Friday, October 23, 2015

Appointment aids noise & vibration instrumentation specialist’s ambitious growth strategy.

Further underlining its commitment to an ambitious growth strategy AcSoft Group, which comprises noise and vibration instrumentation and software specialists, Svantek, GRAS Sound & Vibration UK Ltd and AcSoft Ltd, has announced the promotion of its former Sales & Marketing Manager, Paul Rubens, to the newly created position of General Manager.

Paul Rubens
In his new position, Paul will continue to oversee the sales & marketing function, whilst taking a more hands-on role in the day-to-day management of AcSoft Group. His primary task will be to further strengthen the company’s presence and growth prospects in British occupational health, environmental, aerospace and automotive industries in particular.

Having worked in the noise and vibration industry for many years, Paul has built extensive management experience and in depth knowledge of the health, safety and environmental technology markets across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Prior to joining AcSoft Group, he spent ten years as Managing Director of a global monitoring instrumentation company. Paul also brings extensive experience of helping businesses target new markets and has a proven track record in setting up subsidiaries.

John Shelton, Managing Director of AcSoft Group comments: “The new General Manager role will be key to the continued success of the Group and I have every confidence Paul is the right person for the job. His background in business strategy development and implementation together with plenty of drive and enthusiasm will unquestionably work to enhance our offering to customers with a focus on delivering on our promises of innovation and service.”

Talking about his new role, Paul says: “I’m delighted to accept this new role – the scope and potential for each of the businesses within the AcSoft Group presents an exciting challenge. As well as being much more visible across the Group on a day to day basis, I will be focused on reviewing our management and operating processes to ensure they are geared for further growth. We are backed by a great team and it will remain essential that we have the right people in the right positions and with the right attitude.”

Transmitters to analysers!

Michell Instruments has announced the release of four kits which will enable users to upgrade their existing general purpose XTP601 oxygen and XTC601 binary gas transmitters into fully-functioning analysers with the minimum of fuss and at a fraction of the cost of buying a new unit.

Although the XTC and XTP601 series transmitters are both cost-effective and reliable, Michell discovered that some customers realised that they actually needed the added functionality of an analyser. The kits were developed to assist them to upgrade their units in the field and obtain the desired functionality.

Whilst sharing the same specifications for range, accuracy and reliability as the transmitters, the thermo-paramagnetic XTP and binary gas XTC analyzers incorporate a human machine interface (HMI), which allows users to view, interrogate, change settings and calibrate the unit in-situ. This is all available via the display and “through the glass” capacitance buttons on the front of the unit making operation and interrogation of the units easy to carry out.

The upgrade kits are available for the general purpose (non-hazardous area) versions of the transmitters. The kits contain everything that is needed for a properly trained and competent technician to convert the transmitter easily in less than half an hour and without the need for specialist tools.

• Michell products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Low power proportional valve.

ASCO Numatics, part of Emerson, has a new member in its already successful family of Sentronic proportional valves.

With power consumption rated at <4 watt, Sentronic LP is an energy efficient solution for a wide range of applications, including those in the food and beverage industry, packaging operations, bottle filling and leak testing, and automotive manufacturing operations.

Sentronic LP provides an economical solution for those customers with relatively simple technical requirements, while still maintaining the same high standards of efficiency and reliability associated with the entire ASCO Numatics product line. This new product offers a modular and compact footprint, and is very easy to set up, making it a logical alternative to the more complex control valves currently on the market. It is available in size DN4 (G 1/4) flange mount and inline versions, both of which use a 5-pin M12 connector, and consumes less than 4 watts of power, one of the best ratings in the industry.

Hysteresis is also low at less than 2 percent —while excellent linearity and repeatability levels are maintained. Up to 10 valves can be mounted on a single flange-style mounting plate (opt.), all with the same pressure supply. The product also offers advanced software capabilities with its intelligent DAS software and user definable, password protected control parameters.

Sentronic LP is an efficient, economical option for optimised pressure regulation across a broad range of applications. Despite its small size, it is rated at 470 NI/min flow, and has an adjustable pressure range from 0-3 bar, 0-6 bar or 0-10 bar. Predictable pressure is always delivered, even under demanding flow rates, extended duty cycles, long hold times, and complete loss of electrical power. Safety and high performance is assured with all ASCO Numatics products, and Sentronic LP is no exception.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Custom-specific interconnection solutions globally!

Harting has launched Harting Customised Solutions (HCS), a global operation for producing custom-specific interconnection solutions.

The HCS operation is part of a new global business unit, which Harting has established to perform the central development and marketing of customised solutions relating to Harting's Connectivity & Networks operation.

The British operation of Harting Customised Solutions, based in Northampton (GB), will function 24 hours per day from Monday through to Friday. Custom configurations include kits of parts, I/O assemblies, prewired cables, enclosures, hood-to-hood assemblies, bulkhead assemblies, and complete box builds.

For customised cable assemblies, Harting is bringing together its market leading connectors with expert local and global production capabilities. As a result, it is able to produce assemblies carrying any combination of power, control signals, embedded processor I/O, Ethernet communications, and data pulses.

In addition, the facility offers a range of services using advanced equipment including; AC/DC testing, Pull testing, bespoke testing reporting, crimping and fibre optic processing services.

