Friday, June 28, 2013

High Voltage SCADA systems to standardise assets!

RWE npower renewables, one of Britain’s biggest renewable energy developers and operators, is using High Voltage SCADA systems installed by Emerson Process Management as part of a standardized High Voltage SCADA approach across its wind assets. The systems provide comprehensive visibility and control of the high voltage electrical network at wind farm and control center levels, helping to increase availability and reduce costs.

The installations at Novar 2 wind farm in Scotland and at Kiln Pit Hill and Hellrigg in northern England are now fully integrated into the company’s existing portfolio SCADA system DCDAS (Distributed Control & Data Acquisition System), which was also provided by Emerson.

The High Voltage SCADA solution at RWE npower’s wind farms is based on Emerson’s OpenEnterprise™ package, which consists of a single OpenEnterprise Server, ControlWave® Micro RTUs (Remote Terminal Units) and third-party OPC Servers.

The OpenEnterprise package can retrieve data from remote locations using a wide variety of communications including ADSL, ISDN and satellite. When combined with Emerson’s range of RTUs and flow computers, OpenEnterprise provides a system that is fully equipped to meet the challenges of low-bandwidth, high-latency and poor-quality networks.

Emerson’s ControlWave Micro RTU is a highly programmable controller that combines the unique capabilities of a programmable logic controller (PLC) and a RTU into a single hybrid controller. The ControlWave Micro can maximize the performance of a wide range of control systems, with a design emphasis on low power consumption, scalability and modularity.

Each wind turbine has a single ControlWave Micro RTU, which is used to control and monitor the turbines’ high voltage switchgear, as well as software interfaces to third-party measurement transducers. Remote access to the system is provided using Windows Terminal Services.

“Completing these three projects represents an important milestone in the development of a standardized High Voltage SCADA approach across the RWE npower renewables’ wind assets,” said Paul Witchard, SCADA Systems Manager at RWE npower renewables. “Based on this success, a further three systems are being installed at the UK wind farms at Middlemoor, Goole Fields and Bradwell. These wind farms are under construction and will join the network during 2013.”

Emerson began working with RWE npower renewables in 2006 when it provided the DCDAS system, a portfolio SCADA system initially connected to 19 operational wind farms at various locations within the UK. In total, 30 wind farms are currently integrated into the system with an installed capacity of approximately 800 megawatts, the majority being onshore but with two offshore wind farms off the North Wales coast. The High Voltage SCADA server also hosts the DCDAS wind turbine interface software applications, providing a reduction in initial cost and maintenance.

“The DCDAS system provides real-time data for live monitoring and control of our wind assets from our 24/7 control centre in Swindon, UK. The High Voltage SCADA system uses the same communications infrastructure as DCDAS to enable monitoring and control of the high voltage switchgear, either locally or remotely. This will help us maximize availability and revenue, make fewer site visits, and improve maintenance scheduling.”

Instrument hire simplified!

As part of a continual process to find ways to improve its instrument hire services, Ashtead Technology recently conducted a customer survey which highlighted the need for an improved system for instrument returns. In response, Ashtead has implemented a new collection system that the company claims is simple and hassle-free.

"Where'll I put it?"
Marketing Executive Stewart Curtis explains: “The survey results indicated a high level of satisfaction with the quality of the instruments and technical support that we provide. However, some of our clients wanted to avoid unnecessary hire costs caused by equipment that was not returned immediately at the end of the hire period.

“To resolve this potential issue, we have worked with FedEx to create a system which will ensure that equipment is ‘off-hired’ on the day of collection, and if UK customers are able to request collection by 11.30am, we will usually be able to collect on the same day.”

To further simplify the process, return shipping labels are supplied and equipment can be returned in the original packaging if desired. Signed collections will take place at FedEx verified addresses between 12 noon and 6pm.

The new system has been running for several weeks now and Stewart says “The new process has been very popular with customers, which is great news because it contributes to one of our main goals; to provide simple, easy access to the latest technology.”

Next generation 70GHz oscilloscopes incorporate IBM' 9HP SiGe technology

New performance oscilloscope series also offers improved signal fidelity to power high end test applications

The next generation of high performance real-time oscilloscopes, from Tektronix,  will incorporate IBM’s latest 9HP silicon-germanium (SiGe) chip-making process. This fifth generation of IBM’s semiconductor technology along with other advances such as patent pending Asynchronous Time Interleaving announced previously will result in oscilloscopes with bandwidth capability of 70 GHz and improvements in signal fidelity.

Operating at speeds up to 350 GHz, 9HP is the first SiGe technology in the industry featuring the density of 90nm BiCMOS and delivers higher performance, lower power and higher levels of integration than current 180nm or 130nm SiGe offerings. Tektronix has been a long-time adopter of SiGe, using it to consistently deliver the best performing and most accurate oscilloscopes in the industry.

The next generation of performance oscilloscopes from Tektronix is due for availability in 2014. With real-time bandwidth of 70 GHz, and the potential for more in future iterations, the new oscilloscope platform will deliver the performance and signal fidelity needed for applications such as 400 Gbps and 1 Tbps optical communications and fourth generation serial data communications. This level of advancement in oscilloscope technology is a direct result of Tektronix’s commitment to innovation and one the industry’s highest levels of R&D investment year over year.

