Friday, May 10, 2013

Testing total vehicle durability!

Ford Europe commits many man hours to acquiring data from prototype test vehicles at its test track at Lommel in Belgium and, during the past 13 years, much of the Road Load Data (RLD) has been derived using Kistler RoaDyn Wheel Force Sensors over a wide variety of road surfaces. Ford has now upgraded its test capability with the purchase of ten of the latest Kistler RoaDyn measuring wheels and a set for use on test lab based vehicle simulators to ensure correlation between road and lab, a total investment of approximately €1M. The modular design of the Kistler RoaDyn Wheel Force Sensors enables Ford to test an extensive range of vehicles with wheel sizes from 15” to 19”.
According to Ford Europe’s RLD Supervisor, Mark Linn, the RoaDyn system is used on prototype vehicles being subject to total vehicle durability testing on a wide variety of road surfaces, from handling tracks to cobblestones and large potholes.

The data from the Wheel Force Sensors are used to predict the durability performance of vehicle chassis and body using CAE tools and also in the laboratory to provide load data to be applied to single suspension components and complete subassemblies, the objective being to combine minimum component weight with maximum durability to reduce total unsprung weight for best suspension performance.

Each RoaDyn wheel uses a number of three component strain gauge sensors to provide data that are used to precisely calculate the forces and moments acting on the rotating wheel. The high measuring accuracy of the precision load cells is retained during transmission as digitization takes place on the wheel to eliminate transmission interference from brake heat, movement, vibration, etc. The measurement of individual values with separate load cells also leads to an improvement in the interchannel crosstalk. As the original load cell signals are known, rapid error diagnostics is made possible. To maintain long life of the system, individual load cells can be replaced without impairing the overall quality of the sensor.

The RoaDyn Wheel Force Sensors can be constructed using either aluminium or carbon fibre reinforced (CFR) wheel rims, depending on the wheel size and vehicle loads.
During test, the measuring wheel replaces the standard wheel and must be as strong without affecting the kinematics or the handling of the vehicle. The Kistler Wheel Force Sensors using CFR are much closer to the weight of the standard wheel than measuring wheels made from aluminium or steel and have minimal effect on the kinematics or the handling of the test vehicle.

Over the past 13 years, Kistler Instruments has expanded its range of vehicle test solutions to include Corrivit™ optical speed and slip sensors, wheel vector systems and laser ride height sensors, offering the automobile industry a complete vehicle dynamics and durability solution.

Versitile connector for system & panel builders

Cliff Electronics have a new range of highly versatile Fast-On terminal blocks and accessories for system and panel builders.

The modular construction of Cliff Fast-On terminal blocks allows users to simply configure multiple unit assemblies to suit a wide range of applications. The terminal blocks are available in red, blue and black to simplify identification and to cater for three-phase installations. Each terminal has a touch-proof cover which also offers indication of unauthorised tampering. It is possible to write on the lid cover with a suitable pen and for OEM users Cliff will hot-print custom legends onto the lid or front face.

Cliff Fast-On terminal blocks accepts wire sizes from 26 AWG to 12 AWG and ¼" fork spade connectors and has a clamping medium featuring a combi-screw with a slotted cross head which clamps on to a captive profiles washer. Contact material may be specified as nickel or gold plated and is rated to 30 Amps. The terminal blocks are designed to meet UL94HB, EN60065 (complies) and CSA C22.2 and have an operating temperature range of -20 to +80°C.

To assist assembly a chassis (¼" Fast-On) or PCB mounting version may be specified and for additional mechanical stability a screw fixing module is available which can be positioned anywhere in a multiple assembly to allow it to be screwed to a PCB or chassis. Curved end termination caps are available to finish the ends cleanly and give sufficient creepage clearance for the end terminals to meet UL norms.

John Hall, General Manager of Cliff Electronics, comments; “We have many years’ experience of supplying cable assemblies and custom test leads to a large number of major OEMs. With our own factories in both the UK and China we can offer great flexibility in supplying small or large quantity requirements on shorter lead-times with very flexible minimum order quantities.”

Applications for Cliff Modular Fast-On Terminal Blocks include medical equipment, alarm panels, loudspeakers, building automation and control systems and white goods.

Wireless software development kit!

Nivis recently released an ISA100 Wireless Application Layer Software Development Kit (SDK). Nivis also announced availability of the ISA100.11a communication stack and related code on an open source basis. The SDK and open source ISA100.11a code will improve supplier’s ROI for ISA100 Wireless products by reducing development time and per-unit costs.

The ISA100 Wireless Application Layer Software Development Kit (VersaApp SDK) is a complete kit that includes a full API in both source code and binary. The kit speeds development of the ISA100 Wireless application software to link a standards compliance wireless radio node to a physical sensor or control device – reducing development time from months to weeks.

In addition, Nivis will now open source its ISA100 Wireless software platform. The new Nivis open source model will provide process automation suppliers, universities, systems integrators, OEMs, end users, enthusiasts and startups alike an easy entry point to build an ISA100 Wireless product. The open source offering will include the following software components for ISA100 Wireless: Field Device, Backbone Router, Gateway, System Manager and Security Manager. Nivis will make the core software freely available, and also continues to offer a complete suite of support services and hardware.

