Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wireless monitoring for regulated industries

The monitoring of laboratory, manufacturing or warehousing processes can be labour intensive, involving activities such as collecting and checking data for irregularities and creating reports. Hanwell Instruments have developed a radio telemetry monitoring system, Radiolog, to simplify this task: a base station connects to a server and collects accurate, reliable data from sensors, freely located around the building. The most common parameters measured include Temperature, Relative Humidity and Differential Pressure. The combination of highly robust Radio Protocols, precision sensors and a featured enhanced software package provides a complete environmental monitoring solution at a moderate cost. Users can view both real time and historic data, and alarm parameters can be set to notify users of potential problems. Further, the Radiolog system includes software which conforms to CFR21 Part11 regulations on electronic records and signatures.

Full system IQ / OQ validation protocols have also been developed for the Radiolog system enabling clients to validate and qualify systems with minimum effort. The latest hardware and software designs utilise network communications to create flexible and expandable options, taking advantage of the increasingly connected world. This includes Hanwell’s Radiolog sr-2, a new solution for large and/or multiple sites. Instead of collecting the data at one point, it allows it to be amassed via radio at several locations across a site, utilising Local or Wide Area Network (LAN or WAN) sockets. It can also be used to simultaneously collect data from multiple sites, such as a main building and an outlying store, with all the data displayed as part of the same system. This can be further expanded, with the use of GPRS, and easily used on a much larger national or international basis.

Radiolog Smart is the latest progression of the Hanwell Windows 32bit software. Using the collected data from sensors, such as the sr-2, Radiolog Smart utilises the analysis tools within the software to produce summaries, statistics, graphs and reports. The system administrator can control other users’ access by means of user profiles so each user sees the relevant sensors for their area and an integrated mailing feature means that users can be notified of pertinent alarms via email, voice messaging or SMS.

The need for system calibration and validation is of paramount importance to all industries adhering to today’s quality and regulatory standards. Working in partnership with Instrument Technology, Hanwell have developed the Radiolog System to address these requirements. Utilising Instrument Technology’s patented ’C-Sense’ Calibratable Temperature Sensors and Ametek ATC Series Dry Block Temperature Calibrators the accuracy, stability and calibration of the system is unsurpassed in the field.

Advanced Monitoring System

P.J. Boner & Company supply, install and calibrate an advanced Wireless Monitoring System from Tektroniks, A typical system comprises of a base station, wireless sensors and if necessary wireless repeaters (range extenders). The wireless sensors sample the monitored factor and send it wirelessly to the base station. If the wireless sensor is not in range of the base station, an optional wireless repeater can be used to forward the message.

The Base Station receives the wireless data and reviews it against set parameters as defined by the customer. If the data falls outside the defined parameters the Base Station activates an alarm notification. All data and alarm notifications are stored to its on-board memory for review at a later date.

The Base Station is a totally stand-alone monitoring system that can be networked via a standard network connection or broadband modem. Networked Base Stations have the ability to email alarm notifications and daily reports. Data can be accessed, viewed and graphed using any standard internet browser.

The systems do not require a dedicated PC or expensive computer software.
The DATAcentre can receive data from up to a maximum of 120 Tektroniks Wireless Sensors, a vast array of environmental factors can be easily monitored.

Friday, October 19, 2012

New man at helm in Britain & Ireland

Stuart Brown has been appointed as General Manager, United Kingdom and Ireland with Emerson Process Management. He takes over from Paul Smith who, after three years at the helm, is appointed as Emerson Vice President Middle East and Africa.

Since joining Emerson in 1995 as Business Unit Manager for Daniel Measurement & Control, Stuart has held multiple roles within the company. Most recently he was Business Leader for the Remote Automation Solutions organisation in Europe. Stuart has over 20 years’ experience in the process industry, starting his career at AMEC.

"It’s an exciting time to become General Manager of the UK and Ireland organisation. The processing industry in the UK has faced a tough few years, but we are now seeing growth return to the sector and Emerson is perfectly placed to help meet the industries challenges," said Stuart Brown. "Our customers recognise the value our experience, technology and levels of support can provide by way of reduced risk, lower cost of ownership, increased availability and reliability."

"Customers are placing increasing levels of trust in our ability to manage and execute their large scale automation projects," said Bob Sharp, European President, Emerson Process Management. "Stuart’s extensive experience with key customers will ensure the UK organisation continues to deliver outstanding project execution and lifecycle support."

Embedded monitoring products

National Instruments has two new products which will help engineers monitor machines, heavy equipment and aging infrastructure. Engineers can integrate the wireless sensor network (WSN) strain node and C Series module with NI CompactRIO for predictive maintenance to predict faults, analyze fatigue, lower operating costs and decrease downtime.

WSN 3214

The NI WSN-3214 strain/bridge completion node features hardware-timed waveform acquisition and is ideal for wireless structural health monitoring of bridges, buildings and equipment.

With expanded voltage range, faster sampling rates and higher integrated electronic piezoelectric (IEPE) excitation, the NI 9232 C Series module is a data acquisition card optimised for industrial accelerometers, tachometers and proximity probes in condition monitoring applications.


“With NI wireless sensor networks and the new WSN strain node, we can easily monitor critical structures without excessive cables,” said Sharon L. Wood, professor and department chair of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. “We use WSN nodes that are programmable with LabVIEW for onboard analysis of strain data to achieve an in-depth understanding of structural response.”





Humidity and temperature sensor with impressive new features

Specially designed for HVAC, the EE160 sensor by E+E Elektronik is a cost-effective, highly accurate and reliable solution for measuring relative air humidity and temperature.

The precision of their advanced sensor technology is combined with the latest manufacturing technologies to create a product with an outstanding price/performance ratio.

The enclosure minimises installation costs and provides outstanding protection against contamination and condensation, thus ensuring flawless operation.

The EE160 employs the new humidity/temperature E+E sensor element HCT01 with excellent long term stability and resistance against pollutants. In combination with a long calibration experience, the EE160 provides a measurement accuracy of ±2.5%RH and is available for wall or duct-mounted with current, voltage or Modbus RTU output.

A configurator makes it possible to freely select the scaling of the temperature output and configure the Modbus parameters. The configurator software, which is free of charge, allows additionally for an on-site adjustment of the humidity and temperature.

• E+E Elektronik are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.


Connector hood with angled cable outlet

Harting has introduced a new hood with an angled cable outlet for its innovative Han-Yellock® industrial connector.

The new hood is designed with the shape of the human hand in mind, and enables optimum housing clamping operation. In particular, it makes it easy for untrained personnel to carry out perfect connections. The risk of faulty operation is reduced, and operating convenience is increased.

The division of the hood into two makes it easy to gain access to the electrical contacts, allowing servicing and testing to be carried out efficiently.

This type of housing has a range of applications covering M20, M25 and M32 cable entry points.

The result is an optimally designed interface for use in operator consoles, input devices, displays and support arm systems.

Safety and user friendliness in process instrumentation.

