Friday, May 24, 2019

Rotary shaft programmable angle sensor.

Variohm EuroSensor’s new Euro-CMRS series miniature angle sensors offer programmable angles from 30⁰ to 360⁰ in 1⁰ increments in a non-contacting and long-life Hall Effect design that includes a durable IP68-sealed aluminium housing with 18 mm PCD mounting and a micro 4 mm diameter 316 stainless steel D-type shaft. Output options - from an industry standard 5 VDC input - cover CW or CCW direction with single or dual redundant angle measurement at ratiometric or PWM signal levels. With mechanical and electrical manufacturing flexibility designed-in, the Euro-CMRS can easily accommodate customised shaft and mounting modifications as well as customer specified and other industry standard output characteristics.

The non-contacting Hall Effect sensor technology, adapted and improved for the Euro-CMRS, has been well proven in earlier Variohm sensor models as a long-life and extremely robust measurement technology with many years of application success in performance test and development for motorsports as well as critical angular position feedback in automotive system technologies, industrial automation, agricultural and construction machinery.

The miniature sensor is less than 20 mm in length with a main body diameter of just 10.5 mm. Its ‘rounded diamond’ flange, measuring just 25 mm x 10.5 mm x 3.5 mm thick, includes two 3.2 mm fixing holes on an 18 mm PCD to ensure straightforward yet unobtrusive mechanical interfacing to suit space restricted installations. A 4 mm diameter D-type shaft is supported in low friction phosphor bronze sleeved bearings for a minimal drive torque requirement of just 0.8 Ncm.

The impressive Euro-CMRS is a part of the new miniature CMRx family of Hall Effect sensor types from Variohm that also includes a micro-threaded interfaced version as well as a puck and separate magnet design. All boast impressive specifications that include a working temperature range from -40° C to +125° C with short term operation to 150° C. With encapsulated sensor electronics the vibration specification meets IEC 60068-2-6. In terms of accuracy, the independent linearity through the three models is +/- 0.5% of each signal range. Standard electrical connection is 500 mm long Raychem 55 cable in three- and six-wire versions to suit single and dual channel models. Whilst the dimensions for the new CMRx miniature sensor range are the smallest currently available, their ability for straightforward design customisation and scalability is a key factor that helps ensure the customer’s installation requirements are both matched is simplified.

@Variohm  #PAuto

Power Inductors.

Coilcraft’s new XAL7050 Series of high-temperature power inductors are available with inductance values from 22 to 47 µH and current ratings as high as 5.5 Amps, with low DCR for greater efficiency. For lower inductance values, Coilcraft offers a lower-profile companion, the XAL7030, with an identical footprint and inductance range of 0.16 to 10 µH.

The XAL7050 measures just 7.2 x 7.5 x 5.0 mm and features a rugged, composite construction that provides magnetic shielding and minimizes audible buzzing. It is qualified to AEC-Q200 Grade 1 (−40°C to +125°C) standards and exhibits no thermal aging issues, making it ideal for automotive and other harsh-environment applications. Soft saturation characteristics allow the XAL7050 to withstand high current spikes.

The XAL7050 features RoHS-compliant tin-silver (96.5/3.5) over copper terminations and offers a maximum reflow temperature of 260°C. COTS Plus tin-silver-copper and tin-lead terminations are also available.

@Coilcraft_Inc #PAuto

US market leads growth in automation products.

Endress+Hauser experienced strong growth across all regions, sectors and product areas in 2018. The ongoing digitalization of the industry and positive development on the international markets provided impetus. The Group increased sales and profits, invested heavily and created hundreds of jobs worldwide.

Klaus Endress (left), President of E+H
Supervisory Board with Matthias Altendorf, CEO
“The bottom line is, 2018 was a good year for Endress+Hauser worldwide,” explained CEO Matthias Altendorf at the Group’s annual media conference in Basel (CH)*. The Group increased net sales by 9.5 percent to 2.455 billion euros, despite facing strong headwinds from foreign exchange rates. Expressed in local currencies, sales grew by 12.7 percent.

The business was bolstered by a strong economy in the process automation sector. Continued high demand from private consumers, as well as recovering oil and raw material prices, contributed to the solid growth. After years of somewhat restrained investment activity, large-scale projects made a return. According to Chief Financial Officer Dr Luc Schultheiss, Endress+Hauser’s performance “exceeded the industry average.”

Endress+Hauser made excellent progress in Europe. Business was dynamic even in Africa and the Middle East as well as in the Asia-Pacific region. Perhaps the most noteworthy statistics is the fact the United States has now become the biggest sales market for E+H, passing Germany for the first time in 65 years. “After 65 years, the US replaced Germany as our largest sales market,” reported Matthias Altendorf.  However China also grew at a double-digit pace. “If this trend continues, China could soon take over the top spot,” added the CEO.

