Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Transducers for paper!

Transducers developed for paper production measurement

RDP Electronics has developed transducers designed to withstand the corrosive environment encountered in pulp and paper manufacturing processes.

Their transducers have been widely used in paper machines for many years and the company has developed a special transducer version in response to the requirement for resistance to the effects of paper stock. Particularly around the slice indication application, where LVDTs measure the gap through which the paper pulp is extruded on to the webbing, there is a high tendency of the transducer to be splashed and wetted with paper stock which contains corrosive chemicals. These chemicals are corrosive, even to some steels so transducers for this application are designed to provide protection against the chemicals in the paper stock, as well as protection against the cleaning functions that are undertaken using high pressure hoses. The transducers typically have a built in 4-20mA amplifier for easy interface into the paper machine control system.

RIO embedded devices with multifunction I/O for custom applications!

National Instruments has four new NI Single-Board RIO board-level embedded devices featuring a real-time processor, Spartan-6 field-programmable gate array (FPGA), analog and digital I/O and more built-in peripherals for custom embedded control and monitoring applications. The new devices provide engineers with off-the-shelf FPGA and real-time processor technology through NI LabVIEW while maintaining the custom I/O often required for high-volume deployments through the option of a RIO Mezzanine Card connector. The connector provides direct access to FPGA digital input/output (DIO) lines and certain processor-specific functions for mating custom daughter cards. NI Single-Board RIO alleviates the effort of designing an entire system from scratch so designers can focus on the custom parts of their applications, such as the I/O. 

With the new devices, engineers can achieve the shorter time to market of an off-the-shelf system along with the I/O customization offered by in-house designs, providing the best of both worlds. The devices also feature built-in analog I/O so engineers can take advantage of the company’s industry-leading analog expertise in addition to their application-specific circuitry. The devices’ low-cost, small form factor; built-in I/O; real-time processor; and FPGA provide an ideal platform for embedded monitoring and control applications in industries such as medical and energy.

Product Features
· NI sbRIO-9623: 256 MB of memory, 128 MB RAM, 16 channels of 12-bit analog input, 4 channels of 12-bit analog output, 4 DIO, 96 RMC DIO
· NI sbRIO-9626: 512 MB of memory, 256 MB RAM, 16 channels of 16-bit analog input, 4 channels of 16-bit analog output, 4 DIO, 96 RMC DIO
· NI sbRIO-9633: 256 MB of memory, 128 MB RAM, 16 channels of 12-bit analog input, 4 channels of 12-bit analog output, 28 DIO
· NI sbRIO-9636: 512 MB of memory, 256 MB RAM, 16 channels of 16-bit analog input, 4 channels of 16-bit analog output, 28 DIO

New thermal imagers!

Fluke has introduced five new thermal imagers for a range of users, applications and prices, products which are set to transform the market. The Fluke Ti110 and Ti125 are designed for plant technicians, HVAC/R professionals and electricians who need to maintain and inspect electrical and mechanical equipment and components; the Fluke TiR110 and TiR125 are for building inspection and energy audit professionals evaluating and reporting insulation problems, air leakage, moisture issues, or construction defects; the Fluke Ti100 is for general applications, offering the same ruggedness and ease-of use for value-conscious professionals. The Fluke Ti110, Ti125, TiR110, and TiR125 feature breakthrough capabilities, including IR-OptiFlex™ focus system, IR-PhotoNotes™ annotation system, focus-free video, IR-Fusion® technology, and SmartView® professional IR analysis and reporting software.

Offering best-in-class focus and ergonomics and Fluke’s world-renowned ruggedness, the thermal imagers provide a broad range of powerful capabilities that are so easy to use they can become a regular part of troubleshooting and diagnostic routines.

IR Optiflex Focus System
Offering automatic focusing with a manual focus option for close-ups, IR Optiflex makes it fast and easy to take sharply-focused, accurate images.

IR-Fusion Technology
Fluke’s patented-technology blends digital and infrared images into a single image to precisely document problem areas.

One-handed operation
Weighing just 0.7kg, the thermal imager is light, balanced to sit perfectly in the hand, and all buttons are within gloved-thumb reach. It is light enough to aim either vertically or horizontally and to use for long stretches without tiring.

Built rugged
Fluke thermal imagers are built to be put to work. They are tough enough to survive drops of up to 2 metres.

Multi-mode video recording
This allows the user to record focus-free video in visible light and infrared with full IR-Fusion capabilities. The user can monitor processes over time, troubleshoot frame-by-frame, and create infrared video reports.

IR PhotoNotes
This feature allows the capture of up to three digital photos per thermal image file, enabling the exact recording of equipment models, nameplates and other useful information.

Electronic Compass
By saving the compass reading with the thermal image, it helps track the location of the problem.

SmartView professional IR analysis and reporting software
This is a professional suite of analysis and reporting tools for viewing, annotating and editing infrared images. It comes with unlimited licences and free lifetime upgrades.

The new Fluke thermal imagers come complete with AC power adapter, lithium ion smart battery (Ti125 and TiR125 include two each - others one each), USB cable for PC image download, SD memory card, hard carrying case, soft transport bag, adjustable hand strap (left- or right-handed use), and manuals. The Ti125 and TiR125 models also include a two-bay charging base, a multi-function USB memory card reader and a separate, longer USB cable for streaming video use.

Planning & verifying switchgear

Rittal’s latest Power Engineering planning software v6.0 provide comprehensive support in planning and verifying standardised Ri4Power switchgear, as required by the new IEC 61439-1/-2 standard for low voltage switchgear. Main features of the new standard include extensive verification of the design of switchgear created by original switchgear manufacturer, as well as exact details of the rated currents of switching devices. The new standard offers major benefits, both for the manufacturers of switchgear, as well as for customers and users.

With the extension of design certifications, features are defined that increase the quality of low-voltage switchgear. Their interfaces to external peripherals are specified and defined in more detail. Design of low-voltage becomes easier and safer because the influence of the enclosure and protection category on the switching equipment is given greater consideration than before.

Using Rittal Power Engineering a suitable switching device can be selected as early as the low-voltage switchgear preparation stage that bears the current needed by the circuit. The protection category and the mounting location within the unit are also taken into account. Similarly, the software provides the appropriate design verification at the push of a button. The engineering tool offers check-lists with which the switchgear manufacturer can check all the requirements that have to be considered during the planning and performance of the switchgear.

Rittal Power Engineering supports users with both the Ri4Power modular system for low voltage switchgear, as well as with the low-voltage switchgear that consists of the TS 8 enclosure system and the RiLine60 modular busbar system.

Communications control solutions provider appointments

DNF Controls, has hired Fred Scott Jr. as director of sales and business development, and Tom Weems, CPBE, as Western regional sales manager/engineer.

Scott will be responsible for supporting DNF customers east of the Mississippi River. He has an engineering background in video and fiber-optic transmission, and has held several executive leadership positions during his more than 20 years in the broadcast and audiovisual industries. Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in engineering technology from New York Institute of Technology and has completed courses toward his master's degree in communication engineering at Polytechnic Institute of New York. He comes to DNF from MultiDyne, where he served as vice president of sales and business development.

Weems will oversee sales management in the Western region, with direct key account management, rep/dealer account sales, and OEM/Systems Integrators' activities. Weems brings a wealth of experience in broadcast engineering/management, sales, and product management in the telecommunications, broadcast, electronic equipment (IT/networking), and manufacturing industries, along with unique perspective as an end-user and technical manager — qualities that are integral to understanding clients' technical and business requirements. Weems earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering technology from Almeda University, is an SBE Senior Member, SBE Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer, a member of SMPTE and Society of Television Engineers, and served two terms on the SBE board of directors.

