Friday, May 8, 2015

Major investment in automation at US University.

The Purdue Integrated Process Education System (PIPES) laboratory has been fully designed and implemented through collaboration of industry professionals, faculty and a group of seniors from the Purdue Manufacturing Engineering Technology program

Many veteran automation professionals will remember the days of Dr Ted Williams and the pioneering efforts of Purdue University. to develop one of the finest schools for process control engineering in the U.S.

Purdue hosted Joint Automatic Control Conferences (JACC) and led the way in developing advanced control theory, much of which we see embodied in today’s process control equipment. It is heartening to see that this establishment continues to be an educational leader in process control and instrumentation.

The Manufacturing Engineering Technology (MFET) students and faculty in the Purdue School of Engineering Technology are celebrating the joint creation and development of the Purdue Integrated Process Education System (PIPES) laboratory during an open house hosted at the West Lafayette, Ind., (USA).

Through the generous support and donations from industry partners Endress+Hauser; Rockwell Automation; George E. Booth Co., Inc.; Kirby Risk Corporation and other suppliers (American Melt Blown and Filtration, Artek, Inc., BMWC Constructors, Lester Sales Company, Complete Controls, Hoffman, Samson Controls, Inc., Smith-Cooper International, StoneL, and Wilken Enterprises), Purdue University will be the new home to a state-of-the-practice process education lab for students.

Donations to Purdue University included process measurement instrumentation, a control system, control panels, servers, hardware, piping, large industrial water tanks, pumps, valves, cabling, and engineering guidance.

The fully operational system was designed and constructed during a yearlong capstone project undertaken by senior students of Purdue’s Integrated Manufacturing course sequence. Beginning in the fall of 2015, the system will be used to teach process measurement and continuous control, mostly from a technology and implementation perspective.
Grant Richards in the industrial controls lab.
(Pic: Perdue.edu)

“Our School of Engineering Technology (SOET) faculty are already in the process of designing the first course that will be available to students in all SOET programs,” said Brad Harriger, MET Professor at Purdue University. “The system will provide a key platform for exploring fundamental concepts of process control in our laboratory,” added Grant Richards, Purdue ECET Professor. The SOET programs include Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology.

A long-term goal is for the PIPES lab to be used for summer workshops available to industry – taught by both faculty and industry representatives – where practicing engineers would visit the university for two to five days to learn about and experience process control integration.

By partnering with Purdue University, the supporting companies strive to increase student exposure to fulfilling careers in the process industries and build sustainable industry connections. Many times students fail to recognize the diverse career choices available to them as new roles emerge through new technologies. Additionally, these academic teaching programs augment hands-on industry competencies and positively impact the problem solving abilities of students through real-world practice. In turn, graduates are more competitive in the job market and have direct connection with the industries they select for their career path.

“We at Endress+Hauser know that talented engineers and technologists have many options for careers,” said Don Cummings, Technical Talent Development Manager, Endress+Hauser. “At the same time, we know that many students don't know about the process industries that we serve, or the industry that serves them – the process automation and control industry. This Purdue laboratory project took money, and it took products – ours and others' – but it was the collaborative project aspect of working together that exposes students to our people, the work habits that businesses expect, the culture of mutual achievement that we enjoy together, and sets an example for how creative problem solving can lead to a lifetime of workplace satisfaction.”

“Rockwell Automation has a strong history of effective partnering with companies and schools, and the collaborative nature of this project brings additional richness to the teaching program at Purdue University,” said John Kacsur, Director of Global Accounts and executive sponsor of Purdue at Rockwell Automation. “Professors can use industry cases in the lab and ask students to develop actual applications on a control platform representative of the real world. In designing, fabricating and integrating this project with multiple industry partners, students will also experience the added complexities commonly faced throughout the industry.”

New head for North American operations for leading automation vender!

Daniel L. Duncan has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Yokogawa’s North American operations. In this position, Mr. Duncan is responsible for all day-to-day operations in North America.

Daniel L. Duncan
Mr. Duncan began his professional career as an engineer with Georgia Power Company. Then he led a systems integration firm focused on both discrete and process automation projects. This was followed by roles in industrial distribution and at Honeywell Industrial Automation and Control. Mr. Duncan joined Siemens Energy & Automation in 1997 holding various management roles in automation marketing, regional and national sales. Mr. Duncan’s most recent responsibilities were as VP and General Manager of the Oil & Gas Division of Siemens Energy, Inc. based in Houston, TX and responsible for the Americas region. His divisional portfolio included power generation, compression, conceptual engineering, real-time data intelligence solutions, process safety engineering, water treatment solutions, integrated electrical solutions and subsea products. Mr. Duncan earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Chet Mroz, former President and CEO of Yokogawa Corporation of America, has transitioned into the role of Executive Advisor for Strategy and Innovation, where he will support the globalization efforts and the industrial automation growth initiatives for Yokogawa Electric Company. He had the following to say about Mr. Duncan’s recent appointment:
“Since July of 2014, Daniel has been our COO and has rapidly assimilated our structure, capabilities, resources and developed insightful plans to build upon them for Yokogawa Corporation of America’s continued growth in a more challenging market. His extensive knowledge and experience in the industrial automation, process and energy industries and professional engineering services businesses will contribute considerably to Yokogawa’s growth and presence in the North American region.”

Mr. Duncan commented: “I am very excited to join a company that is celebrating 100 years of innovation. We continue to adhere to our founder’s principles of providing high quality products that contribute to the development of the world. As can be seen at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) this year, we have developed deep relationships with customers that value these principles and trust us to develop and implement solutions critical to their business. We will continue to find new ways to add value to those customer relationships and focus on connecting with more customers who can benefit from our expertise and capabilities.”

