Friday, October 7, 2011

Architectural support!

Rockwell Automation ‘Integrated Architecture Builder’ now supports more than 75 ProSoft Technology products

Almost 80 ProSoft Technology in-chassis and gateway products are now supported within the Integrated Architecture Builder (IAB) project-design software tool.

As reminder, this Rockwell Automation free software tool helps Engineers prepare their automation systems based on PAC (Process Automation Controller) and/or PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) solutions.

Configuring Automation System...
As reminder, Integrated Architecture Builder (IAB) is a graphical software tool from Rockwell Automation. It is used for configuring Logix-based automation systems. It helps engineers select hardware for applications that include controllers, I/O, networks, drives, cabling and wiring systems, motion control, and other devices. After configuring his projects, the user gets a detailed list of material as well as reports with quality graphics.

... including networking
Users can document control systems that include ProSoft Technology in-rack communication modules and protocol gateways for long. The list of ProSoft Technology products now extends up to over 75 product references. And more are to come in.

Documenting operational sequences better

Knowing the sequence of operations is always helpful, especially in machine and plant design and the programming of their control systems. ‘Eplan Operational Sequence’ now documents the functional timeline of a machine/plant by using convenient process descriptions. You have the choice between a functional diagram or a GRAFCET standard. PLC programmers will benefit from the seamless documentation, controlling the interactions of actuators and sensors.
With the introduction of ´Eplan Operational Sequence´ the operational sequence sheets may be shown clearly as function diagrams, or also as GRAFCET diagrams (according to DIN EN 60848)

Background:
Operational sequence sheets are an important component of the engineering process and are indispensible for the following and planning of machine and plant controls. Furthermore, they are often required in customer documentations (automotive suppliers for example), to optimise the cycle time of the system as a whole. In regards to GRAFCET standards, GRAFCET diagrams are representations of sequence controls for which a specification language according to DIN EN 60848 has been developed. In this case, the representation is about the function of a machine from the view of the PLC programmer, whereas functional diagrams offer only a simple mechanical view.
It has become increasingly difficult to represent a functional timeline for machines and plant systems clearly, because of an ever-increasing complexity and the mechatronic interaction of sub-elements, even though it is an indispensable component for planning a steering and control system. Eplan introduces the solution with 'Eplan Operational Sequence´. The new Eplan Platform module option conveniently includes process descriptions into the overall control systems documentation. The software offers various flexible ways of describing these operational processes: frequently used function diagrams as well as the newest version of GRAFCET diagrams are supported as well. The benefits are clear: The PLC programmer receives timely information about the necessary actuators and sensors and their desired operational interaction and timeline. It provides valuable preplanning time for machine controls and accelerates the engineering processes. Changes to electrical and fluid engineering plans can then be integrated into the process descriptions automatically and documented perfectly afterwards.

Insert the values - and its done
The device navigator will from now on be the central dialog for inserting Eplan functions into a function or GRAFCET diagram. It doesn't matter if the function has already been placed into the schematic, or if it will be created as a new device. Only the values for time/step scales, as well as the process sequence, must be entered into the diagram after placement. The necessary forms are included and values may even be inserted as macros quite easily. The only remaining manual step will be the process sequence with the aid of graphic elements such as polylines. An automatic translation into foreign languages is available right from the start, as well as other quality increasing functionalities in the process sequences.

Flexibility for any application
The ´Eplan Operational Sequence´ module option will be available with the release of Eplan Electric P8 2.1 in the autumn of 2011. Is it part of Eplan Fluid, the second Platform system, included with the delivery scope of version 2.1. It doesn't matter if the fluid software has been installed as an individual program, or as an add-on to the CAE System P8.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Alarms & Events

MatrikonOPC™ has released its new Alarms and Events (A&E) Historian, an easy-to-use solution that allows industrial facilities to more easily store and retrieve information that will help improve preventative maintenance programs. The data historian allows users to analyze and diagnose their critical alarm information in real-time using standard database queries.

With its automatic A&E configuration, the MatrikonOPC A&E Historian does not require any programming or manual setup. Users simply connect to an OPC Server and start collecting A&E data instantly in a single repository.

