Friday, January 25, 2019

Publication examines IoT connection.

A new eBook centered on industrial automation as part of All Things IoT, is the latest series in Mouser's award-winning Empowering Innovation Together™ program. In the third and final eBook in the series, industry experts explore the innovative technologies and trends that cities are applying to emerging smart infrastructure projects.

The book includes articles on LEDs and light fidelity (Li-Fi) lighting systems, threat modeling, and Internet of Things (IoT)-based pollution control. The new release also includes an exclusive video of celebrity engineer and Mouser spokesperson Grant Imahara in Porto, (PT), to learn more about a local company that is transforming the city into a Wi-Fi mesh network comprised of mobile hot spots. The All Things IoT series is sponsored by Mouser's  suppliers Digi International, Maxim Integrated, Murata and TE Connectivity.

“So far in the All Things IoT series, we’ve seen how connected technologies are improving our lives at home and in the workplace,” said Kevin Hess, Senior Vice President, Marketing at Mouser Electronics. “In this new eBook, our experts investigate the sometimes-unnoticed parts of our world where IoT can make a major difference, such as lighting, traffic, and green energy.”

Mouser launched the All Things IoT series with a video that followed Imahara as he visited the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) IoT Innovation Lab to examine how IoT is impacting our workplaces and cities as a whole. Following the video, Mouser released All Things IoT eBooks focused on home automation and industrial automation.

Since 2015, the company's Empowering Innovation Together program has been one of the most visible and recognized programs in the electronic component industry, featuring topics such as the future of human-machine interaction in Generation Robot and the amazing benefits of technologies that are Shaping Smarter Cities.

@MouserElecEU #PAuto #IoT

Snap-On Markers.

TE Connectivity (TE) is offering its STD Snap-On Markers as a reliable way to identify wires and small cables.

Manufactured with a zero halogen polyoxymethylene compound, these expanding profile markers are side-entry installed using an applicator wand, allowing identification after termination and/or installation.

“With its excellent resistance to burning and no halogen, TE snap-on markers are the perfect way to permanently and rapidly mark cables and wires, both before and after termination and installation in harsh environments,” said Thomas Bartlett, TE product manager. “Also, the STD markers are made from polyoxymethylene which guarantees strength, dimensional stability, low moisture absorption, and good resistance to chemicals.”

Markers are side-entry installed using an applicator wand, allowing identification after termination and/ or installation. These markers have an expanding profile which enable markers to accommodate a wide range of wire and small cable sizes. Markers are supplied with a “chevron” cut to ensure the legend remains aligned. TE’s STD snap-on wire markers are designed to stand the test of time, preventing costly re-work before the life of the equipment ends.

“With its UL94 rating and durability in operating temperatures from -40°C to 106°C (-40ׄ°F – 223°F), the STD marker is ideal for field operations including power stations, oil refineries and offshore platforms,” said Bartlett.

 @TEConnectivity #PAuto

Enabling middleware-free IIoT Manufacturing via the IPC CFX Standard.

Aegis Software is now the first MES solution to natively leverage the power of the IPC Connected Factory Exchange (CFX) standard.

The FactoryLogix platform leverages CFX from data acquisition to analytics and process control automation. As a result, any manufacturer on the FactoryLogix platform that purchases a CFX-compliant device, machine or system will instantly consume, interpret, and leverage the mission-critical information from those devices without the need for any middleware or custom integration. The emergence of CFX combined with an MES that natively understands the data streams ushers in the era of true IIoT, which is an enterprise that is free of the need for custom middleware to get data from the factory floor. Now manufacturers of all sizes will be able to fast-track the actual realization and transformative benefits of Industry 4.0.

“Until now, for manufacturers to truly capitalize on the promise of IIoT and Industry 4.0, middleware was required to reside between the device layer and the upper system layer. The use of middleware always meant additional costs and complexity. Additionally, as soon as a factory introduced a new machine or upgraded existing machines, more development resources and time would be needed to update existing adapters to leverage the machine information,” stated Jason Spera, CEO of Aegis Software. “By updating the entire architecture of the FactoryLogix platform to fundamentally ‘understand’ IPC CFX data from acquisition up to analytics and process control automation, we have enabled FactoryLogix to natively support any CFX-enabled machine, device or system instantly and without the need for middleware or custom programming. What makes this FactoryLogix design unique is its ability to not just consume the data but rather to immediately interpret, analyze and act on that information in real-time to transform manufacturing into a truly adaptive environment capable of automatically controlling material flow, eliminating downtime, increasing yield, operating at the lowest inventory levels, and ultimately enabling new business models and revenue sources. We are the only total MES/MOM solution provider that can deliver this revolutionary capability today.”

As with the previous two CFX demos at IPC APEX EXPO, metrics and analytic reports streamed live from machines across the entire show floor into a cloud server (provided as a courtesy to the industry by Aegis Software) and available to every visitor through their mobile devices by merely reading a QR code. In this year’s global live manufacturing demonstration, additional CFX data will be exchanged between many machine vendors on two live production lines as well as the show floor machines, showing how CFX data enables Industry 4.0 closed-loop feedback systems and critical decision-making. FactoryLogix, using CFX, will virtually bridge the IPC APEX EXPO show floor and the two demo lines into a set of ‘virtual factories’ that become visible and live through dashboards throughout the show. For visitors, this delivers a powerful experience at an assembly line level, illustrating how the IPC CFX standard is working and enabling Industry 4.0 and Smart Factory solutions. To date, there are more than 400 support members that are actively involved in the IPC Consortium and more than 50 companies already actively supporting the CFX standard.

@FactoryLogix #PAuto #MES #Industrie4

Handing over the reins!

