Saturday, October 1, 2011

Specrometer & sensor company celebrates 40 years

Edinburgh Instruments celebrates its 40th anniversary with a restructuring of the company to focus on two clearly defined business areas. Their new Photonics and Sensors divisions will spearhead sales of existing and new products to the scientific R&D communities, commercial research, environmental monitoring and process industries.

Managing director, Alan Faichney, said: “The company is proud of its glittering list of scientific and instrumentation innovations and achievements through its 40 year history and our highly talented and innovative in-house Research & Development team continues to deliver leading edge products and technology. Chief Scientific Officer and original founder of Edinburgh Instruments, Professor Desmond Smith, recently received the Royal Society of Edinburgh Royal Medal in recognition for his work in physics research, especially in optoelectronics, spectroscopy and laser technology, and its application in industry and research technology.”

“In the field of photonic laser and spectroscopy instrumentation, Edinburgh Instruments is a pioneer of Time Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) and an innovator in the development of continuous wave infrared gas lasers”,
he continued. “Our current product range includes the FLS920, the world’s most sensitive spectrofluorimeter, offering combined steady state and TCSPC fluorescence lifetime capabilities. Laser products include highly stable infrared gas lasers for applications such as atmospheric monitoring and gas spectroscopy; far infrared (terahertz) lasers and semi-conductor lasers including picosecond pulsed diode lasers and LEDs primarily for spectroscopy.”

The company’s Sensors Division designs and manufactures high quality, reliable sensors and monitoring systems for gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane and refrigerants using non-dispersive infrared technology. These support a wide range of market segments and applications ranging from process control and gas delivery to personal safety, horticulture and landfill gas measurement. Gas Sensors are available in either OEM format for integration into a customer system or as a complete monitor providing simple continuous monitoring and control of gas concentration levels.

‘The company’s expertise in NDIR gas detection technology stretches back to the early 1980s”,
commented Alan Faichney. “This rich history of product development and applications experience is the springboard as we bring new gas sensor products to market. With a strong order book worldwide for both Photonics and Sensors divisions, we look forward to the next 40 years!” he concluded.

Design software

The new PcVue 10.0 tools, Application Architect and Application Explorer, from ARC Informatique, can save up to 50% in development time over the application´s complete life-cycle. From the design phase right through to testing, from maintenance to re-engineering, they are aimed at all users, from applications developer to occasional user.

These days, the total cost of acquiring a supervisory application is reckoned not just in terms of licensing costs, but also the development time required. Applications change over time, incorporating new functions and improvements; so the cost of upgrades and corrective maintenance must be taken into account. In this respect, PcVue 10.0 is an innovative solution. In addition to providing high-performance tools for easy application design, it includes the tools needed for rapid maintenance: diagnostics, object-oriented modifications, change distribution etc., while ensuring that the specification and behaviour of the application are reliable.

Shipping for the first time with PcVue 10.0, Application Explorer covers all the configuration functions for a supervisory project. It is based on ergonomic rules for systems environments, making PcVue even easier to use. Application Explorer enables the use of tree structures and lists, Multiple Document Interface, Copy/Cut/Paste including sub-items, intuitive navigation within the application, use of previous/next buttons and a range of display options (icons, lists, details etc.), along with standard Windows keyboard shortcuts.

Application Architect is a powerful new tool incorporating high-level mechanisms for templating and re-use of components. With it, you can create re-usable objects including not only graphics, symbols and block diagrams but all the most usual configuration elements too, such as variables, alarms and their associated behaviour: events, archiving, thresholds, commands, scripts etc. Applications can be created in four steps. First there is modelling, which consists of determining the input and output variables, behaviour, graphical representation etc. Then there is configuration, to identify and determine common features and differences across the processes within a template. Next, instantiation consists of describing the structure of the process and the real physical objects in plant terms (motor, conveyor, production line, fan etc.). Finally, there is the customisation stage, where Application Architect enables the developer to modify processes so that they are ideally suited to the particular local setup.

In addition to Application Explorer and Application Architect, the Smart Generators—which enable automatic application generation and imports from external sources—have undergone further improvement in PcVue 10.0. These developments concern LNS®, Siemens STEP7® and Yokogawa® Stardom® connectors and the almost entire import of FactoryLink™ applications.

In addition to this, PcVue 10.0 is built on international energy sector standards: IEC 61850 and its wind-power variant IEC 614000, as well as IEC 60870-5-104. Standard 61850, which is natively integrated into PcVue 10.0, defines all the objects necessary for substation management along with their various attributes. Engineering rules are also defined. In particular, the file formats have been standardised to ensure interoperability in the configuration phase. The IEC 60870-5-104 protocol is used for hydroelectric generation, electricity substations, building management systems, industrial sites, railways etc. It covers data and complex services such as dual control, switch position encoding, short and long pulse controls, and time-stamping at source.

