Friday, June 11, 2010

More devices based on ISA100.11a

Yokogawa announces the release of field wireless devices based on the ISA100.11a industrial communications standard

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has developed "the world's first field wireless devices based on the ISA100.11a industrial wireless communications standard," and will release them to the market in July. These wireless products include an EJX-B series differential pressure and pressure transmitter, a YTA series temperature transmitter, and an integrated field wireless gateway which connects field wireless devices with a host system and provides a number of field wireless network setting and management functions in field sensor networks.

These field wireless devices are expected to satisfy a wide variety of requirements in the industrial automation field. To help companies achieve ever higher levels of productivity, Yokogawa will continue to develop various kinds of field wireless devices for both monitoring and control applications, and is also proposing the development of new field digital networks that integrate wireless and wired technologies.

Development background
Wireless technology has the following strengths that well suit it for field device and control system applications: 1. Reduces wiring and engineering costs 2. Field devices can be installed in difficult-to-wire locations 3. Plant safety is improved through the use of low-cost online device diagnostics

Despite such benefits, wireless networks have seen limited use to date in industrial automation applications due to their requirement for advanced technologies that ensure high reliability, real-time response, environmental resistance, and explosion-proof protection, and because of the absence until recently of an industrial communications standard for field wireless devices.

Approved in September 2009, the ISA 100.11a standard presents the following advantages for use in industrial automation: 1. High reliability 2. Suitable for a wide range of applications 3. Improved flexibility and network expandability 4. High compatibility with existing wired systems

Following approval by ISA and ANSI, this standard will be published and submitted for the review of the IECSC65C Subcommittee of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

These new field wireless devices based on the ISA 100.11a standard fully complement Yokogawa's measurement, control, and information solutions and are expected to make a significant contribution to the realisation of the company's VigilantPlant concept of the ideal plant. This new technology will help Yokogawa's customers "See clearly, know in advance, and act with agility". Yokogawa will continue to seek out solutions that secure its customers an optimum return on their investment throughout the plant lifecycle.

Product concept
1. Suitability for monitoring, diagnostics, and control
With bidirectional digital wireless networks based on the ISA100.11a standard, the production, device diagnostic, and parameter data transferred between a control system and field devices are securely encrypted. This wireless technology is ideal for status monitoring, device diagnostics, and control applications.

2. Multiple power sources
These wireless devices are designed to run on explosion-proof batteries that can easily be replaced in hazardous locations. Yokogawa also plans to develop easy-to-maintain solar batteries for use with these devices.
3. The development of new technology while safeguarding investment in existing assets
As a partner with its customers, Yokogawa is always looking to develop new technology solutions while working to ensure full compatibility with customer's current assets, thus protecting their investment. These products were designed with this requirement in mind.

Yokogawa continues to fulfill its commitment to providing unsurpassed leading edge solutions to industry. Reliable, secure, flexible, and intuitive, our new wireless transmitters simplify all aspects of wireless deployment, management, and operation while delivering the excellence that users have come to expect from Yokogawa products.

Yokogawa plans to provide a trial kit that will allow customers to experience the advantages of Yokogawa wireless products. Details will be announced later.

Major target markets
Oil and gas, LNG, refining, petrochemicals, chemicals, iron and steel, pulp and paper, power, non-metal/cement, food and beverages, water treatment, waste water

Temperature, flow, and differential pressure/pressure measurement in plant processes.

Intellectual property acquired

Tyco Electronics has acquired the intellectual property (IP) rights to the 9th wire hardware technology that powers its AMPTRAC Intelligent Infrastructure Management System (IIM).

9th wire technology provides real-time monitoring of planned and unplanned changes to layer 1 physical infrastructure. It allows patch fields, without active electronics, to communicate with analysers and work with licensed IIM software from iTRACS Corporation. The combined solution makes it easier for IT administrators to maintain an accurate configuration management database, meet corporate needs for maximum network uptime, enhance asset location and turn cabling systems and their connected devices into smart networks.

"Tyco Electronics is investing in the Intelligent Solution arena to provide IT and facilities managers with the tools they need to perform real-time analysis to expose inefficiencies and optimise the use of their assets", says Stephen Mitchell, Vice President of the AMP NETCONNECT business unit of Tyco Electronics: "The 9th wire IP acquisition demonstrates our commitment to that investment, to our AMPTRAC product line and to Tyco's efforts to provide the industry with the best networking intelligence solutions available."

A component of the acquisition provides an established community of vendors a license to the intellectual property, with the intent to position this passive real-time hardware technology as an industry standard. Mitchell says that Tyco Electronics is the leading provider of IIM solutions based on the 9th wire technology in data centres and office networks. He adds that the AMPTRAC connectivity management solution offers the benefits of seamless integration, fast implementation, and one-stop installation support.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

System response time and analytics for rotating equipment

Invensys Operations Management has announced the availability of version 2.1.1 of its Triconex® Trident™ safety system. The new version has two new input modules that enhance worker safety, reduce downtime and deliver more accurate trip analysis in power and turbomachinery applications, helping customers to achieve safety excellence. One new module enables faster response to unsafe equipment conditions; another optimises trip data analysis to prevent future upsets.

"Protecting rotating equipment from damage is critical to our customers' operations, and the ability to provide highly accurate plant information helps determine the root cause of trips more effectively, as well as achieve safety excellence," said Alejandro Fung, director of safety systems product management, Invensys Operations Management. "Enhancements to the latest Trident system bring another level of safety to production assets. High reliability, high availability, predictive over-speed condition and high-resolution sequence of event information helps customers achieve better uptime and a better understanding of the critical indicators that lead to process shutdowns."

