Friday, August 1, 2014

Where space is tight: Speed and position feedback at shallow installation depth!


The new bearingless encoders MIR 10 by Baumer are the products to choose for position and speed feedback in limited installation space. Operating on non-contact magnetic sensing with up to 4096 ppr, the encoders are wearfree and provide virtually unlimited service life.

Compact, bearingless encoder 
MIR10 is robust & wearfree
The fully encapsulated magnetic sensor with IP 66 and IP 67 as standard protection will master even harsh environments with high degree of soiling by dust, chippings or oil, but also with constant and cyclic humidity at extended temperatures ranging from -40°C…+85°C. Sized 10 mm x 15 mm x 45,5 mm, the sensor is extremely compact. The matching pole wheels provide mere 14 to 15 mm in depth and fit shafts from 6 to 43,5 mm.

The extremely shock and vibration proof sensing head withstands 500 resp. 30 g. The resilient metal housing ensures a very high electromagnetic compatibility, which is added on even further by shielded Polyurethan cable twisted in pairs for ulitmate protection against electromagnetic interference.

Bearingless encoder MIR 10 is available with 5 VDC supply and TTL / RS422-compatible line drivers and as 10….30 VDC version with pushpull. Both variants output two channels with 90° shift and inverted signals. As an option, both zero pulse and inverted channels provide magnetic encoding by reference magnet. The encoder comes with a distance gauge to ease mounting and to make sure the exact gap between pole wheel and sensing head is kept.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mini air flow transmitter for HVAC

The new EE671 air flow transmitter from E+E, measures air velocity up to 20 m/s. Thanks to its compact design, it is ideal for mass applications in HVAC. The built-in VTQ flow sensing element stands for high accuracy and reproducibility of the measurement and is particularly resistant to contamination. Further advantages of the sensing element are fast response time, low angle dependence and excellent long-term stability.

Features:
- High quality sensor element
- High resistance to contamination
- Easy and quick installation
- Customer-specific configuration
It is available with cable or plug connection. A mounting flange allows for easy installation of the transmitter and enables infinitely variable adjustment of the immersion depth. The measured values are available as linear voltage output. A digital interface allows on-site configuration of the transmitter by the customer using a configuration kit. 

The unit is suitable for use in heating and ventilation systems, for flow monitoring and control or for inlet air monitoring in ovens.

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

Cold store scanner with intelligent heating.

Can be used universally from chilled to warm conditions

Difficult ambient conditions sometimes exist during the processing, transportation, and identification of products, such as large below-zero temperatures. However, normal automation components such as barcode scanners are generally not suitable for operation in cold storage warehouses. Instead, special device designs are needed for this in which frequently reduced performance values must be taken into account. Systems that are not subject to restrictions are of more interest here.

Cold store scanner VB14N-T
operates from -35 °C to +45 °C
The compact cold store scanner VB14N-T from Pepperl+Fuchs operates at temperatures from -35 °C to +45 °C and delivers its full performance potential over this exceptionally large operating temperature range. With a scan rate of up to 1000 scans/s and resolutions of 0.2 mm, the device offers the same performance as the VB14N type counterpart available for standard temperatures. The special feature of the low-temperature version lies in the integrated heater, which is monitored by microprocessor-controlled temperature control. Depending on the internal and external temperatures of the barcode scanner and environment, the device constantly determines the optimal heating power. The developers have therefore succeeded in combining counter-acting properties such as the low power consumption of a maximum 10 W with a very short warm-up period of a maximum of 20 minutes.

Other highlights in this device class include master-slave operation in which up to 32 scanners work together in a network, configuration via the convenient PC software Genius, and the innovative direct-operation concept with mode button. With the help of intelligent code reconstruction, the model can even decode poor-quality code readings such as those with low contrast, damage, or in-motion blurring. With identical dimensions, the standard scanner can easily be replaced by the new cold store version if required. Cabling effort is also low, as the device and heating are supplied via the same cable. The possibility of using the VB14N-T in the positive range in normal temperatures makes the device—which is accommodated in a robust housing to IP 65 degree of protection—a universally usable all-rounder with a wide field of application.

All aspects of functional safety for examination!

The Institute of Measurement and Control has announced details of its first International Functional Safety Conference.

Functional Safety 2014 is a two day international and biennial conference covering all aspects of functional safety. It aims to engage practitioners from a wide variety of industrial sectors who have responsibilities in any functional safety lifecycle phase to provide a unique network forum for exchange of views and experiences.

The conference will bring together the many and diverse disciplines engaged in functional safety with the aim of bringing people up to date with the standards, providing a platform for the presentation of new techniques and technology, and dissemination of valuable lessons learned from project experiences.

It is scheduled to take place on the 4th and 5th November, 2014 and is to be held at the newly refurbished Wellcome Collection Conference Centre in London. The event will comprise a programme of expert international speakers within functional safety across the two days and delegates will be invited to attend a conference dinner on board HMS Belfast on the River Thames.

