Saturday, June 19, 2010

New contract with Chinese nuclear power

Triconex and Foxboro I/A Series systems to help achieve safety and control excellence as China boosts power generation capacity

Invensys Operations Management has signed a second long-term agreement with China Nuclear Power Engineering Co. (CNPE) to provide safety and distributed control systems and solutions for two 650MW pressurised water reactor units under construction on Hainan Island on the southern tip of China.

Ulf Henriksson, chief executive officer, Invensys plc, commented, "We look forward to continuing our work with CNPE. This contract renews and strengthens our commitment to helping grow and develop reliable and efficient nuclear power capability for China in the safest way possible."

Under the terms of the contract, Invensys will provide its Triconex® critical control and Foxboro® I/A Series(r) distributed control systems (DCS), helping the Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant achieve safety and control excellence.

"We are pleased to continue our long-term strategic partnership with CNPE, further helping them to increase China's capacity for power generation," said Sudipta Bhattacharya, president and chief executive officer, Invensys Operations Management. "Our systems will serve as a digital platform to drive safety and control excellence in these units."

By providing a diverse, scalable distributed control and safety solution, including advanced digital control room design, safety display units, priority logic modules and defense-in-depth systems built on the Triconex and I/A Series systems, Invensys addressed CNPE's safety and availability requirements.

"We expect a successful DCS project with the close cooperation of CNPE and Invensys," a spokesman for the Hainan Nuclear Power Company said, adding that with work continuing at Units 1 and 2 of the Fuqing and Fangjiashan nuclear power plants in Fujian and Zhejiang, "the contract for the Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant in Hainan represents a further significant step towards long-term cooperation between CNPE and Invensys."

This is the second contract awarded to Invensys by CNPE, following an agreement the companies reached in 2008 for the development and implementation of four large-scale safety and non-safety distributed control systems, including fully digitised main control rooms, equipped with Invensys safety and control system technology, for two new nuclear power plants under construction in the Fujian and Zhejiang provinces.

Rated for precise angular positioning in hostile environments

Direct-drive rotary stage fulfils high precision and high performance in adverse conditions

Aerotech's new ASRT series rotary stages feature direct-drive brushless servomotor technology for precise zero backlash positioning in an IP66 sealed design that guarantees operation in hostile environments where dust, dirt and liquids are unavoidable. Aimed at applications involving washdown, dust or mist spray, or where coolants must be used as a part of a machining process, the series is available in three nominal widths of 185 mm, 245 mm and 300 mm in a dual bearing design that can support axial loads up to 175 kg whilst maintaining a tilt error motion of less than 3 arc-sec.

The ASRT series offers the exceptional accuracy and high throughput performance that is synonymous with Aerotech precision mechanics with the further benefit of suitability for harsh and unfavourable environments. A low friction seal between the fixed base and rotating tabletop minimises hysteresis due to direction reversal to allow precise angular positioning and high speed performance. A bi-directional repeatability of less than 1 arc-sec is specified for the optical encoder feedback version whilst a magnetic encoder version available on the smaller stages offers less than 10 arc-sec. The use of non contacting motor and encoder technologies helps contribute to a long life with low maintenance scheduling and particularly suits applications with frequent direction changes such as sensor test and range tracking equipment.

As with almost all of Aerotech positioning mechanics range, both standard and HALAR certified accuracy options are available for best accuracy to within 2 arc-sec for the optical encoder version with a positioning resolution of 0.018 arc-sec for the largest 300 mm width stage. Thanks to the high performance direct-drive brushless and cog-free motor technology used, the stage offers such precision with speeds up to 200 rpm and acceleration in the order of 150 rev/sec2 combined with extremely smooth low-speed motion and excellent in position stability. Users can specify continuous travel or a fixed travel range under 360 degrees rotation.

