Saturday, December 11, 2010

Machinery vibration and temperature monitoring

The CSI 6500 accepts direct temperature sensor inputs, reducing the installation cost and complexity of temperature monitoring

Temperature module
complements the vibration
monitoring capabilities
Emerson Process Management has added a unique temperature module for the CSI 6500 Machinery Health Monitor. The new A6630 temperature module complements the vibration monitoring capabilities already available in the CSI 6500 and delivers critical bearing temperature measurements. The A6630 module accepts RTD and thermocouple signals directly, reducing the installation cost and complexity of temperature monitoring.

Whether striving for uptime, machinery protection, or safety, temperature is an important parameter when monitoring critical turbomachinery, compressors and steam turbine generators. For instance, after overspeed, thrust is the most important protection measurement. When only two thrust position sensors are implemented, monitoring thrust bearing temperature provides an additional level of confidence for identifying early thrust bearing wear and machine malfunctions, and results in fewer missed trips.

In journal bearings, temperature measurements complement the radial vibration monitoring to help confirm bearing rubs and lubricating oil issues, allowing for scheduling of repairs during normally planned outages.

“By simplifying hardware for monitoring bearing temperature, more users are able to take advantage of these critical measurements,”
said Brian Humes, general manager for Emerson’s Machinery Health Management business. “The combination of vibration and temperature monitoring enables plant personnel to make informed decisions that can increase the safety and profitability of their facility.”

In keeping with the API 670 specification, the A6630 has six or fewer channels per module, 4-20mA outputs, and includes relay logic for voting and automatic machine trips.  Additionally, the CSI 6630 is hot swappable and supports the Easy Integration feature for fast connection to the DeltaV™ and Ovation™ process automation systems.

Power, drive systems for Korea

Electrical power, drive systems to provide top operating reliability and efficiency for new deep sea drill ships, to be built by Samsung Heavy Industries South Korea

ABB has recently won orders collectively worth €26 million to provide complete power systems, drilling drive and propulsion systems for two new deep water drill ships to be built by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) at its shipyard in South Korea. The end customers are Queiroz Galvão Óleo and Delba Drilling BV, who will operate the drilling rigs for Petrobras. The orders were booked in the third quarter.

The rigs are scheduled to be commissioned by mid-2012.

ABB's scope of supply includes complete electrical systems for the drill ships, used for oil and gas exploration drilling. The delivery for each rig includes power generation and the high and low voltage distribution systems, the drilling drive systems, the propulsion drive systems, as well as related engineering services.

This comprehensive solution will help the rigs operate more safely as well as maximize onboard equipment reliability, efficiency and availability, while securing a stable supply of power throughout all rig systems.  ABB has delivered similar systems to 28 other drilling vessels built by SHI.
"Abb's resident marine, oil and gas industry expertise, global and local resources, and proven track record of delivering advanced, reliable solutions for our marine customers were important factors in winning these orders," said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB's Process Automation division. "Our continued collaboration with Samsung Heavy Industries underscores the effectiveness of ABB's core concept of simplicity as a driver in the design, commissioning and operation phases for our marine customers.
The solution for this project uses proven ABB components that make it simple to build up redundant parallel electrical systems, including generators, electric distribution systems, thruster drives, auxiliary systems and drilling systems. This allows for safe operation of the vessel with a system designed for maximum tolerance to single failures. Connections between each sub-system are kept to a minimum, and as simple as possible, to ease fault analysis, monitoring and repair.

ABB's Process Automation division delivers integrated automation solutions for control, plant optimization, and industry-specific application knowledge and services to help process industry customers worldwide improve their energy efficiency and meet their critical business needs in the areas of operational profitability, capital productivity, risk management and global responsibility. These industries include oil and gas, power, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, metals, minerals, cement, marine and turbocharging.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Intelligent building automation platform for data centres

Facility-wide view of energy use to provide true energy management and optimisation of usage

GE Intelligent Platforms and Ingersoll-Rand Plc have signed a cooperative agreement to develop an automation platform to meet the energy and operational efficiency needs of data centres. The two companies will work together to develop intelligent offerings that include the world-class industrial solutions of GE and the industry-leading HVAC expertise of Trane, a business of Ingersoll Rand, a world leader in creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments.

“With data centers currently consuming 1.5 percent of the United States’ total electrical output, and expected to grow by 12% per year, productivity and efficiency in data centers is taking a front and center role,” said Maryrose Sylvester, President and CEO of GE Intelligent Platforms. “The goal of this agreement is to help customers around the world reduce operating costs, increase energy efficiency, and extend the life of assets.”

GE and Ingersoll Rand will work together to develop joint solutions for data center customers that tackle asset optimization, platform integration, reporting and analytics across systems, and remote monitoring and services enablers. The agreement between the two companies means that Ingersoll Rand has access to GE Intelligent Platforms’ Proficy Software Platform for visualization, Advanced Analysis & Modeling and Remote Monitoring & Diagnostics, Proficy Process Systems for integrated software and high availability hardware applications for industrial and redundant control application requirements.

“A need for interconnecting facilities and accessing real-time data is driving a convergence between building automation and IT systems,” said Joel Lehman, vice president of global controls and smart products for Ingersoll Rand. “The future trend is for data centers to become ‘intelligent’ through the use of integrated building control systems that incorporate an open architecture, integrated software tools allowing for information analysis, and integrated hardware infrastructure allowing for real-time control and management of the building functions including critical systems.”

