Friday, March 18, 2011

Fieldbus appointment

Larry O’Brien has been appointed as global marketing manager of Fieldbus Foundation (FF). Formerly of ARC Advisory Group, he has 18 years of experience in the process automation business as a research director and analyst at ARC, and has been closely tracking and reporting on developments surrounding Foundation fieldbus for much of his career.

Larry O'Brien
As global marketing manager, he will be responsible for developing the strategic marketing direction for Foundation technology worldwide. He will oversee activities such as fieldbus seminar programs, trade show exhibitions, technical demonstrations and marketing communications.

“I am very excited to begin my work at the Fieldbus Foundation,” said O’Brien. “For many years, I have been writing about the business value proposition of Foundation fieldbus at ARC. Now I get to use the knowledge and experience I have gained to raise the level of awareness of this technology for both end users and suppliers. ARC has always believed that Foundation fieldbus offers a true process automation infrastructure providing significant lifecycle cost benefits and a path to superior asset management.“

Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney welcomed O’Brien to the key post with his organisation. “We are excited to have Larry as part of our team, and look forward to his leadership of our global marketing program in support of Foundation fieldbus,” said Timoney. “From his time with ARC, Larry has gained an extensive background in the area of digital plant automation. His qualifications will be very helpful in expanding the presence of Foundation technology around the world — particularly in developing industrial markets such as India, China, Latin America and the Middle East.”

While at ARC, O’Brien authored numerous market outlook studies and white papers covering topics ranging from fieldbus to distributed control systems, process safety systems, automation services and field instruments. For the Fieldbus Foundation, he has written white papers on the business value proposition of control in the field, Foundation Fieldbus for Safety Instrumented Functions (FF-SIF), and Foundation fieldbus as an automation infrastructure.

New product guide

CAN in Automation (CiA) has published the CANopen Product Guide 2011 on the Internet and on CD-ROM.
72 companies give information on a total of 273 CANopen-specific products and product families and provide a comprehensive overview of CANopen products. Devices are listed by the application-specific employability and by their functionality (e.g. controller and display, sensor and actuator, gateway). The product entries, which also include CANopen software, literature and services, can be looked up by their product name or by their manufacturer's name. As a special service they are additionally listed by their conformance to the CiA device and application profiles.

Extensive information on worldwide sales and technical company contacts are included in a company-specific section. Ample information on CANopen, the standardized embedded network, and on the CiA device and application profiles is provided as well. In addition, the CANopen Product Guide will be distributed on CD-ROM at the international CiA training events as well as on national and international fairs and exhibitions. The CANopen Product Guide 2011 on CD-ROM is available free of charge.

Communications at Hannover

The HART® Communication Foundation joins other major industry organizations to host the first Field Communications Lounge (Hall 9, Stand D05) at Hannover Messe 2011 in Hannover, Germany (4-8 Apr). This new display area provides a single location for visitors to learn about field communication technologies and solutions for industrial automation, view educational presentations and visit individual exhibition areas of the sponsoring organizations.

“We are pleased to participate in the Field Communications Lounge which provides industry users with a new educational experience—to see, discuss and compare advantages and applications of the key field communication protocols for automation—in a single location”, says Ron Helson, HART Communication Foundation Executive Director. “The HART display within the Lounge demonstrates the flexibility, power, reliability and cost-savings of automation applications and solutions based on the HART Communication Protocol, including the IEC and EN approved WirelessHART® standard.”

The Field Communication Lounge is sponsored by the HART Communication Foundation, the FDT Group, Fieldbus Foundation, and PI (PROFIBUS and PROFINET International). In a series of 30-minute presentations, representatives from these organizations will present the latest field communication solutions and applications to improve asset management, lower cost and reduce downtime in all phases of the plant life cycle.

In individual exhibition areas, each organization and its member companies will present practical field communications solutions for intelligent field devices, configuration, control and asset management applications, wireless automation, integration products, and more.

“Live and interactive demonstrations in the multi-vendor HART exhibit area show users the power of Getting Connected with HART Communication in both wired and wireless applications to lower costs and improve plant performance,” Helson says.

Another member announced for automation body

The American Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation has become one of the newest members of the Automation Federation (AF).

One of the messages AF spreads on behalf of its member organizations is the importance of the automation profession and the need to develop the next generation of automation professionals. To build momentum and support for its workforce development initiatives—including the promotion of K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and the Automation Competency Model—AF is working to bring like-minded organizations together to create a stronger “Voice.” The membership of Continental Automated Buildings Association(CABA)was announced earlier this month.

