Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hammering price!

Selected Modal Impact Hammers with ISOTRON® Impedance Converter
Hammer IEPE Output is Compatible with Most FFT analyzers and Data Acquisition Systems

Endevco Corporation has announced a 30% discount off list price on selected models of their most popular modal impact hammers. The hammers feature an ISOTRON® impedance converter that provides an IEPE-type output, compatible with most FFT analyzers and data acquisition systems, and are designed to properly excite structures in modal and structural analysis applications.

Use of modal impact hammers can be a portable and cost-effective means of providing controlled excitation to structures, while providing no undesirable mass loading to the structure under test. Scaled modal models also require precise force measurement, which can be achieved via a modal hammer fitted with a piezoelectric force transducer. In applications where a high crest factor and ability to shape the input force spectrum is of minimal concern, impact hammers are an ideal source of excitation. Endevco® modal hammers are designed to excite the test structure with a constant force over a frequency range of interest. In addition, certain selected models are acceleration compensated, to avoid spectrum glitches due to hammer structural resonances.

Endevco® model 2302 modal impact hammers are designed for the excitation of small to medium-sized structures. They feature an ergonomically designed handle grip, for optimized control and reduced possibility of “double hits” affecting measurement results. Model 2302 is also acceleration compensated, facilitating reduction of cancel/null and error input (glitches). It is offered in four different sensitivities and ranges, from 5 mV/lbf sensitivity/1000 lbf range (-5 version) to 100 mV/lbf/50 lbf range (-100 version), and includes replacement impact heads of various materials, for different bandwidth response, and a carrying case. Recommended for use with model 2302 is optional mass extender model EHM1653. Endevco® models 2303, 2304 and 2305 are designed for the excitation of larger structures, and feature a wooden handled sledgehammer design, with optional extender head to increase head mass.

They are offered in sensitivities of 1.0 mV/lbf, with range of 5000 lbf, and maximum force of 8000 lbf. Endevco® model 2303 one-pound and Endevco® model 2304 three-pound hammers are designed for exciting machinery, shafts, large beams, pipelines, storage tanks and other large structures. The 12-pound model 2305 hammer is used on bridges, buildings, decks and floors. Models 2303, 2304 and 2305 include four interchangeable tips, to help determine input pulse width, and thus bandwidth, along with carrying case. Endevco® models 4416B, 4990A (Oasis) and 133 signal conditioners are all recommended for use with modal hammers. The special 30% discount price applies to orders placed direct to the factory through December 31, 2009, and cannot be combined with any other discount or offer.

Friday, December 4, 2009


More new functionality in geometric process control software delights users

Curvaceous Software Limited (Curvaceous), has launched Visual Explorer 2.5 (CVE 2.5) – the fifth major release of its Geometric Process Control (GPC) software this century. CVE 2.5 is designed to use existing data to deliver significant process improvements in a wide range of process plants – from oil refineries to pharmaceutical and chemical sites.

The only programme that lets you view hundreds of process variables and their alarm limits in a single graph, CVE 2.5 includes new features in Alarm Management, Process Stewardship and Production Reporting, Continuous Process Control, Process Analysis & Trouble-Shooting and Spectral Analyser Support for PAT.

One highlight of CVE2.5 is its unique Batch Process Analysis and Control feature which enables the analysis of multi-stage and multi-phase process data without the need to do any calculations or data manipulation.

Another highlight is Alarm Rationalisation & Management which has been wholly revolutionised in CVE 2.5 with new Consistent HiLo Alarm Limits & Alerts, which works from process history data rather than alarm log data. CVE 2.5 provides instant feedback on Annunciation Rates and Standing Alarm Counts and delivers minimum time savings of 20% to perform Alarm Review meetings as well as delivering ongoing reductions. Curvaceous won the EPSC Award for the invention of Consistent Alarms in 2003

Dr Robin Brooks, Managing Director of Curvaceous Software said: “CVE 2.5’s functionality and improved usability offers even greater insights and business efficiencies. It visually shows the Best Operating Envelope in every process so that plants can utilise their existing data to work at their best all of the time rather than just some of the time. We’re delighted by the response CVE 2.5 has already received throughout the oil and gas, pharmaceutical and chemical industries.”

The extensive CVE 2.5 User Guide includes 130 new pages of worked examples and tutorials and real-life Datasets are provided to assist working through examples.
CVE 2.5 is available from Curvaceous Software and its agents worldwide.

Curvaceous’ GPC technology mathematically unites for the first time the three key plant applications of process control, alarm management and quality control to achieve business objectives. It enables a user to see, understand and reduce variability in their processes and delivers significant cost savings and business efficiencies.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ethernet Switch

P&F adds Amphenol switch to range

To meet the requirements concerning industrial applications placed in explosive atmospheres, Pepperl+Fuchs has adopted the hardened Ethernet Switch developed by Amphenol, which complies with the ATEX Zone 2 regulations.

Certain industrial applications involve monitoring and control of industrial processes, together with data acquisition, in harsh environments, and sometimes even in working areas where explosive atmospheres can be present. For applications of this type, the consequences of the tiniest spark can be catastrophic. Hence the necessity of using specific equipment that is compatible with the dangerousness of the working zone in question.

These explosive atmosphere zones are covered by drastic regulations stemming from a European directive, the ATEX (Explosive Atmosphere) regulations, which define three main zones. Thus electronic equipment with ATEX Zone 2 classification is compatible with working atmospheres that are temporarily and/or slightly explosive, while equipment marked ATEX Zone 1 can be used in zones that frequently contain explosive atmospheres. ATEX Zone 0 equipment, for its part, is the only type that can be used in constantly explosive atmospheres.

To transmit signals outside dangerous zones to completely safe data processing areas, Amphenol has developed a hardened 5-port Ethernet Switch, the RJ Switch. Pepperl+Fuchs wanted to occupy that niche market, so it was seeking to enrich its offer with a high-quality product. Quite logically, it selected the Amphenol RJ Switch, which it now sells under the terms of an agreement signed with the American manufacturer.

"Over and above the RJ Switch's ATEX Zone 2 classification, it also benefits from very careful manufacturing processes, and in particular it has unique technical characteristics that make it an unrivalled product on the market, from our point of view", said Andreas Grimsehl, the product marketing manager at Pepperl+Fuchs.

With its 5 ports, the RJ Switch has a range of 200 metres for Ethernet links and can distribute signals to other components in an Ethernet system.

The 5 RJ Switch ports are further strengthened by the RJFieldTM technology (an Amphenol patent). Furthermore, a mechanical spring enhances its locking safety. Disconnection of a port involves a further operation for the operator. Even though that operation is simple and does not require any specific tools, it still limits the risks of untimely disconnection under load.

What is more, it adapts to the maximum outputs of the equipment served, i.e. 10 or 100 Mbits/s. The switch´s intelligence is also to be seen in its Crossover function that automatically identifies the type of cables connected. Lastly, the RJ Switch is compatible with an IP68 sealing level and it can function at normal temperatures of between -40°C and +75°C, which enables its use in a very wide range of applications in harsh environments.

FF Value

Control In The Field Enhances Process Integrity

New white paper examines business value proposition of FOUNDATION™ technology
Papers maybe downloaded from the Fieldbus Foundation Site here.

The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting a press briefing at SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2009 in Nuremberg (D) announced that a new ARC Advisory Group white paper describes the benefits of control in the field (CIF) with FOUNDATION™ fieldbus. According to ARC CIF strategies supported by FOUNDATION technology improve process control performance by allowing for superior reaction to deterministic disturbances in industrial plant operations.

In the white paper, titled “The Business Value Proposition of Control in the Field,” ARC describes the incorporation of a function block structure and other supporting functions in FOUNDATION fieldbus providing a complete automation infrastructure for operational excellence. Embedded control functionality in FOUNDATION devices is one of the key enablers for achieving high availability control and a stepping-stone towards single-loop integrity.

