Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Innovation centre expands.

Abaco Systems plans to grow the company’s presence in Austin, (TX USA) the home of its DSP Innovation Center. This expansion follows Abaco’s February move to new headquarters in Huntsville, (AL USA) and is further evidence of the company’s investment in innovation and continued growth.

This significant expansion sees the facility grow almost 50% to over 16,000 square feet, and comes as a result of rapid growth in demand for Abaco’s digital signal processing solutions that are designed for advanced electronic warfare applications.

The additional space, which opened in July, will enable the expansion of the engineering facilities at the DSP Innovation Center. Not only will it receive substantial technical upgrades and additional laboratory facilities, but it will also benefit from re-equipping of the entire new workspace. This will provide a more ergonomic environment that will facilitate the collaboration that is at the heart of Abaco’s innovation.

Abaco is actively recruiting engineers, the addition of whom will see the current site headcount increase by more than 50% over the coming 18 months to more than 65 employees.

“Austin has an outstanding reputation as being a great place for leading edge technology companies to do business, and that makes it a perfect fit for our company – not least because of the access it gives us to the country’s most talented engineers,” said Rich Sorelle, President and CEO of Abaco. “This expansion of our DSP Innovation Center, in terms of both space and people, will allow us to continue to develop the innovative, pioneering computing solutions that enable our customers to provide our warfighters with a vital competitive edge.”

Abaco’s five Innovation Centers are at the heart of the company’s success. The team in Austin is responsible for the development of leading edge solutions based on advanced technologies including DSP, FPGA, and RFSoC. Innovative products designed and manufactured on site include the VP430 and the VP460. The Austin facility also provides the in-depth technical support customers sometimes require - all the way from design through development through optimization through deployment.

The VP430 Direct RF Processing System, which was the first 3U VPX COTS solution to feature the all new Xilinx® ZU27DR RF system-on-chip (RFSoC) technology, is also one of the densest analog FPGA DSP boards available, with eight ADC and DAC synchronized channels. It features the ability to synchronize multiple boards for even larger system applications.

@AbacoSys #PAuto #TandM #USA

Digital and analog interface in one sensor.

Pressure sensor PP20H and conductivity sensor CombiLyz AFI have now been added to the Baumer portfolio of process sensors with digital communication interface

Digital communication opens up many opportunities – but only sensors that reliably deliver precise measured values offer real added value by IO-Link. Well established and appreciated by many users, both pressure sensor PP20H and CombiLyz AFI conductivity sensor excel by outstanding measuring performance and IO-Link interface, but now they offer even more interesting features such as simple and fast parameterization- even during operation. This way, secondary data like different process data output simultaneously or diagnostic data only accessible this way can be communicated from sensor to controller or even retrieved from the sensor memory if required. Further to the digital interface, the sensors also provide one or more conventional analog outputs for maximum user flexibility.

Dual Channel enables analog as well as digital sensor operation or both at the same time - this way, Baumer process sensors such as conductivity sensor CombiLyz AFI and pressure sensor PP20H work both in conventional control topologies and digital IO-Link control environments. In process automation, the proven analog interface is helpful for sensor integration into existing control concepts. Nevertheless, in sensor commissioning, IO-Link advantages such as easy and fast parameterization or access to secondary data are a valuable help. For process control, parallel readout of conductivity or pressure value is enabled via 4... 20 mA analog output.

IO-Link provides access to valuable secondary data: process data including sensor temperature respectively process temperature of PP20H. Such information allow for interesting conclusions, e.g. unusual temperature rise in containers or pipes. And, such data are basic for predictive maintenance. CombiLyz AFI conductivity sensor delivers information on media concentration in addition to media conductivity. By doing so, the medium in process and its concentration is precisely identified. Pressure sensor PP20H delivers ambient pressure information in addition to process pressure. Therefore, the sensor can be deployed for both absolute and relative pressure measurement.

