Saturday, October 23, 2010

Turbine control migration solution

For decades, companies have depended on GE's Mark™ IV and V series of turbine controls for exceptional performance and reliability. With systems approaching 30 years of continuous service, users now seek to modernize their systems to address obsolescence and take advantage of the many GE offerings to further improve turbine performance, operability, and availability. With tight budgets and short timelines, companies are looking for optimal value. At the 7EA Users Group Annual Conference (26 - 28 October, Memphis, TN US), GE will showcase Mark IV and Mark V control migration solutions at the Vendor Fair on the evening of the 27th October.

To minimize risk, cost, and downtime, GE's migrations upgrade Mark IV and Mark V Control systems to the latest Mark VIe through replacement of critical and obsolete technology only.  All existing turbine devices and wiring terminations remain.

Upgrading to the Mark VIe system provides increased computing power, which enables many new features and algorithms for new turbine functions, such as advanced Dry Low NOx systems and operational flexibility (OpFlex™) enhancements. OpFlex is a suite of software solutions that increases user flexibility, speed and efficiency in turbine control. This upgrade provides a complete modernization of operator stations and networks to current technology. Additional upgrade features and benefits include:
  • Minimized Cost & Installation Time: Eliminates the need for new field terminations and turbine devices, reducing downtime.
  • Elimination of Out-of-Production Technologies: Solves the problem of difficult-to-obtain spare parts.
  • Enhanced Operability: Fully distributable and scalable system offers ease of operation with improved graphics, alarm/event management, trending, and more. Up-to-date I/O capability allows adding and distributing Mark VIe I/O blocks - locally or remotely - and communication via modern, high-speed networks at all levels with Ethernet client/server capability.
  • Increased Communications Availability: Provides redundant communications within the control and options for network redundancy between controls and HMIs.
  • More Efficient Maintenance: One, modern software tool configures networks, processors, and I/O boards, along with editors, block libraries, and diagnostics.
  • Enhanced Compatibility: Compatible with current programs for compliance with cyber security standards, maintenance programs, and remote monitoring and diagnostics.
  • Plant-Wide Integration: Complete unit network integration with other Mark VI, Mark VIe, and EX2100 systems used for turbine control, plant control (DCS), generator control, and safety systems. Integration with 3rd party plant DCS systems is also standard.
Above all, this upgrade gives plants a clear path for future enhancements and life cycle support, allowing increased reliability, stability, and operational flexibility of the plant's turbine generator. In addition, this provides an opportunity to install an EX2100 digital front end during the same short outage to modernize aging generator excitation controls.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Productive meetings in Washington (US)

The Automation Federation is a global umbrella organization under which member associations and societies engaged in manufacturing and process automation activities can work more effectively to fulfill their missions, advance the science and engineering of automation technologies and applications and develop the workforce needed to capitalize on the benefits of automation. The Automation Federation is working to become the “Voice of Automation.” However most of these initiatives if not all refer to the United States government.

The previous release from AF announced that the IET was joining the federation and hopefully that will bring initiatives which have a greater relevence to the global automation community.

The Automation Federation (AF) announced the completion of a series of strategic meetings with U.S. Congressional staff, U.S. federal agencies, and industry and business organizations in Washington D.C. this past week. A team of five volunteers, led by Steve Huffman, chair of the Automation Federation government relations committee, participated in these strategic meetings which took place 18–22 October.

AF has and continues to aggressively promote to the U.S. Congress the message of the importance of the automation profession and its importance to the revitalization of manufacturing. This recent series of meetings continues AF’s efforts to remain engaged with the U.S. Congress and federal agencies through direct meetings in Washington D.C. 

The meetings focused on several key AF initiatives:
These meetings yielded many positive results, including:
  • The identification of AF as a source for expertise for the development of the U.S. Manufacturing Policy
  • The recruitment of the Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Chris Guith, as the keynote speaker for the 54th Annual ISA POWID Symposium
  • Support for AF’s Workforce Development Initiative, including support for
    • The AF Veterans Initiative (These are veterans from the US forces returned from active service in places like Iraq and Afganistan and the initiative is part of a drive to help them back into civilian society. ED)
    • AF’s alliance with FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology; The founder and driving force of this is Dean Kamen who keynoted at #ISAwk in October)
  • The development of a relationship with the US Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC)
  • The development of a relationship with the US National Rural Water Association (NRWA)
  • The strengthening of relationships with existing partners and supporters
Huffman said of the meetings, “The Automation Federation has once again put a spotlight on the automation profession, with another series of important meetings in Washington D.C. AF has spent the last few days creating and strengthening relationships with key governmental groups for the benefit of the automation profession. We are confident these meetings served to reinforce AF as “the Voice of Automation” and to spread the word about the important work AF is undertaking to “Build the Next Generation of Automation Professionals.”

Testing component for smart gas meters

Custom-built test system boosts productivity at Landis+Gyr’s Stockport plant

A custom-built automatic test system supplied by the Peak Group is helping to boost productivity for the world's leading manufacturer of smart gas meters.

The system, installed at Landis+Gyr's meter manufacturing plant in Stockport (GB), automatically tests and sorts the key components that form the heart of the company's solid-state gas meters. Landis+Gyr is the leading provider of integrated energy management solutions tailored to energy company needs. With a global presence and a reputation for quality and innovation, Landis+Gyr is unique in its ability to deliver true end-to-end advanced metering solutions.

The Stockport plant is the company's 'centre of excellence' for gas meters, producing in-house developed instruments.

Until recently, tests on a key component on these products were carried out on a machine which had a relatively large footprint and high running costs. The test equipment also utilised an electromechanical arm which contributed significantly to the measurement cycle time because it generated electromagnetic interference through its use of electric motors. This meant that the tests could only be done while the motors were not in operation, thereby producing 'non value add' test cycle time.

In order to address Landis+Gyr's need to increase its production capacity for this key component, the company approached The Peak Group - who had previously supplied test fixtures for other applications within the company. The project brief was to see if Peak could develop a faster, more compact and environmentally friendly solution.

The specification for the testing machine laid down a minimum of six test points and 13 ejection points for sorted components, and required that the machine should minimise the use of electric motors and PLCs to reduce the amount of electrical noise within the machine. In addition, the footprint of the machine and test equipment was targeted not to exceed 1.4 × 1.4 m, and it had to increase the production capacity by a minimum of 35%.

The solution developed by Peak achieved the defined criteria, using a rotary table to transfer the components from one test station to the next and making use of pneumatic rather than electric controls to effect mechanical movements.

The project delivered a new test strategy, meeting agreed performance levels and ensuring that all environmental and Health & Safety requirements were met.

"From the conception of this project through to completion The Peak Group worked very closely with Landis+Gyr to deliver a machine capable of fulfilling targeted production output with full test coverage", says Garry Bower, Senior Production Engineer at Landis+Gyr, who project-managed the introduction of the new machine: "We now have the opportunity to fit another machine or process in the space that has been created by the reduction in footprint".

This collaboration project was based upon The Peak Group being responsible for all mechanical aspects of the system and its interface with the Landis+Gyr control electronics and in-house written specification test software.

Key performance indication

The COSCOM KPI (Key Performance Indicator) module is designed as a Web application to give users location-independent access to corporate data and analyses at all times. Online visualisation provides real-time information on the progress of the process. This allows optimisation and organisational measures to be initiated while the process is still underway.

