Friday, March 5, 2010

How to save energy: fieldbus conference topic

Starting from an initiative proposed by AIDA, the group of automotive manufacturing companies in Germany, that sought to improve the energy efficiency of their automated manufacturing plants, PROFIBUS International (PI) has developed and introduced PROFIenergy. This is a solution for the energy management of production equipment, which uses existing factory PROFINET communications to switch off selected equipment components or even entire systems during normal idle times, such as weekends and holidays, and also during other brief intervals and unscheduled pauses.

PROFIenergy is a vendor-neutral energy savings profile that has been developed in co-operation with a working group comprising many of the major equipment suppliers to the automobile automation and production industries. It allows the power consumption of automation equipment in manufacturing (such as robot assembly cells, laser cutters and sub-systems such as paint lines) to be managed over a PROFINET network. It offers an open and standardized means of controlling energy usage during planned and unplanned breaks in production. No external hard-wired systems are required, the profile can be integrated into individual components by means of a firmware update, and implementation into the first products is expected in 2010.

PROFIenergy technology will be described and explained further at the annual PROFIBUS and PROFINET User Conference, scheduled for 29-30 June 2010 at Stratford-on-Avon (GB), alongside several other papers that discuss how PROFIBUS and PROFINET systems can be integrated into energy management programmes, particularly in relation to energy efficient drives.

This major convention for users and potential users of modern automation systems offers the choice of three parallel styles of presentation, for each delegate to create the most effective and relevant learning experience in relation to his plant and experience. These three streams offer technical and user experience presentations; hands-on practical training and demonstrations of the hardware, fault finding techniques and remote diagnostics; and thirdly an exhibition of equipment from relevant suppliers, where experts and presenters will be on hand to explain how to apply their solutions on your plant application.

The Conference is an ideal venue for plant managers, engineers, instrument technicians and automation professionals to meet PROFIBUS and PROFINET users from different companies or industries, to discuss the benefits and techniques that have been applied in different situations: it is also an ideal way to introduce colleagues to the technology, and for them to learn about the practical aspects of applying and using PROFIBUS on a typical plant, in advance of their own automation or energy saving projects.

See also User Conference 2010!

Cost-effective intelligent servo drive

Based on the Technosoft MotionChip™ DSP technology, ISD860 is a flexible intelligent drive specially developed for motion applications that need cost-optimized design, embedded intelligence, networking possibilities and high servo performance control. It is able to drive 12 A continuous and 31 A peak currents at a supply voltage ranging from 12 to 72 VDC, with a PWM of 20 kHz frequency. Embedding motion controller, drive and PLC functionality in one unit (size: 136 x 84 x 26 mm), ISD860 controls brushless, DC or linear motors up to 860 W continuous / 2.2 kW peak voltage. Thanks to its advanced motion control algorithms, a precise control of position, speed or torque over a wide range of dynamic conditions can be achieved.

ISD860 works in single-axis, multi-axis or stand alone configurations. The drive setup, tuning and motion programming are simple with EasyMotion Studio and Technosoft Motion Language (TML). With ISD860, motion programming can be done from a CAN master, via PC / PLC, using the appropriate motion library, or directly at drive level through its built-in motion controller. The embedded Technosoft Motion Language includes a high-level command protocol, which can be used by the host through the on-board RS232 / CAN serial interfaces. A CANopen version of the ISD860 drive, supporting DS-301 and DSP-402 profiles, is also available. In stand-alone operation, ISD860 can be managed with programmable I/Os or analog inputs.

Using the TML language, multiple operations can be performed with ISD860: setting of various motion modes (profiles, PVT, PT, electronic gearing or camming, etc), change of motion modes and/or parameters, execution of homing sequences or program flow control. At the same time, IDS860 can handle digital I/O and analog input signals, execute arithmetic and logic operations, and transfer data between axes. The drive is able to control other axes via motion commands. Moreover, ISD860 can send commands to a group of axes, or synchronize all the axes from a network.

Flexibility and easy implementation make ISD860 an ideal solution to fulfilling today's higher-power motion axis control needs using modern distributed intelligence architecture. The drive is perfectly suited for cost-sensitive applications from medical to factory automation requiring high servo performance and enhanced compactness.

Designing greener cars requires sophisticated testing.

The automotive industry’s race to develop a new generation of high Performance, low emissions power plants has lead to the emergence of high capability test beds that simultaneously monitor multiple parameters.

The sector is pinning many of its hopes for the future on the development of electric/petrol and electric/diesel hybrid engines integrated with known performance enhancing technologies such as fuel injectors and superchargers. Other projects are looking at marrying other ‘green’ options such as regenerative braking and kinetic energy storage with hybrid engines.

The once-humble test bed can now require as much engineering design as the power plants themselves if they are to be able to monitor multiple parameters simultaneously. However for them to be efficiently usable they have to be, at heart, as simple as possible.

This need has been converted into a market opportunity by Sensor Technology. This company produces TorqSense, an in-line digital torque sensor which is easy to use, accurate and low cost – ideal as the core of any motor test bed.

Tony Ingham, from Sensor Technology, explains: “Measuring an engine’s torque is a fundamental business; older sensors often used slip rings which wear over time thus increasing inaccuracies or had analogue electronics which are difficult to interface with digital equipment. TorqSense does away with slip rings as it is non-contact, working through an RF couple and with modern digital RF electronics inside, it allows easy interfacing with digital equipment and its own TorqView software so the development engineers can concentrate on monitoring the key input and output parameters.”

In a hybrid power plant electrical power and mechanical torque are essentially the same thing - an energy flow, which has to be used as efficiently as possible with minimum losses. Significantly the two directions of energy flow, to and from the power source, as equally important to optimise so that recharging is as efficient as running.
“There are some really radical thinkers currently employed in advanced engine design,” observes Tony. “To them, electric motors, IC engines, generators and regen units are all essentially the same – torque producers that ultimately drive the road wheels! So is it any wonder that they like TorqSense?”

A typical test bench used in this sector is based around a TorqSense torque sensor. This is in-line mounted and used to monitor all rotary inputs and outputs within whatever combination of engine and electric machine is under scrutiny so that efficiencies calculations and mapping can be implemented.

“This configuration has definite advantages when it comes to the extended tests with multiple repeats essential for developing reliable engines,” says Tony. “Belt load measurement of input torque is notoriously difficult while strain gauged belt pulleys are expensive and time consuming to create. But TorqSense creates a plug and play type test rig and operating environment; the efficiency gains in the test environment are orders of magnitude.”

