Friday, September 28, 2012

Pressure/DP Transmitters based digital resonant sensing!

The digital evolution continues with the release of the new industry standard for pressure measurement 

The new EJA series of pressure/differential-pressure transmitters is the latest addition to the Yokogawa range of industrial sensor products based on the company’s unique DPharp digital resonant sensing technology.

Targeted at mid-range applications in industries such as chemicals, petrochemicals, oil & gas, power generation and refineries, the new EJA offers an exceptional price/performance specification by adding new levels of functionality and performance compared with the original EJA. The first generation of the EJA series of transmitters was originally launched in 1994, and to date approximately five million units have been delivered to customers all around the world. Additional features incorporated in the new EJA series include multi-sensing capability, higher-speed response, safety as standard and a more user friendly indicator, all packaged in a more compact and lighter transmitter.

The multi-sensing capability means that a new EJA differential pressure transmitter will be able to simultaneously measure both differential and static pressure. A single new EJA differential pressure transmitter will thus be able to measure both the liquid level and the pressure in a tank: something that could only be done traditionally by using two pressure transmitters.

The response time - the time from the detection of a pressure change to the change in the output of an electric signal - has been brought down to 90 ms, which equals the capability of Yokogawa’s premium EJX series. This faster response time will now allow the new EJA transmitters to be used in high-speed applications such as turbine surge control.

The new EJA also complies with the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) IEC61508 standard on the functional safety of electrical/electronic devices and is suitable for use in safety integrity level (SIL) 2 applications in single mode and SIL 3 applications in dual mode. Independent certificates and reports, from both TUV and exida.com, come as standard to support this statement: a feature that is unique to Yokogawa’s DPharp sensing technology.

The compact and lightweight design of the new EJA transmitters means that they weigh 30% less than earlier models. At the same time, however, they have LCD indicators that are nearly twice the size of those on the earlier versions and provide comprehensive information on process variables, units and alarms.

New USB-configured 2-wire transmitters

Acromag’s new TT230 series of isolated transmitters are designed to provide easier installation and setup. These signal conditioners are only 12.5mm wide for high-density mounting on DIN rails and provide a convenient USB connection to a PC for simple, precise configuration using Windows software. A number of models are available to isolate and convert thermocouple, RTD, voltage or current input signals to a 4-20mA output. These two-wire instruments are loop-powered and support both source or sink output wiring connections on the current loop with a 12-32V DC supply. A ruggedized design features -40 to 80°C operation, electrical noise immunity, and surge protection. CE and UL/cUL Class 1 Division 2 Zone 2 hazardous location approvals are pending.

“The Acromag TT230 Series represents the latest innovations and state-of-the-art advancements in signal conditioning technology. Our two most exciting innovations include simple USB configuration and a universal sink/ source 4-20mA output to accommodate virtually any process measurement/control application. All units support both 4-20mA sinking (2-wire) and sourcing output (3-wire) device wiring to eliminate confusing model selection,” explained Don Lupo, process group sales and marketing director.

Each model accommodates a variety of signal types. Thermocouple units accept eight different sensor types (J, K, T, R, S, E, B, N), as well as ±100mV inputs. RTD units accommodate 2-, 3-, and 4-wire 100 ohm Platinum sensors or 0-900 ohm linear resistance inputs. Voltage models convert bipolar signals from ±10mV to ±150V DC with multiple selectable ranges. The current units are widely adjustable to support ±20mA, 0-20mA, and 4-20mA DC input signals.
All models deliver high accuracy, superior noise resistance and fast response times. They also demonstrate excellent linearity and stability with very low temperature drift. Software calibration eliminates zero/span pots, DIP switches, and pushbuttons for easy programming of ranges, over/under scale thresholds, and fail-safe settings.

Many other features add greater flexibility. Programmable over/under range and fault/alarm levels enable identification of a “runaway” process or broken sensor. Selectable up/downscale failsafe modes ensure a safe, predictable shutdown with a NAMUR-compliant fault response.

