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.



Automation training in Pasadena

The International Society of Automation (ISA) and San Jacinto College, Pasadena, (TX USA), have a collaborative partnership to provide local-area students with access to ISA’s instrumentation curriculum at San Jacinto College. This collaboration will ensure flexible course offerings and hands-on learning opportunities to prepare workers for careers in automation and control.

The ISA technical courses currently scheduled at San Jacinto College are as follows:
Advanced Operation of Digital (Smart) Transmitters and Digital Valve Controllers (30 April – 4 May 2012)
Industrial Data Communications Systems: (21–25 May 2012)
Industrial Networking and Security: (18–22 June 2012)
Maintaining Pneumatic Components in Measurement and Control: (16–17 July 2012)
Installing, Calibrating, and Maintaining Electronic Instruments: (6–10 August 2012)
Math for Instrumentation Technicians: (17–20 September 2012)
Introduction to Industrial Automation and Control (8–12 October 2012)
Tuning Control Loops: (5–7 November 2012)
Troubleshooting Instrumentation and Control Systems: (8–9 November 2012)
Developing and Applying Standard Instrumentation and Control Documentation: (10–11 December 2012)

All ISA courses at this location will be managed and maintained through San Jacinto College.
Through this collaboration, the college will be able to expand its instrumentation-related continuing education offerings and ISA will be able to provide its technical training courses to local industry professionals at a location that is convenient and cost effective for them. Local automation professionals looking to enhance and grow their existing knowledge will benefit from being able to enroll in these ISA course offerings at San Jacinto College, a convenience that will reduce training travel costs for their companies and themselves.

ISA will qualify local instructors with relevant and relatable real-world experience to lead the courses. Another benefit to the local community is that the college will be able to schedule the courses to meet the needs of students in the local area.

"We are very fortunate to now offer an International Society of Automation curriculum at our college," said Dr. J.D. Taliaferro, director of applied technologies and trades with the continuing and professional development division at San Jacinto College, adding that the college is the first in Texas to hold this licensing agreement. "This assures our local industry workers that we are committed to providing the highest standard of instrumentation instruction."

“ISA was pleased that San Jacinto College reached out to us regarding this collaboration, especially given ISA’s past technical course offerings on their campus. Through this collaboration—similar to the one we have in place with Los Angeles Harbor College in Wilmington, California— we will be able to bring all that ISA has to offer industry professionals, from our technical resources to professional networking opportunities via our local sections, directly to them at a location and institution of higher learning in their location. Through this and similar collaborative efforts, ISA will be better able to train existing and future automation professionals with the skills necessary to fill the ever-growing skills gap within industry,” said 2012 ISA Society President, Bob Lindeman.

Best-in-class partner!

Wunderlich-Malec joins Yokogawa’s VigilantPlant® Solutions Partner Program

Wunderlich-Malec has joined the new Yokogawa's VigilantPlant® Solutions Partner Program (VPS Partner Program). The VPS Partners program creates a collaborative partnership with select System Integrator's (SI's) to deliver Yokogawa’s best in class industrial automation solutions to the process industry. As a trained integrator, Wunderlich-Malec will deliver Yokogawa's VigilantPlant Solutions portfolio including the industry's most reliable portfolio of DCS, PLC, RTU products, as well as, advanced application software solutions. Support comes from some of the leading industry experts, both domestic and from our group companies around the globe, which have executed and supplied over 20,000 control systems worldwide.

“Wunderlich-Malec has tremendous depth of resources to execute projects in a wide variety of industries. With over 200 engineers and offices around the US they apply their knowledge to solve problems in just about any complex industrial automation environment. We are happy to have them as part of our team” says Roger Van Nuis, GM Channels Sales.

16-channel module extends electromechanical testing capabilities

A new 16-channel temperature/voltage plug-in input module for the DL850 ScopeCorder has been added to the Yokogawa range of electrical and physical input modules available for this versatile instrument.

The new module extends the electromechanical testing capabilities of the DL850 ScopeCorder by allowing it to be used for a wide range of applications where parameters such as voltage and current need to be measured simultaneously with physical parameters such as temperature.