The SME Education Foundation is committed to the educational needs of American youth and inspiring them to excel in STEM education; providing access to rigorous educational opportunities through financial support with awards and scholarships; and funding project-based curricula and activities designed to motivate learning.

Over its 30-year history, the SME Education Foundation has invested $5.3 million in youth programs, helping nearly 20,000 to explore career opportunities in STEM education; granted/funded over $4.7 million in scholarships to students pursuing manufacturing-related careers; and invested $8.5 million in grants to 35 colleges and universities to develop industry-driven curricula.

The SME Education Foundation joined AF as part of their major initiative to change public perception of manufacturing. In today’s economy, in-demand jobs are increasingly high-tech and require STEM skill sets. Everything is dependent on making engineering visible and relevant in the eyes of K-12 students, teachers, counselors and parents.

Nelson Ninin, 2011 Automation Federation chair, said,  "I am pleased that the SME Education Foundation has joined the Automation Federation. Our two organizations share a common goal to reach out to our youth about the importance of STEM for their futures. I look forward to the opportunities we can pursue together to achieve this goal.”

Says Khalil Taraman, president, SME Education Foundation, “The SME Education Foundation is aligning itself with organizations that share its vision for advanced manufacturing careers and the demanding STEM-based education these careers require. AF and SME Education Foundation’s joint resources will help AF promote careers in automation, as well as support the SME Education Foundation’s interest in expanding Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) centers now being established in high schools across the country.”

Flying shear crosscut and sheet stacking system

Deploying Siemens servo motors and controls, HMK has developed an end of line flying shear crosscut and sheet stacking system for CM Machinery. The equipment is to form part of a £500k (ca €580k) multi functional plastic extrusion line for a leading Swiss manufacturer.

Main electrical panel showing Siemens
control equipment.
With the modern day demands for flexibility to cater for short production runs, manufacturers are increasingly seeking equipment that can be set up automatically and monitored remotely from a central station. When it comes to full production lines comprising individual machine stations sharing common control systems, few dispute the pre-eminence of Siemens’ motion control systems. HMK, part of the Entologi Group, is the largest, independent Irish or British supplier of motion and engineered drive components and solutions to OEMs and factory automation integrators. They are a Siemens’ Technology Partner for motion and engineered drives and solutions.

Liam Quinn, CM Machinery’s Technical Sales Manager, explained: “Our customer didn’t specify Siemens for this project, but it was apparent that the application required a high level of flexibility to cater for the different products that were to be made on the line. Just as important was the close integration required between the processing stations on the line, so that fast machine set up times could be achieved. The Siemens motion control system had the flexibility and visability to provide for these needs. Mike Jordan at HMK is a Simotion programming expert and he has been able to create a flexible system with a MP377 operator interface that allows easy alteration of programmes and products with the simple addition of presets. This kind of flexibility is vital for plants that operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

Material will be fed down the new production line in a continuous 2.5 m wide board. A trim station featuring motorised circular saws cuts the product to finished widths and trims off the outer edges. This is followed by a travelling crosscut whose controller allows it to move at the same speed as product when performing crosscuts. Accuracy in length cutting is critical, therefore tight tolerance control of the cutting axes has been essential in ensuring the boards meet final customer requirements. The finished boards are then transferred out of the cutting area by motorised horizontal conveyors, in a pre determined pattern that allows them to be lifted by an overhead vacuum frame and placed neatly onto pallets for final packing and despatch. The stacker frame operates with two servo axes, enabling the boards to be lifted from the transport conveyor and moved to one of two stacking tables, giving an offloading facility while the line continues to operate. The machine is fitted with a number of ET200S remote I/O stations. CM Machinery built all the hardware for this triple function machine.

“The end user has placed great emphasis on safety”, said Quinn, “so we specified that HMK should design safety zoning onto each of the machine’s separate functions - no mean feat on a multi axis servo system. Another specified requirement was the ability to change any of the servomotors during normal maintenance in one of the safety zones whilst the other safety zones remained operational. This feature was successfully developed, tested and accepted by the final end user. This project has led to a level of development for both HMK and ourselves - this seems to happen each time we work together.”

CM Machinery has been working with HMK for several years designing and building multi functional machine tools for use with multi-national manufacturers across Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Their machines generally operate on a 24 hour duty cycle.

Controlling all motion and machine sequence control on the machine is the Simotion D435 motion control system. It integrates motion control and control functionality into one unit and was specifically designed for applications with complex movements. Simotion D combines the complex operation of motion functions into a scalable motion control system for various hardware platforms, thanks to a common engineering system, allowing considerably more flexibility for machine planning and construction.