Any smartphone with a Web browser
COSCOM Computer GmbH, has more than two decades of experience in the development, marketing and implementation of software solutions for process optimisation in the production environment. The modular structure of the COSCOM MES system allows it to be used in a wide variety of applications. COSCOM software tools - ProXIA for detailed job scheduling, PEP for staff scheduling, MDE for machine data acquisition and BDE for operational data acquisition - provide the basic data for determining meaningful KPIs. They dramatically simplify the localisation of bottlenecks and negative factors in the production flow, thereby enabling users to initiate specific optimisation actions and monitor their effectiveness.

KPI analysis is becoming more and more important in the production industry. Organisational and business strategies such as lean manufacturing and kaizen pursue the essential objectives of eliminating all forms of waste, achieving customer satisfaction and delivering top quality. But what forms the basis for optimisation decisions? Experience from the implementation of real projects shows that poorly founded decisions can have a negative impact on the production process. For example, individual actions - such as reducing staff levels - can easily lead to lower productivity. Well-founded decisions are not possible unless all parties involved in the production process are forced to ´fess up´.

Visualisation of KPIs plays a major role here. Unlike KPI analysis at the end of the production process, which only tells you whether the process was OK or not OK, online visualisation provides real-time information on the progress of the process. COSCOM´s newest product is primarily dedicated to this task. In the form of a mobile application, this module can also run on any smartphone with a Web browser, thereby enabling managers to make well-founded decisions no matter where they are - in the plant or on a business trip.

Low-cost string pot sensor

General purpose cable extension sensor  has flexible built-in options in a compact durable housing

Variohm EuroSensor's new SP3 String Pot sensor from Celesco Inc. features a rugged cable extension design with a plastic-hybrid precision potentiometer and winding drum in an economical and flexible package that can be user configured for a choice of 4-20 mA or 0-10 VDC output by simply connecting the appropriate signal wires on installation.

With precision absolute linear position measurement in a choice of four ranges covering 120 mm, 315 mm, 635 mm and 1270 mm, the extremely compact unit can be mounted within an envelope of just 25 mm wide x 50 mm deep x 90 mm high and its durable water resistant polycarbonate housing has four point fixing and an optional (or is it included?) bracket that facilitates universal mounting. The cable extension sensor  requires no critical cable alignment which suits difficult to measure applications where there is no space to fit more traditional measurement devices or where the moving components may be submerged or obscured by other equipment.

The SP3 has an acceleration rating of up to 15g in retraction and a rated life of over 2.5 million cycles for the 120 mm travel unit (250K cycles for the 1270 mm travel version).  Overall accuracy is between 0.25% to 1.0% FS depending upon stroke length, repeatability better than 0.05% FS, and the measuring resolution is essentially infinite.  

The supply voltage is 8 – 40 VDC for the current output version and 12 – 32 VDC for the voltage version. Electrical connection is via a 1 metre multi conductor cable.

With competitive pricing and stock availability from Variohm, the SP3 offers high reliability and ample levels of precision for many applications in light industrial machinery and OEM equipment.

Award for excellence

Brammer UK Ltd has presented Festo GB with its prestigious 2010 Award for excellence in Supplier Relationship Management. The awards ceremony formed part of Brammer’s annual Manufacturing Forum, held this year at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum near Telford (GB), and was hosted by Alastair Campbell, the former Labour spokesman and communications strategist.

During the build-up to the award presentation, Alastair Campbell stated, “Brammer works with many of the world’s leading engineering component manufacturers, enabling it to offer customers an unrivalled choice of over 1 million individual products. Managing this level of supply chain complexity demands strong working relationships with supply partners. Over the past 12 months, one global organisation has stood out for its innovation and continuous improvement in supporting Brammer in the UK – and that is Festo.”

Photo shows (left to right) Ian Ritchie of Brammer, Stuart Gittins and Mike Gaffney of Festo, and Alastair Campbell 
The award was jointly presented by Alastair Campbell and Ian Ritchie, MD of Brammer UK, and accepted on behalf of Festo by Mike Gaffney, Deputy MD of Festo GB, and Stuart Gittins, Festo’s Distribution End User Manager.

Although Stuart Gittins has overall managerial responsibility for supplier relationships, including Brammer, he was keen to point out, “This award actually marks recognition of a huge team effort. Festo brings a large number of new products to market every year, which means that helping Brammer maintain its position as a specialist, highly-focussed supplier involves a truly collaborative and multi-disciplined approach to distribution. We operate very much as a team at every stage of the supply process, from initial discussions and procurement strategies, through internal product training, to external customer support.”

Connectors for extreme environments

The Harting MicroTCA backplane connector has now passed the ruggedised environmental tests laid down in the draft MTCA.3 specification. The PICMG, a leading standards organisation for the communications, industrial and embedded computer industries, recently announced the successful completion of the "MicroTCA conduction cooled" test programme for these devices.

The MTCA.3 subsidiary specification of the MicroTCA standard targets defence and aerospace applications with extreme requirements for vibration, shock and temperature range based on MIL-STD-801. The goal of the recent tests was to show that the card edge connector system meets the stringent environmental requirements for the target markets.

The tests were performed by the independent testing and research company Contech Research. In the test setup, a backplane equipped with MicroTCA connectors featuring the company's con:card+ technology was used. After completion, the connector is now the first and currently the only MicroTCA connector recommended for a conduction-cooled MicroTCA system.

This test shows that the MicroTCA hardware standard can be used in harsh environments and is also a viable alternative platform for industrial and transportation applications. The MTCA.3 specification is expected to be finalised by the end of 2010.

The final test results can be obtained without charge from PICMG's website: under the 'Resources' section.

Benchtop signal conditioner

Has fixed amplitude output signal and real-time front panel level meter for environmental testing and ESS applications

Meggitt Sensing Systems has introduced the Endevco® model 2775B, a high-reliability benchtop signal conditioner with fixed amplitude output signal and real-time front panel level meter, for use within environmental test laboratory, aerospace test cells, ESS, calibration systems and general vibration laboratory testing applications.

The model 2775B is designed to accept inputs from ISOTRON® (IEPE-type) transducers, piezoelectric transducers, and remote charge converters (RCCs), with a full scale input range from 0.01 to 100,000 engineering units (EU’s) and a wide sensor sensitivity input range of 0.01 to 10,000 mV/EC and RC/EU, with a gain range of 0 to 10,000 and a frequency response bandwidth of 120 kHz (-3 dB corner). Units offer AC, DC and servo outputs and operate from 90-240 VAC input power, with selectable ground isolation for cleaner data collection. With capability to install up to six units in an optional 19-inch rack accessory (model 4948A), the flexible setup of the model 2775B is accomplished either manually via the unit’s front panel, or via the unit’s integral RS232 interface using the supplied optional application software (model 35933A).  An additional filter card (model 35771) or filter with single/double integration (model 35818) is also possible.

New stress analysis service

Having built their first transducer in 1991, Applied Measurements of Reading (GB) now offer an ISO 9001 compliant stress analysis service to complement existing in-house manufacturing of strain gauge based sensors for the measurement of load, force, pressure, torque and linear displacement.

Increasingly measurements are required on parts that either cannot be moved or the application is for research and long term monitoring is required. This might include bonding of strain gauges directly to components, structures or machines.  The service can be tuned to suit specific customer requirements that may include installation and calibration only, design of bespoke transducers to run a test or full installation, testing and reporting on completion.

