Friday, November 28, 2014

Future-proofing paint spraying facility!


Michell Instruments has developed a customised solution to measure relative humidity and temperature in the paint spraying facility for a major European car manufacturer. This enabled them to upgrade the humidity and temperature control on their existing ventilation system.

Cars are sprayed with several different coats to protect from corrosion, seal and prime as well as a coloured base coat and clear finish-coat. The whole process may take up to 12 hours to complete and during this time the relative humidity in the facility must be kept stable at 60% RH to ensure a tough and flawless finish. A consistent temperature is also needed for the paint to dry completely between each stage.

Michell’s DT282 Duct Mount relative humidity and temperature transmitter was selected for the upgrade because it uses the I7000 Hygrosmart sensing module. The sensor is accurate to ±2%RH and to ±0.2°C and is highly stable with less than 1% RH drift over a year to maintain the ideal conditions within the painting facility. Because of the high level of fumes from the painting, the I7000’s high chemical resistance means that it works reliably for long periods, where other, less resistant sensors would need replacing. When maintenance is needed, the I7000 interchangeable ‘plug and play’ system makes it easy. This is important for production processes, such as paint spraying, as stoppages affect the whole production line.

The customer was worried that an older product, which had been upgraded, would no longer fit the ventilation system. Michell’s engineers worked quickly to adapt the standard product so that it would work in the system. The result was that the customer was able, at minimum capital outlay and disruption to their plant, to replace and upgrade their climate-control system.

Michell’s customization projects help to future-proof processes and systems by ensuring that, while products may be improved and upgraded, this will not prevent the new versions from being compatible with existing plant equipment.

• Michell products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology


Thursday, November 27, 2014

One box integrated control panel

As a leading specialist Human Machine Interface (HMI) solutions providers, Stadium IGT know that complete control panel design and manufacture from one provider has significant advantages for integration and substantial cost benefits.

Rather than designing a number of separate control elements to accommodate disparate HMI technologies for in-house and/or specialist external manufacture, outsourcing the complete HMI requirement ensures;
  • best-practice design
  • full compatibility of all the control elements
  • simplifies final assembly and test
  • reduces the number of suppliers required for a project (to one!)
  • improves time to market for end systems

“Our customers find that a one-box, complete, integrated control panel solution has many advantages in design, manufacture, cost and supply chain” comments Terry Moss, Sales and Marketing Director of Stadium IGT. “Opting for a single completed assembly removes the need for further integration, complex testing and multi-vendor liaison in the event of any functional problems. It also allows our engineers to become part of our customer’s own design team to ensure the best possible HMI solution is specified and delivered to the customer.”

Stadium IGT use their many years of experience to benefit control system designers with multi-technology integration into a complex sub-assembly or fully assembled and tested control unit. They offer a complete design, prototype and production manufacturing service which can incorporate keyboards, joysticks, tracker-balls or other interface switching technologies, displays and illumination technology and electro-mechanical devices.

SC21 approved, Stadium IGT integrated control panel solutions serve applications in Industrial, Fire, Security, Telecom, Marine, Aviation, Railway, Medical, MIL, Building Services, Automation and Broadcast.


Stadium IGT HMI assemblies can be specified for use in environmentally hostile conditions in military and industrial control applications. Examples range from Dynamic Positioning Systems for use on ships and oil rigs where back-lit control panels are used for data positioning of vessels, waterproof to IP67 and specified to meet approvals of Lloyds Register for Equipment used in shipping and American Bureau of Shipping to a new generation of Railway Information Point which offers users live and interactive information and emergency assistance.

Phase matched cable assemblies.

The Cable Assembly division of Intelliconnect (Europe) Ltd now offers phase matched cable assemblies. This allows customers to specify the electrical length in time or degrees at the frequency of operation for a specific cable assembly.
Phase matching of a cable assembly is essential when connecting to multi-channel receivers as it is important for discrete channels to match and track each other over frequency of operation. Cables can be matched in “sets” or pairs. One of two methods may be used - electrical length (matched to a golden standard), or phase matched to another cable.

Applications for phase matched cable assemblies include high power amplifiers, RF combiners and filters, multi-beam antenna arrays, phased array radars

Intelliconnect has seen considerable business growth since its launch two years and ago the operation has is relocated to a new facility in Corby and investing in additional production equipment.
Intelliconnect provides high quality, UK manufactured, bespoke cable assemblies for both high-volume or specialist small batch requirements operating from DC to 50GHz for typically RF applications including test and measurement and defence.

Using their own high quality RF connectors, all types of cable assemblies are undertaken from wiring loom assemblies to high performance low loss cables operating up to 50GHz. Coaxial, triaxial and multi-way connectors may be specified and fully immersible waterproof versions are available. All Intelliconnect cable assemblies are 100% electrically tested before despatch. In addition phase matching is available where required to ensure signal integrity in individual, or batches of, assemblies.

Roy Phillips, Managing Director of Intelliconnect, comments, "In increasing number of our customers are in the test and measurement market where phase matched cables are essential. We are pleased to be able to offer this service alongside our other cable assembly services. We are also unique in being a manufacturer of an extensive range of high reliability RF connectors for industrial and medical applications and are able to use our own high reliability components in our cable harnesses. We are continuing to invest in the company and will soon be able to test up to 70GHz.”


In addition to custom cable assemblies Intelliconnect (Europe) Ltd manufactures a wide range of standard and custom RF connectors and components, including waterproof and fast turnaround custom designs which are undertaken without NRE charges to their customers. Intelliconnect also manufacture a large range of coaxial adaptors to facilitate inter-series connection and gender change etc.  Typical applications include MIL and aerospace, marine, oil and gas, medical and general microwave markets.

Intelligent stepless motor

Technosoft has released the first member of their iMOT line of motors with integrated motion controller and drive — the iMOT172S XM-CAN intelligent stepless motor.

The product is based on a cost-effective hybrid step motor on which the motion control specialists at Technosoft have integrated a magnetic encoder, together with a member of their powerful iPOS motion controllers, into a very compact package (42 x 42 x 70 mm).

The design is made, for high reliability, with only one PCB incorporating the encoder and the iPOS controller that utilizes the Technosoft MotionChip™ technology and provides 7 I/Os. The configuration, tuning and local programming of the iPOS drive can easily be done using Technosoft’s powerful graphical platform, EasyMotion Studio. The position sensor is absolute single-turn, providing 4096 counts per revolution for accurate speed and position control, down to 5 arc minutes.

While an EtherCAT version is under preparation, the current release covers two CAN versions: the standard CANopen, in accordance to the CiA 301, 305 and 402 profiles, and the TMLCAN protocol. TML (Technosoft Motion Language) opens the possibility to use the powerful motion controller, allowing it to operate as an independent intelligent device. As an example, any homing routine can be customized to match the application needs. Standalone single- or multi-axis applications with communication between drives without the need of a CAN master are possible, while various types of CAN masters are as well supported through an extended set of Technosoft Motion Control Libraries.

This intelligent stepless motor reaches a peak torque of 500 mNm at 1000 rpm without a gearbox, achieved from a motor with a square flange of 42 mm. The maximum length of the integrated unit is a mere 70 mm. The high efficiency of the solution is obtained due to Technosoft's implementation of current and torque vector regulation under a field oriented control method (FOC) that practically transforms the motor into a stepless servo motor, dramatically reducing the current consumption and heat dissipation typical to hybrid steppers.

The standard NEMA17 flange ensures multiple sources of gearheads that are available for fitting to the motor, depending on the requirements of the application.

An intelligent motor can be used in many applications, but it has been developed for medical analysis and dosing machines, pick and place and welding robots, instrumentation and optical equipment, unmanned military vehicles, packaging, bottling and labeling machines.

Control systems FEED order in Canada.

Yokogawa has been selected as the main automation contractor (MAC) for a natural gas liquefaction project that is proposed by LNG Canada, a joint venture comprised of Shell Canada Energy (50%), an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell plc, and affiliates of PetroChina (20%), Korea Gas Corporation (15%) and Mitsubishi Corporation (15%).

In addition, Yokogawa Electric International, a Yokogawa subsidiary that manages the company's global control business, has won an order to provide comprehensive control system-related front-end engineering and design (FEED) services to CFSW LNG Constructors (CFSW), the main contractor for LNG Canada. CFSW is a joint venture that was set up by the Canadian subsidiaries of Chiyoda Corporation (Japan), Foster Wheeler AG (GB), Saipem S.p.A. (I), and WorleyParsons Limited (Aus) to execute this project.

