Saturday, September 11, 2010

Growth opportunities in power grid modernisation

ABB has highlighted the significant growth opportunities it sees in the modernisation of the world’s power grids, its expansion into the discrete automation sector, and the convergence of power and automation demand across its business portfolio.

J Hogan
Joe Hogan, CEO ABB
“ABB today has a highly dynamic and balanced automation and power technology portfolio and geographic market balance,” said ABB’s CEO Joe Hogan at the company’s annual capital markets day in Zurich, Switzerland. “The power of our portfolio helped us during the economic crisis and will help us grow as our markets recover.”

Hogan said over the past 12 months, ABB has improved operationally and become more market focused by realigning its automation business and introducing a dedicated marketing and technology function for high growth opportunities. The company has also made new investments in production facilities and research and development.

“We are today in a great position to benefit from the most important market trends in the industry, such as energy efficiency, industrial productivity, changing power requirements and the continuing strength of emerging economies,” Hogan said.

CFO Michel Demaré provided a brief update on the current business environment, saying that demand trends seen in the second quarter remain unchanged. “Our short-cycle businesses continue their robust recovery, but the long-cycle infrastructure business still faces headwinds,” Demaré said. “The company’s cost savings program remains on track to deliver $3 billion in cost reductions by the end of 2010.” Although the third quarter EBIT margin is traditionally weaker than Q2 due to a different business mix, ABB expects its Q3 2010 revenues in local currencies and EBIT margin adjusted for derivative transactions and restructuring-related costs to be higher than in the same quarter in 2009.

In the medium term, political action to reduce global CO2 emissions will continue to drive demand for renewable energies. However, the need to integrate energy sources such as wind and solar power into existing electricity grids is also creating significant business and technology challenges for its power customers. Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division, described how the company can address these issues through its combined expertise in the areas of alternating and direct current power transmission, grid IT solutions and, increasingly, power storage.

Ulrich Spiesshofer
Ulrich Spiesshofer
ABB also outlined the strategy to grow its Discrete Automation and Motion division, which was created at the beginning of 2010 as part of the realignment of its automation businesses to better tap future growth opportunities. Divisional head Ulrich Spiesshofer explained the company’s aims to increase its share in a market of more than $100 billion growing 5-10 percent a year.

In addition, the company described how it is meeting growing demand for both power and automation solutions in infrastructure markets with good long-term growth potential, such as renewable energies, rail and water, smart grids and data centers. By targeting these sectors with integrated solutions that include both power and automation technologies, ABB intends to play a leading role in these markets over the long-term, said Brice Koch, head of ABB’s Customer and Market Solutions team.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Combating Eyjafjallajokull!




Advanced visual inspection equipment hired from Ashtead Technology has helped an aviation engineering company to undertake vital aircraft examinations in the wake of the Icelandic volcanic ash eruption.

The Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted earlier this year, throwing huge amounts of ash into the air and causing thousands of flights to be delayed or cancelled across Europe due to fears that ash could turn into molten glass within a hot jet engine and pose a serious threat to aircraft safety.

Avalon Aero, based at Biggin Hill Airport in Kent, contacted Ashtead Technology to hire an advanced videoscope for the inspection of aircraft engines after they had flown into the ‘red zone’; an area in which ash might be encountered, but was deemed safe to fly by the British Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.

Martin Darling, Avalon Aero’s Technical Director, explained: “Ashtead Technology’s engineers recommended the IPLEX Videoscope and the device proved extremely useful, providing a quick and easy visual access to the internal components of aircraft engines. Our investigations did not find any ash within the engines and this evidence was of course extremely valuable to our clients.” “We found Ashtead Technology extremely helpful to deal with and they were able to supply the most suitable instrumentation for our needs.”

The Olympus IPLEX provides fast, efficient inspection and maintenance of power-generating facilities, plant and building piping systems, as well as aircraft engines. In addition to a rugged chassis and impact-resistant case, the IPLEX is an all-in-one system that features a detachable, high-resolution colour LCD monitor, a handheld remote control, and a built-in winding drum for the flexible insertion tube.

Users can also enjoy seamless electronic zoom, split-screen display of stored and live images, and removable memory card recording of still and moving images and sound annotation.

Alan Hasson, General Manager at Ashtead Technology, added: “This project highlights the importance of fast access to the latest technology and clearly demonstrates the benefits of instrument rental.”

Virtual experience for US cabinet member

U.S. Energy Secretary Chu interacts with virtual reality simulator

Dr Chu with his President
Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of US Dept of Energy Energy, and Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), donned virtual reality goggles yesterday and experienced the future of clean-coal plant technology when they interacted with the EYESIM training simulator from Invensys Operations Management. Chu and Rockefeller were at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in West Virginia, prior to participating in a University of Charleston Forum on the Future of Coal. Invensys Operations Management is supplying its EYESIM and DYNSIM solutions to the NETL and the United States Department of Energy to facilitate development and training for clean-coal plant operations.

Chu attended the forum to speak on the capture and disposal of carbon dioxide emitted in the burning of coal, a process known as carbon capture and storage or CCS. Coal generates about ninety-eight percent of West Virginia’s electricity, and about forty-eight percent of the electricity generated in the United States. The continued large-scale use of coal to supply electricity in the United States could ultimately depend on the successful development of CCS technology. The Secretary was on hand to break down the impact CCS can have and what the United States is doing to pioneer this innovative technology.

These solutions will assist in the development of new-generation zero-emission integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants with carbon capture. The Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training and Research Center, or AVESTAR™, in Morgantown (W.VA US) is part of the Department of Energy’s initiative to develop new clean-coal power plants that burn fuel more efficiently to produce environmentally friendly electric power. EYESIM and DYNSIM provide a high-fidelity and virtual reality simulated environment in which prospective plant personnel learn to operate and interact with a clean-coal facility, much like an airplane pilot trains on a flight simulator.

“Invensys has been working as a development partner with the NETL to create a combined control panel and field operator training solution for IGCC with carbon capture,” said Alastair Fraser, vice president, Invensys Operations Management. “Its innovative capabilities and additional operational benefits will enable more rapid development of clean-coal power generation to meet demand, as well as enhance training for new clean-coal plant operations teams. We are pleased that Secretary Chu and Senator Rockefeller were able to witness some of the new virtual reality training and simulation capabilities we have helped develop at the new NETL training center in Morgantown.”