Results from testing and real-world applications demonstrate that control in the field with FOUNDATION technology has the potential to deliver a 30 percent improvement in control performance with very fast, fast and medium-speed process dynamics. CIF can also provide up to three-times higher control loop availability than conventional analogue control.

Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney indicated that the new white paper provides valuable insights for automation end users seeking to maximise the benefits of FOUNDATION technology. “As reported by ARC, FOUNDATION fieldbus provides business value in three key areas—process integrity, business intelligence, and open and scalable integration of information across process manufacturing plants. FOUNDATION fieldbus control in the field ensures tighter control and higher availability. It is a critical element in providing significantly enhanced process integrity for many applications and control loops. This enables process industry end users to increase revenue and profits, which are the drivers for investing in new technologies.”

Timoney added, “Thanks to recent, comprehensive studies of control in the field, end users now have the first definitive proof that FOUNDATION-based CIF strategies yield significant operational improvements, which result in bottom-line business benefits.”

Shell Global Solutions International (SGSI) has performed extensive evaluation of control in the field. A statement by the company indicated, “Control in the field using FOUNDATION fieldbus technology is recommended by SGSI for simple and cascading loops, not for complex loops. Major benefits identified by SGSI are reduced process controller loading, reduced network traffic enabling more loops per segment, as well as very fast loop response.”

With control at the device level, process automation functions are truly distributed and there is no single point of failure in the control system above the H1 (field device) level. If there is a malfunction in the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) and a loss of visibility into the process, controllers, or any other component in the system and the control loop, including intelligent field devices, actuators and positioners, and the network, remain unaffected.

Field-level control also enables greater flexibility in plant automation strategies. For example, controllers are free to handle higher-level control functions such as advanced control and optimisation. FOUNDATION fieldbus allows for "dynamically instantiable function blocks,” meaning that function blocks can be activated in different components of the system as they are required. In addition, there is a large library of different block types that can be used aside from basic PID, such as switches, alarms, etc.

According to ARC Analyst Larry O’Brien, principal author of the white paper, control in the field improves control loop performance due to its ability to offer faster sample rates and shorter latencies in the read-execute-write cycle of control loops. While the advantages of increased integrity, flexibility and reliability can be attributed to all control in the field loops, control loop performance benefits can be most significant in fast process loops, including many flow and pressure loops and some temperature, pH, position and speed loops. The improved flow and pressure control provided by control in the field means that the performance of slower loops could also be improved because of the complex interactions of control loops in process plants.

Industrial Systems and Control Ltd. (ISC), a specialised control engineering consultancy with close links to the Industrial Control Centre at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, recently issued a study titled “Control in the Field: Analysis of Performance Benefits.” In the first of a series of simulation studies, ISC examined the differences in timing and sequencing associated with control in the field with a fieldbus system versus a fieldbus system employing control in the host (DCS) to establish typical latencies and sample rates that limit control performance. Many different scenarios and process dynamics were tested.

As described in the ARC white paper, ISC found that in typical fast process applications, control in the field can provide improved performance over conventional analogue control. Improvements in response time of between 10 and 30 percent were recorded, in addition to improvements in disturbance rejection of up to 20 percent.

The white paper concludes that the performance improvements of control in the field must ultimately be linked to a business value proposition, which is the measure of value for the implementation of any new technology in the plant. Additional benefits above and beyond control performance include reducing product variability, speed of grade changes, reduced time to startup, increased availability, and energy savings.

EMEA Fieldbus

Fieldbus Foundation reflects over positive marketing achievements in EMEA

Papers maybe downloaded from the Fieldbus Foundation Site here.
The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting a press briefing at the SPS/IPC/DRIVES exhibition in Nuremberg (D), reflected on its marketing achievements throughout the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region during 2008/2009. Key elements of the EMEA marketing strategy included the continued establishment of regional marketing committees; an extensive program of end user training seminars; participation in international and regional trade exhibitions and conferences; the hosting of the Fieldbus Foundation 2008 General Assembly in Antwerp, (B); the hosting of FOUNDATION™ Safety Instrumented Functions (FF SIF) technology demonstrations at Shell Global Solutions, Amsterdam (NL), BP Gelsenkirchen(D), and Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; and the coordination of the control in the field (CIF) studies and evaluations.

The development of a formal marketing committee for the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region in October 2008 represents a significant step forward for the Fieldbus Foundation’s EMEA Steering Committee. Working closely with the established Hungarian committee, the Fieldbus Foundation CEE marketing committee (FFCEEMC) is responsible for marketing activities in fifteen CEE countries. The FFCEEMC joins eleven other Fieldbus Foundation marketing committees already active in Germany, France, UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Hungary, Middle East, the Commonwealth of Independent States & Baltics (CIS&B), Norway, Sweden and Southern Africa.

Each group is committed to the promotion of FOUNDATION fieldbus technology throughout their region through a range of local activities including end user seminars, supplier training, trade show participation and technology demonstrations. All committee members are active suppliers of FOUNDATION devices, host systems, tools and services, and represent many of the world’s leading automation equipment suppliers - working together with the support of the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Steering Committee and Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Executive Advisory Council to implement the Fieldbus Foundation’s EMEA marketing strategy.

As a cornerstone of the Fieldbus Foundation’s EMEA marketing plan and that of each regional marketing group, an extensive program of training seminars/conferences was held throughout the last 18 months that included events in the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Hungary, France, Italy/Sicily/Sardinia, Algeria, Switzerland, Norway, Russia, and several locations throughout the Middle East. Seminar delegates typically include both current and prospective engineering contractors and users of FOUNDATION technology who are able to enjoy technical presentations about the technology and its implementation, practical demonstrations and panel discussions in local languages.

Taking the benefits of FOUNDATION technology to a wider audience, EMEA marketing committee members participated in numerous exhibitions and specialist conferences in 2008/2009 including the Process Management Academy, Düsseldorf, Germany; Interkama, Hannover, Germany; ACHEMA, Frankfurt, Germany; ITF conference, Stockholm, Sweden; HET Instrument, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Instrumentation Scotland + Offshore Systems, Aberdeen, Scotland; DCS 15, Hungary; mcT, Milan, Italy; and Process Teknik, Göteborg, Sweden.

Several years of dedicated work by the Fieldbus Foundation’s Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) demonstration project working group culminated in a successful live technology demonstration of FOUNDATION SIF technology at the Shell Global Solutions technology centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, for process automation end users and equipment suppliers from around the world. Presentations by representatives of Shell Global Solutions, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; BP, Gelsenkirschen, Germany; and Chevron, Houston, Texas, USA, described the implementation of FF SIF in a wide range of industrial safety systems applications. Since the demonstration in May 2008, new device development solutions for SIF have been released including the final technical specification package, SIF Interoperability Test Kit, and an updated Device Description (DD) library with SIF function blocks.

A white paper by ARC Advisory Group titled, "FOUNDATION Fieldbus Instrumented Functions Forge the Future of Process Safety".

The EMEA Steering Committee worked closely with UK company Industrial Systems and Control Ltd, (ISC), a specialised engineering company with close links to the Industrial Control Centre at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, during its formal, quantitative evaluations to analyse the performance benefits of control in the field (CIF) with FOUNDATION™ fieldbus. These findings form the basis of the new ARC Advisory Group’s white paper, The Business Value Proposition of Control in the Field.

Marc Van Pelt, Vice-President - Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Operations, welcomed the progress made by his colleagues during the last 18 months. “I am delighted that the marketing groups are becoming more active year on year. As process automation users throughout the EMEA region continue to embrace the technology - it is critical that we support them in their local language wherever possible.” He continued, “We are increasing the number of proposed end user seminars and exhibitions supported throughout the region, and we are enhancing the Fieldbus Foundation’s website though the development of local language web pages. Also, local language translations of Fieldbus Foundation technical and sales documentation are becoming more readily available to end users and member companies”.

