Thursday, July 3, 2014

Goodbye but not farewell!

Many of us have enjoyed reading the periodic missifs from the virtual pen of automation pioneer Jim Pinto. Many will remember his incisive, sometimes controversial but always interesting commentaries of the Automation industry.

His e-letter, published first in 2000, was a "must-read" in many mail boxes throughout the world though some of us realised that he was wondering how to disengage from this as he realised, as do all of us, that perhaps the information which he gathers is already available to the serious reader on other platforms. Nevertheless the decision he has made will make our e-boxes more empty and our busy business lives less interesting without his incise commentary.

This is how he relays his decision.

Jim Pinto, the godfather of the HMI and PLC integration industry, is the founder (formerly President & CEO) of Action Instruments. He has also been called the poet Lauriate of Instrumentation & Automation.

He is a well-known industrial Automation.commentator, and analyst and consultant.

Jim Pinto is an Electronics Engineer by background. He was born in India, lived in England for about 8 years, where he founded KPE Controls. He moved to the U.S. in 1968 and worked for Burroughs Corporation, in Pasadena, California. He then moved to San Diego, where he founded Action in 1972.
"My very first eNewsletter was e-published May 10, 2000. It included features on industrial automation - news and analysis of major companies plus future-related analysis. I reviewed major new books and reports and wrote on a variety of technology and management topics.

Stimulated by lack of critical analysis of major automation companies I started the automation weblogs. Because companies don’t do editorial releases with bad news, participation quickly escalated and daily “hits” jumped into the thousands.

Circulation grew quickly. Within a couple of years eNews was being read by over 6,000 thousand direct sign-ups plus lots more RSS and web views.

The weblogs value came from news (mostly negative) that was aired months before it really surfaced. Still, it generated a lot of work for me and I got nothing positive in return. In March 2012 I discontinued the weblogs. Readership declined slightly - but a large following remained.

I continued to publish eNews with topics relating to wherever my “nose was pointing”. I wrote about subjects that I enjoy - futurist topics, philosophical and sometimes political analysis. The feedback, both positive and negative, was worthwhile.

But more than a decade later, it still takes a lot of effort to pump out eNews every month - selecting items, formatting text, preparing webpages and generating podcasts, all of which I do myself. The monthly deadline (albeit self-generated) is a chore that's outgrown its purpose.

Today, with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube and Google+ its a whole lot easier to generate eye-ball traffic and individual feedback via the web. So, that’s what I plan to do.

I’ll continue to write about whatever I think is worthwhile and publish electronically. When I have collections of essays that merit bundling together, I’ll publish via Amazon’s Kindle. That’s how I (and many others) enjoy reading today."

Good bye Jim, and thanks for your work in the automation and engineering sector. Your insights have been useful, enlightening and always entertaining.  Your sense of fun helps us not to take ourselves too seriously. Good bye I have said but not farewell because I and your many readers look forward to many more points and prognostications. What better words to complete this than some I wrote as a forward in Pinto's Points (2006).

Speaking of his poetry I said, "It makes us smile before we ask, "What does it mean! That I think is the essence of Jim Pinto. And it is nowhere more evident than in his poetry. It is funny, but it is serious!

"That I don't know of other Jim Pintos in the automation industry is not a little alarming. People who not only see what industry is, but can also see what industry is at, are rare."

Jim, we'll miss the e-letters but please keep writing, please keep us thinking but above all keep us smiling!

Thanks Jim.

Scada software goes mobile!

Mobile access to production metrics and remote access to the production process

Siemens has extended the range of functions of the Simatic WinCC Scada software in its latest Version 7.3 and added the Simatic WinCC/WebUX V7.3 option package for mobile applications.

Simatic WinCC V7.3 focuses on making engineering easier. The Configuration Studio now supports the central configuration of process data, messages, archiving and user management, and of texts in any languages. Communication options to current Simatic S7-1500 controllers have also been extended: it is now possible to directly transfer tags with symbolic addressing and the system messages of the controllers can also be handled.

