Friday, January 27, 2017

Photonics company appoints sales & marketing director.

Optoscribe has appointed Steve McMahon as its new Sales and Marketing Director.

Steve McMahon
Steve has established a track record of working with start-ups and turning them into successful multi-million pound companies. Over 25 years, Steve has held senior commercial roles in several international companies from Britain and North America.

Nick Psaila, CEO, said: “We are pleased to have Steve join us here at Optoscribe. The wealth of his expertise and knowledge will add significant value as we rapidly expand the team and operations from our new headquarter.”

Steve is a Chartered Engineer with a First in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, an MBA and an MSc in Digital Techniques.

@Optoscribe #PAuto

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rotary coded switch.

The Elma C15 Rotary Coded Switch range is now available from Foremost Electronics. The C15 multifunction switch is intended for cost sensitive applications where space is critical and is particularly suitable for frequency and channel selection in two way radios, portable appliances, instrumentation and similar miniaturised mobile applications. The C15 offers users exceptional switching “feel” and provides designers with a reliable HMI device delivering consistent torque over its long life time.

Alan Cook, Managing Director of Foremost Electronics, comments, “Elma is a long established manufacturer of high quality switching products. Their new miniature rotary encoder is a very flexible and reliable control device for handheld and portable devices and will find many commercial and industrial applications.”

Key features of the Elma C15 include a body size just 7.7 x 9.35 x 11.1mm, operating lifetime of 15,000 switching cycles, operating temperature range from -30 to +60°C, 16 positions gray coding, shorting switching mode, up to 3.0 Ncm switching torque, tray or tape and reel packaging and THT suitable for reflow soldering. Users can specify custom shaft dimensions and shape.

The C15 rotary coded switch has switching options of 16 positions with 20° indexing and end-stop or 16 positions with 22.5° indexing with endless rotating shaft.

#ForemostElectronics #PAuto @proactivefleet

Drives for power station cooling towers!

This Power Station is now using Control Techniques Unidrive M700 variable speed drives from Emerson to control 22 cooling tower fans across two towers. Replacing a system that was first installed in 1975, the advanced new drive brought many benefits. It means that the fan speeds can be varied to minimize power usage at low unit loads, eliminate wind milling due to a lack of a braking system, minimize freezing potential in winter, mitigate fan vibration without removing from service, and eliminate seasonal blade pitch adjustments required to prevent motor overloads in the winter and low air delivery in the summer. Just the blade pitch adjustment itself resulted in a significant saving in man hours, which the power station estimates to be worth $38,000 per year.

Located in the mid-Atlantic region of the USA,the power station has multiple units firing gas and oil. The power station was keen to implement an automated control system for its cooling fans, which were served by a system that was more than 40 years old. The retrofit addressed these issues directly:

Energy and cost reduction without impacting tower efficiency
  • To manage energy usage and cooling capacity meant turning the 200 HP fan starters on and off since they always ran full speed. The capability to vary fan speed and therefore cooling rate for different loads allows all fans to run (best tower efficiency) with much lower energy requirements. The system only moves as much air as is needed to extract heat and results in much less energy consumption.
  • To manage vibration on individual fans they had to be shutdown, even when load demand and therefore cooling demand were high. The capability to maintain all fans in operation, with some at reduced speed to manage vibration, provides optimum cooling when needed for unit generation.
  • Another issue was the need for manual seasonal fan blade pitch changes, due to differences in air density associated with summer and winter months. That alone demanded close to 480 man hours a year, a significant diversion of maintenance resources from more pressing needs around the plant plus crane rental and safety management required for blade pitch adjustments.

Asset management and protection

  • The fans have a 16 foot long fibreglass/metal drive shaft connecting the fan gearbox and motor. With no braking system free wind milling of idle fans was a constant problem that sometimes resulted in bad starting scenarios that caused motor overloads, severe torsion forces on the drive shaft and sometimes gearbox problems. With the new system soft start and prestart braking are inherent in the M700 VSD capabilities. The addition of soft start and fan braking minimized torque peaks that the drive shaft experiences during fan starts and eliminated the wind milling concerns. The motors never see the high current applied by an across the line starter.
  • Freezing and thawing are a problem on cooling towers. The existing system required fans to be put in reverse if ice was forming on the sides of the towers in an attempt to thaw the heavy load on the tower intakes. These can have very damaging effects up to and including tower collapse. Properly managed air flow in cold weather using the variable speed capability can eliminate sub-cooling that, in turn, causes ice formation. This eliminates the need to reverse fans except in the most adverse weather conditions.

