Friday, April 5, 2013

75 Watt DC/DC converter

Calex Mfg. Co has announced added two models to their 75 Watt WDE Series. Both housed in an industry standard 1/8 brick package (2.45" x 1.05" x 0.55"H), the 24S5.15WDE features a wide 9 to 36 V DC input range with a 5 volt output at 15 amps. The 24S12.6WDE features the same 9 to 36 V DC input range and provides a 12 volt output at 6 amps. Both models are fully regulated and isolated input to output.

The 24S5.15WDE and 24S12.6WDE expand the Calex WDE offering which previously consisted of 24, 28 and 48 volt ouput models with either a 9 to 36 V DC or 18 to 75 V DC input range.

In addition to the basic 1/8 brick analog functions, ie. Sense, Trim and ON/OFF, all WDE models feature a PMBus interface to allow monitoring, data logging and remote customization of the DC/DC converters. An evaluation board is available from Calex for bench testing, communication and configuration. These features make the unit an ideal solution for critical applications where monitoring and/or data logging can assist in system evaluation, monitoring and trouble shooting. Some of the key digital power management features include:

- Precision, adjustable over-temperature protection
- Configurable current-limit inception and shut-down delay
- Logging of historical fault events in non-volatile memory
- Monitoring of Vin, Vout and temperature
- Digital dynamic adjustment of Vout
- Digital warning thresholds for faults

All WDE models are housed in a fully encapsulated cast case making them ideal for still air environments. The operating temperature range of the WDE is -55 to +100 °C.

Automation in US's Cybersecurity Framework initiative

Representatives of Automation professionals to participate in the first US Standard's body meeting for developing the Cybersecurity Framework!

At the request of the American National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), representatives from the Automation Federation  were invited to participate in the first NIST meeting for developing a national cybersecurity program called for by President Barack Obama.

The Wednesday meeting, held at the office of the United States Department of Commerce offices in Washington, DC, is an important step in establishing the Cybersecurity Framework within President Obama’s Executive Order announced in his State of the Union address to confront the growing threat of cyberattacks on our nation’s critical infrastructure. The Cybersecurity Framework will include “standards, methodologies, procedures, and processes that align policy, business, and technological approaches to address cyber risks,” and “help owners and operators of critical infrastructure identify, assess, and manage cyber risk.”
"...align...technological approaches to address cyber risks.." US President Obama (12/2/2013)
Pat Gallagher, Director of NIST, has been instructed to lead the effort to develop the Cybersecurity Framework. Responding to NIST’s invitation to participate in the initial meeting were Automation Federation’s Leo Staples, 2013 Automation Federation Energy Committee Chair; Eric Cosman, Chair of ISA99 Security Committee; Steve Mustard, member of the Automation Federation Government Relations Committee; and Mike Marlowe, Automation Federation Managing Director and Government Relations Director. Cosman, in addressing the NIST Cybersecurity Framework meeting, said that “securing automation control systems from cyberattacks is at the heart of protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure.”

The NIST Cyber Security Framework for Reducing Cyber Risks to Critical Infrastructure is a mechanism to help secure a wide range of systems by working with industry and standards organizations to leverage existing industry standards. As the founding organization of the Automation Federation, the International Society of Automation (ISA) provides cybersecurity standards, processes, and training focused on Industrial Automation & Control Systems (IACS). Since 1945, ISA has a proven track record creating and extending standards as demonstrated by successful IACS- related standards, including ISA95, ISA88 and ISA84. ISA provides users with cybersecurity training programs for building the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

Automation Federation and ISA are committed to working with NIST to meet targeted deadlines in completing the Cybersecurity Framework as outlined in President Obama’s Executive Order. Members of the Automation Federation will participate at the next NIST Cybersecurity Framework meeting, which is scheduled for 29-31 May 2013 at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, (PA, USA).

The Automation Federation has advocated the development and application of consensus industry standards to protect vital industrial and critical infrastructure. It has voiced the importance of including the American National Standards developed by ISA99, Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security, a multi-industry initiative of ISA as part of the Cybersecurity Framework. These standards apply to all key industry sectors and critical infrastructure. Given the interconnectivity of today’s advanced computer and control networks--where vulnerabilities exploited in one sector can impact and damage multiple sectors--it’s essential that cybersecurity standards be broadly applicable across industries.

ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI), an affiliate of ISA, has also developed a widely recognized compliance and testing program that ensures that industrial automation and control devices and equipment conform to consensus cybersecurity standards. The Automation Federation is promoting the work of ISCI as part of the Cybersecurity Framework.

Solutions partner!

Trident Automation has joined Yokogawa's VigilantPlant® Solutions Partner Program (VPS Partner Program). The VPS Partners program creates a collaborative partnership with select System Integrators (SI's) to deliver Yokogawa’s best in class industrial automation solutions to the process industry. As a trained integrator, Trident Automation, Inc. will deliver Yokogawa's VigilantPlant® Solutions portfolio, including the industry's most reliable portfolio of DCS, PLC, RTU products, as well as, advanced application software solutions. Support comes from some of the leading industry experts, both domestic and from our group companies around the globe, which have executed and supplied over 20,000 control systems worldwide.

“Trident Automation brings additional industry expertise to our VPS Partner Program. Their knowledge base and customer commitment will enhance our ability to serve a wider range of customers,” says Holly Setter, SI Channel Manager.

Trident Automation has commissioned fully integrated distributed control systems at over 85 process plants and also provides control system support and engineering for over 100 process plants.

“We at Trident Automation are looking forward to our relationship with Yokogawa. It is sure to offer new options for customers to consider when choosing or replacing their plant wide process controls system. This also fits well with Trident’s commitment to serving customers with a selection of the best in class options to best fit their needs,” commented Don Jolly, partner at Trident

Industrial mobile handheld computer

Adlink Technology has launched the IMX-9000, an industrial mobile handheld computer using the Windows CE 6.0 R3 operating system. Combining high-performance RFID, a barcode scanner and GPRS/WLAN wireless transmission functions to satisfy diverse working requirements, the IMX-9000, with superior resistance to impact, water, and dust, can be applied in a variety of industries, including fully supported logistics management, transportation, retail and factory automation.

Windows CE 6.0 R3 operating system with satisfaction of market demand
The IMX-9000 adopts the Windows CE 6.0 R3 operating system and offer a software component sharing interface. Thanks to development efficiency and integration reliability, Windows CE 6.0 R3 OS can shorten the product development cycle and reduce the time to market.

Easy data access and reliable wireless communication capability
Designed with high-efficiency barcode scan processing capacity, data saved under 1D or 2D barcodes can be collected and accessed easily. With integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GSM, fast-positioning GPS and AGPS, the IMX-9000 enhances the reliability of wireless communication.

Rugged design brings protection
Due to its rugged design, the IMX-9000 passes IP65 and 1.5m drop tests to ensure continuous operation, and provides highly reliable operation in harsh working environments.

Optimise application configuration
With a 3.5” 4-wire resistive touch panel, the IMX-9000 has proven to be readable in sunlight for outdoor use. Equipped with a 5M pixel back camera and 0.3M front camera, the IMX-9000 supports wireless broadband for real-time video communication and surveillance. An embedded 3000mAh rechargeable Lithium battery ensures long-term operation. A charging cradle is also provided, for added convenience

XY monitoring

The latest version of the Kistler XY monitoring system, the maXYmos TL, has increased capability with up to 8 XY channels and compatibility with a wide range of sensor types and communication protocols making it ideal for a variety of demanding process monitoring and product testing applications.

The maXYmos TL, TL standing for “Top Level”, may be used for the same simple force-displacement monitoring as the basic version but the extended functionality makes more challenging assembly and product testing applications well within its capability. The extensive functionality and straightforward operating concept using an intelligent touch screen menu system have been proved on the maXYmos BL. Key features of this high end XY monitor are more powerful evaluation techniques, a larger selection of connectable sensors, wide range of fieldbus types, expandability up to 8 pairs of XY-channels and a large (10.4"), high-resolution, colour touch screen display.

