Tuesday, 3 October 2023

High speed for UV light.

Ametek Vision Research has introduced high-speed cameras capable of capturing images in the extended light spectrum of UV, visible and Near-IR wavelengths. The cameras have over 70% Quantum Efficiency (QE) at 300nm, as well as unprecedented QE at other points of the UV light spectrum, allowing researchers to potentially capture images using just the camera and a UV lens. Previously, images in the UV light spectrum were only available with the aid of an image intensifier. The cameras are also capable of capturing images in the visible and near IR spectrums with performance similar to the equivalent Phantom cameras*. Depending on lab needs, the cameras can offer a two-in-one benefit.

“We’re excited to bring this UV-extended capability to the scientific community. This community often works in cutting-edge applications that rely on our cameras to provide the best results. As the leader in high-speed imaging, it is incumbent upon us to bring technical advances in our cameras that make a difference and propel their research forward. The UV-extended capability cameras can do just that,” explained Kevin Gann President of Research and Development at Vision Research.

Phenomena such as some chemical reactions are visible only at certain wavelengths in the UV light spectrum. While high-speed cameras would be advantageous to analyze the very fast reactions, high-speed sensors typically have glass covers that block the UV wavelengths. Similarly, standard lenses are constructed of glass, also blocking UV light. Researchers previously needed to couple an image intensifier to a standard camera to compensate for the glass. Phantom UV cameras overcome this obstacle by implementing a different cover material — fused silica — that allows penetration of UV wavelengths. The cover material is combined with specific Phantom Back Side Illuminated (BSI) sensor designs to provide high QE. Depending on the UV signal generated by the event, an intensifier may no longer be required.

*The UV-extended capability is available on the Phantom TMX Series (TMX 7510, 6410 and 5010), the T3610 and T2410, providing a broad performance range to from which to choose.

@phantomhispeed  @mepaxIntPR  #PAuto 

Informatics & LIMS for India.

Elab Informatics has been appointed as distributor of Autoscribe Informatics prestigious Matrix Gemini LIMS in India. Elab Informatics has focused on growing its Lab Informatics consulting services uo to now. This agreement enables Elab to also sell and support Matrix Gemini LIMS software in addition to offering configuration and informatics consulting services to clients.

The comprehensive configuration tools built into Matrix Gemini allows Elab to tailor each LIMS to the exact needs of each client without the need for custom coding. The tools use an intuitive ‘drag and drop’ workflow screen editor to create and modify unlimited numbers of screens, without the need for programming skills. In this way, the LIMS can be designed quickly to exactly match local user requirements.

Elab has quickly built a strong reputation in guiding clients through laboratory digitization programs, linking LIMS to instruments and corporate systems to drive efficiency and regulatory compliance. The new agreement gives the company access to the world’s most configurable software, perfect for their diverse spectrum of laboratory types, including research and development, quality control, biobanking, stability, and environmental monitoring.

“The versatility of Matrix Gemini LIMS provides the perfect platform for consulting organizations such as Elab to dominate their chosen markets,” said John Boother, Autoscribe Informatics. “India is predicted to be among the fastest growing economies over the next few years, with S&P Global predicting an average growth rate of 6.7% up to 2031. The combination of a fast-growing economy, Elab Informatics expertise and customer reach, and the flexibility of Matrix Gemini LIMS, provides a unique opportunity for Elab to grow their market share much faster than the already impressive growth rates across this region.”

“We are excited to be offering Matrix Gemini LIMS to our clients”, said Prashant Gandhi, founder and director of Elab Informatics. “The unusually flexible nature of Autoscribe’s software allows us to help our clients achieve their lab digitization vision, drive automation and efficiency, and meet regulatory requirements across a broad section of industries. Our already broad client base including manufacturing, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and environmental industries will all benefit from the Low Code Development Platform (LCDP) on which Matrix is based. It allows us to rapidly configure LIMS solutions to fit client needs without resorting to software programming methods traditionally used. The result is faster deployments that are more easily supported in the field, and more upgradeable over the lifetime of the LIMS, reducing overall costs for our clients.”

 @AutoscribeLtd @AutoscribeCorp #LIMS #Laboratory #India

Automation & control trends.

Featured articles include:

• Thriving Amid Disruptive Innovation
• Advanced Manufacturing Automation Strategies Open Up
• Transformative Technologies Enable Innovation

“The world of manufacturing is an exciting, ever-changing landscape that is continually being driven to new heights of productivity, efficiency, and quality through the application of innovative technology,” says Bill Lydon, the 40-year industry executive, editor, consultant, and commentator who recently announcement his retirement.