“We decided to look at variable frequency drive (VFD) solutions and three manufacturers were initially considered,” says Mark Leigh, technical consultant for the power company. “However, Control Techniques [an Emerson company] was the only organisation that could meet the very short project delivery times we required. They were also very competent technically in terms of recommending an optimised solution.”

Control Techniques Unidrive M700 AC drives with real-time Ethernet capability were installed in a motor control room at the power station, where it is now used to control 22 cooling tower fans. The drives deliver high performance and flexible control of induction and permanent magnet motors. Most importantly for the station, the new Unidrive M700 has more control of the process.

“In a standard across-the-line starter fan motor, the variables are fan blade pitch and air density with a fixed maximum HP at a fixed speed, which was 1750 rpm in this case,” explains Mr Leigh. “In contrast, the variables in a VFD-controlled fan motor are speed and air density with a fixed maximum HP at a fixed fan blade pitch. It therefore costs nothing in man hours to adjust the speed, as this is done automatically by the VFD based on a 200 HP limit, which is the maximum rating of the motor and starter. We estimate a saving of around four men for three weeks, or about 480 man hours, which equates to approximately $38,000 per annum.”


@EmersonIndAuto #PAuto #POwer @EmersonNews

Production monitoring seminar/workshop.

Kistler Instruments will be holding a free production monitoring seminar/workshop at the Holiday Inn, Solihull (GB) on the 1st March 2017.

Hands on workstation sessions will provide practical insight into the application of force, pressure, torque and surface strain sensors using the Kistler maXYmos production monitoring systems for zero defect manufacturing.

In addition, there will be an Introduction to the Kistler electro-mechanical joining systems using the maXYmos NC production monitoring system.

Places on the free seminar/workshop, including refreshments and lunch, are limited and must be booked by the 17th February 2017. 

To reserve a place, email Shaun Egglestone at shaun.egglestone@kistler.com.

#Kistler #PAuto #Britain

Low-noise single axis accelerometer.

Silicon Designs has announced the added versatility of its Model 2210 Series, to include measurement capabilities on one, two, or three orthogonal axes.

Low-noise single axis Model 2210 accelerometer modules integrate a MEMS VC accelerometer chip with high-drive, low-impedance buffering for reliable, repeatable measurements. When used with a Silicon Designs mounting block, such as the Model 2330-BLK, the new accelerometer can effectively measure on either one, two, or three axes, allowing for the specification of a single part number for multiple requirements, thereby reducing in-house inventory counts.

Offered in ranges from ±2 to ±400 g, the Silicon Designs Model 2210 Series generates two analog voltage outputs which vary in response to applied acceleration. Customers can utilize either single-ended or differential output, the latter of which doubles accelerometer sensitivity over single-ended versions. The sensitive axis of the Model 2210 is perpendicular to the package bottom, with positive acceleration defined as a force pushing on the bottom of that package. Output scale factor is independent from the supply voltage of +8 to +32V. At zero acceleration, differential output voltage is nominally 0 VDC; at full scale, ±4 VDC.

Sensing elements of the Model 2210 are packaged within a compact, lightweight, anodized epoxy sealed aluminum housing, occupying a total footprint of just one square inch. Their design features a simple-yet-robust four-wire connection and internal voltage regulator, which minimizes supply voltage variation effects. Units are relatively insensitive to temperature changes and feature quick, easy self-calibration. All Silicon Designs accelerometer modules and chips are 100% designed, developed and manufactured at the company’s global corporate headquarters and MEMS fabrication facility near Seattle, Washington, USA. Each unit undergoes rigorous quality testing prior to shipment.

Model 2210 MEMS VC accelerometer modules are ideal for lower frequency vibration testing requirements, including vibration analysis, machinery control, modal analysis, robotics and crash testing. With their versatile design and performance reliability, they may be specified within a variety of aerospace, automotive, defense, energy, industrial, and test & measurement applications.

