Saturday, September 12, 2015

HART protocol device provider acquired!

Pepperl+Fuchs has acquired MACTek Corporation, a leading provider of HART protocol devices.

MACTek's Viator+
USB HART Interface
The move is part of Pepperl+Fuch’s strategy to further extend its integrated solutions offerings and strengthen its position in the WirelessHART market.

“We are pleased to add the MACTek WirelessHART product line to our existing portfolio,” said Jim Bolin, Pepperl+Fuchs’ executive vice president of the Americas. “This acquisition complements our current product lines well, and allows us to provide an even greater breadth of services to our customers.”

• Founded in 1993, MACTek specializes in HART modems, including VIATOR HART Interface modems. One of the company’s most recent innovations, the BULLET WirelessHART adapter, can be mounted on any device rated for hazardous areas. The HART modem family includes wireless access to HART field devices designed for hazardous areas and Bluetooth-enabled technologies.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Protects plants from Cyber-attacks.

Eaton has launched its next generation Tofino industrial security solution. The 9202-ETS MTL security system provides the highest level of network security for process automation applications. The MTL Tofino security system is exceptionally easy to install compared with alternative systems and includes the latest configurator software to protect industrial networks from cyber-security vulnerabilities. This maximises plant uptime and process availability while protecting it from external network attack.

“When Industrial Control and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems were not connected they were considered immune to attacks, but the trend towards open standards such as Ethernet TCP/IP and web technologies has seen these systems affected by a growing number of threats,” said Roger Highton, product line manager, Eaton. “Traditional firewalls are not designed for control systems or industrial threats, thereby putting essential utilities at risk, and each year, the damage to critical infrastructure from network incidents and cyber-attacks runs into billions of dollars. The MTL 9202-ETS gives process managers in the power, utilities, oil and gas and water and wastewater industries a cost-effective security protection that is highly effective and quick to install.”

It supports all popular industrial protocols with the Firewall Loadable Security Module (LSM) which compares network traffic against a set of rules. The new release includes the EtherNet/IP Enforcer LSM for deep packet inspection of EtherNet/IP (CIP) communications. Tofino can also be configured remotely with the Netconnect LSM, providing further flexibility to the user. Further LSM’s can also be specified such as the Modbus enforcer and OPC enforcer LSMs providing deep packet inspection for these key industrial protocols and the Event Logger LSM logs security events and sends alarms. The LSMs are available pre-installed or can be purchased separately.

The 9202-ETS MTL security appliance delivers defence in depth for a wide range of DCS, PLC, SCADA, networking, and automation systems. As it does not have its own IP address, it sits as an invisible device on the network and is designed to stop threats without disrupting the critical process application.

The Tofino system includes a number of templates for use with a wide range of automation protocols to further ease installation. In addition, it provides a number of rules and a test mode, so users can check the proposed configuration will not interfere with the operation of the plant before putting the security appliance into operation. Tofino Configurator checks for missing or invalid rules and suggests solutions, thereby aiding set-up.

The 9202-ETS MTL security appliance has a rugged hardware design suitable for use in harsh and hazardous environments. It has a robust metal housing for DIN rail mounting,
-40°C to +70°C operating temperature ratings together with Class 1 Division 2 and ATEX Zone 2 hazardous area approvals. This ensures it will give years of reliable service, providing secure networks with security zones as per NERC, ANSI/ISA, and IEC standards.

Awareness towards industrial cybersecurity continues low!

While traditional manufacturing industries were not designed with security in mind, the proliferation of networks and devices, disparate communication channels, and the use of off-the-shelf software has thrust cybersecurity into the spotlight. Safety and security concerns associated with the high levels of connectivity and integration are surfacing as the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) takes shape in the industrial networks and manufacturing plant floors. The alarming frequency of sophisticated and targeted advanced persistent threats has given further weight to the safety argument across both process and discrete industries. 

Click to access more info!
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, The Safety-Security Argument: Expanding Needs in a Connected Enterprise, finds that the global cybersecurity market for control systems is expected to grow at a rate between 20to 25 percent every year till 2021. North America and Europe will remain at the forefront of creating awareness and initiating technology advancements that address attacks from advanced persistent threats. 

“Enterprises currently employ a broad, layered approach towards protecting cyber assets while industry organisations work on establishing suitable standards,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Senior Research Analyst Sonia Francisco. “Partnerships among government, industry and research institutes will be vital in forming robust, industry-based standards that will speed up the development of comprehensive security management solutions.” 

As the IoT concept transforms plant architecture, defence-by-default security strategies will give way to defence-by-design solutions. In-built security solutions that can sense, adapt, modify and respond to threats based on various ecosystem parameterswill gain traction. 

Creating industry- and application-specific solutions will also be crucial as information technology (IT) solutions continue to stream into the operational technology (OT) space. Solution providers in the IT and the OT ecosystems must join hands to deploy end-to-end cyber security solutions for industrial systems. 

“Such extensive integration will require a new age workforce with both IT and OT expertise,” noted Francisco. “Cybersecurity service providers can provide training and change management solutions that will bridge the knowledge gap.” 

