Friday, June 22, 2012

Positioners underwater!

ASM extends the magnetostrictive POSICHRON® range by the PCST27 rod-profile sensor for underwater use up to 15 bar

The successful range of magnetostrictive position sensors POSICHRON® by ASM is being extended by the new PCST27 series. The robust probe sensors allow for precise positioning of hydraulic cylinders or the measurement of fluid levels. The models in the PCST27 series have proven their superior reliability, even after years of use under the most extreme conditions.

Magnetostrictive position sensors of the POSICHRON® product line are extremely durable and therefore suitable even for applications where other measurement principles fail. The newly presented PCST27 models by ASM were designed specifically for the integration inside of large hydraulic cylinders that are used in harsh environments such as offshore or in the shipping industry. The rod-profile design allows them to be easily installed in the cylinder and detect piston positions with high precision even under difficult conditions.

As with all models in the POSICHRON® PCST27 series, the sensors consist of a magnetostrictive waveguide and a movable position magnet. Based on magnetically generated density waves and the measurement of time pulses this measurement principle is ideal for applications that demand extreme precision, repeatability and resistance against environmental factors such as vibration, humidity or shock. The sea water resistant stainless steel housing allows the sensor to be used in off-shore locations. Based upon non-contact measurement technology, this position sensor ensures years of trouble-free operation.

These rod-profile PCST27 sensors are available up to protection class IP68 and are pressure resistant up to 15 bar. The absolute output offers linearity up to +/- 0.02% full scale. Measurement lengths from 0 to 100 or from 0 to 5,750 mm are available.

For easy integration into various systems, there is either an analog (with 0,5-10V or 4-20mA), a pulse (start/stop) or SSI output available. Longitudinal cable water tightness is a first in these sensors.

Registration now open!

Visitors to WWEM 2012 (Telford, GB, 7th/8th Nov) the Water Wastewater & Environmental Monitoring event, can now register for no charge.

Pre-registered visitors will receive free parking, refreshments and lunch, in addition to complimentary access to all Workshops and the International Exhibition. Non-registered visitors will be charged £20/day.

Two conferences (Laboratory and Process Monitoring) will take place during the event and will be repeated on both days – the cost for these will be £55 per day or £100 for both days.

This year’s event is the fifth since its inception in 2005, and continues to grow in popularity with over 120 exhibitors, 80 workshops and a gala MCERTS presentation dinner in addition to the two major conferences.

Co-operation gives advanced calibration and asset management package

Integrated solution increases calibration accuracy and streamlines tasks

Emerson Process Management has announced an integrated asset management and calibration solution that combines its AMS Suite predictive maintenance software application with Beamex CMX Calibration software. The integration with Beamex further enhances the calibration functionality already available with AMS Suite, providing an enhanced calibration solution that will help users transform their calibration practices to be more accurate and efficient.

This solution broadens the scope of assets that can be calibrated and includes customisable calibration reports to improve analysis and documentation of asset status, and enable manufacturers to comply with industry regulations such as ISO 9001:2000, 21 CFR Part 11, and IEC 61511. Utilising the AMS Suite Calibration Connector, AMS Device Manager populates the CMX Calibration Software with intelligent device data. Users are able to leverage diagnostic information from these assets on overall health, including if calibrations may need to be performed. Upon completion of the calibrations, CMX will provide pass/fail information to AMS Device Manager to update the device history.

One early adopter, Don Brady of GlaxoSmithKline in Cork (IRL) states, "We've eliminated 21,000 sheets of paper per year and we streamlined our end-to-end workflow, which reduced our calibration time by about 15 minutes per calibration. We've also eliminated calculation errors and rework because pass/fail calculations are performed in real-time out in the plant." Brady also mentions the plant reduced scheduled calibrations by 8% as part of the data migration from their legacy system.

"Our users need to focus their resources so they are making the best decisions possible about their critical automation assets with no wasted effort," said Ron Martin, Vice President/General Manager of Emerson’s Asset Optimization and Lifecycle Care. "As more and more industries require some form of regulatory compliance around calibration, this integration enables our users to optimise their calibration practices without introducing risk. The partnership between Emerson and Beamex, pairs two leaders in calibration to deliver a more robust calibration solution to the market."

• The application in Cork was the subject of one of the sessions at the Emerson Exchange held recently in Duesseldorf and reported as Automation returns to Düsseldorf! See paragraph headed: Excellent calibration.

Robust emergency pull-wire switch for heavy duty applications

With the new ZS 91, .steute is expanding its range of emergency pull-wire switches to include a series which has been developed especially for heavy duty applications. Its enclosure is made of fibreglass-reinforced plastic and can withstand very high levels of mechanical wear and tear. Its release lever makes handling easier, while its optimised construction – in combination with the latest manufacturing technology – permits realisation of protection classes up to IP 67.

The switching system permits simple standardised integration of the emergency pull-wire switch in safety circuits. The wire length can measure up to 2 x 50 m, meaning that even large hazardous areas can be fitted with a rapidly accessible emergency-stop function. Additional safety functions include integrated monitoring of the pull-wire itself, as well as potential tears in the wire. An emergency stop signal can be visualised using an optional warning lamp or yellow indicating lever.

The ZS 91 conforms to DIN EN 60947-5-5. It can be used to switch off conveyor systems safely, for example in the mining industry or recycling plants.

