Friday, May 30, 2014

Medically-approved plug & go PSUs.

BEC Distribution has announced that their Stontronics range of Plug & Go Power Supplies has been extended with the addition of 12 new medically-approved units within the Stontronics HPU15 Family.

The HPU15 Range of 15W Plug & Go World Traveller Power Supplies are Medical Safety Standard 3rd Rated.

They feature a Universal AC input, with UK, Euro, US & Australian Interchangeable AC heads. The design incorporates an industry-standard 2.1 DC jack plug. They have the following protections: Over Voltage, Over Temperature & Short Circuit.

They are designed to be small and compact and have the following approvals: GS, UL/cUL & CE. They are Level V ErP/EuP efficiency compliant and have an MTBF >100,000 hours.


Stontronics power Plug & Go Power Supplies come with a two-year warranty.

Bridge monitoring for Turkish tunnel!

Sentez, the Turkish distributor of Applied Measurements were asked to design a bespoke bridge monitoring system for Turkey’s new rail tunnel - The Marmaray Project. This 76.3km long tunnel is the deepest immersed tunnel in the World and is regarded as the foremost challenging infrastructure project in Turkey.

Using Applied Measurements’ AML/SGD strain gauge displacement transducers, the tunnel provides a direct link between Halkalı on the European side of Istanbul, with Gebze on the Asian side. This modernised high capacity rail tunnel will carry up to an estimated 65’000 passengers per hour in 2015, increasing to a predicted 75’000 in 2025, saving commuters a 1 hour 15 minutes of travelling time (Figures from The Marmaray Project website passenger demand and planning.)

The Marmaray development team needed to monitor the displacement on the joints within the tunnel. To do this we created a bespoke bridge monitoring system using 3 off 50mmAML/SGD displacement transducers, forming a triaxial measurement of each joint. TheAML/SGD series of displacement transducers utilise strain gauge technology to convert the linear movement of the joints within the tunnel into an analogue electrical signal. TheAML/SGD series of displacement transducers were chosen for their excellent accuracy (0.1%), coupled with their high resolution and long-term stability, making them a perfect transducer for The Marmaray Project.
Applied Measurements’ 50mm higher accuracy AML/SGD linear variable displacement transducers were wired into a custom-made IP68 die cast enclosure. This IP68 enclosure housed 3 off SGA load cell amplifiers, protecting the amplifiers from moisture ingress. This provided the Marmaray team with an amplified signal enabling them to accurately monitor the displacement of the joints within the tunnel. These SGA series of load cell amplifiers are capable of delivering highly stable, high speed, industry standard analogue outputs, such as 0-10Vdc or 4-20mA, from very low-level input signals and are available next day delivery.

"Applied Measurements are proud to have been involved in such an important project for Turkey, said a company spokesperson. We hope to continue to assist with new and existing projects through our new Turkish distributor Sentez."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ultrasonic flow.

The NEW Sonic-Pro® S4 is an inline Ultrasonic flowmeter  from Blue-White, features flow measurement technology with no moving parts, and no internal liners to wear out.

The S4 Inline pipe fittings facilitate installation of the meter. The unit is capable of measuring water flow using the Transit Time method. A special low power mode permits operation with battery for limited functions.

Optional advanced data communication protocols include Industrial Ethernet, Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP, PROFIBUS TPV1, and PROFINET. Download data logging files directly to a flash drive via USB. Dual relays for rate alarms, total alarms, or proportional feed control.

The Sonic-Pro S4 Ultrasonic flowmeter is NSF 61 Certified, the housing is NEMA 4X (IP 66) for wash-down. There is a comprehensive two year warranty.

General manager appointed for EMEA by connectivity company!

B&B Electronics has appointed technology industry veteran Gary Sheedy as the General Manager of its EMEA operations based in Galway (IRL). Mr. Sheedy will manage the EMEA sales teams and have P&L responsibility for the EMEA operation. He will also take on an international business development role for B&B Electronics, drawing from his two decades of high-tech industry experience on the international stage.

Gary Sheedy
An engineer by background, Mr. Sheedy has worked in all areas of high tech, from design and development to manufacturing and test in many international arenas including the US, Britain, Germany and Australasia/Asia. He also brings significant experience in general management, business development and technology leadership.

Mr. Sheedy’s previous work experience includes engineering and engineering management positions with Infineon AG (Formerly Siemens AG) as director of tools and software, and with Advantest Europe GmbH as EMEA SAE Manager. He has also served in commercial sales and marketing positions with Dynamic Controls (a subdivision of Invacare Corp.) as GM of product development, and with Invenco Group Ltd. as the global head – OEM business development.

“Gary has a strong track record in solutions-based business development, and we are lucky to have him,” said Jerry O’Gorman, B&B’s CEO. “He understands the processes, procedures and actions that are necessary to grow a profitable business with sustainable growth, and to deliver unique products to customers worldwide.”

Mr. Sheedy holds a B. Eng (Hons) Engineering from the University of Ulster, as well as a diploma in Industrial Studies. He speaks fluent German and elementary Spanish.

ATE and mass interconnect systems for British event!

At the NI Automatic Test Summit (19/6/2014 - Reading GB), the Peak Group which is a National Instruments Alliance Partner, is featuring its latest developments in automated test systems as well as test solutions using mass interconnect products from Virginia Panel Corporation (VPC).

New at the event is a range of VTAC high-speed data (HSD) connectors for the VPC mass interconnect systems. Designed for use in high-speed testing, the new connectors offer data transfer rates of over 10 Gbit/s per differential pair. Rapid data transfer is ensured when the connectors are installed in VPC's 90 Series Module, which can support up to 34 VTAC HSD connectors with two differential pairs or four single-ended connections.

The HSD contacts are gold-plated for signal integrity and maximum reliability and are compatible with several industry standard connectors including USB 3.0, Serial ATA, HDMI, DVI & DVI-1, RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet, QSFP and Infiniband.

The Peak Group is also featuring its recently announced partnership with Simplicity AI to provide integrated test solutions based on National Instruments industry-standard platforms along with Peak's test hardware and fixturing technology and Simplicity AI's advanced test & measurement software.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Test instruments form heart of semiconductor test rig!

Test instruments supplied by Yokogawa form the heart of an automated test rig developed by a major European semiconductor manufacturer for evaluating the company’s latest generation of power management chips.

