Friday, June 29, 2018


While videoscopes are commonly used in many applications, industrial inspections require a powerful, high-resolution videoscope that clearly displays the condition of internal equipment components. High-resolution videoscopes allow industrial maintenance teams to quickly identify equipment issues and schedule preventive maintenance measures to avoid costly unplanned shut-downs.

Fluke's new industrial imaging scopes,  800 x 600 resolution DS701 Diagnostic Videoscope and 1200 x 720 resolution DS703 FC High Resolution Videoscope are built for industrial maintenance troubleshooting and quality assurance testing and are designed to stand up to the challenges of a rugged environment.

Each videoscope features:
• high definition probes with dual-view cameras, allowing the videoscope to take images and video either forward or to the side to capture the images in difficult or hard to reach locations
• a 7-inch LCD screen for easy viewing
• an IP68 rated probe (imager) for protection against dust and water projected from a nozzle
• a rugged design, engineered to withstand a 2 metre drop
• Up is Up® technology, which rotates the display screen to allow for appropriate image display, regardless of the orientation of the probe location (available with selected probes)
• a macro to micro zoom function
• adjustable lighting to capture the best image
• processing speeds that render a smooth, clear, consistent image
• an intuitive user interface with easy-to-navigate button technology.

The rugged Fluke DS701 and DS703 FC videoscopes are designed for a variety of industrial applications, such as production (e.g. inspection of bearing surfaces and lubrication; gear helix inspection), aircraft maintenance (e.g. blade inspection; engine hot section contamination), and automotive quality assurance (e.g. testing of casting goods; inspection for cracks, chips, and contamination in HP chambers), and heavy duty maintenance (e.g. inspection of clogged pipelines; corrosion in rotors and stators).

The Fluke videoscopes include an EVA foam protective case, hand strap, neck strap (DS703 only), HDMI and USB cables, and TPAK magnet hanging strap.

@FlukeCorp  #PAuto #TandM

Secure automation on filter controls.

A case study describing how the City of Hot Springs, Arkansas (USA) has implemented Bedrock Open Secure Automation (OSA) technology for water filtration modernization is now available. Bedrock OSA has provided Hot Springs an open, secure control platform, which Brown Engineers, of Little Rock, Arkansas, integrated across the City’s existing Ignition SCADA software, leading to dramatic performance improvements.

“The City projected that the nine filters that were currently operating on its main water treatment plant would not be adequate to handle increasing demand. We replaced the antiquated PLCs with modern Bedrock control functionality on six of the filters. We had already installed a communications gateway based on Inductive Automation’s Ignition SCADA software and it was just a matter of creating a hierarchy of control objects, which we did easily using Bedrock’s IEC 61131 integrated engineering environment,” said Brown Engineers principal, Dee Brown.

The project improvement in the automatic backwash process significantly helps conserve water, improves water quality, and initiates collection of filter data needed for extending regulatory run-time limits. And because cyber security is built into the Bedrock OSA control system, the new controls were protected by industry-leading intrinsic cyber security – at no additional cost.

Well-documented results show how the six upgraded controls perform consistently, as if they were a single unit, while performance of the three remaining filters varies wildly, with flow rates varying from 1400 to more than 2000 GPM. Download the fully-illustrated case history here.

@BedrockAuto #Pauto #Water @TizianiWhitmyre

Thursday, June 28, 2018

European standards for woodburner emissions.

From 1st January 2022, a European regulation will impose Ecodesign requirements for solid fuel local space heaters. Regulation (EU) 2015/1185 24/5/2015 describes the requirements which will harmonise energy consumption, particulate matter, organic gaseous compounds, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides emission requirements for solid fuel local space heaters throughout the European Union.

John Clements from gas monitoring instrumentation manufacturer Signal Group, welcomes the new regulations, adding: “The latest stoves employ advanced technology that is able to dramatically lower emissions, so a new regulatory framework will help to highlight the benefits of more environmentally friendly products.

“It is also pleasing to note that standard reference methods are specified for the testing of stoves, and we have already started to supply test houses so that they can check existing burners as well as the new products which are currently under development.”

Conscious of the growing public demand for improved air quality and energy efficiency, leading manufacturers are already developing stoves that meet the new requirements, and in some countries testing and approval regimes are in place so that customers can choose products that comply with the upcoming regulations.