In addition to different switching systems with up to six contacts, series variants also include the heavy-duty position switch ES 91 DL and the belt-alignment switch ZS 91 SR. The ZS 91 SR is fitted with an adjustable lever which gauges the correct alignment of a conveyor belt. If the belt is not running centrally, it will be switched off or a warning signal will be transmitted to the control room. This means that longer periods of inactivity, which can result from a fully loaded, falsely aligned belt, can be avoided

BMS in historic Paris building

The Business Louvre in Paris (F) has selected ARC Informatique's PcVue supervisor to manage its building management system (BMS)

The building’s owner SFL (Lyon Property Company) undertook extensive renovation, especially for office accommodation. An efficient BMS was needed to enable the company to operate and monitor the 37,000m2 of available floor space. In particular, this had to be managed and optimized to allow energy consumption to be reduced by 20% to 30%.

This building dates from 1852 and is situated opposite the Louvre Museum in Paris. It was built on the instructions of French emperor Napoleon III and initially used for shops. Today, the first two levels of the Antique Dealers’ Louvre contains over 250 stands in 10,000m² and 30 artistic specialty shops with artifacts from Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  Six upper floors are dedicated to the business centre called The Business Louvre (Louvre des Entreprises) which has hosted prestigious tenants since 1990, including the Ministry of Finance, the U.S. Embassy and the Banque de France.

The company ESOPE was entrusted with project management and APILOG AUTOMATION took charge of the BMS package. The works include some for The Business Louvre and some for common equipment and supplies between it and the Antique Dealers’ Louvre.

The PcVue supervision monitors the following LonWorks© equipment:
- France Energie heat pumps with KARNO OEM regulators; in all, 1,200 heat pumps will be monitored.
- Lighting with ACELIA infrared multi-sensor modules.
- Blinds with ACELIA modules for 230V motors.
- THERMOKON remote controls for centralized control of heat pumps, lighting and blinds.
- Data acquisition from divisional panels on several levels, via JOHNSON CONTROLS FX15 PLCs.

This architecture uses LonWorks© technology and is complemented by:
- Supply equipment: air conditioning units and substations for electrical regulation and distribution, controlled via TREND IP devices.
- All of the tenants' meters and the central low-tension boards: PcVue processes and analyzes data from some 250 meters on Modbus. A TSX PLC supports management of the backup supply (GE).

Eventually this project will comprise over 2,500 LonWorks© nodes.

The BMS architecture mainly consists of 36 Loytec L-INX servers, 3 PcVue supervisory stations with WebVue thin-client access via Internet/intranet and NL Facilities from Newron System (using the Monitoring and Zoning version for surveillance and subdivision of areas).

Together with PcVue's flexibility and advanced technology, APILOG AUTOMATION has been able to achieve open systems integration of the hardware and software. The solution provides for management of all of the building's equipment and quick response times in case of emergency. It exhibits easy-to-use, effective behavior that affords quick control of each area plus dynamic reconfiguration. This application is outstanding for its management and optimization of energy consumption, with expected energy savings in the order of 20% to 30%.

Acquisition to increase presence in the RF amplifier market

Teseq intends to acquire New York-based Instruments for Industry (IFI), a leading designer and manufacturer of solid state and traveling wave tube (TWT) amplifiers.

By combining the competencies of IFI and the recently acquired MILMEGA with its own capabilities, Teseq will expand its expertise and broaden its product line in the RF amplifier market. This will provide its customers with the best possible solutions in variety of applications including commercial, industrial automotive, military, defence and communications.

Johannes Schmid, President of Teseq, said, “Because IFI is a US-based manufacturer, we have an immediate increase in the services we can offer this growing customer base. This latest acquisition solidifies Teseq’s commitment to forward thinking and growth of a successful business. IFI will help us to become a dominant supplier for the whole RF power amplifier line.”

He continued, “With the future acquisition of IFI, Teseq will expand its product range from 9 kHz up to 40 GHz and up to 10 kW. IFI brings the latest in GaN and LDMOS Class AB solid state technology, the knowledge to manufacture TWT amplifiers as well as its excellent relationships within the defence and military markets to Teseq.”

Established in 1953, IFI designs and manufacturers RF microwave, solid state and TWT amplifiers (tetrode tube, millimetre, pulsed, CW and combination amps). It is a leading supplier of high power transmitters for both solid state and TWT, with its broad range of products, including low, medium and high power amplifiers, successfully used in applications all around the globe.

IFI’s New York location will be integrated into the Teseq Group as its fourth competency centre joining Luterbach, Switzerland; Berlin, Germany and Britain. IFI will work in close cooperation with MILMEGA/Teseq in England (Isle of Wight). Moving forward, the new business unit will focus primarily on TWTs, class AB technology and customer specific models for the general amplifier and military markets.

Industrial connectors

New additions to Han-Modular® industrial connector system

A number of new modules have been added to the Harting Han-Modular® industrial connector family: a flexible system which incorporates a multitude of options and allows users to create customised connectors to suit their applications.

The latest additions are the Han-Eco® plastic housing, the Han-Modular® docking frames and several new modules including an Ethernet module for high data transmission rates of up to 10 Gbit/s and the Han-E® module suitable for on-site assembly with Han-Quick Lock® termination technology.

