Friday, July 1, 2016

Water quality sensors and monitors.

The OTT Hydromet Group has announced a new distribution strategy for the Sea-Bird Coastal product range of water quality sensors and monitors. “These instruments fit very well with our range of water monitoring technologies,” says OTT’s European Sales Manager Marcus Meckelmann. “We also share similar customer bases, so the key Sea-Bird Coastal products will be available exclusively through OTT’s European subsidiaries and official distributors.”

The Sea-Bird products covered by this arrangement include the HydroCycle PO4 (formerly Cycle-P) phosphate analyser, the SUNA V2 nitrate sensor, the LOBO turn-key water quality monitoring system, the WQM and WQM-X water quality meters, the HydroCAT long-term deployment water quality sondes and the Hydro-pH deep water (350m) pH sensor.

In addition to the Sea-Bird products, the OTT Hydromet Group also includes leading global brands such as Adcon Telemetry, Hydrolab, Lufft, OTT and Sutron. “Our main focus is the provision of leading-edge, accurate, reliable instrumentation and telemetry systems that deliver vital data for those responsible for monitoring and managing water resources and the impacts of weather,” adds Marcus Meckelmann. “Nutrients represent a major threat to global water resources, so we are particularly excited by the opportunities presented by Sea-Bird’s low power nitrate and phosphate monitoring technologies.”

@OTTHydrometry #PAuto

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Continuing the European exploration tradition.

John O’Sullivan has has over 20 years’ experience in the automation and control sector delivering solutions to the life-science industry in Ireland. He is currently Engineering Director with Douglas Control and Automation.

He has always had a fascination with aviation and space, leading him to gain his PPL in 2003 and to study Astronomy and Planetary Science with the Open University. He was awarded a Certificate in Astronomy and Planetary Science and a Diploma in Physical Science by the OU some years ago as well as a Diploma in Project Management from the Cork Institute of Technology. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the European Space Agency (ESA) Astronaut Corps in 2008.

He has now published “In the footsteps of Columbus” (ISBN-10: 3319275607), telling the story of the ESA astronauts and their work on board the International Space Station over its first decade and how they have lived on board, helped construct the space laboratory and performed valuable scientific experiments.

ESA has contributed the Columbus science laboratory as well as the Copula, the Leonardo PMM and the ATV supply ship to the station’s infrastructure but it is the human endeavour that captures the imagination. From brief visits to six month expeditions, from spacewalking to commanding the Earth’s only outpost in space, ESA astronauts have played a vital role in the international project.

Extensive use of colour photographs from NASA and ESA depicting the experiments carried out, the phases of the ISS construction and the personal stories of the astronauts in space highlights the crucial European work on human spaceflight.

Published by Springer Praxis it may be purchased directly from the publisher as a paperback or as an e-book.

New analyser plant.

Endress+Hauser is expanding its manufacturing facility for Raman analyzers. Wholly-owned subsidiary Kaiser Optical Systems is investing US$8.6 million to develop the Ann Arbor, (MI USA) location, which will more than double in size.
“The new facility will be the core of our future Raman-spectroscopic analyzer manufacturing,” said Tim Harrison, Managing Director of Kaiser Optical Systems. The instruments, which will be deployed in both process control and laboratory environments, are designed for analyzing the composition and properties of solid, liquid and gaseous substances.

The new two-story facility, which is slated to open in mid-2017, will increase floor space from 3,500 to 8,100 square meters (38,000 to 87,000 square feet). “Our state-of-the-art manufacturing will allow us to produce higher volumes, while maintaining the high quality standards our customers demand,” he emphasized. The existing buildings will be renovated after completion of the new plant. Kaiser Optical Systems plans to create up to 50 jobs in Ann Arbor over the next few years.

@Endress_US  #PAuto #USA

PXI source measure unit.


National Instruments (NI) has announced the NI PXIe-4135 source measure unit (SMU) with a measurement sensitivity of 10 fA and voltage output up to 200 V. Engineers can use the NI PXIe-4135 SMU to measure low-current signals and take advantage of the high channel density, fast test throughput and flexibility of NI PXI SMUs for applications such as wafer-level parametric test, materials research and characterisation of low-current sensors and ICs. 
“Our in-line parametric tests require us to acquire millions of data points, often with leakage current in the picoampere range,” said Dr. Bart De Wachter, Researcher at IMEC. “The new NI PXI SMU allows us to accurately measure these low-current signals while benefiting from the speed improvements offered by the PXI platform and the flexibility of programming the system with LabVIEW.”