The companies have worked together on a solution for GE’s Ohio-based data center which features 29,000 square feet of raised floor – equivalent to six professional basketball courts – and includes more than 3,800 IT systems. The data center consumes 24 million kWh of power each year.  To help with the reduction of water and energy, GE is updating the data center with nearly 30 products from nine different GE businesses including power quality, chilled water, electrical, security and IT services equipment, coupled with Trane integrated systems with equipment and controls. This solution resulted in reducing annual energy consumption in the data center by more than 11 percent and water usage by 20 percent.

“Ultimately, this collaboration between GE and Ingersoll Rand improves the overall value of the building through solid operations management, performance and efficiency,” continued Sylvester. “By integrating all of the pieces that both companies bring to the table, we can effectively impact 60 percent of building energy use.”

The first solution the two companies will bring to market is called Tracer XT a unique platform specifically designed to integrate, manage and optimize critical facility systems. The solution has the ability to integrate unlimited real-time applications including security, fire, safety as well as HVAC and power distribution and monitoring using over 150 common communications protocols. It includes a hi-speed time stamp database to allow for high-speed data collection, recording over 50,000 events per second. These combined solutions will also deliver a high level of availability and uptime by combining the strategies of redundancy of equipment, controls and workstations. The combination of Trane control solutions with GE’s industrial platforms provides an unprecedented breadth of capabilities and solutions.

Ingersoll Rand employees will be required to participate in a data center certification program to ensure that data center customers get the best of both Trane and GE in their critical system projects.
This effort is part of the Trane High Performance Building strategy designed to link the physical environment of a building to business outcomes such as uptime performance and energy and operating efficiency. 

This data center effort is part of GE’s ecomagination business strategy, designed to build innovative technologies and solutions that help customers address environmental and financial needs.  GE is pursuing inclusion of the Trane/GE data center solution in the ecomagination portfolio.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Acquisition completed!

Keithley Instruments has announced completion of the merger of Aegean Acquisition Corporation, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Danaher Corporation, into Keithley pursuant to the previously announced Merger Agreement dated September 29, 2010 among Danaher Corporation, Aegean Acquisition Corporation and Keithley.   Under the terms of the merger agreement, each outstanding common share and class B common share of Keithley has been converted into the right to receive $21.60 per share, in cash, without interest. Keithley is now an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Danaher Corporation and, as a result of the completion of the merger, Keithley shares will cease to trade on the New York Stock Exchange at the close of the market today.

Joseph P. Keithley, the Company's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased to have completed this transaction with Danaher, which we believe represents the best possible way to deliver maximum value to our shareholders.  Keithley has a bright future under the ownership of Danaher and, I would like to thank every employee for their hard work and dedication that have brought us to this day."

Automation systems for Indian metal plant

Integrated automation systems to maximise energy efficiency, productivity for Rourkela Steel plant modernisation

ABB has won an order valued at €17million to provide integrated automation systems and related services to modernize the plate mill at the Rourkela Steel plant in India. The plant produces a wide range of steel products including flat, tubular and coated steel.

Owned and operated by the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), the Rourkela plant is located on the north-west tip of Orissa. The plant currently has the capacity to produce two million metric tons of hot metal, with 1.7 million metric tons of saleable steel each year. RSP’s steel is used in the power sector, for producing high quality pipes for the oil & gas industries and tin plates for the packaging industry. ABB’s integrated automation solution will improve the energy efficiency and productivity of the finishing section of the plate mill.

ABB will provide engineering, system design, installation and commissioning, and other related services for the project. The scope of supply also includes an automation system based on ABB’s Extended Automation System 800xA integrated with drives that utilize Direct Torque Control, motors, and other electrical equipment to maximize productivity and equipment reliability in the plate mill, as well as optimize its energy use, to help it to run efficiently and profitably.

SMS Siemag AG will supply the mechanicals for the project, and will work closely with ABB on the project execution.


“ABB’s extensive metals industry experience, strong local presence, and project execution capabilities, combined with our leading-edge technology, helped us to win this important order,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division. “Our reliable and energy-efficient technologies will help this part of the mill continuously maximize its overall efficiency while maintaining high product quality.”

Good connections in space!

Souriau has obtained the qualification of the European Space Agency (ESA) for its rectangular miniature range: microComp®. The microComp® connector is the perfect replacement for ESA/ESCC D-Sub connector, which is widely used today in satellite payloads. The microComp® allows a space saving up to 40% and a weight reduction down to 60%.

Connectors currently used on equipment and harnesses of telecommunication satellites or scientific missions are of the same type as those on laptop and home computers. These connectors, commonly called D-Subminiature, use materials and manufacturing processes which are more than 40 years old and do not take advantage of the miniaturization trend In the electronics industry.

Reliability is the key word in the space industry - for both launchers and satellites. All the mounted components have to be qualified and are subject to an extensive manufacturing follow-up with full traceability. This traceability permits the identification of the batch of raw material in case of failure in order to isolate the potentially defective components.

In this context, Souriau worked in partnership with the European Space Agency to develop a complete range of rectangular connectors in composite material for the space environment.

Composite material is the best solution for coping with miniaturization and mass saving trends in on-board equipment. Souriau is at the forefront of this technology and is already a major supplier of composite connectors for all new generation of airplanes.

Since the end of 1980s, Souriau has worked on the choice of composite materials and their characterization. As a result, Souriau has developed expertise in composites, both in their formulation and in the industrial processes like high pressure moulding, and of the adhesion of metallic coating (nickel, gold) on these composite materials.

For this new rectangular range microComp®, the complete shell is made of composite and metalized in order to ensure an effective electrical continuity between the plug, the receptacle, the backshells and the harness braid. This is essential to provide good protection of the transmitted signals against electromagnetic interference. The electrical crimp contacts are removable and allow the user to wire and unwire their equipment. It gives flexibility and saves cost during the development phase.

