Friday, June 29, 2012

High-tech prize winner!

Berlin (D) and Luterbach(CH) were the scenes of much celebration earlier this month (June). TESEQ AG, the manufacturer of EMC measurement and test devices, had won won the “Swiss Economic Award 2012”, the most important start-up company prize in Switzerland.
Johannes Schmid - CEO Teseq
The Swiss Economic Award, has been awarded annually to outstanding start-up companies since 1999. It is considered the most important corporate development prize in Switzerland, and not just because of the prize money of CHF 75,000 – 25,000 (ca €62000 - €21000) in each of the three categories. Year on year the jury is composed of high-calibre members. In 2012 the business woman Carolina Müller-Möhl presided over the expert panel which included renowned businessmen as well as highly reputed scientific experts. The jurors selected the KMU TESEQ AG, founded in 2006, as winner in the category high-tech/biotech for its excellent corporate achievements. A beaming CEO Johannes Schmid accepted the major prize in front of over 1,200 public figures. His message to the audience: “We will keep on growing”.

As TESEQ CEO Johannes Schmid carved out the test device division from the mother company Schaffner AG in 2006 there was little to indicate a great future. The measuring and test devices for electromagnetic compatibility were somewhat neglected as a field in the multi-faceted Global scheme of things. However, this changed quickly and radically with the “Management Buyout”. The positive result for the region: Instead of jobs being lost new jobs were created – and will continue to be.

Global Market Presence
Since its founding six years ago, TESEQ now has 14 subsidiaries in 9 countries, primarily in Europe, Asia and the USA. The 200 employee company has six calibration laboratories and the number of new standard-setting test devices developed since its founding is impressive. The broad range of measuring and test devices is employed in the car industry, industrial electronics, the consumer goods industry, the medical technology and telecommunication sectors, and even the aerospace industry.

Progress Without Limits
The latest coup of the high-Tech company: At the end of 2011 the British company MILMEGA, leading semiconductor power amplifier manufacturer, was acquired, thus catapulting TESEQ from fifth to second place amongst the industry’s global players.

Ethernet switch allows creation of manageable next-generation networks

Harting has extended the capability of its Ha-VIS mCon 3000 range of managed industrial Ethernet switches to allow the creation of convergent and manageable next-generation networks.

In addition to their comprehensive management software, the devices now feature extended temperature range and a high degree of mechanical stability, resulting in excellent reliability under the toughest industrial conditions.

As well as rapid spanning tree profile (RSTP), the new switches also offer medium redundancy protocol (MRP). By integrating the PROFINET I/O stack, these next-generation Ha-VIS mCon 3000 switches can be used as PROFINET I/O devices.

The Harting Ha-VIS mCon 3000 is a family of fully managed Ethernet switches, enabling the connection of up to ten network devices (according to type) over twisted-pair cable and fibre-optic cable (multi- and single-mode).

Incorporating integrated LEDs on each port, the range supports fast and easy network diagnosis.

Sensors for manipulating radioactive substances

Transducer specialists RDP Electronics can provide specially ruggedised, sealed sensors for use in manipulating radioactive substances.

Applications such as robotic devices or handling equipment for radioactive waste in cooling ponds demand waterproof sensors with very high radiation resistance. RDP Electronics Ltd has additionally developed special designs where all components are welded together to ensure that there is no possibility of any parts breaking loose from the transducer.

Components such as armature and push rods are welded together and all external case components are welded to the case so that they cannot become detached over the course of time. In these applications it is also usual practice to use external signal conditioning amplifiers for the transducers. As a further consideration transducers are usually calibrated for use with multiple amplifiers, so that in the event of an electronics failure the amplifiers can be replaced without requiring to access the transducer itself.

To learn more about transducers for high radiation environments, RDP Electronics engineering support team can be contacted on 01902 457512 and will be happy to discuss and advise on requirements for these and other applications where standard products will not suit.

High pressure reducing regulator!

The new high-capacity, pressure reducing Tartarini DN 250 (10") Type FL regulator has been released by Emerson Process Management. The DN 250 Type FL is a pilot-operated regulator that is well suited for high-pressure drop applications such as city gate stations, power plant fuel supply and turbine fuel supply. The SRII noise attenuation option can reduce noise levels as much as 20 dB (A) depending on flows and pressure drop. The FL can also be configured to be used as a relief valve or backpressure regulator.

This regulator complements Emerson’s current family of DN 25, 50, 80, 100, 150 and 200 (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8-inch) size FL regulators. It handles higher capacities while providing all of the benefits of the other FL sizes, such as true no-bleed design, easy start-up, noise attenuation options, balanced trim design, bubble-tight shut off, 103 bar (1480 psig) inlet/outlet rating, control accuracy and modular design. The Type FL is easy to maintain due to the low number of parts.