#Silicondesigns #PAuto 

For the cyclists among us!

We feature from time to time news on products with at best a tenuous connection with industrial or laboratory automation. Here is something that we liked.

For the safety of both cyclists and drivers, bicycle lights are essential. Yet technology in this area hasn't changed much for decades, and the simple bike lights that have been available do not catch enough attention from drivers. For the last two years, Brightspark, a new start-up company, has been developing a more innovative and adequate product, and has announced that it will be available this year.

After two years of research and development, Brightspark is ready to launch its innovative product.


“Our intention is to make cyclists and vehicle drivers more comfortable and confident about sharing the road with each other,” said Dominic Walters, Founder of Brightspark.

Brightspark’s features are numerous and unique. The USB rechargeable headlight set can easily attach to a bicycle's handlebars with quick release grips. They may be detached easily also, allowing users to pack the product and take it with them, thus preventing theft. Simple to recharge, the light set's lithium ion battery holds charge for approximately five days of typical use.

Each unit includes a headlight, which can put out 300 lumens, creating up to 600 lumens of light per pair. A blinker set is incorporated in the product, with a flashing orange light located on the front and back of each unit. The flashing lights resemble vehicle or motorcycle turn signals, and can be viewed from virtually every angle. While the signal indicator is in use, the handlebar vibrates, which lets the rider know that it has been activated. It continues vibrating, reminding the cyclist if it's still on after the completion of a turn. The sophisticated addition of red roadway lasers is the neatest function of the product. Projecting bright red arrows on the road, the lasers let other travelers know the cyclist is turning.

• Brightspark will have a booth at The Bike Place at Silverstone next week (January 29-31). Later in the year, they will be present at the Interbike International Expo 2017 in Las Vegas (September 20 - 22, 2017). Last year, the bike accessory gained a lot of attention from attendees. In February, the company will launch a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.com to make the bike lighting indicators available. Cyclists can back the campaign and become some of the first to use such an advanced bicycle safety accessory.


@brightspark_1 #cycling

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Gas monitoring appointment for Middle East & South Asia.

Ion Science has expanded KS Chari’s role as Regional Manager for South Asia to include the Middle East with the aim of increasing sales.
KS Chari

“KS Chari’s sound knowledge of monitoring instrumentation will continue to provide a valuable service to existing and potential customers across our ever growing Middle Eastern market,” 
comments Ion Science Managing Director, Duncan Johns.

Although Chari will be targeting a range of markets, his focus will be on the oil & gas and petrochemical sectors, in line with the Ion Science global growth strategy.

In preparation for his newly expanded role, Chari recently visited Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia where he met local distributors. He also attended Petrotech 2016 in Bahrain.

Commenting on his promotion, KS Chari said: “A key part of my role will be to further develop relationships with distributors and sub distributor networks by providing in-depth training and support to regional offices. I will also be available to answer technical enquiries about Ion Science instrumentation and applications, and assist sales growth by visiting key customers where required.”

Chari has over 30 years’ experience in strategic planning, profit centre management, sales & marketing, business development and customer relationship management. Prior to joining Ion Science, he spent almost 15 years as General Manager with a major Japanese instrumentation manufacturer.

@ionscience #PAuto @elhcomms

TFT screen transform instrument panel.

The new andersDX letterbox display offers an outstanding IPS TFT screen in a unique form factor. It provides a high contrast image that can be easily viewed over a wide angle even in bright sunlight and unfavourable conditions. This is a very high performance display, with a contrast ratio of 800 and a surface luminance of 850 cd/m2.  Viewing angle is 85° x 85° x 85° x 85°, allowing it to be read from an almost side-on position. Its’ resolution is 1280 x 480 at a pixel pitch of 0.228 mm².

They offer the display with optional five-touch CTP (Capacitive Touch Panel), operating through a 1.80mm thick cover glass. The thickness can be increased to 6.00mm with single touch operation. For maximum optical clarity, the touch panel and cover glass can be optically bonded to the display.

