Friday, August 30, 2013

"Push me pull me" in industry!

Variant 4 of the Harting PushPull industrial connector family is ideally suited for providing reliable termination for today’s camera systems in applications such as industrial quality control or security surveillance.

The new connector is equally suited to industrial environments involving dirt and dust or outdoor applications subjected to heat and cold. Based on an intelligent building-block construction, their PushPull family offers a multitude of bulkhead-mounted housings, wall bushings, and connectors for a range of system configurations.

An important element of this system is the RJ45 connector for 1 Gbit/s and 10 Gbit/s Ethernet transmission in Cat 6 Class EA systems. This is available as an overmoulded system cable or as a field-installable connector with insulation displacement technology. Options for USB 2.0 (types A and B) and USB 3.0 (type A) are also available, as are optical solutions based on an LC duplex configuration.

In addition to the compact design, high data rates and rugged IP 65/67 construction, an essential characteristic of the PushPull series from HARTING is its suitability for simple and swift commissioning in the field, thereby guaranteeing short setup and installation time

Data management capabilities on show!

Autoscribe is to show their Matrix Gemini Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) at ESBB 2013. This provides a highly configurable environment that needs no custom coding and is suitable for all aspects of biobank and biorepository management in biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical research. A data management solution can be designed quickly to represent exact user requirements in terms of workflows, screen designs, menu designs, terminology, report designs and much more.

With a wide variety of biobank applications, Matrix Gemini provides the ability to manage an ever increasing number of bio-samples (blood, tissue, DNA etc.) and to comply with the regulatory requirements, such as HTA, GCLP, MHRA, FDA 21 CFR Part 11 and other similar requirements. Matrix Gemini features modules for the management of sample collection, sample shipments, QA/QC activities, multi-level storage, sample picking/shipping and downstream analysis.

Full sample tracking includes parent/child samples, aliquots, and derivatives. Complete location recording from room to freezer, shelf, container and container position is possible. A full audit trail of all changes is provided, together with storage location auditing and reconciliation with chain of custody reporting.

50 years spectrometry

Analytik Jena UK will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the SPECORD® range of spectrophotometers at the Lab Innovations exhibition (6/7 Nov 2013 Birmingham GB) by showing the SPECORD® 210 Plus double beam UV/Vis instrument. The multi N/C 3100 and the multi N/C UV HS TOC analysers will also be on show, reflecting the fact that the company also has decades of experience in this field of analysis.

The versatile multi N/C series of analysers determine bound carbon content (TIC/TOC, TC, NPOC, POC) and/or total nitrogen (TNb) and are characterised by patented innovative solutions for reliable automation to cope with the most diverse sample matrices. The two versions on display feature the latest focus radiation NDIR detector and VITA flow management system for reliable results, high stability and improved long-term instrument calibration performance.

The multi N/C 3100 is a versatile analyser using high temperature catalytic combustion and can be configured for simultaneous TOC/ TNb determination. Combustion temperatures up to 950°C provide quick and reliable digestion of even the most stable compounds and for the most challenging applications. The multi N/C UV HS provides low cost sample digestion by UV-supported wet chemical oxidation for very high sensitivity and a wide dynamic range. This provides trace TOC analysis capabilities as well as high concentrations and it is particularly well suited to the analysis of drinking water.

The SPECORD® 210 PLUS UV/Vis spectrometer features 5 variable spectral bandwidths, making it ideally suited for measurement of solutions and solids where high optical resolution is required. Intelligent instrument control is provided by the modular WinASPECT® software package.

Call for papers!

The Program Committee of the 2014 ISA Food and Pharmaceutical Industries Division (FPID) Symposium has issued a Call for Papers inviting authors, innovators, thought leaders and leading automation and control professionals to submit abstracts for presentation consideration at the conference, which will be held 5-7 March 2014 in Research Triangle Park (NC USA).

Topics
In addition to serialization, other abstract topics to be covered at the 2014 FPID symposium include, but are not limited to:

Track & Trace
Validation
Cybersecurity
Radio-frequency identification (RFID)
Process analytical technology (PAT)
Quality by Design (QBD)
Virtualization
Batch controls
Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
Automation and serialization project management

Submit original contributions by 23 September 2013.