Healthcare Packaging Vision System

Olmec has designed and installed a machine vision system to determine the integrity of droppers for products such as ear drops at the final packaging stage. The system, built for a leading British manufacturer of over the counter healthcare products, checks that the droppers are correct prior to them being placed in the carton with the product.

Using linescan camera technology, it inspects the dropper to make sure that it is fitted with the correct cap and that it is not broken before it is inserted into the final product carton. The droppers are supplied to the packaging line already enclosed in clear plastic packaging. The system can also check that there is a dropper in a packet and that the dropper’s individual packaging is actually present.

The droppers’ individual packaging has a crimp seal running the length of the package. Since the dropper packets arrive at the inspection point in a random orientation, it is possible that the seal could obscure the view into the packet. The solution uses two linescan cameras positioned at 90˚ to each other, each with its own backlight illumination source, and with a small gap in the conveyor system to allow illumination of the sample as it passes over the gap. The acquisition of an image from each camera for each packet ensures that at least one good image or a composite image will be obtained.

Each linescan camera acquires data at a rate of 200 µs/line and the cameras and their light sources are operated in antiphase so that each camera only receives light from its own light source. The system will operate at up to 180 products per minute for a two camera system.

Both cameras utilize the GigE Vision interface and the complete system is controlled from a custom-designed stainless steel console, using Olmec’s new VP3 modular user-interface for Windows®, which is designed for use by production engineers rather than vision experts.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Diaphragm valves help prevent ink contamination on cartridge filling machine

Self-draining aseptic valves with ATEX approval and special flanges are delivered in just six weeks - helping to meet challenging delivery schedule for ink cartridge filling machine

ASCO Numatics has supplied custom engineered aseptic diaphragm valves to filling machinery manufacturer Sneyders Machineconstructie in Belgium. The special valves will be used in the filling module of a machine being designed and engineered to fill ink cartridges for a major manufacturer of industrial printing solutions. The ATEX-certified valves, which were custom engineered with special clamp connections, were delivered in just six weeks – helping to meet a challenging delivery schedule.

Within two days of the initial discussion, they provided a Solidworx 3d drawing for the custom engineered aseptic valve. This made it easy for the Sneyders design team to check that the valves would fit within their compact design. The early availability of this drawing was a big benefit, reducing the overall engineering time for the project.

“ASCO Numatics were able to translate our special requirements for valves into delivered products in just six weeks,” said Jef Broeckx, Sneyders. “This contributed to our success in meeting the challenging delivery schedule for this machine.”

The special clamp connections were required to match other connectors used on the machine. Standardising on connections enabled Sneyders to minimise the spares requirements for their customer, as only one type of clamp and sealing gasket were required.

Co-operation brings wireless worldwide

Moore Industries and MACTek Corporation have joined forces to jointly market and supply the BULLET® WirelessHART® Adapter through Moore Industries’ worldwide sales network. Engineered by MACTek Corporation, the BULLET is part of a complete solution for sending smart HART and analog process signals over WirelessHART networks. With several industry-first features including Explosion-Proof (XP) certification, the BULLET offers an affordable way to take full advantage of WirelessHART networks with both new and existing smart HART or analog devices.

The BULLET is the only product that can send process signals from just one or up to eight multi-dropped smart HART transmitters on a WirelessHART link. In addition, it can work with Moore Industries’ TCS Temperature Concentrator System to send up to 16 temperature measurements across a WirelessHART network. Combined with its highly competitive price, the multidrop capability of the BULLET can reduce costs along with simplifying the process of connecting HART devices to a wireless network. As an interface solutions provider, Moore Industries will work with customers on custom multidrop applications to add new measurement points to the network at a cost not possible using wired connections and when compared to other solutions currently on the market.

The full line of General Purpose (GP), Intrinsically-Safe (IS) and XP-rated BULLET products allow users to get the most out of all smart HART devices from Moore Industries such as the THZ2/TDZ2 Smart HART Temperature Transmitters and the HTZ Smart HART Humidity and Temperature Transmitter. Along with being ideal for use with Moore Industries’ HART field devices and I/O, the BULLET transmits signals from HART devices and valves or HART I/O made by any manufacturer.

“Moore Industries and MACTek worked together to provide a product that enhances the capabilities of our current line of smart HART products,” said Moore Industries founder and President Leonard W. Moore. “The BULLET WirelessHART Adapter solves the challenge of connecting new or existing smart HART or analog devices to a wireless network without incurring extensive additional costs. It’s a rugged solution suitable for all industrial locations that boasts a package of features unavailable in other products.”