CombiSeries sets new standards in process instrumentation

Baumer's CombiTemp (li.) and CombiPress
with new CombiView display provide
safety and user friendliness in process
instrumentation.
Baumer is taking functionality, safety and flexibility in process instrumentation to a whole new level with its new CombiSeries. The first two models in this new series, namely the CombiPress pressure transmitter and the CombiTemp temperature gauge are already available for the market. Both products can be combined with the new CombiView display generation and thus provide maximum customer benefit. Together with the stainless steel hygienic housing that was also newly developed, the measuring instruments can be set up and utilized according to the individual needs of the user, for example, in the food industry.

The CombiView display is impressive with its presentation of all necessary and desired information at a glance. In terms of the display's visual mode, the user can choose from several different types: analog, digital or illustration. The large display also means that users can read the measured values even from increased distances. Furthermore, the background color of the display works like a traffic light system (red/green), depending on whether the measurement results have reached a critical value that requires user intervention. It is incredibly easy to change the settings using the touchscreen display even while the process is running.

The respective housing completes the impressive functions of the new product series. With its protection class IP 69 K and entirely stainless steel design, the hygienic version can withstand even the toughest conditions. In addition, its ability to pivot around two axes facilitates even more installation flexibility.

Reliable and precise measurements are provided by the CombiPress pressure transmitter between -1 and 400 bar and by the CombiTemp temperature gauge between -50 and +400 degrees Celsius.

Analytical integration

Direct connection for analysers and multivariate data analysis; one of the first interfaces based on new OPC specification to reduce complexity and improve manufacturing processes

ABB has introduced an extension to its System 800xA integrated control system based on the new OPC-ADI specification that will simplify communication with process analysers and multivariate data modeling programs.

System 800xA now features Analyser Device Integration Connect (ADIc), a device interface that allows System 800xA to integrate with analysers and chemometric predictors. ABB developed ADIc based on the OPC Analyser Device Integration (OPC ADI) specification, an information model that defines a common method for data exchange for process and laboratory analysers. It is an extension of the OPC United Architecture (OPC UA) specification. System 800xA has a 10-year history of integrating industrial devices into a unified process control environment. Now, with ADIc, System 800xA is enhanced with advanced predictive analysis capabilities by leveraging the Unscrambler® X ADI Insight Server from CAMO Software. The Unscrambler® X ADI Insight Server applies powerful multivariate models to data collected from analytical instruments and/or standard process values within the System 800xA environment. It is the first multivariate data analysis (chemometric) software to follow the OPC ADI specification.

“System 800xA is all about integration. ADIc is another step towards incorporating islands of intelligence, such as analysers, into a single automation environment,” said Tobias Becker, head of ABB’s Control Technologies business. “ABB takes this further by adhering to the OPC ADI specification to demonstrate that System 800xA’s analytical device integration is fast yet secure, reliable and standards-based.”

“With this leading-edge process tool, customers can harness data from analyser devices to improve overall process efficiency and product quality,” he continued.

Complex industries that are heavy users of analyzers, as well as industries that implement Process Analytical Technology (PAT) and Quality by Design (QbD) initiatives stand to reap benefits from this System 800xA extension.

ADIc also supports the integration of analyzers to manufacturing systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Execution System (MES), including production management systems such as ABB’s cpmPlus.

Precision process calibrator

Fluke Calibration has introduced the 7526A Precision Process Calibrator, which combines versatility, precision, and value into a single benchtop process calibrator.

The 7526A simplifies calibration of temperature and pressure process instrumentation by incorporating an isolated measurement channel, allowing you to source and measure simultaneously. Easily calibrate RTD and thermocouple readouts, pressure gauges, temperature and pressure transmitters, digital process simulators, data loggers, multimeters and more.

In today’s competitive global markets, precise pressure and temperature process control is required to maintain product quality, reduce waste, cut manufacturing costs, and ensure compliance to regulatory standards. The 7526A Precision Process Calibrator puts all the necessary tools for regular process instrumentation calibration into one box.


The calibrator simulates and measures nine RTD and thirteen thermocouple types, accurately measures pressure to within 0.008 percent of reading when combined with Fluke 525A-P Series Pressure Modules, sources and measures dc voltage from 0 to 100 V to within 0.004 percent of reading, sources dc current from 0 mA to 100 mA, accurately measures dc current to within 0.01 percent from 0 mA to 50 mA, and supplies 24 V dc loop power.

• These Fluke instrumentas are marketed in Ireland by Irish Power & Process.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Automation and manufacturing

Need to foster global manufacturing growth, innovation and collaboration!

By advancing the science of automation and developing the capabilities of automation professionals, the International Society of Automation (ISA) is poised to play an active and vital role in initiatives to stimulate growth, innovation and collaboration in worldwide manufacturing.


"We want to help drive the next wave
of global manufacturing." Gouhin
That was the principal message delivered by Patrick Gouhin, ISA’s Executive Director and CEO, speaking this week at the World Manufacturing Forum 2012 conference in Stuttgart (D) where more than 400 manufacturing executives, experts and policy-makers from 44 countries offered and discussed solutions to global manufacturing challenges.

Amid the backdrop of a worldwide economic slowdown, conference participants explored strategies for energizing worldwide manufacturing activity and encouraging cross-border collaboration and innovation.

“ISA is extremely excited to be actively involved in this international dialogue,” states Gouhin. “We are convinced that automated, intelligent and digital manufacturing systems in the capable hands of well-trained, knowledgeable automation professionals throughout the global industrial supply chain can be powerful assets for companies looking to increase efficiency and boost innovation.”

As global value chains become increasingly linked, and competition for limited energy resources and raw materials mount, technological innovation combined with a skilled workforce are regarded as critical to fostering sustainable economic growth around the world.

“Automation technologies enable manufacturing firms to realize maximum value through return on investment, and increased throughput, productivity, quality, resource management and safety,” Gouhin says.

The World Manufacturing Forum focused on improving five manufacturing technology platforms: sustainable manufacturing and occupational safety; energy efficiency; key technologies; standards and interoperability; and education.

“ISA can contribute to improving each of these technology platforms,” Gouhin notes. “Through our involvement at this event, we hope that our capabilities will receive greater global exposure, which will in turn lead to new opportunities and collaboration.”

By developing worldwide automation standards, certification, publications and training, ISA is a prime technical and supportive resource for industry and manufacturing within all countries.

“We want to help drive the next wave of global manufacturing,” Gouhin indicates. “Of course, having a skilled, educated workforce will be essential. Here again, ISA is taking a leadership position by establishing the Automation Competency Model (a formal description of the knowledge, skills and abilities required to become an automation professional) and recommending degree programs at both two- and four-year academic institutions.”

Before joining ISA, Gouhin served as Chief Operating Officer of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and as the first Vice President of Operations and Technology Transfer for the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) at Langley Research Center.

New thermal imagers!

Two new thermal imagers have been added by Fluke to its latest range of Ti1xx and TiR1xx Series of thermal imagers which have been specifically designed to help professional users do more in less time, in the harshest of environments. Positioned between the entry-level Ti100 and the higher specification Ti110 and TiR110, the new Fluke Ti105 Thermal Imager is designed for plant maintenance and troubleshooting technicians, industrial and commercial technicians, HVAC/R professionals and electricians who need to maintain and inspect electrical and mechanical equipment and components, while the Fluke TiR105 is for facilities managers, building inspection and energy audit professionals evaluating and reporting insulation problems, air leakage, moisture issues, or construction defects. Weighing just 0.73kg, each thermal imager is light and balanced to sit perfectly in the hand. All buttons are within gloved-thumb reach and the imager is light enough to aim either vertically or horizontally and to use for long stretches without tiring.

