Friday, January 23, 2015

No oil to trouble water!

A portable oil in water monitor has proved extremely popular in the oil sector. It ought also be ideal for other industries where oil contamination is an issue.

Quantitech first launched the InfraCal 2, a portable oil in water analyser, in 2013 and the company’s Dr Andrew Hobson says: “There has been a heavy demand for this instrument in the oil sector because of the new functionality that now comes as standard. The InfraCal 2 can now be operated from an internal battery and also provides lower detection limits. However, the original InfraCal was not able to store multiple calibrations or to log readings, so the latest instrument can be more independent, making it better suited to remote operation. We are therefore hoping that it will also become popular in a wider range of other manufacturing and processing industries, including wastewater and fracking.”

The original InfraCal is still available, but with a touch-screen display, the InfraCal 2 is easier to use and delivers superior performance for sub-ppm detection of oil in water.

Measurements can be undertaken very quickly, and with no moving parts and a rugged metal case, the InfraCal 2 has a very low maintenance requirement. “Over 3000 InfraCal instruments have been sold worldwide, so the technology is well-proven,” says Dr Hobson. “However, the ability to produce accurate readings onsite offers a number of important benefits including faster results, lower costs per test and the avoidance of problems associated with preserving samples during transport. Costs are also lower in comparison with a laboratory FTIR Spectrometer, and because there are no sample transport costs.”

The world’s first 7''wide screen HMIs for ATEX zone 1.

The world’s first operating devices with a 7" wide screen suitable for use in ATEX zone 1 from R. STAHL HMI Systems combine state-of-the-art, user-friendly equipment with a highly robust design. The virtually indestructible devices are ideally suited for visualisation close to machines in drilling rigs or in the vicinity of compressors, mixers, and centrifuges in machine building applications.

Their wide 15:9 format display provides an 800 x 480 pixel resolution. Powerful processors and a bright display technology ensure high-contrast, glare-free display of process information. A modern capacitive touchscreen allows for easy, comfortable control of all process sequences. The HMI systems are designed to provide high reliability during continuous operation even under extreme conditions: they can be operated around the clock for years at ambient temperatures between -40 °C and +65 °C, and nearly all over the globe. The vibration-resistant interfaces feature a hardened glass front and a seawater-proof metal housing that ensures IP66 protection.

Even during outdoor use with strong incident daylight, the full-colour 7ʺ displays remain easy to read, since an anti-reflection coating minimises glare and overexposed areas.

By default, the new SERIES 200 operator interfaces are equipped with the Windows Embedded Compact 7 operating system. Alternatively, they are available as OPEN VERSIONS, allowing for the use of third-party software and enabling customers to easily install their own programs. Moreover, mechanical engineers can continue to use the comfortable Windows project engineering software SPSPlusWIN to create and edit screens as well as process connections and messages. Projects from existing devices can be imported and adapted for further use.

Integration into virtually all major automation systems is supported. The units are connected via explosion-proof Ethernet ports for copper or fibre optic cables, standard serial interfaces, or an optional WLAN module. Apart from Ex zones 1 and 21, the multilingual devices are of course also suitable for use in zones 2 and 22. Standard regional certifications (such as NEC, TR, CSA, KCC, INMETRO) will follow soon.

Additionally, the SERIES 200 provides excellent compatibility with units from the widely established, proven FALCON series (ET-/MT-65, ET-75, and ET-125). The new line is mechanically compatible to the dimensions of the predecessor generation – either directly or with an adapter frame. This also applies to units with additional application-specific stainless steel or plastic push buttons. Users can therefore easily exchange previous models with monochrome displays for modern colour wide screen displays.

• Stahl products are marketed in Ireland by Douglas Control & Automation.

Electric rod style linear actuator!

The FT Series roller screw driven actuators from Curtis Wright, offer high thrust, high speed, and high robustness in a compact form factor, making them an ideal alternative to hydraulic cylinders. With continuous force rating to 40,000 lbf (178 kN), speed to 60 in/sec (1,500mm/sec) and stroke lengths from 6 inches (150mm) to 8 feet (2,400mm) the FT Series can be applied across a wide range of linear motion applications.

The new FT45 has a continuous force rating of 10,000 lbf (44.5 kN), filling the gap between the existing FT35 and FT60 models. The FT45 features the following key enhancements over the existing FT Series frame size designs, including the largest FT80 model:

  • IP65 (min.) environmental protection standard on all mounting configurations
  • Idler pulley design greatly simplifies motor installation and belt tensioning / maintenance
  • Grease zerk fitting allows re-greasing of nut assembly without having to disassemble the unit
  • Removable front seal bushing design greatly simplifies front seal maintenance / replacement

New man at helm of Automation body!

Rick Roop is the 2015 President of the International Society of Automation (ISA).

In this position, Roop will work with Society leaders and staff to increase awareness of the value and relevance of the ISA brand and build on ISA’s proven range of capabilities and resources for automation professionals, which includes standards development, education, training, certification, certificate programs, publications, and technical symposia and conferences.

President Rick Roop
Roop brings a distinguished track record as a financial management executive, an instrument and electrical engineer, and a power plant manager as well as three decades of ISA membership and involvement to his new role as Society president.

2012, Roop has served as Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager and owner of Donaldson Capital Management, an Evansville, Indiana-based SEC-registered investment advisory firm with $1 billion in assets under management.

“I am blessed to be serving as 2015 President of ISA, an organization in which I strongly believe and one that I have been associated with for over 30 years,” says Roop. “Through the years, I served in many capacities within ISA—from establishing local sections in the early 80s to working on the operations side, to writing standards while serving on a divisional board, to eventually becoming an ISA board member—all of which have prepared me for the upcoming presidency.

“As we move into 2015, ISA will continue to work toward achieving its strategic goals and to strengthen its global brand recognition. Adding to our momentum in the new year and beyond is our new, wholly owned-subsidiary,  As we have learned throughout our history, the key to success is getting the ‘big things’ right, innovating accordingly, and sharpening our organizational and operational focus. Every generation of ISA membership has the opportunity and, I believe, the responsibility to improve ISA—to move us forward in the world of automation. This is our time.”

Shortly after joining ISA in 1983, Roop became actively involved in the Society. In 1984, he established the ISA Evansville Section, serving as its president as well as show chair, and section delegate and secretary. In 1986, he started the ISA Terre Haute (Wabash Valley) Section, serving as its president and in other key leadership positions.