Managing Director John Clements, who founded the Signal Group in 1977, has announced his retirement . John is succeeded by his son James Clements, who assumed the role at the beginning of the year.

John Clements
Looking back over 40 years, John says: “It’s been an exciting journey and I am immensely proud of what we have created. Around us we have seen the UK manufacturing industry decline in the face of global competition from low cost regions, but we have thrived and I attribute this success to three key factors.

“Firstly, the purchase of a Signal analyser represents an investment in quality; customers trust our analysers to deliver accurate reliable data, so we are focused, almost to obsession, on delivering instruments that meet or exceed their published performance characteristics.

“Secondly, we invest heavily in product development; responding to customer needs so that our products are continually improving.

“Thirdly, we employ high quality staff. If you want to develop the best instruments, you need the best people, and you need to keep them.”

Following the completion of a degree in Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Bath, James has undertaken a number of technical roles at Signal over the last 15 years, including responsibility for product development. He is therefore ideally placed to drive the next stage of the company’s growth.

James Clements
Looking forward James says: “It is an enormous honour to take over the reins at Signal Group and I am really excited about the future. We have just completed the development of the Series IV analysers, which now offer an enormous number of new features, so we are poised for significant growth.

“The new analysers have 3G, 4G, GPRS, Bluetooth and satellite compatibility, and each instrument is built with its own IP address, so users have simple and secure access to their analysers at any time, from anywhere.

“This level of investment in product development is unusual among gas analyser manufacturers, so Signal customers have the reassurance of knowing that they are buying the latest technology. Users can derive enormous benefits from these new advanced analysers and I look forward to helping them do so.”

@GasAnalysers #PAuto 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Progress in RoHS3 compliance as deadline approaches.

Anglia has continued to make big strides towards full RoHS 3* compliance over six months before the deadline for meeting the new provisions. The distributor is working closely with its suppliers and can confirm that the majority of the suppliers they work with are now confirmed as fully compliant with the new more rigorous regulations. Details of the status of each supplier is fully documented on Anglia Live.

Commenting, Claire Stevenson, Quality Manager of Anglia, said, “We are continuously updating our Anglia Live website as we receive confirmed compliance information. 58 of our suppliers have already confirmed their products are fully compliant with the requirements of RoHS 3, they represent over 70% of the product lines we are able to supply. Many of the remaining suppliers have provided compliance road maps showing that they will be able to fully comply by the deadline.

“Much of our current inventory is already compliant with the requirements of RoHS 3, and we have taken steps to ensure that all inventory will be RoHS 3 compliant by the deadline. Customers can continue to use RoHS 2 compliant products up until 22nd July 2019, after this date they will need to ensure products are RoHS 3 compliant. Certificates of RoHS compliance can be downloaded from Anglia Live allowing customers to complete their own compliance documentation.”

RoHS 3 was announced in 2016 and expands the list of prohibited substances from six to ten by adding four new types of phthalates.

Manufacturers have until the 22nd July 2019 to meet these provisions. Although it is an EU directive, it has been widely adopted in many other regions across the globe and will still apply to British industry even after Brexit.

Guide to RoHS 3

@angliaComponent #Environment  @EU_ENV  #Breatimeacht #Brexit

Global distribution partnership agreed!

The Harting Technology Group and US company Heilind Electronics have entered into a global distribution partnership. The agreement follows a successful partnership in North America and in other countries worldwide.

L-R: Robert Clapp jr., Corporate Operations at Heilind,
Jon DeSouza, President and CEO of Harting Americas,
Alan Clapp, Vice President at Heilind,
Edgar-Peter Düning, Managing Director of Harting Electric.
Heilind is one of the world's leading specialty distributors of connectors and electromechanical components. Featuring over 170 manufacturers, including most leading connector manufacturers, Heilind boasts an extensive product portfolio.

Commenting on the agreement, Edgar-Peter Düning, Managing Director of Harting Electric, said: “The new partnership will benefit customers: Heilind ensures rapid supply, technical support and an exceptional level of service." 

"With this broadened distribution alliance, we are strengthening our international distribution network from our own branches and distribution partners, in order to help us meet our global revenue goals for 2020 and beyond" said Jon DeSouza, President and CEO of Harting Americas.

"Our cooperation positions us even closer to customers and their requirements," noted Alan Clapp, Vice President at Heilind Electronics.

@harting @HARTING_Group @Heilind #Connectors

Proximity detection warning.

Nanotron Technologies GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sensera Limited, and industrial safety solutions provider Selectronic have announced their first joint product: the PDS2400 Collision Avoidance Solution (CAS) for open-pit mine safety

The PDS2400 is an RF-based proximity detection solution that supports collision awareness and proximity warning between fast moving vehicles, as well as between vehicles and people. Unlike competitor solutions, it provides a turnkey, ready-to-go system, which requires zero calibration before use.

The new solution helps mine operators ensure that they comply with all relevant safety legislation, such as Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) regulations in the USA. The PDS2400 CAS solution includes state-of-the-art vehicle systems with Controller Area Network (CAN) bus-based displays and personnel tags with wireless Qi chargers, and operates for up to 50 hours between charges.

The PDS2400 provides proximity alerts with two viewing options: quad sectors or hex sectors. The standard system provides an accuracy of 1m over long ranges of 100m or more, while an optional dual-mode tag can provide even higher accuracy down to 10cm at short ranges of 10m.

For high reliability, the system provides robust resistance against electromagnetic disturbances, whilst the personnel tag utilises a 'body pervasive' antenna design. There are three adjustable warning zones, and the vehicle system provides 'nuisance alarm suppression' for the driver.

Dr Jens Albers, CEO of nanotron, said: "Selectronic is very well known for its innovative mining safety solutions, and the PDS2400 proximity solution leverages nanotron’s strength in location awareness to bring an entirely new level of accuracy and simplicity to the industry."

