Friday, March 15, 2013

65 Years in Test + Measurement!

Fluke celebrates the 65th anniversary of the company.

Throughout 2013, Fluke is offering special promotions to discover the story AND products behind the 65th anniversary. The special promotions can be seen here.

Fluke was founded by John Fluke in Springdale, Connecticut, USA in 1948. In 1993, Fluke bought the testing and measuring device division from Philips Electronics in Eindhoven, Netherlands. This location today serves as Fluke’s regional office for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

In England, Fluke has an office and manufacturing facility in Norwich, Norfolk.

As from the start, in 1948, innovations continue to advance the capabilities of these essential tools. Fluke wants the customer to discover the story behind the anniversary. Not only to read about it, but also by experiencing Fluke products.

Fieldbus scholorships announced

The Fieldbus Foundation has announced the 2013 recipients of the James O. Gray-Fieldbus Foundation Scholarship Fund. The program honors the memory of James (Jim) O. Gray, a long-time leader in the Fieldbus Foundation who passed away in 2002. It establishes a perpetual $250,000 endowment fund providing scholarships to students seeking a career in the industrial automation profession.

Since 2003, the James O. Gray-Fieldbus Foundation Scholarship program has funded 29 educational scholarships for students around the world. According to Fieldbus Foundation President Rich Timoney, "We are pleased to announce this year's recipients of the Jim Gray scholarship. These are outstanding students that have really distinguished themselves in their pursuit of fieldbus knowledge. The Fieldbus Foundation realizes that the right training is the key to the future of process automation."

The 2013 scholarship recipients include:
Váradi Gergely, University of Miskolc, Miskolc, Hungary: Váradi Gergely is a first-year Masters of Science student in electrical engineering at the University of Miskolc, and his Bachelor of Science degree has a specialization in electrical design and manufacturing. His studies included the design of electrical circuits and printed circuit boards (PCBs), manufacturing technology of the electronics industry and industrial testing methods. Gergely also acquired high-level knowledge of computer-controlled measurement systems programmed with National Instruments LabView development environment, and industrial process control systems. During the final year of his undergraduate studies, Gergely's senior project successfully modeled a FOUNDATION fieldbus-based control system for a chemical batch reactor, for which it was graded a five (on a five-grade scale). In his masters-level studies, Gergely plans to improve his theoretical and practical knowledge and experiences with a specialization in automation and industrial process control.

John Lima, Fieldbus Center at Lee College, Baytown, Texas USA: John Lima is working towards a degree in Instrumentation at Lee College. He is also a student assistant in the college's Fieldbus Technology Lab. A native of Brazil, Lima worked for Bradesco Bank after completing his high school education, saving enough money to eventually fulfill his dream of "coming to America." To sustain his dream, he was employed in a number of industries, including restaurants, nursing homes, construction and business offices. Setting high expectations for himself, Lima works to excel in his studies and is a firm believer in a good education.

Pattarapon Taosrichai, King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), Bangkok, Thailand: Pattarapon Taosrichai is a junior at KMITL, majoring in automation engineering. He plans to further his knowledge of FOUNDATION technology, and to communicate its importance through the Internet and social media.

Jim Gray was employed by Invensys/Foxboro for 25 years as sales and marketing manager. In addition to being very active within the Fieldbus Foundation from its inception, he held the positions of: secretary of the Board of Directors, member of the Executive Committee, and member of the U.S. Marketing Committee.

100% quality assurance possible without increasing production costs!

Technische Federn GmbH Otto Joos, German based manufacturer of technical springs for industries that demand both a high quality product and no out of specification items. The springs are designed and manufactured to withstand highly dynamic forces in injection pumps for automobile and truck engines as well as drive assemblies for locomotives and ships where one billion load cycles without failure is demanded as spring failure can have severe consequences.

Since springs must have the correct length to ensure a defined restoring force, the length of every spring is measured prior to delivery using a new sorting system based on the Kistler force-displacement monitoring system, maXYmos BL. The maXYmos BL monitors and evaluates XY curves in which two measurands (force and displacement in this case) are required to exhibit a certain relationship with respect to one another. Using two switching thresholds and the UNI-BOX evaluation object, the maXYmos BL records the three possible states of the springs under test; spring too short, spring in tolerance and spring too long and reports the result to the sorting chute via a PLC. This 100 % testing enables Otto Joos to guarantee that every spring delivered conforms to the customer’s specification.

In addition to 100% pre-delivery testing, the compression springs must undergo a grinding process to ensure optimal bearing surface and exact spring length. The maXYmos BL also monitors this process based on the force threshold of approximately 0.5 N, the monitor outputs the spring length at this point via its table of process values. The force of 0.5 N defines the initial contact between the force sensor and the spring: the associated increase in force at this position precisely indicating the length of the spring under test.

For Otto Joos, the maXYmos BL has made the 100 % quality assurance demanded by the automotive industry possible without increasing production costs.

Integral two-stage regulator family expanded

Emerson Process Management has expanded its integral two-stage pressure reducing gas regulator family with the Fisher® Type R232A and Type R632A, and has launched the industry’s first compact integral two-psig regulator – the Type R232E. The regulators are designed to perform at -40ºC and resist gas impurities, resulting in longer service life.
R232A integral two-stage pressure 
reducing regulator

The R632A, R232A, and R232E regulators are designed for 17.2 Bar (250 psig) inlet pressure and reduce pressure across two pressure drops (two stages), resulting in a final pressure of 0.014 Bar (2 psig). These regulator product families not only pass Emerson’s test specifications for operation at -40ºC, but they also operate reliably at -40ºC after being exposed to an environment simulating significant propane contamination.

Fisher LP-Gas integral two-stage regulators combine both first and second stages into one compact unit for easy installation on tight fit applications.

Inspection Windows

New plastic infrared inspection windows are now available from AXU to lower the costs of making routine thermal imaging inspections of electrical equipment.

Most process engineers are familiar with the advantages of using thermal imagers or infrared thermometers to routinely check temperatures in plants, and locate hot-spots that may lead to a premature failure or fire.

Usually, making a thermal inspection of an electrical cabinet requires opening doors, modifying the actual temperatures that exists in its normal operating state. Furthermore, internal inspections of equipment cabinets that are operating can expose operators to live circuitry and create a safety risk.

Alternatively, it might be possible to switch off a cabinet before making a measurement, but again this influences the process temperature, so the resulting images will not be accurate - and the return to routine operation might not be instant.

These infrared window panels are now available to allow accurate temperature measurements to be taken during normal operation, without opening cabinet doors or interfering with the process. The window panels are square, allowing them to be fitted easily on the front of virtually any electrical cabinet. Manufactured from special 2 mm thick plastic, the new infrared windows are much more economic than the crystal window panels that are used on high voltage switchgear circuitry that has the potential to flashover.