The Han-Modular® docking frame enables automatic insertion for plug-in systems of the type found in low-voltage switchgear, motor control centres, battery systems and test equipment. These plastic frames, which are mechanically highly stable, are now available for two, four and six modules and have high tolerance compensation of ±2 mm thanks to a floating mount.

The Han-Quick Lock® modules enable time-saving and simple assembly without the need for special tools, making them ideally suited to on-site assembly. The reliable and vibration-resistant connection ensures maximum safety, particularly in challenging applications in industry and transport. In terms of electrical specifications, the modules have the same characteristics as the proven modules with crimp termination and are 100% plug-in compatible.

The Harting Han-Modular® system incorporates many options, allowing the assembly of connectors which would otherwise require expensive, specially developed connectors or separate solutions. Currents from a few milliamperes to 200 A, voltages from 50 to 5000 V, pneumatic hosing, data lines, shielded bus signals and optical cables made of POF or fibre glass can be accommodated with plug-in designs.

In combination with environment-specific housing – made of plastic or metal for internal or external application – this allows the construction of perfectly tailored connectors that can be created to meet any application requirements.

Dust, moisture and drop protection IR Thermometer

Fluke has introduced the new Fluke 62 Max and 62 Max+ Infrared Thermometers. These rugged, accurate, easy-to-use test tools are dust, moisture and drop resistant, making them ideal for the harsh conditions faced by technicians in electrical, service, HVAC, process, industrial and facilities maintenance applications.

The Fluke 62 Max/62 Max+ are ideal for quick temperature scans of systems to look for anything from unusual hot spots that signal electrical and electro-mechanical malfunctions to undesirable air intake/output patterns in the building envelope. The Fluke 62 Max+ features dual, rotating lasers to accurately identify the measurement spot size. Because infrared measurements do not require making contact with the surface being measured, technicians can make the measurements from a safe distance, away from moving machinery or live electrical connections.

The Fluke 62 Max/62 Max+ survive 3 metre drops to wooden floors, are IP54 rated to withstand rain, splashing liquids, dust and dirt, and are small enough to carry comfortably on a tool belt all day. They are easy to use with trigger click measurement, and a multi-angle, backlit display means they are easy to read even in badly lit areas.

The 62 Max has a distance-to-spot ratio of 10:1 and measures temperatures from -30°C to 500°C with an accuracy of ±1.5% of the reading. The 62 Max+ has a distance-to-spot ration of 12:1 and measures -30°C to 650°C with an accuracy of ±1.0% of the reading.
Both IR thermometers operate on a single AA battery.


The new PiezoBeam® accelerometers from Kistler Instruments are available in single axis and triaxial types both of which have high sensitivity, low noise and high dynamic ranges. Available in three ranges of ±5 g, ±10 g and ±50 g, all with a TEDS option, the accelerometers are suitable for a wide variety of applications, such as modal analysis of thin walled structures, where small size and low mass are advantageous.

The ceramic PiezoBeam® and integral low noise charge amplifier providing a proportional high level voltage signal at an output impedance of less than 500 ohms. The sensing element design provides outstanding amplitude and phase response over a wide frequency range. The welded titanium housing, 10.5 mm cube for the single axis and 12.5 mm cube for the triaxial, has a single tapped mounting hole but may be mounted on any of the three faces. When ground isolated mounting is required a mounting clip or adhesive mounting adapter may be specified.

The accelerometer operates directly from the internal power supply from most FFT analysers, Kistler Piezotron power supply couplers or any industry standard IEPE (Integrated Electronic Piezo Electric) compatible power source.

Both the single axis and triaxial accelerometers are ideal for multiple channel modal analysis on small components or subsystems, full vehicle testing for aviation, space, automotive vehicles and a wide range of general test structures.

New interactive website!

Regular visitors and readers here know that we are suckers for the unusual or otherwise introduction to a press release. Anything to relieve the (let's face it!) sometimes very boring stream of press releases that fill the Read-out mailbox each morning. Today we have one such, not for the first time, from Graham Meller of Buttonwood.

"You probably receive plenty of emails announcing new websites and a lot of them, let’s face it, are simply a re-design to make it look better and possibly easier to navigate. This announcement is not one of those – sure, the new web site looks better and is probably easier to navigate but it now offers a great deal more and I hope that you will be able to publish this news," he says. So what else could we do!

Hach Lange launches new interactive website

Hach Lange, the leading global provider of water testing and monitoring equipment and reagents, has launched a completely new web site that, in addition to a new online shopping facility, now enables visitors to access a vast database of information on water quality testing in the laboratory, in the field and within industrial and municipal processes.

Marketing Manager Sarah Blayds says “The new site represents a knowledge hub for anyone with a professional interest in the quality of water and wastewater. However, a great deal of time and effort has gone into the development of ways for users to find the information they need. For example, an intuitive search function provides access by industry, parameter, application or product group, which makes it fast and easy to find prices, technical data, safety data sheets, calibration certificates, product brochures, product updates and application reports.

“In addition to the facility to place orders online, users will be able to create wish lists, view previous purchases and track current orders.”

Analog & mixed signal semiconductor design centre in India

Intersil’s expands global footprint with Bangalore design centre

Intersil Corporation has opened a new design centre in Bangalore, India. This centre will help develop new integrated circuits, reference designs and provide system-level application support for the company.

