Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Vibration alarm switch for machine monitoring.

The Metrix ST5484E-SW series configurable seismic vibration switch has been launched recently. It is now available with full support  in Britain from its distribution partner Ixthus Instrumentation, the compact 24 V DC loop-powered electronic switch will setpoint two programmable and independent alarms through solid state contacts with time-adjustable delays, as well as monitor continuous vibration through a control system.

The new configurable vibration switch is based on the well proven ST5484ST vibration transmitter which is used across a wide range of seismic vibration measurement applications on rotating and reciprocating machinery. Aimed at demanding machine monitoring tasks where built-in alarm protection is additionally required, the ST5484E-SW integrates a piezoelectric accelerometer, signal integrator and amplifier, RMS or peak detector, a 4-20 mA signal conditioner and a digital microcontroller into a single package. Two indepen¬dently configurable alarm setpoints with time delays and corresponding discrete outputs allow implementation of ALERT (pre-shutdown) and DANGER (shutdown) levels by a machine control system. Additionally the units’ 4-20 mA proportional velocity output enables interfacing with PLCs, DCSs, strip chart recorders, or other process monitoring systems where real-time vibration levels can be monitored.

Model variants include an 8-pin sealed connectorised version as a 10 m submersible/water resistant model. The connector version is also available with an optional non-incendive rating (Class1/Div2) that may be used with barriers for special installations. An alternative version with flying leads, wired directly to conduit fittings, is available for hazardous area installations and includes Metrix’s 8200 explosion-proof elbow. The corrosion and water resistant switch is housed in 316 stainless steel with a nominal diameter and length around 38 x 62 mm for the connector version, and overall length of 136 mm for the explosion-proof model.

A wide choice of scale-range options and mounting studs provide application and installation flexibility. The setpoints are set at the factory at one half (1/2) and two thirds (2/3) of the full scale range, but may be adjusted through Metrix software with the delay time programmable up to 300 seconds. Users can choose twelve standard full-scale peak or true RMS range models from 25.4 mm/s to 76.2 mm/sec. Stud interfacing covers all common metric and imperial dimensions through NPT, UNF, UNC and M8/M10. Hazardous area certification includes CSA, INMETRO, and ATEX/IECx and KOSHA -conforming to explosion proof and non-incendive option variants. The ST5484E-SW is also available with a wide choice of low- and high-pass filters or can be customised to exactly suit the user filter requirements.

@IxthusInst  #PAuto @MetrixVibration

Monday, June 24, 2019

Industrial thermal imager baseline!

"'Give the customer more than they expect!' is the philosophy that John Fluke built his company on - and that still drives it today." 

In that spirit, Fluke's Ti400 PRO and TiX500 series Thermal Cameras bring accessible 640 x 480 resolution, establishing the new baseline for today’s professional industrial imagers. The cameras are optimally engineered to enable industrial professionals to safely, quickly, and easily find, assess, and solve mission-critical problems before they result in downtime, become costly, or even disastrous.

The new 640 x 480 resolution models include the Fluke Ti401 PRO Thermal Camera, which offers the ruggedness and ease of use professionals expect from Fluke, plus sharper, crisper images and the highest resolution in its price range, and the Fluke TiX501 Thermal Camera, which is a high-definition camera for exacting reliability inspections, industrial maintenance, building diagnostics, and troubleshooting, with 240 degree articulation for tight or difficult to reach spaces.

New pricing on 640 x 480 resolution cameras include the Fluke Ti480 PRO Thermal Camera, a leading edge visual infrared professional camera with intuitive touchscreen interface, and the Fluke TiX580 Thermal Camera, a high resolution camera with a 5.7inch responsive touch screen, 240 degree articulation, MultiSharp™ focus and LaserSharp™ focus.

The Fluke Ti400 PRO and TiX500 series of thermal cameras include many of the features needed for obtaining professional quality images:

  • MultiSharp Focus - captures a clear, accurate image focused throughout the field of view to easily inspect multiple complex targets or targets from varying distances by automatically processing a stack of images focused near and far (available in the Ti480 PRO and TiX580)
  • LaserSharp Auto Focus - enables in-focus images in a matter of seconds using a built-in laser distance meter that calculates and displays the distance from the designated target and immediately adjusts the focus
  • Interchangeable Smart Lenses - no calibration is required, offering the versatility and image quality needed to conduct inspections in almost any environment
  • Quality optics - to transmit energy and produce high-quality infrared images with 100 percent diamond-turned germanium lenses that have specialty coatings
  • Patented IR-Fusion™ technology – to see more details by adjusting the level of infrared and visible light
  • On-camera image editing and analysis – to enable the user to edit emissivity, enable colour alarms and markers, and adjust IR-Fusion®
  • Advanced thermal sensitivity - to find subtle temperature differences easily
  • Process monitoring - offers video recording, live video streaming, remote control, or auto capture
  • Fluke Connect™ software - helps manage data, capture multiple measurements (mechanical, electrical and thermal), and organise them by piece of equipment.

Fluke has revamped its entire line of industrial thermal cameras with more premium features packed into every model, providing higher value for the customer and allowing the company to reduce the number of cameras it offers to simplify the buying process.

@FlukeCorp #Pauto #TandM

Friday, June 21, 2019

Irish automation body reports progress.

The Ireland Section of the International Society of Automation held its AGM recently in Cork. The Section Secretary Billy Walsh report on the highlights of a very busy year during which eleven committee meetings were held.
Some of the delegates at the ISA Ireland AGM 2019
Technical Programme:
During the year several evening technical talks were held in Cork and occasionally in Dublin on topics such as Digital Transformation and Industrie 4.

Ed Cuffe, Section President 
congratulates Rory Moloney on 
his election as President-Elect.
Perhaps one of the most significant developments for the section was a series of training courses on Cybersecurity, based on the international ISA standards, jointly organised by the section and ISA Europe, the training arm of the Society based in the Netherlands. After the first set of courses the demand was found to be very robust and has led to nine courses to date in both Dublin and Cork. More courses are planned for the next year.

Honours & Awards:
The annual Honours and Awards ceremony was held in December and awards were presented to the following.

  • Craftsperson: Paul Meers, CETB & IT Carlow
  • Degree: Paul Casey, GMIT
  • Honours Degree: Emma Branigan, DCU
  • Postgraduate: Ciara O’Hara, CIT
  • Automation Champion: Dr Hassan Kaghazchi, UL
  • Pioneer: Malachy Hanley, Hanley Automation
  • Innovative Project: Alan Shefflin, BMS Biologics

Students:
An important outreach of the section (and indeed the ISA as a whole) is to students in the discipline. Members of the section visited the School of Physical Sciences in CIT on ivitation from the school head Dr Donagh O’Mahony and college lecturer Dr Natalia Rebrova. Presentations were made to staff and students within the school about the benefits of ISA membership. Two CIT students Tadgh Gilroy and Owen O’Brien made up half of the District 12 (EMEA) team at the ISA Student Games in Calgary (CDN) in March. The remaining two in the team were from the San Juan Bosco student section in Spain. Brian Curtis, a member of the Section, Global President of the Society, opened the student games.

