Thursday, December 12, 2013

Integrated prediction and protection system for hydroelectric turbines!

New offering gives early warning of developing turbine problems, helping to reduce maintenance costs and improve safety

Emerson Process Management has introduced an integrated predictive diagnostics and protection system that offers real-time monitoring to improve reliability for all major types of hydro turbines. The predictive diagnostics help maximise availability and reduce maintenance costs, and the protection system helps hydro power plants avoid catastrophic failure and comply with safety, health and environment regulations.

Building on its experience in effective predictive monitoring technologies for steam and gas turbines, Emerson developed low frequency sensors with built-in signal filtering and conditioning for use with its CSI 6500 Machinery Health Monitor. By accurately monitoring measurements such as vibration, temperature and eccentricity, the CSI 6500 captures meaningful data for every aspect of hydro machinery operation.

“We are applying our expertise with predictive diagnostics to hydroelectric turbines – giving users the ability to proactively address equipment issues before they impact performance or safety,” said Nathan Pettus, vice president of Emerson’s Machinery Health Management business. “This continues Emerson’s commitment to offer the right products and solutions to give our users peace of mind about their critical assets.”

The CSI 6500 and machinery health sensors provide continuous monitoring on hydro turbines and give instant notification of vibration alerts. When a pre-set trip level is exceeded, the protection system shuts down the turbine automatically, ensuring improved safety of plant personnel and preventing catastrophic machine damage. Just as importantly, predictive diagnostics from the CSI 6500 enable plant personnel to identify potential issues in the turbines such as cavitations or rotor imbalance and plan repairs before the protection system is ever engaged.

For facilities that require additional protection parameters, the CSI 6300 SIS Digital Overspeed Protection system protects equipment and personnel from damage caused by overspeed event.

See Emerson's banner advert on our homepage!

Batch grading module!

An optional grading module for the Matrix Gemini Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) from Autoscribe allows multiple specifications to be set up for products manufactured in batches. It provides the functionality required to assign the tests and apply the limits needed to determine the grade of any manufactured batch. It is essential to be able to grade an individual batch according to the actual specification to determine which orders it can fulfill, since there is often some variation between product batches and individual customers are likely to have specific requirements.

The Matrix Grading module allows the user to define which tests are performed on the samples and their specific limits for multiple specifications. The results can be either descriptive (e.g. pass/fail) or numeric. In the case of numeric results they can be a single value, greater or less than a specific value, or within a range of values.

At the sample approval stage the results for the batch can be compared against all the grading specifications for the material. If none of the specifications are met then the batch has failed and is “ungraded”. A batch that meets at least one of the multiple specifications is classified as “graded” and the Grading module can display which specifications have been met. This allows decisions to be made about which customers could accept this specific batch of material from stock or to confirm if the batch is suitable for a particular ‘live’ order.

Robust RFID data carrier with extra-large memory!

Balluf presented a new generation of data carriers, up to eight times faster than the standard, with extra-large memory of up to 128 kBytes at the SPS IPC Drives trade fair. These drives work up to eight times as fast as the standard ISO 15693, making them the ideal choice for track-and-trace applications with high data volumes such as those used in assembly lines in the automotive industry.

Built with FRAM technology, the data carriers are maintenance-free, require no external energy supply and have virtually unlimited read/write cycles. Thanks to their high degree of protection (up to IP 68), they offer especially trouble-free communication with a high level of data security, even in difficult environments.

Powerful RFID controller BIS-V
Once the user has decided on a RFID controller from Balluff, the powerful Balluff signal processor BIS V is an ideal choice. It not only supports all the features found on new data carriers, but also significantly simplifies hardware and installation for users. The controller in the metal casing with IP 67 protection fulfills all requirements for industry-oriented design and comes equipped with USB as a service interface to PCs. Balluff offers the device with a choice of Profibus, EtherCAT, Ethernet/IP or CC-Link interface. Especially positive for users: up to four HF read/write heads (13.56 MHz) in accordance with ISO 15693 and ISO 14443 or LF read/write heads (125 kHz) can be connected in the front with plug-in connectors and are then automatically recognized. In addition, the RFID controller is the only device on the market to offer an IO-Link master port for direct connection of IO-Link-compatible sensors or actuators.

