Friday, September 21, 2012

High voltage minimum space!

Industrial connector module offers high-voltage transmission with minimum space requirement

A new high-voltage single module has been added to the Harting Han-Modular® industrial connector series, allowing the transmission of extremely high voltages with a minimum space requirement.

The new Han® HV single module incorporates TEFLON® material to provide high-voltage insulation, allowing a Han® 24 B connector, for example, to be designed with up to 12 power contacts rated at 16 A and 2500 V. The module can also be combined with signal and pneumatic modules.

The new connector module features a high working voltage of 2500 V, and is based on a space-saving design with two power contacts per module. It uses crimp terminal technology, and can handle conductor cross sections of between 0.14 and 4 mm².

Harting’s Han-Modular® series, as an open connector system, can provide flexible configuration to the users’ individual requirements. It gives the user the freedom to assemble a customised connector from a range of more than 40 modules for electrical, optical and gaseous signals. The module range is continually expanded, allowing new configurations to be realised.

Award for panel meters!

Red Lion Controls has announced that the company’s industry-leading panel meters have received the 2012 Readers’ Choice Award from Control Design magazine. This achievement marks the 12th consecutive year that the prestigious accolade has been awarded to Red Lion.

“Winning this award for the 12th straight year is a testament to the work we are doing within the industrial automation space,” said Jesse Benefiel, vice president of product management at Red Lion Controls. “With a goal to design and bring high-quality products to market, having customers select both our panel meters and customer service makes this award that much more gratifying.”

To determine this year’s winners, Control Design sent questionnaires to approximately 15,000 magazine subscribers who work directly with industrial automation and control products. The questionnaire included an unaided ballot in which participants were asked to identify the vendors that came to mind in response to questions. Voters were also asked to rate both service and customer support. Only companies that received at least five percent of the category vote were recognized. The survey has been conducted annually since 2001 and Red Lion has dominated the panel meter category year after year.

“The journey to market acceptance requires immense work and excellent listening skills. Staying there requires innovation and endurance,” says Joe Feeley, Editor-in-Chief of Control Design. “Our Readers’ Choice Awards recognize market leadership among many worthy competitors who are working hard to deliver cutting-edge products and services in the industrial automation market.”

Red Lion’s panel meter offering is the most comprehensive in the industry, with meters for both digital (pulsed) and analog signals. In addition to the various inputs offered, panel meters are also available for every application in a range of models, sizes and capabilities. From compact CUB indicators to versatile PAX process meters, Red Lion provides flexibility that allows customers to easily add or change capabilities with plug-and-play field installable option cards. The end result delivers real-time visibility that drives productivity.

Major contract for control & safety for floating production platform

Hot on the heels of being named BP’s automation contractor of choice for offshore oil and gas operations in the North Sea, comes news that Emerson Process Management has been awarded a $21 million contract to provide integrated control and safety systems for a new BP floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. The new vessel, which will replace the existing Schiehallion FPSO, forms part of the North Sea Quad 204 project that will access the remaining hydrocarbon reservoirs in the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, located approximately 130 kilometres west of Shetland, (GB).

In addition to serving as the main automation contractor for the Quad 204 FPSO, Emerson Process Management is also 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. BP relies on Emerson’s offshore expertise, technologies and services to help it get to first production more quickly and easily, optimise production and yield, avoid environmental impact, and operate safely.

Larger than the existing Schiehallion FPSO, the new 270-metre Quad 204 FPSO is designed to produce 130,000 barrels of oil a day and 2.2 million cubic metres per day of gas. This increased processing and storage capacity will enable optimum reservoir recovery, extend field life and also allow for any future expansion.

The integrated Emerson solution will use Emerson’s PlantWeb™ digital plant architecture, including its DeltaV™ digital automation system and DeltaV SIS™ process safety system, and AMS Suite predictive maintenance software. The DeltaV system will control and monitor platform operations using FOUNDATION fieldbus and HART® communication technologies. Advanced process control software functionality within DeltaV will optimise facility performance, production and yield. The DeltaV SIS system will perform process and emergency shutdown functions, if needed, plus control fire and gas detection systems to enable secure control of oil production on the platform.

AMS Suite predictive maintenance software will be used for commissioning, configuration and to monitor field device diagnostics. A real-time performance management system, delivering information to executive level decision makers will be supplied by Emerson’s METCO Services. Emerson’s operator simulation-based training programme will be used to train operators before start-up.

"We are pleased that Emerson has been chosen to design and implement the integrated control and safety systems for this new FPSO," said Steve Sonnenberg, President, Emerson Process Management. "This is another large-scale project that we have been awarded and is a continuation of the long-standing and trusting relationship that exists between our companies."

Additional contracts have been awarded to Emerson to supply its Rosemount® pressure, temperature, radar level transmitters and magnetic flowmeters; Rosemount Analytical gas chromatographs; and Daniel™ venturi and ultrasonic flowmeters.

Emerson provided the front end engineering and design (FEED) on the FPSO and with the vessel builder, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Limited, is responsible for design, configuration, build, acceptance testing, commissioning, installation and start-up support.

LIMS monitoring on the move!

With a web-based user interface supplied as standard in addition to the traditional Windows-based desktop interface, the Matrix Gemini Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) from Autoscribe can be accessed remotely using a device equipped with a web browser and internet access.

This means that laptops, popular tablet computers such as iPads and even the Kindle ‘Fire’ e-reader can be used to provide instant access to results, reports and sample status from anywhere in the world, subject to user’s password-controlled authority profile.

