Saturday, 2 July 2022

Life sciences offering strengthened.

Emerson has acquired Fluxa, a leader in the life sciences industry that uses software and modern technology architectures to accelerate the speed to market for new therapies, drugs and vaccines. The acquisition builds on Emerson’s leading software and solutions portfolio and life sciences expertise. Emerson made an equity investment in Fluxa, which is based in Glendale, (CA USA), in 2021.

Fluxa accelerates the speed to market for new therapies by helping drug development and manufacturing organisations harness the power of collaboration and data across sites, functions and processes. The acquisition of Fluxa’s PKM™ software will provide customers a unique solution, integrated with Emerson’s industry-leading DeltaV™ control system and life sciences automation software, accelerating the development of new drug therapies into production.

“The life sciences industry has grown rapidly, and speed to market has become increasingly important since the emergence of COVID-19,” said Mark Bulanda, executive president of Emerson Automation Solutions. “Emerson’s automation solutions and market leadership, combined with Fluxa’s software, automates technology transfer in one step, giving bio-pharmaceutical companies unprecedented agility to get therapies safely to patients during this critical time.”

By translating and transferring the scientific processes and workflows into the automation language of manufacturing operational technology (OT) facilities, Emerson can help digitise the drug development process, enabling speed, flexibility and multi-product manufacturing, and improved operational integrity.

@Emerson_News  @EMR_Automation @EmersonExchange @HHC_Lewis #PAuto #LifeScience

Air-compressor maintenance.

Creating detailed air compressor leak reports from images captured by acoustic imaging cameras.

A new CO2 emission indicator to the online LeakQ reporting tool has been launched by Fluke. In addition to the existing estimated leak size and costs, this new feature adds a third element: the estimated electricity related CO2 emission in relation to the identified leaks.

Maintenance engineers and sustainability managers who work with compressed air and gas distribution systems every day can be unaware of exactly how much gas and energy is wasted due to small leaks in the system. For compressed air applications, LeakQ used in conjunction with Fluke’s online CO2 emission calculator enables users to quantify the financial value and environmental impact of detecting and fixing leaks in the system by creating detailed reports from images that have been captured using the Fluke ii900 Industrial Acoustic Imager and ii910 Precision Acoustic Imager.

Environmental impact.
Approximately 90% of all processing companies use compressed air in some aspect of their operation, such that it is sometimes referred to as the fourth utility. It is estimated that if there were no maintenance systems in place at all, the losses due to leaks in the network would be between 25-30%. Whilst desirable, it is highly unlikely that any plant will achieve an 100% leak free compressed air system.

Compressing air is an energy intensive process and as such any leaks in compressed air systems mean a significant proportion of the electricity used by a compressor to compress the gas should be perceived as energy waste. Due to the energy intensive process, and the potential environmental impact of electricity production, the ability to quantify the environmental and financial value of maintenance is helping companies drastically reduce their energy (costs) use and carbon footprint.

Detailed leak detection.
Typical leaks to focus on are quick connect leaks in a joint or interface that isn’t threaded, open end leaks in large holes or open-ended pipes, threaded coupling leaks via metallic threads or weld cracks, and leaks in rubber, flexible and plastic hoses and pipes. Standard leak detection tools only measure dB on a narrow frequency band but LeakQ carries out an automatic scan of the full frequency spectrum and captures the actual frequency range that the leak is generating. This makes estimations far more representative of the real leak rate than those that are achievable using more traditional measuring tools.

Report generator.

To develop a report and estimate the potential costs of leaks, the user simply transfers inspection data from the ii900 or ii910 to a computer, where they can be dropped into the online LeakQ report generator. The user then inputs the operating variables such as gas type, pressure, cost of electricity and System Specific Power ratio, which is a measure of compressor efficiency. The report generated will include a summary of all the leaks listed as well as their estimated individual and annual volumes, costs, and emissions. Leak images are also inserted into the report which can be shared as a PDF or downloaded as a .CSV file for importing into existing maintenance systems. A feedback option enables users to relay their experiences directly back to Fluke so that the company can continue to make the leak detection tool better and easier to use.

Prioritising maintenance.
Tako Feron, Global Product manager Acoustic Imaging at Fluke said: “Being able to prioritise, quantify and cost leaks in such a simple way is a game-changer for maintenance engineers who will be able to see the full financial and environmental impact of even the smallest leak in a compressed air system. Having the ability to reduce electricity usage is clearly a major bonus at any time but particularly in this challenging climate regarding the cost of energy. At the same time, it is essential to minimise leaks in compressed air systems if we are to meet our crucially important sustainability targets.

