Friday, August 16, 2013

Pixel shift machine vision camera provides 260 million pixel resolution

The Vieworks VNP-29MC CameraLink industrial vision cameras utilise pixel shift technology to offer an extended resolution of 260 million pixels for ultra high resolution applications. These versatile cameras from Stemmer Imaging also deliver 29 megapixel resolution at a high frame rate of 5 fps under standard operation.

Its sensors are thermo-electric Peltier (TEC) cooled for improved sensitivity. The TEC maintains the operating temperature of the 6576 x 4384 pixel CCD up to 15 degrees below ambient. This provides extremely stable operating conditions, reducing noise and enabling exposure for a long period of time or at higher gain levels to increase camera sensitivity. This makes the cameras ideally suited to low light or low contrast level or non-uniform brightness industrial applications such as flat panel display inspection and microscopy.

Available in colour and monochrome versions, the cameras feature a nano stage pixel shift mechanism based on a precise piezoelectric stage. This enables the standard resolution to be extended by 4 times to 115 million pixels at 1.3 fps, or by 9 times to 260 million pixels at 0.6 fps. Colour versions provide true colour at full image resolution.

The VNP-29MC features a progressive scan interline transfer CCD imager with an integrated electronic shutter to provide excellent real time imaging performance. Camera features include flat field correction, field upgradable firmware
and pixel defect correction.

Distributor for France & Switzerland appointed!

Responding to significant business growth across Europe, Headwall Photonics has named Bonsai Advanced Technologies to be its distributor of record for both France and Switzerland. The agreement was effective July 1, 2013. Principal contact at Bonsai is  Eric Bécourt, with regional headquarters in southern France.

Eric Bécourt
In announcing the appointment, Headwall European Sales Manager Kevin Lynch noted Bonsai's high degree of experience in spectral imaging and, in particular, remote sensing and industrial inspection. "We are very impressed with the level of technical understanding at Bonsai with respect to our market-leading hyperspectral sensors. They will be able to effectively demonstrate and differentiate our technology to their broad base of accounts all across France and Switzerland."

Headwall's award-winning family of Hyperspec sensors are used in applications ranging from ground-based and handheld all the way up to aircraft and earth-orbiting satellites. Hyperspectral imaging represents a required tool for the scientific research community, which can quickly and non-destructively image anything within the field of view to determine its chemical and spectral fingerprint. Headwall's sensors take advantage of diffractive optics, which use aberration-corrected gratings to deliver high performance with respect to high spatial and spectral resolution, high signal-to-noise, and a wide field of view. Remote sensing using small and light sensors mounted to hand-launched UAVs is a fast-growing application area that Headwall has pioneered. Other application areas include advanced machine vision, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and mining & mineral exploration.

Mr. Bécourt has 23 years of experience in the analytical business, especially in the spectroscopic and NIR markets. He remarked on Headwall's innovation and technical leadership: "Our customers in France and Switzerland embrace innovation and technology just as Headwall does," he said. "They understand that hyperspectral imaging represents a valuable tool for their scientific research efforts and will be very pleased to know that we can bring those solutions to them."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New water pipeline & pump infrastructure to support economic growth in eastern Botswana!

Power and automation solution for water facility in Southern Africa

ABB has won an order to provide an instrumentation, control system and electrical equipment (ICE) package for a new water pipeline and pump station to be constructed in eastern Botswana to support growing demand driven by new mining ventures, power sector developments and a growing population around the capital, Gaborone.

Typical Symphony Plus Control Room
As part of the turnkey solution, ABB will supply its Symphony™Plus total plant automation system to monitor and control the pump stations and reservoirs located along the 360 km water network. The Symphony Plus architecture enables aggregation of data across distributed geographies and is ideal for applications such as the expansive Botswana water network. It is also specifically designed to reduce engineering time and effort from custom development, and minimizes commissioning time and risk of misconfiguration during startup. The integrated system has provisions for local and remote monitoring and control of the entire plant.

ABB will also supply an ICE package and a range of products including motors and drives, switchgear, transformers and instrumentation equipment to maximize the operational efficiency of the system. "Water resources are crucial to support economic development in this emerging nation” said Massimo Danieli, head of ABB’s Power Generation business, part of the company’s Power Systems division. "We will leverage the breadth of our portfolio, project management expertise and global domain experience to optimize this water facility, ensuring efficiency and reliability of supplies.”

The overall water project is being executed by a joint venture comprising the Middle East-based construction firm Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), and the South African construction and engineering group Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO). It is scheduled for completion in 2014.

SCADA system provides support for multible devices & platforms

Delivers HTML5 support, built-in VBScript debugging, & tools to more easily create screens for portable devices.

InduSoft has released Service Pack 2 (SP2) for its award-winning InduSoft Web Studio 7.1 software. SP2 provides native support of HTML5 screens and animation for multiple devices and platforms, including Safari and Chrome browsers.