Co-operation:
The section is furthering co-operations with other organisations. A joint ISA/ISPE half day conference of presentations under the title: “Lifesciences 4.0 – Unfolding the Future of Manufacturing for Lifesciences” was held at Limerick in October 2018. The afternoon session allowed the attendees to visit a number of industrial sites (plants) within the radius of Limerick city.

An inaugural meeting that was held between personnel from the IChemE and ISA. They have started to share flyers about forthcoming technical talks within their respective areas of operations.
Billy Walsh, Rory Moloney, Ed Cuffe and Brian Curtis
Global participation.
Internationally the society continued its impressive participation in the governance of the Global Society. Brian Curtis, completed his term as Society President in December. Billy Walsh, who has served in several distinguished positions in the Society was recognised for the excellence of his service to the Society at the annual Honours & Awards function held in Montreál (CDN) in October.

Sponsers:
The meeting gratefully acknowledged the support of eighteen key Corporate Sponsors whose generousity allows the Section to offer such an extensive programme to automation professionals in Ireland and beyond.


Co-operation for SPE solutions.

Harting is cooperating with TE Connectivity (TE) to set Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) as the de-facto infrastructure solution to enable the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The two companies together will drive solutions which will define the infrastructure for SPE.
LtoR: Frank Welzel, Director Global Product Management, Harting Electronics; Monika Kuklok, Director Communication & Power, TE Connectivity; Ralf Klein, Managing Director, Harting Electronics; and Eric Leijtens, Global Product Manager of Industrial Communication, TE Connectivity.
There are several SPE standards in IEEE 802.3 covering wired Ethernet technology for LANs and WANs. The latest, 802.3cg 10Base-T1, for distances up to 1 km, will be released in 2019. SPE allows for a single open, scalable Ethernet-based network within the automation system. This significantly reduces complexity, costs and enables the technology to go beyond existing borders.

Harting and TE Connectivity are inviting companies to partner up to drive Single Pair Ethernet as the infrastructure solution for the fast-growing IIoT market.

“Single Pair Ethernet is the technology on which we will build the road to the future success of the IIoT,” said Eric Leijtens, Global Product Manager Industrial Communication, TE Connectivity.

“With the new interconnection standard IEC 63171-6, we have an outstanding opportunity to reap the full potential of the Industrial Internet of Things,” added Frank Welzel, Director Global Product Management, Harting Electronics.

@HARTING  #Pauto @HARTING_Group @TEConnectivity

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Frightening levels of pollution on morning trip to school!

Supporting the aims of Clean Air Day (20th June 2019), the British news organ, The Guardian, has published a short film demonstrating the changing levels of pollution that children are exposed to as they walk to school in London. The latest monitoring technology from Air Monitors was mounted on a pram and a child, and live air quality data was synced with a video of the walk to school. This produced an informative video. The film can be viewed here.

Documentary producer Anetta Jones, said: “Air quality is a vitally important issue for the health and wellbeing of city dwellers, but the main pollution threats are invisible, so we hope that initiatives such as this will help residents and visitors to better understand the threat that they face.”

Kitted up!
The Guardian Cities team worked closely with their colleagues in multimedia to create a film showing real-time air quality data as a mother takes her young children to school in north London. The video features mother-of-two Natasa pushing a pram and walking her daughter along Marylebone Road, with a Particles Plus instrument attached to the pram and an AQMesh pod on her daughter’s backpack.

The most important air quality parameters are displayed on-screen during the walk, with data including PM10, PM2.5 and Nitrogen Dioxide. The film producers have cleverly integrated the European yearly mean limits for these parameters into the display, with readings changing from blue to red when they exceed the limit, (which for PM10 and NO2 was most of the time!).

The monitoring equipment was supplied by Air Monitors Limited. Their David Green said: “We have recently installed large numbers of AQMesh pods all over London as part of the Breathe London project, and data from these pods will be displayed on the project website. However, video is an enormously popular medium, and it is really exciting to see what can be achieved when the latest technologies in multimedia and air quality monitoring combine.”


Dangerous (and illegal) levels of pollution
@airmonitors #Environment @AQMesh @guardian @_Enviro_News 

Innovations facilitate pharma & biotech production processes.

Many innovations are been added to Werum's PAS-X Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for the pharma and biotech industries which provides advanced user options and better performance. This includes, for example, biometric alternatives to the usual authentication process, an integrated solution for detailed scheduling and optimized operation on mobile terminals.

Robert Welter
“We are continually enhancing PAS-X. On one hand, we aim to address new production processes, regulations and customer requirements in an optimal way. On the other hand, it is our goal to stimulate innovation and to quickly pave the way for the pharmaceutical industry to the digital factory of the future,” says Robert Welter, Senior Head of PAS-X Product Management, Werum IT Solutions GmbH.

Biometric authentication
The current authentication process requires entering a username and password, pincode or ID – and is thus time-consuming. With K.Me-In (ki mi ɪn) Werum now offers an innovative biometric authentication product to simplify log-in and signing processes. In the future, various user-specific biometric parameters such as fingerprint, iris, face recognition or a combination of those will be used. Additionally, PAS-X logs off the user automatically when he or she leaves the application – an important aspect to ensure data integrity. Werum’s new biometric authentication product allows users on the shop floor to authenticate more quickly so they can concentrate on their main tasks.

Seamless integration of detailed scheduling
Moreover, Werum has further enhanced the functionality of its PAS-X MES by integrating a detailed scheduling solution based on sedApta’s Factory Scheduler. Through PAS-X, this scheduling solution can directly access all necessary data, such as master data, MBRs or order data for the shop floor. PAS-X provides the data in real time and with a higher quality than any ERP. Thus, there is no more need for an interface between the scheduling solution and the ERP.

Easier mobile operation
PAS-X is increasingly being used on mobile terminals on the shop floor. For this reason, Werum has further optimized the use of its MES software on hand-held scanners and tablets. For instance, this allows tablet users to benefit from an improved touch operation. PAS-X now has a new browser-based user interface specifically designed for the operation on hand-held terminals which supports current hardware and software platforms. In industrial environments, the improved usability allows for increased performance, stable operation and safety.

@Werum  #MES #Pharma

Life sciences technology leader acquired.

Zenith Technologies, the life sciences manufacturing technology services company headquartered in Cork (IRL) is to be acquired by Cognizant. Their more than 800 people will become part of Cognizant’s Life Sciences business unit.