Foreign exchange rate fluctuations not only slowed down sales growth, but also stifled cost structures, despite notable cost increases on the materials side. Operating profit (EBIT) increased by 31.4 percent to 330.6 million euros. Even though no one-off income was recognized in 2018, in contrast to the prior year, profit before taxes (EBT) still rose by 14.6 percent to 315.7 million euros. Return on sales (ROS) climbed 0.6 points to 12.9 percent.

Net income rose by 11.2 percent to 232.5 million euros, which reflects an effective tax rate of 26.4 percent which increased over the prior year due to a change in the composition of the profit. The equity ratio reached 71 percent, an increase of 0.8 points. The Group has no considerable bank liabilities.

Endress+Hauser’s growth was fueled by a wealth of innovations. The company brought 54 new products to the market last year. Research and development expenses climbed to 184.2 million euros, representing 7.5 percent of sales. The company filed 287 initial patents in 2018. At the end of the year, Endress+Hauser held nearly 7,800 patents and other intellectual property rights.

About one-third of the new patents were related to the IIoT, digital communications, diagnostics and electronics. “Digitalization is penetrating all areas,” emphasized Altendorf. Apart from 1,000 developers active in the Group’s centers of competence, various start-ups established by the Group are also busy working on products, solutions and services for the digital age. Endress+Hauser is furthermore collaborating closely with industry partners such as software specialist SAP.

A further driver of growth was process analysis. “The optical analyzer business performed extremely well,” said the CEO. Endress+Hauser established a European support center for advanced analyzers in Lyon, France. The network of sales specialists in this area is growing in Europe. The CEO is hoping for additional impulses to spur this business area.

Endress+Hauser got off to a good start in 2019. Incoming orders and net sales for the Group are tracking well above prior year levels. The company nonetheless expects this trend to cool off in the second half of the year. “We are still anticipating solid growth in the mid-single-digit range,” said Luc Schultheiss. According to the CFO, the company plans to invest 260 million euros this year, and assuming the business continues to perform well, 500 new jobs will be created worldwide.

@Endress_Hauser  #PAuto 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Update enhances developer productivity.

National Instruments (NI) has announced the latest release of LabVIEW 2019 and LabVIEW NXG. These releases are proof of NI’s continued investment in the next generation of LabVIEW and systems engineering software. NI continues to focus efforts around optimisation in the test and measurement processes in key areas of test development integration, efficient automated testing, and access to data & systems.

The latest release of LabVIEW 2019 increases developer productivity through improved visibility in the IDE, powerful enhancements in debugging, and new datatypes to the G-language. Additionally, LabVIEW 2019 addresses a critical pain point for engineers: managing dependencies and versioning with fragmented, non-standardised methods, which perpetuate as challenges in code deployment. With the new distribution option of package installers in LabVIEW 2019, users can now implement a standardised distribution method with inherent version management and automatic dependency management to confidently replicate and share system software.

The newest version of LabVIEW NXG simplifies the most time-consuming tasks in automated test and automated measurement applications, from deploying and distributing code faster than before, importing and exporting MATLAB® data (. mat) for improved interoperability with third-party software, and additional capabilities added to Web VIs to give users better interaction and control with their applications. These enhancements help engineers meet challenging time-to-market requirements by reducing time-intensive set-up through rapid connectivity to instrumentation, removing integration bottlenecks that traditionally arise in bringing in 3rd party IP through native interoperability with other programming languages and toolkits, and increasing access to important data by lowering the barrier of entry to web technology.

"Using WebVIs allows us to provide our users an interface to the test management database from anywhere, anytime, and we were able to develop the web interfaces using just our core LabVIEW skills. We saved development time and the users have instant access to review data or change test criteria.” said Jeremy Marquis, Engineering Team Leader at G Systems, Inc.

As NI builds on its more than 30-year investment in software, these LabVIEW releases continue the fast-paced updates aimed to expand engineering capabilities from design to test. Whether an engineer is using LabVIEW for the first time or has been on an active user for years, LabVIEW 2019 and LabVIEW NXG are immediately accessible and will make an immediate impact.

@niukie  #PAuto #TandM @EdelmanUK

Angled IEC C14 Power Connectors.

Schaffner has introduced a new series of locking cables for any IEC C14 application. The newest connector in the IL13 family sets a benchmark in space limited locking situations.

Its angled construction allows the connector to be used with devices standing next to a wall or in table-top applications.

