Friday, May 26, 2017

New automation controls engineer.

Mike Cafferkey
The latest member of the Mitsubishi Electric Team is Michael Cafferkey. With a background in Controls and SCADA, Mike has joined the team as an Automation Controls Engineer. He will focus mainly on software and project support for their Controls, HMI, SCADA and Robot solutions.

@MEIrishbranch #PAuto #Ireland

Field reader.

Harting has expanded its UHF RFID product range for demanding industrial and rail sector applications with the addition of a new version of the 4 Field Reader, featuring built-in M8 and M12 connectors to complement its excellent range of RFID solutions.

In addition to the existing features of the compact, robust Ha-VIS RF-R3x0 reader – notably the two antenna connections, 500 mW power output and comprehensive software functions - the new Ha-VIS RF-R400 RFID Reader provides concentrated RFID performance and robust connectors at an attractive price.

The built-in circular connectors now provide interfaces for networking, power supply, RS232, two digital trigger signal inputs and four digital signal outlets. The four antenna connections, each with a maximum power output of 2 W, remain in the usual SMA format.
The standard Harting RFID reader functions such as “action on EPC” (Electronic Product Code), where the reader can process scanning results autonomously and respond by switching outlets, are also included in the reader’s comprehensive software provision.

In terms of software, the RF-R400 is fully compatible with the powerful GS1® ALE 1.1 based Harting middleware. The new reader is supported as usual by the server version, Ha-VIS Middleware and the embedded version for the RF-R350, enabling easy processing of raw data and saving unnecessary expense in the back-end system.

The new reader meets the requirements of the industrial and rail markets, which Harting verifies by monitoring in its own independent and accredited test laboratory. It is particularly suited to rail applications such as track section recognition.

@HARTING ‏ #PAuto 

Accelerating design and build of automated test systems.

National Instruments have announced new ATE Core Configurations which deliver core mechanical, power and safety infrastructure to help users accelerate the design and build of automated test systems in industries ranging from semiconductor and consumer electronics to aerospace and automotive.

ATE Core Configurations help simplify the design, procurement, assembly, and deployment of smarter test systems at a lower cost and shorter time to market by empowering test organizations with a platform for standardization. These 19-in., rack-based configurations are available in various rack-unit heights, and offer scalable power profiles to match the needs of nearly any application and geography. Test organizations can benefit from highly integrated safety features such as thermal shutoff, emergency power off (EPO), optional uninterruptible power supplies and IEC 61010 certification.

Key benefits include:
• Highly customizable – Choose what is included in the system, and where within the rack, including PXI instrumentation, signal conditioning, kW power supplies, cooling and more
• Streamlined procurement – Simplify bill of materials management with consolidated part numbers and fewer vendor transactions
• Readily deployable – Benefit from IEC 61010 certified systems which are backed by more than 1,500 NI sales, system and support engineers worldwide
• Expansive ecosystem – Work directly with NI Alliance Partners to specify a turn-key system, including mass interconnect and fixturing, test software development, system maintenance, lifecycle support and more

“Building a test system is a difficult job – one that even the best organizations spend many months accomplishing purely because of the number of components, suppliers and interoperability challenges present,” said Luke Schreier, director of automated test product marketing at NI. “The new ATE Core Configurations can help users dramatically simplify the purchasing process for a common set of requirements and reduce the time and cost of building a system. And when you ultimately want a turn-key system, they form a great bridge to the integration expertise of our Alliance Partner Network.”

ATE Core Configurations also benefit from NI’s high-performance PXI instrumentation and extensive test software portfolio. This includes more than 600 PXI instruments ranging from DC to mmWave featuring high-throughput data movement using PCI Express Gen 3 bus interfaces and sub-nanosecond synchronization with integrated timing and triggering. ATE Core Configurations can also include TestStand test management software and LabVIEW code module development software, extensive API and example program support for PXI instruments, and more than 13,000 instrument drivers for third-party box instruments.

 @niukie #PAuto #NIWeek  #TandM

Support of Irish engineering community rewarded!

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has awarded Lilly Kinsale with Gold Corporate Partner status. Lilly was awarded with gold for demonstrating an ongoing commitment to supporting Irish undergraduate engineering students through its Kinsale manufacturing operation.

At the presentation L to R: Eoin McManus, Professor Jonathan Seville, David Sternasty, Sam Moursy
Jonathan Seville, president of IChem said: “It’s a pleasure to award Lilly Kinsale with IChemE’s Gold Corporate Partner Award. I’m hugely impressed by the enthusiasm of their engineers, who have given up their own time to share their knowledge and experiences with schoolchildren and chemical engineering undergraduates here in Cork.

“Lilly’s engineers have set a great example of what chemical engineering can contribute to the pharmaceutical sector, and they help to manufacture products that enable us to live longer, healthier lives. It’s a great example of why chemical engineering matters.”

The company has been a long term supporter of IChemE’s whynotchemeng campaign, which looks to improve schoolchildren understanding of careers in chemical engineering. It has held several events for post-primary school students in Ireland, and encourages its engineers to take part in mentoring activities as part of their Continued Professional Development (CPD).