"This new operation complements our existing HIS (Harting Integrated Solutions) contract manufacturing facility for boards and backplanes, and has been made possible through our considerable investment in resources at the Northampton site, including advanced computer-aided design and automated manufacturing systems", says Peter Hannon, Managing Director of Harting Ltd.

Three product development sites are world’s first to reach important industry benchmark.

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation, has received an ISASecure Security Development Lifecycle Assurance (SDLA) conformance certificate from exida, LLC, an ISASecure ISO 17065 accredited certification body. 

This first-of-its-kind certificate applies to Schneider Electric’s Process Automation business product development centers in Foxboro, Mass., Worthing, U.K., and Hyderabad, India. It is based on international cybersecurity standards and was developed to accelerate industry-wide cybersecurity improvement for industrial automation and control systems (IACS).

“The ISASecure SDLA certification demonstrates Schneider Electric’s long-standing commitment to secure industrial automation and control systems, and it sets a major benchmark for the industry as a whole,” said Andre Ristaino, Managing Director of the ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI).

“We are proud to lead the way. Being the world’s first IACS provider to achieve this important benchmark is a testament to our commitment to delivering control and safety solutions that minimize system vulnerabilities and are resilient to cybersecurity threats,” said Raja Macha, vice president, research and development for Schneider Electric’s Process Automation business. “Addressing cybersecurity threats is a collaborative effort, however, so Schneider Electric continues to join forces with accredited certification and assessment bodies—like ISASecure and exida—to meet continuous cybersecurity demands.”

Cybersecurity is fundamental to Schneider Electric’s principles of helping its customers achieve more with fewer resources in a more connected world.

“The three certified Schneider Electric sites show they use a product development lifecycle in which cybersecurity considerations in all phases are part of their culture, demonstrating an institutionalized commitment to securing industrial automation and control systems,” said Chris O’Brien, principle partner at exida, an ISO 17065 certification body that is accredited by ANSI/ANAB to offer security certification of automation products per the ISASecure IACS Cybersecurity Assurance program.

Gas detection equipment strenthens marketing in France & Italy.

As part of a long term growth strategy to further expand its operations in Europe, leading manufacturer of gas detection instrumentation for occupational health and environmental monitoring, Ion Science has opened an office in Italy in conjunction with existing partner in the country, LabService Analytica. 

The company has also appointed Xavier Zinsch as Territory Manager for France.

This move represents a logical next step given Ion Science’s rapid expansion and growing customer base in both countries.  The new Italian office has been established in partnership with LabService, Ion Science’s long-standing and highly successful Bologna-based distributor.

“Our expansion in Europe is a major development for the company. Although we have already been doing a meaningful amount of work in Italy and France, this latest initiative will enable us to better serve our customers in these key territories and help to further build our business,” explains Duncan Johns, Managing Director at Ion Science.

Spearheading Ion Science’s efforts in Italy will be Massimo Albertazzi and Dr Ilaria Tramelli, both formerly from LabService.

Ilaria comments: “We are very excited to have this opportunity to lead Ion Science’s expansion into the Italian market. It had recently become apparent that customers would prefer to interact directly with Ion Science as a specialist manufacturer, rather than via a distributor.
“We are confident that the company’s advanced gas detection instrumentation, along with our ability to develop highly successful sales and support strategies, will enable us to provide significant value to businesses in the industrial hygiene, occupational safety and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) monitoring sectors.
“Indoor air pollution in particular has been recognised as a significant health issue on a global scale. For this reason, we believe that Ion Science Italy will be a new and highly effective presence for the Italian market.” 

Both Ion Science Italy and Xavier will sell and support the full Ion Science portfolio of cutting edge products, including the popular and well proven handheld Tiger PID for reliable and accurate monitoring of VOCs; newly launched TigerLT entry level PID, which offers worldwide Intrinsic Safety (IS) certification for use in potentially explosive atmospheres; TVOC fixed PID detector; Mercury Vapour Indicator (MVI) and range of GasCheck gas leak detectors.

A new dimension in vibration Measurement.

Expert Vibro is a new measurement device, from Delphin Technology, for the acquisition of transient signals and vibrations. Vibration measurement is made easy with Expert Vibro. Intuitive configuration means fast implementation and short commissioning times.

The compact Expert Vibro is equipped with 16 synchronous analog inputs with sampling rates of up to 50kHz per channel. A 24-bit A/D converter delivers high-precision measurement. Users are able to switch the analog inputs between voltage, IEPE and shaft vibration measurement. Integrated comparators and digital inputs enable flexible triggering. Measurement data is monitored "on the fly" with the switching in milliseconds of up to 8 digital outputs.

Expert Vibro can be connected to PCs via LAN or USB. Optional WLAN, UMTS or LTE modules are available for standalone operation. Antennae can be connected via SMA sockets. Two PROFIBUS interfaces are available as well as Modbus TCP for fieldbus connections. Multiple Expert Vibro devices can be synchronized to process vibration data from many channels.

Characteristic values can be determined from time signals and spectra. Spectra are computed online (FFT) and recorded along with time signals and characteristic values. Expert Vibro has a built-in data storage capability to enable independent operation. Versatile software channels enable Expert Vibro to be used for complex analysis and monitoring tasks. The Expert Vibro's touchdisplay shows important configuration or measurement data.

