Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Enhanced stability testing.

A new stability analytics capability has been introduced for the Matrix Gemini LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) from Autoscribe Informatics. A fully integrated charting module provides early indications of shelf-life performance for each product or batch of product under test.

Simon Wood, Product Manager at Autoscribe Informatics, says: “The new software module further extends the Stability functionality present in Matrix Gemini. It closes the loop from set up and management of stability studies to the full reporting of the outcomes. Matrix Gemini manages the full lifecycle of stability studies and provides the support required to meet regulatory requirements including GMP and the FDA 21 CFR Part 11 regulations.”

Stability studies are used to assess the shelf life of a product by storing samples under differing conditions, typically as defined by regulatory authorities, and then testing samples taken from storage at pre-determined intervals. Running and managing multiple studies can be complex and time consuming; but Matrix Gemini LIMS helps to simplify the whole study management process. The in-built stability study management functionality is designed to automate and control the entire operation of the stability study including: protocol creation, study initiation and management, inventory management, sample pull points, future workload reporting and stability study reporting.

Matrix Gemini helps to optimize the number of samples stored for a study, therefore avoiding shortages and eliminating waste. Samples to be pulled are automatically registered with relevant tests and test limits assigned, and users are automatically alerted that the samples need to be removed from the storage environments. This increases laboratory efficiency, as does the ability to define and manage the stability chambers and track their contents. However, understanding that no two organizations are likely to work in the same way, the unique configuration tools provided with Matrix Gemini allow specific workflows to be modified while maintaining the underlying stability functionality.

The new stability analytics module provides an integrated system for analyzing stability studies that often involve multiple batches, users, and data transfers. The statistics and charting capabilities include ANCOVA statistics, tests for poolability, out of trend detection and residuals analysis. Predictions can be made using pooled data, pooled slope and worst case.

@AutoscribeLtd #LIMS, #Laboratory #TandM

Complete system visibility.

Crowcon has developed an HMI solution that creates complete system visibility. The solution can run alongside existing DCS/SCADA/PLC systems or mimic panels which are used to monitor wider system views, often incorporating other sensors including security, flow, smoke and fire.

Their product manager William Allum explains, “This solution enables our customers to view data from multiple panels from one central screen. Due to the system having the ability to store alarm and event logs, users can quickly understand the symptoms of a problem as they view the information and identify the exact location.

Vortex & Gasmaster HMI employs license activated software operated from a dedicated touchscreen panel. As the system is modular, users specify the required number of input converters to link the number of controllers in their system. It monitors up to six Vortex panels or racks, or up to 10 Gasmaster controllers operating on one system, so either Vortex or Gasmaster.”

The display shows gas levels from all detectors from the chosen panel simultaneously and enables the user to easily adjust or test a system. It is now possible to see the details of each controller within a system, including alarm indications, as well as the complete configuration and location of each gas detector.

Users can also see possible trends within the alerts. For example, an alarm in a specific location may be triggered on a regular basis. This is due to the development of a one-hour ‘trend visibility by gas’ function.

Crowcon HMI can be configured in various different setups:
• Connection locally
• Connection via network
• Connected directly via HMI enclosure

The Crowcon HMI can connect with the controller via RS-485 MODBUS or ethernet cable which are capable of long distance connectivity.

The large multi-lingual display shows gas levels from all detectors simultaneously and enables you to easily adjust and test the system. It operates stand-alone or can interface with any alarm device and control system using a selection of outputs. All the information you need about your gas and fire detectors is available, at a glance on Gasmaster’s compact, versatile and powerful gas detection control pane. Simple to operate with a comprehensive selection of input and output functions.

Vortex’s flexible control package can be customised to meet site requirements without the need for extensive cabling. The rack and panel comprise the essential input, output and controller modules which are mounted on a DIN rail. An optional display module is available in panel-mounting and 19" Rack formats. This configuration can be incorporated into a variety of specialist enclosures, such as 19" format or those with high ingress protection.

@Crowcon #PAuto #HMI

Half a tonne of ocean plastic!