Lilly Kinsale has strong ties with local Universities, and runs a successful undergraduate programme for up to 6 students each year, offering them practical work experience in conjunction with their area of study. The organisation also subsidises IChemE membership fees for all chemical engineering undergraduate students in Irish 3rd level institutions, north and south.

The upgrade to Gold Partnership will see Lilly Kinsale join a select number of companies in the top tier of IChemE’s Corporate Partner programme.

The presentation took place this month at the Blue Haven Hotel in Cork, Ireland. Lilly’s Vice President of Corporate Engineering and Global Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) was present,  as were David Sternasty, Lilly Kinsale Director of Engineering, Eoin McManus, Consultant Process Engineer, as well as Sam Moursy, IChemE’s Director of Qualifications, Neil Atkinson, and President Jonathan Seville.

Lilly Kinsale's Director of engineering, David Sternasty, said: “Our ultimate goal is to hire the brightest engineers and then continually engage, challenge and develop them professionally to become the very best they can be, engineers who are capable of delivering innovative manufacturing solutions for making the medicines of today and tomorrow. Our partnership with IChemE is helping us to achieve that.

“As part of this partnership, we have developed relationships with all levels of the education system locally; from primary school to post-graduate level and employees have greatly enjoyed mentoring students in the study of science, engineering, technology and maths.”

Lilly employs over 42,000 people worldwide, conducting clinical research in more than 55 countries with manufacturing plants in 13 countries including Ireland.

The Kinsale site employs approximately 80 chemical engineers, working in diverse functions across the site and has a reputation for technical excellence in chemistry and biotechnology to bring the next generation of innovative medicines to patients around the world.

 @IChemE @LillyPad #PAuto #Pharma

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Multislot Ethernet chasses.

National Instruments (NI) have announced the release of two new multislot Ethernet chassis at their annual NI Week in Austin (TX USA) . The cDAQ-9185 and cDAQ-9189 introduce new time-based synchronization built on the latest Ethernet standards, furthering NI’s efforts in Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) and rugged CompactDAQ hardware for distributed measurements.
The nature of physical systems test is rapidly changing as measurement systems migrate from the control room to closer to the device under test. While this shortens installation time, reduces the cost of sensor wiring and improves measurement accuracy, it creates challenges with synchronization and systems management, especially using today’s industrial networking technologies. NI is actively working to help define TSN, the next evolution of the IEEE 802.1 Ethernet standard, to deliver distributed time synchronization, low latency and convergence of time critical and general networking traffic. The cDAQ-9185 and cDAQ-9189 provide tight time synchronization with TSN to simplify and improve scalability of synchronized, distributed systems.

Features and benefits include:
• Precise synchronized timing over the network, which eliminates the need for lengthy, physical timing cables and ensures tightly synchronized measurements for accurate analysis.
• Simple daisy chaining through an integrated network switch for quick setup and expansion in distributed applications.
• Reliable operation in harsh environments with -40° to 70° C operating temperature range, shock resistance up to 50 g and vibration resistance up to 5 g.
• Software abstraction through the NI-DAQmx driver that automatically synchronizes multiple chassis for simple programming.

“These new chassis automatically synchronize measurement data using network-based time. This allows accurate synchronization over long distances, which greatly simplifies customer setup and systems management of high-channel-count and distributed systems,” said Todd Walter, chief marketing manager of the DAQ and embedded lead user team at NI. “This new, innovative method of synchronization combined with the signal processing libraries in LabVIEW system design software helps engineers quickly collect and analyze results, which drives faster test completion and higher efficiency.”

For more than a decade, engineers have used CompactDAQ with LabVIEW to quickly customize DAQ systems to meet their application needs. With NI’s investment in the latest technologies for synchronization and communication, the new CompactDAQ chassis are equipped to meet the current and emerging needs of distributed test and measurement applications, delivering high-performance, rugged DAQ systems that can acquire data from highly distributed sensors.

@niukie #PAuto #NIWeek  #TandM

Metal-seated ball valves.

Emerson introduces the Fisher™ Z500 line of metal-seated ball valves to its severe service portfolio.

Fisher Z500 metal-seated valves from Emerson, are engineered to withstand higher temperatures, pressures, and more erosive conditions than a standard on/off ball valve, providing increased reliability and protection of critical assets in demanding applications. A patented, bi-directional sealing design offers a unique solution to process back pressure and shutoff requirements in both flow directions, safeguarding control valves and other equipment in the line.

Fisher Z500 valves are designed with an integral metal seat and self-energised metal body gasket to help eliminate leak paths and withstand extreme temperature changes. Live-loaded packing, side-mounted brackets, and fixed centrelines help reduce side loads on the packing and decrease overall wear for a longer service life. This addition of on/off valves to the Fisher portfolio complements the existing control valve offering and helps ensure seamless integration between products.

“The combination of isolation valves and control valves gives our customers the opportunity to work with a single solution-provider to achieve the process protection and reliability they need for their critical applications,” said Kevin Meyer, president of Emerson’s Fisher Valves & Instruments business. “We feel that adding another quality product to our wide-reaching network of Emerson sales offices and service centres around the world will not only give our customers a comprehensive valve assembly, but the local support to go with it.”

@FisherValves #PAuto @EMR_Automation @HHC_Lewis

Angular position sensors.

