Friday, June 17, 2011

Wireless data logger!

MadgeTech is pleased to announce the new Therm•A•lert series. These two-way, wireless data loggers are designed specifically for monitoring and recording temperature and humidity. They are ideal for use in laboratories, hospitals, warehouses, and other environmentally critical locations.

The Therm•A•lert system can be used to monitor a single location or expanded to include hundreds of locations by adding additional transmitters. It presents real time temperature and humidity data to a central PC and features user programmable alarms that can be configured to send deviation notifications via text message, screen alarm and/or e-mail.

The system is equipped with wireless two-way communication. Full communication can be performed directly from a central PC, including starting, stopping and downloading. In addition to wirelessly transmitting data, Therm•A•lert also stores up to the last 250 readings to internal memory for backup. This back up data may be retrieved wirelessly at a later time. Customers can setup automatic archiving preferences, ensuring all data is saved and retained to comply with federal regulations.

Indonesian DCS & SIS orders

DCS and SIS orders placed by Indonesia's CAP Group

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has announced that its subsidiary, PT. Yokogawa Indonesia, has received an order from PT. Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk. (CAP) to replace the legacy distributed control system (DCS) and safety instrumented system (SIS) at the company's ethylene and polyethylene plant in Cilegon, which is in western Java's Banten Province.

This CAP facility is Indonesia's premier petrochemical plant, incorporating world-class, state-of-the-art technology and supporting facilities. The plant's naphtha cracker produces high-quality ethylene, propylene, crude C4 and pyrolysis gasoline (Py-gas) for the Indonesian as well as regional export markets. These are basic petrochemical products obtained from the distillation of crude oil. Crude C4 includes butane and butylene that have four carbon atoms per molecule.

Yokogawa Indonesia has also received an order from the CAP subsidiary PT Styrindo Mono Indonesia (SMI) to replace the legacy DCS at the company's styrene monomer plant, which is about 40 km from the CAP plant and has an annual output of 340,000 MT.

For these projects, Yokogawa Indonesia will provide the latest CENTUM(R) VP DCS and ProSafe-RS SIS along with engineering, installation, commissioning, and engineering and operator training. These projects are expected to take 10 months from start to finish.

Key factors in the CAP Group's selection of Yokogawa for these replacement projects were the high reliability and global track record of Yokogawa's CENTUM VP and ProSafe-RS platforms, the close project support made possible by global co-operation between Yokogawa Indonesia and Yokogawa Engineering Asia Pte. Ltd., which is responsible for the Yokogawa Group's operations in Asia, and the company's global maintenance and service network.

Ichsan Gafar, a director at Yokogawa Indonesia, says: "I think that the customer assessed and scored Yokogawa as the best long-term partner of the CAP Group, considering the strength of our products in terms of reliability and expandability, the operability of an integrated DCS and SIS solution under the Yokogawa brand, and our local engineering, project execution, and after-sales support capabilities. Through our implementation of these DCS and SIS projects for CAP and SMI, we will strengthen our relationship with the CAP Group. We aim to win contracts for their other projects as well and to expand our share of the Indonesian industrial automation market."

First OPC Foundation UA certification

The MatrikonOPC Universal Connectivity Server is the world’s first OPC UA Server to achieve the OPC Foundation’s UA Certification.  Based on stringent third-party testing, the UA Certification provides users with impartial verification that the OPC server delivers solid performance in a wide range of adverse operating conditions, is fully compliant with OPC Specifications, and delivers maximum interoperability with other vendors’ OPC products.

“Achieving the UA Certification for our Universal Connectivity Server demonstrates MatrikonOPC’s commitment to providing customers with the highest quality industrial data products possible. Being the first to obtain this certification makes the Universal Connectivity Server the first officially recognized OPC UA implementation – we are proud of this achievement,” said Darek Kominek Marketing Manager at MatrikonOPC products.

Thomas J. Burke, President of the OPC Foundation said “On behalf of the OPC Foundation, I congratulate MatrikonOPC on its achievement in releasing the first OPC Foundation Certified OPC UA server.  By getting their products certified through the OPC Foundation Certification Lab – MatrikonOPC clearly demonstrated their commitment to meeting and exceeding the demands of the end-users for high quality OPC UA solutions."

Company continues to impress at home!

The best and most treasured awards are those awarded by your home place!

Moore Industries-International was honoured on June 8 by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal for being one of the top manufacturing companies in the area during the publication’s first 15 years of existence. Moore Industries was one of only two companies recognized in the Manufacturing category during the event at the Universal Sheraton Hotel in Universal City, highlighting the company’s position within the region.

Since being founded in 1968 by Leonard W. Moore, the privately-held company has expanded its North Hills headquarters by continuing to provide instrumentation for the process control industries which meet the high standards of their customers. Recent innovations such as the WORM® Flexible Sensors for Thermowell Temperature Assemblies and the NCS NET Concentrator System® for digitizing and transmitting data have allowed the company to grow despite the current overall economic situation.