The new 16-channel temperature/voltage input module and its external scanner box will find use in many electromechanical processes where temperature change or heating is expected and needs to be monitored along with electrical parameters and physical ones such as pressure and strain. By configuring the ScopeCorder with multiple input modules, a portable measuring device with up to 128 channels can be configured to suit any R&D, service or maintenance task. Typical applications include tests on domestic electrical appliances, inverters and electric drives.

Up to 16 channels of temperature or DC voltage data can be measured by the input module, with the thermocouple or electrical connection being provided by a screw terminal on the external scanner box. The input terminal blocks contain the reference junction compensation circuitry and are isolated from ground. Isolation is also provided between channels within the input terminal block.

Excellent noise rejection is provided by using a delta-sigma analogue/digital converter which uses oversampling and digital filtering technologies to eliminate noise.

The Yokogawa DL850 ScopeCorder is a versatile instrument that combines the benefits of a high-speed oscilloscope and those of a traditional data acquisition recorder in a single, portable instrument.

The instrument features high-speed acquisition - up to 100 megasamples per second - over up to 128 channels, the ability to carry out real-time recording, a powerful user interface, and a comprehensive range of PC interfacing capabilities for wider functionality and ease of use. A key feature for electrical measurements is the isolated input module which, when combined with the 100 MS/s acquisition speed and the 12-bit resolution, makes the DL850 ideally suited to measurements on high-speed switching inverters.

The new plug-in module brings the total number of measurement modules available for the DL850 and DL850V ScopeCorders to seventeen.

Two wire liquid transmitters

Cost-effective measurement solutions for a wide range of industry applications

A new family of two-wire liquid instruments featuring the broadest range of measurement parameters available, advanced communications capabilities and unique ease-of-use features has been announced by Emerson. The Rosemount® Analytical 1066 transmitters are suitable for many industrial applications including those with exacting performance requirements such as pharmaceutical and food and beverage, and in harsh environments such as chemical plants, metals processing, and effluent monitoring. The 1066 Series has the latest version of HART® 7, and they are the industry’s first pH transmitters to be registered under the Interoperability Test Kit 6 (ITK6) from FOUNDATION fieldbus.

The Rosemount Analytical 1066 family of transmitters can measure pH, ORP, resistivity/conductivity, per-cent concentration, total dissolved solids, total chlorine, free chlorine, monochloramine, dissolved oxygen and dissolved ozone. A second sensor input allows continuous pH correction for free chlorine measurement.

According to Dave Anderson, Marketing Director, Emerson Process Management, Rosemount Analytical, "The 1066 transmitters are feature-rich and cost-effective, and include many capabilities that we have implemented into our high-end instruments such as SMART pH sensor capability, which eliminates the need for field calibration. The instruments’ SMART capabilities also enable them to accept pre-calibrated Rosemount Analytical SMART pH sensors, saving time and money for field technicians."

The 1066 FOUNDATION fieldbus transmitter can use analogue output function blocks to link to temperature and pressure measurements from the bus for temperature and pressure compensation, which can increase the accuracy and responsiveness of the measurement. The 1066 also has a full complement of analogue control and math function blocks for use by the 1066 or other devices on the bus to facilitate control in the field. ITK 6 compliance also brings with it new features including field diagnostics, which provide user configurable alerts and common software downloads, which makes transmitter software upgrades possible without taking the transmitter out of service.

The HART version of the 1066 is switchable between HART 5 and 7, allowing the 1066 to be used with HART 7 capable hosts, as well as legacy hosts. The added features of HART 7 include publishing status and a time stamp with live measurements, and long tag names (32 characters) which makes it possible to describe the location and application of a transmitter more completely.

Housed in a 1/2 DIN enclosure, the 1066 Series features a large display with exceptional ease of use and an intuitive menu system. A diagnostic key allows for immediate troubleshooting. A few keystrokes on simple menu screens guide the operator through any function quickly and easily.

Anderson stated, "Users will recognise the simple, big-screen display from our most popular four-wire transmitter, the 1056. The new 1066 Series is compatible with the same key measurements as our four-wire units, so customers can stock the same sensor for both two-wire and four-wire installations. And it is extremely easy to wire and install, which is a huge benefit in difficult field environments."

