Friday, March 14, 2014

Connectors function in environments up to 200°C

Harting has introduced a new high-temperature connector family, the Han® HighTemp Series, which enables the reliable transmission of signals and power at temperatures up to 200°C in industrial environments.

The design of the Han® HighTemp Series is based on the company's well-established Han® B and Han® E series with the addition of high-quality temperature-resistant materials and heat-resistant design applied to all components such as contacts, insulating materials, housing, seals and grounding elements. During development, the resistance of these components was verified in Harting’s in-house testing laboratory.

The basic structure of the Han® HighTemp connector consists of a bulkhead-mounted housing and a cable-side hood. The aluminium die-cast hoods and housings feature a highly compressed surface with excellent non-stick properties. It also has a special non-stick coating on the bulkhead-side seal which allows easy handling without significant sticking.

The rugged contact inserts use LCP (liquid crystal polymer) injection moulding to deliver outstanding temperature resistance coupled with excellent mechanical stability. The temperature-resistant contacts, for either screw or crimp termination, ensure reliable connections with minimal contact resistance even at extreme temperatures.

High-temperature connectors offer significant savings in equipment design, manufacture and maintenance by removing the need to enclose machine parts which are exposed to high temperatures and clearing the way to modular plug-in designs. The resulting lower wiring complexity results in reduced maintenance costs, fewer outages and minimal down times.

SCADA for water & wastewater application!

Yokogawa has received an order from the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to supply a SCADA system for its Centralized SCADA Monitoring Center, which will monitor the city’s water distribution network and wastewater facilities. This is Yokogawa’s first order from a water municipality in India, and this project is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Aview of Bengalore!
The SCADA system will monitor all data from BWSSB water supply facilities such as water treatment plants, pumping stations, reservoirs, and a water supply network that brings water 150 km from the Cauvery River to the city of Bangalore, and will also monitor data from all wastewater treatment facilities. The system will be introduced for the water supply facilities in May 2015, and its coverage will then be expanded to include the wastewater treatment facilities.

Bangalore, which has a population of 8.5 million, is home to a strong IT industry and many foreign companies. However, due to rapid industrial development and population growth in recent years, the city suffers from frequent water outages. Based upon the data that it will collect, the monitoring center will optimize the supply of water to the city and improve the operating efficiency of its facilities. Ultimately, the center will be integrated with the billing system. This project is receiving a lot of attention in India because of its progressive approach.

For this project, they will deliver the FAST/TOOLS™ SCADA software and the STARDOM™ network-based control system. Yokogawa India will have overall responsibility for implementing this project, including engineering, installation, and commissioning of software and instruments.

With Yokogawa India’s almost 30 years of experience in providing control systems and instruments to plants and Yokogawa’s solid track record and know-how in water and wastewater treatment applications in Japan, we are well positioned to contribute in the development of water infrastructure in India and other emerging countries.

Scrum mechanics study leads to rule changes by International Rugby Board!

As the entire island of Ireland prays for a favourable result in Paris for Brian O'Driscoll's last, and record breaking, appearance in the green jersey this story comes to us from National Instruments.
The man! The legend!

A three-year research project, completed by the Rugby Science Group at Bath University and funded by the International Rugby Board (IRB), has contributed to recent changes in the law of scrummaging, with a new ‘crouch, bind, set' engagement sequence. Data collected from cameras, player mounted pressure sensors and accelerometers, using National Instruments CompactRIO, show that this new engagement sequence reduces initial scrum forces by 25%, making scrummaging safer and less prone to collapsing with time-consuming restarts.

With a view to establishing safer engagement techniques, the IRB selected Bath University research team to investigate the forces and motion of scrum mechanics in order to determine the causes of injuries suffered throughout the sport. As a result, the findings supported the decision to change the laws of scrummaging and create the new engagement sequence which has now been implemented across all National and International rugby competitions, including the Rugby World Cup and European Six Nations Championship.

IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper commented: "The feedback that we have been getting from coaches and players around the world is that this is a positive change that enhances player welfare and scrum stability”.

