Wednesday, August 31, 2011

SCADA/HMI software upgrade

InduSoft has released a major upgrade for InduSoft Web Studio v7.0, adding new features to the most comprehensive SCADA/HMI software package on the market.

More than a simple product update, the Service Pack 1 upgrade provides a variety of included features such as multiple language development support for Japanese, French, Portuguese and German along with SSL email (support for Gmail), new symbol libraries, new drivers and much more. Service Pack 1 is provided free of charge to existing InduSoft Web Studio v7.0 customers, and can be downloaded via the Internet.

To help customers optimize machine and process performance, the upgrade provides Statistical Process Control (SPC) to the already feature rich trending capabilities. Without making any modifications to their project, users can enable the SPC capabilities of the trend to display average, minimum, maximum and standard deviation for process values in real-time by simply clicking on an icon, with no programming necessary.

With this upgrade, InduSoft also introduces a new (optional) OPC module that supports XML applications with full control over communication. Users are able to send and read any process variable on demand, and control when items are enabled or disabled. Automatic expansion makes it exceptionally easy to configure arrays. The new OPC module adds more flexibility by supporting multi-threading capability, allowing users to have multiple communication threads even when connecting to the same server.

New communication tools improve both human and machine communications. To provide a variety of email options, users now have the ability to send secure emails using SSL over various providers such as Gmail. New (optional) IEC/DNP3 drivers provide efficient and reliable communications for the electrical and utilities industries.

With the aim of faster and easier deployment, Service Pack 1 implements tag integration with CoDeSys that enables users to easily use CoDeSys tags inside InduSoft. Adding even more flexibility, new function support VBScript parallel execution gives users the choice to run global procedures in a multithreaded or linear execution.

InduSoft Web Studio flexible licensing options previously supported 150 to 512,000 tags. Service Pack 1 adds the choice to go up to 10 million tags. Huge, multi-continent supervisory applications can now be handled with ease and power.  

A customizable product installer lets users turn their applications into products they can distribute to their customers, or deploy quickly on their own equipment. This saves disk space by customizing only the options users want to install.

"Our customers' satisfaction is our top priority," says Marcia Gadbois, president of InduSoft. "We listened to our customers' wants and needs and have included many of them in this upgrade. This service pack will make their jobs easier and their applications more flexible and powerful."

Wireless to automate tank storage level monitoring

"We don’t see any reason or benefit to using cables!" says storage site manager.

FH Tank Storage  is using Emerson Process Management’s Rosemount® wireless level and pressure transmitters to provide overspill protection at its Kalmar storage terminal on the east coast of Sweden. 
FH Tank Storage AB


They have installed a plant-wide Smart Wireless network, DeltaV digital automation system, and AMS Suite predictive maintenance software to automate tank storage level monitoring. This enables FH Tank Storage to meet the latest environmental and safety requirements, as well as improve the efficiency, accuracy and reliability of level monitoring and the safety of terminal personnel.
 
This Smart Wireless network has enabled measurement data to be processed without the need to install new cabling, a cost saving of between €50,000 - €100,000. New cabling would require extensive groundwork which would disrupt operations and fuel tanker traffic around the site.

The Rosemount transmitters are deployed on the storage tanks and transmit measurement data to Emerson’s DeltaV system installed in the main control room. AMS Suite helps operators monitor the health of both the wireless network and the individual transmitters, and improves the efficiency of maintenance staff by identifying any faults and reducing the number of trips into the field.

“Emerson’s Rosemount level, pressure and temperature transmitters, and the Smart Wireless network, have enabled us to implement a cost-effective automated measurement system,” said Lars Ferm, Site Manager, FH Tank Storage. “They have also improved the monitoring of tank levels and have provided a fully approved overspill protection solution.”

The FH Tank Storage terminal has a capacity of approximately 13,000m3. The 68 tanks, ranging in size from 10m3 up to 2100m3, are used to store solvents, petrol and a range of chemicals. Increasingly tight environmental regulations required overspill protection to be added to all existing tanks, with new level switches needed to trigger an alarm should levels rise above preset levels. 

Previously, tank level measurements were performed manually. This required operators to climb to the top of tanks in challenging winter conditions, putting them at risk of injury. The monthly checks took a whole day and involved the use of dipping ropes, calculating volumes, and updating a white board in the main control room. Although a rigid set of procedures was in place to ensure accuracy and reliability of measurements, FH Tank Storage wanted to automate these measurements to reduce risk and remove any potential human error when recording, calculating and listing tank levels.

Emerson proposed the implementation of a continuous automated measurement solution using the PlantWeb digital architecture and Smart Wireless technology to transmit accurate and up to date tank level measurements that could also be used to provide overspill protection. Rosemount devices deployed on 29 tanks transmit level and temperature data back to the latest versions of the DeltaV system and AMS Suite software installed in the main control room. A large screen provides operators with visualization of all the tanks, tank levels and any high level alarms or instrumentation failures. The solution was presented to and accepted by Länsstyrelsen, the Swedish local environment and safety authority. 

FH Tank Storage wanted to minimize the different types of devices installed, to enable easier maintenance and reduced inventory. For the smaller tanks, FH Tank Storage installed Emerson’s Rosemount 3051S wireless DP pressure transmitters. The pressure measurement of the liquid's mass and the media's density is used to derive level. The devices transmit data every minute.
A number of the larger tanks have floating roofs, making it more difficult to install DP pressure transmitters, so Emerson’s Rosemount 5402 non contacting radar level transmitters have been deployed on the larger sized tanks. Emerson’s Smart Wireless THUM Adapters are connected to each of the radar devices to transmit the data via the wireless network. The Rosemount 5402 was selected because it is suitable for almost all tank sizes, is unaffected by floating roofs, and is suitable for a broad range of liquids and gases. Measurement accuracy is not affected by dirty or corrosive liquids or by fluid properties such as density and viscosity. 

 “The Smart Wireless network was relatively simple to install and both the network and the transmitters have been extremely reliable since they were installed,” explained Ferm. We expect to continue to deploy wireless level devices in the near future as we don’t see any reason or benefit to using cables.”

There have been no overfill alarms at the site so far, and the historical information provided by the radar measurements has enabled quick and accurate answers to customer queries. Based on this success, FH Tank Storage has placed a further order for Rosemount radar level transmitters and THUM Adapters to automate 15 more tanks. In addition, 5 tanks are currently being constructed at the terminal and Rosemount radar devices are expected to provide the level measurements and overspill protection.

VOC emissions data may be invalid!

Keith Golding, MD of Quantitech, is urging stack testers and the managers of prescribed industrial processes to check the MCERTS certificates of their Flame Ionisation Detectors (FIDs). He says, “The FID fuel gas for which the certificate is valid is now specified so process operators should ensure, for example, that if the certificate specifies a Hydrogen/Helium mix, any compliance monitoring must also use this mixture or results will be invalid.
 

“Users of the Sick Bernath 3006 need not be concerned because the MCERTS field test was conducted with both fuel gas options – Hydrogen and Hydrogen/Helium mix. However, Hydrogen is by far the more preferable option.”