CM Machinery has met its customer’s delivery timescale for the supply of the bespoke end of line equipment and it will become operational later this month.

Pressure TX for high temps!

Baumer’s PBSN general purpose pressure transmitter series can now be used in media temperatures up to 150°C. This is made possible by means of a cooling neck. The sensor, which is based on a thick film ceramic measuring cell, is also suitable for applications with aggressive media. This qualifies the transmitter for a wide variety of uses in fields as diverse as the petro-chemical, biotechnology and medical gas as well as food and beverage industries.

Modularly constructed, the PBSN pressure transmitter series offers a flexible design to suit different customer needs, ensuring that their pressure measurement applications are served with an accurate, reliable and cost-effective product. Based on thick film technology, the measuring cells are suitable for gauge as well as for absolute pressure and cover a measuring range from -1…0 bar up to 0…600 bar. The standard accuracy is at 0.7%, or optionally 0.5%, of the full scale.

The thick film technology is based on a ceramic support material for the pressure measuring cell. This material is chemically neutral and compatible with most media, including very aggressive ones. These measuring cells are also characterised by excellent long-term stability and outstanding measuring performance in terms of linearity and hysteresis.

A 4…20 mA output signal or voltage output signals are available and all common electrical connections and cable types are offered. The PBSN can be delivered with different process connections made of stainless steel. Moreover, a wide range of gasket ring types are available.

The PBSN is constructed using a fully-welded stainless steel housing with a standard IP65 rating, with IP67 available, depending on the type of electrical connection. It is abrasive and chemically resistant which also makes it suitable for numerous general purpose industrial applications in the sectors of pneumatics, energy production, HVAC and automobile industry.

Level sensor platform in Formula 1!

New level sensor electronic platform homologated by FIA for use in 2011 Formula 1™ World Championship

The new micro-electronic platform, used within Gill’s new range of miniature liquid level sensors, has been formally homologated by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) for use in the 2011 Formula 1™ World Championship.

Gill’s standard electronic platform, which is still in use by most teams on the 2011 grid, has also been homologated.

The FIA stipulates, “All control sensors, actuators and FIA monitoring sensors will be specified and homologated by the FIA”. Gill liquid level sensors have been homologated each year since the rule was introduced in 2008 and are predominantly used for fuel level monitoring within the fuel cell and collector, and for oil level monitoring within the engine and transmission.

Support for green initiative

HMS supports the “green automation initiative” of the automobile manufacturers with the release of an embedded Anybus-CompactCom PROFIenergy communication module.

HMS Industrial Networks has released an embedded Profinet communication module with integrated PROFIenergy profile server. With this new release HMS supports the efforts of the AIDA group of automobile manufacturers (Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen) to reduce the energy consumption of manufacturing plants. The new module provides manufactures of automation devices with a fast and easy way to integrate energy control functionality, according to the PROFIenergy standard, into their devices. Thanks to the standardized PROFIenergy commands, a central controller can switch complex automation systems consisting of automation devices from various manufactures easily and safely into standby mode during production breaks and standstill times. This safe up to 40% of the electrical energy needed for the production process and helps to reduce the CO2 emission.

The PROFIenergy server is implemented in the firmware of the Anybus-CompactCom Profinet IO communication module. The module acts as Profinet IO device according to conformance class B in the Profinet network and is equipped with a fast 2-port switch which allows Profinet installations in line topology without the need for expensive external switches. The integrated profile server handles the PROFIenergy commands and parameters according to use cases 1 – 3 and provides a standardized hardware and software interface towards the electronics of the automation device. This minimizes the development efforts needed inside the automation device to fully comply with the PROFIenergy standard.

By choosing to integrate support for the new PROFIenergy CompactCom module, customers will automatically get access to all major industrial networks, since it is part of the Anybus-CompactCom family of interchangeable plug-in communication modules - the world’s most flexible and cost-efficient solution for connecting devices to all major fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet networks including Profibus, DeviceNet, CC-Link, CANopen, Profinet, EtherCAT, Modbus-TCP and Sercos III. CompactCom modules are used as communication interfaces of intelligent automation devices such as drives, HMIs, robots, inverters, instruments, and scales.
The Anybus-CompactCom modules come in a slim housing about the size of a compact flash card. The core of the module is HMS´s NP30 network microprocessor with its integrated fast Ethernet controller and RAM and Flash memories for the EtherNet/IP device software stack. The onboard 2-port switch provides two 100 Mbit/s full duplex Ethernet interfaces with RJ45 connectors.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Strategic development at imaging company.