Using NI LabVIEW software, NI CompactRIO platform and the latest in scrum machine technology to acquire accurate synchronised measurements during live scrummaging, the University team tested and examined the physical demands on players in rugby teams, across playing levels from school age to International level.

The combination of LabVIEW Real-Time software and CompactRIO hardware proved ideal for this application because it offered deterministic triggering control across multiple devices, simulating both training and real-match conditions. The consistent data collection and full analysis of force, acceleration and movement patterns formed a quantitative basis for the new, improved law amendments.

Industrial data logger!

MatrikonOPC™ has released their Industrial Data Logger, an intelligent automation data gateway that provides third-party connectivity, on-board data collection and intelligent data forwarding in a single box.

Ideal for capturing data at remote locations and forwarding it, the Matrikon Data Logger connects securely to a centralized historian and transfers data to it, even in low bandwidth or unreliable network conditions. The Matrikon Data Logger combines reliable data delivery, connectivity and secure access control in an easy to use, low-maintenance device.

“The Matrikon Industrial Data Logger simplifies an inherently complex store and forward problem by providing an all-in-one solution in a single appliance. Designed for remote applications, the Matrikon Data Logger is easy to deploy, use, and maintain.” said Darek Kominek, marketing manager of MatrikonOPC.

Key benefits include:

  • Selective, event based data collection thanks to flexible on-board data capture functionality;
  • Low bandwidth requirements thanks to data compression;
  • Data integrity and confidentiality enforced via data encryption;
  • Reliable data delivery based on intelligent, loss free historical data transfer functionality.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Intelligent pressure transmitters!

Invensys has released its new Foxboro I/A Series IAP10S and IGP10S pressure transmitters. The new intelligent, two-wire transmitters provide precise, reliable measurement of absolute or gauge pressure and transmit a 4 to 20 mA output signal with a superimposed HART digital signal for remote configuration and monitoring.

Product overview:
With their high level of performance and stability, the Foxboro I/A Series IAP10S and IGP10S pressure transmitters provide multiple benefits. They can help reduce inventory costs with a wide range of applications that traditionally require multiple separate transmitters. They increase accuracy with their Foxboro-patented multiple calibration technology. And they enable customers to accurately track time in service, which can improve predictive maintenance.

Key features:
• Industry-leading 400:1 turndown;
• During operation, a real-time, seamless transition from one calibrated range to another maintains accuracy as a percent of reading from 3 to 100 percent of the upper range limit;
• Foxboro patented multiple calibration technology;
• Time-in-Service features for advanced diagnostics;
• LCD indicator with on-board pushbuttons for easier configuration;
• Industry-leading five-year standard warranty, with a 17-year warranty available.

Key benefits:
• Maintains excellent performance over an industry-leading wide turndown range, meaning an IAP10S and IGP10S transmitter perform better than multiple separate transmitters designed to cover the same turndown range and reduce inventory;
• Foxboro-patented multiple calibration technology eliminates the need for traditional single-span calibration at an application-specific pressure range and can store multiple calibrated ranges in the onboard memory. Eleven preset calibration ranges cover the full pressure range of the transmitter;
• The Time-in-Service meter tracks both the total number of days the transmitter has been powered up in the field over its lifetime, as well as the number of days the transmitter has been powered up since the last Time-in-Service meter reset. This allows customers to better track reliability and gives them option of resetting the user-days value to zero via a HART communicator, a PC-based configurator or the local indicator. The lifetime service parameter cannot be reset.

RS232 HART modem!

ProComSol has released the HM-RS232-ISO RS232 HART Modem. The modem was recently registered by the HART Communication Foundation (HCF) to meet the HART Protocol Specifications. It is the lowest cost registered RS232 HART modem available to the market. 

According to Jeffrey Dobos, President of ProComSol, Ltd, “A registered modem is vital for validating and registering their devices for instrument manufacturers. The HM-RS232-ISO offers users a lower cost choice for their RS232 HART communication needs.”

