Friday, August 19, 2011

Safe dissipation of stray currents

The new Harting Han® HC Modular 250 PE is a high-current contact designed to provide safe dissipation of stray currents in applications where the protection function is implemented with pluggable PE (protective earth) conductors.

The new contact has a compact and robust design, and is designed to be used instead of a power contact in the Han® HC Modular 250 mounting frame. The flexible configuration and arrangement make coding possible. A commercially available screwdriver is all that is needed for assembly and dismantling.

The new contact is vibration-proof, and offers low contact resistances between hood and housing. It supports crimping in accordance with DIN EN 46235, and is compatible with Harting's existing HC 250 holding frame.

The Han-Modular® series is a highly versatile, open connector system that allows users to configure connectors to match the needs of particular applications. The new Han® HC Modular 250 PE supplements more than 30 existing modules for handling electrical, optical and pneumatic signals.

Modular safety system for safety-related applications expanded by AS-i


The Siemens Industry Automation Division has expanded its Sirius 3RK3 modular safety system by a new central module with AS-i (AS-Interface).

Sirius 3RK3 Advanced can be used as an AS-i safety monitor, and thus expands standard AS-i networks for safety-related applications. Typical applications include the collection of sensor signals in widely spaced plants, slave-to-slave communication in modular machine concepts, safety-related communication with plant components, or distributed switching-off of drives via the AS-Interface.

The new module is suitable for standard and safety-related signals on the AS-i bus, and has 12 independent AS-i enabling circuits. The quantity structure and functionality of the Sirius 3RK3 Advanced have been greatly increased compared to the Basic version. For example, nine expansion modules can now be connected instead of seven, and expanded cyclic data exchange is possible over Profibus. The functionality of the MSS ES engineering software has also been expanded. It is now possible to download the parameter settings and carry out online diagnostics of the unit over Profibus.

The macro function is also new with which function units can be combined in a library. The macros can be exported and imported, and thus reused in other projects.

New data portal goes live!

Maximum speed and easy searching and finding are the main advantages of the new EPLAN Data Portal which already includes data for more than 120,000 devices. Users benefit from access to the latest, up-to-date data which can be more quickly and easily integrated in engineering using the new EPLAN Platform 2.0.

In addition to numerous new and expanded functions, Version 2.0 of EPLAN Data Portal provides many new component data from manufacturers like Festo, ABB, Phoenix Contact, Endress+Hauser etc.
Following the launch of the EPLAN Platform 2.0, the new EPLAN Data Portal 2.0 has now gone live. Users are enjoying new time-saving functions in the online portal that make it easier to select and use device data and components. The integration of much more manufacturer and device data promises significant practical benefits. A new portal member is Leuze Electronic, manufacturer of optoelectronic sensors who has integrated EPLAN macros of selected switchgears as well as many safety oriented sensors. In time for Version 2.0, Festo has also provided a selection of pneumatic components.

More manufacturers – more data

Mitsubishi Electric has joined the list of new manufacturers with data for PLCs and converters and Dehn + Söhne expanded the offering in lightening and surge protection. But that's not all: ABB has updated its data and Phoenix Contact has adjusted its already extensive range of products. At the SPS/IPC/DRIVES trade fair, Blomberger will present the next update, so that their device data will also support the latest EPLAN Electric P8 2.0 functionality. Future exciting perspectives: the planned integration of Endress+Hauser, which will be announced in Nuremberg.

Function by function
Valuable manufacturer data aside, users can look forward to many new portal functions. One of the eagerly awaited highlights is the "unique ID" which clearly identifies an article in the EPLAN Data Portal. This ID allows data from the portal to be updated even if the local part number is changed. And if the manufacturer so desires, the device data can now be displayed and filtered according to regional availability. Users can quickly and easily select the data relevant to their target market and concentrate on the relevant components. The optimized user interface is also a decisive factor. For example, it now has filter options that can be hidden which significantly speeds up page loading times.

Faster searching, easier finding
Data transparency has been improved by now displaying the number of articles per product group including all subgroups in the manufacturer catalog. This makes it easy to select from many extensive catalogs – time-consuming page-turning is a thing of the past. Another highlight is the new accessory lists for users who used the optimized accessory management in Versions 2.0 of the data portal. Other new features: automatic download of function template macros, referenced parts that are already complete for the mounting layout, and the life cycle status of previous and subsequent parts so that data is always up-to-date.

