Saturday, November 19, 2011

Management changes

Brennan Industries recently announced changes to its management team including staff additions in operations, customer service and sales.
LtoR: Jones, Perone & Stahr
Al Jones joins Brennan Industries as regional sales manager for Minnesota. He has 10 years of industry experience in both sales and account management. Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in production management from the University of Minnesota.

John Perone joins Brennan Industries as operations manager for the California distribution center. He has 25 years of experience in sales, marketing and distribution. Perone earned a bachelor’s degree in business from California State University, Long Beach. He also completed the executive program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Matt Stahr joins the management team as customer service manager. Stahr previously worked as a procurement specialist and has been with Brennan Industries for four years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kent State University.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Industrial communication goes wireless

The new Anybus® Wireless Bridge from HMS is a solution for extending industrial Ethernet networks with wireless communication. The solution makes it possible to connect industrial devices running Profinet, EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP, over a wireless connectio

With the Anybus Wireless Bridge, HMS takes industrial Ethernet communication into the wireless age. Just as the name suggests, the product is a wireless bridge between two points in an industrial Ethernet network. It can also be used to connect devices to an existing wireless infrastructure.

Solving problems for system integrators

By connecting industrial devices and networks over a wireless link, the Anybus Wireless Bridge makes life easier for system integrators and network designers needing to create connections through hazardous areas, hard-to-reach locations, or moving installations where cables are not desirable. The Wireless Bridge is compatible with the major industrial Ethernet standards Profinet, EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP, and provides users with a robust and maintenance-free wireless connection.

“We see an emerging need on the market for industrial-quality wireless communication,” comments Henrik Arleving, Product Line Manager, Remote Management at HMS. “Wireless technology is nowadays very reliable and it is becoming more and more accepted on the industrial automation market. The Anybus Wireless Bridge provides a simple solution to complicated connectivity problems and is yet another step in our efforts to make industrial networking easier.”

How it works
Anybus Wireless Bridge allows industrial Ethernet based equipment to be connected via wireless technology and makes it possible to bridge protocols such as Profinet,
EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP, etc. over a distance of up to 400 meters (open air range).

Wireless transmission is made via Bluetooth or WLAN technology. While the WLAN solution provides higher bandwidth thanks to a wider frequency range of the transmitted wireless signals, the Bluetooth solution offers an even more reliable and noise immune wireless link since Bluetooth switches between different frequencies.

Control moisture in your hydrogen coolant

Michell Instruments’ on-line and portable dew point hygrometers provide a complete solution to monitor moisture levels and reduce the risk of explosion in hydrogen-cooled electricity generators.

Michell Instruments’ on-line and portable dew point hygrometers provide a complete solution to monitor moisture levels and reduce the risk of explosion in hydrogen-cooled electricity generators.

Using hydrogen as a coolant in the power generation industry is common practice: it has an extremely high heat transfer capacity and is more efficient than any other medium.  However, this efficiency has its price, as hydrogen is also highly flammable. The higher the moisture level is, the higher the potential for corrosion of the generator internals. High moisture levels lower the thermal conductivity (and therefore efficiency) of the hydrogen. Also, condensed moisture within the system increases the risk of the hydrogen in the system simultaneously igniting – a phenomenon known as ‘flashover’. The risk of this is avoided by ensuring that the dew point of the moisture in the hydrogen is kept to a safe margin below the minimum temperature of the casing, typically around 0°C, to avoid condensation.

As it is not possible to hermetically seal the generator casings, there is potential for moisture to ingress from the surrounding air. The heat exchanger itself will also become more prone to leakage due to corrosion with age, allowing moisture to seep into the hydrogen, so constant measurement is vital to ensure that the dew point remains at a safe level below ambient temperature. There are two options: either continual monitoring or regular spot-checks of the system.

Continuous measurement ensures that the current dew point of the system is always available and alarms can be triggered if it rises above the ambient level. ATEX certified dew-point transmitters, such as Michell’s Easidew PRO I.S. and Easidew TX I.S. are well suited to this application as they can be used to measure the dew-point of flammable gases within the hazardous area. As hydrogen constitutes an explosion risk, a digital indicator, if required, should be installed in a safe location, remote from the generator set. Both transmitters provide a 4-20 mA output signal covering the range -100 to +20°C.

A portable dew-point hygrometer, such as Michell’s MDM300 I.S., may be used for making spot-checks of moisture in the system. This can either provide a fail-safe for the online moisture analyzers, or as the main method of measuring moisture. Portable instruments can be highly cost-effective as they can be used for spot checks in more than one location in a plant, eg also for transformer drying applications.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Multichassis Data Acquisition and RF Systems

New Modules Empower PXI-Based Multichassis Data Acquisition and RF Systems

National Instruments have introduced two system expansion options for creating multichassis PXI Express systems. The NI PXIe-8364 and NI PXIe-8374 are the first NI PXI Express remote control modules that make it possible for engineers to directly interface multiple PXI Express chassis to a single host computer using any expansion topology, without requiring complex custom solutions. The modules’ simplified interconnectivity and industry-standard PXI-based architecture help increase system design efficiency and overall system performance in a variety of high-channel-count data acquisition and high-speed automated test applications including RF and semiconductor test.

