Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cable extension position

New low-cost cable extension position sensor series now available with incremental encoder

Celesco's SR1 series low-cost/high performance string pot sensors are now available with an incremental encoder measurement source. The SR1E, available exclusively from sensor specialists Variohm EuroSensor, has a measuring range up to 3 metres with a resolution of 100 pulses per 25 mm of travel (+/- 2 pulses). With IP67 protection rating its tough polycarbonate enclosure is built for outdoor and wet environment applications in construction equipment and industrial position sensing, and includes built-in mounting flexibility where the user can freely select mounting position, cable exit and connector orientation on installation.

The Celesco SR1 range now includes encoder, voltage divider and user programmable 4..20 mA and VDC versions with electrical and mechanical flexibility that allows users to select a single low-cost product solution across many general purpose applications for cable extension based position sensing. The 'one-size-fits-all' SR1 range can eliminate the customers’ need to specify and purchase multiple stroke ranges and offer benefits of simplified stock and lower unit cost.

Specific to the new SR1E encoder version, a 5...30 VDC push-pull driver covers a wide choice of supply voltages and electrical connection is via an M12 – 4-pin connector with mating plug supplied and 4 m cable sets are available on request.

The maximum velocity for the sensor is 2 m/sec with maximum acceleration at 10 g with an operating temperature from -20ºC to +85ºC. The overall accuracy for SR1E is +/- 0.1% F.S. and repeatability to +/- 0.05% F.S. Custom encoder resolutions are also available on request.

As with all string pot or cable extension sensors from Celesco, installation is very straightforward with no critical alignment required. The nylon coated stainless steel cable is fully spring loaded, is easily attached to the object under motion and fully retracts into the body of the SR1E ensuring a compact installation envelope of around 200 x 120 x 100 mm (w x h x d).

Control systems safety

ISA Publishes Control Systems Safety Evaluation and Reliability, Third Edition

The International Society of Automation (ISA) announces the publication of Control Systems Safety Evaluation and Reliability, 3rd Edition, by William M. Goble.

This updated third edition, intended to serve a wide variety of users, provides the detailed background necessary to understand how to meet important new safety regulations and offers discussion on reliability engineering topics. Professional control system designers will learn to properly evaluate control system components and various system architectures and will learn how to better communicate with vendors and increase accuracy of life-cycle cost estimates.

Goble has more than 30 years of experience in analog and digital electronic circuit design, software development, engineering management and marketing. He provides a basic foundation, including probability, statistics, reliability theory definitions, and basic reliability modeling techniques. He also presents advanced topics relevant to safety instrumented and control systems. Each chapter contains exercises to assist the reader in applying the theories presented, with practical implementation.

The book is also an excellent text for college courses because of its detailed explanations, practical presentation, and discussion of the difference between theory and real-world application.

Power sources reduces energy consumption

Power source reduces energy consumption in grid-tied inverter testing

The California Instruments brand MX Series AC / DC Power Source from AMETEK Programmable Power is now available with a power sink option (SNK) that dramatically reduces the total energy consumed in the production testing of grid-tied inverters designed for distributed resources such as solar energy systems. By utilizing the MX Series to simulate the interconnection with the utility grid, the output power generated by the inverter is returned to the grid saving over 85% of the energy consumption. The MX Series programmable source may be programmed to simulate utility power variability (voltage, frequency, harmonic distortion) necessary to test the inverter's ability to source energy to the grid. In addition, the unit can dynamically test the inverter's ability to comply with the anti-islanding tests required of grid-tied distributed resources. Islanding is the term used to describe the unsafe operation of a distributed resource in the event of a loss of utility power.

“The use of the MX Series in this application can result in significant reduction of energy usage in production testing,” comments Eric Turner, AMETEK product manager for solar energy test systems. “Instead of using a load bank to dissipate the energy in the form of heat, over half of the energy is returned to the grid. And the added energy costs needed for cooling are also eliminated.”

The California Instruments MX Series is available in power levels from 15 kVA to 270 kVA. The MX Series uses a sophisticated digital signal processor-based arbitrary waveform generator and power analyzer. This integrated, multi-instrument approach effectively eliminates the need for additional equipment to create a complete AC and DC power test system. Using a large graphical LCD display, the advanced measurement and analysis capabilities can be accessed directly from the front panel without the need for remote control. IEEE-488, RS-232C, USB and Ethernet interfaces are included and Windows™ Graphical User Interface application software comes with each MX unit.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Where, when and how much power?

The Dranetz Energy Platform EP1 is a handheld electrical energy and power demand analyzer specifically designed for conducting facility energy audits and power demand studies. The EP1 is the ideal tool for gathering, recording and reporting “where, when, and how much” electricity is used. Applications in industrial, commercial and institutional facilities include energy/cost reduction programs, alternative energy monitoring and power/harmonic studies. With the growing emphasis on “green” facilities, the EP1 with its handy Energy Platform Report Writer (EPRW) software offers facilities engineers and electrical contractors a cost-effective means of gathering and reporting the data required to document energy savings. The EP1's ability to record both forward and reverse energy is essential in grid-tied alternative energy system analysis. The EP1 is the ideal instrument to certify a facility's energy consumption and carbon footprint.

The unit is equipped with eight input channels—four current and four voltage—and is easily set up to monitor and record three-phase, split-phase or single-phase circuits. Its 4 GB of compact flash memory provides the largest storage available in the industry for recording data for extended periods. The intuitive automatic-configuration feature and color touch-screen interface combine to simplify monitoring setup and configuration. Measured data can be displayed onscreen or easily imported into EPRW (included) or DranView (optional) software that provides powerful reporting features including trending and energy-usage reporting.

“Using similar data measurement and recording technology and easy-to-use color interface developed for our high-end PowerXplorer PX5 power quality analyzer, the EP1's features have been optimized to provide the most capable and cost-effective energy analyzer available,”
comments Ross Ignall, Dranetz Director of Product Management. “The EP1's large memory, color touch screen, easy-to-read color reports, carbon footprint calculator, AC/DC measurements and automatic setups provide a powerful monitoring solution.”

Industrial hotspots

ProSoft Technology® enlarges its 802.11n range of solutions with two new dual-radio Industrial Hotspots™

ProSoft Technology® has developed 2 new Automation-Class industrial 802.11n solutions. These are dual-radio Industrial Hotspots™. One is water-tight (IP67). Both enlarge the option given to Automation Engineers for high-speed wireless networks. Dual-radio solutions will allow longer distances, better performances while repeaters are involved, and allow 2 channels to be used simultaneously (for example: one for the automation application, while the other one can be used for maintenance purpose, without impacting the application)...

These new Automation-Class RadioLinx® industrial radios support IEEE-802.11n standard and provide premier performance for high-capacity networks. They offer high-reliability networking option to applications with moving devices and/or obstructed environments that are traditionally difficult to solve with wireless solutions.

These radios implement the latest technology to provide greater flexibility and performance to a broad range of manufacturing and production applications. In short, while Industrial 802.11a/b/g solutions are already suitable for a wide variety of applications, industrial 802.11n radios are welcome to ease implementation of wireless network for some critical cases, and they will offer the wireless option to a wider range of applications.

RadioLinx Industrial 802.11n full range now consists of 1 single-radio Industrial Hotspot, 1 single-radio Industrial Client, 2 dual-radio Industrial Hotspot solutions, including 1 water-tight version.

The 802.11n Dual Industrial Hotspot solutions provide two radios in one and only require a single Ethernet connection.

The dual radios can be used in lieu of a repeater to extend the range of your wireless network without sacrificing speed.

Their family allows transport of demanding industrial protocols (provided by the »reliable I/O message delivery» functionality). VLAN (Virtual Local-Area-Network) support allows network traffic segmentation: while one connection is reserved to the automation control application, another connection will allow programming or maintenance, for example, to be done simultaneously without interfering with the application.

