Friday 8 December 2023

Milestone for automation executive.

Dr Klaus Endress, CEO of the Endress+Hauser Group for many years and president of the Supervisory Board since 2014, is celebrating his 75th birthday. As previously announced, he will end his active involvement in the family-owned business at the end of the year. However, he will remain closely associated with the Group as a shareholder and chairman of the Endress Family Council.

Dr Klaus Endress
Klaus Endress was born on 9 December 1948 as the second of eight children for company founder Dr Georg H Endress and his wife Alice. After studying industrial engineering and working in the United States, he joined his father’s company in 1979. In 1995, Klaus Endress took over as CEO and shaped the Endress+Hauser Group’s development for almost two decades. In 2014, he moved to the Supervisory Board.

Shaping the structure and culture of the Group.
To this day, much of the company bears the signature of Klaus Endress. His time as CEO saw the separation and focusing of sales and production, the introduction of uniform IT structures, the internationalization of the business and the establishment of global production based on the principle of ‘From the region, for the region’. The successful development of the Group is based on all of these factors.

Klaus Endress always paid great attention to the corporate culture. Responsibility and loyalty are core values. For him, value-based corporate management is the cornerstone of sustaining economic success. He also upholds these principles within the entrepreneurial family. Today, a family charter defines the relationship between the family and the company, introduces the younger generation to the business and strengthens the cohesion and unity of the 75-plus family members.

Involvement in many public functions.
Klaus Endress was also actively involved in politics, education, culture and business. He was engaged in the liberal FDP party in his home municipality of Reinach for almost three decades. From 2005 to 2018, he represented the interests of the canton of Baselland on the University Council of the University of Basel. In 2019, the Faculty of Economics awarded him an honorary doctorate for his commitment; in the same year, he was recognized for supporting the development of the Basel region.

From 2008 to 2017, Klaus Endress chaired the WVIB, an industrial association of more than 1,000 small and medium-sized companies in southwestern Germany. On his retirement, the Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg, Germany, made the Swiss entrepreneur an honorary senator. He also received the German Federal Cross of Merit.

Still closely associated with the company.
At the end of the year, Klaus Endress will no longer be actively involved in the company. In future, the family will be represented on the Supervisory Board by Sandra Genge and Steven Endress, two members of the third generation. Klaus Endress will remain closely associated with the company as a shareholder and chairman of the Family Council – and is looking forward to spending more time with his wife and two grown-up children. In addition, the passionate horse rider and mountain biker regularly heads outdoors and into nature, usually accompanied by Maya, the family dog.

We wish he our congratulations and "ad multos annos!"

• See also: Celebrating seventy years of measurement and automation technology.(1/2/2023)

@Endress_Hauser @Endress_IN @Endress_UK @Endress_AUS #PAuto #Switzerland

Inclination sensor defies shocks and vibrations!

The IMU F99 inclination sensor from Pepperl+Fuchs, provides stable inclination values for mobile use on construction machinery or robots. An integrated gyroscope compensates for accelerations, enabling precise inclination measurement. This makes the IMU F99 sensor a significantly better choice than conventional static inclination sensors.

Inclination sensors are capable of delivering extremely precise values in stationary conditions, but their measurements can be distorted by acceleration effects. However, in applications such as excavators, wheel loader buckets, and the booms of agricultural machines, inclination values are often required during movement. Conventional static inclination sensors are based on the measurement of gravitational force, but they also react to any other forces.

As the acceleration changes, so does the inclination value. In vehicles and mobile devices, this means that accelerating, braking, centrifugal forces in bends, and any vibrations while driving can distort the measured value. These influences must be compensated for to achieve dynamic inclination measurement. For this reason, Pepperl+Fuchs has developed the innovative IMU F99 device series for mobile inclination measurements. The addition of a rotation rate sensor (gyroscope) enables the sensor to perform dynamic inclination measurement. This allows precise inclination values to be recorded even during movement.

The IMU F99 sensor can therefore be used on all mobile machines for position detection, control and positioning of booms, anti-fall-over systems, steering angle restriction, and weighing systems.

@PepperlFuchsUSA @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Transportation

Thursday 7 December 2023

Reliable network infrastructures for oil and gas industry.