Commenting, Paul Hooper, Display Group Manager at andersDX said, “We’re breaking the mould of display design with this innovative and unusual display. Most displays on the market are on 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios, which are a legacy of TVs and computer monitors and aren’t designed for the clear and effective presentation of information in a user interface. This display allows designers to create a very different front panel around an exceptionally clear, bright and easy to read display.”

Suitable for use in portrait or landscape mode, the display has a diagonal of 12.3” and is 340.7mm wide by 150.75mm high. Standard features include an LVDS interface, an anti-glare coating and an LED backlight with a rated life of 70,000 hours to half brightness. The wide operating temperature of -30 deg C to + 80 deg C is key for industrial, automotive and marine applications.

@AndersElec #PAuto

Drives aid Dutch innovative fishing craft.

Control Techniques & Leroy-Somer have recently helped complete a landmark fishing industry project by contributing to the construction of a brand new type of marine vessel, the MDV-1 “Immanuel”.
The solution comprises a number of Unidrive M variable speed drives, along with motors, transformers, brake resistors, rectifier units and generators.

The MDV-1 “Immanuel” is a Dutch-built 30.2 x 8.6m twin-rig fishing vessel devised for the Masterplan Sustainable Fishing Foundation (shortened to ‘MDV’). The boat offers a number of key innovations over traditional craft including, notably, savings of up to 80% in both fuel consumption and emissions (CO2/NOx).

The remit of the MDV, which was established in 2012 to drive innovation in the Dutch fishing sector, is to seek efficiency improvements in every area, including the propulsion system, which on the MDV-1 “Immanuel” is diesel-electric with a variable-speed generator and DC-bus.

This design presents the opportunity to run the generator extremely efficiently, at speeds ranging from 800 to 1,200 rpm, and means the boat can be equipped with two generators (one running) instead of three in the case of AC (where normally two would be in operation). The larger generator (500kW) is used during transit and fishing, while the smaller one (117kW) is mainly an emergency generator, capable of bringing the boat back to shore at a lower speed.

The system benefits from the use of a 400kW water-cooled permanent magnet motor (120 rpm) for the main propeller in place of a conventional diesel engine. Along with higher efficiency, further benefits include its small size, with no need for an in-line gearbox with transmission.

Moreover, the fact that impact loads can be absorbed electrically by the engine controller makes the generator more stable and energy-efficient, with less engine noise, less vibration and virtually no need for maintenance.

Four Control Techniques Unidrive M variable speed drives work in tandem with the propulsion engine, with another such unit deployed for the drive of the rotary transformer, along with others for the hydraulic pump, flushing pump, engine room ventilation, fish hold cooling system, and two for the pulse fishing windlasses. The windlasses have to pay an electric cable in and out with a stable tensile force (without breaking), but with a variable swell.

Further products supplied include a Leroy-Somer motor/generator transformer for the on-board electrical system, a brake resistor for the power generation system, rectifier units for the common DC bus, a 12-pulse transformer suitable for variable frequencies, and Leroy-Somer main and auxiliary generators.

Besides the drive components, Control Techniques & Leroy-Somer also took care of the engineering, documentation, testing, set-up, training and drives operating software – not just for control from the PLC, but the application software for managing the frequency controllers of the propulsion engine and rotary transformer.

In order to reduce harmonic current distortion, engineers also advised the use of an electrical system in which a 12-pulse isolating transformer was employed. Switching controllers and generators guarantees a broad-based redundant system without any on-board electrical system interference compromising the instrumentation.

Construction ran to plan and the MDV1 was launched on time. Furthermore, after eight months of fishing the figures look good – the vessel is designed for the efficient fishing of both plaice and sole with a capacity to carry 850 boxes. Importantly, the systems that control and monitor energy consumption are doing their job so well that the MDV 1 can make money even when the price of oil is high.

@Emerson_News #Marine #Netherlands

Closing the gap between automation & IT.

Softing Industrial announced that its dataFEED uaGate SI gateway now also supports the MQTT protocol in addition to OPC-UA, enabling easy and reliable integration of Siemens S7 data into cloud solutions.