The fuel gas for FIDs is an important issue because H2/He gas is at least three times the cost of Hydrogen gas, so one might assume that all FIDs would run on Hydrogen. However, some FID manufacturers are unable to achieve the MCERTS performance requirements whilst running on Hydrogen and have to resort to the more expensive H2/He mixture.

This situation is exacerbated by the high fuel gas flow rates (up to 180cc/min) that are required by some FIDs. In contrast, the market leading Sick Bernath 3006 portable FID has an MCERTS certificate to confirm high performance levels using Hydrogen gas at very low flow rates (20cc/min).

Explaining the significance of the fuel gas, Keith Golding says, “The use of this expensive gas mixture at high flow rates means that fuel costs can be an astonishing 27 times greater. However, the cost of the fuel gas is not the only significant issue; high flow rates necessitate a large supply of gas which can create logistical problems and health and safety issues when transporting large bottles in the field.


“Typically the 3006 is able to operate for a full working week from one small 1 litre bottle of Hydrogen, so the MCERTS approved ability of this instrument to run on Hydrogen at very low flow rates is a major advantage to process operators and stack testers.”

Note: VOC=Volatile organic compounds

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

UPS range expanded

Rittal is expanding its range of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) with the PMC 40 and PMC 120 in the extra dimension of 600x200x800 mm. In addition to the already existing rack-mounted version, Rittal also offers a PMC 40 installed in a single UPS rack plus integrated power modules and batteries. A maximum of three UPS modules and four battery packages fit into one enclosure. The output range of the PMC 40 is redundantly scalable from 10 to 40 kW and 60 kW is the maximum output after the upgrade.

The system can be provided with UPS monitoring by way of SNMP monitoring board. Its autonomy times depend on the number and power of the battery modules, and vary between five and 26 minutes. This means that the time until the emergency generating unit starts operation is reliably bridged.

The modular PMC 120 is scalable for outputs ranging from 10 to 120 kW. The most advanced version is intended for six UPS modules of 20 kW each. The use of 10 kW modules is also possible. Separate enclosures are provided to accommodate the batteries. Autonomy times between seven and 28 minutes are possible, depending on the configuration and design.

Available in depths of 800 and 1,000, the two new systems added to the PMC family can both be used in IT environments and in industry, for safeguarding machine controllers or robotic lines, for example. They have a high level of 95% efficiency. As with the entire Rittal PMC family, these new arrivals allow modules to be replaced during running operation (safe swapping) without any switch-over to bypass being required. UPS modules work on the double conversion principle and are classified to VFI-SS-111 (Voltage and Frequency Independent).

Rittal's PMC range includes single-phase UPS systems with a power range of 1 to 12 kVA, and three-phase systems from 10 to 960 kW.

Low cost state data logger

The State101A is a a low-cost data logger from MadgeTech, which is commonly used to record the on/off status of machinery and electronics. With a 4Hz reading rate, a 10 year battery life, and cutting edge technological features, the State101A exceeds other state data loggers in the market today. It includes a large non-volatile memory that can hold up to 406,323 states, optional password protection, a battery life indicator and a manual start/stop function that can be executed multiple times without the need to download data in between studies.

The State101A is built for use in applications such as examining the efficiency of heating and cooling systems, monitoring power supply on/off statuses, and evaluating gas, water and electrical pumps. With programmable engineering units available, users have the ability to convert data into a variety of units, such as on/off and opened/closed.

Using their Software, starting, stopping and downloading from the State101A is simple and easy. Data can be displayed in graphical, tabular and summary views and may also be automatically exported to Microsoft Excel® for additional analysis.

As the leader in data logger technology, MadgeTech continuously improves its products and develops solutions to meet ever-changing challenges. MadgeTech offers free firmware upgrades for the life of the product so that data loggers already deployed in the field can grow with new technological developments. Units do not need to be returned to the factory for upgrades. The user can do this automatically from any PC.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Software improves production efficiency and quality

EETechnologies recently completed a full implementation of Aegis’ Manufacturing Operations Software (MOS). This was effective in fulfilling their strategy to improve efficiencies and quality by streamlining and controlling process planning and launch, process tracking and control, and quality and test management. “Speed, control and visibility are core to competitiveness. We utilize technology to connect data to all of our factory processes for our customers’ benefit”, commented Sonny Newman, President of EE Technologies.<

Aegis MOS provides the tools needed by production staff to translate engineering designs into manufacturing documentation. Aegis provides support for virtually every CAD type and simplifies programming of the machines that use the CAD data. It allows EET to automate their revision control processes; it also automates the distribution of information to operator workstations in sufficient detail for quality product building. All of this is achieved with a system which, being paperless, achieves an EET environmental corporate objective.

During manufacturing, materials are related to individual machines and stations at the point-of-use and are electronically validated against job parameters. As units travel through each station, their correct, validated material setup is guaranteed, and each unit then automatically inherits the currently loaded material set. This ensures that the right product is at the right station at the right time for the right job, and provides EET’s customers with total traceability.

Users can now determine where any work order is located throughout the factory in real-time. Customer service often depends on delivering the information they need when they need it. Aegis allows EET to track WIP status and provide predictive job completion times. This is important to EET’s customers.

Quality has to be built into any manufacturing process. The Aegis software collects data in real time, providing EET with the information necessary to build the product correctly, verify its quality during production and facilitate corrective actions. This data is also available for reports, visualizations, and real-time dashboards that can be configured and used by EET to constantly improve quality and efficiency. Traceability of every product is also achieved; this allows failures and rejections to be tracked down and eliminated before they become an issue for the customer.

EET’s Director of Operations, Clay McElhany, summarizes Aegis MOS’s benefits: “Investing in technology is just one of the ways we provide world class service to our customers. With Aegis, we have instant visibility of the process and product. We continually improve our processes to be more efficient and provide our customers with the best quality, delivery, and costs.”

Radio position switch!

Radio position switch for rough environmental conditions

The steute business field »Wireless« introduces a new generation of radio position switches the series RF 98 with the mounting dimensions according to DIN EN 50041 (big standard switch). They are extremely robust with very versatile applications, with a completely new design.  They work using innovative »Energy Harvesting« principles and therefore do not require cables or batteries.

With its robust characteristics the new series is suitable for the most varied of applications in automation technology –  especially for areas where inconvenient environmental conditions occur. In the steute laboratories the impermeability of the new switchgear has been fully and properly tested. The result is that customer's requirement for IP 66 (jet of water) or IP 69K (high-pressure cleaner proof) protection classes are now available. The large range of temperatures from -20 °C up to +65 °C extends the application field of the new series.

There is a large variety of different actuators available for the different applications. As special variants there are Ex Wireless versions possible. The robust metal enclosure withstands high mechanical stress as Ex shock test have proven in the steute laboratories. These variants of the Ex RF 98 series were equipped to the requirements of gas and dust explosion protection (Zone 1 and 2 / Zone 21 and 22 per ATEX Directive) and will be approved accordingly in short time.

LXI switches

PickeringInterfaces is expanding its range of LXI switch solutions with the introduction of the 60-590 high density matrix.