With an increased focus on the benefits of FOUNDATION technology as an automation infrastructure for operational excellence, the emphasis on end user focused marketing activities will continue throughout 2010. EMEA marketing committees are formulating their plans for 2010 which will include end user seminars across EMEA and participation in several trade shows and conferences.

As the demand for specialised FOUNDATION technology training continues to increase, more educational institutions will apply to become certified under the rigorous FOUNDATION Certified Training Program (FCTP) which has been introduced by the Fieldbus Foundation to establish uniform standards for fieldbus educational curriculum around the globe, and defines acceptable levels of learning for students of the technology. STC Brielle, (NL), is one of the first educational establishments worldwide to offer FCTP certified training courses and the University of Miskolc (HU), is currently undergoing the rigorous certification process in order to become the preferred site for certified Fieldbus Foundation training for the Central & Eastern European region.


Quick Ship service now for Micro Motion® and Rosemount® flow products

Micro Motion Coriolis mass flow and density products, and Rosemount Vortex and Magnetic flowmeters are now part of Emerson’s Quick Ship fast delivery service

Emerson Process Management has expanded the scope of its recently introduced Quick Ship service to include Micro Motion® Coriolis mass flow and density meters sensors and transmitters, and Rosemount® vortex and magnetic flowmeters. Launched in the spring of 2009, Quick Ship orders follow a different route through order processing and on to the manufacturing plant in order to meet the agreed delivery time.

Selected Micro Motion and Rosemount flow products ordered under the Quick Ship service will be calibrated and tested ready for despatch from Emerson’s flow manufacturing facility in The Netherlands, either the next day, or in 3 to 5 days of receipt of an order. Despatch to customers is through an extensive logistics network which provides many options for speedy shipment. Alternatively, customers can arrange for collection from the factory if required.

“Customers have been quick to see the benefits of the service which was introduced to meet urgent requirements, when standard deliveries could result in unacceptable delays and lost production,”
said Pete Peters, Director of Operations at the European Flow Centre. “Based on this positive feedback, we have expanded the range of products covered by the scheme. This means we can now get a replacement sensor, flowtube or transmitter on site quickly, minimising plant downtime and lost revenue.”

The Quick Ship option is already available on orders for standard Rosemount pressure and temperature transmitters which can be despatched from Emerson’s factories in Wessling (for pressure transmitters) and Karlstein (for temperature transmitters) in Germany, within two working days of receipt of an order.

When an order for products included in the scheme is placed with the local sales office, customers will be offered the Quick Ship option for any urgent requirements. To ensure that Quick Ship orders are fulfilled within the promised timescale, Emerson has made a significant investment in the resources and infrastructure at its manufacturing centres and has introduced streamlined procedures in line with the latest lean manufacturing techniques. Quick Ship is currently available to customers in the Britain, France and Germany, and will be extended to cover other European counties.
Manufacturing operations software at English show

Aegis Software will showcase the fourt major release of its Version 7 Manufacturing Operations Software, known as R4 at Southern Manufacturing 2010 at Farnborough (GB - 10/11 Feb 2010). The system has been officially released to the Aegis customer base for deployment immediately following Productronica 2009 exhibition in Munich (D).
Aegis MOS Overview
Aegis’ Manufacturing Operations System (MOS) software offers a holistic solution for manufacturing information environments that seamlessly integrates into a company’s overall enterprise solution. From process planning through to final analytics and advanced vertical traceability, Aegis MOS products provide the speed, control, and visibility today’s manufacturers need for a wide variety of markets and applications.

R4 builds upon the success of the Version 7 manufacturing operations system that has been delivering unmatched speed, control and visibility to factories worldwide for more than three years.

Key updates in R4 include:
    • The Next Evolution of the Class-Defining Version 7 MOS System: R4 incorporates hundreds of customer-driven enhancements to the Aegis Manufacturing Operations System. Enhancements spanning the process planning and launch engine, paperless delivery, product tracking, quality collection and repair, dashboards, and analytics areas of the system. In particular, R4 adds a fully redesigned shop floor materials control interface. Aegis has also added many real-time xLink data collection adapters, further advancing its plug-and-play connectivity to assembly, process, inspection, and test assets.

    • A Shop Floor Materials Control System You Design Yourself: Version 7 revolutionized factory software by enabling customers to build their own reports, analyses, and dashboards without any customization or costs. R4 extends this 'user-customization' advantage to shop floor materials verification. Every manufacturer has strong opinions about how best to control shop floor materials, how to setup machines, etc. R4 empowers customers to design the materials setup strategy and tactics their web-based shop floor interface will employ using a simple graphical interface. R4 users have the power to define exactly how the system guides operators, reacts to conditions, and the level of control it enforces. A total step forward as compared to any other setup verification tool on the market. R4 is the only system empowering you to decide how every process will be guided and verified to ensure the right material, is in the right location, for the right product.

    • Dispatch-Side, Job-Level Traceability: R4 adds a new type of traceability to the perfect accuracy of Aegis consumption-side traceability functions, called 'Job Level' traceability. R4 provides a kit verification process and assists dispatch to the floor, providing 'Job Level' traceability where perfect unit-level traceability is not desired. In addition to simplified traceability at a broad level, the technology assists operators in predicting the unit volume that can be produced for a given kit in real time as it is scanned for dispatch, guides the splitting of bags, reels, and sticks, etc.

    • Expanded Box-Build Capability: R4 provides enhanced support for infinitely nested box build assemblies, and enhanced mechanical CAD support within the paperless, trace, and tracking capabilities of the system.

    • Expanded Dashboard and Reporting Capabilities: R4 improves upon the already unmatched real-time dashboard and report creation systems from Aegis, iMonitor and Data Miner.

    • Automate Your Factory WhiteBoard: Every factory has the whiteboard covered with quality and performance reports. A board that takes many man hours to create each day or week, and is often out of date. With R4, this entire board can be automated and customized to each factory without need for customization costs or IT assistance. Users may now create a single report template utilizing multiple data sources to create one comprehensive report utilizing all the data from different data sources in a single workbook.

    • Total Vertical Traceability: R4 enables traceability reporting from a top level serial ID on a box build assembly down and through any number of subassemblies and onto the individual components within mechanical and/or electronics assemblies.

    • In-Process DPMO: Beyond its fully automatic job and station-level DPMO, R4
    now delivers the only viable means to monitor 'In Process DPMO' in real-time. The new solution supports nonconformance 'charge backs' to root cause, to drive real process analysis by the root source of quality problems, rather than only the location at which they were identified.

    • Enhanced Yield and DPMO Outputs:
    The Yield and DPMO data sources also include a"Group By" function of "Time", "Product" and "Location" and the product-centric nature of the data source will be removed. This capability allows end users to now view Yield and DPMO data independent of a specific product.

    • Job Scheduling: R4 adds categorization and ranks to jobs that are on the build horizon, providing shop floor personnel with guidance to their daily build sequence. Job planners may re-categorize and re-order jobs based on its readiness or urgency through the browser interface, by importing an updated job list directly into the system, or through API integration to ERP or scheduling systems in place within the enterprise.
The explosive success of the Aegis iMonitor and Data Miner systems for real-time dashboards and reporting drove the addition of many new dashboard gauges, charts, and other active elements, as well as new Data Miner sources. Real-time predictive materials usage, job completion, OEE, tooling life monitoring, expiration etc. has all been added. R4 has greater 'out of box' dashboard and reporting capability than any system on the market, and as with all Aegis outputs, costs and customization are not required to get the information you need-just click, drag and drop.

