Monday, February 28, 2011

Safety of insulated supplies!

PMD s20 has now been added to the portfolio of electronic monitoring relays in the PMDsigma series from Pilz. With it, it is simply turn and click to set all the values, which can then be stored on a chip card. This gives users the flexibility to transfer data for other devices.

PMD s20 monitors the electrical safety of insulated supplies – for operating theatres, offshore installations or the electroplating industry for example – and prevents power failures due to short circuits.

Insulation monitors PMD s20 monitor the insulation resistance of unearthed AC/DC systems, simply and reliably. De-energised systems can also be monitored thanks to a separate supply voltage.
Normally energised and normally de-energised mode can be freely selected via two relay and analogue inputs.

The device is quick to assemble via spring clips, so there is no need for tools. All values are set simply and securely via a rotary encoder with key function. Set-up and commissioning times are reduced as a result.

Support for parameter setting is menu-driven on a plain text display, which also provides user-friendly diagnostics. All values can be set, displayed and called up via the display. An up-to-date measurement of the insulation resistance can also be shown permanently on the display. Once the values have been created, they can be stored on a chip card. This saves time and effort during commissioning and when exchanging units.

All setting elements are covered to protect them from unauthorised access, thereby offering increased protection against manipulation.

Insulation monitors PMD s20 have a universal power supply and are therefore suitable for universal use.

Upgrade of one of the most popular portable continuous emissions monitors for event.

Quantitech are to launch the new improved Horiba PG 250 SRM at MCERTS 2011; the specialist air monitoring event being held in Telford (GB: 30/31 March 2011)

Keith Golding, Quantitech Managing Director, says "The Horiba PG 250 SRM will have MCERTS approval by the time of the March event and is TÜV approved for QUAL1."

Employing Standard Reference Methods, the PG250 SRM is an upgrade from one of the most popular portable continuous emissions monitors in the world. The new version includes a Paramagnetic analyser for Oxygen and offers improved measuring ranges for Carbon Monoxide.

The company's stands will also feature FTIR analysers including the Gasmet DX4030 portable FTIR system which was chosen by the Environment Agency and other bodies for emergency air quality monitoring during major incidents.

Quantitech will also host two workshops at MCERTS 2011, which will be repeated on both days. Gilles Campagnola from TCR Tecora will present 'Results from the EN1948-5 validation tests of a Dioxin continuous, long-term sampling system’
(Wednesday, Room 2; 3pm and Thursday, Room 2; 9.45am) and Quantitech's Dominic Duggan will present ‘A Transportable FTIR for process operators and stack testers’ (Wednesday, Room 4; 3pm and Thursday, Room 4; 9.45am).

Visitors to the Quantitech stand will also be able to register for a free technical workshop on FTIR technology that will take place in June this year.

Process and emissions monitoring advice at mCERTS

ALcontrol will showcase a range of On-Site Services at MCERTS 2011.(30/31 March 2011)

Available throughout Europe, the UKAS and MCERTS accredited service operates a fleet of mobile laboratories equipped with the latest instrumentation, allowing ALcontrol’s skilled technicians to provide accurate and timely results.

The company has a dedicated, professionally-qualified team specifically for BS EN 14181 monitoring, which applies to Continuous Emission Monitoring (CEMs) equipment, and visitors to MCERTS 2011 are invited to meet ALcontrol staff at Stand 50 for help and advice on any issue relating to process or emissions monitoring.

Automation offerings at Hannover

The Siemens Industry Automation Division will be present at this year’s Hanover Fair with an array of worldwide leading products and innovations for the seamless automation of industrial processes. “Our comprehensive automation engineering and industrial software portfolio is designed to provide solutions to the most urgent challenges facing our customers in terms of improving productivity, flexibility and security, cutting costs and reducing the time to market”, explained Industrial Automation Systems Business Unit CEO Ralf-Michael Franke at the pre-show press conference. “There is clearly an increasing need for efficient industrial software among our customers. By linking industrial software with our leading-edge automation engineering under a single roof we become the pacemaker in the marketplace.”

Siemens has extended its portfolio of software solutions for manufacturing industry both by making strategic acquisitions and through its own internal development, and today is in a position to provide a complete software portfolio from product design through to production control. Its experience in the integration of industrial hardware and software has been brought to bear in the “Totally Integrated Automation Portal”, an integrated engineering framework launched back at the end of 2010. Alongside the TIA Portal, technological highlights from Siemens Industry Automation to feature at the Hanover Fair will include product innovations designed to boost energy efficiency and productivity. Franke on the TIA Portal: “This represents a further development of our worldwide leading Totally Integrated Automation portfolio, one which will help to power our customers forward into a whole new era of intuitive engineering.”

There are already plenty of Siemens customers enjoying the beneifts of major engineering cost savings with the optimized workflow made possible by the new TIA Portal framework, equating to a reduction of 25 per cent in concrete projects. Franke sees the TIA Portal as a significant step but only the first of many in a process of further software development which is set to stretch forward to the year 2030. “We are working towards the achievement of completely integrated product and production engineering. The complete integration of what are today two completely separate workflows will open up growth opportunities for us, and enormous additional productivity potential for our customers”, explains Franke. Calculated on the basis of project examples, the potential for cost savings is estimated to be a further 20%.

Alongside the growing relevance of industrial software as one of today’s driving trends, the issue of plant security has taken on ever greater significance over the past year. Plant operators right across the industrial spectrum are increasingly concerned about the issue of security, as open communication in the industrial environment and ever greater networking of production systems render industrial plants vulnerable to attack. Franke believes a comprensive system of security management to be vital to the safe operation of modern plant and machinery: “Plant operators need to look at security as an integral solution – from know-how and integrity protection through to the prevention of industrial espionage and sabotage”. Siemens offers its customers specific security products designed to improve plant protection. The portfolio on show in Hanover ranges from products with integral security properties through to advisory services and implementation of comprehensive security solutions.

Siemens at the Hanover Fair 2011: In keeping with the theme “Create Sustainable Value”, at booth A72 in Hall 9, Siemens will be demonstrating how economic efficiency and productivity can be reconciled with ecologically responsible industrial production. It will also be informing its customers right across the different fields of industry about how to create sustainable added value with solutions from Siemens. With its excellent product, system and solution portfolio, integral exertise and exceptionally high research and development potential, Siemens is ideally placed to provide sound customer advice. At this year’s fair, issues in the spotlight will be energy efficiency and productivity, while the technological focus will be on the engineering framework Totally Integrated Automation Portal. On the subject of energy efficiency, Siemens will also show its customers how to identify, evaluate and consistently implement savings potential with a view to reducing energy consumption and cutting both carbon emissions and costs. On the issue of productivity, integral solutions ranging from the CAD drawing through to the finished product will be unveiled. At its booth in Hall 9, Siemens will demonstrate how resources can be efficiently utilized and productivity potential leveraged, starting right from the plant design through to the operating phase, featuring examples from a number of industries: automotive, oil & gas and renewable energies (wind and solar).

Other Siemens industry topics featured at the Hanover Fair 2011: Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software GmbH (Hall 17, Booth B40); Metropolitan Solutions (Hall 8); TectoYou (Pavillon P33, Booth A03); AS-International Association (Hall 9, Booth F58); Hart Communication Foundation (Hall 7, Booth D45); Profibus Nutzerorganisation (Hall 11, Booth A49)

Friday, February 25, 2011

New director for Ireland

Emerson Process Management has appointed Owen Bonner as Sales and Marketing Director for Ireland. He will be based out of Emerson’s facility in Cork. Owen brings with him a wealth of automation, control and instrumentation experience gained from previous engineering and project management roles in Ireland. 

