Friday, March 25, 2011

New sensors offer magnetostrictive capability at a very affordable price

RDP Electronics,  sole distributor of MTS Industrial Series Temposonics transducers in Britain and Ireland, announce their new E Series range, bringing these high quality sensors into price contention with linear potentiometers for even basic applications.

Although the high quality of MTS sensors is well recognised they can be perceived as just ‘too good’ for simpler applications. Thanks to use of the magnetostrictive principle there is no mechanical contact between fixed and moving parts ensuring extremely good accuracy, resolution and stability. Compact size offers a further benefit as sensors need only to be marginally longer than the displacement range under measurement. The new E Series retains the excellent performance of the well established, more sophisticated R and G Series at a price competitive with linear potentiometers but without their drawbacks. Due to the adoption of magnetostrictive technology the E Series is immune to problems typically associated with linear potentiometers such as noisy output and unreliability that compromise applications and adversely affect the cost of ownership.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Changes at the top!

Invensys plc has announced that Wayne Edmunds, who has been Chief Financial Officer of the Company since 2009, has been appointed Chief Executive with immediate effect. Ulf Henriksson has stepped down as Chief Executive and as a director of the Company. David Thomas, who has held senior financial roles within the Group since 2002, has been appointed Acting Chief Financial Officer and a permanent appointment will be made in due course after consideration of internal and external candidates.

Sir Nigel Rudd, Chairman of Invensys plc, commented: "I am delighted that Wayne has agreed to take on the role of Chief Executive to lead Invensys through the next stage of its development. We have three world class businesses and a management team to match, and I am confident that Invensys is well positioned to continue to deliver value to shareholders.
"I would like to thank Ulf for his hard work and achievements which have delivered a transformation of Invensys. We wish him well for the future."

• See also Gary Mintchell's Feed Forward Blog: Invensys Names New Corporate CEO, for more background!
Jim Pinto also comments in Invensys CEO fired just before year-end! (31/3/2011)

Powerful water information hub

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced the availability of the Proficy® for Water InfoCenter, a solution pack that brings the power of the Proficy Software Platform to help water utilities face their many challenges to make better decisions saving time and money for better service to customers.

This InfoCenter is part of GE’s “Intelligent Water” initiative, which provides insight into resources by optimizing field workforce, fixed assets and plant operations with a task relative information environment, conveyance by leveraging buffer capacity, reducing pump station energy consumption, and limiting non-revenue water with improved information visualization, treatment by mitigating increasing energy consumption during treatment with smart plant management of pumping and chemicals, and business with coordinated web based solutions providing transparency into operations that deliver actionable information to power better financial decision making.

"Proficy for Water InfoCenter is the first major release following our announced relationship with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)," said Alan Hinchman, Global Water Industry Manager for GE Intelligent Platforms speaking of last year’s GE - EPA collaborative research agreement. "Water and wastewater utilities face a number of challenges globally including reducing operational costs, managing water quality, and increasing efficiency. GE believes the solution to solve these challenges is to provide operational information contextualized with historical data in a concise manner to operators via local interfaces or mobile devices. Proficy for Water InfoCenter does that by changing how utilities will manage their treatment and conveyance systems.”

The Proficy software platform brings insight and solutions to water operations in a way that is both actionable and profitable. Developed specifically for water/wastewater utilities, the Proficy for Water InfoCenter software platform provides connected information to better manage water resources to improve operations in resource management, conveyance and treatment of water and overall business management. It brings together award-winning Proficy HMI/SCADA - iFIX visualization, embedded Proficy Historian, web publishing capability with Proficy WebSpace, and more than 250 water-specific dynamos.

“Water is fast becoming a currency worldwide, and the budget shortfalls and economic realities facing nearly every area around the country today makes this a message that is hard to ignore,” said Hinchman. “With a total view of the water grid, the agency can see what’s happening from source water through treatment, you can gain unprecedented information and make better decisions to reduce loss, anticipate demand, and improve operations, reliability and security, saving time and money and better serving constituents.”

The GE Intelligent Platforms and the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) focuses on connecting dissimilar data sources into a software-based platform that improves decision making capabilities across a water system. The solution will increase the effectiveness of a distribution network for the delivery of better quality water while using 15% less energy.

Proficy for Water InfoCenter is the first related product released following the CRADA and the latest example of how GE’s $4 billion-a-year software and solutions services businesses are helping customers improve productivity.