"DNF's hardware and software solutions based on our Flex Control Network have grown increasingly popular with broadcasters throughout the country," said Dan Fogel, CTO of DNF Controls. "So we've made a strategic decision to place experienced people in key areas. Adding Fred and Tom to our team ensures we'll be able to keep up the personal attention and service our customers have come to expect."

Scott and Weems will be on hand at the 2012 NAB Show in Las Vegas, April 16-19, in booth N2115.

Intelligent technologies for the cities of the future

Launch of new category "Urban Solutions" focussing on challenges of the future

Audi Urban Future: Project New York, May 2011
The world's population, currently seven billion, is expected to grow to eight billion by 2030. According to The UN estimates at least five billion people will be living in urban areas, compared with 3.5 billion today. Moreover, the United Nations has also calculated that more than half of the global urban population will be living in Asia twenty years from now. Approximately 500 new towns and cities will be built in China alone.

The new display category "Urban Solutions" in Hall 11 at CeBIT 2012 (6/8/MarchHannover D) will focus on the market potential of the megacities and the ICT solutions needed to meet future challenges. Intelligent ICT solutions, which form the focus of the presentation, already play a key role in ensuring that cities function efficiently and will become indispensable in the future when modern metropolitan areas face a myriad of needs and demands. For example, ICT technology is used in such areas as distribution, waste disposal, environmental protection, mobility and logistics, and it is also invaluable in data protection and security, in accelerating the introduction of eGovernment services, improved public security, education and the provision of health services. Another important challenge is the development of an intelligent network linking the rapidly growing volume of data.

The "Audi Urban Future Initiative" will be at the heart of the new display category "Urban Solutions". This special presentation will showcase five international concepts that address future urban challenges and trends relating to megacities and mobility. Audi is thus making an important contribution to the discussion on "the city and mobility in the future", and playing a major role in promoting an interdisciplinary exchange - and solutions for the future.

Another highlight will be the Urban Solutions Forum in Hall 11, which comprises lectures, keynote talks and panel discussions reflecting the content of the display, in particular mobility concepts, IT and IT security, communication and data protection, as well as the use of IT in intelligent electricity grids, smart energy generation and power distribution. The major energy company E.ON. will be involved in the Urban Solutions Forum, which is sponsored by the company Rittal. The Forum will be opened on 6 March by Dr. Friedhelm Loh, CEO of Rittal, and Martina Koederitz, CEO at IBM Germany.

Finally, the competition "Urban Solutions Pitch" will be launched as a result of joint cooperation between CeBIT and the high-tech industry association BITKOM. The competition winners will present their forward-looking lighthouse projects on a special display area in Hall 11. The aim of the "Urban Solutions Pitch" is to draw attention to the development and use of innovative technology in the management of urban conglomerations.

RFID technology in industrial connectivity

At Drives & Controls 2012 (17/19 April; Birmingham, GB), Harting is featuring its range of industrial connectivity solutions, ranging from electrical and electronic connectors to industrial networking systems based on the company's innovative FTS (Fast Track Switching) Ethernet technology. Designed to provide an integrated communications framework between office and manufacturing networks, FTS switches can identify automation profiles, accelerate their data-transmission speeds and prioritise them.

Linked to the FTS demonstration, Harting will for the first time feature it's active RFID (radio-frequency identification) systems for rugged environments, including a new range of hardened transponders for mounting on metal and in concrete.

The new Ha-VIS RF-R500 is a powerful, versatile and robust RFID reader designed for applications outdoors or in harsh environments. The reader can capture information automatically on several hundred objects over distances of up to 16 metres and can immediately store data on an existing IT system such as SAP. Automatic capture minimises possible sources of error and enables the optimisation of logistics processes.

Harting's world class industrial range of electrical interconnect products are also being shown, including the Han® family of power connectors, the award-winning Han-Yellock®connector system with bridging options and the versatile all-plastic Han ECO® range.

Harting is also featuring its electronic connector range and the integration of connectors into backplanes, card frames and cabinets. Cable assemblies complement the full Harting offering, ranging from simple IDC electronic cables to complex heavy-duty industrial offerings.

Loop powered indicator is explosion proof

New loop powered indicator for explosion proof applications

Yokogawa has announced the the release of another high quality and well engineered product, the MLX loop powered indicator. The MLX is the latest addition to Yokogawa’s family of loop powered indicators operating from a 4-20 mA DC input. This model incorporates the LCD from the Yokogawa EJX pressure transmitter into a NEMA 4X aluminum housing. The MLX currently meets Factory Mutual or FM Explosion Proof requirements and will meet INMETRO, CSA, ATEX, IEC and Russian GOST in the near future.

Typical applications for FM approved loop powered indicators are located in potentially hazardous environments. They have been specified mostly by the chemical industry for the past 25-30 years. However, these indicators can be used in many other industries where a rugged, weatherproof enclosure is needed. Loop powered indicators provide an additional view of the measured value between a field instrument and the control room. This local indication of flow, pressure, liquid level or temperature can also be an invaluable aid during maintenance or when troubleshooting a malfunction.

The MLX contains a 6 digit numerical display with a range of +/- 999999, a 6 digit alphanumeric display for engineering units and a 20 segment bar graph indicating 0 to 100% of full scale. Most LCDs used in loop powered indicators are typically 3.5, 4.5 or 5 digit displays. With a 6 digit numerical display, additional resolution is provided to the end user. The numerical and alphanumeric displays are configurable to show the desired number and engineering units.

Another MLX feature is root extraction to aid in flow measurement. The MLX will extract the square root from the 4-20 mA signal sent by the differential flow/pressure transmitter displaying the actual flow reading.
Like Yokogawa’s MLA, MLD, and MLD1 loop powered indicators, the MLX shares the following characteristics:
• 4-20 mA DC input
• Same NEMA 4X aluminum housing
• Horizontal or Vertical Mount on 2” Pipe
• FM approval
• Epoxy Resin or Polyurethane-Epoxy Paint Options
• Calibration Range and Scale Option
• Stainless Steel Tag Option

Ranges of airflow sensors increased!

High sensitivity at very low flows allow detection of the low pressure drops that often occur in medical applications.

Honeywell has added new flow ranges to its Zephyr™ Analog and Digital Airflow Sensor portfolio to provide high sensitivity at very low flows – making the sensor portfolio ideal for use in a variety of medical equipment and industrial applications.

The company has added four standard flow ranges between ±50 SCCM and ±750 SCCM to its existing flow range of ±200 SCCM. In addition to the flow ranges, a new port/housing style, the short port fastener mount, has also been added to the portfolio. The extended flow ranges give the Honeywell Zephyr™ the ability to detect low-pressure drops that often occur in medical applications and which can impact patient comfort, and can reduce noise and system wear on components, such as motors and pumps. In industrial applications, lower flow range detection can optimize performance in gas leak detection and clogged HVAC air filter detection.

“With the addition of the new airflow ranges, Honeywell provides its customers with more options to integrate the sensor into their application,” said AJ Smith, director of global product marketing for Honeywell Sensing and Control. “Customers will also benefit from the portfolio’s industry-leading accuracy and the ability to customize the sensor to meet their specific application needs.”

Customers who have already designed a bypass that extends the flow range above the normal range of the existing airflow sensor can now use the Honeywell Zephyr™ airflow sensor to optimize overall performance and reduce manufacturing costs.