The NI PXIe-8364/74 modules use x1 and x4 MXI-Express links, respectively, to connect downstream and upstream PXI Express chassis, and all PXI modules in the downstream chassis appear as local devices in the upstream chassis. Because MXI-Express links are software transparent, no interconnections require programming, which greatly simplifies multichassis system setup.

Additionally, the modules use cabled PCI Express as their underlying communication technology, which offers extremely high bandwidth and low latency. The NI PXIe-8364/74 modules provide a maximum data bandwidth of 250 MB/s and 1 GB/s, respectively. Engineers can use the new modules to create systems with multiple PXI Express chassis connected in complex topologies such as star, line or tree. Ideal combinations connect the new NI PXIe-8364/74 modules in upstream chassis with NI PXIe-8360/70 controllers in downstream chassis.

With their PXI architecture and cabled PCI Express communication technology, the new expansion modules build on the numerous National Instruments offerings of broad compatibility with the highest industry standards. Such compatibility, combined with the new modules’ features, simplify the process of expanding PXI Express systems to include multiple chassis for higher performance, thousands of data acquisition or measurement and control channels for various test and measurement applications.

Failsafe applications on portal!

The Siemens Industry Automation division has integrated the engineering of fail-safe applications into its engineering framework, the TIA Portal. Under the "Step 7 V11 user interface" the new engineering tool Step 7 Safety Advanced now provides the required configuration and programming tools for the creation of a safety-related program.

The new engineering tool for safety tasks uses the standard project structure of Step 7 V11 and offers the same operating concept as for the creation of standard programs. The speeds up the familiarization process for the user. In addition, the integrated library, with TÜV-certified function blocks for all common safety functions, simplifies the creation of programs. In connection with custom signatures for the device parameters, the library concept supports in-house standardization and simplifies the validation of safety-oriented applications. The Safety Administration Editor of the new Step 7 Safety Advanced engineering tool simplifies the administration, display and modification of safety-related parameters. The editor offers the programmer a quick overview at all times with standardized and integrated identification of all safety-related objects.

Controller application area extended

The AS-i master CM1243-2 communication module of the Siemens Industry Automation Division connects AS-Interface networks to the Simatic S7-1200 controller. The module significantly expands the application area of the controller. The AS-i master enables sensors and actuators to be easily and quickly integrated at the lowest field level both in the Simatic S7-1200 and in the TIA Portal. Configuration via the TIA Portal is comparably fast and user-friendly, similar to Profinet or Profibus networks.

The AS-i master CM1243-2 of the Siemens Industry Automation Division offers exceptionally easy and effective connection of the lowest field level to a higher-level controller and thus to the process level and MES level. The new AS-i master automatically organizes the data traffic on the connected line, handles not only signal scanning but also performs parameter setting, monitoring and diagnostic functions. CM1243-2 also offers additional integrated functions, such as the configuration of Sirius M200D AS-i motor starters without additional function blocks and access via a web interface. A total of 62 AS-i slaves or 992 inputs and outputs to an AS-i master can be connected. A standard power supply can be connected via the optional DCM 1271 data coupling module, enabling the realization of a low-cost AS-i Power24V network.

Configuration and commissioning of the AS-i master is especially easy to perform due to the integration of the new device in the TIA Portal. AS-i engineering is performed directly in the TIA Portal and is similar to configuration with Profibus and Profinet. No additional software is required. The TIA Portal shows the topology of the connected AS-i network with a click of the mouse. The user can conveniently adapt the parameters of the slaves on screen.

New standard for control integration in broadcast operations

DNF Controls has announced the release of a series of new applications for the Flex Control Network®, DNF's modular platform of professional IP-based machine controllers. The new applications provide control integration enabling broadcasters to solve all manner of operational control problems, setting a new standard of excellence for operational efficiency and profitability. The applications are designed for all segments of the broadcast industry, including live and live-to-tape production; master control and playout; broadcast and network (cable) operations; postproduction; live sports; live news; and machine control.

The Flex Control platform consists of device controllers with 25 (and counting) drivers and interface solutions that combine with a full range of control panels to create applications for solving even the most complex control problems while using existing I/P infrastructure as the backbone. With its tactile control surfaces, browser-based interfaces for ease of use and deployment, and simple push-button operation using "event to action" logic for sophisticated, automated control, Flex Control delivers unparalleled centralized and distributed control over machinery and workflows.

"Today's broadcast facilities comprise more disparate technology than ever before, and all these systems need to be networked, managed, and controlled in new fundamental ways," said Dan Fogel, CTO of DNF Controls. "The feedback we're hearing from our customers around the world is that they have found Flex Control Network to be the simplest yet most versatile, and certainly most reliable, solution on the market to address operational control issues. The Flex Control broadcast applications integrate easily with their existing equipment, so they don't miss a beat when changing setup. Plus the modular nature of the platform means they can scale and adapt the system as their requirements change."

