Friday, October 3, 2014

Panel feed-through aids installation of PushPull connectors

Harting has extended its established PushPull connector family with a new panel feed-through component in robust plastic for mounting the Han® PushPull Power 4.0 connector in round panel cutouts with IP65/67 protection class. The round panel feed-throughs can be screwed into wall openings with M25 threads or mounted in circular wall openings with a diameter of 25 mm.

Round panel feed-throughs offer decisive advantages in situations where existing devices require a quick and simple conversion of a (non-pluggable) cable entry into a pluggable energy supply entry, while at the same time avoiding mechanical reworking of the housing wall.

In addition, round panel feed-throughs with PushPull locking offer advantages where an additional interface is required for an existing housing. In many cases the production of a round wall cutout requires less work.

The Han® PushPull Power 4.0 connector is suitable for power transfer at ratings of up to 690 V and 16 A. Wire gauges from 0.25 mm² to 2.5 mm² can be connected either without tools, using Harting's Han®-Quick Lock rapid termination technique, or with crimp technology. Five contacts are available in each insulated insert.

The connectors can be coded without loss of poles, in order to avoid faulty mating or confusion between several connectors. Further accessories include IP65/67 protective caps.

Technical note on new methodology for high speed imaging!

IDS Imaging Development Systems  has published a new technical note entitled ‘Multi integration mode: Multiple exposures within one image’. This explores how the multi integration mode of the 2 MP CMOS sensor from e2v used in the USB 3 uEye CP family of industrial cameras allows high sped imaging to be obtained without the need for a specialist high speed camera.

Click to download (pdf)
This new technical tip is available for download and shows how the Multi integration mode allows multiple exposures to be made on just one image for motion blur reduction and visualising speed. Full set-up details for the new mode are described.

The Multi integration mode is especially suitable for use in ITS for automatic number plate recognition as well as in the sports and medical fields or particle analysis/tracing. It can also be used to superimpose multiple exposures of a positional state in one shot for extremely short exposures and dark images associated with these. This allows summing to be carried out on dark images in cyclical processes to improve signal to noise.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

New vortex flowmeter for advanced energy measurement.

OPTISWIRL 4200 vortex flowmeter for the measurement of conducting and non-conducting liquids, gases and steam has been introduced by Krohne. The new device is targeted at auxiliary and supply applications in various industries, such as internal monitoring of energy flows for saturated and superheated steam or hot water, and heat metering applications. Areas of usage also cover steam boiler monitoring, burner consumption measurement or compressed air network monitoring, including FAD applications.

Based on the experience gained with the predecessor OPTISWIRL 4070, the new flowmeter comes with some advanced features: in addition to gross heat calculation for steam, the OPTISWIRL 4200 now includes net heat calculation for steam and condensate (hot water) as well. With one temperature sensor integrated as standard, the device can be installed as heat meter in the feed line directly connected with an external temperature sensor in the return line. The gross and net heat calculation can be fed into a DCS to support advanced energy management.

As established with the predecessor, temperature and pressure compensation options are also available for the new OPTISWIRL 4200 to enable calculation of standard flow volume under fluctuating pressures and temperatures (online density compensation). Both compensation functions are based on the standards of NIST (for gas) respectively IAPWS (for steam). Another advantage is that by combining three measurements (flow, temperature and pressure) in one 2-wire-device, the line has to be opened only once for installation.

In addition to the standard sensor range, a version with integrated reduction of nominal diameter up to two sizes is now available for space-saving installations and large measuring spans. About 90% of all vortex flowmeters are ordered one size smaller than line diameter in order to increase the flow speed and to get a wider measuring range. Here, the line has to be reduced before and widened after the sensor, typically including 20 DN inlet and 5 DN outlet. With the reduction and widening of nominal diameter included in the sensor, this is no longer necessary. To compensate for no straight inlet between reduction and the vortex bluff body, these devices are specially calibrated and linearised.

The remote version OPTISWIRL 4200 F with field housing converter is now available with connection cable up to 50 m/164 ft. As with the predecessor, a dual version with two independent sensors and two signal converters is also available for multiproduct pipelines, redundant measurement or increased safety demands.

Enhancements have also been made on the electronics side: equipped with new AVFD function (Advanced Vortex Frequency Detection), the newly developed signal converter VFC 200 of the OPTISWIRL 4200 features advanced signal processing and filtering: interferences and disturbances in the pick-up signal are suppressed, and signals apart from the relevant frequency band are filtered out. Redundant data management prevents loss of calibration and configuration data when changing electronics or display.

By default, all OPTISWIRL devices are wet-calibrated at factory (traceable to international standards) and pre-set to match customer specifications. OPTISWIRL 4200 also comes with an installation wizard to ease installation; e.g. in a steam application it will only show related settings.

• Krohne products are marketed in Ireland by DWN Instrumentation.

Centralized or Decentralized?

Dr. Arne Linder, Product Management at Kollmorgan's Ratingen (D) plant considers which architecture type delivers the best technical and commercial advantages ?

Dr. Arne Linder
Decentralising servo technology can bring machine and plant construction savings during installation. Two additional advantages include reduced cabinet heat loads and more straight forward drive architecture. The question arises however, which technology is better, an integrated motor/drive solution or a detached motor and drive?

So often in life the answer to a question is neither A or B, but instead C. This is true for the discussion of decentralized versus centralized servo technology in determining the best system. What architecture is best from a commercial and technical standpoint for a particular application? Instead of A or B, the answer C comes about through mixed architectures, a coexistence of both types. In this case the two approaches can be easily combined when the drives have a large number of common features. As such, standardization of these platforms is the best approach.
Space-saving drive solutions with a modular design are required for machines in the food and packaging industries. Distributed servo technology supports this trend.
The centralized architecture
In contrast to horizontal conveying where decentralized servo drives are a common sight, centrally located servo drives are still dominate the market for highly dynamic and precise motion control. Servo drives along with other control components, sometimes with a full blown IPC, reside together in a control cabinet protected from the outside world. Connection to the motors is in a star shaped structure, each having control and power cables. Because heat loss is centrally generated, effective air conditioning is needed in the cabinet.

