Friday, May 20, 2011

Safe cable storage

New Cable Reel option for Earth-Rite Hazardous Area Static Grounding Systems

Newson Gale has introduced a new Self-Retracting Cable Reel option for their range of hazardous area static grounding systems. The VESM02 provides a rugged and versatile alternative to spiral (retractable) cable for the range of Earth-Rite® range of systems, which are typically used to ground (earth) road tanker trucks, railcars, mobile tanks, IBC’s, drums and other conductive plant items especially in outdoor locations where the cable may be exposed to rough treatment when not in use.
The VESM02 reel has been assessed and approved in accordance with European ATEX requirements for installation in Zone 1 (flammable gas/vapour) and 21 (combustible powder/dust), when connected to any Earth-Rite Grounding System with certified Intrinsically Safe monitoring circuit output. The unit is also suitable for use in conjunction with Earth-Rite systems with certified Intrinsically Safe monitoring circuit outputs according to North American NEC Class/Division approvals.

The VESM02 has a durable light-weight, all-steel housing with powder coated finish, suitable for use outdoors or indoors (NEMA 4 / IP 56 environmental / ingress protection). The reel is fitted with 50ft / 15.2 metres of Cen-Stat™Static Dissipative Hytrel® protected cable with adjustable ball-stop which is held under constant tension via a spring/auto-locking ratchet device, and also comes pre-terminated with a 10ft / 3 metre length of two-conductor connection cable, making it simple to wire in to the Earth-Rite Grounding System, irrespective of local wiring preferences (flexible cable or conduit).
The precision slip-ring assembly has a special “ultra-low-resistance” design making it suitable for monitoring extremely low earthing and bonding resistance values, which should be maintained at less than 10 Ohms as recommended by all major international static control technical standards and industry guidelines.

The VESM02 may be specified with Newson Gale’s ATEX and FM approved 2-Pole grounding clamps – for example the VESX90-IP Universal Heavy-Duty Clamp with Tungsten Carbide Contact Points which is commonly used for Road Tanker Trucks, Railcars and Mobile Tanks. Useful options include a Pivot Swivel Mounting Base which allows for up to 345 Degree Reel Rotation in areas where the reel must have a wide angle of use.

The VESM02 forms part of the Earth-Rite range of static grounding and bonding equipment available from Newson Gale. For more information contact your local office or in-country distributor.

Extendable tip test leads

Fluke has introduced the new Fluke TL175 TwistGuard™ Test Leads, the only test leads on the market with adjustable length test tips for use in changing measurement situations. The patented extendable tip sheath meets new electrical safety requirements to reduce tip exposure while providing the versatility needed for most measurements By simply twisting the test lead the user can change the exposed probe tip length to anything between 4mm and 19mm. The leads conform to the latest safety standard EN61010-031: 2008, which became effective on 1st March, 2011.

The new Fluke TL175 TwistGuard Test Leads offer WearGuard™ lead wire wear indication. They are covered in two layers of silicone insulation. The inner contrasting colour is exposed when the leads are nicked, scuffed, or otherwise damaged and in need of replacement. The double insulated silicone layers also withstand high temperatures yet remain flexible for use in cold temperatures.

The Fluke TL175 TwistGuard™ Test Leads are manufactured to provide extra heavy strain relief on both probe-end and plug-end. The universal input plugs are compatible with all instruments that accept standard 4mm shrouded banana plugs. For use up to 10A, the electrical safety ratings are CAT II 1000 V, CAT III 1000 V / CAT IV 600 V depending on the tip length – the safety rating is indicated for the tip length being used.

Compact & rugged fanless embedded computers

ADLINK Technology has released its MXE-3000 fanless embedded computer with rich integrated I/O. Equipped with the Intel® Atom™ D510 1.66 GHz processor, the MXE-3000 delivers twice the performance of the previous N270 platform, meeting high-performance computing needs at all times. Featuring maximum operating shock tolerance up to 100 G, minimal footprint with a small profile, and unique thermal design with zero cable management requirements, the MXE-3000 provides reliable performance in mission critical and harsh environments for a variety of applications.

Leveraging the advantages of enhanced RF function, dedicated I/O features, 9-32 VDC wide range power input, and LVDS & VGA dual display support, the MXE-3000 with ease of mounting capability – VESA or DIN rail, is an ideal match for diverse applications such as intelligent transportation, medication management, digital signage, factory automation, and logistic applications, and especially in automated guided vehicle systems.

With changes in market trend from toward smaller fanless configurations, the MXE-3000’s compact 210 mm (W) x 170 mm (D) x 53 mm (H) size suits it ideally for applications requiring limited storage space and demanding zero-noise, dustproof performance. A unique cable-free structure and extended temperature functionality enable the MXE-3000 series to greatly benefit customers with high-performance computing, lowered total cost of ownership, and long-term durability.


“The ability to withstand harsh environmental factors is critical for in-vehicle computing applications requiring a reliable platform in semi-outdoor environments. In task-driven industries such as warehousing, factory automation, and harbor automation, the MXE-3000 can be deployed on vehicles like trucks, lifters, or trailers for efficient transport. The MXE-3000 further provides value-added material management. In one example, inventories can be recorded while simultaneously transferring goods. Utilizing proven RFID and Wi-Fi technologies, the in-vehicle retrieves cargo information via reader and relays it wirelessly to the control center for dependable online cargo management.” noted Kenny Chang, director of ADLINK’s I/O platform center.

Unlocking the secrets of FTIR!

The place where the British decodified signals from the Axis forces in England was kept secret for years after the war. Now however the story of this hidden aspect of the struggle has been recorded and the people who worked quietly there have been acknowledged.

Bletchley Park has been chosen by Quantitech, as the location for a seminar that will focus on FTIR multiparameter gas detection. Taking place on Thursday 30th June, the seminar is being sponsored by FTIR specialist Gasmet and participation is free of charge.

The seminar is titled: 'Unleashing the Potential of Gas Monitoring with FTIR' and will focus on the technology and regulations that apply to both fixed and portable applications in stack emissions, process monitoring, occupational safety, research and ambient monitoring.

