Saturday, May 7, 2011

New DCS system launched

Total plant automation for power generation and water utility sectors

Symphony™ Plus distributed control system (DCS) was recently launched by ABB. Key customer benefits include improved plant productivity and energy efficiency, as well as enhanced operational security, plant safety, and a lower total cost of ownership.

It is the latest generation of their highly successful Symphony family of control systems. With more than 6,000 systems installed worldwide, over the past 30 years, Symphony represents one of the largest installed bases of distributed control systems (DCS) in the world. Many of them are operating in the power generation and water sectors.

“With the launch of Symphony Plus, we take the Symphony success story to the next level, ushering in a new era of total plant automation that is simple, scalable, seamless and secure,” said Franz-Josef Mengede, head of ABB’s power generation business. “It helps balance performance objectives like asset availability, operational reliability and production efficiency with business goals like asset life extension, carbon reduction and regulatory compliance, thereby providing plant owners with an essential tool for achieving sustainable and profitable growth.”

Symphony Plus meets a broad spectrum of plant configurations and applications, especially in the power and water industries. It is flexible and scalable, designed to serve the needs of small and server-less applications as well as large multi-system, multi-server architectures. It supports the seamless integration of field devices, process and turbine automation systems, electrical and SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) solutions as well as business and maintenance systems. Symphony Plus provides users with a secure, reliable control environment and built-in security features that prevent unauthorized system access.

ABB recently announced the extension of its life cycle commitment to the Symphony Harmony and Symphony Melody range of control systems as part of the company’s ‘evolution without obsolescence' approach. This approach is based on introducing new technology while protecting the long-term investment of customers by ensuring that each new generation not only offers enhanced benefits, but is also fully compatible with its predecessor. ABB’s commitment to continue investing in the development of the Symphony product range enables customers to effectively manage life cycle requirements and at the same time, lower their total cost of ownership.

Blast & recoil testing

RDP Electronics Ltd can recommend and supply Linear Variable Displacement Transducers (LVDTs) suitable for measuring deflections of structures during blast testing.

Typically used for determining deflection of walls, wall panels and metal structures, RDP long stroke transducers, with small additional protection and with support for the armature against side forces, have proved suitably robust to withstand repeated testing of blast structures. LVDTs are usually mounted within an outer tube which covers the exterior of the body. Similarly installed, LVDTs have also proved their worth in recoil testing, particularly testing of large projectile launchers in various applications.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Emissions monitor first at GB's NPL

NPL first to deploy new version of Horiba emissions monitor

Kevin Blakley NPL
The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is the Britain's national measurement institute and is a world-leading centre of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate measurement standards, science and technology available. With a keen interest in technological developments, NPL was the first British organisation to take delivery of the new Horiba PG250 SRM.

NPL's staff provide expert advice on emissions monitor installation, calibration and quality assurance. The organisation's emissions monitoring teams are MCERTS certified and UKAS accredited, which means that they are able to provide services such as the quantification of emissions in accordance with EU Directives, validation of routine continuous emission monitors to BS EN 14181, turbine and burner optimisation, and validation of emission abatement techniques.

The PG250 SRM, from Quantitech, has been used for emissions monitoring work. Employing Standard Reference Methods, it is an upgrade from one of the most popular portable multiparameter continuous emissions monitors in the world.

Kevin Blakley, Project Manager for Emissions Monitoring at NPL, was one of the first to use the PG250 SRM. He says, "The new version includes a Paramagnetic analyser for Oxygen, which is particularly useful because we occasionally use the instrument purely as an Oxygen analyser.

"It also has a tighter measurement range for Carbon Monoxide (0 – 75mg/m3) which has improved accuracy and resolution. NPL has employed the PG250 SRM in a range of emissions monitoring applications, including petrochemical refineries and Kevin says, “We have been very impressed with the flexibility and improved performance of the instrument.”

In March 2011, the monitor was also awarded an MCERTS certificate, verifying that the instrument analyses CO, NOx, SO2, CO2 and O2 to the high standards required by the local Environment Agency.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Analysis analysed!

The 56th Analysis Division Symposium successfully concluded its event in League City (TX US) in mid April.

This symposium, sponsored by the ISA Analysis Division, offered over 300 international process analyser professionals five days of technical training, including more than 30 peer-reviewed and published papers, technical information sessions, social functions and an exhibition featuring products from 43 supplier companies. 

Eighty-five participants attended a New Sampling/Sensor Initiative (NeSSI) Workshop. The workshop covered technical and business issues associated with identifying and mitigating safety hazards in industrial environments. The workshop featured status summaries on Generation I (substrate and connectivity) and Generation II (digital communications and control). Multiple users and vendors offered case histories of real installations. The status of Generation III (microanalytics) was reviewed by early adopters and the primary sponsoring organization, The Center for Process Analytics & Control (CPAC – The University of Washington). An expert panel concluded the workshop with a review of NeSSI’s future prospects and potential.  

Industry professionals received awards for best papers and Cameron Measurement (formerly PAAI) received the “Most Innovative New Product Award” for the Pygas Condensing Gas Sampler.