Unlike many other SCADA systems that require separate development for different operating systems such as Windows, iOS and Android—InduSoft Web Studio lets users create screens once using the standard screen editor, and then deploy these screens across multiple operating systems. Instead of waiting months for screens to be developed for their device, InduSoft Web Studio 7.1 users can now instantly access screens on their various handheld devices via the Studio Mobile Access interface.

Another important addition is the support of native shapes such as lines, rectangles, polygons, ellipses, etc. Along with linked pictures, animations and active objects such as buttons, check boxes and more, these features render the screens for handheld devices to appear much like those of on the larger displays commonly found on PCs. Moreover, SP2 supports a wide range of images (BMP, PNG, JPG, etc.) and animation capabilities.

SP2 also provides built-in troubleshooting tools for the native VBScript editor. These new tools, such as breakpoints and variable watch lists, make debugging much easier. Breakpoints can be created for global procedures, script tasks, graphic scripts and screen scripts. This lets users debug a section of code and review the result, instead of being forced to debug the entire code. Users can also step through their VBScript code one line at a time by using the Step Into, Step Over, and Step Out tools.

Added capabilities to the DB Spy feature, commonly used with debugging tools, offer the ability to view all locally-declared VBScript variables and the current values of those variables using the Locals tab. The Stack Frame tab shows additional information about the VBScript interfaces that are currently open for debugging. Furthermore, all run-time tasks being debugged and the current state of each task are displayed in the Tasks Frame.

These are the main new features of SP2, and there are many more enhancements to increase productivity and speed development time. This upgrade continues to demonstrate InduSoft’s commitment to innovation by offering its users the most advanced SCADA solutions in addition to forward version compatibility.

Value added sensor assembly solutions

Integrated pressure and thermal sensor solutions, packaging and termination options simplify design decisions

Honeywell has launched new customizable pressure and thermal sensor solutions – including modules with multiple sensors and technologies integrated inside. Heaters, magnetic, Magneto-resistive, infrared, optical, pressure, thermal, and humidity options are all available for customization. Additional value add options include custom interfaces, I/O, size and shape, environmental packaging, and total thermal management solutions to make it much easier, faster and more affordable for design engineers to find a Honeywell sensor solution that meets their design parameters.

With Honeywell’s upfront and ongoing technical support, this customization process enhances the developer design process, ensuring that new and updated designs can be brought to the market quicker. The ability to design in a customized version of an already approved sensor design often means that device developers do not have to re-certify their upgraded products, saving both time and money.

“It is important to provide customers with exactly what they want, all from a single vendor,” said Valerie Rothermel-Nelson, Honeywell senior global product marketing manager. “This is part of Honeywell’s new systematic method of providing integrated and differentiated value added solutions. Our new approach means that we are now providing higher level assemblies, not just components. A higher level assembly is a package that provides differentiated and integrated solutions that ultimately give our customers a competitive advantage. It could be combining more than one sensor into higher level packaging, providing custom termination or even providing total thermal management solutions.”

Quick soot test protects diesel engines!

As environmental regulations increase the pressure on engine manufacturers to reduce the levels of soot emitted from diesel engine exhausts, increased soot levels in lubricants are inevitable, and this could have a major effect on engine performance. In response, Quantitech has launched a new soot-in-oil measurement technology to enable testing laboratories, lorry and bus fleet managers, ship engineers and power station managers to conduct quick tests to ensure optimal lubrication efficiency.

The InfraCal ‘Soot Meter’ a rugged, portable factory-calibrated infrared spectrometer performing an ASTM approved test method which involves two simple steps that can be undertaken by non-technical personnel, producing a result in less than 15 seconds.

Soot enters the lubricant with exhaust gas in the form of blow-by, or it is deposited on cylinder walls and subsequently scraped off by the rings and deposited into the oil, causing wear on engine components and clogging filters. A number of factors affect the level of soot contamination in the engine; these include injection timing, combustion chamber design, engine type, scavenge efficiency, air cleaner restriction, air/fuel ratio, low compression, excessive idling and lugging.

Quantitech’s Dr Andrew Hobson says “The Soot Meter is an ideal tool for anyone responsible for the efficient running of diesel engines; it is extremely easy to operate and is capable of taking measurements both in the laboratory and in the field.”

Reducing project development time

Development environment ideal for managing projects in the Maple language.

Maplesoft™ has announced a new member of their Maple™ product family, the Maple IDE. The Maple IDE, powered by DigiArea Inc., is an integrated development environment for the Maple programming language that improves productivity by providing advanced tools for writing and managing Maple projects. The Maple IDE, which is based on the Eclipse™ platform, offers a customized industry-standard environment for medium- to large-scale Maple development projects.