The decentralized alternative
Decentralized servo technology follows the basic principal of shifting the individual motor control from the central control cabinet to be closely located to the process This architecture makes necessary a robust design providing a high degree of environmental protection. The advantage lies particularly in terms of motor cabling. Two other advantages are improved EMC-behavior and the widespread distribution of heat loss, reducing the cost or need for a centralized cabinet climate control system.

Trends in machine building industry
Especially with packaging machinery and machines for the food and beverage industry, the trend is away from meter long cabinet walls but instead installing small, highly self-protected units within the machine frame. The progressive trend is toward modularization of production facilities making necessary the distribution or combination of functions. This statement is reinforced by the fact that production equipment consist of a main process and ancillary tasks. The latter are a variety of compatible modules – for example conveyor systems, sorters and handling units. This provides a path for easy expansion of the machine. Against this backdrop, practical experience shows that a decentralized structure is advantageous, especially with spatially distributed single axes. In contrast, machine modules for synchronized axis physically close together and centrally located drives in a cabinet are generally considered the preferred structure.

The layout is a distributed servo drive architecture
 with AKD-N servo drives, different motor types,
and single-cable connection technology.
Monetary savings in installation and mounting
The savings potential of decentralized technology can be clearly shown based on a real metal forming machine having eight axes. The first axis of which is located 5 meters away from the control cabinet with each additional axis located 3 meters further. A centralized control system would be characterized by a central control cabinet housing the drives with each motor having separate shielded power and feedback cables adding up to 248 meters of cable.

Specifically designed the distributed servo drives
for the AKD-N range as distributed devices,
so that there are no deductions in power density.
Instead, a combination of a single KOLLMORGEN AKD-C power supply module and 8 decentralized AKD-N servo controllers would reduce the cable requirement to 34 meters. The calculation: A single 5 meter hybrid cable supplying power and field bus for axis control is connected between the power supply module and the first decentralized controller. A single hybrid cable 3 meters long connects each additional drive for a total of 21 meters. Because we assume that each motor is located 1 meter away from each decentralized AKD-N drive KOLLMORGEN provides a one-cable motor connection technology, only 8 additional meters of cable is required. Overall, the decentralized system reduced the cable requirements from 248 to 34 meters, a savings of 86 percent. These figures represent an idea of the overall monetary gains for the OEM including cable costs and reduction in assembly effort. When the axes require additional I/O the reduction in cabling is even more obvious. Instead of 372 meters, only 42 meters is needed, a corresponding saving of 89 percent.

Another benefit of the relocation of drives is the reduction of power dissipated in the control cabinet. This effectively reduces the requirements for air conditioning thus providing direct saving for both the OEM and end user. As such, the control cabinet air conditioner can be reduced in size or completely eliminated, reducing costs for hardware and subsequent operation ultimately increasing energy efficiency.

Technical advantages by decreasing complexity
The AKD -N series KOLLMORGEN drives provide IP67 protection and connection via an eleven millimeter diameter hybrid cable to the central supply module in the control cabinet. This single cable provides power and communications without the need for any additional cabling. Each AKD –C supply module can support two strings of AKD -N drives up to 4 kW each, and up to 8 AKD –N drives per string. Safe Torque Off shutdown performed via the hybrid cable comes as standard, and can be implemented for each drive individually or as group. Also, only one cable is necessary between the distributed servo controller and its connected motor thanks to a new single-cable technology. Two cables are no longer required to provide motor power and feedback. In material handling applications where precise motion is demanded, separate cable trays or tow chains are often required for motor and feedback cables. This requirement is now reduced because there is much less cabling.

Winning with increased design freedom
Sample calculations show that the decentralized servo technology saves space in combination with the single-cable connection technology between motor and controller. This benefit results in smaller cable trays, lighter drag chains, and more compactness giving more design freedom in the development of new machines. This freedom resulted primarily from the fact that the distributed technology extends modularization capabilities in comparison to the unflexible, central control design. The bottom line is that this allows new OEM plants to create new machines from already developed modules making the engineering more efficient.
More order in the tangle of cables: If servo drives are used right next to motors, the elaborate power wiring from a central control cabinet can be dispensed with. Installation becomes clearer.

Distributed drive technology as a hybrid
A second way to decentralize is with the use of a hybrid integrated solution. These are combined motor and servo controller units without the need for external wiring. This so-called “piggyback” solution has the disadvantage of drive derating with increased ambient temperature. The higher the ambient the more performance reduction occurs in order for the drive to self-protect from overheating. This relationship ensures in practice that the motors must be larger than otherwise necessary to give the required performance within acceptable temperature limits for the electronics. Typical servo tasks such as rapid acceleration and deceleration during positioning can be especially difficult in the design of hybrid solutions due to the problem of effectively dissipating heat.

However, separating the motor and drive at this point prevents the inherent design-related derating. This solution provides the basis for smaller motors in combination with better energy efficiency. In addition, integrated combinations are usually focused on a single motor type, limiting flexibility in the machine design. In contrast, any KOLLMORGEN brushless motor type can be connected to the decentralized AKD-N servo drive. These motors include conventional or direct drive rotary and linear direct drive types, providing true design freedom and optimum performance.

