Friday, June 9, 2017

Quality, risk and safety to be examined!

Ideagen is to hold a two-day event for its US customer base in Orlando, Florida, later this year. The ‘Ideagen Horizons’ seminar 2017 will take place in Orlando, 2-3 August 2017.

The event has been organised to cater for users of Ideagen’s Q-Pulse, Pentana and IPI suite of software – used by its clients for quality, safety, risk, audit and first article inspection management.

Ben Dorks
Ben Dorks, Ideagen’s Chief Customer Officer, provided an insight into this year’s Horizons seminar“I am delighted to invite our clients in North America to join us at the 2017 Ideagen Horizons seminar.
“This event will bring together customers from many varying industries to learn about – and witness first hand – what's new with Ideagen and our products.
“The seminar, which has been expanded this year to take place over two days, will give attendees the chance to hear from our internal experts face-to-face as well as allow them to share experiences and expertise.
“It promises to be yet another fantastic Horizons event.”

Items on the agenda – which can be downloaded from the Horizons Seminar event page – include analysis of product roadmaps, product master classes and an evening networking reception. Customer presentations and Q&A sessions will also be included.


Event highlights include a focus on risk, with key presentations on optimising risk management and looking at business exposure when it comes to digital risk.

@Ideagen_Plc #PAuto #Safety  #USA

Indicator with process filtering.

The INT4-P is the latest version of Applied Measurement's  INT2-P featuring improved process filtering from your pressure transducer, level transmitter or depth sensor. The INT4-P is directly compatible with the INT2 series as it features the same front panel designs, dimensions and connections, for easy integration.

The INT4-P meter displays physical variables, such as weight, load, force and torque, providing you with a 24V regulated excitation supply, capable of providing up to 40mA of current to power a wide range of sensors and transducers. Improved accuracy is guaranteed with its 10 point user configurable lineariser, which is a standard feature on the INT4-P indicator.

The INT4-P is easy to configure with its new single layer menu for a simpler setup. The readout is provided by a 6-digit LED display (also configurable with 3, 4 or 5 digits if preferred) coupled with an ultra-high resolution 20-bit A/D converter and highly stable strain gauge bridge excitation source which provides superb resolution and stability in any application. The front panel has a 7 segment window for displaying the measurement allowing decimal point and minus sign characters to be included and has 4 alarm annunciators to show the status of each alarm relay.

Peak and valley memories allow you to view the maximum and minimum recorded measurements. Also, the meter can give alarm outputs, scaled and isolated analogue output and isolated serial data retransmission, when fitted with option boards.

A lockout switch on the rear of the meter saves your configuration settings in non-volatile memory, which has a 10 year guaranteed storage period. When the lockout switch is set to ON, your settings cannot be accidentally altered.

@AppMeas #PAuto

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Loadcell Indicator.

The INT4-L 6-digit LED display from Applied Measurements,  is the latest version of the INT2-L featuring improved load cell and process filtering. It is compatible with any strain gauge based transducer. The INT4-L meter displays physical variables, such as weight, load, force and torque, providing you with a 10V regulated excitation supply. The INT4 series is directly compatible with the INT2 series as it features the same front panel designs, dimensions and connections for easy integration.

The INT4-L is capable of powering up to four 350 ohm loadcells in 4 wire or 6 wire installations. Its 10 point user configurable linearisation means improved accuracy is guaranteed, which is a standard feature on the INT4-L indicator.

The INT4-L is easy to configure with its new single layer menu for a simpler setup. The readout is provided by a 6-digit LED display (also configurable with 3, 4 or 5 digits if preferred) coupled with an ultra-high resolution 20-bit A/D converter and highly stable strain gauge bridge excitation source which provides superb resolution and stability in any application. The front panel has a 7 segment window for displaying the measurement allowing decimal point and minus sign characters to be included and has 4 alarm annunciators to show the status of each alarm relay.

Peak and valley memories allow you to view the maximum and minimum recorded measurements. Also, the meter can give alarm outputs, scaled and isolated analogue output and isolated serial data retransmission, when fitted with option boards.

A lockout switch on the rear of the meter saves your configuration settings in non-volatile memory, which has a 10 year storage period. When the lockout switch is set to ON, your settings cannot be accidentally altered.

#PAuto @AppMeas

Upgrade for LIMS.

The latest software release for the Matrix Gemini Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) from Autoscribe Informatics provides greater bulk sample registration flexibility and enhanced features for visualisation and communications for users. These include the ability to define the location of a sampling point on an image, record a screenshot with a single button and add attachments to e-mails generated within the LIMS.

These useful new features have all been introduced in response to suggestions from Matrix Gemini users. In addition performance improvements and security enhancements have been incorporated to keep Matrix Gemini the leading LIMS solution in its field.

The Bulk Sample Registration Module for Matrix Gemini provides a grid with spreadsheet-like data-entry functionality for registering large numbers of samples, bringing huge time saving benefits for users. Additional functionality includes the ability to add groups of tests to the grid and to create sample codes based on a parent sample code. Batch codes can now be entered manually and it is now possible to have more than one batch code per screen. Labels can now be printed from within the Bulk Sample Registration screen.

The new location mapping feature is ideal for users who need to take regular samples from the same locations. These could include boreholes/rivers and waste outlets in the water industry; site locations for air pollution monitoring stations; operating theatres and wards in hospitals for infection control; medical device and pharmaceutical production areas for sterility testing or food production areas for environmental monitoring.

