Friday, February 23, 2018

Improving Ireland's air quality monitoring network.

Following a public consultation in 2016, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a contract for up to 44 particulate matter (PM) monitors to enhance and expand the existing monitoring network. The successful bid was submitted jointly by EMS Environmental Monitoring Systems (Irl) and Air Monitors Ltd. (GB). The award is a major component of the EPA’s new National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme (AAMP) which was created under Section 65 of the EPA Act to strengthen the provision of comprehensive, localised air quality information linked to public health advice.

Chris Searles, Managing Director of EMS added: “We specialise in the supply, service and maintenance of environmental monitoring equipment across the whole of Ireland, and we have worked for the EPA over a number of years, so we are naturally delighted with this award.”

This announcement follows a similar contract for Air Monitors to deliver FIDAS PM monitors to the Environment Agency in England. “It is very gratifying to win these contracts,” says Jim Mills, Air Monitors Managing Director. “The FIDAS 200 offers a wide range of advantages over traditional PM monitoring technologies, so it is good to see it being adopted by national networks.”

Air pollution has been estimated to cause the premature death of over 1,500 Irish people every year. “With this in mind,” EPA Director General Laura Burke said at the launch of the most recent EPA Air Quality report: “It is time to tackle the biggest issue impacting on air quality in Ireland – emissions from solid fuels in our small towns around the country.”

Overall, Ireland’s air quality is good by European standards, but it has exceeded World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline values for PM10 and PM2.5 and under EU legislation is required to reduce exposure to PM2.5 levels by 10 per cent between 2012 and 2020. PM monitors have therefore been given a high priority in the AAQM, and the FIDAS instruments represent the first phase of the network enhancement and expansion programme.

The FIDAS 200 is a fine dust ambient air quality monitoring device, developed specifically for regulatory purposes; providing continuous and simultaneous measurement of PM1, PM2.5, PM4, PM10, TSP (PMtot), as well as particle number concentration and particle size distribution.

The FIDAS 200 is certified as equivalent to the PM10 and PM2.5 reference methods both by TÜV and MCERTS. In the process of achieving this certification, the FIDAS passed the field tests with the lowest expanded uncertainty for PM10 of any PM monitor previously tested. In addition to the performance advantages of this technology, the operating costs are also extremely low; the requirement for consumables is almost nil, no filter is necessary for example, and power consumption is a fraction of most other monitors. In addition, calibration can be conducted quickly and easily in the field.

Prior to the new AAMP, Ireland’s monitoring network only measured those pollutants required under EU Directives, however monitoring requirements can evolve over time and there is concern at a European level regarding the impact of PM1 on air quality. “The flexibility of the FIDAS 200 will therefore provide the enhanced capability required to accommodate future PM monitoring requirements,” comments Jim Mills.

Following the award of the contract to Air Monitors and EMS, the first delivery of FIDAS 200 instruments took place in December 2017, and an installation and training programme is currently under way.

 @airmonitors  @EPAIreland #PAuto #Ireland

Pressure transducers.

As part of its outstanding range of pressure sensors and transducers, the new P3MB and P3MBP from HBM provides reliable and secure test results, of up to 3,000 bar, with an accuracy class of up to 0.1.
Suitable for both static and highly dynamic measurement tasks, the latest series of pressure transducers from HBM provides a flexible solution. Reliably proven, the leading range of pressure transducers have been successfully used in a variety of diverse fields of application, which range from transmission test rigs and diesel injection pumps to oil pressure measurements and hydraulic applications.

For measurements up to 15,000 bar, such as those required for hydraulic test benches, water jet cutting, and diesel injecting, the P3MBB BlueLine version features three different nominal pressure ranges (5,000, 10,000 and 15,000) and a 0.3 accuracy class.

By incorporating strain gauge technology, the new P3MB and P3MBP return exact and reliable measurement results, even for dynamic measurement tasks with high numbers of load cycles.

