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.

Gas detection sensors!

The enhancement of its existing range of gas sensors has been announced by Edinburgh Sensors. In addition to CO, CO2 and CH4 the new custom sensors will also include N20 and R125  gas detection.

The new custom range enhances the capabilities of their standard OEM Gascard NG and fixed wall Guardian NG products.

The Gascard NG is an OEM solution designed with system integrators in mind. It includes real-time temperature and atmospheric pressure correction via on-board sensors and has the flexibility to incorporate additional gas detection technologies. It is backward compatible with outputs from existing Gascard generations and has onboard true RS232 communications along with the option of TCP/IP communications protocol.

The Guardian NG is a fixed wall gas monitor designed for offer near-analyser quality, continuous sampling, measurement and display of target gas concentrations. The ‘Guardian NG’ range provides high accuracy detection and measurement of either CO2 or CH4 gases, where detection level ranges of between 0 – 3000 ppm and 0 – 100% by volume are required.

According to Dr. Alex Vass, Technical Manager, “Extending our product capability provides our customers with more choice and flexibility. Our products can be adapted to meet customer needs whilst opening up a much wider market space for our product.”

A cool way to keep your hands warm while touching your screen!

This is not strictly an automation product but there could be some applications for it in the industrial arena. Anyway we liked it!

An innovative company specialising in touch-screen gloves has launched an extensive product range in time for the Christmas rush, with its newest being the superior ‘full touch glove.’

TouchAbility are a company who specialise in the design and selling of products which are compatible with touchscreen devices including smartphones, tablets and computers. Their website ‘TouchscreenGloves’ offers a range of gloves which enable anyone who wears them to use touchscreen devices without having to remove them. Each glove type has electro conductive fibres integrated into the finger tips, making it possible to use a smart device in a range of situations where otherwise it would have been impossible or uncomfortable, particularly during spells of cold weather.

The latest in TouchAbility’s range is the ‘full touch glove’ which has silver connective threads woven through the entire glove, for ultimate performance and reliability. The company market this product as ‘combining a superior level of functionality with a high tech futuristic look.’ This glove type, like all others on their website, does not compromise on warmth, providing the same amount of insulation as you’d expect from a generic winter glove. 

Like all other retail companies they are looking forward to the Christmas rush. They advertise a huge range of touchscreen gloves for different purposes and to suit different styles. Products include leather gloves, gloves with extra grip and mitten styles, as well as gloves made by acclaimed brands such as Karrimor. 

One of the company’s popular products is their iPrints pack which have pads to stick on to any pair of standard gloves to make them touchscreen compatible. Customers can also purchase gift certificates as Christmas presents if they aren’t sure of what style or colour to choose.

Advice on HCFC ban! #PAuto

From 1st January 2015 it will be illegal to use any recycled or reclaimed ozone-depleting hydrochloro-fluorocarbon (HCFC) R22 refrigerant gas to service cooling units.

R22 remains one of the most commonly used refrigerants in Britain used, in the past, to charge cooling units and chillers that provide electrical enclosure and process cooling. Rittal advise this legislation may dramatically affect users ability to service and maintain existing cooling products, which could result in costly downtime for important manufacturing processes.

Given that most systems leak to a certain degree, in practical terms this implies that any equipment that is of strategic importance to a business should not be using HCFCs by 2015. All current users of HCFC systems should develop a plan to manage operations without HCFCs. Doing nothing is not a sustainable option.

To avoid this damaging scenario, now is the time to check any cooling equipment and if they contain the soon-to-be banned R22 refrigerant, contact Rittal for advice on suitable replacement products. Rittal’s climate control range includes enclosure cooling units with outputs from 300 W to 4000 W and water chillers with capacities between 1 kW and 481 kW.

Heavyweight appointement at embedded LED manufacturer!

Design LED Products has expanded its senior management team following investment from Ikea Greentech.  Wolfgang Andorfer is joining as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, responsible for developing the company’s core business.

Wolfgang Andorfer
“The recent launch of our first complete products has generated a great deal of interest from the Lighting market,” commented Stuart Bain, Design LED CEO. “Following a highly successful interim consultancy assignment, Wolfgang joining the team adds a true industry heavy weight. His knowledge and experience of our target markets will be invaluable as we progress and expand our product range throughout 2015 and beyond.  I very much look forward to working with him as Design LED continues on an exciting growth curve.”

Wolfgang has 18 years of business experience in the global lighting industry and more than 16 successful years at OSRAM, seasoned in general management, sales and product management, including 9 years as Senior Executive Manager. Over the last 19 months he has been very successfully building his consulting company. 