As a majority of industries upgrade to smart systems and processes, industrial cybersecurity will soon make the inevitable shift from a reactive operating model to a proactive design philosophy. 


• The Safety-Security Argument: Expanding Needs in a Connected Enterprise is a Market Insight that is part of the Industrial Automation & Process Control Growth Partnership Service program. This study provides a strategic outlook of cyber security requirements and best practices in the era of connected assets and connected enterprises. The Insight sheds light on the challenges, opportunities and strategies in the cybersecurity space evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. 

1,000W PSU with 36VDC output!

Excelsys Technologies, has extended its XSolo family of 1U high, ultra-compact single output modular power supplies to include a 36VDC output version. This extends the applications for the Xsolo series to include a wide range of industrial, medical and hi-rel applications including battery charging, motors drives, displays, signage, ATMs and test and measurement.

The high efficiency Excelsys Xsolo power supply is available in 2 package types, delivering a market leading convection cooled 504W in an open-frame U-channel form-factor and up to 1008W in an enclosed fan cooled chassis. Both models carry a 5 year warranty.

The XSolo platform offers system integrators a host of features including; variable fan speed, 12V/300mA isolated bias supply, remote ON/OFF, output voltage control and parallel operation for higher power applications.  Nominal output voltages are 24V, 36V and 48V with wide adjustment ranges and user defined set-points. Maximum dimensions are 1U x 238mm x 128mm.

To simplify product selection and inventory control the XSolo range has dual safety agency certification; EN60950 for industrial applications and EN60601-1 2nd and 3rd Edition for medical applications, fully meeting the stringent creepage and clearance requirements, 4KVAC isolation and >300ua.


Standard features include; single output: 24V, 36V or 48V adjustable output voltage,
ultra-high efficiency up to 92%, low profile 1U height (40mm), convection cooled 500W, fan cooled 1000W (variable fan speed), 12V/300mA bias standby voltage, remote ON/OFF signal, power good signal, MIL810,  SEMI F47 Compliant,

Optional features available include I2C digital control and OR-ing diodes for N+1 redundancy. The XSolo can also be provided with conformal coating and ruggedised for use in harsh environments. With convection cooled power capability of over 500W the XSolo is ideal for use in Hi-Rel MIL-COTS applications as well as acoustic sensitive laboratory and medical equipment.


Other products in the Excelsys range include the UltiMod and Xgen user configurable modular power supplies suitable of applications including, industrial, medical, laser, communications, IT, wafer fabrication, optical inspection, wire bonding, and automated test equipment.

How to make the most of ESOS and EAS!

Industrial software expert, COPA-DATA is advising large enterprises in Britain and Ireland to act upon their Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and Energy Auditing Scheme (EAS) findings in order to reduce energy consumption and bills. To prepare companies for ESOS and EAS energy audits, COPA-DATA has launched two online platforms containing energy tips, guides and white papers.

With the first deadline for ESOS and EAS fast approaching, COPA-DATA has seen a lot of confusion amongst businesses on the best ways to achieve compliance. As a developer of energy data management software, COPA-DATA chose to share its findings and tips on the best ways to comply. 

Links to COPA-DATA tips: 

ESOS is a compulsory energy assessment and energy saving identification scheme, which applies to large businesses throughout Great Britain. It was established by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in response to the requirement for all member states of the EU to comply with the Energy Efficiency Directive. EAS has similar requirements as ESOS, but applies to large businesses in Ireland. There are currently no penalties in place for non-compliance with EAS, but failing to comply with ESOS regulations may result in civil sanctions, including financial penalties if an organisation does not comply with the scheme’s obligations.

Last year, COPA-DATA released its own Energy Data Management System, zenon EDMS, to help organisations all over the world meet the globally recognised energy management standard, ISO 50001. The software expert encourages companies that want to make the most of ESOS, to start working towards ISO 50001 compliance. zenon EDMS not only analyses energy usage, but uses the data to identify the highest levels of energy consumption and overuse within both equipment and processes, pinpointing the areas with the most saving potential across production. zenon EDMS can be simply integrated into existing infrastructures, minimise error rates and allows for benchmarking across equipment and organisations.

“Using COPA-DATA's energy data management system can help businesses achieve ISO 50001 certified status, which is more than enough to constitute an ESOS assessment,” explains Martyn Williams, Managing Director of COPA-DATA UK. “Providing the EDMS is valid and certified during the compliance period and covers all of a company's energy usage, meeting ESOS or EAS compliance is both quick and inexpensive.



"Businesses may use ESOS or EAS as a starting point for implementing an ISO 50001 compliant system. Whereas ESOS and EAS are an outline to energy audits, ISO 50001 can be considered a guideline that goes right to the heart of how businesses use energy."

Remote monitoring & control platform features worldwide cellular coverage.