Safety and security strengthened by appointment

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Schiller  is to take over the position of Scientific Project Manager in the Safety and Security Division of Beckhoff Automation with effect from 1st March 2011.

Dr Schiller lectures at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, and works in the field of safety and security in automation technology. With his research and developments, Prof. Dr. Schiller has contributed substantially to the modern concepts for safety-related communication and software-based safety logic.

He studied electrical engineering at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany, from 1987 to 1992 and subsequently attained a doctorate in the field of control technology at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, Germany. Following his doctorate, he moved to industry and worked on different topics of diagnostics, safety technology and software development. During this period he was heavily involved in the development and certification of the PROFIsafe safety protocol and of the fail-safe control technology. In November 2004 he accepted a professorship for automation technology at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

Beckhoff Automation and Prof. Dr. Schiller are looking forward to their future cooperation, which is intended to be a synthesis of science and industrial development. “Safety is an integral component of automation technology and we have already set an extremely efficient standard in this field with TwinSAFE,” says managing director Hans Beckhoff. “Together with Prof. Dr. Schiller we will realise further extremely innovative concepts, which in our view can likewise become technological milestones.”

New 4-channel ScopeMeters

Fluke has two new models, the Fluke 190-204 and the Fluke 190-104, to its highly successful range of rugged, handheld portable oscilloscopes. The new Fluke 190 Series II Colour ScopeMeter® offers 4 channels, designed for the industrial plant maintenance professional servicing, installing and maintaining heavy duty electrical equipment, electro-mechanical machinery and plant automation control systems.

The Fluke 190 Series II ScopeMeters are the first IEC 61010, 1000V CAT III / 600V CAT IV rated portable oscilloscopes designed to be safely used on industrial equipment that is permanently installed on an electrical distribution system. The Fluke 190-204 offers a bandwidth up to 200MHz, while the Fluke 190-104 offers up to 100MHz. The four isolated floating channels on either ScopeMeter enable safe differential or floating measurements on multiple signals simultaneously, and viewing and measurement of waveform amplitude, shape and timing differences between signals or 4 test points.

The Connect&View™ triggering feature offers hands-free operation, providing an immediate, stable display for capturing and displaying complex waveforms for rapid fault finding. The TrendPlot™ recording function helps uncover long-term trends and shows changes in any of the measurable parameters, like the rise-time of a signal. Frequency Spectrum Analysis using FFT helps to identify individual frequency components contained in a signal. The ScopeRecord function allows waveform recordings to be made over an extended period of up to 48 hours. A 'Replay' function enables the user to take a closer look at any anomaly seen flashing by on the screen, by re-playing the last sequence of 100 screen images.

The new Fluke ScopeMeters are designed for use in harsh environments. The sealed casing is IP51 rated and the high capacity Li-ion rechargeable battery is designed for operation up to 7 hours with easy access for battery switching to extend operating time

1st Industrial PC with MS Windows XP Pro operating system

Schneider Electric has  announced the Magelis™ Smart+ iPC, the first industrial PC with Microsoft® Windows XP® Pro that does not require maintenance or contain any rotating parts (no hard disk or fan). It also offers all of the openness associated with Windows XP® Pro. The Type 4X (IP65) touch screen shares the same 15" dimensions as the rest of the Magelis range. With its Intel® Celeron® M 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, and two Ethernet ports, Magelis Smart+ iPC offers great performance, and features a solid state drive (SSD) with Windows XP Pro.

The industrially rugged Magelis Smart+ iPC has been certified to the most demanding standards (UL 508 for industrial control equipment, UL and ATEX for hazardous locations, marine). It supports Vijeo Designer™ HMI applications (demonstration version can be expanded to unlimited version), as well as Vijeo™ Citect™ SCADA supervisor applications.

With a sealed touch screen, keyboard and pointer options, compact dimensions, and choice of DC or AC power supply, users are able to easily integrate the product into a wide variety of control systems. To further simplify user experience, Schneider Electric has created the open design that utilizes the Windows operating system for software applications support, and dual Ethernet ports, including high-speed ports for exceptional connectivity. All of this provides worry-free operation, greater longevity, and less risk of capability issues when implementing future systems.

“Schneider Electric is proud to be a complete automation solutions provider that enables seamless integration of its iPCs and HMIs not only into our own control systems but also into other brand systems,” commented Jacob Kimball, HMI product marketing manager. “The Magelis Smart+ iPC, as well as the rest of the Magelis HMI and iPC products, matches up single development software with our panel cut-outs allowing customers to avoid major re-design issues when selecting different HMI or iPC products.”

Direct-drive solution for cooling tower fans

Approach eliminates gearbox and delivers optimised variable fan speed control

Baldor has extended the range of its novel direct drive technology for controlling cooling tower fans to higher power ratings that can handle very large applications in power generating plants and heavy processing industries.

Air cooling towers are commonly
used as part of HVAC systems.
First introduced in 2009, Baldor's direct drive solution for cooling tower fans has delivered a radically more efficient solution to cooling tower fan applications. It eliminates the gearbox and right-angled coupling of conventional drive solutions to save energy, improve reliability, and run much quieter. The elimination of gearbox losses is aided by the use of a novel permanent magnet based motor that increases energy efficiency dramatically. This construction reduces the size of the motor substantially, allowing it to sit underneath the fan in the space currently required for the gearbox element of a conventional power transmission system.

The new technology is already changing the way that cooling tower fans for commercial buildings are constructed. The latest product additions now extend the power rating of the motors to delivers maximum torques of up to 13,500 Nm. In total there are now 26 choices of ratings available, spanning a drive power range from 7.5 kW at 500 RPM base speed to 187 kW at 130 RPM base speed, allowing optimum choices to be made for a very wide range of cooling applications from building HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) systems to the large sizes of cooling tower fans used in many heavy-duty processing plants and power generating stations.