The connector comes in four different orientations to cater for any assembly position of the IEC inlet where it is connected (top, down, left and right). In addition to the high variety of molded cable-connector-combinations, a rewireable connector is also available allowing development of individual cabling solutions according to customer needs. The rewireable connector is available in two versions (vertical and horizontal).

All types are usable with any standard IEC C14 inlet, locking without any additional mechanics. With the proven quality of the locking connection and the 200N typical pull out force, the new addition to the family ensures a reliable connection at all times. Even appliances that are vulnerable to vibrations can be connected in a safe way.

The cords and connectors have all the required safety approvals (UL CSA, PSE, Kema Keur, PSE and SAA), are compatible with the RoHS II (2015/863) directive and offer LSZH (low smoke zero halogen).

@SchaffnerGroup #Pauto

Reducing food waste.

The UKIVA Machine Vision Conference and Exhibition, scheduled for Milton Keynes (GB), on Thursday 6th June 2019, will open at 10 AM with a keynote address by Minh-Tri Pham from Winnow. His talk is entitled: ‘Sustainability in the food industry: AI Vision tools reduce food waste at IKEA’ and is sure to attract a large audience.

Minh-Tri Pham
The keynote will focus on Winnow Vision, a new tool which uses computer vision to help chefs easily pinpoint food waste in the kitchen and in doing so cut costs and save time. The system takes images of waste food as it is thrown away. Using these images, the machine trains itself to recognise what has been thrown in the bin. Winnow’s test systems have reached and surpassed human levels of accuracy in identifying waste foods.

Over time, these systems enable food waste to be automatically registered without any human interaction. Food will be thrown in the bin and the data will be captured automatically. Winnow has been testing the system in the field since late 2017 with two of their pioneering launch partners - IKEA and Emaar Hospitality Group. At IKEA, they’re already live in every store across the Britain. Winnow Vision is set to make a big impact in the hospitality industry and the fight against food waste on a global scale.

The Machine Vision Conference program features around 60 technical seminars across eight different subject areas: Vision in Robotics, Understanding Vision Technology, Deep Learning & Embedded Vision, 3D Vision, Optics & Illumination, Camera Technology, Systems & Applications and Vision Innovation. The Exhibition features a world-class cross section of companies that serve the machine vision industry. It will provide visitors with the opportunity to see some of the latest vision products and talk to experts about any aspect of machine vision.

@UKIVAconfex #Food @IKEAUK

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Finalists for awards.

Intelliconnect (Europe) have been nominated as finalists in four categories in the prestigious Electronics Industry Awards 2019.

• Interconnection Product of the Year for their Pisces Waterproof SMA RF and Microwave Connectors and Adaptors for harsh environments. Ideally suited to a vast range of applications including mil-aerospace, SCADA, marine, medical, transportation and oil and gas.

• Electronics Manufacturer of the Year. As one of the very few interconnect companies that continue to design and manufacture the majority of their products in their own factories

• Excellence in Innovation recognises the innovation that comes from within Intelliconnect across all departments and the company is very pleased to have this recognised by our customers and industry colleagues.

• Best Customer Service is of paramount importance to Intelliconnect and the company is dedicated to customer service above all else. Intelliconnect provides dedicated, expert support from initial enquiry, through the design and manufacture process and beyond.

Roy Phillips of Intelliconnect comments, "Our recent award of the SC21 Silver performance standard is a measure of the care and effort we put in to ensuring our customers get the best possible service from all aspects of our business and its good to see the results being recognised in this year’s awards. We continually strive to maintain our total commitment to innovation, high quality manufacturing and customer support and are diversifying into new, fast growing, markets including medical and cryogenics.”

@Intelli_Connect  #PAuto @proactivefleet

New brand, continued standard!

LEM has launched a new group brand identity.

Frank Rehfeld, Chief Executive Officer at LEM tells us that the changes come at an exciting time in LEM’s evolution and coincide with new prospects for the business. “Today is the starting point of a refreshed LEM. Given the changes in our markets, the time is right to improve the visibility of LEM with all of our stakeholders.”

The new group brand identity aims to improve LEM’s visibility and clearly define the LEM story for customers, suppliers, associates and employees.

The logo has been refreshed and includes a tag line which reflects LEM’s “Life, Energy, Motion” strapline.

• Life: How many of us desire life unplugged? Even brief downtimes can be quite unsettling. We love the ease, convenience, colour, brightness, speed, mobility, on-command, real-time connectedness that electricity provides. Streams of steady, safe, uninterrupted electric flow runs our devices, powers our vehicles, drives our factories, enhances our healthcare, recharges our batteries, sends our communications, lights our communities, warms and cools our buildings, and captures our imaginations.
None of this would be possible without electric sensors., many provided by LEM. As our quality of life improves, energy consumption per capita rises. LEM products help control this consumption and encourage renewable energy, providing continuous power supply.

