Saturday, November 27, 2010

New members to fieldbus board

Gunther Kegel
Dr. Gunther Kegel, president, Pepperl+Fuchs GmbH, has been elected chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation board of directors. Dr. Kegel replaces John Berra of Emerson Process Management, who is retiring after serving 16 years in his foundation leadership post.

Other executives named to the foundation’s board include: Daniel Huber, senior group vice president, business unit manager - open control systems, process automation division, ABB; Takuji Hosoya, managing executive officer - advanced automation company, Azbil (Yamatake); Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer, Emerson Process Management; and Ralph Carter, president, Rockwell software business, Rockwell Automation.

The remaining board members include: Farshad Amir, DuPont; Timm Madden, ExxonMobil; Masatsugu Tomotaka, Fuji Electric Systems, Co. Ltd.; David Eisner, Honeywell, Inc.; John Eva, Invensys/Foxboro; Fred Cohn, Schneider Electric; Hans Georg Kumpfmueller, Siemens AG; and Kimikazu Takahashi, Yokogawa.

Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney congratulated the new members on their selection to the foundation’s board of directors. “On behalf of the Fieldbus Foundation, I would like to welcome the latest additions to our board. These professionals will bring valuable experience to our organization and help us to serve the needs of the global automation industry,” said Timoney. “During this period of rapid growth for Foundation fieldbus, we are fortunate to have the support of key executives with the world’s leading control system and instrumentation suppliers, as well as major end users companies.”

In recognizing the new board members, Timoney also thanked Berra for his many years of service to the Fieldbus Foundation. He said, “John Berra has been a dedicated supporter of the foundation since it was established in 1994. As chairman of the board, he helped to guide our organization in reaching many key milestones over the years, and has been tireless in his efforts to promote Foundation technology within his own company and throughout the marketplace. The entire fieldbus community owes John a significant debt of gratitude.”

Dr. Gunther Kegel studied Electrical Engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt in Darmstadt, Germany. After completing his doctoral thesis on the topic of "Integration of Sensor Signals Into Robotic Controls," he became a freelance engineering collaborator for several small-sized engineering companies. In 1990, Dr. Kegel was employed by Pepperl+Fuchs Mannheim, a manufacturer of electronics for factory and process automation, as head of its Pre-design Department. He was subsequently named head of Pepperl+Fuchs’ Development Department/Factory Automation and Division Factory Automation, and later served as its deputy managing director. In 2004, Dr. Kegel was chosen as chief executive officer of Pepperl+Fuchs Mannheim. He currently serves as the company’s president and chief executive officer (CEO).

Prior to his current position with ABB, Daniel Huber served as the company’s global technology manager for process industry products and oversaw product roadmaps and forward evolution for ABB’s control systems portfolio. Huber joined ABB in 1987 and has held numerous positions in Research and Development, product management, marketing, sales, service, and business development, as well as Corporate Research. He has also held similar positions at Adtranz and General Electric.

Takuji Hosoya is a 33-year veteran of smart transmitter marketing and development, and the process automation solution business. He is currently executive director of Advanced Automation Company, Yamatake Corporation, in charge of field instruments/automation solution system marketing.

Peter Zornio
As chief strategic officer for Emerson Process Management, Peter Zornio has responsibility for group-level coordination of technology programs such as PlantWeb and Smart Wireless, as well as the group-level marketing team. He also has direct responsibility for the product definition and development organizations for DeltaV, Ovation, and AMS Suite. Zornio has been at Emerson for four years. Prior to that, he spent 21 years at Honeywell, most recently as director of product marketing.

Ralph Carter joined Rockwell Automation in November 2007 through its acquisition of Pavilion Technologies, where he served as president and CEO, and sat on the company’s board of directors. He brings more than 25 years of automation industry experience to his current role with Rockwell, having worked for corporations such as Datastream, Honeywell and Measurex.

Changing the guard at Fieldbus Foundation (The Great Kanduski - ControlGlobal 27/11/2010)

Friday, November 26, 2010

DIN rail amplifiers

Feature packed DIN rail signal amplifiers from RDP
RDP Electronics low profile DR7AC DIN rail mounted amplifiers are designed to provide excitation and signal amplification for LVDTs and a wide range of other inductive transducers. Compatible with most full bridge strain gauge transducers is the DR7DC strain gauge amplifier version.

The DR7AC and DR7DC are compactly packaged for DIN rail mounting, offering particular benefit to systems integrators and machine builders. System engineering and earth loop problems are significantly reduced thanks to full isolation between the DC supply side (9 to 36V) and the amplified output with low noise levels.

Offering transducer excitation options of 1 or 3 volts RMS, at either 3kHz or 5kHz carrier signal excitation, there is a choice of a full range output of either ±10 V or 4~20 mA from switched selectable input signal levels ranging from 20 mV to 4 V RMS. The DR7AC and DR7DC amplifiers enjoy excellent thermal stability, with a dynamic response which is flat from static to 250Hz. Due to their wide range of supply capability both models can operate from a range of supplies that includes batteries, road vehicle supplies as well as the usual factory 24V supply.

RDP are advertisers in the current (Oct/Nov'10) issue of Read-out.

New distribution deals to help manage Italian water

Intellect Water has announced two new distribution partnerships with Italian companies for the highly innovative Intellisonde™ in-pipe water quality monitors.
The Intellisonde™ is designed to provide water companies with more efficient access to drinking water quality data and will now be distributed across both municipal and industrial sectors in Italy by the experienced teams at Genoa-based Ast Analytica and Milan company Bimatik.

Developed to continuously monitor in-pipe water within drinking water distribution networks, the Intellisonde™ is a small water quality monitor that can be inserted into pressurised pipes to monitor up to 12 parameters.

Maurizio Chioetto, CEO of Ast Analytica, which was founded 30 years ago, explained that the instrumentation will bring numerous benefits to the Italian water sector. He said: “We are delighted to be entering into this exciting new partnership as an official distributor of the Intellisonde™. The ability to measure water quality in-pipe will be a major benefit to a wide variety of industrial sectors.”

Enrico Bertocchi, Director at Bimatik, added: “We are very pleased to be working with Intellitect and we have already received interest regarding the Intellisonde™. We are very excited about the prospect for this technology because it will, for the first time, provide access to water quality data after the treatment plant and before the customer’s tap.”

Steve Gill, Intellitect Water’s Business Development Director, added: "Ast Analytica and Bimatik will work closely but serve different customers, as we expand our distribution network across Europe.

“The ability to monitor water quality continuously in the distribution network will provide vital access to tap water quality data and offers the potential for improvements in operational efficiency and considerable cost savings.”

Uniquely, the Intellisonde™ technology offers utilities the ability to monitor water quality in the many thousands of miles of pipe that carry water to industrial and domestic consumers. This reduces the cost of water treatment, improves water quality and aids the management of water distribution networks.

In-air motion control by iPhone

Air Mouse app turns iPhone4 into in-air motion controller for PC-connected home theater and business presentations

Movea has announced its Air Mouse application for the iPhone4 is now available for £1.19 (USD 1.99) in the App Store. The new Air Mouse app empowers iPhone4 users to transform their phone into an in-air motion controller for home media and presentation uses.

