Friday, February 14, 2014

New acoustic emission sensor for condition monitoring & preventative maintenance.

The new Type 8152C Piezotron® sensor, from Kistler, is ideal for monitoring acoustic emissions (AE) above 50 kHz on the surface of metal machines, structures and systems for preventative maintenance of rotating machines, monitoring cutting tools and press tools to detect signs of incipient failure and leakage monitoring of tanks, pipes and valves.

The rugged welded housing, wide operating temperature range from -54°C to 165°C and IP65 rating make the new sensor suitable for use in the most challenging industrial environments. ATEX Zone 0 and Zone 2 intrinsically safe versions are available for use in hazardous areas. Two frequency ranges, 50 to 400 kHz and 100 to 900 kHz, are offered in all versions. An integrated impedance converter provides a low impedance voltage output signal and a custom designed coupler supplies power to the sensor and provides signal processing.

The AE Sensor is simply mounted with an M6 or ¼ inch screw or a magnetic clamp onto the surface of the structure. The sensing element is acoustically isolated from the housing by design and is well protected against external noise and is ground isolated to prevent ground loops. Kistler AE sensors feature a very high sensitivity for surface (Rayleigh) and longitudinal waves over a broad frequency range and are designed to withstand high energy waves.

These new sensors provide a simple to install and highly reliable method of monitoring bearing based machinery, pressure vessels or flow turbulence with high frequency acoustic signatures. AE measuring can be used where vibration sensors are unsuitable due to the high energy nature of the emitted elastic waves. It also allows the reliable detection of fatigue and failure signals even in a high vibration environment. The measuring chain may be used for non-destructive testing or permanent online observation of continuous processes for condition monitoring and preventive maintenance applications. The high operating temperature of 165ºC and ATEX certifications option allows use in hazardous environments, such as processing industry applications where explosive gas or flammable dust is present.

User conference for Berlin in July!

The  2014 Yokogawa Users Conference and Automation Fair is scheduled for 2nd to 4th July in Berlin, Germany. 
The event will consist of a conference programme that includes user presentations, Yokogawa platform technology updates, industry and technology keynotes, and workshops - all designed to help users fully utilise automation technologies. In addition, an exhibition area will feature an integrated portfolio of Yokogawa platforms and solutions plus partner solutions: all designed to offer unique opportunities to learn more about how these solutions can assist in achieving safe, reliable, profitable operations in users’ facilities. Yokogawa will also host a welcome reception and a networking event designed to maximise 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 insight into how peers are using automation technologies to deliver industry-leading results”, said Herman van den Berg, President of Yokogawa Europe.

Led by users for users, the 2014 conference will 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 oil & gas, chemical, refining, power 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 designed to help users find ways to increase quality and efficiency and lower operating costs through proven methods and the use of Yokogawa products. The conference portion also provides attendees with the opportunity to attend hands-on workshops and seminars that will earn them certificates.

Fibre-Optic connector module!

Standard LC fibre-optic connector module added to Harting’s Han-Modular® connector series

Harting has developed a new connector module for its Han-Modular® series that allows the use of standard LC fibre-optic connectors in industrial environments.

LC connectors with GI (graded index) and single-mode optical fibre have typically been used for telecommunications and cabling in buildings, but they are increasingly being specified in industrial environments where elaborate encapsulation is required to achieve a higher degree of protection or where several individual connectors may be joined together on patch panels.

The new LC module for the Han-Modular® system houses up to six LC contacts, allowing up to 36 fibre-optic contacts to be housed in an industrial connector housing with IP65 protection.

Benefits of the modular approach include simplified handling as well as the ability to integrate additional electrical contacts, minimise service and maintenance time and increase the availability of the system as a whole.

High precision temperature control, secure data recording & visualisation!


Invensys Eurotherm has launched a family of new precision PLC products aimed at significantly increasing the profitability and efficiency of Heat Treatment and Thermal Processing.  The new E+PLC combines precision measurement and control, secure data recording, and a variety of visualisation solutions.

Fatures and benefits

• Straightforward compliance with thermal processing standards, for example CQI-9, AMS2750 E.
• Easy to commission precision PID control blocks with auto tuning.
• Setpoint programmer. This easy configuration saves programming time and gives guaranteed operation, helping to lower processing costs.
• Precision measurement of process variables to give accurate, repeatable results which translates to minimum energy usage.
• Total data integrity and secure recording, keeping valuable process records safe by using highly robust file storage strategies to protect against power and network failures.
• Batch functionality and complete traceability.
• An open CODESYS platform, a de facto industry standard. Using an open platform, industry standard (IEC61131-3) the E+PLC is well supported through Eurotherm and an extended community of PLC programmers.
• Integrated HMI software platform with a variety of visualisation options.
• Flexible visualisation giving dynamic debugging of application programmes together with concurrent development of the final process visualisation.
Previously to obtain optimum performance and meet accurate pyrometry specifications (eg. AMS2750E), companies needed to buy separate products for temperature control, data recording and visualisation. This was costly and inefficient.  Combining all these products into one easy to use, flexible and highly functioning precision PLC platform simplifies commissioning and reduces engineering time. The E+PLC also targets operational efficiency and makes regulatory compliance much easier.