Over the years, he has served: as District Vice President and Chairman of the Council of District Vice Presidents; as Power Industry Division (POWID) board member; and in a wide range of Society-level leadership positions, most notably as Chairman of the Finance Committee (2009-2013) and Chairman of the Investment Committee (2003-2013).

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering technology from Murray State University in 1980, Roop accepted a position as a senior instrumentation engineer at Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company (now Vectren). He then joined Hoosier Energy, REC, first serving as an instrument and electrical engineer at the company from 1986 to 1995, and later serving as General Manager at the company’s Frank E. Ratts Generating Station from 1995 to 2001.

He launched his career as a financial management executive in 2001, assuming dual positions as Director of Research & Portfolio Manager at Donaldson Capital Management. He became Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at the firm in 2006, before also becoming owner in 2012.

In addition to his bachelor’s degree, Roop earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with an emphasis in finance from Indiana State University in 1994. Over the years, he has served as an adjunct professor to three Indiana colleges, teaching math and engineering courses. He currently serves on the Indiana State University Engineering and Technology Advisory Board and is actively involved on the Committee for the Warrick County Young Life Christian ministry for high school youth.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cool measurement in Antartica!

"We know we can provide sensors and instruments to work in freezing temperatures. Now let us prove it to you. The successful drilling of a 763m deep ice core from Antarctica using Applied Measurement sensors demonstrates beyond doubt the reliability of our products in sub-zero temperatures." (Applied Measurements)

Project Aim: To Extract a 750m Deep Ice Core From Roosevelt Island in the Antarctic
In 2009, Applied Measurements were contacted by Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) to provide reliable and accurate equipment that could operate in the sub-zero temperatures of the Antarctic, for the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) Project.  This global project aimed to extract a 750m deep ice core from Roosevelt Island to determine the effects of increasing air and ocean temperatures on West Antarctica and the Ross Ice Shelf.[1]

Using Applied Measurements’ two customised DBEP shear pin load cells, a WS12 draw wire sensor and four intuitive2 displays, the RICE team were able to successfully extract a 763m deep ice core from an ice cap on Roosevelt Island over the austral summer of 2011/2012 and 2012/2013.[2]  This core will provide an ice record for the last 20,000 years, determining the stability of the Ross Ice Shelf (the main drainage route of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet).

“The most critical element of the control system is the load transducer pin, it performed flawlessly”

Customised DBEP Series of Shear Pin Load Cells
DBEP Sensor
The 2 customised DBEP load transducer pins designed and supplied by Applied Measurements, were able to compensate for the extreme Antarctic conditions by using a high stability temperature compensated strain gauge bridge to minimise the effects of temperature.  This enabled them to operate accurately in temperatures as low as -30˚C.  The customisation of the DBEP shear pin load cells enabled them to perform brilliantly within the extreme Antarctic environment.  As Field and Operations Engineer Darcy Mandeno confirms, “The most critical element of the control system is the load transducer pin, it performed flawlessly, with the 1kg resolution we are able to “feel” what is happening in the ice with the drill, this feedback is an important element for the drillers confidence in what is happening down the hole.”[3]

To monitor the drilling forces the load pins used a built-in miniature ICA4S amplifier giving an output of 4-20mA.  The ICA series of miniature amplifiers were ideal in this application as they can operate in temperatures as low as -40˚C.  Their miniature design allowed them to fit inside the load pins where other larger amplifiers cannot.

WS12 Heavy Duty Industrial Draw Wire Sensor
WS12 Sensor
To monitor the extension movement of the drill mast we supplied the team with a WS12 draw wire sensor.  The WS12 draw wire sensor is designed for harsh environments and heavy duty industrial applications as standard, due to its IP67 aluminium and stainless steel housing and its ability to operate at temperatures as low as -20˚C.  Its ability to operate in tough conditions proved invaluable for the RICE team providing “very accurate and repeatable control with the mast position being known to within 1-2 mm.” Darcy Mandeno.[3]

Intuitive2 Indicators
Applied Measurements’ adaptable INT2-P indicators used with the 2 DBEP load pins and WS12 draw wire sensor and the INT2-C indicator used with the rotary encoder (supplied by another) were used to give the same RS485 output.  The intuitive2 indicators are simple to install and calibrate and their modular construction meant the RICE team could take less spare parts to the remote location as many of the parts are inter-changeable.

The successful drilling of the ice core demonstrates the reliability of our products in sub-zero temperatures.  “The displays and instruments worked well in what was quite arduous conditions” Darcy Mandeno.[3] 

1, (2014). RICE – Antarctic Research Centre – Victoria University of Wellington. [online] Available at [Accessed 27 Nov. 2014].
2 Victoria University of Wellington. Bedrock breakthrough in Antarctic [Press Release]. Retrieved from
3 Darcy Mandeno, Field and Operations Engineer, Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington (personal communication, November 09, 2014)

In this video Nancy Bertler describes an ice core drilling expedition to the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica for the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) project

Petroleum, Refining & Environmental Monitoring Technologies - Exhibition/Conf for Belgium!

PEFTEC 2015 (the petroleum, refining and environmental technologies conference and exhibition) has announced a partnership with the Port of Antwerp. PEFTEC organiser Marcus Pattison says:

Port of Antwerp (B)
“This is a major announcement because the Port of Antwerp is the leading European integrated maritime and logistics hub and the second largest seaport in Europe. As such, the port is situated at the heart of Europe’s industrial community, so the support of the Port of Antwerp is a major boost for the show, providing visitors and exhibitors with confidence that PEFTEC 2015 will be an essential date in the diaries of anyone involved with monitoring, sampling and analysis in the petrochemical field.”

Taking place on the 18th and 19th November 2015, at the Antwerp Expo centre, PEFTEC will be situated at the centre of the world’s largest cluster of petrochemical companies outside of the USA. The world’s 10 largest chemical producers are present in Antwerp, either with their supply chain or with a production unit, so the area is a magnet for world trade. Companies with major facilities in the Port of Antwerp include BASF, Air Liquide, Monsanto, Bayer and 3M, and both Total and ExxonMobil have refineries in the port.

PEFTEC 2015 is a new Conference and Exhibition created specifically for organisations involved in testing and monitoring in the Petrochemical and Refining sectors, covering applications such as process monitoring, quality control and environmental monitoring. As a partner with PEFTEC 2015, the Port of Antwerp will help publicise the show locally and provide speakers for the main conference.