Users may now import an image into Matrix Gemini, such as an area map or a floor plan of a facility or any place where samples are regularly taken. They can then mark the exact sampling location on this image. The test results associated with each location can be shown graphically and/or in tabular format to quickly see how results are changing over time. Out of limit results are automatically flagged by altering the icon that is displayed on the image, for example changing a green checkmark to a red cross. This allows immediate identification of issues and remedial action to be initiated, before the problem becomes a major issue resulting in a production line stop or a public safety concern.

Many users want to take a screenshot of a specific screen within Matrix Gemini for future reference.  This is now a single button operation, using either the desktop or web user interface that is supplied as standard with Matrix Gemini. These screenshots may now also be attached to any e-mail generated from within the LIMS. This facility is not limited to the screenshots. Any file type may be attached, including PDFs and images.

Performance improvements to Matrix Gemini include speeding data entry with multiple users in certain circumstances and improving the performance of result entry while linking with results from other intra and inter-sample tests. The security enhancements improve robustness of the software, ensuring that data remains secure from unauthorised access.

All Matrix Gemini users are urged to update to v5.4.3.4 or greater to see the benefits of these functional, performance and security enhancements.

#LIMS. @AutoscribeLtd  #Laboratory

One vision and one success story.

2017 is a special year for industrial camera manufacturer IDS. Jürgen Hartmann founded the company in 1997, together with his business partner at the time, Armin Vogt. They are two men with one vision and one success story. This year, IDS celebrates its 20th anniversary and now has 220 employees who work mainly at the German headquarters in Obersulm, but also internationally in three subsidiaries and three offices.


Daniel Seiler (Managing Director) 
and Jürgen Hartmann (Founder, Owner, 
and Managing Director of IDS)
The first product, which was launched 20 years ago, was the FALCON frame grabber PC card. Today, the company sells around 150,000 industrial cameras every year with USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1, and GigE connections and has become one of the largest manufacturers and market leader in the industry.

Following a record year in 2016, the current figures for the 1st quarter of 2017 exceed all expectations with a 17% increase in sales compared to the same period last year and a rise of 25% in incoming orders.

This success is based on courage and the ability to change. This does not just refer to changing from the analog frame grabber to the digital industrial camera, but also to the pioneering achievements in the use of the USB interface or the early decision in favour of CMOS sensors.

"Above all, we owe this success to our partners and customers. Their suggestions and wishes are what motivate us to develop new products", explains Jürgen Hartmann, who considers this to be an important factor in the company's growth. "This is especially true in this anniversary year, more than ever before, because the digitalization of production and Industry 4.0 are creating more and more new opportunities. We are working flat out on specific ideas for the next step towards smart machine vision!"


 #IDSGmbH #PAuto

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Second-Generation VST.

National Instruments have announced a baseband model of the second-generation Vector Signal Transceiver (VST). The PXIe-5820 module is the industry’s first baseband VST with 1 GHz of complex I/Q bandwidth and is designed to address the most challenging RF front-end module and transceiver test applications, such as envelope tracking, digital pre-distortion and 5G test.

“In 2016, NI disrupted the industry by introducing the RF model of our second-generation VST with 1 GHz of instantaneous bandwidth,” said Charles Schroeder, vice president of RF and wireless at NI. “We’re continuing the disruption with the baseband model of our second-generation VST. Engineers can use the baseband VST with LabVIEW system design software to address the evolving and changing needs of transceiver test applications. Engineers can take advantage of the software-designed architecture of NI’s VSTs to help accelerate the pace of design, reduce the cost of test and solve measurement problems previously unsolvable through traditional test approaches.”

The PXIe-5820 combines a wideband I/Q digitizer, wideband I/Q arbitrary waveform generator and high-performance user-programmable FPGA into a single 2-slot PXI Express module. With 1 GHz of complex I/Q bandwidth, the baseband VST suits a wide range of applications including baseband I/Q testing of wireless and cellular chipsets as well as envelope tracking of digitally pre-distorted waveforms for power amplifier, and generation and analysis of new wireless standards such as 5G, 802.11ax and LTE-Advanced Pro.

Product Features:
  • 1 GHz of complex I/Q instantaneous bandwidth for generation and analysis
  • Measurement accuracy to measure 802.11ax error vector magnitude (EVM) performance of -54 dB
  • Baseband 2-channel differential I/Q with 4 Vpp differential input and 2 Vpp differential output swing
  • FPGA-based measurement acceleration for measurements up to 10X faster and highly optimized measurement software
  • Compact size and tight synchronization of baseband and RF VSTs allowing for 2x2, 4x4, 8x8 or higher multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) configurations in the PXI form factor
  • Excellent noise floor and spurious free dynamic range
  • User-programmable FPGA that engineers can customize to add application-specific functionality
  • Ease of programming with consistent software experience between RF and baseband VSTs


“The baseband VST is a deliberate evolution of our original software-designed architecture,” said Ruan Lourens, chief architect of R&D, RF at NI. “We have managed to optimize in every possible domain, from thermal and electrical to digital signal processing, to successfully deliver 1 GHz complex I/Q bandwidth in a small form factor. The baseband VST can be tightly synchronized with the PXIe-5840 RF VST to sub-nanosecond accuracy, to offer a complete solution for RF and baseband differential I/Q testing of wireless chipsets.”