“Supplier interest in offering an ISA100 Wireless product portfolio has been growing markedly and the Nivis announcements have made it easier for suppliers to accelerate their product plans. In addition to the growth that wireless can provide to their business, suppliers have recognized the multitude of interoperable, ISA100 compliant products being offered from a diverse set of suppliers. The Nivis technology provides the tools they need to advance quickly, efficiently, and cost effectively,” said Andre Ristaino, Managing Director, ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute.

Speeding up and simplification of inspections for Timex

Image dimension measurement system puts much faster in-process inspection within everyone’s reach.

Timex is America's leading watchmaker and is present in more than 80 countries. Fralsen, its French entity, makes watch movements using three technologies — plastic injection moulding of small parts with very fine details; turning and cutting of parts such as wheels, pinions, arbors and rivets; and cutting and coiling of complex springs. These precision parts must be inspected with contact sensors (comparators, Cary equipment, feeler-spindles) and optical systems.

"We wanted more modern and more efficient optical inspection equipment. In other words, we wanted to be able to inspect more parts in less time," says Sylvain Scotto of Fralsen's Quality Control Department. "We also wanted a machine that could be operated by non-specialists and be able to log measurements."

The tolerances and accuracies are 15 µm for concentricity and ± 10 µm for centre-to-centre spacings and distances. There are at least five critical points per part.

The IM System
"With conventional inspection equipment, measurements took too long. As a result, we couldn´t measure many parts and there was a risk of overlooking signifi cant variations within batches. Before obtaining the IM Series, we used a variety of equipment. Our optical measuring device, which, although very accurate, is not very practical for quick measurements on a daily basis. Furthermore, it requires a high level of skill to operate. The shop microscopes provide accurate measurements, but are tricky to operate and severely limit the number of measurements and parts. In addition, a reference point for truing-up has to be created. Lastly, due to the sometimes long inspection times, our templates and projectors allow only a limited number parts to be measured and there is a risk of misinterpretation," adds Sylvain Scotto.

"The IM Series is simpler to operate, saves time and eliminates variations of interpretation of measurements. Results are conveniently displayed green (for good) or red (for bad). Keyence´s solution allows several parts to be measured simultaneously. The size of the parts and the number of elements making up the program are the only limits. There is no need for manual truing-up because the system does it all by itself by recognising each part´s geometry. Furthermore, results can be saved and statistics tracked. Part profiles can be compared against master profi les imported from CAD fi les. As a result, we no longer need to position templates on parts and measure differences in shape by eye. The machine does so automatically and extracts an image of the contour showing the difference with the tolerance. All in all, measurements are fast and do not require special skills."

The new IM-6500 Series image dimension measurement system reliably measures features in almost no time at all. Simply place a target on the stage and press the button. Up to 99 points are measured in a matter of seconds with a repeatability of ± 1 micron. Targets are found and measured regardless of their position or orientation and there is no risk of measurements being affected by variations in operator skill levels.

Thanks to the iPASS shape detection method, the system determines the position and angle of targets, making measurements automatic.

"Getting to grips with the system was easy because all you have to do is adjust the focus and load the program for the part being inspected. All the QC technicians in the Quality Department use the machine for fi nal inspection of parts before their placement in stock. The operators in the cutting shop also use it to measure certain parts during production. The programming is completely user-friendly. The faster inspection times enable us to track dimensions better and thus improve the quality of a large number of the parts we deliver. What's more, we haven't received a single complaint from clients about any of the parts measured on the machine. For example, we use Keyence´s IM-6500 to inspect the concentricity of every single cut wheel and automatically record the measurements," comments Sylvain Scotto.
The contour of the stator is superimposed on the CAD file. With the old   method (template and projector), this process was long. Now, three  parts  can be inspected in less than one minute instead of five in five  minutes. The profile also allows the Mechanical Engineering  Department  to see where parts need reworking. The red contour shows  that the stator  is at the tolerance limit in places (blue zone).

Wheel corrector: 
Inspection of the concentricity of the toothing with   the inner bore. With a profile projector and a template, three parts   were inspected in three minutes. With the IM Series, Timex can inspect   (and record) more than 10 parts simultaneously in the same amount of   time.

Cut wheels:
Inspection of the concentricity of the toothing with the bore.

Inspection of centre distances of geartrain bores on plastic plates. Less than three minutes are needed to inspect two parts.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

B&B representation in Ireland announced.

B&B Electronics have appointed Datalink Communications as Distributor/Agent for B&B Electronics produts in Ireland. Jerry O'Gorman, Managing Director, B&B EMEA said, "We look forward to working closely with Datalink Communication and assisting them in provding solutions to their current and future industrial networking requirements."
LtoR: Jerry O'Gorman (B&B Electronics M.D., EMEA), Tony Mahony (M.D., DataLink Communications) andStephen Hand (Regional Sales Executive B&B)
Datalink Communications have been providing industrial networking supplies and solutions since 2005. During this this time they have served customers in Building Automation, Rail, Wind Energy, Power Stations, IP Surveillance, Manuacturing Automation and ATM/POS industries. Together, we look forward to serving our Irish customers and assisting with industrial networking solutions in the coming months and years.

Hot stuff from automation students!