“We are constantly looking at new innovations that allow us to streamline our manufacturing process and allow us to be more efficient while producing the highest quality products for the process control industry,” said Moore Industries Director of Manufacturing Albert Badgen. “Having the majority of our design and manufacturing capacity in-house lets us control all aspects of the process, allowing us to produce only what we need to fill customer orders in very short time frames.

This marks the second time that Moore Industries has been honored by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal in recent months. In April, as we reported "Instrument manufacturer recognised in own region," , the company received the Manufacturing Leadership Award from the publication. It has also consistently ranked in the publication’s annual list of largest manufacturing companies in the San Fernando Valley.

Intelligent servo drives

Technosoft has a new family of intelligent servo drives – the iPOS Line – based on a revolutionary design concept offering higher power density on very compact boards. Modularly designed to cover both low- and high-volume applications, the first member of this family – iPOS3602 (36 V, 2 A, 75 W) – is a complete motion control and drive solution packed on only 21 x 54 mm of PCB space. It integrates all the basic motor control functions, motion control and PLC features on a remarkably small-sized plug-in module. Equipped with CAN / CANopen interfaces (optionally, additional EtherCAT interface also available), the iPOS drive controls any rotary or linear brushless, DC brush or step motor.

iPOS3602 is able to execute complex motion programs directly at drive level, using its built-in motion programmer and the high-level Technosoft Motion Language (TML), or it can operate as an intelligent EtherCAT and CANopen slave. In simple applications iPOS3602 works as a single-axis motion controller and drive in stand-alone mode, autonomously running the program residing in its non-volatile memory. In systems that request a host, the iPOS drive operates as an intelligent slave executing motion sequences triggered by input lines, or commands received via RS-232 or CAN bus. The motion capabilities of the iPOS card include position or speed profiles (trapezoidal, S-curve), 3rd order PVT and 1st order PT interpolation, electronic gearing and camming, analog or digital external reference, complemented with the cyclic synchronous position, speed and torque modes specific to EtherCAT. This enables you to reduce both the development time of complex applications, and the master’s task, by calling complex motion functions, pre-stored in the drive memory, or by triggering their execution via I/O signals.

This drive can operate with a wide choice of feedback devices. Incremental and Sin/Cos encoders, digital or linear Halls are supported by default. SSI, BiSS, EnDAT absolute encoders and resolver interfaces are available through an additional extension.

The iPOS3602 board's flexible, modular design, as well as the intelligence embedded onto its miniature size, make it a valuable motion control solution for all applications that need high-precision control, greater design adaptability, simplified maintenance and limited space integration.

Safe switch harvests its energy!

The design engineer may apply the wireless position switch Ex RF 95 from .steute,  totally independent from external power supply.  The user does not have to care about the loading condition of a battery, since there is a miniaturized electrodynamic energy generator in the switch insert of the Ex RF 95, which generates exactly that energy quantity necessary for the transmission of a radio signal.

This innovative technology of "energy harvesting" offers special advantages in potentially explosive atmospheres , because the special safety measures for laying and connecting the cables are omitted and because the radio switch can simply transmit from inside the Ex area. Thus the receiving unit – generally built into the switch cabinet – can be mounted outside the Ex zone.

The Ex RF 95 D can be applied in the potentially explosive atmospheres of gas Ex zones 1 and 2 and dust Ex zones 21 and 22. The wireless position switch Ex RF 95 series has been approved to Atex and IECEx. Different actuators are available so that the switch can be adapted to the individual circumstances.

Although the radio signal has only a small energy quantity, it is extremely insensitive to interferences which are often unavoidable in the rough industrial environment. The encoding of the signals guarantees a clear classification between command device and receiving unit.

It goes without saying that the applied radio technology – which already shows good results in the industrial automation and building services – offers all safety features essential in potentially explosive atmospheres.

Standardized interface for contrast-media injector

The nonprofit CiA international users and manufacturers group has released the version 2.1 of the CANopen application profile for medical diagnostic add-on modules (CiA 425). This specification describes the standardized communication interface between the contrast-media injector and the image-processing device (x-ray, MR, CT, and angiography devices). The new version is released as Draft Standard. The involved companies -- scanner manufacturer as well as injector provider -- are working on a joint test-environment. The test tool under development will improve the interoperability and conformance testing.

The standardized interface is based on the Controller Area Network (ISO 11898-1/-2) serial network, which is one of the most robust and reliable communication-system. The CANopen application layer provides a lot of communication flexibility. The CiA 425 profile specifies a common behavior and guarantees the interoperability between medical devices and injectors developed and manufactured by different companies. The standardization of interfaces in healthcare business is time and cost saving.
European, American, and Japanese experts have developed the CiA 425 profile. The new version provides some additional functions such as injector configuration check, indication of mixed flow capability, and setting of display unit increments.