A number of other improvements have also been added to PcVue 10.0: new functions for BACnet, integration of new Ethernet Moxa and General Electric drivers, native SMS integration to improve on-call staff management, new block diagram graphic controls, integration of the latest Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7 and VMware environments.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Production management system in Swiss plant

B. Braun has installed Werum’s PAS-X system at one more of its sites, its production facility in Sempach, (CH). In Sempach, PAS-X will be used to optimize the manufacturing of liquids, and will also operate in explosion-proof areas. The success of earlier PAS-X installations at B. Braun’s Berlin site, and at two of its plants in Melsungen, substantially influenced the company’s decision to opt once again for Werum’s PAS-X suite.

Werum’s PAS-X manufacturing execution system (MES) will replace a legacy weighing and dispensing system and will provide additional functions for recipe management and execution, as well as for generating electronic manufacturing reports. Apart from supporting „Right First Time” manufacturing, PAS-X will make a further contribution towards optimizing the efficiency, quality and compliance of B. Braun’s production processes.

Semiconductor parameter analyser enhanced!

Keithley Instruments has introduced a variety of enhancements for its award-winning Model 4200-SCS Semiconductor Characterization System. The Keithley Test Environment Interactive (KTEI) V8.2 upgrade includes new non-volatile memory (NVM) test libraries and sample projects for a variety of emerging memory technologies. The upgrade also supports making very low frequency capacitance-voltage (C‑V ) measurements, which are useful for characterizing device technologies such as polymer electronics, organic LEDs (OLEDs), and OLED-based displays. In addition, KTEI V8.2 supports Model 4200-SCS system configurations with more ultra-fast current-voltage (I‑V ) test modules than any competitive solution, so users can test even more devices in parallel, increasing test throughput and reducing time to market.

New Non-Volatile Memory Test Libraries

The new NVM test libraries included in KTEI V8.2 expand the system’s capabilities for testing all types of non-volatile memory devices, including flash, phase change memory (PRAM and PC-RAM), resistive memory (RRAM or ReRAM), and magnetoresistive (MRAM) memory devices. KTEI V8.2 provides a common set of test libraries for testing the various NVM technologies while incorporating the unique measurement hardware requirements associated with each. The sample projects included for each type of NVM provide the flexibility that researchers need to set up and execute tests quickly, as well as to analyze data. The examples are designed to adapt easily to use with most emerging memory technologies.

The test libraries are designed to build on the capabilities provided in two of the newest hardware options for the Model 4200-SCS, the Model 4225-PMU Ultra-Fast I‑V Module, and the Model 4225-RPM Remote Amplifier/Switch Module. Together, these new modules allow precise sourcing of high speed pulses, as well as accurate measurements of the transient signals produced during testing. The Model 4225-PMU measures voltage and current simultaneously at high speeds over a wide dynamic range. The Model 4225-RPM moves the measurement circuitry of the Model 4225-PMU module closer to the DUT to minimize the effects of stray capacitance while providing additional low current measurement ranges. The Model 4225-RPM also provides fast automatic switching between the 4225-PMU and the system’s capacitance-voltage (C-V) and DC source-measure units, which helps simplify the test configuration and reduces the time required to complete test sequences.

Very Low Frequency C‑V Measurements
Semiconductor R&D typically requires a combination of quasistatic (ramp rate) and high frequency techniques for measuring the capacitance of device structures. However, when applied to devices with too much current flow or leakage, quasistatic C-V has some limitations; for example, parallel resistance cannot be extracted effectively and the results can be quite noisy. A variety of device technologies now require AC-based capacitance characterization at very low frequencies—much lower than the minimum frequency of multi-frequency C-V meters or LCRs.

Measuring small capacitances at low frequencies translates to extremely high impedance values, which AC-based measurement instruments often cannot characterize accurately. KTEI V8.2 includes a new patent-pending technique for making very low frequency capacitance-voltage (VLF C-V) measurements with the system’s DC SMUs and low current remote pre-amplifier that allows measuring device capacitance and resistance at frequencies from 10Hz down to 10mHz. This new technique complements the optional Model 4210-CVU capacitance meter ’s existing high frequency (1kHz to 10MHz) capabilities.

Extended Support for Ultra-Fast I‑V Hardware
The Model 4200-SCS system can now support up to six Model 4225-PMU modules in its nine-slot chassis. Each module provides two channels of voltage pulse sourcing (with pulse widths ranging from 60 nanoseconds to DC) and simultaneous current and voltage measurement at acquisition rates of up to 200 megasamples/second (MS/s), so it’s now possible to configure a system with up to 12 simultaneous ultra-fast I‑V channels.

By boosting the maximum number of Model 4225-PMU modules the Model 4200-SCS can support, KTEI V8.2 expands the system’s ability to characterize multiple devices quickly by testing them in parallel, which is increasingly important as new devices move from the R&D lab toward production. This higher level of parallel test can be applied to testing a device’s ultra-fast bias temperature instability (NBTI), a transient failure mechanism that requires high speed measurements to characterize, as well as to other forms of device reliability testing and multi-DUT NVM testing. By supporting higher test throughput, KTEI V8.2 helps shorten time to market and offers more effective process control.