The 1066 HART configuration is fully compatible with the Smart Wireless THUM™ adapter for immediate commissioning to Emerson wireless networks. For the highest performance, the 1066 uses patented low frequency noise reduction and includes cable capacitance and series resistance compensation for improved accuracy and reliability. The straightforward architecture, fully integrated electronics and automatic self-test, further assure the reliability that a workhorse analyser requires.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hall-effect rotary position sensors

Customizable, Durable Sensors Provide an Industry-Leading 12M Cycle Product Life for Use in Harsh Industrial and Transportation Applications

Honeywell has just introduced its RTY Series Hall-Effect Rotary Position Sensors that provide a cost-effective rotary position sensor solution with a variety of options (e.g., sensing range, pinout, voltage) that allow customers to customize the sensor configuration to meet their specific application needs, especially those in harsh environments.

“Design engineers need an absolute position sensing solution that meets their specifications without being over-engineered,” said Chris Gottlieb, senior global product marketing manager for Honeywell Sensing and Control. “The cost-effective, configurable RTY Series is an ideal solution. Design engineers will appreciate the sensor’s industry-leading 12 million cycle product life and eight operating ranges, up to 360°, that often allow OEMs the range of travel needed for the application.”

Its solid-state Hall-effect technology provides non-contact operation and low torque actuation which reduces worn-out mechanisms and provides a minimum  12M cycle product life. The sensor’s IP67-sealed package has an integral connector. The integrated reverse polarity protection provides protection against installation errors. Robustness against electromagnetic interference is proven out by automotive-grade EMI/EMC testing. Industry-standard AMP termination, 32 mm mounting pitch, North American and European pinout styles, and the compact package provide easier drop-in replacement in existing applications.

The RTY Series uses a magnetically biased, Hall-effect integrated circuit (IC) to sense rotary movement of the actuator shaft over a set operating range. Rotation of the actuator shaft changes a magnet’s position relative to the IC. The resulting flux density change is converted to a linear output. The IC, together with conditioning and protection circuitry, and the permanent magnet, is sealed in an IP67-qualified package for durability in most harsh environments.

Eight operating ranges (50°, 60°, 70°, 90°, 120°, 180°, 270°, and 360°) are tolerant to over-travel and allow OEMs to choose the range of travel needed for their specific application. Low voltage and high voltage versions cover an input voltage range of 4.5 Vdc to 30 Vdc. Most applications require no lever, and no brackets are necessary.

Potential transportation applications for this Series sensor include position and movement detection of pedals, throttles, gear shift, levers, steering, linkages, and hitches (trucks, buses, off-road vehicles, industrial/construction/agricultural vehicles and equipment, cranes), suspension displacement/kneeling (buses, trucks), and tilt/trim position (boat engines, tilling equipment).

Potential industrial applications for the RTY Series sensor include valve and HVAC damper control, and irrigation pivot control.

Wireless group gains new member!

Rohrback Cosasco Systems (RCS), the world’s leading supplier of corrosion monitoring and chemical injection systems, has joined the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute (ISA100 WCI) as a supplier member.

“RCS has always taken great pride in being an industry leader in corrosion detection. Adding wireless options for our customers to monitor real-time corrosion rates at some of the most critical oil, gas and chemical plants in the world has been invaluable,” said Daljit Singh, wireless product manager, Rohrback Cosasco Systems. “Further, incorporating the ISA100.11a wireless standard into our products gives our customers the peace of mind that the system they are installing today will work seamlessly and reliably in their environment for years to come. We look forward to incorporating the features of ISA100.11a into our products and meeting the diverse architectural and data needs of our industrial customers.”

“We are excited to have Rohrback Cosasco Systems join the growing ISA100 WCI team,” said Andre Ristaino, managing director of ISA100 WCI. “RCS has been a world leader in corrosion monitoring for more than 60 years. Now with its wireless network mesh monitoring based on the ISA100.11a wireless standard, RCS offers a whole new level of reliability, flexibility and exceptional value, which is something users need.”