These transducers use two tiny quartz piezoelectric combs, called Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) devices fixed to the surface of the sensor’s shaft. As the torque increases the spacing between the combs inside the SAW devices vary, allowing the resonant frequency to change proportionally to the applied torque of the rotating shaft under test. In effect the SAW devices are frequency dependent strain gauges that measure changes in resonant frequency of the test shaft as the test programme is run and with a wireless radio frequency (RF) coupling to transfer the data signal to a pick-up head the sensor is non-contact.

The same RF coupling also supplies power to the SAW devices. This is possible because the devices are based on piezo technology so need less than one milliwatt of power. This arrangement does away completely with the difficulties of fitting slip rings inside the sensor and maintaining their contact quality throughout an extended test run.

“TorqSense makes motor testing much more straightforward than any other method of measurement,”
enthuses Tony. “Its digital outputs and ease of operation allows easy data capture, intelligent calibration and advanced analysis toolsets.”

Accelerometer is ideal for model and structural analysis

Kistler Instrument Corporation has debuted the Type 8688A, a globally patented (U.S. patent number 12,088,325) series of low-cost high-sensitivity IEPE triaxial accelerometers, with optional TEDS, designed to simultaneously measure vibration in three orthogonal axes.

Available in ranges of ±5g, ±10g and ±50g, with choice of 100, 500 or 1000 mV/g sensitivities, the Type 8688A IEPE triaxial range incorporates Kistler PiezoBeam® technology, with an integral ceramic cantilevered beam, enclosed within a lightweight (less than 6.7 grams for 1000 mV/g), robust, welded titanium housing. Sensing elements are designed to provide outstanding amplitude and phase response over a wide frequency range and are temperature compensated using Kistler’s own patented methods. Type 8688A sensors feature an integral low-noise charge amplifier that converts the charge signal to a proportional high level voltage signal, at an output impedance of less than 500 ohms. Units are ground isolated when mounted with a mounting clip or adhesive mounting adapter.

Type 8688A triaxial accelerometers offer an integral 4-pin connector, facilitating easy mounting and installation into space confined areas. Sensors may be mounted on any of three faces. The accelerometer operates directly from the internal power source found in most FFT analyzers, Kistler Piezotron® power supply couplers or any industry-compatible power source.

With its industry-exclusive low mass design, high sensitivity, high dynamic range and low noise operation, this precision triaxial accelerometer series is ideal for multi-channel modal and structural analyses of small components or subsystems, aerospace and automotive vehicle testing, and select general purpose vibration sensing applications, particularly those where mass loading may be a concern.

Growth and opportunity in gloomy times: e-learning

Just a few years ago IDC Technologies decided to trial the concept of offering a selection of its engineering and technology courses via distance education using the latest live video and web conferencing e-Learning techniques. Demand for these courses has grown by an average of 117% growth rate over each of the past 3 years - pretty exciting results for a “trial concept” considering many industries have struggled through the GFC.

IDC has now launched this trial concept into The Engineering Institute of Technology to focus on advanced distance learning in engineering and technology in areas such as industrial automation, electrical and mechanical engineering and industrial IT. The EIT is intended to aid career advancement for trades-people, technicians and engineers that have limited time to go onto a campus, want real world practical courses (such as accredited certificates and advanced diplomas) and want to get the maximum most cost efficient return for their hard earned dollars.

Professor Steve Mackay, engineering dean of the college, stated: “The EIT offers engineering certifications, delivered in live online sessions with practical course content by world class experienced instructors – effectively presented as if you are in the classroom talking to your instructor. This is very exciting because it provides students with the benefits of live classroom based study in a more efficient, flexible and cost effective manner.”

The new Engineering Institute of Technology has been recognised by major international engineering organisations, including IEEE, ECSA and the Australian Government, building upon the solid foundation started by IDC Technologies.

Drag and drop I/O mapping with built-in oscilloscope for tuning and diagnostics

ORMEC has announced the global launch of MotionSet™, a powerful, easy-to-use proprietary commissioning software, designed expressly for use with new ORMEC XD-Series Indexer Servo Drives. This industry exclusive software tool can reduce conventional indexer setup efforts from hours, to minutes, with supplied pre-defined “load and go” application templates.

Designed to run on a Windows-based development PC, with XD-Series Indexer communications via USB or Ethernet connection, MotionSet™ uses a “drag and drop” interface to easily assign input and output functions to the drive's physical I/O points. The software allows programming of 32 individual motion profiles from a single screen via a user-friendly tree configuration, which can be mapped to I/O points, initiated via Modbus/TCP, and chained or looped together. The adaptable I/O, with 14 digital inputs and eight digital outputs, can be mapped to dozens of input and output functions. In addition to Modbus/TCP, Ethernet/IP, CANopen and Profibus-DP options will be available soon. MotionSet™ input functions can be used to trigger motions, change operating mode, clear fault conditions and synchronize motions, while output functions include ability to indicate drive status, motion status, motor position and timed pulses. Each motion entry has a data-entry screen for easy configuration.

The package includes a powerful, four-channel digital oscilloscope, enabling real-time viewing of all significant system values, event logging, extensive diagnostic capabilities, and graphic decoding of each input or output state for each capture sample. The scope’s time base can be set as low as 0.1msec, to facilitate viewing of the fastest events. There are over 40 triggers from which to choose, including motion conditions, fault conditions, encoder reference signals, digital inputs and outputs. For each of the four traces, the user can select from velocity, current, position, position error, bus voltage, digital inputs and outputs, encoder reference signals, and auxiliary encoder velocity and position. A built-in frequency analysis tool allows the user to isolate any system resonances, which can be eliminated using the built-in notch filter. In addition, it features a Motor Wizard, which allows users to simply non-standard motor integration and quickly commission unproven, third party motors. When a motor is connected, MotionSet™'s tuning screen and digital oscilloscope are used to fine-tune motor performance. Two available views include a Simple Mode, which allows for automatic measurements and adjustments, or an Advanced Mode, which provides access to current, velocity and position loop gains, as well as notch filters, command low-pass filters, feed forward filters and acceleration gains. A built-in drive exerciser allows the user override or control any or all digital I/O on the drive, while exhibiting key real-time drive data, allowing the user to clear faults or errors, or initiate motions in the motion table.

Also included is the ability to check the web for updates, which can be automatically downloaded and installed at any time. MotionSet displays complete version information for a connected drive and contains a utility for upgrading drive firmware. A Cam/Profile Designer utility can be used to generate simple tabular based cam's or profiles for use as a motion table entry, or the user can import data from a .csv file. Once program and motor data are loaded into the drive, configuration data is stored both in the drive and on a removable memory card, greatly simplifying software transfer, duplication requirements and hardware replacement needs.

How has the new social networking order effected publications in the automation sector?

