Thursday, March 16, 2017

A first in IoT Security.

Icon Labs has announced the availability of the Floodgate Certificate Authority (CA). Floodgate CA is the server side portion of their PKI solution and provides certificate management for companies choosing to implement their own certificate-based authentication using public key infrastructure.

“PKI will re-emerge as one of the most relevant authentication mechanisms for organisations addressing the IOT authentication problem. PKI’s flexibility is important when adapting to changing requirements and represents identity verification in a cross-platform, multiprotocol approach.”
- Gartner Research
IoT security requires strong authentication. All IoT devices, including the smallest endpoints, must support mutual authentication, ensuring all communication is between known, trusted devices, and that all access is authorized. Certificate-based authentication using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) provides a proven, reliable authentication method.

The Floodgate CA can be deployed on a hardened server or hierarchy of servers in a private environment to provide a closed PKI system without dependence upon public certificate authorities or other third-parties. It can also operate as a sub-CA of a public CA, allowing OEMs to choose the operating model based on their IoT authentication requirements.

Floodgate CA can be used with any PKI client, including Icon Labs’ Floodgate PKI Client Toolkit; an embeddable PKI client for IoT devices. Floodgate PKI Client enables even the smallest of IoT devices to generate keys, create certificate signing requests, and retrieve signed certificates from the Certificate Authority.

“This is the only security solution that provides both the client and server side required to automate secure provisioning and enrollment,” said Alan Grau, President of Icon Labs. “The Floodgate Certificate Authority and Floodgate PKI Client toolkit enables developers to easily and efficiently integrate certificate-based machine-to-machine authentication for IoT devices.”

The PKI client supports SCEP, EST, and OCSP on all RTOS, embedded Linux, and Windows devices. The Floodgate Certificate Authority encompasses a wide-range of potential use cases including key management, generating public key infrastructure certificates, and injecting pre-generated keys during the manufacturing process.

@iconlabs #PAuto #IIoT

Clean air award instituted!

A new award has been created to highlight the importance of air quality monitoring stations (AQMSs), by recognising those that create and maintain the best sites.

Who'll be first?
A network of AQMSs spans Britain, providing data on the air that citizens breathe. These stations provide vitally important data to: track long term trends in air quality; inform national strategy and decision making on issues that affect air quality; identify pollution hotspots, and provide daily information for people with health conditions that make them susceptible to air pollution.

The ‘Golden (AQ) Site Award’ will be judged by a group of leading air quality professionals and presented every two years at the AQE Conference/Exhibition. AQE 2017 (Telford, GB, 24-25th May) organiser Marcus Pattison says: “There is already a ‘Golden Stack Award’ for the industrial site with the best monitoring installation, and this has encouraged healthy competition in the creation of safe, ergonomic monitoring sites, so it is logical to extend this into the ambient AQ monitoring sector, and we are excited to see which sites are nominated.”

Local Authorities and others will be encouraged to nominate their sites via a dedicated weblink and the winner will receive a trophy as well as a plaque for display at the winning site. Judging criteria will include safety, location, service vehicle parking, cleanliness/state of repair, power and internet availability. However, the judges may also take into account other issues such as nearby toilets and refreshments.

The competition is being sponsored by the company Air Monitors Limited, which is responsible for supplying and servicing many of the UK AQMSs. Their Jim Mills says: “We hope that this competition will help to highlight the importance of air quality monitoring whilst encouraging AQMS owners to think carefully about what it takes to create a safe, effective, sustainable monitoring resource.”

@AQE_Show #Pauto #Environment @airmonitors #Britain

Controlling robots, drones, and more.

Mouser Electronics is now stocking the highly anticipated BeagleBone Blue from BeagleBoard, a complete robotics controller built around the BeagleBone open hardware single-board computer (SBC). The high-performance BeagleBone Blue combines flexible networking capabilities with a real-time-capable Linux system and easy-to-connect interfaces for building robots, machine control, or even unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones).