Other Dates for the 2014 FPID symposium are:
14 October 2013 – Notification of abstract acceptance/denial
12 December 2013 – Draft papers and presentations due
7 February 2014 – Final papers and presentations du
e

The 2014 FPID symposium will bring together experts, vendors and end users in a two-day symposium to cover the critical challenges and issues in automation and serialization and how they are affecting food and pharmaceutical supply chains. Recent legislation and incidents of contamination and tampering have raised the importance of automation to reduce errors and implement enhanced serialization controls to improve tracking and tracing throughout distribution channels.

Serialization—the assigning and marking each product or product component with unique identifiers—in both the food and pharmaceutical industries is regarded as essential to protect consumers and to reduce risk exposure for food and pharmaceutical manufacturers, says Dennis Brandl, President of BR&L Consulting, Inc., who, along with Alex Habib, co-chairs the 2014 FPID Symposium.

“Upcoming product serialization requirements in the pharmaceutical industry, notably in California, are driving major projects and changes in the life science industries,” reports Brandl, whose company specializes in helping companies leverage manufacturing IT to improve their production and logistics processes. “In pharmaceuticals, it’s essential that counterfeit or tampered drugs are not introduced into the supply chain and end up with customers. That can obviously lead to some very dangerous situations.
“At the same time, a greater emphasis on tracking and tracing food products in order to prevent the sale and distribution of contaminated food is also prompting serialization in the food industry. Food serialization helps pinpoint the distribution and location of specific food products and lots, which is particularly valuable during recalls of contaminated foods. And because you can target in on specific lots of food, you don’t have to disrupt the flow of other, unaffected food supplies.”

Serialization, he points out, requires a highly coordinated, multi-faceted approach that integrates automation, supply chain management and information security.

“Effective serialization involves changes on the shop floor, in corporate business systems and with multiple supply chain partners outside of the company. For instance, printers and verification systems must be added to existing production and packaging lines. Information security is essential to safeguard the integrity of the data. And serialization information must be maintained in corporate ERP systems, and must be available on a 24/7 basis to production and supply chain partners.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Smart camera for identification & tracking applications

BOA IDR is a tiny smart camera package, from Stemmer Imaging,  capable of barcode, character and pattern identification or verification in a single self-contained unit. These core capabilities allow manufacturers to ensure that all product markings are correct when they leave the factory floor. BOA IDR provides a highly integrated solution for defect detection and reject tracking for high speed applications in the automotive, consumer, electronics, packaging and pharmaceutical industries.

Complete with embedded software and processing, BOA IDR allows manufacturers to combine 1D and 2D tracking with other inspection tasks. These include character reading (OCR) and feature verification to automatically identify, validate and verify markings or features on parts, products or assemblies.

1D and 2D capabilities include part validation and verification, part traceability and label validation in addition to 2D error proofing. OCR tools offer date, lot and product code validation, error proofing, printed text validation and label validation. Comprehensive pattern recognition facilities include label presence and placement, tamper proofing pattern verification, cap presence and placement, printed text verification, error proofing and robot guidance.

The preloaded IDR application can be quickly setup and deployed using a standard web browser interface. No software installation is necessary, except for the fully functional emulator that supports offline development and debugging. The versatile BOA IDR features a 4-step user interface designed to guide first time vision users but this also offers advanced features such as custom scripting for experienced integrators.

The camera is available in a choice of resolutions and provides standard industrial Ethernet protocols for integrating into the factory network, including support for popular PLCs such as Rockwell Automation and Siemens. In addition to Ethernet, BOA IDR provides serial RS-232 and discrete I/O connections, as well as expandable I/O options. A dedicated strobe output is further provided for direct light control.

Digital pressure sensors!

High configurable digital pressure sensors are rugged and accurate

Honeywell Sensing and Control’s new Digital Pressure Sensors with CANopen®, Model DPS, are rugged, all-welded, provide consistent performance in harsh environments, and can be used in a wide range of demanding applications like transportation, process control, factory automation, medical equipment systems, and aerospace test and research. 

