Friday, July 20, 2012

Flexible coding system for miniature connectors

Harting has developed a highly flexible coding system for the D-Sub miniature connector series. This coding system prevents cable connections from being connected to the wrong port in an I/O front panel incorporating several identical D-Sub miniature connectors.

Their coding system offers 36 different variants which can be adapted to all D-Sub miniature series with housing type E. The system can either be installed by customers using an adapted Harting service tool or delivered fully assembled. The new system is compatible with the standard D-Sub 9-pole, D-Sub high-density 15-pole and D-Sub mixed 2W2–2W2C–5W1 configurations.

The Harting D-Sub coding system can be attached to existing front panels using two female connector screws without any special modifications. On the cable side, the coding frame and the standard cable connector are compatible with the Harting Inducom metal hood series.

Control system bootcamp!

Control system integration firms that want to excel in business as well as technology are invited to enroll in the Control System Integrators Association Boot Camp, Sept. 27 – 28, in Orlando (FL USA)
CSIA Boot Camp is an intensive two-day session designed to help system integrators prepare for the certification audit. To become CSIA Certified, control system integrators must join CSIA and demonstrate through an independent audit that they have implemented the association’s best practices for business management.

During the training, representatives from Exotek, one of the CSIA-approved certification auditors, will review the systems, policies and procedures necessary to successfully prepare for and pass a CSIA certification audit. Because audit preparation is a company-wide endeavor, identifying an internal champion to lead the effort is recommended. The audit leader and other key personnel will benefit most from attending Boot Camp.

“The Boot Camp offered me an opportunity to really dive into the best practices specifically as they relate to the key audit points. The course walked you through in detail the expectations for each section and having folks there who could help to explain each point was very helpful,” says Emily Smith, who attended last year’s Boot Camp. Smith is director of treasury services and human resources at Integrity Integration Resources, a CSIA Certified member based in Plano, Texas.

CSIA Boot Camp will be held in conjunction with the ISA Automation Week.

Water quality has two new faces!


Mark Duckworth


Jo Cooper
Intellitect Water, the company that pioneered the successful development of in-pipe water quality monitors, has announced the appointment of two new staff members, which CEO Tony Halker says “represents an investment in innovation and customer support.”

Mark Duckworth has been appointed Engineering Manager and will work in product development. He has an MSc in Cybernetics and seven years of experience in the design of low-power, high-precision instrumentation for use in harsh environments. He says he is delighted with his new position “because the Intellisonde is a truly innovative technology which deals with an issue that has confounded the water sector for decades.”

Jo Cooper joins the company as Product/Market Specialist. She has 20 years of experience in the chemical industry and will be responsible for supporting customers and Intellitect’s international network of distributors. For example, following the successful completion of an in-house training programme, one of Jo’s first assignments involved a site visit to help a customer in the Middle East.

Down from the air and on the rails!

First developed for the aerospace sector, Souriau’s ELIO® contact combines excellent optical performance in demanding environments with very low signal losses even when subjected to the most violent vibrations or shocks. It now joins the Souriau railway connector product range: several all-optical or electrical/optical hybrid configurations are now available in the VGE1 range.

Building on more than 20 years of expertise in optical fibre technology applied to the railway market, Souriau’s R&D teams have succeeded in incorporating ELIO® contacts into the VGE1 range of railway-qualified connectors. ELIO® is the easiest optical contact to use in demanding environments: hermaphroditic contact, contact insertion in and extraction from the connector without tools, easy to clean, contact sealed to the optical cable without additional union.

Optical fibre technology is the perfect match for railway equipment data transmission requirements: constantly increasing data rates, enhanced security and reliability, increasingly long life, and energy savings from reduced equipment weight. Optical fibre can handle practically unlimited data rates, provides immunity to electromagnetic interference without shielding, and avoids any risk of electrostatic discharge. The connectors are more compact than standard electrical connectors, while providing higher performance.