Continuous improvement at distillery impresses

The contribution of the local workforce was recognised by management and visitors alike at the MCP Consulting & Training AMIS Masterclass (Asset Management Improvement Service) held at Diageo's Cameronbridge distillery in May 2011.

Cameronbridge Distillery was founded by John Haig in 1824 and was the first distillery to produce grain whisky. Cameronbridge re-opened in 2000 after a £9m renovation and is now capable of producing 30m litres of spirits annually.
The company welcomed a host of peer group organisations including Warburtons, Kraft Foods, Astra Zeneca, Kerry Foods, Mars, Heineken and William Grant, who regardless of the ash cloud and weather conditions, made the journey to Leven (Fife, Scotland) to hear how the workforce at the distillery has dramatically improved performance and equipment reliability through a culture of continuous improvement.

The event was aimed at senior level operational/engineering managers enabling them to share their experiences. This enabled delegates to benefit from Diageo’s knowledge and discuss ideas for operational improvement applicable to their own organisations.

A Diageo representative was keen to explain that “Our commitment to our people is that Diageo is a place where they can realise their potential and achieve their aspirations – we create the conditions for their success, through people empowerment. Furthermore we believe there is a direct link between high levels of employee engagement and great business performance. This is what we have shown today to our colleagues in other industries”

An employee echoing these sentiments explained “Through the continuous improvement programme we are given the opportunity to put forward our ideas and carry them through to completion. It makes me feel that I have personally contributed to the Distillery performance”

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Interactive webinars!

Doing more with less with wireless - Emerson's global webinar series!

Programme Dates
Tuesday 28th June“Safer and Leaner”
Overview: How Wireless Enables Operational Excellence

Wed 29th June“Fast and Flexible”
Install New Infrastructure Without Hassle – Reduce Complexity of On-going Support

Thursday 30th June – “Visibility and Efficiency”
Increase Throughput and Reduce Cost of Production

Friday 1st July “At Last, Maintenance Without Downtime”
Improve Reliability and Reduce Maintenance

Emerson Process Management has announced a programme of interactive webinars in June/July 2011 that will demonstrate how wireless and digital technologies enable easier and more profitable operations. The programme follows the highly successful series of events in 2010 when hundreds of delegates, including plant managers, project leaders and operations and maintenance personnel, were shown how Smart Wireless technologies can be applied across the process industry to enable operational improvements.

The global webinar programme runs from Tuesday, June 28 to Friday, July 1. Each webinar is in English and repeated at different times during the day to accommodate multiple locations and time zones.

Emerson's global webinars are a time efficient and convenient way to learn from the experts about how wireless and digital technologies can help maximise output and reduce costs. The webinars address the continuing high level of interest in wireless technologies and are split into four sessions covering a range of topics. These include looking at how wireless networks can easily be installed, enabling dramatic improvements to production and reducing the frequency and severity of unplanned equipment failures.

The webinars will be fully interactive and attendees can pose questions directly to the presenters during the event.

Rugged displays

Ruggedized, high performance TFT displays suitable for extreme environments

Hitachi DPG (Display Products Group) has announced the introduction of a new line-up of Rugged+ TFT LCD display modules specifically intended for use in extreme environment applications. The Rugged+ display modules have been designed and developed to operate in demanding industrial and harsh environmental conditions. Some of the new modules feature Hitachi’s IPS-Pro TFT technology which provides outstanding image quality when viewed at any viewing angle. IPS-Pro also provides exceptional colour saturation, colour stability, contrast and black levels with a 176° wide vertical and horizontal viewing angle.

The new Rugged+ TFT product line-up currently includes the following display modules: a 3.5” QVGA TX09D04VM3CAA, a 5.8” WQVGA TX15D02VM0CAA, two 7.0” WVGA modules TX18D35VM0AAA (CMOS interface) and TX18D37VM0AAA (LVDS interface), an 8.0” WVGA TX20D26VM0AAA and a soon to be introduced 5.0” VGA module. (Maybe we should hold an competition for the most meaningful part numbers sometime in the future! Ed)

Mark Stephenson, Product Marketing Manager, Hitachi DPG commented, “All of Hitachi’s industrial displays are designed and manufactured to function in challenging and harsh environmental conditions. Reliable and consistent operation under extreme temperature, mechanical shock and vibration are a necessity in some harsh environments.” He continued “Hitachi Displays has used knowledge and experience gained in high reliability automotive applications to develop and design the new series of Rugged+ TFT display modules. These new modules are capable of enduring operation under the severe and rigorous conditions found in some industrial applications while still providing exceptional optical performance.”

The entire range of Rugged+ displays feature industrial environment operating specifications with high brightness, long-life LED backlights and will provide dependable operation between -30°C and +80°C. Hitachi’s Rugged+ TFT displays are designed for high reliability medical, marine, aerospace, automotive and industrial applications.