Model DPS sensors are highly configurable, so customers can choose from multiple pressure types, accuracy levels, pressure ranges, pressure connections, and electrical terminations to meet specific application needs. Configurations for digital measurements are fully temperature compensated and calibrated for pressure ranges from 10 psi to 10K psi or 1 bar to 700 bar or 70kPA to 70000 kPa, with accuracy ranges of 0.25% and 0.1%, and operating and storage temperature ranges from -25 °C to 85 °C [-13 °F to 185 °F]. Built tough to withstand harsh environments, the Model DPS with CANopen® protocol communication allows customers to connect to longer cable distances without sacrificing accuracy.

CANopen® protocol communication allows customers to:
  • Connect to longer cable distances without sacrificing accuracy
  • Reduce the amount of wires that need to be connected to the system, simplifying installation
  • Mitigate data corruption
  • Simplify tracking each networked pressure sensor by using unique serial numbers
  • Configure the update rate between 10 Hz to 250 Hz, easing configurability
Designed for Configurability 
Customers can configure the devices to meet their specific application needs due to a wide pressure range, multiple pressure engineering units that eliminate having to make mathematical conversions, and a choice of connectors that simplify use.

Rugged and Durable
All-welded, 300 series stainless steel and Hastelloy® design allows for use in a wide range of harsh environments, while a mechanical shock rating of 100 G/11 ms and IP65 rating allow for use in harsh environments.

Accurate
Customers can select the accuracy level required for their application. Additionally, Honeywell specifies Total Error Band ±2 % FS, the most comprehensive, clear and meaningful measurement that includes nonlinearity, repeatability, hysteresis and temperature error.


Honeywell offers a broad portfolio of sensors which meet industry standard approvals such as ATEX, CSA, and more, and are built tough to provide enhanced reliability, accuracy, and versatility in a wide range of test and measurement applications. Honeywell’s test and measurement sensor solutions help customers worldwide in research and development, design, quality testing, manufacturing and system monitoring in many different industries, challenging applications, and rugged environments.

Heat rate reduction kit!

Magnetrol International, has introduced the Heat Rate Reduction Kit, aimed at helping power companies manage controllable losses through effective, accurate feedwater heater level control. The Heat Rate Reduction Kit is available for download and addresses the mission-critical need to increase the efficiency of power plants in today’s challenging economic and regulatory environment. The Heat Rate Reduction Kit, an industry first, provides solutions that will help reduce fuel expenditures, which can account for 70% to 80% of production costs, by minimising heat rate. According to Magnetrol, the potential savings represent an estimated €500,000 annually for a 500 megawatt power plant.*

Included in the Magnetrol Heat Rate Reduction Kit are several useful guides to reducing heat rate, why it is important and how the process will help reduce costs:
• Heat Rate and Feedwater Heater Level Control white paper
• Managing Heat Rate and Controllable Losses video
• Next-Generation Level Instrumentation for Heat Rate Awareness and Control special applications bulletin
• Reduce Your Heat Rate and Drive Down Fuel Costs brochure

“We created the Heat Rate Reduction Kit because we recognize the challenges power companies face today in an increasingly competitive environment and with the advent of climate change protocols and the Clean Air Act,” said Magnetrol's Product Manager Jim Homoly. “The kit explains how minimizing heat rate can help plants use energy more efficiently and save significant fuel expenditures.”

The causes of heat rate inefficiency can be due to aging level instrumentation or instrument-induced errors, which negatively impact heat rate and fuel costs, according to Homoly.

“Effectively controlling feedwater heater levels drives overall plant performance and fuel cost savings,” said Homoly.

* A 1% improvement in heat rate is worth €500,000 in annual fuel cost savings based on: Fuel cost of €1.25/million kJ, capacity factor of 85% and boiler efficiency of 88%.

• Magnetrol products are marketed in Ireland by Ntron Ltd of Navan

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Torque sensor has upgraded communication

Kistler Instruments has launched a new version of its versatile KiTorq torque measuring system with additional data communication options.

The Kistler KiTorq torque sensor system is now available with Profibus, Profinet CANopen, Ethercat and EthernetIP interfaces in addition to the analog/frequency, USB and RS-232 interfaces. The new stator is fully compatible with all KiTorq type 4550A rotors.