The HM-RS232-ISO is ready to work right out of the box. No driver to install or configure. The unit is powered through the RS232 port, so no external power supply is required. The modem has the CE mark as well as the HCF Registered mark. Optical isolation protects the PC and user from electrical faults in the process loop.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

PLC-controlled drive systems for offshore applications!

Modular liquid-cooled drives and PLCs from ABB have been included in VARD ELECTRO’s innovative, application-specific propulsion and thruster power solutions for offshore supply vessels. The electric motor propulsion technology designed by VARD ELECTRO is used on a series of six platform supply vessels (PSVs) - the first two of which are currently being built in Japan.

20 years ago, in response to growing global competition and demands for ever-more sophisticated propulsion performance, the innovative shipbuilding group VARD decided to bring the systems integration function in-house. They established a fully owned daughter company, VARD ELECTRO, specializing in system integration and development and providing tailor-made marine electronics solutions for offshore specialized vessels world-wide.

VARD ELECTRO looked for a drives and control supplier that could provide a highly configurable drives platform and chose drives from ABB's ACS800 range, with control provided by ABB's AC500 PLCs. The high degree of modularity of both the controller and drives, the availability of sophisticated PLC development tools in the form of ABB's Automation Builder engineering software suite - together with valuable local programming and HMI capabilities of the drives themselves - provided the economy and versatility of platform that VARD ELECTRO was looking for. These system components also provided a number of tangible performance advantages for this particular motor control application. They include fast real-time control updates and low harmonics power conversion of the drives, and compactness that comes from liquid cooling - an extremely valuable feature for the packed OSV engine rooms housing the main engines and thrusters.

For each vessel of the six PSVs which are being built in Japan, ABB is supplying five PLC-controlled variable speed drives to control a total of over 6MW of power: two 2MW drive systems for the main engines, two 730kW drives for bow thrusters, and one 730kW drive for a dual-fed bow thruster that is able to survive the failure of either of the vessel's two power generators.

The ABB drives and controller system are now part of VARD ELECTRO's new SeaQ Power intelligent power systems range, which was created during the past year. To support the development process for the new propulsion power offering, ABB initially supplied the company with a small-scale version of the PLC-drive-motor package, plus development tools. Supplying the complete control and drive package ensured that there were no integration problems. ABB's AC500 is also one of the fastest PLCs on the market, and VARD Electro also chose a version of the PLC with one of the fastest processor options - the PM590-ETH - to ensure very good real-time control performance. The PLC is connected to the drive using Profibus DP fieldbus communications.

VARD ELECTRO 's control logic for the propulsion system includes all of the standard control features, as well as numerous variations to optimize performance in a number of situations, including a VARD ELECTRO 'ride through' specification to overcome power supply glitches smoothly, seamless switchovers for dual-fed supply arrangements, and rich local status, alarms/diagnostics and control possibilities on each of the drives - provided via the addition of a touch-screen HMI located on each cabinet's front panel. For this latter task VARD ELECTRO chose to install large CP660 HMI panels from ABB's state-of-the-art CP600 series which meet DNV standards - to display information to operators in very clear and detailed forms.

The integration of all these components was simplified by the use of ABB's integrated Automation Builder software, which provides a common development tool for the spectrum of automation components used in this application: PLCs, drives, HMIs, fieldbus, networks and web services.

Before delivering the new electric power propulsion control system, VARD ELECTRO performed detailed testing on the PLC and drive combinations at its test facility in Søvik, Norway. These trials were also witnessed by VARD ELECTRO's Japanese shipyard customer. The integrated control system passed all of its tests and VARD ELECTRO has now shipped the propulsion systems for the first two vessels. The very first vessel with this technology will be launched in mid 2014, and will be destined for use in platform supply applications.

"By combining ABB’s high quality drives and PLCs with VARD ELECTRO’s specialist system integration know-how, we have been able to deliver a propulsion solution offering state-of-the-art performance", says Tommy Damm, a drives specialist with ABB Norway.