Supporting both WirelessHART MESH and STAR network configurations, the BULLET can be connected directly to a HART device or at any junction box along the HART 4-20mA loop. It sends process signals including first, second, third and fourth measurement variables, custom diagnostic and alarm data and custom commands. It also accepts analog signals such as 4-20mA, making it an ideal choice for adapting legacy analog instruments to WirelessHART networks.

The rugged XP-rated BULLET can be powered either by an external DC power supply or by scavenging from existing loop-power. When using loop-power, it utilizes the patented StepVolt™ technology to manage the balance between power demands and wireless communications bandwidth. By setting insertion voltage in steps from 1 to 2.5 volts, StepVolt allows the BULLET to draw the power it needs without unnecessarily sacrificing available bandwidth.

“This joint marketing relationship brings together two recognized leaders in the field of HART-enabled products – MACTek with our full line of HART modems and Moore Industries with its HART loop interfaces and other HART products,” said Thomas Holmes, President of MACTek Corporation. “The BULLET WirelessHART Adapter allows Moore Industries to provide an exciting addition to their existing smart HART solutions along with a standalone product that can be used with any registered third-party smart HART device.”

Large magmeter added to range

Yokogawa, in a continual effort to expand their line-up of ADMAG series magnetic flow meters has released the AXW large size magnetic flow meter.

The ADMAG AXW series of magnetic flow meters has been developed utilizing Yokogawa’s decades of experience with magnetic flow meters. The AXW series continues the tradition of high quality and reliability that has become synonymous with the Yokogawa name.

The AXW series is ideal for industrial process lines, water and other basic applications. With outstanding reliability and ease of operation, based on decades of field-proven experience, the AXW will increase user benefits while reducing total cost of ownership.

Sizes are available from 500mm (20in.) to 1000mm (40in.) with a wide liner selection such as PTFE, hard rubber, and polyurethane lining. The AXW series comes standard with ASME, AWWA, EN, JIS, or AS flanges. A submersible version is also available. The design is robust featuring a shorter face-to-face dimension for a smaller footprint and an easier, cost effective installation.

Power station vibrations

Monitoring vibration of power station turbines to provide essential data, calls for transducers such as RDP Electronics PY series that are fully up to the task of operating in such high temperature environments.

Power station turbines are typically operated continuously with little down time for maintenance and these sensors are widely used in the industry for measuring vibration on the high pressure and low pressure turbines of power stations. Transducers are fully welded and sealed to be suitable to operate at high temperatures and pressures. The PY Series of non-contact transducers use the variable reluctance principle which works with any suitable material that can be targeted by a magnet. With ranges up to 6mm, they can be positioned to accurately measure the position and check the vibration and other run out events in the turbine. A common arrangement is to deploy the PY sensors in conjunction with a target ring of suitable material fitted around the turbine and incorporating a calibration space containing a dip of a known depth, in order for the signal to be analysed while the turbine remains running.

The PY Series comes in single or double coil versions with options to measure gaps from a mere 1.5 mm to 6 mm and suitable for temperatures from -220 ºC to +600 ºC and radiation doses up to 1 M Gy also permitting their use in areas subject to nuclear radiation.

Maximum protection for LED lighting systems

LED lighting technology continues to grow in popularity due to its fast start up, low energy consumption, long-life and reliability. This is particularly true in markets that include Home Automation lighting, commercial road and street lighting, highway lighting, sign lighting and industrial lighting. Since LEDs are more susceptible to surges and transients, realizing the maximum potential from LED lighting requires high performance surge protection.

MTL Instruments announces the LS10 (serial) and LS12 (parallel) Series of surge protectors purpose-built to protect LED lighting from transients and surges generated by lightning and switching transients.

The LS Series is suitable for harsh environments, including outdoor mounting, and provides high performance circuit protection that saves valuable LED lighting assets, reduces maintenance, prevents unwanted failures and decreases degradation damage for longer lifetimes. Features include:
• Protection of LED lighting systems and drivers
• Space saving footprint for mounting in confined locations
• Protection for 120V-347V and 480V Systems
• High performance to size ratio
• Fully automatic operation
• UL1449 3rd Edition Type 4 Recognized Component
• Rated for harsh environments
• 10 year product warranty

The Series features Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV) technology and high energy discharge tube (gdt) technology with a state-of-the-art failure disconnect network that provides contractors, installers, LED system OEMs and end-users with years of peace-of-mind operation.