The faster response time of the new Trident system offering is the result of an enhanced pulse input module, which measures speed, rate-of-speed change and the rate of acceleration of rotating equipment in milliseconds. This enables faster prediction of over-speed conditions, which can jeopardise personnel, interrupt operations and damage equipment.

The optimised trip analysis is the result of a new high-resolution digital input module, which monitors changes of state and sequence of events (SOE) and provides a timestamp resolution of one millisecond with an accuracy of one millisecond. Process trips generate valuable information about the conditions that caused the shutdown. Reviewing and analysing such data can be challenging and time consuming, however, and having SOE data with a one millisecond resolution can be a significant aid in determining the root cause of the shutdown.

By safely maintaining maximum process uptime, Triconex safety systems can help meet and exceed production targets. The scalable Triconex Trident safety system is based on industry-proven triple modular redundant (TMR) technology that helps customers protect plant personnel and production assets, as well as achieve compliance with rigorous environmental standards by providing the highest system availability and reliability in the market today.

Programmer for pressure transmitters

With Baumer’s FlexProgrammer 9701, all pressure transmitters of the PB family can now easily be configured on PC. The battery-powered device can be used to recalibrate the full scale and the zero signal, to readjust the pressure range up to 20 % F.S., and for the data logging of pressure and temperature signals. Furthermore, with the FlexProgrammer the upper and lower output signals as well as the alarm output signal can be parameterised.

It features an easy menu-based programming with control function. The data transfer is executed via a USB interface. Beside the direct configuration on PC, the tool also allows for remote programming of individual measuring devices in situ, which makes the FlexProgrammer highly flexible and perfect for mobile use in all environments.

The programming device is mounted in a robust plastic housing and equipped with a digital display, four push-buttons and a lanyard. The battery of the type NiMH 2.4 V, 450 mAh is rechargeable via the device’s USB port. A CD with the FlexProgram software is included in the delivery. The software is based on FDT (Field Device Tool) due to which every driver device acts as a Device Type Manager (DTM). Separate DTM drivers are available on request which makes the tool perfectly suitable for customers who have transmitters from different suppliers and want to use one FDT software for all of them.

A brand new range of panels and industrial PCs

A brand new range of panels and industrial PCs The Beijer Electronics´ iX HMI solution is enhanced by a broader range of panels and industrial PCs and some software additions. It is designed particularly for packaging, printing, food and pharmaceutical processing machines, machine-tools, water and irrigation, petrochemicals and marine applications.

The iX software is supported by the next generation of Beijer Electronics award-winning operator panels and industrial PCs

It is the innovative HMI solution allowing you to express your ideas with a strong combination of state-of-the-art graphics and solid HMI functionality. iX offers the experience of smarter design and engineering tools, and a truly open platform. iX covers the gap between proprietary operator panels and cost-intensive SCADA solutions. The iX software is supported by the next generation of our award-winning operator panels and industrial PCs. The iX software
The software is available in developer and runtime packages in versions for 250, 2000 and 4000 external tags as well as an upgrade version regardless of tag size.

It is supported by the next generation of the company's award-winning operator panels and industrial PCs - the iX Panel, the iX Panel Pro and the iX Panel Pro Nautic, combining high-performance hardware finely tuned for iX with robust construction. iX Panel
The iX Panels combine high-performance with a robust IP66 lightweight aluminum construction and include iX runtime software. The iX Panel series offers both keypad and touchscreen models to choose from. The iX Panel series is designed for industrial applications and complies with global industry standards.
  • Touchscreen models: 3.5", 5.7", 6.5", 10.4", 15.0"
  • Keypad versions: 5.7", 6.5", 10.4"

  • iX Panel Pro & iX Panel Pro Nautic
    The iX Panel Pro and iX Panel Pro Nautic series feature industrial class C2D CPU performance and relevant nautical certifications. Multiple communication ports and expansion slots provide numerous options for networking and updating, making this an ideal HMI for machine builders and system integrators alike.

    The Panel Pro series deliver full, open and expandable HMI platform functionality for industrial and marine applications. Both series are based on the same basic design, host the same features, and include the iX runtime installed in addition. Both series feature models with high-contrast TFT touch displays and a Box PC version.
  • Pro series: 12", 15", 17", 19", 19" with stainless steel front, and a Box-PC version with dual display output.
  • Pro Nautic series: 15", 17", 19", and a Box-PC with dual display output.
  • Drives with Ethernet

    Ultra-versatile servo drives are compatible with multiple Ethernet standards
    Baldor has announced even greater flexibility for one of the most versatile servomotor drive ranges in the world. The e100 drive family has been re-engineered to become compatible with no less than three industrial Ethernet standards - EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP and Powerlink - as well as standard TCP/IP networks and their own highly popular Mint system building environment. The drives offer system builders a choice of servomotor, closed-loop vector or V/Hz motor control modes, combined with an array of features and configuration options that provide exceptional versatility of use.

    The new drives are versions of Baldor's e100 single- and three-phase drives. Up to now, these drives have been compatible with the real-time Powerlink Ethernet standard, TCP/IP and Baldor's Mint system building environment. With this release, the company upgrades the capability of the drives to additionally be configured for EtherNet/IP or Modbus TCP networks. These two communications protocols greatly extend the applications potential of the drives in PLC-controlled applications.

    Baldor's MicroFlex e100 and MotiFlex drives have earned a reputation for being extremely easy to configure and use - through features such as wizard application software which removes the traditional complexity of drive set up.