The fast data acquisition rate of 20kHz and cycle times down to 0.05 second, compatibility with a wide range of force, torque, pressure, position and angle sensors and communication with a number of different PLC types using Profibus DP, Ethernet/IP, PROFINET & EtherCAT connectivity provides the speed and flexibility demanded by current production methods and test regimes. The system can accept signal input from a wide selection of sources including strain gauge, piezoelectric and potentiometer sensors, +/-10V, LVDT, incremental and SSI encoders. The system analyses the relationship between any two inputs or one input against time and can be expanded to monitor up to eight XY pairs using one master display.

Data curves consisting of up to 8,000 value pairs for each cycle can be stored on a shared folder on a server or on a local USB memory in csv, xml or pdf file formats with either all or only NOK curves being selected. The maXYmos TL can detect tool breakage using gradient monitoring and responds in real time. The short evaluation time allows monitoring of up to 20 parts/second, and both X- and Y-thresholds can generate switching signals for control purposes in real time. The built-in memory can store up to 128 measurement programs each with 10 evaluation objects ensuring flexibility in terms of evaluation criteria and variety of parts. A curve memory for NOK diagnosis provides access to the last 500 curves for analysis using a filter and bundle function.

The maXYmos TL is designed to support all common mounting configurations such as desktop, wall and front panel mounting. The flexible case concept gives the machine designer plenty of options.

Tape & label feeder products for Germany & Bulgaria

Hover-Davis has expanded AdoptSMT Europe GmbH sales and support distribution, now adding the countries of Germany and Bulgaria to its territory.

AdoptSMT Group has successfully distributed Hover-Davis products throughout Europe since 2006. In this latest expansion of its relationship with AdoptSMT Group, Hover-Davis is announcing full German and Bulgarian sales, support and distribution authority to AdoptSMT Group offices in Paderborn, Germany and Sangeorgiu de Mures, Romania.

“AdoptSMT has continued to expand sales, service and support coverage throughout Europe, adding regionally focused service centers, staffing and offices that provide cost effective and expedited expert knowledge. Their established customer base in Germany and Bulgaria has long requested direct access to Hover-Davis replacement tape and label feeders. Customers have also expressed an interest to use the established AdoptSMT feeder services offered from the Adopt Paderborn location. With this change we now give our customers in Germany and Bulgaria the option to work directly with AdoptSMT. Companies headquartered in Germany now have a local contact to support not only their facilities in Germany but also their factories located throughout Austria, Switzerland and neighboring Central and Eastern European countries,” states Michael Cyr, Hover-Davis General Manger.

“The centrally located Paderborn facility is a key to AdoptSMT’s unique position to service the replacement feeder market and also the growing demands for label feeding. Through their strong market presence AdoptSMT Group successfully supports SiPlace® customer needs. Their customer’s product obsolescence, long lead-time and parts availability challenges are overcome through aggressive focus into this market and with our mutual cooperation. I am extremely pleased that customers in Germany and Bulgaria may now purchase Hover-Davis products and services directly from Adopt.”

Erhard Hofmann, Managing Director AdoptSMT Europe GmbH, notes: “We have been very carefully growing our sales and support infrastructure in Germany for several years. In addition to our very deep and experienced sales team our Paderborn office offers a very experienced team to provide full feeder repairs and services. Expanding our coverage beyond the recently announced areas of Austria and Switzerland into Germany and Bulgaria provides Hover-Davis customers with one point of contact that is able to support them comprehensively throughout Europe.

Many customers with headquarters in Germany desire a partner that is able to support their other factories located in other European countries including Central and Eastern Europe. With this additional territory we can now work directly with our customers’ headquarters to offer the most convenient and consistent service. We are also very excited to be able to offer our established customers the convenience of one stop shopping by not only providing machine and spare parts services but also Hover-Davis tape and label feeder products.”