Manufactured in stainless steel and designed to withstand high pressure, all pressure transducers in the HBM range feature a one-piece design, which ensures there are no seam welds or potential weak spots on the body of the transducer.

The latest range of pressure transducers from HBM are also corrosion resistant and feature a protection rating of IP67 which makes them suitable for use in adverse or ambient conditions.

Based on strain gauge technology, the latest range of pressure transducers from HBM provide reliable and trustworthy results, even in dynamic applications, with a large number of load cycles from the lowest pressures all the way up to 15,000 bar.

@HBMmeasurement #PAuto

Thursday, February 22, 2018

2-way local and remote access to PLCs.

WindEDIT Lite apps run on smartphones and tablets, providing quick and easy two-way local and remote access to IDEC’s family of MicroSmart FC6A PLCs

The WindEDIT Lite app for iOS and Android devices has been released by IDEC Corporation. Providing two-way access to its family of MicroSmart FC6A PLCs, the app provides much quicker, simpler and easier connection as compared to browser-based access.

Use Case 1
Problem: An OEM machine builder sold its equipment to a customer, who needed to make a minor modification to the PLC program to accommodate a change in its production process.

Solution: The OEM made the PLC program modification and sent it to the customer via email. The customer opened the email on his iPhone, and used the WindEDIT Lite app to download the updated program to the MicroSmart FC6A PLC via a Bluetooth connection.

Use Case 2
Problem: A plant operator needed to send production status to the plant manager at the end of a shift, and to store this data in a historian.

Solution: The operator used the WindEDIT Lite app installed on his Android tablet to retrieve the logged data from the MicroSmart FC6A PLC via Bluetooth. He then attached this logged data to an email, which he forwarded to the plant manager via Wi-Fi. He also sent the logged data to a cloud-based historian, also via Wi-Fi.
With the WindEDIT Lite app, users can monitor any PLC parameter, and change set points and other values. Data register, input, output, timer and counter values can be monitored and controlled using the standard Dialog Interface. The WindEDIT Lite app also has a custom Dialog Interface which the user can configure to allow only certain PLC parameters to be monitored and controlled. Trending is supported within the app, with users able to plot multiple register points for graphical views.

It runs on any iOS or Android mobile device, typically a smartphone or tablet. Once the app is downloaded to the device, it interfaces to the MicroSmart FC6A PLC via wireless Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Ethernet for two-way local or remote access. Bluetooth is an ideal solution for local, limited-range connections where an Ethernet network may not be available, such as within an industrial plant or facility. Wi-Fi has more range, and can be used for communications over longer distances.

Because the connection is wireless, users never have to worry about having the right cable or the latest programming software to download or upload a MicroSmart FC6A PLC user program, as these tasks can be accomplished with the app. Users can also update the PLC to the latest firmware.

The WindEDIT Lite app provides access to an SD memory card installed in the PLC, so logged information stored in the SD memory card can be easily accessed. The logged data can be viewed, and then attached to a text message or an email, either of which can be sent to recipients.

Logged data can also be pushed to a local or cloud-based database, or to a data storage platform such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, etc. In addition to logged data, other data such as user programs, firmware, recipes, etc., can be sent and retrieved from databases and storage platforms.

To provide the required security, access to the PLC via the WindEDIT Lite app needs to be configured in the PLC for each user, with each app user required to provide his or her correct username and password—otherwise access will be denied. Read/Write protection is configurable for each designated user, allowing restricted access based on the user’s needs; for example, only read and no write privileges.

• Free to Download
The WindEDIT Lite App is available for free download in the Apple App Store or at Google Play.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Irish engineers to meet!

The Engineers Ireland Annual Conference is scheduled for The Limerick Strand Hotel on Friday, 13th April 2018.

Entitled 'Engineering a Region: Infrastructure, Industry and Innovation', the theme of the conference reflects the growing need for collaboration between industry, academia and innovators to create opportunities for regional development and growth. The conference, held in association with their Thomond Region, will aim to showcase the Mid-West region as a leader in this field.