“By extending our long-standing relationship with technology leader IBM, Tektronix is continuing to push the envelope on what can be achieved in high-fidelity, high-speed data acquisition systems. Early adoption of 9HP has allowed our engineers to explore innovative architectures and performance thresholds once thought unattainable,” said Kevin Ilcisin, chief technology officer, Tektronix. “The advanced 9HP SiGe BiCMOS technology provides the faster switching speeds, high integration levels, and low noise our next generation of performance instrumentation requires to meet customer requirements.”

Improving Signal to Noise
In addition to leveraging the advances made possible by 9HP, Tektronix’ forthcoming oscilloscopes will benefit from the use of Asynchronous Time Interleaving technology to improve signal-to-noise ratio beyond the frequency interleaving approach in use by some vendors today. In traditional frequency interleaving, each analog-to-digital converter (ADC) in the signal acquisition system only sees part of the input spectrum. With Asynchronous Time Interleaving, all ADCs see the full spectrum with full signal path symmetry. This offers the performance gains available from interleaved architectures but without the same impact to signal fidelity. To learn more, download the new white paper “Techniques for Extending Real-Time Oscilloscope Bandwidth.”

Investment Protection
Over the past decade, Tektronix has consistently anticipated the proper levels of bandwidth support for the leading serial standards, and is an active participant in such bodies as the IEEE Society, PCI-SIG, SATA-IO and USDB-IF. The Tektronix Performance Oscilloscope Investment Protection Program provides customers with a cost-effective migration path to higher-performance oscilloscopes as their needs evolve. If interested, customers should contact their Tektronix Account Manager to discuss future migration plans.


Japanese gas detector manufacturer joins wireless group!


New Cosmos KD 12 Gas Detector Head
New Cosmos Electric Company, a Japanese-based leader in gas detection systems, has joined the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute. New Cosmos Electric Company evaluated the leading wireless communication protocols for its product portfolio and selected ISA100 Wireless™ based on its superior technology foundation and higher projected ROI.

“Plants and factories need a wide range of gas detection systems to support employee workplace security applications,” said Shinji Nakajima, Chief, New Cosmos Electric Co., Ltd. “To meet customer needs, we provide flexible gas sensing configurations, varying from simple stand-alone units to large-scale systems integrating several hundred gas detectors. We are excited to join the industry leaders who have also made the commitment to ISA100 Wireless™.”

“New Cosmos is a leader in the gas detection field, and end users will benefit from the addition of their devices to the list of ISA100 Wireless Compliant products. Selecting ISA100 Wireless is a smart decision for suppliers who are seeking cost-effective approaches for adding wireless capabilities into their product portfolios,” said Andre Ristaino, Managing Director, ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute.
Since its establishment in 1960, New Cosmos Electric has been offering products built around its unique gas sensing technology. Its product list includes residential gas alarms, industrial gas detection systems, portable gas detectors, odor sensors and products applying odor sensors.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

First true wireless GWR level/interface monitoring from Rosemount #PAuto

New IEC 62591 (WirelessHART™) Guided Wave Radar transmitter extends continuous level monitoring to difficult to reach locations

Emerson Process Management announces the industry’s first true wireless Guided Wave Radar (GWR) transmitter for continuous level and interface monitoring. The Rosemount® 3308 wireless GWR transmitter has been introduced to meet the need for accurate level monitoring in remote or difficult to reach locations where installing new cabling would be costly or impractical.

Rosemount 3308 - the first 
true wireless Guided Wave Radar 
level transmitter
GWR transmitters are widely used for a broad range of measurement and control applications. These include process level measurement in vessels and storage tanks in refineries, oil fields, offshore platforms, chemical and industrial plants. For example, in well production applications, GWR transmitters are used to measure the level in tanks used for the storage of production, and the delivery water and injection chemicals. Accurate and reliable level instrumentation helps avoid the risk of oil spills that impact the environment and require expensive labour and equipment to clean up.

Emerson’s Smart Wireless technology significantly reduces installation and configuration time. Since there is no need for cabling, trenching, conduit runs and cable trays, costs are typically reduced by 30 per cent or more compared with a wired solution. Once a wireless network has been established, any WirelessHART™ enabled device can join the network and take advantage of the benefits of an existing Smart Wireless infrastructure. This makes it easy to make changes or move devices around to meet specific requests.

The Rosemount 3308 Wireless GWR transmitter features enhanced configuration and diagnostics. It provides an easy and cost effective way to add visibility across a wide range of industries and applications, ensuring plant and operator safety and improving process efficiency. The transfer of unique and proven solutions from the wired Rosemount 3300 and 5300 Series GWRs has made long battery life possible without compromising measurement reliability. Device Dashboards help to reduce errors by providing a step-by-step configuration process.

Based on GWR technology, the Rosemount 3308 is a top mounted device for direct level and interface measurement of liquids. It is virtually unaffected by changing process conditions such as density, conductivity, temperature and pressure, and because it does not have moving parts, no calibration is required and maintenance is minimised. A wide range of process connections, probe styles, and accessories ensure application flexibility.

WirelessHART devices are typically installed and operating in just a few hours – reliably transmitting data via a wireless gateway to a control system or data historian. Status information and device diagnostics are easily accessible from the control room, reducing maintenance requirements and enhancing operator safety by eliminating unnecessary field trips.

Emerson’s Smart Wireless technology is based on the IEC 62591 WirelessHART standard. Real-time plant data acquired wirelessly can be used to optimise operations, improve worker and plant safety, and reduce emissions and other environmental impacts. Clocking more than 1 billion total hours of wireless operations across 10,000 systems, Emerson’s Smart Wireless technology has proven its reliability, enabled cost savings and significantly reduced installation time for tens of thousands of systems worldwide.