The new communication options allow the KiTorq system to be integrated directly into the user’s test environment through the fieldbus interfaces. This saves time during installation and eliminates the cost of additional equipment to convert measured data making the new stator exceptionally cost effective for test stand design, installation and operation in applications for electric motor, internal combustion engine, transmissions, pump and compressor testing.

The new stator can be used with any KiTorq rotor of the same speed rating and will automatically recognise the rotor measuring range. With rotors available with seven measuring ranges from 100 to 5,000 Nm, hardware investment is minimised as one stator may be used with rotors of differing ranges for different applications. Installation is simplified by the contactless, digital telemetry that eliminates the need for an antenna ring whilst maintaining the excellent signal bandwidth of 10 kHz and accuracy of better than 0.05% of range. A speed measurement of 60 pulses per revolution is integrated in the standard system.

Software solution allows round-the-clock access to HMI

The Wonderware® InTouch Access Anywhere™ software solution enables users to access plant-floor data via Wonderware InTouch® software, the world’s leading human machine interface software. It runs entirely and securely inside a web browser so users can connect to other InTouch applications at anytime from anywhere, using any mobile device, including Microsoft Surface tablets, iPads, iPhones, Androids and others. The software also supports Macintosh and Linux-based computer systems, as well as Microsoft Windows PCs and laptops. And because users are not required to install any software on their mobile device, the offering is remarkably easy to deploy, manage and maintain.

“This new offering complements Invensys’ broader mobile strategy to provide and improve real-time visualization, collaboration and execution at multiple levels of an organization,” according to Craig Resnick, vice president, ARC Advisory Group. “Along with delivering mobile solutions for reporting, decision-support, dashboards, workflow and workforce execution, this new offering also brings HMI visualization capabilities to mobile devices. These capabilities extend the company’s operations management software portfolio by providing plant operators and other key individuals with modern process optimization tools, regardless of their location or the task being performed, and in real time.”

InTouch Access Anywhere software is the newest capability in the company’s progressive suite of mobility solutions, which now includes workflow, reporting, analytics, visualization, maintenance management, operator training, data gathering and procedure management. In 2010, Invensys released its IntelaTrac offering, a mobile reporting and decision support system that enables workflow, data collection and general task management. In 2011, Invensys released its SmartGlance solution, an industrial reporting application that delivers secure, on-demand access to rich, graphical reports from any operations data source via mobile devices. In 2012, the company released its Work Tasks mobile offering, enabling plant personnel, regardless of their location, to respond immediately to assigned work tasks via the company’s ArchestrA Workflow software.


“InTouch Access Anywhere software emphasizes the depth and breadth of our capabilities when it comes to mobile and web-enabled solutions,” said Norm Thorlakson, vice president of HMI and supervisory software products for Invensys. “Providing this level of unprecedented, secure access to real-time plant information—without compromising functionality—empowers the modern workforce to minimize costs, improve operating efficiencies and drive real-time business optimisation."

ZigBee enables new markets for device developers

Expanding ZigBee networks in the home will open up multi-billion dollar markets for Sentroller and Device Developers

GreenPeak Technologies tells us that the growing success of ZigBee sentroller devices (sensors, controllers and actuators) enables Smart Home device developers and integrators to expand their markets into new areas and multiplying their sales.

As virtually all cable operators and broadband service suppliers are starting to offer Smart Home services to their subscribers and have chosen ZigBee as the wireless communication standard, there will be an almost insatiable demand for affordable and easy to install Smart Home devices that connect to the set-top box. Device developers are just starting to recognize this great opportunity to offer all types of different Smart Home devices at very affordable costs. GreenPeak’s ZigBee chips enable device developers to build and market ZigBee based smart devices starting at less than $5 each.

Multi-Service Operators need these smart home devices to bundle into their roll out of connected home systems. These new services include security, home monitoring, energy management and control, elderly care, health care support, location monitoring, and even mundane things like automated window and door controls, light switches, etc., enabling profitable business models for both the device developers and the service providers alike.