Tim Linnell, Product Portfolio Manager at Eurotherm explains how the E+PLC’s versatile functionality will have a significant impact on the manufacturing industry, meeting the most demanding challenges of modern processing needs.“For many companies, in an increasingly competitive global environment, the efficiency of thermal treatments will be the difference between being profitable and not.  Eurotherm’s unique fast reacting PID control minimises overshoot, improving accuracy and reducing waste.

“The high precision temperature control ensures the correct temperature is obtained quicker and stays at the optimum level required without deviation, ensuring high quality results first time without wasting time waiting for operating temperature to be reached. This increases throughput of a furnace or thermal treating machine in comparison with traditional PLC based control. Fast acting PID with overshoot inhibition can enable an extra furnace batch cycle to be completed within any 24 hour period. By eliminating damping of PID sets and relying on Eurotherm’s unique overshoot inhibition customers can heat aggressively up to temperature with the confidence of keeping within the required setpoint temperature tolerances.

“These benefits are easily realised in the E+PLC using standard software building blocks, with an auto-tuning function to match the control response to a particular application. This can reduce the time needed to programme and commission an application from days (and sometimes weeks) to hours.

“The E+PLC range also includes secure data logging designed to meet the requirements of thermal treatment standards such as CQI-9 and AMS2750 E. Indeed, Eurotherm has built its business over many years around the requirements of such standards, and is trusted by auditors and customers alike. Of course data logging is only one part of standards compliance, and our highly stable precision measurement circuitry assures compliance with accuracy specifications, aids conformance to System Accuracy Tests (SAT) and improves the output from Temperature Uniformity Surveys (TUS).”
He continued, “Data recording and temperature control is highly specialised and Eurotherm has a track record gained over 50 years in developing these products, building a peerless reputation with the leading businesses in the thermal treatment sector. Eurotherm operate also in some of the most stringently regulated industry sectors in the world, including the global pharmaceutical and biotech industries where our products and secure data recording infrastructure are trusted implicitly.

“Combining Eurotherm’s best of breed products and adding visualisation tools into this new self-contained precision E+PLC platform brings high efficiencies and reduced engineering time.”

• Eurotherm products are marketed in Ireland by Classic Technology

Lego League Tournament!

Seven teams of children from schools in various part of England recently competed in a FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) regional tournament, organised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and hosted by National Instruments UK & Ireland in the company’s Newbury headquarters. 
FLL is a team-based robotics programme and competition for 9-16 year olds, designed to excite children about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and real-world issues, as well as teach them valuable life, career and teamwork skills. The key aim is to encourage students from primary and secondary school into science and engineering. National Instruments LabVIEW graphical programming software powers the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics platform, which is used by hundreds of teams of schoolchildren in the UK & Ireland, and over 250,000 young people globally, in the FLL robotics competition. 

With “Nature’s Fury” the theme for this year’s tournament, the teams deployed their robots to address a real-world challenge on the game tables, showcasing their creativity, technical skills and enthusiasm with topics such as a volcano eruption, zombie apocalypse and a plan to minimise forest fire devastation.  Each team was tasked with three challenges, judged by NI employees: a robot game, where pre-programmed robots moved around the FFL table to complete tasks for points; a presentation about their project; together with a  demonstration of their team working skills in the Core Values section of the tournament. 

“From building better medical devices to providing renewable energy, engineers will play an important role in improving our future. As such, the current global deficit of engineering talent is a big problem for society.  At National Instruments, we believe that events like FLL will play a key role in inspiring and nurturing the UK's next generation of engineers, which will lead to a better future for us all” said Robert Morton, Managing Director, National Instruments UK & Ireland, who attended the tournament. “FLL provides children with a real insight into the wonderful world of engineering. On the run up to the event, the student teams had to identify a real-world problem, before combining software and hardware to create a solution. That is exactly what many professional engineers do every day." 


The winning team, Abingdon School from Oxfordshire, is now through to the national finals, where the British winner will proceed to compete in the global tournament, held in the United States later this year. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Free seminar on portable GC/MS!

The Open University in Milton Keynes (GB) has been chosen as the venue for a free seminar on Friday 28th March featuring an introduction to the latest onsite monitoring equipment, including a portable GC/MS from Torion Technologies (USA).

The seminar will feature presentations from Tiffany Brande, U.S. based Director of Torion, and Dr Andrew Hobson from Quantitech, the company which is organising the event.

The speakers will conduct practical demonstrations of gas, liquids and solids analysis, and will provide delegates with an insight into the ways in which onsite testing can lower costs and help improve the quality and speed of results. Portable GC/MS can be employed in a wide variety of applications, but there will be specific references to environmental surveys, occupational safety, contaminated land, hazardous chemicals, incident response, food/beverage analysis and research in a wide variety of sectors.