Joe Haugh
Zenith's CEO
“In joining Cognizant, we are bringing together two respected life sciences service provider brands with complementary technology and manufacturing operations expertise,” said Joe Haugh, Chief Executive Officer, Zenith Technologies. “It’s an exciting time for us, with the life sciences industry embracing digital transformation to enable more flexible and efficient manufacturing facilities to bring new treatments to market faster. Our combined business will drive process excellence through tighter integration of manufacturing processes and systems, the efficient harnessing of information and analytics across the manufacturing value chain, and the adoption of IoT technologies delivering manufacturing 4.0. Together, we are well-positioned to help clients more efficiently produce the life-changing medicines and medical devices for patients who need them most.”

The acquisition extends Cognizant’s capabilities for designing, implementing and managing end-to-end operational and information technology systems for connected biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. Interconnected “smart factories” have become a strategic priority for the industry, with production systems and processes becoming more complex because of research advances and increased demand for large-molecule biologics.

Brendan O'Regan, 
Zenith's Founder
The combined Cognizant-Zenith Technologies expertise will deliver a range of Industry 4.0 capabilities, from factory design consultation, machine sensor and controller instrumentation, supervisory control, and data acquisition, to manufacturing execution systems, batch automation, enterprise resource planning integration and managed services. The company’s operating hubs in Ireland, Germany, India, Singapore, the United States and other sites around the world are located near manufacturing facilities of many Cognizant clients. Cognizant is a leading services provider to the life sciences industry, working with all of the world’s top 30 life sciences companies.

“Industry 4.0 solutions, encompassing Internet of Things (IoT), automation and analytics, are a strategic focus area for Cognizant,” said Brian Humphries, Chief Executive Officer, Cognizant. “In acquiring Zenith Technologies, we expand Cognizant’s IoT portfolio and extend our life sciences domain expertise by becoming a single-source provider of end-to-end smart factory capabilities. Together, we are better positioned to help clients realize information and operational technology convergence in their manufacturing operations, and advance the development of life-saving drugs, biologics, specialized pharmaceuticals and medical devices. We look forward to welcoming Zenith Technologies’ employees to Cognizant.”

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, subject to satisfaction of closing conditions, including regulatory review. Financial details were not disclosed.

Founded in 1998, Zenith Technologies operates on five continents, with 16 locations around the globe. Zenith Technologies works with nine of the world’s 10 largest biopharmaceutical manufacturers, implementing and supporting their manufacturing lifecycle software through its Consultancy, Manufacturing Digital and Automation Systems Integration, and Manufacturing Site Services business lines.

A recognized industry leader, Zenith Technologies was named “Pharma Supplier of the Year” at the 2018 Pharma Industry Awards, which acknowledge companies demonstrating innovation and excellence in the Irish biopharma industry.
The Zenith story to date!

@ZT_Global @Cognizant #PAuto #Pharma #Ireland @CognizantNews

Chlorine measurement in water.

The Memosens CCS51D amperometric sensors have been launched by Endress + Hauser. This is used for measuring free chlorine measurement in process water, drinking water, water & wastewater treatment, cooling water, and all utilities and processes requiring clean, treated water.

Free chlorine is the most important disinfectant in water treatment due to its easy handling, the strong disinfecting effect and the residual effect. A precise dosing control of free chlorine can only be achieved by a fast and sensitive free chlorine measurement. Memosens CCS51D features a special membrane design providing an extremely fast response time. It helps plant operators run their disinfection processes on tight limits and save on chemicals.

The sensor's convex membrane made of dense, dirt-repellent material prevents soiling and makes it extremely resistant to biofouling. Ultrasonic welding of the membrane to the sensor cap ensures its integrity, preventing dilution of the electrolyte and thus a drift of the measuring signal. This guarantees long-term stable measurements and gives water plant managers the security that the disinfection process is running smoothly, and the required disinfection results are achieved.

The free chlorine sensor is equipped with proven Memosens technology. Memosens allows for direct commissioning of new sensors without further calibration. During on-going operation, plant operators can pre-calibrate sensors in the lab, swap them into the process with plug & play, and thus continue measuring faster. Finally, non-contact data transmission eliminates all measurement errors or even failures caused by humidity or corrosion.

The disinfection effectivity of free chlorine is strongly dependent on the pH value. To compensate for this dependency, it is important to integrate a pH measurement into all disinfection processes with free chlorine. Memosens CCS51D is connected to the Liquiline multiparameter transmitter that can serve up to eight sensors simultaneously, and the Flowfit CCA250 flow assembly offers mounting space for a simple installation of the additional pH sensor.

 @Endress_Hauser  #PAuto #Water

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Improving odour treatment plant efficiency.

With environmental legislation in relation to odour management becoming increasingly more stringent, Italy-based Technologia & Ambiente (T&A) has purchased a Falco fixed, continuous photoionisation detector (PID) from Ion Science Italia – leading manufacturer of gas detection instrumentation for environmental and occupational health monitoring applications – as a key component of its newly developed Online System for Monitoring Odours Treatment Efficiency (OSMOTREFF).

T&A was established in 2010 as a division of the Polytechnic of Bari (I). The company offers a wide range of environmental services including waste management, reclamation of polluted sites and treatment of waste water and emissions. Backed by highly qualified staff including industrial chemists and environmental engineers, T&A can offer tailor-made solutions for complex applications in chemistry and environmental engineering applications.

T&A’s OSMOTREFF is a pilot system specially designed to analyse odour treatment facilities. Once connected to odour treatment plant using physical chemical absorption, such as chemical scrubbing and activated carbon filtration, the innovative OSMOTREFF provides on line monitoring of treatment efficiency and can conduct pilot tests on effluent gases to help further improve the process.

The odorous compounds contained in conveyed gaseous flows are difficult to monitor continuously because of their multiplicity, the peculiarity of the specific application and the sampling and analysis methodology.

Ion Science’s Falco PID is installed on T&A’s OSMOTREFF and represents one of the key components of the system. It provides continuous, online measurement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in both inlet and outlet conveyed gas streams that have odour problems.

T&A’s Roberto Pisconti comments: “Odorous molecules are typically found in VOCs with a market tendency to be present in the vapour phase. Many VOCs contained in gas streams generate odours and, for a given process, in most cases there is a direct correlation between the concentration of VOCs and amount of odorimetric units in accordance with European Standard EN13725, Air quality – determination of odour concentration by dynamic olfactometry.

“Once this correlation has been determined, a Falco PID can be useful for easy online monitoring of VOCs and indirectly of odorimetric units on outlet conveyed gas streams.

“In Italy, a new legislation with specific odour limit thresholds has also been recently introduced making it ever more important for companies that have treatment in their processes to monitor and improve the treatment efficiency of their systems in line with regulatory requirements.

“Ion Science and its products are well known across our business so we were confident in the Falco’s ability to reliably and accurately measure VOCs in both inlet and outlet gas streams,” he adds.