The Maple language provides built-in knowledge of mathematical data structures and concepts, support for writing multi-threaded, parallel programs as well as a very rich library of existing commands and algorithms. Over 90 percent of the algorithms built into Maple have been implemented using the Maple programming language. This same language is available to any Maple user for writing scripts, implementing new algorithms and extending the Maple system. The Maple IDE makes it dramatically easier for Maple users to create, manage, and update libraries of Maple code.

Features of the Maple IDE include the ability to quickly browse and search through source hierarchies, automatic highlighting and formatting based on syntactic and semantic properties of the code, navigation, testing and much more. The Maple IDE assists developers in writing, updating, maintaining, and understanding code, so projects can be completed faster with fewer errors, and later enhancements can be made more easily.

“Together with our partner DigiArea Inc., we have created a modern development environment on top of the popular Eclipse framework,” says Dr. Laurent Bernardin, Executive Vice-President and Chief Scientist at Maplesoft. “The Maple IDE provides a powerful, familiar environment for seasoned programmers, while giving new programmers valuable assistance getting started. Programming medium to large libraries in Maple is suddenly a feasible option for more customers.”

“We are excited to partner with Maplesoft to bring this new product to the Maple user community,” said Oleksandr Shkliaiev, President, DigiArea. “Working with Maple IDE will put a beginner on the path to learning the Maple language faster, and advanced developers will find a full range of tools for professional Maple programming.”

New Director of Sales for Europe

Move to create local presence to better support customers and sales partners

MagneMotion has hired Rod Blair as Director of Sales for Europe. Along with a track record of success in growing sales across Europe for other automation and high technology companies, Mr. Blair brings more than 15 years of experience to the MagneMotion team in business development, sales leadership, marketing, and building sales partnerships.

“MagneMotion has previously supported our European customers and sales partners in Europe from our offices here in Massachusetts. The move to hire a Director of Sales based in Europe was driven by expanding opportunities which accelerate the need to have a local presence to better serve our customer’s growing needs,” stated Peter Mattila, MagneMotion VP of Sales and Marketing. “We are thrilled to have found a person ideally suited to this mission in Rod Blair,” Mattila concluded.

“I am excited to become the new face of MagneMotion’s sales efforts in Europe, to furthering our existing relationships and to expanding the footprint of MagneMotion’s revolutionary linear synchronous motor (LSM) products and transport systems on the continent,” stated Rod Blair, MagneMotion’s new Director of Sales for Europe in accepting the position.“These products bring unique value to customers in a number of growth markets such as assembly automation, process automation and packaging and my main focus will be on addressing and servicing those markets.”

Source Measure Unit (SMU) instrument!

Keithley Instruments have announced the first benchtop Source Measure Unit (SMU) instrument with a capacitive touchscreen graphical user interface. The Model 2450 SourceMeter® SMU Instrument combines the intuitive touchscreen and icon-based control that novice SMU users can appreciate with the exceptional versatility that experienced users need to learn faster, work smarter, and invent easier.

The Model 2450’s design, Keithley’s latest generation of SMU instruments, offers a fundamentally new way for users to interact with test and measurement instruments. It is based on the company’s innovative “Touch, Test, Invent™” design philosophy.


This new design philosophy reflects recent market changes, including shrinking product design/development cycles and fewer personnel devoted exclusively to test engineering tasks. At the same time, the profile of the typical instrument user has also evolved. In addition to electrical engineers, it now includes a growing number of non-engineers (such as electrochemists, physicists, materials scientists, etc.) who need fast access to data but sometimes have limited training in electrical measurement. Additionally, as the previous generation of electrical engineers has retired, their younger replacements have tended to be more software oriented than hardware oriented. To accommodate all of these market and user changes, the Model 2450 incorporates numerous ease-of-use features that ensure a faster “time-to-answer” than competitive solutions, including a context-sensitive help function, “Quickset” modes that speed instrument configuration, and on-screen graphing capabilities that quickly turn raw data into usable results.

The Model 2450 builds on the design strengths and high precision of both the Model 2400 SourceMeter SMU instrument (an industry standard since its 1995 introduction) and the newer Series 2600B System SourceMeter SMU Instrument line. The Model 2450 combines the functionality of a power supply , true current source, 6-1/2-digit multimeter , electronic load, and trigger controller in one tightly integrated, half-rack instrument. With all of these capabilities, the Model 2450 integrates the capabilities of I-V systems, curve tracers, and semiconductor analysers at a fraction of their cost.