Model 4200-SCS Background
Keithley’s Model 4200-SCS semiconductor parameter analyzer replaces a variety of electrical test tools with a single, tightly integrated characterization solution that is ideal for a wide variety of semiconductor test applications including technology development, process development, and materials research in reliability labs, materials and device research labs and consortia, as well as any lab needing a benchtop DC or pulse instrument. Keithley has continually enhanced the Model 4200-SCS’s hardware and software ever since its introduction. This commitment to ongoing system innovation ensures a cost-effective upgrade path, so users don’t have to buy a new parametric analyzer because their old one is obsolete. Systems can be upgraded cost-effectively to keep up with the industry's evolving test needs, so capital investments in the Model 4200-SCS stretch much further than with competitive test solutions.

SCADA security simulator

Byres Security (now part of Beldon - see our blog Major Acquisition strengthens war on Stuxnet etc...) has released the new Tofino SCADA Security Simulator (TSSS), part of the Tofino Industrial Security Solution. The product is a complete control system in a box, designed to demonstrate the vulnerability of SCADA and PLC components to security failures, and to test new solutions. It makes the impact of security failures to critical industrial processes easy to grasp, and it shows how to secure processes using the Tofino Security Appliance (TSA). The TSSS is an important tool for helping infrastructure operators, vendors, systems integrators, government agencies and researchers improve Industrial Control System (ICS) security.

Eric Byres demonstrates the new TSSS in this video!

“Cyber threats to industrial processes have been difficult to demonstrate, making it hard to test designs, train staff or research mitigating technologies,” remarked Eric Byres, CTO and VP Engineering of Byres Security. “Now, with the Tofino SCADA Security Simulator anyone can understand both the impact of security breaches on industrial processes and how to stop them.”

A typical TSSS demonstration starts by showing how SCADA and Industrial Control Systems operate, using a widely deployed PLC to control production. Next, SCADA specific malware attacks the control system and destroys the process. Finally, the system is secured using leading technology such as the Tofino Industrial Security Solution. The TSSS provides hands-on experience and reveals the impact of SCADA security in a tangible and visual manner.

Joel Langill, CSO of SCADAhacker.com, explains: "You can only be so effective when trying to explain cyber security to someone using a deck of PowerPoint slides. When you shift the discussion to an actual demonstration showing both an attack and a successful mitigation to an attack, people actually understand it."

Joel continues: "As a security consultant, I use the TSSS not only for simple demonstrations of cyber security controls, but also to implement various security strategies in an offline manner. I can then develop corresponding Tofino Security Appliance configuration schemes which can be applied to online production systems. I find it very handy to be able to use the TSSS with a variety of SCADA / HMI applications, and with associated field control equipment like PLCs, RTUs and application servers."

The Tofino “complete SCADA simulation system in a box” is available in a portable carry-on case, or in a large “trade-show” format. It comes with simple step-by-step instructions for demonstrating SCADA operations, security risks and security solutions. Simulations are available for gas pipelines, power facilities, chemical plants and water utilities. The product is available now from Byres Security and from Tofino Certified VARs.

• See Eric Byres's blog: A Truly Portable SCADA Security Simulator (29/9/2011)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Device server switch

Westermo device server switch provides IP connection to legacy serial devices and routing functionality

Westermo has released its Lynx DSS compact device server switch for connecting legacy serial control and telemetry systems to the latest IP networks. With low data rate serial communications being replaced by higher bandwidth IP networks, the Lynx DSS helps to preserve any investment in existing systems, add functionality by supporting new equipment that requires additional bandwidth, and ensures trouble free industrial communications for many years.

Lynx DSS is an industrial Ethernet switch for managing applications with a combination of IP and serial connections. Providing a single unit solution it replaces the need for multiple units. Powered by an updated version of the Westermo WeOS operating system, the device delivers enhanced serial to Ethernet connectivity, and support for dual serial networks, modem replacement functionality, and Modbus gateways. Legacy devices can be connected via two serial ports. One of these is configured for RS-232 and the other for either RS-232 or RS-422/485.

Two versions are available, the L208-F2G-S2 and L108-F2G-S2. The L108 supports a range of layer 2 switching functions that provide resilient, rapid recovering redundant ring Ethernet networks. The unit has four 10/100 Mbit/s ports and two further ports can be fitted with either Gbit or 100 Mbit SFP transceivers. In addition to these functions the L208 provides additional layer 3 networking functionality including routing, firewalls and VPN remote access.

With the increasing number of cyber attacks, advanced security is now critical for industrial networks. Remote, secure access to a network is provided using encrypted VPNs and a multi-port DMZ (demilitarized zone or subnet that is exposed to the Internet) can be constructed using the internal port-based-firewall-function. These functions support users wanting to communicate over potentially insecure networks and also help to prevent users inadvertently connecting to the wrong network.