New flowmeter developed

Shell and Krohne signed an agreement to commercialise a new multiphase flowmeter based on the Magnetic Resonance principle for oil and gas field installations. The agreement comprises the manufacturing, marketing and sales of the new meter which was developed through an R&D collaboration between Shell and magnetic resonance specialist Spinlock. The aim is to bring the first generation flow meter into operation in 2012.

The Magnetic Resonance (MR) principle is based on strong permanent magnets, excitating the medium particles to oscillate and measuring the resonance frequency. Krohne is the first manufacturer to implement this measurement principle in an inline multiphase flow meter for use in oil and gas field applications, allowing to measure both gas and liquid flow phases simultaneously. The most important field of application for this type of flow meter will be the measurement of crude oil directly at the well where it is basically a mixture of oil, natural gas and water. The application of a MR flow meter will give oil companies major cost reduction.

“Leveraging enhanced and more cost-effective multi-phase metering solutions in our operations is a priority area for Shell. With Krohne we have found a recognized partner to commercialize this exciting technology” said Jeroen Regtien, Vice-President Hydrocarbon Recovery Technologies.

“This new and highly innovative measuring principle fits perfectly in the KROHNE culture and is a strategic addition to the existing product portfolio“ said Stephan Neuburger, Managing Director of the Krohne group.

EDDL enhancements

Enhancements relating to EDDL (Electronic Device Description Language)

Thanks to EDDL (Electronic Device Description Language), millions of field devices such as valve positioners, radar level transmitters, and bus diagnostics modules work together even if they are made by different manufacturers. PI (ProfiBus and ProfiNET International) welcomes the incorporation of the latest enhancements of the EDDL technology in the second edition of the IEC 61804-3 international standard.

These enhancements include the option for offline configuration with the standard parameter values suggested by the manufacturer in order to simplify and speed up device commissioning. Effective immediately, diagnostic messages and other texts can be displayed in many different languages – including Japanese and Chinese. Device diagnostics and setup information can be displayed in one easy to overview page, simplifying commissioning and maintenance.

Device-internal mechanisms prevent the displayed overviews or configuration wizards from becoming cluttered with irrelevant information, and thus wasting the valuable time of technicians. A further important innovation involves the illustrations: Explanations appearing in the graphics are now displayed in the language selected in each case, which greatly facilitates interpretation of the diagnostic and setup information by operating personnel.

EDDL was originally introduced in 1992. Its backwards compatibility has ensured against incompatibilities with installed devices and systems. And this also applies to the current enhancements. EDDL remains a compressed text file so that the advantage of being independent from the respective operation system still applies.

The new edition of EDDL brings immediate benefits to users, while representing an important step towards the Field Device Integration (FDI) project, since EDDL will be an integral component of the FDI technology.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Emerson wheelers....

The intrepid seven: L-R, Les Hastings, Andy Hammond, Richie Hammond, John Ellis, David Brass, Mike Ives, John Long.
Seven employees of Emerson Process Management will set out on the 22nd May to ride from Lands End to John O’Groats. The 970 mile ride, which will take two weeks to complete, is expected to raise in excess of £7,000 for their chosen charities. Several of Emerson’s customers have committed to riding alongside the team for one or more stages.

The team, who are all giving their time free of charge and paying their own expenses, includes John Long, Mike Ives, and Richie Hammond from Leicestershire, Les Hastings from Cork in Ireland, Andy Hammond and John Ellis from Cheshire and David Brass from Co Durham. Volunteers from Emerson Process Management will drive the support vehicle and provide moral support along the way.

The cyclists have all chosen to raise money for individual charities that have a personal significance to them. Charities that will be supported include the Loros hospice in Leicester, Cancer research, the Prostate cancer charity, Cyclists fighting Cancer, Arthritis Research, Rainbow’s hospice in the West Midlands and St. Rocco’s hospice in Warrington.

If you wish to sponsor any of the riders please visit this page to see a full list of the riders and links to their sponsorship pages.

Fukushima and its impact on the nuclear energy industry

Conference with Frost & Sullivan Market Experts

The world’s $370 billion nuclear industry covers 14% of the world’s total energy demand emitting near to no emissions. To reach these results, it plays with one of the most dangerous types of naturally occurring substances on earth. The nuclear crisis in the aftermath of a disastrous earthquake and tsunami in Japan showed what could happen and what could have happened. Will the Fukushima event slow down the nuclear energy industry and divert public funding away? Prior to the explosion, a number of European countries had been bringing forward plans to develop new nuclear projects – will still be the case?

