Saturday, March 5, 2011

DIN 41612 connector with shell housing

Harting has expanded its range of DIN 41612 products with a new type 2C/2R crimp female connector with a shell housing.

Tested according to IEC 60603-2, the connector can be populated with up to 48 contacts. Because of its space-saving half size, the connector is ideal for use with compact PCBs or assemblies.

Special consideration has been given in the design to incorporate features that simplify the cable assembly process. The hood features three different cable entry options with predetermined breaking points, allowing them to be easily opened according to customer preference.

The locking levers are moulded into the top half of the shell housing, avoiding the need to fit separate levers. The pre-moulded design offers the additional benefit of fewer individual piece parts, thereby reducing the risk of lost components.

Secure and reliable strain relief is realised with a cable tie that fixes the cable to the shell housing.

The compatible crimp contacts are available on reels with 500 or 5000 contacts for series production or as single contacts for repair and maintenance. The appropriate crimp tools are available as a hand tool, a semi-automatic or a fully automatic tool, depending upon quantities and degrees of automation.

The new DIN 41612 type 2C/2R crimp female connector mates with straight or angled male connectors as well as with shrouds. The shell housing or the female connector can be fastened with screws or locking levers. The new connector exhibits the same degree of robustness as the full-sized models in the range.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Maintenance and facilities management software

SoftSols Group has launched a new version of its Agility Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS), which has a range of new features and alerts to help users improve the management of their facilities and maintenance.

Agility 3.4 provides a new dashboard layout and new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to enable users to focus on the factors which are most critical to their own business. It also provides new features that allow end users to configure their own view of the data, all within the same easy-to-use browser based interface as previous versions of Agility.

Other new features include:
·       Visual KPI Charts - which track labour utilisation, stock levels, planned and reactive maintenance;
·       New Service Level monitoring tools - which track response times using real-time logging on PCs or PDA devices;
·       New conditional formatting - which can be used to highlight data in various colours and give visual prompts, for example highlighting urgent overdue activities or low inventory alerts Conditional email alerts: allowing any change of data to prompt an e-mail alert;
·       Improved automatic purchasing - with a one-step stock level review and automated purchase order generation process to email directly to the preferred supplier;
·       New system health check - a new component on the homepage gives a quick overview of key system parameters, reminding you to back up and confirming that the automatic generation of PPM work orders has been activated.

Agility makes it straightforward for users to manage breakdown and preventive maintenance work orders and the associated spare parts and resources by providing up to-the-minute information about all assets, work orders and planned schedules. It is used by organisations of all sizes, from small maintenance departments to multi-site corporate businesses. SoftSols has a 30-year track record of success in the market and is committed to delivering simple, affordable software solutions which provide an outstanding return on investment.
David Hipkin, SoftSols (EMEA) Limited Group Managing Director, comments, “We’ve listened to feedback from our customers and added a range of new features to Agility which will help them tailor it to their specific requirements. In these challenging economic times managing maintenance effectively and keeping equipment running is vital to business success, and we believe Agility is the most cost-effective and easy to use solution available.”
SoftSols will be demonstrating Agility 3.4 at Maintec 2011  in Birmingham (GB) on 29th-31st March (Hall 8 and on stand D6). The SoftSols team will also be presenting 3.4 at customer workshops throughout 2011 in Manchester, Northampton, Newcastle, Peterborough, Glasgow, West London, Telford, Bristol, Leicester and Dublin.

Gas mass flowmeter updated

The Thermatel® Model TA2 air and gas mass flow meter from Magnetrol International - was introduced to the marketplace nearly ten years ago. Although the device has a proven track record of reliability and precise flow measurement, we decided to carry out further improvements in line with customer and market needs.

They have now released the Thermatel® Enhanced Model TA2. At a first glance the enhanced model looks identical to the original design but it's much more. All standard input voltages (AC and DC) are accepted and the rotatable housing allows positioning of the display to the customer’s liking. The display, two lines with sixteen characters each, is now backlit; this allows easy reading in bad weather conditions or dark environments. The four push-button keypad facilitates easy configuration allowing the customer to make modifications in the field.

The Enhanced Model TA2 can be calibrated for one or two different gasses or two completely different ranges, thus also increasing turndown ratio or providing more flexibility. By updating the sensors and sensor design, higher velocities can be measured, and a faster response to changing conditions is obtained. In addition, the new design reduces blockage of flow through the window and reduces orientation sensitivity.

There is also a second optional mA output for temperature or flow. Using HART® and PACTware™ is strongly advised as it is helpful for trending, changing any configuration and use for diagnostic purposes. The obtained history log is kept in a non-volatile memory so it can be easily retrieved should there be a need. While this is a SIL 1 device the Enhanced Model TA2 has a Safe Failure Fraction (SFF) of 88.4%. This amongst the highest for this type of devices. This is important when used in a safety system.

Wireless expert contributes at CiBIT

President and CEO of Dust Networks®, Joy Weiss, participated in two panel discussions at the M2M Zone on Thursday, March 3, 2011 in CeBIT’s Telematics & Automotive World in Hannover (D)

The Embedded Networking Systems in the Smart Home & Office session at 12:30 p.m. presented the state of the global market and related competing standards, and included such topics as AC-power/low-power considerations for home appliances and energy efficiency with smart meters for the Smart Grid.

The M2M for Public Services & Smart Cities session at 2 p.m. discussed current trends in technology and applications in municipalities – from in-building automation and municipal & regional infrastructure to network intelligence and device connectivity promoting Green IT practices.

As Machine-to-Machine Communications (M2M) technology changes the way enterprises manage themselves and interact with customers, government-driven standards, regulation, and funding continue to be energizing forces in the industry. M2M at CeBit explores the ways to connect devices to intelligent, responsive, location-aware networks in order to maximize investments in mobile networks for consumer, enterprise and utility infrastructures.

Chinese approval achieved

Earth-Rite® static grounding systems achieve NEPSI approval.

The Earth-Rite series of hazardous area static grounding systems from Newson Gale has recently achieved Chinese approval from the National Supervision and Inspection Centre for Explosion Protection and Safety of Instrumentation (NEPSI).

