Friday, 19 August 2022

"Robot leading the charge!"

Addverb Technologies has released a new sorter robot called SortIE – a fast-moving scalable solution for rapid and efficient order fulfilment. As a fully automated robotic put-to-wall sorting system, SortIE is capable of performing SKU-wise intelligent sortation at very high speeds and at different height levels.
Additionally, it enables easy and rapid picking. It can be easily integrated with existing conveying systems such as conveyors, robots, and manual transport with no impact on ongoing operations.

“We are excited for SortIE to reach the market because there is nothing like it,” says Pieter Feenstra, Addverb’s CEO of the EMEA region. "This robot increases productivity with up to 450 sorts per hour, meaning up to 250 orders fulfilled at any given time, and increases order cube utilisation by up to 20%. The entire sorting system is simple and fully automatic, which shortens the return on investment and requires no human intervention. We’re proud to have led the charge on a robot like this coming to the market.”

@Addverb_Tech @PRLab_Hub #Robotics #Warehouse

Thursday, 18 August 2022

Throttle position sensors at Le Mans.

Gibson Technology, based in Derbyshire (GB), is a world leading manufacturer of motorsports powertrains encompassing engines, electronics, and electronic gearshift systems. In abundant action across the globe supporting teams in many major race series’, its latest development 4.2 litre GK458 engine is the exclusive choice for LMP2 class racing - competing amongst others in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) which includes the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hour Race where this year’s competition fielded no less than 28 Gibson Technology equipped cars.

Gibson's GL458 engine - 28 competed in the 2022 Le Mans 24 Hour Race

As part of the electronic fuel injection equipment on the naturally aspirated 90-degree, DOHC V8 engines Gibson Technology chose Variohm EuroSensor’s Euro-XPD series Hall Effect angle sensors (pictured below right) to provide precise throttle position feedback. As with all Gibson Technology powertrain systems, long endurance and extreme reliability are key factors and over the complete duration of this year’s 24-hour race, the 28 cars competed without any issues.

Based on Variohm EuroSensor’s motorsports-proven Euro XP range of Hall Effect non-contacting angle sensors., the Euro-XPD features an 8 mm diameter D-shaft drive which, without the need for a separate coupling, is easily adapted and extensively used for throttle position sensing in motorsports. The sensor is supplied as standard with an electrical angle of 360° or may be optionally ordered with a programmable angle from 30° to 360° in 10° steps. Its redundant CW and CCW ratiometric output has optional interfacing parameters of 5 to 95% or 10 to 90% of the 5V DC supply voltage with independent linearity to within +/- 0.5% of each signal range.

The non-contacting Hall Effect design offers an almost unlimited life with up to 50 million movements and, with the optimum magnet to sensing-element gap maintained within the IP68 sealed assembly, its extreme robustness is complemented with an extended vibration rating and operating temperature durability from -40° C to +125° C (short term to 150° C). These specifications combine with a choice of 32 or 38 mm PCD slotted hole mounting for M4 screws to provide wide-ranging application flexibility as well as form-fit interchangeability with competitive models. Electrical connection is via 500 mm long sleeved cable with customised connector options such as the motorsports industry standard Deutsch DTM available on request.

The Euro- XP family of Hall Effect non-contacting rotary sensors also include shaft driven Form ‘U’ and spring coupling alternatives as well as separate puck and magnet versions. This product family is widely used in motorsports for steering angle, ride height, pedal, and gear position as well as throttle position. Variohm EuroSensor also manufactures miniaturised sensors with Hall Effect technology as the Euro-CMR series offering similar specification characteristics in micro-sized packages as flange or screw-mount sensors in shaft driven and puck/magnet styles.

@Variohm @gibsontech1 @mepaxIntPR #Position #Automotive

Remote I/O Modules for RTD measurement.

Acromag’s newest addition to the Busworks® NT Series of expandable remote Ethernet I/O modules is the NT2620 Series RTD/resistance module. Designed to be a cost-effective modular solution, it supports four RTD/resistance inputs and two bidirectional discrete digital I/O channels to monitor temperature limits with conditional logic. NTE Ethernet I/O models have dual RJ45 ports and a webserver with Modbus TCP/IP or EtherNet/IPTM communication to monitor or control the internal I/O channels.