ZF Switches & Sensors can now offer designers a complete range of angular position sensors based on Hall Effect technology which responds to magnetic fields generated by a (rare-earth) magnet. The sensors provide a linear change in voltage output corresponding to the rotation of the actuator.
Mark Mills, Distribution Sales Manager for ZF Switches & Sensors, comments, "ZF has vast experience of supplying sensors to the automotive market and our range of industrial sensors provide cost effective, high reliability sensing solutions for the growing industrial sensing market."

The ANG series of sensors are non-contact angular position sensors which provide a linear change in the voltage output corresponding to an angular rotation of the input shaft. One or two independent (non- or semi-redundant) outputs are available. The sensors offer rotation up to 360°, can replace potentiometers and have a 12 bit resolution. Custom programming is available for angle range, slope and PWM output. ANG sensors are waterproof to IP68, have a temperature range from -40 to +140° and have wire termination. The compact design has no mechanical interface ensuring there are no parts to wear out or jam.

Typical applications include position sensing, throttle-by-wire, steering, gear selection, and outboard trim sensing on industrial vehicles, fork lift trucks and agricultural trailer hitching.

The ZF AN1 sensors family are angular position sensors with an integral magnet with sensor housing and mate with a Delphi Metri-Pak 150 connector. They offer a nominal rotational range of 120° with counter-clockwise rotation. The sensors are mechanically tested to 10 million cycles, meet IP67 have an electrical operating range 5°to 85°C and operating temperature range from -40 to +125°.
The completely encapsulated assembly is suitable for printing equipment and rough terrain applications including farming machinery

The AN8 sensor is available with wire termination or Delphi Metri-Pak 150 connector. The IP67 rated device has an operating temperature range of -40 to +125°C, an angular rotation up to 360° and can be used to replace potentiometers. Having no mechanical interface ensures high reliability as there are no parts to wear out or jam.

Applications include fork lift truck position sensing, steering-by-wire and foot pedal control of throttle and brake for golf and utility carts

The final model in the ZF angular position sensor range is the AN9 which offers redundancy for safety-critical applications an angular rotation of up to 360°, wire termination, IP67 rating and an operating temperature range of -40 to +125°C.

An example of a design requiring redundancy for safety purposes is the steering column of forklifts where the rotation angle of the steering column needs to be detected to justify the wheel position of the vehicle. Other applications include steer-by-wire, position sensing and foot pedals for throttle and brake control.

@cherryswitches #PAuto

Heated humidity sensors.

The HMC03M humidity sensor from E+E Elektronik is dedicated for use in radiosondes and weather balloons. The sensor is characterized by a short response time even at low temperature. An integrated heating resistor ensures an excellent measuring performance under condensation and icing conditions. This makes the sensor ideal for weather observations in the upper atmosphere.

The sensor combines on a silicon substrate a capacitive relative humidity (RH) sensor and a heating resistor. By heating, the sensor quickly recovers after condensation or icing, which leads to a very good measuring performance even under extreme weather conditions. Another key feature of the HMC03M is the short response time at very low temperature. As a result, the HMC03M is ideal for use in radiosondes to measure humidity in the upper atmosphere.

The 5.85 x 2.85 mm small SMD sensor is appropriate for automatic assembling with subsequent reflow soldering. HMC03M is available on tape and reel of 500, 1000 or 2500 pcs.

E+E Elektronik’s product range for meteorology also includes probes and transmitters for highly accurate humidity and temperature measurement. The sensing elements of these devices are well protected from pollution and corrosion by the proprietary E+E coating. This leads to improved long-term stability and a longer lifetime, two essential criteria for long-term use in weather stations.

• E+E Elektronik products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

#Epulse #Environment #PAuto

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The secret is better control.

Over the last fifty years, almost none of the productivity gains in manufacturing have come from better chemistry or better design, or even better management and financial controls. Rather, those gains have come from better automation and control of the processes: continuous, batch, hybrid , and discrete. The secret to making manufacturing sustainable is better control.

So, why aren't the theories that have led to enormous gains in productivity being used above the plant level? This book, Real-Time Control of the Industrial Enterprise*, from the authoritive pens of Peter Martin and Walt Boyes,  explains both why not and how better controls can be applied to the supply chain, and to enterprise financial management.

This book provides engineering and technology managers the insight and tools for achieving a fully integrated automated manufacturing enterprise, from the technical and engineering side to the business management side. It is particularly helpful to readers seeking to bring the non-technical parts of a manufacturing operation - customer service, cost and financial management - in line with the already-automated production, inventory management, and plant management.

The reader will learn: how to use the principles of real-time process control to manage and measure your manufacturing business more effectively; how to achieve much greater speed of information transfer for improved control over supply chain and distribution; and how totally integrated inventory control, automated manufacturing, automated customer service, and smart pricing control - and ultimately lead to higher profits.

*Real-Time Control of the Industrial Enterprise, by Peter Martin & Walt Boyes; Publisher: Momentum Press;  
Print ISBN: 9781606503591; E-book ISBN: 9781606503614

@MomentumPress #PAuto 

Serving Russia & Spain.

Full information about the Michell Instruments’ ranges of humidity and oxygen sensors and analysers is now available in Russian and Spanish via two new language websites.

