Top 10 Control Engineering articles, May 14 to June 13: Salary and Career Survey, binary-coded decimals, high-performance HMIs, more

Articles about the 2016 Salary and Career Survey, binary-coded decimals and PLCs, high-performance HMIs, engineering career advice, and the EIA's Annual Energy Outlook were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from May 14 to June 13. Miss something? You can catch up here. Also see what ranked 6-10.
By Chris Vavra June 14, 2016

The top 5 most read articles online, from May 14 to Jun. 13 for Control Engineering covered the 2016 Salary and Career Survey, binary-coded decimals and PLCs, high-performance HMIs, engineering career advice, and the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook. Also see what ranked 6-10 over the last month. 

1. Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey, 2016

Control Engineering research shows nearly a 5% increase in salaries among respondents to an average of $94,747; analysis of salaries by years with employer shows upward salary pressure for engineering new hires. 

2. Binary-coded decimals and PLCs

Binary-coded decimal (BCD) is a class of binary encodings of decimal numbers where each decimal is represented by a fixed number of bits, usually four or eight, which goes against the way humans compute data. This disconnect can cause problems for programmable logic controller (PLC) users.

3. Developing high-performance HMIs: Evolution, improved usability

This two-part series examines the development of high-performance human-machine interface (HMI) methodology. Part 1 covers HMI evolution, security, improving usability, and consistent use of color.

4. Engineering career advice from the 2016 Control Engineering salary survey 

Many subscribers taking the 2016 Control Engineering salary survey provided write-in advice about engineering careers; education, workplace strategies, and project management are among engineering tips and reminders.

5. EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook sees winds of change

The Annual Energy Outlook 2016 indicates that natural gas will lead U.S. production into 2040; clean electrical generation is expected to increase, however.

More popular stories on Control Engineering

Figure 6: Top three job satisfaction factors are technical challenge, financial compensation, and feeling of accomplishment. Courtesy: Control Engineering 2016 Salary and Career Survey research report.As an online-only feature, we’re featuring the stories that finished 6-10 over the past month.

6. A history of robot programming languages 

There are many different programming languages for robots and it can become overwhelming to keep them all straight. Understanding the history of robotic programming languages can provide some perspective on why it is so convoluted and where they all come from.

7. Is Big Data the means for survival in a down market?

In an uncertain market, more oil and gas producers are relying on advanced analytics to make intelligent cost-cutting decisions. 

8. Robots are ready to populate smart factories

Industrie 4.0 and the smart factories being built are heavily influencing robots that are being developed in the Czech Republic, which could have major changes on the labor market, according to Control Engineering Czech Republic.

9. 3-D additive manufacturing advancements

Advancements in 3-D printing have made the technology more sophisticated and affordable. The automotive, aerospace, and medical industries have made some major strides recently, and 3-D printing is expanding as a means of engineering education.

10. Ladder logic 402: Data manipulation and filtering

Once values from an analog card have been captured, there are methods to filter the data and methods to simulate a filter using Microsoft Excel before it is coded into a PLC. 

The list was developed using CFE Media’s web analytics for stories viewed on controleng.com, May 14 to June 13, for articles published within the last two months.  

Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.