“Now Acromag can interface a wider variety of temperature sensors and offer discrete signals to monitor threshold levels or control alarms,” states Robert Greenfield, Acromag’s Business Development Manager.

The Modbus TCP/IP or EtherNet/IPTM communication is field-selectable saving costs of additional modules. An integrated DIN rail bus allows a connection of up to three NTX expansion I/O modules. The space-saving design requires only 25mm of DIN rail per module. Ethernet I/O modules distribute 9-32V DC power along the DIN rail bus to expansion modules. Hazardous location approvals, high noise immunity, and -40 to 70°C operation make this I/O ideal for use in harsh environments.

Profinet communication is planned for release soon. Each module will support all three protocols which are selectable using any web browser to configure the network settings and I/O operation. The modules typically function as a network slave, but also offer Acromag’s i2o® peer-to-peer communication technology to transfer data between modules directly without a host or master in between. Multicast capability is included.

@Acromag #PAuto #Communications

Sustaining a fen and capturing carbon dioxide.

In 2001, five organisations came together to set out a vision for the Great Fen, with the aim of providing a more sustainable future for the area. In many respects, this work focuses on restoration by managing water levels, so a network of monitoring wells has been established. In this article, Wendy Strain from OTT HydroMet explains how this monitoring program is helping to achieve the ambitious goals that have been set for the Great Fen.

The Great Fen is an expanse of nationally significant fen landscape between Peterborough and Huntingdon in the East of England. The area contains many farms and villages as well as two National Nature Reserves; Woodwalton Fen and Holme Fen. Holme Fen and Woodwalton Fen are both part of the Great Fen, a habitat restoration project, involving the local Wildlife Trust, Natural England, the Environment Agency, Huntingdonshire District Council and the Middle Level Commissioners.

The Great Fen covers 14 square miles of land that is being restored to wild fen over a 50-100 year timescale, creating a huge nature recovery network, providing a Living Landscape for fenland species including threatened fen wildlife, such as bitterns and otters. A mosaic of different wetland habitats has been established to support a wide variety of wildlife, such as dragonflies, butterflies and amphibians. This habitat is also suitable for flowers and other plants, some of which are found almost nowhere else in Britain such as the Fen violet and the Fen woodrush.

In 1630 a group of wealthy landowners, headed by the Earl of Bedford, set out to drain the fens for agriculture and to minimise winter flooding. Many of the local people were fiercely opposed to the draining, believing it would deprive them of their traditional means of livelihood from wildfowling, fishing and reed cutting, and a group known as the ‘Fen Tigers’ vandalised the dykes, ditches, sluices and reedbeds. Nevertheless, by the end of the 17th Century the drainage project was complete.

This drainage caused more problems, such as peat shrinkage, and more drainage projects followed. In the 1800s, conscious of the likely shrinking effect of draining the peaty soil around Whittlesea Mere, William Wells, another wealthy landowner, instigated the burial of a measurement post at Holme Fen, which was anchored in the bedrock and cut off at the soil surface. Today, around 4 metres of the post is showing above ground, recording the ground subsidence since 1852. The ground level at Holme Post is now 2.75 metres below sea level – one of the lowest land points in Great Britain.

Several issues have arisen as a result of the drainage. Firstly, there has been a huge impact in local ecology and biodiversity with the loss of a large area of wetland. Also, as the ground level subsided it became less sustainable to pump water up into the main drain. The loss of peat has become a major concern, because, as a carbon sink, peat is hugely important in the fight against global warming.

Peat forms in waterlogged, acidic conditions when layers of partially decomposed mosses and other bog plants accumulate. The process is very slow; it can take up to 1,000 years to form just one meter of peat. Nevertheless, around 60% of the world’s wetlands are made of peat. The plants which form peat capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and as a result, large quantities of carbon are trapped in the peat. However, if the peat is drained, it decomposes much faster; releasing the stored carbon. Peat burning has the same effect, but much faster.

It has been estimated that the reduction of peat loss in the Great Fen, coupled with the capturing of carbon by vegetation is saving 325,000 tonnes of CO2 from being released each year.