Speaker line-up includes:
Lord Andrew Adonis, Former Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, UK
• Mr. John Moran, Member of Limerick Economic Forum, founder of RHH International, former Secretary General, Department of Finance and Head of Wholesale Banks, Central Bank of Ireland
• Mr. Michael Lohan, Head of Lifesciences, Engineering and Industrial Technology Division, IDA Ireland
• Mr. Stephen Blair, Director of the Southern Regional Assembly
• Mr. Mike Quinn, CEO, Ervia
• Dr. Emma Silke, Head of Business Development at ESB ecars
• Mr. Paschal Meehan, Chair of Limerick for Engineering and Head of Faculty of Applied Science, Engineering & Technology at Limerick Institute of Technology

In addition to the conference, a number of additional networking events have been organised to welcome delegates to the Thomond region, including a golf outing in Castletroy Golf Club and an evening gala ball.

@EngineerIreland #Engineering

On million and counting!

Variohm EuroSensor delivered its one millionth customised sensor in December 2017. The Towcester based sensor and transducer specialist has steadily expanded its in-house design and manufacturing service which is complemented by a comprehensive standard product range as well as distribution partnerships with leading global sensor component suppliers. Variohm has been leading the British custom sensor market for several years and its overriding philosophy embraces the question: “If we can’t supply our customer a competitive sensor solution from our partners or from our own standard range, then can we modify or design a new solution”?
Variohm EuroSensor’s custom product assembly departments
With more than four decades of experience, Variohm EuroSensor has always supplied customised sensors but the demand has increased considerably in last few years. This reflects a more discerning customer base which constantly challenges its suppliers for cost-effective product enhancements and where value added component supply has proven to deliver many benefits for OEMs. These include simplified assembly and test for faster production times and inventory reduction. Fully tested and customised sensors supplied as plug and play assemblies can also improve final product reliability and field serviceability. Ultimately these specialised components have the potential to substantially improve the OEM´s offer to its customers with enhanced, distinctive and unique machine designs that make them stand out in their own markets.

Variohm produces standard and customised production at two British facilities where sensors for linear and rotary position, pressure, load/force, temperature, and vibration etc. may be simply adapted or significantly transformed. This can range from alternative electrical connection or a modified mounting arrangement to integrating sensors with significant redesigns or combining multiple sensor technologies and other electromechanical components as fully tested sub-assemblies.

@Variohm  #PAuto

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Device data-connectivity.

Adlink Technology is supporting the Standardization Group for Embedded Technologies’ (SGeT) specification for a Universal Internet-of-Things Connector (UIC). In addition, ADLINK also announced advanced embedded middleware support that complements the UIC, with a ‘plug-in’ for XRCE real-time data distribution.

Together, these two open-source software enhancements for ADLINK’s embedded products portfolio bring embedded computing firmly into the IoT arena, by enabling device-to-device and device-to-Cloud data connectivity - with standards-based inter-operability and performance levels never before possible with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products.

“We’re very pleased to collaborate with embedded computing standards organizations such as SGeT,” said Edgar Chen, general manager, Embedded Platforms and Modules, ADLINK. “Our developments in UIC connectivity and XRCE data communications provide our embedded computing customers with new opportunities to offer leading-edge IoT solutions. For ADLINK, Edge Computing is connected embedded computing, so pioneering connectivity solutions for embedded systems is a strategic priority for us.”

The UIC is SGeT’s first software-only standard. It supports the comprehensive roll-out of IoT applications by standardizing embedded hardware connectivity for Edge and Cloud Computing. Before UIC, all hardware I/O communication had to be done manually for each-and-every Edge and Cloud connection. This obviously created significant challenges for embedded hardware deployment, support and upgrade in distributed computing (e.g., IoT) systems.

