Tuesday 29 December 2009

Tilt sensors

New digital tilt indicators
Converts inclinometer output to display angle, with a resolution as low as to 0.001°

Sherborne Sensors has announced the launch of the DTI series, a family of 5-digit, programmable digital panel meters, offering improved tilt measurement system versatility and performance.

The DTI series is designed to take an output from any of their gravity referenced inclinometer, provide the necessary trigonometric conversions, and display the output as an angle, with a resolution down to 0.001°. For seamless interface with a data acquisition system, two supplementary outputs, an analog voltage output and a RS422/485 serial output, are supplied. The enclosure is manufactured from recyclable and flame retardant (VO) materials, with front panel conformance to IP65: NEMA 4.

Because of its versatility, the DTI Series can be effectively implemented into simple, measurement-only applications, as well as those requiring digital communications, alarms and mathematical functions. The powerful menu-driven software, also supplied, enables fast and flexible set-up from the front panel or via serial communications link. In addition, built-in, comprehensive alarm functions for the DTI Series makes them particularly suitable for monitoring, switching and control functions. The hysteresis facility prevents noisy signals from switching alarms erroneously, with high and low deviations facilitating control around a set point. On and off delay times can be set with individual alarms, configured as latching or non-latching, depending on user requirements.

The DTI Series is suitable for use with most of their gravity-referenced inclinometers, as well as other manufacturers' products. An integral 12 VDC power supply is intended to provide excitation voltage for MEMS- based inclinometers. Bi-polar voltage supplied inclinometers may be also powered via Sherborne Sensors XT-0102 or XT-0103 series power supply modules. For customer convenience, the DTI Series can also be supplied as a completely calibrated tilt monitoring system, including the inclinometer.

Flight test

Airborne amplifiers for flight test applications

Endevco® has launched a new series of compact, lightweight, rugged airborne amplifiers, designed for use within demanding flight test applications.

Operating from an onboard aircraft DC-power source, these airborne amplifiers are designed for use with piezoelectric microphones and accelerometers. The 2680M-XXX is a charge amplifier, offering dual outputs, one biased and the other, unbiased, both of which are adjustable with a common gain control. Units are available with an optional low-pass filter. Endevco® model 2685V is a voltage amplifier for use with ISOTRON® (IEPE) accelerometers, providing a constant current power source to a transducer’s integral electronics, while maintaining a two-wire connection. The unique hybrid microcircuit construction of both the 2680M-XXX and 2685V series allow them to be offered in a rugged, compact package, with low power consumption. Units have an output voltage proportional to input acceleration or sound. Amplifier sensitivity is not significantly affected by input cable capacitance. Use of modular construction techniques permits great versatility in gain and filter choices.

Accelerometers recommended for use with the series 2680M-XXX and 2685V airborne amplifiers include model 7255A Pyrotron accelerometer; model 2271A/AM20 cryogenic accelerometer; the thru-bolt mounted model 2221F accelerometer, which recently commemorated its 6,000th successful field installation; and the model 2510 piezoelectric microphone.

Wednesday 23 December 2009

What matters now

So this is Christmas!

It is a time when we try to concentrate on the things that really matter in our lives. Our loves, our personal relationships and remembering things past. Unless of course we subscribe to the Scrooge philosophy of Bah Humbug.

Nevertheless after such a year as we have just experienced it is useful to consider the priorities and changes that are occuring so quickly in this day and age and how they effect our "working" life and therefore indirectly our "personal" life.

This morning I got the latest blog from Chris Rand and he was was giving a present for the year end. A little light holiday reading he called it.

Apparantly our good friend Seth Godin has got 70 "big thinkers" to contribute to a free eBook called "What Matters Now" with inspirational articles about "Things to think about (and do) this year."

So here it is for you too. Read and enjoy!

May we wish all of you and your families every blessing for Christmas and in 2010 every success and prosperity.

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Split-range control

New Book Covers Split-Range Control

PIDTutor has released a book covering all aspects of split-range control. The book, Mastering Split-Rang Control, is designed to help technicians and engineers to implement and troubleshoot split-range control applications.

Split-range control uses a single controller with two control valves to maintain a single process variable. It can be used for a variety of applications, such as heating and cooling of a tank or a room. Split-range control is widely used in the process industries, such as pulp and paper, oil and petrochemicals, and mining.

George Buckbee, President of PIDTutor, and author of the book, says: "I wrote this book because split-range control is widely used, but is often mis-understood. With split-range control, the devil is in the details. These details and many ‘tricks of the trade’ are included in the book."
The book covers all aspects of the use of split-range control. Starting with the basics, the book discusses when to use split-range and when not to, costs and benefits, how to configure the control strategy, how to calibrate the valves, how to tune the loops, and even how to train operators and troubleshoot problems. Color pictures illustrate the key concepts.

About PIDTutor and George Buckbee George Buckbee, P.E. is a process control industry veteran, and president of PIDTutor. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering. George has dedicated his entire career to process control, spending decades in hands-on engineering assignments. He has written dozens of articles, and a full-length text “Automation Applications in Biopharmaceuticals”. He is widely known for his practical approach to process control. George started PID Tutor to help solve common problems in the process industries. In addition to books, PIDTutor offers training, consulting, and project management services.
See his Blog: Process Control Guru.

Load cell launch

North American launch of ultra low range precision load cells

Sherborne Sensors has announced the North American launch of their SS2/SS3 series, a family of ultra-low range precision load cells, designed for aerospace, automotive, medical, R&D and general industry applications where extremely low force measurements are required.

The SS2/SS3 series offers full range measurement capabilities to 60 grams, with a 12mV/V full scale output and virtually infinite resolution, enabling low forces to be resolved down to just a fraction of one gram. Bonded semiconductor strain gage technology confers excellent sensitivity, and eliminates the fragility associated with non-bonded strain gage types. The robust design of the SS2/SS3 series features excellent immunity to the effects of eccentric loading, side loading and bending moments, with added versatility of precision measurement capabilities in either tension or compression mode. Low deflection and high-frequency response characteristics of the SS2/SS3 series are suitable for measuring both peak and transient forces over an operating temperature range of -20 to +90 °C.

Their customers benefit from extensive applications engineering support, global technical sales presence, repair, refurbishment and calibration services, stocking programs, and continuous product improvements. Illustrating the confidence that they place in their products, SS2/SS3 series ultra-low range precision load cells include a comprehensive two-year warranty. Additionally, throughout 2010, Sherborne Sensors guarantees on-time delivery for SS2/SS3 series load cells, or the Purchaser is entitled to claim credit, in accordance with the new Sherborne Sensors Late Delivery Compensation plan.

EMI solution

HMI-like ease of use
New EMI solution features best-in-class data analysis, presentation & reporting.

Wonderware Ireland part of SolutionsPT Limited – has announced Wonderware® Intelligence Software 1.0 solution. This new, easy-to-use enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) solution enables customers to contextualise, aggregate and report both historian and operational data using role-based dashboards, presenting key performance indicators (KPIs) and real-time operational business metrics that are used to monitor, tune and optimise operations and supply chains.