“We are delighted to have Owen join us as leader of the Emerson Process Management business in Ireland,” said Paul Smith, General Manager for the UK and Ireland. “Emerson Process Management has continued to support its Irish customer base from our facilities in Cork during the economic difficulties and Owen’s appointment underlines our continuing commitment to the Irish marketplace. 

"The complexity of running dynamic, interconnected process facilities is increasing, while in Ireland, our customers struggle to retain the experience to optimise their businesses to compete globally," said Owen. “I am looking forward to leading our team in Ireland who are focused on supporting our customers by understanding their problems and applying technologies that makes their plant and workers more effective.”

Owen holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering from University College Dublin and a post graduate diploma in Computers for Engineers from Trinity College Dublin. Previous roles have included Consulting Business Manager, Automation Engineering Manager and Sales Manager - with a focus on the life science sector.

Marine division formed

Combining expertise from the company's water quality, bathymetry and integrated systems activities, YSI Hydrodata will launch a new Marine Division at this year's Ocean Business event (5/7 April Southampton GB).
Offering monitoring solutions from portable instruments and AUVs to complete networked ocean buoys, the new division will build on YSI and SonTek's massive installed base of marine instruments and systems to provide customers with both off-the-shelf and bespoke solutions to marine monitoring requirements.

Taking place at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton (April 5-7), the event will provide an ideal opportunity for visitors to see the latest water monitoring instrumentation such as new sensors, the Castaway CTD and the EcoMapper, an autonomous underwater vehicle.

In addition to the exhibition, YSI Hydrodata will also run three demonstrations:
    1. - Castaway CTD' profiling demonstration at the dockside area; Tuesday, April 5, 2pm. 2. - Monitoring coastal water quality' demonstration at the dockside area; Wednesday, April 6th, 4.30pm. 3. - Multiparameter monitoring system with integrated crude oil, refined oil and CDOM sensors' in the Ray Beverton (Level 4) room 044/11; Thursday, April 7th, 1.30pm.

Modular concept industrial PCs

Modular Concept with Powerful Industrial PCs

With its Valueline product line, Phoenix Contact is offering a modular concept for process visualization, robotics, and industrial automation at a favorable price based on powerful, maintenance-friendly industrial PCs. The industrial PC base unit can also be configured as a classic panel PC with a display and various mounting options. It can be used at ambient temperatures of up to 55 °C.

To expand the range of functions — such as the integration of a security function in the form of an FL MGUARD PCI router — both the base unit and the panel PC can be expanded by two PCI slots. Complex processes can be visualized on the TFT touchscreen displays with sizes from 12” to 24” diagonal.

The IPCs are based on a cooling concept without fan. Combined with various processors from Intel ATOM 1.6 GHz, Celeron 1.01 GHz, up to Core2Duo 1.5 GHz CPU, all of them can be used in demanding and energy-efficient areas. The service-friendly design of the industrial PCs allows simple and fast access to important components, such as the interchangeable hard disk or the CMOS battery.

A modular production technique facilitates fast delivery times and a favorable price — even for customized configurations.

Shear beam load cells

NEW LCJA Shear Beam Load Cells
Omega has expanded its capabilities by introducing a new range of shear beam load cells. This new range overcomes the disadvantages seen by using lower spec bending beam models. They have a load range of 250kgf to 9 tonnes, have a high side load rejection of 500:1 and faster return to zero after load removal. Additionally, they have the added capability of a higher tolerance of dynamic forces and vibration. Each device is supplied with a FREE traceable calibration certificate. They are corrosion resistant and have an IP67 rating making them ideal for wash down application.

Higher voltage power-supply units have full remote interfaces

The new PLH-P series from Aim-TTi are higher voltage linear regulated laboratory power supplies fitted with a wide range of remote control interfaces.

Available as 0 to 120 V or 0 to 250 V models, the PLH-P series provide more than 90 W of power from a highly compact quarter-rack form factor.

Fully opto-isolated analogue remote control is incorporated using a scale factor of either 0 to 5 V or 0 to 10 V.  Digital remote control is provided by USB, RS-232 and LAN interfaces with GPIB available as an option. The LAN interface is LXI compliant.

The PLH-P series uses special safety binding post terminals, designed by TTi. These are touch-proof to over 250 V and can be used with fixed shroud 4 mm plugs for laboratories that make their use mandatory. However, they can also accept standard 4 mm plugs, spade connectors or bare wires for general-purpose use. Power and sense terminals are duplicated on the rear panel for rack-mounted applications.

The command set is compatible with other TTi power supplies including the QL, PL, QPX and CPX. An IVI driver provides support for common high-level applications such as National Instruments LabView or LabWindows, and HP/Agilent VEE.

Water security in the US

Advanced monitoring technology helps improve water security

As part of the homeland security activity in the United States, their Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to test commercially available water quality sensors for their ability to provide a warning alarm due to deliberate or unintentional contamination events within a drinking water system. The Intellisonde™ in-pipe water quality monitor from Intellitect Water is one of several instruments being assessed by the US EPA in a simulated network at its Ohio Test and Evaluation Facility.

The project's work on water quality sensors is in support of the Water Security Initiative, which is developing contaminant warning systems and addressing the risk of intentional contamination in drinking water distribution systems.

The trial with the Intellisonde has been underway for over a year. Summarising the Intellisonde’s™ preliminary results, the EPA's John Hall says; “We have monitored a number of parameters such as pH, Conductivity, ORP and Temperature, however, the Chlorine and Flow data have proved to be particularly useful. Free Chlorine levels, for example, are significantly affected by a broad range of contaminants and the flow data can be used to reduce alarms due to operational events.


“Overall, the Intellisonde™ has provided reliable chlorine data for over 6 months without changing the probe, which represents an improvement in this principle of detection. Wide-spread deployment of solid state chlorine probes within the US water distribution network will be dependent largely on the reliability of the data and the cost of operation and maintenance for the sensor.

“Additionally, the Intellisonde™ has been easy to use once aligned in the pipe properly and we look forward to reporting further findings as the project progresses.”

Developed to continuously monitor up to 12 parameters within drinking water distribution networks, the Intellisonde™ is a small water quality monitor that can be inserted into pressurised pipes through a 1½ inch valve. Measurement options include Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, Mono-chloramine, Dissolved Oxygen, Conductivity, pH, ORP/Redox, Flow, Pressure, Temperature, Turbidity and Colour. Importantly, none of these requires membranes or reagents and the sondes can be deployed for long periods without the need for frequent recalibration or maintenance.

DCS & Safety in Chinese nuclear plant

Invensys Operations Management has signed a third project-based agreement with China Nuclear Power Engineering Co. LTD (CNPE) to provide safety and distributed control systems and solutions for Fujian Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant, units 3 and 4, two 1,000MW nuclear power units under construction in Fujian province in southeast China.
Ulf Henriksson, chief executive officer, Invensys plc, commented, “This contract strengthens our position as a market-leading provider of control and safety technology to the global nuclear power industry. We look forward to continuing our work and strengthening our relationship with CNPE in the years ahead as they develop safe, reliable and efficient nuclear power for the people of China.”

Under the terms of the contract, Invensys will provide its Triconex® critical control, Foxboro® I/A Series® distributed control systems (DCS) and human-machine interface (HMI) solutions to help the Fuqing Nuclear Power Company achieve control, safety and environmental excellence.