Most gas streams cause condensation. Although T&A’s OSMOTREFF incorporates a feature that can dilute the gas sample in order to avoid condensation, it can still occur making it essential to have an instrument with condensation resistant design.

A 0-3000 parts per million (ppm) detection range can cover most petrochemical applications. For other applications, 0-1000 ppm may be suitable.

The Falco PID operates in conjunction with T&A’s OSMOTREFF system with a pilot test on conveyed gas streams taking from two hours up to several days, depending on the application requirements.

Roberto Pisconti concludes: “Since Ion Science Italia provided training, we have found the Falco very easy to use and operate, and it has been excellent in terms of accuracy and reliability. The service has also been very good and they were quick to respond when we needed assistance with calibration. 


 @ionscience #Environment #Health  @elhcomms #Italy

Troubleshooting power in your pocket.

Fluke has introduced a pocket-sized thermal imager as the first line of defence for easy troubleshooting for electricians and industrial maintenance personnel. 

The professional-grade Fluke PTi120 Pocket Thermal Imager offers quick temperature scans of electrical panels and equipment, pumps and motors building systems, HVAC and process control equipment for hot spots and cold spots that can indicate early signs of trouble. The 3.5inch touchscreen features IR-Fusion™ technology to blend a visible image with an infrared image to more easily locate problems.

The Fluke PTi120 offers simple point-and-shoot technology. With fully radiometric measurement, it provides 120 x 90 infrared resolution. The pocket-sized and the industrial rugged form factor paired with Fluke Connect Asset Tagging and IR-Fusion™ technology offer a powerful combination. Fluke Connect Asset Tagging eliminates the sorting and organising of infrared images by simply scanning the asset’s QR code or barcode. The 3.5inch LCD touchscreen display enables simple adjustment of blending of the infrared image with a visible image by the sliding of a finger across the screen. It provides a temperature measurement range from -20°C to +150°C.

Designed to withstand a 1metre drop and mounted in an IP54-rated enclosure to provide protection against dirt and moisture, the PTi120 also comes with a lanyard and USB lead, all fitting in a soft case.

@FlukeCorp  #PAuto #TandM

Innovative recordng of live power requirements and thermal conditions.


PULS Power believes that system availability, cost efficiency and scheduled maintenance are the key criteria for most industrial and building automation system (BAS) designers and installers.

During the system design process PULS works closely with its customers to provide detailed advice on selecting the optimum power supply for their specific applications. To enhance this service, PULS has developed the unique SmartFab Box.

The SmartFab Box is an innovative diagnostics tool, which makes the power requirements and thermal conditions in systems and installations transparent. It allows users to check and specify their power budgets directly on their own systems, live and completely securely.

The SmartFab Box is available to PULS customers free of charge for a limited period of time or it may be leased for longer term analysis of the effects of changes or improvements to power systems. This unique user service provides assistance in selecting the right power supply and avoiding over specifying excessively large power reserves.

Customers can analyse an application's data live at any time via the online dashboard. For answers to questions or recommendations on the results, the PULS application engineering team is always ready and willing to offer support.

The SmartFab Box measures voltage and current (input and output), power (primary and secondary), transients, power factor and temperature (ambient and inside enclosure).

Installation and operation of the SmartFab Box is simple. All that is required is an AC mains connection and an LTE / 3G cell signal. The sensors of the SmartFab Box are then connected to the application and the setup is ready to start the analysis.

The non-invasive measurements use a VPN connection to the SmartFab Box saving all application data securely and anonymously to a cloud server in Germany. The data is exchanged over the LTE / 3G cellular network and there is no requirement to connect the SmartFab Box to the local corporate network. The SmartFab Box is designed to be non-invasive at all times and will not affect the application during the installation or when taking measurements. This assures absolute safety and integrity of the customer's process.

The web-based user interface, which provides live analysis of measurement data, can be displayed on a PC or notebook and is very intuitive and simple to use. The operator can access data via the online dashboard. The dashboard is password-protected and accessible only to authorised users and a qualified PULS support team.

Marco van der Linden comments, "We recently installed a number of DIN rail power supplies in a large warehouse with a SmartFab Box connected. This gave the customer an excellent overview of the utilization and efficiency of their conveyor system, the running costs and CO2 savings the company has achieved by installing our high efficiency power supplies. This free service was very much appreciated by our customer."

@PULSPowerSupply #BAS #PAuto 

Partners discuss how sharing benifits digitalization.


Thirty five Open Integration partners gathered together at Endress+Hauser in Reinach (CH), to share their experiences and thoughts for the first time. A highlight of the event was a presentation from representatives of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries outlining how they benefit from the partner program during digitalization of their processes – and what they would like to see in the future.

The goal of the Open Integration program initiated by Endress+Hauser can be summed up quickly: the simple, fast and manufacturer-independent integration of components and devices into various automation systems. And, almost more importantly, satisfied customers.

While it sounds simple in theory, when it comes to day-to-day system operation, it’s far from that. Even the most experienced automation specialists have great respect for multi-vendor systems. That also applies to complete solutions “from a single source.” After all, digital communications – a precondition for the extensive use of existing intelligence in field devices and systems – places serious demands on integration.

With its Open Integration partner program, Endress+Hauser is inviting providers of control technology, fieldbus infrastructure, measurement technology and actuator systems to test and document the interaction of their products even more extensively in the interests of their customers. The cooperation partners include Auma Riester, Bürkert, Festo, Flowserve, Hima Paul Hildebrandt, Honeywell Process Solutions, Mitsubishi Electric, Pepperl + Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric and Turck.

Open standards as a basis
The foundation of this effort is open communication standards (Hart, Profibus, Foundation Fieldbus, EtherNet/IP or Profinet), as well as open integration standards (FDT, EDD, FDI). With a nearly unlimited selection of options, the reference topologies represent practical combinations suitable for applications in the chemical, life sciences, food & beverage, oil & gas, power & energy, primaries & metal and water & wastewater industries.

The reference topologies take into account industry-typical requirements such as explosion protection, availability and redundancy. Each topology is thoroughly tested and documented in their lab in Reinach in conjunction with the partners, after which the recommendations are published.

Interoperability tests create added value
And how do customers benefit from the Open Integration partner program? Every problem that the integration experts discover prior to commissioning can be resolved at a much lower cost compared to fixing the issue in the field at some later point. Customers receive concrete, validated recommendations for automating their systems, which go well beyond established conformity and interoperability testing while ensuring seamless integration. Last but not least, they save time and money.

With developments such as IIoT and APL, users will face new challenges, plus integration testing will be given added weight. This makes it even more important for the Open Integration partners to work together over the long term. The participating customer and provider representatives were in full agreement on this point. Cyber security, in addition to the issue of connectivity, will play a key role in the future. They furthermore agreed that effective strategies need to be developed to counter new entrants in the automation industry such as IBM or Amazon.