Suppliers honoured

National Instruments honours 22 companies with 2010 Global Supplier awards

National Instruments has announced the 22 recipients of the company’s Global Supplier Awards for 2010. The annual awards were presented to suppliers who, through their commitment to excellence, continuous improvement and innovative practices, delivered world-class performance within the global supply chain.

FedEx, a supplier of global logistic services, is the recipient of this year’s Supplier of the Year Award, which recognises the supplier that consistently performs beyond expectations throughout the year. FedEx developed a custom shipping solution that makes it possible for National Instruments to service its key markets while shipping from an emerging market. This solution helped National Instruments significantly shorten its delivery times to customers while reducing inventory.

Analog Devices, a supplier of analogue, mixed-signal and digital signal processing ICs, is the recipient of the inaugural NI Eagle Award. This award recognises exceptional global support and performance from key technology providers. Analog Devices was honoured with the award for providing cost-effective, high-performance products in a challenging market over the last year.

Other 2010 Global Supplier Award winners include: Advantech, a supplier of human machine interfaces (HMIs) and industrial PCs; Arrow Electronics Marketing, a supplier of electronics components; BizLink, a supplier of cable assemblies; Cerqa, a supplier of software and print media; Dove, a crystals and oscillators supplier; Flextronics, a supplier of complex mechanical assemblies; GigOptix, a supplier of application-specific integrated circuits; iRex, a supplier of cable assemblies; M3, a supplier of electronics components; Marking Systems, a labels supplier; ModusLink, a supplier of CD replication and print services; Phoenix-Lamar, a cable assemblies supplier; SCA Packaging, a supplier of packaging products; Sonopress, a supplier of software and print media; Sunbelt Supply, a hardware supplier; Toshiba, a supplier of application-specific integrated circuits; TTI Inc., an electric components supplier; Westak, a supplier of printed circuit boards; Xerox Hungary, a supplier of print on-demand products and services; and Zollner, a supplier of custom metal products.
“With the rising standard to which global companies are being held, National Instruments makes it a priority to work with suppliers who are dedicated to quality performance, timely delivery, a competitive cost structure and innovative business practices,” said Scott Christman, Director of the Global Supply Chain for National Instruments. “These suppliers have demonstrated the commitment, innovation and results that set them apart from the rest of the industry, and we congratulate them for their outstanding accomplishments.”

National Instruments recognises suppliers in six categories: Supplier of the Year, NI Eagle Award, Best in Commodity Class, Overall Scorecard Performance, Quality and On-Time Delivery. Award recipients are chosen based on the National Instruments supplier scorecard, which evaluates performance in the areas of cost, quality, global support, delivery, technology and innovation. Suppliers are scored quarterly with periodic reviews scheduled to facilitate better communication as well as to identify possible improvement opportunities. See their Procurement & Supplier Programme.

Electric cylinder a first

Innovative short-stroke electric cylinder uses tubular linear motor

Festo has launched a highly innovative short-stroke electric cylinder which uses a patented tubular linear motor and end-position controller to provide exceptional dynamic performance. Initially available in two sizes with peak thrust force ratings of 35 N and 52 N, the new ADNE-LAS cylinder offers a choice of four stroke lengths from 15 to 45 mm. The cylinders are ideal alternatives to solenoid actuators - they are especially suitable for process-type applications demanding fast and controllable movement, such as selectively ejecting faulty parts in a high throughput testing station.

Believed to be the first of its type on the market, the ADNE-LAS cylinder is extremely easy to install and commission. It has an IP65 rating and an ISO standard form factor, which means that it can use the same mounting brackets and accessories as other similarly-sized Festo products, making it very easy for machine designers to mix and match different drive technologies to create task-optimised automation. And although the cylinder uses closed-loop control to ensure positioning accuracy, there are no servo parameters to set up - instead, users simply teach the controller the two required end positions of the piston rod.

These electric cylinders offer a choice of two 32 mm profile models with stroke lengths of 15 and 35 mm, and two 40 mm profile models with stroke lengths of 20 and 45 mm. The 32 mm profile models can produce a thrust force of 35 N peak and 8 N continuous, whilst the 40 mm profile models are capable of generating a thrust force of 52 N peak and 12 N continuous. All four models provide ±0.5 mm positioning repeatability.

Its heavily patented linear motor is based on a highly innovative tubular design, using high flux annular magnets on the actuator rod, closely surrounded by a series of specialised windings on the stator coil. This approach effectively turns conventional linear motor design inside out - in most linear motors, the fixed stator contains the permanent magnets and the moving element contains the coil windings. Festo's design offers a number of significant advantages, including low moving mass and a complete absence of flexible cabling to the moving parts - both of which contribute to the motor's high reliability and dynamic performance capabilities. Furthermore, the cylinders have no external magnetic field and are therefore suitable for environments subject to swarf, such as in machine tool applications.

Festo has developed a special cost-optimised end-position controller to partner the ADNE-LAS electric cylinder. Known as the CMFL, the controller accepts feedback from the cylinder's built-in magnetic encoder and maintains its drive output signal until the piston rod has reached the desired end position. Unlike a solenoid actuator, the ADNE-LAS has a very high power density and produces a constant force throughout the entirety of its stroke - much like a pneumatic actuator, though without the same extremely high force levels. Self-adaptive loop gain control decelerates actuator movement as it nears the end of its stroke, to provide completely automatic end-position cushioning.

The CMFL controls the movement of the cylinder's piston rod in both directions and is capable of storing four different movement patterns, any of which can be selected and initiated via digital inputs; the controller also produces a 'motion complete' output signal when the piston rod reaches its end position. The combination of controller and cylinder can handle stroke cycles - movement in and out - as high as 20 Hz, for periods of up to 10 minutes at a time without interruption. The entire system operates from a single safety extra-low voltage (SELV) 48 Vdc source, and can also be run from 24 Vdc, with suitable de-rating.

Control for vehicular and industrial markets

Company sees CANbus systems control expansion

Things are looking up for Sensor-Technik UK, with turnover almost doubled during the past year, an expanded headcount of engineering staff and further recruitment under way. The expansion is proof that the company's increased focus on CANbus systems is providing the market with much needed capabilities.

Although established initially as a British-based distribution arm of the German company Sensor-Technik Wiedemann GmbH (STW), the company has refined its focus over the past 12 months to provide a full service in designing, building, programming and supporting CANbus control systems for vehicular and industrial markets. The company now boasts a five-strong software and engineering team and a five-person manufacturing department, complete with its own machine shop.