These semiconductors are typically used in energy-efficient power supplies for applications such as LED lighting, motor control and ballasts for energy-saving lamps. A typical 8-pin power management device contains a controller with firmware to control the overall circuit, numerous protection functions and a PWM (pulse width modulation) circuit to control the power switch.
To ease the development of end products using these devices, the semiconductor manufacturer offers its customers “evaluation maps” for a number of standard applications. These not only demonstrate the capabilities of a semiconductor device: they also serve as a basis for customers developing their own applications. The company also uses these maps as an aid to the design and evaluation of the semiconductors: in particular, the various tests that are needed to specify the hardware and software functions of the controller ICs.

Because of the increasing complexity of the controller and the ever shorter development cycles, these tests have to be specified during the actual development of the semiconductor device. In the further phases of the development process, the tests have to be repeated as the hardware or firmware changes in order to verify the correct functioning of the chip.

The company needed to develop tests that could be carried out as automatically as possible – while also creating individual test procedures that could be used over and over again for a variety of projects, applications and components. Depending on the end requirements, these individual tests could then be combined in different configurations.

“As part of a pilot project, we are developing a set of universal individual tests, a multi-purpose test and a higher-level framework with software tools, workflows, and a repository. Later we want to transfer this concept to other applications”, says the Project Manager for the automated test framework.

The individual tests are mainly created in LabView, with each section checking a function or performing specific measurements. The test cases are designed to be as generic as possible, so that the developer only has to specify the parameters for the test. The tests are usually structured to produce only “pass” or “fail” results. For a voltage measurement, for example, the user has to ensure that there is only one test point, and then specify a date and an upper and lower voltage value as a parameter. How and what this measurement consists of is defined in the test case. This not only leads to ease of use: it also means that there is a high degree of reusability of the various test modules involved.

The actual tests are carried out on a “universal” test rig using largely standardised test procedures. Since the test objects are usually relatively simple, the test set-up consists of only a few components. These include a Yokogawa DLM4000 8-channel oscilloscope, a Yokogawa WT3000 power analyser, an AC source and a load. The devices are connected via a USB bus, GPIB interface or Ethernet network to a controller.

The DLM4000 oscilloscope features eight analogue channels in addition to over 24 digital channels, allowing the input and output voltages to be detected and displayed alongside the output current and some digital signals. As a result, the various signals can be checked for faults and parameters can be measured in the time domain.

“Yokogawa has a long history of producing oscilloscopes with features that lead to rapid results, such as cursor measurements with pulse width modulation”, says the manufacturer: “With the WT3000 power analyser, the input and output power, harmonics and flicker are measured and a pre-compliance test is performed. This gives the developer a first insight into whether the circuit complies with standards and regulations in areas such as noise emission.”

Enabling prompt, reliable, 4G failover for wireless networking in Europe.

Conel s.r.o., a subsidiary of B&B Electronics, a developer of mission-critical network connectivity solutions, has expanded its family of wireless routers to include the new Conel Bivias v2 industrial cellular router which will be available throughout Europe.

Featuring dual, independent communications modules, the router can connect to two different cellular carriers at the same time. The router can also support two different mobile technologies at the same time, such as UMTS/HSPA+, LTE, or CDMA. If one cellular connection should fail, the router will connect to the alternate cellular carrier in a matter of seconds, providing swift, automatic network backup in a single device.

The Conel Bivias v2 router takes advantage of the fast 4G LTE network data transfer speeds; up to 100Mbit/s for download and 50 Mbit/s for upload. It is specifically built for industrial M2M applications that demand speed, security and the ability to handle large data loads. With its 4G LTE capabilities it can serve as the main communications system or as a backup for fixed lines.

Designed for plug-and-play simplicity with extensive remote management, deployment and customization options, the Conel Bivias v2 router is used to wirelessly connect Ethernet equipment and other devices to the Internet or intranet. Self-diagnostics, a watchdog capability and the ability to easily create VPN tunnels ensure secure, consistent operation and extremely reliable wireless connections.

The router aggregates multiple data networking protocols. Its standard configuration includes a 10/100 Ethernet port, USB host port, binary input/output (I/O) port and dual SIM card holders for network redundancy. The Conel Bivias v2 cellular router also has 2 auxiliary ports for connecting to other types of networks such as additional Ethernet switch ports, serial RS-232/422/485 interfaces and additional Digital/Analog I/O. The Conel Bivias v2 cellular router is also available with integrated 802.11b/g/n Wi- Fi technology, which allows the Conel Bivias v2 cellular router to serve as a Wi-Fi access Point (AP) or “Hotspot”.

Facilitating communications between OPC-enabled client software!

MatrikonOPC™ has released the enhanced MatrikonOPC Server for Foxboro I/A, which now includes support for Foxboro I/A Series systems version 8.8. The MatrikonOPC Server for Foxboro I/A securely facilitates communication between OPC-enabled client software, such as HMI’s, historian’s and reporting software, and Foxboro I/A devices.

Recently, Invensys announced the deprecation of FoxAPI beginning in version 8.8 of Foxboro I/A. This update allows users of Foxboro I/A 8.8 and above to continue to utilise OPC-based communication by leveraging the AIM* API.

“At Invensys, we place a lot of emphasis in supporting the lifecycle of our systems and our installed base customers. For customers who use MatrikonOPC products as part of their existing systems, we acknowledge that Matrikon have ported their products to the preferred APIs (Application Programming Interface) in support of I/A Series systems version 8.8 and the migration of those systems to Microsoft Windows 7 & Microsoft Server 2008 R2 operating systems," said a senior spokesperson with control and safety software of Invensys.

Key features of the MatrikonOPC Server for Foxboro I/A include:

  • Support for FoxAPI, Object Manager and AIM* API;
  • Integrated OPC security;
  • Real-time (DA) and Historical (HDA) OPC data access;
  • Built-in alias configuration.

President appointed to automation leader!

Vimal Kapur has been named president of Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) the Honeywell business that supplies automation control, instrumentation and services to process manufacturers in industries such as oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, petrochemicals, and metals, minerals and mining.

Vimal Kapur
A near-30-year veteran of the process automation industry, Kapur has been with Honeywell for more than 25 years. He has held a number of key strategic business positions within Honeywell including vice president of Global Marketing and Strategy for HPS, and managing director for Honeywell Automation India Limited (HAIL). Prior to this appointment, he was vice president/general manager of the Advanced Solutions line of business for HPS.