The dual web/Windows user interface provides a high degree of flexibility without any implementation overhead. As soon as any screen is designed using the unique Matrix Gemini OneTime Configuration Tools, it is immediately available via the web browser, without further modification, effort or cost. The web browser interface offers an identical user experience to the Windows interface.

Remote access is particularly useful for registering samples collected away from the laboratory. For example in water testing, details of the location, pH, temperature and time of collection can all be entered via the web interface, which provides full access to all the required sample registration screens. The status of the sample is updated when the sample is received at the laboratory.

Distributor's milestone!

Bill Ingram President at Anglia receiving a gift from Gary Marsh who is Vice President European Sales for Microchip.
Anglia Components has just celebrated its 40th anniversary and a year which saw it sign a distribution agreement with Analog Devices and further increase its market share. The anniversary celebration was held in the company of an invited audience of over 100 suppliers, staff and industry guests.

Bill Ingram, currently the company’s President, founded the business in his home in 1972. Today, Anglia employs over 150 people supporting a strong line card of franchises including Analog Devices and ST, two of the world’s top three analog semiconductor manufacturers. Anglia has formed a series of market focussed business units: Anglia Lighting in 2007, Anglia HiRel in 2010, and Anglia Embedded which recently added Advantech, a world leading supplier of single board computers (SBCs). Steve Rawlins took over as CEO in 2006, and now manages the operation on a day to day basis.

In a speech at the event, Bill Ingram said, “I am as excited about Anglia’s prospects today as I was 40 years ago when I formed the business. Anglia’s business has grown by 40% over the last five years, posting consistently strong year on year growth despite the ups and downs of the market. We’ve a great track record of growing quicker than the industry – something that we are continuing to maintain under Steve’s leadership. It is the outstanding team that gives Anglia its future.”

He concluded, “Anglia is a great place to work and a great company to deal with as a supplier and a customer, and that is something that won’t change. I would like to thank everybody involved over the years for creating the business we see today and for reaching the 40th milestone. Well done.”

And so say all of us!

Magnetic measuring system for rotative applications

Sensor specialist ASM is extending it’s magnetic POSIROT® position sensors range to the combination PMIS4/PMIR5, developed specifically for rotative applications. The advantages of this combination are high EMC protection, large guiding distance and a superior signal performance up to 327.680 pulses/360°.

The incremental, non-contact measuring system PMIS4/PMIR5 consists of the sensor head PMIS4 and an incremental magnetic ring PMIR5. The sensor head is made of a fully enclosed, shielded metal housing. It offers high protection against electromagnetic interference, thermal overload and has protection class IP67. Guiding distance is ± 1 mm. Available output types are HTL, TTL and TTL24V.

The PMIR5 magnetic ring comes in three sizes with flange sizes of 83, 133 or 233 mm. They are available with decadic, binary or degree division and reach corresponding 131,072 pulses / 360°, 196,608 pulses / 360° or 327,680 pulses / 360°. Temperature range is -40 °C to +85 °C, the maximum pulse frequency is 480 kHz.

Since the system operates magnetically, it is insensitive to contamination from oil and dust. For this reason its suitable for use in harsh, dusty industrial environments.

IS battery operated wireless sensors

The Massa Model M3 Family, marketed through Vydas,  consists of battery operated wireless level sensors that intercommunicate using ZigBee RF Modules. These sensors produce detection ranges from as close as 4 inches (100 mm) to 35 feet (11 meters). Incorporating state-of-the-art ultrasonic technology, the sensors provide precision non-contact distance measurement for liquid level or industrial process control applications.

The M3 Family of Wireless Level Sensors stand out over all other systems because of their affordability, extraordinary ease of operation and the ability to be set up without using a target. They transmit narrow beam sound pulses, process return echoes, and report the distance to the target. The M3 obtains and records range, temperature, battery voltage, sensor parameters, historical data and other information.

The package is rated for emersion and high pressure wash-down. The batteries are accessible for replacement. All of the sensors in the M3 Family are available in two versions. Standard M3 Sensors are designed for operation in typical industrial applications and the intrinsically safe M3is for use in hazardous environments.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Non contact thermal sensor!

Omron Electronic Components has introduced a non-contact MEMS thermal sensor that can reliably detect the presence of humans in an area without the need for movement. The ultra-sensitive sensor is an outstanding alternative to pyroelectric sensors or PIR detectors in home automation, building automation, healthcare, security and industrial applications.

The new Omron D6T is a super-sensitive infrared temperature sensor that makes full use of proprietary Omron MEMS sensing technology. Most human presence sensors rely on movement, but the D6T is able to detect occupation by sensing body heat and provides a more reliable basis for switching off lighting, air conditioning and other services when the space is empty. Conventional sensors often fail to distinguish between an unoccupied space and a stationary person. This feature is a particular issue in healthcare system design, when detecting the presence of bed-bound patients in a room.

As D6T sensors are able to monitor the temperature of a room, they can also be used to control the level of heating and air conditioning systems and maintain optimal room temperature levels without wasting energy. Unusual changes in temperature can also be used in other ways, for example to detect line stoppages, identify hot spots before a fire breaks out or in clinical applications to check whether a patient has left the bed.

While standard thermal sensors are only able to measure temperature at one contact point, the D6T can measure the temperature of an entire area contactlessly. Signals generated by infrared rays are extremely weak. To achieve reliable detection, Omron has developed and manufactured every part of the new high sensitivity thermal sensor in-house, from the MEMS sensors to ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) and other application-specific parts.