“We are pleased to have reached further agreement with CNPE as they increase China’s power generation capacity,”
said Sudipta Bhattacharya, president and chief executive officer, Invensys Operations Management. “Invensys systems and technology, as well as on-site project management, engineering, system integration, and installation and commissioning services, will help drive control, safety and environmental excellence in these new units.”
This is the third contract awarded to Invensys by CNPE, following agreements the companies reached in 2008 and 2010 for the development and implementation of several large-scale safety and non-safety distributed control systems, including fully digitised main control rooms. In total, Invensys safety and control system technology is being installed at eight nuclear power units under construction in the Fujian, Zhejiang and Hainan provinces.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Reflective memory distribution agreement!

Reflective Memory will enable NI™ customers to develop real time, deterministic local area networks for challenging testing, simulation applications

GE Intelligent Platforms has signed an agreement that will see National Instruments™
distribute the GE cPCI-5565PIO Reflective Memory PMC and PMC Carrier Card for 3U CompactPCI® systems. The cPCI-5565PIO – which operates at 2Gbaud and features 256Mbytes of memory and multi-mode transceivers – is based on the GE PMC-5565PIORC, but includes a customized carrier card specifically designed to be configured with NI PXI chassis as part of the company’s NI VeriStand™ real-time testing and simulation software platform.

“Reflective Memory is a technology that uniquely enables real time local area networks and in which each computer always has an up-to-date local copy of the shared memory set,” said Wayne McGee, Manager, Commercial Product Management at GE Intelligent Platforms. “These specialty networks are specifically designed to provide highly deterministic data communications, and deliver the tightly timed performance necessary for a variety of sophisticated, demanding distributed simulation and industrial control applications. As such, Reflective Memory is highly appropriate for the applications targeted by National Instruments, and can help NI achieve a sustainable competitive advantage."

“Our business is about helping engineers and scientists more efficiently design, prototype, and deploy systems for test, control, and embedded design applications,” said Ian Fountain, Senior Platform Manager for Real-Time Test at National Instruments. “Our customers continuously develop innovative technologies that impact millions of people. Adding the GE Reflective Memory to our NI VeriStand platform will help us deliver the network performance and reliability that those customers demand.”

NI VeriStand is a software environment designed for creating real-time testing applications more efficiently. It allows configuration of a multicore-ready real-time engine to execute tasks that include analog, digital, communication bus, and field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based I/O interfaces; triggerable, multifile data logging; real-time stimulus generation; calculated channels, and event alarming and alarm response routines.

GE Reflective Memory solutions include nodes for VME, PCI and PCI Express systems as well as in a PMC form factor, together with a Reflective Memory Hub that allows for optimum management of Reflective Memory networks.

Production of glass containers for pharmaceutical use

SPAMI, a company forming part of the Stevanato Group, has developed an inspection system to improve the quality of glassware. It uses quality control technologies to screen the glass tubing on arrival at the plant as well as the final product. The system includes a visual inspection system (NoVIS), a system for continuous temperature measurement, and also a digital image processing system, called CLEANER, which is able to detect and remove defects in the glass as small as a few microns in the final product. The fully integrated process machinery provides measurement of glass tube diameter, wall thickness, and temperature using infrared pyrometers (Pyrometer Annealing control) for total quality control, and motorized burners provide close control of their positioning. The use of this system gives Stevanato their advantage in quality over other vial manufacturers. For this advanced system, S.P.A.M.I. uses HMS Anybus converters for the connection between remote visual inspection cameras and the PLCs controlling the production lines
Founded in 1949 as an artisan workshop in a region with a strong tradition in the art of glass-making, Stevanato Group is now an established industrial enterprise producing high technology systems.

The group comprises two divisions. The Glass Division specialises particularly in the production of primary packaging of glass tubing for pharmaceutical use. It offers a wide range of products from the most traditional primary packaging, such as ampoules and vials, to rapidly growing products such as cartridges for self-injectors and peninjection systems, including sterile ready-to-fill syringes.

The Engineering Division, made up of the companies S.P.A.M.I. and Optrel, focuses on the design and production of machinery and equipment for the conversion, visual inspection and monitoring of glass tubing containers. The synergy between the two divisions ensures that the Stevanato Group has full control over the entire production process, from the purchase of the raw materials right down to after-sales support.

“S.P.A.M.I.’s production is intended both for the companies within the group and for sale to other external companies.” T
he mechanical and electrical solutions installed on the forming machines have been designed to provide the greatest precision and the best results in the production of glass containers.

All the components used to form the molten glass are installed and carefully checked to guarantee the dimensional tolerance of vials, syringes, cartridges and ampoules. The components installed in the forming machines and conveyor belts have been specifically selected to avoid contaminating the containers. The process is fully automatic, from the loading of the tube to boxing.

The production cycle starts with the glass tubing which is acquired externally in pieces of approx. 1.5 m in length and with an appropriate diameter for the size of the finished product. The glass tubing is fed into rotary forming machines with several processing heads and is heated by burners. Depending on the processing cycle, which is selected according to the product to be made, the mouth and the bottom of the vial, ampoule, syringe, etc. are formed in this way.

The following equipment is installed on the line:
Downstream of the forming machines is a conveyor belt where dimensional and cosmetic inspections are carried out by means of cameras to ensure a thorough check of the glass containers. “These are basically dimensional measurements carried out by analyzing the image”, Gobita explained. “Since the product is subject to mechanical stress during processing, there is also an annealing oven providing a heat cycle to eliminate the tension formed in the glass.” Then the final stage comprises quality control of the finished product and automatic packaging. It should be noted that this final part of the cycle is carried out in such a way as to ensure the levels of quality and sterility required for use in pharmaceutical applications.

There are a number of competitors on the market that operate at international level. “Our main competitors are German and American, whereas the other companies in Italy are much smaller than ours."

The value added offered by S.P.A.M.I. is to be found primarily in the quality of its products, which has enabled it to excel in this sector.  "Since they are used in pharmaceutical applications, our products have very high quality requirements and have to comply with very stringent regulatory limits. This requires a large number of very qualified Quality Control staff”, continued Gobita. “The difference between us and our national competitors can be seen in this very aspect. Our capacity for research and development is also a factor: when pharmaceutical companies ask us for trial products that are different from the standard products, we can do the product design because we can modify our systems. Just like the mechanical division which produces the systems within the group, S.P.A.M.I. can modify and adapt these systems to suit production requirements. This ability to customize systems is another important value added we can offer our customers. It should be remembered that there are a number of standard products in the pharmaceutical sector, such as ampoules and vials that we all know about, but there are also many special products - and their numbers are increasing - that for the most part are developed ad hoc. In these cases, a specific machine is needed, so in the majority of cases a pre-existing machine has to be modified”.

A positive collaboration with HMS
The association with HMS came about in order to resolve a specific communication problem.

An application was developed by the mechanical division to carry out a series of product quality checks based on machine vision technology. More specifically, Cognex smart cameras had to be connected to Siemens PLCs. “We thus needed to enable cameras with Ethernet interface to communicate with PLCs with Profibus protocol”, explained Gobita. “After some careful research, and through EFA Automation, the exclusive distributors in Italy of HMS’s GATEWAY solutions, we singled out the Anybus devices which enabled us to solve the problem of communication between our equipment.”

Other potential suppliers were considered at the time, but HMS was the only company that could offer a wide range of protocol converters. “This widespread availability was central to our choice, because our various applications are often very different from each other. Initially, for example,
we needed to manage the Profibus protocol since it was used by Siemens PLCs, but our company normally also uses programmable controllers from other suppliers. So it is essential for us to have an extensive product range.”
The first HMS product used was a device from the range of Anybus converters that converts from Profibus to Modbus on Ethernet: the Anybus X-gateway.