Kapur graduated from Thapar Institute of Engineering in Patiala, India, as an electronics engineer with a specialization in instrumentation. He is Six Sigma certified for DMAIC and Growth.

He will be located in Houston, (TX USA).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

dP transmitters that connect their two sensors electronically!

The Deltabar FMD71 level transmitter, from Endress + Hauser,  uses two pressure sensor modules, each connected electronically to a single transmitter. Using a Ceraphire ceramic sensor in the pressure sensor modules, the transmitter calculates the differential pressure from both sensors and transmits the level, volume or mass via 4-20 mA with HART as a standard two-wire loop-powered device.

One sensor module measures the hydrostatic pressure (HP) and the other one the head pressure (LP). Each sensor sends a digital signal corresponding to temperature compensated measured pressure to the transmitter. This electronic system eliminates issues of traditional differential pressure measurements by doing away with impulse lines or capillaries and their related issues of icing, clogging, leaks, condensation and changing ambient temperatures.

The sensors connect to the transmitter module via industry standard, color-coded twisted pair cable and have NEMA 4X/6P (IP66/IP68) watertight housings and connections. The transmitter can be located away from the sensors in areas safe and convenient for personnel. The system meets ATEX, IEC Ex, CSA and FM specifications for use in hazardous areas including Zones 0, 1 and 2; and Division 1 and 2.

The Ceraphire ceramic cell is vacuum, corrosion and abrasion resistant, eliminating traditional mechanical issues with corrosive and abrasive media. The Ceraphire ceramic cell can be used in absolute vacuum and has excellent chemical resistance properties, similar to Alloy C.

For applications where heavy environmental wash-down is a concern, the FMD71 automatically incorporates Endress+Hauser’s dehydration module when a hygienic process connection is utilized. The dehydration module draws moisture from the ambient air inside the cell before it affects the sensor.

The FMD71 offers a standard 4-20mA HART capable output. The dP level measurement is the default 4-20mA signal while dP level, head pressure and sensor temperature can all be assigned as HART variables. Each sensor in the FMD71 system has 0.075% reference accuracy, maximum nominal pressure measurement of -15 to 600 psig, and a -40°F to 302°F process temperature capability.

The system has built-in diagnostics for continuous health indication via HART. Operators can access HART data via Endress+Hauser’s FieldCare software or Field Xpert PDA.

Improving maintenance efficiency by using device management systems!

Yokogawa has released Plant Resource Manager (PRM) R3.12, a software package that is capable of centrally managing large amounts of data from plant monitoring and control devices and manufacturing equipment, thereby allowing their status to be monitored and diagnosed online. With PRM R3.12, self-diagnostic information is now displayed in a more intuitive, easy-to-understand format based on the NAMUR NE107 recommendations, and network functions have been enhanced for upstream oil and gas applications. With this new release of its PRM package, Yokogawa aims to expand its share of the maintenance market.

Development background
Plant Resource Manager (PRM) is a software package that centrally manages field device information. With PRM, users can monitor the status of their devices and perform online diagnosis via a network. In addition, PRM centrally manages database ledgers for individual devices as well as device maintenance information that can be accessed by maintenance staff.
Manufacturers in the process industry are constantly working to improve maintenance efficiency by using device management systems such as PRM that can centrally manage large amounts of data from plant monitoring and control devices and manufacturing equipment in order to monitor their status and identify maintenance needs.

When a device management system detects multiple problems in more than one device, maintenance personnel must quickly assess the severity of each problem and prioritise their actions. Equipment failures in plants must be dealt with quickly, and so appropriate responses are required when it appears likely that a failure will soon occur. To satisfy these needs, this information is now displayed in an easier-to-understand format with PRM R3.12, allowing maintenance personnel to quickly judge which actions will receive top priority.

This new version of PRM also offers enhanced network functionality, including improved support of wireless and satellite communications for upstream oil and gas applications.

This new PRM version uses easy-to-understand NAMUR NE107-compliant symbols for the four primary device diagnostic categories: namely, failure, check function, out of specification, and maintenance required. While previous PRM versions were capable of indicating the severity of a device malfunction based on the self-diagnostic data, R3.12 makes clear at a glance what kind of response is required. NAMUR NE107 is a series of device diagnostics recommendations defined by NAMUR, a process automation user group based in Germany.

The network function has been expanded to incorporate support for narrow-band wireless and satellite communications. Consequently, both PRM and Yokogawa’s SCADA software (FAST/TOOLS) installed at a central control facility enjoy improved connectivity with the ProSafe(R)-RS safety instrumented systems that perform monitoring and control functions at widely distributed remote sites such as wellheads and pipeline pump stations. The centralised monitoring of device status at such remote locations meets customers’ need for improved maintenance efficiency. With this new functionality, Yokogawa anticipates that it will be able to expand its maintenance business in the oil and gas industries.

Globally certified explosion proof moisture transmitter provides universal solution.


Michell Instruments has announced the launch of the latest addition to its Easidew range of dew-point transmitters: the Easidew PRO XP. This explosion-proof moisture transmitter has been introduced to meet the requirements of markets where explosion-proof or flame-proof rather than intrinsically-safe certification is needed.

The transmitter is housed in a tough, explosion-proof casing, which is rated to IP66/NEMA 4. The instrument is certified for ATEX, CSA and IECEx – making it acceptable in hazardous areas world-wide. As with its sister product, the Easidew PRO I.S., the Easidew PRO XP is capable of measuring moisture in both gases and liquids. This versatility makes it an ideal option for systems integrators as they only need to stock one moisture meter or hygrometer for all moisture measurement applications in hazardous areas.

Typical applications for the Easidew PRO XP include water dew point of natural gas during processing and transmission, biomethane production, hydrocarbon refinery processing, polymer production and moisture in compressed natural gas.

The Easidew PRO XP uses the latest ceramic moisture sensing technology from Michell, and is capable of measuring dew points in gases from -110°C to +20°C and 0-3000 pppmV. For water liquids the measurement range is from 0-3000 ppmW. With a 450 bar (6527 psi) pressure rating, EN10204 3.1 material certified parts and NPL/NIST 13-point calibration certificate, it meets all the current demand of the process industry.

The Easidew PRO XP is part of Michell’s service exchange programme, which ensures that your process is never offline.

