Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Surge protection devices preserve solar PV investment

Transient overvoltage protection without backup fuses safeguards quality and lifespan of vital solar energy components whilst maintaining continuity of production

Carlo Gavazzi has extended its solar energy portfolio with new surge protection devices that provide backup protection without internal fuses. The innovative DSF surge arrestors embody a special internal backup that ensures they remain safe at the end of varistor life, thus ensuring the safest transient overvoltage protection for combiner boxes in photovoltaic systems.

DSF surge arrestors comply with new and emerging standards for DC-side surge protection in PV systems, in particular the new French UTE C 61-740-51 and future EN 50539-11As norms.

In addition, they extend the Carlo Gavazzi product family, with three DSF models taking the maximum nominal voltage up to 1200V DC. Available in two- or three-pole configurations, the devices provide both differential and common-mode protection.

Innovative built-in technologies cater for both long-duration temporary overvoltage and instantaneous surges lasting microseconds. The former is addressed by a path combining a current limiter with varistor, whilst faster events are routed to a path with varistor and gas tube surge arrester.

Their innovative technology protects internal varistors from the leakage current that could damage and age them when the nominal DC voltage of the plant is temporary exceeded -  for example in  mornings when the solar panels are cold or in the case of wrong connections. When the varistor nears its end of life, DSF technology ensures the arrester is intrinsically safe with regard to short-circuit behaviour.

DSF arrestors are based on removable cartridges, which can be replaced without leaving the installation unprotected. Exhausted cartridges are indicated by a red optical window on the front panel and a voltage-free contact is provided for remote function monitoring.  Internal wiring and labelled terminals contribute further to quicker, simpler installation and maintenance.

The devices are provided ready-assembled for DIN-rail mounting and come with CE marks as well as UL1449 3rd Edition approval.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New digital-based DP level technology

The Rosemount® 3051S ERS™ System improves performance, simplifies installation and maintenance routines, and reduces costs on tall vessels and distillation towers.

Emerson Process Management has released the industry’s first digital DP Level architecture, the Rosemount 3051S Electronic Remote Sensor system. With over ten patents, the 3051S ERS System is a breakthrough technology that replaces mechanical impulse piping with two 3051S pressure sensors linked together electronically. Differential pressure is calculated in one of the two sensors and is transmitted using a standard two-wire 4-20 mA HART® signal.   

Ideal applications for the 3051S ERS System include tall vessels, distillation towers, and other installations that traditionally have required excessive lengths of impulse piping or capillary. When used in these types of applications, the 3051S ERS System can deliver improved performance, simplified installation and maintenance, and additional process insight and diagnostics. 

The 3051S ERS System replaces mechanical components with a digital architecture, resulting in faster response time and a more stable and repeatable measurement even in applications with wide varying temperatures.

Cold weather installations often require heat tracing or insulation and impulse lines need to be checked for leaks, condensation, evaporation, and plugging. The digital architecture of the 3051S ERS System eliminates these practices, resulting in cleaner installations with less maintenance and upkeep.

The 3051S ERS System is a MultiVariable™ solution that provides additional process information for optimised control. In addition to the DP calculation, the 3051S ERS provides real-time access to the readings from each pressure sensor and a scaled output for tank level or volume measurement. 

The Electronic Remote Sensor system is built on the scalable 3051S architecture and is part of a broader portfolio of Rosemount DP level and process level technologies that include Tuned-System™ Assemblies, radar, ultrasonic and switches. 

Terminal automation agreement

Yokogawa has signed a global frame agreement with Royal Vopak (Vopak) for terminal automation. Vopak is based in the Netherlands and is the world's largest independent tank storage service provider, specialising in the storage and handling of bulk liquid chemicals, gases and oil products. Yokogawa is pleased to become the first automation and safety system provider to sign such an agreement with them.

Back left: Marschal Weeland (Category Buyer), Vopak,
& Marcel Kelder (Global Account Manager), Yokogawa
Front: Niek Verbree (Corporate Director Operational 
Excellence) Vopak,Naoki Nakamura (Senior Manager), 
Yokogawa, & Jos Kea (Global Director Sourcing 
& Procurement) Vopak.
This contract is for the provision of integrated automation and safety solutions, to control pipelines, loading/unloading facilities, and other utilities located at tank terminals. Based on Yokogawa's CENTUM VP distributed control system (DCS) and ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system (SIS), these integrated solutions will enable safe and seamless communication between systems and integrated operator interfaces and alarms, which will lead to greater efficiency in project execution and allow a more unified project and maintenance approach.

Vopak selected Yokogawa as a global terminal automation partner because of the high reliability and global track record of its automation and safety solutions and its global maintenance and service network serving all major markets.

Vopak aims to optimise the safety, reliability and efficiency of its logistics and storage processes through the introduction of automation technology. Vopak applies a consistent blueprint that will guide the automation of processes at all of its storage terminals.

Yokogawa's CENTUM VP and ProSafe-RS systems will make it possible for Vopak to standardise the automation environment at its terminals, allowing the company to profit from economies of scale and shorter installation times. It is expected that a standardised approach to terminal automation projects will lead to further cost efficiency in projects and maintenance.

With the signing of this global terminal automation agreement, Yokogawa and Vopak will focus on realising continuous improvements. Both companies will benefit from standardisation of the control and safety systems for terminal automation through the reuse of knowhow, expertise, and solutions, leading to greater consistency in project execution and guaranteed cost efficiency.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Workshops & Pre-Registration at new British show

The all new Sensors and Systems Show taking place on the 14th and 15th September 2011 at the FIVE Building in Farnborough (GB) has a comprehensive and varied programme of free 1-hour workshops and seminars, all designed to be relevant to today's industry issues.