There is a limited amount of delegate spaces for this conference and automation professsionals wishing to attend should book soon.

Free online remote motion control practice!

Elmo Motion Control is now offering a free remote login access via the Internet for its unique EASII Experience - Remote Practice System (EASII-RPS), enabling anyone from anywhere around the globe to experience from first-hand the advanced motion tools provided by Elmo’s EASII software environment.

The new EASII Experience RPS is an exclusive and advanced simple-to-use Motion Control system.

The RPS comprise of servo motors, feedbacks, servo drives, multi-axis controller, Ethercat network Master controller, and Application Studio (EASII). This allows building up a complete application online with no need to purchase or install any hardware or operating system.
“We are launching a free online Motion Control Experiencing tool that allows learning and exercising advanced motion control, high performance servo technology and Ethercat networking.

The RPS is a true educational system for any engineer that is involved in automation and motion. For beginners it is a very efficient and comprehensive introduction to advance motion control, for skilled engineers, it demonstrates the most updated and state of art servo tuning, complex multi axis capabilities and real time Ethercat networking.

It is Elmo’s modest contribution to improve the awareness to today’s very advance level of automation and motion control” said Haim Monhait, CEO of Elmo Motion Control.

Elmo is offering login access to its unique EASII Experience RPS for anyone to explore the motor and the drives in action, configure the EtherCAT network, perform complex multi axis synchronized motions, develop IEC-61131-3 programs, motor automatic simplified and advanced tuning, advanced system analysis in the frequency and time domains, filter scheduling, motion sequencing, drive programing and data recording and much more. Setting up a machine has never before been so simple.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Threaded long-travel test probe!

Peak Test Services has added a new threaded long-travel probe to its comprehensive range of spring-contact test probes for contacting printed-circuit boards in automatic test systems.

The new P61/G has a travel length of 5.6 mm nominal (7 mm maximum), and is designed for mounting at 4 mm (157 mil) centres. Current rating is 10 A, and typical resistance is 25 milliohms. Operating temperature range is from -20°C to +80°C.

Nominal spring force is 150 cN (±20%) with a preload of 60 cN and 300 cN with a preload of 120 cN.

Probe barrels and receptacles are made from gold-plated brass, and plungers are available in beryllium-copper or gold depending on tip style.

The new probes are available in Britain and Ireland from Peak Test Services and via a range of appointed distributors worldwide.

M2M wireless manufacturer acquired!

United Wireless Ltd. has been acquired by Stadium Group Plc.  United specialises in the design and manufacture of M2M wireless solutions that support wireless connectivity between devices across wireless technology, primarily cellular networks.

The business acts as a specialised M2M wireless integrator for OEMs requiring a complete end‐to‐end connectivity solution for their equipment or devices. United has a strong customer presence in the automotive and telematics sectors, and also works with OEMs in the areas of ‘infotainment’ and vending, industrial equipment and asset tracking. United was established in 2009 based in Warrington, Cheshire and employs 40 people.
L-R: Tony McFadden, Director, United, Charlie Peppiatt, CEO Stadium, Joanne Estell Finance Director, Stadium and Craig Helm, Director, United;
This acquisition supports Stadium’s clear strategy to build a world class leading integrated electronics technology solutions group with a portfolio of value‐adding complementary products, design capability and global supply chain management for their customers. Stadium offers customers a unique integrated technology solution, providing PCB assembly and box build (iEMS), power supplies, battery chargers and back‐up supplies (POWER), intelligent interface and display systems (IGT)and now Wireless Connectivity Solutions all from a single source, simplifying the supply chain and reducing time to market for our customers.

Charlie Peppiatt, CEO of Stadium, comments, “Global demand for M2M wireless devices is forecast to expand at a 24% compound annual growth rate over the next 5 years, with the number of cellular M2M device subscribers to rise to 490 million by 2018. This acquisition adds a new dimension to our product portfolio, complements our existing group companies and will allow us to engage with the rapid development of the Internet of Things.”

“Our strategy will be achieved by expanding our offering in products and technologies that complement the existing iEMS, Power Products and Interface & Displays businesses, offering ‘adjacent products’ to widen the business opportunity with each individual customer. A key fourth cornerstone to this strategy has been a focus to expand into the M2M wireless devices space where there is a huge growth potential. United is viewed by its’ customers as a key strategic partner, working with them throughout the product life cycle from concept, design through to the next generation of wireless products and solutions.”

That pillar is in the way!

How to overcome the common problem of structural pillars or columns when designing a data centre space? Independent IT service and business solution specialist SDC (Part of the Sovereign Business Integration Group) encountered this challenge when developing their data centre in Hertfordshire (GB).