Automation journal achieves its highest rating!

ISA Transactions: The Journal of Automation, dedicated to the science and engineering of measurement and automation, has earned its highest rating ever in a prominent scientific ranking of journal quality and value.


Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, distributes ISA Transactions on behalf of ISA to an international audience via an electronic platform called ScienceDirect. Incorporating a full-text scientific database of articles and book chapters from more than 2,500 peer-reviewed journals and more than 11,000 books, ScienceDirect provides access to more than 10 million users worldwide. 
ISA members can access the online version of ISA Transactions at no cost; members may also subscribe to the print version for US$99. ISA also offers subscription options for non-members and institutions.
The 2013 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports® (JCR), a quantitative method of ranking, evaluating, categorizing and comparing journals, rated ISA Transactions 46% higher than the previous year. And among all professional journals relating to instrumentation, control and automation, ISA Transactions earned the highest five-year rate of increase in the JCR rankings.

The JCR rankings measure the Impact Factor, the frequency with which the average journal article has been cited up to two years after publication. Since 1975, the Impact Factor has been relied upon as an indicator of journal relevance and importance.

“ISA is very proud of the increased citation of ISA Transactions as it reflects the journal’s overall scholarly value and quality, and the credibility and usefulness of its peer-reviewed content, particularly among those in the research and publications community,” says Ahmad B. Rad, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of ISA Transactions. “The results provide further confirmation that ISA Transactions is on par with the very top journals focusing on the applications balance of research.

“They also provide me, with another great opportunity to thank the volunteer editors and editorial board members of ISA Transactions—as well as the multitude of contributing authors and reviewers—who invest so much time, energy and creativity to put forth such a well-regarded professional journal.”

This publication covers advances and state-of-the-art developments in the science and engineering of measurement and automation. The bimonthly journal has increased in popularity over the last several years, with hundreds of industrial practitioners and applied researchers holding subscriptions.

Measurement topics covered in ISA Transactions include sensors, perception systems, analyzers, signal processing, filtering, data compression, data rectification, fault detection, inferential measurement, soft sensors and hardware interfacing; and the techniques that support these technologies, such as artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic, communication systems and process analysis.

Automation topics frequently referenced in the journal include statistical and deterministic strategies for discrete event and continuous process control, modeling and simulation, event triggers, scheduling and sequencing, system reliability, quality, maintenance, management and loss prevention; and the equipment, techniques, and best practices that support them such as optimization, learning systems, strategy development, security, and human interfacing and training.

Journal Citation Reports®
A recognized authority for evaluating journals since 1975, the JCR supports an annual systematic review of the world’s leading journals in 232 disciplines, using a combination of metrics and millions of cited journal data points that provide context in assessing journals’ scholarly value.

The JCR are relied upon by:
  • Librarians to evaluate and document the value of their library research investments.
  • Publishers to determine journals’ influence in the marketplace, review editorial policies, monitor competitors, and identify new opportunities.
  • Authors and editors to identify the most appropriate, influential journals in which to publish.
  • Researchers to discover where to find the current reading list in their respective fields.
  • Information analysts and bibliometricians to track bibliometric and citation trends and patterns.

New high density connector solution

Souriau has released the JDX Hybrid (Mixed Power & Signal) connector family. This new combination of power and signal being offered within one high density connector solution minimizes added componentry inventory, reduces system complexity and the subsequent consumption of valuable space and installation costs.

The new JDX Hybrid connector also offers a ruggedized and sealed IP68 solution for high vibration and shock applications. Having waterproof features combined with exceptional reliability and quality, the JDX interconnect system is ideal for both outdoor and indoor environments.

The JDX mixed power and signal connector offers the ability to integrate 2 to 3 power contacts with 6 to 8 signal contacts in one connector housing. Available in both Brass or lightweight Aluminum with a shell size 2 and 3 versatile layouts. The JDX Hybrid connector can also be customized to provide a cost effective cable assembly solution to meet your application requirements.

SOURIAU Sealed and non-sealed connectors can be used in a variety of markets including Instrumentation & Measurement, Industrial, Mil-Aero, Broadcast Entertainment, Medical and Telecommunications.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ultra-reliable small bore systems for tomorrow's offshore operations

Advanced fluid connection and control components for process instrumentation and hydraulic systems that greatly reduce the risk of system failure, leaks and downtime will be highlighted at Offshore Europe 2013 by the instrumentation products division of Parker Hannifin.

Among the major potential problem sources that Parker's instrumentation technology combats are the reliability risks posed by corrosion, the large numbers of potential leak paths that are inherent with traditional small-bore system building techniques, and the risks posed by welding or 'hot work'. At this year's exhibition, Parker will additionally demonstrate the broadest choice of valve, manifold and tube fitting components available in the world today, following more than a decade of intense development and corporate acquisitions.

The exceptional choice that Parker offers means that instrumentation and piping engineers specifying and building small-bore tubing systems can source everything they need for projects from a single supplier, backed by the assurances that Parker's high quality manufacturing and comprehensive materials traceability programs deliver. Parker's core values of 'faster, smarter, cleaner, safer' capture the company's goal of leadership in the process instrumentation market.