Some 17 different companies are presenting the workshops covering subjects as varied as 'Laser scanners for automated inspection and process control' through to 'An introduction to product testing for reliability'. Some of the companies and organisations participating include such well known names as Micro-Epsilon, Honeywell, Colibrys, Igus, Adsyst, HBM, Burkert, NPL, Techni Measure, Sensors KTN, Profibus, University of Sussex, Compostella and PARC.

The hour long workshops and seminars are free to attend and allow engineers to choose their subjects of interest and learn the latest sensing and control techniques in use in industry, with the option of questioning the experts face to face. After the workshop, engineers can then visit the company's stand to view the exact products and ask further questions.

Workshop places can be reserved online together with free registration for a free visitor e-ticket to the show by visiting the website. Early booking is advised, as space will be limited.

This event is a focussed event embracing control & instrumentation, test & measurement, calibration, data acquisition, analysis and automation. The ESP KTN, InstMC, Sensorland.com and The Profibus group, plus leading journals such as Industrial Technology Magazine, IP & E, IEN and Eureka are supporting this new exhibition. The show takes places at FIVE, a purpose build venue with easy access and plenty of free visitor and exhibitor parking.

"S+S for Control & Instrumentation is a low cost, time effective way for enabling buyers to see, touch, compare products, meet suppliers face to face and discuss specific requirements before purchasing!"

Management functions added to switching system

Fast Track Switching, Harting's innovative Ethernet-based switching technology, is now even more versatile thanks to the introduction of a range of management functions offering determinism and availability combined with redundancy, reliability, diagnosis and much more.

The Fast Track Switching method recognises, prioritises and accelerates precisely those frames that are particularly important for the user in the specific application. It is easy to set the switch up for the identification characteristics within these frames. This allows the switch to recognise important frames, which are then accelerated by way of the cut-through method, allowing them to overtake other frames blocking their path. As a result, important data always reach their destination on time, regardless of
the remaining network load.

As fully-managed switches, the devices offer all the functions expected from a modern switch including redundancy capability as well as VLAN and DHCP capability. The integrated PROFINET I/O stack also allows the devices to be used and integrated as Conformance Class B equipment in the PROFINET area. EtherNet/IP applications are also optimally supported with IGMP snooping and
DHCP Option 82.

The Fast Track Switching product family includes three new members: the Ha-VIS FTS 3100-A, equipped with ten RJ45 ports; the Ha-VIS FTS 3082-ASFP, equipped with eight RJ45 ports plus two SFP slots; and the Ha-VIS FTS 3060-A, with six RJ45 ports in an especially slim design

The combination of Fast Track Switching technology and extensive management functions allows a very wide range of applications to be implemented with completely new possibilities.

Measuring Displacement

An informative guide to aid LVDT selection

Monitran has produced an easy-to-use and informative selection guide for its Linear Variable Differential Transformers (LVDTs).

The guide details Monitran’s Miniature, Industrial and Economy LVDTs; which between them have stroke lengths ranging from ±0.25 to ±550mm.

Selection criteria include mechanical/physical characteristics such as construction material, assembly type, cable exit type, operating temperature range and sealing. Electrical characteristics include degree of linearity and output type.

Andy Anthony, Monitran’s Operations Director, comments: “The LVDT is a well-proven, reliable and rugged transducer type for measuring displacement. At Monitran we make all LVDTs to order, so that they can match our customers’ exact requirements.”

Monitran’s Miniature LVDTs are ideal for applications where space is at a premium, the Industrial LVDTs are the most rugged and are ideal for use in harsh environments, and the Economy LVDTs are an extremely cost-effective solution for all less demanding applications.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Advanced programme published for technology and solutions Event

The International Society of Automation (ISA),  holding its mid year Leaders' meeting in St Louis (MO US), has just announced the release of the Advance Programme for ISA Automation Week: Technology and Solutions Event.

Click to download programme
This annual, international conference is scheduled for 17-20 October 2011 in Mobile, (AL US).

The Advance Programme provides the technical conference overview, as well as:
  • information on keynote speeches by control systems legends Charlie Cutler and Béla Lipták, and the general session featuring a panel of experts who will speak on the future of automation
  • previews of the eight conference tracks: Advanced Process Control Techniques; Analyzers; Automation and Control System Design; Energy; Human Asset Optimization; Installation, Operations and Maintenance; Safety and Security; and Wireless Technology and Applications
  • information on poster sessions and Technology Solutions Theaters
  • a listing of participating suppliers
  • a preview of Technician Day
  • the ISA Fall Training Institute schedule
  • registration options and more
Click on image on right to download and view the ISA Automation Week 2011 Advance Programme. It is also available in the May/June 2011 issue of InTech.

ISA Automation Week is a technical conference that features three full days of technical sessions; poster sessions; a dedicated Technician Day; an expansive Supplier Showcase; Technology Solutions Theaters on the Supplier Showcase floor offering standards briefings, author briefings and supplier presentations; and networking and social events.

ISA Automation Week Partners include ARC Advisory Group, ExperTune, Georg Fischer Piping Systems, Kepware Technologies, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, and Schneider Electric. ISA Strategic Partner, Test and Measurement is Fluke Corporation. GE Energy, Honeywell Process Solutions and OSIsoft, LLC are ISA Corporate Partners.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Protecting art and antiquities

LPRS wireless modules used to protect art and museum collections from environmental damage

LPRS has established itself as a major supplier of wireless modules used in environmental monitoring systems manufactured by Meaco Measurement and Control.
They supply Meaco with the very reliable Circuit Design CDP-TX05M-R transmitter and CDP-RX03BS-R receiver modules which are designed-in to a range of wireless linked environmental monitoring systems. These devices monitor temperature and humidity as well as lux and UV and are used in a variety of applications. The main customer base is the heritage sector, including museums, art galleries, castles, libraries and stately homes etc. Meaco installations include Osborne House on the Isle of Wight and Edinburgh Castle.