Customer-driven developments
One thing was clear during the get-together in Reinach in early June: the process control industry wants open, interoperable systems instead of proprietary solutions. One of the users wants uniform, structured access to static information via QR- and RFID-supported type plates in accordance with DIN 91406. Standardized diagnostics in line with NE 107 is also at the top of the wish list.

In the near term, Endress+Hauser wants to work with its partners to address these and other open issues with the aim of utilizing Open Integration to offer customers even more value-add during digitalization of their processes. The common goal: satisfied customers who can extensively utilize the opportunities that digitalization brings with little risk.


@Endress_Hauser  #PAuto

Monday, June 17, 2019

Best in Europe.

Anglia has been named “Best Distributor in Northern Europe” for 2018 by Omron Electronic Components at a recent distribution conference in Barcelona.

Koji Tokuda, CEO, Omron Electronic
Components Europe  with
John Bowman, MD, Anglia.
The award followed a rigorous assessment of all Omron’s distributors in Europe in accordance with wide ranging criteria covering both sales performance and quality of service. Commenting, Hafeez Najumudeen, European Distribution Manager at Omron said, “Our distributors are key partners and we have set up these Awards to reward and celebrate the very high standards that our distribution network achieves. Whilst performance was strong across the board, Anglia stood out as delivering outstanding service at every level. We assessed our network based on sales growth, new product introductions, digital marketing, identification and conversion of design opportunities. Anglia performed strongly in all of these areas. Congratulations to their whole team.”

John Bowman, Marketing Director at Anglia, added, “Omron is known throughout the industry for its exceptional quality and high standards of service, and we are proud to have received this award from them. To have been recognised this way amongst Omron’s network of over 20 distributors in Northern Europe is a great achievement. We believe that we have an exceptional team supported by an exceptional infrastructure, and this award is a tribute to the whole company.”


@angliaComponent #Electronics #PAuto

New premises for semiconductor-based technology solutions leader.

Analog Devices has opened the doors of its new British headquarters office in Hayes, London, a location which will strengthen its ability to connect customers with the best engineering talent at home and abroad.
By locating its new office in London, close to a fast Elizabeth Line link to the city centre, Analog Devices has made itself accessible to the capital’s huge pool of talent - not only software and hardware engineers, but also a vibrant community of entrepreneurs and start-up workers, as well as skilled staff in non-engineering disciplines.

Close to Heathrow airport, the new HQ office is also a convenient hub for the company’s domain specialists located in other Analog Devices locations such as Munich, Germany, Boston, US and Limerick, Ireland. These technology and applications experts will now more easily be able to take part in British customer meetings hosted by Analog Devices.

The new office, which has a distinctly contemporary look in contrast to the bland aesthetic commonly adopted by many engineering companies, underpins Analog Devices’ ambitious plans for growth in the territory: it easily accommodates all the staff who previously worked at Analog Devices and legacy Linear Technology offices in Weybridge and Marlow, with a generous additional floating capacity to accommodate customer meetings, visits by field engineers, training facilities and an expanding staff headcount.

The site of the new office used to be a vinyl record factory at which discs from the likes of the Beatles and Rolling Stones were once pressed - a link to Britain’s long audio engineering heritage which is mirrored in the decoration of the new office. Mike Britchfield, Analog Devices’ European Vice President of Sales, said: ‘Our new UK office beautifully combines the past and the future - the site’s history as a record factory is appropriate given our many customers in the UK’s renowned audio equipment manufacturing industry. But we are also excited to be at the heart of London’s newest technology cluster, which gives us the opportunity to build our diverse, creative and talented workforce.’

The development of the new office and the transfer of staff from the previous Marlow and Weybridge sites has been masterminded by Alastair Boyd, Sales Director for Northern Europe and Shalini Palmer, EMEA Sales Director for Mobility. Alastair said that he was proud that Analog Devices, a global giant of the semiconductor industry, has committed to a large long-term investment in the that country's electronics sector. Shalini said: ‘The UK is a hub of innovation and knowledge with many world-class companies in specific technology domains - the market is large, but fragmented. That means you have to have a prominent and enduring presence in the country if you are going to be successful here. This beautiful and impressive new office is a signal to the UK market that Analog Devices is in the UK for the long term and committed to providing all the technology and applications support that British customers need.’ 


@ADI_News #Electronics #Britain

Vision event sees improvement.

The 3rd UKIVA Machine Vision Conference and Exhibition was held recently in Milton Keynes. It has proved to be a great success, with visitor numbers up by 15% on last year with an outstanding exhibitor satisfaction rating. In a post-event exhibitor survey, 100% of the respondents recorded satisfaction levels of ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’.


UKIVA Chairman, Allan Anderson, said: “We were delighted to see so many people attending. I spoke to many of the exhibitors on the day who all commented that they had had some very positive discussions with many visitors with real world problems to solve. This was clearly endorsed by the results of our follow-up survey. There was a real ‘buzz’ about the event that was really pleasing to see.”

The Conference continues to be a powerful attraction, highlighting visitors’ desire to learn. Average attendance at the seminars has grown by over 30% since the inaugural event in 2017. This year’s Conference offered more seminars than ever before across 8 presentation theatres, with the additional theme covering vision and robotics attracting a lot of interest.

Once again, however, the presentations about deep learning and embedded vision proved to be the most popular, as these exciting technologies continue their rapid development. There was also a strong emphasis on practical usage of vision. Over 20% of the presentations featured actual solutions and there was plenty of opportunity after the talks for attendees to discuss application opportunities in more detail with the presenters.

Event organiser, Chris Valdes, said: “Our thanks go to our Keynote speakers, Dr Luca Benedetti from Kudan and Minh-Tri Pham from Winnow for their fascinating presentations, which got the morning and afternoon sessions off to a great start. We had more international exhibitors than ever before who helped to create our biggest show of vision technology to date and there was a strong media presence. Many visitors commented that they liked the proximity of the presentation theatres to the exhibition stands and the fact that all of the booths were the same size, making it easy to see everything. Now we begin planning next year’s event!”


@UKIVAconfex @ppmaltd #PAuto

Multigas detection.

GMI, part of the 3M Personal Safety Division, has enhanced their PS200 multi-gas detection instrument.

The PS200is to feature some impressive product enhancements from this month. One such improvement is as a powerful new datalogging capacity that will enable customers to capture all relevant calibration and session data over a 6-month period. This increased capacity will improve customers access to relevant data whilst enabling quicker decisions to be made.

Another helpful addition is the new quick-press field calibration mode which will save customers time by simplifying the field calibration process. Customers will also be able to visualise their short-term and long-term exposures to Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) enabling them to quickly determine current exposure rates and take appropriate action.

A bundle of user experience upgrades has been added including a quick configuration display; configurable confidence signals; and increased user control around calibration due dates, dead-band configurations, and resolution settings (H2S). These features combined will enhance performance; improve ease-of use; and importantly enrich the overall user experience.

