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The History of Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking)

Hydraulic Fracturing, or Fracking, has a much longer history than many might assume. In fact, versions of the technique date back to the United States Civil War, specifically, April 25, 1865. Today, fracking represents about 30% of oil and natural gas reserves in the United States. This represents seven billion barrels of recoverable oil, and 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in large shale deposits such as the Bakken shale. Continue reading

The difference between SCADA and HMI – Making Sense of the Automation Acronyms

Are HMI and SCADA related to each other? How?

HMI and SCADA two terms for distinct industrial automation interfaces. HMIs are subsets or components of a SCADA system. Additionally, a DCS or Distributed Control System is very similar to a SCADA system, and may also use one or more HMIs as well. All these components are classes of, or describe parts of, an ICS or Industrial Control System, which is the general description of Automation. In modern control systems, there is a great deal of overlapping technology and functionality between these two classes of ICSs. Continue reading

Anyone Remember Relays? A Brief History of the PLC

Programmable Logic Controllers, or PLCs have existed since the 1960s. Before the PLC, the main source of machine control used a method or relay switches and controls for those relay switches. These systems could be incredibly cumbersome, and like a string of decorative lights, often stopped working if one switch wasn’t functioning properly. As a result there was a huge dedication of time toward troubleshooting and maintenance. Continue reading

How Food Packaging Plays an Integral Role in Food Safety

With National Food Safety month in full swing, and Pack Expo 2016 on the way, InduSoft is exploring how best practices for food and beverage packaging can improve food safety outcomes globally. Generally food quality takes priority when it comes to food safety regulation, but storage of food and beverage product and ingredients and their packaging can play just as key a role in maintaining the integrity and safety of food products.

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InduSoft Web Studio Symbol of the Week: Five Grouped Minimalist Bar Graphs

As a complement to our previous collection of minimalist high contrast designs for InduSoft Web Studio, we’re introducing new minimalist SCADA/HMI grouped graph symbols this week. These symbols are ideally suited to embedded HMIs, and designed to be easy to read on small displays. More importantly, this stylistic approach to interface design is a trend we expect to grow as more manufacturers embrace “smart” technology. Minimalist designs are already becoming prevalent in devices such a smart watches, because the high contrast and minimally designed graphic elements make the information the key focal point of the screen, but still offer enough visual elements to read it quickly. Continue reading

Five Cyber Security Myths That May Be Holding Back Your Security Protocols

When developing secure SCADA/HMI applications that will help systems interface and share data in IoT application, it’s important to take a look not only at what we can do to better protect applications, but at the misconceptions that might be holding back our best efforts at cybersecurity. We thought it might be important to share some of the misconceptions we’ve found in the industrial automation field. Continue reading

A Brief History of Food Safety Regulations in the United States

In honor of National Food Safety Month in the United States, InduSoft is looking at some of the ways that food safety regulations have improved the quality and safety of food here, and around the world. Many food safety standards in the United States have correlating standards in other countries, and any food processing or manufacturing plant must often adhere to international standards for food safety in order to sell products globally. Continue reading