US meter for high-accuracy liquid measurement for non-costody transfer

High performance Daniel™ 3812 Liquid Ultrasonic Flow Meter with integrated diagnostics package provides accurate flow measurement for a wide spectrum of applications

The new Daniel™ 3812 Liquid Ultrasonic Flow Meter has just been announced by Emerson Process Management.  Designed for reliable measurement, minimal maintenance and ease of operation, this meter is ideal for many applications in the petrochemical, oil, water and wastewater industries.

Innovative electronics combined with advanced digital signal processing make the Daniel 3812 Ultrasonic Flow Meter less sensitive to changes in the flow profile, solids or entrained air, which results in accurate, stable and reliable measurement. This meter can be used to measure liquid products with a high accuracy of ±0.3 per cent and repeatability of ± 0.1 per cent due to sophisticated algorithms and the configuration of its measuring ultrasonic paths. 

The 3812 utilises two mid-radius, parallel-plane measurement paths to reduce the influence of flow disturbances and offers all the advantages of transit time and inline ultrasonic flow meters. Ultrasonic flow measurement is independent of conductivity, temperature, density and pressure.

Within the meter body are four non-wetted, intrinsically safe transducers that allow the meter to maintain high accuracy over widely varying flow conditions.  These transducers are field replaceable without the need to empty or depressurise the meter, reducing maintenance costs and increasing uptime. The unobstructed ultrasonic flow tube with smooth surface finish inhibits material build-up. This combined with no internal moving parts to wear or drift provides for low pressure drop, increased energy savings, and many years of maintenance-free service.

This full bore ultrasonic meter is easy to install and operate. Additional arrangements such as filters, flow strainers, supports, grounding or isolation against vibrations are not necessary. The results are minimal maintenance and substantial savings in the cost of ownership.

“Emerson has pioneered ultrasonic flow metering for over 25 years,” said Peter Syrnyk, vice president of engineering at Emerson Process Management, Daniel.  “Today, we continue to develop and perfect a wide range of ultrasonic flow meters for liquid and gas measurement. The introduction of the 3812 Liquid Ultrasonic Meter addresses customer needs for not only improved accuracy and repeatability, but also the requirement for cost efficient flow metering.”
An integrated, predictive diagnostics package provides an intuitive view of meter health and status, allows operators access to real-time process conditions and address maintenance alarms before they lead to failure. Advanced diagnostics continuously perform measurement reliability checks and calibrate the time measurement. The meter’s Ethernet compatibility enables multiple users to remotely monitor and verify process information. The Smart Wireless THUM adapter allows wireless access to flow meter diagnostics without the need for any additional wiring. (See our article Conquering Complexity which covers the European launch of THUM in November 2009!)

Centre of gravity systems

Load cell technology improves accuracy of centre of gravity systems

With its long history of working with the boat racing industry, LCM Systems has had many years’ experience developing Centre of Gravity (CoG) solutions. Now, it is one of the few companies that can provide engineers with easy to use systems that not only accurately and quickly calculate the CoG, but also offer reporting through specialist software. And not only for boats, their expertise provides innovative and intuitive CoG systems that are used for a wide range of applications including calculations during oil platform manufacture and siting, for weight distribution measurements, monitoring stress during the movement of large structures and more recently in the pharmaceutical industry where accurate powder drying methods are required.

LCM’s Centre of Gravity solutions can range from a simple system with only 3-4 load cells to large, complicated structures that may require 30/40 load cells to calculate the correct CoG. The software, customised for each application, allows the data to be fed directly from the load cells to a PC or laptop. This means that both visual and numerical outputs can be displayed, results can be exported into other packages for further analysis while reports can be easily produced and customised. Most importantly, human error is reduced as the software carries out the calculations and any changes in the CoG can be seen immediately on screen.

LCM Systems supplies a comprehensive range of load cells including D-cells, wireless and larger capacity products such as LCM Systems’ own CPA series of compression sensors available with a rated load range from 2tonne to 1000tonne. The software is also available configured or provided ‘raw’ to customers as a development system.

Touch-screen PC for food processing

IP65-rated industrial PCs can also be supplied with custom stainless steel enclosures

Hoffmann + Krippner has developed a family of 10.4-inch touch-screen industrial PCs that meet the needs of modern food processing environments. Models in the flex-IPC® M series allow for rapid and easy front panel replacement and support cost-effective panel customisation in order volumes as low as just 20 units. Further flexibility comes from their ability to provide the custom, stainless steel enclosures demanded by the food processing industry.

The open architecture flex-IPC® M series comprises three robust and durable panel PCs with front panels based on Hoffmann + Krippner’s innovative membrane input technology. This technology ensures IP65/NEMA compliance, making the PCs ideal for environments requiring protection from moisture and liquids and where front panels need to be regularly washed down and cleaned. Removal and replacement of the front panel is simple (involving just a few screws) and front panels can be customised in accordance with customer requirements. Options include addition of company branding and logos, specification of colour schemes and labelling of individual keys to specific requirements.

