Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lighting up industrial automation software!

The newest version of GENESIS64 builds on several new features in Windows 7 to deliver a richer user experience. “When we first got our hands on Windows 7, we examined the operating system closely to see what was new and how we could best take advantage of it, quickly zeroing in on features such as multitouch and the Windows Taskbar,” says Ross Agrusa. “Because we were already on Windows Vista, getting the most out of Windows 7 was easy—a natural progression of the work we had already done.”

Perhaps the most useful new Windows 7 feature that ICONICS built on is support for multi-touch gestures, which enables users to control what happens on a touchscreen by using their fingers. For example, users can zoom in on part of the screen by moving two fingers apart, or zoom out by moving two fingers closer together. Similarly, users can rotate an image on the screen by moving one finger around another, or can right-click by holding one finger on the target and tapping the screen with a second finger.

“With single-touch, where people could only use one finger, it took several more steps to accomplish a simple task,” says Tim Donaldson, Director of Marketing at ICONICS. “For example, to zoom in on an area on the screen, users had to click on the toolbar, select zoom mode, drag to select a rectangular area, and then turn zoom mode off—essentially mimicking what they would do with a mouse using one finger. With multi-touch, users can accomplish the same goals much faster—often with a single, intuitive gesture. For example, if a user needs to rotate the view of a holding tank to see a valve on the back, he or she can just rotate one finger around the other to spin the tank around on the screen.”

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bus layer finalised

CANopen additional application layer functions finalised

The nonprofit CiA (CAN in Automation) organisation has released the last part of the reviewed CiA® 302 series of additional application layer functions. This part 3 specifies the configuration manager and the program download via the CANopen® network. The other parts of CiA 302 have been released earlier. They specify the network management including the NMT flying master (part 2), the network variables and the process image (part 4), the SDO manager (part 5), bus-line (network) redundancy (part 6), and multi-level networking (part 7).


“The completion of the CiA 302 version 4.1 is an important milestone,” said Holger Zeltwanger, CiA Managing Director. “The new version will enable the CANopen device and system designer to improve their products and solutions.”


In particular, the program download is a very important additional application layer function. The specification provides also hints for boot-loader persistence, access protection, and compatibility checks.

High speed industrial radios

802.11n Industrial Wireless solutions, which leverage the latest technology to provide greater flexibility and performance to a broad range of manufacturing and production applications.

The new RadioLinx® industrial radios, from ProSoft Technology®, support IEEE 802.11n and provide premier performance for high-capacity networks. They offer high-reliability networking to applications with moving devices and/or obstructed environments that are traditionally difficult to solve with wireless solutions. The offering consists of a single-radio Industrial HotspotTM, and a single-radio Industrial Client.

The need
Since 2002, hundreds of thousands of 2.4 and 5 GHz radios have been installed by and for Automation Engineers. They are today operating in every industry. In the past, some applications have required throughput that has been highly demanding given available wireless technology. Other applications had to consider limited RF-channel availability. In some cases, long distances impacted transmission and a changing RF-environment due to moving metal structures also influenced transmission. While industrial 802.11a/b/g solutions are already suitable for a wide variety of applications, industrial 802.11n radios are a welcome improvement. Industrial 802.11n eases implementation of wireless networks for critical and challenging applications and offers wireless options to a wider range of applications.

The solution
The new RadioLinx 802.11n radio utilizes MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology. It uses up to three antennas to enable high-speed data rates up to 300 Mbps, providing advanced performance in industrial environments.

Where network crowding is a concern, the combination of 2.4 + 5 GHz bands offers 3 + 19 non-overlapping channels (3 + 24 for applications exported to North America). Operating at 5 GHz also provides an alternative to the popular 2.4 GHz band, which may have limited availability if already used in existing installations.

Harry Forbes of ARC Advisory Group comments: "These new ProSoft Technology radios are among the first to bring 802.11n technology to industrial automation networks. IEEE 802.11n brings a higher level of wireless performance to plant-floor applications. Also, MIMO technology reduces the multipath interference that is common in industrial installations. Standards-based radio technology is continuously improving, and ProSoft Technology is quickly making these improvements available to the plant floor."
The benefits
Compatible with existing 802.11 RadioLinx solutions, the RadioLinx 802.11n Industrial radios improve performance for high-bandwidth applications and high packet-rate control applications. They also provide better signal sensitivity and range in environments like mobile factory settings.
Two RadioLinx 802.11n solutions are available today: a single-radio Industrial HotspotTM (RLXIB-IHN) and a single-radio Industrial Client (RLXIB-ICN).