The new Simatic WinCC/WebUX V7.3 option package solution from Siemens meets the growing demand for access at any time to plant information using Internet-based and mobile devices. It goes beyond the usual control center solutions on offer today to include just such Internet-based and mobile, flexible access to plant data. The package, which can be used across all industrial sectors, is suitable for a wide range of users within any company. From executive and production line management to service and maintenance, this package offers effective access to automation data from any location. This mobile access to information can be adapted precisely to meet individual needs. Configuration of the HTML5 Web pages is carried out with WinCC Designer. No special training is required for the WinCC application designer. Innovative maintenance concepts, tasks for operations control or plant performance metrics can be made available in this way at any location, regardless of the platform. This enables management, for example, to keep an eye on production data at all times, while quality assurance is always aware of current processes in production such as fault messages or trends. In addition, the new option package also supports remote access to the production process. For example, the user can specify switching operations and setpoints for remote operation.

Simatic WinCC/WebUX V7.3 is independent of any platform or browser and does not require client installation. For secure communication, https and SSL are implemented via Web standards (HTML5, SVG). User management is integrated in WinCC. The licensing model is scaled according to the required functional scope and number of users. Simatic WinCC V7.3 already includes a license for WebUX access for monitoring purposes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Challenging traditional sensing with innovative technologies for HP processes!

Servomex has joined forces with H2scan to provide complete light hydrocarbon measurement and analytical solutions to its HP and NG customers.

The new partnership completes Servomex’s end-to-end offering for the innovative, multi component light hydrocarbon analyzer and GC alternative the SERVOTOUGH SpectraScan by providing a more robust and reliable measurement of hydrogen in hydrocarbon gases, using a unique alternative technology to traditional thermal conductivity sensors. H2scan’s hydrogen-specific sensing system is uniquely able to detect hydrogen against virtually any background gases without false readings or expensive support equipment required.

Rhys Jenkins, Market Sector Manager at Servomex, explains: “Unlike thermal conductivity sensors, the H2scan does not require significant application development for each mix of hydrocarbon gases, yet it exceeds industry standards. The combination of the two new and innovative technologies in the H2scan and SpectraScan is a head on challenge to traditional GC industry options for hydrocarbon sensing. The result is superior, yet simpler detection for HP and NG applications at considerably lower implementation and product lifetime costs for our customers.”

The H2scan patented “Chip on a flex” technology provides a far more robust and reliable direct measurement of hydrogen than any thermal conductivity sensor, making it a natural collaborative partner for the SpectraScan “Tunable Filter Spectroscopy” optical sensor. As an out-of-the box solution, the H2scan is easily configurable alongside the SpectraScan and comes with customer support that matches Servomex’s own customer-centric ethos.

Michael Nofal, Vice President Sales & Business Development at H2scan said: “Our hydrogen specific sensing systems based on a patented "Chip on a flex" technology have the ability to operate in real-time. This is important for the SERVOTOUGH SpectraScan which also operates in real time, unlike GC technologies which have a time lag. We also bring a host of benefits in terms of the lowest total cost of ownership, low maintenance and longer calibration intervals, simple system integration and installation and tolerance to harsh background contaminants.”

Automation professionals to be honoured!

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has just published the names of those ISA members who have elevated to the distinguished membership grade of Fellow and the Celebrating Excellence Award honorees for 2014, including Member’s Choice honorees chosen by their peers.

Elevation to the distinguished grade of ISA Fellow is granted to senior Society members in recognition of their exceptional engineering scientific contributions to the field of automation. ISA’s Celebrating Excellence Awards honor companies and individuals—both members and non-members—for significant contributions in leadership, technical innovation and contributions to education that have advanced the profession.

Venue for 52nd ISA H&A Ceremony
Award presentations will be made at the 52nd Annual ISA Honors & Awards Gala, which will be held on Monday evening, 10 November 2014, at the historic Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. For Gala ticket information, contact ISA directly.