The answers to these and more questions will be addressed in Frost & Sullivan's web conference, taking place on Tuesday, 29th March at 4 pm BST. Two Frost & Sullivan key nuclear market experts in Europe Senior Consultant Jonathan Robinson and Consultant Enguerran Ripert will offer insights into the past, the present and the future of the industry. The conference is open to all players interested in the subject.

The Japanese disaster is the biggest nuclear accident for 25 years, with some speculating it could have become another Chernobyl. On the back of a deep recession, governments now tread carefully around public opinion for fears of losing further public support after cost cutting reforms, and potentially being ousted in upcoming elections.

Jonathan Robinson says: "New nuclear projects still faced challenges because of the significant level of capital investment required to construct new plants, as well as concerns on the potential for project time and cost overruns and also lower electricity demand in some key markets. This situation has now undoubtedly been made more complex by the accident at Fukushima. But many European governments remain committed to nuclear power and are determined to drive new investment forward".
“The private sector is surely to become a more important pillar in the nuclear industry in the medium term, however, state and governments have strong interests in the sector for as long as it keeps going”, says Enguerran Ripert.

Now that a plethora of projects and government decisions are purposefully slowed, the key issues of nuclear’s levelised cost of electricity, and the impending additional safety reviews could add billions to the development and construction of existing projects as well as pipeline projects.

Frost & Sullivan briefing discusses these issues from the perspective of Europe, given its important nuclear interests. In particular, Jonathan Robinson and Enguerran Ripert will look at the state of current projects, highlight likely changes in the short and medium term and lay down the likely impact it will have for the European nuclear industry in particular.

Control of water for Waterford (MI US)

For an Irishman waterford is the name of the capital city of Ireland's sunny south east. However the Irish diaspora from that city and county settled in many parts of the world and in some cases were able to name these places after their beloved home place. This story concerns one of them.

Waterford Township Department of Public Works, located in Michigan (US), is standardising on GE’s Proficy® Software Platform for multiple projects including an Electronic Standard Operating Procedures (eSOP) solution and connection to the municipality’s existing Geospatial Information System (GIS). Waterford personnel will be partnering with information technology experts located at GE’s Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center in Van Buren Township, Michigan to develop a platform that will tie all of this forward-thinking municipality’s disparate systems together and provide them with methodologies and best practices to better meet customer needs.

With 13 water treatment plants and 62 sewer pumping stations covering a district of 36 square miles, Waterford’s DPW serves a population of approximately 72,000 people, capable of producing 30 million gallons of water per day. In addition to the GIS, the department has deployed many advanced technology projects including a state-of-the-art SCADA solution, automated meter reading, computer maintenance management system, broadband wireless network that streams video from cameras deployed around the township and document management, among others.

“Our goal is to have all of our platforms integrated and we view this project as a major step in helping make that a reality,” said Terry Biederman, Director of Public Works for Waterford Township. “This project will allow us to further leverage all of the operational benefits we currently enjoy as a result of implementing these kinds of tools.”

“Waterford Township is a highly automated department and we are excited to be working with them on a forward-thinking water application,” said Alan Hinchman, Global Industry Manager for GE Intelligent Platforms. “Work on the solution will be collaborative effort by a team comprised of top information technologists from GE’s Technology Center in Michigan and Waterford Township. This platform convergence solution links Waterford Township’s existing HMI/SCADA and GIS-based application to a new eSOP system that will allow operators to be more responsive and timely in their actions related to alarms at the plant.”

The “platform convergence project,” as termed by Waterford, uses Proficy SOA as the collaboration technology. Proficy Workflow will power the eSOP application, which includes Proficy Historian, Proficy Real-Time Information Portal and Alarm Response Management templates working closely with the utility’s already implemented Proficy iFIX systems. The solution will be used to digitize standard methodologies and best practices providing them with immediate access to the right information so the team can perform at the highest level. It can be configured to document procedures so operators are guided through them step-by-step via a user-friendly interface; automatically trigger workflows in response to alarms and events; digitize operator log books; and generate reports that capture important information that helps Waterford make critical decisions regarding their operations.
Waterford is starting with three workflow applications to assist with the Pump Station: Pump Station Inspection, Pump Station Motor Starts and Pump Station Motor Durations.

