Friday, December 21, 2012

Marketing trainee sets sights on Rio

Environmental communications specialist Buttonwood Marketing has appointed Josh Cardwell as Graduate Trainee.
Cycling to work!
Josh recently graduated from Loughborough University (GB) with a Sports Science and Management degree, which included modules in Marketing, PR and Brand Management.

Whilst at Loughborough, Josh trained and competed as part of the high performance Triathlon squad, winning the British Universities and Colleges Sports Championships in 2011 and 2012.

In line with Buttonwood’s environmental policy, he still finds time to train, by cycling the 12 mile journey to work (weather permitting) in preparation for the 2013 season, when he will be racing as a guide for a visually impaired athlete whose aim is to race in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

Commenting on the appointment, Managing Director Graham Meller said “I am delighted to welcome Josh to Buttonwood Marketing; his commitment and positive attitude will be a great asset to the company.”

New USB DAQ module

ADLINK Technology announces its new USB-7230 and USB-7250 isolated USB digital I/O modules, enriching its DAQ/DIO product line with USB form factor. Suitable for I/O expansion or portable applications, both models present an alternative evolution base to ADLINK’s best-selling PCI/LPCIe-7230/7250. With the enhanced integration of a high-speed frequency/event counter, digital filter and change of state (COS) detection in a single USB module, flexible and reliable high voltage control and monitoring applications are fully supported with unbeatable protection.

Easy and Reliable
The USB-7230 provides 32-CH isolated digital I/O and 2-CH frequency/event counters, and the USB-7250 8-CH solid-state relay output (4 form C and 4 form A), 8-CH isolated DI, and 2-CH frequency/event counters. Featuring high voltage on/off control and monitoring, and isolation voltage support up to 2500 VRMS, integrated frequency/event counting and change of state (COS) detection by the built-in complex programmable logic device (CPLD) occupy no CPU resources while avoiding data loss from changes in signal status. As well, a programmable digital filter removes unexpected glitches from input channels to monitor I/O status more efficiently.

All ADLINK's USB DAQ modules feature USB power, removable screw-down terminals for simplified connection, and a multi-functional stand for fast and easy desktop, rail, or wall mounting. Additionally, a lockable USB cable secures connectivity. The USB DAQ modules also make device ID setting a breeze with a rotary control conveniently identifying the active module in multiple-connection configurations.

“With our experience in measurement and automation, we’ve not only developed an integral product line, but also solutions that are flexible, reliable and easily integrated,” said Catherine Wu, the senior product director of ADLINK’s Measurement and Automation Product Segment.

Worry-free Configuration
ADLINK’s included U-Test application is a free ready-to-use testing program delivering easy out-of-the-box configuration and generation of simple functions to get the platform up and running in no time, with no programming required for full data monitoring, logging and FFT analysis. As well, all ADLINK’s USB digital I/O devices are compatible with LabVIEWTM, MATLAB®, Microsoft® Visual Studio®, and Visual Studio.NET®.

Wireless offering strengthened by acquisition!

National Instruments has announced its acquisition of Signalion GmbH (Dresden D). The acquisition delivers strong wireless communications talent and technologies to the NI platform, which are critical to NI’s goal to continue to drive long term growth in the communications test industry. Signalion founders, Dr. Tim Hentschel and Dr. Thorsten Dräger, will remain with the company as co-managing directors, and work closely with NI R&D to evolve the capabilities of NI LabVIEW system design software and modular PXI hardware for wireless test applications. Signalion will continue to operate as a wholly owned NI subsidiary and to sell and support its products through its direct, distributor and OEM channels.

“NI continues to invest in the strategic areas of RF research, design and test,” said Dr. James Truchard, President, CEO and Co-founder of National Instruments. “Signalion has assembled a top team of researchers and developers through its close relationship with Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden) working on the latest standards such as LTE, LTE-advanced and even fifth-generation wireless research. This expertise combined with a strong product portfolio strengthens our market position while laying the foundation for continued innovation using the NI PXI RF platform and LabVIEW for mobile communications and infrastructure test.”

“We at Signalion are excited to join National Instruments,” said Hentschel. “Our significant experience with RF communications complements the NI platform and we look forward to working on products that will broaden the NI product offering.”

Developing an Automation workforce!

Peter G. Martin, Ph.D., a world-renowned expert in the field of automation and a strong advocate for automation workforce development, is to deliver a presentation, “Building the Next Generation of Automation Professionals,” on behalf of the Automation Federation at the 2013 US National Career Development Association’s (NCDA) Global Career Development Conference to be held 8-10 July 2013 in Boston.

In his presentation, Dr. Martin, Vice President of Business Value Solutions at Invensys Operations Management and one of Fortune magazine’s “Hero of U.S. Manufacturing,” will speak on the vital importance of expanding automation training in preparing American workers for advanced manufacturing jobs.

“To compete in today’s highly competitive global manufacturing environment, skills training and competencies in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are essential,” says Dr. Martin, who has held executive and technical positions in engineering, product and strategic planning, marketing and training throughout his career. “Career and guidance counselors play a highly important role in building awareness among students and in their communities of the benefits of automation careers, and what courses and skills training are most needed to best prepare for them.”

The NCDA, a member association of the AF, works to empower students to achieve career and life goals by evaluating student performance, recognizing student strengths and potential, and providing counseling, advocacy and supportive resources. The NCDA’s 2013 Global Career Development Conference, a celebration of the association’s 100th anniversary, will showcase recent achievements in professional development, share best practices, and examine new initiatives, programs and products.

The AF, in its role as the “Voice of Automation,” is actively working to promote the value and significance of the automation industry, and to develop and attract a new wave of automation professionals. It works with a variety of private and public organizations, including high schools, community colleges and universities, to stimulate interest among young people in STEM and enrich and broaden automation curriculum.

As part of its commitment, the AF recruits organizations, such as NCDA, to become members and support its various workforce development initiatives.

“The Automation Federation is excited to participate in NCDA’s worldwide career development conference, and we’re honored to have Dr. Peter Martin present our workforce development message to the many professionals attending the event,” says Michael Marlowe, AF Managing Director and Director of Government Relations. “Career and guidance counselors are vital in helping young people recognize all the career possibilities before them. It’s our expectation that conference attendees on hand for Dr. Martin’s presentation will come away with a better understanding of automation careers, and how students can best investigate and position themselves for them.“

In 2009, Dr. Martin received the ISA Life Achievement Award, recognising his work in integrating financial and production measures that improve the profitability and performance of industrial process plants. In 2002, InTech magazine named him one of the 50 most influential innovators of all time in instrumentation and controls.

He holds multiple patents, including patents for dynamic performance measures, real-time activity-based costing, closed-loop business control, and asset and resource modeling. He has published numerous articles and technical papers, and has authored or co-authored three books: Bottom Line Automation; Dynamic Performance Management: The Pathway to World Class Manufacturing; and Automation Made Easy: Everything you wanted to know about automation – and need to ask. (See our critique of this work Knowing Automation - 16/10/2012)

Dr. Martin possesses a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in mathematics, a master’s degree in administration and management, a master of biblical studies degree, a doctorate in industrial engineering, and doctorates in biblical studies and theology.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Model creating software

New version of RiCAD 3D now available free to download

Rittal’s RiCAD-3D software version 3.2 supports the creation of models to provide a complete 3D picture of Rittal products with the visualisation, layout and spacing of single components. This new 3.2 version of RiCAD 3D is now free to download from the Rittal web site.

RiCAD 3D offers the following benefits: Substantial time savings when using Rittal products in the engineering process. Error-free detailed Rittal Data, instead of coarse re-modelling by the user and original data for the 5 most common CAD formats.