Rittal Housings for TFT monitors

Rittal’s stylish housings, with a protection category of IP 65 shielding devices from exposure to dust and water jets, are designed to accommodate TFT screens up to 24” (measured along the diagonal) in the popular 16:9 and 16:10 widescreen formats. A full-width viewing window made from a single-pane of safety glass maximises the display area and a combination of rounded edges and aluminium grips prevent injury.

The side facing the operator has an attractive look and feel.
Housings containing TFT screens can be mounted quickly and efficiently thanks to a holder with the VESA 75/100 mounting hole pattern. A hinged door on the back of the housing provides easy access to the device. Manufactured from sheet steel, Rittal’s housing meas-ures 650 x 450 x155 mm.

To provide additional ways of connecting to a machine according to the needs of the application, the housing can easily be mounted to a support arm system from Rittal’s CP 60/120/180 range. With eccentrically mounted support arms, the housing can be placed in various positions, such as in niches. For the fitter’s convenience, pre-punched holes are provided in the reinforcing plate.

Cybersecurity conference!

The International Society of Automation (ISA) is to conduct a cybersecurity conference in June 2014 to help corporations and operators of critical infrastructure better protect their systems and networks from potentially destructive cyber attacks.

Co-located at THE BIG M
The ISA Cybersecurity Conference 2014 is being held in conjunction with THE BIG M Manufacturing Convergence, an inaugural event produced by SME to explore the diverse challenges and solutions across all areas of manufacturing.

You’ll be able to expand your knowledge in other key areas—from smart and digital manufacturing to advanced materials and sustainability—through direct discussions with industry leaders and by participating in a wide range of small-group technical and networking sessions.

THE BIG M also features an expansive exhibition where leading companies-- including ISA--will be demonstrating their latest and most innovative solutions and services.

When manufacturers talk about our industry, they often say, `Not just manufacturing, but THE BIG M,’ which includes the entire manufacturing enterprise from innovation and ideas, through design and production to sustainability and everything in between,” says Debbie Holton, SME’s Managing Director of Industry and Technology. “We will be harnessing the power of industry leaders to work toward real solutions to industry challenges—the skills gap, global competition, and new technologies like 3D printing, cybersecurity, supply chain and more.

“THE BIG M is about cool technology and research breakthroughs,” she continues. “We want to engage the creative thinkers, problem solvers, technical experts and business people and invite them to be part of the change.”
The conference, which will feature acclaimed industrial cybersecurity experts from industry, government and academia, will be held as a sub-conference of THE BIG M Manufacturing Convergence, an inaugural event produced by SME to explore the diverse challenges and solutions across all areas of manufacturing. THE BIG M will be held 9-12 June 2014  in Detroit, (Michigan USA.)

“While no one can prevent industrial cyberattacks from occurring, you can significantly reduce your risk by understanding the vulnerabilities and minimizing the consequences,” says Eric C. Cosman, a consulting engineer at Dow Chemical and a nationally recognized expert on industrial automation and control systems (IACS) security. “This valuable conference will shed light on what you can do to protect your industrial networks and control systems from serious damage from cyber threats.”

Without taking the proper protective steps, Cosman warns that industrial cyber attack could contribute to equipment failure and impairment, production loss or regulatory violations, with possible negative impacts on the environment or public welfare.

Through engaging technical sessions and presentations, the ISA Cybersecurity Conference 2014 will:

  • Reveal how to detect cyber threats and mitigate the risks and exposure to your plant systems and networks
  • Introduce proven industrial control systems security standards and practices and demonstrate how to leverage them
  • Showcase best practices utilized in various industries and highlight peer experiences and lessons learned

The conference program also will pinpoint the role and ramifications of technology as well as business and human factors, and how to effectively balance them within the scope of a comprehensive industrial cybersecurity initiative.

• See Read-out's unique page of cybersecurity links tracing developments since Stuxnet first revealed itself to the unsuspecting and illprepared Automation world.

HART plant of the year 2013!

