Friday, January 24, 2014

Fieldbus Foundation for Netherlands!

Click for details of postponement

The 2014 General Assembly of the The Fieldbus Foundation is to be held in Rotterdam (NL) on March 25-28. This annual event is open to Fieldbus Foundation members and non-members, and will be attended by leading FOUNDATION fieldbus suppliers, end users and other industry participants from around the world.

This year's General Assembly will be hosted by STC-Group, a leading provider of educational services to the shipping, transport and process industries worldwide, and a partner in the Fieldbus Foundation's FOUNDATION Certified Training Program (FCTP). STC-Group's Brielle facility was one of the first educational institutions worldwide to offer fieldbus training courses certified under FCTP. This program establishes uniform standards for fieldbus educational curriculum around the globe, and defines acceptable levels of learning for students of the technology.

The General Assembly will offer an overview of Fieldbus Foundation developments across the globe. It will include updates by leading fieldbus experts on the latest advancements in FOUNDATION technology, as well as presentations by major end users who have installed FOUNDATION fieldbus in their industrial operations.

"FOUNDATION fieldbus is a technology that's driving efficiency in the delivery of the world?s energy resources, so it only makes sense that our 2014 General Assembly would be held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands – one of the key centers of the global oil & gas and petrochemical industries," said Rich Timoney, Fieldbus Foundation president and CEO. "The Port of Rotterdam is home to more than 45 chemical companies and five refineries, and our annual meeting will attract a wide spectrum of the fieldbus community throughout the region. We strongly encourage all end users of FOUNDATION technology, and those looking to become users, to actively participate in this event."

2014 President announced!

Peggie W. Koon, Ph.D.,  is the 2014 President of the International Society of Automation (ISA).

In this position, Dr. Koon will work with Society leaders and staff to increase awareness of the value and relevance of the ISA brand and build on ISA’s proven range of capabilities and resources for automation professionals, which includes standards development, education, training, certification, publications, and technical symposia and conferences.

Peggie W. Koon, Ph.D., ISA President 2014
She is vice president of Audience at Chronicle Media and The Augusta Chronicle, which are part of Morris Publishing Group, LLC, a privately held media company based in Augusta, Georgia, USA.

“I am extremely honored to serve as 2014 President of ISA, an organization which has contributed so much to both my professional and personal growth,” says Dr. Koon. “This is an exciting time for ISA; the Society is well positioned to secure new opportunities amid a highly changing world economy and global automation community.

“New and emerging technologies not only have facilitated the ability to offer automation solutions around the world, but have also changed many of the roles, responsibilities and needs of the automation professional,” she indicates. “ISA is committed to staying on the leading edge of these technological advances and global changes—to be a critical enabler—both for automation professionals to meet professional requirements and achieve career goals, and for manufacturers and other industry organizations to improve operational reliability, profitability, safety and security.”

Dr. Koon assumed her first leadership position (Membership Chair of ISA’s Management Division) within ISA in 1996. Since that time, she has held a variety of prominent roles in the Society, including:
  • Director, ISA Management Division
  • Vice President, ISA Industries & Sciences Department
  • Vice Chair, ISA Board of Department Vice Presidents
  • Society-level Committee Member, ISA Finance and Conference & Exhibit Global Oversight
  • Society-level Committee Member, Honors & Awards
  • ISA Executive Board and Executive Committee Member
Dr. Koon’s media career began in 2006 at Morris Digital Works (MDW), where she worked on strategic audience and revenue initiatives. She became deputy chief operating officer of the delivery division for MDW and also served as the corporate director of strategy, partnership development and management for Morris Communications and Morris Publishing Group.

Prior to joining Morris, she spent more than 25 years leading the development of IT systems for process automation and process control in a variety of industries--automotive, nuclear defense, aerospace, nuclear reprocessing, thermal ceramics and textiles.

Dr. Koon earned a bachelor of arts in mathematics from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA. She completed graduate studies in industrial and systems engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia and received a doctorate degree in management information systems from Kennedy Western University in Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA.

Full spectrum of metal analysis techniques!

The need for material verification is an increasingly important issue across a range of industries like aerospace, energy, rail and general engineering, since meeting the correct specifications can be critical to product performance, even public safety. The chemical analysis of metallic materials is one such procedure and it involves determining the precise elemental constituents of a test piece, to establish that it meets the required specification, to overcheck bought-in stock, to identify unknown material or to provide evidence in a product failure investigation.

The Chemical Analysis department of Keighley Labs offers an independent, bespoke service to aerospace manufacturers, the energy sector, rail industry, foundries, plating companies, galvanisers, component importers and general engineers, providing a fast turnaround and precise material verification. In addition to classic wet chemistry, it employs advanced Inductively Coupled Plasma, Atomic Absorption and Glow Discharge spectroscopy to ensure the optimum method for a particular application, as well as industry standard techniques for carbon, sulphur, oxygen and nitrogen analysis.

Part of Keighley Labs’ UKAS-accredited Metallurgical Laboratory Services capability, the chemistry department’s scope of accreditation covers an extensive range of ferrous and non-ferrous metallic materials, including iron, steel, stainless steel, aluminium and aluminium alloys, copper, cobalt, lead, nickel, tin and zinc alloys. Non UKAS accreditation also covers plating solutions, air quality filters and foundry consumables. It works in tandem with the company’s in-house Mechanical Testing, Metallography, Weld Testing, Problem & Failure Investigation and Heat Treatment departments to provide an all-encompassing technical service, housed on one site.