The baseband VST is a vital part of the NI platform and ecosystem that engineers can use to build smarter test systems. These test systems benefit from more than 600 PXI products ranging from DC to mmWave. They feature high-throughput data movement using PCI Express Gen 3 bus interfaces and sub-nanosecond synchronization with integrated timing and triggering. Users can take advantage of the productivity of the LabVIEW and TestStand software environments, along with a vibrant ecosystem of partners, add-on IP and applications engineers, to help dramatically lower the cost of test, reduce time to market and future-proof testers for tomorrow’s challenging requirements.


@NIukie #TandM

Alarm with Dual Relays and Process Transmitter Output in a Single Unit.

Acromag  has added new limit alarm and transmitter solutions for their line of microBlox® signal conditioners. The microBlox signal conditioning modules, available for a wide range of sensor inputs, plug into the new uBTA Transmitter Alarm Carriers to provide threshold value switch and process signal output capabilities.

Single and dual-channel models support a wide variety of input, output, alarm, and relay types. Models with mechanical relays feature two SPDT switches rated for 5A at 250V AC, 30V DC. Solid-state relay models have two SPST switches rated for 1A at 200Vpk AC/DC. Acromag’s free AgilityTM app simplifies setting custom I/O ranges and alarm setpoints using a smartphone or tablet. Bluetooth® wireless technology provides a fast an easy connection to AndroidTM or iOS® mobile devices.

The microBlox system’s modular approach, combining an assortment of plug-in input modules with output carriers, offers great flexibility to meet a broad range of alarm and signal interfacing applications. uBTA Carriers are offered in a thin 12.5mm housing or as an economical panel. Both formats mount on DIN rails. “The combination of alarm trips plus voltage and current output in one unit is a very cost-effective solution. And with easy software setup of I/O ranges and limits, it is even more attractive,” stated Robert Greenfield, Acromag’s marketing & sales director.

Well-suited for use in harsh industrial environments, microBlox alarms have high immunity to the unwanted effects of noise, surges, shock, and vibration. They also offer dependable, high accuracy operation in extreme temperatures from -40 to 75°C with low drift and great stability. Hazardous location UL/cUL Class 1 Div 2 ABCD and ATEX Zone 2 certifications are pending.

Acromag, a multimillion dollar international corporation, has been developing and manufacturing measurement and control products for more than 50 years. They offer a complete line of industrial I/O products including process instruments, signal conditioning equipment, data acquisition boards, distributed I/O systems, and communication devices.

@Acromag #PAuto 

Water cooling in food industry.

Climate control of enclosures with water cooling is highly efficient, especially if there is already a central cold water supply available in the production plant. The new Hygienic Design air/water heat exchangers from Rittal are ideally suited to the food industry, where hygiene requirements are exceptionally stringent.

Hygiene is an absolute must in the food industry: Machinery, plant and components must readily withstand daily cleaning with pressure washers and jet steam cleaners. There surfaces must also be easy to clean, and/or designed to prevent contaminants from adhering to them.

Use cooling water to dissipate heat
Liquid cooling of enclosures offers a number of benefits: Because water has a higher thermal capacity than air, liquid cooling can dissipate even large quantities of heat. What is more, industrial environments often already have a central cooling water supply available that can be used for enclosure cooling. All that is left to do is to mount suitable air/water heat exchangers on the enclosure. With Hygienic Design, it is particularly important that no air exchange takes place between the enclosure and the environment.

Rittal has revamped its air/water heat exchangers, and can now offer its clients in the food industry two variants of Hygienic Design. Air/water heat exchangers for wall mounting can supply cooling outputs of either 0.65 kW or 1.2 kW. The hygienic design reduces the risk of contamination in the food industry, thus helping to ensure product safety.

Modified design
For Hygienic Design, Rittal has modified the design in a number of respects. For example, the attachment to the enclosure wall using threaded bolts and nuts has been designed so that the screw fastening is not visible from the outside. The enclosure is made from stainless steel with a brushed grain size of 400, producing a surface roughness Ra of less than 0.8 μm. The smooth surface finish is easy to clean and disinfect. There are no hard-to-clean gaps where contamination could collect.

The silicone seal between the enclosure and the case prevents the transfer of colourants, flavourings and unwanted odours. The seal eliminates gaps between the air/water heat exchanger and the enclosure which would be difficult to clean. The seals are available as spare parts, and are easily replaced in the event of mechanical damage. The seals are dyed blue in accordance with FDA Guideline 21 CFR 177.2600, making them clearly distinguishable from contaminants such as food residues. The flat seals on the water connection fittings are likewise dyed blue, and geometrically designed to sit flush against the shape of the fitting. A metal end stop prevents compression of the seal, so that edges cannot protrude and allow contaminants or micro-organisms to accumulate.

Tested hygiene
The top of the enclosure tilts forwards by 30 degrees. This typical Hygienic Design feature prevents objects from being deposited on top of the enclosure, while at the same time ensuring that liquids, such as detergents and disinfectants, run off quickly. With protection categories of IP56/59, air/water heat exchangers meet the demanding requirements of pressure washing and steam cleaning.

The air/water heat exchangers have C-UR and CSA approval, making them suitable for international use. The Hygienic Design was tested by the DGUV Food department testing and certification agency in accordance with GS-NV 6 (test principles for hygiene). The devices comply with standard DIN EN ISO 14159:2008 and are suitable for use in the food sector in conformity with DIN EN 1672-2:2009.

@Rittal_Ltd  #PAuto 

Supporting high data rate requirements.