Additional industry-leading features of the Honeywell Zephyr™ airflow portfolio include:

• Total Error Band as low as ±2.25 %FSS (full scale span) allow for very accurate airflow measurement

• Stability reduces errors due to thermal effects and null shift, providing accurate readings over time and often eliminating system calibration after PC board mount

• Linear output provides a more intuitive signal than the raw output of basic airflow sensors, helping to reduce production costs and design and implementation time

• Low pressure drop typically improves patient comfort in medical applications, and reduces noise and system wear on other components such as motors and pumps

Potential applications for the Honeywell Zephyr™ airflow sensors include:

• Medical: anesthesia, hospital diagnostics (spectrometry/gas chromatography), nebulizers, oxygen concentrators, patient monitoring, sleep apnea, spirometers, ventilators, and ventricular assist devices

• Industrial: air-to-fuel ratio, analytical instrumentation (spectrometry, chromatography), fuel cells, gas leak detection, gas meters, HVAC filters, VAV system on HVAC systems, and meteorology

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Asia Pacific hub

New regional hub for data center technology in Singapore will provide data center product development, support and services for the Asian market

ABB is to create a regional hub for data center solution development and support in Singapore. This will be their first regional hub for data center technology in the Asia Pacific market.

The new center complements ABB’s existing operations in Singapore, and will focus on its recently introduced DecathlonTM suite of software, hardware, and services for data center management. Decathlon analyzes a variety of data such as IT load patterns, weather forecasts, contract and utility rate data to predict and adjust energy consumption to ensure data centers are more reliable and energy efficient. This new green technology can provide potential energy savings of 10 to 50 percent, and is expandable across multiple sites, which can result in savings worth millions of dollars for some enterprises each year.

“Singapore’s thriving internet economy, robust infrastructure, availability of talent, and the country’s business friendly environment are some of the reasons ABB chose to invest in Singapore,” commented Tobias Becker, Head of the Control Technologies business in the ABB Group, during a recent trip to Asia. “Singapore is already a global data management hub and holds about 50% of South East Asia’s data center capacity. We are confident that basing our regional hub in Singapore will best serve our customers in Asia Pacific.”

Digital information is now synonymous with electrical power. With the rise in internet use and cloud computing, data centers are rapidly expanding in size, creating a significant environmental and energy usage footprint. Data centers consume vast amounts of energy every year. Size for size they consume around 30 or more times the power used to run the average office building. In total, global consumption amounts to a staggering 80 million megawatt hours of electricity a year. Singapore's own data center capacity is projected to increase by 50 percent over the next few years, from 2.4 million sq ft in 2010 to 3.6 million sq ft in 2015.

In addition to Decathlon, ABB provides a wide range of products, integrated solutions and expertise to ensure that data centers operate with optimum reliability and efficiency. From AC and DC electric distribution systems to enterprise management and grid connections, ABB provides savings in installation, energy, space and maintenance. Customers include data center developers, owners and operators, IT equipment manufacturers, and utilities.

The new regional Data Center Hub, complements ABB’s other business growth activities in Singapore, which include Marine, eMobility, Solar and Energy Efficiency initiatives.

Embedded systems report!

National Instruments has released its 2012 Embedded Systems Outlook report, which shares the company’s conclusions about the direction of the embedded systems market. The report lists technology and business-level trends that impact the development of next-generation embedded systems. Companies can take advantage of this information in a wide variety of demanding embedded control and monitoring applications within industries such as energy, industrial control, life sciences and transportation.

With insight from the report, engineers and managers can strategically implement best practices for developing and maintaining innovative embedded systems. The 2012 report discusses the following major trends:

• Embedded Platforms: Technology providers are helping design teams build complex embedded systems faster by developing platforms that combine hardware with an integrated software framework.


• Reconfigurable Computing: Advanced embedded control and monitoring systems are driving an increase in designs that make the most of programmable logic.


• Mobile Devices and the Cloud: Design teams are taking advantage of the proliferation of new mobile devices and cloud technologies within next-generation embedded systems.


• Innovating With Smaller Teams: Smaller design teams around the world are creating a more efficient way for companies to bring disruptive innovations to market.


• Future Proofing Through Software: With the ever-changing requirements and standards for embedded systems, design teams are adopting a “software first” mindset for upgrading products over time.

Digital video surveillance

New 5MPixel IP surveillance camera features digital video recording

The new IDS ultra-compact (44 x 34 x 62mm) VSE IP surveillance camera is now available from Stemmer Imaging . With resolution up to full HD, Power over Ethernet capability and configurable integrated multi area motion detection, this remarkably powerful camera also features built in digital video recording (DVR) up to 32GB. The camera is also supplied with a free version of iGuard, the PC toolkit for even more versatile DVR and complex surveillance solutions.

The VSE’s 5 Megapixel sensor offers high resolution and detailed images up to full HD (1080p), making it ideal for OEM customers for applications such as ITS, security, CCTV, video inspection, etc. This versatile camera can not only be connected to external alarm sensors but can also act as an alarm sensor itself via the built-in motion detection capability. The camera supports H.264 and MJPEG streaming and can handle up to 3 streams simultaneously.


Camera set-up and live or recorded image viewing is carried out via an easy-to-use web browser interface, using a smartphone, tablet PC, laptop or PC. The camera can be readily integrated as an intelligent subsystem into more complex surveillance systems. Camera scripts allow VSE cameras to be connected with video servers that are IP-camera enabled.

The VSE can be easily integrated into the versatile iGuard 3.0 PC-Kit for DVR and in addition to direct interaction via a video server, the cameras can also be accessed using iGuard RemoteView. iGuard’s flexibility allows the creation of bespoke solutions from a simple surveillance using a notebook and single IP-camera to cost-effective remote multi-server, multi-client solutions.

iGuard’s software-based flexibility also includes camera oriented configuration, enhanced control of analogue and IP-PTZ cameras, multi-monitor handling and support of camera specific functionalities. iGuard features a dedicated software interface which allows easy integration into third party applications such as building management systems or point of sale systems.

Digital process terminal and line attendant

Aegis Software is to unveil a unique touch-screen device to ensure a controlled process and provide a powerful and yet simplified interface to factory information systems. Visitors to the Aegis booth at APEX (San Diego CA USA, 28 Feb-1 Apl 2012) will see first-hand how inForce monitors and controls the process, informs operators, saves energy and workspace, and reduces the infrastructure cost and complexity of best-in-class factories.

inForce is a multi-function bridge connecting your Aegis software system to operators and equipment throughout the factory. It provides a turn-key touch screen operator interface, an intuitive user information center, a scanning and tracking terminal, and the means for an Aegis MOS system to physically control the process.

“inForce radically improves the simplicity, economics, and functionality of a factory information solution. Implementing a factory information system normally involves PC hardware costs, IT maintenance costs for those PCs, high energy consumption, and sizable workstation real estate. Our vision was to provide scanning on lines in an assured manner and to provide and interactive operator terminal without having to place PCs at every single process station”, commented Jason Spera, Aegis CEO. “inForce does this by providing a plug-and-play, auto-maintaining, compact and simple interface that provides many of the features where normally a PC would be required. As well, it functions as a bridge for the MOS system to physically reach into the process and control conveyors. ”

The inForce full-colour touchscreen display delivers operators useful alarm and production status information without the need for a PC. Wherever an interface to an Aegis MOS system is required, its compact console can be mounted using standardized VESA arms, under shelves, or even on a tabletop like a self-standing picture frame. The interface also supports audio to further enhance operator information. inForce enables your Aegis system to physically control conveyor flow, acquire barcode scans, and ensure accurate and complete WIP data transactions even on conveyorized lines. An optional light tower is available to extend the range of inForce’s visibility to operators where required.

Capabilities and Options
Operator Interface, Barcode Tracking & Conveyor Control
Ensure every unit is scanned accurately on a conveyorized line, stop the line automatically when Aegis alarm conditions occur, and inform operators about line status at each station. In this configuration, the inForce console is mounted where visible at the conveyor point of use, connected to your scanners and the Interface Module. The interface module is placed on the floor and electronically connected to your conveyors via SMEMA, the factory Ethernet, and power.