“In today’s challenging economic climate, many organizations are responding to the need to reduce capital investment, asset utilization and maximize return from their resources,” said Erik Udstuen, Vice President of Software & Services for GE Intelligent Platforms. “In Michigan, companies and government agencies are working hard on these issues and Waterford Township is at the forefront of this activity. Partnering with GE’s Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center is accelerating the development of state-of-the-art solutions that will keep Waterford competitive and forward-thinking in meeting the needs of its constituents.” 

GE’s Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center is a state-of-the-art information technology and research and development facility focused on helping GE develop innovative new software, processes and technologies to drive excellence in manufacturing for the company and its customers. Bringing on talented experts at a rate or nearly two people per day, the Center has hired more than 550 new hires and will eventually house the largest concentration of GE IT experts around the globe. 

Proficy is an example of how GE’s $4 billion-a-year software and solutions services businesses are helping customers improve productivity.

Flanged LVDTs provide integrity for pressure vessel measurements

RDP Electronics  are often called on to provide flanged or seal threaded versions of their Linear Variable Displacement Transformers (LVDTs) for displacement measurement in pressure vessels.

Because it is not always possible to simply place an LVDT within a pressure vessel a flanged version with the armature pointing into the vessel that maintains the pressure integrity can provide the solution. This may be by means of a flange or alternatively a threaded seal integral with the body of the LVDT. Many types of LVDT from RDP’s comprehensive range have been supplied to suit different customer requirements including the LIN series where pressure additionally associated with high temperatures is involved.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

OHSAS 18001 occupational health and safety certification

Emerson Process has recently achieved certification to OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety for its Daniel® Europe facility in Stirling, (GB). This complements its existing certification to ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems and the ISO 9001:2000 Quality Standard. 

“With some of our customers sub-contracting up to 90 per cent of their labour, they rely on supplier companies to support their environmental and safety standards,” said Mark Dutton, Vice President of Emerson’s Daniel Measurement and Control, Europe. “The OHSAS 18001 accreditation, together with the ISO 14001 environment accreditation, will give confidence that working with us will ensure that these companies achieve their OHSE and environmental goals.”

OHSAS 18001 defines the requirements for an occupational health and safety management system that will enable an organisation to identify and control its OH&S risks and to continually improve its performance in that area. Achieving OHSAS 18001 certification recognises the strengths of Emerson as a supplier that shares the same health and safety standards as its customers.

“Emerson Process Management is committed to full compliance with Health, Safety and Environmental legislation and we are delighted to be awarded OHSAS 18001 accreditation,”
said Eddie Roberts, Quality Manager and Health & Safety Adviser. “This is a significant achievement which makes us stand out against all other fiscal measurement solutions providers in Europe.”
The certification programme is part of a much wider expansion plan for the Daniel division’s European headquarters. This will ensure that Daniel is positioned to meet the increasing demand from the oil and gas industry, for its fiscal flow and energy measurement products, systems and services.

Inductive sensor

Eaton’s Electrical Sector has launched a new iProx inductive sensor series that embodies both power and versatility. Thanks to an integrated microprocessor and the unique Smart SenseTM technology, each iProx sensor has a large detection range and intelligence that can be adapted to each application. Cylindrical devices with switching distances of up to 29 millimeters are available, twice the switching distance of other inductive sensors of the same size.

iProx sensors offer a large number of additional functions that can be activated using optional programming tools. The ProxView software for Microsoft Windows and Windows Mobile devices can be used to program any sensor for a wide range of applications so that it is also possible to adapt and iProx sensors as 100 % replacements for other inductive sensors, thus considerably reducing stock-keeping requirements.

The iProx product range is extremely diversified and includes several models as 3-wire or 4-wire DC devices, different thread diameters from M12 to M30, and a wide range of connection options. All iProx sensors can detect metal targets reliably. Their high quality design with a stainless steel cylinder, a 300 ° visible dual-color LED (operational readiness and output status), as well as corrosion resistant front plates made from Ryton and a shock absorbent cast material ensure a rugged design and optimum suitability for industrial applications.