The seminar will commence at 11am and finish at around 3pm, with complimentary lunch provided. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come/first-served basis to those that register here!

First picture with just one click!

Since the beginning of January, all Baumer GigE Vision and USB3 Vision cameras have come with the newly released version 2.2 of Baumer GAPI software development kit (SDK).

Thanks to end-to-end compliance with the GenICam standard, the high-performance programming interface enables easy implementation of Baumer cameras into diverse applications. In addition, the new improvement allows integration into application-specific environments. As another new feature, the cameras now support USB3 Vision standard. The further enhanced Camera Explorer is intuitive to operate, delivers the first picture with just one click and allows for easy camera evaluation. Numerous sample programs and documentation support camera integration.

Baumer GAPI version 2.2 supports the C++ and C# programming languages under Windows or Linux and can be used with all Baumer GigE and USB cameras.

High power contacts for VPC Mass InterConnect systems

The Peak Group has a range of high power contacts in the British market for the Mass InterConnect systems produced by Virginia Panel Corporation (VPC).

Designed for use in high power testing, the new contacts offer current ratings up to 150 A. Rapid connection is ensured when the contacts are installed in VPC’s iCon and i1 high power InterConnect solutions, with six contacts possible in the iCon and four in the i1.

Both the iCon and i1 systems have an innovative engagement mechanism with spring-loaded locking tabs and built-in lubrication that secures the connection with a quick half-turn of the handle. The engagement mechanism ensures a quick and easy connect and disconnect every time.

VPC's high power contacts are gold-plated for signal integrity and reliability, and use highly flexible Cooner 2 AWG wire for maximum reliability.

Applications include testing high power battery systems for hybrid and electric cars.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Revolution in UHP gas analysis for semiconductor industry!

Servomex has launched the SERVOPRO NanoChrome, revolutionizing ultra-trace purity measurements for UHP gases by incorporating the latest advances in gas sensing technology and signal processing methodology.

Designed specifically for the measurement of contaminant gases and hydrocarbons that can be present at ultra-trace levels in semiconductor manufacture, the NanoChrome delivers a superb and stable sub-ppb measurement for H2, CH4, CO, CO2 and NMHC in a range of common background gases including He, H2, N2, Ar and O2. The result is an analyzer that offers not only numerous measurement and performance advantages over traditional Flame Ignition Detector (FID) and Reduction Gas Detection (RGD) technologies, but delivers substantive cost and safety benefits not previously available to customers that rely on the highest possible gas purities to maintain product quality.

The NanoChrome delivers exceptional low detection limits through an innovative high-sensitivity Plasma Emission Detector (PED) specially developed by Servomex. Already field proven through ultra-trace measurements of argon and nitrogen, the extended measurement wavelength enables the enhanced PED to include measurements for H2, CH4, CO and CO2, as well as a direct hydrocarbon measurement with no need for a methanizer. As there is no requirement for a flammable fuel gas, the Servomex PED sensor also enhances safety and lowers operational costs.

The analytical sensitivity and reliability of the NanoChrome is enhanced by advanced signal recovery, utilizing specially developed adaptive chromatographic filtering methods and ProPeak peak detection techniques for a more sensitive and selective measurement than previously available for UHP gases. By utilizing a Direct Analysis Methodology, the NanoChrome removes the doubt associated with measurements made by FID and RGD measurements with the certainty of exceptional measurement accuracy.

Integrated alongside the Servomex DF-500 ultra-trace analyzer series and DF-700 moisture analyzer series, Servomex now offers the semiconductor industry a single, complete solution for reliable UHP gas analysis. Supported through a global support network of sales, service and support, Servomex is the only gas analysis manufacturer to deliver a single supplier solution for all UHP gas purity measurements.

“The SERVOPRO NanoChrome is a breakthrough in the measurement of UHP gas impurities because Servomex took a fundamentally fresh approach to responding to what UHP users want: a more flexible, accurate and reliable measurement, provided through a single analyzer partner, which delivers immediate performance, cost and safety benefits,” says Chuck Hurley, President, Servomex Group Limited.

“Once we understood exactly what users were asking for, the Servomex research team took a fundamentally new approach to UHP gas sensing technology. Not only did they develop a radically improved PED sensing technology, but in innovating our ProPeak processing technologies new methodologies have been created to interpret and process data. The result is a genuine leap forward for UHP gas analysis – one which we are sure will have a positive impact for the semiconductor industry.”

Ruggedised PLCs will boost processing uptime at Lapland gold mine!

ABB is currently upgrading the automation system at Agnico Eagle's gold mine in Lapland, with eight of its latest ruggedized PLCs for controlling equipment in harsh conditions and extreme climates. The PLCs - scheduled to come online by the end of 2013 - will control the sedimentation process of the concentrating mill at Europe's largest gold mine: Agnico Eagle's mine in northern Finland which is 150 km inside the Arctic circle near the town of Kittila.  
ABB won the original contract for the main automation system at the gold mine, and configured and installed electrical automation based on its 800xA Extended Automation system and industrial IT architecture. The project involved a large amount of ABB automation components including ABB's 800 series operator interface panels and AC500 PLCs for the underground control of pumps, air conditioning, the motors used in ore crushing and processing, etc.  