An automatic curry sausage maker named the “CurryMax” has been developed by a group of trainees? The device ensures that sausages pass through every production stage correctly; they are fried, sliced, dressed with a portion of sauce and then exit the sausage maker ready to be eaten.
Waiting for the product!
Frying, slicing, sauce portioning. Working alongside students from Saarland University of Applied Sciences (HTW), a group of Siemens trainees in Saarbrücken (D) have developed the “CurryMax”.

Hot stuff!
Controlled by a Logo! logic module from the Siemens Industry Automation Division, every production step is correctly executed in turn: the sausage is initially heated by hot air blower. A slicing mechanism then cuts it into bite- sized pieces which drop onto a cardboard tray. This is then transported onwards on a small carriage and positioned under the sauce dispenser, where it is aligned precisely with the aid of photointerrupter. A solenoid valve is used to distribute the sauce at the correct temperature over the sausage.

Using these processes, the “Curry-Max” delivers a ready-to-eat meal once every seven minutes – which is actually of very reasonable quality according to the test eaters

Harting high-density rectangular connector for harsh environments

The new Harting Han® Q High Density is a rectangular connector for signal contacts which delivers the highest contact density to date in the company’s compact Han® 3A size range. It incorporates 21 D-Sub contacts, including one designed as a leading contact.

The new connector has been developed to address the challenges presented by harsh ambient conditions where ease of handling is needed in addition to the connector being dust-proof, dirt-proof and waterproof. In particular, it can be used in environments in which gloves are worn: something that is not possible with the conventional D-Sub connector.

The new connector meets this requirement because it can be used in all housing models of the Harting Han® 3A size. The extensive range of housing types comprises metal and plastic housings for use in interior and exterior environments, EMC housings for high screening attenuation applications and stainless steel housings for extreme requirements such as those typically found in the food industry.

The connector (for both AC and DC modes) operates in the safety extra-low voltage field at 50 V AC and 120 V DC. The current load capacity depends on the contacts and cables employed; for turned D-Sub contacts for a conductor cross-section of 0.56 mm², the current load capacity at 40°C is approximately 6.5 A.

Fieldbus device couplers simplify upgrade at chemical plant

MooreHawke has released a new case study highlighting the use of its next-generation TRUNKGUARD Series 200 (TG200) fieldbus device couplers at a chemical plant operated by Ashland Inc. in Ohio (USA). Now available for download at the Moore Industries website, the case study shows how the use of the TG200s helped Ashland Inc. simplify the upgrade process and take full advantage of the benefits offered by FOUNDATION™ fieldbus.
In October 2012, Ashland embarked on an upgrade of the FOUNDATION fieldbus system at their world-class 1,4-butanediol (BDO) plant, which produces an intermediate ingredient in common industrial and commercial products. The upgrade replaced a system of quick-disconnect connectors and disconnect switches that were inefficient and had become corroded over time.

Selecting TG200s had several benefits for Ashland. The fourth-generation device couplers have unique capabilities to solve the most common issues of segment termination and short circuit protection. Its end-of-line-sensing auto termination feature allows local devices on a segment to continue even if remote couplers are accidentally disconnected, preventing downtime and potential hazards. The innovative short circuit protection in the TG200s detects a short in less than five microseconds and allows users to place more devices on fieldbus segments thanks to a decreased trickle current draw of 4 to 5mA during a short circuit.

The TG200s have also aided Ashland using test equipment with their FOUNDATION fieldbus system. Along with having standard handheld hookup terminals, the TG200s low trickle current under short circuits allows users to rest assured that enough power overhead will be available on the segment when the handheld device is connected, even if a short has occurred.

By making the TG200s a critical part of their FOUNDATION fieldbus upgrade, Ashland has improved its overall operation reliability and readiness and can now take full advantage of the benefits of a fieldbus network with greater system design flexibility. The new case study on this installation highlights how the next-generation TG200s can provide similar benefits for any FOUNDATION fieldbus application.

New 6-channel optocoupler & interposing relay modules monitor/control high-voltage field devices

Acromag’s new BusWorks® XT Series multi-channel optocoupler and interposing relay modules connect discrete field devices to measurement & control system I/O modules. 
The XTA-120V-6 optocoupler modules have six individually isolated 120V AC/DC digital (discrete) inputs to sense on/off levels and provide 5-32V DC logic outputs to a fieldbus input module or a controller. 
The XTA-MRNO-6 interposing relay module receives 4-32V DC logic-level signals from an output module or controller to switch six mechanical relay outputs. These two high-voltage relay interface modules offer a high-density, cost-effective solution to safely monitor or control inductive and other high-power loads (motors, valves, solenoids, etc.) with control system input/output modules that only support low- level DC signals. Pricing starts at $150 for the mechanical relay output module and $180 for the optocoupler input module.

“These multi-channel discrete contact sensor and relay output modules offer a safe, isolated interface between high-energy field devices and sensitive control system I/O modules,” explained Don Lupo, sales and marketing director of Acromag’s process products group. “By adding optocouplers and relays, you can use PLC, DCS, or remote I/O modules with 5-24V logic circuits to operate 120V AC/DC contactors.”

The XTA-120V-6 six-channel optocoupler is intended for use with control system digital input modules to monitor contact closures or mains power supply on/off voltage levels. Each channel senses the presence or absence of high-level voltage to determine the status of proximity switches, limit switches, toggle switches, push buttons, contacts, and other devices. Opto-isolators control a mosfet switch for a TTL-level output to safely interface the status of the monitored device.
The XTA-MRNO-6 six-channel mechanical relay is used with digital output modules to drive high energy loads. This unit serves as an interim digital interface to switch high voltage devices at high currents based on digital DC logic inputs. Each output has normally open Form A mechanical relay contacts (SPST-NO). LEDs on each channel indicate the output state for convenient troubleshooting.