2014 ISA Fellows
Donald C. Clark
Boston Section, Management Division
Invensys Schneider-Electric, Amesbury, Massachusetts, USA
For superior contributions to the integration of manufacturing operations management systems and enterprise resource software and to the development of ISA95.
Philip C. Harris
Calgary Section, Analysis Division
HariTec, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
For the advanced photometer design and multi-component data analysis algorithms applied to UV photometric analyzers
Bill R. Hollifield
Unaffiliated, Chemical and Petroleum Division
PAS, Houston, Texas, USA
For outstanding contribution to process automation through the integrated improvement of alarm management practices and human machine interface design.
J. Prakash, Ph.D.
South India Section
Madras Institute of Technology, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
For exceptional teaching and research contributions to state estimation, advanced PID control, model predictive control and fault detection and diagnostics.
Ludwig Winkel
Siemens, Karlsruhe, Germany
For extraordinary contributions to communication network descriptions and integration through use of function block systems.

2014 Celebrating Excellence Honors & Awards Program

The recipient for Excellence in Leadership, which recognises an individual who has made significant contributions to the industry and/or profession to advance automation, has yet to be announced.

Excellence in Analytical Technical Innovation (Endowed by the ISA Analysis Division)
Recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the industry and/or profession to advance automation.
Sherry Liu, Ph.D. (Spectrasensors, Rancho Cucamonga, California, USA)
For leading the research and development of the Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy based gas analysis technology widely used by the natural gas industry.

Excellence in Technical Innovation (Endowed by UOP)
Recognizes an individual who has played a critical role in the conception, design, and/or implementation of an innovative product, process, and/or service in the analytical technology field.
Theodore R. Barben (Universal Analyzers/Retired, Carson City, Nevada, USA)
For contribution to the development of pH probe as it is known today, and allowed for industrial process control and automation to be applied to wide variety aqueous systems.
Thomas Burke (OPC Foundation, Mantua, Ohio, USA)
For contribution to the development and adoption of OPC Standard for exchanging data in manufacturing and industrial process control applications.

Excellence in Corporate Technical Innovation
Recognizes the company whose contributions and innovations have enhanced social value.
Ultra Electronics, 3eTI (Rockvillle, Maryland, USA)
For its industrial networks encryption device designed to protect critical infrastructure facilities from internal or external cyberattacks.

Excellence in Technical Presentation
Recognizes the author(s) of the most outstanding paper, article, presentation or document published and/or presented on behalf of ISA that introduces a new technology or explains an existing automation process.
Bill R. Hollifield (Principal Alarm Management and HMI Consultant, PAS, Inc., Houston, Texas, USA)
For the most outstanding paper “THE HIGH PERFORMANCE HMI: Proof Testing in a Real World Trial,” presented at ISA Automation Week 2013, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Excellence in Education
Recognizes an individual who has developed and/or enhanced established educational programs to advance the automation profession in educational institutions.
Juliet A. Vimala, Ph.D. (SRM University Kattankulathur, Tamil Nadu, India)
For advancing the automation profession through education.

Excellence in Enduring Service
Recognizes dedicated volunteer service to the Society at the grassroots level. May be presented to multiple (up to five) honorees.
George C. Bentinck (Retired, Hockessin, Delaware, USA) Wilmington Section
Lorne D. Brackenbury (Meridian Specialties Inc., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) Edmonton Section
Dale C. Merriman (MerTech Inc., Houston, Texas, USA) Houston Section/Analysis Division
James F. Tatera, CSAT (Tatera & Associates Inc., Madison, Indiana, USA) Louisville 
Section/Analysis Division
For dedicated and enduring service to the Society.

Excellence in Society Service
Recognizes distinguished and dedicated volunteer service to the Society.
Karen McMillan (Gulf Coast Control Valves, Deer Park, Texas, USA) Texas Channel Section
For distinguished and dedicated service to the Society and its members.

Division Excellence
Recognizes an ISA division for development and/or execution of programs and/or services to advance the mission of the Society.

The honoree will be revealed at the Gala. The nominees are:
Analysis Division
For expanding the Analysis Division Symposium technical program to encompass fundamentals of process analysis theory for new personnel as well as advanced training for seasoned engineers providing significant continuing education components.
Process Measurement and Control Division
For organizing the first annual Process Control and Safety Symposium and developing a technical program to provide member value.
Water and Wastewater Division
For continuing to serve and grow membership by providing technical content at the WWID symposium, webinars, and in newsletters, by providing scholarships, and by partnering with other organizations.