Thursday, April 4, 2013

High-availability networking for controllers

High connection availability through parallel data transfer via separate network structures

The Simatic CP 443-1 RNA communications
processor facilitates networking of the
Simatic S7-400 controller via a redundant,
high-availability PRP connection according
to the IEC 62439-3 standard
The Siemens Industry Automation Division has expanded its portfolio for RNA (Redundant Network Access) components with a communications processor which facilitates high-availability connection of the Simatic S7-400 controller to networks. Simatic CP 443-1 RNA utilizes the Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) in accordance with the IEC 62439-3 standard. The communications processor features two RJ45 ports for connecting two parallel Industrial Ethernet networks. The CP 443-1 RNA doubles the frame and feeds it into the two connected networks. The network access point on the receiver side relays the first incoming frame to the addressees and discards the later frame.

Simatic CP 443-1 RNA is designed among other things for use in process industry plants and power generation and distribution applications. The new communications processor supports open communication via TCP/IP, UDP and the ISO transport protocol as well as S7, PG/OP and S7 H communication for S7-400 H systems. Data can be transmitted in full or half-duplex mode in bandwidths of 10 or 100 Mbit/s. The user can view diagnostics information via SNMP, STEP 7 or the Web server of the communications processor.

In addition the CP 443-1 RNA has a third Ethernet interface with restricted functional scope. On the basis of the ISO transport protocol, the port supports S7 communication services only, all others are deactivated. Fewer functions mean less testing overhead and lower qualification costs. All Simatic CP 443-1 RNA functions are configured with STEP7 engineering software, V5.5 SP2 or higher and the hardware support package included in the scope of delivery.

In addition to Simatic CP 443-1 RNA, Siemens also offers additional components for building high-availability network connections in the form of Scalance X-200RNA network access points and the Softnet IE-RNA network access software.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Procedure provides easy and wear-free operation

The new performance class category in optical sensor technology, the O500 series by Baumer, combines the most important properties that a sensor could offer: durability as well as safe and easy operation. The O500 series is setting new standards particularly due to the ease of operation.

The new qTeach procedure is used to teach in sensors. Touching the teach-in surface with any ferromagnetic tool, such as a screwdriver, is enough to program the sensor. A blue LED light provides clear optical feedback. To prevent user errors, qTeach locks autonomously after five minutes. In contrast to conventional mechanical pressure switches, Series O500 qTeach has no moving parts which fully eliminates any signs of long-term wear.

The new performance category of optical sensors includes three types of sensors. One is the diffuse sensor with background suppression, which guarantees the maximum functional reliability during object detection. Another is the retro-reflective sensor for reflective surfaces. It stands out primarily due to its exceptionally long service life thanks to increased dirt resistance. And last but not least SmartReflect, the light barrier that operates completely without any separate reflector. With SmartReflect, downtimes due to a defective reflector are a thing of the past. All three devices provide the highest degree of reliability and convenience at reduced total operating costs.

Vision body appoints ambassadors to Europe and South America!

AIA (The global resource for vision information) has appointed two new official, global ambassadors for the association. The AIA ambassador program helps to expand AIA’s global relationships in line with AIA’s mission to educate and support the growth of the vision and imaging industry. Kyle Voosen with National Instruments is the new AIA ambassador to Europe and Steve Mott with Components Express is the new AIA ambassador to South America. They join Keith Reuben of Teledyne DALSA who continues in his role as AIA ambassador to Asia.

“The importance of machine vision and imaging technologies continues to spread throughout the world,” said Jeff Burnstein, AIA President. “While some markets are established, others are still growing. AIA understands the need to support the growth of these markets and our global ambassadors help us do that.”

AIA’s ambassadors meet with industry and association leaders in their assigned region in order to gain feedback on how AIA can assist in growing the vision industry in their area. The ambassadors also serve as a communication link between their region and the AIA Board of Directors. Each AIA ambassador serves an important role, advancing the mission and goals of the AIA and its members within the global marketplace.

Kyle Voosen, NI UK & IRL
Kyle Voosen is the Director of Marketing for National Instruments UK and Ireland. He has been at National Instruments for over twelve years and during that time has worked extensively with imaging and embedded control systems, managing vision strategies and developing partnerships throughout the world. Mr. Voosen was elected to the AIA Board of Directors in 2012. He is based in Newbury near London in England.

