Saturday, May 17, 2014

“Press and go” and outdoor version connectors!

Harting has expanded its M12 industrial connector family with the introduction of two new versions designed to enhance its versatility in harsh environments: a “press and go” custom cable assembly technology and an outdoor M12 connector based on V4A grade stainless steel.

The “press and go” concept is designed to combine the ruggedness of moulded cable connections with the flexibility of custom cable assemblies for accommodating different types of cable.

Moulded cable connections are attractive because of their suitability for deployment in rugged environments in industrial applications. Within the context of increased flexibility, there is growing interest in exploiting the benefits of moulded solutions, while still being able to respond to individual requirements. The M12 “press and go” product is ideally suited to this task.

Flexibility and safe utilisation in harsh environments are not contradictory, as demonstrated by Harting’s established M12 cable assemblies. In the industrial environment, so-called overmoulded solutions for cable assemblies are used and accepted worldwide. This proven technology is attractive as long as the same types of cable are processed in large quantities. The cost is lower than that of custom solutions, and they also demonstrate better performance in demanding and harsh environments.

The markets, however, tend to opt for different types of cables. For overmoulding, this means repeatedly adjusting the tool used. In addition, many customers rely on their own cable specifications and consequently on their own cables. Last but not least, widely differing types of cables are deployed in similar application environments during set-up. As a result, there is an increased focus on short-term project requirements.

The company has now developed a customer-oriented, flexible, safe and widely deployable connection technology that offers similar benefits to overmoulded solutions with an emphasis on efficiency and flexibility.

This new system draws on the elements already available from the company’s M12 Slim Design connector, with the additional advantage that no more tightening is needed. Instead, a cap is simply pressed on, and the assembly is ready.

The innovation offers a non-detachable, custom cable assembly that can be deployed quickly and economically. The mechanical and electrical properties are equivalent to those of the overmoulded solution. Another advantage is that all cables over a diameter range from 4.5 to 8.8 mm can be used, and tool adjustments are not required. The technology is distinguished by its short time to market and flexibility with regard to cables customised to customer requirements.

The new M12 Outdoor connector is designed to meet the growing need to deploy connectors in harsh environments, as well as outdoors, in response to industry’s demands for increased flexibility and the decentralisation. Today, connectors are expected to feature adequate encapsulation against salt spray and mist, which in turn requires more resistant materials.

For this reason, Harting tested the use of especially durable materials. However, stainless steel in V2A quality is not sufficiently resistant - the suitable higher grade material is referred to as V4A. Processing V4A, however, is problematic: series production availability and reliable machining cannot be guaranteed by the use of conventional machines and tools. The elements of material and tool must be co-ordinated with one another. The material itself must meet the most rigorous standards, which is not the case for some of the materials on offer. While they are easy enough to process, they fail to demonstrate adequate resistance in the field.

On the manufacturing side, they have succeeded in tackling V4A grade stainless steel. As a result, this means that M12 crimp connectors made from V4A are protected from extreme salt spray and mist. Harting has proven this in tests that conform to IEC 60068-2-52 severity 4. Consequently, this has demonstrated that the M12 Outdoor connectors are robust and suitable for scenarios in the harshest of environments.

Learn about offshore measurement!

Real-World Offshore Applications from DONG Energy, the British Geological Survey and Canyon Offshore

Industry experts will present on the latest measurement technologies for the oil & gas and renewable industries at the NI Offshore Measurement Summit 2014. Held at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen (Scotland), 1st July 2014, the summit will focus on rapid development with reconfigurable off-the-shelf platforms to gain a competitive advantage by focusing on IP development, productivity and reducing time-to-market.

Themes covered throughout the summit include:
  • PC-Based Measurements – Whether PC-based research and development, or rugged deployments offshore, learn about high-performance customised systems that combine measurements such as vibration, temperature, strain, pressure and flow.
  • Custom Embedded Development with Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Platforms - Projects such as subsea prototyping and volume deployment can be expensive in terms of initial development cost, time to market and product life cycle management. Presentations in this theme will focus on the significant benefits realisable when using an off-the-shelf approach.
  • Asset Condition Monitoring – Rotating machinery requires maintenance to prevent failure. Learn how to develop a bespoke condition monitoring system using off-the-shelf tools, in order to reduce downtime and lower repair costs; whilst lengthening maintenance cycles and optimising machine performance.
Presentation highlights:

  • The keynote will explore the rapid development approach of using COTS platforms to develop highly flexible bespoke systems.
  • Frederic Perdrix of Houlder Ltd will discuss how Lloyds Register certified off-the-shelf hardware for the 70-ton gripper arm used in offshore wind turbine installation.
  • Morten Pedersen, Director at CIM Industrial Systems will reveal how Vestas Technology reduced the cost of energy by developing a test program that verifies design whilst proving reliability.
  • Delegates will also explore real-world offshore applications created for the leading companies in the industry such as DONG Energy, the British Geological Survey and Canyon Offshore.  

Industrial wireless blackout looms!

GAMBICA, the British trade body for instrumentation, control, automation and laboratory technology industry, has asked for the harmonisation of the new EN62657-2 industrial wireless co-existence standard, which otherwise could lead to a major industrial wireless failure. 

With the intention of preserving bandwidth, the telecommunications industry has written a harmonised standard that does not allow industrial wireless control systems to function. The European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI) is now blocking the harmonisation of a European standard, which facilitates co-existence management of Industrial communication networks under the R&TTE directive. This restriction is likely to make Europe lose significant competitive ground in the industrial wireless field.
ETSI, are officially recognized by the European Union as a European Standards Organisation and have written the harmonised standard: EN 300 328 V1.8.1 (pdf), a standard that amends the existing rules for all devices using the publicly available radio band. The band includes millions of devices using WiFi, Bluetooth and Zigbee technologies. This means it will have a major impact on manufacturers from all sectors once it comes into force, on January 1, 2015.