Rugged networking devices combined with simplified management software are indispensable in strengthening the competitiveness of companies in the oil and gas industry  - Alvis Chen, Integrated Marketing Manager,  Moxa.

The oil and gas sector needs network infrastructures that satisfy the highest reliability standards to survive its challenging working conditions. In this industry, network failures can have costly repercussions, such as decreased operational efficiency, jeopardized on-site safety, and diminished organizational competitiveness.

Companies in the oil and gas industry understand that to guarantee precise process automation and real-time monitoring for operations that run around the clock, they need robust, effective, and future-proof network solutions. Two real-world examples that demonstrate network reliability to these operations are provided below.

Application 1: Reliability on the Seas—Offshore Oil Drilling.
The hostile atmosphere of offshore oil fields presents serious risks and difficulties for network devices. To successfully monitor a drilling platform remotely, the entire network infrastructure needs to be extremely reliable and available. In addition to redundant wired or wireless network systems with failover capability, the network equipment must comply with industrial standards that certify its ability to operate in an environment with varying temperatures, corrosion, and vibration.

A robust network architecture incorporating redundancy will prevent disruptions that create downtime and reduce operational effectiveness. Moreover, devices that meet rigorous DNV GL maritime certification are required to ensure reliability in the face of marine hazards while Class I Division 2 (CID2), IECEx or ATEX Zone 2 hazardous area certifications must be installed in explosive gas environments. Implementing these measures enables offshore oil-drilling operations to function effectively despite rapid temperature changes, harsh corrosive conditions, and continuous vibrations.

An example of this type of industrial device is the Moxa EDS-G4012 managed Ethernet switch. Certified for use in C1D2 environments and compliant with IEC 62443-4-2 industrial cybersecurity standards, the switches come equipped with 12 Gigabit Ethernet ports with PoE and up to four 1 Gbps or 2.5 Gbps fiber-optic ports, making EDS-G4012 switches ideal for upgrading an existing network to Gigabit speed or building a new full Gigabit backbone. Redundant Ethernet technologies such as Turbo Ring, Turbo Chain, and RSTP/STP increase the reliability and availability of the offshore network backbone.

Application 2: Monitoring the Lifeblood—Oil Pipelines.
The role of oil pipelines is to distribute crude oil from drilling rigs to oil storage tanks and then to refineries. Typically, pipelines span several thousand miles over harsh terrain and require a central SCADA system based on Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) and microwave architecture to measure, monitor, and control the status of field instruments across the entire oil flow. Multiple pumping stations, such as block valve stations and compressor stations, keep the pressure in the pipeline constant.

Pipeline operators can quickly detect, locate, and prevent or resolve leaks, damages, and breaks by deploying a rugged, extendable fiber-optic Ethernet network. Fiber networks are robust, highly available, and extremely fast. This network will include an integrated remote monitoring and surveillance service for pipeline operations to improve safety and reduce the total cost of pipeline maintenance.

Overseeing a pipeline network requires a responsive visualization tool. Moxa MXview network management software is optimized for networking device configuration, monitoring, and diagnosis in pipeline applications. It is an integrated management platform that can discover up to 2,000 Moxa networking devices and SNMP/IP devices installed on subnets. Selected network components can be managed via a web browser from local and remote sites—anytime, anywhere. Visualization is possible of redundant link status and device roles, security status of network devices, third-party device icons, network traffic loading, and power consumption of managed PoE devices.

@Moxa_Europe @OConnellPR #Energy #PAuto #Oil_Gas

Boosting efficiency and productivity for fleets of field instrumentation.

Upgrade to help future-proof industrial operations

ABB Ability™ Field Information Manager (FIM 3.0) has been upgraded to offer system engineers and maintenance teams increased connectivity and extended reach across the latest communication protocols. The result is enhanced operational efficiency thanks to the digital solution enabling faster, more intuitive configuration, commissioning, diagnostics and maintenance of devices.