Steven Mott is Vice President of Components Express and was elected to the AIA Board of Directors in 2012. Mr. Mott is a much recognized face in the vision industry, having traveled to over 30 countries attending trade shows, business conferences and promoting the industry. Mr. Mott supports industry issues and helps advance industry standards all while by fostering relationships in many different cultures. He is based in Woodbridge, Illinois USA.

Keith Reuben is President of Teledyne DALSA Asia-Pacific. Mr. Reuben brings more than 20 years of experience in the imaging industry, having served in various operational and strategic functions. He founded Coreco Imaging in 1988 and has been President of Teledyne DALSA Asia Pacific since 2006. He has served on the AIA Board of Directors since 2005 and has been part of two committees: the Standards Committee and the New Markets committee. Mr. Reuben is based in Tokyo, Japan, an ideal location for him to serve as AIA Ambassador to Asia.

Wireless temperature module!

Fluke has introduced a K-Type Temperature Module as part of the new Fluke CNX 3000 system of wireless troubleshooting tools. With the Fluke CNX t3000 K-Type Wireless Temperature Module connected to a test point, the results can be viewed up to 20 metres away on a their CNX Wireless Multimeter or a computer. All these CNX modules can send live or logged measurements to a computer using a PC adapter. The CNX system allows users to place modules in hazardous or awkward places and then watch and record the readings from a safe distance. The CNX Wireless Multimeter can serve as the hub for the system and can show readings from four types of wireless modules: AC current clamp, iFlex current clamp, AC voltage, and temperature. It can display all four readings in real-time, at the same time, on the same screen, all from up to 20 metres away.

The CNX t3000 K-Type Wireless Temperature Module features a back-lit LCD display and captures temperature measurements from -200°C to +1372°C with ±0.5% accuracy. It can store up to 65,000 sets of time stamped min/max/avg readings. It comes complete with an 80PK-1 K-Type Bead Thermocouple and a magnetic hanging strap. An optional CNX pc3000 Wireless PC Adapter and Software wirelessly offers real-time PC recording or graphing of data from the Temperature Module up to 20 metres away. The software also enables the user to download logged data from the module.

It is the first set of test tools that wirelessly connects multiple measurement modules and sends simultaneous readings to a master device up to 20 metres away, allowing users to troubleshoot problems quickly and efficiently. Based on their troubleshooting needs, a user can choose other wireless modules in the family which include AC Voltage, AC Current Clamp, and Flexible AC Current Loop units. For more complex troubleshooting, users can view live measurements from up to 10 modules simultaneously on a PC equipped with the CNX PC Adapter, with customised CNX module parameters and settings, including the module name, logging interval and duration of the logging session.

Time running out!

Early registration for the 2013 Executive Conference of the Control System Integrators Association ends Monday, April 8. If attendees register before then they save $100,00 (€78,00).

More than 400 control system integrators and industry partners will gather May 1 – 4 in St. Petersburg Beach, (Fl USA) For complete program details, registration information and hotel reservations are on the conference website.

The conference features more than two dozen programs and workshops developed to help advance the industry of control system integration worldwide. Networking opportunities and an industry trade show round out the conference.

Now in its 20th year, CSIA helps control system integrators improve their business management skills for long-term success and serves as the “go-to” resource for control system integration.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wireless network strengthened!

OneWireless Release 210 Makes Wireless Technology Easier and Less Costly to Deploy in Large Capital Projects and Monitoring-Only Applications

Honeywell has announced the availability of OneWireless™ Network Release 210, which incorporates several new features that make wireless technology easier to deploy and operate, and result in lower deployment and operational costs.

New features in Release 210 include over-the-air field device provisioning and a Gateway General Client Interface (GCI) made possible by the ISA100 standard; and native integration of OneWireless field networks into Honeywell’s Experion® Process Knowledge System (PKS).

“Wireless technology is transforming the industrial landscape and we are trying to make it even easier for end users to deploy and use,” said Ray Rogowski, global marketing director, Wireless, Honeywell Process Solutions. “With OneWireless Release 210, users can benefit from the flexibility and scalability offered by the ISA100 standard while maintaining high performance and reliability.”

