Friday, 23 July 2021

Software combines digital measurement data management and SCADA.

The topic of measurement, secure access to measurement data, secure storage of measurement data as well as the visualisation and analysis of such data poses ever-increasing challenges. Among other things, this is also driven by increasingly strict IT guidelines, growing complexity of infrastructures and data protection. And all this comes in the context of rapid digital market dynamics.

The goal: Simplify the world of measurement data
Camille Bauer Metrawatt introduces the innovative SmartCollect® SC² HMI/SCADA software for managing data in a user-friendly way. Unlike some other SCADA software tools in this category, SmartCollect® SC² is based on a new state-of-the-art platform with a visually appealing 2D/3D web-based graphical user interface. The simplicity, functionality, flexibility along with the price-performance ratio are convincing.

A look at the system architecture
Essentially, it is a web-based HMI that does not require a complicated client-server architecture. The advantage is obvious. The security of the IT infrastructure stays in the hands of the user and is not affected by how a user software accesses the HMI. The user runs the application via WebGUI and the application is monitored using role-based access control (RBAC) and an AuditLog. According to the customer-specific configuration, measurement data is securely stored on a server, locally or in the cloud, and retrieved for visualisation by the web-based HMI at the frontend. In addition, many common communication protocols are available for system integration.

Deliberate simplicity despite high performance is the order of the day
Innovative functionalities are at the heart of SmartCollect® SC². For example, infrastructural overviews of measurement data can be displayed in 2D or 3D graphics as well as in single-line diagrams. A dashboard also enables you to evaluate progressions in the relevant measurement data, to analyse them with synchronised zoom functions and to derive possible trends from them. In addition to visualising events and alarms, there are export functions for the measurement data. A big plus of the software is the access to individual measuring points from the HMI of the SmartCollect® SC² directly into the respective WebGUI of the measuring devices. Here, necessary settings as well as further measurement data can be viewed and deeper analyses can be made or even individual processes can be represented graphically. Access in the Camille Bauer products is also protected against unintentional manipulation with further integrated protective functions such as RBAC, Client Whitelist, AuditLog, Syslog, Secure Firmware, 16GB SD card and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (https). The customer can set up all the options described above flexibly. The user can implement user profiles in order to adapt them later to the corresponding users. A wide range of national languages are supported. The SmartCollect® SC² also offers a user-friendly option to process a wide variety of data including measuring devices and sensors from different manufacturers as well as virtual channels. Modern sharing, snapshot and playlist functions are also included.

The right version for every use case
There are currently 4 editions of SmartCollect® SC² available for the use cases. The Starter Edition is the best choice for smaller installations, while the Standard Edition, which comes in a Professional or an Enterprise Edition, is recommended for more than 10 measuring points. The software is then scaled to the number of measuring points and the required measurement data and optimally designed to fit the existing budget. In addition, the user is guided during the design phase in a way that makes it clear from the beginning what the software will look like and how it will function in the application. This is a big plus for creating transparency and efficiency during the offer or initialisation phase. At the same time, the software in each edition can be scaled up by taking into account any potential far-sighted adaptations and extensions. The software is used in energy distribution applications as well as in industrial and commercial infrastructures. It is therefore a good all-rounder for many areas, especially where a particular measuring unit is taken into account.

• Camille Bauer products are marketed in Ireland through Irish Power & Process.

@irishpwrprocess #CamilleBauer #Power #PAuto #Scada

Solar energy from the sea!

With new advancements in solar technology, improved construction methods, and IIoT, floating solar power plants can finally break free from the restrictions and limitations that are preventing them from taking off.