The proposed LNG Canada project includes the design, construction and operation of a gas liquefaction plant and facilities for the storage and export of liquefied natural gas (LNG), including marine facilities in Kitimat, British Columbia. LNG Canada will initially consist of two LNG processing units referred to as "trains", each with the capacity to produce approximately six million tonnes of LNG annually, with an option to expand the project in the future to four trains.

Subject to a financial investment decision by LNG Canada for the proposed LNG project after the completion of the FEED phase, Yokogawa will proceed to deliver its CENTUM® VP integrated production control system and ProSafe®-RS safety instrumentation system as the project's MAC. In this role, Yokogawa will also propose various other solutions to the customer with the aim of ensuring the safe and stable operation of the plant.

Plug & go!

While not strictly automation or instrumentation we thought this was a useful story for posting to the Read-out blog especially in this age of travel.

BEC Distribution has announced that a brand new product has been added to the Stontronics range of Plug & Go (World Traveller) power supplies.

The T5574ST is a 12V 3A power supply unit that comes complete with British, Euro, US and Australian interchangeable AC heads.

The Stontronics T5574ST has a particularly small and compact design of 49 x 84 x 42mm, making it ideally suited to “on the go” applications and worldwide travel use.

The power supply features a Universal / Full range AC input of 100-240V, 50-60Hz. The output lead is fitted with a 2.1 DC jack plug.

It has short-circuit and over-current protection and approvals include: GS, UL/cUL & CE.

The Plug & Go power supply is Level V ErP/EuP efficiency compliant and has an MTBF of >50,000 hours.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Reliability management consulting service!

Enterprise-wide reliability strategies can save global companies more than $50 USD billion a year in costs and increase capacity by more than 5 per cent

Taking on what may be industry’s greatest cause of excessive operational cost and unrealised profit, Emerson is changing the game for industrial producers like oil and gas, chemical, refining and power. For these 24/7 operations, which routinely suffer 5 to 7 per cent unplanned downtime losses due to poor maintenance practices, the company’s new global reliability management consulting practice is guiding leaders on how to better manage maintenance costs, improve reliability and increase profitability.

Reliability consulting fills the gaps in 
legacy data with standardised content libraries
With more than 25 years of leadership in developing reliability-enhancing technologies and services, Emerson is elevating the reliability cost challenge to the boardrooms of its customers with an economic-based management consulting practice aimed at saving companies millions in wasted expense and lost revenue.

“Chief executives are seeing the need to better manage physical assets for improved profitability,” says Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. “With the right strategy, the typical $1 billion USD plant can save $12 million or more annually in maintenance costs – not including the corresponding operational and production benefits from reduced downtime. Extend that across a corporation’s network of facilities and soon reliability becomes the number one strategic lever for a safer, more profitable enterprise.”

By reducing scheduled and unscheduled downtime, companies can reduce their maintenance spend by 50 per cent or more, according to Solomon Associates, a leading benchmarking company in the process industries that tracks companies’ performance based on reliability and maintenance metrics. Optimised reliability practices – such as increased condition monitoring and analysis-based maintenance activities – drive down costs and also improve sales, quality, health and safety, and environmental compliance. These are all key factors affecting operational risk and shareholder value.

Corbion, a global food and biochemical company with plants in many countries, implemented standardised best practices of reliability over several years and reduced its global maintenance expense by one third while simultaneously dramatically increasing availability. These actions enabled the company to capture millions of euros in increased profits and sustained increases in capacity and production.

To expand its portfolio of reliability-focused services, Emerson recently acquired Management Resources Group, Inc. (MRG), a leading management consulting firm with 28 years of experience improving reliability in industrial manufacturing. This strategic investment complements Emerson’s existing lifecycle services offering, as well as the company’s leadership in ‘pervasive sensing’ which provides manufacturers with more operational insight through greater sensor-based coverage of their plants and assets. Through its consultants, Emerson can advise global customers on enterprise-wide reliability management programmes that connect the millions of data points collected in a plant, providing actionable information to trigger maintenance activities before equipment fails.

“If a company is not a top-quartile performer, it is losing millions in revenue and spending millions of euros on unnecessary maintenance costs,” says Robert DiStefano, MRG’s founder and former CEO. “Every euro not spent on maintenance goes directly to the bottom line. Our approach helps companies dramatically reduce downtime and enhance safety and compliance, increasing the stature and reputation of a company and ultimately providing better value for shareholders.”

A recent Solomon RAM study found companies reach the top-performing quartile when they have less than 3 per cent unplanned downtime and maintenance costs less than 2 per cent of Plant Replacement Value (PRV). For example, a $1 billion USD top-performing plant spends $12 to $20 million per year on maintenance expense. By contrast, poor performers spend two to four times more per year.

Connecting devices - wirelessly

For several years, the Anybus Wireless Bridge has been a popular solution to replace Ethernet cabling with a Bluetooth or WLAN connection. After the acquisition of the wireless gateways from u-blox/connectBlue in September, HMS Industrial Networks can now present an expanded suite of Anybus Wireless Bridge products for connecting industrial devices wirelessly.

The widened offering now consist of the following solutions:
  • Industrial Ethernet over WLAN (point-to-point). 2.4 or 5 GHz    
  • Industrial Ethernet over Bluetooth (point-to-point or multi-point)    
  • Serial over Bluetooth (point-to-point or multi-point)

Solving network problems for system integrators as industrial Ethernet and serial links go wireless
By connecting industrial devices and networks over a wireless link, the Anybus Wireless Bridge family makes life easier for system integrators and automation engineers needing to create connections through e.g. hazardous areas, hard-to-reach locations, or moving installations where cables are not desirable. The Anybus Wireless Bridge is a proven solution to bridge popular  industrial Ethernet standards such as PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, BACnet/IP and Modbus TCP, as well as serial networks, and provides users with a robust and maintenance-free wireless connection.

Depending on architectural needs, the Anybus Wireless Bridges can be used for point-to-point cable replacement as well as for connecting several wireless nodes.

Industrial quality

"There are many wireless solutions on the market today, but few can offer the reliable and sturdy connections required for industrial use," comments Niklas Selander, Product Manager at HMS. "The Anybus Wireless Bridge for Ethernet has been a popular product of ours for several years and as we can see that the industrial market is now becoming more receptive to wireless solutions, we are now expanding our wireless offering. The Anybus Wireless Bridge offering is now the third leg of our Anybus gateway solutions complementing the Anybus X-gatewayTM and Anybus CommunicatorTM families."

Air compressors & quality air products for Ireland.

C&L Industrial Ltd, based in Galway and Dublin (IRL), has been appointed as an authorised premier distributor for Atlas Copco's range of industrial air compressors, quality air products and spare parts.

“This new appointment complements our established sales network in Ireland, through which we continue to provide valuable compressed air solutions to industrial users in the country. C&L share the same values as Atlas Copco and as such, make the ideal partner to help us take our business forward" said Sean Fairest, Atlas Copco’s Country Manager-Compressor Technique.
LtoR:Sean Fairest, Atlas Copco, 
Colum Whelan, C&L Industrial, 
Tom Dowling, Atlas Copco

C&L Industrial’s appointment as an Atlas Copco premier distributor gives the company access to the range of GX and GA rotary compressors, including variable speed drive models, SF scrolls and L range of reciprocating compressors, with the addition of N2 nitrogen generators. C&L will also distribute Atlas Copco’s comprehensive range of air purification accessories, including dryers, filters and oil-water separators, as well as genuine Atlas Copco spare parts.

C&L was founded in 1998 as a compressor sales, service and repair organisation by Managing Director Colum Whelan, who heads a strong family-orientated team of four senior sales specialists and employs a staff of eight, comprising service engineers and administration personnel that have been in the compressed air business for most of their careers.

According to Colum Whelan the company has built on that foundation and with access to Atlas Copco’s technical knowledge and support, plus the Industrial Air range of compressors, ancillaries, service plans and parts, now represents one of the leading compressed air houses in the Republic of Ireland: “C&L’s continued growth stems from our focus on customer efficiency and productivity. Our aim is to help them achieve these results through improved performance and equipment reliability as well as reduced installation, running and maintenance costs.”