A fascinating podcast has been released by Telesian Technology, the American company which provides marketing, Web development, and e-business services especially in the field of automation.
podcast
This interview was with two of the leading editors in the sector, Walt Boyes of Control Magazine and Gary Mintchel of Automation World. Telesian's Juliann Grant wanted to find about how PR is changing with social media from their point of view. Social media has opened up many new outlets for marketing and PR folks, and editors are actively participating in social media too. What has changed, if anything?

If you download this blog you will learn that stupid is as stupid does in PR. Indeed, straight talker Walt is known for calling out PR pros on the PR Wall of Shame. Social media is changing the way we can share information. And there are many more outlets, that’s all good. But social media is not necessarily changing our relationships with editors and the press. Any good PR pro worth their salt knows that ALL relationships are important and care needs to be taken. Just because we have direct access to an editor or blogger’s Twitter ID doesn’t mean that’s the best way to pitch your idea. It could be, but every instance needs to be evaluated. PR professionals STILL need to take time to understand what an editor will be looking for and work from there. And many don't.

Anyway don't take my word for it, listen to the podcast yourself, it's entertaining as well as educational. And if you want publicity in Read-out or in any Automation periodical worth it's salt this is a good way to learn how!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How secure is your industrial network?

The International Society of Automation (ISA) recently announced the release of Industrial Network Security, 2nd Edition by David J. Teumim.

This easy-to-read book introduces managers, engineers, technicians, and operators to how to keep industrial networks secure amid rising threats from hackers, disgruntled employees, and even cyberterrorists. It describes how commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software moves into Industrial Networks as legacy equipment is phased out. As described through the writer’s eyes in the new Chapter 9, other industrial sectors (e.g., passenger rail) are coming up-to-speed on industrial network security as COTS become commonplace in that sector’s control systems.

New cyber incidents and updated information have been added to the chapters without changing the original format of this publication. Informative real-world case histories are also included to give the reader different perspectives on how industrial network security is viewed and applied.

David J. Teumim’s background includes corporate security and web project management positions along with 15 years of process, project, control, and safety work. He chaired ISA’s first technical conference on Industrial Network Security, taught the first ISA seminar on this subject, and has chaired several ISA security conferences.

First on-demand LIMS

Thermo Fisher Scientific launched of its software-as-a-service (SaaS), enterprise-class laboratory information management system. LIMS-on-Demand™ which allows organisations of varying types and sizes to leverage all the benefits of an industry-leading LIMS solution without the time and cost typically associated with on-premise software installation. This was during Pittcon 2010.

LIMS-on-Demand can significantly reduce the capital investment associated with traditional LIMS implementation and validation by eliminating the need for extensive software testing and installation. On-demand access provides a more flexible alternative to conventional LIMS so organizations can more easily and cost-effectively adapt technology as needs change. For the cost of a monthly subscription fee, a laboratory can easily, affordably and securely access a fully-functional, validated solution through a standard Web browser.

The intuitive Web interface enables connectivity with a variety of internal instruments and systems as well as external facilities, partners and regulatory agencies. LIMS-on-Demand offers flexibility and ease-of-use, helping organizations replace inefficient, error-prone manual processes with an automated data management solution. Customers can create workflows, map sample lifecycles and generate automatic updates while providing users with rapid access to up-to-the-minute data and information that impacts every phase of laboratory processes.

“The cost of acquiring a LIMS in the traditional license delivery model is prohibitive for many small and medium-sized laboratories, effectively putting it out of reach,” said Paula Hollywood, senior analyst process automation at ARC Advisory Group. “Because of the high costs, ranging between $100,000 and $750,000, many organizations opt for home-grown systems, but the cumulative costs, including staff and capital equipment, often make these systems more expensive to develop, maintain and validate.”

“LIMS-on-Demand delivers the benefits of an on-premise LIMS at a lower cost and with very little implementation time,” said Dave Champagne, vice president and general manager of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Informatics business. “With built-in workflows, the ability to capture, store and analyze lab data, monitor resources and integrate with instrumentation, we are enabling more laboratories around the world to experience the competitive advantages of LIMS.”

European legislation drives need for hydro-meteorological expertise

OTT Hydrometry specialises in the provision of instruments and systems for the monitoring of natural resources. However, Managing Director Simon Wills says, "It is no longer sufficient to develop instruments alone; it is also necessary to provide a high level of expertise in areas such as the design of monitoring arrangements and in the collection and interpretation of data."

The European Water Framework Directive aims to promote sustainable water use and to protect water resources. This relates to surface and ground water quantity, quality and ecological status and takes into consideration the likely impacts of climate change. As a result, an holistic approach to the protection of water resources has developed - Integrated Catchment Management. This aims to protect water resources at source by avoiding diffuse and point source pollution, by minimising incidents of unconstrained flooding and drought, and by enhancing biodiversity.

A catchment is defined as the land area from which all water drains to a single watercourse. Consequently, the management of catchments necessitates a clear understanding of the complex relationships between land, air and water – this is where OTT Hydrometry's instrumentation and expertise perform a vital role.

In response to the changing needs of the market, OTT Hydrometry has recently recruited Robin Guy as a Senior Technical Engineer. Robin joins OTT from Mouchel where he was a Principle Hydrologist and brings with him a wealth of practical and theoretical knowledge that will both complement and enhance the company skills base.

In his previous role Robin was involved with the implementation and operation of major water resource projects. He has also worked for the British Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water, and has an MSc in Catchment Dynamics & Management.

Managing Director Simon Wills is delighted that Robin has joined the company in February, adding: "As part of our objective to provide a high level of technical expertise, Robin will enhance the total catchment monitoring capability that we offer, bringing particular skills and experience in data handling and project management."

Extended fixed cost of ownership plus added benefits and discounts for thermal imagers

Fluke has introduced a range of CarePlans for recent and future purchasers of Fluke’s latest Thermal Imagers. The Fluke Gold, Silver and Bronze Thermal Imager CarePlan packages are designed to provide fixed cost of ownership by extending the factory warranty period by up to 3 years, as well as offering extra benefits and discounts throughout the complete warranty and CarePlan period.

A Fluke CarePlan package is available to recent and new purchasers of Fluke Ti9, Ti10, TiR, TiRx, Ti25, TiR1, Ti32 and TiR32 Thermal Imagers, available for up to 6 months after date of purchase. It will extend the factory warranty period by up to 3 years, at the same time as offering some/all (depending on the CarePlan package) of the following benefits and discounts for the combined length of the warranty and CarePlan periods:

Bronze package

  • Firmware/hardware updates
  • Extended Warranty
  • 20% discount on requested calibrations
Silver package
  • Bronze package plus
  • Calibration and performance check following a repair
Gold Package
  • Silver package plus
  • Loan of a thermal imager during a repair period
  • 15% discount in the event of an out-of-plan service due to physical damage / abuse etc.