Good tuning for your pocket!


The International Society of Automation (ISA) announces that the newly released fourth edition of its Good Tuning: A Pocket Guide by Gregory K. McMillan has been updated to deliver more precise and optimal tuning for nearly all types of applications in the process industries.

Greg McMillan (Right) being congratulated by
ISA VP Publications 2009-10 Vitor Finkel
 on receiving a Author's award some years ago.
“This new edition is significant because it’s designed to meet more diverse tuning objectives and address more difficult tuning challenges,” says McMillan, a widely acclaimed and honored automation professional and author (and friend of Read-out!). “Readers will learn how to choose the most applicable tuning rule and associated parameters to make the most out of today’s powerful auto tuning and adaptive control software.”

Central to the value of the new edition, McMillan says, is helping automation professionals unlock the full potential of proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controllers.

“PID controllers have an incredible number of options and parameters besides tuning settings, but much of their potential and power have remained untapped,” he explains. “A key benefit of this newly updated book is that it provides the straight-forward direction and principle-based guidance to tune most controllers to their full capability and address a very wide spectrum of applications.

“At the end of the day,” McMillan points out, “you need the means to handle the most difficult of tuning situations, deal with a window of allowable controller gains, meet different objectives, and achieve greater robustness. Understanding the interrelationships among the process, tuning, performance and PID features enables automation and process engineers to work together to improve process efficiency and capacity.”

Instrument, process control and process engineers will appreciate the guide’s concise summaries, step-by-step descriptions of field-proven tuning procedures, table of typical tuning settings, overview of common valve performance problems, logic diagrams for trouble-shooting and other useful features. 

New generation of valves for chemical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, water, wastewater & food processing aplications.

Festo has launched a new generation of NAMUR valves. The VSNC valves are modern, durable and available at a lower cost than previous models, providing excellent value in all process automation applications.

The valve range offers a choice of coils suitable for many applications across a wide range of industries including chemical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, water & wastewater and food processing.  Coils are available with intrinsic safety as well as with other protection methods such as non-sparking and encapsulated protection all to IEC EX (ATEX).

“The VSNC valve is also ideal for dirty environments due to its re-breather function,” begins Jacqui Hanbury, product marketing manager at Festo. “This feature allows the clean compressed air to be fed back to the spring chambers within the valve ensuring that the dirty air is kept out, which increases the life of the product.  In addition this can work in reverse in a clean or food environment, allowing the compressed air from inside the valve to not reach the clean environment around it.” 

One valve within the new range offers both 3/2- or 5/2- way functions. This is achieved not by changing the seal, as is common in other valves, but by rotating one single seal. This means there are no additional seals shipped with the product that have to be kept safe until required.  With the VSNC the function can be quickly and easily changed with no additional parts. Therefore machine builders and maintenance engineers can reduce stock and associated costs as they can now carry just one valve for use across a wide range of applications. Festo will supply two separate labels so that the valves can be correctly labelled in the field dependant on the functionality used.

The VSNC is robust, with flow rates of 1000 l/min and offers an extended temperature range of -20°C - +60°C.   Coils are available in 7 different voltages including AC and DC variants and with IP65 protection. 

The valves are available in two versions: a standard unit with plastic covers and a brass solenoid armature tube or a second valve with stainless steel solenoid armature tube and an aluminium body.  Both types are ex stock. 


“While Festo has been offering NAMUR valves within its product range for many years, this new VSNC valve is particularly exciting. The robust, high quality product is now available at an excellent price and with two versions with multiple coils it offers a wider range than any previous valves available from Festo,” continued Jacqui.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Firmware for scope!

Yokogawa has released firmware Version 3.20 for the DL850 ScopeCorder series of instruments, which combine the features of a high-speed oscilloscope and those of a traditional data acquisition recorder in a single, portable instrument.

A key feature of the new firmware is direct file saving into the Mathworks MATLAB® data analysis and visualisation environment, offering users quicker and easier import of measurement data. By supporting MATLAB’s .MAT file format on the ScopeCorder, the measurement results can be conveniently imported into MATLAB more speedily and with smaller file size. The .MAT file format on the ScopeCorder is compatible with Level 5 MAT-files, the latest file format from MATLAB.

Other new features include support of an external USB printer for printing on long rolls of paper, and a “sure delete” function for erasing data from the ScopeCorder’s hard disk drive where this is required for security reasons.

In order to support customers that require direct printout of measurement data, such as users of Yokogawa’s earlier SL1400 and OR1400 recorders, the new firmware enables the DL850 ScopeCorder to reprint measurement results on A4 size roll paper using a Brother PJ623/PJ663 USB printer. Typical customers requiring this facility are found in nuclear power stations and marine applications.

The Version 3.20 firmware also enables the measurement data in the internal storage devices of the ScopeCorder to be deleted completely before leaving a test site. This scenario is sometimes required for security reasons in applications such as government research or in companies working on confidential projects.

In addition to these new capabilities, the Version 3.20 firmware also incorporates a number of enhancements to existing capabilities of the ScopeCorder DL850, including the ability to store GPS position information, an extra fifth division to the T-Y waveform display, an “infinite” setting for the number of e-mails sent in the “action on trigger” menu, and the addition of a 1A:1V setting to the current probe attenuation.