Free online tool to aid wireless network planning

The Smart Wireless Planning Tool allows users to design a customised wireless network

Emerson Process Management now offers an online planning tool to help process industry facilities get started with wireless. This free, web-based application, allows users to upload an image of their plant in order to design a customised wireless network using IEC-approved WirelessHART™ network standards.

Backed by their proven experience in Smart Wireless network applications, the Smart Wireless Planning Tool encourages users to test out plant network configurations and application possibilities in their facility before investing in wireless technology. Not only can users set specific limitations, parameters, and standards for their network, they can also verify their configuration against proven industry best practices and gain recommendations for increasing the robustness of their network design. Best practices recommendations reflect the industry-proven suggestions found in the IEC 62591 WirelessHART System Engineering Guide from the HART Communication Foundation.

Users can also save their network configuration for future reference and revision. If the facility chooses to invest in Smart Wireless, the saved network configuration can be imported to the AMS Wireless SNAP-ON™ application for network management and predictive diagnostics.

Emerson’s Smart Wireless portfolio includes a wide range of wireless services and devices, including Fisher® position monitors, FIELDVUE™ digital valve controllers, Rosemount® and Rosemount Analytical transmitters, and CSI vibration monitors -- as well as native wireless interfaces to AMS Suite predictive maintenance software and the DeltaV™ and Ovation™ digital automation systems.

Image sensor family

CMOSIS has introduced a 20-Megapixel image sensor for demanding, industrial applications. With the introduction of the CMV20000, CMOSIS broadens its current CMV portfolio of high-performing global shutters CMOS image sensors addressing the high-resolution segment of the industrial vision applications as well.

The unique properties and features such as high resolution, high dynamic range and global shutter, are a perfect fit for high-end industrial imaging systems, automation systems and medical applications.

The CMV20000 image sensor features a 20 Megapixel (5,120 x 3,840) resolution with 6.4 um sized square pixels resulting in an active sensor area of 32.8 x 24.6 mm (35 mm film optical format). Peak quantum efficiency reaches up to more than 45 percent resulting in a superb responsivity of 8.29 V/lux.s in combination with an excellent dynamic range of 66 dB. By means of correlated double sampling in global shutter mode, the patented 8-transistor pixel cell architecture reduces any dark noise and FPN non-uniformity of the sensor matrix. The sensor also offers an excellent shutter efficiency, a common feature of the CMV image sensor family.

At full 20 Megapixel resolution and with a 12-bit ADC resolution the CMV20000 delivers 30 full frames per second. This is achieved by using 16 LVDS outputs running at 480 Mbit/s each. Lower frame rates can be supported by multiplexing to 8 output channels only. Partial read out, windowing and subsamples modes, can be programmed to support higher frame rates. At full resolution and frame rate, the power dissipation is 1.1W. This power consumption can be dynamically controlled when lower frame rates are used.

Driving and programming the on-chip features such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) modes, offset and gain programming and power dissipation control is done over a 3-wire read-write SPI control.

The monochrome variant of the CMV20000 image sensor is in production today. A color variant, with RGB Bayer CFA filter, will be introduced to the market in Q4 2012. It is housed in a ceramic 143-pin PGA package and can be operated in the -20 to +70 ºC temperature range. This extended temperature range makes the CMV20000 perfectly suited for most demanding and robust industrial applications.

The CMV20000 was originally developed as a customized, exclusive product aimed at complex traffic management applications. An agreement with the original customer allows CMOSIS to offer this imager to third parties for applications outside the traffic field.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cable For robotics & drag chain applications

Stemmer Imaging’s in-​house cable production facility has introduced a new, lower cost CAT5e-rated drag chain-compatible cable. Designed to overcome the limited availability of CAT6 cables suitable for robotics and drag chain applications, this latest addition to the company’s cable portfolio offers improved electrical transfer properties with high data integrity and is ideally suited to image transfer applications.

The new cable is fitted with moulded connectors to provide robust connection to drag chain-compatible cable using RJ45 plugs. Horizontal or vertical fasteners are available to suit all types of camera connection.

As with all their drag chain-compatible cables, the outer material of the new cable consists of high quality Polyurethane (PUR) in order to withstand the high torsional and flexural strain experienced in these applications. Naturally the cable material conforms to the latest standards and is therefore free of silicone, adhesive-repelling substances, halogens and CFCs. It is also oil-resistant and UL-approved in order to meet northern American market requirements.

These in-house high-end cable test facilities are used to perform rigorous individual tests and inspection protocols to produce validated cables and ensure the highest quality standards.

Pre-engineered wellhead control solution

The Production Wellhead solution, now available from from GE Intelligent Platforms, is a pre-engineered control solution that leverages their deep domain expertise in the Oil & Gas industry.