Jens Richter, Managing Director of Selectronic, said: "Nanotron’s market-leading expertise in location awareness has enabled us to quickly and economically develop a powerful, robust, industry-grade collision avoidance system."

The PDS2400 uses nanotron’s tag-ready swarm bee products, a family of smart RF modules with ready-made anchors. Swarm bee enables Selectronic to provide a modular solution, with a common pin-out and API, which simplifies development and hardware integration, and thereby greatly reduces time-to-market.

With a coverage range of up to 500m, swarm bee modules can track objects with an accuracy down to 10cm. They provide a power-efficient approach that extends battery life of mobile devices and smoothly scales up and down to meet specific customer requirements.

@nanotron_Berlin #selectronic-funk #Mining

In top 100 sustainable corporations.

Yokogawa has been included in the 2019 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index (Global 100). This is Yokogawa’s first time on the Global 100, one of the world's leading sustainability indices. Now in its 15th year, the 2019 Global 100 was disclosed in Davos on January 22nd by Corporate Knights, a Canadian media and research company focused on clean capitalism, to coincide with the World Economic Forum.

“As our three goals for sustainability, Yokogawa is working to achieve net-zero emissions, make the transition to a circular economy, and ensure well-being, and we have put in place key performance indicators for each goal for 2020 and 2030,” explained Yokogawa President and CEO, Takashi Nishijima. “Inclusion in the 2019 Global 100 Index is recognition that our core businesses are already making a solid contribution toward a sustainable society, and we will continue to accelerate our initiatives.”

To determine the 2019 ranking, Corporate Knights undertook a rigorous analysis of more than 7,500 companies with US$1B+ in revenues against global industry peers on a suite of up to 21 quantitative key performance indicators, weighted to reflect each industry’s impact profile. Yokogawa was ranked in the top 25% in both the clean revenues and innovation capacity categories. Clean revenue is known as the percentage of total revenue derived from products and services categorised as ‘clean’ according to the Corporate Knights open-source clean revenue taxonomy. This is informed by synthesis of; Green Goods and Services (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), Environmental and clean Technology Products Economic Account (Statistics Canada) and Climate Bonds Taxonomy (Climate Bonds Initiative), as well as other sources and best practices.

In its core industrial automation and control business, Yokogawa works with customers in the energy, chemical, iron and steel, water, and other industries to improve production efficiency and stability, reduce CO2 emissions and resource use, and ensure workplace safety. In 2018, the company established its life innovation business headquarters to deliver new solutions for the food and pharmaceutical industries and contribute toward a healthy and abundant society.

@Yokogawa  #Sustainability @corporateknight #Davos

Motion control out of this world!

For a small number of motion control applications, project success is only confirmed long after delivery so that no compromise whatsoever can be tolerated with design integrity, manufacturing quality and reliability. This is especially true for many projects undertaken by Phytron GmbH, the extreme environment motor, drive and motion systems designer and manufacturer, represented in the Britain by Mclennan.

InSight Mars (Pic: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Insight Mission
For example, Phytron’s development, design and supply of deep space-prepared stepper motors and gear units for NASA’s InSight Mars lander began in 2013, working with the Max Plank Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) on the levelling system for the SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure) seismometer. With several European and American partners collaborating on the technological development of the SEIS project, the ultraprecise seismometer is capable of capturing sub-nanometre level ground motion from marsquakes, meteorite impacts, local events like dust storms or landslides, and even the tiny tidal deformation of Mars induced by its moon Phobos. Delivery to MPS took place well before Insight’s launch in May 2018 and in November last year the successful landing of the spacecraft was followed by confirmation that the seismometer was operational early in January 2019.

No strangers to such extended project success timescales, and with well-developed and highly proven manufacturing and test procedures that ensure the reliability required for such extreme environment applications, Phytron have supplied over 250 motors for space applications and many more for other equally demanding motion control tasks.

A cut-through view of the SEIS seismometer
(Pic: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
For the SEIS instrument, Phytron supplied three 19 mm diameter stepper motors complete with in-house designed planetary gear units with a 48:1 reduction ratio. The triangular levelling system uses the three motor gear units to precisely align the instrument via precision spur gears driving separate threaded spindles. The stepper motor, with its nominal current of 0.3 Amps and full step resolution at 200 steps/rev, and the integrated gear unit is relatively simple and traditional design. However, the manufacturing process and attention to detail in construction included separate engineering and qualification models each with intensive performance testing for electrical, dynamic, mechanical, and thermal specifications before final flight models were supplied for the actual mission. All processes and the necessarily stringent quality testing was completely documented and most components were manufactured in-house.

Space prepared motion components from Phytron are typically designed for use in ultra-high vacuum with intensive radiation hardening and for temperature extremes of 573 ⁰K for the motor winding down to 4 ⁰K ambient (300 ⁰C to – 270 ⁰C). Gear units include special lubrication and construction in materials including high quality stainless steel and titanium. Of course, cleanliness during and after manufacture is paramount for such components. Outgassing and vacuum conditioning includes particle removal assisted by UV light, aided by alpha wipes and ionised gaseous nitrogen before and during assembly in Phytron’s clean room. Testing and quality assurance is carried out in-house using Phytron’s extensive test facilities or with the customer, and can include environment duplication where possible. Packaging includes double bagging with the first bag purged with dry nitrogen before heat sealing with a desiccant pack and a humidity indicator placed in the second bag.

Many of these manufacturing procedures are also used for other extreme environment motion control applications found in cryogenics, particle accelerator research, nuclear engineering, medical equipment and other equally demanding industries. Phytron’s certifications include DIN EN ISO 9001 and DIN EN 9100 “Aircert”. The full product range covers standard and specialist grade stepper motors and complete actuator assemblies with compatible stepper motor drives, gear units and sophisticated multi-axis motion controllers with optional LABVIEW® programming.