The GPS capability is useful in on-board vehicle testing such as test drives in remote locations, where data can be stored on trigger events at different locations. It is equally suited to monitoring power distribution networks or smart grids, where the user can trigger in diverse locations and store GPS position data to distinguish transient locations. Similarly, a ScopeCorder can be taken on board a train to store the locations at which certain trigger conditions occur.

The extra “5-division” setting on the T/Y waveform display offers additional flexibility, particularly when using real-time math channels, while the “Infinite” setting for “action on trigger” e-mails adds more flexibility for long-time monitoring.

The new firmware Version 3.20 is now released and is installed on all ScopeCorders delivered from the factory from the end of March 2015. It is available for downloading from the 27th April 2015. It is applicable to ScopeCorder models DL850, DL850V, DL850E and DL850EV.

DIN 41612 connectors.

Harting has expanded its family of DIN 41612 connectors by adding devices in the M inverse style. This connector style is especially suited to implementing combined connections between circuit boards in which signal, coaxial, high-current (up to 40 A) or optical fibre transmissions need to be combined in one connector for greater flexibility.

The new connector style is available in configurations with pole numbers of 78+2, 60+4, 42+6, 24+8 and 6+10, where the first number indicates the number of signal contacts and the second the number of special contacts. The 6+10 connector style in particular is completely new and enables up to ten special contacts to be integrated in one connector.

Users can combine connectors in a range of different configurations including both cable and circuit-board connections. Together with the established M connector, the new devices allow the implementation of mezzanine connections (two parallel circuit boards) and extender-card connections (two circuit boards lying side by side).

The range includes angled female connectors in solder technology and straight male connectors (headers) in solder, press-in or wire-wrap technology. The signal contacts are pre-mounted in a 2.54 mm grid, and can carry a load of up to 2 A per contact. They are tested in conformity with the IEC 60 603-2 standard.

Compact dewpoint transmitter for OEM applications.

The compact EE355 dewpoint transmitter measures dewpoint temperature with ±2°C  accuracy across the entire working range. The unit offers an optimal price-performance ratio for OEM applications in compressed air systems, plastic dryers and other industrial drying processes.

With the new EE355, E+E Elektronik expanded its range of dewpoint products with a transmitter for the range -60…+60°C Td at an operating pressure up to 20 bar. Same as other E+E dewpoint transmitters, the EE355 features a special auto-calibration procedure which leads to ±2°C Td accuracy, and employs E+E polymer humidity sensors, which are condensation resistant and highly long-term stable.

The measured values for dewpoint, frost point or ppm volume concentration are available on the analog 4…20mA and on the digital Modbus RTU outputs. Integration into the measurement task is simplified considerably by the compact design and the robust stainless steel enclosure.

With the free configuration software and the optional Modbus to USB converter the user can scale the analog output, set up the Modbus communication and adjust the transmitter.

E+E Elektronik manufactures various models of dewpoint measuring instruments, from compact OEM transmitters to high-end devices for demanding process control, and covers with these a wide range of applications.

E+E Products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

2015 Catalogue for panel meters & control instruments.

Their 2015 Catalogue and Price List has been published by Precision Digital Corporation. This organized, two-volume compilation contains all the product information about this expanding product line in one location. The catalogue includes the latest product offerings from the company, including the PD6400 High Voltage & Current Meter; the enhanced PD6100 Strain Gauge Meter; and the PD6800-0L1 decimal level display with bargraph indicator, part of the company's expanding ProtEX® line of field-mounted instruments for hazardous areas.

"The 2015 Catalogue and Price List have all the product information needed by OEMs, customers, and salespeople," said Jeffrey Peters, President, Precision Digital Corporation. "And as a thank you to customers for their loyal support, there are no price increases."

The 2015 Catalogue and Price List summarise each of Precision Digital's vast array of products and provide convenient pricing for all models and accessories. New products for a growing number of applications are prominently featured, and easily-identifiable chapters and sections make locating products and accessories effortless. Product information can be looked up by application: level, flow, pressure, or temperature. Available features and options are displayed to help the user make the most informed choice.

Details include specifications and pricing on the ProtEX® Explosion-Proof Series, ProVu® 1/8 DIN Digital Panel Meters, Trident X2 Large Display Panel Meters, Vigilante® II Alarm Annunciators, and LoopLeader® Loop-Powered and Intrinsically Safe Meters and Rate/Totalizers. Quickly find which products have the agency approvals you need, including FM, CSA, ATEX, IECEx, and UL. Most products are NEMA 4X and carry CE marking. The Vantageview Series offers ProtEX functionality and NEMA 4X protection in a rugged plastic field-mounted enclosure perfect for wet or dirty environments.

Download digital version here!

• Digital Precision equipment is marketed in Ireland by PJ Bonner.


Analytical processes, techniques and applications probed!

More than 300 process and analytical professionals, industry experts and vendors from across the world gathered in Galveston (TX USA) last month to explore and discuss the latest advances in analytical processes, techniques and applications at the 2015 ISA Analysis Division Symposium.

Awards
ISA’s Analysis Division presented seven Gilmer Thomason Fowler Konrad (GTFK) awards. The GTFK awards program, established in 1976 as a memorial to four of ISA’s past directors (Fred Gilmer, Edward Thomason, Lewis Fowler and Ken Konrad), recognizes the authors of the best technical papers in the analysis field.
The 2015 GTFK award winners are:
Michael Roberto
Randy Pell
Scott Ramos
Brian Rohrback
Jean-Nic Adami
Ani Weling
Julia Graber
In addition, the Model 888 Sulfur Recovery Tail Gas developed by AMETEK Process Instruments was recognized as the Innovative Product of the Year in an award category open to the symposium’s 70 product vendors.
This long-running symposium, now in its 60th year, offered a comprehensive program that included three days of technical sessions and presentations; vendor-led training; a Technology Forum and Exhibition of 70 participating companies; a banquet, an annual awards ceremony; and a variety of social activities.