Utilizing the iPhone4’s gyroscope and Wi-Fi connectivity, Movea’s Air Mouse application enables users to kick back and relax while watching high quality, web-based entertainment from the comfort of their couch and is the perfect navigation tool for online and home media center digital entertainment. With the new Air Mouse app, the user’s natural hand movements can drive more powerful presentation delivery, more interactive classroom lectures, and more immersive motion gaming. With Movea’s Air Mouse app and the iPhone4’s Wi-Fi range of over 100 feet, presenters have the freedom to move around the room to captivate and engage their audiences.

“We are excited to enable iPhone4 users to transform their phones into a powerful, motion-sensing peripheral to create poetry in motion for more effective communications and more immersive entertainment experiences,” said Bryan Hoadley, Executive Vice President of worldwide sales and General Manager of Movea, Inc.

Accompanying the iPhone4 app is Movea’s powerful MotionTools software, available for Mac or PC. MotionTools gives users a suite of effects and tools that allow them to customize, activate and control desktop applications with the flick of their wrist. MotionTools includes a wide range of tools for web browsers, media players, and presentations:

·Dynamic display scroll, pan, and zoom

·Pen drawing, image stamps, and highlighter

·Cut, paste, and other menu keystroke shortcuts

·Internet, and other application hotkeys

·Media player and volume controls

·Presentation tools

MotionTools and the Air Mouse app enable a presenter to turn their computer’s cursor into a highlighter, laser pointer or pen. MotionTools also has built in gesture recognition that allows users to gently swipe their phone in the air to launch applications, skip through songs in a playlist, activate presentation effects, navigate the web, and much, much more

DO2 in Thames waste!

Analytical Technology  has been awarded a new three-year framework agreement by Thames Water, seeing off eight competitors during the bid process. The new agreement will see Analytical Technology installing its optical dissolved oxygen monitors across multiple Thames Water wastewater treatment works in order to improve process control. This new framework builds on the existing relationship between the organisations and demonstrates Analytical Technology’s commitment to servicing the British water industry.

During the bid, which involved nine competitive instrumentation providers, Thames Water was impressed by Analytical Technology’s Q45D-ODO monitor’s capability as well as the commercial services offered by the vendor. Analytical Technology was required to meet a rigorous vendor assessment standard which showed that the company had provided excellent customer support for their disinfection monitors already installed within Thames Water. Analytical Technology also demonstrated capital cost savings as well as project and whole-life savings, which will be achieved through lower maintenance and reduced cost for spares.

Dissolved oxygen (DO) is one of the most critical parameters in the activated sludge process and tighter consent targets now mean that utility companies including Thames Water need to review instrumentation to ensure that all wastewater treatment works are fully compliant. Analytical Technology’s optical dissolved oxygen monitor has been designed to provide reliable DO control while keeping maintenance to a minimum. The monitor is based on fluorescence quenching technology and provides continuous monitoring with virtually no servicing required.

Conventional oxygen sensors are often affected by process coating and any material that slows the diffusion of oxygen into the reaction cell will cause an error in the oxygen reading. Unlike traditional dissolved oxygen monitors, Analytical Technology’s Q45D-ODO contains an Auto-Clean function which generates a series of high pressure air blasts to remove contaminants from the face of the sensor and eliminate errors caused by fouling. The Q45D-ODO’s Auto-Clean capability will enable Thames Water to achieve continuous and reliable DO measurement without the risk of sensor fouling.

Garry Tabor, Sales Director at Analytical Technology, comments: “Dissolved oxygen monitoring is an essential process for water utility companies such as Thames Water. Analytical Technology supplies all Thames Water disinfection monitors, and its proven supply record over the years of the successful partnership means this new agreement reinforces our strong position as leading instrumentation providers within the UK water industry.”

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Vibrating fork level switch for safety instrumented systems

Emerson Process Management has extended the capability of its Rosemount® 2100 series of vibrating short fork level switches with the introduction of the Rosemount 2130 for (Safety Integrity Level)SIL 2 safety instrumented systems. This new version features built-in fault monitoring/self-checking diagnostics and is ideal for high and low level alarms.

New vibrating fork level switch
Following successful third-party evaluation by global organisation exida, the Rosemount 2130 has the required Failure Modes, Effects and Diagnostic Analysis (FMEDA) report. As a result, companies in the oil & gas production, refining, petrochemical, chemical and power industries can benefit from the almost maintenance free, vibration fork technology while ensuring compliance with associated IEC industry standards.

With several output types with a Safe Failure Fraction (SFF) over 90%, the resulting FMEDA report shows SIL 2 suitability. As per IEC 61508 and IEC 61511, the documentation provides safety instrumentation engineers with the required failure data and with proof test recommendations. With a five-year-plus proof test interval, the proof test can be co-ordinated with plant turnaround, minimising process interruption and reducing risk to personnel.

The Rosemount 2100 series is already a popular choice for high and low level alarm and pump control duties. The new 2130 version is simple and easy-to-use, reliable in a wide range of applications and requires no on-site calibration. The visible “heart-beat” LED gives an instant visual indication that the unit is operational. In addition, the built-in fault monitoring/self diagnostics can detect extreme corrosion of the forks, or any other internal or external damage to the fork sensor, which triggers a warning LED and safe handling of the load.

Further functionality in the new version includes a low-density option suitable for liquids with a specific gravity down to 0.5 (500 kg/m3), a wide choice of electronic output options for use on their own, or as part of an analogue or digital plant monitoring network.

This instrument is designed for use in extreme temperatures ranging from -70 to + 260 °C and like other models in the Rosemount 2100 range, the new model is available with 316L stainless steel as standard, ECTFE/PFA copolymer coated 316L stainless steel or corrosion resistant alloy C wet side as well as a choice of electronic output types and aluminium or stainless steel housing options.

North American sales director

Ashling Microsystems has appointed Mr. Atul Kapur as its North American Sales Director based at the company’s offices in Chantilly (VA US)
Atul Kapur

Mr. Kapur has over 10 year’s international experience in the Semiconductor Industry. He was formerly Strategic Partner Manager-OMAP at Texas Instruments in Asia.

Commenting on the appointment, John Murphy, Managing Director of Ashling Microsystems, Ltd. said, “We are delighted to have Atul on board: he brings an in-depth knowledge of the Embedded Software industry and will be a great asset to the company. North America is an important market for our Embedded Software Development Tools and with Atul now in place we are looking forward to growing our presence in this market.” 

Ashling Microsystems is an international Embedded Software Development Tools company. The company is a subsidiary of the NeST Group, a broad based technology provider operating in the areas of software development, electronics design and manufacturing, optronics and fiber optics, broadband and RF solutions and power systems and magnetics. Through its close cooperation with leading semiconductor vendors, Ashling is a world leader in the Embedded Software Development Tools market. They have development centres in Limerick, Ireland and Trivandrum, India and sales and support representatives worldwide.

New open platform HMI

New open-platform HMIs Offer SCADA versatility, web-based features, and UL certification

Maple Systems has released two new UL-listed Touchscreen Open HMIs — 7 and 10 inch high-resolution widescreens that run a pre-installed version of Windows CE. These units fit the bill when you need more capability and versatility than a standard HMI, but don't need or have the budget for a full-scale industrial panel PC.

The 16:9 widescreen high-resolution displays of these new additions offer 30 percent more viewing area than the 4:3 standard screens of similar size. That means 30 percent more room for applications, graphics, text, and buttons etc. And the clarity of those graphics is augmented by the 800 x 400 pixel screen resolution, the 65 thousand colors of the LED display, and the RISC processor that handles graphic rich applications — like Maple's powerful SCADA software — Web Studio.