The RiCAD 3D database includes both 2D and 3D drawings from article groups: AE (wall-mounted enclosures); CM (floor standing); CP (Command panel/support arm system); SK (climate control components); SV (RiLine60) and TS (bayed enclosures).

Precisely detailed CAD product data; export in all standard CAD formats (AUTOCAD DWG(>R12), Autodest Inventor (R5.3), ProE 2001, ProE Wildfire, Solidworks 3D (=2003), Solidworks (>=2004) and neurtal STEP formats).

Process safety systems

ARC’s New Global Market Research Study shows the process safety systems market growth has rebounded after the world economic downturn, especially in the developed economies of North America and Western Europe.

“Process safety systems suppliers continue to cost reduce their hardware offerings and integrate their safety solutions with basic process control systems. Suppliers offering a truly integrated offering of process and safety are saving end users substantial project costs in engineering and lifecycle expense,” according to Principal Analyst Barry Young, the principal author of ARC’s “Process Safety Systems Global Market Research Study."

MAC Business Model Thrives
The main automation contractor (MAC) business model for executing projects is finding a growing acceptance with integrated process safety systems. The lack of process safety experts requires creative project team sourcing with end users, suppliers, and specialty safety engineering firms.

Smart Configurable I/O and Distributed Architectures
New technology trends include smart configurable I/O and distributed safety system architectures. New software tools are increasingly making the systems easier to implement. The past emphasis on controller architecture (Dual, TMR, QMR) has diminished with more emphasis now placed on the overall process safety system solution and certification.

Integrate Security with Safety
Cyber security’s importance cannot be underestimated, particularly for safety and security of industrial processes. Closer integration of safety and security in process safety systems is required.

"Central nervous system!"

A new smaller diameter optical sensing fibre of only 80µm, for intrinsic sensing within composite materials and textiles

The ability to embed sensors within a material gives engineers scope to measure intrinsic strain of components during their production, or use under varying load conditions. To build a sensor network within a component or structure like a human central nervous system, makes it possible to measure loads at almost any position or environment. This makes certain demands on the sensing fibre, not least of which is small size and in response to this FBGS has announced the launch of its smallest diameter DTG fiber at only 80µm.

The new fibre offers some exciting opportunities compared to standard 125µm DTG fibers.

Because the fiber is thinner:
1. it is less invasive when embedded within laminate composite structures or textiles;
2. it requires less force to strain it which makes it more suited for acoustic sensors and hydrophones and
3. because it is more ”elastic” in respect to its bending properties, it can be used in applications where small bend radii are required.

The fiber has been released as a Beta-product for the 1550nm window and is drawn with an Ormocer coating that brings the outer fiber diameter to about 114µm.

The new 80µm diameter fiber retains all the attributes of the larger 125 µm DTG product, including:
• extremely high mechanical strength
• spliceless FBG chains
• low bending loss (high NA fiber)
• wide temperature range (cryogenic to +200degC)
• Ormocer coating
• Uniform coating even at FBG position

CEO Hugo Mertens says “this development has come mainly as a result of market forces. The composite and textile industry is very exciting and manufacturers in this sector are starting to incorporate DTG’s for sensing applications. We are simply responding to requests for a fiber that is less invasive to the host material and at 80µm it is all but invisible”.

FBGS would like to build collaborations with those companies that share this vision for “smart materials”.

Educational support recognised!

Rohde & Schwarz wins European Educational Support Award at the 2012 Elektra Awards

Rohde & Schwarz’ longstanding support of European Universities has been recognised at the 2012 European Elektra Awards ceremony in London with the company winning the Education Support Award. The award, which is organised by the Britain's leading electronics news title Electronics Weekly, is judged by a panel of independent judges.

Rohde & Schwarz has supported European Universities for many years with technical support, generous discounts, equipment loans, student placement schemes, prize giving’s 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.”

Referring to the company’s success, Frank Mackel, Managing Director of Rohde & Schwarz UK commented: “This award recognises Rohde & Schwarz’ 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.”

Wireless & Fieldbus co-operation

Common framework enables multiple communication protocols to run over a shared wireless backhaul

The Fieldbus Foundation has approved a backhaul architecture model, developed in collaboration with International Society of Automation (ISA) standards committee ISA100 that provides a common framework enabling multiple industrial communication protocols to run over a shared wireless backhaul network in process automation systems.

Completion of this work is a key milestone supporting implementation of the Fieldbus Foundation's wireless High Speed Ethernet (HSE) backhaul included in FOUNDATION™ for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology.

In June 2008, ISA100 leaders established a new working group, ISA100.15—Wireless Backhaul Networks Working Group—to develop standards and technical reports to address one or more dedicated or shared wireless backhaul(s) to support technologies running multiple applications. At the same time, Fieldbus Foundation end user members identified the wireless backhaul as critical for FOUNDATION for ROM development.

To expedite the work, the Fieldbus Foundation and ISA began joint collaboration on wireless networks combining Fieldbus Foundation application protocol expertise with ISA100 communication networking resources to complete the architecture model. ISA will publish the work as technical report ISA-TR100.15.01, Backhaul Architecture Model: Secured Connectivity over Untrusted or Trusted Networks, within the ISA100 family of standards.

Dr. Penny Chen, principal systems architect with Yokogawa and co-chair of the ISA100.15 working group, praised the results of the wireless backhaul collaborative effort. "Working together, dedicated engineers have a developed a solution meeting industry requirements for a wireless backhaul transport network to facilitate interoperability, end-to-end security, and end-to-end quality of service in industrial wireless installations."

Dave Glanzer, Fieldbus Foundation director of technology development and co-chair of the working group commented, "The Fieldbus Foundation has consistently supported wireless advancements, and this joint initiative is crucial to FOUNDATION for ROM. Our ROM solution extends the capabilities of FOUNDATION fieldbus to countless wired and wireless devices installed in some of the world’s harshest and most remote locations. It provides a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in applications ranging from tank farms and terminals to pipelines, offshore platforms, and even OEM skids."

According to Glanzer, plans are underway for a series of field demonstrations using the FOUNDATION for ROM wireless HSE backhaul. Major end users hosting the demonstrations include Reliance Industries (India), Petrobras (Brazil) and Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia). Additional end user sites in Japan and Europe are expected to join the program. The field demos will offer a look at the full functionality of FOUNDATION for ROM, including wireless device integration, remote I/O integration, and wireless backhaul capabilities.

FOUNDATION for ROM was designed to enable fieldbus connectivity to remote I/O and the leading industrial wireless protocols, and is the first successful integration of ISA100.11a, WirelessHART®, wired HART®, and wired H1 protocols into a single standard environment without sacrificing the diagnostic capabilities of existing wireless devices. Instead, these capabilities are mapped into the FOUNDATION block structure to provide a standard environment for data management and quality, eliminating techniques which are highly customized and much more costly to maintain throughout the plant lifecycle.

As part of this solution, FOUNDATION for ROM provides a way to bring large concentrations of discrete and analog field I/O back to the control room using HSE communication. It also employs Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and function blocks to ensure interoperability with FOUNDATION for ROM devices. This is essential to improve integration of critical functional areas, including machinery health monitoring, safety interlocks, fire & gas detection systems, and video surveillance.

Infrared sensors for semiconductor sector

Versatile sensor system meets a wider range of industrial application requirements and features extended five year warranty

Ircon has introduced the new 7V Series of infrared sensors to the Modline®7. The new models provide solutions for the semiconductor industry and are one of eight in a series launched by Ircon earlier this year.