An integration example
In conclusion, to clarify these relationships an example of servo drive technology for a food processing machine will be shown. The process begins with the cutting of sausage and cheese by a so-called slicer. The product is conveyed onto a belt. The process is not just a simple matter of conveying a sausage stack from point A to B but to transport it as well defined shingles. The need for highly dynamic single axis positioning system is clear. The question now arises how to integrate the required sophisticated motion control functions while maintaining centralized machine control. The slicer provides a good example because it represents a specific decentralized axis because its high power requirement cannot be met with a decentralized drive. The primary objective from the manufacturing perspective is to harmonize highly diverse functional requirements for a wide combination of centralized and decentralized solutions. The KOLLMORGEN AKD-N drive deliberately focuses on the use of a centralized AKD platform. It provides appropriate technology to allow the optimum selection of a motion solution for the performance task required, offered through the wide variety of compatible actuators.

PLC support helps pump OEM create application-specific water pressure boosting systems.

The easy configurability of ABB's AC500 PLC range is helping the specialist pump OEM, Plad Equipment, to rapidly produce application-specific pump systems for boosting water pressure in high-rise buildings.

Plad's dual- and triple-pump systems are widely used for pressure boosting. However, virtually every application in the buildings market demands a degree of customization, both operationally, and in form factor - to fit into the spaces available and interface to pre-determined inlet and outlet piping. To simplify the operational configuration of pump control, Plad decided to standardize on ABB PLC control for water pressure boosting systems.

Before the switch, Plad had used ABB drives for a long time, but tended to buy its PLCs from different suppliers, and to integrate the control system in house. This multi-supplier approach had led to the occasional system integration problem in the past. So, when ABB approached Plad to talk about its ongoing development of a new modular 'water library' of PLC software - which features a large range of relevant pump control and data collection functions - Plad became interested.

ABB proposed a new pump control solution based on the continued use of ABB's ACS550 variable speed drives, but with control provided by the AC500 PLC. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the drive and PLC combination, ABB developed a flexible control program, which utilized many pump control functions from the development version of its Water Library software.

It was clear to the OEM that this proposed solution offered a great deal of flexibility, allowing Plad to configure one master software package for dual or triple pump systems, as well as select other operational parameters required for different types of high-rise building water pressure boosting.

ABB's example design also provided a number of technical advances over Plad's own previous control system arrangements. The use of Modbus RTU networking eliminated equipment cabling and simplified system assembly. The ABB PLC’s high level Function Block library for communications also simplified data exchange with the ABB drives, speeding control development and simplifying maintenance tasks on Plad systems.

The proposed control solution, combined with ABB's obvious willingness to provide in-depth support on control matters, proved very attractive for Plad. So, Plad made the switch and now specifies ABB PLC and drive systems for all of its pumping systems for the building market.

"We are pumping specialists first," says Robert Delisle, director of Plad Equipment, "so, standardization on a single control systems supplier makes a lot of sense. It means that we sidestep any potential system integration problems. However, the key deciding factor in choosing ABB as our supplier was its willingness to act as a technical partner and provide in-depth support. If a user needs new functionality we can always call on ABB experts to discuss or help us implement a change. This partnership becomes very attractive for a mid-sized OEM like us - allowing us to focus most of our technical resources on our core pumping technology and applications know-how - and I believe it will help us to expand our business."

"Having a strong relationship with a customer makes it easy for us to invest our own time - to ensure that our products are used in the most efficient way, and to use our control systems expertise to help clients meet new challenges," adds Patrice Bélec, a PLC Product Specialist with ABB Canada.

The pumping systems that are used for water pressure boosting in high rise buildings can be configured in many different ways depending on factors including the water pressure available, the size of the building, the spaces available for risers and equipment such as valves and break tanks on higher floor levels. To deal with this complexity and match the solution to the application, Plad offers a broad range of pumping systems with many configuration choices such as the ability to have dual or triple pumps to meet varying demand levels and for reliability, variable speed operation, local or remote instrumentation. Systems are also typically assembled on small skids, which allow a great deal of flexibility over the size and shape of the finished system. The pumping action required from each system can also vary greatly in complexity depending on the application and the needs of the user, and custom-made control panels are fitted to almost every system shipped.

The combination of the proven ACS550 drives and AC500 PLC in this application add - on top of energy efficient operation - flexibility and connectivity to Plad's pump product lines. This facilitates simple maintainability and ensures that future requirements can be incorporated with minimal engineering efforts by a PLC engineer. The AC500 also acts as the central interface for several pumps or ACS550 drives to the system's CP600 HMI panel, enabling open interaction, monitoring and visualization of single pumps, as well as the whole pump-set configuration.

Hygrometer approved for explosive atmospheres in Brazil!

Michell Instruments’ MDM300 I.S. high-speed portable dew-point hygrometer has gained certification from INMETRO, the Brazilian National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality for use in hazardous or explosive atmospheres. The MDM300 I.S. already carries certification from ATEX, IECEx, CSA, FM and GOST. The Brazilian certification extends the instruments’ global coverage.

With its custom-designed sampling kit, the MDM300 I.S. is able to make reliable measurements in natural gas streams at up to 350 bar, giving readings that are representative of actual process conditions. Because it is a portable instrument, the MDM300 I.S. enables measurements to be made at multiple points in the process – which means that points of moisture ingress are identified quickly and easily before damage is caused.

Michell’s thermo-paramagnetic oxygen analyzer, the XTP601 and explosion-proof dew-point transmitter, the Easidew PRO XP, also have INMETRO Certification.

• Michell products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

T & M powersources for USA and Europe!

Interpro Systems have been appointed by Preen, specialist manufacturers of test and measurement power Sources as their distributor for the USA and Europe. These new product lines complement and widen INTEPRO’s existing portfolio and will deliver new business with established customers as well as taking INTEPRO into the new, fast-growing, Green energy industries.   

Established in 1989 Preen have become a major manufacturer of AC and DC Power Sources and Frequency Converters and is one of only three manufactures of “Regenerative” AC Power Sources. Preen is considered to be the world leading manufacturer of large capacity power sources as used by Green Energy equipment suppliers.