Windows CE is more affordable and requires less ram than XP, and so with 128 MB of Flash Memory and 64MB of DRAM, the 400 MHz 32 Bit RISC Processor hums right along and ensures quick application response times.

With enhanced connectivity, these innovative Open HMIs come with an Ethernet Port, USB Ports, three Serial COM Ports, an SD Card Slot, and an Audio Jack. With this enhanced connectivity and the resident web browser of Windows CE, these new arrivals grant you the versatility and capability that you would normally find in units costing thousands more. And the hardware can be enhanced by connecting an external keyboard, mouse, printer, printer, and external speakers etc.

With their preloaded web browser, Ethernet connectivity and optional Web Studio Software, these Open HMIs are fully capable of remote data entry, remote monitoring, and scenarios that require support for multiple devices. And of course the operating system means you have software options far beyond the proprietary configuration software of a standard HMI.

Sleekly designed but durable these units are CE certified, RoHS Compliant , and UL listed for both Canada and the US. Because of that durability and reliability, these units can withstand operation in temperatures ranging from 32 degrees to 113 degrees Fahrenheit (0 to 45 degrees Celsius), and they operate in a non-condensing relative humidity range of 10 to 90 percent. In fact, they can even withstand the rigors of water jet spraying when properly installed into a NEMA4 rated panel

In addition, these quiet fanless models draw only 12 watts of electricity, so they produce less heat than a full-scale industrial panel PC. As a result they do well in tight spaces or sealed environments where the airflow needed for a panel PC's cooling fan would be more restrictive. As an additional bonus, the lack of a cooling fan eliminates the damaging dust and particulates that would otherwise be drawn into the circuitry.

Ultra low-noise remote charge converter

Meggitt Sensing Systems has announced the re-launch of Endevco® model 2771C-XX, an ultra-low noise remote charge converter (RCC), designed to facilitate even more precise measurements from piezoelectric transducers within mechanical system health monitoring, nuclear power plant/regenerative energy and environmental testing applications. This highly popular model is now being offered at a lower price and as a lower noise drop-in replacement for legacy Endevco® 2771B models or other industry equivalents.

Offered with three individually fixed gains of 0.1 mV/pC; 1.0 mV/pC; and 10 mV/pC, the model 2771C-XX offers a rugged two-wire (IEPE), single ended design operating from constant current power (4-20 mA), with a broadband noise range down to 5µ Vrms and frequency response of 0.4 to 50 kHz. Both RCC signal output and input current are carried along the same wire. Housed in a rugged, small package, units are designed to withstand shock loads of up to 100 g peak and are radiation tested to 1.0 MRads.

Because of its low impedance voltage, signal output from this unit is less susceptible to noise pick-up. Also, shunt capacitance of the cable connecting model 2771C-XX to the main signal conditioner does not significantly affect system noise or sensitivity. It can also support TEDS (per IEEE P1451.4) for smart sensor and larger channel count applications, and includes an available M1 Version with male BNC to facilitate easy panel mounting. The RCC is designed for direct compatibility with both Endevco® and other industry piezoelectric charge output accelerometers.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Investment in renewable energy

There have been two releases from ABB on investments in various countries on wind and wave energy resources.

ABB invests in wind technology company
ABB has made a strategic investment in Pentalum Technologies, an Israel-based company developing advanced wind sensing technology for control and optimisation of wind turbines and wind farms.

Pentalum is developing an innovative LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology that remotely senses the wind vector in front of wind turbines in order to optimally align them to incoming wind flow. Pentalum’s system is also applicable to wind forecasting and site assessment, and is designed to significantly increase wind farm efficiency at a lower cost per site than existing measurement technologies.

The investment was made through ABB Technology Ventures, ABB’s venture capital arm, which invests in early and growth stage companies with technologies of strategic importance to the industry segments the company serves. Other participants in funding for Pentalum included Cedar Fund, which led the round; and Evergreen Venture Partners, both from Israel; and Draper Fischer Jurvetson from the US.

"Cost and complexity issues are hampering the widespread adoption of optimization systems for wind power,” said Girish Nadkarni, head of ABB Technology Ventures. "We have invested in Pentalum because we believe their technical approach will significantly improve profitability for developers and operators of this important renewable energy source.”

“Given ABB’s broad expertise and strong position with wind turbine manufacturers and wind farm developers and operators, they are a very strong partner for Pentalum,” said Sagie Tsadka, President and CEO of Pentalum. “Our wind sensing technology can significantly improve the performance of wind turbines and wind farms, and ABB can be instrumental in helping us deliver this benefit to the marketplace through their extensive customer base.”

ABB provides a wide range of products, integrated solutions and expertise that enable the efficient generation of wind power and its smooth integration into the grid. Customers include turbine manufacturers, engineering contractors, independent power producers and utilities.

ABB invests in renewable energy company
Technology generates clean electricity from nearshore wave energy

ABB has invested about $13 million in Aquamarine Power, a Scottish company that has developed technology to convert energy captured from waves near shore into clean, usable electricity.

ABB Technology Ventures, the company's venture capital arm, made the investment in a funding round that also included a $4.8 million investment from SSE Venture Capital, the venture capital unit of Scottish and Southern Energy and other investors.

The investment gives ABB access to another renewable energy technology, and provides an entry into the emerging marine energy market, where ABB has considerable pull-through sales potential for its power systems, power electronics and medium-voltage drives.

"Wave energy is primed to become an important part of the world's renewable energy portfolio,”
said Brice Koch, head of ABB Marketing and Customer Solutions, which oversees the company’s renewable energy initiatives among other activities. "This investment reflects our belief in its technical viability, and our confidence in Aquamarine’s technology and its management team.”

Aquamarine’s Oyster wave power device consists of a hinged mechanical flap connected to the nearshore seabed that pipes high-pressure water to an onshore turbine for power generation. The system is easier to install and maintain than other wave power generation systems, and has won a number of renewable energy innovation awards.

In November 2009, the first full-scale demonstrator Oyster began producing power at the European Marine Energy Center based in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. Once commercialized, Oyster wave power devices could be deployed in farms rated at 100 megawatts or more.

“This strategic investment gives ABB an early-mover advantage in our wave energy technology, while we gain access to ABB’s technical, research and engineering expertise and global supply chain network,” said Aquamarine Power CEO, Martin McAdam.

ABB Technology Ventures invests in strategically interesting early and growth stage companies. To date, investment areas include smart grid communications, cyber security for utilities, data center power optimization and wind farm efficiency.


New HMI-concept provides realistic user interfaces

iX - "The world's most graphic HMI solution!"

Industrial visualization is in a state of change. Now, industrial user interfaces take on inspiration from consumer-oriented products like personal computers, mobile phones, MP3 players, etc. with advanced 3D-style graphics, icon based navigation and controls. However, impressive user interfaces have a wider perspective reaching beyond the good looks. They motivate users and operators to interact with the working environment in a positive way. The traceable consequence is a more efficient work flow and reduced downtime - both factors which lead to increased profit.

A common look and feel among the products, graphics and environments that represent a corporation's ideas and vision, contribute to brand distinction and consistent customer experiences. iX, from Beijer Electronics Products AB, lifts the concept of a HMI solution from merely being a functional add-on, to becoming an integral part of a user experience by adding the right look and feel with advanced 3D-style graphics, icon based navigation and controls.

