Thursday, October 1, 2009

Video support

Supporting video software
Video software enables operators to view Wonderware trend displays and archived video simultaneously, and move the video and trends forward or backward with a cursor.

Longwatch now supports the Wonderware ActiveFactory trend chart object. This enables users to link plant video directly with Wonderware’s graphical data trend charts automatically. The result is the ability to see exactly what was happening in the plant when trend pens were in a particular condition.

The Video Historian application is part of the Longwatch Version 5.0 system. Video Engine software collects video from multiple cameras throughout the plant, which can transmitted to the control room HMI over standard IT or industrial networks or wireless and cellular links. The Video Historian enables the user to retrieve video based on time, manufacturing or security context, such as process alarms, workflow steps, batch phases, intruder alarms, and so forth.

Using a thin-client, web-based “Longwatch Viewer” user interface, the Video Historian creates a split-screen display showing real-time or archived video from one or more cameras on the bottom half of the screen. The top half of the screen can show plant information in a number of formats.

By integrating the Wonderware ActiveFactory trend chart object, the Video Historian simultaneously shows trend graphs of user-selected variables (displayed as color “pen” lines) with archived video. The video panel and trend chart can be “linked” (synchronized) with the click of a button on the Viewer display. When the user clicks and drags the chart object’s time cursor (normally used only for displaying the process variable’s engineering units value and status at a selected point in time), the Video Historian also moves the video forward or backward accordingly.

Conversely, the user can view the video and when at a point of interest, click the “link” button, causing the trend chart to slew automatically to the selected point in time.

Longwatch has integrated functionality to the trend chart object, including:
  • Integration of the Tag Picker so that new trend items can be added easily to the chart,
  • Enhancement to the time cursor to enable video scrolling.

“The integration of plant video with Wonderware’s powerful and flexible Active Factory chart brings new capabilities for monitoring and controlling manufacturing,” said Tom Barczak, marketing manager for Insource Solutions, a Wonderware distribution partner. “In a matter of no time, we were able to interweave the trends of Wonderware ActiveFactory with the video from Longwatch to provide a picture of production and operations that revealed the ‘Rest of the Story’ and led to more rapid improvement. The applications for Longwatch appear endless for safety, operations, production, MES, batch tracking and quality applications. Definitely, it’s a technology that delivers rapid results.”

The Video Historian with support for the Active Factory trend chart is available now.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fibre Optic IR

Industrial high speed fibre optic infrared transmitter

Omega has introduced its new OS4000 series of industrial high speed fiber optic infrared transmitters with the capability to measure temperature from 200 up to 1600 degrees Celsius (392 to 2912 degrees Fahrenheit) using three standard optical fields of view and three standard fiber optic cable lengths.

This CE compliant product has a very fast response time of one millisecond and adjustable Emissivity from .05 to .99. Other standard features include built in laser sighting for lens probe positioning, linear analogue output (1 mV/ Deg, 0/5 VDC, 0/10 VDC, or 4-20 mA), high and low alarm outputs, fiber optic gain adjust, maximum & minimum temperature measurement, RS232 interface, and a Windows based PC interface software to allow changing response time, high & low alarm set points, and data logging.

Perfect for semiconductor, petrochemical, steel, and plastic industries. Recommended applications are induction heating, vacuum chamber, metal processing and power generation.


Pico in price - Mega in functionality

StanTronic Instruments claims that the new Arbitrary Function Generator, the G5100A from Picotest, offers astonishing functionality for its price class.

Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS) technology provides highly accurate and stable signal characteristics with low distortion.

Operation of the unit via the graphical display is very user friendly through soft keys, cursor keys, a numeric keypad or a dial wheel. Standard signal waveforms (sine, square, triangle / ramp, pulse and white noise) are easily button selected. Sine wave frequency is 1 μHz to 50 MHz, and rectangles can be set from 1 μHz to 25 MHz.

Arbitrary waveform signals can be generated up to 10 MHz and the noise has a typical bandwidth of 20 MHz. Additionally AM, FM, PM, FSK, and PWM modulation types are available. The amplitude resolution is 14 bits and the internal sampling rate is 125 MS/sec with a memory length of 256k points.

Waveforms can be easily generated using the waveform editor WavePattR, which is supplied free of charge. Four full signal characteristics of waveforms can be stored in non-volatile memory, which is retained even after switching off the device. The device can be remotely controlled through a USB or Ethernet port, and GPIB can be supplied as an option.

The Data Sheet, pricing and more detailed technical information can be
downloaded from their homepage.

Monday, September 28, 2009

IT & automation

“System Concept” merges IT and automation

Rittal’s system concept provides an intelligent modular infrastructure from a single source. Enclosure technology, power distribution, system climate control and electronics through to IT technology, together with engineering tools that have been purposely designed for efficient planning processes are pivotal to this concept.

Based on the their TS 8 enclosure and IT rack system platform, with their comprehensive range of accessories, allows numerous advantages which include flexibility, quick and simple assembly, minimal warehousing, fast availability and high quality.

With the growing convergence between IT and automation, Rittal go beyond simple mechanical solutions and provide coordinated power supply solutions which include the UPS system PMC 40, the type-tested switchgear system Ri4Power and energy-efficient climate control technology, such as the latest cooling unit series, Cool Efficiency.
Ensuring optimised interaction between all components, efficient engineering also offers enormous savings potential throughout the machinery and plant planning process, thanks in part to free CAD data from the RiCAD 3D components library for fast mechanical planning.