Rittal offered the unique approach of incorporating the columns into the cabinets and cooling system. Fully sealing columns into cabinets and aisle containment systems can deliver improved efficiency in areas that are not conducive to efficient airflow, as well as utilising the maximum floor space available.

Completing phase two of the ground floor data hall, comprising of a further 80 Rittal TS IT Cabinets and 4 Cold Aisle pods, Rittal were able to solve the problem through a bespoke cold aisle pelmet based system. Cable management was used to good effect within the racks.

Cold aisle containment technology from Rittal maintains constant temperatures and precise humidity levels, ensuring all key functions are maintained.

SCADA modernisation of the industrial aqueduct of Lake Como.

Lake Como, in northern Italy, is served by nearly 40 miles (60 KM) of aqueducts. The aqueduct draws its water directly from the lake and pumps it to storage tanks. The water flows from the tanks via aqueducts serving businesses around the lake. The waterworks reliability is paramount as water disruption leads to lost production for manufacturers of Como. After 30 years of service, the SCADA system was in need of modernisation.

Energy costs in the region have risen significantly during the last 30 years. The geography of the lake set in mountainous terrain, is particularly challenging to water management. The modernisation created the opportunity to not only take advantage of technology advances, but also to review concepts of water management and to introduce the concept of energy profile management.

Pumping, of course, is the greatest percentage of energy consumed. Energy profile management involves analysing daily consumption and comparing to lake levels which allows projection of storage required. The set-points for the pumps are managed such that the tanks are filled at night when electricity is less expensive. Operating the pumps during the day is possible, but minimised to reduce costs.

The SCADA collects other relevant operational data of the system including continuous recording of pressure, level, flow rates and volumetric meter readings. In the future, further optimisation of energy costs may be possible.

Telecommunications was evaluated in the early phases of the project. The decision was made to move to an Ethernet based network. Existing telephone land-lines interconnect the PLCs and the SCADA host. HDSL provides the Ethernet network over the telephone system.

The Ethernet-based network provides multiple advantages to a field bus architecture including the potential for future revenue sources. For example, other Lake Como utilities may lease bandwidth for their own industrial protocols or other applications such as surveillance and telephony may be hosted. The design also made the telecommunications independent of PLC and SCADA vendors for the project.

Two critical aspects of the communication reliability had to be addressed were network security and availability. Standard IT practices for security are used. Firewalls and VPN’s ensure that the appropriate policy is deployed, allowing only access to recognised users of the system. Secondly, cellular modems are connected to each PLC. In the case of a failure of the land-line network, system operators can reach the PLC directly using mobile devices.

A client-server architecture was chosen for the SCADA. The simplified design is based on commercially available hardware with a modular open architecture for maintainability.

PcVue, from ARC Informatique, was chosen for versatility and ease of maintenance. The graphics provides a very lean display, thanks to modern symbols for visualisation and animation. The variables (tags) in PcVue, using a branching structure, minimise the number of screens to be developed. The client stations deployment is essentially automatic. Clients are enabled by simply sharing the project file. Any modification for the project can be made on the server and copied to the clients.

The system has about a thousand alarms, which are divided into priority levels. All of the alarms are stored and are available in both textual forms and with graphic animations. When alarms are raised, the SCADA uses contextual logic to determine the appropriate course of action. For high priority alarms, SMS text messages are sent to the operator based on the concept that the operator can connect to the network and acknowledge the alarm. If the operator does not respond within a designated time, the system will resend the SMS message until the alarm is acknowledged.

Even the choice of the contractor was strategic. Only qualified system integrators capable of design and implementation of the entire system with full autonomy on the project were considered.

A critical aspect was coming on-line with minimal disruption. It was not easy to manually operate the system and only possible for short times during emergencies. To replace the SCADA, a total halt of the waterworks was required. Well organised and coordinated teams worked simultaneously on all sites, such that installation and commissioning was minimised.

The selected system integrator, T.S.A., provided a careful analysis of the state of the art in existing similar systems. T.S.A, formed a partnership with Borghi, who had previously been responsible for the design and installation of new electrical switchgear and control. The synergy between the two partners (TSA-Borghi) allowed for a competitive proposal with a substantial savings in cost. More importantly, the team had all the necessary areas of expertise to be able to execute all stages from design to commissioning without depending on third party subcontractors.

40 years out of the kitchen!

Industrial automation manufacturer Opto 22 marks 40 years of operation since founder Robert Engman and his wife Mary Jane started the company in 1974 in Huntington Beach (CA USA). Beginning with optically isolated, liquid-epoxy filled solid-state relays (SSRs) which Engman designed on his kitchen table, Opto 22’s range of products grew to include input/output (I/O) modules, computer-based I/O systems, and industrial controllers and software. The products earned the company a worldwide reputation for reliable products with long service lifetimes measured in decades. Today Opto 22 hardware and software products are used by more than 50,000 customers in applications in industrial control, energy management, remote monitoring, and data acquisition. 

