Saturday, April 16, 2011

Name change

Tyco Electronics has changed its name to change the company name to TE Connectivity Ltd. The name change is subject to Swiss regulatory approval.

"Our new name better reflects the products and solutions we bring to our customers," said Chief Executive Officer Tom Lynch. "We offer more than 500,000 products that connect and protect the flow of power and data inside millions of products that consumers and industries use every day, all around the globe. From smart phones to satellites, automobiles to airplanes, dishwashers to data centers, we're in it.

"As a company, we are well-known to the industries and customers we serve," Lynch said. "We want to expand our reach and drive awareness of TE Connectivity beyond our existing customer base to prospective customers, suppliers, investors, recruits and the communities in which we operate around the world."

Components marketing in Europe

Roger Stox
Andries de Bruin
Omron Electronics Components B.V has strengthened its European electronic components business team with the addition of two new starters. Roger Stox has been appointed to the position of Market Development Manager for Omron’s Medical and Healthcare applications business group.  Andries de Bruin joins as Product Marketing Manager for Omron’s electromechanical switches.  Stox and de Bruin will provide technical and strategic business support to Omron’s European OEM customer base.

Barclay McKenna, Omron Electronics Components, European Marketing Manager commented, “During the past 12 months we have experienced continued sales growth in Europe and the addition of Andries and Roger to our Market Development and Product Marketing teams will enhance our ability to support and develop further business opportunities.”

Roger Stox will be responsible for developing product concepts and applications management within the medical and healthcare market.  Stox joins Omron with over 19 years of electronics industry experience gained with NXP Semiconductors and previously Philips Semiconductors.  Andries de Bruin will provide support for new product introductions in Omron’s electromechanical switches product line-up.  De Bruin’s previous experience includes 13 years with Imtech Security Solutions.

Both Stox and de Bruin will be based in Omron Electronics Components European headquarters in the Netherlands.

Infrared pyrometer

The all new PyroUSB 2.2 non-contact temperature sensors  from Calex, detect infrared radiation at wavelengths between 2.0 and 2.4 microns. This short-wavelength method of measurement allows much greater accuracy, and improved tolerance of optical obstructions or errors in emissivity setting, than longerwavelength sensors.

Model PU151LT2.2 is designed specifically for measuring low-temperature targets from 45ºC to 300ºC. PyroUSB 2.2 sensors connect directly to a PC via a USB cable (included) and operate without the need for any additional hardware interface or power supply.

In addition to the USB interface, the sensor is equipped with a selectable 0 to 20 mA or 4 to 20 mA output, which is linear with temperature. This output can be connected at the same time as the USB interface or independently. Models are available with temperature ranges of 45 to 300ºC, 250 to 1000ºC or 450 to 2000ºC. If a smaller range is required, this can be set using the included CalexSoft software.

The CalexSoft software is simple to install and requires no specialist knowledge to set up and use. It displays temperature in numerical format and on a simulated scrolling chart. Users can set the temperature range and emissivity, compensate for reflected energy, apply filtering to fluctuating temperatures and use peak or
valley-hold processing to measure hot or cold objects on conveyors. The software may also be used to record measurements at any interval from 1 second to 1 week and preprogrammed to start and finish at any time or date. Audible and visual alarms can be set to warn users that the temperature is either too high or too low. The
built-in OPC Server interface allows communication between the sensor and any other equipment with OPC Client capabilities, making systems integration simple and affordable.

The sensor itself is just 106 mm long by 18 mm diameter and made of stainless steel, sealed to IP65. It is held in place by a mounting nut (included). Fixed and adjustable brackets are offered to simplify mounting and a laser-sighting tool is available to assist in the sighting of the sensor.

The high-quality lenses used by Calex produce very well-defined optical paths. There are four optics to choose from. Medium and high-temperature models are available with 25:1 or 75:1 distance-to-spot size ratios, or close-focus optics, which focus on a 7.5 mm diameter spot at 500 mm distance. Lowtemperature models are available with a distance-to-spot size ratio of 15:1.

If the sensor is required to operate in a very high or low ambient temperature (less than 0°C or more than 70°C) it can be ordered with a water/air-cooled jacket built around it. The temperature inside the sensor can also be monitored from the PC to make sure it doesn’t exceed the ambient limits. For dusty environments, an air-purge collar can be fitted to keep the lens clean.

PyroUSB sensors are RoHS compliant and conform to EN 61326-1:2006 for EMC. They are designed and built by Calex Electronics in the UK, a company with more than 30 years' experience of non-contact infra-red temperature measurement.

Patch panel for structured cabling networks

Harting has developed a patch panel based on its Ha-VIS preLink® cabling system especially for use in the structured cabling of industrial and special buildings.

The new Ha-VIS preLink HIFF (Harting Industry Form Factor) patch panel is suitable for installation in 19-inch cabinets or frames in accordance with IEC/DIN EN 60297-3-100 (DIN 41494-1). Up to 24 individual modules in HIFF design, Ha-VIS preLink®) RJ45 socket modules or RJ Industrial® 10G couplers can be mixed and loaded into the patch panel. The users benefit from the flexibility that allows them to decide for themselves whether they want to work with pre-terminated cables or patch cables.