New strategic development role at Stemmer Imaging

Stemmer Imaging has appointed Mark Williamson to the position of Director – Corporate Market Development.  In this new role, Mark will be responsible for the evaluation, definition and implementation of corporate strategy across all Stemmer companies, including the direction of corporate marketing. 

This new appointment has also paved the way for a series of promotions within their office in Great Britain.  Steve Hearn has been promoted to the role of Director of Sales in the UK, while Chris Pitt and Alastair Slater have become group leaders for Solution Sales and Component Sales respectively.

Williamson said: “In November 2010, Stemmer Imaging started a strategic planning process to ensure that the Group continues to deliver not only the best service to our customers but also to ensure that we offer the best of new vision technologies into the many emerging markets where vision has potential”.  

“Our ethos of delivering competitive advantage to our customers is central to this initiative”, he continued. “Given the importance of this approach, the Group felt that it warranted a new position within the organization to spearhead these activities, and I am delighted to have been given this responsibility”.

#ISAwk Partnership upgraded

OSIsoft, LLC, will be one of the elite companies featured in ISA’s Corporate Partnerships Program during 2011.

ISA’s Corporate Partnerships Program offers companies customized packages, bundling ISA products and services with marketing opportunities across all channels, providing a streamlined approach to corporate sponsorship. ISA’s program features three main levels of sponsorship: ISA Strategic Partners, ISA Corporate Partners, and ISA Automation Week Partners. The program, in its second year, is limited to a select group of companies at each level to maintain the highest level of visibility for each partner.

OSIsoft, a privately held company with operations worldwide, was an ISA Automation Week Partner in 2010 and made the decision to sign a higher level partnership, the ISA Corporate Partnership, in 2011. “We’ve seen the value of working with ISA,” said vice president of marketing Jon Peterson. “ISA’s members and customers are a dedicated, highly qualified group of industry professionals, and we look forward to building a great relationship with this community.”

OSIsoft delivers the PI System, the industry standard in enterprise infrastructure, for management of real-time data and events. The PI System is used in manufacturing, energy, utilities, life sciences, data centers, facilities, and the process industries. The system enables users to manage assets, mitigate risks, comply with regulations, improve processes, drive innovation, make business decisions in real time, and to identify competitive business and market opportunities.

OSIsoft’s partnership includes the sponsorship of several key ISA events
ISA Safety and Security Symposium, held 13-14 April in League City, TX;
ISA Power Industry Division (POWID) Symposium, held 6-10 June in Charlotte, NC;
ISA Water and Wastewater Symposium, held 22-23 June in St. Louis, MO;
ISA Automation Week, held 17-20 October in Mobile, AL.
The company will showcase its PI System and discuss industry specific implementation with conference attendees at each event.

“I have personally attended OSIsoft events, and I’ve been really impressed with its technology and its customer-focused approach,” said ISA President Leo Staples of Oklahoma Gas and Electric. “OSIsoft is a company that’s truly moving forward, and we’re excited about this partnership.”

Partnership protects networks

Fox-IT partners with MatrikonOPC for secure OPC connectivity solutions

Fox-IT has become the newest member of the MatrikonOPC™Global Partner Network. Fox-IT will integrate MatrikonOPC’s full range of OPC Servers into its Fox DataDiode—a solution used to securely transmit data between networks that have different levels of security. By leveraging the secure, reliable MatrikonOPC Servers, Fox DataDiode can now be used to prevent sensitive data or control systems found on SCADA networks from being accessed or compromised by applications running on low-security networks.

MatrikonOPC connectors allow Fox DataDiode to securely connect to virtually any SCADA device on the market. This solution effectively protects vulnerable SCADA systems from external threats while still allowing status information to be sent out of the SCADA network in real-time.

"Fox-IT’s business is focused on securing and protecting process control data from cyber attacks. By choosing MatrikonOPC connectivity, Fox-IT provides its customers with the most secure and reliable connectivity solutions in the market,” said Drew Brydon, MatrikonOPC Vendor Partner Program manager.

“Today’s process control systems need strong protective measures against the ever growing list of cyber threats. By leveraging MatrikonOPC secure data connectivity for control systems, Fox DataDiode delivers exceptional levels of security for SCADA systems without compromising the customers’ business requirements,” said Dirk Peeters, vice president of Business Development at Fox-IT.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Valve testing facility in France

New testing facility at Cernay, France ensures optimal valve performance for applications in the LNG industry

Emerson Process Management has expanded the test facilities at its control valve manufacturing plant at Cernay, France to include tests at cryogenic temperatures. The tests are suitable for Fisher® valves being used for the growing number of applications in the LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) industry, for example during the extraction of underground natural gas and in processes where the gas is liquefied for storage or transportation.

