Friday, May 27, 2011

2-channel scopes

Fluke introduces new 2-channel ScopeMeters with highest safety ratings

Fluke has introduced three new 2-channel models, the Fluke 190-202, the Fluke 190-102 and the Fluke 190-062, to its highly successful range of rugged, handheld, portable 190 Series II ScopeMeters®. Offering 200MHz, 100MHz and 60MHz respectively, up to 2.5 GS/s real time sampling rate and 400 pico seconds resolution, they complement the recently introduced four-channel 190-204 and 190-104 Series II ScopeMeters. Together they are the first oscilloscopes on the market with 1000V CAT III / 600V CAT IV safety rating, bringing an unprecedented combination of performance and ruggedness into the field. Designed for the industrial plant maintenance professional servicing, installing and maintaining heavy duty electrical equipment, electro-mechanical machinery and plant automation control systems, they can be safely used on industrial equipment that is permanently installed on an electrical distribution system

The Fluke 190 Series II ScopeMeters offer a number of powerful and time-saving features for increased productivity. Connect&View™ triggering offers hands-free operation, providing an immediate, stable display for capturing and displaying complex waveforms for rapid fault finding. The TrendPlot™ recording function helps uncover long-term trends and shows changes in any of the measurable parameters, like the rise-time of a signal. Frequency Spectrum Analysis using FFT helps to identify individual frequency components contained in a signal. The ScopeRecord™ function allows waveform recordings to be made over an extended period of up to 48 hours. A 'Replay' function enables the user to take a closer look at any anomaly seen flashing by on the screen, by re-playing the last sequence of 100 screen images.

The new Fluke 190 Series II ScopeMeters are designed for use in harsh environments. The sealed casing is IP51 rated and the high capacity Li-ion rechargeable battery is designed for operation up to 7 hours with easy access for battery switching to extend operating time. USB ports offer PC connectivity and memory device insertion. In addition, the 190-xx2/S Series II ScopeMeters includes the SSC Kit, offering a hard case and FlukeView software for documenting, archiving and for further data analysis

Society collaborates with technical college!

ISA collaboration with Los Angeles Harbor College in California brings technical training to students


The International Society of Automation (ISA) announced today that it has signed an agreement to partner with Los Angeles Harbor College, located in Wilmington, (CA US). The agreement provides ISA the opportunity to offer technical training to students at the College starting later this year up to the end of June 2014. 

Science faculty at LAHC for completion 2012
The agreement will enable ISA to bring quality course content and instruction to Los Angeles Harbor College. The college will provide students with flexible course offerings and hands-on learning opportunities that will prepare them for careers in automation and control. Local automation professionals looking to enhance and grow their existing knowledge will also benefit from being able to enroll in these ISA course offerings at the college. 

The following ISA technical training courses will be offered at Los Angeles Harbor College:




  • Mathematics for Instrumentation Technicians (FG02)






  • Introduction to Industrial Automation and Control (FG07)






  • Developing and Applying Standard Instrumentation and Control Documentation (FG15)






  • Electrical Systems and Principles (TI15)






  • Industrial Electronics (TI20)






  • Electrical Noise Effects on Instrumentation Control Equipment (TI21)






  • Maintaining Pneumatic Components in Measurement and Control (TI06)






  • Installing, Calibrating and Maintaining Electronic Instruments (TI25)






  • Tuning Control Loops (TC05)






  • Troubleshooting Instrumentation and Control Systems (TC10)






  • Industrial Data Communications Systems (TS06)






  • Industrial Networking and Security (TS12)






  • Advanced Operation of Digital (Smart) Transmitters and Digital Valve Controllers (TS16)






  • Advanced Operation of Digital (Smart) Transmitters (TS17)






  • Advanced Operation of Digital Valve Controllers (TS18)






  • Certified Control Systems Technician® (CCST®) Level I Review Course (TS00)

    The Los Angeles Harbor College will establish, manage, and maintain ISA’s schedule of course offerings. Courses will be open to current and potential Los Angeles Harbor College students and to any interested professionals. Schedule inquiries can be directed to John Sparks, economic development project director of Los Angeles Harbor College.

    “This partnership is creating a local cadre of ISA trainers who will be able to serve industries in the area with flexible scheduling to meet their training needs,” said John Sparks at the college.