Suitable for deployment in extreme operating conditions, the device is type-tested to meet industrial EMC, isolation, vibration and shock standards, and approved for use in relevant industrial applications, including Cenelec EN 50121-4 certification for railway trackside installations. The Lynx DSS has a wide operating temperature range from -40 to 70 °C. There is no fan or other moving parts, and the industrial grade components and a full metal IP40 enclosure – with no cooling holes that would allow the ingress of dust – contribute to the extremely high mean time between failures (MTBF) of over 500,000 hours, resulting in long trouble-free service life.

Lynx DSS is the most compact and energy efficient switch of its type on the market. The low power requirement of just 250 mA at 24V DC, results in a reduction in running cost over the life of the unit and helps companies reduce their power usage. With a footprint size of only 100mm x 50mm, the unit is easy to incorporate into machines and existing applications. A wide operating power requirement of 19-60V DC further increases the number of suitable applications.

The WeOS operating system has been developed as a cross platform solution. Available on the Westermo RedFox, Wolverine, Lynx and Falcon products, it provides a future proof and scaleable solution for industrial networking requirements.

New panel feed throughs!

Panel feed-throughs for Han® PushPull Profinet variant

New panel feed-throughs with transmission rates up to 1/10 Gbit/s Ethernet have been introduced for use with the Harting Han® PushPull Profinet variant.

The Han® PushPull (variant 14 according to IEC 61076-3-117) is the standardised connector for industrial Profinet cabling with IP65/67 protection. There are now two new panel feed-throughs available in robust metal housings for transmission rates up to 1/10 Gbit/s Ethernet, Category 6, Class EA.

The panel feed-throughs for round and rectangular cut-outs allow swift and simple installation in devices and switch cabinets, as well as retrofitting of existing housings with a Profinet interface with IP 65/67 protection.

The female inserts are executed with 360° shielding in order to increase the electromagnetic compatibility and the transmission path’s immunity to interference.

In order to allow users to make independent decisions on the system’s grounding concept, the RJ45 female inserts snap into the metal panel feed-throughs to provide electrical isolation. This ensures that the RJ45 shielding potential and the housing ground are not accidentally connected.

For selective grounding of the RJ45 shielding potential, the shielding potential on the panel feed-through and that on the RJ45 jack module can be gripped via a Faston connector and electrically connected to one another. Electromagnetic disturbances that are injected on the data shield and enter
the device are consequently effectively dissipated.

Panel feed-throughs with two RJ Industrial® 10G Category 6 bulkhead RJ45 jack modules and Ha-VIS preLink® RJ45 cable jack are available.

The RJ Industrial® 10G Category 6 bulkhead RJ45 jack module offers an RJ45 interface on the device’s internal IP 20 side and facilitates further distribution with standard patch cables.

The Ha-VIS preLink® RJ45 cable jack offers simple and swift assembly with insulation displacement termination for the connection of data cables - even pre-assembled ones - with conductor cross-sections from AWG 22/7 to AWG 23/1.

Protection against combustible dust

ASM has expanded its POSIWIRE® family of rugged cable extension position sensors with the WS12EX series that has a measurement range up to 118 inches.

In locations where combustible dust is present, the maximum allowable surface temperature of installed devices is limited to only 2/3 of the minimum ignition temperature of the surrounding combustible dust. If there is a risk of dust accumulation, further considerations such as the smoldering point of the dust and additional temperature safety distances must be evaluated. The WS12EX series was developed to meet these safety requirements related to combustible dust.

The position sensor housing is rated IP67 and is available with the industry standard analog outputs: 0-10VDC and 4-20mA. The linearity is +/- 0.10 % of full scale with an optional +/- 0.05 % full scale. A precision potentiometer is utilized for the rotary sensing element. The WS12EX series achieves the requirements of EX Dust Explosion-Proof Category 3, Zone 22 for non-conductive dust.

The WS12EX series was designed for numerous industries where combustible dust is present: saw mills (saw dust), food processing (flour dust) and other harsh application (carbon dust).

Foundation Fieldbus and HART

Fieldbus Foundation issues Transducer Block Specification for Wired HART® and WirelessHART® devices

The Fieldbus Foundation has issued a FOUNDATION™ Wireless and Remote I/O (WIO) preliminary specification addressing fieldbus transducer blocks for wired HART® and WirelessHART® devices, together with updates to the WIO System Architecture and WIO Data Structures related to the transducer block specification.

Part of the Foundation for Remote Operations Management solution implementing wireless and remote I/O, the new technical specification defines a fieldbus transducer block used to represent HART devices within Foundation for Remote Operations Management devices. Both wired HART and WirelessHART devices may be represented in this block. In addition, the specification describes the expected method for HART configuration tools and asset-managing hosts to access HART devices using the native HART command protocol transported through the fieldbus High Speed Ethernet (HSE) network. The specification also defines structures to identify and maintain HART device status in wired multi-drop networks as well as in WirelessHART mesh networks connected to Foundation for Remote Operations Management devices.