Mclennan has worked closely with Phytron for several years as a customer as well as a full distribution and support partner since 2017, and can boast several years’ experience specifying and integrating the German specialist’s standard and extreme grade motion components. They have over 40 years’ experience working with long term, complicated technological projects such as this so the partnership with Phytron is ideal.

Through distribution partnerships with other leading motion component manufacturers and with its own comprehensive design and build service available, Mclennan provides stepper and servo motor based automation solutions from single components through to complete mechatronic assemblies.

Other cutting edge instruments deployed on the InSight lander that contribute to measuring Mars’ “vital signs” include precision temperature and tracking equipment.

#McLennan @phytronmotors @NASAInSight

On the podium!

After more than 5,000 kilometers and 10 stages across Peruvian dunes, deserts and rocky terrain, the 41st edition of the world’s most difficult race has come to an end. But crossing the finish line of the Dakar rally is not a given and FPT Industrial again demonstrated, the durability, reliability and power of its engines.

FPT Industrial’s Cursor 13 engines equipped the four Petronas Team De Rooy IVECO trucks, which all finished the race inside the top 10. Gerard de Rooy finished third, giving the brand another podium. Federico Villagra completed the rally in fourth place, while Van Genugten and Van den Heuvel finished in seventh and tenth place respectively.

The Cursor 13 engines demonstrated their characteristic durability and reliability during all ten stages, but gave their best in stage six, when Gerard De Rooy was first by a margin of some 30 seconds over Federico Villagra, who arrived second in San Juan de Marcona. This is a real feat, as this stage was among the famous and treacherous Tanaka Dunes, composed of 75% sand, and which extend across 155 square kilometers between the Pacific Ocean and the Peruvian Andes in the central southern region of the country.

The FPT Industrial engine was conceived to deliver high performance and outstanding efficiency, all while respecting the environment, in industrial applications; it has also proven itself in racing. The IVECO vehicles’ Cursor 13 engines were specifically engineered for such a challenging rally. The customization was undertaken at the FPT Industrial Arbon Research & Development center. The 13-liter engine is renowned for its reliability in on-road long haul missions, as well as in agricultural applications, such as in large tractors and combine harvesters. The Cursor 13s’ power far exceeds 1,000 hp. FPT Industrial specialized technical staff supported the team for the entire duration of the rally. Moreover, a mechanical technician from Arbon travelled with the Petronas Team De Rooy IVECO during every rally stage to provide swift intervention when required.

FPT Industrial would like to congratulate the Petronas Team De Rooy IVECO, for their passion, courage and strength.

• See Photogallery here
• See also Tough Travel (9/1/2019).

@FPTIndustrial #Transport

Instant measuring system. for print sector.

Inspecting parts in all phases of a manufacturing process is crucial for the many customers of Keyence. The company offers a wide range of measurement and inspection products, deployed across both production, assembly line and laboratory environments, to ensure its customers achieve their quality goals. The company’s industry-leading IM Series Image Dimension Measurement systems allow customers to accurately and instantaneously perform dimensional inspections at a level of precision that that was not previously possible.

For high precision measurement applications, they offer a variety of measurement systems that quickly communicate whether manufactured parts are good… or no good. When so much is at stake, Keyence measurement systems consistently deliver benefits to customers – including first-time customers.

Enter Rudd Macnamara, formerly an engraving company established by Ernest Rudd in 1890. The Rudd Macnamara of today is a diverse manufacturing organisation centred on print. The company is based in Handsworth near Birmingham, in the very heart Britain's industrial area.

“We have a very wide range of in-house processes and we offer our customers innovative print solutions, which they may not be able to find elsewhere” explains Graham Caunce, Managing Director at Rudd Macnamara. “Two of the most important markets we serve are the brewery & drinks sector where we manufacture bespoke font branding, beer pump clips, and bar signs; and the aerospace sector where we manufacture nameplates and labels used on equipment that is incorporated into aircraft, and also branding decals for aircraft exteriors.”

Rudd Macnamara management identified a need for more precise measuring equipment as a direct result of end users’ complex requirements. “Dimensional integrity of our nameplates is critical to our business” continues Caunce. “Most of the nameplates we make are in anodised aluminium or stainless steel manufactured using a variety of processing techniques resulting in some level of variability that needs to be controlled and eliminated”

The Midlands specialist had been manufacturing these parts for many years. However, it became of the utmost importance to improve assurance processes according to Graham Caunce. “We started looking not only at digital optical measuring solutions but also at our internal manufacturing processes to reduce those variabilities which includes hard tooling.”

Being able to guarantee parts were consistently within tolerance was crucial to Rudd Macnamara’s future success. With that in mind, company management took a closer look at tooling. “We felt that to achieve the tolerances required on a consistent basis some of the processes employed needed to be replaced by blanking and piercing tools as well as CNC processing where possible.”

Staff also needed a quick way of checking that what they were manufacturing was in line with drawing. This is where the investment in a Keyence IM-7000 system proved especially helpful: it allows faster, easier and more consistent measurements of width, radius and height... all with a single device. The amount of time and effort required for inspection is reduced drastically. In addition, measurement data from the IM-7000 system is automatically saved as soon as a part is measured. Inspection reports can be created with the push of a button, increasing post-measurement work efficiency.

According to Rudd Macnamara’s managing director, the best word to describe how this acquisition helped the company is ‘assurance’. It is now possible to quickly check a large number of parts and identify any rejects. Rudd Macnamara’s personnel know that what is supplied is correct, in line with drawing and within tolerance. Moreover, where the Keyence machine identifies a high number of rejects, staff are able to review the route to manufacture and quickly identify any improvements that are required.