Over the past few years, countries that lack the land mass required for solar plants are turning their attention to the water-based alternative, floating solar islands. By placing solar panels on floating platforms in water bodies, valuable land is freed. As the cooling properties of water allow the panels to perform well even in high temperature ranges, they are able to function efficiently under duress. In addition, the shade provided by the floating panels reduces evaporation, helping the reservoirs that host them conserve water. At present, countries including China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea have installed floating solar plants with a total capacity of 2,400 MW. enough to power 240,000 households. The winning characteristics of floating solar farms have attracted investments from countries like, the Netherlands, France, Singapore, India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, with an estimated value of US$380 million (€322.66).

Though floating solar plants seem to be on the rise in the green-energy industry, its greatest strength is also its biggest weakness. The floating solar plants’ susceptibility to natural phenomenon such as rainstorms, hurricanes, and extreme heat, which are common nowadays, is hindering their progress. Tidal waves, a common product of hurricanes, often contribute to irreversible damages to the system’s floats, cables, and wires. The prime example being the 2019 typhoon in Japan. High-intensity waves caused the solar panels to slump together causing a fire that destroyed the offshore power plant. This incident has brought the construction method used in the floating solar plants to the foreground of discussion. Besides unpredictable natural disasters, regular environmental conditions near water bodies, such as humidity, strong winds, and salinity, can reduce the life-span of onboard electronic equipment and consequently, the plant. Hence, the durability of the equipment used and the construction methods are the two of the main areas of focus when building a floating solar plant.

Another significant challenge is the daily maintenance of plant assets. The offshore floating systems are more difficult to maintain than their onshore counterparts based on accessibility alone. Since the latter can be accessed by motor vehicles whereas the former requires a boat, making daily maintenance a huge challenge. As the technology matures, plants are becoming bigger in size, making this already difficult task a near impossible one, leading to dire consequences. For example, the floating solar plant in Anhui Province, China, utilizes a coal mine pit filled with water to host 160,000 solar panels. Maintenance workers use paddle boats to repair the equipment and clean the pond every day. When a typhoon hits, bringing with it torrential rainfall and tidal waves, worker’s lives are put in harm’s way.

Traditionally, power plants have relied heavily on regular inspection of sites, which involves assigning on-duty employees to perform daily inspections of each and every equipment. As a result, these inspections become fixed expenditures regardless of the equipment condition. Time is often wasted on routine check-ups of functioning devices, and, when something does breakdown, on traveling between the shore and the deployment site for the correct repair tools. Another common scenario is unexpected power deficiency even on a sunny day. Since a malfunction, the cause, and the location of the problem cannot be easily identified from the onshore control center, inspectors must check each and every floating module until the issue is found. It is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, time-consuming and tedious. In addition, the limited transport options and other factors such as the climate and the direction of the water stream make inspections strenuous and hazardous, reducing maintenance proficiency.

In recent years, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is being used in floating solar plants to overcome the maintenance challenges. As one of the initial providers of IIoT-based solutions, Moxa has first-hand experience of the effective use of IIoT to improve operations and maintenance in green-energy projects.

Over the past decade, Moxa has been working with GreenPowerMonitor, a world-renowned independent software vendor for over 2,000 solar power plants worldwide. The Moxa IIoT connectivity solution allows owners to monitor the power generation and equipment conditions through a SCADA system in real time. It can also perform maintenance checks on devices when malfunctions occur. The SCADA platform will be configured to automatically send an alarm and generate a maintenance task on the system, which can then be tracked by the owner. Armed with the knowledge of what and where the malfunction is, inspectors can repair the devices in a timely manner by being at the right place with the right tools at the right time. Experience has shown that the efficiency of a power station with a central monitoring and maintenance system can increase by at least 20% compared to others without such a system.

Furthermore, the data collected through IIoT can be used to preemptively determine the potential failure rate of equipment in close proximity with water bodies by comparing its performance under different circumstances. New Machine Learning algorithms can be deployed to enable owners to perform predictive maintenance on their equipment to avoid permanent damage. For example, when the temperature inside a device rises due to increase in humidity, the life span of the device could be significantly shortened. Information from Machine Learning algorithms can help the owner gain predictive insights into their devices. And, when a set humidity state is about to be reached, a warning can be issued or corresponding measures can be automatically initiated.