Drawing on more than a decade of operating experience feedback in the aerospace sector and its ease of use, the Elio® contact has all the advantages it needs to make its mark in the railway market, where optical technology is spreading rapidly: sensors, wayside and train signalling equipment, passenger information systems, gigabit Ethernet networks, etc. Making the choice now for optical fibre transmission rather than a conventional copper system ensures that growing data rate needs over the coming 20 years can be met without having to upgrade your network. Souriau guides all its customers on the optical fibre path, whether they are familiar with the technology or not.

SMS IP: The compact high-security railway connector
Copper connectors are not standing still: Souriau is extending its railway product range with its new SMS IP range. Designed to comply with the NF F 61-030 standard, the SMS IP is a high performance and high security connector for internal equipment. It complies with fire/smoke requirements, and is the only connector on the market to have obtained HL3/R23 rating according to the new CEN/TS 45-545 standard. It withstands low temperatures down to – 55 °C and can be used for voltages up to 500 V. Available in 3-, 6- and 12-pin versions, SMS IP has been qualified by Alstom, Bombardier and the SNCF.

Like the other connectors in the Souriau railway range, the SMS IP uses standard AWG16 contacts.

The new VGE1 Elio and SMS IP ranges will be presented at the Innotrans show in Berlin (D)Sept 2012

Pizza box not a lorry!

Flexible multi-position sensors offer wide range of measurement

The Rod Model RF Temposonics flexible multi-position sensor supplied by RDP Electronics is an extremely versatile sensor ideally suited for installation into cylinders for continuous operation in even the harshest industrial locations.
This sensor is notable for a measuring range of up to 20 metres and has the ability to measure non-linear paths such as around an arc up to 250mm bend radius, or even more complex shapes, so that it does not have to be fixed in a straight line to moving machine parts. Typical applications include measuring displacement of hydraulic cylinders.

It allows positioning of up to 20 magnets along the length of the sensor significantly reducing installation and maintenance costs associated with an alternative encoder, micro switch or proximity switch solution. The sensing element is contained in a coated stainless steel flexible housing and when required to do so, the sensor can be replaced in many cases without the need to remove the hydraulic cylinder. This is easier than for a typical non-contacting fitting where replacement usually means the cylinder has to be removed to allow sufficient space to withdraw the measurement sensor from the cylinder.

Thanks to the flexibility afforded by the Model RF, even with limited space behind the piston, a replacement can be fed into the hole in the sensor housing, which remains inside the hydraulic cylinder. The use of a pressure housing not only allows the sensor be replaced without removing the hydraulic cylinder, but very often the cylinder will not even need to the drained of oil as the pressure housing maintains the pressure containment while the sensor is replaced. The Model RF is offered with a measuring range from 100 mm to 20000 mm and output options include Analogue, SSI, CANBus, Profibus-DP and EtherCAT.

The flexibility of the design permits shipping of these very long displacement transducers in a compact package 1½m in diameter that looks more like a pizza box than requiring a very long lorry!

Configurable CAN network components

Configurable CAN network components CiA (CAN in Automation) has released version 1.0 of the CiA 456 CANopen device profile for configurable network components.

Configurable network components include CAN bridges and CAN switches. These components links two (bridge) or multiple (switch) CAN network segments. They are configurable regarding the bit-timing as well as regarding the forwarding and filtering of CAN frames between the segments.

The configuration is done via the CAN port supporting CANopen. This CANopen interface implements the CiA 456 profile. In total, the bridge/switch component may provide 15 independent CAN ports plus the CANopen interface.

Components compliant to this profile may interconnect CAN segments running any kind of higher-layer protocols (e.g. CANopen, DeviceNet, Isobus, J1939, or Arinc 826).

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Simple flow!

If you need a clear and simple indication of flow, then the Kelco V25F from PVL might be exactly what you’re looking for. This unique visual flow indicator works using a flow sensing paddle with a magnetically operated green and red flag. The indicator displays the bright green when there is a flow or red when flow is stopped. Alternatively, reversed colour models are also available to show red when a flow is detected, providing an indication of danger when a flow is present.

