Saturday, January 15, 2011

Legislation on both sides of Atlantic effects machinery OEMs

Motor efficiency upgrades - is it Win-Win or Win-Lose?

A seminal piece of legislation mandating minimum electric motor efficiency levels is scheduled to come into force across the EU in June 2011. It has enormous implications for machinery OEMs, with potentially serious consequences to sales and market share if attention is not paid immediately, says Baldor. The situation is made even more problematic by the USA's EISA minimum efficiency regulations, which came into force in December 2010.

From feedback at exhibitions and from calls and visits Baldor believes that as much as a third of the EU's OEMs are still either wholly or partially unaware that new general-purpose AC motors installed from June must meet a minimum efficiency of IE2. IE2 is equivalent to the previous CEMEP 'EFF1' standard.

Most OEMs currently use lower-efficiency EFF3- or EFF2- grade AC motors. Transitioning equipment designs with higher efficiency motors can involve physical and mechanical interface changes, changes to rotational speeds, and changes to thermal issues and starting behaviour. These issues can have a big impact for equipment OEMs, and they might need weeks or even three months or more to make the upgrade.

Robin Cowley
"We're sending an SOS message to European OEMs that if they do not start considering the impact of motor efficiency regulations immediately, then there could be negative implications for their sales and market share," says Robin Cowley, Industrial Marketing Manager for Baldor in the EU. "And when OEMs think about the upgrade to IE2 efficiency levels, we are also suggesting that they consider their strategy for the IE3 efficiency level that's coming down the track because if they don't, their competitors might - and steal a march."

Most end users of automation are becoming seriously worried about their energy costs. Many are also currently putting strong environmental care plans into place. Given this market situation, Robin Cowley thinks that OEMs who start to offer the best efficiency levels available - IE3 - could see their market share grow at the expense of those who merely offer the minimum required.

This situation is complicated by the USA's recent Energy Independence Security Act (EISA) which came into force in December 2010. EISA mandates a minimum efficiency level of 'NEMA Premium' for motors imported into the USA.

NEMA Premium is equivalent to IE3, which is not due to come into force in the EU until 2015. Robin Cowley expects that some USA OEMs could be adopting NEMA Premium as their standard offering for international sales as well. This means that much imported equipment could offer end users a significantly faster payback in terms of reduced energy consumption than equipment sourced from the EU.


"For some simple items of equipment such as pumps or fans, the motor is a significant proportion of the bill of materials and US competitors might offer a lower-spec IE2 alternative in the EU," adds Baldor's Robin Cowley. "However, where a motor is only a small proportion of some larger equipment - on a conveyor system for example - US competitors have the opportunity to offer premium efficiency as standard. This potentially puts them in a position to gain market share here in Europe."

RH probes provide ‘peak’ performance for meteorologists

Michell Instruments’ reliable meteorological probes are helping to predict the weather from the top of Europe’s second highest mountain peak.

The relative humidity probe is installed at the top of Monte Rosa (CH) at an altitude of over 4000 metres above sea level, and has been in use since the year 2000. The instrument, which uses Michell’s I7000 RH module, was chosen because it out-performed the alternatives in tests. The key to its performance is the unique six-point calibration the I7000 undergoes during production when each module is calibrated to 3 RH points at two temperatures. This calibration can be modified to suit particular applications, such as the exposed and extreme conditions at the summit of a mountain.

The I7000 is easily interchangeable to make maintenance simple. To ensure continued reliability in this particular application, the module is replaced every two years. This process is as simple as changing a light bulb which was an important consideration for an installation in such an inaccessible place.

The I7000 Hygrosmart interchangeable module forms the basis of a complete range of temperature and humidity instruments, suitable for applications from precision manufacturing to controlled environments and HVAC – as well as meteorology.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The effect of girth tension on horse gait!

Ireland is famous for its livestock and the quality of its horses. This is an interesting application for the equine industry which is so important to both Ireland, Britain and throughout the world.
Using electrical systems for the measurement of mechanical forces is by no means limited to machines and laboratory based applications. In her recently completed research thesis ‘Girth Tensions and their Effects on Equine Stride Characteristics’, Sue Wright of Moulton College Northampton (GB) used load cells, motion sensors and GPS amongst other technologies to measure and record the tension within the girth strap used to hold the saddle in place.

The aim of the investigation was to determine if girth tension affects equine stride characteristics. The positioning and tightening of the girth strap has traditionally been based on the rider’s preference or own training, in the knowledge that too loose or too tight would be dangerous to both rider and horse.

It is well known that optimum girth tension varies between the size and type of horse, the activity –racing etc and the type of girth. However there is little if any published information on girth tension and how this may affect the locomotion of the horse, that is duration, stride length and speed.

A custom designed S-type tension load cell was used to continuously monitor the tension in the girth during the period under test. The load cell was mounted almost vertically alongside the chest of the horse where unwanted torsional effects on the load cell would be at their minimum, it was fitted to the strap via rod-end bearings and a cam buckle so that minute changes to the girth tension could be made.
This was connected to a T24 telemetry module, located in a pouch on top of the saddle which transmitted the force reading wirelessly to a telemetry base station located nearby. This was plugged into a laptop that served to both power it and log the tension reading.

Extensive testing on 19 horses at 4 girth tension settings were conducted resulting in definite conclusions on the effect of girth tension on the speed, stride length, stride duration and walk.

This application is typical of the way in which Applied Measurements’ custom force sensors are helping all sectors of research and development as well as solving the needs of industrial production.

Analysis symposium

10-14 April 2011
The International Society of Automation (ISA) will host the 56th Analysis Division Symposium 10-14 April 2011 in League City, (TX US). This year's theme, “Chart Your Course to Correct Chemical Analysis,” covers process analysis topics ranging from methods and applications to compliance, system operation, and maintenance. The event is sponsored by the ISA Analysis Division.

Formal published papers, informal reports, short courses, speaker sessions, and panel discussions will focus on technology used in industry practice, as well as new technology currently in development. Chemical analyzers, validation, system integration, and analytical hardware and software are all featured topics for the conference presentations.

The three full conference days of the event offer attendees Professional Development Hours (PDHs). In addition, two Analysis Division training courses, “Fundamentals of Process Analyser Course” and “Miniature Sample Handling and Analytical Techniques Workshop,” will be taught. Other highlights include vendor exhibits, the Analysis Division’s annual banquet, a networking reception each night, and more.