Engineers can use modular NI PXI SMUs to build parallel, high-channel-count systems in a compact form factor and benefit from up to 68 SMU channels in a single PXI chassis that can scale to hundreds of channels to address wafer-level reliability and parallel test. Additionally, users can increase test throughput by taking advantage of a high-speed communication bus, deterministic hardware sequencing and a digital control loop technology to custom-tune the SMU response for any device under test. They can also control the SMU response through software, which removes unnecessarily long wait times for SMU settling and offers the flexibility to help minimise overshoot and oscillations even with highly capacitive loads. 

“Increasing complexity in semiconductor devices requires us to rethink the conventional approach for research, characterisation and reliability measurements, and that’s been a key motivator for our SMU investments in PXI,” said Luke Schreier, Director of Automated Test at NI. “NI SMUs reduce test time, increase channel density, and now, offer even better measurement quality with 10 fA sensitivity.”

Delivering the ease of use expected from a box SMU, the interactive soft front panels on NI PXI SMUs can be used for making basic measurements and debugging automated applications. The driver features help files, documentation and ready-to-run example programs to assist in test code development, and includes a programming interface that works with a variety of development environments such as C, Microsoft .NET and LabVIEW system design software. Engineers can also use NI PXI SMUs with NI’s TestStand test management software, simplifying the creation and deployment of test systems in the lab or production floor.

Agreement fosters embedded and enterprise IoT devices.


Mouser Electronics has announced a global distribution agreement with VIA Technologies, Inc., a global leader in the development of highly integrated embedded platform and system solutions for machine-to-machine (M2M), Internet of Things (IoT), and smart city applications.

“We are excited about this agreement with Mouser Electronics, a company well-known for its worldwide distribution and support system,” said Richard Brown, Vice-President of International Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “By partnering with Mouser, we can capitalize on their expertise in delivering the newest technologies to engineers to expand our customer base around the world.”

The VIA product line, now available at Mouser Electronics, consists of a series of powerful, highly integrated boards and modules that enable the rapid development of embedded system designs based on industry-standard PicoITX and ETX form factors. The VIA EPIA-P910 integrates the advanced performance of a 1.2GHz VIA Eden® X4 processor with a media system processor (MSP), and a rich set of inputs and outputs (I/O) and connectivity features, including two USB 3.0 ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, one Mini HDMI port, and one VGA port. The VIA EPIA-M910 is available with a 1.2GHz VIA QuadCore E-Series (with fan) processor, 1.6GHz VIA Nano® X2 E-Series processor, or a fanless 1.0GHz VIA Eden X2 processor. The board also includes an MSP, onboard HDMI and VGA ports, two 18/24-bit LVDS connectors, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and support for up to eight USB 2.0 ports and eight COM ports.

The VIA ETX-8X90 is a highly-integrated embedded multimedia module with native ISA/PCI support for legacy expansion cards and applications. Powered by a 1.2GHz VIA Nano X2 E-Series dual-core processor and VIA VX900 MSP, the board offers exceptional processing and multimedia performance and provides an easy upgrade path for existing ETX devices. The VIA VAB-600, VAB-820, and VAB-1000 Pico-ITX boards combine rich I/O connectivity with low power consumption to offer a choice of ultra-reliable, cost-efficient ARM platforms. The VAB-600 features an 800MHz processor, the VAB-820 a 1.0GHz quad core NXP system on chip (SoC), and the VAB-1000 a 1.0GHz dual core VIA Elite E1000 SoC.

“VIA’s highly integrated solutions provide the flexible and reliable platforms that design engineers need to quickly create robust prototypes and speed time-to-market for embedded and enterprise IoT devices,” said Andy Kerr, Vice President, Supplier Management for Mouser Electronics. “Through this partnership, Mouser can bring VIA’s innovative platforms to an even broader range of customers worldwide.”

 @MouserElecEU @VIAmkt #PAuto #M2M #IoT


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Differential pressure flowmeter calibration training.

The International Society of Automation (ISA) and its Premier Strategic Partner for calibration, Beamex will co-host a free webinar 26 July 2016 on differential pressure flowmeter calibration.

