Friday, December 12, 2014

Wireless navigation!

Smart Wireless Navigator helps users manage their expanding wireless infrastructure and get the most value from their wireless networks
The Smart Wireless Navigator, a new software platform that enables users with large wireless deployments to maximise the power of their wireless networks, has been unveiled by Emerson. The Navigator brings together Smart Wireless tools for planning, managing, and maintaining networks. Valuable wireless network and device diagnostics and data are organised in an intuitive interface, along with the wireless tools, to streamline the Smart Wireless experience.

“Wireless technology is as scalable as it is powerful,” commented Bob Karschnia, vice president of wireless at Emerson. “As users’ facilities grow, they are expanding to installations of multiple wireless networks managed by different groups”

The Smart Wireless Navigator helps users effortlessly manage their expanding wireless infrastructure and get the most value from their wireless networks. A single software platform design makes it easier for users with large deployments of wireless to manage their networks across functional groups, delivering actionable information to the people who need it.

“To maximise value, facilities also needed a central platform to plan and deploy new networks and to organise the influx of new data and diagnostics,” continued Karschnia. “In answer, we developed a single window interface that brings together several Smart Wireless tools on a specially designed appliance to maximise visibility, efficiency and value.”

An intuitive design organises large amounts of wireless diagnostic information and data, and existing infrastructure is illustrated and easily understood.

“The Smart Wireless Navigator is a comprehensive tool that helps users realise the value of wireless across the range of reliability, safety, environmental accountability and process performance, it delivers value throughout the cycle of engineering, installation, operation and maintenance.”

Level switch listed for safety

The proven Baumer CleverLevel LBFS/LFFS level switch has now been listed by the American Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL). Testing of the CleverLevel included numerous safety-related aspects in accordance with UL standards and requirements. As a further quality feature, the renowned and globally accepted UL listing facilitates use of the level switch in important international markets, especially in the U.S.

With the CleverLevel LBFS/LFFS series Baumer offers a level switch that, as a true all-rounder, provides numerous advantages. The CleverLevel can be used for practically all media, such as liquids, granulates and even electrostatic media. And it is also unaffected by adhesive substances or foams that could cause other technologies to have switching errors.

The CleverLevel can reliably detect fill levels in tanks or pipes with precision and a response time of less than 100 ms, thereby, for example, preventing pumps from running dry. It is also capable of distinguishing between different media, such as water and oil.

3 million modules keeping control at Bosch Rexroth.

HMS Industrial Networks has shipped its three millionth Anybus module to Bosch Rexroth. Bosch Rexroth uses Anybus modules mainly to connect welding and tightening controllers to the various control systems used in automation technology.

Staffan Dahlström (L) CEO of HMS 
Industrial hands over the 3millionth 
Anybus module to Harald Lukosz
 Head of Engineering Tightening &
Welding Systems  at Bosch Rexroth
Anybus embedded products are interchangeable communication modules for different fieldbus and industrial Ethernet networks. The modules offer multi-network connectivity for the major network standards.

Long collaboration between Bosch Rexroth and HMS
Bosch Rexroth and HMS have been working together successfully for more than 10 years. Harald Lukosz, Director Engineering Tightening and Welding Systems at Bosch Rexroth explains why they have chosen Anybus: "We have chosen Anybus for two reasons: Firstly, it is very compact and easy to integrate and secondly, because of the technology inside it. "

Staffan Dahlström, CEO of HMS Industrial Networks comments: "The Anybus communication modules have support for all the major fieldbus and industrial Ethernet networks that Bosch Rexroth requires in their welding and tightening controllers and enables them to connect to the various control systems used in automation technology."

Compact and energy efficient
Bosch Rexroth uses the Anybus CompactCom communication modules which consume little power and is very compact (5.2 cm x 5.2 cm). The communication modules provide very reliable multi-network connectivity for the major standards on the market today. The standardized hardware and software interfaces allow the modules to be easily interchangeable with each other. In other words, you can connect to any network by simply replacing the module.

Data transmission via Fibre-optic or copper cables!

Fibre-optic cables have now become established in industrial data communication also. Optical data transmission offers numerous advantages, particularly for data-intensive applications with a high demand on availability, such as are typical in the automotive industry. Balluff takes this into account with the new push-pull variants of its PROFINET IO-Link master modules. These are available with the choice of a Fibre-optic cable or copper cable connection.