The symposium is endorsed by the following US organisations and agencies, Center for Process Analytical Chemistry, the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies, the Measurement & Control Engineering Center, the Air & Waste Management Association, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Innovative Analysis and Intelligence Solution

Proficy® Troubleshooter and Cause+ 5.0 drive operational improvements with new Proficy SOA integration and data preparation engine enabling “Intelligent Historian” solution

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced the availability of the latest version of Proficy® Troubleshooter and Proficy Cause+ Version 5.0. The solution enables an intelligent form of causal analysis, proactive alarming and decision support so users can react faster and/or correct issues before a problem occurs. Troubleshooter and Cause+ utilize leading-edge technology to deliver powerful analytical abilities to transform data into actionable information resulting in reduced downtime, waste, and re-work as well as improved OEE, quality, throughput and visibility into operations.

Proficy Troubleshooter / Cause+ 5.0
The Proficy Troubleshooter/Cause+ solution is a value-added product to Proficy Historian that enables the user to obtain more value, using multivariate analysis on historical data. It enables companies to look at historical data, determine causes of variation, put active intelligent monitoring in place and, now with v5.0, trigger operational workflows based on intelligent data based rules and/or models. With this powerful software, users can dramatically improve efficiency operations by coupling the large amounts of operational data currently available in their facilities with automatic intelligence. The solution can be combined with HMI/SCADA systems by providing likely causes for problems in real time and notifying floor personnel of impending process issues.
New innovations in the latest versions of the products drive reduced implementation costs, training time and improve speed of data preparation while maintaining backwards compatibility with previous versions. With the addition of Proficy SOA integration in v5.0, companies can realize reduced implementation and long-term support cost benefits for both small and large projects.
In addition, v5.0 enables users to prepare data in a new innovative way through a new data preparation engine that enables users to prepare the data, define data recipes and invoke prebuilt operations that ultimately increase the quality of incoming data faster than manual operations. This engine saves setup time, reduces the learning curve for new users and provides quality data prior to the analysis is being performed, leading to faster and more reliable intelligence.
“Every manufacturer not only needs some method for archiving plant data, but also an effective way of doing rapid process troubleshooting and other continuous improvement initiatives utilizing a plant data repository,” said Sheila Kester, General Manager of Operations Management Software for GE Intelligent Platforms. “Proficy Troubleshooter and Cause+, coupled with Proficy Historian, enable fast-tracking of continuous improvement and Six Sigma project cycles through its capability to facilitate the troubleshooting process for increased quality and reduction of material and energy usage through better understanding of their process.”
In addition, v5.0 features an Excel Add-In for exporting data to Microsoft Excel and a set of Matlab extensions that deliver the ability to embed Matlab components within Proficy Troubleshooter objects and execute Matlab code within a Troubleshooter component.
Proficy Troubleshooter and Proficy Cause+ 5.0 is the latest example of how GE’s $4 billion-a-year software and solutions services businesses are helping customers improve productivity.

Analysis with live lab data

ALcontrol has launched a new version of its @mis online analytical data reporting tool that provides users with real-time access to their laboratory results. The web-based tool provides near real time data direct from ALcontrol’s laboratory information management system, which means that world-wide users are able to follow test results live.

The new version of @mis represents a major step forward because fast access to results is critical to the efficiency of many activities. Land remediation, for example, is heavily dependent on analytical data to inform the management of treatment processes and to provide verification that either treated soils meet with the required specification or that treated water complies with a site's discharge permit.

Explaining the importance of this announcement, ALcontrol Commercial Director Simon Turner says “Many of our customers already benefit from the speed and convenience of @mis. However, there is no extra charge for the tool, so we are eager for all of our customers to benefit from the advantages that it brings.


“V5 @mis has been developed to be even simpler for new users to operate; the system runs as soon as a customer logs in and we have created customisable screens that remember user preferences – similar to the BBC home page.


Whilst fast data is critical to many of our clients, for some, that speed is only critical when the results are outside of defined thresholds, so V5 @mis can now issue result notifications or alarm messages via SMS or email.”

In addition to standard features such as secure data reports and archives, multiple batch reports and multiple report formats, @mis now enables rapid filter capability for reports and enables data sharing across multiple offices.

Feedback from @mis users has been extremely positive with most commenting on the benefit of live access to data as analysis proceeds. For example, in the past it would have been necessary to wait for a complete set of results, whereas @mis users are now able to view partial results as they are created. So, if the first soil test result is high for hydrocarbons, it is clear that the sample is contaminated and further tests may be redundant.

Simon Turner believes that fast access to both live and archived analytical data is extremely important for most of ALcontrol’s customers. He says, “We have invested heavily in the @mis team because this tool enhances our services enormously and provides us with the IT capability to create bespoke features in response to specific customer requests. V5 @mis is a great step forward, helping our customers to lower costs and improve both speed and efficiency.”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Successful evaluation for automation system

ABB System 800xA receives technical approval for use by Shell

ABB's Extended Automation System 800xA has successfully passed an extensive technical evaluation by Shell Global Solutions, for potential future use in the oil company’s projects worldwide without further technical review. Shell tested the System 800xA core system, as well as its integrated System 800xA High Integrity SIS. (Safety Instrumented System)

Shell Global Solutions provides technical and operational support to Shell, which produces around 3.5 million barrels of oil equivalent a day and is active in more than 130 countries and territories worldwide.

The rigorous technical assessment process takes almost one year, and documents the product’s ability to perform against Shell’s detailed technical specifications. It also examines the system supplier’s project execution capabilities. As a result of the evaluation, ABB has been approved for use in Shell as a MAC/DCS supplier for System 800xA and System 800xA High Integrity (SIS).

 “ABB’s System 800xA performed very well in wide range of simulated operating conditions during our assessment,” commented Audun Gjerde from Shell Global Solutions. “We found that it can integrate multiple systems and processes, while maintaining a high level of system security and process safety.”

Shell’s evaluation noted several strengths for System 800xA, including its ability to integrate process and power automation on a single platform with related integration and control of IEC61850 devices. This capability further enhances System 800xA’s fully integrated power management capability, and the ability to remotely access and control switchgear. This capability reduces commissioning time, while allowing for faster online modifications during operation.