Opto 22 has often led the way in technology for industrial automation. The company introduced the red-black-yellow-white color coding for digital I/O, developed the open Optomux protocol, and was instrumental in bringing microprocessors into automation—both in PC-based control and in programmable automation controllers (PACs). Opto 22 also designed the first flowchart-based control programming software, brought the first Ethernet-based I/O unit to market, and now leads mobile operator interface development with its easy-to-use software, groov.



Through 40 years Opto 22 has prospered with the same private ownership and the same business philosophy: produce quality innovative products based on open standards, treat employees and customers well, design and manufacture everything in the U.S.A., and provide free product support and pre-sales engineering. Opto 22 products are sold through a global network of distributors and system integrators and used by engineers, technicians, machine builders, and OEMs worldwide.

User-friendly modular gas analyser for the biogas market!

Eaton has launched a new ‘next generation’ MTL GIR6000 biogas analyser to help ensure reliable, accurate measurement of gases in biogas production. The MTL GIR6000 gas analyser is the first truly modular biogas analyser, requiring minimal maintenance and enabling process engineers and biogas plant managers to reduce downtime and improve their processes.

“Our newest modular gas analyser is designed to meet and exceed the measurement needs of the biogas industry,” says Iain Gordon, Gas Analysis Product Line Manager at Eaton’s Crouse-Hinds Division. “With more than 30 years of experience in gas analysis, our team has developed a simple-to-use, high performance fit-and-forget solution, which enables process managers and engineers to increase uptime, with low cost of ownership.”

The MTL GIR6000 analyser uses an innovative modular concept that makes it user-serviceable and reduces lifetime service costs through quick and easy maintenance procedures that require no special tools or training. As a result, service engineer site visits are largely avoided with the guidance of the built-in self-diagnostic routines and pre-configured intelligent sensor modules.

The gas sensor modules can be individually replaced – simply slide in and lock with an automatic seal integrity check – which helps to ensure minimal downtime, increased process efficiency and reduced operational maintenance cost.

The analyser can measure up to six gases, including methane, oxygen and hydrogen sulphide, and is designed with dedicated sensor modules and long-life, established sensor technology to provide continuous, accurate and reliable readings. The integrated platform concept makes it easy to upgrade the MTL GIR6000 analyser to meet future demands as the plant’s measurement needs evolve.

The MTL GIR6000 analyser is designed to be secure and reliable. It requires key-lock access and PIN-codes to change the key parameters making the data safe. Setting up the unit on-site is facilitated by the large bright 7-inch LCD display and rugged keypad as well as an intuitive menu-driven structure. The display provides a clear visual warning when there is a system fault or when a sensor is reaching the end of its life-cycle, allowing users to predict or plan maintenance requirements. Data is transmitted to the plant host system through a number of communication methods, allowing live real-time data to be monitored remotely.

The MTL GIR6000 analyser is an integrated IP65 weatherproof solution and is ATEX approved for Zone 2 Hazardous Areas for installation flexibility around the biogas plant.

48V front end PSU for PoE & ATCA

The TFE-1800-48 1800 watt output power, 48VDC output front end power supply, from Tectrol Europe, is designed in a sub-1U horizontal package for integration into a Tectrol power shelf or other end-user system. The power supply includes secondary isolation from chassis >1500VRMS with output adjustable to 54VDC for PoE (Power over Ethernet) requirements and is suitable for ATCA (Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture) applications. This high reliability power supply features universal AC input, active PFC and I2C Interface for advanced status and control functions.

This unit offers a very compact footprint of just 1.60” x 4.00” x 11.00” (40.64 x 101.60 x 279.40mm), provides full power output of 1800W over the range 180-264VAC and 1000W over the range 90-180VAC and offers high efficiency of 85% minimum @ 90 VAC.

Key features include full hot swap and blind-mate capability, N+1operation for high reliability deployments, droop share, enhanced I2C command, control and monitoring, a single “combined” connector, >1500VRMS Secondary isolation for PoE and ATCA applications and optional fan speed control (FSC).

The TFE-1800-48 front end power supply features overload protection limited to 120% overload followed by latching shutdown after 2s. Over voltage protection on main output is 60V maximum, standby 110-120% of nominal and over temperature protection shut down in the event of operation in excessive temperature or blocked or failed airflow (with self-recovery).

The Tectrol TFE-1800-48 power supply features comprehensive status and control functions including an I2C interface with SCL 100KHz clock rate, SDA data line, remote enable “active low” enables main output, last-Mate/first-break enable pin, remote sense on main output. Status signals are provided for AC OK, DC OK and over temperature OK and power supply present. LED Indicators show AC OK, DC OK and over temperature.

The operating temperature range of the Tectrol TFE-1800-48 is 0°- 55° C, full load, no de-rating and cooling is provided by an integral high performance 38mm fan with air inlet at the face and exhaust at connector. Calculated reliability to Telecordia SR332 is >500Khrs; 40°C, full load.