• See details of the event’s Conference and Seminar Programme (Announced August 2015).

A smart way of reducing energy consumption!

A smart way of helping OEMs achieve their energy efficiency and sustainability targets of machinery, the MS6-E2M module from Festo monitors and regulates the compressed air supply in new and existing systems fully automatically. As opposed to conventional service units, the MS6-E2M energy efficiency module, or E2M, actively intervenes in the air supply.

“Saving energy is easier than ever thanks to the MS6-E2M energy efficiency module,” says Steve Sands, product manager at Festo. “For the first time, the air preparation system is monitoring, diagnosing and notifying maintenance teams based on actual requirements.”

MS6-E2M completely blocks air flow 
when the machine is stopped
When the E2M detects a standby status on the basis of predefined data, the compressed air supply is shut down automatically – similar to energy-saving start-stop systems in cars. At the same time, the automatic monitoring of important operating parameters such as flow and pressure ensures a reliable production process. Not only is this module suitable for new, energy-efficient machines but, thanks to the simple connection of the sensors to a PLC, it can also be used as an easy retrofit on older installations which now need to operate more energy-efficiently.

The energy efficiency module can be adjusted manually by the operator or via Profibus to the requirements of a particular installation. The parameters can be quickly and easily specified on the basis of what the E2M detects, whether the machine in question is currently in production operation or not. During downtime, the compressed air supply to the machine is shut off, thus preventing any air escaping through leakages on the machine.

During shut-off mode, the E2M checks the installation for leaks. If the energy efficiency module detects a pressure drop equal to a value predefined by the operator, it signals this to the machine’s control system via Profibus – in the event of leaks in the piping system being detected, maintenance can be carried out promptly. The module also has an option whereby the compressed air supply can be switched on and off manually; this feature can be used in particularly complex production processes, enabling the automatic standby function to be deactivated so that plant operators can specify themselves via a PLC whether a machine is in production operation or not.

A further important advantage of the E2M energy efficiency module is active condition monitoring, which gives plant operators instant access to energy- and process-related data. The module can be integrated fully into a machine control system via Profibus and exchanges important data such as energy consumption and machine availability cyclically with the control system.

Measured values for flow rate, air consumption and pressure can be called up at any time. Plant operators can use this information as the basis for continuous intelligent energy monitoring of a machine. With the E2M it is possible, for example, to determine whether equipment is consuming more air now than a year ago, how much compressed air is needed for a production batch, whether the pressure is correctly adjusted or how high the pressure and flow rate were at the time of a machine breakdown.

Connected Intelligence Global Partner Ecosystem!

B+B SmartWorx, (formerly B&B Electronics as we reported 21 January 2015) has announced an acceleration for the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape with its Connected Intelligence Global Partner Ecosystem.   As a manufacturer of network connectivity technologies which serve as the heart or technical glue of IoT end solutions, B+B SmartWorx is launching the ecosystem to enable complementary partner companies to make intelligent connections with each other, combine expertise, and build effective IoT applications for end customers in the demanding, non-consumer IoT space.

Initial Connected Intelligence Ecosystem Partners include IoT technology providers such as Cumulocity, Davra Networks, ILS Technology, ParStream, PLAT.ONE, SeeControl, Skkynet, and ThingWorx, along with MVNO partners such as KORE and Mobius Networks, and a variety of international carriers. 

According to Harbor Research, the non-consumer IoT space is approximately 50% of the total IoT market opportunity, comprised of managed services (analytics, system applications, mobile and cloud computing, value added application services), enablement hardware (wired or wireless hardware attached to or embedded in each machine) and network services (carrier and data services). B+B SmartWorx products fall into enablement hardware while other Connected Intelligence Ecosystem partners fall into the managed and network services areas.

Mike Fahrion, director of IoT and edge intelligence product development at B+B SmartWorx explained that B+B created the ecosystem to combine complementary partners under a virtual roof to facilitate IoT applications. “Finding the right partners to fit a specific application’s requirements enables our customers to achieve better results than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.”

From assets to analytics starting at the network edge, the ecosystem aims to create intelligent networks that can collect, manage and analyze the data generated by billions of sensors, transforming that data into actionable intelligence that lets companies make predictions and prescribe actions to cut costs, increase productivity or increase revenue.

B+B SmartWorx provides the network connectivity “technical glue” – the hardware and connectivity stack – of the ecosystem. B+B’s IoT Edge Processing Architecture – a combination of its Wzzard wireless intelligent sensing and edge connectivity platform and its cellular edge gateway devices – aggregates data from existing equipment, translates disparate machine protocols into a language IT can understand, transforms that data into useful information and delivers it to applications ready for analysis.

“Rather than trying to become a vertical service provider itself, which can turn partners into competitors, B+B is smart to focus on its pedigree and core connectivity competence and recognize that an ecosystem of partners, leveraging each other’s core expertise, brings the most value to the end user,” said Glen Allmendinger, founder and president of Harbor Research.  “B+B’s technology roadmap is impressive, positioning the company as an emerging leader in what Harbor Research calls the ‘enablement hardware’ slice of the industrial IoT pie, a category we project will grow from $16.2B today to $43.8B by 2020.”

B+B’s CEO, Jerry O’Gorman, added, “We've aligned with companies who are credited with some of the most innovative technologies and solutions in their industries. Together, our focus is on extending the capabilities of our combined technologies to provide broad solutions for customers in areas of strategic importance to the global market.”

Generating Business Insight via Connected Intelligence in the Partner Ecosystem
“We are excited that ThingWorx® technology will be a core aspect of the B+B SmartWorx Connected Intelligence Ecosystem,” said Chris Kuntz, vice president, ecosystem programs, ThingWorx.  “The age of the IoT is upon us and working with forward thinking companies such as B+B SmartWorx enables us to deploy our leading technology so that customers can profit from complete, end-to-end solutions.”

“I applaud B+B SmartWorx bold entry into the IoT Marketplace as a deviceWISE Ready partner.   Our two companies share a common strategy of providing robust solutions with Intelligence at the Edge as well as a proven track record with enterprise customers within the industrial market,” said Fred Yentz, CEO ILS Technology, a Telit Company.  “Our strategic and technical alignment and our global reach will provide customers an enterprise ready, fast time to value IoT experience.”

“The IoT has a huge opportunity to connect non-consumer devices to the cloud to collect and share data making factories, automobiles, buildings and cities more intelligent,” said Stefan Vaillant, CTO of Cumulocity. “B+B SmartWorx complements our portfolio of software system solutions for IoT.”