With its headquarters in Taiwan, Preen produces 65MW of AC power products per year and has three factories with 370 employees, including an R&D team of 55 engineers. In addition to supplying a large number of global OEMs Preen has provided Grid simulators and Voltage regulator sources to most international EMC certification labs where clean controllable energy is key to their customers operation.

Preen are at the leading edge of renewable energy and electric vehicle development and test as well as the more traditional markets of test and burn-in of industrial and military systems, IT, automotive, medical and white goods. The Preen product range provides complete solutions to customer’s power requirements and includes Linear Transistor AC power sources from 0.5 to kVA, Industrial AC power sources operating at 47~63Hz rated from 0.5 to 2000kVA, Military 400Hz AC power sources from 0.5 to 400kVA, 45~500Hz Wide Frequency power sources from 0.5 to 300kVA, Shore Frequency Converters from 300 to 1200A and Grid Simulation power supplies from 6 to 2000kVA.

The new, very comprehensive Preen product range is supplied at a very competitive rate, maximizing performance on the tightest of budgets.

Preen offer a full range of services to customers including on-site planning and technical consultancy, full engineering installation service and an upgrade support in the event of a regulation change.

Stuart Gibson, Interpro's Sales Manager comments, “Preen is an experienced, customer proven supplier of high efficiency power solutions for test and measurement applications in industrial and new energy markets and is an excellent fit alongside our own power test and electronic load products.

New addition to sales management team in USA!

The leading provider of high-precision micro-assembly equipment and customized electronics manufacturing solutions AMICRA Microtechnologies GmbH, has selected Joe Ettipio as Sales Manager for the U.S. Western Region. Mr. Ettipio will be responsible for the company's state-of-the-art portfolio of die bonder and flip-chip bonder systems, wafer inking systems, dispense and test systems, and other advanced technology solutions and services, working out of his home office in California.

Joe Ettipio
He is the second addition to the U.S. Sales management team this year, and will be responsible specifically for the Western region of the United States. Joe brings along with him 24 years of diverse experience as a technical sales professional, selling and working in the front and backend microelectronics and semiconductor industry, as well as medical and aerospace and defense facilities, predominately located throughout North America and Europe.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He got his start into the field as an Electrical Design Engineer for General Dynamics in San Diego, California, which was then followed with him holding Sales Manager positions at Orthodyne Electronics, covering the European community, and Palomar Technologies, specializing in the Western U.S. Through these sales management experiences, Joe has established a proven track-record of creating and optimizing business relationships and markets, successfully managing projects throughout all phases, and maximizing sales results.

Since then, Joe has held several high-ranking leadership positions including being President of JPE Sales, Inc., Director of Sales (Americas) for F&K Delvotec, as well as serving the past 4 years as Director of Sales & Business Development (Worldwide) for McBain Systems.

From these positions he has solidified expertise in the area of die attach, wire bonding, inspection and measurement solutions as well as equipment customization to fit technically challenging niche applications requiring specialized optics, high accuracy motion control, automation and more. All of Ettipio’s experiences have given him an understanding on how to define and deliver solutions for complex customer requirements, and a dedication to boost customer satisfaction by meticulously managing projects from inception through installation and follow up.

Preconfigured A/D XMC Modules for radar, communications & data acquisition applications!

The newest members of Pentek's highly popular Onyx® family of high-speed data converter XMC FPGA modules: the 3-channel Onyx Model 71721 and the 4-channel Onyx Model 71761, 200 MHz 16-bit A/D XMC modules based on the high density Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA. Each has a programmable digital down converter and a suite of built-in programmable cores.

“These modules hit the current sweet spot for performance and functionality with their built-in IP cores that eliminate costly development effort," said Bob Sgandurra, Pentek’s director of Product Management. "The increased space for IP in the Virtex-7 also leaves plenty of additional room for customer supplied applications."

A/D Converter Stage
Each module has a front end A/D converter stage that accepts three (Model 71721) or four (Model 71761) analog HF or IF inputs on front panel SSMC connectors, with each transformer-coupled to Texas Instruments ADS5485 200 MHz, 16-bit A/D converters. The 200 MHz sampling rate handles the needed bandwidth for a wide range of signal processing applications. The Model 71721 also includes a two-channel 16-bit 800 MHz D/A converter.

Performance IP Cores
The Model 71721 and Model 71761 come preconfigured with a suite of built-in functions for digital down conversion, data capture, synchronization, time tagging, and formatting, making them ideal turn-key interfaces for radar, communications, or general data acquisition applications. An A/D acquisition IP module is included for easy data capture and delivery to system memory.

The Model 71721 and 71761 each feature a complete beamforming subsystem. The DDC core contains programmable I & Q phase and gain adjustments followed by a power meter that continuously measures the individual average power output. The time constant of the averaging interval for each meter is programmable up to 8K samples. The power meters present average power measurements for each DDC core output in easy-to-read registers. A threshold detector automatically sends an interrupt to the processor if the average power level of any DDC core falls below or exceeds a programmable threshold.

A programmable summation block sums any of the four DDC core outputs, with a power meter, threshold detector and a programmable gain stage to compensate for bit growth. The sum can be selected for output across PCIe. Alternatively, for larger systems, local sums from several boards can be aggregated via a built-in Xilinx Aurora gigabit serial interface, daisy- chained through the P16 XMC connectors.

The Model xx721 also includes a waveform generation IP core and a programmable interpolation filter to support digital upconversion within the D/A.

Boosting Performance with the Onyx Architecture
Building upon the proven design in the Cobalt Virtex-6 family, architectural enhancements in the Onyx family include a doubling of the DDR3 memory in both size and speed to 4 GB and 1600 MHz, respectively. The PCIe interface has been upgraded to Gen 3, delivering peak transfer rates up to 8 GB/sec. The Virtex-7 is more power efficient than previous generations making it easier to utilize larger FPGAs. Optional LVDS and gigabit serial connections to the Virtex-7 are available for connecting to custom high performance I/O.