It meets international safety standards including cTUVus EN60950-1 (pending), CE Mark (LVD) and emission standards EN55022 Class A, FCC 15 Sub Part J, Class A, VCCI Class 2

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sensors for world's deepest immersed tunnel!

Mantracourt Electronics tells us that its SGA load cell amplifiers are being used within the monitoring systems of the Marmaray Project, a major new rail tunnel project in Turkey.

The 76.3km long tunnel is the deepest immersed tunnel in the world and is regarded as the foremost challenging infrastructure project in Turkey.

Tunnel sensors
The Marmaray development team needed to monitor the displacement of the joints within the tunnel. Mantracourt Technical Partner, Applied Measurements Ltd, created a bespoke bridge monitoring system using three 50mm displacement transducers, forming a triaxial measurement of each joint.
The displacement transducers utilise strain gauge technology to convert the linear movement of the joints within the tunnel into an analogue electrical signal. Mantracourt’s SGA load cell amplifiers are used to amplify the transducers signals, enabling the Marmaray team to accurately monitor the displacement of the joints within the tunnel.

“We chose to use Mantracourt SGA load cell amplifiers for this project, due to their high stability and accuracy,” said Darren Skipp at Applied Measurements. "This level of performance is essential for such a major project. We are very pleased with the way the system is performing.”

The SGA series of load cell amplifiers are capable of delivering highly stable, high speed, industry standard analogue outputs, such as 0-10Vdc or 4-20mA, from very low-level input signals.

“We are very proud to once again see our technology playing a vital role in a major infrastructure project,” said Louise Stubbs, Marketing Co-ordinator at Mantracourt. “This project also demonstrates the value of our global network of technical partners, and how they are able to work at a local level to create bespoke instrumentation solutions.”

Applied Measurements provide a comprehensive range of load cell and force sensors for use in a broad range of applications. They also provide a design service for applications needing bespoke features and special performance requirements.

Industrial M2M router!

The eWON Flexy is the world’s first modular industrial M2M router that allows OEMs and system integrators to link remote devices in an environment where communication technologies are constantly changing (2G, 3G, 4G, WiFi,…) and to communicate universally with the most varied field equipment. With its concept of base modules that can contain up to four expansion boards, Flexy offers its end-users an almost unlimited number of possibilities: from a simple serial, MPI, or Profibus gateway to Ethernet, to the WiFi LAN router with redundancy via 3G modem.

The eWON Flexy gives the opportunity to replace legacy radio and dial-up infrastructure while keeping up with evolving communication technologies. By combining data collection and remote access the Flexy allows users to receive alerts, monitor data, and troubleshoot industrial sites with cost effective solutions.

Industry must cope with the constant and rapid development of communication technologies. A few years ago, the latest thing was 2G (GPRS), but now everybody talks about 3G or even 4G (LTE). Wireless technology is now also very widespread in industry. This non-stop evolution of technologies goes against the grain in an industrial world that is conservative by nature. "When a manufacturer approves and deploys a solution, it demands a continuity period of at least ten years," says Serge Bassem, CEO of eWON.

The flexible router concept: a world first!
eWON Flexy satisfies this need to upgrade communication technologies without the need to switch products. "The concept of flexibility is not new in industry. It is already widespread for PLCs, but this is a first for the router itself. This innovation will provide a response both to the challenge of connecting remote sites in an environment where communication technologies are constantly changing, and the need for universal communication with diverse field devices, no matter what protocol they use, such as PLCs, HMIs, IP cameras, energy meters, sensors, etc."

The new eWON Flexy router provides flexibility on several levels. Firstly, the WAN flexibility offers the user a choice of expansion boards to connect to the internet: LAN, RTC, WiFi, CDMA, 2G, 3G. Moreover, the FIELD flexibility, which affects the choice of basic module and expansion boards to connect to devices: four-port Ethernet switch, RS232/422/485 serial ports, MPI/ Profibus port. Finally, eWON Flexy offers applications that make it easy to provide added-value services, such as data logging and alarm notification.

"This flexibility highlights our great strength: compatibility. We work with many partners, each of which is developing its own type of PLC. That is why the connectivity of our routers to these API uses standard and open protocols, which already make connecting easier. Now, with Flexy, it will really be child's play," concludes Serge Bassem.

Power semiconductor ATE system.

The new Intepro SemTest automated test system is the ideal solution for reliability and extended lifetime testing of Power Semiconductors including IGBT, MOSFET, SCR, Diode and Bipolar parts and modules. This fully integrated solution meets the requirements of JEDEC standards and may be used for product development characterisation. SemTest is comprised of a test system, thermal oven and test software with optional chiller and cold plates.