A wellhead in Canada (Wiki)
This solution withstands harsh environmental challenges and survives temperature extremes from the desert heat of the Arabian Peninsula to the Arctic cold of Siberian oil fields. Integrated logic control and safety functions enable single point consolidation of fire & gas detection, as well as emergency shutdown of the wellhead.

In addition, it enables rapid implementation from discovery to startup so operators can achieve faster recovery of oil and gas. The unique combination of integrated control and safety, environmental ruggedness and low power consumption makes this wellhead control solution ideal for E&P operators to increase production uptime and asset performance while lowering total cost of ownership.

“In response to increased energy demand, regulatory compliance requirements, and infrastructure maintenance costs, companies look to GE for safe, reliable solutions that increase the performance of critical assets, minimize implementation time and production risk, and reduce total cost of ownership,” said Mayank Mehta, Global Industry Manager, Oil & Gas for GE Intelligent Platforms. “Due to GE’s 20+ years of expertise in the Oil & Gas industry we are able to offer the ideal pre-engineered solution which combines deep technology, domain expertise and services capabilities required to support a company’s complete control systems needs from production wellhead to pipeline to tank farm terminal applications.”

The Production Wellhead solution leverages GE core control system technologies to ensure uptime in the harshest conditions with a robust, hardened RTU platform that can be mounted in extreme environments and plug and play, hot-standby, non-duplicative redundancy for reliability of critical operations. Advanced monitoring provides real-time data for real-time decisions to facilitate performance metrics.

Safety diagnostics provide system validation and security, TUV SIL2 certified integrated safety and control for production wellhead ESD and F&G applications, integrated intrinsic safety for Zone 1 and Zone 2 hazardous areas eases regulatory compliance and system maintenance. With less than five watts of power consumption per controller, the solution reduces battery and solar panel infrastructure installation and maintenance costs by 8% or more over the lifecycle of the asset.

GE’s Wellhead solution provides 50% faster deployment via standardized production wellhead logic and graphics, 35% reduction in engineering costs for expansions and maximized production with 65% reduction in field service cycle times compared to traditional deployments and systems without diagnostics.

“Increased uptime and productivity in both new and existing fields with reduced capital and operational expenditures to increase return on investment can deliver a strategic competitive advantage,” concluded Mehta.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New differential pressure sensors!

Kistler Instruments has launched a range of small, versatile, high performance differential pressure sensor for use in harsh test environments where temperature extremes, high vibration and shock levels are present.

The design of the Type 4264A sensor is based upon proven Kistler piezoresistive sensing technology. A silicon sensing element is mounted within a high integrity seal assembly that is fully isolated from the pressure media by a welded 316L stainless steel or Hastelloy™ diaphragm. Integrated surface mount electronics condition the output from the silicon sensing element and provide temperature compensation. Additional electronic circuit boards can be added to configure the electrical output for a wide choice of voltage and mA outputs. As a result, the sensor can be factory configured to provide an electrical output to suit a variety of data acquisition systems. Additionally, non-interactive zero and span calibration adjustments can be provided. The silicon sensing element exhibits high performance for stability and repeatability, extremely important parameters for test applications.

The pressure sensing assembly features a unique, patented sealing method that enables the sensor to withstand multiple cycles without fatigue, a quality that is especially useful in cyclic applications. This design also enables flexibility in choice of pressure connections without the use of adaptors or ‘O’ rings.

The new sensors are available in both uni-directional and bi-directional types with pressure ranges from 0.1 to 10 bar differential, all with 300% proof pressure. ATAX versions are available for use in hazardous areas. Accuracy of 0.05% full scale (FS) and stability of 0.1% of FS per year combined with a wide temperature compensated range of -40 to +125oC make the new sensors ideal for R&D and product testing applications in automotive, aerospace and manufacturing industries especially engine and power train oil and coolant filter pressure monitoring and leak testing.

High performance oxygen analyser for demanding applications

Michell Instruments has a new compact oxygen analyser for applications in hazardous and safe areas within the process, power generation and marine industries. The XTP601 provides extremely reliable, stable and accurate oxygen analysis, combining high levels of performance with a low total cost of ownership. Applications include oxygen measurement at the inlet of compressors in the steel or gas industries to monitor safety, or monitoring inert blanketing gases in oil tankers, chemical and pharmaceutical plants.

The XTP601 uses thermo-paramagnetic sensor technology to provide extremely stable percentage measurement of oxygen in process gases including hydrogen, nitrogen or air. The device can be configured to measure 0-1%, up to 0-50%, 80-100% and 90-100% ranges to meet the specific needs of customers and includes barometric pressure compensation which ensures that variations in oxygen, due to changes in atmospheric pressure, are corrected. This helps to provide extremely accurate measurements, for example it is accurate to ±0.02% O2 for a 0-1% range.

