Friday, June 6, 2014

Development, test and maintenance of CAN networks!

CanAnalyser 3 – now even more powerful

The IXXAT canAnalyser is a powerful analysis tool for development, test and maintenance of CAN networks, suitable for both, industrial and automotive systems. HMS Industrial Networks has released canAnalyser Version 3 with improved functionality and user interface.

This tool now supports up to 64 CAN channels simultaneously with the new "Multi-Board Support", and displays information by means of a uniform time base.
For modules using simultaneous access to multiple CAN channels, Multi-Board Support brings additional benefits – with the trace module for example, the canAnalyser becomes an extremely powerful datalogger solution. A particularly impressive feature is the new signal transmit module with which network devices can be stimulated very quickly and easily – on process level without underlying CAN communication having to be known in detail.

Also new in Version 3 is the extended level of portability, with which measurement configurations can be copied to different measurement computers with no loss of function.

Database support provided by the canAnalyser has been extended considerably, now allowing the import of different databases into the configuration. For data interpretation, the databases are merged into one overall network database by the canAnalyser.

The newly added statistics scripts, for analysis of frequency distributions, repeat times, response/run-times for example, are in the source code (C#) and can be adapted to user-specific requirements very quickly.

Moreover, new examples for the integrated programming interface and canAnalyser Scripting Host means it is now even easier to adapt the canAnalyser to different applications.

Improved signal interpretation means quicker error detection
The completely revised signal interpretation enables statistical information to be analysed at a glance together with process parameters – such as in the new graphics/signal module. This is particularly helpful when errors occur or service is required because the grouping of specific process parameters and network quality indicators (such as fault telegrams per time unit or bus load) means problems can be identified quickly.

Improved user interface
Other news include the new, advanced user interface with an array of different functions for laying out analysis windows perfectly on the screen, and switchover between different user configurations using a hotkey.

Intuitive window synchronisation, in which all information windows jump to the same message with a double click, provides the user a quick overview of the events at a defined point in time.

Discounted price until end of July
canAnalyser 3 is available now – HMS is offering canAnalyser 3 (standard version) with 30% off for orders placed by 31/7/2014.

Customers already using canAnalyser Standard/Lite Version 2.5 or higher receive a 30% discount off the regular update/upgrade price for the canAnalyser 3 (standard version) before 31/7/2014.

Letterbox size TFT display modules!

andersDX is now offering letterbox-format colour TFT screens as replacements for character LCD modules and for space constrained applications where standard format colour TFT can’t be used.

They have launched a new semi-custom service based on standard 4.3” and 2.8” colour TFT displays which can be cut to a specified height to suit the space available. The semi-custom service also includes adding touch control and other features, but the initial NRE (non-recurring engineering) cost is less than one-tenth the normal upfront charge.

Commenting, Paul Hooper, Sales Manager of andersDX said, “Customers everywhere are keen to eliminate drab LCD character modules from their systems and replace them with colour graphic displays, often including touch control. However, TFT displays are made in standard formats and until now, the cost of manufacturing a custom size has been uneconomic for most industrial applications. Using a new manufacturing process, andersDX is now able to cut standard small format TFT displays to a specified height, opening up a whole new world of potential applications. A good example is rack mounted equipment. A standard TFT screen is too high to fit into a 1U rack case.”

andersDX is initially offering its new semi-custom service on 4.3” and 2.8” colour graphics TFT displays which are 10.5 and 5 cm wide respectively. Customers can have these displays cut to their specified height, and add touch control, FPCs and a backlight to their specification. The base display units are 480 x 272 (4.3”) and 240 x 320 (2.8”) resolution respectively for the full size displays.

Customisation is carried out at an ISO9001 accredited site, with the appropriate clean room facilities. The entire process, including resizing and the addition of a backlight and touch interface, are carried out at a single site. The NRE costs are a fraction of those associated with a full custom display and the minimum economic order is low.

Hooper continued, “It has been shown again and again that the user interface has a huge impact on the user’s perception of their equipment, and is a real differentiator in the market. The andersDX semi-custom service allows customers to transform the user interface, adding a colour graphics display of exactly the same size as the existing letterbox character module. It also gives the opportunity to introduce touch control and other enhancements.”

Learn about mag meters!

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 wide range of topics related to this flow measuring principle in three modules.

Krohne Academy On-line
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, it describes and explains measuring technology in an industry comprehensive way that is not related to specific manufacturers. Registration is free, interested parties can find the tool on the website!
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 material selection and special types of electromagnetic flowmeters, sizing, 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, with a French version to follow.

• Krohne products are marketed in Ireland by DWN Instrumentation.


Portable safe electric vehicle charging! #Transport

Not really instrumentation or process but we though it was a good idea.

EVconnectors has introduced an innovative portable charging lead featuring an advanced array of features ensuring safe and efficient e-charging. With charging rates from 6A to 16A and a full range of charging lead and wall plug options the EVSE is suitable for all vehicles and use across Europe.

The new Portable EVSE provides electric vehicle users with end-to-end safe e-charging. Starting with a “thermal” wall plug which prevents overheating and the risk of fire by reducing charge current under high load condition the EVSE is also fitted as standard with an RCD (residual current device), a PCP (protective cover presence) and PCM (protective cover monitor) to prevent electric shock and will shut down if it detects a dangerous voltage in the
protective conductor.

The EVSE features in-line thermal and power failure monitoring, a graphic touch panel with an LED display of charging status and 2 buttons to control ON, OFF/TEST and Programme Mode which allows manual control of maximum charging current. Waterproof to IP 55 the EVSE will operate over the temperature range -30 °C to +50 °C. A parameterization interface and integrated vehicle communication module (PWM) are also included as standard.

The EVconnectors EVSE safe e-charging system is available with Type 1 and Type 2 connectors and meets all relevant specifications including IEC 61 851-1:2001, IEC 62 196–1:2003, IEC 62 335 and ISO 6722. Customisation of the EVSE and carry case is available for OEM and Trade purchases.

Making industrial internet real!

GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt is to Keynote GE Intelligent Platforms 2014 User Summit adressing the topic "Making the Industrial Internet Real." The summit is scheduled for 27-30 October 2014 in Orlando (FL, USA)
Jeff Immelt

This will be a discussion on the Industrial Internet and how data and analytics are transforming global business performance through Improved Asset and Operational Optimization.

The GE Intelligent Platforms User Summit is a world-class event where attendees will gain insight into how Industrial Internet-enabled technologies transform the way companies do business. Participents will see the latest technologies at work. They will exchange ideas with peers, and hear from the industry's most innovative leaders on what the Industrial Internet means for businesses today.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Process analytical technology software range extended!