Section Excellence
Recognizes an ISA section for development and/or execution of programs and/or services to advance the mission of the Society.

The honoree will be revealed at the Gala. The nominees are:
Calgary Section For organizing an event with 5,500+ exhibitors and visitors; implementing eight technical meetings, events and plant tours; managing two ISA training sessions; developing a CAP Study Group program; sponsoring a FIRST® Robotics Competition; and implementing social media.
Houston Section For collaborating with ISA headquarters to sponsor a comprehensive training event in Houston held over four consecutive weeks.
Saudi Arabia Section For organizing the ISA Automation Conference 2013: Middle East, Europe & Africa, held in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, featuring 80 presentations, 16 training workshops, a special ISA99 cybersecurity course, a student workshop, 45 exhibiting companies, and attended by 500 delegates from around the world.

Standards Excellence
Recognizes an ISA standards committee member for exceptional efforts in organization, development and/or administration to further the development of ISA standards and for services to advance the mission of the Society.
Paul Gruhn (Rockwell Automation, Houston, Texas, USA) ISA84 For leadership in the development of standards, recommended practices, technical reports, modeling software, books and training related to safety instrumented systems for the process industries.

Member’s Choice Award Honorees Member’s Choice candidates are nominated by the members and honorees are selected by vote of the members.

Division Leader of the Year
Recognizes a division leader whose activities in the previous year, in an innovative way, have provided exceptional value to a division, or enhanced an existing conference and/or symposia, or contributed to the development of a new conference and/or symposia.
Kevin Patel (Signature Automation, Sachse, Texas, USA) Water and Wastewater Division

Section Leader of the Year Recognizes a section leader whose activities in the previous year, in an innovative way, provided exceptional value to a local section.
Michael J. Murray (Braun Valley Associates-Suncor, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada) Sarnia Section

Student Mentor of the Year Recognizes a member whose activities in the previous year have promoted and encouraged student involvement in automation programs.
Juliet A. Vimala, Ph.D. (SRM University Kattankulathur, Tamil Nadu, India)

Volunteer Leader of the Year Recognizes a member who in the previous year has demonstrated exceptional leadership of a task force, committee, or board at any level within the Society (section, division, district, department, executive) resulting in a specific positive outcome.
Enio Jose Viana, (Braskem, Porto Alegre, Brazil) ISA District 4 Vice President

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Thirty years on...

The Peak Group is celebrating its 30th Anniversary today (1/7/2014)

Originally founded by Richard Bushell as a manufacturer of ATE in-circuit test fixtures, The Peak Group has diversified into a manufacturer of a comprehensive range of test equipment, from simple test boxes used by subcontract manufacturers to high-specification test racks and systems. An associated company, Peak Test Services, sells test probes and accessories from a base in Chester-le-Street, County Durham.

Pictured at Peak's 30th anniversary celebrations
LtoR Frank Nuttall and Richard Bushell.
The company is a proven provider of automated test and measurement solutions, supporting every stage of the assembly process from component testing to highly complex functional solutions. The company supplies innovative test solutions to a range of industries including the military, aerospace, rail, automotive, power generation and industrial electronics sectors, supporting all aspects of the product lifecycle from prototype through to service and repair. 

Peak offers intelligent integration of COTS ("commercial off-the-shelf") equipment with custom-designed mechanical, electronic and system software elements. Comprehensive installation and commissioning procedures are deployed to merge Peak's test systems with customers' processes, followed up with hands-on training and the provision of detailed documentation. 

A key element of the company's offering is its range of alliances with a number of industry-leading partners. The company is a National Instruments Gold Alliance partner and is the British distributor for Virginia Panel Corporation (VPC). Peak supplies customised test systems based on VPC mass interconnect products integrated with National Instruments test hardware (PXI racks and instrument cards) and software (TestStand and LabVIEW).