They all have the push-pull connection technology for fieldbus and power cables that is specified in the AIDA (Automation Initiative of German Automobile Manufacturers). A special, third variant combines both worlds and provides both a Fibre-optic (SCRJ) and a copper (RJ45) push-pull connection. The particular attraction is that this module can be used for converting from a copper to a Fibre-optic cable right in the I/O module, without needing a additional, external converter module.

Like all Ethernet-based IO-Link master modules from Balluff, the push-pull modules also have an integrated display for information and additional diagnostics as well as an integrated switch for setting up a PROFINET line structure. All functions based on IO-Link specification 1.1 are made available by the 8 integrated IO-Link ports. The user is provided with a real-time display of the module with all current statuses for extended diagnostics through an integrated web server.

HMI featuring a high-quality display and more realistic images

Delta Electronics has released the DOP-W Series HMI, which offers sizes of up to 15”. This high quality TFT display produces more realistic and vivid images to capture and visualize system and manufacturing processes faster. Its high-brightness touch screen provides a high resolution of 1024 x 728 pixels (XGA) and a luminance of 450 cd/m2.

Rugged design
Its rugged and lightweight aluminum enclosure protects from vibration and changing ambient temperatures. It also features an IP65 waterproof front panel for harsh environments, and its operating temperature range is 0-50ºC. This high-reliability display has a touch screen percussion life of at least 10,000,000 times and a backlight life of up to 80,000 hours.

Advanced features
The DOP-W Series integrates very useful remote monitoring functions, such is as eRemote, which enables users to view and monitor the same screen shown on the HMI at the production site and control the manufacturing process via Ethernet. Additionally, eServer, the data collection software, allows the transferring of information and history data directly from the production site to a remote PC via Ethernet.

The built-in 1.5W front panel stereo speakers transmit more effective alerts and warnings.
The DOP-W Series supports WinCE, and it also offers a Delta operating system which is free of charge and can manage all customer applications. The DOP-W also features abundant peripheral interfaces: it supports 2 COM ports, 2 Ethernet Ports, 3 USB Host 2.0, and SD cards.

Thanks to its high-speed processing 1 GHz CPU and its large-capacity Flash ROM 256MB, it is adapted for a wide range of industrial sectors, such as factory automation, process, transport, and energy.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Outstanding leadership and technologica achievement recognised!

Dr. James Truchard, President, CEO and Cofounder of National Instruments, has been named an IEEE Fellow for outstanding leadership and achievement in technology. 
Dr James Truchard
The IEEE board of directors presents the IEEE Fellow grade to persons with exceptional records of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number of fellows selected in any one year cannot exceed one tenth of one percent of the total voting membership. The technical community recognises this highest grade of membership as a prestigious honour and an important career achievement. 

In addition to his roles as NI President and CEO, Dr. Truchard has been recognised as one of America’s Favourite Bosses by Forbes and an Innovation Agent by Fast Company. He has been elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. He also sits on the engineering advisory boards for the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California at Berkeley. 

Testing, testing, one two...

Exciting business growth at Cressall, has allowed the firm to launch a new research and development (R&D) department. The expansion comes about after long-serving test engineer, Michal Nowotny was promoted to R&D engineer earlier this year.     

Nowotny's promotion now means that more time and manpower can be devoted to Cressall's R&D projects at the newly equipped headquarters. The company has seen the demand for bespoke products skyrocket in the last few years. To respond to this industry need, Cressall has invested in its research, design and test capabilities. 

Newly implemented data capture systems provide a more accurate level of recording test results. The facility boasts computerised 32 channel data logging equipment where test variables such as temperature, power and current can be recorded within the system. 

Cressall’s new test facility provides it with the means to carry out impulse tests of up to 400,000 Volts in order to truly prove designs and test prototypes. Testing facilities also include ingress protection proving, in which a resistor enclosure is tested to ensure that water cannot harmfully penetrate it. 

Cressall's equipment ensures that a product complies with the IEC 60529 standard prior to being submitted to a third party accredited ingress protection test facility, if this is a specific customer requirement.

"The new test facility and data logging equipment allows us to carry our more tests and to record results more accurately," explained Michal Nowotny, Cressall’s chief R&D engineer. "In turn, this enables us to make more accurate predictions when designing resistors. When carrying out impulse testing for instance, we can make performance forecasts for different specifications scaled against our previous findings and results.

"We've come a long way here at Cressall; from having no R&D department, to now looking to expand the facility further. Part of the proposed move is based on our testing facility strategy which includes testing of the EV2 water cooled resistor, in which a dedicated test cell would have to be constructed. This is something we’re very keen to get up and running." 

Automation authors honoured.