    ISA’s Education Services Manager, Dalton Wilson, said, “We are thrilled to be working with Los Angeles Harbor College to bring our quality course content and expert instruction to existing, new and future automation professionals in the Wilmington, California area. We plan to establish similar arrangements with other colleges across the US to enhance our efforts to grow the automation profession.”
  • New partnership!

    An agreement has been reached between between Irish Power and Process (IPP) and the infrared instrument company NDC.

    NDC On-line NIR Moisture Gauges and At-line Analysers are used for production control and quality assurance to measure constituents such as moisture, fat or oil, protein and coating thickness or coatweight.

    Noel Heery, of IPP adds, "This new partnership includes sales of new equipment and service cover for existing users."

    A solution for compact motor drive applications

    IPMs - a power electronics solution for application embedded motor drives, which is compact and has good thermal characteristics?

    Power electronics for application embedded motor drives need to be compact and to have good thermal characteristics. Different IPM (intelligent power module) concepts are competing with different sets of features to be the best solution.

    Higher integration and more complex subsystems are some of the current mega trends in power electronics.  Intelligent Power Modules (IPM) are very popular for motor drive applications. They are a combination of power semiconductors like IGBTs, MOSFETs and diodes with peripheral components like driver circuits. If a whole subsystem has a good match to an application, an IPM can bring a lot of unique benefits.

    In particular application integrated motor drives have very specific requirements: they need to be extremely compact, are often used in harsh environments and can have ten thousands of operating hours. Vincotech's flowIPM is dedicated to embedded motor drive applications and takes all typical requirements into consideration.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    What volcanic dust?

    Advanced borescopes employed to investigate effects of volcanic dust

    As volcanic dust once more creates havoc in Northern European airspace, controversy reigns over the levels of dust in which air travel is safe. As one of the measures to assess the effects of the ash, airlines and engine manufacturers are therefore looking to be able to assess the internal components of engines.

    Speaking in a BBC interview and clutching a vial of volcanic ash (to demonstrate the low levels involved), Willie Walsh (right) explained that a BA plane has flown though the 'red zone' for about 45 minutes at different altitudes. The aircraft then returned and video borescopes were employed to examine the engines and found no evidence of volcanic ash. (Item in BBC Radio news programme  25th May 2011)


    Alan Hasson from Ashtead Technology says "The latest video borescopes are ideal for this purpose, because they provide users with a comprehensive evaluation of the internal components of an engine, without having to dismantle it, which would be costly and time-consuming."

    Following the previous Icelandic volcano eruption in 2010, Ashtead Technology was contacted by an aviation maintenance firm looking to hire a high specification endoscope for emergency aircraft engine examinations.

    Avalon Aero, based at Biggin Hill Airport in Kent (GB), performed internal inspections of engines following flights in the ‘red zone’; an area in which ash might be encountered, but was deemed safe to fly by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.

    Martin Darling, Avalon Aero’s Technical Director, explained: “Ashtead Technology’s engineers recommended hiring the Olympus IPLEX SAII Videoscope and the device proved extremely useful, providing quick and easy visual access to the internal components of aircraft engines. Our investigations did not find any ash within the engines and this evidence was of course extremely valuable to our clients.”

    Alan Hasson believes that aircraft engine inspection is a perfect example of the benefits of instrument rental: "The latest technology can be expensive to own, so instrument hire provides fast access to the best available equipment, which is especially useful when unforeseen situations occur," he says.

    Diesel flow measurement!

    Measuring flow rate, running time, fuel theft & more

    The rising cost of diesel means it is a valuable commodity for bulk commercial users across a variety of industries, making it vital to ensure that expensive fuel is used wisely, not wasted or pilfered. So the launch of the new multifunctional Fuel-View digital meter from Bronkhorst, which monitors flow rate and fuel consumption, engine operating times, diesel theft volumes and other parameters, should be of considerable interest to owners and operators of commercial vehicle fleets, construction plant, leisure boats, diesel-powered factory equipment, standby generators, heating boilers and diesel-fired burners.