More than one Anybus converter may be installed on each production line. “Up to now we have used a number of converters, because the application has been used in various systems”, continued Gobita. “Smart cameras are used to check the product’s various quality aspects and must be installed in several different points in the system. Basically, this is not a “one-off” application of HMS converters, but an application that has become standard for us. We are very satisfied with our choice. HMS’s Anybus products are very sound, functional and simple to use compared to other similar devices that we tried. We all know that while it’s very easy to find complex things, it isn’t so easy to find simple things.

We haven’t had any problems and the way things have developed is also down to this. In the future we plan to use the HMS Anybus converters also on other lines, where they will of course be closely linked to our control systems via cameras. And, since standards require increasingly narrow tolerances, it is inevitable that checks by means of remote cameras will increase”,
concluded Gobita.

Portable Vibration monitor

Bringing the powerful predictive capabilities of a permanently installed multi-channel online monitoring system to short-duration, portable applications

Emerson’s new CSI 2600 Machinery Health Expert delivers the portability of the two-channel CSI 2130 Machinery Health Analyser and the advanced predictive and continuous monitoring capabilities of the permanently-installed, multi-channel CSI 6500 Machinery Health Monitor. The CSI 2600 continuously monitors, records, and analyses machinery information for over 100 hours across all 24 channels without the significant cost and commitment of a hardwired solution.


“The CSI 2600 delivers the answer to user requests for a powerful, yet portable online monitoring solution,” said Brian Humes, vice president and general manager for Emerson’s Machinery Health Management business.  “By leveraging Emerson’s leading predictive online monitoring capabilities and advanced analysis capabilities, users can target their maintenance on strategic areas of the plant to operate more effectively.”

Online monitoring of key machinery with the CSI 2600 provides real-time information that enables users to track and diagnose issues, avoid unexpected downtime, and determine the best time for maintenance. Monitoring continuous data on troubled rolling element and sleeve bearing machines enables reliability analysts to capture intermittent problems. The CSI 2600 utilises PeakVue® technology to identify developing bearing and gear faults in advance of damaging the machine. With the CSI 2600, vibration analysts can capture start-up or coastdown data for a turbine generator or turbo compressor using proven transient capabilities. The CSI 2600 is easily transported and left at remote sites for extended monitoring and remote communication.

Integration of the CSI 2600 with AMS Suite predictive maintenance software allows users to perform advanced analysis of vibration diagnostics. With AMS Suite, users can configure and control the CSI 2600 from the control room via a LAN or by connecting directly via a laptop in the field.

The CSI 2600 also provides flexibility in sensor connectivity. Users can connect through traditional BNC connectors, or with blunt cut wires to attach to sensor termination screws, eliminating the need for analysts to carry cable adaptors in the field.

Smarter temp calibration!

Introducing a smarter way to calibrate temperature

Beamex has introduced a smarter, more efficient and accurate solution for calibrating temperature. It is a complete solution for temperature calibration with various different products and services, such as a series of high-quality dry blocks for field and laboratory use, smart reference probes and temperature calibration laboratory services. The Beamex® dry blocks communicate with the Beamex® MC-calibrators enabling fully automated temperature calibration and documentation!


Main features
• Beamex introduces two dry block product series: Beamex® FB Field Temperature Block and Beamex® MB Metrology Temperature Block
• Beamex® FB Field Temperature Blocks: lightweight, high-accuracy temperature dry block for industrial field use (3 models available)• Beamex® MB Metrology Temperature Blocks: portable temperature dry block delivering bath-level accuracy for industrial applications (4 models available)
• FB Series temperature ranges: from -25°C to +660°C
• MB Series temperature ranges: from -45°C to +700°C
• Both MB and FB series communicate with selected Beamex® MC-calibrators enabling fully automated calibration
•Accredited calibration certificate included as standard
• Beamex Calibration Laboratory offers recalibration services for the temperature range from -80°C to +660°C


Beamex® Temperature Blocks are suitable for
• Calibration of temperature sensors and temperature instruments with a sensor
• FB Series is ideal for on-site calibration and MB Series for laboratories and workshops• Industries: food and beverage, power and energy, petrochemical and chemical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas


Howard Instrumentation Ltd (sole agent for Beamex in Ireland) is a leading Irish provider of calibration solutions that meet even the most demanding requirements of process instrumentation.

Busbar improvement

Design Improvements for Rittal’s RiLine60 Busbar Technology

Easier assembly of busbar systems will save time and money using Rittal’s RiLine60 busbar technology for the construction of low-voltage switchgear. Design improvements to the busbar supports mean that the integrated step mechanisms for adapting to the flat bar cross-section can now be locked using pins. Engineers have the flexibly to insert flat copper bars retained in a holder from the front, or slide them in from the side.

Further improvements relate to assembly and the cable entry of busbar connection adaptors. Creating holes by simply knocking out perforations permits the simple, tool-free introduction of round conductors and laminated copper bars. The specially incorporated anti-slip guard also guarantees that the OM (One Move) component adapter holds securely in any position. Installation on 4-pole busbar systems is ensured by adjusting the adapter section.

Certification for electrical integration

ABB’s System 800xA receives KEMA certification for electrical integration

The ABB System 800xA Extended Automation controller has received KEMA certification for its IEC 61850 electrical integration interface. IEC 61850 is the global communication standard for Power Distribution and Substation Automation. System 800xA’s unique ability to integrate wide variety of intelligent electronic devices provides a single platform for process and electrical systems, resulting in significant operational and energy efficiency benefits.

Founded in 1927, KEMA is a global provider of business and technical consulting, operational support, measurement and inspection, testing and certification for the energy and utility industry. KEMA’s Protocol Competence and Test Center is the leading certification organization for IEC protocols, and is the first independent test organization authorized by UCA (Utility Communications Architecture) International Users Group to perform the official IEC 61850 conformance tests and issue certificates.
This certification assures that System 800xA’s AC 800M controller is in full compliance with the global IEC 61850 standard for electrical devices.  ABB has been delivering integrated process and power automation systems for many years, and has been active in the development IEC 61850, which ensures global consistency and interoperability of industrial electrical system components.

The IEC 61850 standard, along with other emerging technologies, has lowered the investment barrier for customers to integrate the process and power devices on their plant floors. The demand for integrated process and power automation is growing in traditional markets that are heavy energy users, such as Oil and Gas, Power Generation, Pulp and Paper, Minerals and Metals industries.

By integrating power and process systems on the common 800xA platform, customers optimize the design and performance of their electrical and automation systems and see additional benefits in reduced maintenance, engineering and overall lifecycle costs.  According to ARC, typical savings can result in a 20% reduction in CAPEX (capital expenditures) and OPEX (operating expenditures) by integrating these two, usually separate, automation infrastructures. 

ABB’s extended automation System 800xA has improved industrial productivity, safety, and operational profitability for customers in virtually every industry and every region, from process industries such as oil and gas, petrochemicals, pulp and paper, cement, and mining to traditional electric and water utilities to alternative energy production such as solar, waste-to-energy and bioethanol.

Extended industrial PC range

The Siemens Industry Automation Division is extending its range of embedded industrial computers to include a new product line, Simatic IPC, of particularly compact and energy-saving PCs in the nano-format. The product line starts with two basic designs and a number of different versions: compact Nanobox PCs with versatile installation options and Nanopanel PCs with integral touchscreens of 7" or larger. At the core of the Simatic IPC227D Nanobox PCs and the Simatic HMI IPC277D Nanopanel PCs are the latest generation of Intel Atom processors. The Nano IPCs are designed for maintenance-free, 24-hour service even when subjected to high temperatures, vibration, shocks and electromagnetic interference. The units are suitable for simple control, visualization and communication tasks and can also be used as data loggers in areas such as machine building, traffic control, building automation systems or energy transmission. Ready-to-run packages comprising both computers and software allow the units to be put into service immediately. In recognition of its innovative product design, the Simatic IPC227D Nanobox PC has received the famous iF product design award.