The latest addition to the team is Andrzej Gajosz (right), a fully qualified hardware design engineer with experience ranging from the IC/PCB level to industrial components and systems. Andrew can advise on a wide range of topics from the component level to complete circuits, including hardware integration of CANbus components, sensors etc.

With a background in control equipment, automotive wiring and access systems, Andrew's new role will see him designing and building bespoke hardware solutions for Sensor-Technik customers. These systems can either feature direct interfaces or can be based on Sensor-Technik CANbus controllers, as appropriate, with a full range of options for functionality, environmental protection, enclosures, fixtures and fittings etc.

In addition to supplying and supporting the complete STW range of sensors and CANbus controllers, the company has built an impressive list of complementary franchises such as operator interfaces, instrumentation, motion sensors and load cells from leading-edge manufacturers including Micronor, PR Electronics, Wachendorff, Graf-Syteco, Precision Transducers, Richmond Industries, London Electronics and Datum Electronics.

Reporting software

SyTech has announced the Team edition of the XLReporter product family. This edition is unprecedented reporting software that marries the most popular reporting product, Microsoft Excel, with the leading historians in the automation industry, resulting in easy-to-grasp reports from anywhere in the organization, while maintaining individualized security.

Team edition is a reporting solution that fulfills the demanding expectations of industry producing extremely sophisticated reports, yet implemented with limited technical resources and budget.

Interfaces are provided to advanced historians by GE Intelligent Platforms, Wonderware, Emerson Process Management, Siemens and Rockwell Software plus supporting OPC-HDA, ODBC and OLE-DB.

Report templates are designed in the familiar environment of Excel, utilizing all its features, plus analysis that only the XLReporter engine, upon which Team resides, can provide. Being Excel to the core, readily available templates for KPI, OEE, SPC, SQC and regulatory reports can be used “out of the box.”

Team edition has built-in user security to prevent unauthorized access. It allows each report template to be organized for specific groups of users, enabling users to focus on producing the reports pertinent to their needs.

When reporting is a true collaborative effort, each individual of the ‘Team’ is empowered. Now operators can generate reports on production behavior and bring them to the attention of their supervisors. Lab technicians can detect problems in product quality and inform the maintenance department to perform equipment calibration. Plant managers can summarize process activity and point out to everyone the strengths and weaknesses of the facility. These are just a few examples of how Team edition lets each team member improve operations.

“Right now there is a great emphasis in the automation industry on making production processes more efficient,” explains Peter Kaprielian, CTO of SyTech. “The goal of the Team edition is to get the right information to the right people so they make informed decisions that improve the bottom line.”

"Team edition opens a broader market for RT Engineering. It still fits everyday budgets but comes with extensive features found in software that costs a lot more,” stated Dennis McGuire, Vice President of Strategic Accounts. RT Engineering has 6 years of experiences in implementing XLReporter in the Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical and Industrial fields. Dennis went on to add, “It provides users with the tools to continually learn and improve their process in a team wide collaboration. Best of all, it carries the XLReporter legacy of Easy, Economical, yet Extensive"

New profile issued for PLCopen

The CANopen SIG (Special Interest Group) “Drives and Motion Control” of the CAN in Automation (CiA) international users’ and manufacturers’ group has released the CiA 542 profile for PLCopen Motion compliant devices. CIA LogoThe profile describes the CANopen interface for drives controlled by PLCs, which supports the PLCopen Motion function blocks. The function blocks may be executed on the programmable drive of the PLC. In addition, the profile specifies the CANopen interface for master/slave axis control according to PLCopen.


Some operation modes and configuration parameters as specified in the internationally standardized CiA 402 motion control profile (IEC 61800-7-201/-301) are just referenced in CiA 452. The operation modes for gear, jog, and camming are specified additionally. All necessary parameters as well as Process Data Objects (PDOs) are described in the new profile. “The profile specifies just one RPDO and one TPDO,” explained Olga Fischer from CiA. “Therefore the finite state automaton is as simple as possible.”

Analysing waveform data

Advanced utility option allows ScopeCorder to pre-analyse waveform data during acquisition

A new advanced utility option in Yokogawa's Xviewer waveform display and analysis software boosts the hard disk recording capability of the recently introduced DL850 ScopeCorder by allowing an engineer to pre-analyse waveform data while the acquisition is still in progress.

The new DL850 advanced utility option for Xviewer uses a file transfer tool to transfer recorded data files from the DL850 to a PC without stopping actual hard disk recording.

During hard disk recording the DL850 divides measurement files into smaller files which are automatically transferred to a PC through an Ethernet or USB connection during real-time recording. These files can already be analysed using the dedicated Xviewer software while the actual measurement continues. The file utility tool adds file merging, divide and conversion functions that enable smooth file handling of DL850 waveform files using Xviewer.

A typical application might be an electro-mechanical process on a production line on which two signals have to be monitored over a period of 14 days at a sample rate of 10 kS/s. Without hard disk recording, the DL850 with the 2GPoint memory option is able to measure for 20 hours under these conditions. When the hard disk recording option is used it becomes possible to measure for a full 20 days. Now the new advanced file utility tool enables engineers on the production line to pre-analyse measurement data, using Xviewer, on the first day of recording, rather than having to wait another 19 days or stop the measurement. In addition, this analysis can be carried out while the DL850 is still continuously recording in the background.

With the file utility tool, multiple DL850 data files can be merged into a single file, whether divided by time order or recorded across multiple channels or multiple DL850 units. In addition, a long recorded data file can be divided into multiple smaller files. It can be equally divided or any portion can be extracted and resaved.

Binary data files recorded by a DL850 can also be converted into CSV or floating format, which in turn can be imported into programs like MATLAB.

Tough going at W&W show

Marcus Pattison, one of the organisers of WWEM 2010 (Telford GB 10th–11th November) has issued a warning to visitors, urging them to plan their time at the event carefully. He says, "In 2008 a number of visitors found that they were unable to visit all of the Conference sessions and free Workshops that were of interest during a one day visit. To make matters worse, we have packed even more into the 2010 event, so visitors are going to have to plan their time very carefully and possibly consider coming on both days."
WWEM Logo
The world's largest environmental monitoring event this year, it will offer visitors a choice of over 70 free walk-in, walk-out Workshops to choose from. 12 of these have been organised by the Council of Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring (CoGDEM) and will focus on issues such as detection technology, sampling, calibration, interpretation of data and the benefits to be gained from monitoring toxic, combustible or explosive gases.