Acromag has designed and manufactured measurement and control products for more than 50 years. With a headquarters near Detroit, Michigan and a global network of sales representatives and distributors, Acromag products are sold worldwide. They offer a complete line of industrial I/O products including process instruments, signal conditioning equipment, data acquisition boards, distributed I/O modules, and network communication devices. Industries served include manufacturing, water services, power generation, mining, defense, and transportation.

Mobile app for fittings

Brennan Industries has introduced a mobile application that provides easy access to the Brennan product catalog and product cross-reference tool.

The mobile app, optimized for iPhone and Android devices, gives users quick access to more than 30,000 Brennan products, product comparison information and the company’s contact information.

Available here on their website, the app features an easy-to-navigate product catalog that is broken down by categories and includes specifications for each product. Also available through the app is the product cross-reference tool that allows users to compare Brennan products side-by-side with competitors’ products to determine the best value.

“When we were developing the Brennan mobile app, we wanted to give our customers a convenient tool to access the information that they need from their smartphone while they’re out in the field,” said Bill Jarrell, vice president of marketing and operations at Brennan Industries.

Mobile app users who want more information about Brennan or how to contact the company can find their nearest location, contact phone number and email address and a Brennan overview video conveniently through the app.

Test & inspection service ensures welds are fit for purpose

Usually regarded as the most economical way of joining two or more metal components, in terms of fabrication costs and materials usage, welding technology is central to many engineering and manufacturing processes, from producing wings and fuselages in the aerospace industry and platforms and pipelines in the energy and petrochemicals sector, to automotive and rail components, white goods and metal furniture. Since these welded joints are subject to various loads and fatigue during their service life, possibly giving rise to safety and quality issues, it is vital that rigorous testing and inspection procedures are applied, to examine the structure of completed welds and their conformation to specification, as well as determining the skill levels of the welding operators.

Keighley Laboratories offers a comprehensive weld testing and inspection service, including welding procedure consultancy and approval, welder qualification tests, on-site weld investigation and, through its newly-upgraded Test House, a complete range of destructive, non-destructive and metallography testing facilities.

Under the direction of Divisional Technical Services Director, Matthew Mellor, the weld test and inspection team’s resources are broadly divided between the specialist aerospace field, led by Peter Hanson, and general commercial welding, headed up by Jeremy Duignan, both of whom are fully qualified metallurgists. Unusually, Matthew, Peter and Technical Director, Keith Blower, are also approved by the Civil Aviation Authority as Weld Specimen Supervisors, able to witness and verify critical aircraft-related welding on the authority’s behalf and invigilate at customer sites.

Keighley Labs is UKAS accredited for weldment testing and certification across a growing list of professional specifications, including relevant commercial BS EN ISO and ASTM standards and aerospace primes like BAE, Rolls Royce, Westland Helicopters, Airbus, Bombardier and the CAA, with the final assessment process now underway for NADCAP approval.

The team is familiar with testing weld coupons only millimetres thick in titanium, aluminium, nickel and cobalt alloys and other exotic metals for aerospace fabricators, as well as carbon steel and stainless steel test plates several inches thick for commercial welders and manufacturers. It covers all forms of welded joint, including butt or groove welds, fillets, lap, edge and tee joints, corners and cruciform, both plate-to-plate and tube-to-tube in similar or dissimilar materials, which are produced using all manual and automated welding methods, from stick and oxy-acetylene techniques, to TIG, MIG, MAG and plasma arc, even brazing and soldering.

Keighley Labs employs a complete array of test and inspection procedures to qualify welding procedures, welding operators and welding processes, by examining completed welds to establish their quality, integrity and compliance with specifications. Non-destructive testing techniques extend from visual inspection to check for surface defects and weld sizes, through to magnetic particle, liquid penetrant and ultrasonic examinations for detecting surface and near-surface discontinuities invisible to the naked eye, locating weld leaks and any internal flaws, in addition to meeting specific codes and specifications. Radiographic inspection for determining the internal soundness of welds is also provided on a sub-contract basis.