In terms of product choice, Parker's range is unparalleled. In the tube fittings segment for instance, choices include advanced two ferrule connectors, cone-and-thread connectors for medium and high pressure applications, and ferrule-less connectors for permanent connections. In the valve and manifold area, options include small bore valves that meet the medium pressure requirements that oil and gas operators are now demanding, ultra low emission valves, and an exceptional selection of high-reliability and close-coupled manifolds for installing instruments and interfacing instruments to pipelines. These product choices are complemented by Parker's renowned supply chain and machining capability for special purpose alloys, such as the 6Mo material which has emerged as the preferred choice for many offshore engineering design consultants designing for corrosion resistance and longevity.

"A key focus of our engineering effort is enhancing the long term reliability of small-bore fluid instrumentation systems," says Charles Harris of Parker Hannifin's instrumentation products division. "With the aid of the new generations of instrumentation connectors and valves we have developed, engineering firms and operators now have a truly comprehensive selection of advanced system building solutions, to achieve the highest attainable levels of reliability and safety on offshore projects."

An important aspect of Parker's display this year is the company's widening range of fitting and valve products that eliminate leak-prone taper threaded connections, and with it any need for PTFE tape or anaerobic sealant - a common cause of problems in the field. Parker's products in this area include valves and manifolds with integral compression tubing ends, and threadless piping interfaces that convert a standard flange to a compression tubing connection.

A key advance in this area being highlighted for the construction of tomorrow's offshore platforms and process equipment is Parker's threadless fluid connection solution that meets the need for operating pressures in excess of the typical 6000 PSI maximum of the industry-standard two-ferrule connectors. Parker's novel Phastite connector will withstand working pressures up to 20,000 PSI and offers a high-integrity alternative to permanent connections made using welded connections - which might require a 'hot work' permit because of the fire risks and are typically not allowed on operational platforms.

Automating Tuapse Refinery (RU)

Honeywell has signed an agreement with NK Rosneft, a leading Russia-based oil and gas producer, as the main automation contractor for the construction of its new refinery at Tuapsinskiy NPZ (RU).

Honeywell is to deliver a comprehensive set of services to equip the Tuapse refinery with a single integrated production control system – Experion® Process Knowledge System (PKS). With Experion PKS, the refinery will be able to improve both the efficiency and profitability of its production process. Honeywell will also provide assistance during the design and commissioning stages of the project.


In addition, Honeywell will implement its UniSim® Design Suite process simulation software to increase staff safety and minimize operator errors at the refinery. Honeywell will also equip the site with Advanced Process Control and Manufacturing Execution Systems to help improve the efficiency and reliability of the production process.

The refinery is currently undergoing a complete upgrade, including the construction of a new distillation unit with a total capacity of 12 million tons per year as well as a number of utilities, infrastructure and offsite facilities. The second stage of the upgrade project will involve the construction of a deep conversion facility.

“Honeywell's solutions have long proven themselves to be reliable and efficient. We know that implementing Honeywell's Experion PKS automation system will help make controlling the production process both safer and easier,” said Yegor Bagrin, head metrologist, Tuapsinskiy NPZ.

“We have been working with Tuapse Refinery for over 10 years, and this new project represents one of the most important enterprises in the south of Russia,” said Leonid Sorkin, general manager, Honeywell Russia. “Besides implementing a modern production automation system, we have also provided computer-based operator training simulators. Our solutions will help improve
cost efficiency and product quality at the refinery.”
This project continues Honeywell’s long relationship with Tuapsinskiy NPZ, where Honeywell previously supplied the refinery with both an instrumentation and control system for the plant’s crude oil and vacuum distillation unit.

Digital valve controller

Fisher® FIELDVUE™ DVC6200 digital valve controller now eliminates need for accessory position transmitter

Emerson’s Fisher FIELDVUE DVC6200 digital valve controller series now incorporates a 4-20mA position transmitter that can also be configured as a discrete switch. Having the valve position transmitter function integrated within the valve controller means that the expense, bracketry and maintenance requirements of an add-on, accessory transmitter are eliminated.

The discrete switch is a solid state circuit (1-amp maximum) that opens and closes based on a user configurable trip point. The trip point can be based on valve travel anywhere within the calibrated travel range or on a device alert.

The position transmitter is independent from the digital valve controller with the power coming from the control system analogue input channel in the same manner as a standard 2-wire transmitter.

The DVC6200 communicates with the latest HART 7 standard. It may also be field configured to the earlier HART 5 standard to match any control system requirement.

With over one million units installed worldwide, FIELDVUE digital valve controllers prove highly suited to a wide variety of industries and applications where they provide unmatched valve operation. The DVC6200 series is offered with CSA, IECEx, and FM hazardous area approvals as well as other certifications/approvals. It is also listed in the Lloyd’s Register for industrial, marine and offshore use.

Optical jack sockets offer immunity to signal noise

Cliff Electronics now offer a wide range of optical jack sockets suitable for high quality audio systems, IT and medical equipment and other high bandwidth signal connections.

Optical jacks are virtually unaffected by electrical noise when transmitting and receiving digital signals and are rapidly becoming a standard feature of IT systems and high quality audio equipment including portable products.

Cliff Electronics offers 7 different models of optical jack socket. These conform to the EIAJ/JEITA rectangular standard CP-1210 and also RC-5720 and JIS C5974-1993 F05 standards for digital audio interfaces including fibre-optic interconnections. Matching moulded optical lead assemblies are also available for use with all Cliff Electronics optical jacks.