Featuring 49 function keys and an integrated alphanumeric keypad, flex-IPC M industrial PCs combine a 10.4-inch resistive touch-screen with extensive I/O connectivity and a variety of processor and memory configurations. This touch screen panel PC family is made up of the flex-IPC M ‘Basic’, Flex-IPC M ‘Advanced’ and flex-IPC M ‘Power’ models. Based on a 500MHz AMD Geode LX processor and with a power consumption of just 5W, the Basic model is optimised to deliver an excellent power/performance ratio. The flex-IPC M Advanced is a high-performance system built around an Intel Atom processor running at 1.6GHz and the flex-IPC M Power model uses an AMD Mobile Athlon Neo L325 dual core processor and combines high performance with scalability. Both the Basic and Advanced models are supplied with Microsoft WinCE 6.0, while the Power model comes with Microsoft Windows 7.

Standard system memory configurations for the new industrial touch-screen panel PCs are 512MB for the Basic model and 1GB for the Advanced and Power models. The flex-IPC M Basic and flex-IPC M Advanced feature 2GB of solid state Flash storage, rising to 16GB for the Power option. Depending on the specific model connectivity options include Ethernet and Gbit Ethernet ports, internal mini-PCI connections, RS-232 and RS-485/422/232 ports and up to two USB 2.0 interfaces. All models feature audio line in/out.

As well as offering options for full turnkey front panel design the new flex-IPC M series can also be used in conjunction with the flex-IPC EasyLabel system. Using Microsoft Word templates that can be downloaded from, EasyLabel allows users to print their own customised key labels on any laser printer.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

iPad won!

There are so many companies offering iPads as prizes and we rarely hear if anyone wins. So it is a pleasure to get a report on a winner and on the presentation of the prize!

Following a Europe-wide initiative to reveal the ‘Voice of the Customer’ through an extensive programme of questionnaires, instrumentation specialist HACH LANGE has announced that the winner of the prize draw for respondents is Simon Wright, a System Engineer at EDF Energy in Blackpool. (FB)

The questionnaire was sent to users of Hach Lange's flagship multi-parameter SC1000 Controller and asked for comments on the instrumentation’s ease of use and flexibility.

Simon, who wins an Apple iPad, was randomly chosen from the hundreds of European customers who entered the competition. He said: “I was delighted to discover I was the lucky winner after taking just a few minutes to complete the online questionnaire on the SC1000. I answered questions covering issues such as the controller’s sampling methods, calibration and adaptability.”

The SC 1000 controller offers maximum flexibility for all digital probes and analysers; whether as a conventional controller for up to eight different sensors or as part of an extensive network, the modular upgradable system enables made-to-measure solutions for plants of all types and sizes.

Signal generator

Aim-TTi has launched a new 6 GHz RF signal generator which is priced at less than half that of the lowest cost 6 GHz generators available previously.

The TGR6000 covers a frequency range from 10 MHz to 6000 MHz at an output level of between -110 dBm and +7 dBm adjustable in 0.1 dB steps. The frequency resolution is 10 Hz and the internal timebase stability is better than 1 ppm.

The generator offers low phase noise, residual FM and spurious signal responses. An external reference can be used where higher accuracy is required. User level compensation tables can be loaded in order to calibrate an entire test setup.

The TGR6000 is intended for CW signal applications and has no built-in modulation capability. However, a sweep generation system is included that covers the full frequency range and incorporates a sophisticated step or list sweep covering both frequency and amplitude.

In step sweep, the frequency and/or amplitude are stepped between two fixed points using up to 1000 steps which can have a fixed time period or a triggered interval. Sweeps can be linear or logarithmic, up or down. In list sweep, frequency and amplitude points are defined within a table, enabling any sweep pattern to be used.

Full digital remote-control facilities are available through the RS232, USB and LAN (Ethernet) interfaces. An additional GPIB interface is optionally available.

Industry-grade software for schools

National Instruments has introduced LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS, a new education-focused version of the company’s professional LabVIEW graphical system design software. Developed specifically for secondary school students to use with the LEGO Education robotics platform in classrooms or competitions, LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS is a teaching tool that helps students visually control and program MINDSTORMS NXT robots, while learning the same software used by scientists and engineers. The high-school-focused programming environment joins the already successful line of LEGO Education robotics platforms, which includes LEGO Education WeDosoftware for elementary students and LEGO MINDSTORMS Education NXT software for middle school students.

“LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS completes the National Instruments and LEGO Education ‘robotics for all ages’ learning platform,”
said Stephan Turnipseed, president of LEGO Education North America. “We now can deliver a framework of age-appropriate, hands-on learning technology and curricula that continuously progress with student skill level and learning objectives, from elementary all the way through university.”

LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS is optimized for classroom use with instructional videos, tutorials and teaching resources created exclusively for high school students and teachers using LEGO MINDSTORMS Education and TETRIX by Pitsco. It introduces students to advanced concepts such as autonomous robotics and scientific measurements using real-world examples and replacing obscure syntax with an intuitive graphical interface. Because of this, the software is ideal for teachers seeking to engage students with technology in a fun, hands-on way.

“My students learn better when they learn by doing,” said Tim Jump, director of advanced competitive science at Benilde-St. Margaret’s college-preparatory school in St. Louis, Minn. “Incorporating the hands-on learning of LabVIEW and LEGO robotics into my classroom makes it possible for me to explore and experiment right along with the students. The platform not only makes learning engineering fun, but it makes teaching it fun too.”