• Energy: Smart grids, microturbines, wind and solar power all provide affordable and clean energy which is critical for a sustainable future. LEM is addressing this challenge by developing sensors that meet the most demanding standards of accuracy and safety, whilst adapting to higher power densities in battery and charging systems. LEM is also engineering a range of compact semiconductor-based sensing solutions.

• Motion: Train, trams, buses, conventional cars, green cars, elevators. The world’s demand for electrical motion is ever increasing. LEM provides sensor solutions for mobility applications which can play a remote or close role in our everyday lives. LEM has a strong heritage of nearly 50 years as market leaders with best-in-class products. Today LEM is at the forefront of new sensors, combining hardware and software with added functionalities and value, to create new business opportunities for its customers.

Frank Rehfeld explained further,  “Electrical sensors are in high demand for renewable energy, reliable energy, distributed energy, energy efficiency, mobility, automation, and digitalization. The time is right to tell our story and give LEM the vibrant dynamic identity it deserves. We will continue to leverage our strengths, our heritage, market leadership, our technical knowledge, a broad portfolio and closeness to our customers. Moreover, in response to our fast-changing industry, and to ensure we keep pace with today’s shorter development and production cycles, we are improving our organization’s agility and speed to market. We are proud of our legacy and positive about the future. We are playing our part in helping our customers and society accelerate the transition to a sustainable future.”

@LEM_Inc #TandM  @NapierPR 

Phenomenal growth in China for systems house.

Zenith Technologies has reported 400 per cent growth in its Chinese operations in the last 3 years.
The company now has a presence working on sites across five Chinese cities – Shanghai, Suzhou, Xi’an, Hangzhou & Guangzhou - and employs a growing team to work across its client base supporting pharma and biotech companies with the implementation of technologies to improve manufacturing efficiencies such as Automation, IT, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Digital and Data Analysis.

Liang Zhou, China Manager with 
Trevor Marshall, Global Engineering Director.
With the Chinese life sciences market currently set as the world’s second largest national market, and with an expected value of $220 billion by 2022, Zenith plans to double its operations in the country over the next three years and expand its work with local companies as well as continuing to support global multinationals.

Liang Zhou, General Manager of Greater China said: “The Chinese market has been leading the way in revolutionary cell therapy innovations, which are changing the face of medicine delivery. There is growing interest in the adoption of automating processes in this area as companies build a new generation of facilities in line with stringent international standards with a view to supplying across the world.

“We are well placed to support clients here who would like to adopt these solutions and have already played an integral role in the development of technologies to oversee these key cell therapy innovations.”

Zenith’s success in China represents the company’s latest endeavour in the Asian market having first set up a presence on the continent in 2002 with the opening of its regional headquarters in Singapore.
In 2008 the company set up an office in India, which now hosts more than 100 employees and serves as a global support hub to deliver software projects anywhere in the world, featuring a remote engineering centre and 24/7 IT support desk service.

Zenith, founded in Ireland in 1998, has 16 offices worldwide with over 900 skilled employees delivering manufacturing software to the life sciences industry. Across Asia the company now has a total workforce of more than 200 professionals and is actively looking to new Asian markets to expand its footprint to support the burgeoning number of life science hubs.

Bryan McSwiney, Asia Director said: “After more than 15 years in the Asian market, a quarter of our global operations are now based here and the latest growth figures from China demonstrate that we go from strength to strength.

“We now have an established presence in five Chinese cities – a significant footprint within a relatively short space of time – as well as a thriving support hub in India and a widely recognised HQ in Singapore.

“With a solid foundation now firmly established in the Asian market, we look forward to building on our successes and working closely with local and multinational companies on the continent who can benefit from the diverse range of technologies we can introduce into manufacturing facilities.”

 @ZT_Global  #LifeScience #PAuto #Systems #China

Key appointments at platform software technologies leader.

Lynx Software Technologies has made key appointments to its leadership team and significantly expanded headcount at its headquarters in San Jose (CA USA). Neeraja Vemulapalli joins Lynx in a newly created role as Vice President, Program Management and Quality, and David Beal joins as Director of Product Marketing. Lynx has also significantly expanded its core software engineering team to support program delivery.