The seminar will include practical demonstrations and provide the latest guidance on gas detection (including Technical Guidance Note M22) with high profile speakers from NPL, Gasmet, Quantitech and a leading occupational safety organisation.

Refreshments will be provided and there will be an opportunity to participate in a guided tour of the Bletchley Park National Codes Centre, which explains how the Enigma and Lorenz codes were broken during WW2. 

This seminar is designed for both novices and those that already have FTIR instruments and places are being allocated on a first come/first served basis.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reducing troubleshooting complexity!

Device Dashboards and ValveLink™ Mobile diagnostics reduce the complexity of advanced troubleshooting in the field

Click Image for more info!
Emerson Process Management has a new icon-based user interface for the industry-leading 475 Field Communicator that simplifies the work of field maintenance technicians. The new interface features graphical menus that are easy to use and understand, and Device Dashboards that provide a clear view of a device’s operating health. The 475 also includes the ValveLink™ Mobile software application, which delivers advanced control valve diagnostics in the field for Fisher® FIELDVUE™ instruments.

The icon-based interface functions like popular consumer products with a touch screen for one-finger selection of various tasks, including quick connection to field devices and ValveLink Mobile. Once a field device is identified, task-based menus enable technicians to easily carry out maintenance or troubleshooting routines.

Device Dashboards, popular on other Emerson products, are now incorporated in the 475 Field Communicator. These intuitively designed interfaces provide an instant view of all essential information needed to evaluate, diagnose and configure a field device. The clear, concise presentation of device data helps reduce guesswork and shortens the time required for maintenance in the field. Issues are not only identified, but detailed troubleshooting information indicates where and how repairs should be made.

The ValveLink Mobile application uses the icon-based interface to simplify access to HART® control valve data and is easily navigated with the commonly-used flick, zoom in and zoom out capabilities. For example, users can select an icon to initiate a series of valve tests, including a total check of the HMIconfiguration, calibration, diagnostics and other key parameters. Diagnostic data can be viewed and stored in the 475 Field Communicator or uploaded to Emerson’s AMS Suite for additional evaluation.

The icon-based interface is pre-installed in 475 Field Communicators purchased since January 2011 and can be downloaded without charge by current users of 475 and 375 Field Communicators who hold Easy Upgrade licenses. With Easy Upgrade, users can quickly and easily update their communicators with the latest capabilities via the Internet. ValveLink Mobile software has come pre-installed on all 475 Field Communicators since January 2010.

See also our blogs:
Conquering complexity (Nov 2009)
Peter Zornio speaks (Video Jun 2010)
Conquest of complexity advances (Dec 2010)

European expansion!

AFCON Software and Electronics is expanding its operations in Europe. AFCON's subsidiary in the Czech Republic has established the Software Division to distribute their software products, especially Pulse SCADA/HMI, and to provide system integration services to its customers.

This is the first step taken by Afcon in order to place itself closer to its potential customers. The Czech company is responsible for distributing these software products to CEE countries (mainly Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia).

Mr. Rene Pelanek MSc., MBA is the appointed CEE Sales Director. Mr. Pelanek, previously the CEE Sales Director of MEDIUMSOFT, Inc., a leading European software developer of Large Emergency Dispatch Centers such as 112 or 911 ICT solutions.

Apart from the distribution of SCADA/HMI solutions, the software division also provides technical support and training expertise for AFCON's product suite, including Pulse SCADA/HMI and Dart cellular software to new and existing customers. In addition, the division offers software and application services.

Wireless & green!

Dust Networks® has for the second consecutive year been listed by JMP Securities, a San Francisco-based (US) investment bank, in its published report, “The Green 100: The Top 100 Most Promising Privately Held Clean Technology Companies in 2011.”

Joy Weiss
The report profiles 100 of the leading private companies in the Clean Technology sector, as identified by JMP Securities equity research analysts Alex Gauna and Bryce Dille, and it listed Dust Networks as a top company in the New Grid Technologies category.

“It is an honour to receive continued recognition as a Green 100 company,”
said Joy Weiss, President & and CEO of Dust Networks. “With more than ten thousand Dust-enabled networks in the field driving significant energy and operational efficiencies, the green impact of wireless sensor networks is well established and growing rapidly.”

Strategic cooperation agreement

ISaGRAF and infoteam Software have signed a strategic cooperation agreement. Under the terms of this agreement, infoteam Software becomes a distributor of the ISaGRAF product and a preferred Engineering Services provider in Europe, Germany and China, gaining access to advanced tools for IEC 61499 and IEC 61508 safety. This agreement will also allow ISaGRAF to bundle infoteam services with their products to make much more complete offerings to customers worldwide.

ISaGRAF will continue to develop and promote its flagship IEC 61131 and IEC 61499 product, ISaGRAF. It will also leverage some key technologies made available by infoteam.

infoteam Software will continue to support their well-known OpenPCS product. In addition, infoteam Software will offer industrial and safety automation engineering services for the ISaGRAF product. infoteam Software will be able to combine the ISaGRAF offering with its current technology, providing a long-term path for its existing customer base.

"This cooperation is a natural evolution for infoteam. The use of the technological advances and the superior environment in the ISaGRAF Automation Collaborative Platform will help infoteam focus on providing its customer base and the automation market in general with the best-possible solution to address their needs. While ISaGRAF and infoteam have competed in the past, this cooperation will make our offering unique worldwide," said Dr. Wolfgang Brendel, Chairman of infoteam Software.

"infoteam will provide a strong engineering arm to the ISaGRAF business. Its operations in Europe and Asia will be a major contribution to help customers develop new products using ISaGRAF. All the expertise that infoteam has gained in developing and promoting the IEC 61131 OpenPCS solutions, combined with the ISaGRAF technology will show immediate benefits to the ISaGRAF community," said Julien Chouinard, ISaGRAF Managing Director.