Transducer BTL with real-time Ethernet interfaces.

The new transducers in rod and profile housings with an Ethernet interface from Balluff offer multiple advantages for machine manufacturers and operators with respect to startup and machine output. The standardized communication protocols and automatic address assignment simplify integration of the transducer into the controller and the plant network. Because of this, a complex programming process is no longer necessary. This leads to a shortened machine startup time, low implementation costs and reduces fault sources simultaneously.

The 4 diagnostic LEDs on the sensor head can check both the sensor status and the status of the Ethernet connection. This supports easy maintenance and quick service.

The transducer is ideally suited for use in advanced applications (those involving controlled axes, for example) due to synchronous, extremely fast and secure real-time data transmission and the precise, highly dynamic position measurement with 1 µm resolution. This advantage contributes to a higher machine output and improved production quality. The transducers of the BTL7 series can detect and process up to 16 position encoders. Two values can be output for each position encoder: the position and the speed. Because of this, a single measurement can yield up to 32 measured values.

Selectable real-time Ethernet interfaces include Profinet IRT, EtherCAT and Varan. The product portfolio includes a total of four designs: the classic rod housing for installation in the cylinder and three profile versions for flexible mounting on a machine. The profiles are divided into a square 36x36 mm design, an extremely flat profile with an overall height of 21 mm and a round profile 30 mm in diameter.

The transducers with real-time Ethernet interfaces can be used in any setting in which high control dynamics and accuracy are required. This includes areas of material processing, the plastics industry, reshaping technology and the food industry.

Acquisition aids monitoring for critical power transmission & distribution equipment.

Emerson has acquired IntelliSAW Inc., a leading provider of systems that protect electric power transmission and distribution equipment by measuring and monitoring temperature, humidity, and partial discharge using advanced sensor and analytic technologies.

Tom Moser - Emerson
The IntelliSAW suite of predictive maintenance, continuous monitoring systems enable users to reduce maintenance costs and increase quality of service. The systems also increase personnel safety and protect equipment from significant damage.

“Continuous, reliable power is essential to our customers’ businesses, with outages potentially costing millions of dollars of lost production per day,” said Tom Moser, group vice president for Emerson Process Management’s measurement and analytical technologies. “Continuous and passive wireless monitoring allows users to safely monitor the health of critical power assets to avoid unplanned downtime, allowing for increased uptime and revenue generation.”

The IntelliSAW product line will become part of Emerson’s Rosemount™ portfolio of measurement and analytical technologies, which includes Pervasive Sensing™ applications that give customers a more complete view of their operations and facilities. The acquisition strengthens customers’ ability to make better business decisions about their electric distribution systems.

IntelliSAW wireless monitoring capabilities consist of SAW-based temperature sensing, RF-based partial discharge detection, and humidity monitoring instruments along with an advanced human-machine interface. A suite of software tools seamlessly integrates the information into the user’s asset management infrastructure, including standard historians and alarm systems.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Office supports expanding BioHub.

Autoscribe Informatics celebrated the opening of a new office facility in Britain this month. Based in Alderley Park in Cheshire the office will supply and support laboratory and business information systems management to customers across the north of the country.

Established by AstraZeneca the BioHub in Alderley Park acts as a bioscience incubator for over 100 pharmaceutical and life science Companies. It allows them to take advantage of the world class facilities at Alderley Park including laboratories with access to high end equipment through AstraZeneca, as well as on-site business support and staff facilities including a gym and restaurant.

“Our new northern office in Alderley Park allows us to better serve our expanding list of Laboratory Informatics Management System (LIMS) customers across the UK. It’s exciting to be part of the vibrant and fast expanding ecosystem of businesses in the Biohub, all of which will require laboratory management solutions as their businesses expand” said John Boother, Managing Director of Autoscribe Informatics. “Our Matrix Gemini LIMS solution is ideal for businesses in the Biohub as it easily scales from a single seat to global deployment, while its legendary configurability enables it to be easily adapted to suit changing business needs”.

New generation alternators.

Two new products from Leroy-Somer Electric Power Generation  (Emerson) will renew the brand offering in the 180-1000 kVA power range.

Their LSA 46.3 180 - 365 kVA (400V - 50Hz) generator features an improved power density over its predecessor, the LSA 46.2. The bulk of the body has been significantly reduced thanks to an innovative and improved air cooling system, and an integration of the excitation system in the main body of the machine. The new design of the connection box allows for a quicker wiring of the machine and easier access to key electronics for maintenance.

LSA 49.3
The LSA 49.3 660 – 1000 kVA (400V - 50Hz) alternator also benefits from a reduced footprint, with enhanced electromechanical performances. The electrical performances of the LSA 49.3 have also been increased, with an efficiency now up to 95% and a high motor starting capability. The LSA 49.3 terminal box has been optimized for faster deployment and to provide a better support to the latest generation of digital regulators.

“The launch of these new products demonstrates our continuous commitment to innovation and growth.” said Xavier Trenchant, President of the Electric Power Generation division “In a challenging economic environment, we continue to invest to better anticipate our customers’ expectations. This means that our products are continuously improving to deliver top-of-the-range performances, offering reliable, cost-efficient solutions for demanding applications. We have also recently extended our offering to provide a competitive solution on less demanding applications. Consequently, we do provide the best value proposition to our customers across all power ranges and types of applications, keeping our historical focus on quality and services.”