New venue announced for conference!

National Instruments has announced that NIDays 2011 for Ireland and Britain, its annual professional development conference for engineers, scientists and educators, will this year be held at a new location, The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster, on Wednesday 9th November.  The move to a larger venue for NIDays has become necessary as delegate numbers have outgrown the capacity at Savoy Place, the home of NIDays over the past five years, due to the continued growth and success of this industry event.

They selected the award-winning Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (QEIICC) as the new home of NIDays because it combines modern comfort and the latest technology, in a stunning location.

With capacity for up to 3,000 delegates, and 26 conference and event spaces across 7 floors, the QEIICC will allow NIDays attendance to continue to grow.  And with 2,000m2 exhibition space on one floor, the NIDays exhibition can now be held all on a single floor.  The additional space in the Centre enables more technical sessions to be offered to delegates.

The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre is an ideal venue for NIDays as it is situated in the very heart of Westminster, near Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye.  Boasting superb transport links, the Centre is within walking distance from three mainline and two underground stations, plus easy access to five international airports.

Known as one of the most technologically intelligent conference centres in Britain, the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre provides wireless internet access throughout, digital signage across seven floors and high definition audio visual equipment, as well as excellent access for delegates and exhibitors. 

“NI is excited about taking its successful premier technical conference, NIDays, to the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre”
said Mark Gradwell, Marketing Communications Manager, “It will enable us to deliver an even better experience for our customers, partners and exhibitors, as well as allowing us to continue to grow and develop the event as more and more engineers and scientists attend each year”.

Engineers, scientists and educators involved in test, control and design are invited to attend NIDays 2011 a free one-day, multi-track conference and exhibition, offering hands-on training; in-depth technical sessions covering the latest NI technologies; and demonstrations of innovative uses of graphical system design.

Thermal Imagers!

Fluke has introduced four new high-performance thermal imagers, the Fluke Ti27 and Ti29 for industrial, electrical and process control applications, and the Fluke TiR27 and TiR29 for building inspection, energy audit and building maintenance applications. In addition to the Fluke Ti32 and TiR32 they make up the affordable Fluke P3 Series, all models being specifically designed to work in the harshest environments and provide superior image quality with one-handed, easy-to-use operation. Affordable, field-installable, optional telephoto and wide-angle lenses are available to bring distant and wide views into sharp focus.

The new Fluke Ti27 and TiR27 have 240 x 180 sensors, the new Fluke Ti29 and TiR29 have 280 x 210 sensors, while the Fluke Ti32 and TiR32 have 320 x 240 sensors, all providing industry-leading spatial resolution delivering sharp and detailed images on a 3.7" high-definition 640 x 480 display. The Fluke P3 Series Thermal Imagers have a three-button menu designed for intuitive operation and navigation with a push of the thumb, and provide either manual focus or a smart focus system. They all offer industry-leading thermal sensitivity and feature transmission correction and a high temperature alarm (dew point temperature alarm on the TiR models). All models feature Fluke’s patented IR-Fusion® technology, enabling users to marry high-precision thermal images with visible light images in full screen, picture-in-picture or blended views, for enhanced problem detection and analysis. IR-Fusion is the only solution available with physical parallax correction, which enables perfect alignment, pixel by pixel, of both infrared and visible images.

Fluke SmartView® Software (with free software upgrades for the life of the product) is included with each thermal imager. SmartView software is a modular suite of tools for viewing, annotating, editing and analysing infrared images that fully supports Fluke IR Fusion technology. It enables users to edit images in five viewing modes and generate customised professional reports in a few steps
The Fluke Ti27, Ti29 and Ti32 Thermal Imagers are designed and priced to deliver unprecedented performance for maintenance professionals, troubleshooting technicians, industrial, commercial and HVAC/R technicians, the TiR27, TiR29 and TiR32 for facilities managers, energy auditors and restoration and remediation professionals.

The rugged Fluke P3 Series Thermal Imagers are tested to withstand a drop of 2 metres with the standard lens, offer thermal sensitivity of ≤0.05°C at 30°C target temperature (≤0.045°C at 30°C for TiR models) and a temperature measurement range of -20°C to +600°C for the Ti27, Ti29 and Ti32, -20°C to +150°C for the TiR27, TiR29 and TiR32.

All Fluke P3 Series include a 2GB SD memory card to enable download of images to a computer. Each unit comes with two field-swappable, rechargeable lithium-ion smart battery packs, a two-bay external charger, a rugged hard carry case and a soft transport bag, an adjustable hand strap for right- or left-handed use, and an AC power supply.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fanless embedded computer

Adlink Technology has released the Matrix MXC-6000 series of fanless embedded expandable computers with high-end performance. Equipped with the Intel® Core™ i7-620LE 2.0 GHz processor and Intel® QM57 chipset, the Matrix MXC-6000 delivers best-in-class computing power for the most calculation-intensive applications, such as machine vision and signal processing. Featuring a -10°C to 60°C (14°F to 140°F) extended operating temperature range, the Matrix MXC-6000 boasts an innovative cable-free design, providing maximum reliability in harsh environments and extended functionality from two PCI/PCIe x4 slots.