Suitable for use in pipes of diameters from 25mm upwards, the indictor simply screws into a standard pipe tee or socket. And because the coloured flag operates magnetically in a sealed, see-through chamber, there are none of the traditional problems of windows being obscured by lime scale or rust or algae that afflict conventional designs.

Design points
• Clear and bright display
• Non-electric operation – no power needed
• Corrosion-resistant construction
• No metal parts in the liquid
• Very high pressure rating

Factory design

Man and Machine, one of Britain's leading factory design experts, is working in association with the GTMA to run the first ever National Factory Design Conference on Wednesday 26th September 2012.

The National Factory Design conference is to showcase the latest factory design solutions through a combination of interactive demonstrations and presentations covering current issues affecting the sector. The conference will feature talks and case studies from some the industry’s leading experts including Autodesk, Faro, NVIDIA/PNY, Ranheat and Man and Machine.

Man and Machine Managing Director Tim Seaman says “This Conference will provide a unique experience for delegates to learn directly from some of the UK’s leading experts within the field of factory design about dealing with issues such as increasing time-to-market and satisfying green and sustainability initiatives”.

The National Factory Design Conference will run from 9am to 3pm at the GTMA headquarters National Metalforming Centre, which is located in West Bromwich, near Birmingham (GB).

Within the manufacturing industry you may have pressures to reduce costs and capital expenditure on property, plant, and equipment to:
• Satisfy green and sustainability initiatives
• Speed up time-to-market
• Adopt new and more efficient manufacturing technologies
• Take advantage of global manufacturing

Register to find out how to provide a working environment where factory equipment and facilities can be created, planned, viewed and analysed together, plus much more!

24/7 process support

PlantFloor24, the world’s first full-service, platform-independent, 24/7 hardware, software and process support solution was launched recently by Maverick Technologies. Customers, partners and members of the media toured the new operations center, where they have resources on-call 24/7/365. Among those attending the launch were, ISA Executive Director, Pat Gouhin,  - Maverick Technologies is an ISA Automation Week partner - and the distinguised Automation journalists, Walt Boyes, of Control and Gary Mintchel of Automation World.

Pat Gouhin (ISA) with Maverick's Paul Galeski
Paul Galeski, CEO and Founder said, "You’ll be hearing a lot about PlantFloor24 over the next few weeks — and about operational support and improvement. This concept will change how plants maintain, monitor and optimize their assets."

Senior consultant Peter Esparro added, “This solution really comprises a spectrum of offerings. On one end, you have manufacturers that will outsource a large portion of their automation services, and on the other you have manufacturers that are just looking for resource augmentation.”

“It’s a fully secure operational center with remote monitoring, biometric hand scans, backup generators and war-room style views into operations,” said Kirk Norris, senior vice president, Strategic Manufacturing Solutions.

Not only will this center and the PlantFloor24 solution be a lifeline for manufacturing facilities, it will provide manufacturers across the globe with the ability to:
• Reduce operational costs
• Augment staff with multidisciplinary skills
• Improve asset management

"This launch truly changes the game, finally addressing some of the major gaps that have held manufacturers back in the quest for integrated operational efficiency." concluded Paul Galeski.

STA Safety trip alarm certified

The STA Safety Trip Alarm from Moore Industries has been certified by exida for Safety Instrumented Systems to IEC 61508:2010 for systematic integrity up to SIL 3 and for random integrity up to SIL 2. This means that that the STA is approved for single use in Safety Instrumented Systems up to SIL 2 and in redundant architecture such as 1oo2 and 2oo3 up to SIL 3.

Approval from exida provides independent verification of the integrity of the STA from a leader in industrial safety certifications and ensures that it meets the industry safety standards specified in IEC 61058: Parts 1, 2 and 3. As part of its certification of the STA, exida measured the effectiveness of the product development process to prevent systematic failures along with its strength at protecting against random failures. Certification of the STA by exida ensures product quality and reliability for customers along with reducing risks and lowering lifecycle costs.