Benchtop Application Advantages
Many of the Model 2450’s features help speed and simplify lab/benchtop work:
• Full-color, 5-inch touchscreen user interface: The full-color display and large on-screen characters enhance legibility. A simple, icon-based menu structure allows reaching any measurement set-up panel with just a touch.
• Extended measurement ranges with superior low current performance: The new low current (100nA, 10nA) and voltage (20mV) ranges eliminate the need to add separate low-level instruments to a benchtop system. Back-panel triax cable connections eliminate the need for expensive cable adaptors, which can degrade low-level measurement performance.
• Built-in context-sensitive help function: Help information is provided right where it’s needed through the touchscreen, minimizing the need to review a manual.
• Error and event logging: The touchscreen displays error messages and an event log to simplify diagnosing instrument errors, for higher productivity.
• KickStart start-up software: This “no-programming” instrument control software simplifies taking and graphing data in minutes. For more complex analyses, data can be easily stored to disk, and then exported to Microsoft Excel® or another software environment.

System-Level Application Advantages
Several features simplify integrating the Model 2450 into automated test systems:
• Embedded Test Script Processor (TSP®): An onboard Test Script Processor embeds complete test programs into non-volatile memory within the instrument itself to provide higher test throughput by eliminating the GPIB traffic problems common to systems dependent on an external PC controller.
• TSP-Link® inter-unit communication bus: Unlike users of mainframe-based systems, Model 2450 users are not constrained by power or channel count limitations. TSP-Link connections support system expansion with multiple 2450s and other TSP instruments, including Series 2600B SMU instruments and the Model 3706A Switch/Multimeter. Up to 32 Model 2450 instruments can be linked for multi-point or multi-channel parallel test, under the direction of a master unit’s TSP controller.
• Model 2400 legacy mode: In addition to its native 2450 SCPI operating mode, the Model 2450 offers a 2400 SCPI operating mode for backward compatibility with existing 2400 SCPI programs. This preserves Model 2400 users’ software investments and eliminates the re-work normally associated with upgrading a system with a new instrument.
• PC connectivity and automation: Rear panel triax connectors, multiple instrument communication interfaces (GPIB, USB 2.0, and LXI/Ethernet), a D‑sub 9-pin digital I/O port (for internal/external trigger signals and handler control), instrument interlock control, and TSP-Link® jacks simplify configuring multi-instrument test setups.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Not just an update!

Version 3.0 of  CANopen conformance test tool (CTT) has been released by CiA (Can in Automation). The completely redesigned tool is improved in many aspects and complies with the CiA 310 CANopen conformance test plan. The CTT is available free-of-charge for CiA members. Non-members may purchase it from CiA Headquarters in Germany. CiA uses this tool for the conformance testing of CANopen devices (CANopen certified by CiA).

The tool runs on PCs with Microsoft Windows from Windows 95 to Windows 8 and requires a CAN hardware interface plus COTI low-level driver program. COTI software for different PC-to-CAN modules (esd, Ixxat, National Instruments, Port, and Vector) comes with the CTT software. Recently, Peak-System announced that they released COTI-DLLs for CiA’s test tool, which supports all of its CAN-PC interface modules.

Some CiA members (esd, MicroControl, Port, and Sandvik) have developed jointly the CTT with the help of Emtas and Ixxat (testing of the tool). The tool will be maintained by CiA Headquarters also providing technical support. “In order to avoid misunderstandings,” said Thilo Schumann, CiA’s CTT expert, “the tool just proofs the CANopen application layer conformity. It is not an analyzing tool.” This means, it reports the detected failures, but doesn’t provide a high-level interpretation of the messages.

As mentioned-above, the CiA test laboratory uses the CTT for device certification. TK Engineering (Finland) was the first company submitting CANopen inclinometers for a conformance family test using the new tool. All submitted products passed the test successfully. The Italian company C.O.B.O produces them, the AMU-CB series of single- and dual-axis inclinometers. For the conformance testing a CAN-to-USB dongle from Ixxat was used. In addition, the CANalyzer by Vector observed the bus traffic. “The inclinometers passed the conformance test without any problems,” explained Oskar Kaplun, CiA’s test engineer. “The Windows Wordpad was used to read the CTT’s log file.”

Besides conformance testing of CANopen devices, the CiA laboratory provides interoperability testing services. This provided service tests the device on system level: The device-under-test (DUT) is integrated in a CANopen reference network proofing the interoperability of the DUT with the other CANopen devices. Also some stress tests (high busloads, and long bus-lines) are performed. “Conformance tests check the syntax, and interoperability tests check the semantic,” explained Thilo Schumann.

Representation Louisiana and nearby districts (USA)

Moore Industries-International has signed up BBP Sales as a manufacturer’s representative for Louisiana and areas of southern Arkansas and southern Mississippi. Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, BBP Sales will help Moore Industries reach new customers in key growth industries such as gas and oil and petrochemical.

Founded in 1990, BBP Sales has built a reputation as a leader in providing process control solutions to companies in various industries throughout the Gulf Coast. The company has a strategic focus on industrial instrumentation along with valves and analytical products, making BBP Sales an ideal fit for Moore Industries’ product line.