David W Spitzer, one of the presenters
The webinar, which will be held from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, will feature three automation experts: David Spitzer, PE, founder of Spitzer and Boyes; Ned Espy, Technical Director at Beamex; and Roy Tomalino, Professional Services Engineer at Beamex.

Flow measurement systems can be critical to control process safety, efficiency and cost-effectiveness—especially when custody transfer and billing are involved. As a result, periodic flowmeter calibrations are needed to ensure the proper, accurate operation of many process plants and systems. Calibrating flow measurement systems in a flow laboratory, however, can be cumbersome and expensive. This webinar will bring clarity to differential pressure flowmeter calibration and provide a best-practice approach to partially calibrating flowmeters in the field.

“As a trainer, I continually ask my students, ‘What do you want to know more about? Is there an application that needs to be demystified?’ Flow calibration is consistently among the top three answers. This webinar will take a look at calibrating flow using a common differential pressure (DP) transmitter. We will teach the audience what is possible to accomplish on the plant floor, without a flow calibration laboratory,” explains Tomalino at Beamex.

“ISA is pleased to partner with Beamex on free webinars that provide useful and practical information to many of our members and customers, and others in the automation community,” says Jennifer Infantino Halsey, ISA's Director of Marketing & Communications. “This particular webinar is designed to help prevent costly mistakes that often occur during the measurement of flow."

@isaexchange @BeamexGlobal  #PAuto #ISAuto 

Busy gas detection zone in November!

Gas detection has always been an important component of the WWEM events, but organiser Marcus Pattison says: “Following the publication of important new guidance on confined space entry and a new standard for toxic gas detectors, the Gas Detection Zone at WWEM 2016 will be busier than ever.

“Past events have shown that the Gas Detection Zone is hugely popular with health & safety managers and staff that have to work in confined spaces or areas where there is a possibility of exposure to toxic or explosive dusts and gases.”

WWEM 2016 is scheduled for Telford (GB) on 2nd and 3rd November, incorporating Conferences, Workshops and an Exhibition covering water, wastewater and environmental monitoring. Attracting delegates from around the world, the WWEM events have become important diary dates for anyone with a professional interest in environmental and occupational safety testing and monitoring.

The Council of Gas Detection & Environmental Monitoring (CoGDEM) is a WWEM partner. CoGDEM Director Leigh Greenham says: “We are delighted to once again participate in the development of the hugely popular WWEM Gas Detection Zone, which will provide visitors with the chance to see innovative new gas detection instruments; some of which will be displayed for the first time.

“WWEM 2016 will also provide an opportunity for visitors to attend free workshops and seminars which will be relevant for engineers and managers from utilities and from processing and manufacturing industries. Visitors to the Gas Detection Zone will improve their knowledge of the latest standards, guidance and technologies relating to all forms of gas detection. Subjects covered will include: confined space entry; new standards and guidance for toxic gas detectors; the selection of apparatus; new gas sensor development; all complimented by a variety of topical case studies.”

#WWEM16 #PAuto @CogdemCO

Monday, June 27, 2016

Automation in water plant!

Modular products from Delta have been selected as part of an innovative automated system installed recently at a major water treatment facility in Romania. The solution, which is based on Delta modular hardware architecture components that include PLCs, industrial Ethernet switches, HMI, motor drives and around 1400 I/O points, is providing drinking water and wastewater treatment plant automation for a population of around 30,000 people in Sebes, Petresti and Lancram in central Romania.

The installation was devised by system integrator Costruzioni Dondi SpA, and involved providing a distributed control system to principal plant processes such as pumping stations and water level monitoring equipment.

The control system architecture comprises supervisory, network and control layers. A third party SCADA system with two redundant servers providing data acquisition and archiving in the supervisory layer, as well as process control and monitoring services via remote control.

In the network layer, Delta Managed Industrial Ethernet Switches with network redundancy technology and TCP/IP fibre optics (in ring topology network) are able to deliver tolerance to any network failures with a self-recovery time of less than 20ms. Here, data access protection is provided through a firewall.