System 800xA’s ability to integrate multiple control and other plant systems, to enable control of several plants from one central location, was another key capability cited in the evaluation. Integral asset monitors provide constant visibility to the operations personnel, thereby reducing downtime through the use of intelligent field and electrical devices. One of the major advantages of this capability is the reduced cost associated with reduced maintenance schedules.

System 800xA’s engineering tools were also noted as a unique strength. These tools promote consistency, reuse and redeployment of engineering configurations and strategies across numerous projects, as well as maintainability of delivered systems throughout the entire lifecycle.

ABB’s Process Automation division delivers integrated automation solutions for control, plant optimisation, 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.

Reliable and efficient sulfur detection in proteins

 Lucía López Fernández and Daniel J. Kutscher, members of the Analytical Spectrometry Research Group at the University of Oviedo use Thermo Scientific ICP-MS for sulfur detection in proteins
Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced that the University of Oviedo’s analytical spectrometry research group has implemented the Thermo Scientific XSERIES 2 ICP-MS to perform reliable and interference-free sulfur detection in proteins. In the past, interference from gas-based polyatomics has made the accurate determination of sulfur isotopes particularly challenging for the research group. The XSERIES 2 ICP-MS has overcome these issues, offering high levels of accuracy while also optimizing the efficiency of analyses.

The analytical spectrometry research group at the University of Oviedo (ES) aims to solve the analytical challenges encountered by science and technology. Within this framework, a small sub-group has been established focusing on the development of inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) based analytical methods for the quantification of biopolymers such as DNA and proteins. One of the principal issues faced by the group is the interference from gas-based polyatomics such as oxygen in the determination of sulfur when using a low resolution instrument. To eliminate these problems, the group selected the Thermo Scientific XSERIES 2 ICP-MS with collision/reaction cell technology (CRC).

Quantitative protein analysis is currently one of the most demanding applications in analytical chemistry. Mass spectrometric techniques such as electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) have traditionally played a key role in protein analysis. However, the potential of ICP-MS has recently been recognized for the determination of proteins. Although ICP-MS detection does not provide any structural information, its outstanding capability to quantify most of the elements proves valuable for accurate protein quantification. Keeping pace with the latest technological developments, the University of Oviedo’s research group has coupled the XSERIES 2 ICP-MS with a reversed-phase capillary liquid chromatography (μLC) system to facilitate precise determination of sulfur isotopes in standard proteins.

Dr. Jörg Bettmer of the University of Oviedo’s analytical spectrometry research group comments, “The Thermo Scientific XSERIES 2 ICP-MS was chosen because no other quadrupole-based system matches its capabilities in terms of accuracy, reliability and overall efficiency. The implementation of the instrument has allowed us to achieve reliable, interference-free detection of sulfur isotopes. It has enabled us to determine sulfur-containing standard proteins in an accurate and efficient manner that had not been previously possible.”

The XSERIES 2 offers outstanding productivity in a quadrupole ICP-MS for both routine and high-performance analytical applications. By using the system, laboratories can achieve their analytical objectives faster, with greater confidence and less hands-on time from the operator. The innovative ion lens design of the instrument enables simple field upgrade to collision cell technology (CCT) performance without affecting the normal (non-CCT mode) sensitivity or background. The cell is also compatible with a range of reactive gases, such as pure oxygen for interference suppression in challenging matrices.

Curing carpet underlay emissions

Interfloor_RTO under construction
The EU Solvent Emissions Directive is helping to drive down Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions in a broad range of industries and Interfloor, a UK manufacturer of carpet underlay, has found that the use of a portable gas analyser from Quantitech has helped to implement emissions reductions and to demonstrate ongoing improvements in emissions control.

With leading brands such as Duralay and Tredaire, Interfloor is the UK's leading underlay manufacturer. Based in Dumfries and Lancashire, the company recently invested over £3 million in the installation of regenerative thermal oxidisers to help destroy pollutants and odorous substances by converting them into water. Additionally, Interfloor has invested in a portable Flame Ionisation Detector (FID) gas analyser to monitor the effectiveness of the abatement technology and to ensure that the plant performs within the requirements of the Solvents Directive.

The Directive covers a wide range of solvent using activities, such as printing, surface cleaning, vehicle coating, dry cleaning and the manufacture of footwear and pharmaceutical products.

Interfloor manufactures more than 100 different types of carpet underlay, so the emissions from the curing process can vary significantly. Historically, the gaseous products from the curing ovens were highly visible and odorous. However, the FID has demonstrated that the thermal oxidisers are highly effective in reducing these emissions.

The gas analyser, a Sick 3006 has MCERTS approval and is the ideal transportable FID for measuring VOCs in combustion and ventilation stacks. German engineering and proven, long term reliability has made this the instrument of choice for many process industries and stack emission test houses. Supplied with heated sample lines, it can measure both hot (up to 1000º C) and cold gases over a vast measurement range from 1 to 100,000 ppm.

Andrew Taylor, Interfloor’s Development Chemist, said: “The installation of the thermal oxidisers is part of a major drive to improve the environmental performance of the company.


“Once the oxidisers had been installed, the monitoring team at Interfloor used the Sick 3006 to undertake routine monitoring and to provide compliance data for the authorities. This could mean three checks a week or once every six months, so it was important that appropriate monitoring equipment was available at all times."

Summarising the advantages of the Sick technology, Quantitech’s Dominic Duggan, said: “The 3006 is one of the most popular FIDs in the world; easy-to use and providing quick results for stack emissions monitoring, it is also completely self-contained, with its own combustion gas and air supplies, sufficient for 170 hours of continuous operation.”

Passion, dedication and focus call by new president

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has a new president in H. L. “Leo” Staples. He will serve for the year 2011 and he opened the year with a call-to-action to all ISA members to dedicate themselves to a high level of involvement in, and collaboration among, their sections, divisions, and the Society.  “We have exciting, yet tough, challenges ahead of us, just as any great association does,” he said. “I believe that, with passion, dedication and focus, we can meet our new goals and create a very bright future for ISA.”
H.L. Staples

Describing his vision for ISA for 2011, Staples cited four challenges identified by ISA’s Strategic Planning Department that he wants the membership to focus on.