Automotive and railway vehicle testing

A new CAN and LIN Bus monitor module, a 16-channel temperature/voltage module and a DC power-supply option have been introduced to enhance vehicle testing with the Yokogawa DL850V Vehicle Edition ScopeCorder.

The CAN and LIN Bus monitor module interprets CAN and LIN protocols, monitors communication data on these buses, and displays this data as waveforms on the screen of the DL850V ScopeCorder. Instead of digital code (hex or numeric), the user can define and monitor the target signals using CAN DBC or LIN LDF network definition files. Using the DL850V with this new input module, a great deal of measurement time is saved as an engineer can decode the bus signal and retrieve information on physical data, like engine temperature, wheel speed and braking, and compare this with the data coming from real sensors.

The 16-channel temperature/voltage module is designed to be used in conjunction with a scanner box, and allows the ScopeCorder to be used for simultaneous measurements on temperature and voltage inputs. This is often required in electromechanical tests where temperature change or heating is expected and needs to be monitored along with electrical parameters and physical ones such as pressure and strain.

Up to 16 channels of temperature or DC voltage data can be measured by the module, with the thermocouple or electrical connection being provided by a screw terminal on the external scanner box. The input terminal blocks contains the reference junction compensation circuitry and are isolated from ground. Isolation is also provided between channels within the input terminal block.

Excellent noise rejection is provided by using a delta-sigma analogue/digital converter which uses oversampling and digital filtering technologies to eliminate noise.

The new 12 V DC power supply option allows the DL850V to be taken for a test drive in a car, train or other vehicle by supplying the instrument with power from a vehicle's battery. Also AC and DC power supply can be used together to ensure measurement data protection in, for instance, railway environments where there is an unstable power supply. If the AC power goes down, the DL850V instantly switches to the DC input without interrupting the measurement itself.

The Yokogawa DL850V Vehicle Edition is a version of Yokogawa's successful ScopeCorder waveform acquisition and recording instrument specifically designed to meet the requirements of the automotive and transportation industry.

The Yokogawa ScopeCorder family are versatile instruments that combine the benefits of a high-speed oscilloscope with those of a traditional data acquisition recorder in a single, portable instrument.

Observing carbon nanotube research!

Researchers at Duke University (Jaehong Park, Pravas Deria and Michael J. Therien, J Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 17156–17159) have utilised the LP920 laser flash photolysis spectrometer from Edinburgh Instruments to experimentally observe excited triplet states of individualised single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) for the first time. These SWNT triplet excitons have lifetimes of the order of microseconds, differing vastly the picosecond lifetimes characteristic of the well-known SWNT singlet excitons. This research provides new insights into the fundamental photophysical processes of 1-dimensional carbon-based nanostructures.

SWNTs facilitate ballistic charge transport and fast singlet exciton migration over long distances; such properties are highly useful for electronic and photonic devices. The experimental identification of the SWNT triplet exciton state expands significantly the scope of nanotube electron and energy migration reactions that can be exploited.

Nanosecond pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopic experiments of purified, polymer wrapped SWNTs in a variety of solvents was carried out using the LP920 laser flash photolysis spectrometer equipped with the L900 software for control and data acquisition. A previously unidentified transient absorption band at 1150 nm is shown to correspond to a SWNT T1 to Tn transition; the lifetime of the SWNT triplet excited state was found to be 17.4 and 6.5 µs, respectively, in D2O and DMSO solvents.

In this study, (6,5)-chirality enriched semiconducting SWNTs that were helically wrapped by an aryleneethynylene polymer monolayer at periodic and constant morphology, were utilised. These polymer-wrapped SWNTs maintain uniform structural morphology in both D2O and DMSO solvents, and provide versatile constructs in which to probe nanotube triplet exciton states.

The LP920 laser flash photolysis spectrometer is a fully automated turnkey solution for the reliable and accurate measurement of transient absorption either in spectral and/or kinetic mode. It has a large sample chamber to house a variety of sample holders.

Flowmeter range augmented

Litre Meter has expanded its range of metering options with ZHM gear flowmeters from KEM.

