Friday, December 19, 2014

Compact Hall-effect current sensors for 200 A and 300 A current ranges!

Harting has added two new high-current models to its range of Hall-effect current sensors. In addition to offering primary current measurements at up to 200 A and 300 A, respectively, the new models are only half the size and weight of previous versions. They also operate over a wider temperature range: from -40°C to +85°C, allowing them to be deployed in thermally critical applications.

The new sensors use the closed-loop measurement principle, which provides a direct representation of the primary current with an accuracy of up to ±0.5%. They can measure both direct and alternating currents, as well as signals with complex waveforms, over a frequency range from 0 to 100 kHz. A particular benefit of these devices is high resistance to interference from magnetic fields generated by external current-carrying conductors.

The sensors come in a range of standard sizes and their compact construction offers a high degree of freedom for integration into individual applications.

Typical applications are in photovoltaic inverters, frequency converters or power supplies for welding applications.

Process controller gains EDSA certification.

The Control Systems Security Corporation Chartered Lab (CSSC-CL) has announced that it has certified a process controller from Azbil—the Harmonas-DEO DOPC IV—to the ISASecure® Embedded Device Security Assurance (EDSA) certification.

DOPC IV, process controller.
The Control System Security Center (CSSC, President: Seiichi Shin), established by a collaboration of industry, academia and government organizations in Japan, operates an independent organization called the CSSC certification laboratory (CSSC-CL), which has been accredited to Guide 65 by the Japan Accreditation Board (JAB) to provide ISASecure certifications. The laboratory held a certification adjudication committee on 17 December 2014 and judged that the Azbil Process Controller DOPC IV met the required criteria to earn the ISASecure® EDSA industrial automation and control systems (IACS) certification.

The Azbil controller is now registered as a certified device with the ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) and is published on the ISCI-certified devices web page .

“We are pleased with industry adoption of the ISASecure IACS certification scheme,” stated Andre Ristaino, ISCI Managing Director. “ISASecure is the world’s first and only IACS IEC 62443 certification program using certification bodies independently accredited to Guide 65 by global accreditation bodies such as JAB and ANSI/ACLASS.”

About the Control System Security Center (CSSC) and the CSSC Certification Laboratory (CSSC-CL)
Two important missions of the CSSC and CSSC-CL are to strengthen the security of Japan’s domestic critical infrastructures and to boost the international competitiveness of Japan’s vendors who develop and export industrial control systems and devices. By offering the ISASecure cybersecurity certification locally, in the Tohoku Region of Japan, it is easier for Japanese vendors to achieve the globally recognized ISASecure cybersecurity certification for devices such as PLC and DCS.
More information about the CSSC-CL and ISASecure certified products can be found on the following websites in Japan and the US:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Test Product of the Year!

National Instruments VirtualBench, the all-in-one instrument that has introduced a radically practical approach to benchtop instrumentation, recently won Test Product of the Year at the 2014 Elektra European Electronics Industry Awards.   
The Elektra Awards recognise technical, innovative and business success within the European electronics sector by showcasing the finest new products, technology innovation and company performances of the year. 

Launched in June, VirtualBench provides five essential instruments all in one device, with an intuitive software interface. It integrates a mixed-signal oscilloscope, function generator, digital multimeter, programmable DC power supply and digital I/O. By combining the most essential instruments into one device and integrating with PCs and iPads, VirtualBench is simple, convenient and opens up new possibilities for engineers to interact with benchtop instruments. 

“VirtualBench is a revolutionary new technology, building on NI’s software-based approach to test and measurements” said Richard Roberts, Technical Marketing Engineer, NI Northern Europe, who accepted the award at the Elektras ceremony in London.  “We are honoured that VirtualBench has won Test Product of the Year, as its selection by the Elektra’s independent panel of judges is further endorsement that the electronics industry is ready for this innovation.” 

Compact metering pump!

CHEM-FEED® C-1500N Diaphragm Metering Injector Pumps from Blue-White Industries,  are compact and efficient.

C-1500N features include: All ball bearing, permanently lubricated gear motor for smooth, powerful and quiet performance; Double-ball inlet and outlet cartridge style ceramic check valves. The valve body and fittings are constructed of chemical resistant PVDF. Valves have FKM static seals and TFE/P ball seat o-rings. The diaphragm is PTFE coated EP.