The new Fluke Ti105 and TiR105 feature IR-Fusion® technology, Fluke’s patented-technology which blends digital and infrared images into a single image to precisely document problem areas. They come complete with SmartView® professional IR analysis and reporting software, a professional suite of analysis and reporting tools for viewing, annotating and editing infrared images. Also included are an adjustable hand strap for left or right handed use, an SD memory card, a USB cable for PC image download, a lithium ion removable and rechargeable smart battery, an AC charger/power supply with mains adapter for battery charging and AC operation, a hard carrying case, a soft transport bag and manuals..

The higher-end Fluke Ti110, Ti125, TiR110, and TiR125 thermal imagers feature extra breakthrough capabilities including IR-OptiFlex™ focus system, which offers automatic focusing with a manual focus option for close-ups; IR-PhotoNotes™ annotation system, which allows the capture of up to three digital photos per thermal image file, enabling the exact recording of equipment models, nameplates and other useful information; voice annotation; and multi-mode video recording, which allows the user to record focus-free video in visible light and infrared with full IR-Fusion capabilities - the user can monitor processes over time, troubleshoot frame-by-frame, and create infrared video reports; and electronic compass capture, helping to track the location of a problem.

New camera for embedded machine vision applications

Stemmer Imaging can now offer vision system developers and OEMs a new level of power and flexibility to develop their own embedded imaging applications. Teledyne DALSA’s new series of ‘Icon’ user programmable cameras combines Teledyne DALSA’s expertise in sensors, cameras and image processing with off-​the-shelf development tools and libraries. This creates an embedded vision system platform that offers developers extensive control of the hardware and image data.

The new Icon series uses high-​quality colour and monochrome sensors with high sensitivity and supports resolutions up to 1600 x 1200 pixels. An open platform for developing imaging applications is provided using either the embedded Sapera Vision Software Development Kit (SDK) or third party software. The Sapera Embedded Vision SDK provides a suite of integrated image capture and processing libraries and contains a set of optimised image processing functions such as tools for reading bar codes, OCR recognition, blob analysis right up to contour and geometry search and calibration functions. Experienced users can also create applications using Microsoft Visual Studio on Microsoft Windows CE embedded applications for the Icon series camera.

In order to efficiently process images and to analyse data swiftly, the Icon series uses a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 and C64x + DSP processor running Microsoft Windows CE advanced real-​time operating system. These features combined with their low power consumption and compact design makes the Icon series the ideal processing platform for integrated image processing

Fieldbus with Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF)

The Fieldbus Foundation  has released an updated version of its FOUNDATION™ for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) technical specifications. The specifications now include support for FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 (31.25 bit/s) dual-mode devices employing powerful field diagnostics capabilities, which greatly simplifies the process of developing field instrumentation employing the SIF protocol.

FOUNDATION fieldbus, with its industry-proven distributed function blocks and open communications protocol, is an ideal platform for advancing standards-based safety instrumented functions. Its technology enables process end users to reduce both capital and operational costs significantly, and FOUNDATION for SIF has the potential to greatly improve plant and process safety through superior advanced diagnostics at both the device and network level.

The FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions protocol was approved by TÜV Anlagentechnik GmbH to meet the requirements of IEC 61508 up to, and including, Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3. Process automation end users have clearly stated their desire for FOUNDATION for SIF technology because of its reduced footprint, reduced installed cost, and advanced diagnostics capabilities. Most of the failures related to safety systems do not happen within the logic solver, but can be traced to failures at the field device or control valve. FOUNDATION for SIF provides the most sophisticated diagnostics for safety devices and a truly digital path for safety devices.

With the dual-mode H1 device capability, instrumentation manufacturers can bring new safety products to market without having to design two entirely different devices. Developers can implement H1 devices with SIF features activated or de-activated. More importantly, this means that plants will only have to stock one type of device that can be used as either a process device or a safety device.

When SIF mode is selected, the device will behave as specified by the SIF specifications; otherwise, it will function as a normal H1 instrument. To ensure conformance to safety standards, the two modes cannot run concurrently in the same device.

The latest FOUNDATION for SIF specifications release includes a number of updates to the System Architecture, Application Model, Protocol, Function Block and Device ITK Profile specifications to make this all possible. It also includes a new application note on macro cycle calculation.

Multiple FOUNDATION for SIF pilot projects are taking place at locations around the world with different end users. These companies, along with other major end users, are encouraging the automation equipment industry to develop safety-approved products for their initial installations.

Field sales engineer for Switzerland

Christian Metzger has joined AdoptSMT Swiss AG as their Field Sales Engineer covering Switzerland and will be responsible for their wide product range of spare parts and consumables for the PCB Assembly industry.

Christian Metzger grew up and still lives in the part of Switzerland where the German speaking and French speaking areas meet and is fluent in both languages. He gained a lot of industry experience at a solder machine manufacturer, a pick and place manufacturer and for the last ten years at a precision solder rework machine manufacturer.

Erhard Hofmann, founder and managing director of AdoptSMT Europe GmbH and AdoptSMT Swiss AG, notes: “We are very pleased to have found Christian Metzger through our wide European network. He fulfills all the attributes we had on our wish list: language skills needed for the Swiss market, a great technological background and the ability to listen to our customers, understand their needs and find solutions together with the team of the AdoptSMT Europe Group and our suppliers.”

Wolfgang Bloching, regional sales manager DACH of Indium Corporation, adds: “After a first week with Christian at Swiss customers I am convinced he is the right person to achieve our goals for this important market.” Indium Corporation had appointed AdoptSMT Swiss AG as their distributor in Switzerland for all their Printed Circuit Assembly products including solder paste, wire, and rework fluxes beginning in August.

Saudi agreement

Corporate Procurement Agreement reflects strong commitment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia -

Yokogawa’s significantly reinforced presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is leading to close cooperation with Saudi Aramco.

On the 2nd October 2012, Yokogawa Saudi Arabia and Saudi Aramco signed a Corporate Procurement Agreement (CPA) that encompasses all the services Yokogawa provides to Saudi Aramco. This agreement is a testimony to Yokogawa’s strong presence in Saudi Arabia. The CPA with Saudi Aramco covers equipment supply, project management, engineering, spare parts, and maintenance services. It greatly simplifies the process by which Saudi Aramco purchases process automation equipment from Yokogawa. Yokogawa is the first automation vendor to sign such an agreement with Saudi Aramco.

Dhahran Techno-Valey
Following through on its commitment to its customers in the Kingdom, Yokogawa has doubled the size of its facilities in the Dhahran Techno-Valley. In addition to engineering and project execution capabilities, the expanded facilities allow Yokogawa to manufacture specific components of its control systems and to strengthen its research and development activities.