Applied Measurements can accommodate all measurement parameters including short as well as long term tests, harsh or potentially explosive environments, multiple measurement channels and extremes of temperatures. These include both fixed and rotating applications where wireless signal transmission may be required.

Typical applications include:

  • Torque measurement on drives & PTO’s
  • Static tests such as structural monitoring with remote data acquisition
  • Fatigue tests for life estimations & equipment failure investigation
  • Gravimetric level control of silos and hoppers
  • Press force monitoring
  • Residual stress analysis and crack propagation
  • Custom sensors for automotive, marine, aerospace etc
Applied Measurements’ field service team travel throughout Britain and overseas and there are few applications the team haven’t seen before. “We are already highly experienced in the supply of sensors into industries as diverse as medical, marine and motor racing. We understand the needs of bespoke applications and what it takes to get reliable measurements in conditions that are often less than ideal,” stated David Johnson, Head of Business Development.

As Senior Structural Engineer Adrian Robinson at Wright Group says about the service supplied, “we find them to be very flexible and reliable in meeting our demanding needs. We would have no hesitation in recommending them to other companies”
And Airbus UK Launch Manager endorses these services further by saying “they have supported every aspect required of this program in a prompt, efficient and innovative manner whilst playing an integral part in supporting the most successful FTI program in Airbus UK’s history”

The British Society of Strain Measurement (BSSM) underpins installation standards, as the quality of the strain gauge application is vital to reliable long-term measurements. “As one of the most experienced manufacturers of strain gauge transducers in the country, we are grateful for this opportunity to partner Sensor Solutions Ltd - specialists in this type of work, as it is integral to the expansion of our skills base and adds to our continuing success. Additionally, launching of this service coincides with the increased traffic being seen amongst insightful engineering organisations for a service to qualify the actual performance of equipment against predicted, as well as audit of aging plant,” concluded Johnson.

Touchscreen graphic HMIs

Maple Systems has just added two new Touchscreen Graphic HMIs to its family of OIT products. The new HMI5043T is a compact 4.3 inch 16:9 widescreen model with a very affordable price of US$390.00, and the HMI5104TH is a larger 10.4 inch high-resolution unit with a price of only US$1290. This pricing is two thirds less than comparable units from Maple's major competitors, yet these units offer equal and better capabilities and performance.

Like the new 10.4 inch unit, the 4.3 inch has an Ethernet port and VNC server that enables the user to remotely monitor and control the HMI from any location via desktop computer, laptop, cell phone or any other smart device that has internet connectivity. A vast improvement in operational logistics, this VNC remote monitoring of the Maple HMI means you can remotely control the PLCs and Controllers that command your automation process.

The 16:9 widescreen high-resolution display of the 4.3 inch model offers 30 percent more viewing area than a standard screen of similar size. That simply means you have more room for graphics, text, and buttons. And the 4.3 inch unit offers unrivaled clarity with 65 thousand sharp rich colors that show well on its high-brightness high-contrast backlit TFT display. The crispness and clarity of those graphics is augmented by the 480 x 272 pixel screen resolution on the 4.3 inch unit. The same holds true for the 600 x 800 pixel screen on the 10.4 inch unit.

Both units are enhanced with a 32 bit RISC processor, 128 MB of Flash storage and 64 MB of data memory. Connectivity of these units includes USB, Serial and Ethernet ports. Also there is support for Allen-Bradley EtherNet/IP, GE, Siemens, Omron, Modbus TCP/IP, and many more. Each unit contains an analog touchscreen with infinite touch-response points. Other important features include online/offline simulation, alarm and recipe management, data logging and sampling, true-type fonts and multiple languages with international characters.

The compact HMI5043T is ideal for OEM applications. It works well as an affordable replacement for analog controls, lights and switches; and it is well-suited for situations where logistics require a small cost-effective display with the advanced capabilities normally found in larger more expensive units. Similarly, if you need a larger display, you can acquire the 10.4 inch HMI5104TH for less than a third of the major competitors' models — yet you still get lots of features, excellent performance, certified reliability, and attentive technical support.

These Maple HMIs are able to communicate with multiple controllers using different PLC protocols — allowing for easy integration to augment an existing system. For example, let's say you want to enhance your existing plant floor with a data monitoring system for your various pieces machinery that run on several different brands of controllers. You can easily incorporate the Maple HMI to do exactly that because it can simultaneously communicate to multiple controllers even though they each have different protocols.

And like many of Maple's Graphic HMIs, the screens on both of these new products can be configured to operate in either portrait or landscape mode. That means they can be functionally mounted either horizontally or vertically — an important feature (especially for OEMs) because it allows more options for tight space considerations. Also, many controls make more sense graphically if they are set up in a vertical format. But either way, the choice is yours.

New standard for HF catalyst analysis

 Breakthrough to significantly reduce cost of safe, accurate real-time HF catalyst monitoring
A typical alkylation unit. Output of high-value alkylate depends on close monitoring of hydrofluoric acid (HF) and water levels, as small deviations from optimum can cause output to plummet—or even cause dangerous acid runaway

Invensys Operations Management has announced the availability of its ACA.HF Advanced Alkylation measurement solution, a non-spectroscopic acid catalyst measurement solution that simplifies and dramatically lowers the cost of online monitoring of hydrofluoric acid (HF). On view at OpsManage in Orlando this week, the new solution replaces conventional manual sampling and Fourier Transform Near Infrared (FTNIR) analysis, with a measurement system that monitors HF levels in real time by analysing differential responses from online sensors.

Hydrofluoric acid is a common catalyst used in petroleum processing, and accurate analysis of how much HF is re-circulating within the process contributes significantly to maximising the yield rate of crude stock. Early approaches to HF monitoring involved taking manual samples and analysing them in a laboratory, however that sample approach offers limited accuracy and exposes lab workers to toxins. More recent FTNIR techniques are very accurate, but adaptation for real-time online monitoring is complex and costly. A global refining company and Invensys Operations Management have now teamed up to validate new online HF monitoring models that deliver highly reliable results at significantly lower acquisition and operating costs.

Implementing the new ACA.HF Advanced Measurement solution costs about half that of an FTNIR system and requires minimal maintenance because its core components are built from rugged materials long proven in industrial HF applications. The monitoring models run inside of the new Foxboro® PAC System controller, making for a cost-effective and easy-to-setup application environment. Contributing to precise control excellence is advanced analytical software that reads the response “spectrum” that is directly analogous to that produced by a traditional FTNIR. Based on established industry methods, estimated mean time between failures (MBTF) of the solution exceeds 29 years. There were, in fact, no maintenance costs in the first year of implementation at the test refinery.

This unique measurement and control solution also contributes to asset excellence by minimising the potential for corrosion, and supports environment and safety excellence by eliminating any potential sample exposure for plant and laboratory personnel. The ACA.HF solution is an integral component of the company’s InFusion™ Enterprise Control System, as it shares a common communications and applications development environment that enables the solution to be part of a larger plant and enterprise control, information and decision support system.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

ISA Automation Week- Wrap-up!

"There are quite a few areas where we can improve our format and our execution, and we will."
Patrick Gouhin, ISA Executive Director

ISA Automation Week 2010: Technology and Solutions Event, held 4-7 October in Houston (TX US), wrapped up after an activity-packed week. The integrated conference-and-exhibit program and special events were focused around seven technical tracks with dozens of industry experts on hand to lead discussions, present papers, and answer questions about the hottest topics in each area. Nearly 1,700 people, from around the world, were present for the event.