The total service support available from C&L Industrial includes design, installation, consultancy, compressed air equipment servicing, repairs, maintenance, on-site workshop facility, hire schemes and energy management, together with audits and testing of compressed air systems.

Fitting in!

Equipment designers dealing with tight space constraints or low-strength signals in sensing applications can now overcome these challenges using new G3VM MOSFET relays announced by Omron Electronic Components Europe. The two families being added to the Omron G3VM line-up are a range of tiny VSON devices measuring 2.45mm x 1.45mm x 1.30mm, and ultra-sensitive relays that can be triggered by a signal of just 0.2mA.

Six new relays are offered in the VSON package, which has little more than half the footprint of competing USOP devices. The package features large, efficient bottom-side contacts, with edge metallisation allowing easier solder-joint inspection. Rated load voltages range from 20V in G3VM-21UR1/10/11 to 100V in the G3VM-101UR.  40V, 50V, 60V, 75V and 80V ratings are also available, and rated continuous load current is from 100mA to 1A. On-resistance down to 0.18°Ω  helps minimise power losses, and fast switching times allow use with high-frequency signals in various test & measurement, telecom and wireless applications, as well as portable consumer devices such as cameras. Omron is to launch a further six VSON devices Spring 2015.


With extremely low actuation current of 0.2mA, Omron’s new ultra-sensitive G3VM relays (G3VM-xxG1/G2/G3) require only around 20% of the signal strength of earlier-generation high-sensitivity devices. This makes them ideal for use in sensing applications such as the motion detectors of security systems, as well as various industrial applications, test & measurement equipment, and energy-conscious or battery-powered devices that require extended operating lifetimes. The relays are packaged as space-efficient SOP-4 devices, and offer a wide range of load voltages from 60V to 600V with rated continuous load current from 70mA to 400mA.

Automated test products and solutions.

At Southern Manufacturing & Electronics (Farnborough GB, 10-12 February 2015), the Peak Group is featuring its range of automated test & measurement solutions along with probes, test accessories and bespoke software development capabilities.

Peak supplies a comprehensive range of test equipment, from simple test boxes used by subcontract manufacturers to stand-alone high-specification test racks and systems used in the aerospace and defence industries. As a National Instruments Alliance Partner, Peak supplies integrated test systems based on NI industry standard platforms along with interconnection hardware from Virginia Panel Corporation (VPC), for which Peak is the distributor in Britain.

New products on show include a range of VTAC High Speed Data (HSD) connectors for VPC's Mass InterConnect systems that offer data transfer rates of over 10 Gbit/s per differential pair. Rapid data transfer is ensured when the connectors are installed in VPC's 90 Series Module, which can support up to 34 VTAC HSD Connectors with two differential pairs or four single-ended connections. VTAC's HSD contacts are gold-plated for signal integrity and maximum reliability and are compatible with several industry standard connectors including USB 3.0, Serial ATA, HDMI, DVI and DVI-1, RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet, QSFP and Infiniband.

Also new are a range of test plugs for standard industrial interfaces produced by German manufacturer ENGMATEC GmbH. The plugs are designed to speed the production testing of electronic equipment incorporating interfaces such as USB, HDMI, RJ45 and eSATA. They have been specially developed for industrial-level automatic testing where plugs are frequently inserted and withdrawn. These automation-compatible test plugs are manufactured from abrasion-resistant plastic, with contact wires made of copper beryllium and glued into the plug body, and are suitable for operation for up to 200,000 mating cycles. Recently introduced test plugs include several types for the new USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed) interfaces as well as new versions for the eSATA (Serial ATA) interface, DisplayPort connections, and FireWire (IEEE 1394) connections.

Peak is also showing the range of Universal LightProbe Spectra USB Sensors from Optomistic Products, designed for the colour and intensity testing of LEDs. These small, highly versatile programmable sensors address many different LED test environments and requirements, including checking for a specific colour, or identifying the correct colour and intensity from a wide spectrum of colours, including white LEDs - while offering the choice of digital or analogue outputs. The latest version has a serial digital output and a sleek user-friendly USB interface incorporated into the sensor, enabling it to deliver a fast and simple serial-digital output directly to a PC.

Complementing Peaks test hardware is software from Simplicity AI: a specialist supplier of products and engineering services for test, measurement, control and automation, with a particular emphasis on developing automatic test and measurement software built around industry-standard platforms. The company's Tequra software suite aims to reduce the cost and risk involved with test software development, deployment and maintenance. The software also provides detailed insight into manufacturing processes and product qualit

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

3 Phase motor drives.

The motion control offering of ABB now includes a range of three-phase AC motor drives providing remarkable system building flexibility for high-power and continuous machinery and motion control applications.

The integrated features of the new MotiFlex e180 range means that the drive platform can be used - without additional hardware - in almost any type of application: with a host of different control systems architectures and communications and motor feedback schemes.

At the heart of this universal system integration capability is flexible real-time Ethernet compatibility and feedback interfacing, built-in functional safety, and the ability to be used in many different types of control system architectures - from centralized control to intelligent stand-alone motion solutions. The drives may even be configured using a range of different continuous/peak power output modes to optimize them for applications with different precision, dynamic performance and duty cycle requirements. Thanks to this flexibility, ABB expects the new MotiFlex drives to appeal to OEMs and automation engineers designing for an exceptionally broad range of continuous and heavy-duty application sectors including printing, papermaking, converting, textiles, plastics and steel production.

MotiFlex e180 is an all-new design, but one which builds on the success of ABB's earlier three-phase Ethernet Powerlink-compatible e100 drive range, and offers a flexible upgrade path. In total, nine new drives offer a choice of continuous power outputs up to 90A, and peak outputs up to a maximum of 120A. Four different continuous/peak output level and time combinations can be selected for each of the nine power levels, providing great scope for matching drive performance to specific applications - including extended lifecycle operation in 24/7 environments.

At the heart of the drive's flexibility is a universal Ethernet communications capability. MotiFlex e180 drives may be software-configured for EtherCAT, Modbus TCP, Ethernet/IP or Powerlink based systems - with further options in development. The drives also support many different forms of feedback including incremental and digital absolute encoders with different output formats, resolvers and the new generation of Hiperface DSL encoders which combine motor power and feedback in a single cable and offer significant cost savings on cabling and installation time for companies building large multi-axis systems.

Integrated safety is another core feature of the design, and MotiFlex e180 drives feature dual-channel support for Safe Torque Off (STO) functional safety, conforming to PL e SIL3. Each drive also comes with a substantial range of built-in I/O including six digital inputs, two fast latch inputs, four digital outputs, two analog inputs and an analog output, a high power relay output, and a PTC sensor for motor thermal protection.

MotiFlex e180's extensive built-in functionality allows drives to be employed in many different control system architectures. The software-selectable Ethernet communications capability makes it easy to build systems using PLCs from any vendor.

Alternatively, the drives' intelligence can be used in more decentralized architectures, performing profiling locally on the drive and reducing the load on the central controller. Unusually for this kind of architecture, ABB's generic drive interface can be customized easily, making it easy for machinery OEMs to create application-specific functionality.

In addition to working with centralized PLC or PC controllers, ABB offers its own embedded machinery controllers including the NextMove e100 - which is ideal for Powerlink-networked systems - and a brand new high-performance addition to ABB's well-known AC500 PLC range for EtherCAT-networked systems.

MotiFlex drives may also be used as intelligent motion control solutions in process automation applications or distributed systems - again, without any additional hardware. The drives' extensive built-in I/O makes it easy for developers to create really economic stand-alone solutions, and the availability of ABB's rich MINT language makes it possible to program the drives to perform highly sophisticated motion control tasks.

"MotiFlex e180 offers OEMs and automation engineers a drive range that is almost limitless in its applications potential," says Product Manager Jari Suntila of ABB. "It can be configured in so many different ways, for different control architectures, feedback schemes and communications networks - that it really represents a universal platform for high power applications. The integrated flexibility is also provided with great economy, thanks to an intense focus during the design phase on modularity and design for manufacturing."

The new e180 drive family further extends what is believed to be the most comprehensive range of automation solutions for motion control available worldwide. ABB's range provides developers and users with the spectrum of automation components required for industrial motion control applications - from control of axes to control of the complete machine, including HMIs and factory networking. Among many highlights of the range on show at the major SPS IPC Drives exhibition, were ABB's award-winning single-phase Ethernet-compatible drive range, the e150 family, and a brand new high-performance Ethernet-rich machinery controller compatible with ABB's well-known AC500 range - the AC595. In combination, this range provides immense flexibility for powering machine innovations.