Headed by Chief Chemist, John Whitaker, and his senior colleague Graham Woodward, each with almost 40 years’ industry experience, the department combines in-depth scientific knowledge and practical expertise. Submitted specimens range in size from a minute speck of material, to a test bar or finished component of virtually any size; the team then determines the appropriate testing technique, according to material type, sample size, required turnaround time and complexity of analysis.

Inductively Coupled Plasma spectroscopy is a very sensitive technique for identification and quantification of elements in a test piece. It is an ideal tool for major and trace detection of a wide range of elements in solution, in which a dissolved sample is injected into argon gas plasma, and it enables analysis down to parts per million detection limits, across a wide range of metals and alloys. The technique can also be used for measuring impurity levels in plating solutions and galvanising systems.

Atomic Absorption spectroscopy is a highly sensitive analytical technique that can measure down to parts per million. It relies on the atomic absorption process for determining the concentration of elements of interest, by measuring the amount of light absorbed, and is particularly suitable for bespoke analysis applications.

When dealing with solid pieces of metal down to 15mm in diameter, the Glow Discharge spectrometer is often the instrument of choice, a typical application being the analysis of foundry discs. It enables rapid elemental determination in most ferrous materials and is an excellent technique for many routine applications. The characteristic ‘sputter’ pattern of glow discharge instrumentation ensures uniform material removal from the sample surface.

The Chemical Analysis team accepts commissions from anywhere in the world, providing samples can be delivered safely, and is able to analyse virtually any metallic or metal-related material. With today’s engineers working to ever-tighter technical specifications and the quality control of manufactured and bought-in parts always high on the agenda, the department’s services are in growing demand.

Lots of products and solutions at Farnborough!

AdoptSMT is to present many new products for the European PCB Assembly Industry at Southern Manufacturing 2014 (Farnborough GB 12/13 Feb 2014). The supplies, services and consultancy offered by AdoptSMT Group are focused around the aim to keep the customers production running. The main process supported by AdoptSMT with consumables, spares, service and pre-owned equipment is the automatic PCB Assembly including stencil printing, reflow soldering and AOI. Two related areas covered by AdoptSMT are identification and hand soldering with JBC stations and cartridges, Purex fume extraction, ESD products and de-soldering and cleaning tools from ITW - Techspray.

LED Nozzles at Farnborough!
New additions to the AdoptSMT Premium Parts range include SIPLACE compatible ceramic nozzles which are already supplied to many of AdoptSMT Groups repeat buyers of Premium Valve Plungers and Cleaning Sticks as these nozzles are used on the same machines as the well proven other parts. AdoptSMT Premium Parts are tested and qualified. With the same or better quality they also offer price advantages compared to original parts.

The range of splicing products to join SMD tapes and of stencil cleaning rolls and environmentally friendly cleaning agents was further widened to also meet special requirements.

Feeder Service
Discuss with AdoptSMT your feeder service or feeder spares requirements. AdoptSMT recently added an original Fuji calibration station for Fuji NXT series feeders in addition to the calibration systems for many other feeders including SIPLACE S and X, Assembleon, Juki, Mydata and others.

Hover-Davis – The Feeder Company
Hover-Davis will show at AdoptSMTs booth their new Panasonic(r) compatible tape feeder offering many advantages including faster tape loading, easier cover tape handling and a reverse gear. Also the SIPLACE S compatible SSF series feeders will be shown. The SSF05-08 3x8mm feeder is now the only new feeder on the market which is available with a pick point location compatible to the discontinued SIPLACE “silver” and “gold” 3x8mm feeders. Hover-Davis label feeders shown at the stand are the industry standard for supplying labels automatically to standard SMT pick and place machines, eliminating all the hassles of manual application and also not requiring additional floor space as an extra label cell would do.

New High Temperature Laser Markable Label from Nortec AMI
The new Nortec LML fills the gap between laser marking and label application: it can get placed onto small batches, in cases of bad surfaces or for re-marking and then be sent through the standard laser marking process.
Nortec is a leading supplier of ID solutions for harsh environments, with an approach of innovation in ID management, offering total solutions for the whole ID process. Nortec’s high quality polyimide (high temperature) labels for automatic application fit perfectly with AdoptSMT’s sales and service of Hover-Davis label feeders and experience with pre-owned label applicators from manufacturers like CAB or Asys. Suitable colour ribbons for thermal transfer printers are also available.
Masking dots and masking labels are available for automatic as well as for manual application. High-temperature masking dots can be applied for wave soldering and the use of the new masking labels for conformal coating will produce smooth boundaries after peeling off.

Mydata feeder repair service offered by Count On Tools
See the feeders which were sent to COT for repair with broken plows and springs – these are back with AdoptSMT like new, saving lots of costs compared to replacing complete feeders.
Besides some of COT’s wide range of LED nozzles and standard pick and place nozzles AdoptSMT will also show the StripFeeder.mod which can easily be adjusted to feed different size components supplied in short strips of tapes and the ezLOAD board support system.

• See  Barry Clark and his Team on stand no J45and say that Read-out sent you!

Yokogawa goes to Houston!

Yokogawa Corporation of America is to hold its 2014 Yokogawa Users Group Conference and Exhibition North America will be held Sept 9-11, 2014 in Houston (TX USA). The event will consist of a conference program that includes user presentations, Yokogawa platform technology updates, industry and technology keynotes, workshops and panel sessions all designed to help users fully utilize automation technologies.