“ISA Automation Week 2010, which was organized around a different model than past ISA EXPO events, introduced a new, innovative format to hundreds of dedicated conferees and exhibitors. It delivered first-class technical content, products and services on display by leading industry suppliers, and plenty of networking opportunities,” stated Gerald Cockrell, technical program co-chair.

“As a technical conference, ISA Automation Week met its goals and there are many success stories coming from this new event, including two outstanding keynote addresses, our PathFinder concept, the Online Community, and electronic proceedings, to name a few,” he continued.

Officially kicking off the conference, Dean Kamen, founder of DEKA Research and FIRST®, gave the opening keynote address. Kamen, who is an accomplished inventor, innovator, and engineer, strongly encouraged automation professionals to get involved with the future generation and to give back to the community through volunteering. Kamen’s speech rallied support for his proudest accomplishment, FIRST®, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. He also pointed out that many of his inventions and products were built on, or relied upon, automation, making the professionals behind those products his “idols.” See our comments: Technology as a sport, Dean Kamen enthuses #ISAwk.

The second keynote was delivered by David Cummings, global process safety management competency leader for DuPont Safety, Health & Environment (SHE). Cummings explored the key elements required to implement and maintain a consistent and highly reliable program to prevent process incidents, including risk management systems, safety culture, operational discipline, and organizational learning.

The ISA Automation Week technical program included 56 sessions which covered the latest topics within seven technical tracks: automation and control, energy, environmental, human asset optimization, safety, security, and wireless and networking.

The exhibition spotlighted more than 120 vendor exhibits, providing attendees the opportunity to meet and network with leading automation and instrumentation providers during scheduled breaks. Through these exhibits, attendees were able to get practical, real-world solutions to the theory presented during sessions.

“We made some excellent new business contacts, and were able to establish relationships with key industry professionals,” said Tim Donaldson, marketing director at ICONICS. "The ISA Automation Week format provides an opportunity to meet and network with decision makers as well as with those who influence, specify or recommend products for purchase. Our exhibit space for 2011 is already confirmed."

ISA Automation Week also introduced its successful new conference tool, PathFinder, which helped attendees select their own unique combination of sessions to create a customized learning experience suited to their individual job functions and professional goals. PathFinder does this by identifying the best conference path for each of five professional groups: technicians, engineers, management, marketing, and academia/R&D/scientists.

Another popular tool was the new ISA Automation Week Online Community. This social networking site allowed registered attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and speakers to communicate with each other, create personal schedules, set up meetings, and link to their LinkedIn and Twitter accounts before and during the conference.

Also, participation in ISA’s 2010 Fall Training Institute, which ran concurrently with ISA Automation Week, exceeded last year's registrations, with 120 students served in 16 technical training course areas.

"To me, this new, conference-centered event is certainly different from what ISA has done in the past. It’s a step in a new direction and it shows that ISA is making progress toward evolving in today’s economy, while still working towards meeting the needs of the changing marketplace of exhibitions and conferences," summarized Ian Verhappen, director at Industrial Automation Networks, Inc.

Patrick Gouhin, ISA executive director and CEO, explained, “Hosting a new type of conference is always exciting, yet it can be very challenging too. Early indications show support for this new type of event, with a flow and functionality that would be different from past events. And though ISA has been hosting both large and small conferences for more than 45 years, we found that an all-new format like this one, can indeed present some struggles. There are quite a few areas where we can improve our format and our execution, and we will.”
See you in Mobile!

Ken Baker, general chair for next year’s ISA Automation Week, commented, “As we begin planning for ISA Automation Week 2011, we’ll build upon the strengths of this year’s event and adjust to the dynamic environment in which we operate. We’ll review the format and what we’ve learned, and we’ll look at ways to optimize all aspects of the experience for everyone.”

ISA Automation Week 2011 will be held in Mobile (AL US), 17-20 October 2011 “The facility there will give us more flexibility and options, especially on the exhibition side. It will offer a traditional conference and exhibition layout with all exhibits in one spot, a designated registration area, and dedicated session rooms, all conveniently located in a beautiful, waterfront site,” continued Baker.

“ISA Automation Week fulfills an important role in the automation field and as the premier automation conference in industry. We will continue to build the technical repository that is known as the automation body of knowledge,” concluded Gouhin.

Our other blogs on this event: Much done more to do!

Gateways support for DF1 protocol

The Anybus Communicator gateways now enable integration of industrial devices which support the Rockwell Automation DF1 protocol to fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet networks!

HMS has added support for DF1 communication into the entire range of Anybus Communicator gateways. Thanks to this implementation, users can benefit from a simple and straight-forward way of connecting industrial devices which support DF1 to all major industrial fieldbus and industrial Ethernet networks used in today´s automation systems. Devices include e.g. Rockwell/Allen Bradley PLC-5, SLC-500, MicroLogix among others. Supporting conversion from DF1 to 14 industrial networks including DeviceNet, EtherNet/IP, ControlNet, Modbus/TCP, Profibus-DP, ProfiNet and CANopen, Anybus Communicator becomes a powerful tool for anyone aiming to integrate devices which support DF1 communication into other architectures.

The DF1 protocol support is provided through the ABC Config Tool software from HMS which is included free of charge with the Communicator gateways. No programming skills, expensive hardware changes or PLC function blocks are required in order to start using the Communicator range of products with DF1 devices, since the connection to industrial networks from DF1 devices is made through a simple configuration procedure in ABC Config Tool.

Furthermore, thanks to its selectable serial RS-232/422/485-interface, users can choose between connecting one or several DF1 devices to Anybus Communicator allowing complete flexibility on site when connecting devices like barcode readers, RFID scanners, weigh scales, drives and motor starters from various vendors.

Loggers identify power savings

A new Gemini Tinytag datalogger, the TV-4810 is supplied with a clamp and built-in display that offers users the ability to view and log single phase mains current in order to identify cost saving opportunities.

Increasing energy costs, coupled with corporate responsibility objectives and regulatory drivers such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment, are forcing organisations to take a closer look at energy and the new Tinytag loggers provide quick and simple tools with which to identify power hungry equipment or processes.

By providing the ability to log over an extended period, the TV-4810 enables power consumption comparison between different devices in addition to the identification of those processes which demand the most energy.

The TV-4810 is a member of the Tinytag View 2 family of loggers which all feature an in-built display and offer fast data download and high levels of resolution and accuracy with a large memory capacity (30,000 readings). The loggers are managed with intuitive Tinytag Explorer software that enables quick and simple configuration, data management and analysis.

Two further additions to the Tinytag View 2 family include the TV-4704, a voltage logger (0 – 25V DC) and the TV-4804 current logger (0 – 25 mA). These new loggers provide real-time display of data, combined with data collection and alarm display capability. The units can be connected to a variety of industry standard sensors; typical applications include monitoring for temperature, humidity, CO2, pressure, flow or light, so these loggers could, for example, be utilised to monitor lighting in buildings. Further dedicated loggers are available to monitor temperature and humidity in buildings to improve HVAC equipment efficiency and to help lower energy costs and comply with environmental regulations.