"Moore Industries’ products have been proven to last over decades of use in the harshest environmental settings," said Scott Romero, President of BBP Sales. "With their proven track record, adding Moore Industries strengthens and broadens the high quality products we can provide to our customers."

By adding Moore Industries to their product line, BBP Sales is able to sell their customers products that have been recognized for their durability and reliability. This includes products in the Moore Industries FS Functional Safety Series that address their Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) needs such as the new SSX and SST Safety Isolators and Splitters.

“BBP Sales has a dedicated and knowledgeable sales team which understands the unique challenges facing customers in key markets,” said Gary Prentice, National Sales Manager for Moore Industries-International, Inc. “By adding Moore Industries’ products, they are able to provide their customers with proven solutions backed by rigorous testing and approvals from the industry’s leading independent agencies."

Reliable radar level measurement !

Since the successful launch of their Micropilot radar level device more than 20 years ago, Endress+Hauser installed more than 300,000 radar instruments in a wide range of applications across the globe. They have just launched their new Micropilot FMR5x range offering more for money with improved reliability of signal analysis and a new data management system for quick and easy information sharing and replacement.

Designed for use in the process industries, the Micropilot FMR5x range includes the FMR50 (liquids) and FMR56 (solids) for use in basic applications right through to the FMR51 (liquids) and FMR57 (solids) for use in high pressure or high temperature processes.

Precise
With our innovative multi-echo tracking system, the new Micropilot range has overcome the problem of obstacles in the radar beam, for example installed instruments or heating coils, that can interfere with the signal and give false readings. This improved way of analysing signals means that obstacles are marked and tracked along with the level, guaranteeing accurate measurements to within an incredible 2mm!

Efficient
Another advantage of the new radar instrument is the HistoROM data management function that allows fast and easy commissioning, maintenance and diagnostics. As well as continuously backing-up all relevant data, it allows you to replace main electronics by hand, quickly and simply. The instrument also offers intuitive and user-friendly menu guidance, reducing the cost of training, maintenance and operation.

Safe
Safety is always a top priority at Endress+Hauser. As a result, the hardware and software of the new Micropilot were developed according to IEC 61508 and can be used in homogeneous redundancy up to SIL3. In practice this means that Micropilot always checks it's working properly and safely by continuous self-monitoring. Two instruments are used at the same measuring point and if one of the two detects an unsafe condition, the instrument changes to an alarm condition. This reduces the risk of an unsafe process condition going unnoticed. As an extra safety net, the recurring check or proof test can be easily started either by attaching an engineering tool or directly from the control room, ensuring the instrument maintains its reliability.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Secure access control panels

As the need for secure, controlled and monitored access to offices, factories and public buildings continues to increase so does the requirement for flexible and “intelligent” human-machine-interfaces (HMI).

Stadium IGT can now provide access and security system manufacturers with bespoke control panel solutions offering a number of innovative features. In their basic form the panel can be simply a cover-plate for an RF sensor with stop/go indication. Enhanced panels can include integration for ID card reading, the addition of a display for user information and high impact product or corporate branding

A unique feature of access panels from Stadium IGT is the use of their market leading “Thin-Film” LED backlighting technology. This offers uniform light intensity of the display, low profile (2.00mm or less), rugged construction utilising hard coat acrylics (up to 5.0mm) and the option of construction with glass for ‘high-end’ architectural applications. The advanced backlighting technology offers illuminated logos and icons, colour changing signs and ‘secret till lit’ legends for user information.

The bespoke design service offered by Stadium IGT allows complete customisation and panels can be specified with advanced capacitive switching, with or without illumination, and integrated with other technologies and components including card readers and LCD displays.

Terry Moss, Sales Director of Stadium IGT, comments, “Stadium IGT is a leading manufacturer of bespoke control and status panels for many diverse applications including; professional audio and broadcast equipment, industrial systems, safety and alarm panels, marine monitoring equipment, defence, agriculture and building services and automation. Our bespoke control panels are ideally suited to the building access and security market and offer system designers complete flexibility of functionality and aesthetics.”

Hot steel, cool gears!

The steel industry is one of the harshest industrial environments and the technical demands on plant and machinery are extremely high. Watt Drive (part of the WEG Group) helical bevel gearboxes are being used in a new straightening unit at steel producer ArcelorMittal’s plant in Belval, Luxembourg. The project was carried out by engineering company TBR casting technologies (part of the Inteco Group). The Type K139 gearboxes prove that compactness and robustness can deliver with high performance.

Watt Drive Type K139 gearboxes drive the straightening rollers

TBR Casting Technologies planned and supplied the new straightening unit

TBR opted for the Watt Drive K139 helical bevel gearbox, mounted on the plant shaft by means of a hollow shaft

With annual steel production of 130 million tonnes and around 245,000 employees, ArcelorMittal is one of the world's largest steel producers. At its plant in Belval, Luxembourg, the industrial giant uses an electric arc furnace and large continuous casting equipment to produce steel products such as light and medium girders and sheet piles. The annual capacity of the plant is approximately one million tonnes of steel.