“A critical element in plant management and optimization is minimizing downtime using condition-based maintenance. Instant access to archived A&E data and the ability to analyze it on the spot enables users to run more effective preventive maintenance programs,” said Darek Kominek, Marketing Manager at MatrikonOPC “This allows the users to perform analysis quickly and develop an effective preventative maintenance program to improve safety, availability and profitability.”
 

The A&E Historian consolidates A&E data from many data sources of major control systems. It also interoperates with all compliant A&E OPC Servers, and leverages existing reporting tools such as Microsoft Excel, Excel Reporter and other typical reporting tools.

Nominated twice for awards!

Rohde & Schwarz has been nominated for no less than two Elektra European Electronics Industry Awards. In the Test Product of the Year category, Rohde & Schwarz’ FSW spectrum and signal analyser is among the six products shortlisted to contest the top spot, whilst Rohde & Schwarz’ longstanding University support programme has been highlighted as a contender for the Educational Support Award. The awards ceremony, which is organised by the Britain’s leading electronics news title Electronics Weekly, will take place in London on 14th December 2011.

FSW Analyser
A panel of independent judges chose to shortlist the recently released FSW analyser, which boasts the highest performance RF and microwave spectrum/signal analysis capabilities in the world. Twenty times faster and with 10dB better phase noise than any other analyser yet produced, the FSW is also unique in its ability to capture and analyse multiple signals in one shot. As befits an instrument that is required to run 24/7 in a lab environment, the FSW doesn’t compromise performance by consuming more power – it actually uses a third of the power required by any equivalent instrument.

Referring to the inclusion of the FSW on Elektra’s shortlist, Frank Mackel, Managing Director of Rohde & Schwarz UK commented: “This is a particularly exciting start for an instrument that promises to set new benchmarks in performance, innovation and usability in the test and measurement industry.” He added: “Meanwhile, by shortlisting Rohde & Schwarz UK’s University programme, the Elektra Awards gives valuable peer recognition for our support for teaching laboratories and research departments – the future, as we see it, of the European electronics industry.”

Rohde & Schwarz UK has supported British and Irish Universities for many years with generous discounts, equipment loans, student placement schemes, prize givings and donations. The company also has a sponsored lab program offering an additional level of support. Phil McCluskey, Rohde & Schwarz UK’s University Programme Manager explains: “Our sponsored lab program recognises the value of time when it comes to actively engaging with our University partners. For example, by participating in Industrial Liaison schemes, providing letters of support for grant applications and helping to enthuse the next generation of students with technology presentations, relevant teaching materials and access to our experts.”

New heads for IR system

Raytek® has enhanced its MI3 Series infrared temperature measurement system with MI3 1M and MI3 2M high temperature sensing heads. The new sensing heads extend the MI3's performance for specific original equipment manufacturer (OEM) applications and high temperature manufacturing processes.

Designed to deliver industry-leading performance and flexibility at the lowest installed cost per measurement point, the Raytek MI3 Series represents a new generation of performance and innovation in noncontact temperature monitoring. These high-performance IR sensors reduce energy costs by allowing tighter process control and more efficient process heating. Improved control performance usually results in less product variation, higher product quality and increased throughput.

The MI3 1M and MI3 2M are rugged, IP65 (NEMA 4) stainless steel sensing heads with a separate communication module. They provide a 1µm and 1.6µm spectral response respectively, and offer a wide measurement range of 500°C to 1800°C (1µm) and 250°C to 1400°C (1.6µm). The sensing heads have a 120°C head ambient rating with 100:1 optical resolution and are available with standard laser sighting. These features, coupled with a fast 10msec response time, create a powerful temperature sensor for applications, such as silicon crystal growth, DSS polysilicon reactors, secondary metal processing, metal heat treating, and heat treating equipment OEMs.

The MI3MCOMM multichannel communication box provides all the functionality of the proven MI Series sensors with numerous new features. It supports up to four sensing heads in a convenient DIN-mountable package. All sensor-operating parameters are easily accessed and configured through the standard user interface with large backlit LCD display, or with the powerful Raytek DataTemp® multidrop software via a USB 2.0 digital interface. The innovative multiple sensing head interface of the MI3COMM communication box supports up to eight individually addressable heads when used with the accessory interface box.