The project is also a good example of natural flood management (NFM) because it provides extra water storage after heavy rainfall, which slows water flow and helps to protect surrounding towns, villages and farmland from the risk of flooding.

Water level management.
The drainage of the fens incurred widespread ecological harm, but the solution is significantly more complicated than simply raising water levels to create wetlands. Henry Stanier explains: “There are a number of factors that impact the restoration process. Firstly, the geology of the area is like a layer cake, and each layer has different hydrological properties. Secondly, the Great Fen includes a number of commercial farms, so it is important to understand and manage their groundwater status. Thirdly, the surface water requirement varies according to the time of year, due to the needs of a wide variety of flora and fauna, including breeding birds. Fourthly, along with various partners, we are conducting numerous research programs, most of which are affected by water level. For example, we have trial plots with raised water levels, in which we are investigating the performance of different plant species. These include Sphagnum or ‘bog moss’ which stores water, prevents the decay of dead plant material and eventually forms peat, and we are also trialling the wetland cropping potential of Glyceria fluitans, a robust perennial aquatic sweet grass.”

Water level monitoring.
Working with a team of over 60 volunteers Henry delivers a monitoring program for the project area, which is currently around 3,700 Hectares. 40 wells have been installed in strategic locations, each to a depth of around five metres. 37 of these have OTT Orpheus Mini water level loggers, which record groundwater level every hour, every day of the year. Henry collects the data from these loggers once or twice per year, or more frequently where the data is of greater significance.

Three of the wells have been fitted with OTT ecoLog water level loggers. These devices have the ability to transmit both stored and live data to a secure website which Henry can access with any internet-enabled device at any time, and from anywhere. “This is a tremendous advantage,” he explains. “With such a large area to cover, field visits can be time-consuming and therefore costly, so we install the OTT ecoLogs in the wells of greatest interest, so that we can, for example, view the effects on groundwater levels when we transfer surface water into an area.”

Henry’s team operates a number of trial plots by the dipwells; investigating how the vegetation is changing. His team also correlates groundwater levels with vegetation growth, in order to better understand optimal growing conditions.

The Great Fen area includes a number of commercial farms, which operate both drainage and irrigation processes, so the groundwater monitoring program also helps to understand the effects of these activities. In addition, new farms are regularly acquired and incorporated into the Great Fen, so the monitoring work helps to manage the restoration of this land from agriculture to fenland.

Henry says: “Fenland restoration depends heavily on a deep understanding of the geology and the water table, and the effects of water status on the local ecology. The water level monitoring that we undertake provides the data that underpins the science that informs the important management decisions that are made. The quality and reliability of the OTT water level loggers is therefore vital, and we look forward to expanding our network of monitors as the project continues to grow.”

@OTTHydromet @WildlifeTrusts @_Enviro_News #Environment #Britain

Verify active and passive devices more efficiently and accurately.

Anritsu Company has enhanced its VectorStar™ vector network analyser (VNA) family with comprehensive spectrum analysis capability creating the world’s first single sweep VNA-spectrum analyser solution that supports 70 kHz to 220 GHz.* With the spectrum analyser option installed, VectorStar can conduct single connection VNA and spectrum-based measurements to create a more efficient and accurate testing environment to verify active and passive devices during the design, troubleshooting, or characterization stages.

The spectrum analyser option is compatible with all baseband VectorStar models – broadband and banded system configurations. Integrating VNA/spectrum analyser capability provides engineers with an innovative method to quickly transfer a challenging VNA measurement to the spectrum analyser – without changing the test setup or using multiple instruments. It is particularly beneficial for applications involving mixers and amplifiers, including those with multiple outputs or input-output comparisons.

Simultaneous, sequential S-parameter and spectrum analysis are possible with the VNA-spectrum analyser instrument. Spectral domain measurements of harmonics, spurious, other distortion products, and general frequency content can be made effectively with the single-instrument solution. It allows engineers to analyze VNA-like and spectrum-analyser-like response of a device under test (DUT).

The VNA-spectrum analyser solution is ideal for on-wafer measurements, as it leverages VectorStar’s inherent advantages of making a direct connection to an on-wafer device. Mounting and demounting of on-wafer devices, which can cause major errors in measurement, are eliminated with the solution. Power calibration can be conducted at the probe tip for greater accuracy and repeatability.

