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


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.”

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 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.

Machine vision

Raising the bar for machine vision software
Multi-threaded for better performance with 24-bit colour processing throughout

Industrial Vision Systems Ltd (IVS) has launched NeuroCheck 6.0, the most capable machine vision software suite available today. Reengineered from the ground up on the Microsoft .NET framework by sister company NeuroCheck GmbH, NeuroCheck 6.0 offers dramatic improvements in inspection processing and manufacturing integration as well as support for the latest high-resolution colour digital cameras and multi-core CPUs.

NeuroCheck is an integrated software application used for inspection, guidance, identification, metrology, tracking and counting in mission-critical inspection systems – and boasts a diverse global blue chip client list that includes Daimler, GlaxoSmithKline, Wrigleys, PepsiCo and Robert Bosch. NeuroCheck 6.0 represents the culmination of 5 years of development and incorporates over 2,000 suggestions from customers and business partners.

With the release of NeuroCheck 6.0, the best just got better,² states Christian Demant, Director of IVS. ³The user interface has been completely revised and made touchscreen ready, internal algorithms are multi-core, multi-threaded to support 24-bit colour image processing, and the all-new data communications centre significantly extends factory integration capabilities for end-users and systems integrators alike.²

New image processing algorithms allow faster solution creation and more precise evaluations. All functions process colour data, updated check functions incorporate numerous new geometric characteristics and calculation rules, and barcode processing supports a wider range of 2D and 1D formats, allowing engineers to build solutions quicker and more accurately. 24-bit colour processing is carried through template matching, supported with a new template definition wizard. Modern multi-core processor support further improves performance, particularly for fast cameras connected via GigE and FireWire B (IEEE 1394b) interfaces.

The user interface has been completely revised and optimised for working with large images from today¹s high-resolution cameras. In manual mode, parameter dialogues are resizable, all image displays allow arbitrary zoom with an overview window for easy navigation. Radical development of the automatic mode has introduced separate control panel and process view windows. Touchscreen ready, the control panel is the operating centre, providing a compact overview of the inspection process, whilst the process view allows more detailed information to be displayed, such as evaluation results, intermediate images or accumulated statistical values. Multi-threading ensures rapid updating of output windows and better hardware resource utilization.

A cornerstone of NeuroCheck¹s philosophy from day one has been to remove any need for the applications engineer to understand traditional programming when building solutions. This is carried through NeuroCheck 6.0¹s new designer toolkit that allows engineers to completely redesign both user interface views. Using simple drag-and-drop actions, the engineer can fine-tune the standard user interface or fully realise his company¹s corporate design – even minimise operator training by recreating a user interface already in use.

Support for Fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet as standard simplifies integration with PLC controllers used in production line automation. The new data communication centre extends this further by allowing dynamic target measurement values to be provided across these networks as well as from files. Equally, these networks can be used for output of actual and target values in XML, CSV, text and user-defined formats for integration into quality control and SPC systems, and the event log viewer provides continuous activities documentation according to FDA 21 CFR Part 11.

NeuroCheck 6.0 can run under Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 and is available now in three licence levels: Professional, Premium and Run-time. NeuroCheck 6.0 demo discs are available from the company