The MIMO technology (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) is used with up to three antennas connected to each radio, to benefit from multipath due to reflections (typically on metal parts on the plant-floor). This enables high-speed data rates (up to 300 Mbps), and advanced performance in industrial environments.

For configuration and monitoring of the 802.11n Industrial Hotspot radios, »RadioLinx WirelessN Discovery» licence-free 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. Automatic or manual network configuration is user selectable (can be prioritized or fixed) with self-healing functionality and master redundancy for reliable large networks.

All these radios operate within extended temperature range (-40 to +75 C) and offer hazardous location ratings (including ATEX Zone 2 Category 3). Other industrial specifications include: high vibration/shock resistance, DIN-rail mounting, Power over Ethernet and simultaneous bridge / repeater / Industrial Hotspot mode.

As other 802.11 RadioLinx solutions from the manufacturer, the new family of radios supports 802.11i and RADIUS security for centralized management of security policies. Quality of Service (QoS) for data prioritization is supported as well for background applications such as VoIP (Voice over IP) and video.

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.

SMT mounted accelerometers

Meggitt Sensing Systems has announced the global market launch of the Endevco® model 72 series, a new family of high-g SMT-mountable piezoresistive accelerometers designed to support a variety of high-reliability acceleration, vibration and shock measurements.

Available with a 20,000 g measurement range and a soon-to-be-released 60,000 g version, the Endevco® model 72 series offers broad frequency response, minimum zero shift post-shock event and a Class 3 Rating for electrostatic discharge protection. Its low-profile, miniature, hermetically sealed LCC package weighs just 0.16 grams for significantly minimized mass loading effects. The LCC package can be SMT mounted using production pick-and-place machines and reflow solder for easy installation.

The patented, monolithic, four-active arm bridge circuit design of the Endevco® model 72 series (US patent 6,988,412) incorporates a highly sensitive MEMS sensing element with light gas damping to attenuate resonance. Mechanical stops are included to increase ruggedness and reduce the likelihood of breakage under overload conditions, with stability and reliability to four times over-range. With a frequency response extending down to dc (steady state acceleration) and a minimum post shock zero shift, this accelerometer is ideal for measuring long duration shocks associated with a variety of automotive, aerospace and general test & measurement applications.

Recommended accessories for use with the Endevco® model 72 series include the model 136 three-channel bench top DC amplifier or model 436 three-channel rack mounted DC amplifier, both available from Meggitt Sensing Systems.

Control system health

Software diagnoses all aspects of control system health

ExperTune's PlantTriage® Control System Monitoring Software now has tools to diagnose the health of instruments, valves, and controls.

For years, ExperTune's patented "Control Loop Health" approach has accurately identified problem control loops, based on technical and economic factors. Several new tools provide more specific performance metrics and diagnostics for each control loop component: the instrument, the valve, and the controller.

The Valve Health measurement, for example, combines information about control valve sizing, application, and mechanical performance, to give an overall picture of the valve's health. PlantTriage's "context-sensitive drill-down" also provides the next level of detail, including measures of each specific aspect of performance, such as "% valve stiction".

Likewise, Sensor Health uses real-time data to look at common symptoms of instrumentation problems. The Controller Health tools focus on aspects of actual control performance, including variability, inability to hold setpoint, and dynamic response.

John Gerry, President and Founder of ExperTune, was recently inducted into the Process Automation Hall of Fame. Asked about the new metrics, Gerry says "The team at ExperTune is always focused on blending engineering expertise with real-time information. The goal is to provide accurate, actionable, real-time advice. This new approach provides a straightforward way to diagnose specific control loop issues - from high-level performance metrics, straight down to root cause."

Signal conditioning multiple channels

Analogue signal conditioning proves robust for multiple strain gauge channels

For large projects calling for hundreds of strain gauge transducer channels, analogue signal conditioning has been demonstrated to provide a cost effective and robust solution.

RDP Electronics, who have recently been responsible for large projects of this type, advise that analogue can be more resilient to electrical supply fluctuations and interference than digital electronic devices. Analogue also offers the benefit of long cable runs without the need for further amplification.

In the rare circumstances where amplifier replacement becomes necessary, then thanks to the capability to enable standardised calibration from matched transducers, units can be swapped out with minimal effort. RDP offers a choice of signal conditioning amplifiers including the popular Modular 600 Multi-Channel Signal Conditioning System. The Mod 600 is a fully featured microprocessor instrumentation unit that incorporates configurable analogue outputs and is based on a modular design concept to provide complete flexibility and expandability.

USB-to-GPIB interface adapter

Keithley Instruments has introduced the Model KUSB-488B USB-to-GPIB Interface Adapter. The Model KUSB-488B, which complements Keithley's precision measurement instruments, is priced at $495 USD, which is less than competitive versions, helping test engineers and researchers lower their cost of test, measurement, and ownership.

To minimize the cost associated with switching to a new adapter, the Model KUSB-488B's driver library is fully command-compatible with Keithley's traditional GPIB command set and National InstrumentsTM (NITM) command set, making it plug-and-play compatible with existing applications. The driver library is also compatible with Keithley's PCI-based Model KPCI-488LPA GPIB interface, making it easy to switch from either a PCI or USB approach to GPIB control, protecting users' software investment and lowering their overall cost of test.

The KUSB-488B provides complete support for Windows 2000/XP/Vista. The KUSB-488B also supports industry-standard VISA (Virtual Instrument Software Architecture) libraries to ensure compatibility with applications using VISA. For OEMs, a utility is included to install the driver software silently, bypassing the normal installation so that the driver can be installed with the OEM's software.

The interface ships with 32-bit dynamic link libraries for Application Development Environments (ADEs) running under Windows XP/2000/Vista and drivers for
the most current programming languages, including Microsoft Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual Studio .NET, Borland Delphi, LabVIEW Version 7.0 and up (VISA and IEEE-488.2), and LabWindows(tm)/CVI Version 7.0 and up (VISA and IEEE-488.2). A diagnostic/interactive tool is included for quick verification of communication between the interface and a GPIB-capable instrument, such as their digital multimeter (DMM), SourceMeter® instruments,
switch mainframes and cards, low level measurement systems, and a wide
variety of other specialized test solutions.

Sensors unique innovation

An integrated transmitter eliminates the need for an external limit switch with safety clutches
Safety clutches provide precise torque limiting to ensure that the loads on components in machines and facilities do not exceed allowable levels. Up to now they have required an external limit switch and associated cable to send a signal to the controller if an overload situation occurs. The new EAS®-Sensor safety clutch with integrated signal transmitter developed by mayr® Antriebstechnik sends the overload signal wirelessly. This revolutionary and absolutely reliable overload sensing system has considerable advantages compared with conventional signal transmission.

The stroke of a safety clutch when it disengages due to excessive torque is only a few millimetres. This small amount of travel is all that is available to change the state of a built-in mechanical or contactless limit switch. Consequently, external limit switches must be fitted and adjusted precisely and with great care to ensure that they operate reliably. However, under certain conditions even the greatest possible care is in vain, for example when the position of the safety clutch shifts during operation as a result of thermal expansion.

With the new EAS®-Sensor, the limit switch is integrated directly in the clutch. It detects the disengagement motion of the clutch in case of overload and transmits the signal wirelessly to a base station connected to the machine controller. The EAS®-Sensor is adjusted in the factory for proper operation, eliminating the need for assembly and adjustment effort. Overload sensing is fully reliable. External factors such as vibration or axial offset of the clutch, which for example may result from thermal expansion of the shaft, do not impair operational reliability.