In all, 32 peer-reviewed technical papers—examining the critical issues and emerging innovations in sampling, chromatography, spectroscopy, chemiluminescence and other analytical techniques and instrumentation—were presented. Expert speakers discussed emerging trends and developments and reviewed best practices and success stories.

“The ISA Analysis Division Symposium was a great opportunity to create new industry connections and pursue new ways to get involved at the professional level,” remarked attendee Owen Evans. “The connections I made at the event provided me with useful advice and improved my industry understanding.”

The day before the technical program began, a course on process analytic fundamentals was conducted, providing course registrants with foundational knowledge across a wide range of areas, including: gas chromatography, spectroscopy, discrete gas analysis, system design, sample conditioning systems, communications networking and more.

Following the conclusion of the technical program, later in the week, representatives from leading vendors and suppliers provided valuable hands-on training, specifically designed for technicians, on their newest products. Vendor training workshops were conducted by seven companies: ABB Analytical, AMETEK Process Instruments, Servomex, Siemens, Thermo Scientific, Yokogawa, and PAC.

“Overall, this event was a wonderful educational, networking and social event that provided my company an excellent opportunity to promote its technologies and gain insights from industry partners,” emphasized Brad Johnson, a vendor sales manager. “I highly recommend attending it as it will help you better define automation and process success.”

Ultra-high reliability keyboard switch for HMI.

The CHERRY MX keymodule has been designed to fulfill the demanding reliability requirements of computer and data input keyboards, gaming consoles and industrial control HMI systems. Key features include a high reliability long operating life mechanical switch with gold crosspoint contacts and a fast and positive actuation. Standard options include integrated LED illumination, decoupling diode or wire bridge and a 4 mm actuation travel.

The MX switch range provides a single-pole contact rated at 12VDC with durability of 50 million operations and a range of actuation types, travels and pressures. Standard actuation is linear with a pressure point click and travel 3.0–0.5mm with an initial force 25cN min. Standard contact lead spacing is 19.05mm with snap-in frame fastening or PCB solder pins. LED illumination is available in red, green or yellow.

How MX Technology Changed the World! 
(Click Image for story!)
The keyboard switch is rated to IP40 and has an operating temperature of -40 to +70°C and can operate with up to 95% non-condensing humidity. Insulation materials are formed from UL 94 HB thermoplastics.

For low profile applications the CHERRY ML keymodule offers reliability 20 Million operations with the same electrical and environmental specifications as the MX and an actuator travel of 3.0-0.5mm, nominal 18mm lead spacing for PCB mounting only

In addition to being available to OEM’s as individual switches the MX keymodule is available in a number of standard and compact keyboard designs from Cherry with options including magnetic card reader and chip card reader. Cherry ML keyswitches are available in standard compact keyboard designs.

Wireless Innovation Lab unveiled!

National Instruments (NI) has announced the opening of the new Wireless Innovation Lab at its Austin (TX USA) headquarters.

In the lab, NI supports ongoing collaborations with top academic and industry research groups participating in its RF/Communications Lead User program. Researchers at Intel, Lund University, Nokia Networks, NYU Wireless, Samsung, The University of Texas at Austin and TU Dresden are driving significant advances in the development of next-generation wireless systems and furthering research in 5G. Current demos and projects on display in the lab include mmWave cellular systems, the 5G Massive MIMO Testbed and the LabVIEW Communications System Design Suite.

“At the Wireless Networking and Communications Group (WNCG), we have had several research projects with the RF/Communications Lead User team that range from MIMO interference alignment to interference cancellation,” said Robert Heath, Professor, PhD, PE, IEEE Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin. “We’ve seen accelerated prototyping on all of these projects and we’re eager to build on the latest research.”

The Wireless Innovation Lab showcases NI’s commitment and investment to help researchers define next-generation wireless communication systems using the power and capability of the NI software defined radio platform with LabVIEW Communications System Design Suite. This platform-based approach helps reduce the time from theory to results by testing designs in a real-world environment.

Rotary torque transducers available with lower capacities.

Applied Measurements have increased their existing range of low cost DRBK rotary torque transducers. They are now offering lower capacity versions 0.5Nm, 1Nm and 2Nm giving improved measurement accuracy in lower-torque applications such as small gearbox and low-power motor testing.

“We are very pleased to extend the range of DRBK rotary torque transducers to include new lower capacities giving our customers the best possible choice to suit their torque measurement application” says Darren Skipp, Commercial Director.

The DRBK rotary torque transducers use brushless, non-contact technology for the transfer of signal and power. This minimises wear on the internal components and removes the need for maintenance, making the transducers ideally suited to use in continuously rotating, high duty cycle applications.

The DRBK Key Features Include:

  • Measuring Ranges from: 0-0.5Nm to 0-1000Nm
  • Low Cost
  • Compact
  • ±5Vdc Output
  • Contactless Transfer of Measured Signal
  • Non-Linearity: <±0.3%/Rated Capacity
  • Max Speed: 9000 to 22,000rpm (Depending on Capacity)
  • Specially Designed Couplings
  • Optional 60 Pulses/Revolution Speed Output
  • Internal Measurement Amplifier
  • Speed Detection Option Available
  • 11.5-30Vdc Supply Range

The compact size of the DRBK rotary torque transducer means it can be fitted where space is limited. This, along with the specially designed BKE couplings, ensures optimum performance and makes the DRBK ideal for both laboratory and industrial applications.