The Matrix MXC-6000 is designed to deliver industry-leading durability with its cable-free internal architecture and extended temperature functionality in an exceptionally rugged and compact package. Vibration tolerance of up to 5 Grms and shock resistance up to 50G coupled with superior compatibility with ADLINK add-on cards and easy 3-step installation in PCI/PCIe x4 expansion slots using the Matrix's user-friendly design provide maximum reliability, durability, flexibility and trouble-free access for installation and maintenance.

The Matrix MXC-6000 further provides an internal USB 2.0 port, allowing deployment of license keys and/or password encryption through a connected USB dongle to enhance platform security. Also, an optional easy-to-install fan module provides additional heat dissipation if needed.

Available I/O connectivity for the Matrix MXC-6000 includes VGA/DVI dual display support, 16 isolated DI/DO channels, dual GbE ports, two software-programmable RS-232/422/485 ports (COM1 & COM2), two RS-232 ports (COM3 & COM4), four external USB 2.0 ports and an internal USB 2.0 port.

In addition to the ADLINK MXC-6000 series, the MXC-4000 with dual core Intel® Atom™ Processor D510, and MXC-2000 with low power consumption Intel® Atom Processor N270 are also available.

New temperature facility!

The new plant will help Endress+Hauser meet the 40% increase in demand for its temperature instrumentation in North America.

Endress+Hauser have officially opened a new Temperature production facility in Greenwood, (IND US). The 12,000 sq ft manufacturing plant will build temperature sensors, thermowells, transmitters, recorders, flow computers, safety barriers, displays and other instrumentation to meet the increasing demand for Endress+Hauser instrumentation in North America and South America.

“Sales of our temperature instruments in North America have increased by 40% so far in 2011,” says Hans-Peter Blaser, General Manager of Endress+Hauser Wezter USA. “Endress+Hauser projects that annual sales of temperature instrumentation in North America will exceed $550 million in 2012,” added Blaser.  “The new facility prepares Endress+Hauser to serve the growing demand, producing temperature instrumentation for the North American market, as well as products for export to South America.”

The new plant will build virtually all the components needed for Endress+Hauser temperature instrumentation, thus ensuring consistent quality. Every aspect of the manufacturing process, from the 100% traceability on all components, through high voltage testing of every finished product, has been designed to deliver the highest quality product in the shortest amount of time. The plant will also have an NIST-traceable temperature calibration laboratory to ensure that all instruments leaving the factory are properly calibrated. The laboratory is undergoing accreditation for ISO17025, which is expected shortly.

The temperature production facility is the second major manufacturing investment that Endress+Hauser has made recently in Greenwood. In 2007, Endress+Hauser expanded its flow instrumentation manufacturing plant.

They also build level and pressure instrumentation at a plant in Greenwood, and analytical instrumentation at a plant in Anaheim, (CA US).

The 40% increase in temperature instrumentation sales in North America is a part of the company’s strong comeback since the economic turndown of 2008-2009. Endress+Hauser recently announced its 2010 financial results, where it noted that its strongest growth was in North America. In this region, overall instrumentation sales increased by 38.2 percent, ahead of even Asia, where sales increased by 28.5 percent.

“The continuing expansion of our manufacturing capabilities in the U.S. demonstrates our commitment to serving the North American market,” says Blaser. “We now manufacture, service and calibrate instruments for the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Brazil from our facilities in Indiana.”

Hi level alarm in gas filters

Thermatel® TD1/TD2 switches for high level alarm in natural gas filters

Thermatel TD1/TD2 switches from Magnetrol are based on thermal dispersion technology. The devices can easily be adjusted to detect flow (gases and liquids), level or liquid-liquid interface. With continuous diagnostics, automatic temperature compensation, narrow hysteresis and fast response time the Thermatel TD1/TD2 switches provide a new level of performance and reliability not found in previous switches.

Gas compressor stations are mainly installed near extractions fields or underground storage facilities. A filter system is used to clean the extracted natural gas that will be brought into the compressor units. The Thermatel TD1/TD2 switch can be used for high level alarm in these natural gas filters.

On each filter a two level sensor (warning high level & alarm high level) is needed. For this application two TD1 switches can be utilized. The TD1 switch can operate under heavy conditions: typically for such a filter system high static pressure (~ 150 bar) and a rather specific medium (natural gas condensate in combination with sand & other waste). However the TD1 switch can operate from -70 up to +450 °C and can handle pressures up to 410 bar. The TD1 uses a constant power to the sensor, meaning calibration can be performed easily and quickly. The built-in temperature compensation reduces the effect of sudden process temperature changes to a minimum and thus offering the benefit of a very fast response and highly repeatable operation. The switch also has a local error indication via a blinking LED.