Under the Saudi government’s Nitaqat Program, Yokogawa is in the top Platinum Saudization tier, and will firmly remain at this level in the future. The current workforce of 300 at Yokogawa Saudi Arabia includes a large female engineering team. This team supports not only Saudi projects but also projects in other GCC countries.

“With the true and sincere support of the Saudi government, customers, and academia, Yokogawa Saudi Arabia has successfully executed many process automation projects in the region”, said Shuzo Kaihori, President and CEO of Yokogawa Electric Corporation.

Through these projects, Yokogawa has developed the capabilities of many Saudi engineers and technicians by deploying and fully involving them in every facet of project execution, and will remain in the Kingdom with a workforce that has the knowledge and expertise to support its installed base throughout its lifecycle.

Since April 2007, Yokogawa has been providing a one-year Graduate Engineer Training Program and shorter internship programs that are specially tailored to the needs of the Saudi job market, targeting recent graduates and students of Saudi universities and colleges such as King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), Jubail Industrial College (JIC), and Yanbu Industrial College (YIC). So far nearly 130 Saudi trainees have benefited from these programs, which have included visits to Yokogawa global engineering centers in Japan, Singapore, and the Netherlands.

Mr. Kaihori appreciates the contributions made by the Saudi engineers, saying, “I am not exaggerating when I say that Yokogawa Saudi Arabia’s operation owes much of its success to the central role played by these Saudi personnel.”

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Consistent work processes

Emerson expands breadth of assets supported within AMS Suite

Emerson Process Management has announced expanded asset support in the AMS Suite predictive maintenance software application, providing users with a more comprehensive asset management application. Connectivity is established to PROFIBUS PA devices, which expands the list of assets users can integrate into AMS Suite to enable a consistent maintenance approach. In addition, AMS Suite now supports both Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and FDT/DTM, to provide users with a single application to support the full capabilities of all their devices.

The addition of PROFIBUS PA provides a complete PROFIBUS solution with the DeltaV™ automation system, and the capability already available for PROFIBUS DP devices. PROFIBUS DP and PA support on third party hosts is also available via the Softing FG PROFIBUS family of interfaces.

Users are easily able to launch HART® and FOUNDATION fieldbus Device Type Managers (DTMs) via the DTM Launcher application, provided as a standard part of AMS Device Manager. Support for DTMs is the first step in providing Field Device Integration (FDI)-compliant products within AMS Suite. FDI is the convergence of field device management options into a unified standard to give users a single common solution for managing information for field devices.

Expanded asset support gives users the ability to choose devices based on the best fit for their application, regardless of the manufacturer or communication protocol. "Our users need the right information at the right time and want to be able to access that information in a consistent manner," said Ron Martin, vice president/general manager of Emerson’s Asset Optimization and Lifecycle Care. "We are committed to openness and full support of industry standards to give our users the ultimate freedom in choice, and a consistent way to manage and maintain their assets without compromise."

Mobile plant management

An ever increasing number of users are enjoying the benefits of engineering software for mobile plant management. Modern web and sharepoint technologies offer users increasing flexibility in terms of global collaboration, help to improve the quality of information, enhance efficiency and save time.

Siemens has now extended its plant management software Comos by the inclusion of a solution for mobile data and document utilization in the form of an iPad app entitled Comos Mobile Document Review.

Users can now edit, review and release plant documentation and manage revision statuses anywhere, anytime with the aid of editing and redlining features – whether on business trips, in meetings or during tours of inspection. Documents from the Comos database are transmitted via a web server in pdf format to the Comos user’s iPad where they are edited offline. Available redlining functions include freehand drawing, insertion of comments and integration of photos taken on site. Once redlining has been completed, a pdf is created and the file returned to the Comos database for further processing.

The Comos App is intuitive to use and can be operated without any prior knowledge of Comos engineering software. All newly loaded documents are immediately visible and their management is simplified by the use of favorites functions.

The App is available in Chinese, German, English and French, and can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store. It works best on the 2nd or 3rd generation iPad.

Eight channel mixed-signal oscilloscope

500 MHz instrument offers comprehensive measurement capabilities for embedded, automotive, power and mechatronics applications –

The DLM4000 from Yokogawa, is the industry’s first mixed-signal oscilloscope to feature eight channels. Combining the large screen and 8-channel capability of their earlier 8-channel DL7480 oscilloscope with the mixed-signal technology of the company’s pioneering DLM2000 Series, the new instrument is ideally suited to test and debugging applications in the embedded systems, power electronics, mechatronics and automotive sectors.

“As intelligent control permeates more and more sectors of the industry from consumer electronics to industrial drives, the signals that engineers need to look at for testing become faster and more complex”, comments Terry Marrinan, Yokogawa’s Vice President, Test & Measurement, for Europe & Africa: “As a result, the four analogue channels of the traditional oscilloscope are no longer adequate to address these challenges – hence the need for an 8-channel instrument like the DLM4000.”

The DLM4000 Series comprises two models, with bandwidths of 350 and 500 MHz and a sampling rate of 1.25 GS/s (gigasamples per second), expandable to 2.5 GS/s with interleaving. The channels can be allocated as eight analogue channels or seven analogue channels plus one 8-bit digital input. A future option will add 16 more channels of logic to allow seven channels of analogue plus a 24-bit digital input.

The new instruments feature exceptionally long memory (up to 62.5 M points per channel and 125 M points in interleave mode), allowing both long recordings and multiple waveforms to be acquired. A history memory function, which does not reduce the oscilloscope’s high waveform acquisition rate, allows up to 20,000 previously captured waveforms to be saved in the acquisition memory, with any one or all of them displayed on screen for cursor measurements to be carried out. Waveforms can be displayed one at a time, in order, or automatically played back, paused, fast-forwarded or rewound. The history memory in combination with the advanced waveform search features enables users to capture and see the details of anomalies on individual waveforms when their characteristics are still unknown.

Advanced measurement and analysis features include histogram and trending functions, digital filtering, zoom windows, user-defined mathematics and serial bus analysis.

The instruments incorporate a large (12.1-inch) high-resolution XGA display, and yet are housed in a compact body which is less than 18 cm deep and weighs just 6.5 kg, similar to smaller 4-channel oscilloscopes . The display is enhanced by a fine grid, high luminance and viewing angle, and on-screen markers with simultaneous display of cursors and automatic parameters. Other features include backlit buttons, additional knobs and jog shuttle, on-screen information in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish languages, two zoom windows with 80:20 or 50:50 zoom/main area split, and a choice of first-cycle or screen average mode for frequency measurement.

The DLM4000 Series comes with a variety of easy-to-configure triggers combining analogue and logic inputs such as edge, enhanced and B-triggers. These include dedicated trigger functions for FlexRay, CAN, LIN, UART, I2C and SPI serial bus patterns as well as the ability to perform simultaneous analyses on two different buses operating at different speeds. This capability is enhanced by the extensive search facilities, allowing the user to look for specific data in the very long memory.

Wireless for inductive sensors

Wireless transmission module for inductive sensors.

Many mechanical and plant engineers are aware of the problem, for example, in order to query a position, an inductive sensor needs to be attached to a moving machine part. The power and signal cables are extremely complex to lay, however, requiring drag chain cables or abrasive wheels.