The Fieldbus Foundation's (FF) director of technology development, Dave Glanzer, commented, "The new transducer block specification will benefit end users who need to be able to interface HART and WirelessHART devices to Foundation fieldbus to improve their integration with a control system, or with FF devices. They may also require a networked method for an asset-managing host to access a large set of HART and WirelessHART devices for HART configuration and maintenance purposes."

Within the FF architecture, H1 and HSE provide a distributed function block capability with HSE serving as a larger pipeline offering increased speed and throughput. The WIO development expands these capabilities by establishing open, non-proprietary specifications for a wired or wireless HSE backhaul network integrating various wireless Foundation for Remote Operations Management devices with interfaces to wireless field device networks.

HSE provides an efficient way to bring large concentrations of discrete and analog field I/O from modular devices back to the control room using a high-speed HSE connection. Employing HSE devices functioning like a smart remote terminal unit (RTU), the technology brings all forms of conventional I/O into the native fieldbus environment easily. This solution makes discrete-in, discrete-out, analog-in, analog-out and H1 fieldbus available over a common Ethernet network. The addition of remote I/O further tightens the integration of process instrumentation within a FOUNDATION control system infrastructure.

Datacenteragility!

We love these big make-up words. We recall during the eighties or maybe earlier, our memory is a little vague on dates, when a company introduced a calibrator which they called a "supercalibratortestersignalgenerator" which one could sing to the tune of a certian song in "The Sound of Music." You know the one I'm sure. Well here's another - datacenteragility!

TE Connectivity has launched a new website, datacenteragility.com, to help data center managers get a better understanding of how TE can help build agility into their data centers.

According to the 2011 Gartner Scenario for Data Center Providers, "Flexibility and speed are key requirements from the new data center designs."  Put these two factors together and it is clear that data centers require products and solutions that build agility into their design and operation: both in terms of meeting business needs for new services and to flex capacity.  It is this same need for agility that is also
driving the growth of cloud-based data centers.

A key source of data center infrastructure information, datacenteragility.com  provides visitors with multi-media content detailing the key products in TE's data center portfolio and extracts from the TE
Enterprise Networks knowledge library relating to data center infrastructure issues.

The site also has links to other TE Enterprise Networks sites featuring AMP NETCONNECT and KRONE products along with the latest data center news from around the globe to help data center managers keep up to date with the latest events in the data center infrastructure market.

Package for wastewater aeration control

Endress+Hauser has announced their Instrumentation for Aeration Control package geared specifically toward advanced aeration control strategies. Instruments available measure dissolved oxygen, nitrate, ammonium, pH, suspended solids, temperature, air flow rates, air pressures and water levels in aeration basins to provide enhanced and reliable control of a process.  Direct measurement of these parameters can drastically reduce energy costs associated with operating aeration basins.

The combination of sensors and transmitters ensures that the proper amount of air is blown through the system at the correct basin level, and that the process is removing nutrients from the water efficiently and reliably.

This family of aeration control sensors easily connects to any plant’s PLC or SCADA system via 4-20mA with HART, Profibus or other digital interfaces. This allows any wastewater treatment plant to add aeration basin control measurements quickly and easily. Digital communications and advanced diagnostics in E+H instruments simplify maintenance and commissioning and provide state-of-the-art condition monitoring.

Primary savings come from controlling air flow. Aeration blowers can account for up to 70% of the energy usage of a wastewater treatment plant. In a typical process, microorganisms consume organic carbon as a nutrient—creating carbon dioxide, water and biomass—while dissolved oxygen is used to convert ammonium to nitrate which is later broken down into its components.  Oxygen is forced into the aeration basin with large blowers (see Figure). Using blowers at full capacity when ammonia levels are low can be expensive and unnecessary.

They offer a simple and cost-effective solution for measuring ammonium and nitrates present in the aeration basin: Liquiline CM442 transmitters and CAS40D sensors, both with the digital Memosens protocol, monitor the ammonium and nitrates of the incoming and/or treated water with a single sensor array that can provide additional parameters such as pH, temperature, chloride and potassium.

Endress+Hauser Oxymax optical or amperometric dissolved oxygen sensors with the digital Memosens protocol monitor dissolved oxygen to make sure minimum levels are maintained. With the CM442’s dual channel digital technology, one transmitter can measure ammonium, nitrates, dissolved oxygen, temperature and pH.

To ensure that the air delivery system is functioning properly, a T-Mass 65I thermal mass insertion flowmeter can be placed in the blower air line.

