—sensor, device, field? Is the application discrete control, process control, or a combination? Do you require diagnostics? How many connections? You get the picture.
Digital communications have significantly evolved over the past twenty years. As author and system integrator Gary Peterson notes, "It is time to move controls networks from the leading edge into the mainstream of controls technology."
Our second New Year's resolution is: Get smart. To move you on your way, we introduce the "Career Update" column in this issue. On a monthly basis, Career Update will examine educational opportunities, career developments, and management issues.
This month's column, written by consulting editor Vance VanDoren, examines the licensing programs available to control engineers. As a professional engineer, a system integrator, and a member of the control systems engineering P.E. exam preparation committee, Dr. VanDoren is uniquely qualified to discuss the benefits of pursuing a P.E. license.
Our third New Year's resolution is: Get global. In the automation world, getting global means you need to stay informed on global standards, such as IS0 9000; conformance regulations, such as the CE Mark; and global technology developments. With seven of the top 10 automation and control suppliers based outside of the U.S., a global perspective is a must.
To serve up information from the international marketplace, we've launched the "Global Update" column. This monthly column features news, user trends, and product developments from abroad.
While we can't promise you that you'll lose 10 pounds if you heed our resolutions, we can promise that you'll be on your way to a happy and prosperous New Year. So, get connected, get smart, get global!
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