Other options include through apertures for all stage sizes allowing through-hole mounting of additional equipment or services such as electrical slip ring assemblies or pneumatic/hydraulic supply lines. The ruggedised stage construction includes a polymer based paint finish on an aluminium housing in a choice of colours and the rotating tabletop is finished with a durable hardcoat for maximum protection. Sealed connectors are standard and further optional accessories include an air purge variant for increased sealing performance and a desiccant cartridge system to offset condensation. The standard operational temperature range for the ASRT is 0 to 70 °C with the possibility to increase the lower limit to -20 °C with the air purge and desiccant cartridge options. A protective cover is also available for horizontal axis orientation.
The ASRT series can be used individually or as a part of multi axis linear/ rotary stage set ups and combined with Aerotech's advanced motion controls and servo amplifiers as complete motion systems. Aerotech has a number of complementary linear stages with durable side-seal/hard-top designs that can be combined with the ASRT.

Controller options include the A3200 Digital Automation Platform – a Windows™ based software-only controller for up to 32 axes of fully synchronised and deterministic high performance motion and machine control, complete with Firewire® interfaced servo drives and optional HMI, PLC and vision control modules. The multi-axis Ensemble™ Epaq is available in a 6-axis desktop or 19 inch rack mount, or packaged as series of discrete panel mounted intelligent drives for up to 10 axes. With a full complement of machine I/O plus Ethernet, USB and IEEE488 interfacing, the Ensemble can be configured with linear or PWM stage servo amplifiers or alternatively with stepper motor drives. Single axis applications can be accommodated with stand-alone, panel mounted Soloist™ - a high performance motion controller with integrated servo drive. All Aerotech controls include comprehensive diagnostics and commissioning facilities with programming options including .NET, RS-274 G-code, high level AeroBASIC™ or LabVIEW™.

Aerotech motion systems are supplied as fully tested assemblies complete with motor power and encoder cables with optional machine frames and bases. Full performance and calibration related documents are included and for straightforward commissioning, all motor parameter set-up data for the system is provided along with product training and comprehensive technical support.

Extensions to control software

EPLAN Electric P8 update
EPLAN Service Pack 1 for electrical controls design software EPLAN Electric P8 v1.9 adds extensions in reports, schematic and master data creation, such as intelligent PDF export, and consistency in the design and planning process. New search functions, the parallel tree and list view in the part master data navigator ensure even faster searches and a perfect overview.

Project accelerator macros can now be created in EPLAN Electric P8 with up to 128 occurrences through the combination of variants and representation types. All the required occurrences of a partial circuit are managed in the macro file, providing the perfect basis for standardized and efficient design and planning.

A highlight in this program is the individual representation of black, PLC and location boxes which can now be drawn as polygons or polygon lines, simplifying the representation of complex plant and location structures in machine overviews. Additional flexibility is available for moving components and devices.

The Revision Management Module provides new comparison functions, in which a project comparison, down to the individual properties can be configured. The project comparison can also be restricted individually to the trade or a plant part.

Online cross-references between the schematic and reports make navigation and access to the component data easier than it has ever been. Even in the PDF output of projects, cross-references allow a jump between the new device tree and the various types of schematics and diagrams. In the PDF all the component data can be accessed via new individually configurable data sheets.

Asset performance management

ARC Executive Management Forum to be at ISA Automation Week 2010

In addition to the ARC Forum, ISA Automation Week is offering seven technical conference tracks:
Automation and Control,
Human Asset Optimization,
Security, and
Wireless and Networking.
Each session is developed to cover information critical to five identified career paths: Engineer, Technician, Management, Marketing, and Academia/R&D/Scientists.
The ARC Advisory Group will present the ARC Executive Management Forum, “ARC Inside: The Business Case for Asset Performance Management,” at ISA Automation Week 2010 on Tuesday, 5 October 2010, in Houston (TX US).

This forum highlights asset performance management in a venue where thought leaders, companies, and organizations involved in managing critical, high-value assets will examine the challenges and solutions to reduce costs, risk, project cycle time, energy use, and carbon footprint. The Forum targets executive-level industrial automation end users and suppliers in departments such as IT, plant operations, program maintenance, enterprise integration, and asset management.