The user can take advantage of vector-based graphics, enabling to scale and rotate objects, which stay crystal clear without jagged edges or inconsistent color transitions. The import of WPF objects and .Net controls allows to use the vast resources behind Microsoft´s .Net framework Add drop shadows, bevels and choose opacity for objects in addition with other graphical effects are just a few functions to create a realistic user environment. iX also enables to incorporate Windows media objects like Media Player, Internet Explorer and PDF-viewer for easy understand process explanation.

Design time is reduced drastically with ready-made symbols and objects from the component library, which matches for several industrial applications. By applying dynamics in HMI applications, it´s easy to draw the attention of an operator to interact with an ongoing process or supervisory staff. The project engineer is able to generate individual graphical operator interfaces and offer end customers a recognizable added value in terms of user-friendly operation and improved user satisfaction.

Control excellence for nuclear industry

Invensys Operations Management is extending the availability and support of its long-proven Foxboro® SPEC200N analog control system. To prolong the product’s lifecycle, Invensys has signed a multi-year agreement with Scientech, a business unit of Curtiss-Wright Flow Control Company. Under the agreement, Scientech will manufacture the SPEC200N product line from its Idaho Falls, Idaho (US), facility, as well as provide sustaining engineering services to Invensys. Exclusive customer sales and support for the SPEC200N product will continue to be provided by Invensys Operations Management.

The Foxboro SPEC200N analog electronic control system, initially installed in 1976 and deployed in more than 70 nuclear power plants, continues to be recognised for its outstanding reliability in both safety and non-safety-related applications.

“Even as Invensys provides digital instrumentation and control solutions for new nuclear power plants with our award-winning Triconex® 1E Tricon safety and Foxboro I/A Series® distributed control systems, for many existing plants the most cost-effective approach to re-licensing their operations is to extend the life of the analog control systems already in place until a modernisation strategy can be implemented,”
said Mike Chmilewski, vice president, control technology innovations and nuclear portfolio, Invensys Operations Management. “As part of our long-standing commitment to the nuclear power industry, we have enlisted the expertise of Scientech to support the SPEC200N Life Extension Program. This strategic partnership will extend our ability to supply the SPEC200N product line, helping to sustain control excellence for our clients in the nuclear industry.”

Extending support for the SPEC200N analog control system provides continuity of operations, allowing customers to bridge the lengthy design and re-licensing process that is required for safety-related digital instrumentation and control upgrades. Invensys is uniquely positioned to assist nuclear power plant operators in the upgrade process because the functionality of SPEC200N systems can be programmatically migrated to the company’s Triconex Tricon Class 1E digital safety platform.

“The Foxboro SPEC200N control system has been used for more than 30 years to control and protect more than 70 plants within the nuclear industry,” said David Linton, president, Curtiss-Wright Flow Control Company, and co-chief operating officer, Curtiss-Wright Corporation. “We look forward to being a strategic partner with Invensys in their continued support of the Foxboro SPEC200N product line, not only because of their history of enabling control excellence, but because the manufacture of the SPEC200N analog control system fits seamlessly with our reengineered replacements for other analog equipment lines produced at our Idaho Falls facility.”

New CEO for Indian leading technology design and systems engineering company

Mistral Solutions has announced the appointment of Sanjay Virnave as its Chief Executive Officer.

The 13-year old company has over the years established itself as a respected player in product engineering services, defense electronics and homeland security domain, with operations in India and USA.

Sanjay Virnave
Sanjay is an industry veteran with an illustrious career in Sales and Marketing spanning 25 years. He has worked with several leading organizations like IDM, PCL, NIIT, Acer and Tulip Telecom, during this period, driving revenues with his strategic leadership skills. Sanjay has vast expertise in handling large accounts and Government. His last assignment was as President of Sales at Tulip Telecom Limited.

Apart from a remarkable industry career, Sanjay also serves as a guest lecturer at several premier management institutes.

“Sanjay is a great addition to the Mistral management team. His vast experience and leadership skills will be pivotal in leading Mistral’s team as we step the pedal on our ambitious growth plans in the coming years”, said Anees Ahmed - Chairman, Mistral Solutions.

While Sanjay works with the team in strengthening Mistral’s presence in its existing verticals of Product Engineering Services, Defense Solutions and Homeland Security, the founders, Anees Ahmed and Rajeev Ramachandra will continue in full-time executive management role and focus on company strategy, new business initiatives and growth plans.

“Mistral has made a mark for itself globally in the area of cutting-edge technology since its humble beginnings over a decade ago. Mistral provides me the opportunity to draw on my past experience, and work with some of the best minds in the industry. It will be my endeavor to continue offering our customer’s world class products and services across our focus domains, and being a part of the organization’s journey to the next level of excellence.” said Sanjay.

#SPS - Siemens at the show!

Picture from IEB's collection
During SPS/IPC/Drives in Nuremberg (D) many press releases were issued by many companies. Sometimes there was more than one  and we have listed those issued by Siemens Industry Automation Division here. The complete details of each are include on our Conference & Exhibitions blog site. The Siemens (shown above) this year covered 2500 sq.m. (up from 1400) and was as crowded as eve!

#SPS Cables for automation applications

The development of standards supported by rigorous in-house testing is proving vital to the success of the Nexans Motionline range of cable solutions for demanding, dynamic automation applications

Nexans is showing the latest advances in its MOTIONLINE range of cable solutions developed specifically to deliver high-performance and total reliability in a wide variety of control chain, bus, sensor and robotic automation applications. In particular, visitors to the Nexans stand (Booth 5-130) at SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2010 will be able to find out more about a unique programme of standardization, backed by rigorous in-house testing, that enables Nexans to demonstrate the capabilities of its MOTIONLINE cable solutions in demanding, real-life conditions.

About Nexans
With energy as the basis of its development, Nexans, the worldwide leader in the cable industry, offers an extensive range of cables and cabling systems. The Group is a global player in the infrastructure, industry, building and Local Area Network markets. Nexans addresses a series of market segments: from energy, transport and telecom networks to shipbuilding, oil and gas, nuclear power, automotives, electronics, aeronautics, material handling and automation.
The call for standards
Standards for static cable applications are well established and internationally recognised. However, the historic lack of standards for automation cables has resulted in cable performance criteria being defined according to the needs of specific industrial automation applications.

As a European market leader in automation cables, Nexans has responded by taking the lead in defining standards that provide a scientific means of comparing the relative merits of different cable designs, resulting in a clear and transparent way for customers to guarantee that the cables they specify will deliver the required performance and lifetime.

Trailing chain cables

The initial results of this programme are a series of standards for trailing chain cables that classify them as ‘basic’, ‘advanced’ or ‘premium’ according to a set of four main mechanical criteria: bending radius; acceleration, travel length; minimum number of bending cycles, together with other properties such as chemical and temperature resistance.

It is also important that cable conductor and insulation materials provide the appropriate level of fire, heat and abrasion resistance demanded for safety and performance, as well as offering the resistance to attack by oils and other chemicals essential for a long service life. Important developments in new material technologies are being made in this area such as TPM (Thermoplastic Modified) insulation and flame retardant PUR Medoxprotect-S jacket material. There may also be a requirement for cables to offer resistance to EMI (Electromagnetic Interference).

These standards have now been applied directly to the Motionline range, but the main intention is that they will be adopted as international standards recognised throughout the automation industry.

The standardisation process is ongoing and Nexans is currently working to develop similar standards for robotic applications that will need to consider additional criteria such as torsional strength.