The CHEM-FEED® C-1500N is offered with two output control options, Standard or Deluxe. Standard units feature quick adjusting and high accuracy mechanical stroke length control. The Efficient design allows for a minimum stroke length of 5%. Deluxe units feature stroke length and electronic time interval control. Time is adjustable from 5-100% of the repeating 5 second time interval (0.25-5.0), which results in precise, high frequency injections.

The C-1500N is NSF, ETL, CSA and CE listed.

Maximum Feed to 228.1 GPD/36 LPH, Maximum output pressure to 125 PSI.

High-speed, high-accuracy measurements on reflective targets.

Auto Chassis International uses a custom-built tester to finely measure heat distortion on brake discs. The process is made complex by the fact that the discs rotate at high speed and measured with an accuracy of 0.01 mm must be completed. Keyence’s LK-G CCD laser displacement sensor enables stable detection despite the glowing-hot reflective metal.

The LK-G is a triangulation displacement sensor that brings together the best in Keyence technology to deliver the performance and stability required for such measurements.
LK-G sensor enables a high precision long distance measurement.
CMOS Laser Displacement Sensor
• Fastest in the World: 392 kHz
• Highest Accuracy in its Class: ±0.02%
• Highest Repeatability in its Class:
A subsidiary of Renault, Auto Chassis International is an OEM specialised in the design, testing and manufacture of chassis systems and components. The company’s plant in Le Mans, France has 2,000 staff members and manufactures vehicle components such as brakes, engine cradles, rear axles and suspension arms.

“We measure heat distortion on brake discs by placing them on a tester that rotates them at a simulated vehicle speed of 40 km/h. The brakes are applied between 10 and 40 times to make the discs heat up,” explains Jean-Luc Heulot, Braking Engineer at Auto Chassis International.

The temperature of the metal brake discs rises to 650°C, causing them to radiate heat and generate parasitic reflections that further complicate measurements.

The test is conducted to make sure minimal distortion occurs and more importantly, that the discs return to their normal shape at the end of test. Warped discs can lead to chatter and ‘judder’, or vibrations. A reduction in braking torque can also occur on some models of hand brake.

“We used to use a capacitive sensor but it created reliability issues that ended up being costly. The problem was that the sensors had to be fitted and removed on a regular basis and they were positioned a few millimetres from the target, which heats up to 650°C. Keyence’s LK-G sensors are easier to place and remove and none have failed since being installed two years ago,” adds Mr Heulot.

The LK-G sensor is mounted on a plastic shim. It calibrates itself during the first full rotation then starts measuring. The tester is fitted with two LK-G sensors on either side for measuring small and large diameters. Measurements are taken at a rate of once every 100ms throughout the test.

The LK-G is a triangulation displacement sensor that brings together the best in Keyence technology to deliver the performance and stability required for such measurements.

It offers the best in non-contact laser measurements – sampling speed of up to 50 kHz, ± 0.03% accuracy and 0.01μm resolution. The Li-CCD (Linearised CCD developed by Keyence) features high-speed sampling that is 25 times faster than conventional models. A special waveform processor (digital signal processor) digitally processes the CCD signal at high speed and delivers high-accuracy measurements very quickly.

Reliable measurements can be obtained on targets travelling, rotating or vibrating at high speeds.

One advantage to the LK-G sensor is that it can perform detection under conditions that challenge other laser sensors. In addition to being able to take measurements without being influenced by colour, surface texture or stray light, the LK-G delivers excellent performance with translucent or transparent targets and surfaces with multiple reflections.

Specially designed algorithms enable accurate measurements that are impossible with conventional detection methods. ABLE technology detects target surfaces and adjusts the laser power to the optimum level.

By intelligently controlling laser emission time, laser power and gain, ABLE offers an adjustment range that is up to 90 times wider than that of conventional models. Accurate measurements are possible even for targets with highly varied surfaces. The MRC algorithm eliminates multiple reflections from metal surfaces. When two or more peaks are generated by multiple reflections, the algorithm compares the waveforms to the most recent-received light waveform and determines the one that most closely resembles the ‘correct waveform’.

Deviations caused by temperature changes are reduced by the highly rigid die-cast body and signal noise is reduced by the Li-CCD.

“Not only were we impressed by the sensor’s technical capabilities, but Keyence provided us with a demonstration before our purchase and assisted us in setting up the sensor so that it quickly delivered the expected results,” concludes Mr Heulot.