The BeagleBone Blue, available from Mouser Electronics, provides 4 GBytes of eMMC flash storage, microSD slot, a 3D graphics accelerator and a NEON floating-point. Like the BeagleBone Black Wireless, the BeagleBone Blue is built on the Octavo Systems OSD3358 system-in-package (SiP), which integrates a Texas Instruments (TI) AM3358 1GHz ARM® Cortex®-A8 processor, 512 MBytes of DDR3 SDRAM, and two 32-bit programmable realtime units (PRUs) for fast peripheral control. The Octavo chip also includes a TI TPS65217C power management IC (PMIC), TI TL5209 low dropout (LDO) voltage regulator, and over 140 passive components, which opens up board space for BeagleBone Blue's many connectivity and sensor features.

The BeagleBone Blue features high-speed USB 2.0 host and client and a TI WiLink 8 module, which provides support for 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth® 4.1, and Bluetooth low energy. In addition to two sensors — a 9-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) and a barometer — the board includes four DC motor drivers and eight server motor outputs, as well as four quadrature encoder inputs for speed and direction measurements. For additional connectivity, the board provides eight general purpose inputs and outputs (GPIOs) and CAN, UART, SPI, and I2C interfaces.

The BeagleBone Blue is powered via the microUSB port, 9V — 18VDC barrel jack, or a two-cell lithium polymer battery connector with cell balancer. The board ships with Linux and BeagleBoard's Cloud9 integrated development environment (IDE) on the eMMC, and also supports Debian and other distributions of Linux; Ardupilot platform for UAVs; and ROS operating system for robots.

@MouserElecEU #Pauto #Robotics @beagleboardorg 

Non-contacting rotary encoder for space-restricted installation.

Contelec’s compact and durable Vert-X 05E is now available from Variohm EuroSensor

The Contelec ultra-compact and durable Vert-X 05E encoder perfectly suits precision rotary position control applications in heavy duty machinery where space is restricted and where simple installation and competitive cost are important factors.

Available in Britain with full engineering support from Variohm EuroSensor the Vert-X 05E sensor element is just 5 mm thick and its diminutive size allows measurement very close to walls and other boundaries. The sensor has 12-bit resolution in a choice of single or redundant output for 0.5V…4.5V or 10…90% of programmed input voltage (5V DC). The sensor’s repeatability is within 0.1⁰ and versions are available for 0 to 360⁰ or factory programmed in 10⁰ increments with special range options available on request. The intendant linearity is dependent upon the radial alignment with a typical value from +/-0.3%.

With complete mechanical separation between the Vert-X 05E’s sensor element and the magnetic actuator the new sensor offers an effective limitless life. The sensor and magnet housings are encapsulated in high-grade temperature resistant epoxy resin which is impervious to ingress with the opportunity that the angle measurement can be made through non-magnetic liquid or solid materials. The direction sense is simply reversed by flipping the sensor element which is secured by two small screws. The sensor’s environmental specification extends to high level resistance to shock and vibration as well as similarly excellent electrical characteristics for emissions.

@Variohm #Pauto #Contelec

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cable assemblies for power cablingin data centres!

A range of connectorised cable assemblies from Harting provide a key element in the power distribution infrastructure of a data centre - by linking the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) and the power distribution units (PDUs).

“Data centre designers, systems integrators and installers are constantly looking for increased build flexibility in order to offer their end-user operators a shorter build completion time to provide them with return on investment at the earliest possible opportunity”, says Product Market Specialist Howard Forryan. “They must also ensure that they satisfy operators’ key expectations of high system reliability and low downtime for an optimised continuation of service.”

The new cable assemblies address these challenges by combining a speedy “plug & play” approach during assembly and installation with a flexibility whose benefits extend from the initial design and prototyping phase to operation and maintenance activities.

The assemblies are based on Harting’s Han-Eco® modular connector family, which features a wide range of standard inserts that can be mixed in one connector, allowing the combination of various power requirements or even combining power and signal into a single connection point. For datacentre applications, a typical installation uses 6B sized hoods and housings for cable-to-bulkhead and cable-to-cable versions, with 4-pin and protective earth inserts for either 40 A or 70 A current handling.