Through the UIC, the integration of distributed devices is made easier via three levels of abstraction/partitioning. The UIC makes a distinction between: 1/ the device configuration (hardware identification, device mapping, value-to-information matching), 2/ the sensor and actuator communications (hardware driver), and 3/ the device communications (data transfer and processing). With more than 500 Cloud service offerings, and an even greater number of possible hardware configurations, this provides a very open, practical and efficient approach to building, deploying, maintaining and evolving IoT systems (i.e., integrated device-Edge-Cloud Computing).

The UIC will, out-of-the-box, support communications to hardware devices through the established Embedded API (EAPI) PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG®) standard. This means that the whole ADLINK product portfolio of Computer-on-Modules (COM) and embedded boards will be able to leverage the UIC.

In addition to UIC support for its portfolio of devices, ADLINK is also announcing support for a XRCE data-connectivity ‘plug-in’, which leverages the UIC to provide high-performance peer-to-peer data communications between devices. XRCE stands for ‘eXtremely Resource-Constrained Environments’ and is a derivative of the Object Management Group’s (OMG) open-standard Data Distribution Service (DDS) specification. XRCE complements other IT and OT data protocols (e.g., MQTT and OPC/UA) but provides the more advanced real-time data-connectivity required for performance-critical distributed systems (e.g., the deterministic data delivery required for distributed robotics, autonomous vehicles, defense systems, etc.).

Furthermore, UIC and XRCE support the embedded computing industry’s requirement for dual-sourcing (with interoperability and exchangeability), that is, all modules and subsystems interoperating in a seamless way without vendor-specific knowledge. This supports important cost, time-to-market and risk-reduction initiatives by OEMs through, for example, reducing vendor lock-in and improving application code portability.

These initiatives are just one more example of ADLINK ‘Leading EDGE COMPUTING’. ADLINK has extensive experience in distributed computing from the sensor to the Cloud (e.g., its 2015 acquisition of PrismTech), and its focus on and expertise in Edge Computing (which is effectively connected embedded computing) is exceptional, and possibly unique, within the SGeT membership.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Safe valves for oxygen.

Valve specialist Goetze is offering its customers a unique safety valve with swivel body outlet for gaseous oxygen and oxygen mixed gases.

Safety valves specially used for applications with oxygen are needed in multiple industries. Particularly in the production of technical gases, medical gases, by compressor manufacturers as well as component manufacturers and plant manufacturers.

Oxygen handling requires extreme care as regards all materials, sealing materials and lubricants used and in contact with oxygen to prevent application risks. Goetze takes account of these requirements: By offering a production process specifically designed for oxygen valves. They are installed in a separate, isolated CLEAN room, which is pressurised with conditioned air at 20 millibar, so that the ingress of particles and contamination from the outside is avoided. Qualified and trained staff, compliance with all relevant codes and regular process monitoring of oil and grease-free cleaning, installation, inspection, packaging and labelling grant customers an oxygen-compliant valve for their applications.

Optimum material selection, the appropriate studies by the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung (BAM, Federal Agency for Materials Research and Testing), as well as inspections by C.T.E. (Air Liquide) exclude all possibilities of an oxygen reaction (burnout). A special property of the Goetze safety valve 492GOX is that it was explicitly inspected and approved for oxygen with adiabatic pressure shocks in a range between 50 bar and 420 bar at 60 °C.

The compact design and the swivelled body outlet allowing for adjusting the valve position even after installation, make the safety valve 492GOX to an innovative gain for the Goetze product portfolio.

#Goetze #PAuto #Medical

Fish feed producer saves power!

A specialist in aquafeed production has replaced an ageing, damaged DC motor on its principal extruder with a Dyneo® motor from Leroy-Somer, part of the Nidec group. The investment is providing the company with significant annual savings in energy costs.