Both modules can drive audible or visual alarms. Common uses involve operation of stack lights, bells, whistles, lights, and horns. While the XTA-MRNO-6 is intended for switching AC/DC inductive loads at high currents, the XTA-120V-6 is designed to drive low-current devices such as solid-state relays, LEDs, relay coils, solenoids, and incandescent lamps.
An innovative housing design is only 22.5mm wide and features removable front-facing terminal blocks for easier wiring. All units run off a 12- 32V DC power source at the terminals or through an integrated power connector bussed along the DIN rail that can provide primary or redundant power. Fail-safe operation is supported. Suitable for use in harsh environments, modules operate from -40 to 85°C with 1500V AC isolation and surge/transient protection. They can also withstand 25g shock and 4g vibration. CE and UL/cUL Class 1 Division 2 Zone 2 hazardous location approvals are pending.

Acromag has designed and manufactured measurement and control products for more than 55 years. With a headquarters near Detroit, Michigan and a global network of sales representatives and distributors, Acromag products are sold worldwide. They offer a complete line of industrial I/O products including process instruments, signal conditioning equipment, data acquisition boards, distributed I/O modules, and network communication devices. Industries served include manufacturing, water services, power generation, mining, defense, and transportation.

Fieldbus users to meet in Scotland!

The Fieldbus Foundation Marketing Committee in Great Britain (FFUKMC) is finalising its plans for the second of its 2013 schedule of end user events – a FOUNDATION Technology Study Day to be held in Aberdeen on Tuesday 21 May, 2013.

Richard Barnes, Chair FFUKMC
Fieldbus Foundation UK Marketing Committee
The FFUKMC was formally established in 1999 to promote an increased awareness and adoption of FOUNDATION™ technology throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland through a range of end user focused activities including technology seminars and roadshows, technical demonstrations and support, and trade show and conference participation.

The FFUKMC membership now includes: ABB, Beamex, Beka Associates, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell, MTL –Cooper Crouse-Hinds, Moore Industries, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation, Rotork, R.Stahl, Smar, Turck, Vega and Yokogawa.
With a morning session focused on an introduction to FOUNDATION technology, a lunch break with tabletop displays and additional presentations, and an afternoon session offering a more advanced programme, delegates will be able to tailor the day to suit their own requirements. Delegates may choose to attend either the morning or afternoon session or they are welcome to attend both. There is no charge to attend and the lunch and lunchtime sessions are open to all delegates.

Following registration and coffee, the morning session, from 10.00-12.00, will include an introduction to FOUNDATION technology and solutions, and an insight into the lifecycle economics of the system.

The afternoon session, from 14.00-16.00, will present a more in-depth programme of presentations and practical workshops with a focus on supporting a FOUNDATION installation through asset management; device replacement; calibration and recommended maintenance practices.

All registered attendees are invited to the complimentary lunch during which Fieldbus Foundation member companies will be available to discuss and demonstrate their FOUNDATION products and services.

Also available during the lunch break are update presentations on FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (F-ROM) and FOUNDATION for Safety Instrumented Functions (FF-SIF).

Richard Barnes, chairman of the FFUKMC is looking forward to welcoming current or potential end users, system integrators, EPCs, and all personnel with an interest in FOUNDATION fieldbus systems or a need to gain an understanding of the technology. “The FFUKMC is trying a new approach to its end user seminars – we understand the need for differing levels of information to suit individuals in differing roles within the process automation enterprise. The study day format which we adopted for our recent event in London allows everyone to gain high quality information whether it’s at an introductory level or an advanced level.” He continued, “There will also be several opportunities throughout the day for networking with other users and potential users, as well as industry experts and suppliers of the systems, devices and components that make up a FOUNDATION system.”

• The event will be held on Tuesday 21 May at the Yokogawa UK offices, Unit 33 Abercrombie Court, Arnhall Business Park, Westhill, Aberdeen AB32 6FE. Delegates are invited to register their names, company, email address and session preferences with the UK Committee, email:

US meter for high-accuracy flow measurement for LNG

The new Daniel™ 3818 Liquid Ultrasonic Flow Meter for liquefied natural gas applications is specifically designed for reducing flow measurement uncertainty throughout the LNG value chain. This meter is ideal for many marine and offshore applications, including custody transfer, fiscal metering, line balancing, check metering, allocation measurement and tanker loading and unloading.

Measuring LNG volume dynamically using the 3818 Ultrasonic Meter delivers higher accuracy than static measurement methods and can result in real savings. The 3818 provides a factory-proven linearity within ± 0.15% and a meter factor uncertainty of ± 0.027% due to its sophisticated multi-plane British Gas design, fast signal processing, and advanced transducer technology. Improvements in measurement uncertainty equate to a reduction in risk of the financial transaction. Additional metering points on rundown lines can also improve process control.

