Saturday, October 16, 2010

Voltage data logger


MadgeTech has released the Volt101A, a DC voltage data logger designed to measure and record low-level voltages with a high degree of accuracy.

The Volt101A can sample as fast as 4Hz, and features a 10 year battery life which allows the logger to be deployed in the field for months or even years. The device is also equipped with LED alarming functionality and can be programmed with high and low limits, that will trigger the red LED to blink if they are breached.

The unit is available in four different input ranges: 2.5V, 15V, 30V, and +/-160mV. The Volt101A-160mV measures differential voltage and is equipped with a 3-position screw terminal for positive, negative and ground connections.

It has user programmable engineering units, enabling the device to scale the input voltage to various units such as temperature, CO2, light and more. Engineering units in the device are a great
time saver as the data is shown in the scaled unit and can be downloaded on any computer with the MadgeTech Software.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mini photoelectric sensors!

The ML100 series from Pepperl & Fuchs, comprises a complete family of user friendly miniature photoelectric sensors which are ideally suited for applications where long ranges and a high level of reliability are required. Due to their miniature design, the ML100 series sensors are also suitable for use in extremely confined areas, where optimum performance has to be ensured in the tightest spaces.

These photoelectric sensors feature the highest optical performance and long-term stability, which makes them the best on the market. They also feature a powerful lens and PowerBeam LEDs. PowerBeam guarantees excellent visibility of the red light spot and enables trouble-free alignment with no central bond spot, even on the smallest reflectors. The high power density and quality of the light spot significantly improve the reliability of the sensors. Also, a longer service life and lack of degradation will make additional teach-in processes unnecessary.

The size of the light spot from sensors with PowerBeam is carefully adapted to the particular application and operating principle. The ML 100-8-H diffuse mode photoelectric sensors with background suppression for short ranges provide a very bright, small and sharp light spot for simple setup, best switching accuracy, and reliable detection of dark black objects. The ML100-55 photoelectric sensors provide a highly visible and larger light spot for easy alignment, greater detection range, and stability control. Secure mounting is ensured by the threaded metal bushing. This means that the threading is more durable and enables maximum tightening torque.

During operation, the ML 100 miniature sensors are characterized by extremely low power consumption, insensitivity to ambient lighting, and protection from cross-talk. Bright, clearly visible indicator LEDs provide detailed information on the operating and switching status. The status LEDs, which are highly visible from all sides, provide clear information regarding reliable operation. The green LED indicates Power On, while the yellow LED shows the sensor’s operating status.

The high degree of protection (IP67), resistance to reflection and vibrations, and a reliable operating temperature range of -30 to 60 °C open up a wide variety of applications in factory automation.

Adjustable depth bearing temp sensors

4B’s adjustable depth bearing (ADB) temperature sensors have been designed to allow the depth of the probe to be adjustable depending on the application.

The ADB series are available with three standard probe lengths of 2, 4 or 8 inches (50, 100 and 200mm), and screw directly into a bearing housing through the existing grease zerk thread. There is no need to remove the sensor for bearing lubrication since each sensor is fitted with its own grease zerk. This series have NTC type thermistors which allow for continuous temperature monitoring, and they can be connected to a PLC or to a hazard monitoring system, such as 4B’s T500 Hotbus Elite or Watchdog Elite. The ADB Series of bearing temperature sensors have been approved for use in hazardous areas according to ATEX, CSA and IECEx.

New peri-pumps

Blue-White has introduced the new ProSeries® Flex-Flo® M3 and M4 peristaltic metering pumps. Features of these pumps include: 10,000:1 turndown ratio; five year warranty; NSF Standard 61; Patented Tube Failure Detection (TFD) system; Brushless DC Motor.

In addition, M3 and M4 Series pumps have output rates up to 158.5 GPH / 600 LPH; pressure rating up to 125 psi / 8.6 Bar; specially engineered tubing for long service life; revolution count display with user programmable alarm set-point for tube maintenance;
    VGA Graphic multi-color backlit LCD displays remote/local control status, motor speed, output rate, input signal values, service and alarm status in three easy to see colors.
    Control Inputs include: 4-20mA, 0-10Vdc, and Pulse inputs for remote external speed or batch control, and 0-30 VDC / contact closure remote start/stop.
ProSeries M3 and M4 pumps are sold and serviced exclusively by highly skilled, factory authorized technicians.

Blue-White are advertisers with the Read-out Instrumentation Signpost

Stuxnet paper updated

Stuxnet Paper

The single most visited page in the Read-out Blogs is that written by Nick Denbow last month (Sept 2010) which we entitled: Stuxnet – not from a bored schoolboy prankster! (21/9/2010). We have endevoured to add links from other sources to this from time to time. This one will also be added to it.

Now Byres Security has issued the latest version of their Stuxnet White Paper and we consider it important enough to add it as a separate blog.

Basically they have massively updated the original paper, published at the start of the Stuxnet event (back in July - see Security threat to the control system world!) to focus on specific mitigations that are recommended for all control systems, regardless of whether Siemens product is used or not.
  • A new summary of what Stuxnet is, what its consequences are, and how it is spreading

  • A revision of the list of vulnerable systems

  • An expanded analysis of the available Detection and Removal tools

  • A new Prevention/Mitigation section that covers both patchable and non-patchable systems


The paper, which is Version 3.0 of this Stuxnet White Paper has been renamed to: 'Analysis of the Siemens WinCC / PCS7 “Stuxnet” Malware for Industrial Control System Professionals' and may be downloaded from their Tofino Website.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

POE frame grabber

Power over Ethernet GigE vision frame grabber announced

A new Power over Ethernet (PoE) GigE Vision frame grabber from Stemmer Imaging is set to boost the use of PoE cameras in machine vision applications. Since few PCs have direct PoE interfaces, this new frame grabber provides a simple and cost-effective way of utilising the space-reducing and cost-saving benefits of PoE cameras.