The rugged, high-performance Ti25 and Ti10 Thermal Imagers are designed to make thermal imaging affordable and effective for day-to-day troubleshooting and maintenance tasks. The latest Fluke Ti32 and TiR32 Thermal Imagers are industrial grade, high-performance IR cameras incorporating a powerful 320x240 sensor to provide high-definition, strikingly crisp, detailed images: their superior image quality helps to identify even the smallest temperature differences that could indicate problems. All these models incorporate IR Fusion®, a patent-pending technology that integrates infrared and visible light images in full screen or picture-in-picture views for enhanced problem detection and analysis.

Their Ti9 Electrical Thermal Imager is a rugged entry-level thermal imager aimed at electrical contractors and electricians, offering best in class image quality and instantly showing faults in electrical equipment.

Water & Waste conference details announced


The organisers of WWEM 2010 have announced that this year's Conference title will be 'Water Monitoring in the 21st Century'.

The Conference presentations will provide information on the latest regulations affecting process and effluent monitoring with authoritative speakers from the British Environment Agency, ABB, SIRA, and UKAS.

Taking place over two days (10th and 11th November) at the Telford International Centre, the Conference will be repeated on both days and chaired by British Water.

Speakers from the Environment Agency will provide an update on Better Regulation and the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) and include the latest position on operator self-monitoring (OSM) and the role of MCERTS and Operator Monitoring Assessment (OMA) in supporting the move to OSM for industry and the Water Utilities.

ABB will provide an instrumentation perspective to MCERTS and the Self Monitoring of Effluent Flow under EPR and OMA.

It is now over 5 years since the first MCERTS Site Conformity Inspection Certificate was issued. Over this period, nearly 4000 site inspections have been performed and a speaker from Sira will outline the latest advice for process operators and explain likely future developments.

UKAS will provide an overview on how it interacts with regulators in the water industry and how regulatory requirements are interpreted with respect to ISO 17025 and UKAS accreditation. The presentation will include developments in the 21st century with an emphasis on sampling.

WWEM 2010 will also include a programme of more than 70 Workshops and an international Exhibition featuring the majority of the world's leading providers of test and monitoring instrumentation and services. Entry to the exhibition and workshops will be free to all pre-registered visitors, who will also be entitled to free onsite parking, free lunches and refreshments on both days of the event.

Multi-application test system for optical devices and transmission systems

The Yokogawa AQ2210 Series is a new version of the company's multi-application test system: a modular system designed to offer a wide range of measurements on optical devices and optical transmission systems.

The new product is a successor to Yokogawa's established AQ2200 system, and is 100% backwards compatible with the earlier product. New features in the AQ2210 Series include enhancements to remote-control capabilities, multi-user functionality, macro programming, and remote viewer software.

The AQ2210 Series offers a choice of 3-slot (AQ2211) or 9-slot (AQ2212) mainframes, each of which can be used with any of the existing AQ2200 Series modules and remote commands. Each mainframe incorporates a bright display with an added 'print screen' key, USB, GP-IB and Ethernet interfaces, and an additional front-panel USB storage interface. Modules can be 'hot-swapped', with the mainframe automatically recognising installed or removed modules.

Quick response under remote control results from fast command processing and fast data and command transfer via a high-speed LAN (which is 100BASE-TX compatible). This capability is particularly effective when repeating a process that a module does not take a long time to complete, such as the continual switching of optical paths or the reading of optical powers.

The new system features faster attenuation setting speed (by up to a factorof 1.7 times). This is particularly important in improving the throughput of optical transceiver testing, where frequent changes of attenuation settings can occur during a measurement.

The facility for up to five users to access a frame controller simultaneously, with the capability of controlling individual modules, offers considerable benefits in terms of space and overall investment. In addition, the new macro programming function provides an easy way to build an automatic measurement system without the need for an external PC to run it.

The remote viewer software allows the user to view a mainframe screen on a PC, with the unit being controlled as if the user were operating on the real mainframe. This means that the user can monitor, operate or troubleshoot the mainframes in a production line at a remote location via LAN. It also offers benefits when the mainframe controller is mounted at a difficult-to-access location in a test setup where the display on the main frame cannot easily be seen.

The AQ2210 Series can be used with the broad range of existing Yokogawa AQ2200 Series modules, including light sources, sensors and sensor heads, switches, modulators, receivers and interfaces, as well as units for measuring optical return loss, optical attenuation, and BERT testing.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Elemental analysis – anywhere, anytime, anyplace


A transportable version of the Teledyne Leeman Labs Prodigy ICP Spectrometer has been developed to enable high quality laboratory analysis in the field.

Explaining the potential for this equipment, Quantitech's Dr Gareth Pearson says: "Land remediation activities often depend on the availability of fast, accurate test data because, in addition to regulatory requirements, analytical results can inform on-site decisions to determine whether contaminated material should be treated or removed for disposal. However, laboratory results can incur costly delays so an ICP that can be safely transported makes faster onsite analysis possible."
The Prodigy Mobile Lab (PML): Transportable Simultaneous ICP Spectrometer has been designed specifically for vehicle or ship based laboratories and also for safe long-distance transportation. It has a number of advanced features for providing high performance real-time analysis, accelerating data collection and reducing costs by performing analysis directly at the research site or pollution source.

Dr Pearson explains: “The PML is unique because it is the only ICP Spectrometer designed to withstand the rigours of transportation. Engineers at Teledyne Leeman Labs worked closely with truck and trailer manufacturers so that the unit’s integral suspension system works in conjunction with the parent vehicle’s suspension, isolating the unit from potential shock hazards."
A recent order for a PML has enabled one Quantitech client to offer geological sample analysis worldwide, providing fast laboratory results irrespective of location.

Able to measure 70 elements in less than one minute, the Mobile Prodigy’s superior analytical performance is achieved by the high dispersion Echelle optical system coupled with the largest solid-state detector on the market. The result is continuous wavelength coverage from 165 to 1100 nm combined with high resolution for interference free analysis and simultaneous measurement of peak and background intensities.

User-friendly fieldbus communication via Bluetooth

With the new PSI-Bluetooth-Profibus set from Phoenix Contact, Bluetooth technology is used for wireless fieldbus communication with Profibus. The Bluetooth frequency-hopping technique particularly impresses in metallic environments technology and also shows its strengths when coexisting with other wireless systems.