Maritime appro

Ethernet switches receive DNV approval for use on board ships

Several ranges of Harting Ethernet switches have now received approval for use on board ships under the ship certification scheme administered by Det Norske Veritas (DNV): a leading independent worldwide authority of approvals and certifications in the maritime area.

The type approval is granted according to special guidelines that have been developed for international shipping, and covers areas such as temperature, air humidity and vibration characteristics as well as EMC properties. The subsequent product approval applies to areas such as machine rooms, decks and bridges.

In addition to the demands stipulated by DNV, the requirements of the standard for navigation and wireless communication equipment for maritime shipping (DIN EN 60945:2003-07) have also been confirmed for the respective products.

The Ethernet switches covered by the approval, which was granted in September 2009, are the eCon 2030-A, eCon 2040-A, eCon 2050-A, eCon 3080-A, eCon 3080-A1, eCon 3080-A4, sCon 3100-AA, mCon 3100-AAV, mCon 3082-ADV and mCon 3082-AEV.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


ISA Announces New Chief Editor for InTech

The International Society of Automation is pleased to announce Bill Lydon, automation industry writer, analyst, and consultant, as the new chief editor of InTech, beginning January 2010. Lydon will lead the InTech editorial team and manage the strategy and content of the print, digital, and online versions of the magazine in collaboration with the InTech Editorial Advisory Board. He will draw from the expertise of ISA’s Members and leaders to focus on the most important automation industry news and trends, and provide unbiased coverage of the automation market. Subject-matter experts will develop stories and cover the important industry issues outlined in the 2010 InTech editorial calendar to meet the technical information needs of automation professionals around the world.

Lydon brings more than 10 years of writing and editing expertise to InTech, plus more than 25 years of experience designing and applying technology in the automation and controls industry. Lydon started his career as a designer of computer-based machine tool controls; in other positions, he applied programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and process control technology. In addition to working at various large companies (e.g., Sundstrand, Johnson Controls, and Wago), Lydon served a two-year stint as part of a five-person task group, where he designed controls, automation systems, and software for chiller and boiler plant optimization. He was also a product manager for a multimillion-dollar controls and automation product line and president of an industrial control software company.

“It is indeed fortunate that we have been able to have somebody as well qualified as Bill Lydon,”
said Vitor Finkel, ISA Publications Department vice president. “Here is somebody who has dirtied his hands, so to speak, with real instruments. Not only that, but he also has experience in designing automation software. He is one of those rare people with practical experience and the ability to write—the ideal person to be at the helm of the leading automation publication.”

“InTech,” says Lydon, “is the conduit for ISA Members to share their rich and valuable sources of knowledge to improve controls and automation effectiveness.”

Trained as a group problem-solving facilitator at the Creative Education Foundation, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, Lydon now facilitates groups to help them solve problems and identify opportunities. “I hold those people who work in controls and automation in the highest esteem,” comments Lydon, “and I believe their honorable professions are key to industry, society, and the environment.”

In addition to serving as chief editor of InTech, Lydon also will continue his independent editorial work with other companies, such as This arrangement further strengthens ISA’s newly announced partnership with to jointly publish several e-newsletters for InTech and subscribers.


Ixthus offers Hardy portable shakers

Ixthus Instrumentation now offers Hardy portable shakers from Metrix Instruments. Hardy shakers are designed to be used in the field or workshop to verify the performance of vibration transducers, connectors, cabling, instruments or permanently installed machine vibration condition monitoring systems. Both models are battery powered, portable and have a built-in reference accelerometer and indicator with traceable calibration.

This top-of-the-line HI 803 offers test frequencies from 10 Hz to 10,000 Hz, built-in printer and the possibility to measure the transducer’s output and calculate its sensitivity.

The HI 813 Shaker, has a ruggedized suspension system can support heavy transducers (up to 750 grams) that require testing in a horizontal direction, instead of the normal vertical direction.
New Power Recorder provides outstanding accuracy and quick set-up for troubleshooting hard-to-find power quality problems
Wireless PDA interface and threshold-free setup to capture everything the first time

Fluke, the global leader in handheld electronic test and measurement equipment, has introduced the Fluke 1750 Power Recorder, which is designed to provide users with long-term visibility into installation or distribution systems to address intermittent or hard-to-diagnose power quality issues. The Fluke 1750 features a unique capture algorithm that enables users to record every measurement on every event on every cycle without first applying thresholds. Its built-in wireless PDA interface provides a window into what the instrument is recording and enables remote configuration in awkward test locations.

The Fluke 1750 Power Recorder uses IEC 61000 4-30 algorithms for all power quality parameters. It eliminates the time-consuming and often complex set-ups and the blind spots associated with threshold-driven equipment by enabling users to apply thresholds after data is collected. Fluke Power Analyser Software enables easy analysis of captured data and rapidly generates reports – the new EN50106 power quality data compliance report is created automatically. It requires only single-lead voltage connections; automatically detects, scales and powers current probes; and automatically begins recording once power is applied. With the Bluetooth PDA interface, users can view waveform displays, meter screens and phasor diagrams in real time; swap channels internally without reconnecting wires; and control multiple Fluke 1750 Power Recorders from a distance.

The Fluke 1750 Power Recorder is designed to provide a complete analysis of power quality, harmonics, flicker, power and energy with cross-channel current and voltage triggering on all 10 input channels simultaneously. The Snapshot mode enables users to capture and analyse waveforms at defined intervals, and users can flag events in the data stream with notes in voice, data or photo format using a PDA. For applications requiring long-term recording, the Fluke 1750 includes internal flash memory for data storage and enables users to download data directly onto the included memory card or transfer data to a computer via an Ethernet connection.

The Fluke 1750 Power Recorder includes all hardware, software, current probes and accessories necessary to start monitoring right out of the box.

W7 support

Windows 7 Support for Engineers and Scientists

NI Tools Integrate with Windows 7 for Faster Performance and Higher Throughout with USB Data Acquisition Devices and Multicore Systems

National Instruments has announced software and hardware compatibility with Windows 7, the latest operating system from Microsoft, to help engineers and scientists attain faster performance and higher throughput within their applications. Engineers and scientists who are considering upgrading to the latest computer hardware can take advantage of several new features in the new operating system. This release, which includes performance and usability enhancements, provides a smooth upgrade experience and improves the environment for hardware and software compatibility, making it ideal for measurement and workstation applications. Windows 7 contains features that provide increased USB data acquisition throughput and take full advantage of multicore processors to improve responsiveness and offer compatibility with the latest computer technologies, including support for PCI Express and 64-bit processors.

“Next-generation measurement systems need to have high throughput and fast performance, as engineers and scientists look for new ways to meet constantly increasing demands for speed in their applications,”
said Jane Boulware, General Manager of U.S. Windows Client at Microsoft. “The benchmarks provided by National Instruments with Windows 7 show engineers an effective method for tackling this issue.”

Increased USB Throughput

By combining Windows 7 with the LabVIEW graphical design platform for test, control and embedded system development, engineers and scientists can achieve efficiency gains including elimination of non-necessary timers, selective hub suspension and lower enumeration time for USB flash devices, which increase the performance of USB test and measurement devices. In recent benchmarks of the new NI CompactDAQ chassis with LabVIEW, engineers observed a 10 percent increase in overall attainable bandwidth in Windows 7 as compared to the same hardware running on Windows XP. The increased hardware performance combined with the multicore optimisation of both the Windows 7 operating system and the LabVIEW development environment result in a performance increase of up to 20 percent when performing high-speed or multifunction I/O measurements.

To take advantage of these performance increases, engineers may need to install new drivers. Drivers compatible with Windows 7 are available for download from National Instruments.