Combined with Ircon ModView™ Pro software and an extended five year warranty, the Modline 7 provides best-in-class solutions for demanding industrial environments. The new PROC-7 processor box allows full sensor operation through a push button panel and is part of a full line of accessories offered for the Modline 7 series thermometers.

The Modline 7 is a rugged, IP65 (NEMA 4) sealed sensor system with the flexibility to meet nearly any continuous temperature monitoring and control requirement. The thermometers are used in a wide range of industrial applications, including semiconductor manufacturing, metals processing, furnace refractory, primary and secondary glass, as well as plastics thermoforming.

It offers exceptional versatility with extended temperature ranges (-40° to 3000°C/5432°F), high-resolution optics and fast response times. The thermometer's sensing head can operate as a stand-alone sensor, providing simultaneous analog and digital outputs of process temperatures. Motorized focus control and both through-the-lens and laser sighting are standard on all units.

The new thermometer's intuitive sensor design features integral water-cooling in a stainless steel enclosure. The high-temperature water jacket with integrated air purge capability reduces installation and setup time and is intended for use in ambient temperatures up to 315°C/599°F. An optional air purge collar accessory enables the lens to be cooled and kept free of debris in hot dusty environments.

In addition, the unit's standardised installation accessories and common Windows ModView Pro software platform minimise multiple product configurations at the user's facility. Sensor setup and monitoring can be accomplished either from the rear panel of the instrument or from the ModView Pro software. This allows for remote PC-based sensor configuration, temperature monitoring, trending and archiving via an intuitive graphical user interface. For example, users can change the temperature display from degrees Fahrenheit to degrees Celsius, adjust emissivity levels, scale the range, focus the sensor, activate filters (e.g., peak hold, valley hold, and averaging) and save data for future reference or graphing.

Modline 7 Series thermometers use high-speed digital signal processors with an RS-485 serial data communications networking capability that supports up to 32 sensors. The ModView Pro software is included at no additional cost with all new Modline 7 Series thermometers.

Green power is golden!

GreenPeak Green Power product achieves Golden Unit Status for the new ZigBee PRO Green Power Feature

GreenPeak Technologies has announced its support for the ZigBee PRO Green Power feature, which adds support for energy harvesting and battery-free applications as part of the ZigBee 2012 standard. GreenPeak also announces achieving ZigBee Certified and Golden Unit status for its Green Power product.

Green Power is the newest feature for the ZigBee PRO feature set. Green Power gives battery-free, energy-harvesting devices the ability to join ZigBee PRO 2012 networks. Without requiring batteries, these self-supporting devices typically generate (harvest) just enough power themselves to communicate a brief command. For example, a light switch without a battery harvests energy from flipping the switch on or off. This energy is captured to send the “on” or “off” command to the network to switch on or off the appropriate light. Hence, the light switch is a self-powered device.

“GreenPeak is very enthusiastic about the ZigBee Alliance announcing the ZigBee PRO Green Power feature for battery-free devices. Battery-free has been in GreenPeak’s charter since its foundation. Today, Green Power creates autonomous sensors: install them and forget them.” says Cees Links, founder and CEO of GreenPeak Technologies. “Standardising the elimination of batteries is the next step needed to enable the Smart Home where light switches and sensors in and around the house are interconnected, but without the burden of keeping batteries charged. We are looking forward to contribute to making this maintenance-free and environmentally friendly initiative a success.”

GreenPeak is one of the first ZigBee Alliance members to achieve the Golden Unit status and as Vice Chair of the Green Power working group, GreenPeak has been one of the driving forces and an influential contributor in establishing the ZigBee PRO Green Power feature. GreenPeak is leading the industry as the standard of excellence and is enabling its customers to quickly develop and easily deploy certified battery-free, self-powered solutions.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Strategic manufacturing award for Dublin Pharma plant

The pharmaceutical company Rottapharm/Madaus has won the 2012 Strategic Manufacturing Award in the category "Outstanding Achievement in Continuous Improvement" and the cross-competition "SMA e-F@ctory Hall of Fame" award for its production plant in Dublin (IRL). The prizes pay tribute to the Continuous Improvement Program of Rottapharm/Madaus, in which the PAS-X Manufacturing IT Business Platform of Werum plays an important role.

Production in Dublin, 
Source: Rottapharm/Madaus
Werum had rolled out PAS-X step by step at the Dublin plant since 2009. It began with the warehouse implementation, followed by the manufacturing and packaging areas. PAS-X integrates Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and several Distributed Control Systems (DCS).

"Our goal is to achieve a paperless factory. For this purpose, we automated the processes in the warehouse, in our manufacturing and packaging areas and reduced the number of manual entries," said Áine Tobin, Project Manager, Rottapharm/Madaus Ltd. "With PAS-X we were able to eliminate over 720,000 wet signatures and to release batches in less than half the original time. On the other hand, the inventory accuracy has now increased to 99 percent."

Werum's PAS-X is a major building block within Rottapharm's Continuous Improvement Program with which the pharmaceutical manufacturer continually reduces non-value-added activities and lastingly expands its competitiveness.

Engine inspections

Pic: Courtesy of Olympus 
Recent months have seen a surge in demand for hired video borescopes and many of these instruments are being used for engine inspection. Ashtead Technology’s Josh Thomas believes this is happening for three reasons: “Firstly, borescopes enable inspection without the cost and delay of dismantling engines. Secondly, instrumentation technology has advanced considerably recently and the latest video borescopes are very light and easy to use, but provide extremely high quality images. Thirdly, we now stock a wide range of the latest inspection equipment so that clients can rent the most appropriate equipment for each job.”

Borescope inspections are undertaken wherever internal components are difficult to access, and on both installed and uninstalled engines. For example, engine and gearbox manufacturers use them as part of their quality control procedures. “A number of motorsport teams, including Formula 1, have recently hired borescopes to help improve engine efficiency, and they have employed our high speed cameras to assess gearbox performance. However, we also have customers in other sectors including all sections of the automotive sector and clients with industrial engines and turbines.”

One of the latest additions to Ashtead Technology’s fleet of NDT inspection instruments is the Olympus IPLEX UltraLite. Weighing just 700 grams, it incorporates a combined control and display unit that fits in the palm of one hand and frees the other hand to guide the probe insertion tube. Observed images can be stored on a memory card as high-quality JPEG images and MPEG-4 movies.

New head in Europe

Roel Van Doren as has been appointed President, Europe with Emerson Process Management. In his new role, Van Doren will be responsible for leading all European sales and marketing activities. He takes over from Bob Sharp, who is moving to a new position at Emerson, in St. Louis, USA.

Roel Van Doren
Van Doren will continue to be based at Emerson’s European head office in Baar, Switzerland, where he previously held the position of Vice President, Northern Europe.

"I am delighted to announce the appointment of Roel to this key position," said Steve Sonnenberg, President, Emerson Process Management. "Europe is a significant part of the Emerson Process Management business and our continuing investment in the region demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest level of service and support to our customers."

"This is an exciting time for Emerson in Europe as we are growing our network of regional service and support centres and expanding our manufacturing operations," said Van Doren. "My aim will be to support our stated objective to make Emerson a Trusted Advisor, providing technology that is easy to install and use, and people that are responsive to our customers’ requirements."

Van Doren has been with Emerson for 22 years, progressing through the organisation in various management roles. After ten years with the Belgian organisation, Van Doren moved to the UK in September 2000 and became the General Manager Operations for Britain and Ireland. Subsequently he took an assignment in the US as Vice President of the Refining and Chemical Industry Center.