A distinguishing feature of the set is that it enables devices to be started even more quickly, as there is absolutely no configuring to be done when establishing a Bluetooth connection. The Bluetooth converters are pre-configured for an invisible, password-protected point-to-point connection. After installation, the devices automatically connect themselves therefore permitting a wireless Profibus connection with data transfer rates of 187.5 kBit/s. By using a high-performance transceiver based on Bluetooth 2.0 technology, ranges of up to 150 m and more can be achieved.

With the set, complex Profibus connections to moving devices, which were previously only possible using costly drag chains, slip rings or other cable-based solutions, can now be quickly implemented at a favorable price.

Mobility validation

Invensys Operations Management has announced that its Wonderware IntelaTrac™ mobile solution has achieved Enterprise Mobility validation through Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Validated Solution Program. The IntelaTrac solution is a mobile workforce and decision support system. Featuring configurable software and ruggedized mobile hardware, it enables better workflow, procedural and general task management focused on plant operations, maintenance management, production tracking and compliance applications.

The mobile component of the IntelaTrac application can operate with a wide variety of hardware from Motorola, which is available through the Wonderware brand as a part of a customer's purchase of the system. These products include the MC55 and MC70 Enterprise Digital Assistants (EDA) and MC9090 family of mobile computers.

"Being awarded the Motorola Enterprise Mobility Validation is a significant achievement because it assures Invensys customers and partners of system interoperability between Motorola devices and our IntelaTrac applications," said Jim Frider, mobile solutions marketing manager, Invensys Operations Management. "This will lead to faster solution deployment, lower cost of ownership and higher end-user satisfaction. There's no doubt that our success has been greatly accelerated due to our relationship with Motorola, which has helped us deliver the mobility solutions our customers are demanding."

Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Validated Solutions Program enables partners to test and validate their mobility solutions on Motorola products to help ensure interoperability and meet the application-specific needs of customers, as well as reduce risk and time to deployment. Invensys Operations Management successfully achieved Enterprise Mobility validation by completing Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Validated Solution Program, including joint testing at the Motorola Solution Center located in New York (US). The IntelaTrac solution is now permitted to use the Motorola Enterprise Mobility Validated™ Software logo, designation which will help assure customers and partners of system interoperability between Motorola devices and IntelaTrac applications.

Gateways extended with integrated 2-Port Switch

HMS helps to reduce system integration costs by releasing three new versions of the Anybus X-gateway family with Profinet-IRT functionality and with integrated 2-port switch technology. The new X-gateway versions enable easy integration of existing Profibus, Interbus or CANopen fieldbus networks into new Profinet based network segments. The gateways provide a transparent link for up to 240 bytes of I/O signals between the two networks. Typical applications include automobile manufacturing sites where existing fieldbus based machinery is more and more re-used and integrated »as is» into new Profinet based areas of the plant.

These three new gateway versions are released with a specific focus on the European automobile industry where current fieldbus networks, like Profibus and Interbus, are slowly being migrated to Profinet. By utilizing the integrated 2-port switch technology, the X-gateway can directly be integrated into line topology based installations which reduces infrastructure costs by eliminating the need for external switches.

The X-gateways include a Profinet IO device interface with »IRT» (Isynchronous Real-Time) functionality, an integrated two port real-time switch, Profinet network management and redundancy functionality that conforms to Profinet conformance class C. The Profinet interface functions as an IO device (Slave) and is based on the proven ERTEC-200 technology from Siemens.

The Anybus X-gateway family consists of 180 different versions and thus can interconnect all popular fieldbusses such as Profibus, DeviceNet and CANopen or connect these fieldbusses with the new industrial Ethernet standards, Profinet, EtherNet/IP, Modbus-TCP and EtherCAT. The gateways are Stand-Alone devices built for DIN-Rail mounting. After power-up, the gateways are immediately ready for data exchange between the two selected networks. Configuration is done within a few minutes and no programming or specific PC Hard- or Software is required. The gateways transmit I/O data and parameters completely transparent between the two networks. The amount of data is configured within a simple configuration dialogue during setup of the gateway.

The gateways can easily be integrated into industrial automation systems and ensure a seamless information flow between different networks. The Anybus X-gateways combine high reliability and flexibility which makes them an indispensible connectivity device for system integrators and plant operators.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

T and M catalogue published

Keithley Instruments has published its 2010 Test & Measurement Product Catalogue in CD form. The CD offers details and technical specifications on Keithley’s general-purpose and sensitive sourcing and measurement products, DC switching, RF/microwave switching, data acquisition solutions, and semiconductor test systems. Useful selector guides and tutorials simplify choosing the right solutions for specific applications.

The CD is arranged by product type and application area with sections containing Keithley’s newest offering in test and measurement:
  • Digital multimeters and systems
  • Switching and control
  • RF/microwave switching
  • Power supplies optimized for telecom device test
  • Source and measure products
  • Low level measurements and sourcing
  • Function/pulse/arbitrary/pattern generators
  • Semiconductor test
  • Optoelectronics test
  • Data acquisition products
  • Accessories
The Catalogue CD includes several new and enhanced products:
  • Basic, low current, and high voltage versions of the S530 Parametric Test System.
  • A variety of software and hardware enhancements to the company’s popular Model 4200-SCS Semiconductor Characterization System, including new support for solar cell testing and C-V measurements.
  • An enhanced version of Keithley’s ACS Basic Edition software, which supports combining high speed hardware control, device connectivity, and data management into an easy-to-use tool for part verification, debugging, and analysis.
  • A growing range of applications for Keithley’s Series 2600A System SourceMeter® Instruments.
  • The Model 3731 6x16 reed relay matrix card, the latest addition to the Series 3700 System Switch/Multimeter family.

Virtual instrument cluster

Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe (FME) has announced a new application concept showing the possibilities for virtual instrumentation in future passenger and commercial vehicles. The intention of developing the virtual cluster application was to provide a ‘right-sized’ complete system solution including hardware and software components, a demo application, as well as tool support to enable a quick start to development.

The application uses Fujitsu’s MB86298 ‘Ruby’ graphic processing unit, a dedicated GPU for embedded applications. The graphics core technology forms the basis for next-generation System-on-Chips, combines visual computing with automotive-specific features and introduces impressive vehicle application opportunities. In addition to four integrated video capture units and two integrated display controllers, the GPU's unified shader architecture is fully compliant to Kronos OpenGL ES 2.0.

CGI Studio, the new independent software development platform from Fujitsu Microelectronics Embedded Solution Austria GmbH (FEAT), is also employed in this application. The software has been specifically designed for the development of automotive 3D instrument cluster and infotainment system graphical human machine interfaces (HMI/GUI). In addition to the 3D software engine ‘Candera’, CGI Studio provides a continuous authoring tool-chain based on ‘Scene Composer’ as well as the necessary software development process.