Siemens is extending its software range for Process Analytical Technology (PAT) with Simatic Sipat version 4.1. This scalable and modular software solution helps companies to monitor and control the quality of their products online during manufacturing. Version 4.1 features a new runtime user interface, further increased stability and robustness and expanded analysis techniques. Its main applications are in the pharmaceutical, fine chemicals and food and beverage industries.

Simatic Sipat is a scalable and modular software solution that enables companies to extend their quality assurance activities on a step-by-step basis within the scope of the PAT initiative. With PAT, product development and production process can be monitored, controlled and optimized by measuring the critical to quality attributes (CQA) of raw materials, process materials and procedures. This continuous monitoring of product quality can prevent deviations from specifications and therefore reduce production costs. In addition, it allows for Real Time Release Testing, so final quality inspections can be reduced or completely eliminated.

The latest version of Sipat, V4.1, has a more intuitive, powerful and flexible user interface. Thanks to the new dashboard function, users can now obtain a quick overview of all running PAT methods and key parameters (e.g. Critical to Quality Attributes such as dissolution, blend uniformity etc.). The embedding of the user interface to Simatic PCS 7 and Simatic WinCC also allows the user to visualize and control all PAT methods from the existing process control system or SCADA system.

Simatic Sipat 4.1 ensures even greater stability and robustness so that the system remains available as much as possible even in the event of plant network faults or temporary process instrument failure. After reconnection of the analytical instruments to the network, Sipat recovers all buffered data without requiring any manual user intervention. New functions include an optimized OPC data access interface for data capture and updated device analyzer drivers. Furthermore, the new OPC automation service enables methods to be controlled in a much more integrated fashion with the automation platform. The innovations implemented in version 4.1 also include embedded real-time statistical evaluations and context-dependent data analysis, meaning that, for example, any deviations from the setpoints for biochemical reactions can be detected at an early stage and countermeasures initiated where needed.

Tops in Ireland and Britain!

Anglia Components has been named Distributor of the Year for Britain and Ireland by Omron Electronic Components Europe, based on its outstanding sales performance. Anglia was presented with a special award by Omron last year for exceptional performance over a ten year relationship.

LtoR: Thomas Suhling, European Distribution Manager, Omron Components Business, Europe (OCB-EU); Leon Mordang, COO, OCB-EU; Chris O’Neill, Senior Sales Manager, North Europe, OCB-EU; Kerry Higham, Marketing Manager PEMCO & Lighting, Anglia; Graham Bridger, Marketing Director, Anglia
Commenting, Leon Mordang, COO of OCB-EU said, “This award is based on Anglia’s extraordinary sales performance, which fully reflects the commitment and hard work of the whole team. Anglia demonstrates the difference that a strong national distributor can make. They have close relationships with their customers and a clear design-in focus backed by effective logistics and an in depth, UK held stock profile. We congratulate Graham Bridger and his team on their success.”

Graham Bridger, Marketing Director, Anglia responded, “Our relationship with Omron is close and strong at all levels, from management to field sales. Both companies have a strong customer-focussed culture and are prepared to innovate to deliver the best possible service. Working in partnership, we are regularly able to exceed customers’ expectations and succeed together. We are proud to receive this second award from Omron."

Belgian cheesmaker wins “Best Practice in Process” award!

Cheesemaker fabrelac from Belgium has won this years’ ITM award “Best Practice in Process” for an automation project to continuously monitor and control the product composition.

Variations in the composition are a constant challenge for anyone working with natural products such as milk, which has large fluctuations in the levels of fats and proteins. To gain an advanced form of process control, fabrelac was looking for an inline and continuous measuring solution to monitor and control the product composition.

Günter Pinkowski, Vice President Marketing KROHNE, and Jos Peters, Managing director fabrelac, with the ITM award “Best Practice in Process”
The Bree-based cheesemaker contacted Krohne, and after a pilot project to monitor the quality of the raw product with OPTIQUAD-M 4050 W proved successful, fabrelac decided to equip production streams with the inline analysis system: in total, fabrelac now uses 10 OPTIQUAD-M systems to monitor and control the product composition and one OPTIQUAD-WW 4050 W to measure the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) in the waste water. fabrelac decided to lease the systems from KROHNE, which is a special financing option available for OPTIQUAD systems.

The ITM jury appreciated the innovative automation approach of fabrelac, not only because of the advanced form of process control and the results achieved, but also because the challenge was on both sides: to make this application possible, fabrelac and KROHNE worked closely together to identify the relevant parameters for each application and make them available within the process control system. By using the inline analyzers, the company manages to maintain a high product quality and constant composition, documented through all process stages, while increasing automation level.

OPTIQUAD-M 4050 W is a spectroscopic analysis system for the continuous in line measurement of protein, fat, lactose and total solids in the production of milk-based products including cheese. It uses up to 12 wavelengths (UV/VIS/NIR/IR - from 200 to 4000 nm) and combines up to four optical principles (transmission, scattering, fluorescence and refraction). The underlying calibration is calculated automatically from reference data specific to the application.

Based on the same functional principle, OPTIQUAD-WW 4050 W is a spectroscopic analysis system for the continuous in line measurement of chemical oxygen demand (COD) in the wastewater flow of dairies or cheese factories.

• Krohne products are marketed in Ireland by DWN Instrumentation.


Power supply redundancy modules!

BEC Distribution has announced the availability of New-Technology DIN-Rail Power Supply Redundancy Modules from PULS.

In critical applications where failure of the 24V power supply is not tolerable, redundancy - where two or more supplies are paralleled - is the preferred fail-safe solution. In many conventional systems, diodes at the output of each supply ensure decoupling and isolation but suffer the problem of high inherent loss. At 20A load the loss per diode is around 10W in turn producing significant heat. 

PULS has implemented a completely new MOSFET technology design in its YR-series of redundancy modules for load currents of 20-80A and input voltages from 12-60V. MOSFETs undertake the task of decoupling and significantly reduce the losses found in units using a conventional output diode design.

When power supplies need to be operated in parallel, the load current must be distributed evenly over the individual power supplies to ensure thermal equilibrium and high reliability. PULS power supplies now have a selectable “parallel use” mode for this application to provide automatic current distribution between the units. With this feature current distribution is loss-free and therefore does not affect the redundancy concept.


The PULS YR Series is fully protected against short circuit or even reverse polarity, is covered by a portfolio of international standards, hot swapping capability and is housed in a compact and rugged housing to conserve space on the DIN Rail.

Does your external power supply meet the requirements of Eco Design directive, 2009/125/EC?

Check it online!

Ideal Power offer visitors to their website an easy-to-use ErP II average efficiency calculator tool for external power supplies ensuring the correct selection of ErP II Stage 2 compliant products.