The new LookIR infrared window panels are 92 millimetres square. Depending on the size of the cabinet, and the location and shape of the critical components that need to be monitored, this compact size makes it easy to install multiple panels on cabinets if required.

The windows are manufactured by AXU in Italy, and are suitable for any processing environment where strong mechanical protection or arc resistance is not necessary.

The speed of thermal inspections when using LookIR windows provides such substantial savings in working time that it quickly repays the small investment outlay. They can also provide an easy means of monitoring process points that might normally be difficult to access, potentially allowing providing early warnings of any problems that might otherwise go unnoticed for long periods and lead to expensive downtime and damage.

AXU's plastic LookIR windows open up many new preventive maintenance possibilities where classic crystal windows are unacceptable because of their cost. For example, plastic windows can be installed to monitor key points on trolley busbars, low voltage power transformers, and low voltage cabinets in general. Further applications include inspection panels on machinery to facilitate routine checks for overheating. With LookIR windows installed, daily checking with a simple infrared thermometer is both easy and fast.

In addition to square LookIR panels, AXU has other sizes and shapes available to suit different process monitoring applications.

Virtualisation in automation

We have had a number of releases on training tours on both sides of the Atlantic. This is another one.

HardwarePT, the industrial IT division of SolutionsPT, has announced a road show in conjunction with fault-tolerant server and high-availability software specialists, Stratus Technologies.

Road Show dates and venues:
•16th April at Manchester United FC
• 17th April at Newcastle United FC
• 18th April at Silverstone Circuit,
• 23rd April at Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork.
• 24th April at Croke Park, Dublin
Recognising that manufacturing and utility companies are becoming ever more reliant on the availability of their IT systems and replacing physical infrastructure with virtual machines, the road show, entitled ‘Availability Virtualised in Automation’ is set to illustrate how manufacturers can ensure application availability on virtualised platforms in today’s world

HardwarePT’s expert panel will be on hand to deliver advice on availability solutions and virtualisation technologies designed to deliver assured uptime for the plant IT environment.

Robert Dinsmore, Product Manager at HardwarePT, said: ‘Things are changing so quickly at the moment.  We are seeing more interest than ever from our customer base who want to understand where virtualisation may fit into their Industrial IT strategy.  As we know with Industrial Automation the availability requirements can be different and these seminars are all about looking at how these can be met while leveraging the benefits of one of IT’s hottest trends’.

The roadshow is scheduled to run from the 16th April to the 24th April 2013 and is taking place at some of the most prestigious sporting venues in the UK and Ireland, including the famous world class Silverstone Circuit and Manchester United and Ireland's Croke Park. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Temperature Transmitters for Zone 2 Hazardous Locations

Acromag's ST130 Series temperature transmitters recently received ATEX approval for use in explosive atmospheres. These thermocouple and RTD transmitters are USB-configured, loop-powered and provide a proportional 4-20mA output. The official ATEX certification is Ex II 3 G Ex nA IIC T4 Gc -40°C ≤ Ta ≤ +80°C (explosion-protected for Category 3G, Group II, Zone 2 gas atmospheres; non-incendive). ST130 temperature transmitters also carry CE and UL/cUL Class 1 Division 2 Zone 2 approvals. There are three models available at reasonable prices.

“With the combination of ATEX Zone 2 certification for Europe and UL Class 1 Division 2 approval in the USA and Canada, our low-cost ST130 transmitters are now qualified for a wide range of applications,” explained Don Lupo, Acromag’s sales and marketing director. “Despite their small size and economical price, ST130s are ruggedly designed for use in hazardous and hostile industrial environments that require noise immunity, surge protection, and resistance to ambient temperature changes.”

ST130 transmitters mount in compact DIN Form B connection/sensor heads commonly used in thermowell applications for sensing temperature or when a protective enclosure is required. Optionally, a DIN-rail adapter may be purchased for mounting on T-type or G-type rails. For ATEX Zone 2 applications, the transmitter must be installed in an ATEX-certified enclosure with a minimum ingress protection rating of at least IP54.

ST130 transmitters are configured via USB cable with free Windows software and offer many high-performance features. These transmitters provide sensor excitation and perform advanced signal linearization, lead-wire compensation, and sensor fault detection functions. Units are very stable with nearly drift-free accuracy across wide ambient temperature changes and are highly resistant to RFI, EMI, ESD, and EFT effects. ST133 thermocouple input models additionally provide high-voltage isolation.

Solder bucket connectors

Harting is expanding its space-saving har-link® metric connector range with a version equipped with solder bucket contacts.

Up to now, these connectors were supplied with an insulation displacement termination on the cable side only. The addition of solder bucket contacts now makes it easy to assemble harnesses for prototyping and test purposes without the use of special tooling.

With this new contact style, wires of sizes from AWG 30 to AWG 24 can be mounted on the cable side of the har-link® connection, providing high flexibility and compatibility with a large range of cables available on the market.

har-link® is manufactured in accordance with IEC 61076-4-107 and is a compact, robust cable connector with 2.0 mm spacing which guarantees excellent data transmission to the PCB in high-frequency networks and telecommunication applications. It can transmit data at speeds of up to 2 Gbit/s on each twisted conductor, and is screened to deliver reliable performance in areas subject to high electromagnetic interference.

Training tour in Ireland & Britain

Beginning in May, the National Instruments LabVIEW Developer Days will feature local experts in 9 locations around Britain and Ireland, who will deliver a range of in-depth technical presentations, product demonstrations and hands-on sessions. 

Each Developer Day consists of both an introductory track, for engineers who are new to NI LabVIEW, together with an intermediate track, for those who wish to continue their professional development with the award-winning software.  

LabVIEW is a graphical design environment for problem solving, accelerated productivity and continual innovation, making it ideal for any measurement or control system. Hands-on sessions will give delegates practical training in using LabVIEW with NI hardware to acquire measurements in minutes. Presentations include sessions such as “LabVIEW for Instrument Control” and “User Interface Tips and Tricks” giving delegates an insight into how LabVIEW can be implemented into real world test applications.

Delegates who are proficient in LabVIEW will have the opportunity to take a Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer Exam, free of charge. There will also be a Certified LabVIEW Developer Exam preparation class, giving delegates the chance to discover the topics that are tested, interact with NI engineers and ask questions.  

The Developer Days + seminar, taking place in Newbury (West of London) on Wednesday 29th May, will give expert LabVIEW developers the opportunity to understand and discuss highly advanced topics, including unit testing, source code control and application deployment. This specialised event will conclude in a Certified LabVIEW Architect preparation presentation, to enable delegates to understand how to complete their path in LabVIEW certification. 

