Monday, 30 January 2023

Dr Perry L Grady - 1940-2023.

The death has been announced of Dr Professor Perry L. Grady, former President of the International Society of Automation (ISA). He was the Emeritus Associate Dean and Professor at the North Carolina State University College of Textiles (COT).

Dr Perry L. Grady
He was an expert in instrument and control system design and development, computer applications, energy utilization and conservation, electrotechnology applications, fibre and yarn production and properties, and garment and textile care. A registered professional engineer he has over eighty publications to his credit. His papers were donated by him to and encoded in the North Carolina State University some years ago.

Dr. Grady received the Outstanding Extension Award at North Carolina State University, the Fiber Society Distinguished Achievement Award, the ISA Textile Industry Division Achievement Award, and the North Carolina State University College of Textiles Cates-Rutherford Lecturer and Distinguished Alumnus in Fiber and Polymer Science Award. He was a member of Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Phi Lambda Upsilon honor societies.

He also served on many ISA divisions and departments including a period as Publications VP. During his term as Society President (2000) he fostered co-operation with other international and national automation bodies including Britain's InstMC. He was unfailingly courteous and encouraging to fellow members of the Society - including this writer. He put forward ideas and suggestions in a gentle and clear way and with humour.

We sympathise with his wife, Pat, and his family on the loss of a beloved family man.

May he rest in peace.

Friday, 27 January 2023

Web Wake frequency calculation.

Online tool instead of Excel.

WIKA now provides the wake frequency calculation for thermometer thermowells in accordance with ASME PTC 19.3 TW-2016 in a web-based version.

The new programme has adopted the proven and clear presentation of results from the previous Excel software.

Users have a choice - a freely accessible version allows the calculation for a single thermowell. 

With the full version, which requires registration and user verification, an unlimited number of thermowells can be calculated simultaneously. 

For reasons of data security, this registration takes place via Azure Active Directory B2C. A PDF function for documenting the calculation is included in both versions.

• WIKA products are marketed in Ireland through Instrument Technology.

@WIKANews #PAuto 

Emerging image sensors.

The new IDTechEx report, “Emerging Image Sensor Technologies 2023-2033: Applications and Markets”, explores a diverse range of image sensing technologies capable of resolutions and wavelength detection far beyond what is currently attainable. Many of these emerging technologies are expected to make waves within numerous sectors, including healthcare, biometrics, autonomous driving, agriculture, chemical sensing, and food inspection, among several others. IDTechEx expects that the growing importance of autonomous technologies will lead the emerging image sensor market to over US$500 million (€552m) by 2033.

Broadening Spectral Range.
Conventional CMOS detectors for visible light are prevalent within robotics, industrial image inspection, and consumer electronics; however, there is extensive opportunity for more complex image sensors that offer capabilities beyond that of simply acquiring red, green and blue (RGB) intensity values. Extensive effort is currently being devoted to developing emerging image sensor technologies that can detect aspects of light beyond the visible range into the short-wave infrared (SWIR, 1000nm – 2000 nm) range. Extending wavelength detection into the SWIR range presents many benefits as it enables the differentiation of objects and materials that appear visually similar or identical within the visible range. This substantially improves recognition accuracy and paves the way for better and more functional image sensing.

Key Questions Answered in the IDTechEx Report “Emerging Image Sensor Technologies 2023-2033: Applications and Markets” Include:
What technology readiness level are these emerging image sensing technologies at?
What disruptive technologies are on the horizon?
Which companies are exploring emerging image sensing technologies
Which applications are expected to benefit the most?
How can autonomy be improved by image sensors?
What are the difficulties in commercializing these emerging technologies?

A particularly important trend is the development of much cheaper alternatives to very expensive InGaAs sensors for imaging in the short-wave infrared (SWIR, 1000 – 2000 nm) spectral region, which will open this capability to a much wider range of applications. This includes autonomous vehicles, in which SWIR imaging assists with distinguishing objects and materials that appear similar in the visible spectrum while also reducing scattering from dust and fog.

There are several competitive emerging non-InGaAs SWIR technologies. These include hybrid image sensors where an additional light-absorbing thin film layer made of organic semiconductors or quantum dots is placed on top of a CMOS read-out circuit to increase the wavelength detection range into the SWIR region. Another technology is extended-range silicon, where the properties of silicon are modified to extend the absorption range beyond its bandgap limitations. Currently dominated by expensive InGaAs sensors, these new approaches promise a substantial price reduction, and that is expected to encourage the adoption of SWIR imaging for new applications such as autonomous vehicles.