Anritsu Corporation has introduced the Universal Fixture Extraction (UFX) option for its VectorStar® vector network analyzers (VNAs) to provide signal integrity and on-wafer engineers with an increased range of on-wafer and fixture calibration choices, even when a full set of calibration standards is not available. Developed to address the design challenges associated with the high-frequency, high data rate requirements of 4G and emerging 5G systems, as well as backhaul and data centers, UFX features unique analysis tools so engineers can more accurately and efficiently evaluate designs.
VectorStar VNAs configured with UFX provide signal integrity and on-wafer engineers with multiple benefits. The VNA solution speeds time to market by enhancing model accuracy through improved test fixture de-embedding thereby improving first time yields. It also provides engineers with the ability to develop high-speed data throughput products with competitive advantages.

Fully corrected test fixture calibration techniques require a complete set of calibration standards at both ends of the fixture transmission path. In environments where a complete set of calibration standards are not available, the traditional method is to assume that both paths of the fixture are perfectly symmetrical and with perfect match. Since this is atypical, using previous techniques result in substantial de-embedding errors. The UFX option provides advanced de-embedding tools, allowing engineers to incrementally add calibration standards and characteristic data as they become available, for improved fixture extraction accuracy.

To aid in analyzing isolated defects within the test fixture, a Sequential Peeling feature is included in UFX, as well. Signal integrity engineers can generate a .sNp file for a portion of a fixture, such as those found in transitions, based on phase function matching. This function provides more detailed information about the fixture, granting an opportunity to more easily improve the test fixture design.

UFX expands the industry-leading capability of VectorStar to conduct on-wafer device characterization, as well as high-speed data transfer measurements. Anritsu's premium VNA line, VectorStar utilizes patented NLTL technology to offer the broadest coverage, 70 kHz to 145 GHz, in a single instrument. The VNAs bring the level of performance necessary for R&D engineers to accurately and reliably model high-frequency devices, to verify state-of-the-art designs, and to maximize throughput without sacrificing accuracy.

@AnritsuEMEA  #TandM

Industry 4.0 quality management system.

Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH has appointed the  QuinLogic GmbH to fit out a state-of-the-art QES quality management system for all relevant production processes. The order comprises a central QES database solution.

Simulation of the rules before being used on the line
The new quality management system will supplement the existing systems and go into operation in 2018.

The integrated simulation possibility enables the entire set of rules to be checked before being applied on the line, based on the customer’s archived data. In this way, Salzgitter can guarantee production and delivery according to specifications at all times, even if customer requirements change or new rules are used.

 @QuinLogic #PAuto #MES #Industrie4

Institute appoints Engineering Director.

Dr Maurice Wilkins FInstMC has been appointed as engineering director of the Institute of Measurement and Control (InstMC).

Maurice Wilkins
Maurice is a PhD Chemical Engineer with over 38 years of experience in human factors, batch solutions, procedural operations, HMI design, advanced process control, benchmarking analysis and the chemicals and refining industries.

He currently works as Executive Advisor to Yokogawa, working mostly on technology and solutions innovations and also standards and human factors. In his earlier career he held positions with Esso Chemicals, Honeywell, Lyondell, ARC Advisory Group, KBC and as an independent consultant.

Maurice is a Fellow of ISA, our sister organisation in the US, and was inducted into the Process Automation Hall of Fame in 2011. He is currently Vice President of the ISA Standards and Practices department.

Within InstMC Maurice will be responsible for providing technical support to our professional activities, including our learned society programme and Special Interest Groups. He will also be supporting our marketing department in outward-facing activities and representing the Institute as our technical spokesman to the media and on related engineering bodies.

@instmc  #PAuto #ISAuto

Super-sensitive non-contact temperature sensor.

Accurate temperature measurement based on proprietary MEMS technology.

Omron Electronic Components has extended its non-contact MEMS thermal sensor range with a new narrow-field version specifically designed to provide accurate non-contact measurements of an objects’ surface temperature for industrial control, medical and building automation systems. Omron is relaunching its full range of MEMS thermal sensors in Europe, including wider field versions ideal for detecting room occupancy and similar applications.
The new Omron D6T-1A-02 is a super-sensitive infra-red (IR) temperature sensor that makes full use of proprietary Omron MEMS sensing technology. It can measure the surface temperature of an object between -40 up to +80°C in the target area with an accuracy of +/-1.5°C and a resolution of 0.06°C. The device includes a state-of-the-art MEMS thermopile, a sensor ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) and a signal processing microprocessor in a tiny package of only 12.0mm x 11.6mm x 9.2mm. The D6T-1A-02 features a narrow field of view of 26.5 degrees square, allowing it to accurately assess the surface temperature of a specific object in this area. Features also include a digital I2C output which offers excellent noise immunity (measured as noise equivalent temperature difference) of 140mK.

The Omron D6T thermal sensor is also ideal for building automation applications, measuring the temperature in a room, or detecting occupancy even when people are stationary. For these applications, Omron is offering versions with a wider field of view. These include a 1x1 device, the D6T-1A-01, with a field 58 degrees square. A 4x4 version and a 1x8 version are also available. These ultra-sensitive sensors are an outstanding alternative to pyroelectric sensors or PIR detectors in home automation, building automation, healthcare, security and industrial applications, which often fail to distinguish between an unoccupied space and a stationary person.

While standard thermal sensors are only able to measure temperature at one contact point, the D6T range can measure the temperature of an entire area contactlessly. Signals generated by infrared rays are extremely weak. To achieve reliable detection, Omron has developed and manufactured every part of the new high sensitivity thermal sensor in-house, from the MEMS sensors to the ASICs and other application-specific parts.