Environmental monitoring is important in the care of art and museum collections as extremes and fluctuations in light, temperature and humidity can have a serious detrimental effect on the items on display, causing wood to crack, metal to rust and fabrics fade.

Meaco decided on wireless monitoring as, especially in listed buildings, no major installation work has to be carried out and the transmitters can simply be located on a suitable shelf or cabinet. Museums also like wireless monitoring systems as exhibition spaces and cases can be monitored remotely and environmental data is viewable anywhere on a PC.

The LPRS supplied CDP-TX-05M-R and CDP-RX-03BS are low power narrow band FSK transmitter and receiver modules designed for industrial applications operating in the 433-434MHz ISM band. The very compact modules contain most of the components necessary for radio transmission. The RF channel on the 05 range, which consists of CDP-TX05M-R and CDP-RX05M-R is fixed but selectable within 4 pre-programmed channels. Meaco have chosen to use the CDP-RX03BS receiver which is fully compatible when operating at 434.075MHz. The CDP-RX03BS receiver is double-superhetrodyne and equipped with a SAW filter, ensuring high sensitivity and very good selectivity for stable and long range communication.

Samantha Greatbatch, Managing Director of Meaco Measurement and Control, comments; "We continue to use wireless solutions from LPRS as I believe in building working relationships where customers and suppliers have mutual respect and understanding. The RF modules do what we need them to do and I know that LPRS would always do whatever they could to deliver what we need when we need them. They have helped us with suggestions for new products and have provided us with excellent advice on a range of subjects related to wireless technology. They are great people to work with!”

Ms Greatbatch continues; "I am always happy to hear from LPRS, we have an excellent relationship. LPRS have helped with advice and support as well as being a key supplier. I feel that they are approachable and have been very patient explaining product specifications when we have been looking for something new. They are easy to deal with and that helps make my life that bit easier too - I'm always up for an easy life.”

PLCs and PLC-based PACs: The market

With the manufacturing economy back on track with increasing spending in most regions of the world, the global Programmable Logic Controller & PLC-based Programmable Automation Controller market is expected to grow due to robust investments in manufacturing and infrastructure. So says a study by ARC Advisory Group.

Market Rebounds Strongly After Severe Downturn
This study provides an in-depth analysis of the worldwide Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and PLC-based Programmable Automation Controller (PAC) business.  In addition to market analysis and forecasts, the study also covers key strategic issues that both influence and drive the direction in the global market.

While investments in industrial automation slowed down during the global recession, this effect was only temporary, as there are crucial factors that will continue to drive the use of automation, fueling PLC and PLC-based PAC market growth.  The onward march of globalization continues as industries have recognized that automation is key in the global economy.

With global financial stability being restored, the PLC and PLC-based PAC market is expected to grow with robust investments in the manufacturing and infrastructure industries worldwide.  The report also addresses many other dynamics that will drive the market size and growth for the next five-year forecast period.

The need for modernization of the industrial infrastructure, strength in the hydrocarbons sector, rapid growth for energy efficiency applications, and resuming demand in many industries, will drive the overall market growth positive in 2011 and beyond.

Strategic Issues
Automation is increasingly more vital as manufacturers continue to face challenges for competing in the global economy.  While automation remains one of the best investments a manufacturer can make, the market dynamics for suppliers also remains extremely competitive.  This leads to issues for the PLC and PLC-based PAC suppliers to address, such as offering solution platforms that provide comprehensive value to end users, creating advanced system diagnostics via the web, and providing high availability solutions.  To this end the report suggests various strategies for PLC and PLC-based PAC suppliers to increase their value propositions to the market and subsequently grow their business.

PXI frame grabber

New module ideal for end-of-line test and industrial inspections requiring high data throughput

National Instruments has announced the NI PXIe-1435 high-performance Camera Link frame grabber. Engineers can use the new module to integrate high-speed and high-resolution imaging into their PXI systems, the industry standard for automated test with more than 1,500 measurement modules available from more than 70 vendors. By combining high-throughput imaging with the benefits of off-the-shelf PXI measurement hardware, NI now offers full software-defined solutions for demanding automated test applications in industries such as consumer electronics, automotive and semiconductor.

The NI PXIe-1435 is the industry’s highest throughput PXI frame grabber and acquires from all Camera Link camera configurations, including 10-tap extended-full, with up to 850 MB/s of throughput. Engineers can power cameras through Power over Camera Link (PoCL)-enabled cables, eliminating the need for additional wires in deployment environments. The frame grabber also offers 512 MB of DDR2 onboard acquisition memory for added reliability in transferring large images without fear of data overflow. Onboard digital I/O includes four bidirectional transistor-transistor logic (TTL), two opto-isolated inputs and one quadrature encoder for triggering and communicating inspection results with automation devices.

The frame grabber incorporates the synchronization, timing, data streaming and processing capabilities of the PXI Express specification, and supports image processing on complementary field-programmable gate array (FPGA) boards to further boost system performance.

“The NI PXIe-1435 frame grabber further complements our capabilities in the PXI platform,”
said Matt Friedman, National Instruments senior product manager for the PXI platform and PXISA board member. “The addition of high-performance imaging to our PXI offerings enhances our mixed-signal capabilities for high-end test systems.”
The high throughput and low latency of the Camera Link standard make the frame grabber ideal for line-scan image sensors, which engineers can use for surface inspection of large areas, including finding esthetic and functional defects in solar panels and dead pixels in flat panel displays. The NI PXIe-1435 frame grabber also works well in many industrial applications, such as fault analysis using a stop trigger to record images before and after an event on the factory floor, and medical device applications such as analyzing intricacies in movement and recording stimulus response in objects from heart valves to eye corneas.