Current transducers

LEM has introduced the CTSR family of current transducers for use in a range of safety-critical applications including solar installations. Two transducers in the new series measure AC or DC leakage nominal currents, from values as small as 300 and 600 mARMS, with spectral components up to 9.5 kHz. The residual or leakage currents that the CTSR family is designed to measure can arise in fault conditions in a number of industrial or power-generation scenarios. Examples include solar panels that are coupled to an earthed grid, or in failure modes such as a short circuits or earth faults. The connection of a solar panel to the grid raises safety concerns; if a fault occurs there is a potentially serious safety issue around any human contact with the system.

The CTSR family of transducers has been specifically designed to meet the latest safety standards that have been issued in respect of solar installations and inverters, namely VDE 0126-1-1, UL 1741, and IEC 60950-1. The devices are PCB mountable, lightweight (28g) components, with a 20.1 mm diameter aperture that easily accommodates multiple conductors. The residual-current capability measures the sum of all of the instantaneous currents flowing through the aperture, in single- or three-phase configurations. Conductors may be carrying primary currents of up to 30A/wire (AC or DC).

The CTSR 0.3-P and CTSR 0.6-P safely measure nominal currents of 300 and 600 mA respectively, to a maximum accuracy of 1.9% and 1.5% respectively at +25°C ambient temperature, without offset, providing an analogue output to trigger a safety system in the event of a high leakage current. They both provide a high overload capability up to 3300A (for a pulse duration of 100µs, and with risetime of 500 A/µs), as well as a very high level of insulation between primary and measurement circuits, thanks to long creepage and clearance distances (11 mm), coupled with a CTI (comparative tracking index) of 600V.

These products can also be supplied with a primary inserted conductor (made up of 4 individual conductors), and in that configuration have the designation “CTSR xxx-TP”.

CTSR-series transducers operate from a +5VDC supply and have a typical current consumption of just 17.8 and 18.1 mA unipolar when measuring 300 and 600 mA respectively as nominal primary residual current (CTSR 0.3-P and CTSR 0.6-P models); They provide access to their internal reference voltage, and to options such as self test and demagnetisation.

Models with higher nominal current range up to 3 ARMS to meet the needs of specific customers can be developed on request.

As well as ensuring safety in solar inverter installations, LEM’s CTSR range is also ideal for a range of applications that includes symmetry fault detection in medium power inverters, failure detection in a range of power sources.

The transducers are CE marked, conform to the EN 50178 standard and are recognised for industrial applications with an operating temperature range of -40 to +105°C. LEM offers a five-year warranty for each transducer.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

British gas storage automation contract

System 800xA process control, safety systems, instrumentation and associated engineering for Storengy's new underground gas storage facility that will export gas to the National Grid

Ancient map showing Stublach!
ABB  has won a Main Automation and Instrumentation contract for a new natural gas storage facility in Cheshire (GB). The facility is designed to hold over 400 million cubic meters of gas, and will be controlled by ABB System 800xA along with ABB Instrumentation. The Stublach facility is being built for Storengy (a GDF Suez company) in Cheshire and will store gas in salt caverns deep underground. 

The processing plant consists of gas compressors which move the gas between the caverns and the British National Grid Transmission System (NTS). Additionally, an on-site drying plant removes water from the gas before it is returned to the NTS. The site is expected to be in operation in excess of 25 years.

Acting as the Main Instrumentation and Automation Contractor (MIAC), ABB will provide engineering design services for the Automation, Safety Instrumented System (SIS) along with the supply of an 800xA Integrated Process Control system and 800xA based SIS, ABB and third party instrumentation to Jacobs Engineering who are responsible for Engineering, Procurement and Construction of the plant. 

The ABB system will control the import of gas into the caverns for storage and export of Gas into the National grid; this includes the complex control required to handle these transfers in both free flow and compression modes.

Plant safety is critical and the TUV certified AC 800M HI controllers along with the field devices are used as the Safety Instrumented System to control the processing plant, associated pipelines and the well heads, which are situated up to 2 km from the processing plant.  This will be engineered by the ABB TUV certified engineers based in the UK.

Availability and efficiency of the plant are crucial; the System 800xA controllers will be in a redundant configuration to ensure these key factors. The 800xA system also interfaces to fire and gas monitors around the plant, third party packages such as the compressor unit controls to monitor and control the plant. This provides integrated visibility for the operators of the process, plant assets along with the safety aspects for both the plant and personnel.

A significant factor in the selection of the company for this project was ABB’s portfolio of automation, safety and instrumentation products along with the global success of the System 800xA, its Main Automation Contractor capabilities in Britain and the fact that ABB are just completing a similar installation for gas storage in Cheshire.

The ABB System 800xA control system along with ABB Instrumentation provides inherent asset monitoring facilities to assist operators manage and maintain the plant to increase productivity and reduce energy usage.

This company's a gazelle!

As award and tributes go we think this one is unique in calling the companies which receive it "Gazelles!" They are know for their speed and beauty - and hopefully they know how to earn "doe!" (Sorry!!!!)

The Belgian economic magazine “Trends” searches annually for “Gazelles” - fast growing companies that symbolize competitive entrepreneurship.


Magnetrol International NV, based in East Flanders (B), has again nominated in the category “large companies”. These companies reinforce the competitive capacity of the area thereby having a positive influence on business in general. The category contains companies with a turnover of at least €10 million.

Based on data and information published in Trends Top 100.000 – in which Magnetrol International NV ranks 3.773 – the editors examine which of the companies have grown the fastest in the period 2005 - 2009 as far as turnover, personnel and cash flow are concerned.

Since 1971 Magnetrol International NV has a branch office in Zele (larger Ghent Area), Belgium. Magnetrol grows each year thereby creating additional opportunities on the job market, two key factors that are taken into account while nominating companies for the ‘Trends Gazelles Award’.

SCADA upgrade!

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has released version R9.04 of the FAST/TOOLS web-based SCADA system. The product of more than 30 years of innovation in the oil & gas, petrochemical, and power industries, this platform-independent process management software is relied on by innovative industrial automation users worldwide and sets the standard for operational excellence.