Thanks to the efforts of one company from Berlin (D), there is now half a ton less plastic waste floating in our oceans. Family-owned Knick Elektronische Messgeräte has contributed to the funding of a worldwide ocean clean-up campaign by purchasing 1,000 recycled bracelets.

The bracelets are made and sold by 4Ocean, an US company that plays a leading role in the protection of marine life and that carries out extensive, regular clean-ups through the sale of its bracelets. For every bracelet sold, about 500g of plastic waste can be removed from oceans and coastlines. With the help of 150 employees and countless volunteers, the company has been able to remove more than 1.8 million kilograms of waste in the past two years.

With the purchase of 1,000 bracelets, Knick has made sure that in future clean-ups about 500kg of plastic waste can be removed from our oceans and then recycled into new bracelets.

Knick CEO and President Marcus Knick says: “The protection of our oceans is very important to me. In our work we try to avoid plastic as much as possible. With our measuring instruments the quality of industrial wastewater can be monitored before it gets back into circulation. But the challenge of protecting our oceans does not end there. We can and want to do more. That’s why we support projects that pick up where we leave off – projects such as 4Ocean’s Ocean Plastic Recovery campaign.”

The bracelets are distributed as giveaways to Knick employees, customers and trade show visitors.

 #KnickElektronischeMessgeräte #Environment #Plastics @4oceanBracelets

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Dealing with a bett noir!

An innovative torque sensor is helping to reduce engine emissions and improve economy as part of a project to develop an intelligent lubrication system. With engine efficiency under the spotlight like never before, automotive companies are exploring all avenues for improving performance. And because engines have a rotating power output, torque is the key measurement.

Car engines are the bett noir of the environmental lobby. There is no doubt that they are major contributors to carbon build up. But equally they are fundamental to modern life. A true replacement is decades away, so we have to make them as efficient as possible.

Engine lubrication systems are essentially dumb. They have a simple mechanical pump which has been sized to ensure an adequate supply of oil in the worst operating condition. This is typically a hot engine at idle. The pump is thus hugely oversized for most of the rest of the speed range and, as a consequence, nearly 60% of its output is dumped straight back into the sump via the relief valve. It will also deliver the same amount of oil to every part of the engine regardless of what that system might actually need. The pump is also insensitive to engine load and thus the bearings will receive the same oil supply at a given speed regardless of the load. This is a very inefficient system.

In addition the pump forces nearly a ton of oil per hour through the filter, and when the oil is cold this takes a huge amount of energy.

With this in mind a major British company asked Powertrain Technologies to design an intelligent lubrication system and to analyse its effects on engine friction and parasitic losses. They built a highly specialised test rig for the project and since accuracy in measuring small changes in drive torque reliably and repeatably was a critical requirement a key part of the rig is a TorqSense transducer from Sensor Technology in Banbury.

The engine being tested was a current production Diesel and the test bed was configured for motored friction tests with a 6,000rpm 32kW electric motor driving the engine.

Andrew Barnes, a director at Powertrain explains: “We completely re-designed the engine lubrication system and installed a bank of five computer controlled oil pumps (to our own design). Each is capable of supplying individual parts of the engine with oil under conditions unique to that part of the engine and sensitive to the engine operating conditions (for example we can supply the head with oil at pressures different to the block and supply the bearings with more oil when the engine is under high load).”

The idea is to completely profile the performance of the engine under various lubrication conditions and to derive optimum configurations of the intelligent systems for best performance.

“Both petrol and Diesel engines run far cleaner than they did 20 or 30 years ago,” says Andrew. “However the need to operate efficiently under a wide range speeds and loads and environmental conditions from -40 degrees C to + 40 degrees C remains the Achilles Heel. Intelligent lubrication has the potential to improve performance no end, although quantifying the best configuration is painstaking work.”

He goes on to explain that the torque sensor is critical to the project since the object of the exercise is to measure the effect on friction of a range of different oil supply strategies and oil types. Thus the changes in friction are represented by a change in the motored drive torque of the engine.