Engineers can program the new module using NI LabVIEW graphical development software and the NI Vision Development Module, a comprehensive library of imaging functions. They also can configure it using NI Vision Builder for Automated Inspection software, an easy-to-use, stand-alone package for fast development and simple maintenance. NI vision software helps engineers take advantage of hundreds of imaging processing algorithms, make decisions based on multiple inspection results, customize user interfaces and communicate results using I/O and industrial communication protocols.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Support all OPC comms

MatrikonOPC releases OPC Tunneller with support for alarms and events

MatrikonOPC™ has released the newest version of OPC Tunneller - now with support for OPC Alarms and Events. With OPC Tunneller, users can now easily transfer data from remote OPC Servers into a centralized A&E Historian without DCOM communication issues. This allows users to establish and maintain secure, reliable communications between systems spanning large geographical distances and systems on complex networks.
OPC Tunneller’s Features:
• Easy cross-domain and workgroup connectivity
• Direct connectivity to A&E Historians
• Works well in low bandwidth environments
… and many more
OPC Tunneller’s lossless data compression uses less than 10 percent of the bandwidth normally needed by regular OPC traffic based on DCOM. Such low data overhead is optimal for use in limited data bandwidth applications that involve the use of satellites, modems, radios, and other bandwidth-limited communications. In addition, OPC Tunneller keeps OPC data confidential by encrypting it. This approach provides users with an additional layer in the defense-in-depth cyber security model.

"The ability to access your data whenever and wherever you need is crucial in today’s automation solutions, especially when it comes to alarm data. Plant operators and engineers need ready access to such data to prevent down time, costly maintenance, or outright disasters. OPC Tunneller provides users the most stable and secure connectivity possible to their real-time, historical, and alarm and event OPC data sources,” said Darek Kominek Marketing Manager at MatrikonOPC products.

Urban environmental monitoring!

Libelium has completed its Smart Cities platform. A new sensor board measures noise pollution, dust quantities, structural health and garbage levels. This board may be combined in a network with previously available sensor boards - for gas monitoring, radiation detection and Smart Parking - thus offering a comprehensive range of sensors for urban use. System integrators can now create a comprehensive range of services based on the Smart Cities platform.

Today’s city councils face many challenges requiring effective monitoring. Noise pollution is a common environmental problem affecting both the quality of life and health. Atmospheric pollution - whether in the form of gases such as CO2 and NO2 or dust - is a threat to the health of urban dwellers by causing respiratory diseases. With many of the largest structures - including buildings, bridges and roads - located in cities, ensuring that such structures are sound is critical for public safety. Last, but not least, traffic management is a major challenge with the need to minimise emissions and avoid unnecessary journeys. Until now, some of these challenges have been addressed separately with separate vertical solutions; but city councils cannot afford to deploy one sensor network for each type of problem.

“Urban monitoring - whether relating to noise pollution, traffic management or structural health - can be addressed cost-effectively by wireless sensor networks”,
says Alicia Asín, Libelium’s CEO. She explains, “Libelium is now able to provide system integrators with a complete technology for deploying all the services a Smart City needs using the same modular platform”.

The new sensor board includes four new sensors:
• A noise sensor detected sound pressure level (dBSPL). This sensor can be used to detect noise from traffic and people. It is suitable for creating a real-time noise map of a city.
• A particulate matter (dust) sensor for measuring PM-10 concentrations. The sensor is capable of measuring concentrations down to 0.1 micrograms per cubic metre.
• A crack sensor for measuring cracks in public structures such as buildings and bridges. It can detect displacements as small as 10 micrometres as well as oscillations and dilations. This sensor is applicable to Structural Health Monitoring.
• An ultrasound sensor capable of measuring garbage levels in bins. This can enable waste management services to empty rubbish only from bins that are sufficiently full thus saving time and fuel.

The board also includes temperature, light and humidity sensors.

The Smart Cities platform enables system integrators to deploy a heterogeneous wireless sensor network with a combination of sensor boards for city councils. The platform is based on Libelium’s modular Waspmote wireless sensing technology.

System integrators can exploit Waspmote’s modularity and open source software to create custom solutions for a particular city. Motes or nodes in the network communicate with their gateway using ZigBee radio links. The over the air (OTA) programming capability ensures that sensors can be updated without requiring physical access. The platform’s outstanding low power performance ensures that Smart City networks have minimal battery requirements or can work from solar power.

Libelium recently won the Best of Sensors Expo award in the category of data acquisition at the 2011 Sensors Expo for their radiation sensor board.

Self powered wireless network debut!

Dust Networks will demonstrate a SmartMesh® IP 6LoWPAN wireless network running on harvested energy at the IDTechEx Wireless Sensor Network & RTLS Summit in Munich(D) this week. For the first time anywhere, all of the nodes in the network, including the IPv6 routing nodes, will run on energy harvested from a variety of devices including the Micropelt TE-Power thermogenerator and the Cymbet™ EnerChip™ CC rechargeable solid state battery trickle-charged by a small off-the-shelf daylight powered solar collector.

“The SmartMesh product family provides a unique convergence with energy harvesting because all of their mesh network nodes can run on harvested energy,” said Burkhard Habbe, Vice President of Business Development for Micropelt GmbH. “With the further decreased power requirements of Dust’s new SmartMesh IP technology we can now run even more applications on thermoharvesters at rather low gradients, eliminating both wires and battery maintenance.”

“By combining EnerChip solid state energy storage solutions with Dust Network’s Eterna™ technology, Cymbet’s customers are able to deploy completely self-powered wireless sensor networks,” said Steve Grady, Vice President of Marketing for Cymbet Corporation. “The overall power requirement is so much lower than with competing wireless products that this is a  maintenance-free, extremely compact, eco-friendly networking option.”