The STA comes with comprehensive safety data certified by exida to determine its applicability to specific safety-related applications. In addition, reliability data from the STA certification can be used by engineers to design and verify each Safety Instrumented Function in their system.

The STA provides an alternative method to backing up PLC or DCS soft alarms. It serves as a single-use safety logic solver that acts on hazardous process conditions, provides emergency shutdown and provides on/off control in Safety Instrumented Systems.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

EtherNet/IP communications provides faster better logic control

The Eurotherm Mini8 controller with EtherNet/IP communications, is an ideal partner to a PLC in multi-loop PID applications such as plastics extrusion and multi-zone furnaces. Leveraging the Mini8 controller’s built-in loop control, the PLC can concentrate on providing faster, more effective logic control without the burden of running complex control algorithms.

Part of Invensys's open-communication InFusion Enterprise Control System, the Mini8 controller supports serial, fieldbus and Ethernet protocols, including EtherNET/IP, making it easy to interface to intelligent masters such as a programmable logic controllers. A cost-effective alternative to designing and implementing accurate control loops in a PLC, the Mini8 controller not only provides better performance and easy configuration, it offers the same deterministic response and auto-tune feature as other Eurotherm panel-mount controllers from Invensys, and it can be easily integrated into the wider plant network, including other third-party systems.

Key capabilities:
• Easy integrates through use of EtherNet/IP, a widely used standard communication link between PLC’s and other products from a variety of vendors.
• Reduces engineering costs through using a dedicated PID device that enables quick and easy set-up of multi-loop and complex control strategies using pre-defined function blocks.
• Improves control performance by removing the burden of running complex control algorithms within a PLC.
• Input accuracy is +/-0.1% or better, this is significantly better than analog control in small or medium PLC’s.
• Suitable for use in regulated industry applications, including aerospace metal heat treatment.
• Calibrates through pre-defined routines.
• Impressive minimal drift characteristics aid in the ease of use of the device in operation.

Vacuum pump filter!

A new line of vacuum pump inlet and exhaust trap filter media for the adsorption and neutralization of chemical vapour process byproducts is being introduced by MV Products.

MV Chemical Vapor Neutralization Filter Media are designed to protect vacuum pumps and the environment from specific process contaminants. They include Resisorb® which reacts with mercury vapor, Sulfatreat® for hydrogen sulfide vapor, Ammoniasorb® for ammonia vapor, Sodasorb® for acid vapor, and Potassium Permanganate filters for neutralizing hydrogen peroxide vapor.

Designed for use with the firm’s VisiTrap®, PosiTrap® and MV MultiTrap® vacuum pump inlet and exhaust traps, MV Chemical Vapor Neutralization Filter Media are suitable for vacuum systems ranging from 1 to 5,000 CFM. Providing up to 99.9999% efficiency, they come in 11.5 cm and 23 cm tall sizes and are easily installed and replaced by the user.

MV Chemical Vapor Neutralization Filter Media are priced according to style, size, and quantity. Price quotations are available upon request.

Control platform for the Industrial Internet

The PACSystems® RXi, GE Intelligent Platforms's revolutionary new control and computing platform designed for the needs of the Industrial Internet has just been announced. Based on leading-edge computing and network technology, and supported by an emerging ecosystem of cloud-based support tools, the RXi will help customers gain productivity benefits from machine-to-machine connections and the skill sets of a digital native workforce. The RXi platform builds on GE’s deep expertise in the design of embedded control platforms as well as industry-standard open architecture technologies that deliver what companies in today’s economy need –- improved performance, integration into the Industrial Internet, and greater uptime and low total cost of ownership (TCO).