An exhibition will run on both days of the event featuring over 120 of the world's leading providers of environmental monitoring equipment and services. Many of the exhibitors will be launching new products at the event and with so much new information available, Marcus Pattison is warning visitors that WWEM 2010 "is going to be hard work!"

OPC Firewall

Protect systems using OPC DA, HDA and A&E, the world's most widely used industrial integration standard.

MTL Instruments has announced the new MTL Tofino OPC Enforcer Loadable Software Module (LSM), developed for MTL Instruments by Byres Security Inc, This extension to the existing MTL Tofino product line of Industrial Network security products locks down any automation system using the previously hard to secure OPC Classic protocol. Specifically designed for OPC communications, the OPC Enforcer provides superior security over what can be achieved with conventional firewall solutions. The result is improved network reliability, availability and security for the process control and SCADA industries.

OPC Classic is widely used in control systems as an interoperability solution, interfacing control applications from multiple vendors. Unfortunately, as numerous studies show, the technologies underlying it were designed before network security issues were widely understood. As a result, OPC Classic has been almost impossible to secure until now.

The MTL Tofino OPC Enforcer is an ideal solution for the numerous industrial networks that use OPC Classic. Its innovation provides two important benefits:
    1. It provides robust security and stability for systems using OPC Classic, thus preventing industrial network attacks and accidents. Unlike other firewalls, this product inspects, tracks and secures every connection made by an OPC application, opening only the exact TCP port required for a connection between an OPC client and server.
    2. It is implemented without any control system changes. The Tofino hardware is simply installed into the live network and configured using a drag and drop editor to select permitted clients and servers. Once installed, network security is assured, with all OPC traffic managed behind the scenes.
While a lot of the headlines around cyber security focus on hacker attacks, in fact many incidents result from internal network incidents.

"Past plant shutdowns, for example, haven't been caused by hackers. Instead they were the result of badly configured software causing traffic storms that impacted critical controllers and other systems,"
said Eric Byres, security expert and Chief Technical Officer at Byres Security. "The Tofino OPC Enforcer LSM does much more than block hackers and viruses from accessing the safety system. Its dynamic port management and built-in traffic-rate controls prevent many basic network problems from spreading throughout a plant."

"Many of MTL's customers use OPC Classic as an integral part of their control system architecture, however it has long been recognized as a significant area of weakness with regard to overall network security. The introduction of the Tofino OPC Enforcer LSM enables our customers to utilize the full benefits of OPC within their systems, safe in the knowledge their communications are secure", remarked Philip Nunn, Product Line Manager, Industrial Networks, MTL Instruments.

See Byres' recent release on the Classic Enforcer.

Pressure on the trains!

Pressure transmitter for railway applications

With the PBSR, Baumer’s PB series includes a new pressure transmitter suitable especially for railway applications. It features a wide compensated temperature range from -50 °C to +85 °C with a total error band of only 1 %. Therefore, it can also be used in braking systems of trains at very low ambient temperatures. Thanks to the high dielectric insulation (1000 V, 50 Hz, 1 minute) the transmitter does not need to be dismounted for dielectric tests on the train.

The PBSR is especially suitable for applications in which the pressure sensors are submitted to many pressure cycles, such as hydraulic and pneumatic brake control or cooling circuits. It can also be applied in high voltage environments, such as pressure control of the pantograph (a device that collects electric current with up to 2’500 ampere from overhead lines) on the power supply line.

The pressure measuring range can be selected according to the application. For example, in pneumatic braking systems in trains, it ranges from 0 to 10 bar, in hydraulic braking systems in trams, it ranges from 0 to 250 bar, in cooling systems from 0 to 2.5 bar and in pantographs from 0 to 6 bar.
The unit comes with a G1/2” process connection and a DIN43650 electrical connection. The device conforms to all important standards for railway applications, such as EN50155 (Electronic Equipment Used on Rolling Stock), CEI IEC 61373 (shocks and vibration), EN 50121-3-2 (electromagnetic compatibility) as well as the fire and smoke protection standards.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

RMS clamp meter

GMC-I PROSyS has introduced the CP41 AC/DC True RMS Clamp Meter, , a hand-held unit that combines simplicity of operation and convenience with non-invasive measurement of current to an accuracy of ± 1% of reading and resolution of 1mA.

The CP41 meets the needs of a wide range of users in industrial and automotive markets. Its range and sensitivity allow measurement of operating currents, and leakage currents, with a single product, and without breaking connections in the circuits under test. Measurement capability in the mA range permits verification of 4-20mA current-loops in process-control systems, while the meter is equally applicable to testing light-industrial and residential electrical installations.

It measures, selectably, DC or AC currents with a resolution of 1mA and, on its AC ranges, with true-RMS current indication. It maintains accuracy even in electrically noisy environments, featuring excellent rejection of external magnetic fields together with a very high level of immunity to interference from voltage transients. The meter is battery-powered, and has a 4-digit liquid-crystal display: full-scale readings are up to 4A or 40A, with auto-ranging and auto-zero functions. The company also offers a second variant of the CP41, the CP410, which measures higher currents: its auto-range full-scale limits are up to 40A or 400A.

The unit uses compensated Hall-Effect sensing in a patented magnetic circuit, to detect the magnetic current generated by the current of interest; this technology allows measurement of both DC and AC currents. AC currents are measured over a frequency range of 15 to 400 Hz.

In operation, the user opens the jaws of the probe, which have a 25-mm aperture, and closes them around the conductor carrying the current of interest: advanced design of the magnetic circuit means that location of the conductor within the aperture is non-critical and errors due to off-centre positioning are negligible. The CP41’s design supports safe, single-handed operation in hazardous areas, assisted by a display-hold function which allows the user to take a measurement in a difficult-to-reach location, remove the CP41 from the test site, and to bring it back into clear view still displaying its current reading.

Both instruments meet the Safety requirements of EN61010-2-032:2002 and the EMC specifications of EN 61326-2-2:2006, and provide safe operation on uninsulated conductors carrying voltage of up to 300V with respect to ground. They measure 194 x 74 x 25mm, weigh 235g, and operate for 15 hours from a standard 9V alkaline battery.

Pilot for spool valves

Ultra Low Power pilots with flapper nozzle technology are ideal for use in explosive atmospheres or industries where harmful substances are present

ASCO Numatics has introduced an ultra low power pilot for its Series 551 Pilot Valves. The new pilot features flapper nozzle technology and is designed to be mounted on pneumatic solenoid valves used in explosive atmospheres or industries where harmful substances are present. These include the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, oil and gas refineries and other industries that are subject to the ATEX directive.