With the over-the-air provisioning feature, field devices can now be configured and commissioned without having to invest in handheld devices or needing to perform provisioning locally at the device. The result is faster and less costly deployment and improved worker safety.

The GCI feature, enabled by the ISA100 standard, allows operations to continue using legacy protocols and proprietary applications while making it easier to wirelessly expand those applications throughout the plant. The GCI also allows third party client applications to communicate natively using proprietary or common field protocols with wireless field instruments over the ISA100 network. Enabling operations to continue using existing applications or protocols eliminates the need to reinvest in additional equipment and new client applications, re-train maintenance and operations personnel, and to provide consistency across the plant.

Examples of GCI implementations include support for the GE System 1 condition monitoring application using GE’s Bently Nevada wSim devices and Honeywell’s OneWireless Adapter that wirelessly sends HART data from wireless HART or wired HART to HART clients.

Integration of ISA100 field device networks into Honeywell’s Experion PKS has never been easier with the new Experion interface. This feature eliminates data mapping, non-value added engineering and simplifies HMI display creation. It also allows field process alarms to be displayed on Experion’s Alarm Summary to provide operators with the data they need to make decisions. Tight integration with Experion also allows field operators and maintenance technicians to use Wi-Fi enabled handhelds to securely access process data in real-time from the field.

Latest in wireless & cellular technology!

B&B Electronics is joining with its British Sales Channel Partner ADEY Electronics and Comms65 to present a number of technical seminars on the latest wireless and cellular technologies on April 18th.

The venue is the Antenna Business Centre, Beck Street, Nottingham, NG1 1EQ.

Running from 9:00am to 3:30pm the event will explore emerging services and technologies in Britain and topics to be discussed will include; how today’s technologies can help your business, delivering services over Cellular 4G, the Do’s and Don'ts of WiFi antennas and legacy serial equipment and its migration to IP. A number of case studies will be presented and there will be application demonstrations.

There will be opportunities throughout the day and after the event to have detailed technical discussions with all of the participants; B&B Electronics, Adey Electronics, Comms365, OMRON, Mobile Mark and 3DX-Ray.

Energy management company expansion in Britain

Meterlogix, the energy monitoring and management company has launched a UK company as part of its initial expansion into Europe.

Ollie Walsh (L) and Jock Waugh
‘As a technology company, borders are not a barrier to us’ states Ollie Walsh, MD of Meterlogix. ‘So from the very beginning of the planning for Meterlogix, Ireland was a launch pad into bigger markets. Ireland is an important market to us, but was never going to be our destination’

‘Meterlogix Ireland only launched in December last year, so this expansion may seem particularly ambitious, but the model we have developed for the business was planned for scalability from the start, so once we had our product and service offering complete, we could immediately look at international markets. As we had an immediate international focus, we quickly achieved Enterprise Ireland ‘client’ status, and they have helped us greatly already in UK and are now helping us look further afield.’

Meterlogix has developed a cutting edge energy management system which enables business owners view the power consumption live. Being live, the system can be used to establish baselines to effectively manage down power usage. ‘The basic concept here,’ according to Jock Waugh UK Managing Director for Meterlogix, ‘is the more effectively you can measure your usage, the better you can manage it. Your electricity usage cannot be measured any more accurately than with the Meterlogix system’

Ollie Walsh was in Sheffield for the official launch of the UK company and says, ‘ I am delighted that we now have a full team – management, accounts, sales, installation and customer support based in our Sheffield office to service our growing UK customer base. At this early stage, our UK team are proving to be very effective as they are already generating 50% of our sales.

‘All these elements of the UK business will be operated locally in Sheffield, with the manufacture of the Meterlogix hardware, software development and all marketing functions being retained in Ireland’

Hygienic enclosures

Rittal has extended the range of protection categories for their Hygienic Design range of enclosures. With imme-diate effect all Hygienic Design Compact enclosures and Terminal boxes satisfy the demands of protection categories: IP66, IP69K along with NEMA types 12, 13 & 4X with the addition of NEMA 3R for their range of HD-KL Terminal boxes.