The PS200 continues to measure any combination of LEL, Oxygen (O2), Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) making it suitable for a wide range of personal monitoring and confined space applications. In addition to extensive datalogging capabilities, the PS200 is available with an optional internal pump and an extensive range of accessories to meet a wide variety of user applications.

@3M #Safety #PAuto

Friday, June 14, 2019

Safety switch with solinoid.

The IDEC Corporation has releaseed its new HS1T interlock switch with solenoid. This interlock switch delivers an industry-leading 5,000N of locking force, with many features included to maximize protection in machine and equipment guarding applications.

Interlock switches are incorporated into machinery and equipment to both monitor and lock gates, doors and similar access points. Many of these applications endure high vibration, thrown debris, physical abuse and even bypass attempts, so they must have a high locking force. Interlock switches are used to ensure guarded locations are secure before starting a machine and are also used to deny access to certain areas during operation, both critical for operator safety and protection. These devices must be strong, adaptable and secure.

This new HS1T improves performance in all these areas. Delivering 5,000N of locking force, the HS1T is much more powerful than comparably-sized devices. This is achieved in such a compact size due to a metal head integrating the locking and mounting functions, an improvement over older designs where the head could break away from the mounting body. Also, to maximize installation options, the remaining actuator portion can be independently rotated from the high-strength head using only one screw. With a slim form factor and so many mounting options, the HS1T can be installed virtually anywhere, providing greater flexibility for designers.

Much of the HS1T’s strength is provided by the metal head, but cam design also plays an important role. IDEC has included three independent rotary cams, instead of the single cam used by conventional devices. Two cams control the locking mechanism and one drives the door monitor contact. This arrangement provides redundancy, additional strength and ensures the monitoring function continues to work even if a locking cam is damaged.

The HS1T meets the requirements of ISO 14119:203 for Lock Monitoring and are marked as such. This means both the status of the position and the locking function of a protective door can be monitored through the lock monitoring contact. The net result is that fewer on-board contacts are needed to achieve redundant safety circuits and additional monitoring circuits, reducing the amount of wiring on the device. For additional integrity, the device structure is designed so the lock monitoring contact can never indicate closed if the door is not positively closed, thereby preventing the associated machine from being turned on with risks exposed.

Installers will appreciate the HS1T’s multiple available cable entry ports, with faster and more reliable wiring connections made possible by spring clamp terminals. These connections offer excellent vibration resistance, prevent wires from loosening and never need tightening. Designers can choose from spring lock or solenoid lock styles, with several options for contact configurations. These flexible installation options are complemented by an IP67 and Type 4X indoor use only rating.

An energy-efficient solenoid consumes only 200mA while actuated, reducing electricity costs and allowing controls to activate the device directly without a relay. This is 25% less power compared to other models and among the lowest rating in industry.

Structurally, the HS1T interlock switch can’t be turned on unless the door lock is positively closed. As an additional protection against improper operation, designers can take advantage of the HS1T’s compact size and mounting options to install it in normally unreachable, covered or hidden locations to minimize defeat possibilities.

Mechanical durability has been improved to two million operations, double that of other models to ensure a long operating lifetime. An optional manual rear-side unlock button allows personnel to release the device if they are inside a guarded area and need to exit. A rear unlock mechanical indicator, a first in the industry, allows the lock status to be identified from the front and the back.

The HS1T interlock switch provides safety, performance and cost advantages for equipment manufacturers, machinery builders, packaged system designers, robotics implementations and OEMs of all types. The device is suitable for many industries and can serve as the preferred model for many applications.

@IDECUSA #PAuto 

Single pair Ethernet.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is growing at a rapid pace. Experts agree that Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) will be one of the key technologies that significantly shapes the success of the IIoT. The factory of the future requires high data streams and the industrial sector needs connectivity which adapts itself to increasingly growing demands. This is most effectively achieved via standards that are developed and advanced through partnerships in an open eco-system.  

Harting has recognised the requirements of the factory of the future, driven the development of Ethernet connectivity for tomorrow's networks and presented intelligent connectivity with solution packages for the Cloud, Edge and IIoT.

As an enabler of IIoT, the company is taking the step from a technology trend to a real application and customer solution. With an interface standardised according to IEC 63171-6, the technology group is consistently recognising trends, defining standards and delivering high-quality products.
Generations of network engineers, planners, installers and users have learned that Fast Ethernet (10/100Mbps) requires cabling with two wire pairs and Gigabit Ethernet requires four wire pairs. The new Single Pair Ethernet is pushing technology into the market that can transmit these TCP/IP-based data streams via just one pair of wires.

This technique, which is being driven by the automotive industry, is increasingly gaining importance in automation technology, where it is being further developed in a targeted manner. Due to its simplicity and the associated reduction in weight, space requirements and installation effort, this technology has a great future within industry, automation technology and the rail industry, among others.

SPE now makes it possible to bring digitisation, i.e. continuous IP-based communication, to the field level. Equipping simple sensors, cameras and reading and identification devices with Ethernet interfaces supports the implementation of Integrated Industry and IIoT. IP-based communication from the Cloud down to every sensor has long been a sought-after vision that now takes on a very real form.

A prerequisite for the widespread use and successful marketing of SPE technology is the end-to-end compatibility of devices, cables and connectors. Since the beginning of the year, an ISO/IEC international selection process has been in progress for cabling and the selection of standardised SPE mating faces, involving more than 20 national expert committees. Because of this selection, two mating faces have prevailed:
• for building wiring, the mating face according to IEC 63171-1, based on the proposal by CommScope

• for industrial and industry applications, the mating face IEC 63171-6, based on the proposal by Harting.

The core element of the new Harting T1 industrial connector family is an always-uniform SPE mating face that is used for all versions, from IP20 up to IP65/67. Harting has aligned its connector design accordingly and can achieve both 1GBit/s for shorter distances and 10Mbit/s for long distances with a mutually compatible mating face.
@HARTING_Group #PAuto #IIoT  #Ethernet

Addressing emerging high-frequency applications.

ShockLine™ VNAs Lower Cost-of-Test and Improve Time-to-Market in 5G, Satellite and Signal Integrity Applications.

A 43.5 GHz frequency option for its 2- and 4-port ShockLine™ MS46122B, MS46322B, MS46522B, and MS46524B vector network analyzers (VNAs) with guaranteed specifications using Anritsu’s Extended-KTM type connectors and components has been introduced by Anritsu. The ShockLine family becomes the first VNA to support specified 43.5 GHz functionality in a K-connector environment, creating distinct cost-of-test and time-to-market advantages in high-frequency applications, including 5G, satellite, and signal integrity.