“ZigBee allows device developers to address a very profitable Smart Home market, expected to grow to several billion units in 2015.” says Cees LinksFounder & CEO of GreenPeak Technologies. “In many ways, ZigBee’s worldwide reach of the market parallels the market acceptance of WiFi. Just like Apple’s adoption of WiFi was the tipping point for the spread of WiFi networking to every internet connected home, the operator and service providers’ adoption of ZigBee is the tipping point for ZigBee to establish ZigBee networking for sentrollers and small devices in every internet connected home as well.”

“Operators looking to expand revenue by offering home automation services are currently driving the majority of growth in the connected home market,” said Greg Potter of Multimedia Research Group, “Low chipset costs, good security, and low power usage have made ZigBee the protocol of choice for most cable providers today and will remain so for the foreseeable future. In fact, revenues for services derived from ZigBee backbones within the home are set to grow immensely over the next years and are driven primarily by cable providers and operators looking for new revenue streams by offering fifth play services.”


“Although WiFi would be technically capable to connect these devices, the battery life of ZigBee is superior compared to WiFi,” adds Cees. “In the future Smart Home we expect to see maybe 10 to 20 WiFi devices along with 100 or more ZigBee devices, all working simultaneously in the home, without any interference. WiFi will be handling the big data applications like entertainment, while ZigBee will connect the sentroller Smart Home network.”

Level detection sensors

Non-intrusive level measurement now also for conductive products

Adequate level measurement of conductive products inside a tank, like humid pet food, has been very difficult with highly sensitive materials, harsh environments (pressurized, abrasive, hot, corrosive) or complicated tanks. The resulting reliability issues have a negative effect on costs and downtime. To solve these problems, Fluidwell Instruments, a division of Fluidwell, launches an extension of its Triflex level detection sensors family: The LNI 250, a “Field Time Control” (FTC) based level detection sensor, which uniquely measures with great reliability from the outside of a non-metallic tank.

Summarizing
Measuring through small or complicated, non-metallic tanks for contamination sensitive or aggressive products,
Insensitive to changing process conditions stimulating higher output,
Easy access for faster maintenance without process interruption,
Saving cost on additives, installation and maintenance,
Insensitive to product accumulation on the walls.
Unit on dryer!

Discriminatingly unique
The distinguishing element of the Triflex LNI 250 is its ability to reliably measure conductive material in a non-metallic tank without having to be present inside that tank and therefore without product contact. The tanks even need not be transparent. Its discriminating benefits include no risks of contamination of the product, easy access for maintenance (without process interruption!), suitable for small/complicated tanks, easy plug-and-play installation, suitable for aggressive materials or environments and insensitive to changing process conditions inside a tank. The yield is remarkable: Lower costs, higher output in better quality and increase in reliable measurements.

Key applications
The Triflex LNI 250 is suitable in a wide range of applications, but especially for industries with conductive bulk products (solids and liquids) where product contact needs to be avoided (e.g. out of health reasons or with acids). Also where placement of a sensor inside a tank is not possible due to the construction of the tank (too small/complicated) or where the environment inside the tank is highly abrasive or subject to change, the Triflex offers the solution. As well as for any company that wants to profit from less hassle and cost involved with installation (one-button set-up) and maintenance (easy access)!

Field Time Control (FTC) Technology
The patented Triflex LNI 250 incorporates Field Time Control Technology (FTC). This technology generates an electric field between a transmitting electrode and multiple receiving electrodes. The cycle time of the FTC level sensor changes as soon as the solid particles are detected by this electric field. Advanced multiple receiver circuitry has been designed for reliably detecting various bulk products, (even with extremely low dielectric constants). The results are higher signals with less variation for increased reliability. This allows for minimizing cost, increasing revenues and providing clearer visibility of the process.

Single efficient solution
Louis Ras, General Manager of Fluidwell Instruments commented: “With the help of FTC technology we developed a unique product that makes a difference. The Triflex LNI 250 has been validated by several large manufacturers, including VOBRA, a producer of pet food in The Netherlands: Their set-up of a counterflow dryer for dog food, without access points on the inside, did not offer the option of measuring technologies like TDR/radar solutions. The Triflex LNI 250 has proven to be their only solution for a continuous and efficient process, stimulating output, margins and product quality. The additional cost benefits with installation and maintenance increased their satisfaction even further.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Accurate & reliable ultrasonic level measurement for corrosive, harsh environments!