“It appears that much of the WSN growth likely in 2011 will be due to market demand for solutions to overall network connectivity and battery-free operational constraints,” said Kirsten West, Principal Analyst with West Technology Research Solutions, an independent market research and consulting firm that follows emerging wireless technologies and the products and industries which will adopt those technologies.

“The practical impact of Dust’s focus on low power 802.15.4 SoCs and networking is evident in this multi-vendor demonstration of self-powered wireless sensing” said Brenda Glaze, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Dust Networks. “With no wires to install and no batteries to change, the initial and on-going costs of installation and maintenance are slashed.”

The standard SmartMesh IP Evaluation Kit provides everything needed to demonstrate wireless mesh network performance, data monitoring, digital actuation, and event notification.

Management of change

Integrity iMOC detects inadvertent and unapproved automation configuration changes to fortify control system security and safety

PAS has released Integrity iMOC, the next evolution in electronic Management of Change (MOC) software. Integrity iMOC ensures that all changes made to a plant’s automation systems are detected and reconciled with specific management of change cases.

While most countries have regulations governing management of change for such things as process chemicals, equipment, documents, facilities, and procedures, few have specified requirements for management of change for automation systems. As a general rule, if an automation change affects other items that clearly require change management, then a rigorous MOC process is to be followed. However, critical changes are often made to automation systems with no record of whether they were approved or not, leaving the systems vulnerable as these undocumented changes carry the potential to be destructive. Only by ensuring that all configuration changes (except for the most fundamental changes required to operate the plant, such as setpoints, outputs, and control modes) are included in the MOC process and reconciled against outstanding MOC cases, can companies be certain their automation systems are secure.

“Undocumented and unapproved changes to automation systems have been identified as contributing factors in a number of process industry incidents and accidents.” said PAS President Chris Lyden. “With the advent of new viruses that affect the interaction of controls with the process, ensuring that all automation configuration changes are detected and reconciled with MOC cases is an essential element of control system security.”

Integrity iMOC provides a graphical environment for the definition of MOC workflows, which includes describing each state within the workflows, as well as the checklists and required transitions for the states. As an Integrity-enabled application, iMOC takes full advantage of the capabilities of PAS’ Integrity ™ software, which maps the configuration of more than 50 different automation systems and tracks all changes to them. Additionally, it reduces the time required for engineers to acquire design information, since it automatically identifies all links and interdependencies for any automation entity under change management.

As part of the installation services for Integrity iMOC, PAS can integrate it with a plant’s existing MOC system, configuring it to act as a subordinate to that system. PAS can also implement an S95-compliant plant asset hierarchy to link MOC cases to specific parts of the plant as is often done in general MOC systems.

Mobile flow pressure pressure & level

New Mobile Version of BrooksInstrument.com Launches



Brooks Instruments has launched a mobile version of its website, allowing users to more easily access company and product information with iPhones, Droids, Blackberrys and other small-screen mobile devices.

Manufacturers are increasingly using mobile devices to access the Internet, and Brooks' mobile website will enable users to quickly retrieve specific product information and documentation at any time and any place. The mobile website's content is organized into five categories: products, documentation, applications, contact us and career opportunities. Users will be able to download a variety of information direct to their phones.

The mobile version of the Brooks website automatically opens when visiting Brooks' regular website, , using a mobile device.

Monitoring gas mixtures!

Tiger Optics are increasingly sought to monitor gas mixtures. To meet demand, Tiger said it is deploying more gas analyzers from its HALO product line, one of the company’s most versatile product ranges.

The development signals yet another milestone for Tiger Optics, which holds exclusive rights to multiple, broad-based patents from Princeton University on Continuous Wave Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CW CRDS). Tiger analysers detect the presence of fugitive components down to the low parts-per-trillion level in a variety of gases. Over the past decade, CW CRDS has advanced the analysis of many packaged pure gases, including inert gases, reactive gases (toxic gases, corrosives, and hydrides), and rare gases.

Mixed gas products are commonly used in calibration of chemical instruments, medical and healthcare facilities, laser applications, electronic manufacturing and metal welding. Each application has unique demands of precision in terms of the amounts of blended gases, as well as tolerance for impurities in the mixture.

“Water vapor is a common contaminant that can shorten the useful lifetime of packaged gas mixtures. Our HALO product line is a perfect fit for trace moisture analysis in quality control,” said Lisa Bergson, founder and chief executive of Tiger Optics.

Among the features that distinguish the HALO analyzers: fast response, high accuracy, wide detection range, and capacity to evaluate many base gases. The first HALO, introduced in 2006, was designed to offer the speed, specificity and reliability of the original Tiger tools at approximately half the price and one-quarter the size. The device measures moisture in a range from 2 parts-per-billion to 20 parts-per- million.

In 2007, Tiger unveiled HALO+, designed to analyze moisture in gases down to ultra-low levels (0.4 ppb to 20 ppm) required in semiconductor fabrication plants.

The latest addition, the HALO-500-H2O, permits a facility’s quality control lab to evaluate moisture levels over a very wide 20 ppb - 500 ppm range, encompassing expected moisture values in most gas mixtures. Even under conditions where high moisture samples are followed by sub ppm level samples, the HALO-H2O and HALO-500-H2O can achieve 95 percent of a reading in less than 3 minutes, thereby assuring fast, highly accurate measurements and outstanding sample throughput in the lab.

Such accuracy is essential if gas mixtures are to be evaluated with certitude. Mixtures comprising multiple (two to 100-plus) components are used to set the reference point or scale of laboratory, research, and industrial instruments to accepted primary standards. Meticulous blending to exact specification for each gas component is essential for high sensitivity and accurate measurements from calibrated equipment, such as detectors of environmental pollutants, monitors for breathing gases, and emissions analyzers for industrial manufacturing like fuel and petrochemical production. With HALO analyzers, moisture measurements are accurate to within 4 percent of each reading, thereby providing a great degree of confidence in the shelf life and stability of calibration mixtures.