Dedicated Motion Application Centre (MAC)

Playing a key role in the standardization project is Nexans’ own dedicated Motion Application Centre (MAC), which is part of the Nexans Research Centre (NRC) in Nuremberg, Germany. This facility, unique in the industry, enables cables to be exposed to dynamic operating loads that simulate realistic, in-service, conditions, thus ensuring that they offer the ideal combination of bending, tension and torsional strength and vibration resistance required for their intended application. It provides clear proof that an automation cable will perform throughout its expected lifecycle as described in the relevant standard.

Nexans has been testing automation cables for 20 years. The MAC was established around 5 years ago and is the subject of considerable ongoing investment to reflect the changing needs of the automation industry, resulting in a current roster of 12 different machines designed to test cables to their limits. A key advantage of the facility is that it enables the electrical and data performance of the automation cables to be monitored under dynamic loading conditions. In addition to the mechanical tests, environmental chambers also allow the cables to be subjected to varying environmental conditions.

Engineered solutions

The Motionline brand covers a very wide scope of automation cable products. However, the catalogue range is sometimes only a starting point, since there is a frequent need for Nexans to design and engineer a special cable to deliver the vital combination of high-performance, reliability and long life required for a specific application.

The development process starts with an in-depth analysis of the customer requirements for the cable, such as a miniaturized cable tailor made to fit the available space envelope or a hybrid cable combining power and data transmission. The MAC will then test the cables used currently and work with the NRC to surpass the existing performance in terms of durability and environmental resistance. This seamless interface between benchmarking and design theory and then back to practical implementation results in the rapid and effective development of the ideal customized solution.

New thermal imaging cameras

New thermal imaging cameras from Testo, including their first in a camcorder design

Testo  has launched two new models to add to its range of thermal imagers, the Testo 876 and Testo 882. This is the third generation of thermal imaging cameras from the measurement technology specialist Testo, who entered the thermography market in 2007. Daniel Auer, Director of Product Management Infrared Measurement Technology: “Testo combines consistently strong technology with innovation. With the new products, we are establishing technical standards to be able to offer our customers even more added value.”

Testo 876 - Strong Technology in Camcorder Design
The Testo 876 is the first Testo thermal imaging camera in a classical camcorder design. The light, 900g imager is equipped with a rotatable display. This makes thermography possible even in difficult-to-access places. This new design opens up new possibilities, especially for professional industrial thermography because the display can be rotated by up to 180 degrees, making it possible to work above your head. Benefits extend to both building and industrial maintenance and servicing, enabling difficult to access areas to be thermographed from a different angle. Furthermore the exchangeable lens ensures optimum attention to detail. Thanks to its low weight and easy operation, the Testo 876 adapts optimally to the requirements of the thermographer – for fast and versatile work.

Testo 882 - Best Image Quality

As the first Testo thermal imager with a 320 x 240 pixel detector, the Testo 882 promises high accuracy without the necessity of an exchangeable lens. Equipped with a 32° lens, the new model offers the user all image details at a glance, ensuring fast, uncomplicated and precise work. The precise infrared images allow even the smallest faults in difficult-to-access places or dangerous zones in industrial systems to be identified precisely, reliably and from a safe distance.

Show for Cairo

Automation Technology Egypt 2011, the 5th International Industrial Control and Automation Technology Exhibition and Conference is scheduled from 7-9 May 2011.

Automation professionels and vendors are invited to participate in the event that is scheduled to be held at the Cairo Int'l Conferences Center, Nasr City – Cairo - Egypt. It is the only Automation, control and Instrumentation show being held in Egypt during the year.

Profile for exhibits including Factory Automation, home automation, power management, building management systems (BMS) and SCADA Applications in Power / Water / Building Automation.
Exhibits including also Information Technology & Automation Software Solutions, Security Electronics, Telecommunications, robotics and automation, electrical and electronics, hydraulics and pneumatics, industrial control, test and measurement instruments, process control, level control system and automation in construction technology.

The Conference is mainly aimed at demonstration of advanced developments in the domain of automation and information technologies in industry and new opportunities for business development.

Automation Technology 2011 will provide a platform to make valuable contacts in the growing Egyptian market.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Merger approved

Shareholders approve merger agreement

JP Keithley  President & CEO
Keithley Instruments has announced that, at its special meeting of shareholders held 23rd November 2010, the Company's shareholders approved and adopted the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of September 29, 2010, among Danaher Corporation, Aegean Acquisition Corporation and Keithley Instruments and the transactions contemplated thereby.  Approximately 90 percent of the total number of votes represented by the common shares and Class B common shares outstanding and entitled to vote at the special meeting voted in favor of approval and adoption of the merger agreement.  Under the terms of the merger agreement, upon completion of the merger, each outstanding common share and Class B common share of  Keithley will be converted into the right to receive $21.60 in cash, without interest.

The completion of the merger remains subject to the termination or expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (the "HSR Act") and the satisfaction or waiver of other conditions. Keithley Instruments also announced that Danaher refiled its HSR Act Premerger Notification and Report form related to the merger on November 15, 2010 to provide the US Federal Trade Commission with additional time to review the transaction.  Keithley Instruments and Danaher believe that the status of the FTC review should not affect the anticipated timing of the completion of the transaction during the fourth quarter of 2010.

Linear units

According to Rose+Krieger this new generation of RK DuoLine linear units, which are supplied with a spindle or timing belt will bring greater flexibility to automation. Thinking about on which side the motor drive should be positioned is no longer necessary. Optional coupling and motor adapters can be attached to all four hollow shaft outputs on the idler unit. Not only does this simplify positioning, customers can also configure and adjust the axial motor themselves.

The DuoLine with spindle drive is fitted with a newly developed spindle support for increased rotational speeds. A vmax of 2 m/s with stroke lengths of around 5 meter is possible. All DuoLine variants are magnetically sealed with a steel band increasing the protection rating to IP40. The enclosed ball rail system also provides an efficiency rating above 85% on the spindle variant and brings the no-load torque for the timing belt variant down to 2.5 Nm.

The variants also share common features in terms of the table installation options. The BLOCAN® profile slots have T-rails with tapped holes to simplify the attachment of loads and provide the greatest possible flexibility. The central lubricator on the table, which supplies grease to the guide system and spindles depending on the type, reduces l maintenance to a minimum. The DuoLine generation begins with the 160x100 size corresponding to the length of the edge on the guide profile in mm. The manufacturer offers a specific service for selecting the right motor specification.

NDT resources

Keighley Laboratories adds to non-destructive testing resources

Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a highly valued quality assurance and analytical technique that helps safeguard against the potential failure of engineering material, components, fastenings and structures. Since it enables in-depth evaluation of a material without causing damage, NDT often provides the final QA stage before a new product enters service, while in-service NDT can be the last line of defence against component failure in the field.

As part of its broad range of advanced metallurgical solutions, Keighley Laboratories offers a specialised NDT service for clients in the aerospace, automotive, petrochemical, nuclear, defence, mechanical engineering, construction, civil engineering and allied industries, covering both laboratory and site inspection. The company continually invests in staff training and new technology to expand its capabilities, recently adding to its NDT resources with a new digital flaw detector for more demanding ultrasonic testing, a magnetic permeability meter for critical aerospace and nuclear energy applications, and a hand-held ferrite content meter for testing weld seams and piping materials in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries.