Peak is also an Agilent Systems Integrator, a SELECT Member of GOEPEL electronic's global alliance program GATE(TM) (GOEPEL Associated Technical Experts), and has recently formed an alliance with Simplicity AI: another National Alliance partner that supplies advanced test & measurement software.

"We are delighted to be celebrating 30 successful years in the industry", says Managing Director Frank Nuttall: "we could not have achieved this without our dedicated staff and our numerous alliance partners - not forgetting, of course, the strong relationships we have with our customers. We look forward to the next 30 years..."

New partner for a Data Logging and Reporting Solution!

Ocean Data Systems has announced that DGH Corporation has joined the Dream Report "Proven Partner" program.

As Proven Partners, DGH and Ocean Data Systems have tested their combined products and will collaborate to support their joint customers. DGH delivers high quality I/O products used in a wide variety of research, laboratory and industrial data acquisition and control applications. Dream Report communicates directly with DGH modules through its MODBUS interface. Dream Report then offers the ability to log data to a relational database for analysis, reporting and display. The resulting information can be saved to PDF, CSV and Excel files, emailed, transferred via FTP and posted to the Dream Report interactive Web Portal.

"DGH Corp. is a great example of a Proven Partner," explains Roy Kok, vice president of Ocean Data Systems. "They require the addition of a solution such as ours to bring out the full value of their I/O technology. The intelligence in Dream Report, to monitor variables and decide when and what to log, combined with the powerful analytics, data formatting and delivery options, enables DGH customers to create great applications."

"We know of many applications that would benefit from the flexibility and ease of use that Dream Report delivers," says David Reed, director of engineering at DGH Corporation. "This collaboration makes perfect sense for us in support of our joint customers, and the Dream Report Proven Partner program is a great way to display our collaboration.

Merger leads to a new leader in measurement solutions!

NDC Infrared Engineering and Beta LaserMike, recognized global leaders in NIR (near infrared), nucleonic, optical, X-Ray, laser, microwave, ultrasonic and process control technology for non-contacting measurement and control solutions, have merged to create NDC Technologies. The combination strengthens the new company’s position in the marketplace by offering a more comprehensive portfolio of gauging solutions across a multitude of industries.  

NDC Technologies will offer four key product groups: 
  • Web Solutions – for the converting, extrusion, calendering, and nonwovens industries, delivering real-time measurement and control of key product parameters such as product thickness, coating thickness, and basis weight.
  • Sensors -- on-line gauges and at-line analyzers for the measurement of moisture and other key product constituents in the food, chemical, pharmaceutical, mineral, bulk materials and tobacco industries.
  • X-ray gauges for metals – on-line measurement of thickness, coat weight, width and optical flatness measurement for the ferrous and non-ferrous metals industries.
  • Ultrasonics & Lasers – non-contact gauges for the on-line and off-line measurement of diameter and ovality, wall thickness and eccentricity, length and speed, and other dimensional monitoring of products in the wire and cable, fiber optics, pipe and tube, building, nonwovens, paper, plastic, and metals industries.

Headquartered in Irwindale, (CA USA), NDC Technologies is part of Spectris PLC, a leading supplier of productivity enhancing instrumentation and controls based in England. With a commitment to innovation, the pooling of research and technology resources will streamline product development and rapidly address the evolving needs of industry and customers. In addition, the combined company has proven teams of talented, experienced employees with strong customer relationships and a commitment to customer excellence. The merger will increase the distribution channels and customer care network, expanding the company’s reach to better serve customers around the globe.

Moisture analyser plays key role in Germany’s sustainable energy plan!

A key energy company in Germany has chosen Michell Instruments’ Promet I.S. process moisture analyser to monitor moisture levels in bio-methane before it is injected into the grid to ensure that it meets the correct quality standards.

Biogas is saturated with moisture immediately after production, as well as having other undesirable components such as CO2. Before it can be used as a fuel away from the production site, it needs to be scrubbed of the contaminants and dried. When it is destined to be upgraded to bio-methane and injected into the grid with natural gas, precise measurements of moisture are vital as it will need to meet tight quality standards. For transmission into the local distribution network in Germany, the bio-methane needs to meet the moisture levels permitted by the DVGW G260 Code of Practice. For distribution networks, this is 200mg/m3 at less than 10barg pressure (267 ppmV).