Neeraja Vemulapalli
Gurjot Singh, CEO at Lynx Software Technologies, said, “Lynx is at an exciting point in its history. We have launched and delivered Lynx MOSA.ic, a unique software development framework for developing and deploying comprehensible software systems, bringing capabilities that have allowed us to secure key subsystems within major US government and automotive industry programs. Neeraja and David are exceptionally talented individuals, and I look forward to their contribution as we work together to build on these successes and the positive momentum we are currently experiencing across our major markets.”

Neeraja Vemulapalli added, “Lynx has a reputation for exceptional quality and high standards in industries where safety and security are fundamental. I’m excited to be part of the team where my experience and industry background will bring improved program management, quality and support to our customers. Lynx culture of openness and willingness to change allows us to continuously improve, adapt, and help our customers succeed.”

David Beal
David Beal commented, “The Lynx MOSA.ic launch was a great step for the company. This unique and modular system approach has the potential to fundamentally change the way in which the industry builds and certifies complex systems in any market where safety and security are important. I’m looking forward to working with our teams and partners to make this a success.”

Neeraja Vemulapalli was at Wind River for 21 years. Her most recent position was Engineering Director, managing a large engineering team responsible for end-end development and delivery of core products.

David Beal joins from Xilinx, where he spent over seven years as Senior Product Manager, Embedded Products. David Beal brings over 25 years of embedded, field engineering and product management experience.

@LynxSoftware #Pauto 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

25 years in sound & vibration.

AcSoft Sound & Vibration is celebrating 25 years as one of Britain's leading specialists in high performance sound and vibration instrumentation and sensors for a wide range of sectors including environmental, automotive, aerospace, transport and telecommunications.

The company was established in 1994 by Managing Director, John Shelton, working from his home. Having spent many years with a competitor business in Britain and Denmark, he recognised that software-based measurement systems were the future.

Reflecting on the company’s early years, John comments: “There was definitely a demand for new, more innovative ways of doing things such as audio recording for noise nuisance and portable real-time analysis. Most of our software was in DOS then but we were the first business to offer a Windows-based laptop system that met the sound level meter standards.

“A firm believer in the power of marketing, we were also one of the first businesses in the industry to launch a website and produced regular newsletters which were very well received at the time.”

In those days, recording signals to disk, and real-time frequency analysis required high specification hardware and digital signal processing, but modern PCs easily outpaced dedicated hardware of even a few years ago.

During the past 25 years, John and his team have built on contacts in the industry and experience of advanced applications to develop a complementary range of products and software from top quality transducers through to final analysis and reporting software.

AcSoft has now grown into a multidisciplinary company offering solutions to large multinational businesses and small consultancies alike, along with applications advice, to ensure maximum return on investment.

In 2016, AcSoft opened an air conditioned, purpose-built noise and vibration calibration laboratory at its facility in Bedford. It can calibrate a variety of acoustic and vibration equipment to nationally traceable standards, including microphones, preamplifiers, calibrators and pistonphones, accelerometers, analysers and dosimeters, whilst offering competitive rates and fast turnaround times.

AcSoft also boasts a growing rental division designed to make it easier for customers to hire instrumentation, software and sensors to meet short and long term project monitoring needs. If fact, the company recently announced that revenue from its rental business doubled during 2018, with more growth forecast for the year ahead.

John continues: “We are delighted to be celebrating 25 years in business. Along with our loyal customer base, we attribute a lot of our success to our dedicated employees. We’ve always strived to put people first, building a talented workforce and nurturing a culture of first class customer service, loyalty, best of breed products and strong values.

“Plus we have always chosen our partners carefully which has allowed us to offer a high quality, solution-based approach, ensuring long-term growth and close relationships with both suppliers and customers alike.”

AcSoft offers a large portfolio of cutting-edge products from major brands, including Sinus Messtechnik, gfai tech, Microflown, Listen Inc., SEMEX EngCon, Sensidyne, Crystal Instruments, Look Line and Sources Line.

Long-standing customer Andy Officer, Senior Engineer at Arup says: “I have known John Shelton for over 35 years, since his early days at Bruel & Kjaer. As a fledging new kid on the very competitive noise and vibration block, he quickly managed to establish AcSoft as the ‘go to’ for an alternative suite of powerful instrumentation. As a result, AcSoft is now recognised internationally as an established and well respected company with real integrity.

“The team are very professional, providing excellent customer care, support and technical advice, alongside great products, which I have purchased from Acsoft from the very outset, starting all those 25 years ago with the ground breaking Svan 912. The company’s latest venture into the sound level meter calibration field is another testament to their commitment to providing customers and others with a competitive alternative for traceable calibrations, and backed by fast and efficient turnaround times.

“In fact, we have been so impressed with this new service that AcSoft now calibrates all our noise instrumentation. I look forward to the time when they perhaps provide UKAS calibrations too.”