Rosemount® 3100 series now available with rugged and lightweight plastic housing with Ingress Protection rating up to IP66/67

Emerson Process Management has expanded the accurate and reliable measurement capabilities of the Rosemount® 3100 Series of ultrasonic non-contacting level transmitters to harsh environments with the option of a plastic (glass-filled nylon) housing. Available on the Rosemount 3101, 3102 and 3105 process level transmitters, the new housing is rugged, lightweight and corrosion resistant.

The plastic housing reduces the weight of the transmitter by 0.5kg compared with the standard aluminium version, making it suitable for installation on extended mounting brackets, or on thin gauge metal tank roofs or plastic tanks. Rated up to IP66/67, it is ideally suited to applications such as water storage installations and waste water and effluent treatment plants.

Rosemount 3100 Series ultrasonic level transmitters provide a cost-effective solution for a wide range of liquid measurement and control applications, providing accurate and reliable level measurement up to 11 metres (36 feet). The local operator interface makes installation and configuration quick and easy. The non-contacting technology with no moving parts enables a long operating life with minimal maintenance requirements.

The series comprises the Rosemount 3101 which measures level, and outputs it as a 4-20 mA signal, and the 3102 and 3105 which can calculate distance-to-surface, contents (volume), or open channel flow, and output the result as a 4-20 mA signal and a digital HART® signal. An integral temperature sensor continuously measures the air temperature around the transmitters. It then computes the speed of sound in air, automatically compensating the calculated distance for temperature effects. In addition, the Rosemount 3102 and 3105 have an optional remote temperature sensor.

The Rosemount 3100 Series is part of a broad range of Rosemount level measurement devices available from Emerson. These include guided wave radar, non-contacting radar, DP and hydrostatic level, ultrasonic, vibrating fork, float switch and specialised conductivity solutions for virtually any level application

Innovative new technology for improved safety, productivity and energy efficiency

With the introduction of the new MELSERVO MR-J4 series - and corresponding positioning modules, motion modules and high-end motion control systems - Mitsubishi Electric is now offering a servo amplifier which will enable machine manufacturers and end customers to improve both safety within the production process and productivity, while guaranteeing ease of operation and commissioning at the same time. The MR-J4, successor to the tried and tested MELSERVO J3 series amplifiers, scores highly in all categories by ensuring better performance and providing expanded functionality. Their target market for these units includes manufacturers of packing machines, indexing tables and handling systems.

MELSERVO MR-J4 product range with
rotating, linear and direct-drive motors.
Mitsubishi Electric has integrated a wide range of new user-friendly functions in its new series of amplifiers in order to minimise the time-consuming and complex operations involved in harmonising mechanical and electronic systems. The system makes adjustments itself quickly and easily by means of “online auto tuning” and automatic “vibration filters”. The customer can utilise these functions during start-up and during ongoing operation, enabling commissioning and parameterisation times to be reduced.

The amplifiers also have a “life diagnosis function” that monitors the actual condition of the components installed, such as capacitors and relays, throughout the life of the product. It also notifies the user and operator regarding any degradation in their operation, making both downtime and machine outage time a thing of the past.

The designers have also looked in to the future as far as safety and safety related functions are concerned. They have come up with a modular architecture which provides a redundant two-channel STO input (Safe Torque Off) as a standard on all MR-J4 amplifiers. This can be augmented by an additional option module to provide SS1 (Safe Stop) input in line with EN61800-5-2. The system configuration then also supports SIL2 (EN62061) and PLd (EN13849-1). For more advanced systems, and the highest levels of safety such as support for SS2, SOS, SLS, SBC and SSM, this can be achieved when Mitsubishi's MR-J4-B amplifiers and motion controllers are used in combination. This flexibility means that users can reduce costs by being able to "tune" their system configuration to meet only the needed safety requirements for the target application.

Another plus in terms of functionality and flexibility compared with its predecessor is the fact that a wide range of motors can be connected to the MELSERVO MR-J4 amplifier. Both rotating and linear or even direct-drive motors can be used with the servo amplifier, thus optimising the stocking processes for users.