Under the Regulation, solid fuel local space heaters will have to be type-tested to measure the environmental performance of the devices, and all measurements of the combustion products are to be undertaken while the product is providing its nominal output and if appropriate at part load.

Organic gaseous compounds (OGCs) from solid fuel local space heaters shall not exceed 120 mgC/m3 at 13 % oxygen for heaters using solid fuel other than compressed wood pellets; and 60 mgC/m3 at 13 % oxygen for heaters using compressed wood pellets. Under Annexe III of the Regulation, OGC measurement, as measured in the combustion products of the appliance, shall be extractive and continuous and based on the use of a flame ionisation detector.

Carbon monoxide (CO) from solid fuel local space heaters shall not exceed 2,000 mg/m3 at 13% oxygen for open fronted solid fuel local space heaters; 1,500 mg/m3 at 13% oxygen for closed fronted heaters using solid fuel other than compressed wood pellets, and 300 mg/m3 at 13% oxygen for closed fronted heaters using compressed wood pellets. Under Annexe III of the Regulation, CO measurement shall be extractive and continuous and based on the use of an infrared detector.

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) from solid fuel local space heaters shall not exceed 200 mg/m3 expressed as NO2 at 13% oxygen for open fronted solid fuel local space heaters, closed fronted solid fuel local space heaters and cookers using biomass; and 300 mg/m3 expressed as NO2 at 13% oxygen for open fronted solid fuel local space heaters, closed fronted solid fuel local space heaters and cookers using fossil solid fuel. Emissions of nitrogen oxides shall be measured as the sum of nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, and expressed in nitrogen dioxide. Under Annexe III of the Regulation, NOx measurement of the combustion products shall be extractive and continuous and be based on chemiluminescent detection.

Particulate matter (PM) emissions from open fronted solid fuel local space heaters shall not exceed 50 mg/m3 at 13% oxygen when measured by sampling a partial dry flue gas sample over a heated filter; or 6 g/kg (dry matter) when measured by sampling over the full burn cycle, a partial flue gas sample, using natural draft, from a diluted flue gas using a full flow dilution tunnel and a filter at ambient temperature.

PM emissions by closed fronted solid fuel local space heaters using solid fuel other than compressed wood pellets and cookers shall not exceed 40 mg/m3 at 13% oxygen when measured by sampling a partial dry flue gas sample over a heated filter; or 5 g/kg (dry matter) when measured by sampling over the full burn cycle, a partial flue gas sample, using natural draft, from a diluted flue gas using a full flow dilution tunnel and a filter at ambient temperature; or 2.4 g/kg (dry matter) for biomass or 5.0 g/kg (dry matter) for solid fossil fuel when measured by sampling, over a 30-minute period, a partial flue gas sample, using a fixed flue draft at 12 Pa, from a diluted flue gas using a full flow dilution tunnel and a filter at ambient temperature or an electrostatic precipitator.

PM emissions by closed fronted solid fuel local space heaters using compressed wood pellets shall not exceed 20 mg/m3 at 13% oxygen when by sampling a partial dry flue gas sample over a heated filter; or 2.5 g/kg (dry matter) when measured by sampling over the full burn cycle, a partial flue gas sample, using natural draft, from a diluted flue gas using a full flow dilution tunnel and a filter at ambient temperature; or 1.2 g/kg (dry matter) when measured by sampling, over a 30-minute period, a partial flue gas sample, using a fixed flue draft at 12 Pa, from a diluted flue gas using a full flow dilution tunnel and a filter at ambient temperature or an electrostatic precipitator.

In common with other European countries, the British Government (in its Clean Air Strategy 2018) is seeking to ensure that only the very cleanest stoves can be bought and installed. The new consultation document says: “In 2022 new, tougher emissions standards will come into effect for all new domestic stoves. This will raise the standard of appliances across the whole country. These more stringent emission limit requirements for solid fuel appliances will need to be coupled with a more effective approach to testing.”

