Thursday, July 30, 2009

magnetostrictive transducers

Magnetostriction; Principle, Technology, and How it Works!

Triple redundancy tranducers offer extreme accuracy and reliability

Transducer specialists RDP Electronics' MTS Temposonic range of magnetostrictive transducers now extends to versions for double or triple redundancy for astonishing accuracy and exceptional levels of reliability.

The Temposonics series of transducers very accurately measure the position of the ring magnet along the metal tube. They are frequently used inside hydraulic cylinders to measure the position of the cylinder. The GT2 and GT3 series retain the same dimensions as the standard G series magnetostrictive MTS transducers making installation in hydraulic cylinders equally straightforward, or indeed for use in general measurement of displacement in automation and control applications. At the heart of the magnetostrictive contactless technology is the wave guide which is duplicated in the GT2 version to provide two independent measuring systems within a single housing. The GT3 takes this a stage further with three systems within the same 10 mm diameter rod which is pressure rated to 350 bar (700 bar peak). Both the GT2 and GT3 Series are available with analogue outputs that include standard 0~10V, ±10V, and 4~20mA and 0~20mA ranges. Thanks to the built in duplicate or triplicate redundancy of the independent measuring systems within a single standard size housing, applications calling for high levels of accuracy with an extraordinary level of reliability can now count on the GT2 and GT3 to deliver the solution.

MTS Temposonic magnetostrictive transducers are available from RDP Electronics Ltd in Britain and Ireland

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vector imager

Gefran expands ADV200 vector inverter range to 1.2 MW

Gefran has expanded its ADV200 line of high performance, FOC (field oriented control), vector inverters adding three larger frame sizes with heavy duty overload power now available up to 1.2 MW.

Three new larger frame sizes added to advanced 32-bit modular inverter range

Comprehensive choice hardware and software options that simplify installation and reduce development timescales

IEC61131 programming included as standard

The modular range now includes four panel mount and three cabinet-housed drives for continuous service, constant torque power output applications from 0.75 kW to 355 kW at 400 – 480 VAC. With heavy duty and light duty overload management and with a choice of open loop, closed loop with speed feedback, or V/F control, the advanced ADV200 range provides maximum application flexibility with up to three front mounted option card slots for a mixed combination of encoder and fieldbus interfaces or I/O expansion cards.

The ADV200 is aimed at system builders and OEMs requiring an inverter drive platform that is able to meet the needs of the widest possible range of speed control applications. Based on a high performance 32-bit microcontroller providing a closed loop speed regulation up to 0.01% and a speed range of 1:1000, the ADV200 includes three levels of programming and control options as standard.

A built-in alphanumeric keypad with a backlit 4-line text display can provide a means for direct parameter programming or for simple control.

For applications requiring an intermediate level of control, Gefran’s GF-eXpress configuration tool features an integrated oscilloscope and tools for fast set-up and application commissioning plus a simple integrated PLC for straightforward I/O control.
For the most demanding machine control and application integration, an IEC61131-3 sequential PLC is included with Gefran’s MDPLC advanced development software.

To allow integration with factory automation systems, standard fieldbus options include CANopen, DeviceNet, Profibus-DP as well as Gefran’s own GD-Net real-time fast Ethernet for high speed synchronisation between ADV200’s or servo controlled axes from Gefran’s XVy-EV range. As standard, each drive is fitted with 2 analogue inputs and outputs, 6 +2 digital inputs and outputs and 2 relay outputs. Separate machine control expansion cards are available in a various digital and analogue I/O combinations. An RS485 serial input is also available that may be optionally modified for Modbus RTU, to provide peer-to-peer or mutltidrop connection for multi-axis systems.

The advanced ADV200 also includes state-of-the-art safety features such as OMEGA clamp for 360º EMC cable shielding, an external 24 VDC power supply for keep-alive on mains input loss, and an optional safety card allowing the motor to be disabled without the use of a safety contactor on the drive output – in compliance with EN954-1 category 3. Features for fast installation include removable easy-access screw terminal connectors and front facing option card slots, plus the keypad is removable. For maximum reliability the ADV200 also features integrated DC line chokes and input filters for full EMC compliance EN61800-3.