Industry forecasts anticipate increasing amounts of LNG will be traded in short-term (spot) contracts. This implies dynamic measurement of delivered product will be required, as is currently the case for custody transfer of oil shipments. In addition, LNG facilities are using shared or commingled storage tanks which require dynamic measurement to quantify and allocate ownership among multiple parties.

With a completely redundant 4-path, multi-plane configuration that is the equivalent of two 4-path meters in a single body, the Daniel 3818 Ultrasonic Meter utilises two independent transmitters - one for each set of four chordal paths. This ensures complete measurement redundancy and the ability to poll each 4-path meter separately. Acoustic processing is performed by specialised electronics designed to achieve high sampling rates, provide stable ultrasonic signals and optimal low flow response, delivering accurate, stable and reliable measurement.

Each Daniel 3818 Ultrasonic Meter is calibrated at Daniel’s ISO/IEC 17025 certified flow calibration facility using a static zero flow test on liquid nitrogen and a full dynamic test on water. The 3818 is designed to withstand product temperatures ranging from -196°C to +60°C (-385°F to +140°F), making it an ideal choice for a wide variety of challenging cryogenic LNG applications.

The 3818 offers all the advantages of transit time and inline ultrasonic flow meters. They are full-bore meters with no internal moving parts to wear or drift, providing for low pressure drop and minimising the risk of LNG flashing. Also available in large sizes, ultrasonic meters are well suited for high volume LNG transfers which equates to faster tanker loading and offloading.

"We continue to develop and perfect a wide range of ultrasonic flow meters for liquid and gas measurement," said Peter Syrnyk, Vice President of Engineering at Emerson Process Management, Daniel. "The introduction of the 3818 Liquid Ultrasonic Meter addresses the industry’s need for custody transfer to be based on more accurate measurements by all stakeholders in the LNG value chain."

Capital and operating expenses are positively impacted using the this meter. With an integrated diagnostics software package, the 3818 allows operators access to easy-to-interpret diagnostic information, providing greater visibility to meter performance and product quality and generating alerts when abnormal operating conditions are detected.

LED drivers and power supplies

Anglia Lighting has greatly expanded its range of LED drivers and power supplies following its appointment as British and Irish distributor for Inventronics. The new agreement allows Anglia to offer its customers higher power drivers up to 300W as well as sealed units for outdoor and industrial applications.

EUC-200Q035SV 200W Driver
According to Gene King, Director of International Business Development at Inventronics, “Our rapid growth in the US market leads us to believe that we could be equally successful in Europe with the right channel partner. In Anglia Lighting, we have found that partner – a company that really understands LED technology, is able to work closely with customers at the design level to ensure that they specify the right solution for their design, and then follow through with exceptional logistical support as the design moves into volume production.”

Mark Pinkney, Divisional Marketing Manager, Anglia Lighting, added, “Our new partnership with Inventronics is highly complementary to the existing Anglia Lighting range. It is one of the world’s top LED driver manufacturers and our agreement allows us to support applications and markets where we previously didn’t offer a solution. The new line brings us more IP rated solutions for outdoor and industrial lighting applications, as well as higher power drivers up to 300W, and a range of cost-effective constant voltage units.”

Stretch wrap packaging

Rittal’s TS 8 screw fastened side panels are now packaged in Rittal’s new stretch wrap system, which consists of all-round polystyrene edge protectors and stretch film.

Providing improved stability and superior protection from damage to the panel edges, the new packaging offers a stronger and more robust solution. The outer face of the panels face inwards for additional protecti-on against paint damage. With the new stretch wrap system damage can be recognised earlier, without the need to un-pack, leaving Rittal’s TS 8 side panels protected until required.

Enhanced protection from humidity and much better handling are provided as well as a reduction in the amount of packaging, which is recyclable.

Honeywell Integrates & Certifies FMC Subsea Automation Protocol

The integration and certification of Honeywell's FMC722 subsea automation protocol with its Experion® Process Knowledge System (PKS) C300 controller as a native interface has been announced. A global provider of technology solutions for the energy industry, FMC Technologies supplies the automation platform as part of subsea production systems for control and monitoring of offshore oil and gas fields.

C300 Controller
Within Honeywell’s Experion PKS solution, the Experion C300 controller executes control strategies, interfaces to various types of input/output (I/O) devices, and directly hosts custom programmable applications.The FMC722 subsea automation interface provides integration of the FMC protocol on the controller, enabling seamless peer-to-peer communication between topside and subsea control assets. This solution gives operators access to thousands of process parameters without the need for any intermediate hardware or protocol conversions, leading to fast response, reduced downtime and greater ease of maintenance.

“This unique and tightly integrated solution puts Honeywell at the forefront of technologies for subsea controls,” said Tracey Haslam, vice president of marketing, Automation Solutions, Honeywell Process Solutions. “Our technology offers advantages not only in bringing a new field online today, but also provides lower ownership costs over the lifecycle of the field’s operations due to common engineering, operations and maintenance. Also, ongoing developments in the FMC722 protocol can easily be integrated in future versions of Experion PKS.”

“The integration and certification of these solutions will boost the productivity of oil and gas field operators and engineers by providing them with a precise view of the field’s process status,” Haslam said. “Additionally, it will simplify the way the subsea automation system interacts with the topside distributed control system.”