    The drives also offer many novel hardware capabilities that PLC users can benefit from. The three-phase drives are energy efficient, offering a DC bus system that can share regenerated power with other axes. As well as their own local I/O and CANopen expansion, many drives also have option card slots, providing a high degree of configurability for specific applications including almost all fieldbuses. Other features include universal encoder feedback input, and programmable notch filters to eliminate mechanical resonance effects, as well as the ability to be used with servomotors, closed loop vector motors or in V/Hz motor speed control modes.

    "Our new drives support multiple standards - out-of-the-box - at no extra cost and without any need for plug-in cards," says Baldor's product manager David Greensmith. "They provide system builders with a universal drive platform that can be used in many different ways to suit different customers and applications - from standalone motion control systems to networked systems hosted by PLCs or other devices."

    In addition to the new drive functionality, Baldor now supports all of the Ethernet networks on its NextMove e100 motion system and machine controller. This combines network control capability with control facilities for up to seven analogue or stepper drives, and may be used standalone or in conjunction with PLC or PC hosts.

    Security test requirements

    ISA Security Compliance Institute Publishes Test Lab and Test Tool Requirements

    The ISASecure certification was developed based on the ISA99 Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security standards and other relevant standards such as IEC. Visit the ISA99 Committee website for details on the approved standard, the ISA99 roadmap, and relevant presentations.
    The ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) has posted the recently approved ISASecure™ EDSA-200 Chartered Laboratory Operations and Accreditation specification and EDSA-201 Recognition Process for Communication Robustness Testing (CRT) Tools specification on line.

    The Lab Accreditation and Test Tool Recognition Requirements form a key element of the overall ISASecure Embedded Device Security Assurance (EDSA) certification program. These documents provide detailed information to organizations that want to submit test tools for inclusion in the ISASecure EDSA certification program and/or become an ISASecure Chartered Lab. As an operational strategy, ISCI does not plan to build test laboratories or test tools. Instead, ISCI has established and will maintain the requirements and specifications for the ISASecure program.

    ISCI also posted the EDSA-100 Certification Scheme document to the website. This top-level document summarizes the overall ISASecure EDSA Certification program and provides the context for the test tool recognition and chartered laboratory requirements documents. Requirements for achieving the ISASecure EDSA certification for an embedded device are described in EDSA-300 ISASecure Certification Requirements, also posted on the website.

    Thecertification program specifications can be downloaded from the “Certification Program” page of the website or accessed via the “View ISASecure Specifications” link in the blue block on the home page.

    ISCI constructed the ISASecure EDSA certification as an ISO/IEC Guide 65 conformance scheme to facilitate global adoption of and participation in the ISASecure EDSA certification program. "We are striving to establish a globally recognized Industrial Automation Control Systems security certification, intended to grow and improve within a structured paradigm. The ISO/IEC Guide 65 conformance scheme provides structured, deliberate processes for launching the ISASecure program and for expanding the scope of the ISASecure certifications,” explained Andre Ristaino, ASCI managing director.

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    LIMS in Brazil

    GPSG Brazil uses integrated informatics solution to ensure quality in pharma manufacturing

    Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced that Global Pharmaceutical Supply Group (GPSG Brazil), a unit of Janssen-Cilag, which is a pharmaceutical division of Johnson and Johnson, has implemented an integrated informatics solution consisting of a laboratory information management system (LIMS) and a chromatography data system (CDS). The company will use the system to enhance the quality control in its São José dos Campos pharmaceutical production facility in São Paulo (BR). (More details of the application).

    Janssen-Cilag selected the Thermo Scientific CONNECTS solution, consisting of LIMS and CDS, to integrate its many instruments and laboratories. GPSG Brazil now uses the informatics solution in its five laboratories (Incoming; Microbiology; Chemical Lab; Analytical Development and Research & Development), and the solution has been integrated with SAP R3, GPSG’s enterprise resource planning system and the enterprise documentation system.

    Every month, GPSG Brazil’s manufacturing plant in São José dos Campos, processes more than 10,000 analyses to ensure the quality of nearly 2000 samples of raw materials, packaging materials, semi-finished and finished products, in addition to water and stability testing. The site is fully equipped with an incoming laboratory plus microbiological, chemical, analytical development and research and development laboratories. The manufacturing plant handles both solids and liquids, including Tylenol 750 mg tablets, Tylex tablets, Nizoral tablets, Tylenol drops, Nizoral cream and shampoo and imported products such as Eprex and Risperdal tablets. In addition to holding a strategic position in the production of solids, liquids, creams and shampoos, GPSG Brazil imports a wide range of products while exporting to many Latin America countries including Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and Bolivia.

    Given the high sample throughput and the high degree of reliability that is required of a pharmaceutical company, proven systems and equipment are vital to ensure maximum productivity and retain a competitive advantage. GPSG Brazil selected Thermo Scientific LIMS to deploy in its laboratories to ensure integration with the corporate enterprise resource planning package SAP R/3. For GPSG Brazil, the incorporation of product quality information from the laboratory within ERP systems was a clear priority. Between the production plant and the laboratory that analyzes data from production, there is a need for regular exchange of information about quality and analysis values. In order to leverage the full benefits of modern ERP solutions, GPSG Brazil needed a solution to interface the LIMS with SAP so that the LIMS feeds data into the ERP. By interfacing the LIMS with its ERP, GPSG Brazil can expedite the data flow between the lab and the manufacturing functions, streamline data handling and integrate data collection and reports.