However, a number of items of plant equipment came with automation from other vendors, including PLCs that were supplied with the sedimentation facility that forms part of the mine's concentrating mill. The PLCs were normal industrial grade types, but housed in freeze-protected cabinets located outdoors. Since installation however, this facility has suffered a number of process stoppages because of the environment at the mine - which includes very wet and humid conditions and winter temperatures as low as -40 degrees C. If a process stoppage happens in winter the impact can be severe, as the weather can quickly add to the problem by freezing and blocking pipelines. 

There have been some four or five stoppages a year, stemming from power outages, extreme cold temperatures, or water droplets that form on the PLC modules when the cabinet doors were opened. In wintertime, condensation can happens in seconds - almost the instant the cabinet doors are opened and the benefits of the cabinet's ingress protection are lost - because of the very low temperatures and the moisture-laden air around the concentrating mill. The same problem can also happen in springtime, as temperatures can swing between -25 and +15 degrees C from night to day - leading to heavy condensation. 

The mine operators decided to upgrade this part of the control system to improve reliability and uptime. They were very happy with the PLCs that provided control in the hot and humid underground environment and turned to the supplier of these - main automation vendor ABB - who proposed a solution based on the XC PLC. XC is an 'extreme conditions' variant of the well-known AC500 PLC family that is installed underground. It has built-in protection against a very wide variety of threats posed by harsh environmental and operating conditions including high and low temperatures, high humidity, low air pressure, salt mist and hazardous gases, and vibration and shock. In this case, the new ABB XC PLCs will be installed at the mine's above-ground processing centre - with some I/O modules located at a remote water pumping location and connected using ProfiNET.

Mining is one of the key target applications for this PLC.  The harsh environment at Kittila poses no problem for the XC PLC which can operate in temperatures from -30 degrees C, with reliable system start-ups in temperatures as low as -40 C, more than meeting the problems that might arise. Its circuit boards are conformally coated to protect against moisture ingress. And the PLC is protected against vibration and shock and will tolerate a lot of mechanical stress - such as accelerations up to 4 g from random vibrations up to 500 Hz, or 2 g from sinusoidal vibration. This built-in protection means that the ABB PLCs are being installed in standard uninsulated stainless steel cabinets - without any need for freeze-protection heaters. 

"Ruggedized PLC technology opens up new design possibilities, allowing automation to be sited right where the control I/O is needed, in many cases without high-specification environmental protection - as at this mine is deep inside the Arctic circle" says Risto Haavisto of ABB Finland. 


Agnico Eagle's gold mine in Finland is located in Kittila, in the northern Lapland region. With an estimated lifetime to 2037, Kittila's reserves are estimated at almost 33 million tonnes. The mine employs over 600 staff and contractors, most of whom are local residents, making a big contribution to the regional economy. Ore was originally mined from two open pits, starting in 2008. Since 2010,the mining has moved underground. Some 3,000 tonnes of ore is currently transported daily to the surface crusher using underground haul trucks via a 3km-long ramp access system. 

Energy efficient cooling!

Rittal’s TopTherm Blue e cooling units provide an energy efficient means of cooling enclosures. Incorporating the integrated eComfort controller and offering energy savings of up to 45%, the units are compatible with Rittal’s RiDiag II software.
RiDiag II is in real-time. All cooling parameters, such as the enclosure internal temperature setpoint, switching hysteresis, high tempera-ture alarm offset and sensitivity of the filter mat monito-ring, can be modified and saved. The results of diagno-stic checks may also be stored.

With connection to a PC or laptop the following data can be retrieved from the cooling unit: Time and frequency of any error messages generated, maximum environmental and minimum internal enclosure temperatures recorded and the duty cycle and cooling unit utilisation.

Whether an end user or installer, RiDiag II can be of benefit. It significantly reduces the amount of time taken to set up multiple units with the same parameters, ensures the correct settings are input and creates a backup file of the application specific settings. Saved diagnostic checks document the operating history of a cooling unit and data collected from a cooling unit may be used to identify any faults or incorrect installation.

Condition monitoring made easy!

Versatile and user-friendly MTN/5000 condition monitoring system

The MTN/5000, a cost-effective and versatile microcontroller-based condition monitoring system has been launched by Monitran.

The MTN/5000 can have up to 12 channels (to be specified when ordering) and features a 3.5 inch TFT touchscreen and an easy-to-navigate menu. The user is able to set data sampling rates (up to 1million/second), input ranges and resolution and alarm levels, on a channel-by-channel basis or across all channels.

The system is designed to work with Monitran’s accelerometers and velocity sensors but it can also accommodate most other sensor types including those for measuring temperature, pressure, displacement and proximity. It can also accept a voltage or current as input, and raw signals are made available at BNCs on the front panel.