Their NDT facility covers the two most common methods of surface crack and flaw detection, Liquid Penetrant Testing and Magnetic Particle Testing, and the volumetric inspection technique, Ultrasonic Flaw Detection, as well as providing Radiographic Testing services on a sub-contracted basis. Non-destructive testing and inspection procedures are highly operator-dependent, relying upon the skills and experience of NDT technicians to obtain and evaluate results, and all members of the Keighley Labs team are certificated to a minimum of PCN Level 2, an internationally recognised symbol of competence. Indeed, Senior NDT Engineer, Roger Wheatley, is qualified to PCN Level 3 and able to develop NDT procedures, write instructions, audit techniques and both train and examine Level 1 and 2 candidates, making him a valued asset for both the company and its customers.
Roger Wheatley

“We like to think of ourselves as the best, with a high degree of technical skill and experience, able to handle the most critical components,” says Roger. “Although most of our work is carried out in the lab, around 20 per cent of projects are on site, checking fixtures that cannot be moved like motorway bridges, presses, silos, boilers, offshore rigs or miles of installed pipelines in paper mills and petrochemical plants. At the other end of the scale we also handle private work for owners of vintage vehicles, checking the integrity of steering racks and drive trains in readiness for classic car shows.”

For the detection of surface breaking flaws on ferrous and non-ferrous materials, such as casting and forging defects, weld cracks, leaks in new components and fatigue cracking on in-service components, Keighley Labs provides Liquid Penetrant Testing with either colour contrast or fluorescent techniques, working to national and international standards including BS EN 571:1997. LP testing can be undertaken either in the firm’s laboratory or at the customer site.

Magnetic Particle Inspection is conducted on ferro-magnetic materials, by inducing a magnetic field into the test piece, and is ideal for detecting cracks, porosity, seams and other surface breaking, as well as sub-surface discontinuities down to 2mm. Imperfections are revealed using fluorescent or non-fluorescent media; on-site testing is carried out using permanent magnets or portable electro-magnetic yokes where a suitable power source is available. Suitable for welds, castings, forgings and machined parts, including engine, suspension and braking components, testing is carried out by Keighley Labs to BS EN ISO 9934-1 and BAE RO5-6103 standards.

For identifying imperfections within a test piece or any changes in material properties, Ultrasonic Flaw Detection reveals volumetric discontinuation, utilising sound waves introduced into the component from an ultrasonic source. Undertaken by digital and analogue machines, ultrasonic detection is able to penetrate up to 10m in steel and can detect laminations, lack of fusion and any corrosion, as well as carrying out thickness and depth checks. This technique is suitable for welds, wrought iron products and castings in magnetic and non-magnetic materials, including glass, ceramics and plastics, again with tests carried out either in-house or on-site.

To upgrade its ultrasonic testing facilities still further, Keighley Laboratories has invested around £8k in a new Sonatest Masterscan digital flow detector, which incorporates the latest developments in amplifier and pulsar technology to deliver higher levels of near-surface resolution and penetrating power. The NDT department has also added a digital magnetic permeability meter, for measurement of ferro-magnetic inclusions in feebly magnetic materials against relevant specifications, and a hand-held ferrite content meter, for analysing the ferrite content in austenitic and duplex steel; both are suitable for off-site or in-house applications and give Keighley Labs further distinctive methods of material inspection, in line with the latest customer requirements.

Keighley Labs technical services laboratory is accredited by UKAS, NADCAP, the UK Civil Aviation Authority, Rolls Royce, Bombardier Aerospace and British Aerospace, enabling it to carry out sub-contract testing of aircraft and associated companies, and it meets the accreditation standards of many other customer industries.

New software engineering framework

The Siemens Industry Automation Division has introduced the industry’s first automation software with One Engineering Environment and One Software Project for all automation tasks called the Totally Integrated Automation Portal (TIA Portal). The new software engineering framework enables users to develop and commission automation systems quickly and intuitively, which eliminates the traditional time consuming and costly integration of separate software packages. Designed for high efficiency and user-friendliness, the TIA Portal is suitable for both first-time users and experienced users. Furthermore, the TIA Portal will be the basis of all future software engineering packages for configuring, programming and commissioning automation and drives products in the Totally Integrated Automation portfolio from Siemens. Examples of this include the new Simatic Step 7 V11 automation software for Simatic controllers, and Simatic WinCC V11 for Simatic HMI (human machine interface) and process visualization applications.

For the design of the TIA Portal framework, Siemens studied many typical software engineering applications over several years and analyzed and evaluated its customer requirements worldwide. As an integral component of all software engineering packages from Siemens, the TIA Portal framework provides advanced shared services across all the configuration interfaces ensuring uniform navigation for the user and consistent system behavior. For example, all devices and networks in any automation system can now be configured within one shared device and network editor. Project navigation, library concepts, data management, project storage, diagnostics and online functions are standard features and made available to the user in the shared TIA Portal framework. This unified software development environment offers a high level of efficiency across the overall automation project and is comprised of programmable controllers, HMI devices and drives. Additionally, all data management for controller parameters, blocks, tags or messages now only need to be entered once, saving significant time and cost for software engineering of an automation project. The design of TIA Portal is based on advanced object-oriented software architecture and centralized data management, providing seamless data consistency by automatically avoiding data entry errors. Users can easily find data and program blocks across the entire automation project using a project-wide cross-reference system, which greatly reduces the time to troubleshoot and debug a typical software project.

This new single software framework will enable all Siemens Programmable Controllers, HMI operator panels and drives to be configured in the same development environment. This greatly reduces interfacing and configuration costs, for the common tasks of communications setup between controllers, drives and HMI devices. For example, the user simply drags and drops a tag from the programmable controller, such as the signal of an I/O (input/output) module, to the screen of an HMI device. The tag is instantly assigned within the HMI, and a controller-HMI connection is created automatically in the background with no manual configuration required.

The new Simatic Step 7 V11 engineering software, based on the TIA Portal framework, supports Simatic S7-1200 controllers, all the Simatic S7-300 and S7-400 controllers, and the PC-based automation system Simatic WinAC. Supporting this wide range of programmable controllers enables Simatic Step 7 V11 to provide the most scalable software engineering capabilities and performance requirements for an automation system. Benefits of this scalability includes transferring existing configurations of Simatic controllers and HMI devices to new software projects and greatly reducing the time and cost of typical software migration tasks.

The new Simatic WinCC V11 engineering software is also based on the new TIA Portal framework. This includes configuration of machine-level applications using HMI operator panels with support for current Simatic TP and MP model panels, support for the new Simatic HMI Comfort Panels, and for larger PC-based SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) process visualization systems. Configuration and commissioning of the Sinamics inverter drive family is planned in future TIA Portal enhancements.

A photo accompanies this press release. You can find this photo on the Internet at

Fieldbus protocols expanded

The VPG Process Weighing division of the Vishay Precision Group has expanded the fieldbus protocols of its BLH-Nobel Weighing Systems G4 family of multichannel weight/force indicators to include the EtherNet/IP open communications protocol. This new capability allows the instruments to communicate with other industrial control systems and their components, such as a programmable automation and logic controllers or I/O systems.

VPG's G4 instruments offer high speed and performance for industrial applications, such as process weighing and control, force measurement, Web tension measurement and control, automation, force vector calculations, high dynamic force measurement, and high-speed batching/blending systems. The units are certified to link to a wide variety of communication interfaces, including Profibus, DeviceNet, Modbus/RTU, USB, RS485, RS232, Modbus/TCP, and now EtherNet/IP.