    This integration of a Thermo Scientific LIMS solution with various laboratory instruments, as well as quality management and enterprise systems, is a vivid example of Thermo Scientific CONNECTS in action. Thermo Scientific CONNECTS bridges the gaps between laboratory generated data and the enterprise level information that is required for mission critical management decisions by providing both the integration of instruments and systems and interoperability necessary to transform data into relevant business drivers for companies across the broadest spectrum of industries.

    Thermo Scientific CONNECTS is a set of offerings that leverage the company’s breadth of LIMS and CDS capabilities, as well as expertise in enterprise systems integration to help streamline and improve the transfer of knowledge between laboratory-generated data and enterprise-level information systems. CONNECTS assists organizations in integrating application-specific workflows, thereby transforming laboratory data into relevant business information and maximizing a company’s enterprise system investments to better support critical management decisions in today’s resource-constrained environment.

    According to Ronaldo Galvao, quality operations director, GPSG Brazil: “At the time we selected Thermo Fisher as our vendor of choice, we made the decision to consolidate with a company that has proven expertise in the pharmaceutical industry. We needed a validated product that provides us with sufficient flexibility to deliver all the requirements of a pharmaceutical plant such as data security and consistent quality data, a centralized repository for the Quality Management data, fast and accurate data storage and recovery, and all the industry functionality. The overall integration of our connected informatics solutions provides a seamless and secure quality environment at GPSG Brazil.”
    Dave Champagne, vice president and general manager, Informatics at Thermo Fisher Scientific added: “Thermo Fisher Scientific works with many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies to support their manufacturing quality and ensure their ongoing success. We are very happy that Janssen-Cilag in Brazil depends upon our Thermo Scientific CONNECTS integrated solutions to ensure the continued quality of its output. Our growing presence in South America providing informatics solutions to a broad range of industries is strengthened by our work with GPSG-Brazil to support their ongoing production schedules and to improve their processes.”

    Connecting to industrial networks

    New Interfaces for PROFIBUS, FOUNDATION Fieldbus and DeviceNet Allow Engineers to Add High-speed Measurements, Custom Control and Web Connectivity to Existing PLC and DCS-based Systems

    National Instruments has announced new interfaces for PROFIBUS, FOUNDATION Fieldbus and DeviceNet that make it possible for engineers to connect LabVIEW, programmable automation controllers (PACs) and embedded systems to their existing industrial networks. The new interfaces provide industrial control engineers the ability to add high-speed measurements and analysis, advanced control, Web connectivity and data logging to existing systems to improve the performance and quality of their machines. The new NI CompactRIO PROFIBUS C Series modules connect CompactRIO and NI Single-Board RIO to PROFIBUS DP networks as masters or slaves, which add high-performance measurements and custom control to systems that have standardised on PROFIBUS. In addition, NI announced a new one-port FOUNDATION Fieldbus H1 interface for USB and a pair of DeviceNet master boards for PXI and PCI.

    Currently, PROFIBUS features more than 30 million installed nodes worldwide and is one of the leading industrial networks for connecting programmable logic controllers (PLCs), I/O, sensors and drives in industrial and automation systems. The new C Series modules make it possible to connect CompactRIO PACs and NI Single-Board RIO embedded systems to a PROFIBUS industrial network and add high-performance measurements, advanced analysis and custom field-programmable gate array (FPGA) logic to existing systems. Engineers can now easily upgrade and retrofit existing machines and systems by using the new PROFIBUS modules to quickly add high-performance, flexible NI hardware and LabVIEW graphical software to accomplish high-speed and custom tasks that traditional PLCs are not designed to solve.

    FOUNDATION Fieldbus is a simple, two-way digital communication protocol commonly used in process automation. The new NI USB-8486 is a one-port FOUNDATION Fieldbus H1 interface that provides data logging, configuration and control in HMI and distributed control system applications. The new interface connects FOUNDATION Fieldbus devices to standard desktop, industrial and notebook PCs. The USB-8486 is ideal for portable data logging and in-the-field configuration and maintenance of devices and networks.

    DeviceNet is an industrial protocol that is based on the controller area network (CAN) physical layer and is managed by the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association. The new NI PCI-8532 and NI PXI-8532 scanner (master) interfaces are specifically designed for applications that involve managing and controlling other DeviceNet devices on the network using LabVIEW graphical programming.

    Wireless telemetry

    New and Innovative Industrial Wireless Telemetry System Launched by LCM Systems

    LCM Systems has a new and innovative wireless telemetry system for multiple data acquisition in real time. The T24 range is a versatile set of products, based around proprietary acquisition devices that can be mixed and matched to provide high quality remote readings for critical applications. The low power radio units allow data collection over many years with no sustained power, so are considerably more cost-effective than hardwired systems.

    The main feature of the T24 is its modular design. One acquisition module can provide data to multiple output devices and the output devices can accept data from multiple acquisition modules. Any strain bridge, voltage or current output sensor can integrate with the T24 acquisition devices to create wireless instrumentation monitoring systems with a direct line of sight range of 120 metres, which can be further extended with the use of antennas and passive repeaters. Engineers at the company can provide advice and guidance about how the optimum system can be configured.

    A number of Acquisition Modules are available. For strain gauges, there is a five-wire measurement device - the T24-SA, while the T24-VA voltage acquisition accepts 0-10V, and the T24-IA accepts 0-20mA, suitable for a wide range of sensors with a 4-20mA output. This means that a wide range of sensors can be wirelessly monitored including load cells, inclinometers, accelerometers, displacement LVDT, pressure, temperature, humidity, pH and shock.