Fast, easy, convenient: configurator technology
Next step to improve availability and usage of CAE component data is the integration of supplier specific component configurators into the EPLAN Data Portal. Currently Rockwell, Endress + Hauser and EPLAN are running a common project to create a seamless interface between E&H product configurator and EPLAN Data Portal. The engineer is able to configure the needed E&H devices guided by the configurator and then drag & drop the detailed CAE data directly into his electrical project documentation – simply genius high end engineering. The integration of Rittal Therm is another technological milestone. All necessary components, assemblies and accessory parts are simply configured and then mounted in the 3D mounting layout of the enclosure.

Licensing agreement aids security in automation systems

Automation systems owners benefit from Industrial Defender's unique expertise in developing technology for automation systems

Industrial Defender has announced a technology licensing agreement with CoreTrace Corporation. Specifically, Industrial Defender gains exclusive rights to deliver its CoreTrace Bouncer 6-based host intrusion prevention system (HIPS) to power, oil & gas, chemical and water markets worldwide, and to further develop the technology for these markets.


Customers will benefit from Industrial Defender's ability to further develop the product as a core component of its security and compliance management solutions portfolio. Industrial Defender's tight focus on automation systems means that future HIPS capabilities will be engineered in a manner that meets these organizations' unique technology requirements.


Brian Ahern
"Automation systems require security solutions that provide thorough protections against sophisticated attacks, including zero-day threats. At the same time, these systems have distinct requirements that many IT-centric security technologies, including anti-virus, fail to support," said Brian Ahern, president and CEO at Industrial Defender. "This agreement provides our customers and partners, including ABB, GE Energy, Itron and Elster Solutions, with access to HIPS technology tailored specifically for industrial automation markets."

For over a year, Industrial Defender has delivered HIPS as part of its integrated technology solutions portfolio and built tight integrations with its security event management technology. This agreement enables Industrial Defender to more comprehensively integrate HIPS technology with the company's suite of security and compliance management solutions, including automation system agents.

"Delivering security technology to industrial markets requires unique domain expertise along with deep technology experience. Industrial Defender clearly sits at the cross-section of these requirements," said Toney Jennings, president and CEO of CoreTrace. "Through this agreement, Industrial Defender will strengthen its position as the leading provider of integrated security and compliance solutions to automation systems owners worldwide."

Industrial Defender HIPS is whitelisting-based technology which enforces a limited "whitelist" of approved applications on each host system. By allowing only approved applications to execute, HIPS blocks all unauthorized applications. HIPS goes beyond "blacklist" technology by protecting against unknown and sophisticated attacks (e.g., rootkits, memory exploits and zero-day threats)

ATEX approved LBFS level switch

No additional Zener barrier required thanks to ready-for-use isolation module PROFSI3 LS

Baumer’s multi-purpose LBFS level switch is now available in three different ATEX configurations which enable safe level detection in explosive gaseous and dusty atmospheres, typically found in the chemical, pharmaceutical, or food industries. Baumer uses a highly specialised protective design for the ATEX versions of the LBFS. Thanks to this, versions Ex ta for dust (zones 20, 21, and 22) and Ex nA for gas (zone 2) can be used without a Zener barrier because the housing itself already provides all the necessary protection. This is very cost-effective because usually all sensors for hazardous areas require a Zener barrier. The ATEX certifications cover zones 0, 1, and 2 (gas) as well as zones 20, 21, and 22 (dust). Quick installation and ease of use is also ensured for version Ex ia for gas (zones 0 and 1). For this version, Baumer provides the ready-for-use isolation module PROFSI3 LS which is specially designed for use with Baumer’s level switches LBFS and LFFS. This dedicated isolation module saves users the time and effort of selecting and configuring an additional Zener barrier to operate the sensor.

The PROFSI3 LS can operate with DC voltages from 22 VDC to 120 VDC as well as AC voltages from 90 VAC to 253 VAC. The LBFS is based on the frequency-sweep technology, a method particularly suitable for precisely measuring the level of solids and powders. As the processing of such materials often creates explosive dust, the new ATEX versions open a wide range of new applications particularly valuable for typical LBFS users in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

But industries like oil and gas, energy production, and milling will also find this new level switch convenient. The ATEX versions of the LBFS level switch can easily be adapted to the needs of very diverse applications thanks to a wide range of available process connections including G½”, G3/4”, G1”, G½” hygienic, G½” for reverse assembly, M18x1, and G3/4 NPT. More connections are available upon request.