Thanks to the MQTT protocol's publisher functionality in the new 1.30 firmware version of its dataFEED uaGate SI, Softing is closing the gap between automation and IT. The gateway to Siemens S7 control systems now also allows easy and secure integration of data into cloud-based IoT and Industrie 4.0 applications. With this move, Softing acknowledges the growing acceptance of MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) as an IoT standard communication protocol. It is already being natively supported by many respected cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, IBM Bluemix and Microsoft Azure.

"The dataFEED uaGate SI offers the highest level of security, simple configuration, and low maintenance costs", says Sebastian Schenk, Product Manager at Softing Industrial. "This new version provides mechanical engineers, system integrators and other customers with a flexible and future-proof tool bridging the interface between industrial networks and IT applications."

In addition to the MQTT Publisher functionality, the built-in OPC UA Server allows data to be integrated into ERP, MES or SCADA applications. User authentication, certificate handling and SSL encryption ensure maximum security. The gateway is easy to configure via a web browser and supports icon import directly from SIMATIC STEP 7 and TIA Portal projects. dataFEED uaGate SI is equally suitable for new systems and retrofits in existing systems.

The new firmware version 1.30 is available now for download from the Softing website. Existing customers can upgrade to the new version for free.

#Softing #Pauto 

AC/DC power sources.

The AFV-P Series of precision, programmable AC/DC power sources have been introduced by Intepro Systems. The compact rack-mounted units are available in four power levels – 600VA, 1250VA and 2500VA (2U) and 5000VA (5U) – and provide clean power with distortion less than 0.3% at 50/60Hz.

The AFV-P series delivers output voltage from 0 to 310 VAC and frequency from 40 to 500 Hz (15 to 1000 Hz with the high-frequency option). The devices can also be programmed to provide DC power from 300W to 2500W at 0-210/0-420 VDC. The units feature 300 µs slew rate (for 0-90% change in output voltage) and can deliver up to 4.5 times peak current (crest factor) from its max rated current. The APF-V Series is ideal for commercial, defence and aerospace test applications, from design verification and quality assurance to automated production testing.

Their graphical user-interface software makes it easy to set up complex testing sequences. Transient generation functions provide simulation of voltage variations, surges, drops and frequency disturbances with 1msec programming resolution. The five-inch touch screen with rotary knob allows quick adjustments and configuration of voltage, current and frequency. Users can remotely control the unit via standard interfaces of USB, RS232/RS485, LAN or optional GPIB and analogue control. Free control software and LabVIEW driver are available for easy programming and remote control.

“The AFV-P Series’ high crest factor capability makes it ideal for switching power supply and motor testing,” said Gerard Sheehan, Intepro's Chief Technical Officer. “And its high slew rate enables testing for compliance with IEC-61000-4 or MIL-STD-704F.”


@InteproSystems  #PAuto

Power supply home page!

Gresham Power Electronics has updated its power supply homepage to offer visitors easy access to its wide product range and has added a simple to use product search facility.

Jake Moir, Managing Director of Gresham Power, comments, “We are growing our distribution portfolio and stock levels and are now a complete power supply solution provider for a wide range of markets. Working in partnership with a number of carefully selected industry leading power supply manufacturers we are committed to offering our customers a best-fit technical and commercial solution to all of their power supply requirements.”

Gresham now offers industrial, medical, CompactPCI, rail and transportation, test and laboratory power solutions from world class manufacturers including EOS Power, Vox Power, Magna-Power, Polytron Devices, Advice Electronics and Digital Power. The range include market leading and cost competitive open frame power supplies, modular configurable and encapsulated power supplies, programmable power supplies and electronic loads and DC:DC converters.

Gresham’s vast experience of designing and manufacturing defence power systems is available to customers to provide modified standard or full custom power supply designs if required. Gresham can also supply a new range of defence power products for land based or vehicle applications to complement its world-leading naval power systems.

 @GreshamPower #PAuto @proactivefleet

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sales director for sound and vibration specialist.

The AcSoft Group (AcSoft, Svantek and G.R.A.S UK),  has promoted Emily Norman to Sales Director.

Emily Norman
Prior to taking up her new role, Emily was Sales Manager at G.R.A.S UK - having joined the AcSoft Group in 2011. She comes from a strong sales and financial background and has previously worked in customer facing roles in both the retail and technical sector.