“We looked at other machines but we found the Keyence IM-7000 system was quick to program and even quicker to use” analyses Caunce, who says Rudd Macnamara found its own ‘sweet spot’: “We find it is best to load the bed with some 10 parts. That makes it is easy to keep track of the good parts and identify any rejects. We can also identify and measure print whereas competitive machines could not.”

Since Rudd Macnamara introduced this new measurement machine, internal reject rates have improved. “That can only help the bottom line” concludes the company’s managing director.

@Keyence_Int #Print

Expansion of Irish operation in Britain.

Eurolec Instrumentation has welcomed two new starters to its sales and marketing department at the same time as it expands its operation to Great Britain.

Robert McCrave
Robert McCrave joined Eurolec as its new Sales Manager, supported by business graduate Cathy Litchfield, from Dundalk Institute of Technology, who arrived at the same time to take up the post of Internal Sales Executive.

Robert’s sales background spans 25 years and several sectors, including the fuel and electrical industries. His previous role before joining Eurolec was as Internal Sales Manager with Precision Cables Ireland.

He said: “I was delighted to be asked to join the Eurolec team based in my home town of Dundalk. There are exciting prospects ahead as we have ambitious plans to grow sales and introduce new products to the market over the next six months”.

The duo arrive at an exciting time in the company’s development, which recently saw a new research and development department open at the Science Park in York(GB). Its head office remains in Dundalk (IRL). Three members of staff are already based in the new division, with further expansion planned for later this year.

Cathy Lichfield
With 40 years’ experience in the design, manufacture and supply of quality portable temperature and pressure instrumentation, Eurolec’s range of precision thermometers, probes, infrared thermometers, manometers and temperature calibration sources are exported globally, providing solutions for a wide range of markets and applications.

With the latest R&D investment, the company is now looking to provide Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for clients as part of an expanded product and service-based offering.

Using its close ties with sister company Cirrus Research Plc, Eurolec also plans to start offering distributed noise monitoring to provide live monitoring and historical noise data analysis using cloud technology.

The York (GB) Office
“We’re delighted to announce the opening of our York office”, said Martin Williams, Eurolec Chief Engineer. “The new office is located close to the university, which provides an excellent pool of talented engineers who are capable of creating the complex systems required to provide simple-to-use solutions, which will allow users to monitor a wide network of systems that aim to improve lives”.

Further investment has also been made in the company’s website, transforming it into an e-commerce platform, which has recently been launched, offering customers even more choice and access to its ever-expanding product range.

• As well as manufacturing its own full range of instruments, Eurolec is also the official British & Ireland distributor of the Ono Sokki range of specialised engine tachometers, FFT analysers, rotary encoders and linear gauges, with further announcements due shortly on developments in this promising sector.

@Eurolec #PAuto #TandM 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Rapid remote access to test results.

A new case study has been published by Autoscribe Informatics which highlights the use of the Matrix Gemini LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) by Amway. Amway is a leading manufacturer of products for the nutrition, home, beauty, energy & sport markets.

Matrix Gemini’s built-in web interface is providing its authorized users in a variety of locations with access to test results as soon as tests are completed. This single change potentially shaves weeks out of product development schedules, dramatically reducing the time it takes to develop new products and improving operational efficiency.

Amway’s R&D laboratory in Ada, Michigan, (USA), undertakes bioassays for the testing of botanical ingredients to support nutrition and beauty product development. Samples for testing are supplied primarily from California and Asia, with many different people from different groups requiring access
 to the test results. However, prior to the implementation of Matrix Gemini test reports were not issued until all testing on a sample had been completed and this could take up to 6 weeks. Test results are now available on demand to the worldwide development team as soon as they are completed, together with an array of reports that can be run on request.

The laboratory is making use of Matrix Gemini LIMS for sample registration, sample tracking, resource allocation, result recording, and reporting. The sophisticated real-time reporting helps with fast data analysis, allowing access to the right information at each stage of the testing process. Matrix Gemini’s web interface can be used with multiple browsers on most mobile devices and users enjoy an identical experience to those using the desktop version. This means that as well as providing easy access to test results it can be used to enter sample metadata before shipping so that the laboratory is ready for the sample’s arrival.

Matrix Gemini’s configuration tools have allowed the LIMS to be configured to meet the exact requirements of the process flow for Amway’s laboratory without custom coding. Personnel from Amway have also attended a configuration training course which means they can modify the configuration going forward to adapt the LIMS to any changing requirements.

@AutoscribeLtd  #LIMS

Gold in environmental and social aspects.

Endress+Hauser has received the Gold Recognition Level certificate in the EcoVadis audit*, achieving a score of 68 points. The company is therefore among the top five percent of all suppliers evaluated by EcoVadis in the corresponding comparison group.

Endress+Hauser continued to achieve an above-average rating in all aspects evaluated in 2018, which included the categories environment, labor practices, fair business practices and sustainable procurement. The company made notable improvements in terms of the documentation of existing processes, meaning that results are more traceable.

“An increasing number of customers place ever greater importance on the fact that companies are aware of their social responsibility. A positive result can therefore greatly influence a customer’s decision,” Dr Luc Schultheiss, Chief Financial Officer of the Endress+Hauser Group, says in delight at the result. The Group has compiled a sustainability report since 2015 in which it highlights social, environmental and economic aspects of company management. The EcoVadis rating serves as a strategic key performance indicator.

This year’s audit placed a positive emphasis on the company’s environmental policy, the high significance of the company culture within the Group and the management of employees, among other things. Implemented measures included the global provision of training that conveys the Code of Conduct and the values and culture of the family business to employees in a playful manner. The installation of charging stations for e-bikes and electric cars which provide an incentive for switching to electromobility was also highlighted.