The Raytek MI3 Series sensors offer a choice of scalable 0/4 to 20 mA and 0 to 5/10 VDC analog outputs, or Type J, K, R or S thermocouple outputs. With RS485, Modbus® or Profibus network interface options, integration into existing control equipment or OEM systems is seamless. Fully compatible with the Modbus and Profibus network protocols, the MI3 sensors can be used in a wide range of applications requiring digital communication for field devices. The updated thermometers offer a low-cost, multi-channel noncontact temperature measurement solution with network communications capability.

Standard USB 2.0 communication facilitates sensor configuration and is valuable for troubleshooting when the device is installed in hostile locations. Additionally, this capability saves maintenance time and minimizes technician exposure to hazardous environments. Robust field calibration software also allows on-site calibration of sensors, which further reduces service time and expense.

Thanks to precision, high-resolution optics, the Raytek MI3 1M, MI3 2M sensors provide 100:1 optical resolution at a very attractive price. For high-volume OEM applications, the sensing heads allow a direct digital interface to the host machine controller.

The MI3's user-programmable, isolated alarm output is an easy way to achieve alarm and control redundancy or provide simple on/off control capabilities. Its optically isolated relay allows for local alarm capability, eliminating the need for separate limit switches or alarms.

Other standard MI3 features include: adjustable emissivity, transmissivity, peak hold, valley hold and signal averaging; as well as configurable inputs for emissivity control, ambient background compensation and trigger/hold input.

Cryogen-free radiation testing!

Princeton Gamma-Tech Instruments has introduced the next-generation of mechanically-cooled  cryogen-free radiation detectors.

The Quiet-One™ is a proprietary PGT design incorporated into their Stirling cryocoolers, that replace liquid nitrogen as the coolant for nuclear and x-ray detectors and provide a smaller footprint and lower power consumption while offering low maintenance and long running life. PGT is the only commercial company in the world able to offer performance for mechanically-cooled nuclear detector that has same performance as liquid-nitrogen cooled.

Industries are now moving away from the use of liquid nitrogen as the coolant for nuclear and x-ray detectors and working with mechanically cooled devices. The main problem is microphonic noise caused by mechanical vibrations which result in peak broadening and poor resolution and results. PGT’s Quiet-One™ anti-microphonic mounting system solves this problem and ensures that there is no reduction in performance when integrated into these cryogen-free units.

Ground crews talk sense...

Aircraft servicing times are being reduced, enabling more flying hours, thanks to a new fully automatic generator testing station developed by MEL Aviation in Sudbury (GB).

A key element in the design of the station is the use of a TorqSense non-contact torque sensor from Sensor Technology, which can be deployed instantly for high performance acceleration and deceleration tests of aircrafts’ generators. Conventional sensors would, by contrast require the fitting and aligning of fiddly slip rings, an expensive process when considering the down time costs of an airliner or military jet.

MEL Aviation is a foremost full service and repair provider for the overhaul of aircraft systems and components. It also designs, manufactures and supports military aircraft systems and military ground-support equipment (GSE). Civil airline customers include British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Monarch, BMI and Saudi Arabian airlines.


Gary Parker, one of the company’s leading engineers explains that their 24 hour service is supported by sophisticated customer care and quality assurance cultures, one stop shop capabilities and a passion for excellence.

“For the most part we work with specifically designed technology and purpose-built test equipment. This breeds a culture of total responsibility for total reliability.”

When a civil aircraft isn’t flying, it isn’t making money. But an unsafe aircraft in the air is a liability to everyone, so they are constantly rotating through ground servicing schedules to ensure their ongoing air and battle worthiness.

Every modern aircraft has at least one on-board generator to produce electrical power (most have two or more in a redundancy configuration for utmost reliability). These need to be ground tested regularly, typically every 500 to 1000 flying hours, hence the need for MEL’s test station.

Our GTR station is in essence very simple. It uses a great big electric motor to turn the generator, rapidly accelerating and decelerating it up to 10,000rpm or more to simulate extreme flight conditions, such as in ground hugging for radar evasion or an emergency descent of an airliner.”

Various sets of instruments measure the electrical output, bearing performance etc.