John Shelton, Managing Director at AcSoft Group comments: “AcSoft Group is in a good place after a successful 2016 so the promotion of Emily will help strengthen the senior management team to ensure the business maintains and builds on this momentum. Emily will oversee new business development and maximise opportunities in our key target markets. She has already proved herself to be a dynamic and forward-thinking individual who has in-depth knowledge of the three companies and all products across the Group.

“As leaders in our field, we work with major universities and consultancies, as well as companies within the automotive, aerospace, telecommunications, environmental and occupational health markets. Emily will play a crucial role in further developing these relationships as we focus on continued growth.”

Emily Norman adds: “My focus as Sales Director is to continue to develop AcSoft Group’s reputation whilst delivering profitable business growth and ensuring high service levels to clients. I now have the scope to help drive the business forward and achieve these goals.”


 @acsoft_sound #PAuto @elhcomms

Approval for particulate monitors.

The TSI Environmental DustTrak™ Aerosol Monitors in Ashtead Technologies' fleet of particulate matter (PM) monitors have achieved MCERTS* approval.

"As evidence of the health effects associated with PM10 and PM2.5 exposure continues to mount, this certification provides assurance that monitoring data is accurate and reliable,” says Ashtead’s Josh Thomas. "An MCERTS certificate demonstrates compliance with the performance requirements of the Environment Agency, which means that these instruments will be ideal for monitoring PM from construction projects, traffic and industrial sources."

With a ‘cloud’ based data management system, the Environmental DustTrak provides users with easy access to real-time data on dust levels, with the optional addition of other sensors. Alarm conditions can be set by users so that text and email alerts are issued when threshold levels arise.

Available in three configurations, these MCERTS-certified models are capable of monitoring PM Total, PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0 mass fractions simultaneously. The latest version is equipped with a heated inlet, enabling longer run times, increased accuracy and the ability to measure in a wider variety of temperatures and humidity.

Summarising, Josh says: “Environmental DustTrak units are quick and easy to set up and run, with remote web-enabled access helping to lower operating costs, and MCERTS approval providing confidence in the data.”

MCERTS is the British Environment Agency’s Monitoring Certification Scheme.

@ashteadtech #PAuto #MCERTS @_Enviro_News

Measurement Uncertainty.

The fifth edition of Measurement Uncertainty: Methods and Applications by Ronald. H. Dieck has been launched by ISA.

For greater perspective on the value & 
significance of the updated edition &
its areas of new & enhanced content,

In addition, a working version of an
uncertainty analysis template is 
available for download at the bottom
of the interview page.
Dieck, a former ISA president and a recognized expert in measurement uncertainty analysis, says an updated edition of his popular book was needed in light of ongoing technological advances and improvements in measurement uncertainty methods and applications.

“There’s still a need for a well-organised, up-to-date book for properly analyzing the uncertainty of test and experimental data, particularly given the pace of technological change,” Dieck explains. “This new edition features a significant amount of new and enhanced content, ranging from new appendices to more detailed examples of uncertainty analysis and computation.”

The book’s new appendices: include condensed descriptions of the basics of uncertainty analysis, pinpoint the advantages and disadvantages of several uncertainty models used throughout the world, and provide key equations for uncertainty analysis—all in an easy-to-use format.

 #PAuto #ISAuto

Monday, January 23, 2017

Cybersecurity Career Pathways for Protecting Critical Infrastructure.


As part of its mission to help develop a workforce capable of competing in advanced manufacturing, the Automation Federation will deliver a presentation on career pathways in industrial cybersecurity at this week’s 2017 Workforce Development Institute conference.

The conference, which will be conducted 25-28 January in Newport Beach, (CA USA), is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). It will bring together education leaders, manufacturing executives, and workforce and economic development experts from both government and private enterprise to assess current workforce challenges and consider new partnerships and perspectives.

The presentation by the Automation Federation, “Cybersecurity Career Pathways for Protecting Critical Infrastructure,” will be delivered on Friday morning (27th January).

The Automation Federation has long regarded community colleges as essential for providing the community-based education and training needed to groom future automation and control professionals and engineers. For many years, it has been working with the AACC as well as individual community colleges to help expand students’ access to automation curriculum and degree programs.