    Real time results from multiple inputs can be displayed on either a static or handheld device, both of which can be provided. Alternatively, a single acquisition output can be relayed using the T24-AO1 Analogue Output Module to a data logger.

    Software and accessories include antennas and batteries, as well as the free of charge T24 Toolkit Software, a user-friendly Windows package for configuration and calibration of all T24 modules.

    LCM Systems can offer a fully integrated system solution comprising of load cells and wireless telemetry products, packaged into a fully functional bespoke solution to meet customers’ specific requirements.

    5 year warranty in Britain

    As a company ‘looking forward’ to future partnerships with customers, VEGA Controls Ltd are further underwriting their commitment to quality and customer service, by introducing a 5 year warranty on all level and pressure instrumentation manufactured by VEGA, sold in Britain from June 1st 2010.

    “We know reliability is a key area for our customers. Not only will they get easy to use, trend setting modular products, there is also peace of mind in the knowledge that they are purchasing long-term solutions from a committed supplier and partner.”
    said UK Managing Director, Mel Henry.

    Oil and Gas flow software

    Integration with oil & gas reservoir simulator helps clients achieve productivity excellence

    Invensys Operations Management has announced the release of its SimSci-Esscor PIPEPHASE™ 9.4 software for rigorous modeling of steady-state, multiphase flow in oil and gas networks and pipeline systems. The updated PIPEPHASE release improves the ability to manage oil and gas reservoirs using enhanced subsurface well modeling functions and an interface with GEM™, one of the leading reservoir simulation software applications from Computer Modeling Group Ltd (CMG).

    Accurate modeling of oil and gas reservoirs allows producers to achieve productivity excellence, as well as manage and extract more of these vital resources. The PIPEPHASE 9.4 software delivers comprehensive modeling capabilities that create a unified well profile by linking subsurface wellbore links and allowing multiple tubing connections and custom data entry of well depths. It also integrates with GEM to simulate CO2 sequestration and oil recovery from depleted fields, providing a fully coupled surface network-to-reservoir simulation solution for the market.

    "An important aspect of improving profitability and performance is increasing oil recovery from depleted fields," said Joe McMullen, product manager, Invensys Operations Management. "The link between PIPEPHASE and GEM enables rigorous and accurate modeling of enhanced oil-recovery processes. And as new oil-recovery methods are examined, our solution will help our customers efficiently and economically develop and manage their resources, as well as improve the productivity of their overall operations."

    SimSci-Esscor simulation software provides the basis of solutions for oil producers worldwide, enabling them to get more from their assets in a safer manner. PIPEPHASE 9.4 simulation software combines the power of Invensys' fluid flow simulation with CMG's reservoir simulation, enabling customers to manage their assets more effectively and profitably.

    Director of Sales - North America

    Powerstax has appointed Lonnie Friend to the post of Director of Sales for North America. This strategic appointment is in response to continued strong sales growth in the USA which now accounts for over 50% of Powerstax worldwide sales.

    Lonnie has worked in the OEM electronics industry since graduating from Ohio State University. The majority of Lonnie’s experience has been in the power supply industry serving as the principal staff member at Director or Vice President level for five US power conversion companies over a period of some 30 years. Lonnie has a wide range of relevant experience including establishing, managing and motivating strong and disciplined sales organisations, building strategic relationships with tier-one key accounts, devising and implementing tactical plans that meet corporate strategic goals and developing technology roadmaps that support corporate business needs.

    Tim Worley, CEO of Powerstax plc, comments; "Lonnie brings his extensive experience and energy to Powerstax, enabling us to capitalise on opportunities to promote and sell our high efficiency power solutions throughout North America. Lonnie and I met at the Nepcon East show in Boston MA this April and it was quickly evident that we shared a common vision and excitement for the partnership we have now embarked upon. Lonnie will also ‘hop over the pond’ this November to meet the Powerstax team and attend the electronica show in Munich (DE).”

    Lonnie has been married for over 40 years and has one Son and a Granddaughter. He has authored numerous technical articles and served on Board of Directors for the Power Supply Manufacturers Association.

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    Working Internationally

    Complimentary Networking Evening for people that have been working in the Engineering Industry over the last number of years throughout Ireland.
    Monday 21st June 2010: Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork @ 7.30pm

    Monday 21st June 2010: Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork @ 7.30pmThe evening, organised by the Ireland Section of the International Society of Automation (ISA Ireland), will have the topic "Working Internationally." During the 1st half of the evening there will be five presentations lasting about 7 minutes each with plenty of time for questions. The objective is to give valuable informative & practical hints on Working & Communicating Internationally, During the 2nd half of the evening there will be complimentary refreshments allowing time to catch up with friends throughout the industry and there will be ample time to ask the presenters more questions.

    This presentation is aimed at giving people information on engineering activities / opportunities around the globe and allowing them to have one on one conversation with people experienced in travelling and using modern electronic communications technology.

    After the initial presentation, the presenters from the listed companies will be sitting at tables in
    different parts of the room. They will be available to speak to individuals giving the benefit of their experience. It will give you the opportunity to ask questions on a one to one personal basis.

    This event is Free - participants can help with estimating final attendee numbers by confirming their attendance by email. But all are welcome even if they don’t have time to confirm.

    The Presentations and Presenting Companies
    • The Netherlands/Singapore: DPS Engineering Ltd.
    • China: Life Science Consultants
    • UK/USA/Saudi Arabia: Jacobs Engineering Group
    • Poland/Russia/Bulgaria: Project Management Group
    • Networking with LinkedIn & Skype: ISA Ireland Section
    Billy Walsh, Membership Chairman of ISA Ireland, "Our unique Networking Evening is aimed at giving people information on engineering activities / opportunities that exist around the globe. Throughout the evening, an atmosphere and a forum will exist that will allow attendees to have a one to one conversation with people experienced in travelling and using modern communications technology. Speakers will be available from companies / organisations that are listed in the attachment whereby they will share their own experiences of working abroad. Opportunities will be available to ask questions on a one to one basis."