The first challenge is financial performance that would enable ISA to recover from the economic recession while setting the stage for long-term health and profitability. “Many ideas are on the table, from improving revenue from existing products to development of new product lines,” Staples said.

The second challenge is to evaluate the effectiveness of ISA’s current Society governance model, and, where appropriate, make changes.  “Even though changes had been made in the past, our leaders knew there was still a lot more work that needed to be done. A task force has already begun work on this evaluation process. Our members will be hearing more about it as we move into the year. I ask for their support in validating, endorsing, and implementing the work of this governance task force,” he said.

The third challenge for the Society is to strengthen the ISA family. “A strong ISA family consists of a dedicated group of volunteer leaders working together, sharing a common vision, and operating within a governance structure that fits the organization,” Staples said. “We need to maintain a strong value proposition so we can keep the ISA family strong, so we can attract new leaders for the future, and so we can develop and engage tomorrow’s automation professionals.”

Staples wants ISA to refine and enhance workforce development programs and give sections and divisions the tools they need to implement these programs into their existing activities. He suggested that many of the tools can come from strategic partnerships, such as the affiliation ISA has with inventor Dean Kamen’s  FIRST® organization (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

The fourth challenge Staples presents ISA membership with is to embrace technology. “We have a task force that is evaluating technology and investment priorities that will allow us to expand social media and provide an enhanced experience for virtual attendees of events, functions, and courses—so we can expand the audience we reach,” Staples said. He encourages all members to take advantage of ISA’s movement into social networking by participating in the many online opportunities that already exist and new ones to be offered in the future.

“As ISA’s newest president, I look forward to working with our membership as we address these four challenges. It will take dedication and focus from members at all levels…and I know we can do it!”
he concluded.

(Walt Boyes, 
Editor in Chief, Control 13/1/2011)
Staples has been an ISA member since 1989 and a Fellow since 2009. He is a member of the Greater Oklahoma Section. He has vast experience in section, district, department, division, and Society activities, including serving as district vice president and chair of the Council of District Vice Presidents and three terms on the ISA Executive Board as Society treasurer. Staples is an active participant in ISA’s Power Industry Division and has authored and delivered several papers at various symposia. He recently published his first book through ISA, Project management: A Technician’s Guide.

Staples is a compliance management leader at Power Supply Division, Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E). He began his career with OG&E in 1978 at the company’s Horseshoe Lake Power Plant. He is a Level III Certified Control Systems Technician® and a Level IV Senior Engineering Technician-Industrial Instrumentation through the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). He earned an Associate’s degree in electrical engineering technology from Rose State College in Midwest City, Oklahoma, USA, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. He recently had his book "Project Management: A Technician’s Guide," published where he discussed project management "one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of the job of a Control System Technician."

Low profile PCI Express platform delivers deterministic, low latency, high speed memory sharing

GE Intelligent Platforms Announces Reflective Memory Node Card For Demanding Simulation, Process Control And Data Acquisition Applications

PCIE-5565PIORC low
profile PCI Express reflective
memory node card
GE Intelligent Platforms has announced the PCIE-5565PIORC low profile PCI Express reflective memory node card, further extending the company’s RFM 5565 family of reflective memory solutions and taking advantage of GE’s extensive experience in the technology. Designed for real-time applications such as simulation and training, industrial process control and data streaming and acquisition, the low profile PCIE-5565PIORC will also serve a broad range of commercial, telecommunications and military/aerospace applications that require redundancy for high availability. Such applications are characterized by the need to move and share data at fast, deterministic rates and, in many cases, the only solution in such environments is reflective memory.

A reflective memory network is a special type of shared memory system which enables multiple, separate computers to share a common set of data. Reflective memory autonomously replicates the contents of one processor's memory to the memory nodes of all other network members.

“In environments where determinism, simplicity of implementation, zero software overhead and operating system independence are significant factors, reflective memory provides a unique solution,” said Wayne McGee, Leader, Commercial Product Management at GE Intelligent Platforms. “While other technologies – such as Gigabit Ethernet, Infiniband and Fibre Channel – were predicted to displace it, that hasn’t happened, as they are not designed to deliver the sheer performance required. Reflective memory, on the other hand, is designed specifically to enable the sharing of data among processors in real time by mission-critical applications.”

The PCI-5565PIORC is characterized by its low profile implementation which is a vital requirement for many customer implementations. The board features 2.12 Gbaud serial connection speed, improved Programmed I/O (PIO) read performance, field upgradeable firmware and RoHS compliance, and the maximum PCI burst rate has been doubled to 512MBytes/second: larger memory (256MBytes) is also supported. GE’s reflective memory networks can be scaled to 256 nodes and operate at speeds up to 174 Mbytes/second. Distance between nodes can be up to 10 kilometres.

Reflective memory can offer an ideal solution in many demanding applications because of its low latency and determinism. Using reflective memory, the typical node-to-node propagation time is on the order of 1 microsecond. Thus, in a system of 30 nodes, it would take only 30 microseconds to propagate through the network to all nodes. Achieving the same latency using other network technologies, such as Ethernet, is extremely difficult – if not impossible - even using datagram broadcast because of IP protocol overheads, addressing, and memory write times.

Solid state purge controller

Applied Analytics (AAI) has unveiled the ePurge X, a next-generation solution for air-purging electronic enclosures. Unlike conventional purge controllers, this new offering is entirely solid state and much more in line with the design of AAI’s highly automated process analyzers. The ePurge X is slated to be available both to distributors and the general public in March.

“When you glance through the brochure, you’ll immediately notice the form factor,” says Andy Burgess, senior mechanical engineer, AAI. “The ePurge X has an ultra-slim profile that barely protrudes from the surface of the enclosure. It also has half as many components to install as the purges that are currently available.”

AAI is also introducing an entirely new concept with the utility-saving feedback feature. The ePurge X uses a digital mass flow sensor to monitor the flow rate of purge gas through the enclosure. Along with the differential pressure, this flow value allows the ePurge X to provide data on instrument air consumption by specifying the exact demand that will keep the enclosure safely pressurized without wasting any extra utilities. “In an industry of safety devices that have no inherent return on investment, we are offering a product that can pay for itself within five years in utility savings alone,” says Yoav Barshad, President, AAI. “Writ large across all the air-purged enclosures in a typical industrial site, this is nothing less than a killer feature.”