Their new state-of-the-art design centre is the result of the company consolidating two sites into a spacious, 18,100 square foot facility ideal for test and characterising the silicon developed in India. Conveniently, the new site is closer to the local IT corridor and shortens the commute for most of Intersil’s employees.

“Having a centralised Indian Design Center will not only enhance collaboration amongst employees, but also boost overall productivity within the various teams,” said Roger Levinson, vice president & general manager for Intersil's Signal Path Products group. “The Bangalore team will continue to provide key support for Intersil’s business in the region’s growing market.”

Handheld, rugged hyperspectral sensor recognized as one of the world's most technologically significant products

R&D Magazine has just announced that the Hyperspec® RECON™ hyperspectral sensor has been chosen as a recipient of a 2012 R&D 100 Award. The annual award competition is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. An independent judging panel along with editors of R&D Magazine chose the top 100 products; results were made public today.

"We are extremely proud to win this very prestigious award," said David Bannon, CEO of Headwall Photonics. "The core technologies that differentiated Hyperspec RECON in the eyes of the judging panel--very high spatial and spectral resolution and high-efficiency diffractive optics--are fundamental to all our hyperspectral sensors."

Rita Peters, Editorial Director for R&D Magazine, notified Headwall Photonics that its Hyperspec RECON sensor was chosen as one of the 100 most technologically significant products introduced in the past year. "On behalf of the R&D staff, I would like to congratulate the project team on the design, development, testing, and production of this remarkable product."

Formal presentation and acceptance of the award will take place November 1, 2012 in Orlando.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Enhanced Version of integrated production control system

Yokogawa has developed Release 5.02 of the CENTUM® VP integrated production control system, the company’s flagship product.

Yokogawa has been continuously developing and enhancing CENTUM VP as the cornerstone of the VigilantPlant® business concept for operational excellence. In accordance with the strategies set forth in the Evolution 2015 mid-term business plan, our aim with the development of CENTUM VP Release 5.02 has been to achieve best-in-class functionality and reliability.

With the shift toward larger and more efficient industrial plants that make use of highly functional systems and devices, processes are growing more complex. The increased use of field devices is also providing more data on these processes. To give operators better access to essential information, Yokogawa has developed new functions that improve the operability of the control and monitoring displays. In addition, a PROFIBUS communication function has been enhanced to give operators the full benefits of field digital communications (A means by which plant operations are optimized by making full and effective use of digital information exchanged between intelligent field devices and the CENTUM VP system).

CENTUM VP Release 5.02 Features
1. Strengthened operation and monitoring functions
CENTUM VP Release 5.02 includes a function that uses instrument tag names to create hierarchies that allow operators to quickly and easily access information on the status of plant operations. Additional changes that improve operational and maintenance efficiency include more memory for the storage of historical data, improved graphic display operability, enhanced control logic correlation, and standardized printing formats. With these functions, we have made progress in accommodating certain requirements of the VGB R 170C operational guideline, opening up new opportunities for CENTUM VP in Europe and other growing power plant markets.

2. Reinforced PROFIBUS Communications
A newly released communication module, the ALP121, complies with the PROFIBUS communication standard that has been widely adopted by the chemical and other industries, primarily in Europe. As specified in PROFIBUS User Organization (PNO) guidelines, the ALP121 module supports the use of redundant communication paths with subsystems, improving overall system reliability. The installation of additional devices and online parameter changes are also enabled, which makes it easier to maintain devices and operate a plant.

Main Target Markets
Process control and monitoring in industries such as oil and gas, petrochemicals, chemicals, electric power, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, foods and beverages, iron and steel, and water supply and sewage treatment.

Control and monitoring of plants and production equipment

Future Product Development
With CENTUM VP as its core platform, Yokogawa continues to develop a variety of production control systems. As called for in the Evolution 2015 mid-term business plan, Yokogawa is strengthening its offering of comprehensive solutions to target markets. For example, in the oil & gas upstream market, Yokogawa continues to develop collaboration/decision support solutions (CDSS) that are capable of acquiring and integrating information from production control systems distributed over a wide area.

North American indication!

A new series of UL certified LED panel indicators from Marl are designed specifically to address the needs of new and existing products for, and customers in the US and Canadian markets.
690 Series panel indicators from Marl are UL certified for use in North America
Marl’s design team based the 690 Series on a 9.6mm mounting hole, adapted with a US thread form and low profile lens to increase resistance to accidental or deliberate vandalism, whilst enhancing the optical performance for viewing in a range of ambient light conditions. The specially designed electronic circuit accepts a universal input ranging between 8 to 48 volts AC/DC, providing a global platform for all applications.

With an IP67 rating, the 690 Series panel indicator is fully protected against ingress from dust and liquid making it ideal for a wide range of outdoor control and monitoring applications which demand the reassurance of UL certification. The smoked lens assembly gives a good on/off contrast ratio for sunlight readable applications, and internal potting means they can withstand high vibration applications. They are designed for new and retrofit applications and will fit in existing round mounting holes or a D Mounting Hole for anti-rotation.

“We decided to design the 690 Series after being contacted by a company in the US who were experiencing reliability issues with their current panel socket and lamp,” said Adrian Rawlinson, Managing Director at Marl. “Our design team was able to eliminate these issues and create an indicator that provides excellent performance in all weather conditions and is capable of many years reliable service.”