With the introduction of the Extended-K calibration kits and accessories, the option eliminates the need to use inconvenient adaptors or completely change the connector type. It provides design and manufacturing engineers with an efficient solution that adds the critical 3.5 GHz to a test environment for verification of products used in emerging applications.

Anritsu leveraged its design and characterization capabilities to extend the K-connector frequency performance. The additional 3.5 GHz of guaranteed coverage enables customers to remain in the K-connector environment rather than transition to more expensive and less robust 2.4 mm connectors, saving cost and increasing compatibility across test environments.

The ShockLine MS46122B, MS46322B, and MS46522B are 2-port VNAs that provide a range of price and performance in three distinct configurations to meet the needs of a wide variety of applications. The MS46122B USB VNAs are packaged in a compact 1U chassis and are externally controlled via USB from a user-supplied PC. The MS46322B is designed in a self-contained, compact, and rugged 2U chassis that includes the power supply and computer. The MS46522B Performance ShockLine VNA delivers unprecedented value and performance in numerous test applications up to 92 GHz.

For 4-port test environments, there is the ShockLine MS46524B series. The VNAs deliver economical and performance efficiencies in a multiport VNA to lower the cost-of-test and speed time-to-market.

@Anritsu #TnadM @NapierPR

Process instrumentation market to grow in North America.

The Process Instrumentation and Automation market in the United States, valued at $13.9 Billion (€12.32b), is projected to grow 4.4 percent by 2023 to a total of $17.3 Billion (€15.34).

The Measurement, Control & Automation Association (MCAA) has published its Annual Market Forecast. The report, prepared by the analysts at Global Automation Research, focuses on the Process Instrumentation and Automation (PI&A) markets in both the United States and Canada. Twelve industry segments and 12 product categories are examined in-depth, with a forecast timeline extending to the year 2023.

Three industries accounted for over 50 percent of the 2018 total process automation market: Chemicals, oil refining and electric utilities. These three industries, plus food & beverage, and pharmaceuticals will be the fastest growing segments over the 5-year forecast period.

Paul Rasmusson, President, Global Automation Research LLC, said, “There are strong growth drivers in each of these industries including the build-out in ethylene plants, capacity expansions in oil refineries, new natural gas-fired generators, and the growing drive for automation to improve productivity, enhance quality and safety, and extent plant life in the pharmaceutical and food & beverage sectors.”

The report shows that O&G process automation spending recovered strongly in 2018, with most of the growth in the midstream segment. And, the U.S. steel industry spending is growing, as the companies expand capacity to meet tariff-related domestic demand.

Rasmusson cautioned, “A slowing global economy, could reduce demand for plastics, creating an excess in ethylene production and oil refining capacity causing delayed or cancelled projects. A U.S. recession would reduce demand for process industry products across the board, undermining the forecast growth in process automation spending.”

Process control systems and process control valves continue to dominate the market value, accounting for 60 percent of the total for 2018. The fastest growing product categories are electronic flow, electronic level, and Remote I/O. The report shows that the displacement of some older technologies (e.g., mechanical flowmeters, mechanical level meters, and data acquisition instruments) continue as electronic flow and level meters and expanded DCS, PLC, and SCADA capabilities are adopted by the process industry.

The Market Forecast also includes information for the Canadian Process Automation Market which is valued at $1.3 billion and forecast to grow to $1.5 billion by 2023, a five-year CAGR of 3.4 percent. Five industries—F&B, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil refining and electric utilities will grow above average. Two major industry sectors are struggling. The O&G sector growth is limited due to the takeaway shortfall in Alberta causing lower prices. Growth is further limited as Alberta implements curtailment rules that limit the number of new wells, in the hopes of better prices on low volume. The Canadian metals industry spending dropped after the Trump tariff, however, the most recent indications that the tariffs will be dropped could restore some spending in this sector.

@THEMCAAorg  #PAuto #GlobalAutomationResearch 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Intelligent fault indication.

The basic module CC24plus LC by UNITRO Fleischmann is a reasonably priced, intelligent fault indicating system in a wall-mounted housing that provides effective monitoring of supply and operating equipment.

It fulfils the UNITRO levels 2 and 3 of the functional characteristics for fault indicating systems: Simple group message without signal storage, or acknowledgeable flashing fault message, each with new horn value and group message. (See the level selection table here!)

Other features include:
  • Recording of 24 messages, control 24V internal (DC) or external (AC / DC).
  • Red 5 mm LED display with insertion label.
  • Power supply: Wide area network device: 110–230V AC/DC
  • A built-in USB interface for parameterization:
  • Notifications: quiescent-operating current, response delay, relevant, not relevant, display with one or two flashing frequencies.
  • Assignment of the message inputs to the two output relays with C/O can be chosen as needed,
  • Factory setting: All inputs on collective signal relay and in parallel on acknowledgeable horn signalling relay. Built-in miniature horn.
  • Membrane keys for horn and flashing acknowledgement, as well as LED test.
  • Easy to assemble screw-type terminals 1.5 mm² connection.
  • Wall mountable compact housing 233x200x100 Protection class IP54.
The CC24plus System is a web-enabled high performance ICT system and meets the highest requirements in terms of function and communication.

As an intelligent "Two in One" system, it offers multiple benefits thanks to its multifunctional and multi-communicative properties:

As an intelligent HMI station, the module enables fast on-site event assignment thanks to its bright 5-colour LED display.

As a web-enabled decentralized substation, the system is ideally suited for remote alarming and remote monitoring. In addition to the properties of the CC24plus LC, the CC24plus offers freely selectable 5-colour LED display and 4 freely assignable C/O output relays.

The following optional features are also available.

  • Battery-buffered UPS up to max.10hrs power failure.
  • Ethernet port (FTP) with Web server for remote monitoring and remote parameterization. A built-in USB interface for direct parameterization.
  • An integrated modem for the remote alarming of services via a text to speech telephone voice announcement, 24 + 4 alarm lines with 4 telephone numbers each are available, with remote acknowledgement.
  • A 2-wire LON bus output enables the control of a parallel panel and the integration into a building control system.
#UnitroFleischmann #Monitoring, #Power 

Energy harvesting experts strengthen British coverage.

EnOcean has appointed Simon Johnson to manage their sales in Britain. The specification specialist will be working to promote their successful energy harvesting technology into this fast-growing market including smart building projects and the emerging trend of modular homes. Simon will work closely together with John Corbett, Sales Director UK at EnOcean, and report to Jürgen Baryla, Vice President Sales.

Simon Johnson
Simon Johnson joins EnOcean from Theben AG, a specialist in smart home technology focussed on KNX, where he spent three years as Sales and Specification Specialist. Simon previously ran his own electrical contracting business. He has a keen interest in modern building control solutions, with a number of family home renovation projects to his name making him aware of the specific requirements.

“We are delighted to have Simon join the team with his high level of experience,” said Jürgen Baryla. “He has a successful track record of sales of smart building technology, as well as unique insight into installing these technologies and making them work in a real building environment. We believe he will be a real asset to our UK customers.”