The new ADLink GIE62+ PoE frame grabber allows power and data to be sent over a single ethernet cable to a PoE camera, eliminating the need for a separate power cable and power supply for the camera. This saves space, reduces costs and simplifies installation. The GIE62+ is a PCI Express® x4 frame grabber which supports two independent GigE ports. This frame grabber can also be used with non-PoE GigE Vision cameras.

The GIE62+ combines the benefits of PoE technology with GigE data transmission rates up to 1000 Mb/s over cable distances up to 100 m in length. The two independent GigE ports are also compatible with Link Aggregation-enabled cameras where two Ethernet ports are linked to double the data transmission rate.

The frame grabber automatically detects both PoE and non-PoE devices connected to it to prevent power being sent to non-PoE cameras. It contains a power-management IC to provide short-circuit, inrush current, and current-limit protection to protect the connection between the GIE62+ and PoE or non-PoE cameras. PoE cameras may be hot-plugged removing the need to restart the computer.

Protecting data

Rittal’s new Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) system operates by drawing in warm air from the server enclosures at the top of the unit and then cooling it either with water or Dx Refrigerant R407c in a closed heat exchanger. The cooled air is then filtered and blown under positive pressure to the false floor from where it rises into the cold aisle.

By repositioning the fan, cool air can be distributed unimpeded into the raised floor with unnecessary diversions of the airflow avoided and flow resistance minimised. An added benefit of moving the fan into the floor void also allows for a larger air-to-water heat exchanger to be installed thereby offering a greater heat transfer rate.

The new cooling system can achieve an increased efficiency of typically 30% of fan energy consumption with a reduced space requirement. Rittal's climate control system not only cools but it also keeps the humidity at a constant level.

The system is available in output ratings up to 118kW effective cooling capacity and can be integrated into an existing IT infrastructure in terms of both hardware and software.

Direct attach copper and fibre cable assemblies

A new range of direct attach copper and fibre cable assemblies has been added to the range of high-speed connectors available from the Enterprise Networks business unit of Tyco Electronics. The new SFP+ copper cable assemblies and PARALIGHT active optical cable assemblies offer a cost effective alternative to standard fibre-optic cables in 10 Gbit/s Ethernet, 8 Gbit/s Fibre Channel and InfiniBand applications.

SFP+ copper cable assemblies enable hardware OEMs and data-centre operators to achieve high port density and configurability at a low cost and reduced power requirement. Tyco Electronics SFP+ copper assemblies meet the industry MSA (multi-source agreement) for signal integrity performance.

The Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable (QSFP) interconnect system from Tyco Electronics is a four-channel package, offering three times the density of traditional SFP ports and supporting speeds up to 10 Gbit/s per channel (suitable for 8 Gbit/s Fibre Channel and 10 Gbit/s Ethernet).

The Tyco Electronics PARALIGHT active optical cable assemblies use state-of-the-art technology to provide cost-effective high data throughput interconnects. They are available in lengths of up to 100 m using 50 µm fibre. The optoelectronic circuitry is designed for use with 8B/10B encoded data streams, such as InfiniBand, Fibre Channel, and XAUI communication protocols.

These products can eliminate the requirement of costly GBIC (gigabit interface convertor) transceivers and fibre patch cords for short interlinks between network switches, enterprise storage devices and servers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Expanded range of connectors

Expanded range of connectors for industry specific applications includes the Electroless Nickel 62 and Helios connectors for renewable energy applications

RS Components has considerably expanded its Amphenol connector portfolio. The introduction of 650 new devices has expanded the total Amphenol range available from RS to over 9,000 products available direct from stock for next-day-delivery.

The enhanced connector portfolio includes medical, military, renewable energy, industrial, data and audio technologies creating one of the broadest ranges of Amphenol products held in-stock for electronic design engineers. The range expansion includes 127 new D-Sub connectors, Alden Pulse-Lok connectors designed for the medical industry, Helios connectors suitable for
renewable energy applications and is complemented by a range of connectors developed for harsh environments and industrial purposes.

The full Amphenol range is available in both RS standard package and industry-standard packaging formats, ready for direct insertion into automated production facilities. All products are supplied in flexible quantities allowing customers to order the quantity they need and avoid unnecessary stock-holding costs. Customers can also achieve larger discounts when ordering higher quantities.

Commenting on the launch, Amphenol European Distributor Managers, Serge Veld of InfoCom Operations and Tim Griffin of Mil-Aero & Industrial Operations stated, “As a global organisation RS is able to meet the needs of all varieties of customer making them an ideal distribution partner for Amphenol. Together RS and Amphenol offer an unbeatable quality of service backed by superb technical support and we are excited by the commitment made by RS to increase the range of Amphenol components available to its customers.”

Chris Page, General Manager, Electronics for RS Components continued, “Amphenol are one of the premier connector brands that electronics design engineers and buyers look to when developing their latest applications. We are delighted to be increasing our Amphenol portfolio to provide our customers with a comprehensive range at competitive prices and with market-leading service.”