“It’s estimated that around 90% of companies use compressed air in some aspect of their operations and the majority of this is generated on site. That means it is down to the user to keep the costs of compressed air as low as possible and the LeakQ™ leak detection reporting tool provides an extremely powerful means of helping them to achieve that goal.”

@FlukeCorp @NapierPR #TandM #PAuto

Metal quality and casting safety.

AMETEK Land has supported a major India-based manufacturer in its metal quality and casting safety goals.

DN Castech, an engineering components manufacturer operating in Gujarat, works with many major global brands and must ensure a high-quality product through accurate measurements of the liquid metal during the casting process.

The company had been using dip thermocouples for this application. However, these have a long measurement time, require operators to get quite close to the hot process, and use disposable tips.

Experiencing high costs for maintenance, calibration, and monthly consumables, DN Castech wanted to find a more cost-effective solution that would also improve both measurement accuracy and user safety.

The company turned to AMETEK Land’s Cyclops 055L portable pyrometer, which provides highly accurate measurements of liquid metal temperatures in the range of 1,000 to 2,000 °C (1,832 to 3,632 °F), with high repeatability. The Cyclops 055L takes a fast non-contact measurement within two seconds and is ergonomically designed for single-handed use. It increases safety as the operator can be positioned 5 or 6 metres away from the molten metal, simply pointing the device and pulling the trigger when they wish to take a measurement.

AMETEK Land also supplied its Model RPI 10000 BT LED display unit, which connects wirelessly with the Cyclops 055L using Bluetooth to provide instant, real-time temperature measurement updates on its 4-inch-high, seven-segment screen. With a 50-metre connectivity range, the LED display unit allows the pyrometer to be used easily throughout the foundry to validate temperature data for quality and process control, without the safety hazards that cable connections could cause.

Before the Cyclops 055L was introduced, DN Castech was spending around 540,000 rupees a year on dip thermocouples, using 30 thermocouple tips per day. Since the Cyclops 055L has no consumables and eliminates the time spent replacing tips, it offered a rapid return on investment.

It also met DN Castech’s requirements for a more accurate and safer liquid metal temperature measurement solution.

Shri Dhirubhai Patel, Managing Director at DN Castech, said: “The Cyclops 055L has been easy to use and provides a fast measurement. It is highly accurate, even while pouring, right up to the last mould. Its performance and excellent return on our investment mean we would certainly recommend AMETEK Land for this application.”

@landinst @codacomms #Pauto #India

New CEO for embedded systems provider.

Lynx Software Technologies has appointed Tim Reed as Chief Executive Officer. Reed was previously with Green Hills Software, an established provider of embedded safety and security solutions, where he served as the Senior Vice President of the Advanced Products division and as a member of the executive leadership team.

Reed succeeds Gurjot Singh, who joined Lynx in 1992 and has served as CEO since 2008, recently leading the Company in securing a strategic investment from an affiliate of OceanSound Partners, LP (“OceanSound”). Singh will continue to serve on the Board of Directors and will advise the Company on key initiatives, including corporate strategy and supporting key customer relationships.

“It has been a privilege to lead the talented team at Lynx over the last fourteen years,” Singh stated. “Tim’s deep technical understanding of the dynamics affecting our core markets, as well as his experience spanning engineering, go-to-market, and management, will position him for success leading Lynx through this next chapter of growth. I look forward to continuing to support the Company’s growth, partnering with Tim, the Lynx team, OceanSound, and our Board of Directors as we deliver differentiated technology solutions to address the most mission-critical requirements of our clients.”

“I’ve long been familiar with Lynx and its suite of open architecture solutions built on a foundation of security and reliability. Clients in aerospace, defense, industrial, and critical infrastructure markets need to field systems with increasing levels of reliability, agility, and security, and I believe Lynx’s core solutions are positioned at the center of these trends,” commented Reed. “I am thrilled to join Lynx as its new CEO as my vision for evolution and growth is tightly aligned with OceanSound and the management team.”

“The embedded software market has long been a priority investment area for our team, and we are excited to collaborate with Tim to execute on our growth and value creation strategy,” said Joe Benavides, Managing Partner of OceanSound. 

“When we first met with Gurjot and the Lynx team, we were immediately impressed by their strategy, vision, and success advancing Lynx to where it is today. We are confident Tim will further establish Lynx as the leading provider of open architecture software solutions for these evolving markets,” said David Stein, a Principal with OceanSound.

During his long tenure at Green Hills, Reed held a variety of roles including engineering and engineering management roles for real-time operating system, hypervisor, and compiler tool chain technologies, leading the professional services organization, and overseeing sales channels and new product launches. His experience spans automotive, industrial, aerospace, and defense end-markets, and he brings expertise in software robustness, formal verification, and the use of new programming languages in safety- and security-critical applications. Reed graduated with a B.S. in Engineering and Applied Science from the California Institute of Technology.