This task is easier using a new development from the steute business Wireless range. What is needed is the tried-and-tested inductive sensor from .steute, combined with a new wireless transmission module connected to the sensor via a plug-in connector.

The equally compact and robust module can be mounted very close to the sensor. It transmits the signals emitted by the sensor to a receiver unit, usually installed in the switchbox, via the EnOcean protocol which is both well-established and compatible for industry. Here steute provides different versions, with one, two or four channels. A repeater can also be added.

The distance between the transmitter module and the receiver can be up to 30m indoors and up to 300m outdoors. Power is supplied to the transmitter module by a longlife battery.

Even in adverse environments containing radiating surfaces and other wireless systems, as are often found in industrial firms, these wireless sensors guarantee a high level of transmission security.

The cylindrical wireless inductive sensors are available in three sizes – M12, M18 and M30 – all of them in flush or non-flush versions. In addition, the universal transmitter module can also be connected to other types of switchgear and sensors in order to make them suitable for radio transmission.

New EMEA VP appointed

Region sees rapid product, technology and resources growth

Honeywell  Sensing and Control (S&C) has named Remi Volpe as Vice President-General Manager for S&C’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA). In this role, Remi will strengthen the region’s alignment to S&C’s global business goals and is responsible for driving continued growth in the region.

Remi Volpe
“EMEA is an important region for Honeywell S&C, and what happens here has a global impact,” said Tony Sugalski, President S&C. “I am confident that Remi is well-prepared to provide the ongoing leadership we need in EMEA, and to grow our business with current and new customers.”

“S&C will also increase its sales, marketing and engineering workforce throughout the region, a result of the growth opportunities in EMEA, an aggressive schedule of new product releases and a focus on key industrial, medical, transportation and military/aerospace customers,” Sugalski said. The new teams will work with equipment manufacturers, as well as with established and new distributor and channel partners in EMEA.

“S&C continues to invest in industry-leading new products and platforms, so one of our first initiatives will be to help support these new technologies with increased application engineering, marketing and sales efforts in EMEA,” Volpe said. “We have an exciting product portfolio which forms the basis to continue to provide great value to our customers.”

Based in Rolle, Switzerland, Volpe has more than 20 years of Honeywell experience. Prior to joining S&C, he served as the EMEA Marketing Director-buildings and CentraLine business leader for Honeywell’s Environmental & Combustion Controls (ECC) business.

Wireless lowest power consumption

WirelessHART & internet protocol wireless sensor networks achieve industry’s lowest power consumption at less than 50µA per Node

Linear Technology’s Dust Networks® product group introduces the SmartMesh™ LTC5800 (system-on-chip) and LTP5900 (module) families, the industry’s lowest power IEEE 802.15.4E compliant wireless sensor networking products. SmartMesh ICs and modules enable tiny sensor “motes” to be designed with a battery life of over 10 years, while companion network manager components enable the development of highly robust and secure wireless sensor networks (WSN).

SmartMesh networks use a “triple-play” of wireless mesh technologies—time diversity, frequency diversity, and physical diversity—to assure reliability, resiliency, scalability, power source flexibility and ease-of-use. At the core of this technology is an intelligent mesh network with advanced algorithms and power saving technologies that enable powerful features unavailable from other WSN providers. These include deterministic power management and optimization, auto-forming and self-healing mesh technology, zero collision low power packet exchange and scalability to large, dense, deep networks.

Two communication standards are supported: the SmartMesh IP™ version is compliant with the 6LoWPAN standard, providing native IPv6 addressability to every node. The new SmartMesh WirelessHART IEC62591 compliant products double the battery life over the prior release.

The SmartMesh family consists of several products to simplify system development. The LTC5800 system-on-chip (SoC) includes robust sensor networking software in an easy-to-integrate 72-pin 10mm x 10mm QFN package. The LTC5800 integrates all radio circuitry components, including an onboard power amplifier and an ARM Cortex M3 32-bit microprocessor, requiring only power, ground and an antenna for robust wireless connectivity. The LTP5901/LTP5902 mote modules provide an easy-to-integrate surface-mount printed circuit board (PCB) that has undergone FCC, CE and IC modular radio certifications. The LTP5901 module includes an onboard chip antenna, while the LTP5902 module includes an MMCX antenna connector.

Joy Weiss, President of Linear Technology’s Dust Networks product group, stated, “Our primary goal is to enable our customers to confidently place sensors anywhere data needs to be gleaned. The advent of SmartMesh WirelessHART systems and the addition of IP-enabled wireless sensor networks reflect Linear Technology’s continued commitment to that goal.”

Bob Karschnia, Vice President, Wireless for Emerson Process Management, and business leader of its SmartWireless product line, stated, “Dust Networks is unique in its intense focus on simultaneously delivering ultralow power and extremely reliable wireless networks. We have over 1 billion hours of successful operation of Emerson’s SmartWireless instruments in the field, utilizing Dust Networks’ SmartMesh WirelessHART components. We are very excited about the promise of the LTC5800, providing twice the battery life and enabling new applications within the industrial process market.”

Mark Housley, CEO of Vigilent, stated, “The data center environment is extremely harsh to RF, and our customers demand that our energy management and data center analytics systems are deployed with minimum disruption to the data center. Dust Networks-based wireless sensors help ensure that Vigilent technology will continue to deliver solutions for mission-critical facilities with no impact on data center operations.”

SmartMesh WirelessHART was purpose-built to serve the extraordinary low power and reliability requirements of the industrial process market. These attributes serve the needs of many diverse applications, and SmartMesh IP maintains comparable performance while adhering to the 6LoWPAN standard.

Professor Steven Glaser, with University of California, Berkeley, is responsible for the ambitious SierraNet program, enabling measurement of temperature, humidity, snow depth, soil moisture, and solar radiation levels in remote environments using SmartMesh-enabled sensors. He stated, “Our goal is to provide accurate, remote environmental monitoring to track the status of California’s water supply. With a SmartMesh IP IPv6 routing node able to run at under 50µA average power consumption, SmartMesh IP represents a new paradigm for sensor networking, combining the ease of web programming with the long life and reliability of Dust Networks’ industrial products.”

All SmartMesh networks are centrally managed, which provides comprehensive security and network management capabilities. The SmartMesh WirelessHART manager (LTP5903) can support up to 500 nodes per network, SmartMesh IP managers can support up to 100 nodes per network, and multiple instances of SmartMesh subnetworks can be deployed side-by-side to create very large networks.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cool blue!

Rittal Blue e cooling units – how they can benefit you

Rittal’s Blue e cooling units have the same nominal cooling output, physical size and cut-out dimensions as the equivalent Rittal Basic cooling unit and can realize energy savings of up to 45%.
Prices of the vast majority of Blue e cooling units have been reduced from 1 September 2012. The maximum premium compared to the equivalent Rittal Basic cooling unit being 10%. In fact, the Blue e cooling unit is actually the more cost effective solution in 8 instances.

With additional monitoring functions on the 7-segment display that include high condensate level warning, clogged filter mat alarm, enclosure internal temperature and any error messages, the health of the cooling unit can be checked at a glance.