Weld coupons are also examined for soundness, strength and toughness using a range of mechanical testing equipment in Keighley Labs’ on-site Test House, which includes a dedicated CNC machine for producing weld test plates from customer-submitted samples. Options here include Brinell, Rockwell, Vickers and Knoop hardness testing, for providing information about metallurgical changes caused by welding, weld bending for evaluating the ductility and soundness of welded joints, Charpy and Izod impact testing for measuring resistance to mechanical shock, and digital equipment for fatigue life testing.

In its newly-enlarged Optical Suite, Keighley Labs offers metallographic inspection of sections of welded joints, at macro levels up to 50x magnification and micro examinations up to 1000x, employing powerful stereo microscopes. Metallurgy is used to check the extent of the heat affected zone and any weld defects such as cracks, pores, swivels and lack of fusion. Meticulous surface preparation of samples is essential for revealing details of the microstructure and the suite boasts semi-automated precision cutting, grinding and polishing equipment.

With customers as far afield as South Africa and the Mediterranean, as well as closer to hand amongst the North West Aerospace Alliance, of which it is a member, Keighley Labs enjoys strong demand for its weld test and inspection services, with a track record of repeat business.

“We have a good reputation within the aerospace industry and amongst commercial fabricators and, given the increasing need to comply with welding procedures and employ skilled welding operators, it is an expert service that many customers and their clients value,” says Keighley Labs’ Peter Hanson. “Being independent, we have no vested interest in any particular welded joint, we’re just concerned with whether it passes or fails. If it fails, we can identify precisely why it did so and offer remedial advice for meeting the required specification.”

“A good looking joint was often considered a reliable indicator of a high quality weld, but surface appearance alone does not guarantee good workmanship, internal integrity and compliance with welding procedures,” he adds. “Nowadays, you need access to non-destructive mechanical and metallurgical examination techniques to judge whether a weld is fit for purpose and achieves the necessary acceptance criteria. And that’s what we do.”

Temperature profiling success stories online

Datapaq® has just digitally published Application Success Stories, an online anthology of end-user case studies describing the successful usage of Datapaq in-process temperature profiling products and systems in a broad range of industrial applications.

A sampling of the applications discussed in the digital publication includes: drying of contact paste in solar cell manufacturing, measuring the temperature profile of the drying/curing process of foundry feeding sleeves, HACCP validation for large cooked hams, and surveying multiple measurement points in the production of sterile silicone breast implants. A number of stories are also included for applications in the automotive industry.

Each success story presents a situational question, and details the solution and benefits achieved through implementation. The publication is available on the Datapaq website www.datapaq.com and can be viewed online on a computer or mobile device, and downloaded for later reading. In addition, Datapaq is running a special offer for new success stories submitted by end-users and published on the website. Visit our website to learn more.

Arlene Lucas-Starrh, Senior Global Marketing Communications Manager commented, "We are pleased to make these success stories available to those searching for a solution to their temperature profiling application. These are real customer experiences with our products, and users in similar circumstances will be able to find an answer that is relevant to their needs."

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Ethernet interfaces include patch cables

Harting has expanded its har-port family of service interfaces with RJ45 Ethernet versions complete with patch cables already fitted. As a result, users will no longer need a socket, as would be the case with versions incorporating an RJ45 coupler and separate patch cables.

The new interfaces are available with cable lengths ranging from 0.2 m to 5 m. They are designed for 1/10 Gbit/s Ethernet, and meet the requirements of transmission category Cat.6/class EA.

The har-port product range now covers service interfaces for RJ45 and USB, available as coupler versions or versions with fitted cables. These are complemented by an extensive range of accessories including protective covers and name plates, providing the user with all the conventional interfaces needed for switch cabinets, machines and other applications with easy access from the outside.