The connection configuration on DC-iProx models is automatic, so that it detects NPN and PNP terminals automatically and switches the sensor accordingly (NPN = sinking) or PNP = sourcing). Sensing range, band detection background object detection (metal), delay and speed detection can all be configured, thanks to the microprocessor-based Smart-SenseTM technology. iProx sensors are resistant to both high interference levels (up to 20V/m) as well as extreme temperatures (-40°C). Sensors of the iProx series are UL/CSA approved and carry the CE mark.

The iProx Series is designed for OEMs, machine and system builders, and is provided with a teach function that simplifies the programming of the sensor in the application environment. iProx sensors can also be set so that disturbing metallic objects can be ignored in the foreground or in the background. “Switch range” mode makes it possible to restrict the switching of iProx to a small range of its total detection range. Enhanced time control functions such as delays and speed detection can also be enabled without the use of external controllers.

Microcontrollers for industrial applications

At the embedded world 2011 conference in Nuremberg (D), Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe presented its complete range of new FM3 microcontrollers to a varied and interested audience under the umbrella term ‘Right-Sized Solutions’. FM3 is the name given to a family of microcontrollers that use the same architecture based on the ARM Cortex-M3 standard processor core, which are available in two versions. The high-performance MB9Bxxx series has a variety of peripheral functions and is suitable for demanding applications in industrial automation, while the basic MB9A100 line is oriented towards applications in areas such as home appliances, consumer products and office automation. The FM3 microcontroller range is also ideally suited for use in medical technology and healthcare applications. The family benefits from Fujitsu's vast experience in implementing ASICs with ARM cores in conjunction with the peripheral functions of its well-known FR microcontrollers, providing developers with exactly those components required for their solutions.

The core of the high-performance series is designed in such a way that it combines outstanding performance with low power consumption. In addition to the peripheral functions of the FR microcontroller family, which have already proven themselves in motor control applications, Fujitsu has implemented a number of further improvements in its peripheral macros in order to satisfy the exacting demands of drive technology. For example, the FM3 family has dedicated encoder inputs for determining rotor position, which reduces the load on the CPU.

In particular, the three independent high precision and very fast 12-bit A/D converters (1.0 µs conversion) with 16 input channels allow accurate sampling, and demonstrate their full potential in high-speed precision motors and other components in automation applications. This means that the FM3 MCUs can control two motors independently of one another. This was shown using an impressive demo application at the Fujitsu stand at the 'embedded world 2011' exhibition.

Together with the USB 2.0 host function of the FM3 microcontrollers, Fujitsu also presented a complete solution for embedded USB, based on the newly developed USB Assistant software. In the case of this tool, special emphasis was placed on ease of use in order to provide developers of embedded systems with a reliable software package, including firmware and configuration tools.

Most of the microcontrollers on the market with the Cortex-M3 core work with 3.6 volts or less, and cannot be used in 5 V systems. With its wide operating voltage range (2.7 to 5.5 V), the FM3 family therefore meets the considerable market demand for microcontrollers operating with 5 V, and should be ideal for applications in manufacturing automation and white goods.

The FM3 microcontrollers have an integrated and very reliable high-speed NOR flash memory (up to 1 MB), which has proven itself over many years and has been continuously improved. The memory is designed for 100,000 write cycles and data storage for up to 20 years. With the fastest write access in its class, zero wait states are possible at up to 60 MHz. The high-speed CPU with flash memory, USB 2.0 host function, CAN, multiple timers and special peripheral macros therefore makes the series of high-performance FM3 microcontrollers the perfect solution for applications such as motor control in automation technology.

The FM3 portfolio will be expanded in future. In addition to other members of the high-performance series, such as derivatives with Ethernet functionality, the first products of the low-power series are expected by the end of the year. These power-saving microcontrollers are optimised especially for use in battery-powered devices. Like all Fujitsu products, FM3 microcontrollers are characterised by their proven reliability and quality. The security of the client's investment is guaranteed by long-term availability of the components and local technical support.

Integrated instrument control with multi-vendor compatibility

Thermo Fisher Scientific adds new Atlas CDS Software Control for Shimadzu Prominence HPLC

Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced the availability of a new Thermo Scientific Atlas Chromatography Data System (CDS) instrument control software for the Shimadzu Prominence® and Prominence XR HPLC. Seamless control of Shimadzu's Prominence is now possible at no extra cost as no connection license is required. Award-winning Atlas CDST provides chromatographers with a client/server chromatography-based software solution available for controlling multi-vendor instruments.