The Promet I.S. was selected for this task because it has a proven track record of monitoring moisture during the processing of natural gas, as well as for quality checks of gas in the network and transmission pipeline. It has an accuracy of ±1°C dew point, and measures reliably in pressures up to 450 barg. The unit is certified for hazardous areas around the world, including ATEX, FM, CSA, IECEx as well as GOST.

Michell design and supply sampling systems fully equipped with filtration and sample conditioning to ensure reliable measurements and prolong the life of the sensor. The Promet uses Michell’s ceramic moisture sensor which is highly resistant to contamination and provides long term stability in process applications. The sensor is part of their sensor exchange programme, which greatly reduces the cost of ownership. With the exchange programme, a freshly calibrated sensor is sent out and swapped for the old sensor that is due to for recalibration, which keeps process down-time to a minimum. Where traceability is needed, Michell provide a fast and efficient calibration service, with traceability to national standards.

Investment in people recognised at Instrument & Control supplier!

Eurotherm has been awarded the Investors in People Standard (IIP), Britain's leading accreditation for business improvement through people management. The award provides external recognition of Eurotherm’s commitment to developing, supporting and motivating its people.

A stringent assessment was carried out by an Investors in People auditor, against ten key indicators including business strategy, involvement and empowerment, leadership and management, learning and development and continuous improvement. The Auditor spent time with Senior Management and also conducted three days of interviews with a cross section of employees to gain an understanding of Eurotherm’s employee practices and management effectiveness which was benchmarked against British practice. The company scored well in many areas, with the assessor highlighting staff support and engagement, integrated training and development plans, and focus on personal career progression as areas of particular strength.
Eurotherm's ASPIRE team!

Key to achieving the accreditation has been the introduction of an employee-led engagement initiative, ‘WeEngage’, a ‘bottom-up’ approach whereby employee-led teams develop action plans to increase engagement across the business. Initiatives have ranged from enhancing internal communications, to local charity exchange partnerships in which employees are encouraged to ‘give a day’ to a charitable cause. The WeEngage team has also improved cross-functional collaboration through initiatives such as department ‘open days,’ as well as organising fun and relevant activities for employees and their families to take part in.

Further to this, Eurotherm has also developed ‘ASPIRE’, a programme which aims to develop untapped talent within the organisation to build future leaders. The initiative gives aspiring employees one-to-one access to senior management and is based around the sharing of experience, career stories and key learnings. Following its implementation, 43% of Eurotherm’s vacancies last year were filled internally from its current pool of talent.

Commenting on the award, Karen Page HR Director at Eurotherm said: “Achieving the Investors in People accreditation is a fantastic endorsement of our commitment to the development of our people. It is true that our people are our greatest asset and employee development and engagement are key to our business strategy. We are committed to creating an environment where people are given the opportunity to develop and succeed, and continue to make improvements ensuring Eurotherm remains a great place to work.”

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “Achieving the Investors in People standard is something that any organisation should be truly proud of. Working with Investors in People inspires and enables leaders, managers and employees at all levels to build their skills, improve their performance and achieve their potential. We’d like to congratulate Eurotherm on their achievement.”

HVDC control upgrade in Scandinavia.

ABB has commissioned the upgrade of the control and protection system of the Skagerrak 3 HVDC link between Norway and Denmark. The installation and commissioning time was only four weeks to minimize outage time.

In addition to the system upgrade, the delivery included control of the bipolar configuration of Skagerrak 3 and Skagerrak 4. The former transmission link was delivered by ABB in 1993. The latter, currently under construction by ABB, will be delivered later in the year. In 2007, ABB also delivered an upgrade of the control systems of the adjacent Skagerrak 1 and Skagerrak 2 HVDC links.

"This upgrade reinforces ABB’s focus and commitment to supporting customers throughout the lifecycle of the products and systems it delivers," said Hanspeter Faessler, head of ABB’s Grid Systems business, a part of the Power Systems division. “It also underlines the company’s emphasis on growing its service business.”