It is a harmonized EN standard covering the essential requirements of article 3.2 of the R&TTE Directive, which states that “in addition, radio equipment shall be so constructed that it effectively uses the spectrum allocated to terrestrial/space radio communication and orbital resources so as to avoid harmful interference.”

“With the intention of effectively using the spectrum, the telecommunications industry has produced a harmonised standard, which does not allow industrial wireless control systems to function,” explains Andrew Evans, technical executive at GAMBICA. “The problem with the standard is that it introduces the concept of Listen Before Talk (LBT). LBT requires each radio device to first check whether another device is transmitting, in which case it must hold back until the channel is free. This causes random and unpredictable communication delays.

“The entire idea is simply nonviable,” continues Evans. “At times of heavy use, the result is 'graceful degradation of service'. Unfortunately, the real problem for an industrial site is that key wireless devices can never be relied upon to report their alarm or status messages in a timely fashion.”

Industry has tried to work with ETSI by submitting comments on the revision of EN300328 V1.8.1 including suggestions for exemption or optional use of LBT within defined industrial automation areas. These solutions have not been included in the new revision of the standard. V1.8.1.

Industry has also worked hard via technical committee SC65C to develop an IEC standard: 62657-2 (2013) “Industrial Communication Networks - Wireless Communication Networks - Pt 2: Coexistence Management”. This has been voted positively by CENELEC to become EN62657-2, but the harmonisation of this standard under the R&TTE directive has been blocked by ETSI.

GAMBICA is urging all member companies providing industrial wireless equipment, or whose services rely on these systems, to contact their British trade association or other organisations on the continent. The industry needs to make further efforts to explain the possible consequences of LBT to the European Commission and call for the harmonisation of EN62657-2 under the R&TTE directive as soon as possible.

Wireless process control technology is in its infancy still, but widely seen across the process industry as a huge growth area. One only needs to glance at trade publications to see the plethora of wireless marketing material. It is a significant growth area which provides major cost savings in wiring and installation time. Many sites have wireless systems installed and more are in the pipeline. At a stroke, these investments are put at risk and the future growth of  industry will be gravely harmed.

• If you want to ensure you keep up to date with press material, opinion focussed blog content and case studies from GAMBICA, you can subscribe to receive the company’s Blog posts by e-mail.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Wireless module for plant wide applications!

The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute  has announced that Yokogawa Electric Corporation has released an ISA100Wireless Module specifically targeted at any businesses that need an easy onramp for ISA100 product development. Intended for use in wireless sensors and those companies that develop and manufacture these products, the module significantly reduces the amount of time and resources to develop ISA100 Wireless-compliant products.

Yokogawa promotes the Wireless Anywhere concept for the plant-wide wireless communication technology.  In plants, sensors are used to measure temperature, pressure, level, gas concentration, vibration, and more.  To develop these products, suppliers must not only use a satisfactory wireless technology, they must also build a product that complies with radio regulations and explosion protection standards that vary by country, a process that can be both time consuming and costly.  To remove this product development obstacle, Yokogawa released the ISA100 Wireless communications module with a built-in antenna.

The module complies with radio regulations of more than 100 countries and meets all the major explosion protection standards.  Additionally, it is both compact and lightweight so as to have a minimal impact on each company’s overall sensor design.

“Yokogawa has taken a lead in promoting and enabling smaller device supplier companies to take full advantage of the ISA100 Wireless standard,” said Andre Ristaino, Managing Director, ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute. “Yokogawa’s objectives to speed up wireless sensor development, comply with radio regulations and explosion protection standards, and enable the development of compact and lightweight field wireless sensors are key factors in device supplier enablement.”

Earlier this year Yokogawa received the Frost & Sullivan “2014 Global Enabling Technology Leadership Award” in the wireless solutions category. The Enabling Technology Leadership Award is presented to companies around the world that are best-in-class in a specific category. Upon accepting this award on Yokogawa’s behalf, Corporate Fellow Kimikazu Takahashi indicated, “This wireless solution based on ISA100 technology has been completed by many people including customers, vendors, and WCI staff members. I believe this award is given to all those related people’s efforts and results. Our Wireless Anywhere initiative is an enabling technology, as is exactly indicated in the award title, enabling the expanded use of wireless technology in today’s industry facilities. We believe this will enable more innovation in industries, and we are quite happy to have made this possible.”

Field wireless systems enable a plant’s field devices and host-level monitoring and control systems to communicate wirelessly with each other. To encourage the use of field wireless systems in both monitoring and control applications, Yokogawa will seek to improve the effectiveness of plant-wide field digital networks by making it possible for wired and wireless field devices and systems to connect with host monitoring and control systems. This will necessitate the development of technologies that will ensure host systems and field devices can communicate with each other using a variety of protocols.

Yokogawa released the world’s first ISA100 compliant wireless system devices and wireless pressure and temperature transmitters in July 2010, and continues to enhance its lineup of wireless solutions. In line with the company’s Wireless Anywhere concept, Yokogawa also plans to release a multi-protocol wireless adaptor that will enable wired field instruments or analytical sensors to be used as ISA100 Wireless devices and promote the use of field wireless technologies.

Sales manager for nutrient analysers manufacture!

SEAL Analytical has announced the appointment of Nick Watson as Sales Manager in Britain. Nick has over 17 years of experience in the environmental laboratory sector, working in a variety of roles from Analytical Chemist to Group Technical Manager for some of the world’s leading analytical service providers.