To provide the performance sophisticated control applications need today, the core of the product family is a COM Express architecture with multi-core CPUs, which will allow GE to offer a range of products that will be continually refreshed without impacting the user’s application. The RXi platform offers a full complement of high speed interfaces, with multiple gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports. These high performance features are coupled with GE’s PACSystems control engine to deliver uncompromised performance and application flexibility.

The PACSystems RXi family of controllers has built-in redundant PROFINET interfaces, delivering high performance, high uptime control solutions. RXi Industrial PC (IPC) configurations are unique in the industry, able to run HMI, Historian and analytics applications right at the machine, even in harsh environments. This facilitates better real time control of operations and improved integration into plant-wide and enterprise systems. The RXi platform fully supports GE’s new cloud-based collaborative automation platform development and deployment paradigm.

“The RXi controller is the next evolution of PAC controllers,” said Steve Pavlosky, Product General Manager for GE Intelligent Platforms’ Control & Communication Systems. “The RXi platform is a key element in our strategy to deliver high performance control solutions that can be developed, deployed, and maintained with our new collaborative, cloud-based automation platform – delivering true integration with the Industrial Internet. The platform’s PROFINET-based distributed architecture offers the best combination of high performance control with distributed I/O for lower installation and maintenance costs coupled with redundant I/O networking for high reliability. The RXi runs the same high performance PACSystems control engine found in our RX7i and RX3i products, enabling seamless application portability between form factors. The RXi platform can also be used as a rugged industrial PC platform for the flexibility of an industrial PC for factory floor computing with the reliability of a PLC.”

From a design perspective, the RXi controller is a departure from traditional systems. First, it has no local I/O which creates the basis for future upgradeability. Second, it has built-in PROFINET with ring redundancy to provide a simple to use, low installation cost, high performance redundant I/O network. With open standard PROFINET as the I/O network, users are free to choose best of breed I/O and other devices, like drives and vision systems, for use in their systems. Third, the ability to deploy the RXi architecture using both control and IPC modules interconnected provides a compact, high performance solution for applications requiring visualization, data archiving, or other advanced computational tasks at the point of control. Fourth, since it is based on standard Intel® architecture, GE can deliver control solutions with unique capabilities such as very large memory sizes and on-board storage capability. Finally, the integrated Intelligent Display Module allows users to perform standard maintenance functions without the need for a separate computer running programming software and creates a bridge that integrates the control system with the Industrial Internet.

The platform’s Industrial PC (IPC) is very small form factor, and is rugged and fanless, for companies looking for factory floor computing. GE’s rugged COM Express modular CPU platform incorporates patented thermal monitoring technology with sophisticated passive cooling techniques for a high performance computing “fanless” industrial computing and control platform, eliminating susceptibility to failure which can result in thermal shutdown of other IPC systems that rely on fans for cooling.

The design includes connectors on the controller and IPC so that the two products can be mounted together for cableless communications for applications where both control and computing are desired. The IPC can also be mounted on the back of a series of touch screen displays creating a family of modular panel IPCs.

“This platform supports several trends in the industry including control sustainability, standards based open architectures, computing and control at the machine level, and integration into the Industrial Internet,” continued Pavlosky. “Customers expect their manufacturing assets to outlast the control system. This new way of developing a control platform allows them to maintain their investment while taking advantage of the newest technologies to make their assets more productive, more reliable and more cost efficient.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Benefit programme expanded

National Instruments has announced that it is expanding its Planet NI SME Benefit Program to eight new countries around the world. NI is committed to nurturing local innovation and entrepreneurship, and, through Planet NI, the company is making engineering tools affordable, accessible and relevant to groups in emerging countries that focus on making a difference in their communities. These groups include SMEs, academic institutions and organisations creating environmental and health solutions. The eight new countries joining the SME Benefit Program are Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Pakistan, Tunisia, the Philippines, Cameroon and Nigeria.

Because SMEs make up more than two-thirds of the local economy in many emerging regions, their success contributes greatly to sustainable economic development. The program has been very successful in countries such as India and Mexico, where Planet NI has helped more than 200 SMEs thrive since the program’s inception four years ago. Companies currently active in the program are developing products for rural villages, designing specialised machines for local industries and building solar-powered systems.