ABB has significant experience in delivering HVDC system upgrades around the world. Since 1990, the company has been awarded 20 major upgrade projects, including 15 major upgrades of control and protection systems.

ABB pioneered HVDC technology 60 years ago and has been awarded around 90 HVDC projects representing a total installed capacity of more than 95,000 MW, which accounts for about half of the global installed base.

The MACH system is the world's most extensively deployed control system for HVDC and FACTS with over 1,100 installations in operation. It is extensively used across a range of installations from small, highly demanding HVDC Light links, to large HVDC power transmission system, with power ratings of over 6,400 megawatts (MW).

The Skagerrak 3 HVDC link, owned by the Danish transmission system operator,, and the Norwegian equivalent, Statnett, stretches over 240 kilometers and crosses the Skagerrak Strait. It enables transmission between the mainly hydroelectric-based Norwegian system and the wind and thermal power-based Danish system.

Emissions monitored in Turkey!

Turkish delight with CEM 2014 emissions monitoring event

The organisers of CEM 2014, the emissions monitoring event that took place in Istanbul during May, have expressed their delight with the feedback that they received following this year’s Conference and Exhibition.

“Increasing awareness of air quality issues coupled with international climate change initiatives have resulted in a growing number of regulations and standards relating to emissions monitoring in a wide variety of industries. As a result, CEM 2014 included speakers from 13 different nations and attracted delegates from 42 countries,” commented CEM organiser Marcus Pattison.
CEM 2014 () was the 11th in a series of international conferences and exhibitions focusing on emissions monitoring, providing visitors with an opportunity to catch up on the latest regulatory requirements and standards, and with the technologies that are being developed to comply with them.

Summarising the reasons for the event’s success, David Graham, a delegate from E.ON (GB), said: “CEM 2014 brought together many different interest groups: manufacturers/exhibitors, users, environmental regulators and researchers. This forum is invaluable for the emissions monitoring community.” 

Olli Antson from the VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland agreed, adding: “It was a good conference with up-to-date information on legislation and standards, and practical information on monitoring.” 

Reijo Tolberg from Eesti Energia AS in Estonia described the event simply as “The best conference in its field.”

The opening presentation and welcome speech was given by Mr Soner Olgun, Head of the Laboratory, Measurement and Monitoring Department at the Turkish Ministry of Environment, and the main conference themes were:

  1. Regulation - international and industrial
  2. Standards, quality assurance and control
  3. Equipment innovation
  4. Industrial case studies – monitoring and control

All of the most important pollutants were covered by the presentations which also addressed process and emissions monitoring issues for all types of regulated processes including power stations, steelworks, industrial processes, combined heat and power plants, energy from waste systems and carbon capture.

In addition to participation in the CEM Conference, delegates were also able to browse a major Exhibition that was co-located with the event. The CEM Exhibition featured 52 stands and included almost all of the world’s leading players in the emissions monitoring market including instrumentation manufacturers, analytical service providers, regulators and accreditation organisations. Delegates travelled to Istanbul from around the globe and included official groups from Iran and the Nigerian petrochemical sector.

With such a high level of attendance from global players in the emissions monitoring sector, the exhibitors were naturally very pleased with the event. For example, Andre Dabinet from Horiba Europe said: “CEM 2014 provided an excellent opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with a variety of CEM experts and equipment manufacturers in a stunning location,” while Robert Baxter from B3 Systems (USA) commented: “I have attended 3 CEM conferences and each one outdoes the last; CEM is absolutely one of the best conferences we attend.”

Since the inaugural meeting in 1997, the CEM conferences have been held in the Britain, Netherlands, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic, Turkey and the next event, CEM 2016 will take place during May in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dust monitor! #PAuto

Key Features
1. High Performance and High Reliability
-Measurement range can be set through a one-touch operation in response to process conditions
-Automatic drift compensation
2. Excellent Maintainability
-Air purging prevents condensate from accumulating at connection points
-Maintenance-free over long periods without any effects from dust accumulation
3. Wide Range of Applications and Simple Operation
-Can be used in applications with process temperatures up to 250°C (482°F) and pressures up to 200 kPa (29 psi)
-Simple parameter setting via keys on the front panel
4. Flexible Installation
-Integrated construction of the sensor and converter for easy installation
-Flange or socket welded mounting options are available
Yokogawa has released their model DT450G dust monitor. The DT450G detects the qualitative level of dust or particulate matter by working off of the principle of inductive electrification. This probe provides a highly sensitive measurement and is capable of detecting particles as small as 0.3 µm.