Linear actuators for process control

New integrated positioned linear actuator offers robust, simple and exact process control

Festo has launched an intelligent linear actuator for process automation applications. The DFPI combines the functions of a linear actuator, a positioner and displacement encoder in one, easy-to-install unit. As a result, users can increase operational efficiencies as well as saving time and costs associated with specifying and installing equipment.

The innovative DFPI solution is ideal for controlling knife gate valves and shut-off valves with regulated strokes and for use with all linear-actuated process valves. Typically, linear actuators with externally fitted components are used in these applications. However, these are highly susceptible to mechanical problems and therefore need frequent maintenance.

Now, with this high performance DFPI, process managers can benefit from a more intelligent, robust and simpler solution. It features an all-in-one design whereby all components are fitted inside a compact cylinder housing. Thanks to its sturdy design and high IP65, IP67 and IP69k protection, it is robust and can withstand harsh environments with moisture and dust, providing reliable operation. It also has high corrosion resistance class of CRC3.

DFPI is quick to set up and configure and can be integrated into existing control architecture easily. It can also be controlled easily from Festo’s CPX valve terminal. Thanks to the flow control functions, the back-and-forth movement speed of the piston rods can be set separately or independently of each other and sensing of the intermediate positions is also possible. It gives feedback in a 4-20mA signal about the position of the actuator, which enables the user greater reliability and easier diagnostics.

The DFPI unit is delivered with fittings and connectors pre-assembled, together with the electrical cable and two pneumatic tubes for the power supply and exhaust inside a flexible protective conduit. This saves installation and purchasing time compared with alternative solutions, as only one part needs ordering.

It is available in a wide variety of diameters (100, 125, 160, 200, 250 and 320 mm) and strokes from 40 mm up to 990 mm. Special designs above 990 mm stroke are also available on request.

“At Festo we have a long history and extensive knowledge of technologies for automation in a manufacturing environment. We are now transferring this to the process automation markets, enabling those in industry to benefit from robust, simple, exact process control so they can increase reliability and operate more efficiently,” says Steve Sands, product manager at Festo GB.

“Based on the proven technology of our DLP open / close actuators, this new DFPI actuator with integrated positioner is the most resistant solution available for dust and aggressive environments in the process automation markets. We can now supply both entry level equipment and more advanced positioned actuators, in each case tailored to the customer’s application.”

The DFPI is ideal for regulating knife gate valves in sewage plants, the bulk goods industry and any other applications in which the media in piping systems must be regulated. For instance, in the water and wastewater industry it can be used to control sluice gates for the return sludge at final clarifiers; for the control of pump flow rate in cardboard production in the pulp and paper industry; and for the control of dart valves in many mining applications.

Automation training

New training program that brings valuable automation technical training directly to a variety of cities across the US

The International Society of Automation (ISA) announces the introduction of a new training program that makes available several of ISA’s most popular and comprehensive technical training courses to a majority of cities in the US where expert-led ISA instruction has not previously been offered.

The program, ISA TechTour, is designed to make it easier, more convenient and more cost-effective for automation and control technicians and engineers living in these cities and surrounding areas to obtain the in-depth technical training they need to improve their career skills.

“At ISA, we’re very excited about this new training concept as it brings extensive, detailed and hands-on ISA instruction—the very same classroom-quality training that’s provided at our North Carolina headquarters and regional training centers—to new parts of the country,” says Dalton Wilson, ISA’s Manager of Education Services. “We believe strongly in the value of ISA training courses, for both individuals and employers, in raising standards of efficiency, reliability, safety and security. We want to make them as accessible as possible.”
Through participation in courses offered through ISA TechTour, students will experience this highly intensive training taught by ISA’s preeminent subject matter experts, and hands-on instruction using ISA’s specialised equipment laboratories.

High service distributer in Britain

Harting Ltd., the British arm of the Harting Technology Group and a major manufacturer of connectors for the electrical and electronics industries, has nominated Farnell Element 14 as High Service Distributor of the Year for 2011-12.
Doreen Sanderson, Harting Regional Account Manager; Robert Burnip, Farnell EMCO Supplier Account Manager; Peter Hannon, Harting Managing Director; Gareth James, Farnell Product Manager and Simon Asbury, Harting Sales Director.
In presenting the award, Peter Hannon, Managing Director of Harting Ltd., singled out Farnell’s success in increasing the growth of sales of key new product families such as the Han-Eco® rugged lightweight industrial connector and the har-flex®. Peter Hannon was delighted to present the award to Robert Burnip on behalf of Harting and expressed his thanks in particular to Gareth James and Andy Waller (not in the photo) for the speed of getting the new Harting products to market.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Superchannel coherent modulation analysis

Tektronix has a new software option for its OM4000 optical modulation analyser series that offers automated test support for 400G multi-carrier coherent optical modulation. This software option will greatly reduce test times for researchers working on 400G and faster coherent optical systems while providing the flexibility to define carrier count, carrier spacing and modulation formats. It also provides compiled carrier measurement results and multi-carrier visualisation for integrated analysis.

The new software is available to Tektronix customers as Option MCS on the OM4106D Coherent Lightwave Signal Analyser and OM1106 Coherent Lightwave Signal Analyser Software. The OM4106D is tightly integrated with Tektronix DPO70000D Series 33 GHz oscilloscopes and uses coherent detection to acquire fiber signals carrying up to 240 Gb/sec per wavelength.

“The explosive growth of mobile and cloud computing continues to drive long-haul optical communications bandwidth demands, leading to new designs which leverage existing infrastructure using coherent optical technology,” said Brian Reich, general manager Performance Oscilloscopes, Tektronix. “We see 400G as the next big milestone and superchannel technology as the most likely winner, at least in the near term. This new software will go a long way toward helping to advance multi-carrier modulation methodologies as new standards emerge.”

Multi-carrier 400G Gaining Support
With 100G now heading into deployment, network equipment manufacturers are investigating ways to achieve networks speeds of 400G and beyond. Instead of simply increasing the symbol rate of a single carrier, one proposal gaining momentum is to transmit in parallel by using multiple carriers at lower individual rates. Multi-carrier systems such as this have been dubbed superchannels.

There is currently no industry consensus on how to build superchannels. Vendors differ on characteristics as basic as carrier count and carrier spacing to what modulation format should be used. Therefore, a measurement system must have the flexibility to adapt to all these formats. With Option MCS, Tektronix is the industry’s first test supplier to offer multi-carrier or superchannel support.