They wanted to convert one strand on a six strand caster to a new casting format, the Beam Blank 4 (BB4). The requirements for this strand included a new straightening unit in order to be able to cast the BB4 format, which is around 30% larger than the previously biggest format, which will continue to be produced on the other five strands (BB3). The new casting format is intended mainly for the production of girders as well as special profiles in the downstream rolling mill. The annual production of the BB4 strand is planned to be around 100,000 tonnes of steel.

ArcelorMittal contracted engineering specialist TBR (previously Technisches Büro Rumpler) Casting Technologies to modify the plant. TBR, an innovative engineering company for customer-specific, high-end solutions for the metallurgical industry, took care of the engineering, planning and delivery of the components such as the mould, segment comprising secondary cooling and straightening unit. TBR called on Watt Drive to drive the straightening rollers. The decision was made to install the K139 helical bevel gearbox, which can be easily mounted on the plant shaft simply by means of a hollow shaft. Watt Drive delivered five of these models as geared motor units, four of them for use on the straightener and one as a spare.

Little space and high temperatures
As steel production is exposed to constant high temperatures, special materials and seals are required on the gearbox in order to ensure heat resistance. Another particular challenge in the design of the straightening unit was the limited space available – as a result of the larger casting format – together with a strand separation of only 1,400 mm. In addition, all straightener frames had to be very stable, easy to maintain and interchangeable within the unit.

Because of the demanding requirements, Watt Drive customised the standard K139 helical bevel gearbox. The geared motors must withstand a high ambient temperature on the BB4 strand while at the same time delivering a high torque, and in the most compact possible housing. In addition to the high ambient temperatures, harsh environment and large control range of the self-ventilated motor, Watt Drive also took into account ArcelorMittal’s requirement for an integrated water cooling system when designing the motor and gearbox.

Compact, robust design essential
The drives are designed for a maximum ambient temperature of +100°C without additional oil cooling. At the client's wish, Watt Drive's developers also fitted a water cooling system providing the gearbox with additional thermal protection. The water cooling system ensures a lowering of the oil temperature by means of internal gear pipework. At these high temperatures, special motor and gearbox seals are also required. Here, Watt Drive used temperature-resistant shaft seal rings (Viton) on hardened running surfaces.

The almost 100 mm wider BB4 format results in extremely cramped conditions between the strands with the strand spacing kept unchanged. Thanks to the especially compact, slim design of the Watt Drive gearboxes, it was possible to implement the new straightener alongside the existing five strands. The gear housing is a uniblock design (“Multimounting”) and can be fastened on all sides. The Watt MAS (modular drive system) principle enables the standard gearbox to be quickly customised to application-specific requirements.

Each of the K139 helical bevel geared motors delivers a drive power of 5 kW, a torque of 17,580 Nm and a rotational speed of 2.2 rpm at 50 Hz. The drives are designed for frequency inverter operation, which adjusts the rotational speed of the geared motor, thereby regulating the strand speed – the larger the beam blank formats produced, the slower the speed at which the strand must to be driven. An integrated 100 Nm brake with manual release – also specially designed for the high ambient temperature – serves to hold the cold strand in a fixed position at the point of entry because at the start of the casting process, a “dummy bar” closes the mould exit outlet. Thanks to the manual release, the brake can be released by hand in an emergency, enabling the strand to be moved.

To improve ease of maintenance, Watt Drive designed the oil level indicator to be more prominent and easier to read. The gearboxes also feature a special expansion tank or oil expansion chamber. The vertical construction requires more oil in the gearboxes, which expands at the high operating temperatures. The expansion tank accommodates the expansion of the oil such that no pressure increase occurs, thereby extending the longevity of the seals and contributing to greater operational reliability.

“The comparatively slim design of the K139 gearbox was a fundamental prerequisite for creating a reliable and easy to maintain straightener,” Leonhard Paar, Engineering Manager at TBR Casting Technologies explained. “Thanks to its particular compactness and robustness, the larger BB4 format at the modified plant can be cast to the required quality, while at the same time reducing the servicing overhead.”