    Easy to use touch panels

    Fujitsu and ATT enable fast realisation of glass touch-panel modules for home, industrial and medical applications

    Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe (FME) and Advanced Touchscreen Technology (ATT) have announced a collaborative agreement to support customers’ rapid development of mass-production-ready touch-panel solutions by joining ATT’s innovative customised transparent conductive glass (ATT-HC101) with FME’s robust and easy-to-use touch sensor controllers (TSC).

    The combination of these two key technologies will enable quicker and easier realisation of robust, transparent touch panels for various applications. The first projects in home appliance, medical and industrial applications have already been designed together with the end customers.

    The FMA1127 and FMA1125 touch sensor controller families offered by FME represent a robust, high performance and power efficient replacement of buttons, sliders and turning knobs – a solution that can even work with droplets of water on the touch surface.

    ATT provides customised conductive-coated glass sensors matching the technical features of FME’s touch sensor controllers. During customer projects, experts from both companies will work closely together to achieve the best solution for the end customer.

    “With ATT we have gained an innovative partner demonstrating extremely high flexibility towards customers’ demands. In particular, the low-cost and fast-sampling procedure of ATT’s transparent conductive glass sensors accelerate the development of our customers’ projects. Together with our technical experts, we have already enabled several customers to realise a convincing HMI based on a robust glass touch front panel even under very tough schedule conditions.” said Wolf Fronauer, Marketing Manager for Embedded Systems at FME.

    A revolutionary coating process developed by ATT enables the manufacturing of high quality transparent conductive layers at low costs. “ATT sensors and FME controllers represent the best combination of technology for our customers. The seamless collaboration between technical experts from ATT and FME enables us to focus on customised innovative touch sensor solutions for various fields ranging from home appliances to medical and industrial applications. The partnership with FME opens the door to a customer-oriented way of business with infinite opportunities, which fulfils most advanced expectations,” said Ben Meester CEO at ATT.

    Product documentation revised

    Thomson has announced a fundamental revision of its product documentation. Along with all enhancements to the product portfolio, such as the new T60 precision linear actuator, the new catalogues and brochures also feature all upgrades and improvements to existing products.

    The documents are available for download in PDF format here. In addition to introductory brochures for Thomson products, special editions also describe the use of actuators and guides in specific industrial sectors, e.g. for agricultural and construction machinery or the construction of systems for the generation of power from renewable energy sources.

    The relevant product catalogue can be downloaded for each Thomson product range, incorporating linear actuators, the industrial Electrak Pro actuator series, the Movoact TC16 telescopic lifting column, the precision linear actuators and the dynamic servo actuators, among others. Also available: catalogues detailing the special solutions for handling systems and Movorail components.

    Most brochures and catalogues are available in English and German. Further documents relating to individual products and specific fields of application can be ordered either in electronic or paper format by completing a special request form here.

    Thermal calculation software

    Rittal have launched their new thermal calculation software Therm 6.0, part of an extensive range of software tools, that enable an engineer to design and deliver solutions efficiently.

    The new software gives a Windows feel to the layout which makes it easier to navigate through the five screens within the software. With more components added to the library and an easy function for adding their own devices, the software saves engineers both time and money and gives assurance that adequate cooling can be provided for any situation.

    Available on CD or via download from the website, . The software can also be updated automatically via the Internet to ensure the user always has the latest functionality.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Semiconductor veteran joins board

    GreenPeak Technologies, a leading fabless semiconductor company, today announced that semiconductor industry figure Hans Rohrer has been appointed Chairman of the Board.

    “We are delighted that Hans Rohrer will join GreenPeak as non-executive Chairman of the Board. Mr. Rohrer has a long and successful track record working in executive management roles at a variety of technology companies,"
    said Cees Links, CEO of GreenPeak Technologies.

    Mr. Rohrer started his career in the semiconductor industry at Texas Instruments, was Vice President and General Manager leading National Semiconductor Europe, European President of TSMC, and then CEO of Zetex prior to the sale of Zetex to Diodes Incorporated.
    Mr. Rohrer currently serves as Senior Vice President Business Development with Diodes Incorporated, a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality, application-specific standard products within the broad discrete and analog semiconductor markets, serving the consumer electronics, computing, communications, industrial and automotive market segments. Mr. Rohrer has considerable international board expertise in publicly as well as privately held companies.

    "Hans brings to GreenPeak an unrivalled reputation and invaluable network of contacts at the highest level of the industry worldwide as well as to the channel, suppliers and potential customers. This will provide immediate value and contribution to the growth of our company in preparing it for its next stage,” said Cees Links. “We are confident that Hans has the industry contacts and experience to bring GreenPeak to its next stage of corporate development and beyond.”

    “I look forward to supporting GreenPeak as Chairman of the Board,” said Hans Rohrer. “The GreenPeak team is highly experienced and has an extraordinary opportunity to meet the needs of the fast-growing wireless sensor networking market by adding ultra low power features to create maintenance-free and battery-free solutions in remote controls and other residential control and home automation applications. I’m pleased to taking on this role and working with the other members of the Board to helping to overcome challenges and identify opportunities in the marketplace that create further value for GreenPeak.”