Rittal Hygienic Design offers new housing solutions to meet the exacting requirements of a wide range of industries. With the extended protection categories the range of products can be cleaned faster and easier than ever before reducing the down time for scheduled maintenance and increasing the end users productivity, efficiencies and profitability.

Network management

Siemens Industry Automation Division has extensively revised its network management software Sinema Server.

The new version 12 allows each Sinema Server station to monitor up to 500 devices, i.e. double the number of clients monitored by its predecessor. Moreover, as each Sinema Server can display the status of up to 100 other Sinema Servers within the network, the total number of clients that can be monitored by Siemens application the is 50,000. Connected components are automatically identified via SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) and Profinet devices via DCP (Device Control Protocol). The new version 12 also allows the user to edit, load and save device profiles. Moreover, the user interface has been enhanced and the integration into HMI devices and Scada systems such as Simatic WinCC or Simatic PCS7 greatly improved.

Sinema Server has been designed to continuously monitor Ethernet and Profinet networks in industrial and infrastructure environments. The software displays all physical connections at port level as well as machine- or application specific network configurations. The application flags up any malfunction within the network, thereby assisting with rapid fault-location and removal, which in turn, lead to reduced downtime. In order to do this, Sinema Server creates an image of the network topology including any existing VLANs (Virtual LANs). This enables the software to then continuously monitors both changes in the network architecture and the availability and status of components and connections within the network. This is possible even for network sections which are protected by security products provided they have been cleared for access by Sinema Server. The device diagnostics function provides configuration and identification data such as name, device type, serial number and product-specific status values. Sinema Server V12 also allows users to define alarm threshold values for the various parameters of a specific device. Sinema Server can be used not only for monitoring but also for documenting device inventory, network availability and network utilization.

Sinema Server V12 supports Windows XP, Windows 7 (32/64 bit) and Windows Server 2008 R2. Users are now free to choose from four display languages: English, German, French or Chinese.

Robotics in surgery

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Automation Federation (AF), and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA) are co-sponsoring a webinar, to be held 18 April 2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET, on the use of robotic technology for minimally invasive surgery.

Register Here

The webinar will feature a presentation, “Creating Robotic Technology for Ultra-minimally Invasive Surgery,” by Pierre Dupont, Ph.D, Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Bioengineering and staff scientist in Cardiovascular Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Dupont researches technologies that enable minimally invasive interventions for procedures that are currently performed as open surgery. Minimally invasive surgical techniques generally reduce the collateral trauma and risks of surgical interventions, and facilitate earlier intervention in the disease process.

In this presentation, Dr. Dupont, who is also a visiting Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, will address the challenges and opportunities of medical device development in an academic research environment. Recent cutting-edge innovations will be explored as he describes his research in image-guided robotics, which includes the creation of:
• new robot technology
• concentric tube robots
• robotic application to beating-heart intracardiac surgery

Dr. Dupont also will describe a new research direction to create small tetherless robots that are powered, imaged and controlled by an MRI scanner.

Dupont’s research, which draws upon many branches of engineering, focuses on the design and control of novel medical robots and instruments; modeling tool-tissue interaction; the development of multi-probe or multi-modal imaging techniques for surgical guidance; and the teleoperation or automation of instrument motion.

Density sensor!

Sensor employs NIR optical absorption for real-time cell density, biomass or algae measurement in life sciences, fermentation and biofuel applications

The OUSBT66 is a new sensor for cell density measurement from Endress+Hauser. Using near-Infrared (NIR) light absorbance technology, the OUSBT66 is a non-intrusive, hygienic sensor that is ideal for real time, in-situ cell production optimization in life science processes, fermentation biomass measurement and algae growth monitoring for biofuel production.

Rapid and accurate measurement of cell growth activity in cultures is critical to identify the end of the log growth phase and the achieving of stationary phase. The sensor monitors cell density in real time to avoid transitioning to the process death phase.

Biomass concentration is one of the most critically needed measurements in fermentation processes, and it is also one of the most difficult and unreliable values to measure. The sensor provides an easy and reliable method for biomass concentration measurement. Proteins, carbohydrates, nutrients, and lipids produced through algae growth can be converted into biodiesel, green diesel, jet fuels, other fuels, and many other useful products. The sensor offers a unique method for monitoring algae growth levels.