Conveyor WIP Monitoring Only
Track the counts of units moving through conveyorized lines for WIP quantity monitoring without specific barcode identifier capture. In this configuration, only the inForce Digital Line Attendant Module is integrated to power, the conveyor, and Ethernet. (Coming soon via automatic firmware update)


Workstation MES Interface
Most processes include workstations that require only unit scanning and ‘pass/fail’ entry at a given point. More advanced functions requiring a full PC user interface are not required at these stations. For such situations, inForce eliminates the need for a costly, bulky PC and provides the operator a simplified and compact interface at their workstation. (Coming soon via automatic firmware update)

Light Tower Option
Where broader visibility to the status of an inForce-controlled station is required, an optional light tower integrates directly to the inForce Line Attendant Module.

Unique Benefits
Interactive and Informative
With a full-color touchscreen display that responds even to gloved hands or a stylus, inForce does not simply control the process, it informs the operator as to status and the ‘why’ behind the control decisions enforces. An interactive, informative solution for your operators to keep lines running efficiently.
Vivid LED alarm lighting, audio prompts, and even optional light towers ensure operators are instantly made aware of problems.

Low Energy Consumption
inForce consumes a fraction of the electricity required to support a PC or even a thin client or all-in-one shop floor PC.

Simple, Automated, and Central IT Management
From a central server application, all inForce settings can be adjusted and immediately all endpoints update automatically. The simple act of placing new firmware on the server automatically updates each endpoint.

Visually Announces Your Lines are State of the Art
Every manufacturer takes pride in their lines. inForce’s elegant custom housing and its vivid and dynamic display announces to visitors or customers that your factory is at the pinnacle of information management and process control.

Easy Setup and Maintenance
With a full touch screen display, configuring the initial setup and ongoing IT maintenance is simplified.

Assured Barcode Acquisition
Since inForce is actually a mini Windows-based computer, it is capable of implementing continuous barcode scanning for a moving conveyor. As failsafe, if a barcode is not acquired, the system stops conveyor movement and informs the operator why.

Flexible Mounting Options
The inForce console design accommodates a vast array of mounting options to make installation easy. It’s articulating and locking rear bracket can swing out to act as an integrated desktop stand. If you wish to use any VESA arm or mount, such as used with all PC monitors and TVs, it is VESA compliant. Or, pass the provided ballistic strap through the bracket slots to fasten it to a surface. And of course, the provided mount holes enable direct-attachment when desired. It even mounts under-shelf.

CE Certified
CE certification ensures safety and reliability in factory environments that are often particularly hostile in terms of EM interference.

Future Proof & Expandable
inForce is more than a single-use device. It is a true miniaturized computer incorporating a compact Windows operating system. As a true computer, inForce may be a conveyor control and MES portal today, but can evolve to deliver richer and broader functionality in the future through updates.

Multifunction installation kit

Fluke UK is offering a set of accessories to purchasers of a Fluke 1654B Multifunction Installation Tester, all bundled at a very low price.

The complete Fluke 1654B Limited Addition Kit contains the Fluke 1654B, a Fluke ES165X Earth Spike Test Kit, a Fluke TLK290 Flexible Socket Probe Set, and DMS 0100/INST Data Management Software which uses the 1654B’s captured results for data recording, offers easy-to-use administration and reporting in compliance with BS7671 IEE 17th Edition Wiring regulations and provides printing of test reports compatible with a range of standard certificate requirements.

The extended memory 1654B Multifunction Installation Tester is designed for high productivity testing and verification of virtually all electrical wiring installations in domestic, commercial and industrial applications to meet the latest BS7671 IEE 17th Edition wiring regulations, while offering smooth DC-sensitive RCD type B testing and milliohm resolution for loop and line testing. The Fluke ES165X Earth Spike Test Kit enables easy earth resistance testing using the 3 wire connection method and auxiliary earth spikes, and the TLK290 Flexible Socket Probe Set is designed for use on motor and 3-phase sockets while offering CAT III 1000 V / CAT IV 600 V, 8A safety.

The Fluke 1654B Multifunction Installation tester shows two measurements at once on a dual display. This can show PEFC/PSC and loop impedance results in parallel negating the requirement to run the tests separately, more than halving the test time of some loop testers. It also features a high-current loop test which gives extremely fast measurements when testing in circuits where no RCDs are being used. It offers both non trip and the high current test so the user can select depending on the application. In addition there is fast voltage measurement between L-N, L-PE and N-PE using the mains cord, with no need to change measurement connections.

There is a PASS/FAIL indication for RCD test results, and a variable RCD current mode for customised settings. Requiring no separate batteries, a slim probe with test button supplied with the tester enables initiation of a test without the need to access or reference to the front panel when probing hard to reach points. An Earth Volt Touchpad detects earth voltages raised above 50V to indicate potentially dangerous situations.

It is compact, lightweight (less than 1.2 kg) and has a padded neck-strap to free testers’ hands for testing. For ease of use, a rotary dial clearly indicates which function is selected, and provides access to all functions in one place to avoid complex multi-level menus, so that even after a long period of non-use the tester remains intuitive to use. A large display with backlight uses clear symbols and has an exceptionally wide viewing angle for easy and safe readings. The unit has detachable standard 4-mm leads that can be replaced if damaged or lost, and which require no customised special connectors. A Zero Adapter ensures easy, reliable and accurate test lead and mains cord compensation. The adapter can be used for all kinds of mains plugs and test accessories like probes and alligator clips.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monitoring & control offshore

Whether maximising existing oil and gas reserves or addressing offshore wind reliability, the offshore energy industries are looking to technology to solve complex monitoring and control challenges.  National Instruments UK & Ireland has announced the panel of industry experts who will present the latest technologies for upstream, midstream and downstream applications at theNI Offshore Measurement & Control Summit 2012, held in Aberdeen, Scotland, on 21st March 2012.

Robin Gordan University, Aberdeen, Scotland
This free one-day event, focused on the renewable, oil and gas sector, will bring together industry speakers, engineers and managers for technology discussions, in-depth case studies, hands-on training and networking opportunities. 

The guest speakers and presentation topics include:

Controlling ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) - Smart Technologies for Subsea Operations
Edin Omerdic, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Limerick’s Mobile & Marine Robotics Research Centre (MMRRC), will present a session highlighting the challenges faced by ROV pilots during deep water operations, including low visibility, time-varying ocean currents and umbilical drag effects. Omerdic will explain how OceanRINGS, a set of components developed by MMRRC, can increase automation, making ROV operations easier and reduce expensive ship time by 20%.

Deploying Structural Monitoring on Offshore Wind Turbines
The application of structural health monitoring systems deployed on offshore wind turbines is a particularly challenging task, where ease of installation, ruggedness and reliability of equipment is essential. Paul Faulkner, Senior Product Manager at Strainstall, will show how a measurement system can provide key information on the structural integrity of offshore wind turbine towers to evaluate the structural response, status and operational life of the deployment.

Accelerating the Implementation of an Advanced Control System for Pipeline Welding
Anthony Wilson, Software and Controls Engineer from Pipeline Technique, will speak about the challenges of pipeline welding for the oil and gas industries and how he has solved complex control problems by using off-the-shelf embedded hardware, whilst also reducing development time.

On-Vessel Riser Management System
In his presentation about BPP-TECH's on-vessel oil riser management system, Rodrigue Akkari, Senior Engineer, will describe the stand-alone unit used to acquire and host data from a variety of vessel and subsea systems. Akkari will also discuss how software is used to analyse data in order to estimate stresses and recommend the optimal vessel position.

Using Off-The-Shelf Technology to Solve Complex Measurement & Control Challenges
In addition, the Summit's Keynote, presented by National Instruments, will show how off-the-shelf technology can accelerate the development of measurement and control applications. (Download Summit Agenda)

Hands-on Workshops
As well as learning how industry experts have solved real world applications, Summit attendees can take the opportunity to have valuable hands-on training with measurement and control hardware, used for system monitoring, data logging, condition monitoring and embedded control.