SIF interoperability test kit

Powerful solution includes new test cases to verify latest safety device functionality

The Fieldbus Foundation has released the latest version of its FOUNDATION™ for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) Interoperability Test Kit (ITK). This powerful test solution has been updated with new test cases to verify the functionality of H1 (31.25 bit/s) fieldbus devices based on the current FOUNDATION for SIF technical specifications, including the newly introduced H1 dual-mode device capability employing powerful field diagnostics.

FOUNDATION for SIF ITK 1.2 is an excellent tool for troubleshooting and debugging fieldbus instruments, and provides all hardware and software required to ensure a manufacturer's complete device interoperability as specified by the Fieldbus Foundation's official registration testing procedure. By using the test kit, device developers can run tests identical to those used by the foundation before submitting their device for registration.

Fieldbus Foundation Director-Fieldbus Products Stephen Mitschke said, "The updated FOUNDATION for SIF ITK verifies advanced functionality such as the new dual-mode H1 device capability allowing automation suppliers to bring new safety products to market without having to design two entirely different devices. Developers can implement H1 instruments with SIF features activated or de-activated. More importantly, this means that plants will only have to stock one type of instrument that can be used as either a process device or a safety device."

According to Mitschke, multiple FOUNDATION for SIF pilot projects are underway at locations around the world with different end users. Saudi Aramco has successfully launched two pilot projects and is preparing to install working systems within operating oil and gas facilities. After these smaller pilot projects are complete, the company plans expanded deployment of FOUNDATION for SIF technology in order to exploit its benefits on larger, mega-scale projects. In addition, Shell Project & Technology has specified FOUNDATION for SIF for use on the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) project in the Netherlands. These companies, along with other major end users, are encouraging the automation equipment industry to develop safety-approved products for their initial installations.

The FOUNDATION for SIF ITK includes a host of test cases verifying the functionality of a fieldbus device and its conformance with the FOUNDATION fieldbus function block and transducer block specifications. It also incorporates a DD "Super Viewer" allowing examination and verification of a device's DD, and a conformance test procedure for the Physical Layer. Device developers can "walk" their DD, execute methods, and render visualization elements supported by DD 5.1 technology. The interoperability test suite can be paired with an ITK automation tool designed to eliminate several manual intervention steps required when performing pre-registration testing of fieldbus devices. The tool improves ITK schedule efficiency and provides a direct reduction in the person-hours needed to complete the testing phase. It is available with a maintenance agreement to keep the test suite software up to date with the latest enhancements.

FOUNDATION for SIF ITK 1.2 is available to current users with maintenance agreements, as well as for new purchases.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cybersecurity and economic threats in US

Automation group confers with US Government officials on growing cybersecurity and economic threats

Representatives of the Automation Federation (AF) recently met with US President Barack Obama’s staff to help confront two serious threats to US national security and economic growth: cyberattack, and the lack of advanced manufacturing skills among American workers.

During late November and early December, a contingent of AF leaders and staff traveled to Washington DC to attend a series of high-profile meetings on cybersecurity with White House National Security experts and US Department of Homeland Security personnel, and on American workforce development with officials from the US Department of Energy, US Department of Labor and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the US Department of Commerce.

These prominent meetings are the latest example of an ongoing collaboration between the AF and the US government to formulate and support the passage of cybersecurity legislation through Congress, and to build the next generation of automation professionals that is critical for the future of advanced manufacturing.

“The Automation Federation is honoured to have been asked by White House National Security staff and other government officials to assist in securing the nation’s critical infrastructure against cyberattacks,” says Leo Staples, Automation Federation Chair. “Through ISA, the founding organisation of the Automation Federation, we have the expertise in automation and control systems security standards that can thwart cyberattack.

“And in helping to develop America’s workforce, we’re continuing to work with the federal government and educational leaders around the country to leverage the AF’s Automation Competency Model as the foundation for building a trained automation workforce.”

The Automation Competency Model, developed through a partnership with the Department of Labor, is a detailed framework that defines the specific industry, workplace and academic competencies required to succeed in automation careers.

Cybersecurity
The risks of highly damaging cyberattacks on America’s infrastructure are real. US Defence Secretary Leon E. Panetta recently warned that the US is facing the possibility of a “cyber-Pearl Harbor” that could dismantle the nation’s power grid, transportation and telecommunications systems, financial networks and government functions.

US defense and national security officials are increasingly concerned about aggressor nations or extremist groups using cyber tools to gain control of critical plants --- such as water treatment and power --- to contaminate water supply and cause widespread power blackouts.

Some serious international cyberattacks already have occurred. In August of this year, a cyberattack on the state oil company Saudi Aramco infected and shut down more than 30,000 computers.

The National Security staff at the White House, on behalf of the President, is preparing an executive order to address the importance of protecting America’s infrastructure against cyberattacks. Government officials have expressed interest in implementing ISA99 Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security standards as part of a comprehensive cybersecurity effort.

Among the numerous cybersecurity meetings Staples and other AF leaders recently attended included conferences with:

• The special assistant to the President on cybersecurity matters at the White House, who requested that the AF continue to work with administration officials as they move forward in addressing cybersecurity threats against industrial automation and control systems.
• The deputy director and chief cybersecurity strategist within the Department of Homeland Security, who reiterated the relevance and value of ISA99 standards, and requested ongoing cybersecurity consultation with the AF during 2013.
• US Congressman David Price (D-NC) and US Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), who restated their support of the AF’s cybersecurity initiatives. Both legislators have led efforts in Congress to raise awareness of cyberattack risks, and to better protect the country’s automation and control systems.

Workforce Development
The US has a considerable shortage of workers with the skills needed for advanced manufacturing jobs. According to a recent survey by Deloitte Consulting, nearly 600,000 manufacturing jobs remain unfilled because companies cannot find workers with the requisite skills for the positions. Fifty-six percent of manufacturers say the shortfall of available workers is worsening.

The AF is working with high schools, community colleges and universities to develop the automation curriculum needed to teach the skills required in the fast-evolving world of advanced manufacturing. By encouraging interest among young people in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the AF is helping to keep students in school and on strong career paths.

Among the numerous workforce development meetings AF officials recently attended in America’s capital included conferences with:

• The executive director at the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD), a non-profit consortium of electric natural gas and nuclear utilities and their associations. The meeting paved the way for establishing a partnership between the CEWD and AF.
• The chief strategist of Workforce and Education within the Department of Energy, who expressed interest in developing a partnership with the AF on workforce development programs and training opportunities.
• The chief manufacturing officer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the assistant to the President for Advanced Manufacturing at the White House. At the meeting, it was agreed that AF’s workforce development efforts should be part of the objectives of the federal government’s National Network of Manufacturing Innovation.
• Representatives of the Department of Labor to consider new ways to promote the Automation Competency Model. Also at the meeting, both parties agreed on new collaborative and workforce development initiatives designed to improve student interest in STEM.

Along with Staples, the following ISA and AF officials attended the series of meetings: Terry Ives, 2013 ISA President and AF Vice Chair; Michael Marlowe, AF Managing Director and Director of Government Relations; Pat Gouhin, ISA Executive Director and CEO; Steve Huffman, Chair of AF’s Government Relations Committee; Pam Hurt, AF Board of Director at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers; and Steve Mustard, member of AF’s Government Relations Committee.

Terminal Post Connections Solutions for audio, power &instrumentation applications

Cliff Electronics extensive range terminal posts includes single terminal binding posts and multiple binding post assemblies in a number of different designs and configurations for consumer and professional applications, including those in audio, engineering, instrumentation, medicine, lighting and vending.

Rated up to 60A, the binding posts are also available in fully insulated, touch-proof and 4mm versions for test and instrumentation applications, with solid brass, gold-plated models for use in Hi-Fi speaker applications also available. Cliff manufactures dual binding post assemblies in a variety of designs in either standard or custom configurations.

