Saturday, January 21, 2012

Plant of the year announced

The HART® Communication Foundation has selected the Shell Scotford Upgrader located in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada, as recipient of the 2011 HART Plant of the Year Award. The award showcases end users who have demonstrated creativity in the application of HART Communication.

The HART Plant of the Year award is given annually to recognize the people, companies and plant sites around the world using the advanced capabilities of HART Communication in real-time applications to improve operations, lower costs and increase availability. Previous recipients are MOL (Hungary); Mitsubishi Chemical (Japan); Petropiar PVSDA (Venezuela); StatoilHydro (Norway); BP Canada Energy (Canada); Sasol Solvents (South Africa); BP Cooper River (USA) and Clariant (Germany); Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (USA); and Dupont (USA)
Shell engineers utilized the full capabilities and advantages of HART Communication to facilitate device configuration, loop testing, startup checks, valve tuning, safety device SIL ratings, and real-time centralized device status and diagnostics in a 100,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) expansion to the existing 155,000 bpd capacity Scotford facility. The result was a safe and efficient start-up, continued safe and reliable plant operation, real-time daily instrument troubleshooting, and not only preventable but also predictive ongoing maintenance.

“Our decision to broaden the application of HART technology beyond the use of handheld device configuration saved us time and money in all phases of this project,” says Andy Bahniuk, Shell Instrumentation Technologist. “With all the HART data available in one centralized control room, staff in operations, maintenance and instrumentation had ready access to this valuable information which ensured total confidence for both the operators and engineers that all devices were functioning properly.”

According to Bahniuk, HART Communication helped them realize benefits and savings throughout the project and the plant’s ongoing operation:
  • fast and safe device configuration, programming and commissioning of 1,200 HART devices from 26 vendors;
  • loop function testing and process variable simulation performed in 30% of the time normally required without potential for human error;
  • simulation of critical and complex safety narratives involving more than 15 inputs and multiple outputs for more than 50% in overall time saving;
  • eliminated the need to add external hardware to more than 700 smart valve positioners saving approximately $2,000 per valve;
  • monitoring secondary transmitter temperature variables remotely to improve efficiency in preventative maintenance on heated instrument  boxes saving more than $200,000 per year; and
  • re-calibration, parameter checks and device diagnostics performed from central control room rather than at each individual transmitter location provides saving of $100,000 annually.

Bahiuk says one of the biggest benefits was that they did not have to do any special device testing for interoperability. “All our HART devices were plug-and-play, connected through an asset management system,. We are using the ability to open a virtual window and unlock all the power of HART Communication for any type of measurement device supplied by all of our manufacturers.”

Shell Scotford is home to three distinct operating facilities: Upgrader with 255,000 bpd total capacity (since 2011 expansion); Chemicals which manufactures 530kt/yr of styrene monomer and 604 kt/yr of ethylene glycol; and Refinery with a 100,000 bpd capacity. Total staff on site is more than 1,300 (plus contractors).

Friday, January 20, 2012

An intermittant need for gas analysis equipment?

The MCERTS approved Gasmet DX4000 transportable FTIR gas Continuous Emissions Monitoring System is available for hire from Quantitech.

Able to monitor multiple gases simultaneously even in emissions that are hot, corrosive and high in moisture, the DX4000 is ideal for a wide variety of gas analysis applications. Quantitech's Dr Andrew Hobson says "The DX4000 is popular for renting because of its portability and flexibility; it has the same capability as a rack mounted CEMS, but provides users with the ability to measure almost any gas at multiple sites, so it can be used to verify fixed CEMS, and for research and investigative work. It is also often hired as customers 'try before they buy'."

The DX4000 is typically set up to measure H2O, CO2, CO, NO, NO2, N2O, SO2, NH3, CH4, HCl, HF and a variety of different VOC´s, but additional gases can be added without any hardware changes. Easy-to-use Calcmet™ software is supplied with the analyser and results can be displayed in ppm, mg/Nm3 or Vol-%. All measurement data and spectra can be stored for later analysis.

Learning ISA95

ISA is planning an international ISA95 training course in a few weeks

The location will be in Eindhoven (NL) There are very good connection from all over Europe to Eindhoven Airport

The Holiday Inn-Eindhoven is recommended and it is in the neighborhood of the training center.

Participants will be from Sogeti (S), Danfoss (DK), Actemium and Mars (NL) etc..
Training course will run on Monday 30th and Tuesday 31th of January. Time from 9.00 h until 16.30 h.

You can register on line with the REGISTER link (Bottom af page!)

Temperature transmitter for safety applications

The new OPTITEMP TT 51 temperature transmitter, from Krohne, is developed with measurement accuracy, reliability, safety and user efficiency in mind according to a release from the company.

Constant measuring accuracy over a long period of time is crucial when it comes to monitoring process temperatures. The unit features a newly developed electronic system that boasts a long-term measuring error of ±0.1 °C (for Pt 100) or ±0.05 % of span. Over a period of five years, the long-term error is just a quarter of the drift of comparable temperature transmitters. By using the Sensor Matching feature, the total sensor/transmitter accuracy can be further increased.