AcSoft Sound and Vibration now has two sister companies. Svantek UK was formed in 2011 to expand the market for high quality noise and vibration instrumentation for environmental and occupational health monitoring applications.

GRAS Sound and Vibration UK Ltd, was established in 2014. A subsidiary of Denmark-based G.R.A.S Sound and Vibration A/S, it is a leading specialist in measurement microphones and related acoustic equipment.

“As a business we are in good shape for the future and we want to thank our customers, suppliers and employees. Without them, we would never have reached this significant milestone,” John concludes.

@Acsoft_Sound #PAuto @elhcomms 

87 million nodes.

ProfiBUS & ProfiNet International (PI) has concluded its annual notarised count of the installed base of devices with interfaces using communication technologies from PI. As in previous years, the numbers from 2018 indicate a very positive trend.

ProfiNET Nodes 2018
In the case of ProfiNet, the 5.1 million devices delivered in 2018 represent an increase of 0.6 million over the previous year’s record. By the end of 2018, a total of 26 million ProfiNet devices were working to automate production. Even the number of ProfiBUS devices installed during the year – 2.4 million – represented a rise compared to the previous year. Reaching nearly 61 million, the overall number passed yet another threshold. The total of the two annual figures of 7.5 million also represents an all-time high.

ProfiBUS’s trend in process automation also remains stable. Though the actual number delivered in 2018 – 0.8 million – was slightly less than the previous year, a total of 12.3 million ProfiBUS devices (i. e. 20% of the overall total of 61 million) are now being used in process systems.

With 2.2 million PROFIsafe nodes brought to market in 2018, which corresponds to growth of nearly 25% as compared to the previous year, PROFIsafe also saw its highest annual gain ever. In total, PROFIsafe passed the 10-million hurdle by a considerable margin with its 11 million nodes.

3.3 million IO-Link nodes were brought to market in 2018. The overall count amounts to 11.4 million IO-Link nodes.

ProfiBUS devices in PA 2018
As in the previous years, IO-Link likewise achieved two landmark achievements in 2018. On the one hand, 3.3 million IO-Link nodes were delivered, which amounts to growth of more than 40% year-on-year. And the overall count of 11.4 million IO-Link nodes means that the 10-million hurdle was passed by a considerable margin.

This motivates us to continue with resolve and to implement step by step the strategy presented at the PI Konferenz in Frankfurt (March 2019)," said Karsten Schneider, Chairman of ProfiBUS & ProfiNet International (PI). "The record-setting PI Konferenz attendance also confirms the broad acceptance of our technologies today and the trust in our organization to make the right decisions in the future as well, which in turn will be a crucial element for the economic success of our member companies. "

@AllThingsPROFI  #PAuto #Fieldbus  @ProfibusUK 

Sensors for small-scale process.

Balluff is expanding their range of sensors for media-contacting temperature detection, in hydraulic power units for example. New are a temperature sensor with display, a temperature transmitter as well as a PT1000 sensor .The version without display is especially compact and vibration-resistant, whereas the versions with the turnable and highly readable display offers high operating convenience and flexible installation.

Depending on the version, the BFT sensors provide PNP switching outputs, analog signals 0...10V/4...20mA or work as a PT1000 sensor. They are simple to install by threading into the process using a standard process connection with G- and NPT threads. Integrating them requires just a 4-pin M12 plug on the sensor.

Continuous monitoring of process media on machines and equipment contributes greatly to process security. Values that need to be maintained are pressure, level and temperature. When for example in a hydraulic system you need to monitor the temperature of the hydraulic fluid, you can do this reliably using our BFT media-contacting temperature sensors. Monitoring the temperature within the hydraulic loop guarantees correct fluid viscosity and thereby the best performance of a machine. Critical process conditions such as a temperature limit can be controlled directly via the switching output. An analog output provides continuous measurement results. The BFT temperature sensors also stand out when it comes to monitoring the cooling water, lubricants and compressed air, making them ideal for a variety of applications.

@Balluff #PAuto 

Flexibility and production enhanced at German chemical plant.

As part of its five-year investment to boost capacity and operational excellence within its global plastics additives business, BASF has awarded Emerson a multi-million-dollar contract to modernise automation software and controllers at its specialty chemical production facility in Lampertheim (D). These enhancements will help the world’s largest chemical manufacturer increase production flexibility and enhance operations.

As the European chemical industry faces increasing market competition from outside Europe, flexible
and cost-competitive development methodologies and production technologies are needed to ensure success, says research by DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V. (Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology Society). BASF is making a significant investment to modernise plant automation as part of its effort to sustain market leadership and achieve Top Quartile performance.