In 2012, the Automation Federation worked with the AACC to establish the US Automation Community College Consortium. The member colleges that comprise the Consortium use the Automation Federation’s Automation Competency Model as the framework for developing an automation curriculum that will result in two-year degree programs in specific automation arenas and provide an educational track leading to a four-year degree program in automation, engineering, and technology.

The Automation Federation is currently working with numerous community colleges to develop automation curriculum leading to associate degrees in automation.

“The Automation Federation and the AACC have established a strong partnership around the Community College Consortium,” emphasises Michael Marlowe, Managing Director and Director of Government Relations at the Automation Federation. “We’re confident that, by working together, we’re creating a pathway for a new generation of automation professionals that is so critical to the future of advanced manufacturing."

#Cybersecurity  #PAuto @Comm_College

Rentings for NDT training.

TWI recently ran a Non Destructive Testing training course in Madrid at which, thanks to rented instruments from Ashtead Technology, each participant was able to use individual test instruments.

“The candidates were overwhelmed by the quality and volume of equipment for their personal use,” said TWI Principal Project Leader and Advanced NDT Lecturer Neil Harrap. “Most of the Madrid trainees were from the Spanish Association of Non Destructive Testing (AEND) and their customers. At previous courses, the participants had had to share equipment, but we find that training is more effective when every candidate has his or her own equipment.”

To supplement the TWI fleet of instruments, Neil hired Olympus OmniScan® SX flaw detectors from Ashtead Technology for the Madrid course. “These were chosen because of their simplicity and cost,” Neil adds.

The TWI course, entitled ‘Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) – Welds’ is a blended learning package; combining eLearning and in-class practical training followed by certification to BS EN ISO 9712. The online modules can be studied when and where convenient and at the candidate’s own pace, and the practical sessions are included within 10 days of classroom training. The package separates the learning of key concepts from learning about a specific instrument, coupled with interactive exercises focused on the principles behind set-up, calibration, acquisition and data analysis.

Neil commented: “The quality of Ashtead’s products and service was first class, as expected, and their educational discount helped ensure that enough instruments could be provided.”

As the world’s largest provider of NDT training and with a reputation for the highest standards, TWI demands the very best from its test equipment, which is why Neil Harrap and TWI already have plans to employ Ashtead instruments on future training courses around the globe; with Denmark’s leading environmental consultancy ‘Force Technology’ next in line to benefit from Ashtead’s cutting edge equipment.

@ashteadtech #PAuto @TWI_training #NDT #Spain

Plugging into ProfiBus!

ProfiBus is growing each year with millions of newly installed devices, that are becoming more and more intelligent. For that reason, like the devices, ProfiBus plugs keep evolving to comply with the future demands of industrial automation. What usually looks like a simple passive component, is actually responsible to prevent many installation and wear-and-tear issues that can arise. The plug is the first component that connects the devices to an often companywide bus system. Reliability a key ingredient for the selection of proper plugs.

With its many years of acquired ProfiBus experience, the crew of Procentec developed a unique series of innovative ProfiBus Plugs that cover the common installation issues.

Looking at the plugs, the first thing to notice is that the series consists out of multiple colored plugs. Especially with large networks, that are also equipped with repeaters and hubs, proper administration is an important topic. The colours of the plugs help the user to distinguish sections of the installation. For example; the backbone is “green”, the high speed bus is “red” and the segments are “orange”. Any combination can be defined by the end-user. This handy add-on will save a lot of time and makes working with ProfiBus a more enjoyable experience.  (Contact them on availability of other colours!)

The plugs are equipped with a terminating resistor and high frequency inductors to filter out the first level of reflections. In our testlab the plugs have been tested under a variety of conditions to see how the inductors behave and support the user to keep-up the reliability of the installation. Under the highest baudrates and maximum allowed cable lengths, the plugs have had no issues transmitting information from point A to B.

The shielding was also an important design topic. Procentec designers were successful keeping the resistance from the connector to the shield clamp as low as possible to create the best EMC behavior and conduct ground loops smoothly.

Besides the standard plug with one 9-pin connector, a PG (piggy back) version is also available to allow easy connection of diagnostic tools like ProfiTrace.

#ProfiBus @procentec #PAuto