The Amphenol range from RS is available online, where customers can link directly into the product range, supporting technical information and select and order.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Multi-Purpose Inductive Conductivity Transmitter

With their ISL 05x sensor, Baumer offers a sensor for inductive conductivity measurement with integrated media temperature compensation and very short response time (
Compact and completely made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel and PEEK, the sensor can be installed in direct contact with the medium in tubes from DN40 upwards. Its very short response time of < 3 s allows for very precise measurements. With its hygienic G1” process connection, one single ISL can be used in several applications, which helps to reduce procurement costs. The ISL has an integrated LCD display for both conductivity (mS/cm) and temperature (°C) and can be configured directly, without a computer, using the ISL’s one-knob navigation. These features support immediate on-site control, which is an advantage in manually controlled cleaning processes. Thanks to its extended temperature range from –20…130 °C, the ISL can also be used in SIP (sterilisation in place) facilities. The ISL has a 4…20 mA signal output for conductivity and a 4-20 mA signal output for temperature.

In the food and beverage industries, measuring the conductivity of liquids is used, among other things, to control the concentration of salt during the production of cheese, or for separating a medium from water when cleaning production facilities. Conductivity sensors are also used in other industries wherever different liquids need to be separated strictly from each other, for instance in CIP (cleaning in place) facilities where acidic and alkaline detergents must be differentiated from each other as well as from rinsing water.

Inductive conductivity measurement is based on the principle of a transformer. The liquid flowing through an opening in the sensor head forms the core of the transformer. An alternating voltage is fed into the primary coil on one side of the opening. The voltage induced by the secondary coil is measured on the other side of the opening. As the conductivity of a medium depends on its temperature, reliable results need to take the medium’s temperature into account. The ISL does compensate for this temperature influence automatically.

Monday, October 11, 2010

New leader for test & measurement company

ADLINK Technology has appointed Daniel Yang as the President. Yang will be responsible for leading worldwide sales and directing product roadmaps and marketing.

Jim Liu, CEO of ADLINK, said, “Daniel Yang brings a wealth of proven leadership and invaluable experience to the company. We are very pleased to have him accept this new position and look forward to continued success under his stewardship.”

Yang brings over 20 years of experience to the company and previously served as the Managing Director of Mentor Graphics Corp. in the Asia-Pacific region, the General Manager of AAEON Technology, and the Country Manager of the CCO Business Group at Hewlett-Packard Taiwan.

Yang said, “ADLINK has exhibited phenomenal sales in 2010 and I am pleased to accept this challenging role to focus solely on driving continued success. I look forward to continued cooperation with our partners and working with our talented sales force to provide embedded solutions to enable our customers to compete and win in the military, medical, communications, and test and measurement markets.”

Money saving process tools

Fluke is offering two money-saving process tool kits until the end of 2010, while stocks last. The packages, offering a 15% discount, contain either a Fluke 719 Electric Pressure Calibrator or a Fluke 789 ProcessMeter, together with a Fluke 771 Milliamp Process Clamp Meter and a free, Fluke C1600 Tool Box. The Fluke 719 with a built-in electric pump saves valuable time, while the Fluke 789 combines a precision digital multimeter (DMM) with a loop calibrator and loop power supply in one tool. The Fluke 771 is used for rapid testing of PLC and control system analogue I/Os without breaking the loop.

The lightweight, high-performance Fluke 719 Electric Pressure Calibrator features a built-in electric pressure pump enabling rapid calibration and testing of pressure devices with one hand, saving valuable time. The electric pump can be programmed to set target pressures or limit pressure to eliminate over-pressurisation. Precision measurement features of the Fluke 719 pressure calibrator are best-in-class with pressure measurement uncertainty of 0.025%. The device will measure and source mA with 0.015% accuracy. It can simultaneously measure pressure and source mA to test valves and I/P transducers. The Fluke 719 can also simulate mA signals to troubleshoot 4-20mA control loops.

The Fluke 789 ProcessMeter combines a large, back-lit, dual-display, true-rms DMM with a loop calibrator and a loop power supply in a single handheld tool, reducing the need to carry multiple instruments. The 24V loop power supply reduces the need to take a separate power supply when doing offline transmitter testing. The Fluke 789 can drive up to 20mA into loop instruments with a high input impedance up to 1200Ω, offers a HART mode setting with a built-in 250Ω resistor, and 0% and 100% buttons to toggle between 4mA and 20mA sourcing for quick span checks. It also enables data logging to optional FlukeView software running on a PC via an infrared I/O serial port. As a DMM it measures up to 1000V and 440mA, with a CAT III safety rating, frequencies up to 20kHz, and offers Min/Max/Average/Hold/Relative modes, diode test and a continuity beeper.

The Fluke 771 Milliamp Process Clamp Meter delivers 0.2% accuracy with resolution and sensitivity to 0.01mA for testing and troubleshooting PLC and control system analogue I/Os. Avoiding the need to shut down processes, or put systems into “safe” mode, it offers increased productivity. It features a unique detachable clamp that can be used docked, or detached via its extension cable, to facilitate measurement in tight spaces, as well as a measurement spotlight to illuminate wires in dark enclosures. The Fluke 771 has a dual backlit display that shows both mA measurement and percentage of 4-20mA span, and a Hold function to capture and display changing measurements for convenient viewing. Users can also measure 10-50mA signals in older control systems using the 99.9mA range.

Delivery of large-scale enterprise control solutions to manufacturing and process industries accelerated.