Electrical specification of Cliff’s optical jacks are; supply voltage -0.5 to 7.0V maximum, input voltage -0.5 to +0.5V maximum, operating temperature -20 to +70ºC and soldering temperature 260ºC maximum.

Mechanical specifications are; insertion force 5.9N minimum to 39.2N maximum, withdrawal force 5.9N minimum to 39.3N maximum. Body material is PBT +30G, ABS 94-V-O (depending on model) with the shutter made from nylon PA66.

Cliff Electronics optical jacks are available as single or dual optical transmitter/receiver versions with right-angle PCB mounting and a self-tapping screw hole for panel mounting. Removable and hinged and hinged shutter covers are available depending on individual connector type.

John Hall, General Manager of Cliff Electronics, comments; “We have been working with the major manufacturers in the audio industry for some 40 years and while our traditional markets remain strong the emergence of digital signal communications offers us new opportunities to supply the latest connector technology to our customers. Our wide range of optical jacks is available direct from us to OEM’s and from a number of major, franchised distributors.”

Cliff Electronics manufactures audio and power connectors, test leads, cable assemblies and accessories, general industrial connectors, foot pedals, lighting connectors, terminal posts and connection blocks, motors, fans and assembly aids. Cliff can also provide a wide range of leads including audio, instrument and power.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

European industry forum 2014 announced

ARC Advisory Group will host its European Industry Forum (EIF) on March 5-6, 2014 in Amsterdam (NL).

The EIF complements ARC’s successful forums around the world in USA, India, China and Japan, as well as the well-established Process Management Academy (PMA), which ARC has hosted in Germany and Belgium for the past nine years.

“ARC looks forward to launching a new series of top-level industry events.”, says Uwe Grundmann, ARC Europe’s Managing Director. In 2014, ARC will extend the focus of the European Industry Forum to address a broader field of industry topics of interest to end users in process, hybrid and factory automation.

This new Forum will cover:
· New challenges in cyber security
· A look at the landscape of new, integrated engineering environments
· Optimizing energy efficiency
· Excellence in process safety

At the two-day forum, ARC analysts and other automation experts will analyse trends and drivers in manufacturing and tell the inside stories of successful operations and lessons learned in a series of plenary sessions and workshops. In addition to industry-specific automation questions and information technologies, this conference takes a holistic view of current issues that keep producers and automation suppliers busy.

The Forum is a great opportunity for end users and solution providers to network with their peers and exchange ideas and share experiences. Thanks to positive feedback, ARC will offer additional dedicated workshops on these topics:
· Cyber Security
· Engineering for Machine-builders
· Cloud Computing and Virtualization
· Energy Management
· Industry 4.0

The workshops give attendees the opportunity to participate in discussions about trends and developments and to lay the foundation for change that can benefit all stakeholders. In the past, experts from companies such as Clariant, Euriware-Areva, Microsoft and SAP participated in those discussions.

Test probe provides high-current contacting for blade connectors

The new P762/G from Peak Test Services is a test probe specifically designed for applications requiring high-current contacting with flat blade connectors.

The new probe overcomes the difficulties previously encountered in contacting flat blade connectors with high currents, which result from the fact that the front face does not provide enough contact surface area. Alternative solutions based on clamps have been developed, but they are not very durable and run the risk of damaging the surface of the blade connector.

With the new P762/G, a slotted and twist-proof contact head is moved over the contact blade, and the compression of the plunger leads to a twisting movement. This results in the contact head getting a good and smooth contact to the item under test without damaging or scratching the surface.

A single P762/G probe can handle currents up to 40 A, depending on the ambient temperature. By using several probes in parallel, even higher currents are possible.

Simulator provides recording system evaluation & speeds development

Pentek has announced the SystemFlow Simulator for its Talon® analog and digital recording systems. The SystemFlow Simulator includes a virtual recorder server application that simulates disk and I/O transactions for a complete and realistic recording environment. Using either the standard SystemFlow graphical user interface (GUI) or the SystemFlow application programming interface (API), the virtual server provides live, interactive operation for training or development. The user can easily switch between different recording systems in the Talon recording system product line. The common user interface (UI) and API provides a simple transition from one Talon recorder to another.

“The Talon recording system simulator makes it easy for our customers to take a test drive of our powerful SystemFlow user interface,” stated Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek. “Developers of custom user interfaces can also gain a significant time-to-market advantage by using the API package to develop software in advance of receiving the system.”

The SystemFlow Simulator demonstrates actual Configuration, Record, Playback and Status screens of the standard GUI, each with intuitive controls and indicators. It also includes the SystemFlow Signal Viewer to display simulated live signals being digitized and recorded by a Pentek analog signal recorder. The SystemFlow Signal Viewer includes a virtual oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer for signal monitoring in both time and frequency domains.

Developers have the option of using the SystemFlow API as an invaluable tool for developing their own UI to control the Talon recording system. The UI can be tested against the simulator prior to receipt of a Talon recorder, saving valuable development time. The simulator can be controlled locally or remotely via the socket-based client-server architecture. This allows system engineers to setup and test remote control of their recording system before it is received.

System profiles containing all parameters and operational modes for specific recording sessions can be created and saved in the simulator for later use in the Talon recording system.

The SystemFlow Simulator is provided in 32- and 64- bit Windows 7 Professional operating system versions. Qualified developers can download and install the SystemFlow Simulator to experience the UI prior to purchasing a recorder.