Improved Multicore Use and Multitasking Capability
Data acquisition applications written in LabVIEW and using NI hardware on a multicore computer will benefit from the improvements in Windows 7 designed to further optimise the use of these processors. LabVIEW is an inherently multithreaded software platform that assigns independent, asynchronous processes to separate threads that can be executed in parallel by separate computer cores. LabVIEW programmers can create multiple computationally intensive tasks in a single application to run in parallel and optimise the use of all available cores. Engineers and scientists can use NI drivers such as NI-DAQmx, which are also multithreaded, to efficiently create high-performance acquisition and analysis applications, without having to manually spawn and manage separate threads. A benchmark LabVIEW application with four parallel loops on a quad-core machine executes up to 8 percent faster in Windows 7, compared to Windows XP. Additionally, an NI TestStand parallel sequence benchmark application executes up to 10 percent faster.

“For more than 30 years, NI has continued to deliver on our promise of innovation and continuous improvement in order to give engineers and scientists the tools to be successful, whether you have a simple data acquisition application or a more complex system,” said Jon Bellin, Vice President of R&D for Application and System Software at National Instruments. “Our focus on optimisation for multicore systems, including the benchmarks we have provided for multicore systems using Windows 7, is an example of our dedication to creating products that help engineers do more.”

Enhanced Functionality for PCI Express

Integrating Windows 7 with the PCI Express bus in products such as NI X Series (DAQ) devices more than doubles data throughput compared to using the traditional PCI bus. PCI Express offers several benefits to data acquisition applications, including dedicated bandwidth to each device of up to 250 MB/s in each direction. With this additional bandwidth, engineers and scientists can acquire larger quantities of analogue, digital and counter data; and, due to the dedicated nature of the bus, engineers can expand their systems to include multiple DAQ devices.

Windows 7 provides native support for 64-bit hardware, and measurement applications running on 64-bit hardware and software can take advantage of a larger amount of physical memory than 32-bit systems. Furthermore, when combined with Windows 7 and NI drivers, additional registers on a 64-bit processor can increase application execution speeds up to 10 percent.

Market picks up!

Process industries make a beeline for centralised networks
Industrial Ethernet market's prospects improve

Process industries have begun to acutely feel the need to reduce plant downtime through real-time knowledge sharing and high-speed communication protocol. They require intelligent devices that extend location-independent control over other automation components to facilitate rapid information recovery and immediate response as well as optimise asset utilisation of the plant.

However, implementing sophisticated information systems entails the deployment of a vast array of devices across the plant, which, in turn, necessitates seamless data flow across different modules of the process infrastructure – right from low-level field devices to business-level decision-making systems. This complex connectivity can be simplified by using a high-speed open system and a central network, such as the industrial Ethernet, which assures complete transparency in operation.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of European Industrial Ethernet Market, finds that market is expected to earn revenues of $307.12 million by 2015. The study provides deep insights into different industrial Ethernet protocol such as Modbus transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP), Profinet, Ethernet IP, EtherCAT, Ethernet PowerLink and other protocols.

As centralised networks are the order of the day, industrial Ethernet service and device providers will be hoping to generate handsome revenues because the prognostic capability of their devices is ideal to provide a centralised communication link to all process and control system components.

“Ethernet devices used for either enterprise application or production process work with the same technology and hence, offer the benefits of working on a common and shared platform,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Khadambari Shanbagarman. “This creates the flexibility of sharing the network, lowering additional expenses and reducing unwanted cabling.”

This flexibility also helps convey field-level data to the business application, enabling the close functioning of the plant, which, in turn, eases workforces’ operations. In fact, Ethernet devices greatly emphasise the need for predictive maintenance capability, which provides great workforce mobility in large plants.

Further, industrial Ethernet allows the system to be connected to the plants’ intranet, where information from various plants can be accessed across different facilities and information can be quickly transmitted even across diverse geographies. This indicates that the Ethernet set up helps in a seamless connectivity across all parts of the plant network and the real time information is made readily available to the user.

Despite their obvious advantages, end users are willing to employ industrial Ethernet technologies only in their new projects or in Greenfield applications. The global economic downturn and the consequent credit crunch has resulted in fewer investments in industrial Ethernet for retrofits/existing projects.

End-user segments such as oil and gas and chemicals have been traditionally slow adopters of new technologies such as Ethernet because of the technology’s lack of a proven track record.

Nevertheless, end users’ low awareness about the technology can be remedied once suppliers launch education campaigns about the technicalities and long-term benefits of using Ethernet. The price issue can also be resolved once suppliers achieve economies of scale.

“The commonly available protocols such as modbus TCP/IP and Ethernet IP are available at competitive prices due to the extensive usage of these devices on factory floors,” notes Shanbagarman. “In the case of deterministic protocols such as EtherCAT and Ethernet PowerLink, the costs of devices decrease once the actuator sensor interface (ASI) and field programmable gate array (FPGA) prices are reduced, making them affordable to more customers.”

Strategic Analysis of European Industrial Ethernet Market is part of the Industrial Automation & Process Control Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: European fieldbus market, world distributed control systems market and world programmable logical controller fact book. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
EPLAN Data Portal boosts project speed

Engineers need suitable component data that can be imported directly into a project. The web-based EPLAN Data Portal delivers around 100,000 pieces of the latest tested and certified component and device data from numerous component manufacturers - thereby giving users an extra productivity boost.

An extensive collection of device and component data provided directly by companies such as ABB, Rittal, Phoenix Contact and Lapp Kabel, which has been verified for use in the EPLAN platform ensures, seamless engineering at maximum speed.

A desired component can be found by using a keyword, manufacturer name, product group or catalogue view in the direct search function. The time-consuming act of browsing through catalogues and manually transferring information are a thing of the past. Consistent and reliable data is entered directly in a project from the EPLAN Data Portal - with all the convenient functions of a web-based solution.

With just a click, complete macros of, for example, PLC devices, measuring transducers or frequency converters can be imported into an EPLAN project. Integrated connection diagrams and function templates provide the exact representation of complex devices and components. This not only ensures a smooth implementation due to the data being available in “EPLAN-ready” format for immediate use in the project, but the result is a faster delivery due to more intelligent planning, more reliable placement on the mounting panel and more efficient wiring.

Cable sensors

New catalogue cable extension position sensors

ASM has issued its new General Catalogue “POSIWIRE® - Cable Extension Position Sensors WS”.

They have been leading manufacturers of mechatronic sensors for position measurement for 30 years. The newly issued catalogue includes an extensive overview of the whole range of “POSIWIRE® Cable Extension Position Sensors WS” for the measurement of position and distance between 100mm and 60000mm.

The “POSIWIRE®” linear sensors have compact design, are quick and easy to mount, feature a high operational safety and provide a long lifetime operation. They are best suited for industrial, instrumental, Heavy Duty or Offshore applications. Analogue, digital and incremental outputs are available according to the chosen sensor model.


Industry’s highest temperature ISOTRON® (IEPE) triaxial accelerometers
Simplifys testing and instrumentation requirements reliable performance to +175°C & eliminates need for separate charge amplifier

Endevco has announced the industry’s highest temperature ISOTRON® (IEPE-type) triaxial accelerometers, models 65HT and model 67, both operating to +175°C (+347°F), for reliable performance with simplified testing and instrumentation requirements.

Their 65HT ISOTRON® high temperature triaxial accelerometer is offered in ranges of ±10,000 g (0.5 mV/g) and ±500 g (10 mV/g) in a low-noise, low impedance, 10mm welded titanium cube design, weighing just 5 grams, and offering milli-g resolution. The sensors are shockproof and overload protected. Interface to model 65HT is via a single, miniature 4-pin connector, with flexible cable. Model 65HT’s excellent frequency response, both amplitude and phase, provide the user with a triaxial accelerometer ideally suited for structural and component testing, drop tests and general laboratory vibration work. The reduced size and reliable high temperature performance of this accelerometer enables a test technician to simultaneously measure acceleration across three orthogonal axes of vibration on lightweight structures, without the need for charge amplification. Recommended accessories for use with model 65HT include an optional mounting clip (model 41013), mounting block (model 40965 block with model EH769 screw) and thermal isolator model 2988M11. The model 65HT is also available as part of the Endevco® new -R replacement sensor program.