This software transforms data and information from multiple sources into business intelligence by aggregating process and production data in real time and adding contextual elements, such as equipment, product, work orders, material and personnel. This information context enables end users to gain insights into the root causes of problems and understand how production events are related — another unique benefit.

The formatted information is saved and optimised for fast reporting and analysis, allowing end users to create and publish dashboards using the Wonderware Intelligence Analytics Client into a wide variety of web portals. Users can also configure customised metrics without programming. Additionally, the solution:

• Acquires data not only from the Wonderware family of products, including MES, InBatch™ and Historian, but also from external systems such as ERP, LIMS, PDM or even other execution systems and historians, to provide plant, multi-plant and corporate-wide views of operations and performance.
• Utilises best-in-class tools for rapidly creating and publishing dashboards that can be rendered in commonly used web platforms such as Microsoft SharePoint®, mySAP Enterprise Portal and Wonderware Information Server.
• Furthers investments in the core Wonderware products, leveraging System Platform’s Integrated Development Environment and services for configuration and deployment of the data model and allowing customers to incrementally add MES and EMI features and functionality easily and non-invasively.
• Is a cross-functional product, applicable to any industry or market segment

“This is a true EMI solution that allows customers to build once, deploy at multiple sites and enjoy corporate-wide visibility of their plant’s KPIs, even with disparate data sources. Dashboards can easily be created with drag-and-drop ease, enabling self-service access to information,” said Maryanne Steidinger, director of product marketing, Invensys Operations Management.

Canadian distribution

New distribution centre opens

Brennan Industries has opened a new distribution center in Canada allowing for faster and more cost-effective shipments to Canadian customers.

“The new distribution center allows us to better serve our Canadian customers by saving them money and making our products more convenient for them,” said David M. Carr, president at Brennan Industries. “Now there are no delays or large fees for small orders.”

The new Canadian distribution center is located in Mississauga, Ontario. Since shipments no longer need to clear customs and customhouse brokerage fees can be avoided, Canadian customers will benefit with time and cost savings.

Brennan Industries offers more than 25,000 standard and special products in sizes ranging from 1/8- to 2-1/2-inches. These include pipe and straight-thread fittings, O-ring face-seal fittings, 37 degree flare tube fittings, bite-type fittings, metric fittings, international fittings, and a double ferrule instrumentation tube fitting line. Most products are available in carbon steel, stainless steel and brass, and meet or exceed J.I.C., S.A.E. and other specifications.

Brennan products are stocked at six strategically located, full-service distribution centers in: Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle (all USA) and now Mississauga in Ontario.

DP transducers

Wet/wet pressure differential transducers designed for high line pressure

For high line pressure applications where it is important to measure the differential pressure between two pressure ports, RDP Electronics has a specialist range of transducers.

Applications such as measuring the pressure across hydraulic cylinders, very high pressure filter measurement, or test applications where a very high line pressure or very high overload pressure is called for, can all be addressed with true wet/wet differential transducers. Versions can allow differential pressure of 4,000 psi for example, even where the line pressure may already be 5,000 psi and are designed for the minimum possible error caused by variations in line pressure. Transducers are manufactured from stainless steel and versions are compatible with a wide range of fluids and gases.

Technology alliance

Invensys Announces Technology Alliance with RWD
Operator training simulators from Invensys and training services from RWD target hydrocarbon processing market

Invensys Operations Management has announced the formation of a global relationship with RWD, a world leader in developing and implementing programs for continuous improvement, advanced learning services and business transformation and change management. RWD will create training programs for Invensys Operations Management's operator training simulators (OTS) for clients in the hydrocarbon processing industries.

"Operating companies worldwide face a daunting dilemma of replacing operators and other personnel quickly and effectively," said Steven Sendelbach, applications consultant, Invensys Operations Management. "Combining RWD's highly effective training methodology with our world-class simulation and modeling technologies provides a complete solution focused on rapidly accelerating the competencies of a shrinking workforce. The end result is an operating team with improved troubleshooting and optimization skills that help plants run more safely with less downtime and lower operating costs."

Together, Invensys and RWD will provide a single, unified and fully integrated training program that will help manufacturers and process companies create better trained, more skilled operators. The initial offering will encompass several Invensys SimSci-Esscor® products, including DYNSIM® software for Operator Training, utilizing a simulator modeling platform, and the EYESim™ 3-D virtual reality field operator training solution. By including professional training services, clients can maximize the benefits they experience from an OTS alone.

"In today's environment, companies want complete solutions for training operators and engineers rapidly and predictably so they can safely operate plants at peak performance with minimal downtime," said Jim Parish, executive vice president of RWD's Energy Solutions Group. "Invensys has proven simulation and modeling technology, and in combination with our RWD TOPS® training programs and eLearning solutions, we can offer high value-add solutions to our clients. RWD looks forward to working closely with Invensys."


Improving packaging performance in 30 days
A powerful, pre-built solution utilises operator-centric performance management paradigm

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced the availability of the Proficy® SmartStart Packaging Performance Solution™, a pre-built software and services solution that offers a low-risk, proven approach to packaging performance. The solution helps customers improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), production rate, availability, and order fulfillment while reducing waste and labor costs by providing critical insight into high-speed packaging line operations. When fully implemented, customers have seen OEE increases on packaging lines of between 5% and 12% over time.

The package is part of a suite of GE Intelligent Platforms’ SmartStart solutions designed to enable business results in as little as 30 days with minimal risk by packaging our full-featured software, a proprietary rapid-engagement methodology, high-impact best practices and application templates, with the right delivery and domain expertise to ensure results.

“Packaging operations are under intense pressure to achieve production and quality objectives while reducing costs, adapting to rapidly changing schedules, maximizing asset utilization, and continually improving overall performance,” said Sheila Kester, General Manager, Operations Management Software for GE Intelligent Platforms. “Troubleshooting, analysis, and root-cause-level correction of packaging performance problems within packaging environments are extremely challenging. This SmartStart solution is built to address those critical issues in an accelerated manner. ”

The SmartStart Packaging Performance Solution, developed by GE Intelligent Platforms Premier Solution Provider EnteGreat of Birmingham, (AL US) and Mississauga, (ONT CDN), is a value-added application of Proficy software components that can be rapidly deployed to help operators quickly identify root causes of stoppages and quality issues. Engineers and maintenance technicians can use the system to gain comprehensive insights into the packaging performance at each manufacturing site within an enterprise.

EnteGreat has combined the power of GE’s Proficy software with its deep understanding of production efficiency management to deliver the Packaging Performance Solution. The package provides:

Pre-built displays that operating teams will use during shift hand-over meetings to ensure the incoming team gets the facts quickly and understands what is currently causing the most problems, sees how the line is trending – and enables them to get onto fixing current problems.
Real-time visualization of packaging line operations data, including tracking of downtime and waste – highlighting exceptions and the areas where performance is below par – with a ‘path to action’ that the teams can follow to identify root cause quickly and directly
Tracking of team performance aimed at motivating the teams to meet their targets whether it is during the shift or even year to date.

Focused reporting and intuitive, user-friendly interface – so the system can be used when the line is stopped and answers are needed now.