This cabling system component again focuses on simple, time-saving and economical installation. The patch panel's three-part design and cable jack support that can be removed from both the front and the back when the base support is installed make this possible.

A high-grade stainless steel plate covers the patch panel on the front and lies flush with the 19-inch mounting frame. The future viability of the patch panel is ensured by the module's ability to transmit data at up to 10 Gbit/s. The combination of extra strain relief, high-integrity shielding and robust metallic design are further safety measures that make the patch panel ideal for use in industrial applications.

Water & Waste agreement!

Hach Lange has announced a new multi-million pound AMP5 Framework Agreement with Thames Water for a wide range of water and wastewater monitoring instrumentation.

The five-year contract was awarded to Hach Lange following successful bids for 4 out of 5 instrumentation framework ‘lots’ which covered clean water turbidity, wastewater dissolved oxygen, sludge dry solids and influent/effluent quality monitoring.

Commenting on the award, Hach Lange's John Moroney said "We were delighted to win all four lots because we were assessed against our competitors on issues such as quality, reliability, service and cost of ownership. This award reflects our market leading position and further extends the long-standing relationship that we have developed with Thames Water."

Instruments included within the agreement include the 1720e online turbidimeter, the Solitax SC for suspended solids, the LDO™ for dissolved oxygen and the UVAS plus for organic load (BOD and COD) measurements. The Nitratax immersion probe is included for the measurement of Nitrate and the NH4D for Ammonium. The SC1000 Controller, which interfaces with all of these instruments, is also included within the agreement.

As a result of this agreement Hach Lange will continue to supply the majority of Thames Water’s requirements for analytical instruments.

DIN rail amplifiers

DIN rail signal amplifiers ideal for use with PLCs

When enclosure space is at a premium it is convenient to use compact DIN rail mounted devices. RDP Electronics DR7 series signal amplifiers are increasingly being used in conjunction with Programmable Logic Controllers in such situations.

PLCs typically have terminations for I/O from a number of control and measurement devices including signal input from LVDTs, strain gauges, load cells, pressure transducers and torque transducers. DR7 amplifiers can clip on to the DIN rail alongside the PLCs offering the benefit of short interconnecting cables and often operate from the same 24V supply. With transducer excitation options of 1 or 3 volts RMS, at either 3kHz or 5kHz carrier signal excitation, the DR7 gives a choice of a full range output of either ±10 V or 4~20 mA from switched selectable input signal levels ranging from 20 mV to 4 V RMS.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Strain gauge indicator scores!

Mantracourt has had great success with its portable strain gauge display for use as a strain gauge indicator or load cell indicator, (PSD). Developed for a range of industrial customer applications, the PSD is now used by thousands of engineers and technicians around the world.

• Portable digital display for use as a strain gauge indicator or load cell indicator
• Easy to carry - weighing only 250 grams
• Waterproof IP65 NEMA4 battery powered
• 7 digit LCD display, with battery, peak, trough, net, overload and shunt cal indication
• Battery life of 450 hrs in power save mode
• Tactile keyboard, with on/off, range select, peak/valley hold, and gross/net controls
• Microprocessor based, allowing single pass calibration facility (direct mV/V)
• Dual range for values such as Kg and lb
• TEDS enabled for automatic sensor calibration (IEEE1451 - template 33)
• Option for display with RS232 output option
Enabled for automatic sensor calibration and having a waterproof enclosure, a long battery life and with a sister handheld for RS232 output, the PSD strain gauge indicator is ideal for a broad range of industrial applications where load, pressure, force or weight measurement data needs to be reliably and accurately recorded.

“The PSD strain gauge display has been developed over recent years for use in harsh environments and is also small and light, so it has proven ideal for the collection of strain gauge and load cell data in industrial and architectural environments,” said Kelly Voysey,  Marketing Manager at Mantracourt. “There is also a great deal of intelligence that has been developed into the PSD, making it a highly effective and powerful tool for the collection and analysis of this type of data.”

Mantracourt are specialists in the design and manufacture of electronics for measurement technologies including strain gauge, temperature, pressure, voltage, current, potentiometer, rate, flow, LVDT and displacement in either analogue, digital or wireless form.

“Having been in production since 2003, the PSD strain gauge indicator has proven to be a highly effective solution in a broad range of applications, we have sold many thousands worldwide and we expect a similar growth in sales over the next few years. Indeed, it is successful products such as the PSD that helped Mantracourt gain the Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

A typical application of the PSD digital display has been the monitoring of the loads on ‘guide wires’, used to maintain the stability of radio masts. Load shackles with built-in TEDS capabilities are used in the guylines. The TEDS shackles have the intelligence to hold the calibration details of the associated shackle. Using a TEDS enabled PSD load cell display, an operative can connect the PSD to each shackle through a 5 pin Binder socket and the mating connector supplied.