"IoT is the hottest topic in IT circles as customers look to connect assets they've never connected before and make real time decisions based on data collected from the coalface of their business,” said Paul Glynn, CEO of Davra Networks. “Using B+B SmartWorx Wzzard Sensing Platform gives our customers easy access to information and data that they've never had access to before."

“This ecosystem has the potential to bring industrial process control to a whole new level,” said Paul Thomas, President of Skkynet. “Combining the B+B SmartWorx platform with Skkynet's Secure Cloud Service means remote devices in any location can now connect directly and securely to the cloud, enabling real-time monitoring, control, networking, and big data collection at a far lower TCO than previously thought possible.”

Increased safety for critical industrial and traffic infrastructure!

COPA-DATA has received the "Safety Integrity Level 2" (SIL 2) certification and thus meets the requirements in accordance with the international standard IEC 61508 for the reliability of the safety functions of operational facilities. Companies that use zenon can achieve Safety Integrity Level 2 for their systems and infrastructures this way. This certification was carried out by TÜV Süd, an independent third party.

"For companies that operate industrial equipment or traffic infrastructure, it is important to guarantee safe operation and to adhere to international standards in the process," explained Reinhard Mayr, Product Manager at COPA-DATA. "With the certification, TÜV Süd has confirmed that we have the corresponding expertise to set up SIL 2-compliant processes and SIL 2-compliant systems and thus support our customers in the SIL certification of their equipment." 

The "Safety Integrity Level" (SIL) serves to evaluate electrical, electronic or programmable electronic systems with regard to reliability and safety. SIL represents the potential risk that arises from people, systems and processes, and the benchmark for the required safety of the system, depending on the danger. There are four levels of safety integrity level, whereby level 4 is the highest safety integrity and level 1 is the lowest. The specification, concept and operation of safety-related systems is based on the IEC 61508 standard. Furthermore, various, partly industry-specific norms such as EN 50129 for railway applications have been derived from it.

Minimize risks, improve safety
Safety functions serve to protect people, the environment and also assets, and to avoid interruptions in operation and production. Typical safety functions are, for example, emergency-off switches or the monitoring of dangerous movements. If companies operate equipment with a safety-related function, they must define the necessary "Safety Integrity Level" for the respective safety function by analysing the potential of danger. In this analysis of scenarios, the failure and fault behavior of a system, for example, or the redundant design of the system are included. According to the SIL determination, plant operators select the suitable components and systems for their equipment, which can correspond to this safety requirement level.

Proven to be reliable
The SIL 2 certification was carried out by TÜV Süd Rail from Munich, an independent and neutral body. As part of the certification, COPA-DATA's processes, procedures, tools, quality standards and documentation were tested to establish their suitability for safety-critical systems.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Terminator termination! Byres say goodbye to Tofino!

Eric Byres and his wife Joann Byres (Tofino co-founder and Belden Vice President) have announced that they are retiring from the Tofino Security group at Belden effective January 30, 2015.
Joann & Eric Byres
In Eric's last blog at Tofino/Belden he states, "As we reflect back on almost a decade and half in the industrial security business, we remember the wild ride it has been to create and grow both a SCADA security business and the industry as a whole. From our early days of critical infrastructure security research, to Stuxnet, to last year’s release of the Tofino 2.0 product line, we have seen a lot of changes.

"When we think about what we aimed to achieve, we’re glad that some of our core beliefs have gained widespread acceptance. This includes the principle of “security simplicity” and the necessity of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) for industrial protocols. We also tried to contribute to the ICS security industry overall and our work on standards, particularly with ISA, was rewarding.

"Stepping away from industrial security, Tofino firewalls and endless airport security checks is going to be a big change. "

Eric in full battle gear!
This blog then outlines the influential work accomplished during their time batteling against the evils of the syber, especially in their innovative work following the discovery of Stuxnet and the initial warnings they issued, "Security threat to the control system world!"  in 19th July 2010.

The world of industrial automation owes a debt to the "Stuxnet Terminator" and his work against this and many other "little varmints!"

We wish them both well in their retirement and having seen details of some of the ideas they have for their retirement we know that the will continue to make an impact on the standard of living of disadvantaged youth in our unequal world.

Humidity & Temperature transmitter to international standards for IS applications!

The intrinsically safe EE300Ex humidity & temperature transmitter from E+E Elektronik conforms to the European ATEX Directive and now also to the international IECEx and the FM classification specifically relevant to the USA and Canada. This makes the device suitable for worldwide usage in explosion hazard areas.

The EE300Ex was developed for use in explosion hazard environments and can be mounted directly in both gas and dust hazard areas of zone 0 / Div1. Precise humidity and temperature measurements from 0…100 %rel. hum. and -40…180 °C (-40...356 °F) are also possible in applications under pressure up to 300 bar (4351 psi). Just as with humidity measurement in air, the EE300Ex can also be used for moisture measurement in oils.

Various models of the EE300Ex offer a high degree of flexibility. As a compact variant – with or without display – the transmitter can be mounted directly in the hazard area. With a remote probe, temperature classifications up to T6 can also be achieved. Depending on requirements, an EE300Ex model for combined humidity and temperature measurement or for temperature measurement only is available.

The two-part stainless steel housing (separate connection area and measurement unit) simplifies installation of the transmitter considerably. It also permits the rapid replacement of the measurement unit – such as for calibration – without time-consuming re-cabling.

The measured values are issued on two analogue outputs with 4…20mA. The power can be supplied via any intrinsically safe power supply device. In addition to the measured values for humidity and temperature, dew point, frost point, absolute humidity, mixing ratio and other calculated values can also be issued.

The configuration software permits customised configuration of the transmitter outside the hazardous area and permits, flexible, simple and rapid adaptation of the analogue ­outputs for the relevant application.

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

IoT drives company rebranding!

Thirty-four-year-old networking expert B&B Electronics has changed its name and will now be known as B+B SmartWorx. While continuing the tradition of developing mission-critical network connectivity technology for remote or demanding environments, B+B SmartWorx is ramping up the intelligence in that connectivity piece, embedding intelligence throughout the network connectivity stack, from edge device to network backbone.

B+B’s latest technologies have led the company to this new position in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry and the decision to change its name. Those technologies – the Wzzard Intelligent Sensing Platform for creating wireless sensor networks (WSNs) where customer applications and logic reside at the network edge, and its SWARM intelligence-based cellular edge gateway devices – combine to form the B+B SmartWorx IoT Edge Processing Architecture.