The new sites have been added to portfolio in recognition of Michell’s growing business in Eastern Europe, South America and Spain. Making the information available online in these languages will help customers to more easily find essential information about products and services.

As well as Spanish and Russian, Michell offer information in English (US and GB), Dutch, French, German, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese.

• Michell Instruments are represented in Ireland through Instrument Technology.

#Michell #PAuto

Miniature triaxial accelerometer.

The new Type 8766A lightweight, triaxial accelerometer from Kistler Instruments uses the, patented PiezoStar® crystal developed by Kistler to provide ultra-stable performance with very little sensitivity deviation with temperature changes. Over a temperature range of -50°C to +165°C a PiezoStar® sensor has a sensitivity deviation with temperature which is over thirty times better than a similar quartz sensor. The Temperature Coefficient of Sensitivity of a quartz triaxial accelerometer is 0.18 %/°C, compared with only 0.005 %/°C for a 250g measurement range for the new PiezoStar triaxial accelerometer.

The new accelerometer has been designed specifically to bring these unique properties to applications demanding high accuracy measurements in varying temperature up to 165°C. The small cubical, hermetic titanium housing has threaded mounting holes on each of three sides to facilitate calibration and simplify installation for tests whilst the low mass of only 4g reduces any influence on the test structure. The Kistler PiezoStar® shear element design provides a flat frequency response over a wide operating frequency range and extremely low sensitivity to temperature changes.

The IEPE sensor combines the PiezoStar® crystal with high gain, integral, hybrid microelectronics to achieve very low sensitivity variation over the wide operating temperature range, compared to other sensing element designs, and high immunity to base strain errors. The Transducer Electronic Datasheet (TEDS), embedded in the chips integrated within the IEPE sensor, enable data acquisition systems to automatically recognize the sensor specification and so reduce set up time, minimise risk of human errors and eliminate the need for manual point-to-point connection identification.

Five variants cover the measurement range from ±50g to ±1,000g all with a 100% overload capability plus a high temperature option for temperatures of up to 165°C. In contrast to ceramic and quartz, the extremely stiff piezoelectric crystal sensing element offers a flat frequency response with no slope across the entire useable frequency range of 0.5 to 20,000 Hz.

The accelerometer uses a welded titanium construction for low mass and an industry standard 4 pin connector, as well as a mini 4 pin connector option for lower mass and wider frequency operation. All variations provide reliable measurements and long-term stability, especially at higher operating temperatures. The miniaturized light-weight measuring element in a hermetic titanium housing which has threaded mounting holes on each of the three axes to simplify cable connection and minimise unwanted cable loops. A range of ground isolated mounting bases are available with adhesive, threaded and magnetic mounting options and an integral silicone cable variant is available for underwater vibration testing at up to 10 bars (150 psi).

With its extremely wide and flat frequency response, the unique Type 8766A accelerometer from Kistler instruments is ideal for use in modal and durability testing applications at widely varying temperatures.

#Kistler #PAuto 

Next generation system design software.

National Instruments (NI) has announced LabVIEW NXG 1.0, the first release of the next generation of LabVIEW engineering system design software. LabVIEW NXG bridges the gap between configuration-based software and custom programming languages with an innovative new approach to measurement automation that empowers domain experts to focus on what matters most – the problem, not the tool.

Jeff Kodosky - Father of Labview
“Thirty years ago, we released the original version of LabVIEW, designed to help engineers automate their measurement systems without having to learn the esoterica of traditional programming languages. LabVIEW was the ‘nonprogramming’ way to automate a measurement system,” said Jeff Kodosky, NI cofounder and business and technology fellow, known as the ‘Father of LabVIEW.’ “For a long time we focused on making additional things possible with LabVIEW, rather than furthering the goal of helping engineers automate measurements quickly and easily. Now we are squarely addressing this with the introduction of LabVIEW NXG, which we designed from the ground up to embrace a streamlined workflow. Common applications can use a simple configuration-based approach, while more complex applications can use the full open-ended graphical programming capability of the LabVIEW language, G.”

The 1.0 release of LabVIEW NXG helps engineers performing benchtop measurements drastically increase their productivity with new nonprogramming workflows to acquire and iteratively analyze measurement data. These nonprogramming workflows simplify automation by building the necessary code behind the scenes. For instance, engineers can drag and drop a section of code equivalent to 50 lines of text-based code. This is just one of the many ways LabVIEW NXG helps engineers focus on innovation rather than implementation.

“As business has increased, the NI platform has allowed our software to scale up to meet the rising demand,” said Casey Lamers, senior controls engineer at Phoenix Nuclear Labs, which provides the world’s strongest commercial neutron generators for industries such as medicine, energy and material processing. “Developing custom software for a new accelerator used for the medical imaging isotope industry has gone from taking months to weeks, and software build times have gone from hours to just 30 minutes. As a participant in NI’s lead user program, we’ve been using early versions of LabVIEW NXG over the last year and are confident it will further reduce our development time and improve our ability to deliver new features faster.”

LabVIEW NXG introduces a re-engineered editor with functionality that experienced LabVIEW users often request, but it still offers a user experience similar to complementary software in the market. The refreshed editor further extends the openness of LabVIEW to integrate with a broader set of languages. The modernized editor improves programming productivity by streamlining the editor micro-interactions, user interface objects based on vector graphics and zooming capabilities.