Honeywell named top supplier of electromechanical products in France!

Left: Pascal Fernandez, Vice-President of SPDEI ; Right : Stephane Mathieu, Director of Sales for South of Europe, EMEA Honeywell Sensing and Contro
Distributors of electronic components in France have picked Honeywell as the industrys top supplier of electromechanical products  in 2013.
The award was presented during the 18th Annual SPDEI Awards ceremony held in Paris last November.  Members of Syndicat Professionnel de la Distribution en Electronique Industrielle (SPDEI) evaluated suppliers based on several criteria, including quality, delivery, services, innovation and new products, local presence and support, margin, traceability and design. 

“This recognition is a confirmation of our relentless focus on quality and delivery and meeting our customers’ needs in France and throughout Europe,” said Steve Kenny, director of sales distribution for S&C in Europe.

Stephane Mathieu, Honeywell Sensing and Control Director of Sales for South Europe, received the awards on behalf of Honeywell at the ceremony

Oxygen levels for safety and quality in Swedish biogas production

A major Scandinavian producer of Biogas has selected Michell Instruments’ XTP601 oxygen analysers to monitor O2 levels for safety and quality at two sites in Sweden.

The XTP601 Oxygen Analyzer is used to continuously provide readings of the levels of O2 in the process. In general, the lower level of oxygen in these applications should be no more than 0.5%, with a danger level of 4%. The XTP601 has alarms to shut down the plant if oxygen levels approach the danger level to ensure safety.

One plant produces biogas from sewage and while the other uses food and garden waste, however the biogas from both plants is used as a transport fuel. Despite the different feedstocks, the process of upgrading the gas for use is the same. The biogas must be upgraded to 95% methane, which will give it a high enough calorific value to produce the energy required for transport fuel. It will also make it highly flammable – which is why it is important to keep levels of oxygen low during the process. The XTP601 provides stable, accurate readings and is capable of measuring oxygen from 0-1% up to 0-50% as well as suppressed zero ranges, such as 90-100%.

There are three options for configuration: a transmitter; a transmitter with status LEDs or a full display version. All of these options may be rated for either safe or hazardous area use, with hazardous area classifications available for ATEX, IECEx and CCSAUS. The full display version of the XTP601 has a touch screen interface to enable easy operation without needing to remove the lid. This means that users can calibrate, change settings and interrogate the instrument in the hazardous area without the need for a ‘hot permit’ or permission to carry out work. Menus allow easy access to information on oxygen concentration; analyzer status; a graph showing oxygen trends over a user-defined time period; alarm history; minimum and maximum concentrations and other parameters to aid diagnosis of plant conditions.

• Michell instreuments are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Save energy by cooling with water says Rittal

Rittal air/water heat exchangers are capable of cooling the air in an enclosure to a temperature lower than that of the ambient air. Heat to be removed is transferred to a water circuit and may be conveyed to a remote location before being dissipated. The lack of dependence on ambient air results in a maximum operating ambient air temperature of 70 °C.  Air is recirculated inside the enclosure maintaining an ingress protection category of IP 55.

Cooling with water may also be considered from an energy saving perspective. Air/water heat exchangers supplied with the eComfort controller incorporate the Eco-Mode control functionality. This employs an intelligent strategy to effectively target the use of energy by disabling the internal fan when the temperature inside the enclosure falls to a predetermined level below the setpoint. The fan is then pulsed periodically to ensure the accuracy of the sensed temperature before being permanently enabled when the temperature rises above the predetermined level

Although the capital cost of a cooling system incorporating multiple air-to-water heat exchangers and a single water chiller may be greater than that of an equivalent number of refrigerant based cooling units, energy savings are typically in the region of 40 per cent.  Efficiency of water cooling systems may be further improved, particularly in the British climate, by locating water chillers externally and integrating dry air coolers to take advantage of free cooling.