The software also provides consistency for students participating in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) extracurricular robotics programs, making it possible for students to learn robotics using a singular programming platform across all levels of competition as well as in their classrooms. This learning continuity helps cultivate valuable career-ready skills and proficiency with the LabVIEW platform, which students can use in university and, ultimately, in industry.

LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS is available for purchase exclusively through LEGO Education and its authorized resellers. Additionally, through a new website,, National Instruments helps teachers share curriculum materials and connect to a community of educators and technical advisors.

Fieldbus tools

PROFINET tester expanded to include IRT

PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) is offering its members the new SPIRTA tool for easy testing of IRT functions, thereby allowing comprehensive testing of PROFINET IO device functions. The tool is available for free download by members at the PI website ( It can be integrated as a supplementary module in the existing PROFINET tester. As a result, users already familiar with the proven PROFINET tester can quickly learn how to use the IRT module.

In addition, a test module for evaluating the security behavior of PROFINET devices has been made available to members. These tests run various network load scenarios and evaluate the reaction of the test object. This is an important aspect when evaluating the security quality.

The test tools can also be used to test intermediate development results and evaluate reproducible test scenarios. In addition, they can be used for preliminary testing when preparing for certification. These free modules thus support time- and cost-efficient development of PROFINET IO devices.

Rapid deploy video system

A lightweight, portable, wireless, all weather manual zoom IP camera system that can be placed anywhere, at any time.

Industrial Video and Control (IVC) has just introduced the RD-MZ-3630-01, a rapid deploy wireless video solution, consisting of a high definition color camera as well as an internal wireless radio. The camera is capable of transmitting over 30 frames per second of video in 1280 x 1024 resolution. It also comes equipped with an IR illuminator, allowing for clear, high resolution images from over 200 feet in complete darkness.

The rapid deploy camera system can be placed anywhere for security surveillance purposes, to monitor a process system, or to watch over a machine, remote pumping station, pipeline, power substation or anywhere there is an immediate need for video monitoring. The system immediately connects wirelessly to an IP network for remote viewing and recording under the control of IVC’s camera management software.

It has secure clasping hooks, letting it easily attach to rails and walls up to 1-1/2 in. thick. The included antenna is mounted on an ultra-high-pull encased Neodymium-Iron-Boron rare-earth magnetic base for secure mounting to sites that may move or vibrate. The antenna is adjustable to allow a clear line of sight signal to the receiver.

Weighing less than 22 pounds with the antenna attached, the RD-MZ-3630-01 comes in a rugged, all weather enclosure equipped with a heater and blower. The unit is capable of operating in temperatures from -29°C to 50°C. The unit comes standard with a Lithium Ion battery, capable of providing six hours of battery life. The charging adaptor is included.

IVC Camera System Software
At the heart of the camera system is Relay Server Software. This scalable, enterprise application provides a full range of camera management and viewing features for up to 24 IP cameras. Camera video can be accessed over a LAN, WAN, VPN or the Internet from virtually anywhere, and can be connected by fiber, copper, satellite or encrypted wireless radio. Live and stored video can be viewed and controlled from anywhere on-site or off-site by authorized users from any networked PC. The Relay Server includes APIs for easy integration of live video into SCADA HMI screens.

IVC’s View Station Software provides comprehensive multi-camera management and viewing. The View Station console is completely configurable. Users can view video from up to 25 cameras on single or multiple monitors. Tours of selected preset views from any number of cameras can be defined on one or more schedules. The View Station provides sophisticated, yet easy to use alarm management. At the occurrence of a user-defined alarm, any camera control, discreet URL command, or executable program can be invoked.

Process imaging in cement!

Raytek has introduced the CS210 process imaging system for cement kilns. This fully integrated kiln shell scanning system enables cement manufacturers to continuously monitor rotary kilns to detect hot spots due to refractory loss, damage and wear, and as a result, avoid costly damage and unscheduled downtime.

Using the CS210 infrared (IR) linescanning solution, cement plant operators can determine the effectiveness of kiln refractory material. Any fallen bricks will be quickly detected and appropriate action may be taken to prevent further damage. Scheduled maintenance can also be planned to replace the refractory with a minimum of downtime. Thus, the refractory life can be extended to provide economic benefits, and emergencies can be averted.

With the CS210, temperature is monitored along the entire length of the kiln shell with "one brick" resolution. The system provides fail-safe hot spot alarm outputs. Operators can also detect abnormal conditions, such as faulty flame position and shape. Temperature data for areas "shadowed" from the main sensor are provided by individual point sensors and seamlessly integrated into a complete, real-time thermal image.

At the core of the CS210 system is a specially built MP150 HR linescanner with 1024 data points per scan line, and an integral heater, configured for the user's kiln applications. Featuring state-of-the-art optics, advanced microprocessor electronics and a high-reliability motor, the MP150 combines signal processing, data storage and data communications into one integral unit. To insure reliable operation in even the harshest kiln environments, the linescanner is designed with a rugged cast aluminum housing, which, in turn, is mounted in a stainless steel protective housing with provisions for air-purge and water-cooling.

The CS210 process imaging system employs onboard Ethernet TCP/IP communications and interfaces with other programs via OPC. The system's user-friendly DataTemp® CS Software is fully compatible with Windows® 7 and provides easy configuration/startup, as well as multiple security settings. The graphical user interface is designed specifically for kiln applications, allowing for easy scanner set-up and use with little operator training.