As LabVIEW NXG 1.0 revolutionizes benchtop measurements, new capabilities in LabVIEW 2017 target the development, deployment and management of large, complex and distributed test and embedded applications. These include features that enhance interoperability with standard IP and standard communications protocols such as IEC 61131-3, OPC UA and the secure DDS messaging standard.

International interoperable wireless!

The ISA100 Wireless™ Compliance Institute (WCI) recently conducted a successful interoperability event that featured more than 20 devices from 13 different suppliers.

The April 2017 event was a part of a regular schedule of interoperability events. These events—important components of WCI's technical program—provide ISA100 WCI member organizations an opportunity to validate the ISA100 Wireless brand promise of assured interoperability.

The interoperability event program, part of WCI’s quality assurance processes, ensures functional tests conducted within ISA100 Wireless certification testing provide proper coverage for the ISA100 Wireless Implementation Specification, and delivers real-world evidence that certified devices from any supplier will interoperate in any system supplier’s network.

“These events provide ongoing validation of the ISA100 Wireless certifications, identify areas for new test coverage as new categories of devices are added to the ISA100 Wireless portfolio, and provide input for improving the usability of the ISA100 Wireless certification test platform,” says Jay Werb, WCI Technical Director.

“Participants who attended the event at our RTP, North Carolina headquarters in April were extremely enthusiastic. In addition to performing a critical QA role for our technical program, the event served to build bonds among members of the ISA100 Wireless technical community,” notes Andre Ristaino, WCI Managing Director. “We hosted participants from the UK, Norway, Romania, Taiwan, Japan, the US and other countries. One of the week’s highlights was the evening social, hosted at a converted 1800’s-era cotton mill overlooking the scenic Haw River in Saxapahaw, North Carolina.”

@isa100wci  #PAuto #ISAuto #Training #Wireless

Seeking to represent process engineering.

The Annual General Meeting of Engineers Ireland will be held on Wednesday 31 May 2017, at 6:30pm in the theatre at Engineers Ireland, Dublin HQ. Like most organisations this meeting will inaugurate the president for the following year and the results of the ballot for the Governing Council will be announced. This year there are four vacancies for Chartered Engineers on the council.

President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins
at 2016 Annual Conference
Last year the Annual conference of the society the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins remarked “Engineering interacts with all other forms of life. The future of the profession will see engineers at the centre of planning, not simply asked to join in the execution of particular tasks, but in designing transformation.”

The Engineers Ireland Council is made up of elected members representing the regional and divisional spread of the organisation. Although the organisation has perhaps an unfair reputation as being primarily for Civil, Structural and Local Government engineers it does in fact cater to all branches of the profession, manufacturing and processing and all the myriad of associated sub-groups and allied sectors.

There are two excellent candidates whose names are before the membership and who represent the processing and automation disciplines. These are John O'Sullivan  and Kieran Fallon.

John O’Sullivan is Engineering Director of Douglas Control and Automation, delivering automation and functional safety solutions to the pharmaceutical, medical device, food and beverage and transport sectors. A lifelong space enthusiast, last year he published “In the Footsteps of Columbus, European Missions to the International Space Station” and has given talks on the subject during Science week, Space week and Engineers week.

Kieran Fallon is an Electrical Engineer and Manager of Electrical and Instrumentation at DPS Engineering, Dublin. He has 30 years’ experience in engineering design including projects in pharmaceuticals, chemical and water treatment industries. He is well placed to be an advocate for the ‘working engineer’ on the Council .

Voting to fill these vacancies is in progress at present. All votes are cast electronically.

@EngineerIreland #PAuto #Ireland

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The inspiration of the parabolic curve!

Parabolic flow curves were the inspiration for the new logo for the Measurement, Control & Automation Association which was debuted at the MCAA Industry Forum last month in Atlanta. As well, a completely redesigned website,, was rolled out to the more than 240 attendees at the meeting.

Bharat Naik (President, Reotemp Instruments), Chairman of the Planning Committee for the meeting and Vice Chairman of MCAA, introduced the new branding and website to the attendees saying that the more modern look and ease of use of the website better reflect the dynamic Association.

Mr. Naik mentioned the four unique value propositions that have a prominent place on the home page of the website:

  • Networking: The ability to meet face-to-face with leaders in the same industry—beyond your own company—and sharing ideas and experiences is a key reason why companies send their senior executives to the Industry Forum every year. Seventy-five percent of MCAA’s member companies were represented in Atlanta and attendees came from six different countries (US, Canada, Australia, Finland, Germany and Mexico). There are additional opportunities to network through the Association as well, using the website to find people and create or solidify business relationships.

  • Data: According to Naik, MCAA offers its members the most affordable source of unbiased data. While the very low cost is important, possibly more essential is that the data is unbiased—reported anonymously in aggregate so that no one has a reason to skew the numbers. He noted that his company derives essential management value from analyzing the data against their own performance.

  • Insights: MCAA meetings and its website offer critical best practices, future trends and new technology ideas not just for members but also to our industry as a whole. The assemblage of speakers at the Forum covered a broad range of topics designed to drill down on subjects related to our Interconnected World.