The DRBK rotary torque transducer’s feature and internal integrated signal amplifier and can be powered from a wide range of power supplies from 11.5Vdc to 30Vdc. A ±5Vdc analogue output is provided as standard with ±10Vdc as an option. The internal signal amplifier delivers a high 1kHz frequency response ensuring that dynamic torque changes are captured.

They can supply the DRBK rotary torque transducer with our wide range of analogue and digital instrumentation including amplifiers and signal conditioners, signal digitisers, displays and indicators and wireless radio telemetry equipment. A UKAS traceable calibration is available on all torque transducers and systems

High performance butterfly valve!


The Fisher® 8590 high-performance butterfly valve that brings a selection of disk seals, actuator designs and material combinations to meet plant-wide throttling and on-off requirements. has been introduced by Emerson.

Ben Fletcher, product manager, explained the design intent behind the 8590 butterfly valve. “Our goal was to give application engineers the ability to combine a single valve platform with a selection of proven technologies to control a diverse range of CL600 process demands.”
“As an example, several dynamic disk seals are available in the 8590 design to meet temperature conditions that range from low-to-moderate up to 538°C (1000° F). Severe service and cryogenic applications can be met as well with the appropriate metal-polymeric or rugged stainless steel seal construction,” Fletcher added. “Since one valve design meets several needs, overall valve engineering, purchasing, installation, operation and maintenance costs are reduced.”
Utilising a lugged body design across the CL600 size range of NPS3 – NPS24, the 8590 can incorporate a splined shaft that accepts either a spring-and-diaphragm or pneumatic piston actuator. It is also available with either a square or keyed shaft that combines with handlevers, handwheels or pneumatic piston actuators.

The pressure-assisted design of the 8590 disk seals provides tight shutoff and permits the use of smaller, less expensive actuators in meeting full ASME B16.34 shutoff capabilities.

The 8590 offers true bidirectional shutoff, which means that torque necessary to open and close the valve remains constant regardless of the differential pressure across the disk. Slam-shut conditions are not created as the disk nears its seat, which extends seal life and avoids actuator and piping damage.

Besides shutoff given by the choice of elastomer and metal disk seals, the optional ENVIRO-SEAL® packing system combines with the valve’s micro-smooth shaft surface to keep emissions below 100 parts per million (PPM). Yet another extreme 8590 capability involves sour liquids and gases, with trim and bolting materials available to comply with NACE MR0175-2002, NACE MR0175-2002-2003, MR0103, and MR0175/ISO 15156.

With a CL600 rating per ASME B16.34, the valve’s face-to-face dimensions meet EN558, API609, MSS-SP68, and ASME B16.10 standards. The valve body self-centres on the line flange bolts as a fast, accurate means of centring the valve in the pipeline.

Remote monitoring M2M solution.

The Sixnet® series RAM® industrial cellular RTUs from Red Lion Controls, now feature a web-based user-configurable event engine that can trigger I/O and relays or send SMS text messages based on real-time operational data. With connectivity options such as I/O, serial, Ethernet and optional Wi-Fi, RAM RTUs easily integrate with existing equipment to provide a remote monitoring M2M solution that performs reliable local control and alerts personnel of critical events.

With an intuitive web-based, menu-driven interface that requires no knowledge of programming languages, the powerful RAM event engine can quickly be configured to trigger actions when pre-defined alarm values are met. For example, if a tank level is too high or a pressure level is out of range, the RAM event engine will not only cycle a relay to stop a pump or close a valve, but can also send text message notifications to alert when actions should be taken. This function helps automation engineers, technicians, production managers and network operators make critical decisions.

“With the addition of the web-based event engine, the RAM cellular RTU becomes an all-in-one platform for remote monitoring and control,” said Paul Bunnell, product manager at Red Lion Controls. “This versatile solution takes the complexity out of configuring events and notification without requiring additional equipment.”

By providing data visibility, control and real-time notifications on field-deployed equipment and processes, the RAM platform enables vertical markets such as oil and gas, utilities, water/wastewater and alternative energy to take advantage of the benefits associated with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). With hardened metal enclosures, a wide operating temperature range and industry certifications to ensure safe operation in hazardous locations, RAM cellular RTUs securely monitor remote devices via 4G LTE cellular communications to enable reliable operation in critical environments.

• Red Lion products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Tube connection breakthrough speeds assembly of instrumentation systems.

A breakthrough in high integrity tube connection technology offering instrumentation system designers and installers major performance and time-saving advantages is now available from Parker Hannifin

Designed for working pressures as high as 22,500 PSI (1,550 bar), the new ‘flared cone’ technology advances the performance of compression style tube connections. It provides users with a simple and reliable means of speeding the assembly of instrument tubing systems for use in higher pressures applications in the oil and gas industries.

Developed by Parker Autoclave Engineers, the new flared cone connection (FCC) technology is a significant advance on the type of ‘cone and thread’ tube connections pioneered by the company. 

The new flared cone connections are much simpler to make up (see pic right). Installers can typically complete the task in less than four minutes, after only minimal training. This time-saving can result in significant cost reductions on installations with a large number of tube connections. Flared cone connections are also especially cost-effective in applications where leaks caused by vibration are an issue.