Targeting growth...

Industrial IT solutions provider, SolutionsPT, has boosted its sales and technical team as it announces it is targeting further growth over the next 12 months and don't they look happy about it?

The company has employed ten new members of staff across sales, marketing, technical and account management and is looking to fill a further four roles over the coming months.

In addition to expanding its team, SolutionsPT has also created has created two new specialist roles. The new Systems Integrator (SI) Relationship Managers are tasked with promoting SolutionsPT and Wonderware to the wider SI community, whilst also increasing the number of SIs with Wonderware Certification – a programme that acknowledges their skills with Wonderware products.

Wayne Ashworth has taken the role of SI Relationship Manager for the North, with Wendy Snell covering the South. Both have been at the company since 2007, as Wonderware account managers.

The expansion of its team and the creation of new internal roles will allow SolutionsPT to deliver an even higher level of service for its growing client base.

Phil Gillard, General Manager at SolutionsPT, said: “We are very optimistic about our prospects for the coming year. A combination of a buoyant economy, a growing manufacturing sector and a need for our customers to invest in their Industrial IT systems has enabled us to set ambitious growth targets. We are still recruiting for a number of roles and look forward to welcoming new people to the business.”

Monday, November 24, 2014

Director of IT and customer experience for test equipment company.

Microlease has appointed Stephanie Coleman as Director of IT and Customer Experience, with a specific remit to develop the rental, sales and test asset management solutions that Microlease offers its customers. Coleman rejoins Microlease from Sky, where she was Director of Customer Journeys.

Stephanie Coleman
Nigel Brown, CEO of Microlease, said, “Our effective customer facing team and our IT systems are the twin pillars on which the instrument business solutions that we offer our customers rest. Indeed, the asset management service allows our customers to benefit directly from the electronic tools we have developed to manage our fleet of instruments. We made a strategic decision to unify IT and customer service at Board Level and brought Stephanie Coleman into the team as business leader with the experience and skillset to develop these two key areas of our business together. Stephanie has worked with me before and will bring her considerable insight to bear in taking us forward on our customer experience journey. She will help us evolve the solutions that we offer and ensure that we continue to exceed our customers’ expectations.”

Stephanie Coleman added, “The Frost and Sullivan award shows that Microlease already leads the industry in offering our customers a complete solution of which rental can form a part. What interests me is that it has great potential to develop and grow further, with a team that is both effective and open to change. The company is passionate about delivering great service to its customers, I am extremely proud to be associated with it, and to have the opportunity to help it further along the journey.”

Stephanie Coleman was at Sky for nearly two years as Director of Customer Journeys. Prior to this she spent two years at Microlease as Strategy and Planning Director. She also spent four years at Citi and Egg, as Head of Customer Experience and Head of R&D, five years as Managing Director of Merchants Group and eight years as a Management Consultant.

Microlease was presented with the highly prestigious Company of the Year award for Best Practise in Global Test and Measurement Rental and Leasing Services at Frost & Sullivan’s annual Growth, Innovation and Leadership awards ceremony in London in May 2014.

Cost effective and reliable managed Industrial Ethernet switches!


These rugged Ethernet switches offer exhaustive management functions. They allow multi-network connection, immediate self-recovery, and bring high-efficiency and reliability to all systems. Delta Electronics, the worldwide supplier of complete automation systems, has released 2 new industrial Ethernet switches. They belong to the »Delta Industrial Ethernet Total Solution» range, which includes managed and unmanaged Switches, WLAN Switches, and Gateways.

Full-Layer 2 management function
Delta's proprietary self-healing redundant ring technology is called ONE RING and ONE CHAIN. ONE RING and ONE CHAIN can enable redundant paths and provide self-healing recovery time of less than 20 milliseconds to ensure smooth data transmission with minimum loss. In addition, ONE RING and ONE CHAIN offer customers the selection of Trunking Ring, Multi-Ring, Ring Coupling, and Dual-Homing modes to satisfy their specific needs. With strong ring network functions, ONE RING and ONE CHAIN provide highly-flexible and highly-reliable network structures, which greatly save on wiring costs.

Comprehensive range of management functions
The DVS Series feature numerous management functions in order to ease configuration and to ensure a safe operation. IPv6 address is suitable for larger network and neighbor discovery.
They support EtherNet/IP and MODBUS TCP protocols that facilitate the remote management by SCADA and other industrial devices. QoS (IEEE 802.1p) allows real-time traffic classification and prioritization and TOS/DSCP enable mission-critical applications. IEEE 802.1Q VLAN, MAC-based VLAN, IP Subnet-based VLAN, VLAN isolation and GVRP enhance performance by conserving bandwidth and improving security by limiting traffic to specific domains. IEEE 802.3ad port trunking in parallel enables the increase of the link bandwidth.  IGMP snooping and GMRP can filter multicast traffic.

Additionally, the DVS Series feature TFTP, RMON, LLDP, BootP Server/Client, DHCP Server/Client, DHCP L2 Relay, DHCP Relay Option 82, DHCP Option 66/67, Telnet, Syslog etc.
DVS Series are compatible with various industrial protocols, including EtherNet/IP, Profinet, EtherCAT, CC-LINK IE and DNP 3.0. Network security is enhanced with IEEE 802.1X, TACACS+, SSH, HTTPS and SNMP v3.

High resistance to industrial environments
These rugged switches are designed to operate in industrial harsh environments: all types of industrial plants, Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), railway, energy, etc. The DVS Series feature wide operating temperature range from -40º to +75ºC. With IP40protection class , the DVS Series comply with international safety standards (UL 508, EN 60950-1 and IEC 61131-2), and is fully proofed against mechanical damages: Shock (IEC 60255-21-2), free fall (IEC 60068-2-32) and vibration (IEC 60068-2-6).  The DVS Series also feature redundant power supply.

Easy configuration and monitoring
The intuitive design of the operating interface provides users with easy access and convenience. Configuration can be made throughout Web Browser, Cisco-like Telnet CLI, USB Local Console, SNMP, MODBUS TCP, EtherNet/IP, IEXplorer Utility. Additionally, it offers real-time Web display, built-in digital diagnostic monitor functions and Watch Dog Timer.

Building your data centre on a firm foundation


An efficient IT infrastructure is now at the core of every modern business but underneath the tiers of applications and operating systems, a robust and reliable platform is essential.

Rittal's TS IT provides optimum stability and maximum space utilisation due to the welded frame construction. A depth of 1200mm allows for any additional space that may be required for the next generation of servers. Innovately designed verticals provide a static load rating of 1500kg to incorporate any increase in server weight.

Featuring Rittal's latest door design, the new TS IT has an even greater air flow with an 85% open area to provide cool air to the housed servers. An intelligent design also ensures maximum air flow with no loss of strength. Adaptable verticals allow infinite mounting positions and the tool less 19î mounts limit the time engineers are on site. Dual side panels are split making it easier to move 1200 and 1000mm deep panels. Side panels can be easily locked into place providing complete security. Security is also provided by a standard four point locking system.

Barry Maidment, Rittal IT Product Manager commented "The TS IT satisfies demands of the future, not just demands of today. Modern businesses depend on the IT infrastructure to deliver them a competitive edge, the TS IT has, for many years, been a market leader due to itsí flexibility, reliability and exceptional design. The humble rack may be the most technical item in the data centre construction but has to be the most adaptable. With a fast moving technical market the TS IT must be able to cater for multiple technologies, ie network cabling, switches, servers, power and cooling systems."

Delta photoelectric and inductive proximity sensors!

State-of-the-art photoelectric and inductive proximity sensors offer a comprehensive solution for all automation needs

Delta’s standard (PS-R) and flat (PS-F) photoelectric sensors offer easy installation with a one-turn screw for setting distance for the standard type while the flat type can be installed under any condition. Both sensor types feature easy installation, a high-chemical resistance, and reliable detection of a wide-range of sensing distances-and have an IP67 enclosure rating.

