Friday, April 7, 2017

Networking in Japanese paper plants.

Yokogawa Solution Service Corporation, has completed the installation of a software-defined networking (SDN) solution at four paper plants in Japan that are operated by group companies of Oji Holdings Corporation (the Oji Group). This is the first-ever plant-wide implementation in Japan (based on a March 2017 Yokogawa market survey) of SDN, a software-based technology that enables the creation of virtual network environments. As part of this undertaking, Yokogawa assessed the company’s IT infrastructure, including its existing networks, and designed and deployed SDN-based networks at these facilities.

With conventional plant networks, network devices (i.e., routers, firewalls) must be installed and configured for each individual application, location, and facility. The software-based SDN technology enables flexible implementation of virtual networks for each individual application, linking network devices using the same physical network. This facilitates the integrated management, implementation, and reconfiguration of networks. Also, this helps to reduce the required number of network devices and the amount of wiring that needs to be performed, saving both operating and management costs. Furthermore, the visualization of network status leads to enhanced security. Problems can be easily identified, and network operators can remotely shut down specific segments of the plant network in the event of an emergency.

Yokogawa won this order because the customer highly valued its solid track record in delivering production control systems, wealth of production site knowledge, and experience in providing solutions that lead to enhanced productivity, safety, and product quality.

For this project, they chose to use a proven SDN network device solution, NEC Corporation’s UNIVERGE PF series of controllers and switches. While minimizing impact on plant operations is usually difficult when replacing IT infrastructure, Yokogawa was able to do this by leveraging its abundant experience and knowledge of production sites. At each of this customer’s plants, Yokogawa assessed their IT infrastructure, including existing networks, and based on this assessment then designed and deployed its SDN technology solution.

The company is also providing on a trial basis a security management service that monitors the status and health of the networks throughout these plants. While enabling timely preventive measures that help to maintain the health of the networks in these plants, this service also ensures that prompt actions can be taken in the event of an emergency.

In plants around the world, there is an increasing need to improve productivity, safety, and maintenance efficiency, and this is being achieved through the introduction of Industrial IoT (IIoT) technology. Networks help to create new value by connecting various types of devices, but it is essential to be able to flexibly change their configuration, quickly respond to surges in data volume, and ensure more secure operations. For the optimal implementation of IIoT technology, attention is now increasingly turning to the use of SDN technology in plant IT infrastructure. This also will help company IT departments manage the IT infrastructure at their plants in a more integrated manner.
Capitalizing on its production site know-how, Yokogawa will continue in its endeavors to introduce SDN and other cutting-edge technologies that will enable the realization of smarter plant IT infrastructure.

@YokogawaIA  #PAuto #Japan

Non-contact level measurement.

Easy-to-use SIL 3 device provides enhanced diagnostics and remote proof-testing capability, supporting critical overfill prevention applications

At a time when experienced personnel are retiring and processes are being run closer to their capacity, Emerson Automation Solutions has launched a new non-contacting radar transmitter that helps operators increase reliability and safety. The SIL 3-capable Rosemount™ 5408 Non-Contacting Radar Level Transmitter uses enhanced technology and Human Centered Design to deliver accurate, reliable measurement and ease-of-use, supporting greater worker efficiency and plant safety.

To reduce complexity and enable less experienced workers to easily manage their level measurements for tank monitoring, process control and overfill prevention, the Rosemount 5408 has been designed to simplify operator tasks. Pictorial instructions and a highly intuitive software interface guide the operator through installation, commissioning, proof-testing, operation and maintenance. Enhanced on-board diagnostics support preventative maintenance, and provide actionable information, streamlining the troubleshooting process. The ability to perform proof-testing and site acceptance tests remotely saves time, increases worker efficiency and reduces the reliance on highly experienced staff.

“With a changing workforce demographic and increasing pressure to improve plant efficiency, companies require instrumentation that is extremely reliable and easy to implement and operate,” said Andreas Hessel, Rosemount strategic product manager, Emerson Automation Solutions. “The Rosemount 5408 takes level measurement a big step forward in both areas, offering the most advanced and simple-to-use radar available.”

With the need to run plants closer to capacity it is essential that instrumentation provides greater measurement accuracy and reliability, especially in critical overfill prevention applications. To support this, the Rosemount 5408 uses two-wire Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) technology that uses a continuous echo to maximize radar signal strength and produce a more robust and reliable measurement. In addition, radar-on-chip technology replaces a circuit board, thereby removing sources of EMC noise which cause signal disturbance, improving measurement accuracy and reliability.

To further enhance measurement reliability, a unique embedded power back-up removes vulnerability to intermittent power losses.

Supporting efforts to increase plant safety, the Rosemount 5408’s SIL 3 capability enables it to be seamlessly integrated into a safety instrumented system. ATEX and IECEx approvals allow installation in hazardous locations.

@EMR_Automation #PAuto @Rosemount_News @HHC_Lewis 

Aquisition ensures a broader range HMI supplier!

IDEC Corporation has acquired APEM. Together, IDEC and APEM are now one of the world’s largest manufacturers of human machine interface (HMI) components, panels and systems. With more than $500 million in total sales, the combined entity has a broad portfolio of industrial automation and HMI products, and access to markets across Europe, North America and Asia.

From factory sites to familiar everyday situations, IDEC Group supports the future of manufacturing and daily life through control technology. With many products, including a diverse lineup of network-compatible components advancing the Industrial Internet of Things, the company hopes to meet their customers’ needs today and tomorrow.

IDEC’s has four main lines of business: Industrial & Safety, Electronics & Automation, Explosion-Proof and LED. Products within these lines of business are supplied to various industry segments including manufacturing, public transportation, agricultural, and energy. These products include industrial controllers, HMIs, sensors, switches, power supplies, LED lighting and others.

“This acquisition is a major step for IDEC to establish solid foundations for global growth. It provides us with access to new customers, new markets, and greater range of products and services. Combining the two companies, we are a much bigger enterprise with a global reach. Together we have $500 million sales, 3500 people worldwide, Sales subsidiaries in 15 countries and factories in 10 countries. Thanks to the complementary product offerings, business models and geographical presence of the two companies, we expect significant synergies as we combine the two companies together,” says Toshi K. Funaki, the President of IDEC.