Keyence’s LK-G sensor is positioned 30 mm away from the brake discs which can reach a temperature of 650°C.
This distance is obtained using a plastic shim. The measurements obtained during the first few rotations are used to calibrate the sensor.
The resulting initial value is used to calculate disc distortion at two specific temperatures – 300°C and 600°C. The tester is fitted with two LK-G sensors on either side for measuring small and large diameters.
Measurements are taken at a rate of once every 100ms throughout the test..

The LK-G is a triangulation displacement sensor that brings together the best in Keyence technology to deliver the performance and stability required for such measurements.

Diode pumped solid state lasers.

Quantum Composers, a manufacturer of digital delay and laser technology, has released a series of diode pumped solid state lasers. The Jewel Lasers will be displayed at the upcoming Photonics West tradeshow in San Francisco. The Jewel Laser features a small form factor, swappable components, USB or optional Bluetooth interface, and a lower cost than its competitors.

The Jewel Laser was developed in response to customer demand for a smaller, lighter, and more affordable diode pumped Nd:YAG laser. The current lasers in the market are heavy and have large power supplies that can lead to space and cooling problems. The Jewel is just 6 inches long and weighs only 2.5lbs, becoming one of the smallest, lightest, diode pumped lasers in its class. The Jewel will reduce the space and weight limits on laser systems and with its swappable resonator, downtime and production costs are reduced dramatically.

The Jewel Laser’s integrated thermal management system was designed for applications that require high reliability. This laser was designed specifically for 24/7 clean room fabs and portable environmentally challenged applications and incorporates a sealed housing that has conductively cooled thermal management, eliminating external fans and water cooling. The power supply is no bigger than your standard laptop charger – providing a smaller footprint for the laser and its power supply.  These features allow the laser to be easily integrated onto a gantry in a clean room or on into battery operated portable systems. 

Created with extensive Built-In-Test, the USB or optional Bluetooth wireless interface may be used for programming and running diagnostics without ever touching the system, making it perfect for clean room applications. This unique option allows the user digital diagnostics and the ability to fire the laser remotely. With self-diagnosing software, the user can easily determine exactly where components have failed. With swappable resonators and diodes that can be replaced quickly and efficiently with minimal adjustment/alignment, users will be able to save time and money.

This laser will also be used for LIDAR, PIV, LIF, OPO, TFT-LCD repair, ablation and mass spectroscopy applications.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

eLearning course on “Vortex Flowmeters: Applications”

A new course on “Vortex Flowmeters: Applications” has been released on the KROHNE Academy online learning platform. The free of charge eLearning course deals with the most common uses of Vortex flowmeters in auxiliary and supply circuits. It covers the requirements for applications that involve steam, compressed air as well as natural gas, and how to solve them with Vortex flowmeters. The following sample applications are discussed in detail:

  •  Steam boiler monitoring
  •  Measurement of steam consumption
  •  Steam distribution and billing
  •  Gross/net heat measurement
  •  Compressed air measurement
  •  Gas burner measurement

The course consists of one learning module with a corresponding test allowing participants to assess their knowledge. The course has been made available in English and German to date, however other language versions (e.g. Russian, Chinese) are planned to be released in 2015. This latest course adds to a whole range of courses on process instrumentation already available on the KROHNE Academy online.

• Khrone products are marketed in Ireland by DWN Instruments

Explosion proof feet & inches panel meters.

The latest ProVu® family member, the PD6001 Feet & Inches 1/8 DIN Panel Meter has been announced by Precision Digital. A NEMA 4X panel mounted indicator, the PD6001 is based on a reliable, economical design that features an easy-to-read feet & inches display with adjustable brightness. FT and IN indicators make it ideal for level applications. It is also available as the ProtEX®-MAX PD8-6001, an explosion-proof meter for hazardous areas.

The PD6001 and PD8-6001 Feet & Inches Meters include field-selectable inputs, allowing seamless integration of existing 0-20/4-20 mA or +/-10 V transmitters. The meters can also be set up as Modbus RTU Slaves.

Both meters can be easily installed into virtually any level application using common 4-20 mA or 0-10 V level transmitters. The displayed product level may be clearly labeled with a custom tag and unit. Programming the unit is even easier with free MeterView® Pro software, which streamlines meter setup and eliminates a lot of button pushing.