The instrument provides two isolated 4-20mA outputs and is available with a general purpose enclosure for non-hazardous areas or an EExd explosion-proof enclosure, which allows installation at the point of measurement. The XTP601 is certified for use within ATEX Zone 1 hazardous areas and also has IECEx and cCSAus (pending) hazardous area certification. An integrated touch-screen display enables configuration, calibration or adjustment without the need to open the device, removing the need for a hot works permit.

Its innovative sensor design largely eliminates thermistor drift, dramatically improving the measurement stability of the device. The sensor has no moving parts, minimising maintenance and making it ideal for applications that would subject the device to movement or vibrations. The sensor does not require routine replacement and the unique cell design channels measured gases, providing increased protection against contamination. These features increase the period between calibration and reduces both labour and consumable costs, contributing to an extremely low total cost of ownership.

• Michell Instruments are represented in Ireland by Instrument Technology!

Automation contract in North Sea

Automation services and technologies will help manage offshore facilities safely and efficiently

Following hard on the heels of the announcement of the adoption of Rosemount Guided Wave Radar off the west coast of Africa, comes news that BP Exploration has selected Emerson as automation contractor of choice for offshore oil and gas operations in their North Sea Region. Emerson will be BP’s preferred supplier of integrated control and safety systems for five offshore fields in the British continental shelf, including the new Clair Ridge platforms and the Quad 204 floating production, storage and offloading vessel.

Platform support vessel
Emerson’s selection as contractor of choice builds on an earlier agreement in which the company was named a Main Automation Contractor for BP projects globally. By standardising on a single contractor for its North Sea region, BP expects to gain significant benefits including efficient project execution, training, maintenance and support.

"We are already working together on several North Sea projects," said Steve Barber, BP Exploration program lead for major automation projects. "This closer relationship will help us make the most of Emerson’s technologies and expertise across the region."

Emerson will provide a wide range of services for control and safety systems, from front-end engineering and design to installation, testing and support. The integrated systems – which will help BP run its North Sea operations safely and efficiently – include Emerson’s DeltaV™ digital automation system, DeltaV SIS™ process safety system, and AMS Suite predictive maintenance software.

"Becoming contractor of choice is a major milestone in our long and productive relationship with BP," said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. "We appreciate this vote of confidence in our oil and gas automation capabilities, and we look forward to adding even more value as we help BP meet the challenges of North Sea operations." 

The North Sea Region is part of the Exploration and Production segment of BP, encompassing oil and natural gas exploration, development and production, related pipeline transportation, processing activities and decommissioning.

New process control section launched

With a proven track record in supplying the process control industry with innovative systems and solutions and a comprehensive range of process control and automation products, Amplicon claim they can deliver complete and cost effective solutions that will enable process control engineers to maximise the quality, productivity, efficiency and profitability of their production and manufacturing processes.

The newly launched process control section provides vital information on how Amplicon can help to engineer the right system for process control and automation applications. Whether it is serial I/O or Ethernet I/O devices, controllers running a SCADA application such as rackmount or embedded PC's, or a simple panel PC, Amplicon have the right product to meet your requirements.

They aim to take the hard work out of each process control project by providing some of the very best engineering and technical advice. Their engineering services division can customise and integrate process control systems to meet any engineering requirements.

Non-dispersive IR gas measurement

New book 'Non-Dispersive Infrared Gas Measurement' published by IFSA 

Written by experts in the field (Jacob Y. Wong and Roy L. Anderson), Non-Dispersive Infrared Gas Measurement, published by International  Frequency  Sensor  Association  (IFSA), begins with a brief survey of various gas measurement techniques and continues with fundamental aspects and cutting-edge progress in NDIR gas sensors in their historical development. It addresses various fields, including:

• Interactive and non-interactive gas sensors;
• Non-dispersive infrared gas sensors' components;
• Single- and Double beam designs;
• Historical background and today's of NDIR gas measurements.

Providing sufficient background information and details, the book is an excellent resource for advanced level undergraduate and graduate students as well as researchers, instrumentation engineers, applied physicists, chemists, material scientists in gas, chemical, biological, and medical sensors to have a comprehensive understanding of the development of non-dispersive infrared gas sensors and the trends for the future investigation.

Best practice for control system integration

A newly released version of the Control System Integrators Association’s Best Practices and Benchmarks Manual includes a new section establishing best practices for service and support functions.