The standard type utilises a wide-range of sensing methods with the small spot and diffuse reflection, and the flat type employs an accurate detect in addition to BGS and Diffuse reflection. . The sensing distance of these two types ranges from 30 mm (with the Flat Type Series) to 12 m (with the Standard Type Series). The output has incredible fast response time of 0.5 ms and a background suppression function offers reliable detection. Additionally, some notable highlights of the two types are the protection circuit which guards against a reverse power connection and an output overcurrent. The IP67 enclosure rating guarantees protection against water, dust and dirt.

Delta´s M12 and M18 Isolation and Non-Isolation inductive proximity sensors are perfectly suited for detecting ferrous metals and feature short dimensions and long sensing distances. They provide a highly accurate detection with excellent interference immunity. The M12 and M 18 have a sensing distance range between 4 mm and 12 mm. Both Isolation and Non-Isolation models use a pre-wired PVC cable.

Both Photoelectric and Inductive Proximity sensors are designed to be seamlessly integrated into Delta´s comprehensive automation solutions, which include PLCs, Drives, Motors, HMIs, sensors, measurement systems, and many more products, making Delta a full-service provider for all automation needs.

Interface series expanded with new PCI cards!

With the CAN-IB300/PCI and CAN-IB400/PCI, HMS offers two new CAN cards for the PCI bus, modularly expandable with up to four CAN interfaces and with an extensive driver and tool suite support.The IXXAT CAN-IB range is flexible and has a wide variety of uses, both in industrial and automotive applications. It allows users to connect a computer to a CAN-system for control applications and to do analysis, configuration and troubleshooting in a quick and easy way. The new PCI cards expand the CAN-IB range, consisting of PCIe, PCIe-Mini and PCIe-104 cards.

Due to their modular design, the new CAN-IB interfaces can be used in a wide variety of applications. Besides up to four high-speed CAN channels, the low-speed CAN standard is also supported. Furthermore, the interfaces can be equipped with up to four LIN or K-Line interfaces as well as customer-specific interfaces upon request. This flexibility is made possible by the verified and tested concept already used in the PCIe cards - consisting of piggy-back extensions and expansion cards.

Both cards are available in the standard and low-profile format and can optionally be supplied with galvanic decoupling.

While the CAN-IB300/PCI is a cost-efficient passive card, the active CAN-IB400/PCI has a powerful 32-bit micro-controller system which enables intelligent handling and active filtering of the messages to be sent and received on the card. This feature is particularly handy in applications with high demands on data pre-processing.


All CAN-IB cards are supported not only by the IXXAT Windows driver packages (VCI), but also the real-time driver packages (ECI for Linux, RTX, Intime, QNX, VxWorks). Similarly, the IXXAT APIs for CANopen and SAE J1939 support the interfaces. For the analysis of CAN and CAN-FD networks, HMS offers a powerful Windows-based analytical tool with the IXXAT canAnalyser.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Remotely monitoreing and controlling EtherNet/IP-equipment

The Netbiter Remote Management solution from HMS Industrial Networks now allows automation devices using EtherNet/IP to be monitored and controlled via the web. By connecting a Netbiter EasyConnect 300-series gateway, users of EtherNet/IP-based equipment can do maintenance from any location.The Netbiter Remote Management solution has previously offered connectivity to Modbus devices, but as of November, HMS can also offer direct, onboard compatibility with EtherNet/IP. Via the LAN port on the Netbiter Gateway, users can connect via UCMM (UnConnected Message Manager) which is an acyclic messaging channel separate from the control loop messaging.

With Netbiter, users can:
  • Configure EtherNet/IP devices remotely using their regular configuration software (RSLogix for example).    
  • Log trends and monitor performance over time.    
  • Get alarm or event notifications whenever critical thresholds are reached.

How it works
The user connects an EtherNet/IP-based automation device to a Netbiter gateway via the LAN port. The Netbiter gateway sends data via Ethernet or the cellular network to the cloud-based data center called Netbiter Argos. Users access Netbiter Argos using a regular web browser. They can also set up a secure tunnel to the remote machine or equipment which enables commissioning and debugging just as if they were on site.

Long-awaited feature
"We have long seen a need for EtherNet/IP connectivity in Netbiter," comments Product Line Manager, Henrik Arleving. "There is a vast amount of drives, HMIs, PLCs and other automation devices using EtherNet/IP as their communication protocol and these devices can now be easily connected to the Netbiter Remote Management system for monitoring and control. Especially the Remote Access function will be very useful for system integrators and machine builders as they can now get online access to do debugging and maintenance directly from any location."

Other included features of the new Netbiter release includes the ability to group and filter alarms as well as free access to map functionality showing the exact location of each Netbiter gateway.


The Netbiter EC300-series communication gateways send data from the customer´s device to Netbiter Argos.

RFID systems optimised for railway servicing and maintenance!

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems from Harting offer an optimal solution to a number of challenging problems in the servicing and maintenance of modern railway systems.
RFID systems from Harting are robust, long-lived, maintenance free and reliable, making them ideally suited to address the challenges of rail applications such as extreme environmental demands, stone impacts, vandalism, very high speeds, and the increased demand for reliability in the face of rising cost pressure and tight maintenance schedules.

Harting has many years of experience of producing connectors that meet the exacting requirements of the EN 50155 railway standard, and this expertise has now been transferred to the RFID sector.

In the areas of servicing and maintenance, they offer mobile applications for configuration and maintenance management. These mobile solutions simplify the work, make the process transparent and thereby increase safety, while saving time and costs at the same time.

Another potential RFID application occurs in situations where a train is longer than the platform or where the platform has additional safety doors. In both cases, the train has to be positioned precisely, and only particular doors may be opened. RFID provides a very robust and simple means to enable a train to stop at a precise position and to provide the onboard electronics with a signal showing which doors have been opened and which have not. Since the transponders can also be hidden in concrete, the solution is well protected from manipulation and vandalism.

The number of trams and buses with electric drive systems is increasing, and historic towns minimise the visual impact of overhead conductors by charging up onboard batteries to cover gaps in the overhead power lines. In this scenario, Harting RFID systems provide a means of informing the vehicle that it is approaching a charging station, thereby avoiding the loss of charging time. In addition, the precise location can easily be determined so that the vehicle knows whether an overhead line for charging is available or whether the battery has to be used for propulsion.

RFID also allows data recording from fast-moving trains. Successful tests have been carried out on complete Harting RFID systems involving robust, metal-housed transponders and communications software to allow the recording of data from trains travelling at over 120 km/h. Here, the transponders are mounted on the train and the RFID reader is typically housed in a switching cabinet mounted near the track in conformity with railway standards.

Multi-function wireless adaptor!

Yokogawa has announced that it is releasing a newly developed multi-function wireless adaptor on the 1st December 2014. This adaptor enables wired devices that transmit and receive digital ON/OFF signals or receive 4-20 mA analogue signals to function as ISA100 Wireless™ field wireless devices. It is planed to target markets such as oil and gas, LNG, refining, petrochemicals, chemicals, power, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, food, and iron and steel.  The adptor is designed for applications such as  use with switches, solenoid valves, and other device types that utilise digital ON/OFF signals, and transmitters that utilise 4-20 mA analogue input signals

Yokogawa's approach to field wireless comms
Yokogawa released the world's first ISA100 Wireless system devices and wireless pressure and temperature transmitters in July 2010. In addition to enabling sophisticated control techniques in continuous processes, this gave customers a wider range of devices to choose from.

In line with the "Wireless Anywhere" concept for field wireless solutions, Yokogawa will continue to expand its lineup of ISA100 Wireless transmitters and other devices such as adaptors to develop best-in-class solutions that provide higher value to customers, and promote the use of field wireless technologies.
Development background
Field wireless systems enable plant field devices and host-level monitoring, control, and other systems to communicate wirelessly with each other. Driven by the need to improve productivity and safety, companies are looking for ways to collect more data on their plant operations. Consequently, there is a rising demand for field wireless devices as they can be installed in difficult-to-wire locations. Field wireless devices have the added advantage of having a lower installation cost.

In addition to ISA100 Wireless-based field devices and systems, Yokogawa offers multi-protocol wireless adaptors that enable HART(R) and Modbus devices to function as ISA100 Wireless devices. The development of this new multi-function wireless adaptor demonstrates Yokogawa's ongoing commitment to promoting the spread of wireless communication technologies.