The demo application was created in close co-operation with icon incar, a professional automotive design studio located in Germany. Impressive and realistic 3D capabilities (using OpenGL ES 2.0) are shown, displaying different instrument cluster content in high resolution, which is related to various live situations.

‘Basic’ mode is focussed on ease-of-use with a menu application that minimises the information level to allow the driver to concentrate on the essentials using harmonised design elements. This mode is the standard interface and provides the driver with all the information that is required and relevant to the current driving situation. The 'Ice' colour scheme mixes temperate colouring with clearly structured elements. The whole scene is modelled like a tunnel and gives the impression of an infinite space. A pointer moves on a defined axis into the background. This background area enables the display of moving elements that are smaller or bigger, depending on the distance of the objects or their importance. The user can choose between ‘navigation’, ‘media’, ‘phone’ and ‘assistance’ view.

‘Sports’ mode is designed to impress the viewer with ‘Fire’ colour scheme - a red background showing traditional needle instruments. In this mode, the cluster provides minimal information only - keeping the driver’s attention focused. Important information such as the rotational-speed sensor is displayed in the centre. Additional colouring features will be used if the speed needle moves into the red area. Speed information is displayed on the right-hand side, while the left-hand side provides information in the form of a stop watch.

Minimal vehicle system and economy information is displayed during ‘Stop’ mode, which switches to use the complete display area. This mode provides the highest level of screen flexibility and is used when traffic information that is normally displayed does not need to be shown - e.g. at a red traffic light when the car is stationary, or when the engine stops. In these situations, information about speed and other standard items is not required. The driver can call up information regarding the vehicle, the route or the traffic situation – it would even be possible to transfer traffic light information, e.g. the red phase duration, into the scene.

Step-by-step, fully digital visualisations are replacing traditional in-car electromechanical instrument panels, reducing the complexity of systems and the need for numerous production variants. With a high degree of flexibility, and showing only content that is relevant to different specific driver situations, these new instrument displays help to increase safety in the vehicle.

Essentials of Modern Measurements and Final Elements in the Process Industry

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has just published Essentials of Modern Measurements and Final Elements in the Process Industry: A Guide to Design, Configuration, Installation, and Maintenance by Gregory K. McMillan.

Greg McMillan (right) being presented with an author's award by ISA Publications VP Vitor Finkel at the ISAExpo 2009 in October.

Gregory K. McMillan retired after a 33-year career as a specialist in modeling and process control
for Monsanto and its spinoff Solutia. His life is far from a model of process control. It was the unusual freedom and openness of his job in engineering technology that led to the series of humorous books on corporate life and process automation.
Greg has written too many to list totally serious technical books.
He taught at Washington University in Saint Louis (2001–2002) where he set up a virtual plant that was almost as fun as a video game and a good perquisite for students getting a real job in a real plant. Greg was inducted into the Process Automation Hall of Fame in 2001. He has been working leisurely as a consultant to Emerson Process Management since 2003 and spends his free time with fellow retirees and doing his best to help keep Austin (TX US) weird!
Dedicated to automation engineers and technicians, this comprehensive resource aims to increase awareness of the opportunities afforded by modern measurement instruments and final elements, and to show how to get maximum benefit from the revolution in smart technologies. It builds an understanding of the fundamental aspects of measurements, measurement instruments, and final elements for applications in the process industry. The terminology and ideas presented provide a firm foundation for subsequent chapters that focus on what is needed for lowest life-cycle cost and best automation system performance. The last chapter provides a comprehensive exploration of the technology that supports the rapidly expanding opportunities of WirelessHART instrumentation. Each chapter includes a set of questions designed to stimulate the thought process involved for a successful application.

No prior plant experience with industrial process instrumentation is required for the reader to understand this book. For students and new employees, the chapters on fundamentals can improve productivity on the job and form a basis for further study. For the seasoned veteran, the book offers insights and serves as a guide through today’s myriad automation products and application details. It provides a picture of the state-of-the-art for 95% of the field instrumentation and final elements used, or under consideration, in a modern process plant. The reader is encouraged to seek further information on particular types of measurement instruments and final elements, which is available from manufacturers via the internet and in instrumentation handbooks and ISA publications.

50 MHz function generator hits new price point

The new TG5011 from TTi is a combined function/arbitrary/pulse generator with a frequency range covering 1 µHz to 50 MHz. At under £900 (ca €990 this morning!) the generator achieves a new price point below that of competitors’ products offering only 20 MHz or 25 MHz bandwidth.

The generator offers high-purity sine waves with low harmonic distortion and low phase noise over the full frequency range. Square waves have a rise time of below 8 ns with low overshoot giving good wave shape right up to 50 MHz.

The frequency of these waveforms can be set with up to 14 digits and is based on a TCXO (temperature-controlled crystal oscillator) timebase with a stability of one part per million. The high resolution of the direct digital synthesis (DDS) system means that very low frequencies can be set. For example, a frequency of 1 mHz can be set with a resolution of 0.1% and a stability of one part per million.

The instrument incorporates a pulse generator mode which provides a wide range of pulse width and delay independent of period. Pulse period can be set between 2000 seconds and 80 ns (0.5 mHz to 12.5 MHz) and the duty cycle can be as low as one in two billion. Rise and fall times (edge speeds) are also independently variable over a wide range.

Arbitrary waveforms of up to 128k words can be generated at 14 bits vertical resolution and a sampling speed of 125 MS/s. A front-mounted USB port enables external flash memory storage of up to 1000 waveforms. The memory stick also provides a quick and convenient method for transferring waveform files to and from a PC.

Commonly used complex waveforms are provided including sin(x)/x, exponential rise and fall, logarithmic rise and fall, gaussian, lorentz, haversine and cardiac waveforms. The generator comes with Waveform Manager Plus for Windows, enabling complex waveforms to be created using a PC.

The TG5011 offers a comprehensive set of digital modulations including AM, FM, PM, PWM and FSK. The modulation source can be any standard or arbitrary waveform, or any external signal applied to the modulation input.

A wideband noise generator creates gaussian white noise with a high crest factor and a bandwidth of 20 MHz. Noise can be added to any waveform or can be used as a modulating source.

USB and LAN interfaces are provided as standard, the latter conforming with LXI class C (Lan eXtensions for Instrumentation). A GPIB interface is available as an option. All functions of the generator can be controlled from the digital interfaces, and arbitrary waveform data can be transferred via them.

The TG5011 is housed in a highly compact casing with protective buffers and a multi-position stand. With the buffers removed it is half-rack 2U size for rack-mounted applications. Despite its small size it incorporates a 3.6-inch (90 mm) diagonal LCD panel that provides a large amount of text and graphical information simultaneously and offers context-sensitive soft key control.