The LSA 46.3 and LSA 49.3 are optimized for continuous and demanding applications, including marine, power plants, cogeneration, rental or critical standby in commercial and industrial premises.
The Leroy-Somer LSA 46.3 and LSA 49.3 will be available to order starting Q3 2015.

Process instrumentation selection tool.

Yokogawa Corporation of America announced the availability of its new online Process Instrumentation Selection Tool. Collaborative and user-friendly, the Selection Tool serves as a guide for customers and partners to use in selecting world-class instrumentation for their applications.

The Yokogawa Process Instrumentation Selection Tool is available in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“We are excited to launch the new Process Instrumentation Selection Tool and empower our customers by simplifying the selection process,” says Aaron Lee, Yokogawa Product Manager. “Users have access to a wealth of in-depth information that will assist them in making the correct product decision. Now, customers can focus on what is important- keeping the plant and the process running.”

The Selection Tool was developed to allow quick and easy filtration of Yokogawa products and assist customers in narrowing down the best-fit solution using the entry results. Users can now focus their attention on the most relevant and helpful solution based on the questions they have answered.

Through the Selection Tool, users are asked a series of basic questions relating to the products they are seeking. After choosing a geographical location and the measurement, parameter, or instrumentation of interest, the tool displays matching results and leads the user to the product-specific webpage where more information is available. There is also the option to contact a Yokogawa sales representative for users who wish to request a quote. To enhance user experience and interest, the tool provides scrolling suggestions for Yokogawa’s latest webinars, application notes, technical documents, how-to-videos, and white papers.

Screw-in test probe for cable harness testing.

The new P53/G from Peak Test Services is a series of screw-in threaded test probes designed for use in test modules for cable harness testing.

The new compact probe has a total length of only 25.2 mm inclusive of receptacle. It is designed for use at 2.54 mm centres, has a continuity resistance of 20 milliohms, and operates at currents up to 5 A. Full travel distance is 4.5 mm, working travel distance is 3.5 mm, and working travel spring force is 1.5 N.

Various head styles and diameters are available. Head styles include concave, headless chisel, headless dome, serrated and spear.

A receptacle is also available, along with the relevant screwing tools. The receptacle is fitted with a knurl to give better fixing inside the drilling and anti-twist protection.

The new probes are available in Britain and Ireland direct from Peak Test Services and via a range of appointed distributors worldwide.

Kiosks use PCT™ technology.

The IP65 rated NOMYU kiosk is perfect for high and low temperatures and ideal for outdoor and indoor multimedia kiosk applications

Zytronic, manufacturer and developer of advanced, rugged Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™) touch screens announces that its 46-inch multi-touch and 42-inch dual-touch sensors have been deployed in the new NOMYU multimedia kiosk (advertising video) from PARTTEAM GROUP & OEMKIOSKS. This versatile, interactive kiosk was developed with seamless operation, reliability and low maintenance costs in mind.

NOMYU kiosks can operate in all-kinds of weather, temperatures and light conditions, indoors and outdoors, ideally suited for applications including digital signage, wayfinding and infotainment. The kiosks are rated to IP65 to protect against dust and moisture, and feature optional air conditioning units. The multi-touch and dual-touch sensors supplied by Zytronic will withstand temperatures from -20 degrees C to up to +55 degrees C, while maintaining a smooth touch response. The 4 mm thermally toughened glass gives protection against rain and dust while the anti-glare treatment and a light transmission of ~ 90% will support readability in high and low ambient light conditions.

Zytronic’s touch sensors are drift-free and require no recalibration, consequently lowering maintenance time and cost while offering a fast, accurate response time of less than 10ms. The ZYBRID® PCT touch sensors are controlled by PARTTEAM’s in-built electronic control unit (ECU). It facilitates remote web control and assures that system is operational 24/7.

“Our advanced touch technology coupled with PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS’s design competence provides a cutting-edge kiosk experience with ultra-responsive navigation, and an intuitive user interface while also delivering a clear ROI to service providers,” said Ian Crosby, Sales and Marketing Director, Zytronic.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Safety integrity level for gas detectors.

The MX 43 controller awarded SIL 1 certification.

Oldham believes that no gas detection controller should be designed that does not take functional safety standards into consideration.Although there is no legal requirement that gas detection systems to be certified to or above a SIL 1 performance level (Safety Integrity Level - according to IEC/EN 61508 and EN 50402 functional safety standards), the fact remains that these systems are life safety devices.

Because of their unwavering insistence on the safety and reliability of our detection controllers, and the broad range of applications in which they are used, we adhere to the strictest functional safety standards. Whether the application presents an elevated risk of explosion and serious consequences to employee safety, or involves toxic gas detection in high risk areas such as water treatment facilities, Oldham guarantees the one of the most effective and safest solutions for your gas detection requirements.

Multi-channel data-acquisition.