  • Workforce Development: As baby boomers leave our workforce, the industry has a challenging and ongoing issue of backfilling these positions with educated and trained personnel. As Vice Chairman of MCAA, Mr. Naik confirmed that MCAA has a key role to play in this arena moving forward and is an important element of the organization as the voice of the industry, a likely new tagline for MCAA.

  • Members sign into a Member Portal to retrieve reports and information available based on their company’s participation. They can also see their company profile which is an excellent opportunity to promote the company and its products. More functionality is coming to personalize the Portal. Member representatives can reach the Member Portal through or directly at

    @MeasControl  #PAuto

    Back in harness...

    "Everything has consequences, and nothing is ever simple."

    Back Again
    The sharp eyed among you will have noticed that the Industrial Automation Insider (IAI) taster that we usually put on our home page had not been changed since April. This was the unintended consequence of the unplanned absence of Editor Walt Boyes from his typewriter for health reasons.

    And of course there is a message to be gleaned from all this. "This is a lesson," he says,  "that any automation company needs to keep in mind. Everything has consequences, and nothing is ever simple."

    His absence was itself the unintended consequence of some corrective medical treatment he had had some years previously. However we are delighted that he is now back in harness and the latest Industrial Automation Insider is now back in a super two month bumper issue.

    If you don't get it you can hardly be said to be up to date on happening in the automation sector.

    Welcome back Walt and welcome back Insider!

    #PAuto #IAI 

    LIMS web portal!

    A web portal for the Matrix Gemini LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) has been announced by Autoscribe Informatics. This allows third parties who do not use Matrix Gemini directly, but have a legitimate need to access relevant data, to be able to view and download reports and metrics produced in Matrix Gemini.

    This integrated web portal will be of particular interest to contract laboratories and multi-site organisations, to allow customers and remote personnel access to appropriate data from anywhere there is an internet connection. Results, reports (such as Certificate of Analysis documents) and other relevant data can be made available to a third party through a web browser, using a unique password protected login. The web portal allows users to view data specific to them only.

    The web portal facility features a web portal manager which allows a Matrix Gemini user to set up (and remove) unlimited numbers of web portal users, with user names and passwords and make sure they can only view their own test data. The web portal manager also allows customisation of the appearance of the web portal to ensure it is in line with the branding of the host laboratory. The web portal uses secure communications mechanisms to ensure that user credentials and data remain secure when transmitted over a network.

    Test data displayed locally can be exported to an Excel compatible file. PDF documents such as previously generated reports can also be viewed and downloaded locally.

    @AutoscribeLtd #Laboratory #LIMS

    Discount from leading predictive maintenance leader.

    Senseye is celebrating its global recognition as a predictive maintenance leader with its automated condition monitoring and prognostics product by offering a limited discount to new customers in June 2017.

    Recently announced as the NMI Emerging Technology Company of the Year, Senseye has been further recognised by GrowthEnabler as a Britain's Top 5 mid-size Internet of Things startup and by Disruptor Daily as one of the top 10 IoT companies in the global manufacturing industry.

    Alexander Hill, Cofounder of Senseye remarks “The Senseye team has been working hard for over two years on automating the principles of condition monitoring and prognostics pioneered in the aerospace industry to make them accessible to wider industrial audience. We are thrilled to be recognised for our hard work”.

    The company is offering new customers in June who quote this release a 10% discount on Proof of Concept projects of the disruptive predictive maintenance product. They may request a demo to see Senseye in action here.

    @senseyeIO #PAuto #IoT

    Monday, May 22, 2017

    SIL 3 certified single controller for water and steam.

    Emerson’s water and steam detection system is the world’s first single controller solution to be certified to IEC 61508 for safety instrumented functions up to SIL 3.

    The Mobrey™ Hydratect™ 2462 Water and Steam Detection System is used in a wide variety of applications where the detection of water or steam is vital for safe and efficient plant operation, such as boilers, steam drums and steam line drain pots. This helps to protect valuable plant assets, prevent downtime, save costs and improve worker safety.

    The functional safety assessment performed by Exida enhances Hydratect’s reputation for reliability and durability. Exida, world leaders in functional safety certification, have assessed Hydratect and determined that it meets the requirements of SIL 3. The Hydratect system is ideal for the most demanding applications within power generation, refineries, chemical, steel, pulp and paper plants. It can operate in process conditions of up to 300 bar and 560°C. Failure of equipment in such applications can have serious consequences – the Hydratect offers the benefit of SIL 3 approval guaranteeing its reliability.

    Hydratect is a modern replacement for conventional float switches, and consists of a compact twin-channel electronic unit, connected to a pair of electrodes. Each channel gives independent indications of the presence of water or steam that are more reliable than those obtained with electro-mechanical devices, which have the possibility of failing in an unsafe condition. By installing the electrodes in vessels or steam lines and measuring the resistance, the presence of water can be detected, allowing appropriate safety measures to be taken.

    By detecting low water level in steam drums, Hydratect helps to prevent boiler tubes overheating, which could lead to an explosion, while detecting high water level prevents the generation of wet steam which could cause costly turbine blade erosion. Using Hydratect to detect water in steam line drain pots, as part of a turbine water induction prevention system (TWIP), helps prevent damage to turbine blades, cylinders and the housing.