A gearbox for all occasions
The steel industry demands high performance as well as special robustness and temperature resistance. With its application-specific, customised helical bevel gearboxes for the driving rollers in ArcelorMittal's new straightening unit, Watt Drive has demonstrated that its gearboxes can be quickly and precisely customised to extremely demanding applications. Thanks to their robust, compact design, the K139 models supplied meet all application-specific requirements while being especially easy to maintain. The partnership with TBR Casting Technologies could soon be repeated as it is anticipated that a further strand at ArcelorMittal Belval will be converted.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Measurement steering wheels

Although experienced test drivers are used to provide a subjective evaluation of driving dynamics of new vehicles, objective testing is now essential to meet ISO and DIN defined standards. To meet the need for accurate, open loop testing, with minimum driver influence, Kistler has developed the next generation of its measurement steering wheels (MSW) for both passenger cars and heavy commercial vehicles. The new MSW incorporates non-contact measurement of steering moment, steering angle and steering speed for vehicle driving dynamics testing such as the ISO 4138 steady-state circular driving test.

The steering angle and steering speed, derived from a contact free, optical, incremental encoder, and two ranges of steering torque, ±10 Nm and ±50 Nm, are available. Calibration data are stored in the sensor element to facilitate user installation of sensors to suit different applications. Analogue and digital signal outputs to suit CAN, USB and Ethernet interfaces are standard.

The new Kistler MSW sensors perfectly meet the demands of modern automotive engineering. Reduced in size and weight, they offer higher dynamics and increased resolution. They can be fitted directly to the steering shaft using an exchangeable adapter to maintain airbag and other steering wheel functions or mounted on the standard steering wheel where this is preferable.

Low energy security lights

Marl International has upgraded its bulkhead light range, widely used as bright, low energy security lighting on construction and industrial sites, with new LED technology which gives a much wider spread of light. Marl has also increased the range of colours available.

Offering outstanding reliability and optical performance, the popular Marl 084 Series of bulkhead lights provides an 80% energy saving compared with a standard 100W bulb. With a rated 60,000 hour service life, the lamps will last for almost seven years continuous use. Each lamp uses 44 individual LED die, to provide the very high brightness required, and each of these has now been upgraded to the latest surface mount LED products, to give a much wider spread of light. The new lights now have a viewing angle of up to 120 degrees, allowing fewer lights to be used to illuminate the same area.

Specifically designed for tough, outdoor environments, Marl 084 Series bulkhead lamps are exceptionally well protected. They are constructed with a rugged polycarbonate mounted on a metal base and can operate at temperatures between -40°C to +110°C.

Marl 084 Series bulkhead lights are offered in cool white, for security, task and obstruction lighting, as well as in amber, blue, red and green versions for use as markers for example as port and starboard lights in marine applications. For the rail industry, a version with a Railtrack Approval Certificate No: PA05/898 is available.

SCADA platform for control & monitoring

New benefits for industrial monitoring and control of facilities!

ControlMaestro™ 2013, the latest version of Elutions's SCADA solution for the Automation, Control-Command and Monitoring of facilities/technical infrastructures to support their operational performance improvement has been released.

With more than 75,000 licenses deployed worldwide in mission critical applications for areas such as building management, water treatment and technical infrastructure management, Elutions continues to support its customers through a robust, scalable, secure and sustainable solution that maintains backward compatibility from the former platform versions.

"In constant technological evolution since 1986 with the first version of the SCADA called Wizcon™, the SCADA platform achieved a succession of major milestones to support the specific needs of highly competitive market demand as well as conformance with stringent standards." said Dominique Gueguen, Consultant at Elutions.

Once again, ControlMaestro allow the delivery of new benefits for its customers.

An optimized and sustainable management of customer capital investments      
The new ControlMaestro 2013 version obtained the BACnet Advanced operator WorkStation Certification (according to the BACnet 09) corresponding to the highest level of compatibility recognized in the market.

With more than 160 standard communication drivers available, ControlMaestro allow bidirectional communication between heterogeneous equipment (even from different generations), and offers an open and extensive interoperability and avoids having to reinvest in equipment renewal. To a larger extent, because it is independent from any manufacturer, most of standards and communication protocols, including OPC, Modbus, SQL and ODBC, etc. are supported.

Because ongoing communication with facilities becomes important in terms of user mobility, to meet the latest technology trends Elutions has developed a HTML5 web portal to view, control or modify the lists of data points, alarms and values ​​via a simple web browser, a smartphone or a tablet. ControlMaestro 2013 also offers the advantage to monitor and modify an application remotely via a Windows 'Remote Desktop' connection.

Much more than a simple supervisor, the software is built to handle mixed architectures, physical and/or virtual with a large acquisition capacity allowing customers to reduce their capital expenditures.

A reduced development and operating cost for customers
To control the various processes and facilities, new tools allow reducing the engineering productivity and the human errors risk.

The development Studio now allows editing of properties of multiple tags and alarms. Thus, an application can quickly be updated.

The Audit Trail can now filter its actions. For example, when updating an application, unwanted actions can be filtered and not recorded in the log.

History of tags and alarms is simplified and more robust through the use of Microsoft SQL Server database (local or remote server).