Shovel vibration

Collaboration brings improved reliability that can reduce downtime of massive shovels

Emerson Process Management has entered into an agreement with P&H Mining Equipment Inc. of Wisconsin (USA) the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile mining equipment, to extend vibration monitoring to P&H mining shovels. Emerson’s onboard monitors will recognise excess vibration in key shovel components and notify operators in real time – enabling users to take corrective action in time to prevent unexpected shutdowns and possible damage to the huge excavating machines.

The global agreement covers continuous vibration monitoring of the hoist, crowd, and swing systems on P&H Centurion® controlled shovels. Vibration monitoring will be offered on all new P&H shovels, and all existing Centurion controlled shovels can be retrofitted to include vibration monitors.

Emerson has broadened the CSI 6500 system’s monitoring capabilities from rotating equipment to recognise and capture non-repetitive vibration in mining machines. Vibration data captured online by permanently installed sensors and multiple CSI 6500 Machinery Health™ Monitors will be integrated with the onboard P&H PreVail® Remote Health Monitoring System. The online data will also be continuously fed to Emerson’s AMS Suite predictive maintenance software, which works in concert with the PreVail system to spot potential operating issues.

The PreVail system currently monitors key operating parameters such as motor currents, temperatures, and drive information. An onboard historical database enables troubleshooting of suspected problems and predicting future performance. Information from shovels operating anywhere in the world is transmitted through P&H’s MinePro network to its headquarters in Milwaukee for diagnostic and consultative support as needed.

"Emerson and P&H see an impressive opportunity to make users aware of potential problems, and we’re investing together to make that a reality," said Ron Martin, Vice President/General Manager of Emerson’s Asset Optimization and Lifecycle Care business. "Our technology enables early and accurate detection of anomalies for users whose equipment operates round the clock in harsh, often remote environments."

"Emerson’s AMS Suite and our PreVail monitoring systems fit together very well," said Bob Hicks, Manager of Product Technology at Joy Global, parent company of P&H Mining. "Both are designed to raise early warnings of potential trouble, but they cover different aspects of shovel operation. Emerson’s patented method of processing vibration data preserves peak amplitudes of stress waves emitted by deteriorating equipment. Our analysts find this information very helpful in trending and evaluating fault development."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Industrial software in 3D!

The Siemens Industry Automation Division has now acquired a number of software companies and, in so doing, has consolidated its leading position in the industrial software market.

The latest expansion is the acquisition of VRcontext, Brussels, (B). The announcement was made at the Digital Plant Congress in Würzburg,(D). With its Walkinside product family, VRcontext is one of the leading developers of 3D visualization and training software for displaying complex engineering data in the shipbuilding and plant construction industries. This acquisition will help Siemens to further strengthen its established position in the industrial software market. The parties agreed not to disclose details of the purchase price.

VRcontext was founded in the year 2000 and is represented around the world by numerous strategic partners, dealer networks and a branch office in Houston, Texas, USA. Walkinside 3D visualization software is currently in use in plant operation, maintenance and servicing in more than 200 companies in over 30 countries. Whatever the system used, the software directly accesses all plant information to display the current status of a plant in visually appealing, realistic 3D graphics. VRcontext has specialized particularly in remote offshore installations for the oil and gas industry.

With Walkinside, the company has created a globally accepted standard for 3D visualization in the process industry. "The integration of the Walkinside 3D visualization and training software of our long-standing partner VRcontext into our industrial software portfolio will benefit our customers significantly. Using intelligent 3D models can make plant engineering and operation safer and more efficient in many sectors of the industry," said Eckard Eberle, CEO of the Siemens Industrial Automation Systems Business Unit, to which VRcontext will be assigned.

Walkinside will be the perfect supplement for Comos, the Siemens software solution for holistic plant management, in providing fast access to 3D engineering data from the basic and detail engineering phases. A standard interface links Comos bidirectionally with Walkinside. The geometric elements from a virtual reality model are linked to the latest plant information throughout  the entire plant lifecycle. Highly complex plant models can thus be represented realistically in three dimensions, with Comos acting as a global data center. As a result, up-to-date plant data is always available as a 3D model in all lifecycles and can be used not only for engineering and monitoring purposes, but also for operation and training. Service and maintenance work can be planned efficiently and maintenance times reduced.