An example of the calculator in use.
Available at the calculator provides confirmation of the target efficiency rating at a glance to engineers, designers and purchasing professionals allowing them to ensure that their application or product conforms to the ErP II requirements. By simply inputting an output voltage and wattage the calculator will use the official formula set by the 278/2009 ErP II compliance in the 2005/32/EC Directive, to provide the average efficiency rate required.

"The second stage of legislation intended to reduce power consumption for electronic equipment has now come into force and there have been numerous changes to the EU’s directives and regulations concerning the efficiency of electronic devices in recent years, particularly concerning standby power.” Comments Craig Eaton, Marketing and Design Manager of Ideal Power. “The Eco Design directive, 2009/125/EC, is the all-embracing directive intended to improve the energy efficiency of all energy related products (ErP). It’s a revision of the directive formerly known as the energy using products (EuP) directive, 2005/32/EC. The goal of this directive is to reduce the energy consumed by ErP by 20%, by 2020. High efficiency external power supplies can help achieve this.”

As part of the ErP directive, EC 278/2009 is the regulation that specifically concerns an external power supply connected to electrical or electronic equipment in a household or office. This regulation restricts an external power supply’s maximum no-load power consumption and average active efficiency of the power supply.

Part of the reason for introducing the requirements in stages is to allow manufacturers time to redesign their products to meet the new constraints. Ideal Power has done exactly that for its range of external power supplies, including the 25HK-AB, 25HK-AJ and 25HK-U series, now available on short lead-times from the company.

Going forward external power supplies must comply with the more stringent Stage II of the ErP directive, under regulation EC 278/2009, in order to qualify for a CE mark. When buying external power supplies, they should come with a statement of compliance for CE marking.


Ideal Power’s Support Engineering Team are available to advise customers about EC 1275/2008 (which relates to the power consumed by electrical or electronic household or office equipment) or EC 617/2013 (which specifically relates to computers and computer servers and welcome all requests to discuss power conversion and supply requirements.

Loadcell manufacturer's global website launched!

A new, comprehensive and informative website for engineers requiring details on load cells and associated instrumentation has been launched by LCM Systems. As well as including information on its comprehensive range of products, the new website is set to become a valuable resource for design engineers and OEMs in the wide range of industries where load cells and associated products are used.

The website has been optimised to be extremely user-friendly. Navigation is now intuitive and users can quickly and easily find information on their specific industry solutions. Ever mindful of the increased use of tablets and mobile phones for surfing the internet ‘on the move’, the site is also completely scaleable and can be viewed comfortably on all devices.

“The prime objective in re-designing our website was to make it as user-friendly as possible. We want our existing and prospective customers to find the information they need quickly and easily.” explains Helen Cornish, Sales & Marketing Manager at LCM Systems. “There will be further improvements including an e-commerce section where customers can buy products ex-stock. More information on this will be available soon.”

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fittings inventory capabilities in Canada expanded

New facility and positive customer response spur inventory growth in hydraulic and instrumentation product lines.

Brennan Industries is more than doubling its inventory in Canada at its distribution facility, located in Mississauga, Ontario (CDN).

“We’re in the process of bulking up our product inventory in Mississauga,” said Bill Jarrell, vice president of marketing and operations at Brennan Industries. “We’ve increased our stock in order to meet our growing Canadian customers’ needs.”

Brennan is primarily increasing its inventory of hydraulic and instrumentation product lines. The hydraulic line includes tube fittings, adapters, flanges and clamps. The instrumentation line includes valves and tube fittings.

Brennan opened its Canadian distribution center in 2009 to provide customers in Canada with time and cost savings since shipments would no longer need time to clear customs or be subject to customhouse brokerage fees. The distribution center was moved to 3397 American Drive in Mississauga, Ontario in early 2013.

Energy efficiency for a big cheese!

La Compagnie des Fromages counts on innovation with Emerson technologies

La Compagnie des Fromages is part of the Bongrain Group, the world's fifth-largest milk-processing company and an employer of 18,870 people. The company is pursuing a policy to reduce its energy usage and CO2 emissions by investing in a facility designed by Cofely Axima, a leader in industrial refrigeration and a subsidiary of GDF Suez. This solution stands out for its use of a process that heats and cools within a single cycle and its use of key components supplied by the Emerson Group – a Vilter single-screw compressor from Emerson Climate Technologies and a Leroy-Somer variable-speed drive from Emerson Industrial Automation.
Vilter single-screw compressor driven by a Dyneo® PLSRPM permanent-magnet synchronous motor
"Because we serve as a consultant to our customers, we conducted an energy audit with la Compagnie des Fromages' plant in the town of Vire," says Jean-Yves Druillennec, Sustainable Development Manager for Cofely Axima–GDF Suez. The audit, which was based on a series of measurements, provided a snapshot of the Vire plant's consumption levels and suggested replacing its four piston compressors, which provided only cooling, by a thermorefrigerating pump.

A thermorefrigerating pump is a thermodynamic heat-transfer system that can cool and heat at the same time. The refrigeration system makes it possible to provide cooling capacity to the evaporator and heating capacity to the condenser. When 1000 kW of chilled water is produced at Vire, 1300 kW of energy is recovered at the same time and combined with just 100 kW of electricity to heat water to +62°C. All the energy produced and used is fully recovered. A 150 m³ buffer storage unit allows energy to be used to produce hot water as needed by the process (particularly cleaning operations). With the old system, this water was heated by gas, which has a much higher carbon footprint. In addition, the heat produced was rejected to the atmosphere by a cooling tower instead of being recovered and reused. The new system saves 9000 m3 of water a year and has reduced use of the cooling tower, which, with its plumes of steam, always reflects negatively with local residents.

The Vilter single-screw compressor’s technology
At the heart of the system are a 390 kW motor and a variable-speed drive. Both are made by Leroy-Somer and power a Vilter single-screw compressor with 1000 kW of cooling capacity. The refrigerant circulated in the system is ammonia (NH3), a natural heat-transfer medium commonly used cases such as the present one. Cooling and heating are simultaneously produced for one-third of the time. To raise the water temperature from 15 to 58°C (with a combined COP of 7.67), the ammonia, after having removed heat from the cold side to produce chilled water, is compressed to achieve the right pressure and temperature. As this temperature is much higher than the usual temperature for a conventional cooling system, the ammonia condenses at 59°C. The water is heated by transferring the heat from the ammonia via the condenser and other heat exchangers located at various points in the system for heat-optimisation purposes.

During the remaining one-third of the time, chilled water is produced conventionally with a COP of 5.75. Ultimately, the system will recover all the heat extracted during the production of chilled water.