The new release is the fourth major revision of the manual since its original release in 1997. Considered the “gold standard” for operating a successful system integration business, the manual provides a roadmap for system integrators who are seeking to improve their business as well as seeking CSIA Certification. The manual covers a wide range of management practices, including financial management, project management, quality assurance, human resources and marketing.

The new service and support section covers strategy, methodology, organizational structure and management topics that are unique to how an integrator provides service and support for their clients to meet their needs after installation of a control system. Other changes in the new version include considerable clarification and document reorganization to help improve the understanding and flow of the document, based on feedback received by the independent auditors who conduct certification audits. The marketing section was completely refined and reorganized, based on recommendations from the CSIA Sales Excellence Council.

“Feedback from many member companies, as well as clients from a broad range of industries, contributed significantly to the new version,” said Jeff Miller, director of automation services at Interstates Control Systems, Inc., and chair of the CSIA Best Practices Committee.

To become CSIA Certified, members must demonstrate in an independent audit that their firms meet or exceed 79 audit criteria that are derived directly from the Best Practices and Benchmarks Manual. Certified members are re-audited every three years and recertified if they meet current performance standards.

“Establishing and promoting best practices is a key part of CSIA’s mission,” said Executive Director Robert Lowe. “By becoming certified, members demonstrate that they are committed to delivering the level of quality, performance and long-term support their clients expect.”

The CSIA Best Practices and Benchmarks Manual is available only to CSIA members

Efficient, long life relays address renewable energy systems

Omron Electronic Components Europe has re-engineered two relay families specifically to address the very specific low power and long term reliability characteristics required for grid-connected solar PV and wind turbine inverters, charge controllers, battery powered UPS back-up systems and similar applications.

Grid tied solar PV inverters use pairs of monostable grid protection relays whose operation is essential to ensure system and user safety. The key challenges in the design of these relays are that their power consumption has to be extremely low yet they need to operate very quickly when required under hot start conditions. Omron has re-engineered its G7L-PV DPST-NO and G8P SPST-NO range specifically to meet these requirements, with a fast operate time of typically 20ms, long life and a low power coil. Both devices address the applicable standards which are IEC62109-1, 2 (July 2011) and VDE0126-1.

The new Omron G7L-PV features a large contact gap of over 3mm to ensure working voltage and over-voltage standards compliance. Contact rating has been increased to 280VAC with a 30A, AC7a Inductive load. Other changes made to the G7L-PV include re-profiling of both the stationary and wiping contacts, slightly harder contact material, stronger coil spring, changing magnet wire from Class B (132 deg.C) to higher temperature tolerant F (150 deg.C) and spool material enhancement. The G7L-PV has a class leading low power consumption of 320mW. The device features a compact, PCB mounting package of 52.5mm L x 35.5mm W x 41mm H.

Omron has also added the G8P-1A4P-BG, a new member of the G8P relay family, optimised for durable hot start capability and with good coil and contact temperature rise characteristics. The newly re-engineered device has a contact gap of over 2mm, and a rated electrical life of 30k operations at 20A 250VAC. This relay is even smaller than the G7L-PV, and is supplied in a plastic sealed PCB mounting package of 32.1mm L x 27.2mm W x 20.1mm H.

To achieve a durable relay solution, Omron has submitted the new relay designs to meticulous testing and design enhancement, allowing them to be used with confidence in renewable energy systems around the world.

Omron is offering the relays with 12 and 24VDC coil voltages as standard, others are available on request. The devices are approved to UL, CSA and VDE standards – VDE approval is pending on the G7L-PV. Both feature a wide ambient temperature operation range -55 to +85 deg.C.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wireless wind speed sensor

Anemometer design is based on Mantracourt’s T24 2.4Ghz wireless technology

Mantracourt have launched the T24-WSS wireless wind speed sensor. The T24-WSS is built on Mantracourt’s T24 2.4GHz wireless technology and will operate alongside any Mantracourt T24 device such base stations, handheld displays, analogue outputs, relay modules and GPRS data loggers and other acquisition modules.

“This has been another customer driven development for Mantracourt,” said Kelly Voysey, Sales and Marketing Manager at Mantracourt. “This type of wind speed measurement device is enabling our customers to accommodate temporary installations or to use instrumentation in locations where it would be difficult to use a fixed wired system.”

The wireless wind speed sensor features a high quality 3-cup rotor pressed on a stainless steel shaft with rugged Delrin body with bronze Rulon bushings. The output value of the anemometer can be calibrated and configured to the user’s requirements and can measure over the range 5 to 125 mph. It will ‘power down’ between transmissions to maximise battery life in the field and has a wireless range of up to 200 metres.