* EcoVadis operates a global platform that allows companies to assess the environmental and social aspects of their suppliers. The results demonstrate global performance in terms of environmental, social and ethical factors while offering suggestions for improvement. Today, more than 45,000 companies are rated by EcoVadis.

@Endress_Hauser #PAuto @ecovadis

Admired company!

TE Connectivity has been named to Fortune magazine's 2019 List of World's Most Admired Companies* for the second year in a row.

The annual survey, conducted by Fortune and Korn Ferry, is given to top executives, directors and financial analysts, to identify the companies that enjoy the strongest reputations among their peers and across industries. TE was ranked 6th in the electronics industry.

"We believe that it's the dedication of our 80,000 employees around the globe to TE's purpose of creating a safer, sustainable, productive and connected future that has earned our place on this list again," said CEO Terrence Curtin. "We are proud to be admired by our peers, shareholders and customers and work hard to maintain and solidify their trust."

TE Connectivity helps customers in approximately 140 countries create the technology of tomorrow in industries including transportation, industrial applications, medical technology, energy, data communications and home appliances.

In addition to the World's Most Admired Companies recognition from Fortune, TE has been named to Fortune's 2018 Change the World list, the Dow Jones Sustainability North America list for seven consecutive years and has repeatedly been recognized as one of Ethisphere's World's Most Ethical Companies. TE is also recognized as a top 100 global innovator by Clarivate Analytics and a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality in the U.S. and Mexico by the Human Rights Campaign.

* Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies list is the definitive report card on corporate reputation. To compile the rankings, corporate reputation and performance are measured against nine key attributes: innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment, quality of products and services, and global competitiveness

@TEConnectivity #PAuto

Embedded IoT in Europe.

Advantech has announced the appointment of Dirk Finstel as Associate Vice President Embedded IoT Europe.

Dirk Finstel
Dirk will lead the Embedded IoT sector in Europe. This strategic appointment underlines the importance of the Embedded business in Europe within Advantech.

Dirk Finstel brings over 25 years of experience within the embedded computing sector, having had a successful career in both sales and technology. Dirk was previously CEO of Sales & Marketing for the embedded boards division and CTO and member of the management board of Kontron AG; Dirk worked several years as CEO EMEA and EVP at ADLINK Technology, Inc. thereafter. In his most recent role, Dirk worked as Managing Partner / CTO at eCOUNT embedded in Munich, Germany.

Advantech is poised to generate greater sales from its embedded sector.

@Advantech_eIoT #PAuto #Europe

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Power and energy logger.

Fluke is offering its 1738 Three-Phase Power Logger with Fluke Connect® as a Gold package until 30th June 2019 and while stocks last at authorised distributors. Ideal for maintenance managers and industrial electricians, electrical contractors and energy consultants, the Gold packages are offered at lower recommended prices than the standard product and include free accessories, and a free, unique offline training program. Potential purchasers who have a suitable application can obtain more information about the package offer and its benefits here .

The 1738 Three-Phase Power Logger Gold Edition (FLUKE-1738/EU-GOLD-E) enables the capture and logging of voltage, current, power, harmonics, and associated power quality values to deliver comprehensive data for load studies, energy assessments, harmonic measurements, and voltage events. It enables the troubleshooting of more advanced power quality issues: it can, for example, perform advanced analysis with an enhanced Power Quality Health Summary (EN50160) function that provides a fast insight into overall electrical system health.

The Fluke Connect capability allows users to access and share data remotely with their team, or access the logger through the local WiFi infrastructure, so as to maintain safer working distances and make critical decisions in real-time, reducing the need for protective equipment, site visits and check-ins. The included Fluke Energy Analyze Plus software provides detailed analysis of energy consumption and power quality and generates reports automatically. The packages also include four free MP1-Magnet probes to free hands and improve connection stability.

The instrument features an optimised user interface, flexible current probes, and an intelligent measurement verification function designed to reduce measurement errors by digitally verifying and correcting common connection errors. Set up can be further simplified by powering the logger directly from the measured circuit.

All three phases and neutral can be measured using the four flexible current probes. More than twenty separate logging sessions can be stored on the instrument. All measured values are automatically logged so that measurement trends are not lost: they can be reviewed during logging sessions, and before downloading, for on-the-go analysis.

The bright, colour touch-screen enables convenient in-the-field analysis and data checks with full graphical displays. The instruments provide event waveform snapshots, along with date and timestamp, to capture dips and swells and help pinpoint root causes of power quality issues. They both have 600V CAT IV / 1000V CAT III safety ratings.

@FlukeCorp  #TandM

Tiny signal dropouts.

The OP1100 discontinuity analyser from Laser Components is an autonomous test system for detecting and recording dropouts in optical data transmission. The OptoTest device detects signal fluctuations of 0.5 dB and a duration of 0.8 μs. Up to 24 single-mode or multi-mode fibers can be monitored simultaneously.

The events are recorded in a fast, high-resolution data logger. This allows experts to track the course of the dropout and draw conclusions about its cause.

In addition to round-the-clock monitoring of fiber optic networks, the OP1100 is also suitable for laboratory tests. Passive and active network components can be precisely checked for irregularities caused by temperature fluctuations, vibrations, and other shocks such as signal dropouts or temporary fluctuations in the output or transit signal.

 @LaserComponents #Optoelectronics

Cryptomining explored!

SolutionsPT is to host a free webinar exploring the evolving cyber security threat posed by Cryptomining infections and how they can be prevented, on Thursday, February 21st 2019.

Designed for Operational Technology (OT) professionals, the Introduction to Cryptomining webinar will examine the specific threat Cryptomining poses to OT environments and discuss the solutions that will enable organisations to guard against it.