Product features
Plants use communication protocols such as FOUNDATION™fieldbus, HART, Modbus, and PROFIBUS to facilitate the exchange of data. In addition, digital ON/OFF, 4-20 mA analogue input, and other types of signals are used for a variety of purposes. This multi-function wireless adaptor has been developed with these latter signal types in mind. The mounting of this adaptor on a wired device that transmits and receives digital ON/OFF signals or receives 4-20 mA analogue signals enables it to function as an ISA100 Wireless device. This increases the variety of devices that can be used with field wireless systems, and is expected to lead to a wider use of such systems in plant operations.

1. Signal types
For use with limit switches, solenoid valves, analogue transmitters, and other device types, the adaptor has two channels for digital input signals that are used to monitor the ON/OFF state of devices, one channel for digital signals that output the ON/OFF state of devices, and one channel for receiving 4-20 mA analogue process value signals from transmitters.

2. Environmental resistance
An all-weather model that is waterproof and dustproof and an explosion-proof model that can be used in inflammable gas environments are expected to be released by the end of 2015.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Vision system reduces chance of product recall.

A leading manufacturer of OTC healthcare products has commissioned a 5 camera inspection system on a cartoning machine with two separate leaflet feeders to ensure that cartons not only contain a patient information leaflet but that it is also the correct one. The vision system, designed and installed by Olmec, also provides the option to ensure that the correct bottle has also been inserted into the carton. Linked into the existing reject mechanism, this substantially reduces the chances of costly product recalls due to packaging errors.


The vision system was installed on a cartoning machine that cycles up to 70 times per minute. The cartoning machine is used for two different product lines. Individual area scan cameras read the carton pharma code and check that the leaflet is in the carton as well as reading the leaflet pharma codes on two separate leaflet feeders. For one product range the leaflet is inserted into the carton and the product bottle pushed down on top of it. For the other product, the leaflet is inserted into a dedicated pouch inside the carton, next to the bottle.

On receipt of a trigger command, each of the 5 networked cameras sends data back to the line PLC which is responsible for all of the critical data flow, error handling and interfacing with the existing cartoning machine. The cameras send a combination of two leaflet and one pharma-code verification strings and Pass/Fail result for the leaflet in carton checks. The PLC compares the data being read at each inspection point stored data and confirms it is as expected. It also manages all of the results and updates the shift register for the existing reject gate.

Safety award for interface modules #PAuto

The SSX and SST Safety Isolators and Splitters by Moore Industries, have received the 2014 Safety Award for Interface Modules from exida, the global leader in functional safety certification for the process industries. The SSX/SST family is one of three products to receive the recognition, which highlights products that bring innovation to the concept of Functional Safety.

“The Moore Industries-International design team has created a product that nicely meets the requirements of IEC 61508 and the expanded exida certification scheme,” said Dr. William Goble, exida Principal Partner. “The SSX/SST Safety Series Isolator and Splitter provides functionality to serve several needs of engineers doing safety function design. It was nice to see such a versatile product with safety certification finally available on the market.”

The two-wire (loop powered) SSX and four-wire (line/mains powered) SST provide reliable isolation and signal conversion for loops in Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS). Both units have the ability to pass valuable HART® data from field transmitters to host systems, and vice-versa. The four-wire SST Splitter takes the input from one process signal and creates two identical, isolated outputs that can go to two different monitoring or control devices. It can also serve as a HART splitter to pass HART data to one or both independent outputs.

The SSX and SST are approved by exida for use in a Safety Instrumented System (SIS) up to SIL 3 in monitor mode where only the input circuit is part of the safety function, or for single use in an SIS up to SIL 2. They are part of Moore Industries’ FS Functional Safety Series, the company’s growing line of safety-related instrumentation which have been certified by exida to be in compliance with IEC 61508, the leading worldwide functional safety standard. Other products in the FS Functional Safety Series are the SIL 3-capable STA Safety Trip Alarm and the SIL 2-capable SRM Safety Relay Module.

In addition to the exida-certified products in the FS Functional Safety Series, many other Moore Industries products used in safety-related applications have detailed FMEDA reports available.

“Moore Industries is honored to receive this prestigious award from exida,” said Scott Saunders, President and CEO of Moore Industries-International, Inc. “By building our safety-related products from the ground up in accordance with IEC 61508 standards, we can assure end users that these products have undergone and met rigorous testing, review and design standards that will ensure their performance when expected and as demanded.”

Pressure sensors for ATEX zones.

The range of high performance, pressure sensors from Kistler Instruments are now available certified for use in ATEX Zone 0, intrinsically safe and Zone 2, non-incendive hazardous areas.
The sensors use a new, patented double lip sealing method which eliminates the need for an O-ring seal ensuring accuracy and reliability where extremely high temperature, vibration and shock are likely. Contained in a high integrity housing, the piezoresistive sensing element is isolated from the pressure media by a welded 316L stainless steel or HastelloyTM diaphragm. Integrated surface mount electronics provide signal conditioning and temperature compensation. .

The three ranges consist of absolute (Type 4260A), gauge (Type 4262A) and differential (4264A) pressure sensors all with an accuracy of up to 0.05% FS and long-term stability of 0.1% FS per year. Every sensor is fully tested over both pressure and temperature ranges to ensure compliance with the appropriate specification. This calibration data, traceable to ISO 17025, is available for all versions.

Pressure ranges from 1 to 350 barA for the 4260A, 0 to 35 barG for the 4262A and 0.1 to 10 barD for the uni-directional 4264A and ±0.1 to ±1 barD for the bi-directional 4264D. All have EMC, reverse polarity, power supply regulation and short circuit protection as standard and display exceptional linearity, hysteresis and repeatability characteristics.

The ATEX certified piezoresistive pressure sensors have been designed to withstand harsh operating conditions where extremes of temperature, vibration and shock are likely to be present. Typical applications include R&D, industrial, automotive and aerospace component and system testing and a wide range of electrical and pressure connections are available.

Signal conditioners enable plants to reduce operational costs!

Eaton has launched a new series of signal conditioners for safe-area applications – the MTL1000 Series. Process managers can now specify Eaton’s signal conditioners for all areas of their plant, enabling them to reduce the complexity of their supply chain and save on operational costs. The MTL1000 Series is designed to ensure reliable and high quality communication between the field device and control units located in the plant and is ideal for safe areas in the oil and gas industry, chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical plants.

The compact MTL1000 Series is exceptionally quick and easy-to-install. It features a special power system which reduces wiring by up to 30 percent and lowers installation time and associated costs. With less wiring, risk of installation error is also reduced, assisting with on-time plant start-up and improved reliability over the lifetime of the installation. In addition, more space is available in the panel board which allows for a higher density of signal conditioners.

“For large installations of signal conditioners, a wiring reduction of up to 30 percent can save a lot of space and allow users to have clear access to the modules,” says Roger Highton, MTL product line manager, Eaton’s Crouse-Hinds division. “With the new MTL1000 Series, we bring more than 40 years of hazardous area experience and industry expertise to safe-area applications, enabling customers to benefit from a single source supplier that will enhance the integrity of their supply chain and lead to cost savings. Using the MTL1000 Series, our customers can now specify reliable signal conditioners for use throughout their plants, in both hazardous and safe areas.”  

Eaton’s intrinsically safe isolators are reliable in hazardous areas and the new MTL1000 Series complements this range and offers high quality signal conditioning for general purpose applications. With an operating temperature range of -25º to +60º C, the MTL1000 Series is designed for long-term protection with a product life in excess of 10 years in even the most demanding of environments.

Eaton’s signal conditioners use galvanic isolation which is designed to prevent transmission and control errors which can lead to an interruption in the safe processing and monitoring of control signals. The MTL1000 Series is engineered to make sure that excessive voltages and noise do not affect the overall communication and can amplify, convert or isolate signals. The new signal conditioners provide excellent protection for equipment and personnel, so equipment and plants can operate safely and efficiently.

In addition, the MTL1000 Series is backed by Eaton’s global technical support team enabling users and systems integrators to simplify their design engineering.

Paddlewheel flowmeter!

Blue-White Industries' BW DIGI-METER® Micro-Flo with analogue output displays flow rate and accumulated total flow, and features 4-20 mA / 0-10 VDC circuitry for low flow applications. Units include an NPN open collector output for communication with SCADA systems. Flow ranges include 30-7000mL/min.

There are a number of connection options:  ⅛”, ¼”, ½” threaded connection and ¼” and ⅜” OD tubing connections.