Within regulated industries, data management is a crucial part of the quality control process. Consequently, there is great demand for a single CDS that can integrate chromatographs from a variety of manufacturers. In response to customer needs and current market demand, Thermo Fisher and Shimadzu have collaborated to provide full instrument control and chromatography data handling within Atlas for the Shimadzu Prominence; a network-ready HPLC.

"This collaboration combines the strengths of both companies and will benefit customers by providing a truly integrated solution for users that require multi-vendor compatibility," said Dave Champagne, vice president and general manager for Thermo Fisher's Informatics business. "The Shimadzu Prominence (20A) LC control delivers added functionality to allow multiple instruments to be controlled on one PC. The integrated auditing capabilities of Atlas provide full audit trails of all instrument methods and data processing actions. This gives users confidence that our systems will enable them to satisfy applicable compliance regulations such as GMP and 21 CFR Part 11."

The new Shimadzu Prominence (20A) LC control allows the Shimadzu Prominence systems to be used with Atlas software with seamless control, supporting up to four instruments per 247 IC or DataServer. The Shimadzu Prominence (20A) control provides an instrument status screen, delivering direct feedback to the user on current instrument conditions. Developed with the Atlas DDK (device development kit), the control follows the user interface design followed by the Shimadzu VP instruments. The Shimadzu Prominence is a LAN-based instrument and can be connected to the laboratory network or private instrument network to provide data integrity by network buffering.

"We have received numerous requests from customers who use our LC and GC systems to enable control with Atlas CDS. I am pleased to see that control of Prominence is now possible through collaboration between Thermo Fisher and Shimadzu. This milestone will certainly benefit our mutual customers, and we look forward to continuing our relationship to further extend the control capability,"
said Teruhisa Ueda, Ph.D., corporate officer and deputy general manager, Analytical and Measuring Instruments Division, Shimadzu Corporation.

Thermo Scientific Atlas CDS provides a highly scalable client/server environment for laboratory LAN and WAN networks in pharmaceutical drug development, discovery, QA/QC laboratories and academia, as well as process industries such as oil and gas, food and beverage safety, water and wastewater treatment and chemicals manufacturing. Designed as a multi-user, multi-instrument data system, it enables remote network access to many instruments so data can be fully collected, secured and protected - enabling organizations to make more informed decisions faster. In addition, Atlas CDS provides seamless integration of results with enterprise-wide laboratory informatics management systems applications including the full range of Thermo Scientific LIMS.

Virtual Reality now available on iPhone and iPad

Following the successful launch of the innovative Virtual Reality training system EYESIM™, Invensys Operations Management, a global provider of technology systems, software solutions and consulting services to the process and manufacturing industries, takes the next step in further development of this ground breaking technology. The launch of the iPhone and iPad apps adds true mobility to the EYESIM system allowing "in the field" access to first-principle simulation and augmented reality. The iPhone and iPad apps were demonstrated publicly for the first time in Europe at the Gastech Conference & Exhibition in Amsterdam in March 2011.

EYESIM Immersive Virtual Reality is a comprehensive solution linking Control Room Operators to Field Operators, Maintenance Operators, and other critical team members in their process, by means of a High-Fidelity Process Simulation coupled with a Virtual Walkthrough Plant Environment. EYESIM provides a complete Plant Crew Training System, capturing best practices, rarely used procedures and other operations and makes them systems of record for continuous use and refinement.

The introduction of mobile EYESIM extends the usability of the system to iPhone or iPad users, allowing these mobile users to “virtually” be trained on systems, operational procedures and plant environments. The apps are particularly suited to the gas exploration and production industry, where remote and unsafe locations are increasingly the norm.

EYESIM addresses the real-life challenges that face operators and maintenance staff daily and is of particular value in the area of safety. It can be used to rehearse safety procedures with standardised, documented processes; for operator initiation training; updating health and ensure appropriate responses occur to infrequent, but safety-critical events; and gaining consistency across operations corporate-wide.

It also captures the inherent value in customer’s worker’s knowledge base, integrating into a comprehensive training program that grows with their needs. Adopting this model to mobile devices allows “untethered” access to procedures, processes and operational statement of work’s without having to be sitting at a terminal.

Mobile EYESIM is used for classroom training simulating plant experiences. By using this, Instructors and Supervisors can monitor dynamically, and in real time, a trainee’s position and behaviour in the virtual plant environment through a client application running on an iPhone or iPad. All “touch” facilities are available for a complete user experience. It allows workers to more fully experience “real life” situations through an iPad or iPhone interface, on the plant floor, away from the classroom.