Engineered for environments where existing equipment and networks are too valuable to ignore or replace, B+B’s edge processing architecture adds new layers of functionality, efficiency, productivity and scalability to existing M2M data networks, allowing integrators and VARS to evolve their customers’ existing networks into more autonomous and decisive IoT systems.

Jerry O'Gorman
“IoT technologies have inserted more intelligence, and complexity, into the M2M conversation,” said Jerry O’Gorman, CEO of B+B SmartWorx. “While companies desire the improved data analytics the IoT brings, many are stopping short of adoption due to the complexity of integrating existing assets into the IoT vision. For several years B+B has been engineering solutions to bring existing equipment into the IoT conversation, and hence transitioning from connectivity technology to technology for connected intelligence, so the old B&B Electronics image didn’t fit us anymore.”

O’Gorman points to the 2012 acquisition of Czech Republic-based Conel and its industrial cellular gateways as the spark for the company’s intensive development to enable IoT solutions. “The Conel acquisition gave us an immediate pedigree within Europe, and our new technologies build upon this trusted base. With the integration process complete it seems right to combine our identity into a single brand, bringing together the best of what has been achieved in Europe and the US over the past decades, and signaling our strategic direction for the future.”

The new focus on the intelligence in the connectivity piece has also led B+B to invest in software engineering expertise at all of its global locations, including a new team in Galway, (IRL). Historically, B+B averaged one or two software engineers for every hardware engineer; today it’s six or eight to one.

The M2M and IoT world is changing rapidly, creating enormous opportunity but with that a risk of being left behind,” explained Glen Allmendinger, founder and president of Harbor Research. “Many companies are struggling with this. Some are attempting a complete change in business model; others have yet to embrace any clear strategy. B&B Electronics, now emerging as B+B SmartWorx, has not only embraced the new opportunity but they’ve also executed on it in a remarkably short period of time. Impressively, they’ve done it without putting their business model at risk or alienating other players in the ecosystem by turning partners into competitors.”

B+B’s Wzzard & Cellular Gateways Form the B+B SmartWorx IoT Edge Processing Architecture
The company’s edge processing technology helps bridge the gap between IT and OT (operational technology). It aggregates data from existing equipment, translates disparate machine protocols into a language IT can understand, transforms that data into useful information and delivers it to applications ready for analysis, leading to actionable intelligence. 

The architecture is service led with decoupled data methodologies, capabilities traditionally limited to the enterprise middleware level or above. B+B brings these principles into the edge, eliminating the current equivalence between an edge and a single physical device, and instead replacing it with a logical edge based upon multiple devices and distributed SWARM intelligence.

SWARM intelligence is the collective behavior of decentralized, self-organized systems, natural (like ants or bees) or artificial, that accomplishes a single goal even if no individual is in charge. Simple components accomplish sophisticated tasks by following simple rule sets and working in groups.

Tim Taberner
“Many SWARM principles are replicated in the IoT,” explained Tim Taberner, the global product manager for B+B’s advanced IoT cellular gateways. “However, for the IoT to realize its full potential in remote or demanding environments, edge devices must mature beyond simple data aggregation and filtering. They must begin to collaborate and make decisions on the intelligence gained from each other, without relying on upstream resources, to distribute intelligence and decision-making further to the edge. B+B SmartWorx is creating technology that tackles this challenge.”

The B+B SmartWorx IoT Edge Processing Architecture allows a collection of physical devices, each performing relatively simple tasks, to operate as a single SWARM system which is almost infinitely expandable, both with physical interfaces, and processing and memory resources. SWARM increases the user’s ROI over the lifetime of an installation, and makes it easy and cost-effective to develop, deploy, manage and maintain highly-scalable edge device networking solutions.

The company have also announced an ecosystem of partners it is working with to enable development of intelligent, end-to-end IoT applications.

Air quality & emissions under scrutiny!

The organisers of AQE 2015, the international Air Quality and Emissions show, have announced a comprehensive conference programme for the event which will take place in Telford (GB), on 22nd and 23rd April.

AQE 2015 will take place at the International Centre in Telford and in addition to the Conference, visitors will also be able to attend Workshops providing practical advice and case studies, and an Exhibition featuring almost all of the world’s leading providers of monitoring equipment and services.

The charge for attending the Conference is £55 +VAT per day or £100 for both days. However, entrance to the exhibition and workshops is free and pre-registration guarantees free lunch, free refreshments and free parking.
Organiser Marcus Pattison says: “The event could not have been better timed. Just before Christmas, the UK Government issued a consultation that, if adopted, could result in a dramatic reduction in ambient air quality monitoring, and this is causing uproar in the sector. The messages surrounding the enormous numbers of premature deaths resulting from air pollution are starting to gain traction in the mainstream media, so it is astonishing that Defra should propose less monitoring, and this is bound to be a hot topic at the Conference!”

AQE 2015 is the 8th in a series of Air Quality & Emissions events, attracting visitors from all over the world, each with a professional interest in air quality. In common with AQE2013, this year’s event will focus on issues relating to the measurement of stack emissions to air on the first day, and on ambient air quality on the second day.

Day 1: Wednesday 22nd April  
‘Emissions monitoring challenges facing operators and manufacturers’ 
The first day’s conference will commence with David Graham from E.ON Technologies explaining how stacks are defined under legislation that aggregates units together. He will also provide a regulatory update on the Industrial Emissions Directive and the Medium Combustion Plant Directive.

Jonathan Clark from Syngenta will then outline the challenges facing operators with small stacks in relation to periodic monitoring and compliance with standards. Continuing this theme, Dan Jones from E.ON Technologies will address issues facing the operators of large stacks, particularly in relation to Health & Safety, sample representativeness etc.

In the afternoon, Derek Myers from REC will provide an overview of the challenges facing test laboratories and others, when sampling dust from wet stacks, and finally, Rod Robinson from NPL will explain the measurement and calculation of stack flow rate for mass emissions reporting purposes.

Day 2: Thursday 23rd April
Air Quality - Latest developments and tools 
Ambient air quality issues are of course extremely localised, and Stephen Stratton from Ricardo AEA will provide a summary of a study on exposure to pollution at buggy height, adult height and air quality station height.

Jacqueline Barr from IBI/Transport Scotland will then deliver a presentation on a Sensor Rotation Project in which a network of new monitoring technologies has been applied to traffic management and control systems.