The superior reliability of a measuring station equipped with this temperature transmitter can be attributed to more than one principle as the transmitter has double inputs for e.g. Pt 100 or Thermocouple sensors. The transmitter features SmartSense insulation monitoring to detect moisture in the measuring insert. If the measuring insert (and the sensor element) absorbs moisture, the electrical isolation resistance immediately decreases, resulting in a measurement error.

A second, redundant sensor can be connected to the OPTITEMP TT 51 transmitter by way of a dual input. The Sensor Backup function will reduce the risk of losing important measurements by automatically switching over to the back-up sensor in the unlikely event that the primary sensor fails.

For use in safety-related applications, it features SIL2 approval as per IEC 61508. The error monitoring and information meet the NAMUR NE 43, NE 89 and NE 107 recommendations. The transmitters are available with Ex-approvals according to ATEX. The EMC immunity meets Criteria A performance, based on EN 61326-1 and NAMUR NE 21.

The OPTITEMP TT 51 transmitter is programmable either directly from a PC via a USB interface or by means of any HART communication tool available on the market.  It may be mounted either directly inside a standard DIN B sensor head (head-mounted transmitter) or it is installed separately in a control cabinet as a space-efficient DIN- rail-mounted transmitter with a width of only 17,5 mm.

Krohne products are marketed in Ireland by DWN Instrumentation.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Instrumentation blog!

Instrumentation equipment manufacturer Mantracourt has announced the launch of a 'Blog' about specialist electronic measurement devices for sensors, to assist engineers working in the field of measurement and instrumentation.

The Blog is to provide engineers with informative articles about using Mantracourt's technologies, as well as giving engineers access to discussions hosted by several of its specialist engineers.
The most recent entry discusses special features about Mantracourt's 'Strain Gauge Amplifier', a device that is used in conjunction with strain gauges and load cells in such environments as construction and process control. The entry is entitled "7 Things You Need To Know About The SGA".

Mantracourt is a leading manufacturer of industrial measurement technologies and a world leader in the design and manufacture of electronics for measurement technologies, including strain gauge, temperature, pressure, voltage, current, potentiometer, rate, flow, LVDT and displacement in either analogue, digital or wireless form.

"The Mantracourt Blog is a productive way for us to discuss the less obvious aspects of our technology," said Kelly Voysey, Sales and Marketing Manager at Mantracourt. "It enables us to present detailed technical descriptions, applications and special features in a blog discussion. In this respect, it is proving to be interesting and useful to a broad range of engineers working in this field."

Other topics include the Mantracourt T24 wireless telemetry range, a flexible low power radio system designed to enable the transmission of high accuracy measurement data from load cells, inclinometers, accelerometers, displacement and pressure sensors. With a combination of transmitter and receiver technologies, engineers are able to remotely monitor instrumentation readings. The Blog entry discusses the use of this system for the remote switching and monitoring of mains appliances.

"Many of our technologies are best understood in terms of real world applications, rather than basic data sheets. The electronic measuring instruments blog is giving us an ideal forum to explain how we are working with engineers to overcome measurement challenges and introduce new technologies. Followers of the blog are able to subscribe to our blog feed, so that they can receive our updates automatically."

Mantracourt have recently announced the release of their Wireless Active Repeater, a module that allows wireless instrumentation transmission to span around obstacles such as buildings or walls as well as increasing range.

The repeater acts as a transparent link between Mantracourt’s T24 Acquisition modules and a base station or a handheld display. The Active Repeater was originally developed to achieve greater coverage for wireless load cell technology in the construction sector.

Digital sensors & sensor systems: practical design

Professor Sergey Y. Yurish has published his first book with the IFSA Publishing. It's titled "Digital Sensors and Sensor Systems: Practical Design" and is about how quickly to design high performance, low cost digital sensors and sensor systems (including smart sensors and intelligent sensor systems) for different physical and chemical, electrical and non-electrical quantities.

Semiconductor and integrated sensor design are heavily driven by technology scaling. Rapid advances in microelectronics and nano-technologies have brought new challenges to the digital, smart, intelligent sensors and sensor systems design.

Because such design approach based on the frequency (time)-to-digital conversion has not been adequately covered in the literature before, this unique book aims to fill a significant gap and presents new knowledge in this emerging area of modern sensors.

The goal of this book is to help the practicians achieve the best metrological and technical performances of digital sensors and sensor systems at low cost, and significantly to reduce time-to-market. It should be also useful for students, lectures and professors to provide a solid background of the novel concepts and design approach because of till now such topics have been covered adequately only in a few European and American universities.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Controller for seismic applications!

Yokogawa's Single Loop Controller, the YS1700, is now qualified for non-safety seismic and safety seismic applications.

For years the YS series of controllers have provided reliable and accurate control for many industries such as power, petrochemical, water, pulp / paper, marine and municipal boilers. Now customers in the nuclear industry can have world class control with Yokogawa’s latest SLC product. The YS1700 was released for sale in 2007 and is expected to have many years of reliable service like its predecessors the YS100 and YS80 Series. Unlike its predecessors, the YS1700 has improved features such as dual CPUs with automatic fail over which provides display and manual control capability if an abnormality occurs in one of the CPUs. Other features include a hard manual backup, battery free memory backup and backwards compatibility with all previous YS control products.