Cryptomining is a malware threat that affects Industrial Control Systems (ICS), enabling hackers to use an infected PC’s resources to mine for digital currency. The webinar will explore how, if left unchecked, the infections can disrupt OT environments, causing hardware failure, massively increasing energy consumption and preventing systems from carrying out mission-critical tasks.

Unlike other malware attacks, Cryptomining attacks can also be extremely difficult to detect, even after a system has become infected, making them especially dangerous.

Chris Whitehead, Managed Platform Product Manager at SolutionsPT, said: “There has been a significant increase in the number of cyber security attacks against Industrial Control Systems in recent years, with Cryptomining attacks emerging as the top malware threat of 2018. It’s vital that OT professionals are aware of the dangers they pose and our webinar will provide them with a great amount of usable information to take away.

“Our experts will also use the webinar to discuss various solutions to the problems posed by Cryptomining, from increasing the visibility of their industrial networks to ensuring they have both pre-emptive and reactive solutions in place.”

The 30-minute webinar begins at 11am. Attendance is free but attendees must register in advance.

@SolutionsPT  #Cybersecurity

New President and Chairman appointed.

Hitoshi Nara, a company director and executive vice president, and head of the Life Innovation Business Headquarters has been appointed to the position of representative director and president by Yokogawa Electric Corporation.

Hitoshi Nara
The company has also appointed Takashi Nishijima, representative director and president, as representative director and chairman.

This transfer of responsibilities, which will take effect on April 1st, and is being undertaken to rejuvenate the company’s management structure and accelerate efforts to achieve growth, thereby supporting achievement of Transformation 2020, the company’s mid-term business plan.

Mr. Nara was born on January 23, 1963. He joined Yokogawa in April 1985 and went on to hold a series of senior sales positions in the control business. In April 2012, he was appointed to the position of director of Yokogawa Electric Corporation, and from April 2013 to March 2018 served as president of Yokogawa Solution Service Corporation. In April 2018, he was appointed to his current positions of director, executive vice president, and head of the newly established Life Innovation Business Headquarters.

@YokogawaIA  #PAuto

Monday, January 21, 2019

Cameras with higher data rates over long cables.

The new Genie Nano-5G GigE Vision cameras from Teledyne DALSA provide exceptional data transfer capabilities using industry-standard Ethernet technology at an extremely attractive price point. With data transfer rates in excess of 5 Gb/s possible over cable lengths up to 100 metres, and a choice of high performance Sony sensors, these new cameras open up a host of new applications in a wide range of industries.

Camera capabilities include
- global electronic shutter with exposure control
- multi-exposure feature
- advanced sequencing, a multi-ROI feature
- metadata support
- IEEE1588 (Precision Time Protocol)
- binning
- look-up-table and more
The new 5GBASE-T interface brings significant benefits. The cameras can slot directly into existing GigE Vision systems since 5GBASE-T technology allows Ethernet links to offer data rates of up to 5Gbps over commonly used Cat5e cables. The standard provides faster frame rates than USB3 Vision - equivalent to 585MB/s, with a further increase in bandwidth to 985 MB/sec using Teledyne DALSA’s award winning TurboDrive™ technology. This compares to bandwidths of 360 to 400MB/s for USB3 Vision.

The inclusion of TurboDrive also means that the cameras can operate at data rates approaching that of 10 GigE Vision, yet they have none of the heat dissipation requirements associated with that technology. They are therefore much more compact and lightweight with a footprint of just 59mm x 44mm x 32 mm in a robust metal body, which is approximately 25% of the volume of a 10GE Camera. With internal acquisition rates approaching 1GB/sec the Genie Nano 5G can operate burst mode and sequencing at the fastest capabilities of the latest generation of sensors. They can operate over a wide temperature range (-20 to 65°C) for imaging in harsh environments.

Genie Nano-5G cameras are available with a choice of high-performance Sony Pregius CMOS sensors with resolutions from 3.2Mpixels to 12Mpixels, which offer fast frame rates from 190 to 63 fps. Higher frame rates can be achieved in partial scan mode. The excellent image quality provided by these sensors, combined by the impressive data transfer rates makes these cameras ideally suited for use in many different applications. These include: industrial automation, electronics manufacturing, packaging inspection, semiconductor inspection, PCB-AOI (automated optical inspection), sport & entertainment high speed capture as well as general machine vision applications.

In addition to simplified camera set-up using field proven Sapera LT software featuring CamExpert or the included CVB CameraSuite, the Genie Nano-5G has a high level of programmability.

Teledyne DALSA’s Trigger to Image Reliability (T2IR) framework improves the reliability of the inspection system and protects from data loss.

@stemmerimaging #PAuto @TeledyneDALSA

Cavitation detection.

Yokogawa has developed a cavitation detection system and will be available next month (Feb 2019). By detecting cavitation, quantifying information, and displaying the data in real time, this system provides an early indication of conditions that can result in a degradation in pump performance. By detecting problems early, before damage occurs which can cause an increase in both vibration and noise levels, this solution improves the efficiency of plant maintenance.

Components of Cavitation
Inspection System
Directed at sectors such as oil, petrochemicals, chemicals, iron and steel, pulp and paper, water supply and wastewater treatment, pharmaceuticals, food, etc., it will aid maintenance of plant facilities such as pumps that tend to deteriorate due to cavitation.

Cavitation in fluids can cause damage to pumps. To minimise this damage, it is necessary to detect cavitation at an early stage and take corrective measures such as adjusting the flow rate. One issue, however, is that there has been no way to quantify cavitation. In addition, since cavitation occurs inside equipment, it is impossible to visually check whether this is occurring. Cavitation is usually detected by field personnel who rely on experience gained on the job to detect changes in vibration and noise levels that are caused by excessive cavitation. However, even highly experienced plant personnel and specialists can miss these early signs, and such problems may go undetected until the inevitable increase in vibration and noise occurs.