    The key to learning

    The electrical machines laboratory at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) has greatly increased in its effectiveness as a teaching resource since TorqSense non-contact torque sensors from Sensor Technology have been fitted to five machine sets. The new sensors replace an existing system of machine monitoring that had proved inaccurate.

    To provide maximum flexibility, the demonstration equipment in the DIT machines laboratory employs modular construction. This means, for example, that experiments with both AC and DC machines can be carried out on the same test bed, as whichever machine is needed is simply clamped into place. Whatever the configuration of the equipment, however, the experiments and demonstrations performed in the laboratory require the monitoring and collection of a number of key operating parameters, including torque, speed and power.

    “We had tried many methods for measuring these parameters, but had found it impossible to get results we could rely on, particularly in the case of the torque and power measurements,” said Terence Kelly, Technical Officer at Dublin Institute of Technology. “Then we heard about the Sensor Technology’s innovative products, and after we’d visited the company and seen the sensors in action, we knew that they we’d found the solution we were looking for.”

    The sensors that attracted the attention of DIT depend for their operation on surface acoustic wave (SAW) transducers. These transducers comprise two thin metal electrodes, in the form of interlocking “fingers”, on a piezoelectric substrate such as quartz. When an RF signal of the correct frequency is applied to the transducer, surface acoustic waves are set up, and the transducer behaves as a resonant circuit.

    The key feature, however, is that if the substrate is deformed, the resonant frequency changes. When the transducer is attached to a motor drive shaft, the deformation of the substrate and hence the change in resonant frequency is related to the torque applied to the shaft. In other words, the transducer, in effect, becomes a frequency-dependent strain gauge.

    Since the transducers operate at radio frequencies, it is easy to couple signals to them wirelessly. Hence, TorqSense sensors that incorporate the SAW transducer technology can be used on rotating shafts, and can provide data continuously without the need for the inherently unreliable brushes and slip rings that are often found in traditional torque measurement systems.

    Other features of these novel sensors that made them particularly suitable for use in the DIT machines laboratory include a large safe overload margin, high accuracy and resolution, ability to operate equally well clockwise and anticlockwise, and integral temperature monitoring. Also, as well as measuring torque, the sensors also provide speed and power data.

    “The biggest benefit of the TorqSense sensors is, of course, that they use a wireless connection between the transducer itself and the sensor electronics,” said Terence Kelly. “This solves all of the major problems at a stroke. But they also excel in terms of the amount of information they collect, and because they deliver measurements of all key parameters in real time. In addition, they are robust, which is particularly important in a teaching laboratory and, in the year that we’ve been using them, they have proved totally reliable.”

    DIT Machines Laboratory has purchased six RTW321 series TorqSense sensors. In addition to two conventional analogue outputs, these also provide data digitally via RS 232 and USB ports. In this application, the USB ports provide a convenient connection to a PC that is also used configure the operation of the sensor. The sensors have an integral self-diagnostic feature that ensures the data they supply is trustworthy, and also warns users if the maximum speed or torque ratings are exceeded.

    Five of the sensors purchased by DIT are currently installed on demonstration equipment, while the sixth is held in reserve in anticipation of use in a future research project. The five sensors currently in operation have a torque range of 0 to 15 Nm, but they are configured for a maximum reading of 10 Nm in order to discourage students from pushing them to – and possibly beyond – the limit of their range. The sensors monitor speed from 0 to 1,500 rpm, and power from 0 to 1.4 kW.

    “Since we installed the new sensors, we’ve had nothing but positive comments from the staff and students who use the machine laboratory, I think it’s fair to say that the sensors have greatly improved our facilities for demonstrating machine characteristics and for experimenting with them, and that they are, therefore, a great asset for our teaching programme.”

    Towards an e-nose!

    Imec and Holst Centre report gas sensor chip paving the way to autonomous e-nose
    Imec and Holst Centre have developed very sensitive integrated sensing elements for gas detection. The polymer-coated microbridges in high-density arrays can detect ppm-level concentrations of vapors using on-chip integrated read-out techniques. The demonstrated technology is very suitable for miniaturization of electronic nose devices thanks to the low power consumption and small form factor.

    Wireless sensor nodes that can chemically detect gaseous compounds are rapidly gaining interest from markets such as food monitoring, healthcare and safety. One of the main gas sensing approaches in uncontrolled environments is the identification of vapors (“smells”) using multiple sensing elements (“receptors”), in a system that is often referred to as an “electronic nose” or “e-nose”. An accurate e-nose requires small, integrated, low-power detectors with individually tuned chemical coatings. Current solutions, like chemi-resistors or quartz crystals are however not scalable or power-efficient enough to build low-power small form factor e-noses.

    They have developed a new generation of microbridges with embedded individual piezoelectric “shakers” in a high-density array with very high fabrication yield. The novel design allows for rapid coating of a range of absorbents on individual microbridges using commercial inkjet printing technology. The suspended structures vibrate individually, and changes in their modes of vibration (resonances) are monitored as an indication of vapor absorption in their coatings. Due to the very high length-to-thickness ratio of the microbridges, imec and Holst Centre’s novel gas sensor chip has a high sensitivity to low-concentration vapors. Moreover, by implementing integrated piezoelectric read-out schemes, ultra-low power operation could be demonstrated.

    Current work is ongoing to integrate the structures with low-power analog read-out circuits and to demonstrate simultaneous measurements from multiple structures. This truly low-power miniaturized implementation of an e-nose technology can be used in current applications such as wine and cheese monitoring, but could in the future also help sniff-out human conditions such as asthma, lung cancer, and kidney diseases.

