News

# Control Automation Update: New Online Calculator Tools

October 25, 2022 by David Peterson

## Most engineers are not intimidated by simple mathematics, but when designing mission-critical systems, it’s important to have easy access to reliable tools and calculators. Introducing our first new set of tools designed for control engineers.

If you’re anything like me, engineering school presented a few ironic challenges to my skills in mathematics. Many long-forgotten indefinite integral tables could roll out of my head and onto paper, yet I never failed to pull out my Texas Instruments graphing calculator to ensure that I had answered ‘3x4=12’ correctly…

Although we might always have access to calculators in most careers and workplaces–even spreadsheet programs with far more computing power than any scientific calculator–it’s still important to have access to simple tools that will provide assurance of a correct calculation.

### Different Standards of Measurement

For control system and automation engineers who work with troubleshooting and system maintenance, design constraints usually revolve around the physical properties of the process. Picking the proper thermocouple type for a temp sensor, selecting an analog laser sensor with the proper measurement range, a pressure transducer compatible with the system pressure, and the list goes on.

For many of these situations, components can be sourced from many different suppliers, providing datasheet specifications in all kinds of unit systems. Although metric and standard units are the most common, there are even many variations within the two, and some entirely different systems, depending on the origin and era of the equipment.

For example, a pressure gauge may display both PSI and kPa, but the original manufacturer of the equipment provided pressure specifications in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). It is imperative to understand what that pressure means in terms of other units.

### Unit Conversion Calculators

To aid engineers in both design and troubleshooting tasks, Control Automation has launched a series of online unit conversion calculators for those measurements most common to the industrial trades.

Our list of newly-released converters include:

 Pressure Velocity Flow Rate Temperature Mass Distance Volume Power Energy

Like I said before, I tend to rely on calculators to ensure accurate results. Quick access to these tools is important as well. Here’s the fastest way to keep these calculators at your immediate disposal:

First, go to the Control Automation main tool page.

Head up to the options in the top corner of your browser, or the ‘share’ button in the toolbar.

Bookmarks -> Bookmark This Tab, or Add Bookmark.

That’s it.

#### Technical Articles

In addition to providing tools to help yield success during the design process, we are also committed to publishing articles with technical guidance, explanations of control system concepts, and answers to your most pressing challenges as you face the challenges of busy schedules and unplanned downtime.

#### Textbook

Our open-source textbook has provided a tremendous amount of information for generations of engineers. Although learning on the job is a very effective way to drive home a new concept, it’s useful to have instant access to information that will help you stay one step ahead. Learn how to solve the problem before it happens!

#### Exciting Industry Events

Our passion here at Control Automation is to deliver content in ways that relate to you, your job, and your challenges. We host webinars, videos, and even digital events like our Control Automation Day (soon to be announced: the 2023 event is scheduled for March)!

We bring you topics that can help drive the future of industry by collecting data, making smart decisions, and driving the technology that keeps the world in motion!