Three new modules enhance performance and flexibility of Yokogawa’s DL850E/DL850EV ScopeCorder family of portable multi-channel data-acquisition recorders

Three new products have been added to the range of plug-in measurement modules for Yokogawa’s DL850E/DL850EV ScopeCorder family of family of portable multi-channel data-acquisition recorders, bringing the total number of modules available to 19.

The new units are the 720211 high-speed (100 MS/s) 12-bit isolation module, the 720243 SENT monitor module (available only for the DL850EV Vehicle Edition ScopeCorder) and the 720254 4-channel 1 MS/s 16-bit isolation module. Together, they enhance the performance and versatility of the ScopeCorder family in applications including power systems, transportation and mechatronics.

With the 720211 high-speed 100 MS/s 12-bit isolation module, up to eight units can be installed in a DL850E or DL850EV ScopeCorder, compared with a maximum of four for earlier units. This means that 100 MS/s, 12-bit, 1 kV isolation inputs will be available for up to 16 channels in a DL850E/DL850EV unit using the 720211 module.

Applications for the 720211 module are in the electric power and energy sectors, including the testing and evaluation of inverter, motor and power devices with high speed, high resolution and high voltage. Multichannel measurements are becoming a fundamental requirement for the above applications in order for advanced control to be achieved.

The 720243 SENT monitor module enables the monitoring of SENT (Single Edge Nibble Transmission) protocol communications, displaying the data trend as an analogue waveform in the same way that existing CAN and LIN bus monitor modules do. In addition to data trend monitoring, the new module will also trigger on SENT transmissions.

The SAE J2716 SENT protocol is a point-to-point scheme for transmitting signal values from a sensor to a controller. It is intended to allow for high-resolution digital data transmission with a lower system cost than standard serial data solutions for in-vehicle data transmission. Typical applications include data communication between air flow sensors and ECUs.

Up to four 720243 modules (providing eight ports of SENT transmissions) can be installed in a DL850EV. Alternatively, two units can be installed together with either a 720240 (CAN) or 720241 (CAN-LIN) module.

Applications for the 720243 module include development and production testing for SENT applications.

The 720254 4-channel 1 MS/s 16-bit isolation module incorporates four isolated BNC inputs. By installing eight of these modules in a DL850E/EV, a total of 32 channels can be achieved in a stand-alone measurement system. In addition to increasing the number of channels that can be installed in a single mainframe, it also offers increased flexibility to the user in terms of the variety of modules that can be installed.

Each isolated BNC input has a maximum isolation voltage of 600 V (DC + AC peak) when combined with a 702902(10:1) or 701947(100:1) probe. Maximum allowable common mode voltage is 300 V RMS (CAT II).

The 720254 is suited to a wide range of multi-channel measurement applications, but particularly for isolated high-voltage measurements and the long-term monitoring of power generators or multi-output power supplies. It is also ideally suited to the dynamic analysis of ECUs and/or powertrains.

Like existing members of Yokogawa’s ScopeCorder family, the DL850E combines features from a high-performance digital oscilloscope and a multi-channel data-acquisition recorder. It can capture and analyse both transient events and trends over time periods from milliseconds up to 200 days, storing acquired data in the large acquisition memory, the internal hard disk and/or an external PC hard disk.

Flexible modular inputs enable the DL850E to combine measurements of electrical signals, physical parameters from sensors, and data from CAN/LIN serial buses, giving engineers a thorough insight into any application by synchronising the measurement of different types of electrical and physical signals. Individually isolated and shielded input channels provide high resolution and high sample rates, while Yokogawa’s unique “dual capture” feature allows transient signals to be captured during long-term measurements by recording at two different sampling rates.

The DL850E and DL850EV ScopeCorders are equipped with a large and fast acquisition memory, allowing storage of up to 2 gigapoints of data and providing high sample rates of up to 100 MS/s on multiple channels simultaneously. Yokogawa’s unique history memory function allows users to quickly isolate and examine individual waveform records for detailed analysis.

The ScopeCorder DE850EV Vehicle Edition is designed for engineers working in the automotive and railway industries, combining measurements of electrical signals, physical performance parameters acquired by sensors, and CAN- or LIN-bus data transmitted by the powertrain management system.

A DC power option allows the DL850EV to be used in a vehicle, with power being supplied by the vehicle’s DC battery. The DC power option allows AC and DC power supplies to be used together to ensure a highly reliable power source. If the AC power goes down, the DL850V instantly switches to a DC input without interrupting the measurement.

The quality and reliability of the DL850E and DL850EV ScopeCorders are supported by a standard 3-year warranty.

Measurement devices for optical fibres.

Optical fibres infiltrate deeper and deeper into access networks – flexible test solutions are required to quickly qualify installations and identify disturbances. 

Laser Components provides the new SmartOTDR from Viavi: an inexpensive and easy-to-operate handheld unit that is also suited for inexperienced technicians.

The SmartOTDR combines all important test options for optical fibres into one unit, including OTDR measurements, connector surface analyses, attenuation measurements, and visual fault locators.

Cloud-based connection functions make it easier to store and manage measurement results and facilitate quick access to said results, no matter where you are in the network.

The light, ultra-compact design and extended battery life of up to 20 hours increase the SmartOTDR’s efficiency in field applications. The SmartOTDR is available in versions with one, two, or three wavelengths (1310 nm, 1310/1550 nm, or 1310/1550/1625 nm).