A clear PVC viewing lens allows for visual confirmation of flow. A PVDF chemical resistant lens is also available. The LCD display indicates operating mode and battery status. The memory is nonvolatile.

The Meter is field programmable via a front panel touch pad, or can be factory programmed. The front panel has a lockout option, and the Total Reset Function can be disabled to prevent tampering. Electronics are AC powered. The Display is remote mounted, and is weather resistant NEMA 4X washdown.

New member for British Manufacturing Technology Centre!

Stemmer has become a member of MTC, the British-government funded Manufacturing Technology Centre. The MTC was established in 2010 with the objective of bridging the gap between academia and industry and has more than 60 members, including many leading engineering companies. This membership will include the supply of equipment and professional services for MTC’s Vision Laboratory.


(LtoR) Mark Williamson, Director, 
Stemmer Imaging & Clive Hickman, 
Chief Executive MTC
The MTC provides a unique environment to bring the country's leading academics, engineers and industry professionals together to develop and demonstrate new technologies on an industrial scale. This allows its clients to develop new manufacturing processes in a neutral industrial setting without the constraints of a commercial production environment. MTC delivers solutions across Britain manufacturing, with clients representing a diverse range of companies across a number of sectors. These include aerospace automotive, transport, healthcare, ICT, robotics, food production, defence and marine.

Mark Williamson
, Director – Corporate Market Development at Stemmer, said: “MTC specialises in a range of manufacturing processes that are particularly valuable to the high value manufacturing sector. With ‘automated Inspection and artificial intelligence’ forming part of the ‘Intelligent Automation’ research theme and ‘automated in-process and digital inspection’ featuring strongly in the ‘Metrology and NDT ‘research theme, MTC had already established a Vision Laboratory as part of its world class facilities.”

“We had already supplied equipment to MTC”, he continued. “However, by becoming a member we are now in a position to not only supply even more vision-related hardware and software, but also to contribute our specialist vision expertise to any project that requires it. We are currently the only member who specialises in vision technology.”

High profile MTC members include Rolls Royce, Airbus, HP, Renishaw and London Underground, while Sainsbury’s plc joined on the same day as Stemmer Imaging.  However, The MTC is an open access centre that provides a flexible approach to working with companies of all sizes from SMEs to large OEMs. The MTC offers a tailored service designed to meet the needs of individual companies and is not limited to MTC members.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mobile monitoring, visualising and analysing real-time plant & industrial process data.

Wonderware® SmartGlance™ 2014 R2 mobile reporting software has been released by Schneider Electric,. The updated version includes a host of new features that make monitoring, visualizing and analysing real-time plant and industrial process data via mobile devices easier than ever. These features include support for wearable technologies, a modern user interface for any browser, self-serve registration, support for multiple time zones for a global user base and full import and export capabilities for even faster deployment.

“Plant personnel are now mobile so they require immediate access to real-time operations information via their smart phone, tablet or whatever mobile device they carry,” said Saadi Kermani, Wonderware SmartGlance product manager, Schneider Electric. “Wonderware SmartGlance 2014 R2 software delivers highly relevant information coming from industrial data sources to targeted plant workers in the form of personalized charts, reports and alerts. It provides them with the flexibility they need to view and instantly collaborate around real-time plant data on any device so they can make rapid, effective decisions.”

With a small install footprint and no additional hardware requirements, the Wonderware SmartGlance implementation process is fast and simple. MyAlerts, the software’s newest mobile app feature, proactively notifies users of process events so they can stay current with real-time information based on configurable thresholds for tag reports. The software can be used with smart watches to alert mobile and remote field workers, plant supervisors and managers of critical production and process information in a real-time, hands-free manner.


By leveraging the combined power of mobility and Schneider Electric’s cloud-hosted managed services, the software empowers mobile and remote users with the right information at the right time, without disruption or distraction, so they can quickly assign resources and resolve issues. It also features an open interface to connect and push data to mobile devices from virtually any data source, including historians, manufacturing execution systems, enterprise manufacturing intelligence systems or any real-time system of record. It also provides connectors for accessing data from any SQL database and any OPC-HDA-compatible system for better access to third-party data sources and systems. This most recent version also extends connectivity to key Schneider Electric software products, including its Vijeo Citect SCADA offering, InStep PRiSM predictive asset analytics software and the InStep eDNA historian.

RTU and HART configuration suite for remote oil & gas field applications!

OpenEnterprise™ Field Tools from Emerson, is the world’s first Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) and HART® configuration suite that enables local and remote configuration and real-time HART device monitoring in remote oil and gas applications such as wellhead automation, flow measurement, and tank overflow protection. The software suite streamlines servicing and maintenance of multiple RTU platforms and HART transmitters across remote sites, helping improve operations and field personnel safety.
“Field Tools provides a unique, integrated, safe solution to complex remote device configuration challenges,” said Stuart Miller, vice president of marketing for Emerson’s Remote Automation Solutions business. “Installation and field set-up time can now be streamlined by leveraging the single configuration tools suite across both RTUs and field devices. Our field architecture eliminates the need for HART multiplexers as well as the complexity of Modbus data mapping.”

The new single software toolkit enables the configuration of Emerson’s family of Remote Terminal Units, flow computers and presets including products under the ROC™, FloBoss™ and ControlWave® brands.

Additionally, OpenEnterprise Field Tools is a fully-functional HART communicator that supports configuration, troubleshooting and maintenance of all wired HART and WirelessHART® transmitters. Field Tools enables the seamless commissioning of HART devices by leveraging HART pass-through via Emerson RTUs and flow computers. HART pass-through enables tunnelling over complex SCADA infrastructures using native Emerson RTU communication protocols.

Remote device configuration and monitoring has never been easier. Whether connected locally onsite (via serial connection) or remotely across thousands of kilometres (over IP connection), all HART devices are within reach. Devices that require field personnel attention are highlighted based on HART parameters such as battery voltage, device status and device diagnostics.

Once a HART network has been commissioned, there is no longer the need for regular maintenance site visits because Field Tools supports live-mode monitoring of all HART devices connected to an Emerson RTU or flow computer.


Field Tools is universal software that supports HART devices released by the HART Foundation, Emerson and 3rd party manufacturers alike. Moreover, the list of Field Tools’ supported devices is extensible. Additional HART devices can be supported by adding their Device Descriptions (DDs).

Extended out-of-the-box functional scope to more efficient control of processes!

Actavis, the fast-growing generics manufacturer, has upgraded to the latest PAS-X Version V3.1.6 at their Bulgarian site in Dupnitsa. With an annual output of more than 6bn tablets, Dupnitsa is one of the largest manufacturing facility of Actavis worldwide.

After running the existing PAS-X MES for three years, the company decided to upgrade to PAS-X V3.1.6. This will enable them to better manage and control their comprehensive internal logistics and increase the efficiency of the manufacturing processes - decisive advantages on the highly competitive generics market.

"PAS-X V3.1.6 offers a significant increase in functionality. This enriched toolset gives us the ability to do exactly what we want and eliminates any need for customization", says Brandur Hauksson, Validation Manager, Actavis.


Actavis intends to roll out Werum's PAS-X to other sites around the globe.

Miniature dew point transmitter for refrigeration dryers!

Perfect for Demanding OEM Applications

The EE354 in-line transmitter from E+E Elektronik is specifically optimized for dew point monitoring of refrigeration dryers. The high accuracy and excellent long-term stability make the transmitter a perfect solution for OEM manufacturers. Due to its compact design and small dimensions the EE354 is ideal for use in harsh applications with space constraints.

The EE354 is suitable for dew point monitoring in the range of -20°...50°C Td (-4...122°F Td). It features a high accuracy of ±1°C (±1.8°F Td) in the typical operating range of a refrigeration dryer (-3...20°C Td / 26.6...68°F Td). The built-in humidity sensor HC1000 is highly resistant to compressor oil and other chemicals. The robust, IP65 stainless steel enclosure is another quality feature of the EE354.

The measured values are available on a analog 4-20 mA output and a digital Modbus RTU interface. Using the free configuration software and the optional Modbus USB converter the scaling of the analog output can be modified. This also permits one and two-point adjustments by the user.

A ½ "ISO or NPT thread and the standard M12x1 connector for electrical connection all facilitate quick and easy integration into the measuring task.

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

On-cell touch enhances image readability while reducing display weight and thickness.