Earth-Rite static grounding systems are used widely by the worldwide chemical processing industries to control the risk of uncontrolled electrostatic discharge in flammable gas, liquid vapour or combustible dust atmospheres.

The new NEPSI approval covers the whole range of Series II Earth-Rite systems suitable for grounding all conductive items including Road Tanker Trucks, Railcars, Drums, IBC’s, Totes and other mobile tanks and vessels. The new certification augments existing IECEX, ATEX and CSA/US approvals and underlines Newson Gale’s commitment to design and manufacture static grounding products to truly meet the requirements of the global processing industries.

Digital valve controllers now with FDT/DTM interface!

FIELDVUE digital valve controllers easily integrate with all process control host systems

Emerson’s Fisher® FIELDVUE digital valve controllers with HART and FOUNDATION fieldbus communications can now be integrated into any process control system that supports FDT/DTM technology. Using ValveLink™ DTM software, users can communicate with any FIELDVUE digital valve controller, to perform start-up, commissioning and diagnostic activities.

ValveLink software has been certified by the FDT Group for compliance with FDT standards. It has also been tested and certified for use with FDT compliant host systems including Honeywell, Invensys and Yokogawa.

FIELDVUE digital valve controllers have a long history of using the AMS ValveLink SNAP-ON to integrate into HART and FOUNDATION fieldbus host systems, such as Emerson’s DeltaV™ and Ovation™ digital automation systems. The addition of DTM support provides another avenue to continue this strong integration tradition for FIELDVUE instrument customers. 

Performance and reliability are the foundation for the FIELDVUE family of digital valve controllers.  Their role is to maintain control valve performance, diagnose the assembly, and enable predictive maintenance.  FIELDVUE digital valve controllers have logged millions of operating hours and have earned high praise from companies that employ their technology to improve plant availability.  Built for extreme conditions, they have proven themselves by surviving difficult process environments in the refining, chemical, nuclear, oil and gas, power, and pulp and paper industries. 

Security task force formed

The International Society of Automation (ISA) announces that the ISA99 standards committee on Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security has formed a task group to conduct a gap analysis of the current ANSI/ISA99 standards with respect to the rapidly evolving threat landscape, as demonstrated by the highly publicized Stuxnet malware. The purpose is to determine if companies following the ISA99 standards would have been protected from such sophisticated attacks and to identify changes needed, if any, to the standards being developed by the ISA99 committee. The new task group intends to produce a technical report summarizing the results of its analysis by mid-2011.

The new task group, designated ISA99 WG5 TG2, is open to all cybersecurity subject matter experts. Interested parties are asked to contact Eric Byres.

Cybersecurity experts interested in joining the ISA99 committee are asked to visit the ISA99 WIKIpage and to contact Charley Robinson.

For more information on the Stuxnet threat and industrial cybersecurity, see these two recent articles from InTech magazine:

How to Use ANSI/ISA-99 Standards to Improve Control System Security, Eric Byres (Feb 2011)

Stuxnet: Cybersecurity Trojan Horse, Joseph Weiss (Dec 2010)
Stuxnet is a highly sophisticated computer worm that was first disclosed in the summer of 2010. It is the first known malware to have been specifically written with the intent to compromise a control system and sabotage an industrial process. Stuxnet’s capabilities are being well documented in the press, and some of these capabilities may migrate into new threats. Going forward, automation systems must be able to detect and either block or be able to recover from advanced Stuxnet-like threats.

The ANSI/ISA99 standards address the vital issue of cybersecurity for industrial automation and control systems. The standards describe the basic concepts and models related to cybersecurity, as well as the elements contained in a cybersecurity management system for use in the industrial automation and control systems environment. They also provide guidance on how to meet the requirements described for each element.

The ANSI/ISA99 standards form the base documents for the IEC 62443 series of industrial automation (sometimes generically labelled "SCADA," or supervisory control and data acquisition) security standards. Over the next few years, these standards will become core international standards for protecting critical industrial infrastructures that directly impact human safety, health, and the environment; and, likely will be extended to other areas of application, even broader than those generically labelled "SCADA." Based on this, it is essential that industrial companies following IEC 62443 standards know they will be able to stop the next Stuxnet. The work of the new ISA99 task group will have a significant impact on ensuring that automation facilities are secure in the future.

BMS in ultra-low-energy building in Luxembourg!

This trend-setting building comprises a clinic for physiotherapy and medical muscle-building plus the offices of the builder, Steffen Holzbau. All of the efficiency systems are monitored from a PcVue 9.0 BMS system with remote WebVue access linked to BACnet controllers and communication.

As a specialist in design of wooden buildings, Steffen Holzbau planned and built the facility in cooperation with Sanichaufer based in Luxembourg – where the building is situated – and the contractor GIGA-Automation of Saarbrücken (D). GIGA-Automation is a PcVue Solutions Certified Partner which provides integrated building management systems (IBMS) in Germany and Luxembourg. The BACnet network was developed to rigorous specifications: PcVue for the operator workstation and control system, DDCs from SAIA Burgess with native BACnet communication and a Menerga Control System for the swimming pool and therapy controls.

The building conforms to the Passivhaus standard for energy efficiency with minimum ecological footprint. The clinical and administrative areas have each been optimized for ultra-low energy usage across several kinds of heating and cooling. Two central ventilation systems provide sterilized air to both areas. The cooling and heating plant uses special convector systems built into the floors and arranged in front of the window surfaces.

The ventilation is equipped with efficient heat recovery systems and adiabatic cooling. There are approximately 50 m² of solar panels on the roof for hot water production and heating support. As backup for the solar water heating (140 kW) both the ventilation and the pool heating are assisted by woodchip boilers (100 kW) and an oil-burning system.

The therapy pool of high-grade steel has a water treatment plant installed to ensure water quality. The pool is equipped with a countercurrent feature and underwater massage nozzles. Space heating and dehumidifying of the swimming-pool area are achieved with a special air handling unit.