Flex Control offers infinite possibilities for controlling, monitoring, and managing networked devices over LAN, WAN, and the Internet. With Flex Control, users can add and change devices, control protocols, and control points whenever and wherever they want without disrupting their workflow. Flex Control lets users redistribute the broadcast or production workload at a moment's notice to keep up with late-breaking news, equipment failure, and unexpected personnel changes or other events. Users can control almost anything in their facility from anywhere in the world using DNF's Web services from a computer, tablet, smartphone, or any other Web-enabled device.

Flex Control Network is based on DNF's more than 20 years of experience providing "must work," mission-critical control systems for broadcast and production operations.

PLC enhanced

Yokogawa has enhanced the FA-M3V range-free multi-controller - a PLC with the world's fastest CPU scanning speed - with new CPU modules and software.

Development background
As manufacturing processes become increasingly complex, the programs that run on the controllers embedded in electronic component and equipment assembly systems and semiconductor manufacturing equipment are becoming more advanced. At the same time, equipment manufacturers have to deal with greater complexity in their processes ranging from design and development to maintenance.

To help its customers develop these programs more efficiently, Yokogawa has introduced the WideField3 programming tool for the FA-M3V and Tool Box programming tools for the controller's temperature control/monitoring and positioning modules. The sampling trace function for the FA-M3V's two CPU modules has also been enhanced to allow the long-term logging of field data. With this logging function, any time interval can be specified and many different types of triggers can be set. This greatly facilitates the analysis of problems that can occur at start-up or during normal operation. These new features allow quick system start-up and reduce the workload associated with processes such as design, development, and maintenance.

Product features
In addition to the newly released WideField3 programming tool, two Tool Box programming tools for the FA-M3V's temperature control/monitoring and positioning modules have been added to the product lineup. Ever since first releasing these tools in Japan, Yokogawa has worked to enhance them to meet a variety of user needs and to speed up the program development process.

The enhanced CPU modules have a sampling trace function that enables up to 100 traces to be set, allowing highly accurate analysis of large amounts of operation data. By inserting an SD memory card into a slot on the FA-M3V CPU module, users can automatically log data in a trace setting file that can be later used to troubleshoot problems and debug programs. It is not necessary to connect a PC to perform this task. Remote maintenance of the FA-M3V can also be performed by e-mailing trace setting and results files.

New RF signal generator

The new TGR6000 RF signal generator from Aim-TTi is capable of sweeping from 10 MHz to 6000 MHz in a single range.

The generator has several sweep modes including step sweep and list sweep. In step sweep, the frequency and/or amplitude are stepped between two fixed points using up to 1000 steps which can have a fixed time period or a triggered interval. Sweeps can be linear or logarithmic, up or down.

In list sweep, frequency and amplitude points are defined within a table enabling any sweep pattern to be used. Dwell times are fully adjustable down to 10 ms.

The TGR6000 covers a frequency range of 10 MHz to 6000 MHz at an output level of between -110 dBm and +7 dBm, adjustable in 0.1 dB steps. The frequency resolution is 10 Hz, and the internal timebase stability is better than one part in 10^6. An external reference can be used for higher accuracy.

It is is intended for CW signal applications and has no built-in modulations.

Full digital remote control facilities are provided through the GPIB, RS232, USB, and LAN (Ethernet) interfaces.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Smart wireless meets environmental requirements in Sweden!

Rosemount® wireless conductivity transmitters help prevent discharge of chemicals into local environment
Korsnäs Gävle is using Emerson Process Management’s Smart Wireless conductivity and temperature transmitters to collect critical leak-detection monitoring data at its board and paper production unit at Gävlebukten, Sweden. Improved monitoring enables the company to verify its compliance with environmental monitoring legislation.

Water from heat exchangers at the Gävlebukten plant is carefully monitored prior to its return to the sea. Small internal leaks may result in the discharge of hazardous chemicals into the local environment. Any leak of acids, bases, or salts will raise the electrical conductivity of the water and is easily detected using a conductivity sensor. A renovation project within the utilities section meant that I/O supporting existing instrumentation was to be removed. Korsnäs Gävle therefore needed an alternative way to transmit the required measurements to the main control room.

“Initially we considered installing new cable runs, but the process would have taken too long and would have delayed the planned renovation project,” said Peter Hallenberg, Project Leader Process Automation, Korsnäs Gävle. “The application presented a great opportunity for us to install and evaluate Emerson’s Smart Wireless technology, which takes advantage of the IEC 62591 (WirelessHART®) communication standard.”

The Smart Wireless solution that Korsnäs Gävle installed includes a Rosemount® Analytical 6081-C transmitter connected to a conductivity probe. The transmitter sends the measurement data via a Smart Wireless Gateway to the existing control and data acquisition systems, where it is used to ensure compliance with the environmental monitoring legislation.

Korsnäs Gävle also needed to establish new continuous monitoring of emissions from aerated basins and ponds. Twenty-two new sensors measuring pH, dissolved oxygen, and water temperatures had to be installed and connected to the central monitoring system. There were no available cable runs, and new cable infrastructure presented a considerable challenge and cost at €200 per metre.