• Michell products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.



Smallest servo drive makes tweet on market!

Gold Twitter Nano Drive Delivers Ultra High Power – 4000 W in Any Industrial Environment

Elmo Motion Control has announced a major record-setting advance with the release of its flagship Gold Twitter product, the smallest, high-power servo drive available on the market today.

At just 18 grams (less than 1 ounce) in weight, and less than 13 cm3, the Gold Twitter delivers up to 4000 W of qualitative power, ultra high current such as 50 A / 100 V with the most advanced servo capabilities and support for EtherCAT and CANopen field-bus communication standards for deployment in a variety of application configurations, compliant with international safety, EMC standards and STO certification.

»At a record-setting power density while delivering ultra high power of 4000 W, we improved the efficiency by 200%, reduced the volume by 75% and increased the power density by more than 400%.

The GOLD Twitter is an excellent solution for applications that require very high servo performance but are very limited with space. In addition, the GOLD Twitter is rugged to meet the growing needs to mount the drives »on the motor», »next to the motor», or »on the moving mechanical load», thus ensuring the high servo performance and saving huge costs in hardware and cabling.

We´re not aware of anything in the industry that approaches this power and size density,» Haim Monhait, Elmo CEO concluded.

The Gold Twitter runs optimally on any servo motor and operates in current, velocity, and advanced position modes.

The Gold Twitter supports "any feedback" sensor in single, dual and gantry loop configurations.

Based on the premise that "the best way to dissipate heat is not to generate it in the first place," the Gold Twitter incorporates Elmo´s proprietary FASST (Fast and Soft Switching Technology) resulting in >99% efficiency with negligible EMI.

Easily set up and tuned using the Windows® based Elmo Application Studio II (EASII) software,
Gold Twitter servo drive can operate as a single-axis control solution or as part of a multi-axis control system in a distributed configuration real-time network. Among its expanded features, the Gold Twitter incorporates a powerful internal breaking shunt resistor and multi extended I/O interface.

Friday, May 23, 2014

US calibration facility receives accreditation!

Yokogawa Corporation of America has announced that its Newnan (GA USA) facility’s Calibration Laboratory has been awarded ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). The A2LA Certificate No. 3474.01 was issued on November 26, 2013. The Yokogawa Calibration Laboratory also meets the requirements of ANSI/NCSL Z540.3-2006 and holds ISO 9001:2008 certification.

Compliance with the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard provides an internationally recognized basis for laboratory accreditation. The standard is used to govern a laboratory's quality management system (auditing and corrective action procedures) and requires adherence to rigorous technical requirements.

Specifically, the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard dictates that a laboratory maintain testing facilities and equipment to a specified standard, adhere to documented protocol, train employees to proper competence levels, validate proper methodology, follow industry standard mathematical methods for calculating uncertainty, confirm that test equipment meets necessary criteria and that all equipment used for accredited calibrations is also, in fact, ISO 17025 calibrated. This equipment must also be calibrated to and traceable to independently maintained national or international standards. An ISO 17025 calibration will always provide both ‘as found’ and ‘as left’ performance test data in an approved report format.

Today, the ISO 17025 is the single-most important standard for test and measurement products. It is the global standard for the technical competence of calibration and test laboratories.

Across today’s industries, manufacturers who use test equipment are seeking ISO 17025 calibrations for the added assurance that both the products they purchase as well as those that they produce will meet specifications.

"When a customer sends in a unit to calibrate, they can be sure that the calibration has been performed by proven processes, and their unit has been managed by streamlined and repeatable methods," said Aytac Yaraneri, Yokogawa's Laboratory Process Manager.
     
Yokogawa’s calibration facility is used to calibrate a wide range of test equipment, including the WT3000 & PZ4000 power meter line, the DL850 ScopeCorder, and other digital oscilloscopes, each of which is used within numerous industries by a wide customer base within North America.

Complete range of Ex inductive sensors!


For use in Ex zones 0 and 20

.steute is further expanding its range of robust inductive sensors in cylindrical stainless steel housings. With immediate effect, the sensors are now available in explosion-proof versions with Atex and IECEx approvals.

The sensors come in four different sizes (M8, M12, M18 and M30). They are suitable for both flush and non-flush installation, and for use in Ex zones 0 (gas-Ex) and 20 (dust-Ex). Intrinsically safe switch amplifiers are available to evaluate the signals.

The devices are designed as 2-wire Namur sensor (IEC/EN 60947-5-6). They switch very reliably, almost independently of the ambient conditions. Their high switching interval and wide temperature range permit universal use in explosive environments and beyond.

The Ex inductive sensors round off the steute Extreme range of non-contact switchgear and provide a suitable alternative to electromechanical position switches, as well as to conventional magnet switches.

TFT display trio exhibit wide viewing angles!

KOE Europe, have announced the introduction of three new TFT display modules featuring KOE's UWVA (ultra-wide viewing angle) technology. The 7.0-inch TX18D45VM5BAA, 8.0-inch TX20D200VM5BAB and 10.4-inch TX26D200VM5BAA feature viewing angles of 80 degrees in all directions (up/down, left/right) and high brightness LED backlights. The 7.0-inch and 8.0-inch displays feature WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) resolution while the 10.4-inch display has SVGA (800 x 600 pixels) resolution.

KOE's UWVA displays are based on traditional TN (twisted nematic) TFT technology with design enhancements to the optical characteristics of the LCD cell which provides improved viewing angles and maintains colour stability when compared with standard TN TFT displays. As a result KOE's UWVA displays offer 'IPS like' display characteristics that ensure display images are clear, concise with excellent colour saturation and readability. True IPS (in-plane switching) displays provide highly consistent colour reproduction and colour saturation at all viewing angles. KOE's 'IPS like' technology enhances the optical performance of standard TN displays, creating optical characteristics similar to IPS at wide viewing angles, while offering a more cost effective display solution.

Mark Stephenson, Technical Marketing Manager, KOE Europe explained, "We believe there is a growing demand in embedded, medical and industrial markets for high quality displays that provide stable colour performance over wide viewing angles yet still offer a viable cost effective display solution. For many applications with graphical user interfaces, colour homogeneity of the display image is mandatory. The new 7.0", 8.0" and 10.4" display modules offer 'IPS like' optical performance from a traditional TN based TFT technology."