The intrinsically safe PROFSI3 LS interface shields the safe area from the hazardous area through galvanic isolation. The level detected within the hazardous area is transmitted to the safe area through a single-pole double-throw relay.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New VP of Product Marketing

National Instruments has named NI veteran Ajit Gokhale as a new Vice President of Product Marketing, with responsibility for the NI core platforms of data acquisition and instrument control. “During his 21 years with NI, Ajit has demonstrated tremendous creativity in driving our vision of graphical system design at the business level, in product development and in international sales and marketing,” said Dr. James Truchard, President, CEO and Co-founder of National Instruments. “Over the years, Ajit has had a successful track record of defining strategic product roadmaps as well as recruiting and developing strong teams”.

In 2006, Gokhale took on a General Manager position in Europe, where under his leadership his regions, UK & Ireland, France and Portugal, delivered record revenues and profits. During his tenure at NI, Gokhale has set strategic direction and influenced product development for key product lines that contributed significant revenues and gross margins to the business. Additionally, he has extensive experience working directly with NI customers to identify and deliver solutions that meet their application needs.

"Ajit has made significant contributions to the growth and leadership of our business here in Europe over the past five years", said Francis Griffiths, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Europe. "His energy and talents have delivered consistent business growth, providing a platform for career growth across the teams he has led. He has built and developed strong and talented management teams, and I congratulate and wish him well in his expanded role.  He will be instrumental in shaping the core measurements platforms in Europe and our emerging markets thoughout the world".

“Since our founding, National Instruments has been a pioneer in instrument control and data acquisition hardware and software to help engineers and scientists research, design and test new products and technologies,”
Gokhale said. “I am excited to rejoin the product marketing organisation, where I can work with our customers to define and deliver the products they need to fuel scientific discovery and engineering innovation”.

"I have enjoyed working with and learning from Ajit immensely", said Robert Morton, UK & Ireland Managing Director. "Under his leadership, we have substantially grown and developed the business here in the UK & Ireland, delivering exciting and challenging career growth opportunities for many of our brightest and best people". Frederick Drappier, Directuer General of NI France and Portugal, added “Ajit helped add critical resources to our sales, marketing and academic teams. This resourcing of talent, as well as his strategic planning skills, helped France and Portugal deliver excellent revenue growth”.

Gokhale holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a published author in several trade journals, as well as a member of IEEE; the University of Surrey Industrial Advisory Board; the King’s College Industrial Advisory Board; and Young Engineers with Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

Electron microscopist to win iPad

There will be plenty of activity at Hitachi’s Stand at EMAG (6-8 Sept 2011 Birminghan GB), where the new-concept HT7700 digital TEM (Transmission Electron Microscope) will be exhibited for the first time in Britain. There will also be a chance for a conference delegate to win an iPad2. The open-access hands-on micrograph competition will provide a perfect opportunity to ‘test drive’ the HT7700’s fully-digital TEM for yourself.  Or you can see how quick and easy it is to take advanced imaging and chemical mapping data on the TM3000 tabletop SEM. In either case we want you to take a break from the conference and get “hands-on” at Hitachi for your chance to win an iPad2.

The HT7700 follows the company's core aim of making ever more advanced microscopy techniques easier and quicker to use – enabling you to concentrate on the science of your materials. The HT7700 is a research grade 120kV TEM which features fully integrated CCD cameras to complement the fully-digital imaging system – making TEM more ergonomic, faster and more powerful. It is ideally suited to imaging and analysis of light element materials and features Hitachi’s patented dual focal-length objective lens – ensuring you get the best contrast and resolution all in one instrument.

Hitachi’s Tabletop microscope technology has established itself in a host of applications and industries worldwide by simplifying electron microscopy and making it accessible to all. But that simplification hasn’t come at the expense of advanced capabilities like variable pressure operation or EDX mapping which is now faster than ever.

Hitachi will also be previewing the latest advances in sample preparation with the new ZoneCleaner - a novel instrument for gentle cleaning of even the most sensitive SEM and TEM specimens. Using a UV/Ozone cleaning process to remove surface hydrocarbons from samples in a controllable fashion higher contrast and resolution can be achieved, along with improved analytical data.

Applications specialists from Europe and Japan will also be sharing the latest research data from Hitachi’s HD2700 Cs-corrected STEM (including atomic resolution secondary electron imaging) and SU9000 In-lens SEM/STEM during the lunchtime theatre sessions.

Data loggers' firmware upgrade now available

MadgeTech has released a firmware upgrade for the TC101A and ETR101A data loggers. This upgrade enhances the devices to address the needs brought to MadgeTech by customers.