To meet this challenge, Korsnäs Gävle installed six Rosemount wireless transmitters, each with four available inputs, to relay data from the analytical sensors. The wireless instruments provide the necessary data to meet the environmental requirements.

“Less than two months after ordering the Smart Wireless devices, the whole system was fully operational. That is very fast for implementing 30 new measurement points,” said Hallenberg.
“Now that the network is in place we have also found that adding additional devices becomes very simple.”

Specifically, Korsnäs Gävle has installed seven Rosemount 648 wireless temperature transmitters to automate the monitoring of water temperatures in wastewater pits that feed the aerated basins and ponds. A further eight Rosemount wireless transmitters will be installed to identify plugged filters on two wood chip digesters within the main processing section of the plant.

New applications for radar level transmitter

Siemens has launched the Sitrans LR250 radar level transmitter with a new threaded PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) antenna for liquid and slurry measurement. The antenna opens up new applications in extreme conditions for this non-contacting level transmitter.

The Sitrans LR250 threaded PVDF antenna is designed for extreme conditions characteristic of acids, alkalis, and other corrosive chemicals: some examples include sodium hypochlorite, sodium hydroxide, and sulfuric and hydrochloric acid applications. These applications are not suitable for stainless steel and usually require transmitters be made from exotic and costly materials. However, it is able to withstand such environments while remaining a cost-effective solution. It also uses FDA-compliant materials suitable for use in food and beverage, chemical, and water treatment applications.

The unit is a compact 25 GHz 2-wire transmitter for non-contacting level measurement of liquid or slurry materials for measurement ranges of up to 20 m (66 ft). It is available with Hart, Profibus PA, or Foundation Fieldbus protocols. With the graphical Quick Start Wizard the Sitrans LR250 is operational in minutes and the infrared handheld programmer supports local programming. Full function diagnostics comply with Namur NE 43 and the Sitrans LR250 has also achieved a SIL 2 functional safety declaration with Safe Failure Fraction (SFF) of 86%, making it suitable for use in Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS). Key fields of application for the Sitrans LR250 include bulk liquid storage tanks, process vessels with agitators, vaporous liquids and low dielectric media.

Partnership with leading Japanese life science company!

QUMAS has just announced a partnership agreement with CTC Laboratory System Corporation (CTCLS), who will distribute, implement and support the QUMAS Compliance Platform in Asia.
Katsuya Mizuno – Deputy General Manager Strategic Planning & Business Development, CTC LS, John Near - Irish Ambassador to Japan, Hideki Negishi – CEO, CTC LS, Éamon Gilmore - Tánaiste Éireann, Warren Perry – Compliance Consultant, QUMAS, Yusuke Tanabe – General Manager Strategic Planning & Business Development Department, CTC LS, Eddie Hughes – Director Japan, Enterprise Ireland
As a unique member of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC), CTCLS has evolved into one of Japan's leading solution providers that specialize in the integration of R&D support systems for life sciences companies. With incomparable end-to-end solution capability, CTCLS serves pharmaceutical, chemical and food manufacturers, as well as universities and public offices. It offers a wide range of products and services that cover every stage of R & D activities to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction and trust.

The QUMAS Compliance Platform is a closed-loop compliance solution that combines all of the elements of a cohesive regulatory compliance program, onto one platform. It delivers comprehensive capabilities around document management (SOPs etc) and process management (CAPAs etc), presenting these through a unified user interface, with integrated learning management, and consolidated reporting and dashboarding, all driving regulatory compliance and ultimately delivering better business performance.

“We are very excited by this partnership with CTCLS, which further extends our activities in Asia,” said Kevin O’Leary, CEO for QUMAS. “CTCLS has a great reputation, and a wealth of industry expertise. I am confident that they will continue to represent the QUMAS Compliance Platform as the preeminent solution for compliance requirements.”

Having already signed a major contract with the leading Japanese pharmaceutical company, QUMAS and CTCLS formally announced their partnership at an Enterprise Ireland Trade Mission in Japan on October 11th, 2011, which was attended by the Irish Tánaiste Éamon Gilmore (See picture above!).

The QUMAS Compliance Platform delivers control across the business, ensuring compliance mandates are not only adhered to but ultimately deliver tangible business performance improvements across the organization.
The company is the leader in Compliance Solutions with more than 260 global customer deployments and two decades of experience in highly regulated industries.
It is also a Gold Microsoft Partner, and provides the QUMAS Compliance Platform on SharePoint 2010, Documentum, Oracle or SQL.

Automation & control for sun and wind!

ABB is to acquire Powercorp, an Australian renewable power automation company. This acquisition strengthens ABB’s portfolio of control technologies used to manage the integration of renewable energy sources.
Darwin based Powercorp employs around 30 people and offers automation and intelligent control solutions to manage renewable energy generation in isolated grids, ensuring utility grade power quality and grid stability. This enables very high levels of wind and solar power penetration into isolated diesel powered grids, thus reducing emissions and dependency on fossil fuel.