The FAST/TOOLS web-based SCADA system enables remote engineering and maintenance, and allows the deployment, and real-time management of process applications via secure web-based services, thereby increasing overall equipment efficiency (OEE) and return on assets (ROA).
Remote plant management (RPM) is driving down operating costs and improving the sharing and exchange of information. With the proliferation of decision support and collaboration centres, data from a variety of sources can now be accessed and shared globally, allowing continuous application development and management. With this new version of Yokogawa's FAST/TOOLS SCADA system, a number of new functions are provided that make it easier to work with such services. By providing continual access to process and maintenance information from all sources, this will enhance efficiency by reducing cycle times and eliminating the need for the exchange of paper documents.

Main features of the new system include operation recording and playback, E-mail notification and alarm reporting, advanced trending capabilities, and a FOUNDATION fieldbus faceplate library.
With this new release, it is now possible to record HMI displays in real time. Functioning much like a flight recorder, this enables the synchronised playback of screens with alarms and events as well as process and trend data, and includes all mouse tracks and relevant keyboard strokes. The recorded video data can be used for cause-and-effect analysis, operator training, and simulation to increase overall safety, security, and regulatory compliance. This adds a significant new dimension to the capabilities of this software, which already includes audit trailing and diagnostics functions.

In addition to its standard EEMUA 191 compliant alarm management functionality, this software now enables alarm notification messages to be e-mailed in real time to users who have subscribed to this service. This call-out function makes it easy to define when, where, and to whom notifications should be sent. The alarm management function now also enables the export of alarm & event notifications to programs such as MS-Excel for alarm analysis.

The comprehensive trending capabilities of FAST/TOOLS have been extended with functionality that shows whether a signal is off-line. In addition, automatic and/or manual data backfill can now be used to display recovered data, allowing operators to confirm at a glance the integrity of the trended signals. X-Y plots have also been added to the rich trending library, allowing two-dimensional views of important process characteristics.

The extensive faceplate and symbol library has been enhanced with FOUNDATION fieldbus faceplates that may be used together with Yokogawa's STARDOM (FCN/FCJ) autonomous controllers for increased flexibility in distributed applications. Faceplates are automatically assigned to the control logic based on the controller function blocks and are ready to use when deployed in the system environment. This allows for seamless integration of FOUNDATION fieldbus device messages and data, setting a new standard for operational excellence.

Main target markets include oil and gas upstream/midstream, petrochemicals, chemicals, renewable energy, power, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, food, iron and steel, waste, and water and wastewater treatment, for applications such as remote process control, asset management, data collection, and storage in widely distributed applications.

Precision and safety in pressure control

With the double adaptor ARID, Baumer enables the combination of their MEX5 safety pressure gauge and their PBSN pressure transmitter. Both instruments are designed for harsh industrial environments with high media temperatures where precision and failure-safety are particularly important. Therefore, the PBSN delivers high-accuracy process data as 4…20 mA output signals while the MEX5 gauge indicates the local pressure. As the MEX5 works on a mechanical basis with no need for electricity, it provides a fall-back option, ensuring that the process can still be controlled in case of a power cut. The resulting increase in process safety is particularly valuable in the harsh and potentially hazardous environments encountered in fields such as energy production, the petrochemical industries, and biotechnology.

The adaptor has one G½ or ½NPT2 connection on the process side and two G½ connections on the side of the measuring devices. It is made of stainless steel 316L and can operate at temperatures of -25-100 °C while being able to withstand pressures of up to 400 bar. The PBSN pressure transmitter delivers a 4…20 mA output signal which is more accurate in this pressure range than the current output signal of a mechanical pressure gauge equipped with an integrated 4…20 mA transmitter.

Since mechanical pressure gauges with integrated 4-20 mA transmitters are relatively expensive, the combination of two instruments through the ARID double adaptor offers a more economical solution. The fact that the ARID adaptor makes it possible to use two measuring instruments on only one pressure port on the process pipe saves further costs because the user is not required to provide additional pressure ports for the additional instrument.

OPC redundancy solution

MatrikonOPC™ has released the most powerful version of its OPC redundancy software - OPC Redundancy Broker.  The latest version adds features sought after by users, including support for 64-bit editions of the Windows operating system and expanded redundancy protection to include historical data transfers based on the OPC Foundation’s Historical Data Access (HDA) specification. Being open standards-based means users can protect all of their OPC Servers, real-time or historical – regardless of the OPC Server vendor.

OPC Redundancy Broker is designed for OPC applications that require the use of redundant hardware or software to achieve the highest degree of communication reliability. ORB can even be retrofitted to current systems because it functions with any OPC server DA, HDA, or A&E, regardless of vendor.

From simple communication-failure based failovers to powerful condition based failovers – OPC Redundancy Broker has the functionality needed in virtually any redundancy application. Easy to use, OPC Redundancy Broker guides users with intuitive step-by-step configuration choices that help them best protect their systems in minutes. OPC Redundancy Broker offers three types of redundant pairs: Hot, Warm, or Cold between the primary and secondary OPC Servers. It handles all configuration and fail-over issues automatically. It also provides additional monitoring capability in the form of watchdog tags that trigger a fail-over between the Primary and Secondary OPC Servers. These watchdog tags can be configured based on the OPC item’s Value, Value change, Quality, or Timestamp. The combination of these features minimizes the fault-tolerance of the system and promotes maximum system redundancy.

“Customers turn to us because control system downtime is not an option. MatrikonOPC products are reliable and easy to use helping users to quickly and correctly deploy the software knowing their systems are properly protected. With the newly added features in OPC Redundancy Broker - everyone using OPC can now protect their systems to maximize up-time and profitability.” said Seán Leonard, Matrikon’s vice president of OPC products.

Fieldbus enhancements

Updates to H1 physical layer specifications in Foundation Fieldbus promote better device installation and integration

The Fieldbus Foundation has enhanced its open, non-proprietary FOUNDATION™ fieldbus physical layer technology. The latest updates to the H1 (31.25 kbit/s) physical layer specifications will improve the robustness of fieldbus control systems by optimizing device interoperability and integration. End users will benefit from easier installation, faster commissioning and seamless startups.