The firmware upgrade provides:
• Trigger setting capability: Program the data logger to only record temperature above a certain degree. No more analyzing unnecessary data!
• An LED alarm: Program the data logger to activate an LED alarm after it has recorded data for a user specified period of time!

These features are now included in all new ETR101A and TC101A data loggers shipping today. The firmware upgrade is FREE, and easy to install from a PC. Simply log onto their website , and select Firmware Upgrades from the Downloads menu. Click on the ETR101A Firmware Upgrade, and download the .zip file. Follow the instructions provided in the Installation Tech Note to upgrade each device.

The new firmware revision requires MadgeTech Software 2.05 or higher. The software can be downloaded FREE from the MadgeTech website.

Smart weather sensors

Specialist hydrometeorological instrumentation company OTT Hydrometry has a long history in the development of leading edge sensor technology and the latest additions to the company's family of weather monitoring instruments exemplify the company's focus on high levels of performance combined with both simplicity of use and minimal maintenance.
The newest version of the Pluvio2 offers the most advanced method for monitoring precipitation. Employing a highly accurate weighing mechanism, the device is able to monitor all types of precipitation up to 3000 mm/hour, so the main advantage of this technology is its ability to provide highly accurate data during high intensity rainfall. OTT has also launched a new version of the company's optical disdrometer the Parsivel2, which is a laser-based system that differentiates and classifies precipitation particles as drizzle, rain, sleet, hail, snow or mixed precipitation.

They have also launched new technologies for the measurement of wind speed and direction, air temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. Employing sonic anemometry, the wind sensor does not have any moving parts and as such offers high levels of reliability and low levels of maintenance. This sensor is available in two formats; the OTT SWS (Sonic Weather Sensor) for wind speed and direction and the OTT CWS (Compact Weather Sensor) which is a single unit with SDI-12 or RS-485 output for temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction and barometric pressure.

Commenting on the launch of the new smart sensors, OTT's UK Managing Director Simon Wills said:"Meteorological sensors are often deployed in remote locations and exposed to the most extreme weather. Our product development activity is therefore focused on finding technologies that are able to maintain high levels of performance with a low power requirement, but without a need for frequent maintenance or calibration. Our latest smart sensors reflect this strategy and provide us with even greater options for the remote monitoring systems and networks that we provide."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Liquid analyser with industries first hi-res colour screen

Rosemount® Analytical Model 56 dual-input analyser features advanced control capabilities and a user-friendly interface that reduce the complexity of liquid analytical measurement

“Help screens show detailed instructions
and troubleshooting in multiple languages”
Emerson Process Management has released the Rosemount® Analytical Model 56, an advanced dual-input liquid analyser with the industry’s first high-resolution colour screen. The Model 56 features extensive full-colour trend graphics, advanced control capabilities, a high capacity data logger and audit trail event logger, and digital communications.

“These capabilities make the Model 56 appropriate for power, water treatment, pharmaceutical and food processing applications that require liquid analytical measurements and need advanced control capabilities,”
said Dave Anderson, Marketing Director, Emerson Process Management, Rosemount Analytical. “Specific applications that would benefit from the advanced capabilities include, cooling towers in the power industry, reverse osmosis in the water treatment industry, wastewater treatment in the drinking water industry, clean-in-place in the food processing industry and many others.

“The Model 56 provides an ease-of-use that hasn’t been possible until now. At the device and in the control room, the analyser delivers extensive information about the process and its own functioning that is vital to operational decisions. Evaluation sites are already telling us that the Model 56 is going to make their life easier based on ease-of-use testimonials.”
Notable features of the new Model 56 include a high-resolution, full-colour screen with highly readable process measurement data, detailed user instructions, on-screen diagnostics and trouble-shooting information and full-colour data trend graphics.

A data and event logging capability provides extensive on-board data storage that captures measurement data for both channels every 30 seconds for 30 days, allowing on-screen trend display or download to a USB memory device. Up to 300 events are stored with real time/date stamps, including start-up times, calibrations, configuration changes, alarms, power interruptions, faults and more. The Model 56 also features a 12-key alphanumeric keypad to support calibration, programming and tag entries.

Four independent 4-20 mA outputs can be configured for measurements or proportional, integral, derivative (PID) control. Four relays are provided with discrete capability including  concentration control using high/low concentration alarms, relay timers or time proportional control, event-based activation using bleed and feed, or totaliser-based activation and time-based activation using an interval timer or two-week date-and-time timer.