Installation of the CS210 process imaging system has been greatly simplified with the addition of a single fiber-optic communication channel to carry all system data from the scanning system located at the kiln to the host computer imaging system in the control room.

With DataTemp software accessories, the CS210 system expands to become a comprehensive kiln monitoring tool. For example, optional burning zone sensor and Live Ring Migration (LRM)-tire slip monitoring can be integrated into the system so that complete information is displayed on a single screen in the control room, and all data, events and alarms are stored and accessible in a common database. Fan control and shadow monitoring accessories are also available.

Final flow transducer block spec

Fieldbus Foundation has released the all-new FOUNDATION fieldbus Flow Transducer Block Final Specification (FF-908 FS 1.0), which includes a standardized flow transducer block with a high-performance totalizer function. This specification will enable greater consistency in fieldbus device setup, configuration and maintenance, and make it easier for end users to utilize instruments from a wide range of automation equipment suppliers.

More Information
For more information about the Foundation Technical Specifications visit the Technical Specifications Page on the Fieldbus Foundation’s website. For more information about the DD Library, visit the Tools Page. Member companies with active maintenance agreements for these products can obtain the updates free of charge from the Fieldbus Forums.
The block structure is one of the primary advantages and differentiators of FOUNDATION technology. Transducer blocks are an integral part of FOUNDATION technology, providing valuable diagnostic and maintenance data such as calibration dates. They also provide information regarding the measurement principle used, such as a Coriolis flowmeter or a differential pressure transmitter. The transducer block provides a link between the local input/output blocks required to read sensors and command output hardware from the function blocks.

The Fieldbus Foundation's Flow Transducer Block Specification includes standard definitions for the following flow transducer blocks:

Standard flow with calibration for basic device access
Standard flow with calibration for complex device access
Common practice parameters for extended functionality
Additionally, the specification provides a schematic of blocks, parameter access, and details for handling status of input parameters.

When used in conjunction with a flow transducer block, the new totalizer function block supports the time-critical procedure of totaling different inputs in order to compute flow.

According to Fieldbus Foundation Director-Fieldbus Products Stephen Mitschke, finalization of the Flow Transducer Block Specification ensures greater predictability in fieldbus implementation, while reducing integration risks and simplifying device replacements. "Our development of FOUNDATION fieldbus is focused on providing an end user experience that is both secure and consistent," said Mitschke. "We are also continuing to strengthen the interoperability of our technology across multiple suppliers and control system platforms."

The Fieldbus Foundation has also announced updates to its other transducer block profiles, including temperature and pressure transducer block profiles.

Additionally, the FOUNDATION fieldbus Device Description (DD) Library has been updated to integrate these new transducer block capabilities. The DD Library includes standardized source code for all FOUNDATION fieldbus blocks and parameters, making it easy for developers to build DDs for fieldbus instrumentation.

Paper plant control

Tiancheng Paper Company, a subsidiary of Guangxi State Farms Sugar Group companies, has chosen GE’s  DCS, Proficy® Process Systems, for all plant equipment interlock and data acquisition. Located in Laibin City, China, Taincheng Paper has an annual output of 95,000 tons of bleached pulp. They chose Proficy Process Systems as part of a full plant automation designed to improve production efficiency, operator efficiency and asset optimisation.

With Proficy Process Systems, GE Intelligent Platforms provides an advanced DCS that delivers the power and effectiveness of a distributed control system with unmatched flexibility, openness and price affordability. With the Proficy software layer inherently architected into the process control system, optimization and analytics, and production management are simply layered on.

"With this win we see yet another example of how customers in China are seeing the benefits provided by our system. Our customers there and around the world are under increased pressure to grow and optimize their businesses in this challenging global business environment. The ability to control the process with accuracy, flexibility, and high availability is more important than ever to increasing quality, productivity and providing a sustainable competitive advantage," said Steve Ryan, General Manager of Process Solutions for GE Intelligent Platforms.

The foundation of Proficy Process Systems is a contemporary hardware and software infrastructure that delivers the benefits of traditional DCS systems. Proficy Process Systems provides scalability that allows customers to architect a system that fits their business today, and easily grows with them in the future. With Proficy Historian integrated in the solution for data acquisition, analysis of operational performance is enabled allowing for performance and efficiency optimization.

“The net effect of reduced machine downtime resulting in higher productivity of operators and less defects is what we needed from GE,” said Nong Hao, General Manager for Tiancheng Paper. “Proficy Process Systems has provided us with the ability to achieve higher production levels with the same amount of resources.”

GE Intelligent Platforms’ Professional Services team provided total system integration from initial system design to installation and post start up support.

Custom sensors are standard!

A very wide range of level sensor solutions for liquids; from simple water level switches and units designed as pure water level sensors to the very popular 20 series compact float switch and the advanced LVCS continuous liquid level sensor are available from The Deeter Group.

Between 70 to 80% of all sensors they manufacture are custom designs. This is not as daunting as it might seem as with its long experience and a back catalogue of many hundreds of designs a new custom design can usually be put together from a combination of pre-designed parts and control circuits.