“Powercorp brings expertise for the integration of renewable energy generation into conventional micro and remote island grids,”
said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “This bolt-on acquisition will add specialist know-how and solutions to our control systems offering and further strengthen our position in the renewable space.”

Powercorp has installed several systems to integrate renewable power into remote grids and keep generation in balance with consumption. The company also supplies systems that dynamically store and release energy in response to frequency and voltage deviations, to stabilize small or remote grids.

“Joining forces with ABB is a logical next step for the growth of our business,” said Alan Langworthy CEO of Powercorp. “It will expand our global reach and help create optimal solutions for higher and better use of renewable energy generation.”

Smallest photomicrosensor!

Omron Electronics Components has launched what it believes is the smallest photomicrosensor on the market, a device that nevertheless offers exceptional sensing performance.

Despite its ultra-compact size of just 3.2mm x 1.9mm x 1.1mm, the new Omron EE-SY1200 reflective photomicrosensor can reliably detect objects between 1mm and 4mm away. It is ideal for a whole range of demanding applications including paper pass and edge detection in office equipment and cash machines, as well as motion and tamper detection in gambling and metering equipment and safety applications such as end of travel detection cover presence confirmation and moving part proximity detection.

Based on their innovative MID (moulded interconnect device) technology, the EE-SY1200 offers a detector solution with a high and reliable signal to noise ratio. The industry leading parameters of minimum light current versus maximum leakage current, for the EE-SY1200, are specified at 200micro-amps against 500nano-amps. This level of performance allows the system to reliably respond to the presence and position of the detected object.

Gabriel Sikorjak, Omron Product Marketing Manager, Sensors, commented, “The development of new EE-SY1200 photomicrosensor securely establishes Omron as a innovative supplier of high quality, high functionality, compact components for sensing and control. The new sensor has few, if any, alternatives available on the current market for surface mounting reflective photomicrosensors. The exceptional sensing distance achieved opens up new opportunities for designers looking for sensing solutions where an object needs to be detected as it approaches the detection area.”

The device is available in a surface mount termination for use with automated mounting equipment and offers it in tape and reel packaging. The sensor is compatible with the latest reflow soldering processes. The photomicrosensor supports an operating temperature range from -25°C to 85°C.

Photomicrosensor are compact optical sensors that detect objects or object positions using an optical beam. The reflective photomicrosensor incorporates an emitter and a detector. When an object is located in the sensing area of the reflective photomicrosensor, the object reflects the optical beam of the emitter, thus changing the amount of optical energy reaching the detector.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Temp & CO2

Save on installation costs with combined CO2/temperature measurement

E+E Elektronik has added an additional passive temperature measurement function to the tried-and-tested EE85 CO2 transmitter for precise measurement of CO2 concentrations and temperatures in HVAC applications. CO2 and temperature measurement in a single device cuts installation costs for sensors.
The combined CO2 temperature transmitter is ideally suited for applications in the fields of building management and demand controlled ventilation. The elegant, compact housing enables easy installation directly at the ventilation duct using a mounting flange.

The CO2 measurement of the EE85 is carried out using infrared technology (NDIR). The patented auto-calibrate function compensates for any ageing effects (even if there is no fresh air supply) and ensures excellent long-term stability. The air to be monitored is conveyed to the measurement cell in the housing by means of convection via the measuring head and a 12-mm pipe. The exchange of gas with the measurement cell is performed by diffusion via a diaphragm. In this way, the gas in the measurement cell circulates in a closed system. This prevents any soiling of the optical measurement path and any associated inaccuracies in the measurements.
The temperature the sensor is installed directly in the tip of the measurement sensor and optimally protected against soiling by a diaphragm filter. The passive temperature sensor signal is available at the connection terminals in the housing and can be connected directly to the majority of control devices.

The measuring ranges 0 – 2.000 / 5.000 / 10.000 ppm are available. The temperature range is -20…60°C.

Since a CO2 concentration of room air above 1.000 ppm affects our performance, it is important to measure the CO2 concentration in addition to the standard climatic conditions for rooms (such as temperature and relative humidity). In this way, it is possible to take early and cost-effective actions to remedy poor air quality (for example, by increasing the fresh air supply as required).

Alarm switching unit

Status Instruments has launched the SEM1633, a unit that provides an accurate alarm/switching function when used with RTD or slidewire sensors.

The SEM1633’s flexible design allows the use of any resistive sensor within the range of (10 to 10000) Ω, including Pt100, 500, 1000, Ni or Cu sensors as well as slidewire sensors up to 100KΩ. Other sensor characteristics or the user’s own 24 point linearisation characteristic (for slidewire or linear resistance) can be downloaded into the product enabling it to be adapted to the exact application required.

Trip outputs are independently configured for six actions: normal High/Low/Deviation and inverted High/Low/Deviation as well as set point and dead band.

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

Status’ USB interface is fitted for quick and easy configuration of the SEM1633 using a standard USB cable between the SEM1633 and the user’s PC. Using Status’ free configuration software, the PC will automatically upload the existing configuration data and guide the user through any changes that hey wish to make. To further help save time, the SEM1633 does not need to be wired to a power supply during the configuration process either, it is powered via the USB interface from the PC.