Fast, Automated Results
Option MCS software is designed for optimum ease-of-use and flexibility. To launch tests, the user simply enters multi-carrier variables such as number of carriers, carrier spacing, and modulation format in a simple table. The software automatically steps through each carrier; setting up the local oscillator and measurement parameters based on the information entered into the carrier information table. When all measurements are complete, the system provides the results from all carriers side-by-side for easy correlation and quick identification of problems.

Pharma software platform adopted

The pharmaceutical contract manufacturer Sanico N. V. has decided in favour of Werum's PAS-X, the internationally leading Manufacturing IT Business Platform for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries.

At Sanico's site in Turnhout (B), PAS-X will replace the existing third party manufacturing execution system (MES) and the warehouse management system offering a broader range of functions. Werum's PAS-X will guide and control the pharmaceuticals production as the leading system.

For Sanico, the available functionality and the overall investment costs were critical decision factors. Implementing the PAS-X product enables a fast and cost efficient deployment of a state-of-the-art MES fully integrated with the already existing SAP and LIMS systems.

"The main objective of the project is to renew the software architecture on the production level by using an off-the-shelf product," says Herman Geudens, Plant Manager at Sanico N. V. "For this purpose we have chosen PAS-X in order to benefit from the extensive standard functions and the best-practice expertise Werum offers in the pharmaceutical industry."

Executive team boosted!

Red Lion Controls has promoted Jesse Benefiel to vice president of product management and appointed Daniel Faia to the position of vice president of global sales. In these roles, Jesse and Dan will be pivotal to bringing Red Lion’s rapidly-expanding product portfolio to customers and partners worldwide.

“Jesse and Dan bring a tremendous amount of industry knowledge and enthusiasm to our executive team, and the importance they both place on establishing long-standing customer relationships is something we strongly value,” said Mike Granby, president of Red Lion Controls. “As Red Lion continues expanding our product portfolio as part of our ‘better.together’ integration efforts, we are confident that they both have the necessary leadership skills and determination to drive sales worldwide.”

Jesse Benefiel
Daniel Faia
Jesse was promoted to vice president of product management from his role as product manager, where he oversaw the successful launch of products that include the award-winning ProducTVity Station Crimson and Data Station Plus. Over the last 20 years, Jesse has developed extensive industrial automation knowledge through various customer-facing support, sales and product management roles at Red Lion. He initially joined the organization as a member of the technical support team after receiving an associate degree in electronics from York Technical Institute.

With more than 20 years of experience in the test, measurement and semiconductor industries, Dan has developed sales and service organizations in multiple countries across North America, Europe and Asia. Most recently, Dan served as global vice president of sales and support for Keithley Instruments (acquired by Danaher), where he significantly grew sales all three years while also improving sales efficiency and increasing operating profit. Previously, Dan worked at Eagle Test Systems as vice president of North American sales before becoming global vice president of sales and marketing. Dan received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston (MA USA).

• Red Lion products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology Ltd.

Core module

ADLINK Technology has released its newest Extreme Rugged™ CoreModule® offering. The ADLINK CoreModule® 920, with outstanding mechanical, thermal and power design, is able to support Intel® Core™ i7 performance with low power consumption in a small PC/104 form factor, making it an ideal choice for mission-critical applications in space-constrained environments such as transportation, aviation and defense/homeland security.

Integrating a dual-core 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor running at up to 2.8GHz with Turbo Boost, up to 4GB of solder-down DDR3 ECC memory, 8 GB of industrial grade SSD, as well as a fast data-transfer SATA 6 Gb/s interface, the CoreModule® 920 boosts the highest specification of PC/104 products available on the market and supports rich graphics performance with versatile video outputs including HDMI, VGA and LVDS. The CoreModule® 920 is expected to usher in many new applications for embedded systems and is also available with an economically-priced Intel® Celeron® CPU option.

Compliant with the PCI/104-Express Type 1 standard, the CoreModule® 920 provides both PCIe and PCI connectivity and allows for SATA 6 Gb/s data transfer. Space and cost savings are provided by the PC/104 family’s inherent self-stacking bus which allows modules to stack together like building blocks without backplanes or card cages. This stacking feature also delivers high reliability as it uses four-corner mounting holes which can resist shock and vibration. The CoreModule® 920 extreme ruggedness is also a result of its specially designed PCB, which is 50% thicker than ordinary PCBs, and an extended operating temperature range of -40oC to +85oC.

The CoreModule® 920 implements a heat spreader design which allows for more flexible thermal solutions to enable a higher component density not common to its PC/104 family predecessors. Its customized BIOS allows users to “underclock” the CPU and reduce total power consumption as well as heat generation.

The CoreModule® 920’s unique mechanical, power-saving and thermal design maximize the outstanding features of the PCI/104-Express form factor, setting a new benchmark for embedded solutions in the PC/104 family at comparatively low power consumption and cost.

Reliable and convenient process monitoring

 In the display visual mode, the user
chooses from several different
options: analog, digital or illustration
Modern machines and plants are becoming more and more complex. Keeping track of things so you can react appropriately at just the right moment is not always easy. Although all measuring values, status messages, interference signals or exceeded limits are collected in a central location, immediate recognition of situations calling for a fast reaction can be expedient not only in the control center but also on site. That is convenient and also increases process safety because prompt reaction can prevent unplanned machine or plant downtimes or the production of faulty batches. User-friendly measuring equipment with flexibly programmable displays opens up practical options.

The eye is surely the most important human sensory organ because we can easily assimilate and utilize data that we perceive within split seconds. Baumer has implemented this insight in new process measuring equipment and developed a display suitable for CombiSerie sensors which enables the user to register relevant data quickly, reliably and at a glance, regardless whether it is installed at the device on site or separately from the sensor. So you don't have to analyse the measuring values first; instead the display tells you when you have to react and/or intervene. The convenient display can currently be used for pressure transmitters and temperature gauges, more sensors will follow. Since the display functions as a stand-alone unit, it can also be combined with other sensors that provide an analog 4...20 mA output signal and retrofitted easily.

Customized alarm management
In practical operation the CombiView display basically functions like a traffic light circuit: A clear signal indicates to the staff whether action is required. One look is all you need to see that everything is in order at a gauge. You can choose between many view options or program your own messages in your desired visualization mode. Basically, there are a lot of possbilities. You can select the background color, for example. "Red" is suitable e.g. for values that call for fast reaction. A green background could signal proper operation. Different alarm levels can also be graduated according to color. This change of color, possibly combined with flashing functions, ensures reliable visual perception of important data. Error, warning or alarm messages can also be programmed directly at the device via touch screen or PC using the FlexProgrammer software. This can be performed while the process is running; even subsequent modifications can easily be implemented.