The new facility has two tanks for testing globe, angle, butterfly and ball valves up to DN 900, 36 in NB, and can carry out a range of tests at cryogenic temperatures down to -196°C. It is important that valves designed for low temperature applications are tested at typical operating temperatures to ensure optimal performance. For example, a tight shut off is crucial in many cryogenic applications and valves need to be tested for leakage across the seat. These tests are performed by immersing the valve into a tank of liquid nitrogen, pressurising the valve inlet with helium gas at 7 bar and measuring the seat leakage.

The test facility has been specifically designed to minimise any environmental and safety issues and is fully monitored and controlled by Emerson technologies, including a DeltaV™ digital control system. Oxygen sensors, linked to an alarm, monitor the local atmosphere, eliminating any risk to personnel in the area. The DeltaV system enables the valve tests to be controlled from a remote location, ensuring complete safety for test and inspection personnel.

Emerson’s Cernay plant, situated in the Alsace region of France, is the largest of the five Emerson facilities manufacturing Fisher control valves in Europe. The plant is helping Emerson to meet increasing demand for its Fisher control valve ranges, in particular for the larger sizes including low noise trim technology, anti-cavitation solutions and also special valves for the most arduous applications.

Industrial automation dashboards on the iPhone

Industrial Thinking Ltd have expanded their current Counterpoint desktop suite to include an exciting new real-time dashboard package on the iPhone.
Counterpoint Intuition Mobile provides Real-time remote access to your Production data directly on your iPhone. This new product has just become available on the AppStore and is free to download and try.

The intuitive user interface enables you to Browse all your configured Dashboards from any of your configured Data Historian(s).

Supported Data Historian interfaces include most of the Industry Standard Historians, such as AspenTech Infoplus.21, OSI Pi, OPC DA and HDA, Honeywell PHD and VSystem.

The app may be downloaded from the AppStore ( !

No woolly thinking

The speed with which sheep shearers can have an animal shorn is a marvel, made possible by ever-developing technology.
TorqSense transducers from Sensor Technology are playing an important role in new product development at Lister Shearing, the oldest and one of the most successful suppliers of animal shearing and clipping equipment in the world. The sensors, which are based on SAW (surface acoustic wave) technology, are being used by the company as an aid to evaluating the performance of miniature electric motors.

Able to trace its roots as an agricultural equipment manufacturer back as far as 1860, Lister Shearing produced its first sheep-shearing machine in 1909 in response to the growing demand from the Australian farmers of the day. Today, the company holds a British Royal Warrant for the supply of animal care equipment and its products are sold in more than 60 countries around the world. In all of these markets, the products have established an enviable reputation for efficiency, durability and quality.

To maintain and enhance this reputation, Lister Shearing invests heavily in product development. As part of the development process, it sends engineers to work with leading grooms and shearers around the world to learn about common problems and to devise innovative solutions. These solutions are translated into practical products at the company’s development facility at its Gloucestershire headquarters.

An issue commonly encountered with powered hand tools, which form a significant part of the Lister Shearing product range, is sourcing motors that will combine high efficiency and high torque output with smooth operation and long life. This situation is complicated still further by the high operating speed required from the motors – up to 20,000 rpm in some applications.

To address these motor selection issues and in particular, to assist in the development of a new type of handheld sheep shear, Lister Shearing decided to set up a motor test rig that would allow the performance of motors from various suppliers to be compared quickly and easily.

A key requirement for this rig was that it should be able to accurately determine the torque produced by each motor and its speed under a wide range of operating conditions. Initially, it seemed that this requirement would be hard to satisfy, as most available torque sensors were either unable to cope with the high motor speeds involved, or required wired connections that would have been inconvenient or impossible to provide in this application.

Fortunately, one of the development engineers at Lister Shearing saw mentioned in a magazine the novel TorqSense sensors produced by Sensor Technology and quickly realised that these would offer an attractive solution.

TorqSense sensors depend for their operation on surface acoustic wave transducers. These transducers comprise of two thin metal electrodes, in the form of interlocking “fingers”, on a piezoelectric substrate such as quartz. When an RF signal of the correct frequency is applied to the transducer, surface acoustic waves are set up and the transducer behaves as a resonant circuit.

The essential feature, however, is that if the substrate is deformed, the resonant frequency changes.

When the transducer is attached to a motor drive shaft, the deformation of the substrate and hence the change in resonant frequency is related to the torque applied to the shaft. In other words, the transducer, in effect, becomes a frequency-dependent strain gauge.