Invensys Strengthens Relationship with Cognizant

Invensys Operations Management has announced that it has strengthened its strategic relationship with Cognizant, a leading provider of consulting, technology and business process outsourcing services. The new go-to-market agreement will accelerate the delivery of Invensys Operations Management’s InFusion™ Enterprise Control System-based solutions for customers in the manufacturing and process industries.
“This agreement is the logical next step in our relationship with Cognizant. It’s good news for our clients and our system integration ecosystem partners, and it’s exactly what we envisioned when we joined forces on product development last year,” said Steve Blair, president, Invensys Operations Management, North America. “This is a great compliment to our delivery mechanism because, in effect, we have expanded our collaboration from global research and development to a strategic alliance where we will jointly deliver consulting and solutions across our mutual clients’ operations and business systems, specifically focusing on large-scale, open integration utilising the InFusion Enterprise Control System– the ECS.
“The InFusion ECS overcomes traditional barriers to achieving real-time visibility, enterprise-wide profitability and operational excellence across an entire business. By linking independent systems and personnel that do not traditionally communicate or collaborate, the InFusion ECS acts as a system of systems to provide critical, real-time business and operating information and collaboration that can enhance enterprise-wide decision making and improve overall profitability. Together, Cognizant and Invensys will provide fully integrated solutions that seamlessly connect the production environment with the decision-making, analytics and collaboration environment to drive real-time enterprise control and, ultimately, operational excellence,” he concluded.
“This partnership adds tremendous value to our clients,” said Ravi Gopinath, president, Invensys Operations Management, Asia Pacific. “Invensys will focus on creating and delivering innovative, real-time solutions for the operations management space. These services will be complemented by Cognizant’s consulting and system integration capabilities in enterprise IT solutions, especially for large-scale, enterprise-wide projects. Customers will get the combined benefit of two companies: one that is a leader in automation and operations management and one that has deep expertise in enterprise IT, making this partnership truly unique in the industry.
“Additionally, the two companies will leverage new and existing client relationships where there is an opportunity to provide enterprise control solutions and services to support these clients. Cognizant has also certified its sales and support teams on Invensys offerings, enabling Cognizant to fully support the go-to-market model envisioned in this partnership.”

“We are pleased with our maturing relationship with Invensys Operations Management,” said Venkateswaran Mahesh, senior vice president, engineering, manufacturing and retail practice, Cognizant. “By combining our deep knowledge of Invensys products with our consulting-led approach, global delivery platform and proven capabilities in enterprise systems integration and analytics, we are delivering a compelling value proposition to Invensys customers by way of industry-aligned enterprise control solutions. The success of this relationship truly underscores the power of collaborative innovation.”

Control system for large biomass power plant in Singapore

Yokogawa has received an order from Marubeni Corporation to supply the control system for the boiler, turbine, and auxiliary facilities at the Tembusu Multi-Utilities Complex in Singapore, a cogeneration power plant that will rely on both biomass and coal as its fuel source. This plant, which will have a steam supply capacity of 1000 tons per hour and a generating capacity of 160 MW, is being constructed by TP Utilities Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of Tuas Power Ltd., in the Tembusu industrial district on Jurong Island.

This large eco-friendly cogeneration plant is the first in the country to employ palm kernel shells as a renewable fuel source, a sustainable practice that is gaining acceptance industry-wide. The plant consists of three circulating fluidised bed (CFB) boilers, three backup boilers, and three steam turbines. This plant, one of the largest of its kind, is scheduled to start operation in 2012 and will supply steam to companies in the Tembusu district.

For this power plant, Yokogawa will supply its CENTUM® VP series integrated production control system, the PRM® integrated device management software package for remote monitoring and diagnosis of plant equipment, and the Exaquantum® plant information management system, as well as delivery, engineering, installation, and commissioning services for these systems.

Yokogawa was able to win this order because of Yokogawa Engineering Asia's excellent engineering capability and strong commitment to project execution, coupled with their extensive track record in the Singapore power plant sector, including the control systems for the Tuas and Seraya power plants, and the proven reliability of their products, not only in electric power plants but also in oil and chemical plants.

In addition to the cogeneration plant, other key facilities at the Tembusu Multi-Utilities Complex include a sea-water desalination plant and a wastewater treatment plant.

Encouraged by the success in winning this order, Yokogawa aims to develop its control business in the renewable energy field, including cogeneration plants which employ biomass fuel.

Instruments used by Nobel prizewinners!

Nobel prize winners in physics used Keithley Instrumentation
Keithley Instruments extends its congratulations to Drs. Andre Geim (left) and Konstantin Novoselov, scientists at the University of Manchester in England who have been awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their research on graphene, a single-atom-thick form of carbon with outstanding physical, electrical, and chemical properties. In their research, Geim and
Novoselov employed several Keithley Instruments products, including the Model 2400 SourceMeter(r) instrument and the Model 2182A Nanovoltmeter.

Mark Hoersten, Keithley's vice president, marketing, noted, "It has given everyone here enormous satisfaction to know that our products have been a part of a ground-breaking research effort like this one. Coincidentally, three Keithley employees were actually in Geim and Novoselov's labs on a routine customer visit when the call came in from the Nobel Prize Committee, informing Geim and Novoselov of their win."