Wolfgang has also been the Chair of the Global Lighting Association’s LED Committee for the last four years, a role in which he will continue.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Multi-purpose safe area modbus scanners.

The Vantageview PD6730X Modbus Scanner, from Precision Digital Corporation, is a rugged, NEMA 4X/IP65 Modbus master, slave, or snooper (sniffer). The multi-purpose PD6730X is designed for accurate display of and quick access to information, locally or remotely, in wet or dirty environments. It can accept up to 16 individually programmed process variables (PVs) from multiple devices; four math channels allow for calculations on multiple PVs. The unique SafeTouch® through-window buttons allow operation without removing the cover. The pulse input accepts a wide range of flow transmitter signals, including mV input from a magnetic flowmeter, as well as high frequency signals.

The instrument includes backlighting, two open collector outputs, and an analog output as standard. The scanner has been manufactured to Precision Digital’s exacting standards and is housed in a durable, injection-molded thermal plastic enclosure.
"The versatile Vantageview PD6730X is loaded with features that plant operators can appreciate," said Jeffrey Peters, President, Precision Digital Corporation. "It is simple to program using our free ScanView EX software, displays critical information about the process, and can be seen from wide angles and a distance. The PD6730X is designed for readability and ease of use, from large character and Feet & Inches displays to automatic rate conversions and data logging. Plus, it integrates easily into existing Modbus networks."

The Decimal Display models feature an upper display that is 0.7 inches high and shows five digits of information; the Feet & Inches models feature a level display that reads up to 399 feet, 11 and 15/16 inches and contains a 20-segment tank level indicator. The lower display for both models is 0.4 inches high, with seven alphanumeric characters, for Process Variables, Custom Units, or Tags. The bright LCD display is easily read under varying lighting conditions and from viewing angles of up to +/- 40 degrees (twice that of competitive models); it can also be rotated in 90 degree increments for increased readability.

Four sensors in the unit operate as through-window buttons for programming and operation without removing the cover in wet or dirty areas. These SafeTouch buttons include an energy saving mode to save power, extend battery life, and prevent unintended triggers.

The PD6730X provides flexible power options, including battery, DC with battery backup, DC only, output-loop, or output loop with battery backup. Its element-resistant enclosure provides three threaded conduit holes and integrated pipe or wall mounting holes. Operating temperatures range from -40 to 75 degrees C.

• Precision Digital products are marketed in Ireland by P J Bonner & Co.

Temperature and pressure measurement from one central location in Europe!

Emerson Process Management has expanded its European investment in manufacturing, engineering and services for its Rosemount® temperature and pressure technologies in Wessling and Karlstein, (D). This ongoing commitment to local operations will provide even faster delivery of Rosemount products within Germany, across Europe and globally.

The Wessling facility
The Wessling investment involves the purchase of existing leased facilities as well as additional land for further expansion, providing the company the flexibility to adapt to any change in market demands and continue its commitment to Germany as a hub for Europe operations. The facility, covering 7,500 square meters, integrates the manufacturing of Emerson’s complete Rosemount temperature product range, whilst continuing to manufacture the full range of Rosemount pressure products.

The expanded facility consolidates Emerson’s European Rosemount product distribution and provides a single point of contact for orders across Europe.

“Having a single point of contact for orders and a single distribution hub will make working with Emerson more efficient and reduce the average delivery time to the customer,” said Richard Heinkel, general manager.

Customers will also benefit from an increasing number of short lead-time products that can be manufactured and shipped from the Wessling factory in 5-7 days. For emergency orders Emerson operates a quick ship service on selected models that can be delivered within 24-72 hours on request.

The Karlstein facility has expanded its focus on sensor and thermowell development, and serves as a global primary production centre for these products. Increasing the manufacturing capability to thermowells will provide a better service level and reduce lead-time for customer-specific solutions.

“Emerson continues to receive requests on technical support for thermowell applications and the strategic investment into thermowell production will increase Emerson’s expertise and strength in this area, giving customers the comfort that Emerson can provide the complete temperature solution,” said Heinkel.

Easy integration of RFID data into production management systems!

Ha-VIS Middleware from Harting is a system that offers easy and flexible integration of data from UHF RFID readers into production management systems.

The Harting Ha-VIS Middleware is based on the open standard ALE 1.1 of the GS1 EPCglobal. This standard defines functionalities like read/write operations, filtering and triggers, and clearly specifies how to interact with these functionalities from external software. The standard guaranties a reliable, durable, well-documented and testable foundation which is maintained and developed by the GS1 EPCglobal.
In August 2014, Harting successfully fulfilled the official certification process of the GS1 EPCglobal open standard, making Ha-VIS Middleware the only European product on the market which allows users to implement UHF RFID into projects in a transparent, future-proof and reliably tested way.