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has published details of the recipients of its 2014 author awards presented annually by ISA’s Publications Department.

“Each year, ISA is proud to recognize and thank all of the talented authors and contributors who help develop, review and deliver outstanding ISA publications and technical resources to automation and control professionals throughout the world,” commented Susan Colwell, manager of ISA’s Publications Department.

Winners are recognized for their editorial contributions to a wide range of ISA publications, including ISA books; InTech, ISA’s bi-monthly magazine for automation and control professionals; and ISA Transactions, ISA’s bi-monthly professional journal dedicated to the science and engineering of measurement and automation.

Awards and award recipients
The Keith Otto Award
The Keith Otto Award recognizes the author or authors of the best article in InTech magazine. The award was presented to Harmik Begi, Gregory Bischoff and Josh Gangl for their article, “Process automation—Biopharmaceutical single-to-multiproduct conversion,” which appeared in the September/October 2013 issue of InTech.
Begi serves as the Director of Information Systems at Amgen, a position he has held since 2005. Before that, he served as Senior Manager of Engineering at Baxter BioScience and as Senior Engineer at the Coca-Cola Company.
Bischoff is the Principle Automation Engineer at Amgen. Before joining Amgen, he served as Automation Engineer at Roche Colorado Corporation and as an engineer at Emerson Process Management.
Gangl, operations IS platform lead at Amgen, possesses more than 15 years of process engineering, process automation, and manufacturing information systems experience.
Keith Otto, after whom this award is named, was a dedicated member and one-time Publications Department Vice President at ISA. He passed away earlier this year. May he rest in peace.

The Nels Tyring Award
The Nels Tyring Award recognizes the author or authors of the best published article in one of the Society's journals. Robert Rice, Ph.D. and Richard Bontatibus are this year's recipients for their article, “Automation IT—Predictive maintenance embraces analytics,” which appeared in the January/February 2013 issue of InTech.
As Vice President of Engineering at Control Station, Inc., Dr. Rice leads Control Station’s research and development program. Bontatibus recently joined Control Station as its Vice President of Global Sales. Previously, he worked at Emerson Process Management where he directed asset reliability sales throughout the North American region.
Nels Tyring was a former Publications VP and long serving volunteer in the society known for his encouragements of younger members and authors.

The Thomas G. Fisher Award of Excellence
Presented annually by the ISA Publications Department and ISA Standards and Practices Department, the Thomas G. Fisher Award of Excellence recognizes stellar achievement in a standards-based reference publication. This year’s award recipient is Charles H. Gifford, who wrote the 2013 book, The MOM Chronicles: ISA-95 Best Practices Book 3.0.
For the past 30 years, Gifford has developed advanced manufacturing systems in direct support of continuous improvement initiatives in a wide variety of industries: aerospace, electronics, automotive, food and beverage, telecom, energy, and life sciences. A lean operations management consultant, he has published over 40 papers and five books on the subject of operations management best practices. As Chairman of the ISA-95 Best Practices Working Group, he served as the Chief Editor and contributing author of the ISA books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Manufacturing Operations Management: ISA-95 Best Practices Book 1.0 and When Worlds Collide in Manufacturing Operations: ISA-95 Best Practices Book 2.0 (which was recognized as ISA’s best standards-based book in 2010).
Thomas G. Fisher was an ISA member and ISA Fellow who served the Society for many years, most notably as Publications Department Vice President and Editor of ISA Transactions. In addition, he wrote numerous books, contributed to the ISA84, ISA5.1 and ISA95 standards committees, and was the driving force behind the ISA88 batch control committee.

The Raymond D. Molloy Award
This year’s award recipient is Ronald L. Krutz, Ph.D., P.E., whose book, Industrial Automation and Control System Security Principles, outsold all other ISA books published in 2013.
Dr. Krutz, Chief Scientist at Security Risk Solutions, Inc., possesses more than 30 years of experience in industrial automation and control systems, distributed computing systems, computer architectures, information assurance methodologies, and information security training. Throughout his career, he has served as: a senior information security consultant at Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, and REALTECH Systems Corporation; an Associate Director of the Carnegie Mellon Research Institute (CMRI); and a professor in the Carnegie Mellon University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The Raymond D. Molloy Award is presented annually in honor of Raymond D. Molloy’s contributions to the automation profession. Molloy was dedicated to the ISA publications program for more than 20 years, maintaining a keen interest in developing high-quality publications that met the needs of measurement and control professionals. 