Enhancements to the FOUNDATION fieldbus specifications include:
  • Addition of a test procedure for isolated couplers to the existing FOUNDATION fieldbus Coupler Test Specification. Registration of isolated couplers is now possible.
  • Improvements to the H1 Physical Layer Conformance Test Specification based on Action Requests received during the last few years. The most significant changes include the addition of a receive jitter test case and a device-coupler interoperability test.
  • Updates to the H1 Physical Layer Test Specification to remove obsolete profiles and align new references in the document with the current International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) specifications. Coupler profiles were also added to the test specification.
  • Miscellaneous updates to the FOUNDATION fieldbus Cable Specification.
Fieldbus Foundation Director-Fieldbus Products Stephen Mitschke commented, "The Fieldbus Foundation's rigorous interoperability test and registration procedures thoroughly examine all aspects of a fieldbus device. The latest enhancements to our physical layer specifications will strengthen this testing and provide end users with greater confidence that registered FOUNDATION fieldbus devices can be employed in a tightly integrated, interoperable control system architecture."

Implementation of the new FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 Physical Layer Test Specification Version 2.0 is not immediately required. However, fieldbus device developers are encouraged to start using the specification as soon as possible. The updated specification will become mandatory with the next major release of the Fieldbus Foundation's Interoperability Test Kit 'ITK'. Until then, developers can still provide proof of conformance to Version 1.5 of the specification when registering a device.
H1 Benefits Chart!

Can integrate with Ethernet!

"The easy way to integrate CANopen-enabled automation devices into EtherNet/IP networks."

The new Anybus X-gateway CANopen from HMS Industrial Networks enables system integrators to easily transfer I/O data between automation devices on EtherNet/IP and CANopen. Tailor-made for usage in machines and systems in all areas of industrial automation, typical applications include communication between e.g. Rockwell or Schneider Electric PLCs and CANopen- enabled drives, sensors, actuators, or measuring equipment.

The configurable and slim stand-alone gateway mounts to a standard DIN rail and is powered by 24 Volt industrial power supply. It functions as an adapter (slave) on the EtherNet/IP network and as a manager (master) on the CANopen side. The CANopen master functionality is configured with a flexible and easy-to-use Windows-based configuration tool which is included with the product. After the initial configuration has been downloaded to the gateway, it passes up to 510 byte of input and 510 byte of output data transparently between EtherNet/IP and CANopen. Up to 126 CANopen slaves can be connected to the gateway using a total of up to 128 receive PDOs and 128 transmit PDOs. The gateway is equipped with an integrated 2-port switch on the EtherNet/IP side, enabling EtherNet/IP installations in bus or line topology without the need for external switches. As a result, system integrators can benefit from significantly reduced installation and maintenance costs.

The new X-gateway combines simplicity and usability with industrial robustness, making communication across different industrial network types easy and reliable.
Including Ethernet/IP, the Anybus X-gateway CANopen product family supports integration and communication to 10 different fieldbus and industrial Ethernet networks such as Profibus, DeviceNet, CANopen, EtherCAT, Modbus and Profinet. All versions work the same way, making it the most flexible standard solution to connect two industrial networks on the market. By combining the new X-gateway CANopen family with the already existing X-gateway offering, which has been on the market since 2004, HMS offers well over 300 individual and ready-to-use gateways aimed to connect almost every possible combination of two industrial networks.

Answers in mechanical and electromechanical motion technology

Thomson has just launched its new "Solution Center". This website provides developers, designers and end users of linear guidance and motion systems with an interactive online knowledge base that offers sound technical answers to their many questions in and around the topic of "linear motion". The subjects covered include the selection, deployments options, installation, maintenance and general use of linear motion components and systems. Using an intuitive search mask, users can enter any terms pertaining to their question and also select the product category in which they would like to search for answers. The results found can then be sorted by relevance, date posted or frequency of use by other users. For example, if "load" is entered as a search term, the system will provide answers to questions such as: "Can ball screws handle radial loads?" or "Can I operate an actuator above its rated load?"

Alternatively, questions and answers can also be found based on predetermined product categories. If the knowledge base search fails to provide answers to a certain issue, users can also enter indirect questions, which are then processed as quickly as possible by members of the Thomson Support Team.

The product categories covered by the Solution Center include linear actuators, high-precision linear actuators, clutches and brakes, linear bearings, ball and lead screws, special shafts, precision balls, transmissions, linear guides and slide tables, as well as positioning units. The specially compiled contents are always kept up-to-date and continuously extended to include new findings and information – as a way of providing the best possible answers to the many, diverse questions that arise among users seeking to optimize the performance of these mechanical and electromechanical motion solutions.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Helping meet standards and regulations

Integrated program helps process plants measure, report, analyse and optimise alarm systems and responses; eliminates nuisance alarms while meeting industry best practices, government safety requirements

DeltaV Analyze software generates
reports that measure alarm system
performance
Emerson has released DeltaV™ Analyze V2.0 software to help process automation operators manage alarm system performance to new industry standards. Concurrently, the company announced an alliance with automation safety certification and consulting firm exida whose alarm rationalisation software can optimise Emerson’s DeltaV process automation system alarms.

An early DeltaV Analyze user, Steve Elwart, Systems Engineering Director for Ergon Refining, noted, “After just six weeks using Emerson’s DeltaV Analyze software, we had identified and eliminated nuisance alarms for an overall 40 per cent reduction in alarms seen by our operators.”

Nuisance alarms are a common problem in industrial plants since the application of digital computers to process control in the 1980’s. The ease with which alarms can be implemented has led to alarm overload, alarm floods, and incorrectly prioritised alarms, all of which diminish control room operators’ effectiveness.

“New industry standards that define good alarm management engineering practice, combined with heightened scrutiny by safety, health and environmental regulatory agencies and the insurance industry are making plant managers take notice,”
says Emerson’s Kim Van Camp, making reference to ANSI/ISA18.2-2009 Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries and the forthcoming complementary IEC standard, IEC62682.