The innovation of the GTR is that it is fully automatic, the test steps being controlled and monitored by a PLC system requiring the very minimum of human intervention i.e. selecting what type of test is to be performed from a menu and pressing the start button. The software language for the GTR is a propriety SCADA package using Proficy iFix with dynamic communication links to a Telemecanique PL7 ladder logic embedded in a TSX premium programmable logic controller. All necessary functions are embedded in the Proficy iFix core construction architecture. The dynamic link is written in visual basic.

“TorqSense has the pivotal role of measuring the rotational speed – as a torque value - of the input shaft, which defines the simulated speed profile. It is the primary parameter of the test; if it is not monitored with 100 per cent accuracy throughout the whole test all data is invalid and precious time is wasted.”

TorqSense is a surface acoustic wave (SAW) based device. In a TorqSense transducer, surface acoustic waves are produced by passing an alternating voltage across the terminals of two interleaved comb-shaped arrays, laid onto one end of a piezoelectric substrate. A receiving array at the other end of the transducer converts the wave into an electric signal.

The frequency is dependent upon the spacing of the teeth in the array and as the direction of wave propagation is at right angles to the teeth, any change in its length alters the spacing of the teeth and hence the operating frequency. Tension in the transducer reduces the operating frequency while compression increases it. To measure the torque in a rotating shaft, two SAW sensors are bonded to a shaft at 45deg to the axis of rotation. When the shaft is subjected to torque, a signal is produced which is transmitted to a stationary pick up via a capacitive couple comprising two discs, one of which rotates with the shaft, the other being static.


“It imparts no extra load onto the shaft, so calculations are simple. In short it is simple, robust, reliable and – dare I say it – idiot-proof. As such it is ideal for the sort of demanding work we do.”

MEL expects each test station to have a working life of at least 30 years and for the TorqSense transducers to perform for all this time. In both military and commercial flight operations, this is a typical expectation, with all investments being planned with long term amortisation and reliability never compromised.

High quality calibration and service!

Keithley  has introduced KeithleyCare Plans to provide owners of Keithley instrumentation with fast, high quality instrument calibration and repair services at a fraction of the cost of “per-event” service. KeithleyCare plan purchasers receive priority service on repairs and calibration, as well as minimize their equipment downtime, service costs, and administrative hassles.

KeithleyCare Gold Plans
KeithleyCare Gold Plans offer multiple years of protection in three- and five-year increments. These plans include free repairs, expedited priority service that reduces equipment downtime by three days, and complimentary shipping both to and from Keithley’s facility (within the United States). Each repair service includes calibration and adjustment to OEM specifications and verification to unpublished specifications.

KeithleyCare Calibration Plans
KeithleyCare Calibration Plans offer multi-year coverage in three- or five- year increments and are designed to simplify calibration management and help ensure covered equipment provides peak operating performance. These plans include expedited priority service that reduces downtime by two days and complimentary shipping one way. Calibration and adjustment to OEM specifications is included, as well as verification to unpublished specifications.

Purchasers of either plan automatically receive the latest reliability and performance enhancements for their instrumentation when they return it to Keithley for service.

These plans offer purchasers a variety of important benefits:
*    Lower costs: Customers realize significant savings over per-event repair and calibration prices while eliminating unbudgeted expenses. For example, although an expedited repair of a critical instrument might cost $1,700 to $3,200 without KeithleyCare coverage, that same expedited repair would cost just $120 per year if the instrument was covered by a KeithleyCare five-year Gold Plan.
*    Less downtime: Plan purchasers get expedited service with faster turnaround times (typically three days for calibration and five days for repair).
*    Greater convenience: Customers can place just one order for multiple years of KeithleyCare services, eliminating administrative hassles.
*    Higher service quality: Keithley follows strict guidelines and requirements to provide the highest quality of service. The company is registered to ISO 9001:2000 , and its Metrology Services Group is accredited to ISO 17025:2005 .
*    Greater accuracy: Keithley calibration equipment and measurement uncertainties are among the best in the industry, so customers can be assured their instruments are providing their most accurate readings. Keithley’s lab takes more measurements than most calibration providers, providing additional assurance that all the instrument's specifications have been adequately verified.

(No details on deliveries or rates outside the US given in this release! Ed)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Stainless steel pilot valves for offshore apps!