Nick Watson
Company President Stuart Smith says: “Nick’s in-depth experience in methodologies and laboratory efficiency will be of great value to our expanding customer base; we specialize in the delivery of bespoke analyzers that have been configured to meet the precise needs of our customers, so Nick will be in an ideal position to ensure that customers get the most out of their equipment.”

Nick’s previous roles have included the management of British and overseas laboratories that have a requirement for fast analysis times, high sample throughput, ultra-low detection limits and high reproducibility, so Nick already has extensive experience with the SEAL Analytical range of automated discrete and segmented flow nutrient analysers. “I have always been aware of the advantages that these instruments provide, so in my new position, I am looking forward to helping the UK’s water, environmental and marine laboratories to exploit these advanced technologies,” he adds.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Keyance Laser sensors gain in versatility and stability! #PAuto

Keyence's LR-T Series of reflective laser sensors is defined by its versatility, detection stability and flexibility of use.

Although there are just two models, Keyence's LR-T Series of laser sensors can handle many reflective-detection applications. The LR-TB2000 has detection range of 0.06 to 2 m and the LR-TB5000 has a range of up to 5 m, meaning that just one sensor can cover a range of applications requiring different detection distances. The result is easier use, simplified maintenance and, more importantly, a smaller inventory. Just one spare part is sufficient for an entire production facility!

The design of the LR-T Series makes detecting targets from any mounting position possible, be it near to or far from a target, horizontal, vertical or diagonal. The LR-T Series is therefore ideal for installation on new or existing equipment. The adjustable L-shaped angle brackets allow for quick sensor attachment to machine frames while the free-angle swivel brackets can be used to mount the sensor onto an M12 shaft.

The Time of Flight (TOF) detection method and custom integrated circuit give the LR-T Series a sampling rate of approx. 8 GHz as well as increased processing capabilities to ensure consistently stable detection, even over long distances and regardless of the surface condition, colour or angle of the target. Thanks to TOF detection combined with integrated-circuit processing, the LR-T Series is not affected by parasitic reflections because distance is measured by calculating the time it takes for the pulsed laser beam to travel from the sensor to the target and back again.

Furthermore, the beam-spot size can be adjusted to guarantee reliable detection of any target regardless of its surface type (mesh, uneven, rounded, powder, etc.). This adjustment is done by simply turning the rotary dial with a screwdriver. The dial is connected to a disc with multiple lenses. Unlike the commonly used focusing mechanism, which adjusts the beam-spot diameter by repositioning a single lens, the step-disc mechanism locks in on the lens with the optimal diameter. This eliminates the potential for beam-spot variation caused by displacement of a position-dependent lens due to vibrations.

Up to four sensors can operate in close proximity with each other to detect multiple points on a target without the risk of mutual interference. The custom integrated circuit (IC) prevents the LR-T Series from being affected by ambient light (up to 100,000 lux) or any other type of light generated in production processes.

Image dimension measurement system used by surgical implant supplier!

Lisi Medical's plant in Miribel, near Lyon (France), specialises in the outsourcing of surgical implants and ancillary items. Consisting primarily of plates and screws, these parts require precision manufacturing and are inspected by the plant's metrology department. The typical tolerances are in the order of 0.1 to 0.05 mm.

"We measure around thirty points on each part. We perform these measurements either on entire production runs or randomly selected parts. Inspecting a part with a conventional system consisting of a profile projector, micrometres and callipers takes around 20 minutes on average. With the IM measurement system, these inspections take only four to five minutes," explains François Lyannaz, Metrology Manager.

The Keyence IM Series image dimension measurement system in question is the second one Lisi Medical has acquired  for its metrology laboratory. This new type of dimension analysis system combines the speed and flexibility of a vision system with the accuracy of a double telecentric lens, making it possible to obtain high-accuracy, reliable measurements in a minimum amount of time.

Simply place a target on the stage and press the button. Up to 99 points are measured in a matter of seconds with a repeatability of 0.5 micron. The Intelligent Pattern Analysis Search System (iPASS) determines the position and orientation of targets and compares their shapes against those of recorded targets.

The large 100 mm dual telecentric lens captures entire targets in a single image for simultaneous measurement of all points. This technology allows pixels to be captured as if the lens were vertically positioned. As a result, measurements are not affected by distortions or distance. In addition, measurement data can be saved and exported as reports or to statistical packages. Anything can be measured, from inside diameters, circular pitches and angles to the most complex dimensions.

"The other major advantage to the system is its repeatability," says Mr Lyannaz. "It automatically finds and measures targets, it reduces the risk of error, and it eliminates the risk of measurements being affected by variations in operator skill levels. It gives a single standard for measuring our parts."

Measurement stability is an essential aspect of the IM Series. Adjustment by the least-squares method ensures stable edge detection even if a sequence of edge points is misaligned due to noise or other factors. Another way the IM-6000 Series enables stable edge detection is by ignoring abnormal edge points, even in situations where a target has burrs or chips that lead to errors during the least-squares adjustment. With an accuracy of one-hundredth of a pixel, Keyence's proprietary sub-pixel processing system detects edge positions more accurately than conventional systems. When edges are extracted manually with the naked eye, discrepancies between operators are virtually impossible to avoid. Furthermore, the system measures dimensions without moving the XY stage, thus eliminating vibration-induced errors.

"The system comes ready to use. Its simplicity and Keyence's technical support enabled us to use it to its full potential very quickly," says Mr Lyannaz.

A green future in a green land!

Mitsubishi Electric the global, leading green technology company, has re affirmed their commitment to Ireland with the announcement of a multi-million euro investment in their Irish operations.