TorqSense sensors are particularly appropriate for development work because they are wireless. “It’s a fit-and-forget, non-contact, digital sensor,” says Tony Ingham of Sensor Technology, “meaning you don’t have to fiddle around wiring up slip rings for each new measurement and together with digital outputs good accuracies can be obtained. The adjacent RF pickup emits radio waves towards the SAW’s as well as collecting the reflected resonant changes and it this change in frequency of the reflected waves that identifies the applied torqueed.”

TorqSense effectively senses and measures the radio frequency, RF, waves generated by two Surface Acoustic Wave devices or SAW’s fixed onto a rotating shaft and converts them to a torque measurement using two tiny SAW’s made of ceramic piezoelectric material with frequency resonating combs laid down on their surface. The SAW’s are fixed onto the drive shaft at 90degrees to one another. As the torque increases the combs expand or contract proportionally to the torque being applied. In effect the combs act similarly to strain gauges but instead measure changes in resonant frequency. The adjacent RF pickup emits radio waves towards the SAW’s as well as collecting the reflected resonant changes and its this change in frequency of the reflected waves that identifies the applied torque.

Powertrain's research has now progressed to the next stage in which the test rig is forsaken and the engine installed in a car to quantify the effect on fuel economy. “It’s now a matter of driving it under all sorts of conditions on a mixture of test tracks and rolling roads to build up profiles of fuel consumption,” says Andrew.

Low differential pressure.

E+E Elektronik has a new sensor for low differential pressure up to ±100 Pa with an accuracy of ±0.5 Pa. Due to selectable measuring ranges and versatile configuration options, the EE610 is suitable for a variety of applications in air as well as in non-flammable and non-aggressive gases.

The EE610 is dedicated for medical, pharmaceutical and clean room applications. For instance, the sensor can measure the differential pressure between clean rooms, surgery rooms or isolation chambers. The non-flow through design excludes cross-contamination.

It enables unidirectional or bidirectional differential pressure measurement within a selectable measuring range of 0...100 Pa or ±25, ±50 and ±100 Pa. The long-term stable, piezo-resistive pressure sensing element provides a high accuracy of ±0.5 Pa

The measured data is simultaneously available as current and voltage signals at the spring loaded terminals. The illuminated graphic display shows the reading in Pa, mbar, inch water column or mm H2O.

The EE610 can be easily configured on site. Pressure range, time constant, output signal, display units and backlight can be set via DIP switches on the electronics board. The zero and span point adjustment can be performed with push buttons.

The functional IP65 / NEMA 4 enclosure facilitates mounting the sensor with closed cover. This saves time and also protects the electronics from construction site pollution and mechanical damage during installation. For wiring the unit features both a cable gland and a knockout opening for a ½”conduit adapter.

• E+E products are marketed in Ireland through Instrument Technology.

#EplusE #PAuto @Instrum_Tech

Improved chilling!

Cooling technology for machines and enclosures has significantly improved with Rittal's new “Blue e” chillers in the 11 to 25 kW output class range. Using 40 percent less refrigerant, the devices are making an important contribution to sustainable environmental protection. At the same time, users are benefiting from precise temperature control, simplified operation and installation, as well as from new safety functions.

Pre-configured option packages that are quickly available from stock can meet almost any need: for precision control systems, with higher pressure requirements or for robust outdoor applications in cold zones.

The recooling of liquids by means of chillers is one of the basic requirements for smooth operation in many industrial manufacturing processes. For example, enclosures and especially machine tools must have an exact temperature control feature for the precise machining of metal. Besides that, solutions are called for that are easy to operate and install and which offer maximum safety. Users are also no longer willing and ready to accept long delivery times. Customised technical solutions must be quickly available off the shelf and as standard. And finally, customers increasing focus on sustainability and environmental friendliness.

With the development of its new Blue e chiller, Rittal can offer a mature solution package that meets all these needs. As well as the Blue e+ chillers with 1.5 to 6 kW, the chillers are now available in the robust industrial standard (IP 44, electrical) in four output classes ranging from 11 to 25 kW and in the two enclosure sizes of 660 x 1265 x 1315 mm and 760 x 1265 x 1515 mm (Wx Hx D) – in addition to Blue e+ chillers from 1,5 to 6 kW. Thanks to the use of micro-channel technology and the resulting very high fin efficiency of the heat exchangers (extruded aluminium profile with small channels and with a diameter of around 1 mm), the devices require 40 percent less refrigerant than before. Since the heat exchangers are 100 percent made of aluminium, galvanic corrosion cannot occur.