The YS1700 is fully qualified for nuclear safety and seismic applications. Qualification was based on EPRI TR-107330 under and audited quality management program meeting the requirement of 10CFR50 Appendix B, NQA-1, and 10CFR21.

Control applications in nuclear facilities are numerous and the YS1700 is applicable to many of them including; feed water control, feed water heater, heater drain control, heat exchanger temperature control and many other flow, level and pressure applications.

B2B ecommerce on steroids from Honeywell!

New Sensing and Control Website Includes Powerful Product Finder and Distributor Inventory Search Features.

Honeywell Sensing and Control (S&C) has launched a new easy-to-use, full-featured website that makes it easy for developers and OEMs to find, order and purchase the right sensing and control components for their industrial, medical, transportation, test and measurement, or aerospace solutions.

The newly upgraded web environment encompasses a variety of microsites, portals, customer resources and web-based applications. These include a new distributor inventory stock check tool, sales rep/authorized distributor (Rep/AD) portal and product sample portal for channel partners, a supplier microsite, and the unique TruStability® product configurator.

“The Sensing and Control website was redesigned to better meet our customers’ needs,” said Tony Sugalski, president, Honeywell Sensing and Control. “Customer feedback was very clear; they wanted the same experience and simplicity of functionality they are accustomed to in popular consumer websites. And that’s what we did. We updated our website to be more intuitive, efficient and easier to use.”

The new site offers four key improvements:
•  Faster and more intuitive search capability. The new enhanced search engine is now more efficient and comprehensive with drop-down navigation functionality.
•  Spotlight on new products. All the information for new products, including downloadable data sheets, is now directly available from the home page.
•  New Distributor Inventory Stock-Check application. After selecting a product, a list immediately displays which Honeywell channel partners have the product in stock and for what price. The customer can click on a link that automatically populates the distributor’s shopping cart without leaving the Honeywell S&C site. The customer can easily compare and choose from multiple distributor shopping carts simultaneously.
• Smart phone enabled. Mobile version of the website with the core functionality our users asked for.

Smart phone enabled
“The reconstructed site now includes speedy, highly intuitive site search and navigational tools that put the information customers need at their fingertips – quickly and easily,” said Kim Anderberg, Director of Marketing Communications and e-business. “I like to call it B2B eCommerce on steroids – an easy, seamless way to transact with our web-based channel partners’ shopping carts without leaving the Honeywell environment.”

Rep/AD and Product Sample Portal
For Honeywell sales representatives and authorized distributors, the password-protected Rep/AD Portal is now directly accessible from the My Links section of the website, providing a single source for all Honeywell Sensing and Control communications including sales tools, product announcements, order management tools, policies and more. Also available exclusively to Honeywell channel partners, the new Sample Portal is accessible through the Rep/AD Portal and offers suppliers a simplified and automated process for product sample ordering.

TruStability® Product Configurator (available February 2012)
Also available for Honeywell sales representatives and authorized distributors is the TruStability® Configurator, a web-based application that helps customers narrow their search within Honeywell’s TruStability® platform of pressure sensors. The platform includes more than 250 product options and variables that translate into more than one million permutations. This new tool also provides a customized data sheet that is user-friendly and dynamic, offering ‘like product’ options to customer-input application and time to delivery parameters.

Sample Request
New customers can also request samples on the new site. Found under the My Links section on the Home Page, the sample request link provides a request form that a customer can fill out and submit for follow-up by a Honeywell sales representative.

Smart Device Friendly
Honeywell Sensing and Control’s new website is also available in a mobile version. It can be accessed with any smartphone or mobile tablet device. Once bookmarked to the device’s home page, an icon appears which enables the site to perform like an app.

Supplier Microsite
The new supplier microsite provides information including policies, code of business conduct, self assessment, shipping information and more for our suppliers.
The new home page

Benchmark in grippers!

A range of pneumatically-operated grippers has been launched by Festo, that is set to establish a new performance benchmark for the industry. They are high performance replacements for the company's current generation HGx series of standard grippers. The new DHxS range includes parallel, three-point, radial and angular models, each offering a wide choice of sizes and stroke lengths, to ensure that the right function and capacity are available to meet the demands of diverse applications. All the new grippers are characterised by compact dimensions, optimised gripping retention force and high reliability. They are ideal for handling and assembly systems that demand cost-effective, lightweight end-effectors.

Pneumatic-mechanical grippers have a simple task to perform - reliable operation with fast cycle times. However, to create products that achieve this, manufacturers have to balance conflicting criteria such as the need for low weight, high gripping forces, minimal dimensions and improved performance, while at the same time striving to lower production costs. Festo has successfully met all these challenges with the DHxS series of grippers.