Red Lion Controls has announced its Sixnet® series RAM® industrial cellular RTUs now provide high-speed global 4G LTE network support for use with many cellular carriers worldwide.* This follows Red Lion’s recent announcement of 4G LTE multi-carrier cellular support for major North American carriers.
The addition of global 4G LTE network support to Red Lion’s RAM industrial cellular RTUs enable customers to easily connect, monitor and control high-bandwidth applications in markets including oil and gas, water/wastewater, factory automation, utility and transportation. As manufacturing and industrial organizations continue to migrate from fixed legacy infrastructures to scalable high-performance networks, comprehensive solutions are needed to serve as the critical communication platform between facilities and equipment in disparate locations.

“More and more industrial organizations worldwide rely on cellular communications for increased data speeds, expansive coverage and reliable operation,” said Paul Bunnell, product manager at Red Lion Controls. “Given the size and scope of many of today’s industrial operations – with remote sites in various locations and countries – customers are demanding easy-to-deploy solutions that can operate reliably regardless of geography. This is why our high-speed RAM 4G LTE cellular RTUs provide a secure all-in-one platform that seamlessly integrates with existing equipment to enable critical remote monitoring and control.”

The RAM platform features a powerful built-in event engine that can easily be configured using an intuitive web-based interface to trigger actions when pre-defined alarm values are met. For example, if a tank level is too high or valve pressure out of range, the RAM event engine will not only cycle a relay to stop a pump or open a valve, but can also send SMS text messages to alert when actions should be taken. This helps automation engineers, technicians, production managers and network operators make critical decisions.

Red Lion’s RAM cellular RTUs combine optional I/O and Wi-Fi with active GPS and multiple serial and Ethernet ports to securely monitor and control remote devices over 4G LTE cellular networks. By providing data visibility, control and real-time notifications on field-deployed equipment and processes, the RAM platform enables organizations to take advantage of the benefits associated with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

*NOTE: Red Lion’s RAM industrial cellular RTUs are not currently supported in Japan.

• Red Lion Products are markted in Ireland through Instrument Technology.

Incorporating mobile interfaces into industrial automation & control applications.

Opto 22 has announced the groov Action Plan, a service that quickly adds mobility to applications in industrial automation, control, and remote monitoring. The groov Action Plan result is a completed groov mobile operator interface—a custom mobile app—that authorized automation end-users, machine OEMs, or other personnel can use to monitor and control systems and equipment from smartphones and tablets. The groov Action Plan provides a planned path from concept to completion for creating, deploying, and supporting a groov mobile app.

With the groov Action Plan, an Opto 22 engineer works closely with a groov customer to understand project objectives, define requirements, and design the operator interface. The Opto 22 engineer also addresses networking setup and device connectivity. Graphics professionals at Opto 22 then develop the final groov mobile app. Follow-up service and support are included.

groov Action Plan customer Class Biologically Clean (CBC) in Madison, Wisconsin, manufactures softwall cleanrooms, isolation chambers, and similar products for research and medical use. According to David Holland, company vice president, using a smartphone or tablet to monitor and control a cleanroom’s environmental system is unique in the industry and helps to differentiate CBC from its competitors. For example, CBC’s groov mobile app eliminates the need to individually check several physical gauges on different pieces of equipment. Instead, environmental information for the cleanroom is presented on a single mobile screen.

With limited time and staff to develop the groov mobile app at CBC, Holland worked with local Opto 22 engineer Dave Engsberg to rapidly plan, develop, and deploy the groov mobile app. “Working with Opto 22 to develop the app was an easy process,” says Holland. “It was fast and allowed me to bring my mobile app to market quickly.”

Communication robustness testing tool for cybersecurity standard.

The beSTORM® software security testing tool from Beyond Security has been formally recognized for official use by certification bodies in the ISASecure® industrial automation and control system (IACS) cybersecurity certification program.

Communication Robustness Testing (CRT) is one of four dimensions of embedded device certification. CRT tools are also used for network stress testing during system level certifications. With this recognition, Beyond Security joins the growing list of cybersecurity organizations supporting the ISASecure certification scheme.

beSTORM is a commercial, black box, intelligent fuzzer that performs dynamic security testing of products in development and can be used by network administrators to certify the security of networked applications before deployment. Software QA departments that may be using a dozen different tools to test application security can now get all dynamic security testing done with just one. Administrators who must certify applications before deployment can now use a single tool to test all networked applications—even those with proprietary protocols.

The ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) publishes CRT test tool recognition requirements for evaluating CRT test tools submitted by suppliers for use in the ISASecure certification program. CRT test tools that have been formally recognized by ISCI may be used by ISASecure certification bodies for use in the CRT portion of the ISASecure EDSA and ISASecure SSA certifications.

The ISASecure® tool recognition process confirms that the product’s test suites meet the ISASecure CRT requirements and are capable of consistently executing ISASecure certification tests.

ISCI recomends that suppliers use ISCI-recognized CRT test tools during the product development and testing phases to identify and correct network-based security vulnerabilities. Using recognized CRT tools during the development process also aids suppliers in preparing for the formal ISASecure EDSA certification assessment.

"Reduction of the energy consumption by twelve percent!"

To optimize the operating costs of its energyintensive clean rooms, the Belgian Alcon group relies on Energy Analytics from Siemens.