Aquaculture, more commonly known as fish farming, is a rapidly growing sector. Companies such as Aller Aqua, which produces both freshwater and saltwater fish feed, is constantly looking for ways to improve its production technology and processes to benefit from this growth. Operating from headquarters at Christiansfeld, near Kolding, (DK), Aller Aqua has been established for over 50 years and today has factories in Denmark, Poland, Germany and Egypt, exporting products to more than 60 countries worldwide.

The company has a broad product range, consisting of feed for 30 species of fish. As a result, production schedules are demanding, which is why the company sought to maximise its potential gains when the DC motor on one of the company’s main extruders at Christiansfeld had to be replaced.

“Aller Aqua had a particular interest in energy efficiency for its new motor solution as extruding feed stuff is a very energy-intensive process,” explained Carl Erik Niemann, Sales Engineer - Drives & Motors Technology at Nidec Industrial Automation Denmark A/S. “They knew this would help boost both competitiveness and sustainable development.”

After a comprehensive evaluation of the market, the company opted for a 310 kW (2400 rpm) Dyneo® permanent magnet synchronous motor. Offering an efficiency level exceeding IE4 requirements, this option will enable the saving of at least 135,000 kWh of electricity per year.

“Beyond energy performance, Aller Aqua is now able to benefit from significant savings in maintenance costs, allied to increased machine availability,” said Mr Niemann. “The previous DC motor featured a brush and collector system, which comprised wear parts.”

The implementation of the Dyneo® motor also allowed local service centre Ølgod Elektro to simplify the existing installation by eliminating the cooling/ventilation circuit required previously by the replaced IP23 DC motor.

@Leroy_Somer_en #PAuto #Food

Optical sensors up-to-speed.

Oxford Brookes Formula Student team used a Correvit® S-Motion 2 Axis Optical Sensor from Kistler Instruments to obtain the key data needed for accurate, real world tyre modelling.
The Oxford Brookes University, 5 times winner of the British Formula Student competition, decided that better tyre modelling was essential for their 2018 campaign than that provided by data from a sandpaper belt test rig courtesy of the Formula SAE Tire Test Consortium. The team decided that real world data would be needed to support future development of the Oxford Brookes Formula Student car. Tyre slip angle, the key data needed for accurate tyre modelling, was obtained using a Correvit® S-Motion 2 Axis Optical Sensor on loan from Kistler Instruments.

As tyre modelling lead, Brad Mallinson, explains, “While vertical load, inclination angle, ride heights, and vehicle roll angle are relatively easily measured, tyre slip angle is very difficult but critical to the development of an accurate tyre model. Kistler’s S-Motion sensor accurately measures vehicle longitudinal and transverse speed and slip angle with a high logging rate which is essential for the relatively low-speed Formula Student driving events.”

The S-Motion unit was mounted on the 2017 Oxford Brookes Formula Student car, along with load cells, infrared tyre temperature and laser ride height sensors to collect as much tyre data as possible. A major benefit of the S-Motion system is the time saving “Plug & Play” capability which drastically reduces vehicle preparation time; essential to take full advantage of the short time frame for tyre testing after the Formula Student season. A further advantage of the Correvit® system is the ability to automatically transform speed and slip angle measurements to any point of interest on the vehicle. These were transformed to the centre of gravity where yaw rate was measured, simplifying tyre slip angle calculation during steady-state tests.

Testing consisted of increasing velocity runs on a constant radius skid pad for a minimum of three cold inflation pressures and three static camber settings to capture the quadratic relationships in the lateral force model. Quantities derived from measurements were calculated in MATLAB before being passed to the tyre model tool. Roll angle measurements from the S-Motion and damper displacement data were used for lateral weight transfer models to determine inclination angle and total vertical load. Steered angle of each front wheel was used to calculate front tyre slip angles using vehicle slip angle from the S-Motion.

Like the Oxford Brookes Formula Student Team, many automotive manufacturers are now using the Correvit® S-Motion and other sensors by Kistler to generate data for tyre models that represent real world tyre performance.

 #Kistler #Pauto @oxbrookesracing