As standard the MTN/5000 has 12 digital I/O channels which can be used for multiple alarms or as a communication channel for integration with other systems. Also, as an optional extra, the system can be fitted with Modbus TCP/IP, for networking purposes or to enable multiple MTN/5000s to operate together within a larger monitoring or control system.

Andy Anthony, Managing Director of Monitran, comments: “With the MTN/5000 we’re providing engineers with a versatile tool that can provide a picture of the health of plant and equipment, raise alarms and indicate when further investigation may be warranted.”

The MTN/5000 system is made to order and, in addition to specifying how many input channels the MTN/5000 should have, the user can request front panel customisation, such as asset numbering. The system requires an input voltage of 24V DC and the enclosure dimensions, including glands, are 372 x 250 x 200mm.


Anthony concludes: “The MTN/5000’s ease-of-use is remarkable. It is a turnkey solution and you don’t need to be a condition monitoring expert to get the system up and running and protecting plant and process assets.”

Cybersecurity certification program expanded!

A system-level cybersecurity certification for industrial automation and control systems (IACS) products from the ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI). They have also announced Q2 2014 availability of an organisational certification which ensures that suppliers are following cybersecurity development and support lifecycle processes for IACS products.

Supplier organizations are encouraged to contact an ISASecure-accredited lab for details on these new certifications and the steps for certifying IACS products and their organisation’s product development and support lifecycle processes.

The new product certification is the System Security Assurance (ISASecure SSA) which assesses the cybersecurity of off-the-shelf industrial control systems and certifies conformance to IEC 62443-3-3. The objective of this certification is to ensure cybersecurity robustness for off-the-shelf control systems and to certify that the systems are free from known vulnerabilities. The SSA program description and certification specifications are available for download in PDF format from the ISCI website.

The new organisational certification is the Security Development Life Cycle Assurance (SDLA) certification which ensures that a supplier’s product development organization has institutionalized cybersecurity into their product development and support lifecycle processes and follows them consistently on an ongoing basis. The objective of this certification is to ensure that cybersecurity is designed into IACS products from the beginning and is followed throughout all product development and support lifecycle phases.

ISCI has been certifying embedded devices under the Embedded Device Security Assurance certification (ISASecure EDSA) scheme. EDSA, the first ISASecure certification, assures cybersecurity for off-the-shelf embedded devices and lists certified devices from prominent suppliers such as Honeywell and Yokogawa.

The ISASecure™ program has been developed by the ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) with a goal to accelerate industry-wide cybersecurity improvement for IACS. ISASecure certifications are based upon international cybersecurity standards including the IEC 62443 series, ISO 27001 and other relevant industry-consensus standards.

The ISASecure IACS cybersecurity certification program is an ISO/IEC Guide 65 conformance scheme supporting ISCI’s goal to operate a globally recognized IACS cybersecurity certification program. Independent third-party accreditation by IEC accreditation bodies (AB), such as ANSI/ACLASS and JAB, ensures the credibility and value of the ISASecure certification by objectively attesting to the competence and qualification of ISCI certification bodies (CB) and laboratories.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Position sensor operates through walls!

Reventec Ltd has developed a new non-contact linear position sensor capable of accurately sensing through a variety of solid materials.

Linear Position Sensor
The AD-015 linear position sensor was originally developed in response to a long-travel motorsport suspension monitoring requirement; however the versatile technology is already proving essential for a wide variety of other specialist harsh-environment applications.

It uses MagnetoResistive technology to accurately sense the position of a magnetic target over a 150mm measurement range. Unlike most other types of non-contact position sensing technology (including common inductive and hall-effect devices), the sensor is capable of operating with a large (up to 40mm), variable gap between the sensor and the target. Uniquely, the sensor is also capable of sensing through thick-walled materials including stainless-steel, aluminium, titanium and carbon fibre (or a combination), with no effect on sensor output or measurement accuracy.

Reventec’s through-wall sensing capability
demonstrated with a number of materials
at Performance Racing Industry trade show!
Through-wall-Position-Sensor
Reventec’s through-wall sensing capability demonstrated with a number of materials at Performance Racing Industry trade show (Indianapolis, USA December 2013).

At just 60g in weight and with a durable IP68-rated aluminium body, the sensor is suitable for use in harsh environments including high temperature and vibration, and presence of dust and moisture. The sensor is currently offered with a CAN or Analogue 0.5-4.5V output, and Bluetooth® connectivity is due to be introduced later this year. In addition to the standard 150mm design, Reventec is capable of adapting the technology within very short timeframes to suit most short to long travel position sensing requirements.

The AD-015 position sensor was recently demonstrated at the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis, where interest in the technology was high. Reventec is now in talks with a number customers within top-level motorsport, industrial and aerospace sectors, where the suitability for use in harsh environments is extremely desirable.

Seal Analytical publishes program of international expos!