Once connected, the load can be easily read by the PSD using the simple peak/valley hold or gross/net keyboard functions. As calibration is not required, the handheld does not need to be informed as to what shackle it is currently measuring which prevents mix-ups occurring when taking readings. Anyone attending the mast can simply take the readings required by connecting and switching on the PSD. Alternatively, using the PSD232, the sister of the PSD, connection to RS232 can be made which will allow users to interface with a PC or datalogger, for example. The PSD232 sends the displayed value to the RS232 port at 9600 baud in an ASCII format, terminated by a carriage return and line-feed.

“The PSD is designed and entirely manufactured at our factory in the UK," said Kelly. “This enables us to ensure the quality and provide the very best technical and engineering support for the PSD.”

Global customer value enhancement award

Frost & Sullivan has recognised Yokogawa Electric Corporation with the 2011 Global Customer Value Enhancement Award in Distributed Control Systems for the Chemicals Industry. Yokogawa is the only company receiving the annual award in this category. The award ceremony was held on the 12th April in Florida (US).

Frost & Sullivan  presents the Customer Value Enhancement Award each year to the company that has demonstrated excellence in implementing strategies that proactively create value for its customers with a focus on improving the return on the investment that customers make in its services or products.

Frost & Sullivan selected Yokogawa for this award for the following reasons:
Factor 1:  Expansion of customer base
Yokogawa introduced its first distributed control system (DCS), called CENTUM, in 1975. CENTUM allows Yokogawa to ensure 99.99999% system availability to end-users. The recently released CENTUM VP R4.03 has an integrated batch solution, called CENTUM VP Batch. This addition enables chemical end-users to manage batch processes efficiently. Recent Frost & Sullivan research findings on the world DCS market shows Yokogawa as the leader in the global chemicals market.  

Factor 2:  Implementation of a new and unique product bundling strategy plus the ability to offer a 'one-stop shop' for customers
Chemical and petrochemical manufacturers demand mainstream process improvement along with cost-efficient solutions. Yokogawa has the ability to deliver solutions right from the field device layer to the manufacturing operations management layer. The benefits for the new installation as well as for existing end-users in choosing such a 'one-stop-shop' solution provider are seamless integration, higher system robustness, lower cost of integration, and superior process reliability.

Factor 3:  Launch of a new service protocol to improve the overall customer ownership experience
Yokogawa's comprehensive package of automation service solutions, VigilantPlant Services, can be effectively leveraged by end-users starting with identification of potential opportunities up to the implementation of standards-based solutions. The end-to-end service positions Yokogawa as the DCS solution provider of choice in the chemicals and petrochemicals sectors.

"We are honoured to be selected as the best DCS company in delivering value to customers by the world-leading Frost & Sullivan", said Kenji Hasegawa, General Manager, Marketing Planning Department, Industrial Automation Marketing Headquarters: "VigilantPlant, Yokogawa's IA vision, has the main mission to maximise customer corporate value by continuously increasing the growth potential and productivity of each customer. This award is a prestigious recognition of Yokogawa's accomplishments in the global DCS markets."

Yokogawa will continue to innovatively improve the productivity of its customers' plant operations to create profit, by utilising the latest technologies based on its long track record and supreme reliability.

Faster and easier power quality analysis

Outram Research has launched an enhanced template function in Pronto, their popular analysis and reporting software. The new comprehensive capability provides “two-click graphing”, allowing non-technical users to produce complex graphical analysis of power quality data quickly and easily.

The templates dramatically reduce the time needed to analyse data, without requiring expert knowledge of either power quality or the Pronto software. Users can select the data to be displayed, the colours to be used and can manipulate the as axes, including whether graphs are superimposed or stacked and whether the scales are automatic or fixed.

Templates are managed in a hierarchical directory structure, making selection of the required output intuitive. Furthermore Pronto uses a “traffic light” approach to show which templates can be used with the data set that has been loaded. A green light indicates that all data is present, amber that part of the output can be produced and red indicates that the data set is not compatible with the template. The graphs produced by Pronto can easily be copied into a report produced in other packages, such as Microsoft Word.

Many users can benefit from the new functionality. Some users might have specific requirements – for example monitoring specific harmonics, whilst consultants might want to produce consistent reports, and other engineers need to monitor the same parameters over a long period of time, which requires consistent presentation of the data.

“Pronto offers the most comprehensive graphing features of any power quality analysis package,” said John Outram, Managing Director of Outram Research. “As our products become more powerful and flexible, producing consistent analysis may be challenging for operators who are not power quality specialists. The new templating functionality ensures the user gets exactly the graph he wants with just a couple of clicks, an approach that we plan to introduce for the other output functions offered by our software.”

Pronto offers many advantages over generic packages such as spreadsheets. In addition to providing the new graph templating functionality, it allows easy access to all the data collected by the analyser. This software can also manipulate and graph millions of data points, something that is not possible with standard spreadsheet packages.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Control system security and OPC

Effective OPC solutions mean better control system security

MatrikonOPC and Byres Security have just published a new white paper on security and OPC. Eric Byres explains: "OPC is the world’s most widely used industrial integration technology for SCADA and ICS systems. Due to this popularity, I believe it is vital that controls and network professionals understand how to deploy it securely."