The Intepro SemTest system performs a combination of thermal and electrical cycles to verify new products, processes and materials including (SiC) Silicon Carbide based semiconductors or devices designed to meet RoHS requirements. SemTest is designed to accelerate any failure mechanisms in the device in order to determine its life and functional operating limits.

Key features of SemTest include power cycles to provide thermal and electrical stressing of device under test (DUT), highly accelerated life testing of DUTs, trend monitoring with user defined warning and control limits, junction temperature measurement, rapid DUT temperature cycling and ambient temperature profiling, detection of nascent failures with automated alert mechanism and DUT isolated control

Typical applications for the Intepro SemTest include, design engineering verification, design characterisation and manufacturing validation and to simulate harsh electrical and environmental conditions demanded of the automotive, aerospace, defence industries and transportation.

Operational test modes include, linear, switched, saturated, voltage breakdown and avalanche. Typical DUT parameters measured include junction/DIE temperature, DUT terminal voltage, DUT current and power, ambient power and temperature and elapsed test times and test cycles

The SemTest HT80 consists of a temperature chamber rated at 60 to 225°C, +/-2°C and associated hardware rack that provides the test hardware. Internal racks are included to mount the DUT carrier cards and internal temperature is maintained with LN2 cooling. The equipment rack consists of a Card Cage Assembly installed in the rear wall of the Temperature Chamber. The rear wall contains 10 slots that align with the FSD Module connectors. The combination of the Card Cage Assembly and Temperature Chamber will make up a Chamber Assembly. The Chamber Assembly requires support from a System Cabinet that houses the system power supplies, measurement electronics, PC Controller, and the PowerStar control and operational software. .

The heart of the system is the Force/Sense DUT (FSD) Module. The FSD module is a 6U euro-card format that has a front panel control/monitor interface and a rear connector where the DUT Carrier Card will mount. Each FSD module controls up to 8 DUT Test Cells. The FSD Module provides local force, sense and control signals for HTRB and HTGB testing. Each DUT can be individually controlled by the FSD Module. As each FSD Module houses 8 DUTs, a total of 10 FSD Modules will be required for a single SemTest HT80 system. The system may be expanded in blocks of 80 DUT to 160, 240, 320 etc.

The system continuously monitors the current flow in each DUT. If at any time the current exceeds the set limit, the supply voltage to this the device is turned off to prevent damage. All other DUTs continue to be tested.

The system also has the ability to reverse the polarity of the high voltage supply automatically as part of a test routine without having to turn the tester off and change jump leads.

Tests and measurements include voltage up to 1200V, current up to 1000A, power up to 20kW (total dissipated power), a range of DUT Voltages and a temperature range from -40°C to +180°. System test configuration is programmed at a PC using a user friendly GUI (Graphical User Interface).
Local control of the test is performed by distributed local controllers. A DUT interface card is used to provide high power isolated control for particular DUT types. Test results are written to an SQL Database for analysis and traceability.

DUT failures are detected by real time DUT monitoring circuitry, which compares measured values to warning and control limits based on DUT history. When a DUT starts to fail, all electrical stresses are removed within 30msec. This prevents further catastrophic damage to the DUT and allows the user to remove it for detailed failure mode analysis.

Simon Tanner, European Sales manager of Interpro Systems comments, “Built around a modular architecture the SemTest configuration can be modified to meet specific customer requirements. With over 25 years of experience in power device testing our broad knowledge ensures high quality comprehensive test coverage which can be tailored to meet customer’s specific test requirements. Our team of experts consult with the customer every step of the way from project specification to design, build and integration”

Select your panel meters, controllers etc on your iPad!


The 2014 Catalog App of 40 year old Precision Digital Corp for iPad has just  been announced. This interactive app contains all the specifications and connection drawings from Precision Digital's print catalogue in a smartly designed, easy-to-navigate interface for salespeople, OEMs, and end users. The app also includes selections from the company's extensive video library of tutorials and product demos, covering digital panel meters, process and temperature controllers, loop-powered indicators, pump controllers, and more.

The 2014 Precision Digital Catalog App for iPad provides detailed data organised by easily identifiable Chapters and Sections; this makes locating information effortless. Product data can be found by application type, such as level, flow, pressure, and temperature. Featured products include the
explosion-proof ProtEX® Series, ProVu® 1/8 DIN digital panel meters, Trident X2 large display panel meters, Vigilante® II alarm annunciators, and LoopLeader® loop-powered and intrinsically safe meters and rate/totalisers. Accessories for each product are displayed in close proximity to maximize the user experience. The app can also be used to quickly discover which products have specific agency approvals, including FM, CSA, ATEX, IECEx, and UL. Most products are NEMA 4X and carry CE marking.

The 2014 Catalog App allows users to stay abreast of new developments from Precision Digital such as Super Snooper Modbus® Scanners, Feet & Inches displays, and the company's newest line of field-mounted instruments -- the Vantageview Series. You can download the app from their website here.