Development Tools and Software Support
GateXpress® PCIe Configuration Manager is a sophisticated FPGA-PCIe hardware engine for managing FPGA reconfiguration. At power up, the GateXpress manager immediately presents a PCIe target to the host computer for discovery and enumeration, giving the FPGA time to load from FLASH. Once booted, the GateXpress manager offers multiple options for dynamically reconfiguring the FPGA with a new IP image, handling the hardware negotiation and streamlining the loading task. GateXpress also allows dynamic FPGA reconfiguration though software commands as part of the runtime application.

For systems that require custom functions, IP can be developed using the Pentek GateFlow® FPGA Design Kit, extending or even replacing the factory-installed functions. Software support packages are available for Linux and Windows operating systems.

Form Factors 

The Model 71721 and Model 71761 XMC modules are designed for both rugged and lab environments and are available in CompactPCI (Models 73721 & 73761), AMC (Models 56721 & 56761), PCIe (Models 78721 & 78761) and VPX (Models 53721 & 53761).

Power centre brings BS EN 61439 peace of mind!

Boulting Technology has launched a new range of low voltage (LV) switchboards. The new Boulting Power Centre (BPC) series offers users BS EN 61439 compliance - a mandatory requirement from 1 November 2014.

BS EN 61439 has been developed to simplify and clarify the means by which the performance of applicable products and assemblies, including switchgear, can be verified against the requirements of the standards. It completely replaces BS EN 60439-1, which will be withdrawn on November 1, 2014. 

In the new standard, some established definitions and practices have been radically revised and new methods of verification have been added. Whilst it retains critical safety-related technical performance requirements, the methods by which performance can be verified have variously been extended, simplified and made more accessible.

LV switchboards distribute electricity within a user’s premises. A mains supply from the grid is subdivided to feed electrically powered equipment, allowing disconnection and protection of assets as required.

The BPC range meets the requirement for higher fault ratings typically found in both commercial, including data centres, hospitals and offices, as well as industrial applications.

The range is available in 100kA, 80kA, 50kA and 25kA specifications, each one offering simple integration and high levels of reliability thanks to their innovative design. Busbar ratings for the 100kA unit are 100kA for one second, with current ratings from 6300A to 2500A, and for the 80kA, current ratings from 1600A to 4000A. This allows flexibility with switchboard layout at the initial design stage.

The LV switchboards are naturally ventilated instead of  forced ventilated, providing greater reliability whilst helping to reduce energy costs.  The specially designed heat dissipation system provides inherent reliability ensuring users achieve maximum availability.

Furthermore, this method of ventilation reduces the footprint by ten to twenty per cent, meaning that even the BPC100  model can be implemented without compromising on space. This provides companies with ample space to grow should their need increase, negating costly plant room extensions further down the line. 

"Here at Boulting Technology we offer turnkey solutions as well as custom design, build, installation and commissioning service," explained managing director, Gordon Mullis. "This enables us to deliver designs optimised for maximum cost efficiency without compromising quality or performance.

"In addition to cost and efficiency, we understand that our customers worry about meeting the latest safety standards and so the new LV switchboard range is already compliant to the stringent BS EN 61439 standard, ensuring that companies are meeting the requirement today."

The Boulting Power Centre series utilises the latest range of ABB low voltage switchgear products including the new innovative SACE Emax 2 range of ACBs (Air Circuit Breakers). These are designed to provide intelligent management of power supplies and energy use. This enables power consumption to be reduced, helping businesses to meet energy reduction targets and maximise efficiency.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quality panel meters recognised by readers!

Red Lion Controls has once again been honoured for its versatile, high-quality panel meters by Control Design Readers' Choice Awards 2014. 

This is the 14th consecutive year that readers of Control Design – key decision-makers within manufacturing facilities that produce a broad range of products, including turbines, conveyors, machine tools, food processing equipment and more – have voted for Red Lion as the top provider of panel meters in the industry.

“Being consistently recognised by the readership of Control Design underscores our commitment to offering the most reliable panel meters in the industry,” said Jesse Benefiel, vice president of product management at Red Lion Controls. “Our industrial automation and networking products have earned the trust and approval of our customers worldwide, and we strive to continue delivering leading technology and responsive technical service to best meet their requirements.”

Control Design sent questionnaires to approximately 15,000 magazine subscribers who work directly with industrial automation and control products. The questionnaire included an unaided ballot in which participants were asked to identify the vendors that came to mind in response to the questions. Respondents selected Red Lion’s name from memory or experience, not from multiple-choice questions, further validating the company’s products and services. Only companies that received at least five percent of the category vote were recognized. Since the survey began 2001, Red Lion has consistently dominated the panel meter category.

“Our Readers' Choice Awards balloting puts the decision-making where it rightly belongs: in the capable hands of Control Design technology users,” says Joe Feeley, editor-in-chief of Control Design. “We ask participants to name the company that provides them the best controls and automation technology value, based on their own user experiences. Clearly our audience sees great value in the panel meter products and service that Red Lion Controls supplies. “

With almost 4 million panel meters sold since the company’s inception, Red Lion’s range of digital and analog input meters is the most comprehensive in the industry. Red Lion panel meters easily accommodate a wide range of applications through varying models, inputs, sizes and other capabilities. From compact CUB indicators to versatile PAX process meters, Red Lion provides flexibility that allows customers to seamlessly add or change capabilities with plug-and-play field installable option cards.

• Red Lion products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology!

Engineer shortlisted for Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards!

Lucy Ackland (26), a Project Manager in Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Products Division working on the company’s next generation of metal 3D printing machines, has been shortlisted for the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Young Woman of the Year Awards. 