The transmitter of the new unit, including its power supply, is entirely contained in the torque adjustment nut of the proven EAS®-compact® safety clutch. It reports the operating state of the clutch at regular, short intervals, along with information on the supply voltage level. If the supply voltage drops, a warning signal is triggered early enough to allow the transmitter battery to be replaced promptly. This does not require dismounting the clutch.

The new sensor is distinctly better than conventional safety clutches with external limit switches, especially in the following application scenarios. In the case of drives with moving shafts, such as robot arms, it is not necessary to move brackets and cable guides along with the drives. This makes the entire assembly significantly simpler and more reliable. Reliable signal transmission is also ensured with drives subjected to vibration or horizontal motion. Axial offset of the clutch, for example as a result of the thermal expansion of the shaft, can easily lead to false triggering in conventional systems with externally fitted signal transmitters. Naturally, the EAS®-Sensor is a perfect choice for applications where there is simply no room to fit an external limit switch. In addition, the new device is an attractive option when drives must be installed on site. It is ready to install out of the box, with no need for prior adjustment by suitably trained staff.

Development of the new sensor has significantly improved the reliability of signal transmission with mechanical safety clutches and substantially simplified the installation of torque-limiting overload protection. Thanks to the integration of the signal transmitter in the proven EAS®-compact® unit, the system not only delivers enhanced signal transmission reliability but also has other quality features that characterise a modern, reliable safety clutch. They include high torsional stiffness, freedom from play, a rapid drop in torque when the overload limit is reached, high accuracy of the adjustable torque, long life, and low life cycle costs. Safety clutches in the EAS®-compact® series fulfil these criteria optimally.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Plug fest!

CANopen plug-fest for encoders and inclinometers

Plugfest is great and descriptive name coined by CiA here. Hosted by Systeme Helmholz several CiA members connected their CANopen encoders and inclinometers to CANopen PLCs from Systeme Helmholz and ifm electronic.

After establishing SDO and PDO communication as well as Heartbeat, the linked devices were stressed by means of high busload. Other dynamic tests included high-frequently transmitted Sync messages, to which the sensors responded with PDOs (synchronous operation). Just a few minor problems were detected such as not 100 per cent matching electronic data sheets (EDS).

“It is sometimes quite hard to cause the CANopen sensors to send Emergency messages,” said Holger Zeltwanger, CiA Managing Director, “due to the robustness and reliable CAN low layers.”

The companies ifm, Leine & Linde, Mobil Elektronik, Pepperl + Fuchs, and Wachendorff participated in the plug-fest with sensors. These products are used in factory and machine automation as well as in mobile machines. CiA will schedule another plug-fest for encoders and inclinometers in autumn.

Power station control upgrade

Santee Cooper Modernizes its Winyah Station with GE Energy’s Mark™ VIe TMR Digital Control System

Benefits of the Mark™ VIe TMR digital control:
•Reduced maintenance, costs, and downtime
•Increased mean time between failures (MTBF)
•Modern maintenance tools and diagnostics for troubleshooting in real-time
•Remote monitoring capability to reduce time spent manually monitoring
Located between Myrtle Beach and Charleston in the US, South Carolina’s Santee Cooper Winyah Generating Station has been working with GE Energy to modernize and upgrade their Westinghouse Control System with their most advanced digital control system for turbines, the Mark™ VIe Triple Modular Redundant (TMR).

Santee Cooper is South Carolina's state-owned electric and water utility and is the largest power provider in the state. It utilizes a diverse fuel and energy supply of coal, nuclear, oil, gas, hydro, and renewables to directly serve more than 165,000 residential and commercial customers in Berkeley, Georgetown, and Horry counties. Santee Cooper also supplies power indirectly to all 46 counties of the state (through wholesale customers).

When it was built, Winyah was Santee Cooper's most ambitious generating project. Units 3 and 4 at this site were the first in the Southeast to have "scrubbers," which help hold down emissions into the environment.

The existing Westinghouse EHC control system on the Winyah plant’s Unit #4 steam turbine generator is being migrated to a Mark VIe TMR control system. This is the first Mark VIe Control System to replace an existing Westinghouse Control System, although GE has been working to modernize other systems at Santee Cooper, including the June 9, 2010 replacement of a Mark II with a Mark VI at Cross Station.

The Mark VIe TMR is a custom-programmed, expandable, digital control system. It will be mounted and prewired in new cabinetry, then installed. The Mark VIe TMR is the latest turbine control system from GE's Control Solutions business. It provides modules for interfacing with nearly every type of sensor on the market today.

This modernization will extend the life of the Winyah plant and improve the equipment reliability, reducing downtime and expensive maintenance. It also provides Santee Cooper the opportunity to improve their existing turbine control with the addition of modern instrumentation as well as more robust and precise control of the equipment.

The base scope of the Westinghouse conversion includes a Mark VIe TMR Cabinet, 2 HMIs with 4 network switches, a primary emergency overspeed kit, Watt/VAR transducer, a factory acceptance test, on-site training, and on-site technical direction.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Family of boards

Concurrent Technologies has released the TP 702/38x family of 3U 4HP CompactPCI® boards, featuring the Intel® Core™ i7 processor family. Depending on the application requirements a choice of processors is supported: the 2.53GHz Intel® Core™ i7-610E, 2.0GHz Intel® Core™ i7-620LE and the 1.06GHz Intel® Core™ i7-620UE. Based on 32nm process technology and the Intel® integrated memory/graphics controller architecture, these processors are from the Intel® embedded roadmap which offers at least seven year availability. With up to 8 Gbytes of DDR3-1066 ECC SDRAM, an optional XMC site, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two SATA disk interfaces and optional graphics, the TP 702/38x offers rear I/O interfaces that are compatible with the popular TP 402/35x family providing a continuing upgrade path. Commercial and extended temperature versions are also available, and a compatible range of ruggedized, conduction-cooled or air-cooled versions will be available shortly. The boards are particularly suitable for CPU intensive processing applications within the defence, homeland security, industrial control, and transportation market sectors.

The TP 702/38x family is based on the combination of the Intel® Core i7 processor and an Intel® Platform Controller Hub (PCH), the Mobile Intel® QM57 Express chipset. This combination benefits from the integration of the graphics controller and the memory controller into the processor, resulting in reduced memory latency and improved performance-per-watt. The Intel Core i7 processors feature Intel® Direct Media Interface Technology and Intel® Flexible Display Interfaces to the PCH to provide simultaneous high-speed non-graphic traffic and video/graphic traffic. The processors feature Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology to allow multiple simultaneous execution threads in each core and Intel® Turbo Boost Technology which elevates performance for specific workloads by increasing processor core frequency on one core when the second core and/or graphics engine utilization level is low. The CPU and graphics engines have separate Turbo modes, and by using simple BIOS setup options, the user can disable either or both of the turbo modes, or pre-set a bias towards one or the other feature.

Mass storage (for the operating system, application software and application data) is provided by the removable 4 Gbytes flash drive and two Serial ATA150 interfaces via J2. An additional removable single or dual channel flash drive module is available, accessed via the onboard XMC connector. As well as being removable, the flash drives also support write protect inputs making them ideal for security sensitive applications.

The TP 702/38x rear I/O provides two high-speed USB 2.0 ports, one RS232/422/485 and one RS232 port, plus two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces with an option for a 2048 x 1536 analog graphics interface. The 32-bit CompactPCI control/data plane throughput can operate at 33/66MHz backplane PCI signaling speeds. Other features provided are PC real-time clock, watchdog timer, long duration timer, up to 8 GPIO signals and a legacy speaker interface. The TP 702/38x-RC conduction-cooled version supports, in a single 3U 4HP slot, an XMC site (via a x4 PCI Express port). All versions can operate as a system controller for up to 7 peripheral slots with hot-swap control, as a peripheral board or as a blade.