The TD2 switch has all the features of the TD1 switch but can also send a mA error signal to the control room. This is very beneficial in critical service applications where the user needs to be assured the switch is operational. Another feature of the mA output is the possibility for trending and diagnostics providing a repeatable trend indication of the flow rate.

Have you the right camera?

Camera choice is key to thermography success

In recent years an enormous range of infrared cameras have come on to the market, but Alan Hasson from Ashtead Technology believes that this is a two-edged sword. "Whilst technological developments have resulted in extremely sensitive cameras with enormous capability, choosing a camera can be a complicated process and too often the choice is simply dictated by price and budget," he says.

As a result of Alan's beliefs, his company provides technical support to ensure that customers choose the right equipment for every job. However, he says: "Too often people simply buy the best piece of kit they can afford without thinking too deeply about what would suit them best. This is understandable, because they often won't know what they need until they start using the equipment.

"A quick call to one of our specialists can resolve this issue and better still; we have invested in the UK's widest fleet of FLIR rental cameras so that we can make sure each rental is fit for purpose. We also offer a selection of financial packages to ensure that even those with limited budget can still get hold of the right technology."

Applications for Ashtead's thermal cameras spread across almost every industry and include condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, energy efficiency, gas detection and research.

Rising energy costs are currently a major concern for most businesses and thermal cameras are heavily employed in heat loss and energy efficiency evaluations.

Ashtead Technology’s range of FLIR cameras and accessories now includes the P-series Professional range, the B-series Building range, the T-series specifically for industrial environments and the I-series entry level range, providing customers with an instrument for virtually every requirement.

Explaining the need to pick the right camera, Alan Hasson says: “Length of project, battery life and temperature range are among the most important issues to consider.

“There are simple applications for which it is only necessary to identify cold or hot spots, so an entry-level device, such as the compact I-60 weighing just 0.58kg, is the most cost-effective. However, professional thermographers require greater detail, resolution and features such as the facility to take visual images and to record audio notes with the same instrument. Mid-level instruments from the B and T series are therefore necessary.

“At the top-end of the market we stock the most advanced thermal cameras available, offering incredible levels of resolution; the P620 for example, features a high resolution 640 x 480 infrared sensor and a large 14cm LCD display, making it ideal for in-depth research projects.

“Our overall aim is to put the right instruments into the hands of those that need them; which means that we need a large fleet of the latest technologies, a high level of technical support and a variety of financial packages that meet customers’ differing needs.”

Analyser performs vital role in Hydrogen fuel project

A highly-advanced Process Hydrogen Analyser from Quantitech is performing critical safety analysis in Britain's largest ever cross sector hydrogen vehicle refuelling trial.

The trials are being managed by the energy storage and clean fuel company, ITM Power, which has deployed an H2scan HyOptima 720 analyser as they undertake trials of the company’s Transportable Hydrogen Refuelling Station (HFuel); a self-contained module suitable for refuelling hydrogen-powered road vehicles and forklift trucks.

HFuel generates hydrogen by electrolysis, compresses it, stores it and dispenses the gas on demand at high pressure. The refueller is currently being used across the UK for the company’s Hydrogen On Site Trials (HOST), which has already experienced broad support from organisations such as UK local authorities, DHL, UPS, the RAC, Tarmac, Amey, May Gurney, Scottish Water and Stansted Airport.

Explaining the importance of the HyOptima 720 in the trials, ITM’s Nick Hart said: “We primarily use the analyser to detect trace hydrogen crossover levels in the oxygen stream of our electrolyser stacks, to ensure that flammable gas mixtures are not formed. This serves as a sensitive gauge on stack integrity and is a key element of our rigorous systems testing.

“This monitor was selected due to its high accuracy and stability in both oxygen and air environments and has been an important contributor to the success of our work.”

The 720 is a solid-state sensor configured to operate in background gas streams having up to 95% relative humidity and temperatures up to 100ºC. A vacuum pump is used to draw the source gas into the monitor and a vacuum regulator and flow meter are used to control the process stream to the sensor. It is capable of measuring gases from two alternate sources and of undertaking field calibration without removal from the system.

Highlighting the importance of being able to measure hydrogen accurately in a mixture of other gases, Quantitech Managing Director Keith Golding said: "There are many applications for which hydrogen specific monitoring is important. These include health and safety, and process control within a wide variety of industrial applications such as petrochemical refineries, lead acid battery monitoring, chlorine manufacture, nuclear power/waste, fossil fuel power, chrome plating, research, semiconductor and electronics manufacture, abatement exhausts, transformer oil, fuel cell technologies and of course hydrogen production."