Providing heightened performance and diagnostic data collection of fleets of devices, the latest version of FIM 3.0 leverages OPC UA and PA-DIM to transport data from field devices to cloud-based condition monitoring solutions. In doing so it helps customers achieve smarter maintenance and enhances their engineering efficiency. New asset management capabilities which include increased device condition monitoring pave the way to predictive maintenance.

“In the era of Industry 4.0, ABB Ability Field Information Manager empowers businesses to embrace digital transformation, ensuring flexibility, efficiency, and competitiveness across their fleet of devices,” said Stefan Basenach, Head of Process Control Platform, ABB. “With its future-proof capabilities, it helps customers enhance operational efficiency while remaining relevant as industry standards evolve”.

The enhanced FIM 3.0 software serves as the bridge between IT and OT to enable data-driven decision making. Offering a wider range of connectivity options for ASi-5, PROFINET, PROFIBUS, HART IP, and HART, FIM 3.0 fits into any existing system landscape for increased plant agility. Strengthened Ethernet-APL support ensures market relevance well into the future.

Their Ability™ Edgenius™ Operations Data Manager further extends FIM 3.0 capabilities by enabling the collection and management of data from OPC UA making valuable information accessible for edge and cloud-based applications. Offering advanced fleet management capabilities, simplifying the monitoring and maintenance of field devices across multiple locations.

@ABBgroupnews @abbindustryserv @abb_automation @admiralpr #PAuto #Fieldbus

Wednesday 6 December 2023

Device certification and edge compatibility.

Advantech's products are now available in the Microsoft Azure Certified Device catalogue. This ensures customers get Internet of Things (IoT) solutions up and running quickly with hardware and software that has been pre-tested and verified to work with Azure IoT services.

The Azure Certified Device program allows businesses to reach customers where they are, working with an ecosystem of devices and platforms, allowing for faster time to production. Advantech’s UNO-2000 V2 series, including UNO-2271G V2, UNO-2372G V2 and UNO-2484G V2, have achieved Microsoft’s “Azure Certified Device” and “Edge Managed” certifications, providing advanced devices capable of streamlining deployment, minimizing cost, and facilitating edge computing and analytics.

Azure certified device and edge compatibility.
The UNO-2000 V2 series is validated through the Azure Certified Device program to ensure its capability to connect to the Azure IoT Hub and establish secure provisioning using the Device Provisioning Service (DPS). This validation provides a guarantee of its operational effectiveness and seamless interoperability. The UNO-2000 V2 series has additionally attained Edge Managed certification, which outlines device management standards for devices connected to Azure. Securing this certification demonstrates the outstanding performance of UNO-2000 V2 gateways in regard to edge runtime compatibility for module deployment and management.

Application-oriented UNO-2000 V2 Gateways with flexible scalability.
The next generation UNO-2000 V2 series of widely adopted embedded box IPCs, feature highly ruggedised, fanless, and modular designs. With different form-factor options, including the pocket-sized UNO-2271G V2, the small-sized UNO-2372G V2, and the regular-sized UNO-2484G V2. The compact UNO-2000 V2 edge IoT gateways ensure simple deployment and upkeep across a range of industrial IoT (IIoT) and automation uses. The UNO-2000 V2 series is also equipped with extensive IO ports, accepting cutting-edge technologies like M.2 expansion, NVME storage, and type-C connectors. These enhancements facilitate swifter and more reliable real-time data collection/transmission, along with meeting the demands of multi-display scenarios. Moreover, the UNO-2000 V2 series can be equipped with optional second expansion stacks that support Advantech’s iDoor technology. This integration enhances computational capabilities and offers adaptable scalability.

Empowering intelligence to the edge with their edge service.
IoT projects are complex and can take a long time to implement. Customers may find that choosing and connecting the right set of devices, assets or sensors to the cloud can be time-consuming. Accordingly, to ensure customers can jumpstart their IoT projects confidently, Advantech has developed the Edge Service Package for Azure IoT Edge, which can be installed on UNO-2000 V2 or other Azure certified devices with Ubuntu 20.04 operating system. This allows customers to customise their gateway solutions to fit specific needs. Overall, Advantech’s Edge Service Package for Azure IoT Edge uses cloud intelligence and integrates the edge of the network, providing a roadmap for hybrid cloud and edge computing services enabling the efficient handling of large-scale workloads and collaborative development of IoT-enabled applications.

