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Remote Process Control Over The Internet

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.850.1 - 6.850.8



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Mark Smith

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1520

Remote Process Control over the Internet Mark Smith Purdue University North Central

Abstract This paper presents remote process control over the Internet using remote-control computing software. Remote-control computing software allows you to connect to remote computers from your computer and control those systems. You can monitor and control attached system processes, provide problem solving assistance, upload and download files, and even change system parameters. This paper describes what remote-control computing is, who the major players in the industry are, and how it can be used to monitor and control remote processes. A case study of remote-control computing software in operation is also presented, describing how one off-the-shelf package was setup to monitor and control a plant floor production system.

Introduction Networking technologies, and especially the Internet, have become a major component of application systems. As we teach the design and implementation of process control systems in the Engineering curriculum, we must recognize that these systems will require capabilities for control and support from remote locations. For example, the need for remote control may be driven by the high cost of a particular process. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory uses remote process control at its High Temperature Materials Laboratory to allow researches from across the country to use a million-dollar electron microscope1.

Even when control of the process is not required across the country, there are times when it is helpful (or even critical) to monitor another node on a LAN. For example, Conquergood describes in his research the ability to monitor and control potentially high voltages from one location by gathering voltage information from PCs doing data acquisition from various plant processes2.

While some research in this area has focused on custom solutions to provide remote control over the Internet3, this paper will examine the issues involved in implementing remote process control using off-the-shelf remote-control computing software. This approach separates the process control system from the remote-control software, resulting in several advantages. The process control system can be developed without worrying about the complexities involved in remote- process control. The remote-control system can be developed independently of the process involved, making it useful for many applications. Educators need not worry about integrating remote-control computing into process design and development curriculum, as remote-control computing can be taught as a computer literacy subject, like word processing or spread sheet computing.

Remote-control computing Remote-control computing refers to the ability of one computer system to control another computer system from a remote location. It is implemented over a network using software that

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Smith, M. (2001, June), Remote Process Control Over The Internet Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9735

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