Spearheading this new development is Ciarán Moody, who takes up the post of General Manager for Ireland. At the ceremony to announce Ciaráns appointment and to open a new state of the art customer training and technology facility at their Ballymount offices, Ciarán stated that, “Mitsubishi Electric has a strong heritage in Ireland going back over 30 years and the latest investment demonstrates Mitsubishi Electric’s confidence in the Irish branch and in the Irish economic recovery.”

In addition, the investment in Ireland also represents a jobs boost with staff levels increasing in recent months across the two divisions of Mitsubishi Electric. Those divisions driving growth in the area of sales and marketing across Ireland are the Factory Automation division, which offers a vast range of automation and processing technologies, and the Living Environmental Systems division offering solutions to heat, cool and ventilate your world.

The Mitsubishi Electric Ireland Team pictured with Mr. Uruma CEO and President Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V., Mr. Furuta President Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. UK & Ireland Branches, Mr. Hartmut Pütz President Factory Automation Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V., Mr. Ciarán Moody General Manager Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. Ireland Branch, 

“Best of 2014" for apps!

The eleventh IT Innovation Prize was awarded in 41 categories. An independent jury made up of eminent scientists, industry experts and IT journalists had the task of judging the approximately 5000 entries.

The Simatic apps developed by the Siemens Industry Sector for smartphones and tablets are used not only to gather information but also for the commissioning, operation, diagnosis, maintenance and servicing of machines and plants.

These apps are designed to address the needs of the specific application, providing mobile user suppport with products such as Logo! logic modules, Simatic S7 controllers and solutions in fields such as operation and monitoring with Simatic HMI Comfort Panels and the WinCC OA Scada system. The Sm@rtClient app, for instance, is designed to allow remote plant operation and maintenance, even using the hardware buttons as if standing directly in front of the device. The functional scope of the WinCC OA app extends to the monitoring and control of largescale tunnel systems and wind farms.

New bypass function HVAC frequency inverter

WEG's CFW701 frequency inverter now has bypass capability for higher system availability in demanding HVAC applications.

WEG has enhanced the functionality of the CFW701 frequency inverter for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) applications with the addition of a manual/automatic override. An integrated motor protection switch gives the new system, consisting of a cabinet unit fitted with a CFW701 frequency inverter, redundant motor protection for consistently reliable operation. In case of a frequency inverter defect or outage, the output relay of the CFW701 connects the motor directly to the mains through an external bypass circuit. A switch on the front of the cabinet unit allows the user to configure the bypass function for either manual or automatic switching to bypass mode in the event of a fault. This stand-alone system is primarily suitable for the reliable and energy-efficient control of induction motors, used to drive pumps or fans in HVAC installations in hospitals, airports, office buildings, hotels, shopping centres or other facilities.

The CFW701 is equipped with an integrated maintenance switch to allow the frequency inverter to be replaced, tested or programmed while the motor continues operating through the bypass. The controls on the front of the cabinet unit allow users to issue start and stop commands over the frequency inverter as well as the bypass circuit. The CFW701 has a built-in fused disconnect switch, eliminating the need for additional protection components such as circuit breakers or fuses. The package also has high short circuit capacity without additional components covering a range of 35 to 100 kA. The control and power sections are located in the cabinet unit below the frequency inverter to prevent accidental user contact with live components while operating the CFW701. All components of the system come from WEG’s automation products portfolio and comply with the UL508a standard. The enclosure protection rating is IP20 in the standard version. The CFW701 with bypass function is optionally available in versions with IP21 or NEMA1 protection rating.

The CFW701, featuring a PLC and integrated HMI, is ideally suited to HVAC applications in the 5.5 to 110 kilowatt (kW) power range. The user-friendly display is also able to display specific physical units such as bar, mbar and m3/h. Furthermore, the frequency inverter software incorporates three integrated PID controllers for enhanced process monitoring and higher accuracy. A special fire mode prevents motor shutdown when critical operating conditions, such as internal device overtemperature, are detected by the frequency inverter. The fire mode will be typically used for very demanding applications like smoke extraction fans and exhausters. Even in the basic configuration, the CFW701 provides interfaces for integration with the most commonly used building automation communication systems, such as Bacnet, MetaSys N2 and Modbus RTU. The device’s plug-and-play design enables extremely easy installation and commissioning. The CFW701 with integrated bypass function also utilises the full potential of speed and frequency control to maximise the efficiency of the controlled motor.

The CFW701 series from WEG is presently available in the following five sizes: 1: 5.5 – 7.5 kW; 2: 11 – 15 kW; 3: 18 – 30 kW; 4: 37 – 45 kW; 5: 55 – 110 kW.

Product marketing engineer to focus on wastewater treatment!

Atlas Copco Compressors has announced the appointment of Adriana Restrepo as Product Marketing Engineer for Low Pressure within its Oil-Free Air division in Britain. Commenting on her new role, Adriana said: “My goal is to apply my technical knowledge to help expand Atlas Copco’s share of the blower market in the UK. I’m looking forward to promoting our energy efficient ZS blowers within the water and wastewater industry and I also see opportunities to raise awareness among industrial companies of how this innovative technology can be used in other applications such as pneumatic conveying. It’s exciting to be able to come to market with a low pressure blower offering that offers tangible process improvements and energy savings to a wide variety of customers.”

Adriana Restrepo
Adriana began her engineering career as a supply chain operations intern with Procter & Gamble in Italy, before a period as an operations analyst for Accenture in Colombia. Her next career move saw Adriana progress from project management through to applications engineering and, finally, product marketing engineering, with Texas-based Houston Service Industries (HSi), a leading manufacturer of centrifugal turbo blowers and control systems, which was acquired by Atlas Copco in 2012.