The 7.0-inch TX18D45VM5BAA display features a contrast ratio of 400:1 and a LED backlight producing a brightness of 600cd/m² with a 40K hour half-brightness lifetime. A 20-pin LVDS data interface supporting 6-bit RGB CMOS enables a colour palette of 262k colours. The module has mechanical outline dimensions of 165.0mm (w) x 106.0mm (h) x 8.0mm (d) and an operating temperature range of -30°C to +80°C.

The 8.0-inch TX20D200VM5BAB features a contrast ratio of 400:1 and a brightness of 1000cd/m² with a specified 70K hour time to half-brightness. A 20-pin LVDS data interface supports 6-bit RGB CMOS and a 262k colour palette. The display has mechanical outline dimensions of 189.0mm (w) x 122.0mm (h) x 10.2mm (d) and supports an operating temperature range of -30°C to +80°C.

The 10.4-inch TX26D200VM5BAA features a contrast ratio of 400:1 and a brightness of 1000cd/m² with a specified 70K hour time to half-brightness. A 20-pin LVDS data interface supports 8-bit RGB CMOS and a 16.7M colour palette. The display supports an operating temperature range of -30°C to +80°C and has mechanical outline dimensions of 230.0mm (w) x 180.2mm (h) x 10.1mm (d).


Suitable for many embedded, industrial, instrumentation and medical applications the new KOE UWVA 'IPS Like' TFT display modules feature COG (chip on glass) construction and are fully RoHS compliant. The new display panels are available immediately through KOE Europe's distribution partners.

Design software for control panels!

Rittal have launched a major upgrade to their RPE design software, complemented by the IEC 61439 guide book, which covers aspects of the standard that effect all control panels.

The new version 6.2 provides the ability to design motor control centres, electrical switchgear, control panels and generate bill of material, costs and designs that comply with the latest IEC 61439 switchgear standards.

Key features for users of Rittal’s RPE software include generation of copper connection drawings; production of design verification documentation and the ability to generate users own documentation; internal enclosure temperature calculation; application examples; excel configurator for temperature rise calculations up to 630A and up to 1600A according to IEC 61439 section 10.10.4.2 and new partial doors and front panels.

For a copy of the guide book and latest RPE software please contact Rittal. Alternatively, an upgrade from version 6.1 to 6.2 can be achieved automatically via the Internet.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A first for a Foundation transmitter!

Magnetrol  has released their Eclipse® Model 706 transmitter with Foundation fieldbus™ digital output communications. This is the first guided wave radar (GWR) transmitter to pass the Fieldbus Foundation testing using the latest Foundation fieldbus interoperability test kit ITK 6.1.1.

This device offers all of the advantages of the standard 4-20 mA (HART) ECLIPSE Model 706, such as:
  • Improved Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR)
  • Improved diagnostics (meets NAMUR NE 107)
  • Full complement of Overfill-capable probes
This new ECLIPSE Model 706 transmitter will contain the following Function Blocks: 

  • (1) Resource Block (RB)
  • (3) Transducer Blocks (TB)
  • (8) Analog Input Blocks (AI)
  • (2) PID Blocks
  • (1) Arithmetic Block (AR)
  • (1) Input Selector (IS)
  • (1) Signal Characterizer Block (SC)
  • (1) Integrator Block (IT)
With this release, a new Model 706 Foundation fieldbus™ DTM is also available on the Magnetrol website

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Inspecting cylindrical surfaces!

A new industrial vision system, trevista Cylinder, from Stemmer Imaging allows automated inspection of milled, polished and galvanised cylindrical components for defects such as scratches, dents, discolouration and stress marks. Using a patented inspection process, trevista Cylinder goes beyond the limits of conventional vision systems to provide reliable inspection of a range of surfaces from glossy components to diffusely scattering surfaces and even black plastic.

Supplied as a complete system with structured diffuse illumination, lens, camera, software and PC, trevista Cylinder, is based on a patented "shape from shading" technology. Information on the three- dimensional shape of an object can be deduced from the shading of its surfaces.

The cylindrical objects are rotated along their longitudinal axis under the special dome- shaped diffuser. During the rotation the line scan camera surveys the object with a scanning speed up to 4x. The profile data obtained are planar images of the uncoiled material surface. These synthetic images contain topographic information and a special calculation algorithm allows inspection for characteristics such as scratches, dents, discoloration and stress marks according to their inclination, curvature and texture.
The topographic images allow the display of three- dimensional surface shape, revealing defects down to just a few micrometres depth. These defects can be located quickly, reliably and free of interference, and can be readily distinguished from irrelevant stains caused by lubricants for example. 


The image processing algorithms can be integrated into the popular Sherlock advanced machine vision software interface from Teledyne DALSA or Stemmer’s own Common Vision Blox imaging toolkit. This provides a powerful and easy- to-handle complete solution which can be easily integrated into a wide variety of production processes. The system allows early detection of manufacturing defects in the value chain, thus reducing costs for quality assurance. 

Bespoke capacitive touch screen used in broadcasting!

Stadium-IGT is supplying a world leader in broadcast technology a with a custom designed LED backlit touchscreen featuring capacitive switching.

Stadium-IGT is unique in its ability to provide its patented thin-film backlighting on its range of scalable, wire-free, vandal and water resistant custom capacitive touchscreens. Capacitive touchscreens have many advantages in both consumer and industrial MMI/HMI interfaces and are widely used in applications including mobile phones, MP3 players, PDAS, home entertainment, home automation systems and brown and white goods.

Stadium-IGT LED Backlit Capacitive Switch
Panel designed for Snell
Their use in industrial applications has been limited until now due to small screen size, low screen resolution and a lack of visual clarity imposed by the commonly used wire matrix technology. Using its extensive experience to overcome the limitations of this traditional approach, Stadium-IGT has developed capacitive touchscreens in custom sizes up to 19", with a node count up to 256 (16 x 16) and bespoke interfaces to suit host equipment.

The most recent Stadium-IGT development combines, in one thin layer, capacitive switching and multi-colour area-specific backlighting. Traditionally, it has been extremely difficult to combine the two technologies because the electric field from a conventional electro-luminescent light source, which requires high voltage excitation, has interfered with the capacitive operation. Stadium-IGT has overcome this problem through the use of remote LEDs and thin light guides embedded into the capacitive sensing flexible layer. The completed assembly is less than 1mm thick and, by successfully combining these two leading-edge technologies, secret-until-lit areas, colour changes on key operation and colour-coded visual directions can be given to the operator.