Available with either a ¼" tapped connection or NAMUR interface, the new valve is suitable for operating voltages between 16 and 40v and has an ultra low power consumption of just 30 mW. Compatible with all manufacturers of safety barriers, the new valve is designed to resist the challenges of industrial environments. The proven flapper nozzle technology provides a long operating life of 25 million cycles.

The ultra low power pilot is available as 3/2 – 5/2 single coil or dual coil version and the IP65 reinforced plastic enclosure is rated to II 2G Ex ia IIC T5/T6 (category G zone 1) according to the latest ATEX (EN 50018) and global IECEx standards.

The ultra low power pilot joins the extensive line-up of low power valves for industrial applications available from ASCO Numatics. This includes the Series 630 Piezotronic Valve which, because of its extremely low power consumption (7mW), is ideally suited for use, in battery operated equipment and in fieldbus networks as standard. The Ex ia specification version is suitable for installation in explosive areas.

The long service life of 1 billion cycles means that piezotronic valves are ideally suited to applications in measuring systems such as medical equipment and gas analysers as well as in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Their low weight makes them particularly suitable for use in portable equipment.

Gala to honour innovaters and trail-blazers

48th annual ISA honors & awards gala and 2010 honours & awards.
The International Society of Automation (ISA) will hold the 48th Annual ISA Honors & Awards Gala on 4 October 2010 at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston, Texas, USA. This is prior to Automation Week which starts at the same venue the next morning. Awards will be presented to recognize Society service, technical accomplishments, contributions to education and individual achievements.

Kim Dunn who will host the event
In addition, several ISA Members will be elevated to the distinguished grade of ISA Fellow to acknowledge outstanding technical achievements as recognized by peers.

The 2010 honorees and newly elected Fellows include:
Honorary Member
Dean Kamen
DEKA Research and Development Corporation, Manchester New Hampshire, USA

Life Achievement Award
Gregory K. McMillan
CDI - Process & Industrial, Austin, Texas, USA

Fellow Membership
Randy K. Buchanan, Ph.D.
Aerospace Industries & Test Measurement Divisions
The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA

Dr. George Shu-Xing Cheng
Northern California Section
CyboSoft, General Cybernation Group Inc., Rancho Cordova, California, USA
John P. Gerry, PE
Unaffiliated
ExperTune Inc., Heartland, Wisconsin, USA

Ian Nimmo
Central Arizona Section
User Centered Design Services Inc., New River, Arizona, USA

ISA Analysis Division Luft Award
Robert S. Saltzman
Wilmington Section
Wilmington, Delaware, USA

Golden Achievement Award
Ram G. Ramachandran
New Orleans Section
Shell Global Solutions US, Norco, Louisiana, USA

Distinguished Society Service
Brian Curtis
Ireland Section
DPS Engineering Ltd., Cobh, County Cork, Ireland

John Prince
Los Angeles Section
Huntington Beach, California, USA

Gianfranca Sanzeni
Italy Section
Milano, Italy

Dr. Reg K. Wood, P. Eng.
Edmonton Section
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Emerging Leader Award
Jon DiPietro
Boston Section
Bridge-Soft, Manchester, New Hampshire, USA

Nicole Jensen
Calgary Section
Samson Controls Inc., Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Donald P. Eckman Education Award
Jorge Otavio Trierweiler, Ph.D.
University Federal Do Rio Grande Do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Don W. Thompson Award
Richard Tunstall
Lee College, Baytown, Texas, USA

Excellence in Documentation Award
Co-authors:
Gene Cammack, PE,
Houston Section
Siemens Industry, Inc., Houston, Texas, USA

Francisco Sanchez
(Non member)
University Federal Do Rio Grande Do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Luis M F Garcia G, Siemens
Houston Section
Industry Inc. Houston, Texas, USA

Standards & Practices Award
Mark Coppler
Pittsburgh Section
Ametek Inc., Mckees Rocks, Pennsylvania, USA
Distinguished Friends of ISA
Alabama Fluid Systems Technologies, Inc., Pelham, Alabama, USA
Rawson, Houston, Texas, USA
Fluor Corporation, Southern California Division, Aliso Viejo, California, USA

Outstanding Division Award
Management Division, Automation & Technology Department
Aerospace Industries Division, Industries & Sciences Department

Section Performance Award
Birmingham Espirito Santo Saint Louis Orange County

Kim Dunn, 2008 ISA President, will host the black-tie affair that includes a pre-event reception, awards ceremony, and dinner. Gala tickets are available to the public at $95 per ticket. Complete event and registration details for the Honors & Awards Gala are now available.

Automation programming standard course

CoDeSys V3 training comes to Britain

In the automation industry, proprietary programming languages are widely used. But, to protect investment in product and infrastructure, reduce cost in maintenance, and make workforce skills sustainable and transferable, compliance to international or open standards is the key. IEC61131-3 is such an open international standard for automation programming and CoDeSys is a widely used system that fully utilises many functions of IEC61131.

CoDeSys Version 3, released in 2006, has set a new standard in object-oriented programming for automation tasks. The following are some of the highlights compared to the widely-applied Version 2.3:
  • Programming of complete PLC networks including multiple PLCs or controllers within one single project
  • Modularisation of the development system in components with separated versions or user defined versions
  • Visualisation can be easily extended to new client PCs
  • No longer a development system but an open automation engineering platform suitable for extensions and integration of other solutions
CoDeSys V3 Basic is a 3-day training programme, developed and run by the German company, 3S Smart Software Solutions. The course is presented by 3S at MMU's Automation Systems Centre 27 to 29th October.

The course is for everyone who wants to know modern PLC programming. No prior knowledge of CoDeSys V2.3 or other PLC programming skills are required. As an introductory offer the course is priced at just £450 and booking may be made through administration at Profibus UK.

What wikipedia says about CoDeSys!

Solar inverters

Solar PV inverters broaden support for renewable energy

Carlo Gavazzi is also extending its support for renewable energy installations with the introduction of grid-connected Solar Photovoltaic Inverters.

These compliment the company’s energy management range and embody state-of the art inverter technology. As well as best-of-breed efficiencies (better than 94.37 per cent EU), the inverters incorporate Carlo Gavazzi’s exclusive Smart MPPT technology and PV string control software to deliver up to 20 per cent more energy compared with alternative solutions.