In the past, datacentre designers have generally hard-wired the conductors inside the cable directly to the UPS and PDU. If the connection is for something that will never change or be disconnected, hard-wiring provides an economic solution because the only cost is the labour involved in connecting the wires. If the installation is disconnected and reconnected just once, however, the story changes. First, only a skilled electrician can disconnect and reconnect a hard-wired PDU. Even if the disconnection and reconnection goes as smoothly as possible, the user still pays a premium for the time involved. Secondly, there may be additional costs for troubleshooting as well as unplanned downtime, which results in lost revenue and frustrated customers.

When integrating a connector as the direct interface from the PDU, the user realises the full benefits of “plug & play”. There is no longer any need to hire a costly electrician, and since everything is pre-wired and pre-tested, wiring errors are virtually eliminated. Systems integrators have more flexibility to suit the local site installation conditions, consequently saving on installation time.

Connectorised cable assemblies also give the user the option of standardising the size of the PDU by having a uniform footprint including the power entry points. The ability to offer a choice of power ratings by loading the appropriately current-handling modular inserts during factory assembly eliminates the need to modify the PDU design as a whole. Unlike the situation for PDUs using circular power cord interfaces, where a separate version would need to be produced for each power rating type, the Han-Eco® solution means that the only PDU design variables for consideration are the cable length and the power outlet type.

A further benefit is that, when maintenance becomes due, it is quick and easy to disconnect and reconnect a cable assembly, reducing the amount of time offline compared to hard-wiring.

The flexibility of the modular Han-Eco® connector system means that users can easily integrate additional future-proof design benefits. For example, new IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) compatible “smart” connectors are now being developed that will monitor the power system’s status and advise the user when maintenance needs to be done. The problem can then be dealt with before users notice or any critical information is lost.

“These connectorised cable assemblies can form the basis of a reliable standardised power distribution connection system that will offer substantial improvements in ease of installation, reliability and cost savings for data-centre operators, as well as accommodating potential future developments in data-centre infrastructure management improvements, achieved by the integration of smart devices compatible with the Industrial Internet of Things”, concludes Howard Forryan.

@harting #PAuto 

Option for high-temperature experimental stress analysis.

Micro-Measurements®, part of the Vishay Group, have a new, optional pre-attached Teflon leadwire for its CEA- and WK-series strain gauges, Option SP35, in support of high-temperature stress analysis requirements to +400°F (+204°C).

A key benefit in the specification of pre-cabled gages for stress analysis is their efficiency during installation. With this new option, Micro-Measurements has extended this benefit into higher application temperatures. New Option SP35 includes ten feet (three meters) of 30-AWG, twisted, etched Teflon leadwires (330-FTE). The etching ensures that any protective coatings applied over the installation will bond and seal to the cable. Gauge leadwires are pre-attached via solder to the CEA- and WK-series strain gages, allowing them to support specific requirements to +350°F (+177°C) and +400°F (+204°C), respectively. Their three-wire quarter bridge configuration cancels any potential cable thermal output which may occur in response to temperature changes.

Option SP35 is ideal for the support of higher temperature stress analyses of automotive and aerospace components, or of any other structural material. It is particularly useful for higher temperature composite materials testing, eliminating the need for soldering on the test article, and thus the possibility of heat damage to sensitive surfaces.

In addition, Option SP35 has no impact on strain gage resistance tolerance or strain range specifications, allowing for continued seamless integration into the application environment. At the same time, it offers a viable leadwire solution with simplified installation requirements. With these combined features, Option SP35 now allows a customer to specify both Micro-Measurements CEA- and WK-series strain gages into an expanded number of higher temperature applications, particularly those where the limitations of traditional pre-gaged vinyl insulated cabling had previously limited their use.

@Strain_Gage #Pauto @VishayIndust

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Industrial emissions to be addressed.

The first day of the AQE 2017 conference will address the monitoring of difficult gases and dust components in industrial emissions, with presentations from an international panel of experts. AQE 2017 will take pace in Telford  (GB) on 24-25 May 2017 and registration is now available on the site.

The conference will begin with a regulatory update on the Industrial Emissions Directive, with subsequent presentations on the challenge presented by the monitoring requirements for SO2, and the impact of new EN Standards on the acid gases HF and HCl, including an overview of the current status of test methods and instruments.