Commenting on Quantitech's participation in the ITM Power project, he continued: "ITM's hydrogen systems are able to convert renewable energy to a clean fuel that can be indefinitely stored for use in transport, residential and industrial applications, and we are delighted to be able to make a contribution to a project that offers enormous potential to reduce the burning of fossil fuels and thereby help in the fight against climate change."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Radiation survey meter

Fluke has introduced the easy-to-use, handheld Fluke 481 Radiation Survey Meter which enables users to identify irradiated goods, equipment, surfaces or environments in industrial settings, and thus to help to remediate contamination and safety issues while minimally impacting operations. Areas of application include food processing or packaging screening, transported goods screening, screening of manufactured goods imported from Asia, screening at ports, and use by environmental health, fire and police personnel.

This rugged, auto-ranging instrument is handheld and portable with a simple two button process, enabling its use at Goods Inwards, in a warehouse or on the shop floor, for scanning vehicles, packages or individuals. It simultaneously measures radiation rate and accumulated dose from beta, gamma and x-ray radiation sources, with the capability to record peak rate. It features an automated backlit display for easy reading in low-light situations.

The Fluke 481 is valuable for contamination detection, general radiation area metering, radiation-level monitoring, and hazardous materials assessment. Use of the device reassures employees that radiation risks are known, monitored and measured for their protection. If radiation is found, clear and quantifiable results allows assessment to risk, without overreacting with unnecessary steps that might halt operations, impact productivity or lead to lost revenue.

It has an ergonomic, anti-fatigue handle with replaceable grip, a wrist strap and a tripod mount. There is an RS-232 communications interface for data logging on a PC. It comes with guidance on performing shipping, receiving and perimeter surveys. A model is also available with a dose equivalent energy response in SI units.

1000 control valves for Dutch gasfield!

1000 control valves to help extend the life of one of the world’s largest natural gas fields 

Emerson Process Management has successfully completed a long-term project to help NAM (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij) upgrade controls at its Groningen gas field in The Netherlands. More than 1000 of Emerson’s Fisher® control valves help NAM control deliveries from individual well clusters to maximise output from the field.

NAM chose the Fisher control valves for the lower total cost of ownership made possible by the valves’ performance and durability. Advanced diagnostics provided by FIELDVUE™ digital valve controllers also enable technicians using AMS ValveLink™ SNAP-ON™ software to easily monitor and maintain valve performance.

The Groningen natural gas field is one of the world’s largest and has been in production since the mid 1950s. However, field pressure has been falling and NAM has been working with an alliance of contractors to optimise production by renovating the control and monitoring of 300 gas wells.

The wells are connected within 29 production clusters, with each cluster having an average of 10 wellheads. The improved control will enable an operator in a central location to start and stop individual clusters depending on its ability to deliver gas.

“We operate on day shifts only and aim to be fully automated,” said George Verhagen, senior engineer control & automation, NAM. “From a central location we can control the Fisher valves to turn individual clusters on or off to maximise output from the field.”

Centralised control also means that routine operator and maintenance tasks can be performed remotely, minimising visits to clusters. This also applies to the control valves on the field’s gas compression facilities, which are equipped with performance monitoring and remote diagnostics. In the event of a production issue occurring during the night, the system can generate an automatic alert that is sent to a standby off-site technician. Using remote web access, the technician can then log into the site’s control network to diagnose and potentially fix the problem remotely. 

In addition to troubleshooting, the predictive diagnostics are also being used to monitor the control valve condition over time.

“By using AMS ValveLink to compare the characteristics of each valve with how they performed during commissioning, we can easily see any degradation in valve performance and take corrective action as needed,”
continued Verhagen. “We recognise the value of Emerson’s diagnostics and are reaping the time and cost benefits associated with the move to predictive maintenance.”

Chemical free water determination

New chemical-free method for water determination

Lambda Advanced Technology has a new easyWater (easyH2O) analyser, designed for the specific determination of water. Applications include materials such as plastics, catalysts, pharmaceuticals, building materials and many more. The easyWater system uses a proven thermo-coulometric measurement method, providing an environmentally friendly, chemical free alternative to the Karl Fischer titration technique.

Not only does the easyWater system specifically measure water, and not other volatiles such as alcohols, oils or fats, but it can also differentiate between different binding phases ranging from free surface and capillary water to chemically bound water.  The analyser combines thermal evaporation of water with a selective, electrochemical sensor to create an innovative method of water analysis.

The water content of various materials frequently has a significant impact on the material characteristics. Examples include the injection moulding behaviour of plastics, the stability of active pharmaceutical agents or simply the actual price of raw materials.

The water is evaporated from the sample in a programmable oven and is fed to the sensor using a stream of dried ambient air as a carrier gas. This means that no expensive or toxic chemicals or carrier gases are required for operation. By varying the temperature profile of the heating program, different forms of water can be selectively evaporated and differentiated. Even strongly-bound water is released and quantified via temperature programs up to 400°C.