APEM’s products are primarily HMI interface components such as panel switches, joysticks, keypads and LED indicators. These components are assembled into HMI panels by their customers, or by APEM as semi-custom and full custom HMI panels. APEM’s primary markets include agricultural, material handling, medical, aeronautics, defense and transportation. These products and markets complement IDEC’s standard HMI systems and industrial automation products. APEM’s ability to design and deliver semi-custom and full custom HMI panels extends IDEC’s product portfolio into this fast-growing area.

APEM’s strong historical presence and reputation will help accelerate IDEC’s growth in Europe. IDEC’s leadership position in Japan and across Asia will open new markets for APEM products, and help to support existing APEM business across Asia. The strength of the combined APEM and IDEC sales teams in the United States will provide unique opportunities for selling high quality products and solutions to each company’s customer base. IDEC and APEM together will be primarily focused on growing sales, with a huge potential of geographical and product offering synergies.

“With the acquisition by IDEC, a new page of APEM history starts. Our product offerings are complementary, which creates a unique opportunity to develop further sales and new products for our existing customers and new ones,” says Grégory Sachnine, the President of APEM.

APEM will keep its product branding, and will maintain strategic development priorities under the leadership of the current management team. APEM and IDEC share many of the same values including high quality products, excellent customer service, and a commitment to the long-term development of their employees. The combined entity will continue to serve customers worldwide in keeping with its long-standing reputation for customer satisfaction.


Piezoelectric strain sensor.

The new Type 9238B piezoelectric strain sensor from Kistler Instruments monitors the force-proportional strain on machine components and structures. The integrated charge amplifier produces an industry standard ±10V output making the sensor simple to integrate into existing systems and measuring chains.

Typical applications include:
  • Machine monitoring, such as protecting mechanical presses against overload
  • Quality assurance in production runs for joining processes, such as wobble riveting, clinching and resistance spot welding
  • Monitoring machine tools, such as prompt detection of tool breakage or tool collision
The 9238B is much easier to install than bonded strain gauges. Secured to a suitable clean, unpainted position on the machine frame by a single M6 screw, the sensor is especially easy to retrofit to almost all types of machine tools. The sensor measures dynamic and quasi-static strain on machinery or structural surfaces. Force can be calculated knowing the material stiffness and component geometry. Alternatively, the signal can be calibrated against an appropriate standard to provide absolute measurements in N or kN.

The new piezoelectric strain sensor has two measuring ranges that can be adjusted to a particular value or signal curve in one hundred steps using either dedicated ManuWare software or directly by the machine’s own PLC. When the measuring range is adjusted, the setting is stored by the integral electronics. The range can be switched remotely, even under load conditions, enabling very low forces to be accurately measured.

Typical applications for the sensor are monitoring C-frame machine tools such as presses and automatic assembly machines, preventing overload of mechanical presses, quality control of riveting, clinching and resistance spot welding processes and detection of tool breakage or collision in a wide variety of machine tools.

The parameters of the integral charge amplifier are configured using the included ManuWare PC program. For test purposes the ManuWare software can also transmit digital measurement data (at a rate >20 Hz) for display on the screen. The robust construction provides a IP67 rating making the sensor suitable for use in dirty and wet environments. A major advantages of piezotechnology compared with foil strain gauge technology are high sensitivity, high overload resistance, virtually unlimited service life and high load cycle stability.

Cable connection is by a single M12-8-pin socket, mounted either on the end or upper face of the sensor, using screened cables available with straight or right-angled connector. The excitation voltage and measuring cycle, control range switching and communications interface data are carried to the sensor via the same cable used to transmit the measurement signal. Where the integral charge amplifier is not required, the similarly specified Type 9232A may be used.

Although designed for real world, industrial applications, the new strain sensors are equally suited to research and development applications requiring ease of installation and precision combined with versatility and reliability.

#Kistler #PAuto

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Heavy duty computer interface devices.

Foremost Electronics has been appointed as a distributor for Storm Interface, manufacturer of heavy duty keypads, keyboards and custom computer interface devices. All Storm products are built to withstand rough use and abuse in unattended public and industrial applications.

Along with Storm’s toughened industrial HMI products, Foremost will also stock its ‘Assistive Technology Products’. These accessible DDA and ADA compliant system navigation devices are used by kiosk manufacturers and self service operators to ensure access to information and services for those with sensory or mobility impairment.

“As accessibility legislation relating to the self-service market continues to evolve, the requirement for this type of tactile, audio enabled device is steadily increasing.” comments Emma Kempster, Key Account Manager of Foremost Electronics Ltd. ‘We represent many of the world's major manufacturers and with Storm’s reputation for quality, we believe their products will be a good fit for us.’

The product range available from Foremost includes 5 and 8 key “Nav Pads”, an X-Y Position Control Navigation Pad, a 6 key Nav Bar with USB interface and audio port options and a High Contrast computer keyboard.

#4mostElec #PAuto

Celebrating robotics in Britain!

Britain's role at the heart of robotics innovation will be celebrated again with the public this summer with the return of UK Robotics Week, encompassing an expanded nationwide programme of events for this week-long celebration (24th – 30th June 2017).

Building on the huge success of last year’s inaugural event, this year's event offers activities for people of all ages up and down the country, from exclusive open days and public lectures,  such as “A Fatal Attraction?” with Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn, Monday 19th June 2017, 18:00, University of Liverpool; film premieres, competitions, cutting-edge robotics demonstrations and exhibitions.

A key highlight will be the Science Museum Lates Exhibition: Robots (Wednesday 28th June 2017, 18:45), which will feature a unique collection of over 100 robots, from a 16th-century mechanical monk to robots from science fiction and modern-day research labs.

The UK Robotics Week will conclude with a Grand Finale International Robotics Showcase event at the IET, Savoy Place, London, on Friday 30th June 2017. This celebration finale will host global leaders in robotics research, and include presentations from key international robotics and autonomous systems developers (academic and industry) as well as robotics demonstrations, keynote lectures, panel discussions and film premieres.