The DeltaV Analyze V2.0 software provides out-of-the-box reports that measure alarm system performance as prescribed by the new standards, such as peak and average incoming alarm rate and priority distribution. Reports contain “top 20” lists of nuisance alarms of various types, such as the sources of the most frequent occurring alarms and those that remain active for the longest time.

Emerson’s alliance with exida has led to exida’s SILAlarm™ alarm rationalisation software being used to optimise the DeltaV system’s alarm performance. “Alarm rationalisation is one of the key activities in the alarm management lifecycle of ISA-18.2 and is critical to create a sustainable and effective alarm management program,” says exida’s Todd Stauffer, director of Alarm Management services. “SILAlarm delivers benefits to operations that previously would have considered rationalisation too burdensome and expensive. The results include reduced alarm load on the operator, no more nuisance alarms and improved operator response.”

Automating M&C tasks

Windmill Software has  a major new version of its Test Sequence software. Test Sequence automates measurement and control tasks by running a text file of commands. No programming knowledge is required.

The new version adds many new commands, making Test Sequence even more powerful. For example, it can now loop several times through a command sequence; check if a condition is true and act accordingly; wait until a specified amount of data has been collected; show instructions to a user and let a user manually adjust analogue outputs.

Test Sequence understands a total of 47 commands, all specifically for data acquisition and control. Combining these commands lets Test Sequence, for example, perform PID (proportional-integral-derivative) control; watch for alarms and take appropriate action; send key-presses to other Windows programs like Excel; start and stop data logging according to conditions or time of day; change the speed of sampling when alarm thresholds are crossed and ramp values up and down over time.

Test Sequence runs under Windows 7, Vista, XP, 98 and 95. It requires a Windmill 7 hardware driver which lets Test Sequence work with almost any RS-232, RS-422, RS-485 or Modbus device. Test Sequence also handles USB and Ethernet hardware. The new version of Test Sequence is currently reduced to 60 Euro. 

Batch control

RA33 Batch Controller controls valves and pumps to ensure the exact dispensing of predefined batch quantities

The Endress+Hauser RA33 Batch Controller provides precise sensing and dispensing of liquids into a container or process vessel in food, chemical, pharmaceutical, oil & gas and other process industry applications. It monitors flow, temperature and density; controls valves and pumps; and dispenses the exact amount requested by the programmed recipe. The controller can work with a single valve and pump in automatic or manual mode, or with two valves for two-stage batching. Two of these controllers can work together for batch mixing of two ingredients.

It calculates the exact volume to be dispensed based on an analog or pulse signal from a flow sensor and its built-in temperature/density compensation functions. For example, mineral oils can be corrected according to the ASTM D1250-04 standard. The volumes of other media can be corrected using expansion coefficients, or the volume can be converted to mass by measuring the density. It also makes an automatic after-run correction for constant and extremely accurate results, and advanced error diagnostics detect leakage, fill deviation and "no flow" conditions.

It has a compact housing for wall, panel or DIN rail mounting, making the device usable in all environments. It works in ambient temperatures of -4 to 140°F, has an IP65-rated front panel, and the housing meets IP66 and NEMA 4X requirements.

The unit accepts inputs from flow, temperature, pressure and density sensors. Outputs can control two valves and two pumps, and it has up to four digital outputs for one- or two-stage valve control or for the control of other devices such as signal lamps. The RA33 also has optional USB, RS485, Ethernet, and Modbus TCP and RTU interfaces for communications with an external control system or PC.

Configuring the Controller
The RA33 Batch Controller has a multi-line, backlit LCD with selectable operating languages. A simple and quick configuration can be carried out on-site via buttons, or with the help of a USB interface and Endress+Hauser FieldCare software. Configuration functions include recipes and safety settings, such limiting the preset counter entry to a maximum allowable value. The RA33 Batch Controller is also available pre-programmed.

Predefined universal inputs support simple and quick commissioning and are suitable for connecting to and powering all commonly used flow sensors, pressure transducers, temperature sensors and density sensors.

Recording Batch Data
The RA33 Batch Controller has a logbook for batch reports and an event logbook, and it maintains statistics regarding the number of fillings and filled quantities for day, month and year. For direct documentation, a printer can be connected to the serial interface of the RA33, and a printout of the batch report can then be automatically initiated at the end of each filling process.

Using Endress+Hauser Field Data Manager Software, the stored batch reports, events, and the device configuration can be read out automatically and stored tamper-proof in an SQL database.

If it is connected using Ethernet, customers can use the built-in web server to read out measurement data, calculated values and device data using a standard web browser. Because the web server is built-in and because access is via a browser, there’s no additional software to be installed on a PC or other device used for data monitoring.

Instrument financing!

New instrument finance schemes at Sustainability Live

Visitors to Sustainability Live 2011 (24/26 May 2011) are invited to discover why a limited budget does not necessarily mean limited access to the latest environmental monitoring instrumentation – speak to the Ashtead Technology experts to find out more.

Popular instrumentation from leading manufacturers such as Geotechnical Instruments, including the Inspectra Laser FID and the MiniRAE 3000 handheld Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Detector from RAE Systems will be featured by Ashtead Technology on stand (R45) at Birmingham (GB).

The new financial packages include the ‘Perpetual Rental Program’ and the ‘Rent To Own’ plan, as Jay Neermul, the company’s Environmental Product Manager explains: “These new schemes help to meet customers’ differing financial needs, whilst retaining key features of the Ashtead Technology service such as full calibration and service.

“We are also able to provide replacement units during this time to ensure that monitoring activity is not interrupted.”

RF Connectors

Waterproof medical connectors.
Intelliconnect (Europe) Ltd  manufactures a wide range of standard RF connectors suitable for medical applications. In addition to standard coaxial and triaxial types, Intelliconnect are happy to offer their fast turnaround custom design service for non-standard medical connector requirements. With no NRE costs to customers and low minimum order quantities, Intelliconnect custom designed medical connectors offer an ideal solution for specialised medical products.

The versatility of Intelliconnect products in medical systems is demonstrated by the wide range of applications already supplied. These include micro-miniature waterproof triaxial connectors used in cochlear ear implants, connectors for RF cancer treatment, radiation dosimeters and detectors, bio-medical test equipment and bionics.