She is a graduate in Production Engineering from Universidad Simon Bolivar in Venezuela, which included an exchange year at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy.

In her new role in Britain, Adriana will focus on supporting wastewater treatment process operators within the municipal and industrial markets, as well as maximising sales opportunities for Atlas Copco’s energy-efficient ZS screw blowers within pneumatic conveying applications.

Building upon Atlas Copco’s global leadership in medium and high pressure compressor technology, Adriana recognises the potential to introduce the benefits of low pressure blower technology to a tradition-bound market. “In low pressure it’s all about the process. Therefore what Atlas Copco brings to the table is expertise in a variety of different applications, innovative control systems and efficient machine technologies that ensure customers are satisfied,” she commented.

Adriana’s pastimes include a love of travelling. When not on the move, she spends her time practicing yoga, flamenco dancing and reading.

Feedback: everything you need in just eight wires!

Kollmorgen has been able to halve the number of connecting wires required for its digital resolvers from four to two with the newly-developed SDF3. The company uses the feedback system developed in-house as part of its single-cable technology between the servo drive and the servomotor that was launched on the market in 2003.

Kollmorgen Servomotor AKM1-AKD
Only two wires are needed to supply the digital resolver with power, to communicate, and to simultaneously transfer the motor ID and the temperature data. As a result, Kollmorgen can implement single-cable technology with an eight-pole standard motor cable - three phases, one PE, two for the brakes, and two for the feedback system. Due to the high interference resistance, data can be transferred safely within a cable without EMC problems.

Moreover, the further development of the robust and inexpensive feedback system - reduces the variety in connection technology. Note that resolvers are used in more than half of all servo applications. The background is both motors with digital resolver SFD3 ( and drives with Multiturn or Hiperface DSL encoder can be connected with one single cable type. This means that existing feedback systems in machines can be easily replaced later, without having to completely reinstall all of the cabling. In addition, there is no risk of confusion, because only one cable type is consistently used.

Order for Saudi Arabia’s first supercritical thermal power plant.

Yokogawa has received an order from Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. to supply control systems, safety instrumented systems, analysis systems, and other products for Stage-1 of the Jeddah South supercritical oil-fired thermal power plant project in Saudi Arabia.

Supercritical technology involves pressure and temperature being kept above the critical point as steam passes from the boiler to a steam turbine. This allows power to be generated more efficiently and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Jeddah South will be Saudi Arabia’s first supercritical thermal power plant, and is being built by a state-owned enterprise, the Saudi Electricity Company, at a site south of the city of Jeddah, which is on Saudi Arabia’s western coast, facing the Red Sea. Stage-1 of this project involves the construction of four 723 MW units producing a total of 2892 MW. Unit 1 is scheduled to start operation in 2017.

For each of the four units, Yokogawa will supply a CENTUM(R) VP R5 integrated production control system for the control of the boiler and its auxiliary facilities, including all IEC61850-based electrical systems; a ProSafe(R)-RS safety instrumented system (SIS); an Exaquantum(TM) plant information management system (PIMS); and a plant operation training simulator. Also included in the contract are PK200 current-to-pneumatic converters; a liquid analysis system consisting of conductivity, pH, and residual chlorine analysers; and a duct gas analysis system consisting of oxygen, infrared gas, and TDLS200 tunable diode laser analysers.

The TDLS200 boasts a fast response time and is used in combustion processes. One such application is the continuous measurement of residual NH3 in the denitrification process, which removes NOx from the exhaust gas produced as a result of the combustion of fuels in a boiler. There is a rising need for such continuous measurement solutions as they help to reduce corrosion to plant equipment and also protect the environment by reducing the emission of large amounts of ozone depleting gases.

Based on the IEC61850 international standard defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), electrical systems throughout this plant, including more than 750 intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) as well as all statistical and tariff energy meters, need to be integrated with the CENTUM VP DCS. Yokogawa is thus providing an integrated operational platform for this very large power plant.

Yokogawa Saudi Arabia will be responsible for the engineering and commissioning of the production control systems, safety instrumented systems, and plant information management systems. Yokogawa Electric and Yokogawa Electric Korea Co., Ltd. will be responsible for the engineering and delivery of the current-to-pneumatic converters and the analysis systems.

Yokogawa has executed a number of large oil & gas and petrochemical projects and has provided more than 80 control systems for power plant and power plant utilities throughout the Middle East. Furthermore, the company has set down deep roots in the region through such initiatives as the establishment in 2006 of Yokogawa Saudi Arabia. Yokogawa believes that this strong track record was a key consideration in its selection for this project.

Supercritical thermal power plants are highly efficient and produce fewer greenhouse gases than conventional power plants, and it is expected that more plants of this type will be constructed in Saudi Arabia and other countries. In anticipation of growing demand for its highly reliable products and services, Yokogawa will step up its efforts in the global power sector.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Early detection of network faults!

Siemens is offering a host of new functions for the quick and easy location of faults in automation networks with an update of its Sinema server software.

A prerequisite of efficient fault localisation is that the status of the devices in the network is always indicated correctly and clearly. A change of status can have many different causes that are recorded and stored in the form of events. Using Service Pack SP1 of Sinema Server, it is now possible to assemble any number of such events in groups and configure their influence like ‘OK’, ‘Warning’, ‘Error’ or ‘Failure’ on the indicated device states . Among other things, this offers the user the opportunity of defining new diagnostic events of a Simatic PLC, for example. Furthermore, this means that a tool can be used to detect and indicate application- specific events, in addition to the diagnosis of the SNMP network alone, before they cause problems.