Advantech has secured Azure certification for its UNO-2000 V2 series, ensuring all gateways have been tested for readiness, compatibility, and usability with the Azure IoT Suite. By choosing a partner from the Azure Certified Device program, customers can save time and effort on project specs and RFP processes by knowing in advance what devices and offerings will work with the Azure IoT platform.

@Advantech_IIoT @Azure @AdvantechIA @proactivefleet #IIoT #Communications #PAuto

Superior level solution for oil and gas separators.

Liquid Level Controller pairs with an electrically-actuated control valve to reliably maintain ideal separator levels

The Fisher™ FIELDVUE™ L2t Liquid Level Controller, designed primarily for use in the separators found at most oil and gas well sites has been released. Compared to alternatives using electric on-off valves, the new Fisher controller makes it possible to save significant energy and maintenance costs by minimizing valve movement, and by simplifying the level measurement and control processes.

Level control is critical for achieving the best performance in separators, which remove gas and water from incoming crude oil feeds. Traditional solutions typically use a level gauge and control valve in one control loop, with an oil/water interface level instrument and control valve in a second loop, and with each loop executed by a separate controller. This complex mix of multiple instruments and valves is typically powered by natural gas pressure, often resulting in continuous valve emissions.

The L2t Liquid Level Controller addresses these and other issues by using a displacer to measure level and level interface, while executing a single loop control algorithm to drive an electrically-actuated control valve. The solution is simple and inexpensive to install, and there are no emissions since the valve is actuated by electricity instead of natural gas pressure. It can be specified for new separators, or it can be retrofitted to existing units by installing it in the same opening typically used with traditional level controller solutions.

@Emerson_News @EmersonExchange @EMR_Automation @FisherValves #PAuto

Tuesday 5 December 2023

LIMS rapid enhancements.

Matrix Gemini version 6.11 has been released by Autoscribe Informatics. In the past twelve months there have been 6 new software releases. It is a testament to the agile approach of the development team that fully tested releases are available on average every two months. New or improved features in the last twelve months include: extended federated identity management, an improved web portal allowing authorized clients access to our customers’ systems, and improved support for custom field functionality.

“Multiple fast releases of sophisticated and configurable software, such as laboratory information management systems, enables high-priority customer enhancements to be deployed in weeks, not years,” said Simon Wood, Autoscribe Informatics Product Manager. “Providing regular updates to our clients is only possible because we take great care to simplify the upgrade path from version to version. Customer configurations are always kept separate to the underlying software code so updates do not impact the customer’s specific implementation of Matrix Gemini. This allows customers to take full advantage of the rapidly evolving technology within Matrix Gemini LIMS while protecting their long-term investment in a LIMS solution.”

Federated identity management means users can use the same login credentials (digital identity) to access multiple applications. Autoscribe’s customers adopt this single sign on (SSO) technology to simplify user password management across their enterprise and reduce the number of passwords that users must remember. Matrix Gemini LIMS now supports an extended range of 3rd party identity providers, including Azure and Okta. For more details on SSO in Matrix Gemini please read our blog article.

In response to customer input Autoscribe has created an improved Web Portal application allowing Matrix users to give their clients controlled access to the LIMS. Using the Matrix Web Portal clients can register samples, select the tests they want done, check the status of their samples, download test results, and retrieve certificates of analysis. Through the internet clients can access the Web Portal 24/7, from anywhere, while the built-in security ensures they only see their own data and information. The look and feel of the Web Portal can easily be configured to meet customers’ corporate branding requirements. Further details can be found on our website.

Custom fields are required because it has never been possible for a LIMS to pre-determine all the data and information a customer will need to record as they often need to store information unique to their operations or workflows. This data might include additional date, text, or numeric fields. While Matrix Gemini LIMS has always allowed custom fields to be added to its database to use for this purpose, recent releases have improved the flexibility of this. These changes have improved how these fields are added and managed while simplifying the support and upgrade of systems that use them. Both Microsoft SQL and Oracle database structures are supported.

@AutoscribeLtd @AutoscribeCorp #LIMS #Laboratory