ISA Transactions Best Paper Award
ISA Transactions Best Paper Award recognizes the best technical paper published in ISA Transactions, the ISA professional journal dedicated to the science and engineering of measurement and automation, over the previous year. 
The winning paper, “Controller design approach based on linear programming”, ISA Transactions, Vol. 52, Issue 6,” was judged to be the best paper published in the journal in 2013. ISA Transactions Editor-in-Chief, Ahmad B. Rad, Ph.D., presented the award to Ryo Tanaka, who accepted it on behalf of the paper’s other co-authors: Hiroki Shibasaki, Hiromitsu Ogawa, Takahiro Murakami and Yoshihisa Ishida.

Tanaka is currently working toward his Doctor of Engineering Degree at the Graduate School of Science and Technology at Meiji University, where he also serves as a research associate.

Efficient ways to combat spills. #PAuto

Spills in the workplace slow down production and cause accidents. Many slips and falls, which are one of the main causes for workplace accidents, can be avoided with an effective spill control programme. Meltblown polypropylene sorbents, unlike granular spill control, are a clean, fast and effective spill control product that can be used to combat spills both preventatively and reactively to drastically reduce the impact of spills in the workplace. Brady released a new spill control catalogue, including brand new spill control products and a practical user guide.

Cheaper and more effective
Many industrial companies still use granular to clean up spills. When waste disposal and labour costs are taken into account however, the meltblown polypropylene SPC solutions provided by Brady are way more efficient and cost effective. They absorb up to 25 times their own weight meaning both the amount of product needed and the waste disposal cost are dramatically reduced. On top of this, Brady's SPC products absorb typical spills in mere seconds and can be used and disposed of just like a towel, significantly reducing the amount of labour involved in cleaning up a spill. Unlike granular, meltblown polypropylene has no small particles which can damage machinery.

Various liquids
Brady´s SPC products come in three categories. "Coolants, solvents, gasoline, vegetable oil, kerosene and other water-based fluids are best removed with Universal absorbents", says Dominique Roosen, EMEA Product Manager at Brady. "Oil only absorbents are developed specifically to quickly remove hydraulic, motor or cooking oil, brake fluid and turpentine. They do no absorb any water, making them ideal for outdoor and marine applications. Chemical absorbents are used against aggressive chemicals, citric acid, sodium hydroxide and others. We have colour-coded our spill control categories for easy use in the workplace."

Spill context
An extra advantage of meltblown polypropylene spill control is that it can be moulded into any shape. "This enables us to provide the best solution for any industrial context and really strengthens the preventative use of spill control. Pads are best suited for wiping or placing under drips, while pillows and SOCs can be placed around equipment to prevent a spill from spreading over time. Mats & rugs are ideal in heavy traffic areas and Brady also offers a special category to combat spills on watery surfaces."

Spill volume
Depending on the volume of liquid spilled, or expected to leak, Brady can offer meltblown polypropylene spill control in one or several layers. »This effectively creates tools that can cover a range of spills from intensive spills on smaller surfaces to small spills spread out over a large surface, all the while maximising efficiency and return on investment. SPC products have been used to combat major spills such as The Deepwater Horizon oil spill.»

Brady user guide

Inserted in Brady's new Sorbents & Spill Control catalogue, which includes brand new spill control products, is a practical user guide which quickly shows the best application to remove any type of spill. It also outlines the advantages of using meltblown polypropylene versus granular to combat spills. 

Get a grip!

Expanding on the company’s ‘inspired by nature’ research, Festo’s MultiChoiceGripper concept is an adaptive, flexible handling system that employs the concept of opposable thumbs to ensure maximum stability when gripping. Typical applications for the MultiChoiceGripper are wherever a variety of different objects are gripped; for example, in auxiliary robotics, for assembly tasks or in production facilities where various products are made.
Festo’s MultiChoiceGripper picks up a ball using the surrounding grip. The form-fitting Fin Ray-Fingers adapt to the ball’s shape, exerting less force than conventional force-fitting grippers.
Festo’s MultiChoiceGripper uses the principle of the opposable thumb for a parallel grip.

“To cope with the complexity of parts to be handled, shape, mass, surface, fragility, etc. there are countless corresponding gripper designs,” explains Steve Sands, Product Manager at Festo. “The MultiChoiceGripper combines two development fields – adaptive finger technology using Festo’s Fin Ray structures and a clever mechanical linkage that changes the position of the fingers from ‘opposing’ to ‘surrounding’.” 