IO-Link allows for mutual and bidirectional sensor communication via the controller. This way, every sensor can utilize the measured values of other sensors to solve complex measuring tasks or for optimization of processes and production flow. Using conductivity sensor AFI for example, transmission of the measured temperature value would reduce response times of temperature compensation to 15 seconds or even completely circumvent them. In level detection in closed tanks, two fusioned pressure sensors enable direct indication of the filling level. The head pressure sensor transmits the measured value to the pressure sensor at the tank bottom for zero point adjustment. This way, the actual pressure is determined.

With CombiLyz conductivity sensors and PP20H pressure sensors now featuring this digital communication interface, Baumer further adds on their portfolio of IO-Link process sensors. And, solutions for flow and level detection using this digital communication standard are also available.

#Baumer #PAuto 

Components supply forecast without crystal ball!

“I’m certain that stability will return, but I will need a crystal ball to predict just when…!” - Adam Fletcher

Adam Fletcher - Chair ecsn
At the end of each year the Electronic Components Supply Network (ecsn) provides a provisional twelve month Forecast for the year in prospect. The forecast issued by the association in December 2019 reflected the ‘reasonable’ confidence expressed by ecsn members for the first half of the year but the association chose to limit its predictions for the second half of the year to ‘best guidance’, due to the lack of customer visibility in the electronic components market coupled with ongoing geo-political uncertainties. The association is now able to firm up this ‘best guidance’ and has today confirmed its forecast to the end of the year, together with the provisional release of the results for H1 2020.

According to ecsn chairman Adam Fletcher, the outcome for the electronic components market in the first half of 2020 revealed a decline of (10%) when compared to the same period last year. The association’s forecast for the second half of the year suggests that the market decline will slow and reveal a 2H’20 decline in the range (9%)-to-(3%), with a mid-point decline of (6%). The mid-year forecast released today by ecsn predicts that the British & Irish electronic components market will conclude 2020 showing a full year decline in the range (10%)-to-(6%), with a mid-point of (8%) decline on the previous year.

“The sharp decline in growth in 2020 is primarily the result of a global economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which was not a forecastable event in 2019”, said Aubrey Dunford, ecsn Market Analyst. “However, the ongoing trade war between China and the US had already reduced demand in Q4’19 and enabled customers to de-stock based on increased availability due to tumbling component lead-times and because of their weakening customer order book”. 

The ‘Book to Bill’ ratio which was positive in Q1’20 but declined slightly in Q2’20 but the polynomial trend suggests that the B2B ratio is likely to remain positive into the 2H’20: “Customers who had been destocking in Q4’19 increased their in-house inventory and order cover in Q1’20 as manufacturer lead-times for components started to increase and with it, the potential risk of product shortages due to the population lock-down and China’s closure of much of its manufacturing industry” Dunford continued. “Fortunately, the supply situation has eased considerably in Q2 ’20, partly aided by lower global demand for electronic components”.

Continuing Limited Visibility…
ecsn’s afdec members’ visibility in the electronic components market remains very limited due to the almost total absence of clear guidance from their customers, and there is understandably a wide and diverse range of opinions on the likely outcome for 2020: “It’s always our aim to provide the electronic components markets, our members’ customers and investors with a balanced and evidence-based forecast and our forecast for the second half of the year reflects careful analysis of our members’ statistical data, reports from industry analysts and empirical data from a wide range of sources”, said Adam Fletcher. “Looking further ahead we believe that 2021 is likely to be a year of low growth and modest recovery for the electronic components markets. Stronger real growth will probably not return until 2022, however the range of member and industry analyst opinions about when and what the rate of the growth will be remains very diverse”.