Mission Critical Operations training!

ISA to develop a new certification program as part of a multi-million grant to fund degree programs and prepare workers for careers in “Mission Critical Operations”

The International Society of Automation (ISA) is to begin developing a new certification program as part of a recently announced US$23 million (€16.7m) United States federal grant to fund two-year degree programs in “Mission Critical Operations” at five North Carolina colleges (USA).

The grant, administered through the US Department of Labour, is designed to prepare tomorrow’s workforce to compete for increasingly demanding, high-wage and high-skill jobs in industrial operations and information technology, particularly those defined as mission critical—“operations requiring round-the-clock supervision of systems” and those “aimed at combating the evolving threat of critical infrastructure operations failure.”

Certified Mission-Critical Professional (CMCP) certification program will test graduates based on the skills and body of knowledge taught through new Mission Critical Operations curriculum and degree programs to be established at five establsihments.
ISA’s new

While Mission Critical Operations encompasses a broad spectrum of career areas—including infrastructure maintenance, communications and emergency operations—ISA’s new CMCP certification program will focus on industrial operations, such as automation engineering technology, advanced manufacturing, and cybersecurity of industrial control networks.

More than half of the $23 million grant is allocated to Cleveland Community College, the grant consortium leader in North Carolina and a long-time workforce development partner of ISA and ISA’s sister organization, the Automation Federation. Nearly $1.5 million of the remaining amount will finance ISA’s development of the CMCP certification program.

“As an organisation that has been training and certifying professionals for rewarding careers in automation, engineering and manufacturing for decades, ISA is uniquely capable to develop this new CMCP certification program,” says Dalton Wilson, ISA’s manager of Education Services. “Furthermore, our existing, long-standing partnership with Cleveland Community College will be a major asset as we work with educators there to craft a certification program that’s directly tied to the curriculum and degrees to be offered at the five colleges.”

Since the functions, skills and knowledge requirements of a Mission-Critical Professional in industrial operations and the precise coursework essential to train one are not yet well defined, Wilson says it will take time to develop the CMCP certification program. Based on the grant proposal, the first full year the program will be offered will be 2017.

“A comprehensive job analysis needs to be conducted, and we’ll be identifying and engaging subject-matter experts to assist in developing the certification exam,” he reports. “Once completed, the CMCP certification will be another valuable addition to our certification offerings and, when combined with a degree in Mission Critical Operations, graduates in this field will be able to really differentiate themselves among prospective employers and significantly enhance their marketability.”

Specialist of the year!

Connector manufacture Harting has presented Northern Connectors, based in St Helens (GB) with the company’s “Specialist Distributor of the Year” award’ for 2012-13.

The award was presented to Northern Connectors on the basis of a significant  increase in sales growth over the year.

“This award is in recognition of the focus and commitment put in by the whole Northern Connectors team”, commented Karen Miller, Electronic Distribution Manager for Harting: “In today’s very challenging and competitive market, Northern Connectors has provided our customer with technical competence and customer service excellence.”

LtoR: Francine Timmins, Customer Service Manager, Northern connectors, Karen Miller, Electronic Distribution Manager, Simon Asbury, Director Sales and Market Devolopment, Harting, Keith Hewitt, Managing Director and Scott Jones, General/Product Manager, Northern Connectors

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Press force sensors have switchable ranges!

Seven press force sensors from Kistler Instruments provide full coverage from 0.1 to 700 kN. The ability to switch the measuring range, when using suitable amplifiers, bolsters this advantage to meet the needs of production and measuring stations handling a greater variety of parts.

The piezoelectric sensor element provides a compact design with a low sensor weight, offering significantly smaller dimensions and mass than equivalent strain gauge devices. However, the wide-range measuring chain also offers critical advantages in laboratory applications, where frequent changes of sensor are common practice and the extremely high degree of overload protection eliminates the need for involved protective measures when using the lowest measuring ranges.