Wireless telemetry potentiometer acquisition module

Leading electronic instrumentation manufacturer Mantracourt has announced the release of its new wireless telemetry potentiometer acquisition module.

The T24-RA wireless potentiometer module is designed for the collection and processing of potentiometer related measurements such as provided by a linear displacement transducer. The module calculates the resistance and periodically transmits it to a remote receiver. Between transmissions the device is optionally put into a power saving sleep mode to conserve batteries.

"The potentiometer acquisition module is an important addition to the T24 wireless range of instrumentation products," said Kelly Voysey, Sales and Marketing Manager at Mantracourt. "It will enable the remote monitoring of sensors that produce a variable resistance output, such as a linear displacement transducer. Along with our other wireless sensor modules, the potentiometer acquisition module will help us provide a complete solution to engineers seeking to remotely monitor and control a given process."

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

The Mantracourt T24 wireless telemetry range is a flexible low power radio system designed to enable the transmission of high accuracy measurement data from load cells, inclinometers, accelerometers, temperature, displacement and pressure sensors. With a combination of transmitter and receiver technologies, engineers are able to remotely monitor instrumentation readings.

"Wireless instrumentation is enabling engineers to undertake measurement and control in ways that were not possible before," said Kelly Voysey. "Whether it is rotating machinery, or equipment located in a hazardous area such as a construction site, or maybe difficult to access locations, our T24 range is enabling engineers around the world to take a new approach to how they can use instrumentation in the field."

Miniature in size, the device transmits on license-free 2.4Ghz, avoiding local radio interference to ensure data integrity and security.

The module can transmit to a range of receivers including handheld indicators, digital displays, analogue and serial outputs, PC display and wireless printer and it has various powering options.
Data is provided in real time at variable speeds with a direct line of sight range of 100 or 200 meters, which can be extended with the use of high gain antenna’s and repeaters.

The T24-RA potentiometer measuring device is also available in a PCB version for OEM integration.

New smart-house dimmer!

Strengthening its position in the home automation market, Carlo Gavazzi has launched the energy efficient SH2 Smart-house Dimmer for use with resistive, inductive and capacitive loads with a total load capacity of 3 to 500W. (See more on Smart-House range!)

Designed for DIN-rail mounting, the SH2 dimmer is ideal for installations requiring lighting control to reduce power consumption or set scenes. The dimmer delivers improved dimming performance and features programmable ramp and soft start / stop times.

The SH2 dimmer has also been specifically designed to function with LED lamps which can cause flickering and poor dimming performance with existing dimmers, because of their complex load characteristics. SH2 has a minimum load of 3W and features selectable curves to cater for the different LED technologies available on the market. This means LED lamps can be dimmed over a wide range and remain flicker free.

Featuring automatic load detection for L, R and C loads and a soft start/stop, the SH2 dimmer switch incorporates an integrated heat sink for temperature dissipation that enables multiple dimmers to be mounted adjacent to each other without reduction in nominal power. The SH2’s internal bus enables it to be easily connected to adjacent dimmers without the need to cable the Dupline Bus. Encased in a 2 DIN housing, the dimmer features protection against short circuit, overload and over-temperature and does not require extra wiring when installing into the Smart-house cabinet.

Based on the Dupline® Installation bus, Smart-house is a home automation product that controls and monitors lighting, roller blinds, heating, air-conditioning and security and is easy to incorporate into both new build and refurbishment projects. The Smart-house system opens up new opportunities to reduce energy consumption and increase the comfort and safety of homes. Operation, service and maintenance are simplified, with complete status overview available anytime and anywhere using an Internet connection.

New LED power supplies!

Two new families of LED lighting power supplies have been introduced by Excelsys Technologies, adding to their very successful Xled series. The LDB75 and LDB100 constant voltage/current LED power supplies can deliver up to 75W and 96W output power respectively in extremely compact, 28mm high, packages.

These new Xled products offer the lowest profile LED driver solutions on the market and can deliver constant voltage single outputs of 24V, 36V or 48V. Both can operate as constant-current drivers delivering the maximum output current range over the defined voltage range.

Standard features offered by the LDB75 and LDB100 include; universal input voltage 90-305VAC, constant voltage/current mode operation, high efficiency up to 91%, power factor typical 0.95, waterproof to IP67, operating temperature range of -30 to 50°C, Class 2 device (UL1310) with LDB75 also Class II rated. The Excelsys Xled range offer comprehensive protection to over-current, over-voltage, short-circuit and over temperature operation.

Dermot Flynn, Director of Sales for Excelsys Technologies, commented. “Low energy LED lighting systems continue to grow in popularity and we will maintain our investment in the development of high efficiency, high reliability LED power solutions. We can now meet the specific requirements of most commonly used LED lighting systems which provide long-life, low-energy light sources especially suited to industrial and commercial buildings, signs and displays. The ultra-compact size of our new LDB LED drivers makes them ideal replacements for existing lighting system components.”

Typical applications for the new LDB series of LED power supplies from Excelsys include in-store food display and mood lighting applications, outdoor signs, flat and wide screen street advertising displays, in-store media channels in retail shops, including hyper-marts, supermarkets and convenience stores, high bay lighting for conference centres, hospitality industry and general industrial and retail building architectural lighting solutions.

PXI power matrices

Pickering Interfaces adds to range of PXI power matrices

Pickering Interfaces is expanding its range of PXI power matrices with the introduction of the 40-549 and 40-551.

The 40-549 is a 5A matrix available in a variety of 32 and 64 crosspoint configurations with Y axis sizes of x4 and x8. Maximum switching voltage is 110VDC or 250VAC.

The 40-551 is a 10A matrix configured as an 8x4 matrix that switches voltages up to 125VDC and 250VAC and features an optional loop thru facility that simplifies user cabling when the matrix size is expanded through the use of additional modules. The 40-551 is also available in 8x2 and 4x4 configurations.

Both the 40-549 and 40-551 use high quality electromechanical relays (EMR’s) which offer long service life.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Plant of the year award presented on-site!

The HART® Communication Foundation presented the 2011 HART Plant of the Year Award to the Shell Scotford Upgrader during a special presentation at the plant site located outside Fort Saskatchewan (CDN). Foundation Executive Director Ron Helson visited the plant on February 1, 2012, to present the award in recognition of Shell engineers’ innovation in their application of HART technology.
HART Communication Foundation Executive Director Ron Helson (3rd from left) presents the 2011 HART Plant of the Year Award to Shell Scotford Upgrader, Alberta, Canada (l-r): Japan Shah, Project Specialist, Honeywell; Chris Schultz, Shell Upgrader Engineering Manager; Andy Bahniuk, CMA Instrumentation Technologist; Dan Pearce, Controls Measurement & Automation  Manager; Mohamid Nasif, Production Technologist; and Arnel Santos, Upgrader General Manager.
The award presentation, which included an overview by Helson of reasons why their plant was selected for recognition, was attended by Shell Scotford senior leadership, department heads, engineers and staff. Helson toured the Upgrader and was able to see a live demonstration of HART applications in the plant.

“I have visited plant sites around the world and been impressed by the remarkable ways people are using HART technology. The Shell Scotford plant was yet another extraordinary experience,” says Helson. “I was particularly impressed with how Shell engineers teamed with their automation supplier to integrate HART device information in system displays and use the diagnostic and secondary measurements to improve operations and streamline work practices.”

Scotford Upgrader General Manager Arnel Santos said, “Recognition of the Scotford Upgrader as the HART Plant of the Year is a resounding affirmation that innovation is part of our culture and that HART Communication was instrumental in the safe start-up and the continued safe and reliable operation of the Upgrader Expansion.”