The fan and compressor are regulated centrally via a digital controller. This way, the temperature of the cooling medium can be precisely regulated: By default, the hysteresis is ± 2 K; however, a precision control (hot gas bypass) of ± 0.25 K is also possible as an option. This prevents temperature fluctuations that cause inaccuracies on the machined workpiece, and also ensures consistent quality.

The multilingual and industrial-grade touch display on the front of the chiller and the intelligent communication interfaces make both operation and analysis easy. Consequently, the parameterisation of the devices, as well as the read-out of the data and system messages are performed clearly and quickly and shown in plain text. Error messages are prioritised and displayed in three escalation levels (note, error and maintenance).

Blue e Chillers are wired ready for connection and can be quickly put into operation via plug-and-play. Lifting eyebolts make transport easy, as does the base/plinth, which is suitable for transport by forklift truck. Uniform water connections, an adjustable overflow valve (bypass valve) and ideal accessibility to all the components make it easier for fitters and service staff to work on the units.

Integrated overflow valves ensure a constant circulation of cooling water when the consumer is closed and the pump is running. This protects the coolant pump from overload. The valve is pre-set for the pump being used and for 50-Hz operation but it can also be set for 60-Hz operation. A filling level monitoring system ensures maximum reliability and improved availability. Besides this, optional flow monitors emit an alarm if the flow rate is too low and they can detect hydraulic errors such as contamination and blockages in the system at an early stage.

As an extra service, Rittal also offers pre-configured option packages that are available quickly from stock and which offer a suitable solution for almost any demand. For example, performance enhanced pumps (4 and 6 bar) are available for multi-circuit systems. If necessary, a precision control system (hot gas bypass) can be used to improve control accuracy from ± 2 K to ± 0.25 K. In addition, the Blue e chillers can be prepared for cold zones of down to -20°C, as well as for laser applications, and they can also be fitted with a water-cooled condenser or with heating, and customised with special paint.

@Rittal #PAuto

Pressure measurement for safety critical applications.

The SMO3100 series pressure sensors are now available with SIL 2/ PLd functional safety from Variohm EuroSensor. Aimed at safety-critical pressure measurement tasks for gas and liquids compatible with stainless steel or titanium wetted parts, the new SMO3100 PLd will allow user’s the ability to meet SIL2 functional safety levels on machines and systems. The robust and durable sensor series is available in twenty pressure range versions from 0.5 to 5000 bar and with best accuracy to 0.5% F.S.

Based on a piezo resistive sensing element and latest ASIC circuitry and providing high precision linearity and repeatability, the SMO3100 PLd features a 4…20 mA output from a 10 to 32 VDC supply. Its high strength 304 stainless steel housing offers excellent durability in demanding industrial machinery applications. Standard environmental protection meets IP67, and IP69K is optionally available. With the standard version’s well proven use in demanding environments such as motorsports, off-road vehicles, construction equipment and agricultural machinery, the sensor boasts a high shock and vibration resistance together with a generous over-range and burst pressure specification of 2x and 5x respectively. Rated life is 10 million pressure cycles and an impressive 100 year MTTFd factor demonstrates its excellent endurance. The SMO3100 PLd includes a measuring medium temperature range of -40 to +125 °C with a compensated range from -20 to +85 °C.

The SMO3100 PLd version brings DIN EN ISO 13849-1 Performance Level d (PLd), enabling ECU and other safety controlled systems to meet IEC 61508, 61511 and 62061 standards for Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 2 functional safety on machines and system. The sensor detects internal failures within a predefined diagnostic range for its output signal. Internal failures include broken bond wires, internal EEPROM errors and internal watchdog errors.

As with the standard SMO3100, the PLd version is available for absolute, gauge and vacuum pressure measurement. Port configuration options include most commonly required types in NPT, UNF and metric thread sizes with the electrical interfacing covering cable and connectors for DIN EN175301-803, M12 and Packard Metripac.

@Variohm #PAuto #safety