Friday, February 12, 2016

Understanding IP ratings when specifying linear actuators.

Thomson Industries, has released a new educational video for design engineers to enhance their understanding of IP ratings and how the protection code can impact the specification of linear actuators.

“Over the years IP ratings have become more and more important as many of these products are used on equipment that operates outdoors,” said Chad Carlberg, Product Line Manager for Linear Actuators at Thomson. Chad explains: “Whether its dust, dirt, sand or water, you need to have confidence that your actuator will hold up to the intended environment. To specify an electric linear actuator, you must first determine the typical operating environment and then select the corresponding IP rating to ensure you’ve chosen the best solution.
TechTips Videos!
“The International Protection code (IP Code), describes a system for classifying the degrees of protection provided by enclosures of electrical equipment against solid foreign objects and the ingress of water. The first digit represents the protection against solid objects, while the second digit represents protection from the ingress of liquids”. If a product is rated at IP65, the six represents its protection against dust ingress and the five represents its protection from the ingress of water.

In the video, Chad describes how each protection rating provides a different classification: “If a product is rated as IP65, it is protected against dust ingress and low pressure wash-down. Whereas, a product rated at IP66 is protected against dust ingress and high-pressure water jets,” said Chad.

Thomson strives to continually innovate and lead the marketplace in linear motion solutions and share their application engineering and technical expertise. To that end, Thomson has authored a wide range of educational videos, webinars and technical white papers available now on-line, to inform and guide design engineers, explain technology alternatives and simplify the linear motion component selection process.

@Thomson_Ind #PAuto

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Wireless Research wins Excellence in Automation Award.

The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute announced today that it presented PETRONAS the “ISA100 Wireless Excellence in Automation Award”* for a recently completed research project that quantified the performance of an ISA100 Wireless™ based safety system at an offshore operational site.

The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute presented PETRONAS the award at the 2016 ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, (FL USA) on Wednesday, 10 February during the “Minimizing Safety Risks with Asset Performance Management.” The session was hosted by Paula Hollywood.

PETRONAS is recognized for conducting rigorous testing and analysis of an ISA100 Wireless safety system operating on an offshore oil platform with remote wireless monitoring located on another platform 5 kilometers away. The key strategic goal of its research was to improve safety and reliability of asset management. In order to reach this key strategic goal, the PETRONAS team set two research objectives:
  • To assess the stability and reliability of long-distance communication of an ISA100 Wireless safety system in a harsh offshore radio environment, and
  • To confirm the performance and interoperability of an ISA100 Wireless safety system.
The team believes that its research has proven concrete benefits of ISA100 Wireless in safety applications, delivering cost reductions and operational flexibility; and that ISA100 Wireless, taken as a wireless standard, is able to deliver the full wireless functionality. The research team concluded that:
  • ISA100 Wireless communication has been proven reliable over long distances.
  • Interoperability has been proven to be simple plug and play of various vendor devices into the network.
  • ISA100 Wireless is fully functional in a mesh, star, or a mixed topology.
* Details of the research study, findings and conclusions are available on the ISA100 WCI website at Petronas ISA100 Wireless Study.

 #PAuto @ARCWorldForum #ISAuto @Petronas

Powerful networking integrating into industrial applications.

Red Lion Controls has announced the availability of its new rugged E3 I/O™ module platform, a set of 17 high-density I/O modules with hardened metal enclosures and powerful communication options. This versatile platform marks Red Lion’s first rugged I/O modules configurable using Crimson® 3.0 software.

Designed to withstand the critical demands of localized and distributed I/O applications, Red Lion’s Crimson-enabled E3 I/O modules feature robust networking capabilities with redundant Ethernet ports and built-in serial communication. With one RS-485 terminal block and dual Ethernet ports that include user-selectable Ethernet modes for ring, pass through and two network, the easy-to-deploy E3 I/O modules can eliminate the need for additional switching devices. In addition, these modules offer up to 34 mixed I/O points including input/output, analog/discrete and temperature I/O for complex industrial applications.

“Customers today are demanding both more I/O connectivity and mixed I/O types – digital, analog or temperature – because of the variety of sensors and inputs needed to monitor complex systems,” said Paul Bunnell, director of automation product management at Red Lion Controls. “To keep industrial operations running smoothly, organizations require easy-to-configure equipment with multiple connectivity options and rugged enclosures that enable reliable performance in harsh environments.”