This update means that Sinema Server has also been expanded to include the diagnosis of "dropped frames". This refers to device interfaces at which frames are lost. In addition to the device lists, any information on interfaces can now be displayed in tabular form. This extends and simplifies the opportunities when evaluating and documenting port connections or port statistics data. In addition, port-dependent diagnostic settings can be carried out more easily in these tables.

Furthermore, the recognition of the network topology has been optimized so that it is even possible to recognize connections between devices that themselves contain only incomplete information, or none at all, about their immediate neighbours.

Moreover, thanks to new profiles, it is now possible in the course of the update to automatically diagnose additional devices, such as the Scalance W network products, in accordance with the 802.11n standard.

The central monitoring of the several Sinema servers has been supplemented with a trend and alarm function to ensure that no important event is lost, even in large networks. This and other functions help to monitor the dynamic behavior of networks with a central software system on a standardized, user-friendly and consistent basis.

Environmental exhibition almost sold out!

The exhibition that will run alongside WWEM 2014, the international Water, Wastewater and Environmental Monitoring conference, is now almost fully booked with just a handful of spaces remaining.

WWEM 2014 - Telford (GB) - 5/6 Nov 2014
“As WWEM 2012 approached, we were forced to refuse the later applications to exhibit, and it looks like this situation will be repeated, despite the fact that we have expanded the floor space considerably,” says WWEM organiser Marcus Pattison. “In order to create the extra space, we have moved the Conference into an adjacent Hall with access via the Exhibition.”

WWEM 2014, the 6th in a series of highly successful environmental monitoring events, will return to the Telford International Centre in England, on the 5th and 6th November 2014. The event will include conference speakers and exhibitors from all over the world, providing delegates with access to a broad selection of conference presentations, workshops and demonstrations.

It will seek to provide delegates with the latest information on the techniques, technologies, methods, standards and regulatory requirements that relate to the monitoring which takes place both on-site and in the laboratory, covering sampling, field analysis, gas detection and continuous water and wastewater monitoring applications.

WWEM delegates include anyone with a professional interest in environmental monitoring; including regulators, industrial process operators, water utilities, accreditation organisations, commercial laboratories, instrument manufacturers, consultants, analytical service providers, researchers and academics.

CPD points will be awarded to Conference delegates and the cost to attend will be stg£55 (€68) per day. However, registration for the event is free of charge and pre-registered visitors are provided with free access to the exhibition and to the workshops, in addition to free on-site parking, and complimentary lunch and refreshments.

Hygienic motor-gear combination.

Kollmorgen has intruduced a new version of its AKM™ "Washdown Food Grade" servomotor. Combined with a high performance AKM™ gearmotor and efficiency-optimised angular gearbox, "Washdown Food Grade" servomotors deliver a standardised motor-gear solution in a single, compact package. This advanced level of integration allows for successful implementation in most transport and turning applications in the food and beverage industries as well in downstream packaging.

Powerful, ready to install, washable
Eye catching shape and colour. The
new AKM gear motors in the special
"Washdown + Food" design dispense
 with corners and edges
These are the three main advantages of the ready-to-install motor-gear unit in the Hygienic Design. You can achieve significantly reduced cleaning times as a consequence of smoother and water-repellent surfaces, lower energy costs thanks to the highly efficient motor-drive combination, and simplified machine design possibilities due to space-saving assembly without additional stainless steel housing.

Shape and color are striking due mainly to the rounded design of the gear motor with its smooth, white surfaces. It prevents the build-up of bacteria and facilitates simple cleaning from the very beginning. The FDA-compliant material of the coating supports the drainage of liquids as a result of its hydrophobic properties such that no residues can form on the surface - which is helpfully supported by the fact that corners and edges are dispensed with. So that the gear motors can be installed quickly, Kollmorgen offers a two plug connection version with Resolver or Multiturn EnDat encoder, and the innovative single-cable connection technology.

The digital resolver SFD3 or a Multiturn Hiperface DSL encoder is used as a feedback system. Fewer cables mean reduced cost and effort involved in both installation and cleaning maintenance.

Cost-effectiveness drives opportunities for the measurement gauges market still!

The global measurement gauges market has limited technological advancement, thus pricing strategy is a key differentiator for companies operating in this space.  Realising this, manufacturers are wooing price-sensitive end users by offshoring their manufacturing to cost-efficient countries in Asia. 

To continue rolling out cost-effective products, market participants are expanding their manufacturing capabilities in Asia-Pacific (APAC), which already accounts for 70 percent of global measurement gauges production.  APAC will also remain the key revenue-generating market, followed by North America and Europe. 

The new study from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the Global Measurement Gauges Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $178.8 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach $201.8 million in 2017. The analysis covers height gauges, depth gauges, plug-and-bore gauges, and ring gauges. 

Increasing industrialisation in APAC as well as the growth of the automotive industry and machine shops in the region, continue to fuel the demand for measurement gauges. End users are particularly looking for simple gauges as they have a limited budget allocated towards inspection and measurement tools. 

Nonetheless, the presence of established market participants limits business opportunities for smaller-sized companies. Furthermore, the availability of low-cost coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and scanners hinders the growth of the measurement gauges market in North America and Europe. 

Although established market participants dominate the market, there are several Chinese measurement gauges manufacturers that have made inroads into the APAC market with their low cost products.” explained Frost & Sullivan Test and Measurement Senior Research Analyst Aravind Govindan. “Research indicates that a lack of marketing capabilities similar to some of their larger counterparts is likely to restrict the growth and business potential of some of the smaller participants.” 