The advantages of direct gas measurements with a feedback process loop for Ammonia slip monitoring will be described, in addition to the challenges and possible solutions to the calibration and measurement of particulates at low concentrations.

The afternoon sessions will begin with a presentation on a technology which combines gravimetric PM measurement with real-time diffusion charging and current measurement for indoor, outdoor and combustion source measurement. Mercury monitoring and calibration will then be discussed by a number of speakers, including experiences from the United States in relation to the European CEN that is currently being developed.

The final speaker of the day will explain how gaseous and liquid fuels can be treated with fixed bed absorbents at ambient temperature to remove H2S and mercury, and how the absorption profile can be easily measured.

• Details of the programme for Day 2 were published in early February.

Pre-registered visitors to AQE 2017 will benefit from free parking, refreshments and lunch, and free access to the AQE 2017 Exhibition and Workshops. However, there are charges for attending the Conferences:

Day 1 (24th May) AQE industrial emissions monitoring - £55 +VAT
Day 2 (25th May) REA monitoring waste management site emissions - £55 +VAT
Day 2 (25th May) IAPSC ambient air pollution monitoring - £155 +VAT (non-members). 
Attendance may be more cost-effective by joining IAPSC.

@AQE_Show #IAPSC #Airquality #Britain

Speeding time-to-market for pharmaceutical and biotech operations.

DeltaV™ Discovery, an automation solution for research and discovery laboratories that accelerates new product introduction for life sciences manufacturers has been introduced by Emerson. Life sciences enterprises can streamline their product lifecycle by integrating DeltaV Discovery as a common platform earlier, enabling more efficient development activity and accurate technology transfer from laboratory through production-scale operations.

Life sciences enterprises must bring safe, cost-effective drugs and therapies to patients quickly. Emerson delivers automation strategies that support rapid innovation in the fast-changing and competitive healthcare market. DeltaV Discovery expands these capabilities by providing automation technology earlier in the development cycle to support research and discovery activities.

DeltaV Discovery is a technology component of Emerson’s Operational Certainty™ programme designed to help industrial companies achieve top performance.

“With a $2.6B average cost to develop a commercially viable drug over a ten-plus year development period, companies must find ways to more efficiently scale up to commercial operations and reduce the time-consuming process of technology transfer,” says John Nita, vice president, life sciences, Emerson Automation Solutions. “DeltaV Discovery is vital in helping our life sciences customers ensure the work done in the research stage translates to a successfully operating production facility in the fastest possible time at the lowest possible cost.”

DeltaV Discovery delivers the capabilities of the DeltaV Distributed Control System (DCS) - already used widely for large-scale manufacturing - in a less complex and more compact size. This is convenient for research laboratories where a smaller footprint and easy automation integration are important. The smaller form factor and easier integration make it possible for the same automation application already used in production-scale operations to also be used in the product development pipeline.

DeltaV Discovery has a smaller footprint because it does not require physical hardware controllers or I/O cards. Automation strategies and I/O processing are all executed in a compact workstation. DeltaV Discovery interfaces to lab-scale equipment via multiple Ethernet protocols including OPC, Modbus/TCP, and Ethernet/IP.

Even with the smaller size, DeltaV Discovery delivers powerful capabilities - including batch management and integrated historians - not commonly found in a laboratory automation platform. DeltaV Discovery facilitates data integrity, 21 CFR part 11, and ISA-88 standards for batch execution and history collection. It also delivers alarms, events, and advanced batch data integration to the user in a single workstation. DeltaV Discovery delivers automation and compliance capabilities of commercial manufacturing to the lab.

@EMR_Automation #PAuto #biolife @Emerson_News #Pharma

Concentration measurement technology bolsters flow portfolio.

Endress+Hauser has acquired SensAction AG, a manufacturer of innovative systems for measuring the concentration of liquids. With this move, the Group intends to strengthen its quality measurement portfolio. SensAction will remain headquartered in Coburg, (D) and keep the current staff of 13 employees. Stefan Rothballer and Michael Münch, two of SensAction’s founders, will continue to manage the innovative company’s business
The managing directors of SensAction, Stefan Rothballer (left) and Michael Münch

SensAction will operate as a division of the Endress+Hauser center of competence for flow measurement technology headquartered in Reinach, Switzerland. “This innovative technology is an excellent fit with our modern flow measurement portfolio,” says Dr Bernd-Josef Schäfer, Managing Director of Endress+Hauser Flowtec AG. “It allows us to further expand our range of products for measuring quality parameters.”