Smart valve positioners provide actionable information about valve performance

Robust diagnostics help processing facilities comply with fugitive emissions regulations

Badger Meter has introduced the Research Control® SRD series of smart valve positioners, which deliver robust, actionable diagnostic information about valve performance and help process industry facilities comply with recent fugitive emissions regulations. Badger Meter also released the Research Control SRI series of analog valve positioners.
The SRD 960 (explosion-proof) and SRD 991 (intrinsically safe) digital valve positioners provide economical and user-friendly solutions for industries such as chemical, petrochemical, water and wastewater, oil and gas, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical. An optional base model, the SRI 990, provides analog valve control with fast control behavior. The positioner’s control boards can be swapped out to upgrade from an SRI to an SRD.

The SRD/SRI positioners are compatible with Research Control valves and most other pneumatically-actuated valves. The positioners are ideal for both new valve installations and retrofitting existing valves. The SRD/SRI can be used to reduce the adverse effects of on-line valve friction, enabling higher thrust and shorter positioning time. Optional limit switches can also be added to stroke or rotary actuators to serve as end positions.

A key feature of the SRD is its comprehensive valve diagnostics tool, which continuously monitors for fugitive emissions due to leaks and other unintended or irregular releases of gases, to help process plants meet the ANSI/FCI 91-1 standard and comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions guidelines. By early detection of fugitive emissions via SRD's leak monitoring, process plants can immediately schedule maintenance to minimize potential air pollution from their facilities and avoid fines.

The SRD provides real-time performance statistics and facilitates both proactive and reactive process management. The positioner supports methods for evaluation of valve health, operation and configuration. These capabilities, in turn, allow for predictive maintenance, intelligent alarm management, self-surveillance in accordance with NAMUR NE107 recommendations, and service management.

The SRD valve diagnostic software is available as Device Type Manager (DTM) for integration into control systems based on Field Device Tool (FDT) technology. The positioner DTM enables the user to edit a complete "health" report on the valve with all data of configuration and diagnostics. In addition, the SRD is capable of controlling a partial stroke test that offers operators a tool to identify the trouble-free function of emergency shutdown valves. The positioner is suitable for safety applications up to Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3.

The SRD is available with different communication protocols, including analog setpoint (4 to 20 mA) without communication and with superimposed HART® signal, and digital with FOUNDATION™ fieldbus H1 or Profibus® PA communications to provide connectivity to supervisory control and data acquisition systems. Communication protocol options are field-installable and can easily be changed to a different available protocol option during a system retrofit. The positioner provides the same software connectivity whether it is connected locally or via the supported networks.

The compact SRD/SRI series easily mounts to all linear and rotary actuators. Models are offered in IP66 and NEMA 4X enclosures, as well as an optional stainless steel housing, with ATEX and Factory Mutual (FM) approval for use in EEx flameproof and intrinsically safe environments.

The SRD positioner features auto-start with self-calibration and can be operated from the local display, control systems, controllers, or PC-based configuration and operation tools. A multi-lingual, full text, graphical LCD display, in conjunction with push buttons, allows comfortable and easy local configuration and operation. The LCD display presents data in simple readable text and requires no external device or software to view alarms.

Wireless measurement with thermal imaging cameras

Fluke has introduced the capability to collect test measurements wirelessly on thermal imaging cameras. Models from the Fluke Ti®1xx family can receive captured data from Fluke CNX 3000 wireless testers at distances of up to 20m and display them. These measurements can also be documented together with thermal images using the SmartView® software included with the thermal imager, adding validity to the analysis and making inspections more thorough.

Fluke is celebrating its 65th anniversary by offering, for a limited period, special promotions which include a specific CNX 3000 kit free of charge when ordering one of the thermal imagers in the family using a special part number. The special promotions can be seen in detail here  , with links at the bottom of the page to obtain more details about new products and about the Fluke story.

While stocks last, purchasers of a rugged Ti100, Ti105, Ti110 or Ti125 Thermal Imager, designed for plant technicians, maintenance professionals and electricians who need to maintain and inspect electrical and mechanical equipment and components, can receive a free CNX i3000 iFlex AC Current Measurement Kit, while purchasers of their TiR105, TiR110 or TiR125 Thermal Imager, designed for building inspection and energy audit professionals evaluating and reporting insulation problems, air leakage, moisture issues, or construction defects, can receive a free Fluke Wireless CNX 3000 HVAC System. Special part numbers cover the offer range.

The  Ti(R)110 and Ti(R)125 models feature breakthrough capabilities, including IR-OptiFlex™ focus system, IR-PhotoNotes™ annotation system, focus-free video, and IR-Fusion® technology (also for the Ti(R)105). Offering best-in-class focus and ergonomics and Fluke’s world-renowned ruggedness, the thermal imagers provide a broad range of powerful capabilities that are so easy to use they can become a regular part of troubleshooting and diagnostic routines. All models in the family come with SmartView® professional IR analysis and reporting software.

The Fluke CNX system allows users to place modules in hazardous or awkward places and then watch and record the readings from a safe distance.

Have confidence in your cooling!

Rittal’s complete range of cooling units have now been independently certified. Tests were performed in accordance with the current DIN EN 14511- 2 at the TÜV Nord’s test centre for refrigeration, air-conditioning and ventilation technology in Essen, Germany. As well as clearly defining the test conditions for determining cooling output and energy efficiency, the standard also states that the specified cooling output may not be lower than the measured cooling output by more than 8%.