Cybersecurity accreditation in Germany.

Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS), the accreditation body for certification bodies in Germany, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the ISA Security Compliance Insititue (ISCI) to provide accreditation for Germany-based ISCI ISASecure certification bodies.

All conformity assessment bodies (CB) for the ISCI ISASecure® industrial automation and control systems (IACS) conformity assessment (CA) scheme must meet ISO/IEC 17065 and ISO/IEC 17025 requirements in addition to the ISASecure requirements for technical readiness.

The ISASecure CBs are independently assessed by ISO/IEC 17011 (EN 45011) accreditation bodies (AB) for initial accreditation and are audited annually by the AB to ensure that the CB maintains qualifications for participation in the ISASecure CA scheme.

“Establishing the ISASecure IACS certification as an ISO/IEC 17065 conformance scheme ensures that the accredited CBs providing ISASecure certifications are qualified for assessing complex industrial control systems, are credible, and have no conflicts of interest,” stated Andre Ristaino, ISCI managing director. “In addition, through the EA, ILAC, and IAF multilateral recognition arrangements among the accredited CBs, the ISASecure certificates of conformance are formally recognized by signatory labs in jurisdictions around the globe.”

The ISASecure CA scheme is a standards-based certification that assesses the cybersecurity of IACS products and systems to the IEC 62443 international standards governing control systems cybersecurity.

Transparency in the blogosphere!

Though not strictly instrumentation we though this event might interest our visitors. Last March “Rock the Blog” at the CeBIT Global Conferences in Hannover (D) celebrated a tremendous debut. Now this event “of, by and for bloggers” is hitting the road with a satellite event in Berlin.

The new satellite event – which takes place on the evening of 17 November 2015 in Berlin – has an impressive list of speakers, including Richard Gutjahr, Klaus Eck and Markus Beckedahl, discussing the topic of “Transparency as a Raw Ingredient in Digital Transformation”.

• Markus Beckedahl is one of Germany’s best-known Internet activists and Editor in Chief of Last July the German Attorney General conducted an investigation against him on the grounds of treason. The investigation was called off in August, as Beckedahl continues his fight for citizens’ basic rights in the Digital Age.

• Moderator, journalist and blogger Richard Gutjahr has been giving a lot of thought to the issue of quality online journalism for years. Among other things, he is one of Germany’s most active journalists on snapchat. Gutjahr also moderated an interactive TV show – “Supernerds”, broadcast by the WDR television network – devoted to the topic of digital monitoring.

• Klaus Eck, publisher of and head of the Eck Consulting Group, is an expert on content marketing and reputation management. In his book, “Transparent und glaubwürdig” (Transparent and Credible), he analyses how companies and people can survive in a transparent society. According to Eck, any brand can leave a positive imprint on the Web by skillfully employing social media and blogs.

The venue for “Rock the Blog Satellite” is the Games Science Center in Berlin (Kreuzberg district). The panel discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. Beginning around 7:30 p.m. a networking session including drinks and snacks will take place in Berlin’s ZukunftsMuseum. Admission costs €20.

• “Rock the Blog” will be back at CeBIT 2016 – once again as a full-day event on Friday, 18 March, within the scope of the CeBIT Global Conferences in Hall 8.

Multiple options for advanced VOC detector.

Ashtead Technology has boosted its fleet of rental instruments with the advanced MiniRAE 3000. However, Regional Sales Manager Josh Thomas says: “Many of our customers have a frequent requirement to measure VOCs, so we also offer this instrument for sale.

“Significant investments have been made in the training and equipment required for instrument service, repair and calibration, and reduced rental rates are available while this work is being undertaken. This service capability, coupled with replacement instruments, is very popular with both our sales and rental customers.”

The MiniRAE 2000 has now been discontinued and any remaining instruments are being sold off as ex-rental stock, making way for the the MiniRAE 3000 which offers a range of new features. For example, response time is just 3 seconds, it has an improved auto-cleaning Photoionisation Detector (PID), an extended range of 0.1 -15,000ppm, and built-in correction factors to enable the measurement of over 200 compounds. Readings can be stored in an enormous on-board memory; capable of logging data for up to 6 months at 1-minute intervals.

With new larger buttons, a built-in flashlight and IP67 rating, the instrument is extremely rugged and well suited to a wide variety of applications including leak detection, fenceline monitoring, occupational safety, contaminated land, emergency response and arson investigation.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Metal Housed connectors.

Following the considerable success of Cliff Electronics’ recently introduced moulded plastic Digital Feed-Through connector series, a complimentary range of Metal Housed  versions offering more robust performance for industrial and instrumentation applications, is now available.

John Hall, General Manager of Cliff Electronics, comments; “We are breaking new ground on price and performance with our FT series of feed-through digital XDR connectors. We are offering our customers a low cost, highly flexible and customisable solution for systems integration utilising digital connectors using the same, industry standard, XLR connector cut-out already extensively used for audio and control connections greatly simplifying control panel design and manufacture”

All versions of these new Metal Feed-Through connectors feature a robust nickel plated die cast mounting fascia reinforcing the high quality performance and enhancing the appearance of this new range for panel designers.