Miniature LDVT’s

For embedded automotive and laboratory test bench applications

Meggitt Sensing Systems has announced the North American market debut of the Sensorex model SX9W3, a rugged, high-accuracy miniature linear variable displacement transducer (LDVT), designed for high-precision displacement measurements within a variety of embedded automotive and general laboratory test bench applications.

With an overall length of just 26 mm (with body and core at null position) and a 9 mm diameter, the instrument offers a maximum linearity error of less than ±0.25% of full scale, with option to further reduce to ±0.15% of full scale. The transducers are designed to reliably operate over an operating temperature range of -40°C to +125°C (-40°F to +257°F) and are environmentally sealed to IP65. Meggitt’s Sensorex LVDT’s have no wearable parts for friction-free operation, while offering infinite resolution, long service life and high measurement repeatability. Units are highly resistant to shock and vibration, impervious to external magnetic fields and are designed to be compatible for use with all industry standard LVDT signal conditioners. The low mass of the Sensorex model SX9W3 core LVDT assembly makes the transducer ideal for use in applications where high-reliability displacement measurements are required, though where mass, weight and space constraints may be of concern.

Recommended accessories for the Sensorex model SX9W3 include the model SX3120 DIN rail signal conditioner for industrial applications, as well use of an MCHP conditioner for integration with electronic boards. In addition, a spare core assembly, mounting flange, and custom calibration and core assemblies are available upon request. All Sensorex model SX9W3 miniature LVDT’s are accompanied by a two-year comprehensive product warranty and are available thru both Meggitt’s San Juan Capistrano, California, USA and Archamps, France-based facilities

New single board computer

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced the rugged, OpenVPX-compliant SBC312 3U VPX single board computer (SBC). Designed for demanding space- and weight-constrained environments such as unmanned vehicles and based on the 8-core Freescale™ QorIQ™ P4080 processor, the SBC312 delivers substantial processing performance while maintaining power consumption and heat dissipation at the level of earlier dual core 3U VPX single board computers. The sixth 3U VPX SBC platform announced by GE, the SBC312 – which is also available with the QorIQ 4-core P4040 processor - provides an optimum technology insertion opportunity for existing users of the SBC310 and SBC330, further enhancing their sustainable competitive advantage.

“The SBC312’s support for eight processor cores will allow many legacy applications to be re-implemented in enclosures that are smaller, lighter and more cost-effective, reducing multi-slot configurations to a single slot,” said Rob McKeel of GE Intelligent Platforms. “For new applications, it supports the development of very compact, high throughput solutions with optimum performance/watt characteristics.”

The SBC312 is available in five air- and conduction-cooled ruggedization levels for maximum reliability in military/aerospace applications, and is also available in VITA-48 format for 2-level maintenance. It features up to 4 GBytes of dual channel DDR3 memory, and provides significant flexibility, allowing the SBC312 to be configured to precisely meet the demands of a broad range of applications and environments. Two x4 PCI Express® Gen2 links are provided, each of which can be configured as four x1 PCI Express links. One link can be optionally configured as 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Two 1000BaseT ports are provided, together with two serial ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two SATA ports and up to eight GPIO ports. A PMC/XMC mezzanine site is also provided to enable application-specific functionality to be added.

The SBC312 will benefit from GE’s broad software roll-out for QorIQ platforms, including GE Intelligent Platforms’ innovative P2P software, which provides PCI Express peer-to-peer connectivity, together with BSPs for VxWorks® 6.x; SDKs for Linux® (Open Embedded) and Wind River Linux; a full Deployed Test suite; Wind River Hypervisor support; and Integrity™ from Green Hills Software.
The QorIQ system on chip (SoC) processor family from Freescale Semiconductor implements one or more high-performance e500 Power Architecture cores running at up to 1.5GHz, and is designed with networking applications in mind. QorIQ is an evolutionary step from earlier Power Architecture® Freescale processors, allowing upgrade and technology insertion while maximizing customer investment in software, applications and expertise.

Water and waste event breaking records

WWEM Exhibition floor
The organisers of WWEM 2010 are expecting record levels of attendance at this year’s highly anticipated event; exhibitor numbers are 15% higher than at the last event in 2008 and the number of pre-registered visitors has grown by a massive 36%.

Taking place over two days (10th and 11th November) at the Telford International Centre (GB), there are a host of new features including a laboratory conference, a new gas detection zone and more new product launches than ever before.

There will be a strong international contingent at WWEM 2010, with registered visitors coming from as far afield as Romania, Russia, Turkey, Cyprus, Hungary, Portugal, Poland, the United States and even Australia.

WWEM 2010 will offer two Conferences, one focusing on Process Monitoring and another on Laboratory Analysis. There will also be over 70 free walk-in/walk-out Workshops to choose from in addition to an exhibition featuring over 120 of the world's leading providers of environmental monitoring equipment and services.

New programmable automation control system provides entry for Enterprise Control System

Invensys Operations Management introduced its new Foxboro® Programmable Automation Controller (PAC) System at OpsManage 2010 in Orlando (FL US). A powerful, versatile programmable automation controller and I/O subsystem, integrated with Wonderware® software, the new Foxboro PAC System offers robust control and information capabilities for installations with fewer than 3,000 input/output (I/O) points, while providing a foundation for a larger and even more capable Enterprise Control System (ECS).

“The Foxboro PAC System was created specifically for hybrid market clients who want a powerful and reliable control system at an affordable price,” said Rick Morse, vice president, control and safety, Invensys Operations Management. “Although these smaller systems typically have fewer than 3,000 I/O points, our customers are more and more sophisticated in terms of their integrated automation and information needs. Therefore, we have designed a PAC system that is faster, smaller, easier to apply and cost competitive. The Foxboro PAC System user should feel comfortable knowing that Invensys Operations Management systems control some of the world’s largest and most complex plants, and we have incorporated that industry knowledge and innovation into the new PAC system.”

The Foxboro PAC System is ideal for delivering control, alarm management, historian, web reporting and batch functionality for applications in the food and beverage; glass; metals, minerals and mining; life sciences, plastics; water and wastewater; and other industries. The controller marries high-density I/O modules with cost-effective redundancy options, energy efficiency, continuous analog, logic and sequential control and secure data recording at point of measurement. Additionally, all controllers, I/O modules and power supplies can be swapped without interrupting or shutting down the process operations, which is essential in regulated industries.

“Because it is deeply integrated into the entire portfolio of Wonderware software applications using open, ArchestrA® technology, the Foxboro PAC System is an easy-to-use, entry-level offering for customers to rapidly build upon as their operational excellence needs evolve. The Foxboro PAC System provides unparalleled flexibility to integrate with other Invensys and third-party systems, such as PLCs, safety instrumented systems, SCADA and business systems,” said Terry Minns, director of PAC products, Invensys Operations Management. “In short, it provides advanced integrated control, data acquisition and storage functionality at PLC-level pricing.”

The Wonderware PAC Software includes a single, common integrated development environment, a familiar tool to Foxboro and Wonderware users alike. The Wonderware PAC Software package also includes Wonderware InTouch 10.1, the industry-leading HMI software.

LED PSUs are 92% Efficient and Waterproof

Excelsys Technologies has introduced further models in their range of products for industrial and architectural LED lighting applications. With industry leading efficiencies up to 92%, an extensive protection feature set and capable of delivering up to 100W of output power in an extremely compact package size these new power supplies will be very popular with LED lighting manufacturers.