The event will also include an awards ceremony for the challenge winners and the launch of four new white papers on Extreme Environments; Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning; Resilient Infrastructure and Social Care Robotics. Registration for this event will be announced next month.

@ukroboticsweek #PAuto #Robotics

Safe switches.

We seem to have had quite a number of stories about new switches or improvements to existing switches. Of course they are a vital part of all industrial applications.

JPR Electronics stock a wide range of Switches from Shin Chin Industrial (SCI)  This company have production sites in China, Taiwan and Indonesia and certified to ISO 9001 and TS16949. SCI set up the first UL-approved laboratory in Taiwan for switch testing under the UL Witnessed Test Data Program (WTDP) process.

Paul Raynor
, Director of JPR Electronics, comments. "SCI have a very experienced and active research and design team and high quality, certified, manufacturing facilities making their products a great choice for OEM/ODM businesses.”

The full range of SCI switch products are available from JPR including rectangular and circular rocker switches including snap-in types, miniature and low profile push-button switches, standard and miniature toggle switches, rotary and key switches, slide and in-line switches and waterproof switches. Switches are available with SPDT and DPDT contacts and illumination options. 3mm and 5mm chrome LED holder bezels are available for control panel indicators

Typical applications include system power switches, control panel switches, PCB mounted switching, safety, security and industrial control and LED indicators for control panels.

SCI are leaders in environmental protection and are developing innovative products made of lead-free materials and a variety of LED components to reduce CO2 emissions and power consumption.

@Jprelec #PAuto #SCI

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Portable data logger.

The Model 9330 high speed, portable data logger and digital display has been launched by Interface Force Measurements.  Packed full of useful features, this new stand- alone unit offers the option of high speed data capture away from mains power, ideal for use in remote locations.

Speaking about this new product, Tony Rokins at Interface Force says: “We are delighted to introduce this versatile new data logger and digital display unit. Its portability and long battery life makes it ideal for taking measurements in isolated locations and the addition of the SD card enables data to be analysed back in the office, laboratory or factory. “

The Model 9330 displays 24-bit resolution and has an impressive 3750Hz update rate. Incorporating peak and valley capture, it can store up to 6 sensor calibrations and measurements from load cells or torque transducers can be logged at 1000Hz to a standard SD card. This data can then be downloaded to a PC via the built-in USB port and Windows compatible software for off-site analysis.

Adding further versatility, the rechargeable battery can power up to 4 x 350 ohm sensors, but also offers up to 300 hours stand by time and up to 20 hours continue use.

#InterfaceForce #PAuto

Intelligent switchboards.

Nick Boughton, sales manager at industrial systems integrator, Boulting Technology tells how switchboards need to adapt to keep up with increased energy demands.

Wunderland Kalkar, a children's theme park in Dusseldorf (D), attracts over 300,000 people every year. The park has over 40 rides, a hotel and a restaurant on site, so it may come as a surprise that the attraction was once an unused nuclear power plant. Over time places and technologies have to change in order to keep up with user demand, especially in industry.

Switchboards sit at the heart of an infrastructure and therefore need to be able to make intelligent decisions regarding where its power is coming from and going to. The majority of switchboards are capable of redirecting energy to several sources when prompted, but there are very few that allow plant or office managers to make the most of their electricity supply.

The rise of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) gives hope that facilities will soon be able to operate autonomously. Smart sensors, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and distributed control systems (DCS) are already widely used in the industry — intelligent switchboards could be the next step.

An intelligent switchboard should be able to schedule power use, based on the previous operating times of each application. If it receives power from renewable sources, it could use these predictions to supply energy back to the grid, keeping energy costs as low as possible for the owner of the facility. Generally, electricity is cheaper when consumer demand is lowest, mainly during the night. If the facility had the ability to store energy, an intelligent switchboard could also use tariff predictions to make decisions on whether to receive energy from the grid, or wait until a lower tariff is available.

An intelligent switchboard would also complement the use of demand-side response — a system which financially rewards customers for shifting their electricity use at peak hours. Currently, demand-side response is managed by sending a signal to the customer when they need to take action. Intelligent switchboards pave the way for an automated response to this signal, which could include switching to stored energy during these peak hours.

One thing that many people don't know about Wunderland Kalkar is that it was never fully operational as a nuclear power plant. Construction began in 1972 but delays and fierce protests from locals caused the plant to close down before it was ever finished. Today, many plant and office managers are also resistant to change, particularly with energy infrastructure such as switchboards. However, investigating the benefits of a more intelligent system and making the change could save them a small fortune in reduced energy bills, better tariffs and lack of wasted energy.

#Pauto @BoultingTech @StoneJunctionPR #IIot

Performance analysis for swimmers!

British Para-Swimming has worked hard to ensure that its top coaches and athletes have access to the best facilities, equipment and technology in the world. In 2015, the Manchester Aquatics Centre, the home of the British Para-Swimming National Performance Centre, was the first in the world to install the Kistler Performance Analysis System for Swimmers (PAS-S) which uses state of the art sensor technology and high speed video to record a swimmer’s starts, turns and relay changeovers in minute detail, under and on the surface.

As with many sports, performance improvement in para-swimming is achieved by small increments, rather than major advances. In the search for these small improvements, Britain’s Para-Swimmers benefit from the application of technology to the analysis of minute elements of performance. The PAS-S supplies the objective data, such as the take-off force at the start, which can be passed on to the athletes immediately and optimized during the training session.

“The Kistler system is a world-leading piece of analysis kit that captures metrics of an athlete’s starts, turns and finishes and is the only piece of kit of its kind in the world,” says Chris Furber, National Performance Director. This is why he believes that the Kistler PAS-S is the world's top performance analysis kit: simple and at the same time effective to use. In view of the increasing competition in Para-Swimming, this results in some crucial advantages.

British Para-Swimming is not resting on its laurels but is committed to building on past success at the new Para-Swimming World Series which began in Copenhagen in March 2017. This will provide opportunities for Para-Swimmers to compete in the series of five international events leading up to the World Para Swimming World Championships 2017 in Mexico City; the ideal preparation for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

#Kistler #Sport @britishswimming @ParalympicsGB

Safety certification for switches.