PcVue 9.0 combines the data from those systems and from 65 sensors at various points in the façade, roof and outer surface of the building to measure temperature and in some cases humidity. The results are sent to a laboratory for evaluation to assess the influence of external conditions on the internal environment and thus help to optimize the building’s energy performance.

For complete control of the clinical and office areas the BACnet EDE-File Import process populates the PcVue database automatically. The BACnet communication gives access to 2,000 BACnet I/O points in total. The project also includes BACnet Scheduling for the pool heating cycle. Historical data will be archived using Microsoft SQL Server 2008. Reporting is via SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services (SRSS) for data exchange with scientific institutions, including spreadsheet export for the energy analysis.

Two analysers launched!

AGC Instruments launches new MAP Analyser

AGC Instruments has launched the Map-Pak O2, the first analyser in its completely new product line of Modified Atmosphere Packaging Analysers.

Designed specifically for the Food Industry, the Map-Pak O2 measures the Oxygen content within gas flushed food packages. The measurement range is from 0% to 100% with accuracy of 0.1%. This lightweight portable analyzer has a wide variety features and couldn’t be easier to use.

Sample measurements and results are achieved within moments and the operator can
modify various features of the analyser to best suit his or her requirements.

Some of the benefits the Map-Pak O2 has to offer include: An easy operator interface, sharp display with backlight, up to 7 hour operation time and a built in database capable of storing up to 5,000 measurements.

AGC Instruments has decades of experience within the food gas analysis industry and as with all AGC Instruments products, quality and reliability are assured.

The Map-Pak will be available in CO2 and O2/CO2 formats in the very near future. AGC Instruments would also like to announce that it is looking for distributors for this product.

AGC launches new Total Hydrocarbon Gas Analyser

The company has also announced latest addition to their product offering with a newly designed Total Hydrocarbon Gas Analyser.
This new Gas Analyser represents the latest in digital and modern technology, and based on the Flame Ionisation Detector (FID) platform. Having evolved from the its well-known predecessor and now with improved analytical performance, a greater market is being targeted.

Utilising the finest tools available, the ease with which customers are able to achieve the best results has now been made easier.

This new and easy to use THC Analyser has an interactive touch screen display where all controls and results are easily brought to the operator’s attention.

Designed to continuously measure and monitor ppm/ppb concentrations of Hydrocarbons in a gas stream. A heated version is also available for those samples where temperature must remain elevated. With a wide target audience including Air Separation Units, to Industrial Gas Production Sites to the Petrochemical and Refinery markets, AGC are aiming to further their presence and influence on the market.

A wide range of detection down to < 30ppb is achievable with an Autoranging function, other features include standard 4-20mA outputs with alarm contacts, data logging over RS 232, plus the results can be read direct on the display or transmitted to the Control Room or the DCS. Also new to this model is the validation of all results.

Monitoring 50,000 SCADA points in bioscience plant!

Genzyme a world leader in biotechnology, is creating a new polyclonal antibody production site.This is an innovative production facility: the process has been automated as far as possible, to reduce human error in the many stages of the process (separation, purification, filtration, ultrafiltration, haemadsorption etc.).This involves being able to interface with a battery of very mixed laboratory equipment, which was not initially designed to communicate with fieldbuses. Genzyme has used about thirty HMS Anybus Communicator gateways, to enable consistent SCADA management across all the devices in use. Benefits are as much in terms of quality as in production costs.

The Lyon (F) bioproduction site extends over an area of 22,000 m², and produces a selective immunosuppressant which is used to prevent and treat organ rejection during organ transplants (Thymoglobulin®).This drug is also used in haematology in cases where the transplanted cells react against their host in bone marrow transplants. The active agents in this drug are anti-human thymocyte immunoglobulins, obtained from the purification of a serum, which is used as the raw material. The immunogenic base consists of thymocytes (Thymus cells), a natural source of T cells. The development of this site has involved investment worth €115m.

“Genzyme is currently using labour-intensive production methods at the Sanofi Pasteur site, Marcy (F). With the new site, we’re hoping to optimise the process so as to reduce human error to the absolute minimum. This highly sequential batch process involves more than 780 production stages. There are many sources of error. Automating a process such as this has required a lot of close work with the equipment involved when deciding how the system should behave. This has avoided the need to re-think the entire ergonomics of the building and production equipment, whilst still resulting in a true revolution in the way the production process works. To achieve this, we specified more than 4,000 parameters and 13,000 alarms, enabling us to master every stage of production,” explains Alexis Ducancel, Genzyme’s Automated Systems officer.

Bioproduction: a series of complex processes
Unlike traditional chemistry, production based on living cells involves many different complex and expensive stages. The production cycle for a recombinant protein requires an industrial infrastructure which is suited to large-scale production involving several stages staggered over several months. Each stage is subject to numerous quality controls. Tests to ensure the absence of viruses and contaminants are performed throughout the production cycle. At the end of the line, the purity and action of the protein are also checked.

The production of this drug involves many complex stages, punctuated by a succession of technical and quality assurance tests. The production process can be broken down into four main stages:
 - The collection of the immunoglobulins, which is done by injecting human tissue into rabbits.
 - The purification of the immunoglobulins to remove undesirable proteins (particularly anti-erythrocyte antibodies), by haemadsorption.
 - The chromatography stage consists of anion exchange through the use of an ion exchange resin.Impurities are captured by the resin, whilst the immunoglobulins, which are not negatively charged, are eluted. This stage is checked using spectrophotometry and electrophoresis.
 - The precipitation stage is intended to eliminate the last remaining impurities. The purified immunoglobulins are pasteurised (60°C for 10 hours).This solution is freeze-dried before being sealed into vials. 

“In this process we can, for example, program in the settings for the centrifuges (speed, temperature, working time etc.).These values can be changed in the SCADA to take the specific requirements of the current production batch into account. Readings are taken at every stage and sent back to the SCADA.This enables us to put a very precise traceability process in place. In particular, this means that the workload for the quality assurance teams is significantly reduced, which is an advantage in cost terms,” adds Alexis Ducancel.