In its analysis of this problem, Yokogawa has focused on the principle that there is a direct relationship between differential pressure and cavitation, and has created a condition monitoring solution that involves the quantification of cavitation based on pressure data.

The new product features:
1. Real-time detection -  The system that Yokogawa has developed consists of a STARDOMTM FCN-500 network-based control system, a Yokogawa cavitation detection logic program, and a highly accurate (±0.075%) DPharp EJX110A differential pressure transmitter, and relies on the FOUNDATIONTM Fieldbus industrial digital communication standard to link these components. At 100 ms intervals, the DPharp transmitter measures the pressure inside the target equipment, and this data is transmitted via the fieldbus network to the STARDOM FCN-500 system for processing in real time by the logic program. This system is therefore able to detect cavitation issues early on, allowing field personnel to take quick remedial action by, for example, reducing the flow rate to a level that suppresses cavitation without interfering with production line operations.

2. Troubleshooting - Valves, pumps, and other types of plant equipment can all experience problems such as cavitation which are caused by anything from the opening/closing of a valve, a change in viscosity level or some other physical property of a liquid, or a change in the external environment. Field personnel have traditionally relied on their own experiences and the use of analytical tools to find out what is causing these problems. Thanks to the development of this new system, field personnel will now have a tool that will help them troubleshoot problems with greater efficiency by identifying and quantifying cavitation in plant equipment.

@YokogawaIA #PAuto #Water

Optical sensors for longer operating distances.

The R200 and R201 photoelectric sensors from Pepperl+Fuchs enables applications with longer operating distances. Just like the compact R100, R101, and R103 series, both new products consistently offer all photoelectric functional principles in a design that is now larger and suitable for specific mounting situations. Usability is intuitive and identical across all series—and the standardized IO-Link connection via the latest Smart Sensor Profiles also enables convenient and reliable integration of the sensors.
The R100-, R101- and R103- with the new R200- and R201 sensors
With the R100, R101, and R103 series, as well as the new R200 and R201 sensors, choosing the relevant sensor is easier and users also benefit from maximum flexibility in every application and mounting situation. In terms of their technical features, the new series also include robust DuraBeam laser technology and high-precision Multi Pixel Technology (MPT) for distance measurement. Standardized usability across all series and functional principles plus the IO-Link interface facilitate parameterization of the sensors during commissioning and when there is a change to the functional principle or to another series.

The new R200 and R201 series offer all photoelectric functional principles: thru-beam sensors, retroreflective sensors with a polarization filter or for clear object recognition, energetic diffuse mode sensors, sensors with background suppression and foreground suppression, measuring light barriers with two switch points, and distance sensors.

All series have an intuitive and identical look and feel during parameterization. Quick and easy sensor adjustment is guaranteed by a multiturn potentiometer and a push button, which function as a combined operating element with three LEDs for visualizing the configuration, status, and diagnostics. Across all series the user benefits from standardized usability: The look and feel when parameterizing a thru-beam sensor, a retroreflective sensor, or a diffuse mode sensor for the R100, R101 or R103 series is the same as for the R200 and R201 designs. This also applies to measuring devices with multiple switch points or distance sensors.

@PepperlFuchs #Pauto

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Hands-on automation training - globally!

The Performance Learning Platform, a portable and compact automation technology training solution that enables hands-on training to prepare workers to maintain their plant safely and efficiently has been launched by Emerson. The platform reinforces the competencies essential to fostering digital transformation and helps close the workforce skills gap as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) era continues to change the way manufacturing and process companies do business.

Emerson’s collaboration with both private industry and higher education has revealed an urgent need to address the skills gap in digital automation technologies and how it can impact an organisation’s operations. According to a 2018 Manufacturing Institute study on ‘The skills gap and the future of work in manufacturing’, the skills gap may leave an estimated 2.4 million positions unfilled between 2018 and 2028.

“We designed the Performance Learning Platform as a flexible, hands-on training tool with real-world instrumentation that will help bridge a critical knowledge and skills gap that continues to challenge the industry,” said Jeff Hackney, global educational services director for Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “This gap exists in large part because technological advances are outpacing the industry’s current training strategies and tools. We need a new approach to ensure that workers keep pace and students get practical experience on instrumentation products.”

The Performance Learning Platform can help a new generation of workers become adept at applying, using and maintaining the latest digital automation technologies. It provides process control and instrumentation simulation to train or refresh current workers on how to monitor and control complex operations involving pressure, flow, level and final control valves.

Universities and other higher education institutions can use the platform to give students first-hand experience on an actual plant-like process. Ranken Technical College in St Louis, USA, has worked closely with Emerson to develop and utilise the Performance Learning Platform for developing the skills Ranken students need now in the workforce.

“Rapid integration of emerging technologies is crucial for future economic growth,” said Stan Shoun, president of Ranken Technical College. “The Performance Learning Platform allows industry and education to provide the hands-on automation training needed globally. Ranken is very proud to be part of this initiative.”

The Performance Learning Platform features a complete working control loop piping system, tanks, pumps and a fully scalable suite of Emerson instrumentation and final control valves linked to a DeltaV™ distributed control system. Each unit ships with an integrated video library that provides step-by-step instruction in a range of realistic scenarios, allowing users to learn and experiment without the expense and risks of on-the-job training. A lab workbook and supporting eLearning courses are also available.

Built on a robust steel frame with casters and able to fit through most standard-size doors while occupying only a small area, the platform is plug and play. It requires only water, compressed air and power to operate, making it practical for on-site training or classroom use.

@EMR_Automation  #PAuto @Emerson_News @HHC_Lewis