Brand visibility is evaluated as a key competitive criterion, which has led to a greater focus on this by market participants through the use of online channels and eCommerce websites as retailing points for measurement gauges. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Battery testing made simple!

The new EL97xx series of electronic loads available now from Interpro offers users a simple means to test or characterise individual battery cells or multi-cell stacks.

Models are available with power ratings from 150 to 6,000W for use as simple front panel controlled bench test or repair instruments to components in complex, automated test and burn-in systems. Applications include repair of power supplies and equipment through to testing batteries used for high reliability UPS and data-protection systems. Comprehensive battery testing can identify individual faulty cells allowing battery stacks to be rebuilt, reducing waste and recycling while improving reliability. Battery manufacturers can use the Intepro EL97xx series of electronic loads to characterise the performance of new designs, establish life expectancy and for production test. Automated testing provides repeatability and offers storage of test data for quality control, analysis and traceability. Test results may be fully interrogated and exported as spreadsheets or word documents into a SQL database.

All Intepro EL97xx electronic loads are supplied with comprehensive free software to simplify set-up and testing of batteries. Dynamic burn-in and discharge tests with user control of waveform may be simply performed with all test parameters available for user setting, live data is shown on a virtual control panel and a clear “capacity plot” is displayed. The user can add additional markers by using the icons on the tool bar to set a visual indicator to show the expected performance range. As well as being a standalone instrument the EL97xx electronic load is also designed for easy integration into larger automated test systems and may be controlled bytheir open-source PowerStar software suite.

Simon Tanner, European Sales manager comments, “Battery testing can be difficult and time consuming. Our new EL97 range of flexible competitively priced electronic loads provide built-in battery test functions with easy to use computer control which go together to make the process of testing batteries simple, repeatable and low cost. The inbuilt test reporting also provides data for traceability and quality assurance which add up to providing confidence in your product for your end customers.”

Intepro EL97xx electronic loads are very competitively priced and ideal for research and development, inspection, service and test requirements in industry, research laboratories, training centres and education. The loads have an input rating of 0-500V, may be combined to provide greater than 6,000W of load, a 2 year warranty and are available on a 4 week lead-time.

EL97xx electronic loads enable testing of any current carrying component (e.g. connectors and terminals) and a wide range of dynamic load conditions may be simulated including solar cell and fuel cell loading, LED testing and battery discharge profiles. 6 modes of operation (CC, CR, CV, CC+CV, CR+CV) are available with fast rise-times and dual range 16-bit resolution measurements are performed with the accuracy of a digital multi-meter and the convenience of a single connection. The loads are fully protected against OP, OC, OV, OT and reverse polarity ensuring operational reliability and protection for the device under test. Special features include 999 measurements/hour, constant current mode soft-start, dynamic pulsing and programmable duty cycles.

Handheld oscilloscope offers 4 channels and a 500MHz bandwidth!

Fluke has introduced a new 500MHz bandwidth, 4-channel, handheld oscilloscope - the first instrument with these capabilities on the market. Targeted at industrial electronics maintenance engineers, electronic field service engineers and other professional engineers and technicians in the field, the rugged Fluke 190-504 Series II ScopeMeter® offers 4 isolated input channels which give the option to simultaneously measure voltages and current independent of the reference potential in harsh industrial environments up to 1000V CAT III /600V CAT IV.

The Fluke 190-504 Series II ScopeMeter effectively offers a range of tools in one – a high performance portable scope with 500MHz bandwidth, real time sample rates up to 5GS/s, 4-channel isolated inputs for differential measurements and four meter measuring options.

It offers advanced analysis and measurement capabilities for complex troubleshooting, using 4 input channels to inspect signal amplitude, time or waveform correlation. Use of the automatic power and energy measurements allow an understanding of efficiency and energy in industrial power systems, and inspection of voltage and current waveforms of modulated power signals. Specific analysis such as amplitude versus frequency domain spectrum, pass/fail envelope or capturing complex signals using pulse width trigger are all possible.

The Connect&View™ triggering feature offers hands-free operation, providing an immediate, stable display for capturing and displaying complex waveforms for rapid fault finding. The TrendPlot™ recording function helps uncover long-term trends over a period of up to 22 days and shows changes in any of the measurable parameters, like the rise-time of a signal. Frequency Spectrum Analysis using FFT helps to identify individual frequency components contained in a signal. The ScopeRecord™ roll mode allows waveform recordings to be made over an extended period of up to 48 hours. A 'Replay' function enables the user to take a closer look at any anomaly seen flashing by on the screen, by re-playing the last sequence of 100 screen images.

The Fluke 190-504 ScopeMeter comes with a 3-year warranty. It is rugged and portable with an IP51 drip and dust proof rating and a Li-ion battery for an extended operating time-span, with easy access for battery switching to extend operating time. It offers a USB host port for direct connection of memory storage devices and a USB device port for easy communication with a PC.

Demand based automatic fan speed control!

A new fan speed control sensor for Rittal’s TopTherm fan-and-filter units is now available. This handy and compact device, which is compatible with the larger models in the range of electronically commutated (EC) TopTherm fan-and-filter units, automatically adjusts the fan speed in response to changes in temperature inside the enclosure.

Providing a simple and cost effective solution to the problem of fan-and-filter units running continuously, even when not required as the panel temperature is already at an acceptable level, the sensor will help to reduce energy consumption and consequently, running costs.

With a fixed setpoint of 35 °C, the device provides continuous control with fan speeds varying linearly between 10 % at 20 °C and 100 % at 35 °C. No additio-nal power supply is required as the sensor takes a 10 V DC feed from the fan-and-filter unit itself.