Because blowers must overcome the hydrostatic pressure of the basin to force air into the process, an Endress+Hauser Cerabar S pressure transmitter is available to measure air line pressure. A Prosonic FMU90 ultrasonic or a Waterpilot FMX21 hydrostatic instrument can be used to measure and control level.

Using aeration basins is an excellent way to remove nutrients, but the energy costs can be high. The Endress+Hauser Aeration Control measurement package helps provide better efficiency of  the process, helps a plant meet permit levels efficiently and reliably, and saves energy.

“We offer a complete instrumentation package for easy integration into virtually any aeration basin control system thanks to our advanced analytical, flow, pressure, level and temperature instrumentation with digital communication protocols,” says Nick Camin, product manager in the Endress+Hauser Environmental Group. “From on-line ammonium and nitrate measurement to blower air flowrates, Endress+Hauser is the single-source supplier for aeration control measurements.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Not just hot air!

A new old show for 2013!

Actually, it’s not really a ‘new’ show; it’s a greatly expanded version of the MCERTS (for air) events with which you will be familiar.

The event will still focus on air emissions, but it will now also focus on a wide range of closely related subjects such as workplace monitoring, confined space, ambient monitoring, leak detection, fugitive emissions, fenceline monitoring, abatement etc. As a result it will appeal to specific people within almost every industry.

One of the major differences is that AQE 2013 will address the many thousands of industrial emissions that are controlled by Local Authorities.

It’s still in Telford (GB) and there will still be a Conference, an Exhibition and a large number of Workshops.

Basically it may be said that AQE 2013 is a specialist event for anyone with a professional or academic interest in air quality.

See our Events Page for exhibitions and other events of interest to the automation professional.

Mounting layout developed into major engineering solution!

What started with high-performance 3D mounting layout turned into an integrative "XL engineering solution" for enclosure layout. Design, 3D layout, production and mounting merge to form an integrated solution – plus more added-value.

The enclosure layout is subject to extreme deadline and cost pressure, which solution provider EPLAN Software & Service substantially alleviates. With the new EPLAN Pro Panel 2.1 automation engineering, mechanical and plant engineering all reap the benefits of an interdisciplinary engineering tool that covers all discipline-specific requirements. Design, 3D layout, production and mounting merge onto a uniform database for a fully integrated solution. The result is an accelerated product development process – reduced costs and more added-value.

Uniform data – automatic synchronisation

Integration is the key word that brings together all parts of the EPLAN Platform. Devices that are used in electrical and fluid designs can now be incorporated in the mounting layout - without manual synchronisation. Users can engineer faster. Typical reverse engineering tasks such as the manual data transfer between disciplines, import and export and verification data - as well as many other time-consuming redundant steps are eliminated. In addition, potential errors during project comparison are prevented ahead of time. The full functionality of EPLAN Platform's key basic features such as revision control, rights management and special programming with EPLAN API can be used – and that's everything: Integration continues in production, mounting and wiring. Direct data transfer to NC machines, conductor routing and cable preparation ensure a smooth workflow throughout the entire product development process.

Reliably designed – accurately produced
From dynamic collision control to automatic checking of respective installation conditions: The software makes professional 3D layout design easy - even for occasional users. Production data for holes or cutouts is taken account in the 3D model and can be further processed. The flexible software lets users create both associative mounting diagrams and special drilling templates. More practical decisive advantages: Production information is only entered once when the master data is created – even for parts with variable lengths such as cable ducts and mounting rails. Components and NC data are automatically integrated in the mounting layout; a sure way to fast results. Modifications to housing, doors or mounting plates are easily transferred to the appropriate production system via an NC interface - Steinhauer and Perforex are just two examples of the high degree of production integration.

Cables quickly routed
More flexible 3D conductor routing: Now, cables as well as conductors can be routed within a 3D mounting layout. The new standard in performance also applies to cable routing: Defining route networks and laying connection is intuitive and can also be done independently of real or virtual wire ducts. New layout areas further expand the 3D routing possibilities and also support virtual wiring of Lütze frame systems. Using "wiring holes", wires and cables can be routed, for example, on the back of mounting plates, partitions or other enclosure parts – along the shortest route.

Coolly configured, precisely dimensioned
Where would engineering be without the right device data? That's where the connection to EPLAN Data Portal really scores big – components can be easily transferred from the Portal to the device list or integrated into the 3D mounting layout. Highlight at the Hanover Fair: the interface to the brand new Rittal Therm 6.1 – the engineering configurator for laying out and dimensioning heating, cooling and climate control solutions from Rittal. A configurator determines what Rittal Therm devices are required, and compiles and transfers them to the EPLAN device list. The result: Highly efficient integration of climate control solutions in a 3D mounting layout.

New total Nitrogen and Sulphur analyser

Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched a new Total Nitrogen and Total Sulfur (TN/TS) analyser, which features an innovative direct injection design providing the capacity to analyze both heavy and light hydrocarbons without changing introduction modules. As a result of the versatility, precision and accuracy offered by the their iPRO 5000 series analyser, scientists in petrochemical and commercial testing laboratories, oil refineries, R&D centers and chemical plants, will benefit from significant time savings and productivity advantages, in addition to total ASTM compliance.