• A UL Field Representative has visited Marl’s extensive manufacturing facilities in  Britain and following the visit the 690 Series received UL certification number 20120419-E349017.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Level off West Africa

Emerson’s Rosemount® Guided Wave Radar enables accurate and reliable level measurements in challenging process conditions off the west coast of Africa

BP Exploration has replaced unreliable level transmitters previously used on a floating production, storage and off-loading (FPSO) vessel with guided wave radar (GWR) transmitters from Emerson Process Management. The more accurate and reliable level readings from Emerson’s Rosemount® 5300 Series GWR transmitters have helped BP Exploration increase safety, reduce shutdowns and increase production.

Operating 160 km (100 miles) off the west coast of Africa, the BP FPSO processes and stores oil production for export. At 310 metres in length, it has an oil storage capacity of 1.77 million barrels and can process up to 240,000 barrels per day.

Changing process conditions and the presence of foam and vapour, as well as dirty sticky fluids, made this a difficult application for measuring level. The original GWR transmitters (supplied by another vendor) had compatibility issues with the FPSO’s FOUNDATION fieldbus network, and their limited capabilities in detecting low-dielectric hydrocarbons required coaxial probes to increase the strength of the surface signal. Such probes are susceptible to the build-up of sticky solid materials entrained within the production fluid, which led to a significant number of unplanned shutdowns with resulting lost production.

To address these issues, BP Exploration worked with Emerson to replace existing GWR units with Rosemount 5300 GWRs. With Emerson’s advanced signal-processing technology that ensures detection of low dielectric fluids, the Rosemount GWR is able to send and receive a cleaner, stronger signal. This allows the use of single-lead probes that increase tolerance to solids build-up and coating, and eliminate trips due to false readings. In addition, the Rosemount 5300’s FOUNDATION fieldbus interface made installation and configuration both quick and easy.

The improved level detection enabled by the new instruments has also helped BP Exploration improve safety. The susceptibility of the existing GWRs to material build-up on the co-axial probes and their inability to distinguish the presence of a light hydrocarbon layer on top of the water meant that the level measurements were unreliable. This unreliability compromised one of the layers of protection used to ensure safe operations.

Following the installation of the Rosemount 5300 GWR transmitters, the process data has confirmed the accuracy and reliability of the instruments and their suitability for the widely varying process conditions of the FPSO.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Data connectivity in Brazil

MatrikonOPC™ has opened an office in São Paulo, Brazil. This move will allow MatrikonOPC to support strong business growth while ensuring clients continue to enjoy the superior connectivity experience for which MatrikonOPC is known.

By opening its São Paulo office, MatrikonOPC clearly acknowledges Brazil’s growing importance in the region and demonstrates its commitment to working closely with its Brazilian customers. As a result, MatrikonOPC can now work face-to-face with local customers to provide them with direct access to its world-class connectivity software, OPC training, and local support.

“Delivering exceptional value is a core strategy for our long term growth. Opening an office in Brazil executes on this strategy and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the region. Providing local clients and partners with a more personal, convenient way to interact directly with MatrikonOPC sends a clear message on the value we place on working with and supporting our Brazilian customers,” said Darek Kominek, marketing manager at MatrikonOPC.

Local OPC training has already been scheduled.

Digital panel meters

The JR/JR20-P is capable of measuring temperature 3-wire Pt100 and 2-wire Pt1000 (IEC 60751) and Thermocouple (IEC 60584-1), 3-wire Potentiometer, 2-wire Resistance and Process input signals (±10V, ±200V and ±20mA) .

Both JR-P and JR20-P models are easy to scale into desired engineering units, directly by front panel keys or real input signal value in teach mode. A universal power supply is also a feature offering aux supply from 12V to 230V AC/DC voltage supply.

Fully configurable, they allow signal input type selection and also provide a 24V DC @ 30mA output for sensor excitation. The JR-P is a 4 digit indicator with 14mm digit and -9999 to 9999 display range and the JR20-P has a 4 digit indicator with 20mm digit and -1999 to 9999 display range.

Both model allow configurable decimal point by three front panel keys and has 2 led for set points status indication (if output 2RE option card is installed)

They are available from Vydas

New connectivity!

A new NI LabVIEW element within the AWR Design Environment™ broadens signal processing and instrument connectivity for AWR Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) users.
National Instruments has announced new connectivity between NI LabVIEW system design software and the AWR Visual System Simulator (VSS) software for RF and microwave system design. As the first major joint development between NI and AWR following NI’s recent acquisition of AWR, the new connectivity helps engineers to better use measurements in the design flow by executing LabVIEW code directly from the AWR design environment.

“This integration between NI LabVIEW and AWR VSS is the direct result of our first joint initiative,” said Joe Pekarek, Chief Technology Oofficer at AWR. “We’re very happy with the new capabilities that LabVIEW co-simulation brings to VSS and are looking forward to further product integration in the future.”

· AWR Design Environment can now incorporate LabVIEW signal processing capabilities including multirate digital signal processing (DSP), wireless standards, modulation, fixed-point math and more.
· Engineers can integrate VHDL and LabVIEW FPGA Module code through NI field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based hardware directly into VSS diagrams.
· New connectivity to both PXI and traditional RF instrumentation makes it easier to incorporate measurement data into simulations.