Click for Blog: OPC Security:
More than the Sum of the Parts
For the past decade, industrial control system professionals have wanted to believe that ‘air gaps’ truly existed between their systems and the rest of the world. They have also hoped that ‘security by obscurity’ would keep them safe from security threats.

Those days are over. Recent security incidents such as the game-changing Stuxnet worm are a wakeup call for the industrial automation industry. While the risk of cyber attacks and malware are no longer in doubt, the question remains, “Exactly how can an engineer reliably secure his or her control system?”

Complicating the situation is the widespread use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) information technologies like Windows and Ethernet on critical control systems. The use of these common networking, computer and software technologies has certainly reduced costs and increased business agility. However, it has also increased the demands to balance the need for accessibility to control system data with the need to safeguard the integrity and usability of mission critical systems.

One of the most effective ways to manage the conflict between the demands of efficient access and the demands of effective security is to minimize the variety of interfaces and protocols operating between the control system and external networks. Having one approved connectivity solution serving multiple corporate requirements not only reduces administration costs, but also reduces the opportunities open to the attacker or worm. This is known as "reducing the attack surface” of a system.

Thus the key task for an administrator is to select an appropriate communications technology that can be used by the widest variety of control AND business systems. While there are a number of possible candidates, OPC is without question one of the easiest and most widespread standards to address the demands of universal data access in the industrial automation world.

By layering defenses that are OPC-aware, high security solutions can be created that meet both the security and access expectations of a company, all without administrative overload on the network or controls team. The result is a standards-based solution that has been proven across numerous control systems.

Furthermore, since OPC is so universal, it has the potential to be the only protocol needed for enterprise to control system communications. And following the security principle of “reducing the attack surface”, an OPC-based solution is possibly the most secure solution for control system interfacing available today.

It is important to emphasize the standards in recommending an OPC security solution. There are many so called “security solutions” that are secure only because they are obscure. It only takes one determined hacker (such as Luigi Auriemma who published 34 SCADA/HMI vulnerabilities in March 2011) to break into proprietary systems and publish the exploit code on the Internet. Then “security by obscurity” is useless.

In terms of providing network-focused security, an OPC-aware solution is the Tofino Security Appliance with the Tofino OPC Enforcer Loadable Software Module. It is designed to secure ANY OPC product, because it uses core IP, TCP, RPC and DCOM standards exactly as they were intended. Similarly, for application-focused security, and for granular role and user-based security, the MatrikonOPC Security Gateway is fully based on the OPC Security specification and provides complete security for OPC architectures.

These two products have been successfully tested together with the Tofino technology providing front line protection from 99.99% of all network based attacks such as Denial of Service, unapproved clients, malformed DCOM connections etc. Once network traffic related to OPC has been vetted, the MatrikonOPC Security Gateway enforces the specific security policies chosen by the administrator– ensuring each user only gets access to the specific data he or she has authorization to work with.

The bottom line for control engineers looking for a reliable security solution is: if you use one protocol for control system communications and if you select standards-based OPC security products, you can achieve high security without administrative overload.

For a detailed discussion of defense in depth for OPC Security, download the White Paper “Effective OPC Security for Control Systems – Solutions you can bank on”.

Automation in Scottish paper mill

ABB has a contract to provide new automation, quality control and collaborative production management solutions to Arjowiggins Creative Papers’ Stoneywood Mill in Scotland.  The new systems are part of a modernisation project that will increase productivity, product quality and energy efficiency.

Arjowiggins is a leading manufacturer of creative and technical paper, the company’s Stoneywood mill produces papers for corporate communication and promotion, luxury packaging, industrial release papers and other creative papers and specialty applications. The mill’s two manufacturing sites collectively produce 200 metric tons of paper per day.

The delivery includes ABB’s System 800xA Extended Automation to control the central boiler house and integrate with other mill systems. System 800xA will protect Stoneywood Mill’s paper machines’ steam and electrical supplies by replacing older, less reliable equipment, while helping to optimize energy efficiency.  Its unique operator interface will give workers clear visibility into mill status information at all times.

The new Quality Control System integrated with the 800xA control system for PM10 will maximize product quality and help sustain the Arjowiggins Creative Papers’ high-quality brands. ABB’s integrated control system significantly improves mill productivity by increasing operator effectiveness and reducing transition times during shade and grade changes.

ABB’s delivery also includes several collaborative production management solutions. cpmPlus, Smart Client information management software will provide users with easy access to real time and historical process data. With Smart Client, Arjowiggins Creative Papers supervisors can make better decisions and improve mill management. cpmPlus Loop Performance Manager has tuning and auditing tools that will keep the mill running at peak levels with minimal engineering staff effort.

HMI in Europe & Asia Pacific

Market-leading HMI technology in switches and keypads now available across Europe and Asia-Pacific through RS
Signing the new distribution agreement are front row from left to right, Fred Knowles, Head of Product Management RS Components, Susan Jacques, MD EAO Group with Nathalie Gerard, Supplier Account Manager, RS Components and Robert Davies, Marketing Manager, EAO Group.
RS Components has signed a new strategic distribution agreement with EAO Group.  Under the new agreement, RS will support sales of EAO human machine interface and electromechanical components throughout Europe and the APAC region.