The technology behind Omron’s D6T thermal sensors combines a MEMS micro-mirror structure for efficient IR radiation detection with a high-performance silicon lens to focus the infrared rays onto its thermopiles. Proprietary application-specific integrated circuits then make the necessary computations and convert sensor signals into digital I2C outputs. All components were developed in-house and are fabricated in Omron’s own MEMS facilities. The result is high ±1.5degC accuracy with excellent noise immunity (measured as noise equivalent temperature difference) of 140mK.

With the cutting edge MEMS technology that is utilized in the D6T, Omron aims to contribute to creating new advanced energy-saving household appliances as well as home and building energy management systems and a wide variety of factory automation applications.

Probe for high-voltage oscilloscope measurements

The Yokogawa Model 701927 is a new high-speed differential probe for high-voltage floating signal measurements using the company’s DLM2000 Series of mixed-signal oscilloscopes and other instruments equipped with the Yokogawa probe interface.

The 701927 has a 3 dB bandwidth of DC to 150 MHz, and can measure differential or common-mode voltages up to ±1400 V (DC plus AC peak) or 1000 V RMS. For ease of use, the compact unit features automatic attenuation detection, and obtains its power supply via the Yokogawa probe interface. Input attenuation ratio is switchable between 1/50 and 1/500.

A one-metre long extension cable allowing the probe to be used in thermostatic chambers or for measurements on large or hot devices is included as standard. Even when this extension is used, a high bandwidth of 100 MHz is maintained

The new probe is ideally suited to the requirements of the mechatronics, automotive and power electronics sectors for testing devices such as motors, power supplies and invertors, and thus further extends Yokogawa’s ability to offer an extensive choice of solutions for testing in these sectors, including high-speed oscilloscopes, versatile and flexible ScopeCorders, and high-precision power analysers.

Sales growth leads to appointments

The Deeter Group have made two key appointments in response to increasing sales of their market share.
Deeter Electronics new appointees Neil Palmer Sales Manager and Chris Bull IT Manage

Neil Palmer takes up the role of UK Sales Manager with responsibility for the launch and growth of the new Deeter explosion proof (ATEX, IECEx) liquid lever sensor and wireless sensor product ranges. Neil will run all UK sales and marketing activities for these product ranges as well as driving future development in response to customer feedback from the relevant markets.

Neil studied Robotic and Electronic Engineering at the University of Salford and worked as a design and development engineer on electronic engine controls for commercial and military airplanes before deciding to pursue a career in a more customer focused role. His sound engineering background is a major asset to this new position. His previous sales experience includes electro-magnetic interference (EMI) products and he is able to use his engineering skills on a daily basis to assist customers to design-in the correct product first time and appreciate the value of exceptional product support.

Neil comments "Deeter Electronics shares my philosophy of leading the field in service as well as function. This new role gives me the ability to focus on sales of the new products and really drive sales up through attacking new markets and expanding the product range to suit the needs of our customers.”

The second new appointment is that of Chris Bull to the post of IT Manager. Chris will be responsible for management of Deeter’s internal network, all computer systems and all of their global websites and online stores. Chris has a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Surrey and has spent the four years since he left working in IT Support.

Chris says “I am looking forward to working with the team at Deeter to put in place a number of improvements internally and to the Deeter websites in order to enhance the customer experience and improve The Deeter Group’s high standard of service.”

Peter Whiteaker, Managing Director of Deeter Group, comments  "As we continue to introduce new products and develop new markets it is essential we have a strong team in place to provide the high level of customer service for which we are known. Neil will be rolling out our recently introduced ATEX approved sensor ranges which opens up a large new market for Deeter on top of our existing wide range of standard products and fast turnaround custom designs. Our online presence continues to grow in importance with rapid growth in e-commerce enabling our products to be bought globally. Chris will have a vital role in ensuring our website and online shop offers the best customer experience possible.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New image & Website

LCM Systems Ltd, one of Britain's leading designers and suppliers of load cells and instrumentation, has launched a new corporate identity and website to reflect its growing status in the global industrial marketplace. Showing a year on year growth in turnover and profitability, the company has also recently expanded its Isle of Wight (GB) headquarters by over 70% to accommodate the increase in orders and to provide additional space for ex-stock products and a new testing area.

Explaining the new look, Managing Director Steve Sargeant says: “With all the changes occurring at LCM Systems in terms of growth and providing our customers with a faster and more efficient service, we felt it was time this was reflected in our corporate image. We have completely redesigned our logo to show a modern and forward-thinking company, whilst still signifying our industrial focus. This new logo will be used throughout our marketing and communication materials.”

As part of the identity overhaul, LCM Systems’ website at www.lcmsystems.com has also been redesigned and updated to enable customers to quickly and easily find the products they are most interested in. As well as including comprehensive product and application information, the new Resources area on the site provides load cell users with a valuable repository of technical material. A host of datasheets are available as free downloads, along with instruction manuals and free software for LCM’s range of datalogging and telemetry instrumentation.

Force measurement using piezoelectric sensors - Seminar

A one day seminar by Kistler Instruments, a world leader in piezoelectric sensor technology, will cover the theory of piezoelectric sensors and is designed to provide an introduction to the practical application of piezoelectric measurement in both laboratory and industrial environments.