In the final presentation of the morning, David Green from Kings College London will report on a series of PM Speciation Studies looking at the makeup of particulate matter measured across the UK and how it varies.

In the afternoon, Martine Van Poppel from VITO Belgium, will explain the results of the CARBOTRAF EU Project which examined ways in which Black Carbon and carbon dioxide levels can be reduced by the latest monitoring technologies and effective traffic management.

In the final presentation, David Carslaw from King’s College London will describe 'OpenAir' (open-source software) which is a free software tool for the analysis and visualisation of air quality data.
Inevitably, many of the presentations will be coloured by Defra’s recent consultation, which bodes well for a lively debate.

AQE 2015 will take place at the International Centre in Telford and in addition to the Conference, visitors will also be able to attend Workshops providing practical advice and case studies, and an Exhibition featuring almost all of the world’s leading providers of monitoring equipment and services.

The charge for attending the Conference is £55 +VAT per day or £100 for both days. However, entrance to the exhibition and workshops is free and pre-registration guarantees free lunch, free refreshments and free parking.

New member for digital meter family!

Precision Digital Corporation has announced the latest member of the ProVu® family of digital panel meters, the PD6400 High Voltage and Current Meter. An 1/8 DIN size unit, the PD6400 provides reliable measurement of high voltage, current, and apparent power. Independent, field-selectable current and voltage inputs accept up to 300 V and 5 A, AC or DC.

The user-configurable, dual-linedisplay features easy-to-read LED digits and warning lights with adjustable brightness. Modbus® capability (Slave) allows seamless integration into existing networks. The PD6400 is NEMA4X/IP65 rated for use in a panel or in the field under harsh environmental conditions; it also carries CE and UL listings.

The PD6400 High Voltage and Current Meter can be easily installed into virtually any application requiring high voltage measurement up to 300 V, high current measurement up to 5 A, or measurement of apparent power. The meter can also accept current transformer inputs for even higher current measurements. AC or DC voltage or current can be measured, and is field-selectable. The displayed voltage, current, or apparent power level can be clearly labeled with a custom tag and unit. The voltage and current can also be scaled to represent different engineering units.

Programming the PD6400 is easy with the company’s free MeterView® Pro software, which streamlines meter setup and eliminates most button pushing.

Options for the PD6400 meter include up to four (4) relays, a 4-20 mA analog output, and a 24 VDC power supply.  Expansion modules add an additional four (4) relays, two (2) 4-20 mA outputs, and eight (8) digital I/O.

• Precision Digital products are marketed in Ireland through PJ Bonner & Co

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Version 2 data-logging software developed!

Yokogawa has developed an enhanced version, release 2.0, of the GA10 data-logging software for the SMARTDAC+®data acquisition and control system. 

The GA10 software can collect, display, and record data from multiple data acquisition and recording devices and measuring instruments. GA10 release 2 comes with new optional real-time calculation and report output functions and features enhanced connectivity with host systems, thus helping customers improve their work efficiency and share information more effectively.

Development background
GA10 is a PC based data-logging program that is used in the development and production processes in many different industries to collect, display, and record temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, pressure, and other types of data from instruments such as recorders, temperature controllers, and power meters. With this software, a system can be built to collect data from Yokogawa data acquisition and recording devices and measuring instruments as well as third-party devices that support the Modbus general-purpose industrial communications protocol, eliminating the need for advanced but expensive system solutions such as SCADA software and DCSs. GA10 is widely used to construct systems for the monitoring and recording of data. This enhanced version of the GA10 software offers   a number of optional functions that satisfy the needs of customers who need to collect data from multiple sources and display the results of calculations and quickly create reports from this data.

1. Real-time calculation
GA10 release 2 has a function that can perform calculations using data from multiple channels and display the results in real time. No special knowledge of computer programming is required: users need only enter a formula for the calculation in a spreadsheet cell. One typical application is the development of household appliances such as air conditioners, which requires the display of temperature readings from multiple locations.

2. Customised reports
While the earlier version of the GA10 software could print tables containing data from multiple sources, GA10 release 2 can also print reports that contain graphs, text, and images. This function allows users to customise their reports for purposes such as filing to government authorities and reporting on product evaluation tests for their customers. To output these reports automatically, users only need set the report format and time, thus greatly improving efficiency.

3. Improved connectivity with host systems
For improved connectivity with other companies' SCADA systems and higher-level databases, GA10 release 2 supports the OPC-UA industrial communications protocol. As a result, a greater variety of host systems can now access data collected by plant facility monitoring systems that utilise data acquisition and recording devices and the GA10 release 2 software or which has been stored in databases using the GA10 release 2 software.

Major target markets
- Developers and manufacturers of household appliances, automobiles, semiconductors, alternative energy solutions, etc.; research institutes
- Companies in the iron and steel, petrochemical, chemical, pulp and paper, food, pharmaceutical, water supply and wastewater treatment, electrical equipment/electronics, and other industries that utilise monitoring equipment

Acquisition, display, and recording of data such as temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, and pressure for the evaluation testing and quality inspection of products, monitoring of plant equipment, and environmental monitoring

Applicable devices
- Yokogawa recorders, data loggers, indicating controllers, temperature controllers, power monitors, and signal converters
- Yokogawa power meters (some older models not supported)

- Modbus instruments from other companies

Rack has over 100 configurations!

Rittal has expanded its modular TS IT rack to offer more than 100 configurations, providing customers with more options and greater flexibility for their IT enclosures. The enclosure portfolio comprises a wide range of dimensions that can be combined with a choice of interior components.

In addition to the original enclosure, which features state-of-the-art snap-in technology and a maximum load capacity of 1,500 kilograms, a compatible 19-inch mounting frame supporting a maximum load of 1,000 kilograms, is now available in a range of sizes. This version of the TS IT rack, is especially suitable for network components, enables greater flexibility in cabling and offers space for copper and fibre-optic cables, Ethernet and Fibre Channel.

A configurator, available on Rittal’s website, enables customers to choose exactly the right solution for their needs. The size, door and type of protection can be defined, together with any interior components.

Rittal also offers preconfigured enclosures allowing customers to build an enclosure that perfectly meets their needs. They are available via a dedicated order number and can be deployed almost immediately. The rack system comes with two 19-inch mounting levels, single-piece lockable side panels with a 3524 E security lock and brush strips for easy cable management. Glazed aluminium doors feature safety glass, a security lock and an ergonomic handle with a slot for a single cylinder lock

Thermal imaging system kits!