They also manufactures the BFA (Built For Audio) range of terminals, which have been designed in response to European industry safety requirements prohibiting the use of banana plugs in order to minimise the risk of accidental electric shock. In the BFA range the customary 4mm socket is replaced by a 4mm spring contact probe and 3.6mm cross holes for wire connection prevent the entry of banana plugs, meeting the norms of BS EN 60065 for audio applications.

Cliff’s terminal posts are used by some of the world’s leading audio manufacturers in applications such as loudspeaker connection, amplifiers and mixers as well as in laboratory power supplies, test and instrumentation products, medical equipment, electric fencing, military communications and for industrial connection requirements.

Key specifications include nickel and gold-plated finishes, 4mm plug, fast-on or cable connection with blanking buttons available to ensure touch-proof safety properties. Pre-assembled horizontal and vertical PCB-mounting terminal plates are available as are anti-magnetic nickel free versions for industrial applications and custom binding post designs are regularly undertaken for specific applications.,

Monday, December 17, 2012

Software opens new perspectives

The latest version of EPAN's software 2.2. has numerous functional extensions and innovative additional modules. It opens up new perspectives in engineering. The new graphical macro selection, smart terminal analysis and automatic termination points provide rapid design engineering results. Engineers receive a solid system which accelerates processes and provides a basis for standardisation and automation.

Version 2.2 has been designed to synchronise efficient engineering with the simultaneous creation of high-quality and informative documentation. Rapid filters in project data navigators, comprehensive parts data exchange and extended terminal design ensure greater convenience and speed in project processing.

An intuitive graphical macro selection helps designers to implement standards effectively, whilst still able to navigate comprehensive macro collections. Informative graphics and a clear structure makes access to defined circuit templates a breeze as searching through directory structures is replaced with graphically supported navigation. This allows technical sales staff to draw up initial circuit documentation in dialogue with their customers as early as the initial project brief.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Engine tester system manufacturer reorganises

Following an internal reorganisation, The Froude Hofmann Group, a global manufacturer and supplier of engine testing systems has appointed four new Divisional Directors. The new structure sees two senior executives join the company and two internal promotions complete the team.

Paul Nash
Simon Roberts


From within the Group, Simon Drain becomes Division Director for Spares and Service, while Richard Barlow is promoted to Division Director for Engine Systems. New to Froude Hofmann are Paul Nash, who joins as Division Director for the Gas Turbine and Electric & Hybrid Motor Department and Simon Roberts who heads up the Chassis and Powertrain team.

All four Directors have a strong technical and commercial background and as motivators and team players are looking forward to the challenges of developing their new Divisions to further enhance the Froude Hofmann brand.

“This new divisional structure has been put in place to help us concentrate on our strengths within the business and to make the most of the wealth of opportunities that have been coming our way in the past year.” said John Harris, Chairman of the Froude Hofmann Group. “These new appointments demonstrate our commitment to ensuring our customers get the best possible products and service from the Froude Hofmann team.”

New Global power management company!

"Eaton Corporation completes acquisition of Cooper Industries forming premier Global power management company!"

Eaton Corporation plc  and electrical equipment supplier Cooper Industries have announced that Eaton has completed its acquisition of Cooper. The acquisition was announced on May 21, 2012 and combines Eaton and Cooper into a new, premier global power management company named Eaton Corporation.

“The $13 billion acquisition of Cooper, the largest in Eaton’s 101-year history, is a transformational milestone that expands our market segment reach, broadens our portfolio of products, services, and solutions, and strengthens our global geographic footprint,” said Alexander M. Cutler, Eaton chairman and chief executive officer.

“Cooper adds proven capabilities in utility power distribution, smart grid, lighting, lighting controls, wiring devices, and safety solutions to Eaton’s strengths in power quality, power distribution and energy services,” Cutler said. “These complementary technologies further accelerate Eaton’s growth as a global integrated power management company focused on one of the most challenging megatrends of our time: the rising costs and increasing environmental impact of the world’s growing energy use.”

Combining the results of Eaton and Cooper for the four quarters ending September 30, 2012, Eaton Corporation plc had pro forma revenues of $21.8 billion and EBITDA of $3.3 billion. Cooper shareholders will receive the consideration to which they are entitled under the scheme of arrangement within 14 days.

Trading of Eaton and Cooper will continue on the New York Stock Exchange until the end of trading today and the ordinary shares of Eaton Corporation plc will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ETN on Monday, December 3, 2012.

“We will soon be announcing the organizational structure for the combined operations,” Cutler said. “That leadership, working with a joint integration team of leaders from Eaton and Cooper, will be responsible for achieving the operational synergies we have identified. We anticipate the entire integration process will take 24 to 36 months, depending on business conditions.”

Data for your project!

Gnaros Inc has announced the launch of Databook Engine.

DataBook Engine is a cloud-based document solution which automates the last step of the project document cycle. It creates the final record books in the various formats demanded by engineering companies. Users can create a databook by simply uploading documents to DataBook Engine, providing some key information from their project document register, and pressing Submit. A single PDF of the required databook will be generated complete with bookmarks, hyperlinks, a table of contents, and an appropriate layout for any unique customer.

“A databook is often the last requirement of a document submission package for an engineering company and can be extremely time consuming to create,” said Gnaros president Brad Bowyer. “We wanted to develop an easy-to-use tool for creating databooks for process control equipment suppliers (and fabricators) that removes the tedious work from this critical step in project document control.”

Coriolis technology reduces maintenance & ensures custody-transfer accuracy

Adria-Wien Pipeline GmbH (AWP) has upgraded custody-transfer measurement on the Adria-Wien pipeline in Austria by replacing existing turbine flowmeters with Micro Motion® ELITE® High Capacity Coriolis flowmeters from Emerson.

Micro Motion flowmeters used to
upgrade measurement systems

or Austrian crude-oil pipeline
AWP is focusing on using the latest technologies in its plants and automation. "Concerns over reliability and maintenance of the turbine meters prompted our upgrade to the latest measurement technology," said Ing. Walter Fellner, Adria-Wien Pipeline GmbH. "We chose Emerson’s Micro Motion ELITE high capacity flowmeters because they are maintenance-free and exceeded our accuracy needs for custody transfer."

The Adria–Wien pipeline carries crude oil from the Transalpine pipeline at the Italian-Austrian border to the Schwechat refinery near Vienna, Austria.

Emerson supplied two Micro Motion ELITE High Capacity flowmeters with MVD™ (multivariable digital) transmitters. The flowmeters were added to the refinery in-feed lines in a parallel arrangement that allowed them to be installed individually without interrupting the flow of crude oil.

Emerson’s Rosemount® 3144P temperature transmitters were also installed to provide accurate line flow temperature measurements, as required by the Measuring Instruments Directive (MID) regulations. The temperature data is used to compensate for the effects of temperature on volume flow in custody transfer applications. Data from the Coriolis flowmeters and temperature transmitters is communicated to the existing host system using an RS485 Modbus connection.

To help AWP ensure the accuracy of its custody transfer measurements, the ELITE High Capacity Coriolis flowmeters also feature Emerson’s Smart Meter Verification – an easy-to-use, automatic diagnostic tool that quickly verifies the complete meter performance (sensor, drive and signal processing), without interrupting the flow measurement or process flow. This allows meter performance to be tracked without removing it from the pipeline.

The ELITE High Capacity range includes ten sensor models covering DN150-DN400 (6-16 inch) line sizes. They have flow rates up to 3,265,870 kg/hour, (3,266 tonnes/hour) and density accuracies of ±0.0005 grams per cubic centimetre.

Spoiling your winter performance?