The Lyon site, like the Marcy site, will receive FDA and AFFAPS approval.
“Naturally, we chose HMS, because we felt that no other company has standard solutions available to return data from a very mixed set of equipment which has not necessarily been designed for connection to fieldbuses. We have 28 centrifuges, pH-meters, balances and so on. The interface protocols vary: serial or ASCII for example. The 30 Anybus Communicators on site send the data back over the Ethernet or Profibus to the central SCADA.”

Anybus Communicator: the solution for integrating Serial equipment into an industrial communication network
The Anybus Communicator series of gateways for connection to industrial Ethernet/Fieldbus makes it possible to network devices which were developed for use in a serial network. The Anybus Communicator can connect most products with an RS-232/422/485 serial interface to an industrial Ethernet or fieldbus. It performs an intelligent conversion between the serial protocol and destination network. This conversion is configured using the “ABC Config Tool” software. The network configuration, once completed, can be re-used for all networks supported by the Communicator.
“Quite apart from the quality of the product, we found that technical support was there whenever we needed it,” concludes Alexis Ducancel.

Around fifty employees are now in place at the Genzyme production site, where initial production batches are being run to validate the production process. Full production should start in late 2011, once the AFSSAPS certifications have been obtained. The total number of staff should then rise to 270.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Multinational changes Irish management team!

The Board of Siemens in Ireland have announced the appointments of Paul Lynam as Chief Executive Officer and Brian Flannery as Chief Financial Officer for the organisation in Ireland.
Brian Flannery (L) & Paul Lynam (R)
Mr. Lynam, formerly the CFO, replaces Dr. Werner Kruckow who has returned to Siemens Germany following the completion of his five year tenure in Ireland. Mr. Lynam will be responsible for the overall company strategy and market development for Siemens operations in Ireland. He has been working with Siemens since 2005 in the capacity of Commercial Manager, Energy & Transportation and as CFO since 2008. Having studied at DCU and UCD, he began his career in 1990 with the Smurfit Group where he worked until joining Siemens 15 years later.

Mr. Flannery previously held the position of Country Controller (Industry Sector) in Siemens Limited. Having completed a B.A. in Accounting & Finance, Brian qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte Ireland before moving to Deloitte and subsequently KPMG in Eastern Europe. He joined Siemens in 2001 as Commercial Manager, Energy & Transportation and took responsibility for HR from 2003 to 2008. He joins Paul Lynam on the Board of Siemens Limited (Dublin).

Siemens is one of the world’s leading electronics and electrical engineering companies, operating in the industry, energy and healthcare sectors. For over 160 years, Siemens has stood for technological excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality. Siemens employs approx 1,000 people in Ireland with offices in Dublin and Cork and a manufacturing facility in Swords, Co. Dublin.

Welding robotics market upswing indicated

 The global robotics market experienced huge declines in 2009 as revenues across all end-user industries plummeted. Bailout packages from the governments were needed to prop up the automotive industry in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and the Americas. Signs of recovery began to emerge in the fourth quarter of 2009, led by emerging markets in Asian countries such as China and India. A marginal increase in welding robot orders was experienced in EMEA and Americas in 2010 and steady growth is expected to continue over the coming years.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of the Global Welding Robotics Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $1437.9 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $2969.3 million in 2016.

“A demand upswing for robot welding from the automotive industry is expected in the wake of higher vehicle uptake in countries such as India and China in the APAC region,” says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Archana Chauhan. “The APAC region is likely to experience a higher growth rate in the short term due to a faster rebound from the lows seen in 2009.”
The benefits of accuracy and repeatability of welding robots make them an attractive choice for the automation of welding processes in several end-user industries, particularly the automotive industry. Robots can help decrease cycle time; hence, are preferred for mass production. The potential for higher penetration of welding robots, in the metal processing, heavy machinery, shipbuilding, and process industries, would ramp up investments in welding robotics.

The shifting of manufacturing bases to Asia will lead to a decrease in the price of welding robots in the short and medium term. This would also reduce the payback time of a robotic welding solution and trigger higher penetration in the small-scale enterprises and job shops.

The advent of vision tracking systems has enabled the continuous monitoring and control of the welding parameters throughout the process. Manufacturers across the globe are integrating 3D vision systems into arc welding robots. The revenues from arc welding robots are poised for a spike over the long term as they penetrate more into the general industry, where manual welding is being increasingly replaced by robotic welding.

Maintaining profit margins at a time of declining welding robot prices is a major challenge for robot manufacturers worldwide. Price is increasingly becoming the foremost criterion for customers to choose a welding robot, as they try to reduce capital expenditure. The suppliers in this market need to have greater collaboration with system integrators and provide customized solutions in sync with the requirements of end users.

The market has witnessed several partnerships of robot manufacturers with power source suppliers to enhance the compatibility of the different components in a robotic welding solution. Manufacturers must roll out flexible and adaptive robots that are suitable for mixed and multi-purpose production lines. Value-added services and functionality would be the key differentiators. Manufacturers also need to be operationally efficient to cope with the downtrend in robot prices.

“Training workshops and fairs would raise awareness of the benefits of robotic welding among small scale manufacturers,”
says Chauhan. “Technology upgrades in terms of software, user interface of teach pendants, and logging weld parameters would also help suppliers in expanding their customer base.”

Greater emphasis on service and replacements in the mature western European and American markets along with focus on the emerging markets of Latin America and Eastern Europe would aid in augmenting the revenues for the welding robot suppliers.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Measuring technology helps development of FTTH networksin Germany

Deutsche Telekom has selected Yokogawa's AQ1200 Micro-OTDR as a key test tool for its deployment of Fibre to the Home (FTTH) networks.

Deutsche Telekom has launched a fibre optic development pilot project in Dresden which will vastly improve access to the Internet. The outcome of this pilot project will be incorporated in the expansion of Deutsche Telekom's installation of FTTH.

The installers are faced with the challenge of extending or replacing the previous copper technology with optical transfer technology. An important method of inspection for this is the optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR). Each installation team must be equipped with an OTDR in order to measure and document the parameters of the optical fibres laid.