Suites of enclosures that are not divided internally may require multiple cooling units to function as a system. Using the SK BUS system, up to 10 Rittal Blue e cooling units may be connected together in a master and slave configuration.

Adjustment of the minimum cooling setpoint of 20°C and the switching hysteresis in the range 2 10 K, which governs when the unit switches off, is both quick and easy using the buttons mounted on the fascia of the controller. Passcode protection serves to both restrict access and prevent accidental adjustment.

Rittal’s RiDiag II is a useful setting up, diagnostic and data acquisition tool that may be used in conjunction with the TopTherm Blue e cooling unit. Not only does it allow operating settings to be viewed and adjusted, this software can also be used to log equipment data and track performance indicators in real time, displaying them in a graphical format.

Attractively priced oscilloscopes!

Feature 70MHz models, full serial bus decode, advanced triggering

Tektronix has introduced the attractively priced MSO/DPO2000B Series of oscilloscopes that put advanced debug features within easy reach of engineers and educators. The new oscilloscopes make it easier than ever for engineers – even those on very limited budgets – to gain all the debug advantages of full serial bus decoding and triggering.

These oscilloscope feature bandwidths from 70 MHz to 200 MHz. With industry-leading 1 M point record lengths, they make it easy to find events of interest in long records using Tektronix’ innovative Wave Inspector to perform manual or automated search. Reflecting the wide application of serial interfaces in electronics designs, the new series lowers the cost of serial decode, trigger and search modules by more than 50 percent compared to previous models. In addition, the cost of adding 16 digital channels is lower than before. Cost of ownership is further reduced with an industry-best 5-year warranty.

The use of electronics has exploded in nearly every industry over the past few years. Now as consumers have become more sophisticated, the pressure is on electronics engineers to offer increased functionality in everything from automobiles and consumer devices to industrial controls and medical systems. In turn engineers, technicians and educators, often operating with limited budgets, require more capable test instrumentation to keep abreast of the growing demand.

“The MSO2000 oscilloscope offers an absolutely impressive array of features like intuitive operation, high-quality probes and simple to use software modules,” said Julian Lana-Sarrate, Senior Electronics Engineering Technologist at LSTS. “Using the Wave Inspector and the 1M point recording I barely had the scope out of the box and I was able to store and drill down to a single noise glitch in a multi-byte transmission sequence. The protocol analyzer works perfectly too. Now I just run a single shot sweep and almost instantly the byte values appear superimposed over the relevant sections of the waveform.”

Within the Tektronix family of oscilloscopes, the new lower-end MSO/DPO2000B Series oscilloscopes give customers using Tektronix TDS2000 Series oscilloscopes an easy upgrade path to a more capable instrument with such features as a 7-inch widescreen display, 1 GS/s sampling rate on all channels and a flexible TekVPI probe interface. The new oscilloscopes are also ideal for education environments where instructors need to keep the classroom and lab experience consistent with real-world industry trends.

For systems designers focused on meeting technical and business program objectives, the MSO/DPO2000B Series provides the performance and features engineers need to validate, characterize and debug complex component and system level issues in embedded designs. This includes decode, trigger and search support for common serial buses including I2C, SPI, RS-232, CAN and LIN. The oscilloscopes also provide advanced triggers to capture anomalies in digital systems including runt pulses, setup and hold violations and rise or fall time violations. All that functionality is packed into a portable 7 lb., 14 oz. package with a small footprint just 5.3 in. deep.

“Tektronix has long maintained a strong leadership position in the entry-level oscilloscope segment. Customers in embedded design, education, service and repair, and manufacturing test rely on our oscilloscopes to bring their electronics products to market,” said Dave Farrell, general manager Mainstream Oscilloscopes at Tektronix. “By adding new models, lowering prices and offering a more complete feature set than the competition, we’re confident that customers globally will continue to embrace Tektronix as their preferred supplier of cost-effective electronics test instrumentation.”

Fluorescence spectrometer

The FLS980 fluorescence spectrometer just launched by Edinburgh Photonics is for steady state, lifetime and phosphorescence measurements in photophysics, photochemistry, biophysics, biochemistry and semiconductor physics. Building on the success of the well-established FLS920 instrument, the FLS980 is a high performance, fully automated modular spectrometer for use in both fundamental research and routine laboratory applications. Improved sensitivity, sample handling, optics and control and analysis software are combined in an instrument that offers outstanding technical performance and flexibility for luminescence spectroscopy.

Enhanced optics include high stray light rejection monochromators, a 3-fold increase in monochromator options, and computer-controlled filter wheels for higher order removal to allow accurate measurement of spectra without higher order distortion. Instrument sensitivity is doubled compared to the FLS920, with a S/N of 12000:1 measured on the Raman spectrum of distilled water using single monochromators. This allows measurements of even lower sample concentrations and the use of smaller sample volumes.

Instrument modularity is reflected in a large sample chamber with 6-axis access to the sample and an improved ‘plug and play’ system of sample holders. A wide choice of sample holders allows easy configuration of the instrument for specific applications. With an extensive range of laser light sources, flashlamps and detectors available for the FLS980, spectral measurements can be made from 200nm to 5µm and with time resolution from a few picoseconds through to seconds.

A single, ultrafast data acquisition module accommodates any combination of light sources and detectors and provides easy set up and operation for Time Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC), Multi-channel scaling (MCS) and spectral scanning alike.

A new, fully integrated, user friendly software package provides hardware control, performance monitoring, data acquisition, data analysis and data manipulation for all measurement modes. Full software set up and reconfiguration of sample holder options is provided. With advanced correction, measurement and analysis facilities, experiments can be readily designed from the PC. USB connectivity between the spectrometer and the PC brings fast data processing, module control and operation. Live profiles can be observed on screen as they are acquired before data manipulation and analysis.

Wireless in building automation in Europe

Demand for operational mobility and flexibility drive industrial wireless devices adoption

Since its initial introduction on the plant floor, wireless technology has evolved and so has the perception of industrial wireless among end users. Wireless devices are no longer seen solely in terms of wire replacement but, more importantly, as a critical part of plant optimisation processes.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of Wireless Devices in European Industrial Automation Market, finds that the market earned revenues of €167.6 million ($218.0M) in 2011 and estimates this to reach €414.9 million ($539.5m)in 2016.

“Wireless devices reduce maintenance costs, boost productivity and improve quality of production,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Anna Mazurek. “At the same time, initial implementation does not require vast restructuring or expensive machinery replacement. This combination of plant optimisation, quick return on investment and easy installation is highlighting the benefits of industrial wireless automation.”

Industrial wireless devices optimise the working of plant equipment through better asset allocation and monitoring machine health. They support plant staff with constant data access and easy communication. Constant and instant access to real-time data also supports enhanced operational flexibility and mobility.

However, the perception of wireless devices as a non-critical improvement threatens to limit penetration levels. The technology provides end users with connections that are often already covered by wires and likely to last another decade. Moreover, plant managers do not yet perceive wireless technology as the harbinger of significant production process improvements.

“End users need to realise that wireless technology not only replaces wires but has the potential to reshape and optimise production process,” remarks Mazurek. “Vendor efforts to promote the technology have fallen short, particularly among the more reluctant potential wireless adopters.”