Metals analysis

New lab application for cost-efficient metals analysis

Cogent Environmental has developed a new test cell, the 'SV Labcell', for use with company's market leading portable metals analyser, the PDV 6000plus. The SV Labcell provides lower levels of detection and greater flexibility in analytical methodology, effectively turning the PDV 6000plus into a precise analytical laboratory instrument.

It is a portable metals analyser that provides fast, cost-effective analysis of solid or liquid samples for a range of metals including Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, Copper, Zinc, Mercury, Chromium and Nickel. The SV Labcell adds molybdenum, uranium and other metals to this list and permits the use of bismuth film techniques removing the need for mercury film electrodes.

Many hundreds of these instruments are in use world-wide because operators have a need to be able to produce fast results without having to incur the cost and time delays of laboratory analysis. However, laboratory analysis is often required when lower levels of detection are required, for regulatory purposes, in research or in circumstances which demand a broader range of measurands.

Traditional laboratory equipment for the analysis of metals, such as ICP or GFAA, can be expensive to purchase and operate, requiring a high level of expertise. In contrast, the PDV 6000plus with an SV Labcell is relatively low cost, simple to operate and capable of producing high quality data.

Explaining the appeal of the new system, Cogent's Martin Butterfield says, "The development of the SV Labcell will enable our customers to produce data with much greater precision and resolution easily meeting the requirements of the majority of practical applications and turning the PDV6000plus into a powerful research tool - all at a much lower cost."

Security beyond plant walls

Remote SCADA communication
Easy to deploy modules provide reliable security over untrusted networks

"The Tofino VPN is the first solution for securely connecting industrial control facilities and people together over untrusted networks (such as the Internet) that does not need an IT expert to set up and administer"
Eric Byres

Byres Security Inc. and MTL Instruments have announced the introduction of the Tofino™ Virtual Private Network (VPN) product line as part of the Tofino™ Industrial Security Solution, extending cyber security beyond plant walls.

The Tofino VPN Server LSM(Loadable Security Modules), the Tofino VPN Client LSM, and the Tofino VPN Client License are designed specifically to be simple to use and to securely connect facilities and people together over untrusted networks, such as the Internet. The products will be available as of July 31, 2009.

Security for the Tofino VPN is provided by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) – a proven technology that is the foundation of all web ecommerce and is widely considered to be less complex to configure than other VPN technologies. Deployment is completed centrally using the Tofino Central Management Platform (CMP), and does not require any changes to existing control system network design or addressing. Handling of security components occurs behind the scenes, making setup a simple drag-n-drop process. Like other Tofino products, the Tofino VPN modules can also be operated in “test” mode before they are activated. All of these features make the setup of the Tofino VPN easy, ensuring that neither industrial security nor industrial reliability are compromised by complex configuration errors.

In addition to providing secure tunnels for communication, the Tofino VPN solution integrates seamlessly with the Tofino Firewall LSM and the Tofino Modbus TCP Enforcer LSM. This close integration makes certain that only “permitted” messages are distributed, and not potentially dangerous transmissions such as a virus originating from a remote PC, or a user sending inappropriate programming commands.

The Tofino VPN is unique, having an integrated SCADA-capable firewall that provides a high degree of granularity in setting access rules. For example, it allows the designation of specific computers (such as remote Human Machine Interface PCs) to have read-only access to PLCs for operational diagnostics, whereas a limited set of maintenance laptops can have remote programming access to PLCs.

Eric Byres, a leading global industrial security expert and the CTO of Byres Security points out, “Our approach with the Tofino Industrial Security Solution is to deliver a system that is designed with the rugged environment, staff skills and needs of industry in mind, and that can be installed without plant downtime. Unlike IT VPN solutions, the Tofino VPN products are readily configured and managed by controls engineers, they can be tested and implemented without risk to industrial processes, they are part of an industrially hardened system and they support legacy automation devices and protocols.”