Peter Whiteaker, Managing Director of Deeter Group comments; "More than 15 years experience of manufacturing sensors has clearly demonstrated that no matter how many standard products we design, customers will frequently want something different. Our ability to draw on our vast experience allows us to design and deliver custom sensors very quickly with low engineering and tooling costs and in quantities that meet our customers’ needs.”

This depth of experience means that in most cases a totally new custom design can be created in 2-3 weeks with the only design costs the customer has to bear being that of the assembly drawing – costing in the region of £30.00 - and with no large minimum order conditions.  All mechanical parts, circuit design and PCB design is done in-house helping to ensure the quality and reliability The Deeter Group is known for.

Deeter custom sensors offer a wide range of float designs for different liquids with different specific gravities and probe materials including corrosion free food grade 316L stainless steel, PVC and polypropylene for water and acid monitoring systems. Sensing may be via reed relays or hall-effect diodes and sensor length, control head and output cable may all be customer specified.

To accompany their custom continuous sensors Deeter has a bespoke digital display unit designed for simple panel mounting which can accommodate an appropriate LED bar-graph display and legend.

Examples of custom sensor systems from Deeter include simple water level sensors, float level switches, fuel level sensor or level indicators for almost any fluid.  Installations include; agricultural vehicles, tractors and lawnmowers; rainwater harvesting; header tanks; bilge, water and fuel tanks on boats; road paving machines; nuclear submarines; breweries; aircraft fuel tanks and many more.

The Deeter Group product range includes level sensors, complete wireless sensing systems, industrial weighing equipment, reed and proximity switches, security switches, termination assemblies, litz and magnetic wire and solar power systems.

EtherCat control

Lenze's Controller 3200 C with EtherCAT to control the ECS servo system

Lenze's ECS servo system can now be ordered with a clock-synchronised EtherCAT interface. Combined with the new L-force Controller 3200 C for central control architectures, even the most demanding motion tasks in terms of number of axes and precision required can be solved effectively and economically.

The ECS servo system provides the compact servo drives with high dynamic performance that are necessary for motion tasks with highest requirements regarding precision and speed. They have been designed specifically for multi-axis applications in central control architectures. The versatile system includes a large selection of axis and power supply modules that can be connected to form a integrated unit. The ECS drives are perfectly matched to the highly dynamic motors in the MCS range, but can also be combined effectively with other synchronous and asynchronous motors.

The L-force Controller 3200 C has been designed for use in the control cabinet and is based on the energy-efficient Intel Atom® processor. The integrated 48 MBit/s backplane bus allows I/O modules from the I/O system 1000 to be directly side-mounted to the controller. A short cycle time and minimum jitter in combination with a time stamp guarantee that the motion system also complies with the strictest speed and synchronism requirements.

"With our combination of Controller 3200 C and ECS servo system, we offer the optimum solution for tasks with a large proportion of motion", explains Sören Mirbach from Control Technology Product Management at Lenze. "And integration of the ECS in the EtherCAT-based control environment rounds off our uniform, end-to-end portfolio for setting up central control architectures."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Experienced Automation Engineer needed in Limerick Ireland

5/6 years experience working with automated control systems as part of a machine design team.

• Strong PLC background in Siemens S7 APT, Allen Bradley ControlLogix 5000, Pilz Safety PLCs and Wonderware Intouch/ArchestrA HMI software

• Additional knowledge of laser, vision robot and RFID systems would be beneficial!

If interested please email C.V. to

Wind turbine monitoring

Guohua wind turbines choose for SKF remote monitoring

When the fourth biggest wind farm operator in China increases his installed capacity by 50% within one year, that indicates a company that knows its business. And one of the business aspects that all wind farm operators need to take care of is “turbine reliability” – keeping the turbines turning as much as possible and keeping maintenance activities down to a minimum. Reduced or controlled maintenance is always a valuable contribution to bottom line profitability, but when you’ve got 2000 MW of installed capacity, the target by end 2010 for Guohua Energy Investment Company then you are talking about huge amounts of money.

That is why Mr. Zhou Weihua, Deputy General Manager of the Production Department, took a decision in 2008 to evaluate his maintenance strategy and the technology to be applied within that strategy. A critical decision was to look for the most reliable and experienced way to determine the health of his turbines in the fastest and most effective way.

Investigating on-line monitoring
With a few different turbine designs and sizes out in the field he needed the best possible way to get reliable and regular information about the general condition of selected turbines of these designs and types. At the same time he wanted identify any typical negative trends that might occur in the various, but differing, field operating conditions that the turbines would be deployed to. Not being satisfied with his previous assessment process of only using temperature readings of gearbox oil and generator bearing housings, he wanted to investigate on-line monitoring, where vibration signals from critical components are collected 24 hours a day and analysed to determine exactly if and where problems are developing, and how severe any problems were. This type of monitoring would also provide valuable knowledge that could allow critical maintenance to be planned and avoid unexpected and very costly breakdowns. He knew that this type of condition monitoring is widely used in USA, Europe, Australia etc.