The ePurge product family will be used with all future purged systems from AAI. Adds Burgess: “We were compelled to develop the ePurge X when we could not find a purge solution for our own analyzer enclosures that didn’t compromise the original system’s form factor or complicate installation. There must be many manufacturers that, like AAI, carry high expectations for safety components. We are our own customer, and we witness the ePurge X exceed those expectations each day of production.”

Brushless DC servo motors now available with integrated EtherCAT interface

EtherCAT is an Ethernet-based field bus system that meets stringent real-time requirements and currently shows the highest rate of growth in terms of installed nodes in Ethernet-based field buses for industrial automation applications.

Dunkermotoren servo motors in the BG family are powerful, intelligent drives covering an output power range of 40 to 500 watts. These compact drives have been available for many years with a CANopen field bus interface, and more recently with an interface for Profibus DP (V1), which has become established in the market. Now Dunkermotoren has added an EtherCAT interface to its range of integrated communication interfaces.

The CANopen over EtherCAT (CoE) function allows the servo motors to act as slaves in an EtherCAT network. CANopen over EtherCAT utilises the same objects as CANopen. Dunkermotoren uses standardised DSP402 objects for positioning, monitoring and configuring servo drives.

The company can provide the right drive solutions for a wide variety of application areas. Users can choose from a broad range of modular drive components. This enables machine manufacturers to design drives that are optimally aligned to specific requirements. In addition to motors, Dunkermotoren offers a broad spectrum of planetary and worm gearboxes, brakes and encoders in a well conceived modular system. This enables machine manufactures, working in collaboration with Dunkermotoren's drive specialists, to quickly assemble optimal drive configurations from standard components with minimum design effort.

High-current connector is rated at 250 A

The new Han® HC 250 from Harting is a high-current connector module rated at 250 A, making it ideally suited to use in high-power drive systems in railway vehicles.

In addition to its high current rating, the Han® HC 250 single-pole crimp module is of compact construction and offers a high degree of flexibility in terms of the number of poles and different frame geometries, including ease of mounting in the existing Han® HPR housing.

The rated current of 250 A is complemented by a rated voltage of 2000 V. Available termination cross-sections are 35, 50 and 70 mm2, and configurations up to four poles can be incorporated in a size 24 B HPR housing, making the device particularly suitable for motor connections.

The Han® HC 250 is made in high-quality plastic with good smoke and flammability levels. A removal tool is available for simple installation and removal of the contacts and inserts, and multiple coding options for the individual inserts eliminate the possibility of confusion when a number of interfaces are involved.

The new connector is designed to address the changing needs of the railway industry: in particular, the development of powerful drive systems with high acceleration levels along with the demand for increased interconnection flexibility, reliability and ease of maintenance.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

UPS system solution for an offshore platform

An Uninterruptible Power Supply is mandatory on oil rigs: for safety reasons, the signal lighting must be operational at all times. Tasked with designing a UPS solution for an offshore rig off the African coast, R. STAHL was faced with three challenges. The UPS system not only required protective measures against explosive atmospheres, but also had to be adapted to the great heat and maritime climate at the rig's location.

Explosion-protected UPS systems from R. STAHL ensure a fail-safe power supply on offshore platforms by means of a battery unit
Due to very high ambient temperatures, the explosion-protected enclosure was fitted with a heat sink and a fan
The Ex UPS guard ensures charger and battery monitoring which is explicitly required in Ex Zone 1
The distributor solution with a safe parallel feed, which ensures the continuous power supply for the lighting, is also suitable for hazardous areas
Complete blackouts or malfunctions in the mains power supply, such as frequency fluctuations or overvoltages caused by lightning strikes, must be safely bridged on oil rigs. Above all, functioning signal lights are not only essential for smooth operation on the rig, but also for the safety of all nearby ships and airplanes. Therefore, the position lights must not fail under any circumstances. The platform, which is situated off the African Atlantic coast and whose cavern is currently being used as a temporary store for natural gas, is usually supplied by means of a solar power plant. A battery-powered emergency grid was installed in parallel. In addition to the power supply unit, R. STAHL assembled further energy distribution components from its modular kit for UPS system solutions.

Beautiful weather, rugged environment
In addition to explosive atmospheres occurring occasionally (Ex Zone 1), the tropical climate and sea air had to be taken into account. The temperature on the platform often exceeds 35 °C, and occasionally reaches peaks of 50 °C. At such ambient temperatures, the operation of the charger for the UPS batteries, which generates a great deal of power loss, required special measures. In order to prevent overheating, R. STAHL installed the battery charger in the largest available CUBEx enclosure. Several special features ensure heat dissipation: by means of a patented cold plate technology, the heat is directly evacuated from the protective enclosure. The heat sink is attached to the side of the enclosure, allowing for easy access to the CUBEx unit during maintenance.

Special features create turbulence
A stainless steel fan for hazardous areas with a motion monitoring function, which is installed above the enclosure, facilitates heat dissipation. The fan also had to be adapted for use in Zone 1 under extreme environmental conditions. The forced cooling is controlled and monitored by an intelligent control system: the operating mode of the fan is adjusted depending on the current ambient temperature. Thanks to these measures, a maximum power loss of 1,000 W can be compensated in addition to the amount dissipated through the enclosure surface by default. The considerable amount of exhaust heat generated by charging the batteries can thereby be released to the environment without compromising the operation of the charger.

Like in all other UPS solutions from R. STAHL, the required explosion protection for Zone 1 is ensured by a special feature which is unique on the market: an integrated Ex UPS guard monitors the functions of the battery charger and the batteries, which are also installed within the Ex zone, according to the ATEX directive and according to IEC/EN 60079 ff, thereby allowing for safe operation.

Continuous lighting with a double power supply
In order to ensure a continuous power supply for the lighting, R. STAHL installed a distribution panel with a safe parallel feed from the standard power supply and the emergency grid. The lighting distribution panel features two interlocked inputs. Additionally, each outgoing line is separately monitored for ground faults. All functions can be activated from the outside, and the status of each outgoing line is clearly indicated by the position of the handle. By installing a combination of CUBEx flameproof enclosures (Ex d) and enclosures with increased safety (Ex e) connection chambers, R. STAHL was able to implement a very compact, weight-optimised system within the limited installation space on the offshore platform. All outside metal parts of the seawater-resistant CUBEx enclosures are made from SS316 stainless steel. This material requires no further surface treatment for use in maritime environments.