That said, Fletcher remains confident that the trajectory for the electronic components markets in the mid-term is up and to the right: “If we assume that the final outcome for 2020 is a sales revenue decline of (9%) when compared to the previous year, then the performance of the electronic components market and the wider electronic industry will have been fairly remarkable given the dreadful economic environment in which we are all currently operating”. He remains confident that stronger underlying growth will return although the odd ‘bump’ along the way will be inevitable: “I predicted that any growth would adopt a hockey-stick shaped curve towards the end of 2020 and into 2021 and in my opinion the curve has now simply shifted by a further 18 to 24 months, due primarily to COVID-19 but also to the US China Trade War delaying the inevitable 5G roll-out but also reflecting weakness in the automotive market - which was set to return to growth in 2020 but has now been delayed by 12 months, the impact on the commercial avionics sector is likely to continue well in to 2023, and slower than anticipated growth in IOT applications: In the cloud computing and military markets growth remains strong, while PC / laptops, medical and industrial markets are set to continue modest growth rates”.

Looking even further ahead, Fletcher is confident that the electronic components markets will return to growth over the next few years but at a rate lower than the global average rather than at the top of the growth curve. He believes that stronger international economic growth, the impact of mega mergers and acquisitions and continued underinvestment in capacity for the manufacture complex electronic components will once again drive extended lead-times and shortages of some electronic components: “The pendulum of supply and demand continues to swing very erratically and will continue to cause a ‘stop-start’ effect on our industry”, Fletcher concluded. “Until the entire electronics industry starts to really collaborate effectively and share its business intelligence throughout the supply network, we will all be at risk from these extreme market oscillations. I’m certain that stability will return, but I will need a crystal ball to predict just when…!”

@ECSN_UK #Electronics #PAuto 

Noise, vibration and dust monitoring from the cloud!

The well proven SvanNET cloud-based solution from Svantek,  now offers noise, vibration and dust monitoring with new 24/7 support functionality ideal for large infrastructure projects. The enhanced, all-in-one portal offers multi point internet connection with the company’s high performance instrumentation to provide alarming, reporting and management in a convenient central location.

It has been specially developed for use with the company’s advanced SV 258 PRO vibration and SV 307 noise monitoring stations, as well as its exciting new Met One ES-642 Remote Dust Monitor. It provides measurement status, alarms indication, power source including battery charge and external power information as well as GSM strength.

The new ES-642 remote dust monitor is an industrial air quality sensor designed to provide accurate measurements of particle concentration in both indoor and outdoor environments. Supplied in a rugged waterproof enclosure, it includes an LCD display to provide information about particulate concentration, flow rate, instrument status and power.

Svantek’s SvanNET enables web interface, access to data files in the instruments and status alarms for battery or memory. It sends out advanced alarms for noise, dust and vibration parameters which can be set for different times of the day rather than just during normal work hours. It means emails and SMS messages can be delivered to the correct person regardless of shift pattern.

Aidan Hubbard, Svantek’s Sales Director comments: “SvanNET is the central portal for all noise, vibration and dust monitoring data to be displayed and managed. Users are now looking for an easy to use all in one solution instead of running multiple portals for multiple instruments. They would much rather have a single portal and see everything in one place.

“In addition, a new support functionality enables users to easily get back up and help from a Svantek engineer on a 24/7 basis which is particularly ideal for large infrastructure projects.”

Sharing access with key people is made easy with Tokens. This feature does not require a password or username to enter but provides a website with live data streaming. Whilst the user is unable to make changes to the project, it is useful for making data more accessible.

Svantek’s IEC61672 class 1 SV 307 noise monitoring station now has the ability to alarm from vibration or tilt detection. This alerts users when it has been adjusted by strong winds or from attempted theft. It can also be alarmed from GPS movement although this is more appropriate for time synchronisation of multiple systems.

As an online solution, SvanNET does not require software installation and is accessible through a web browser or dedicated App for Android and IOS platforms. The responsive design enables use of SvanNET on various devices such as smartphones or tablets.

SvanNET allows usage of all types of SIM cards with the Svantek monitoring station modem regardless if they have public or private IP. Once a card is inserted into the instrument it automatically connects to SvanNET.

The web user interface is easy to use and intuitive to operate. The connectivity service offers management and gives full control of the monitoring system using any web browsing device like a mobile phone, tablet or PC.