The technology behind Omron’s D6T thermal sensors combines a MEMS micro-mirror structure for efficient IR radiation detection with a high-performance silicon lens to focus the infrared rays onto its thermopiles. The ASIC then uses proprietary algorithms to make the necessary computations and convert sensor signals into digital I2C outputs. All components were developed in-house and are fabricated in Omron’s own MEMS facilities.

@OmronEurope #PAuto

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Angle seat valves.

A highly adaptable angle seat valve, the VZXA has been introduced by Festo. Featuring a patented interface and award-winning modular product architecture, its wide variety of valve bodies and actuators can be freely combined for maximum configuration flexibility.

Engineers designing process applications in industries such as food and beverage, chemical, biopharma and industrial water can use the VZXA to control media flows quickly and reliably.

The VZXA consists of an angle seat valve body, a piston or diaphragm actuator and a visual position indicator. The robust, flow-optimised valve body is made of easy-to-clean stainless steel and available in nominal sizes DN15 to DN65. Connection variants include threaded, clamped or welded, to meet both US and European standards. Its high flow rate makes the VZXA ideal for highly viscous media: liquids, gases or vapours.

Stainless steel actuators are available in three sizes, with the control functions NC (normally closed), NO (normally open) and DA (double-acting). Maximum operating pressure, depending on nominal size, is up to 30 bar. The large transparent position indicator cap is made of polyethersulfone (PES), enabling the valves to be used in chemically aggressive environments.

The standardised interface between modules simplifies installation, allowing actuators to be replaced without having to remove the entire valve. Separation of valve bodies and actuators also makes installation of valves in pipelines easier and faster, particularly if orbital welding is required. The spindle seal is in the form of a cartridge, meaning it can be replaced simply and reliably without need for special tools.

“The VZXA easily adapts to diverse requirements, maximising flexibility and minimising the effort involved in designing your application,” says Kai Feller, product manager at Festo. “Its carefully thought-out modular product architecture allows different valve bodies and actuators to be combined for easy integration. And the self-contained, function-tested modules simplify system maintenance, modification or expansion – also making the VZXA well suited for designing customised valve blocks.”

The VZXA is quick and easy to clean inside and out as it has virtually no dead spaces. Its modular construction means the actuator can be easily removed and sterilised in an autoclave, for instance. The compact, sturdy and corrosion-resistant stainless steel unit can also withstand harsh ambient conditions, aggressive cleaning foams or vapour. The encapsulated modules and patented seal system prevent leakage of the operating medium into the actuator, or the compressed air contaminating the medium.

@FestoAG #PAuto #Pharma

Tiger has a g'day down under!

Australian environmental consultancy, JBS&G has purchased another well-proven Tiger handheld volatile organic compound (VOC) monitor from Ion Science. This latest handheld photoionisation detector (PID) is being used on a major new project and was chosen for a number of performance benefits as well as the free extended five year warranty.
JBS&G is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading and most respected providers of environmental services, including contaminated land, groundwater remediation, impact assessment, due diligence, EPA accredited auditing, hazardous materials and occupational hygiene assessment. The company has worked on some of the largest and most complex environmental assessment and remediation projects in the countries.

Aaron Smith, Senior Consultant at JBS&G comments: “We use PIDs on a daily basis to help implement our many contaminated land projects. The company owns several VOC monitors, including Ion Science instruments, and often rents extra ones too to cope with the ebb and flow of business. We have been using the handheld Tiger detector for many years without a problem and found it to be a robust, reliable, fast, accurate and user-friendly solution.

“A major new project prompted the need for a further PID and we did not hesitate in choosing another Ion Science Tiger especially with the free five year warranty when the instrument is registered within one month of purchase.”

Ion Science’s Tiger is being used by JBS&G to detect the presence of airborne concentrations of VOCs emitted from soils contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons and other substances. The results are interpreted and used to assess potential health risk to site workers and the surrounding members of the public.

JBS&G’s uses the Tigers to monitor VOCs in a wide variety of applications, including contaminated soils (headspace and soil vapour), surface water, groundwater, unknown chemical compounds, under and above ground petroleum storage tanks, abandoned buildings, service pits, sewers, as well as other confined spaces.

JBS&G benefits from multiple PIDs within its business across all states of Australia. They are used on a daily basis during contaminated land investigations and other assessments of potential hazardous substances. Data is manually recorded on score sheets or downloaded to a PC where formal reporting is required.

Providing market-leading accuracy and run time, the Tiger’s PID sensor utilises advanced patented Fence Electrode technology, a three-electrode format with increased resistance to humidity (up to 99% RH) and contamination. This maximises accuracy and dependability by removing high backgrounds and false-positives in high-humidity environments. The anti-contamination design also reduces calibration frequency.

Aaron adds: “We use the PID to assess potentially contaminated land, air and materials which makes the Tiger’s anti-contamination design very important in providing the most accurate results possible.”

The Tiger incorporates the recently released MiniPID 2 sensor, which offers a raft of benefits to instrument functionality, including reliable operation at extreme temperatures and more repeatable performance.

Other advantages of the MiniPID 2 are lower running current, robust lamp illumination and more reliable operation at extreme temperatures. It gives stability, control and reliability benefits that are unavailable in other PID designs.

Extremely simple to set up, the Tiger is designed for rapid detection, with an unrivalled response time of just two seconds, and the widest measurement range of one part per billion (ppb) up to 20,000 parts per million (ppm)*.