The amplifiers are fitted with 22-bit absolute encoders as standard, providing a resolution which corresponds to more than 4 million pulses per revolution. The result: excellent rotational accuracy and optimum positioning accuracy.

Besides the MR-J4-A (analogue/digital/pulse train) and MR-J3-B (SSCNET III/H motion network), the MELSERVO J4 series from Mitsubishi Electric also includes two additional versions for two- and three-axis operation which are being offered for the first time. The two- and three-axis amplifiers (MR-J4W2B and MR-J4W3B) are correspondingly more compact and efficient than three individual amplifiers, not only saving the machine manufacturer money in terms of energy costs and reducing CO2 emissions but also saving on the space required in the switching cabinet.

Motors from the HG-KR/MR series are available for the lower output range from 50 to 750 watts. The maximum torque ranges from 0.48 to 7.2 Nm, with a maximum speed of 6000 rpm. The HG-SR series covers the medium output range from 0.5 to 7 kilowatts with a maximum torque of 100 Nm. All the motors have IP65 or IP67 protection (dust- and water-proof), making them suitable for use in the harshest industrial environments.
At the initial product launch, the 200-Volt version of the MELSERVO MR-J4 was first made available with servo motors ranging from 100 W to 7 kW. The 400-Volt versions from the MR-J4 series with servo motors up to a maximum of 110 kW has since been launched.

Modbus scanners

Precision Digital has announced the Super Snooper line of Modbus® scanners, including the ProVu® PD6080 Series of 1/8 DIN digital panel meters and the ProtEX®-MAX PD8-6080 Series of explosion-proof scanners. The Super Snooper scanners can be set up as Modbus RTU Masters, Slaves, or Snoopers, monitoring multiple Modbus devices for up to 16 process variables, including level, interface level, density, and temperature. The meters also provide two independently programmed analog inputs and an array of math functions for sum, difference, average, and ratio calculations.

PD6080 & PD6081
The ProVu PD6080 Series Super Snoopers are NEMA 4X 1/8 DIN panel indicators with bright, easy to read digits. The PD6080 and PD6081 include dual analog inputs and an RS-485 serial communications module, allowing integration of existing 4-20 mA transmitters and Modbus devices on the same display. The PD6088 and PD6089 include on-board RS-485 serial communications and no analog inputs. The PD6081 and PD6089 have a unique feet and inches display, ideal for level applications.

PD8-6080
The ProtEX-MAX PD8-6080 Super Snooper scanners are housed in explosion-proof enclosures for use in hazardous areas. SafeTouch®, through-glass buttons provide accessibility to the front buttons without removing the enclosure cover. The entire product carries FM, CSA, ATEX, and IECEX approvals for use in hazardous area applications.
PD8-6080

"Most Modbus scanners are dated technology in the form of low-level software packages or DIN rail devices with no display," said Jeffrey Peters, President of Precision Digital Corp. "The Super Snooper scanners integrate sophisticated packet sniffing capabilities with industry standard packaging -- 1/8 DIN housing that meets NEMA 4X specifications or explosion-proof enclosures for hazardous areas. With the ability to poll up to 16 process variables, a single Super Snooper can replace an entire control panel’s worth of instruments."

The Super Snooper scanners can be easily integrated into an existing Modbus network. Remote displays can be added without making changes to other Modbus devices. In Master mode, the Super Snoopers are Modbus masters, polling slave devices for the process variables. In Snooper mode, the devices display any process variable being polled on the bus. All the process variables are clearly labeled with a custom tag and unit.

Each scanner is provided with RS-485 Modbus RTU serial communications standard. Options include up to four (4) relays, a 4-20 mA analog output, and dual 24 VDC power supplies.  Expansion modules for the 1/8 DIN models add an additional four (4) relays, two (2) 4-20 mA outputs, and eight (8) digital I/O.

Precision Digital products are marketed in Ireland by PJ Boner & Co.

Monday, August 26, 2013

LVDS digital I/O module for control & data capture applications

The Model 71610 digital I/O module with LVDS (low-voltage differential signaling) I/O connected to a Virtex-6 FPGA has been introduced by Pentek. This Cobalt® module provides 32 LVDS differential input or output pairs plus LVDS clock, data valid and flow control signals via an easy access front panel 80-pin connector routed to the Virtex-6 FPGA.