A standard HALO analyzer includes a family of six base gases (argon, helium, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and clean dry air). The HALO gas menu can be enhanced with other base gases, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, fluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride, as well as gas mixtures. Options are also available for gas mixture samples that require compatible cell material (such as corrosion-resistant alloys) or specific operation settings (such as such as high/low flow or custom pressure range).

Pump health

Low-cost, scalable, easy-to-integrate package enables real-time problem detection and prediction

Industry estimates suggest that approximately 5 per cent of production capacity is lost each year to unplanned downtime, much of it caused by equipment failure. Emerson Process Management’s new integrated Pump Health Monitoring solution enables users to detect and predict problems – greatly reducing the risk of unexpected pump failures that can cause lost production and expensive repairs, as well as safety and environmental incidents.

“It’s not unusual for plants to invest in expensive online monitoring systems for only their most critical or expensive pumps,” said Tim Olsen, refining consultant at Emerson Process Management. “The rest may be checked occasionally during equipment inspection rounds, but as many as two-thirds of essential pumps are ‘running blind’ most of the time – and at risk of problems that can lead to unexpected downtime, leaks, fires, or other situations that threaten safety and profitability.”

Emerson’s scalable Pump Health Monitoring solution can detect several conditions, including cavitation, excessive temperature, vibration, process leakage, seal pot level and differential pressure imbalance. These conditions can independently and jointly bring about pump damage, failure, and several otherwise avoidable consequences.

The integrated solution includes intelligent Rosemount® and CSI instruments that let users continuously monitor for the conditions they are most concerned about. A user-friendly asset management interface gives maintenance technicians, operators, and managers an at-a-glance view of all conditions, with alerts for situations requiring attention. In addition, Smart Wireless technology makes implementing the solution easy and affordable even on existing pumps, without expensive engineering, trenching, and cabling that discouraged more extensive monitoring in the past.

Emerson is currently offering a special Pump Health Monitoring Starter Kit that makes it even easier to take advantage of the solution’s flexible options, easy configuration, and seamless integration with existing control and asset management networks. Customers can use a simple online form to select the options most important to them and request a quote from an Emerson specialist.

“Detecting and predicting equipment problems while there’s still time to take corrective action can significantly reduce costs and help avoid unplanned slowdowns or shutdowns due to pump failure,” said Olsen. “That’s why the Pump Health Monitoring solution is only the first of several asset-monitoring packages we are developing to help users improve the safety, reliability, and profitability of their operations.”

Education software for schools

Latest industry-grade software turns high school lab computers into full-featured engineering stations

National Instruments has announced the latest edition of its NI LabVIEW for Education software for high school, which integrates with classroom data collection and control devices to help teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts to students. The software is a full-function version of the industrial LabVIEW graphical system design software that is “skinned” and scoped appropriately for students. It is optimized for classroom use through instructional videos, tutorials, open-ended challenges and teaching resources created specifically for high school students and teachers.


“LabVIEW gives me the freedom to creatively inspire my students with authentic, real-world projects while using traditional lab equipment,” said John Sperry, engineering teacher at Anderson High School in Austin, Texas. “The software’s visual environment is easy for beginning students to understand, but also offers a very high skill ceiling so students can reach their full potential with the same technology that professionals use.”

LabVIEW for Education integrates with the NI myDAQ portable data-logging device, Vernier sensors and LEGO® Education robotics platforms to provide a wide range of possibilities for teaching core science and math concepts through real-world applications.

“NI LabVIEW for Education is helping expand our Vernier classroom sensor platform into experiential studies of more advanced engineering applications,” said David Vernier, president of Vernier, a leading classroom technology company. “Now more than ever, we can help teachers easily incorporate exciting yet practical hands-on engineering education into their science classrooms.”

LabVIEW for Education includes the following primary benefits:
• Students gain experience with the same software used by professional engineers and scientists
• New vision module helps students use USB webcams for advanced image manipulation and motion tracking
• Ideal for integration with robotics classes and competitions

National Instruments collaborates with leading curriculum developers including UTeach Engineering, The Infinity Project and Ergopedia to provide complete solutions for implementing accredited courses based on LabVIEW. LabVIEW for Education was developed in conjunction with the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.

Education software for schools

Latest Industry-Grade Software Turns High School Lab Computers Into Full-Featured Engineering Stations

National Instruments today announced the latest edition of its NI LabVIEW for Education software for high school, which integrates with classroom data collection and control devices to help teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts to students. The software is a full-function version of the industrial LabVIEW graphical system design software that is “skinned” and scoped appropriately for students. It is optimized for classroom use through instructional videos, tutorials, open-ended challenges and teaching resources created specifically for high school students and teachers.

“LabVIEW gives me the freedom to creatively inspire my students with authentic, real-world projects while using traditional lab equipment,”
said John Sperry, engineering teacher at Anderson High School in Austin (TX US). “The software’s visual environment is easy for beginning students to understand, but also offers a very high skill ceiling so students can reach their full potential with the same technology that professionals use.”

LabVIEW for Education integrates with the NI myDAQ portable data-logging device, Vernier sensors and LEGO® Education robotics platforms to provide a wide range of possibilities for teaching core science and math concepts through real-world applications.

“NI LabVIEW for Education is helping expand our Vernier classroom sensor platform into experiential studies of more advanced engineering applications,” said David Vernier, president of Vernier, a leading classroom technology company. “Now more than ever, we can help teachers easily incorporate exciting yet practical hands-on engineering education into their science classrooms.”

