Thursday, April 13, 2017

Valves comply fully with forthcoming regulations for the marine industry.

Emerson has gained DNV-GL approval for its ASCO 551 and 553 series solenoid valves. This means that the valves comply with the soon-to-be-introduced (September 2017) worldwide regulations for ballast water treatment. From this date, all valves used for treating and managing ballast water aboard ships must comply with the new standard.

ASCO DNV-GL approved solenoid valves are available with aluminium and stainless steel valve bodies and with many solenoid options. This enables them to be used in safe areas and Ex zones. The 551 and 553 Series are certified for use in functional safety loops such as may be found on LNG vessels and tankers. This broad range of applications makes it easier to standardise on one solenoid valve, simplifying on-board maintenance. Emerson is the only supplier of their type to offer valves which are both DNV-GL and SIL approved.

DNV-GL approval combines two standards: DNV (Det Norske Veritas) and GL (Germanischer Lloyds). It is a global standard which means there is no need to purchase different solenoid valves depending on where the treatment plant or ship is being constructed. The introduction of the new standard is set to have a major impact on the ballast water industry. In total, around 70,000 boats worldwide will be affected by the new regulation, with 2000 more being built each year.

 @ASCOValve #PAuto #Marine

Automation & standards expert joins consultancy.

Industry expert Wolfgang Morr has joined the European team of ARC Advisory Group as Senior Consultant. He brings more than 25 years of automation experience and a strong background in industry standards and project management to ARC.

Wolfgang Morr
Prior to joining ARC, Wolfgang served Bayer in different roles, including management of investment projects, as Group Head responsible for the preparation and distribution of technical standards within the Bayer group; Group Head for online asset monitoring in the context of Bayer’s asset lifecycle management approach; as well as Senior Project Manager for manufacturing IT. From 2007 to 2012, Wolfgang was General Manager of NAMUR (a user association for automation technology in process industries). His broad background brings significant knowledge and resources to both ARC and its clients.

In his new assignment, as Senior Consultant at ARC, Wolfgang will perform research and consult with clients on technology and automation strategies.

Uwe Grundmann, General Manager at ARC Europe, commented, “We are very fortunate to have Wolfgang join the European ARC team. His comprehensive market knowledge will add considerable depth to ARC’s consulting staff. His expertise will prove invaluable to our end user and supplier clients alike.”


 @arc_advisory #Pauto #Europe

Motion & Machne control.

Aerotech's new Integrated Motion and Machine Control Solutions brochure presents their latest machine automation products.

Contents of the brochure include descriptions and specifications of all Aerotech controls and software, setup and configuration, advanced diagnostic and tuning capabilities, the integrated development environment, operator interface, software architecture, a review of all controller and drive technology, standard and advanced control capabilities, hexapod and piezo controls, controller and hardware comparison charts, as well as a quick reference for servomotors.

The brochure, downloadable free here (pdf). concludes with a corporate overview of Aerotech, the markets and industries we serve, training and support, and our certifications.

@aerotechmotion #PAuto 

Installed base maintains strength.

The installed base of devices with interfaces of the communication technologies of PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) continues its very strong overall market position. Against the background of Industry 4.0 incorporation into the automation of production systems, this is a clear sign of the acceptance of PI technologies in this innovative domain.

Karsten Schneider
Karsten Schneider, Chairman of PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI), views the figures from the most recent assessment as clear confirmation of users’ great trust in PI technologies: “Especially against the background of the trends that have become visible through Industry 4.0, the figures demonstrate impressively that the PI technologies have developed in the right direction. This is motivation for us to continue the work with the same intensity and advance it even further to meet the requirements from the Industry 4.0 domain. The I40@PI working group founded a year and a half ago has picked up speed. The fundamental requirements stand, and the solutions are taking form in coordination with end users.”

The development of PROFINET is very encouraging. In 2016, a record 3.6 million PROFINET devices were put on the market. This brought the total number to 16.4 million at the end of 2016, which represents an increase of 28% over the previous year. 2.4 million PROFIBUS devices were produced in 2016, rather fewer than the previous year. However, the total of 56 million devices across all years still represents a record. 10.6 million of these were incorporated into process automation systems. However, if the annual values of the two technologies are compared, PROFINET is significantly ahead of PROFIBUS for the first time. In 2016, 50% more PROFINET devices were produced than PROFIBUS devices.