In Britain, the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has established an ‘Ecodesign Ready’ label - an initiative which is verified and supported by HETAS, a not-for-profit organisation that approves biomass and solid fuel heating appliances, fuels and services. The mark is awarded to wood burning appliances that are verified by HETAS as meeting the five fundamental requirements of the Regulation (EU) 2015/1185 24/5/2015 with regard to the Ecodesign requirements for solid fuel local space heaters.

Looking forward, John Clements says: “Those burner manufacturing companies that already have products which are Ecodesign ready, are securing a marketing advantage over their competitors. More importantly however, they are able to demonstrate compliance with future emissions regulations, which, with increased public and political awareness of air quality issues, will be vitally important for environmental protection and the future prosperity of this sector.”

@GasAnalysers #PAuto #Standards

Award for implants in human & veterinary applications.

Professor Chris Sutcliffe, Director of Research and Development (R&D) at Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Products Division (AMPD), has been awarded a prestigious Silver Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE). The award recognises his role in driving the development of metal 3D printed implants for use in human and veterinary surgery.

Prof. Chris Sutcliffe
The RAE Silver Medal is awarded to recognise an outstanding personal contribution to British engineering, which has resulted in successful market exploitation. A maximum of four are awarded each year. The Medal celebrates his successful commercialisation of additive manufacturing products as part of his work with Renishaw, the University of Liverpool, Stryker Orthopaedics and Fusion Implants Ltd.

Chris has worked in additive manufacturing for over 20 years starting at the University of Liverpool where he worked on the first direct metal 3D printing machine in Britain and on a variety of related research projects exploiting the technology in orthopaedics, structural light-weighting, heat exchangers/chemical reactors.

His desire to commercialise his research work led him to join Renishaw in 2011 to head up the additive manufacturing (AM) R&D activity. Renishaw remains the only British manufacturer of metal laser powder bed fusion AM systems and has recently launched the multi-laser RenAM 500Q series. The Renishaw systems are now used across a variety of industries to produce complex metal parts.

As well as his work on AM products, a large part of his research has focussed on metal 3D printed implants for medical applications, particularly on developing a new class of porous bone-integrating implants. The implants were successfully commercialised with Stryker Orthopaedics, which now produces implants on a global scale. Sutcliffe is also the founder and Director of Fusion Implants Ltd, which produces veterinary implants using the porous bone-integrating technology.

“Throughout my career I’ve worked hard to commercialise additive manufacturing technology,” explained Sutcliffe. “As well as AM’s benefit to the aerospace and automotive sectors, commercialisation of AM and associated technologies has been lifechanging for those with musculoskeletal diseases. The award celebrates the successes of the engineers I have worked with to achieve this and I am grateful to receive the award to recognise our work.”

In his role at Renishaw, Sutcliffe runs AMPD’s work with funded projects and universities to extend R&D activities. He also runs a research group at the University of Liverpool, which is supported by Renishaw.

@renishawplc #Medical @RAEngNews

AI drives Daimler forward!

Xilinx and Daimler AG are collaborating on an in-car system using Xilinx technology for artificial intelligence (AI) processing in automotive applications. Powered by a Xilinx automotive platform consisting of system-on-a-chip (SoC) devices and AI acceleration software, the scalable solution will deliver high performance, low latency and best power efficiency for embedded AI in automotive applications today.

“We are proud to announce this collaboration with Daimler on advanced AI applications,” said Willard Tu, senior director, Automotive, Xilinx. “Our adaptable acceleration platform for automotive offers industry leaders like Daimler a high level of flexibility for innovation in deploying neural networks for intelligent vehicle systems.”

Xilinx has a strong pedigree in automotive. For more than 12 years the company has shipped over 40 million cumulative automotive units to automakers and Tier 1 suppliers.

“We are accelerating our product development using AI technology by engaging our global development centers with Xilinx experts,” said Georges Massing, director user interaction & software, Daimler AG. “Through this strategic collaboration, Xilinx is providing technology that will enable us to deliver very low latency and power-efficient solutions for vehicle systems which must operate in thermally constrained environments. We have been very impressed with Xilinx’s heritage and selected the company as a trusted partner for our future products.”

As part of the strategic collaboration, deep learning experts from the Mercedes-Benz Research and Development centers in Sindelfingen (D) and Bangalore (IND) are implementing their AI algorithms on a highly adaptable automotive platform from Xilinx. Mercedes-Benz will productize Xilinx’s AI processor technology, enabling the most efficient execution of their neural networks.