Since the transducers operate at radio frequencies, it is easy to couple signals to them wirelessly. Hence, TorqSense sensors that incorporate the SAW transducer technology can be used on rotating shafts, and can provide data continuously without the need for the inherently unreliable brushes and slip rings that are often found in traditional torque measurement systems.

TorqSense sensors are available in versions that can be used at shaft speeds well in excess of 20,000 rpm and thus easily meet Lister Shearing’s requirements in this area. In addition, they have a high overload margin, they operate equally well clockwise and anticlockwise and they feature integral temperature monitoring. Also, in addition to measuring torque, the sensors provide accurate data about speed and power. Taken together, these features meant that a TorqSense sensor offered a convenient and cost-effective all-in-one solution for the Lister Shearing motor test rig.

In this application, the sensor was complemented by Sensor Technology’s TorqView software package that runs on a PC and that combines data acquisition with a real-time display of torque, motor shaft speed, power and temperature. TorqView also stores the data it captures, and offers powerful tools for its subsequent analysis.

“The team from Sensor Technology provided really excellent support in helping us to choose the right sensor and set it up so that it would provide the best results,” said Robin Howell, Chief Development Engineer at Lister Shearing. “As a result, we were able to acquire useful data right from the outset. The data is interesting and even, in some cases, rather surprising.”

“After using the rig for some time, I have no doubt at all that it will help us to produce equipment that will set new standards for performance in sheep shearing. Thanks at least in part to Sensor Technology, sheep around the world will soon be shorn more swiftly!”

New president and CEO appointed

Jody Markopoulos has been named president and CEO of GE Intelligent Platforms. Markopoulos, who will report to GE Home & Business Solutions President and CEO Charlene Begley, succeeds Maryrose Sylvester who was recently named as president and CEO of GE Lighting.

Jody Markopoulos
GE Intelligent Platforms is a technology engine for GE with expertise in automation and embedded computing. The business provides its customers with a sustainable advantage in a variety of industries, including energy, water, oil and gas, consumer packaged goods, government and defense, and telecommunications.

Markopoulos, a 17-year GE veteran, has led the Sourcing organization for GE Energy since 2005. She is responsible for the management and procurement of over $16B in materials and services worldwide and leads a 1,300-person global team. She has significantly grown the supply base and organization in emerging markets helping pave the way for global growth. The global direct buy in emerging markets was increased four times under her direction. During her tenure at GE Energy, Markopoulos held a variety of roles with increasing responsibility in Supply Chain and Quality. Prior to her current role, Markopoulos was general manager of Quality.

“Jody’s expertise, leadership and significant contributions in key roles in Sourcing, Quality and Manufacturing make her a great person to lead the Intelligent Platforms business in its continued growth,” said GE Home & Business Solutions President & CEO Charlene Begley.

GE Home & Business Solutions, an $8.6B business, includes the Intelligent Platforms and Appliances & Lighting operating units. These global businesses offer customers energy efficiencies and productivity solutions through innovative appliances, lighting, embedded/control systems and software platforms.

Markopoulos came to GE after graduating from Clarkson University in New York, where she earned a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Engineering & Management. Today she currently serves on the Dean’s Leadership Council for the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering at Clarkson.

Laboratory information management system

Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced the Thermo Scientific SampleManager 10..0 LIMS (laboratory information management system), a solution that delivers significant new time and cost savings for scientists and lab managers across the broadest range of process industries. SampleManager 10.0 improves access to data across the enterprise; delivers key business metrics to management; facilitates compliance with ISO, GLP and other regulatory requirements; and optimizes workflows and quality management. Thermo Fisher is showcasing SampleManager 10.0 within Thermo Scientific booth 2835 during Pittcon 2011 (March 13-18, Atlanta GA US).

SampleManager LIMS is the corporate standard at leading organizations in oil and gas, food and beverage, environmental and water, metals and mining and other process industries. It provides an intuitive user interface and logical workflow for laboratories looking to optimize their operations by standardizing processes across geographies and streamlining data exchange across enterprise systems. It is designed to integrate with existing ERP, PIMS and MES systems and with other applications and instruments in and out of the laboratory, providing one standard user interface and allowing for easier standardization for global enterprises. Users will gain greater efficiency with integrated solutions that deliver a new kind of connected productivity regardless of the analytical challenge.

Thermo Scientific SampleManager 10.0 reflects more than 25 years of knowledge, experience, customer input and successive version releases. The company developed this fea¬ture-rich release with key business metric (KBM) dashboard functionality that addresses the critical business and operating needs of three distinct but interrelated parts of a company’s infrastructure: lab personnel, IT and systems administrators and management.