It offers worldwide Intrinsic Safety (IS) certification and also meets ATEX, IECEx, North American and Canadian standards. Inexpensive disposable parts such as filters and lamps are easy to change, minimising downtime. Simple connectivity to a PC via the USB allows data to be downloaded quickly.

“The overall service from Ion Science has been excellent and we will definitely be using more of their monitoring instruments in the future,” Aaron concludes.

@ionscience #Environment #Australia

Versatile load cell.


The PW15iA Digital load cell, from HBM, offers a flexible and cost-effective solution to a wide range automated applications.

This innovative load cell is fully adaptable and features a range of integrated functions - which include a wide range of algorithms for check weighing, filling and batching – which eliminates the need to undertake these functions separately.  This means that development times can be significantly reduced. 

Compatible with industry standard dimensions (SP4M footprint), the new PW15iA load cell can also be quickly and easily integrated into existing systems, without any additional construction effort, minimising costly downtime. 

Featuring an OIML certificate for C3, and a maximum scale division of Y up to 10,000, the new PW15iA dramatically improves speed whilst reducing overall costs, thereby increasing profitability.

Designed to achieve a degree of IP68/IP69 protection, the PW15iA is an extremely robust load cell which is housed in stainless steel and is compatible with all cleaning agents and disinfectant agents, which are commonly used in the production process. 

Precise, durable and reliable, the PW15iA from HBM can deal masterfully with malfunctions and can be integrated seamlessly into most existing designs.  Suitable for a wide range of applications, which include packaging machinery; the PW15iA is also suitable for automated batching and even underwater measurement applications and is the perfect solution where speed and precision is a key consideration.

@HBMmeasurement #PAuto

Automation operations nervecentres extended in Europe & USA.

Two new ABB Ability™Collaborative Operations Centres near Miami, (FL USA) and Genoa (I), are extending the company’s network.

The centres function as the central nervous system for assets and systems fitted with ABB technology. Countless sensors transmit data on the health and performance of machines and essential systems to the centres, where sophisticated software performs advanced data analytics 24/7. The insights gained allow engineers to quickly diagnose potential issues, advise on preventive maintenance or suggest measures to improve performance. ABB experts and customers work in close collaboration, taking data-driven decisions in real time that increase operational performance and business profitability.

Further to the two new centres, ABB already operates Collaborative Operations Centers in Singapore; Billingstad, Norway; Helsinki, Finland; Västerås, Sweden; San Diego, California and Dalfsen in the Netherlands. The centers support customers for example in the marine and ports industry leveraging the “follow the sun” principle. ABB provides real-time support for operating vessels, with ABB software combining weather forecasts with vessel and load data to assist captains in plotting the ideal course.

“The opening of these two new centers demonstrates our leadership in bringing ‘big data’ benefits to our customers,” said Peter Terwiesch, President of ABB’s Industrial Automation division. “ABB today remotely monitors and provides real-time support to more than 700 ships. That number is set to increase to 3,000 by 2020.”

ABB Ability Collaborative Operations is a true Internet-of-Things application and part of the company’s ABB Ability portfolio of industry-leading digital solutions. Collaborative Operations delivers performance management, remote monitoring and predictive analysis technologies to ensure safety and security, and improve operational efficiency and productivity across industries including the cement, chemicals, manufacturing, marine, metals, mining, oil & gas, ports, pulp & paper, power generation and water industries.

@ABBgroupnews #IoT #PAuto

Partnership increases test coverage.

XJTAG and Flying Test Systems, a leading provider of electronic test solutions in Britain and Ireland, have announced the signing of a joint Technology Partner Agreement.

Flying Test Systems offer electronic circuit board test and repair services, Design for Test (DFT) consultancy services along with in-circuit, SPEA flying probe and bespoke functional test equipment for production.

Commenting on the agreement with XJTAG, Nigel Priest, Managing Director, Flying Test Systems, says: “Test engineers face increasing pressure with devices that have little or no access to their pins, and space for test points is under pressure. At Flying Test Systems we are constantly looking out for the best test solutions for our clients and found that XJTAG boundary scan offers great functionality that is priced competitively, user-friendly and comes with a flexible licensing model.”

XJTAG has been working with a variety of test solution providers including flying probe vendors in order to offer the best-in-class test capability and value for clients. Ensuring continuous DFT improvement and that testing Ball Grid Array (BGA) devices on dense boards does not impact test coverage now means combining JTAG boundary scan, bed-of-nails and flying probe machines to achieve the best results. Powerful and easy to use, integrated testing enables engineers to minimise test time while maximising test coverage by using boundary scan.

Simon Payne, CEO of XJTAG, says: “We are delighted to be working closely with Flying Test Systems and to have them as a Technology Partner. They have a large installed base of clients across defence, aerospace, automotive, medical, industrial & semiconductor throughout the UK. Flying Test Systems understand the day to day challenges of test and can help find the right solution for testing electronics.”

As electronic circuits become more complicated the collaboration between leading suppliers is not only helping address the challenges facing engineers today but is also creating test solutions fit for the future.

 @XJTAG #TandM #PAuto #FlyingTestSystems

New range of radar level transmitters.

Six 24 and 80 GHz FMCW radar level transmitters for liquids and solids have been added by Krohne to their OPTIWAVE series.

They aim at liquid and solid applications in a wide range of industries. Based on over 28 years of experience with FMCW technology, each device has a particular target area of application, for example agitated and corrosive liquids, narrow tanks with internal obstructions, or powders and dusty atmospheres.
These devices feature 2-wire 4…20mA HART 7 communication and come with an extensive choice of process connections, starting from ¾". They feature a large backlit LCD display with 4-button keypad, a quick setup assistant for easy commissioning, and come with free PACTware™ DTM with full functionality. While approvals for hazardous areas are already available, other approvals including SIL are ongoing.