Alcon is a global leader in the
field of eye care & offers a
 broad spectrum of surgical
 & medical products for the
 treatment of eye diseases.
The Alcon pharmaceutical group produces in clean rooms operated by systems requiring a high energy input. Alcon uses Energy Analytics from Siemens in an effort to gain an exact overview of its power consumption and the arising costs. “Energy Analytics provides direct insights into our energy consumption as a service and allows me to focus on the implementation of concrete improvement measures,” says Nancy Lantshoght, Energy Manager at Alcon.

As Energy Analytics is a managed service, Siemens takes over responsibility for storing and analyzing the data. In an initial practical test, the control program of two compressors was reviewed using Energy Analytics. As a result of the analysis, an optimized control scheme was proposed that reduced the energy consumption of the compressors by twelve percent.

A stick for calibration!

Should you lose your calibration data for any reason, a handy USB memory stick from Applied Measurements Ltd,  contains everything you need to get yourself back up and running.  You can quickly and easily upload all your calibration data to your signal digitiser via your PC or Laptop using the software and data files on the USB stick, with no need for re-calibration or return of the equipment to us.

This FREE USB stick may be small in size but is huge in benefits, giving you:
  • A Back-Up of Your Calibration Data
  • All Associated Software
  • Simple and Fast Restoration of Calibration Data

So, when customers buy any calibrated sensor and digitiser system from Applied Measurements that includes any of the below products they will suuply a FREE USB STICK containing all the calibration data and the associated software.
  • DSC-USB Load Cell Digitiser – Converts strain gauge signal into a digital USB output.
  • DSC Load Cell Converter – Converts a strain gauge input into an RS232 or RS485 digital signal.
  • Any T24 Wireless Telemetry System – For single or multi-channel wireless logging.
  • DTDR-F Wireless Torque Sensors – Cable free measurement of rotating and static torque measurement applications.

Go to their website and learn more.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Marketing director appointed to communications group.

Technology marketing veteran to guide worldwide efforts to promote HART, FOUNDATION Fieldbus, and FDI technologies.

Paul Sereiko has been appointed as Director of Marketing with the FieldComm Group. Mr. Sereiko has spent much of his career marketing and managing technology products. His broad experience across multiple industries including sensing, wireless communications, embedded systems and telecom, coupled with roles in both large organisations and startups gives him a unique perspective and approach to help develop the strategic marketing direction of the organisation.

Paul Sereiko
As the Director of Marketing for FieldComm Group, Mr. Sereiko will be responsible for guiding worldwide marketing efforts to position FieldComm Group technologies in the marketplace, expand membership and increase the adoption of digital automation solutions in plant environments across the world. He will oversee all marketing activities including seminars, tradeshows, user group meetings, technical demonstrations and marketing communications to promote FieldComm Group and its technology portfolio.

"The combination of the HART Communication Foundation, the Fieldbus Foundation, and the addition of FDI within FieldComm Group provides a unique opportunity to create a standards-based platform to create actionable information from digital automation data", stated Sereiko. "I look forward to building marketing programs with our global marketing team, member companies, and end-user groups to accelerate adoption of the FieldComm Group technology platform."

Ted Masters, President & CEO of FieldComm Group, welcomed Sereiko by stating “We are excited to have Paul join the team in this strategic role for FieldComm Group. Paul has a wealth of experience in linking market messages to strategic direction for many technology rich companies in our markets. He comes aboard at an exciting time to help us communicate and educate the market on the new FieldComm Group and the value of connecting and integrating digital data within their plants to improve operations.”

Mr. Sereiko has served in vice president and executive vice president of marketing roles with numerous organisations, and has served as president and CEO of others. He holds a BS in Computer Engineering and an MBA in Marketing & Finance from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

New US level transmitter-sensor!

Siemens is expanding its ultrasonic level transmitter portfolio by adding the Sitrans LU150, a noncontacting ultrasonic transmitter with a range of up to five meters (16 feet).

The device incorporates the sensor and the electronics in a single compact unit and can be used for continuous level measurement of liquids and slurries in open or closed vessels. IP68 rated, the Sitrans LU150 has a rugged, fully encapsulated PVDF sensor that is resistant to corrosion, chem icals and extreme shock. The device is designed primarily for use in the water, wastewater and energy management industry.

With only two cables to be connected, the Sitrans LU150 can be quickly and easily installed. Its twokey interface makes it simple to configure and easy to use. The Sonic Intelligence signal processing software delivers reliable measurement readings by differentiating, for example, between the true material level and false echoes.

Exploring how engineers can create the Internet of Things!

The NIDays conference will show how LabVIEW system design software and NI modular measurement and control hardware is redefining innovation. This technology is helping engineers, scientists and educators to create the Internet of Things and positively impact society. Taking place across Europe and worldwide, including London, Eindhoven, Hørsholm and Stockholm throughout November, NIDays is the ultimate learning environment, with a full day of interactive technical presentations, hands-on sessions along with case studies on the latest advancements in design, control and test. We've listed European conferences but see all venues listed on the NIDays webpage.