United Electric Controls (UE) has received SIL 2 certification on two of its most popular electromechanical switch offerings. Combined with the award-winning SIL 2-certified One Series Safety Transmitter, UE now offers process instrumentation end users with a unique range of options for high-reliability electromechanical or digital switching in general process or hazardous area functional safety applications.

"As global economies become more dynamic and volatile, industrial companies are looking for new ways to reduce risk and are increasingly demanding SIL certification on new instruments. Although our electromechanical switches are already well-known for their reliability, we have obtained SIL certification to provide an added level of assurance. Combined now with our SIL-certified One Series Safety Transmitters, we offer a broad set of options for cost-effective and reliable safety switching,” said Wil Chin, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, United Electric Controls. 

Global safety certification leader exida has certified United Electric’s (UE’s) 100 Series and 120 Series pressure, differential pressure and temperature switches for use in a SIL 2 environment, with systematic capability at SIL 3 level. The option for SIL 3 reliability in electromechanical or digital switching provides great flexibility to optimize instrumentation around performance, safety or economic objectives.

High-reliability, high-speed switching at low cost
Switch users looking only for economical, high speed electromechanical SIL 2 level switching can specify the 100 Series for weather-proof general applications. The 100 Series provides pressure or temperature switching for process plants and OEM equipment. Its one-piece enclosure features a clamshell cover for easy wiring accessibility, with a wide variety of microswitch, sensor and process-connection options. Typical applications include heat tracing, freeze protection, processing equipment (pumps, compressors), inputs for annunciator panels and fire suppression systems.

High-reliability, high-speed switching in hazardous environments
Those needing SIL 2 level reliability temperature and pressure switching in Division 1/Zone 1 hazardous environments can consider the explosion-proof UE 120 Series electromechanical switches. The 120 Series performs critical safety, alarm and shutdown functions in oil & gas, petrochemical, and refining industries. They are also globally certified for hazardous applications in North America (cULus), Europe (ATEX, CE, IECEx), India (PESO), Russia (EAC), and other regions.

High-reliability digital switching
Those seeking the financial and operational benefits of having a complete safety instrumented system (SIS) in a single digital unit would specify UE’s One Series Safety Transmitter. One Series Safety Transmitters uniquely bundle rapid switching, safety logic solving and temperature or pressure sensing in a single housing. They are equipped with digital displays and diagnostic capabilities and shipped SIL 2 certified (SIL 3 Capable) from the factory, removing risk of implementing external relays and controls.

The newly SIL-certified electromechanical switches will be available for sale on May 1, 2017. The One Series Safety Transmitters are available immediately.

 @UEControls #PAuto  #Safety

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sensor actuator boxes.

Harting has introduced a new range of sensor actuator boxes which will save users time and money by enabling faster installation and reducing the number of cable lengths required between the sensors and the control cabinet. The sensor actuator boxes are the first in an extensive range of new compact passive I/O distributor boxes for multiple applications.

Developed in response to steadily increasing expenditure on cabling due to the growing use of sensor technology in the field, the new sensor actuator boxes represent an ideal solution for many applications such as automation, robotics and process systems. Sensors can be quickly and easily connected to passive distributor boxes using standard M8 and M12 slots. With a choice of four, eight or ten slots, the sensor cables no longer have to be drawn from the sensor into the control cabinet, but only to the local, application-led distributor box. The rest is taken care of by a master line to the control cabinet.

The master line can be connected by an M23, M16 or M12D connector. Using plug-in connectors and combining the previous individual wiring reduces costs by saving installation time as well as minimising outage times for defective sensors, which can easily be replaced during servicing.

IP protection rating 67/68 enables the sturdy sensor actuator boxes to withstand harsh operational environments and guarantees users reliable and secure signal routing.

@Harting #Pauto 

Ten million learners!

Alison has passed the 10-million registered learner milestone.

Mike Feerick
The company pioneered free online education ten years ago when it launched the world’s first massive open online course (MOOC) provider. The site serves more than two million users each in the United States and Great Britain, and one million users in India. The site has two million users across Africa, making it the largest single provider of free online education on the continent.

Alison was founded by serial entrepreneur Mike Feerick. The site offers learners free access to more than 800 courses, spanning subject areas including languages, IT and digital skills, project management, personal development and many others. Recently launched subjects include a course on how to Build Your Own Drone and Software Testing.

Mike Feerick said: “Reaching 10 million learners is a phenomenal milestone for us – and our targets are already set to achieve 100 million learners by 2020. We are passionate about providing access to education to people around the world for free. Our mission is to democratise education and workplace skills training, providing opportunities for anyone with an internet connection to empower themselves through learning new skills.”

The organization will launch a new website on 10 April designed to improve user experience with a more interactive platform that is mobile-friendly.

“Everyone in the modern workforce must continually invest in themselves by learning new skills and garnering new knowledge. Alison empowers people to do just that, in their millions. One day, billions of people will use platforms like Alison to become – and stay – more competitive. We are the beginning of a new, more assertive and confident workforce.”

@AlisonCourses #Training

Sensor for indoor air quality monitoring.

Responding to the growing demand for reliable and accurate detection of a wide range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at extremely low levels, Ion Science  has launched a high sensitivity version of its MiniPID 2 sensor.

Ion Science’s ground-breaking MiniPID 2 HS is 15 times more sensitive than the company’s existing MiniPID 2 parts per billion (ppb) sensor. It is capable of detecting trace levels of VOCs over a long period of time making it ideal for indoor air quality monitoring applications.

It is also well suited to clean rooms, fence line monitoring, industrial hygiene, site soil and air sampling, fugitive emissions, volatile spills, law enforcement and emergency response.

Delivering a dependable response to thousands of VOCs across many diverse applications, the MiniPID 2 HS is a simple plug and play sensor providing a wide detection range of 0.5 ppb up to 4 parts per million (ppm).

Ion Science’s MiniPID 2 HS also features a re-designed, pneumatically sealed electrode stack for high sensitivity and a wide detection range. An innovative self-diagnostic feature indicates whether the electrode stack is contaminated or if the sensor is not operating correctly.