Recognition for use of Ethernet switches

Red Lion Control has been recognised by Automation Panorama magazine for the use of its N-Tron industrial Ethernet switches in helping the Yiba Highway Construction Headquarters deliver real-time monitoring and control for a series of highway tunnels in China. This endeavor was honored as one of the “Top Ten Most Influential Projects of 2012” at the China Automation Industry Annual Conference, held in Beijing earlier this month.

“We applaud Red Lion Controls for the innovative contributions it has made to advance the field of transportation infrastructure and sustainable development in China,” stated the China Automation Industry Annual Conference appraisal group. “As automation and networking technology continues to develop and evolve, it will greatly impact not only the industrial industry, but also the worldwide economy at large.”

The Yiba highway, which is located in the Hubei province, connects central and western China through a series of highway tunnels that are subject to volatile temperature fluctuations, humidity, dust and vibration. Facing such extreme environmental conditions, it was imperative that the Yiba Highway Construction Headquarters deploy a rugged industrial monitoring and control system to reliably interlink its headquarters with remote traffic monitoring locations throughout the tunnels.

Working with system integrators Beijing RHY Technology Development and Wuhan FiberHome Telecommunication Technologies, Red Lion provided rugged industrial Ethernet switches that efficiently utilize network-based technology to enable real-time monitoring and control of the Yiba highway tunnels. This allows the Yiba Highway Construction Headquarters to efficiently monitor traffic patterns, inform motorists of road conditions and re-route traffic to avoid accidents. Furthermore, with a long mean time between failures, the switches help the organization reduce maintenance costs while supporting extreme conditions.

“We feel very privileged to have received this prestigious award, as it recognizes the value of what we are doing on an international level and showcases the various benefits that our industrial Ethernet solutions can provide to our customers,” said Michael Wang, general manager of greater China for Red Lion Controls. “As our company continues to grow and expand our portfolio, we look forward to introducing additional high-quality new products in the coming months.”

• Red Lion are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Maximum performance with standard Ethernet Controller

KW-Software is introducing a cost-effective PROFINET solution based on a Standard Ethernet Controller that includes isochronous real-time communication (IRT). This is very good news for PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI), the international trade association behind PROFINET, who view this as a major step for the further growth of PROFINET. Up until now, only defined ASICs or FPGAs provided this degree of accuracy and precision. Now users can receive the same performance with a standard Ethernet component.

“The market launch of the PROFINET solution on a Standard Ethernet Controller such as the one from Intel is an important step towards high-performance solutions,” affirmed Karsten Schneider, Chairman of PI. “When technology suppliers offer easy-to-integrate solutions in the form of ASICs, network controllers, or FPGAs, device manufacturers can use these in turn to offer new solutions for customer requirements. KW Software’s solution rounds out the technology portfolio. It has always been possible to integrate PROFINET with RT communication on standard Ethernet controllers. From now this is also possible for IRT. This means that device manufacturers now have scalable and suitable options for integrating PROFINET in their devices and controllers. This also demonstrates the openness and market acceptance of PROFINET.”

"For users, it means there is now a very broad palette of controllers and devices to choose from."

Control & Automation students rewarded!

DIT (Dublin Institute of Technology) held their annual College Awards Night recently.

Mitsubishi Electric Ireland sponsored the Best Academic Performance in the Final Year of the B Eng Tech in Control & Automation Systems in Academic Year 2011 – 2012.

They awarded the students with a certificate of achievement and a Mitsubishi Award Medal. Students also received a cash prize on the night - something all students appreciate!

The two students achieved joint first place were Ian Ingram (below) and Ross Cusack (above). The awards by Morgan Rusk of Mitsubishi Ireland.

Technological breakthrough in the profile measurment!

There has been a real technological breakthrough in the profile measuring field. Approximately 30 times faster than the best standard of the market, with the LJ-V Series from Keyance, it is possible to check instantaneously the results of a scanned target using a 3D view on line. It is also characterised by the simplicity of its implementation, precision and its stability of detection.

It has been the dream in many industrial sectors to be able to get a 3D metrological mechanism at the end of their production lines. The stakes are fundamental: no more manual checks, analysis in real time of production drifts and total traceability. Unfortunately, in many cases, this control was not possible because the available solutions on the market had two major disadvantages: the measuring speed was often not compatible with the rate of production and their implementations were complex.

With the LJ-V Series on line high speed checks are eventually possible. In addition speed does not change the stability of detection. This is because Keyence has developed specific electronics, and in particular a new CMOS sensor with high sensitivity and the GP64 processor.

Keyence has been mastering CMOS sensors for many years, and the HSE3-CMOS sensor is a huge step forward. It is even faster and offers an even wider dynamic range (64 times higher than the best 2D systems). With its very high sensitivity it is possible to measure with stability dark and shiny surfaces. The process is ensured by the GP64 which processes in ultra-high speed pipeline. The LJ-V Series is approximately 30 times faster than the best standards of the market. 12.8 million Points are measured in a second, that is to say 64000 profiles a second. For example it can measure targets moving at a speed of 6.4 m/s with a step of 0.1mm.

The precision and the stability of detection are also above the standards of the market. The LJ-V7000 Series combines a blue laser (which is characterised by a smaller beam because of the shorter wavelength) with a 2D Ernostar lens which focuses to the maximum the laser light. As a consequence the beam is very thin and of high intensity, generating a very stable and high profile accuracy. When operating, the precision is ±7.6 µm and repeatability is 0.4 µm. The linearity is 0.1% on full scale. The blue laser provides also a more stable detection on targets at high temperature, because the diffusion on the surface is less important than for a red laser.