Although piezoelectric sensor technology has many advantages over other types of sensor technologies, a clear understanding of piezoelectric measurement is essential for the full benefits to be obtained under real world conditions. The seminar will be relevant to all those responsible for designing and building instrumentation and measurement systems, especially where challenging environmental conditions may be encountered. A major quality of piezoelectric sensors is the ability to monitor highly dynamic impact events, often under harsh operating conditions.

The subjects to be covered include:
Design, principles & benefits of piezoelectric sensors.
A practical exercise on fitting & mounting of a force sensor.
Charge signal conditioning and system integration.
Calibration and measurement.

The seminars will be held at the AMP Tech Centre, Sheffield on the 6th November 2012 and at Kents Hill Park, Milton Keynes on 8th November 2012. The delegate fee is £200 for a single delegate and £175 per delegate for two or more. The fee includes all course material, refreshments and lunch.

Coriolis flowmeters for loading/unloading and fuel dispensing systems

Argosy Technologies has selected Micro Motion® ELITE® Coriolis flowmeters as an integral part of its new unique loading/unloading and fuel dispensing systems. The Micro Motion flowmeters provide accurate, real-time, in-line measurement data, and provide users of the new custody transfer systems with high measurement performance and maintenance free operation, even in demanding operational environments.
Argosy Technologies is using Emerson’s Micro Motion® ELITE® Coriolis meters on a Russian Railroad application
"The highest levels of flow measurement accuracy and reliability are essential for the demanding fiscal applications that our systems support," said Peter Mouler PhD, President, Argosy Technologies. "Emerson’s Coriolis flowmeters are proven within tough environments and ensure that we can offer a world-class solution to our customers."

Argosy Technologies is a leading provider of equipment and technology to some of the largest oil and gas companies in Russia and the CIS. The new Argosy AT Loading/Unloading Systems measure petroleum and liquefied chemicals during bulk discharge and loading for transportation and storage. Argosy has also added the new AT Fuel Dispensing Station for vehicle refuelling at petrol and pumping stations.

"Emerson and Argosy have a longstanding, cooperative relationship that helps us bring new solutions and increased value to customers in Russia and the CIS," said Johan Vanderplaetse, Vice President CIS and Turkey for Emerson Process Management.

Traditionally, volumetric flow measurement has been the standard for these applications in Russia. However, if changing pressures and temperatures are not compensated for, uncertainty is introduced into the final flow total or additional cost is incurred to correct for these errors. Coriolis technology solves these issues by providing real time measurement of mass flow rate, volume flow rate, density, temperature and batch totals – all from a single device.

Both Argosy AT systems utilise highly accurate mass flow measurement data provided by the Micro Motion ELITE (Models CMF 300 and CMF 400) flowmeters. These provide mass and volume measurement of petroleum products with a margin of error of ±0.15% within the working temperature range of -40°C to +50°C. This exceptional accuracy and operating performance in entrained gas conditions makes the custody transfer systems being offered by Argosy Technologies amongst the most accurate available in the market, providing customers with reduced material shrinkage and greater accountability.

Micro Motion Coriolis flowmeters can be supplied with a Russian GOST Verification Certificate and are ideally suited to custody transfer applications where high accuracy is required. They have no moving parts, enabling the meters to deliver improved system reliability and increased plant availability. Additionally, Micro Motion meters do not require straight pipe runs or flow conditioning devices, enabling compact and efficient skid-based metering designs.

Isolated device couplers

The Fieldbus Foundation has registered the first isolated device couplers based on its FOUNDATION™ H1 (31.25 kbit/s) device coupler test specification. Devices from MTL and R. Stahl successfully completed the foundation's rigorous registration process.

As part of a FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure, isolated device couplers are installed where the fieldbus trunk (i.e., home run cable) is connected to the various device spurs. Isolated device couplers are specifically designed to allow automation end users to connect more devices per coupler while permitting live segment work in hazardous plant areas. These couplers provide isolated, conditioned power to multiple fieldbus devices and protect against short circuits caused by excess current in a spur. By enabling more devices per segment, they also help reduce controller input/output (I/O) points and associated installation costs.

MTL's 9370 FB
MTL's 9370-FB Series Fieldbus Barrier provides a range of complete integrated enclosure systems, instead of stand-alone barrier modules. All internal components are live pluggable, meaning that field maintenance can be carried out quickly and safely. Surge protection devices for the trunk and spurs can be easily fitted without requiring product re-design. The product series includes 6- and 12-spur versions in stainless steel or GRP enclosures, as well as a redundant option enabling improved system availability in critical fieldbus networks.

Stahl 9411/21
R. Stahl's Series 9411/21 and 9411/24 isolated device couplers are suitable for use in Zone 1, Zone 2 and U.S. Division 2, and are available with plastic or stainless steel housings that can be tailored to fit customer requirements. The series also includes a unique power management feature: during the start-up of a fieldbus segment, the spurs energize one after the other. This reduces the inrush current on a segment by up to 50 percent, requiring less spare energy and making longer segment lengths possible.

The Fieldbus Foundation's Stephen Mitschke, director-fieldbus products, commented, "The device coupler test specification provides a high level of robustness in fieldbus systems. And recent enhancements to the FOUNDATION fieldbus physical layer specifications provide end users with greater confidence that registered fieldbus equipment can be employed in a tightly integrated, interoperable control system architecture that is well suited to the most demanding industrial environments. We look forward to seeing additional device coupler offerings joining R. Stahl and MTL on our registered products list."