Roy Phillips, Managing Director of Intelliconnect, comments; "Our success in the medical market is due to our wide range of products and ability to produce custom connectors quickly. Manufacturing in the UK gives us great flexibility and control of our costs, allowing us to provide our customers with a no-compromise connector solution at a very competitive price.”

Standard products available from Intelliconnect suitable for medical applications include the TRB and TRT triaxial connector series designed primarily to reduce noise levels in systems while providing an isolated ground. The TRB series has a bayonet locking mechanism as designed on the BNC series while the TRT series has a 7/16-28 thread coupling mechanism as designed on the TNC series. Both the TRB and TRT series are non-constant impedance and incorporate a third conductor. These two products feature a state of the art clamping construction and weatherproof sealing features which ensure excellent termination to various twinaxial and triaxial cables.

The waterproof ABMS micro miniature size connector series is similar to, and offers the same weight and space benefits of, the standard MCX connector series. The ABMS connector is a more rugged design, rated to 3000 mating cycles and waterproof to IP68. This connector series offers a quick snap-on locking mechanism and is used with small, semi-rigid and flexible cables. These connectors can also accommodate various PCB, surface, edge, press fit and bulkhead mounting configurations.

Al Intelliconnect RF connectors are designed in accordance with US MIL-STD-348 and US MIL-PRF and have an operating temperature range of -65°C to +165°C and the ABMS series is waterproof to IP67/68.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Managing closed loop PLM

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has just published Closed-Loop Product Life Cycle Management—Using Smart Embedded Systems, edited by Markus Frey, PROMISE Interregional Coordinating Partner, Bombardier Transportation, Zurich, (CH).

The PROMISE technologies are a new type of “Closed-Loop Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) using Smart Embedded Systems,” which allow tracking of product information at all times and in any location around the world. This new closed-loop PLM—developed and validated in the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) project PROMISE—enables product users, maintainers, and manufacturers to manage the life cycle information of their products seamlessly over all life cycle phases, i.e., beginning of life (BOL), middle of life (MOL) and end of life (EOL).

This book promises to provide industrial users, as well as the broad R&D community, with an understanding of the principles behind the PROMISE technologies, their successful implementation in the PROMISE demonstrators, and their enormous potential to improve competitive advantage across the industrial spectrum.

The material for this book is taken from the PROMISE work and deliverables with contribution from all project partners. Markus Frey is the leader of the PROMISE project and editor in assembling this excellent compendium.

Liquid flow switch

The FSW300 Series is a NEW trim to size liquid flow switch from Omega, suitable for pipe diameters from 20 to 200mm. It is available in a low maintenance Brass construction with a pressure rating of 25bar.

This field installable switch has a single Noryl blade with marked notches showing the pipe diameters and is easily trimmed to size. There is no mechanical movement transmitted from the paddle to the switch mechanism and the reed switch is activated through a stainless steel membrane by a magnet at the top of the blade. However, to prevent spurious pulses the permanent magnet used for activating the switch is opposed by a second fixed magnet. This also gives a snap action effect normally associated with mechanical units.

With a useful life of up to 100,000,000 switching cycles the magnetic design is highly repeatable with an instant response. The economical construction is considerably more stable in the long term and much less sensitive to pressure peaks

Building automation communications

Exclusive provider of SlotServer Communication Modules, manufactured by FieldServer Technologies

ProSoft Technology® is the exclusive provider for the SlotServer product line, manufactured by FieldServer. The SlotServer products provide in-rack connectivity between the Rockwell Automation® ControlLogixTM control platform and an array of Building Automation Systems and Fire Alarm Control Panel protocols.

The agreement with FieldServer is a strategic initiative which will expand ProSoft Technology’s range of network solutions to building-automation specific protocols. ControlLogix users, it will also widen the availability of the SlotServer products, through ProSoft Technology’s extensive global distribution channel. FieldServer Technologies industrial customers will gain easier access to SlotServer through the ProSoft Technology channels.

"The SlotServer product range consists of multiple solutions, including: LonWorks Communication Module (for building automation, transportation, and process control), BACnet (for the monitoring and control of building operations), N2 Communication Modules (for building control from Metasys®) and much more..!"

Ion selective measurement

In control of nitrification and denitrification with continuous ammonium and nitrate measurement

The new ion-selective measuring system ISEmax CAS40D is part of Endress+Hauser's platform concept for liquid analysis. It speaks the same language as all sensors of their platform: Memosens. The digital protocol guarantees reliable, comprehensive data transmission and an easy-to-use system. So ISEmax CAS40D offers fast and easy control of processes in the area of wastewater treatment and visibly reduces the costs for power used in aeration systems.

ISEmax measures the concentration of ammonium, nitrate, potassium and chloride quickly and continuously in municipal wastewater treatment plants. The robust in-situ measurement allows measuring several parameters simultaneously with one sensor. A distinguishing feature of ISEmax is its short response time. Since ISEmax is immersed directly into the medium, the measuring system responds very quickly to changes in the concentration. The rapid trend display supports the early control and regulation of the processes.

Easy installation and low maintenance
Thanks to the Memosens protocol, ISEmax CAS40D is simply connected to one channel of the Liquiline CM442 transmitter. The other transmitter channel remains free for any additional sensor. ISEmax CAS40D is mounted on the basin rim with a suitable retaining unit and is immersed directly into the process with the electrodes. The unit is easy to use: the measuring system does not use any chemicals, is low-maintenance and does not require external sampling. Furthermore, integrated automatic compressed-air cleaning prevents the membranes from fouling.


Comprehensive application in municipal wastewater treatment plants
ISEmax covers a large measuring range:
• Ammonium - nitrogen: 0.1 - 1000 mg/l NH4-N
• Nitrate-nitrogen: 0.1 - 1000 mg/l NO3-N
• Potassium: 1 – 1000 mg/l K+
• Chloride: 1 – 1000 mg/l Cl-

Typical applications in municipal waste water treatment plants include measuring the concentration of ammonium and nitrate directly during sludge activation, measuring the ammonium (pH-compensated) load in the inlet to sludge activation, and load-dependent aeration control.