This family is offered with four base mounting options: DIN rail (RM), panel (PM), desktop (DT), and harsh environment (HE). The IP65-rated G4-PM, DT, and HE are equipped with a 5.7-inch color touch screen and graphic display for quick, easy operation and simple parameter changes. The screen displays up to four weight/force channels simultaneously, allowing the user full control of multiple process vessels. The IP20-rated G4-RM is intended for blind applications and requires a PLC/DCS interface.

The G4-PM, DT, and HE accommodate up to six different, easily installed modules for advanced performance, more functional channels, custom applications, or repair, while the G4-RM can be equipped with up to three modules. The modular nature of the units provides customers with a highly flexible, upgradeable, single instrument system capable of weighing up to eight independent vessels or scales. For Web tension applications, up to six zones can be monitored simultaneously with the G4-RM. By providing the largest scale capability available, the G4 units offer very economical solutions, as each can replace multiple instruments from other manufacturers.

The G4 units can be configured for either 24VDC or 115/230VAC operation. Software upgrades can be downloaded from VPG's website and transferred to the instruments via a standard USB port connection. Custom software designed to customer requirements for special applications is available upon request, and is easily accommodated by the units' Microsoft® Windows CE® software platform. Remote access via a standard Web browser allows for simple set-up, monitoring, and diagnostic tests.

New business manager

Siemens appoints new business manager for renewable energy

Kevin Moloney
Siemens Limited has appointed Mr. Kevin Moloney as business manager for renewable energy for Siemens’ Energy Sector. Kevin’s appointment reflects the growing market for renewable energy products and solutions in Ireland. Kevin holds an MBA in International Business from the Centre des Etudes et Recherche et Applications Management (CERAM Sophia Antipolis {F}) and is a graduate of the Waterford Institute of Technology. He holds numerous industry qualifications across engineering and projects.

Kevin has spent over 15 years working in utilities industries, leading the development of new services, products and markets in energy and telecoms. Prior to joining Siemens, Kevin worked with PA Consulting Group as principal consultant with responsibility for developing their Irish energy and utilities portfolio for four years.

Siemens is a global electronics and engineering company providing products, systems, services and solutions for the industry, energy and healthcare sectors. Siemens Energy Sector is the world’s leading supplier of solutions for the generation, transmission and distribution of power. The company employs around 1,000 highly skilled people in Ireland and has offices in Dublin and Cork.

Distance and angle measurement in mobile machinery applications

A new resource brochure that provides a  summary of linear and angular feedback measurement for mobile construction machinery, agricultural equipment, and other harsh environment applications is available from Variohm EuroSensor. The four page brochure from their distribution partner Novotechnik highlights application specific requirements for  environmental protection, safety considerations and specification requirements, and includes an overview of standard products as well as customer-specific options available from the German sensor technology specialists.

As the trend for increased control and automation for mobile machinery continues unabated, and as the selection of a suitable sensor is always determined by the measurement task, Novatechnik produced the resource to demonstrate to OEMs and equipment designers just what is possible in terms of high reliability position feedback across its range durable and compact sensors.

Novotechnik's position and angle sensors cover temperature ranges from -55 ° C to 140 ° C with protection to IP69 to and many models are available with redundancy up to SIL 3.

Sustainable electronics

On the occasion of the first “Electronics Day” held during the Sustainability Summit Sessions, 2010, On Publishing S.A. announced the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Electronics Manufacturing (SEM) Working Group, a global think-tank involving all segments of the electronics industry, to promote a paradigm shift in supporting a legacy of environmental stewardship.
An advisory board of key players in the industry has been created and these
luminaries will contribute to steering the focus of the SEM Working Group’s
initiatives throughout the coming year.

Advisory Board
* Andre Papoular, CEO, Assembléon
* Dongkai Shangguan, VP Technology & Engineering, Flextronics International
* Fern Abrams, Director of Government Relations and Environmental Policy,
IPC Association
* Jean-Yves Gomez, CEO, Isorg
* André Myny, Managing Director, Koh Young Europe
* Renato Di Stefano, Energy Manager, ST Microelectronics
* Joseph Fjelstad, President, Verdant Electronics

“We met today to pose a fundamental question to all players involved in electronics manufacturing: Can a cost-driven industry go green?” said Sophie B. de la Giroday, organizer of the Electronics Day. “The SEM Working Group will advocate for a new philosophy where environmental policies are not only adopted passively by the manufacturers to comply with regulations, but embraced actively as a smart instrument for competitiveness.”

The SEM Working Group is an industry-wide initiative, involving key international publications, events and associations to collaborate on and support a radical change in the paradigms of electronics manufacturing. It invites the players of the electronics industry to voluntarily embrace environment-friendly measures for the sake of driving the market while preserving the planet through sustainability.

Among the media partners, events and supporting organizations registered to date: Sustainability Magazine, OnBoard Technology, EMSnow!, PLUS, PCB Magazine, Global Identification, ID WORLD, Sustainability Summit, SMT/Hybrid/Packaging, IMAPS (International Microelectronics & Packaging Society).

Calendar of Events
In 2010 and 2011, the SEM Working Group goes live with a number of initiatives in Europe and the US. The provisional calendar of events is as follows:
  • SEM Working Group Appointment in Las Vegas, on the occasion of Apex-IPC, April 12 - 14.
  • May 4, 2011: "Electronics Day" - Second Event of the SEM Working Group, on the occasion of SMT, Nuremberg
  • November 2011: SEM Working Group Appointment in Munich on the occasion of Productronica 2011.
The aim of this series of appointments is to provide an opportunity for high-caliber networking and sharing of top-level know-how between the movers and shakers of a new environment-friendly initiative, created to offer vision and leadership so that one of the most important industries world-wide can reduce its carbon footprint and environmental impact by deciding to embrace eco-friendly measures voluntarily, as useful instruments for its own competitiveness.

#SPS Connecting networks

The new Anybus X-gateway series connects CANopen networks with 10 other fieldbus and industrial Ethernet networks

At the SPS/IPC/Drives fair in Nuremberg (D), HMS Industrial Networks has released a major enhancement to the X-gateway family, releasing 10 completely new designed CANopen master (manager) gateways in small slim-line housing. The new powerful CANopen X-gateways allow any CANopen enabled device with slave functionality to communicate with almost any other fieldbus or industrial Ethernet network. The CANopen gateway series includes versions for all popular fieldbusses such as Profibus, DeviceNet, Modbus, ControlNet and for industrial Ethernet with Profinet, EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT and Modbus-TCP protocol. Typical applications are CANopen based networks which need to be integrated into higher functional fieldbus or industrial Ethernet networks. Target markets include machine building, transportation, infrastructure, medical and all types of energy distribution and control applications including renewable energies.

Embedded into a small plastic housing, the CANopen X-gateways are slim-lined devices for standard DIN rail mounting and 24 Volt power supply. Based on the proven Anybus communication modules, the CANopen X-gateways act as intelligent links between two industrial networks. On the CANopen side, they always function as a master (manager), while they work as slaves (servers) on the uplink network side. The implementation is based on HMS NP30 microprocessor and is certified by CAN in Automation (CIA) for full conformance to the CANopen DS 301 v4.0.2 standard.

For the configuration of the CANopen master interface, any standard CANopen configuration tool can be used. The uplink fieldbus or Ethernet slave interface is configured with a standard device description file (GSD / EDS) and the standard engineering tool of the PLC. No programming is required. The gateways transmit I/O data completely transparent between the two networks - I/O data from the uplink fieldbus / Ethernet network is mapped into CANopen PDOs and vice versa.