In Europe
NIDays keynote presentations give attendees a first look at the latest, cutting-edge innovations demonstrating how engineers and scientists use NI technology to accelerate productivity and drive rapid innovation. 

Entitled ‘Using a Platform-Based Approach to Create the Internet of Things’, the morning keynote discusses how NI’s vision empowers engineers and scientists to speed up test, reach measurement decisions faster and enable smarter machines in the IoT. This keynote also features live demonstrations and examples of the technology powering real-world IoT systems such as wireless test, data management, condition monitoring and communications system design. In addition, the afternoon keynote reveals how NI is helping to create a climate of innovation, where tomorrow’s engineers will realise the true potential of the IoT. 

Key themes run throughout each NIDays, allowing delegates to tailor the event to their specific industry or application, choosing from topics including Automated Test, Industrial Control, Data Acquisition and 5G. 

NIDays hands-on sessions provide valuable experience with NI technologies including LabVIEW, CompactRIO and CompactDAQ. In addition LabVIEW users can start their certification journey via the free of charge Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer Examination. 

The London Event
At NIDays London, Dickon Ross, Editor-in-Chief of The IET’s Engineering and Technologies magazine, will host a Panel Discussion exploring the challenges in designing and building the IIoT. Also, Join Professor Danielle George, (2014 presenter of the Royal Institution’s CHRISTMAS LECTURES,) in the afternoon keynote, when she will share her passion for the positive impact engineering has on all aspects of our everyday lives. 


Auto-Ranging programmable DC power source.

Intepro Systems has introduced the PSI 9000 Series of programmable DC power sources. A single 3U chassis houses up to 15kW of DC power and can be paralleled up to 150 kilowatts. Each chassis features a controller that allows the flexibility of separating into individual sources or paralleling for high-power applications.

The PSI 9000 Series is offered in models with 
output power ratings of 0-3.3kW, 0-5kW, 0-10kW 
& 0-15kW in a single 3U chassis. 
“The PSI 9000 Series is designed to simplify test set up and operation,” said Gerard Sheehan, Intepro's Chief Technical Officer. “Front panel controls include an intuitive LCD display and control knobs for setting voltage, current, power or internal resistance simulation values.” 

A unique feature of the PSI 9000 Series is its auto-ranging output. Unlike competitive DC sources that provide rated power only when maximum voltage is applied to the load, the auto-ranging output stage is capable of delivering three times higher output current at reduced voltages. This feature is especially useful when testing products that require varied input voltages while maintaining regulated output power. With auto-ranging, a single-system provides a complete test solution compared to buying multiple sources to address low- and high-voltage/current requirements.

The PSI 9000 Series features an interactive touch panel menu navigation system that simplifies set up and storing to test profiles. The industry leading high-efficiency unit (up to 95.5%) includes an integrated true function generator. Complex test sequences can be loaded from and saved to a standard USB flash drive. The unit also includes simulations for PV (photovoltaic) arrays and fuel cells.


Additional features of the RoHS-compliant PSI 9000 Series include: a galvanically isolated analog interface for voltage, current and power programming and monitoring, digital plug-and-play modules supporting RS232, Ethernet, CANopen, Modbus TCP, Profibus, Devicenet and IEEE/GPIB, and SCPI command language support. 

Diagnostics demoday!

ProfiBus Ireland held a one day demo in two sessions  on diagnosing ProfiBus networks using Procentec products.  The demo was on portable diagnostic tool Profitrace and continuous monitoring tool Combricks. Over 25 participants from industry participated on the day.
The session on Profitrace covered the basics of ProfiBus technology followed by the demo of using Profitrace, to identify issues such as missing or additional terminations, shorted or broken lines. Training kits were used to provide the participants with hands on sessions.

Second part of the demo concentrated on continuous monitoring using Combricks. A newly built demo wall consisting of ProfiBus DP, ProfiBus PA, and ProfiNet was used to highlight the operation of Combricks.  The integration of a number of different communications systems such as ProfiBus DP, ProfiBus PA, and ProfiNet was shown using Combrick’s backplane technology. Also included in the demo wall was the use of Fiber optic transmission and use of Profiswitch X5 to enable different transmission speeds on the same ProfiBus network. The participants had a opportunity to connect remotely to Combrick and see the electrical waveforms of devices, bar graphs, Email notification of faults, amongst others.



Rotary actuator and sensor.

Festo has launched a new semi-rotary vane drive – the DRVS – with a unique new sensor solution which can be fitted in seconds. This enables machine builders and engineers to save valuable installation time and associated costs, and it provides excellent performance at an attractive price.

The drive has a simple and compact lightweight design and delivers high torque ratings of up to 20Nm. It is powerful even in harsh environments and has an infinitely adjustable swivel angle which means that it gives increased flexibility to the user for up to 90, 180 or 270°.

When combined with the unique SRBS sensor detecting the rotation is made easy. The SRBS is a closed and encapsulated unit that can be quickly assembled and screwed into place, which means it is exceptionally easy to install. Switching points can also be taught electronically by simply pressing a button. As such it provides innovative sensing without the need for mechanical adjustment and manually searching for switching points, thus reducing set-up time.