A particularly compact design and the Atom processors of the power-optimized E6xx series from Intel are the key features of the new Simatic IPC227D Nanobox PCs and the Simatic HMI IPC277D Nanopanel PCs from the Siemens Industry Automation Division. The devices belong to a new product line of particularly compact and energy-saving industrial PCs in the nano-format.

The Atom processors of the power-optimized E6xx series from Intel form the basis for the new Simatic IPC227D Nanobox PC and Simatic HMI IPC277D Nanopanel PC embedded industrial PCs from the Siemens Industry Automation Division. The power-optimized Atom processors offer high-speed data processing and communication with low heat dissipation and a power consumption starting at just eight Watts. The devices boast high resistance to vibration and shock and have an integral 24 Volt industrial power supply unit. For maintenance-free use – for example in machine building, marine applications or in building or traffic control systems – the units can be operated without fans at ambient temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius. Compact-Flash cards with up to eight GB capacity or solid-state drives (SSD) of up to 50 GB can be used as robust bulk storage devices. As an option, Siemens offers a 250 GB hard disk for the Nanobox PC. Likewise, a retentive memory of up to 512 KB can be integrated if required and also used for applications without batteries. Within the buffering period, 128 KB of data can be written, for example to back up important machine data in the event of a power outage.

The Simatic IPC227D Nanobox PC with its compact dimensions of 191x100x60 mm (WxHxD) fits not only inside small control cabinets but also directly into a machine or the machine base. It can be installed very flexibly in the four standard versions of DIN rail, wall, portrait or landscape mounting. All interfaces are located on one side to simplify the connection of cables to the device. The unit can be operated without a fan at ambient temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius in almost any installation position. In the basic configuration, the Nanobox PC is completely maintenance-free, thanks to its dustproof enclosure and the absence of battery, fan or hard disk. For expansion purposes, the IPC227D has the option of one PCIe slot, three additional serial interfaces or four digital inputs and outputs (24V DC). For fast device diagnosis, the Nanobox PC has four status LEDs, three of which are fully programmable. Diagnostic software is pre-installed to provide comprehensive analysis.

The Simatic HMI IPC277D Nanopanel PC is available with 7", 9" and 12" high-resolution industrial touch displays in widescreen format, with a wide viewing angle. Devices with larger display sizes are currently being developed. Thanks to LED backlighting that is dimmable up to 100%, the power consumption of the Nanopanel PCs can be significantly reduced.

In all its versions, the IPC227D is equipped with four USB-2.0 ports, while the HMI IPC277D has at least three. Both devices have two Gigabit-Ethernet ports with teaming capability, of which one can optionally be used as a Profinet interface with real-time functionality. An RS232 interface is available as a serial port. Versions of the Nanobox PC with an RS485 or CAN interface are also available as options. By means of the Wake-on-LAN function, the devices can be remotely switched over from the active state to the standby mode, thereby reducing the energy consumption of the computer.

The Industrial PCs can be configured online and can be supplied on request with a pre-installed and activated operating system – Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Windows Embedded Standard 2009 – and have assured long-term availability. Versions with Windows 7 and Windows Embedded Standard 7 are currently under development. Ready-to-run packages including SIMATIC WinCC V11 visualization software or WinAC RTX (F) 2010 control software, which is also available in a fail-safe version for use where the most stringent safety requirements apply, are also being developed.

Monitoring shaft seal and stator temperature of a submersible pump motor

Marsh Bellofram launches fully submersible shaft seal and stator temperature monitor and relay for OEM, industrial and wastewater pump motors

The ATC Diversified Electronics division of Marsh Bellofram Corporation has launched the SPM series, a dual function alarm and relay, designed to monitor shaft seal and stator temperature of a submersible pump motor, providing early warning of machinery failure to reduce downtime and maintenance costs.

The Marsh Bellofram SPM series is designed to operate from a 120 VAC supply voltage, with reliable operation over 10 million continuous duty cycles. The series detects leaks by either resistive float switch or a pair of conductive probes installed in the seal cavity, while over-temperature is detected by a normally-closed low-temperature switch that is mounted on the stator, with LED’s that indicate green for “normal” and red for “leak” and “over temperature” condition values. The SPM series also incorporates the use of a bi-stable relay which can retain its position during power failures or energy surges. The relay automatically resets following leakage detection. Sensor voltage is 12 VDC at 50 to 60 Hz. Units are UL listed and include a 10-year comprehensive product warranty.

With more than 85 years of proven, successful experience in the global industrial marketplace, Marsh Bellofram ATC Diversified products are known for their high accuracy, reliability and dependability within a highly diverse array of demanding applications. With its strong performance characteristics, the SPM series is ideal for use in OEM; potable or wastewater sump pump; industrial or municipal pump monitoring; control package manufacturing; and general industrial leak detection applications.

2nd generation high voltage battery stack monitor

Linear Technology has announced the LTC6803, a second generation high voltage battery monitor for hybrid/electric vehicle (HEVs), electric vehicles (EVs) and other high voltage, high performance battery systems. The LTC6803 is a complete battery measuring IC that includes a 12-bit ADC, a precision voltage reference, a high voltage input multiplexer and a serial interface. Each LTC6803 can measure up to 12 individual battery cells in series. The device’s proprietary design enables multiple LTC6803s to be stacked in series without optocouplers or isolators, permitting precision voltage monitoring of every cell in long strings of series-connected batteries. The LTC6803 follows the road-proven LTC6802, introduced in September 2008 with the same functionality and pinout, plus a number of significant performance enhancements.

The maximum total measurement error of the LTC6803 is guaranteed to be less than 0.25% from -40°C to 125°C. The LTC6803 offers an extended cell measurement range from -300mV to 5V, enabling the LTC6803 to monitor a wide range of battery chemistries, as well as supercapacitors. Each cell is monitored for undervoltage and overvoltage conditions, and an associated MOSFET is available to discharge overcharged cells. Added functionality is provided by an onboard 5V regulator, temperature sensor, GPIO lines and thermistor inputs.

Erik Soule, Vice President, Signal Conditioning Products, stated, “Now over two years in the field with our proven battery stack monitor family, we are pleased to offer our customers this enhanced product, the LTC6803. Automakers and other customers worldwide have embraced Linear’s robust battery stack monitors, and we are confident that this new addition to the family will provide excellent performance for the next generation of HEVs and EVs.

“The LTC6803 addresses the latest demands of precision high performance battery stacks,” says Mike Kultgen, design manager for Linear Technology. “It ensures accurate, safe, reliable and error-free operation in harsh automotive environments.”

For long-term battery pack storage, the current consumed by the integrated BMS can potentially unbalance the cells. The LTC6803 addresses this concern with a standby mode that draws less than 12uA. Furthermore, the power input of the LTC6803 is isolated from the stack, allowing the LTC6803 to draw current from an independent source. When powering from this input, the current draw on the pack is reduced to less than 1µA.

The LTC6803 is designed to surpass the environmental, reliability and safety demands of automotive and industrial applications. The device is fully specified for operation from -40°C to 125°C. It has been engineered for ISO 26262 (ASIL) compliant systems and a full set of self-tests ensure that there are no latent fault conditions. To meet this standard, the LTC6803 includes a redundant voltage reference, extensive logic test circuitry, open wire detection capability and a watchdog timer for fail-safe designs. The LTC6803 is designed to withstand up to 75V, providing more than 20% of overvoltage margin for a full string of 12 cells. The 1MHz serial interface includes packet error checking and is designed to operate in the presence of large amounts of noise and transients.

The LTC6803 is offered in a small 8mm x 12mm surface mount device.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Measuring wheel for vehicles

Motor vehicle manufacturers are investigating ways of reducing rolling resistance and weight to improve fuel consumption of cars of the future. The new S615 6-component measuring wheel from Kistler Instruments is optimised to measure load spectra for durability, vehicle dynamics and power train investigations on the small, light vehicles currently under development.

The new measuring wheel weighs more than 800 g less that the S625 four sensor wheel, a reduction achieved by combining the three-sensor concept with extensive use of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP). The new RoaDyn S615 is designed for a maximum vertical load of 15 kN, which is more than needed for small, light vehicle applications.

The CFRP/aluminum composite wheel consists of an aluminum rim and a CFRP wheel disk. The CFRP inner part of the wheel provides the connection with the hub and the three load cells connect the rim to the inner part. To minimize local stresses all of the relevant components were optimized using finite element analysis.

The RoaDyn S615, mounted on the vehicle as a complete wheel, measures the three forces Fx, Fy, and Fz and the three torques Mx, My and Mz on the rotating wheel. Electronics built-in to the wheel convert the output from the sensors into digital format for transmission to the on-vehicle system. The system provides an analog or digital output, which is fully compatible with the rest of the Kistler RoaDyn family of products.

Engineering solutions for the Russian power industry

Delivering Smart-Grid solutions to create a comprehensive real time operations management environment

Invensys PLC met with the members of the Federation Council in Moscow to discuss about the Russian fuel and energy industry. 

During the presentation, at the Council Ulf Henriksson, CEO of Invensys PLC communicated the company’s vision for the future development of the Russian power industry.

The lack of energy regulation in Russia and the government’s directives to achieve energy efficiency and energy conservation are among the five strategic priorities for Russia’s technological development. Invensys PLC can help by combining its leading innovative technologies, global reach and practical engineering experience to help successfully manage Russia’s energy focus. Through its smart grid solutions, Invensys PLC can provide real-time communications between all sectors, particularly in Power Generation, Industrial Power and Commercial consumption.

Much needs to be done to consolidate the Russian Power industry, and Invensys PLC has already taken first steps to endure this: in addition to the meeting at the Federation Council, Invensys PLC earned support of the Non-commercial Partnership Innovations in Power Industry (NP INVEL). The Partnership with Invel unites leading companies in the power sector. Its main goal is to assist in the introduction of advanced technologies and engineering solutions at power enterprises in Russia and abroad.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Henriksson said, "Our partnership with Invel unites two leading companies in the power sector. This allows the combination of Invensys technology with the capabilities of Invel to provide additional value to our customers".

In turn NP Invel considers the partnership with Invensys PLC as an opportunity to raise the level of Russian power industry engineering support. “Invel acts in the interests of the Partnership members and the industry as a whole. We are ready to provide informational, organisational and other necessary support to all companies that enter the Russian market to contribute advanced technologies and increase the availability of modern equipment. Request for innovations, for future technologies is impossible without familiarity with the opportunities that exist today”- said Mr. Edward Naumov, General Director for Invel.

Despite its huge potential Russia today lags behind many developed and developing countries in power asset management organisation. Delivering solutions to more than 180 countries, Invensys has acquired an excellent track record in the power industry across the world.  Implementation of their solutions can be a significant step to increase reliability and safety of the power system, and necessary for the migration of the power industry built on Smart Grid principle.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What do you do to keep your network secure?

Nowadays one only needs to read the newspaper headlines to appreciate the importance of Industrial Network Security. Almost daily an article comes out describing the threat to our critical infrastructure, from spies in our electrical grid to the looming threat of cyberwar.

Whether we talk about process control systems that run chemical plants and refineries, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems for utilities, or factory automation systems for discrete manufacturing, the backbone of our nation’s critical infrastructure consists of these industrial networks and is dependent on their continued operation.

The second edition ofDavid J Teumim's easy-to-read book, Industrial Network Security,  introduces managers, engineers, technicians, and operators on how to keep our industrial networks secure amid rising threats from hackers, disgruntled employees, and even cyberterrorists.

How Stuxnet spreads!

Eric Byres, CTO of Byres Security Inc., Andrew Ginter, CTO of Abterra Technologies and Joel Langill, CSO of SCADAhacker.com announce today the release of their joint White Paper “How Stuxnet Spreads – A Study of Infection Paths in Best Practice Systems.”  It is the first paper to detail how Stuxnet could infect a control system site protected by a high security architecture using modern, vendor-recommended best practices. The paper shows that current best practices are insufficient to block advanced threats. It then discusses what operators of control and SCADA systems need to do to protect their critical systems from future threats of this type.

• Click on image for more on Stuxnet!
Stuxnet is the first known malware to have been designed specifically to compromise a control system and sabotage an industrial process. It has been described by Symantec's forensic experts as the “most sophisticated” piece of malware they have ever seen.

The paper follows the progress of the worm as it moves through a hypothetical control system, configured according to vendor-recommended security best practices. In spite of strong security measures, the worm is able to compromise a sequence of machines, culminating in the compromise of the PLC devices which directly control the physical process.

While Stuxnet is presumed to have targeted the Siemens WinCC and PCS7 systems used at Iran’s uranium enrichment plants, its existence creates a new cyber security standard for all automation and critical infrastructure sites around the world.

Andrew Ginter remarked “The Stuxnet worm is the best-documented example of an advanced threat designed to sabotage an industrial control system. Other recent attacks have targeted control systems for industrial espionage. Control systems are now targets of advanced threats and today's best-practice defenses must be improved before they can stand against these kinds of adversaries.”

“By explaining how Stuxnet works, our paper helps security professionals understand what it takes to properly secure a state-of-the art industrial control system,” said Joel Langill. “The reality is that the majority of critical facilities are protected much less thoroughly than the hypothetical site described in our paper, and now they need to step up and protect against Stuxnet-like malware.”

“Our paper goes into great detail on Stuxnet infection pathways and highlights the difficulty of preventing infection from an advanced threat. While best practices for prevention should be implemented, control system operators should also put into practice early detection, mitigation, and containment strategies,” remarked Eric Byres. “Such strategies include putting into practice zone-based security as described in ANSI/ISA-99 Standards, paying particular attention on securing last line of defense critical systems, and understanding the unique security challenges of control systems versus IT systems.”

The paper concludes that changes to improve the cyber security of industrial control systems are urgently needed.

Daily-use industrial timer

The ATC Diversified Electronics division of Marsh Bellofram Corporation has announced the introduction of the 405A series, an economical industrial timer family with on-delay instantaneous relay function, designed for daily-use OEM and control package timing applications.

The Marsh Bellofram 405A series features six individual timing ranges within a single unit, packaged within highly compact 48mm2 standard DIN housing. The housing is watertight when panel mounted with an 8-pin round (octal) socket. A selectable on-delay/interval timing mode version is also available. The timer operates from industry standard 24-240 VAC or 24 VDC power, and features a large and easy-to-read display dial with decimal points. Output contacts are rated 10A 120/240 VAC and 30 VDC. Mode and range select switches are located on the side of the unit, so that when panel mounted, they are no operator accessible, a tamperproof feature that prevents unauthorized or hazardous changes to the timing mode and range. A special LED indicator provides a unique and effective method of cycle progress indication. Units are CE marked and UL-pending, as well as CSA and FM approved, facilitating their use across a variety of industrial environments.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rationalising power supplies supplies!