IIoT’s predictive abilities can also be applied to green energy forecasts and grid-connected technology to get real-time predictions and effectively control power generation from grid-connected renewable energy sources. To take this leap, first and foremost, we need a stable network for data transportation from remote offshore equipment to the onshore control center. GPM and Moxa have created a connection backup solution to prevent complete network disconnection in situations like this. This solution allows the data to be transmitted via a backup channel within 20 milliseconds while the network is being restored as opposed to the industry standard of 80 milliseconds, ensuring uninterrupted flow of information.

@MoxaInc @OConnellPR #Power #IIoT #SCADA


Equipment and methods for fast molecular analyses.

Food product safety is a field of application for molecular analysis solutions.

Increased safety in food production and other process applications is the declared aim of the joint venture between Endress+Hauser and Hahn-Schickard. To this end, both partners have established Endress+Hauser BioSense GmbH based in Freiburg (D). Its aim is to enable rapid, on-site molecular analyses for the detection of bacterial or viral contamination in water and beverages, genetic modifications in food or contaminated milk.

The research and development service provider Hahn-Schickard has been working closely for many years with the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg to develop rapid diagnostic tests that can detect extremely small concentrations of infectious pathogens with portable instruments. The joint venture is now aiming to transfer this technology from the field of medical diagnostics to industrial process and laboratory automation applications.

During the first few months, Endress+Hauser BioSense will operate in spaces located at the university and Hahn-Schickard. Next year the company will move into the university’s innovation center, FRIZ, currently under construction on the campus of the Faculty of Engineering. The start-up will thus expand Endress+Hauser’s activities in Freiburg, where developers are already working on new sensor technologies, biosensors and Industry 4.0 solutions.

In the development of equipment and methods for molecular analyses for process and laboratory environments, Endress+Hauser BioSense will be working closely with IST Innuscreen GmbH in Berlin, which is also part of the Endress+Hauser Group. IST Innuscreen offers a broad portfolio of nucleic acid isolation and molecular diagnostics products and among other things supplies kits and assays for PCR diagnostics.

Experienced leadership team 

The joint venture is 75 percent owned by Endress+Hauser, with the remaining 25 percent held by Hahn-Schickard. Dr Nicholas Krohn (left), who has in-depth knowledge and experience in the field of food analysis, will serve as managing director of the new company. Dr Stefan Burger (middle) and Dr Martin Schulz (right), two long-time employees of Hahn-Schickard who obtained their doctorates in the field of molecular diagnostics at the University of Freiburg, will round out the management team.

@Endress_Hauser @Endress_UK @hahnschickard #PAuto #Food

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Protection for industrial robots.

Industrial Robot has IP67, Foundry Plus 2 and cleanroom ISO 4 versions, enabling new applications in harsh and contamination-free production environments

ABB’s 6-axis IRB 1300 industrial robot includes new protection elements that enable it to be used in tough industrial applications and contamination-free production processes, opening new opportunities for increased productivity, improved product quality and reduced cycle times in a variety of industries including electronics assembly, automotive and metals fabrication, amongst others.

“The addition of cleanroom and harsh environment capability enables us to offer the benefits of the IRB 1300 to a whole new set of manufacturing applications in industries renowned for their tough nature or their need to be contamination-free,” said Darren Hung, Global Product Manager – Small Robots for ABB. “The IRB 1300 is the perfect partner for a wide variety of tasks including materials handling, machine tending, polishing, and assembly and testing, and can now help more businesses achieve new standards of speed and accuracy as they develop solutions to lift and handle heavy, complex or irregular shapes, even in small workspaces.”

Originally launched in 2020, the IRB 1300 is now available in IP67, Foundry Plus 2 and cleanroom ISO 4 versions. This will expand its use in tough environments, with high levels of liquids and dust. This is achieved by preventing intrusion by sealing all electrical components, which enables in a variety of processes in industries including electronics manufacture, Automotive, and metals fabrication.