100% process safety in hazardous areas: Modular UPS solutions in detail

UPS solutions component range includes battery chargers, various explosion-protected rechargeable batteries (lead gel, NiCd, NiMH), charge monitoring technology including alarm annunciators, DC power distributors and inverters for various performance classes up to 3,000 VA. Additionally, R. STAHL provides a wide range of explosion-protected enclosures, such as the GUBox series which features Ex e connection chambers. R. STAHL also provides modules with user-specific explosion protection types as required.

IR detector manufacturer broadens US presence

Xenics is broadening its market presence in North America. The newly founded Xenics USA, Inc., is set to intensify sales and application support for U.S. and Canadian customers. Xenics USA will be fully operational in January 2011. It is headed by Luc DeBrouckere, a well known industry expert with 35 years of managerial and technical experience in IR imaging.

"After opening a sales and support office (sInfraRed Pte, Ltd.) in Singapore back in 2008, Xenics now takes the next step in substantially enlarging its footprint in advanced IR imaging equipment and customized IR imaging solutions on the world market." The newly founded Xenics USA, Inc., located near Boston, Mass., will be given the mission to increase and facilitate sales, as well as offer direct local support, to industrial and institutional customers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Besides serving industrial customers Xenics USA is positioned to better penetrate the strategically important and rapidly growing market for security systems as well as the thriving institutional and OEM markets for governmental projects. In this realm, Xenics is prepared to meet a formidable local competition.

"Our American customers are specifically interested in the range of short-wave and long-wave cameras and advanced IR imaging systems that Xenics is able to offer", says Luc DeBrouckere, CEO of Xenics USA. "We are pleased to serve them with our state-of-the-art infrared image capture and processing solutions for a variety of applications. It's important to us to comply with our customers' preference of receiving solid technical and application support through a U.S.-based entity."

The product spectrum marketed and supported by Xenics USA, Inc., which is a 100 percent subsidiary of Leuven, Belgium, based Xenics nv, will include all products and solutions in the company's broad-based product portfolio. Xenics USA, Inc. was incorporated in October 2010. The company will be fully operational in January 2011. Right now, technical support staff positions are filled and DeBrouckere has begun hiring technical talent in the U.S. for sales and support.

"North America is a very important strategic market for us," says Xenics founder and CEO Bob Grietens, who is also President of Xenics USA. "Of course, we face tough competition. But Xenics is ready to tackle these challenges and to grow with new products and developments that need strong local support. I'm sure our U.S. subsidiary will give a definite boost to our worldwide market share."

Rittal Latest Power Engineering Software v5.0

A new version of the Rittal Power engineering software for the design and calculation of busbar systems and Motor Control Centres (MCC’s) is now available.

This new version allows the configuration and planning of busbar systems in TS 8 enclosures and at the same time create documentation and calculate heat loss for the project. It is also possible to combine Ri4Power in Form 1-4b and also use flat busbars for Form 1. The existing design and calculation of Form 4b MCC’S remains unchanged.

Comprehensive help functions lead the user through the programme and explain the necessary steps. The software offers quick and easy generation of quotations and bill of materials with improved assembly information. TS 8 enclosure combinations, with accessories, can be configured and users are able to add further Rittal products or other articles from a self-created article master at any time during field configuration.

An installation disc with the new version will be mailed out to all registered users of previous versions. For new customers the new software can be purchased from Rittal.

Water in the Sahara!

ABB automation and power solution to provide fresh drinking water for desert city in the Sahara region 

ABB is providing a complete power, mechanical and System 800xA automation solution for a large water transfer project in a remote and rainless region of the Sahara Desert. The project will pump and store water from deep underground, ready for transfer to a city of 115,000 people that is 750 km away.

Currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2011, the Réseau de Collecte water transfer scheme in Algeria is one of the biggest water projects ever undertaken in the Sahara region - one of the hottest and driest places on Earth, where temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius.

About 90 percent of Algeria’s 35 million population lives on the northern coastal belt close to the Mediterranean Sea, but several million live inland in oasis towns and cities, where rainfall is rare and water resources are limited.

Tamanrasset and In Salah are two such oasis cities. Tamanrasset is a large city of 115,000 inhabitants that lies deep in the southern reaches of the Algerian Sahara. The city is located near an aquifer that faces shortages in water reserves, while In Salah, a small urban community of about 43,000 inhabitants, is located close to an aquifer with a surplus of water.

The Réseau de Collecte will help rectify the shortage of potable water in Tamanrasset. Earmarked as one of the Algerian government’s key infrastructure projects, the water transfer scheme will pump and deliver 50,000 cubic meters of water each day via pipeline from In Salah to Tamanrasset, a distance of almost 750 km. By 2030, it is expected that 150,000 cubic meters of water per day will be needed, a tripling of water supplies to meet the needs of the city’s rapidly growing population.

ABB is playing an important role in the project by supplying a turnkey solution that covers mechanical, electrical, control, instrumentation and communications equipment and know-how for the entire water collection system at In Salah.

The 25 sq km site consists of 24 wells, pumping water from a depth of 600 meters at a rate of 35 liters per second. The water will then be collected and stored in eight huge covered reservoirs, where it will be protected from evaporation, ready for transfer via the pipeline to Tamanrasset.

The ABB solution will power the whole water collection system connecting the site to the local power grid to ensure a safe and reliable supply of electricity to site operations. The company’s flagship Extended Automation System 800xA will monitor and control the entire process. ABB instrumentation will measure the flow, temperature, pressure and quality of the water.

The company was able to use the breadth of its power and automation offering and water industry expertise to improve on the original specifications by adding ABB low-voltage drives to each well pumping system. The drives significantly improve pump performance, availability and energy consumption, by starting the pumps smoothly and by automatically adjusting them to rapid changes in operating conditions, thereby saving energy and reducing wear and tear.

ABB is a leader in power and automation solutions for the water industry, and has a huge installed base in products and solutions for water plants and networks, waste water treatment plants and desalination.