Endevco® model 67 ISOTRON® high temperature triaxial accelerometer is offered in ranges of ±500 g (10 mV/g) and ±50 g (100 mV/g), in a 14mm cube welded titanium. The hermetically sealed package weighs less than 14 grams. The model 67 accelerometer offers high output sensitivity, low noise and low base strain sensitivity, with excellent output stability over time. Like model 65HT, Endevco® model 67 is both shock proof and overload protected, offering milli-g resolution. It offers a single connector, with flexible cable. Both model 65HT and model 67 include mating cables, which terminate into three BNC connectors and appropriate mounting stud.

With their industry exclusive high temperature reliability, and availability in a variety of sensitivities, Endevco® high temperature IEPE-type triaxial accelerometers are ideal for use in NVH, HALT/HASS/ESS, high temperature product reliability testing, health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS), modal and structural analysis, and applications which call for the vibration monitoring of turbines and other rotating equipment. Recommended signal conditioners for use with Endevco® model 65HT and model 67 are model 133, model 2793 and model 4990A (Oasis).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

MCERT analysers

MCERTS approval for Rosemount® Analytical X-STREAM® in situ oxygen analysers

TÜV and MCERTS approvals enable operators to meet latest emission monitoring requirements
Emerson Process Management has gained UK MCERTS approval for its Rosemount® Analytical X-STREAM® range of zirconium oxide in situ oxygen analysers. The analysers are used to measure the residual oxygen remaining in the flue gases from any combustion process. The certificate was issued by Sira, who operate the MCERTS scheme in England and Wales on behalf of the Environment Agency.

The X-STREAM O2 analyser has been tested and found to comply with the Environment Agency’s performance standards for continuous on-line flue gas oxygen analysis. The MCERTS approvals cover the X-STREAM O2 Combustion Flue Gas Transmitter, which integrates an oxygen probe and field electronics into a single, compact package, and the single or dual-channel Xi enhanced interface unit, which is used for set up, calibration and service diagnostic functions.

In addition to the MCERTS certification, the X-STREAM O2 analyser has also gained TÜV approval, demonstrating QAL1 (Quality Assurance Level 1) compliance according to EN15267-3 and EN14181. In order to be granted TÜV and MCERTS approval, the measurement uncertainty of the emissions analyser must be established. This is achieved by undertaking performance testing in the laboratory and also three months of field trials. The testing process assesses factors such as accuracy, repeatability, linearity and long term stability.

The MCERTS scheme provides a framework within which environmental measurements can be made in accordance with the Agency's quality requirements. Cornerstone to this scheme is the confidence that the records submitted are from an instrument that is both accurate and reliable. Data from an instrument which has MCERTS approval will normally be accepted without any further evidence being required.

Performance certification for continuous emission monitoring applications is now a requirement for operators of certain regulated industrial processes, including large combustion plants. In Britain, MCERTS approved equipment is mandatory for these applications.

“Emerson is committed to ensuring that its products meet the latest industry standards,” said Gary O’Neill, Rosemount Analytical Business Manager, Emerson Process Management. “Using products with MCERTS approval ensures our customers meet strict environmental standards and allows operators to run their businesses in the most efficient way.”

The MCERTS scheme is formally recognised in England and Wales and accepted internationally. It provides instrument manufacturers with an independent authoritative endorsement of the practical performance of individual products.

VP sales

Joe Trygar joins top control systems integrator

ESE has just appointed Joe Trygar, an automation industry veteran, as Vice President of Sales for the company. Joe will be responsible for heading up national sales for the organization, and is chartered to drive growth for ESE's family of Q5 Near Infrared Analyzers (NIR) in the food processing markets.

Trygar joins ESE with more than 20 years experience in the instrumentation and automation markets. Most recently, he served as President and co-founder of Dossette, a medical manufacturing and consulting business. While at Dossette, Trygar led the design and development of NIR technology for process control in pharmaceutical and neutraceutical industries. Trygar is an accomplished inventor with several patents to his credit. He spent his early career years at Abbott Laboratories.

"I am impressed with ESE's NIR technology, especially their inline system which can help food manufacturers improve quality and gain efficiencies,"
stated Joe Trygar, Vice President of Sales, ESE, Inc. "I also found ESE's culture and its focus on customer satisfaction a good fit, it was similar to the approach I took at Dossette. I look forward to bringing my experience and leadership to ESE and their customers, and drive innovation for food processors by exposing them to the power of NIR technology."

"Joe's experience in national sales, marketing, operations, and product development is a great fit with our growing company," comments Tom Walther, President of ESE, Inc. "His understanding of manufacturing process control coupled with his track record in driving business growth is a perfect match for ESE. His background in NIR technology will provide a big benefit for all our customers, and will help ESE deliver the best solutions possible for our customers. We look forward to bringing Joe on board to help drive ESE to the next level of success."

Pests in rice!

Multi-residue analysis of pesticides in rice

Thermo Fisher Scientific has just announced a new method that enables rapid and accurate identification and quantification of pesticides in rice. The QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe) extraction method takes advantage of the Thermo Scientific ITQ 700 GC-ion trap mass spectrometer and the Thermo Scientific FOCUS GC gas chromatograph to increase speed and improve sample preparation The application note describing the method, entitled “Multi-residue Pesticide Analysis in Rice by a Modified QuEChERS Extraction and Ion Trap GC/MSn Analysis,” is available to download.

Recently formulated pesticides are smaller in molecular weight than their predecessors and are designed to break down rapidly in the environment. As a result, more careful consideration must be placed on the sample preparation for extraction and the instrument parameters for analysis in order to successfully identify and quantify these compounds in foods. The QuEChERS sample preparation method, which is already shown to simplify the determination of pesticides in fruits, vegetable, grains and herbs, can now be used to successfully prepare rice extracts before ion trap GC/MSn analysis.

The study was performed by pairing the ITQ 700 with the Thermo Scientific FOCUS GC gas chromatograph to establish the linear ranges, quantitation limits and detection limits for a list of pesticides that are commonly used on rice crops. Samples were prepared in matrix using the QuEChERS sample preparation method, which involves extraction, clean-up and solvent exchange processes. The ITQ 700 GC-ion trap MS demonstrated excellent accuracy at low concentrations of 33 pesticide residues analyzed in rice. The optional MSn mode was shown to offer enhanced selectivity over scanning modes such as full scan and selected ion monitoring (SIM). This enables users to identify, confirm and quantify the existence of pesticides in a single analytical run. In addition, the daily analysis of endrin, DDT and their breakdown products confirmed the system’s ability to analyze active compounds without the need for continual, expensive and time-consuming maintenance.

Invensys & Microsoft

Unrivalled integration of Invensys EAM and Microsoft Dynamics solution reduces downtime, costs and risk

Two market leaders provide uncompromised, combined best-of-breed solution

Invensys Operations Management,has announced that its flagship Avantis.PRO™ enterprise asset management (EAM) software is now more tightly integrated with Microsoft Dynamics® AX™ enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The integration of these leading software packages provides a powerful, easy-to-use solution that ensures financial and enterprise-planning decisions are made using timely, reliable information about the health and operation of all assets within a manufacturing facility or organization.