Air cooling towers are commonly used as part of HVAC systems. In these systems, large fans pull air over a water soaked media to cool the water before it is returned to the chiller unit.

The most common technique for driving such fans has been a standard AC induction motor, connected to the fan via a drive shaft and disc coupling arrangement into a right angle gearbox - which reduces the motor's speed to the range required for fan circulation. Such arrangements are prone to a number of drawbacks: the gearbox runs at high speed and requires regular inspection and maintenance of the lubrication and seals; misalignments in the power transmission system can cause vibration, wear and noise; and the complex power transmission system introduces significant energy losses.

Baldor's unique new solution, the VS1 Cooling Tower Drive, provides a direct slow-speed drive for the fans combined with variable speed control that is optimised for the building cooling application. By eliminating the drive shaft and gearbox the solution minimises moving parts, greatly improving reliability and power efficiency - as well as reducing system bill-of-materials.

The unique interior permanent magnet synchronous motor design uses energy efficient technology that, in combination with the elimination of the gearbox and drive train transmission losses, results in a more efficient system compared to conventional fixed speed designs. Additional significant energy savings can be gained by being able to operate the fan at reduced speeds during non-peak load conditions. The direct drive also greatly reduces noise and eliminates the issue of cooling tower water becoming contaminated from leaky gearboxes.

The direct drive fan motor is controlled by a Baldor VS1 drive with a specially developed speed control algorithm. Variable speed control of fans can save an enormous amount of energy compared with older fixed speed solutions. Baldor's algorithm provides sensor-less control of the permanent magnet motor that is optimised to manage the large inertia of the fan, with a low starting current requirement.

The motor is a synchronous type from Baldor's RPM family, based on permanent magnets. Thanks to dramatic improvements in the magnetic and thermal properties of permanent magnet materials in recent years this technology now represents a viable alternative to conventional AC induction motors and delivers a significant energy efficiency advantages - even compared with the latest premium-efficiency types of motor. Laminated frame technology is used in the design, eliminating the conventional cast iron outer frame of large AC motors and allowing more room for active (torque producing) magnetic material. This produces a highly torque-dense motor, allowing Baldor to also offer the technology to the cooling tower retrofit market, for installation in the same space currently used for the gearbox. The motor will provide continuous constant torque over its entire range from zero up to base speed, and employs optimum pole construction to maximise both efficiency and power factor.

A high degree of protection is an important factor for this application, as the operating environment is extremely humid. An epoxy compound insulation applied via vacuum pressure impregnation - a technique derived from a system originally developed for Navy applications - is used for the stator windings. The drive end of the motor is also protected by a metallic, non-contacting, no-wearing, Inpro labyrinth shaft seal in combination with a slinger cover to prevent the ingress of moisture and contamination into the motor.

Before launch, Baldor's new product was trialled and compared with a conventional cooling tower fan drive system, at a university building with identical twin cooling towers housing 5.5 metre (18 feet) fans. One tower was left as originally constructed. The other was retrofitted with the new Baldor permanent magnet motor and variable speed drive. Independently verified power measurements showed a decrease in input power of approximately 13% for the direct drive arrangement when running at full load - yielding very significant electricity cost savings.

The drive system is now available in nominal power ratings from 7.5 to 187 kW (10 - 250 HP), 500 to 130 RPM base speed, to drive cooling fans from typically 2.1 to 8 metres (7 - 26 feet) in diameter.

The motor flange footprint is designed to interchange with gear reducers that are widely used in today's global cooling tower market. Adding a foot mounting adapter plate is a simple means of fitting the motor in other gearbox footprints.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Vibration transmitters for monitoring gas pipeline pumping stations in hazardous areas

IMI Sensors has announced hazardous area-approved versions of the company’s Series 640 industrial vibration transmitters for monitoring motors and pumps at natural gas pipeline pumping stations. These rugged and reliable two-wire, loop powered, 4-20 mA vibration sensors are manufactured to meet specific natural gas industry design requirements, including certification in accordance with ATEX and CSA for use in hazardous areas.

Vibration monitoring of motors and pumps at natural gas pipeline pumping stations has proven effective for determining machinery health, planning maintenance intervals, reducing downtime, and avoiding catastrophic loss. IMI’s Series 640 provides a 4-20 mA output signal that is proportional to the overall vibration level of the machine being monitored. Powered by a 12-30 VDC source, the output wire can be connected to any existing PLC, DCS, and SCADA systems.

The Series 640 vibration sensors are enclosed in welded, hermetically sealed, stainless steel housings. Explosion-proof versions of these transmitters are also available. Sensors that offer hazardous area certifications are widely used on gas and oil well heads, supply lines, natural gas reciprocating engines, multi-stage gas compressors, and other machinery operating in hazardous environments.

Efficient protection for field instrumentation

The environmental protection of larger-scale instrumentation installations is made easy by a new range of highly insulated outdoor enclosures from the field equipment protection specialist, Intertec. The BASIC VARIO range of wall- or floor-mounting enclosures is made using Intertec's unique sandwich-construction technique, with GRP (glass reinforced polyester) skins enclosing a thick layer of insulating foam.

Environmental protection of larger-scale
instrumentation installations is made easy
by these new highly insulated outdoor enclosures
The construction technique delivers an excellent thermal conductivity or 'k' value rating of ~1.5W/m2K. This provides a highly efficient solution for protecting against frost and condensation and/or providing regulated temperature environments for sensitive field instrumentation - one that offers a quick payback from energy savings compared with many common types of metal enclosures.