To transmit data to the plant’s PLCs, SCADA or DCS systems, the Model 56 is supplied with either HART® or PROFIBUS DP digital communications. HART communications versions 5 and 7 protocols are standard on all configurations. HART can also be easily commissioned onto a WirelessHART® network using the Smart Wireless THUM Adaptor, enabling wireless transmission of process variables and diagnostics from hard-to-reach locations.

The modular design of the Model 56 allows the addition of a measurement channel on single input units and reconfiguration of field units with easy wiring and fast start-up. Quick Start programming screens automatically recognise each measurement input type and prompts the user to configure each sensor loop in just a few quick steps for fast commissioning.

The measurement capabilities of the new Rosemount Analytical Model 56 analyser include single or dual-measurement of pH, ORP, ISE (Ion-Selective Electrodes), resistivity/conductivity, per cent concentration, total chlorine, free chlorine, monochloramine, dissolved oxygen, gaseous oxygen, dissolved ozone, turbidity, pulse flow and temperature, and accepts and scales 4-20mA current input(s) from any device, powered or unpowered.

ISA 100 in Japan

The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI)  held a successful ISA100.11a technology implementation seminar in Tokyo (J) recently. The seminar was hosted by Yokogawa, Yamatake, Fuji Electric and Nivis. More than 20 engineers from leading automation suppliers attended the one-day event that highlighted the status of the ISA100.11a-2011 industrial wireless standard, provided an introduction to the standard, the system architecture and beneficial characteristics inherent in the standard. The seminar included a training session on product integration tools available for the ISA100.11a technology and how to develop products based on the standard.     

“The interest from the Asia Pacific region has been incredible, and we will continue to offer seminars and training as the need dictates,” said Toshi Hasegawa, manager of industrial automation wireless marketing, Yokogawa, and district leader of ISA100 WCI Asia Pacific Region. “We are thrilled that major suppliers from this region are currently developing or looking to develop products supporting the ISA100.11a-2011 standard and expanding the portfolio to include products such as liquid analyzers, gas analyzers, flowmeters, level meters and control valves.”
The seminar provided an overview of ISA100.11a technology, covered application and installation examples, and included hands-on development exercises using the ISA100.11a Application Program Interface (API). Several suppliers who participated in the implementation seminar will showcase prototype products at the November 2011JEMIMA show in Tokyo, which will feature an ISA100.11a device interoperability demonstration.

“The success of the training session we hosted was beyond our expectations,”
said Scott Johnson, vice president product management, Nivis. “The room was filled with product suppliers excited to learn more about how to implement ISA100.11a wireless communication technology into their products"

State of the art modular measurement technology

ProfiMessage is the new powerful system from Delphin for data acquisition, monitoring and automation of machinery, plant and test stands. ProfiMessage is a modular system that uses master and slave devices and a range of different I/O modules to adapt to any task. Areas of application range from the monitoring of industrial processes through to laboratory data acquisition and test stand automation.

These devices have universal connectivity and their flexible I/O modules provide a wide range of process interface options. Profibus-DP, Modbus or CAN-bus enable connections to PLC control systems for data exchange.

Analog and digital sensor signals can record data simultaneously to an independent 16 GB memory that enables subsequent data analysis and evaluation. The data memory can be read out using either USB or Ethernet interfaces.

Every input and output is differential, high-precision and galvanically isolated. Depending on the type of I/O module being used, each input can be configured separately to measure mV, mA, RTDs and thermocouples. ProfiMessage is also equipped with digital inputs, for functioning as status or frequency inputs, as well as digital/analog outputs.

Internal software channels enable functions such as limit value monitoring, integration or online computations, and are easy to configure. These enable the devices to de effectively deployed as monitoring and record-keeping systems.

Acquisition of one of best known automation companies

Spectris plc has signed an agreement to acquire the Omega Engineering business. The purchase consideration of US$475 million (approximately €330 million), on a debt and cash-free basis, will be met from cash and new bank facilities and is subject to routine balance sheet adjustments.

Omega is a privately-held business which provides a broad range of process measurement and control instrumentation to customers in industrial and academic markets, selling directly to end users in these sectors via catalogue, telephone and internet. The company has a differentiated customer service model with emphasis on providing high levels of quality, availability, customisation and speed of delivery to a large base of customers who want a convenient and reliable source for their small-scale process and automation needs and R&D requirements. It is a leading integrated, international, single-source supplier of highly engineered products and customised solutions in the process measurement and control industry, with a very strong brand, high levels of repeat business, a defensible and resilient business model and an unmatched reputation for meeting customer needs. In marketing circles Omega is known for having perfected the art of the engineering reference catalogue back in the 80s.

Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, the company has five manufacturing facilities and two distribution/sales facilities and employs around 700 people. Founded in 1962, Omega has grown steadily and now offers a diverse range of process measurement and control products to measure temperature, pressure, flow, level, strain, humidity, pH and conductivity. The company had sales of $168 million (approximately £103 million) in 2010 and adjusted operating profit before interest and tax of $39.6 million (approximately £24 million) and was cash generative. The value of gross assets acquired as at 31 December 2010 was $84.4 million (approximately £52 million). The acquisition is expected to enhance adjusted earnings per share in the first full financial year of ownership. They expect the acquisition to complete in Q4 on satisfaction of customary closing conditions including US and German antitrust clearances.

John O’Higgins, Chief Executive of Spectris, commented: “Trading since the time of our last update on 15 July has remained in line with our expectations. We are delighted to have reached agreement to acquire the Omega Engineering business, which will bring a significant strategic growth platform to our Industrial Controls segment."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Low voltage & resistance measurement

Keithley Instruments has published an electronic handbook titled "Making Precision Low Voltage and Low Resistance Measurements" (pdf). The handbook, which offers instant online access to a wide range of Keithley application notes, white papers, webinars, and many other references, was developed to help readers solve today's toughest low level measurement challenges. It can be downloaded at no charge from their website .

A number of topics related to low voltage measurements are addressed in
the handbook:
* Offset voltages
* Noise
* Common-mode current and reversal errors


Low resistance measurement topics covered include:
* Lead resistance and the four-wire method
* Thermoelectric EMFs and offset compensation methods
* Non-ohmic contacts
* Device heating
* Dry circuit testing
* Testing inductive devices


Tips and techniques for ensuring the accuracy of instruments such as voltmeters, ohmmeters, and current sources  are included. The handbook also outlines specific low voltage (Hall effect) and low resistance (superconductor resistance) applications and provides a convenient selector guide and low level measurements glossary.

IRIS for Saudi Arabia

Invensys Operations Management has signed a multi-million dollar contract to implement an integrated refinery information system (IRIS) for Saudi Aramco Total Refining & Petrochemical Company (SATORP).

Under the terms of the agreement, Invensys Operations Management, in a strategic alliance with Wipro Arabia Limited, will provide an integrated InFusion® enterprise control system solution encompassing total supply chain management; refinery planning and scheduling; operations management, including health, safety and environment management; quality control and assurance; and performance control and management. The company will also provide data validation and reconciliation, mass energy balance, utilities optimisation, electronic logbooks and control performance solutions to help SATORP achieve operational excellence. Wipro Arabia Limited is a joint venture between Wipro Limited, a leading global IT services provider based in India, and Dar Al Riyadh, a Saudi Arabia-based company with business expertise in engineering services, industrial products, systems integration and information technology.

“The Invensys system and the real-time operations management information will be a critical part of our plan to integrate fuels and petrochemical processes. It is the deep conversion technology we need to produce a high percentage of light products and value-added petrochemicals, and it facilitates our business strategy to hit the ground running,” said Mohammed Ruwaii, IT manager, SATORP.

A joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Total France, SATORP is constructing a state-of-the-art, 400,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, that is expected to be operational before the end of 2013. The refinery will produce diesel, jet fuel and gasoline, as well as petrochemicals like paraxylene, aromatic benzene and propylene. The integrated refinery information system will manage the new refinery’s supply chain, planning and scheduling functions, as well as oversee its operations management, performance management and business process optimisation functions. 

“One key advantage of the InFusion enterprise control system is that it provides open integration, both horizontally and vertically—linking ERP, planning, operations and control systems—from Invensys and other suppliers alike,”
said Franco Restelli, president, Invensys Operations Management, Middle East and North Africa. “Leveraging our deep domain knowledge and technical expertise, we look forward to working with SATORP to deliver a robust, scalable and easy-to-maintain system that will improve real-time decision making, analysis and performance control and management. We are pleased that SATORP is relying on Invensys and Wipro to help them become agile, competitive and profitable from the first day of operation.”

This success follows the multi-million dollar contract Invensys signed with SATORP in 2008 to deliver a comprehensive refinery-wide operations management solution, including its Foxboro® I/A Series® distributed control system and Triconex® emergency shutdown and alarm management systems, as well as fire and gas, compressor control, electrical control and asset management systems. The company has also provided its SimSci-Esscor® operator training simulator.