Because tastes vary and the representation of measuring values should naturally be adapted to the respective plant's requirements as well, the display is flexible also in this regard. Digital as well as analog representation of the values is possible, e.g. as a scale with pointer, bar or column diagram, and the various representation modes and illustrations can be combined as desired (see pic). Because the display can also be rotated in two axes by up to 360°, it is visible and accessible from almost any location. The display is 80 mm in diameter so it is easy to read even from a larger distance.

Robust "FlexHousing" housing technology and precise measuring values
Like Combi-Serie sensors, the display is also encapsulated in robust stainless steel housing. Featuring a hygienic design and protection class IP69K, it withstands even the toughest conditions so it can be used even where machines or plants are cleaned regularly, e.g. in the food industry. The currently available temperature and pressure gauges come optionally with or without a display. Thanks to the modular system, the display can be retrofitted any time; the "sensor cover" is simply replaced by the display.

The new series not only meets the highest requirements with respect to robustness and hygiene but also offers outstanding features in terms of flexibility and precision: The CombiPress pressure gauge has an operating range from -1 to 400 bar, withstands process temperatures from -40 to +200 °C, and operates with a precision of greater than 0.1% of the measuring range. 4...20 mA, 20...4mA and 4...20 mA HART are available as output signals. The temperature gauge offers similar features. The CombiTemp covers measuring ranges from -50 to +400°C, is available with a fast-reacting measuring tip and achieves a precision of greater than +/- 0.1°C. The measuring value is output either as 4...20 mA, 4...20 MA HART or via Profibus.

Both sensors are available with ATEX 3a, FDA as well as EHEDG approval. Depending on the version, they meet protection class IP67 and/or IP69k requirements. Different electrical and mechanical connection options ensure easy process integration. Thanks to the modular system, which will be expanded by further sensors in the future, customized solutions are possible for different industries. They offer the user not only the required process safety but also make the equipment more user-friendly.

Australian distributors for instrumentation products

Mantracourt has announced the appointment of two technical partners in Australia that will assist the company in creating awareness of its load cell and strain gauge amplifier technologies and its T24 range of wireless instrumentation in this region.

Queensland based Delphi Force and Melbourne and Sydney based Applied Measurement are both respected companies with extensive expertise in measurement technology.

"We are very pleased to be working with our recently appointed Australian distributors," said Kelly Voysey, Sales and Marketing Manager at Mantracourt. "Overseas distribution is an important part of our current business strategy and key to future growth. Our core products are very much proven and respected in our established markets, so we feel sure that with their help we can replicate this past success in this region also."

Mantracourt is a leading manufacturer of industrial measurement technologies, including strain gauge, temperature, resistance, pressure, voltage, current, potentiometer, rate, flow, LVDT and displacement. Available in analogue, digital, wired or wireless formats. Applications for this technology are very broad, ranging from the energy sector to processed food production and from motor racing to construction.

“Delphi have been integrating the Mantracourt products into our Australian made wireless load cells for several years now and have found them extremely reliable” said Terry Anderson of Delphi Force. “We see further application in Australia for a host of other uses for the Mantracourt products and are excited to be involved in a progressive supportive company that understands both ours and our customers’ needs.”

The T24 wireless telemetry range is a flexible radio telemetry system designed to provide high accuracy measurement data.

“The T24 wireless instrumentation products have helped introduce instrumentation to many new and innovative applications,” said Kelly Voysey. "Whether it is moving parts on a machine or difficult to access equipment, wireless technology is enabling a new generation of measurement. In this respect, we are very pleased to have located talented and knowledgeable technical partners to help us spread the word on the T24 product range.”

Mantracourt has also recently announced the release of its T24LOG100 data logging software package that can handle up to 100 channels of wireless instrumentation data simultaneously whilst also offering a range of sophisticated features that will enable engineers to optimise system monitoring and control.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Optical wavelength meters

The new Yokogawa AQ6150 and AQ6151 optical wavelength meters are fast, accurate and cost-effective instruments for carrying out measurements in the telecommunications wavelength range from 1270 to 1650 nm. They are the latest additions to the company’s market-leading range of optical test instruments, and have many features in common with Yokogawa’s highly successful AQ6370 family of optical spectrum analysers.

They feature a high wavelength accuracy (±1 pm for the AQ6150 and ±0.3 pm for the AQ6151), and can carry out simultaneous measurements on up to 1024 channels. They maintain this high performance even in low-level input, and can cope with modulated light and optical filter measurement.

The high acquisition and measurement speed of the new instruments makes them particularly suited to the production testing of active optical devices such as tunable lasers for telecommunications applications. Typical acquisition time is 0.3 sec, and up to five measurements per second can be carried out in repeat mode. GPIB and Ethernet interfaces are supported, and the meters are SCPI compatible.

The enhanced throughput resulting from improved measurement speed leads to a reduction in lifetime costs for production test set-ups by extending the reference laser replacement cycle and reducing replacement costs.

User-friendly operation results from proven design and operability features inherited from Yokogawa’s established range of optical spectrum analysers. The AQ6150 and AQ6151 feature an easy-to-view, 5.7-inch bright colour LCD display with a variety of viewing modes including single, multiple or delta wavelength modes and an optical spectrum display.

USB Ports are provided for data storage devices, mouse and keyboard. Direct operation can be carried out with a mouse, and data access is possible via the LAN interface.

Efficient built-in measurement and analysis functions include drift analysis, Fabry-Perot laser analysis and average measurements.

Target market sectors include manufacturers of optical active devices, optical subsystems and transmission systems, as well as universities, institutes and R&D departments researching topics associated with these products.

Advanced vision system control

There is something new in the world of vision! The CV-X100 series from Keyence allows an inexperienced end-user to setup and use complex inspection functions like a Pro. Auto measurements, auto teaching and distortion correction are just a few of the innovative new features built into the CV-X Series controllers.

The new CV-X Series was conceived with the single aim of simplifying the sometimes complex implementation and operation process of a vision system. Now all of the tools have been categorised by application and every screen has an intuitive menu with an on screen guide, designed not only to help with setup but enhance the users understanding of the processes behind the tools. 
While simplicity has been highly prized, the full range of Keyence tools are still readily available ensuring that the CV-X isn’t just a vision sensor but a full blown vision system.

Automatic Measurement
The CV-X series now comes with automatic measurement setup. Simply choose the type of measurement you want to perform and click the points you want to measure between. This will automatically position and size the inspection areas, optimise the settings to pick up on the correct features and create the calculation.
Targets are identified by Keyence’s new shape detection algorithm “ShapeTrax2” allowing for multiple stable inspections to be taken whatever the product position. Even with inspection accuracy down to sub pixel levels the processing speeds are far superior to the industry standard (even using 5 million pixels per image). 
Automatic Teaching
Previously only available on the highest spec PC based systems the CV-X Series is the first standalone system on the market with auto tech capabilities. 
Once the camera is in position on the line, simply run 30-50 good products and it will “learn” by itself the acceptable manufacturing tolerances checking for shape, colour and pattern. This is done by recognising the similarities between non-defective parts rather than differences in defective parts which greatly increases the stability of the inspection.
Extremely complex inspection programs which previously required a vision expert to create can now be written, in-house, in minutes, using this tool.