The Dow Chemical Company specialty chemicals plant located in Deer Park, Texas, USA, was selected as recipient of the 2013 HART Plant of the Year Award. The award showcases end users who have demonstrated ingenuity in the application of HART Communication for real-time operational improvements.
Dow Chemical engineers are using HART technology as part of a reliability improvement program to monitor critical control valves connected to asset management software for diagnostics, failure analysis, and preventative/predictive condition-based maintenance. Using the intelligent device information significantly reduced costs and improved plant operations as it enabled the transition from reactive to proactive maintenance.

The HART Plant of the Year award is given annually to recognize the people, companies and plant sites around the world using the advanced capabilities of HART Communication in real-time applications to improve operations, lower costs and increase availability. Previous award recipients include Monsanto (USA); Shell (Canada); MOL (Hungary); Mitsubishi Chemical (Japan); PVSDA (Venezuela); Statoil (Norway); Sasol Solvents (South Africa); BP (USA); Clariant (Germany); and Dupont (USA).
“HART technology has helped reduce production downtime related to control valve failures. Through our reliability program the plant has realized a 66% improvement in downtime reduction over a three year period,” says Shadrach Stephens, Dow Chemical I/E Maintenance Group Leader. “Along with performing valve overhauls, we use the HART signal to monitor real time valve conditions which has helped with identifying problems before they could cause unplanned events. Combined with several improvement initiatives, this reliability effort has yielded significant financial savings including millions of dollars in EBIT.”

“The sound technology principals of the HART Protocol’s design have enabled users like Dow Chemical to ‘get connected’ to valuable process and device data within their plant – to improve plant performance in a cost-effective way,” says Ted Masters, HART Communication Foundation President and CEO. “Connectivity to the enterprise for visualization, analytics and integration into other systems multiplies the value that leveraging HART data in real-time can bring to a business.”

According to Stephens, HART Communication helped Dow Chemical realize benefits and savings throughout plant operations:

  • Changed the plant culture with regard to valve maintenance, diagnostics and troubleshooting
  • Identified root cause of the problem; short-term solution to fix the problem; long-term strategy to prevent it from happening again
  • Recognized need for an equipment maintenance strategy and work processes so that the work could continue automatically based on established and new practices.
  • Took two approaches for condition-based management – AMS and the data historian – instituting corrective action based on real-time data to prioritize and optimize maintenance resources.

“HART technology is a digital gateway that provides access to a new world of hidden potential,” says Stephens. “By using the existing HART tools and resources we had and engaging multiple levels of management and functions, we were able to change the process and the culture – for lasting benefits throughout the operation.”

The Deer Park facility has identified the future benefits of adding instruments to the AMS in order to monitor these critical instruments including transmitters, flowmeters and other high maintenance devices.

Dow Deer Park occupies 700 acres along the Houston Ship Channel, and employs nearly 790 people within eight production areas that operate as separate facilities or “plants within a plant.” Specialty chemicals manufactured at the site include methyl methacrylate, acrylic acid, amines, and various acrylates. Markets using these specialty chemicals include paints, detergents, floor care products, adhesives and sealants, automotive coatings, acrylic plastics, personal care products, and water purification chemicals.

Impact protection testing application!

Since developing its first impact protection material in 2002, D3O has expanded both its range of products and international markets by constant product development and attention to product performance and quality. As its products are used in soft body armour for motorcycling, skiing and other sports, as well as industrial applications consistent quality control is absolutely essential. From its earliest days, D3O’s laboratory has used Kistler Instruments’ sensors for product development testing and quality control.

Currently, the company uses a triaxial accelerometer and a force sensor specially calibrated to 25 kN, both by Kistler, in an impact test rig used by the company’s development department. The test rig specification is defined by BS EN 1621-1:2012 requirements and test methods for motorcyclists' clothing to protect against mechanical impact, especially limb joint impact protectors. Process Development Manager, Chris Meadows explains that D3O has always used Kistler sensors for product testing since the very beginning. Reliable and accurate testing is essential, not only to meet the British Standard but also to ensure that the company’s products always provide the protection needed in what might be life threatening situations.