For added protection in metals applications including metal die casting, sand casting, forging and machining, the Foundry Plus 2 version includes the use of stainless steel on the end effector. This will prevent rusting that can occur when liquids are applied to wash away dust particles and metallic debris. By helping to protect against premature wear, this feature can help to prolong the robot’s service life, minimizing disruption caused by downtime and unscheduled repairs.

For applications requiring a clean production environment, in industries such as pharmaceuticals and semiconductor manufacturing, the IRB 1300 ISO 4 cleanroom version features a number of measures to help eliminate the risk of contamination. Key features include the use of chemical resistant exterior paint which helps avoid paint degradation when using cleaning agents that protect against bacteria. The robot’s design also minimizes the number of gaps where bacteria could form, providing an added level of protection, while a particle filter and a fully sealed design prevent grease, oil and particles from coming into contact with the products being handled.

Featuring a footprint of just 220 mm by 220 mm, the IRB 1300 is ideal for use in confined spaces, enabling more robots to be deployed in a specific area if required. It is available in three main versions - 11 kg/900 mm, 10 kg/1150 mm and 7 kg/1400 mm. The 11kg payload for the 900 mm reach variant is higher than any other competing robot in its class.

Powered by ABB’s OmniCore™ controller, the IRB 1300 offers advanced motion control and best-in-class path accuracy, allowing it to handle an expanded range of applications such as polishing and machine tending.

To maximize the versatility of the IRB 1300, the OmniCore controller can be equipped with a range of additional equipment, including fieldbus protocols, vision solutions, and force control. OmniCore also offers a simple user interface on the intuitive FlexPendant, which features a large multi-touch display with standard gestures such as pinch, swipe and tap, allowing users to easily program and operate their robot.

@ABBRobotics #PAuto #Manufacturing

Indoor air quality.

Ashtead Technology has launched two new air quality monitors that will help building and facility managers to protect people from toxic gases, as well as airborne particles and viral aerosols.

The TSI 8144-4 measures formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, carbon dioxide, temperature/RH, particulates and barometric pressure. This instrument therefore provides the ideal solution for monitoring the most important parameters for optimal indoor air quality.

The TSI 8144-6 monitors the same parameters, but instead of formaldehyde it measures ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. This means that the TSI 8144-6 is ideally suited to buildings in urban or industrial locations, where air drawn from outdoors may be polluted.

Ashtead’s Josh Thomas said: “High demand is coming from organisations that need to monitor carbon dioxide (CO2) in the workplace as this has been linked to higher Covid-19 infection rates.

“The TSI monitors can detect when people have spent too long in a confined space, exhaling carbon dioxide, and potentially coronavirus aerosols. We offer the TSI 8144-4 monitor for sale at just £815, and the TSI 8144-6 for £1,210, which means you can monitor the most important indoor air quality risks with an instrument that can be installed in under ten minutes.”

@ashteadtech @_Enviro_News #Environment #Safety

Gas detection in water treatment.

When choosing a gas detector for use in water treatment applications, engineers should focus on simple, efficient, proven products from a supplier experienced in the provision of end-to-end solutions for this challenging marketplace. Teledyne Gas & Flame Detection can offer a wide repertoire of detectors based on a number of effective sensor technologies

As a process, the treatment of wastewater has a number of inherent hazards, namely the generation of flammable and toxic gases such as methane (CH4) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S). Furthermore, oxygen (O2) enrichment and ozone (O3) can present safety risks if the process requires technologies that use these gases, while for pH control some water treatment plants rely on carbon dioxide (CO2), which can be toxic and create an oxygen deficiency hazard.

Toxic chemical gases such as ammonia (NH3) and chlorine (Cl) are common in the preparation of drinking water, which means leak detection is essential to identify any emissions from storage or processing equipment.