The MiniPID 2 HS incorporates Ion Science’s recently launched long-life eV lamp that offers 10,000 hours continuous operation. Together with exceptional brightness and improved stability, this facilitates reliable detection of less volatile and less readily sensed compounds, over an extended period of time.

Duncan Johns, Ion Science’s Managing Director says: “Exposure to hazardous substances at work is a major contributor to ill health, and the loss to companies through absence and litigation is enormous. However, once a problem has been identified, indoor air quality can be significantly improved by installing proper air ventilation and filtration systems.

“The introduction of the new MiniPID 2 HS provides an effective opportunity to introduce extremely low level VOC detection. It also gives stability, control and reliability advantages that are unavailable in other PID designs.”

Like Ion Science’s other market-leading sensors, MiniPID 2 HS incorporates patented Fence Electrode Technology which is proven to resist humidity and contamination for optimum detection of VOCs in challenging environments.

Amongst the benefits offered by Ion Science’s MiniPID 2 HS sensor are its low running current, robust lamp illumination, reliable operation at extreme temperatures and ease of serviceability.
The MiniPID 2 HS is designed for both diffusive and in-line pumped sampling, delivering an exceptional response time and clear down. It boasts intrinsically safe certification and is ATEX, IECEx, II 1G Ex ia IIC T4 Ga accredited.

@ionscience  #PAuto @elhcomms

Battery management technology agreement.

Swindon Silicon Systems and Dukosi  have signed a strategic agreement to bring Dukosi’s disruptive semiconductor chip based battery management solution to market.

“We are thrilled to have entered this relationship with a global automotive and industrial partner supplier like Swindon Silicon Systems, who will provide world class operations, intellectual property, expertise and certification support to our product development program,” said Joel Sylvester, Dukosi CTO. “We set extremely challenging criteria in our search for a partner – seeking a company who could deliver a product that will respond to the rigorous standards demanded by our customers. Swindon excelled in its response to every challenge.”

By engaging with Swindon on a comprehensive development program, Dukosi leverages cutting-edge silicon design expertise and comprehensive testing and certification capabilities. The companies expect that the resulting product will be available in the second half of 2018 supporting multiple end-markets, including the stringent requirements of the global automotive industry.

Dukosi has developed a unique approach to battery management that acquires, processes and stores discrete data directly at the cell. Using novel wireless technology, the system transmits real-time information on cell health and performance to support master level control of the battery pack. Dukosi’s ground-breaking approach optimizes system architecture design and management of batteries in electric vehicles, industrial and grid energy storage applications.

“The adoption of batteries is becoming ubiquitous and demand for intelligent sensing technologies is growing considerably,” said Jerry Loraine, Managing Director at Swindon Silicon Systems. “Dukosi’s technology is a great example of how innovation can make an impact in this market and we are excited to be partnering on the development of such an innovative and exciting product. The Dukosi team has developed a solution to tackle battery management challenges in a novel way and are looking forward to applying our expertise in mixed signal ASICs and sensing to help them create a technically compelling, certified and cost-effective product.”

@dukosi @SWINDONsilicon #PAuto 

The good the bad and how to measure!

The second of Fluke’s series of free, scheduled, CPD-accredited webinars, running throughout 2107, is titled ‘Power Quality – The Good, The Bad and How to Measure’ and is suitable for Electrical Engineers, Plant Maintenance Facility Managers, and Energy Managers.

Other topics covered by the CPD-certified webinar series include ‘Energy Saving – A Practical Approach to Energy Efficiency’ and ‘Detecting Electrical Energy Loss Using Thermal Imaging’ which are also aimed at personnel including Electrical Engineers, Plant Maintenance Facility Managers, Energy Managers, Electricians and Electrical Contractors. The repeated schedule of dates and the means to apply can be found on the website here

The ‘Power Quality – The Good, The Bad and How to Measure’ webinars will look at what power quality is and what it looks like in real situations. Included is a brief overview of some regulations and norms attached to that quality. The webinar focuses on measurement of the relevant parameters, what needs to be measured, with which type of instrument and for how long. The most important step then is correlating the measurements taken to the symptoms and anomalies of power quality. During the webinar, participants will gain an understanding of the implications of poor power quality and how to measure and identify power quality parameters effectively. Each 45 minute webinar concludes with a 15 minute Q&A session.

 @FlukeCorp #POwer #PAuto #TandM

Business development team strenghthened.

Gardasoft Vision designs and manufacture of high performance LED Control solutions and LED Illumination for Machine Vision and Intelligent Traffic applications. has strengthened its Business Development team with two new key appointments. Greg Arnot has been appointed as Marketing Manager and Martin House joins as Business Development Manager.

Greg Arnot
Both have degree-level technical backgrounds. They will work closely together to further raise market awareness of the importance of Gardasoft’s lighting control capabilities in making high quality machine vision measurements and to spearhead new business growth.

Greg has joined Gardasoft from XAAR plc, taking over from Paul Downey who has completed a planned move within the Optex Group to become Marketing Manager at CCS Europe. Greg has more than 20 years’ experience of international technology sales and marketing, both with start-ups and at corporate level at companies such as ARM Holdings plc and Hewlett Packard.

His responsibilities have included product management, roadmap development, strategic partnership & relationship management and international business development amongst others. He has successfully integrated digital and traditional marketing techniques into creative marketing strategies which have helped to shape company expansion plans.

The new Business Development Manager, Martin House, brings extensive experience in the fields of machine vision, automation and machine building in a wide range of market sectors. This breadth of knowledge is invaluable in understanding the needs of end users, integrators and OEMS wanting to integrate lighting control as part of a vision solution. Focusing on Europe and Asia, Martin will be responsible for supporting Gardasoft’s distributors, OEMs and partners to further enhance relationships with existing customers and to develop new business opportunities.

 @Gardasoft #PAuto

EN50155 certified Ethernet switches.