In this edition of Automation.com’s 8th Annual Industrial Automation & Control Trends Report, Bill reveals how advances in more than a dozen technology areas are enabling digital transformations and corporate resilience. Supplementing Bill’s thoughts on the trends driving industry forward is the Insider Insights section—a collection of views from technology suppliers who are helping to empower manufacturers and shape the future of industrial automation.

@automation_com @ISA_Automation #PAuto #Automation #Manufacturing #Publishing

75 years in test and measurement celebrated.

Celebrate Fluke’s 75th anniversary with free gifts and up to 25% savings on its most popular tools.

Over 75 years, Fluke has built a reputation for a range of rugged, quality test tools that technicians and engineers have come to rely on. To celebrate the significant milestone of its 75th anniversary, the company is offering free tool cases and discounts with purchases of some of its most popular multimeters, together with up to 25% savings on a wide range of measurement tools that engineers use every day.

Running from 1 October to 31 December 2023, Fluke is offering free tool cases with qualified purchases of the Fluke 179, 87-V and 115 Digital Multimeters. The Fluke 179 and 87-5 are special editions complete with the Fluke 75th anniversary logo and all three multimeters will also be available at a discount of 10% off the listed price.

Customers can claim their free gift here.

The Fluke 179 TRMS Multimeter is a full-featured, precision digital multimeter for troubleshooting and repair of electrical and electronic systems. The Fluke 87-V TRMS Multimeter provides the resolution and accuracy to efficiently troubleshoot motor drives, plant automation, power distribution and many other applications. The Fluke 115 Digital Multimeter is a compact, general purpose troubleshooting tool, offering simple, one-handed operation for field service technicians.

The 75th anniversary offer also includes innovative new products which are set to carry Fluke’s longstanding reputation for research and development into the next 75 years with products such as the FEV300 EV Charging Station Test Adapter Kit. The Fluke FEV300designed for testing the function and safety of electric vehicle charging stations, without the need for an electric vehicle. It allows testing to be carried out quickly and easily and can also be combined with Fluke’s other test instruments such as the 1664 FC installation tester.

Other discounted products include Multifunction Installation Testers, Multifunction Installation Testers with TruTest kits, 116 and 117 Digital Multimeters, the 325-clamp meter, the 62 MAX infrared laser thermometer and the T150 and T6-600 electrical testers. Says Nigel Hedges: “Over 75 years, technicians and engineers in the electrical industry have come to rely on the solid build quality, accuracy and reliability of Fluke test solutions. Many customers remain loyal to Fluke because our products provide the sophisticated features they need, combined with the usability that makes testing tasks quicker and easier to perform.

“With squeezed budgets and a growing shortage of skilled labour, companies are having to choose their measurement solutions carefully – many have concluded that Fluke instruments provide the value for money, effectiveness and ease of use they are looking for, and we look forward to providing our customers with high quality tools for many more years to come.”

Although Fluke may be celebrating 75 years of history and heritage, they are by no means stepping back the innovation that has seen them achieve so much success to date. Exciting new product areas such as solar energy, electric vehicle charging solutions and acoustic imaging for leak detection all continue to drive Fluke forwards their centenary celebrations.

@FlukeCorp @NapierPR #TandM #PAuto #Telecoms

Monday, 2 October 2023

Gas analyser enables carbon capture pilot.

Gas analyser & sampling system allow carbon capture pilot project to proceed.

Several abortive attempts were made to monitor potentially hazardous methane gas in a boiler’s emissions feeding a pilot carbon capture unit at a natural gas combustion plant in southern Arkansas (US). Engineers from Aqualung Carbon Capture eventually contacted Signal Group looking for a solution.

Pilot Carbon plant in Arkansas (US)
Pilot plant in Arkansas
Aqualung is trialling its novel carbon capture technology on a generic gas-fired boiler, and for safety reasons it is necessary to continuously check for non-combusted hydrocarbons in the boiler’s emissions. Measurement data are continuously fed to the on-site PLC, and the plant would be automatically shut down if unacceptable levels of hydrocarbons are found in the exhaust. Potential causes would be the boiler’s flame failing or the boiler management system failing to shut-off the fuel gas.

“We trialled a number of gas detection solutions, but they all failed,” explains Aqualung’s project manager Jonathan Garbett. “This represented an important challenge because the project could not proceed without gas safety detection in place, so there was an urgent requirement to find a reliable solution. During our research, we came across an article which described Signal’s gas analysis expertise, so we visited their facilities in Camberley (GB).

“During our visit, we explained the situation to Signal’s MD, James Clements, who said that there were two possible sources of error. Either the analysers that we had tried were unable to handle the conditions, and/or the sample handling method was inadequate.

“It transpired that the measurement of combustion emissions is a particular speciality of Signal’s, so they recommended a complete sample handling and analysis system, and given the urgency of our requirement, we decided to rent the equipment immediately.”