    Their new Fuel-View series of flow meters, for fuel flows between 1 and 400 litres per hour, offers a compact, lightweight and cost-effective solution for measuring diesel consumption and operating times of road vehicles, tractors, construction plant, marine vessels, generators and all types of mobile and static engines, at competitive prices. The design’s unique features for preventing the theft of fuel, protecting against the overstatement of readings and any interference with compressed air, magnetic fields and disconnection, make Fuel-View one of the best multi-purpose instruments available on the market.

    The standard configuration is a ‘blind’ instrument, with integrated cable for the remote digital processing of signals. As an option, Fuel-View also comes with an on-board LCD readout, displaying such information as actual flow, total consumption and engine operating time in idling, overload and optimal modes. The instrumentation is either operated with an external power supply or, on LCD models, via an embedded standby battery, which provides autonomous running of the flow meter for up to 2 years.

    The Fuel-View series operates on the principle of a rotary piston, which is mounted in a chamber, and the rotating speed is measured by electronic sensors that record magnetic pulses, the number of pulses being proportional to the actual flow rate. This distinctive design allows mainstream fuel flow even if the measuring chamber becomes clogged up, although a filter does protect the chamber from contamination and can be removed and cleaned without dismantling the flow meter itself.

    Mounted in a strong, moulded zinc-aluminium alloy case, with full IP54 protection, the Fuel-View can be fitted in any position and withstands both vibration and hydraulic shock. There are a dozen different models with wired outputs, integral LCDs, or combinations of both, for various flow rates and engine power output. The smallest model, DFM-50, has a nominal flow rating of 25 litres per hour, with a minimum of 1 l/hr and a maximum of 50 l/h, for diesel engines up to 80kW (108 hp). The highest rating model, DFM-400, has a nominal flow rate of 200 l/hr (min 30 / max 400 l/hr), for engines over 300 kW (400 hp).

    “As a multifunctional system, the Fuel-View has many interesting commercial applications,” says Bronkhorst UK’s Managing Director, Andrew Mangell. “For engine design and testing, it will give instantaneous and totalised fuel flow rates, engine operating times and data on optimal running and overloads. Leisure boat owners will want to know about fuel consumption and any incidents of diesel theft, for billing purposes, as well as engine statistics for preventative maintenance. Engine overload times, fuel pilfering and possible engine interference statistics are also useful for construction plant and commercial vehicle operators. While hospitals and factories with standby diesel generators can tell whether the engines are running efficiently, when the next planned service is due and check that fuel isn’t being siphoned off or simply leaking away. Similarly, factory owners can gain valuable data about the carbon footprints of fork lifts and heating plant.”

    “These instruments are relatively inexpensive, easy to fit, extremely robust in use and will introduce a high level of management control over diesel fuel inventories,” he adds.

    Tactile switch

    Omron Electronics introduce compact, long stroke tactile switch

    A new tactile switch suitable for demanding OEM applications such as automotive instrumentation, medical equipment and process control applications has been unveiled by Omron Electronic Components B.V. The long stroke B3AL switch is a two terminal device featuring a high operating force and long life durability.

    The vertically operated switch is notable for its enhanced resistance to dust penetration and a long operating life of up to 1million operation cycles which ensures long and reliable operation under extreme operating conditions. Available in four versions, with operating forces of 1.96N, 2.45N, 3.00N and 3.50N, the long stroke switch has a pretravel of 1.3mm which is achieved by using a rubber plunger.

    Featuring a compact design with dimensions of just 6.9mm x 6.0mm x 5.0mm (l x w x h) the B3AL is rated for switching currents of 1mA at 5VDC to a maximum of 50mA at 16VDC with a resistive load and features an insulation resistance of 100MΩ at 100VDC and a contact resistance of 100mΩ. The B3AL switch supports an ambient operating temperature range of-40° to +90°C and weighs approximately 0.18g.

    Supplied on 12mm tape and reel, the tactile switch is designed to prevent flux penetration and is available from Omron Electronic Components and European distribution partners with a minimum order quantity of 1400 pieces.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Texas know-how for Ireland & Britain!

    National Instruments has announced the appointment of Kyle Voosen as its new Director of Marketing in Britain and Ireland.  Previously Product Marketing Group Manager for Industrial & Embedded Systems at NI Corporate Headquarters in Austin, Texas, Voosen takes responsibility for NI UK & Ireland marketing strategy and execution, including managing a team of technical marketing engineers and marketing communications professionals.