Fluke has introduced new Thermal Imager Connect System kits featuring thermal imagers that utilise the new Fluke Connect™ system, enabling the transfer of measurement data from the test tools to smart phones and the cloud, and thus improving maintenance team communication, safety and productivity. For orders up to 30th June 2015, each kit contains a Fluke Thermal Imager which comes with a free Fluke Connect DMM a3001FC iFlex® IC Current Clamp Kit, (containing a Fluke 3000FC Series Wireless Digital Multimeter (DMM), and a Fluke a3001FC Wireless iFlex AC Current Module which enables the measurement around awkward sized conductors and in tight spaces).

A Fluke Thermal Imager Connect System Kit enables the safe capture of AC current measurements with the iFlex module up to 20 metres away from the DMM, while simultaneously conducting an infrared inspection with a Fluke infrared camera. All the inspection and measurement data can be uploaded to the Cloud via a smart phone or mobile device. These results can then be analysed and shared for each piece of equipment from anywhere, with any authorised team member. More information can be found at
The Fluke Thermal Imager Connect System Kits include those containing a rugged Fluke Ti125, Ti110 or Ti105 infrared camera with a Fluke Connect test tool and module. The Fluke Ti105, Ti110 and Ti125 are designed to help professional users - plant maintenance and troubleshooting technicians, industrial and commercial technicians, HVAC/R professionals and electricians who need to maintain and inspect electrical and mechanical equipment and components - do more in less time, in the harshest of environments. They all feature IR-Fusion® technology, which blends digital and infrared images into a single image to precisely document problem areas, and SmartView® professional IR analysis and reporting software, a professional suite of analysis and reporting tools for viewing, annotating and editing infrared images.

The Fluke Ti110 and Ti125 thermal imagers also feature the IR-OptiFlex™ focus system, which offers automatic focusing with a manual focus option for close-ups; IR-PhotoNotes™ annotation system, which allows the capture of up to three digital photos per thermal image file, enabling the exact recording of equipment models, nameplates and other useful information; voice annotation; and multi-mode video recording, which allows the user to record focus-free video in visible light and infrared with full IR-Fusion capabilities - the user can monitor processes over time, troubleshoot frame-by-frame, and create infrared video reports; and electronic compass capture, helping to track the location of a problem.

The CAT III 1000V/CAT IV 600V Fluke 3000FC Wireless Multimeter offers AC and DC voltage measurements to 1000V, and AC/DC current measurement with 0.01mA resolution, as well as continuity, resistance, diode test, capacitance and frequency measurements. The a3001FC Wireless iFlex AC Current Module includes a true-RMS flexible current meter and a Fluke iFlex i2500-10 flexible current probe, capable of measuring up to 2500A AC and logging up to 65,000 readings.

The Perfect Combination!

Tailor-made Ex de solutions from Pepperl+Fuchs offer all the benefits of the Ex e and Ex d ignition protection classes in an ideal setup. These solutions are designed and built locally around the world in the company's Solution Engineering Centers, to customers' specific requirements.

Ex de solutions from Pepperl+Fuchs are essentially flameproof enclosures (Ex d) combined with Ex e enclosures, into which terminals and control elements are installed in line with customer specifications. Special cable ducts ensure that the two enclosures are securely connected. A flange between the enclosures ensures that the Ex e enclosure is protected against explosions and prevents dirt from settling or moisture from penetrating the device.

Components for measuring and control technology, or electrical installation technology, that are not specifically designed for areas posing a risk of explosion can be installed in the Ex d enclosure. In addition to isolated barriers or FieldConnex® fieldbus modules from Pepperl+Fuchs, these components may include DCS and ESD systems or other electrical components made to user specifications. The flameproof enclosure ensures that the non-hazardous devices do not pose a threat to the environment. In an ideal scenario, the Ex d enclosure will be opened as little as possible after initial installation, as special rules under IEC 60079-14 must be observed during opening and closing.
The Ex e enclosure underneath contains only components with separate Ex certification. This makes it much easier and safer to access within the system after activation than the Ex d enclosure.

Terminals as well as control and monitoring elements can be serviced or replaced at any time, subject to compliance with the relevant provisions.

With Ex de, Pepperl+Fuchs is offering users the benefits of both ignition protection classes in a tailor-made solution. Ex de provides the ideal means of combining reliable protection for non-hazardous devices with the scope to commission and modify devices in a quick and simple process.

• Pepperl+Fuchs products are marketed in Ireland by Insteco.

Monday, January 19, 2015

How to improve batch and continuous reactor and control system performance!

A new book designed to help all automation professionals - even those with no prior education or experience in process engineering or control theory - improve reactor and control system performance.

The book, Advances in Reactor Measurement and Control by Gregory K. McMillan, shines light on the latest technologies and methods for increasing plant performance by improving bioreactor, fermenter and chemical reactor automation. Readers will learn what measurements, control strategies, controller features and tuning parameters will achieve process objectives for a given type of reactor.

Greg McMillan
“The reactor is the most critical piece of equipment in the front end of a production unit,” says McMillan, a widely acclaimed and honored automation professional and author. “The reactor determines process capacity and efficiency and product quality.”

Written from a practical rather than academic perspective, the book underscores how control system design can determine the different process responses and fundamental characteristics of the major types of reactors in the process industry.

McMillan—the author of more than 20 books, including several ISA best sellers, and the recipient of the ISA Life Achievement Award—educates through a practitioner’s experience and perspective, outlining the general concepts and details, from the field to the control room, for the control and optimization of batch and continuous reactors.

“Taking a practitioner’s approach, I believe, is unique,” he says. “The concepts in this book are developed to help the reader understand the fundamental differences in reactor applications and improve the performance of nearly all types of reactors. Other books in this area have focused on continuous stirred tank reactors or polymerization reactors and are written more from a university perspective.
“Practitioners,” McMillan continues, “want to understand the commonality and the simplicity rather than the uniqueness and sophistication of solutions. They want to take responsibility for the automation system; to be actively involved in its design, installation, and continuous improvement; and want proven technology readily configured rather than new algorithms based on mathematical appeal.”

The book’s practical value, McMillan adds, is reinforced through its:

  • Simple presentation of the characteristics and implications of each of the dynamic responses needed to achieve the necessary efficiency, capacity, quality, and safety in operation.
  • Clear explanation of the PID features and tuning and control loops needed for addressing the lack of smoothing in dead time dominant processes and the lack of negative feedback in integrating and runaway processes.