Available in DIN-rail and panel-mount form factors, Red Lion’s E3 I/O modules feature rugged metal enclosures to support wide environmental tolerances and enable seamless integration into any industrial environment. Wide -40° to 75°C operating temperature, high shock and vibration ratings coupled with industry certifications that include UL Class I, Division 2 listing, ATEX and IECEx (model specific) approvals make each E3 I/O module safe for use with industrial control equipment in hazardous locations around the world. Developed for industries including oil and gas, water, utilities, marine, transportation and mining, the E3 I/O module platform is ideal for critical-uptime applications where customers need to expand I/O for devices such as Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) or standalone deployments. 

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

@redlioncontrols #PAuto

Skid system with metering pump.

CHEM-FEED® Engineered Skid Systems, from Blue-White,  are tough and efficient. They are well suited for use in industrial and water treatment applications, when paired with Blue-White’s ProSeries® line of Chem-Pro® C2 & C3 Diaphragm Metering Pumps.

CHEM-FEED Skid Systems are constructed of 6061-T6 powder coated welded aluminum which is lightweight for wall or floor mounting. Additional benefits include a metal-free check valve which protects operator from back-flow during maintenance; and a drip containment tray, removable for easy cleaning. Each unit is factory built and rigorously tested.

Chem-Pro® C2 & C3 includes a remote start/stop, optional 4-20mA output, advanced communication protocol options (Profibus, Profinet, Ethernet, Etc.); Max Feed Rate: 40 GPH / 153 LPH, feed rate resolution of 0.1%; Max Pressures: 175 PSI / 12 bar; Nema 4X wash down / IP66.

@BlueWhiteInd #PAuto

Safe floodlights!

Compact floodlights from Stahl not only feature a high power factor, but also a variety of installation options and enable very easy maintenance. Complying with ATEX, IECEx and PESO (India) standards, the explosion-proof 6121 and 6521 series units can be operated either with halogen, metal halide or high-pressure sodium vapour lamps.

Series 6121 floodlights are certified for hazardous zones 1, 21 and 2, 22 and can be used in gas group IIB and IIC atmospheres at ambient temperatures from -40 °C (optionally -60 °C) to +60 °C. They are designed for lamps with 70 W to 500 W power consumption. Thanks to their sea-water resistant aluminium enclosure they are ideally suited for marine applications. The modular construction of the floodlights allows for a separate installation of luminaire and ballast units and thus enable highly flexible placement and easy maintenance. This is especially the case for hard-to-access luminaires, where the ballast can remain more readily accessible for periodic isolation and transition resistance tests.

With a power factor of 90%, the luminaire ballast already meets energy efficiency requirements that will only come into effect in the EU from 2018. In addition to a symmetrical wide-beam light distribution (85% efficiency), the reflectors also enable narrow-beam spot lighting (87% efficiency).

Depending on their respective lighting power, Stahl offers 6521 series floodlights in three sizes with enclosures made from powder-coated sheet steel or V2A or V4A stainless steel. Size 3 lights can also be equipped with 1000 W halogen lamps. In addition to the standard wide-angle version, narrow-beam or asymmetrical reflectors are available. 6521 series floodlights achieve IP66 ingress protection and are approved for use in hazardous areas with gas atmospheres (zone 2) as well as for dust atmospheres (zones 21, 22) at environmental temperatures between -40 °C and + 40/+ 50 °C, depending on the type of lamp in the luminaire.

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

 @STAHL_UK #PAuto 

Embedded protection for IoT Modbus devices.

The Floodgate Modbus Protocol Filtering product has been launched by Icon Labs.  This extension to Icon Labs’ Floodgate Security Framework adds critical protection capabilities for Industrial IoT and RTOS-based devices. 

The Floodgate Modbus Protocol filter provides the critical missing layer of security for Modbus/TCP devices.  Integrated into the device, Floodgate Modbus Protocol filtering utilizes deep packet inspection to enforce virtual network segmentation and to control packets processed based upon source network address, function code, and packet data contents.

“The Modbus/TCP protocol currently lacks any real security, making these devices sitting ducks for even moderately skilled hackers,” said Alan Grau, President of Icon Labs. “Several attempts to add security to Modbus/TCP have been proposed, but none provide a cost-effective solution for legacy devices while maintaining interoperability with the protocol standard.  Modbus packet filtering addresses this problem by enforcing policies and inserting a layer of control without changing the underlying protocol.”