During extensive tests all Rittal TopTherm cooling units satisfied the stated performance data and some cases the cooling output was up to 10 % higher than the value specified. For example, the Rittal TopTherm wall-mounted cooling unit that has a nominal cooling output of approximately 2,000 W was in fact found to have a total cooling output of 2,200 W.
The high energy efficiency of the devices was also certified by TÜV Nord. In addition to the total cooling output, the electrical power consumption of the cooling device was also determined in order to calculate the energy efficiency ratio (EER). With this information, the efficiency of the cooling unit in operation may be determined.

All Rittal TopTherm cooling units may now bear the TÜV Nord mark of conformity. Supplying units with this label, Rittal commits to regular product inspections by TÜV Nord and undertakes to report all changes that may affect the performance of the product to the test house, with the devices retested if necessary. Customers can therefore be certain of achieving the stated output and energy efficiency when using Rittal cooling units.

Gas leak detection leader acquired

Acquisition expands depth of Emerson Process Management’s safety monitoring portfolio

Emerson Process Management has acquired Groveley Detection Ltd., a leading innovator and developer of ultrasonic gas leak detection solutions for both offshore and onshore oil and gas installations.  Groveley Detection was the first company to develop a piezo-electric based ultrasonic gas leak detector engineered for extreme industrial applications.

Omni-Directional intrinsically safe airborne
leak detector designed for detection of
pressurised gas leaks.
 
Groveley will join the company’s Rosemount® Analytical business unit, expanding Emerson’s safety monitoring portfolio. With the completed acquisition, Emerson significantly strengthens its position in the global safety monitoring market by adding Groveley’s ultrasonic gas leak detection technology to the complementary Net Safety fixed gas detection and flame detection product line. Groveley’s products are used in a broad range of energy exploration and processing applications, in addition to several industrial plant settings.

"The acquisition of Groveley expands our capabilities to offer the most comprehensive solution to our customers for their total safety monitoring requirements," said Ken Biele, president of Emerson Process Management’s Analytical Group. "The addition also leverages our companies’ synergies in sales, marketing, engineering and other key operational areas."

Robert Bennet, Managing Director at Groveley, added: "Joining a global leader like Emerson Process Management represents an incredible opportunity. We expect our customer base to grow exponentially, as well as our ability to help solve customer problems by developing some of the most innovative safety products in the industry."

High-speed optical micrometer with 16,000 Hz sampling rate

No moving parts design high-speed optical micrometer with 16,000 Hz sampling rate; for ultra-high speed and accuracy, is available from Keyance. Conventional micrometers have typically adopted a "laser scan method" using physical moving parts, resulting in a limitation on the ability to improve speed and accuracy. The LS-9000 Series utilises a "high-speed exposure CMOS + high-intensity Green-LED" method that eliminates the need for moving parts, achieving further improvements in speed and accuracy. The elimination of moving parts also gives the model extremely high durability and longevity.

High-speed measurement
Fitted with a high-speed exposure CMOS and high-intensity Green-LED, the LS-9000 Series has achieved the fastest sampling rate in its class (16,000 Hz). Even fast-moving targets can be measured accurately at narrow pitches.

High stability
The high-speed exposure CMOS ensures reliable image capturing and stable measurement even when targets are vibrating. Moreover, the Monitor CMOS cancels errors resulting from tilted targets.

Increased durability
The no moving parts design reduces the need for maintenance. The LED light source is less affected by electrical noise, resulting in stable use in factory environments for longer periods.

Ultra-thin wire (Ø10 µm) can be measured
New, specialized ultra-fine diameter/gap tool ensures reliable measurement of wires 10 µm in diameter.

High density PXI large matrix solutions

Pickering Interfaces has expanded its range of 2Amp 1-Pole matrices with releases that include the highest density solutions available in PXI large matrix (BRIC™) format.

The 40-596, 40-597, and 40-598 are all BRIC 1-pole matrices with 2Amp current rating, up to 60W hot switch power and 100VDC/70VAC voltage rating – depending on the configuration, these products are available in 2 slot, 4 slot, and 8 slot PXI modules. Each model sets new standards in the achievable density of PXI matrices with configurations of 6, 12, and 16 Y Axis connections and maximum X Axis connections of up to 464 (up to 3,072 matrix crosspoints). For the first time matrix sizes have been introduced at Y sizes of 6 and 12 to compliment the usual 4, 8 and 16 sizes; giving users further choice of Y axis size and maximizing the X axis size for each configuration.

User connections are provided by industry standard D-type connectors and are supported by the comprehensive range of connection solutions also available from Pickering Interfaces.

The BRIC product range uses high quality electro-mechanical relays to achieve their 2Amp switch rating. The BRIC structure allows the creation of large PXI matrices over multiple slots without the use of expensive external cables. The fully integrated programming interface represents the matrix as a single entity, easing user programming and reducing the likelihood of user errors.

First Quad-Core PXI embedded controller

ADLINK Technology has introduced its PXI-3980, ADLINK’s first quad-core PXI embedded controller featuring the high-performance Intel® Core™ i7-2715QE 2.1 GHz processor, with up to 16 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 memory, for seamless execution in multitasking environments and reduced test times. The PXI-3980 features dual BIOS backup, conserving maintenance costs, multiple interfaces for connecting and controlling a wide variety of standalone instruments, user-friendly access design for easy maintenance, and support for hybrid PXI-based testing system control.