For the additional development of the FTTH network, Deutsche Telekom decided on the Yokogawa AQ1200 Micro-OTDR which, for the first time, enables measurements with a wavelength of 1650 nm to be taken with a compact test instrument.

The measuring wavelength of 1650 nm was one of Deutsche Telekom's requirements in order to take measurements during operation and in doing so not interrupt data transfer via shorter wavelengths. The 1650 nm wavelength is allocated exclusively for measurement purposes and carries no normal user traffic. This situation will continue in the future, so that Deutsche Telekom's investment is secured on a long-term basis.

In the development process, Yokogawa built on its experience with optical measuring technology and with a major Japanese communications carrier's network by bringing the 1650 nm technology in a Micro-OTDR AQ 1200 to series production - the only manufacturer at the time who could meet such requirements.

The portability of the Micro-OTDR, the luminosity and brilliance of the display, together with the intuitive controls, ensures that technicians not necessarily experienced in optical transfer technology can obtain results quickly and easily. Furthermore, Yokogawa was able to implement these requirements within a few months of being asked.

Terry Marrinan, Yokogawa's Test & Measurement Sales and Marketing Director for Europe & Africa comments: "We are very pleased that Deutsche Telekom selected Yokogawa to help support them in the development of FTTH. It's an endorsement that Yokogawa is playing a leading role in the deployment of FTTH throughout Europe."

Cool efficiency!

Rittal have extended their range of Cool Efficiency cooling units with the introduction of the new Premium Series. Using a powerful comfort controller system that consumes 40 to 50% less energy than the standard Rittal cooling units, the Premium Series is in addition to Rittal’s standard TopTherm units. Cooling outputs of 1kW and 2kW are available now with the complete series up to 40kW, being completed in the spring.

Dimensions and external appearance of the new Cool Efficiency cooling units are the same as those of the proven TopTherm, which will still remain an essential part of the product range. The higher refrigeration factor, which is due to the energy savings of up to 50%, is the result of intensive research work.

Developments in energy and performance-optimised refrigeration compressors are largely responsible for the far higher energy efficiency. These are specifically set to the application's desired operating point. EC (Electronic Commutation) technology is used in the fan motors. The motors, designed as external rotor motors replace the traditional mechanical pole reversal by electronic commutation, which functions without wear, sparks or interference.

Performance is further improved by analysing and adjusting the condensers, evaporators, cooling fins, pipe bends and all other cooling components as well as the control electronics, which are ideally provided by the new Eco-Mode controls. The nano-coated condensers also guarantee very low maintenance costs.

Rittal’s economical Cool Efficiency cooling units can be supplied as wall-mounted and roof-mounted cooling units. Orders with basic controllers continue to be delivered as the tried and tested TopTherm units.

Planetary gearheads!

Thomson has added a new model to its TRUE high-performance planetary gearhead product range, which is characterised by particularly impressive water tightness and corrosion resistance as a result of its hermetically sealed design. The AquaTRUE™ planetary gearheads have been specially developed for applications in which the components used must meet the most stringent of requirements in terms of their water tightness. These include, for example, systems in the food processing and beverage industries, in which components are exposed to high-pressure washdown or caustic cleaning chemicals during cleaning operations. AquaTRUE™ are the first, and currently the only planetary gearheads certified in accordance with NSF/ANSI 169. Furthermore, only lubricants approved by the FDA are used in all models. Yet another benefit to this field of application is the round, fully stainless steel housing that is produced without seams and features a permanently laser-etched rating plate. This ensures that there are no crevices in which bacteria could potentially accumulate and it is thus ideally suited to applications with stringent hygiene requirements.

The new models prove an interesting alternative, not only in the food processing and beverage industry, but also for other industrial sectors. One particularly challenging, possible application is water jet cutting systems where the reliable sealing of metal components against high water pressure and chemicals plays a vital role. Since all AquaTRUE™ planetary gearheads are manufactured in line with IP66/IP67 and IP69K degrees of protection as standard, they can be used here without concern. In this case, additional protection or seals are a thing of the past, which is a benefit both in terms of the purchase price and ease of maintenance. What is more, stainless steel external components eliminate the concern for rust or any type of corrosion.

Other applications for AquaTRUE™ planetary gearheads include food packaging, beverage filling machines, medical technology equipment, pharmaceutical laboratory and production facilities, slicing machines in meat processing and applications with cleaning procedures that utilise high levels of water or chemicals.

These planetary gearheads are available in sizes of 60, 80, 120 and 160 mm; with a maximum degree of precision of 13 arc minutes. At a torque capacity of up to 876 Nm, they support gearing up and gearing down from 1:3 to 10:1 in a single stage.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Source code for device manufacturers.

ProfiDRIVE Roadmap
To further advance PROFIdrive and to enable efficient implementation of the profile, development support in the form of source code will be made available to device manufacturers. The foundations for this were laid in a kickoff meeting of the Industrial NETworx Community hosted by Hilscher in Germany on January 27, 2011, and attended by representatives of 15 companies. PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) welcomes this action because it will contribute greatly to the wide dissemination of the profile and of PROFIBUS and PROFINET in drive applications.

With the help of the tested source code, device manufacturers will be able to implement PROFIdrive in their products much more quickly and easily. The community will support interested device manufacturers as they integrate the source code by answering related questions and by providing a platform for exchanging experience with all aspects of PROFIdrive.

The PI working groups “Drives Marketing” and “PROFIdrive Profile” will actively support the Community's development activities. Device manufacturers will be supported on an individual basis in case of questions regarding the specification as well as during development and product certification activities.

First development results will be presented at this year’s the Hanover Fair (4/8 April). Initial products are anticipated at SPC/IPC/DRIVES 2011 (22/24 Nov 2011- Nuremberg D).

Besides device manufacturers, other participants at the kickoff meeting included companies offering technology components and development kits. These companies will integrate the source code for PROFIdrive in their technology components and development kits and thus also contribute to faster implementation of drive interfaces with PROFIdrive.

Interested parties in the field of drive engineering and communication are invited to register to receive information from the Community and to participate in the development of the source code.