Status Instruments are markted by P J Boner & Company in Ireland.

Platform now available

After approximately 3,000 man-days in development and a beta test with more than 300 participants, EPLAN Platform 2.1 can now be downloaded from the support domain of the EPLAN homepage for all software service customers.

Update your existing software to the new EPLAN Platform 2.1 and take the next decisive steps towards consistent engineering. With more than 600 innovative functions which allow for efficiency in the engineering processes, the software ensures consistent project data across all disciplines and project phases that are fully integrated in the product engineering process.

The benefits include faster results in electrical, fluid and EI&C engineering with improved quality in machines and plant documentation.

Energy management!

Energy management system for industry expanded and engineering improved!

Siemens Industry Automation Division has equipped its modular, sector-independent Simatic WinCC/B.Data energy management system with new functions.

The new Simatic WinCC/B.Data V5.2 SP1 version features a data connection wizard which facilitates easy and efficient linking of energy measuring points and WinCCarchive tags to B.Data. The wizard also supports the user in acquiring data from various sources such as WinCC, OPC or FTP. Installation is significantly faster and easier. Less experienced users are supported by default parameters, a standardized setup process, tooltips, simple configuration even for multi-user systems, as well as improved documentation. More experienced users benefit from the greater degree of freedom offered for selecting settings by the expert set-up mode. The new WinCC/B.Data version 5.2 SP1 not only supports WinCC V7.0 SP2 but also the supervisory control and data acquisition Scada system Simatic WinCC RT Professional V11 SP1, which is used to connect the energy management system to the runtime system of the TIA Portal engineering framework.

With the Simatic WinCC/B.Data energy management system, which now also supports Microsoft Excel 2010 and Windows 7, manufacturing companies can optimize their energy costs and transparency at management level, from purchasing to planning and controlling. Seamless energy and materials accounting in power generation and consumption systems enhances energy efficiency and lowers energy costs.

Automation scholorships!

Applications for its 2012-2013 ISA Educational Foundation Scholarships are now been accepted by the ISA.

Contributions to the ISA Educational Foundation come from the following sources:

Norman E. and Mary-Belle Huston Scholarship Endowment,
the Paros-Digiquartz Fund,
the Bob and Mary Ives Endowment,
the Wilbanks scholarship,
the ISA Chemical and Petroleum Industries Division Endowment,
the ISA Food and Pharmaceutical Industries Division Endowment,
the ISA Executive Board Scholarship,
ISA Life Members Committee Scholarship,
various ISA Section and District Scholarships, the General Education Fund, and others.

ISA is grateful for these  contributions and welcomes further donations
These scholarships are awarded to students worldwide in two- and four-year colleges and universities, and to graduate students, who demonstrate outstanding potential for long-range contribution to the fields of automation, instrumentation, and control. The scholarships support tuition and related expenses and research activities and initiatives.

Applications must be postmarked by 15 February 2012 and received by ISA by 25 February 2012 to be eligible. The recipients will be chosen at ISA’s annual Spring Leaders Meeting in 2012 and notified in July 2012.

Scholarships of $5,000 are provided to the top two undergraduate students, while the amounts of the other scholarships vary.

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program in an instrumentation, systems, or automation discipline (two-year program or four-year baccalaureate program or its equivalent) at an educational institution in their country of residence. Two-year-program applicants must have completed at least one academic semester or 12 semester hours or the equivalent. Four-year-degree program applicants must be in the sophomore year or higher of their study, or the equivalent, at the time of application. Also, applicants must be full-time students and have an overall grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.

PXI controller

ADLINK Technology has released its first PXI Express controller, the PXIe-3975, a 3U PXI Express™ controller with Intel® Core™ i5-520E processor, for hybrid PXIe-based testing systems. With maximum system throughput of up to 2 GB/s, the PXIe-3975 leads the field of mid-performance PXIe testing system solutions for general purpose and electronic functional testing applications.

The ADLINK PXIe-3975 PXI Express embedded controller is built on an Intel® Core™ i5-520E 2.4 GHz processor with Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology and Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, maximizing energy efficiency and boosting performance by enabling CPU cores to run at higher frequencies. The PXIe-3975 also features up to 8 GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 memory, and a 160 GB, 7200 RPM SATA hard drive, for seamless execution in multi-tasking environments.

“ADLINK, as a sponsor member of the PXI System Alliance, in response to the requirement for increased bandwidth in PXI-based testing systems, is pleased to be expanding our PXI product line to embrace PXI Express platforms.” Catherine Wu, Director of their Measurement and Automation Product Segment said. “For automated test equipment (ATE) systems consisting of a PXI Express platform and diversified standalone instruments for complex testing tasks, ADLINK’s PXIe-3975, with a variety of I/O interface capabilities, delivers easy connection to other instruments, ideally positioning it as a core controller. ADLINK’s PXIe-3975 provides more than equal performance based on industry standards, to meet and exceed all customers’ needs.”