As D3O continues to expand into new market sectors ranging from skiwear and laptop cases to military applications, quality assurance is paramount to maintain the company’s hard won reputation for the highest quality and consistent performance. The reliability and precision of Kistler’s sensors is helping D3O meet the demanding standards of new markets and applications.

Spectrum analyser!

The new Yokogawa AQ6370D benchtop optical spectrum analyser, the successor to the company’s best-selling AQ6370C, incorporates a number of new functions designed to enhance its accuracy and analysis capabilities in the 600-1700 nm wavelength range.

Newly added functions include data logging, gate sampling, resolution calibration, an advanced marker function and an enhanced auto-sweep mode.

The data logging function records analysis results such as WDM analysis (OSNR, optical signal/noise ratio), distributed feedback laser diode (DFB-LD) analysis, and multi-peak measurements at up to 10,000 points per channel with time stamps. Recorded data can be displayed in table and graphical forms. This function is useful for the long-term stability testing and temperature cycle testing of systems and devices. The optical spectrum of each measurement can also be stored for reviewing and troubleshooting.

The advanced marker function adds markers to obtain the power density and the integrated power of a designated spectrum. This new feature makes it easy to get an OSNR value of the signal, whether modulated or not, directly from its spectrum.

The gate sampling function facilitates the recirculating loop testing of optical transmission systems. Using an external gate signal, the AQ6370D obtains the optical spectrum of the signal which is passing through a certain loop. The advantage of this approach is its speed compared with the conventional external trigger or sweep enable function.

The resolution calibration function is used to calibrate the noise equivalent bandwidth with an external light source. With this new feature, the measurements of power density of a broad spectrum light source will be more accurate.

The scanning range of the auto sweep mode has been extended in order to support multimode applications.

The AQ6370D is available in standard or high-performance versions. It has a wavelength resolution setting from 0.02 nm to 2 nm, a wavelength accuracy of ±0.02 nm (C+L band), and a maximum level sensitivity of -90 dBm. The close-in dynamic range is from 70 dB (peak ±1 nm, resolution 0.05 nm) to 50 dB for the high-performance model (peak ±0.1 nm, resolution 0.02 nm). Stray-light suppression ratio is 70 dB or more, and sweep time is within 0.2 sec. for 100nm wavelength span.

Vortex flowmeter!

Invensys has released its new Foxboro 84 Series Male National Pipe Thread Vortex flowmeter. With no moving parts, a lifetime warranty and available in various sizes, the MNPT threaded vortex meter reduces maintenance costs and is well suited for direct replacement of turbine, magnetic flow and orifice meters.

Product overview:
The Foxboro 84 Series Intelligent Vortex Flowmeter is designed for flexibility and reliability in harsh process environments. It is the market’s most accurate liquid, gas and steam measurement tool, and is now available in a MNPT model.

Key capabilities:
• Best accuracy delivers tighter process control and better material balance;
o 1.0% of reading in liquids, gas and steam
o Best accuracy under operating conditions
• Widest flow range available for greater flexibility; greater than 40:1;
• No moving parts;
• Currently available in 1 and 2 inches;
• Patented flexible tuning improves accuracy under operating conditions;
• HART communication protocol for measurement integration;
• DirectSense technology for better performance and reliability;
• Solar powered (Nom. 12 vdc) version available;
• Direct replacement for turbine, magnetic flow and orifice meters;
• Liquid, gas and steam service;
• Backed by a lifetime sensor warranty.

One billion hours of valve control!

Emerson’s FIELDVUE™ DVC6200 Series digital valve controller has racked up more than one billion hours of on-line use within the process and energy industries since its introduction in 2010.

Steve Hagen, FIELDVUE Product Manager, credited the instrument’s linkage-less, non-contact feedback system as one reason behind the quick adoption by industry and the billion operating hours. “We’ve eliminated physical contact between the valve stem and the instrument, which means it can withstand the high levels of vibration and corrosion often found in process environments.”