New version simulation software

New user interface maximises simulator’s effectiveness, reduces learning curve and drives productivity excellence

Invensys Operations Management has released the newest version of its SimSci-Esscor® PRO/II™ software, a steady-state process simulator used to design, analyse and improve chemical processes and help industrial users achieve productivity excellence.

“Process engineers today have more and more demands on their time,” said Joseph McMullen, SimSci-Esscor PRO/II product manager, Invensys Operations Management. “Version 9.0 of our PRO/II software includes a powerful user interface and a host of new features designed to make the application more customisable, which significantly reduces the learning curve for new users and makes existing users more effective. Key productivity improvements include conditional formatting to readily identify different process stream properties; customisable tabs that allow easy sorting of unit operations by type; new dockable windows; and improved toolbars, which provide faster access to a broader range of selections and data. The software’s rigorous simulation capabilities extend the functionality of our InFusion Enterprise Control System, enabling real-time decision making and collaboration across people, processes and assets.”

Version 9.0 of the SimSci-Esscor PRO/II software also lowers the cost of ownership by supporting Microsoft App-V for application virtualisation, allowing better use of existing computer hardware resources. Simulation capabilities have also been enhanced through a significant update of the thermodynamic correlations, including a link to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Reference Fluid Thermodynamic and Transport Properties (REFPROP) application. The database provides critical property values needed to evaluate fluids and optimise related equipment and processes.

“Users of SimSci-Esscor PRO/II 9.0 software will benefit from the many improvements we have made,”
McMullen added. “Experienced users will be able to readily customise their applications to better match their solution needs and their computing environments, and new users will become effective users faster. In today’s challenging economy, this type of powerful simulation software is gaining importance, ensuring that processing companies optimise their operations and maximise the return on their assets to achieve overall operational excellence.”

When worlds collide.....

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has published When Worlds Collide in Manufacturing Operations: ISA-95 Best Practices Book 2.0, by Charlie Gifford, editor and contributing author.

Gifford’s publication is based on the ISA-95/MESA Best Practices Working Group’s 2.0 Methodology Papers. It includes a collection of best practices for transforming a manufacturing company and its manufacturing systems into a structured form to compete globally in the 21st century.

Book 2.0 explains how to implement ISA-95 workflow applications in Manufacturing 2.0 Architecture (Mfg 2.0) to execute operations tasks through the Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) and physical process levels while coordinating them to streamline plant operations and align those operations with ever-changing supply chain processes.

It is a collection of white papers, each focusing on a specific component of the manufacturing transformation. These white papers have been authored by subject-matter experts from 14 countries, and peer-reviewed by expert reviewers from 13 countries.

As an industry expert in professional organizations such as ISA, the Supply Chain Council and Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) International, Gifford has contributed to and taught many manufacturing operations standards, such as ISA-88, ISA-95, Next Gen MESA and Supply-Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) models. Gifford has published over 40 papers and four books on the subject of operations and management best practices. He was awarded the 2007 MESA International Outstanding Contributor Award and 1995 Captain’s Citation Award for Innovation.

When Worlds Collide in Manufacturing Operations: ISA-95 Best Practices Book 2.0

Rotary torque transducers

Wireless rotary torque transducers use battery-powered 2.4GHz telemetry

Applied Measurements have introduced the DTDR-F wireless rotary torque transducer, a novel design that expunges stator coils and inductive transmission systems from the design brief in favour of a cutting edge, battery-powered 2.4GHz wireless telemetry data acquisition and transmission system.

The DTDR-F design is based on the DTD-F torque transducer, a flanged device designed for use in static and quasi-static torque measurement applications, with modifications to allow the incorporation of a pair of balanced Delrin housings, one containing the telemetry acquisition and transmission module and the other containing a 3.6V high capacity lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery that is recharged in-situ.

The DTDR-F is intended primarily for use in rotating applications at speeds of up 6500rpm where a direct, in-line torque measurement is desired, but is prohibited due to access restrictions or other obstacles. In these cases, the lack of connecting cables and additional mounting hardware make the DTDR-F the ideal choice. The DTDR-F is, of course, also suited to static or quasi-static applications where reaction torque sensing is required.

The T24-SA telemetry acquisition and transmission module is taken from the T24 range of wireless telemetry products and offers extremely low power consumption and a range of up to 120m. The superb power supply control capability of the T24 acquisition modules allows you to achieve a battery life of 650 hours / 27 days based on continuous use at a transmission rate of 1 per second. Reduce the transmission rate to 1 per minute and you’ll be looking at a battery life of 1 year!

As the DTDR-F’s output is not polled, it is possible to have multiple receiving modules from the T24 range reading the data simultaneously. The T24 range includes handheld indicators, analogue output modules, printers, relay modules and even USB base stations with software to read and log data onto a PC.

One existing installation of the DTDR-F features a scaled 4-20mA signal being fed into a PLC via the T24-AO1i analogue output module whilst plant engineers can take torque readings on demand from anywhere nearby using a T24-HS handheld digital indicator.

The DTDR-F can also be used for dynamic torque measurement applications if fitted with the high speed T24-SAf acquisition module, which increases the output bandwidth to 2kHz (2000 readings per second).

Preventing deadly accidents

Systems from VPG Transducers help prevent deadly construction and heavy equipment accidents

VPG Transducers is working with heavy equipment manufacturers to create highly accurate and reliable systems that dynamically measure stresses in key vehicle components caused by such factors as overloading, vehicle tilt, and high winds.

Deadly and costly accidents occur each year worldwide involving cranes, telescopic handlers, and forklift equipment. Many of these accidents are the result of improper loading of the vehicle, driving on uneven or sloped surfaces, or environmental factors such as high winds. Now industry-leading companies who manufacture heavy lifting and construction equipment are turning to VPG Transducers for custom force-sensing solutions that help alert the driver when unsafe operating conditions exist on the vehicle.