The ProtEX-MAX PD8-6001 Feet & Inches Meter is housed in an explosion-proof enclosure for use in hazardous areas. SafeTouch® through-glass buttons provide accessibility to the front buttons without removing the enclosure cover, keeping the meter's interior electronics fully protected. The entire product carries FM, CSA, ATEX, and IECEX approvals for use in hazardous area level applications or in the field under the harshest environmental conditions.

"We regularly communicate with distributors, end users, and technicians in the field, which leads to the development of new products," said Jeffrey Peters, President of Precision Digital Corp. "The success of our Super Snooper Modbus® Scanners, coupled with the demand for Feet & Inches displays, influenced the expansion of the ProVu Series to include a low-cost model that doesn’t sacrifice quality."

Options include up to four (4) relays, a 4-20 mA analog output, and dual 24 VDC power supplies. Expansion modules for the 1/8 DIN models add an additional four (4) relays, two (2) 4-20 mA outputs, and eight (8) digital I/O.

• Precision Digital is marketed in Ireland by PJ Bonner & Co.

Hand-held transmitter for CO2.

A CO2 probe with a measurement range of 0-2000/5000/10,000ppm has been made available for the Omniport 30 hand-held transmitter from E+E Elektronik. This means that the device can be used for ambient air monitoring or for CO2 leak localization. Other E+E probes for humidity, temperature and air velocity and the integrated air pressure sensor make the Omniport 30 a universal transmitter for a variety of applications. A total of up to 23 different measurements can be recorded and stored.

It is based on the NDIR dual wave length procedure and was developed specifically for demanding applications. Auto calibration and temperature compensation ensure long-term stability and high precision measurement results. The CO2 probe can also be calibrated directly on-site via the hand-held transmitter.

The Omniport 30 offers continuous and single-point data logging with time stamp. Up to three measurements can be displayed simultaneously on the large, easy to read TFT display. The data can also be displayed in the form of graphs. The intuitive menu guidance and touchscreen navigation make operating the hand-held transmitter easy and user friendly.

The internal memory of the Omniport 30 provides space for up to 2 million measurement values that can be transferred to a PC via USB interface. Complimentary data management software is available to carry out further analysis and archiving. Software updates can also be carried out via the USB interface.

A practical transport case is available for safe storage of the hand-held transmitter, including sensing probes and accessories.

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

Safety instrumented system to be launched next week!

Yokogawa's ProSafe(R)-RS R3.02.20 is to be launched in a few days (2014). This enhanced version of the ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system (SIS) offers improved connectivity with the ProSafe-SLS SIS, enabling the status of both systems to be monitored on-screen by operators of the CENTUM® VP integrated production control system. In addition, R3.02.20 offers enhanced support of widely used open communication protocols, improving connectivity with other companies' SCADA (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition) software.

Development background
In the oil, natural gas, petrochemical, iron & steel, and other energy and basic materials industries, plant safety is a growing concern. There is thus a rising demand for SISs that can help to prevent accidents by detecting abnormal conditions and initiating actions such as an emergency plant shutdown. Yokogawa provides two different SISs, the programmable ProSafe-RS and the solid-state ProSafe(R)-SLS, and customers select which systems to utilise based on their facilities' requirements. For customers who use both SIS systems, there is need for a solution that will enable the status of both these systems to be monitored in an integrated manner.

Overview of enhancements
1. Integrated monitoring of systems
With the ProSafe-SLS information gathering capability on ProSafe-RS SIS, operators can now monitor the status of a ProSafe-SLS SIS from a CENTUM VP window. If a problem occurs anywhere in a plant, the sequence-of-event (SOE) data from both SISs will be displayed on an integrated screen at the operator terminals. Operators and maintenance engineers can then use this data to quickly identify and analyse the problem cause.

2. Communication protocol support for upstream applications
In oil and gas wellhead and pipeline applications, cost performance and space saving are key considerations. To satisfy these needs, ProSafe-RS is equipped with both safety and process control functions. The SCADA systems at such sites often rely on Distributed Network Protocol 3 (DNP3) for narrowband wireless and satellite upstream communications because this open protocol supports the temporary storage of data when there is a disruption in network communications. Support of DNP3 in the ProSafe-RS R3.02.20 controller enables customers to easily replace and expand their systems in the field while continuing to use their existing SCADA infrastructure. This saves time and reduces costs.

Best automation software say readers.

The Web Studio software of InduSoft has been declared the Automation Inside 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards winner for the Best Automation Software category. InduSoft was selected from among 26 automation product competitors based on and votes from Automation Inside readers in 36 countries.