There are many examples of how this technology helps solve operating problems.

In China, at one of the world’s largest integrated chemical facilities, instrument engineers were faced with pipeline vibration that was destroying a steam service valve’s instrumentation. Since it was not feasible to change the process conditions or piping, the valve positioner had to be replaced about every three months.

To solve this problem, a DVC6200f was installed to take advantage of the unit’s resistance to high levels of vibration as well as its FOUNDATION fieldbus communications capability. The digital valve controller performed accurately and reliably, saving the facility €29,000 (US $40,000) per year in the cost of replacement instruments plus that of lost production and labour.

DVC6200 digital valve controllers are highly suited to a wide variety of industries and applications, earning high praise from companies that employ its technology to improve plant availability. At an ammonium nitrate facility in Australia, liquid ammonia valves face high-cycle service conditions and a surrounding ammonia-rich atmosphere. Both factors combine to create one of the most severe environments to be found in any processing plant, which could lead to valve failures and lost production.

Emerson engineers recommended the DVC6200 because its linkage-less, non-contact feedback technology can withstand these harsh conditions. The mine’s instrument technician installed the instrument on critical ammonia service valves, commenting that the digital valve controller not only proved easy to program and set-up but also that its on-line monitoring capabilities allowed operators to safely avoid manual checks and valve repairs in areas filled with ammonia vapours.

Additional user benefits include the availability of equipment alerts that notify of pending issues, automated configuration, calibration and tuning, and access to advanced levels of valve assembly diagnostics. With the Performance Diagnostic capability of the DVC6200 digital valve controller, questions about valve performance can be answered without pulling the valve from the line.

At a nuclear power plant in the U.S., DVC6200 digital valve controllers were installed to avoid failure of critical control valves in the plant’s feedwater system. An unplanned shutdown in a plant of this station’s size could cost up to €71k (US$1 million) per day in lost revenue.

The digital valve controllers at the plant provide real-time information about valve position and condition, including variables such as valve packing friction. In one instance, this data alerted plant operators to a loss of packing in a feedwater regulator, avoiding a plant trip.

Maintenance technicians decided to inject sealant into the valve’s packing box to keep the valve in service until the plant’s next scheduled outage, almost 18 months away, explaining that delaying any repair would not have been possible without the FIELDVUE instrument. They reported that the DVC6200’s accurate friction monitoring and measurement kept the system stable while packing friction dropped from 227 kg to zero during the sealant injection. The instrument’s fast response kept up with the changing friction load in spite of the valve’s heavy chatter, keeping the valve online and avoiding a costly shutdown.

In addition to the power industry, there are others such as pulp and paper, and offshore oil production that typically prefer to isolate valve-mounted instruments from harsh environments. With the DVC6205, only the valve position feedback is mounted on the control valve, while the remainder of the digital valve controller can be mounted over 90 metres away in a less severe or more accessible environment. With no linkage to wear, loosen, corrode or vibrate, the feedback unit can withstand a plant’s operating extremes.

As shown by the DVC6200 Series 1 billion operating hours, FIELDVUE digital valve controllers prove highly suited to challenging process requirements, including verification of safety shutdown systems, withstanding exposure to corrosive atmospheres, and meeting rigorous topside safety standards. The DVC6200 series is offered with CSA, IECEx, ATEX and FM hazardous area approvals as well as other certifications/approvals, such as Lloyd’s Register for industrial, marine and offshore use.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Test tools catalogue issued!

Fluke has introduced a new 148-page full-colour 2014-2015 Test Tools Catalogue which can viewed online, obtained free by requesting a copy to be sent in the post, or by immediate download as a pdf file.