Award-Winning Research
Geim and Novoselov first isolated graphene, a one-atom-thick form of carbon with a hexagonal (six-sided), honeycomb-like structure, in 2004. Potential applications of this material, sometimes described as "the perfect atomic lattice," include the development of new super-strong and lightweight materials for making satellites, aircraft, and automobiles. Electronics applications may include the development of ultra-fast and ultra-high-bandwidth transistors, innovative displays, biodevices, single-molecule gas detectors, and ultracapacitors.

Robert Green, one of the Keithley employees on hand in the winners' labs when the call came from the Nobel committee, explains, "They've been using two of our Model 2400 SourceMeter instruments and one of our Model 2182A Nanovoltmeters to characterize both the resistivity
and the very high carrier mobility of the thinnest crystalline material ever isolated. Ultra-sensitive, precision sourcing and measurement equipment such as the Model 2400 SourceMeter instrument, which can output very low levels of current, and the Model 2182A, which can measure the smallest voltages, are essential to making repeatable and reliable measurements."

Does condensation spoil your performance?

One of the biggest enemies for users of outdoor enclosures is the onset of cold weather and with it the possibility of condensation within the structure. In order to eliminate this unwanted natural event, Rittal has introduced heaters for their outdoor cabinet range to keep the chill off delicate electronics housed within them. These, coupled with some enclosures incorporating a double wall design, can ensure the installed equipment works faultlessly throughout periods of miserable weather.

With 400W and 800W outputs, the heaters may be positioned anywhere inside the enclosures to prevent temperatures dropping below operational levels.

Able to simply snap-on to DIN top hat rail or screw onto punched frame sections in Rittal’s TS 8 based outdoor enclosure range, the fan assisted heaters are provided with a protective grill in both the air inlet and outlet.

A thermostat is also available to switch the heaters as required.

Magnetic rotary position sensors

New to the POSIROT® family of magnetic rotary sensors from ASM Sensors is the PRAS21 series. This non-contact position sensor uses an external position magnet to provide an absolute output signal over a 0 to 360 degree measurement range.

By using an external magnet, this sensor provides continuously wear-free operation. The measurement range is 360 degrees and may be ordered with smaller measurement ranges in 15 degree increments. The sensor output is an analog voltage signal, 0.5 V to 4.5 V. Other outputs are available upon request.

The PRAS21 series housing has a height of less than ¼ inch (6.35mm) that is rated IP60. The circuit board is fully potted to yield a high level of shock and vibration resistance. The resolution is rated at 0.03 % of full scale (60…360°) and 0.1 % full scale (15…45°), the repeatability is ±0.03 % (60…360°); ±0.1 % (15…45°) and linearity is ±0.5% full scale.
The favorable price per performance and ultra flat profile of the PRAS21 series make it uniquely suited for numerous OEM applications. The sensor is easily installed with M3 screws.

Linear motion in medicine

Thomson has released a new brochure containing a detailed guide on the use of its components in a diverse range of medical engineering applications. This latest publication demonstrates the company’s significant domain expertise to provide designers and decision makers in the medical engineering sector with the optimum solutions to match their application requirements.

The "Medical Motion Solutions" brochure is divided into four key categories of application:
• Diagnostic & /treatment equipment
• Patient transport, personal mobility

• Ergotherapy and rehabilitation apparatus
• Laboratory automation

Very often standard off-the-shelf components don’t meet the demanding needs of specialised medical equipment. Thomson specialise in working closely with OEMs to design and customise the optimal solution for medical motion applications. The company’s flexibility in design and manufacturing provides OEMs with solutions that can’t be found elsewhere.

Each of these areas are described using typical examples to explain how Thomson products can be applied In the diagnosis/treatment section, for example, readers will discover which components can be applied in an imaging system: Thomson has developed OEM specific lifting columns while standard components such as gearheads and linear bearings are used for the associated patient table.

Additional illustrated examples include patient lifting, stair lifts and wheelchairs for personal mobility applications as well as fluid pumps and handling apparatus for laboratory automation. In the field of laboratory automation, for example, customers benefit from high speed, precision and reliability, combined with low maintenance costs and silent operation by applying Thomson miniature stainless steel linear guides and leadscrews.

The brochure may be downloaded from their Medical & Health application pages.

Mains and harmonics compliance analyser updated for Class C lighting equipment tests

The TTi HA1600A mains and harmonics analyser from TTi has been updated to include a full implementation of the two alternative special assessments for Class C Discharge Lighting equipment below 25 W, as specified in EN61000-3-2.

The requirements of this standard include the measurement and display of the phase angles where current conduction starts and stops, and the phase angle of the last peak of the current waveform in each half-cycle. It also provides for a 'no limits below' threshold in Class C (standard lighting equipment) measurements, with a default value of 25 W.

In addition to the standards changes, TTi has also improved the way in which the phase angle is reported for the phase of the peak current. This gives a more useful value with real-world distorted mains waveforms (when the actual peak is often beyond 105°). Phase is now relative to the mid-point of the two zero crossings of the voltage waveform rather than the actual peak of the voltage waveform. If the mains voltage is an undistorted sine wave, the result will be the same.

Printed reports produced either directly from the instrument or through the new release of the HA-PC Link software are enhanced to include the extra information and assessments.