    Voosen began his National Instruments career in 2001 on its Engineering Leadership Programme as an Applications Engineer in Austin.  He moved into Product Marketing two years later, soon becoming a well recognised and respected industry figure in his role as Product Marketing Manager for Machine Vision and Image Processing.

    In 2006, he enjoyed six months working in the NI Germany office as a Technical Marketing Engineer, focused on industrial and embedded products, developing his international understanding of National Instruments customers and applications.  On his return to the US, Voosen embarked on a successful stint in Sales as the NI Vision Business Development Manager, helping to solve customer problems, while significantly growing NI vision revenue in Europe.

    Since 2009, he has lead a team of Product Managers and Marketing Engineers, for products including NI CompactRIO, C Series I/O, NI Motion and NI Vision, in his role as Industrial Embedded Group Manager.

    On moving to Britain with his family to lead the branch’s marketing efforts, Voosen said “I’m excited about the prospect of working with the talented and successful team here in the UK, both in marketing and the wider branch organisation.  I’m also eager to get to know the local engineering and scientific communities while promoting the benefits of LabVIEW and graphical system design“.

    Voosen’s promotion is confirmed after National Instruments reported its most successful year in the company’s 35 year history.  “Kyle Voosen represents a significant addition to the UK team and we look forward to his joining us as we strive to continue the impressive growth we have seen over the last 5 years” said Robert Morton, Managing Director, NI UK & Ireland.  “Voosen brings considerable experience of working with sales, marketing and R&D.  I am confident he will enhance our ability to listen to our customers, and the market, and articulate the benefits of NI products and approach for engineers and scientists trying to solve some of the toughest challenges facing society today.  He joins us at an exciting time, as graphical system design, powered by LabVIEW, is being increasingly adopted as an industry standard for test, control and embedded applications.”

    "Most powerful woman" takes chair!

    Premier Farnell has appointed Valerie Gooding CBE as a non-executive director and Chairman of the Board with effect from 15 June 2011.  Val will succeed Sir Peter Gershon, who retires at the Company’s Annual General Meeting on 14 June after 7 years on the Board.

    Valerie Gooding CBE
    Ms. Gooding brings a wealth of global experience to the Board including 10 years as CEO of BUPA (British Health Insurance company), a period during which the group more than trebled in size, delivered record profits, and achieved significant international expansion.  Prior to joining BUPA Ms. Gooding held a number of senior roles at British Airways, latterly as Director for Asia Pacific . She will continue to serve as a non-executive director on the Boards of Standard Chartered plc and the BBC, but will stand down from the Board of J Sainsbury plc at the company’s Annual General Meeting in July to give her the time to devote to the Chairmanship of Premier Farnell.  Ms. Gooding was previously a non-executive director of Compass Group plc and BAA plc.

    Commenting on the appointment, Dennis Millard, Senior Independent Director said, “We are delighted that Val will be joining Premier Farnell as we continue to execute our strategy for profitable growth, bringing innovation and differentiation to the global high service distribution sector.  She will bring outstanding qualities to the role of Chairman and we welcome her to the Company.  We would also like to thank Sir Peter Gershon for his strong leadership and invaluable counsel over the past 7 years. His insight and experience has been important throughout this time as we have worked to transform the organisation. ”

    Val Gooding, previously recognised in the Fortune list of most powerful women in world business said, “This is an exciting appointment for me.  I have watched Premier Farnell’s evolution with interest in recent years as it has transformed to become a web business with a strong international presence in the emerging markets, and high service reputation.  Sir Peter Gershon leaves an outstanding legacy and I look forward to building upon it with the Board, Harriet Green and the wider executive team to deliver continued profitable growth through anticipating and meeting the needs of our customers and suppliers in the rapidly changing world of technology.”

    Same day gearbox assy!

    Baldor (now part of ABB) has enhanced its fast turnaround gearbox assembly operation, which now has access to a large extensively-equipped machine shop, to the point where it can provide European customers with a same-day build service.