 @LynxSoftware @NeeshamPR #OceanSound #PAuto 

Harvesting the power of data.

Charles Chen, Solution Architect, Moxa, takes a closer look at how IIoT technology can help VPPs build a strong, everlasting data stream foundation.

With the maturation of renewable-energy harvesting technologies, green energy is gradually becoming a viable alternative to conventional, environment-unfriendly power sources. For all its benefits, this new reliance on green energy puts stress on grid stability. Since grids rely heavily on balancing power supply and demand, the unpredictability of green energy brings about several challenges. Technology that allows a grid to respond quickly to power fluctuations is crucial to ensure a more resilient grid. This is where the Virtual Power Plant (VPP) enters the picture.

VPPs are networks of decentralized power generating sources, flexible power consumers, and storage systems (Pic MOXA)

VPPs crowdsource energy from a variety of resources. Ranging from renewable energy power plants, rooftop solar panels, energy storage batteries, to electric vehicles, VPPs harvest energy from anywhere and anyone. Harvesting and dispatching power successfully from both conventional and unconventional sources requires live monitoring. As an example, imagine a world where electric vehicles are the main source of commuting. During power demand peaks, VPPs could prompt connected vehicles at charging centers to divert power back to the grid to solve urgent needs. Inversely, if an excess of renewable energy is produced, the power can be stored in the vehicles.

By matching supply with demand VPPs also play a crucial part in reducing wasted energy. The most common instance of energy waste is discarding excess renewable energy generated for a local area. In a VPP setting, this can be avoided. Let's say the supply of wind-powered energy exceeds the demand of the grid for a particular area. In this case power usage can be stimulated by reducing the price through the time-price mechanism, solving the problem.

VPPs may hold the key to our future energy needs. Even so, before VPPs can become a full-fledged reality, a few kinks need to be ironed out. To achieve grid resilience, for instance, a VPP must be able to answer questions such as: "How much renewable energy will be integrated into the grid?", "How much energy would the user need?", or "How many electric vehicles are currently charging?". This not as simple as installing an API in your smartphone. To receive data, field devices may have to be installed next to a desert's solar power plant subject to extreme heat, or adjacent to an oceanside wind turbine facing corrosive salty winds, or even installed within a substation itself with high, signal-confusing, electromagnetic waves. Also, collecting the data requires a professional workforce to integrate various industrial designs and protocols — a difficult task.

The solution is the IIoT. Let’s take a closer look at how IIoT technology can help VPPs build a strong, everlasting data stream foundation.

Demystifying Power Distribution Networks.
To help distribution system operators (DSO) get the most out of a power grid, real-time knowledge of load changes is critical. As a German DSO recently found out, this can be monumental task. Two years ago, the German DSO was unable to see electricity consumption data for one of its low-voltage grids. The DSO turned to IIoT technology to achieve more transparency regarding the substation’s power data. The goal was to turn 21 categories of measured data — such as voltage, current, frequency, and active/reactive power — collected from the feeders every minute into information that operators could easily view and understand. Such information can maximize the existing power distribution system’s ability to deliver more power to the 2.3 million households it serves.

Trouble was that the feeders from substations not only vary in quantity but also come in different shapes and sizes while also being dispersed in several locations. On top of that, to prevent the installers from accidentally touching other equipment during routine entries and exits, substations are strictly controlled. This posed two new challenges: First, how to quickly install IIoT technology with less labor? Second, how to efficiently patch these IIoT devices in different substations to ensure safety?

In this case, the system integrator proposed an end-to-end solution that could quickly and securely deploy IIoT devices without changing the design of the substation. This system allowed settings to be stored and managed remotely on a cloud device management platform. Settings can also be automatically imported into a field device after passing the security certifications, eliminating the need for tedious activation steps. In addition to resolving the issue with personnel expertise and resource scheduling, this solution makes remote patches available. This powerful system design accelerates the speed of grid upgrades and helps promote the “Internet of Energy.” The Power to Dispatch: Real-time Control.

Historically, renewable energy generation was regarded as unstable and unpredictable. For it to be sustainable, the supply and demand needs be balanced. To achieve an optimal supply-demand balance, under certain national grid codes, renewable power plants need to complete the adjustment of grid-connected power within 150 milliseconds. Since this window of exchange is so small, stable and reliable real-time data collection is imperative. Stable data transmission is arduous due to the data-hosting equipment often being distributed in vast, mainly outdoors, terminal sites where severe weather, salt erosion, or electromagnetic interferences are the norm. To prevent data loss and ensure the smooth transmission of data in real time, high-end network redundancy technology is in place. When one network is unavailable, data can be transmitted via the backup, ensuring an uninterrupted data stream, creating a precise, 24-hour nonstop, real-time monitoring and control system.