“To maximise operational efficiency and production flexibility, we will continue to implement the latest automation technology and systems,” said Jens Grimm, automation manager at BASF Lampertheim. “Emerson is a trusted business partner with the proven expertise to help ensure a seamless system migration as we partner to modernise Lampertheim for successful, long-term production.”

BASF will implement Emerson’s new hybrid automation solution that replaces existing programmable logic controllers (PLCs), used to control 20 reactors, with Emerson’s leading DeltaV™ PK Controller. The new hybrid technology integrates into BASF’s existing DeltaV automation system, which will significantly reduce the cost, time and complexity of modernising the automation system; minimise start-up time for new production batches; and make switching production easier.

“Embracing digital transformation technologies and strategies is critical to achieving top performance levels,” said Jim Nyquist, group president of Systems and Solutions for Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “Through the implementation of Emerson automation technologies, BASF is well-positioned to drive business performance and remain the market leader.”

For BASF, Emerson will also replace an obsolete system controlling the tank farm and distillation columns at the facility, which produces additives that improve characteristics for plastics and coatings. The expansion of Emerson’s DeltaV distributed control system, which is already used to control other parts of the plant, will ensure continued efficient production and enable BASF to standardise its control architecture, helping to reduce integration complexity and operator training costs.

A key part of the project is to expand automation security protections. This advanced technology, developed with Emerson to address cybersecurity threats, has been applied at other BASF manufacturing plants. By modernising its automation systems, BASF can take advantage of new capabilities embedded in Emerson’s automation systems that help fortify plant operations against cyber threats.

Emerson will also provide approximately 8,000 hours of on-site engineering services, a separate virtualised system to reduce hardware capital and operating costs, and lifecycle support services.

@EMR_Automation #PAuto @BASF #Germany  @HHC_Lewis 

Mass air flow sensors.

Devices Allow Users to Create a Custom Flow Body Design While Reducing System Size, Increasing Reliability, and Establishing Proprietary Calibration Values

Posifa Technologies has announced its new PMF6000 series of mass air flow sensors for use in bypass assemblies. Featuring a manifold-mount design, the devices reduce system size and increase reliability while allowing users to establish proprietary calibration values.

Featuring compact robust packages, the PMF6000 series sensors were developed specifically for users wanting the flexibility of designing their own flow body and restrictor element. The devices' manifold-mount design eliminates the need for hoses and external connections, reducing the overall system size and the number of potential leak points.

By utilizing the linearized factory calibration provided by Posifa, users can create master calibration curves specific to their custom bypass design with minimal additional corrections in the production process. Unlike off-the-shelf solutions, PMF6000 series sensors provide users with a competitive edge by allowing them to perform their own calibration and maintain the values within the company.

The devices feature Posifa's third-generation thermal flow die, which uses a pair of thermopiles to detect changes in temperature gradient caused by mass flow. The result is excellent repeatability and accuracy of 4 % reading typical. The solid-state thermal isolation structure on the sensor die eliminates the need for a surface cavity or fragile membrane used in competing technologies, making the sensor resistant to clogging and pressure shock.

Measuring flow rates at 1000 sccm (PMF6102) and 6000 sccm (PMF6106), the devices offer extremely fast response times of 5 ms typical and operate over a -25 °C to +85 °C temperature range. Please contact Posifa to discuss options for customizing the sensors' specifications.

#PosifaTech #PAuto

Monday, May 20, 2019

Acquisition strengthens software portfolio.

Mitsubishi has announced the acquisition of ICONICS. This partnership is to strengthen Mitsubishi’s software portfolio and technology for the manufacturing, industrial, and building automation markets. ICONICS’ advanced software products are used for SCADA, HMI, IoT, mobile, analytics and cloud applications. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.

“We are most excited about the recent acquisition of ICONICS,” said Yoshikazu Miyata, Executive Officer and Group President of Factory Automation Systems at Mitsubishi Electric, “so that Mitsubishi can accelerate its global software strategy as importance for software is increasing for factory automation business. Our vision is to continuously invest in the field of IoT and software.”

“We look forward to our partnership with Mitsubishi,” said Russ Agrusa, CEO of ICONICS, “a $40 billion-dollar world leader in markets across many industries, to pioneer a new Software Center of Excellence in Foxborough, MA, USA, and to accelerate the development of advanced factory and building automation software.”