The 60-590 is a high density matrix which can be provided in configurations of 40x40 or 40x20 and has provision for loop thru connections and isolated Y axis monitoring. The matrix has a current rating of 2A and supports up to 60W hot switching and voltages up to 300VDC. The design uses high quality EMR’s to ensure long service life and repeatable operation.

Connections to the matrix are by easy to use D Type connectors that are fully supported by the extensive range of Pickering Interfaces connection accessories.

The 60-590 is fully compliant with Version 1.3 of the LXI standard to ensure easy control in Ethernet/LAN based applications.

Safe 2 wire Coriolis flowmeter - a first!

Coriolis flowmeter achieves superior performance and safety without the need for external adapters or barriers

The Promass E 200 Coriolis flowmeter, from Endress+Hauser, is the world’s first Coriolis flowmeter with true two-wire 4-20mA HART technology. The Promass E 200 is the only two-wire Coriolis meter with a full 16 mA of measurement span without the need for excess adapters, power supplies or barriers.

This advanced meter design results in simplified integration into existing control systems, and allows the flowmeter to be used with DCS, PAS, PLC and other remotely operated controller systems. The 4-20mA interface makes it easy to replace legacy flow sensors without any change in field wiring. In many cases, the Promass E 200 can simply be “dropped in” to replace an existing flowmeter, without the need for additional hardware or rescaling of control systems.

"The Promass E 200 is the world’s safest Coriolis meter because its two-wire technology enables it to be used in intrinsically safe applications for Class 1 Division 1 locations. The Promass E200 has been submitted for a SIL-2 rating for critical applications and complies with NE43 (NAMUR) safety standards, including operating down to 3.6 mA in a fail-safe condition. Self-monitoring and error diagnostics are standard features that are designed in strict accordance with the specifications of NE107 (NAMUR)."

It has built-in diagnostics, and displays clear text errors and root causes on its local display in case of a fault. The flowmeter can also be commissioned and diagnosed with Endress+Hauser’s FieldCare software.  If servicing is needed, the HistoROM function automatic data backup function ensures automatic reconfiguration of a repaired or new meter without the need for recalibration.

This unit simultaneously measures mass flow, fluid density and temperature. In addition to liquids such as acids, alkalis, and solvents, it also measures most gases. It measures mass flow and volume flow with 0.25% accuracy, and measures density with accuracy of 0.0005 g/cm3. It operates in process pressures of Classes 150 to 600, and process temperatures up to  284 °F.

The Promass sensor is highly immune to external disturbances such as pipeline vibration, and is stable under changing process conditions such as pressure, density, temperature or viscosity.

They can supply this instrument in line sizes of 3/8 to 2 inches (DIN 8 to 50) with 904L Stainless Steel as a standard wetted material. Transmitter options include aluminium and stainless steels to meet various chemical, oil, gas, process, food, beverage and life sciences applications.

Commissioning and Diagnostics
Operator, maintenance and expert menus can be called up immediately at the touch of a button. “Make-it-run” wizards guide the user through flowmeter configuration, and “Tool tips” allow setting of additional parameter information. In the event of an error, remedy information is immediately displayed.

• Promass E 200 flowmeters produced for the Americas are calibrated on the ISO/IEC 17025 Certified Gravimetric Primary Calibration Rig at the E+H factory in Greenwood (IND US), and shipped to the customer with a NIST traceable calibration certificate. The calibration is fully traceable to national and international standards.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Upgrades available

No-cost upgrade to Rockwell's RS Tune® and RS Loop Optimizer®

ExperTune  is offering a no-cost upgrade for existing users of Rockwell RSTune® and RS Loop Optimizer®.  The transition is simple because ExperTune is the developer of the RSTune and RSLoop Optimizer software.

ExperTune's PID Loop Optimizer software provides a direct replacement for the Rockwell products, with many feature upgrades included.  Users also have the option to step up to a multi-platform version of PID Loop Optimizer.  This system can connect to over 700 industrial control algorithms, including PLC and DCS systems beyond the Rockwell family.

Users who upgrade can make use of ExperTune's features, including fast loop tuning in either Auto or Manual operation, instrument and valve analysis, process modeling, choice of tuning criteria, simulation of new tuning, and automated reporting.

ExperTune has been supplying controller tuning software to the automation industries, including Rockwell, for over 25 years.  John Gerry, President and Founder of ExperTune, comments "Controller tuning is our core business.  We have continued to develop and evolve these tools, far beyond the original software provided to Rockwell. Those who upgrade will be delighted to see these new capabilities."

New sensor distributor for Asia

New Asian website launched in support of appointment
(L to R) Nelson Chuang, President of MaxMega, Alyson Ong, General Manager and Peter Whiteaker, Managing Director of Deeter Group.
The Deeter Group has appointed a new distributor in Singapore. Established in 1996 MaxMega specialises in sales of high performance electronics components and system integration services into the major Asia-Pacific markets.

Peter Whiteaker, Managing Director of Deeter Group, comments; "We have been looking for a well-connected and technically capable sales channel for the Asia-Pacific region for some time and enlisted the aid of the British High Commission to help us find a short list of possible companies. We selected MaxMega for a number of reasons; Singapore has a western business culture very much like the UK, has a great location, excellent infrastructure and is a gateway into our target markets. MaxMega has offices in China, Hong-Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and India and is an experienced technical distributor which will be of great benefit to our Asian customers.”

The newly launched Deeter Asia website,  provides a local language portal into the main Deeter Group website which offers full technical specifications, data-sheet downloads and online shopping for their leading range of electronic sensors, wireless sensor systems and control and instrumentation systems.

The Deeter Group product range includes level switches, float switches, level sensors, continuous level sensors, 4-20mA level sensors, custom level sensors, water level sensors, liquid level sensors, tank level indicators, panel mounted displays, level controllers, wireless sensor systems.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Global supplier awards

Recipients recognised for executing exceptional work across various performance platforms

National Instruments has announced the 18 recipients of the company’s Global Supplier Awards for 2011. NI presented the awards to suppliers who, through their commitment to excellence, continuous improvement and innovative practices, delivered excellent performance within the NI global supply chain.

“At National Instruments, our suppliers are critical to our company’s success, so we are very selective in our supplier relationships,”
said Scott Christman, Director of the Global Supply Chain for National Instruments. “We recognise these award-winning suppliers because they consistently exceed our expectations, and we congratulate them for their outstanding service.”

Arrow Electronics, a global provider of electronic components and services, received this year’s Supplier of the Year award, which recognises the supplier that consistently performs beyond expectations throughout the year. Arrow provided superior global customer service and has achieved high marks in quality, on-time delivery, cost savings and support for National Instruments throughout the past year.

For the second consecutive year, Analog Devices, a supplier of analogue, mixed-signal and digital signal processing integrated circuits, was awarded the NI Eagle Award for exceptional global support and performance from a key technology provider. NI honoured Analog Devices for their consistent efforts in providing cost-effective, high-performance products combined with their overall support of NI in a challenging market.