Manufacturing control systems

ISA and O3neida publish Agent-Based Technology Manufacturing Control Systems

ISA’s ongoing publishing partnership with O³neida has produced a new technical publication, Agent-Based Technology Manufacturing Control Systems, Luca Ferrarini and Arndt Lüder, editors.

This practical reference focuses on a new design technology and process specifically conceived for reconfigurable manufacturing system control. It represents the first integrated application in real industrial environments of agent-based technology, ontology-based description and IEC-61499-based automation solutions for production systems. Ideal for practitioners, this guide describes the benefits of new concepts and technologies related to reconfigurable manufacturing systems from a pragmatic, industrial perspective.

Most of the work is devoted to agent-based plant-level control, which is conceived as a generic executor of manufacturing recipes, scheduling rules and production orders.

In partnership with O³neida, this volume is the latest in a series of books on automation technologies that was introduced in 2008 when the first book, IEC 61499 Function Blocks for Embedded and Distributed Control Systems Design, by Dr. Valeriy Vyatkin, was published.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wireless user requirements for factory automation

The ISA100 committee has completed a new technical report that presents user and market-related requirements for the design, operation and maintenance of wireless systems throughout their life cycles in factory automation. Factory automation applications involve specific technology, control and information systems that are characterized by discrete operations with possible extensions into batch process control. Examples include automotive manufacturing, packaging machinery, machining and robotics.

ISA-TR100.00.03-2011, “Wireless User Requirements for Factory Automation,” provides use case descriptions and comparisons, descriptions of factory automation topologies, and recommendations for attributes and values for existing, emerging and conceptual solutions for wireless communications as applied to factory automation applications.

The technical report was development by ISA100 Working Group 16 on Factory Automation, which has focused on wireless technology and system architectures for the link between sensors/actuators and automation systems. While wired links between conventional sensors and actuators can often be used, many repetitive motion applications such as machine tools and robotics make wire replacement a major source of work flow interruption and high maintenance cost—driving the desire to find ways to replace wiring with fast, low-cost wireless connections.

The ISA100 standards committee is developing a family of standards for wireless communications in industrial automation applications. The new technical report represents the extension of ISA100 to the factory automation sector, notes Cliff Whitehead of Rockwell Automation, who coordinated the collaborative development of the document. “We plan to further extend this reach with an industry forum on Wireless in Factory Automation in the March-April timeframe of 2012,” he stated.

Solid state switches save space with 17.5mm width

World’s first 17.5mm solid state relay and contactor for DIN rail and panel mounting offer enhanced electrical and mechanical performance in the same form factor as miniature circuit breakers

Carlo Gavazzi has consolidated its range of solid-state relays and contactors, introducing the first such devices to be available in 17.5mm width. Space-saving RG series switches ensure reliable operation and excellent longevity, offering transient voltage protection, robust construction, excellent vibration resistance and advanced features for heat-sink mounting.

The RG series has been introduced to provide cost-effective replacements for existing relays and contactors, keeping part numbers of solid state relays to a minimum in the inventory. As well as rationalising the portfolio, it offers customers major upgrades of both electrical and mechanical performance.

There are two families within the RG series: 17.5mm-wide RGS devices rated up to 600V/90A AC; and RGC, with integrated heat sinks, rated 20A in 17.5mm, up to 30A in 22.5mm housings. RGS switches provide a maximum I²t of 6600A²s, and the RGC’s nominal ratings at 40°C with surrounding temperature de-rated from 0°C up to 80°C.

RG series devices are available for control with DC voltages 4-32VDC. AC controlled types operate with voltages range 20-275VAC and 20-190VDC thus covering standard levels of AC and DC voltages including 24VAC/DC and 110VDC. Switching is selectable between zero-cross or instant-on methods.

Breakdown voltages of 800Vp, 1200Vp or 1600Vp enable RG series switches to cater for the most demanding requirements. Voltage transient protection is provided as standard across outputs using a resistor and capacitor network combined with metal oxide varistors, optionally using transient suppressor diodes where these are more suitable than varistors. There is also protection against control voltage transients; using metal oxide varistors in the case of AC controlled types. DC controlled devices are polarity protected up to 32V DC.

In addition, the RG series offer a radical improvement in mechanical performance. Their design caters for vibration up to 5g (according to IEC60068-2-6), which ensures consistent functionality across a wide range of industries. Key beneficiaries include HVAC, food and beverage and plastics – and even locomotive applications.

RGS solid state relays can be mounted on any heat-sinking surface, conveniently providing a distance between heat-sink mounting holes identical to that of standard hockey puck SSRs. Special stress-relief mechanisms cater for excess forces experienced during heat-sink mounting, as well as when fixing cables to the SSR terminals.