Carbon capture on a gas-fired boiler.
The pilot plant is designed to evaluate Aqualung’s carbon capture technology, and was built by a partnership between Aqualung Carbon Capture, Standard Lithium, a technology and lithium project development company, and Mission Creek Resources, the owner and operator of the natural gas processing site.

Standard Lithium is investigating the potential of Aqualung’s carbon capture technology as it seeks to build on its strategy for sustainable development; focusing on minimising all CO2 emissions that may result from its future operations and related supply-chain activities. The company has also identified several areas where CO2-rich gas streams may be used to optimise its process and reduce reagent costs, as well as potentially sequestering CO2.

In a 2021 Standard Lithium press release, President and COO Dr Andy Robinson said: “We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Aqualung and Mission Creek on this exciting project; the future of the lithium industry rests on being able to produce sustainable battery-quality chemicals with the lowest carbon footprint. We feel that successful proof of this carbon capture technology in southern Arkansas may demonstrate another important technological step towards making the Gulf Coast region an industry-leading producer of sustainable lithium chemicals.”

Unique carbon capture technology.
Global urgency to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, whilst maintaining vital infrastructure and energy resources, means that there is an enormous demand for technologies that can capture GHGs such as CO2. As a leader in membrane carbon capture, Aqualung is seeking to accelerate the decarbonisation of heavy industry and transport.

Explaining the advantages of Aqualung’s membrane technology, Jonathan Garbett says: “Traditional carbon capture techniques such as absorption with amines are relatively expensive, with a requirement for amine, heat and a steady stream, so they are only used commercially in larger applications. In contrast, our patented membrane technology requires less power and works well on smaller, de-centralised plants. No raw material, such as monoethanolamine, is required, and we are able to handle lower CO2 concentrations. However, the product is completely scalable so it can be applied in a wide variety of applications.

“Many of the advantages of our technology are derived from the unique characteristics of the membrane and the selectivity of the nano-film coating Aqualung applies which provides a constantly renewable carbon capture capability.”

Membranes are simple systems, analogous to filtration, which enable gases like CO2 to permeate much faster and in larger quantities than other gases such as N2, O2 and CH4, due to the nature of the separation material. Aqualung membranes are in dynamic equilibrium, using the partial pressure differential across two sides of the membrane to constantly separate the gases from one side to the other. Aqualung’s membrane also encompasses CO2-reactive groups and mobile carriers which provide facilitated transport.

Reliable gas measurements.
The gas analysis equipment from Signal Group was initially rented for a few weeks. “The system worked very well, with no problems at all,” explains Jonathan Garbett. “We therefore purchased the equipment in late August 2023, and look forward to demonstrating the unique advantages of our technology, and working with our partners to optimise both carbon capture and CO2 utilisation.”

The installation of Signal Group Analysers at plant
Signal’s gas analysis system included an S4 SOLAR heated FID VOC analyser with a heated line and model 346 front-end filter. In most countries, FID (flame ionisation detection) is the standard reference method for the measurement of total hydrocarbons, and the sampling handling system is designed to ensure that the sample being delivered to the analyser is truly representative of the emissions, with no possibility of condensation in the sample line, or the analyser.

Expressing his enthusiasm for this project, James Clements says: “This is an ideal application for our equipment, and we were pleased to learn that our gas analysis equipment had enabled the project to proceed. However, it was particularly gratifying to be able to make a significant contribution to a project which is seeking to not just capture CO2, but to also utilise a local sink for the captured gas in the battery metal industry, which itself is helping to decarbonise transportation globally. This project is a great example of a win/win in the battle against climate change.”

@GasAnalysers @StandardLithium @_Enviro_News #PAuto #Environment

Testing 5G.

A local technology consortium Smart Nano NI, has been formed to further the development of smart manufacturing in Northern Ireland. It has just launched the largest 5G testbed in there, marking a significant step in a five-year plan to accelerate smart manufacturing in the country. 

Led by consortium partner Digital Catapult, the British authority on advanced digital technology, the 5G testbed is the organisation's latest innovation activity to bolster economic growth and investment opportunity in Northern Ireland. The investment by the Smart Nano NI consortium will create a valuable, open access facility and provide expert technical support to local start-ups and businesses through the Digital Catapult Smart Nano Accelerator Programme.

The ground-breaking testbed facilities will be delivered by the global IT and business consulting services firm CGI, in partnership with Digital Catapult Northern Ireland. The cutting-edge 5G and 4G private network is a first-of-its-kind smart manufacturing and education setting in Northern Ireland, providing access to the latest network technologies including 5G and NarrowBand-Internet of Things (NB-IoT), and will be instrumental in upskilling the next generation of innovators and experts across the country. 