Depending on requirements, between two and six finger elements can be fitted to the MultiChoiceGripper. Due to the adaptive nature of the Fin Ray structure, the MultiChoiceGripper is not only variable in terms of the direction of grip, the fingers themselves can adapt to a wide variety of shapes. It can therefore grip differently shaped and also very sensitive objects without the need for additional sensor or control technology. In addition, the Fin Ray structures are made of food-compliant polyurethane, which means they can be applied within washdown environments in the food industry. Besides the Fin Ray fingers, two other types of fingers can be attached.

“Future applications for the MultiChoiceGripper are widespread in assembly and robotic tasks,” concludes Sands. “Until now, gripping multiple parts has required either time wasting tool changing, weight increasing multiple heads or even multiple handling arms.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Solid state pulse amplifier!

Instruments for Industry (IFI), a subsidiary of AMETEK Compliance Test Solutions, offers a dual-mode, solid-state amplifier that combines continuous (CW) and pulse (P) operating modes.  The new S31-500-900P amplifier has been optimized for performing 600 V/m radar pulse radiated immunity testing in the 0.8 GHz to 3.1 GHz band. 

Technical Specifications
• Performs 600 V/m radar pulse radiated immunity testing
• Has a 500 W continuous rating
• Can deliver more than 900 W while in pulse mode
• Operating temperature range of 0°C to 50°C
• Pulse width up to 570 µsec
• PRF range of 0 KHz to 100 KHz
• Duty cycle to 10%
This IFI amplifier has a 500 W continuous rating along with the ability to deliver more than 900 W in the pulse mode. IFI is a leading developer of instrumentation and systems for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) emission and immunity testing.

Ideal for labs and many automotive OEMs, the unit offers a peak power rating that allows it to generate a 600 V/m test with either high gain narrow band antennas or a single wide band antenna. When used with narrow band antennas, the S31-500-900P has sufficient power to allow over-testing for increased confidence or to provide greater coverage of the EUT to reduce testing time.

These dual-mode amplifiers use proven GaN technology that allows the units to combine high power P and CW operation in broadband frequency ranges for automotive, high intensity RF and general testing markets.

With an operating temperature range of 0°C to 50°C, the S31-500-900P offers a pulse width up to 570 µsec, a PRF range of 0 KHz to 100 KHz and rise/fall times

of 15 nsec at duty cycles up to 10% in the pulse mode.

The new amplifier features VSWR protection against any output mismatch, internal pre-amplification to obtain rated output power with an input level of 0 dBm or less as well as internal systems diagnostics.

The amplifier is comprised of two units: a power supply drawer measuring 7"H x 19"W x 25.12"D and a PA/RF drawer that is 10.5"H x 19"W x 25.12"D.

    One Ethernet hardware – any industrial Ethernet network.

    New Ethernet solution from HMS Industrial Networks makes it possible for device manufacturers to download the industrial Ethernet protocol of choice to standardized Ethernet hardware from HMS.

    HMS Industrial Networks has released “Anybus CompactCom for Common Ethernet” – a communication solution which includes an Ethernet hardware that is loadable with PROFINET, EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP or Ethernet POWERLINK. This brings full flexibility to device manufacturers, who can simply download the desired industrial Ethernet protocol to a CompactCom chip, brick or module before delivery to the customer.

    Comes in three different form factors

    Launched as part of the Anybus CompactCom 40-series, the Common Ethernet solution is available in three different form factors depending on the required level of integration to the host device: Chip, brick or module, all loadable in the same standardized way.

    “As the industrial network market moves towards industrial Ethernet, the CompactCom Common Ethernet solution instantly becomes a key component in our offering. It makes life easier for device manufacturers, since they do not have to stock finalized CompactCom products for different industrial Ethernet networks – instead they can simply download the network protocol that corresponds to customer orders to our standardized Common Ethernet hardware,” commented Leif Malmberg, Product Line Manager, for embedded products at HMS. 

    “Since the module is built on proven Anybus CompactCom technology powered by the Anybus NP40 network processor, customers will also get instant access to the entire CompactCom family with one implementation project. This means access to any fieldbus and industrial Ethernet network by simply plugging in another Anybus module.”
    Supports IT functions

    The Common Ethernet concept supports IT functions by default, meaning that it can be used as an Ethernet TCP/IP solution if the user wants to develop connectivity to a proprietary Ethernet network.

    Firmware Manager included
    By using the accompanying Firmware Manager software, users can easily download firmware for their network of choice. It is also possible to use FTP or the application interface for downloading firmware. 