Running out of space!

First came Stuxnet with the gradual realisation that this was a serious threat to industrial automation. And remember that was only in July 2010! As the ramifications of this started to set in more and more articles, blogs and opinions on it were published.
Professor Peter Frohlich of Beldon expressed it well, “Stuxnet has demonstrated what experts have long feared – the entry and penitration of embedded computer systems into all areas of industry means that we now all face a potential risk from computer malware.”

We commented a few times in our blogs as the realisation of what a threat this represented for the first time to industrial processes. There were so many papers, and opinions being published that we decided to inaugurate a page entitled "Stuxnet-process-cyber-security-threat-links!"

Soon however we learned of various sons and daughters of Stuxnet and so we renamed our page rather unwieldingly, if there is such a word, "Stuxnet, Duqu, Flame, Gauss and all that!" But our hackers are producing new dangers with various names that to continue adding the name of the latest threat as it occured would lead an impossibly long page name.

So what are we doing about it?

We've decided to rename the page yet again as "ICS & SCADA Security" and leave it at that.

We've just added a link to Tofino's latest item which is on the distructive Shamoon virus which has wreaked havoc in Saudi Arabia.

Tank farm automation

Elimination of trenching and long-distance cabling reduces material and labour costs, as well as engineering and project execution time
Wireless integrates Raptor tank gauging to expand tank farm automation
Tank farm automation is now easier, faster and less costly with the integration of Emerson Process Management’s Rosemount® Raptor tank gauging systems and Smart Wireless technology. System installation costs can be reduced up to 50 per cent by wirelessly connecting the tank farm to the control room, with the added benefit of reducing implementation time by as much as 60 per cent. The savings free up budget for expanded automation of tank farms.

The Raptor system with Smart Wireless technology, features a complete line of Emerson’s new ‘state-of-the-art’ Rosemount® tank gauging components, including high precision radar gauges that use self-configuring, 2-wire, high speed FOUNDATION™ fieldbus technology. The combined communications technologies enable use of a wide range of standardised equipment. The resulting Raptor system forms a network of digital intelligence that improves inventory management, loss control, overfill avoidance, and maintenance efficiency throughout the plant.

Many tank storage facilities that could benefit from modern, non-contact gauging currently use obsolete signal wiring, or are not connected from the tank storage area. Retrofitting an obsolete gauging system is expensive and time consuming because the distance between storage tanks and the control room can be more than one kilometre, requiring extensive trenching and cabling.

As a result of budget restrictions, some plants continue to experience maintenance problems caused by communications limitations and low performing mechanical tank gauges and instruments. Now, with Smart Wireless technology, a new radar-based Raptor system can be installed without new long distance signal wiring. This will radically reduce material and labour costs, as well as engineering and project execution time.

"The wireless-empowered tank gauging systems are effective in new installations or for upgrading existing sites," commented Mikael Inglund, Technical Product Manager, Emerson Process Management. "Our customers struggle with the costs of replacing aged wiring, obsolete measurement instruments, and proprietary gauging systems. Our wireless Raptor systems give them the flexibility and freedom to implement an effective modernisation strategy. They can be changed out and wirelessly integrate new gauging systems one tank at a time. Most upgrades are done without taking the tank farm out of service."

Emerson’s Rosemount brand is the global market leader in tank gauging systems. The systems are custody transfer-approved and can be applied on many types of storage tanks, including fixed roof and floating roof tanks. Applications range from light products such as LPG, LNG and gasoline, to heavier products like crude oils and asphalt.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Temperature monitoring

Temperature monitoring system now supports industrial rugged analog communication

Raytek has expanded its MI3 product line for non-contact temperature monitoring by a new communication box with four analog outputs that are galvanically isolated from the power supply as well as from each other. The new 6TE DIN rail communication box connects up to four MI3 sensing heads. Each signal output can be configured as 0/4..20 mA current or 0..5/10 V voltage output. Users can thus easily update existing measurement points to state-of-the-art non-contact infrared technology from Raytek, without any changes to the communication infrastructure.