@XilinxInc #Automotive @Daimler

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Gas sensors for IoT.

Poor air quality is a growing threat to the public health. Knowing the information of the air quality will allow us to take appropriate actions to reduce the levels of air pollution at the right place and right time. However, such information is mainly provided by static measurement stations, which normally have low spatial coverage. These stations are run by governments or industries for safety reasons. The main reason is the gas sensing equipment are usually bulky, highly technical and expensive (>$US1000 per module- ca €860), therefore they are inaccessible for individual users.

With the fast development of microelectromechanical systems and internet connectivity, customers now have higher expectations. Asthma patients want to know from their smartphone if one living room is good for them to stay; athletes need a better training plan if O2 levels can be monitored; The ventilation system in the office building will be automated if the air quality in each room is accessible. There is a growing market looking for ultra-low power, low cost, mini-size gas sensors, which can be integrated into vast amounts of devices and connected with each other. Through the rapid spread of internet of things (IoT), the air quality information will be intensively collected, shared and analysed, and eventually will contribute to a healthier society.

In the report Environmental Gas Sensors 2018-2028, IDTechEx predicts a large growth of gas sensors market in the coming years and the market value will be more than $3 billion (€2.6 billion) in 2028. Most of the growth comes from the IoT applications, such as smart city, smart home, smartphone and wearable devices. However, each market segment emphasises different aspects. For example, the smart city project requires the gas sensor to detect different gases simultaneously with high sensitivity and selectivity, whilst size and price are the key concerns for wearable devices. How to choose the suitable gas sensors or find the right market segments to enter is a key question, and it largely varies with the application and sensor detection principles.

In this report, the pros and cons of different detection principles are summerised, as is analysis of their suitability for the applications in IoT and beyond. IDTechEx predicts a significant rise in sales across IoT markets, primarily in the mobile device and air purifier industries.

#IoT @IDTechEx #PAuto 

Improved growth in British automation market.

GAMBICA is the Trade Association for Instrumentation, Control, Automation and Laboratory Technology in Britain.

The GAMBICA Index is an indicator of the level of business for Industrial Automation, Process Instrumentation & Control and Laboratory Technology sectors. It shows the levels of all 3 sectors individually and combined, using the 2012 data as a reference point.

The combined GAMBICA Index shows a 9.3% growth in 2017, the strongest rate in the last 10 years and a second year of growth in a row across all three sectors. Recovery from low oil prices, unlocking postponed projects and currency exchange rates have contributed to all 3 sectors showing growth in 2017.

Process Instrumentation & Control.
This sector has continued to recover from the sharp decline in 2015 caused by the oil price crash and the growth this year is significant at over 10%. Expenditure in the oil & gas sector has remained flat with major gains being led by the pharmaceuticals sector followed by the water, waste and food & beverage sectors. Expenditure in the chemical sector has also continued to show steady growth underpinned by a focus on R&D and operational improvements to preserve the Britain’s competitive edge in the global market.

Laboratory Technology
This sector saw a growth of 8.9% in 2017, the strongest growth since we started collecting data in 2005. When removing exports from the overall number, there is even stronger growth for the British market alone. The strong growth was consistent across chemicals, services and consumables and particularly notable for equipment.

Industrial Automation
Record growth in 2017, with a 14% improvement on the previous year is reported. This growth puts the sector back to the level it would have been without the 2015 downturn that was largely thought to be due to political and economic uncertainty. Projects that were previously put on hold have now proceeded. The continued relatively weak value of sterling boosting exports of equipment is also a factor in the record growth.

@gambica #PAuto #TandM

Dynamic tilt.

A new MEMS based, MTLT305D Dynamic Tilt Sensor Module has been launched by ACEINNA. It combines accelerometers, gyroscopes and a temperature sensor with advanced calibration and correction algorithms to provide accurate 3D acceleration, 3D rate and Pitch and Roll measurement in dynamic, moving vehicle applications.