The online preview template provides current results, time-history graphs as well as information on status of monitoring points. The preview website can be customised with logos and individual project names. The preview content can be configured in SvanNET interface that works as the Content Management System (CMS).

To ensure reliability and data security, SvanNET has been located on the Microsoft Azure™ cloud platform that works through the global network of Microsoft-managed data centres.

The SvanNET project is an optional feature designed to offer fully automated management of multi-point noise and vibration monitoring tasks. Tools such as Automatic Files Download, Data Storage, Advanced Alarms and Data Sharing for generating restricted access log ins to SvanNET enable unattended monitoring.

The functionality of SvanNET Projects allows grouping of monitoring stations so that alarms and reports are separately defined for each project. The data files are also grouped automatically in accordance with Project assignments.

@Svantek_UK   @elhcomms  #Pauto

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Optimum performance in the control cabinet

The NORDAC PRO SK 500P frequency inverters from Nord Drive Systems are equipped with an integrated multi-protocol Ethernet interface, a multi-encoder interface for multiple axis operation and a USB interface for voltage-free parameterisation. Perfect for every application.

The new control cabinet inverters cover rated motor powers from 0.25 to 5.5 kW and feature ultimate levels of connectivity, functionality and versatility. Various device versions can be optimally allocated to various application requirements. Plug-in control, safety and option modules ensure maximum flexibility and the compact book-size design format enables space-saving installation in control cabinets.

NORDAC PRO SK 500P is the new generation of control cabinet inverters. The series is equipped with an integrated universal Ethernet interface that enables the use of the major real-time Ethernet standards via one single interface. Whether for Profinet, EtherNet/IP, Powerlink or EtherCAT, the required protocol can be easily set by means of parameters.

The future-proof nature of the modular series is shown by its modern connectivity such as the use of an SD memory card as a storage medium for parameters, as well as a USB interface which enables “in the box” parameterisation of the inverter when the power is switched off. It also provides a CANopen interface, five or six digital and two analogue inputs, two digital and one analogue output, two potential-free multi-function relays, an HTL / TTL incremental encoder interface as well as a universal encoder interface which enables connection of SIN/COS, BiSS SSI, Hiperface and EnDat encoders.

The NORDAC PRO SK 500P can read out up to four encoder systems simultaneously and can therefore control several motors in positioning mode. Together with features such as the integrated PLC for motor-related motion and logic control, a 200% overload reserve for perfect torque and speed performance as well as sensorless current vector control for asynchronous and synchronous motors (open loop and closed loop), it is a genuine all-rounder. The integrated brake chopper for 4-quadrant operation is a part of the basic equipment for the entire series, as is motor brake management, which is important, e.g. for lifting gear applications. NORD supplies the inverters with integrated STO and SS1.

The integrated PLC processes the data from sensors and actuators and can autonomously initiate control sequences, as well as communicating drive and application data to a control centre, networked components or to cloud storage. This allows continuous condition monitoring and therefore forms the basis for predictive maintenance concepts as well as optimum plant dimensioning.

Intelligent, communicative and easy to connect: With the NORDAC PRO SK 500P, the NORD DRIVESYSTEMS range includes future-proof and user-friendly frequency inverters for control cabinets. The overall concept has been revised, so that the inverter series provides a new future-proof platform which promises many years of power and performance from NORD. The new series is of course downwardly compatible with the current SK 500E series.

@NORD_Drive #PAuto

Yellow for safety!

In the field of automation technology, the colour yellow stands for safety at work. The safety expert Leuze, as a developer and provider of safety sensors, safety solutions and safety services for the entire life cycle of a machine, is now further increasing focus of the company’s safety competence in its business activities with a dedicated division. Leuze emphasizes this with the motto, “Safety at Leuze”.

Leuze is oriented toward a proactive differentiation and focusing policy. The goal is to ensure the success of their customers in an industry that is ever evolving. This means: the Sensor People concentrate on those focus industries in which they have acquired extensive, specific application know-how over the years. “When these technological competences are applied to the relevant industry segments in a targeted fashion, this results in specific applications,” explains Dr. Albrecht von Pfeil, Director Business Area Safety Sensors & Solutions at Leuze. “One of these is the area of safety, which is increasingly becoming a focal point for us.”