Ginsbury has announced the availability of a new Kyocera 7.0-inch TFT display featuring a fully integrated On-cell touch panel. The TCG070WVLR*PC*-GD*118 is the first Kyocera TFT display to be offered with an On-cell projected capacitive touch panel. The touch panel cover glass, touch sensor and controller are fully integrated into the display module to yield a thin, lightweight LCD panel which provides superior light transmission and improved optical performance.

An On-cell touch panel differs from a bonded projective capacitive touch panel in its mechanical construction, in that the cover glass and touch sensor are fully integrated into the LCD cell, thus enabling a reduction in overall module thickness and weight. Production process costs are also reduced as there is no additional optical bonding required following the final assembly of the display module. Improved light transmission enhances outdoor readability due to a reduction of air gaps in the panel.

The On-cell touch panel provides the same electrical and touch characteristics as a bonded projected capacitive touch panel. An additional benefit, is the guaranteed operation of the touch panel, due to the improved immunity to electrical noise from the LCD and the internally mounted touch panel controller IC.

The touch panel features 12-bit (4096 x 4096) resolution and 2 discrete touch points. The 5-pin touch panel interface supports a USB interface and can be used with a Windows or Linux based OS. The active area of the On-cell touch panel mirrors that of the active area of the display at 152.4mm (w) x 91.44mm (h). The surface film of the display is anti-glare and has an anti-fingerprint treatment.

The 7.0-inch wide VGA (WVGA) display features a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels and a 15:9 aspect ratio. Optical characteristics include a contrast ratio of 650:1, while the LED backlight has a brightness of 350cd/m² and an estimated 70,000 hour lifetime to 50% minimum brightness. A 30-pin single channel LVDS data interface featuring 6-bit RGB enables a colour palette of up to 262K colours. The display module has outline dimensions of 169.8mm (w) x 109.7mm (h) x 9.2mm (d) and an active display area of 152.4mm (w) x 91.44mm (h). The display has an operating temperature range of -20° to +70°C and supports storage from -30° to +80°C.

Kyocera TFT modules have high contrast and brightness up to 1500 cd/m² which make them suitable for outdoor and rugged environments. New product enhancements such as on-cell touch displays and haptic feedback are becoming increasingly important in Kyocera's forward thinking HMI strategy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Integrated production control system!


Agile and intelligent system configuration and engineering!

Yokogawa Electric Corporation is developing the CENTUM® VP R6.01, an enhanced version of the company's flagship integrated production control system, and plans its release in February 2015. R6.01 marks the first step in the development of an all-new CENTUM VP that will play a central role in Yokogawa's VigilantPlant® strategy for the IA business. With applications in operation, monitoring, and automatic control of plants, it is targeted at manufacturing companies in process industries such as oil and natural gas, petrochemicals, chemicals, electric power, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, foods, iron and steel, and water and wastewater.
The latest enhanced version of Yokogawa's flagship integrated production control system
Development background
Manufacturers today need a high degree of certainty and confidence to achieve timely production, and flexibility to make changes in product and material specifications. This enables them to effectively respond to intense global competition and major market shifts.

The adaptive evolution of the new CENTUM VP focuses on addressing customers' needs to keep up with the fast pace of change in the business landscape and technology while delivering maximum return on assets and the lowest total cost of ownership. This first R6-level release of the CENTUM VP system represents much more than conventional functional improvements. R6 brings together smart engineering, advanced operation, system agility, and sustainable plant. With R6, plant operators can be assured of an optimum engineering environment that spans the entire plant lifecycle, from plant design and the engineering and installation of systems and devices to the start-up of production, maintenance, and renovation. In addition, it is designed to meet the most stringent industry requirements for safe and reliable plant operations and environmental protection.

R6.01 features an exciting expansion of Yokogawa's lineup of I/O devices and introduces crucial new control system components. Combined with an intuitive engineering environment, it dramatically reduces the time required to configure and install a control system.

Outline of new features
1. N-IO (Network-IO): A field I/O device with a versatile I/O module that can handle multiple types of I/O signals
Control systems rely on field I/O devices for the transfer of data to and from sensors, valves, and other types of field instruments. Using this data, they automatically control a plant's operations. Depending on instrument models, the type of electric signal used to transfer this data varies. With Yokogawa's current field I/O device, a compatible I/O module is needed for each signal type.

N-IO their versatile 
Field I/O device
The N-IO, a new CENTUM VP field I/O device, fulfils the functions of universal I/O and a signal conditioner, enabling configurable software and flexible I/O assignment. It has an I/O module that accommodates multiple I/O signal types, accepts up to 16 I/O points, and allows specification of an individual signal type for each point. Both analogue and digital I/O signals, which account for the majority of I/O signal traffic, can be handled solely through software settings. Pulse and relay I/O signals can be managed by using additional adaptors. With the N-IO, it is no longer necessary to replace the I/O module, reducing the amount of rewiring that must be done when changing sensor types and/or layouts during a plant revamp. This significantly reduces the amount of work that has to be performed by plant engineers and maintenance personnel.

In addition, Yokogawa has signed OEM agreements with Pepperl+Fuchs GmbH and MTL Instruments Group Limited, under which Yokogawa will receive baseplates and market them as its own products. These will be used in combination with the company's N-IO modules and intrinsic safety (IS) isolators procured from the two companies. Both partners have solid track records in the development of interface products for use in hazardous areas. This tie-up means that Yokogawa is able to ensure that the N-IO conforms to the major IS regulations in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

2. FieldMate™ Validator: A software tool that is used with N-IO devices to check field device wiring and verify that the device operates correctly
Upon installation of a field instrument and completion of all wiring, the wiring must be checked. Until now, such verification could only be conducted using the CENTUM operation/monitoring screen, which required engineers to wait for all field I/O devices to be installed and the entire CENTUM system, including all operation/monitoring stations and system controllers, to be set up.

The new CENTUM VP R6.01 features the FieldMate Validator N-IO loop commissioning software, a software tool that is used to verify the wiring and relevant operations for any newly installed field instrument or field I/O device. FieldMate Validator is provided with FieldMate, Yokogawa's field device management PC software. When FieldMate establishes a connection with an N-IO device, the FieldMate Validator tool can check in real time the wiring of all field instruments, based on the control loop I/O information in the control system's application software, to verify that they operate correctly. There is no more need for the whole CENTUM system to be installed to do this, thus saving significant time and providing added versatility in project execution.

3. Automation Design Suite (AD Suite): A first-of-its-kind integrated engineering environment that goes beyond traditional DCS engineering functionality
Leveraging its engineering expertise and the experience gained through the execution of myriad projects, Yokogawa has developed the AD Suite integrated engineering environment.

AD Suite is an integrated platform that ingeniously facilitates project execution, system integration, and site execution, bringing certainty and confidence through all project phases and the start-up, operation, maintenance, expansion/upgrade, and extension stages of the plant lifecycle.

With advanced program templates for heat exchangers, filters, and other types of equipment commonly used in the field, AD Suite improves engineering efficiency and helps to ensure uniform quality. It is able to centrally manage the functional design documents that provide the basis for control system engineering, along with all the control program master data stored in the CENTUM database. This simplifies history management when programs are modified and makes certain that the latest design information is available when system expansion, modification, or maintenance is performed.

In essence, AD Suite generates a total engineering environment, with an entirely new database structure that feeds standardised and consistent engineering information, maintains engineering data integrity, eliminates inconsistencies between the design information and the actual system, manages change, and supports the automation lifecycle. At the same time, it facilitates the reuse of valuable engineering knowhow, eliminating the duplication of work for subsequent projects. This both saves time and reduces cost.

Ongoing development
Since the release of the CENTUM integrated production control system in 1975, Yokogawa has continually strived to improve this platform by incorporating the latest technologies. In 2008, Yokogawa released CENTUM VP, the latest generation of this series. To date, more than 25,000 CENTUM series systems have been delivered around the world.

For the development of the all-new version of CENTUM VP, four different types of innovation are emphasised: Hyper-intuitive operation, total automation management, intelligent plant conductor, and sustainable plant. This aims to provide customers with an optimum operating environment that will improve the safety, reliability, and efficiency of their operations, and bring greater synergy between control systems and devices in the field. This will significantly improve production efficiency and optimise overall maintenance of their production control systems, safety instrumented systems, programmable controllers, and all field devices, resulting in reduced costs, long-term stability of operations, and optimum plant performance.