The new analog box features an optically isolated relay output and a USB interface for comfortable pre-configuration. Each of the four analog outputs can be assigned to each sensing head, transmitting either measurement temperature or internal head temperature. The modular MI3 system provides very cost-efficient solutions especially for applications with multiple measuring points.

In addition to the analog box it includes a choice of digital communication boxes, optionally with Modbus and Profibus interfaces or fully sealed in an IP65-rated metal housing. Unique features of the complete line include digital communication from sensor to communication box, multiple sensing head design with up to eight sensors per communication box (for the boxes with digital outputs), automatic head registration for plug and play, and – directed particularly at OEMs – the world’s smallest stand-alone infrared pyrometer in a 28 x 14 mm stainless steel sensing head. MI3 sensors are more dynamic and versatile than any in their class, covering the full temperature range in one wavelength model. Long wavelength (8-14 µm) models are available for measurement ranges of -40 to 600 °C and 0 to 1,000 °C. A special sensor for glass measures temperatures from 250 to 1,650 °C at 5 µm. Short wavelength sensing heads with integrated laser sighting for 500 to 1,800 °C (1 µm) or 250 to 1,400 °C (1.6 µm) provide highly accurate measurements even in case of emissivity changes. The robust MI3 sensors have excellent EMC characteristics and can be used in ambient temperatures of up to 120 °C – that no extra cooling is required simplifies installation and cuts costs.

Raytek furthermore supplies the dedicated DataTemp MultiDrop software including many sophisticated functions and complementing the MI3 system as a valuable solution for all kinds of applications, e.g. printing, food processing, asphalt production, plastics processing, and machine condition monitoring.

Interface Module for load cell conditioner

Bridge completion module enables broader application of strain gauge amplifier

Mantracourt have announced the release of a Bridge Completion Module (SGABCM), a small retro-fit PCB which facilitates connecting a half or quarter-bridge strain gauge to their SGA Load Cell conditioner.

An important feature of the Bridge Completion Module is that it is easily installed. It simply screws into the existing load cell connector on the SGA amplifier module. It also has on-board screw terminal connections that accept a wide range of bridge completion resistors, enabling on-site installation without soldering equipment.

Mantracourt's market leading SGA Strain Gauge Amplifier is a high performance signal conditioner for single or multiple strain gauge bridge sensors such as load, force, pressure and torque. The SGA offers a wide bandwidth and a wide input signal range. The device can be powered from AC or DC supplies providing excitation for up to 4 x 350 ohm strain gauge bridges.

"In many ways, this is a small and simple device, but it is enabling engineers to connect an increasingly diverse range of sensors to our amplifier module," said Kelly Voysey, Sales and Marketing Manager at Mantracourt. "The Bridge Completion Module is a good example of how our engineers are working with instrumentation professionals around the world, helping to develop truly effective measurement technology."

The quarter bridge strain gauge circuit, together with its completion resistor can be wired for compression or tension (stretching) giving a positive output and half bridge strain gauge devices are simply connected to the BCM module via the screw terminals, with no additional components required.

The Bridge Completion Module has high stability resistors (5ppm/°C) fitted for the ‘fixed’ arms of the bridge, and screw terminals are provided for a ‘Shunt Calibration’ shunt resistor to be fitted, to periodically check the integrity of the strain gauge(s), wiring and calibration. A ‘Remote Shunt Calibration’ can be performed by energising a miniature 24V relay fitted to the BCM. Multiple SGAs in an installation can be shunt calibrated simultaneously.


Optical time-domain reflectometers

Yokogawa has added four new models to its AQ1200 Series of handheld multi-function OTDRs (optical time-domain reflectometers), bringing the total number of products in the range to seven. The new instruments, which include one triple-wavelength model and three high dynamic range versions, are particularly relevant to FTTx (fibre to the home etc.) applications, and mean that Yokogawa can now offer a complete product line up to satisfy virtually all the differing requirements for installation and maintenance testing of the various types of optical fibre networks in different European countries.