According to Michael O’Keane, Product Marketing Manager for Parker Autoclave Engineers, “Our new FCC technology offers the best of both worlds. It combines the make-up and installation simplicity of compression style connections with the strength of cone and thread, and has more features and higher pressure capabilities than similar technologies.”


Parker Autoclave Engineers’ patent-pending FCC technology is based on a single sleeve compression style system. However, unlike conventional designs, the tube end is flared to prevent any possibility of ejection – and also provides the connection’s primary metal-to-metal seal. When the gland nut is tightened, the inside surface of the anti-ejection flare mates with a cone in the fitting or valve. The compression sleeve then mates with the body of the component to form a second, redundant, metal-to-metal seal. This dual seal approach has a major reliability benefit; in the unlikely event that the primary seal fails, the secondary seal preserves the integrity of the connection. Installing a flared cone connection is simply a matter of screwing the gland nut into the fitting or valve and tightening it to the prescribed torque.

Modbus communicator.

Matrikon recently released the Matrikon Industrial UA Modbus Gateway. Housed in a small form factor gateway that provides secure, powerful and broad connectivity to access data from RTU’s, PLCs or any other devices that use the Modbus data protocol. 

As a native Modbus communicator, the UA Modbus Gateway can connect to any device that uses the standard Modbus protocol both over Serial or Ethernet connections on one side and makes it securely available to OPC UA clients on the other via OPC UA over Ethernet. Unlike Modbus, OPC UA, the next generation of OPC - the de facto standard for open standards based data connectivity, offers all the features Modbus lacks such as: security, reliability, and data modeling. The UA Modbus Gateway allows data sharing via UA as natural next step up from using Modbus. 

Matrikon Industrial UA Modbus Gateway is well suited for challenging situations that include:

  • limited power availability in remote conditions
  • remote or unmanned stations that need data collection
  • limited space requiring a compact solutions
  • operation in extreme temperatures and/or dusty environments

Cybersecurity risks threatening SCADA.

In interesting function is scheduled for the Ireland's iconic sports stadium, Croke Park in Dublin. It is a Breakfast Briefing on "Understanding the Cyber Security Risks Threatening your SCADA Systems." and is scheduled for 21st May 2015 at 8.30 in the morning.

Click to reserve you place!
Espion, the organisers, have specialised in IT and Cybersecurity with a range of products especially suited to the protection of DCS / SCADA Control & Automation Systems.

Participants will have the oppertunity to gain insight into the level of cyber security threats to your SCADA systems and the impact it can have on your organisation
  • Understand how to utilise industry best practice to reduce the risk of cyber attacks to your systems
  • Find out how to mitigate risk through the use of technical controls/technologies to protect and detect cyber attacks on your critical infrastructure
  • Take part in a tour of Croke Park's SCADA systems and learn about the cyber security challenges facing Ireland's national stadium.
There are two experts in the field who will address the attendees. One is their own resident SCADA expert, Mark Carolan and the other is FOX IT's Peter Geijteenbeek who has experience working with companies such as Honeywell and Yokogawa.

As there is no charge been made for this event there is sure to be a keen demand for places so early booking is essential to ensure participation.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Motors deliver efficiency & cost savings!

One of the world’s leading compressor manufacturers, Mattei, is now incorporating Emerson Industrial Automation Leroy Somer IE3 electrical motors in all of its compressors rated between 18 and 110 kW. The move was driven by the introduction of phase two of the EU´s IE3 efficiency level legislation for electric motors in Europe.

Mattei specialises in rotary vane compressors, rather than conventional screw type models. Vane compressors are optimised for intense use, typically 24 hours a day, hence the requirement for a robust motor that delivers better and higher performances, as well as reduced energy consumption.

Having worked with Emerson for around 30 years, Mattei knew the company offered extensive knowledge of international legislation, as well as high quality and reliable efficiency solutions.

The new deal sees Emerson supplying around 600 motors per year, which will ensure Mattei’s compressors conform to the Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS).

The first phase of the MEPS scheme (efficiency level IE2) was implemented in June 2011, and has now been followed by efficiency level IE3. Specifically, single-speed, three-phase induction motors with a rated output from 7.5 to 375 kW must now meet the IE3 efficiency level. The good news for end users is that more efficient motors offer the potential for significant savings in running costs.

To meet the new IE3 efficiency legislation, Emerson has redesigned its motors to offer a greater reduction in losses than IE2 variants. The benefit for end users is a considerable reduction in running costs over the lifecycle of the IE3 efficiency motor, along with lower carbon emissions.

When choosing a supplier for its range of air compressors, Mattei says that although it takes into
consideration the quality and price of the motors offered, it also assesses the market’s perception of the brand. If it’s a well-established brand then the company is reassured about the quality of the components being sold. Furthermore, Mattei says that another significant advantage of using Emerson is that its motors can be customised to better meet assembly requirements.

• Mattei produces around 6500 compressors every year, ranging from very small (1.5 to 18 kW) to very large (110 to 250 kW). Emerson supplies Mattei with IE3 motors for the mid-range between 37 and 110 kW, which equates around 40/50 per month.
Beyond Italy, Mattei has a direct presence in France, Germany, Spain, the UK, Russia, China and the USA, while it operates in other countries through resellers and distributors, making it a truly global enterprise.

Secure boot and intrusion detection.

Icon Labs has announced the availability of their new Floodgate Security Framework (FSF) to protect embedded devices and systems from cyber-attack.  Internet-based attacks are on the rise and an increasing number of these attacks are targeting embedded devices. Cyber-criminals, hacking bots, industrial or international espionage agents and even terrorist groups are now targeting industrial, military, automotive and medical devices as well as utility systems.