The four different styles of gripper in the new range share a number of novel design attributes, aimed specifically at maximising performance and minimising cost. All the grippers are available with double-acting piston drives, as well as an optional spring-assisted safety mechanism that ensures the gripper jaws will continue to hold their position in the event of pneumatic pressure loss. This option obviates the need for complex and costly additional safety circuits. The grippers are also effectively overload-proof. An integrated fixed flow restrictor acts as a safety buffer, protecting the unit against overloading during high-speed motion of the gripper jaws and preventing damage due to excessively high speeds.

Festo's designers have increased the gripping force of the parallel grippers while retaining the same external dimensions of the older series, by utilising an oval piston instead of the twin smaller pistons employed by the older series and by most competitive products on the market. This new design produces considerably more gripping force - on average, as much as 40% higher - enabling machine builders to use a smaller, lighter gripper for the same task, with a commensurate reduction in the size and weight of the axis carrying the gripper. This has a significant cost benefit for multi-axis handling systems, where the size of each axis depends upon the load it has to move.

For maximum applications flexibility, the DHPS parallel grippers are available in six sizes, spanning piston diameters from 6 to 35 mm with individual jaw strokes from 2 to 12.5 mm. The largest model can produce a total gripping force of up to 970 N.

The new parallel and three-point grippers employ an innovative T-slot guidance system and cam mechanism that enables the jaws to accommodate much higher torque moments, leading to improved reliability and a much-reduced risk of jaw breakage under extreme load. For example, the parallel grippers can on average accommodate 130% more torque than previous-generation models, and for the three-point grippers this figure rises to 280% more than previous models.

Festo has modified the lever mechanism that transfers the force generated by the linear motion of the piston rod to the low-backlash gripper jaws radically, resulting in much higher levels of repeatability. Typically, the repeatability of the new grippers' jaw positioning accuracy is 100 percent better, at only 20 microns, compared to the 40 micron figure previously. Furthermore, because the levers are directly in mesh with the gripper jaws, there is no need for additional synchronisation.

The significant improvements to gripper performance and accuracy are reinforced by enhancements to the standard of mounting interface. All four types of gripper are fitted with mounting hole centering sleeves to facilitate fast and accurate location, and the parallel and three-finger models are also equipped with centering sleeves in the gripper jaws.

All the new DHxs grippers are equipped with an integral magnet on their pistons, and their bodies have T-slots for easy mounting of sensors. Festo offers two types of proximity sensors: one detects the presence of the internal magnet; the other mounts inside the same slot but features an 'outward-looking' sensor, which can detect a flag on the fingers of radial and angular grippers, to provide confirmation of jaw movements.

For more demanding applications, Festo offers the SMAT-8M position transmitter. This also mounts in the gripper's sensor slot and detects the internal magnet. However, it produces a 0 to 10 V analogue output which is directly proportional to piston movement over a 0 to 40 mm range, and provides exceptionally precise feedback, with a repetition accuracy of plus or minus 25 microns. Weighing just 10 g, the transmitter is ideal for applications where the total weight of the gripper module needs to be kept as low as possible. The analogue output can be fed direct to a PLC without need for signal conditioning circuits, and can be used to determine the size of object being gripped or the quality of grip, as well as indicating gripper movement.

Festo's new DHxS grippers are ideal for mid-performance handling tasks. The company produces an extensive range of gripper products, including models optimised for light weight, harsh environments and heavy-duty applications. Choosing the optimum gripper for a particular application is a demanding task, so Festo has developed a powerful software selector tool to aid users in the decision-making process. The free online software takes into account the size, weight and forces acting on the gripper, as well as the environmental conditions, and incorporates Festo's extensive gripper technology knowledge-base to help users achieve 'right first time' results easily and quickly.

New member for wireless body!

TLV, a world leader in steam engineering products and services, has joined the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute (ISA100 WCI)  as a supplier member.

“Our company name TLV CO., LTD, comes from the word ‘Trouble Less Valve’ and our founding mission was to develop a world class steam trap that guarantees a long life with no troubles. We are forging ahead to become the ‘world’s No.1 steam specialist’ and have grown our company into a leading steam solution focused on energy savings and environmental countermeasures,” said Yoshiyasu Fujiwara, president, TLV. “We look forward to integrating the benefits of the ISA100.11a wireless into our products and helping in the global adoption of ISA100.”

“We are thrilled to add a world authority in steam engineering to the ISA100 WCI team,” said Andre Ristaino, managing director of ISA100 WCI. “TLV understands the benefits that wireless technology brings to its customers and we look forward to TLV’s support in promoting interoperable products based on the ISA100.11a technology.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Autosport award for flowmeter

Gill Sensors has won the Autosport Engineering Best Technical Innovation 2012 and the Graham Jones Innovation of the Year Award, which were both presented during the Autosport International show in Birmingham (GB) in 13th January 2012. The prestigious awards go to the new Ultrasonic Fuel Flow Meter, which has recently been launched in Europe and America and marks a major step forward for fuel flow monitoring in race car applications.