The new firmware for the HA1600A is shipped with all new units. The update is available to existing users as a free download on TTi's product support pages:

The HA1600A is a fast, easy-to-use mains and harmonics analyser with a large high-resolution graphical display. Intended primarily as a dedicated harmonics and flicker analyser for compliance quality measurements, it can also be used as a general-purpose mains analyser. The HA1600A is capable of continuous real-time analysis of both voltage and current. As a general purpose mains analyser it can measure watts, VA, Vrms, Vpk, Arms, Apk, crest factors, THD, power factor, frequency and inrush current with a rating of 16 A RMS continuous.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

IET joins AF at Automation Week

ISA President-elect Leo Staples announces the affiliation of IET with the Automation Federation at Automation Week 2010

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has joined the Automation Federation as its newest member organisation. The two organizations signed a formal agreement to collaborate on efforts to advance and grow the automation profession. This agreement was signed at ISA Automation Week 2010.
Through its agreement with and membership in the Automation Federation, the IET will join AF and the other AF member organizations—the International Society of Automation (ISA), the Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC), and the Wireless Industrial Network Alliance (WINA)—in joint activities devoted to promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); promoting the Automation Competency Model; and advancing the general public’s awareness of automation and technology.
The Chairman of the Automation Federation Energy Committee, Leo Staples, said, “The Automation Federation proudly welcomes the IET as our newest member organization. AF and the IET share the same commitment to advancing and building the automation profession around the world. By combining our unique expertise and resources with our common interest in automation, our organizations are poised to make a significant impact on behalf of the profession.”
The Chairman for the Americas Regional Board of the IET, Steve Mustard, added, “The IET is pleased to be an active part of the Automation Federation. AF has accomplished so much of value in such a short amount of time, and we welcome the opportunity to be an integral part of their efforts. We are confident that by working with the Automation Federation, we will successfully enhance and accelerate public recognition of the automation profession worldwide.”
Dr. Gerald Cockrell, CAP, 2010 Automation Federation chair, stated, “Leo Staples and Steve Mustard were instrumental in the formalization of the agreement between AF and the IET. I commend them for their dedication to the profession. Their efforts have strengthened our efforts, AF’s and the IET’s, to promote and advance the automation profession. AF and the IET have already begun activities for the remainder of 2010 and for 2011.”

As reported by IET on same day (but posted by us on 19 Oct 2010)

Iconics at #ISAwk 2010

Game Changing Software Solutions for Plant Operations
64-bit HMI/SCADA and Plant Historian Suites Level the Playing Field
Iconics announced a team of 64-bit automation suites that are truly game changers for industrial automation. GENESIS64™ and Hyper Historian™ are gaining market share and changing the way that plants operate.

Newly released GENESIS64 V10.5 is designed from the ground up to utilise 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, it allows plant operators, IT professionals and facility managers to integrate real-time manufacturing and business information into a common, Web-enabled visualization dashboard. The GENESIS64 suite is comprised of GraphWorX™64, TrendWorX™64, AlarmWorX™64, EarthWorX™ and the Workbench Web-based development, deployment and operations products.

The new Hyper Historian V10.5 is an extremely high speed, reliable and robust industrial data historian solution. It takes full advantage of the latest 64-bit .NET-based computing technologies and numerous performance features. Hyper Historian is certified for Windows Server 2008, compatible with the Windows 7 operating system and leverages the new OPC Unified Architecture Standard.
“GENESIS64 and Hyper Historian are the first 64-bit OPC UA compliant product suites on a Microsoft platform that are robust, scalable, high-performance and enterprise-wide for industrial automation applications,” said Russ Agrusa, President and CEO of ICONICS speaking at the Automation Week conference. “Both products have been designed to handle the most mission critical applications that demand the highest level of availability and deliver unparalleled performance with very efficient use of computing resources.”
“The latest releases from ICONICS demonstrate their commitment to developing and delivering the highest quality products based on the OPC technology,” said Tom Burke, President and Executive Director of the OPC Foundation.

Hyper Historian delivers unparalleled performance with very efficient use of computer resources. This is the first plant historian to be compatible with Microsoft Windows® 7 and certified for Microsoft Windows Server 2008® and includes tight integration with SQL Server® 2008. This technology makes the Hyper Historian from ICONICS, the best-in-class, real-time plant historian for any Microsoft 64-bit operating system.

“Manufacturers are deploying the latest Microsoft operating systems and technologies in part to address their requirements for 3D visualization and data archiving of both their manufacturing and business processes”,
according to Craig Resnick, Research Director at 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 data archiving capabilities of software tools such as ICONICS’ GENESIS64 and Hyper Historian.”

Support for Windows Phone 7
MobileHMI to Support Microsoft’s New Windows Phone 7 for Mobile Applications


MobileHMI software solution from Iconics will support the soon to be released Microsoft Windows Phone 7 platform.

MobileHMI from ICONICS delivers real-time rich visualization and KPI alerts directly to wireless devices. With support for over 400 wireless devices MobileHMI is the most versatile software platform for staying in touch with your building and manufacturing operations. Now with the added support for Microsoft Windows Phone 7, the MobileHMI application can deliver real-time alerts, trends, and events.

“ICONICS was recently awarded the Microsoft Windows 7 Partner of the Year Award at the 2010 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference,” said Melissa Topp, Product Marketing Manager at ICONICS. “Adding support for Windows Phone 7 to our MobileHMI product offering is part of our strategy to deliver solutions that leverage the latest Microsoft platforms.”