The MTLT305D uses advanced sensor fusion (Extended Kalman Filtering) and calibration algorithms to achieve 0.5 degree tilt and <10 milli-g acceleration accuracy in a wide variety of dynamic conditions. It is calibrated to accurately operate over a wide temperature range of -40C to +85C. The completely sealed compact module (65 x 66 x 27 mm) with integrated connector is perfect for rugged construction, off road and agriculture applications. It offers high reliability, MTBF >50k hours and is ITAR- Free

It includes CAN J1939 and RS232 interfaces for network connectivity. The miniature plastic housing is durable under hazardous environments (IP68 and IP69K ratings). It includes an Ampseal 16, 6 position connector and supports a wide 4.9 V to 32 V supply input range (qualified for use in both 12 V and 24 V vehicle platforms).

“This new Dynamic Tilt Sensor Module provides the best performance for the price in the industry,” says Mike Horton*, CTO of ACEINNA. “Not only is the MTLT extremely compact compared to competing modules, it is extremely rugged, well qualified and inexpensive.”

Easy to integrate, the MTLT305D supports industry standard SAE J1939 messaging over the CAN bus, and the included ACEINNA NAV-VIEW software provides simple to use graphical interface to display, record, playback, and analyze all the MTLT305D parameters over the RS232 port. NAV-VIEW can also be used to set a wide range of user-configurable fields in the MTLT305D to optimize the system performance for various dynamic applications.

* See also Mike Horton's article, Inertial Measurement Unit – essential in self-driving cars! (26/5/2018)

@MEMSsensortech #PAuto #Automotive 

New products introduced!

Mouser Electronics makes it a priority to stock the newest products and technologies from over 700 manufacturer partners, giving customers an edge and helping speed time to market. Last month (May 2018), the company launched more than 218 new products ready for same-day shipment.

Some of the products just introduced are:
  • Texas Instruments OPT8241 Time-of-Flight Sensor
  • Texas Instruments OPT8241 sensor combines time-of-flight (ToF) sensing with an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and a versatile, programmable timing generator. The OPT8241 offers QVGA 320×240 resolution data at frame rates up to 150 fps.
  • Semtech SX1261/SX1262 LoRa® Transceivers
  • Designed for extended battery life with just 4.2 mA of active receive current consumption, the Semtech SX126x sub-GHz radio transceivers are ideal for long-range RF wireless applications and are fully compliant with the physical layer requirements of the LoRaWAN specification released by the LoRa Alliance™.
  • Arduino MKR IoT Bundle 
  • The Arduino MKR IoT Bundle includes a powerful Arduino MKR1000 board — which combines the functionality of the Arduino Zero with a Wi-Fi Shield — and components for 5 IoT projects with step-by-step online tutorials on the Arduino Project Hub online platform.
  • Bourns ChipGuard® ESD Suppressors
  • Bourns ChipGuard ESD suppressors are multilayer varistor (MLV) products designed to protect against electrostatic discharge (ESD) strikes.
Mouser strives to empower innovation among design engineers and buyers by delivering advanced technologies. Arguably the world’s widest selection of the latest semiconductors and electronic components for the newest design projects are stocked. Their website is continually updated and offers advanced search methods to help customers quickly locate inventory and it also houses data sheets, supplier-specific reference designs, application notes, technical design information, and engineering tools.

@MouserElecEU #PAuto #TandM

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Environmental test chamber for gas detection sensor manufacturer.

In a move to further strengthen its quality assurance processes, Ion Science has installed a high performance temperature and climate control chamber at its state-of-the-art plant in Cambridgeshire (GB).

Duncan Johns, Managing Director at Ion Science comments: “This is a tremendously important piece of equipment for the business. The ability to test for extreme temperature, moisture and humidity changes in-house means we can confidently guarantee the market-leading quality and reliability of our PID instruments and even better serve our global customers.”

Chosen for its ability to test to 100% Relative Humidity (RH) at close to 0°C, the Weiss Technik floor-standing environmental chamber unit rigorously tests Ion Science’s handheld and fixed photoionisation detectors (PIDs) to ensure accurate and efficient operation at the required temperature and humidity levels.

Operation is via the 8” colour touch screen installed on the front bracket of the door. The display provides the current temperature and RH in the unit. It also has an acoustic alarm display. The data is archived every minute and can then be imported to a PC for later evaluation.

For reduced carbon footprint, the hermetic refrigeration systems work with environmental friendly refrigerants that are free from chlorine and have no ozone reducing potential (CFC free).