KEM meters are employed in a wide range of applications worldwide in the automotive, oil and gas, process engineering, food and beverage and energy sectors. Litre Meter is now able to supply the full KEM range of instruments to its British customers.

The meters feature automated lubrication for reduced maintenance. KEM gear meters offer a linearity of +/- 0.5 per cent of the actual value across a temperature range from -20 to +180°C depending on the meter selected. Flow rates that can be measured range between 0.005 and 100 litres/min and typical viscosity ranges from 0.5 to 25,000 mm2/s. The meters are pressure rated up to a maximum of 1,000 bar.

Gear flow meters are positive displacement meters that work as the substance being measured rotates two gears. The fluid is forced through closed measuring chambers between the gears and the housing. The rotational speed of the gears is proportional to the instantaneous flow rate. Sensors precisely detect the rotational speed through the body of the meter without contact with the fluid.

The KEM product line complements the range of flowmeters built by Litre Meter in its own premises in Buckingham. The company offers a broad range of metering technologies suitable for virtually every liquid, gas or steam measurement application and has particular expertise in measuring low flow rates.

Litre Meter CEO Charles Wemyss said: “Litre Meter’s strength has traditionally been in flowmeters for particularly demanding situations, often with meters almost custom-designed and built for particular applications. KEM ZHM gear technology gives our customers access to a wide range of accurate and robust meters which meet the needs of a many different industry applications.”

Insight into process & measurement abnormalities

Measurement validation diognostic provides unique insights

The industry-first measurement validation diagnostic on Rosemount® 848T temperature transmitters helps users avoid unnecessary shutdowns, process inefficiencies and safety issues

Emerson Process Management’s industry-first Measurement Validation diagnostic is now available on the Rosemount® 848T FOUNDATION fieldbus temperature transmitter. This new diagnostic detects temperature measurement and process abnormalities, which allows users to take preventative action to avoid unnecessary shutdowns, process inefficiencies and safety issues.

Temperature sensors, such as thermocouples and RTDs (resistance-temperature detector), can degrade over time due to harsh process conditions, vibration, and other factors. By evaluating the variation in the temperature measurement, Measurement Validation can detect abnormalities related to degraded sensors, as well as electronic interference, corroded termination points, loose electrical connections and process upsets. By alerting the user to these issues, degraded temperature sensors can be replaced before they fail or other preventative action can be taken – resulting in fewer process shutdowns, more efficient processes and increased safety. Measurement Validation also calculates the process rate of change which can help users detect runaway reactions before alarm conditions are met.

For over 50 years, Emerson’s Rosemount temperature portfolio has provided reliable temperature measurement to the process industry and with over 200,000 temperature transmitters delivered a year, Rosemount temperature transmitters are recognised as a leading technology in the process industry.

Alternative emergency power supply

In the past, conventional fuel cells for stationary applications had seldom been economically viable, because of the high costs compared to conventional technologies. Worries about energy consumption and efficiency, a complex structure in conjunction with expensive maintenance and service costs, as well as the inability to expand, stood in the way of fuel cell technology making a breakthrough.

Rittal RiCell Flex fuel cell system    
Now Rittal’s RiCell Flex fuel cell provides a classic stand-by emergency power system, together with the possibility of integration, as a transducer, of unneeded energy in the smart power grids of the future. This permits an entirely new business model for operators of emergency power and UPS systems providing reserve energy or small reserves. Because of its modular design, the Rittal RiCell Flex fuel cell modules can simply be replaced. It also means that the downtime of equipment for repairs is minimised. RiCell Flex is scalable from 2.5 kW to 50 kW and can be flexibly adapted to the required power.

Other major benefits of Rittal's fuel cell technology are the environmentally friendly, zero-emission energy conversion, as well as the high overall efficiency of up to 53 percent. The process is also very quiet, thanks to the direct conversion of chemical into electrical energy. Integration of previously unused energy sources in the grid of the future is also of particular ecological value. In many cases, around ten percent of total plant capacity is currently reserved for emergency power systems, batteries and UPS systems. These resources can be used in more economically and ecologically sensible ways in future.

Member recertification announced

Tesco Controls, (CA US)  has recently recertified as a Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) Certified member.