LabVIEW for Education includes the following primary benefits:

• Students gain experience with the same software used by professional engineers and scientists
• New vision module helps students use USB webcams for advanced image manipulation and motion tracking
• Ideal for integration with robotics classes and competitions


National Instruments collaborates with leading curriculum developers including UTeach Engineering, The Infinity Project and Ergopedia to provide complete solutions for implementing accredited courses based on LabVIEW. LabVIEW for Education was developed in conjunction with the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.

Stuxnet breakthrough company expands

Symantec's is creating  60 jobs at its European Operations Centre in Dublin
'New authentication services mandate is a strong vote of confidence in Symantec's Irish Operation'

Richard Bruton TD
Ireland's Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, has announced that Symantec, the global leader in security, storage and systems management, is to establish a new team within its European Operations Centre in Dublin, creating 60 high quality jobs. The investment is supported by the Irish Government with the aid of IDA Ireland.

This is the company discovered that Stuxnet actually modifies code on PLCs in a potential act of sabotage and publishers earlier this year of the W32 Stuxnet Dossier.

The new team will be focused on three specific areas relating to Symantec's Identity and Authentication offerings, part of Symantec's Authentication Services business. These areas are customer authentication and verification, technical support and client services. The team will form part of Symantec's "follow the sun" model, with services and support being provided to customers across the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific and Japan in over 20 languages on a 24/7 basis. Symantec's VeriSign Authentication Services provide organisations with strong proof that a user, device, or website is genuine and that information is protected. This new team is key in ensuring security through a stringent authentication and verification process and team members will speak a minimum of two European languages in order to provide services to Symantec customers across the markets they serve.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Minister said: "A significant part of the real Irish economic miracle in the mid/late 1990s was our ability to tap into the global ICT boom that was going on at that time. If we are to get growth in employment and in the economy again, one part of that will involve relying on our traditional strengths, and today's announcement is a great vote of confidence in our policies. We must be far-reaching in our ambitions in this area, and I am determined to build on those traditional strengths to ensure that we can reap great rewards from the new global tech boom and get our country working again".

Commenting on the announcement, Enrique Salem, President and Chief Executive Officer of Symantec said, "Today's announcement is a major step forward for Symantec enabling us to better serve our customers by utilising local talents. Following Symantec's acquisition of VeriSign's authentication business in 2010, authentication is a key growth area for the company. The VeriSign check mark is the most recognised symbol of trust online with more than 650 million impressions every day on more than 100,000 websites in 160 countries.


The decision to locate this investment in Dublin comes as a result of the success to date of Symantec in Ireland. I would like to thank staff and management here in Dublin for making this operation such a success, and the Irish Government and IDA Ireland for their support. I look forward to seeing the continued growth of Symantec in Ireland."


Barry O'Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland said, "Symantec first established an operation in Ireland in 1991 and its transformation involves new mandates, increasing the strategic importance of Symantec Ireland within its parent corporation. Transformation of this nature is in keeping with IDA's goals as outlined in our strategy, Horizon 2020. Ireland is benefiting from the overall growth in the technology sector and this investment from Symantec, a leading company in this sector, is very welcome news for the industry in Ireland. I would like to offer Symantec IDA Ireland's continued support as the company further embeds its operations here in Ireland."

Low-frequency vibration

High-sensitivity, single axis K-Beam® MEMS capacitive accelerometer

A new series of single axis MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) capacitive accelerometers has been launched by Kistler Instruments for use where high-precision, low-frequency measurements and compact, robust construction are absolute requirements. The new accelerometers use Kistler’s K-Beam technology to deliver precision, sensitivity and low noise characteristics for a range of automotive, aerospace, OEM, R&D and general laboratory test applications.

The Type 8315A series is made up of six models with measurement rages from ±2 g to ±200 g with a frequency response of zero to 1,000 Hz (5%) in a compact design having a footprint of only 25.4 mm. The MEMS variable capacitance sensing element consists of a small inertial mass located between two parallel plates. Deflection of the inertial mass under acceleration causes a proportional change in the capacitance of the sensing element. An integrated analogue signal conditioner converts this change to a proportional voltage output. The excellent thermal stability of the MEMS construction provides reliable performance within the wide operating temperature range of -55 to +125 degrees Celsius.

Three housings are available; one lightweight, environmentally sealed, hard anodized with integral ground isolation and two welded titanium housings with either an industry standard 4-pin connector or a Teflon® coated cable.

Typical applications include low-frequency aerospace ground vibration testing, wind tunnel vibration analysis, structural dynamics, automotive testing, vehicle road testing and ride assessments and human motion studies.

The brain cooler!

Eurolec Instrumentation, with the assistance of Enterprise Ireland in the areas of R&D and intellectual property protection, has recently developed an exciting new instrument, which has been designed to cool the brain at the earliest possible intervention.

In the event of heart attacks, strokes, brain trauma, birth difficulties and some other medical circumstances, the ability to cool the brain results in a significantly improved prognosis. This "Cool Head" device operates off it’s own rechargeable batteries, 12V paramedic vehicle (with adaptor) and mains power. It therefore provides cooling from the earliest opportunity all the way through to intensive care in hospital (patent applied for)

Eurolec also continues to have the support of French 3rd level students on work experience attachments to help with both engineering and sales/marketing projects. The picture shows two of these students, Axel Lorente & Marie Braux, both from the Burgundy(F) with the device and other products in their range.

The company is currently exploring different options to commercialise this exciting new product which has been designed to heat as well as cool and may also be adapted for medical applications to treat soft tissue injuries.
  
• EUROLEC Instrumentation Ltd invite enquiries/proposals from organisations/companies who have an interest in the future commercialisation of this exciting, versatile new instrument system. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Free library of power quality and energy monitoring resources!

Website expands free online resources, including extensive technical article database, case studies, webinars and more!