New devices for liquids: OPTIWAVE 3500, 5400, 7400 and 7500
  • OPTIWAVE 3500 is a 80 GHz FMCW radar aimed at hygienic applications in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical markets. It has a wide range of hygienic connections and can measure right up to the process connection. Thanks to its narrow beam angle and small dead zone, it is capable of measuring in small and narrow tanks, even with agitators.
  • OPTIWAVE 5400 is a 24 GHz FMCW radar for liquids in basic process applications in chemical, oil & gas and power industries. It provides accurate readings in closed tanks, in open air applications such as rivers or dams, and this even in processes with fast changing levels.
  • OPTIWAVE 7400 is a 24 GHz FMCW radar designed for liquids in harsh environments such as tanks with agitators containing corrosives or in non-Ex applications up to +700°C / +1292°F (e.g. molten salt in solar plants). Aimed at the chemical, petrochemical, power and oil and gas industries, it comes with a large choice of antenna options like the proven Drop antenna as well as heating, cooling or purging systems for metallic Horn antennas. For applications with corrosive or dangerous liquids, a flange plate protection or a Metaglas second sealing barrier are available. The quick coupling system permits the removal of the converter under process conditions.
  • OPTIWAVE 7500 is a 80 GHz FMCW radar covering the same industries as OPTIWAVE 7400 up to +150°C / +302°F, 40 barg / 580 psig. With its small beam angle and negliglible dead zone, it is aimed at liquid applications in small and narrow tanks with internal obstructions like agitators or heating coils, as well as tanks with long nozzles. This 80 GHz radar can even measure through tank roofs made of non-conductive material. It features a flush-mounted PEEK Lens antenna and measures the level of a product from the antenna down to the tank bottom over a distance of 100 m / 328 ft.
New devices for solids: OPTIWAVE 6400 and 6500
  • OPTIWAVE 6400 is a 24 GHz FMCW radar for solids from granulates to rocks in industries such as minerals and mining, chemical, agriculture, or power generation. It measures the level of solids such as stone, plastic granulates or coffee beans accurately and reliably. The proven Drop antenna minimises scaling and is unaffected by the angle of repose, thus eliminating the need for expensive antenna aiming kits or purging systems.
  • OPTIWAVE 6500 is a 80 GHz FMCW radar for powders and dusty atmospheres, aiming at the same industries as OPTIWAVE 6400. It features specific algorithms and high signal dynamics to provide reliable and accurate readings despite the challenges linked to fine powders such as dust, low-reflective media, build-up and uneven surfaces. Thanks to the small beam angle of the flush-mounted Lens antenna, it is best suited for high and narrow silos even in the presence of internal obstructions.
The new 24 GHz and 80 GHz transmitters complement the two existing 6 and 10 GHz devices of the OPTIWAVE series: OPTIWAVE 1010 is a 6 GHz FMCW radar suited for clean liquids in bypass chambers and Magnetic Level Indicators (MLI). It is welded to the bypass chamber or MLI and measures the position of the float or the liquid level. OPTIWAVE 5200 is a 10 GHz FMCW radar for liquids in storage and simple process applications with a wide range of options, SIL2 approval and a choice of fieldbus communication options.

• Krohne products are marketed in Ireland by DWN Instrumentation.

MEMS Capacitive Accelerometers.

Silicon Designs, Inc. has introduced six new series of low-cost, high-performance MEMS capacitive accelerometers, in both traditional and smaller footprints.

These include the single axis Model 2220 or triaxial Model 2470, featuring aluminum housings and a standard 1 meter integral cable; the single axis Model 2240 or triaxial Model 2480, featuring hermetically sealed titanium housings and an integral connector; and the single axis Model 2276 or triaxial Model 2476, featuring aluminum housings and an integral connector. Each model is offered in full-scale standard ranges from ±2 g to ±400 g, along with choice of ±4V differential or 0.5V to 4.5V single ended output. Their expanded temperature performance to +125°C, as well as improved scale factor and bias temperature shifts, allows them to provide excellent long-term stability with an industry-best-in-class price-for-performance ratio. The accelerometers are also relatively insensitive to temperature changes and gradients.


Depending upon selected model, units feature a simple four-wire (single axis) or eight-wire (triaxial) connection; flexible response to either DC or AC acceleration (0-2000 Hz); low-impedance outputs, supporting up to 2000 feet of cable; and flexible operation from +8 to +32 VDC power. Each device is marked on its top and bottom surfaces with a serial number for traceability. A calibration test sheet is supplied with each unit, showing measured bias, scale factor, linearity, operating current, and frequency response. A simple test sequence, using the earth’s gravity, may be used to verify operation and calibration. 


#SDI #PAuto

Monday, June 5, 2017

Cybersecurity export to head automation body.

Marty Edwards is the new Managing Director of the Automation Federation*.  Edwards, a well known industrial control systems cybersecurity expert, is currently serving as Director of the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT), an operational division of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Marty Edwards
ICS-CERT works to reduce industrial control system risks within and across all critical infrastructure sectors by coordinating efforts among federal, state, local and tribal governments, as well as industrial control systems owners, operators and vendors. Prior to his ICS-CERT role, Edwards was a program manager focused on control systems security work at Idaho National Laboratory and held a wide variety of roles in the instrumentation and automation fields, including field service, instrument engineering, control systems engineering and project management.