In other membership news from the association, the following companies became new associate members:

• Engineering Unlimited, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.
• Global Production Solutions, Shawnee, Okla.
• Golder Associates, Lakewood, Colo.
• O'Brien & Gere, Syracuse, N.Y.
• Soluciones Automaticas Ltda, Bogota, Colombia
• Strategic Automation Services LLC, Houston, Texas
• Triad Power & Controls, Browns Summit, N.C.
(all in the USA)

Motors & Controls Corp,  (WA USA) is a new partner member.

To become a CSIA Certified member, a member company must pass an intensive audit process with stringent performance standards categories in nine categories: general management, financial management, project management, quality management, technical management, human resources management and marketing, business development and sales management.

Certified members are re-audited every three years and recertified if they meet current performance standards. The certification criteria is spelled out in CSIA’s Best Practices and Benchmarks, the accepted roadmap for system integrators committed to delivering the level of quality, performance and long-term support their customers expect.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Moderate growth for shaky European PLC market

Enhanced efficiency, need for regulatory compliance and improved safety and control capabilities will be key to sustaining growth

The European programmable logic controllers (PLC) market witnessed a heavy decline in growth in 2009, owing to the recession of 2008. However, it made a strong recovery in 2010 with all major market participants in Europe experiencing high growth.

The sovereign debt crisis afflicting the Eurozone will determine the future prospects of the European PLC market. In the meantime, however, the market is likely to grow steadily over the forecast period aided by the emergence of major Eastern European economies as manufacturing hubs for the rest of Europe.

European Programmable Logic Controllers Market, A new analysis study from Frost & Sullivan, finds that the market earned revenues of €1563.7 million ($2070m) in 2010 and is estimated to reach €2597.3 million ($3450) in 2017.

“The global economic crisis and the sovereign debt crisis of Europe have created an atmosphere of uncertainty, with fewer projects expected in the next 2 years,” cautions Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Karthik Sundaram. “This is poised to have a significant impact on the general industrial automation market and on the European PLC market.”

The European PLC market is expected to experience moderate growth during the forecast period. The small and medium PLC product segment will be instrumental in sustaining market growth and expansion in the coming years.

A major trend defining the market will be increasing end user concerns over cyber security.

“Cyber security is expected to be the key parameter in safety regulations and standards that are about to be introduced in January 2012. The growth of the European PLC market in future will be driven by the need for enhanced cyber security, globalised service support and affordable product models.”

On the competitive front, intense competition between tier-1 companies is causing dramatic improvements in the PLC market, leading to the emergence of new products with improved design and control capabilities that surpass traditional definitions.

“Enhanced efficiency, need for regulatory compliance and improved safety and control capabilities will be key growth factors for the European PLC market during the forecast period,” concludes Sundaram.

High performance TFT displays for demanding applications

Hitachi Display Products Group (DPG) will be represented at the Embedded World trade fair in Nuremburg, (D 28/2 - 1/3/2012) by local distributors Data Modul, Glyn and MSC. The three day Embedded World exhibition represents an opportunity to view the latest Hitachi Rugged+ TFT display solutions aimed at extreme industrial and embedded applications.

Designed and developed to operate in demanding and exacting environmental conditions, Rugged+ TFT displays deliver exceptional optical performance, through the use of Hitachi’s IPS technology, which delivers exceptional contrast, wide viewing angles and vivid, stable colours. All Rugged+ displays feature industrial operating specifications with high brightness LED backlights and will provide reliable, fault-free operation between -30°C and +80°C. Rugged+ TFT displays are designed for high reliability medical, marine, aerospace, automotive and industrial applications.

Hitachi’s Rugged+ TFT product line-up includes the following display modules: 3.5” QVGA TX09D04VM3CAA, 5.0” VGA TX13D04VM2CAA, 5.8” WQVGA TX15D02VM0CAA, 7.0” WVGA TX18D35VM0AAB, 7.0” WVGA TX18D37VM0AAA, 8.0” WVGA TX20D26VM0AAA and 12.3” WXGA TX31D38VM2BAA. Also on show a new 4.8” QXGA IPS Pro Rugged+ concept panel.