Floodgate Modbus Protocol filtering is an extension of the Floodgate Firewall, an endpoint firewall solution designed for embedded and RTOS-based systems. The solution integrates with the native TCP/IP stack on the device and provides control over the packets processed by the device.  The Modbus Protocol filtering extension provides control over the Modbus packets processed by the device based upon Modbus function code, originating IP address, or Modbus packet content.  Integration with the Floodgate Agent enables detection and reporting of malicious traffic. 

“Achieving security while maintaining interoperability with legacy solutions is critical to the adoption of the Industrial IoT,” stated Warren Kurisu, Director of Product Management – Runtime Solutions, Embedded Systems Division, Mentor Graphics. “Adding a layer of protection for Modbus/TCP devices closes a critical security loophole for Industrial Automation Systems.”

Icon Labs’ Floodgate Security Framework is a comprehensive security solution for embedded devices providing security management, secure boot, intrusion detection, secure firmware updates, and an embedded firewall. These capabilities provide the building blocks for achieving EDSA certification, ISA/IEC 62443 compliance, and/or compliance with the NIST cybersecurity framework.


Icon Labs’ products provide embedded security for IoT and Machine to Machine (M2M) solutions such as aerospace, military and space probes, industrial and medical control devices, and consumer electronics products. The Floodgate Security Framework provide a “defense in depth” solution to protect control units and endpoint devices from cyber threats, aid in compliance with regulatory mandates and guidelines, and gather and report command, event and device status information for audit requirements.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Five year long life Oxygen sensor.

The OLCT 10N is a digital detector, from Oldham, which is designed for commercial or industrial use in ATEX zone 2 or 22 areas or in non- hazardous environments.

The new design is lead free and has an operational life of five years. It carries a 4-year warranty and completes the range of our current 2 year life O2 sensors.

Associated with the MX43 controller, the OLCT 10N makes electrical installation easier with a fieldbus network that allows for up to 30 detectors to be connected on the same line!

@Oldham_Gas  #PAuto 

High current carrying capacity relays!

New high current MOSFET relays from Omron Electronic Components Europe can support continuous loads of up to 3.3A AC, 6.6A DC. The new devices are squarely aimed at electromechanical relay replacement in smart meters, security, medical and industrial applications.

Andries de Bruin, Senior European Product Marketing Manager, Omron Electronic Components Europe, said, “A growing number of applications would prefer to adopt solid state MOSFET relays. Reasons include resistance to magnetic tampering, and low susceptibility to EMC interference in industrial environments. These devices set new standards for electrical performance, making them a viable alternative to mechanical relays in a host of new applications.”

The new high current Omron G3VM-61GR2 and G3VM-61HR1 match the performance of comparable Omron electromechanical relays, and exceed that of competing solid state relay alternatives. Key features are the low on resistance compared to electromechanical devices and their low susceptibility to external magnetic interference. A key feature is the fast switching time – with a Ton / Toff of just 3ms / 0.5ms for the GR2 and 5ms / 1ms for the HR1.

The Omron G3VM-61HR1 is aimed at higher power applications. Packaged in a 6-pin SOP it can switch currents of up to 3.3A AC at 60V and has an on-resistance of just 30 milliohms. Using a double current connection configuration for DC loads, the device can carry up to 6.6A DC with an on-resistance of just 8 milli-ohms. This is a 43% greater load than the previous G3VM-61HR.

The G3VM-61GR2, in a 4-pin SOP package, is designed for signal switching of digital and analog signals. It can switch currents of up to 1.7A AC, 70% more than the previous G3VM-61GR1, with an on-resistance of 80 milli-ohms.

@OmronEurope #PAuto

Flow and pressure sensors with IO-Link.

Festo has launched two new easy-to-use sensors with IO-Link output that enable engineers to check the status of their processes readily and increase production efficiencies. Developed in response to the trend for increased monitoring and diagnositcs, SFAW is the first flow sensor from Festo for sensing liquid media and the SPAU is a new modular system designed for the monitoring of pressure and vacuum in process and factory automation applications.

The sensors are available with IO-Link output options and the modular electrical output concept makes the sensors extremely flexible and open, allowing simple integration into numerous control systems. They are also available with switchable PNP / NPN output, which means users can simplify their stock management and make cost savings associated with reduced warehousing.

“IO-Link is increasingly being used in the UK for point-to-point serial communication protocol to communicate with sensors and/or actuators in new automation systems,” says Steve Sands, product manager at Festo. “Remote maintenance and parameterisation as well as simpler sensor change are made possible via IO-Link, which means set-up and changes can be made faster and with less opportunity for errors.”