“As focus within top level Motorsport moves towards fuel efficiency, accurate monitoring of fuel usage is rapidly becoming an essential element of most telemetry systems”, says Mike Rees, Head of Marketing at Gill Sensors. “The Gill Fuel Flow Meter has been designed specifically to address these requirements, providing governing bodies, race teams and engine developers alike with a means of accurately monitoring fuel flow and usage in real time”.

The Ultrasonic Fuel Flow Meter uses Gill’s proven ultrasonic measurement technology to detect bi-directional fuel flow rate to 0.3% accuracy in real time. This technology has a number of major advantages over impeller flow meters, the most significant of which is the removal of mechanical parts from the flow path. This ensures minimal pressure drop across the meter, providing true flow rate data with little impact on the flow itself. The removal of mechanical moving parts and bearings also eliminates mechanical damping and allows much higher temporal resolution and accuracy for the capture and measurement of high frequency pulsating flows.

The detail provided within the flow data allows engineers to fully analyse fuel flow characteristics, with the meter’s high level of sensitivity allowing even the pulses of individual fuel injectors to be identified at low RPM limits.

The Ultrasonic Fuel Flow Meter has been designed for use with all race fuels, including aggressive ethanol blends, and is capable of accurately recording flow rate from 0.5ml/min to 6500ml/min. With no moving parts to jam, break or wear out, the meter provides extremely reliable operation even in the harshest of operating environments.

The meter features a newly-developed electronic platform, which integrates the latest FPGA technology capable of measuring flow rate up to 4000 times a second. In addition to a digital output, a 0-5V analogue output is provided across the calibrated flow range.

The Gill Ultrasonic Fuel Flow Meter has undergone a series of dyno and car tests to date, including a day’s testing on a Core Autosport LMPC race car at Palm Beach International Raceway in December 2011. Another series of high profile car and dyno tests are scheduled in Europe and America throughout January and February 2012.

Saving phone bills in Ireland!

Yes I know it's not automation as we know it (but where does automation stop?) However for our myriad of visitors from Ireland this will be interesting and who knows maybe there is an application further afield!

NetWork ID's Colm Murphy
Galway based IT developer Colm Murphy has released application notes for Forget1850’, a new cost saving directory App which allows users to access cheaper (and sometimes free) landline numbers as an alternative to using numbers beginning with 1850 / 1890 / 0818, numbers which are often promoted as customer service contact numbers by large organisations and companies in Ireland.

Network ID Ltd is based in the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology's (GMIT) Innovation Centre in Galway. Colm told Read-out that inspiration for the new App came after he was charged €13 for a  call to one particular organisation’s ‘customer services’ 1850 number. (We all know the feeling!)

“The vast majority of household service providers, including telecoms, Revenue, Government Agencies, as well as most banks and energy suppliers, use 1850/1890 as their customer service contact numbers.  Irish consumers such as myself are becomingly increasingly irritated at the high costs associated with calling 1850/1890 numbers.

The Forget1850 directory App was developed to provide Irish consumers with a choice on what costs they would incur when contacting these organisations or companies” he said.

In some cases, consumers may be unwittingly paying as much as €10 in phone charges to simply communicate with a company – especially when reporting a fault in a product or service, where the wait time to speak with a company representative may be excessive. Invariably, an 1890 number is the only contact number advertised.

"‘Forget 1850’ users could save up to €52.50 per year by using alternative landline numbers rather than the typical 1850/ 1890 numbers advertised by companies” according to Colm Murphy.  “For example, if an O2 bill pay customer calls an 1890 (35c per minute) number for 10 minutes they will be charged €3.50 per call. Based on a rough average of making 15 such calls per year that’s a saving of €52.50”

Non-geographical numbers such as those beginning with 1850/1890 and more recently 0818 became popular before bundled minutes became an integral part of both landline and mobile contracts. However, not only are 1850/1890 and in some cases 0818 numbers not included in a monthly contracts ‘Free Minutes Bundle’,  they also cannot be called from overseas or through Skype.

New partnership enables fast reliable communication!

HMS Industrial Networks has recently joined Mitsubishi Electric Europe’s e-F@ctory Alliance as a new partner. HMS is able to provide a fast low-cost solution for interconnecting Mitsubishi automation devices via a wide range of standardised industrial networks, while ensuring the secure exchange of data between those devices, in the form of its “Anybus” gateways, protocol converters and wireless solutions.

The cloud-based “Netbiter” remote management solution provides a future-oriented system which can be quite easily implemented in existing structures and, when used in conjunction with Mitsubishi PLCs, frequency inverters and control devices, offers an optimum solution for collecting operating data and monitoring automation systems.

As part of this collaboration, “Anybus” gateways and protocol converters offer solutions for expanding the possibilities for integrating Mitsubishi automation systems in a wide variety of industrial networks. The “Netbiter” complete remote maintenance solution addresses the M2M segment. Systems are available via a mobile radio or Ethernet connection.

The central element is the Netbiter Argos data portal with innovative cloud technology for capturing and displaying operating data. This enables data registers as well as process values, such as temperature and frequency inverter data, inputs and outputs and alarms for example, to be conveniently recorded to the Argos server and displayed using plant mimic diagrams. Reports and trend graphs can be produced automatically on a daily/weekly basis etc. and sent by e-mail if required.