    Major gas grid contract

    Yokogawa UK has won a major contract from Orbital Gas Systems for pressure and temperature transmitters for use on the British National Grid gas network.

    The contract, which covers the supply of 350 EJX pressure transmitters and 80 YTA temperature transmitters, covers major upgrades to the National Transmission System (NTS): the high pressure part of Britain's natural gas transmission network, consisting of more than 7400 km of pipeline operating at pressures of up to 85 bar.

    National Grid is constantly upgrading the NTS, and awarded the contract to Orbital Gas Systems for the two most recent projects, known as IRIS and Upgrade of High Pressure Supply Point Metering Equipment. The IRIS project comprises upgrading the network's remote terminal units to improve the functionality of the existing telemetry system as part of a process of continual improvement. The objective of the Metering project is to reduce the uncertainty of flow measurement within the NTS, and to ensure compliance with new international standards.

    A key requirement for both projects is accurate and reliable measurements of parameters such as pressure, differential pressure and temperature, with particular emphasis on the long-term stability and repeatability of the measuring instruments. "Measurement stability, and particularly maximising the length of time between calibrations, is a key factor in keeping operating costs down," Orbital commented. "Yokogawa were able to offer this stability - along with the required level of overall performance - as part of a package which helped us to keep both operating and capital costs within a level which suited our customer."

    The EJX and YTA are part of Yokogawa's comprehensive range of field instruments, which includes pressure, temperature and level transmitters, flowmeters, valve positioners and controllers.

    Pickering at Automotive Expo Stuttgart

    Pickering Interfaces, June 22 to 24 , Hall 1, Booth 1969

    Pickering Interfaces has continued to regularly release new products in both the LXI and the PXI platforms tackling the problems faced by users in the Automotive industry. For the Automotive Expo show in Stuttgart (D) in June they are exhibiting amongst others the following solutions/products on booth 1969, Hall 1:

    BIRST Modules (Built-In Relay Self Test)
    Verification and diagnosis of complex switching operation in a test system has always been an issue, especially in the PXI platform. For this reason, Pickering Interfaces has developed a new, first range of modules introducing built in self-test to selected models of their PXI switching modules. This feature is called BIRST™, or Built In Relay Self Test.
    The first range of modules with built in self test have been released and include:
    • 40-560A BRIC™ 150 Volt, 0.5 Amp, 1 Pole Matrix Relay Family
    • 50-561A BRIC™ 150 Volt, 0.5 Amp, 1 Pole, 1 Pole Screened, or 2 Pole Relay Matrix Family
    • 40-562A BRIC™ 150 Volt, 1 Amp, 1 Pole, 1 Pole Screened, or 2 Pole Relay Matrix Family
      plus 7 other modules.
    The BIRST tool allows the user to very easily check system switching operation on command. BIRST will identify any relay failures in the switch module and is capable of detecting relays with deteriorating contacts which may indicate they are in the process of failing. To conduct a test the user simply disconnects the switching module from the UUT and runs the supplied application program. No supporting test equipment is needed; the test simply runs and identifies the position of any defective or suspect relays within the module. Over time, the BIRST solution will also be applied to other Pickering Interfaces PXI modules as well as the Pickering LXI product
    family, which include a range of very large matrices.

    New Battery Simulator

    We have also expanded the range of our customer focused PXI instrumentation modules with the introduction of the 41-752 Battery Simulator. The 41-752 is an addition to Pickering’s family of battery simulators, which have been available for almost 4 years.

    Developed in association with DMC, a systems integrator based in Chicago (US), the 41-752 is a 6 cell battery simulator that provides up to 300mA of current from each cell. The output voltage from each cell is fully adjustable up to 7V and each cell includes its own sense lines to improve regulation performance. Each cell can be configured to operate as a current sink in a battery charging circuit of up to 100mA. Cells and modules can be series connected to emulate the battery stacks being used in new generation electric vehicles. More than 100 cells can stacked in series in a single PXI or Modular LXI Chassis to allow the testing of battery management charging systems. The independently controlled channels allow the cells to be set to different output voltages to simulate different charge and capacity states. A safety interlock system can be used to ensure that voltage generation is inhibited when the cables are disconnected from the front panel. Outputs are made available on high voltage D Type connectors permitting the generation of voltages of up to 750V.

    Fault Insertion Modules and Chassis
    Pickering Interfaces have a number of PXI modules specifically designed to support fault simulation applications.

    Fault simulation is widely used in the process of testing controllers that are required to respond to sensor readings. These include engine management systems, transmission controllers and suspension systems. These systems are often safety critical, so it is essential to check their response to common sensor errors - such as short circuits, open circuits and damaged sensors -
    to ensure they do not cause unwanted reaction by the control system. A critical example might include the inadvertent shut down of an engine in response to a single sensor failure. Using Pickering Interfaces range of PXI fault insertion products users can develop automated methods of testing controllers, allowing more thorough and reproducible testing to be performed at the design and upgrade phase of controller development.

    The 60-103 is fully compliant with the LXI Class C specification and supports Pickering Interfaces 3U PXI switching modules. Each module is supported as though it is an LXI compliant device, complete with a driverless soft front panel that provides control of the module functions. The 60-103 supports up to 18 off 3U modules and is equivalent to a 19 slot PXI chassis. The chassis allows the large number of 3U PXI modules from Pickering Interfaces to be installed and controlled through a standardized Ethernet interface. The chassis is supplied with a built-in generic IVI driver to control the PXI modules in accordance with the LXI specification,
    but can also be controlled through a kernel driver.