The development of PROFIsafe is still very encouraging: with 1.55 million nodes put on the market, it has been able to achieve above-average growth again of nearly 30% and can now boast 7 million installed nodes. IO-Link in turn experienced the largest increase of 47% over the year in 2016. This brings the total number of installed IO-Link devices to more than 5.3 million.

@AllThingsPROFI  #PAuto #Fielbus 


UHF RFID readers.

Harting has expanded its Ha-VIS family of UHF RFID readers with the addition of two new devices that offer higher levels of versatility, enabling individual project requirements to be met even more efficiently and flexibly.

The two additional RFID readers combine the performance and versatility of Harting’s existing Ha-VIS RF-R300 family with the processing power and standards compatibility of the company’s MICA open computing platform.

The Ha-VIS RF-R310 is the first reader available on the market which meets the functionality of the Companion Specification for AutoID devices. This specification was created by the AIM Germany association in co-operation with the OPC Foundation, and forms the basis for the simple and efficient integration of AutoID devices based on OPC UA – the communication layer for Integrated Industry projects.

“The fact that Harting has built up in-depth knowledge in the field of data pre-processing over recent years is confirmed by the official certification of our Ha-VIS Middleware by GS1®”, comments Gavin Stoppel, Product Manager: “This makes Harting the sole European company that offers a GS1® EPCglobal ALE1.1-compliant middleware.”

This know-how has also been incorporated into Harting’s other new UHF RFID reader: the Ha-VIS RF-R350. The Ha-VIS RF-R350 features ALE1.1-based middleware which is optimised for the MICA platform. Here, the complete data pre-processing of raw RFID data takes place in a standards-based manner. Communication with the reader simply takes place via web services, http, TCP or, if desired, via UDP telegrams.

The Harting Middleware also allows other readers from the Harting world to be integrated into a total RFID solution, allowing RFID data to be pre-processed directly on an industrial machine or in other environments such as a rail vehicle, for example. This set-up relieves the networks and the back-end systems, and reduces response times.

The integrated software concept also allows all readers from the Ha-VIS RF R3x0 family to be flexibly adapted to customer requirements.

@Harting #PAuto #RFID

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Milestones for automation software systems.

Copa-Data has presented what it call "further milestones for ergonomic working for project engineers and operators in manufacturing companies and the energy sector," with the new version of its automation software systems, zenon 7.60 and zenon Analyzer 3.10.
zenon 7.60:
Fully traceable processes
A significant new feature is the zenon Process Recorder module. It records individually definable processes in full and provides them on request at a later point in time. Past processes can be played back, forwarded or reversed step by step, or stopped as often as required. The findings related to possible causes of errors can be used to increase effectiveness and quality.
The zenon Process Recorder is not just suitable for manufacturing companies such as food and beverages manufacturers or pharmaceutical companies; but it is also suited to power supply companies. The improved traceability of process in electricity grids or substations supports grid operators in maintaining critical infrastructure.

Bundled individual information in a structured manner
With the new Context List screen type, zenon provides improved support for users when structuring manually entered data. Entries made by different users can be harmonised with the new context lists, which is particularly beneficial for the analysis of alarm causes. Uniform, pre-defined descriptions ensure that alarm causes are subsequently evaluated – with zenon Analyzer for example – and can be used for quality management.

Quick location of statuses and errors
Project engineers can easily integrate 3D models into a visualisation project with the new 3D Tool in zenon. The three-dimensional view of production machines increases user friendliness and promotes intuitive working. In the model, variables that call up the detail screens in a machine part can be linked or created. This makes it possible to locate certain states in the machine quickly.

zenon 7.60 also offers the possibility to combine data from geoinformation systems (GIS) and zenon visualization. With the GIS editor and GIS control, users can display electricity grids in the zenon visualisation in geographical mapping material. Current statuses, such as alarms, are shown on the map directly. Users can thus localise certain states and events more precisely and handle alarms more efficiently.

The impedance-based fault locating is also new in zenon. This functionality plays a vital role in energy automation. Using the impedance measured (alternating current resistance), it is possible to localise errors in the grid with great precision. The employees at energy supply companies can thus react quickly, significantly reducing power outages.

Efficient planning, documenting and analyzing
The new zenon Shift Management integrates staff planning into the production environment. The shift calendar allows the planning and documentation of shift-based production processes. Shift-dependent production analyses can now be carried out in zenon Analyzer. Shift management is integrated into the zenon Message Control module, allowing an efficient communication chain to be built in the event of a problem, because only the people in charge of the respective shift are informed.