Auto Correction
The CV-X100 vision system is equipped with a suite of tools designed to make image capture more reliable. Among them, is tool to ensure that the image capturing conditions (camera position, lighting, focus) remain constant. In the event of variation (following an altercation with the camera for example), an assistant will guide you in a few clicks to recreate your original capturing conditions.
Moreover, the CV-X Series is capable of using digital correction to remove the effects of curved or slanted surfaces due to camera installation and/or lens distortion. The result of this digital correction is an image identical to one taken from the perspective of a camera positioned right above the target. This function is very popular for robotic applications.
In addition to these tools, the system offers a complete range of filters and effects which can be applied independently to each tool. You will find traditional filters like binarisation or averaging as well as other much more advanced filters, such as HDR and shading correction to enhance images from even the most complex targets.

There are many other new functions all designed to save you time and money. For example, automatically generate user manuals which include product screen shots by clicking a single button, generate user interfaces by simply selecting and modifying one of the many templates, and reading 1D & 2D bar codes within seconds using the auto tune button.

Connectivity & RFID solutions for rail applications

Harting will feature a number of new developments in its range of connectivity and RFID solutions for the rail industry at Railtex 2013.

New products include the Han® HC Individual: a new industrial connector family providing flexible contact arrangement options, allowing individually sealed 350 A contacts (to protection class IP 66) to be arranged in configurations with up to ten adjacent connections on one supporting rail. This interface can be very easily separated thanks to a stainless steel lever system with integrated contact guide. Each individual connection can be assembled separately, and engaged and exchanged individually.

Depending on the application demands, the supporting rails can be stacked one above the other to create a high-voltage block with a variety of extension options in the vertical and horizontal planes. The current version is capable of supporting a cable range of between 25 mm² and 120 mm² with up to 350 A rated current and 3600 V rated voltage.

All components are subjected to the vibration and shock tests specified in railway standard IEC 61 373 and are in flammability class I2/F2 of the NFF 16-101/102 standard. These performance indicators in combination with the individual arrangement options qualify this product family for railway applications involving carriage connections, traction motors and converters.

Another new development is a range of new fixing elements to extend the flexibility of the D20 full metal housings used with the company’s DIN 41612 connector family. The robust and vibration-proof D20 housing range is the system of choice for railway applications. The new fixing element is designed to be vibration-proof, and the plastic used for the ejection lever has the fire classification and smoke index suitable for railway applications: I2/F1 under NFF 16-101.

Also applicable to rail use are two new modules in the Han-Modular® industrial connector family. The new fully screened Han® Megabit module is especially suited for applications in railway technology. Two data cables can be connected per module, and the product combines assembly convenience with product compactness. The screening design is independent of that of the housing, and the proven Han® D crimp contacts are used. These can be installed into the inserts and arranged to be easily accessible.

Because its mechanical properties meet those of the established Han® Quintax connector, the Han® Megabit module is ideally suited for applications with the highest mechanical specifications, for example for use as an Ethernet interface in railway carriage connections – with the module taking up only half as much space as conventional solutions. The module is designed for data rates of up to 100 Mbit/s, meets Cat.5e performance requirements, and can be used with stranded wires with cross-sections between 0.14 and 2.5 mm2 and cable diameters between 5 and 12 mm.

The new Han® Shielded module is specifically intended for applications in which shielded signal cables are to be designed to function free of interference and to mate securely. Up to 20 shielded signal contacts can be connected with a minimum space requirement, and the metallic shielding reduces to zero any interference from directly adjacent power modules.

A potential problem with applications involving frequency converters is that the power cables can often transfer interference to signal cables. With the new Han® Shielded module, the signal contacts are now shielded against any such adverse effects. This now enables power and signal modules to be transferred in a connector without interference and securely, even in extreme electrical signal conditions.

Harting is also featuring its family of RFID (radio-frequency identification) systems, which offer a high degree of flexibility to simplify the implementation of scalable solutions in different application sectors including railway rolling-stock monitoring. These systems combine rugged, high-performance RFID readers with powerful data pre-processing to ensure high-speed data transmission and optimum dynamic network performance. Harting’s UHF RFID technology stands up to harsh environmental conditions, and also reliably registers rapidly moving objects with metal surfaces, such as railway wagons. A read range of from 5 cm to 12 m ensures a high degree of flexibility.

Engineers choice!

InduSoft has won the Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award in three categories. "We’re grateful to InduSoft users and others who voted for the InduSoft solutions. These awards are the result of the feedback from distributors, certified system integrators, OEMs and end users worldwide that we use to continuously improve InduSoft Web Studio SCADA software,” says Marcia Gadbois, vice president of business development, InduSoft.

In the Software-Applications, Monitoring category, InduSoft’s Business Intelligence Dashboard Template, an application for InduSoft Web Studio v7.1, was awarded the top prize for its intuitive and customizable configurations. The application enables users to effortlessly access information, which is displayed in user-friendly dashboards, from Microsoft Access or SQL Server.

InduSoft Web Studio v7.1 was chosen for the HMI Software award. A comprehensive HMI/SCADA software solution, InduSoft Web Studio v7.1 provides a variety of tools to simplify the creation SCADA and HMI applications. It also offers several new features, such as the InduSoft Collaborative Solution and the ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) option that lets users compare any configuration file merge changes from multiple developers. It also offers support for version and source control, as well as interaction through Microsoft's Team Foundation Server*.

The third Engineers’ Choice award for Mobile Apps for Controls, Automation, and Instrumentation went to InduSoft’s Studio Mobile Access solution that enables operators, maintenance staff and managers to view and interact with process variables, trends and alarms from any HTML5 device such as iPad, iPhone or Android tablet/phones.

InduSoft remains committed to continually developing and improving solutions-and offering the best, most comprehensive, independent SCADA software package.

• InduSoft products are distributed and supported in Britain and Ireland by AdProSys Limited

Using Distributed I/O (Video)

Moore Industries has produced a new video detailing the advantages of using distributed I/O products such as the NCS NET Concentrator System® in plant settings. The video shows how a distributed I/O network provides a universal and modular way to connect a wide range of signal input and control output possibilities.