High performance 600W cPCI from Gresham Power offers vendor, inventory and cost reduction

Gresham Power Electronics claim their 6U 600W cPCI power supply can cost effectively replace all other 6U products of equivalent and lower output power, thereby rationalising their customer’s inventory requirements and reducing costs.

Jake Moir, Managing Director of Gresham Power Electronics, explains; “Using our wealth of experience in power conversion design and manufacture we have developed a class leading 6U, 600W compactPCI power supply which is competitively priced against other manufacturers 400 and 500 watt units. We can therefore provide our customers with the highest output power available in this package and because of its competitive pricing our single product can be used to reduce the complexity of their own inventory, saving costs, simplifying system assembly and service support. Having 600 watts of power available in less demanding applications can provide up to 30% of additional bonus power compared to a conventional 400W, at no extra cost, protecting against output load power surges and increasing system reliability.”

The Gresham cPCI-6U-600 family are all RoHS compliant, have advanced status and control functions including remote inhibit, output fail alarm, over temperature warning, output remote sense, single wire current share and front panel LEDs indicate outputs OK and any fault condition. They are fully compliant with the PICMG® 2.11 power interface specification, incorporate the standard Positronic 47-pin connector and offer hot-swap, N+1 redundant connection and active load current share. Compact PCI power supplies from Gresham power may also be ruggedised to special order.

These cPCI power supplies incorporate active power factor correction, an 85–264VAC universal AC input voltage or DC input covering a range from 36 -72VDC Standard output voltages are 5V/70A +3.3V/70A +12V/7A -12V/1.5A and custom variants are possible. All models have a monitor and control (M&C) system based on an intelligent I²C bus providing comprehensive remote status monitoring and control functionalities

Full international safety agency approvals are held including UL/cUL60950, EN60950, CE Mark (LVD) and EN55022 Level B (with external filter). Operating temperature range is -5C to +55°C with de-rating at 2.5%/°C up to +71°C, cooling requirements are 300LFM of airflow and MTBF is calculated as >400,000 Hours per Belcore 332 issue 6.

Gresham Power compactPCI products are suitable for industrial, communications, broadcast and advanced multi-media applications. Gresham also manufactures a complete range of OEM power supplies, hot-swap power shelves and products for telecoms, medical, industrial and commercial applications as well as static frequency converters, DC UPS, distributed power systems and DC:AC inverters for Naval Defence systems and.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

European certification for Mexican entity

The ABB Safety Execution Center (SEC) in San Luis Potosi, and Mexico City, (MX) has been certified by TÜV as having in place and applying a Functional Safety Management System (FSMS) for delivery and implementation of safety system projects in accordance to international industry standards.  These standards include IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 for integration and implementation of safety instrumented systems (SIS).

ABB currently has more safety centers with TÜV certification for Functional Safety Management System (FSMS) delivery and implementation than any other supplier in the industry. These centers are located in every region of the world. Thirteen of ABB’s Safety Execution Centers have been certified by TÜV Rheinland, one of the leading world specialists in the assessment and certification of organizations and products to safety standards. Ten additional SECs are currently working towards TÜV certification.

The company's proven methodology for delivering safety systems meets international standards and best practices, and ensures consistent, flawless execution of these projects all over the world.

In Mexico, ABB’s Oil and Gas business has implemented numerous safety systems for emergency shutdown (ESD) and Mitigation of Fire and Gas (F & G), primarily in refineries, marine terminals, drilling rigs and production for Cantarell field and KU-MALOOB-ZAAP in the Campeche Sond. Interlock Systems were also implemented in ethylene oxide plants; the largest installed base is in the Cadereyta refinery with 20 emergency shutdown systems and 20 systems for Fire and Gas.

“This certification is a great advantage for our customers when making decisions, by providing the assurance of a neutral certification organization that ABB develops and run their systems according the international standards”,
said Daniel Galicia, Country Manager of ABB in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.  "This is another example of the priority given by ABB to our customers when it comes to safety, services and products to ensure that safety in its plants and in its operations will never be compromised.”

TÜV certification recognizes that ABB’s functional safety management system complies with international standards and best practices for its products, engineering and project teams and installation methods. It meets all relevant sections of international standards IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 for integration and implementation of safety instrumented systems (SIS), including system configuration, application programming, test and front end safety consulting for specific industrial safety applications.

ABB has been at the forefront of safety system development and delivery since 1979, when it commissioned the first emergency shut down system on the Statfjord B offshore oil platform in the North Sea. ABB commemorated its 30 years of extensive safety experience in 2009; these solutions have protected literally generations of personnel and processes.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Level switch

New reverse assembly option for LBFS frequency-sweep level switch
The new standard version of Baumer’s LBFS level switch is made from AISI 304 or 316 stainless steel and comes with a PEEK sensor tip. In addition to this, Baumer now provides the LBFS with special G½ process connections for reverse assembly. These options broaden the field of possible applications of the LBFS. Based on the novel frequency-sweep technology, the level switch is suitable for measuring the levels of viscous or dry substances as well as liquids with a repeatability and hysteresis of ± 1 mm and a typical response time of 0.2 seconds. As the LBFS is unaffected by flow, turbulence, bubbles, foam, and suspended solids, it is particularly suitable for level detection in processes generating those.

The new G½ connection for the LBFS allows for two types of reverse assembly. The first makes it possible to mount the level switch from the inside of a tank using the included fibre gasket and a G½ nut. Fields of application include low level and leakage detection in tanks for oil or cooling fluid used in pneumatic systems or high-speed cutting (HSC) machines.

The second reverse assembly option enables the LBFS to be mounted in a simple G½ thread inside a tube to extend the length of the sensor. A fibre gasket and an M12 plug or 5-metre cable are included with the measuring device. With the tube functioning as an adjustable extension rod, the LBFS can be adjusted to changing levels. This makes it possible to use the LBFS as a float-type level switch in applications such as automatic dosing systems as well as for phase separation in the petroleum industry, hydraulic systems, and water/wastewater treatment. 

Security recognition secured!

Wurldtech’s Achilles Satellite™ Gains Formal Recognition for Use in ISASecure EDSA Communications Robustness Testing

The ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) announced that Wurldtech received formal recognition for ISASecure Test Suites in their Achilles Satellite network robustness testing platform Level 2 Build 3.3.16344for inclusion in the ISASecure™ EDSA (Embedded Device Security Assurance) Certification program. The Achilles Satellite is the first network test tool recognized for use by ISASecure accredited labs to perform the Communication Robustness Testing (CRT) portion of embedded device security certifications.

The ISASecure EDSA Certification consists of three elements: a device Functional Security Assessment (FSA), a device Communication Robustness Test (CRT), and an organizational Software Development Security Assessment (SDSA).

ISCI’s technical team evaluated ISASecure test suites in the Achilles Satellite test platform against published ISASecure EDSA Communication Robustness Test (CRT) specifications in accordance with ISO/IEC Guide 65 conformance scheme procedures and determined that the tool’s test capabilities satisfied testing requirements necessary to gain formal recognition.

“The Achilles test suites continue to play an important role in improving the network resiliency and robustness of global critical infrastructures,"
said Dr. Nate Kube, Wurldtech CTO. “Our collaboration with ISCI raises the bar once again, providing industrial stakeholders with additional criteria for verifying and validating resilient industrial control systems,” he concluded.

"Wurldtech made ISASecure a priority and worked collaboratively with our technical evaluation team to ensure that all ISASecure CRT specifications were fully addressed while meeting some pretty aggressive project timelines," stated Andre Ristaino, ISCI managing director.  "We are pleased with the outcome."

Data acquisition software for Windows 7

Windmill Software's new data acquisition software suite for Windows 7 64- and 32-bit, Vista and XP.