Sensor layout
The sensor ISEmax CAS40D consists of ion-selective electrodes, a pH electrode with in-tegrated reference, potential matching, a temperature sensor as well as automatic compressed-air cleaning and a pre-amplifier.

Up to three ion-selective electrodes simultaneously measure ammonium, nitrate and another measured variable, if so required by the customer. They exhibit easily replaceable membrane caps which are selective for the ion to be measured. A membrane kit with easy-to-use replacement caps is also available as an accessory. The membranes are robust and can be used for up to six months. Thanks to the integrated compressed-air cleaning system, they are kept free from fouling and contamination and are thus always operational.


Ion-selective measuring principle
Potentiometric measurement using ion-selective electrodes is similar to pH measurement: as a result of charged ions "migrating", a potential difference occurs between the measuring electrode and the reference electrode. This difference in potential is meas-ured and is proportional to the ion concentration.


The bottom line
ISEmax CAS40D combines robust, ion-selective in-situ measurement with the advan-tages of the Memosens technology such as plug&play, easy handling, storage of sensor- and process-specific data and safe digital data transfer. It offers potential for other parameters and industries.

Force sensors for up to 700Kn

The introduction of a new piezoelectric press force sensor with a measuring range of up to 700kN (seven hundred thousand Newtons) extends the scope of Kistler Instruments force sensors from 100N (one hundred Newtons) to 700kN. Designed for measuring dynamic and quasistatic forces, the whole range is supplied preloaded and calibrated for three ranges. The overload factor of 100 eliminates the need for expensive protection and the sensors are protected to IP65 with the detachable cable or IP67 with a welded cable.

The exceptionally constant accuracy of the piezoelectric element allows a single sensor to be used over a wide load range. Typically, the new 700kN sensor has three calibrated measuring ranges; 7kN, 70kN and 700kN. This flexibility may be further extended by using the range switching capability of the Kistler ICAM charge amplifier. This wide measuring range makes the sensors especially suited to production and measuring stations handling a wide variety of components.

The new 700kN sensor is 145 mm in diameter and 190 mm high and has mounting flanges at both ends to facilitate interfacing in most applications. Centering rings are supplied as standard to simplify axial positioning and the symmetrical shape simplifies installation on connecting rods or press plungers. Where required, a wide range of accessories are available to suit more complex installations.

The range of Kistler piezoelectric, press force sensors now extends from 100N (one hundred Newtons) to 700kN. The full specification of the Type 9393A force sensors may be downloaded from their web site.

Circular connectors

Expanded range of M12 circular connectors

Harting has expanded its range of M12 circular connectors to include field-installable versions with larger cross-sections as well as new receptacles for 10 Gbit/s data transmission.

The field-installable versions are based on Harting's HARAX rapid-termination technology, and include the M12-XL for wire cross-sections bigger than 0.5 mm² and a 5-pin version for a maximum cross-section of 1.0 mm². This means that cable cross-sections up to 1 mm² and cables with an outer diameter up to 9.6 mm can be connected.

The cable side has been adapted to the requirements of the larger cables. The outer diameter has been expanded because, as the cables get larger, so do the moments of force that have to be absorbed. Vibration-proof contacts and IP 67 protection integral to the design, and the current rating is 4A.

Also new to the M12 family are angled and straight har-speed M12 receptacles for device integration in the 10 Gbit/s data communications environment. The mating face in these devices has been designed to comply with PAS IEC 61076-1-109 and satisfies the strict requirements of this standard on parameters such as NEXT, FEXT, return loss and insertion loss.

The new M12 mating face features an integrated shielding cross (x-coded) that protects against incorrect insertion with other coding systems while also shielding the cable strands, and consequently the signals, from one another. The continuous shielding is a key feature for devices meeting the high-performance requirements of Class EA and Cat.6A. The materials have been selected to allow reflow soldering for the receptacles. Special requirements from certain application environments have also been fulfilled.

Enhanced safety instrumented system

Yokogawa has announced the development of an enhanced version of the ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system that is used to ensure the safety of plant operations. This new version, ProSafe-RS R3.01, features input modules that can directly receive voltage signals from temperature sensors as well as software that restricts the operations performed by individual engineers and records a log on their activities. In addition, new compact terminal boards have been developed for use with the ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system. The compact terminal boards will be released in June and ProSafe-RS R3.01 will be released in July.

Development background
There is a growing demand in the oil, natural gas, petrochemical, iron & steel, and other energy and basic materials industries for safety instrumented systems that can help to ensure the safety of plant operations. This is driven by companies' needs to provide a safe workplace, protect the environment, and be a responsible member of society.

In addition to looking for a reliable solution, companies that wish to install a safety instrumented system need to make maximum effective use of available space and have operation history management functionality that simplifies the task of identifying where problems are occurring in an operation. In response to these needs, Yokogawa has developed new modules and new terminal boards that are both reliable and compact, and software that improves operational safety. This new product lineup will meet Yokogawa's customers needs for greater safety and reliability in their plant operations.

Overview of enhancements 
1. Temperature direct input modules: These new modules receive signals from mV, thermocouple (tc), and RTD sensors. In contrast to conventional modules, these modules do not require a signal converter to process the voltage signals from a temperature sensor. This enables a more compact design. These SIL3-certified modules provide highly reliable temperature monitoring.

2. Access control and operation history management software: This software restricts the operations that can be performed by the individual engineers who are operating the ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system, and records a log on their activities. This makes it easy to identify the causes of problems, and is particularly useful in plants that have a large engineering workforce.

3. Compact terminal boards: This DIN rail mounted ProSafe-RS terminal boards that connect to cables from field devices are approximately 60% smaller than our previous terminal boards. These newly developed boards can be installed either horizontally or vertically, allowing the most effective use of available space.

Main target markets and applications
Target markets include process control and operation management in the oil, natural gas, petrochemical, and other process industries.
Applications include systems for emergency plant shutdown, fire prevention/fighting, and burner management