Visiting Germany for first hand experience
His first step was to make a deep investigation of what technology was available and the quality and knowledge of the suppliers. These investigations covered all the key suppliers of such technology but contacts with other wind farm operators in China quickly brought him to consider SKF and their turbine monitoring system for further discussions. “Of course I knew of SKF” says Mr Zhou, “they are the number one bearing specialist in the world with expert knowledge in many industries over many years in many countries, also here in China. And I had heard of the SKF WindCon turbine monitoring system but had never used it before.

After direct contact with SKF, I heard that they had recently been successful with remote on-line monitoring, where data from the monitored turbine in the wind farm were transmitted by Internet to their specialists for analysis.

In order to get first hand experience of their remote on-line capability I visited their Intelligence Centre Wind (ICW), their major wind turbine diagnostic centre in Hamburg, Germany”.

At the time of Mr Zhou’s visit the SKF ICW in Hamburg was receiving and processing data from more than 600 turbines from across Europe and also from USA.

“In Hamburg I saw examples of almost all the capabilities of a SKF WinCon system, because there were so many systems deployed in so many wind farms. The level of detail that the system could give was clearly demonstrated, and the explanations by the people making the analysis clearly indicated that they knew all about wind turbines and the critical machinery. The Hamburg visit gave me the confidence to set up a field trial on some turbines in Guohua wind farms in 2009”.

Field trials at 3 wind farms
The field trial involved 11 SKF WindCon systems to be deployed across 3 wind farms; one in Jiangsu province, one in Shadong province and one in Inner Mongolia. Around the time SKF were installing their systems in the Guohua turbines SKF had opened a Remote Condition Monitoring Centre in Shanghai. Having SKF experts so close was an added benefit to Mr. Zhou and he was anxious to get the systems operating and see what the results would be. The data was collected on a local server at each wind farm and transmitted to an SKF server in Shanghai for analysis. Any immediate emergency situation would be reported at once but an ‘emergency situation’ was not detected at start up of the monitoring, and a report was issued once per month to the wind farm site managers and Mr Zhou. The reports contained the detailed vibration spectra for the key components being monitored, together with a brief statement that summarised the analysis of the data in terms of the condition of the component. But there was also a “report grid” that indicated the components being monitored and each one had one of 3 colours; green, yellow or red to give immediate indication of the condition, with green being OK, yellow being a slight to major deviation from the “acceptable levels or trends”, and red being something requiring immediate attention.

The first results were good, because Mr Zhou could “see” for the first time what was really happening with his critical machinery. The SKF WindCon systems delivered the vibration spectra, similar to those he saw in Hamburg, and the SKF experts in Shanghai interpreted the data in terms of the condition of the bearings, potential misalignment, gear damage etc.

During the six months to January 2010, the SKF WindCons provided good information on the turbines allowing Mr. Zhou to determine if and what maintenance would be required. In that period one of the installed SKF WindCons identified a severely damaged generator gearbox bearing at the Inner Mongolia wind farm.

Success and further deployment
“The SKF WindCons did their job,"  said Mr. Zhou, "they kept me informed and the early identification of the severity of the damaged bearing in Inner Mongolia was enough to allow us to plan for replacement at minimum cost and disturbance to the planned electricity supply from the turbine”.

Since the tests Guohua have installed another 58 SKF WindCons and a further 280 have been ordered for new turbines going into service in 2010.

This is the start of a mass application of remote monitoring and Mr. Zhou says “we have some knowledge regarding vibration analysis within our own maintenance teams, but I intend to build up more knowledge within the Guohua organization and set up our own remote monitoring centre in Beijing for our turbines. A lot of this knowledge and assistance will come from SKF as they provide us with their remote diagnostic monitoring during the coming years”.

Automation software

IEC 61131-3 and IEC 61499 compliant firmware and workbench for building industrial automation products.

ISaGRAF has released ISaGRAF version 6.0.1, which includes a free version of ISaGRAF 6. ISaGRAF is the industry-leading IEC 61131-3 and IEC 61499 compliant firmware and workbench for building industrial automation products.

This latest release bundles all available ISaGRAF 6 plug-ins and includes a series of training videos and tutorials for various ISaGRAF 6 features and topics such as: Structured Text, Ladder Diagram, Function Block Diagram, I/O Wiring Tool, Project & Templates, Functions & Function Blocks, How to Simulate/Download/Debug a Project, How to Create and Use Variables, Arrays and Structures.

ISaGRAF 6.0.1 also includes a new free version, consisting of the ISaGRAF Free Firmware running on XP Embedded, 32- and 64-bit Windows XP®, Windows Vista® & Windows 7®, and a fully functioning version of the ISaGRAF 6.0.1 workbench, with which developers can create complete applications.

The ISaGRAF Free Firmware includes a Modbus TCP Client, a Modbus TCP Server as well as a new video tutorial that shows users how to build an application from scratch.

Online humidity calculations

Online Humidity Calculator also calculates measurement uncertainty

This free humidity calculator from E+E Elektronik is used for the rapid conversion of humidity measurements. You can fast and quickly calculate from temperature and relative humidity the dew point, frost point, mixing ration or other humidity measurements with ease.

Uniquely, the humidity calculator also includes measurement uncertainties in the calculation. This is helpful for obtaining realistic and reliable overall uncertainties based on the specification of the measuring device.

The humidity calculator can be used online. This does not require any program to be installed on your PC.