With the launch of its new company website Draenetz  has announced the availability of a greatly expanded offering of free online technical resources. Chief among these is a comprehensive Technical Documents Library of more than 55 downloadable technical white papers, articles and marketing documents covering a broad range of power quality and energy monitoring topics.

“As the gold standard for energy and power measurement,” said Ross Ignall, Dranetz Director of Product Management, “Dranetz is pleased to support its loyal customers and site visitors with this greatly expanded ‘constellation’ of free services to increase users’ understanding of the issues, while at the same time enhancing the depth and effectiveness of their power quality and energy management portfolios.”


Other free Dranetz educational resources include: 
Case Studies — 50 titles in 14 industry categories;
Tech Tips — excellent online resource with more than 25 topics to choose from;
Power Quality Seminars — free educational seminars around the U.S. with registration open to everyone;
Webinars — available on demand, HTML5-compliant browser or Adobe Flash Player required;
Power Quality FAQ — wide-ranging topics from basic to highly sophisticated.
A number of reasonably priced fee-based services are also available including product training and smart grid consulting for renewable energy plants; harmonic studies; power quality monitoring; PQ audits and more.

Flow mnitoring system

Blue-White Industries’ BW DIGI-METER ® F-2000 Series electronic insertion style flowmeters, are well suited for monitoring flow in municipal water and wastewater applications.

The clamp on saddle fitting and insertion sensor is quickly installed on IPS (ASTM-D-1785) pipe sizes from 1-1/2” through 12” and metric (DIN 8062) pipe sizes from 50mm through 315mm. The electronic display and communication enclosure can be mounted directly to the sensor, or remotely mounted to a pipe or panel.

Standard F-2000 models display flow rate and accumulated total flow, and include an NPN open collector output for communication with data loggers, SCADA systems, and other external devices. Optional 4-20 mA / 0-10 VDC plug-in circuitry can be added for additional communication requirements. The optional batch processing plug-in circuitry includes an 8-amp relay board that adds manual or automatic batch processing capability, or a high/low flow rate alarm output. The electronics can be battery operated using four standard AA size batteries or, AC powered using a 15-24V DC plug-in transformer.

Monday, June 20, 2011

European fibre optic test market

 FTTH deployments lend positive momentum for European fibre optic test equipment markets
Integrated test Equipment poised to take market forward


With the expansion of the installed base and the need for higher bandwidth speed, the European fibre optic test equipment (FOTE) markets are gaining strong traction. Fibre optics are poised to play a major role in most parts of Europe. New strategies unleashed to enhance passive optical network (PON) across Europe in the near future will bolster fibre to the home (FTTH) deployments.

Opportunities abound in the integrated test equipment market segment, and companies are vying with each other to provide value-added services. With operational expenditure being high on the agenda for end users, demand for combinational testers will witness an upsurge.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan , European Fibre Optic Test Equipment Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of over $140.4 million in 2010 and estimates this to reach $165.4 million in 2015.


“The United Kingdom is showcasing its broadband initiative, and FTTH deployment in most of England is triggering growth in the FOTE market,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Sujan Sami. “Besides FTTH, other segments stoking growth in this domain are 3G, cell backhaul, and dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM).”

FTTH and 40 gb/s are driving market growth in Germany. The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Scandinavia are showing promise. Russia may see significant growth with reinvestments in the fibre optic space.

Spirited R&D efforts are underway to enable the roll out of better technology. Agilent Technologies exited the installation and maintenance (I&M) application segment and is significantly focused on R&D.

Although the prospects for the market look upbeat, there are some aspects clouding its landscape. Currently, vendors find it difficult to replace existing underground cables with fibre optic cables in certain parts of Europe, especially in Germany. Despite great demand for FTTH, vendors face a huge challenge in laying cables as right-of-way access is restricted with existing laws. This has hindered the growth of the market, and this trend is expected to continue in the foreseeable future.

Apart from this, the ripple effects of the global economic downturn were felt in the European FOTE market. France and Germany are yet to recover, and growth in these regions is expected to be lacklustre. Competition is intense among test vendors in this space, making price pressure significant in the region and hindering vendors’ growth. Increasing the price-to-performance ratio of their products is critical for vendors to prosper in this region.

In this scenario, vendors must contribute to lowering the cost of testing, as well as optimise customer workflow and end-user requirements, in order to establish their market presence. With new and emerging technologies such as reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM), 40gb/s and 100 gb/s, standardisation is key for getting consensus among test vendors while developing new products.


“In the future, the uptrend in demand will continue for higher bandwidth speed, installation of FTTH capacity, and more wavelength,” concludes Sami. “This, in turn, will spike demand for sophisticated equipment in the core network.”

Papers for anniversary conference!

In February this year it was 25 years since the CAN protocol was presented for the first time to the public at the SAE conference in Detroit.

On March 5, 2012 the CAN in Automation (CiA) international users’ and manufacturers’ group is to celebrate its 20th anniversary with an evening reception at the Hambach castle in Germany, where also the 13th international CAN Conference (iCC) will take place.

They are calling for papers for the 13th international CAN Conference (iCC), which will take place at the Hambach castle in Neustadt an der Weinstraße (D) on March 5 and 6, 2012.

Experts from all over the world and from most diversified application areas have met for years at this international event. The conference is unique in its target group and offers visitors the possibility to become acquainted with the latest developments in Controller Area Network (CAN). It offers also the occasion for lecturing on CAN-based research and for exchanging experience with international experts from related work fields.

All papers are presented in English language. CAN in Automation invites all interested persons to submit an abstract for the conference before September 23, 2011.

A tabletop exhibition will accompany the conference. Experts and exhibitors meet here in a relaxed environment.

The 13th international CAN Conference is sponsored by ESD Electronic System Design, Ixxat Automation, and Janz Automationssysteme.

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.