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

Economical and programmable 5-1/2-Digit DMM

Keithley Instruments continues to build on its long history in digital multimeter (DMM)  design with an economical new offering. The Model 2110 5-1/2-digit Dual-Display Digital Multimeter is optimised for a variety of general-purpose system and bench design applications. When compared with leading 5-1/2-digit DMMs, the Model 2110 offers superior throughput (up to 10x faster), accuracy (up to 2x better DC voltage accuracy), a lower purchase price, and greater integration flexibility. System features such as external triggering, a built-in reading buffer, and an optional GPIB interface enhance ease of use. To learn more about the Model 2110 DMM, visit www.keithley.com/data?asset=57008.

A Rich Feature Set at a Value Price
The Model 2110’s capabilities include DC voltage (up to 1000V) and current (up to 10A), AC voltage (up to 750V) and current (up to 10A), two- and four-wire resistance (up to 100 mega-ohms), temperature, frequency (10Hz–300kHz) and period, and capacitance (1 nanofarad to 100 microfarad ranges) measurements. A variety of mathematical functions and diode and continuity test functions are also included. Programmable A-D converter and filter settings simplify optimizing the Model 2110’s signal-to-noise ratio to improve measurement accuracy. At the fast 4-1/2-digit setting, it takes up to 50,000 readings/second.

The instrument’s dual display can show the results from two measurements simultaneously, such as DC voltage and temperature, so users can monitor temperature fluctuations without interrupting other measurements. Its intuitive front panel makes it easy enough for students to use without sacrificing measurement performance or flexibility.

Temperature Measurement Support 
Temperature is the most commonly measured parameter, and the Model 2110 includes support for making temperature measurements with RTDs, NTC thermistors, and B, C, E, J, K, N, R, S and T-type thermocouples. A built-in cold junction compensator ensures higher thermocouple measurement accuracy without the need for additional plug-ins.

Built-in Mathematical Functions and Included Test Tools
To simplify the process of converting raw measurement data into usable information, the Model 2110 includes the most often-used mathematical functions: percentage, average, min/max, null, limits, mX+B, dB, and dBm. The KI-Tool and KI-Link software tools included help users to control the instrument remotely, record measurements, and display time-series plots of the results, then import them into either Microsoft® Word or Excel files for creating reports. LabVIEW® and IVI drivers provide further programming flexibility.

Remote Interfaces
With USB-only or USB/GPIB control options, the Model 2110 is simple to integrate into test systems with other instruments, such as Keithley’s growing line of Series 2200 DC Power Supplies. The TMC-compliant USB remote interface and the optional GPIB interface allow easy re-use of existing SCPI programs.

Wide Range of Applications
The Model 2110 DMM offers high value for applications in manual, semi-automatic, and automatic testing of low-cost electronic devices, circuits, modules, electrical components, and semiconductor components. Production, R&D, and test engineers, scientists, and students will find it useful for making a wide variety of measurements in the portable, bench, and system applications that don’t demand the ultra-high precision that Keithley’s other Series 2000 DMMs provide but that do require stable, accurate, and high speed measurements.


Power saving voltage transducers for the traction market

LEM introduces the DVL series for insulated nominal voltage measurements in traction applications. 

The DVL family of devices from LEM spans the range from 50-2000 VRMS and incorporates LEM’s proven and patented insulating technology. Despite achieving very high levels of isolation with a safety insulation voltage of 8.5 kV, the DVL transducer is compact, measuring only 137.8 x 63 x 64.3 mm. It is fully compatible with previous generations of transducers in terms of both functions, performance and footprint and offers new high levels of accuracy and temperature stability.

LEM developed the DVL to be fully compliant with the International Railway Industry Standards (IRIS), providing engineers in the railway industry, who are working with both rolling stock and sub-stations, with a versatile new transducer that is equally applicable to measuring network voltages, or the main converter DC link on-board trains. The feature set of the DVL voltage transducer also makes it an excellent fit for a broad range of small-to-medium voltage measurements in industrial markets.

DVL transducers measures voltages by a direct connection on its primary side, transfers the data across an internal isolation barrier and outputs a current from its secondary side that is proportional to the measured voltage thanks to LEM’s patented insulating digital technology. It delivers an improved overall accuracy, compared to existing products, of +/- 0.4 % at +25°C with a higher stability in temperature.: The technology used provides very high levels of immunity to external magnetic fields (almost insensitive) and electromagnetic disturbances (unmatched level). Its measurement frequency bandwidth (-3dB point) is 14 kHz and the DVL consumes only 20 to 25 mA when power supplied under +/-24 VDC (power supply range from +/- 13.5 to +/- 26.4 V), a power saving of 30% relative its predecessors. 2 kinds of current output ranges are possible either +/- 50 mA, or the standard industrial current-loop range of 4 to
20 mA.

In addition to using less power the DVL, in its small outline, is 30% lighter than transducers already in the market. Other key features include a high level of partial discharge extinction voltage, and compliance to a range of internationally-recognised safety standards in addition to its adherence to IRIS specifications. It also exhibits a fast response time, and excellent noise immunity. A range of connection configurations, on both the primary and secondary side, increases flexibility for the user.