EAO is a leading manufacturer of high-quality HMI products including switches and keypads. RS is supporting the distribution agreement with the introduction of 212 new EAO electromechanical products.  All EAO products are being supported by RS through a brand microsite in the Electronics Centre on, which brings together product, market and application guides as well as data for the full range of EAO components.  Full EAO range and application details can be accessed at

Commenting on the distribution deal, Fred Knowles, Head of Product Management - Electronics for RS Components said, "Design engineers are increasingly looking to RS to provide a complete BOM and design support.  EAO is a key manufacturer with a market-leading human-to-machine technology offer. By adding key new products to our portfolio we will be able to supply our customers with more choice and support."

"EAO is delighted to be formalising our relationship with RS throughout Europe and APAC,"
continued, Susan Jacques, Managing Director at EAO.  "RS is respected by engineers globally and has unrivalled customer reach with proven online technical resources, which is enabling us to bring advanced HMI components to a far wider audience than previously possible."

Simulation software agreement to drive productivity excellence

Invensys Operations Management has entered into a partnership with Axens, an international provider of technologies, products and services to the refining, petrochemical, gas and alternative fuels markets. Under the terms of the agreement, Axens, based in Rueil-Malmaison, (F) will become a sub-licensor of Invensys Operations Management’s SimSci-Esscor® PRO/II™ software, a steady-state process simulator used to design, analyze and improve chemical processes.

“This partnership will reinforce our presence in the worldwide petrochemical and refining industries, providing users  of Axens’ web-based process operations simulator solution—webPOS™—with the highest level of optimized technology,” said Tobias Scheele, vice president, advanced applications, Invensys Operations Management. “As partners, Axens will embed our PRO/II simulation software into its customized webPOS, outfitting it for steady-state simulation that will help customers achieve productivity excellence.”

Invensys Operations Management’s PRO/II software will be delivered within the framework of the Axens webPOS, which provides operations and process engineers the tools needed to perform several functions, including off-line engineering studies to monitor the impact of operating variables and feed quality on product yields and qualities; evaluating bottlenecks for new feedstock or new product quality requirements; and making strategic and operational decisions regarding production and product distribution. The easy-to-use interface can be accessed through any internet browser, eliminating the need for installation on customers’ equipment and ensuring that the webPOS solution is continually updated.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Btu & Steam meters

EngyCal RH33 Btu meter and RS33 steam meter provide high-precision data recording and billing information for custody transfer, steam measurement and energy flow calculations for process and facility applications.
RH33 BTU meter

Endress+Hauser has launched the EngyCal RH33 Btu meter and the EngyCal RS33 steam meter energy managers. Both record energy data for billing purposes in applications such as custody transfer, heating and cooling systems, steam production and steam distribution systems. These meters also fit well in building automation applications such as district heating and cooling networks.

The EngyCal RH33 Btu meter was developed especially for custody transfer applications with liquids such as water, water glycol mixtures or thermal oils. EngyCal RH33 calculates enthalpy (hot & cold), energy (thermal flow), density and mass flow based on the measured flow value and temperature differential. It is also available with custody transfer approval.

Calibrated and electronically paired temperature sensors ensure a high-accuracy temperature differential measurement, especially important in cooling applications. Its patented electronic sensor matching allows an exchange of individual sensors in the field. The cost-intensive use of paired sensors is no longer necessary; therefore, customers will experience a reduction of costs in calibration and maintenance over the complete product lifetime. Temperature sensors will be shipped in a package with the preinstalled calculator on request. This reduces commissioning time and costs at the plant.

Typical applications include custody transfer, and recording and billing the quantities of Btus used in heating and cooling circuits and building automation systems.

The EngyCal RS33 steam calculator can be used for recording and billing steam mass and energy flow for applications with saturated or superheated steam. It calculates the enthalpy and energy (thermal flow) as well as the density and the mass flow based on the measured flow value, temperature and/or pressure. All calculations are carried out according to the EN 1434 and IAPWS-IF 97 standard (International Association for The Properties of Water and Steam).

Typical applications include recording and billing steam energy consumption in food, chemical, pharmaceutical and power industries, as well as in building automation systems.

Both meters can be ordered with MID approval for custody transfer applications. Optional integrated differential pressure flow compensation enables the highest possible precision.

Tracking Data
EngyCal meters have a built-in measurement logbook as well as an event logbook. The measurement memory has defined report formats (day, month, year, billing date), while the event logbook ensures a quick summary of consumption values and makes energy invoicing possible.

By using a defined fault behavior and the separate deficit counter, the meters ensure transparency of the energy calculation and documentation for invoices. In steam applications, for example, the wet steam alarm gives additional security, because condensed steam can hinder an exact energy calculation.

Using Field Data Manager software, the stored measurements, alarms and events—as well as the device configuration—can be securely selected and stored in an SQL database.

All meters are supplied with an industry standard 4-20mA output, and can be ordered with interfaces for Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP or M-bus for easy system integration. M-bus or Meter-Bus is a new European standard for remote reading of heat meters, and it is also usable for other types of consumption meters as well as for various sensors and actuators.