According to Alan Grau, CEO and Founder of Icon Labs, “In IT security, endpoints must be authenticated, trusted, secured and managed before they are allowed to operate on the corporate network. IT/OT convergence and the emergence of security standards in various industries require that embedded devices provide the same security capabilities as IT devices.”

The Floodgate Security Framework provides:
-           Management system integration for IT/OT convergence.
-           Security capabilities to ensure devices are protected from attack.
-           Building blocks for compliance with security standards including NERC-CIP and EDSA.

Two new capabilities make the Icon Labs Floodgate Security Framework stand out from other cyber defense solutions – Secure Boot and Intrusion Detection. 

Floodgate Secure Boot provides a critical security capability for embedded devices by ensuring that only validated code from the device OEM is allowed to run. This prevents attackers from replacing firmware with versions created to perform malicious operations. Secure boot utilizes code signing to verify the authenticity and integrity of firmware prior to execution. Floodgate Secure Boot provides the APIs required for code signing, code validation and secure firmware updates. 

Floodgate Intrusion Detection monitors system activity and configuration to detect unauthorized changes to the system. These changes are reported to a security management system. Engineers integrating Floodgate IDS into their device can select the appropriate response based upon the severity of the threat and the specific requirements of their device. Supported responses include event logging, alert generation, shutting down the device, operating in “safe mode”, wiping data, and deleting firmware. Floodgate IDS can also support customizable responses to detected threats.  

The Floodgate Security Framework also provides Root of Trust/Chain of Trust, Run-Time Integrity Validation, Application Guarding APIs, Secure Device Manifest support, an embedded firewall, and integration with various security management systems. These capabilities provide the building blocks for achieving EDSA Certification, ISA/IEC 62443 Compliance, and/or compliance with the NIST Cybersecurity framework


FSF is the only security solution for embedded devices providing both device protection capabilities and security management for any embedded OS . Floodgate Security Framework has been ported to a wide range of RTOSes including VxWorks, Nucleus, INTEGRITY, embedded Linux, μC/OS-III and RTXC. data sheets are available here on the ICON Website.

Real-time insight into energy performance!


Energy Advisor helps process manufacturers reduce energy costs by up to 10% annually through improved energy targeting and utilisation

Energy Advisor, a real-time energy management information system that automates the process of monitoring and managing energy consumption across mills, plants and refineries has been introduced by Emerson. With real-time, meaningful information about a site’s energy performance, process manufacturers can identify inefficiencies and irregularities and take corrective action, saving on average 5 to 10 per cent in energy costs annually.

“Energy Advisor is a natural extension to Emerson’s Smart Energy Management portfolio,” said Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer, Emerson Process Management. “In 2011, we announced the company’s commitment to improving our customers’ industrial energy efficiency and we began focusing on how to help our customers best optimise combustion processes, steam systems, and on-site electrical generation. In 2013, Emerson unveiled its pervasive sensing strategy that extends wireless technologies beyond process controls to include the extensive use of wireless sensors to monitor energy consumption in our customers’ operations. Energy Advisor leverages this technology with analytics to provide visualisation of the full energy picture, helping companies make smarter decisions with real-time insight into site-wide energy performance.”

Energy Advisor pulls energy data from various sources, including (but not limited to) Emerson’s DeltaV™ and Ovation™ distributed control systems, as well as its wireless infrastructure, to provide real-time analysis and historical context. Using Emerson’s unique process models, manufacturers are now able to analyse and compare three critical items: the amount of energy a system is designed to use, what it has used over time, and what it is consuming in the moment.

“Many manufacturers are looking at their energy performance, but it is usually in hindsight and is often an incomplete picture, with data culled from disparate sources,”
said Barbara Hamilton, energy management programme manager at Emerson Process Management. “To increase energy productivity and eliminate waste, manufacturers need more than historical data. They need real-time insight into what is going on to drive continuous improvement behaviour. That is what Energy Advisor delivers.”

Energy Advisor integrates seamlessly with current site control and information systems, allowing a straight-forward and cost-effective implementation. Key features of the technology include Consumption Monitoring which identifies and logs root causes for energy over-consumption events and a Data Integrity Checker that verifies integrity of energy data before it is used. There is also an Energy Target Calculator which creates models from past historical data to predict target energy consumption. Optional process models from Emerson provide theoretical targets as well as other energy-related performance indicators. Standard Reports include cost per unit of production, energy performance trends and electrical demand cost.

In energy-intensive process industries like chemical, metals and mining, oil and gas, pulp and paper, and refining, where energy is often 30 to 50 per cent of their operating expense, these savings can have a significant impact on the bottom line.   

New officer to drive global commercial activity global!

Tony McFadden has been appointed to the new role of Chief Commercial Officer for Stadium Group plc.

Tony McFadden
Tony joined the group in 2014 following the acquisition of United Wireless where he was joint Managing Director. In this new role for the Group, Tony’s key responsibilities will be to drive global commercial activity across all Stadium divisions harnessing value from the unique market proposition of the integrated design-led technology solutions.

Charlie Peppiatt, CEO commented: “Our integrated technology strategy will be accelerated by ensuring we think and behave commercially as one group, ‘go to market’ with clarity and focus to achieve our growth plans and provide real value to our customers.”