For ease of integration, the TP 702/38x family of boards support many of today’s leading operating systems, including Linux®, Windows® Server 2008, Windows® Server 2003, Windows® 7, Windows® 7 Embedded, Windows® XP Embedded, Windows® XP, Solaris™, VxWorks® and QNX®.

Cyber protection

Industrial Defender has introduced its Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS), an application whitelisting-based security solution that prevents malware attacks and non-trusted software modifications on control system servers and end-point devices. Industrial Defender’s HIPS is specifically designed for industrial control system environments where it is critical to avoid the high overhead of software scanning operations common with traditional anti-virus technologies, as well as the administrative overhead of frequent software and anti-virus signature patch updates.

"Many system administrators consider their mission-critical automation systems relatively secure, having deployed firewalls as well as changed the default system passwords," said Ryan Elbert, P.E., Engineering Manager at Black and Veatch, the consultancy firm. "In reality, sophisticated and persistent threats will eventually penetrate firewalls, and actions of employees and/or contractors almost inevitably introduce malware and unauthorized software to automation systems. Application whitelisting solutions like Industrial Defender’s HIPS provide a highly effective defense against such threats, especially in critical and legacy automation system environments."

As a whitelisting-based solution, the Host Intrusion Prevention System permits only a predetermined list of authorized applications to launch on each automation system computer. By ensuring that only approved, trusted applications can execute, HIPS automatically blocks all unauthorized applications, including unknown malware and rogue applications installed by users.

"HIPS is based on patented, award-winning application whitelisting technology from CoreTrace® that is tightly integrated and managed within Industrial Defender’s suite of Defense-in-Depth™ and compliance automation products, and supported with our professional services including host scrubbing, product deployment, whitelist initialization, and periodic system audits and refreshes,"
said Walt Sikora, Industrial Defender’s VP of Security Solutions. "The integration of HIPS into a complete automation security management solution assures safe, secure system implementations while minimizing the long-term cost of ownership."

Wireless conformance testing

ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute Announces Selection of NTS for Certification Laboratory

The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI) has announced the selection of National Technical Systems (NTS) as its independent third-party lab to provide conformance testing for the ISA100.11a certifications starting this month. NTS provides companies and government organizations throughout the world with process and product compliance services, managed engineering services, design engineering services, and program management support.

“WCI selected NTS as the first independent provider of ISA100.11a conformance testing based on its depth of capabilities in wireless protocol testing, quality of operations, and geographic support,” said Andre Ristaino, managing director of WCI.

“We are pleased to be selected as the first lab to provide ISA100.11a conformance testing,” said Osman Sakr, CTO of National Technical Systems. “The ISA100.11a standard will greatly enhance the implementation of wireless systems in the automation and control environment.”

With the recent availability of the ISA100.11a Stack Conformance and Device Interoperability Test Kits designed to verify conformance, suppliers will be able to use the same test kits that NTS uses during certification testing. Suppliers will use these test kits as part of their quality assurance processes and in preparation for formal conformance testing.

NTS is an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited test lab.

Webcast to Detail Step-by-Step Certification Process
    The WCI has scheduled a webinar which provides guidance to suppliers seeking to certify devices to the ISA100.11a standard. The webinar will include a step-by-step description of the conformance process, including whom to contact first, and how to get support during the product development process.
    Webinar Date: Tuesday, 20 July 2010 at 11 a.m. ET USA

Transducers for higher temperature

Transducer specialists RDP Electronics advise that many of their standard LVDTs can now be factory modified for higher temperature operation than normal.

Most LVDTs, with a range of ±100mm, or less, in RDP’s extensive programme of transducers, can be ordered modified during production to operate at upper temperatures of up to 200ºC.

This capability offers the benefit of using otherwise standard LVDTs in much higher temperature environments than would normally be the case. Where significantly higher temperatures are encountered, then RDP offers the LIN and PY ranges suitable for reliable and accurate operation at up to 600ºC. LIN transducers are available for measurement ranges from ± 5 mm up to ± 25 mm and as well as withstanding extreme high and low temperatures are also suitable for environments subject to exposure to radiation. Also widely used in the nuclear industry, as well as in turbines, high pressure testing chambers such as autoclaves and in research laboratories are RDP’s PY series transducers.

New centre in Shanghai

Facility comprises quality assurance equipment; features the Qualmark Typhoon 4.0, the world’s most advanced accelerated testing system

ADLINK Technology recently held the grand opening of their Shanghai Operations Centre (SHOC), located in Shanghai (CN). The SHOC represents the single most significant investment in ADLINK’s 15 year history. This successful opening further demonstrates their world-class capabilities in the industrial computing industry. The goal of establishing the SHOC is to provide them with a first-rate operations centre. For which, countless resources were utilized for the architectural design and interior layout of the center.

The ADLINK SHOC building site is approximately 29,878 square m (321,604 square ft) with 36,000 sq M (387,500 sq ft) of useable area, which is three times greater than their Taipei, Taiwan headquarters. A significant amount of capital has been invested in quality assurance equipment, in addition to building board assembly (SMT and DIP) and system assembly lines. Furthermore, along with the equipment necessary for an electromagnetic interference (EMI) lab and vibration and temperature testing, ADLINK has also procured the world’s most advanced accelerated testing system, the Qualmark Typhoon 4.0.

Jim Liu, (PIC) ADLINK’s CEO and President, and General Manager of SHOC, noted, “As part of the grand opening event, we will be offering a tour of the facilities to customers to experience first-hand the realization of our vision in undertaking large-scale projects for global customers. The Shanghai Operations Center will allow ADLINK to significantly increase our design, manufacturing, and service capacity and serve as a world-class operations base to provide companies with the necessary means to easily bridge into the Chinese market.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Industrial wireless transmitter

The NEW zED Series wireless transmitters from Omega, let you monitor sensors for temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure, as well as thermocouples and any transducer with an analogue voltage or current output.

You can record data and view active charts in Web pages over an Ethernet network or the Internet without any special software, just your Web Browser.

You can even set alarms for notifications by email including text messages to mobile phones.

The radio is a High Power IEEE 802.15.4 compliant transmitter operating at 2.4 GHz. It can transmit over one Kilometre (without obstructions). The zED Series wireless transmitters are designed for demanding industrial applications and harsh outdoor environments. The electronics are protected in a rugged weatherproof, polycarbonate IP65 rated housing.

Omega offers different models powered by conventional alkaline batteries that can last for years, as well as versions powered by a universal AC adapter that operates on any voltage worldwide (110 to 240 Vac).

This is becoming a habit!

Thermo Fisher Scientific wins coveted Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation
Award for three years in a row!


Thermo Fisher Scientific is a winner of Microsoft Corporation’s Life Sciences Innovation Awards 2010, for the third consecutive year. The award recognizes best-in-class companies for their innovative use of Microsoft-based solutions. This designation demonstrates Thermo Fisher’s leading position as provider of enterprise-level informatics solutions to the life sciences industry. Microsoft selected Thermo Fisher and Emory University, part of the Atlantic Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI), as winner of this award for their use of Thermo Scientific Nautilus LIMS (laboratory information management system) to advance information exchange in the clinical and translational science environment across a diverse set of laboratories.

The ACTSI is focused on accelerating the translation of laboratory discoveries into healthcare innovations for patients and plays an important role in North American health research by supporting investigators across Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Grady Hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech). A key initiative for ACTSI is the selection and deployment of LIMS across the consortium to support a “virtual bio-repository” environment. The ACTSI implemented Nautilus LIMS™ at Emory University as part of an enterprise biospecimen management system rollout to enhance workflow, foster collaboration and effectively manage samples. With the need to connect many laboratories and external institutions with its enterprise LIMS, Emory achieved a level of standardization with Nautilus that is replicable across configurations and gave Emory and ACTSI an informatics solution that will be an important component of their translational science informatics infrastructure.