For lab managers and users, SampleManager includes built-in functionality, including instrument calibration, operator training records and stock/inventory dashboard that deliver improved efficiencies, compliance and resource management.

For IT and systems administration, a new Microsoft .NET development environment provides a comprehensive and intuitive tool kit for making system extensibility simple, delivering time and cost savings that is critical to process sustainability, including rapid prototyping and easier integration.

For management, data visualization tools deliver the functionality necessary to integrate and connect all parts of the organization so that man¬agement can monitor and measure performance against key business metrics; user decisions are more responsive and informed.

The need to fully integrate lab-generated data with existing enterprise systems requires organizations to optimize existing investments in laboratory and enterprise systems. Management must have continuous access to all of the data necessary to make informed decisions and monitor the health of their operations.

“Businesses want to standardize processes, reduce energy use, centralize data capture and more fully automate processes, delivering real-time information to management for more informed decision-making,” said Dave Champagne, vice president and general manager for Thermo Fisher’s Informatics business. “SampleManager 10.0 enables companies to utilize data that is generated across their organization while making better use of resources, harmonizing processes, reducing risks and improving process. The ultimate benefit is that these companies are able to maintain profitability while maximizing their lab and enterprise investments.”

Cost-effective HMI for machine builders

Baldor Electric has added a compact IP65-rated operator panel with a CANopen interface to its range of motion control products. The operator panel provides machine designers and builders with a very cost-effective means of implementing simple human-machine interfaces. It is also a scalable control solution - an optional plug-in digital I/O module facilitates simple system expansion.

The new KPD202-501 operator panel from Baldor Electric - now part of the ABB group - features a backlit 4-line x 20-character LCD surrounded by six programmable function keys, enabling unambiguous, and actionable, multiple-choice menus to be presented to the machine operator. A further 15 keys are provided for the input of numeric values, together with four pairs of keys which can be used for functions such as jogging individual machine axes.

The KPD202-501 operator panel is exceptionally easy to fit and set up. The panel can be accommodated with minimal impact on layout and merely requires a rectangular cut-out in the facia; built-in mounting clamps secure the unit by compressing its bezel gasket against the surrounding facia. Once mounted, the panel has an IP65 protection rating. The only connections that are needed are a 24 Vdc power feed and the desired communications link. As standard, the panel is equipped with a CANopen port, which offers a choice of D-type and RJ45 plug-in connectors, and a user-selectable RS232/485 serial port.

No special programming software or tools are required - the KPD202-501 can be programmed direct from the motion controller to which it is connected, using Baldor's versatile Mint programming language. This is one of the industry's most popular motion control languages and it is installed on more than 100,000 systems worldwide. The operator panel is compatible with all of Baldor's NextMove multi-axis controllers and Mint programmable drives, including the new Mint Lite versions of the MotiFlex e100 and MicroFlex e100. Where CANopen is not available, the panel can be operated as a standard VT100 terminal over its RS232/485 serial port - it is fully supported within the Mint programming language.

An optional plug-in I/O expansion module is available. The module provides four optically-isolated digital inputs and four optically-isolated digital outputs, each of which can be operated over the CANopen bus as standard DS401 remote I/O, for use with ancillary devices such as push button interfaces and indicator lamps. The inputs can be configured as PNP or NPN, whilst the outputs are PNP only. The I/O can be directly controlled from within the Mint language.

New brochure published

Thomson has published a revised brochure containing a complete overview of its wide and varied portfolio of products for mechanical drive solutions. The range features Ball Bushing® bearings and 60 Case® shafting, profile rail guides, lead screws, planetary gearheads, complete linear drive systems, linear actuators, worm gear screw jacks and clutches and brakes. Alongside the renowned Thomson brand, the portfolio of linear and mechanical drive products includes the BSA, Neff, Tollo, Micron, Deltran and Cleveland brands, which are owned by Thomson.

Amongst the more recent products making their debut in this brochure are the Profile Rail 400 Series and the AquaTRUETM gearhead. The Profile Rail 400 Series is designed for cost-sensitive automation applications. The double-faced ball track bearings make installation particularly easy, and the rail is suitable for loads up to 129 kN. Furthermore, compared to designs with standard ball cages, noise levels are reduced by up to 30%. The watertight AquaTRUE gearhead with stainless steel housing and output shaft is available with IP66/IP67 or 69K protection. As such it meets the strict requirements of extreme operating environments such as those typical of handling, packaging and filling applications in the food and drinks industry. Since AquaTRUE is even able to withstand corrosives and high-pressure water jets thanks to its high protection classes, no money needs to be spent on additional components such as housing, shielding or mechanical gears. AquaTRUE also has potential for use in jet cutting and in applications in medical engineering or the food industry (slicing machines for meat, for example).