The following key Windows Phone 7 features will be supported by MobileHMI:
    • Support for Silverlight
    • Metro UI look and feel• Real-time visualization
    • Push notifications for alarms and events
    • MultiTouch support
    • Application bar integration
    • Supports “Tombstoning” - suspends the application when the user navigates away
    • Panorama and pivot controls for intuitive navigation
    • Automatic portrait and landscape mode
“Mobility solutions are one of the fastest growing areas of demand for manufacturers and processors,” according to Craig Resnick, Research Director at ARC Advisory Group. “Windows Phone 7 support for MobileHMI is designed to help address that demand, providing a tool that can increase productivity while maintaining connectivity of mobile devices. This tool is another example of the close relationship between Microsoft and ICONICS, which leads to a continued stream of products that leverage the latest Microsoft products and technologies”.


AlarmWorX64 Multimedia
Multimedia OPC Alarm Management Software for 32 and 64-bit Servers


Iconics also announced the release of AlarmWorX™64 Multimedia, an OPC alarm management software solution for 32 and 64-bit servers. With 11 configurable robust agents, AlarmWorX64 MMX is the most comprehensive OPC alarm management solution in the marketplace.
The new AlarmWorX64 MMX is an optional enhancement to the award winning GENESIS64™ HMI/SCADA suite and is designed to interface to any OPC Alarm and Event compliant server. AlarmWorX64 MMX is easily and conveniently configurable using standard internet browsers.

“AlarmWorX64 MMX is based on ICONICS ‘OPC to the Core’ standard,” said Russ Agrusa, President and CEO of ICONICS. “AlarmWorX64 MMX delivers specific alerts and messages to anyone, anytime, anywhere quickly and immediately via numerous media services including: voice, telephone, e-mail, instant messenger and more.”

The following Agents are offered with AlarmWorX64 MMX:
    • Telephony Agent: Calls a defined number & gives a message with options to respond.
    • Pager Agent: Delivers alarms to numeric, alphanumeric and two-way pagers.
    • Video Agent: Plays a pre-recorded video or a video captured at the time of an alarm.
    • E-mail Agent: Receive and acknowledge alarms using text and e-mail messages.
    • Skype Messaging Agent: Delivers instant text messages to any Skype™ account.
    • Marquee Agent: Sends alarm & event messages to software and hardware marquees.
    • Sound / Text-to-Speech Agent: Plays pre-recorded sound bites on an alarm condition.
    • Fax Agent: Sends alarm notifications via fax.
    • Popup Agent: Launches any application to provide alarm massages.
    • Task Tray Agent: Delivers a pop-up message to the Windows taskbar notification area.
    • Custom Agent: Allows users to create their own Multimedia agent.
“With the increased adoption of 64-bit runtime platforms and software on the plant floor, the demand for 64-bit applications is on the rise as plant operations seek to best maximize the value and KPI’s of production,” according to Craig Resnick, Research Director at ARC Advisory Group. “ICONICS latest 64-bit software offering, AlarmWorX64 Multimedia, is a solution that leverages the benefits of a true 64-bit software application and helps its customer address their demand for higher performance.”

FDT news unveiled at #ISAwk

FDT Technology Moves Closer to ISA Standard
ISA103 overcomes significant hurdles, accelerates ISA standard

The FDT Group announced that FDT Technology, a previously approved international standard (IEC 62453), has been approved by the ISA103 committee and is now pending as an International Society of Automation (ISA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard. Once approved, the value proposition of FDT that enables any fieldbus, device or sub‐system specific software tool to be integrated as part of a universal life‐cycle management tool for the American marketplace will be validated by two independent sources.

The ISA103 Field Device Tool Interface Committee was formed in 2006 to consider the adoption of FDT Technology as an ISA Standard. In May 2009, ISA 103 committee efforts were accelerated when FDT Technology was unanimously accepted by the International Electrotechnical Commission as IEC 62453. Since that time, the ISA103 committee worked to make the approved international standard available for approval by both the ISA and ANSI.

Chaired by Ian Verhappen, the ISA103 committee represents a cross section of industrial automation industry professionals including users, designers, implementers, educators and suppliers of leading industrial automation technology. The committee worked together to adopt the full suite of FDT standards as ISA‐103.00.01 through ISA‐103.00.09.

Adoption of these standards will support the most commonly used protocols implemented in the process and factory automation industries today. “The team could not have picked a better time to approve standardization efforts with the large number of projects that are being planned to enhance productivity while reducing integration costs,” said Verhappen. As a result of this effort, end users will have the freedom to choose best in class FDT based products allowing engineers access to their smart instruments in a rich graphical environment including tools that will allow users to make better use of diagnostic information, improve ability to perform maintenance and much more. Wil Chin, Research Director, ARC Advisory Group commented, “With formal IEC, ISA, and ANSI approvals, users can deploy standard FDT Technology globally and expect seamless integration of asset information that can be freely distributed between the plants without custom intervention.”

To confirm the strong acceptance of device integration based on FDT Technology, a public review of the standards has been submitted for adoption as an ISA/ANSI standard benefiting the US industry and its ability to better compete in the global automation and control community.

Once complete, the ISA Standards and Practice Board will vote finalizing the ISA103 standard by December, 2010. Moving forward, the ISA103 committee will focus on keeping pace with FDT specification updates and the late 2011 maintenance cycle of the IEC 62453 standard. As FDT Technology moves along its future development path with additional enhancements such as FDT 2.0 and new annexes to incorporate additional communication protocols, the ISA103 working group will ensure that the pending ISA and American National Standard is maintained to support the automation industry and the American market.