This analyser features the proprietary Thermo Scientific jetPRO direct spray injector, which enables automatic analysis from ppb levels up to percent levels for both nitrogen and sulfur on just one instrument and without changing introduction modules. As a result, it is now possible to quantify nitrogen and sulfur in heavy hydrocarbons within just three minutes. Compared to the standard boat method, this is a dramatic reduction in the time spent from analysis to viewing results, which provides an immediate cost-saving and productivity increase. Offering exceptional precision of two percent or better when analysing light hydrocarbons at ultra-low concentrations, the analyzer ensures high accuracy, as well as reproducibility and repeatability of analysis. Providing meticulously controlled combustion processes, the analyser also contains a proprietary pre-soot detection technology which ensures complete combustion that is soot-free. The iPRO 5000 series analyzer is also the smallest and most compact total nitrogen and total sulfur analyzer currently available.

Developed for a wide range of applications, the iPRO 5000 series analyser offers an ideal solution for the diverse requirements of petrochemical analyses. The instrument provides the capacity to analyze virtually any refinery sample from raw crude to end product, while ensuring ASTM compliance and enabling optimisation of refinery processes. For commercial testing laboratories requiring ASTM compliant results quickly and cost-effectively over a wide range of applications, the iPRO 5000 series analyzer is four times faster than previous methods which enables a significant increase in productivity and cost-efficiency. In addition, the instrument’s exceptional precision makes it the ideal choice for high performance applications such as those conducted by research and development centers.

The iPRO 5000 series analyzer is controlled by Thermo Scientific NSX Visual software, which supports Microsoft Windows 7 and has been developed to adapt to the specific workflows of users who require ease–of-use and flexibility. The NSX Visual software assures total ASTM compliance through pre-loaded ASTM method templates, which enable the user to simply select the required method and start the analysis. The software is also programmed to proactively alert the user if method parameters are changed to a value which is outside the scope of the official ASTM methods.

Tiny pressure transmitter

Festo has launched a compact pressure transmitter module providing a very flexible solution for closed-loop control and monitoring of pneumatically-operated automation components. Capable of sensing both pressure and vacuum, the new SPTE pressure transmitter is a highly versatile and easy-to-use feedback device. Typical applications include vacuum detection in pick-and-place machines, such as those used in semiconductor chip testing, and surface-mount component placement machines for PCB assembly.

Designed primarily for cost-sensitive high volume applications, SPTE is the smallest pressure transmitter in theirproduct range. It has a grid size of just 10 mm, facilitating extremely tight packing densities in crowded control racks, and a very low weight which makes it ideal for integrating directly with moving machine parts. The transmitter's extremely small physical dimensions also mean that it has minimal internal volume, enabling it to react quickly to changes in pressure and provide a fast response output signal.

The SPTE uses a piezo-resistive pressure cell capable of measuring vacuum over the range 0 to -1 bar and pressure over the range 0 to 10 bar. The pressure transmitter is available with a choice of 0 to 10 V or 1 to 5 V analogue output, enabling users to employ the control scheme of their choice without need for conversion circuits - the signal can be fed direct to a PLC or other form of control system, helping to minimise installation costs.

A unique benefit of Festo's SPTE pressure transmitter is that it offers users considerable flexibility in mounting, with a choice of three configurations featuring different pneumatic connection schemes.

One configuration, available in 4 mm and 6 mm sizes, enables the transmitter to be plugged directly into pneumatic socket-type connectors. Another provides push-in fittings for standard pneumatic tubing and is available in 3 mm and 4 mm sizes. This form of transmitter module can also be used in conjunction with single and 8-way mounting brackets, which use a simple clip retaining mechanism to facilitate fast assembly and disassembly without the need for tools. The third type of configuration uses a highly cost-effective flange-mounting arrangement, which requires no additional hardware. The module is secured direct to the body of the pneumatic component that it is monitoring - such as a cylinder or valve - and uses an O-ring seal to secure an air-tight connection. By dispensing with the need for pneumatic tubes this approach provides the shortest path between the component and transmitter, minimising evacuation time and resulting in the fastest possible signal generation.

Typically, high throughput pick-and-place machines use any array of tightly packed vacuum gripper nozzles of various sizes, depending on the types of parts to be moved. Each nozzle may require a different vacuum level, the presence or absence of which indicates whether or not a part has been successfully picked. Due to limited space, it is often impractical to use sensors with built-in teach functions to determine the performance of each nozzle at its point of use. By using SPTE pressure transmitters to monitor the vacuum levels, the various thresholds can be defined on the control unit.