Sensing is performed magnetically and without contact, and as a result, offers a long service life and reliable operation. The actuator and sensing solution is ideal for simpler flap, divert, escapement type applications in light assembly and packing machines.

“Fitting semi-rotary drives with sensors has never been so easy, reliable, uncomplicated and error-free as they have with the DRVS and SRBS,” says Steve Sands, product manager at Festo. “The sensor offers simple and reliable operation using just one push-button, and when combined with the drives provide simple rotary motions that tell you where they are – first time, every time.”

Mass moment of inertia is the critical sizing criteria for rotary drives, however it is difficult to estimate, which often can lead to risk of premature failure. Over sizing also increases costs and wastes energy. Engineers can also take advantage of Festo’s free software tools to make sure they are sizing their actuator correctly so achieve best performance.

The new DRVS compliments Festo’s existing range of actuators including the DRRD, which is an economical yet robust drive for higher load applications.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Strengthening safety monitoring offerings for industrial customers.

Emerson announced has acquired Spectrex Inc., a leading manufacturer of flame and open path gas detectors. With this addition they will have the most comprehensive line of flame, gas and ultrasonic leak detector solutions used for safety monitoring in the industry.

Spectrex will join the Rosemount® portfolio of measurement and analytical technologies. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

For nearly 34 years, Spectrex has been the leader in flame and open path gas detection. It developed the world’s first ultraviolet-infrared (UV/IR) and triple infrared (IR3) flame detectors and was first to introduce xenon flash lamps in open path detector design, increasing detectors’ resilience to atmospheric conditions while reducing power consumption. These innovative advancements in safety monitoring provide a powerful solution for customers in the oil and gas, petrochemical, chemical and power industries.

“We are very excited about adding the Spectrex product line to our flame and gas detection portfolio,” said Tom Moser, group vice president of Emerson Process Management’s measurement and analytical technologies. “Emerson is committed to helping our customers protect their employees, facilities, and the environment, and we are now better positioned to serve that need.”

Spectrex and its staff are located in Cedar Grove, (N.J. USA), with sales and technical support offices in Houston, Great Britain and Taiwan.

Software toolkit facilitates complex load monitoring.

Mantracourt has launched a Software Toolkit to accompany its world-renowned LCA20 load cell and strain gauge amplifier, a flexible digital signal conditioning amplifier for single or multiple load monitoring. The new software toolkit enhances the capabilities of the LCA20, enabling easier set up and more advanced control and reporting functions.

The PC based software toolkit is icon driven, making it intuitive and easy to use. Access to the LCA20 is via a simple connector. The LCA toolkit enables configuration and calibration of load cell inputs using up to nine point linearisation. It also allows for the setting of load cell filtering characteristics, and digital input functionality, the configuration of the display and generated output values such as the peak, trough, gross and net. The toolkit also includes functions such as system zero and zero tracking. An equally wide range of functionality is applied to the reporting aspects of the toolkit.

"We work closely with customers all over the world," said Kelly Voysey, Marketing Manager at Mantracourt. "The design of the software toolkit for the LCA20 has been driven by our ambition to provide the very best user experience for our instrumentation products. In this respect, the software toolkit enables operators to set up and undertake the most complex and critical of load monitoring applications, saving valuable time in configuration and ensuring the reliability and the quality of the reported data."

The software tool kit allows a number of output and reporting functions to be configured. For the relay outputs, parameters such as in-flight compensation, hysteresis, latching and inversion are available. For the analogue outputs, the toolkit provides for scaling, gross and net values and error compensation. All collected data can be presented in configurable graph formats and logged to a file for exporting. The data can also be used to trigger alarms.

Mantracourt’s LCA20 software toolkit is available free of charge.

10.4" TFT open frame monitor.

KOE has announced a range of value added services and product add-ons that can aid and assist display usability and enhance the user experience. Designed for integration into industrial applications and embedded systems, the 'value add' options include projected capacitive touch screens, glass bonding, analogue to digital video cards, high brightness backlights, and semi-custom and custom display development.

Optical bonding technology provides a platform for the implementation of projected capacitive touch screens and protective cover glass. Projected capacitive (P-Cap) touch panel solutions can be considered for applications which require a robust user interface solution offering highly accurate and flexible gesture interactions. Glass bonding coupled with an anti-reflection (AR) or antiglare (AG) surface finish can enable improvements in optical performance. A TFT display featuring a cover glass and surface coating can reduce reflections to less than 0.2% by scattering and absorbing ambient light.

KOE's compact, embedded video driver boards enable a cost-effective and easy-to-use display enhancement. Fully integrated analogue to digital video circuitry supports multiple interface options including VGA, DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort. On-board software provides on-screen display functions for backlight dimming, image scaling and optical adjustments. KOE's embedded video cards enable open frame LCD monitors to be easily integrated into any industrial or commercial application.

Mark Stephenson, technical marketing manager, KOE Europe said, "KOE is introducing a range of display add-ons with the adoption and integration of capacitive touch panels and high brightness backlights, through to the development of analogue to digital video cards and fully integrated open frame monitors to offer an expanded range of display solutions. KOE is aiming to develop and grow its market share in a number of vertical market segments by adding extra value to our display products to deliver easy-to-use, cost-effective, high quality displays solutions for OEMs and systems integrators."