As a Readers’ Choice award, this recognition indicates a high degree of end user satisfaction with Web Studio, and is thus particularly important.

InduSoft Web Studio v7.1+SP3 provides a variety of tools to simplify the creation of HMI and SCADA applications. This comprehensive development and runtime HMI/SCADA software solution provides over 240 built-in communication drivers allowing easy connection to a wide variety of PLCs and controllers. This full-feature set software includes all the tools users need to develop, deploy and present HMI graphics, alarms, trends, reports, recipes, and historian and database data.

Easy integration to the latest web, cloud, and mobility technologies allows users to create screens, widgets, animated graphics and controls that can be displayed, monitored and controlled, using the HTML5 standard, on a wide variety of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The HMI/SCADA application can truly be deployed and accessed from almost anywhere.

The company expressed its gratitude to all the end user customers, OEMs, certified system integrators, and distributors who use their products, and appreciates the continued support of InduSoft Web Studio.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Testing electric bikes!

Test instruments supplied by Yokogawa are playing a key role in the final testing of motors for electric bikes manufactured by Heinzmann in the village of Schönau in Germany’s Black Forest region.

Heinzmann has been developing and manufacturing electric drives for over 30 years. The company’s drives are used in a range of industrial applications as well as in various types of electric vehicles.

The first products for electric bikes were introduced by the company in 1994 and one of its great successes was the development of motors for the cargo bikes used by the German mail carrier Deutsche Post AG.

This particular application uses mainly DC hub motors with gearing to ensure a high torque during acceleration. However, in electric bikes for leisure purposes, Heinzmann installs brushless synchronous disk motors. These are not only maintenance-free, but distinguish themselves compared to a conventional electric motor by being based on a flat design which offers the benefits of small size and low weight. In addition, these motors offer high efficiency and quiet running. They can be used in both front- and rear-wheel drive systems, and can also facilitate energy recovery during braking or downhill running.

A full Heinzmann electric bike drive system includes the electric motor, a controller, a battery pack, a torque sensor in the bottom bracket and a display/control unit on the handlebars. Heinzmann delivers the drive systems to various bicycle manufacturers, but they are also available as a retrofit kit and can also be incorporated into customers’ own electric bikes.

Engine assembly and final test
In Schönau the disk motors are assembled and a functional test is carried out. At the test stand the assembled motor is fixed into a mount, the power and sensor cables are connected and the motor shaft is connected via an adapter coupling and torque shaft to a brake motor. The operator then scans the identification label which is fixed to the motor. On the basis of the type of motor, the test system retrieves the appropriate motor data from a database and determines the respective test parameters and limits for the individual tests. For each motor a high-voltage test and power measurements are performed in the idle state and under load conditions, allowing the efficiency of the motor to be calculated from the measured values. Short-circuit tests are also carried out at random. In the event of failure, the test is immediately aborted and an error log is produced. Following each faultless run, a test label is printed. All measured data, along with the serial number of the motor, are stored in a database to ensure traceability.

The test rig was completely designed and produced to Heinzmann’s specifications by ETU. It includes, among other things, a Yokogawa WT1800 power analyser, a programmable DC power supply for voltages up to 80 V and currents up to 60 A, a high-voltage tester and a measuring range extension for the power analyser with three current transformers. The interface of the test rig operates intuitively via a PC with a touch screen, whereas for the total control of the system a PLC is used. In order to provide realistic control of the motors, different electric bike motor controllers can be integrated into the system.

“ETU chose the WT1800 power analyser largely based on previous experience, but also because it could be upgraded to six channels and combined with a torque sensor to measure the mechanical performance of the drive units. This way, we are ready to meet future challenges”, says Jürgen Bläsi, Managing Director of ETU GmbH.

The laboratory power supply device simulates the battery and feeds a current of up to 50 A into the motor controller. The output current of the power supply is measured by the fourth channel of the WT1800. The motor controller generates a corresponding 3-phase signal to drive the motor. The actual power delivered to the motor is measured using the current transformer and power analyser, and the mechanical power on the torque transducer is detected by the WT1800. In this way, the efficiencies of both the individual powertrain components as well as the overall efficiency of the system can be determined.