Four new models are available; starting at 75W output power the LXC75 offers a constant current output and the LXD75 has a dimmable output to control LED light output. Both models are available with output voltages between 7 – 214V at up to 5,000mA.

For higher output power the constant current LXC100 and dimmable LXD100 are available. Both offer 100W output power over the voltage range 14 – 286V at up to 4,200mA.

The Excelsys LX series offers lighting designers a high reliability power solution with MTBF figures in excess of 2,000,000 hours, IP67 rating, UL8750, EN61347-1, -2, -13 compliance, full safety agency approvals with CE marking and RoHS compliance.

Further high performance features offered as standard on all models include a universal input from 90-305VAC, active PFC, over voltage and short circuit protection and an operating temperature range of -35 to +70ºC.

Dermot Flynn, Director of Sales for Excelsys Technologies, commented. “This extension to our existing very successful range LED lighting solutions continues to demonstrate the flexibility of Excelsys high efficiency power solutions and our ability to provide a fast and competitive response to new market requirements. LED lighting solutions are becoming increasingly popular because of their small size, high efficiency and long life and are finding applications in domestic, industrial, architectural and display products. Our newly introduced dimming feature allows the user to actively control light levels and introduces a greater energy saving capability. This new range of LED power supplies provides a state of the art power solution for a great number of lighting applications.”

Typical applications for the LX series of LED power supplies include outdoor applications such as street lighting, tunnel lighting, sign applications and architectural lighting solutions as well as electrical “brown” and “white” goods such as refrigerator lighting.

Perpetual rental!

Long-term hire scheme cuts costs for Ashtead Technology customers

Ashtead Technology has announced a new Perpetual Rental Program (PRP) offering customers significant cost savings for long-term hires. The PRP combines the convenience of ownership with all the usual benefits of renting. Ashtead Technology customers can now use equipment continuously as if it was their own, but the company remains responsible for maintenance checks, calibration and repairs.

The new  scheme is applicable to a selection of the very latest environmental monitoring and non-destructive testing instrumentation, including Ashtead Technology’s comprehensive range of environmental monitoring equipment, a vast selection of videosopes and the latest emissions monitoring instrumentation.

Summarising the benefits of the PRP scheme, Ashtead Technology’s General Manager Alan Hasson said:The aim of this initiative is to make long-term hires more economically viable for our customers. This plan comes at a fraction of our standard monthly rate with technical support, making it an ideal option for longer-term hires, regular customers and those who may be undecided whether to rent or buy.”

Low-cost array mikes

Automotive, aerospace and general test & measurement applications

Meggitt Sensing Systems has announced the introduction of Endevco® models EM40PH and EM40PL, two low-cost free-field pre-polarized array microphones, designed for multi-channel acoustic measurements of sound power; sound pressure levels and frequencies; sound-field analyses; and concurrent spatial and transient measurements within the audible range in aerospace, automotive and test & measurement applications.

Endevco® models EM40PH and EM40PL offer a wide frequency range of up to 20 KHz.  The model EM40PH is offered with a high sensitivity of 50 mV/Pa and a large dynamic range of up to 135 dB, while the model EM40PL is offered with a low sensitivity of 10 mV/Pa and a large dynamic range of up to 150 dB.  Their highly durable design incorporates use of an SMB connector for ease of test setup assembly and seamless integration with most data acquisition systems. ISOTRON® (IEPE) capabilities allow Endevco® array microphones to be used interchangeably with IEPE-type accelerometers within the same test setups for added convenience. In addition, ISOTRON® microphones have no additional power supply requirements when used within standard 2-20 mA constant current powered systems. Incorporation of TEDS technology allows a microphone to be recognized by any TEDS compatible input module, allowing an analyzer to derive information about microphone type, serial number and sensitivity, which can then be read by the application software. Close manufacturing tolerances and TEDS capabilities provide models EM40PH and EM40PL with the major advantage of a high degree of interchangeability within multiple array matrices.

Endevco® models EM40PH and EM40PL are ideal for use in larger-channel count acoustic measurement applications, such as near field acoustic holography; trending and frequency analysis; white goods testing; automotive and aerospace NVH, or as a lower-cost alternative to a Type 1 compliant microphone in general acoustic testing.  Recommended accessories include the Endevco® model EM42AA handheld pistonphone calibrator and the model 133 three-channel signal conditioner.  All Endevco® acoustic sensors and instrumentation are backed by a five-year comprehensive product warranty.

Affordable environment and safety excellence

Invensys Operations Management introduced its new Triconex® General Purpose System at OpsManage 2010. The new offering provides a lower-cost entry point into the market-leading Triconex safety system product line. The Triconex line allows clients to optimise their choice of safety system for their specific requirements, enabling them to meet new safety standards, counter global competition and address cost pressures by lowering investment and lifecycle costs.

TUV-certified for Safety Integrity Level 2 (SIL 2) applications, the Triconex General Purpose System is an important new component of the company’s InFusion™ Enterprise Control System (ECS). The Triconex General Purpose System is supported by familiar engineering tools and applications and can communicate with other control systems. 

“The new Triconex system delivers high-availability in a variety of safety and critical control applications, as well as offers secure integration with other systems. By providing the highest system availability and reliability in the market today, we can help protect plant personnel, secure production assets and achieve compliance with rigorous environmental standards, thereby driving environment and safety excellence,” said Mike Chmilewski, vice president, technology innovations, Invensys Operations Management. “Our customers can utilise the Triconex General Purpose System to maximise process and plant uptime, meet or exceed safety targets and mitigate environmental impact.”

For many businesses, improving operational excellence by maximising gross margins, product quality and financial performance, while reducing operating expenses, has become a top priority. At the same time, stringent health, regulatory and environmental compliance issues are driving an even greater focus on safety. The versatility of the new Triconex General Purpose System enables businesses to fulfill requirements for critical control applications needing high availability, for example, turbomachinery control, as well as SIL 2 safety applications, such as emergency shutdown, fire and gas protection and burner management. It is also compatible with Invensys’ Triconex Tricon™ and Triconex Trident™ safety systems that already meet SIL 3 requirements. High-availability architecture means that any Triconex safety system never needs to stop, improving clients’ performance and profitability and allowing them to generate more revenue.

The new Triconex system comes with rich safety and critical control application libraries, proven in some of the world’s most demanding applications, and its powerful functionality is proven to reduce engineering and maintenance costs, providing optimum safety and maximising plant uptime. It also integrates with all well-known process control systems using industry standard protocols, and for added protection, is Achilles-certified, protecting it from cyber attack.

High-flow air pressure regulator for industrial applications

The Precision Controls Division (PCD) of Marsh Bellofram Corporation, has announced the global market introduction of the Type 78, a direct-acting, high-performance air pressure regulator designed to offer high-accuracy, large flow and exhaust capabilities within OEM and industrial applications.

With available port sizes of ⅜, ½, ¾ and 1 NPT and BPST, with ¼ NPT gauges, their Type 78 air pressure regulator is specifically designed for applications that require large flow capabilities and accurate pressure control.  Available in five different pressure output ranges of up to 125 psig (8.6 BAR), this precision regulator offers low droop, high accuracy and fine adjustment sensitivity with maximum supply pressure rated at 400 psig (27.6 BAR) and achievable flow rates of well over 200 SCFM.  Use of a patented Bellofram rolling diaphragm provides greater sensitivity and improved accuracy, along with low-friction operation and long useful service life. The Type 78 offers a balanced pintle, which minimizes output pressure changes caused by fluctuations in supply pressure.  The unit can be either pipe or rail mounted.