An 18-month return on investment
Chilled water at 1 to 7°C and 200 m3 of hot water at 60°C are produced daily at the Vire plant. To do this, the old system consumed an average of 820 kW of energy per tonne of production per year. With the new system, this level is now only 560 kW. "As a result, the payback period is particularly short, even when you factor in the aid, which amounts to less than 20% of the funding," says Patrick Marie, Maintenance Manager of la Compagnie des Fromages. "The process for producing heat with less grid electricity is not the only source of energy savings," says Jean-Yves Druillennec. "The use of much more energy-efficient components is the other source."

Dyneo® drive systems: high efficiency and high reliability
The Dyneo® LSRPM is a range of permanent-magnet synchronous motors incorporating technology patented by Leroy-Somer. The innovative design of the magnet rotor significantly increases efficiency to levels approaching 98%.

"It is 7% more energy efficient than high-efficiency induction motors, which is significantly beneficial in terms of profitability, especially considering that electricity costs are expected to rise by 25% in the next five years. What sets this motor apart is that it is ideal for speed control. We noticed that some induction motors were under excessive load under non-steady-state conditions. We don't have this problem with Leroy-Somer's motors. They stay reliable whatever the load applied to them. Had we used induction motors, they would have had to be oversized."

The low losses of the magnet-rotor technology considerably reduce heating of the bearings. As a result, they need to be lubricated much less often and the life of the motor is increased. "We've implemented more than 30 applications in four years without experiencing the slightest problem," adds Jean-Yves Druillennec.

Vilter technology for greater reliability and energy efficiency
Vilter is a brand of Emerson Climate Technologies, which employs more than 16,000 people worldwide. Instead of standard twin-screw compressors, the company uses a highly distinctive process – single-screw compressors. Compression is accomplished by a single screw and two star-shaped gaterotors. The compressor is designed to balance the single screw both radially and axially. This balance ensures that very low loads are placed on the bearings, thus achieving a high level of reliability with considerably reduced vibration and noise levels. This design allows Vilter to offer its exclusive 5/15 warranty (5 years for the compressor and 15 years for the bearings).

The key to the single-screw compressor’s high energy efficiency is Vilter’s exclusive Parallex™ slide system, which allows the compressor to run at optimum efficiency throughout its capacity range. The capacity and volume slides (with an expanded volume ratio of 1.2 to 7.0) move independently of each other under all operating conditions, eliminating over- or undercompression and saving motor horsepower. "What makes these compressors stand out is their ability to independently adjust their capacity and volume ratio. That makes a real difference under partial load conditions. We have always found Vilter compressors to be clearly more energy efficient than the standard twin-screw technology. Depending on the application, they can be as much as 10% more efficient," says Jean-Yves Druillennec.

It's the total cost that counts
"The proof of the pudding is in the eating"
Coeur de Lion camembert, one of la Compagnie
des Fromages' best-known brands
Cofely Axima was in charge of managing every aspect of the project, from engineering and installation, to control and supervision (PLC control, instant performance monitoring and traceability of all parameters). Only the electrical wiring was contracted out. La Compagnie des Fromages' process was down for only 3 hours, during the commissioning phase. Cofely Axima is installing many systems in countries such as Thailand, Kuwait and Italy. "We are seeing a downward pressure on prices. Our clients are interested only in solutions that pay for themselves in less than two years. It is important to be able to make promises that you are sure you can keep. Overall, Emerson's solutions are more efficient and reliable and much more flexible for non-steady-state conditions. The entire system makes it possible to make a real difference on the total cost," says Jean-Yves Druillennec.

Heavy-duty position switches for heavy-duty applications

Heavy rocking lever, robust housing!

It is immediately obvious that .steute's  ES/EM 91 DL position switch was developed especially for heavy duty applications, for example in the mining and recycling industries.

Here the ES/EM 91 DL has to function reliably and in the long term, even in very adverse conditions – e.g. changing temperatures, dusty and dirty surroundings, as well as corrosive atmospheres. It is designed to perform more than a million switching cycles.

The heavy-duty position switch can withstand temperatures of -40 to +85 °C. Its high protection class (IP 66/ IP 67) means that it can also be used in wet and outdoor areas. The switching device is also incredibly robust, as comprehensive mechanical wear and tear tests in the steute laboratories can testify.

Users can choose from different variants with four or six contacts. The steute range of heavy-duty switchgear includes not only the ES 91 series with slow action, but also the EM 91 series with snap action. Belt alignment switch and emergency pull wire switch variants are also available.

High growth smart home sensors...


USI, Universal Scientific (Shanghai) Industrial Co. Ltd, a leading global expert in the design and manufacturing of wireless module solutions, has joined forces with GreenPeak Technologies, the industry leading Smart Home low-power radio communication semi-conductor company, to develop a high performance and low cost ZigBee module for Smart Home sensor devices.

The new USI ZigBee module enables a swift implementation with minimal integration efforts for a quick time to market. The module allows Smart Home device developers and manufacturers to quickly and economically upgrade their sensor devices by adding ZigBee technology.

The USI ZigBee module is a pre-qualified building block that integrates hardware with the ZigBee networking technology necessary to transform thermostats, motion sensors, lighting, smart plugs and other sentrollers into interactive Smart Home ZigBee devices. The ready-to-go module includes both hardware and software tools required for a quick time to market, is FCC certified, and includes guidelines and tools to ensure efficient product certification. It is available as a bare module with small form factor, allowing compact integration in existing designs and supports interfacing directly to a sensing component or a host processor.

“Adding a ZigBee module to our portfolio will help device developers who do not have ZigBee expertise in house to speed time to market” says Albert Liu of USI’s Wireless Product Business Unit. “We expect ZigBee will grow quickly in the Smart Home application market. By offering a production-ready and pre-certified ZigBee module, we can significantly help reduce the cost, complexity and time of designing ZigBee connected devices. We have chosen the GreenPeak silicon because it is the best in class ZigBee solution available today and because we know GreenPeak as a reliable business partner.”

According to Cees Links, CEO of GreenPeak: “This module approach offers the optimal combination of cost-efficiency, ease of integration and performance. Device manufacturers are keen to bring ZigBee connectivity and interactivity to their sensor and actuator products. They can use the module for prototyping, for a ZigBee product launch, or for test marketing purposes. As ZigBee continues to gain market momentum in the Smart home and the IoT, the module will allow further adaption for various applications and consumer electronic products that have previously been restricted by volumes. We are proud to have our chip in the USI modules and excited to work with USI, the world’s largest WiFi module manufacturer today, with an unmatched track record in wireless module manufacturing.”

Ruggedized 400W compact PCI power supply!

A Compact PCI power supply ruggedized for industrial applications has been announced by Gresham Power Electronics.