The range of seven force sensors has been developed specifically for use in production environments, especially for quality assurance monitoring in assembly applications. The piezoelectric sensors cover measuring ranges from 10kN to 700kN and are supplied as standard with 1%, 10% and 100% measuring range calibrations. In most applications, the sensors may be fitted directly into presses, punches and rams but, where this is not possible, a variety of flanges and adapters are available.

Usability enhancements!

The latest updates to its open, non-proprietary FOUNDATION fieldbus technical specifications have been announced. The new features will enhance the usability of FOUNDATION technology, with the ultimate goal of making the digital fieldbus automation experience easier than conventional analog control systems.

The updated version of the FOUNDATION specification includes additional advanced support for fieldbus device replacement and backwards compatibility, Device Description (DD) templates, field diagnostics and alarm/alert integration. The ability to utilize these enhanced features is included in the foundation's new Host Profile C, which will be available for registration in early 2014.

Fieldbus Foundation Director-Fieldbus Products Stephen Mitschke commented, "The usability features in our updated technical specification will make it easier for both automation suppliers and end users to realize the full value of FOUNDATION technology. They are aimed at simplifying fieldbus implementation, operation and maintenance.

"As an end user-driven organization, we are listening to our fieldbus user community, suppliers and engineering partners, and employing their feedback in a continuous improvement process to make FOUNDATION technology easier to use in a wide range of applications." 

The latest features in this technical specification enable host and device suppliers to offer backwards compatibility to their users in order to further simplify device replacement. The incorporation of DD templates also provides an interoperable way for instrumentation companies to offer a variety of application settings for devices. Suppliers can embed the templates in their DDs from the factory floor. This will make it quicker and easier for end users to access a correct offline configuration. They also gain the freedom to utilize a newer device with an existing device configuration without the need for new DDs.

With the new device diagnostics alarm management feature, hosts tested under Host Profile C must integrate field diagnostics into alarm management systems, rather than just provide access to the information in a device view.

Application time support is also mandatory under Host Profile C. This feature requires a time stamp capability in the host system, which will start on an actual calendar date and time. Additionally, a new standard dictionary update feature requires that fieldbus end users have the ability to install a new dictionary update on their host system to support the latest DDs. This will further improve the simplicity of device replacement.

Handheld laser thermometer

There is a growing market for handheld products, as consumers increasingly demand devices that are mobile.

The GIM 3590 LaserSight Series Handheld Thermometer is perhaps a good example of a temperature monitor that can be used across a wide range of industries. Supplied by PVL, the instrument is manufactured by Greisinger and comes with a laser cross-hair that enables users to take more precise measurements.

The integrated sharp point allows users to assess objects that are just 1 mm in size.

It has switchable focus point optics, which means users can deploy the handheld piece of equipment in the most comfortable and convenient position possible.

Other standout features of the GIM 3590 include:

- Additional thermocouple input

- Measuring range between -35 and 900 degrees Celsius

- Optical resolution 75:1

- USB interface and graphical software

- Fast response time

- Weighs just 420 g

- Battery-powered and is very economical

Monday, December 9, 2013

IS sensors.

Monitran has launched two series of intrinsically safe sensors. Certified to ATEX and IECEx Group II, the MTN/2285IT and MTN/2200IT series are sealed to IP67, are available with integral cables or 4-pin connectors and are ideal for measuring vibration levels and temperatures in areas where explosive gases, liquids or dust may be present.

Intended for monitoring applications, the MTN/2285IT series comprises sensors with DC current outputs, in the range 4-20mA, proportional to RMS velocity (mm/s) and temperature as a voltage at a sensitivity of 10mV/oC. In addition, the operating temperature is certified to T6 (-55oC ≤ Ta ≤ +45oC).