New Capabilities Enabled by Emerging Image Sensors.
In addition to imaging over a broader spectral range, further innovations include imaging over a larger area, acquiring spectral data at each pixel, and simultaneously increasing temporal resolution and dynamic range. On this front, a promising technology is event-based vision. With conventional frame-based imaging, a high temporal resolution produces vast amounts of data that requires computationally intensive processing. Event-based vision resolves this challenge by presenting a completely new way of thinking about obtaining optical information, in which each sensor pixel reports timestamps that correspond to intensity changes. As such, event-based vision can combine greater temporal resolution of rapidly changing image regions with much-reduced data transfer and subsequent processing requirements.

Another promising innovation is the increasing miniaturization and conformality of sensor technology, making it easier than ever to integrate a sensor into a robotic arm, industrial inspection machinery, or consumer electronics. These are an application the burgeoning market of miniaturized spectrometers is targeting. Driven by the growth in smart electronics and Internet of Things devices, low-cost, miniaturized spectrometers are becoming increasingly relevant across different sectors. The complexity and functionalization of standard visible light sensors can be significantly improved through the integration of miniaturized spectrometers that can detect from the visible to the SWIR region of the spectrum with high spectral resolution. The future being imagined by researchers at Fraunhofer is a spectrometer weighing just 1 gram and costing a single dollar. Miniaturized spectrometers are expected to deliver inexpensive solutions to improve autonomous efficiency through enhanced material, object, and color differentiation.

@IDTechEx @AgilityPRS #PAuto #Imagr

Gas monitoring capability expanded.

Responding to a growing demand for portable Ashtead Technology has announced a new partnership with Gas Data. The deal will significantly expand the range of applications for which Ashtead is able to offer gas monitors for either purchase or rental.

Josh Thomas, Senior Sales Manager at Ashtead Technology, says: “We’re excited to be kicking off the new year with a new distributor agreement. The portable, ATEX certified Gas Data instruments perfectly complement and expand our range of gas and emissions monitors for applications such as site investigation, risk assessments, landfill gas control, environmental compliance monitoring, and more.”

The new Gas Data portable gas analysers include the GFM 400 series analysers, the Gazoscan and the Inspectra. Combined, these instruments will provide Ashtead’s customers with a complete choice of technologies for the measurement of methane and other gases in applications such as landfill, biogas, contaminated land, petrochem, gas leaks, gas utilities and wastewater.

All of these instruments are able to measure methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas, (around 30 times stronger than CO2), and the subject of urgent global initiatives to lower emissions. Methane is the main component of natural gas and biogas, so it is essential for leaks to be identified and prevented. The Gazoscan employs a laser to identify leaks and sources over long distances, and the Inspectra fulfils a similar function but with a sampling rod and/or wheel for surveying and pinpointing gas leaks.

The GFM 400 series are able to measure a wider range of gases and enable users to choose the instrument that best suits their application. For example, the GFM 406 has an option for hydrogen measurement, which is increasingly being introduced into natural gas supplies. Other options include LEL, O2, CO and H2S; the latter being useful in odour investigations at petrochemical and wastewater plants.

With a fixed configuration measuring and logging CH4, CO2, O2, H2S and CO, the GFM 426 is ideal for landfill applications. The GFM 436 offers similar capability with the additional capacity to analyse VOCs; offering the versatility of use in both landfill and contaminated land applications.

Graham Sanders, Sales Director at Gas Data, says: “We are delighted to be partnering with Ashtead Technology. By combining the knowledge and expertise of our companies we will enable customers worldwide to optimise their operations by accessing market-leading products and solutions for monitoring pollutants and greenhouse gases.” 

@AshteadTech @GasData @_Enviro_News #PAuto #Environment #Rental

Robust secure Gigabit Ethernet switches.

Red Lion has introduced their N-Tron® Series NT5000 Gigabit Managed Layer 2 Ethernet switches. As industries around the world digitally transform and optimize their operations, reliable and secure network access is absolutely critical. NT5000 switches and their gigabit speed are designed to improve network security and reliability for industrial organizations of all sizes and environments.