One of the problems encountered with outdoor enclosures is the onset of cold weather and consequently the possibility of condensation within the structure. In order to eliminate this unwanted natural event, Rittal’s standard range of heaters for their outdoor cabinet can keep the chill off delicate electronics housed within.

Coupled with effective designs incorporating a double wall design, Rittal’s heaters can ensure the installed equipment works faultlessly throughout periods of miserable weather. With 10 W and 800 W outputs the heaters may be positioned anywhere inside the enclosures to prevent temperatures dropping below operational levels.

Wireless advances in Asia

Another successful season of Asia Pacific ISA100 Wireless technology seminars in Kyoto, Japan with supplier and end-user seminars in Korea and Thailand has been tabled by WCI (ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute). In addition, WCI recently demonstrated at the JEMIMA Measurement and Control Show in Osaka, Japan last month.

“The interest and growth of the ISA100 Wireless technology in the Asia Pacific region is overwhelming,” said Toshi Hasegawa, ISA100 WCI district leader of Asia Pacific and Manager of Technology Marketing, Yokogawa Electric. “We have seen hundreds of interested participants in each event anxious to hear more about the ISA100 Wireless networking technology, which supports control over wireless, multi-vendor interoperability, robustness and security for wireless industrial control systems. Participants have been very impressed by the number of vendors that support ISA100 Wireless. Yokogawa will continue its active promotion and support for developing new ISA100 Wireless products.”

Companies participating in the Asia Pacific events included Yokogawa, Azbil, GE, Flowserve, Fuji Electric and Honeywell.

“WCI will remain committed to global technology seminars in this region and plans to further our outreach going into 2013,” according to Andre Ristaino, managing director, ISA100 WCI. “We are excited with the response from this global audience and anticipate many new companies joining ISA100 WCI in the coming year who are interested in adopting ISA100 Wireless technology.”

Successful fault level prediction trials

Outram Research has confirmed that trials with Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) and Western Power Distribution (WPD) to test and validate an entirely original solution to determine peak fault current on the electrical network have been a success.

The Outram Fault Level Monitor (FLM), which predicts the RMS and peak fault current by passively monitoring disturbances on the transmission and distribution networks during normal operation, is a more cost-effective and potentially more accurate approach than existing methods. The compact device allows users to take measurements on the live network and calculate a fault level value at that measurement point using both upstream and downstream information. The user is presented with a full fault level overview including real time fault level predictions, the trend and average values over a time period such as 30 minutes.

The new product can help improve network safety by accurately predicting fault current and revealing potential fault level issues, in turn helping operators make better investment decisions and simplifying the connection and management of distributed renewable power generation. Network operators will be able to identify the fault level in areas of the network where network modelling may be difficult or non-existent, verify the adequacy of network breakers and resolve fault level problems more quickly. Applying the Outram FLM to Active Network Management schemes is further demonstrating the commercial viability, flexibility and general potential of the Outram FLM for electrical distribution companies worldwide.

Field trials with SPEN demonstrate that the Outram FLM can consistently and accurately calculate fault current in real-world applications. The results are within 5% of the values produced by computer modelling, which has previously generated the most accurate fault level calculations available. In fact it is possible that the values produced by the Outram FLM are more accurate than the modelled values.

Managing Director of Outram Research, John Outram, said: “We are delighted with the success of the trials. The possibility of having an instrument that predicts the value of the maximum fault level on their networks, at every voltage level, is generating much interest among Distribution Network Operators (DNOs). The Outram FLM is a unique solution which meets a need that, up until now, has remained unfulfilled. The equipment is the size of a lunchbox so can be deployed quickly and easily and moved from site to site by a single engineer. We have worked very closely with SPEN on the requirements and with additional help from another UK DNO, Western Power Distribution, we aim to deliver a solution with all the functionality required by operators worldwide.”

Western Power Distribution (WPD) is planning to take the Outram FLM one step further. With a vision for an Active Network Management solution, WPD aims to introduce a means of supplying the FLM with a small, non-customer-affecting network disturbance and to combine it with the benefit of further communications developments. This should enable a Fault Level value with a high confidence rating to be produced on demand. WPD have identified a real network environment in which they aim to trial active fault level-based control of a Distributed Generation connection.

Stage one of this project involved laboratory trails comparing the predicted fault level with the actual measured peak current seen in response to a bolted fault. These trials were outstandingly successful, the results showing that the FLM predictions were between 2.5 and 5% of the current measured by lab instrumentation – an error margin felt very hard to improve upon as noise on the network and sensor deficiencies will always produce some degree of uncertainty.

All these trials show that the FLM technique is not only accurate, but also that this precision can be repeated in different network situations. Outram Research Ltd is currently in talks with other DNOs to get the Outram FLM deployed in a number of further sites. After reinforcing their findings with more trials, Outram looks forward to offering the FLM to the wider market and is now accepting expressions of interest.

Advanced manufacturing software!

Advanced manufacturing software solutions drive lower costs, faster production and tighter control on quality

GE Intelligent Platforms is building on the expertise of GE as a world-class manufacturer to introduce advanced manufacturing software solutions that drive lower costs, faster production and tighter control on quality. Deployed at GE manufacturing plants around the world, these solutions are continuously honed to keep GE and other manufacturers competitive in their markets.

The software solutions, called Proficy for Manufacturing, address key challenges faced by companies across a diverse range of manufacturing businesses. The first in the family is aimed at long cycle, engineer- or build-to-order (ETO or BTO) complex manufacturing operations. For companies in aerospace, defense, heavy equipment, energy or other complex discrete manufacturing industries, paper-based processes to manage plant floor production are still the norm. The need for comprehensive visibility into production performance has become increasingly important to stay competitive. Elimination of the paper-based processes through digitization provides fast, reliable and accurate information manufacturing businesses need to effectively manage their operations and work toward optimizing their supply chains.

“Manufacturers and their suppliers face multiple industry challenges today,” said Jim Walsh, Software General Manager for GE Intelligent Platforms. “These include agile product development, price pressures, customization to meet consumer demand, quality, and, of course, cost.”

GE companies deploying pieces of the solutions have already realized significant benefits such as: 70% faster order-to-delivery, 15% reduced WIP, 12% less rework and 24% reduced warranty costs.

A key aspect of Proficy for Manufacturing includes the ability to reduce costs through MES digitization of existing paper processes. Manufacturers can then leverage the benefits of digitized processes such as reducing waste, increasing flexibility and decreasing lead times. Digitization makes it possible to capitalize on the value of fast, reliable and accurate information to maximize production performance, save time and money while still providing a consistent high quality product.

Main points
The main points of digitising for many complex manufacturers are:
• Produce products faster to enable single piece flow manufacturing, improve throughput, reduce lead times and balance workloads;
• Reduce Work In Process to enable “Just In Time” material delivery, free up floor space, and reduce the cost of inventory;
• Gain tighter control on quality that will serve to standardise proven processes, eliminate process waste, reduce rework and meet regulations in a more efficient way.

“The key thing we’re striving to do is drive for standard, repeatable tasks throughout the process,” said Jeannine Abele, CIO – Supply Chain Division of GE Aviation. “We want to make it easy for our employees to execute the work that they need to complete. In addition, we need to put auditability and traceability in place so we have a verifiable record of what’s been done to every part, to every engine, throughout the whole lifecycle of the manufacturing process.

GE Aviation is one of the first companies to pilot Proficy for Manufacturing at its plant in Middle River, Maryland. Other companies working with Intelligent Platforms include GE Power & Water in Belfort, France; GE Energy Storage in Schenectady, New York; GE Transportation in Las Vegas, Nevada and Kansas City, Missouri; GE Lighting in Hendersonville, North Carolina; GE Power Conversion in Campinas, Brazil; and GE Appliances in Louisville, Kentucky.