A previous User Group Meeting New Orleans
In addition, an exhibition area will feature an integrated portfolio of Yokogawa platforms and solutions, plus partner solutions that offer unique opportunities to learn more about how these solutions can assist in achieving safe, reliable, profitable operations in your facility. Yokogawa will host a welcome reception, customer appreciation night and a networking event designed to maximize the exchange of ideas.

All Yokogawa users and potential users are invited to join in this 2014 event.

“The Users Conference and Exhibition is a unique opportunity to network with fellow users,
industry and business leaders, and Yokogawa product and solutions experts to gain in-depth,
quantified insight into how peers are using automation technologies to deliver industry-leading results,” said Chet Mroz, President and CEO of Yokogawa Corporation of America.

Led by users for users, the 2014 conference should provide valuable exchange of information
among process manufacturers and end-users. Network, conference, and exhibition opportunities provide a concentrated venue for individuals involved in the Upstream Oil & Gas, Chemical, Refining, and other industries who want to learn and share ideas and best practices with product and industry specialists, fellow users, and Yokogawa suppliers. The conference and exhibition is being designed to help users find ways to increase quality and efficiency and lower operating costs through proven methods and use of Yokogawa products.

The conference portion also provides attendees with the opportunity to attend hands-on workshops and seminars that will earn them Professional Development Hours (PDH) certificates.

Challenging offshore North Sea project will use special anti-corrosion instrumentation from Parker!

An offshore oil and gas project that will site new offshore platforms in challenging conditions in the North Sea has selected high-reliability valves and tube connection fittings from the Instrumentation Products Division of Parker Hannifin.

Gina Krog 1847-1916
Named after the pioneering Norwegian feminist  Gina Krog, the new oil and gas field is located some 250 km west of Stavanger (N). The offshore platforms for the Gina Krog project will be constructed rapidly. Parker anticipates that this could result in more than £10m of orders over the next 12 months for its Barnstaple facility - which employs over 200 directly and many more at local subcontractors.

Parker estimates that it will supply at least 10,000 individual valves, tube fittings and other components for this project, as well as some 10 kilometres of tubing. These will be used to construct liquid and gas instrumentation systems that will measure parameters such as temperature, pressure and flow to help control gas and oil and processing operations.

As well as manufacturing using high-grade stainless steel materials, this project will make extensive use of titanium and the 6Mo steel alloy in key parts of the fluid tubing systems. These specialist materials are required to combat the threat of corrosion, which is a major problem in harsh offshore environments such as the North Sea.

Parker's know-how about machining valves and fittings using 6Mo and titanium, and its proven supply chain for these specialist raw materials, were important factors in securing this business. Another key aspect was the global nature of the Parker business, as the engineering and construction work for Gina Krog is taking place in numerous locations around the world.

"In the oil and gas production sector today there's an intense focus on extending equipment lifetimes and eliminating the threat to reliability that corrosion brings. The know-how that Parker has built up in the area of anti-corrosion materials is bringing us considerable success," says Parker Hannifin's Andy Guest. "A large proportion of our production output is now manufactured from corrosion-resistant alloys instead of more conventional stainless steels."

"Our products have a performance edge because we always focus on adding value to industry-standard instrumentation products by employing unique features and superior materials and quality to design-out potential failure modes and improve reliability," adds Ian Huggins, General Manager of the Instrumentation Products Division of Parker Hannifin. "This is particularly relevant in the oil and gas marketplace which is doing all it can to improve safety and reliability, and it's helping our business to flourish even in the face of intense competition from low-wage Asian economies."

Turnover at Parker's Barnstaple facility has grown significantly in the last two years alone - largely as a result of being selected as the instrumentation supplier to major engineering projects for offshore platforms. North Sea oil and gas production continues to be a major business opportunity as production innovations continue to increase the volumes of oil and gas that can be extracted from existing and mature fields. As a result, lots of offshore platforms are being refurbished and extended. Parker's share of this market has grown so much that it believes it is the largest supplier of fluid instrumentation components in the North Sea sector today.

Another interesting aspect of the latest North Sea project order will be the specification of tube connectors for critical parts of the fluid tubing system that are able to withstand higher working pressures. This is being met by Parker's new Autoclave product line, which is the result of an acquisition in 2012. Although these products are manufactured at a sister factory in Wexford, Ireland, both the R&D and customer service departments for this advanced product line have recently been relocated to Parker's Barnstaple facility for efficiency. The ability to offer instrumentation solutions for both conventional pressure ranges and higher pressures is also helping Parker to win more business.

To help cope with the higher levels of business, Parker has invested around a million dollars in eight further computer-controlled machining centres for the Barnstaple facility. These new machines will be manufacturing many of the tube fittings required for Gina Krog. The automated machines add to the capability of one of the Parker Hannifin's corporation's most sophisticated manufacturing businesses worldwide. Parker in Barnstaple manufactures products using advanced build-to-demand 'lean manufacturing' principles. It was the first plant worldwide to be awarded 'Lean Model Plant' status by the $13 billion Parker Hannifin corporation - a major accolade.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Emerson releases new railcar emergency shutoff valve

Provides twice the flow rate capacity of the current N562, reducing propane railcar loading/unloading time

Emerson Process Management has released the new Fisher Type N863 Snappy Joe Emergency Shutoff Railcar Valve with up to twice the flow rate of the previous N562, offering a significant reduction in propane railcar loading/unloading time.