Careful design and use of quality materials in manufacturing the Marsh Bellofram Type 78 air pressure regulator ensures long, trouble-free operation.  In addition, the rugged die-cast zinc and aluminum housings of the Type 78 are pressure tested to assure safe operation and designed to withstand harsh and abusive environments. This durability is attributed to a chemical conversion coating of all cast components and a vinyl paint finish. Additional optional features and accessories for the Type 78 include low-bleed, non-relieving, square head adjustment, T-handle adjustment, tamper resistant cover, epoxy paint, tapped supply gauge port and tapped exhaust.  Mounting brackets and repair kits are also available.

The new Marsh Bellofram Type 78 high-pressure air regulator is ideal for use across a variety of industrial applications, including high-flow actuation; high-flow louvers; slitters, rollers and dewinders; high-flow control loop applications; and calibration loops, among others.

Flexible temperature sensor technology demo

Moore Industries-International has released an eight minute digital video production, "Temperature Sensor Technology Demo Featuring Moore Industries WORM." It features a product demonstration, competitive analysis and installation instructions for the WORM, a unique flexible temperature sensor.

It also features a review of the sensor that has a rigid tip and stainless steel spring. The presenter, Peter Welander, first demonstrates what is necessary to get the best measurement from a temperature sensor. Next, the WORM is highlighted as a simple yet effective solution for temperature measurement in a flexible sensor that provides protection for the sensor element and wiring and provides a faster response time.

The kit displayed in the video includes everything needed to make a conversion from a rigid style temperature probe and install it in nearly every application. 

There is also a demonstration of a full installation for a new WORM flexible temperature sensor—an installation that occurs without taking off the housing because of the WORM’s flexibility.

Advantages highlighted in the video include the smaller diameter and faster response time, as well as the WORM’s ability to be cut to any length, eliminating the need to stock or order exact sizes since the assembly is “one size fits all.”

"Temperature Sensor Technology Demo Featuring Moore Industries WORM,” is available free through the Moore Industries corporate website. On the WORM video landing page, you can also download the WORM data sheet, get a two-page overview by downloading the free PDF “Get Rid of Rigid: Get the WORM Flexible Temperature Sensor,” and link directly to Moore Industries Temperature Sensors, Transmitters and Assemblies Selection Guide. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Is honey always pure?

Reliable method for rapid and accurate analysis of trace elements in honey

Thermo Fisher Scientific has a new robust, reliable method for analysis of trace elements in honey by atomic absorption. The Thermo Scientific iCE 3500 atomic absorption spectrometer offers a unique dual atomizer design which allows automatic, efficient and safe switching between flame and graphite furnace analyses without the need for user intervention or alignment adjustment. By utilising the system’s flame and furnace methods, users can undertake both high level and low level analyses on the same instrument. The flame sample introduction system is able to efficiently run dissolved honey samples without blockage or contamination, while the furnace system handles acid digested samples with ease. The method is described in a new application note, entitled “The Analysis of Trace Elements in Honey by Flame and Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry,” available for download at  

Honey is a natural product produced by bees in widely differing vegetation zones and climates worldwide. In the European Union, honey must adhere to strict composition criteria, including sugar, moisture and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content to ensure the quality and safety of products for consumption. In addition, honeys from certain geographical regions or botanical sources merit higher prices than others and checking the product’s authenticity is now a significant area of analytical testing. Generally, in Western Europe, the United States and Japan, honey imported from the Far East or South America has a lower price than locally produced honey and is therefore prone to mislabeling. It is the primary responsibility of the industry to ensure that honey intended for exports is processed and analyzed to ensure that it does not contain any elements that can pose health risks.

The viscous and sugary nature of honey makes it a difficult substance for quantitative trace elemental analysis. This new application note demonstrates how flame and graphite furnace absorption spectrometry can be utilized to facilitate faster analysis while reducing operational costs. The iCE 3500 Atomic Absorption Spectrometer is a permanently aligned, true dual atomizer enabling rapid switching between flame and furnace methods without user intervention resulting in improved productivity. The instrument is also the only spectrometer on the market to offer both Deuterium and Zeeman background correction providing guaranteed performance and flexible interference-free furnace analysis. The advanced integrated furnace autosampler also speeds up analysis by automatically preparing working standards from a single master standard and adds matrix modifiers to samples prior to analysis.

The iCE 3500 Atomic Absorption Spectrometer provides outstanding performance and flexibility in an easy-to-use and compact system. The Graphite Furnace TeleVision (GFTV) furnace vision system offers high definition images of the events taking place inside the graphite furnace cuvette for optimized sample deposition and method development. Concurrent operation of the furnace, and autosampler sampling procedures minimizes the overall furnace cycle, while the high precision, double beam optics of the iCE 3500 provide low detection limits and analytical stability.  

Mobile reports

Invensys teams with Sarla Analytics to deliver SaaS application that provides process and manufacturing reports to industrial workforce via smartphones.
Information on  iPad;  iPhone or Blackberry.
Invensys Operations Management has announced the availability of SmartGlance™, a new Software as a Service (SaaS) partner offering that delivers industrial and manufacturing intelligence data, archived in plant automation systems and data stores, to smartphones. The SmartGlance solution will be offered as part of an endorsed partner agreement the company has signed with Sarla Analytics, an innovative supplier of smartphone applications focused on business intelligence.

“Web-based reporting tools simply can’t match the speed, functionality or readability of Sarla’s SmartGlance reports,”
said Rob McGreevy, vice president, platform and applications, Invensys Operations Management. “The great thing about SmartGlance is that it is a native phone app, not a web client, so you can use advanced touchscreen features on your smartphone to quickly access and scroll through the reports. Everyone has a smartphone these days. They are rapidly becoming an important, everyday tool that can be used to achieve productivity excellence. With SmartGlance, managers, engineers and operators can use them to view the most current process and equipment performance data as well.”

The new SaaS offering will be hosted at a secure SmartGlance data center that minimises the need for customers to have local IT support and maintenance. Invensys Operations Management will supply data connectors that enable data stored in its Wonderware® Historian and other products to be included in SmartGlance reports and analytics.

The native SmartGlance phone application takes full advantage of the many powerful display features of touchscreen-based smartphones. Interactive tabular reports, along with trends, bar charts and pie charts, can be manipulated easily, allowing extensive data drill down capabilities. Users can even issue or share reports with co-workers via e-mail, enhancing real-time collaboration and effectively adding enterprise control capability to smartphones. The reports are generated and sent to phones either on demand or automatically, and the robust Sarla SmartGlance application has three layers of security to keep important company data protected at all times

“Having timely data available anywhere at any time can accelerate decision making and improve plant performance,”
said Snehal Shah, chief executive officer, Sarla Analytics. “We are very excited to partner with Invensys because  we share a vision for the mobile enterprise to drive operational excellence and enable the power of real-time response. Mobility lets you transcend distance and connectivity issues, create a virtual, personalised space for collaboration and empower users to make better, faster, smarter decisions anywhere, anytime.”

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Heavy weight site!

P.J. Boner & Co have re-launched their dedicated online weighing shop to add more functionality and a wider range of scales and weighing equipment for Industrial, Medical, Laboratory & Domestic customers.