The actual control layer for local visualisation and operation is made up of various Delta products, including three new generation, modular AH500 PLCs plus I/O modules, a DOP-B 7” colour touchscreen HMI, 1400 I/O points and CP2000 sensorless vector control (SVC) drives. SVC offers timely response to load torque increase/decrease which satisfies customer requirements for load changes while enhancing motor performance and helping reduce energy consumption.

“There are many reasons we opted to use Delta products for this important installation, including their excellent cost-to-performance ratio,” explains Valentin Tuturiga, Project Manager at Costruzioni Dondi. “In addition, the scalability of the modular Delta products was important, while the development software was provided free of charge. We also liked the ease of communication with Delta’s technical support team, who were able to help us whenever we required advice.”

The benefits for the water treatment plant have been wide-reaching and include higher productivity, reduced operating costs and better utilisation of staff with dependable process automation, communication and information management. This is in addition to easy control of pumping stations and monitoring of water levels. Furthermore, fast and efficient alarm management enables engineers to react quickly to failures and malfunctions, which in turn provides better environmental compliance and monitoring.

“The implementation of this project is a complete success and now serves as a model for other water treatment plants in Romania,” concludes Mr Tuturiga. “In fact, we have recently completed a further two installations in Neamt County and just placed an order for Delta PLCs and inverters for another three new projects.”

#Romania #PAuto #Water

Multi-functional CAN-to-Ethernet gateway.

The new IXXAT CAN@net NT 200 is a CAN-to-Ethernet gateway which allows users to connect CAN and Ethernet. Thanks to its two operating modes, CAN@net NT can be used as CAN-Ethernet-CAN bridge and as CAN-to-Ethernet gateway. Equipped with two CAN interfaces, it supports an even wider range of use cases compared to the well-known CAN@net II.

The CAN@net NT (now in new black housing)
allows users to connect CAN and Ethernet
Linking of CAN networks
One of the key features of the CAN@net NT – which is especially useful in e.g. building automation – is the ability to separate CAN networks that are distributed over large areas. CAN@net NT couples the CAN networks via a backbone Ethernet system, allowing existing infrastructures to be used. This segmentation also increases the reliability and stability of the overall system.

Enables remote access
Designed for high performance in harsh environments, another common application for CAN@net NT is remote access to CAN networks via Ethernet – e.g. in wind power plants or in the manufacturing sector. CAN@net NT enables service staff to get access to plants all around the world, simplifying control, service and monitoring of CAN-based plants, reducing costs and downtime significantly.

Besides the bridge operation, linking two CAN networks via Ethernet, the CAN@net NT 200 can also be directly accessed from Windows, Linux, VxWorks or QNX based systems as well as from embedded systems, by using a simple ASCII protocol over a standard TCP/IP socket.

CAN@net NT supports all CAN baud rates from 5 kBit/s to 1 Mbit/s, as well as simultaneous use of 11 and 29 bit identifiers. The TCP/IP-based protocol ensures that no CAN messages are lost when transmitted over Ethernet. The device configuration is easily made by using a Windows configuration tool.

More variants of the CAN@net NT, with PC interface operation mode, 4 CAN channels and CAN FD support will soon be released.

@HMSIxxat #PAuto #Ethernet

Contribution recognised!

During the recent AGM of the Ireland Section of ISA the part of Read-out in publicising the third ISA Food and Pharmaceutical Division Seminar (FPID2016) was acknowledged. The Food and Pharmaceutical Division of ISA is one of the most active in the Society.

Dave O'Brien (L) and Eoin Ó Riain
This was a held for the first time outside North America and was proclaimed as a great success with well over 200 attendees benefiting from the expert information shared over a period of two days.

The ISA Ireland section has made a substantial contribution to the ISA since 1977 providing officers for the international organisation over the years, Indeed currently there are two Section members serving, Billy Walsh and Brian Curtis. Indeed this year one of them, Brian Curtis, has been nominated for the position of President-Elect Secretary. This position is filled by election of the members and voting for this position, and other leadership positions will be announced later.

Dave O'Brien, who was Chairman of the FPID Seminar (and a future District 12 - EMEA - VP) made a presentation to Read-out's Eoin Ó Riain at the AGM. Eoin Ó Riain, himself a former ISA VP,  in turn thanked the ISA for this acknowledged and praised in turn the trojan work done by the Ireland Section members and hailed the international co-operation which led to this successful event.

 #FPID16 #ISAuto #Ireland