New FDT 2.0 Adds Features to Enhances Performance in a Full .NET Environment

The FDT Group, AISBL released the draft of its new FDT 2.0 standard to start its membership review process. This major update transitions the FDT standard to a full .NET development environment and provides significant performance enhancements for large installations and adds a wealth of new features requested by the manufacturer and end user communities. While the capabilities of the standard have been greatly enhanced, the number of interfaces has been reduced by nearly 50 percent to make it easier to develop and maintain FDT based applications.

“Our technical development team has done an outstanding job of catapulting the standard forward while ensuring backward compatibility to the installed base,” stated Glenn Schulz, Managing Director of the FDT Group. “The FDT standard has earned the reputation of being the standard that brings other automation standards to a common, interoperable platform for the benefit of the end user. This tradition will grow with the ability to use the upcoming FDI device package within FDT as a configuration method for process industry devices.” c
Wil Chin, Research Director, ARC Advisory Group commented, “The remarkable growth of the FDT standard in terms of vendor support and end user adoption is ensuring its continued success. The additional capabilities of FDT 2.0 make it the appropriate platform for process and factory automation applications regardless of network types and device configuration methods.”

Tightly coupled to the new FDT 2.0 standard is a richly integrated development environment (IDE) called FDT Express. “When we set out to update the FDT standard, we committed to fully author the standard within the development environment. This allows us to release FDT Express coincident with the release of the standard,” noted Ted Takeuchi, VP of Technology for the FDT Group. “FDT Express significantly reduces the development time of FDT applications while ensuring compliance to the standard." FDT Express will be made available without charge to all members of the FDT Group.

The FDT Group is also preparing its supporting infrastructure for the new standard. Common
components, test tools, the style guide, the life cycle policy, and the product certification process will all be brought forward to match the new standard. Immediately after the members who chair the technology leadership positions have concluded their review of the draft standard, the general membership of the FDT Group will formally enter in the review process of the new FDT 2.0 standard prior to its anticipated public release in the first quarter of 2011.

First FDT Americas Certification Testing Site
Center will offer DTM certification testing, analysis services and will welcome end user visitors to see FDT in action.

Lorain County Community College in Elyria, OH will be the home to the first FDT certification testing center in the Americas. This new center will support the global automation market by providing consultancy services in the areas of DTM analysis, testing of communication, gateway and device DTMs during development and final DTM certification testing to ensure conformance to the FDT specification. In addition to these services, LCCC will host an in‐house integration evaluation and testing lab providing a hands‐on facility for users to validate benefits of FDT Technology, implementing asset management strategies based off FDT Technology.

FDT Technology known as IEC 62453 provides the device integration standardization solution for the communication and configuration interface between all field devices and host systems. DTMs are the ‘key driver’ to provide a centralized remote access point for horizontal and vertical data flow, allowing for a safer work environment by reducing the number of trips to the field and lowering start‐up and commissioning costs.

The opening of the certification testing center supports a $5.5 million grant from the Wright Center for Sensor Systems Engineering (WCSSE) that LCCC recently received. The WCSSE Program as outlined is funded by the State of Ohio’s Third Frontier Program (TFP), supporting economic development objectives allowing transition from older industries to newer, high‐growth industrial technology markets like sensor technology. “This is an exciting step for Lorain County Community College,” said Duncan Estep, Director, FDT Technology Certification Testing Center –Americas. “The college’s alignment with the FDT Group and their international membership of leading automation users and suppliers builds on the steps we are taking to make Lorain County and Northeast Ohio a center for the automation and sensor markets.”

Currently the center is installing lab equipment and building competency as it prepares for the rigorous accreditation audit to be conducted by the FDT Group. Once complete, LCCC will receive accreditation status as an official FDT testing laboratory for three years. After that time, a repeat audit will be performed to ensure the integrity of the activities conducted at the facility. All test laboratories are audited against the official FDT ‘test and certification quality assurance system.’ These guidelines state that each location must meet the following three guiding principles:
• Must maintain as an independent entity to ensure no commercial influence.
• Will establish a quality management system to ensure reproducibility of test results.
• Required to provide detailed documentation and provide outstanding technical expertise in certifiable equipment and the official testing tools.

LCCC will provide complimentary services to the DTM certification testing activities. With consultancy services now available, LCCC can provide assistance to companies specifying DTMs for their automation products or to DTM software developers to provide guidance and expedite efforts for DTM implementation and certification. LCCC will soon provide an independent environment for integration evaluation and a testing center to allow end users access to a single product or a complete multi‐vendor control system. LCCC has been equipped with state of the art products from FDT member companies allowing suppliers and system integrators the opportunity to conduct interoperability testing prior to project, and so much more.

The FDT Group is projecting a healthy 45% annual growth rate in devices supported by DTM certifications for 2010, providing the automation market with over 2700 devices supported by certified DTMs. “This is the perfect time to initiate this activity in the North American market,”
Tobias Horn, Chairman of the working group Test & Certification stated, "Certification of FDT based products is one of the main customer requirements and therefore also a key goal of the FDT Group. The Test & Certification Team strives to ensure that all preconditions such as test specifications, test tools and accredited test sites are available all over the world. With the first official FDT test site in North America we will have achieved a major milestone for FDT Certification and the contribution of the LCCC will multiply the acceptance of FDT in the North American Market."

FDT maintains certification capabilities globally including locations in Germany at BIS Prozesstechnik GmbH, Dietz Automation, Ifak system GmbH, and M&M Software GmbH; Switzerland at Endress+Hauser Process Solutions AG; and China at M&M Software (Suzhou) GmbH.