The Fisher railcar valve was originally developed more than 30 years ago and is the first and only emergency shutoff valve (ESV) specifically designed for railcars in the propane industry. It can be used with most compressed gases such as propane, anhydrous ammonia, natural gas liquids and aerosols.

The new N863 design greatly increases flow capacity, up to 1563 litres per minute (413 GPM) versus 757 litres per minute (200 GPM) for the N562, depending on system piping and flow capabilities. The N863 valve seals are available in Nitrile, Neoprene, Kalrez™ (FFKM), Teflon™ (PTFE), Viton™ (FKM) and EPDM to provide broad application versatility. UL Listing for the N863 is expected in 2014.

PAC Jet fuel testers win award!

The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design presents the JFTOT IV with the GOOD DESIGN™ Award

PAC’s Alcor JFTOT® IV recently won a GOOD DESIGN award presented by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design in cooperation with the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies. Founded in Chicago (USA) in 1950, GOOD DESIGN remains the oldest and most recognised program for design excellence throughout the world. These awards are given out annually in different categories. The JFTOT IV won a 2013 award in the industrial category.

PAC released the JFTOT IV last May. Alcor’s JFTOT analyzers are the globally recognized standard for jet fuel thermal oxidation testing with a worldwide installed base over 1000 instruments of various generations of instruments. In addition to its accurate and reliable jet fuel analysis, the JFTOT IV offers enhanced safety features and simplified operational capabilities in a smaller, more streamlined package than previous generations. Its appearance and user interface design, aided by Vanberlo design agency, were also greatly enhanced. The JFTOT IV strictly follows ASTM D3241, IP 323, and ISO 6249 standard test methods.

“PAC is very proud to have received the GOOD DESIGN Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design for one of our most advanced products, the JFTOT IV,” said David Tran, PAC Vice-President of Product Management and Marketing, “One of our main goals for the new instrument was to improve the ease of use and enhance the safety features for our customers. To do this, we incorporated several unique features into the design, such as the quick connect containers, sliding door over the heater tube, and a large touch screen, to enhance the ease of use and safety for the operators. The JFTOT IV also won the Good Industrial Design Award by Designlink recently. It is gratifying that these well-respected organizations have recognized the excellence in our product design and bestowed it with such distinguished awards.”

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

EDSA certification for Yokogawa!

Yokogawa’s ProSafe®-RS safety instrumented system has obtained the ISASecure® Embedded Device Security Assurance (EDSA) certification.

Cyber crime and cyber warfare are on the rise worldwide, and are growing ever more sophisticated. Recent prominent cases of industrial sabotage and espionage have escalated these concerns. Companies in the oil, petrochemical, power, and other industries are increasingly vigilant about such intrusions, and are being careful to check a product’s cyber security features before purchasing it. Yokogawa has obtained this certification for the ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system to assure customers of its high reliability.

The ISASecure program has been developed by the ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) with the goal of accelerating the industry-wide improvement of cyber security for industrial automation and control systems (IACS). It achieves this goal by offering a common industry-recognised set of device and process requirements that drive device security, simplifying procurement for asset owners and device assurance for equipment vendors. The ISASecure EDSA certification has three elements: communication robustness testing (CRT), functional security assessment (FSA), and software development security assessment (SDSA), and is based on the IEC 62443-4 standard.

Nobuaki Konishi, vice president of the Systems Business Division in Yokogawa’s Industrial Automation Platform Business Headquarters, comments: “Yokogawa is continually striving to provide its customers with optimum security solutions for their control systems by developing highly secure systems and instruments and providing operational support services. Yokogawa aims to strengthen its relationships with customers by demonstrating the reliability of its security solutions."

Congatec expands into Russia!

Regional Sales Manager to drive growth in Russia and CIS

Congatec AG, a leading manufacturer of embedded computer modules, announces the appointment of Pavel Andrievskiy as Regional Sales Manager for the Russian Federation and CIS countries (incl. Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan etc.). He is responsible for direct sales, support and the steady expansion of congatec's network of sales partners.

Pavel Andrievskiy has more than 3 years of international experience in the application and sales of electronic components. In his previous role as head of sales at a Russian wholesale company, he supported customers purchasing electronic components and devices from Russian manufacturers.

In his new position, Pavel aims to provide customers with high-quality products from congatec coupled with first-class support. "I want to make congatec the first choice for Russian customers in the embedded market and build a reputation as the preferred vendor for innovative embedded solutions," summarises Pavel his medium-term goals.

"Russia is a strategic market where we see great potential for growth for our embedded technologies. With Pavel's support we will be able to successfully expand our position in the region," states Bernd Hacker, VP Sales and Marketing at congatec AG.

Foundation joins the blogosphere!

The Fieldbus Foundation has launched a new blog dedicated to providing comprehensive information about its open, non-proprietary FOUNDATION fieldbus technology. Located at, the blog will continue the foundation?s mission to share news about global developments in the fieldbus marketplace.

Built upon the WordPress platform, the new "Fieldbus Central" blog has a streamlined design, which simplifies navigation to various sections and topics. This includes both current fieldbus-related posts and an archive of older posts and comments from the Fieldbus Foundation's original blog. Visitors can also access the foundation's Twitter page (
@FOUNDATIONField) from the site.

Fieldbus Foundation Global Marketing Manager Larry O'Brien explained the purpose of the new blog: "The Fieldbus Central blog is the focal point of our overall social media focus and the go-to place for all things new in the world of FOUNDATION fieldbus. Its objective is to provide an open environment where people can read about everything that's happening with FOUNDATION technology, from our news releases to new products, new installations, coverage of seminars and conferences, as well as a link to our other social media sources, such as new YouTube videos."