Power quality analyser for memory extension

New PM3000 Extended Memory Capabilities from Outram Research Speed Resolution of Power Quality Problems

Outram Research has developed four new memory extensions available for its PM3000 Analysers. The PM3000 is now available with a choice of 8MB, 16MB, 32MB or 64MB integrated memory. The new extended memory options offer larger memory capacities than the standard PM3000, which ships with 1MB, allowing more detail to be recorded and therefore made available to the user over longer recording periods. The PM3000s with larger memory will in turn offer enhanced profiles of disturbances such as dips, sags, surges and overall harmonic levels, whilst also providing better resolution of phenomena such as Instantaneous Flicker Sensation.

The new extended memory options enhance the capabilities of Outram’s renowned Single Cycle Adaptive Store™ which eliminates the need to set trigger levels when recording power quality parameters such as voltage, current, harmonics, flicker, unbalance, power factor etc. Adaptive Store intelligently chooses when to record in detail, down to a single cycle, using a complex predictive algorithm, without the need to set thresholds. This makes configuration of the unit and analysis of the data much faster and simpler than with other loggers. With larger memory capacities, potentially problematic occurrences can be recorded in more detail for longer, across 16 channels simultaneously, with the 64MB version able to record and store data down to single cycle detail for up to 2 months at a time.

“Power quality engineers are recording over longer timescales,” said John Outram, managing director of Outram Research. “A seven day period used to be typical, but today recording periods are often 14 days or more, which requires larger capacity power quality analysers to record all observed disturbances in the same detail.”

A key benefit of the increased memory is the ability to observe the relationships between Voltage and Current RMS in more detail, enabling power quality engineers and consultants to determine if problems are caused upstream or downstream from the point of measurement. It can then be determined if it is the electricity supplier or the installation that is the cause of the issue.

“The new memory extensions in the PM3000 analysers enable engineers to identify and resolve problems in less time,” continued John Outram. “The combination of our Single Cycle Adaptive Store™ technology with larger memory capacity makes troubleshooting
3-phase power quality issues quick and easy in any commercial, industrial or power distribution situation.”

PM3000 Power Quality Analysers with the new 8MB, 16MB, 32MB and 64MB memory extensions are available today from Outram Research and its distributors. Current PM3000 users can also take advantage of the new capabilities as most existing PM3000 analysers can be upgraded to the larger memory capacities.

Waterproof power supplies to IP67 with UL8750 and CE

New Excelsys 150 and 200 Watt LED Power Supplies Offer Lowest Profile in the Industry

Excelsys Technologies have introduced the latest models in their market leading Xled series of LED power supplies. The LDB 150 LED and LDB 200 power supplies provide 150 watts and 200 Watts of Constant Current/Constant Voltage power respectively in an IP67 rated, low profile, aluminium case measuring only 198 x 63 x 35 mm with UL8750 and CE marked.

The LDB150 and LDB 200 series each feature two models offering 24V or 48V nominal output voltages.  The units offer constant voltage operation up to their full load capability and then constant current operation down to 50% of their nominal output voltage.  An extended universal AC input range of 90-305VAC with active power factor correction with high efficiency operation up to 92.5% make these units ideal for “green” lighting applications. 

Additional features include -30 to +70°C operating temperature, built-in over-current protection, over-voltage protection, over temperature protection and short-circuit protection high line and load regulation, an MTBF of 1,000,000 hours per Telecordia SR-33 and both models are backed by a 5 year warranty.  Custom output voltage and output current set-points are available for OEM applications.
Typical applications for the new LDB200 series of LED power supplies from Excelsys include outdoor signs, street and roadway lighting, high bay lighting,  flat and wide screen street advertising displays, in-store media channels in retail shops, including, supermarkets and convenience stores and general industrial and retail building architectural lighting solutions.

Excelsys Technologies design and manufacture electronic power solutions for the leading global manufacturers of Medical, Industrial, Military, Communications and Lighting equipment. Excelsys products are available from an extensive network of the world’s leading Electronic Distribution companies. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cabinets for shutdown valves protect against hydrocarbon fires for 90 minutes!

Innovative passive fire protection cabinets extend margin of safety for critical plant shutdown equipment!
Intertec's fire-resistant cabinet on test.
A novel new range of cabinets to protect critical process equipment in hazardous areas against very high temperature fires has been launched by the field equipment protection specialist Intertec. The cabinets ensure that equipment such as emergency shutdown valves remain operational by keeping them below 60 degrees Centigrade for periods of up to 90 minutes in the event of a hydrocarbon-based fire, to allow time for controlled shutdown. The new 90-minute protection capability - which Intertec believes to be a first in this sector of the industry - has been tested against the ANSI/UL 1709 standard by the test body MPA Dresden.

Passive fire protection cabinets for process plant protection applications are usually only required to provide 30 minutes of protection. Intertec's new cabinet design provides at least three times this duration. This provides a very broad margin of safety to ensure that plant operators are able to continue remotely controlling critical valves to ensure that the process cannot feed the flames with flammable materials, or that vessels do not burst from over-pressurization. It additionally provides as much control time as possible to support personnel evacuation procedures and fire fighting responses.