A Win-Win for Users and Operators.
Data can also be found in the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) that goes deep into homes and buildings. AMI makes electricity usage information fully transparent. Consumers can track their own electricity consumption down to the second through their cellphones, while grid operators can shorten repair time by using AMI to find abnormalities in real time without waiting for user notifications. After obtaining real-time user data, the "waveform" distribution of each household's electricity consumption can be calculated to better understand or even predict the consumption during each timespan. This information helps users avoid waste by turning off the air conditioner in a vacant space or even help providers match prices for specific time slots. Achieving this requires electricity consumption data to be accurately returned to the operator's system. While household meters are not installed in environments as harsh as their outdoor counterparts, the layout of each deployment field is usually complex and diverse with the complications of human influence. Any tiny bit of carelessness could potentially affect the stability of communication. Operators could receive the wrong electricity usage information and miscalculate the electricity consumption. To avoid information loss, a store-and-forward technology is used when communication is down. The meter data can be stored first and sent out after the communication is restored to protect the rights of both users and operators.

VPPs allow consumers to also become producers, selling electricity to the grid (pic MOXA)

Trading Virtual Power.
When information becomes more transparent and the prices of renewable energy technologies become more affordable, users can also become producers, in other words, selling electricity to the grid. This shift makes supply-demand scheduling even more flexible. Achieving this level of flexibility involves a secure and decentralized network. For some operators the answer is the combining of virtual power plants with blockchain. Through blockchain’s smart transaction contract, safe and smooth purchase and the transfer of energy can by ensured due to blockchain’s decentralized, transparent, and tamper-proof nature. This design gives consumers the freedom to choose from cheaper, sometimes unconventional sources, such as their neighbors, and skip the middle aggregators.

Through IIoT technologies, power grids are being transformed from experience-based management to data-driven management. Multiple platforms, combined with participation of the general population, will make the grid more powerful with power utilization rates increasing, power waste being reduced, and a world with high energy efficiency can truly be realized.

@MoxaInc @OConnellPR #Power #PAuto #IIoT

Precision pressure control.

The model CPC3050 high-speed pressure controller is the newest device in Mensor's* lineup of precision pressure controllers and can perform end-of-line three-point verification in ten seconds.

With an innovative regulator, the instrument is designed for fast pressure control in industrial environments. It can perform 25 % pressure increments in under four seconds with a 0.020 % FS accuracy.

The CPC3050 maximises throughput in industries such as oil and gas and automotive manufacturing − however, it can be used whenever speed and accuracy are needed, for example: aerospace, aviation, pharma and power generation. It comes in high-pressure and low-pressure versions with customisable ranges, a 10:1 range limit ratio, and auto-ranging so it can fit into most factories for end-of-line testing and sensor verification.

Mensor is part of the WIKA Group since 2006.

@WIKANews #PAuto 

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Intelligent tyre pressure monitoring.

Sensata Technologies has developed a new Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) for vehicle OEMs to help improve vehicle safety and performance.

Interest in BLE TPMS is on the rise as vehicles become more connected, electrified, and autonomous. While common in consumer applications like speakers and headphones, BLE is relatively new in the TPMS space for vehicle OEMs and is enabled by newer vehicle system architectures that can support BLE functionality.

Sensata's new BLE TPMS leverages its field proven tire pressure monitoring sensors by replacing the ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio with BLE radio to enable two-way communication. These new BLE TPMS solutions are available in both clamp-in and snap-in configurations, are optimized for long battery life, and deliver the same pressure, temperature and auto-location capabilities as Sensata’s existing UHF TPMS solutions.

BLE TPMS technology helps improve vehicle safety, performance and the driving experience. The technology can enhance advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and augment remote diagnostics support. With Over-the-Air updates, drivers can download new tire-related features and software updates, enhancing their driving experience and avoiding a trip to the shop for service. BLE two-way communication also enables cyber security authentication, which is not possible with traditional one-way UHF, and adds a layer of protection from being hacked.

A leading vehicle maker in North America has selected Sensata’s solution for its electric vehicles and Sensata will be launching production in the first half of 2023.

“BLE TPMS is the natural evolution of the TPMS solutions Sensata provides today,” says Eric Sorret, Vice President of Automotive at Sensata Technologies. “This business award with a leading vehicle OEM is an exciting first step towards showing the added value BLE TPMS can bring to both OEMs and consumers. BLE TPMS opens the door to generating new data and insights that can improve vehicle safety, performance, and the overall user experience.”

@Sensata @SRSTechPR #Automotive #BlueTooth