Valve controllers save in repairs and downtime

Digital valve controller helps Chinese chemical plant save over €30000 in repairs and downtime!

After Emerson Process Management replaced existing valve positioners in the Shanghai Ethylene Cracker Complex (SECCO) with Fisher® FIELDVUE™ DVC6200f digital valve controllers, the SECCO plant gained better control, production efficiency, and uptime – and €30,500 ($40,000) in annual maintenance savings.

SECCO is the largest integrated chemical facility in China. The complex includes a naptha-fed ethylene cracker and ten downstream derivative plants with thousands of control valves of different brands, types and sizes. Temperature fluctuations in the process caused high variability in the end product which, combined with vibration of the pipeline, often led to damage and replacement of the positioners on these valves. After SECCO engineers and Fisher valve specialists from Emerson discussed ways to address this problem, SECCO decided to replace the facility’s positioners with Emerson’s Fisher FIELDVUE DVC6200f digital valve positioner.

The DVC6200f offers linkage-less, non-contact position feedback to reduce vibration-induced problems as well as diagnostics and Foundation™ fieldbus communication to promptly alert operators of potential valve problems. The instrument is easily mountable onto any valve, which was especially important in SECCO’s case. In addition, achieving high process reliability and performance is possible because of the DVC6200f’s diagnostic capability to predict problems before they occur, allowing operators to take pre-emptive action to minimize process variability or avoid a plant shutdown.

After installation, operations in the facility were enhanced with better stability and control. Production efficiency improved, while waste and rework were reduced. Valve performance is more reliable, and uptime has increased because of less frequent valve failure and scheduled maintenance. SECCO has saved an estimated $40,000 annually by eliminating the frequent replacements of positioners a well as maintenance, labor and potential production loss.

Track-and-trace made easy

Complete line of traceability solutions

Traceability creates lean manufacturing processes, simplifies just-in-time deliveries, aids legal certainty and ensures product quality. Balluff can look back on 25 years of experience in this area and offers an extensive portfolio of track-and-trace solutions. The portfolio was recently expanded to include new RFID technologies for high-temperature applications, which are often called for in the semiconductor industry or in paint-spray lines and drying ovens in the automotive sector.

They offer not only the entire spectrum of flexibly combinable LF, HF and UHF-RFID components, but also a variety of stationary bar-code readers by means of which its customers can realize individual and economical traceability solutions on a high technical level. Data carriers mounted directly on a workpiece, a workpiece carrier or on equipment gaplessly record all steps and lots of a production sequence. This occurs in running operation, so that the data can be evaluated in real time or later – even after years – for traceability purposes.

Balluff, with its RFID systems of the BIS series, offers industry-proven solutions for extremely rough environments. With its variety of robust data carriers and read/write heads with high enclosure rating, the identification systems solve nearly every application problem, be it in material flow monitoring, automated assembly, warehousing or the control and quality assurance of flexible production lines.

Because Balluff has successfully worked together with proven system integrators for years, the user always obtains individual, economical solutions on a high level that are perfectly matched to his needs.

New website to assist users!

New website makes it easier than ever for customers to find information about company’s interface solutions for the process control industry. 

Users visiting Moore Industries newly designed website will find a sleek and intuitive home page prominently featuring the Interface Solution Download Center, a “one-stop shop” for product information that is the heart of the redesign.

The Interface Solution Download Center is the place for customers to find relevant information on more than 90 unique product lines offered by Moore Industries and MooreHawke, a division of Moore Industries. Items available for download at the Interface Solution Download Center include:

• Data Sheets and Installation Manuals
• PC Configuration Software and Device Description Files
• Hazardous Area Approvals and Certificates
• CAD Drawings
• Complimentary Products, Accessories and Assemblies
• Additional Resources and Recommended Reading
• Alternate Product Choices

“The goal of this website redesign is to help users get the information they need as quickly and easily as possible,” said Scott Saunders, VP of Sales and Marketing and COO of Moore Industries-International, Inc. “The Interface Solution Download Center gives our customers one location to find all of our product information. Whether they need a data sheet to research a potential new application or documentation and software for existing products, they can find it all in one place.”

The redesign marks the most significant upgrade since Moore Industries launched its website in 1999. It is now optimized to work with all major Internet browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Its clean, uncluttered design makes it easy to find the right information and also loads quickly on any device – a plus for users of tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices researching solutions for their process control needs while at on-site locations.

Along with product information, easy-to-navigate menus allow users to find additional information about Moore Industries. This includes a news section with press releases since 2007 along with the ability to download white papers, case studies and technical articles.

Airflow sensor!

Honeywell has expanded its Zephyr™ airflow sensor HAF Series portfolio with new digital versions that provide airflow ranges of 0 to 20 SLPM (Standard Liters per Minute) and 0 to 200 SLPM. With this new product, Honeywell has leveraged its original Zephyr building block airflow sensor via a bypass to the main flow channel of the sensor, eliminating the need for a customer-designed bypass in equipment such as ventilators.

“With this new extension to the Zephyr HAF Series, our customers can now choose between creating a separate bypass or using one included in the sensor,” said Jacky Leff, senior product marketing manager for Honeywell Sensing and Control. “These sensors are configurable and customizable with multiple interface and package options, a variety of flow ranges, and custom calibration - all which increase the customer’s options for integrating the sensor into the application.”

Benefits
Honeywell’s new Zephyr™ airflow sensors with the built-in bypass offer customers three important benefits:
1. High performance that includes a narrow Total Error Band (the most comprehensive and meaningful measurement that provides the sensor’s true accuracy) of ±4% reading and a high accuracy of ±3.5% reading, allowing for very precise airflow measurement-often ideal for demanding applications with high accuracy requirements.
2. Ease of integration provided by simple electrical interfaces (regulated, compensated, calibrated, linearised) and multiple mechanical configurations (manifold mount, male and female fittings).
3. Custom calibration, including forward flow direction and optimized custom calibration for many gases (dry air, helium, argon, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide), which eliminates the need to implement gas correction factors.

These new airflow sensors are designed to function in a wide range of applications. Potential medical applications include anesthesia delivery machines, laparoscopy, patient monitoring systems, spirometers, ventilators and ventricular assist devices (heart pumps). Potential industrial applications include air-to-fuel ratio, analytical instrumentation, fuel cells, fume hoods, gas leak detection, and gas meters.

Background
Honeywell first introduced the foundational building block of the Honeywell Zephyr™ HAF Series in March 2010 with a digital output version, ±200 SCCM airflow with two port styles (long port fastener mount and short port snap mount). Subsequent building block line extensions include an analog version, additional flow ranges (±50, ±100, ±400 or ±750 SCCM), and a short port fastener mount.

Application
Honeywell’s customers use this Zephyr building block with their own bypass solution. The bypass serves as a small parallel airflow pathway to the main airflow channel in the equipment, such as a ventilator. Honeywell’s building block airflow sensor is attached to the bypass. When air passes through the bypass, by design only a small amount of air goes into the Zephyr building block. Due to its sensitivity, the sensor can provide a measurement that allows the customer to determine the airflow through the main flow channel.

When using the Zephyr building block, the customer needs to ensure that the air is laminarized when it enters the bypass, and does this through the use of the bypass shape, filters, screens, etc. With the new Honeywell Zephyr™ airflow sensor, the sensor is directly in the main flow channel and the bypass is optimized inside the sensor.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ye olde photometer in Ireland!