The new AQ1200E is a triple-wavelength instrument that offers testing at the standard in-service wavelengths of 1310 and 1550 nm for testing network quality at the installation stage. In addition, for maintenance test purposes and to prevent interference with in-service signals on active networks, a third wavelength of 1625 nm is used in conjunction with a cut-off filter. As a result, it provides a complete cost-effective package for both installation and maintenance applications on live networks.

The other three new models - AQ1205A, AQ1205E and AQ1205F - are high dynamic range versions, and all provide up to 42 dB dynamic range for operational testing in passive optical networks (PONs) incorporating up to 64-way splitters. The AQ1205A offers wavelengths of 1310 and 1550 nm, while the AQ1205E and AQ1205F are triple-wavelength models, each with two ports: one for the communication wavelengths and the other for the maintenance wavelength.

A new feature in the AQ1200 Series is the measurement assist function, which incorporates a macro bending search capability, multi-trace analysis, an event marker edit mode, and a multi-core measurement function. In addition to the standard OTDR and fault location functions, the AQ1200 Series offers a number of options including visual fault location, optical loss testing with a light source and an optical power meter, and an Ethernet “ping” test.

Even though a large, easy-to-see 5.7-inch colour LCD display is incorporated, the instruments are small (A5 size) and lightweight (1 kg) for ease of field use.

I.S Vibration analysis!

ATEX Zone 0 approval enables users to safely monitor critical machinery health in hazardous areas

The CSI 2125-IS Machinery Health Analyser from Emerson is an intrinsically safe vibration analyser. It is certified for use in intrinsically safe IECEx and ATEX Zone 0 and Zone 1 hazardous areas. It also expands Emerson’s route-based machinery analyser portfolio so that users can access predictive diagnostics from hazardous areas of their operation. This enables users to make better decisions around machinery health for their entire plant, without compromising safety.

The CSI 2125-IS delivers similar route vibration analysis capabilities that users already expect from Emerson’s CSI 2130 Machinery Health Analyser and also includes Emerson’s patented PeakVue technology, providing the earliest indication of bearing and gearbox wear. It is the first intrinsically safe vibration analyser with PeakVue analysis capabilities.

Users of the CSI 2125-IS can customise alarm parameters and integrate collected data with AMS Suite asset management software for deeper analysis and collaboration with other machinery health technologies like oil and infrared analysis. The integration of field data with asset management functionality delivers an in-depth view of machinery condition and enables economical prioritisation and planning of corrective action.

The instrument is compact, lightweight, can operate for up to eight continuous hours, and features a touch screen for easy use in the field.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wire harness software

EPLAN has taken over the development and sales rights to Harness Expert, the established 3D/2D software for wire harness engineering. The contract between software developer Linius Technologies and EPLAN Software and Service was signed in June of this year. This extension to its range will allow EPLAN to offer its customers even more comprehensive support for all aspects of cable project management.

Providing considerable potential in the domestic and international markets the strategic purchase of the Harness Expert software will allow EPLAN to tackle new segments of industry, including apparatus engineering, rail and specialist vehicle technology, aviation, telecommunications and medical technology. This new software is the perfect compliment to EPLAN Electric P8, the company’s own CAE solution, which has previously handled the engineering of single wires and sheathed cables in the control cabinet and field components.

New environmental face

As a result of recent growth, environmental instrumentation company Quantitech has added a further engineer to the company’s service team. Phillip Grant has 11 years of experience as an aerospace engineer, in addition to two years of experience as a field service engineer in the calibration and maintenance of gas monitoring equipment.

Commenting on the need to expand Quantitech’s service team, Technical Director Jim Monaghan said “The volume of service contracts that we deliver has grown considerably recently so we have made further investments in our resources for technical advice, installation, service, calibration and maintenance.The addition of someone with Philip’s experience will further enhance our service capability and we are delighted to welcome him to the team.”

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.”