The integrated user and project management system is designed for the centralised management of multiple devices in different locations as well as for defining the authority level for users. The alarm management system sends reports by e-mail/SMS or SNMP. The modular user management system is specially designed to enable machine manufacturers to offer their customers individual remote management solutions as an additional service.

As the worldwide market leader for industrial communication solutions, HMS has produced more than 250 different varieties of gateways, protocol converters and wireless products to date. There is a wide range available especially for the CC-Link favoured by Mitsubishi. The “Netbiter” remote management solution has been adapted to Mitsubishi automation devices and offers a high-performance solution for displaying data and monitoring systems and plants that is also easy to integrate. The user benefits are there for all to see and include simple database and web programming as well as modem integration, for example. In addition, there is no need for costly firewall or VPN configuration either.

Temperature calibration sources

Eurolec Instrumentation have introduced a new range of compact, cost effective temperature calibration sources.

Accompanying the existing CS173, 174 & 175 calibration sources, the CSEC1 and CSEC2 offer users a low cost option for in-house probe thermometer accuracy checks.  With a combined range of approx. -20 to +200C, the CSEC1 & CSEC2 still provide the same freely adjustable temperature ranges, choice of probe holes and user friendliness but for those applications that don’t require the infrared “black body” feature or RS232/USB output options.

Compact and weighing 3Kg or less, the CSEC1/CSEC2 represent a very competitively priced introduction to in house thermometer accuracy verification and when used in conjunction with e.g. the Eurolec RT162 precision reference thermometer, a very accurate, easy to use and cost saving alternative to external calibration certification is provided – an ideal system to comply with quality standards such as ISO9001 & HACCP.

The CSEC1 and CSEC2 “Economy” temperature calibration sources complement the existing Eurolec range of portable thermometers, probes, infrared thermometers and manometers.

Chim chim cheroo...!

New isokinetic sampler is automatic

Sorry about the main headline (but only just!) On the face of it, this might not sound like the most exciting story you've read, but for those poor souls that have to climb chimney stacks in order to monitor process emissions, this is really great news; less equipment has to go up there and what you do take is now quicker and easier to use, and it helps you produce better monitoring data.

Quantitech has announced the launch of a new generation of automatic isokinetic samplers that bring new levels of speed, accuracy and reliability to the sampling of particulates and gases from chimneys, stacks and ducts.

The new Tecora Isostack G4 (4th Generation) automatically records measurement values in addition to equipment configuration data, in order to improve the reliability and traceability of monitoring results. Compliant with international standards and compatible with existing probes and sample trains, the G4 offers stack testers the opportunity to automate their sampling procedures and generate .xml reports quickly and simply.

The Isostack G4 is available in 2 versions (both with 4 or 8 m3/h pump): as a single complete unit (G4-1) with built-in display and keyboard, or as two (G4-2) separate units; a small lightweight intelligent controller, and a larger heavier sample pump, which means that the controller can be used at the measuring point, whilst the pump unit can be located at a more convenient location.

With built-in self-test capability and intuitive set up and operation procedures, the Isostack G4 has been designed for ease of use. Quantitech's Dominic Duggan says "The simplicity of the G4's operation is a major advantage because, coupled with the automatic reporting capability, it will reduce the time spent setting up the system and improve reliability.

"We also believe that the G4-2 will be particularly popular because it limits the size and weight of equipment that has to be carried safely to the monitoring location."

Remote management capabilities helps efficiency

ADLINK Technology has introduced the PICMG 2.0 compliant cPCI-6210 Series, a 6U CompactPCI processor blade based on the latest quad- and dual-core 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 and Intel® Core™ i5 processors and up to 16 GB DDR3-1600 memory support. The cPCI-6210 is a performance computing solution with enhanced management features such as PICMG 2.9 compliant IPMI, remote management based on Intel® vPro™ technology and optional Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for security management, and is suitable for applications in Communication and Industrial Control segments.

Their cPCI-6210 Series offers oustanding processing and graphics performance for applications requiring reliable, scalable CompactPCI® products with the latest quad-core CPU, 2D/3D graphics engine with multiple displays. Dual independent display functionality is provided via dual-mode DisplayPort and DVI-I graphics interfaces. The DisplayPort interface supports single-link DVI or HDMI with a passive adapter cable and analog VGA output via an active adapter cable. When coupled with a ADLINK XMC-G460 graphics module installed in the XMC site or an ADLINK cPCI-R6700 Rear Transition Module, the cPCI-6210 Series supports up to four independent displays.

The cPCI-6210 Series is ADLINK's first CompactPCI offering to support hardware based remote management capability using Intel® vPro™ technology. "To address the needs of our customers who have requested remote management capabilities to save on costs and improve efficiency of both operation and maintenance, ADLINK’s cPCI-6210 Series implements remote management functionality that allows administrators to troubleshoot, query, upgrade and protect the device via a network connection.” states Eric Kao, Director of ADLINK's Embedded Computing Product Segment.