Essential protection

Water treatment plants can protect staff and contractors from the dangers of explosion, intoxication and fire by ensuring portable gas detectors form part of their personal protective equipment (PPE). Indeed, for temporary or mobile use in confined spaces, Teledyne offers a wide range of portable gas detectors designed to meet the requirements of the water/wastewater sector.

Of course, many more advantages accrue from combining portable detectors with their fixed counterparts. Fixed gas detectors help deliver the appropriate process automation levels required to reduce running costs and manage risk with minimal operator intervention.

As well as averting health risks, careful product selection can also minimise the gas detector’s total cost of ownership (TCO). H2S, for instance, can corrode metals like steel, copper and brass, which means a gas detection sensor housed in stainless steel is a wise choice.

Technology decisions
Another critical selection decision involves the type of sensor technology, which for gas detection typically centres on electrochemical, semiconductor, infrared (IR) or catalytic.

For water treatment plants that want to monitor O2 deficiency or enrichment, or the presence of low levels of toxic gases such as H2S or Cl, electrochemical sensors are the common choice. A popular pick here is the Teledyne DGi-TT7-E intelligent gas detector. This easy-to-use product features an integral daylight-readable alphanumeric display that indicates local status and alarm level.

The selection of semiconductor sensors, which have a longer operating life under harsh operating conditions than their electrochemical counterparts, usually occurs where very high concentrations of H2S are present, or where ambient temperature or humidity is high. With its high reactivity, strong signal stability and long operating life, the Teledyne CTX 300 fixed detector for O2, CO2 and other toxic gases, is a popular solution. The CTX 300 transmits data in record time, while maintaining the unit is easy thanks to its pre-calibrated sensors and optional LCD display.

IR sensors are preferable for the detection of explosive gases such as CH4 or CO2, or for very corrosive atmospheres containing high levels of H2S. Here, detection is based on the fact that each gas absorbs light on a specific wavelength in the infrared spectrum. Notably, the robust nature of IR sensor cells from Teledyne Gas & Flame Detection means they require only one annual maintenance routine and come with a five-year guarantee. A case in point is the Teledyne GD10 series IR gas detector, which differs from all other models because it utilises silicon-based solid-state IR sources that carry a 15-year warranty. Teledyne Gas & Flame Detection offers the longest combined detector and IR source guarantee on the market.

The most common alternative to an IR sensor is a catalytic sensor, which is not as durable but consumes less power. As many water treatment plants are in remote locations and take advantage of solar energy, this factor can prove attractive. Among the Teledyne recommendations here is the DG-TX7 intelligent gas detector, which houses a pair of OXYCOL catalytic sensors.

Teledyne Gas & Flame Detection can also provide sampling kits for the water treatment industry, for applications such as areas highly saturated in H2S.

As with all gas detection tasks in the water treatment sector, it is essential to ensure the technology is adapted to the application. Strong concentrations of gas, either immediate or accumulating over time, along with harsh and/or corrosive operating environments, demand proven products. But each application is different, so consulting with a specialist is vital in defining the optimum solution for any particular requirements.

@mepaxIntPR #Teledyne #Water #Pauto

Only flame arrester of its kind.

The pre-volume deflagration flame arrester for pressure measuring arrangements from WIKA has an IECEx approval in addition to its ATEX approval is the only one of its kind. It is thus gaining broad international acceptance.

The safety device (model 910.21) fulfils the requirements of the harmonised standard EN ISO 16852:2016 “Flame arresters …”. WIKA combines them with Ex-approved measuring instruments and diaphragm seal systems to form a fixed unit. Such a measuring arrangement is suitable for mounting to zone 0.

The pre-volume deflagration flame arrester prevents a potential passage of the flame from the instrument into the process side, in the event of a failure. A marking on the measuring arrangement indicates the point at which the protected side begins.

• WIKA products are marketed in Ireland through Instruments Technology.

@WIKANews #PAuto #Ex