Wireless devices manufacturers need to educate end users not only about basic technological features, but also on the full range of usage benefits and opportunities offered by wireless communication.

“Most importantly, end users will need to be educated on how the technology can be tailored to address their particular needs,” advises Mazurek. “The market needs another 4-5 years of pilot applications and technology trials to address all pending concerns about the technology performance and convince end users on the advantages of deploying industrial wireless devices.”

On-board weighing standardised

CAN in Automation (CiA) has released the first version of the CANopen profile for on-board weighing devices. The standardized interface allows an easy integration into CANopen-based body builder networks. They are installed in commercial trucks (e.g. refuse collecting vehicles), mobile construction machines (e.g. excavators), agriculture and forestry vehicles as well as special-purpose off-road vehicles (e.g. for airports). Typical applications include bulk haulage, waste management, quarries, and logging.

Refuse Collection Truck
The CiA 459 profile specification consists of three parts.
Part 1 contains the general description and provides a functional overview.
Part 2 specifies the communication parameters and
Part 3 standardises the application parameters.

An on-board weighing devices compliant to this specification collects sensors values from load cells, pre-processes them, and provides the monitored weighing data at the CANopen interface for further evaluation, recording and for overload protection systems. Such a device can monitor the load, can measure the axles’ weight, and can transact the weighing (including legal for trade measurements) values.

The nonprofit CiA users’ and manufacturers’ group develops and maintains the CANopen application layer and profiles since 18 years. CANopen is used in many industries including mobile working machines and other application fields, in which on-board weighing is necessary. The CiA 459 profile specifies a communication interface with standardized communication (e.g. MPDO) and application parameters (e.g. device command).

The next step of CiA is to standardise also the interfaces for load-cells, in order to link these sensors by a sub-layered deeply embedded CANopen network. This allows the integration of third-party sensors.

Kick-back for stories!

Foundation seeks applications that go beyond handheld device configuration and routine device diagnostics

The HART® Communication Foundation is seeking end user applications that demonstrate the use of the HART Communication Protocol beyond device configuration and routine device diagnostics and will give a Leatherman® Kick multi-tool to users who provide details of those applications. Users are asked to complete a simple online questionnaire and, if their application uses HART Communication for full-time access to valuable device and process information, they will be eligible to receive a free Leatherman.

“Like a Leatherman, the HART Protocol is field-proven, easy-to-use, flexible, cost-effective, and reliable—one of the most dependable tools in your toolbox,” says Ron Helson, Foundation executive director. “One of today’s business challenges is finding better ways to do more with the assets and devices you already have. If a plant is using HART technology to meet that challenge, we want to know about it.”

The Foundation is seeking information on how end users are using HART Communication—wired or wireless—to improve performance and reduce costs. Information submitted through their website will be reviewed by the Foundation and stories that demonstrate innovative application of the technology beyond device configuration may be selected to receive a Leatherman Kick multi-tool.

“We believe that today, many users are getting significant benefits by using HART technology to help lower operating cost and improve plant operations. We are asking these users to come forward to tell their story so that others in the automation industry may benefit from their experience,” Helson says.

Head of Irish Government opens Automation Group's US HQ

During his visit to the US last week,  Mr Enda Kenny TD, Taoiseach, (Head of the Irish Government) officially opened the new US headquarters of Zenith Technologies (Zentek Automation US, Inc.), on Friday last (12th October 2012) in Bluebell, Montgomery County (PEN USA) The Taoiseach was on a trade visit to the United States.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny (left) with
Zenith Founder Brendan O'Regan
at official opening of the US
Headquarters
Zenith Technologies, whose global headquarters are at Ringaskiddy, Cork, is a leading Global Automation and MES Engineering company principally servicing the lifescience industry. Zenith currently employs over 370 people in 14 offices worldwide, with 50 people based in US offices at Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and California.

Founded in 1998, Zenith expects to double its workforce over the next two years having hired an additional 65 people in Ireland this year alone.

The company provides System Integration, Manufacturing Execution Systems, Managed Services, Consultancy, and ELearning to a large and diverse client base including Amgen, Baxter, BMS, Dow, Grifols, GSK, Merck, Novartis ,Pfizer, and Sanofi.

It was founded in 1998 by Brendan O’Regan and now the company has worldwide revenue of $50M, and US revenues of over $12M. Mr. O’Regan also announced the launch of two new products in the US market on Friday; the Zenith Managed Services Model (ZTMS) and the cloud based Incident Control Room(ICR) offering.

Speaking at the opening, An Taoiseach said:‘I am delighted to officially open Zenith Technologies US Headquarters. Zenith is a leading Irish high-technology company that is achieving strong growth in the US market. Zenith’s success in this highly competitive market is a clear demonstration of how an ambitious company, with an innovative, specialist offering, can compete at the highest levels internationally.
‘It is companies like Zenith that will drive the export growth that will underpin Ireland’s economic prosperity and support valuable Irish jobs. I congratulate Zenith on their operation here in Pennsylvania that will allow them to grow their business in the US market and indeed worldwide’.

The founder and CEO of Zenith , Brendan O’Regan, said: ‘I am delighted to have the Taoiseach of Ireland Enda Kenny TD here today to open our new US headquarters and mark this very significant milestone in our company’s development.

‘I am also very pleased to be announcing the launch of two new products in the US market, the Zenith Managed Services Model (ZTMS) and the cloud based Incident Control Room(ICR) .

‘The Zenith Managed Services (ZTMS) model has been delivering a valuable product in the European region since 2006. This model was developed in response to the Life Science industry requirements to efficiently manage its automation support and optimise the cost of ownership in IT and automation systems. The Managed Services is a new departure for Zenith in the US and is built upon firm experience and successful delivery of value in the European Pharmaceutical Market.

‘The Incident Control Room (ICR) provides independent processes and methods for handling a variety of site incidents encountered during complex processing of pharmaceutical products’, he said.

The Headquarter's opening was attended by a large number of clients and Zenith staff, and US public representatives including Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz and State Representatives Kate Harper and Brendan Boyle.

The company is supported by Enterprise Ireland, the body responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets.
L to R:  Dermot Moynihan, Director, Zenith Technologies, Jim Lehane, Regional Director USA, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Brendan O'Regan, CEO, Zenith Technologies and Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Collins

Picoammeter

Keithley Instruments has introduced a dual-channel picoammeter with dual ±30V independent, non-floating bias sources and 1fA measurement resolution. The Model 6482 Picoammeter, the latest addition to Keithley's popular line of sensitive instrumentation, provides two independent picoammeter/source channels in a 2U, half-rack enclosure, allowing simultaneous 6-1/2-digit measurements across both channels. It offers twice the channel density available from other high speed, high accuracy picoammeters for easier control and data aggregation and a lower cost of ownership, as well as higher measurement accuracy (±1% on the 2nA range) and a wider dynamic range (1fA to 20mA) than competing single-channel picoammeter/source combinations. At 4-1/2-digit resolution, users can take up to 900 readings/second on each channel.