Winner Michael Whelan of Wicklow County Council & Niall O’Brien of  Hach Lange
To celebrate the launch of the new spectrophotometers; DR 3900 and DR 6000, instrumentation specialist HACH LANGE launched a competition to find the oldest operational HACH or LANGE photometer in Ireland. Extensive research revealed that the contestant with the oldest instrument, and winner of a brand new DR 3900, is Michael Whelan of Wicklow County Council with his DR3 spectrophotometer purchased in 1985.

Mr Whelan previously used the DR3 at a water treatment plant for testing colour, turbidity, pH, residual aluminium, and residual fluoride. Mr Whelan said, “Amazingly, we have only ever had to replace the bulb, such is the quality of the Hach instruments. I am looking forward to using the DR3900 with barcode identification because water quality testing will be easier and quicker.”

The DR 3900 employs barcode recognition to ensure that every sample is tested for the correct parameter. The instrument will also read the sample barcode to determine the batch number and expiry date, and this data will also be assigned to the analytical result. In addition, the latest RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology is enabled to ensure that an accurate, reliable, traceable record is created for every sample. In addition, users are able to define their own 'set points' for specific sampling locations, so that any results falling outside of these points will be flagged immediately. The DR3900 can also be used to automatically calibrate online instruments. It can detect expired cuvettes and can even update its internal methodology from the RFID label on the cuvette boxes.

For a cool head!

Eurolec Instrumentation Ltd/Oriel Medical Devices Ltd, with the assistance of Enterprise Ireland in the areas of R&D and intellectual property protection, has recently developed an exciting new instrument, which has been designed to cool the brain at the earliest possible intervention.
Marie, a French student at Eurelec models the Cool Head device
In the event of heart attacks, strokes, brain trauma, birth difficulties and some other medical circumstances, medical evidence suggests that if action is taken quickly enough the ability to cool the brain by just 1°C can reduce both swelling and the loss of neurologic function & result in a significantly improved prognosis. The Cool Brain operates off its own rechargeable batteries, 12V paramedic vehicle and mains power (with adaptor) . It therefore provides cooling from the earliest opportunity all the way through to intensive care in hospital

Eurolec have now been granted an Irish patent for this innovative device and the Neuroscience dept in Trinity College Dublin are currently conducting research under Prof. Shane O’Mara to evaluate the efficacy of the Cool Brain instrument.

It is hoped that on the satisfactory conclusion of this research, steps can be taken to commercialise the Cool Brain and further adapt the system – the instrument can also be configured to heat as well as cool and could be beneficial in treating soft tissue injuries in sport and also in the transportation of human organs.

Advanced Monitoring software for wireless instrumentation data

New data logging software offers up to 100 channels of instrumentation data with many advanced features.

Mantracourt has announced the release of T24LOG100, a unique data logging software package that complements the T24 wireless telemetry range. It allows the user to view and log up to 100 channels of wireless data simultaneously, whilst also offering a range of sophisticated maths functions that will enable engineers to optimise system monitoring and control.

The T24LOG100 display is highly customisable, so that it can be easily branded with company colours and logo and licenced for distribution.

"The design and development of the T24LOG100 software has been driven by working with our customers on many wireless instrumentation projects around the world." said Kelly Voysey, Sales and Marketing Manager at Mantracourt. "The T24LOG100 package contains advanced functionality and features that we feel sure customers will value and appreciate. “

Displaying each value in a resizable window, channels can be setup with user-defined algorithms that can be used to calculate a multitude of maths functions. Visual displays and noise indicator alarm can indicate under and over range as well as loss in communications. T24LOG100 can log on demand, at pre-set intervals, on entering and leaving a pre-set overload and during an overload. Data is also generated in a CSV format, enabling external analysis. Future development of the T24LOG100 will include the ability to import a picture, drawing or schematic to display data readings graphically.

“We are very proud of the T24LOG100 package; it is the result of a lot of thought and expertise on the part of our development team,” said Kelly Voysey. “In the T24LOG100 we have delivered a software package that we consider highly effective, robust and user friendly.”


Data station and modular controller

Red Lion Controls has announced the ZR Series Enhanced Data Station Plus and Modular Controller.

Designed to act as the key connection point for industrial data collection and management, the ZR Series offers protocol conversion, data logging and remote machine access – all at processing speeds six times faster than previous products.

“As more companies understand that maximizing their product output is the key to a successful operation, the demand for plant floor data continues to grow,” said Jeff Thornton, director of product management, indication and interface at Red Lion Controls. “Our enhanced ZR Series provides six times the processing rate of previous products, which means that larger amounts of data can be monitored much faster than ever before.”

The ZR Series simplifies complex plant floor environments by allowing disparate devices to communicate seamlessly using a 10/100 Base-TX Ethernet port that supports up to ten protocols simultaneously. In addition, the Ethernet port and three built-in serial ports leverage more than 250 communication drivers to convert numerous protocols simultaneously and connect and collect data from virtually any PLC, drive or bar code scanner.

A built-in data logger logs tags at user-programmable rates before automatically time/date stamping each tag. The information can then be stored in an open CSV file format, allowing easy access from virtually any application. The ZR Series can also synchronize log files with any FTP and/or Microsoft SQL server for further analysis. In addition, USB host capabilities allow thumb drives for programming and log file storage as well as other USB devices to be used.

To extend production monitoring to remote personnel, the ZR Series also provides text message and email alerts. A built-in webserver enables global access to data logs and allows information to be monitored using a smartphone or Internet-connected PC.

Read Lion products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Valve terminal ranges with low-cost networking connectivity


Festo has extended the reach of its VTUG and MPA-L valve terminals and added a low-cost connection module for use with Fieldbus or industrial Ethernet networks. As a result, OEMs and machine builders can now connect the valve terminals directly to protocols such as CANopen, Profibus, EthernetIP and DeviceNet thus reducing installation and engineering costs significantly.

Using its innovative dual purpose connector, the valve terminals are configured and delivered complete with an M18 connector. This allows connection directly to the industry standard IO-Link network or, by fitting a separate CTEU network module connection to many Fieldbus or industrial Ethernet protocols are possible.

Whether multipin, IO-Link or network connection, the pneumatics doesn’t change.  This means the design of the circuit stays the same however connected electrically, thus enabling OEMs to reduce design and drawing costs and to access Festo’s ‘plug and work’ philosophy.

The affordable CTEU bus node module includes a comprehensive range of diagnostics functions which helps reduce downtime and machine failure significantly, for example, by identifying overvoltage and short circuits.

The VTUG terminal is an extension to Festo’s standard valve range and is an aluminium sub-base valve terminal that can accommodate up to 24 valve positions, saving users significant amounts of wiring and control cabinet space. The MPA-L, which is a polymer sub-base valve terminal, offers individual modularity with up to 32 positions; these positions can be a mixture of three different valve sizes matching the user’s application exactly, thus saving compressed air. High level IP65/IP67 protection also enables use under harsh ambient conditions.

Supporting the industry trend to decentralise machine installations, both valve terminals are compact and easy to install.  This enables users to save energy as the valve terminals can be mounted directly next to the cylinders.

In addition, the CAPC distribution module allows one network module to be used to run two valve terminals as a distributed network with data cables of up to 20m.  This offers cost savings in the number of network modules needed as well as giving users the convenience of mounting the valve terminal exactly where required.

“At Festo we have a wide range of pneumatic valve terminals, from single valve, multipin and fieldbus valve terminals to complete automation platforms, readily available to suit all applications,” says Jacqui Hanbury, product manager at Festo.  “I’m delighted we can now offer affordable Fieldbus and Ethernet compatible valve terminals that can be easily integrated to the network, allowing our customers to realise the benefits of networking.”