SEAL Analytical has announced its participation in a series of international events that will include North America, Europe and the Middle East. Company President Stuart Smith says: “The latest models of our highly automated segmented flow and discrete analysers are proving extremely popular, so we made a decision to expose them to as many prospective users as possible.

“We will also launch a major new product in 2014, so we anticipate a great deal of interest in our booths.”

With manufacturing facilities in the USA and Germany, SEAL is a regular exhibitor at Pittcon and Analytica, but this year the company will also participate in the Ocean Sciences global meeting in Hawaii and Arablab in Dubai.

SEAL Analytical’s booths at these events will feature the company’s latest innovations in discrete and segmented flow automated colorimetric analysers.

The QuAAtro, for example, is the latest generation of the original world-class Technicon™ Segmented Flow Analysis (SFA) systems and the new QuAAtro 39 high performance microflow analyzer will be of particular interest to visitors. More flexible than its predecessors and offering up to 33% more capacity, the QuAAtro 39 enables the operation of a greater number of simultaneous analyses and improves laboratory efficiency. Importantly, this new instrument also further lowers the detection limits of the QuAAtro platform.

The latest version of the AA1 dual channel, automatic SFA will also be unveiled. This model features a larger pump and integrated distillation module for online analysis of Phenol, Cyanide and Ammonia. In addition, the new gas diffusion method for Ammonia will be shown.

The SEAL Analytical booths will also feature the AQ series of Discrete Analyzers, the AA3 SFA and a programmable block digestion system.

Summarising, Stuart Smith says: “Our analyzers have been developed for specific market sectors, so we are looking forward to meeting laboratory professionals involved with the testing of seawater, surface waters, wastewater, drinking water, soils, fertilizer, plant materials, tobacco, beverages, food and animal feeds.”

Shrinking plant testing and commissioning time by up to 50%!

A new version of its SimSci® advanced process control software has been launched by Invensys. It will be released this spring and will enable customers to shorten their plant testing and commissioning schedules, as well as improve plant operations and personnel performance.

This offering has been built from the ground up to emphasise ease of use. It modernizes the graphical user interface while retaining the rigorous and robust calculation engine from the company’s successful Connoisseur APC offering. The new SimSci APC 2014 software is structured around an enhanced, natural workflow that includes full support for model case file development and a connection wizard for faster integration to any distributed control system and programmable logic controller, including the company’s Foxboro® I/A Series® DCS and its new Foxboro Evo™ process automation system. The software will be even more tightly integrated in future releases of the Foxboro Evo system as well, providing enhanced simulation capability. 

“Advanced process control can result in tremendous improvements in plant efficiency and performance, but it is largely underutilized, in part because some potential users find it too much of a challenge,” said Peter Reynolds, senior consultant with the ARC Advisory Group. “Invensys addresses this issue head on, with new graphical interfaces, intuitive workflows and custom calculation engines. Making optimization easier will empower both seasoned APC users and the next generation of engineers and operators to address a wider range of process conditions and business challenges.”

SimSci APC 2014 software greatly extends the capabilities of traditional APC offerings to garner more control over the process. Director, a powerful new feature, allows the control engineer to build custom calculations or add custom supporting controller functions that augment the user’s experience. Natural workflows speed up model building, configuration and deployment, and additional features make the software suitable for a complete APC project implementation. These advancements help the transitioning workforce more easily build and maintain APC applications, and can cut implementation and commissioning time by up to 50 percent.


“We are excited about our new APC offering, which builds on our market-leading Connoisseur APC software to help our customers enhance quality, increase throughput and reduce energy usage,” said Tom Kinney, vice president of Invensys’ optimization business. “The software was developed with the end user in mind, and it includes several well-thought-out features that help achieve better and more sustainable control of the process. A built-in auto-discovery wizard captures the specific syntax of any DCS for even faster buildup of tag connections; its automated testing feature means faster, more flexible configuration; it’s tablet ready; new click-and-drag functionality allows users to select the best models from many scenarios; and customizable user-defined functions improve how users can cope with changing process conditions. The end result is that SimSci APC 2014 provides a better, friendlier and more flexible user experience than traditional APC applications, making operators and engineers far more effective and productive.”

Automation helps refinery boost heavy-crude capacity more than four-fold!

Start-up of one of the largest investments in BP history enables major refinery to begin processing more heavy-sour Canadian crude

Emerson Process Management has completed process automation for BP’s modernisation of its refinery in Whiting, (IND USA). As main automation contractor for the massive upgrade, Emerson provided technologies and services that helped enable the Chicago-area refinery to modernise its facility to process advantaged crude supplies.

Steve Sonnenberg
“The Whiting project is one of the largest, most complex start-ups for which we’ve served as main automation contractor,”
noted Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. “We congratulate BP on its success and appreciate the opportunity to have helped make it happen.”

To facilitate commissioning and start-up of BP’s new crude distillation unit, coking unit, gas oil hydrotreater and sulphur complex units, Emerson drew on the resources of its engineering centres around the world. This global Emerson team − with personnel from the USA, India, Costa Rica and the Philippines − included more than 80 engineers, consultants, and technical specialists. A core team will support BP throughout 2014 as the refinery increases production of heavy-sour crude.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Online Source for enclosures!