The new catalogue contains complete descriptions of features and specifications for Fluke's full line of test tools, many of which can help to maximise uptime and reduce energy costs. Sections include handheld digital multimeters, basic electrical testers, ScopeMeters, installation testers, field calibration tools, power quality tools, clamp meters, digital thermometers, thermal imagers, insulation testers, EX test tools, portable appliance testers, indoor air quality tools and accessories.
An introductory section covers all the tools recently introduced, such as the CNX 3000 Wireless System Test Tools, VT02/04 Visual IR Thermometers, Ti200/300/400 Advanced Performance IR Cameras, 1730 3-phase Electrical Energy Loggers, 709 & 709H Precision Loop Calibrators, 721 Pressure Calibrators, 805 Vibration Meters, T90/T110/T130/T150 Voltage & Continuity Testers, 62Max/Max+ Infrared Thermometers, and 6200-2/6500-2 PAT Testers.

There are also pages covering money-saving Combo Kits, Fluke After Sales Service, Fluke Web Portals which help with troubleshooting and the correct tool selection in industrial maintenance, electrical and process applications, and on safety issues.

Forty years old!

Mantracourt Electronics is celebrating its 40th year in business. The company is recognised as a world leader in the development of micro electronics and software for measurement and data logging. Mantracourt’s products are used by engineers worldwide to provide control and monitoring within a broad range of industries.

Founded in 1974 by father and son, Bob and David Willmington developing a range of electronic controllers and alarm devices. The company soon established a reputation for innovation, accuracy and reliability, and has since gone on to develop over 1,000 instrumentation products and a vast global network of resellers. Not only has a Mantracourt solution been sent into space, but also in 2009, Mantracourt won the prestigious British award, The Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

“We are very proud of our 40th year, and although so much has changed as a business, the original values of the company remain the same,” said Kelly Voysey, Marketing Manager at Mantracourt. “The ethos to provide our customers with the highest quality measurement ability is as deep rooted now as it was in 1974. Field reliability, repeatability, performance and fast response technical support are the core reasons our customer base continues to expand. We have worked closely with engineers out there in the real world, and this has helped us develop effective and reliable instrumentation products”.

The Mantracourt team also attributes much of their success to the fact that all their products are designed and manufactured in-house at its factory in England. This enables the company to provide fast turn around for new designs and bespoke measurement solutions, plus, complete control of the manufacturing quality and final testing. This manufacturing facility has recently undergone a number of expansions in order to meet demand, with the installation of new SMT pick and place machines and automatic test equipment.

"As well as developing and manufacturing complete products, we also provide electronics for a number of OEM manufacturers in the instrumentation sector. In addition to building on this part of our business, we have also enjoyed substantial growth due to our more recent T24 wireless range of instrumentation.”

The Mantracourt T24 wireless telemetry range is a flexible low power radio system designed to enable the transmission of high accuracy measurement data from load cells, inclinometers, accelerometers, temperature, displacement and pressure sensors. With a combination of transmitter and receiver technologies, engineers are able to remotely monitor instrumentation readings.

Ethernet via two-wire cabling for new and existing systems!

The new MM992-2VD (Variable Distance) media module from Siemens enables the use of two-wire cabling, such as Profibus cables, for Ethernet communication, without the need for additional hardware such as modems.

This media module permits the transfer of data across distances of up to 1,000 meters. The bandwidth depends on the length and quality of the cable, but as a general rule, bandwidths of 100 Mbit/s can be implemented at a distance of 500 meters, and cables of 1,000 meters in length have bandwidths of 10 Mbit/s. Cables are connected to the media module via an RJ45 connector. The MM992-2VD media module can be used with all modular switches in the Scalance X-300 range, as well as with the Scalance S627-2M security module.

With this unit, existing cable infrastructure within machinery and plants is able to be converted to an Ethernet network quickly and economically. This solution, developed by Siemens, represents an uncomplicated method of migrating to Profinet, particularly in view of the wide use of Profibus cabling.

In addition, the media module can be used within Ethernet networks to extend the maximum Ethernet cable length for bandwidths of 100 Mbit/s as defined in the standard - the MM992-2VD enables the simple integration of remote network nodes into plant networks at distances of over 100 and up to a maximum of 300 meters using standard copper cables instead of the glass fiber optic cables previously necessary for such Ethernet connections.