Furthermore, Keyence uses a double light source. The differences of light quantity are processed in order to identify the multiple problems of reflections which disrupt the measurement. This feature, known as of double polarisation, is unique in the world. It proves critical for the measurement of metals with complex profiles and surfaces.

The implementation has been highly simplified to be accessible to all. The LJ-V Series offers 74 easy to configure measurement features, with which to configure the most contemporary measurements. Note that 16 simultaneous measurements can be performed on the same profile. Another great innovation, the LJ-V is equipped with a feature which generates a 3D profile from the 2D measured profiles. A specialised programmer is not necessary any more, all the more when an automatic position adjustment feature makes it possible to manage the differences in position of the parts to be measured. The operator can, during the adjustment or of measurement, check the results instantaneously on a specifically developed touch screen. Connection to an off the shelf monitor is also possible.

The reference distances reach 300 mm for profiles of 240 mm.

Moreover, the LJ-V is robust thanks to its IP67 protection rating. It also complies with the standard of impact resistance IEC 68-2-29. It is thus possible to measure parts of all sizes, close to the process. Consequently the LJ-V seems a very effective solution for electronics, metal working or manufacture of plastic parts and elastomers. It offers a very fast return on investment.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fits perfectly in ‘Never Been Done Before’ goals

Designed to transport megastructures to remote, offshore locations, the Dockwise Vanguard relies on Emerson technologies for ballast control and tank gauging system

Dockwise, a global leader in the transport and offshore installation of extremely large and heavy structures, has selected Emerson Process Management to supply the control systems that help maintain stability and structural integrity for their semi-submersible heavy transport vessel, the largest of its kind in the world.

Named Dockwise Vanguard, the new vessel is designed for heavy marine transport and offshore dry docking, enabling oil and gas operators to design and build larger and heavier offshore structures such as Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels. Because of the Dockwise Vanguard’s loading capacity of up to 110,000 metric tonnes and its bowless design, it is now possible to fabricate these megastructures and load and transport them intact to remote offshore wells or production sites. This helps cut costs, lower risks, improve schedule flexibility and reduce offshore man-hours required to get these megastructures into operation.

Emerson supplies a comprehensive ballast control system, which is responsible for helping the Dockwise Vanguard submerge and rise with stability and integrity. It relies on tank gauging systems that provide highly accurate level measurements for load calculations as well as high level and overfill alarms. The Dockwise Vanguard also uses Emerson’s Smart Wireless technology to measure and transmit tank level data to the wheelhouse.

"Emerson’s reliable and highly sophisticated ballast control technologies are an important factor in allowing us to provide this first-of-its-kind carrying capacity, as well as provide a dry dock capability at offshore production sites for repair and retrofit, which saves significant time and money," says Eugène van Dodeweerd, Manager, Fleet Supervision of Dockwise. "Conditions in the offshore environment require ballast control that is also easy to operate and maintain and Emerson has proven the reliability of its marine tank management systems on a number of other Dockwise vessels."

"The design and execution of the Dockwise Vanguard fits in perfectly with Emerson’s ‘Never Been Done Before’ goals. This vessel redefines the entire Heavy Marine Transport industry," said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. "We are proud of our contribution to the ballast systems of this innovative vessel."

The Dockwise Vanguard was awarded a 2012 Spotlight on New Technology Award by the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) which recognises innovations that are leading the industry into the future.

New digital flow sensor

Omron Electronic Components has added a new digital flow sensor offering exceptionally high accuracy and repeatability in monitoring low air flows. The sensor is an ideal alternative to a differential pressure sensor for optimising energy efficiency in air conditioning and ventilation systems, like variable air volume (VAV) and heat recovery unit systems (HRU) or for use in high quality medical equipment and industrial applications.

Based on Omron's  MEMS thermal flow sensor chip, the new Omron D6F-PH provides better accuracy and repeatability than standard differential pressure sensors especially in low flow conditions. It is capable of measuring with superior sensitivity and reproducibility in these environments and with a wider pressure range than the commonly used capacitance-type and piezoelectric-type differential pressure sensors. Embedded ASICs carry out digital correction (linearity and temperature correction) making the D6F-PH more precise and less influenced by temperature than conventional analogue output sensors.

Features of the sensor include a new digital correction algorithm that achieves 3% R.D. precision. The sensor’s flow impedance has been increased, to reduce the influence of the bypass pipe length and diameter and give more stable measurements. The D6F-PH is suitable for use in a bypass configuration where the small differential pressure generated by orifice or flow restrictor is correlated to high volumetric flow in main duct. The sensor is available from Omron in three versions, with measurement ranges from 0-250Pa, +/-50Pa and +/-500Pa.

Current consumption is just 6mA with no load at supply voltage Vcc of 3.3VDC. The sensor features a digital I2C interface with 12 bit pre-set resolution.

The new sensor is exceptionally compact, with dimensions of just 26mm x 22mm x 18mm as a result of the new flow path design. Omron’s D6F-PH digital differential pressure sensor can optionally be supplied pre-set to provide temperature measurement or failure detection functions.

MOM's the word!