    The Anybus CompactCom 40-series – for demanding applications
    Built on the award-winning NP40 network processor from HMS, the Anybus CompactCom 40-series is designed to meet the demands of high-performance industrial Ethernet applications and therefore enables fast communication between the host device and the chosen network – 1500 bytes of process data in each direction. The 40-series comes in chip, brick and module formats which enables customers to select the right level if integration without the need for customization.

    What is Anybus CompactCom?

    Anybus CompactCom is a series of industrial network interfaces which are integrated into an industrial device to offer connectivity to different industrial networks. CompactCom comes in chip, brick or module format, allowing the user to choose level of integration. By implementing Anybus CompactCom, device manufacturers can achieve instant connectivity to 20 industrial networks by simply plugging in the corresponding Anybus product. This opens new business opportunities for the device manufacturers and widens their market considerably.

    Robust connector housing for extreme requirements>

    The new Han® M Plus range of connectors from Harting incorporates effective protection against extreme environmental influences through the use of an additional polyurethane coating. This new coating not only increases the connectors' impact resistance but also protects them from extreme mechanical and chemical influences.

    As a result, this housing series is ideally suited to applications in transportation, the maritime environment, and the mining and petrochemical industries. These sectors all place extreme demands on the materials used in their respective industries. Connectors are subjected to impact and shocks, as well as aggressive environmental influences, and must be effectively protected against such forces.

    The outstanding durability of the polyurethane cover in the Han® M Plus family ensures long-lasting protection against the effects of rock chips, icing, salt mist, UV radiation, industrial exhaust gases, oils and fuels. The coating also replaces the seal where the hood and housing fit together and the flange gasket of the bulkhead-mounted housing.

    Promoting Industry 4.0

    Industry 4.0 is a hot topic throughout the industry. Mitsubishi Electric has been actively involved in the development of Industry 4.0 standard specifications in Germany.  Taku Shigihara, Team Leader Application Engineering and Development Team at Mitsubishi Electric, explains: "Mitsubishi Electric is a long-serving member of the industrial associations VDMA and ZVEI who have decided to define a standard for Industry 4.0. In order to ensure that the efforts made are not without meaning, the project needs to be developed accordingly as soon as possible. That is why Mitsubishi Electric now wants to play an even more active role."

    The industry and research sectors in Japan and the USA have also recognised how important implementing the ideas behind Industry 4.0 is in order to be able to carry out production flexibly and cost-effectively and to meet global requirements. "As the largest automation supplier to the Asian market, Mitsubishi Electric has also taken the 'German approach' based on Industry 4.0 in Asia", he continues. "Relocating production abroad is not healthy for a country's economy in the long term. That is why the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership initiative was set up in the USA, where the level of software competence is so high, in order to address the subject of Industry 4.0. What that means for Germany and Europe is that ideas previously put down on paper now need to be put into practice and implemented in order to ensure that we don't get left behind. That’s something that Mitsubishi Electric wants to be actively involved in."

    Originally regarded as the fourth industrial revolution, it has since become clear that Industry 4.0 is more of a continuous process of improvement. The intention is to unify interfaces and communication channels in order to realise transparent vertical and horizontal integration and bring optimum benefit for the customer as a result. Mitsubishi Electric has always carried out a continuous process of improvement. Throughout its history, the company has continuously integrated IT and production optimisation systems in its automation environment by implementing Kaizen, Poka-Yoke or the Toyota Production Management System.

    Five years ago, Mitsubishi Electric launched the MES IT interface module on the market that enables the production environment to be vertically integrated at enterprise level. New control systems such as the integrated modular controllers from the iQ-R series, for example, are already equipped with some of the functions of the MES IT module ex works, enabling them to carry out such tasks as writing to databases via the CPU and managing data. In addition, the security aspect has always played a particularly significant role for Mitsubishi Electric. Essential security features have been significantly improved in order to ensure that the iQ-R series is optimally set up for Internet services such as the "Internet of Things" or the "Internet of Services".

    "Through our commitment to the development of Industry 4.0 standards, we want to help our German and European customers to create a modern, efficient production environment so that they can remain future-proof. That is the only way that they will also be able to continue to expand their market leadership as exporters to Asia", says Taku Shigihara. "Compatibility with CC-Link is another decisive factor in this respect. The open automation network has its roots in Asia where it is the market leader. CC-Link in conjunction with the switching of production to Industry 4.0 can pave the way to the Asian market for European companies."

    See Industry 4 on Wikipedia.

    Refined and practical analogue circuit design techniques!