Another key advantage offered by Intertec's unique range of cabinets is the ability to incorporate easy-access panels to simplify maintenance and inspection, because of the rigid structure provided by the composite construction materials. Rapid access is less easy to achieve with other fire protection methods such as blankets or intumescent coatings.

"This advance comes at a very important time, as many chemical, oil and gas organizations are currently looking to improve the safety and reliability of their processing plant infrastructure wherever they can," notes Klaus Meyer of Intertec.

As there is no specific international standard for this application area, process plant designers tend to employ the rapid temperature rise fire curves of ANSI/UL 1709, a standard used to protect structural steel in buildings ('Rapid Rise Fire Tests of Protection Materials for Structural Steel'). Hydrocarbon processing plants are one of the key application areas, as fires here can reach 1093 degrees C (2000 degrees F) within five minutes.

The third-party testing program was carried out by MPA Dresden. The test house subjected a typical process valve/actuator sized cabinet - with an interior space of around a cubic metre - to a hydrocarbon-based fire. After a period of 90 minutes when the test was stopped, the body temperature of an example electrical actuator mounted inside the cabinet was still less than 55 degrees C (131 F) - considerably below the target 60 degrees C (140 F) level. The cabinet also retained its structural integrity, suggesting that it could survive even longer.

Intertec has been building cabinets for the fire protection of valves and actuators and other critical field equipment such as electrical junction boxes and marshalling cabinets for over 10 years. Its cabinet designs for this application are based on a unique form of layered construction with GRP (glass reinforced polyester) sheets 'sandwiching' insulating and fire resistant mineral wool materials. Other proprietary techniques are also employed to help the cabinets to resist the damaging effects of the fire, and to degrade in a slow and predictable manner.

The composite sheeting material that Intertec uses to manufacture these cabinets combines great structural strength with high resistance to weather and the corrosive effects of salt and aggressive chemicals - making it suitable for use in the harshest of environments such as offshore platforms. The sandwich construction means that cabinets can be made using bonding techniques, avoiding thermal short cuts between inner and outer skins. A composite sandwich cabinet typically provides more than twice the thermal insulation of a steel shelter with the same insulation thickness.

Intrinsically safe Fluke DMM delivers extreme ruggedness

Meets IS standards worldwide for safe measurements in dangerous environments

Fluke has introduced a new rugged, intrinsically-safe digital multimeter (DMM) that allows measurements both inside and outside of hazardous zones, without compromising measurement performance. The Fluke 28II Ex Digital Multimeter meets intrinsic safety (IS) standards worldwide for safe use inside potentially explosive environments, making it ideal for use in petroleum, chemical and pharmaceutical facilities.

The Fluke 28II Ex DMM features a high-resolution 20,000 count display and true-rms AC voltage and current readings, for accurate measurement on non-linear signals. It measures up to 1000V and 10A AC and DC and its low pass filter ensures accurate voltage and frequency measurements on variable speed motor drives. The built-in thermometer function measures temperature from -200°C to +1090 °C, reducing the number of tools that need to be carried.

The Fluke 28II Ex DMM 
• Intrinsically Safe: It meets global IS regulations, including ATEX, IEC Ex, ETL and GOST.
• Intrinsically rugged for use in the toughest environments: It is drop-proof up to three metres, with a totally sealed, IP 67 rated case for complete protection against dust and water. It can withstand hazardous 8,000V spikes caused by load switching or faults on industrial circuits.

• Intrinsically accurate and reliable: It provides all the test and troubleshooting power necessary for accurate measurements inside or outside potentially explosive areas. This eliminates the need to carry multiple meters for different areas, and removes the safety problems associated with crossing through an intrinsically safe-required zone with a non-IS instrument.

Backlit keypad buttons, large display digits and a two-level bright white background for visibility make it easy to use even when wearing full personal protective equipment. The battery lasts up to 800 hours and the separate battery compartment makes it easy to change batteries or fuses on the job without jeopardising the meter’s IS or IP ratings or sending the unit for servicing.

The Fluke 28II Ex comes complete with Fluke TL175 test leads, AC72 alligator clips, red holster, 9V battery (installed) and manuals. An optional magnetic hanger is available for easy, hands-free setup and viewing.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The “highest density of power & intelligence”

The Gold Drum HV 100/800, Elmo Motion Control’s latest super-compact servo drive, delivers up to 100 A and operates up to 800 VDC. This expands Elmo’s “Any Power” coverage from 10 W – 60 KW of qualitative servo power.

Elmo has launched the Gold Drum 100/800 ─ a 60 KW, high-performance, wide bandwidth servo drive yet with a very high-efficiency of around 99%.

Now they offer the widest range of network-based servo drives with an identical core and the same operating environment. As with any other member of the Gold Servo Drives family, the Gold Drum HV 100/800 demonstrates again that their products are “Smart, Small, Simple,” and full of features and capabilities.

The Gold Drum HV 100/800 is EtherCAT and CANOpen compliant and, in conjunction with Elmo’s Gold Maestro, creates a high-level, real-time, multi-axis network. Elmo’s ‘go-standard’ policy, allows easy expansion, upgrading, replacing or even adding non-Elmo products to the network.