All versions, Metal and Plastic, share the same features and provide a complete range of very cost effective audio, data, and fibre connectors, all of which may be front or rear mounted into industry standard 24mm XLR connector mounting holes. The new FT Series are simple to mount into any panel designed to accept XLR connectors including instrument, control and rack panels, wall-plates, etc. simplifying the panel design and manufacture.

The Cliff Electronics FT Series offers true feed-through connection, allowing standard cabling to be used to connect at both front and rear, eliminating the need to solder or terminate the connections and simplifying and speeding up assembly.

The original plastic Cliff FT series has already found widespread use in a multitude of industrial and system integration applications for custom I/O solutions. Typically they have been utilised in broadcast, AV installations, systems integration, home theatre, automation, solar power and a very wide range of industrial applications.

Current connection options include USB 2.0 and 3.0, LC and SC fibre (Duplex and Simplex), RJ45 in both Cat6 and Cat5e (shielded and unshielded), USB “gender” changers, Toslink, RCA Phono, HDMI and blanking plates. Further options will be introduced throughout 2015 including 1RU and 2RU 19” rack panels and wall-plates to simplify customised connectivity solutions.

For ease of assembly the Cliff FT Series are available with standard or countersunk mounting holes. Bezels are available in 7 colours to identify the function of FT connectors when fitted to a control panel.

VOC monitor achieves Korean certification.

In an on-going bid for ambitious global growth via its expanding distributor network and widespread overseas offices, Ion Science The well-proven Tiger handheld VOC (volatile organic compound) monitor from Ion Science,  has achieved Korean certification for use in potentially hazardous environments in the East Asian country.

At the beginning of last year, Korea mandated that instrumentation needed to be accredited by its own authoritative body before being used in explosive or hazardous zones within the country.

With the aid of Ion Science’s Korean distributor, Senko, both the Tiger photoionisation detector (PID) and its existing ATEX certification were analysed to determine that the required standard had been met and subsequently approved as safe for use in areas where potentially explosive concentrations of gas, vapour, mist or dust may occur.

Duncan Johns, Managing Director at Ion Science comments: “Being granted Korean certification for the Tiger is great news for Ion Science’s global growth strategy. Having a large and thriving industrial manufacturing industry makes Korea a very important market for us. The intrinsically safe (IS) Tiger is particularly ideal for the country’s semi-conductor, automotive, steel, environmental monitoring, refining and petrochemical markets.
“Ensuring the Tiger is IS protected and properly certified by the Korean authorities means the product can now be marketed in the all-important East Asia market. It will help open up previously untapped opportunities and we are looking forward to this latest accreditation having a positive impact on sales going forward.”

Ion Science’s robust and reliable Tiger boasts an anti-humidity and contamination design for optimum performance in the field. In fact, it has been independently verified as being the best performing PID, providing the most stable, repeatable readings, when tested against competing instruments in humid and contaminated conditions.

Providing a dynamic detection range of one parts per billion (ppb) to 20,000 parts per million (ppm), the Tiger offers the widest measurement range of any other VOC instrument on the market.

Ready to use, straight out of the box, the instrument requires no complicated set up procedures via a PC to perform basic functions and provides the best available VOC detection and software features available.

Ion Science’s Tiger also has the fastest response time on the market of just two seconds and can be connected directly to a PC via the USB offering extremely fast data download capabilities.

It has been designed for the safe replacement of batteries in hazardous environments and meets ATEX, IECEx, UL and CSA standards.

Free offer for Voltage, Continuity and Current Tester!

Until 31st December 2015, Fluke is offering a choice of one from three free products when a customer purchases a Fluke T5-600 or T5-1000 Voltage, Continuity and Current Tester. The free products are a Fluke H5 Electrical Tester Holster, a Fluke CAMO-37 Camouflage Carrying Case or a Fluke 2AC VoltAlert™ Voltage Detector.

The Fluke T5 Electrical Tester measures voltage, current and resistance and tests continuity, all in a single slim and compact package. The user simply selects volts, ohms or current and the tester displays the measurement on the clear digital display, or beeps when successful continuity is checked. The OpenJaw™ technology body ensures easy and safe measurement of AC currents up to 100A without breaking the circuit. The models measure up to 600V AC/DC (T5-600) and 1000V AC/DC (T5-1000), with 600V Category III (T5-600) or 1000V CAT III / 600V CAT IV (T5-1000) safety ratings. Detachable SlimReach™ test probes are customised for national electrical standards. A sleep mode ensures battery conservation.

The free products are the Fluke H5 Holster with belt loop, which stows the T5 with test probes and leads for rapid access; or the zipped storage Fluke CAMO-37 Camouflage Case with belt loop, which holds the T5, leads and probes; or the Fluke 2AC VoltAlert™ non-contact voltage tester with a tip which glows red within close proximity of an outlet, terminal strip, or power lead when voltage is present.

Information and industrial automation technologies for oil refineries!

Yokogawa Solution Service Corporation - the company’s control business in Japan - and Cisco Systems G.K. are to provide a new solution for oil refineries that makes use of their respective information and industrial automation technologies. This platform integrates production, quality, progress control, and other information technologies with the control systems that are used to monitor and control production processes in real time, ensuring that facilities can be efficiently rebuilt and modified. It also improves the efficiency of corporate management by making it easier for information to be accessed by information management systems.