LVDS is a general purpose digital interface operating at very high speeds over inexpensive twisted-pair or flat ribbon copper cables. It is popular for many common control or data capture applications such as high-speed video, graphics, video camera data transfers and general purpose computer buses. The standard built-in data capture and data generation facilities of the Model 71610 make it an ideal turnkey solution for developing and deploying custom FPGA processing algorithms.

Data can be pulled from devices such as sensors, data converters, custom digital systems or spectrum analyzers and then processed, decoded or formatted in the Virtex-6 FPGA before delivery to the host system processor. Likewise, signals from the host can be processed and formatted by the FPGA before delivery to the LVDS output.

“The LVDS interface gives developers a low-level interface that is highly configurable to handle many types of unique interface requirements,” said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek. “This module is ideal for custom I/O, which can be tailored to match a wide range of different LVDS peripheral devices.”

The Model 71610 is a VITA 42 XMC (switched mezzanine card) module that can plug into carriers such as VPX, CompactPCI, AMC (Advanced Mezzanine Card) and PCI Express. The Model 71610 supports x4 PCIe on the primary P15 XMC connector. The secondary P16 XMC connector supports dual 4X or single 8X user-installed gigabit serial interfaces, such as Aurora, PCIe or Serial RapidIO. The Model 71610 has an optional PMC P14 connector with 20 pairs of LVDS connections to the FPGA for custom I/O to the carrier.

Multiple Virtex-6 FPGA options are available so developers can select the best match for their processing and environmental requirements. The Virtex-6 is ideal for encoding/decoding, modulation/demodulation, encryption/decryption and channelization of signals between transmission and reception. 2GB of DDR3 SDRAM provides ample memory buffer space for transient capture, digital delays, DMA packet formation and signal processing algorithms.

Supporting Features and Products
Pentek GateFlow FPGA Design Kits allow users to develop and install their own custom IP for data processing. The kits include full VHDL source code for factory installed intellectual property (IP) functions, so developers can easily add new functions by incorporating additional FPGA IP modules.

Pentek's ReadyFlow board support packages, with high-level C-callable library functions and device drivers, are available for Windows and Linux operating systems.

Strain or temperature measurement

Measurement of strain or temperature in harsh environments often requires specialist equipment, preparations or processes, with the most common environmental challenges coming from:

• Very low or high temperature
• Radioactive environments
• Environments subject to high EMI
• Applications subject to high fatigue
• Measurements over complex forms or large areas
• Multiple sensing points

Traditional electric technologies can sometimes only be used once sophisticated and expensive barriers, shielding methods or other protection is in place. As such it is rewarding to know that there is a new technology that can be used to address all the above challenging applications.
   ECN’s Fiber Optic Blade Monitoring (FOBM) strain sensor, that uses FBGS optical fiber as the measuring element. For monitoring of turbine blade root bending moments

FBGS uses draw tower technology to manufacture their fibre optic grating sensors. This results in a product that is not only mechanically stronger than traditional Fibre Bragg Gratings (>5% strain) making manual handling easier, but due to the unique composition of the glass it can be mounted on intricate structures requiring twists and turns not normally associated with optical fibre based measurement systems.

Furthermore, multiplexing many sensors on a single fibre is possible, thus reducing both the complexity and weight of the installation. As the fibre is immune to the effects of EMI, the range of possible applications where electric sensors are not suitable is vast. It has even been proven to work whilst bombarded with gamma and proton radiation and can operate effectively in temperatures from cryogenic to 200degC.

Perhaps most importantly and unlike electric strain gauged sensors, optical fibre based sensors do not require a recalibration once installed. It is possible to return to them after weeks, months or years and simply plug in an instrument to read the relative change of strain since the last visit.

Through the combination of their unique draw tower manufacturing process and the special coating material supplied exclusively by the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research, FBGS optical fibre is highly suited to industrial sensing applications. The opportunities for manufacturers of sensors and transducers in industries as diverse as medical, composite, metal processing, oil & gas, weighing and wind turbines are now starting to take advantage of this.