The new products are developed to make life easier for customers: they are user-friendly; accessible; reduce integration time and maintenance costs; are easy to set up and tune using Elmo Application Studio (EAS) software tools; and have a Windows-based application so that users can configure the drive for optimal use with their motor without breaking a sweat. As part of Elmo’s Gold Line, the drives are based on existing technology to ensure the fastest time-to-market.

Main Features:
 “Direct to mains” operation from rectified 480VAC
 High speed networking by fully compliant EtherCAT, or CANOpen
 Supports any Feedback in any configuration: single, dual, gantry, etc.
 Wide bandwidth in current, velocity, position operating modes
 Advanced, extremely fast and most efficient vector control algorithm (current loop bandwidth: 4 kHz)
 Complies with most stringent Industrial Standards such as IEC61800, UL508c, UL60950, and EN61000

Eli Cohen, Elmo’s senior design engineer, said "We set out to bring to the market a drive that despite its small appearance is as intelligent as it is powerful – a great challenge and especially considering how diverse our other gold line products are. However, we invested significant resources and skills into this project and are proud to say that we have developed the highest density of power and intelligence in a compact package that places 60,000 watts at your fingertips!"

Seminars for Europe & North America

Free one-day seminar demonstrates technology’s interoperability, reliability and ease of use

A free one-day educational seminar for users on WirelessHART® technology, the industry’s first international wireless communication standard, is being presented by the HART® Communication Foundation in Europe and North America during 2012. The vendor-neutral seminar, Using WirelessHART Technology in Process Industries, includes presentations by technology experts, live demonstrations of WirelessHART technology (IEC 62591; EN 62591), and firsthand experience of the technology’s interoperability, reliability and ease of use.

Seminars are scheduled
Aix-en-Provence, France (Thu, 28 Jun), 
Baton Rouge, LA USA (Tue, 14 Aug), 
Houston, TX USA (Thu, 16 Aug), 
Edmonton, Canada (Tue, 18 Sep), 
Calgary, Canada (Thu, 20 Sep) and 
Frankfurt, Germany (Thu, 27 Sep).

Attendees earn Professional Development Hours (PDHs). There is no charge to attend the seminars but seating is limited and registration is required. Users can view the current schedule and register online at

“Users who attend these free seminars discover for themselves the powerful benefits WirelessHART communication provides,” says Ron Helson, HART Communication Foundation Executive Director. “For instance, they will see devices from different manufacturers forming a robust mesh network relaying data from one device to the other and integrating that data with wired solutions.”

Seminar topics include understanding and using WirelessHART technology in the plant environment and planning and implementing a WirelessHART project. The live demonstrations show the interoperability of WirelessHART gateways, devices and adapters from multiple manufacturers and demonstrate the simple process of a device joining the network.

The seminars are sponsored by Foundation member companies: ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, MACTek, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, ProComSol, and Siemens.

Measuring plnt utility gases...

The t-mass 150 thermal mass flowmeter is suitable for measuring plant utility gases such as compressed air, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and argon.

The Proline t-mass 150 thermal mass flowmeter for measuring gases such as compressed air, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and argon is now available from Endress + Hauser. The flowmeter measures mass flow, gas temperature, free air delivery, and corrected volume—all without the need for pressure or temperature compensation.

The t-mass 150, with its high turndown of 100:1, can reliably measure small gas quantities at very low operating pressures, making it suitable for applications such as leak detection, process control, cost allocation, analysis of flow profiles and energy management. It has a 4-20 mA output with HART and a pulse/frequency switch output, allowing easy connection to control and energy management systems.

The flowmeter operates in temperatures from -40 to 212ºF (-40 to 100ºC) and pressures up to 580 psi (40 bar), and measures mass flow up to 2.4 million lb/hr with negligible pressure loss. The stainless steel flowmeter has CSAus and ex approvals for use in Class 1, Division 2 areas.

The t-mass 150 has a Gas Engine—an embedded flow computer—that makes it possible for the flowmeter to change from one gas to another without the need for recalibration, and its thermal measuring principle requires no pressure or temperature compensation. Continuous self-diagnostics monitor the flowmeter for device and process errors.

The t-mass 150 is available in insertion, in-line or hot-tap versions for installation in rectangular ducts or pipes from 1/2 to 60-inch. The flowmeter can be supplied with welded flanges, lap-joint flanges or threaded connections.

Compressed Air Monitoring
Monitoring compressed air systems is an excellent application for the t-mass 150. The production of compressed air consumes a large amount of energy worldwide, about 10% of industrial power consumption. Much of that energy is wasted due to the following factors:
• Air loss through leaks, up to 30% of total energy waste
• Excessive system pressure due to clogged filters
• Unused waste heat from compressors, up to 95% of total energy waste
• Compressor performance not optimized
• Compressors running at unproductive times

With respect to increasing the efficiency of compressed air system, the main questions to be asked are:
• How much compressed air is actually needed?
• Does this need vary throughout the day?
• What is the base load?
• How much electricity (kWh) does it take to generate one standard cubic foot of compressed air?

As a multivariable flow meter, the t-mass 150 can provide the information to answer these questions, leading to solutions that optimise compressor performance and minimize energy use.

Through targeted measuring of air flow in a compressed air network (submetering), leaks can be identified and eliminated. The meter can also provide data for cost allocation of compressed air production to individual cost centers or buildings, and it can provide reliable consumption measurements for optimisation of the compressed air production processes.