The OUSBT66 sensor uses proven optical sensor technology. The sensor emits light in the NIR region using an LED light source. On the detector side of the sensor the light is filtered to 880 nm. The level of 880 nm light detected by the receiving sensor can be directly correlated to the density of cells in the process.

The body of the hygienic OUSBT66 sensor is constructed of 316L stainless steel, with a polished surface finish Ra ≤0.76 µm (≤.32µIns). The only other material in the sensor head is the sapphire sensor windows. The measuring head, which contains the LED light source and optical sensor, is hermetically sealed and capable of withstanding CIP, SIP and autoclaving.

The OUSBT66 can be operated continuously up to 158 ºF (70 ºC), and exposed to temperatures up to 275 ºF (135 ºC) with the lamp turned off for CIP, SIP or steam sterilization in an autoclave.

The OUSBT66 sensor operates in conjunction with the Memograph CVM40 graphic transmitter and recorder. The CVM40 includes a full color graphic display. With a built-in web server, fieldbus communications (Profibus and Modbus), USB interface, TCP/IP, OPC and Ethernet, this transmitter will integrate with control systems in numerous ways.

The CVM40 transmitter input/output capability includes six digital input channels and two universal analog inputs to support a range of measurements. The CVM40 can be field or panel mounted. The CVM40 can also be freely programmed with math functions and linearization capability to output in a preferred unit of measure.

Calibration and Installation
When ordered, the sensor and transmitter are tested and calibrated together as a system at the Endress+Hauser analytical production facility in Anaheim, California, an ISO accredited facility, ensuring optimum performance.

The OUSBT66 is easy to install and commission. The sensor can be installed directly in a fermentation vessel with the appropriate fitting, or mounted in a pipe. The interconnect cable employs a Fischer® locking connector on the sensor end is easily wired to the transmitter. The menu-guided interface on the CVM40 allows the sensor to be set up quickly. Interface to the transmitter can also be accomplished using a keyboard and the USB port on the transmitter.

Managing quality, risk & complience

A new Quality, Risk, and Compliance (QRC) Management System supplier selection guide has been relaesed by ARC Advisory.  The guide includes both selection criteria and guided workflow steps to help in choosing a product quality, risk, and compliance management system for your Enterprise Quality Management operations.

John Blanchard, ARC
QRC solutions on a complexity continuum span low cost solutions with limits on the depth of functionality are provided, to highly functional much higher cost solutions. Different suppliers have also developed special domain expertise in specific industries. Other suppliers have targeted specific small industry sub-segments such as blood banks. Still others have targeted their solutions at small to medium size businesses by offering them through software-as-a-service (SaaS).

The negative impact that defective, contaminated, or off quality products can have on a business is increasing. As the number of incidents and the impact of such incidents continue to increase, governments are responding with increased regulatory requirements. And there is a shift in regulatory response from rapid response and containment of an incident to prevention. This has created a demand for more in-depth QRC system functionality that includes more real-time monitoring and prediction of potential off quality product that extends throughout the manufacturing supply chain. Traditional paper records, manual data entry, and historic data analysis is no longer sufficient. Electronic records, real-time analytics, and more powerful database have become a necessity.

The ARC STAR Supplier Evaluation and Selection Service guides users through a step-by-step process selecting and evaluating suppliers and their products against specific application and industry requirements. The process guides the user through the project and team definition, reviewing and editing ARC-provided selection criteria and supplier questions, weighing selection criteria, developing a supplier Request for Information (RFI) list, evaluating supplier responses, and developing a final ranking of RFI results. ARC STAR then fully documents the process and results for management review and approval. ARC STAR helps ensure inclusive, fact-based, impartial supplier evaluations and selections, free of the user bias issues that typically hamper these activities. In addition, ARC estimates that ARC STAR can reduce the cost and effort of a supplier selection process by well over 50 percent.

The selection guide was authored by John Blanchard. John has been covering all aspects of ensuring product quality and manufacturing regulatory compliance in the manufacturing industries for over 30 years