Easy add-in integration
Software users who want to amend or expand the performance of zenon with their own self-developed functions – Add-Ins – can use the Microsoft Visual Studio programming platform in zenon 7.60. Individual, code-based development for the zenon Editor and zenon Runtime can thus be integrated in a simple and professional manner on this basis. Thisexpands the range of possibilities for automated engineering.

zenon Analyzer 3.10:
Ergonomic report configuration
The user interface of zenon Analyzer Management Studio (ZAMS) has been completely redesigned. In addition to the user-friendly ribbon menu, the creation of reports in zenon Analyzer 3.10 is even more intuitive and flexible. The person creating the report is guided through configuration by the software and report designs can be compiled according to user requirements. Different reports can be combined on an overview sheet. Users thus have all important key figures, tables and graphics at a glance.

Increased equipment availability
In zenon 7.60, the Context List screen type has been implemented, which makes it possible to structure alarm causes in a uniform manner. The alarm causes can be evaluated in detail in zenon Analyzer and can contribute to better quality management. On the basis of the findings in relation to recurring errors and their causes, users can act in a more targeted manner, limiting the sources of errors and increasing equipment availability.

Flexible benchmarking
In the new software version, comparative reports can be easily and individually created in accordance with the user's requirements. Time periods, lots or shifts can thus be compared to one another flexibly; for example, actual values can be compared to “perfect” values from the past. Based on this data analysis, processes can be optimised and costs can be saved.

International cooperation and communication
Labels and descriptions in the report can now be easily translated in the language table. Pre-prepared entries can be amended or enhanced as desired. For the translation process, the list can be transferred to a translator by means of an XML export and re-imported again by means of an XML import.

@copadata  #PAuto

Major organizational changes at power systems leader!

Excelsys Technologies has announced that Gary Duffy is to retire as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), at the end of June 2017. Having undertaken an extensive interview and selection process, the Board of Excelsys has appointed Conor Duffy to take over as CEO. Gary will remain as a special advisor to Excelsys in support of the transition to the new CEO, and he will continue to sit on the Excelsys Board of Directors.

Conor Duffy
“After 11 years leading Excelsys, I’m looking forward to stepping back from the day-to-day operations of the business,” said Gary Duffy. “I took over in 2006, relocating the business from Dublin and establishing our headquarters in Cork. Since then we have built up a world-class global team of engineering, operations and sales personnel. With consistent double-digit annual growth rates, we have firmly established Excelsys as the number one modular configurable power systems designer and manufacturer in the world.”

John Tracey, Chairman of Excelsys, commented: “Firstly, on behalf of the board, I would like to thank Gary for his many years of service. Without his vision and dedication, the company would not have scaled the heights it has, averaging more than 15 percent growth per annum since relocating to Cork. Conor was the Board’s choice to become the next CEO of Excelsys due to his extensive range of technical, commercial and financial experience within the wider technology sector and the electronics industry in particular. As European Sales Manager at Excelsys, he has built a deep understanding of our distribution network, our customers and our end-markets, giving him a clear strategic vision for Excelsys that will meet our demanding growth expectations.”

Conor Duffy joined Excelsys in 2010 as European Sales Manager. He holds an MSc in Technology Management from Smurfit Business School and is an honors Electrical & Electronic Engineering graduate of UCC.

“I am delighted to have been selected by the Board to lead Excelsys through its next phase of growth,” said Conor Duffy. “2016 was a stand-out year on quite a few fronts with a record number of both project wins and new project starts. We also released our CoolX, the world’s first convection-cooled modular platform and saw market reaction exceed all expectations. The short-to-medium-term horizon will see acceleration in new product release from the CoolX platform as we look to increase market penetration. We have a fantastic team here at Excelsys, which continues to grow. It’s an honor for me to take over as CEO at such an exciting time.”