Hosted by journalist and industry expert Peter Welander, the NCS NET Concentrator System video shows the benefits of using a distributed I/O network to send information between instrumentation devices in their and control elements in a control room or on a factory floor. Connecting field devices to the NCS NET Concentrator System or a similar device saves time and expenses associated with the installation and repair of wiring. The modular nature of distributed I/O networks makes it easy to add expand operations or integrate legacy process sensors. In addition, peer-to-peer systems are redundant, meaning that a break in a wire pair will not affect signal transmission.

The NCS NET Concentrator System solves several challenges that engineers deal with when establishing communications between field instruments and control devices. Its universal design can handle a range of signal input and control output possibilities. It is also capable of establishing peer-to-host or peer-to-peer connections, with the ability to send signals through wireless, Ethernet or fiber optic networks in peer-to-peer communications.

New portable water quality profilers

Xylem Analytics has announced the launch of a new range of portable multiparameter water quality meters that have been designed for spot measurements and profiling of pH, ORP, conductivity, temperature, depth and optical dissolved oxygen, in both marine and freshwater applications.

The new WTW MPP 900 IDS Multiparameter Sondes are able to take measurements at depths of up to 100m because of the IDS (intelligent digital sensors) technology which means that sensor output is converted to a digital signal within the sensors, so that data can be transmitted for longer distances without interference.

A further advantage of the IDS technology is that each sensor has its own identity which is recognised immediately by the meter when connected. In addition, calibration history is stored in the sensor which helps to further reduce any potential for error, and enables users to quickly switch sensors when necessary. Reinforced cables are available in lengths between 1.5m and 100m.

There are two versions of the new meter, both with a built-in depth sensor. The MPP 910 IDS has a single sensor port and the MPP 930 IDS has three sensor ports. All sensors also measure temperature and are used with the rugged Multi 3430 handheld meter.

Sales and Marketing Director Darren Hanson says: “The MPP900 instruments are an exciting addition to the range of portable water quality monitors offered by Xylem Analytics; with a built-in depth monitor and digital sensors the MPP900 is ideal for limnology and represents a lower cost alternative to the EXO multiparameter water quality logging sondes.”

Joint solution

Crouzet has decided to use HMS Industrial Network’s Netbiter as remote management solution for their latest generation of micro PLCs – the Millenium 3 Smart. This provides users of the micro PLC with instant access to data on their field equipment over the web.

An example of an early adopter is the Swedish-based company Triplesign who uses the solution to monitor alternating billboards. With Netbiter, they can see the status of each billboard and even remotely control which message to display. “I have been working with the Millenium 3 Logic Controllers for some time and the fact that the Netbiter solution had a ready-made template for this micro PLC was a great advantage,” says P-A Claveroth, Sales and Marketing Director at Triplesign. “We simply connect the Netbiter unit to the Millenium 3 and all parameters show up immediately in a web browser.”

How it works:
A Netbiter EasyConnect gateway is connected to the Millenium 3 micro PLC in the field. The Netbiter gateway communicates with a cloud-based data center called Netbiter Argos. This data center collects and stores the data from the field equipment. By logging in to Netbiter Argos, users can see the exact status of the Millenium 3 and thereby their own devices in a web dashboard. They can also get alarms and notifications whenever something happens.

“This combined solution will be very useful for applications in segments such as air conditioning, access control, heat pumps, water and air treatment, waste treatment, lifting and handling, medical equipment and pump management,”says Henrik Arleving, Product Line Manager, Remote Management at HMS. “These segments are very suitable for remote management and Netbiter offers users and service engineers a quick way to improve control of the applications and reduce costs.”

André Chovin, Automation Marketing Manager at Crouzet comments: “In the frame of remote management, HMS’s Netbiter solution contributes to make the most out of the Millenium 3 Smart logic controller as it gets it connected from anywhere, anytime, 24/7. The main attribute of the Millenium 3 range is its easiness of use. Similarly, the Crouzet/HMS solution is easy to use and effective for remote management of automated systems.”

The joint solution is already available and distributed by Crouzet and HMS’s distribution network.

Gas chromatograph update!

The Siemens Industry Automation Division is offering a new modular oven and a new operator panel with a color display for its Maxum Edition II gas chromatographs. Siemens is offering a small modular oven with space for an analysis module as well as a larger version designed for a combi-module or two small modules. This modular approach increases the average availability of the gas chromatograph, while at the same time reducing maintenance overhead and operating costs. The new operator panel has a large 10-inch color touch display, which makes it much easier to use the analyser. It is backward compatible and can also be retrofitted to older systems.

The new graphical interface provides significantly improved and intuitive menu navigation. This makes it simple and transparent to operate the Maxum Edition II, especially with regard to routine tasks. For example, users can enter data more easily in large pop-up dialog boxes, and all frequently used functions can be reached directly by additional navigation points. Chromatograms are easy to edit using the touch screen. The new operating structure is based on the familiar menus of the previous black and white displays, so personnel trained on the Maxum Edition II can convert easily. As previously, the user can still also operate all analyzers connected within the network with no restrictions using the new operator panel. The touch screen is also certified for use in hazardous areas according to CSA Div. I and ATEX Zone 1.

With its 'modular ovens' option, Siemens is presenting a second essential significant innovation for its gas chromatographs. This expands the previous oven configurations for analyzing gaseous samples with versions for exchangeable analysis modules. The design allows the new analysis modules to be quickly and easily replaced simply by releasing a screw, so that maintenance only takes a few minutes and modules are soon ready for use again. For users, this increases the average availability of the chromatograph for making measurements and, in turn, that of the entire system, while at the same time reducing maintenance costs. Another benefit is lower operating costs as a result of the high energy efficiency of the analyzer and low media consumption.

The smallest modular oven unit comprises a small, isothermal oven which is large enough to house a chromatographic analysis module. Configurations with one larger oven chamber for two separate modules or one double module are also possible. Both oven space types can also be combined in a single device. If required, maintenance personnel can service and repair the analysis modules on site themselves. Alternatively, Siemens can handle the entire service and maintenance work for the modules. The company also offers preset back-up modules for specific applications. The new design of the Maxum Edition II is fully compatible with existing Maxum networks, maintenance stations and plant control systems. Typical areas of use include natural gas applications as well as petrochemical processes involving the production of ethylene or olefins.

Monday, March 11, 2013

First suite of wireless pre-engineered Essential Asset Monitoring solutions

Emerson Process Management has announced the availability of Essential Asset Monitoring solutions, the industry’s first family of integrated wireless application solutions for equipment monitoring.
A typical pump monitoring application!
The pre-engineered monitoring and analysis solutions embed process and equipment knowledge into a wide range of applications and use existing wired and new wireless instruments to form a network for continuous automated expert monitoring. Integrated solutions are available for pumps, blowers, compressors, heat exchangers, fired heaters, corrosion, and cooling towers.