As standard, the BASIC VARIO range provides a rectangular-shaped enclosure in a choice of three standard sizes of 105x64,105x84 or 105x104 cm (41.3x25.2, 41.3x33.1 or 41.3x40.9 inches) - with a depth of 35 cm (13.8 inches). These deliver a range of volumes that sit between the typical upper limits of many field instrument enclosure ranges and the smaller sizes of many outdoor cabinets. The volumes are large enough to accommodate several field process transmitters for example, sophisticated analytical instrumentation points, or complex electrical circuitry designs. The construction principles of BASIC VARIO also mean that Intertec is able to provide custom sizes easily.

The enclosures meet the IP65 ingress protection standard - with Type 4X approval pending - and are fitted with a large hinged door (with or without windows) that provides easy access to the interior space. Tube and cable entry is very flexible and can be made through the rear or any of the four sides. Unlike many other competitive products, Intertec's new field enclosures have flat exterior surfaces and are also free of any overhanging edges, allowing enclosures to be packed side by side or on top of each other - in situations where space is restricted.

The insulated sandwich construction technique that Intertec uses on BASIC VARIO - and almost all of its other enclosures and cabinets - provides superb insulating properties. Insulation efficiency is typically several times more efficient than an enclosure made using single-layer polyester for instance, and substantially better than a case made of sheet metal - two common types of alternative products on the market. BASIC VARIO's superb thermal resistance is further enhanced by unique accessories available from Intertec, such as hard foam mouldings that may be drilled to accept tubing to minimise the 'thermal short-cut' effects of the access holes that invariably have to be made. The thick sandwich construction material used for the walls also has the benefit of allowing lightweight equipment to be mounted directly onto it - avoiding the need for mounting rails in some instances.

The long fibre reinforced grades of GRP sheeting employed by Intertec provides great structural strength that almost matches stainless steel - for just a quarter of the weight. This allows BASIC VARIO enclosures to accept very high equipment loads. The enclosure surfaces are also highly resistant to weather and the corrosive effects of aggressive chemicals. This makes BASIC VARIO enclosures ideal for applications in chemical, oil and gas plant

Strain rings are overload-safe and save time

With the strain ring series DSRC, Baumer offers flexible solutions for measuring cyclical processes such as tension, compression, and torque. The strain rings offer a good repeatability of 0.1 per cent F.S. Based on the patented STRAIN-MATE principle, the measuring elements of the sensor invariably function in the force shunt circuit, so the sensors cannot be overloaded. Due to their rugged mechanics, the strain rings of the DSRC series are practically indestructible and thus have a very long service life. As the rings can be screwed on, there is no need for surface preparation before installation. Compared to bonded sensors, this quick and easy installation saves significant amounts of time and money.

All strain rings of the DSRC series have a measuring range of ± 1000 microstrains, with 1 microstrain equal to a strain of 0.001 millimetres per metre of shaft. The output signal per 1000 microstrains is 1 mV/V with completed full bridge. In addition to their good repeatability of 0.1 per cent F.S., DSRC strain rings feature a total combined error of < 1 per cent F.S. and a rise time (on steel) of < 1 millisecond.
DSRC AX is a version with an axial connector, while the other products of the series come with a radial connector. All DSRC strain rings are made of anodised aluminium, with a protective foil of stainless steel, and comply with protection class IP54.

The strain rings of the DSRC series measure surface strain on axles, beams, and cylinders. Applications include measuring the clamping force in injection moulding and pressure casting machines, presses, or dies. Strain rings are also frequently used for calibrating these machines.

#Maintec Easy maintenance on compressed air systems

Michell Instruments’ range of dew-point and relative humidity instruments and their oxygen analyzers are designed to make many routine maintenance and monitoring tasks quick and simple. Michell are exhibiting a range of these products at Maintec, from 29 to 31 March 2011, on stand C23.

Included on the stand will be Michell’s smallest and fastest portable dew-point hygrometer, the MDM300. At just 21cm by 17cm, weighing 1.5kg, and with a battery life of up to 48 hours typical usage, it enables the user to take field moisture measurements with the minimum of fuss. The fast response means that many more measurements can be taken each day – allowing for more productivity and also more time free for other tasks.

The unit is easy to use: its ergonomic design means that all the buttons are easily operated with the thumbs while the instrument is held comfortably in both hands. All measurement parameters are available at the touch of a button and the password-protected set-up menu is simple to navigate and intuitive to use. Both instrument set-up and downloading of logged data are easy with a Bluetooth connection that comes as standard.

Their range of Easidew Dew-Point Transmitters are ideal for a host of applications where constant monitoring of moisture levels are key – such as compressed air systems and dessicant dryers. All Easidew Transmitters are available as part of a calibration exchange program, which enables users to keep up-to-date calibration certification with virtually no downtime and at a fraction of the cost of buying new replacement sensors.

The Calibration Exchange programme is ideal where periodic re-certification is required to maintain traceability. Before the re-calibration of an instrument is due, the customer orders an Exchange Sensor from Michell Instruments or one of its local representatives. Once received at the customer's premises the original sensor is removed and replaced with the Exchange Sensor, and the original sensor returned to Michell Instruments. Each calibration exchange sensor comes with a traceable calibration certificate as standard.

Michell are represented in Ireland by Instrument Technology Ltd.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

AC/DC current probes offer simple clamp operation and measurement down to 1mA

GMC-I PROSyS has extended its CP3 range of AC/DC, non-invasive, current measurement probes. Offering measurement sensitivity into the milliamp range, and with resolution of 1 mA, the CP3 range provides engineers with probes that are ideal for detecting and measuring leakage currents in automotive systems, or verifying correct operation in process control signal loops.