    Elsevier has just published  Analog Circuit Design Volume Three: Design Note Collection, the next book in the Analog Circuit Design series, edited by Bob Dobkin and John Hamburger. Dobkin has been closely involved in the development of high performance linear integrated circuits (ICs) for more than 30 years and has generated many industry standard circuits. He also holds more than 100 patents pertaining to linear ICs.

    The Design Note Collection is a comprehensive volume of applied circuit design solutions, providing refined and practical design techniques. The book includes an extensive power management section, covering switching regulator design, linear regulator design, microprocessor power design, battery management, powering LED lighting, automotive and industrial power design. Other sections span a range of analog design topics, including data conversion, data acquisition, communications interface design, operational amplifier design techniques, filter design, wireless/RF communications and network design.

    This book extends the series initiated by the highly successful publication of Analog Circuit Design: A Tutorial Guide to Applications and Solutions and Analog Circuit Design, Volume 2, Immersion in the Black Art of Analog Design. The series includes contributions from industry leaders in analog design such as Bob Dobkin, Jim Williams, George Erdi and Carl Nelson.

    The books are available on the Elsevier Store and on ScienceDirect, Elsevier's full-text scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters from over 2,200 peer-reviewed journals and more than 25,000 book titles.

    Advanced laboratory instrument data integration software.

    PAC has announced the latest version of its advanced laboratory instrument data integration software, IRIS Software v2.0. IRIS Software provides customers the advantage of connecting their PAC laboratory instruments, locally or worldwide, and managing these instruments, including gathering and analyzing test data, as well as communicating results. This latest version includes several feature enhancements which make it easier to use and install, as well as more compatible with typical LIMS systems.

    “IRIS Software was designed to meet our client’s needs for increasing lab efficiency by providing the same software to manage numerous instruments," said Eef Klok, PAC Vice-President of Product Management and Marketing. “To help our customers maximize efficiency, we have been continuously adding new plugins to IRIS. We currently offer 15 of the most frequently utilized PAC lab instruments, including the Herzog OptiDist, ISL PMD 110, AC Analytical Controls® Reformulyzer® M4, and ISL VIDA. “

    With the enhanced installer and configurator, it is now more straightforward and intuitive to install the software and configure the connected instruments. In addition, a new instrument discovery dialog makes it easy for users to find all the instruments connected to the software. IRIS is fully compatible with the latest revisions of MS Windows®. 

    MES update at one of the worldwide most important J&J sites.

    The multinational pharmaceutical and consumer goods manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has updated their site in Geel (B), to Werum's  PAS-X V3.1.5. The Geel site plays a key role for Johnson & Johnson: In this plant, the company manufactures important active pharmaceutical ingredients, for instance for cancer medication, that are then processed further in other facilities around the globe.

    "Johnson & Johnson has already implemented Werum's PAS-X in some plants," says Anje Vermeiren, Senior Manager Manufacturing Systems of Johnson & Johnson. "After operating the previous version for about two years, we have updated the PAS-X system in Geel in order to benefit from the improved out-of-the-box product functionality, such as enhanced Master Batch Record functions, easier ways of reviewing Electronic Batch Records - and enriched handheld functionality."

    In Geel, PAS-X is in operation as full-blown MES in several areas of API manufacturing and the product warehouse. A total of about 300 employees uses the PAS-X system.

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    Scheduling and tracking functions for precise control

    Emerson Process Management's Syncade™ Suite manufacturing execution system, now provides terminal managers with increased security tools and improved control of material movements and inventory. Version 4.9 of the Syncade Logistics module allows operators to effectively manage the storage and distribution of materials transported by railcars, trucks, ships, barges and pipelines.

    To safeguard material and operate efficiently, terminal managers need visibility to the status and stock ownership of their tanks. Syncade Logistics enables operators to see both source and destination tank values to verify that moved quantity is accurately and safely stored and delivered. The module also facilitates tighter control of inline blending, tank swing changeovers, and accounting at the line segment level for precise stock allocation.

    The module’s robust material tracking and automatic generation of Bill of Lading and other required documents, makes it easier to provide customers and regulatory agencies with clear documentation of the materials during transit and storage.

    Syncade Logistics helps ensure the security of a terminal by controlling access to the physical facility and materials, and by capturing verification of railcars and trucks via security cards, biometric controls or RFID tags. This transactional information is archived and can be quickly retrieved for review or analysis.

    Monday, December 8, 2014

    New general manager for niche electronic technologies comany in Britain.

    Stadium iEMS has upgraded the management structure at the British iEMS facility in Hartlepool with the appointment of a new General Manager.