The new 24/7 online monitoring solutions reduce monitoring costs through pre-engineering savings and wireless efficiency. Whereas wired continuous monitoring is traditionally afforded for only the most expensive and critical assets, the lower costs of Essential Asset Monitoring solutions enable expanded asset oversight.

"Equipment failures are a common cause of outages and incidents," commented Tom Snead, President, Global Projects, Emerson Process Management. "Predictive monitoring by Essential Asset Monitoring solutions delivers diagnostics as well as equipment and process health alerts that enable timely corrective actions to keep the facility online, increasing production availability and savings on maintenance and energy costs."
"Our research has shown that unit or site-wide Essential Asset Monitoring application solutions can help owner-operators increase production capacity by 1.2%, save 14% of maintenance costs, and 2% of energy costs."

The pre-engineered solutions are scalable. Users simply choose the number and type of applications that monitor threats specific to their facility. Their resulting solution will include a wireless field network communicating data from monitoring instruments to AMS Suite operator graphics and maintenance screens, and to host systems and data applications.

Complex level detection a breeze

Baumer’s CleverLevel series LBFS/LFFS switch stands out not only by its reliability. Used in conjunction with the optional configuration software "FlexProgrammer", CleverLevel offers a great potential for use in a wide range of applications. Even more complex tasks can be completed very easily, and frequency deviation technology extends CleverLevel's application areas far beyond simple filling level monitoring. As an "all-rounder" the CleverLevel detects different media (e.g. foam and liquid) as well as contaminants (e.g. oil on water) in the same tank. In addition, the level switch prevents pumps from running dry even in viscous or sticky media.

Using FlexProgrammer, the switching range can be adjusted as required to ignore foams during maximum or minimum monitoring, for example. This function can also be used when the level switch is supposed to ignore adhesive substances, as for example in tanks with liquid chocolate. Even when the tank is empty, the sensor and tank wall are covered with chocolate. When configured accordingly, the CleverLevel will only be tripping when the tank is really full or empty. The graphic configuration software also increases user friendliness.

For example, it is possible to simultaneously monitor CleverLevel's internal signal while the thresholds are adjusted by mouse click within the graphic representation. This is also possible with extended setting methods that take into account other parameters when two media have the same dielectric constant value - such as medium conductivity.

Even different media in the same process tank can be detected to differentiate the final product. For this purpose a measuring signal can be output so that different dielectric constants can be differentiated by different media, foams, or adhesive substances in the control. This way it is possible to detect any media contamination, e.g. oil infiltrated by water.

Preventive maintenance platform

"Analysing and Troubleshooting – Always one step ahead!"
Fluke has launched a Preventive Maintenance platform on its web site to help industrial maintenance personnel to maximise plant uptime and minimise downtime. Constant condition monitoring maximises component life, tracks equipment wear trends and reduces downtime by identifying problems before they occur. From precision analysers to troubleshooters, loggers and recorders, Fluke tools provide the information to help cut plant energy costs and minimise downtime and production stops. Aimed primarily at industry service and maintenance engineers, process industry engineers, power quality engineers and industrial consultants, the preventive maintenance platform will help grow expertise for best practice in maximising uptime, saving costs and optimising processes.

To meet new challenges in analysis and troubleshooting of industrial machinery, automation and process controls or power conversion electronics, Fluke tools can provide the solution. Recognising, identifying and solving power quality problems are increasingly important to businesses. Whether calibrating instruments, troubleshooting a problem or carrying out routine maintenance, proven Fluke tools bring the understanding to get the job done well and quickly.

Support is provided by a range of media available on the platform. Application Notes and Case Studies of best practices can be downloaded; video testimonials showing the benefits from customers’ successful application of Fluke products can be viewed online; online virtual product demonstrations show the capabilities of Fluke tools; applicable Fluke tools are listed, with click-throughs for more detail on each product; and to ensure that Fluke tools are used to their full potential, classroom seminars, online webinars and training are all available to members of the Fluke Academy, which is free to join via the web site.

Surge protector eliminates threat of power crossover

The new SSP self-healing surge protector from MTL offers state of the art surge protection with the additional features of AC fault withstand capability and current limiting protection to our traditional and proven hybrid surge technology, adding yet another layer of protection.

The product is suitable for all general Process I/O applications and higher voltage signal applications for SCADA run over private wire networks and is designed to eliminate the most common cause of surge protection device failures (continuous overvoltage/over current conditions) whilst adding current limiting protection to the circuit.

The use of Surge Protection Devices on communication lines has increased significantly over the last number of years. However if the communication lines are subjected to induced AC power or AC power-cross, the surge protector can pose possible safety hazards. In these circumstances, the SSP surge protector will respond and draw AC current providing over current protection to the wiring, the load and the loop equipment.

The SSP’s self-healing capability incorporates circuitry to mitigate the hazards of induced AC or AC power-cross up to 240Vrms by stopping the flow of current in milli-seconds to prevent surge protector and wiring damage. Once the AC power is removed, the SSP will automatically begin normal operation.

The single loop design makes the SSP series resilient to sustained over-voltages caused by earth faults and power faults and is packaged in the well-known IOP/SLP enclosure giving a wider range of performance offering.

Faster assembly and logistics for switchgear

Until now, the assembly of sheet steel enclosure base/plinths was a fairly time-consuming process. The new Flex-Block base/plinth system developed by Rittal can speed this up considerably.
Switchgear assemblers can enjoy significant time and money savings by using Rittal‘s new user-friendly Flex-Block base/plinth system, featuring enhanced, fast, more efficient, tool-free assembly of individual components and logistical processes.

Rittal’s new base/plinth system comprises of four identical corner modules and covers made of plastic, plus symmetrical sheet steel side trim panels. The modular design and increased assembly space allow the four corner pieces, which support the entire weight of the enclosure, to be quickly and easily fitted underneath the enclosure. Once the enclosure is configured, the trim panels are simply clipped into position on the base/plinth with just a few actions.

Designed for loads of up to 15,000 N, the robust, 100 mm high plastic corner modules additionally have hexagonal slots to accommodate adaptor sleeves for stacking 200 mm high base/plinths. Levelling feet or twin castors are also accommodated. The system accesso-ries permit tool-free baying of the base/plinth, and may be configured individually for each enclosure panel, for example with cable clamp rails.

Rittal’s new Flex-Block base/plinth system can combine for all sizes in the TS, SE 8 and CM enclosure series, the TP console systems, and the PC case systems. Rittal additionally offer widths in 300 mm for the LCP Liquid Cooling Package climate controlled enclosure.

In stock, the new Rittal Flex-Block quick-assembly system is offered alongside the existing range with sheet steel base/plinths.