An online source for standard and custom enclosures for electronic, communication, control and electrical system builders.

enclosures4U features the complete new Pentair Schroff Interscale M range of cases for small form factor applications.
A Foremost Electronics company, enclosures4U offers its customers all the financial stability, experience and customer service of the long established specialist distributor of electromechanical components and builds on its existing strong relationship with Pentair Schroff.

The new Interscale M range of enclosures offer customers a flexible platform solution for smaller product packaging. Competitively priced Interscale M offers the renowned Schroff quality now combined with very fast assembly (requiring just 2 screws), immediate access to the internal PCB, shorter product integration time by using a simple plug-in mechanism, integrated EMC shielding and the ability to be made to look “individual” with simple modifications.

A wide range of accessories is available for the Interscale M product range including PCB mounting studs, integral plastic feet, tip-up feet for instrumentation products, a stacking aid to facilitate making tower systems, optional integrated fan mounting plate and DIN Rail adapter.

Helpful assembly and documentation detailing cooling, EMC and safety agency approvals are available online to assist with product integration.

Alan Cook, Managing Director of enclosures4U comments, “The growing availability of flexible, complete product packaging solutions makes this an ideal time for us to launch an online shop for engineers to buy just a single enclosure for a prototype or a larger number for small volume production requirements. We will continue to add more competitively priced, simple to integrate enclosure products to our product offering over the coming months and make enclosures4U the UK’s primary source for enclosures.”

The Pentair Schroff Interscale M enclosure range offers 21 standard enclosures in 1U, 2U and 3U heights, with and without perforations with widths from 133 to 310mm and depths from 133 to 399mm. Modified versions are available in the event of a standard box not being available for the application, fixed and flat fee costs are charged for additional features. Complete custom solutions for bespoke end systems may also be specified from a range of 423 special case sizes with advanced colour choices and non-standard cut-outs.

ICE Cool changes! Thanks Jim!

We recently reported several changes in publishing circles in Europe and America, Gary Mintchell's withdrawal fro Automation World, Walt Boyes returning to Spitzer & Boyes and subsequent arrangement with Nick Denbow for the production of Europe's Industrial Automation Insider. Now we learn of changes in ICEnews, the useful newsletter being published for years down-under by Jim Russell.

The last ICE?
The ICEnews February Edition arrived in our mailbox this afternoon. Take a look at it here. Readers are encouraged to "scroll down to your favourites and click on the many free links and really useful information." Focus this quarter is on Design Engineering for Instrumentation, Control, Electrical, Fire & Gas and Safety Instrumented Systems, Flow, Fire and Gas, Instrument Standards, Level, our ever popular Safety Instrumented Systems and much more!

But there is also news on his plans for the future from Jim:

An Important Message from ICEnews
Not many of you will be aware that ICEweb and ICEnews are produced as a free engineering resource for our Wonderful Automation Discipline by myself as a “one man band” on a Semi-Retired Basis. Unfortunately the volume of work has been growing owing to the demands caused by Search Engine Optimisation, Maintaining 250 odd pages, adding new ones and a longer term project of changing the format from FrontPage to an alternative. The small mount of revenue that comes in from page sponsorship just about pays for the costs associated with running the site, however this does not particularly concern me as the site was always about “giving back”. Thus I am afraid something “has to give” and hence I have decided that ICEnews will no longer be issued quarterly. The only way that it can continue is by unpaid volunteer effort, so if you are a retired Instrument Engineer looking for a challenge and like me interested in "giving back" please contact me. I must thank all the Sponsors over the years and of course YOU... The Readers for your support. Notwithstanding this I am considering replacing ICEnews with a blog and will keep you posted with any developments in that regard. ICEweb will continue as normal.

All of us in the Automation discipline owe a debt of gratitude to people like Jim and the others who embraced the "new" technological possibilities provided by the internet.

May ICEweb and his blog prosper in the future.

Small-sized compact temperature sensors!

OPTITEMP TRA-C10, TRA-C20 and TRA-C30, introduce a new line of compact temperature sensors from Krohne. They follow the current trend in various industries where in standard applications traditional temperature sensors are replaced with compact ones, especially in OEM applications.

Unlike traditional sensors that have to be configured by choosing from various combinations of measuring insert, thermowell and transmitter, the compact sensors are pre-configured with an integrated transmitter to meet the most common requirements in terms of measuring range, immersion length as well as process- and electrical connections. Their main advantage is their size: as in many process and OEM applications there is only limited space for sensors, they feature a small housing design.

Although they aim at different fields of application, OPTITEMP TRA-C10, TRA-C20 and TRA-C30 share the same basic design: equipped with Pt100 class A sensor element and build-in analogue transmitter, they cover the temperature range from -50…+150°C/58…302°F (without integrated transmitter +200°C/392°F) for liquid and gaseous mediums. Accuracy is ±0.15% of measuring range. For immediate use, the measuring range is fixed and pre-configured to a 4…20mA output, no programming is needed.