Designed by LEM in accordance with the latest standards applicable for traction, the DVL utilises materials that comply with all relevant fire and smoke requirements, that are mandatory in railway applications. It is CE marked and is supplied with a five-year warranty, as are all LEM railway products.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Demystifying use of FEA for motor and generator design

A new web-based technical presentation from Cobham Technical Services helps designers of electric motors and generators use finite element analysis (FEA) techniques to accelerate product development and improve design accuracy. The presentation will also be of interest to electromagnetic and electromechanical analysts, as well as engineers who are currently using analytical design packages for rotating machines. First shown live to a pre-registered audience as a webinar, the 47-minute audio/visual presentation is now available - in English and French - for on-demand playback via Cobham's dedicated motor design software website.

Titled 'Introduction to Rotating Electrical Machine Design using Opera', the presentation outlines how Cobham's low frequency electromagnetic simulation software enables designers to improve the performance of motors and generators to meet specific economic, efficiency and operating environment targets. Making extensive use of graphics, it covers all key areas of FEA and is ideal for people who are new to the subject.

After outlining the fundamental principles of FEA, such as defining model geometry, creating finite elements (meshing) and specifying or importing material properties such as B-H curves, the presentation takes a detailed look at aspects especially relevant to rotating electrical machines. These include hysteresis loss, the demagnetisation effects of short-circuits and other faults, and the critical importance of obtaining an accurate representation of the magnetic field in the rotor-armature air gap. Engineers modelling highly complex magnetic gearing systems involving concentric rotating and static magnetic paths are shown how Opera simplifies the task by allowing the definition of multiple air gaps.

The presentation discusses how by setting suitable periodicity boundaries, users can reduce the size of the electrical machine model - and therefore the number of equations that need to be solved - significantly, leading to much faster computation times. This is especially important for designers of high pole count machines, because it enables the analysis model to be a fraction of the full device.

In Opera, current carrying conductors are represented using coils; Opera 3D provides a comprehensive library of standard coil forms such as solenoids, racetracks and bedsteads. If the required coil is not in the library, it can be represented by a continuous combination of bars, arcs and bricks. Scripting facilities enable users to create libraries of commonly used coils for a particular machine very easily.

The increasing complexity of electrical devices means that a model of a motor or generator may not be sufficient to obtain an accurate representation of its behaviour under all operating conditions. The presentation therefore describes how Opera's standard circuit editor enables power electronics and switching circuits to be defined, which then interface with the conductors in the model of the device itself. Simple 'drag and drop' techniques are used to position general circuit representations of voltage and current drives, and components such as resistors, diodes, capacitors, inductors, switches and windings. Specific configurations can be defined in minutes, and used to create a library of common test circuits for use during subsequent analyses.

Mechanical coupling in full rotating machine analyses is functionally similar for 2D and 3D - the coupling data can include the moment of inertia and the frictional speed-varying or fixed applied torque. For solving system-level design problems, rotating or linear motion simulations can be included using Opera as part of the system. Co-simulation with Simulink allows the two simulations to exchange data at each Opera time step, and multiple Opera simulations can be included in the same system simulation. The presentation provides an example of two separate Opera 2D models, for the exciter and generator parts of a system, with Simulink ensuring that both rotate at the same speed, as though they were mounted on a common shaft in real life.

Opera allows users to define any shape of device, magnets and coils - as well as generic electrical circuits - which makes it possible to create 2D or 3D models of virtually any type of linear or rotational electrical machine. These include ac induction, brushed and brushless permanent magnet, ac wound rotor induction and switched reluctance motors, as well as induction, permanent magnet and doubly-fed generators. Specific solvers are chosen to maximise accuracy with the computing hardware that is available; the results file is post-processed automatically, to generate graphic displays of the points of interest. Compared to traditional testing or analytical calculations, these provide a much more powerful tool for making design decisions based on detailed assessment of each component part. Forces, torque, hysteresis and eddy current losses can be calculated automatically, as can variables such as flux linkage, cogging torque, fields and saturation, iron loss, demagnetisation, etc.

The presentation also highlights Opera's multi-physics capabilities, showing how the software can perform thermal and structural analyses, and describes how by use of multiple goal-seeking algorithms it helps optimise the design process, automatically 'homing in' on the best solutions. Designers are also shown how the Optimizer tool can be used within Cobham's Machines Environment - an application-specific extension to Opera - to further accelerate the design process. By making extensive use of templates, drop-down menus and Wizard-style dialog boxes, the environment enables users to fully quantify the motor or generator they wish to design, very quickly and easily.

The presentation concludes with a real-world example of FEA, using the Machines Environment to simulate the permanent magnet motor fitted to the Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle. The simulation results are compared to the test results obtained by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the USA, which carried out an experimental characterisation of the motor and its drive system. In order to demonstrate the Machines Environment's ease of use, the simulation task was performed by a relative novice in FEA techniques. After selecting basic design data, such as the type and sizes of magnets, rotor, stator and windings, the user amended the profiles of the magnets, rotor and stator manually, to provide a representative example. The first analysis shows the static torque that the motor generates for various drive currents, which correlates closely with the test results from ORNL, while the next run obtains the cogging torque and torque ripple. The magnetic flux density images obtained from 2D and 3D models of the motor also exhibit a high degree of conformity, demonstrating the accuracy of the simulation.

Cost-effective pneumatic valve terminal

Festo has launched a new pneumatic valve terminal that delivers high performance in a compact and robust unit. The cost-effective VTUG multipin terminal is a simple-to-apply universal valve device that has many electrical connection options, giving machine builders and end users greater flexibility for ease of control and installation.

The VTUG gives excellent performance with a high flow rate and high pressure for its compact size and is ideal for food, beverage, packing, electronics, semiconductor and light assembly industries where assured performance is essential.