In addition to offering simple integration of various stationary UHF RFID readers, the system will collect all types of transponder information and will carry out filtering, grouping and aggregation of the collected data. Procedural sequences can be triggered manually, with digital inputs and outputs or with timers, and cumulative data reports can be prepared in various formats including MySQL, http and tcp.

Read, write and lock functionality for the RFID transponders is enabled, and data such as passwords can be imported from various sources such as caches, association tables, or random numbers.

Simple integration of UHF RFID readers into SAP based projects is supported.

The Harting Ha-VIS Middleware is based on the open standard ALE 1.1 of the GS1 EPCglobal. This standard defines functionalities like read/write operations, filtering and triggers, and clearly specifies how to interact with these functionalities from external software. The standard guaranties a reliable, durable, well-documented and testable foundation which is maintained and developed by the GS1 EPCglobal

Implementing OMAC PackML.

Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management, has made it significantly easier for customers and machine builders to realise the benefits of the OMAC PackML standard without having to replace existing control and automation infrastructure.

"OMAC PackML simplifies interconnection across packaging systems and enterprise applications, but it requires processing power beyond the capacity of many PLCs that are already installed on production lines,” Norm Thorlakson, vice president of Schneider Electric's HMI and supervisory software business. “But that doesn’t mean customers need to replace their controllers. Since no two machines or applications are exactly the same, our Wonderware® OMAC PackML demo template can be integrated with any controller and run on any computer. Offering this new capability removes the need to build in supervisory PackML features, change existing PLC code or replace PLCs and other controllers. It’s a game-changing approach that represents our ongoing investment and commitment to a core industry offering.”

Based on its Wonderware InTouch Machine Edition human machine interface and Wonderware Historian software offerings, the Wonderware OMAC PackML demo template includes the PackML State Model, Control Modes and PackTags, providing a well-defined pattern for describing machine conditions and sharing the information with users and other systems. It simplifies machine-to-machine communication, more tightly integrating packaging systems with production line systems while reducing the communication burden on real-time control systems. Additionally, a configurable user interface shows machine operators exactly how much time they have spent in each machine state and provides an overview of the most common reasons a system might stop. This enables the operator to correct problems in real time, before stops can negatively impact the business.

Because InTouch Machine Edition integrates natively with Wonderware System Platform, Wonderware MES Operations and Wonderware MES Performance software, as well as Wonderware Intelligence software, it enables better access to a greater amount of production data. Such integration contributes to business and line optimization, including new ability to spot bottlenecks and manage work orders, as well as improves overall equipment effectiveness, production execution and traceability.

Passive oscilloscope probes operate over wide temperature range.

The Model 702902 and 702906 from Yokogawa are 10:1 passive oscilloscope probes that operate over a wide temperature range from -40°C to +85°C. As a result, they are ideally suited to use in accelerated testing and validation methods where temperature cycling is part of the test procedure.
The 702902 is designed for use with the isolated BNC input modules of Yokogawa's DL850E ScopeCorder family, whereas the 702906 is intended to be used with the non-isolated BNC inputs of the Yokogawa DLM4000 and DLM2000 Series of oscilloscopes.

The probes are fitted with long (2.5 m) cables, making it easy to keep the measuring instrument away from the high temperature measurement point. Longer probes are also required to connect the measuring instrument to a temperature-controlled chamber. 

To ensure reliability under severe environmental conditions, these probes have been proved to withstand a cable mount pulling force of 60 N, and have been tested over 500 temperature cycles. 

In addition to supporting isolated and non-isolated inputs, these probes can also be used with a range of probe tip conversion adaptors to connect the probe to the application in the most convenient way. The choice of adaptors includes safety mini clips, fork terminal adapters, small or large alligator clips, and 4 mm conversion adaptors with pincher tip or safety banana connectors.

Typical applications include accelerated testing and validation of automotive parts and designs inside a temperature chamber and the environmental testing of power converters designed for outside installations such as the inverters and transformers used for solar photovoltaic and wind-turbine power generation.

Other uses include the evaluation and environmental testing of sensors and actuators used in automotive, railway, aerospace and marine applications, and the testing of home appliances such as air-conditioners, cookers and refrigerators.

Humidity calibration in Pharma!