The MTN/2200IT series is aimed more at analysis applications and features constant current accelerometers with isolated outputs for acceleration, in volts at a standard sensitivity of 100mV/g, and temperature at a sensitivity of 10mV/oC. The operating temperature for this series is certified to T4 (-55oC ≤ Ta ≤ +95oC).

Andy Anthony, Managing Director of Monitran, comments: “The monitoring of both vibration and temperature levels is at the heart of many predictive maintenance strategies. Adding a temperature measuring capability to our existing range of ATEX-certified sensors is a goal we’ve had for some time as, for instance, we understand most engineers view temperature as the foundation for bearing monitoring. Having put our robust dual-output sensors through the rigorous ATEX and IECEx certification processes, we’re able to provide our customers with a variety of products to meet their monitoring requirements in hazardous areas.”

Clever Combination: Nominated for the Automation Award 2013

Optical color band tracking used for driving, Data Matrix codes used for positioning and control codes used for navigation. The PGV positioning system from Pepperl & Fuchs, is the only product that offers this combination, making it the optimal solution for controlling automated guided vehicles.

Thanks to the camera system's powerful, integrated signal processing facility, the X and Y position, the speed, the angle, and the operating status are accurately detected at all times and are continuously reported. The wide reading window can cope with any branches, crossovers, and even tight curves with precise position feedback at all times.

The unique combination of color band
tracking and code reading makes the
PGV the ideal solution for automated
guided vehicles.
Uniquely Insensitive
The PGV's revolutionary camera technology makes it completely insensitive to ambient light. Even dirt on or damage to the color band or codes do not trouble the PGV. Shiny floors, changing ambient light, and strong light reflections interfere with conventional optical positioning systems, since they do not have a balanced selection of aperture, lens, and shutter speed. On the new PGV positioning system, the optical components are purely focused on the "region of interest" and the aperture and shutter speed selected are coordinated with optimum lighting. This makes overexposure a physical impossibility, and means that the ambient light cannot impair the reading performance. The color band for route tracking, for which any width and color can be selected, therefore no longer needs to be optically differentiated from the floor covering with contrast bands.

Reliable Processes in All Areas
With its superior hardware and software, the PGV delivers excellent process reliability, flexible handling, and cost efficiency. The integrated universal interface for all standard fieldbuses and process control systems provides the positioning system with plug&play connectivity. In short, it is the perfect solution for automated guided vehicles in intralogistics, material handling, the automotive industry, the print and paper industry, healthcare, and many other areas.

• Reliable and efficient production processes with Data Matrix codes and color bands being combined for the first time
• Safe transport of goods using continuous position feedback and positioning
• Universal, since any color bands can be used for route tracking
• Large reading window can cope with tight curves
• Insensitive to damage to and dirt on the color band and code tape
• No moving parts in the sensor guarantee a long service life
• Environmental influences have no impact thanks to the high-quality LED lighting
• User-friendly and simple commissioning process

Endorsed for use with data historian!

Ocean Data Systems has announced its new "Dream Report - Proven Partner" program with Canary Labs as its latest member.

Proven Partners have chosen to work closely with Ocean Data Systems, committing to deliver joint services and long term support to our combined customers. Together, we've proven the integration of our products and commit to working together as partners, delivering our customers the highest quality solutions today, and migration paths for tomorrow.

"We are very proud to be working with Canary Labs, supporting Dream Report in connection with their Data Historian," explained Roy Kok, vice president of sales and marketing for Ocean Data Systems. "Today, we connect with their Data Historian through OPC Foundation standards. As part of this new relationship, Ocean Data Systems will also develop direct connectivity to Data Historian, leveraging their Web Services interface. We expect that connectivity to be available early in 2014."

"Dream Report is a great solution for automated reporting and data analytics, and it is the standard for reporting for one of our Data Historian OEMs, ARC Informatique," says Ed Stern, vice president of marketing for Canary Labs. "The Dream Report - Proven Partner program is an ideal way to show our joint customers a unified front and commitment to work together."