“To ensure we are structured to deliver this strategy all Sales, Customer Service & Marketing personnel within all the Group divisions will report into this new position. I am confident Tony’s skill and drive will successfully lead the commercial activity Group-wide to deliver on our strategic objectives in 2015 and beyond.”

Graduating with an Honours Degree in Business Administration, Tony entered the Electronics industry back in 1995. Beginning with senior Sales and Marketing roles within two multi-billion dollar global distributors of electronic components, Tony has accumulated a wealth of experience along his 20 year career through the electronics supply chain.

Tony has a passion for the commercial realisation of electronic products and takes great pride and personal fulfilment from delivering success to clients.

Hygienic inductive conductivity measuring system!

A new hygienic inductive conductivity measuring system OPTISYS IND 8100 for the food and beverage industry has been introduced by Krohne. With its fast response time, it is particularly suitable for applications in the field of product separation/identification, or in CIP plants to shorten transition phases and save cleaning fluids.

The new 3A and EHEDG certified measuring system offers two 4…20 mA outputs for conductivity, concentration and temperature. Within the conductivity measuring range from 50 μS/cm…1.000 mS/cm, OPTISYS IND 8100 features 14 pre-set range/output combinations for convenient commissioning. Alternatively, the analogue output can be set freely via the touch display or via PC with optional configuration tool. For media separation, 4 conductivity ranges can be defined via PC. The concentration output can be used to display the concentration of 4 factory set mediums/ranges, e.g. caustic soda, nitric acid, or a customer set medium, which concentration curve can be programmed via a 30 point linearisation. The short response time of the integrated Pt100 temperature sensor (T90 < 15 sec) allows for fast indication of changes in medium or process conditions. The corresponding conductivity is also indicated (T90 < 2 sec) for fast identification of CIP reagents to prevent blending and save costs.


OPTISYS IND 8100 uses a touch display for configuration. It features different selectable display modes and warnings: the background colour can be set in three colours, white, green and red; steady or flashing related to alarm settings. Further there are 2 solid state relay contacts configurable as limit switches. The compact design with IP67/69K housing suits for pipes with small diameters > DN40 / 1 1/2". The sensor is encapsulated in a PEEK body for use in hygienic processes or direct in concentrated acids or alkalis. Various hygienic process adapters such as Tri Clamp, DIN 11851, SMS or Varivent N are available. OPTISYS IND 8100 is the successor to the discontinued ACM 500.

High density power loads, enclosed or limited space, weight restrictions or limited airflow?

Over the past decade Aavid Thermalloy has pioneered heat pipe technology and its application, developing a high quality manufacturing process to ensure long life and reliability in its heat pipes.

They can quickly move heat away from temperature sensitive devices to a place the heat can be dissipated. Heat pipes can also be used to increase fin efficiency by moving heat directly to the cooler top portion of fins. Many types of applications can benefit from heat pipes, from UPS to telecommunications to motor drives and controls to transportation to servers and computers.

As well as extending the thermal range of both natural and forced convection cooling, heat pipes reduce overall cost and weight without increasing the volume in a base plate and have no moving parts. Small diameter heat pipe assemblies provide greater thermal efficiency whilst large diameter heat pipe assemblies transfer greater power loads. Aavid has also developed the Hi-ContactTM heat pipe embedding process which improves thermal transfer.

Forum breaks records and reports strong growth in automation company bookings in 2014.

MCAA’s 2015 Industry Forum broke all previous attendance records. 240 attendees enjoyed two days of expert speakers, networking opportunities and roundtable discussions surrounded by the desert beauty of Scottsdale (AZ USA).

Attendance increased 14% over last year. Dane Maisel, General Manager of ABB’s Instrumentation Division, delivered the keynote address on the topic of trends and challenges in industrial automation.

Doug Hall energized a capacity crowd with his discussion of how to inspire innovation in everyone. Breakout sessions focused on digital age issues of social media, website traffic, and 21st century negotiating tactics.

Oil & Gas Journal Chief Editor Bob Tippee provided an honest and insightful assessment concerning this often-volatile segment of the commodities market. Entrepreneur Dave Berkus looked at the upcoming technological trends on the horizon. ITR Economist Jeff Dietrich also looked into the future with his economic analysis and forecasting across several industry sectors.

Attendees viewed the premiere of a MCAA-produced video featuring Schneider Electric Vice President, Peter Martin. The video encourages young people to help solve substantial problems facing the entire planet by pursuing a rewarding career in process controls. The video can be seen on both YouTube and Vimeo via MCAA’s “MeasControl” channel.

2014 Bookings Data
The organisation also reported on 2014 bookings in the process measurement and automation industry. These grew approximately 14.2% according to data reported by MCAA members in various bookings reports.

MCAA collects data from its member companies for a variety of reports. On a monthly basis, we collect Domestic and Direct Export bookings information for the US, Canada and Rest of World. Quarterly, the Association collects more detailed information by product category as well as by end user industry. Bookings are also collected on a monthly basis from the distribution companies that are Channel Partner members of the Association.

Looking at data from companies that participated in the bookings reports consistently over the past 10 years, bookings continue on an upward trend following the “Great Recession” bottom in 2009. Over the five years since, bookings are up a total of 110%. 2014, however, represents the third highest growth rate of the five previous periods at $3.9 Billion. Only data from companies that reported consistently over the 10-year period was used. Total actual bookings reported by all members participating in the bookings reports as of December 2014 was $5.5 billion.

• MCAA exists to help the management teams of process and factory automation product and solution providers run and grow successful businesses by offering timely, unique and highly specialized resources acquired from shared management benchmarks where proprietary company information is secure.