Interface protection and anti-islanding safety circuits ensure that power is only produced when the inverter is connected to the grid, the grid is active, and its parameters are within the appropriate National standards. Maximum usage of solar energy is guaranteed even when skies are misty or overcast.

Most solar PV installation requirements can be fulfilled with Carlo Gavazzi’s range of models, covering power generation from 2.8 to 20kW AC nominal output in four single-phase models (ISMGT 128, ISMGT 138, ISMGT 140 and ISMGT 150), and the ISMG 3 15 and ISMG 3 20 three-phase models. Single phase inverters are primarily aimed at household installations whilst the three-phase models are better suited to larger buildings, industrial installations and solar parks.

All the inverters operate over wide operating temperature ranges without de-rating. The ISMGT 1 series operates up to 58°C whilst the ISMG 3 series can be used up to 50°C. The single phase ISMGT1 inverters are equipped with HF transformers, which enable the use of amorphous (thin film) panels that are typically positive earthed.

The new Solar PV Inverter Series has built in serial communication ports facilitating transmission of energy production data and AC and DC voltage parameters to remote terminals or PCs. Dual serial ports enable daisy chaining of connection with other inverters within the same plant. In addition, software is available as a free download from the Carlo Gavazzi website that allows users to configure and monitor their solar power generation system. The database of the configuration software includes the most popular types of photovoltaic panels and further models can be easily added by the user.

Carlo Gavazzi’s Solar PV Inverter Series come with a five year warranty as standard, that can be extended up to 10 years.

Power analysis

Compact modular power analyser delivers enhanced intelligence and performance

Carlo Gavazzi has a new price/performance level within the company’s energy management range. The WM40-96 smart power quality analyser delivers accurate measurements including current, voltage, power, energy and harmonics – with precise parametric analysis, control, data stamping and retransmission. It is all packaged in a compact plug-and–play modular format that simplifies installation and streamlines inventory management.

With applications throughout the energy management market, the new analyser will be of particular interest to switch-gear panel builders serving medium, large and heavy industry.

Starting with a base unit that provides the display, touch-panel, power supply and measurement inputs, users can then add up to three slim line modules to the rear for alarms, pulse outputs, I/O and data communications interfaces.

A mono LCD occupies much of the base unit’s 96mm-square frontage. All necessary information is available at a glance on the front panel’s customisable home page, which is readily configured by the user. Values of actual vs. installed power are displayed continuously to provide immediate alerts to potential power overloads. White and blue backlights enhance readability and the backlight alternates these colours in sequence to indicate alarm conditions. Up to 16 virtual alarms can be configured by the user for all measurements with OR/AND logic; and these can be linked with up to four relay outputs or optionally up to six static outputs.

Also on the front panel is an optical communication port to enable easy programming and fast access to measurements.

Touch panel technology gives major advantages over traditional push-buttons for selecting from the four main variable areas: energy metering; current-voltage-frequency metering; power and power-factor metering; and harmonic analysis.

The WM40-96 provides high accuracy measurements, rated Class 0.5 (kWh) according to EN62053-22, Class C (kWh) according to EN50470-3, Class 2 (kvarh) according to EN62053-23 and ANSI C12.20, CA 0.5, ANSI C12.1 (revenue grade). Errors are better than ±0.2% RDG for current and voltage.

Additional intelligent analysis includes averaging, minimum and maximum values of all the system and single-phase variables, four quadrant energy measurements and total harmonic distortion (THD) and total demand distortion (TDD) calculations. FFT harmonic analysis is carried out up to the 32nd harmonic (current and voltage), ensuring dependable measurements for load control and alarming.

Whilst the base module alone acts as a simple monitoring device, the meter is completed by stacking low-profile modules on the rear of the base unit. Up to three flat modules can be added: one each of type A, B and C. Depth behind the panel is just 50mm with a single option module.

Dual channel relay output (SPDT) and dual channel static output (AC/DC Opto-Mos) modules are type A. Type B designates analogue outputs including a dual channel 20mA current module and dual channel 10V DC voltage device. Data communications facilities are added using type C modules: currently available are a fast RS485/RS232 serial port, Modbus over Ethernet TCP/IP interface and a BACNet-IP port. Ports have integral memory to provide data and event stamping for up to 10,000 events.

As with other Carlo Gavazzi energy meters and analysers, the WM40-96 carries CE marking and UL certifications.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Metrology accreditation renewed

One of the first labs to achieve ANSI/NCSL Z540.3-2006

Keithley Instruments has announced that its Metrology Services department has achieved renewal of its ISO 17025 accreditation, having successfully completed a rigorous three-and-a-half-day ISO 17025 re-accreditation assessment by A2LA (American Association for Laboratory Accreditation). As part of the A2LA assessment, Keithley has also been successfully accredited to the new ANSI/NCSL Z540.3-2006 American standard.

The ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation recognizes that Keithley's Metrology Services meet the requirements of this international standard, demonstrating its technical competence to carry out the very high-level calibrations that are essential for many of the company's sensitive instruments. Customers can be assured that their instruments are being calibrated to the highest industry
standards and will provide consistent, quality measurements. Routine calibrations help avoid downtime and prevent costly quality problems.

Helga Alexander, Keithley's Metrology Services manager, noted, "Given that ISO 17025 remains the single most important metrology standard for test and measurement instruments, Keithley's accreditation to this standard ensures that customers can rely on us as an equipment and calibration vendor. In addition to getting our existing technical scope reaffirmed, which exhibits some of the best resistance and low current measurement uncertainties in the country, we were able to add a simulated temperature parameter to our technical scope of accreditation. We are also among the first to become successfully accredited to the new ANSI/NCSL Z540.3-2006 American standard."

Alexander noted that adding this new American standard to the company's list of accreditations is particularly important for a company servicing the government and military sectors.

Offline machine programming

MYDATA and AEGIS Software have announced major enhancements to offline machine programming support. TPSys Live, a new option within Aegis’ machine interface for MyData placement equipment, provides a synchronized database connection to their TPSys database, yielding the most effective and accurate means for offline programming. The refreshed interface leverages the TPSys Live connection through its ‘New Component Setup’ wizard that visually presents CAD shapes and TPSys packages side-by-side and intelligently ranks suitable package candidates for unknown part numbers.