Michell Instruments not only produce a comprehensive range of humidity calibration instruments and equipment, the company’s world-wide network of application engineers offer support and training in this complex field, which ensures that pharmaceutical companies get the best value for money from their investment.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers have to follow rigorous standards to ensure the quality of the drugs they produce. Control of humidity during manufacture, storage and packing is vital if the final product meets all the criteria. To do this, a large number of relative humidity and moisture sensors are installed around the production facilities, performing a variety of roles in the process. One thing they all have in common is the need for regular calibration and verification.

While independent calibration laboratories provide an excellent service, for users of large numbers of humidity probes and sensors an in-house calibration laboratory is more convenient and cost-effective. Sensors can be calibrated and verified on the spot and response to requests for support can be immediate. This ensures minimum product wastage and production stoppages.

Michell Instruments’ calibration products play a key role in helping leading pharmaceutical companies satisfy their humidity calibration requirements. After specialising in humidity calibration for 40 years, the company has unique knowledge in this field, all of which can be drawn on by busy quality managers. Lack of experience, or changes in staff, in pharmaceutical companies can easily have a detrimental effect on the efficiency of in-house calibration facilities, and in these cases it is their expertise and high level of support that can make the difference between an under-used facility and an efficient one.

Recently, Michell’s support engineers were able to help a key player in the pharmaceutical market to reactivate their own in-house moisture calibration system after years of being left idle due to lack of experience after a change of staff. Their calibration system is now fully operational and playing a vital role in the production process by providing full traceability for in-house calibrations.

• Michell Instruments are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Worried about increasing energy prices! US gas flowmeter!

The new ALTOSONIC V12, from Krohne, is the next generation of ultrasonic gas flow meters for custody transfer applications. This instrument is the ideal solution for increasingly accurate flow meters in a world of increasing energy prices.

The ALTOSONIC V12 has 12 measuring chords, two of which are solely dedicated to diagnostic functions. Once commissioned, it continuously checks the operating status. The positioning of the chords in five horizontal parallel planes compensates for swirl and thus, provides reliable measurements, even with highly distorted flow profiles. The diagnostics in the unit can reliably assess deposits, contamination or changes in wall roughness, so that maintenance can be scheduled according to actual needs.

In the development of the ALTOSONIC V12, Krohne focused on two significant problems that customers encounter and which cannot be satisfactorily addressed by existing ultrasonic flow meters:

The first challenge was how to transfer the calibration curve obtained under ideal conditions in the high-pressure test rig to the real-life measuring station with its headers, strainers, bent pipes, etc. In order to solve this, hundreds of flow profiles in all kinds of applications were analyzed as part of the product development. The result is that this is now the first ultrasonic flow meter capable of complying with the ISO17089 and AGA9 standards having 5D straight inlet requirements without using a flow straightener.

The second challenge concerned self-monitoring of the flow meter during operation: In other words, defining the accuracy of billing after a certain period of operation. Applying the proven reflecting technique, the meter is able to detect not only changes in the flow profile, but also the changes in the cross sectional area. Through this, the ALTOSONIC V12 is capable of assessing process changes that existing ultrasonic flow meters cannot even detect.

The meter is available in sizes 4” – 24”, an installation length of 3D, and a maximum operating pressure of 2200 psi. It is compatible with commonly used protocols and can be seamlessly integrated into any existing infrastructure.

Automation Revenues Maintain Momentum in Q3!

ARC Advisory Group includes the most recent quarterly results for automation suppliers that publicly report their results. "If quarterly results are not available, we use the most recent half- or full-fiscal-year results," adds Steve Clouther in this, one of their ARC Insight Abstracts, "Automation Revenues Maintain Momentum in Q3 2014!"

"Moderate Growth!" Dwg: Rptship
Automation suppliers saw their revenues grow by nearly 5 percent in the third quarter of 2014. Suppliers to the process industries posted some-what slower growth despite strong activity in the oil & gas and energy sectors. Largely due to a resurgence in investment activity in the electronics and automotive industries in Asia and North America, suppliers to the discrete industries continue to see stronger revenues. Japanese suppliers continued to gain disproportionate benefit from a weaker yen and an uptick in domestic investments in plant upgrades and other projects.

Respectable Growth for Q3
Compared to the third quarter of 2013, the total combined revenues of suppliers to both the process and discrete manufacturing industries grew by 4.9 percent. Suppliers to the discrete industries saw a 7.1 percent increase in revenues; process industry suppliers saw their revenues grow by 3.1 percent. For the first three quarters of 2014, overall revenues increased by 5 percent. Among suppliers that report order intake, many posted double-digit increases in activity; on average orders rose by nearly 13 percent.