Other 2011 Global Supplier Award winners included BizLink, a supplier of cable assemblies; Dell, Inc, for supplying computer systems, mobility products, software and services; Flextronics Global Enclosures, a supplier of custom metal products; H&S, for its fabricated metal parts; iRex, a supplier of cable assemblies; M3 Distribution, Inc., a supplier of electronic components; Marking Systems, a labels supplier; ModusLink, a supplier of CD replication and print services; SCA Packaging, for its packaging products; Arvato Digital Services, a supplier of software and print media; Sunbelt Supply, a supplier of hardware products and value-added services; TTI Inc., an electronic components supplier; Eastek, for custom cable assemblies; Xerox Hungary, a supplier of print-on-demand products and services; Xilinx, a supplier of programmable logic devices; and Zollner, for its custom metal products.

National Instruments recognises suppliers in six categories: Supplier of the Year, NI Eagle Award, Best in Commodity Class, Overall Scorecard Performance, Quality and On-Time Delivery. Award recipients are selected based on the National Instruments supplier scorecard, which evaluates performance in the areas of cost, quality, global support, delivery, technology and innovation. Suppliers are scored quarterly with periodic reviews to facilitate better communication and to identify possible improvement opportunities.

• See our report on NI Week 2011 - A little bird told me!


Senior appointments at linear motion company

Monique Kuylaars
Rob Caddick
Innovative linear motion and guidance systems supplier Thomson has strengthened its sales and marketing team with the appointments of Robert Caddick as VP Marketing and Monique Kuylaars as Director of Sales, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Mr Caddick joined Thomson in 1996 and has held a range of positions within the company, including leading the EMEA sales team since April 2009. Monique Kuylaars, meanwhile, joins Thomson from Cimcool Industrial Products where she had a distinguished career, most recently as EMEA Commercial Manager Non Direct Markets.

EMEA Marketing Communications Manager Klaus Elsner said: "These two appointments are set to help Thomson further develop its presence in the crucial EMEA markets. Robert Caddick's record with us is impeccable, while Monique Kuylaars is a seasoned sales professional with extensive experience. We are delighted to have them both on our industry leading team."

Panel mounted device displays transducer values

Local display of transducer values from a variety of sources including displacement, pressure, load and torque can be incorporated into control panels using an E725 signal conditioner and display unit from RDP Electronics.

The easy-to-use E725 is suited for applications in manufacturing, process industries and test and research and in addition to displaying values can deliver signals concerning transducer status to PLCs or other connected control devices. The E725 incorporates signal conditioning for transducers, offers a clear 5 digit display, with fast peak and trough detection and limit trips shown by indicator lights and has options such as relay outputs. The E725 has a 4-20mA 2-wire output that can be connected to a suitable analogue input on a PLC and can also provide serial communication via RS232 or RS485 with the controlling device. The settings can be password protected and if required the whole panel can be disabled to prevent operators upsetting the operation of the unit. The E725 is compactly housed and can be used in a stand-alone mode as well as panel mounted and offers flexibility and high performance at a competitive price.

HART signal isolator approved!

The HIX HART signal isolator from Moore Industries has received General Location and Class I, Division 2 (Non-Incendive) approvals from CSA International in the United States and Canada.

The 2-wire HIX provides superior loop isolation while allowing the HART signal to "pass through" uninterrupted. It provides economical solutions to three common and costly problems that plague many of today's smart HART loops. The HIX protects I/O cards from surges and spikes, provides area isolation to allow loops to continue working during system maintenance downtime and provides a safe method of sharing a HART signal.

The cCSAus certification allows the HIX to be used in hazardous conditions where flammable gas or vapors are present in the atmosphere, such as petroleum refineries. The approval covers Groups A, B, C and D and temperature code T4A at an ambient temperature of -20 to 70°C.

Analogue electronics bible!

Newnes, an imprint of Elsevier Science & Technology Books, has published an eagerly awaited “bible” of analog electronic engineering and design by two industry leaders.


Analog Circuit Design by Bob Dobkin & Jim Williams is a comprehensive source book of circuit design solutions that will aid systems designers with elegant and practical design techniques that focus on common circuit design challenges.

Analogue circuit and system design today is more essential than ever before. With the growth of digital systems, wireless communications, complex industrial and automotive systems, designers are challenged to develop sophisticated analog solutions. The book’s in-depth application examples provide insight into circuit design and application solutions that you can apply in today’s demanding designs.

Analog Circuit Design provides circuit system designers with the information they need:
• Covers the fundamentals of linear/analog circuit and system design to guide engineers with their design challenges.
• Based on the Application Notes of Linear Technology, the foremost designer of high performance analog products, readers will gain practical insights into design techniques and practice.
• Broad range of topics, including power management tutorials, switching regulator design, linear regulator design, data conversion, signal conditioning, and high frequency/RF design.

Contributors include the leading lights in analogue design, Robert Dobkin, Jim Williams and Carl Nelson, among others.

The Editors
The late Jim Williams, who worked for Linear Technology for nearly three decades, started as an applications engineer in the early years of the company. His contributions were many-fold. He was a legendary analog circuit designer, problem solver, writer and mentor to many engineers over the years. He died last June after suffering a stroke.
He developed an early curiosity and interest in all things electronic. He would talk about working at a TV repair shop during his early years, so he could poke around inside to find out how they worked. His passion for electronics took him to Boston, where his intellect and drive helped him find a technician’s job working on the Apollo program. Although self-taught in electronics, Jim taught and did research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1968 to 1979, concentrating exclusively on analog circuit design. During this time, he began his legendary writing career—finding clear, elegant ways to describe complex and seemingly indescribable design challenges and solutions.
Before joining Linear Technology in 1982, he worked in National Semiconductor’s Linear Integrated Circuits Group for three years. In nearly 30 years with Linear, Jim had the unique role of staff scientist, with interests spanning product definition, development and support. He was consumed with developing analog circuits, helping set up instruments in the company’s labs, mentoring junior engineers in-house and customers outside, even answering his own phone. Jim maintained a lab at his home and worked there, in a lab at least as well outfitted as the one at work.
Jim Williams was named Innovator of the Year by EDN magazine in 1992 and elected to Electronic Design Hall of Fame in 2002. His outside interests spanned sports cars, collecting antique scientific instruments, art, and restoring (and using) old Tektronix oscilloscopes.

Bob Dobkin is a founder and Chief Technical Officer of Linear Technology Corporation. Prior to 1999, he was responsible for all new product development at Linear. Before founding Linear Technology in 1981, Mr. Dobkin was Director of Advanced Circuit Development at National Semiconductor for eleven years. He has been intimately involved in the development of high performance linear integrated circuits for over 30 years and has generated many industry standard circuits. Mr. Dobkin holds over 100 patents pertaining to linear ICs and has authored over 50 articles and papers. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Test generator simulates supply dips, drops and variations

The NSG 3040-DDV generator is a new product from Teseq which provides test waveforms for simulating Supply Dips, Drops and Variations. The new NSG 3040-DDV is the first in a series of single-function generators derived from the successful NSG 3040 family of combination generators.

Unlike the NSG 3040 system, which features a mainframe that is prepared, wired and tested for all possible test module combinations and upgrades, the NSG 3040-DDV is designed to accommodate only the module required for dips, drops and variations. This function-specific design allows the NSG 3040 to provide full performance at the lowest possible price.