The EN50155 certified EKI-9516/9512 Ethernet Switches with M12/M23 connectors, from Advantech's iConnectivity Group (ICG),  are highly resist against shock and vibration and ensure stable connection and communication. As train applications are diverse, so Advantech expands its product portfolio of EN50155 certified train switches with a total of 12 new models in the EKI-9500 series.

Six models offer Gigabit Ethernet—four of which have PoE/PoE+, and the other six models offer (10/100Mbps) Ethernet—four of which have PoE/PoE+. EKI-9500 Ethernet Switches support a wide range of power (24-100Vdc) which allows for high integration flexibility.

Advantech EN50155 certified EKI-9500 series EN50155 Managed Ethernet Switches are designed for railway applications with M12/M23 connectors and ensure tight, robust connection to guarantee reliable operation against environmental extremes such as vibration and shock.

The EKI-9500 series range of Ethernet Switches are fully certified with the European train standards EN50155 and EN50121-3-2 covering operating temperature, power input voltage, surge, ESD, and vibration, making the switches suitable for a variety of industrial applications.

The EKI-9500 series EN50155 Managed Ethernet Switches are available now.

@AdvantechInfo #Pauto #Ethernet

Monday, April 3, 2017

IIoT fuels the spirit of innovation.

The number of patent applications by the Endress+Hauser Group continues to grow. The globally-active company submitted a record 273 patents in 2016. Around three-fourths involve level, flow and analysis measurement technology, followed by digital communication and instrument diagnosis. The number of invention disclosures also reached an all-time high of 382. “We can be proud of our creative employees. The results point to our innovative strength,” says CEO Matthias Altendorf.
Endress+Hauser honoured company inventors at the Innovators’ Meeting in Merzhausen, (D). 
The measurement and automation technology provider traditionally places a high value on research and development. This includes recognizing the company’s inventors at the annual Endress+Hauser Innovators’ Meeting, which is dedicated to honoring new ideas and excellent patents. This year, more than 300 inventors gathered together on 31 March in Merzhausen (D), to socialize and share their knowledge.

Industrial Internet of Things is gaining ground
Endress+Hauser currently holds more than 7,000 active property rights. Every invention disclosure is subject to an internal, multistep evaluation process before the patent is submitted, typically taking four months. While the worldwide patent approval rate averages roughly 50 percent, Endress+Hauser boasts a 63 percent rate in Europe, 70 percent in the US and as high as 86 percent in China. The number of approved patents by Endress+Hauser rose 10 percent in all three global markets in 2016.

This increase did not happen on its own. Roughly seven percent of Endress+Hauser’s net sales flows into research and development. A key focus is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). “Innovative products that offer our customers genuine added value represent our best sales argument,” explains Dr Andreas Mayr, Corporate Director Marketing & Technology.

Endress+Hauser already offers instruments that monitor their own status during the process, while making the sensor and process data available via Internet-based platforms. The seamless integration of instruments into the customer’s automation and IT systems permits on-going optimization of maintenance cycles and process controls, among other things.

Overseas focus
Endress+Hauser has run its own patent department in the US since 2016 to protect analysis technology developed by the SpectraSensors (Houston, Texas) and Kaiser Optical Systems (Ann Arbor, Michigan) subsidiaries, as well as Endress+Hauser Conducta (Anaheim, California), from imitators. “The US, where we have 850 employees, is one of our most important markets,” says Angelika Andres, head of the Endress+Hauser patent department. “The 50 patents we filed in the first year prove that the transatlantic move was the right decision.”

Endress+Hauser honored the company’s inventors at the annual Innovators’ Meeting in Merzhausen, Germany. More than 300 employees involved in patent applications over the last year attended the event.

@Endress_Hauser #PAuto

Sensors with IO-Link communications are Industry 4.0 ready

Through its exclusive distribution partnership with measurement technology leaders Novotechnik, Variohm EuroSensor supplies and supports linear and rotary sensors that feature the standardised communications protocol IO-Link in Great Britain.
With real-time collection of machine data a fundamental part of Industry 4.0, the IEC 61131-9 communications standard provides fast and secure updates to and from the field level - not just for positional data but also for status and diagnostic information. Providing the means for improved machine availability, IO-Link works at the sensor/actuator level of the machine - independent from but completely compatible with all major fieldbus systems through gateways.

IO-Link is characterised by its simplicity in setup and installation. Standardised control software allows for unique product identification with fast replacement if required whilst commissioning is made easy by point-to-point connection with unshielded 3-wire cabling and M12 connectors. Users can monitor and modify positional parameters, such as zero, direction of rotation/travel or resolution. Status and diagnostics messages can be securely exchanged.

Novotechnik sensor products available with IO-Link include TF1 series inductive linear position sensors and RSC-2800 and RFC-4800 single- and multi-turn transducers.

The TF1 is an absolute linear sensor for highly dynamic positioning tasks that features a touchless inductive measurement principle for unlimited mechanical life. It has a maximum range of up to 1000 mm with resolution to 1 micron and repeatability to 2 microns. The IP67 protection class sensor also includes a teach mode for straightforward installation and is aimed at all areas of demanding automation technology. The highly robust RSC-2800 rotary sensor uses a contactless magnetic measurement principle for single turn resolution of up to 14 Bits. With single output and redundant versions it suits a wide range of angle sensing applications in automation, mobile machinery, medical equipment and more. The RFC-4800 angle sensor is a two-part touchless design with separate magnet and sensor for extremely long life. With no shaft or bearings and completely encapsulated electronics, the sensor is optimised for harsh environment angle measurement applications in marine, agricultural and construction machinery. Single and multi-channel versions are available and resolution is up to 14 Bits.

Novotechnik angle and linear position encoders are also available with other interface options including voltage, current, SSI, incremental, CANopen, SPI and more.

 @Variohm  #Pauto #Industrie4 

SBCs and HMIs for new market.

Following the signing of a comprehensive technical and distribution partnership with German manufacturer Garz & Fricke, andersDX is bringing a new range of ARM based single-board-computers (SBC) and human machine interfaces (HMI) to the British market, aimed specifically at retail, kiosk and industrial HMI applications. Garz & Fricke currently does not have a presence in Great Britain.