MIPI M-PHY Receiver Test solution!

Latest update to M-PHY Receiver test offering includes full support for HS Gear2 and Gear3, PWM Mode, auto calibration and margin testing

Tektronix has expanded the capabilities for its M-PHY Receiver test solution. The additional capabilities include physical layer receiver testing for High Speed Gear2 and Gear3, support for PWM Mode (G0-G7), auto-calibration and margin testing.

Engineers developing next generation mobile devices based on the M-PHY physical layer can now use this solution to resolve design challenges and overcome signal integrity issues by performing automated conformance, product validation and margin tests with ease.

Support for HS Gear2 and Gear3 and PWM Mode (G0-G7) gives designers the flexibility to perform tests at the full range of data rates for comprehensive insights into their designs. The auto calibration support for high speed gears reduces the complexity of setup, saves time, and enables users to test devices faster. Margin testing for high speed gears allows designers to validate and stress their devices to maximum potential resulting in competitive technical specifications for their products.

?Tektronix?s M-PHY receiver testing solution provides deep insights that the designers need to identify design and characterization issues early on in the product development phase,? said Brian Reich, general manager, Performance Oscilloscopes, Tektronix. ?This solution combined with the measurement precision of Tektronix oscilloscopes allows designers to stress the theoretical limits of their devices, test products faster in an automated environment and bring product to market in less time.?

Simplifying Complex M-PHY Testing
The MIPI Alliance?s M-PHY specification provides a low-power and low cost PHY solution which is scalable and flexible enough to address existing and future mobile and consumer device markets. With its changeable gears, terminations, amplitudes and high-speed serial data rates, M-PHY presents a number of test challenges on both receiver and transmitter sides that require dedicated test solutions.

Tektronix M-PHYTX/M-PHYRX automated software, for use with Tektronix DPO/MSO70000 Series oscilloscopes, covers the full range of M-PHY transmitter and receiver test requirements and features extensive protocol decode support. On the transmitter side, test setup and execution is fully automated and requires only a single instrument. For M-PHY receiver testing a performance oscilloscope and AWG7000 Series arbitrary waveform generator are the only instruments required. TekExpress automation software delivers a convenient user interface and intuitive workflow through setup and testing.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

National Instruments technical symposium!

National Instruments UK & Ireland is hosting its 2014 NI Technical Symposium, a free, one-day professional development series for engineers and scientists across three locations: 

• Glasgow (GB), Tuesday 11th February
• Manchester (GB), Thursday 13th February

• Dublin (IRL), Tuesday 18th February

Offering in-depth technical sessions and hands-on training covering the latest in test, measurement and control, the 2014 NI Technical Symposium showcases recent NI software and hardware innovations, enabling greater flexibility, faster development and increased system performance.

Drawn from the most popular sessions at NIDays 2013 which was held recently in London, the 2014 Technical Symposium offers 10 presentations, beginning with the morning keynote which demonstrates how NI is fuelling platform innovation in a programmable world. Throughout the day, delegates will learn how to manage Big Analog Data?, design state-of-the-art control systems and build a next-generation data-logging system. In addition, the Graphical System Design in Action session features awe-inspiring guest speakers working on bleeding edge applications from each local area.

Delegates choosing hands-on sessions will gain valuable experience using NI technology including NI CompactDAQ, NI CompactRIO, NI LabVIEW, PXI and NI TestStand. Those adept in programming LabVIEW also have the opportunity to take a free of charge Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer (CLAD) Examination to start their certification journey or further it with a Certified LabVIEW Developer (CLD) Preparation class.

Fluorescence Spectrometer for North American launch!

The US launch of a new, low-cost, high performance fluorescence spectrometer from Edinburgh Instruments is to occur at BioS 2014 and Photonics West 2014, 1-6 February 2014. They will demonstrate the operational capabilities of the analytical instrument live at the shows.

A fully integrated steady state spectrometer with single photon sensitivity, the FS5 is designed for the research and analytical market. It has a number of features that are unique in its class of fluorescence spectrometers, including:
·        Single photon sensitivity
·        High data acquisition speed and High Dynamic Range
·        Comprehensive yet easy to operate software
·        Unmatched range of plug and play sample cassette options.

The FS5 is an extension of Edinburgh Instruments’ portfolio of state-of-the-art spectrometer products. The instrument has been designed with the background of more than 35 years of experience in the field of fluorescence spectroscopy.

Data Centre order for New Zealand!

Rittal has received its first international order for its RiMatrix S standardised data centre.

Based in Christchurch, New Zealand, utility company Orion supplies electric power to the city’s 400,000 residents to make Christchurch’s power supply even more stable. Orion has been using Rittal’s IT infrastructure to support the operation and management of its’ entire electricity network since 2011.

Orion is to deploy Rittal’s RiMatrix S as a backup data centre to ensure maximum safety and robustness in this earthquake-prone region. The standardised facility will be installed in a container. Orion chose RiMatrix S for Rittal’s short delivery time, innovative climate control solution and no need for laborious planning, cutting both time and costs.

Meeting all of Orion’s requirements, the Single 9 version of RiMatrix S has eight server racks and one network equipment rack. Climate control is provided by a Zero-U-Space Cooling System (ZUCS). The air/water heat exchangers are located within the raised floor to avoid wasting server space.