    Capable of building custom-configured power transmission products within hours of order placement, the new British-based assembly line can produce high efficiency gearboxes and gearmotors in a wide range of models and sizes from the renowned Dodge Quantis family. The Quantis product line is also directly interchangeable with most other leading gearmotor products for ease of replacement.

    According to Tristin Hurst, Product Manager for Baldor UK, "Custom gearbox assembly is a popular service with OEMs, end users, system integrators and system maintainers, but we have now raised the bar significantly. Any single-product order placed before 1pm will be available for collection or shipment that day - and the same applies to orders for multiple products placed before midday."

    Hurst adds: "We are also now able to offer a wider range of gearbox input and output options, helping customers configure the optimal solution, and to apply special paint finishes such as corrosion-resistant epoxy. Baldor's renowned high-efficiency motors also make the service ideal for customers who need to comply with forthcoming EU energy efficiency legislation stipulating IE2-rated gearmotors after June 2011 as well as NEMA Premium gearmotors for export to American markets."

    Dodge Quantis gearboxes and gearmotors are based on a modular design concept to facilitate the implementation of custom configurations. Baldor stocks all the components needed to assemble Dodge Quantis in-line helical (ILH) and right-angle helical bevel (RHB) speed reducers and gearmotors, in any case size from 38 to 108. The range includes the Quantis Gold gearmotor, which is based on an IE3 Premium Efficiency motor and is the most energy efficient package available in the industry.

    Quantis ILH series speed reducers offer a choice of foot or output flange mountings, are available in double or triple ratios, and have an efficiency of up to 98.5 percent per stage. The RHB series right-angle speed reducers offer shaft-mount, foot or output flange mounting, triple ratios, and have an efficiency of 98.5 percent per stage. They also offer two output options on the RHB units of the straight hollow bore, as well as patented twin-tapered bushings kits, which facilitate fast disassembly and reassembly by ensuring that the reducer will not seize onto the customer's driven shaft.

    Both the ILH and the RHB series are suitable for B5 flange mounted separate reducers which feature a universal clamp-collar design that enables users to employ the motor of their choice - when replacing a unit, they are not limited to any one manufacturer's products; they also offer integral gearmotors. The Quantis range employs spring-loaded nitrile rubber oil seals for better sealing - any gear reducer is only as good as the seal.

    Baldor's gearbox assembly service covers a wide range of IEC metric and NEMA models, to accommodate customers serving both the European and American markets. The company also offers a wide choice of DC and AC motors for its gearmotors; for the three-phase AC models it is also offering its latest IEC IE3-rated (former CEMEP 'EFF1+') motors, which provide unprecedented energy efficiency and are ideal counterparts to the high-efficiency Quantis product line.

    The use of IE2 rated (former CEMEP 'EFF1') motors becomes mandatory in the EU in June 2011 for a very wide range of common motor sizes. Baldor is actively encouraging OEMs to start considering early migration straight to the higher IE3 efficiency level, to help provide them with a competitive edge. Although IE3 is not due to come into effect in the EU until 2015, its USA equivalent, NEMA Premium, has been mandated since December 2010 by the USA's Energy Independence Security Act (EISA), which stipulates that virtually ALL 3-phase motors imported into the USA must exhibit this level of efficiency.

    Baldor's new build-to-order gearbox service operates on a 7 days a week basis. Customers can either collect their order direct from the assembly plant, or Baldor will arrange for shipment anywhere in Europe.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    New products to strengthen RF design & test

    In a second announcement National Instruments has announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement under which they will acquire AWR Corporation (AWR).

    AWR is a leading supplier of electronic design automation (EDA) software for designing RF and high-frequency components and systems for the semiconductor, aerospace and defense, communications and test equipment industries. Upon the closing of the transaction, AWR will continue to operate as a wholly owned NI subsidiary under the leadership of the existing management team.

    The fast design cycles and increasing complexity of RF and wireless systems demand better integration between design and test. RF system designers need to validate their simulations with actual measurements, while RF test engineers need to increase test reuse and decrease test time through more design integration. By increasing the effectiveness of the integration between AWR design tools and NI software and hardware, NI and AWR together can significantly improve customer productivity through increased connectivity between design, validation and production test functions.