The Avantis.PRO solution is among the industry's most comprehensive EAM offerings, and Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 is a leading business management and ERP solution, facilitating business functions such as general ledger, accounts receivable and asset value reporting. The integrated package is a standard, scalable architecture that will appeal to information technology, business operations and plant managers alike.

"As manufacturers seek to drive more and more value from their existing assets, EAM technology is becoming increasingly more strategic to their business and is equally strategic to ours," said Mike Ehrenberg, distinguished engineer, Microsoft Corp. "The Avantis.PRO EAM software from Invensys has a stellar reputation for quality and for the service that stands behind it. Together with Microsoft Dynamics ERP, we strengthen the combined value we deliver to our customers, providing a powerful, easy-to-use asset optimization solution that can grow and change with them for many years to come."

The software integration can be easily implemented, and it supports enterprise planning and decision making, improves financial and operating controls and facilitates interdepartmental collaboration. Expected benefits include:
    - Greater enterprise-wide data access, which improves asset availability and utilization by providing financial systems with timely access to asset-related data, such as maintenance planning and schedules, projected failure rates and equipment service histories.
    - Seamless coordination and automation of business processes, improving efficiency, increasing accuracy and eliminating data entry errors.
    - Faster, easier connectivity through the use of predefined connections and standards-based integration concepts and frameworks.
    - Lower costs, by implementing a scalable, out-of-the-box solution that can be upgraded as the business requires.
    - Higher reliability, based on implementation of proven, heavily tested software from trusted sources.
"EAM systems can provide demonstrable results in a relatively short time frame," said Bill Polk, director of research at AMR Research, in the June 2009 AMR research report Asset Management Algebra: EAM = ROI. "In today's environment, where budgets are tight and freeing up or conserving working capital is paramount, developing and implementing a robust EAM solution can help deliver incremental profit to the bottom line."

Invensys is a Microsoft Gold solutions partner and is in the process of becoming "Certified for Dynamics" via the Microsoft CfmD Program. Invensys and Microsoft are also exploring other integration opportunities, including an active project for the integration of Invensys' Wonderware® Manufacturing Execution System technology with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP.

"This latest collaboration is a product of a long and successful business relationship that Invensys and Microsoft have enjoyed, not just with Avantis®, but with many of our products,"
said Sudipta Bhattacharya, president and chief executive officer, Invensys Operations Management. "Augmenting Microsoft's open development and applications environment with our experience in building solutions that address the intricacies of production environments significantly reduces risk, maximizing return not only on software investment, but on all assets."

Electronic controller

DIGISTART D2 and D3 electronic controller

This exceptionally compact solution offers total control over start-up and a response to energy saving requirements.

DIGISTART, the new electronic controller from LEROY-SOMER, part of Emerson Industrial Automation, for induction motors, integrates the latest technological changes including an optimized bypass function. Digistart is available in two ranges adapted to market requirements:
  • D2 range, 18 to 200 A: compact starters

  • D3 range, 23 to 1600 A: advanced controllers.

  • Economy and compactness
    Use of the bypass offers significant savings:
  • 4 % reduction in consumption at steady state,

  • no forced ventilation,

  • 1 to 2 ratings less for dimensioning purposes.

  • Its operating principle is as follows: the power electronics are used to perform start-up and thus limit the current draw of the induction motor Then it is shunted at the end of the starting phase by the internal bypass. The control electronics are still used to protect and control the motor up to the stopping phase.

    DIGISTART proposes this series bypass, thus enabling additional savings on the external contact and its implementation. The DIGISTART compactness considerably reduces the overall installation weight and volume.

    It is ideal for upgrading existing installations, and enables the linking of delta connection motors, which advantageously replace a star/delta start-up, and uses the 6 motor power supply cables. Additionally, this enables a saving of at least one rating size in controller dimensioning.

    The intuitive DIGISTART navigator enables simple adjustment of the current ranges or limitations. The operator has immediate access to preset configurations for the pumping, ventilation and conveying functions, etc..=.

    DIGISTART facilitates installation monitoring by enabling the user to:
      - access the time-dated log of failsafe actuation operations, events, consumption and operating conditions,
      - have traceability of parameter changes,
      - simulate operation by forcing the control-command,
      - view the input/output state,
      - manage reports on operating time, number of start-ups...
    DIGISTART can operate with 200-440 V, 200-575 V or 690 V three-phase networks. It can also control several induction motors coupled in parallel as well as a collector ring motor. Available on D3 (ratings 360 to 1600 A), the power inputs and outputs may be installed on request above and/or under the starter, according to the layout of cables in the cabinet. DIGISTART thus optimizes installation in the cabinet.
    The available field bus modules are: Modbus RTU, port USB, DeviceNet and Profibus.

    Perfectly mastered electronic control
    DIGISTART proposes the latest electronic control technology: start-up and stopping self-adapted to load, automatic optimization of parameters by machine learning from start-ups. It also includes a slow-down curve dedicated to pumping applications resulting from 15 years of LEROY-SOMER´s experience and know-how.
    The possibility of operating with only two operational power units, deactivation of protection to ensure forced operation (smoke extraction, fire pump...) makes DIGISTART the solution adapted to the requirements of sensitive installations.
    DIGISTART offers overall protection with:
      - permanent thermal modelling for maximum motor protection (even in case of power supply cut-off),
      - failsafe actuation operations, on adjustable power thresholds,
      - control of current phase imbalance
      - monitoring of motor temperature and the environment by CTP or PT 100,
      - and, optionally, failsafe actuation of the installation following earth faults as well as protection against network over- and under-voltages.

    With DIGISTART, LEROY-SOMER proposes compact, economic, high performance and communicating controllers, which are better integrated into industrial installations and enable substantial savings to be made.

    CAN open with Siemens

    CANopen module for ET200S connects Siemens automation and control systems with CANopen

    We love an imaginative URL and this company has one.

    HMS Industrial Networks in co-operation with Siemens AG, introduces the new plug-in 1SI CANopen extension module for the Siemens SIMATIC ET200S I/O system. This new module brings CANopen connectivity to the SIMATIC ET200S distributed I/O system, allowing seamless integration of CANopen devices into the Siemens automation architecture.

    CANopen module fits mechanically into the standard ET200 system rack and can be used in combination with all other Siemens modules of the ET200S family. Via the standard Siemens Profibus or Profinet bus coupler of the ET200S, the 1SI CANopen module can be used along with the large range of Siemens automation and control systems including SIMATIC, SIMOTION and SINUMERIC systems.

    The 1SI CANopen enables the easy integration of CANopen enabled devices within the Siemens Profibus and Profinet based automation architecture. Typical applications include all kinds of machines and automation systems where CANopen enabled drives and Siemens PLCs are used. The 1SI CANopen module is integrated into Step7 which helps users to minimize engineering efforts. The CANopen Master configuration is made via an external CANopen configuration tool.

    HMS Industrial Networks is the leading independent supplier of embedded network technology for automation devices. Formed in 1988 the company develops and manufactures solutions for interfacing automation devices to industrial networks. Development and manufacturing takes place at the head office in Halmstad, Sweden. Local sales and support is provided by the HMS branch offices in Chicago, Beijing, Karlsruhe, Milan, Mulhouse and Tokyo.

    Power harvesting

    Ultralow voltage 20mV step-up converter & power manager for energy harvesting applications

    We are hearing more and more about energy harvesting as a means of powering units in remote, difficult to reach or in areas where cables are not acceptable or possible especially in wireless transmitter/sensors.

    Now Linear Technology has introduced the LTC3108, a highly integrated step-up DC/DC converter designed to start-up and run from extremely low input voltage sources such as thermoelectric generators (TEGs), thermopiles and small solar cells. Its self-resonant topology steps up from input voltages as low as 20mV. Small temperature differences can be harvested and used to generate system power instead of traditional battery power. Energy harvesters are designed for applications requiring very low average power, but require periodic pulses of higher load current. For example, in many wireless sensor applications the circuitry is only powered take measurements and transmit data periodically at low duty cycle.