361 series stainless steel pilot valves feature a unique design that eliminates “sticking” problems

 ASCO Numatics is introducing the 361 series of stainless steel pilot valves featuring a unique design that eliminates “sticking” problems in low cycle demand applications. These problems can occur in control valves installed in the pneumatic logic panels used to control safety monitoring systems in offshore oil and gas production facilities.

Corrosion-resistance and reliability are essential for safe operation in harsh offshore environments and the 361 series is designed to provide the highest reliability, with minimal maintenance, and lowest cost of ownership. The valve’s body is made entirely in 316L stainless steel and the Elgiloy and stainless steel springs are designed for corrosion resistance and severe service beyond 1 million cycles.

The 361 series feature innovative, highly reliable and proven T-seal technology that resists the dormancy issues that plague current valves using O-ring seals. O-ring designs can stick upon actuation in low-demand control valve applications. Research carried out by ASCO Numatics found that many users routinely hammer the sides of these valves to ensure they function properly.

The 361 series 1/4", 3-way and 316L stainless steel valves are ATEX and IECEx approved (Ex d) and can be fitted with an explosion proof (low power) operator for use in Zone 1 and 2 hazardous areas. The 361 series is offered in manually operated, air piloted, and solenoid piloted versions and can be configured as breathing and non-breathing. The non-breathing version isolates internal components from the atmosphere and is internally vented, preventing contaminants such as salt and dust from entering the valve and corroding the internal components.

The valve’s balanced design maintains the same flow characteristics when the valve is used in a normally open or normally closed configuration. This provides symmetrical flow that enables more flexible setup of the control panel’s pneumatic logic. The 1.2 Kv provides almost double the flow of comparable spool technology. In addition, the valve’s innovative pilot-selector design allows the same unit to be used as an internally or externally piloted solenoid valve, simplifying ordering and reducing inventory.

Access to both real-time and alarm and event data

The latest release of the OPC Server for GE Turbines from MatrikonOPC™ now supports OPC Alarms and Events data. This addition provides engineers with access to both real-time and alarm and event data from their GE Turbines.

Accessing and acknowledging turbine alarms and events is a crucial element for centralized management and trouble-shooting. This OPC server brings all your plant processes into a single window for simple management and troubleshooting by integrating the Turbine system with other automation components in the enterprise such as HMIs, Historians and ERP systems.

“By expanding the capabilities of the OPC Server for GE Turbines, we provide clients with the most complete GE Turbine open connectivity solution available. This capability gives our clients the access and flexibility they need to effectively do their jobs without worrying about how to get at the underlying GE Turbine data," said Darek Kominek, Marketing Manager at MatrikonOPC.

Features include:
Direct connectivity to the GE Mark turbine controllers - eliminating the need for iDOS and GSM, greatly simplifying migrations to any modern HMI or Historian.
Enables users to import controllers’ information from the TCI PC configuration files (Site’s configuration files).
Supports process, diagnostic alarms, and logic events via simple OPC A&E.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Triaxial accelerometers

The Kistler Type 8688A series instrument grade triaxial accelerometers are ideal for use in a multitude of R&D and OEM applications where high-precision, low-frequency measurements and high-durability packaging are absolute requirements.

The low mass, hermitically sealed (IP68) titanium cube measures just 12.5 mm and combines Kistler’s PiezoBeam technology with an integrated PiezoTron charge converter to produce a triaxial accelerometer that has an exceptional sensitivity to size ratio. Available in 5, 10 and 50 g versions, the 8688A series accelerometers combine an 0.5 to 5000 Hz frequency range with excellent phase accuracy and shock survivability, a specification suited to a wide variety of applications ranging from aerospace ground vibration testing; flight test; structural dynamics and vibration assessments to automotive laboratory testing and vehicle ride assessments.

The ground isolated mounting clip can be used in three sensor orientations for mounting flexibility. The primary mounting surface has a 10-32 UNF threaded hole for use with a ground isolated screw-on adhesive or magnetic mounting base.
As an option, the accelerometers can be supplied with TEDS (Transducer Electronic Data Sheets) IEEE1451.4 capability.

First emission-free data centre!

An ABB solution is controlling what is thought to be the world’s first zero-emissions data center. Located in Iceland and powered by renewable hydropower and geothermal energy, the data center uses innovative natural cooling technology instead of power-thirsty chillers to achieve an exceptional energy efficiency level.