“The ARC Forum adds tremendous value to ISA Automation Week, as it offers an intensive one-day track devoted primarily to executives in the industrial automation field,” said Gerald Cockrell, ISA Automation Week 2010 program co-chair. “With the addition of the ARC Forum, ISA Automation Week is now a comprehensive knowledge-focused event reaching professionals not only actively working in the automation field, but also the strategic decision makers who might not normally attend a technical conference.”

Several ARC Advisory Group analysts will be making presentations and participating in various panel discussions during ARC Inside. The five-hour Forum will begin following the ISA Automation Week 2010 opening keynote address and is to include three sessions:
  • Next Generation Energy Management Using Smart Grid Technologies and Tactics
  • Leverage Maintenance and Operations Information to Recover Hidden Costs
  • Your Future Relationship with Your Utility: How the Smart Grid Will Impact You and Your Company

ISA Automation Week 2010 is primarily a knowledge-driven event designed to deliver a stimulating and highly relevant educational experience over two and a half days to automation and control professionals working within continuous process, discrete, and hybrid manufacturing environments.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Filter water flow control

High performance valve prevents filter media losses, reducing maintenance

Emerson Process Management’s high performance Fisher® Control-Disk™ valve has improved backwash flow control within the water-treatment system at E.ON’s combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Northwich (GB). The resulting elimination of filter media losses and subsequent downtime has enabled E.ON to reduce costs and improve availability as it provides steam for two local soda-ash plants.

The E.ON CHP facility is one of the largest of its type in Britain, generating 130MW of electricity for local residents and capable of supplying approximately 500 tonnes of steam every hour for two nearby soda-ash (sodium carbonate) production plants in Winnington and Lostock.

Make-up boiler feed water is obtained from the River Dane, cooled and pre-treated to remove any algae or silt, then passed through one of six filters before being sent to a holding tank. The filters are cleaned by air scouring and backwashing to remove any material blinding the filter.

The facility has had problems controlling this backwash flow. The original butterfly valve used in this process could not provide a steady flow rate, causing media to be lost through the filters. As a result the filter media had to be replaced or refilled at an average cost of £3,500 a year. The downtime for this maintenance also affected the plant’s ability to meet its steam requirements.

E.ON installed an eight-inch Fisher Control-Disk rotary valve to replace the original butterfly valve. The new valve has dramatically improved backwash flow control without compromising capacity at peak demand. Since it was installed, the plant has not lost any filter media or experienced any downtime due to water filter problems.

The improved performance reflects the Fisher Control-Disk valve's unique disk profile and true equal-percentage characteristics that enable it to adapt to changing process conditions and to provide control over a wide range. The valve provides between 15% and 70% travel without compromising capacity. This performance represents a significant improvement compared to standard butterfly valve designs that offer 25% to 50% of travel.

Neil Price, Improvement and Performance Coordinator, E.ON, said, “The Fisher Control-Disk valve not only controls the backwash flow rate more accurately, but also it delivers, when 100% open, a flow rate adequate to meet the water plant demands, without restrictions. Its performance and reliability led to savings of £3,500 a year and enabled us to improve our customer service.”

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New catalogue

Release of the “2010 Measurement Product Resource”

Meggitt Sensing Systems has announced the global release of its new “2010 Measurement Product Resource”, a 63-page full-color short form catalogue, highlighting select models of high-reliability sensing technologies for aerospace, automotive, industrial, R&D and test & measurement markets. Meggitt’s Endevco®, Sensorex, Vibro-Meter and Wilcoxon Research product lines are now offered under one umbrella.

The catalog is arranged into four key sections: Sensors and transducers, which highlights available piezoelectric, piezoresistive, variable capacitance, acoustic, dynamic and static pressure, displacement and position sensing technologies; Condition monitoring, which includes portable vibration monitors and related instrumentation; Measurement systems, which highlights electromagnetic and piezoelectric shakers, conditioners, rotating machinery vibration amplifiers and calibration systems; and Inertial systems, which includes servo inclinometers, LVDT’s and inertial measurement units. Each section includes an introductory paragraph on the benefits and most common applications of individually featured sensing types, along with detailed technical product specifications, presented in a series of well-organized comparative charts.