    The electronics unit provides a local indication of steam, water and fault states, and features configurable fault and trip outputs. Component failure, cable faults, ground faults and electrode problems are continuously self-monitored. Additional reliability is provided by triple redundancy of critical components, which ensures that failures result in a safe condition. An individual power supply to each channel further enhances reliability.

    @EMR_Automation #PAuto #SIL @HHC_Lewis

    Global sales manager for magnetic components for power and signal applications.

    The ETAL Group  has named Michael Nielsen as Global Sales Manager, reporting to Dan Phelan, President of ETAL.

    Michael Nielsen
    Michael Nielsen said, “I’m excited to step into a global role at a successful company with a clear strategy for growth. ETAL recently announced the opening of a second manufacturing site in Sri Lanka, increasing its worldwide manufacturing space by 50%. Following this investment, the company is positioned to grow to the next level, and I’m looking forward to working with its strong team to take it there. ETAL is recognised around the world for innovation, quality and service in magnetic components.”

    Dan Phelan added, “Michael Nielsen brings ETAL the benefit of more than 10 years sales and marketing experience with electronic power technologies, spanning all the major target markets. His insights and relationships will be immensely valuable to us as we move forward and grow.”

    Michael Nielsen joins ETAL from battery specialist Enersys where spent two years and was EMEA Marketing Manager, Telecom and Key Account Manager. Prior to that, he spent two years as Sales Director, EMEA and India at Boston Power working closely with the electrical vehicle market. He joined Boston Power coming from Lineage Power as Global Account Manager and Regional Sales Manager. Michael Nielsen spent eleven years altogether developing his sales career at this business, joining in 1999 when it was the Power Systems Division of Lucent Technologies, continuing when it was acquired by Tyco Electronics in 2001 and acquired again in 2007 to become Lineage Power.

    @ETALGroup1 #PAuto

    Field testing to 100G.

    Anritsu Corporation has released a 100G Multirate Module for its Network Master™ Pro MT1000A all-in-one tester supporting interface rates from 10 Mbps to 100 Gbps, and technologies including Ethernet, Optical Transport Networks (OTN), SDH/SONET, Fibre Channel, and CPRI/OBSAI.

    Integrating the new 100G module with existing OTDR and CPRI RF modules in the MT1000A main unit provides field engineers and technicians with the industry’s first handheld solution covering all current testing needs for data centers, and core, metro, access, mobile backhaul and mobile fronthaul networks.

    With the 100G Multirate Module installed, the Network Master Pro MT1000A supports more interface standards than any other handheld transport tester on the market. The all-in-one tester meets requirements for CFP4/QSFP28 (100GbE/OTU4), QSFP+ (40GbE/OTU3), SFP28 (25GbE), SFP+/SFP (GbE-10GbE/OTU1-OTU2/STM1-64/OC3-192/1GFC-16GFC/CPRI1-8/OBSAI1-4), and RJ45 (10 Mbps to 1 Gbps). Its flexible configurations support field upgradability across testing technologies, providing a versatile upgrade path and future-proof investment.

    Not only does the 100G Multirate Module support 25G Ethernet and 100G Ethernet, it also provides the largest depth of OTN mappings to client signals, including three levels of ODU Multi-Stage mappings. This comprehensive test capability allows engineers and technicians to keep pace with emerging networking requirements.

    Expanded Capability
    Other enhancements to the Network Master Pro MT1000A include the new G0382A auto-focus Video Inspection Probe (VIP) automates optical connector inspection with one-button image focusing, centering, capture, analysis and report generation; support for Cat 6/6a cable tests, Fibre Channel buffer credit analysis; and in-band network discovery to identify other Anritsu Network Master products on the network and automate testing between them. Many of these enhancements are also available for the Network Master™ Flex MT1100A optical transport tester.

    These enhancements solidify the market lead of the Network Master Pro MT1000A and Network Master Flex MT1100A testers. All instruments in the MT1x00A series support multiple technologies utilizing a common direct-access GUI, PC control, and one-button testing software to ensure every test is completed correctly first time, every time.

    #TandM @AnritsuEMEA @NapierPR

    Acquisition to improve plant performance offering.

    Emerson has completed the purchase of MYNAH Technologies, a long-time Emerson alliance partner and a leading provider of dynamic simulation and operator training software.

    MYNAH’s solutions enable plant engineers and technicians to test and improve process control strategies and train plant operators in offline, real-world scenarios before implementing them in live production. The addition of MYNAH will help support Emerson Automation Solutions and its Operational Certainty™ programme designed to help industrial companies achieve top performance.

    “Adding MYNAH’s simulation software and expertise allows us to provide customers with more advanced process simulation and training solutions. This will help improve plant performance, safety and profitability by allowing them to fully optimise their human and automation resources,” said Jamie Froedge, president, Process Systems and Solutions, Emerson Automation Solutions.

    MYNAH’s Mimic Simulation Software is currently in use at more than 1,400 sites across 68 countries in industries ranging from hydrocarbon production to refining, chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology. The company’s portfolio also has integration solutions that connect Emerson’s DeltaV™ distributed control system and its production improvement capabilities with additional plant systems, helping Emerson meet customer demands for more integration and related plant performance improvements.