The award, announced at the Drug Information Association’s (DIA) 46th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., was presented to Thermo Fisher Scientific and Emory University to acknowledge the use of Microsoft technology to enable seamless communication and collaboration between Emory and external consortia, advancing scientific discoveries. The LIMS is an important component of an overall architecture supporting translational science across Emory and the ACTSI.

“Thermo Fisher and Emory have been selected for this prestigious award for using Microsoft technology to facilitate collaboration and improve workflow across a number of laboratories,” said Michael Naimoli, director of life sciences industry solutions, Microsoft. “The Emory/ACTSI implementation takes advantage of Thermo Scientific WebAccess deployed on Microsoft technologies to deliver rich client functionality via a web browser to both internal and external users. In addition, the Study Design Module (SDM) created by Thermo Fisher and Emory using Microsoft tools provides an easy to use graphical user interface for study design, which allows the ACTSI to design workflows more quickly.”

The ACTSI is one of 46 medical research institutes working in a consortium funded through the CTSA (Clinical and Translational Science Awards) to enhance translational research in the United States. The implementation of the Nautilus LIMS solution will enable consistent terminology usage and information model mapping across different laboratories, allowing integration with upstream clinical study systems and downstream laboratory analysis processes. The solution has resulted in significant cost savings due to reduced maintenance needs and simpler integration, as well as improving efficiency and data quality. Time savings have also been generated as deployment of a standard base configuration with optional additional lab specific configuration minimizes deployment time for initial lab implementations and use of the new SDM extension will reduce the configuration time for new study protocols by as much as 50 percent, providing more efficient management and tracking of mid-study modifications. In addition, the audit and traceability features of Nautilus ensure regulatory compliance throughout the management of research specimens. The ACTSI Clinical Interaction Network Nautilus implementation currently supports 117 study investigators/coordinators conducting 47 research studies with more than 37,000 original samples and more than 102,000 aliquots.

The ACTSI is supported by the Clinical and Translational Science Award program, National Institutes of Health, National Center for Research Resources.

Dave Champagne, vice president and general manager, Informatics, Thermo Fisher Scientific, comments: “We are delighted that our work as a leading provider of informatics solutions to the life science industry has been recognized with this award for the third consecutive year. Our enterprise LIMS solution, which has been implemented at Emory University, makes the industry’s goal of advancing scientific discoveries amongst a community of institutions a reality.”

Heavy load submicron positioning

Aerotech's PRO-LM series direct-drive, brushless linear servo motor driven stages now include a new 280 mm wide version, available in eight travel options from 300 mm to 1.5 m, for high throughput and heavy load precision positioning applications in harsh industrial environments. The side-sealed/hard top and fully protected stages feature heavy duty linear motion guide bearings, submicron level encoder feedback and optional cable management, and are now available in nominal widths of 165 mm, 225 mm and 280 mm which may be freely mixed to optimise application load and travel requirements.

The new competitively priced PRO280LM is built upon the successful side sealed design that Aerotech has developed over several generations of linear motor and ballscrew driven stages. The aluminium hard top cover, finished in a protective scratch resistant hard coat, is a much preferred alternative to soft fabric or plastic bellows stage covers, especially for applications such as laser machining. The vertical tensioned side straps fully seal the internal stage components from machining or process debris. A wide selection of optional tabletops with steel inserts allow X-Y, XZ or YZ configurations with other PRO series stages with orthogonality certified to 5 arc-secs. Tabletop plates are also available for Aerotech ADRS, ADRT and AGR series rotary stages or to suit customer workpiece mounting in metric and inch hole patterns. Cable management is available for single axis up to customer specified XY, XYZ and XYZ+Rotary stage configurations.

It has a positioning resolution of 250 nanometres from a choice of 0.1 micron line driver or amplified sine output encoders. Other impressive specifications include HALAR calibrated accuracy to +/- 3 microns for the 1.5 m travel version (+/- 2 microns for the 300 mm travel stage) with speeds to 2 metres/sec and acceleration to 3 g. With complementary high specifications for stage flatness, pitch, yaw and roll, and with a maximum horizontal and side load capability to 150 kg, the PRO280LM is well placed for heavy duty industrial applications where no-compromise manufacturing quality and fastest production throughput are of primary importance.

Their brushless direct-drive linear servomotor technology guarantees extremely smooth motion with exacting speed control and precise in-position stability, allowing the PRO280LM to be equally effective for scanning or step/repeat applications or for compound axis contouring. The use of non contacting motors and feedback encoders combines with long life wiper sealed linear motion guide bearings for a rated MTBF life of 20,000 hours with extremely low maintenance.

The company manufactures a wide range of advanced motion controls that optimise the performance capability of the PRO-LM series with powerful motion specific and machine interfacing commands. These include the Position Synchronised Output (PSO) command that completely synchronises real time multi-axis position with laser firing, camera capture, data acquisition or NDT test triggering to produce the highest quality parts or ultimate accuracy test procedures - with minimal cycle time and fastest production throughput. Aerotech's advanced controls include set-up, diagnostics and comprehensive features that reduce position errors, improve settling times and provide a host of other production and commissioning time-saving benefits.

Aerotech's motion systems include motor power and encoder cables plus performance and calibration related documents. Complete machine frames and bases can be included in the scope of supply.

On yer bike....

Professional spray maintenance in a can

Not instrumentation but useful in our industry none the less.

Year end saw a substantial increase in turnover for GT85; the industrial strength, ptfe penetrating and lubrication spray. In the words of John Chapman, Chairman, “Despite the serious recession over the past two years, sales of GT85 have advanced across all our markets with sales into the industrial/engineering/process markets holding up well. Our heritage, built up in the cycle and motorcycle markets, has served us well with enthusiasts using us at their work place, home and for leisure”

The company saw the relaunch of the 1Litre pump pack bottle with stronger trigger spray, ideal for enclosed spaces where spray mist is discouraged. The mini 200ml spray can is fast becoming a tool box favourite right across British industry.

DC bus power supply

Gefran's new AFE200 Active Front End technology brings regenerative power supply for ADV200 vector inverter rangeGefran has added a range of regenerative power supplies with 'Active Front End' technology for its ADV200 line of vector inverters. The new AFE200 can return regenerative current back into the mains power network and provide improved Cos Φ with a near unity power factor for increased efficiency and cost savings. The new power supplies also deliver 'clean power' thanks to reduced harmonic distortion values of less than 5% and further advantages include enhanced system dynamics during drive and regeneration with increased load capacity, improved DC bus stability under load changes with potential extended equipment life, elimination of uneconomical conventional braking systems and braking resistors, and significantly cost effective single power supply systems.

The AFE200 regenerative power supplies are available in five standard sizes from 22KW to 355kW for single, stand-alone, set-ups and from 400kW to 1.2MW for multiple inverter drive 'parallel' configuration. With its 380V – 500 VAC supply (+/-15%), the range is typically be used with common DC bus versions of the ADV200 vector inverter and shares the same modular construction concept for fast and economical installation with considerably less space required than many other manufacturers drive solutions.

The AFE200 includes an RS485 serial line as standard and can be programmed with peer-to-peer or multidrop connection using the Modbus RTU protocol. The standard configuration also includes generous and fully configurable complement of analogue, digital and relay I/O.. Two option card slots are provided for ADV series fieldbus management cards for all the main networks as well as I/O expansion cards. As with the ADV200 vector inverters, parameter set-up is also possible using the integrated KB_ADV programming keypad or with Gefran's GF-eXpress multi-language software for fast set-up and application commissioning, including a simple integrated PLC for straightforward I/O control.

The AFE200 is available in two overload modes for “heavy duty” and “light duty” to match power, duty and price requirements to the application. Further options include input choke, a pre-load kit with resistors and contactors, and an external EMI mains filter – all sized to suit application specifics.