In addition software solutions, such as the latest Version 4.1 of Rittal Power Engineering, support the fast, safe configuration of power distribution systems, while Rittal’s Therm facilitates the energy-efficient dimensioning of cooling equipment technology.

By encompassing every aspect from mechanical and electrical engineering to automation, Rittal is linking more and more of its individual engineering tools together to create complete solutions with EPLAN Cabinet and the EPLAN Engineering Centre. This allows a wide variety of engineering data to be used throughout all phases of product and plant design, with the many advantages of a consistent data concept, shorter throughput times and reduced costs.

Cyber czar!

Former US Dept of Homeland Security Cyber Czar to advise

Wurldtech Security Technologies, provider of the award-winning Achilles security analysis platform and other cyber security testing and certification solutions for critical infrastructure industries, has announced that Greg Garcia, former Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security and Communications with the US Department of Homeland Security, has joined their advisory board.
Greg Garcia

Greg Garcia
We have recently reported that he delivers an address on "Industrial Security and the Political Control System: A View from Washington" at ISAExpo'09 in October.
He is also a guest at the 2nd Annual Critical Infrastructure Conference, being held in Calgary (CDN)

In this role, Garcia will offer guidance on strategic direction, business development, policy advocacy and other initiatives to improve the effectiveness of public-private partnerships to secure our critical infrastructures.

“Wurldtech’s innovation and market penetration has made a significant improvement in the safety, security and reliabilityof global critical infrastructures” said Garcia. “Theirs is the kind of corporate leadership I vocally encouraged among all stakeholders during my tenure at DHS, so it is a great pleasure for me to join the company’s Advisory Board and provide counsel to – and learn from -- such a forward-thinking company with an incredible track-record.Wurldtech is truly focused on solving shared problems for industrialowners, operators and vendors.”

Garcia was the United States' first Presidentially-appointed Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security and Communications (CS&C) for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, from 2006-2008 where he led the strategic direction of CS&C, overseeing a $500 million budget for the National Cyber Security Division, the Office of Emergency Communications and the National Communications System.

"Garcia is one of the great minds in cyber security and critical infrastructure protection whose experience will help Wurldtech remain at the forefront of our industry and we areextremely privileged to have his support"
said Tyler Williams, President of Wurldtech Security Technologies."As cyber security risks increase in frequency and sophistication, standards efforts continue to lag technology advancementsand as emerging digital infrastructures such as AMI continue to be deployed without standardized testing, we need greater cooperation and alignment between public and private sector stakeholders immediately. Greg will help us drive this message in Washington."

Before joining DHS, Garcia held several senior industry executive positions and served on the staff of the House Science Committee where he helped draft and shepherd enactment of the Cyber Security Research and Development Act of 2002.

Garcia’s current list of affiliations includes advisory board positions with Triumfant, and Finjan Corporation. In addition, he serves as the managing director of Pierce Capital Partners and has joined Idaho State University as an affiliate research professor of information assurance policy and strategy.

Angle sensors

Non-contact angle sensors are now programmable

Variohm EuroSensor has launched a new software application for communication and programming of Contelec Vert-X series non-contacting and contactless angle sensors. As British distributor for the Swiss manufactured range, Variohm offer OEMs (and machine builders?) the ability to reconfigure and customise the sensor curve and output characteristics over its 0º to 360º measurement range.

With on-assembly sensor configuration, the software has the potential to simplify stock control and reduce build and design timescales by removing the need to purchase several different types of angle sensor across different machines. Furthermore, the flexibility offered will allow specialist machine manufacturers the ability to program critical angle measurement characteristics such as joystick deadband, gearbox backlash or dancer arm neutral zone angles directly on the machine to suit performance requirements.

Vert-X Commander software is a simple-to-use PC based application supplied with a special cable that connects Singleturn Vert-X sensors via an Aardvark USB host adapter. A GUI displays programmable and fixed information from the sensors’ digital interface. Programmable parameters include a selection of six different sensor types with varying gradient, dead band and curve characteristics. For each sensor type, the user can typically set specific voltage output and specify left and right angles with an adjustable deadband (or gap) angle. The information is displayed in a graph showing sensor angle vs. voltage with a trace scaling function that allows closer examination of the output curve. When the desired characteristics have been set on screen, a program key simply downloads the data to the sensor, overwriting the previously programmed information. Fixed displayed parameters include the sensor angle, output voltage level and as primary quality control measure, the sensor serial number and a counter that records the number of times the sensor has been reprogrammed.

The compact and durable Vert-X range is aimed at precision, 0º to 360º, angle measurement spanning applications from analytical instruments to extremely heavy-duty applications such as agricultural machinery, autosports and automated industrial equipment where long life, high reliability and robust construction is required - often in space restricted areas.

These sensors use hall-effect magnetic measuring technology, offering high precision angle measurement in two design versions. Singleturn ‘contactless’ Vert-X sensors are characterised with bearing support for the rotating magnet and fixed sensor whereas Singleturn ‘non-contact’ Vert-X sensors are supplied in a two part sensor and magnet design for free mounting. Both types may be used in normal ambient environments through to long life and zero maintenance use in the most arduous and adverse conditions of high humidity, dampness, oil, dust and vibration.