This combination of leading-edge technologies led to Snell, a world leader in broadcast technology, to approach Stadium-IGT with a wish-list of features they would like their new Kahuna Maverik modular outside broadcast system.

The Snell Kahuna Maverik is an innovative new modular control surface.  Easily adaptable to multiple events and event types, Maverik can save valuable space within space-restricted outside broadcast vehicles, giving ultimate flexibility and comprehensive control. The product offers ground-breaking new architecture, total customization, crystal clear OLED buttons with user-assignable thumbnails, touchscreen at the M/E level for instant functionality selection, high resolution and intuitive user function buttons for easy effect recognition and the ability to change or add individual panel segments.

Terry Moss, Stadium-IGT Sales Director comments, “Snell required a clean, modern switch surface, with a custom multi-touch touchscreen and RGB backlit capacitive switching for their GUI unit. Stadium-IGT’s innovative and patented thin film backlighting was used for their T-Bar unit. Our design engineers assisted Snell from the outset with material selection, mechanical and electrical design parameters and PCB design.”

Working closely with the engineers at Snell Stadium IGT designed and built a number of prototypes which included light models, prototype touchscreens and ultimately fully functional preproduction units of both the GUI and T-Bar products. Now entering full production Snell has now launched the system and it will debut for the first time during April 2014 at NAB in Las Vegas, the world’s largest media technology show.

Terry Moss continues, “Stadium-IGT is a market leader in the design and manufacture of user interface systems. Our capacitive switching solutions offering tri-colour LED thin film illumination with selective area backlighting are unique. We are also happy to integrate other styles of operator interfaces into our keyboards including joysticks, rollerballs, glide pads, touchscreens and conventional tactile and non-tactile keypads, allowing us to offer our customers very flexible solutions to their control needs.”

Increasing 5G wireless network capacity and data throughput!

National Instruments has announced that it’s working with Nokia’s Networks business to collaborate on advanced research related to fifth generation (5G) wireless technologies such as exploring peak data rates and cell-edge rates in excess of 10 Gbps and 100 Mbps, respectively. 

By using NI’s integrated hardware and software baseband platform, Nokia plans to expedite its research and rapidly demonstrate the viability of high-frequency millimeter wave as an option for 5G radio access technology. “Our experimental 5G Proof-of-Concept system will be implemented using NI’s LabVIEW and PXI baseband modules, which is the state-of-art experimental system for rapid prototyping of 5G air interface available today,” said Lauri Oksanen, Vice President of Research and Technology at Nokia. 


“We are thrilled to work with Nokia on this project and others involving wireless research,” said Eric Starkloff, NI Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing. “Our software-defined platform based on LabVIEW and PXI is ideal for researching and prototyping standards such as 5G.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

High performance current transducers!

LEM has added three new HO series of high performance current transducers which extend nominal current measurement up to 250A and offer a range of mounting options.

The recent launch of the first devices in the HO series enabled a breakthrough in the trade-off between performance, cost, size and mounting versatility. These three new HO series provide the mounting the user needs: PCB or panel or busbar, integrating the conductor or with an aperture (15 x 8 mm), a range of choices. The mounting options provide customers with the flexibility of up to three interchangeable mounts for the HO xxx-S panel mounted current transducers: one vertically, one horizontally and one on the busbar when used. The mount can be changed by the user for additional versatility.

HO series current transducers measure DC, AC, and pulsed signals using the latest generation of LEM’s Open-loop Hall-effect Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) which was introduced with the launch of the HO 8, 15, 25-NP and -NSM series and the HO 6, 10 and 25-P models.

The new series offer offset and gain drifts which are up to twice as accurate across the temperature range as the previous generation and have a faster response time of 2.5 to 3.5µs.

Operating from a single supply voltage of 3.3V or 5V, the HO series can measure up to x 2.5 the primary nominal current and integrate an additional pin which provides over-current detection set at x 2.93 the nominal current I PN (peak value). They also provide fault reporting in the event of memory corruption.

LEM’s ASIC technology enables Open Loop transducer performance to approach that of Closed Loop transducers to improve control and system efficiency at a significantly lower price.

High clearance and creepage distances of more than 8mm and a Comparative Tracking Index (CTI) of 600 mean that, despite small packages of 22.95cm3 to 33.15cm3, there is no compromise on the insulation level provided between the primary and measurement circuits.

Typically, the standard scaled analogue voltage from the HO output is converted into a digital value by an Analogue-to-Digital Converter (ADC) which requires a reference voltage provided by the HO. However, the HO series can also be configured to take measurements relative to an external reference voltage.

The comprehensive range of options offered by HO transducers makes them suitable for a wide selection of applications where high performance and mounting flexibility are required. These applications include solar combiner boxes and solar-power inverters, as well as small smart meters, variable speed drives, uninterruptible and switch-mode power supplies, air conditioning, home appliances, static converters for DC motor drives, and robotics. The wide operating temperature range of -40 to +105°C also makes the HO series suitable for use in any industrial applications.

HO series current transducers are CE marked and conform to the EN 50178 standard as well as being covered by LEM’s five-year warranty.

Hazardous waste tracking software.

Matrix Hazardous Waste Tracker from Autoscribe simplifies hazardous waste management by tracking work and samples to comply with EU / EWC / Environment Agency regulations. This Windows-based system features a dual web/Windows user interface and allows the registration of hazardous waste items, progress/status checking, chain of custody management and reporting, lookup of EWC lists and consignment of hazardous waste.  Details of carrier, consignee and users, with their associated authority, are all stored within the system.

The system accommodates EU, Environment Agency, GLP, GMP and ISO9000 requirements by automatically recording who performed essential functions related to a sample and when they occurred.  All actions are fully audited and retained within the database for enhanced traceability and accountability.

Matrix Hazardous Waste Tracker is fully configurable via Autoscribe’s unique OneTime™ configuration tools for use over the LAN, WAN or Web. This allows the system to be designed to reflect local needs e.g. work flow design, screen design, terminology etc.  Work/sample registration provides a “browser” for selecting waste hazard codes which automatically assigns a series of tests to the sample.  Automatic label generation with barcodes is supported.