Gefran's ADV200 line of high performance, FOC (field oriented control), vector inverters now includes four panel mount and six cabinet-housed drives for continuous service, constant torque power output applications from 0.75 kW to 1.2MW at up to 690 VAC. With heavy duty and light duty overload management and with a choice of open loop, closed loop with speed feedback, or V/F control, the advanced ADV200 range provides maximum application flexibility with up to three front mounted option card slots for a mixed combination of encoder and fieldbus management interfaces or I/O expansion cards.

The ADV200 is aimed at system builders and OEMs requiring an inverter drive platform that is able to meet the needs of the widest possible range of speed control applications. Based on a high performance 32-bit microcontroller providing a closed loop speed regulation up to 0.01% and a speed range of 1:1000, the ADV200 includes three levels of programming and control options as standard from simple keypad, through Gefran's GF_eXpress to full IEC-61131-3 sequential PLC.

New benchmark in flow sensor measurement

Servomex has delivered a benchmark improvement to gas flow measurement and safety with the launch of Flowcube, a brand new sensor technology which integrates into its acclaimed analyser range.

Developed to address the current limitations in gas flow measurement, Flowcube is an advanced sensor which for the first time enables multiple system diagnostics and data trending to be ascertained from the flow measurement. While gas flow has traditionally been measured separately within a sample system, compromises with this technique has meant plant operators have to rely on basic “flow or no flow” status information which can only shut down a process when a potential error is detected. Flowcube is the innovative and cost-effective solution to this industry problem: a sophisticated and highly sensitive transducer design, placed in-situ of a Servomex analyser, which enables both accurate trending of the overall sample system and the implementation of preventive rather than reactionary maintenance for minimum disruption to processes.

These highly accurate measurements mean the basic “flow or no flow” status information is now superseded by a sophisticated two-stage alarm capability that introduces a ‘maintenance required’ trigger stage alongside the standard critical fault signal. Not only does this allow sample system issues to be dealt with before they cause intermittent, slower or inaccurate measurements, but it offers operators new flexibility in diagnosing problems early, scheduling maintenance and avoiding unnecessary, unexpected and costly downtime. In addition, Flowcube’s ability to deliver accurate measurements means trending data is reported via an instrument’s digital communications, enabling users to monitor sample system performance over time to reduce the risk of system failure.

Unlike thermal conductivity technologies and rotameters, which can be greatly affected by thermal conductivity changes in the sample gas and density and viscosity changes respectively, Flowcube technology measures the bulk cooling characteristic of the gas. The result is a stable measurement that does not respond predominately to one physical gas characteristic and is more immune to changes in the sample gas mixture. Positioned at the outlet of the measurement cell to guarantee a representative sample is present at all times, the Flowcube sensor ensures maximum measurement certainty and optimum safety to enable users to set user-defined alarm levels with confidence.

Flowcube technology therefore enables operators to implement a preventative rather than reactive agenda for analyser flow control, avoiding costly plant downtime by allowing the scheduling of routine safety checks and sample system maintenance – a particularly useful function where operations are being run with minimum personnel on-site. With no consumable parts, an almost indefinite field service life and no special gases or setup required, Flowcube delivers low cost-of-ownership with just a simple calibration procedure required at a minimum of twelve months. Flowcube is certified intrinsically safe (EEx ia) for use in hazardous areas and with continually flammable gases, and it forms part of the SERVOTOUGH Oxy SIL 2 assessment for use in Safety Integrated Systems.

“Flowcube is a prime example of how Servomex applies our technical and analytical expertise to solving real customer issues,” says Chris Cottrell, Managing Director, Servomex.
“Not only does it address a fundamental customer problem with the previously inflexible flow measurement techniques offered by our industry, but the improved alarm system and system trending measurements offer new and immediate benefits to customer operations.”

Flowcube will be available immediately as an option for the SERVOPRO MultiExact multigas analyser and award-winning SERVOTOUGH Oxy oxygen analyser, with compatibility for other Servomex analysers to follow.

Mini motors, power transmission & controls

New catalogue covers three additional DC motor technologies, a new brushless drive and increased resource material for miniature power transmission mechanics and controls

A new and revised full range catalogue from Rotalink includes several new products and additional technical information aimed at making an informed selection for highly cost competitive miniature power transmission systems and controls. The new resource covers performance specifications for three recently added DC motor technologies (rare earth, heavy case and brushless) as well as several new gearbox lines along with a completely new section on DC motor control - including new absolute encoders and a brushless version of Rotalink's flagship motion controller, Red Drive.

The new catalogue reflects just how busy the company has been over the past two years - developing and improving a complete range that allows its customers the benefit of volume sourced and low-cost DC, AC and stepper motor technologies from global partners which are integrated with in-house designed and manufactured miniature gearboxes, motor feedback components and motion control technologies.

Rotalink's strength and expertise lies in adapting advanced materials technologies into its own innovative designs for miniature gearbox and associated components to realise leading-edge and cost effective solutions for miniature power transmission systems up to 28 Nm torque and to 150 W shaft power. With its own manufactured range of planetary and ovoid style gearboxes that include a flexible choice standard or enhanced polymer gears with sintered or ball bearings, it is possible to exactly match a customer's specification without cost compromise. Furthermore, the choice of advanced materials and their unique ovoid gearboxes with spur/planetary output stages can yield extremely high torque in space restricted envelopes and are a perfect solution where miniaturisation in design or maximising power to size is of prime importance.

By adapting these same gearbox designs with their space saving incremental or absolute encoder feedback devices, and by adding speed or positional motion control, Rotalink provide a complete single-source service for miniature linear or rotary power transmission systems at costs which are much less than its competitors.

The new catalogue includes complete specification information for three recently introduced DC motor technologies; high power brushed DC motors with neodymium rare earth magnets, heavy case low inertia brushed DC motors, and low cost brushless DC motors complete with hall effect sensors for commutation.

Also, recently launched and available for the first time in the new catalogue is a brushless version of the Red Drive programmable motion controller for up to 10A output from a 12 – 24 VDC source with up to 27 configurable analogue and digital I/O points for comprehensive machine control interfacing.

For each of the DC, AC and Stepper motors section in the new catalogue, a detailed selection guide is included with technical assistance information available such as countermeasures for EMI and a discussion on customisation options for DC motor gearbox applications. Engineers and designers involved in miniature power transmission systems will find Rotalink's new catalogue an invaluable resource.

It may be downloaded in pdf format from their website.

Cadmium in chocolate?

Thermo Fisher Scientific Announces New Method for Simple and Accurate Analysis of Cadmium in Chocolate
Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced a new method for simple and accurate analysis of cadmium in chocolate. The Thermo Scientific iCE 3500 atomic absorption spectrometer allows simple analysis of this trace element, while their SOLAAR software enables easy method development. The innovative Graphite Furnace TeleVision (GFTV) capability of the iCE 3500 also aids method development as sample deposition and sample drying can be viewed in real-time inside the cuvette. The method is detailed in an application note entitled "The Analysis of Cadmium in Chocolate by Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry," which is available to download at www.thermoscientific.com/App-Note-43034.

Cadmium is a heavy metal used in a number of applications, including the production of batteries, steel plating and as a pigment in plastics and glasses. These industrial activities can release cadmium into the environment where it accumulates in water and soil and enters plants, animals and fish through uptake and ingestion. As a result, humans can be exposed to cadmium through the consumption of foodstuffs. This poses health risks as excessive cadmium consumption can cause nausea, gastrointestinal pain, softening of bones and kidney damage. The main ingredients in chocolate include milk, cocoa and fats, and each is a potential source of cadmium, so chocolate samples should be analyzed accurately to ensure consumer safety. The provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) of cadmium is seven ?g/kg body weight. The recommendation however, is to limit cadmium intake as much as possible because it offers no nutritional benefit. Typical maximum levels of cadmium in foodstuffs are currently between 0.05 and 0.2 mg/kg wet weight.