Instrument protection shelter employs passive cooling to meet challenges of Middle East gas project!

One of the largest passively-cooled instrumentation shelters ever constructed is being supplied by Intertec to house remote control and instrumentation equipment required for a new natural gas collection project in the Middle East. Without any electricity, the cooling system reduces interior shelter temperatures by some 20 degrees Celsius – to enable the instrumentation to operate at its desert location.

Intertec is supplying three shelters for the project. Two employ active cooling and were delivered at the end of 2013. The third shelter, which will house solar-powered instrumentation and uses innovative passive cooling technology, is currently nearing completion.

The shelters are designed to protect supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems – comprising remote terminal units (RTUs), telemetry network equipment and associated electronics ­– for the control infrastructure of a new gas pipeline that is being constructed on the coast of the Persian Gulf. At present, much of the gas from oilfields in this part of the world is burnt off as waste at the point of extraction. This project is designed to improve resource management by collecting and using the gas to power seawater desalination plants that are currently fuelled by oil.

Environmental conditions at the site are severe. The coastal location means that the atmosphere contains corrosive salt and chlorine, as well as sulphur from the natural gas. During the summer months, additional factors include extremely high levels of UV radiation and daytime temperatures that can reach 55 degrees Celsius in the shade. Protecting field instrumentation for long life-cycle applications under such extreme conditions requires specialist knowledge and materials.

Intertec has constructed all three shelters using the techniques and composite materials that it uses for its high performance ARCTIC range. In this instance, 85 mm thick walls are employed – with 4 mm inner and outer skins of GRP sheeting (glass reinforced polyester) sandwiching a 77 mm layer of insulating foam. The GRP material layers are inherently inert and virtually immune to the corrosive effects of salt and aggressive chemicals.

Intertec is also able to manufacture the GRP in large panels without introducing any metal components that could create thermal short-cuts and degrade insulation efficiency. All external surfaces are protected by a thick layer of UV-resistant gel-coat.

Two of the instrumentation shelters that Intertec has built for this project are near to the electricity grid and are able to use active cooling. Each of these shelters is equipped with a custom 3 kW air conditioning system. A special corrosion-resistant external heat exchanger was developed for the application. Another major design challenge involved creating a cooling system based on a CFC-free refrigerant such as R-134A that could work efficiently in very high temperatures.

The third shelter that Intertec is supplying for the Middle East gas project will protect instrumentation sited in a remote location, where connection to an electricity grid is not possible. Here, all instrumentation power is derived from inverters, fed by batteries that are recharged by a photovoltaic generator. This system’s strict power budget means that even though the shelter has a very large volume of 142 cubic metres, its cooling system has to be entirely passive.

Intertec's passively-cooled shelter comprises two adjacent walk-in rooms with their own entry doors. One room contains the rechargeable batteries, while the second room houses all the system instrumentation and electronics including a PLC, computer network, power inverters and a controller for the external photovoltaic generator. The overall dimensions of the contained area are 5.2 metres x 9.1 metres, with a floor-to-ceiling height of 3 metres; the entire roof area is covered by a heat exchanger and sunshade combination.

The passive cooling technology Intertec employs for this project is based on thermo-siphoning using water – which is cooled and heated by the natural swing of day and night temperatures. The rear of the equipment room houses an 8,000 litre thermally stratified water tank connected to two closed-loop thermo-siphon systems formed by internal wall-mounted and external roof-mounted heat exchangers. The water circulates entirely due to natural convection. No pumps are involved and the process operates entirely automatically to provide highly reliable, safe and energy-efficient cooling.

The passive cooling system is designed to accommodate the maximum power dissipation of all equipment in the shelter – amounting to 1,080 watts – under worst-case conditions, which is when the hottest day of the year follows the hottest night. In this part of the Middle East, daytime temperatures during summer months can reach 55 Celsius, while the night time temperature might only sink to 30 degrees. Even under these extremely demanding conditions, the cooling system ensures that the shelter’s internal air temperature never exceeds 35 degrees Celsius.

Intertec has extensive experience of passive cooling, having offered the technology as an option on its environmental protection shelters for more than a decade. The company also produces a wide variety of other forms of cooling systems for shelters and enclosures, ranging from forced circulation passive systems and hybrid units combining active and passive technology, through to complete air conditioning systems.

The panels required for these shelters were produced using advanced CNC machines specially designed for Intertec which can perform cutting, routing and drilling over extremely large working areas. This automated approach allows Intertec to produce large, highly insulated panels for specific applications very easily and quickly – such as those for the passively-cooled shelter required for this project, which has a footprint of almost 50 square metres.

Compact, stand-alone chilled mirror hygrometer provides boost for small labs!

Since its launch in 2012, the S8000 RS from Michell Instruments has proved to be a popular reference instrument with smaller calibration laboratories enabling them to generate extra revenue by extending their service to humidity calibration. The reason? It is the smallest and lightest hygrometer in its class, which enables small calibration laboratories to extend their ranges – but without also needing to extend their premises. The easy-to-use instrument also suits in-house reference labs at larger organisations.

The S8000 RS Precision Chilled Mirror Hygrometer measures dew points down to -90°C (0.1ppmV) with an accuracy of ±0.1°C. However, unlike many other hygrometers in this class, no additional external cooling equipment is needed to accurately reach these dry dew points. Even without all the extra cooling equipment, the S8000’s nearest competitor in performance weighs 28 kg more than the S8000. Designed to fit into a standard 17” rack, the S8000 is the most compact, convenient and – because it doesn’t need extra equipment to work – the most cost effective hygrometer in its class.