Helson adds, “Their enthusiasm and outside-the-box thinking has enabled the people at Shell Scotford to derive greater benefits from HART assets than ever before. As they continue to use more HART capabilities and take it to other parts of the plant, they will achieve even greater benefits in the future.”

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. The use of HART technology provides real-time daily instrument troubleshooting, preventable and predictive ongoing maintenance, and annual savings in excess of $1.7 million (USD). Read more about Shell Scotford’s application of HART technology at www.hartcomm.org.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Industrial PC & terminal market growth nosedives!

The latest industrial PC (IPC) and operator terminal quarterly market tracker results from IMS Research clearly show a year-on-year slowdown in revenue growth throughout 2011.

Click pic to read graph
The 2011 fourth quarter results for both trackers, based on reported data from vendors, were published earlier this week. They show a nosedive in year-on-year quarterly revenue growth rates during the course of 2011. The year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter revenue growth profiles for the world IPC and operator terminal markets are shown in Figure 1.

The fourth quarter results show that IPC and operator terminal revenues peaked mid-2011. World revenues declined in the fourth quarter for IPCs; and in the third and fourth quarters for operator terminals.

After a strong bounce-back in 2010 from the recession, quarter-on-quarter revenue growth in 2011 slowed significantly, or revenues even contracted. IPC and operator terminal revenues were estimated to have declined in the fourth quarter by 4% and 8% respectively.

Overall, 2011 was a good year for both markets, largely due to strong results in the middle two quarters. The latest annual revenue estimates generated by the tracker show world growth of over 16% for IPCs and 14% for operator terminals.

In 2011, of the three major regions, the Americas had the best estimated year-on-year quarterly revenue growth rates. Fourth quarter revenue growth of 14% and 8% for operator terminals and IPCs respectively helped to lessen the impact of the poorer EMEA and Asia-Pacific results on the world figures.

It is possible that recovery from the recession so far has been slower in the Americas than in EMEA or Asia Pacific. Though growth in the latter two markets is now slowing, the market in the Americas is still showing strong growth. The strong performance of the automotive sector, particularly towards the end of 2011, will have helped IPC and operator terminal revenues in the Americas to continue to grow quarter by quarter.

It is safe to suggest that at a world level, given the general downward revenue growth trend of both trackers, first-half revenues for 2012 are likely to be less than in 2011; as both markets start to stabilize after the events of 2009.

One year in automation!

We've had a lot of ISA news these last few days! But as we say to every automation entity if you have news send it to us it has a better chance of getting out there if it's on our desk than on yours! Remember we welcome automation news on products, applications, people, events etc. What's the worst tha can happen? It might be ignored but why take the risk?

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has produced its annual report, 2011 President’s Year in Review. (pdf). The report provides ISA members insight into the 67-year-old Society’s goals, activities, and accomplishments for the year, while showing non-members how the Society is meeting the needs of automation professionals worldwide.

The report highlights the many successes achieved in such areas as expanded training of automation professionals, new technical publications and resources, and developments in ISA standards and standards compliance. The report covers the many contributions ISA Automation Week and division symposia made in bringing technical education, insights into automation issues and networking opportunities to the automation profession during the year. It features, for the first time, profiles of automation professionals whose careers the Society’s activities have impacted.

Readers also will learn about initiatives launched in 2011, such as new membership grades and the new information-and-blog website, ISA Interchange. Successful expansion into social media played an important role in accomplishing the Society’s 2011 goals.

The 2011 President’s Year in Review also details how ISA sections implemented numerous programs during the year, from local expositions and training, to a speakers’ directory and outreach activities with schools.

ISA’s growth and expanding reach in training and certification are affirmative indications of the Society’s continual impact on the automation community. Notable are the new Technician Training Boot Camp and the significant progress made in training programs in international markets. Both made positive contributions to the Society’s revenue.

The 2011 President’s Year in Review wraps up with the numbers--a summary of the finances that enabled ISA’s members, customers, and subject-matter experts to provide value to the automation community throughout the year.

Leo Staples, ISA’s 2011 president, commented, “2011 President’s Year in Review serves as a valuable resource for automation professionals to use when communicating with colleagues, contacts, and management about the benefits ISA provides to the profession, to technology, and to careers.”

High voltage power supply

More than 100,000 hours MTBF demonstrated!

A compact, highly reliable, solid-state high voltage DC power supply that eliminates the need to parallel smaller power supplies and is suitable for a wide range of industrial and research applications is available from Diversified Technologies.

The HVPS Series Switching Mode Power Supply is a fully integrated solid-state unit that provides 10 to 100 kV adjustable output at power levels up to 200 kW. Eliminating the complexity involved with connecting and controlling several smaller switching power supplies, this compact DC power supply has demonstrated over 100,000 hours mean-time-between-failures.

Configured to user requirements, the HVPS Series Switching Mode Power Supply is packaged in a 61cm W x 91cm D x 188cm H cabinet and uses tap water for cooling. Featuring > 0.1% ripple and regulation with << 10 joules stored energy, depending upon configuration, it offers full over-voltage and over-current protection up to +30% or preset to ±0.1% max. ripple.

Excellence in safety and sustainability

On March 5 - 6, 2012, ARC Advisory Group presents the 8th Process Management Academy (PMA) in Antwerp (B). This year’s forum topic is “Excellence in Safety and Sustainability”. ARC is further enhancing the workshop characteristics of the PMA, thereby bridging the gap between technological discussion and management challenges in the process industry.

PMA 2012 will be accompanied by four workshops:
• Cyber Security and Functional Safety: {Cyber Security was already a hot topic at last year’s PMA, when the impact of Stuxnet was discussed intensively after a presentation by Mikko Hypponen (F-Secure).}
• Excellence in Process Safety,
• Energy Efficiency, and
• Best Practices in Supply Chain Integrity and Brand Protection.

Another challenge that many end users are facing is the issue of Supply Chain Integrity and Brand Protection. As supply chains are getting flatter, companies interact more closely, outsource larger shares of production, and exchange more information. Counterfeit products are no longer exclusively found in the pharmaceutical or textile industry, but have reached many other industries. Officials estimate the damage between $650 billion and $1 trillion globally. Stefan Zimmermann (ATOS) will host this workshop together with Dr. Valentijn de Leeuw (ARC).

The workshop on Process Safety continues a series of discussion which started nearly 7 years ago at the very first PMA. This year, EEMUA, TOTAL PETROCHEMICALS RESEARCH FELUY, and iBanx HSE will participate. For example, Dr. Andrew Lichnowski from EEMUA will share lessons learned from the massive explosion at the Buncefield oil storage facilities. Dr. Lichnowski will also give a more detailed presentation on this topic on the second day of the event. This workshop not only focuses on technology, but also addresses human error.

Since 2008, Energy Efficiency has been a topic discussed by the participants of PMA due to price rally in commodity prices. Since then, many users have collected different experiences. This year’s workshop is spanning the bridge from data collection (presented by Phoenix Contact) to simulation (presented by INOSIM) and will include practical experiences from Clariant.

The presentations in the plenary session will deal with various topics surrounding Excellence in Safety and Sustainability and include speakers from B&R, Siemens, BT Advise, HIMA, TU Dortmund University, Yokogawa, and Contec. “Over 30 percent end user attendees at our PMA”, says Uwe Grundmann, GM European Operations from ARC. “Our continued focus on the needs and challenges of process industry ensures the high quality of PMA”. Practical examples will, for example, be demonstrated by Wim van Meijeren (NAM), who will present the automation of the unmanned operations of the Groningen Gas Field, which was fully upgraded and renovated. Dr. Herbert Maier from Clariant will talk about the holistic energy efficiency program which enabled Clariant to reduce the energy consumption per ton output by 25 percent from 2005 to 2010. Ruben Gil, Director, Sales Operations & Business Consulting, EMEA, AspenTech Europe, states: “Presentations during this event uplifted and encouraged companies to work collaboratively to use advanced manufacturing strategies and systems to help find new competitive advantages.”