ABB programmable logic controllers are
the brain of the installation.
Strategically located in Iceland midway between Europe and North America, the Thor Data Center is a hosting and cloud storage services center situated close to the island’s capital, Reykjavik.

The facility recently opened its first 40-foot data storage container and has a second under delivery. Both containers use an innovative and patented new cooling technology developed by Spain-based AST Modular, which enables Thor DC to operate with a power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratio of only 1.07 – probably the lowest on record.

Known as modular natural free cooling, the patented technology uses the naturally cool outside air of the Icelandic climate to maintain the correct operating temperature and humidity level inside the sensitive data storage containers.

This, and the fact that the electricity supplied to the center comes from renewable geothermal or hydropower sources means that Thor DC offers its customers a green data storage environment with zero carbon footprint, while benefiting itself from the ultra-energy efficient ‘natural and free’ cooling technology of the AST Modular concept.

Monitoring and controlling the critical parameters in each data storage container are two ABB AC500 programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

ABB has been providing AST Modular with programmable logic controllers for several years, and has provided PLC solutions for other AST natural free cooling data centers in Australia and Denmark, which have PUE ratios of 1.09 and 1.13 respectively.

This solution consists of one active and one redundant AC500 PLC. The active PLC measures all the critical parameters in the data center – temperature, humidity, fan speed, energy consumption, fire and water detection, etc – to ensure that operating conditions within the container remain constantly optimal. The redundant PLC takes over control of the data center within just 20 milliseconds in the unlikely event of the active PLC failing.

The data measured and monitored by the AC500 isthen transferred to a SCADA system and monitored from the AST Modular control room in Barcelona, Spain. The data can be accessed and alarms received by iPads, iPhones and other tablets and mobile devices.

AST Modular selected the ABB solution for its modularity, robustness and ability to provide all the required functionality necessary to ensure that the data storage centers can operate at exceptional levels of reliability and availability. ABB’s global footprint and ability to provide support and service all over the world were also vital to AST Modular’s requirements.

The AC500 is one of the world’s most widely used PLCs. Modular, scalable and flexible, the AC500 offers more memory (allowing more functionality, more precise algorithms and better visualization) than most competing PLCs. It is also one of the fastest PLCs on the market, providing faster programming, faster calculations and faster data transfer.

Ethernet switches for 19" racks

The Siemens Industry Automation Division has expanded your choice of industrial Ethernet switches to a new product line with 19-inch rack devices.

The SCALANCE-X-500 switches are especially suitable for configuring large automation networks and connecting them to the company's IT system. Typical areas of application are network configuration and coupling in production and process industry systems, as well as in industry-oriented sectors - such as mining, logistics and transport.

The new switches are equipped with fully modular "Hot swappable" 4-port technology for electrical and optical media modules. Scalance XR528-6M, with two height units, has six slots for 4-port media modules. Scalance XR552-12M has three height units and twelve slots. Up to 24 or 48 end devices and network components with a speed of 10 to 1,000 Mbit/s can be connected. In addition, both device versions offer four slots for SFP+ (Small Form-factor, pluggable) transceivers with a 10 Gigabit/s Ethernet.

The new SCALANCE X-500 switches have functions for industry-specific communication and offer layer 2 and layer 3 functions, such as static and dynamic routing for communication with networks on the company's IT system.

The devices provide numerous redundancy functions, such as ring redundancy, RSTP (Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol) and MSTP (Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol), supplemented with standby functions and VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network). The external 300 W power supply unit, PS598-1, supplies the Scalance-X-500 switches with power. This is either installed above or below the switch or docked on the back directly using a plug-in connection. The availability of the switches increases when two redundant network devices are used. To activate layer 3 functions, an optional removable medium with key function (Key Plug) is used. This contains the activation license and allows configuration data to be saved.

Chip heads for space!

GreenPeak Technologies has announced that its radio communication controller chip was assessed by the European Space Center, ESA/ESTEC, for use in aerospace applications and was endorsed for its superior RF performance, ultra-low power requirement and excellent interference robustness.