As a result of a review of Japanese national energy policy, a new law known as the Sophisticated Methods of Energy Supply Structures Act was passed that requires the oil industry to make more efficient utilization of fossil fuels. To accomplish this, oil refining companies are now consolidating their refinery operations, as part of which they must also reestablish and reconfigure their control and information systems. This requires an environment where control, MES, and ERP systems can be quickly built or reconfigured, and where various types of complex data can be accessed in an integrated and flexible manner at each system level.

Features of This New Solution
The solution improves efficiency by structuring and standardizing a plant’s control and information systems as well as the data handled by these respective systems. This improves the portability of data, establishes a framework that facilitates the integration, construction, and modification of all of a plant’s control and information systems, and creates an environment with industry-leading security for all communications and information management. This is true not only for a plant’s own control and information systems, but also for links between plants. In addition to facilitating the consolidation of a company’s refinery operations, this solution is useful in the installation and expansion of plant facilities, and can deliver the same benefits here as well. The main features of this solution are as follows.

1. Integrated information reporting
Systems with different functions that are in various locations can now be treated as a single virtual
information platform, allowing the generation of reports whenever they are needed, and in any desired format. This improves ease of access to information and allows the free selection of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

2. Information access
This solution features refinery-wide network connectivity and provides a highly-secure environment, allowing a plant’s systems to exchange structured and standardized data with systems at company headquarters and other plants with industry-leading security. Information can be quickly imported from other locations, compared, and linked, ensuring that people have all the information needed to make informed decisions.

3. Analysis (business intelligence)
The ability to collect a wide range of information and make effective use of large amounts of plant data allows for the performance of multifaceted analyses that can accurately identify solutions and improve both quality and efficiency.

Outlook for the Future
This collaboration of Cisco and Yokogawa Solution Service will not be limited to the oil-refining sector. With Cisco’s proven track record in providing highly-secure, high-quality network equipment and information system services and Yokogawa’s wealth of experience in the industrial automation field, the two companies will be able to respond flexibly to market needs and provide solutions that deliver great benefits such as improving how control and information systems work together and making maximum effective use of large amounts of control data. Both companies plan to extend this collaboration to other industries, and intend, for example, to roll out this solution to the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries later this year.

Cost effective and simple motion control.

Festo has added three new actuators to its Optimised Motion Series (OMS) of electrical positioning systems. These cost-effective and simple-to-use products have been designed to allow machine builders and system integrators to improve both motion control and their profit margins for solutions such as light assembly applications, baggage inspection systems and handling of liquids and specimen in the laboratory.

EPCO-G - guided EPCO electric cylinder
• The first new product is the guided EPCO electric cylinder – EPCO-G – which provides simple positioning with strokes of up to 400mm. With an integrated guide unit, EPCO-G can withstand high axial and radial loads which means it can be utilised in a wider selection of handling systems.

The cylinder is available in three sizes (16, 25 and 40), it can achieve speeds up to 500 mm/s and it provides high stiffness in a low weight system, giving high performance over a long service life. Furthermore, it has a life-time lubrication which means it is maintenance-free. Mounting and installation are also exceptionally easy meaning that engineers can save time and costs associated with set up and maintenance. The guide unit can also be ordered as a single unit for easy retrofitting to existing EPCO cylinders.

ERMO – electric rotary drive
• The second new addition to the OMS product family is the ERMO – an electric rotary drive that meets the same high performance criteria as Festo’s previous rotary drives but at a more attractive price. Ideal for compact process stations and pick and place applications due to its angle flexibility and rotation capabilities, the ERMO is easy to commission allowing machine builders to ‘plug and work’ instantly.

With a maximum angular velocity of 600°/sec, torque of 5 Nm and repetition accuracy of between ± 0.05° and ± 0.1°, the ERMO electric rotary drive can be used for a range of rotating, placing, turning and pivot drive handling systems.

“The large diameter of the bearing allows for high offset loads to be carried reliably, and centre thru’ holes allows cables and tubing to be added with ease. The ERMO has the same interface as a pneumatic rotary actuator, meaning all parts can be assembled seamlessly, saving both time and money for machine builders and engineers implementing new systems,” says Nigel Dawson, electric drives product manager at Festo.

EPCO combination with ERMO
• Finally, the ELGR linear belt drive axis is now available with a highly corrosion resistant chrome rod and bearing material, meaning it provides a reliable and robust solution in more arduous environments. The ELGR is an exceptionally cost-effective solution for feedforces upto 35kg and is available as a completely mounted sub assembly enabling machine builders to save time and costs with commissioning and set up. A cost effective motor package also comes as part of the axis, making this an ideal system for a wide variety of handling applications, where simple linear movements are required.

All products in the OMS product family can be easily mounted together to create a complete 2, 3 or 4 axis handling system which can be best adapted for each user’s individual requirements, enabling them to build efficient and reliable machines.

“These three OMS additions open up the market between pneumatic actuators and electric drives. Combining the simplicity of pneumatics with the quality performance of electric drives, engineers across many industries can enjoy a range of benefits. These products are all simple to commission, requiring no special software, and can be delivered together with one single part number, making the ordering and delivery process a simple one for all involved."