The first 'value-add' display solution to be introduced is a new high brightness open frame TFT LCD monitor. The 10.4-inch TX26D200VM2BHB features SVGA (800 x 600 pixels) resolution and an integrated analogue to digital video driver card to support a VGA D-Sub or DVI-A and DVI-D input. An integrated On-Screen Display (OSD) enables control of an integrated dimming function and image timing synchronisation.

Excellent optical performance is assured with a brightness rating of 1500cd/m² and a LED lifetime of 70K hours to half brightness. The 10.4-inch monitor supports 8-bit RGB providing a colour palette of up to 16.7M colours.

Typical applications include industrial automation, process control, public information systems, digital signage, building management, in-vehicle installations, point-of-sale displays and industrial instrumentation.

The new KOE 10.4-inch TX26D200VM2BHB TFT open frame monitor is available from KOE Europe's distribution partners immediately.

Control for biomass plant in Brazil!

Yokogawa America do Sul, has received an order from AREVA Renewables Brazil, a subsidiary of the French firm AREVA SA, to supply a control system for a biomass power plant that will be the largest facility of its type in Brazil. The plant is being constructed by Bolt Energias in São Desidério, Bahia, in the northeastern part of the country.

This biomass plant will have three power units with a total capacity of 150 MW, and will burn eucalyptus as its fuel. For this facility, Yokogawa will supply a CENTUM(R) VP integrated production control system, ProSafe(R)-RS safety instrumentation system, and other products. Yokogawa will also be responsible for engineering, and providing installation support and commissioning for these products. The plant will be connected to the power grid in mid-2017.

Although Brazil and many other countries in South America have relied largely on hydroelectric power, this power source has been less reliable in recent years because of severe water shortages. There is thus an urgent need in such countries for the construction of power plants that utilise alternative energy sources. As Brazil is the world’s largest producer of eucalyptus pulp and sugar cane, biomass power plants that can utilise this energy source are a promising solution.

Yasuharu Shoda, President & CEO of Yokogawa America do Sul, commented, “Yokogawa has a solid track record in Brazil, having installed more than 500 of its control systems at a wide variety of industrial facilities. Yokogawa’s solutions help our customers operate their facilities safely and with a high degree of efficiency. Encouraged by this order, Yokogawa will continue to focus on the electric power and renewable energy fields in Brazil and other countries in South America, and will help to provide a stable energy supply”.

Yokogawa will continue to expand its business in the promising electric power market.

Interferometer for free-standing fibres in SMA connectors.

Laser Components has introduced a further development of the well-known DAISI-MT interferometer that now allows the analysis of free-standing fibres in an SMA connector: This makes it possible to evaluate the surface quality after polishing.

To display the complete surface of an SMA connector, the viewing field under examination is approximately 3 mm. Any protrusion and/or eccentricity of the fiber can be identified and optimised.

Important pharma partnership announced!

Siemens and GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, have entered a global strategic partnership. Siemens will become a strategic partner of GSK in manufacturing automation and thus the preferred automation supplier for GSK production and R&D sites worldwide, including Vaccines.

This new agreement further develops the long standing successful relationship between both companies and helps GSK to refresh their global automation strategy. Dave Tudor, Vice President Primary Supply and leader of the Global Automation Steering Team of GSK, said: "I am delighted we have reached agreement to make Siemens a strategic partner. One of our objectives is to simplify and standardize the automation space by identifying a small number of systems and suppliers and this is the first step on our journey to achieving this. This will create a real win-win situation, not just for today, but for the long term, for GSK, Siemens and most importantly our patients."

Eckard Eberle, CEO of the Siemens Business Unit Process Automation, added: "Integrated automation and digitalization solutions are important levers for pharmaceutical companies to raise efficiency and productivity whilst ensuring safety and quality. As a reliable partner we will support GSK on this way by providing a unique integrated portfolio comprising hardware, software and services across the entire plant life cycle."

A detailed list of criteria has also been agreed between the two companies to ensure the relationship develops in the right way. These include executive sponsorship on both sides, transparency with bi-directional trust, behaviours that are not just financially driven, a joint determination to succeed and relationship innovation that adds value.

The partnership will provide a focus into process control, equipment control and building management systems within the manufacturing and R&D pilot plants of GlaxoSmithKline. Four main areas have been identified: Modular Manufacturing, Batch Sterile Facility Blue Print, Machine and Production Line Optimization and Manufacturing Blue Print for different Dosage forms.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Noise monitoring at ports.

Fully integrated solution with built in web server for unattended long & short term measurements provides live data 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

An increasing number of British ports (and indeed ports elsewhere!), including Felixstowe, Port of Tyne and Peterhead, are benefiting from high performance environmental and occupational health noise measurement instrumentation from Svantek. This includes the SV200 outdoor noise monitoring station which offers reliable, accurate and continuous operation in the harshest conditions.