Utilisation of inductive electrification allows for detection of not only particles which make contact with the probe, but particles which pass by the probe as well. The signal generated by these particles is processed by advanced noise filtering algorithms resulting in a highly accurate dust measurement.

It is the ideal instrument for trend monitoring on the outlet of filters or cyclones to gauge performance and for indicating the level of change for particulate emissions. Trend level changes can be used to adjust process settings such as electrostatic precipitator charge level or to help identify filtration problems such as bag filter breakage.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Test probe with integral position sensing system!

A new contact probe from Peak Test Services features a built-in position sensor system designed to provide an exact measurement of the distance travelled by the probe in contacting the test item.

Designed for measuring parameters such as pin lengths, component heights or the depth of drill holes in wire harnesses and connectors, the new PS 21/G Series incorporates a small integral potentiometer that is screwed together with the contact probe and the receptacle. When a voltage is applied, a 3-wire circuit acting as a potential divider provides either a voltage or a resistance that is linearly proportional to the travel of the probe and can thus be used by the test system to provide a distance measurement.

To take into account electrical and mechanical tolerances, the system needs to be calibrated to provide the exact plunger position. This can be achieved either by calculating the difference between to measurement values in relation to a reference position, or by using a special "golden device" as a reference.

Depending on the hardware and software of the test system, the measurement signal can be zeroed at user-defined positions. This method allows positive or negative deviations to be determined without the need to calculate the differences.

The sensor system has a measuring range from 0- to 5.2 mm, an accuracy of ±2% and a reproducibility of ±0.05 mm.

New GigE 3D stereo camera for 3D vision and robot vision applications!

The latest 3D stereo camera in the Ensenso range from IDS features a gigabit Ethernet interface and integrated texture projection. Equipped with two high resolution 1.3 megapixel CMOS sensors, the new Ensenso N20 camera provides a wider field of view allowing imaging of larger volumes and for working distances of up to 3 metres. A more powerful projector with blue LEDs together with the high resolution of the sensors provides a much greater level of detail and precise 3D data, even with difficult surfaces.

The new camera utilises the "projected texture stereo vision" principle. An integrated projector casts a random point pattern onto the object to be captured, enhancing structures that are either not visible or only faintly visible. Each individual shot therefore delivers a virtually flawless 3D image. The camera measures only 175 x 50 x 50 mm, despite the integrated projector and the two CMOS sensors and its robust aluminum housing and screw-in connections make it extremely suitable for industrial use. The GigE interface permits cable lengths of up to 100 m and, since is "powered over Ethernet" (PoE), there is no need for an additional cable for the power supply.

Like the earlier Ensenso N10 USB model, the Ensenso N20 is supplied with an interface to the MVTec HALCON image processing library and an extensive Software Development Kit (SDK). The software has been optimized particularly for robot vision applications as well as for multi-camera applications. The data from two or more inter-connected 3D cameras is automatically combined into one 3D dataset, allowing an object to be captured from several sides. In addition, the working area and the resulting precision can be scaled to meet virtually any requirements by adjusting the number of cameras installed. The Ensenso software also allows the easy integration of IDS uEye industrial cameras with USB 2.0, USB 3.0, or GigE connections, for example, to capture additional colour information or barcodes as well as 3D images.

The SDK also includes software-controlled subsampling and binning, which allows extremely flexible data and frame rates, e.g. up to 80 Hz, and hand-eye calibration, which makes it easier to integrate the camera in bin-picking applications, for instance. The Ensenso N20 is pre-calibrated and comes ready for immediate use. The user is provided with metric 3D data "out of the box".

Available with different focal lengths, the correct model for the application can be chosen using the camera selector on their website!