Leuze has always been a forerunner in the area of safety at work through trend-setting inventions, such as the development of the very first protective sensor. Having started as a manufacturer and developer of safety sensors, Leuze has further developed significantly in recent years. The product range of the safety expert includes safety sensors, safety services and safety solutions. This know-how is packaged together in the newly created Safety division. For its customers, Leuze is thus a reliable partner for efficient safety sensor solutions for the entire life cycle of their machines and systems.

Over the course of several decades, their Sensor People have acquired extensive safety expertise and today have in-depth knowledge of standards as well as a great deal of practical experience in the use of safety-related applications. Both form the basis of the Leuze safety solutions. At the heart of every safety solution are the safety concepts qualified by Leuze. Their professional safety consultants assess the requirements for each individual safety solution and tailor them to the respective system layout. The Sensor People accompany the projects all the way through to the safety-related approval of the safety solution on-site.

The decision to increase focus on the area of safety is underlined by a new motto, “Safety at Leuze”. “The new safety motto stands for an ideally matched product portfolio, extensive experience in safety consulting, in engineering and design of safety solutions as well as the broad range of safety services. All of this for various aspects of different types of machines and systems,” explains Dr. Albrecht von Pfeil.

@LeuzeUSA #Pauto #Safety

Monday, 10 August 2020

Food sensor innovation wins.

At the Process Expo in Chicago, a panel of experts from the food processing industry selected the PP20H pressure sensor as the winner of the Innovations Showcase Award in the dairy product category.

The pressure sensor prevailed among the 17 finalists due to its condensate-resistant silicon measuring cell, exceptional precision across the entire temperature range, and IO-Link interface. “An IO-Link interface is the latest trend in the sector and we have incorporated this technology in our PP20H,” says Baschar Al Hammoud, product manager for pressure sensors. However the company did not settle for that without offering its customers extra benefit – in addition to the digital IO-Link interface, the PP20H also offers an additional analog output. Baschar Al Hammoud explains, “With this combination, the PP20H offers users more flexibility than any other pressure sensor.”

This way, during commissioning of the sensor, users can benefit from all IO-Link advantages, which considerably simplify sensor parameterization while still allowing process control by the sensor via the 4 ... 20 mA analog output. Furthermore, the IO-Link makes it possible to call up additional process data such as the pressure of the measurement cell or the temperatures of the pressure sensor and the microchip in the central processing unit. Access to this information allows for interesting investigations: for example, whether an unusual temperature rise has occurred in a container, which may indicate a defect or faulty dosage of the ingredients in a tank.

As high temperatures may decrease the service life of the sensor or other system components, this may indicate the need for preventive maintenance – one of the promises of Industry 4.0. Of course, the PP20H series offers all the advantages of IO-Link, such as quick parameterization during operation and prior to installation. Even more, a new sensor easily learns the parameters of the old sensor via the master and is immediately ready for operation upon installation. For Baschar Al Hammoud, this is only the first step: “We are planning additional functions based on IO-Link.”

The PP20H also exceeds all standards also in terms of robustness. Its measurement cell is completely sealed even during relative pressure measurement. This prevents the entrance of warm and humid ambient air, which may precipitate with low process temperatures. This is the case, for example, in milk or ice cream processing. At the same time, the sensor must be somehow “open” to the surroundings because the sensor will also determine the difference to the ambient temperature. The Baumer engineers devised a unique technical solution for this challenge – they placed a barometric pressure sensor in the back of the housing that can measure the reference pressure of the environment via an opening. This way, the actual silicon measurement cell in the front remains hermetically sealed. The PP20H is therefore not only suitable for CIP (Clean in Place) and SIP (Sterilization in Place) processes, but also for sudden changes in process media temperatures.

#Baumer #PAuto #Dairy #Mepax