    “AWR has an exceptional team with strong RF talent and technologies that expand the NI platform into RF design, which is complementary to our capability to make measurements across the RF design flow,” said Dr. James Truchard, president, CEO and cofounder of National Instruments. “We believe this combination will accelerate the deployment of RF and wireless technologies and offers a significant benefit to the customers of both companies.”

    Both NI and AWR deliver unique strengths that together will enable customers to more productively design and test their RF systems. The acquisition will strengthen both companies’ core software brands, NI LabVIEW, AWR Microwave Office and Visual System Simulator, as well as the NI RF testing hardware platform. The full suite of AWR design tools in combination with a complete RF testing platform from NI will give customers a platform to decrease the time to market of their RF designs. NI will also augment its current academic and university RF and communications initiatives to include AWR software tools, so educators and students can benefit from the improved teaching and learning experience for the rapid design and prototyping of RF systems.

    “There is clear synergy between the customers and product offerings of both companies,” said Dane Collins, CEO of AWR. “NI has a leading platform in prototyping and testing of RF systems which is complementary to AWR’s RF circuit and system software design tools to the benefit of mutual customers. Together, we are better able to support and service our growing global installed base.”

    Acquisition to increas capability in RF & MicroWave

    National Instruments  has acquired Phase Matrix, Inc. (PMI). The acquisition brings key RF talent, technologies and manufacturing capabilities to NI and will significantly increase the capability of NI products in high-frequency RF and microwave applications, extending the frequency range of NI products to 26.5 GHz and beyond. Phase Matrix will continue to operate under the name “Phase Matrix, Inc.” as a wholly owned NI subsidiary and will continue to design and manufacture RF and microwave test and measurement instruments, subsystems and components. Phase Matrix founders, Pete Pragastis and Charanbir Mahal, will remain with the company as the General Manager and Chief Technology Officer, respectively.

    Dr James Truchard
    (Pic: Ralph Barrera
    AMERICAN-STATESMAN
    )
    “NI has been the leading supplier of PXI modular instrumentation for over a decade, and our significant investments in the development of our PXI RF platform have helped our customers build faster and more efficient RF test systems,” said Dr. James Truchard, President, CEO and Cofounder of National Instruments. “Phase Matrix will help NI significantly accelerate the deployment of high-performance RF and wireless technologies for both R&D and production test applications.”

    As NI works to drive growth of its PXI RF products, Phase Matrix will contribute critical experienced RF talent, technologies and manufacturing capabilities. NI and Phase Matrix have worked together for a number of years and, for some time, NI has been interested in adding Phase Matrix capabilities to the NI portfolio. Phase Matrix will also continue to sell directly to customers and OEMs, who should continue to contact Phase Matrix, or its distributors, for sales, support and service needs for all current product offerings.


    “Phase Matrix is excited to become part of the National Instruments family,” said Pete Pragastis, General Manager of Phase Matrix. “We believe our expertise in modular instrumentation, fast-switching synthesisers and high-frequency microwave components will complement the NI platform, and Phase Matrix looks forward to collaborating on products that will extend the current NI product offering into higher-frequency applications.”

    Eliminate control cabinets!

    Festo’s new CAFC protective valve terminal hood provides a highly cost-effective and elegant alternative to large and cumbersome control cabinets.
    Festo has dramatically reduced the cost of installing its valve terminals by launching a protective hood that can eliminate the need for a control cabinet in many applications. The new CAFC hood fits directly over the valve terminal and occupies minimal space, making it a highly cost-effective and elegant alternative to unnecessarily large and cumbersome cabinets.

    Most automation designers currently elect to house the system’s valve terminal and constituent control modules in some form of protective cabinet. However, conventional cabinets often take up far more space than is actually required by their functional content. By creating a small, self-contained protective hood for its valve terminals, Festo has overcome this problem. Fabricated from low cost aluminium and designed for minimal material usage, the hood can help system installers and machine builders save up to 50% of the space and 70% of the cost of a standard control cabinet.

    The CAFC hood is suitable for use with any Festo valve terminal, including the company’s highly popular CPX multifunctional automation platform. It provides a high degree of protection against the ingress of contaminants such as dust, water droplets, foreign particles, etc, as well as guarding against impact damage and helping to prevent anyone tampering with connections or settings. Typical applications include assembly and packaging machines, and process control systems.