    “We are excited to join Emerson in delivering greater operational value to the process industries,” said Martin Berutti, chief operating officer for MYNAH Technologies. “By leveraging Emerson’s vast global network we can help more organisations deal with generational shift changes in the workplace, while improving the performance of industrial plants.”

     @EMR_Automation @MYNAHTech #PAuto

    Pressure calibrator.

    Pressure instrument calibration is a significant part of the maintenance workload in process plants that requires a high level of accuracy and repeatability. The new Fluke 729 Automatic Pressure Calibrator simplifies the calibration process by automatically generating precise test pressures, improving calibration integrity by compensating for leaks, and automatically documenting the pressure calibration process to help meet compliance and regulatory requirements.
    With the rugged, portable Fluke 729, technicians simply input a target pressure and the calibrator automatically pumps to the desired set-point while the internal fine adjustment control stabilises the pressure at the requested value, delivering more accurate results and speeding the calibration process.
    The 729 features:

    • Automatic pressure generation and control for multiple tests to 300 psi, (20 bar, 2 MPa). Users can fill in a test template and the 729 automatically pumps to and documents a multiple-point pressure calibration test.
    • Easy calibration documentation using defined templates for transmitters and switches. Input the starting and ending test pressures and number of test points and the calibrator documents the applied pressure, measured mA, and percentage error for each test point. The bright colour graphical display flags out of tolerance test results in red.
    • HART communication enabling mA output trim, trim to applied values, and pressure zero trimming of HART pressure transmitters, eliminating the need for an additional HART calibration. Technicians can also perform light configuration tasks such as changing a transmitter tag, measurement units, and ranging.
    • Measurement of mA signals on transmitter outputs and sourcing and simulation of mA signals for testing I/Ps and other mA loop devices. It includes a 24V loop power supply for testing and powering transmitters in standalone tests disconnected from the control system.

    As part of the Fluke Connect® reliability platform, the 729 allows technicians to remotely monitor calibrations using the Fluke Connect mobile app as well as manage, store, and share pressure measurements and logging events.

    Documented calibration results can be uploaded to the optional DPC/Track2™ Calibration Management Software, to easily manage instrumentation, create schedule tests and reports, and organise calibration data.

    @FlukeCorp  #PAuto #TandM

    Protecting internet connected devices, machines, and systems.

    Icon Labs has just published a white paper: “Why PKI Matters for the IIoT.”*

    This new IoT security white paper explains PKI, Authentication, and Certificate Management – how they work, what they are, and how OEMs, manufacturers, and developers can implement the latest technical developments in PKI security technologies.

    “OEMs building IIoT devices, and enterprises deploying IIoT networks must be proactive by ensuring the proper security capabilities are built into both the devices and the networks in which they operate,” says Alan Grau, President of Icon Labs. “Strong authentication of all devices within an IIoT network is a critical requirement for securing these networks.”

    Cyber-attacks against industrial control systems, water treatment plants, critical infrastructure, and other IIoT networks are on the rise as is the number of devices that hackers can target. As the number of devices grows, so does the range of opportunities to hack those devices, and subsequently alter the data. The bottom line is we now have a growing number of both targets and attacks, so we must put the cyber-security solution in place to protect these devices.

    Just as cyber-attacks take many forms and exploit a wide range of vulnerabilities in the target device, so too is cybersecurity multi-faceted. A fundamental, but often ignored, aspect of cybersecurity for IIoT devices is strong authentication.

    * PKI= Public Key Infrastructure is a set of technologies and services for managing authentication of computer systems.

     #ICONLabs #PAuto #Cybersecurity #IoT

    Winning Gold!

    Following a highly successful collaboration stretching over five years, the global instrumentation manufacturer TSI Inc. has awarded Ashtead Technology the prestigious title of ‘Gold Channel Partner.’ Commenting on the award TSI’s UK & Ireland Sales Manager Nick Brown said: “As an instrument sales and rental partner, Ashtead Technology has demonstrated a high level of commitment to our indoor and outdoor air quality monitoring equipment. Heavy investment in stock and staff training has paid dividends in the rapid business growth that Ashtead has generated.”

    Gold Channel Partners have access to a wider range of products and as a full service provider Ashtead Technology will deliver calibration, service and repair work on TSI products that are available for both sale and rental.

    Josh Thomas received the award on behalf of Ashtead Technology. He said: “TSI is an ideal partner for us; their instruments are rugged and reliable, producing good quality data, and TSI provides excellent training so that our staff are able to offer customers the highest levels of support.

    “With occupational health and environmental monitoring as key applications, TSI’s products fit comfortably in two of our main markets, and with the benefit of a formal partnership we are now moving into new markets with products such as TSI’s mass flow meters which feature high accuracy and a fast response. This makes them ideal for medical, industrial and laboratory flow monitoring applications.

    “Since we began working with them five years ago, TSI has launched a number of new products and technologies, and we are looking forward to the next five years with great anticipation!”

    • These products will be on display on the Ashtead Stand at the AQE Exhibition in Telford (GB) during the week.

    @ashteadtech  #PAuto @TSIIncorporated