Larger TopTherm fan-and-filter units with EC motors from Rittal, accept a 0 to 10 V DC or PWM control signal and can be controlled using a programmable logic controller (PLC). A tachometer signal output to monitor fan speed and operating conditions is included, to alert users immediately should any faults or failures occur.

Rittal’s simple fan-and-filter unit is an innovative product with integrated energy efficient control, performance monitoring and sensor for speed control to achieve the best results.

Monday, May 12, 2014

IoT low power consumption integrated wireless controller!

LPRS now offers Internet of Things (IoT) system builders with a system-on-chip fully integrated wireless controller suitable for remote, battery powered sensor systems, which can offer current consumption as low as 32µA

The low cost, high security easyRadio Integrated Controller (eRIC) offers designers seven power saving modes of operation to ensure maximum battery life of remote sensors. The LPRS eRIC transceiver power saving modes provide control of the duty cycle of the receiver so that the ‘ON’ time can be set to 12.5%, 6.25%, 3.1% , 1.56%, 0.78%, 0.39% & 0.2% with corresponding levels of power saving from its “always on” current of 16mA. The transmitter may then be independently set to the same duty cycle as the receiver or longer as required for transfer of data. Up to 250Byte data-packets are supported throughout all operating modes and up to 500Kbs over air data rates are available.

This module is now available with operating frequencies for World Markets and provides secure over-air transmission with the availability of an AES 128 bit data encryption option. Many other advanced features are available as standard including; received signal strength indicator (RSSI), carrier detect and group ID.

The advanced design of this transceiver uses system-on-chip (SOC) technology removing the need for an external processor. The on-board processor memory is partitioned giving half to the easyRadio configurable settings and communication software and leaving the rest available for design engineers to add their own application code. Code can be written using industry standard tools and a quick to learn API (application programming interface). This partitioned memory design will often eliminate the need for any additional microcontroller, saving cost, space and power.

eRIC is an exceptional value RF transceiver intended for embedded high-volume applications in the “Smart” or “IoT” arena including; building and lighting control, security, home monitoring and medical products, vehicle and contents monitoring, renewable energy control and remote sensor systems. eRIC has been designed to simplify end product manufacture and is packaged for SMD assembly and measures just 20x15x5mm

It continues to use the popular and simple to use easyRadio programming protocols, operates in the ISM frequency bands (Europe 433 and 868MHz, USA 915MHz), meets ETSI and FCC requirements, has pin interface compatibility with existing easyRadio Advance (eRA) products, has a simple to use and customer configurable and programmable I/O interface and has a built-in temperature sensor.

Barry Gillibrand, Managing Director of LPRS, comments, “Many industrial monitoring systems and possible IoT applications will employ sensors in remote and difficult to access locations. Ensuring maximum operating life of battery powered devices is a key criterion for design engineers and eRIC provides a flexible solution with maximum convenience. Our many years of experience of supplying easyRadio wireless modules has provided us with real-world experience of our customer’s requirements and eRIC provides a complete solution for high-volume wireless control and communication markets. Continuing to use our very successful easyRadio interface ensures our existing customers a smooth transition and gives new customers the ability to configure operating frequency, bandwidth, output power, and data-rate enabling a developer to avoid local interference from nearby devices"

Basic flow measurement - on-line!

A new basic course on flow measurement is available on the Krohne Academy online learning platform: Participants of the course "Electromagnetic flowmeters" will find a broad range of topics related to this flow measuring principle in three modules.
Krohne Academy online is a free online eLearning training tool, focusing on various elements within the area of industrial process measurement and consists of electronic learning content with full audio. The company does not advertise any of its own measuring devices; instead, the descriptions and explanations of measuring technology are given in an industry comprehensive way that is not related to specific manufacturers.
The first module deals with the history and the general areas of application, the measuring principle itself and the construction of an electromagnetic flowmeter. It is followed by the second module with the material selection and special types of electromagnetic flowmeters, the sizing, the measuring accuracy as well as the calibration of an electromagnetic flowmeter.

The third module covers the topics installation and grounding, limitations and advantages, and the industries and applications in which electromagnetic flowmeters can be used. (The course is available in English, German and Russian, a French version will be soon available.)

Registration is free.

• Krohne products are marketed in Ireland by DWN Instrumentation.

Gateway solutions for EtherNet/IP or Modbus TCP/IP network.

The PLX30 Ethernet and Serial Gateways from ProSoft Technology, are powerful and cost-effective solutions for connecting end devices to an EtherNet/IP or Modbus TCP/IP network.

These gateways offer real-time, bi-directional data transfers between devices on dissimilar networks.

They are stand-alone, DIN-rail mounted gateways that provide one Ethernet port for communication, remote configuration and diagnostics and up to four isolated serial ports. The PLX30 gateways also come with an SD Card slot for storing configuration files. In the event of a failure, the SD card can be transferred to another gateway reducing downtime.

Each gateway delivers fast real-time data acquisition; flexible communication methods; disaster recovery support; remote configuration and diagnostics as well as a wide input power and extended temperature range.

Each EtherNet/IP gateway features multiple I/O connections; client and/or Server capability; a 4,000 word database; CIP and PCCC Messaging; Add-On-Profiles for RSLogix 5000/Studio 5000 v. 20 and above. The multiple I/O connections allow for fast communications between devices such as HMIs, SCADA Systems, Power Monitors and Flow Computers. The gateway can be setup to send and receive data to or from and PLC-5, SLC, HMI or any other device communicating via CIPP based messaging.

Each Modbus TCP/IP gateway features up to 10 Client and 10 Server connections; a 4,000 word database and 160 fully configurable commands.