EYESIM Virtual Reality Training enables engineers and operators to navigate the plant in a highly realistic and safe training environment on their iPhone or iPad screens. This application provides a combination of virtual reality technologies with high-fidelity process and control simulation, computer-based maintenance and documentation management. Maurizio Rovaglio, Head of Innovation and Emerging Technologies at Invensys Operations Management, describes the iPhone and iPad application as a mobile station that can be used in conjunction with the main application, enabling younger operators and engineers to connect to the server and enjoy the same training experience as on the main system.

Instructors and supervisors can monitor in real time the position and trainees behaviour within the plant environment through a client application running on an iPhone or iPad being connected to EYESIM iPhone or iPad server. Instructors and supervisors can interact with virtual reality gas plant operations by opening or closing valves, changing weather conditions or introducing malfunctions, by using the “touch screen” commands.

Maurizio Rovaglio highlights, “it is designed to provide complete plant crew training to improve skills that are safety-critical by enabling operators to perform tasks in a simulated environment, allowing them to react quickly and correctly, facilitating reactions in high stress conditions, and instilling standards for team training and communications”. He went on to explain, “it can be used to train operators on new systems, as well as train new or younger operators and engineers in a real-time, immersive environment, helping processors and manufacturers retain and replenish the specialised knowledge they need to improve their operations.”

John Gilmore, Director of Global Industry Solutions Upstream Oil & Gas at Invensys Operations Management says, “It is extremely costly to put a person into the plant for the purpose of training principally because of the plant size or location. If we could do 80-90 percent of this training in a virtual environment we can significantly cut down on cost and risk, avoiding the risk of injury and making mistakes, such as spills and the like due to inexperience”. He also highlighted the significance of such training in hazardous or extreme environments. The risk to untrained or a partially trained person in environments such as the Arctic or a sour gas plant, where conditions are extreme due to high pressures and temperatures can be great; EYESIM provides an ideal solution in these cases.

Invensys Operations Management's EYESIM technology is proven and continues to provide enhanced training together with higher levels of safety in gas exploitation and production environments.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Key elements to mantain operation

An integrated overall concept for modern data centres, “Rittal - The System” offers support for the active and passive side of a data centre with five perfectly matched modules: Rack, Power, Cooling, Security and Monitoring and Remote Management. “Rittal - The System” provides the key elements to support the necessary environment to maintain operation of the system, whether for server room or data centre, high or highest availability, the separate modules can be adapted to individual changes in demand.

At the heart of the rack-optimised design, the widely proven TS 8 server enclosure platform offers maximum rack volumes, scalable baying options, optimum surface protection, extreme stability and endless expansion possibilities. An additional benefit of “Rittal - The System” is that it is not only supported worldwide, but by utilising the power of the internet, products can now be configured on line at www.rittalxpress.co.uk. No matter what time it is, or how complex the configuration, there is always the ability to get a rapid quotation.

With an off-the-shelf range of over 8,000 standard products, Rittal is one of the world's leading system suppliers for housing and enclosure technologies as well as a solutions partner to all segments of the IT market.

Ethernet data radio

Control Microsystems, which is part of Schneider, has released the Trio ER45e data radio, the latest model in the Ethernet E-Series family of licensed radios. The ER45e is designed to increase IP communication network reliability and coverage while reducing the cost of deployment and ongoing management.

The new radio provides both Ethernet and serial connectivity for the most complex and demanding requirements in Point-to-Point and Point-to-Multipoint (Multiple Address Radio) SCADA and telemetry applications in licensed 450MHz band.

Features such as ChannelShareTM, data compression, low latency and over-the-air firmware upgrades make the Trio ER45e an optimal licensed Ethernet radio to seamlessly integrate into existing E-Series or third party systems. Customers can expect a unified IP infrastructure and improved remote asset management.

“The demand for Ethernet based long range wireless networks is growing as customers expect improved network reliability and a common connectivity interface,” according to Luke Enriquez, Trio Product Manager. “The ER45e features a flexible embedded terminal server which provides a smooth transition from serial based infrastructure to IP/Ethernet.”

The Trio ER45e is also complemented by the full duplex EB45e Base/Repeater and the 1+1 redundant EH45e Hot Standby options.