ISA publishes new book to help manufacturers move to real-time operations intelligence #PAuto  

The third collection of  ISA's Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) methodology white papers designed to help manufacturers transform their paper-based processes into real-time operations intelligence that drives innovation and optimizes global supply chain management.

The MOM Chronicles: ISA-95 Best Practices Book 3.0 builds on the international success of Books 1.0 and 2.0, and the progress made by the ISA-chartered ISA95 Best Practices Working Group in outlining prescriptive methods for applying MOM standards to advance manufacturing operations technologies.
Editor & Contributing Author
Charlie Gifford
Charlie Gifford is president and owner of 21st Century Manufacturing Solutions, a manufacturing consultation firm. For the past 30 years, he has developed advanced manufacturing systems in a wide range of industries: aerospace, electronics, automotive, food and beverage, telecom, energy and life sciences.
A widely recognized expert in combining Lean Six Sigma practices with operations management systems, Gifford has contributed to the development of and taught many operations standards, including ISA88 and ISA95. He recently served as chairman of the ISA95 Best Practices Working Group.
He has published more than 45 papers on operations management best practices, and served as chief editor and contributing author of Hitchhikers Guide to Manufacturing Operations Management: ISA-95 Best Practices Book 1.0 and When Worlds Collide: ISA-95 Best Practices Book 2.0.

He received an undergraduate degree in chemical and material engineering and a master’s degree in solid state physics, both from the University of Maryland.

Third Time Lucky for MOM/ MES Architectures? ( Tim Sowell, Invensys  Evolution, 10/5/2013)
“The simple truth is that manufacturers who don’t adopt paperless processes for intelligent operations management will not be able to compete globally and will fail in business,” asserts Charlie Gifford, the book’s editor and contributing author. “The more quickly this transformation can be achieved, the faster these companies will be able to continually innovate and improve.”

The new book, Gifford says, explains how a standards-based framework can be established creating and maintaining plant operations process definitions and rule sets so that intelligence systems can accurately execute work processes for the entire plant and supply network in a cost-effective manner.

“Currently, the use of industrial computer applications has largely been limited to isolated, department-based systems,” he explains. “And most manufacturing departments define their operations work process and the forms used to enable their processes using a department-based language and data definition. This makes communication between people and systems to execute the single process of flowing materials an expensive translation and slow manual task.
To accelerate innovation and make continuous improvement sustainable,” Gifford continues, “the actual work processes and executing systems must speak the same language and structure data in a standardized way in order to ensure accurate integration, reporting and analysis.”
The MOM Chronicles 3.0 explains the standards and methods for supply chain-focused operations management systems, outlines how to construct the system requirements for a plant or set of plants, and defines roles and processes across the supply chain.

“A very important point is that the book explains how a standards-based framework can help complete the transformation to intelligent work processes within three to five years, a much shorter timeframe than the current average of between 10 and 15 years,” Gifford points out. “The faster this transformation can be accomplished the sooner manufacturers can improve their profitability, and optimize their product innovations into and through their supply chain.”

Free data capture application

ADLINK Technology has announced free download availability of AD-Logger™, its ready-to-run data capture application, and DAQBench®, providing ActiveX controls for creating professional instrumentation applications using ActiveX development environments. Having placed hundreds of data acquisition modules on the market, ADLINK has developed a variety of data acquisition and development tools for reducing development time and providing complete data logging solutions. AD-Logger and DAQBench are compatible with ADLINK’s full range of data acquisition modules and digitizers, and fully downloadable from ADLINK’s website.

In addition to data collection and monitoring, important tasks such as graphing collected signal data, zoom observation, file saving, and dynamic transfer to third-party software (i.e. Microsoft® Excel, Nation Instruments™ LabVIEW™, and MathWorks® MATLAB®) for post analysis are also enabled. A system with compatible ADLINK DAQ devices and AD-Logger installed allows immediate data collection and monitoring once sampling conditions are configured via ADLINK's DAQPilot interactive wizard, all with no need for programming.

ADLINK also provides DAQBench, an ActiveX Controls Pack for measurement and HMI applications. DAQBench is compatible with software development tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio, Borland C++ Builder, and others. DAQBench's various ActiveX controls include user interface, data analysis, data integration, data acquisition and SCADA controls, enabling easy development of powerful and flexible measurement or SCADA/HMI application tools.

New Technical Sales Manager

Karl Miles joins the Peak Group from a senior technical role at environmental test house Abtest. Prior to that, he had spent six years in sales and management positions at GOEPEL Electronics Ltd., with responsibility for their UK and Ireland operations. His areas of expertise include test hardware engineering, test strategies, environmental test, JTAG and boundary-scan testing.

Karl Miles
“We are delighted to welcome Karl Miles on board in what is a very exciting period for our company”, comments Frank Nuttall, Managing Director of the Peak Group: “His breadth of experience and knowledge of our industry will stand us in good stead as we forge new relationships with our industry partners and further grow our market penetration.”

Originally a manufacturer of ATE in-circuit test fixtures, the Peak Group now manufacture a comprehensive range of test equipment, from simple test boxes used by subcontract manufacturers to stand-alone high specification test racks and systems used in the aerospace and defence industries. Peak has also formed partnerships with industry-leading specialists such as National Instruments, Virginia Panel Corporation and GOEPEL Electronics, enabling it to act as a systems integrator to produce test systems tailored to individual users’ requirements.