The ADLINK PXIe-3975 provides flexible scalability with a front panel-mounted ExpressCard/34 expansion slot. Users can extend system function with easily installed ExpressCard modules, such as ExpressCard to USB 3.0, or a bus expansion kit from ExpressCard to PXI/PCI. In addition, the ADLINK PXIe-3975 also provides ample interface flexibility, including dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, one for LAN connection and the other for controlling LXI instruments, four USB 2.0 ports for peripheral devices and USB instrument control, and a Micro-D GPIB connector for GPIB instrument connection, for hybrid PXIe-based testing systems control.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Control in the cloud!

The cloud-based Netbiter solution from HMS enables remote management of industrial applications

The Netbiter® remote management solution enables users to monitor and control machinery such as power generators, tanks, wind turbines, building applications and base stations from a standard web browser.

Remote access to industrial applications and cloud computing are hot topics today as more and more companies are looking to save time, energy and resources. With this in mind, HMS can now offer a remote management solution for industrial applications based on cloud technology.

How Netbiter works
The Netbiter remote management solution is unique since it is an all-in-one solution including communication gateways, secure hosting servers and a web user interface.

A Netbiter gateway connects to any type of remote equipment, usually via the Modbus protocol. The Netbiter sends information via the Internet or a secure GSM/GPRS connection which requires no VPN or static IP addresses.

By accessing the Netbiter ArgosTM data center at, users can monitor parameters such as temperatures, statuses and levels from a regular web browser. It is also possible to start or stop equipment such as power generators remotely.

Typical users and applications
The Netbiter solution can be used by anyone wanting to monitor and control equipment remotely. Early adopters use Netbiter to monitor power generators, water/wastewater plants, tanks, building/HVAC installations, telecom base stations and renewable energy. By getting real-time information about equipment in the field, users are able to gain better control and make substantial savings on service trips and machine maintenance.

"Netbiter is already a trusted and proven concept installed in more than 50 countries around the world. With the acquisition of the remaining shares in remote management specialist Intellicom earlier this year, we now put further focus on remote management within HMS and offer the Netbiter concept on a wider scale. With the backing of the HMS global team we can now offer state-of-the-art industrial solutions for remote management,” comments Staffan Dahlström, CEO at HMS Industrial Networks.

Technical highlights
  • - The Netbiter gateway sends information via a secure Ethernet or GSM/GPRS connection eliminating the need for VPNs or static IP addresses.
  • - The solution is configured in a web interface at without the need for any programming.
  • - A dashboard tool makes it easy to create graphical displays with gauges and tables of the most important parameters in real time.
  • - Historical data is stored on parallel servers in the Netbiter ArgosTM data center, making it easy to create reports and statistics regarding the equipment.

Vision in autumn!

The Autumn issue of the newsletter from the UK Industrial Vision Association (UKIVA) is now available for download. This 16 page newsletter, which includes a tribute to Don Braggins, the former UKIVA director who passed away earlier this year, has an even greater emphasis on practical applications of machine vision, with no less than seven application stories being featured. The newsletter also features the usual mix of members’ news and technical tips as well as a full UKIVA members’ directory.

UKIVA Technical Consultant and Director of Panther Vision, Dr. John Haddon, said: “Machine vision touches all of our lives in one way or another. It is likely that we have all purchased a product that has had some level of vision inspection as part of its manufacturing or packaging process, and most petrol stations now record and check number plates before turning on the fuel pumps! The Association is delighted to be able to highlight so many different practical applications in this issue of the newsletter.”

Cognex, Leuze Electronics, Multipix, Olmec UK, Omron, RNA Automation, and STEMMER IMAGING, all members of the association,  have contributed articles that cover topics ranging from checking the length width and thickness of a ‘sandwich biscuit’ to a system to help visually impaired people working on a packaging line. Other applications include on-board and trackside railway inspection; the inspection of promotional labels on packs of potatoes destined for the supermarket; inspection of codes on labels in the healthcare industry; the inspection of plastic moulding components and applications for 3D sensors.

Liquid & gas flowmeter

Yokogawa, "the home of the original Rotameter," has introduced the new Glass Rotameter RAGN, designed to offer an unlimited lifetime combined with safe and virtually maintenance-free operation. The RAGN resists highly corrosive media and is used for the continuous flow measurement of liquids and gases.

Yokogawa is the first supplier to completely provide safety excellence to all applications for glass and metal Rotameters based on FMEDA. The RAGN with reed switches has been assessed to SIL 1 acc. to the reworked IEC 61508:2010 and complies with the Machinery Directive ISO 13849-1 standard.

When the original Rotameter (or variable area flowmeter) was developed in 1909 by Karl Küppers, the importance of the variable area meter was quickly recognized. Due to the Rotameter mechanical principle, continuous flow measurement was possible for the first time. The simple principle, that a float rises inside a conically glass tube and its position on a scale can be read as the flow rate, has not changed. Rotameters have been continuously developed and optimized to meet the requirements of the modern process industry. They are still popular in all industries and customers value its reliability and trouble-free operation.