The new application note demonstrates how the iCE 3500 atomic absorption spectrometer from the Thermo Scientific iCE 3000 Series provides a simple and accurate tool for the analysis of cadmium in chocolate. Samples were analyzed following a simple digestion procedure, and matrix matched standards were used to accurately determine cadmium concentration. The unique GFTV enabled easy optimization of the position of the injection capillary and allowed visualization of the deposition of the sample into the cuvette, ensuring accuracy and repeatability. In addition, the wizard-driven SOLAAR software enabled quick and easy furnace optimization and method development. Experimental results revealed that cadmium was accurately detected in all analyzed chocolate samples at concentration levels well below recommended limits for cadmium in foodstuffs.

Registration opens for #ISAwk

ISA Opens Registration for ISA Automation Week 2010

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has just announced that registration for its annual event, ISA Automation Week 2010, is now open.

ISA Automation Week is a technical conference that covers 2 ½ days of sessions, including two keynote addresses, networking and social events, and a 10,000 square foot exhibit area featuring over 100 exhibitors. It will be held 4-7 October 2010 in Houston, Texas, at the Westin Galleria Hotel.

Registration includes:
    Access to all technical sessions, tutorials, keynote addresses, and panel discussions
    Access to exhibit hall during scheduled refreshment breaks
    Three continental breakfasts

    Two lunches

    Two networking receptions

    Morley Unplugged—dinner event: Enjoy an evening with one of automation’s biggest legends, Dick Morley, as he shares his remarkable experiences spanning several decades

    Networking coffee breaks between sessions

    Proceedings on a flash drive, with a note-taking feature
    Pre-event access to online conference community
“The interest level for ISA Automation Week through our advance registration notice exceeded our expectations. We’re excited to open up registration with a solid program in place built around seven technical tracks and features such as a new, personalized session selection tool—PathFinder, the ARC Advisory Group Executive Forum, and outstanding keynote speakers,” said Gerald Cockrell, ISA Automation Week technical program committee co-chair.

“We have a sold-out exhibit floor in place. In addition to our exhibiting companies, GE Energy will be featured at the event as a 2010 ISA Corporate Partner; and OSIsoft, Schneider Electric, and Wind River will be showcased as ISA Automation Week Partners,”
he continued.

An early-bird rate offers a $50 discount for registering on or before 23 August. ISA Members will also receive a $100 discount off the list price. For registration rates, program information, or general event information, visit the website.

“It’s all there. Any automation professional looking for career development, should take advantage of ISA Automation Week. It’s a cost-effective conference that will deliver both the technical theory and applications-based, hands-on knowledge that today’s automation professionals demand,” concluded Cockrell.

Manufacturing intelligence software

ICONICS has announced the release of GENESIS64™ v10.5.

Designed from the ground up utilizing OPC Unified Architecture (OPC-UA) and 64-bit multi-core hardware platforms, the GENESIS64 suite includes several modular solutions that simplify connectivity from the plant floor to corporate business systems. Compatible with Microsoft Windows® 7 and certified for Windows Server 2008 R2, it allows plant operators and IT professionals to integrate real-time manufacturing and business information into a common, Web-enabled visualization dashboard. The GENESIS64 suite is comprised of GraphWorX64™, TrendWorX™64, AlarmWorX™64, EarthWorX™ and the Workbench Web-based development, deployment and operations products.

“GENESIS64 is helping customers to better visualize their business applications and truly lights up the rich visual features that are available with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2,” said Russ Agrusa, President and CEO of ICONICS.

GENESIS64 has attained Microsoft’s Compatible for Windows 7 status and was designed from the ground up for 64-bit computing. GENESIS64 takes advantage of 3D hardware acceleration, Windows Presentation Foundation, Multi-touch and more resulting in an increase in productivity for users.

GENESIS64 offers the following new features:
  • Silverlight 3.0 support to view data in IE, FireFox, Safari, Opera, and more
  • High-availability redundancy
  • Support for Multi-touch Connectivity
  • Cover Flow and Carousel Navigation Technology and Customizable Ribbons
  • New AlarmWorX64 Multimedia for sending multimedia alarm notifications
  • New Workbench “Project Pack and Go” for easy project backups and deployment
  • One click support for adding multiple trending data points to TrendWorX64
  • Seamless integration with Microsoft Bing Maps via ICONICS EarthWorX™
  • New GENESIS64 OPC-UA Redundancy - Supporting DA and Historical Data
  • Support for importing COLLADA objects with Kinematics into GraphWorX64 3-D
  • New Pre-configure Connection to Remote OPC-UA Servers
“Market trends indicate rapid growth in the convergence of 64-bit-based computing machinery, migration to the most recent Microsoft operating systems and technologies, and requirements for 3D visualization of both manufacturing and business processes”, according to Craig Resnick, Research Director, ARC Advisory Group. “Windows 7, running on computers with new 64-bit processors, and leveraging features such as Multi-touch and Silverlight, will further enhance the real-time visualization and control solutions such as ICONICS GENESIS64 used to provide 360-degree views of the plant floor. That is why it was critical to ICONICS’ strategy to be an early recipient of Windows 7 certification to fully leverage GENESIS64 as a .NET 64-bit product.”

Monday, June 21, 2010

Switch disconnector

Rittal Ri4Power switch-disconnector-fuse sections

The construction of Rittal Ri4Power switch-disconnector-fuse section is based on Rittal’s Ri4Power well-known components. In the highest design version, an internal separation to installation Form 4b is achieved with complete side panel modules and bar covers. Depending on the number of cables to be connected, the new Rittal fused isolator sections can be provided in widths of 1000 and 1200 mm and offer connection spaces of approx. 300 or 500 mm in width.

Using switch-disconnector-fuse sections, the distribution of electrical energy through fused switchgear can be achieved in a compact and varied way. Size 00 and size 3 fuse-switch-disconnectors from Jean Müller or ABB/Siemens can now be prepared in full with Rittal's new Ri4Power switch-disconnector-fuse sections. With the Jean Müller device modules, replaceable control units can be integrated in the fused isolator section, even when live.

In order to design switchgear as economic as possible for multi-terminal busbar systems, Rittal favours flat bar systems with 50 x10, 60x 10, 80x 10 and 100x 10 mm cross-sections.

In the case of the successfully conducted type tests, both with the ABB SlimLine and Jean Müller Sasil rails, a rated current of up to 2100 A was demonstrated in the distributor bar system, with full section configuration and an IP 3X level of protection. A short-circuit resistance of 100 kA (Icw 1 sec) was successfully demonstrated during the type testing conducted on the new fused isolator sections, both in main busbar systems as well as in 100 x 10 mm distributor bar systems.

Water monitoring appointment

Intellitect Water continues growth with new appointment

Intellitect Water has appointed Alan Pickett to the role of Senior Sales Executive, to support rapid growth in the sales of its unique in-pipe water monitoring technology.

Alan joins Intellitect from similar roles previously held at Severn Trent Services and Siemens Water Technologies and will help to expand sales coverage across Britain.

The appointment follows a £2million funding injection earlier this year to meet demand for Intellitect’s flagship Intellisonde™ product.

Commenting on his appointment Alan said: “Following a career in the water industry spanning more than 15 years, I have gained a wealth of experience which I feel will be invaluable in interpreting the specific needs of our customers. “With the knowledge I have acquired I feel able to offer potential customers sound guidance with regards to using the Intellitect range of instruments to their best advantage to ensure efficient monitoring contributes to the water in distribution being maintained to the highest quality. “I am very excited to be involved in one of the most important developments in water monitoring that the industry has seen for decades.”