If the meters are connected using one of the available digital interface options, customers can read out measurement data, calculated values and device data (such as serial number, TAG) at any time using the integrated web server. Because the meters have web server capability, this information can be accessed via any web browser, and additional software for the supervision of online data is therefore not necessary.

Easy Field Set-Up
Custody transfer heat counters are normally ordered pre-programmed, and can be supplied as such by Endress+Hauser. EngyCal can be programmed in the field even in custody transfer applications.

EngyCal meters have a multi-line backlit liquid crystal display, and support multiple operating languages. A simple and swift configuration can be carried out on the spot by using push buttons, or by using the USB interface and Endress+Hauser’s FieldCare software. The integrated calibration logbook and the flexible user interface makes set-up of EngyCal devices quick and easy, even for custody transfer applications.

Predefined universal inputs support simple and quick commissioning and are suitable for connection to and powering of all commonly used flow meters, pressure transducers and temperature sensors. The compact housing is suitable for direct field or wall mounting, and DIN-rail mounting simplifies panel mounted installations. This variety of mounting options makes the meters suitable for use in virtually any operating environment.

Promoting automation among US ex-military recognised

The Automation Federation is a winner of the seventh annual PM100 Awards by Manufacturing Enterprise Communications - producers of the Manufacturing Leadership Summit and publishers of Managing Automation. This is the third consecutive year that AF has won a PM100 Award.

In 2009, AF was honored for the development of the Automation Competency Model (ACM). In 2010, AF was honored for the completion of the ACM and efforts to disseminate information about the model to the international community. This year, AF is being honored for its new AutomationVETS program.

 AF’s AutomationVETS program gives US military Veterans the opportunity to pursue new careers in automation. The program combines the technical skills Veterans acquired in the service of their country with mentoring from current automation professionals to make the transition to a lucrative career in automation smooth and straightforward. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has offered its support to help make the AutomationVETS program a success. 

Steve Pflantz, 2011 chair of the Automation Federation membership committee, said, “Winning the award for our AutomationVETS program is especially meaningful to us because this program is designed to give back to our Veterans, who have worked hard to serve and protect the rest of us. Re-entering the workforce after retiring from service is often challenging for our Veterans. This program will help them use the skills they already possess to pursue careers in which they will continue to make a difference to the health, safety and well-being of our nation. We hope this award will help spread the message throughout industry that mentors are needed and that our Veterans are a prime source for new hires.” 

The 2011 PM100 Winners will be honored and presented with awards at the Awards Gala, scheduled for 11 May 2011, the last day of the Manufacturing Leadership Summit 2011, at The Breakers in Palm Beach, FL, USA. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Interface to Autodesk Vault PDM System

Every Vault user can view the data without an EPLAN license

Design data from AutoCAD Inventor or Mechanical can now managed together with electrical and fluid engineering projects, using the bidirectional EPLAN interface to the PDM System Vault. Direct connection between the PDM System and EPLAN Platform 2.0 makes the highest degree of transparency possible. An integrated revision management approach speeds up data organisation in mechanical engineering and CAE, ensuring a dependable release and tracking procedure of project data and reducing errors in the design process. All data may be accessed immediately throughout all departments, and is centrally protected against unauthorized use.

The Vault server, as well as the M-CAD design data and all project data from EPLAN Electric P8, EPLAN Fluid or EPLAN PPE, are managed within one centralised structure. Complete CAE projects may simply be checked into the vault and saved. Characteristics lists and structured bills of materials are a must in helping with the systematic allocation of components and component groups into super ordinate classes; thus rendering the perfect overview.

EPLAN interface for Vault simplifies parts management, as all set up parts appear in the PDM system. This facilitates complete and comprehensive bills of materials that contain valuable information such as part numbers, supplier or manufacturer. An additional engineering advantage is that structured bills of materials with higher-level function/mounting location structure may also be transferred. Perfect parts data synchronization information about bills of materials is available for both bidirectional and cross-department. Even the header data for CAE projects can now be managed easily via the Vault. These can be configured freely and are identical in both systems to assure the EPLAN user that characteristic project data will always be current.

Automatically the PDM system's integrated viewer delivers EPLAN projects in PDF format and in addition, offers extensive navigation possibilities. Cross references, component jump, and the comfortable page navigation are only a few highlights that will provide quick and easy project overview for the user. PDF makes it possible for Vault users to view complex CAE projects without their own EPLAN license. This way all participants can be up to date about the current project status at all times and individual synchronisation efforts can be reduces, which will save time and ensure lower project costs.

The trend to Mechatronics continues between electrical, fluid and mechanical engineering with the new EPLAN interface to the Autodesk PDM System Vault. A mechatronic workflow relating to data management, across all disciplines, simplifies and speeds up the entire engineering process.

LXI Switching guide!

Pickering Interfaces have published their first full catalogue of LXI switching products running to over 150 pages and is available in either printed  or downloadable from their website.

Pickering Interfaces manufacture the widest range of Ethernet controlled switching solutions that are compliant with the industry wide LXI Standard. The range of products includes dedicated switching solutions that include high crosspoint count matrices, very wide multiplexers, switching systems to 10A and matrix solutions to microwave frequencies.