The CP3 range uses the clamp-on format; with one-handed operation, the user opens the jaws of the probe, closes it around the conductor carrying the current to be measured, and immediately gets a calibrated voltage output that directly represents the current to be measured. The CP3 probes use compensated Hall Effect technology to detect the magnetic field generated by the measured current, a technique that allows both AC and DC currents to be monitored by the same probe: when measuring AC, frequency response extends to 100 kHz.

GMC-I PROSyS has many years of experience in designing clamp-on current probes and the magnetic circuit employed in the CP3 range offers very high rejection of external magnetic fields, and very low errors due to off-centre positioning of the conductor within the measurement aperture. For the user, this means that the probe can easily be positioned in awkward, hard-to reach spaces and will return an accurate reading free from concerns about precisely orienting the unit or of the influence of nearby sources of interference such as large electric motors. Similarly, CP3 units offer high immunity to voltage transients (dV/dt rejection), further adding to their usability in electrically noisy environments.

A measurement challenge for today’s automotive engineers is to verify that vehicle systems have fully shut down when commanded to do so; this means measuring small currents in the main-battery connection of the vehicle without the disruption of breaking the connection to insert a conventional ammeter; the specification of the CP3 range meets this requirement exactly. In the same way, the
4 – 20mA calibrated signal current loops commonly used in process control installations can be checked without disrupting their operation. The probes will also detect small earth-leakage currents that indicate faults when carrying out electrical installation tests.

Features of the CP3 include automatic power-off to preserve battery life (which can be disabled for long measurement runs), and auto-zeroing. The probes can be ordered with measurement jaw apertures of 25 or 32 mm, and come in single or multi-range versions with full-scale measurement capability extending up to 300A.

How to videos

Keithley Instruments releases 11 new "How-To" videos on configuring and operating source-measure units

Keithley Instruments has produced a series of 11 new tutorial videos on topics related to configuring and operating one of their most popular product types, Source-Measure Units (SMUs). The videos,
which range from one to four minutes in length, focus on the award-winning Series 2400 SourceMeter® instruments and can be downloaded and viewed on Keithley's YouTube site.

The titles of the new videos are:

*         How to Use Saved Set-ups

*         How to Set up GPIB/RS-232 Communication

*         How to Set up a Fast Voltage Pulse

*         How to Restore Factory Defaults

*         How to Find the Serial # and Firmware Revision

*         How to Enable/Disable Source Autoclear

*         How to Enable/Disable the Beeper

*         How to Configure the Limits

*         How to Configure Output-off Modes

*         How to Configure Local/Remote Sense

*         The Difference between Real and Range Compliance


The Series 2400 SourceMeter® instruments, which have received the Test of Time Award from Test & Measurement World magazine, have the ability to measure current and source voltage simultaneously, or measure voltage and source current simultaneously. Introduced in 1996, SourceMeter instruments are widely used in both R&D and production test applications requiring tightly coupled sourcing and measurement, such as I-V characterization of electronic components and DC parametric test.

Independent benchmark provides assurance of robust network communication

Emerson’s Smart Wireless Gateway earns Achilles Certified™ designation 

As mentioned in the Operations & Maintenance section of their recent Berlin press event (#EMReu) Emerson Process Management has been awarded Achilles certification for its Smart Wireless Gateway.  Based on rigorous testing by independent consultant Wurldtech Security Technologies, the certification gives customers added assurance that the robust security measures built into Emerson’s Smart Wireless networks meet the demands of industrial automation applications.

The Smart Wireless Gateway
is a key part of
Emerson’s self-organizing
wireless field network technology.
“Emerson’s commitment to developing robust products has been demonstrated by their multiple Achilles Certified devices,” said Kevin Yoo, Achilles Certification Program Lead for Wurldtech. “They are continuing their emphasis on network robustness with the Emerson Smart Wireless Gateway, which is the first device in the new ‘network components’ category to achieve Achilles Certification.”

The Achilles Certified Communications program provides an independently verified benchmark for assessing the network security and resilience of applications, devices, and systems in critical industrial infrastructures. 

“Security has been a top priority for our Smart Wireless technology right from the start,” said Emerson security and IT-integration manager Jeff Potter.  “Achieving Achilles certification validates our approach and will further enhance customer confidence in the security and reliability of our wireless networks.”

The Smart Wireless Gateway is a key part of Emerson’s self-organizing wireless field network technology.  Based on the IEC 62591 (WirelessHART®) standard, these networks use multiple strategies – including encryption, network keys, integrity codes, and anti-jamming techniques -- to provide secure, reliable communications even in harsh industrial environments.

Variable capacitance accelerometers

Meggitt Sensing Systems Introduces TEDS Capabilities into

Meggitt Sensing Systems has introduced Transducer Electronic Data Sheet (TEDS) capabilities into its industry best-selling Endevco® model 7290D series, allowing it to be used within larger channel count applications. The model 7290D series is a high-accuracy, variable capacitance (VC) accelerometer family, offering exceptional thermal stability, reliability and performance within flight test, engine testing and other extreme temperature testing environments.

Offered in five different models with available measurement ranges from 2 g to 100 g, the patented design of the Endevco® model 7290D series (U.S. patents 4,574,327; 4,609,968; and 4,999,735) incorporates a VC sensing element with gas damping and internal over-range stops, allowing the sensor to survive significant shock and acceleration loads of up to 10,000 g, with 2.5% total dynamic accuracy.  Units feature excellent non-linearity, including hysteresis, of typically 0.2% for ranges of 2 g to 50 g.