Combined with other tools for the automatic generation of tags (Tag generator™) and integration of AutoCAD® drawings (CAD Converter ™), the ControlMaestro ergonomics really brings comfort and saves significant time during deployment of SCADA applications.

An increased security of customer mission-critical applications   
To better secure the process control, to support preventative maintenance and mitigate risks, ControlMaestro 2013 includes enhancements related to the management of alarms, tags and users.

New alarm systems are available to instantly report any error connecting to the database or the network, to allow fast resolution of faults. Traces files management has been also improved to facilitate the maintenance and secure the application development by providing distinct logs files per sessions.

To ensure the ongoing operations, ControlMaestro users authentication in offline mode has been reinforced by a secured mechanism so that the application is not interrupted even if LDAP server is not reachable.

In respect with security information systems, ControlMaestro also complies with the latest version of the FDA 21CFR Part11 standard (driving pharmaceutical and food industry) concerning the alarms acknowledgment with the possibility to force identification and/or add a comment.

Green waste disposal & power generation for large-scale medical facilities!

The Dutch company Pharmafilter has developed a waste disposal model for large-scale medical facilities which combines wastewater treatment with waste disposal and biogasbased power generation. The Siemens Industry Automation Division supplied automation technology, process instrumentation, measuring and analyzing systems as well as the metrological concept for initial installation of the model in the Reinier-de-Graaf hospital in Delft (NL). The project has resulted in reduced waste, contaminantfree wastewater, improved hygiene and simplified logistical processes.

The process technology implemented by Pharmafilter for the green solution trialed in the Reinier-de-Graaf hospital in Delft can be adapted and scaled up as required. The underlying concept entails the convergence of solid waste and wastewater flows, their combined treatment and the use of biodegradable disposables. From the extensive Siemens process analytics and instrumentation portfolio, Sitrans measuring instruments and Ultramat gas analysers support the safe generation of biogas by supplying a continuous stream of precise information about temperature, flow rate, level or pressure. Siwarex load cells are used for determining the precise weight of the substrate used in the fermenter.

The waste disposal model used in Delft is based on the principle of recycling in preference to multiple use. In conventional hospitals, cutlery and medical utensils such as bedpans are gathered, cleaned, and transported to another location for repeated use. In Delft, these utensils are made of biodegradable materials: renewable raw materials based on starches and sugars. Biopolymers demonstrate the same properties as conventional plastics but are not based on mineral oils and can be fully biologically degraded. Instead of sending utensils or bedpans along the laborious journey needed before they can be re-used, everything is fed directly into special shredders without the need to be emptied, cleaned or handled in any other way. The shredders mill the waste and forward it via the hospital’s existing water/wastewater system to the on-site sewage plant.
The treatment of hospital wastewater poses a major challenge: Municipal sewage facilities are primarily designed for the elimination of biologically degradable materials and the removal of nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen compounds. Even the most up-to-date treatment methods are not able to eliminate high concentrations of drug residues, x-ray contrast media or pathogens. Even though no direct hazard to human health has yet been proven to result from these waste products, there is no doubt about their impact on the aquatic habitat, for instance as a result of waterborne hormonally active substances. In order to put a stop to pollution of the aquatic system by this type of residue, the use of decentral water treatment plants directly on the hospital site approach. Delft Hospital’s sewage plant has an annual capacity of 60,000 cubic meters of wastewater and 200 tons of solid waste matter. The purification concept was additionally combined with a biogas generation process.

Waste containing fats and carbohydrates from the ward shredders, separated according to solids and fluids, is used as the substrate for anaerobic digestion in the fermenter. At just under 60 degrees Celsius, the biomass undergoes microbial transformation into substances including methane and carbon dioxide. The waste water flows through several purification stages, during which the
biomass is separated by membrane modules and all sludge structures as well as colloidal matter are removed by means of ultrafiltration. Ozone treatment eliminates pathogens and drug residues. The last purification stage involving active carbon removes any still remaining medicine residues and hormone disrupting trace elements. As the average purification rate is at least 98 percent, and consequently well above the statutory requirement, the purified product may be safely introduced into the surface water or used for irrigation.

The generation and subsequent conversion of biogas from organic waste almost completely meets the plant’s own energy supply requirement. To achieve this, the complex processes taking place in the fermenter require optimum environmental conditions. Continuous process control using tailor-made measuring and analyzing systems plays a decisive role in ensuring the system’s success. If key parameters such as acid content or temperature are incorrect, the balance of the anaerobic process is compromised, resulting in total failure of the plant.

The green solution has proven a resounding success from every point of view. The volume of waste has been ducts has improved hygiene standards and driven down logistical costs. The scheme has also meant improved patient safety, a reduced workload for nursing staff and environmental benefits resulting from water purification and the use of waste matter as a source of energy. reduced by more than half, and the wastewater is almost free of contaminants. The use of disposable pro presents itself as the most practical