The RAGN comes in an all stainless steel design and offers the widest measuring ranges from 2
ml/h – 10 m³/h water and 0.1 l/h – 160 m³/h air. The measuring glass tube is equipped with an
easy-to-read-scale highlighted by a yellow background and protected by a splinter shield. The
modular design limit switches can be easily retrofitted and are used to indicate minimum or
maximum flow alarms, by outputting a signal when the magnetic float has reached or exceeded
the limit switch position. An optional cable connection box is available for simple wiring. The
Yokogawa RAGN lineup combines multiple process connections and sizes in a modern design.

In these days when environmental management has finally found its way into our minds and
corporations, the pure mechanical principle of the Rotameter regains even more momentum.
For manufacturers it is important to optimize productivity, consume less energy and reduce
energy costs. Rotameters generally have a very low pressure loss compared to many other flow
measuring principles, and therefore consume less energy. This helps achieve sustainability by
being a key aspect of environmental management. With common applications and normal
operating conditions, they are maintenance free and have an unlimited lifetime.

Automation Symposia papers!

Technical Division Symposia are designed by the ISA's Divisions to engage automation professionals by offering a collection of best practices, industry knowledge and venues for building and maintaining professional networks. Ian Verhappen, ISA Communications Division Director said, “ISA’s division symposia help you grow your technical skills while working with a group of people with similar technical interests. You can find all the ‘geek talk’ you crave, with a side of friendship—one of the best menus anywhere for automation professionals.”

The dates and calls for papers have been announced for symposia taking place between April–October 2012 in various locations across the United States of America. Each symposium offers technical sessions, tutorials, vendor exhibits and social events. Specific date, location, event and call for papers information for each symposium follow.

57th Analysis Division Symposium
57th Analysis Division Symposium will take place 22–26 April 2012 in Anaheim, (CA USA). The event provides information on the latest innovations in instrumentation, automation, security and business systems technology. Interested parties can submit abstracts now until 30 November 2011. Papers should address topics in process and laboratory analysis, including methods, analytical applications, analytical hardware and software, analytical systems and analyzer system operation and maintenance.

Safety and Security Division Symposium
Taking place 25–26 April 2012 also in Anaheim, the Safety and Security Division Symposium provides current safety technologies and procedures associated with identifying and mitigating safety hazards in industrial environments. Technical content is focused around safety instrumented systems (SIS) topics, cybersecurity and associated challenges in designing and implementing SIS and process automation solutions.
Those interested in presenting/publishing safety- and security-related papers for the symposium can submit their abstracts now until 15 December 2011. Suggested technical topic areas include:
  • Safety instrumented systems (SIS)
  • Alarm management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Security standards
12th ISA LDAR-Fugitive Emissions Symposium
The ISA Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) Fugitive Emissions Symposium is scheduled for 14–16 May 2012 this year in New Orleans (LA US). The event is a platform where representatives from regulatory agencies will announce the latest compliance requirements and share findings from recent enforcement actions. Best practices for leak detection and repair and directed inspection and maintenance programs will also be topics for discussion among experts and attendees.
ISA is currently looking for industry experts and speakers for this event.

58th International Instrumentation Symposium
Now in its 58th year, the International Instrumentation Symposium (IIS) will be held from 4th to 8th June 2012 inclusive at the Hyatt Lajolla in Lajolla (CA US). The event will offer technical information and training in the traditional areas of measurements/sensors, instrumentation systems, data and advanced system/sensor technology and other state-of-the-art areas. Attendees will gain insight into critical technical topics including: electronic instrumentation, wireless technology, cybersecurity, aerospace systems, process measurement and control and more.
Abstracts for the 58th IIS will be welcomed up to 20 January 2012. Paper topics for consideration include, but are not limited to:
  • Instrumentation
  • Data systems
  • Communications
  • Turbine engine testing
  • Platform testing
  • Test facilities metrology
55th Annual ISA POWID Symposium
The 55th Annual ISA POWID Symposium will be held 3–8 June 2012 at the Renaissance Austin Hotel in Austin, Texas, USA. The symposium, hosted by ISA’s Power Industry Division, provides information on the latest innovations in controls, instrumentation, cybersecurity, smart grid, regulatory issues and variable energy technologies, which impact the power generation delivery systems.
Abstracts may be submitted for the POWID Symposium now through 15 January 2012. Papers should focus on some aspect of the theme, “Power Generation–Automation Today and Tomorrow,” and should be relevant to the power industry. Paper topics include:
  • Cybersecurity issues and solutions
  • Nuclear plant innovations and enhancements
  • Smart grid
  • Renewable energy
  • Nuclear power, new and existing fleet
  • Fossil power, conventional steam, and combined cycle plants
  • And others

Two more symposia are scheduled for this year and are in the planning stages:

7th Annual ISA Marketing and Sales Summit, 10–12 October 2012, Austin, (TX US)
2012 ISA Water and Wastewater and Automatic Controls (WWAC) Symposium, 7–9 August 2012, in Orlando (FL US)