The gateways are easily integrated into any kind of industrial automation system, ensuring a seamless information flow between CANopen and 10 other fieldbus / Ethernet networks. The fact that Anybus X-gateways combine high reliability and flexibility make them indispensible connectivity tools for system integrators and plant operators within all industries.

With the addition of the new CANopen series, the Anybus X-gateway family consists of more than 200 individual gateways providing communications between almost any fieldbus or industrial Ethernet network. All versions work in a similar way, providing a flexible standard solution to connect two industrial networks.

Low-voltage switchgear!

Rittal has significantly expanded the flexibility and modularity of Ri4Power. Combining Ri4Power low-voltage switchgear with designs 1 and 2-4 to form a single system technology, Ri4Power Form 1-4, allows switchgear manufacturers to fabricate every known form of internal subdivision from one single set of modules. Units for very different needs and applications can be made with one and the same component.

Switchgear manufacturers now have access to three busbar systems for the different performance categories of one single low-voltage switchgear system. RiLine60, as a compact busbar system with component and connection adaptors, offers a solution for up to 1600 A for power distribution at the lower distribution level. Maxi-PLS provides a compact busbar system of 1000-4000 A that cuts installation time and Flat-PLS is a rugged busbar system for currents up to 5500 A, based on flat copper bars, meeting maximum requirements with its high short-circuit resistance.

Benefits for the plant manufacturer is that article selection is made much simpler by the combinations of versions 1 and 2-4 and because of the unified busbar position, the same system structures can always be used for the various configurations.

It is also possible to plan and configure the various combinations quickly and easily, with the aid of Rittal's Power Engineering software Version 5.0. With the assistance of the integrated assembly planning tool, individual assembly plans can be drawn up for each enclosure field. From these, the switchgear manufacturer can assign the different components quickly and perform assembly smoothly.

Rittal Ri4Power represents a uniform system solution for low-voltage switchgear of up to 5500 A in versions 1-4, based on the Rittal TS 8 "Top Enclosure" system.

Submersible displacement transducers ideal for many monitoring tasks

Monitoring of many large structures may often call for displacement transducers to operate submersed, a need met by RDP Electronics  ACW and DCW ranges.

The DCW series is particularly suited to monitoring large structures such as bridges, underwater structural monitoring and frequently inside pressure vessels such as triasxial testers. The DCW embodies fully sealed amplification electronics within its stainless steel body delivering a 4~20mA analogue output which has the advantage of permitting long cable runs from the structure to a more convenient monitoring location.

Non-magnetic fluids can be allowed to flood the armature tube without affecting the operation of the transducer which is available in unguided, captive or spring return versions. Both the DCW and ACW series use the LVDT principle of no electrical contact across the transducer position sensing element which ensures clean data, infinite resolution and a very long life. The ACW is designed to be used with external signal conditioning.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Single- and 3-Phase Non-invasive AC Current Probes

GMC-I PROSyS enables a new level of accuracy and ease-of-use with the introduction of its PRO-flex ACP 3000 series of flexible AC current probes.  The probes measure AC current from 100 mA to 3 kA, or to 6 kA, depending on the model. Each features three ranges (30/300/3000A or 60/600/6000A) covering almost every light-industrial or industrial measurement application, including power quality and transient currents,  machine monitoring and commissioning, and welding.

The PRO-flex ACP 3000 probe head offers a combination of attributes not previously available in a single unit. Measurements are totally non-invasive, requiring no disconnection of primary conductors, or electrical connections to the primary circuit.  Rogowski-coil technology is employed, ensuring accuracy, linearity and wide dynamic range measurements.  The sensing coil or coils (one per phase in the case of the three-phase model) are flexible, air-cored and lightweight, permitting the user to place them around primary conductors even in the most confined or hard-to-reach locations.  Each individual detecting coil features an advanced coupling design (allowing the user to open the loop to pass it around the conductor) that ensures accurate, consistent closure of the loop, provides sealing to IP65 for use in harsh environments, and virtually eliminates the influence of external magnetic fields and off-centre conductor position on measured results.

GMC-I PROSyS’ use of Rogowski coil technology guarantees absence of any magnetic saturation or hysteresis effects, and enables a frequency response that extends from 10 Hz to 10 kHz (flat within 1 dB) for harmonic measurements in power-quality applications.  At mains frequencies (45 to 65 Hz), phase error is below 1 degree; excellent transient voltage (dV/dt) rejection provides reliable operation in electrically-noisy environments.  The probes feature a 2000-hour battery life on internal power.  There is also an external power option available. The PRO-flex ACP 3000 probe head and integrator design meet the safety requirements for 600V CAT IV, 1000V CAT III rating.  Probes output a calibrated voltage level that is directly related to the target current, enabling direct connection to almost any multimeter, oscilloscope or data logger. An innovative design of integrator filters low frequency noise and resonant peaks without affecting lower-frequency measurements.

The PRO-flex ACP 3000’s integrator unit measures just 110 x 65 x 23 mm, and connects to the probe-head coil assemblies via 2m of cable.

Control Solution for power, water, and oil & gas Customers

Changing the DCS game with flexible architecture featuring user defined control modules

GE Intelligent Platforms announced last week the release of Proficy® Process System 2.0, a highly flexible process control platform ideally suited for Power, Water, and Oil & Gas applications that will help lower customers’ total cost of ownership by reducing the costs associated with designing, commissioning, operating, and maintaining their process operations and providing them with a sustainable competitive advantage for their business. Applications include main steam cycle, municipal water treatment, and well-to-tank control.

This new release simplifies the design and maintenance of a system with features that enable users to capture, standardize, and easily maintain their control strategies. With the introduction of user-defined Control Module capabilities, customers will be able to create reusable process control solutions that will take engineering efficiency to a new level. Integration of Proficy iFIX with the PAC8000 controllers is another major feature of this release. This allows users the complete freedom to choose the HMI and controller technologies they want to use in their systems.

“Proficy Process Systems has been met with great enthusiasm and acceptance by customers around the world who see the true advantages of this breakthrough integrated architecture,” said Steve Ryan, General Manager Process and Safety Solutions. “With organic developments, along with acquisitions we have positioned ourselves to provide contemporary solutions for not only Power & Energy, Oil & Gas, Water, but also Mining & Metals, Food & Beverage, Chemicals, and Cement industries around the world.”

“One of the key differentiators we provide our customers is a system with a flexible architecture, that is easy to use and user expandable,” said Kam Yuen, Proficy Process Product Manager. “In Proficy Process Systems Version 2.0 users have the ability to add their own function blocks and faceplates in addition to the extensive list of ones provided with the system. This allows System Integrators, OEMs, and end users to create re-usable blocks and graphics specific to their own process applications, that will accelerate their engineering process and reduce commissioning and training overhead.”

According to Larry O’Brien of ARC Advisory Group, “Process automation end users are facing a severe loss of experienced personnel. In many cases we are talking about people with 20 or 30 years of experience. Today’s process automation systems need to be able to capture that knowledge in a meaningful way. ARC’s vision for a Collaborative Process Automation System (CPAS) calls for easy and transparent access to the right information from the automation system, at the right time, to the right people. The Proficy Process Systems user defined function blocks provide a way for users and OEMs to capture and reuse their intellectual property quickly and easily and maintain a competitive advantage. There is also the potential to reduce training costs, which have risen considerably in the process industries given the increasingly inexperienced pool of workers.”