In Algeria, ABB is currently providing an optimized electrical solution that will boost the energy efficiency and reduce the maintenance downtime of the world’s largest seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant at Magtaa in the city of Oran. And in Abu Dhabi ABB is supplying a turnkey mechanical, electrical and automation solution for the expansion of the huge Shuweihat water transfer system, which when completed will supply the emirate with 680,000 cubic meters of potable water a day.

ABB is executing the Tamanrasset water collection solution in conjunction with the Chinese joint venture MCC-SOCOM on behalf of Algérienne des Eaux (ADE), a state-owned utility under the management of the Algerian water Resources Ministry.

Updated oscilloscope

RS Components expands test & measurement range with latest Tektronix' scopes delivering extra performance and value

RS Components has added Tektronix' latest-generation oscilloscopes, the TDS2000C family, to its extensive range of bench-top instruments fulfilling tasks from design and development to production, maintenance or repair. 
This model extends the feature set of the TDS2000 family, already the world's most popular oscilloscope series. The enhancements increase capability and help boost productivity, with new user-interface features, advanced triggering modes, extra support for automated measurements, data-logging to a USB flash drive, and limit testing with out-of-range alerts. Engineers can also take advantage of the increase in bandwidth to 70MHz and the increase in sample rate from 1GS/s to 2GS/s, provided by certain models in the range.

"This new family of Tektronix oscilloscopes delivers significant extra value enabling today's engineers to complete technically demanding projects quickly and efficiently, at an entry price lower than the previous TDS2000 family," said Fred Knowles, Head of Electronics Product Management at RS Components. "Bringing this important new generation of oscilloscopes to the market underlines our commitment to delivering high-quality instruments from leading vendors, offering advanced functionality at highly competitive prices."
The Tektronix TDS2000C adds to the extensive range of test and measurement instruments available from RS Components, including power supplies, arbitrary function generators, digital multimeters and counter/timers. The distributor provides added convenience for its customers such as online product-search capabilities, same-day despatch from stock, and additional support such as dedicated brand microsites containing application notes, online demos and webinars.

Avoiding the risk of critical component failure

Critical component failures often make the headlines, whether occurring at sea, underground, in mid-air or in production plants. Faulty pipes, valves, shafts, gears, couplings and other engineered components give rise to safety, environmental, productivity and financial issues, some catastrophic. These failures might result from design, manufacturing and assembly errors, inadequate quality assurance or unforeseen operating conditions, but sometimes they relate just to substandard materials and improper processing treatments.

Independent metallurgical specialist, Keighley Laboratories, points out that with growing volumes of steel, alloys and metal components being sourced in the Far East from comparatively unknown suppliers, and manufacturers in this country ultimately responsible for any component failures, there is now a pressing need to re-inspect, or overcheck, material certifications. In support of this view, the company draws attention to a recent US study, in which 133 out of 220 samples of imported steel rod were rated as failures by a certified test laboratory, an astonishing 60% failure rate.

“If you have specified imported material to a particular grade or heat treatment process, then overchecking is the best way to ensure you are getting what you paid for,”
says Keighley Labs Heat Treatment Commercial Manager, Michael Emmott. “Often we find that the raw material is not as specified, even with the correct certification, creating potential problems down the line.”


“The cost of a simple chemical or mechanical overcheck or a full in-depth metallurgical analysis might be tens or hundreds of pounds, but if that item is safety critical or forms part of a product worth hundreds of thousands, then it’s a comparatively small price to pay,” he continues. “Besides, given the legal implications of a failure in the field, it’s either a question of verifying incoming material or possibly putting your own business at risk.”

Through its in-house Technical Services laboratory Keighley Labs is able to provide independent chemical analysis, employing state-of-the-art spectroscopy or classical wet methods; microscopic sample examination, using metallography techniques; and mechanical testing for impact resistance, hardness, ductility, tensile strength and durability. In addition to overchecking certificated materials, these specialist techniques are also used in the allied fields of reverse engineering and failure investigation.

Reverse engineering refers to the process of duplicating an engineered component or assembly without recourse to drawings, CAD files, specifications or documentation, determining exactly how it was originally made and treated and from what material. Keighley Labs employs laboratory and CAD/CAM resources to model parts to a high degree of accuracy, then if necessary it will project manage the casting, machining and heat treatment of single or multiple components.

“Customers often ask us to re-engineer specific low volume, high value components and we apply reverse engineering techniques to such projects, usually introducing design and material upgrades to improve it to better than original spec, as part of the process,” says Customer Support Manager, Len Stott. “Reverse engineering can also be invaluable for remanufacturing a vital replacement part, where the original manufacturer no longer exists or drawings have been lost.

“It is also useful for reclassifying mixed stock, where materials have been mishandled in storage and certification is missing,” he continues. “On mixed batches like this, we can test the hardness profiles, looking at depth and quality of case and the microhardness, then the surface hardness, to determine which material is actually fit for purpose and which has been wrongly classified.”

The Keighley Labs service also covers problem and failure investigation, employing forensic analysis techniques to determine why specific components have failed in the field, so as to prevent similar problems in the future. Its senior metallurgists, who have extensive experience across a wide range of materials, treatments and product types in many different industries, can also suggest from what material the component should be made and how it should be processed. It’s just another useful weapon in the fight against critical component failure.

Appointment brings focus to energy and controls markets

Carlo Gavazzi is extending its management team in Britain to help it meet the demands of the fast-growing renewable energy and building management markets.  Amir Sami is joining the company as business development manager responsible for energy and controls.

Amir Sami
Alan Hickman, managing director of Carlo Gavazzi  commented, “The energy and controls markets are evolving rapidly on a global scale.  The appointment of Amir will enable us to continue developing and supporting our UK customers in this strategically important market.  I am positive that Amir brings the drive and determination to the team that will invigorate our business in this market.”
 

Amir will take responsibility for sales management and strategy for Carlo Gavazzi’s energy and controls product ranges and will work closely with the dedicated UK-wide distribution network to support customers on control, renewable energy and building management solutions.  Amir has extensive experience in PLCs, drives and human-machine interfaces, and, as an Associate member of the Chartered Management Institute, has business administration qualifications bringing significant insight of operations, marketing, and strategic management to the role.

Commenting on his new position, he said: “I am confident that there is great potential for growth with Carlo Gavazzi’s control and energy solutions and I’m looking forward hugely to meeting our loyal customers and forging even stronger relationships.”