“Packaging Performance is a prime target for most manufacturers because it is so critical to their overall business performance,” said Noel Peberdy, President of EnteGreat. “Packaging is typically responsible for a large percentage of the manufacturing cost, and any hiccups in packaging can quickly impact customers.

“Order fulfillment and supply chain responsiveness are dependent on reliable, efficient, high performance packaging operations,” continued Peberdy. “This is particularly challenging on high-speed lines. When a line is down, every minute that ticks by is lost production. Operators don’t have time to fiddle around, trying to figure out what the root cause of downtime is. We have worked with large and small manufacturers on literally hundreds of packaging lines to develop the processes and systems to maximize up time – and to support continuous improvement initiatives that improve OEE and sustain higher levels – even as SKU complexity increases, line changeovers increase in frequency - and as more experienced operators retire.”

The Packaging Performance Solution enables our customers to accelerate improvements in packaging performance. SmartStart offerings capitalize on the extensive application expertise of GE Intelligent Platforms’ solutions ecosystem and the structured evaluation period to improve time-to-value and reduce total cost of ownership for our customers. They also offer scalability and extensibility by establishing a foundation that enables rapid expansion to other production lines and/or additional Operations Management functionality.

Monday 21 December 2009

Plant of the year

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation 2009 HART Plant of the Year
Use of HART technology detects abnormal situations and failures before they affect the process

HART Communication Foundation Director of Technology Programs Ed Ladd (left) and Executive Director Ron Helson present the 2009 HART Plant of the Year Award to Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation in Kashima, Japan, (l-r) Takayuki Aoyama, team leader, Maintenance and Engineering Dept Instrumentation Group; Kenji Tsutsui, general manager, Maintenance and Engineering Dept; and Nobuyuki Mishima, group manager, Maintenance and Engineering Dept Instrumentation Group.

The HART® Communication Foundation has selected the Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (Japan’s largest chemical manufacturer) ethylene plant located in Kashima, (JP), as recipient of the 2009 HART Plant of the Year Award. The award is given annually to recognize the people, companies and plant sites around the globe that are using the advanced capabilities of HART Communication in real-time applications to improve operations, lower costs and increase availability.

Mitsubishi Chemical is using the HART Communication capability of over 800 interoperable field devices integrated with their DCS and asset management systems through multiplexers and HART-enabled I/Os to access real-time continuous process variables and diagnostics. By accessing this real-time intelligent data they are able to diagnose abnormal process conditions and track equipment health 24 hours a day. As a result, peak production performance has improved with an estimated operational savings for the plant of $20,000-$30,000 USD per day.

Diagnostics also are used to uncover device failures before they affect the process. It is estimated that two or three device failures have been detected that would have caused unplanned shutdowns. An unscheduled plant shutdown costs an estimated $600,000 USD in lost production per day with a minimum production restart time of 5 days ($3 million USD total savings).

“Diagnostic parameters that help detect signs of an abnormal situation or degrading performance are difficult to obtain with simple handheld devices because they require a time-consuming, manual, step-by-step approach,” says Takayuki Aoyama, team leader, instrumentation group, Mitsubishi Chemical. “HART technology made it possible to access this data without manual operation. This made it much easier for us to gather data and detect abnormal situations from field devices and has reduced maintenance costs by 10 percent.”

In addition, trending and analysis of secondary process variables throughout the plant provide process insight that has allowed plant engineers to analyze, troubleshoot and resolve a number of operational problems including plugged impulse lines, an unstable flow profile, and an inefficient compressor pump.

“We have designated HART as our standard communication protocol and will replace (older) devices with HART-type whenever we get a chance,” says Takayuki. “We use HART communication to collect online data from our field devices without disturbing the 4-20mA analog signal to the control system. Our goal is to detect abnormal situations in the process and protect field devices from malfunctions.”

“Mitsubishi Chemical is a perfect example of how the power of HART can be used to lower costs, improve plant availability and help keep a plant competitive,” says Ron Helson, HART Communication Foundation executive director. “We congratulate Mitsubishi Chemical on their innovative use of HART Communication in applications that not only benefit their company, but also serve as a powerful model for industry users worldwide—a working illustration of how to realize far greater benefits from HART Communication than ever before.”
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation has 39,000 employees (including subsidiaries). The ethylene plant capacity is 380,000 tons per year. Approximately 800 HART devices are currently installed in the plant with an additional 2200 4-20mA only devices that will be upgraded over time.

The HART Plant of the Year is a unique award in the process automation industry. It is the only public award presented to end user companies to recognize ingenuity in the application of HART Communication technology. The award showcases end user companies and their suppliers who have demonstrated creativity in using the full capabilities of HART Communication technology.

The HART Communication Foundation encourages nominations for HART Plant of the Year from all world areas. Nominations are accepted through May of each year. Previous recipients are Petropiar PVSDA (Venezuela); StatoilHydro (Norway); BP Canada Energy (Canada); Sasol Solvents (South Africa); Clariant (Germany); BP Cooper River (USA), Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (USA) and Dupont (USA).

Friday 18 December 2009

Tilt sensors

New brochure for sealed tilt sensors

Penny + Giles, has announced a new STT Sealed Tilt Sensors brochure.

Complete with technical information, including a selection guide for ordering the various models and features, the free 12 page brochure is available in print and online. It is user-friendly and offers information about the two models in the range - the compact 28mm diameter model STT280, and the rugged 87.5mm diameter model STT500 supplied in a marine grade cast aluminium housing sealed to IP69K. The brochure also includes a 3 page guide on installation and application of the

Included are detailed ordering codes that allow a wide range of factory fitted options for these contactless tilt sensors that use the latest 3D-MEMS (Micro-Electro- Mechanical Systems) sensing technology.

The brochure is an essential resource for designers specifying safety systems for applications in road construction machinery, cranes and booms, scissor lifts, agricultural machinery, container handling and hydraulic lifting systems.

High performance comms

Network cabling system provides high-performance communications at new data centre

An advanced network cabling system from the AMP NETCONNECT forms the heart of the internal communications system at a new data centre for Fidessa group plc, a major international supplier of financial markets trading solutions.

The system, designed and installed by Maxima, an approved Amp Netconnect partner, includes both Category 6 UTP (unshielded twisted pair) copper and OM3 multimode 50/125 fibre-optic cabling, and is housed in a new purpose-built facility known as Sentrum IV on the outskirts of Woking, Surrey (GB).

Fidessa is a leading supplier of multi-asset trading, portfolio analysis, decision support, compliance, market data and connectivity solutions for firms involved in trading the world’s financial markets. Headquartered in London and with regional operations across Europe, North
America, Asia and the Middle East, Fidessa supports over 24,000 users across 730 clients, serving a broad spectrum of customers from major investment banks and asset managers through to specialist niche brokers and hedge funds.

The nature of the company’s business means that its data-centre capabilities and the associated communications infrastructure are of vital importance, and the Sentrum IV facility is the latest and most advanced of these centres. In selecting the main contractor for the new centre, it was natural that Fidessa should turn to Maxima, who have worked with Fidessa over a number of years – most recently on the company’s GS2 data centre in London.