Maintenace management portfolio

David Hipkin SoftSols (EMEA) Limited Group Managing Director (left ) reviews Agility and Plan 4 with Plan4 chief architect James Park

SoftSols Group has extended its range of innovative solutions with the acquisition of Plan4 from Solutions PT. This Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) expert, which has a 25-year track record of success in the market, has announced the acquisition as part of its ongoing commitment to deliver simple, affordable software solutions which provide an outstanding return on investment.

The move means that existing Plan4 customers will have the added peace of mind that their software will now be managed by a specialist in the maintenance software industry. Plan4 is widely used in the manufacturing sector by organisations including bakery chain Greggs, Dupont and TK Maxx.

David Hipkin, SoftSols (EMEA) Limited Group Managing Director, comments, “Despite the recession, we’re managing to buck the trend and grow our business. We’re already selling our facilities and manufacturing maintenance management systems to companies around the world including organizations in Poland, Australia and China. Our acquisition of Plan4 is an extremely exciting development for us, enabling us to offer an enhanced product range to all our customers, backed up by first class levels of training, service and support.

“Many of SoftSols’ customers have been with us since we began in 1983. Having upgraded through previous product generations they are now using our state of the art browser-based CMMS, Agility. Our new Plan4 clients will have access to the very latest in technology and innovation from our portfolio. We will work hard to ensure that they continue to have confidence in both the Plan4 system and our ongoing relationship.”

The Plan4 system enables maintenance and engineering teams to keep a record of all plant equipment, including monitoring maintenance schedules and generating work orders. Effective maintenance systems are vital to maintaining healthy plant, reducing maintenance costs, minimising downtime, improving energy efficiency and ultimately enabling businesses to lower their cost base.

As part of the acquisition deal, Plan4 chief architect James Park will join the SoftSols team, bringing with him 25 years experience in the maintenance business. David Hipkin adds: “James will be an important addition to our development team here at SoftSols, enabling us to continue to effectively support Plan4 customers and develop the platform. His experience will also be valuable in the ongoing development of our existing CMMS system Agility.”

Monday, March 1, 2010

Vibration testing

Fluke has introduced the unique, handheld Fluke 810 Vibration Tester. The most advanced troubleshooting instrument available for vibration, the Fluke 810 enables maintenance teams to rapidly collect data and diagnose and solve mechanical problems with an affordable, easy to use tool. Viewer PC software included with the product enables transfer of data for machine setups, more detailed diagnosis and diagnostic reporting.

The new tester is designed and programmed to diagnose the most common mechanical problems of imbalance, looseness, misalignment and bearing failures in a wide variety of mechanical equipment, including motors, fans, blowers, belts and chain drives, gearboxes, couplings, pumps, compressors, closed coupled machines and spindles.

When it detects a fault, the Fluke 810 identifies the problem and rates its severity on a four-level scale to help the maintenance professional prioritise maintenance tasks. It also recommends repairs. Context-sensitive on-board help menus provide new users with real-time guidance and tips.
Ease of use
The Fluke 810 Vibration Tester uses a simple step-by-step process to report on machine faults the first time measurements are taken, without prior measurement history. The combination of plain-text diagnoses, severity ratings and repair recommendations helps users make better maintenance decisions and address critical problems first.
Mechanical diagnosis with the Fluke 810 begins when the user places the Fluke tri-axial TEDS (transducer electronic data sheet) accelerometer on the machine under test. The accelerometer has a magnetic mount and can also be installed by attaching a mounting pad using adhesive. A quick-disconnect cable connects the accelerometer to the Fluke 810 test unit. As the machine under test operates, the accelerometer detects its vibration along three planes of movement and transmits that information to the Fluke 810. Using a set of advanced algorithms, the 810 Vibration Tester then provides a plain-text diagnosis of the machine with a recommended solution.

A New Approach to Machine Diagnosis
Typical vibration analysers and software are intended for monitoring machine condition over the longer term and often require special training and investment. Vibration analysers used in condition-based monitoring or predictive maintenance programs typically rely upon comparing a machine’s condition over time to a previously established baseline condition to evaluate machine condition and estimate remaining operating life.
In contrast, the diagnostic technology in the Fluke 810 analyses machinery operation and identifies faults by comparing vibration data to an extensive set of rules developed over years of field experience. The Fluke 810 determines fault severity using a unique technology to simulate a fault-free condition and establish a baseline for instant comparison to gathered data. This means that every measurement taken is compared to a “like new” machine and enables the maintenance professional to quickly understand the root cause of equipment conditions.
Viewer Application Software
The Fluke 810 Vibration Tester includes Viewer PC software to expand its data storage and tracking capability. With Viewer the user can:
  • Create machine setups at the computer keyboard and transfer the data to the 810 Vibration Tester.
  • Generate diagnostic reports in a PDF file format.
  • View vibration spectra in greater detail.
  • Import and store JPEG images and Fluke .IS2 thermal images for a more complete view of a machine’s condition.
The Fluke 810 Vibration Tester comes with embedded diagnostic technology, tri-axial TEDS accelerometer, accelerometer magnet mount, accelerometer mounting pad kit with adhesive, accelerometer quick-disconnect cable, laser tachometer and storage pouch, smart battery pack with cable and adapters, shoulder strap, adjustable hand strap, Viewer PC application software, mini-USB to USB cable, Getting Started Guide, illustrated Quick Reference Guide, User Manual CD-ROM and a hard carrying case.

Power quality analysis via Bluetooth

Outram Research has announced that Bluetooth® is available across its entire power quality range, becoming the first manufacturer to enable Bluetooth remote control on all its products. This means that power engineers can control the entire range of Outram’s power quality analysers with one application running on a PDA.

Power quality analysers are often deployed in electrical cabinets or other difficult to reach locations, making it hard for engineers to read integrated displays. Outram’s software, PmScreens provides configuration and power quality data on a convenient PDA display eliminating problems due to the location of the analyser whilst allowing a more rugged solution by eliminating the need for large fragile displays to be integrated into the equipment.

In addition to displaying configuration data such as phasor diagram information to validate correct operation, engineers can access real time power quality information using a wireless Bluetooth connection between the PDA and the analyser. As well as for example current, voltage, power, power factor and flicker, engineers can access harmonic data, and, in the PM7000 this capability extends to over 500 parameters, detailed information about events such as sags (dips), surges and interruptions in power, and to waveforms, transients and interharmonics.

“The Bluetooth technology is ideal to enable remote control of power quality equipment without disturbing or gaining access to the installation. This means eliminating the need to take safety precautions; no locking and unlocking of cabinets, no need to turn off the power and no need to take time consuming precautions like putting on protective equipment,” said John Outram, Managing Director of Outram Research. “The connection is almost always reliable even if the cabinet in which the analyser is deployed is metal and closed. And with the processing power of the wide variety of PDAs and mobile phones available, PmScreens can provide enhanced colour graphics to help speed the process of troubleshooting power quality problems.”

Bluetooth technology is provided as standard on the market-leading Ranger PM7000 power quality analyser, the industry’s Cat IV 600V Phase A-powered analyser, and is available as an option on all other Outram analysers, including the 3-phase PM3000, single-phase PM1000 and the split-phase PM2000 that is designed specifically to troubleshoot power quality problems at residential premises in the USA.

New energy meters and controllers at NEMEX'10

Carlo Gavazzi is using this year’s NEMEX exhibition (20/22 Apl Birmingham GB), to present its latest products to address the energy market. Highlights will include the newly announced WM30-96 smart modular power analyser for building automation networks, and the Eos-Array – a modular controller for efficient running of photovoltaic (PV) plants. Carlo Gavazzi’s full range of innovative energy meters will also be demonstrated on the stand.

The latest in energy metering
The WM30-96 smart modular power analyser is an easy to install, compact plug-and-play unit for applications from cost allocation and control, through complex cost and power analysis, to advanced energy and power analysis for solar energy and power generation.

The base unit provides the display, touch-panel, power supply and measurement inputs allowing the addition of up to three slimline modules for alarms, pulse outputs, analogue I/O and data communications interfaces. It’s the first modular power analyser to provide BACnet-IP communication and has superior functions such as load monitoring measurement and comprehensive alarm management, simplifying inventory management.

Green energy sources

Also on the stand will be the Eos-Array: a versatile controller enabling small to medium or high power solar photovoltaic (PV) plants to meet the growing demands for clean sources of energy. It’s a reliable management and control system which maintains efficient operation, maximises performance, in-turn strengthening the Return on Investment. Easy to install and configure, the Eos-Array comprises of individual modular elements that, when interacting with one another, provide a complete and independent control solution that gathers accurate and dependable data to ensure effective information management.

Carlo Gavazzi’s extensive family of MID-certified energy meters will also be showcased on the stand, ranging from the ultra-compact DIN-rail mounted single phase 32A energy meters, up to a three-phase 65A energy analysers offering built-in hot/cold water, gas and remote heating measurements and load monitoring.

Fieldbus gateways

The new AS-Interface gateways for Profibus-DP from Phoenix Contact set themselves apart by the fact that AS-Interface networks can be simply integrated into a Profibus-DP system. The devices have a rugged stainless steel housing with IP20 protection and have been designed for installation in control cabinets.

The gateways allow AS-Interface slaves to be operated with extended addressing and are specified according to the AS Interface specification 3.0. This means that they are downwards compatible to AS Interface slaves with older specifications. The new AS-Interface gateway for Profibus FLX ASI MA PB SF has a compact housing and can therefore be installed in control cabinets in an especially space-saving fashion.

The new AS-Interface gateway for Profibus FLX ASI MA 2 PB EF is designed as a double master to connect two AS Interface circuits and has an expanded functional scope. Among other things, Profibus settings for the gateway can be made and AS-Interface circuits configured – including user-friendly addressing of the AS-i slaves. Further, both AS-i circuits can be diagnosed in-depth via the gateway.

Remote video surveillance capabilities

Control Microsystems Inc. (CMI) and Longwatch, Inc., a leader in integrated video surveillance systems, today announced the ability of the SCADA host platform, ClearSCADA, to provide video surveillance of remote processes and assets. Existing industrial networks can conveniently and cost-effectively transmit video images over the SCADA communication infrastructure.

Control Microsystems’ ClearSCADA host platform can be integrated with the Longwatch Video Surveillance Platform and Video Historian Platform, along with IP surveillance cameras, as a solution to capture and convey important security information for critical infrastructure. The video surveillance uses Modbus protocol and is event-driven to conserve bandwidth. The Longwatch system continuously takes and stores video locally. When motion is detected, an alarm is raised and a video “snippet” is attached to the alarm message and sent to the central control site, showing what happened before and after the event. Through a graphic display in ClearSCADA, operators are able to view what is occurring on site, preventing the need for sending someone to investigate the alarm.

“Control Microsystems is dedicated to enhancing security in the SCADA market,” says Eric Schwantler, ClearSCADA Product Manager. “Customers can cut costs and maximize resources by immediately viewing real time video on their ClearSCADA host screen and controlling the cameras remotely when a security threat is detected.”

Communications between the Longwatch Video Control Center and the Remote Video Engines, deployed in the field and host locations, can be either Ethernet IP or Modbus over serial. The Longwatch video platform interfaces to ClearSCADA primarily via OPC, with Longwatch acting as the OPC server and ClearSCADA the OPC client. Video alarms, camera status, and camera control can then be achieved from ClearSCADA via the OPC interface.

“Longwatch, Inc. has been successfully providing video surveillance over new and existing SCADA networks and we are very pleased to be working with Control Microsystems in developing a seamless integration of both process monitoring and control as well as video monitoring of field assets,”
says Steve Rubin, President of Longwatch. “Our Longwatch Video System™ integrated with ClearSCADA is one more cost-effective option to achieve an optimized SCADA system that saves users time and money while improving security, safety and operations.”

See also the story of Longwatch on The next HMI revolution.

Differential pressure transmitter is easy to interface

The D02 is the new-generation differential pressure transmitter from Sensor-Technik UK. The device features a piezoresistive measuring element in a compact and robust stainless-steel housing to satisfy a wide range of differential pressure measurement tasks in applications ranging from mechanical engineering and industrial control to filter supervision and flow measurement.

A wide choice of standard devices are stocked, covering differential pressure ranges from 0-0.1 to 0-20bar, and nonstandard ranges are available on request at no extra charge. All devices boast high measurement accuracy, with typical linearity of 0.25% of full scale and pressure hysteresis and repeatability at just 0.1% of full scale.

All sensors feature a wide operating temperature range from -10 to +85 deg C, with temperature compensation provided from +10 to +40 deg C.

The D02 differential pressure transmitter offers easy interfacing in a wide range of applications. The excitation voltage can be anything from 9 to 30V DC, and a choice of voltage (0-10V) and current (0-20 or 4-20mA) outputs further increases application flexibility. All electrical connections are via a standard M12 connector, which is protected against both short circuits and reverse-polarity connection. Other electrical connections are also available.

With its all-stainless-steel construction, high accuracy and ease of application, the D02 is the ideal differential pressure transmitter for a wide range of applications.