The new 7602 model is a 6U AC/DC cPCI PSU which is conformally coated in accordance with IPC-CC-830 and has been redesigned to meet the requirements of MIL-STD-461F surge test per MIL-STD-1399, withstand ESD to 8KV, has very low output ripple and noise figures, and high efficiency of >80% at 115VAC and full load.

Supplied with nominal outputs of +5, +3.3 and +/-12VDC the Gresham Power 7602 cPCI power supply has been designed to be able to be factory modified to a wide range of output voltage configurations on all four outputs or it could be factory set to be a single output version of 12 to 48VDC rated at 600W.

Jake Moir, Managing Director of Gresham Power Electronics, comments; “Our 6U CompactPCI power supply range continues to offer leading-edge performance and is under continuous development to provide the power solutions our customers require. Our new ruggedized version for defence and harsh industrial applications extends the reach of our cPCI product range and complements our very competitively priced and market-leading 650 watt compact PCI power supply.”

The Gresham Power 7602 cPCI power supply is fully compliant with the PICMG® 2.11 power interface specification, incorporates the standard Positronic 47-pin connector and offers optional hot-swap, N+1 redundant connection and active load current share.

The 7602 power supply features a 90–264VAC universal AC input voltage with active power factor correction, standard output voltages are 5V/50A, +3.3V/60A, +12V/7.5A and -12V/4A and custom variants are possible. All models can have an optional passive I2C bus, which can provide serial number, model number, revision number, and/or user defined data.

The Gresham 7602 Compact PCI power supply features advanced status and control functions including remote inhibit, output fail alarm, over temperature warning, output remote sense, optional single wire current share and front panel LEDs indicate outputs OK and any fault condition.

The 7602 is RoHS compliant has an operating temperature range is -40ºC to +65ºC full load with 250LFM of airflow and MTBF is calculated as >250,000 hours minimum per RIAC-HDBK-217

Gresham Power CompactPCI and MicroTCA power supply products are suitable for instrumentation and measuring systems, broadcast systems, advanced multi-media applications and industrial control and communications systems.

Transmitters protected against high-pressure vapour streams!

LABOM now offer their pressure transmitter series PASCAL Ci4 and PASCAL CV with an optional ingress protection class of IP69K according to the DIN 40050-9 standard. This means the devices not only offer the highest possible degree of protection against the ingress of dust, but they are also protected against hot water with high pressure. The pressure transmitters qualify for use in all fields requiring high-pressure cleaning, from machine building and plant engineering to the chemical, petrochemical, and process industries in general.

The range of possible applications encompasses construction vehicles as well as food and pharmaceutical production facilities. They are compliant with ingress protection class IP69K also meet the requirements of protection classes IP65 (protection against water jets from any angle), IP66 (protection against powerful water jets), and IP67 (protection against temporary immersion in water).

The pressure transmitters are equipped with an air filter for equalising atmospheric pressure inside the housing and with an integrated water-repellent (hydrophobic) PTFE membrane. Thanks to the circumferential nature of the air slit it is practically impossible for the air supply to become completely clogged by dirt. The air filter is an M12 threaded element in a rugged stainless-steel design and can be integrated into existing PASCAL CV pressure transmitters without any need for special tools.

Chinese subsidiary opened!

New congatec office is located in the world's business centre Shanghai 

Congatec AG is "continuing its path of globalisation" by opening a subsidiary in China.

"We want to provide best customer service in China and realize how important it is to have a local presence to understand our partner and customer needs as they have high expectations in terms of quality and support. We believe high quality, best customer service and technical support as well as developing a strong congatec brand are the keys to growth," states Gerhard Edi, CEO, congatec AG.

Shanghai! Location of new office!
The new office is located in Shanghai, which is the largest city, a global business centre, and a transport hub in mainland China. It gathers the worldwide top 500 companies with huge resources and opportunities. From this great Shanghai location, congatec is able to provide quick customer service and technical support to its Chinese partners and customers.

China is one of the fastest growing markets for Computer-On-Modules. By opening a subsidiary in China, congatec is making a big stride with an eye towards the future. Better adaptation to local Asian traditions is one of the key reasons behind this corporate decision.

Until now, congatec has built up sales partner networks throughout Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu. For congatec, these are not just sales partners but also the company's pioneers in the Chinese markets. The subsidiary will work closely with these partners to provide innovative embedded solutions with a competitive advantage for customers. congatec is confident that it will establish itself as a leading Computer-On-Module provider in China as the company believes in the motto "Made with Quality - Made for Success".

Analysis symposium draws more than 300 attendees and 56 exhibitors!

Presentations on the latest technical findings, sharing best practices, providing training, and celebrating achievement and innovation.
More than 300 attendees gathered and 56 companies exhibited at the International Society of Automation’s (ISA) 59th Analysis Division Symposium, which was held 1-4 May 2014  in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (USA).


The 2014 GTFK award winners 

Paul Little of JP3 Measurement
Jie Zhu of JP3 Measurement
Phil Harris of HariTec
Airat Amerov and
Mike Fuller of AMTEK Process Instruments
John Orendorff and
John Howse of LyondellBasell Company
Knut Sandven of GasSecure AS


In a separate award category, the Cascade 5200 Industrial Gas Analyzer by Cascade Technologies was recognized as the Innovative Product of the Year.
Each year, this long-running symposium, sponsored by the ISA Analysis Division, brings together process and analytical professionals and industry experts and vendors from across the world in a dynamic and interactive environment to improve technical knowledge, discuss emerging trends and developments, review best practices and innovative processes, and applaud the contributions of analysis professionals.

This year, 12 technical sessions and 35 technical papers covered leading-edge topics in sampling, chromatography, spectroscopy, chemiluminescence and other analytical techniques. The conference program also included: a banquet keynote presentation by Rod Spitler of Dow Chemical; a Technology Forum and Exhibition showcasing the latest products and services; three training courses led by leading subject matter experts; various committee meetings; award presentations; a banquet; and numerous networking receptions and social activities.

During the awards ceremony, ISA’s Analysis Division presented eight Gilmer Thomason Fowler Konrad (GTFK) awards. The GTFK awards program, established in 1976 as a memorial to four of ISA’s past directors (Fred Gilmer, Edward Thomason, Lewis Fowler and Ken Konrad), recognises the authors of the best technical papers in the analysis field.

Symposium proceedings to be available soon
A compilation of technical papers presented at ISA’s 59th Annual Analysis Division Symposium will soon be available for order in CD-ROM format on the ISA website.

Plan early for next year’s event
Be sure to watch for details on ISA’s 60th Annual Analysis Division Symposium, which will be held 26 April-15 May 2015 in Galveston, Texas. A Call for Papers announcement on the event will be distributed soon.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

On-site hygienic servo solution!