    Peter Whitley
    Peter Whitley joins Stadium with over 20 years’ experience in the global EMS market including senior commercial and operational roles at Plexus Corp, Jabil Circuit Inc. and SVI. He is an accomplished senior executive with a strong technical and operations background, and multi-sector electronics experience at a global level.

    Charlie Peppiatt, CEO said: “The Stadium iEMS global business is considerably strengthened by the appointment of Peter to the UK Team which follows further integration between our manufacturing centres of excellence in Asia (Dongguan, China) and Europe (Hartlepool, UK).” 

    “This structure will allow us to provide local support whilst ‘thinking globally’ to strengthen our market position for the long term.”

    He continued: “Peter will work closely with Sohan Singh, Global iEMS Managing Director to deliver a seamless global engineering and manufacturing model offering our customers a true mix of local support and multi-region best value production strategies – enhanced by value added adjacent technologies in power, interface and displays and wireless devices.”

    Awards for mission-critical network connectivity solutions!

    Wzzard B&B Electronics' Intelligent Sensing Platform has won awards, independently judged for technical achievement and market potential, for Internet of Things (IoT) networking applications:
    •  Best Technical Development of the IoT” from international research firm IDTechEx, awarded at its November 2014 IoT Applications Conference in Santa Clara. The winner must be a new IoT product launched in the last 24 months. Wzzard won based on its technical development, its potential market, and its benefits over alternatives.
    • Most Innovative Connectivity Solution” at Total Telecom’s IoT Awards (IoTA) December 2, London. Judged based on evidence that Wzzard is innovative, sustainable and focused on the IoT space.
    •  Hot 100 Products” which showcases the electronics industry’s most significant products of the year that caught the attention of EDN Magazine’s editors. Wzzard earned a spot in the Sensors category.

    Jerry O'Gorman (on Left) receiving the IoTA from Total Telecom for Wzzard (Most Innovative Connectivity Solution) in London on December 2
    The Wzzard Intelligent Sensing Platform is a complete wireless sensor connectivity platform featuring edge decision-making which enables more efficient, intelligent and scalable networking in remote and demanding IoT environments. 

    Mike Fahrion,  B&B's
    Director of Product
    B&B developed Wzzard to facilitate the coming world of connected intelligence, where smart machines and systems will collaborate, inform and make decisions on the intelligence gained from each other with little human supervision.  In this scenario, low-power wireless solutions that extend the network edge to include difficult locations while simultaneously providing “five nines” (99.999%) uptime will be important. Wzzard anticipates these needs.

    The Wzzard platform’s technologies, protocols and hardware work together to reduce the expertise and time it takes for integrators to develop scalable IoT connectivity solutions. They include:
    • Wzzard Intelligent Edge Nodes which connect to industry-standard sensors.
    • SmartMesh IP wireless sensing technology which enables auto-forming, self-healing, self-sustaining networks that are also highly scalable.
    • MQTT – a simple messaging transport protocol for M2M/IoT over wireless networks.
    • B&B’s intelligent Spectre cellular gateway, connecting equipment and devices to the Internet or Intranet over either wired Ethernet or wireless cellular connections. 

    Wzzard has also been named a finalist in the Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice Awards program, in the Network Integration — Wireless Products category. Voting continues through December 31, and winners will be announced February 16, 2015.

    Dome and line lights! #PAuto

    CCS Inc, has introduced two new dome lights and a bi-directional line light. The PDM and LAV series of dome lights provide uniform diffused lighting by using combinations of diffused, axial and low-angle lighting. The LNIS/LNIS-FN series of line lights provides obliquely angled light making them ideal for the inspection of surface scratches.

    The PDM series and LAV series of dome lights are available in red, white, blue and green versions The PDM series achieves completely shadow-free light through the combination of individually adjustable dome lighting, low-angle lighting, and coaxial illumination. These lights are ideally suited to the inspection of glossy or irregular surfaces for foreign material or for character recognition and text inspection. Other applications include faulty plating inspection and dimensional measurements on electronic components. The LAV series utilises a combination of individually adjustable dome and coaxial illumination for the uniform illumination of curved and/or glossy surfaces.

    The LNIS series of bi-directional line lights is designed for use with line scan cameras and is available in lengths from 100 mm to 1000 mm. LNIS line lights feature unique light focusing technology to provide oblique angled lighting, which makes it optimal for finding moving direction scratches. High power LNIS-FN versions equipped with a fan-cooling system offer higher intensity illumination.

    Marketed by Stemmer Imaging