    The LTC3108 uses a small standard step-up transformer to provide a complete power management solution. Its 2.2V LDO can power an external microcontroller, while its main output is pin selectable to one of four (2.35V, 3.3V, 4.1V or 5V) fixed voltages to power a wireless transmitter or sensors. A second switched output can be enabled by the host in order to power devices that do not have a micropower shutdown capability. The addition of a storage capacitor provides continuous power even when the input energy source is unavailable. The LTC3108’s extremely low quiescent current (<6µA) and high efficiency design ensure the fastest possible charge times for the output reservoir capacitor. The combination of the LTC3108’s
    3mm x 4mm DFN package (or SSOP-16) and very small external components ensure a highly compact solution for energy harvesting applications.

    The LTC3108EDE’s in a 3mm x 4mm DFN package and the LTC3108EGN is available in a SSOP-16 package. Pricing starts at $2.95 each for 1,000-piece quantities. Industrial temperature grade versions, the LTC3108IDE and LTC3108IGN, are also available. Pricing starts at $3.45 each for 1,000-piece quantities. All versions are available from stock.

    Monday, November 30, 2009

    Fota opportunity!

    Pactware roadshow hits Ireland

    It was in 2001 at Interkama, the great international show of instrumentation, control and automation, that I first heard the word PACT. This was the last time the show was held in Düßeldorf before being absorbed and moved to Hannover as part of the monster Hannover Meße. As far as I can remember PACT was launched as a independent software. I reported back at that time: “PACTware is an open software interface to allow field instruments to integrate their maintenance, configuration and sensor data into a common HMI. The key to PACTware is the Field Device Type (FDT) data exchange and DTM (Device Type Manager) instrument drivers.”

    Not only was PACT a new word to me but so to were the acronyms FDT and DTM.

    The PACTware™ Roadshow hit Cork in mid November 2008, having just visited Manchester. The venue was the Sheraton Fota Island hotel.

    About 25 attendees were witnesses to a co-operative event between vendors who were obviously trying to ease the burden of running a busy process plant rather than trying to advocate the superiority of their own particular product.
    The day started with a speaker from Perperl & Fuchs introducing and discussing FDT, the open technology that enables users to easily access and extract information from their automation products.

    It was developed by the Profibus Users Organisation (PNO) and the ZVEI Association of Automation Manufacturers. The technology was passed on to a new entity the FDT Group which distribute it. It is an open standard specifying standard interfaces and using underlying market accepted technologies. The structure is independent from the host engineering environment, the fieldbus protocol or the device internal software structure. Thus it can be said to be truly "open."

    He said thaat FDT is seen as a complement and an expansion of the existing device description languages, not as a replacement. FDT expands the capabilities of DD, in particular for sofisticated devices. Device description languages have still limitations in the graphical representation of the device at the user interface and allow only a limited integration of special features. FDT/DTM overcomes these limitations. Existing DD's can be used to build DTM's. It is availible for HART and ProfiBUs and for Fieldbus Foundation since last year.

    In short FTD is "the solution for your needs, reducing complexity in the complete plant life cycle with open standards."

    Next we were introduced to the program based on this technology. The software package that is used is called PACTware™ and it is a freeware program available for download which can be used on a PC for parameterising and configuration of field instruments, remote I/O systems and communication modules in fieldbus systems and networks. It supports instruments forom a multiplicity of manufacturers.

    There were long intervals to allow for practical table-top demonstrations in a spacious room where the exhibitors from the various companies - and where available their Irish representatives. The exhibitors included CodeWrights GmbH, ICS, ifac, Krohne (DWN), Magnatrol (Ntron), Pepperl+Fuchs (Insteco), Tyco, Trebing+Himstedt, Turck (Tektron) and VEGA (Hanley Controls).

    The room where the talks were given was dominated by a large wall with lots of equipment from all these manufacturers and more. This was a live demonstration unit and this was explained first before the general demonstrations of the uses of PACTware™ were given.

    Picture on right shows the Roadshow team in front of the "wall" which they had just constructed!

    The first demonstartion was given by a speaker from Krohne who showed the configuration/paramaterisation of flowmeter outputs in a DTM (Device type manager). This was followed by a speaker from Magnatrol demonstrating level configuration. A speaker from VEGA showed the graphical interface and advance prameterisation.
    Adrian O'Mahoney of Tektron talked us through ring buffer diagnostics and showed us vertical transparency HART through ProfiBUS. This was followed by a demonstration of vertical transparency Foundation Fieldbus networks, working with generic DTMs and EDD integration for both ProfiBus and HART.

    The day ended up with several talks and demonstrations on device and fieldbus diagnostics, (FF & ProfiBUS).

    Perhaps the most impressive thing was the demo wall and all these instruments, transmitters and actuators from different manufacturers working in four different environments, Ethernet, HART, ProfiBUS and Fieldbus Foundation and working virtually without a flaw throughout the day.

    This article in the Novemeber/December issue of Read-out, Ireland's journal of instrumentation, control, and automation.

    Non-contact measurement

    Worlds best vacuum seals tested but not touched

    TorqSense, a non-contact digital torque monitoring system that could guarantee an infinite lightness of touch, from Sensor Technology, has proven to be the only way to test the seals of super high performance vacuum systems.

    The ultimate fields of precision manufacture, such as electronics, biophysics and thin film deposition where tolerances are measured in atoms, are often conducted in hard vacuum to remove airborne contaminants and avoid the performance reducing effects of tiny air movements.

    However the vast majority of vacuum chamber designs require seals for rotary drive shafts (called rotary feedthroughs) and ‘feedthroughs’ for the passage of materials, components, tools and finished products. In high vacuum applications conventional seals are unlikely to be able to achieve the performance specifications required, so magnetic fluid seals are used.

    A ferrofluid is a stable colloidal suspension of sub-domain magnetic nano particles in a liquid carrier. The particles, which have an average size of about 100Å (10 nm), are coated with a stabilising dispersing agent (surfactant), which prevents particle agglomeration even when a strong magnetic field gradient is applied to the ferrofluid.
    With over thirty years of experience producing seals for the world's most demanding applications, Ferrotec of Woolwich in London (GB) is able to optimise ferrofluid materials for the most extreme performance requirements and incorporate them into bespoke vacuum system designs.

    “About half of our work is to bespoke design,”
    says Jeff Lewcock of Ferrotec, “and we have to test every seal to the nth degree to meet out customers specifications. To test the feedthrough it is mounted onto a vacuum chamber that is connected to a helium leak detector. Helium is then spayed onto the feedthrough and the leak rate observed during static and dynamic running.

    As part of the test the starting and running torque of the seal are measured and the power loss through the seal is calculated. These readings allow Ferrotec to troubleshoot the individual seal, analyse the design’s performance and add to their knowledge base.

    “With the sort of tolerances we work to we needed a torque sensor that didn’t add any extra drag to the whole seal mechanism, so we were delighted to discover Sensor Technology’s non-contact TorqSense,”
    says Jeff.

    Inside TorqSense torque sensors two tiny piezo frequency resonating combs are fixed to the shaft and supplied with power via a radio signal. The combs ‘opens up’ as torque is applied to the shaft changing their resonating frequency. Thus, the resonant frequency of the returning radio signal is an indication of the torque within the seal.
    A wireless radio frequency non contact radio frequency coupling is used to supply power and interrogate the combs. Because it is non-contact the TorqSense torque sensor exerts no drag on the test piece whatsoever, and as it is fundamentally a digital system it has a broader signal bandwidth than other analogue based technologies and electromagnetic interference is eliminated making it an ideal solution for Ferrotec’s needs.