The coulometric sensor uses an electrochemical reaction to produce an absolute measurement and deliver reproducible, accurate results. The method is well-established and used in international standards DIN 50450-1, ASTM D 5454 and ISO 11541:1997.

The measuring cell regenerates itself and the system is permanently rinsed with dried air, ensuring the analyser is always ready for use. The entire process runs automatically under software control. All of the data, temperature programs etc. are logged in compliance with ISO and GLP and can be printed or read-in again.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pressure Tx ProfiBus support enhanced

Emerson continues to expand its PROFIBUS protocol offering with the addition of the Rosemount® 2051 pressure transmitter 
A comprehensive Emerson device portfolio now supports PROFIBUS PA profile V3.02, providing PROFIBUS users with the latest interoperable devices

Emerson Process Management has expanded its PROFIBUS offering to include the Rosemount® 2051 pressure transmitter. The current portfolio of the Rosemount 3051 and 2051 pressure transmitters and the Rosemount 644 temperature transmitter are available with PROFIBUS PA profile V3.02.

PROFIBUS PA is the latest addition to the Rosemount 2051 pressure transmitter, which now includes a Local Operator Interface (LOI) option that features simple addressing and configuration at the transmitter. PROFIBUS PA with LOI are available on the complete line of Rosemount 2051 products, including 2051CF flowmeters, and 2051L level transmitters.

Emerson products are designed and tested to open standards, providing the highest level of interoperability. Emerson devices communicate seamlessly with hosts to provide complete, open, and interoperable access to device functionality and information. Emerson’s certified PROFIBUS specialists are trained to provide global support on any Emerson PROFIBUS devices.

Emerson’s growing portfolio of PROFIBUS supported interoperable products includes the DeltaV™ digital automation system, AMS Suite asset management software, Fisher® control valves, Rosemount flow, pressure, and temperature transmitters, Rosemount Analytical transmitters, and Micro Motion® Coriolis mass flowmeters.

Smart home automation

Latest additions to home automation system on display

Carlo Gavazzi will be showing a new colour touch screen addition to the smart-house range at the forthcoming British Home Technology Event (28/30 June'11 London GB)  The new 7 inch panel features colour touch screen technology and is based on the windows CE 6.0 platform.

The touch screen displays can be positioned around the home and can be customised to suit each home owner’s requirements.  Every aspect of the smart-house system can be controlled from one or more screens.  Functions include one-touch lighting control with scene setting and heating management with individual room temperatures displayed allowing access to set points plus a multifunction time scheduler.  Access to the internet is also possible making this screen a very flexible addition to the smart-house range.

smart-house system

The Carlo Gavazzi smart-house home automation system provides a cost effective solution for automating any home, now and for the future. Wiring is simple, using the same two-wire bus that communicates between components to also supply the power. Popular features include lighting control to set scenes and activating lights by motion or light intensity. Blinds and curtains can open and close automatically at the end of each day and can also be included in lighting scenarios.  Heating can be controlled in individual rooms to save energy.

Dedicated detectors for smoke and intruders can be configured to make the house lights flash, sound an alarm and send a text message, water detectors can protect against flooding by shutting off the water supply to the house.  Automation can also be extended to the garden for path lighting, gate control, irrigation systems and pool covers. All aspects of the system can be controlled and viewed locally on wall mounted touch screens and high-end remote controls (Philips Pronto) or remotely by internet or mobile phone.

Aurora Home Automation Accessories

The Aurora range combines aesthetics with technology for home automation applications. Powered from the smart-house two-wire bus, they come in a 44mm square format, designed to fit directly into popular back plate designs.

This aesthetically pleasing range currently includes light switches, temperature controllers and infra-red detector.  All products are supplied with white or charcoal grey covers to provide high quality visually pleasing control for all home automation systems.

pH sensors for general & harsh conditions

Two pH sensors with built-in temperature sensing and external liquid earth for general and harsh environmental applications

The new Yokogawa SC25V is a reliable, very stable and high-accuracy 12 mm pH sensor which uses a VP type connector to integrate multiple measuring elements in a single package, including a built-in temperature sensor and an external liquid earth.

Two versions of the sensor are available, both with a pH range from zero to 14 pH and designed for pressures up to 10 bar. The general-purpose version is suitable for moderate applications, and has an operating temperature range from -10° up to +80°C, while the high-temperature/alkaline version is designed for harsher applications, and has a temperature range from +15°C up to +130°C. It also incorporates a special chemical resistant glass to prolong its life in alkaline applications.

Both types include a PT1000 temperature sensor integrated into the pH compartment for more accurate temperature compensation, along with a silver/silver chloride reference system located close to the pH measuring glass for more accurate measurements during temperature fluctuations. The titanium liquid earth has a large surface with no polarisation and a low risk of pollution.

The large surface area of the pH glass also results in very accurate, stable and rapidly responding pH measurements. The relatively thick glass makes the bulb suitable for heavy duty purposes and allows CIP and steam cleaning.