Windmill 7 software lets users read and control up to ten devices over RS232, RS422, RS485 and Modbus. The software comprises ready-to-run applications to chart and log data, control analogue and digital outputs, monitor the com port and send data directly to Excel.

The new software is offered  at an introductory price of £50 (60 Euros or $80) - a 65% discount on older versions of the software. Technical support for life is included in the price, and there is a money-back guarantee if the software doesn't live up to expectations.

Windmill works with instruments communicating with ASCII or binary messages. With a flexible approach to extracting data values, it is suitable for collecting readings from the majority of serial instruments which can be plugged into the computer's com port. These include PICs, power meters, digital indicators, multimeters, data loggers, GPS receivers, gyro compasses, motion sensors, gas analysers, pH transmitters, particle analysers and laboratory scales.

Users have the freedom to mix and match equipment from many different manufacturers in many combinations. For example, serial devices from A&D, Bruël & Kjær, Dataq Instruments, Datel, Datataker, Denver, Garmin, Mettler Toledo, Microchip Technology, Motorola, Molyteck, Newmar, Nu-Metrics, Omnistar, Omron, Orion, Parallax, Sartorius, Siemens and Texas Instruments have all been handled by Windmill. Many channels of data can be accepted from each instrument.

Also included in the package is a program to monitor com port communications. This lets users see all bytes sent and received, even non-printing characters like carriage returns. This is crucial when dealing
with binary data. Called ComDebug, the software also shows the state of the input and output lines to the computer's com port.

Metering rubberised asphalt

Micro Motion® high temperature ELITE® Coriolis flowmeters enable accurate and reliable measurement of extremely abrasive high temperature, high viscosity fluid

BearCat Pumps of Phoenix, (AZ US) is using Micro Motion ELITE® high temperature Coriolis mass flowmeters  as part of its metering systems for rubberised asphalt, an extremely abrasive, high temperature and high viscosity fluid. The Micro Motion meters enable accurate and reliable measurement of the difficult-to-handle fluid.

“Pumping rubberised asphalt is a very challenging application that combines heat, pressure and an abrasive material,”
said Kevin T. Hill, President, BearCat Pumps. “Our experiences with other technologies have confirmed Micro Motion high temperature Coriolis meters as the best choice, as they consistently deliver the accurate readings our customers demand.”

There are two stages in the rubberised asphalt production process where material is blended and then mixed. Measurement accuracy is critical to ensure the correct blend ratios are maintained. BearCat previously used mechanical gear pumps for flow measurement, but the abrasive asphalt caused wear in the pumps, which allowed measurement accuracy to drift.

The company solved this problem by incorporating a Micro Motion high temperature Coriolis meter into its metering systems, which also include a pump and a relief or bypass valve. At start-up, heat and pressure are applied to the relief valve and sensor allowing the asphalt to circulate. The sensor of the Coriolis meter is heated using heat-jacketed surfaces that are connected to the existing heating circuit and the complete sensor is then wrapped with an insulating cover.

Developed for harsh environments, the Micro Motion meter is suitable for process temperatures up to 350ºC. Its transmitter can be mounted remotely to protect it from the heat, and the sensor can be installed anywhere with no flow conditioning or straight pipe run required. With no moving parts, the Micro Motion flowmeter requires no maintenance or repair.

To ensure accurate measurements are maintained, the Micro Motion ELITE range features in-line meter verification. This capability enables BearCat’s customers to check the sensor tubes and electronics against original factory settings while the meter is in line and the process is flowing,

These features make the Micro Motion ELITE high temperature Coriolis meters especially suited to the harsh operating environments associated with pumping asphalt. Other applications include high temperature processes such as the handling of heavy crude, bitumen, monomers, polymers, wax and cooking oils that are difficult to control and keep below a set temperature limit.

Very low profile illuminated switch

Foremost Electronics has announced the launch of the Marquardt 3006 series of low profile, short-travel, LED Illuminated TACT switches.

The 3006 TACT switch series offers users a superb tactile “feel” using Haptic technology. Haptics is a tactile feedback technology that takes advantage of the user's sense of touch to provide reassuring or relevant feedback on operation of the switch. Common uses of Haptics are arcade games and home games consoles and controllers, frequently taking the form of vibration or force-feedback in joysticks and controllers.

The key to the advanced design of the 3006 TACT switch family is a damped snap action disc, a mixture of switching mat and snap action disc, which allows very flat control elements with a fine tactile response and a clear user feedback signal with minimum travel. The design of the LED illumination makes backlit symbols (pictograms) visible even at night.

The 3006 series short-travel TACT switch has a very low profile at just 3.95mm while still providing a 1.1mm actuator travel and is the only SMD mountable switch of its size with integrated LED illumination, damping and dust protection to IP50. The contacts are single pole, normally closed and 5 colours of LED are available as standard with other colours and non-illuminated versions available at special request. The definition of the LED colour provides an exclusive low ambient light design.

Other features include; standard actuation force of 4N with other actuating forces available on request, user defined tactile pressure point and a large actuation surface. Switch life expectancy is greater than 500,000 cycles and operating temperature range is -40 °C to +95 °C.

Alan Cook
, managing Director of Foremost Electronics comments; "This high quality, high reliability TACT switch manages to combine a very low profile, even with an integrated LED, while offering a remarkably long actuation travel and superb tactile response for users.”
Applications for the Marquardt Mechatronik GmbH 3006 TACT switch family include low profile control panels, multi-function switches, car steering wheel switching systems, medical products and as individual switching elements.

Next generation remote management data center!

Intellicom, part of the HMS Networks group, is proud to announce the next generation of Netbiter® Argos 3.0 datacenter and server. It includes new important and very useful features that improve the Netbiter Argos experience.

The user interface of Netbiter Argos will be expanded to support a Graphical dashboard user interface for the Netbiter EasyConnect products. This powerful function enables users to create a graphical layout describing a remote system. The dashboard includes functions for loading pictures into the layout, analog and digital graphical components (such as gauges, meters, indicators, etc.), which makes it possible to describe a remote system with a visual layout that is easy to understand.

The Netbiter Argos navigation menu has been improved and is now more logical and easy to use. It has also been updated with lots of online help that guides the user.

“The new Netbiter Argos datacenter provides new opportunities for anyone who wants to be in control of their remote sites in an easy way. The graphical dashboard editor is a major step forward to visualize the remote site with a simple drag and drop method”,
says Henrik Ebeklint, Managing Director Intellicom Innovation AB.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cabling for industrial data networks

Harting can now offer a comprehensive range of ProfiNet-compliant cabling solutions for industrial data networks, including packages based on the recently introduced Ha-VIS preLink® system.
The range incorporates profile-specific cabling based on standardised industrial and automation protocols, including ProfiNet. The Harting ProfiNet cabling portfolio comprises types A, B and C ProfiNet cables, connectors such as RJ45 and M12, and accessories such as panel feed-throughs and hybrid interfaces for simultaneously supplying devices with dHartingata and voltage.

The Ha-VIS preLink® solution package is based on the structured cabling concepts defined by the ISO/IEC 11801 and 24702 standards for industrial premises cabling. Unlike profile-specific cabling, this portfolio is always executed with eight wires.

Harting's Ha-VIS preLink® is a universal cabling system that supports standardised interconnection technology across the boundary between the industrial automation and office IT sectors. As a result, it opens up completely new possibilities for ProfiNet by allowing structured cabling up to the automation 'island', passing the data services seamlessly on to the automation solution.

The PNO (Profinet user organisation) has already recognised these benefits, and has approved the Harting structured cabling solutions in ProfiNet Conformance Classes A and B.