All three compact sensors come in standard immersion lengths 50 or 100 mm/2 or 4" (on request 25…500 mm/1…20"). Also, the short transmitter response time of the compact sensors (for water t0.5 = 3.2 s, t0.9 = 9.0 s) indicates changing process conditions very quickly and allows for immediate reaction. Classed IP67/65, the sensors are dust tight and can be used in wet outdoor environments. The solid mechanical design has no moving parts, which makes the sensors highly resistant to mechanical stress or adverse environmental conditions.

OPTITEMP TRA-C10 is a hygienic compact temperature sensor aiming at (OEM) applications in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical or sanitary industries. It comes with process connection ISO 2852 DN25/38, electrical connection is a standard M12 connection. OPTITEMP TRA-C10 can be CIP cleaned.

OPTITEMP TRA-C20 is a compact temperature sensor for general process applications. It comes with G1/2 process connection and standard electrical connection Valve EN 175301-803 for international markets.

OPTITEMP TRA-C30 is a compact temperature sensor with process connection G1/2 as standard and M12 electrical connection.

All standard versions of OPTITEMP TRA-C10, TRA-C20 and TRA-C30 have a fixed part number to enable a smooth buying process. As well as being available through KROHNE sales, they will be placed in online shops to be bought right off-the-shelf. Non-standard combinations are also available on request.

• Krohne products are marketed in Ireland by DWN Instrumentation.

Papers on water, wastewater for environment event!

The organisers of WWEM 2014, the international Water, Wastewater and Environmental Monitoring conference, have issued a call for papers in preparation for this year’s event, which will take place on 5th and 6th of November in Telford (GB).

Anyone wishing to be considered should submit an abstract of no more than 500 words on a subject within the following themes:

• International, European and Industrial Regulation
• International and European Standards, and Method Development
• Industrial Cases Studies Relating to Water Monitoring
• Environmental Laboratory Management and Testing
• Laboratory Analysis
• Flow Forum
• Smart Water

Abstracts must be submitted online before 5pm 28th February 2014, and the final Conference programme will be announced by 31st March 2014.

Oliver Grievson will chair one of the sessions and says: “We are looking for Papers that provide real practical benefits for delegates; the material should not be too promotional and should focus on providing help and advice on how to test and monitor accurately, effectively and efficiently, whilst complying with all relevant standards and regulations.”

Major flood defences repair helped by remote control boat!

This application is nothing if not relevant in current weather conditions in both Ireland and Britain (Jan/Feb 2014) is this imaginative idea.

A remote control boat equipped with a SonTek M9 Acoustic Doppler Profiler (ADP®), from Xylem, has been employed with HydroSurveyor software to create a 3-dimensional map of a damaged (and still submerged) flood barrier, following serious damage that took place during last December’s storms. Data from the survey enabled the British Environment Agency to act swiftly and effectively to repair the damage and thereby protect local industry and residents.
Seal Sands
Extreme weather conditions and the highest tide for 150 years resulted in serious damage to a flood bank at Seal Sands near Billingham in the North East of England. A large hole, some 60 to 80 meters across, was scoured from the barrier and enormous quantities of seawater flooded into an area of marshland, which is an important wildlife habitat. However, this area is also adjacent to a number of high value industrial assets, so this breach in the flood defences represented a serious threat and urgent remedial action was necessary.

Initially, military helicopters were recruited to help drop boulders into the hole, but it soon became clear that greater volumes were required so a temporary road was quickly constructed along the barrier so that fill material could be delivered by lorries.

Unfortunately, the extent of the damage to the submerged flood bank was not visible, even at low tide, so it was necessary to be able to survey the damage in order to be able to calculate the type and volume of material that would be necessary for the repair operation. Traditionally, such surveys would have been conducted manually from boats using gauging poles, but the Environment Agency now employs advanced remote control boats that have a range of 200 metres, so operators are able to remain on the bank.

The M9 ADP® on-board the remote controlled ‘ARC-Boat’ is a 5-beam depth sounding and velocity profiling device that scans the bed as the boat is guided across the water’s surface. Recorded data are analysed in real-time by the SonTek HydroSurveyor software to produce accurate depth and velocity measurements in addition to 3-D maps of the water body. The Agency’s Chris Train says, “The operation of the ARC-Boat was a great success; we were able to conduct a complete survey during about one hour of slack water at the top of the tide. As it happened, this was undertaken at night, but we attached navigation lights to the ARC boat, so the timing was of no consequence.

“The HydroSurveyor software created a superb map of the damage and demonstrated that the hole was significantly deeper than we had anticipated, so this data was essential in helping us to plan the remediation work.

“The main advantages of the ARC-Boat/HydroSurveyor system are the speed with which a survey is undertaken, the quality of the data, and improved safety because it is not necessary for staff to work on the water.”

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recently gave a further application: Flood boat predicts river breaking banks (8/1/2014)