“The Maxima team has detailed knowledge of our requirements and the design and installation practices that we expect from our suppliers”, comments Mark Brewer, Production Services Manager at Fidessa: “Not only do they ensure that project installations always run smoothly: they are also willing and able to offer innovative solutions that relate specifically to the needs of our industry.”

One of the specific requirements for the Sentrum IV data centre relates to the fact that Fidessa will use it as a showcase facility for existing and potential clients. This meant that the ‘public’ areas needed to be as clean and tidy as possible, with any cabling hidden away beneath floors or in purpose-designed cabinets. Maxima designed the sub-floor cable support system to ensure that cable capacity was not compromised.

The installation proposed and implemented by Maxima includes a total of 125 APC server, communications and switch cabinets incorporating 250 intelligent power units, along with sixteen AMP NETCONNECT cross-connect central patch frames. The fully ISO/IEC 11801 compliant Category 6 copper and OM3 fibre cabling system includes over 9500 Category 6 AMP SL connections and over 6300 OM3 LC AMP connections.

The system carries Tyco Electronics’ 25-year warranty, which will allow Fidessa to accommodate the growing bandwidth needs of IP convergence, reduce expenses associated with download, upload and backup time, and reduce costs associated with future upgrades.

An important feature of the installation is the use of the recently introduced AMP NETCONNECT Hi-D (high-density) network cabling system to provide a centralised high-density cross-connect patching system. The Hi-D network cabling system is positioned at the heart of the data-centre facility to allow for all the server, communications and switch cabinets to connect with the copper and fibre cabling through a centrally located cross-connect facility.

The Class E/Category 6 UTP copper cabling system uses low-smoke zero-halogen sheathing, along with 24-port Hi-D angled patch panels with SL jacks to provide full RJ45 connectivity. To provide a degree of resilience, copper cabling is routed from each panel in groups of 12 cables and follows diverse cable routes. The copper cabling is housed in a containment system under a
false floor. The use of pre-manufactured Tyco Electronics harness assemblies between the network switch cabinets and the Hi-D angled patch panels is an important factor in ensuring warranty compliance.

The OM3 fibre cabling system also uses low-smoke zero-halogen sheathing, and takes the form of individual 12- or 24-core cables linking 24- or 12-way duplex panels. As with the copper cabling, the fibre cables are diversely routed between cabinets.

Commenting on the successful completion of the Fidessa project, Barry Silverman, Maxima’s Cabling Business Unit Manager within Support & Enablement Services, said: “At Maxima, we pride ourselves on being an approved, experienced and responsive network integrator, and we are always seeking to achieve the most resilient and cost-effective solutions for our clients. By partnering with the AMP NETCONNECT business unit of Tyco Electronics, we have been able to offer Fidessa the optimum combination of a high-quality infrastructure backed by Tyco Electronics’ powerful warranty and our own high level of support.”

Transient capture

Transient capture and time-stamp module

VTI Instruments Corporation has introduced the EX1200-7416, a transient capture and time-stamp module that extends the capabilities of the EX1200 Series of configurable LXI Class A instruments. The new module supports a broad range of applications that require level comparison, event detection, and time stamping.

The EX1200-7416 can be combined with other EX1200 plug-in modules to create a versatile, multifunction instrument that can be used in a variety of data acquisition and test applications. The module is ideal for applications such as power-supply monitoring, where it can detect critical out-of-tolerance conditions that require immediate intervention.

The new unit has 16 input channels and can continuously monitor a variety of high-level analogue and discrete signals up to 100 V. Each channel has an 8-bit digital-analogue convertor that can be independently programmed to set the trip level.

The EX1200-7416 can detect transients that cannot normally be captured by a typical DMM or scanning measurement system. As part of the EX1200 LXI Class A instrument series, this module can also record events with IEEE 1588 time codes to provide a precise correlation of event/time data.

Input channels can be internally routed to the optional EX1200 series DMM to measure the analogue level of the signals. The reference DACs can also be routed to the internal DMM to facilitate self-verification, which can be executed under program control.

VTI is represented in the Britain by TTi Test & Measurement distribution.

Thursday 17 December 2009

Simulation technology

Viability of Clean-Coal Power in South Korea

Korea Electric Power Research Institute uses operator training and dynamic simulation solutions to develop Taean-based IGCC power plant

Invensys Operations Management has delivered comprehensive simulation and training solutions to the Korea Electric Power Research Institute (KEPRI), South Korea's leading electric power research institute and part of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

Under the terms of the agreement, Invensys provided an operator training simulator (OTS), including its Dynsim® high-fidelity simulation for operator training and process engineering design studies and Wonderware InTouch® human machine interface (HMI) for graphic visualization of processes. Invensys also supplied engineering and technical services to develop the dynamic simulation models and to configure the HMI for operator training and engineering.

The solutions will be implemented at KEPRI's proposed generic-model integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant to be built in Taean, South Korea. Viewed as a state-of-the-art facility and testing ground, the plant will be used to prove the viability of clean-coal power plants worldwide. KEPRI process, mechanical and control engineers will use the dynamic simulators to understand new IGCC technology, make design decisions, prepare operating procedures and train plant operators.

"We needed a robust solution that was scalable, customizable and flexible enough to meet the special needs of our engineers during the design phase and to give our operators a jump start on learning this new technology," said Yong-Jin Joo, Ph.D., project manager, KEPRI/KEPCO. "I am extremely pleased with the dynamic model Invensys delivered. As the first OTS of the first IGCC plant in this country, the Invensys simulator will provide operational insight into applying IGCC technology, helping to lower the barriers to developing clean-coal power in South Korea and the world."

"Invensys has deep experience in dynamic modeling of coal gasification and providing operator training simulators in both the power and process industries," said Tobias Scheele, Ph.D., vice president, advanced applications, Invensys Operations Management. "Combining our IGCC industry knowledge with the flexibility and power of our Dynsim simulation program, we were able to provide KEPRI with a scalable OTS that will meet their growing needs."

Remote Monitoring

More than 1,100 units in turbine fleet monitored
Real-time data on impending failures and performance diagnostics

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced that GE Energy’s Performance & Reliability Centre (PRC) in Atlanta (GA US) has standardised on a remote monitoring and diagnostic platform that utilizes the company’s Proficy® Historian, Proficy SOA, Proficy Workflow and Proficy CIMPLICITY software.

This system monitors more than 1,100 units in GE Energy’s turbine fleet and provides customers with real-time data on impending failures and performance diagnostics. The legacy system utilized an Oracle based relational database architecture that consumed more than 50 terabytes of storage across four database instances. Over time, the legacy solution has become costly to maintain and support and was not sufficiently extensible to sustain future growth.

“GE Intelligent Platforms delivers a solution that is flexible and scalable while lowering ongoing maintenance costs through simplified IT infrastructure and reduced storage demands. Improving availability and access to fleet data while leveraging diagnostic workflow capabilities will drive improved productivity of subject matter experts,” said Justin Eggart, Performance and Reliability Center leader for GE Energy Services. “The new system will enhance our focus on delivering customer value, applying advanced Monitoring and Diagnostics solutions, while proactively managing the performance and reliability of turbines and other assets in the GE fleet.”