• Precision Digital products are marketed in Ireland by PJ Boner & Co.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Water quality monitoring instrumentation company appoints new CEO.

Steve Willis has been appointed Chief Executive of Intellitect Water. Steve will take charge of all day to day operations during August and will be based at the company’s facility in Romsey (GB).

Steve Willis
Intellitect Water’s current Chief Executive Tony Halker will manage the transfer of operational responsibilities over the next few months, after which he will remain a Director of both the operating and holding companies.

Steve Willis started his career in the water industry as an engineer in water treatment systems. This developed into sales leadership roles in a variety of SMEs and his most recent position was European Managing Director of Futec, a manufacturer of process automation solutions.

Tony Halker commented, “This appointment comes at a good time for the business as it coincides with increased sales of the second generation Intellisonde and further investments from Pemberstone Ventures, the major shareholder in Intellitect Water Holdings.

“I am pleased to welcome Steve to the team and look forward to utilising his considerable experience to further develop Intellitect Water’s success.”

Wireless gives gives bearings advantage!

SKF has joined the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute. Since its inception in 1907, SKF has specialized in crafting cutting-edge technology solutions for industrial markets.

Cut-away SKF
self-aligning ball bearing!
As a world leader in bearing technology for over a century, SKF has a unique understanding of rotating equipment and how machine components and industrial processes interrelate. SKF plans to include ISA100 Wireless technology in its condition-monitoring product portfolio.

“SKF adds ground-breaking technologies into products that can translate into real customer advantages,” said Sjur Holm, Strategic Product Line Manager, SKF USA Inc. “ISA100 Wireless will give our condition-monitoring offerings a competitive edge that will translate into direct customer benefits of saving time and money.”

“We are extremely pleased to include SKF as a new member of the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute and look forward to collaborating with SKF team members,” said Andre Ristaino, Managing Director, ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute. “SKF is a globally recognized company with a great reputation and impressive portfolio of products and engineering service offerings.”

PXI embedded controller with 4th generation Intel Core i7 Processor!

Their new PXIe-3985, its highest performing 3U PXIe embedded controller has been released by AdLink. It is equipped with the quad-core 4th gen. Intel® Core™ i7-4700EQ processor and operating at up to 3.4 GHz clock frequency (in single-core Turbo Boost Mode). With four links x4 or two links x16 and x8 PCI Express gen 2 link capability, up to 8 GB/s of total system throughput and up to 16 GB of DDR3L 1600 MHz RAM, the PXIe-3985 is the perfect choice for applications requiring intensive data analysis or processing and high-speed data streaming, such as in wireless, radar, or RF testing environments.

As a sponsor member of the PXI System Alliance, ADLINK is continuously expanding its portfolio of PXI and PXI Express offerings with new generation Intel processors. We’re dedicated to providing test and measurement operators with the means to overcome testing task challenges at the lowest possible time to market.’’ stated Catherine Wu, Senior Product Director of ADLINK's Measurement and Automation Product Segment. “ADLINK leads the field in its introduction of the PXIe-3985 4th gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor-based controller. With the highest CPU and graphic performance on the market, we’re helping customers to increase their testing throughput and accelerate the testing process.’’

Based on PCI Express technology, the ADLINK PXIe-3985 can offer four links x4 or two links x16 and x8 PXI Express link capability for interfacing with a PXI Express chassis backplane. When configured in this combination, with a high performance PXI Express chassis such as the ADLINK 3U 18-slot PXES-2780 chassis, maximum system throughput of up to 8 GB/s is enabled, providing an effective solution for high bandwidth applications requiring intensive data analysis or processing and data streaming. In addition the PXIe-3985 features up to 16 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3L memory capacity, ideal for seamless execution in memory-intensive applications.

The ADLINK PXIe-3985 provides versatile I/O capability, including dual DisplayPort connectors with 4K 2K support, dual GbE ports, GPIB, four USB 2.0 ports, dual hi-speed USB 3.0 ports and trigger I/O for advanced PXI trigger functions. Easy connection with external standalone instruments or devices and innovative design such as dual BIOS backup, reduce maintenance efforts, with fast and easy swapping of battery, storage device, and SODIMM modules all deliver high availability in testing systems.

The PXIe-3985, supporting Windows 7 32/64-bit operating systems, is optimized when installed in the ADLINK 3U high capacity 18-slot PXES-2780 chassis or compact 9-slot PXES-2590 chassis, are winning combinations for a wide variety of testing and measurement applications.

New range of function generators!