Amir gained a B.Eng. in Electronics Engineering in 2004 and began his career with Carphone Warehouse in the Express Engineering Division. This led to a team leadership role for express repair retail stores, before progressing to sales and sales management with specialist electrical distributors in the automation industry. Prior to joining Carlo Gavazzi, Amir worked extensively on international projects for rail and lift applications.

Wireless standard interoperility confirmed

Successful ‘Wireless Plugfest’ confirms the interoperability of ISA100.11a registered devices
Honeywell, Yokogawa, Nivis, GE, Yamatake, Fuji Electric and R3 Sensors Participate in Structured Interoperability Testing Held at NTS Lab

Plugfest Webinar
A free WCI webinar showcasing the results of the WCI December 2010 Wireless Plugfest is scheduled. The webinar will describe the objectives of the Plugfest, how it was structured, the results and, lessons learned. Presenters include Jay Werb, WCI Technical Director and Dr. Penny Chen, Principal Systems Architect at Yokogawa Corporation. It will be presented on January 18, 2011 and January 19, 2011.
The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI) announced the success of its recently held 'Wireless Plugfest.' This is a structured WCI member program conducted periodically to validate interoperability of wireless products compliant with the ISA100.11a standard. The event was held in December 2010, at National Technical Systems (NTS) labs in Los Angeles, CA.  NTS is an independent third-party engineering, testing and certification company.

The WCI Technical Steering Committee designed and planned this series of test scenarios to confirm interoperability characteristics in four functional categories; Provisioning, Networking, Application Configuration, and Data Publishing.

“We were thrilled with the outcome of the December 2010 WCI Wireless Plugfest and will expand the Plugfest program on an ongoing basis.  Our objective is to improve the user experience with ISA100 based products and maintain confidence in our declaration of assured interoperability,”
said Andre Ristaino, managing director of WCI.

Test engineers successfully demonstrated interoperability of ISA100.11a based manufacturer field devices, provisioning devices, and gateways.  The test included registered devices submitted by suppliers including the Honeywell High Level Analog Input (HLAI) device, pressure and temperature devices and, Yokogowa pressure transmitter and temperature transmitters. Using a structured plan for assessing multiple combinations of network configurations, devices from participating suppliers were joined to gateways from Honeywell, Yokogawa and Nivis, Inc., and then configured to publish data through those gateways.

“We were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the WCI technical documentation and the interoperability of the ISA100.11a devices and profiles,”
said Osman Sakr, CTO of National Technical Systems.

“This was a huge milestone in validating the technical capability, ease of use and true interoperability that ISA100.11a can provide to users in the marketplace. As new ISA100.11a devices pass certification, we will expand our product testing scenarios to confirm the scalability, reliability and performance benefits of the ISA100.11a standard,”
continued Ristaino.


The ISA100.11a industrial wireless networking standard is the first in the ISA100 family of standards. This wireless mesh network protocol standard ensures that supplier companies will build interoperable wireless automation control products. As a result, ISA100.11a device suppliers  are able to create, modify, optimize, and scale a wireless network quickly, cost-effectively, and seamlessly. Interoperability provides users the freedom to choose best-of-breed ISA100.11a  field devices from any supplier that are simple to deploy, reliable in their operation, and support traditional and future applications

Planned additions to the ISA100 family of standards include support for backhaul functionality, factory automation, and other key-use cases.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New CEO for automation trade organisation

John Bailey (L) welcomes Graeme Philp (R)
GAMBICA has announced the appointment of Dr Graeme Philp as its new Chief Executive. Dr Philp takes over from Geoff Young, who led the organisation for 25 years and who is retiring.

Announcing the appointment, GAMBICA's President, John Bailey (Solutions PT), said, "I am delighted to have secured Graeme as the new Chief Executive of GAMBICA. Together we will build on the excellent organisation that Geoff developed and strive to increase still further, its value and relevance to members in our fast-changing business environment. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Geoff Young for his excellent leadership of the organisation over the last quarter of a century".

Dr Philp added, "I am excited at the prospect of leading an organisation like GAMBICA with such a proud history of representing our industry. I have enjoyed a challenging and rewarding career in instrumentation and automation for the last 33 years and I relish this opportunity to put something back into the industry by representing it in the UK and Europe to the best of my ability".

GAMBICA is the Trade Association for Instrumentation, Control, Automation and Laboratory Technology in the UK.

A new rôle, a rule, and an acquisition

Snippits from the first Industrial Automation Insider for 2011

Eoin Ó Riain has started a two year term as Vice President in the Publications Department at the International Society of Automation (ISA). As publisher of the major Irish instrumentation and control magazine ‘Read-out’, and the associated ‘Instrumentation Signpost’ website, Ó Riain will bring interesting fresh thinking to the ISA in respect of their approach to the media. Quite apart from his ‘Tweets’, and probably other electronic alerts that the rest of the automation press have not yet found, his website is notable for publishing detailed reports on industrial press conferences even before the applause for the presentation has died down. So the next steps from ISA publications will be awaited with justifiable anticipation!

Invensys Rail has advised their ‘preferred’ UK suppliers that their invoice payment terms will be extended to two months after the month in which the invoice is raised, which can therefore be up to 90 days. This is in spite of moves by Network Rail, who have tried to help suppliers by reducing payment delays to as low as 28 days, after recognizing the effects of the recent decline in work available. Invensys Rail said the move was designed to align their policy with the standard Invensys company policy.

Eriks has acquired Valtor Offshore A/S, based in Esbjerg, Denmark, one of Europe’s leading valve and actuator distributors and service providers to the offshore oil and gas industry. Valtor Offshore
has a high level of application knowledge and excellent reputation in servicing the North Sea and the international oil and gas industry with a wide range of valves, actuators and valve automation solutions, for the construction of oil and gas production installations, and for maintenance applications.

This issue also comments on the Emerson event in Berlin (see also our blog Conquest of complexity advances!) and Control's  Automation Vendors’ Top 50 "the most authoritative and consistent
source of data."
An interesting statistical fact given in this issue is that "stories about the Alfa Laval activities attract the highest numbers of Google search led visitors to Nick Denbow's INSIDER blog website." There is also a piece on "the advertising spend for 2011!"

Altogether, as we have always said, Industrial Automation Insider is a must read publication for the Automation Professional especially if they want to find out what way things are moving in the "First World!"