“Engineering startup companies in developing countries often lack the funds to acquire cutting-edge technologies, which puts them at a significant disadvantage,” said Victor Mieres, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Asia and Chairman of the board of Planet NI. “The skills and expertise of the engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs in these regions continues to impress us, and, through Planet NI, we can provide qualifying companies with NI technology to empower this local engineering talent and support innovation.” 

A smart approach to vision inspection and code reading

Stemmer Imaging is to show a comprehensive range of vision systems at the PPMA Show in September. System capabilities will cover applications as diverse as 3D measurement of product volume to optimise packing and reduce packaging waste; product and packaging inspection and code and label reading and verification.

Many of the demonstrations will feature cameras from their extensive portfolio of smart cameras. These will include the BOA, BOA Pro and BOA IDR cameras from Teledyne DALSA and the Gocator 3D camera from LMI Technologies Inc. With on board image processing, these cameras need no additional PC.

The entry level BOA smart camera is supplied complete with iNspect Express, a comprehensive set of click and apply inspection, measurement and positioning tools to satisfy a wide range of industrial inspection tasks, while the BOA Pro has the powerful Sherlock software on board for even greater flexibility. BOA applications include a wide range of product and packaging inspections for product quality and packaging integrity.

Although BOA and BOA Pro feature 1D and 2D code reading and verification capabilities, the BOA IDR is a dedicated code-reading version of BOA, which allows manufacturers to combine 1D and 2D tracking with other inspection tasks, such as character reading (OCR) and feature verification, to ensure all product markings are correct when they leave the factory floor.

The ability of the Gocator 3D to measure product volume and other 3D components such as surface flatness and groove measurements open up host of new inspection applications. Product volume measurements allow the contents of cartons and containers to be optimised to avoid wasting valuable space. Groove measurement can be used wherever grooves are essential to a product’s performance such as plastic container lids. Surface flatness measurement is ideal for web applications such as paper or plastic film production.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Control order for power plant

Yokogawa Kontrol (Malaysia) has received an order from the CTCI Consortium -  consortium led by CTCI Corporation, the largest engineering firm in Taiwan and a supplier of engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services to a variety of industries - to supply control systems and field devices for the Kimanis combined cycle power plant - uses both gas turbines and steam turbines - which is being built for Kimanis Power Sdn. Bhd. in the Malaysian state of Sabah, in the northeast part of Borneo island.

The Kimanis power plant will have a total output of 300 MW (three 100 MW units). The first 100 MW units, now under construction, are scheduled to start operation in December 2013.
This order is for a comprehensive range of control and instrumentation including the CENTUM® VP integrated production control systems for the power plant's boilers and its boiler and turbine auxiliary facilities; the ProSafe®-RS safety instrumented system for safely shutting down the plant if any abnormal conditions occur; exhaust gas analyzers; and differential pressure/pressure transmitters. Yokogawa Kontrol (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. will be responsible for project execution, including engineering, installation, and commissioning services.

Yokogawa was able to win this order thanks to strengths such as its extensive track record in providing control systems for combined cycle power plants and the excellent engineering capabilities of Yokogawa Kontrol (Malaysia).

Malaysia has a growing economy. Along with the development of industrial complexes by the government and private sectors, power generation and transmission infrastructure is being expanded to meet the country’s rising demand for electricity. Encouraged by this order, Yokogawa will continue to expand its sales of industrial automation systems by targeting Malaysia’s growing power market.

Reduce maintenance, increase productivity

Pressure transmitter gives improved performance, advanced diagnostics, user-friendly interface, Selectable HART® Revisions, and SIL2 certification

Emerson Process Management has introduced a significant number of enhancements to its Rosemount® 3051 pressure products. These will help users maximise operational control, reduce the total cost of ownership and maintenance work orders, leading to improved productivity and safety.