Arbitrary/function generators combine intuitive operation with comprehensive sweep and modulation facilities

The new Yokogawa FG400 Series is a range of arbitrary/function generators that combine intuitive operation with comprehensive sweep and modulation facilities. The instruments allow the creation of basic, application specific and arbitrary waveforms, and feature isolated output channels which allows their use in the development of floating circuits in power electronics applications.
The range consists of two models: the single-channel FG410 and the two-channel FG420: both generating signals of up to 20 V peak-to-peak over the frequency range from 0.01 µHz to 30 MHz. Operation is via front-panel pushbuttons and a 3.5-inch LCD screen which displays alphanumeric values alongside the generated waveforms.

The instruments incorporate a number of basic waveforms as standard, including sine, DC, ramp, square and pulse. Advanced functions include sweep (frequency, phase, amplitude, DC offset and duty), modulation (FM, FSK, PM, PSK, AM, DC offset and PWM) and burst (auto, trigger, gate and triggered gate).

Up to 128 arbitrary waveforms of up to 512 kW per waveform can be generated and saved to the instrument's internal non-volatile memory, and can then be selected from a displayed list. The waveforms can be created in the FG400 or with the free editing software included. Sequences of different waveform patterns can be generated and edited by programming the appropriate parameters.

The FG400 Series can also generate arbitrary waveforms based on signals that have been acquired by measuring instruments. Troubleshooting is made easier as the instrument can then generate waveforms that are difficult to reproduce, such as noise that only occurs on site. With the free editing software, waveforms that are acquired using a Yokogawa DL850E ScopeCorder or DLM4000 mixed-signal oscilloscope, for example, can be analysed on a PC to find the abnormal waveform. This abnormal part can then be clipped, saved and generated using the FG400.

The FG400 Series also provides 25 different types of application-specific waveforms including those needed to evaluate the response characteristics of mechanical/electrical circuits and to emulate power supply circuits. As the parameters of these application-specific waveforms can be changed like those of basic waveforms, waveforms are quicker and easier to generate.

The two output channels of the FG420 can be linked. In this mode, both output signals vary when either channel is adjusted. In addition, up to six units can be linked and synchronised to provide up to 12 output channels. The phase of each channel is synchronised to the master unit and can be individually adjusted.

The FG400 Series also has an external input terminal which allows it to be used with a higher-accuracy external frequency reference such as a rubidium frequency standard.

FDT test site accredited!

The FDT Group has recently accredited KROHNE Messtechnik GmbH, Duisburg (D), as official FDT Test Site for FDT DTM certification. The certificate is the official acknowledgement for the fulfilment of the FDT specifications and thus an important mark of quality in the market for manufacturers and their products.

To officially verify the conformity of a DTM (Device Type Manager) to the standards of the FDT group, it has to pass standardised tests in an accredited FDT Test Site. KROHNE strived for this accreditation to address the increasing number of customer requests for certified DTMs for measuring instruments. Now, KROHNE Messtechnik GmbH is able to carry out tests of DTMs (Device type managers) developed by KROHNE or others which qualify for certification by the FDT Certification Office. Including KROHNE, there are only 10 accredited test sites worldwide.

The FDT Group (FDT: Field Device Tool) is an open, independent, non-profit association of international companies. The group strives for enabling the seamless integration of automation components, procured from global supply channels, across all automation networks.

HMI simplifies geeky PID control!

"We try to simplify really geeky topics such as PID loop control. So it is with much satisfaction that we report that our engineers have created new software to sit on the REVO human machine interface (HMI) touch panel colour display that will interface with the REVO-TC thyristor package and simplify things further still." So says Jez Watson MD at CD Automation

CD Automation’s REVO-TC is a single loop temperature control and power solution that dramatically reduces wiring costs and cabinet size. The REVO TC combines a PID temperature controller, solid state relay (thyristor), quick blow fuse protection and current monitoring, all in a compact single loop package.

With the new REVO HMI for REVO TC, up to 30 zones can be monitored from a 4.3, 7, or 10 inch colour display to show trends and manage recipes. There is also a warm-up planner and multiple languages including English, German, Italian and French.

Each product can manage up to 30 loops and the operator page can display four or eight loops depending on the HMI and setup of the project. Tapping the zone description area gives access to an advanced parameter and setup page for each zone.

The four or eight loop page display features a zone description that can be edited by the user, on-off pushbutton, set-point display and setting, temperature measured display, power output value, generic alarm status, deviation graph and trend display push button for each zone.

An advanced operating page provides process and alarm information for each loop. Moving from zone to zone can easily be achieved by using the forward and back arrow keys.

Control parameters comprise proportional band, integral time, derivative time, cooling gain, overlap for proportional band, pre-tune activation and self-tune activation.

Each loop can have a dedicated trend page that provides a graphical time display of set-point value and temperature control response. A 15 minute log can be shown at any one time on a maximum of 24 operating pages, including four graphical displays.

An Jez concludes, "Off course, you may pride yourself in being a geek, in which case you might not want a REVO HMI, particularly if your geek code is e+++++. However if your geek code is e+ to e--, you may want to contact us and ask us about REVO HMI. "