The RG series devices carry CE marks recognising conformity to IEC / EN 60947-4-3, IEC / EN 60947-4-2 and compliance with IEC / EN 62314. RGC types are UL and cUL listed, whilst RGS are UL recognized with pending CSA approval.

T&M connectors

Standard and custom plugs, sockets, probes and test leads

Cliff Electronics manufacture a wide range of 2mm and 4mm plugs, sockets, probes and crocodile clips for professional and industrial test and measurement purposes. They are also a major supplier of test lead sets. These are made to order semi-custom products which combine components from their standard product range with a suitable double insulated cable, standard cable ratings are 1KV (PVC), 5KV and 12KV (silicone).

“Cliff’s test and measurement connectors are already designed into many major international brands of measurement instrumentation and Cliff is also a major manufacturer of custom test lead-sets for blue-chip test equipment OEMs.” Commented John Hall, General Manager of Cliff Electronics

Cliff Electronics test and measurement connector range includes low and high voltage products conforming to the latest EN601010 regulations. These include a range of 2mm and 4mm plugs with matching chassis and right-angle mounting sockets, a comprehensive range of touch-proof sockets and a range of 4mm test probes which also conform to EN601010. Cliff’s chassis sockets are made from high grade engineering plastics with metal parts precision machined and nickel, silver or gold plated depending on the model. 4mm versions have a variety of tag options and the most professional models are insert moulded.

They manufacture a large range of instrumentation crocodile clips, including a “bed-of nails” type used in telecommunications testing. Other crocodile clips available include a basic rating 600V CAT III (1000V CAT II) type available in black, red, blue, green, yellow and green/yellow with a 4mm socket at the rear which accepts a shrouded plug or un-shrouded probe. A miniature version is available for applications where access is restricted and an all metal un-insulated version with curved jaws which give a good grip on bus-bars for earth testing requirements. PVC boots in various colours are available for all Cliff crocodile clips.

A very popular service offered by Cliff Electronics is the design and manufacture of OEM test lead sets to accompany test equipment and meters similar proprietary instrumentation. Manufactured in their factories in Britain and China, custom leads and assemblies can combine standard power plugs with test leads, custom made instrument plugs, and other customised connectors. They can insert moulded cables into special configurations and proof test up to 20KV. 100% testing is available on request as many test leads are safety critical parts.

Active signal conditioner

Available through P J Boner & Co
The SEM1600T from Status Instruments accepts resistance or mV signals from RTD, Slidewire or Thermocouple sensors. The flexible design can accommodate Pt100, 500, 1000, Ni or Cu sensors, slide wire sensors up to 100 K Ohm and 13 different thermocouple types. Other sensor characteristics or your own 22 point linearisation characteristic (for slidewire, linear resistance or mV) can be downloaded into the product enabling you to adapt it exactly to your application.

The output stage offers either voltage, bipolar voltage or current re-transmission signals. The retransmission signal can be ranged to a scale anywhere within the input process range. A transmitter power supply is provided on the output meaning the product can accept sink or source mA applications. The voltage output will drive 2 mA into 5 KOhm @ 10 V.

For ease of use, a high efficiency switch mode power supply is fitted as standard and does not require any adjustment between ac or dc applications. Operating voltages are (10 to 48) V dc and (10 to 32) V ac.


The unit will be available from early September.

This and all Status Instruments are available in Ireland through P J Boner & Co.

Dedicated analyser for H2S in crude oil

Applied Analytics (AAI) has released a second revision of the OMA-300 H2S Analyzer Crude Oil Edition. This product is a specialised configuration of the OMA-300 H2S system equipped with a headspace sample conditioning system. This sampling technique is used to monitor an opaque liquid process; when a sample is too dark or dirty to transmit a light signal, the headspace system produces a representative vapor-phase sample that can be easily monitored via ultraviolet-visible absorbance spectroscopy and correlated to the chemical composition of the liquid process.

“Measuring hydrogen sulfide in crude has become one of our hottest applications,”
says Dan Murphy, senior mechanical engineer. “AAI has always offered a highly effective solution for measuring hydrogen sulfide in opaque liquids, but the current demand for crude analysis has given us cause to rethink our offering. The process resulted in modifications to the Crude Oil Edition of the OMA-300 H2S. The refined design puts everything in one enclosure and adds the capability to monitor multiple crude streams at once using multiple headspace columns running in parallel.”