E+E Elektronik are represented in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Quenching Brazilain thirst!

Installation of the rotating filler at Krones 
Well-packed: Crate used to transport the filler
BATCHFLUX 5500 C filling EMF with ceramic measuring tube
Krones' largest ever filler is completely equipped with BATCHFLUX filling EMFs from Krohne. Built for Coca-Cola Andina, Chile, the huge system is currently being commissioned at its destination in Brazil. It will be used to bottle (carbonated) soft drink products in a variety of bottle sizes ranging from 2.00 to 2.75 litres. In one hour, the machine can fill 37,000 2-litre bottles. And that is not even its maximum capacity: its capacity of 78,000 litres an hour means that the filler will be able to fill 3.0 litre bottles at a rate of 26,000 bottles per hour in the future.

Equally as spectacular as the performance data is the way the filler was transported: Krones packed the almost 30 tonne machine in a crate measuring nine by seven by 3.4 metres. It travelled over land from the Krones factory in Neutraubling to Hamburg, where it was then shipped to Brazil.

A total of 162 BATCHFLUX 5500 C devices are installed on the rotating filler. BATCHFLUX 5500 is an electromagnetic flowmeter (EMF) for the volumetric measurement of conductive liquids. As a so-called filling EMF, it was especially designed to be used with filling machines and features an extremely dimensionally stable ceramic measuring tube. It boasts high repeatability and long-term stability of measurement and is resistant, even throughout frequent hot water and vapour cleanings. Krones has relied on the quality and long life cycle of the BATCHFLUX for over 10 years and uses this type as the standard filling EMF.

About Krones: The Krones Group, headquartered in Neutraubling, Germany, plans, designs and manufactures machines and complete systems for process, filling and packaging technology as well as for intralogistics. Information technology and factory planning round out the company's portfolio. Millions of bottles, cans and containers are "processed" using Krones systems, especially in breweries, the soft drink industry and by producers of wine, champagne and spirits as well as in the foods and luxury foods industry and the chemicals, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Process automation system lifecycle management

Process Automation System Lifecycle Management Strategies

Last February, at ARC's 15th annual World Industry Forum in Orlando, Florida, a group of over 40 process industry executives assembled to participate in a workshop. The objective of the workshop was to share issues, practices, and strategies on PAS lifecycle management with industry peers, specifically on current realities and the roadmap for users going forward. Dick Hill discusses this in one of ARC's strategy reports.

See also our own report on the ARC Orlando Forum: “One of the best ever ARC Forums…”

First 4-tube Coriolis meter

With its 14-inch diameter and accuracy up to 0.05%, the Promass 83X/84X four-tube Coriolis mass flowmeter is ideal for pipeline custody transfer and other high flow rate applications requiring reliability and low maintenance.
Endress+Hauser are exhibiting the Promass 83X/84X at the Offshore Technology Conference, 
(May 2-5, 2011, Houston, TX US).

The Proline Promass 83X/84X Coriolis flowmeter from Endress + Hauser, the first large four-tube Coriolis flowmeter in the world. The 14-inch diameter flowmeter is ideal for measuring the mass flow, density and temperature of oil, gas and other fluids in large pipes at rates up to 4,100 tons/hr with extreme accuracy and precision.

The 83X model comes standard with fully traceable 0.1% flow accuracy, and optionally with a flow accuracy of 0.05%. The 84X is suitable for custody transfer applications, featuring MID (OIML R117) and PTB approvals.

For both models, accuracy of the density measurement is 0.01 g/cm3 (0.001 g/cm3 optional), while accuracy of the temperature measurement is 0.5 °C. Both models also have a balanced measuring system with high immunity to external pipe vibrations and process influences, and both work in applications with entrained air.

The Promass X is the first commercially available four-tube Coriolis mass flowmeter. Its all 316L stainless steel construction makes it ideal for on- or offshore applications. Available with 12, 14 and 16-in. flanges, it accommodates most large pipelines worldwide. It replaces conventional flow measurement devices in pipelines with a flowmeter that’s more stable and has a lower pressure drop. Like every other Endress+Hauser flowmeter, it has sophisticated and advanced diagnostics that help minimize maintenance costs.

Previously, companies had to use less-accurate conventional flowmeters on larger pipe sizes. Now that the Proline Promass 83X/84X is available in a 14-inch size, companies can use it for custody transfer, fiscal metering and other high required accuracy applications of gases and fluids. Typical applications include pipelines and transfers to and from tanker ships, trucks and railroad cars.

This four-tube flowmeter is made of 316L stainless steel with secondary containment for increased process safety, making it ideal for applications involving toxic or hazardous liquids or gases. The flowmeter has no moving parts, so maintenance is minimized. It operates in process temperatures of -58 to 356 °F (-50 to 180 °C), and in process pressures up to 1,440 psi (100 bar). Communication options include 4-20mA, HART, Profibus DP/PA, FOUNDATION Fieldbus or Modbus.

The flowmeters have a NEMA 4X/IP 67 rating and ATEX, FM, CSA and IECEx approvals. The Promass 83X/84X fulfills EMC requirements according to IEC/EN 61326 and NAMUR NE21. It also conforms to the requirements of the EU and ACMA directives and thus carries the CE and √ marks.