“We are pleased with the continuous innovations that AEGIS, our partner of 12 years, has developed for MYDATA” said Product Manager, Mattias Jonsson. “Our customers are able to seamlessly program their MYDATA equipment through an elegant direct database connection, and add new components directly into the TPSys library. The smart package selection allows users the added benefit of seeing the graphical comparison before a part is even placed. This will dramatically cut the time needed to program a new board.”
“MYDATA has been a partner and customer to AEGIS for more than a decade. A partnership resulting in more than 340 mutual customers and counting. It is critical for both companies to keep our integration at the leading edge for this large installed base as well as future customers. The combination of MYDATA’s progressive software thinking that surrounds their machines and Aegis’ leading enterprise-wide systems makes for a powerful joint solution for customers. ” added AEGIS CEO, Jason Spera.

Another global informatics partner

Thermo Fisher Scientific has extended its reach across Central Europe by making Vialis AG the latest member of its Informatics Global Partner Alliance. Vialis AG, based in Switzerland, will provide local services and support for the full range of Thermo Scientific informatics solutions, including laboratory information management systems, chromatography data systems, electronic laboratory notebooks and spectroscopy software, as well as comprehensive laboratory automation and integration solutions.

Vialis has built a unique business consultancy based on providing technology and support solutions that deliver on the goal of creating a “paperless lab.” By understanding their customers’ business processes and goals, Vialis offers a complete solution to meet objectives. Through its partnership with Thermo Fisher, they can now provide world-class Thermo Scientific informatics solutions to customers that are assembling a paperless lab. The company will provide full sales, operational and administrative support for the complete portfolio of Thermo Scientific informatics products.
Dr. Ulf Fuchslueger
"Our customers will benefit from this new partnership with the global service and sales teams at Thermo Fisher Scientific. By offering best-in-class Thermo Scientific Informatics software, we are able to provide our customers with a comprehensive solution for managing their data and helping ensure that their laboratory workflow meets the demanding business and regulatory requirements in life sciences and other industries,” said Dr. Ulf Fuchslueger, CEO, Vialis AG (pic right).

Dave Champagne, vice president and general manager for Thermo Fisher’s Informatics business, said: “Thermo Fisher’s Global Partner Alliance Program brings together the expertise of sales and services organizations around the world, allowing Thermo Scientific Informatics solutions to be delivered to private and public sector businesses across the broadest range of industries. Vialis offers expertise in life sciences process optimization, specifically in the paperless lab concepts, integrating many normally stand-alone solutions in a single workflow. Our partnership with Vialis will allow us to offer local support and service to an important scientific center in Europe and help us build on our commitment to provide leadership and innovation to the industry.”

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Predictive diagnostics in remote applications

Reduced footprint and fewer channels make monitoring possible for space-constrained and skid mount applications

Emerson Process Management has a a new, physically smaller version of the CSI 6500 Machinery Health Monitor to allow predictive condition monitoring for rotating equipment in a greater number of applications. This smaller version is more versatile for installation in remote or skid mount applications, while still delivering the same innovative capabilities for improving availability and reliability of critical equipment. With this solution, critical machinery health monitoring does not have to be sacrificed because even the most remote machines are cost-effectively included in the overall picture of machinery health. As in the full-sized chassis option, prediction capabilities in the smaller unit can be delivered as a standalone solution, integrated with both the DeltaV and Ovation digital automation systems in the PlantWeb digital plant architecture, or interfaced to third-party hosts.

In applications such as cooling towers, excavators or dumper trucks, cranes, conveyors, or wind turbines, critical equipment is often allowed to “run to failure” because the machines are in unsafe or hard-to-reach locations. Because the equipment only requires a small number of monitoring channels, applying a full-sized continuous monitoring system can be cost-prohibitive.

The smaller version of the CSI 6500 is only 19cm wide by 27cm (6U) high, making it more practical in these remote monitoring situations. With either 12- or 24-channel count configurations, the CSI 6500 can be designed to provide only as many channels as the application requires.

As with the full-sized monitors, state-based triggered acquisition versus round robin data collection is utilised, so monitoring is tailored to process conditions or machine states rather than collecting generic vibration data. Smart communication handling includes 32Mb of onboard memory to handle the unique challenges of remote applications such as intermittent network connections. Trends and machinery health information are delivered to AMS Suite: Machinery Health Manager predictive maintenance software for advanced analysis and documentation.

"By expanding the chassis options for the CSI 6500, we can deliver advanced predictive intelligence for critical assets that are too often left unmonitored," said Brian Humes, vice president and general manager of Emerson’s Machinery Health Management business. "Allowing equipment to run-to-failure exposes a site to significant economic impact because developing problems go undetected. Emerson’s solution, delivered through the PlantWeb digital architecture, identifies potential problems so facilities can improve machinery performance and equipment life.”

As with the full-sized CSI 6500 Machinery Health Monitor, Emerson's experts are available to ensure proper design and execution during implementation.

Websites dedicated to management & backup

New Versiondog dedicated websites

SolutionsPT has launched itss new Versiondog dedicated websites for Ireland and Britain. Since its appointment earlier this year by Auvesy GmbH & Co KG of Germany, SolutionsPT has been engaged in the preparation of a comprehensive launch program and service portfolio that will have immediate impact for its many customers.

Versiondog is a comprehensive solution for the version management and backup of all types of automation control programmes and parameter sets. The new website has comprehensive information about the product and its business benefits; SolutionsPT has also developed Versiondog application support, consultancy and training services.

Versiondog is used as a standard by many pan-European manufacturing companies, with names that will be familiar to all. Versiondog provides a reliable and workable structure for the program developer and user; reducing risk and also the time to repair when unavoidable downtime occurs – automatically ‘doing the paperwork’ even when the pressure is on.

Phil Gillard, General Manager, SolutionsPT, “SolutionsPT has developed a comprehensive program to ensure that our customers gain immediately from this important solution to an often overlooked area of manufacturing activity. We are pleased to be able to offer this additional product and associated services and we are proud that Auvesy selected our organisation as their UK and Ireland partner.”
SolutionsPT plans a series of webinars and events around version management and back up with Versiondog – see the website for details.

Field service engineer (GB)

Career Opportunity for Experienced Field Service Engineer

Due to sustained growth in sales, leading instrumentation specialist Quantitech is looking to further enhance its service capabilities with the recruitment of a new Field Service Engineer.

As an independent supplier established in 1983, Quantitech has become an industry leader in the supply, service and rental of environmental monitoring equipment.

Analysers are sourced globally to offer a product portfolio which meets the diverse applications of Quantitech customers. Technologies employed include a range of spectrophotometers, flame ionisation detectors, iso-kinetic stack samplers and ancillary products.