“We offer a wide range of motor types and variants with a wide range of performance information. It is therefore necessary to carry out the tests quickly”, says Bernd Becker, Managing Director of Electrical Drives for Heinzmann GmbH & Co.KG.: “For us, it is important that the tests are modular, scalable and flexible, so that, in case of capacity expansion, we can quickly install another system. ETU satisfied all these requirements very well,”

PXI high power solid-state switches.

Pickering Interfaces has introduced two new PXI high power solid-state switch modules to its range of PXI switching solutions.

  • PXI 25A Solid State SPST Switch (40-184) – offer 3 or 6-off SPST solid-state switches capable of handling 25A signals at up to 100V.
  • PXI 1.5A Solid State SPST Switch (40-185) – offer 3 or 6-off SPST solid-state switches capable of handling 1.5A signals at up to 400V.

Both of these new PXI switching solutions use solid-state switch designs based on isolated MOSFET technology to provide solutions capable of switching very high power AC or DC signals without any lifetime degradation while used within their ratings. The solid-state SPST switches feature a fast operating time of less than 250µs and bounce-free state transitions that can handle high inrush currents on switching without any impact on lifetime.

These new switching modules are particularly well suited to use in PXI applications where higher voltages and powers are required. Applications include testing products used in transportation systems where mechanical relays are generally unsuitable because of limited switching capacity at the voltages and currents required.

For each model the 3-off SPST versions occupy one 3U PXI slot while the 6-off SPST versions require two 3U PXI slots. Each model uses robust high power D-type connectors that are fully supported by Pickering Interfaces’ range of connection accessories. The modules can also be supported in Pickering Interfaces LXI Modular chassis’ for users preferring Ethernet control of switching systems.

Pickering Interfaces stands behind all of their manufactured products with a standard three-year warranty and guaranteed long-term product support.

A peek at conductivity with PEEK sensor! #PAuto

The Smartec CLD18 toroidal conductivity transmitter for hygienic applications has been introduced by Endress+Hauser. It has a food-safe PEEK (polyetheretherketone) toroidal sensor, potted electronics and a NEMA TYPE 6P/IP 69K stainless steel or plastic housing to withstand clean-in-place (CIP) operations. 

The PEEK sensor has excellent chemical, mechanical and thermal resistance properties and is entirely seamless and gap-free, and is therefore safe to use in hygienic applications in the food, beverage and life sciences industries. The sensor meets 3A standards, and all wetted materials are FDA-listed. The sensor is designed in accordance with the current guidelines of ASME BPE and meets the requirements of EC Regulation1935/2004 for articles intended to come into contact with food.

The CLD18 uses an inductive conductivity measurement technique, where an oscillator produces an alternating magnetic field in the primary coil. This induces current flow in the fluid. The strength of the current depends on the conductivity, which corresponds to the concentration of ions in the fluid. The current is measured by the receiver and is used to determine the conductivity, which is calculated and sent as a 0-20 or 4-20mA signal. The sensor also outputs temperature as a 0-20 or 4-20mA signal.

The sensor measures conductivity from 200 μS/cm to 1,000 mS/cm. A binary input allows range switching for flexibility in CIP systems. Measurement range switching allows a user to set up two different analog output scales. For example, when monitoring one fluid the user may want the conductivity analog output to be scaled from 200 μS /cm to 100 ms/cm, and then later change it to 100ms to 1000ms/cm because the fluid being measured is of higher conductivity.

An alarm output activates if the measured temperature or conductivity exceeds the current output limits or if an error condition occurs. For example, if the conductivity output were scaled for 200 μS/cm to 100 ms/cm but the device measures a value of 200 ms/cm, the alarm contact would close.

Advantages of this type of inductive conductivity measurement include no electrodes and therefore no polarization effects; complete galvanic isolation of the measurement from the fluid; and accurate measurement in media with a high degree of pollution and the tendency to form build up. Accuracy is ±2% of the measured value with repeatability of 0.5%.

Typical applications include monitoring phase separation of product/water mixtures in the beverage Industry, CIP systems, liquid concentration, separation in a cleaning return line, industrial water, rinsing processes in pickling plants, and product interface detection in beverage filling supply lines.

The sensor is suitable for continuous operating temperatures up to 230 °F and can be operated up to 266 °F for 60 minutes for sterilization phases. Its pressure resistance rating is 174 psi up to 122 °F.

A platinum RTD Pt 1000 temperature sensor is integrated in the sensor. This ensures efficient phase separation at different and quickly changing process temperatures. The temperature sensor is embedded in the PEEK body. Linear temperature compensation with user-configurable temperature coefficients is provided.