ESTEC, the European Space Research and Technology Centre, is the technical heart of ESA - the incubator of the European space effort - where most ESA projects are guided through the various phases of development. To reduce the weight of satellites, engineers at ESA assess the replacement of data cables with wireless for sensors in and outside the satellite. The wireless communication technology must be proven in the field and designed to enable superior RF performance in satellite applications. The selection requirements are based on high reliability, extreme battery life time (+15 years) and robustness against interference.

"In our effort to reduce the complexity of harness onboard satellites and in ground tests, ESA has been searching for commercially available wireless communication technologies for sensors,”
said Jean-François Dufour, Computer and Data Handling Engineer with ESA. “GreenPeak's  IEEE802.15.4-2006 silicon was evaluated for its extremely low current consumption characteristics, which are needed for long-duration maintenance-free missions, and for its antenna diversity feature providing robust links within satellite systems. We were delighted by the quality of the silicon and the dedication of GreenPeak's staff."
Cees links, CEO of GreenPeak said: “We are excited to meet the challenges posed by ESA and passing in depth testing of our silicon. Working with ESA is a unique quality recognition and demonstrates that our silicon is highly suitable for the most demanding applications requiring performance leadership.”

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wireless temperature!

Yokogawa has now released its new wireless multi-input temperature transmitter.

Built on the ISA100.11a industrial automation wireless communication standard, the YTMX580 is battery powered and features an industry-leading eight analog input channels, each configurable for thermocouple, RTD, DCV and 4-20mA measurement. The YTMX580 is a cost effective way to measure multiple temperature points in distant plant locations where there is no signal cabling or power available for traditional wired instrumentation. With eight input channels, the YTMX580 increases operating efficiency and reduces installation time and maintenance costs by combining multiple inputs into a single transmitter.

Temperature data is sent via a secure wireless link to an ISA100.11a gateway receiver, making that data available to a wide range of plant instruments and data acquisition and control systems. The field-replaceable internal battery pack that powers the YTMX580 provides years of continuous operation under normal conditions and it is shared with Yokogawa ISA100.11a Field Wireless EJX-B differential pressure/pressure and YTA510 temperature transmitters.

Acquisition strengthens pulp & paper offering

ABB completes acquisition of Lorentzen & Wettre

ABB has completed its acquisition of Lorentzen & Wettre from ASSA ABLOY AB.

Lorentzen & Wettre manufactures equipment for quality control, process optimization and test instrumentation for the pulp and paper industry. The acquisition enhances ABB’s position as a leading pulp and paper solutions provider and complements ABB’s existing portfolio. Lorentzen & Wettre will be integrated into ABB’s Process Automation division.

CMC monitoring reduces complexity

CMC III, the third and completely re-designed generation of their Computer Multi Control (CMC) monitoring systems with its striking new feature, the change to Controller Area Network (CAN) buses has been launched by Rittal. Standardised and very robust, these field buses are integrated in the central processing unit and in their intelligent sensors. Unlike traditional I/O units, the CAN-bus sensors are not individually connected to the central processing unit, but rather to each other in series: A CAN bus, linked to the buses in the neighbouring enclosures, is found in each server enclosure.


Data is simply "passed through" until arriving in the central unit. The reduced complexity means there is much less unwanted cable clutter when installing, maintaining and modifying the system. Since far fewer modules are needed, the cost of the system is also slashed. Rittal has also taken a new direction with sensors: Two most important functions, the temperature sensor for the cold air intake at the front of the server and an infrared sensor, which monitors whether the enclosure door is open or closed, are already integrated in the central processing unit as defaults.

Completely revised, the CMC III enclosure now requires far less expensive space in the server rack. Just one-third of a height unit is enough space for the third generation CMC's processing unit. In addition, the new power pack is housed in an identical enclosure, which is easily installed in the same height unit and connected via cable. Power supply via Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also possible.

With the CMC III, network integration, as well as configuration and commissioning, are performed comfortably with a laptop and a USB port. User can choose between TCP/IPv4 and TCP/IPv6 as network protocols. Working with RiZone IT infrastructure management software and the Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, CMC III is capable of initiating automated counter-measures. Emergency situations can thus be defused immediately without human intervention, while the responsible members of staff are alerted by text message or e-mail.

Rittal was one of the companies exhibiting at EFM Expo in Cork (IRL) last week.