Monitoring for Gulf clean-up

Rapid response required for monitoring disasters

Consultants and contracting engineers working on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have drawn upon the vast equipment inventory that is available from specialist instrumentation rental company Ashtead Technology.

Speaking from the company's Baton Rouge facility in Louisiana, spokesman Randall Farr said, "Environmental disasters always necessitate a rapid, effective response from those responsible for monitoring the effects of such incidents. It is therefore essential that a wide range of the latest technologies is available at a moment's notice to ensure that this need is met. "Ashtead Technology provides a complete portfolio of monitoring equipment that is tested, calibrated and ready to go, so following the Deepwater Horizon explosion we were able to deliver the necessary equipment within a few hours of the first requests coming in."

Rental instruments have been utilised by several organisations both at the scene of the Deepwater Horizon rig and also along the affected shoreline. This equipment includes the TSI Sidepak AM510 Personal Aerosol Monitor to measure ambient air particulates that arise from gas flaring and RAE photoionisation detectors (MultiRAE, MiniRAE, and UltraRAE instruments) to measure benzene and other airborne organic pollutants. In addition, SKC Sidekick Pumps have been utilised for the sampling of gases and vapours.

Instrument rental lends itself to rapid environmental response for a number of reasons. For example, Randall Farr believes that renting ensures that the right instrument is chosen. He says, "The staff at Ashtead Technology are highly experienced with a broad range of technologies and as such they are able to recommend the best kit for the job, whereas clients that own their equipment tend to use what they've got whether it's appropriate or not. In addition, the experts at Ashtead Technology often provide technical assistance during the rental period to make sure customers get the best out of the equipment. "Major incidents generate a very large requirement for equipment so our ability to quickly mobilise a huge fleet of instruments is essential. For example, just last year, we supplied a large number of thermal cameras in response to an urgent request from organisations needing to assess the devastating effects of Hurricane Ike. In situations like this, rapid response teams tend to have a short-term requirement, so again, renting is the best option."

Ashtead Technology is a global business, but with facilities in Houston, Pasadena and Baton Rouge, the company is well placed to help with the aftermath of the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

Prices down for thermal imagers

Fluke has reduced the recommended prices of its rugged Fluke Ti25, TiR and TiR1 Thermal Imagers for a limited period, until 30th September 2010.

These Fluke thermal imagers, designed for day-to-day troubleshooting and maintenance, offer superior image quality and feature IR Fusion® technology which integrates infrared and visible light images in full screen or picture-in-picture views for enhanced problem detection and analysis. Powerful SmartView™ is also included with each thermal imager.

The Fluke Ti25, TiR and TiR1 feature a three-button menu designed for intuitive operation and navigation with the push of a thumb, with the Ti25 and TiR1 offering the ability to record and save voice comments with every image taken, plus on-screen emissivity correction. The Fluke Ti25 Thermal Imager is designed for everyday troubleshooting and maintenance of electrical installations, electro-mechanical and process equipment, HVAC/R units and other industrial and electrical equipment. The Fluke TiR and TiR1 Thermal Imagers are designed as affordable and complete solutions for building diagnostic and roofing professionals, and restoration and remediation specialists.

With widescreen full colour LCD displays, optimised thermal sensitivity, and temperature measurement ranges of -20°C to +350°C, for the Ti25, and -20°C to +100°C, for the TiR and TiR1, they allow users to operate from a safe distance and still see small temperature differences.

Fluke SmartView software (with free software upgrades for the life of the product) is included with each thermal imager. A modular suite of tools for viewing, annotating, editing and analysing infrared images, SmartView software fully supports Fluke IR-Fusion technology, enabling users to edit images in five viewing modes and generate customised, professional-looking reports in a few steps.

Hazardous certification achieved

Moore Industries acquires CSA Hazardous Location Certifications on new signal conditioners and alarm trip

Moore Industries has certified two of the company’s newest product lines through CSA International, receiving cCSAus Hazardous Location certificates for miniMOORE™ Multi-Channel Signal Conditioners and FS Functional Safety Series STA Safety Trip Alarms.

The miniMOORE and STA products all received General Location and Non-Incendive approval per CSA for Class I, Division 2, Groups A, B, C & D.

Products certified for the miniMOORE product line of multi-channel signal conditioners include the 2-channel MIT and MIX Signal Isolator/Converters with switch-selectable inputs, and the 4-channel MIX with 4-20mA standard input/output.

The STA SIL 2 Compliant Safety Trip Alarm, that is certified IEC 61508 SIL 2 safe by TÜVRheinland, has now received additional Hazardous Location approval by CSA International.

Moore Industries Senior Certification Engineer Christine Whan worked with CSA International to acquire the certifications. “CSA International is wonderful to work with from a technical perspective. Their certification is very well regarded in the US and Canada, and they are expanding internationally as well,” she said. In July 2009, CSA International had acquired British-based SIRA Test and Certification Limited, another world leader in the conformity assessment solutions field. SIRA has been a leader in Hazardous Location certifications for 25 years, and is Britain's leading Notified Body specializing in testing and certification equipment intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.

According to Whan, “I enjoy working with CSA for many reasons, but the fact that they have evolved into a comprehensive, global assessment solutions business has strengthened their appeal to Moore Industries.”

Process safety has been greatly emphasized recently. Third-party certifications have become vital as safety considerations have dominated media coverage, and certifying a process has ever increasing importance. According to Moore Industries Director of Engineering, Tina Lockhart, “Moore Industries is committed to providing superior product quality for customers. In many cases, that quality needs to be cemented with a certificate of conformity from an independent, third-party agency.”

IS safety valve

ASCO Numatics introduces low power, intrinsically safe Ex ia pilot valve with ATEX and IEC Ex approvals

ASCO Numatics has a new low power LI and WSLI pilot with Ex ia certification for the compact 551, 552 and 553 series pilot valves. The introduction of the new pilot means that ASCO can now offer both intrinsically safe (LI and WSLI series) and flameproof/explosion proof (WS LPKF series) low power pilot valves for aggressive environments across the process industry.

Available with either an aluminium or stainless steel enclosure rated to IP 67, the pilot has a power consumption of just 0.5W at 24V DC. The low wattage coil reduces battery drain and heat rise, minimises wiring costs and provides energy savings. These benefits lower the total cost of ownership over the installed life of the solenoid valve.

The pilot is compatible with the their 551, 552 and 553 ranges in aluminium, brass (551 range only) and stainless steel. These valves have a large flow range of up to 860 l/min for the 551 valve and 3800 l/min for the 553 valve. The pilot is certified to ATEX, Zone 1-21 (aluminium enclosure) and Zone 0-21 for the stainless steel, and is IEC Ex approved and certified to IEC 61508 functional safety (SIL 3). The new range is ideally suited to applications in the offshore market where high levels of safety and superior resistance to aggressive operating environments are required.

The housing and cover of the pilot enclosure are in 316L stainless steel or painted aluminium and the operator can be rotated 360° to select the best position for cable entry. Electrical connection is via either a shielded or unshielded cable gland (½” NPT) to easy access screw terminals.

The enclosure is supplied with a plastic exhaust protector fitted on the pilot exhaust for dust protection. A metal exhaust protector is available as an option. The operators are suitable for use in ambient temperatures from -40°C to +60°C, and the flameproof aluminium enclosure is rated to ll 2G Ex ia IIC T6 GbT6 ll 2DEx t lllC T85°C IP67 Db and stainless steel aluminium enclosure is rated to ll 1G Ex ia IICGa T6 ll 2D Ex t lllC T85°C IP67 Db, Certification: IEC Ex, SIL and EN 60079-0, EN 60079-ll, EN 61241 and EN 61241-1.