Shane Callanan
Also being announced today are three additional changes to the Excelsys senior management team. The first is Shane Callanan, who has been appointed to the new position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Shane has been Director of Applications Engineering at Excelsys since 2012. He joined Excelsys in 2006 and has almost 20 years of experience in the power supply industry. In addition to holding a B.E. and MSc, Shane attained the title of Chartered Engineer in 2002 and was elected to Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Ireland in 2012.
Conor Duffy commented on Callanan’s appointment: “Establishing the CTO role is a significant milestone for Excelsys as we embark on our next phase of growth, and it underpins our determination to stay at the technical forefront of electronic power system design. As CTO, Shane will play a central role in shaping our technology strategy to ensure alignment of our long range product roadmaps with those of our customers.”

Dermot Flynn
Excelsys also announces that Dermot Flynn will become Director of Sales & Marketing. Dermot has over 20 years of experience in the power systems industry. Joining Excelsys in 2000, he has been Director of Sales since 2007.
Commenting on the role, Conor Duffy said: “The new position of Director of Sales & Marketing reflects the increasing strategic importance of product marketing to our business development processes, and also to our product development activities as we move forward. In his new role, Dermot will spearhead our global market segmentation and lead generation programs. He will also oversee the roll-out of an analytics capability to deliver enhanced levels of customer insight through 2017 and beyond.”

Brendan Forde
In its third new appointment, Excelsys announces Brendan Forde as Quality and Manufacturing Manager. Brendan brings a unique blend of experience in quality assurance, engineering and project and manufacturing management in the electronics industry with specific emphasis in power electronics.
Brendan has over 30 years of experience in medium-to-high volume electronics, PCBA and system build industries, including over 10 years in medical devices. During a 20-year career at Artesyn Technologies, he filled senior management positions as Quality Assurance Manager, Engineering Manager and Process Improvement Manager. He was highly influential in shaping Artesyn’s global QA ethos across one of the broadest range of AC/DC and DC/DC power supplies in the industry. He also spent 10 years at Sanmina Corporation as Quality Assurance Manager in contract manufacturing, testing and packing of electrical, mechanical, optical subassemblies/components and medical devices (including sterile devices).

@ExcelsysPower #PAuto

Monday, April 10, 2017

Vision conference programme released.

The full Conference programme for the UKIVA Machine Vision Conference and Exhibition has now been published. The event, which takes place at Milton Keynes (GB) on 27th April 2017, will provide many examples of how machine vision is used in, and benefits, the real world we live in. This is emphasized by the two keynote addresses which start the morning and afternoon sessions.

Dr. Mike Aldred from Dyson Ltd will deliver the first keynote at 10 AM. Entitled: ‘Bringing vision to the consumer’, this will show how the Dyson 360 Eye™ robot vacuum cleaner, which utilises images from a 360° Field Of View camera to locate itself within its environment, was brought to market.

The second keynote address, by Dr. Graham Deacon from Ocado Technology, will take place at 2 PM. This presentation, entitled: ‘3D vision guided robot picking’ will examine the use of 3D point cloud cameras in order to help robot manipulators to pick and pack groceries for shopping orders.

The main Conference program features 56 seminars across 7 different presentation theatres. For newcomers to vision, one theatre is devoted to ‘Understanding Vision Technology’. This provides some useful insights into some of the basics of machine vision, including sensors and optics and illumination, as well as offering information on thermal imaging and its uses, and the application of vision to code reading.

Practical applications of machine vision feature in several of the theatres. For example, applications of 3D vision in robotics and in the food and agriculture industries feature in the ‘3D Vision’ theatre. Further presentations on applications in the food industry can be found in the ‘Systems & Applications’ theatre, as well as coding in direct part marking applications, and a discussion of the role of vision in sustainability by reducing waste. In the ‘Vision Innovation’ theatre there is a case study examining the use of inspection and traceability system in the pharmaceutical industry.

These theatres, of course, also feature a number of presentations which cover the relevant technology. For those interested in concentrating on specific aspects of machine vision, there is plenty on offer in the ‘Camera Technology’, ‘Optics & Illumination’ and ‘Software & Embedded Vision’ theatres. These include the use of different wavelengths to solve vision problems; advances in super high resolution imaging; choosing the best optics for an application; LED lighting for machine vision; image processing for the factory floor; custom embedded systems development and much, much more.

@UKIVAconfex #PAuto #Britain

Money-saving kit for electricians!

Limited time period offer, till 30th June 2017

Until 30th June 2017, Fluke (GB) is offering a 325/T150/C550KIT, a money-saving starter kit for electricians, which includes a clamp meter, a two-pole tester and a sturdy, steel-framed toolbag. The kit comprises a Fluke 325 Clamp Meter and a Fluke T150 Two-pole tester, with a combined saving of 15% on buying the products separately, plus a free Fluke C550 Toolbag. This and other Spring Specials offers may be found on their website.