    The hood is also ideal for automation designers seeking compliance with European ATEX directives stipulating that some form of protective cabinet must be used for switchgear and controllers located in potentially explosive work environments. The CAFC is suitable for use in ATEX Zone 2 and Zone 22 environments, which are defined as areas where combustible gas, vapours or dust are not normally present in the air, but if they do occur they might, for a short period, form a potentially explosive atmosphere.

    The CAFC comprises a hinged aluminium cover running the full length of the valve terminal, with retaining clips at either end of its bottom edge which accept socket-head securing screws. In its open state, the hood offers completely unrestricted access to the valve terminal’s electrical and pneumatic connections. Once closed, it has a visually unobtrusive appearance, with all pneumatic and electrical connections exiting neatly from a slot on the lower edge of the unit.

    A further advantage of dispensing with a control cabinet is that the valve terminal can be located very close to the process or machine that it is controlling, reducing tubing and cable lengths, improving the response time of pneumatic actuators and helping to minimise compressed air consumption.

    The hood is available with a numerous choice of lengths, to suit the customer’s particular valve terminal configuration. When ordered at the same time as a CPX valve terminal, Festo will ensure that the appropriate size of hood is shipped. Festo can also supply any configuration of CPX valve terminal and its associated hood as a complete ready-to-install solution, comprising both units pre-assembled on a backing plate.

    Watertight connectors for signal & control

    Marechal Electric has introduced watertight connectors to applications requiring signal and control contacts with the PNC series, which combine contacts for electrical power and control signals, in a single rugged housing. The multi-contact PNC connectors are sealed to IP66/IP67 as standard and feature corrosion-resistant butt contacts to ensure reliable operation, even in the presence of dust and contaminants.

    The integration of control signals and power into a single connector significantly reduces maintenance costs and down-time whilst increasing operator safety. Rather than disconnecting individual connectors for the power and for signaling and control functions, the operator can quickly and easily disconnect a single connector. This ensures that the machine is completely isolated and eliminates the risk of the operator disconnecting only one of the two individual connectors.


    Marachel will be showcasing the PNC series, and other connectors, on Stand C32, at IWEX 2011, NEC Birmingham, from 24-26 May.
    Their unique butt contact technology allows the connectors to provide an extended operational lifetime, even in high duty-cycle applications, with a rating of over 2000 load cycles. The compact size and the design make disconnection and reconnection quick and easy. A unique locking ring prevents accidental disconnection and maintains the connection to improve both reliability and safety.

    The PN plug is also available in a multicontact version with a different design: PN 7C connectors integrate up to 7 contacts, rated for currents of 25A per contact; whilst the PN 12C connectors offer up to 12 contacts, rated from 5 to 10A per contact. The connector housings are manufactured in a choice of glass reinforced polyester (GRP), which is rated for voltages up to 500 V a.c. and shocks to IK08; or in corrosion-resistant metal casings rated up to 415V a.c. and shocks to IK09. Both casings operate over temperatures from -40 °C to +60 °C. With a choice of wall-mounted socket configurations and a range of accessories, PNC connectors provide engineers with the flexibility to ensure quick installation and easy access in each location.

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Air-air heat exchangers!

    Rittal IP54 Air-Air Heat Exchangers offer low energy consumption

    Rittal air-air heat exchangers can lead to attractive cost savings over refrigerant based air conditioners due to their simple design, low energy consumption and minimum maintenance. Air-air heat exchangers utilise the ambient air to cool the air within the enclosure interior using only two working parts.

    Extracting heat from within the enclosure and releasing it into the surrounding environment the exchanger’s operation is based on the counterflow principle. Completely separate airflows are routed through the heat exchanger module by powerful fans which control the internal and external airflows. Thermal winding protection on the fan motors is provided as an added safety feature. The exchanger matrix, which is made of aluminium, is light and offers maximum durability.

    Units can be mounted internally or externally on the wall or roof of an enclosure. Spanning between 12 and 90W/K the range follows a similar platform design including appropriation to UL and is available ready for connection, along with wiring and cutout drawings. Sizes and cut-out dimensions match the TopTherm cooling unit generation which gives the exchangers the added adaptability of being interchangeable with TopTherm cooling units.