Monday, December 15, 2014

MES Software decision driven by easy integration!

Aegis Software has recently supplied an integrated suite of FactoryLogix manufacturing operations software modules to EMS solution provider Connor Solutions. Now one of the largest privately-held EMS providers in the UK and growing, the company offers bespoke services to both global enterprises and UK-based OEMs, spread over many market sectors. Connor’s advanced technology strategy will rely on Aegis to pull together and streamline the systems already in place, while adding powerful additional benefits for Connor and its customers. The suite, which comprises NPI, Production/Quality, Integration and Analytics modules, is to play a key role in Connor’s planned growth.

Craig Bryant, Quality & Engineering Director at Connor Solutions commented: “Having reviewed many systems and solutions we chose Aegis due to its compatibility with all of our current machine types within the factory and the technical support network available in the UK.
“This investment will provide a powerful platform for new product introduction, traceability, seam-less integration to ERP, in-circuit test, functional test and key manufacturing processes enabling real time monitoring, automated analytics and reporting including first time pass rates and drill down hot spot defect analysis.”

He summarised: “These are exciting times for us at Connor Solutions as we continue to grow and invest in the latest hardware and software solutions that can add value to the business services and our customers”.

The FactoryLogix software will encompass the entire production area, which currently comprises of three high technology SMT lines, conventional through-hole facility, conformal coating area and final assembly logistics. All supported by in circuit testing, functional testing and automated inspection.

Connor Solutions currently holds ISO 13485 Medical and AS9100 Aerospace as well as ISO 9001:2008 quality certifications, and is working towards ISO 14001 and full site ATEX approvals.
As part of the new Aegis MES system integration all PCBs will be identified by laser-etched bar codes, so traceability across all lines becomes more efficient. This is particularly valuable as the company offers various levels of traceability, down to and including full aerospace component requirements.

Aegis software will also facilitate more efficient route discipline for Connor. This has long been established within the company, but under Aegis setting up routes and then making changes is expected to become easier and faster. Discipline is imposed because no operation can begin until an operator has ‘signed off’ the previous process by scanning a bar code.

The selection process for a software plantwide management solution started over two years ago, with four contenders competing for the application. These reduced to two before Aegis became the final choice. A key factor in Connor Solutions’ decision for Aegis software was its ready integration with other hardware and software. Direct links are being set up with Fuji SMT, AOI and test platforms.

Load cell manufacturer appointment!

LCM Systems has appointed Stacey Bond as Internal Sales Engineer for its range of load cells and instrumentation.

Based at their headquarters in the Isle of Wight (GB), Stacey will be the first point of contact for customers old and new looking to purchase either ex-stock or custom design load cells.

Stacey brings with her many years’ experience in technical sales and customer service and has worked in some of the main markets served by LCM Systems including oil, gas, petroleum and the chemical industry.

Speaking about the new appointment, Steve Sargeant, Managing Director at LCM Systems says: “We are delighted to welcome Stacey to the team here at LCM. Her industry expertise and excellent customer liaison skills are already proving a valuable asset to the company.”

Moisture analyser ensures quality of stored natural gas!

Michell’s new OptiPEAK TDL600 moisture analyser’s fast response and non-contact spectroscopic measurement principle ensures that gas storage companies are able to not only meet demand quickly but also satisfy the contractual standards for moisture content when stored natural gas is withdrawn and injected to the pipeline network.

Storing gas is an integral part of the natural gas industry because the timescales for consumption and delivery do not match the time needed to extract, process and transport the gas. In order to ensure an uninterrupted supply to consumers, quantities of gas are usually stored underground, either in depleted gas reservoirs, aquifers or salt caverns.

The water dew-point temperature or moisture content of the stored gas is measured during the filling (pressurisation) and usage (de-pressurisation) cycles. Storage pressures of up to 30 MPa require the gas to be very dry in order to prevent condensation occurring. However, the underground storage facilities are used to meet demand in peak periods and are usually non-active during the summer, so there is the potential for the moisture content to rise above acceptable levels during the inactive period. As the gas is needed quickly to meet consumer demands, a fast-responding, reliable hygrometer is vital to be on-hand when gas needs to be taken from storage.