The Fluke 325 Clamp Meter is engineered to produce noise-free, reliable measurements in the toughest environments. Designed to be long-lasting and easy to use, it features a slim, ergonomic design for comfortable all-day use with a large, easy-to-read, backlit display and with CAT III 600V/CAT IV 300V safety ratings. It measures true-rms AC voltage to 600V, true-rms AC and DC current to 400A, as well as capacitance, frequency and resistance measurements for motor testing, and it also provides a Min/Max function.

The Fluke T150 is the high-end member of a family of rugged two pole testers offering fast test results, and built with state-of-the-art measurement and safety technology, with large, easy-to-use buttons, bright backlights, and clear audible and physical indicators designed for any work situation. It offers four ways to indicate AC/DC voltage: a clear, instantly visible LED indicator, a bright digital display of the measurement value, an audible continuity test (with on/off setting), and vibration to provide tactile feedback so electricians know there is voltage present. It has CAT IV 600V, CAT III 690V safety ratings and also measures resistance. It features high-quality construction, including a heavy-duty moulded case, wiring with WearGuard™ wear indicator, a sturdy battery case and a durable probe protector.

The Fluke C550 toolbag is designed to carry a range of tools. It features a large, steel-framed, zippered storage compartment with 25 pockets, and is made from a weather-resistant, rugged cloth and heavy-duty hardware.

@FlukeCorp  #TandM 

The future of Automation and Control.

InstMC is supporting a major conference in June looking at the future of automation and process control. Organised by IChemE there will be lots of opportunities to share views and debate the implications of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)..

Whilst much attention and energy is being paid to the underpinning technologies, the more interesting and challenging question is how the process industries will change and what the role of automation will become. Many commentators talk about being on the verge of a fourth industrial revolution – a change as profound as electrification or computers. Automation will be at the heart of this change, and information and data will drive it, but it won’t be automation in the form that we know it today.

This conference, Advances in Process Automation and Control 2017 (pdf), will examine the technologies that underpin the IIoT, and will explore the implication of the fourth industrial revolution for the process industries that we serve.

Some of the discussion topics will include:

• predictions on how industry may change in the next thirty years as a result of IIoT
• how robots can improve safety for humans in hazardous activities
• how Big Data can be used to support machine learning and asset management
• the roles and merits of cloud based application platforms versus edge networks
• simulating commissioning and the management of plants using a ‘digital twin’
• the challenges and solutions for continuous tablet production in the pharmaceutical industry
• how IIoT will benefit the process industries
• current trends in the use of commercial off-the-shelf IIoT products vs proprietary technology

The event will encourage the cross fertilisation of ideas, expertise and technologies by bringing together the researchers from our strong academic base, practitioners with in-depth experience of the traditional process control sectors, and representatives from new domains of application and manufacturing sectors.

The need and opportunity to learn from others, develop and nurture our professional networks and embrace novel techniques, technologies and practices has never been more relevant.

The event is also being supported by ISA and  The IET.

@instmc  #PAuto #IoT #ISAuto @TheIET

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Name change for Test & Measurement leader!

Yokogawa Meters & Instruments Corporation announces is to change its name to Yokogawa Test & Measurement Corporation in October (2017)

As the core company in the Yokogawa Group’s measurement business, Yokogawa Meters & Instruments Corporation has been developing measuring instruments that are indispensable “mother tools” for industry. In recent years, there has been a rising need for the highly precise measuring instruments required to develop energy efficient equipment for a more sustainable society. Also, as IoT continues to make inroads throughout industry, there is a need to develop measurement solutions for this field.

By steadily improving the high-precision measurement technologies that Yokogawa has cultivated over the past 100 plus years, Yokogawa Test & Measurement Corporation will be able to provide high value-added measurement solutions for the power, optical communications, and plant maintenance markets. Although the company’s panel analog meter (panel meter) was terminated in March of this year, the company will continue to help its customers through the development of innovative new technologies and by working to improve the safety and efficiency of their facilities.

Yokogawa Test & Measurement Corporation will continue to play the core role in the Group’s measurement business as it partners with its customers to provide solutions that meet emerging needs.

@Yokogawa_Europe #TandM #PAuto