Already, Coriolis flow measurement devices from Endress+Hauser can determine not only mass flow, but density as well. Electromagnetic instruments are capable of measuring conductivity parallel to the volume flow. “These physical analysis parameters create direct value-add for the customer,” emphasizes Bernd-Josef Schäfer. Endress+Hauser plans to integrate the SensAction instruments into its own program and open up new markets via the Group’s international sales structures. In addition, plans are in place to eventually combine the technology direct with Endress+Hauser flow instruments.

Innovative technology
The systems from SensAction measure the concentration of liquids with the help of surface acoustic waves, which are high frequency sound waves whose behavior can be compared to seismic waves created by earthquakes. By analyzing the transmission time and amplitude, the acoustic parameters of the liquid, such as sound wave velocity, impedance and density, can be measured in order to quickly and precisely determine the concentration. Because they contain no moving parts, the systems are maintenance-free and do not suffer from wear-and-tear.

Apart from developing and manufacturing concentration measurement systems, SensAction also offers supplementary services, such as software products that rely on a laboratory measurement to provide a high degree of accuracy and user-friendliness for the customers’ applications. The key fields of application for the SensAction instruments include concentration measurements for liquid process media.

@Endress_Hauser #PAuto @SensActionAG

Automation partnership to enhance service.

GroupCytek has joined the COPA-DATA Partner Community - a specially selected consortium of businesses dedicated to developments in industrial automation. As a Partner Community member, GroupCytek will have access to the wealth of knowledge shared between partners and can leverage these connections to drive innovation, open doors to new markets and solidify existing customer relationships.

“Our participation in the COPA-DATA Partner Community program will ensure that we deliver quality zenon solutions to our customers,” explained Andrew Cann, Operations Director of GroupCytek.

The COPA-DATA Partner Community consists of hardware manufacturers, systems integrators, original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s), educational institutions and research facilities. As the technology leader in industrial automation software, COPA-DATA’s objective is to co-operate with other experts in the industrial automation field, with the goal of driving further innovation in the automation industry.

GroupCytek specialises in providing control systems, software and engineering services across Britain. The company consists of three divisions: Cytek Consulting, Cytek Projects and Cytek Automation. Collaboratively, the three divisions boast extensive in-house experience across a range of industry sectors, including oil and gas, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, utilities and transportation, amongst many others. The company has established a reputation for delivering platform independent automation, engineering and project management solutions.

In addition to the community benefits of joining the COPA-DATA Partner Community, GroupCytek will also be invited to COPA-DATA’s biennial Global Partner Academy. The Global Partner Academy, usually hosted in Munich, provides an opportunity for members to meet with COPA-DATA employees and to connect with likeminded automation enthusiasts, industry experts and COPA-DATA partners from around the world.

“GroupCytek provides its customers with a service that represents the very best in professionalism and commitment,” explained Lee Sullivan, Regional Manager, COPA-DATA UK. “This high level of customer satisfaction is exactly what we look forward in a partner, in order to develop together and provide the industry with the cutting-edge solutions that our customers have grown to expect.”

#PAuto @GroupCytek @COPADATAUK

Agreement renewed.

Enterprise System Partners (ESP) and Werum IT Solutions have renewed their “PAS-X Endorsed Service Partner” agreement. The partnership ensures, ESP employees are certified in the delivery of Werum’s PAS-X MES to customers in Europe and USA and receive regular training on the latest PAS-X products and services.
Liam O'Brien, ESP, (left) and Torsten Isenberg, Werum IT.
The alliance complements Werum’s service portfolio and leverages the core strengths of both companies for an optimal business result for pharma and biotech clients. Werum’s PAS-X MES is designed to increase efficiency, improve productivity and meet regulatory requirements during pharmaceutical manufacturing. This coupled with ESP’s expertise in business operations, the scale of its technical service group and breadth of experience working within the life science industry over decades, means customers benefit from comprehensive project delivery support with quality solutions that deliver real business benefits.