The NT5000 also features:

• Graphical dashboards
• RingTM auto
• member
• Port mirroring
• Cable diagnostics
• STP/RSTP/MSTP
• IGMP v1/v2/v3
• SNMP v1/v2/v3
• NTP, LLDP and LACP
• Fast boot allowing traffic to pass in less than 20 seconds
• Wide shock and vibration tolerance
• Extensive compliance certifications, including Product Safety: (UL/CUL) Ordinary and Hazardous locations, Emissions/Immunity: FCC/ICES/CE, ATEX/IECEx, Marine: ABS, Rail: EN 50155, EN 50121, EN 61373, UKCA

The NT5000 maximizes operating performance and system uptime through seamless integration, advanced management and diagnostic capabilities, network redundancy and layered security, and helps organizations meet information technology and operational technology needs for dependable communication.

“Clear, comprehensive and fast network management is essential for organizations to achieve maximum uptime,” said Diane Davis, director of product management, networking, at Red Lion. “The NT5000’s simple graphical user interface includes a logical view showing active ports, power supply, temperature and contact relay status of the switch and color-coded gauges for port traffic and events to allow administrators to quickly identify and address possible network disruptions in real-time, helping lower total cost of ownership.”

The NT5000 switches are available in 6, 8, 10, 16 and 18 port configurations in all copper or a mix of copper and fiber options that can meet specific installation requirements. With a durable, metal enclosure and wide temperature range, the NT5000 is a compact solution for reliable operation in harsh, industrial environments, including factory automation, robotics, food and beverage, oil and gas, marine and rail.

Streamlined Setup.
Configuring switches can be a confusing and time-consuming process. The NT5000 is engineered for fast and easy deployment right out of the box. Its modern, graphical user interface includes a configuration wizard that walks users through initial setup.

Layered Security.
Today’s cybersecurity threats can result in severe consequences. Not all switches have the layered network security to help prevent unauthorized access. The NT5000 features password encryption, multilevel user access and MAC security, IEEE 802.1X with RADIUS remote authentication and more. Administrators can view the event and syslog to clearly see the state of the network in real time and receive notifications about access attempts or configuration changes. The switch can be set to automatically disable user or port credentials after failed access attempts.


• Red Lion  products are marketed in Ireland through Instrument Technology.

@redlioncontrols @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Cybersecurity


Measuring smallest laser power fluctuations.

The IS50A-1KW-RSI-INT-DO from Gentec-EO, from Laser Components, offers a measuring device that detects even the smallest fluctuations in laser power in less than 200 ms. This makes it possible to track the entire ramp-up process of a laser.

The incoming laser beam is attenuated by an integrating sphere so that the Si photodetector, with its advantages in speed and signal quality, can be used in a dynamic range between 0.2 mW and 1 kW. In a wavelength spectrum from 340 nm to 1100 nm, this also supports sources in continuous wave (cw) mode, as well as pulsed sources with a repetition rate of at least 10 kHz. It is designed for a maximum average power density of up to 5 kW/cm2.

Thus this versatility makes the system of particularl interest for laboratories and service technicians who come into contact with a wide variety of lasers and want to cover them with one device.

@LCGermany @lasercomp_uk #PAuto #Laboratory 

WEF alliance membership.

Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Directors of Analog Devices, Vincent Roche, has become a member of the World Economic Forum’s Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders. Analog Devices is the first semiconductor company to join the Alliance, a global community of more than 120 CEOs and Senior Executives from large multinational organisations committed to accelerating the pace of climate change action across their value chains.

“Analog Devices’ core purpose is to work with our customers to create the technological breakthroughs that enrich lives and the world around us,” said Mr. Roche. “From electrification to energy management to industrial efficiency, a focus on combating climate change is woven throughout our business and operations. Joining the Alliance is a natural reflection of our ambition and actions to advance sustainable solutions globally to enable and accelerate the net zero transition. We look forward to working with and alongside Alliance members across our industries.”

Founded in 2014 as a World Economic Forum initiative, the Alliance and its members seek to involve policy makers in their shared commitment to reducing emissions by more than 1 gigaton annually by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. The Alliance publishes white papers and reports to guide leaders on carbon removal, as well as facilitates cross-industry collaboration and knowledge sharing.

“We are delighted to have Vince join us as a member of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders,” said Pim Valdre, World Economic Forum’s Head of Climate Ambition Initiatives. “Analog Devices’ commitment to achieve net zero by 2050 or sooner is just one example of its ESG excellence that can inspire others in the semiconductor industry to follow. We look forward to adding the experience and vision offered by Vince and the Analog Devices team.”

@ADI_News@wef  #Pauto #Climate