Kollmorgen develops servo solutions for greater design freedom!

Kollmorgen has developed a scalable solution for motor tasks in the packaging, food processing and pharmaceutical industries with AKMH stainless steel motors . The motors promote an open machine design thanks to their innovative construction. Therefore, because a covering is not required, cleaning is much faster. Also, no bacteria pockets can build up on the motor itself which then reduces the risk of product contamination and possible recalls.
Saves space and time: Decentralized AKD-N servo drives and AKMH
stainless steel servomotors with single connection technology.
The AKMH range is constructed within the IP69K protection class for standard cleaning and also cleaning performed with steam jets. The use of stainless steel 1,4404 makes the servomotor corrosion-resistant − even against aggressive cleaning agents.The compact unit in sizes two to six are therefore used specifically in machines with direct product contact and aseptic processes. The AKMH stainless steel motor effectively guides the heat loss away and thus lowers the derating. Consequently the range, which is FDA-certified and has been developed in accordance with EHEDG guidelines, delivers higher continuous torque with smaller volumes. The clean power packages are connected consistently via a single cable including feedback with the SFD3 digital resolver or DSL Hiperface. One instead of two: By halving the installation complexity, cleaning is much easier and the risk of leakages is reduced.

The role of corresponding servo drives for use in hygienically demanding food and packaging industries is diminishing, and Kollmorgen supports this trend with its decentralised servo amplifiers from the AKD-N range. When placed in the direct vicinity of motors, the robust IP67 device reduce the control cabinet volume and wiring effort by more than 80%, depending on the application. Another effect: Because less heat is lost in the control cabinet, less air conditioning is required. The improved thermal properties of solutions that are spaced apart side by side prevent further derating and consequently, in comparison with solutions which are directly combined with each other, deliver 100% power. Because the AKD-N can be combined with any servomotoror rotary or linear direct drives, in comparison with integrated solutions, the design possibilities are endless.

Safety, cybersecurity, and alarm training in North America.

ISA training has had a reputation, perhaps undeserved, for being out of date and maybe a bit staid or old-fashioned. However the Society does manage to produce excellent and up-to-the-minute courses. One such area is in that of security and safety. A recent announcement highlights this sector and will help to reach more of the audience for training in this nowadays very necessary of automation..

aeSolutions has signed an agreement to market and deliver the International Society of Automation’s (ISA) series of safety, cybersecurity, and alarm management courses. The agreement allows aeSolutions to offer the following ISA courses throughout North America:
Several of these courses are part of ISA’s Safety and Cybersecurity Certificate Programs
(ISA84/IEC61511 Safety Instrumented Systems and ISA99/IEC 62443 Cybersecurity) which allow participants to obtain certificates to demonstrate competency in the ISA/IEC standards and associated engineering techniques and procedures.

The ISA approved instructors for the training courses include aeSolutions’ safety, cybersecurity and alarm management experts Mike Scott, John Cusimano, and John Bogdan. The first courses (EC50 and IC32) are scheduled for the week of July 7th in Anchorage, AK. A full schedule of classes is available on the AESolutions website.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with ISA on their Safety, Cybersecurity, and Alarm Management training and certificate programs.” said Brian Merriman, President & CEO, aeSolutions. “This agreement allows us to offer our customers industry-recognized training plus an independent certificate program using our own expert instructors.”

Patrick Gouhin, CEO & Executive Director, ISA, notes, “Working with aeSolutions provides ISA a valuable opportunity to expand our reach using aeSolutions’ established presence, while also securing the talent of aeSolutions experts who have served ISA through their leadership in ISA18, ISA84, and ISA99 standards committees and their involvement in developing and instructing several of the ISA training courses included in this agreement."

Efficient cooling solutions lower PUE!

Utilising the latest in energy efficient cooling technonology from Rittal has dramatically lowered PUE (Power usage effectiveness) at Node4’s latest datacentre at Northampton (GB).

Space for future growth, using the latetst in energy efficient technology, is key to the long term strategy for the site. Working closely with Rittal, Node4 were able to maximise IT floor space using CoolWall technlogy, Cold Aisle Containment and Rittal’s TS IT racks, along with managed Power Distribution Units.

CoolWall was selected over traditional CRAC based cooling as the larger coils increased capacity of cooling whilst driving down running costs at elevated temperatu-res.

Designed to dramatically reduce PUE and improve the overall efficiency of the data centre, the system offered a further benefit of separate fans for ease of maintenance..

Rik Williams of Node4 said “Working in partnership with Rittal we were able to utilise their technical expertise and speed of supply to deliver the most cost effective solution”.

Mantis preys with miniature strain gauge!

The ICA2 load cell amplifier, from Mantracourt, is being used within the design of the Mantis, a hexapod robot, designed and manufactured by Micromagic Systems Robotics Ltd.

The Mantis!
The Mantis is an all-terrain machine that stands 2.8 metres high, weighs nearly 2 tonnes and can be manually piloted or remote wifi controlled.

“Working closely with Micromagic Systems Robotics Ltd, our UK technical partner Applied Measurements, supplied and designed customised load cells for this project,” said Louise Stubbs, Marketing Co-ordinator at Mantracourt. “These are especially robust, compact and submersible, as the Mantis is required to travel over most types of terrain and even wade through water. Using our in-line Mantracourt ICA amplifiers in waterproof enclosures, the load cell outputs are monitored via a 0-5Vdc signal to the control unit.“

Mantracourt’s ICA range of Miniature Strain Gauge Signal Conditioners offers a high performance strain gauge amplifier in miniature OEM format. The range has been designed specifically for fitting inside load cells, and converts load cell to 4-20 mA and 0-10 V output.

“The Mantracourt ICA family of load cell amplifiers is recognized for its high stability and fast response,” said Darren Skipp, Commercial Director at Applied Measurements. "This level of performance was essential for the safe operation of the Mantis. The Mantis is a great demonstration of how load cell technology has an important role to play in robotics and automation.”

Mantracourt’s miniature Strain Gauge Signal Conditioner (right> is available in 6 versions, ICA1H, 2H, 3H, 4H & 6H with high performance and ICA5S with industrial stability. The ICAH range offers very low drift over wide operating temperatures. There is ATEX certification pending on some variants.

Wirelessly transmit test data!

The new Fluke Connect™ system allows maintenance technicians to wirelessly transmit measurement data from Fluke test tools to their smart phone for secure storage on the cloud, thus enabling access by any team member in the field. The Fluke Connect app can be downloaded free from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. More than twenty Fluke tools connect wirelessly with the Connect app, including digital multimeters, thermal imagers, insulation testers, process meters, and specific voltage, current and temperature meters.