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

Guarding the Hovercrafts' drivetrains!

Monitran is supplying Southampton-based Griffon Hoverwork with condition monitoring systems for 12 of its Griffon 8000TD hovercrafts, ordered by the Indian Coast Guard.

The system, designed and developed by Monitran as a turnkey solution, employs 14 MTN/1100W general purpose constant-current analysis sensors with AC outputs, sealed to IP68 (submersible) and supplied with marine-approved cables. These feed into a bulkhead-mounted waterproof cabinet that contains 14 MTN/8066 g-mac signal conditioning units.

Each g-mac unit provides analogue (AC) outputs proportional to velocity and peak g, which feed into a PCB-mounted microcontroller programmed by Monitran to drive a touch-screen display on the front of the cabinet. Several screen views are available but the most useful show:
The current numeric mm/s values of all sensors;
The mm/s values of all sensors shown as a bar chart, with each bar showing current value, threshold and maximum value recorded; and
The mm/s values of all sensors as lines on a 360o dial.

All of the above also include a colour-coded status indicator; green to denote below-threshold and red to denote above-threshold.

The cabinet also feeds a status indicator in the hovercraft’s cockpit to give the pilot an indication of vibration levels.

Tony Roxburgh, Project Manager of Griffon Hoverwork comments: “A hovercraft’s drivetrain experiences a wide range of loads, in terms of torque and RPM, during operation as it tends to be worked hard when a crew is responding to an emergency. The Indian Coast Guard requested that their 8000TDs be fitted with an integrated engine and gearbox vibration monitoring system to warn the pilot if the drivetrain experiences any abnormal vibrations.”

Other requirements included that the system be lightweight, compact, compliant with marine regulations and itself tolerant to high levels of vibration. In addition, provision had to be made for maintenance engineers to view the vibration levels on any given sensor in order to identify which component(s) might be wearing or developing faults; a requirement that was easily met thanks to each g-mac having a buffered native accelerometer output presented on a BNC connector.

Andy Anthony, Monitran’s Managing Director, comments: “Monitran is increasingly undertaking turnkey projects, and developing engineered solutions from the sensor up. The project with Griffon Hoverwork also exemplifies what can be achieved with a relatively humble, general purpose accelerometer like the MTN/1100W.”

Ultrasonic biogas flowmeter

Measuring the flow and methane content of biogas for process control, reporting emissions and energy balancing in anaerobic digesters and other biogas producing processes.

Endress+Hauser has introduced the Proline Prosonic B 200 ultrasonic flowmeter for measuring the flow rate and methane content of wet biogas, landfill or digester gas, and other types of low pressure, wet or contaminated gas.

The designers applied transit time ultrasonic technology, which has been proven in wet, dirty refinery flare gas applications for almost thirty years, improved it and optimized it for biogas applications.

The meter body has a 316L stainless steel construction and is suitable for wet, dirty or corrosive gases. The flowmeter is available with either an aluminium or stainless steel transmitter housing. With no moving or intrusive parts, the B200 solves operational reliability problems that are typical of other technologies in wet and dirty biogas applications.

It can also measure and display direct methane fraction as a function of sound velocity and temperature, without the need for additional measuring instruments. Other possible outputs include corrected methane volume flow, energy flow, calorific value, temperature and Wobbe index.

These measurements allow for improved process control and energy balancing. For example, a sudden change in the methane fraction indicates an upset in the process. The B 200 can detect this change quickly, allowing corrections to be made.

The unit operates in temperatures of 32 to 176 ºF and pressures up to 145 psi. Accuracy of volume flow is 1.5% of reading, and accuracy of the optional methane measurement is 2% absolute.

The instrument is a loop-powered two-wire device with 4-20mA HART communication. A second 4-20 mA output is available. The flow meter is certified intrinsically safe for use in Class 1 Division 1 and other hazardous areas. It has ATEX, IEC and cCSAus approvals, and NEMA 4X, IP66 and IP67 protection. It also has pressure equipment directive approval (PED).

Calibration and Setup
Each B 200 is tested and calibrated before shipment on an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited calibration rig. The calibration facilities are traceable to national and international standards.

It can be commissioned quickly via its four-line display and three pushbuttons. Menu-guided parameter configuration is supported by explanatory text in 16 languages. It can also be configured with Endress+Hauser’s FieldCare software over the HART connection, or via a local service interface and a laptop computer.

Automatic data backup is provided by the HistoROM function which provides storage for 1,000 measured values, quick restoration of device data in case of failure, and easy replacement of meter electronics without recalibration. The HistoROM also provides a user-defined data logging function, which logs data according to a recording interval set by the user.