Lucy Ackland
She started her career as a mechanical engineering apprentice and has progressed through a variety of roles whilst being supported by Renishaw to achieve further engineering qualifications on a day release basis. In 2012 she achieved a first class honours degree in mechanical and manufacturing engineering from the University of South Wales, and in 2014 she was appointed a Board member of the charity Young Engineers

The IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards aim to find female role models to help address the UK science and engineering skills crisis. Lucy Ackland has been shortlisted along with four female engineers from other leading engineering organisations – Ford, Rolls-Royce, ABB Ltd and Selex ES.

Lucy said: “I am thrilled to have made it this far in a competition that includes so many brilliant high achieving females.” 

“At the age of 13 I was inspired to become an engineer and despite some opposition from those who felt that I should follow a more academic route, I chose to apply for an apprenticeship. I hope that my progress and academic achievements since then can similarly help to inspire other young people to consider engineering as an attractive career option.”

Women currently represent only 6 per cent of the engineering workforce in the UK (source: 2014 IET Skills Survey), the lowest percentage in Europe.

Michelle Richmond, IET Director of Membership, and a former YWE winner, said: “The lack of women in engineering is a huge problem for this country, contributing to skills shortages which threaten the economy. It also means that women are missing out on interesting and rewarding careers.

“The difficulty in attracting women into engineering is down to a combination of things: from the careers advice girls are given in schools, to schools not instilling girls with the confidence to opt for science and maths at A-level, through to employers needing to do more to make their approach to recruitment and retention more female friendly.”

“It’s also a result of the lack of inspirational engineering role models for girls – which is where our Young Woman Engineer of the Year winners can play a vital role by encouraging and inspiring more young girls to become engineers.”

Rugged compact vision system for USB3 vision cameras.

National Instruments has announced a compact solution for high-speed vision applications. The NI CVS-1459RT is a small, rugged vision system with a quad-core Intel Atom processor and two dedicated USB 3.0 ports for USB3 Vision cameras. 

“The NI Compact Vision System is my go-to solution for vision applications where reliability and uptime are key,” said Robert Eastlund, Vice President of Sales for Graftek Imaging Inc. “Now I can leverage the easy connectivity and high throughput of USB3 while taking advantage of new features for high-performance processing and HMI integration. The NI CVS-1459RT enables high-resolution, high-speed industrial vision solutions.” 

The NI CVS-1459RT is programmed with either LabVIEW system design software or Vision Builder for Automated Inspection (AI). Engineers have the option of using LabVIEW FPGA to further customise the FPGA-enabled I/O and tightly synchronise vision inspection results with other parts of industrial systems, such as encoders and proximity sensors. 

The NI CVS-1459RT is based on the LabVIEW reconfigurable I/O (RIO) architecture, an integral part of the NI graphical system design platform. A modern approach to designing, prototyping and deploying embedded monitoring and control systems, graphical system design combines the open LabVIEW programming environment with commercial off-the-shelf hardware to dramatically simplify development so engineers can combine powerful vision tools, I/O, industrial communication, data logging and human machine interfaces (HMIs) into a single environment. 

Key Benefits 
· The rugged form factor is ideal for industrial applications up to 55 ºC 
· Synchronisation with automation devices for camera and lighting triggering via onboard industrial I/O 
· High-bandwidth camera interface with dual USB 3.0 ports for compatibility with the latest low-cost USB3 Vision cameras; ability to use ports with peripherals such as external storage for logging data 
· Processing power with quad-core Intel Atom processor and 64-bit NI Linux Real-Time OS 

· Board-level versions available for OEM applications 

Universal Power Cell for motor load control!

The innovative range of UPC high performance "Hall Effect" power sensors designed specifically for motor load control applications, is available from Vydas International.

The New "Universal" Power Cell range manufactured by Load Controls Inc (USA) has been designed specifically for precision process monitoring & control and is particularly suitable where variable frequency drives are fitted.

The product is designed to cope with the most difficult of motor load sensing tasks when other power sensors and motor load controls are unable to function reliably. The control of many process machines such as grinders, mills, mixers, rollers, pumps, compressors, conveyers etc may be improved dramatically by sensing true power instead of just current.

There are various models allowing the product to be used in a large number of industries, in fact anywhere that electric motors are used such as the food industry, pharmaceutical, chemical, gas, oil, water treatment, building industries, machine tools and many more. Applications include mixture viscosity, tool condition, optimum feed rate, pump or fan flow, beginning or end of processes, detecting obstructions & overloads or loss of load (prime).

The Universal Power Cell Series includes the original standard UPC with analogue outputs but also the UPC-FR (Fast Response) for machine tool or very fast applications as well as the UPC-E (Ethernet) which has an Ethernet Connection and an analogue output. In addition the UPC-LB is suitable for applications where large cable holes are required.

The standard UPC is particularly suited to mixer "process endpoint detection" where by measuring the power drawn by stirrer or paddle drives, the Power Cell is sensitive enough to detect minute viscosity changes on machines ranging from laboratory sizes to large production machines. Power changes may be used to indicate the start or end of a cycle, viscosity end-point or overload.

In combination with associated KWH3 energy meter and DM100 load meter, the UPC-KWH is suitable for many applications such as “Batch Mixing”, where the sensor accumulates the total power absorbed in the mixing process for consistent production batches. Examples of this are processes such as the mixing of rubber, dough and clay which all respond to energy control.

The UPC is truly "Universal and is unique, and is suitable for any 3 phase, single phase AC or DC motors. The UPC uses fast "Hall Effect" devices and does not use CT’s (current transformers) or external VT’s (voltage transformers) where power measurement errors may occur.

Predictive asset analytics and historian solutions complement and strengthen company’s capabilities in power sector!

Schneider Electric has entered into an agreement to acquire InStep Software, a leading provider of real-time performance management and predictive asset analytics software and solutions. It is the latest acquisition from the company’s growing Software business and deepens its presence in the power and energy market. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014, subject to customary regulatory and other closing conditions.