“We have been working successfully with Werum and its products since 2004 and are delighted today to renew our formal partnership established in 2015. I believe this partnership offers unique value to our target market and look forward to our continued relationship,” says Liam O’Brien, Managing Director of Enterprise System Partners.

“Enterprise System Partners was one of our first service partners,” says Torsten Isenberg, Senior Director Services at Werum IT Solutions GmbH. “Together, we have been able to successfully support pharma and biotech manufacturers with a comprehensive set of support and consulting services during their PAS-X MES implementation phase. With the renewal of our long lasting PAS-X Service Partner agreement we are bringing our alliance to the next level – to the unrivaled benefit of our mutual customers.”

@Werum @ESPNewsandJobs #PAuto  #Ireland

Monday, March 13, 2017

Provider of fieldbus connectivity solutions joins wireless body.

Fieldbus International (Fint) has joined the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute.

Fint provides fieldbus network products and services to vendors and users in the process control and offshore industry. Fint specializes in products based on the Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus, HART, WirelessHART and now ISA100 Wireless technology.

“We are pleased that Fint has joined the ISA100 Wireless ecosystem,” remarked Andre Ristaino, ISA100 WCI Managing Director. “Fint is well known for their expertise in supporting industrial protocols and their engineering services for integrating technology, such as ISA100 Wireless into field devices and systems.”

“It is our ambition to advance this powerful technology by offering our products and services to manufacturers,” said Halvor Landet, Founder and CEO of Fint. “Our products and services will enable manufacturers to operate on an ISA100 network in a straightforward way and with a bare minimum of investment.”


International co-operation in fieldbus training.

Ireland provides lecturer for training course in Turkey

Hassan Kaghazchi
Dr. Hassan Kaghazchi (right), Chairman of PI Ireland successfully conducted a Certified PROFINET Engineers course for Siemens in Turkey in last December.  Siemens Istanbul is a Research and Development facility for Siemens Germany and mostly made up of young motivated engineers.

As well as the normal syllabus for the course, Dr Kaghazchi covered additional PROFINET features such as shared-device, ring redundancy, and Configuration in Run were also covered.

The use of S7 controllers allowed the demonstration of the full functionality of PROFINET in industrial communications. All participants successfully completed and passed the course.

@AllThingsPROFI #PAuto @siemensindustry  

All-round carefree switch package.

The G102 CompactPCI Serial switch from MEN Mikro Elektronik, offers the user a 29 Gbit/s switch matrix, and up to 25 Gigabit Ethernet ports for their high-speed applications. Three Gigabit Ethernet interfaces on X-coded M12 connectors, as well as a service access are available at the front panel.

Various software protocols ensure data security, synchronous Ethernet, stable operation and temperature monitoring. The G102 also supports IEEE 1588v2 (Precision Clock Synchronization Protocol) on ports one to twelve and EEE (energy-efficient Ethernet) on all ports.

The G102 – like the G101 – provides up to 25 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Up to 22 ports can be addressed on the backplane and three of them at the front, or alternatively all 25 ports at the rear. This includes 12 ports with integrated 10/100/1000 Mbit/s copper PHYs.

If the application requires additional interfaces at the front of the system, MEN now also offers a series of line cards, which can be combined as desired according to the respective requirements. Each of these line cards lead four Ethernet interfaces from the backplane to the front – depending on the respective line card - either via M12 or RJ45 connectors, optionally A or X-coded, with or without PoE.

Like the switches themselves, the line cards are in 3U CompactPCI Serial format, they require only one slot on the backplane, they are designed for an operating temperature of -40°C to + 85°C and are prepared for conformal coating.

To complete and protect the operation, the G102 is fault-tolerant and restores itself: If a link is temporarily not available, it resumes operation after the fault has been repaired without a restart or reset. Thanks to the integrated self-test mechanisms, the Gigabit Ethernet switch is a very reliable component in communication systems.

@MEN_Germany  #PAuto #Ethernet