This valve terminal is connected and controlled via D sub or ribbon cable connectors for easy connection and simple system integration. This multipin connector can be easily swapped out for an iport connector allowing connection to the industry standard IO-Link network as well as to many Fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet protocols.

The valve terminal is also available with various pneumatic working port connection options including semi-inline, sub-base as well as a sub-base solution with working ports underneath, making it ideal for control cabinet installation as the manifold itself forms part of the cabinet. This enables the fast build of cabinets and saves on the cost of separate gland plates to get the tubing in and out of the cabinet.

It is a robust and reliable terminal and is available with up to 24 valve positions on a single valve terminal and with two 3/2 valves in one position you can achieve up to 48 functions on one manifold. Alternative products do not have as many valves on one manifold, and as a result, it saves cost and space as well as making machines easier to build.

The valves are suitable for low and high pressure operation, from -0.9 to 10 bar, and can support positive pressure and vacuum on one manifold thanks to being able to create multiple pressure zones on one terminal. This means that machine builders no longer need two separate manifolds, therefore saving cost and space.

Users can easily switch between external and internal pilot air without having to specify prior to building, making the terminal ideal for use with vacuum or low pressure applications. This flexibility means OEMs can change their mind during the build without ordering additional parts.

VTUG is robust and tough, with an IP40 or IP67 rating providing reliable operation in a wide range of environments and in ambient temperatures of up to 60°C, meaning that one standard product is suitable for all applications.

Festo’s VTUG pneumatic valve terminals operate with air filtered to 40 microns, so only one air filter is required in the air preparation system. With alternative products, air needs to be filtered three times, to five microns in particulate size. However, each time air is filtered, energy is lost, so as a result of using the VTUG, end users can increase energy efficiencies throughout their process.

VTUG is exceptionally easy to order using Festo’s online configurator. Users simply enter their specifications and the configurator produces one part number and a 2D or 3D CAD drawing. It is then delivered fully assembled in just one week.

“The VTUG is one of the most economic, reliable and simplest to use universal valve terminals with a long service life,” says Jacqui Hanbury, product manager at Festo. “It is pre-built and tested before being delivered, so it arrives ready to plug in, which means it is exceptionally easy to install, therefore saving time and reducing errors and risk of air leakage associated with having to build a terminal from separate parts.”

Integrator partner

Harting has signed an Integrator Partner Agreement with Tritec Systems Ltd with the intention of further developing sales and business opportunities for Harting’s RFID (radio-frequency identification) product range.

The partner agreement brings together the best qualities from both parties to benefit the end customers. Under the terms of the agreement, Harting will train and support the Tritec team in Harting’s family of ruggedised RFID tags, readers and software. Tritec Systems has over 20 years’ experience in the provision of RFID solutions for industrial automation and control systems, including systems integration and software.

Commenting on the agreement, Peter Hannon, Managing Director of Harting Ltd., said: “I am delighted that Tritec Systems has become our first systems integrator under this partnership program. We are greatly looking forward to increasing our reach and capability with this exciting product range. Tritec Systems is a perfect fit with their experience and expertise to make this happen.”

Gary Haines, Managing Director of Tritec Systems Ltd., said: “With Harting taking their uncanny ability to produce top quality products that are superbly designed and applying this to the RFID systems market, it was a simple and obvious choice for Tritec to partner with them. Together we believe we can provide excellence in both application and product knowledge. We look forward to working together with Harting to grow our penetration in this exciting market sector.”

Cool white light!


Marl has added a new cool white version to its popular range of large LED panel indicators for instrumentation and control panels.

Complementing the popular red, yellow, green and blue LEDs in the 671 Series, the new energy efficient cool white version has a luminous intensity of 890mcd from a current of just 20m/A. The high optical performance together with a long lifetime of 100,000 hours reduces maintenance requirements, including replacing lamps and downtime, to improve the reliability of the application.

The domed, colour diffused 20mm lens makes off-axis viewing easy, for the user to tell whether the LED is truly on and not just catching ambient light or sunlight. The durable black anodised housing is sealed to IP67 rating, providing total protection against dust and the effects of temporary immersion into liquid.

The 671 Series has a mounting hole of 25.4mm, is available as standard or high intensity, has a range between 24 to 230 volts AC/DC, and an operating temperature from -40 to +85 degree

Ideal for applications requiring intensive data analysis or processing.

NI unveils industry’s fastest PXI embedded controller with 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor

“At NI, we are continuously investing in the PXI platform and pairing it with the latest Intel processor offerings,” said Robert Canik, Vice President of R&D for Core PXI and distributed control at National Instruments. “The NI PXIe-8135 embedded controller is a great example of how our long-standing collaboration with Intel helps us give engineers advanced technology to address demanding test and measurement challenges.”

This introduction, the NI PXIe-8135 features the quad-core 3rd generation Intel Core i7 processor and USB 3.0 connectivity, making it the industry’s fastest PXI embedded controller. The NI PXIe-8135 helps engineers achieve shorter test times and increase automated test throughput, further advancing PXI instrumentation for high-performance test, measurement and control applications.

“The 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor being used in the NI PXIe-8135 embedded controller provides superior performance and next-generation I/O technologies to help meet the intensive processing demands of the latest automated test and control applications,” said Matt Langman, Director of Marketing for the Intelligent Systems Group at Intel. “Because of Intel’s processor architecture advancements, National Instruments can continue to deliver the highest performance possible for test engineers.”