Engineers can also use the VNA source as a stimulus and any port as a receiver for scalar measurements. Using the multiple test ports on the VNA delivers multi-channel spectrum analysis that is synchronized with the internal swept signal generators. Spectrum analysis for broadband and banded is also available with Anritsu or other millimeter (mmWave) modules.

Two configurations are available in the spectrum analyser option. The standard VNA mode supports point-based spectrum analysis for faster measurements, making it well suited for known signal analysis. For unknown signal analysis, the solution can be configured with a traditional sweep-based spectrum analyser.

* This spectrum analyser (and other Anritsu products) will be on display at the European Microwave Week will be taking place in Milan, Italy between the 25 and 30 September 2022.
@AnritsuEMEA @Anritsu @NapierPR #TandM 

VOC Analysers for certification.

Signal Group has submitted both portable and fixed VOC analysers for MCERTS certification.

The 3010 MINIFID rugged, portable, heated FID VOC analyser has been designed to demonstrate compliance by hydrocarbon emissions measurements from multiple stacks or sites. The S4 SOLAR heated FID VOC analyser is a rack-mounted instrument for continuous monitoring, offering the accuracy and reliability that Signal customers expect, but with the additional benefits of a detachable tablet and software for RS232 or Ethernet connectivity.

The company’s stand (D11) at AQE 2022 will feature both instruments. Visitors will also be able to see the new S4 SOLAR XPLORE portable heated FID, and anyone with an interest in QAL2 audits will be able to see the 821s Gas Divider and the NOXGEN NOx converter efficiency tester. They will see first-hand, how an innovative detachable tablet makes emissions monitoring easier and safer – putting data where it matters… in the customer's hands!

@GasAnalysers @IET_online @_Enviro_News #PAuto #Environment

Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Data centre automation business enhanced.

ABB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement with ATS Global* to extend the reach of the ABB Ability™ Data Center Automation (DCA) business. The company has become a Global System Integrator (GIS) and will work with ABB to combine expertise and resources, testing the advantages and effectiveness of potential collaborations for data center customers and growing their respective businesses.
DCA is ABB’s industrial solution for on-premise and hybrid cloud environments. It is a controls, hardware and software solution for control, monitoring and optimization of data center infrastructure, with mechanical control in building management system (BMS), electrical power management system (EPMS), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and data center infrastructure management (DCIM) capabilities in a single, ruggedized industrial solution.

ABB and ATS Global will jointly strengthen their distribution channels, improve industry knowledge and increase lead generation. ABB will gain representatives familiar to local standards, laws and regulations where it does not always have a presence. Over the long term, the two parties intend to explore new business opportunities for data center customers across a wide range of industries.

“Our client base, some with multiple sites across geographies, has increasing requirements for reliable automation in their data center facilities as their volume of data rises,” said Martin Matse, Global Business Development Manager, Data Centers, ATS Global. “Now we have the opportunity to deploy the same standard of ABB Ability™ Data Center Automation in all of our regions, enabling improved performance and competitive advantage through technology updates, optimization solutions and continual customer engagement alongside ABB.”

“The demand for reliable data center automation solutions and digital transformation expertise is continuing to rise,” said Madhav Kalia, Global Head of Data Center Automation at ABB. “ABB and ATS Global can work to our respective strengths and deliver complete solutions to customers in Europe, the Americas, across Asia and Australia. We are committed to aligning and growing with our new channel partner.”

ATS Global’s next steps with ABB’s industrial-grade, cyber-secure and digital-ready integrated automation solution follows the successful execution of more than 100 data center sector projects worldwide. The GIS will ensure fast mobilization for ABB and existing and new customers in ATS Global’s network, maximizing uptime and availability in customer facilities.

* Founded in 1986, ATS Global, based in the Netherlands, is known for digital transformation and offers data center management and control services and solutions. The team’s expertise includes building, cooling, energy, capacity and billing. The company works with partners to ensure expert automation, quality and IT for customers.

@ABBgroupnews @ATS_Int #Automation, #PAuto #EurAsia