GE Intelligent Platforms’ Next Generation M&D platform (Gen X), is based on proven, Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) software products such as Proficy Historian, a best in class platform for data acquisition and storage designed to handle time sequence data at speeds significantly faster than traditional relational databases algorithms that simply aren’t available in relational models, while also supporting a range of data compression. The result is better performance with lower disk utilization without any loss of data resolution.

“This architecture sets the standard inside GE for remote monitoring and diagnostics platforms and the PRC stands as a shining example of how GE can leverage its domain expertise into Knowledge Service offerings,” said Erik Udstuen, Vice President Software and Services for GE Intelligent Platforms. “The solution allows GE Energy to further expand its robust state-of-the art services allowing customers to tap into GE’s deep domain expertise in an efficient and effective way.”

Also key to the solution is GE’s breakthrough work process management backbone for application development, Proficy Workflow, a highly scalable software solution due to its efficient storage model; Proficy CIMPLICITY -client/server based visualization and control solution that helps you visualize your operations, perform supervisory automation and deliver reliable information to higher-level analytic applications resulting in faster responsiveness, reduced costs and increased profitability.

“We proved that our Proficy Software’s integrated capability to collect, organize, analyze, and drive work processes around massive volumes of real-time data could meet the needs of GE Energy now and into the future,” Udstuen concluded.

High speed data

Software adds new functionality to high-speed data-acquisition system

New software for the Yokogawa SL1000 high-speed data-acquisition system provides additional functionality including X-Y display and waveform accumulation capabilities.

In addition to the real-time X-Y display feature, which plots the relationship between two different input signals, the new acquisition software provides a 'mark' function which allows the user to attach an information label during measurement as well as an 'auto play' function for
zoom or history waveforms. In addition to the new accumulation display, a 'snapshot' function is also available that can be used to visually compare a reference signal with a new measurement.

Also included are improved file utility capabilities. It is now possible to save part of the captured data and convert files to binary or ASCII formats (with support for MATLAB).

The Yokogawa SL1000 is a modular PC-based data-acquisition unit designed to provide high-speed data logging and fast data transfer in electro-mechanical and power measurement applications. It can directly connect to popular sensors like thermocouples, accelerometers, strain gauges and tachometers. Featuring 100 MS/s sampling on 16 channels and isolated inputs for high-voltage measurements, the SL1000 is also equipped as standard with intuitive, easy-to-use logging and control software for quick start and set-up.

The new acquisition software and firmware for the SL1000 is now being shipped with all new products. For SL1000 units delivered before the 1st July 2009, a free update is now available from the Yokogawa Test & Measurement website.

Test probe

Small threaded switching test probe

The new P221/G from Peak Test Services is a miniature threaded switching test probe with an extremely short mounting length of 24.5 mm, allowing it to be used with devices with pin spacings of 2.54 mm.

The P221/G exerts a relatively low pressure, making it ideally suited to the detection or presence sensing of closing surfaces, components or connectors. This is especially designed for use in horizontal mounting applications where the installation space is limited.

It is also available with an easy replacement design, enabling the test probe to be replaced without de-soldering the wire with a resultant reduction in maintenance requirements.

Ind Ethernet

Low cost starter kits

Harting has introduced low cost entry-level industrial Ethernet switch starter kits and patch cables. The Basic and Basic+ Ethernet kits and the new Cat 6 patch cables will be available at substantial discounts until 26th March 2010.

The Harting Basic Ethernet switch kit contains everything needed for a simple industrial Ethernet implementation, including a five-port unmanaged switch, ten “tool-less assembly” RJ45 connectors and 20 metres of Cat 5 Type B Ethernet cable. In addition, the Basic+ kit contains a 24VDC/1.4A power supply and a HARTING cable stripping tool.

The RJ45 connectors and the new range of Cat 6 patch cables are part of their Automation IT generic cabling system. The RJ45 has a unique two-part boot design that offers robust handling and bending protection. They are designed to be robust enough for industrial environments and are heat and flame retardant.

The Cat 6 patch cables offer Ethernet speeds of up to 1000 Mbit/s and are both flame retardant and halogen free. They operate at temperatures from -20°C to +80°C, have dual boot design with robust locking lever protection and unlocking latch and are perfect for multi-port applications.

Their Basic and Basic+ Ethernet kits are perfect for simple but robust industrial applications.

Shows held over

Industrial tradeshows in Dubai now for 2011

Deutsche Messe, who organise the Hannver Fair among others, is postponing the industrial trade fairs CeMAT MIDDLE EAST, Industrial Automation (IA) MIDDLE EAST and Motion, Drive & Automation (MDA) MIDDLE EAST - all originally schedu­led to take place in February 2010 - until 2011.

Due to scheduling changes and a resulting overlap of topics, the Dubai World Trade Center is no longer able to accommodate the trade fairs at the originally planned time and location.

"In the eyes of Deutsche Messe, the United Arab Emirates, and particularly Dubai, continue to represent a key exhibition location in the medium and long term. After careful analysis, we have decided to postpone the debut of these tradeshows until 2011. There are topic overlaps at the exhibition venue which now make it impossible to stage our exhibitions within the original framework. We require the premium exhibition facility for our events in order to fulfill the needs of our customers and our preferred venue to hold this trade show would be The Dubai World Trade Centre," explained Dr. Andreas Gruchow, Member of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe.

Visual Studio

Decrease development time for T&M visual studio developers
New version of software introduces technical advancements for 64-Bit .NET application development and Windows 7 systems

National Instruments has announced Measurement Studio 2009, which decreases development time for engineers using Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio .NET 2003 to create test and measurement applications. Measurement Studio 2009 simplifies data acquisition, analysis and visualisation by providing integrated I/O support, native libraries and user interface updates. The software introduces support for the latest advancements in PC technologies, including increased memory in 64-bit .NET application development and MS Windows 7 operating systems. Measurement Studio 2009 also provides increased I/O capabilities with integrated support for new NI data acquisition (DAQ) hardware on PC buses such as USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, PCI Express and PXI.

It supports the latest enhancements in PC technologies, such as Windows 7 operating systems, and improves performance of memory-intensive applications with support for 64-bit .NET development and deployment and integration with 64-bit drivers. Visual Studio developers who have adopted a 64-bit operating system, such as Windows 7, can start taking full advantage of increased processing power and memory capabilities with Measurement Studio 2009.

The software integrates I/O support for new DAQ hardware from NI, such as NI CompactDAQ, Wi-Fi DAQ and X Series DAQ devices. Measurement Studio seamlessly integrates with NI-DAQmx driver software to take advantage of the sophisticated capabilities of NI hardware including faster stream-to-disk rates of up to 1.2 gigabytes per second, multiple timing engines and advanced counter/timer functionality. The new I/O capabilities and provided measurement analysis class libraries also help engineers more efficiently obtain measurements from physical sensors.

Additionally, Measurement Studio 2009 simplifies the setup of streaming high-speed data to disk for .NET developers using Technical Data Management Streaming (TDMS) . With the TDMS file format and NI-DAQmx driver, engineers can stream directly to disk up to 12 times faster than with previous versions of Measurement Studio. The TDMS integration removes the burden of designing and maintaining custom file formats to achieve sustained data streaming in high-speed measurement applications. Measurement Studio 2009 also provides developers with faster file access and improved compatibility between TDMS applications.

The system also includes incremental user interface improvements to graphically display data. With a new and easy way to set a configuration property to the waveform and complex graphs, Measurement Studio can automatically generate different colours for each plot, eliminating the need to explicitly assign colours to plots. The software also features updates to the Network Variable Class Library, which helps engineers perform cross-platform communication among several Windows applications. This library now provides engineers with the ability to immediately publish an update to network variables and configure descriptions and types for explicitly created network variables.

Tuesday 15 December 2009


Reducing test time by up to 300 % New suite delivers high-performance tools

National Instruments has introduced the their Measurement Suite for Mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e-2005), a software suite that engineers can use with modular RF instrumentation for automated testing of Mobile WiMAX devices. With this software suite, engineers can perform Mobile WiMAX component and device testing faster than with traditional instruments, and with better accuracy and greater flexibility.

Based on PXI Express instrumentation powered by multicore technology, the suite can perform error vector magnitude (EVM), power and spectral measurements three to five times faster than traditional instruments. PXI WiMAX test systems from National Instruments also provide a low-cost, R&D-grade instrumentation alternative to traditional instruments. With a typical residual EVM accuracy of -46 dB at 3.5 GHz (-10 dBm), this test system can perform significantly more accurate measurements than alternative production test-grade instruments. Additionally, the suite provides engineers enhanced flexibility with the same equipment used for testing Mobile WiMAX devices to test hardware that complies with other standards such as Fixed WiMAX, wireless local area network (WLAN), GPS, and GSM/EDGE/WCDMA cellular standards.
“The NI Measurement Suite for Mobile WiMAX reflects the continued investment from National Instruments to provide test solutions for engineers developing next-generation wireless technology devices,” said Eric Starkloff, Vice President of Test Marketing at National Instruments. “With this new solution, we now can provide engineers the ability to significantly reduce their test cost by providing R&D-grade instrumentation that performs measurements three to five times faster than traditional solutions.”
The Measurement Suite for Mobile WiMAX supports channel bandwidths from 1.25 to 28 MHz and fast Fourier transform (FFT) sizes 128, 256, 1024 and 2048, as well as all Mobile WiMAX modulation types with both convolution coding and turbo convolution coding. The Measurement Suite for Mobile WiMAX can also generate or analyse signals with up to eight zones and 16 bursts. Combined with the NI PXIe-5663E RF vector signal analyser and NI PXIe-5673 RF vector signal generator, the measurement suite also provides continuous frequency coverage from 85 MHz to 6.6 GHz.

By including the NI Signal Analysis Toolkit for Mobile WiMAX and the NI Signal Generation Toolkit for Mobile WiMAX, the suite offers programming APIs and virtual instrument panels for signal generation and analysis in programming environments including the LabVIEW graphical system design platform. In addition to a LabVIEW API, the toolkits install with an equivalent C-style API for engineers using C, C++, .NET, or similar programming language.

The Measurement Suite for Mobile WiMAX supports multiple PXI hardware configurations to meet different application needs. A standard NI test bundle for Mobile WiMAX includes an NI PXIe-5663 6.6 GHz vector signal analyser, NI PXIe-5673 6.6 GHz vector signal generator, NI PXIe-1075 18-slot high-bandwidth chassis and a NI PXIe-8108 dual-core controller to provide high-performance flexibility to a variety of automated test systems.

Mobile workforce @ Shell

Improving in-the-field decision making for operations workforce

Royal Dutch Shell’s Downstream Manufacturing Division has entered into a multi-year partnership with Invensys Operations Management. Shell will utilise Wonderware’s Mobile Collaboration Solutions mobile workforce and decision-support solution as one tool in the Ensure Safe Production (ESP) initiative at 29 of its global manufacturing facilities. The Mobile Collaboration Solutions system will provide downstream operations with configurable software and rugged, intrinsically-safe mobile hardware to more effectively manage the equipment-surveillance process and regulatory compliance tasks. By implementing this module, field operators will be able to optimise work processes, resulting in improved asset reliability and availability and reduced overall maintenance costs.

Invensys will provide this mobile workforce solution to help Shell operators, field engineers and supervisors create, define and routinely execute equipment surveillance and regulatory procedures following best practices, corporate policies and regulatory mandates. When executing these in-the-field procedures using the Wonderware Mobile Collaboration Solutions solution on their mobile computers, operators are made aware of potential equipment issues in real time so that they can take corrective action immediately, as well as maintain regulatory compliance.

Proficy as standard

Solution to provide significant quality improvements, and scrap and waste reduction
United Solar Ovonic standardises on Proficy® Software to strengthen photovoltaic module manufacturing capabilities

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced that United Solar Ovonic (United Solar), a world leader in the manufacturing of flexible solar modules located in Rochester Hills, Michigan (US), has standardized on GE’s Proficy® software platform to reduce scrap, increase throughput and lower the cost of manufacturing thin-film photovoltaic laminates. The Proficy software, which includes Operations Management, HMI/SCADA and Reporting modules, will allow the company to improve the quality of its product while taking cost out of its operations.

The project is expected to cover operational manufacturing sites in Michigan, and the company’s Mexico assembly plant. United Solar expects the project to produce significant benefits over three years time with more than 80% of the benefit associated with quality improvements and scrap and waste reduction.

“The constraints posed by the worldwide dependence on oil has led the charge toward more renewable energy solutions and thin-film photovoltaic solar modules are state-of-the art in this industry,” said Erik Udstuen, Vice President of Software and Services for GE Intelligent Platforms. “Investing in manufacturing processes to increase their ability to meet those needs and taking costs out of operations, will propel United Solar in renewable energy, and help them to produce more sustainable products for the global marketplace. ”

United Solar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices builds integrated rooftop photovoltaics that are flexible, light weight, easy to install, durable, and provide excellent real-world energy production. Keeping up with one of the fastest growing segments of the solar power industry led the company to realize the need to implement a system that could address quality, throughput and sustainability issues in their manufacturing process.

United Solar began a very competitive evaluation process including multiple vendors, more than a year ago. Important to the company’s decision-making process was GE Intelligent Platforms’ expertise in solar photovoltaic manufacturing and the company’s adherence to the Microsoft technology stack of which United Solar is a big supporter, as well as GE Intelligent Platforms’ proven track record in both the Continuous and Discrete industries.

“Companies that participate in this fast growing solar industry, will differentiate themselves with high quality products at competitive pricing levels,” said Joe Conroy, Senior Vice President of Operations at United Solar. “Our goal in implementing this solution is to reduce scrap, increase throughput, gain greater visibility into material consumptions, reduce work-in-process and, ultimately, lower costs.“

“By better monitoring and controlling the production process,” Conroy continued, “we are improving quality and yield and therefore reducing the cost of modules produced.”

United Solar uses Proficy iFIX and Proficy Historian in all of the five current manufacturing sites today, and will be implementing the Proficy Operations Management suite including Proficy Plant Applications, Proficy DataMart, Proficy Workflow, and Proficy Scheduler. Proficy iFIX is used for process visualization and process alarm management providing the company a window into their process by displaying key process indicators along side animated process graphics. Proficy Historian records key process indicators for process optimization activities today. With the expansion of their use of additional software, Historian will be used to correlate relationships between KPIs and downtime events, OEE performance across manufacturing assets, waste /scrap and other process variables.

In addition, the Proficy Quality module will be used to insure all quality characteristics are checked during manufacturing as defined by product specifications, monitor how the plant floor processes are performing from a quality perspective and manage all quality data in a centralized manner. The Proficy Efficiency module will be used to monitor asset performance in relationship to availability, rate, alarms and waste. Accurate real-time and historical information will allow United Solar personnel to quickly pinpoint problem areas, report asset efficiencies, and automate analysis of root causes for production problems. The Proficy Production module will be used to automatically dispatch Production Orders to the plant floor providing real-time visibility of schedule attainment while also tracking the complete genealogy of each solar panel.

Their new Proficy Scheduler will be used to optimize production schedules based on real-time feedback from the plant floor regarding asset and material availability and other key performance indicators. Business rules can be used to model the effect of plant performance on schedule attainment and forecast production and material usage. The entire system will be tightly integrated with United Solar’s ERP system to truly close the loop between plant performance and the demands of the business.

“Reduction on manufacturing costs leads to profitability of the company overall,” said Udstuen. “With the Proficy software platform – work process management, MES, SCADA – United Solar has chosen an operational excellence platform that drives success now and into the future.”

Recorder & loggers

Print and/or video support guides published
for Chart Recorders and Data Loggers on Web

Dickson has announced web publication of online support guides—both in downloadable PDF formats and as videos on YouTube and the Dickson web site - to help its many thousands of worldwide customers to easily monitor temperature, humidity, pressure and other electronic signal “events” important to critical storage.

These video or print support guides can be accessed via the “SUPPORT” tab on each product page on the site.

These support guides cover information such as:
    • Product Applications and Useful Features
    • Product Specifications
    • Getting Started
    • DicksonWare Software Specifications
    • Product Accessories
    • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Calibrations
    • Troubleshooting
    • Warranty / Factory Service & Returns
Dickson (which offers the world’s widest selection of data loggers and chart recorders to monitor temperature, humidity, pressure, or electronic signals) created this service to help organizations with needs to capture critical data get up and running with the least delay throughout the lifetime of the Dickson product.

On-chip debug

Quickly and efficiently debug hardware and software designs
For engineers building applications for ARM technology-based processors

Macraigor Systems has ported their proprietary On-Chip Debug Technology (OCDemon), GNU Tools Suite and Eclipse Ganymede/Galileo platform to the ARM Cortex-A8 processor. The Cortex-A8 is ARM’s first superscalar processor featuring technology for enhanced code density and performance, NEON technology for multimedia and signal processing, and Jazelle RCT (Runtime Compilation Target) technology for high performance, power-efficient mobile devices.

The Eclipse Ganymede/Galileo + GNU Tools Suite is an implementation and packaging of the Eclipse Ganymede/Galileo platform, CDT (C/C++ Development Tooling) 5.0.x, and DSDP (Device Software Development Platform) 1.0 plug-ins, and a program called OcdRemote that provides an interface between Eclipse, the GDB debugger and a Macraigor On-Chip Debug device. The free port of the GNU Tools Suite and Eclipse Ganymede/Galileo platform for ARM Cortex-A8 can be downloaded at www.macraigor.com.

In addition to supporting the Cortex-A8 (for example the Texas Instruments OMAP 35xx used on the Beagle Board), Macraigor’s JTAG interface devices are immediately available for use with other ARM family devices including Cortex M3, ARM 7, ARM 9, ARM 11, Freescale’s iMX series, XScale and others.

With the more complex processors, on-chip debug resources have been added to aid hardware and software designers. This means that debugging via classic methods, such as In-Circuit Emulators and ROM monitors, does not hold up to the rigors of real-time system test and debug.

The interface to these on-chip resources is where Macraigor Systems excels. Via a choice of communication channels, a host debugger communicates with a Macraigor Systems’ device and then to the target processor. Since there is no need for any resident code, this debug method is available for hardware initialization and debug as well as Flash EEPROM programming, kernel, driver, and application software debug. Macraigor Systems offers a host based application that allows programming of Flash EEPROM via the JTAG connection.

“Macraigor Systems is committed to providing hardware/software JTAG debug interface solutions for all current and future ARM technology-based processors,”
said managing partner James MacGregor.

Vision centre

New European logistics centre

The opening of a new logistics centre at its Puchheim, Germany headquarters during 2009 allowed STEMMER IMAGING to greatly expand its facilities and provide customers with an even better level of service.

The new enlarged warehouse facilities occupy about 700 m2 and provide a much improved infrastructure, serving as the new hub for deliveries to customers in Germany, Britain, France and Switzerland. The order administration and hardware integration departments have also moved into these new facilities. The space released by these moves has now been converted into a new customer service area where regular training sessions will be held on different aspects of imaging.

During the official opening, Managing Director and company founder, Wilhelm Stemmer, stated that he was looking forward to the greatly improved levels of service that these new facilities will provide for customers. He was also keen to emphasize his pride that, even in these difficult economic times, all Stemmer Imaging employees and therefore the extensive knowledge they represent, had been retained in order to serve their customers. From this base he believes the company is well prepared for the future.

Directive 2006/42/EC

The new machinery directive - how to play safe!

Festo has introduced a one-day orientation course for machine builders struggling to interpret the latest requirements of the new Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.

Following the decision of the EC Machinery Working Group to extend the transition period of the existing EN 954-1 safety standard beyond its expected end-of-life deadline of December 2009, but for an unspecified amount of time, machine designers and builders now face the dilemma of which safety standard to use. Should they stick with EN 954-1, even though its time is running out, or embrace its successor, EN ISO 13849-1, despite its apparent complexity?

Steve Sands, Festo’s Product Manager, is unequivocal about the right course of action, “We all need to fully commit to the production world’s ideal of zero machine-related accidents. Although machine builders will continue to benefit from EN 954-1’s presumption of conformity for a while, a much better way of complying with both the intention and the spirit of Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC is to adopt the new EN ISO 13849-1 safety standard now, and move forward together. This does not need to be as onerous as it has been portrayed to be – Festo, along with other leading automation component companies, is placing significant resources at the disposal of its customers.”

Festo has identified ten functions where pneumatic safety measures can be implemented on machines, to help ensure compliance with the new EN ISO 13849-1 safety standard. The company is in the process of rolling out specific products and services to implement these measures, and has already launched a series of valve manifolds with built-in proximity sensors for position sensing/movement reversal, and a range of fail-safe brake units for pneumatic actuators.

The new one-day orientation course, ‘Understanding the new machine directive’ has been created by Festo Didactic, the training and consulting division of Festo, in direct response to issues highlighted by customers. It provides an overview of the key aspects and implications of Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, including risk assessment, analysis and evaluation as required by the new EN ISO 13849-1 safety standard – and will be of particular benefit to machine designers and builders, as well as maintenance personnel.

Monday 14 December 2009

I/O on demand

Platform with “I/O on Demand” eliminates work, reduces project cost, and increases operational flexibility

New platform also unveils Electronic Marshalling, an industry breakthrough which streamlines 35-year old engineering practices

Emerson Process Management has announced the new S-series platform featuring “I/O on Demand” and Electronic Marshalling. Resulting from an intense focus on Human Centered Design, the S-series headlines the company’s wide ranging innovative technologies in the v11 release of the DeltaV™ digital automation system. The new DeltaV S-series platform sets the industry standard for usability and flexibility.

This new release includes major enhancements to all of the systems I/O processing, operator displays, asset management, batch capability and system security. These combined capabilities reduce customer project complexity, eliminate needless work, and speed system commissioning. They lift Emerson’s PlantWeb® digital architecture to new levels of project and operations performance.

Unique project and operations advantages stem from the S-series I/O on Demand flexibility which allows users to choose among traditional wired, wireless, bussed and Electronic Marshalling.

With I/O on Demand, users decide what type of I/O they want – Wireless, FOUNDATION™ fieldbus, HART®, AI, AO, DI, DO, DP, T/C, or RTD. They decide when they want the I/O, whether for late project changes, during start-up, during operation, or temporary installations; and where they want the I/O, whether in a rack room, remote locations, hazardous areas, safety systems, or harsh environments. The DeltaV S-series enables this freedom of I/O choice and ease of implementation.

Further advantages are realised with Electronic Marshalling, a powerful new technology that streamlines design and installation for users. This unique marshalling approach eliminates two-thirds of the wiring and connections needed by today’s conventional marshalling cabinets. A striking new technology invented with the S-series – new single channel CHARacterisation ModuleS (CHARMS) – make this possible. CHARMS relay I/O information to any DeltaV controller via an Ethernet backbone. This unique electronic communications method eliminates the need for users to wire I/O to specific controller I/O cards. This change can dramatically impact the users experience since it provides single channel integrity and flexibility down to the channel (not I/O card) level. These benefits improve plant uptime, and make projects simpler and easier to engineer and implement.

Beyond making the normal project tasks easier, another significant benefit from Electronic Marshalling is dealing with change. Whereas traditional project engineering requires major time and cost in changing rack-room I/O wiring and terminations, as process design is refined during project execution and construction, the DeltaV S-series hardware with Electronic Marshalling makes changes easy and eliminates re-wiring. Simply terminate the field wires, insert the CHARM and electronically marshal the signals. By adapting to change easily, Electronic Marshalling allows process manufacturers to shorten project schedules, accommodate late project changes, and dramatically simplify the I/O and marshalling design process. This late binding of process changes provides unparalleled adaptability and can help avoid costly, last minute change orders.

According to Larry O’Brien, research director at ARC Advisory Group, “There is a significant amount of cost associated with traditional marshalling methods, which can also limit the changes possible in the engineering and design of the system. The new I/O on Demand capability of Emerson’s DeltaV S-series allows users to add or change I/O types whenever project design changes are made, and they can do it no matter where the I/O is located. Even more important than reducing projects costs is the reduced time to start-up achieved by this kind of an approach.”

The DeltaV S-series makes a major enhancement for WirelessHART™ networks as well. In addition to the existing native wireless integration, the new DeltaV S-series now has fully redundant communications, which together with the mesh wireless networks, provide the highest uptime possible. With these capabilities, users can apply wireless technology to more monitoring and control applications than ever before.

FOUNDATION fieldbus remains the bus of choice for process manufacturers due to its continuous diagnostics, control-in-the-field capabilities, and wiring economies. The S-series furthers these advantages by including a new FOUNDATION fieldbus I/O card that includes an integrated power supply. Unique to Emerson, this new approach eliminates the cost and expense of purchasing, engineering, mounting and maintaining separate bulk power supplies and fieldbus power conditioning modules.

Although the S-series hardware and I/O on Demand are the headliners for the new DeltaV system, there are a number of other significant capabilities in this release. These new capabilities include an entirely new set of visually-focused operator displays that improve operator performance by clear and quick recognition of alerts, and rapid access to the information needed to understand the alert and act in a timely fashion. AMS™ Suite predictive maintenance software is now installed on every DeltaV system, which enables a smooth progression of integrated asset capabilities. Users can start with the AMS Device Configurator, and easily activate AMS Intelligent Device Manager at any time. New capabilities in the release also span batch, reliability, usability and security.

The DeltaV S-series with I/O on Demand, together with other components of the v11 software release, offers a wide-ranging new solution set for process automation users, and is backward compatible with existing DeltaV installations. New projects or expansions, greenfields or modernisations, can all realise advantages from these new capabilities.

Digital controllers

Entry-level models series of digital indicating controllers

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces the release of the UT35A (quarter DIN size) and the UT32A (one-eighth DIN size), two entry-level models in the UTAdvanced™ series of digital indicating controllers.

These new low-cost models, which replace their UT300 range, have a sequence control function that is based on the general-purpose ladder logic programming language, and are targeted for use in the single-loop control of production equipment.

The UTAdvanced Series adopts an open system architecture with an Ethernet communications interface. They are compatible with MODBUS/TCP protocol and also (as an option) with the PROFIBUS DP protocol. In addition to eliminating the need for dedicated communication programs and converters for connecting to devices such as data-acquisition units and/or PLCs, this feature makes it easy to develop optimal multi-vendor systems for users.

Development background
Indicating controllers are embedded in industrial furnaces and other relatively small-scale production line equipment and installations, and are used to measure, display and control various types of data including temperature, pressure and flow rate. In April 2009, Yokogawa launched the UTAdvanced series of digital indicating controllers, featuring sequence control based on the widely used ladder logic programming language.

The first models in this series, the UT55A and UT52A, have gained a solid reputation for their contributions in raising efficiency and lowering costs by integrating peripheral devices such as relays. These high-end, high-performance digital indicating controllers have a wealth of control function modes, with the most capable units able to perform full cascade control for controlling relatively complex installations such as continuous furnaces.

However, there is also a need in the market for general-purpose indicating controllers that have only the functionality needed for controlling single-loop production equipment. To meet this need, Yokogawa is releasing the UT35A and UT32A entry-level models. These new products are expected to further enhance Yokogawa's digital indicating controller business.

Product features
The new controllers offer an optimum combination of functionality and price. They have a fixed control scan period of 200 ms and 300 steps for ladder programming, compared with the three control scan periods and 500 steps in the high-end UT55A and UT52A models. However, this is more than adequate for the single-loop control of production line installations.

The UT35A and UT32A also have capabilities that to date have been found in only high-end controllers, including a ladder language based sequence control function; support of the Ethernet or RS485 interfaces and MODBUS or PROFIBUS-DP communication protocols; a colour LCD display; and operation guidance functions including navigation keys.

Also included is a user default function. Not only is it possible via a simple function to reset the unit to factory default settings: it is also possible for the user to define his own 'default profile' to which it is possible to return. This means that an engineer can always quickly revert to a known working setup profile - without starting again from scratch or having to load a configuration file from a PC.

Target markets
Main target markets for the new controllers are machining facilities in a wide variety of industries including electrical equipment, machinery, chemicals, foods, semiconductors and automotive manufacturing.