It is extremely low maintenance and a self-cleaning humidity sensor increases the service life of the psychrometer.

The environmental chamber operates at maximum temperature of +180°C and minimum temperature of -42°C. It is also designed for the performance of extreme climate values including long term tests at 85°C / 85% RH.

Ion Science’s MiniPID 2 sensors are incorporated into its wide range of PIDs, such as the well proven Tiger handheld portable instrument and the world’s first benzene specific monitor, Titan.

The new environmental test chamber will ensure MiniPID 2 continues to provide fast, accurate and humidity resistant detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as offer greater consistency and repeatability over extreme temperatures.

 @ionscience #PAuto #Environment @elhcomms

Monday, June 25, 2018

Automation e-commerce platform announced.

Endress+Hauser has announced its e-Commerce platform. The platform offers customers a personalized shopping experience with a wealth of new features. The platform allows customers to purchase online and provides 24/7 access to detailed information directly on the website, for both online and offline orders.

Features include the ability to access RFQs, quotes and orders all in one place. Customers now can easily add products to a shopping cart and see their own pricing details. The new experience streamlines customer procurement processes both online and offline.

All transactions are available online, including all purchase documents. It's easy to check the status of current orders and to see order history. Products can be saved in favorite lists for easy reordering and users can assign their own references to products as well. When users would prefer to request a quote first, or to ask for technical support in configuration – Endress+Hauser's broad network of sales representatives can easily be contacted to finalize selection for the user.

Users are able to set up a secure account and password. Once created, users will have access to view and make selections and purchases from Endress+Hauser’s complete portfolio. Users can register here.

@Endress_US #Pauto  

People of calibre sought!

Anglia Components The next phase of Anglia Components' ambitious five year plan is to grow their share of British electronic component distribution market to 10%, with a turnover of £100 million. The company is actively recruiting as it continues to look to outgrow the market and achieve this growth organically.

Commenting Steve Rawlins, CEO, Anglia (Pictured right) said, “Last year we set out a very ambitious five year plan and we have the right infrastructure, inventory and tools in place to hit these targets by 2022. Anglia’s strategy for growth is based on exceptional service delivered by exceptional people. Now our biggest challenge is getting the additional human resource that we need to grow the business over the next few years.” 

He continues, “With the market continuing to be strong, it is harder than ever to find people of the calibre needed, but Anglia is a burgeoning British business that has much to offer our employees.”

Anglia is the country's largest independently owned component distributor with an on-target turnover of £61 million in 2017. It was Britain's fifth largest component distributor in 2016 according to the electronic component supply network (ecsn) and the 27th largest in the world (based on Source ESB figures).

Steve Rawlins concluded, “We are continuing to expand our team as our business grows, adding further exceptional people to maintain our high levels of customer service. Right now, we are seeking additional Field Application Engineers (FAEs), Field Sales and Head Office personnel. The UK market is buoyant, with manufacturing exports boosted because sterling is now at the right level. Our forward order book is now the strongest it’s ever been.”

@angliaComponent #Pauto #Electronics

Facility closes down.

Gooch & Housego has decided to shut down the G&H Orlando business line & facility. This closure is tentatively scheduled for September 30, 2018. G&H reserves the right to change this date to an earlier date if needed.

This facility serviced Light measurement instrumentation and calibration services.

A statment issued : "To support our customers in the best manner possible under these circumstances, we will be offering a limited period for last time orders. Last time orders for new products will be accepted until July 31, 2018, pending review of the complexity of the order. Acceptance of each order will based on part and production availability. G&H Orlando will accept RMAs/repairs/ calibration orders until July 31, 2018.

Given the circumstances, we are not able to offer the standard 1-year warranty on new orders. All sales will be final after June 22, 2018. We will continue to honor our product warranty until August 30, 2018. G&H Orlando will continue to support customer technical issues until we reach our final shutdown date or as long as possible with available resources."

Tf there are any issues through the duration of the process the company advises customers to contact the Sales & Marketing Coordinator, Maureen Knowles.

Their statement concludes: "On behalf of the entire staff, thank you for your years of business - it has been our pleasure to serve you!"

@ghphotonics #PAuto #USA