Maintenance technicians make better, faster decisions when they have field access to maintenance records and when they can review measurements in real time with team members and supervisors who may be in different locations. The Fluke Connect facilitates access to records by all team members wherever they are and at the same time increases the safety of technicians working with energised equipment.

Technicians can AutoRecord™ measurements and infrared images to Fluke Cloud™ storage from wherever they are working, without writing anything down. Everyone on the team with a smart phone and the app can see the data. Team collaboration is made easy with ShareLive™ video calls, whereby technicians can share measurements with other team members in real time, and get approvals for repairs or get questions answered without leaving the field.

The Fluke Connect app features EquipmentLog™ history, which allows technicians to assign measurements to specific equipment, creating a cloud-based history of test measurement data for easy access during both troubleshooting and reliability maintenance. TrendIt™ enables technicians to instantly graph data, helping to identify trends and quickly make informed decisions.

Fluke Cloud storage is built upon state-of-the-art security, including secure access, electronic surveillance, multi-factor access control systems, built-in firewalls, and encrypted data storage.

Multiple sensor innovations!


E+E Elektronik will be demonstrating their full innovative powers with a whole range of new products for industry, HVAC and OEM applications at this year's Sensor+Test, (Nuremberg D). The range of new developments includes sensors and transmitters for humidity, temperature, CO2, oxygen, flow, dew point and moisture in oil.

CO2 sensor module for OEM applications
The CO2 sensor module EE893 was developed especially for challenging OEM applications. Thanks to the measurement principle (NDIR dual wavelenght procedure) based on infrared technology, ageing effects are compensated automatically. The module is also particularly insensitive to environmental influences. The multiple point CO2 and temperature adjustment ensures excellent measurement accuracy across the entire temperature working range. The CO2 measurements with a measurement range up to 10,000 ppm are available on the digital E2 interface. Thanks to smaller dimensions and low power consumption, the module is also suitable for use in battery-operated devices such as wireless transmitters, hand-helds or data loggers.

CO2 transmitter for challenging tasks
Models EE893, EE820, EE850
The advantages of the NDIR dual wavelength procedure are also brought to bear in the new CO2 transmitters EE850 and EE820.
The CO2 and temperature transmitter EE850 is ideal for use in building technology and applications in harsh environments. The CO2 concentrations and temperature measurements are available on the analogue current or voltage outputs. As an option, the EE850 offers an additional passive temperature output.
The EE820 CO2 transmitter was also developed for especially demanding applications. The robust, functional housing with integrated special filter allows the EE820 to be used in contaminated environments, such as in agricultural operations, stalls, hatchers or greenhouses.

Miniature humidity sensor of the next generation
With the new HC801, E+E Elektronik presents its smallest humidity sensor for mass applications to date. The miniature sensor for high precision humidity measurement is manufactured in thin layer technology based on silicon and is only 300 x 765 μm in size. Maximum reproducibility of the sensor characteristics and linearity across the entire humidity range, as with all humidity sensors in the HC series, further benefits the sensor element.

Flow sensor
The new VTQ is a thin layer sensor, combined with the latest transfer molding technology. The result is a compact, easy to assemble sensor element with high dirt resistance and outstanding reproducibility of the sensor characteristics. Other advantages of the sensor are the rapid response time, low angle dependence and a wider measurement range up to 20 m/s.

Robust O2 transmitter
The robust O2 transmitter with zirconium dioxide sensor impresses with rapid response time and linear O2-dependence across a wide temperature range. The transmitter measures oxygen concentrations from 0 to 100 % and is suitable for temperatures up to 800 °C. Typical applications include the monitoring of industrial combustion processes, for example.

Temperature sensor series for the HVAC sector
The new E+E sensors are suitable for passive temperature measurement, primarily in HVAC and building technology. The product range includes a variety of models, such as a duct or immersion sensor (EE431). Also available are outdoor sensors (EE451), strap-on sensors (EE441), a cable sensor (EE461) or a model with remote probe (EE471).

An innovative production and mounting concept ensures a high protection class (IP65) and permits especially simple and rapid mounting of the sensors.

Compact dew point transmitter
The EE354 miniature transmitter permits precise dew point measurement and is ideal for monitoring refrigeration driers and use in OEM applications. The small design, robust stainless steel housing and excellent long-term stability are further advantages of the transmitter. The measurement values are issued on an analogue 4‑20 mA and a digital Modbus RTU output.

Multi-functional hand-held meter with interchangeable sensing probes
A wide range of applications is offered by the multi-functional handheld unit Omniport 30. With various interchangeable sensing probes, up to 22 measurements can be recorded, such as relative humidity, temperature, air velocity and CO2 and the data stored via the data logger function. Operation is simple and intuitive via the large touchscreen display.

Moisture in oil transmitter
Precise information on the moisture in oil can save costs for unnecessary maintenance work and avoid expensive machine downtimes. The EE364 transmitter provides the option of continuous monitoring of transformer, lubrication, hydraulic and engine oils as well as diesel fuel. The measurements for water activity (aw), temperature (t) and water content (x) are output via two configurable 4‑20 mA analogue outputs as well as a digital Modbus RTU interface. The compact design and the stainless steel housing permit space-saving integration in demanding applications.

Humidity/temperature transmitter for challenging environments
The EE210 permits precise humidity and temperature measurement, even in difficult environmental conditions. This is ensured via the combination of completely encapsulated measurement electronics and the special E+E coating on the HCT01 humidity sensor. The EE210 also calculates further physical values such as dew point temperature, absolute humidity and mixing ratio. The transmitter is available as a wall or duct version, with an optional display. A model with remote sensing probe was also recently launched. Typical applications for the EE210 are in agriculture (stalls, hatchers, incubators, greenhouses), in storage rooms, cooling chambers or indoor pools.

• E+E products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Advance in designing industrial facilities & reducing costs!

Advanced Project Execution Approach Can Cut Total Automation Costs by Up To 30%

Honeywell Process Solutions has launched LEAP™ project services to help manufacturers in the processing industries get their plants up and running faster and at lower cost.

LEAP combines Honeywell Process Solutions proprietary hardware and software, virtualization and cloud engineering to give users greater scheduling flexibility while reducing risk and total automation costs by up to 30 percent. Multiple industries can benefit from an estimated 80 percent reduction in costs related from unnecessary rework. These features can also help reduce avoidable schedule delays by up to 90%.

Automation projects are increasingly difficult to manage — especially as implementations become larger and more complex while still needing to be completed quickly and efficiently,” said Vimal Kapur, president, Honeywell Process Solutions. “LEAP turns project execution workflow on its head, simplifying what has traditionally been a long and expensive process and enabling measurable time and cost savings so plants can focus on the end goal of getting up and running quickly.”