Easy to Configure and Monitor
RadioLinx WirelessN Discovery Tool is a configuration and monitoring tool for the RadioLinx 802.11n Industrial Hotspot radios. This software tool allows viewing the network topology, assigning IP addresses to radios for configuration, monitoring network diagnostics, updating radio firmware and detecting the presence of any 802.11 radios on the network. In addition, ProSoft Technology´s free OPC Server allows for HMI-based wireless network diagnostics. Automatic or manual network configuration is user selectable (can be prioritized or fixed) with self-healing functionality and master redundancy for reliable large networks.
Additional Features

The RLXIB-IHN includes the industrial features of RadioLinx products including hazardous location certifications (UL1604 Class I Div 2, ATEX Zone 2 Category 3), extended operating temperature range, high vibration/shock resistance, DIN-rail mounting, Power over Ethernet and simultaneous bridge / repeater / Industrial HotspotTM mode. All ProSoft Technology products come with a three year warranty and unlimited technical support for the life of the product.

Load cell for structural and fatigue testing applications

LCM Systems have just announced the new PTC-1 range of low profile, universal load cells. Ideal for many testing applications including structural and airframe testing, Jack Load monitoring and material and fatigue test machine feedback, this new series has been designed for use where high stability and low height are essential requirements.

These load cells are available with a rated load from 5 to 1000kN and offer high natural frequency, low deflection and excellent resistance to side and torsion forces thanks to the shear web internal construction. The stainless steel construction ensures corrosion protection both for the load cells themselves and the optional mounting base, which is necessary if the load cells are to be used in tension.

For use in a wide range of harsh and rugged environments, the PTC-1 load cells are supplied with both an integral MIL-SPEC connector and a mating connector. The cells are also sealed to IP66.

The cells can be supplied calibrated and the in-house technical department at LCM Systems can advise and provide a comprehensive range of load cell instrumentation for ‘ready to go’ systems.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Instrument technicians best friend

It is not a simple task to be an Instrument Technician today. More work must be done in a shorter period of time with fewer resources. A Technician must also maintain and calibrate an ever growing variety of complex instruments, so learning new things is an everyday challenge. Finally, the company quality system does not allow errors and requires that everything must be documented. In these demanding work environments you need a reliable friend you can count on. That is exactly what the Beamex® MC4 Documenting Process Calibrator delivers.

What makes it the instrument tech’s new best friend:
  • Easy to carry. The MC4 is a lightweight and compact-sized portable calibrator with a long operating time.
  • Easy to use. The MC4 has an intuitive interface that is very easy to use. The MC4 is available in over 15 languages.
  • Carry less! The MC4 is a multifunctional calibrator that replaces several measurement devices, so you don’t need to carry multiple devices on the field.
  • All results are stored in the calibrator. The MC4 leads you through each step of testing. There’s no need to carry notepads with you. All the calibration results are stored in the memory of the MC4.
  • Transfer results to calibration software. By using the MC4 you can transfer automatically all the calibration results from the calibrator’s memory to calibration software and all “post test” work is handled automatically.
  • World-class accuracy. The MC4 is a high accuracy calibrator and each calibrator is delivered with a traceable, accredited calibration certificate.

Updated precision bridge

An updated version of the LCR400 precision RCL bridge is now available from TTi (Thurlby Thandar Instruments). The instrument, which features a built-in 4-terminal test fixture and a full limits comparator for component sorting, now incorporates new analogue circuitry to improve the performance in terms of both accuracy and resolution.

The bridge has a basic accuracy of 0.1% for R, L and C measurements. Three measurement frequencies are available between 100 Hz and 10 kHz. The instrument is fully autoranging (with range hold) and can also automatically select the function based on the component inserted. It has dual 5-digit displays using large and bright LEDs. The second display is used for the secondary parameter of Q or D and is also used with the limits comparator for showing binning information.

It has a built-in high-quality 4-terminal test fixture that will accept most wire-ended components directly. A pair of plug-in pillar adapters enables axial components, such as bandoliered resistors, to be measured directly without bending the wires. The position of the test fixture on the instrument ensures that component bandoliers can be handled without interfering with the display or keyboard.

An external test fixture can also be used, and a capacitance null function allows up to 100 pF to be nulled out. A switchable bias voltage is provided for polarising electrolytic capacitors. The instrument incorporates a full limits comparator with binning. Up to eight pass bins can be defined along with two fail bins, and binning can be used to sort different tolerances of the same value or multiple different values. A numeric keyboard allows rapid setting up of binning values. Non-volatile memory is provided for the storage of up to nine complete instrument set-ups.

For surface-mount components, high-quality 4-terminal tweezers are available. The tweezers connect directly into the built-in test fixture of the LCR400. Four-terminal connection is made at the base of the gold-plated jaws only a few millimetres from the tip.

An RS232 interface is incorporated which allows connection to a PC and can be used to set up all measurement and sorting functions as well as store readings. PC software is supplied which allows both set-up and results logging.

Expert advice at show!

Visitors to Ashtead Technology’s stand (R45) at Sustainability Live will be able to speak with experts from leading instrumentation manufacturers, Crowcon and RAE Systems, at this month’s event.

Ashtead’s own team of environmental monitoring instrumentation experts will be joined by Crowcon on Tuesday (20th) and by RAE Systems the following day (21st) on Stand R45 at Sustainability Live 2010, held at Birmingham NEC (GB).

Popular rental instrumentation from Crowcon includes the Crowcon LaserMethane Mini Gas Leak Detector while the MiniRAE 3000 from RAE Systems is the most advanced handheld volatile organic compound (VOC) detector on the market.

Alan Hasson, Ashtead Technology General Manager, said: “We are delighted that specialists from Crowcon and RAE will be available to provide advice and information about their products. The event will also provide an opportunity for us to explain the benefits of our 'Perpetual Rental Plan' (PRP) for long term instrument hire and how the 'Rent-To-Own' (RTO) scheme combines the benefits of renting with instrument ownership.”

Practical Vacuum at Advanced Manufacturing UK

We mostly visit the mtec and Machine Building at the Advanced Manufacturing show in Birmingham (GB) but there are aspects of the other co-exhibitions there which may be of interest the automation professional.

The level of technology available at this year’s Practical Vacuum exhibition is a case in point, the principal event for all aspects of vacuum technology demonstrates how vacuum professionals can benefit today – and tomorrow – from modern advances.

For example:

Bronkhorst will focus on its new Cori-Fill technology for compact, single point responsibility, dosage/filling liquid delivery systems. This is an extension of the company’s range of small compact mass flow meters and controllers based on the Coriolis principle. Visit the stand to learn about the considerable features and benefits. They will also display the new release Mass Stream mass flow meter/controller based on thermal principles, and the new releases of Gas-View and Liqui-View flow-meters utilizing vortex technology.

Edwards-Precision Plus Vacuum Parts, one of the world’s largest independent manufacturers of vacuum pump replacement parts, can supply vacuum filters, replacement parts, repair kits, KF fittings, oils (FDA approved), rotors, stators, plates and shafts, for example, for anything from a minor repair to a complete pump rebuild, and they stock ready-to-ship parts for virtually all major OEM pump models.

Kurt J. Lesker Co is a full service manufacturer and distributor of deposition and vacuum systems, components and materials including vacuum systems, deposition sources, sub assemblies, materials, hardware, feedthroughs, pumps and fluids. On show, for example, will be the PVD 75 deposition tool for the budget-conscious researcher; and the new Spectros family systems which, along with the firm’s PVD applications laboratory, is available for continued customer support and demonstrations.

At the Trumpf stand, there will be a focus on the company’s prowess in the field of DC, MF and RF power supply technology.

The Read-out Signpost will be visiting the show on the first day 27th April 2010. Watch out for us!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On-line liquid analysers marketing agreement.

Micheál Martin (Minister for Foreign Affairs), Hugh Cooney (Chairman Enterprise Ireland), An Taoiseach Brian Cowen, (Head of Irish Government), Nancy Horan (Director – BioTector Analytical Systems Ltd), Joe O'Shea (Director, Corporate Development – Danaher Corporation), Martin Horan (Managing Director - BioTector Analytical Systems Ltd), Richard Leggett (Principal Scientist - Hach Company), Jeff Throckmorton (Vice President Global Innovation Hach-Lange, President Hach Homeland Security Technologies – Hach Company).

BioTector Analytical Systems has recently announced a distribution agreement with Colorado (US)-based Hach Company. Hach and Hach Lange will serve as the exclusive distributor of the BioTector range of on-line liquid analyzers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Europe. The product will be sold in these markets under the name: Hach BioTector TOC analyzer. The agreement does not include the Irish market, as BioTector has a number of Irish Distributors who look after the local market.

The distribution agreement was announced during a Trade and Investment Mission to the U.S. led by the Taoiseach Brian Cowen. The Mission is organized by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish state agency responsible for the development and promotion of the indigenous Irish business sector.

BioTector’s on-line liquid analyzers are used in a variety of industrial applications, including dairy processing, chemical processing, oil refineries, municipal treatment plants, pharmaceutical manufacturing, airport surface water analysis, breweries, and pulp and paper manufacturing. The company’s patented oxidation technology—a two-stage advanced oxidation method—overcomes the limitations of traditional on-line analyzers and offers customers an accurate, reliable and low maintenance solution to their on-line analysis needs.

“We’re very pleased to enter into this partnership with Hach Company,” said Martin Horan, BioTector’s Managing Director. “This distribution agreement with a leading U.S. company like Hach—a significant endorsement of our technology— offers Hach customers a robust on-line liquid analysis technology that overcomes the limitations of most competing systems, which are better suited for lab rather than industrial environments. Hach’s systems, like ours, are designed specifically for quality, accuracy and simplicity, and it is this shared ethos in high standards and customer satisfaction that we believe will drive the success of this partnership.”

“We’re very pleased to be able to offer the BioTector TOC analyzer to Hach customers,” said Terry Stange, Hach Business Unit Director. “These products offer 99.7 percent uptime, +/- 3 percent accuracy, are entirely self-cleaning, and can analyze samples up to a thousand times larger than those of competing products. This will provide our customers with the benefits of reliability, measurement confidence, low maintenance and high capacity.”

Control system for down-under power!

Turbo-machinery control system for large-scale power station in Australia becomes fully operational

A turbo-machinery control system installed by its Yokogawa Australia Pty. Ltd. subsidiary at the Eraring thermal power station became fully operational last December (2009)

Located 120 km north of Sydney, New South Wales, Eraring power station is one of Australia’s largest. It is owned and operated by Eraring Energy, one of the country’s leading electric power generation companies. The installed turbo-machinery control system is for the station’s No. 4 turbine. Work will now commence on upgrading the control systems for the station’s three remaining turbines.

The installation of the new turbo-machinery control system followed an expansion of the steam turbine’s capacity from 660 to 720 MW. The existing mechanical hydraulic control system was replaced with Yokogawa’s CENTUM(R) VP integrated production control system. For the turbine protection system, a Yokogawa ProSafe®-RS system was introduced that safely initiates an emergency shutdown upon detection of abnormal conditions.

Yokogawa’s products are already used to control the boilers and auxiliary facilities at Eraring power station. With this upgrade of the turbo-machinery control system, all of the power station’s principal facilities are now controlled by Yokogawa control systems. The integration of operations, maintenance, and parts supply at this station has significantly enhanced the efficiency of its operations.

Since the February 2008 release of the CENTUM VP integrated production control system with advanced functionality for turbo-machinery control applications, Yokogawa’s turbo-machinery control business has grown steadily. Encouraged by this success, Yokogawa will focus on proposing plant-wide control solutions for power station turbines, boilers, and auxiliary facilities.

The next big thing in wireless!

GreenPeak Technologies is teaming up with one of the world's top Consumer Electronics companies, Service Providers and the ZigBee Alliance to help roll out the next big thing - The Third Wireless Network for home and office that is Green and conserves energy.

Operating concurrently in the home with Wi-Fi internet and cordless phones, the third wireless network is based on the newly approved ZigBee RF4CE (Radio Frequency for Consumer Electronics) standard that is supported by the world's leading consumer electronic manufacturers.

Remote controls are among the first applications to benefit from ultra low power ZigBee RF4CE. As ZigBee RF4CE is based on radio which penetrates walls, furniture, and floors, rather than line of sight optical IR (infra-red), this new generation of remote control means that users no longer have to point-and-shoot to their TV set or set top box to change channels or program the DVR. A single ZigBee RF4CE remote can control the entire home's electronic systems – TV, games, communications, home automation, audio, security, environment, etc.

The innovative GreenPeak ultra low power control network enables the remote controls to function on a single battery for a decade or more. "Not only are we making remotes that are essentially maintenance free," says Cees Links, Wi-Fi veteran and CEO and Founder of GreenPeak, "but by enabling remotes to run for ten times as long or more on a single battery, we are greatly slashing the amount of heavy metals, toxic chemicals and carbon footprint required for the creation and disposal of batteries."

Other ZigBee RF4CE capabilities include a central "dashboard" function on the remote control that includes monitoring home energy consumption as well as a cool "Find-Me" feature. Find-Me enables users to press a button on their TV set or stereo and their hidden or lost remote will make itself known by blinking, beeping or even playing music.

As part of the ZigBee family, ZigBee RF4CE is not limited to remote controls and can be used for many other low power, low data rate applications including controlling lighting, heating/air conditioning, locks, home automation, in-home health monitoring and alerts, etc. This year we expect to see the emergence of ZigBee light switches that do not require any batteries whatsoever and can be stuck anywhere in the home. The effort of turning the switch generates enough power to transmit an on or off signal to a lamp across the room.

Partnership to cover India

Mistral and Esterel Technologies Announce Partnership to Expand SCADE® Deployment in India

Mistral Solutions and Esterel Technologies have announced a partnership to expand deployment of SCADE Suite® and SCADE Display® to critical embedded control application developers and critical embedded display application developers, respectively.

Mistral will offer this family of products in the Indian market to address mission and safety-critical software development needs in aerospace and defense, rail transportation, nuclear instrumentation and control, industrial, and medical applications. These environments often require qualification or certification under standards such as DO-178B up to Level A (aerospace and defense), EN 50128 SIL 3/4 (rail transportation), IEC 61508 SIL 3 (industrial), and IEC 60880 (nuclear instrumentation and control).
  • SCADE Suite®, a formal model-based development environment for critical embedded applications provides formal state machine and data flow semantics for design entry as well as model-based verification. SCADE Suite has been qualified under DO-178B Level A and certified under EN 50128 to SIL 3/4 for Rail Applications and SIL 3 under IEC 61508 for Industrial Applications.

  • SCADE Display®, an embedded graphics development environment dedicated to safety-critical display systems, intrinsically supports OpenGL-SC, the safety-critical variant of Open GL. SCADE Display KCG™ has been qualified under DO-178B, up to Level A for the Military and Aerospace industries.
“Mistral is happy to be partnering with Esterel Technologies in addressing the needs of developers in the critical embedded software applications space. The alliance adds to our embedded product suite, and gives our customers a wider array of cutting-edge technology solutions that adhere to tough quality standards”, said Mujahid Alam, Vice President – Sales.

“Mistral’s core values, products, and experience align very well with Esterel Technologies and the SCADE family product offering. In addition, Mistral’s firm understanding of the Indian critical embedded software industry, the needs of its clients, and strong technical pedigree will be instrumental in the deploying SCADE successfully throughout the market”,
commented Eric Bantegnie, President and CEO of Esterel Technologies.

First international standard for wireless in #PAuto

Final IEC vote confirms broad global acceptance of WirelessHART by end users and suppliers

The HART Communication Foundation tells us that the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has approved the WirelessHART® specification as a full international standard (IEC 62591Ed. 1.0). The unanimous vote on 26 March 2010 by the IEC National Committees of 28 countries confirms the broad global support for WirelessHART technology as the international standard for wireless communication in process automation.

“The overwhelming approval by IEC fulfills the request of users for a single international wireless communication standard that is supported by major automation suppliers,” said HART Communication Foundation Executive Director Ron Helson. “WirelessHART technology has been confirmed by both users and suppliers to be a technically sound, reliable and secure solution for wireless communication in process automation.”

A growing number of WirelessHART compatible products are available today from major global suppliers including ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, Pepperl+Fuchs, Siemens and others.

Released in September 2007, WirelessHART is an open and interoperable wireless communication standard designed to address the critical needs of industry for reliable, robust and secure wireless communication in real-time industrial process measurement and control applications.

It is a backward compatible, evolutionary enhancement to the HART Communication Protocol, perhaps the leading communication technology for intelligent process measurement and control field devices and systems with more than 30 million devices installed and operating in process plant applications around the globe.

The IEC is the leading global organization that prepares and publishes international standards for electrical, electronic, and related technologies. IEC standards provide industry and users with the framework for economies of design, greater product and service quality, more interoperability, and better production and delivery efficiency.

Re-engineering on peri-pump!


Blue-White has re-engineered the junction box and connectors on their Flex-Pro A3 Peristaltic Metering Pump. With the Flex-Pro A3s’ Newly Engineered Terminal Block – complete with color-coded overlays - making connections is fast and efficient. Plus, the Flex-Pros’ New junction box provides extra working room.

There are no loose wires. The new terminal block board, located within the junction box, utilizes eleven pluggable terminal blocks. The easy-to-understand, color coded overlay clearly identifies terminals and connections. Just follow the handy overlay guide. The junction box has five cable glands, and the A3 is equipped with water-tight connectors.

"With its thoughtfully designed user-friendly connectors you choose what’s right for your installation – hardwire or corded."

The Flex-Pro A3 Peristaltic Metering Pump has Outputs to 33.3 GPH/126 LPH, and Output Pressure ratings to 125 psi/8.6 Bar.

Blue-White are supporters of the Read-out Instrument Signpost.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Use of bus devices grows steadily

ProfiNet now with 2.1 million devices in the market - Number of ProfiBus nodes also increasing

PI (ProfiBus & ProfiNet International)
is happy about the growth of its ProfiBus and ProfiNet technologies in 2009. Especially in light of the difficult global economic situation during the last 18 months, the market numbers, which were gathered by notary statistics as always, underline the importance of ProfiBus and ProfiNet in the automation industry.

ProfiNet, the Industrial Ethernet solution of PI, was able to continue its growth during the difficult year of 2009 with 500,000 newly purchased devices – compared to 460,000 devices in 2008. As a result, the installed basis has now climbed to 2.1 million devices. The trend shows that the sales of ProfiNet has not been adversely affected by the recession; on the contrary, the trend is in the opposite direction. PI views this as a great success. Jörg Freitag, PI Chairman (right), also sees a large growth potential in the future: “In this difficult economic climate, to achieve almost 10 % greater sales compared to 2008 is a sign of the overwhelming acceptance of ProfiNet. Our Ethernet-based solution offers the user a significant added value that is increased even further by the new energy savings profile “PROFIenergy”. There is no doubt that ProfiNet has a strong future.”

The number of ProfiBus devices sold worldwide rose by 3.1 million to a current total of 31.4 million. Jörg Freitag explained: “The automation industry has been hit hard by the 2009 recession. Nevertheless, the installed base of ProfiBus devices has increased by 11 % compared to the previous year of 2008. This is another major success for PI and its established fieldbus technology.” Of the total 31.4 million devices, 5.4 million are being used in process automation plants. As a result, ProfiBus is taking on an important role in this industry as well. The PA Profile V3.02 will significantly accelerate the dissemination of ProfiBus in the process automation industry, since it contains a set of important features called for by end users.

The 220,000 purchased PROFIsafe devices in 2009 equals the number purchased the previous year. With its current installed base of 850,000 devices, PROFIsafe has posted striking evidence of its leading role in fieldbus-based safe communication systems.

High speed secure data transmission

The new har-speed M12 connectors from Harting are the first M12 connectors to meet the demanding requirements for high-speed transmission in Cat.6A cabling systems.

The new connectors are designed for applications in machine and plant engineering where the requirements for high-speed, secure data transmission require a higher level of performance than is available from Cat.5 cabling.

The design of the har-speed M12 connectors is based on the recently agreed PAS 61076-2-10x standard, which defines a uniform mating face for 8-pole M12 connectors. The new mating face performs two tasks: shielding in the connector area (using shielded wire pairs) and the coding of the mating face, which ensures fail-safe plugging with other 8-pole M12 connectors. (This will be on display at Drives & Controls as mentioned in our blog "Harting at Drives & Controls.")

The new range includes overmoulded variants in different lengths and a crimp connector for on-site assembly.

London demo facility

Rittal has opened its newly revamped London demonstration facility, strategically placed on the outskirts of London (GB). The facility actively demonstrates all the key elements of Data Centre infrastructure design, including, mechanical constructions, power deployment, cooling topology and remote monitoring and security.

David Lee, their IT sales director comments “We have had so many requests from our customers wanting to see our products in a live working situation and we are proud to deliver what they want. This facility is a significant investment for Rittal but we think it is worth it, just to see our products in action”

Incorporating the latest data centre topology, the demonstration facility includes high density water cooling, aisle containment, advance power distribution, wireless monitoring, electronic security and networking and server enclosures.

Rittal is one of the largest and most widely known manufacturers of enclosures and accessories for the electrical, electronic and datacommunications industries throughout the world. The Enclosure Systems have full compatibility and integration capability with Rittal’s Power Distribution components and Thermal Management Systems

Wireless key-fobs

This is probably not strictly our field but we liked the picture and they appeal to our gadget loving inner child!

LPRS now offers one of the widest ranges of wireless key-fobs available to manufacturers of security and control systems. In addition to the well-established and very popular AMTX2B-4-ER model, an additional range of very cost effective multi-function wireless key-fobs have now been introduced. They are available in a number of different designs, providing a range of control options and case designs to complement end system aesthetics

The new range of wireless key-fobs is made up of 6 different models all operating at 433,92MHz and housed in ABS cases. All feature the Keeloq® software data encoding system derived by Microchip Technology Inc. to ensure safe and secure transmission of control signals from the key-fob transmitter to the receiver.

The Ring, Duet and Alien models are two channel devices with transmission power of <+4dBm. They feature a low battery indicator and transmission indicator using two LEDs, in red and green, measure 35x50x10mm and are fitted with rubber actuating buttons. The Banan offers three channels and has a transmission power of < +2dBm and dimensions of 68x25x15mm with plastic buttons. The Lider and Quartet key-fobs are four channel devices with transmission power of < +4dBm. They both feature LED low battery and transmission indicators, dimensions are 35x70x14mm, with plastic buttons on the Lider and rubber buttons on the Quartet. The new RSC-2 wireless key-fobs complement the existing AMTX2B-4-ER transmitter already available from LPRS. This 2 button key-fob AM transmitter operates at 434MHz and features LPRS’s easy-Radio software allowing instant wireless communication with a matching receiver. On board software can be customised to suit specific requirements and may be reconfigured up to a minimum of 1,000 times. The AMTX2B-4-ER offers reliable communication over an extended range, operates in ASK format and features an LED indicator to confirm transmissions.

John Sharples
, Managing Director of LPRS adds, “We have been providing wireless key-fobs for many years and have a great deal of experience of standard and custom applications. The new models we are introducing offer increased functionality, cost effectiveness and modern case designs to meet many more applications.”

LPRS offer a range of matching receiver/controller modules to work with all of their wireless key-fobs which provide momentary or latching switched outputs for remote system control and single or multiple key-fob activation.

Typical applications for LPRS’ wireless key-fobs include remote control door, window open, car alarms, access control, automatic gates, lights etc.

‘Bolt-On’ Force Sensors For Reliable Retrofit Weighing

By David Johnson.

Fitting a weighing system to an existing silo, hopper or tank using a conventional load cell system can be expensive, disruptive and sometimes even impossible. Applied Measurements Ltd offer a solution to these problems by using a simple bolt-on load transducer.


This weighing approach is cost effective and quick to install, causes a minimum of production down time and is ideal as a retrofitted system. The BOSS bolt-on sensor is a well-proven robust product consisting of a strain-gauged element encased in a protective housing. It is simply bolted to a structural member of the silo and deflects under the changing weight conditions, to give a varying electrical output relative to the load.

Bob Davies, general manager at Applied Measurements comments “with more than 25 years experience of bolt-on sensors, we assess the suitability of this method of measurement for each individual enquiry, including an on-site survey if required. This ensures the feasibility of a successful installation at the outset and we will commit to the accuracy likely to be achievable". The very first consideration is the available stress for the sensor to measure and this is broadly dependent on the load applied and the design of the supporting structure it is mounted on.

Bolt-on systems are more than adequate for the majority of vessel weighing or level monitoring systems, where accuracy in the order of 1% - 2% is acceptable. The benefit of this system to any company with a need to weigh grain or other loose material is that unlike radar and ultrasonic systems (both of which present a cross-contamination risk as holes must be drilled for mounting of equipment), the bolt-on product doesn’t come into contact with the product at any stage.

Additionally, accuracy of the other systems mentioned will depend on the material profile within the vessel. For example it may tend to clump, build up on one side or heap in the middle.

This can cause rat-holes to be created where the top surface remains intact, but material drains away beneath until the top surface collapses into it. This can cause false readings as there is an impression of there being more material than there is, potentially resulting in inventory errors.

In practice, the standard transducers are bolted to a suitable supporting member such as a leg, girder, channel or pipe. However in some applications custom profiled mounting blocks may be required to suit the profile of the supporting steelwork.

For a system to be viable the load to be measured should be between 3000psi and 10,000psi. The accuracy achieved depends on a number of factors, but most significantly the amount of available strain to be measured.

Each BOSS sensor has an average sensitivity of 1.7mV/V for 10,000PSI

As a general rule, sensors mounted internally will give the best results. With external systems there will often be a margin of error due to zero shift, which is a result of differential expansion due to solar radiation but even this can be nullified to an extent. The accuracy achieved will be very dependent on the positioning of the sensor on the steelwork.

Accuracy bands:
  • 3,000 – 5,000 PSI gives +/- 2 to 3% or better
  • 5,000 – 7,500 PSI gives +/- 1 to 2% or better
  • 7,500 – 10,000 PSI gives +/- 1%

    Typical application:
    A 220T cement silo on a 6-leg pipe section frame, giving 6000PSI total available signal. Our customer required best accuracy for batching to supply ships and road tankers. As the available signal was good but not exceptional, we suggested 2 x BOSS bolt-on sensors per leg to minimise errors and maximise accuracy. The result is that the customer can batch to ships +/- 1Tonne in 100T and +/-0.5Tonne in 30T. To minimise the effect of temperature, each Bolt-on sensor is fully insulated after installation

    Suitable instrumentation to accompany the bolt-on sensors includes: mains or battery-operated digital displays, local amplifiers allowing the signals to be monitored in a control room or a telemetry system for wireless monitoring via a remote hand-held receiver or a control room PC system.
  • Monday, April 5, 2010

    Automation grows in India

    5th international exhibition and conference scheduled for September 2010

    Automation 2010 will highlight products trends, services and solutions in the field of
      Factory & Process Automation
      Robotics
      Bus & Wireless Technology
      Automation in Machine Tools
      Instrumentation & Controls Systems
      Building & Drives Automation
      Hydraulics & Pneumatics

    The show will occupy two halls in Mumbai's Exhibition Center (NSE) with a gross display area of 50,000 sq meters.



    Visitor Profile
    Presidents, Managing Director and CEOs,
    Plant Managers, R&D, Project Design Engineers.
    Manufacturers, Dealers, Consultants, Contractors, Business Managers, Purchase Managers, Decision-Makers from the BARC, Railways, Defence, Telecommunications, Power
    Fertilizers, Chemicals & Petro-Chemicals, Refineries, Cement Plants
    Associations & Institution related to the Industry
    Overseas buyers to same Indian products for contract manufacturing

    The event is supported by trade associations from India, Singapore, Malaysia, and by a Board of Governors.

    The Board of Governors is chaired by Mr. B. R. Mehta, Sr. Vice President, Reliance Industries Ltd.
    It is organized by IED Communications headed by Mr. M. Arokiaswamy, Managing Director, the Editor and Publisher of the leading industrial publication titled “Industrial Automation”.

    Automation 2010, the trade show showcases new innovations & solutions for vast industry segment comprising of Refining, Petrochemicals, chemicals, Polyester, Power, Life sciences, Food & Pharmaceutical, Oil & Gas businesses, Steel and Mining and other process industries, Terminal automation, Tank farm automation, Retail outlet automation. "Automation 2010 is the biggest Technological show of the era. An event of this magnitude has never been held in India so far. More than 1400 companies will be participating."

    A trade fair like AUTOMATION 2010, with its high proportion of international exhibitors and visitors, is ideal for getting to know and evaluating the competition in the Industry. The users of Instrumentation and Automation from all over India will see the latest technologies available.

    There is certainly no lack of exciting ideas and concepts – just when and how these concepts are implemented in market-ready solutions will be another interesting aspect to find out about at AUTOMATION 2010

    Automation Technology Conference
    Industrial Automation hosts a three-day technical conference at Automation 2010. This technical conference provides quality education to professionals and provides business an unparalleled opportunity to maximize their productivity and ensure their long-term growth. World-class speakers from US, UK, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Brazil and other countries are presenting papers on Automation Technology.

    This event will be the 5th International Exbhition and Conference event being organized by this company. They started their first event in 2002 and the table below gives some idea of growth

    Achievements Exhibitors Area (Sq.Mtr.) Business Visitors
    Automation 2002 147 3270 15950
    Automation 2004 257 9500 20465
    Automation 2006 502 18000 34901
    Automation 2008 618 40000 40611
    Automation 2010 1500 50000 75000 Expected