In addition to full compliance testing to IEC 61000-4-11 and -29 standards, the NSG 3040-DDV offers the basic performance features of all NSG 3000 series instruments: A robust and user-friendly interface, industry-leading design and quality, comprehensive safety features, and compatibility with all existing NSG 3000 series accessories.

The NSG 3040-DDV is also available in an ERC (Exclusive Remote Control) version, which is controlled exclusively by a PC running Teseq’s WIN 3000 software.

When used with automatic accessories such as the VAR 3005 or INA 6502, the NSG 3040-DDV features manual, automatic and programmable control of EUT power ON/OFF switching. EUT power can be switched off automatically in the event of an EUT failure or overload.

Reducing cost for semiconductor characterisation and test

Digital Per-Pin Parametric Measurement and High-Density Source Measure Unit Modules Ideal for Semiconductor

The capabilities of National Instruments' PXI platform for semiconductor characterization and production test have been extended with new per-pin parametric measurement unit (PPMU) modules and source measure unit (SMU) modules. The NI PXIe-6556 200 MHz high-speed digital I/O with PPMU, the NI PXIe-4140 and NI PXIe-4141 four-channel SMUs reduce the cost of capital equipment, decrease test times and increase mixed-signal flexibility for a variety of devices under test.

With the NI PXIe-6556 high-speed digital I/O module, engineers can generate and acquire a digital waveform at up to 200 MHz or perform DC parametric measurements with one percent accuracy on the same pin, simplifying cabling, decreasing test times and increasing the density of the tester. In addition, engineers can nearly eliminate timing skew due to different cable and trace lengths to the device under test with the built-in timing calibration feature that automatically adjusts timing for these differences. The NI PXIe-6556 comes with an option to switch in another NI SMU for higher precision, and engineers can trigger parametric measurements based on hardware or software triggers.

The NI PXIe-4140/41 SMU modules provide four SMU channels per PXI Express slot and up to 68 SMU channels per PXI chassis in 4U of rack height to simplify testing of high-pin-count devices. With sampling rates of up to 600,000 samples per second, engineers can drastically reduce measurement times or capture important transient characteristics of the device. Additionally, the NI PXIe-4141 features next-generation SourceAdapt technology that engineers can use to custom tune the SMU output response to any given load to achieve maximum stability and minimum transient times. This capability is not possible with traditional SMU technologies.

Combined with NI LabVIEW system design software, these new PPMU and SMU modules add to the modular software-defined approach to semiconductor test by increasing quality, reducing cost and decreasing the time of test across validation, characterization and production. LabVIEW combines the flexibility of a programming language with the power of an advanced engineering tool so engineers can meet unique, custom requirements.

Trendsetting HMI

Beijer Electronics has extended its HMI product range with the new iX Panel TxA series. The innovative touch panels will be applied, when sophisticated operator functionality combined in a compact format and a fresh design is essential.

The robust and lightweight aluminum housing ensures a long lifetime, even in rough industrial environments. Equipped with a powerful ARM-CPU and pre-installed Windows CE OS, the trend setting HMI units offer good performance, to present realistic graphic screens The fully flat front side ensures a dust free surface. The dimmable TFT display is equipped with maintenance free LED backlighting for long life usage.

The iX Panel TxA series features three different display sizes in 4.3”, 7” and 10,4”. The wide screen display in the 4.3” and 7” unit provides a 30% larger viewing area, which expands display capabilities for complex operating screens. All iX Panel TxA includes an unlimited iX runtime software.
The versatile touch panels come alive with the iX Designer, an intuitive Windows based programming tool with a huge scope of operation. The user grabs pre-defined graphical vector elements of an extensive library to create own objects. All elements can be stored and reused in future projects. This ensures a reduction of valuable engineering time and makes the iX concept to an cost efficient HMI solution.

Control & safety in North Sea

Yokogawa offers control and safety solutions dedicated to North Sea market

At Offshore Europe 2011 (Aberdeen, Scotland, 6-8 September 2011), Yokogawa is featuring its state-of-the-art control and safety systems which provide a sophisticated automation platform to underpin sustained profitable operations and help to drive evolving production strategies.

The global Yokogawa operation is a preferred supplier to major offshore oil and gas companies, including Shell, BP, Chevron and Total.

Yokogawa has established a dedicated North Sea team which, in addition to promoting the latest control and safety systems, offers the ability to handle brownfield projects with support for customers throughout the life cycle from centres in Aberdeen, Scotland, and Stavanger, Norway.

Key products featured at Offshore Europe include the latest version of Yokogawa’s flagship Centum VP DCS control system plus the ProSafe RS Safety Instrumented System. These are supported by a range of software tools including the ExaPilot monitoring and control package, the ExaQuantum information management system, and the CAMS alarm management system.

Yokogawa addresses the need to comply with evolving regulations and the desire to improve safety and control through modern systems that provide for asset intelligence and production management. Advanced diagnostics, communications and instrumentation configurations help to lower personnel on board, or allow unmanned operation while ensuring full support from shore.

Unique instrumentation and intelligent tools including subsea flow simulation provide a sophisticated platform for enhanced oil recovery strategies. Online documented operational philosophies, best operational practice guidance, latest display techniques, and alarm management tools combine to empower the operator for continuous safe operation.

Yokogawa’s reliable systems, plus a host of advanced tools including alarm management, fault tolerance and remote diagnostics, predictive simulation, operator simulator training are applied to optimise a platform’s productive uptime.

Yokogawa complements its automation products with a rich array of operational support - VigilantPlant Services - that extend from simple maintenance and repair all the way to performance optimisation. With the active support of Yokogawa’s experts, automation investments reduce business risk and deliver tangible return on investment.

“We combine knowledge and expertise with renowned technologies which help to achieve optimum outcomes in brownfield migration scenarios from the initial design stage through to a flawless changeover to efficient operation”, comments Will de Groot, Vice-President, Industrial Automation Sales & Marketing, Amersfoort, the Netherlands: “The North Sea is a core market for Yokogawa, and our investment and unique intellectual heritage in both the industrial automation and North Sea sectors positions us to deliver best-in-class brownfield upgrades.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Event manager add-on

AFCON Software and Electronics has announced the release of Pulse V1.50 SCADA/HMI software with a new and unique add-on called Event Manager, the best Control Room management software integrated in a SCADA/HMI system.

Pulse is the most recent evolution of AFCON's proven P-CIM solutions for SCADA/HMI.
The latest version, Pulse V1.50 is packed with new features that enhance operator productivity and situational awareness. It offers important security features and streamlines the process of configuring the system. In addition, a wide variety of new templates were added to facilitate the development of new screens, exposing system designers to readily available functionalities.

The Event Manager Add-on module helps Control Room operators respond efficiently to events by providing access to critical information, beneficial step-by-step procedures and real-time availability of human resources.

“This new add-on extends the SCADA/HMI role by providing operators and supervisors tools to handle foreseen contingencies by guiding them through the various steps of an organization's predefined procedures. It also helps the organization with the subsequent debriefing and analysis by recording the actual activities that took place and their respective timing”
said Mr. Gabi Weiss, AFCON Software and Electronics' General Manager.