“ISA and the Automation Federation are proud and excited to announce this news,” said ISA Executive Director and CEO Patrick Gouhin. “Mr. Edwards brings a remarkable and unique skill set – he is unquestionably one of the world’s foremost experts in industrial cybersecurity, and he has a background in real-world instrumentation and automation engineering. His knowledge and experience will prove an invaluable asset for automation professionals around the world in his new role, as he builds on the hard work and vision of our current Managing Director, Mike Marlowe. We owe Mr. Marlowe a debt of gratitude for his tireless dedication as a leader of the Automation Federation, and he has left a legacy for Mr. Edwards to continue.”

"I am excited to be joining an organization that will allow me to get back to my instrumentation and control system roots, and contribute to the success of the highly critical field of automation," said Edwards.

The Automation Federation has a distinguished history of involvement and expertise in industrial cybersecurity. Upon request from the US federal government, representatives of the Automation Federation assisted in the creation of the US Cybersecurity Framework and helped to implement the provisions of the US Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014. The ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards—representing a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity—are integral components of the US government’s current and future plans to combat industrial cyberattack.

At the invitation of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)—an agency within the that country's Department of Commerce—the Automation Federation also plays a prominent role in organizing and participating in workshops designed to educate executives and manufacturing leaders on the vital need to implement recommended US Cybersecurity Framework guidelines.

The Automation Federation also partners with a wide range of other US government organizations (such as the US Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the US Department of Labor and the US National Guard) and private-sector groups (such as the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Rural Water Association) as well as its own members and working groups to leverage the strengths of ISA/IEC 62443 in defense of cyberwarfare.

Edwards bigins his tenure at the Automation Federation later this month (June 2017). Current Automation Federation Managing Director Mike Marlowe will continue with the organization as Managing Director Emeritus until his retirement in December.

Edwards holds a diploma of technology in Process Control and Industrial Automation (Magna cum Laude) from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), and in 2015 received its Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2016, Mr. Edwards was recognized by FCW in their “Federal 100 awards” as being one of the top IT professionals in the US government.

The Automation Federation—an association of non-profit member organizations—is dedicated to fostering economic growth and manufacturing innovation by helping industry harness the immense capabilities and potential of automation technologies and applications. Its initiatives and expertise are focused on three key areas: industrial cybersecurity; workforce development; and member advocacy.
As the umbrella and outreach association of the International Society of Automation (ISA)—the developer of the world’s only consensus-based series of industrial cybersecurity standards (ISA/IEC 62443)—the Automation Federation works with government and industrial leaders to mitigate IACS security vulnerabilities.


#PAuto #Cybersecurity #ISAuto 

New website to cope with greater demand!

Following on from the recent buy-out of Eurolec Instrumentation Ltd, the company has already unveiled its new-look website.
​The news of the acquisition by Scientific Measurements Pte Ltd last month has prompted increased interest in Eurolec's range of thermometers, pressure gauges and vibration monitors, with the brand continuing to enjoy strong market recognition. That reputation has now been consolidated with the new website that makes it even easier for clients and potential partners to find product information as well as company background data.

Chris Mears, Eurolec Managing Director, said: "It has been full-on since we became part of Scientific Measurements and we have been working closely with its marketing team to start getting our key product and brand messages out there.

"The very first important stage was the website and since the new look went live we are already seeing a sharp spike in visitor numbers as well as positive comments about the look and its ease of use. We are going to continue to build on that great start, to maintain and grow our customer base online as well as through our solid distribution network."

Looking ahead the Eurolec team, which is headquartered in Dundalk (Ireland), will be concentrating on product enhancement and development.

 @Eurolec #PAuto #Ireland

I/O modules with multiprotocol functionality.

The Standard for I4.0 Solutions: The new Ethernet IO modules from Pepperl+Fuchs support all common Ethernet protocols, such as PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, and EtherCAT, in a single device. The integrated IO-Link master function allows comprehensive diagnosis and parameterization. The L-coded M12 power plug provides a current of up to 16 A and reduces installation costs. Modules with an integrated logic function can tackle autonomous applications, completely replace control panels, or deal only with status messages. As such, these fieldbus modules form the foundation for Industry 4.0 solutions.

EtherNet IO modules offer IO-Link sensor/actuator connections, function across multiple protocols, and are supplied with 16 A via the M12 power plug

The multiprotocol feature permits standardization in the machine where different module types were previously required. A rotary switch makes it possible to switch between the PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, and EtherCAT protocols. The integrated web server facilitates downloads and parameterization, and also provides a diagnostics indicator.

IO-Link-compatible sensors and actuators can be connected, configured, and parameterized using the integrated 8-way IO-Link master. Key benefits of this solution include transparent diagnosis and the ease with which devices can be replaced thanks to the redundant data storage.

The power concept with an L-coded M12 plug-in connector provides a connection and power supply of up to 16 A, thereby reducing the need for parallel wiring and supply adjustments. The robust, fully cast metal housing has an IP65/67/69 degree of protection and is very compact at only 200 mm long and 18 mm high.

Some simple programming work is all that is needed for the modules to perform distributed functions and to take the load off the central control panel, or replace this completely. Communication costs and reaction times are reduced, while a central overview is retained. The distributed logic can be limited to some of the IOs, while the others continue under the central control panel. This permits an interaction between the control panel and the distributed process program.

#PAuto @PepperlFuchsUSA