Commenting, Simon said, “I am excited to be joining EnOcean. The company is extremely well placed to develop and manufacture the energy harvesting products needed for the smart future of our buildings. I believe EnOcean is in a unique position. It is a pioneer in energy harvesting devices and is large enough to invest in new ideas but small enough to be flexible.”

Smart building control solutions are proving popular in the territory with more commercial and residential projects adopting the technology. Legislation and tougher controls on energy usage are likely to further boost demand, which EnOcean is ready to fulfil enabling highly flexible and maintenance-free sensor solutions. “There can be huge benefits from monitoring the usage of buildings and internal environments using cleverly deployed sensors,” added Simon Johnson. “These include increased productivity, higher comfort, reduced energy costs, proactive rather than reactive facilities management and better use of space.”


@EnOcean #Appointment #Britain #BAC

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Collaboration announced in technical education.

Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) and ESB (Electricity Supply Board-Ireland) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a framework of strategic collaboration that will include three key areas - Research and Development, Talent Promotion and Diversity and Inclusion. TU Dublin President, Professor David FitzPatrick, and ESB Deputy Chief Executive, Jerry O’Sullivan announced the partnership at a celebratory event hosted by Ireland’s newest University in Grangegorman.

Jerry O'Sullivan & Professor Fitzpatrick
at TU Dublin Campus
Speaking at the MoU launch event in Grangegorman, University President, Professor David FitzPatrick outlined the value of the strategic partnership with ESB. “TU Dublin welcomes this new opportunity to work with ESB on a range of innovative projects delivering quality research outputs, nurturing a pipeline of new talent in the key areas of Engineering and related disciplines, and encouraging a diverse and inclusive student population and working environment. To date, our close working relationship with ESB has been very fruitful. One example would be the introduction of the very successful Access to Apprenticeship - a 12-week taster programme for young people who may find it difficult to access an apprenticeship due to social and economic barriers, and we are pleased to see our relationship strengthen further with today’s announcement.”

ESB and TU Dublin will explore areas of mutual interest under each of the headings covered by the MoU. For example, under Research and Development, discussions will take place around the development and operation of Electric Vehicle Fast Charging infrastructure across Ireland, real-time wind generation, and energy market modelling and battery storage.

Both parties will also focus on talent development activities, including the development of new academic programmes in power plant technology and an examination of professional roles and employability of future engineers. They will also investigate potential co-operative initiatives aimed at encouraging Diversity and Inclusion in STEM education and the workplace, building on current programmes such as TU Dublin’s ESTEeM - a mentoring programme for young women studying STEM subjects.

Jerry O’Sullivan, Deputy Chief Executive of ESB, said: “ESB is once again proud to collaborate with Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) to support the delivery of important programmes and research projects, as well as nurturing the next generation of innovators and creators. This collaboration underpins our commitment to leading the transition to a low-carbon future as we support the vital research and development work in renewable solutions such as battery storage, electromobility and electricity generation. The focus on STEAM initiatives also aligns with our own commitment to empowering young people to reach their potential and power their collective brighter future. We look forward to working with TU Dublin and the benefits this collaboration will bring to all.”
Pics: Maxwell Photography


 @WeAreTUDublin #STEM @ESBGroup

Elbow leaks!

Ashtead Technology has added the Olympus FlexoFORM™ pipe elbow scanner to its rental fleet of Non Destructive Testing equipment. “This is part of a major investment in our NDT fleet,” says NDT Market Manager Steve Drake. “The FlexoFORM is an extremely important addition because it complements our other pipe inspection equipment and provides a solution for many particularly challenging applications.

“Pipe elbows are susceptible to damage from issues such as flow-accelerated corrosion (FAC), but they can be difficult to inspect because their shape changes from convex to concave, and of course pipe diameters vary widely.”

To address these challenges, FlexoFORM integrates flexible phased array probe technology in a scanner. When combined with a water column, this solution can be used to collect easy-to-interpret data on elbows with diameters ranging from 4.5" OD upwards. The instrument also provides 100% elbow coverage, intuitive 2D C-scan imaging, high-resolution data (1 mm × 1 mm) and fast elbow wall thickness measurement.

The scanner can be used with an OmniScan® MX2 or SX instrument to measure remaining wall thickness, and detect corrosion pitting and mid-wall laminations or inclusions. High-density data combined with the multiple views available on the flaw detector or OmniPC™ software, provide clear images of the elbow’s condition and make data interpretation faster and easier.

For pipes that are smaller than 4.5 inches, the FlexoFORM can be rented with the small-diameter wedge series, which allows users to manually scan the curves or elbows of pipes from 1.3" to 4" OD, and can be fitted with a Mini-Wheel™ encoder to create an encoded one line scan.

@ashteadtech  #NDT #PAuto @_Enviro_News 

Smart technology in public ameneties.


Civica is taking part in a smart pilot project to help Belfast City Council manage its parks and open spaces.

The Amazing Spaces, Smart Places initiative will be trialled for two weeks as part of the Council’s Smart Belfast programme to gain a deeper understanding of how residents and visitors alike use green spaces in the city.


Botanic Gardens Bel Fast

Following a competition launched in October 2018, five companies including Civica were selected to explore how data and innovative cloud technologies can help Belfast City Council manage its open spaces, looking at safety and usage issues, alongside encouraging more visitors.

Civica’s Belfast-based Innovation Team created the ParkKeepr solution for the competition, based on the company’s SensAI cloud software. Civica’s pilot project is based in Belfast’s Botanic Gardens and uses a network of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to track anonymous WiFi connection data to record footfall and better understand the flow of people through the park. Following the pilot, Civica will provide analysis and data reports into flow and occupancy which will help the Council make better informed decisions for the future.

Councillor John Kyle, deputy chair of Belfast City Council’s People and Communities Committee, said: “We’re committed to working creatively with companies to encourage innovation in areas such as big data and new technologies, to come up with smart solutions to everyday challenges for our city.

“This pilot project gives us a unique opportunity to capture important data which will help Council improve how it manages our city parks and open spaces, and further enhance the experience for all users.”

Mark Owens, Managing Director, Northern Ireland for Civica added: "We’re delighted to be working with Belfast City Council on this challenge to explore how cutting-edge cloud technologies can help build better and safer parks and community spaces. We look forward to seeing the results alongside the potential to innovate and collaborate further on digital projects across the city in the future.”

Phase one trials are taking place in Botanic Gardens, Victoria Park, Connswater Greenway, Girdwood Community Hub sports pitches and City Cemetery. The projects use a range of technologies to capture and analyse data including IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and community currency apps.

The project has been jointly funded by Belfast City Council and the Department of Justice via the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), as well as funding from Dublin City Council.



@CivicaUK #IoT @belfastcc @brands2life