The first of the enhanced Rosemount 3051 capabilities is a standard reference accuracy of ±0.04% of span down to a 10:1 turndown. This improvement drives the total performance in typical operating conditions to a best-in-class ±0.12% of span. The improved performance of the Rosemount 3051 enables more accurate control, allowing the plant’s operations to run closer to set levels, and increase product quality and throughput.

The most innovative new feature, Power Advisory Diagnostics, is a predictive diagnostic tool that allows users to identify electrical loop issues at the instrument or anywhere in the loop, before they cause a loss of measurement. Examples of these issues include water or corrosion in the terminal block or junction boxes, wiring problems or even a failing power supply. With a simple three step activation and guided troubleshooting, users of all experience levels can easily implement this diagnostic to help prevent costly outages and minimise time diagnosing and resolving the root cause of a measurement issue.

As part of Emerson’s commitment to making interfaces easy, it has added a Local Operator Interface (LOI) to the Rosemount 3051, designed with straightforward menus and both internal and external configuration buttons for on the spot commissioning – even in hazardous area locations. Standardising on the 3051 with LOI for pressure, DP flow and DP level applications results in simplified, consistent configuration procedures, reducing investment in maintenance tools, training and overall costs of ownership.

The company has also enhanced the Rosemount 3051 pressure products with a Selectable HART® Revision capability (HART5 and HART7). This delivers the latest features to those that are ready to take advantage of the latest HART revision, while ensuring seamless integration with any installed host, asset management system or configuration tool.

The Rosemount 3051 now offers SIL2 certification that meets the most demanding safety application requirements. This extends the time between proof tests to five years – and allows users to avoid extra shutdowns for safety testing. Emerson also provides full documentation for efficient Safety Instrumented System (SIS) compliance. Users can add Power Advisory Diagnostics to SIL2 certified transmitters to improve safety throughout their entire electrical loop.

Operator environment sub-systems practice!

CiA (CAN in Automation) has released version 1.0 of the CiA 852 CANopen recommended practice for CiA 401-based operator environment sub-systems. CiA 401 specifies the device profile for generic I/O modules. In many mobile machines, driver and operator working places uses an embedded CANopen network.

The released document specifies the CANopen interface for operator environments with human-machine interface (HMI) functionality. Operator environments include simple remote control units, operator seats with integrated joysticks, foot pedals, pushbuttons, indicators, etc., and complete operator cabins. Such equipment is dedicated but not limited for construction, mining, agriculture and forestry machines, for harbor cranes, for boats and vessels, for wheelchairs and any other kind of machines on wheels.

The document recommends also the numbering of the operator environment devices depending on the location (for left and right hands or feet). In addition, the numbering of components in a device is suggested.


“This recommended practice is very helpful for the system designer,” explained Holger Zeltwanger, CiA managing director. “It reduces significantly the commissioning and configuration, because pre-programmed routines can be re-used.”

Chilling in industry!

Renowned more for their enclosure cooling equipment in the field of climate control, Rittal also supply chillers to the industrial market. The TopTherm range of packaged chillers, which is suitable for a cooling medium of water, are intended for internal applications and include wall-mounted, roof-mounted or floor-standing and modular variants.

Their TopTherm wall-mounted chiller, which may be installed directly to an enclosure, has a cooling capacity of up to 4kW, whereas the roof-mounted or floor-standing variant is available with a slightly larger cooling output of up to 6kW. Finally, the modular chiller, which is capable of removing up to 40kW of heat, utilises the renowned TS 8 frame so that it can be seamlessly integrated into a suite of enclosures.

The unique construction of the TopTherm modular chiller allows the simple replacement of refrigerant and hydraulic modules. In the event of failure, modules of the same type can be exchanged quickly. Those of different capacities can be substituted should a greater amount of cooling be required, effectively making it possible to upgrade the chiller in situ rather than replace it in its entirety.
Packaged chillers from the Rittal floor-standing enclosure range are suitable for internal or external applications and for a cooling medium of either water or oil. The robust, yet highly adaptable platform ensures that there is a solution from this range that can satisfy most project specific requirements.