Vortex flowmeter for advanced energy measurement!

The new OPTISWIRL 4200 vortex flowmeter from Krohne is for the measurement of conductive and non-conductive liquids, gases and steam. The new device is targeted at auxiliary and supply applications in various industries, such as internal monitoring of energy flows for saturated and superheated steam or hot water, and heat metering applications. Areas of usage also cover steam boiler monitoring, burner consumption measurement or compressed air network monitoring, including FAD applications.
Based on the experience gained with it’s predecessor the OPTISWIRL 4070, the new flowmeter comes with some advanced features: in addition to gross heat calculation for steam, the OPTISWIRL 4200 now includes net heat calculation for steam and condensate (hot water) as well. With one temperature sensor integrated as standard, the device can be installed as a heat meter in the feed line directly connected with an external temperature sensor in the return line. The gross and net heat calculation can be fed into a DCS to support advanced energy management.

Temperature and pressure compensation options are still available for the new OPTISWIRL 4200 to enable calculation of standard flow volume under fluctuating pressures and temperatures (online density compensation). Both compensation functions are based on the standards of NIST (for gas) and IAPWS (for steam). Another advantage is that by combining three measurements (flow, temperature and pressure) in one 2-wire-device, plant downtime for installation is reduced to a minimum.

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

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

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

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

• Krohne products are marketed in Ireland by DWN Instrumentation.

Dream partner!

Ocean Data Systems (ODS) has announced that Kepware Technologies has joined the Dream Report Proven Partner program.

Kepware's flagship solution, KEPServerEX, manages critical automation, facility, and infrastructure data. The platform design enables users to connect, monitor, and control diverse automation devices and software applications using a library of more than 150 protocols through one user interface, providing enterprise applications with reliable real-time and historical data. As Proven Partners, Kepware and ODS have tested and verified the compatibility of Kepware's Local Historian Plug-In for KEPServerEX and ODS's Dream Report products. Both companies are committed to collaborating and supporting their joint customers.  

"Dream Report has developed a report generation solution used by many of Kepware's technology partners, including GE Intelligent Platforms, Inductive Automation, and Wonderware," explained John Harrington, Director of Product Management for Kepware. "Joining the ODS Proven Partner program is one step beyond just relying on industry standards for interoperability. We are committed to working closely with ODS to ensure the integration of our respective product interfaces in order to offer our mutual customers excellent support."

"Kepware recognizes Dream Report as a 'Best in Class' solution for compliance and performance dashboards and reporting in the industrial automation industry, and we have a large number of common OEMs and channel partners," said Roy Kok, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ocean Data Systems. "Dream Report can use KEPServerEX to connect to over 150 industry protocols for data collection and reporting through the use of OPC specifications, including OPC Historical Data Access (HDA) via Kepware's new Local Historian Plug-In."

ATEX certified load cells and accessories!

LCM Systems has launched a brand new range of ATEX/IECEx certified, hazardous area load cells and enclosures. This ATEX/IECEx certification authenticates that LCM Systems’ load cells can be used in Zone 1 and 2 hazardous areas without danger of causing or contributing to an explosion when used in flammable gas and dust environments. These environments include offshore drilling platforms, petrochemical plants, flour mills and any other industries where there is a possibility of a mixture of potentially explosive gases, vapours, mists or dusts being present in the air. 

Speaking about the introduction of these new products, Steve Sargeant, Managing Director says: “Everyone at LCM Systems has been working hard towards the launch of this important new range. As with all our products, these load cells are manufactured to the highest industry standards to ensure that our customers can be completely confident they are getting the best in terms of quality, reliability and accuracy. We are delighted that we can now deliver load measurement solutions to industries around the world that have a requirement to measure loads within Zone 1 and 2 hazardous areas.”

As well as a standard range of ATEX load cells including load pins, load cells, load shackles and load links ranging in capacity from 2 to 1000+ tonnes, LCM Systems can also provide customised products designed specifically to meet exact customer requirements. All ATEX load cells are supplied with full environmental protection, ATEX certification and a certificate of calibration. Additionally, amplifiers and displays that can form a complete measurement system for potentially explosive atmospheres can also be supplied. 

Next-generation capping heads!

The rustproof ROBA®-capping head with their continuous, impact-free torque, apply screw caps made of plastic with a maximum of precision and repetitive accuracy. mayr® power transmission has now developed a new, extremely wear-resistant and almost maintenance-free generation of capping heads – for minimum downtimes and maximum plant availability.
The new, extremely wear-resistant ROBA®-capping head with plastic/stainless steel linear guide reduces service and maintenance costs to the absolute minimum
We all know this problem – stubborn screw caps on plastic bottles are sometimes very hard to open or cannot be opened at all without using tools. To prevent this, the capping heads which apply these caps in the filling plants and which screw them shut to a defined torque must work precisely and with high repetitive accuracy. The rustproof ROBA®-capping head (hysteresis capping head) has long proven its worth in the beverages industry, as well as in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. mayr® power transmission has now developed a new generation of these products, and perfected the already maintenance-friendly design of the capping heads.

The new, extremely wear-resistant plastic/stainless steel linear guide, which is lubricated for the entire lifetime of the product, reduces necessary servicing and maintenance costs to an absolute minimum. A simple visual inspection once a year is sufficient. And even better: No manufacturer service personnel are required for the inspection, in contrast to other commercially available capping heads. On-site employees can carry out the inspection themselves, and the top part of the capping head can be easily and quickly dismantled without requiring tools. This ensures substantially reduced standstill times and therefore high plant availability and productivity.

Contactless hysteresis technology
With the ROBA®-capping head, the hysteresis technology not only provides contactless and therefore wear-free torque transmissions: It is also impact-free and low-vibration, and thus guarantees a longer plant lifetime. The capping heads also feature a high torque repetitive accuracy of +/- 2%. With their continuous and impact-free closing torque, they are therefore the optimum choice for the application of plastic screw caps with preformed threads. They are better suited for the task than permanent magnet couplings with intermittent torque in slip operation, which in part “hammer down” the screw caps and make them hard to open. With the ROBA®-capping head, the limit torque can be easily and continuously adjusted, and can be read off directly via a scale. The enclosed construction also makes the capping heads resistant to dirt and aggressive media. It is possible to adapt the head pressure easily according to the customer requirements.