In addition the Pickering Interfaces Modular chassis system is able to support any of the Pickering Interfaces vast range of PXI switching products, providing a simple Ethernet connection to control the switches in place of the PCI based interface.

The on line catalogue provides an overview of all the products in the range in a single publication. Printed versions of the catalogue are available on request by contacting the local sales office.

Acquisition of technology assets improves performance

GE Intelligent Platforms has acquired technology assets from CSense Systems (Pty) Ltd. of (Pretoria ZA). This acquisition expands GE’s Proficy® Software Platform analytic capabilities, increasing asset performance for customers as they gain critical insight into their operations. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition includes CSense’s analytic software products and engineering solutions. This distinctive technology provides advanced capabilities to proactively identify and solve potential process problems before they impact operations.

The CSense asset acquisition complements the remote monitoring & diagnostics solutions recently added to GE’s Proficy portfolio with the acquisition of SmartSignal Corporation in January.
“This acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to invest in our business,” said Jody Markopoulos, president and CEO of GE Intelligent Platforms. “With these knowledge-based services, customers will be able to act faster and make better decisions to increase productivity and profitability for their businesses.”
According to Erik Udstuen, vice president of Software & Services for GE Intelligent Platforms, “The capabilities of this technology coupled with our recent acquisition of SmartSignal, provides us with a world-class software platform for asset monitoring and process diagnostics. We will drive operational performance for our customers by using CSense technology to gain important insights from their real-time process data.”
The CSense technology establishes an open programming workbench for advanced analytic technologies used to build solutions for prediction, root cause analysis and advanced process control. “With CSense, we can offer a wide range of analytic technologies in a single platform ranging from first principle models to advanced statistics to neural networks that can positively change asset and process performance,” Udstuen said.
GE Intelligent Platforms and CSense Systems have been working together for a number of years embedding CSense technology into the core Proficy Software Platform. Advanced analytic algorithms enable Intelligent SCADA and Intelligent Historian solutions with causal analysis, proactive alarming and decision support tools built in. Proficy Troubleshooter and Cause+ are two good examples of how CSense technology can deliver powerful analytic tools to transform real-time data into actionable information for engineers and operators.
Proficy is an example of how GE’s $4 billion-a-year software and solutions capabilities are improving real-time decision-making, enabling more efficient operations, driving innovation and ensuring quality for customers around the world. GE’s domain expertise and world-class operational acumen enables our customers to turn data into intelligence for mission-critical needs.

Highly successful event

With emissions monitoring as the central theme, MCERTS 2011, held at the end of March. event proved extremely successful for Quantitech. Sales Director Dominic Duggan reported a high level of participation in the company's workshops on Dioxins sampling and FTIR emissions monitoring, and added, "The launch of the new Horiba PG250 SRM drew a lot of attention and we were delighted that so many of our customers and prospects took time to visit our exhibition stand and workshops."
The first Quantitech workshop on long term continuous Dioxin sampling systems was given by Gilles Campagnola from TCR Tecora. Commenting on the high level of interest, Gilles said he was delighted with the number of attendees because whilst his company has sold many long term sampling systems (DECS) in mainland Europe, none has yet been installed in the UK. "We hope that the interest shown in the Workshop will translate into a need for the improved accuracy that long term Dioxins sampling can deliver," he added.

Quantitech’s second Workshop on FTIR, delivered by Dominic Duggan, was also well attended. “We took the opportunity to highlight applications that are beyond the standard WID and LCPD monitoring systems, such as carbon capture and emissions from anaerobic digestion plants.” Dominic also invited attendees to register for a free one day seminar on FTIR monitoring that Quantitech will run in June.

Copies of the presentation entitled Results from the EN1948-5 validation tests of a Dioxin continuous, long term sampling system will be available by request.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Major oil and gas order down under!

ABB has won a $58 million order from QGC Pty Limited to provide integrated automation, safety and telecommunications systems and related equipment for a new upstream coal seam gas project in Queensland (AUS). ABB is appointed the main automation contractor for the project.

Coal seam gas is natural gas extracted from coal beds. It provides the same amount of energy as coal, but carbon dioxide emissions are 40 percent lower.

Click for details on this LNG Project.
QGC’s Queensland Curtis LNG Project is one of Australia’s largest capital infrastructure projects (click picture on right for details of this project including a video!) ABB’s delivery will optimize the efficiency of the upstream gas gathering and compression facilities, and provide communications and remote operation for the 540-km buried pipeline network that will transport gas to a liquefied natural gas processing facility at Gladstone, Queensland. The plant will initially produce 8.5 million metric tons of LNG a year.

“ABB’s extensive oil and gas project delivery and management expertise combined with our large portfolio of technology and services is the comprehensive approach needed to successfully execute these complex projects for our customers,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division.

ABB completed the initial front-end engineering and design study for the project in early 2011. The scope of supply includes its Extended Automation System 800xA for process control and integration with other plant and remote pipeline systems, as well as integrated safety, compressor protection, emergency shutdown, fire and gas applications and other related automation equipment and services. It includes telecommunication systems infrastructure and equipment, as well as installation, commissioning support and related project services.