The PXI-3980's innovative structure delivers high availability in reliable testing systems, include adopting dual BIOS backup, allowing, in the event of a main BIOS crash, the secondary BIOS to boot the system and recover the main BIOS, reducing maintenance costs and efforts. Easy maintenance makes battery, storage device, and SODIMM modules swap-out easier than ever. In addition, solid metal case elements protect electrical components and enhance electromagnetic compatibility.

In addition to optimum processing performance, it provides multiple interface choices for connecting and controlling a wide variety of standalone instruments, including two display ports supports for VGA + DVI, dual GbE ports, GBIP, and trigger I/O for advanced PXI trigger functions. The PXI-3980 also includes four USB 2.0 ports and dual hi-speed USB 3.0 ports for connection to storage, easily accessing data from system controllers with limited built-in data storage size, and securing data with no storage damage issues. ADLINK provides the option of either a pre-installed HDD or Intel® 520 Series SSD for unequaled performance and reliability.

“Implementation of modular instrumentation in high-performance automated test equipment (ATE) is a growing industry trend when complex testing tasks are to be administrated.” Catherine Wu, Director of ADLINK's Measurement and Automation Product Segment said. “ADLINK’s PXI-3980, featuring enhanced quad core CPU performance, specifically supports applications requiring intensive data analysis or processing."

The PXI-3980 supports Windows 7 32/64-bit, and Windows XP 32-bit operating systems. The PXI-3980 controller, combined with the ADLINK 3U 19-slot PXI-2719A chassis, is a winning combination for a wide variety of testing and measurement applications, such as wireless and RF testing.

Monday, June 24, 2013

High quality CAN Mobile Machine Control conference not as well attended as expected! #MMC

1st Mobile Machine Control (MMC) conference

The first MMC conference organized by the nonprofit CAN in Automation (CiA) users’ and manufacturers’ group was participated by about 80 engineers. The two-days event took place n Nuremberg (D) and was focused on technical presentations discussing the control of mobile machines in very detail. The conference sponsored by Hirschmann, Intercontrol, STW, Softing Automotive, and Sontheim was accompanied by tabletop exhibition.

The conference started with an interesting paper from TÜV Rhineland about the assessment of safety functions of lignite mining equipment. Speakers from Germany, Finland, France, Italy, USA, and Turkey gave deep in-sight looks into different aspects of controlling mobile machine. Of course, functional safety was a very important topic in several speeches. The 150-pages conference proceedings can be bought from CiA office in Germany (@: €65).

The organizers plan to schedule the next MMC in 2015. “We were very satisfied,as were most of the attendees,with the high quality of the papers,” said Holger Zeltwanger , CiA Managing Director. “But we expected a larger number of participants.”

40V, 1.5A Robust linear regulator from Linear has Current & temperature monitor outputs

Linear Technology Corporation has just released the LT3081, a rugged 1.5A wide input voltage range linear regulator with key usability, monitoring and protection features. The device has an extended safe operating area (SOA) compared to existing regulators, making it ideal for high input-to-output voltage and high output current applications where older regulators limit the output.

The LT3081 uses a current source reference for single resistor output voltage settings and output adjustability down to “0.” Output current limit can be set externally with a single resistor. This regulator architecture, combined with low millivolt regulation, enables multiple ICs to be paralleled easily for heat spreading and higher output current. The current from the device’s current monitor can be summed with the set current for line-drop compensation, where the output of the LT3081 increases with current to compensate for line drops.

The LT3081 achieves unmatched line and load regulation of under 2mV independent of output voltage and features an input voltage range from 1.2V to 40V. The device fits well in applications requiring multiple rails. Output voltage is programmable with a single resistor from 0V to 38.5V with a 1.2V dropout. The on-chip trimmed 50µA current reference is ±1% accurate. The regulation, transient response and output noise (30µVrms) are independent of output voltage due to the device’s voltage follower architecture. The LT3081 is configurable as a 2-terminal current source with just two resistors. Input or output capacitors for stability are optional in either linear regulator or current-source mode of operation.

The LT3081 provides several monitoring and protection functions. Current limit, accurate to ±10%, can be programmed with a single resistor. Monitor outputs provide a current output proportional to temperature (1µA/°C) and output current (200µA/A), allowing easy ground-based measurement. The current monitor can be used to compensate for cable drops. The LT3081’s internal protection circuitry includes reverse input protection, reverse-current protection, internal current limiting and thermal shutdown.

According to Robert Dobkin, Linear Technology’s Vice President, Engineering and CTO, “The LT3081 regulator’s robust architecture, protection and monitoring features provide designers with new tools for reliable design. A TO-220 package for high power dissipation and various surface mount packages for lower power applications are available. System power and temperature are easily checked for proper operation.”

The LT3081 is offered in a variety of thermally enhanced surface-mount compatible packages, including a low profile (0.75mm) 12-lead 4mm x 4mm DFN, a 16-lead thermally enhanced TSSOP and a 7-lead DD-Pak; all dissipate 2W in surface mount applications with no heat sink. The LT3081 is also available in a 7-lead TO-220 power package for vertical mounting to heat sinks for higher power dissipation capability. A wide variety of grades/temperature ranges are offered including: E & I grades -40°C to +125°C, H grade -40°C to +150°C and the high reliability MP grade -55°C to +150°C. 1,000-piece pricing starts at $2.60 each for the E grade