Festo's SPTE pressure transmitters are supplied complete with a 2.5 m cable for electrical connection. Designed for operation with filtered compressed air, the transmitters have a full-scale accuracy of 3 percent, and accommodate media and ambient operating temperatures over the range 0 to 50 degrees Celsius.

If required, the SPTE pressure transmitter can be combined with a Festo SVE4 signal converter to produce two digital output signals for applications where an analogue input is not available or cost-effective within the control unit. This arrangement can be used, for example, to monitor upper and lower operating limits.

The SPTE pressure transmitter is a direct result of Festo's on-going research into all-electronic, contactless sensors; in recognition of the advances that the company is making in this area, the product received an honourable mention in the Red Dot Design Awards for 2011.

A simple change of system

Converter from COPA-DATA imports projects from WinCC into zenon
COPA-DATA has launched WinCC-to-zenon Converter, a tool that makes it possible to easily convert projects into zenon. Using a wizard, the WinCC-to-zenon Converter assists Siemens WinCC automation software users to easily and safely switch to the HMI/SCADA system zenon from Copa-Data.

Quick changeover
For manufacturing companies, undertaking a new automation project often involves evaluations of different or additional software. One common hurdle when changing to a new SCADA system is the attendant high cost of resources. Most of all, for complex automation applications that have been built up over many years and have been repeatedly expanded, the time consumed transferring data should not be underestimated. COPA-DATA is addressing exactly this problem with the WinCC-to-zenon Converter.

Simple conversion thanks to an import wizard
A C-Sharp-based, open wizard ensures that screens, variables, and the alarm configuration of WinCC projects can be imported into zenon simply, automatically and reliably. All related settings are transferred over exactly and are immediately available for use in zenon, where they can be edited freely. Users can benefit from all the features of zenon immediately and without limitation once the conversion has been completed.

[1] WinCC is a product of Siemens AG.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

High quality video for hazardous area!

Certified camera line expanded to provide high quality video from hazardous areas at reduced bandwidth.

Industrial Video and Control (IVC) expanded their hazardous area product line with the introduction of H.264 cameras designed and certified for use in hazardous areas. They now offer Class I Division 1 and Class I Division 2 PTZ dome and ATEX PTZ cameras that support H.264 encoding.

Users can view and store high frame rate, quality video over networks while consuming less bandwidth and storage.  This makes these cameras ideal for situations where video might be transmitted over low-bandwidth media such as wireless, or where video shares the network with other critical data.

IVC’s H.264 Class I- and ATEX-rated PTZ cameras are available with an 18x, 26x, or 36x optical zoom imagers.  Theses cameras are also available with a variety of copper and fiber IP connectivity options.

These new camera models are supported in IVC’s Relay Server and Longwatch camera management software packages.

IVC is a manufacturer of IP-based cameras and developer of advanced software for managing networks of video systems.  “IVC has a long history of providing video solutions that can be used in challenging petrochemical environments,” states Norman Fast, president of IVC.  “One of our goals is to continually bring the state-of-the-art in video technology to our industrial customers.  This announcement further establishes IVC as the leader in providing video solutions to critical industrial applications.”

Monday, September 26, 2011

Robust and NVIS compatible LED panel indicators

Marl International has extended its industrial and defence LED panel indicator range with two robust series featuring exceptionally high EMC screening. One of the new LED indicators offers NVIS (Night VISion) radiance, making it suitable for use by operators wearing military night vision goggles.

Marl 677 and 697 panel indicators are specifically designed to address the most demanding applications. Both series benefit from an exceptionally high degree of EMC protection, with an internal stainless steel mesh behind the lens to provide continuity of screening as well as a conductive panel seal. Sealed to IP67, the lamps are supplied in robust chrome plated aluminium housings and are fully potted for high vibration applications. They have a smoked lens to give a good on/off contrast ratio.

The 677 series is offered in red, yellow, green, blue and cool white in 12V and 24V versions and has an internal reverse protection diode fitted as standard. The 697 series is available in green only, and is specifically designed for military panels where operators may be wearing night vision aids. It emits radiance to Mil-85762A standards, for compatibility with NVIS panel displays used by operators wearing night vision aids.

Coupling/decoupling network for emission testing

Teseq has developed a new coupling/decoupling (CDNE) network for emissions testing.

The publication of EN 55015, based on CISPR 15 A1 Ed 7, has introduced an independent method of measurement of radio disturbance characteristics of electrical lighting equipment. This method specifies the use of a coupling/decoupling network (CDN) as defined in IEC 61000-4-6 for emission measurement in the frequency range 30 to 300 MHz.

An analysis of results of testing with existing CDN designs showed the need for closer CDN impedance tolerances. A standard working group was founded for improving the CDN design and for transferring the new emissions measuring equipment requirements to CISPR 16-1-2 and methods to CISPR 16-2-1.

The result describes a specific coupling/decoupling network for emissions (CDNE). In addition to closer tolerances for the asymmetrical impedance, the phase angle, symmetrical impedance and the internal attenuation are also defined.