“The 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ processors and the Intel® QM67 PCH enable smart multi-tasking capabilities, remote manageability, and high-end performance for embedded applications,” said Matt Langman, director of product marketing, Intel Personal Solutions Division. “The integrated Intel® HD Graphics 3000 supports DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.1 which means visually stunning experiences are easier to deploy in embedded applications.”

Storage interfaces supported by the cPCI-6210 Series include one SATA 6Gb/s direct connector for a 2.5” HDD/SSD, one 7-pin SATA port for external storage, an optional CompactFlash socket, a built-in CFast socket and three SATA ports routed to the RTM with RAID 0/1/5/10 support. Up to eight SAS/SATA interfaces with hardware RAID are supported by the cPCI-R6200 RTM.

The cPCI-6210 Series can operate in a system slot as a master or in a peripheral slot as a standalone blade for high density computing applications. In addition, the cPCI-6210 Series is compliant with the PICMG 2.9 specification and supports system management functions based on the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) as well as hardware monitoring of physical characteristics such as CPU and system temperature, DC voltages and power status. TPM 1.2 is also supported on selected models to provide efficient hardware-based data protection. Through careful component selection, the cPCI-6210 optionally supports an extended operating temperature range of -40°C to +70°C

The ADLINK cPCI-6210 Series supports operating systems including: Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows 7, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and VxWorks.

Monday, January 16, 2012

RH hand meter

A simple reference for the calibration and validation of humidity probes

Michell Instruments’ new RH hand meter, the MDM25, is an ideal reference instrument for use with humidity generators when calibrating or validating RH probes.

Large users of RH probes – such as laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, semiconductor manufacturers – find that in-house calibration of probes is highly cost-effective when compared to sending out sensors to an external laboratory for calibration and/or adjustment. The MDM25 provides a useful secondary reference for use when performing calibrations with a humidity generator, such as Michell’s S503, and is a cost-efficient alternative to a chilled mirror reference, such as the Optidew Vision.

The display orientation of the MDM25 can be inverted so it can be read easily when the fixed probe is inserted into the S503. With a wide range of probes the MDM25 can be used easily and comfortably in many situations.

The MDM25’s highly stable polymer-based sensor responds rapidly to changes in humidity and is coupled with a thermistor for accurate temperature measurement. Other measurement parameters which can be derived from temperature and humidity are available on the handheld: absolute humidity, wet bulb temperature and dew point.

• Michell products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology

Stainless steel control valves for food & drink!

Rust, corrosion, dirt, flaking paint, water ingress and external integrity impaired by aggressive products, would all be high up on any process engineer’s list of typical application problems for valves in the food and beverage industries. Many would say that these industries have, for too long, been plagued by these problems, to the extent that companies have learned to live with them.

Buerkert’s ELEMENT System

The new ELEMENT control valves are part of Buerkert’s ELEMENT system, which has set a higher benchmark in process measurement and control. ELEMENT provides a complete systems approach, linking clean line valves, sensors, positioners and valve actuators in a simple architecture to solve total control loop processes. With unlimited modularity, ELEMENT saves processing time by offering total control solutions for media from slurries to steam, and from de-ionised water to hydrochloric acid.
Now, however, the limitations of conventional control valve solutions in the control of steam, fluids, gases and aggressive media that play a central role in the processing of food and beverages, have been thoroughly and systematically analysed by Bürkert. The result of this evaluation is the ELEMENT series of control valves. The innovative features of these attractive, clean line, stainless steel valves meet the challenges of process industries – including hygienic processing sectors - and offer solutions to problems that many users have hitherto accepted as system-intrinsic.

In addition, as an added benefit, the valves also satisfy the pressing industry need to reduce energy use. Thanks to intelligent internal design, the air consumption to actuate ELEMENT valves is up to 40% lower in comparison with conventional process valve systems.

The bodies of these control valves are manufactured exclusively from high-quality stainless steel, a material that not only saves on weight, but also considerably enhances the aesthetics of the valves. In comparison with other materials, stainless steel is a convincing choice, as its cast integrity is high. This means that the valve walls can be optimised, reducing their overall weight and size envelope. Moreover, the impact resistance of stainless steel can be up to 25 times higher than other materials. What all this means for the valve user is more lightweight, compact and robust valve bodies.

The use of stainless steel offers longer term advantages, too. When the finish on most conventional valves has been damaged by exposure to harsh process environments, they still retain their original attractive appearance.

Designed to IP 65/67 protection class, the ELEMENT control valves, with their heat and chemical resistant design, easily withstand the rinsing and cleaning processes required in food and beverage plants. The clean, sleek external lines ensure the valves are easy to clean and also stay cleaner for longer.

The interior of the control valves proves that outer appearance and inner values are not mutually exclusive. There are a number of innovative key operating areas. Firstly, high-gloss polished valve stems minimise friction and maximise the service life of the automatic self-adjusting seals. Secondly, the valve stroke position feedback transducer is not only integrated within the valve, but is also contact-less. Consequently, it never blocks or wears out, and always remains accurate because it measures the linear stroke motion directly without conversion. Thirdly, because the feedback transducer is fully protected inside the valve, the requirement for external linkages, nuts, bolts and connections is eliminated. This innovation dramatically reduces the areas where product can accumulate and cause contamination. Fourthly, the control air is also routed internally, without the need for awkward external hoses.