Another complication is the tendency of instrumentation to fail when exposed to aggressive compounds and harmful contamination when there is no flow through the analyser. During the inactive periods in gas storage a corrosive, stale sample may sit in the analyser for many weeks. Decommissioning is not an option as little notice will be given for the withdrawal of the stored gas.

Michell’s OptiPEAK TDL600 is designed to overcome these pitfalls. Firstly, the tuneable diode laser technology is non-contact. This means that none of the sensing components are subjected to the gas stream and are protected from the aggressive compounds and harmful contamination that would cause failure in other analysers.

While this benefit is true for all TDLAS analysers, the OptiPEAK TDL600 also offers a class-leading measurement accuracy of 1ppmV to support the rapid ramp-up in gas supply from the storage facility into the network. This means that it can respond to changes in moisture content in 2 to 3 seconds, allowing fast action to be taken to ensure the continued supply.

• Michell products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Modular switch gear busbar solution for Biomass generation plant room!

The development of a power station plant room not only provided logistical and technical issues but also harsh environmental considerations for Nova Controls during their installation of water treatment PLC for a Yorkshire (GB) biomass site. The performance of Rittal’s Ri4power modular switch gear busbar system helped to deliver the solution that the site demands.

Peter Hubbert from Nova Controls commented “Working with Rittal Ri4Power gave us a proven high quality engineered product, incorporating all the solutions required to meet the demanding Form 4 specifications of our client and  the power generation market. This highly flexible product allowed us to design and configure individual compartments with a range of versatile multifunction components, affording us a speedy assembly and a vital cost effective solution in this competitive arena.”

Location of the existing site structure meant that the panel had to be craned in position, therefore rigidity and strength of the framework was a priority. Ri4Power’s welded frame and tested lifting procedures assisted with the installation of the panel within the new power station plant room.

Safety was a key concern to the end customer therefore Rittal’s internal RiLine60 busbar system was shielded and the panel designed in line with IEC61641 Internal Arc Protection. Form 4 type 6 compartments segregated the control devices, busbar and outgoing terminals, which assisted the cabling on site and offered a higher level of safety.

The panel was located in a plant room where there is a possibility of high levels of moisture and the potential for an acidic atmosphere. To reduce any corrosion or damage to the panel a tropicalized paint finish was used.

Being of a modular design Rittal’s Ri4Power allowed Nova Controls to make last minute changes to the design layout.

In addition to Ri4Power system, Nova also utilised Rittal’s RPE Engineering software to generate design verification documentation that included heat calculations in line with the latest IEC61439 switchgear and Control-gear standards.

New transportable crawler inspection camera can be hired!

Traditionally, pipeline inspection cameras operate from a power source in a vehicle or conveniently located building. However, the Mini-Cam Proteus crawler camera inspection system can now be hired from Ashtead Technology with a battery power pack option. “This means that the inspection work of our customers will not be limited by locations lacking power or with limited access,” says Ashtead’s Jay Neermul.

By operating the Proteus from a battery pack, the unit can be operated for over 5 hours. The complete self-contained system can be mounted on a trolley providing enormous flexibility in the inspection of pipes, culverts, cavities, drains and sewers. As a result, the system is completely transportable and extremely quiet – an important consideration in residential locations.

The Proteus features a variety of key features such as a built-in lowering device, a pan/rotate camera and a back-eye with auxiliary light, as well as a built-in digital control unit for capturing colour mpeg video and jpeg still images. Importantly, this final feature means that it is not necessary to hire an additional recording device.

In order to expand the range of pipes that the Proteus can inspect, the unit has a built-in camera elevator and can inspect pipes from 150mm in diameter up 600mm. With a 6-wheel drive the Proteus is supplied with three different wheel size options, and a novel wheel-lock mechanism enables quick and simple wheel changes. A portable cable reel is supplied as standard with a minimum of 120m of rugged cable, which can be extended to 200m or longer by prior arrangement. The system also includes a cable layering mechanism, a meterage wheel, a manual winding arm and a friction brake.

With twin joysticks, intuitive hot keys and crawler cruise control, the Proteus is simple to operate, providing users with continuous control and status information, including activity, speed, pressure, inclination and temperature.

Summarising, Jay Neermul says: “The Proteus is an extremely popular member of our remote visual inspection fleet, and the availability of a transportable, battery powered version means that the system no longer has to be connected to a vehicle and can now be employed in an even wider range of applications. By renting the new transportable crawler camera, customers will benefit from the latest technology and application flexibility, whilst avoiding ownership costs.”