The new pressure and flow sensors are easy to set up and use, combining functionality with simplicity. They have an intuitive menu guidance with a large high-contrast back-lit blue/white/red LCD so users can clearly check the flow and pressure of their systems.

SFAW Flow Sensor
The SFAW sensors are ideal for monitoring the flow rate, consumption and optionally, temperature of liquid in cooling circuits, for example in welding guns in the automotive industry or in front-end applications in the semiconductor and other electronics industries. The sensors offer two flow measurement ranges of 1.8 to 32 l/min and 5 to 100 l/min and are suitable for use with liquids that have a viscosity up to 2 mPa*s. Temperature of liquid media can be measured from 0 to +90°C.

SPAU Pressure Sensor
The new SPAU sensor for pressure measurement, monitoring and sensing is designed to keep pressure levels under control, ensuring greater productivity and process reliability as well as faster system commissioning. Pressure indication, pressure switch outputs and analogue value output are all possible in one device and the sensor can reliably measure from 0 – 16 bar. It has a wide range of functions for non-corrosive gases including network, regulator and vacuum monitoring, leak tests and object detection.

The sensors are quick and easy to mount in all installation scenarios. The modular concept enables the sensor and connections to be purchased separately, ensuring maximum flexibility during assembly - screw, flange and tubing connection options are available. In addition, the sensor can be changed quickly and easily without the need for specialist tools, minimising downtime.

Both the SFAW and SPAU sensors are sealed to IP65 making them suitable for use in harsh process environments.

“Reliable automation and consistent product quality are dependant upon effective process monitoring. Failure can mean expensive product recalls or damage to sophisticated equipment. Customers are increasingly looking to effective sensing solutions to close the loop in their automation processes through monitoring and diagnostic technologies,” continues Steve. “These new sensors are optimised not only for cost but for the quickest possible commissioning and with their versatile electrical connectivity and mounting system approach they will fulfil the needs of many applications.”

@FestoAG #PAuto

Monday, February 8, 2016

Affordable in-house validation of humidity probes.

The new HygroCal100 humidity verifier from Michell Instruments provides a practical option for companies that are not able to invest in a full humidity calibration laboratory to verify their humidity probes in-house. The unit is cost-effective and is available either on its own or with a choice of options to meet a variety of needs.

On its own, the HygroCal100 provides a simple way to validate humidity probes on site. Weighing just 3.2 kg and with a battery life of up to 8 hours it is easily portable. It is capable of validating up to 7 probes of different sizes simultaneously, and has a simple automatic validation program which allows the operator to ‘set and forget’ while the unit is working.

While the HygroCal100 comes with its own internal reference, it can also be integrated with any hygrometer with an analogue output to act as an external reference. This gives users the flexibility to incorporate their traceable reference units in their validation routines.

The unit is also available as part of a package to enable users to start making traceable calibration checks immediately. One option supplies both the HygroCal100 with an Optidew Vision chilled mirror hygrometer, which provides a fundamental reference. The kit includes port adaptors to fit both the dew-point and temperature sensors into the chamber.

• Michell Instruments are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

@Michell_Inst  #Laboratory #PAuto

Co-operation aids automated reporting and corporate dashboards for plants.

Schneider Electric™ will be delivering Dream Report™ for CitectHistorian™ as a branded solution for plant reporting.

Working closely with Schneider Electric, Ocean Data Systems has delivered Dream Report for the upcoming version of the best-in-class, real-time plant historian software, Citect Historian 2016 (v4.60). This release includes both new and improved drivers for CitectHistorian, and will be licensed, sold, delivered and supported by Schneider Electric and its subsidiaries, globally.

“We have looked at the success of Dream Report in our other divisions and it is clear that this is an excellent product that would add significant value to every CitectHistorian installation,” explained Con Karantziounis, CitectHistorian Product Manager at Schneider Electric. “We are cementing our efforts towards promoting simplification and ease-of-use, with a user-friendly and programming-free automated reporting and data analysis solution, and we encourage all our CitectHistorian customers to consider Dream Report as an extension to their systems.” 

Availability is planned for next month (March 2016).

“We are very proud to have Schneider Electric choose Dream Report as the reporting and analysis solution for CitectHistorian” says Alex Mazal, President of Ocean Data Systems. “This opens a significant new market for Dream Report, one that was poorly served with generic business tools in the past. Schneider Electric already offers Dream Report through its WonderwareTM, IndusoftTM, and EurothermTM channels and it makes perfect sense that Dream Report should also become the default solution for their CitectHistorian customers.”