William Revels, Managing Director at Digital Catapult Northern Ireland, said, “This is an exciting milestone for the project as we bring access to the latest 5G technology to both industry and academia and enable businesses to take advantage of the substantial market opportunities offered by 5G. Derry-Londonderry will be the ninth 5G testbed in Digital Catapult’s nationwide network and we’ve seen the opportunities that can be opened up from providing the equipment and in turn de-risking innovation.” 

The development of these facilities follows CGI’s opening of a new delivery centre in Northern Ireland as part of its commitment to developing skills and talent in the region. Volkan Pakoglu, Director Consulting Services at CGI, added, “The integration of this new 5G platform will demonstrate the value of creating mobile private networks within business by taking full advantage of the power, performance, and connectivity of 5G. We are committed to working together with Smart Nano NI and its partners to support and facilitate innovation, sustainable solutions and use technology for good.” 

The smart education site at the Industry 4.0 Centre in the Northwest Regional College’s Springtown Campus, will give both students and industry access to test and explore new use cases of the 5G private network, while the manufacturing site, hosted at Seagate’s manufacturing facility, will give businesses the opportunity to test the technology in a live manufacturing setting.

Dr Fergal Tuffy, Business Support Centre Manager at North West Regional College, said, “We are delighted to have the 5G testbed installed at our Springtown Campus, adding to our automation and robotics equipment at the Industry 4.0 Centre. This exciting collaboration will allow us to support students and businesses to gain skills and knowledge to take advantage of the opportunities that these cutting-edge technologies present.”

As part of this announcement, Digital Catapult have also launched an open call for the latest Smart Nano Accelerator Programme, giving businesses access to the 5G testbed for the first time. The Manufacturing Innovation Challenge is inviting innovative Northern Ireland start-ups and SMEs to join the programme and submit ideas for new technology solutions to solve manufacturing challenges.

Following the completion of the programme, the participating Northern Ireland-based companies will have the opportunity to compete for a £75,000 grant from Techstart Ventures to continue to develop their business idea. Funded through Techstart's Proof of Concept Grant Fund, this pre-commercial grant awarding fund supports entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland with grants to explore the viability and commercial potential of an innovative concept. 

Kathleen Garrett from Techstart Ventures said, “We are delighted to have partnered with Digital Catapult, Seagate and the Smart Nano NI consortium on this Manufacturing Innovation Challenge. We look forward to seeing the innovations develop through the accelerator programme and have no doubt that some exciting businesses will be formed during this process with the support & guidance of the accelerator and the £75k grant funding from ourselves.”

Jason Wiggins, Programme Manager for Smart Nano NI, added: “The combined investment in infrastructure, the Smart Nano Accelerator programme and the Techstart competition creates a supportive environment for companies to develop and test new technologies. This collaboration will deliver new business resources to Northern Ireland and will drive growth and innovation across many sectors”.

The Manufacturing Innovation Challenge will take place from Jan 2024 to March 2024, with applications closing on 15th November 2023. 

• Businesses who are interested in participating can apply online here.

@SmartnanoNI @DigiCatapult @CGI_Global @TechstartGrants #TandM #Telecomms #Smart #Ireland

Friday, 29 September 2023

Filling and packaging systems for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical production.

PAS-X MSI Plug & Produce Certified  partnership certificate has been awarded to machine manufacturer Bausch+Ströbel.

The partnership between Körber and Bausch+Ströbel enables customers to seamlessly integrate Bausch+Ströbel's filling and packaging systems with PAS-X MES, Körber's leading Manufacturing Execution System (MES). This significantly reduces manual configuration efforts for customers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, or cell and gene therapy industries, as the machines can be easily connected to PAS-X MES with just a few clicks.

Lars Horning, Körber
Lars Hornung, Senior Principal Alliances & Technology Partners Software in Körber's Business Area Pharma, expressed delight with the new addition to Körber's Ecosystem Partner Program: "The successful collaboration with Bausch+Ströbel in recent years confirms the acceptance and added value of the PAS-X MSI Plug & Produce interface in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical production. We are pleased to welcome Bausch+Ströbel as an MSI partner in our new partner program."

The innovative "PAS-X MSI Plug & Produce" interface facilitates a smooth and efficient integration of both systems. The no-code integration is based on standardized message-based communication, as described in the concept paper of the ISPE Plug & Produce Working Group.

Andreas Bühler, Head of Automation Project Design at Bausch+Ströbel, added: "The 'PAS-X MSI Plug & Produce Certified' partnership certificate is the result of our longstanding and open collaboration in many projects. I look forward to our partnership, which provides our mutual customers with the assurance of an efficient and secure integration. With the standardized and verified PAS-X MSI Plug & Produce interface, the cumbersome coordination of handshake signals is eliminated, and allows to immediately focus on the essential order and reconciliation data.”

@KoerberPharma @WerumKarriere #PAuto #Pharma