VPG Transducers has partnered with equipment manufacturers to develop load moment indicators (LMIs), which are integrated into the vehicle design assembly, to dynamically measure the forces imparted on key components of the vehicle such as the rear axle. The signal from a VPG Transducers force sensor is sent to the LMI, which calculates and displays the current load seen on the vehicle and sets off an alarm if the vehicle is operating at an unsafe level. These levels are set in close coordination with the vehicle manufacturer. This system is also applicable for crane applications as well.

The sensors and LMI system are designed and manufactured by VPG Transducers to survive in the harshest of environments and have exceptional reliability and longevity, which are very important factors for equipment used in the agricultural industry.

Safe, non-contact monitoring

Pilz has now added the safe proximity switch PSENini to its safe sensor technology portfolio. PSENini detects the approach of metallic objects without using contacts. Safe detection is provided even on multiple position applications – with long cams or rotational movements. The non-wearing technology is particularly suitable for high switching frequencies and guarantees high productivity and a long service life.

PSENini are available in an IP67 design and so are suitable for use under difficult industrial conditions such as heavy soiling, shock or vibration.

The safe proximity switches supply signals relating to positions and end limits and detect metal objects with high repetition accuracy. As a result, the positions of machine components such as turntables or robots’ rotational movements can be monitored safely, so that the production process is not compromised.

The safe proximity switches provide short reaction times and user-friendly diagnostics via LED. This means that error sources can be identified as quickly as possible when a machine suffers from a safety-related shutdown.

Safe proximity switches PSENini can be connected in series – even in conjunction with Pilz safety switches PSENcode and safety gate systems PSENslock.

Series connection saves on inputs and therefore reduces the wiring effort. So less work is involved in project configuration and installation, plus there are fewer costs. What's more, existing plant and machinery can easily be retrofitted via safe semiconductor outputs.

Whether used individually or connected in series, the safe proximity switches meet the safety requirements for applications up to PL e of EN/ISO 13849-1 or Cat. 4 of
EN 954-1 and SIL CL 3 of EN 62061.

Fast and accurate analysis of food samples in Italian research facility

Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced that Gruppo CSA, a leading Italian environmental research institute, has implemented the Thermo Scientific FLASH 4000 nitrogen/protein analyser to enable efficient and accurate nitrogen/protein determination in animal feed and human food samples. The analyser has set new standards for the efficiency of analyses at the institute and has provided unmatched precision while also facilitating increased sample capacity and high sample throughput. As a result of the increase in speed and throughput of analyses, Gruppo CSA has been able to expand its range of services to customers.

Located in Rimini, on the Adriatic coast, Gruppo CSA houses a food laboratory division which performs a broad range of analyses including nitrogen/protein determination in animal feed and human food samples. The institute has seen a surge in the number of animal feed analyses that it performs due to a recent European Commission initiative that provides a financial incentive for farmers producing dehydrated alfalfa with levels of protein above 15 percent. In response to customer demand, Gruppo CSA is required to conduct rapid nitrogen/protein analysis on high quantities of dehydrated alfalfa in adherence with the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC) 992.23 method. To address the growing analytical requirements while also remaining compliant with industry regulations, Gruppo CSA selected the Thermo Scientific FLASH 4000 nitrogen/protein analyzer.

Prior to implementing the FLASH 4000 instrument, Gruppo CSA utilized the traditional Kjeldahl method for its nitrogen/protein analyses. However, the method suffers from a number of challenges, namely that it is extremely time consuming, requiring more than four hours to complete a single analytical cycle of just 20 samples. As a consequence, the institute could not provide high quantity alfalfa analysis as a key service. The method also requires the use of acids at extremely high temperatures, posing a significant safety risk. Working with the Dumas combustion method for protein analysis, the FLASH 4000 overcomes these challenges, increasing overall productivity and cost-efficiency while also eliminating the use of corrosive acids, which improves health and safety conditions within the institute.

The FLASH 4000 now enables Gruppo CSA’s team to process up to 50 samples in a single cycle, while the four-hour cycle time has been dramatically reduced to just 10 minutes. In contrast to the Kjeldahl method, which requires constant monitoring, the FLASH 4000 can run unattended and overnight, saving time for the institute’s technicians and increasing overall throughput. The elimination of dangerous acids and toxic reagents has also meant that the instrument is much easier to clean and maintain, particularly with the inclusion of a self-cleaning filter, saving both time and money.

“After conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the FLASH 4000, it became clear that the analyzer is unmatched in terms of capacity for accuracy, sample throughput and sheer efficiency when facilitating the Dumas technique,” said Dr. Pierpaolo Tentoni, chairman of Gruppo CSA. “Since the implementation of the instrument, our sample throughput has increased by more than 50 percent and we are now able to analyze large quantities of samples at low cost. With the high sample capacity and cost-efficiency of the FLASH 4000, for the first time ever we have been able to provide animal feed analysis as a key service.”

Monday, February 28, 2011

Safety of insulated supplies!

PMD s20 has now been added to the portfolio of electronic monitoring relays in the PMDsigma series from Pilz. With it, it is simply turn and click to set all the values, which can then be stored on a chip card. This gives users the flexibility to transfer data for other devices.

PMD s20 monitors the electrical safety of insulated supplies – for operating theatres, offshore installations or the electroplating industry for example – and prevents power failures due to short circuits.

Insulation monitors PMD s20 monitor the insulation resistance of unearthed AC/DC systems, simply and reliably. De-energised systems can also be monitored thanks to a separate supply voltage.
Normally energised and normally de-energised mode can be freely selected via two relay and analogue inputs.

The device is quick to assemble via spring clips, so there is no need for tools. All values are set simply and securely via a rotary encoder with key function. Set-up and commissioning times are reduced as a result.

Support for parameter setting is menu-driven on a plain text display, which also provides user-friendly diagnostics. All values can be set, displayed and called up via the display. An up-to-date measurement of the insulation resistance can also be shown permanently on the display. Once the values have been created, they can be stored on a chip card. This saves time and effort during commissioning and when exchanging units.

All setting elements are covered to protect them from unauthorised access, thereby offering increased protection against manipulation.

Insulation monitors PMD s20 have a universal power supply and are therefore suitable for universal use.