Headquartered in Chicago, Ill. and founded in 1995, InStep provides two primary real-time performance management and predictive analytics software solutions. Its eDNA historian software collects, stores, analyzes, displays and reports on real-time operational and machinery sensor data. Its PRiSM predictive analytics software monitors the real-time health and performance of critical assets by using advanced pattern recognition and diagnostic techniques to identify subtle deviations in operating behavior that are often the early warning signs of imminent failures. The company also offers its EBS energy management software, which helps universities reduce their utility costs by analyzing energy consumption and streamlining the utility billing, cost allocation and reporting processes.

“Acquiring InStep Software is indicative of our commitment to delivering game-changing technology and powerful new solutions that improve efficiency, manage risk and drive higher levels of customer value,” said Ravi Gopinath, Ph.D., executive vice president, Schneider Electric Global Solutions, Software Business. “They have a proven, experienced team who are dedicated to helping their customers achieve new levels of value, performance and profitability, and we are delighted to welcome them to Schneider Electric.”

eDNA software strongly complements Schneider Electric’s Wonderware Historian software, and PRiSM software enhances the company’s industry-leading information and asset management software offerings. Many of the world’s most successful companies use InStep’s software products to manage and analyze the rapidly growing amount of real-time operational and machinery asset-health-related information, but its solutions also complement Schneider Electric’s offerings in several other industries, including food & beverage, consumer packaged goods, metals & mining, life sciences and water & wastewater.

“As with other recent acquisitions, InStep Software strengthens our portfolio in targeted industries and segments,” said Rob McGreevy, vice president, information, operations and asset management, Schneider Electric. “Their solutions give us additional, stronger data management and predictive analytics capabilities in the power and energy management industries, including power transmission and distribution, and will help us fulfill our strategic plans around Big Data, the Internet of Things and other emerging trends. With InStep, we strengthen our reputation as an industry game changer, and we are immediately more competitive in traditional process manufacturing, which fits with our overall strategy of improving our access to the utilities market in North America.”

“The emerging technologies for Big Data, analytics, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine and workforce mobility enable new means for improving process quality and equipment reliability while also reducing maintenance costs,” said Ralph Rio, research director at ARC Advisory Group. “InStep’s capabilities for predictive analytics leverage these technology trends and provide clear business value.  When combined with the strengths of Schneider Electric, we expect wider adoption in the power industry, and acceptance in a broader set of other industries where asset reliability and cost control are important.”

“Combined with Schneider Electric’s existing software offerings, our capabilities and expertise in the power and energy segment allow us to provide broader end-to-end visualization, asset management, operations and mobile solutions to our customers,” said John Kalanik, president of InStep Software. “Together, our software products will make it easier to bridge the IT-OT gap, empowering our customers to manage the increasing volume and complexity of their industrial operations. Our customers will continue to work with the same experienced InStep Software team, and we will continue to provide the same exceptional products and services they have come to expect and rely on. With Schneider Electric, our customers will be backed by a leading-edge global software company and our employees will have more opportunities to fulfill their potential for success.”

InStep Software will continue to be managed by its existing executive team, adding approximately 70 employees to Schneider Electric’s operations in the United States. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

ISA99/IEC 62443 Cyber Security Fundamentals Specialist certificate program!

To fulfill the stronger demand for ICS professionals with knowledge of cyber security within OT environments, ISA Ireland introduces the ISA99/IEC 62443 Cyber Security Fundamentals Specialist certificate program.

This complete program was developed for professionals that are involved in IT and OT security and need to develop a command of industrial cyber security terminology and understanding of the material embedded in the ISA99/IEC 62443 standards.

Professionals can apply for the ISA99/IEC 62443 Cybersecurity Fundamentals Specialist certificate by successfully completing the knowledge training “Using the ANSI/ISA-62443 standards to secure your Control System” and pass an exam.

Training details:
Date: 30-31 October 2014
Course length: 2 days
Location: Cork, Ireland
Cost: €1195 + €185 exam fee ex. VAT

Training course content
During the course of the two-day training, the following will be discussed:
· The principles behind creating an effective long term security program
· Interpreting and applying the ANSI/ISA99 industrial security standards
· Current trends in industrial security incidents
· Basics of risk and vulnerability analysis methodologies
· Principles of security policy development
· Concepts of defense in depth and zone/conduit models of security
· Principles behind the key risk mitigation techniques

Target audience
The training course is targeted at anyone in your organization, involved in Industrial Control Systems or Technical Automation security. With no prior knowledge requirements for this training course, employees ranging from technical staff to non-technical management can participate.

Please complete the registration form (excel format) by no later than Monday 20th october to participate in this course.
Send your completed registration form to the ISA European Office by e-mail to as they will handle invoicing but copy Membership Chair Billy Walsh as  ISA Ireland needs to keep track of registration numbers also.

" 'Best in Class' solution for automated reporting," recognised!

Ocean Data Systems (ODS) has announced that Trihedral has partnered with ODS to provide seamless integration of Dream Report with VTScada.

Trihedral delivers VTScada, a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) solution focused on instant productivity. Trihedral is assisting ODS in the development of specialized Real-time, Alarm and Historic Data interfaces. These interfaces will become a standard part of the Dream Report product. The development of VTScada-specific interfaces within Dream Report, as opposed to leveraging generic interfaces such as OPC or ODBC, will extend that ease of use philosophy to include Dream Report configuration and operation. As Proven Partners, Trihedral and ODS have tested their combined products and will collaborate to support their joint customers.  

"We have 28 years of history in the development of our VTScada solution, and take partnerships with third parties very seriously," explained Glenn Wadden, president of Trihedral. "We took a hard look at Dream Report to make sure that it met our standards of ease of use and quality, and have decided that a partnership with Ocean Data Systems would be in the best interest of our customers, especially those in the Water and Wastewater markets that we serve. That's why we commissioned specialized interfaces making the integration of VTScada and Dream Report as simple as possible for our customers. We're particularly pleased with the way Dream Report supports VTScada's unique tag hierarchy allowing users to easily find the tags they're needing."