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sixteen inch Coriolis meters!

High capacity Coriolis flowmeters with DN400 (16 inch) process connections provide high accuracy measurement for challenging applications

Emerson Process Management has expanded its range of Micro Motion ELITE® High Capacity Coriolis flowmeters with the introduction of a large line size version with DN400 (16 inch) process connections. This ELITE High Capacity Coriolis meter addresses the need for high accuracy, large line size measuring instruments and provides a high technology option for applications that have historically used mechanical/volumetric devices.

Emerson’s ELITE High Capacity line is the most comprehensive high flow rate Coriolis meter offering in the industry today. With the widest breadth and most flexible offering for any large line size application, ELITE High Capacity Coriolis meters are installed and operating in a wide range of applications throughout the world. The introduction of the DN400 version expands the scope of Micro Motion High Capacity Coriolis flowmeters to many more challenging applications including oil and gas pipelines, refinery oil movement and storage, speciality chemicals and marine bunkering.

Emerson’s highly accurate ELITE Coriolis product offers the flexibility to measure a wide variety of fluids. Ideally suited for difficult applications, the unique design delivers unparalleled measurement sensitivity and stability while delivering consistent, reliable performance over the widest flow range. Options include Super Duplex stainless steel for corrosion resistance and high chloride/high pressure applications, and 316L SS for high temperature and standard applications. The ELITE High Capacity meter is also a critical component of the Micro Motion MID-Certified Bunkering System, the first globally certified, mass-based measurement system for marine bunkering on-board barges and vessels.

The ELITE High Capacity Coriolis product line includes ten sensor models covering DN150-DN400 (6-16 inch) line sizes. They have flow rates up to 3,266,000 kilogrammes/hour and density accuracies of ± 0.0005 grammes per cubic centimetre. The compact design means that the new DN400 version needs just 1300 mm between mounting flanges and, depending on the flow conditions and process fluid properties, ELITE High Capacity Coriolis meters can be mounted in any orientation. They have a wide temperature range of - 240ºC to 200ºC, with the optional high temperature version extending this range to 350ºC. With no moving parts, Micro Motion Coriolis flowmeters are not subject to wear or measurement drift associated with the mechanical components of positive displacement (PD) or turbine meters.

Micro Motion ELITE High Capacity meters also offer two-phase flow capability for batching, loading, and entrained air applications. The meter’s density performance enables even small changes in density to be detected in pipeline distribution applications.

Emerson’s Smart Meter Verification, available on the ELITE Coriolis line, delivers additional measurement confidence by verifying the complete meter performance (sensor, drive and signal processing) while the operation is flowing and without removing the meter from the line. Smart Meter Verification can check meter performance on a set schedule or at the touch of a button in minutes enabling fast, easy, in line meter performance assurance.

With over 750,000 installations worldwide, Emerson’s Micro Motion meters are proven across diverse applications that range from process measurement to well production management; to pipeline distribution and storage terminals. High accuracy mass flow measurement means devices are ideally suited for fiscal and custody transfer monitoring, as required by regulatory authorities.
Software for energy industry predicts, diagnoses and prioritises impending equipment failure

Proficy® SmartSignal® Shield 4.0 software has been introduced by GEIP, for the Oil & Gas and Power industries. The Shield software helps large equipment operators detect equipment problems early and avoid surprise equipment failure, therefore increasing productivity, while minimising costs.

This advanced solution provides early warning of impending equipment problems, diagnostic guidance, and prioritised actionable intelligence. With Shield 4.0, users can move from reactive to proactive maintenance by working on the equipment that needs to be fixed, and on the most critical problems first. They can focus their efforts on action, not analysis—increasing reliability, availability, efficiency, and compliance.

The Shield 4.0 software, protected by more than 40 patents, was developed based on shared blind data from GE customers—the world’s largest base of predictive-diagnostic intelligence. From experience based on millions of machine hours and tens of thousands of failures from over 12,000 rotating and non-rotating assets, GE was able to identify fault patterns, in context of operating behavior, that are critical to the Power and Oil & Gas industries, and incorporate them into the software.

“Shield 4.0 was built entirely with the help of and input from our customers,” said David Farrell, Senior Solutions Manager for GE Intelligent Platforms. “Only GE has the customer base to make this level of advanced diagnostics possible, along with the expertise to develop a product that provides ease of implementation and incorporates user expertise. This is the next step in our constant innovation to provide the industry with total Intelligent Fleet Management.”

The Shield software’s diagnostic algorithms combine observations on multiple individual sensors to pinpoint failure effects. Beyond vibration and thermal analyses, the solution uniquely models all data on all critical rotating and non-rotating equipment. The solution monitors equipment automatically, continuously, and relentlessly, 24 hours/day—enabling users to take necessary mitigation needed to organize maintenance projects with confidence.

The newest release includes a suite of applications that enables quick design and implementation. Shield 4.0 allows for clear access to diagnostics and rules, so users can fully understand and adjust the software based on their own expertise. This means a more comprehensive embodiment of users’ subject-matter expertise on equipment operation and management can be deployed so the intelligence of both GE and the users is automated and constantly standing guard to shield all critical assets.

Leading the fieldbus world in process

ARC Advisory Group has released a new study entitled "Fieldbus Solutions in the Process Industries: Worldwide Outlook," which indicates FOUNDATION™ fieldbus (FF) continues to lead the market in digital fieldbus communications for the process industries.

According to the new ARC report, FOUNDATION fieldbus accounted for nearly three-quarters of the total digital process fieldbus marketplace in 2011. ARC also predicts ongoing expansion of the market for process fieldbus products and solutions, with continued double-digit growth over the next five years.

FOUNDATION fieldbus provides an all-digital communication infrastructure for process automation, with powerful multivariable measurement capabilities, powerful device diagnostics, and the ability to integrate wireless devices across multiple networks. The block structure of FF is unique, and provides true distributed functionality for implementing control in the field, improved data management, and alarm and alert management. This technology is well prepared to take advantage of the growth opportunities in fieldbus technology over the next decade.

ARC Analyst Kevin Crisafulli said, "Fieldbus technology has made further inroads into the culture of process automation, despite the negative impact that the global recession had on the market. Manufacturers are beginning to understand that the real value of fieldbus savings and increasing efficiency are more closely related to operating expenditures, which will drive growth going forward."

The Fieldbus Foundation's global marketing manager, Larry O'Brien, commented, "Thanks to the efforts of our supplier partners and the stringent testing & registration process at the Fieldbus Foundation, there is a wide range of products, systems, and components to choose from. With FOUNDATION fieldbus expanding into more and more application segments such as FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management and FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions, we are easily looking at a market opportunity in the billions of dollars on an annual basis for the foreseeable future.

"FOUNDATION fieldbus remains the popular choice among end-users as an all-digital process automation solution that brings very positive returns to the bottom'line. The technology allows you to see your process in high definition; manage information in real time; and optimize people, processes and technology."


This and other Foundation Fieldbus papers and technical references may be found on this FF Page.

Specialist in plant management in Brazil

With its takeover of innotec do Brasil based in São Paulo (BR), the Siemens Industry Automation Division has extended its leading global position in the field of industrial process engineering software, and at the same time bolstered its presence in one of the world's key growth markets. For more than ten years, Innotec do Brasil has been an exclusive supplier of Comos software solutions for integrated plant management, focusing on Brazil's oil and gas, energy, chemical and paper industries. The newly acquired company will be assigned to the Industrial Automation Systems Business Unit. With the purchase price a closely guarded secret, the deal is set to go ahead subject to approval by the relevant authorities.