Upgrade of one of the most popular portable continuous emissions monitors for event.

Quantitech are to launch the new improved Horiba PG 250 SRM at MCERTS 2011; the specialist air monitoring event being held in Telford (GB: 30/31 March 2011)

Keith Golding, Quantitech Managing Director, says "The Horiba PG 250 SRM will have MCERTS approval by the time of the March event and is TÜV approved for QUAL1."

Employing Standard Reference Methods, the PG250 SRM is an upgrade from one of the most popular portable continuous emissions monitors in the world. The new version includes a Paramagnetic analyser for Oxygen and offers improved measuring ranges for Carbon Monoxide.

The company's stands will also feature FTIR analysers including the Gasmet DX4030 portable FTIR system which was chosen by the Environment Agency and other bodies for emergency air quality monitoring during major incidents.

Quantitech will also host two workshops at MCERTS 2011, which will be repeated on both days. Gilles Campagnola from TCR Tecora will present 'Results from the EN1948-5 validation tests of a Dioxin continuous, long-term sampling system’
(Wednesday, Room 2; 3pm and Thursday, Room 2; 9.45am) and Quantitech's Dominic Duggan will present ‘A Transportable FTIR for process operators and stack testers’ (Wednesday, Room 4; 3pm and Thursday, Room 4; 9.45am).

Visitors to the Quantitech stand will also be able to register for a free technical workshop on FTIR technology that will take place in June this year.

Process and emissions monitoring advice at mCERTS

ALcontrol will showcase a range of On-Site Services at MCERTS 2011.(30/31 March 2011)

Available throughout Europe, the UKAS and MCERTS accredited service operates a fleet of mobile laboratories equipped with the latest instrumentation, allowing ALcontrol’s skilled technicians to provide accurate and timely results.

The company has a dedicated, professionally-qualified team specifically for BS EN 14181 monitoring, which applies to Continuous Emission Monitoring (CEMs) equipment, and visitors to MCERTS 2011 are invited to meet ALcontrol staff at Stand 50 for help and advice on any issue relating to process or emissions monitoring.

Automation offerings at Hannover

The Siemens Industry Automation Division will be present at this year’s Hanover Fair with an array of worldwide leading products and innovations for the seamless automation of industrial processes. “Our comprehensive automation engineering and industrial software portfolio is designed to provide solutions to the most urgent challenges facing our customers in terms of improving productivity, flexibility and security, cutting costs and reducing the time to market”, explained Industrial Automation Systems Business Unit CEO Ralf-Michael Franke at the pre-show press conference. “There is clearly an increasing need for efficient industrial software among our customers. By linking industrial software with our leading-edge automation engineering under a single roof we become the pacemaker in the marketplace.”

Siemens has extended its portfolio of software solutions for manufacturing industry both by making strategic acquisitions and through its own internal development, and today is in a position to provide a complete software portfolio from product design through to production control. Its experience in the integration of industrial hardware and software has been brought to bear in the “Totally Integrated Automation Portal”, an integrated engineering framework launched back at the end of 2010. Alongside the TIA Portal, technological highlights from Siemens Industry Automation to feature at the Hanover Fair will include product innovations designed to boost energy efficiency and productivity. Franke on the TIA Portal: “This represents a further development of our worldwide leading Totally Integrated Automation portfolio, one which will help to power our customers forward into a whole new era of intuitive engineering.”

There are already plenty of Siemens customers enjoying the beneifts of major engineering cost savings with the optimized workflow made possible by the new TIA Portal framework, equating to a reduction of 25 per cent in concrete projects. Franke sees the TIA Portal as a significant step but only the first of many in a process of further software development which is set to stretch forward to the year 2030. “We are working towards the achievement of completely integrated product and production engineering. The complete integration of what are today two completely separate workflows will open up growth opportunities for us, and enormous additional productivity potential for our customers”, explains Franke. Calculated on the basis of project examples, the potential for cost savings is estimated to be a further 20%.

Alongside the growing relevance of industrial software as one of today’s driving trends, the issue of plant security has taken on ever greater significance over the past year. Plant operators right across the industrial spectrum are increasingly concerned about the issue of security, as open communication in the industrial environment and ever greater networking of production systems render industrial plants vulnerable to attack. Franke believes a comprensive system of security management to be vital to the safe operation of modern plant and machinery: “Plant operators need to look at security as an integral solution – from know-how and integrity protection through to the prevention of industrial espionage and sabotage”. Siemens offers its customers specific security products designed to improve plant protection. The portfolio on show in Hanover ranges from products with integral security properties through to advisory services and implementation of comprehensive security solutions.

Siemens at the Hanover Fair 2011: In keeping with the theme “Create Sustainable Value”, at booth A72 in Hall 9, Siemens will be demonstrating how economic efficiency and productivity can be reconciled with ecologically responsible industrial production. It will also be informing its customers right across the different fields of industry about how to create sustainable added value with solutions from Siemens. With its excellent product, system and solution portfolio, integral exertise and exceptionally high research and development potential, Siemens is ideally placed to provide sound customer advice. At this year’s fair, issues in the spotlight will be energy efficiency and productivity, while the technological focus will be on the engineering framework Totally Integrated Automation Portal. On the subject of energy efficiency, Siemens will also show its customers how to identify, evaluate and consistently implement savings potential with a view to reducing energy consumption and cutting both carbon emissions and costs. On the issue of productivity, integral solutions ranging from the CAD drawing through to the finished product will be unveiled. At its booth in Hall 9, Siemens will demonstrate how resources can be efficiently utilized and productivity potential leveraged, starting right from the plant design through to the operating phase, featuring examples from a number of industries: automotive, oil & gas and renewable energies (wind and solar).

Other Siemens industry topics featured at the Hanover Fair 2011: Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software GmbH (Hall 17, Booth B40); Metropolitan Solutions (Hall 8); TectoYou (Pavillon P33, Booth A03); AS-International Association (Hall 9, Booth F58); Hart Communication Foundation (Hall 7, Booth D45); Profibus Nutzerorganisation (Hall 11, Booth A49)