Key benefits of this module are reducing the risk for human errors and ensuring that policies and procedures are followed uniformly. Using the Event Manager in organizations/facilities improve regulatory compliance and increase response efficiency. Furthermore, it also reduces the need for comprehensive training.

Users can now also meet their growing security requirements through Nice DVR Client interface added in this release. This integration allows operators to both view live video and playback along with controlling PTZ camera movement directly from the video show or through direction buttons.

St St cylinders for extreme conditions

A new generation of stainless steel cylinders specifically designed to withstand the extreme conditions experienced in the food industry has been introduced by ASCO Numatics. Quick and easy to install, CIX cylinders feature stainless steel covers, tube and rod, no retention areas and a special front cover design. They are suitable for use in saline or lactic environments which are subject to frequent wash-downs using cleaners and active detergents.

CIX cylinders can be fitted with IP69K magnetic positioning detectors and feature special seals which are resistant to very high pressure jets. The seals can be replaced quickly and easily without disassembling the cylinder. This reduces the time required for maintenance by 70 per cent - minimising machine downtime and maintenance costs.

Operational excellence at clean-coal power plants

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has deployed a first-of-a-kind operator training simulator for an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant with carbon capture using innovative simulation software-based training solutions from Invensys Operations Management.

Implemented at the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training and Research (AVESTAR) Center in Morgantown, W.Va., Invensys Operations Management’s SimSci-Esscor® DYNSIM® high-fidelity simulator will help train operators for new IGCC plants now being built in the US. An AVESTAR facility identical to the one at NETL is also in place at the West Virginia University National Research Center for Coal and Energy. It also uses a DYNSIM high-fidelity simulator and will be used to assist NETL with research and education.


“IGCC with carbon capture holds tremendous promise as a low-cost, clean energy source so IGCC plants are expected to be a key resource for the provision of clean fossil power in the near future. Fulfilling that promise, however, requires an adequate supply of well-trained operators,” said Tobias Scheele, Vice President, operations management applications, Invensys Operations Management. “The DOE is using our DYNSIM simulator, just as airlines use flight simulators to train pilots before they take to the air, to help future IGCC plant operators achieve operational and environmental excellence.”

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that, based on current usage rates, the US has enough coal to last more than 200 years, but if plants continue to use conventional fossil fuel technologies, they will emit unacceptable levels of CO2 and other pollutants. IGCC with carbon capture offers an environmentally friendly alternative by capturing 90 percent of the CO2 produced by traditional fossil-fuel burning processes while at the same time reducing sulfur, mercury and other NOx emissions.

However, IGCC is also a complex process requiring highly trained operators. Many plants are now in various stages of design or construction in the United States and there is a pressing need for a well-trained work force. The DOE is therefore, providing high-fidelity simulated environments that will enable trainees to learn to interact with controls that are almost indistinguishable from those they would encounter in a real plant.

“IGCC is highly complex, mostly because personnel must learn to operate what is effectively both a chemical processing plant and a power plant. To teach them how to do that we must simulate the chemical process of coal-gasification with CO2 capture together with combined-cycle power generation,” said Stephen E. Zitney, Ph.D. and director of NETL's AVESTAR Center. “No one has ever done that before, but now with help from Invensys, we can simulate routine operations, disturbances and malfunctions, as well as routine and emergency shutdowns. We can even simulate operations and train operators on different coal and biomass feed stocks.”

The next phase of the project, already well underway, extends simulation from the control room to outside plant operators, or field operators, expanding the SimSci-Esscor solution to a 3-D virtual reality experience using Invensys Operations Management’s EYESIM® immersive training simulator. Wearing a stereoscopic headset or eyewear, IGCC field operators can coordinate activities with control room operators. Immersed in an EYESIM virtual environment, field operators can move and interact as if they were in the real plant. The environment is fully interactive with the simulation models, so actions taken by a field operator will have an impact on the process and actions performed in the control room will change the information visible to the field operator. As a result, field and control room operators will be trained to coordinate their activities and perform collaboratively as a team.

Temperature profiler's new website!

Datapaq®, has launched a new website. The new website provides quick and intuitive access to its versatile product line, as well as extensive resources for customers with demanding heating processes in industrial coatings, high-temperature heat treatment, electronics assembly, solar photovoltaic manufacturing, food production and kiln firing.

According to Nigel Fearn, General Manager for Datapaq, "The new enhancements will insure a superior and informative user experience for our visitors. Development and creation of the new content has taken nearly a year to complete, but we feel the new application-driven content will help guide visitors to the temperature profiling solutions best suited for their industry or need." Simplified site navigation and a new search capability make it quick and easy to find appropriate product or application information; software demonstration downloads allow visitors to "try before they buy"; and an online video library features examples of Datapaq products, as they would be used in various manufacturing environments.

Other website features include:

Product literature and software demo download availability in multiple languages
Convenient forms to request product or pricing information, product demos, or product service, repair and calibration
White papers and technical articles on temperature profiling in general, with industry-specific solutions
Datapaq news and events, including a schedule of tradeshow participation across the globe and the latest innovative new products
Employment portal accessing worldwide job opportunities within parent company Danaher

Datapaq plans to offer additional sites later this year, fully translated into German, French, Spanish and Chinese. Future website enhancements will include additional portal sites in Korean, Japanese and Italian.

"A worldwide leader in temperature profiling, Datapaq is an innovative, robust company with a secure future and long-term commitment to its customers and channel partners." On the new website, visitors can learn about The Datapaq Advantage. Datapaq is the preferred supplier of in-process temperature profiling solutions to the global industrial market, and is relied upon by thousands of satisfied customers to help maximize the potential of their industrial heating processes. Datapaq has the strength, knowledge and long-term experience to provide the best temperature profiling solution for a wide range of applications.

New pressure sensor family

Balluff has introduced BPS, a newly developed series of pressure sensors with IP 67 protection for use in gaseous and liquid media. The rugged devices feature a high-quality, long-term stable ceramic load cell and an especially attractive price/performance ratio, simple installation, high operating comfort and high preci-sion. A large, bright and easily visible display ensures immediate status overview. This shows not only the current system pressure in bar, mbar, PSI and MPa, but also features fast and simple configuration of the sensors according to the VDMA standard, using 2 keys and intuitive menu guidance.

With 11 pressure range versions the BPS sensors cover all the im-portant ranges from -1…0 bar up to 0…600 bar for monitoring process media in factory automation. Typical applications include hydraulics monitoring as well as pneumatics equipment. The new Balluff pressure sensors, available in the standard model with plastic housing and in the high-end version with stainless steel, offer either two switching points or one switching output plus analog channel (0…10V or 4…20mA).

Thanks to their highly compact design the sensors can be easily located in the control cabinet without taking up valuable space. The display with operating panel and electrical connection can be rotated independently of each other by 320° with respect to the flange. Adapting to different process terminations using G ¼ internal threads is easily accomplished using optional adapters in various sizes and styles.

The high-end models with their stainless steel housing and expanded temperature range were especially designed for demanding applica-tions in harsh environments, making them ideal for use with wind pow-er turbines, offshore installations as well as HVAC technology.