@OceanDataSys #PAuto @SchneiderElec

Surface Mount and Locking DC sockets.

Cliff Electronics’  Dual Gauge DC socket is now available in a surface mount version to facilitate efficient SMD PCB assembly of OEM products. The new version is available both taped and loose and complements the original discrete PCB mounting and solder tag versions.

Accommodating both 2.1mm and 2.5mm industry standard plugs in a single socket Cliff™’s unique dual DC socket offers a greater choice of power supplies for OEM and after-market supply simplifying design, purchasing and logistics as OEMs need only fit one standard socket to meet their global markets.

These dual DC sockets are already being designed into equipment where flexibility of available power supplies is advantageous. Markets where this flexibility has been welcomed include educational, medical, instrumentation, communications, audio-broadcast, audio-visual (AV) and industrial applications. Cliff™ dual DC sockets are widely designed-in, to reduce the need to supply different power supplies depending on geographical preferences; for example delivery to the USA or Europe.

All versions of their dual DC socket are rated for 12V DC at 5A and fitted with switched contacts. The unique centre center pin also ensures a superior mechanical and electrical contact compared to conventional solid pins.

Other standard features include body material made from PBT for superior temperature characteristics, tin-plated, copper-alloy contacts and RoHS compliance.

Cliff™’s continuously expanding range of DC sockets also includes a range of latching DC plugs and sockets designed for applications requiring secure power provision in applications where it is critical that power is not interrupted by accidental disconnection.  Their PCB mounted locking DC sockets and plugs are secured by a simple push and turn locking mechanism. They are available as industry standard 2.1 or 2.5mm plugs 2A @ 16V DC and also accept industry standard non locking 2.1 and 2.5mm plugs for maximum flexibility where required.

Typical applications for locking power connections include point of sale, medical, data, monitoring, emergency lighting, stage audio equipment and charging.

Plugs are available in 3 options;
  • rewireable to enable OEMs to assemble as required
  • overmoulded to two-metretwo-meter, over-molded, cables with free ends
  • OEM custom specified overmoulded cables to custom specification, with or without terminating connectors of any type specified

Cliff PCB mountable sockets have an insulation resistance of 100MΩ minimum at 500V DC, dielectric withstand voltage of 500V AC for one minute and feature a normally closed contact operated by plug insertion

John Hall, General Manager of Cliff Electronics, comments; “Our Dual DC connectors were an immediate success and are now widely available from major global distributors The new surface mount options makes this flexible connector available for OEMs using automated assembly Our new lockable DC Socket provides a secure power connection for critical systems and products susceptible to knocking or vibration including audio effects pedals."

#CliffElectronics #PAuto 

World-class calibration management for US industry.

U.S. customers of Endress + Hauser are being offered a world-class comprehensive calibration management solution with access via a scalable architecture. They now have the option to implement CompuCal on their server or as a secure cloud service.

CompuCal can interface with mobile platforms and integrate seamlessly into customers’ IT infrastructure such as SAP. It can also integrate calibration data with the Endress+Hauser Web Asset Management architecture (W@M).

This well tried calibration solution comes at a cost-effective price with minimal effort for the customer. Set-up is quick and the program is simple to use providing all requirements for technicians and managers. The program provides a full audit log, history, and KPI’s – significantly reducing customer’s running costs. CompuCal is fully validated with protocols and reports with no need for extra validation resources.

Web based technologies allow operation for any location. Users can access their safe and secure data anywhere in the world and at any time via the cloud based calibration system. Real time access helps users to increase visibility, control and efficiency with just a browser – overall reducing costs.

For highly regulated industries striving for quality and compliance, Endress+Hauser and CompuCal provide customers with world class calibration management solutions ensuring quality compliance with all FDA and ISO requirements, making auditing easy with simple and quick access to history and reporting.

CompuCal, developed by “Calibration people for Calibration people,” ensures complete management of a customer’s calibration processes. This puts customers in charge of their calibration data ensuring they are always ready for an audit. CompuCal’s connector tools will link to SAP or other ERP systems, delivering integrated workflows.

• Compucal, headquartered in Cork, Ireland, has an interesting history and background. Their in-house expertise spans over 30 years in the engineering industry.

#PAuto @Endress_US @compuCal