The innovative approach is being featured this week at the 2014 Honeywell Users Group Americas Symposium, the company’s largest gathering of industrial customers. More than 1,200 attendees, representing major oil and gas refining, chemical, pulp and paper, and metals and mining companies, among others, are attending the symposium in San Antonio (TX USA).

LEAP represents a major departure from the way plants are typically designed and built by using parallel workflows to keep automation systems off critical implementation paths. Traditionally, sequential workflows call for the automation and controls to be implemented during a specified timeframe before the rest of the plant can be completed. This approach poses challenges such as managing changes, which can affect all subsequent steps of the implementation and threaten project schedules and budgets.

It creates separate streams of work for the physical and functional aspects of project design. This approach allows project engineering to take place from anywhere in the world, and removes workflow dependencies to allow core project tasks to start much earlier in the process. It also dramatically minimizes the cost and volume of rework typically associated with automation projects.

This specifically combines three key core technologies available in Honeywell’s Experion PKS Orion:
  • Universal Channel Technology – Honeywell’s proprietary solution allows instant remote configuration of channel types, standardized input/output cabinets, reduction or elimination of marshalling cabinets and reduction in equipment needed.
  • Virtualization – Use of virtual machines in the control system removes dependencies between the functional and physical design, enables standardized server cabinets, reduces hardware requirements and delivers corresponding savings in space, power, cooling and weight.
  • Cloud Engineering – Engineering in a secure, centrally hosted cloud environment allows project execution and testing anywhere in the world, delivering improvements in collaboration and travel savings.

Top transport solicitor joins SOE!

Ian Jones, Director of transport solicitors Backhouse Jones has been co-opted to the governing body of the (British) Society of Operations Engineers (SOE).

Ian Jones
Ian specialised in representing PCV and HGV operators early on in his legal career, an interest which eventually led him to co-found Backhouse Jones in 2000. The firm has since taken the lead in dealing with road transport regulatory work, boasting the biggest market share of any firm in this field.

Ian was co-opted onto SOE’s Trustee Board in March, bringing his expert knowledge of transport legislation to the Society, which focuses on promoting safety and compliance in road transport through its Professional Sector the Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE).

On accepting the position, Ian says: “Coming from a different background to the other members of the Trustee Board I feel I’ll be able to bring a fresh perspective and add a legalistic viewpoint to the Society’s activities. The bar of legal compliance within the transport industry is being increasingly raised by the Traffic Commissioners, and IRTE plays a critical role in educating and training industry professionals on their increasing responsibilities and requirements. At Backhouse Jones we see clients after problems have already occurred and they are called to public inquiry; I firmly believe that prevention is better than cure and want to assist IRTE and SOE in educating the industry on safe and compliant operations.”

SOE President Gerry Fleming says: “As a founding partner of Backhouse Jones, Ian shares a common goal with IRTE in promoting compliance and improving safety across the road transport industry. Ian has used his wealth of legal knowledge to support many of IRTE’s activities in the past; his appointment to SOE’s Trustee Board will strengthen the Professional Sector’s position as one of the leading bodies working to professionalise road transport today.”

SOE works to advance Operations Engineering for the benefit of everyone through education, training, study and research. Incorporating IRTE as well as the Institution of Plant Engineers (IPlantE) and Bureau of Engineer Surveyors (BES), SOE also represents more than 13,000 individuals and companies in the road transport, plant, and engineering surveying sectors

Improved load cell amplifier

Mantracourt has announced the launch of the LCA20, a flexible digital signal conditioning amplifier for single or multiple load cell applications.

LCA20 with transparent lid option!
The versatile LCA20 load cell weight indicator offers options of 3 programmable digital inputs including Auto Tare, Peak Hold and Reset. In addition, the LCA20 provides two relay outputs for control or alarm functions and is now able to support up to ten 350 ohm load cells. The new LCA20 features include a simplified digital set-up via PC, 10 point linearisation and the provision of measurement speeds of 10 or 80 samples per second.

“The LCA20 takes advantage of new technology, it replaces and builds on our previous LCA15 load cell amplifier, providing increased functionality and improved performance,” said Dave Porter, Technical Sales at Mantracourt. “The core design is based on existing, proven technology but it has now been updated to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of end-users in the field.”

The LCA20 provides both RS232 and RS485 options for digital communications (including setup) and can support label or ticket printers. Furthermore, the LCA20 is enabled with an easy one-pass calibration and fast setup procedure.

The LCA20 supports Mantrabus 1 & 2, MANTRA ASCII 2 and MODBUS RTU protocols. It is housed in a ROHS compliant enclosure and is environmentally sealed to IP65 / NEMA 4 (dimensions 200 x 120 x 75 mm). DIN rail or PCB module versions are also available.

The LCA20 also caters to existing LCA15 users in that it features a full LCA15 emulation mode. The LCA20 shown in main photo has the transparent lid option (LTL).

Award for sustainable development in automation in China!

Red Lion Controls industrial automation and networking has been honoured for its consistent commitment to the sustainable development of China’s automation industry by Automation Panorama magazine. Red Lion was recently named Top Ten New Outstanding Enterprise within China’s Automation Industry for 2013 at the 2014 China Automation Industry Annual Conference held in Beijing (CN).

Michael Wang, General Manager of Greater China
for Red Lion Controls, with GongKong's Top
New Cutting-Edge Company award.
The 2014 CAIAC awards, hosted by the China Automation Society and co-organized by the China Instrument Industry Association, China Computer Industry Association, National Technology Committee of Machinery Safety Standardization and National Technology Committee of Industrial Process Measurement and Control Standardization, are designed to recognize enterprises that have made outstanding contributions to the industrial automation industry over the past year. Award recipients are determined based on the combined feedback of an expert committee and online voting polls.

“Red Lion is honored to receive such a prestigious award, as it demonstrates the success and value of what we’ve been doing over the past few years in China,” said Michael Wang, general manager of greater China for Red Lion Controls. “China is an important market for us, and as we further expand our footprint, we look forward to providing reliable, high-quality industrial automation and networking products to the vertical markets that we serve.”

China’s automation industry is growing strongly amid a sluggish global economy, and it’s believed that the industrial industry will continue to flourish over the years to come. The innovative contributions Red Lion has made to drive forward the growth of industrial automation and networking in China for transportation, city utilities, oil & gas and energy field applications were a significant deciding factor for this award.


In addition to the CAIAC award, Red Lion was also selected as a Top New Cutting-Edge Company by China’s leading automation portal gongkong.com for its technology leadership and innovative contributions.  This follows Red Lion’s N-Tron series NT24k managed Gigabit Ethernet switches receiving a Golden Mousetrap award in the U.S. for Industrial Networking Technologies in the Automation and Control category earlier this year.

• Red Lion products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology