Saturday, October 31, 2009

Microscope

Elemental detection range extended for tabletop microscope

Hitachi has a new, custom designed Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS) for their TM-1000 Tabletop Microscope that now extends the range of lighter elements that can be detected from Sodium Na (Z 11) down to Boron B (Z 5). Qualitative and quantitative measurements can be made using the new QUANTAX 50 from Bruker on the full range of elements from Boron B (Z 5) up to Americium Am (Z 95)

Their QUANTAX 50 features a customized XFlash® silicon drift (SDD) detector and a signal processing unit fully integrated into the microscope body. Easy-to use software also integrates seamlessly with the TM-1000 control software. Installation and user training can be completed within one hour.

The SDD features a large active detector area of 30 mm2 with excellent energy resolution of <135 eV for the Mn Kα line and <154 eV for Cu Kα. No liquid nitrogen or other external cooling agents are needed for the detector.

The versatile software allows spectrum acquisition with automatic element identification. Reliable quantitative methodology gives measurements as At.% or Wt.%. Two spectra can be displayed for comparison and spectra and images can be displayed simultaneously. Results can be displayed graphically or in a table, and a single click report facility yields a printed output or export of results and spectra to Microsoft® Word.

The improvement in X-ray Microanalytical capability enhances the TM-1000, complementing its powerful imaging and experimental capabilities and ensures the Hitachi TM-1000 remains the most powerful and flexible tabletop microscope available on the market.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Water quality

Finnish partnership to protect water quality

Intellitect Water has announced a new distribution partnership with Finnish environmental services company Sarlin for the highly innovative Intellisonde™ in-pipe water quality monitors.

This unit is designed to provide efficient access to water quality data and will now be distributed in Finland exclusively by Sarlin.

Developed to continuously monitor in-pipe water within drinking water distribution networks, the Intellisonde™ is a small water quality monitor that can be inserted into pressurised pipes to monitor up to 12 parameters.

Sarlin design and produce water quality monitoring systems for customers across a range of industrial sectors in Finland and have recently finished a comprehensive testing programme of this instrument.

Jari Kallio, Product Manager at Sarlin, believes that the appointment will help bring considerable improvements to water monitoring procedures across the country. He said: “We are delighted to be appointed as an Intellitect Water distributor. This is mainly because the drinking water sector in Finland will derive huge benefits from the visibility of water quality that the Intellisondes™ will provide. Not only will this help to ensure that tap water quality is maintained at a high level, but it will also help water treatment managers to improve the efficiency of their processes.”

In addition to the water industry, the Intellisonde™ is also able to provide online process monitoring data in the food and beverage, power, health, automotive, pharmaceutical, aerospace, biotechnology and research sectors.

Intellitect Water CEO Tony Halker added that the new technology will deliver substantial benefits for Finnish water authorities. He explained: "The ability to monitor water quality continuously in the distribution network provides vital access to tap water quality data and can lead to significant operational time and cost savings for virtually every industry.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hot flow

Non–intrusive flow measurement in hot applications


KROHNE has added a new sensor variant to its product range of clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters for measuring liquids: the new OPTISONIC 6300 XT for high temperature applications. It allows for a non-intrusive measurement of fluids with temperatures up to 200°C or 392°F.

The sensor and connection box of the unit are made out of stainless steel, special transducers are integrated in the sensor construction, and a red coloured protection sleeve for the signal cable is provided to prevent damages from hot pipes. It is available in two sensor types; small and medium, applicable for diameter sizes DN 15 to DN 400.

Target applications and markets for the unit include heated hydrocarbons, molten sulphur, thermal oil, heat traced MDI, carbamate in the petrochemical and chemical industry, hot water for district heating and condensate in the energy industry and CIP/SIP processes in the food and beverage and pharmaceutical industry. In these applications, OPTISONIC 6300 XT offers many benefits as it is easy to install, increases safety and it provides accuracy and reliability.

Easy installation

The OPTISONIC 6300 XT can be installed on heated and insulated pipes without the need to cool down or shut down a process. This saves substantial installation costs. The innovative construction of the OPTISONIC 6300 is one of the key distinctive features enabling an immediate startup within 15 minutes. It does not require a specialist, nor training and no special tools to do so. Special XT transducers are integrated the sensor construction. The sensor can be easily fitted on a pipe with its fixing units. A signal strength indicator on the converter displays helps to choose the optimal positions of the transducers.

Safety first

Many high temperature applications demand safety precautions to be taken. Not having to cut the pipe for the installation of a flowmeter improves the safety of the process and more importantly the safety of the people installing the meter. In addition, a clamp-on measurement limits potential leakage points.

Reliable and accurate measurements
The OPTISONIC 6300 XT has a highly robust clamping mechanism suited for industrial use. The instrument monitors fluid anywhere, regardless of high liquid temperatures, pipe sizes, or pipe material with or without a liner. The tight and robust 316L screw connection of the signal cable to the stainless steel sensor can be positioned under a movable angle. The system withstands harsh environmental conditions and can be applied in hazardous areas as it is approved for use in ATEX Zone 1.

Easy maintenance
Minimal maintenance time is guaranteed with its easy (re-)greasing concept. Regreasing has never been so simple, safe and efficient as with the OPTISONIC 6300 XT and can be done in just a few steps. Because the transducers are integrated in the sensor construction, they are placed back at exact the same position as before and there will be no deviations in the measurement results before and after regreasing.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

IR Temp

New infra-red temperature sensor with RS485 Modbus interface

Calex has an innovative new range of compact infra-red pyrometers with built-in digital communications for easy systems integration

The new PyroBus series is designed to measure the temperature of inaccessible or moving objects and materials, from -20°C to 500°C, accurately and consistently, with an outstanding response time of 240 ms.

The built-in RS485 Modbus RTU interface provides the maximum, minimum, average and
instantaneous temperature of the material or process being monitored. It also provides the internal temperature of the sensor to ensure that each one is being operated within the correct ambient temperature limits and so prevent damage caused by overheating. Users can adjust the emissivity setting for each sensor, compensate for reflected energy, apply filtering to fluctuating temperatures and use peak or valley-hold processing to measure hot or cold objects on conveyors. Up to thirty
two sensors can be installed on a single multi-drop network.

All PyroBus sensors are fitted with precision Germanium lenses for accurate optics. Model PB21 has 2:1 optics making it suitable for most applications where the sensor can be mounted close to the target. Model PB151 is designed for small or distant targets and has an optical resolution of 15:1. Model PB301 is designed for very small or distant targets and has an optical resolution of 30:1.

Each sensor is just 18 mm diameter by 103 mm long and is made of polished stainless steel, sealed to IP65, making it ideal for food and pharmaceutical applications. It is held in place by a mounting nut (included). Fixed and adjustable brackets are offered to simplify mounting and a laser-sighting tool is available to assist in the sighting of the sensor.

If the sensor is required to operate in a very high or low ambient temperature (less than 0°C or more than 70°C) it can be ordered with a water/air-cooled jacket built around it.

For dusty environments, such as in paper or textile mills, an air-purge collar can be fitted to keep the lens clean.

Datalogger

High-spec CTD logger

The new OTT CTD is a professional datalogger for the measurement of water level, conductivity and temperature. With a memory capacity of 4MB (approx. 500,000 values) and capable of running on alkaline or lithium batteries, this high-specification instrument is capable of operating unattended for long periods.

Primarily designed for groundwater applications in wells from one inch diameter upwards, this instrument is equally well suited for surface water monitoring.

The water level measurement technology employed by the OTT CTD is robust and well-proven with thousands of loggers, such as the Orpheus Mini, currently in operation world-wide.

The inbuilt conductivity measuring cell can also provide data for salinity and total dissolved solids. Designed to meet the demands of a rugged field device, it meets all the requirements of hydrological data collection in saline and other challenging environments.

In order to provide reliable long-term monitoring data, high specification materials have been included in the OTT CTD design. These include a ceramic pressure sensor, high quality stainless steel housing (904l) for durability and corrosion resistance and a kevlar-strenghtened probe cable with an integrated compensating capillary tube.

The infrared interface facilitates quick and easy data collection, and simple, intuitive software is included for data display, export, configuration and calibration. A pump test facility is also included as standard.

Wireless data transmission of remote data is made possible with the addition of the OTT ITC which employs GSM/SMS or GPRS.
Commenting on the launch, OTT UK Managing Director Simon Wills said, "This new high specification instrument has been designed for people who need the most accurate and reliable technology, so we anticipate that the main customers will be regulators, water companies, consultants and researchers."

Flying probe

The true integration between ATE flying probe and boundary-scan test

Aiming to further enrich its range of solutions for the test and repair of electronic boards, Seica, in partnership with Temento Systems, has developed the FlyScan module as a new approach to the integration of the boundary scan technique and flying probe test systems. The true innovation of FlyScan, is today available on the complete line of Pilot/Aerial flying probe testers, it’s full integration at the core system level, ensuring the following capabilities at a competitive price:
    • Automatic generation of the test program in a single software environment (Seica VIVA)
    • Automatic creation of the boundary scan program also for nets which are not of the JTAG type, using the “extended test” function and the flying probes to transform them into “JTAG testable” nets
    • Automatic elimination of test redundancies
    • Automatic fault diagnostics, with real-time generation of additional tests executed by the flying probes for the specific identification of the faulty component.
    • A single test report in the VIVA environment
    • Management of the faults detected by the boundary scan test in the Seica Repair Station environment
Even though its development and integration is the result of a significant investment in R&D, the basic idea of the FlyScan module is very simple: it exploits the specific benefits of flying probe and boundary scan testers, creating a single test program which utilizes the full capabilities of both, not as two entities working independently, but in a fully integrated system.

Compared to the classic approach where a board is subjected first to a standard flying probe test and then to a boundary scan test on a separate test station, the core interaction between the worlds of flying probe and boundary scan test enabled by the Seica FlyScan module provides a decidedly improved test result, easily measurable in terms of speed, throughput and fault coverage.


FlyScan is now available on all Seica’s Pilot/Aerial flying probe systems, from the entry-level Aerial M2 right up to the top of the range Pilot V8.

EMC/EMI

CISPR-compliant digital EMC/EMI receivers
Frequency range 10 Hz – 6 GHz;“Smart Detector” productivity booster dramatically improves test speed

TESEQ has introduced the Narda PMM 9010, a fully digital receiver covering the frequency range 10 Hz to 6 GHz. The PMM 9010 is the cornerstone of a system which grows together with the users’ needs. All EMC conducted measurements are be possible by simply upgrading the PMM 9010 with specific options, e.g. Click Meter, and accessories such as LISNs and probes This will allow the PMM 9010 to provide full compliance testing to any known international standard or proprietary specifications.

Practically maintenance free and exceptionally stable, the PMM 9010 EMI Receiver is the ideal solution for reliable measurements over a long working life. In the event of service being required simple to replace plug-in pre-calibrated subassemblies are available providing fast, cost effective repair in the event of damage to the RF front-end or similar events. This ensures the user minimum down time and ensures the calibration of the receiver.

Paul Dixon, Managing Director of TESEQ comments, “The PMM 9010 is a simple to use, flexible and portable EMC receiver offering a cost-effective, modular solution that will grow with user's needs. The PMM 9010 is easy to use for any kind of measurement as a stand-alone instrument, integrated in systems or driven by PC and features a proprietary 'Smart Detector' productivity booster feature designed to dramatically improve test speed.”

At the heart of the receiver is a state of art 30 MHz EMI Digital Receiver based on direct Analogue to Digital conversion with sophisticated computation. It offers calibration-free operation of almost all of its key components, i.e. RBW filters, detectors, demodulation, while the RF front-end is self-calibrated by the internal, precision RF signal generator.

Major features include, uniquely compact and lightweight at just 3.5 Kg. Hardware and firmware designed around the current EMC standards and simple to upgrade to future changes. Powerful digital Click Analyser with full compliance to latest CISPR 14-1 specifications. 1 (internal option) or 4 (external option) channels, frequency ranges from 10 Hz to 30 MHz; 3 GHz to 6 GHz. Full compliance with the latest edition of CISPR 16-1-1 standard, including RMS-AVG detector and APD function. All CISPR and MIL-STD-461E RBW filters are available. Integrated preamplifier and pulse limiter, built-in tracking signal generator up to 30 MHz Multimode functions, sweep, spectrum analyzer, scalar network analyzer, manual receiver, optical link between main and high frequency units, no aging of critical parts in the receiver that may cause degradation of measurement accuracy. Manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic test modes, AC and battery powered for maximum flexibility


Teseq provides a traceable calibration certificate with each tester and accredited calibration services are also available from TESEQ calibration labs upon request.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pulse generators

Programming compatibility with Stanford Research's DG535

Quantum Composers now offers an easy upgrade option for SRS DG535 customers. Customers can now use their existing SRS DG535 programming language when upgrading to Quantum Composers' 9520 series. They now provide SRS Command Set Compatibility as a firmware option. This will aid customers in transitioning their programming software from the DG535 to the more fully featured QC9520.

The majority of these commands function identically to the SRS equivalent instrument capabilities. Several of these capabilities actually extend the functionality and/or the limits of the SRS equivalent capabilities.

The 9520 Series is cost effective, providing solutions to generate and synchronize multiple pulses and triggers for a wide variety of applications from simple to complex.

This series provides up to eight fully independent digitally controlled channels with width, delay, rate, and amplitude control on each output. For automated test sequencing, all common computer interfaces are available such as RS232, USB, GPIB, and Ethernet.

"This new firmware feature will significantly increase the efficiency of migrating from older antiquated equipment to an up-to-date more capable instrument" according to Senior Applications Engineer, Scott Fraser.


9520 Series compared with SRS Model DG535

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Air speed & temp

Industrial air velocity/temperature transmitter/indicator

The FMA1000 Series industrial air velocity and temperature transmitter/indicator is designed and manufactured by Omega. It displays air velocity as well as air temperature.

Applications include research and development labs, HVAC applications, and other manufacturing processes. The sensor design is based on three RTD elements, one measures air temperature and the other two measure air velocity by measuring the heat loss from the RTD sensor as it cools down by the air flow.

This series offers many standard features such as back-lit LCD display of air velocity and temperature (can be displayed in different Engineering Units), two analogue outputs corresponding to air velocity and temperature, high and low velocity voltage alarm outputs, USB serial interface, and a Windows based PC interface software.

The sensor probe is available in fixed top, right angle mount, and remote probe configurations.

USB Oscilloscope

USB-DSOs: Compact and Sophisticated
A new breed of USB controlled instruments use PCs for the information screen and operation panel.

The days are now over when oscilloscopes heated up labs all around the world due to there high power consumption. With the availability now of USB on virtually every PC and laptop, the space needed for a digital oscilloscope has shrunk to just the size of a match box. Computers are now standard tools for every employee so why should you spend extra money duplicating displays, power supplies and buying boxes with expensive knobs and buttons on?

The Taiwanese-based supplier Acute (distributed in Europe by StanTronic Instruments) offers the DS-1000 Series family of PC-based digital oscilloscopes, which provide the majority of functions and features required by design, test and process engineers.

Graded Performance
The three family members all offer two channels and a vertical resolution of 9 bits/Ch. All units can be cascaded to give up to 6 channels and all channels in use are shown on one display.

The 3 units differ from each other in bandwidth, sampling rate and triggering capabilities. The basic model, called the DS-1002, provides an analogue bandwidth of 100 MHz, a real-time sampling rate of 100 MS/sec in single channel mode and 50 MS/sec in dual channel mode. The equivalent sampling rate for capturing repetitive signals is 2.5 GS/sec with a memory length of 64k points. The second member of the family, the DS-1102, offers an analogue bandwidth of 200 MHz, a real-time sampling rate of 200 MS/sec in single channel mode and 100 MS/sec in dual channel mode. The equivalent sampling rate for capturing repetitive signal is 5 GS/sec with a memory length of 64k points. For users with needs for more memory, the third member of the family called the DS-1202 may be the right choice. It has the same features as the DS-1102 but with an extended memory depth of 512k points.

Whereas the DS-1002 features the classic trigger capabilities like rising/falling edge and delay, the DS-1102 & DS-1202 offer an additional TV trigger and the DS-1202 a TV line trigger as well. In Roll Mode, all units can show signals continuously up to a setting of 200 ms/div and store the signals to hard disk up to the capacity of the disk.

Display Signals
All Acute digital oscilloscopes are operated by the same software, which displays waveforms and all related parameters on the PC´s screen to look like a conventional oscilloscope. Cursors are available for precise measurements of voltage and time parameters. The input coupling can be set to AC, DC or GND for each individual channel. A 20 MHz low pass filter is standard.

Sums, Differences and higher Maths
The power of the PC can be utilised to perform all kinds of maths functions like add, division etc. as well as the famous Lissajous curves. To perform an FFT on a signal, the units offer anti aliasing filters like triangle, cosine, Lanczos and gaussian.

The Acute DSO family (USB 1.1 compatible, USB 2.0 preferred) are shipped with two probes, USB cable, manual and software, all packaged into a quality pouch.

Friday, October 23, 2009

PAA

Peracetic acid monitor for effective control of disinfection systems

Specialist electrochemical sensor manufacturer Analytical Technology Inc (ATi) has launched the Q45/85 Peracetic Acid Monitor. Peracetic acid (PAA) is an extremely strong oxidiser that is employed in a wide range of industries for the disinfection of systems and equipment. This new Peracetic Acid Monitor enables on-line measurement of residuals of PAA in disinfection systems.

As peracetic acid produces no harmful breakdown products, it is widely used in the food industry for the disinfection of piping systems and processing equipment. It is also used for spray washing of food products and disinfection of water systems. With any disinfection system, maintaining proper residual levels is essential to pathogen control. The company has developed the Q45/85 Peracetic Acid Monitor in order to facilitate reliable chemical control and provide real-time measurement of low levels of PAA in solution.

Their Q45 monitoring systems use a membrane-covered polarographic sensor that does not require the addition of chemical reagents. The Q45/85 Monitor does not contain any moving parts, pumps or motors that can burn out, or tubing breaks that require constant maintenance. Analytical Technology’s Peracetic Acid Monitor sensors are available in two configurations, flowcell or submersion. The constant-head flowcell sensor is used to maintain a constant flow rate and pressure at the face of the sensor for flow rates of at least seven gallons per hour. Alternatively a low volume flowcell can be supplied for clean water applications with flow rates of between one and three gallons per hour. The submersion sensor requires flow velocities of at least 0.4ft per second for effective operation.

The new monitor is available as an AC-powered analyser, loop-powered transmitter or battery-operated portable version, ensuring that the monitor is well-suited for almost any peracetic acid measurement. A portable data-logging version is also available for temporary installations or process studies. The Q45/85 monitor is offered with an optional pH sensor input, which allows a single unit to provide both peracetic acid and pH analogue outputs.

Proximity switches

Versatile new proximity switches

Gems Sensors and Controls has announced the launch of a new range of magnetically actuated proximity switches for a wide range of customer applications. Versatile, low cost and compact, these new switches are hermetically sealed for long lasting performance and easy installation.

The PRX-100 Series of high performance, moisture resistant proximity switches is designed for use as a safety switch. Made from tough Noryl® material, the PRX-100 Series is UL 508 Listed, corrosion resistant, and has no standby power requirements or moving parts delivering a truly high performance switch. The PRX-100 is designed for long life and easy installation in a variety of applications including: industrial washers, equipment automation, medical instruments, and safety interlocks.

The Gems PRX-300 Series offers cost effective, high performance, reed switch stress relief technology for use as safety switches. Made with a robust glass filled Nylon® housing, the proximity switches are naturally corrosion resistant and are UL pending with no standby power requirements or moving parts. The PRX-300 switches are designed for long lasting performance and are easy to install for a variety of applications including: security systems, door interlocks, safety interlocks, position indication, and equipment automation.

The PRX-XX Series of versatile, low-cost proximity switches is designed for dry applications. Constructed with robust housings made from ABS material, the PRX-XX Series has no standby power requirements and no moving parts. The switches are designed for long lasting performance and are easy to install for a variety of general purpose applications including: security systems, household appliances, and door interlocks.

“The innovative new range of proximity switches from Gems Sensors offers customers a wide variety of affordable choices that can be used across any type of customer application. Gems is proud to continue to expand our product line with new solutions for our customers” says Kevin Castonguay, Product Marketing Manager for Gems Sensors & Controls.

"No matter the application, Gems Sensors & Controls has a proximity switch solution to meet any customer price or performance target."

New VP

New Vice President and General Manager of Californian facility

Brennan Industries has appointed William Kozman as vice president and general manager of its Irvine (CAUS). facility, where he is responsible for sales and profitability growth of Brennan in the southern California, southern Nevada and Arizona markets. He will also be responsible for the warehouse facility management.

Kozman recently joined Brennan bringing over 35 years of experience in the fluid power connector industry with him. Prior to joining Brennan, Kozman held the position of manager, sales, marketing and product development for Tylok International in Ohio (US). He held the position of manager of sales and marketing for Tomco Products, a division of Circor, in Spartanburg, (SC US). before Tylok International. Prior to Tomco Products, Kozman worked for Tuthill Coupling Group as regional vice president.

Kozman earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville in marketing and finance. He has been a committee member of NGV-1 Alternative Fuel Technology Industry Task Force and a member of Instrumentation Society of America (ISA).

#ISAExpo

American show attracts thousands
Features Dozens of Special Events

ISA EXPO 2009, held at the Reliant Center in Houston (TX US), on 6-8 October, attracted 8,500 attendees and included a 61,500 square foot exhibition showcasing 364 companies. The ISA Fall Training Institute ran 13 courses and trained 113 students at the event.

The show featured seven co-locating organizations, including ARC Advisory Group, Industry2Grid (I2G), MCAA, OpenO&M, Microsoft and the Microsoft Manufacturing User Group (MSMUG), Houston SmartPlant Instrumentation (LTUF), and WBF.



See our take on this event with links to commentaries and releases from other sources in The Last Picture Show!

More about Automation Week<

The co-location of these organizations’ events with the ISA Fall Training Institute, Industry Standards Forum, six technical conferences, and the exhibition brought an abundance of technical content, professional development, and networking opportunities to attendees. New technologies were a focus of both conference sessions and presentations on the exhibit floor, with attendees anxious to see the latest trends in the field. “I’m always looking for new technology. That’s what I’m here to see. I’m a control systems engineer, and anything that can make our processes work better, whether that’s software, wireless, or fieldbus, I want to have a look,” said James Pitts of Goodyear Tire and Rubber in Beaumont, Texas.

The technical conference featured six Exchange Conference Tracks centered on key issues facing instrumentation, automation, and control professionals, including safety, security, process automation and control, energy and environment, wireless and networking, and enterprise integration. The conference program also included several events open to all attendees, including keynote addresses from key leaders. John Hofmeister, CEO and Founder of Citizens for Affordable Energy, and retired President of Shell Oil Company presented the opening keynote address on Tuesday, 6 October. Hofmeister’s presentation, entitled "Energy Security and Affordability in the 21st Century," tackled these two critical concerns for industrial operations.

Wednesday’s keynote address, “Securing the Nation's Industrial Control Systems Infrastructure,” was delivered by Marty Edwards, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Program Manager of the Control Systems Security Program (CSSP). Edward’s address discussed the current threat landscape, common vulnerabilities and security issues facing critical infrastructure control systems, and mitigation strategies being developed to address these challenges.

Lisa Long, Safety Engineer with the U.S. Department of Labor-OSHA (U.S. DOL-OSHA), presented the final keynote address on 8 October, titled, “Overview and Findings from OSHA's Refinery and Chemical National Emphasis Programs." Long’s address described the Petroleum Refinery National Emphasis Program’s inspection protocol and procedures, and reviewed preliminary findings from the program, including data on the most frequently cited paragraphs of the process safety management standards and example citation language.

The event also featured activities for young automation professionals and students. YAPFEST, in its fourth year, attracted 200 automation professionals in the under-30 category to interact with sponsoring companies, learn more about careers in automation, and discuss how they might make a difference in the automation world. Students from several local colleges attended the event to learn about real-world applications of the automation and engineering concepts they’re learning about in school, and young professionals already working in the field attended to network and build their knowledge of the industry. Tamara Freasier, a graduate of LIT, works as a commissioning admin for Chicago Bridge and Iron. “We’re building a liquid natural gas plant in Sabine Pass, Texas,” she said. “I came to EXPO to get exposed to instruments and what they do.”

The second annual iAU2M8 event, designed for middle and high school students, attracted over 600 students from the Houston area. Students had a chance to walk through the ISA EXPO exhibit, see automation technology in action through an interactive demonstration area, and learn about career opportunities from real-world automation professionals. Sponsored by Shell, the event attracted several participating organizations and schools, including Citizens for Affordable Energy, FIRST Robotics, Houston Community College, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Lee College, the Offshore Energy Center, Texas State Technical College, and the University of Houston.

The students attended a keynote address entitled “Deadliest Innovation,” given by Greg Crouch, Embedded Systems Business Development Director at National Instruments. Crouch is active in National Instrument’s academic STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) program efforts, helping to expand excitement of engineering among youth.

During the show, ISA announced its plans for a new event in 2010. ISA Automation Week 2010 will be held 4-7 October 2010 at the Westin Galleria Complex in Houston, Texas, USA. ISA Automation Week is a new, knowledge-focused event that will feature educational and applications-based technical conference sessions delivered by subject matter experts. Discrete and process automation professionals will have a chance to learn techniques and solutions for creating more efficient, productive, and economical manufacturing processes. ISA training courses and standards meetings will also be held concurrently, making ISA Automation Week a one-stop shop for automation and control knowledge and networking opportunities.

ISA Automation Week will attract management, engineering, production, IT, and R&D professionals responsible for automation, control systems, plant-wide communications/networks, plant operations and maintenance, and systems integration in continuous and batch manufacturing environments.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Torque Sensors

Torque sensors are compact, sensitive and robust

Kistler piezoelectric torque sensors have an extremely wide measuring range and are adaptable to match most configurations making them especially suited to manufacturing process monitoring. The sensors are available with measuring ranges ±1, ±10, ±25, ±200 and ±1,000Nm and all are suitable for torques from approx. 0.001 Nm.The torque sensors are supplied calibrated for 100 % and 10 % of the measuring range with additional calibration ranges available as an option.

Installation is very flexible as each sensor has an end flange with four or six threaded mounting holes and a centering seat for precise coaxial installation. A central hole allows a shaft to pass through the sensor. The high sensitivity, extremely rigid construction and compact dimensions of the sensors make them particularly suited to monitoring applications in assembly processes and product testing where rotary movements are involved. Typically, screw, bolt or nut tightening to specific torque, rotary potentiometer and switch testing and screw cap fitting.

As piezoelectric sensors are immune from fatigue and wear when properly used, their service life is virtually unlimited making them especially suitable for use as calibration sensors as well as for general torque measurement in both manufacturing and R&D applications.
Ultra low-noise remote charge converter
Rugged two-wire design allows for broadband noise down to 5 μ Vrms, radiation up to 1.0 MRads

Endevco Corporation (Endevco®) has announced the launch of new model 2771C-XX, an ultra-low noise remote charge converter (RCC), designed for use with charge output piezoelectric sensors within mechanical system health monitoring, nuclear power plant/regenerative energy and environmental testing applications.

Model 2771C-XX offers a rugged two-wire (IEPE), single ended design that operates from constant current power (4-20 mA). Both RCC signal output and current to the RCC are carried along the same wire. Housed in a rugged, small package, the charge converter offers broadband noise range down to 5µ Vrms, with a frequency response of 0.4 to 50 kHz. Units are designed to withstand shock loads of up to 100g peak, and are radiation tested to 1.0 Mrads. With availability in three different fixed gains of 0.1 mV/pC, 1.0 mV/pC and 10 mV/pC, model 2771C-XX can also support TEDS (per IEEE P1451.4) for smart sensor and larger channel count applications, and also includes an available M1 Version with male BNC, to facilitate easy panel mounting.

Because of its low impedance voltage, signal output from model 2771C-XX is less susceptible to noise pick-up. Also, shunt capacitance of the cable connecting model 2771C-XX to the main signal conditioner does not significantly affect system noise or sensitivity. Because model 2771C-XX has the same envelope size as the industry-best selling Endevco model 2771B remote charge converter, it may also be used as a drop-in replacement, for legacy applications where lower noise is required.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Display enhancement

New line of custom-bonded filters and optical enhancement layers
Enabling manufacturers to choose the right display enhancement for their unique needs.

Anders Electronics, market leader in innovative electronic device display experience optimisation, has announced the launching of its new line of TFT display enhancements.

Adding further value to the company’s UMR range of intelligent embedded display platforms, the new line includes the option of display enhancement solutions in addition to a choice of resistive or capacitive transparent touch input sensors. The display enhancement options include EMI filters (low ohm conductive coating or fine wire mesh layer) for EMI/EMC suppression, optical filters for controlling light emissions in the visible and infrared spectrums, and a variety of front-of-display finishes such as special polarisers for improved sunlight readability, retarders, EMI Windows, anti-reflective, and light control filters for privacy.

These enhancements are ideal for touchscreen displays, and are offered separately or in a custom-created stack configuration and either optically or air-gap bonded to the Anders TFT displays.

They are ideal for numerous commercial applications, such as security or point of sale (POS) devices requiring privacy filters, vending machines requiring heavy vandal-proof glass and sunlight readability, or noise sensitive medical devices that require enhanced readability and durability under frequent cleaning.

“Anders has always leveraged its in-house expertise in display optics, glass lamination and front of display surface treatments, in conjunction with display integration, to work with manufacturers consultatively,” said Rob Anders, CEO of Anders Electronics. “Now, we bring a whole new range of customisation options to the table, enabling us to offer a more complete user interface solution - saving our customers the time and effort of looking elsewhere for display enhancements or protective windows,” he continued.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tough tools

Fluke introduces its toughest tools yet!

Fluke has introduced its toughest tools yet for industrial electricians, plant engineers and technicians who work in the toughest environments. The new Fluke 27 II and 28 II Digital Multimeters (DMMs) define a new standard for operating in harsh conditions that would destroy other tools, while delivering the features and accuracy to troubleshoot most electrical problems. Both meters are IP 67 rated for water and dust resistance and offer an extended operating temperature range of -15°C to +55°C. They will function in -40 °C temperatures for up to 20 minutes, will operate in 95% humidity, and are designed and tested to withstand a 3 metre drop.

These DMMs measure up to 1000V AC and DC and up to 10A (20A for 30 seconds). They feature a 10,000 microF capacitance range and measure frequencies to 200kHz. Both provide min/max and average readings to capture variations automatically, and provide auto and manual ranging for maximum flexibility. Both meters feature backlit keypad buttons, large display digits and two-level bright white display backlighting for easy visibility in low-lit areas.

The 28 II provides additional functionality. It is a true-rms meter that features a high-resolution 20,000-count display mode and includes a built-in thermometer that enables users to take temperature readings easily without carrying a separate instrument. It captures peak, min/max readings and features a high-pass filter to ensure accurate voltage and frequency measurements on adjustable speed drives and other electrically noisy equipment. The Fluke 27 II is an average responding meter with extended AC voltage bandwidth to 30kHz.

For safety, the 27 II and 28 II DMMs withstand hazardous 8,000V spikes caused by load switching and faults on industrial circuits and comply with second edition IEC and ANSI electrical safety standards. They are safety rated for use in CAT IV 600V/CAT III 1000V working environments.

The new Fluke 27 II and 28 II DMMs are built for anyone who wants the most durable DMM available. They are ideal for such job environments as:
    • Manufacturing plants, foundries
    • Food processing and bottling plants
    • Water and wastewater facilities
    • Marine service and repair
    • Mining, drilling and materials extraction
    • Outside testing in any weather
When enclosed in their protective yellow holsters, both meters will float in fresh or salt water. The holsters are reversible to provide added protection for the display and controls when the meter is not in use.

LED Drivers

Synchronous step-down LED driver delivers over 20A of continuous LED current

Linear Technology has just announced the LT3743, a synchronous step-down DC/DC converter designed to deliver constant current to drive high current LEDs. The device’s 5.5V to 36V input voltage range makes it ideal for a wide variety of applications, including industrial, DLP projection and architectural lighting.

Full-Featured LED Controller Delivers over 80 Watts of LED Power

The LT3743 provides up to 20A of continuous LED current from a nominal 12V input, delivering in excess of 80 Watts. In pulsed LED applications, it can deliver up to 40A of LED current or 160 Watts from a 12V input. Efficiencies as high as 95% eliminate any need for external heat sinking and significantly simplify the thermal design. A frequency adjust pin enables the user to program the frequency between 100kHz and 1MHz so designers can optimize efficiency while minimizing external component size. Combined with a 4mm x 5mm QFN or thermally enhanced TSSOP-28 package, the LT3743 offers a very compact high-power LED driver solution.

The LT3743 offers both PWM and CTRL_SELECT dimming, offering 3,000:1 dimming capability at three LED current levels, making it ideal for color mixing applications such as those required in DLP projectors. Similarly, the LT3743’s unique topology enables it to transition between two regulated LED current levels in less than 2µsec, enabling more accurate color mixing in RGB applications. LED current accuracy of ±6% is maintained in order to ensure the most accurate luminosity of light from the LED. Additional features include output voltage regulation, open-LED protection, overcurrent protection and a thermal derating circuit.

The LT3743EUFD is available in a 28-pin 4mm x 5mm QFN package, whereas the LT3743EFE is available in a thermally enhanced TSSOP-28. Pricing starts at $4.80 and $4.95 each, respectively in 1,000-piece quantities. Extended temperature versions, or “I” grades, namely the LT3743IUFD and LT3743IFE are also available. Pricing starts at $5.65 and $5.82 each respectively in 1,000-piece quantities.

Nanoresearch

Next-generation wireless ECG patch drives joint research activity
Terepac and IMEC join forces in low-cost flexible electronics packaging

Terepac Corporation and IMEC, the European research center in nanotechnology, have announced their collaboration on novel packaging technologies for flexible electronics. The initial driver for this synergistic shared research relationship is a next generation wireless ECG system, developed in the Human++ Program at Holst Centre, Eindhoven (NL).

As electronic systems become ubiquitous, the demand for innovative packaging technologies increases. For many applications, like on-the-body devices, thin and flexible form factors greatly improve the comfort of the wearer. In order to allow large-scale manufacturing and market penetration, low-cost yet high value solutions are key. Traditional electronics packaging and assembly with rigid printed circuit boards and pick-and-place machines are unable to cope with these demands.

The technology developed by Terepac holds great promise to give a unique answer to the challenges mentioned above. In its patented photochemical printing process, thinned silicon dies and passive components can be placed on flexible substrates at speeds of more than one chip per second and with accuracies down to a few microns.

The wireless ECG patch that is being developed in IMEC's Human++ program at Holst Centre, an open-innovation initiative by IMEC and TNO, will be used as a test vehicle for further development of Terepac's technology. For IMEC it is an opportunity to go from a lab-scale assembly on polyimide carrier to a more production-ready version of its wireless sensor nodes. First results are expected by mid 2010.

Ric Asselstine, CEO of Terepac: "Following five years of development by a team of world-class scientists and engineers and based on the patents of co-founder and CTO Dr Jayna Sheats, Terepac is ready to completely transform the landscape of small form factor electronic packaging. The company aims to become a total solutions provider able to collaborate with companies up- and downstream in the value chain. Apart from being on the forefront of technological innovation, being able to tap into the existing partner network of IMEC and Holst Centre is a great asset to our collaboration."

Julien Penders, Program Manager Body Area Networks at IMEC/Holst Centre: "Initial contacts with Terepac were laid a few months ago. It quickly became clear that their expertise would be a valuable addition to the existing competences that we and our partners have on board. We look forward to further developing our sensor technology and opening doors towards low-cost and large-scale manufacturing for our existing partners or companies interested in this technology."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Steam flow

Flow meters for steam flow
Vortex flow meters are ideal for high accuracy measurements of non-condensing and saturated steam flow.


Racine Vortex has released their RNS Series (Insertion) and RWS Series (Wafer) Vortex Steam Flow Meters. The meters are suitable for measuring non-condensing steam and saturated process steam at pressures up to 150 psi. Leading applications include boiler monitoring and other energy-related uses, as well as building and facilities management.

Both the RNS and RWS series meters have no moving parts and are virtually maintenance-free. All meters in both series are loop-powered devices with standard HART communication for ease of field programming and system integration.

Both meters work in operating temperatures of -20 to 366°F. An internal RTD and an optional external pressure sensor provide data to the internal flow meter software, which compensates for changes in temperature and pressure to achieve an accurate flow measurement. Accuracy of both meters is ±1% of reading, with repeatability of 0.5%. The RNS and RWS meters are pre-calibrated for specific uses, and can be rescaled in the field with the use of the provided PC-based software program.

The RNS Series insertion flow meter is available for pipe sizes from 6 to 72 inches (152 to 1829 mm), has a 35:1 turndown ratio, and can be configured for mass flow measurements.

The RWS Wafer meter has 316SS wetted parts, an extremely small bluff bar for little or no pressure drop, and NIST-traceable calibration. It is available in five sizes for flange mounting in pipes from 1/2 to 4 inches.

Options for both meters include ATEX certification, a two-line eight-digit rate/totaliser display, and remote electronics.

Friday, October 16, 2009

New brochure for contactless rotary sensors

Penny + Giles, has announced a new SRH Contactless Rotary Sensors brochure.

Complete with technical information, including a selection guide for ordering the various models and features, the free brochure is available in print and online. It is user-friendly and offers information about the five models in the range, from single output 28mm compact to rugged 87.5mm dual output versions for position feedback of critical functions in a wide range of industrial applications.

The brochure includes detailed ordering codes that allow a wide range of factory programmable options for these contactless rotary sensors that use the latest 12bit Hall effect sensing technology.

The brochure is an essential resource for designers specifying rotary position sensors for functions in a wide range of markets, from motor racing to off-highway vehicles and industrial process control.

Couplers approved

Device Couplers
receive three major FM approvals


The TRUNKSAFE TS200 Fault-Tolerant Fieldbus System from MooreHawke, the fieldbus division of Moore Industries, has received three major certifications through Factory Mutual (FM).

This system provides a cost-effective and highly reliable strategy to maintain continuous communications between field devices and a host system in the event of any single point failure (such as any open single wire) on a FOUNDATION Fieldbus H1 or PROFIBUS PA segment.

TRUNKSAFE device coupler series, including models TS206 and TS20W, has acquired ATEX-Type N, IECEx-Type N, and cFMus-General/Ordinary Location and Non-Incendive certifications from Factory Mutual.

“TRUNKSAFE is the industry’s first fault-tolerant fieldbus system intended for use in both critical and non-critical processes. Now, customers with hazardous location process segments can have complete confidence in TRUNKSAFE’s capabilities to protect their process,” said Moore Industries Director of Engineering Tina Lockhart.

Copies of the ATEX, IECEx and cFMus certificates can be downloaded from Moore Industries Interface Solution Product Certification Summary, a downloadable PDF listing of product certifications. The alphabetical listing is by product, and contains links to copies of product certificates available. To download the full FM certificates, visit the online Interface Solution Product Certification Summary.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gas emission

Hired emissions analyser checks gas rig in Burma

Following the installation of a turbine on a natural gas rig off the coast of Burma, it was necessary for Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery (SITL) to analyse emissions from the turbine and a hired Testo 350 XL emissions analyser from Ashtead Technology proved ideal for the application.

Based in Lincoln (GB), SITL designs, manufactures, installs and provides life time support for gas turbines used in industrial power generation and the oil and gas industry.

Guy Simpson, Group Leader (Performance), explained that the Testo 350 was required to monitor levels of Nitric Oxide (NO) Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Oxygen (O2) and temperature on behalf of the client.

He said: “I have spent two periods in Burma over the last 12 months, during which time one of the main targets was to ensure that emissions from the gas turbines were at acceptable levels. The acceptance criteria were set by our client in line with their own global environmental standards. In this instance, we needed to monitor emissions from the exhausts of the two gas turbines.

“When it came to deciding how we would measure the emissions, we contacted Ashtead Technology because we knew that renting would be a more affordable option as opposed to buying monitoring instrumentation in the UK or Asia. We discovered that another benefit of renting was that the instrumentation arrived fully calibrated and ready to use. In addition, the technical advice we received from Ashtead before the project started was extremely useful.”

Employing smart sensor technology, the handheld Testo 350 provides compliance level accuracy. Battery powered with an internal datalogger and a built-in printer with touchscreen technology the instrument is ideal for applications that require portability. These include short-term industrial stack gas monitoring, combustion analysis and flue gas monitoring.

Alan Hasson, Ashtead Technology’s General Manager, added: “This application highlights the many benefits of renting emissions monitoring instrumentation, including significant cost savings and access to the very latest technology.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Keypads

Robust alpha-numeric keypads for outdoor use
New two row waterproof keypad is vandal resistant

Foremost Electronics (click and listen to that English accent!) has introduced the AK-206 range of rugged metal keypads for outdoor applications.

The AK-206 keypads feature two rows of either numeric or alpha-numeric (telephone keypad) buttons and offer a robust, vandal resistant, waterproof switching solution for secure door-entry systems, industrial control, security and emergency systems.

Switch contacts are rated at 24VDC/20mA with contact resistance >200Ω and have an operating life of 2,000,000 cycles per key over an operating temperature range of -40 to +65ºC. The keys have a stroke length of 2.0mm and an actuating force of approximately 150gm.

Alan Cook, Managing Director of Foremost Electronics comments, “Our new AK-206 vandal-resistant keypads offer panel and system builders a rugged and reliable secure access or control solution. These new waterproof switches extend our wide range of conventional and specialist switch solutions and increase our value to our customers as a one-stop, specialist Emech product provider.”

Rental changes

Two new appointments at Ashtead Technology

Instrumentation specialist Ashtead Technology has announced two new appointments within their recently created Instrument Division. Alan Hasson (right in picture) has replaced James Carlyle as Manager of the company's European head office and James Carlyle has been promoted to the newly created world-wide role of Business Development Manager. The Instrument Division supplies equipment into the test and measurement market, predominantly specialising in rentals.

Alan has spent most of his career in the instrumentation sector, including three years at Ashtead Technology. James is also a long-standing instrumentation professional and has been responsible for the success of the European Instrument Division since May 2004.

Commenting on the announcement, CEO Graham Philip said, "The Instrument Division has grown considerably in recent years and these appointments represent an important component of our future growth plans.

"Both James and Alan possess high levels of technical knowledge and experience, which is an important feature of our staff. It is this expertise that enables us to offer the best available technologies, coupled with industry leading levels of service and technical support."

LEM in China

New state-of-the-art manufacturing site in China
LEM celebrates 20 years in China

LEM continued its worldwide investment programme by opening a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing site and offices in Beijing (CN).

Beijing LEM Electronics Co., Ltd, is a fully owned subsidiary of LEM. The new site covers an area of 10,000 m2 with a total production area of 6,000 m2. Incorporating the latest manufacturing technology it is heated and cooled by a geothermal 300 KWA heat pump. Air quality at the flow-through plant is controlled by the introduction of fresh air via a heat exchanger and it is fully ESD protected. “After excellent growth in both production and sales for LEM in China, we are opening this new facility to ensure our continued development in the global markets”, said Paul Van Iseghem, President and CEO of LEM Group. “The new facility strengthens our capability to manufacture the high-quality electrical components that enable our customers worldwide to leverage our components in their systems for motor controls and inverters in the industrial, traction, energy & automation and automotive markets”.

The company has been active in China for 20 years and since 1998 it has had a fully owned company in Beijing. The opening ceremony was attended by leading Chinese and European officials including Mr. Lin Xiangyang, Vice Head of Beijing's Shunyi District; Mr. Claudio Mazzucchelli, Head of Section Swiss Business Hub; Mr. Liu Jinkui, General Manager of Linhe Industrial Zone; Mr. Peter Troesch, President of SwissCham Beijing; Mr. Zhang Ming, Vice General Manager of China Environrnmental Protection Company; Mr. Liang Yongyin, Party Secretary of Steel Structure Project Company of China XinXing Construction & Development Company.

The 20th anniversary of LEM in China was also celebrated with a display of Chinese dragons and dancers.

Cybersafe training

First research project aimed at improving industrial cyber security
Training & education for automation professionals

In an announcement earlier this month Wurldtech™ Security Technologies, a leading provider of industrial cyber security testing and certification solutions for critical infrastructure industries, and steward of the newly created industrial cyber security research institute, revealed the first research project designed to help improve cyber security education and awareness amongst IT and automation professionals working in the energy industry. This will be the first in a series of online learning courses developed and approved by end-users and delivered through the centre’s information sharing exchange and online knowledge portal.

A standardized cyber security training program designed for control and automation engineers is a great need in Shell and likely a ubiquitous one with any operators of industrial control systems” said Ted Angevaare, Global Technology Leader Process Automation with Shell Global Solutions. "One of the biggest problems we encounter is that staff on site do not recognize security incidents or recognize them too late because they are not familiar with common cyber security concepts and best practices. This training program has been designed to reduce this risk across disciplines within asset-owners and Shell is pleased to contribute and will be encouraging our partners in the oil & gas sector to do so as well.”

FUNCTIONAL CYBER SECURITY TRAINING
The first project will see the development of an online training and workplace learning program designed to improve general industrial cyber security awareness about key concepts and best practices in order to bridge the divide between IT and automation professionals. With one of the most pervasive cyber security challenges today being the information / communication gap between IT and control resulting from disjointed corporate structures, cultural differences and general attrition in the energy sector, this training program will provide a standardized awareness for old and new employees alike at level accessible to a wide audience. The training program will be delivered through the centre’s online knowledge portal and has six distinct value propositions for the community:

End User Driven Content: The entire process, from subject matter content to the delivery model has been designed with large energy industry members from the electric power and oil & gas sectors. This ensures alignment to actual need and eliminates vested interests by third parties (vendors, consultants, and government agencies) which typically results in unnecessary delays and reduced overall value.

Selected, Endorsed & Supported By Leading Energy Companies:
The training program has already been selected to replace the existing staff security training courses at some of the world’s largest energy stakeholders.

Functional Cyber Security Certification Alignment: The training aligns with the Achilles Cyber Security Certification Program - which provides cyber security benchmarks for company processes and products in line with emerging standards such as ISA SP99. This provides organisations with an additional level of assurance that the training their employees receive fits into a functional security paradigm consistent amongst all stakeholders (Vendors, Integrators and Operators) and share a common vernacular.

Improved Business Model: Many cyber security training programs exist but are difficult to find and even more difficult to administer, manage and track. This program is designed with rigorous course content complete with required pass/fail criteria and delivered through a web-based knowledge portal which automatically manages both individual and group progress, student statistics, and provides company wide results in easy to use executive dashboards.

Regulatory Requirements Alignment: The training program is designed to satisfy current and emerging standards and regulatory requirements such as NERC CIP 004.


Free For Centre Members:
If your organization is an funding member, then the course will be offered online to your company free of charge with unlimited access.


Office thief cartoon above right by michael molenda seen on domesticatingIT blog Top 5 No-Cost Cyber Security Practices

iPhone control!

Control from your iPhone

ML Electronics has announced a new low cost 2-wire LED lighting control system design that can be managed from an iPhone as well as a PC or other computing device.

The company has completed a reference design for a low cost home LED lighting control system for ‘retro fitting’ into existing standard housing as a replacement for, or enhancement to, conventional lighting. A key feature of the system is that the same 24 VDC supply lines that power the LEDs are used for the control signals, using a unique protocol developed by them.

The system is operated using one or more master controllers which address a number of slaves, and each slave controls clusters of three RGB/white LEDs. The master can be controlled via Ethernet, Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi), Bluetooth®, DMX512, DALI or any custom control interface. As part of the development, they produced both PC and iPhone applications to address the master via Wireless LAN.

The slaves are connected to the master using a 2-wire low voltage 24 volt supply, and each slave is capable of controlling the colour and brightness of up to 50 Watts of LED illumination from data command signals superimposed on the power line. A master unit injects control data onto the low voltage supply line controlling the slaves using the MLE protocol. Each master can control two ‘strings’, each with 16 slaves. These strings can be wired in parallel, so that each slave produces the same colours, or in series, allowing slaves to produce different output colours if desired. No earth is required, and there are no separate control lines.

An unusual feature of the design is the iPhone application that can be used to control the lights – setting brightness levels and turning them on and off. Control can be zoned, with a facility to pre-programme and store complex scenarios. For example, in a kitchen installation, a user might set up a scenario with mood lighting around the worktop areas, white light above the eating area, and no light by the entrance by the doors, then implement it using only one or two clicks on the user interface. The same facilities are offered on the PC application.

Commenting, Mike Lloyd, Managing Director of ML Electronics, said, “ML Electronics is passionate about making our industry more sustainable, and we see LED lighting as a more sustainable option for ambient and effect lighting. By implementing a control system using only two wires, we’ve simplified the installation and reduced the amount of material required. Adding an iPhone app to control the lighting is a fun extra feature.” He added, “Although power line control is commonplace over mains wiring, implementing it on a low voltage DC feed is considerably more challenging.”

The reference design is available to companies seeking control solutions for LED lighting and other applications.

Wireless invitation

Information for Wireless Backhaul/Backbone Network

The ISA100.15 Working Group (WG15) is seeking technical presentations from wireless backhaul/backhaul providers that will form the basis for the Working Group’s recommended best practices and standards considerations for interoperability of wireless backhaul/backbone networks, wireless sensor networks, and wireless devices usable by the process automation industry.

The requirements for the presentations submitted in response to the RFI are provided in the ISA100.15 Working Group Request for Information (RFI). The RFI document can be downloaded from ISA at http://www.isa.org/isa100wireless/ISA100WG15RFI. Interested parties must respond with their intent to participate by October 16, 2009. Instructions for indicating intent to participate are in the RFI document.

The ISA100 committee established WG15 in June 2008. Composed of process automation users, vendors and service providers, WG15 is chartered to define recommended best practices and standards considerations to enable interoperability between backhaul/backbone wireless networks and field wireless networks and devices.

Wireless backhaul/backbone networks provide support for a variety of process control protocols which includes, but is not limited to, Fieldbus Foundation High Speed Ethernet (HSE) and ISA100.11a protocols. It is expected that other traffic such as voice and video will share the same backhaul/backbone network in a segregated manner.

Safe enclosure!

Uncompromisingly safe equipment
The new WK4 enclosure by Rittal

Optimum protection for system technology is a key requirement of enclosures that are requested for public safety digital networks, often known as TETRA. The tenders contain demands that are based on the theft protection for facility management and describe the protection of windows and doors against vandalism and burglary. The underlying standard is DIN V ENV 1630, 1999-04.

Rittal Communication Systems has addressed the market requirements and designed a WK4 enclosure that immediately overcame all hurdles in an external institute test during the first presentation.

This company has gained experience regarding vandalism protection through broadband applications, where less stringent requirements to protect against the occasional intruder are met under classification WK2. For the emergency services digital network the requirements are much more stringent. The period of time which the enclosure must resist intrusion is increased and the tool range that may be used for the “standardized” access attempts is widened to include power tools.



At the same time Rittal also took into account climate control in the WK4 enclosure. All climate control is achieved without visible louvers or air inlets/outlets in the outer cabinet, thus further reducing the effects of concerted attack.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wireless T&M

Remote display multimeter brings wireless technology to contact electrical measurement

Fluke has introduced the industry’s first digital multimeter with a detachable wireless display. The new Fluke 233 Digital Multimeter (DMM) uses a wireless transmitter to immediately send measurements to the detached display, improving safety and increasing productivity for industrial and commercial electricians and electronic technicians.

The Fluke 233 Remote Display Multimeter gives users ultimate flexibility in difficult test situations. By simply sliding the wireless display out of the meter body, the user can place the display where it is most easily seen, up to 10 metres from the point of measurement, while putting the meter in the best position to take measurements. The low-power, 2.4 GHz-ISM Band wireless signal that transmits measurement data is resistant to electromagnetic interference. The radio transmitter automatically turns on when the display is removed from the meter and off when the display is re-attached. The removable display is magnetic and has a flat bottom, so it can be conveniently mounted or placed on a flat surface where it can easily be seen. When the display is attached, the Fluke 233 operates as a conventional multimeter.

The Fluke 233 will measure up to 1000V AC and DC and up to 10A. It offers a 10,000 microF capacitance range, measures frequencies to 50kHz and captures min/max and average readings automatically. It features a 6,000-count display and includes a built-in thermometer that enables users to take temperature readings easily without carrying a separate instrument. An auto-off feature maximises battery life. The Fluke 233 is safety rated for use in CAT IV 600V/CAT III 1000V working environments.
Designed for both convenience and safety, the Fluke 233 makes it easier to take measurements in hard-to-reach places, or make measurements in machines or panels that are physically separated from a limit or isolator switch. It is ideal in areas where the operator cannot be close to the active measurement point, like clean rooms or hazardous areas. Making measurements without holding the meter can help users improve their visual focus on their test probes and work more safely.
The detachable wireless display lets the user:
  • Find a comfortable position to view and record test data, even when the test location is hard to reach or in a dirty or noisy environment.
  • View readings when the test point is across the room, or in the next room.
  • See test results even when the meter is hidden behind an equipment enclosure.
  • Run tests and read results at a safe distance from shock and arc flash hazards, moving machinery and other dangers.
  • Separate the tasks of positioning the meter and reading test results, so the user can devote full attention to each job and work more safely.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

IS down under!

Intrinsically safe sensors are awarded ANZEx for use in mining applications in Australia and New Zealand.

All of Monitran's Group 1 intrinsically safe accelerometers and velocity transducers have been approved by certification body Simtars to ANZEx for use in mining applications throughout Australia and New Zealand. This certification is in addition to the (EU) ATEX and (International) IECEx approvals Monitran's Group I sensors already possess.

Andy Anthony, Monitran's Operations Director, comments: "Many countries, whilst acknowledging international standards like IECEx, still impose their own standards for certain applications. We sought ANZEx in response to requests from end-users based in Australia and New Zealand, and companies based elsewhere wishing to supply machinery into these countries."

Eight products have been certified to ANZEx. Of these, four are from the MTN/1100 family of general purpose accelerometers with isolated AC outputs, which are ideal for vibration analysis. Included within the family, and certified to ANZEx, are the MTN/M1100I and MTN/M1100IC which are top-entry devices with integral cables and connectors respectively. Both have a temperature range of -55 to 140 degrees Centigrade and are sealed to IP67. Also included are the side-entry equivalent devices, the MTN/M1100IS and MTN/M1100ISC.

Two ANZEx-certified sensors come from Monitran's MTN/1185 family of general purpose accelerometers with DC outputs, which are ideal for machine protection. These are the MTN/M1185IC and its waterproof variant, the MTN/M1185IWC, which are both top-entry devices with integral cables and which have an operating temperature range of -25 to 90 degrees Centigrade.

The remaining two sensors come from Monitran's MTN/1187 family. Again, the sensors have DC outputs but this time proportional to RMS acceleration. The ANZEx-certified devices are the MTN/M1187IC and its waterproof variant the MTN/M1187IWC.

Anthony concludes: "Our ANZEx-approved sensors can be used for vibration analysis with intrinsically safe data loggers or integrated directly in machine control circuitry (such as PLCs) to afford machine protection - and therefore mine safety."

Smart buildings

Environmental sensors make smart buildings more comfortable

Carlo Gavazzi has introduced a range of sensors to measure environmental variables including CO2 levels, humidity, temperature and airflow. The new CGES sensors complement the company’s existing offerings to provide complete solutions for energy management, HVAC and smart building applications.

When carbon dioxide levels rise to an unacceptable level it creates poor air quality and stuffy rooms. CO2 and airflow sensors can control extra ventilation to increase the fresh air supply and improve the indoor air quality. Similarly these new devices can be used to control humidity level in wet climates: improving comfort and discouraging the growth of mildew.

Standards introduced by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) define a maximum CO2 level of 1000ppm; and the ASHRAE 62-1989 norm has been widely adopted in countries including Sweden, France and Japan as well as the USA. CGESCO2 sensors use non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) technology to provide measurement ranges 0-2000 or 0-5000ppm. Using a patented auto-calibration procedure to compensate for drift caused by ageing, the sensors ensure traceable high accuracy and outstanding long-term stability. Operation in a closed-loop airstream avoids pollution of the CO2 sensor.

Humidity measurements are based on a thin-film polymer, which releases or absorbs water vapour according to the ambient humidity, varying its dielectric properties accordingly. The instruments’ electronics measure the resulting change in capacitance, with excellent reproducibility that delivers accuracy of ±3% from 10% to 90% RH. High quality HC101 sensors guarantee excellent long-term stability and resistance to chemical pollutants.

The air velocity sensors utilise the principles of thin-film anemometry, in which a heated resistive mesh is maintained at a constant temperature above that of the medium. Air flowing over the resistor cools it and the power required to maintain the offset is used to determine air speed. Carlo Gavazzi’s cutting-edge thin film technology guarantees excellent accuracy over working ranges up to 20m/s. Moreover, the sensor is insensitive to dust and dirt, and has low angular dependence. Measuring range and response time are selectable by jumpers.

Temperature measurement is available using Pt100, Pt1000, PTC or NTC resistance elements, ensuring typical accuracy of ±0.3degC at 20°C.

The sensors are available in duct or wall mounting formats, and a switching output offers an alternative to the standard 0-10V DC voltage or 2-40mA current analogue outputs. Environmental sensors can be combined in either wall or duct-mounted units. For example, the CGESHTPD duct-mounted model features HC101 humidity sensors combined with passive Pt100/Pt1000 temperature measurement; whilst the CGESCO2TW provides CO2, temperature and humidity functions in a simple-to-install room transmitter on the wall.

All the CGES family benefit from traceability through international standards such as NIST, PTB and BEV: the sensors carry CE marks and are RoHS-compliant.