The successful candidate will be experienced and have practical engineering skills, including an electronics instrumentation background and an ability to troubleshoot to component level.

Experience in the process/stack gas analysis industry working with gases, pneumatics and a basic understanding of physics/chemistry would be a distinct advantage. Formal qualifications should be in instrumentation/electronics to HNC/Degree Level.

Product training will be provided in-house or at manufacturers’ sites as appropriate.

Push-messaging" & "Find-me!"

New apps for standard remote controls without impacting battery life.

GreenPeak Technologies has added smart “push messaging” and “find-me” apps to its current offering of communication controllers for ZigBee RF4CE remote controls. GreenPeak’s unique ultra low power synchronization technique allows both applications to operate with a minimal impact on battery life thereby allowing the remote control battery life to reach more than ten years.

RF remote controls provide two-way high-speed communication and do not require line of sight as the signal transmits through cabinets, obstacles, walls and floors, contrary to infra-red based remote controls.

Push-messaging allows for a variety of new remote control capabilities including tele-voting and gaming, personal messages and reminders, real-time sports results, stock information and residential sensor network monitoring. Push-messaging also enables operators to create new opportunities for advertising revenues via server initiated commercial push messages on the consumers’ remote control.

Find-me enables users to simply push a “find-me” button on the TV or STB that results in the remote generating an alarm, beep or blinking light, to make it easy to find, even when it is out of sight. No more lost remote controls.

GreenPeak’s implementation manages this functionality on top of ZigBee RF4CE with only minimal impact on energy use – resulting in a factor 10 improvement in battery-life compared to currently existing two-way remote controls.
“For a long time, the current infra-red remote control has essentially not changed,” said Cees Links, CEO of GreenPeak Technologies. “But today more advanced communication capabilities enable new apps and increased functionality.”

He continued: “By using GreenPeak's revolutionary technology, these new low power push-messaging and find-me apps provide increased functionality and improved user experience without affecting battery life.”

A live demonstration of the “find-me” app in ultra low power RF4CE remote controls, will be available the GreenPeak stand at IBC 2010, Amsterdam, 10-14 September – Hall 1 Stand number 1.F94.

Microanalysis in Britin

New sales and support office for microanalysis business in Britain

Thermo Fisher Scientific has established a sales and support office for microanalysis products sold in Great Britain. It is located at the company's headquarters in Hemel Hempstead, and will focus on providing local customers with superior sales and service support within the British marketplace.

This announcement is particularly relevant to electron microscopy laboratories operating within the area that seek maximum productivity and accuracy from microanalysis and who require systems that are intuitive and easy to use. The entire microanalysis product line including Noran System 7, Ultradry, MagnaRay and QuasOR, will be supplied and supported via this office through a direct sales team of five technical sales specialists and a local, fully trained service group.

The Thermo Scientific microanalysis product range offers a complete portfolio of analytical instrumentation required for electron microscopy from the Noran System 7, to the recently launched QuasOr EBSD. The new system is an industry first combining Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Wavelength Dispersive Spectroscopy (WDS) capabilities in a single software interface. The QuasOr is fully integrated into the Noran System 7 platform, ensuring ease-of-use for new users already familiar with EDS and WDS and providing simultaneous collection of EBSD, EDS and WDS. The capacity of this combined system to perform analysis, data collection and report generation without switching between programmes will facilitate a significant improvement in speed, reporting and overall efficiency.

Mike Jost, vice president and general manager of molecular spectroscopy and microanalysis, Thermo Fisher Scientific, comments: "The new sales and support office for microanalysis products signifies our commitment to supporting customers in the region. Thermo Fisher Scientific has a long history of innovation that has led to the first truly integrated microanalysis system, providing our customers with the optimal combination of detectors, software and electronics."

The new QuasOr EBSD allows the industry, for the first time, to combine the use of EBSD, WDS and EDS platforms in one system. The sales office will be integrated into the Elemental Analysis group which currently sells and supports similar technologies including ICP, ICP-MS and XRF.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Profiler for Arctic

Researcher wins new 'Castaway' for Arctic survey

Dr Simon Boxall from Britain's National Oceanographic Centre has been presented recently with one of YSI's new 'Castaway CTD' profiling instruments following a competition at this year's Oceanology International event. The presentation was made by YSI's Alan Hanson (left in picture!).

Simon will use the Castaway CTD during September whilst participating in an expedition to the Arctic, organised by Cape Farewell, an organisation looking for new ways to combat climate change. The device will then be utilised in the training of students at the University of Southampton.

Designed for fast, accurate profiling, the Castaway CTD is simply thrown into the water and retrieved manually. The device automatically records conductivity, salinity, specific conductance, density, sound speed, temperature profile data, depth and GPS position, so that no field notes or computers are necessary.
A video demonstrating the simplicity of the Castaway CTD is available on YSI's website and a unit will be on display at the YSI booth during WWEM 2010.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Process information whenever, wherever!


Control See Ltd has released its U.C.ME-OPC™ software product version 2010. This new version introduces scheduling functionality to the existing functionality – Alarm notification (via SMS, Pager, Email, Voice and Fax), Remote control (via SMS and Phone) and Alarm analysis.

Using the U.C.ME-OPC Scheduler, customers will be able to schedule events and tasks and make their maintenance activities easier than before. No need to use external tools or PLC programming for scheduling. All solutions in one product!

Scheduled events are based on time, date or day-of-week. Event information can be sent to any phone recipient (as a text or voice message), Email recipient, Pager or Fax recipient. The event's email can also contain an attached file.

Tasks can be used to:

  • Change field values and set-points
  • Run Windows® programs
  • Suspend/resume alarm notification
  • Restart the computer
  • Send a predefined text or voice message to any recipient
  • And more…

Few examples for scheduled events:

  1. Every day at 08:00 AM U.C.ME-OPC™ can send the message "U.C.ME test message" to notify system administrators on their system availability.
  2. Every morning at 9:00 AM U.C.ME-OPC™ will turn on an air-condition unit.
  3. Every evening at 6:00 PM U.C.ME-OPC™ will turn off an air-condition unit.
  4. On Sunday, September 12th U.C.ME-OPC™ will run an external utility that will load a process recipe.

U.C.ME-OPC™ is alarm notification software that can connect to any SCADA application, DCS system or OPC server using OPC connectivity. Based on the information retrieved from these systems, alarms can be sent to any phone via SMS or Voice, Pager, Email or Fax. See video!

An evaluation copy of U.C.ME-OPC version 2010 is available from their website and click on Download Software