Integral to each accelerometer is a custom signal conditioner, enabling the device to accept input voltages from 8V to 30V with a high level, low impedance output. The ±2.25 V differential output (single-ended output optional) is DC coupled at a bias of approximately 2.5V. In order to maintain stringent thermal characteristics and high accuracy, a custom ASIC provides factory programmable temperature compensation, achieved via five-point linear fit algorithm, for both thermal sensitivity and thermal zero shifts. Units are integrally temperature compensated from -55° to +125°C, to ensure temperature accuracy over the full military range.  TEDS capabilities (conforming to IEEE 1451.4) allow for onboard storage of serial number and calibration data, for simplified test setups with reduced errors.

All Endevco® model 7290D series units are shipped standard with an integral cable of customizable length. Models are also available with an optional triaxial mounting block, the Endevco® model 7990. Recommended accessories for use with the Endevco® model 7290D series include the model 136 three- channel signal conditioner; the model 4430A bridge transducer signal conditioner; or the model 4990A (Oasis) multi-rack based signal conditioning system.

State-of-the-art building management

Mission critical facilities management to provide competitive advantage in reliability and energy savings for Santa Clara campus

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced that Vantage Data Centers, a new wholesale data center operator, has chosen the company’s high availability mission critical solution to enable Vantage to deliver energy-efficient, scalable, data center solutions to enterprise customers. Vantage Data Centers, which is focused on the ownership, development and operation of highly efficient and scalable wholesale data centers, will leverage GE Intelligent Platforms’ hardware and software solutions for its 37 MW Santa Clara Data Center campus.

“GE’s domain expertise in designing and configuring mission critical facilities management systems was a key decision point for us,” said Jim Trout, CEO for Vantage Data Centers. “One of our goals is to deliver the lowest energy rates in the region, which combined with our scale and flexibility, will translate into significant potential cost savings for our customers.  The GE Professional Services team collaborated with us to architect a system tailored to meet Vantage’s requirements for a state-of-the-art infrastructure management solution, therefore giving us a competitive advantage in reliability and energy savings.”
“Vantage’s need for an integrated platform that facilitates best-in-class control schemes to maximize energy efficiency and provide high availability is a perfect match for GE’s high availability solutions,” said Bernie Anger, Vice President of GE Intelligent Platforms’ Control & Communications Systems.   “Data center systems integrated with the GE Proficy Software Platform can reduce implementation risk and accelerate deployment.”
GE’s unified architecture can reduce energy and operational costs while increasing reliability and availability. With data centers currently using 1.5% of the total electrical output of the United States, and forecasted to grow even more, data center productivity and efficiency is taking a front and center role in both corporate and public planning decisions.
PACSystems RX3i
Their PACSystems RX3i, reflective memory data synchronization and intelligent remote I/O, provides the basis for the company’s high availability architecture for central plant control, data floor monitoring and control, battery room monitoring, switchgear control, and UPS monitoring.  Coupled with Proficy® CIMPLICITY HMI/SCADA and Proficy Historian, the solution provides a graphical interface to control, manage and optimize data center performance.   Proficy Historian supplies high performance data capture to baseline data center performance, and enable detailed analysis and dash boarding of key performance metrics such as PUE, energy consumption, and overall carbon footprint.  The Proficy software platform also provides for future enhancements including advanced energy analytics and asset management integrated into one system.
Built on a scalable, synchronized, hot-standby redundancy control platform, GE’s High Availability solutions supply uninterrupted control of applications and processes with total transparency. They leverage industry-leading technologies to meet the needs for enhanced speed and performance, increased memory, built-in hardware redundancy and ease of use. High Availability solutions can minimize downtime through robust, dual-quad redundancy capabilities, increase productivity due to fast, powerful synchronization and the ability to maintain individual system components without interruption and provide maximum protection of investments.

Acquisition builds on industry-leading asset lifecycle management

ABB acquires Insert Key Solutions to further strengthen software offering

This is the second acquisition notice in seven days when the acquisition of Baldor by ABB was announced.

ABB is to acquire the business of Insert Key Solutions (IKS), a privately owned specialist software provider, adding IKS’ solutions to its recently acquired Ventyx software portfolio. The move will create a comprehensive solution set for asset and work management, maintenance optimization, and equipment reliability.

Based in Pennsylvania in the United States, IKS specializes in delivering software solutions for process improvement, increased equipment reliability and operational performance in power generation plants, and transmission and distribution networks. The company has an extensive customer base in the thermal and nuclear power sectors, and a staff of 50 people.

“Insert Key Solutions provides a highly complementary offering to our solutions for the power industry," said Jens Birgersson, head of the Network Management business within ABB’s Power Systems division. “It significantly strengthens our software-based solutions, which optimize equipment reliability, asset health and maintenance services for asset-intensive industries.”

“We are excited to become a part of the Ventyx team and the ABB family. We not only share complementary solutions, but also the same dedication to excellence and customer focus,” said Evan Niemkiewicz, President and CEO of Insert Key Solutions. “This integration enables us to fortify our infrastructure and product lifecycles and to take our solutions to a broader set of industries and geographies. I am confident it is the best path forward for our customers and our company.”

ABB plans to retain the IKS team and will place IKS executives in key roles within the Ventyx team responsible for Asset Suite, eSOMS (asset and operations management software), and IKS solutions.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Vietnamese thermal power

VNA/VNS Photo Duong Giang
Yokogawa has received an order from Marubeni Corporation to supply the control system for the Nghi Son 1 thermal power plant (two 300 MW units) being built by Vietnam Electricity (EVN) in the Nghi Son district of Thanh Hoa Province, in the northern part of the country. In this project, Yokogawa is providing the control systems for the plant's boilers, turbines, and auxiliary facilities. This is Yokogawa's third control system order for a thermal power plant in Vietnam, following the Pha Lai thermal power plant No. 2 (1998) and the Vung Ang thermo-power plant No. 1 (2009).