Outdoor housing

All too often it is believed that 19” equipment is only suitable for the indoor environment and that for an outdoor application a special enclosure, to create the perfect environment, requires development at huge cost. Rittal’s standard range of outdoor enclosures, based on the TS 8, have a whole range of accessories available, including a full range of 19” components suitable for outside use.

Customers can select from a large range of 19” angles, in varying U heights, which can be fitted at the front, rear, or both, to a range of static or adjustable shelves, to swing frames and a host of cable management that will meet most requirements.

Coupled with a range of specifically designed outdoor heating and cooling options from 10W to 800W heaters, simple fans and filters or heat exchangers and air-conditioning units, Rittal can create the correct environment for the installed equipment wherever it is finally located.

All this can be installed within a high security outdoor enclosure manufactured from a range of alternative materials, with global approvals and high IP ratings.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Safe dissipation of stray currents

The new Harting Han® HC Modular 250 PE is a high-current contact designed to provide safe dissipation of stray currents in applications where the protection function is implemented with pluggable PE (protective earth) conductors.

The new contact has a compact and robust design, and is designed to be used instead of a power contact in the Han® HC Modular 250 mounting frame. The flexible configuration and arrangement make coding possible. A commercially available screwdriver is all that is needed for assembly and dismantling.

The new contact is vibration-proof, and offers low contact resistances between hood and housing. It supports crimping in accordance with DIN EN 46235, and is compatible with Harting's existing HC 250 holding frame.

The Han-Modular® series is a highly versatile, open connector system that allows users to configure connectors to match the needs of particular applications. The new Han® HC Modular 250 PE supplements more than 30 existing modules for handling electrical, optical and pneumatic signals.

Modular safety system for safety-related applications expanded by AS-i


The Siemens Industry Automation Division has expanded its Sirius 3RK3 modular safety system by a new central module with AS-i (AS-Interface).

Sirius 3RK3 Advanced can be used as an AS-i safety monitor, and thus expands standard AS-i networks for safety-related applications. Typical applications include the collection of sensor signals in widely spaced plants, slave-to-slave communication in modular machine concepts, safety-related communication with plant components, or distributed switching-off of drives via the AS-Interface.

The new module is suitable for standard and safety-related signals on the AS-i bus, and has 12 independent AS-i enabling circuits. The quantity structure and functionality of the Sirius 3RK3 Advanced have been greatly increased compared to the Basic version. For example, nine expansion modules can now be connected instead of seven, and expanded cyclic data exchange is possible over Profibus. The functionality of the MSS ES engineering software has also been expanded. It is now possible to download the parameter settings and carry out online diagnostics of the unit over Profibus.

The macro function is also new with which function units can be combined in a library. The macros can be exported and imported, and thus reused in other projects.

New data portal goes live!

Maximum speed and easy searching and finding are the main advantages of the new EPLAN Data Portal which already includes data for more than 120,000 devices. Users benefit from access to the latest, up-to-date data which can be more quickly and easily integrated in engineering using the new EPLAN Platform 2.0.

In addition to numerous new and expanded functions, Version 2.0 of EPLAN Data Portal provides many new component data from manufacturers like Festo, ABB, Phoenix Contact, Endress+Hauser etc.
Following the launch of the EPLAN Platform 2.0, the new EPLAN Data Portal 2.0 has now gone live. Users are enjoying new time-saving functions in the online portal that make it easier to select and use device data and components. The integration of much more manufacturer and device data promises significant practical benefits. A new portal member is Leuze Electronic, manufacturer of optoelectronic sensors who has integrated EPLAN macros of selected switchgears as well as many safety oriented sensors. In time for Version 2.0, Festo has also provided a selection of pneumatic components.

More manufacturers – more data

Mitsubishi Electric has joined the list of new manufacturers with data for PLCs and converters and Dehn + Söhne expanded the offering in lightening and surge protection. But that's not all: ABB has updated its data and Phoenix Contact has adjusted its already extensive range of products. At the SPS/IPC/DRIVES trade fair, Blomberger will present the next update, so that their device data will also support the latest EPLAN Electric P8 2.0 functionality. Future exciting perspectives: the planned integration of Endress+Hauser, which will be announced in Nuremberg.

Function by function
Valuable manufacturer data aside, users can look forward to many new portal functions. One of the eagerly awaited highlights is the "unique ID" which clearly identifies an article in the EPLAN Data Portal. This ID allows data from the portal to be updated even if the local part number is changed. And if the manufacturer so desires, the device data can now be displayed and filtered according to regional availability. Users can quickly and easily select the data relevant to their target market and concentrate on the relevant components. The optimized user interface is also a decisive factor. For example, it now has filter options that can be hidden which significantly speeds up page loading times.

Faster searching, easier finding
Data transparency has been improved by now displaying the number of articles per product group including all subgroups in the manufacturer catalog. This makes it easy to select from many extensive catalogs – time-consuming page-turning is a thing of the past. Another highlight is the new accessory lists for users who used the optimized accessory management in Versions 2.0 of the data portal. Other new features: automatic download of function template macros, referenced parts that are already complete for the mounting layout, and the life cycle status of previous and subsequent parts so that data is always up-to-date.

Fast, easy, convenient: configurator technology
Next step to improve availability and usage of CAE component data is the integration of supplier specific component configurators into the EPLAN Data Portal. Currently Rockwell, Endress + Hauser and EPLAN are running a common project to create a seamless interface between E&H product configurator and EPLAN Data Portal. The engineer is able to configure the needed E&H devices guided by the configurator and then drag & drop the detailed CAE data directly into his electrical project documentation – simply genius high end engineering. The integration of Rittal Therm is another technological milestone. All necessary components, assemblies and accessory parts are simply configured and then mounted in the 3D mounting layout of the enclosure.

Licensing agreement aids security in automation systems

Automation systems owners benefit from Industrial Defender's unique expertise in developing technology for automation systems

Industrial Defender has announced a technology licensing agreement with CoreTrace Corporation. Specifically, Industrial Defender gains exclusive rights to deliver its CoreTrace Bouncer 6-based host intrusion prevention system (HIPS) to power, oil & gas, chemical and water markets worldwide, and to further develop the technology for these markets.


Customers will benefit from Industrial Defender's ability to further develop the product as a core component of its security and compliance management solutions portfolio. Industrial Defender's tight focus on automation systems means that future HIPS capabilities will be engineered in a manner that meets these organizations' unique technology requirements.


Brian Ahern
"Automation systems require security solutions that provide thorough protections against sophisticated attacks, including zero-day threats. At the same time, these systems have distinct requirements that many IT-centric security technologies, including anti-virus, fail to support," said Brian Ahern, president and CEO at Industrial Defender. "This agreement provides our customers and partners, including ABB, GE Energy, Itron and Elster Solutions, with access to HIPS technology tailored specifically for industrial automation markets."

For over a year, Industrial Defender has delivered HIPS as part of its integrated technology solutions portfolio and built tight integrations with its security event management technology. This agreement enables Industrial Defender to more comprehensively integrate HIPS technology with the company's suite of security and compliance management solutions, including automation system agents.

"Delivering security technology to industrial markets requires unique domain expertise along with deep technology experience. Industrial Defender clearly sits at the cross-section of these requirements," said Toney Jennings, president and CEO of CoreTrace. "Through this agreement, Industrial Defender will strengthen its position as the leading provider of integrated security and compliance solutions to automation systems owners worldwide."