The site hosts over 2500 scales and accessories with images and full datasheets. It is Ireland and Britain's most comprehensive online weighing shop.

The website uses Realex payments as its payment gateway ensuring the integrity and security of its payment process.

New offerings can easily communicate and integrate as part of a unified ECS

Invensys Operations Management are unveiling host of new and upgraded components of its InFusion™ Enterprise Control System (ECS) at OpsManage’10.

In addition to enhancements and new releases to the company’s Wonderware® System Platform 4.0 software and flagship Foxboro® I/A Series® 8.6 distributed control system (DCS), OpsManage attendees will see a number of new InFusion ECS components, including a new Foxboro Programmable Automation Controller (PAC) System, a new Triconex® General Purpose Safety System, a preview of new software-based workflow capabilities, a new Eurotherm® nanodac™ data controller/recorder and a new Wonderware endorsed-partner application that provides a software as a service (SaaS) mobile reporting solution.

“The new and updated products and solutions we are demonstrating at OpsManage’10 exemplify how the InFusion Enterprise Control System can holistically unify old and new system applications to create a unified ‘system of systems,’”
said Rashesh Mody, senior vice president, portfolio and marketing, Invensys Operations Management. “Each of these products and solutions delivers unique standalone functionality in its own right, but because they are also built on open, industry-standards-based ArchestrA® software technology, they easily and affordably integrate with manufacturing and business systems from multiple vendors, enabling the creation of an Enterprise Control System that can accelerate Operational Excellence across our customers’ enterprises. This unique ability to more simply and easily integrate open technology from Invensys, legacy applications and third-party offerings is what sets the InFusion ECS apart from anything on the market today.”

The products and solutions Invensys will introduce this week strengthen the entirety of the company’s portfolio of offerings, most of which are components of the InFusion ECS. “Going forward, virtually all of our new products and solutions will participate as InFusion ECS components, as will a growing number of the products and solutions we will develop and deliver in collaboration with our global Ecosystem of partners,” Mody said.

The new Foxboro Programmable Automation Controller (PAC) System 1.0 integrates Wonderware System Platform software with a next-generation Foxboro automation controller and I/O package. The new Triconex General Purpose System provides Triple Modular Redundancy (TMR) for basic safety systems, but at a lower price point and in a TUV-certified SIL 2 safety instrumented system (SIS) platform, based on the company’s industry-leading Triconex technology. The new Eurotherm nanodac controller/recorder combines powerful graphical recording capabilities with versatile control, communications and reporting in a 3.6” by 3.5” enclosure. The new SmartGlance SaaS mobile reporting solution, delivered through Sarla Analytics, an Invensys partner, brings industrial and manufacturing intelligence and process data, archived in plant automation systems and data stores, directly to smartphone users.

The company will also display and demonstrate additional upgraded components of the InFusion ECS, including:
•    An upgraded Wonderware System Platform version 4.0, which supports Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 and facilitates deployment of technology advances such as 64-bit operating systems and Hyper-V virtualization technology;
•    A v8.6 release of the Foxboro I/A Series DCS, which enables easy upgrade of older Series 100 I/O modules to the latest high-performance, more-compact Series 200 I/O, reducing implementation and upgrade costs;
•    And an updated Avantis.PRO™ 5.0.1 enterprise asset management software, which facilitates real-time coordination of plant-floor data and predictive maintenance technology to support supply chain decision making.

“Today’s process manufacturers face a whole new set of challenges. They are losing highly experienced people, who are taking all of their knowledge with them. The process automation infrastructure continues to age and require replacement. And things that were fairly constant, like the cost of energy, are now real-time variables that change drastically over the course of the day,”
said Larry O’Brien, research director, ARC Advisory Group. “The principles of a real-time process automation system increasingly need to be applied across the manufacturing enterprise, which is the real promise of the InFusion ECS. It operates as a system of systems to which Invensys Operations Management’s offerings, clients’ existing systems and third-party solutions can all belong. Invensys made the right move in forming Invensys Operations Management. Now we are seeing some of the fruits of bringing together all of the company’s automation-related businesses under one roof.”

Easy integration of remote monitoring system

FLSmidth, a world leader in Electrostatic Precipitator technology, develops advanced pollution control systems in order to comply with the stringent industrial standards. Particle removal efficiency is controlled in real time by sophisticated micro processor based voltage controls. FLSmidth decided to integrate HMS’s communication system to inform their users of the status of the air pollution control equipment. Because they were able to implement this interface with a standard and an easily integrated solution, they selected HMS Industrial Networks.
An electrostatic precipitator (ESP) is a particulate collection device that removes particles from the gas stream using the force of an induced electrostatic charge. The electrical field collects the dust on collecting plates. Automatic plate-rapping systems and hopper-evacuation systems remove the collected particulate matter while on line, theoretically allowing ESPs to stay in operation for years at a time.

In the steel industry, where HMS equipment has been implemented air pollution control equipment must be able to collect a large variety of pollutants. Because ESPs can collect very fine, dry particles, abrasive and corrosive particles, it is often a preferred solution in this industry. ESPs have to cope with 2 phenomena which decrease the efficiency. First is the Spark effect: this is a short circuit between the plates inside the ESP. No dust collection is possible during this period. The second is the back corona effect: positive ions are produced in the dust layer and can be emitted back into the gas.

The ESP implemented by FLSmidth is a very high tech solution. It integrates the newest COROMAX™ pulse power supply system which is the most advanced high voltage system on the market. COROMAX™ differs from traditional DC power systems by offering unique control on electrical particles which are charged during 75 microsecond impulsions at 140 kV, while the mean voltage is 40kV. Currents can also be controlled. By applying very short electrical pulses, COROMAX™ enables the reduction of Sparks. Because there is no current, the back corona effect is also reduced.

Sophisticated, proprietary microprocessor high voltage controls respond quickly to process variations, or upset conditions. This control system enables fast response controls and it ensures outlet emissions remain low even under challenging process conditions. Electrostatic Precipitator Performance is capable of achieving less than 5mg/Nm³ emission.

By applying pulse systems, existing ESPs can be improved without physical enlargement while reducing the power consumption at the same time. New ESPs can be installed with smaller dimensions than ESPs with traditional DC power supplies.

Real-time monitoring system
“For such an advanced control system, it is critical to inform the final user. This is what HMS products do”, explains Deepa Kirubakaran, for FLSmidth in India. HMS products enable the communication He adds: “We have chosen HMS, because we found a standard product which is very simple to integrate and very compact. The key issue is that with only one module, you can handle all the signals”. Products utilized were a Java version of Serial to Profibus Gateway and a Java version of Serial to Modbus RTU Gateway.

HMS Industrial Networks is distributed in India by UL Electrodevices Pvt. which is based in Pune. Umesh Sakle, who provided the technical support, explains: this gateway, Anybus® Communicator, can connect almost any automation device with a serial communication interface to fieldbus and industrial Ethernet networks. The Communicator performs an intelligent conversion between the serial protocol of the automation device and the chosen industrial network. It is compatible with all leading PLC manufacturers and almost no programming is required! Another great feature with the Communicator is the Save/Load function. Once you have completed your serial configuration for one network, you can easily re-use the configuration for another Communicator supporting a different industrial network.

“This implementation is a success. We can use the HMS solutions for our future projects”, concludes Deepa Kirubakaran.