Rittal chillers can be used to supply chilled water not only to the cold plates, wall-mounted and roof-mounted ranges of air/water heat exchangers available from Rittal, but also to the multitude of industrial processes for which cooling is essential. All Rittal TopTherm chillers are able to accept either a 50Hz or 60Hz supply, resulting in global applicability.

Power products for North America

Intelligent Power has been appointed as a value added reseller for the North American market by Powerstax. Based in Austin (TX USA), Intelligent Power will be able to provide Powerstax customers with locally based design and engineering support for power conversion systems employing the wide range of high efficiency, highly configurable Powerstax full brick converters and power shelves.

Established since 2005 Intelligent Power has a customer base which includes MIL, aerospace, RF and IT equipment manufacturers, all markets where Powerstax products are widely used. With over 60 employees and 25,000 sq. feet of production space Intelligent Power offers their customers full outsourced engineering and manufacturing services.

Lonnie Friend, Director, North American Sales, for Powerstax comments. ”Working with Intelligent Power allows us to offer customers in North America competitively priced complete turnkey solutions without having to compromise on quality or customer service. Their extensive power solution knowledge will ensure customers benefit from local support, the best fit of our standard product range and fast time to market of value added and custom power products.”

Intelligent Power will be able to offer their customers Powerstax’s extensive range of standard, value-added and custom AC & DC power solutions for a broad range of fixed and mobile applications including hot swap front end AC-DC bulk power, DC-DC converter bricks and modules and programmable, modular rack mounted power supplies.

Getting the job done!

Multiplex Engineering are a group of automation engineers who pride themselves on their ability to deliver an engineered solution rather than just being a box shifter. Along with supplying well known product names such as SWAN Analytical, Valsteam ADCA, and Nivelco, to name but a few, they make sure the unit being supplied is commissioned, tested and calibrated if that is what the customer requires. If a special skid is needed, Multiplex have the in house capability to design, build, supply and commission customised skids for steam and water analysis in the power industry. They also build customised heat exchanger skids and condensate recovery units for anyone using steam.
From left: Paul O'Neill, Philip McGovern & Declan Coughlin, Multiplex Eng

Paul O’Neill, Declan Coughlan, and Philip McGovern are the men behind Multiplex. Their main focus is the Food, Dairy and Pharmaceutical sectors along with the water industry and power and utility plants. They are in the business long enough to know that a fast response is required to keep downtime to a minimum. They hold large stocks of transmitters, flow meters, valves, etc. at their offices. If you need a steam control valve in a hurry, the chances are it is ex stock. If you need a control panel to go with it, then Multiplex will just make it to suit.

In today’s food and pharmaceutical industry monitoring chlorine on your incoming towns water is crucial. Multiplex have made major headway with their unique Chlorine analyser from SWAN. Essentially it is just fit and forget. No reagents are required and no membrane swap out. It will even alarm if the sample stops for any reason. The councils are realising the benefits of this technology and in some cases are now standardising on it.

They have ISO9001:2008 certification and offer full calibration and maintenance service contracts. They already have an extensive customer base keeping their service team on the go around the clock. The company is very customer focused and offers customised service contracts to suit each individual requirement with the same fast response to ensure minimum downtime on site.

Multiplex have introduced Prediktor NIR to the Irish market. “We can accurately measure protein on line in a hygienic application” says Paul O’Neill. “..or indeed on line fat content measurement of meats is no problem either”. This new technology can deliver major savings by monitoring and controlling on line in real time rather than having to wait for laboratory results and adjusting the process when it may be too late.

So if you need equipment calibrated or have a problem with a steam line, if you need a complete steam survey done or want that small project designed with control panels, pipe work, measuring instruments etc., all specified, supplied, installed and commissioned turnkey?