Viru Patel, Embedded Solutions Group Manager at andersDX (2nd from left) with the team from Garz & Fricke after signing their new agreement
Under the agreement, andersDX is offering Garz & Fricke SBCs with semi customised TFT displays to the customer’s specifications. Garz & Fricke boards and drivers are specified with standard TFT modules and andersDX can quickly and easily optimise the base design to the requirements of each project, by adding toughened glass, thick glass, decorated cover lens, extended cover lenses, buttons and other features. andersDX can also offer Garz and Fricke standard products, including full turnkey HMI’s as well as custom HMI’s. Garz & Fricke is particularly strong in the retail, kiosk and hospitality markets.

Viru Patel, Embedded Solutions Group Manager at andersDX, said, “Garz & Fricke has a great heritage in developing high quality SBC’s and HMI’s based on the ARM architecture, backed by outstanding engineering support and software. This partnership means that Anders will support customers by holding stock and offering technical support. Garz & Fricke products gives us a new range of go to market products that perfectly complement the DX portfolio and our Embedded Display Kits.”

Sascha Ullrich, Head of Sales and Garz & Fricke, added, “andersDX has an outstanding presence in the UK market, as well as an exceptionally strong engineering and support capability. We believe that they are the right partner to build a strong presence for us in the UK market. This partnership gives Garz & Fricke a footprint in the UK, both commercially and technically. We are looking forward to working in partnership with them, and combining our engineering teams to create solutions that exceed our customer’s expectations.”

Under the agreement, andersDX will sell and support Garz & Fricke embedded computing platforms in Computer-on-Module and SBC form. andersDX will also offer Garz & Fricke open frame or cased HMI solutions, where the selected SBC is pre-integrated with a compatible 4.3” – 10.4” P-CAP touch display. The agreement expands the range of processor architectures that andersDX can offer its customers.

Garz & Fricke platforms are based on ARM9, ARM11 and ARM Cortex-A8 architectures. Support is a key strength for the company, and each of its products is supplied with a comprehensive BSP to simplify integration and speed the customer’s time to market. Garz & Fricke can supply pre-integrated communications modules for its SBC and HMI platforms, based on pre-approved Bluetooth™, WLAN or GSM modules.

 @AndersElec #PAuto #Britain #HMI

Innovative fire-safety networking solution.

Drax Technology is using Tiny Green PC Fitlet fanless mini-computers for its AMX system for centralising control of complex fire and security networks. The decision was made on the basis of Fitlet’s high reliability, powerful compute performance and rich connectivity.

Ensuring the safety of people and places in the event of fire is a mandatory mission for managers of buildings or workplaces. Large organisations and sites with multiple buildings must be monitored continuously and tested regularly. Drax Technology’s AMX alarm-management system streamlines these tasks for building operators.

“Professional fire alarm contractors choose our AMX software and SMaRT interfaces to centralise the monitoring and management of multiple alarm systems, which may be installed in a single building, several buildings on a site, or distributed over a wide geographical area,” explains Keith Minster, Product Manager at Drax Technology.

But premises can often have separate fire-monitoring networks using different protocols installed over time by various contractors. AMX can connect and centralise disparate systems which simplifies management, expansion or upgrading of any existing alarm system.

“Our software can work with many types of systems, which communicate data in a variety of differing formats,” comments Keith “and bring all the information together, presented in a single, coherent and easy to understand user interface.”

SMaRT Interface with Fitlet
Using Tiny Green PC Fitlet fanless
mini-computers for  AMX system
AMX software runs on a dedicated PC and can interpret the data from a wide variety of systems. Security or safety personnel in a central control room can monitor the status of the entire fire-safety infrastructure in real-time. They can isolate devices, identify faults and access control panels remotely.

AMX maintains an electronic log of events such as alarms, tests and maintenance, and generates reports that help verify maintenance is being carried out correctly and demonstrate compliance with legal obligations.

Each individual fire system is connected to the central AMX computer by a SMaRT interface unit. The computer at the heart of this unit is Fitlet, an ultra-small fanless computer the size of your hand, packing a powerful 1GHz AMD A4 quad-core CPU and extensive connectivity, chosen for its ease of use, small size and excellent reliability.

The Fitlet communicates with the central computer over the building’s existing IT infrastructure, using standard TCP/IP over Ethernet for simplicity and convenience.

Chosen on Merit, and Track Record
SMaRT interfaces were originally controlled by FitPC – a tough UCFF powered by Intel CPU. When Tiny Green PC updated its range to incorporate a new generation of micro pc with AMD processors as well as new high-speed interfaces such as USB 3.0, Drax found Fitlet to be the best choice in the market. “We evaluated potential alternatives, which have entered the market since we first chose the FitPC,” comments Keith.

“Obviously, reliability and quality are extremely important to us, as this is a life-safety application. Fitlet is robust and reliable, just like the FitPC, with all the connectivity we need, and a convenient 12V DC input that works well with our existing power supply and backup battery.

It was also the only computer we could find that meets all our requirements and comes with a suitable bracket to enable straightforward and secure attachment in our enclosure. We chose Fitlet based on its own technical merits, as well as our previous positive experiences with FitPC.”

“We also know that we can rely on direct answers to any questions we have with TinyGreenPC, and overall, Fitlet is easy to design in, easy to use, and simply works,” verifies Drax’s Keith Minster. “It’s completely dependable, and provides 100-percent peace of mind for us and our customers.”

@TinyGreenPC @DraxTechnology #PAuto  #Safety

Photoluminscence spectrometer.

The FLS1000 from Edinburgh Instruments, is a state-of-the-art, modular photoluminescence spectrometer for the most demanding applications in Photophysics, Photochemistry, Material Sciences and Life Sciences.

The instrument sets the standards in both steady state and time-resolved spectroscopy: the system demonstrates unmatched sensitivity and can be configured for spectral measurements from the Ultraviolet to the Mid-Infrared spectral range, and for lifetime measurements spanning time resolutions over 12 orders of magnitude from picoseconds to seconds.

High sensitivity is a prerequisite for measurements of low sample concentrations, small sample volumes or low luminescence quantum yields. The instrument’s ultimate sensitivity of >30,000:1 for the standard water Raman measurement is unmatched in the industry.