Wide Range of Applications

The Model 6482 is suitable for a wide range of applications related to characterizing electronic materials and devices designed for low current operation in laboratory, R&D, and manufacturing settings. Applications include:

• Manufacturing component test
• Dual diode testing
• Semiconductor component testing
• Multi-pin component testing
• Dark current measurements
• Ion beam monitoring
• Electron microscopy
Wide Dynamic Measurement Range
The Model 6482 offers low current measurement ranges from 2nA to 20mA in decade steps.
This wide measurement range ensures high sensitivity and resolution for the growing number of low current applications that require making measurements at multiple points simultaneously.

High Accuracy Dark Current Measurements
The Model 6482's 2nA current measurement range is ideal for measuring dark currents and other low currents with 1fA resolution. Once the level of dark current has been determined, the instrument's REL function automatically subtracts the dark current as an offset so the measured values are more accurate for optical power measurements. For measuring the dark currents of photodiodes or other light-sensitive components, the Model 6482's front panel display can be switched off to avoid introducing light that would interfere with getting accurate results.

Ratio and Delta Measurements

The Model 6482 can provide ratio or delta measurements between the two completely isolated channels. These functions can be accessed via the front panel or the GPIB interface. For test setups with multiple detectors, this capability enables targeted control capabilities.

Interface Options
To speed and simplify system integration and control when building multi-instrument test systems that require tightly coupled sourcing and measurement, the Model 6482 provides the Trigger Link feature, as well as standard GPIB and RS-232 interfaces. The Trigger Link feature combines six independent software selectable trigger lines on a single connector for simple, direct control over all instruments in a system. This feature is especially useful for reducing total test time if the test involves a sweep. To make it easier to transfer measurement results from the Model 6482 to other instruments, a scaled 0-10V analog output simplifies transmitting data to DMMs, data acquisition boards, oscilloscopes, strip chart recorders, and other devices.

Programmable Limits and Filters
The Model 6482's current and voltage limits can be programmed to ensure device protection during critical points such as start of test, etc. It also provides Average and Median filters, which can be applied to the data stored in each channel's separate 3000-point buffer memory.

Adjustable Noise Protection Options
For applications that demand the highest measurement sensitivity, the Model 6482 has rear panel triax inputs for making triaxial cable connections to minimize electrical noise. For less stringent applications, the included triax-to-BNC adapters allow making connections with less costly BNC cables.


Whence energy?

Future Energy: Opportunities and Challenges

Tom Kerlin retired as head of the Nuclear Engineering Department at the University of Tennessee in 1998, after serving on the faculty for 33 years. His professional interests include instrumentation, nuclear reactor simulation, and dynamic testing for model validation. He has published extensively on these topics. 

In addition to his university service, Dr. Kerlin founded a spin-off company, Analysis and Measurement Services Corp., to provide the nuclear industry with the testing capability that he invented for safety system sensors. His method has been used hundreds of times in nuclear power plants throughout the world. Upon retiring, Dr. Kerlin studied the literature on energy production and use and concluded that there was a need for a comprehensive book on our future options that even non-specialists would understand. This book is the result.

The entire world faces daunting questions about how energy is produced and how it is used. Conservation and improved energy efficiency can help in reducing energy requirements, but cannot halt the steady increase in energy consumption. Increasing world population and increasing energy appetites in emerging economies are creating competition for energy resources for all nations.

The possibilities for future energy production include fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal, oil sands, and oil shale), biofuels, solar, wind, hydroenergy, geothermal and nuclear (probably fission and possibly fusion). Each of these sources has relative advantages and disadvantages. The problem is to produce enough sustainable energy while avoiding unacceptable environmental consequences, especially climate change.

This new 644 page book will help in informing decisions about which energy production technologies to support and which energy use technologies and lifestyle options to implement.

Future Energy: Opportunities and Challenges
by Thomas W. Kerlin, ISA Publication, Hardback, ISBN: 978-1-937560-28-7

Dr Kerlin is the co-author, with Mitchel Johnson, of the recently published, Practical Thermocouple Thermometry, Second Edition, (ISBN 978193756-0270)

Monday, October 15, 2012

One of the best Apprentices

Jake Churchill from Low Power Radio Solutions has been named as one of the Thames Valley’s (GB) best Apprentices in the regional final of the prestigious Apprenticeship and National Training Awards 2012.


Jake Churchill (centre)  being presented with his award
by Philip Taylor; Apprenticeships – Head of Partnerships
City of London Corporation and finalist in series 5 of 

the BBC series – ‘The Apprentice’.
Hosted by the Holiday Inn in Bristol, Jake was one of three nominees for the Pearson Award, The Intermediate Apprentice of the Year 2012. Jake was highly commended for his achievements and presented with his award by Philip Taylor; Apprenticeships – Head of Partnerships City of London Corporation
and finalist in series 5
of the BBC series – ‘The Apprentice’.

Jake has been attending Oxford and Cherwell Valley College on a day release scheme and has completed his Intermediate Level Apprenticeship in Accounting in the Financial Services and Accountancy Sector. Lecturers at the college were so impressed with Jake’s performance, results and enthusiasm to achieve that they had no hesitation in nominating him for the award.

He joined LPRS as an office and admin assistant shortly after leaving school. Like many school leavers Jake was undecided in respect of a career path but keen to be part of a “real world” work environment. After joining the Apprentice scheme Jake became fully focussed and immediately began putting his new found skills into action introducing new and efficient processes which have resulted in accounts and sales processing departments running with greater accuracy and precision. Jake was also instrumental in implementing a new accounts and CRM package.

Jake commented “The Apprenticeship has turned my life around and I feel confident and inspired to go further. I wasn’t particularly ambitious before because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Now I believe in myself and I know I have a great future ahead of me”.

The National Training Awards recognise organisations that have delivered outstanding training programmes and the National Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the achievements of the country’s most outstanding Apprenticeship employers and their apprentices. Both awards are organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, who received in excess of 1,500 high quality entrants this year.

Dr John Chudley, Divisional Area Director for the South from the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “This year’s awards were a terrific showcase of the outstanding wealth of talent that we have across the Thames Valley. Given the volume and high calibre of entries we received, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jake Churchill for his superb achievement. He is a testament to the many benefits Apprenticeships and training bring to businesses, allowing employers to tap into new raw talent, up-skill their staff and grow.”

All the Thames Valley winners will proceed through to a final national judging stage and the highest scoring Apprenticeship employer entries nationally will have the additional honour of featuring in the acclaimed England’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, which will be produced by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds. The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers and the national award winners will be revealed during the opening ceremony of the Britain's largest national skills and careers event, WorldSkills UK - The Skills Show, at the NEC in Birmingham on 14 November 2012.

The National Apprenticeship Awards are sponsored by City & Guilds, Pearson, EAL, Nuclear Decommissioning SLC, Virgin Media and BAE Systems. The National Training Awards has City & Guilds as their premier sponsor and they are also sponsored by Rolls-Royce.
The Thames Valley Apprenticeship and National Training Awards cerebration were also supported by The Intercontinental Hotel Group, Lotus F1, MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd, OXETA, Pera Training, S & B Automotive Academy and Wiltshire Council.