The system is supplied with a standard suite of functional reports. Further reports can be configured to include worksheets, work pending, sample/work status, waste status on-site and waste status consigned off-site for specified date ranges and full audit trail depending on local needs.

Switching & instrumentation highlight new website design.

Pickering Interfaces has launched their newly redesigned company website. The new website is equipped with a streamlined navigation to allow for easy-to-use functionality, allowing users to quickly reference desired information pertaining to the company’s PXI, LXI, PCI and GPIB switching and instrumentation offerings as well as their full range of supporting cables and connectors.


For current and prospective customers looking for greater detail regarding the vast array of switching products offered by Pickering Interfaces for use in electronic test and simulation, the site will provide detailed information as well as informative articles and a link to the company’s support knowledgebase. Users can register to receive quotes and updates on products and solutions – including technical support, sales and repair.

The company constructed the new website to better relate to and meet users’ needs.
"We are aware that people are constantly searching the web for more in-depth knowledge and better detailed information to meet their specified testing requirements. Given the rapidly expanding range of our switching products, we needed a way for users to find the solution they need quickly and simply. With the launch, we strived to provide a website that is rich in technical and visual content, while providing an easy-to-navigate interface. Our goal is to allow the user to feel confident in their selections, and to continually use our site as a point-of-reference for their switching needs,” said Keith Moore, Pickering’s Managing Director.


The new site will archive informative newsletters, articles and press coverage, as well as any upcoming events directed to the electronic test and simulation industry. Visitors will be able to access basic information on Pickering Interfaces’ large range of switching products and solutions, with the ability to easily request additional information via a web form, email or by telephone.

Logic solvers for overpressure protection!

Moore Industries has published a technical white paper exploring the possibilities available to designers of Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) using logic solvers as part of an overpressure protection system. Available for download on their site, the “Logic Solvers for Overpressure Protection” white paper provides examples of straightforward pressure protection system topologies and associated PFDavg (Average Probability of Failure upon Demand) calculations and Safety Integrity Level (SIL) classifications.

A high integrity pressure protection system (HIPPS) provides a barrier between high pressure and low pressure parts of an installation to prevent the release of fluid or gas into or otherwise contaminate the environment. An example of an HIPPS is in an offshore well platform where the subsea oil or gas lines can occasionally present a harmful pressure surge in the pipeline. The HIPPS is designed to shut off the source before the design pressure of the downstream process is exceeded, avoiding a rupture of a line or vessel.


The “Logic Solvers for Overpressure Protection” white paper shows safety engineers the steps needed to determine the right logic solver for their SIS. In many cases, a discrete logic device in the safety loop can serve as the logic solver in a HIPPS application instead of a complex and expensive safety PLC. The white paper shows the methodology and calculations for determining the applicability of logic solvers in SIL 1 and SIL 2 environments. In many cases, discrete logic devices such as the STA Safety Trip Alarm are suitable for use while providing a flexible, low-cost and user-friendly solution. 

First ever Nanopower AMR sensor!

Honeywell has introduced the industry’s first Nanopower Anisotropic Magnetoresistive Sensor ICs that provide the highest level of magnetic sensitivity (as low as 7 Gauss typical) while requiring nanopower (360 nA). When compared to other widely used magnetic technologies, these sensors offer design engineers a number of advantages.

Smaller and more durable and reliable than reed switches, at the same sensitivity and essentially the same cost, the new Nanopower Series Magnetoresistive Sensor ICs are ideal for battery powered applications where previously only reed switches could be used due to very low power requirements and large air gap needs.

Compared with Hall-effect sensors, the new Nanopower Series Magnetoresistive Sensor ICs’ higher sensitivity can allow the ability to sense air gaps two times the distance of Hall-effect sensors. The higher sensitivity improves design flexibility and can offer significant application cost savings by utilizing smaller or lower strength magnets.

The Nanopower Series Magnetoresistive Sensor ICs are designed for use in a wide range of battery-operated applications including water and gas meters, electricity meters, industrial smoke detectors, exercise equipment, security systems, handheld computers, scanners, as well as white goods such as dishwashers, microwaves, washing machines, refrigerators and coffee machines, and medical equipment such as hospital beds, medication dispensing cabinets, infusion pumps, and consumer electronics such as notebook computers, tablets, and cordless speakers.

“Due to the significant price increases for rare earth magnets, design engineers using Hall-effect sensors have been looking for ways to decrease the total cost of design by using less magnetic material, or moving to a more common magnet in their applications,” said Josh Edberg, senior product marketing manager for Honeywell Sensing and Control. “Design engineers are also looking for an alternative to reed switches to reduce size and increase quality and durability, while maximizing battery life. Honeywell’s new Nanopower Series Magnetoresistive Sensor ICs are ideal for these battery powered applications due to their high sensitivity and nanopower.”

The Nanopower Series is available in two magnetic sensitivities:

  • Ultra-high sensitivity SM351LT: 7 Gauss typical operate, 11 Gauss maximum operate, very low current draw (360 nA typical)
  • Very high sensitivity SM353LT: 14 Gauss typical operate, 20 Gauss maximum operate, very low current draw (310 nA typical)

Omnipolarity allows the sensor to be activated by either a north or south pole, eliminating the need for the magnet polarity to be identified, simplifying installation and potentially reducing system cost. The push-pull (CMOS) output does not require external resistors, making it easier and more cost-effective to operate. The non-chopper stabilized design eliminates electrical noise generated by the sensor. The subminiature SOT-23 surface mount package, supplied on tape and reel (3000 units per reel), is smaller than most reed switches, allowing for use in automated pick-and-place component installation and can reduce production costs.

Chilled mirror hygrometer exceptional response to trace moisture!


The S8000 hygrometer’s accuracy at very low temperatures (below -80°C dp) is due to a new measurement system which Michell Instruments calls ‘RRS’. RRS is a sophisticated technique that detects very small changes in moisture condensed on the chilled mirror surface. This guarantees both high sensitivity and fast response when measuring low dew points.

The S8000 is also the smallest and among the lightest chilled mirror instruments on the market with the ability to quickly measure dry dew points while offering an accuracy of ±0.1°C.

The S8000 stands out from other instruments in its class in its ability to measure low dew-points without requiring external cooling. Its compact size means that it is convenient for use either as a bench-top instrument or installed in a 19” rack system. The touch-screen interface is highly intuitive and makes the instrument simple to use.