Product Features

  • Use of the quad-core 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3610QE processor, with up to 3.3 GHz clock frequency, in the NI PXIe-8135 delivers up to 85% performance increase compared to NI’s previous-generation embedded controller.
  • USB 3.0 connectivity offers up to 10X faster instrument communication for transferring and storing data externally.
  • Four PCI Express x4 Gen 2 links interface from the embedded controller to the chassis backplane providing up to 8 GB/s of system throughput for high-bandwidth streaming applications.
  • Monday, September 17, 2012

    Three SMU models optimised for benchtop applications

    Enhance productivity from R&D to production test!

    Keithley Instruments  has introduced three new economical source measurement unit (SMU) instruments suited for benchtop and R&D applications to its Series 2600B System SourceMeter® SMU Instrument line, which now includes new capabilities that enhance productivity and ease of use. The test and measurement industry’s most powerful, fastest, and highest resolution SMU instruments now provide 6-1/2-digit resolution, software emulation of Keithley’s widely installed Model 2400 SourceMeter instrument and USB 2.0 connectivity.

    Three New Dual-Channel Models Offer Industry-Best Value and Performance
    For researchers, educators, R&D engineers, and others who must deal with ever-tighter instrumentation budgets, Keithley has added three high value, dual-channel SMUs to the Series 2600B line. The new Models 2604B, 2614B, and 2634B are optimized for benchtop research, product development, student labs, and other settings where tightly integrated operation and high accuracy are important, but leading-edge, system-level test automation is not. With these new models customized to the needs of these users, Keithley extends its leadership in SMU instruments. These new SMUs are also priced to fit as easily into a researcher’s budget as they do onto a benchtop.

    New Features Enhance Industry-Leading Productivity
    The Series 2600B SMU line offers both single- and dual-channel models that combine the capabilities of a precision power supply, true current source, 6-1/2-digit multimeter, arbitrary waveform generator, pulse generator, and electronic load in one tightly integrated instrument. The result is a powerful range of solutions that offer industry-leading productivity in applications ranging from benchtop I-V characterization to highly automated production test.

    The Series 2600B line provides a variety of features that enhance its performance and make it easier to use:
    • 6-1/2-digit measurement resolution. This allows Series 2600B instruments to provide industry-leading resolution (up to 0.1fA for the Models 2635B and 2636B), which is 100x greater than the closest industry competition. This higher level of resolution lets users discern smaller changes in their measurements, so Series 2600B instruments can provide for more complete characterization.

    • Model 2400 software emulation: The Series 2600B is compatible with test code developed for Keithley’s Model 2400 SourceMeter SMU instrument, which has been an industry standard for more than 15 years. This enables an easier upgrade from Model 2400-based test systems to Series 2600B, and can improve overall test times by as much as 80%. In addition, it provides a migration path from SCPI programming to Keithley’s TSP technology, which can improve test times even more. For complete support of legacy test systems, the Model 2400’s Source-Memory List test command sequencer is also fully supported.

    • USB communications with an external controller: A back-panel USB 2.0 connector expands the interface options available for communicating with an external PC. Series 2600B instruments give users the widest variety of PC communication busses from which to choose: USB, LAN/LXI, GPIB, and RS‑232. The addition of the USB connector offers users the flexibility to choose quick, economical, and easy-to-set-up PC communications.

    • Embedded Plug & Play I-V Testing: Series 2600B instruments are the only SMU instruments on the market that can offer embedded, Java-based test software that supports true plug-and-play I-V characterization through any web browser, on any computer, from anywhere in the world. This built-in software boosts productivity across a wide range of applications, including R&D, student labs, quality assurance/failure analysis, and many others. Users can easily make a web connection to a Series 2600B instrument with the supplied LAN cable, open a browser, enter the instrument’s IP address, and begin characterizing materials or components immediately. Results can be downloaded to a spreadsheet for further analysis or imported into a document or presentation.

    Built-in Tools for High Speed Test Automation
    The Series 2600B line builds upon the capabilities of its predecessor, the Series 2600A line, with which it is fully backward compatible. Key productivity features include the Series 2600B’s onboard Test Script Processor (TSP®), which embeds complete test programs into non-volatile memory within the instrument itself to provide the industry’s highest test throughput by eliminating the GPIB traffic problems common to systems dependent on an external PC controller. In addition, for large, multi-channel applications, Keithley’s TSP-Link® inter-unit communication and expansion bus works in tandem with the TSP to enable high speed, SMU-per-pin parallel testing. Because Series 2600B instrument channels are fully isolated and do not require a mainframe, they can be easily re‑configured and re-deployed as new test applications are developed.

    Base for enclosures

    New from Rittal the all new Flex-Block base/plinth for Rittal TS 8 and SE 8 floor standing enclosures offer many new benefits for customers.

    For time saving, Rittal’s new Flex-Block allows quick, tool free assembly of the fully symmetrical plinth; simple push fit of plinth infill panels and easier transportation of an enclosure with the infill panels removed.

    For improved efficiency Rittal’s new Flex-Block offers tool-less assembly of all base components, as well as installation of accessories such as mounting rails, levelling feet or castors; and is bayable using baying clip from behind into recesses provided, again with no tools required.
    For mounting surface, four fibreglass-reinforced poly-amide blocks are fitted to each corner. Blocks provide 100mm high base/plinth structure allowing for infill panel removal for transport and cable ways. A 25mm pitch for mounting rails allows standard cable management accessories to be utilised from the product range.