As the demand increases for data utilization with IoT technology in manufacturing industries, Mitsubishi Electric—based on its e-F@ctory concept—launched software products compatible with its Edgecross platform to enhance solutions for edge computing and the cloud. ICONICS develops and offers competitive software products for various business sectors, such as manufacturing, industrial and building automation, and it possesses advanced technology and remarkable industry leading knowledge in the development of industrial software.

“With the addition of ICONICS software, product development, and technology capabilities,” said Satoshi Takeda, Senior Deputy General Manager of Nagoya Works, Mitsubishi Electric, “this will allow Mitsubishi to accelerate its e-F@ctory and edge computing solutions.”

@ICONICS #PAuto @MitsubishiElect 

SAW technology to harness tide!

Non-contact torque sensors from Sensor Technology are playing a key role in the development of commercial-scale in-stream tidal turbines produced by OpenHydro. The company is using these novel sensors, which are based on surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology, to accurately measure rotational speed and frictional forces in a simulator for the turbine bearings, thereby allowing it to optimise the performance and reliability of its innovative products.

OpenHydro is a technology company that designs and manufactures marine
turbines to generate renewable energy from tidal streams. The company's vision is to deploy farms of tidal turbines under the world's oceans, where they will dependably generate electricity with no cost to the environment. This method of producing electricity has many benefits.

Because the turbines are submerged, they are invisible and they produce no noise. And because they are submerged at a considerable depth, they present no hazard to shipping. An advantage that is possibly the most important, however, is that the tides are completely predictable, which means that the energy output of the turbines is equally predictable. There are no large seasonal variations and no dependence on the vagaries of the weather, as there are with many other renewable energy sources.

Reliably and efficiently harvesting energy from the tides, however, requires the use of novel technology and, in the case of OpenHydro, this takes the form of open-centre turbines that can be deployed directly on the seabed. Clearly, installation in such an inaccessible location makes reliability a prime consideration in the design and construction of the turbines. For this reason, OpenHydro carefully and comprehensively evaluates the performance of all of the components used in its turbines.

For the bearings, this evaluation involves the use of a simulator that allows the company's engineers to determine how frictional forces in the bearings vary with different loads and rotational speeds. Central to the operation of this simulator is the measurement of torque in a shaft from the motor that drives the bearing under test. With conventional sensors, it is hard to carry out this type of torque measurement accurately and reliably, but OpenHydro found that Sensor Technology's TorqSense RWT420 series sensor provided an ideal solution.

Like all TorqSense sensors, the RWT420 units depend for their operation on surface acoustic wave (SAW) transducers. These transducers comprise two thin metal electrodes, in the form of interlocking "fingers", on a piezoelectric substrate such as quartz.

When an RF signal of the correct frequency is applied to the transducer, surface acoustic waves are set up, and the transducer behaves as a resonant circuit.

If the substrate is deformed, however, the resonant frequency changes. When the transducer is attached to a drive shaft, the deformation of the substrate and hence the change in resonant frequency will be related to the torque applied to the shaft. In other words, the transducer operates as a frequency-dependent strain gauge.

Since the transducers operate at radio frequencies, it is easy to couple signals to them wirelessly. Hence TorqSense sensors can be used on rotating shafts, and can provide data continuously without the need for the inherently unreliable and inconvenient brushes and slip rings often found in traditional torque measurement systems.

"We chose the RWT420 because of its convenient wireless operation, and because it was easy for us to fix in line with an existing shaft in our experimental set up," said Kevin Harnett, Mechanical Engineer at OpenHydro. "In addition, this model of sensor has integral electronics and a serial output, which means that we can link it directly to a laptop computer in our test laboratory. This is a very straightforward and convenient arrangement.”

OpenHydro uses the RWT420 sensor in conjunction with Sensor Technology's TorqView software. This offers a choice of dial, digital bar and chart graph format display for torque, RPM, temperature and power. It also provides facilities for realtime plotting and for data recording, and can output stored results as files that are compatible with Matlab and Excel.

"We have found both the sensor and the software very easy to work with," said Kevin,   "and the sensor has proved itself to be well able to withstand the tough operating conditions in our laboratory. We've also received excellent technical support from Sensor Technology, which was very helpful as we have never previously worked with sensors of this type. Overall, we're very happy with product and the service we've received, and the sensor is providing invaluable data for our development work."

Proof that this development work is yielding dividends was amply provided late in 2009, when OpenHydro deployed the first commercial-scale in-stream tidal turbine in the Bay of Fundy, Canada, on behalf of its customer, Nova Scotia Power.

This 1 MW unit was operational, rotating with the tides, collecting data and producing energy within six days f arrival on site.

• See video on the Fundy Bay project here: OpenHydro connects north America's most powerful tidal turbine

@sensortech #POwer @openhydro