A fully integrated solution for unattended long or short-term noise monitoring applications, Svantek’s weatherproof SV200 enables port operators to regularly monitor compliance with noise abatement procedures and regulatory requirements, as well as investigate enquiries or complaints from members of the public.

Small, lightweight and easy to install by a single person, Svantek’s flexible SV200 helps ports to assess the impact of sound levels from sources, such as horns, whistles, signals, terminal operations and logistics, on local communities.

Paul Rubens, Sales & Marketing Director at Svantek comments: “Svantek understands the complexities of monitoring noise in ports. By installing a permanent noise monitoring solution, such as Svantek’s SV200 that can capture sound levels in real time, port operators can gain a better understanding of existing noise levels and also track changes over time.

“As well as ensuring ports comply with environmental noise regulations, the SV200 can help operators minimise, mitigate or reduce noise from both essential processes and other sources.”

The SV200 has its own built-in web server that can continuously provide live, real time data, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to a computer or hand held device. It will send an email or text message if the noise levels go above a pre-set limit and measures and stores results suitable for automatic reports and detailed information for advanced post processing analysis.

Standard measurement functionality includes multi-profile data logging, real time 1/1 and 1/3-octave logging, audio event recording and statistical analysis. Measuring capabilities can be extended with real time audio streaming and weather condition monitoring. All results are securely stored on the built-in 16GB microSD card.

The reference direction is user selectable in the instrument configuration and a highly efficient windscreen reduces noise, even at high wind speeds. It features special rain protection and weatherproof housing protects the SV200 noise monitoring station against extreme weather conditions while fulfilling IEC 61672 Class 1 accuracy.

Weather conditions have a significant influence on noise measurements so the SV200 is equipped with an interface for meteo sensors. With the optional SV205 weather station, the SV200 can measure wind speed, wind direction, temperature, humidity, ambient pressure and rain. Weather data is stored in parallel to the noise measurements.

Svantek’s SV200 features internal heating and rugged dual layer housing with natural airflow enabling it operate from -30°C up to +60°C and humidity up to 100% RH. It has a 2.45 Ah internal Li-Ion battery and interface for connecting solar panels. A waterproof mains adapter for charging the batter and powering the station is also included.

The SV200 features an ‘all-in-one’ design making it suitable for portable, mobile and permanent noise monitoring installations. This means it can also be moved from one location to another whilst still being able to provide information as often as required. A mounting tool for mast or stand is included in the standard package.

High-power Line passive harmonic filters enclosed!

By introducing IP23 and IP54 cabinet versions of the high-power passive harmonic filters, Schaffner enables an easier installation, wiring and commissioning of the high-end filters in portfolio for AC or DC motor drive applications.

The new filter series with designations FN 341X-XXX-99-E2 (IP23) and FN 341X-XXX-99-E5 (IP54) are ready to use filters wired and installed in a cabinet enclosure which best fits the application and environment.

Both new series are intended for harmonic mitigation of three-phase installations featuring diode or thyristor bridge interfaces, with target THDi of < 5% in presence of a DC-link inductor. Furthermore, the filters reduce both rectifier peak current and RMS input current and the grid current is back to its sinusoidal shape. Lower electrical losses and improved power factor allow for a more efficient utilization of electrical system capacity.

The cabinet filters enable a quick installation without the need of thorough system analysis and the involvement of specialists. The high performance is guaranteed not only at full load, but a power factor close to unity is possible even under demanding partial load operation. Without DC-link choke installed, a THDi of < 15% can be achieved at de-rated power.

The FN 341X-XXX-99-E2 and FN 341X-XXX-99-E5 ECOsine® filters are available with standard ratings from 200 to 400kW for 380-500VAC, 50Hz grids and from 300 to 500HP for 380-480VAC, 60Hz grids. All filters are UL-listed, CE-marked and RoHS compliant. They are particularly suitable for AC and DC motor drives, battery chargers and other power electronics applications with 6-pulse input rectifiers.

PXI and PCI Precision Programmable Resistors.

Pickering Interfaces is expanding its range of PXI and PCI Programmable Resistors used for high-density resistor simulation.

Pickering’s existing PXI High-Density Precision Programmable Resistor Module (model 40-297) and PCI High-Density Precision Programmable Resistor Card (model 50-297) have been expanded to increase the configurations offered from 42 to 50 models per platform. Each version offers users the choice of resistor channel count, resistance range and the resistance setting resolution. Depending on the version, the resolution is from 0.125Ω to 2Ω and resistor channel counts from 3 to 18, basic accuracy is 0.2% ± resolution.

All of these PXI and PCI programmable resistors are programmed by the use of resistance calls to the software driver. The driver uses calibration data from the module to give the best setting available to the user and can also return to the user the theoretical value of the actual resistance set. Drivers support all popular Windows versions, including Windows 10. Application software supporting temperature to resistance conversion for popular RTD sensors is available on Pickering’s website.
By offering the programmable resistors in different form/factors with the same options Pickering Interfaces continues to promote its test solutions in multiple platforms, allowing the user to choose the most appropriate platform for their test system.

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