This compact design was possible because of a sophisticated new optical system that detects very small changes in moisture condensed on the mirror surface. This guarantees high sensitivity and fast response when measuring low dew points.

With a high-contrast LCD touch screen, the S8000 RS is easy to operate and interrogate. USB or Ethernet connections are supplied as standard to enable remote operation and data logging via a PC or network. As with all Michell chilled mirror hygrometers, the S8000 RS is available with a 5-point calibration, traceable to national standards, with UKAS accredited calibration available.

• Michell Instruments are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Automation authors honoured by international society #PAuto #ISAuto #ISAutowk

"Each year, ISA is proud to recognize and thank all of the talented authors and contributors who help develop, review and deliver outstanding ISA publications and technical resources to automation and control professionals throughout the world," says Susan Colwell, manager of ISA's Publications Department.

Best seller 2012
This year's awards ceremony was held in concert with the 2013 ISA Automation Week technical conference, which took place last November. Winners are recognised for their editorial contributions to a wide range of ISA publications, including ISA books; InTech, ISA's bi-monthly magazine for automation and control professionals; and ISA Transactions, ISA's bi-monthly professional journal dedicated to the science and engineering of measurement and automation.

Awards and award recipients
• The Keith Otto Award recognized the author of the best article in InTech magazine. The award was presented to Chuck Mina for his article in the March/April 2012 issue of InTech entitled, Disposable automation – Single-use technologies for biopharmaceutical manufacturing.”  Mina is deputy director of Automation Engineering at Sanofi Pasteur (the vaccines division of Sanofi) in Swiftwater, Pennsylvania, USA. He also has worked on a variety of biotechnology projects at Amgen and Eli Lilly.

• The Nels Tyring Award recognizes the author of the best published article in one of the Society’s journals. Dennis Brandl is this year’s recipient for his July/August 2012 InTech article on factory automation, Business-to-shop integration realized through B2MML.” Brandl is the chief consultant for BR&L consulting, which specializes in manufacturing IT and flexible manufacturing solutions. He has been involved in MES, batch control, and automation system design and implementation in a wide range of applications over the past 25 years.

The John McCamey Award recognizes promising young authors who publish their first article in one of the Society’s publications. This year’s award also recognizes one of the important tenets of the ISA Mentor program, which is to foster publishing by practitioners to advance knowledge in the automation profession and provide recognition to the individual. The award recipients are ISA Mentor program protégés Danaca Jordan and Héctor Torres, and their mentors Hunter Vegas and Greg McMillan, for their article in the January/February 2013 issue of InTech titled, “Enabling New Automation Engineers.”
Danaca Jordan is a manufacturing staff engineer at Eastman Chemical Company in the US. She focuses on automating and optimizing batch logic and operations while managing capital improvements. In high school, she was a team captain in the FIRST® Robotics Competition.
Héctor Torres is a senior process and control engineer at Eastman Chemical in Mexico.  Actively involved in the ISA Mentor Program, Torres possesses more than 15 years of experience in process and control engineering and project management.
Hunter Vegas, P.E., is a senior lead project engineer at Avid Solutions, Inc. He has executed nearly 2,000 instrumentation and control projects over his career, and is an expert in field instrumentation sizing and selection, safety interlock design, electrical design, advanced control strategy, and numerous control system hardware and software platforms.
Greg McMillan, an ISA Fellow, is a retired Senior Fellow from Monsanto-Solutia. McMillan has received many prominent awards in the automation field. In 2003, he was honored by InTech magazine as one of the most influential innovators in automation. He received the ISA Life Achievement Award in 2010. McMillan established the ISA Mentor program in 2011.

• The Raymond D. Molloy Award is presented in honor of Raymond D. Molloy’s contributions to the automation profession. Molloy was a major driving force in the ISA publications program for more than 20 years and maintained a keen interest in ISA’s publication of high-quality books that met the needs of measurement and control professionals. This award was presented to Terry Blevins, Willy Wojsznis, and Mark Nixon, who are the 2012 best-selling ISA authors for their book Advanced Control Foundation: Tools, Techniques and Applications. Their book sold the most units of any new book published by ISA in 2012.

Terry Blevins is a principal technologist in the future architecture team of DeltaV Product Engineering at Emerson Process Management. Blevins has worked as a systems engineer and group manager in the design and startup of advanced control solutions for the pulp and paper industry for more than 15 years. An accomplished author, he has written more than 70 papers on process control system design and applications.
Willy Wojsznis is a member of the future architecture team of DeltaV Product Engineering at Emerson Process Management. Wojsznis has been involved in the development of advanced control products for more than 20 years, focusing on model predictive control, data analytics and auto tuning. His work has resulted in more than 30 patents and more than 40 technical papers.
As a member of the wireless team at Emerson Process Management, Mark Nixon takes an active role in the development of the WirelessHART specifications and the development of the IEC 62591 standardization. Nixon’s current research includes control using WirelessHART devices, data analytics for batch processes, wireless technology in the process industry, web-based user interfaces, operator interfaces and advanced graphics. He has written numerous papers and currently holds more than 45 patents.