The Nghi Son 1 thermal power plant will be one of the largest power plants in the Nghi Son district, a fast-growing industrial region. Financing for this construction project is being provided in the form of Japanese government-backed ODA loans through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and in March 2007 an agreement was signed for the disbursement of the first 20,943 billion yen loan. The plant is scheduled to start operation in 2014 and will supply electricity to the Nghi Son industrial complex and to the northern part of Vietnam.

For this project, Yokogawa is providing CENTUM® VP series integrated production control systems and Exaquantum(R) plant information management systems, as well as delivery, engineering, installation, commissioning, and operator training for these systems.

Yokogawa was able to win this order by demonstrating excellent engineering capability and having an extensive track record in the Vietnamese power plant sector, including the Pha Lai and Vung Ang projects.

Driven by industry expansion and population growth, demand for electricity is increasing in Vietnam, and the country's electric power market is expected to continue to expand for the foreseeable future. Plans are in place to construct a second thermal power plant and an oil refinery in the Nghi Son district. Encouraged by the success in winning this order, Yokogawa aims to expand its control business in Vietnam by targeting the power plant sector.

A first in temp transmitters

Status Instruments' new HTR integrated head temperature transmitter is believed to be the first complete transmitter that fits into the miniature MAA connection head. Due to space constraints, the head is usually only used with a connection block, requiring the transmitter to be mounted some distance away from the sensor.

Status has pioneered miniature electronic design for its transmitters, without sacrificing the functionality of larger standard devices that would normally require more spacious KNE type heads. The HTR can be used with RTD, slide-wire and resistance inputs. The standard product has over 30 resistance sensors to choose from, including Pt100, Pt500, Pt1000, Ni100 and Ni1000.

Designed to meet the needs of both industrial and HVAC applications, the 3 wire voltage output version can be programmed to output any value between 0 and 10Vdc. For example, the product can be configured to accept Pt1000 sensors and provide a 0 to 10Vdc output direct from the head – ideal for HVAC applications.

To optimise the use of the built-in memory, application specific sensor linearisation correction data is loaded into the transmitter during user configuration, rather than being permanently stored in the unit. This means the design uses a microprocessor with a smaller memory and therefore contributes to a lower cost product.

Configuration is carried out quickly and easily via PC or laptop, using Status’ new USB configurator. Configuration can be saved as a file for future use and additionally the user can read live process data when connected to a PC.

Status Instruments are represented in Ireland by P J Boner & Co.

Smart soft starters optimise energy use

Carlo Gavazzi is introducing three new ranges of soft-starters designed to optimise energy consumption in industrial applications. The RSQK, RSXK and RSDR series’ provide soft-starting capability for three-phase motors up to 1050kW, with high-end models offering intelligent plug-and-play setup to ensure optimal starting profiles.

Automatic features such as auto end start/stop, soft stop smoothing auto pedestal are built into the RSQK and RSXK soft-starters. They continually adjust their settings to optimise operation, saving time and money in maintenance as well as commissioning.

RSQK series starters are rated for motor currents from 23 to 1800A at operating voltages 230 -460/400-575/500-690 VAC, whilst the RSXK is rated 5-1673A, 230-690VAC. Soft-starting/soft-stopping time is adjustable up to 255s, ensuring that even the toughest applications can be started and stopped in the correct manner.

Both RSQK and RSXK soft starters can control heavy duty loads (Trip Class 30) such as crushers. A user-friendly soft starter selection tool provides a quick and easy selection of the correct configuration for any particular application. In addition, they have pre-set starting and stopping parameters specifically for pump applications, which reduce water hammering by making start and stop actions as smooth as possible.

In addition, the RSQK provides an inductive load feature, which controls voltage across the transformer winding to ensure the transformer stays within current limits throughout the heating cycle.

For smaller motors, the new RSDR series offers power ratings up to 280kW. Maximum current ratings range from 55 to 500A. As well as over current and short-circuit protection, the RSDR has internal bypassing to reduce heat dissipation in tight control panels.

The RSDR soft starters provide ramp- up time setting capabilities starting from 0.5s, making them suitable for applications where start up time needs to be limited. Ramp- up and -down times can be set up to 30s, ensuring reliable soft-starting and stopping to deliver smoother start-up and shutdown of high inertia applications. Front-panel dimensions range from 135 x 140mm 203 x 165mm, providing space-saving solutions with high power capability.

Set up is simple through rotary controls on the RSDR front panel.  Two normally-open auxiliary relay contacts are provided for indication of top-of-ramp status and fault alarms.

As well as new applications where soft-starting is deployed inline to ensure lower inrush current, lower peak-demand energy costs and longer compressor lifetimes, these three new series’ offer easy replacement of star-delta starters. Their six-wire connection option means that there is no need to change the wiring configuration, providing a lower cost alternative with reduced maintenance requirements, lower down-times and less stress on auxiliary components.

All the new devices are IP20 protected against dust and moisture ingress up to 55kW, operate over the 0-40°C temperature range and carry UL certification and CE markings.

Cool enclosure

Air routing for Rittal roof mounted TopTherm Plus cooling units

When using Rittal TopTherm-Plus roof mounted cooling units it is advisable to use the air duct system to ensure proper routing of the chilled air within the enclosure. It is possible to target the cold air directly to specific areas of the enclosure and ensure chilled air is not blowing directly at the exhaust of hot components. Using the air duct system can also reduce the risk of “short circuits” in the air supply that can reduce cooling unit efficiency.

Never direct cold airflow straight at active components; ideally route the air directly downwards without additional bends also additional deflections will reduce cooling capacity. Use cover stoppers to seal outlets that are not required but at least 2 outlet openings must remain open. Cold air must be able to escape unobstructed at the end of the duct and the air duct system should not be extended.