The new brochure is now available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish. Further languages including Russian and Korean are to follow soon. The new brochure can be obtained from your local Thomson representative, or by going to the Thomson website and selecting "Literature Order/Download".

Water monitoring

New communication options for water monitoring technology
Instrumentation company Intellitect Water has announced that the innovative multiparameter water quality monitor, the Intellisonde™ is now available with a broad selection of communication choices.

Responding to specific customer requests, options now include GPRS, RS232 or RS485 Serial outputs, Analogue Outputs and Ethernet. "As a result, Intellisondes™ can now interface with almost any SCADA system or data collection platform, so in tandem with the internal logging facility, the monitors represent an extremely reliable method of water quality data collection," says Technical Director David Vincent.

The instrumentation now has two analogue inputs available for external sensors such as pressure transducers, and 12 analogue voltage outputs that can be connected to the common telemetry loggers.

Developed to continuously monitor up to 12 parameters within drinking water distribution networks, the Intellisonde™ is a small water quality monitor that can be inserted into pressurised pipes through a 1½ inch valve. Measurement options include Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, Mono-chloramine, Dissolved Oxygen, Conductivity, pH, ORP/Redox, Flow, Pressure, Temperature, Turbidity and Colour. Importantly, none of these requires membranes or reagents and the sondes can be deployed for long periods without the need for frequent recalibration or maintenance.

Improving efficiency at Indian desalination plant

ABB is supplying a complete electrical, control and instrumentation solution for India’s largest seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant in Chennai. Best technical fit, reduced energy consumption and rapid delivery were among the reasons why the company was selected for this project.

When completed at the end of 2011, the Nemmeli seawater desalination plant will supply up to 100 million liters of potable water a day and reduce the stress on Chennai’s dwindling groundwater resources.

Chennai is India’s fourth largest city, with a population of around 4.6 million. The city is a booming information technology and IT services hub, and among the top ten car manufacturing centers in the world.

The company was awarded the contract in early 2010 by VA Tech Wabag, one of the world’s leading providers of water treatment facilities, for a turnkey electrical, System 800xA control and instrumentation solution for the Nemmeli seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant near Chennai, on the east coast of India.

The ABB solution was singled out for the extensive benefits it brings both to VA Tech Wabag during implementation of the project, and to the end user, Chennai Metro Water, in the form of energy efficiency and reduced operating and maintenance costs.

For VA Tech Wabag, ABB’s turnkey power and automation solution eliminates multi-ordering from different vendors and reduces lead times. ABB’s ability to complete the project in 18 months will be crucial to VA Tech Wabag delivering its largest desalination plant ever within just 24 months.

The scope of supply includes the electrical system for the desalination plant (motors, drives, switchgear, capacitor banks, transformers, cabling, lighting), a 110/11kilovolt ( kV) substation that connects the site to the power grid, the plant’s System 800xA distributed control system, wireless communication system, and the instrumentation for measuring, monitoring and analyzing the entire desalination process. System 800xA will handle all plant operations and provide a comprehensive information management platform for the entire facility.

ABB is also responsible for project engineering, commissioning, and related services.

ABB’s technology leadership in the products and systems that make up the integrated electrical, control and instrumentation solution will bring substantial operational benefits for Chennai Metro Water as well.

For instance, the use of their high-efficiency motors and variable speed drives to power the high pressure pumps and reverse osmosis process will significantly reduce energy consumption and electrical losses. The drives will lower the mechanical and electrical stress on pump components, speed up the long startup process after maintenance shutdowns, and reduce plant downtime compared with the traditional method of mechanical control.

ABB drives cut the energy consumption of pumps at desalination plants significantly compared to traditional suction valve control. They reduce the mechanical stress on pumps and electrical stress on motors and improve membrane life

Over the course of the plant’s lifetime these improvements in energy efficiency, plant productivity and reduced wear and tear will provide a huge and sustained boost to plant profitability.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Emissions monitor is certified!

Quantitech has announced that the new improved HORIBA PG 250 SRM has been awarded an MCERTS certificate, verifying that the instrument employs Standard Reference Methods to analyse CO, NOx, SO2, CO2 and O2 to the high standards required by the British Environment Agency.

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 new analyser will be on show for the first time on stand 37 and 38 at MCERTS 2011 in Telford 30th and 31st March and Quantitech Managing Director Keith Golding says he is “delighted that the PG250 SRM has achieved MCERTS because a large number of customers have been holding back their purchases pending the arrival of the new certified instrument.”