Uses of the Tofino VPN include:
    • Monitoring and controlling remote sites from a central location
    • Providing secure access to control systems for remote personnel
    • Securing communications between critical controllers
    • Allowing legacy non-IP control traffic to travel over IP networks

The Tofino VPN LSMs create secure tunnels for communications between:
    • Tofino Security Appliances (Tofino SA’s)
    • Tofino SA’s and PC
    • Tofino SA’s and supported third-party devices

Monday, July 27, 2009

Simulation and collision monitoring

Versatile new cutting head and CNC simulator will be highlighted at show

At EMO 2009, the CNC controls vendor NUM will launch a ready-integrated tool head for sophisticated plasma, laser and waterjet cutting machinery applications, and exhibit an advanced 3D simulation package combining workpiece simulation with collision monitoring for the first time.

The new head design brings many technical advantages to the cutting machinery sector. Novel mechanical design means that the head provides the versatility of movement and stiffness required to implement precision cutting motion, but with the unique advantages of very low mass, and the elimination of cabling runs that must flex with the tool head movement and can cause failures. Due to its unusually light weight, the new head can be assembled easily on existing CNC machines in the plasma- and waterjet-cutting market often without additional mechanical adaptation - providing a very simple means of extending the capability of machinery from 2D to 3D applications, with precise multi-axis interpolation.

They will also publicly exhibit a new 3D simulation package for the first time. It combines workpiece simulation with collision monitoring and other powerful features. The computer-aided engineering software allows machine builders to offer new generations of optimisation tools with their machines - to help users to maximise manufacturing throughput and productivity. Designated True 3D, the software tool is a general-purpose version of their well-known 3D simulator for multi-axis grinding applications.

NUM's True 3D is one of the first commercial CNC software simulation tools to combine both workpiece simulation and collision monitoring facilities. Also worth mentioning is the fact that the new software is not only emulating, but is simulating the actual CNC commands, hence the name True 3D, and subsequently provides an output as close as possible to the actual machined parts. It allows machinery users to virtually prototype and optimise the entire machine production process, to yield significant gains including improved machine productivity, reduced tool wear, and faster project completion.

Wireless interface for encoders

Real time wireless interfacing for incremental and absolute encoders is available from Variohm

SwiftComm™ from encoder specialists BEI, is a wireless transmitter and receiver system for incremental or SSI absolute encoders and sensors that allows cable-free, high speed communication using a secure 2.4 GHz RF protocol. Available exclusively in the Britain from Variohm EuroSensor, it is aimed at motion control and position measurement applications where it can replace hard wired cabling over long runs, or simplify installation for rotating equipment and complicated encoder to controller routing on all types of machinery.

To maintain high reliability in factory and industrial environments, the transmitter-receiver pair uses a highly secure 2.4 GHz Adaptive Frequency Hopping Protocol (AFHP) that sequentially and continually selects a suitable interference-free channel from several available. The high speed communications system boots up immediately and updates information every 600 microseconds for minimal signal latency. Transmission range is dependant upon environmental conditions but can be up to 300 metres.
Full protection is ensured with 40-bit data encryption and 5-byte range security coding with more than 500 billion unique codes available plus integrated data recovery and error checking included to counter data packet transmission loss.
For maximum environmental resilience, the transmitters and receivers are housed in sealed cast aluminium enclosures with full protection to NEMA 4 standards for water spray.

SwiftComm is available in two versions with flexible interfacing options allowing its use with many different industrial encoders, sensors and control systems.
For incremental linear and rotary encoders with A-B quadrature, and Z marker channels, a choice of 5, 12 or 24 VDC encoder input voltage is offered at the transmitter along with connectorised or flying lead versions - ensuring its use with almost all types of encoder from many different suppliers.

For wirelessly transmitted absolute encoder and sensor applications, a newly available SSI version provides transmitter input connections matched to the SSI industry standard and connector or flying lead options to suit the customers’ application. The interface suits any SSI position device including single or multi-turn encoders, linear scales or magnetostrictive devices.