The ability to precisely measure trace moisture makes the S8000 an ideal reference instrument for moisture calibrations and it is popular in calibration laboratories. Its fast response and high accuracy give it an advantage in verifying the purity of industrial gases and for ensuring the quality of semiconductor gas supply.

The S8000 is available with UKAS (ISO17025) accredited calibration, traceable to NIST.

• Michell products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.





More news on Bloodhound!

First phase of Bloodhound rocket plume imaging tests conducted

We have already reported on the Bloodhound Project in two posts last year, World land speed record attempt, (May 2013) and High speed cameras for high speed attempt! (Dec 2013). We now have news on how the project is progressing with reports on recent tests!
Pic: Siemens NX
The first phase of rocket plume imaging tests for the Bloodhound-SSC project has been conducted by Dr. Adam Baker at Kingston University (GB) in conjunction with Stemmer Imaging in order to determine the optimum wavelength range for imaging. Tests were carried out using cameras sensitive to the infrared, visible and UV regions of the spectrum, and the results can be seen on the Stemmer YouTube video. (right)

Monitoring the output of the rocket plume is expected to play an important role in the optimisation of the rocket and jet engine-powered Bloodhound vehicle as it is developed for its world land speed record attempt. Initial expectations that UV imaging would prove more useful than IR imaging were confirmed during the tests.

The plume from a small hybrid rocket burning PMMA (acrylic) in a stream of oxygen was imaged using a Teledyne DALSA Genie M640 colour camera for the normal visible wavelength range; a JAI CM140GE UV camera for UV wavelengths and an AVT Goldeye P032 IR camera for infrared wavelengths. The cameras were linked to an Adlink EOS embedded vision system equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor. Video was recorded using a custom version of the Vision Experts’ Gecko recording software, which also performs real-time video compression.

Further tests are likely to involve the construction of a small rocket set to allow the testing of multiple rocket nozzles from simulated angles. This will help to determine the best position for integrating the camera into the car.

Monday, May 19, 2014

1000W in ultra-compact 1U package!

Excelsys Technologies has introduced their XSolo family of 1U high, ultra-compact single output power supplies. Available in 2 package types, the high efficiency XSolo delivers a market leading convection cooled 504W in an open-frame U-channel form-factor and up to 1008W in an enclosed fan cooled chassis. Both models carry a 5 year warranty.

The XSolo platform offers system integrators a host of features including; variable fan speed, 12V/300mA isolated bias supply, remote ON/OFF, output voltage control and parallel operation for higher power applications.  Nominal output voltages are 24V and 48V with wide adjustment ranges and user defined set-points. Maximum dimensions are 1U x 238mm x 128mm.

<300uA leakage current. The XSolo is also compliant with the semiconductor manufacturing standard SEMI F47, fully meeting the voltage dips and interruption requirements. The Excelsys XSolo range is compliant with all relevant EMC emission and immunity standards.

Optional features available include I2C digital control and OR-ing Diodes for N+1 redundancy. The XSolo can also be provided with conformal coating and ruggedised for use in harsh environments. With convection cooled power capability of over 500W it is ideal for use in Hi-Rel MIL-COTS applications as well as acoustic sensitive laboratory and medical equipment.

Standard features include; single output: 24V or 48V, adjustable output voltage
ultra high efficiency up to 92%, low profile: 1U height (40mm), convection cooled 500W, fan cooled 1000W (variable fan speed), 12V/300mA bias standby voltage, Remote ON/OFF signal, power good signal, MIL810,  SEMI F47 Compliant, optional I2C PMBus™Communications, optional OR-ing Function, 5 Year Warranty


Other products in the Excelsys range include the UltiMod and Xgen user configurable modular power supplies suitable of applications including, industrial, medical, communications, IT, wafer fabrication, optical inspection, wire bonding, and automated test equipment.

Mobile solutions for efficient plant projects!

The Siemens is bundling its web-based solutions for plant projects in the process industry in the new product family Comos Mobile Solutions. This supports globally networked collaboration across the entire value chain for plant projects. With Comos, all of the participants in a project have access to relevant information via web-based services and mobile devices such as tablets - anytime, anywhere. Easy-to-use, tailor-made solutions for practical applications simplify collaboration and access to Comos data and documents. Even users with no direct access to the system such as managers and controllers who are working while traveling, or even external suppliers can now be quickly and securely integrated into Comos projects. The Comos Mobile Solutions is to be delivered to the market in significantly shorter release cycles so that new features and applications can be provided more quickly.

With Comos Mobile Document Review, the user can conveniently edit Comos docu-ments from any location using an iPad

    The new product family has been expanded by two new solutions: Comos WebPQM and Comos Snapshots. Comos WebPQM (Project Quality Management), is specially designed for highly regulated processing industries, and is now available for the online editing of documents and engineering data. Comos WebPQM functions include: the uploading, checking-in and checking-out of documents, and full revision management directly in the Comos Web user interface. With these functions, global projects can now be more efficiently implemented across the entire value chain. The new, editable web attributes were advantageous in pilot projects: They simplified the exchange of engineering data with suppliers and they supported compliance with regulatory requirements. With Comos Snapshots, queries of even the largest data sets can be quickly displayed. The user defines these customized queries via an easy to use Graphical User Interface (GUI) and the data is available in a few seconds, at the press of a button.

    The Comos Web Server is the basic prerequisite for all Comos Mobile Solutions for exchanging data via the web. This also applies to the already available solutions Comos WebView, Comos Mobile Document Review, and the SharePoint Interface for Microsoft environments. Comos WebView, with a simplified interface for use by popular browsers, allows read access to all Comos documents and data. Via the SharePoint interface, users work in a familiar Microsoft environment and can access Comos documents with no redundancy. The iPad app Comos Mobile Document Review provides comprehensive functions for document management (also available offline), including redlining and the release of revision steps.

    For plant projects, it's important for all project stakeholders to have access to all relevant data anytime and anywhere, whether it is through a simple web connection or specific apps for mobile devices.. Now, with Comos Mobile Solutions, project stakeholders can have easy-to-use and efficient solutions for managing documents in plant projects; they can access different, distributed data sources; and they can make global collaboration easier. The applications for mobile working while traveling can be started directly with data access that is immediately available. The intuitive operation of the interface gives access to the desired information in just a few clicks. The easy access to plant project data is an important driver for project success in the process industries.

    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.