• ISA Transactions Best Paper Award recognizes the best technical paper published in ISA Transactions in the previous year. The winning paper, “Robust control strategies for an electric motor driven accumulator with elastic web,” (ISA Transactions, Vol. 51, Issue 6), ” was judged to be the best paper published in the journal in 2012. Former ISA Transactions Editor-in-Chief Russ Rhinehart presented the award to Dominique Knittel, who accepted it on behalf of his co-authors, David Kuhm and Mari-Ange Bueno.
Dominique Knittel, Ph.D., is a full professor in control and mechatronics at the University of Strasbourg in France, where he has worked since 1992. His research interests include modeling and robust control, mainly for industrial Roll-to-Roll systems. Since 1999, he has been the head of the French research group in Roll-to-Roll systems. He has directed more than 30 doctorate and master thesis.
David Kuhm obtained a Master’s degree in Industrial Computing and Automated Systems at University of Strasbourg (France) in 2007 and a Ph.D. in Mechanics-Mechatronics in 2011. He was research assistant at the Engineering School INSA Strasbourg 2010-2012. Currently, he is deputy technical director at Schroll Company, Strasbourg.
Marie-Ange Bueno obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Haute Alsace (Mulhouse, France) in 1995. Since 2005, she has served as full Professor in the School of Engineering ENSISA (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Ingénieurs Sud Alsace, Mulhouse) in the fields of textile and mechanical science and engineering.

And then there was the one about the Englishman, the Irishman and...

"Three A, M&C journalists faced a test - two failed!" is the title of a piece by the (English) editor of the Industrial Automation & Process Control Insider (IAI - soon to be under new management!). Perhaps because the "man from Galway" came from the Irish speaking part of Ireland it is correct to indicate that as a separate identity to "Irishman!" Be that as it may we thought our readers would enjoy this story.

"Three journalists, an Englishman, an Irishman and a man from Galway, deep in the far west of Ireland, went on a press trip to Switzerland (see our report "Raising the bar at Baar!"). Fairly competent at handling the complexities of automation and control systems, the air travel was straightforward. From there it was just a simple task to transfer downstairs to the railway station underneath the airport, to catch a train and travel the few stops to the destination.

However, here was a challenge that was to test their capabilities in driving another automated system. Undaunted by such trivia, all three stepped up, side by side, to face three of the robotic ticket dispensing machines, for there was a train due to depart in only 5 minutes.

The reckoning

Heading quickly for the platform with ticket(s) in hand, everything seemed OK: all three had spent the same amount of money. But sitting down in the train there seemed to be a difference between the three tickets, both in terms of colour, thickness, and number of pieces of paper – the man from Galway had two.

Now as perhaps the man from Galway was the only true European citizen, and more accustomed to foreign travel, the Englishman and the Irishman asked why he had two tickets? He explained that he did not really know how this had happened, but since the machines were tri-lingual, he had chosen to use German as the language on the screen to get some practice and brush up his German skill. So maybe this was a special system applying to German travellers, because the Englishman and the Irishman had used English as their screen language.

Judgement day
There was no need to worry, because all would soon be explained by the friendly ticket collector lady, who was coming down the train. First to show his ticket was the Englishman, and the lady did not seem very impressed, but also did not seem to speak much English.

There was some mention of an 80 Swiss Franc fine, which did not sound too bad, until a quick calculation showed this was around $90. Apparently the Englishman had got the right ticket, but it was for use sometime in the future, and should have been stamped in the handy little time stamp machine on the edge of the platform, or somewhere, before boarding the train.

After much discussion to try to understand each other, ably assisted by the Irishman and the man from Galway, whose dialect the lady possibly found even more confusing, she decided the Englishman was just another tourist of limited intelligence and would be let off.

The last straw
In trepidation the Irishman offered his ticket, and the Inspector lady seemed pleased, in her own way – he had done everything right (possibly), and it seemed OK.

Then of course there was the man from Galway, with his two tickets. They were the same of course, because they were both half fare tickets for children. There was not much conversation about this, the lady just wrote something unintelligible across the tickets, muttered something about that we should pay an 80 Swiss Franc fine really, and then maybe there was something about our competence in travelling on our own - and she went on down the train to seek help for her sanity."

 And friends this story is true!

 I know, I was that guy from Galway!

Viscosity measurements at extremely high pressures #Pauto

PAC recently launched a new extended option for Cambridge Viscosity VISCOlab PVT, a high pressure viscometer for oil, gas and supercritical fluids. With the addition of higher rated valves, tubing, and materials, the VISCOlab PVT can now extend its pressure range from 20,000 psi, which is its standard range, to 30,000 psi, while maintaining its very user-friendly operation and minimal sample usage (only 6 ml).

Typical offshore rigs drill to 10,000 – 15,000 foot depths. However, with increased demand, oil companies with major offshore business have to drill deeper and deeper, subjecting the well to ever higher pressures. The Gulf of Mexico is a perfect example where numerous new wells are being dug at 25,000 – 35,000 foot depths, under pressures in the range of 25,000 – 30,000 psi.

“Since viscosity is such a critical measurement for determining key fluid reservoir characteristics and deepwater drilling is becoming ever more important, the VISCOlab PVT new option will help our customers determine what it will take to get the crude out of the well and the quality of the oil find at higher pressure up to 30,000 psi.” says David Tran, PAC Vice-President of Product Management and Marketing.

Furthermore, since many tests need to be performed on the samples captured from deepwater wells, the smallest volume necessary to measure the viscosity becomes even more critical since once a sample is tested that sample volume cannot be used for other testing. With the VISCOlab PVT 30,000 psi option, deep offshore operations receive accurate and precise viscosity measurement of the oil from a very small amount of sample.