The project will be commissioned in several phases, with first deliveries scheduled in 2011 through to project completion in 2014.

Submersible sensors for hydrostatic depth

With the pressure transmitters PSMN and PSSN, Baumer offers compact submersible sensors for hydrostatic depth measurement. They are suitable in many level measurement applications in drinking water supply, wastewater, reservoirs, lakes and rivers, flood protection or pump controls. Due to the small diameter of only 22 mm, the devices are perfect for the use in 1-inch sounding pipes. The PSMN is available with an accuracy of up to 0.1 % F.S. The PSSN’s accuracy is 1 % F.S. 

The submersible sensor PSMN is based on a piezoresistive silicon measuring cell. It is suitable for level measurement in drinking water supply, hydroelectric power plants or in shipbuilding, amongst others. The pressure transmitter has a measuring range from 1 to 250 mH2O and is offered with an accuracy of 0.1 % and 0.25 %. It features high long-term stability of 0.1 % F.S. per year and can be used with medium temperatures up to 80 °C. For applications in the ship building industry, it is available in a seawater-resistant version.

In the execution PSMX, the transmitter is offered as ATEX version for the use in hazardous areas. The measuring range and the zero signal can be parameterised with the Baumer FlexProgrammer. The device is available with several current and voltage output signals, with different cable types, and with open or closed protection cap. A version with weight extension can be also provided. 

The PSSN is based on a ceramic thick-film measuring cell. The submersible probe with a measuring range from 6 to 20 mH2O and an accuracy of 1 % F.S. offers a very good price-performance ratio. The measuring device features high medium compatibility and is suitable for level measurement in waste water applications, pools or flood protection, amongst others. The PSSN has a 4…20 mA output signal. It is available with or without protection cap.

New spectrophotometer to revolutionise water analysis

Hach Lange has launched a major new spectrophotometer, the DR 3900, that Marketing Manager Sarah Blayds says "is light years ahead of anything else in the market."

The DR 3900 employs the latest RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to ensure that an accurate, reliable, traceable record is created for every sample. However, as Sarah Blayds explains: "Improved traceability is not the only benefit of the technology; users are now able to define their own 'set points' for specific sampling locations, so that any results falling outside of these points will be flagged immediately. This facility will be of great benefit to staff such as application scientists who may wish to be alerted to specific conditions such as deviation from normal C:N:P ratios."

How it works
In order to establish a fully traceable system, users will undertake the following procedure:
1. Place RFID tags in monitoring locations
2. Provide sampling staff with personal RFID keyring fobs
3. Utilise a portable, pocket-sized RFID Locator to assign location and sampler ID data to the sample bottle RFID label
4. Utilise cuvettes with new 2D Barcode

The DR3900 will then read sample RFIDs and assign traceability data to the analytical result – date, time, sampler, location and test method.
It will also read the sample barcode to determine the batch number and expiry date, and this data will also be assigned to the analytical result.

Eliminating potential errors
Small changes are sometimes made to analytical methods and these represent an opportunity for test errors to occur. However, the introduction of the advanced Barcode 2 and RFID can prevent such errors because the DR3900 will issue a warning if a test requires an update. By simply holding the cuvette box RFID label in front of the instrument, the user is then able to update the test methodology in the spectrophotometer. The new barcodes also contribute to accuracy by alerting the user if reagents have expired.

Automatic calibration of online instruments
A further benefit of the DR3900 is made possible when the device is networked via Ethernet to facilitate the automatic calibration of Hach Lange online process monitoring instruments. First, a 'job' is entered on the SC controller of the process instruments and a manual sample is taken. The job (process measurement value, time etc) is sent to the DR 3900 in the laboratory and the sample is analysed using a cuvette test. The result is then compared with the process analyser and the calibration of the process probe is adjusted accordingly (when necessary).

Summarising the advantages of the new spectrophotometer, Sarah Blayds says "When we introduced pre-filled cuvettes, we dramatically reduced the potential for error in the preparation of reagents. The addition of barcodes then helped to reduce error further by making it almost impossible to conduct a test with an incorrect program. However, the addition of RFID technology has effectively closed the loop on traceability and the elimination of error; HACH LANGE customers will now have complete visibility of every aspect of the analytical process."

Automation directory updated.

ISA offers industry professionals 2011 ISA Directory of Automation

Following the previous success of the ISA Directory of Automation, the International Society of Automation (ISA) has released the 2011 edition of the online industry Directory.

The 2011 version of the ISA Directory of Automation, produced in collaboration with MultiView, contains updated company and product listings, as well as the same features from previous editions.

The premier automation online ISA Directory gives ISA Members and non–members, worldwide a convenient tool to find the most cost-effective and efficient products and services the industry has to offer. Users can perform a basic search by keyword or an advanced search, which utilizes specific company names and geographic locations.

The ISA Directory also provides vendors with a platform to present their goods and services to potential buyers. Suppliers can take advantage of opportunities such as the Product Showcase section and completed listings to further connect to ISA Directory of Automation use