Eckard Eberle,
CEO Siemens Automation Systems 
Innotec do Brasil was founded in 2001 and employs a highly qualified approximately 50-strong team with pooled expertise in every aspect of integrated industrial plant management. The company has been a highly regarded partner and recognised supplier of Comos software solutions and services for plant engineers and planners operating in the Brazilian process industry for many years. Its customer base includes such prestigious names as Petrobras, one of the world's biggest energy corporations.
"By acquiring innotec do Brasil we are bolstering the position of Siemens in Brazil and extending our market presence as an industrial partner in the energy sector. We will be gaining a team of specialists which already enjoys an excellent reputation as a sound, dependable partner and preferred supplier of Comos software solutions among many of Latin America's key industrial players", says Eckard Eberle, CEO of the Siemens Industrial Automation Systems Business Unit.

The Brazilian firm provides an impressive performance spectrum encompassing business process analysis, solutions to specific customer needs, software implementation and a comprehensive portfolio of plant engineering services.

"We plan to pursue our successful strategy in the growth market Brazil. With a highly qualified local team in place and support from Siemens, we are perfectly positioned to offer innovative software solutions for integrated, future-proof plant engineering. By providing meticulously engineered and efficient solution concepts using Comos, we are able to make a significant contribution towards achieving higher productivity, more economical operation and a sharper competitive edge for our customers," explains Charles Craddock, CEO and former shareholder of innotec do Brasil.
Recent years have seen the Siemens Industry Automation Division significantly extend its leading position in the industrial software market with the acquisition of UGS in the United States (2007), innotec in Germany (2008), Elan Software Systems in France (2009) and in 2011 the Brazilian company Active Tecnologia em Sistemas de Automação as well as Vistagy in the US, all of them leading industrial software suppliers in their respective fields.

Selecting servomoters!

Servomotor Sizing and Application, a new book from the pen of Gary Kirkhof, brings together all the resources needed to analyse mechanisms for the purpose of selecting an appropriate servomotor. It is written for mechanical engineers engaged in the design of industrial machinery and is well suited to the control engineer because it illustrates practical servomotor applications. The book breaks the motor sizing process into its elementary topics and covers each in depth. It then brings it all back together with detailed examples.

Topics include kinematics, duty cycles, inertia, friction, and mechanics. The analysis of linkages is also discussed using the crank-arm and a two axis parallel robot as examples.

The Author
Gary Kirckof, P.E. has spent the bulk of his thirty-year career working with automated equipment and assembly lines. Servomotor Sizing and Application is a direct result of that experience. He is both a registered mechanical and electrical engineer and works for Beckhoff Automation as an application engineer.

His career started by writing and debugging the programs that ran the equipment. He would talk to the mechanical engineers who designed the equipment to find out how it was supposed to work, the sensors
they had specified, and so forth. He would then write the code for the control system and then bring the machines to life. It became quite clear to him that after power was first applied to the machines, every mistake, omission, and problem that occurred during the concept, design, and assembly process became his problem. There were many problems because the equipment was large custom machines and assembly lines. He had no desire to deal with these problems and had every desire to make his life easier, so to eliminate as many potential problems as he could, he became involved with every step of the process.

One of the problems he often encountered early in his career was undersized servomotors. Servomotors were relatively new to industrial machinery and not many people were familiar enough with them to properly select them. He was discouraged at the lack of available information so he started to compile every piece of information he could find. This book is the result of his research efforts and his experience working with servomotors, and he wishes for it to fill the still-existing information void and to be a useful resource.

Test programming company expands

Seica’s DNA has always included strong international tendencies, both in terms of customers and partnerships, but at the same time it is also an important part of the local economy and, in recognition of Seica’s significant role in its development, the local government recently awarded Barbara Duvall and Antonio Grassino with a plaque commemorating the 25 year anniversary of the company. The expansion of the industrial facilities in Strambino (I) will further contribute to the development of the local economy, and will also allow Seica to better respond to the requirements of its increasingly global marketplace.

Antonio Grassino, President Seica,
Local Mayor making presentation to Barbara Duvall,
General Manager, Seica 
Founded as a test house specialized in functional test programming, today the company is a leader in developing and manufacturing systems and applications for testing electronic boards and modules. The company has been on a strong growth path for several years, and to support this development, last week the directors signed the final contract sealing the acquisition of an industrial site destined for the construction of another building to create the space for the expanding engineering and manufacturing activities.

Seica’s global presence is assured by an extensive sales network and, in addition to the main Headquarters in Italy, there are four subsidiaries: Seica France (Paris) and Seica Inc, (Salem NH and Dallas, USA) opened in 2000, Seica Electronics (Suzhou) in China opened in 2004, and Seica Deutschland (Munich) opened in 2008.

Operating in a business is directly related to the electronics industry in general, Seica has been fully engaged and proactive in the noted rapid evolution of this sector in regard to technology, geography, product life cycles and manufacturing strategies, while remaining true to the founding principles of innovation, flexibility and cost effectiveness. This commitment is reflected in the leading-edge technology offered for all aspects of test, and in the attention given to providing products that help customers achieve their goals to increase the productivity of their investments.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Calibrate and communicate!

A new measurement industry benchmark – an advanced field calibrator and communicator

The processing industry is going through significant changes and is affected by several industry trends. Mr. Raimo Ahola, CEO of Beamex Group says, “We have conducted extensive market- and customer-related studies worldwide during the past few years by interviewing thousands of instrumentation and calibration professionals, and based on those studies, and also on direct feedback we have received from our customers, several industry trends are evident, which pose new demands on devices and systems used for performing and managing calibrations. This feedback was the starting point for our product development project a few years ago when we decided to develop a device that will be the next measurement industry benchmark”.

Instrumentation and calibration technicians are required to carry more and more measurement equipment on the field, there is demand for increasingly accurate and stable measurements due to more accurate transmitter technology and there is an increased demand for measurement equipment that automates procedures and guides the user on the field. Furthermore, plants are looking to decrease measurement equipment lifecycle costs by replacing several individual measurement devices with multifunctional devices.

The new Beamex MC6 Advanced Field Calibrator and Communicator is a solution to the new process industry requirements. “We are extremely proud of the new MC6; it is the end-result of the largest product development project in Beamex’s nearly forty-year history”, Ahola summarises the product development project. The MC6 is an advanced, high-accuracy field calibrator and communicator. It offers calibration capabilities for pressure, temperature and various electrical signals. The MC6 also contains a full fieldbus communicator for HART, FOUNDATION Fieldbus and Profibus PA instruments. The usability and ease-of-use are what really makes the MC6 unique. It has a large 5.7” color touch-screen with a multilingual user-interface. The robust IP65-rated dust- and water-proof casing, ergonomic design and light weight make it an ideal measurement device for field use in various industries, such as the pharmaceutical, energy, oil and gas, food and beverage, service as well as the petrochemical and chemical industries.

The MC6 is one device with five different operational modes, which means that it is fast and easy to use, and technicians can carry less equipment in the field. The operation modes include Meter, Calibrator, Documenting Calibrator, Data Logger and Fieldbus Communicator. In addition, the MC6 communicates with Beamex CMX Calibration Software, enabling fully automated and paperless calibration and documentation. The MC6 is more than a calibrator.

Beamex is also introducing a new version of the CMX Calibration Software that, together with the MC6, offers new and improved possibilities for paperless calibration management. Mr. Heikki Laurila, Product Manager of Beamex Group, summarizes the features and functionality of the MC6 by saying, “The MC6 takes a unique and unoccupied position on the market, as it is a calibrator and communicator that combines advanced functionality and accuracy with usability. This is ground-breaking, because, typically products with many functions are not very easy to use”.


Beamex are represented in Ireland by Howard Instrumentation.