The FLS1000 comes with new proprietary electronics modules and a new all-in-one software suite, Fluoracle®. New, redesigned monochromators provide high stray light rejection, supreme accuracy and resolution, and increased automation not seen on any other instrument on the market. The combination of new and modern components, together with decades of experience in configuring complex modular designs, ensures maximum research performance, paired with ease of operation.

@Edinst #Laboratory #PAuto

Linear Actuators with integrated servo motors.

Thomson Industries now offers users of its PC Series precision linear actuators an optional, pre-mounted and pre-tested servo motor.  Bundling linear actuators with servo motors simplifies ordering, reduces the need for additional validation after installation, increases reliability, and reduces the total cost of owning and operating an actuator system.

“Inconsistencies in the way in which servo motors are mated with actuators can impact performance, reliability, and eventually the performance life of both the actuator and the motor,” said Niklas Sjöström, Product Line Manager – Systems Group for Thomson. “By pre-assembling and pre-testing standard integration with our PC Series family at the factory level, we save users the trouble of sizing, selecting and mounting the right motor for their application.”

Pre-installing and configuring Kollmorgen AKM servo motors complements the industry leading capabilities of the PC Series actuators, which have been demonstrated to provide four times the travel life of any other actuator of comparable size available today, double the power and load density, 25 percent better thrust force and side load handling, as well as higher speed and longer stroke length.  Integrating a servo motor so tightly with PC Series provides users with the following additional benefits:

Optimum motor matching.
All Thomson PC Series linear actuators can be ordered with a broad selection of Kollmorgen AKM servo motors, fully-integrated and tested.

Easier sizing and selection. 
Because Thomson has already identified and tested a wide range of configurability options and has provided a tool that helps map applications to motor sizing, it takes less than 15 minutes to find the right combination. Downloadable and configurable 3D CAD models contribute to the solution. All parameters, including length, motor orientation, mounting adapters and screw leads, are fully customisable.

Fast and reliable installation. 
Once the actuator/motor combination is selected, the unique Thomson RediMount™ motor mounting system speeds implementation by reducing the time spent aligning the actuator and motor. Should a customer prefer using their own motor make and type, they may still reap the benefits of the RediMount system, giving  the ability to seamlessly fit more than 600 different motor alternatives to the PC Series actuators. ISO standard mounting interfaces are also available to facilitate upgrades from pneumatic technologies.

Reduced maintenance.
Pre-aligning the system extends life by compensating for system alignment, complementing the maintenance benefits already gained from the PC Series’ IP65 rating and corrosion resistance.

Top quality servo motors
Thomson chose to pre-install Kollmorgen AKM servo motors because of their proven, high-quality motor range, complemented by a broad array of servo drives and programmable positioning controllers for both single- and multi-axis applications. Some of the benefits include:
•       Best-in-class performance with industry leading power density
•       Exceptionally low cogging and harmonic distortion to ensure smooth performance
•       Easy to commission and use with plug-and-play motor recognition and full-frequency auto-tuning on AKD™ Series servo drives

Thomson PC Series linear actuators with an integrated Kollmorgen AKM servo motor option are available in Europe immediately. They can be selected online using tools and diagrams that simplify finding the actuator/motor combination that meets the customers’ application needs. Customers with their own brand of motor can still be benefited by the RediMount system.

@Thomson_Ind #PAuto @AboutKollmorgen

TFT display.

KOE has announced the introduction of a new high-resolution, 8.0-inch Lite+ TFT display. The TX20D201VM2BAB features WXGA resolution (1280 x 768 pixels) with a 16:9 wide aspect ratio. The 8.0-inch display has a pixel pitch of 0.13575mm (w) x 0.13575mm (h), which equates to a pixel density of 187ppi (pixels per inch).

The new TX20D201VM2BAB display module is mechanically compatible with existing KOE 8.0-inch WVGA (800 x 480 pixels). The high resolution WXGA (1280 x 768 pixels) TFT display provides a significantly higher pixel density - an increase of 60% - when compared with industry standard 8.0-inch WVGA displays with 117 pixels per inch.

The display brightness is impressively specified at 900cd/m², and combined with a contrast ratio of 500:1, the Lite+ display produces images that are bright, clear and concise. The white LED backlight, features a 50K hours to half brightness lifetime specification.

Jason Tsai, Marketing Manager, KOE, said, "Many infotainment and user interface applications are demanding higher resolution displays to enable accurate reproduction of images and video to be presented. The new 8.0-inch WXGA display allows KOE to embrace the increasing market demand for high performance, high resolution displays."

A 20-pin LVDS interface supports 6 or 8-bit RGB colour data which enables a colour palette of 262k or 16.7m colours respectively. The 8.0-inch display module has mechanical outline dimensions of 189.0mm (w) x 120.0mm (h) x 7.5mm (d) and an active LCD area of 173.76mm (w) x 104.26mm (h). The display has an operating and storage temperature range of -30°C to +80°C. The module weighs 160g.

KOE's Lite+ TFT modules offer cost effective LCD solutions that feature industry standard screen sizes, display resolutions and data interfaces but without any compromise in display optical performance. Lite+ display modules offer high brightness display characteristics and are suitable for use in bright ambient environments.

The new 8.0-inch WXGA display is ideally suited for industrial user interface, security, medical, and infotainment applications where a high resolution display is required to accurately represent display images and information, and video reproduction. The new KOE TX20D201VM2BAB Lite+ display module is available immediately through KOE's distribution sales channel partners.

#KOE #PAuto 

New CEO for network association.

Reiner Zitzmann (41) has been appointed as CEO of CAN in Automation (CiA) GmbH. He will manage jointly with Holger Zeltwanger (64)  for about one year after which Zeltwanger will retire.

Reiner Zitzmann
Zitzmann has worked since 2004 as Technical Manager in the commercial subsidiary of the nonprofit CiA association. He edits CANopen specifications, trains engineers in CAN technology, and represents the association in standardization bodies and on conferences.

He has managed the CiA seminars and CiA technical working groups since 2008.

@CANopen #PAuto