A further innovation on these units is valve actuator control, which is achieved by means of the integrated pilot valves that can also be actuated manually for easy local operation. For each operation, clean and dry control air is deliberately flushed into all areas of the actuator. This ensures that, unlike traditional solutions, ambient air is never drawn into the spring chambers and surrounding voids, extending the valve’s reliability and life, at the same time maximising process availability for the valve user. In addition, as no impurities or moisture are drawn into the actuator, there can be no corrosion of the springs inside the actuator. The same feature also prevents the risk of biological growth, which could result in contamination of the process environment as a whole.

Burkert has also deployed new design thinking to provide protection against moisture ingress into the electronics of the control heads on the ELEMENT valves. Protection is required because small but naturally occurring changes in the control head pressure can lead to the penetration of moisture, particularly after a wash down cleaning process.                                                                                 …

Defence against this ingress is provided by diverting a small amount of clean control air into the control head, maintaining a slight positive pressure, thus achieving a simple, innovative and class-leading solution.

In addition to their many operational benefits, the ELEMENT valves offer optimised interactiveness with the user. The valves integrate a modern operator concept that is intuitive and user-friendly, despite the extensive range of relevant functions provided. To prevent data overload, additional functions are displayed only as required, and the configuration of positioners and process controllers is seamless and automatic. Local communication is achieved at a glance via a high-performance and highly visible, multicoloured LED display that illuminates the surrounding area, passing on immediate user information regarding the valve status. Finally, all important data logging information is displayed on a backlit graphic display.

The integrated intelligence in the ELEMENT units also means that communication outside of the local sphere is easy to achieve. With the ELEMENT control valves series, Bürkert offers a complete automation concept for integration into most commonly used control systems. Employing options, such as Profibus DPV1, ASI and Device NET, possible applications range from monitoring simple control tasks and the integration into complex field bus solutions, through to the complete decentralisation of a plant-wide automation system.

Software to envisage panel/enclosure layout

Rittal’s RiCAD-3D software version 3 supports the creation of models to provide a complete 3D picture of Rittal products with the visualisation, layout and spacing of single components. Its database includes both 2D and 3D drawings for virtually all Rittal products, together with an extensive range of system accessories.

Many projects require a 3D internal and external view of objects such as wall and freestanding enclosure systems. 3D views of the accessories within an enclosure allow positioning and spacing of rail or mounted equipment, cable trunking runs and the cable entry space required.

RiCAD 3D offers the following benefits: Precisely detailed CAD product data; export in all standard CAD formats (DWG, ProE 2001, ProE Wildfire, Solidworks and STEP.formats); simple integration into the most varied CAD systems; considerable reduction of engineering and design work; detailed error-free Rittal data; generic original data in 3D and 2D format and no conversion of neutral formats.

Regardless of which CAD system used, RiCAD 3D effectively supports the efficiency and productivity of plant design work

Automation in Cairo!

The Automation Technology Egypt 2012 show is  s scheduled to be held at the Cairo Int'l Conferences Center, Nasr City, Cairo (EG). The dates for your calander are 6-8 May 2012. This is the only automation, control and Instrumentation show being held in Egypt this year.

Exhibits including will cover factory Automation, home automation, power management, building management systems (BMS) and SCADA Applications in Power, Water, waste water, building automation and process.

Visitors well see products and services including information technology & automation software solutions, security electronics, telecommunications, robotics and automation, electrical and electronics, hydraulics and pneumatics, industrial control, test and measurement instruments, process control, level control system and automation in construction technology.

The associated conference will be mainly aimed at demonstration of advanced developments in the domain of automation and information technologies in industry and new opportunities for business development.

Embedded PC for machine vision applications

Stemmer Imaging can now offer the powerful fanless Adlink Matrix MXC-6000 Embedded-PC. The Intel® Core i7 2.0 GHz processor and Intel® QM57 chipset deliver a level of performance ideal for image and vision measurement and automation applications in areas as diverse as intelligent transport systems, factory control, test instrumentation, safety surveillance and building automation.

A rich I/O functionality includes two PCI slots or one PCI and one PCIe x4 slots, two Gigabit Ethernet ports and four external USB ports allowing the selection of the best possible camera for the application. Other I/O capabilities include one port for DVI-I (VGA + DVI-D), allowing the control of two independent displays and two RS232 ports plus two software-selectable RS232/422/485 ports. 

All ports are mounted on the front panel for ease of use. An additional internal USB 2.0 port allows the deployment of license keys (dongles). 16 isolated I/Os support industrial controls. An eSATA port supports storage expansion or hot-swapping of SATA drives.

The fanless and innovative cable-free design provides excellent dependability in harsh environments, where severe temperature variation and vibration may exist. In addition, an optional hot-pluggable fan module is available to dissipate heat generated within the system should high power consumption PCI/PCIe cards be installed.