"Trihedral clearly recognises Dream Report as the 'Best in Class' solution for automated reporting," said Roy Kok, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ocean Data Systems. "Dream Report will enable VTScada users to easily add both compliance and performance reports to their systems easier than any other solution for this market. As a purpose built solution for industry, Dream Report enables users to spend their time focusing on information and continuous improvement, and not the complexities of IT technologies and system integration."

25 years making PLCs #Pauto

Siemens Electronics Plant in Amberg (EWA) celebrates 25 years as show- case for production automation.
One of the 1000 product variants manufactured in the state-of-the-art Amberg plant rolls off the production line every second. Since the Siemens Electronics Plant (EWA) was founded in Amberg (D) in 1989, products manufactured there by Siemens have included Simatic programmable logic controllers (PLCs). On September 12 and 13 of this year, the EWA invited employees and customers to celebrate its 25-year jubilee.

Programmable logic controllers are used to control plants and machines like the onboard systems of cruise ships and to automate industrial manufacturing processes in fields such as the automotive engineering industry, with the aim of cutting time and costs while ensuring continuous quality improvement. The production process in Amberg itself is also controlled by Simatic: This is where Simatic produces Simatic.

Highest Quality
Siemens is the world market leader in the field of electronic controls. Production in the EWA takes place with a quality factor of 99,9988 percent. A defect quota this low is unique to a production plant. The reason: key elements of the digital factory are already being used in the EWA today. Products communicate with machines, all processes are IT-optimized and controlled.

From the look of the facility, little has changed since 1989. Although the workforce of currently around 1,100 and the size of the production area have remained almost constant, the production volume has increased eight-fold.

Efficient cooling!

Germany manufacturer SHW Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH, from the Swabian area (South Baden-Wurtemburg & East Bavaria States),  manufacture moving column machine tools. Machinery from the company includes a 200-ton moving column milling machine, the PowerForce 8, which is used to mill wind turbine stators with an internal diameter of 6.5 m. At the heart of the mill is a new, variable, universal milling head of orthogonal design with a drive power of 90 kW and a torque of up to 1,725 Nm.

SHW relies on the new “Blue e” generation of cooling devices from Rittal to exploit every possible efficiency potential in enclosure climate control. Consuming 45 per cent less energy than the previous generation, the four wall-mounted devices installed on the machine provide cooling of the input and feedback modules for the axle drive, mains filters, chokes, disconnectors, contactors, relays and have a cooling output amounting to 16 kW. The refrigeration factor of 2.47 (the COP, coefficient of performance) results from the ideal interaction of all the components responsible for the cooling output, as well as from the design of the condensers, evaporators, cooling fins, pipe bends and all the other refrigeration components. Using Rittal cooling technology, SHW have been able to connect the devices via a master-slave arrangement.

Another key factor in the increased efficiency is the ideally designed control electronics, which benefit from the new Eco-Mode control system. If continuous operation of the internal fan is not required, shut down is automatic, thus cutting energy costs.

Previously SHW had problems with cooling devices from another manufacturer that malfunctioned under extreme conditions, due to the influence of carbon dust. Since changing to ex-proof cooling units from Rittal, they have been running without problems.

Intelligent Robots, should we be scared?

Mark Proctor of European Automation has written this piece about automation in the smart factory. He highlights industry movement towards greater automation -  technological advances and the Internet of Things (IoT) are making the prospect of "lights out" manufacturing seem closer than ever. He has used the Siemens facility in Amberg as an example. 

In 1942 science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov bestowed upon the world The Three Laws of Robotics in his collection of short stories I, Robot. This was the basis for a reasonably successful film by the same name that you might have seen.

Without the comforting knowledge of the three laws, the idea of sentient machines would undoubtedly keep many of us up all night. Instead however, safe in the knowledge that, thanks to the first law, a robot may not harm a human being, the dawn of the smart factory can be greeted with open arms instead of terrified screams.  

In the 1980s American carmakers feared they might be completely wiped out by cheaper and more efficient Japanese competitors. This led to car manufacturers in Motor City, Detroit, envisioning an illustrious solution to beat their rivals - “lights-out” manufacturing. The vision was of a factory that could ultimately run on its own with minimal human interaction. They would turn the lights out in the factory and leave robots to do all the work unsupervised.

This hasn't quite been the case with the manufacturing industry until fairly recently. Technological advances and the internet of things have resulted in interconnected devices forming a convergence point between the physical and digital world. The more information stored in a system, the better positioned machines are to make smarter and timelier decisions about things normally left to human judgement.

Most factories now use processes such as laser cutting and injection moulding that operate with minimal human interaction. Additive manufacturing machines can be left alone to print day and night once they have been designated a task. And fear not my human brethren, as we all know a robot must obey the orders given to them by human beings - it’s the second law of robotics.

These processes benefit manufacturers by minimizing defects and downtime, therefore boosting efficiency.   

The Siemens (IW 1000/34) Electronic Works facility in Amberg, Germany, is a plant that we would probably fear if we weren't so impressed by it. The 108,000-square-foot high-tech facility is home to an array of smart machines that coordinate everything from the production to the global distribution of the company’s products. 

The custom, built-to-order process involves more than 1.6 billion components for over 50,000 annual product variations, for which Siemens sources about 10,000 materials from 250 suppliers to make the plant’s 950 different products.

Despite the endless variables within this system, a Gartner industry research study conducted in 2010 found that the plant boasts a reliability rate of more than 99 per cent, with only 15 defects in every million. 

You can therefore see the importance of keeping such an efficient automation process up and running. Asimov's third law - a robot must protect its own existence.

However, when this goes wrong and production breaks down, it's comforting to know that European Automation can send key parts such as drives, motors, PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) and HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces) out in as little as nine hours, to quash any robotic uprising.