Industrial Defender HIPS is whitelisting-based technology which enforces a limited "whitelist" of approved applications on each host system. By allowing only approved applications to execute, HIPS blocks all unauthorized applications. HIPS goes beyond "blacklist" technology by protecting against unknown and sophisticated attacks (e.g., rootkits, memory exploits and zero-day threats)

ATEX approved LBFS level switch

No additional Zener barrier required thanks to ready-for-use isolation module PROFSI3 LS

Baumer’s multi-purpose LBFS level switch is now available in three different ATEX configurations which enable safe level detection in explosive gaseous and dusty atmospheres, typically found in the chemical, pharmaceutical, or food industries. Baumer uses a highly specialised protective design for the ATEX versions of the LBFS. Thanks to this, versions Ex ta for dust (zones 20, 21, and 22) and Ex nA for gas (zone 2) can be used without a Zener barrier because the housing itself already provides all the necessary protection. This is very cost-effective because usually all sensors for hazardous areas require a Zener barrier. The ATEX certifications cover zones 0, 1, and 2 (gas) as well as zones 20, 21, and 22 (dust). Quick installation and ease of use is also ensured for version Ex ia for gas (zones 0 and 1). For this version, Baumer provides the ready-for-use isolation module PROFSI3 LS which is specially designed for use with Baumer’s level switches LBFS and LFFS. This dedicated isolation module saves users the time and effort of selecting and configuring an additional Zener barrier to operate the sensor.

The PROFSI3 LS can operate with DC voltages from 22 VDC to 120 VDC as well as AC voltages from 90 VAC to 253 VAC. The LBFS is based on the frequency-sweep technology, a method particularly suitable for precisely measuring the level of solids and powders. As the processing of such materials often creates explosive dust, the new ATEX versions open a wide range of new applications particularly valuable for typical LBFS users in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

But industries like oil and gas, energy production, and milling will also find this new level switch convenient. The ATEX versions of the LBFS level switch can easily be adapted to the needs of very diverse applications thanks to a wide range of available process connections including G½”, G3/4”, G1”, G½” hygienic, G½” for reverse assembly, M18x1, and G3/4 NPT. More connections are available upon request.

The intrinsically safe PROFSI3 LS interface shields the safe area from the hazardous area through galvanic isolation. The level detected within the hazardous area is transmitted to the safe area through a single-pole double-throw relay.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New VP of Product Marketing

National Instruments has named NI veteran Ajit Gokhale as a new Vice President of Product Marketing, with responsibility for the NI core platforms of data acquisition and instrument control. “During his 21 years with NI, Ajit has demonstrated tremendous creativity in driving our vision of graphical system design at the business level, in product development and in international sales and marketing,” said Dr. James Truchard, President, CEO and Co-founder of National Instruments. “Over the years, Ajit has had a successful track record of defining strategic product roadmaps as well as recruiting and developing strong teams”.

In 2006, Gokhale took on a General Manager position in Europe, where under his leadership his regions, UK & Ireland, France and Portugal, delivered record revenues and profits. During his tenure at NI, Gokhale has set strategic direction and influenced product development for key product lines that contributed significant revenues and gross margins to the business. Additionally, he has extensive experience working directly with NI customers to identify and deliver solutions that meet their application needs.

"Ajit has made significant contributions to the growth and leadership of our business here in Europe over the past five years", said Francis Griffiths, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Europe. "His energy and talents have delivered consistent business growth, providing a platform for career growth across the teams he has led. He has built and developed strong and talented management teams, and I congratulate and wish him well in his expanded role.  He will be instrumental in shaping the core measurements platforms in Europe and our emerging markets thoughout the world".

“Since our founding, National Instruments has been a pioneer in instrument control and data acquisition hardware and software to help engineers and scientists research, design and test new products and technologies,”
Gokhale said. “I am excited to rejoin the product marketing organisation, where I can work with our customers to define and deliver the products they need to fuel scientific discovery and engineering innovation”.

"I have enjoyed working with and learning from Ajit immensely", said Robert Morton, UK & Ireland Managing Director. "Under his leadership, we have substantially grown and developed the business here in the UK & Ireland, delivering exciting and challenging career growth opportunities for many of our brightest and best people". Frederick Drappier, Directuer General of NI France and Portugal, added “Ajit helped add critical resources to our sales, marketing and academic teams. This resourcing of talent, as well as his strategic planning skills, helped France and Portugal deliver excellent revenue growth”.

Gokhale holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a published author in several trade journals, as well as a member of IEEE; the University of Surrey Industrial Advisory Board; the King’s College Industrial Advisory Board; and Young Engineers with Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

Electron microscopist to win iPad

There will be plenty of activity at Hitachi’s Stand at EMAG (6-8 Sept 2011 Birminghan GB), where the new-concept HT7700 digital TEM (Transmission Electron Microscope) will be exhibited for the first time in Britain. There will also be a chance for a conference delegate to win an iPad2. The open-access hands-on micrograph competition will provide a perfect opportunity to ‘test drive’ the HT7700’s fully-digital TEM for yourself.  Or you can see how quick and easy it is to take advanced imaging and chemical mapping data on the TM3000 tabletop SEM. In either case we want you to take a break from the conference and get “hands-on” at Hitachi for your chance to win an iPad2.

The HT7700 follows the company's core aim of making ever more advanced microscopy techniques easier and quicker to use – enabling you to concentrate on the science of your materials. The HT7700 is a research grade 120kV TEM which features fully integrated CCD cameras to complement the fully-digital imaging system – making TEM more ergonomic, faster and more powerful. It is ideally suited to imaging and analysis of light element materials and features Hitachi’s patented dual focal-length objective lens – ensuring you get the best contrast and resolution all in one instrument.

Hitachi’s Tabletop microscope technology has established itself in a host of applications and industries worldwide by simplifying electron microscopy and making it accessible to all. But that simplification hasn’t come at the expense of advanced capabilities like variable pressure operation or EDX mapping which is now faster than ever.

Hitachi will also be previewing the latest advances in sample preparation with the new ZoneCleaner - a novel instrument for gentle cleaning of even the most sensitive SEM and TEM specimens. Using a UV/Ozone cleaning process to remove surface hydrocarbons from samples in a controllable fashion higher contrast and resolution can be achieved, along with improved analytical data.

Applications specialists from Europe and Japan will also be sharing the latest research data from Hitachi’s HD2700 Cs-corrected STEM (including atomic resolution secondary electron imaging) and SU9000 In-lens SEM/STEM during the lunchtime theatre sessions.

Data loggers' firmware upgrade now available

MadgeTech has released a firmware upgrade for the TC101A and ETR101A data loggers. This upgrade enhances the devices to address the needs brought to MadgeTech by customers.

The firmware upgrade provides:
• Trigger setting capability: Program the data logger to only record temperature above a certain degree. No more analyzing unnecessary data!
• An LED alarm: Program the data logger to activate an LED alarm after it has recorded data for a user specified period of time!

These features are now included in all new ETR101A and TC101A data loggers shipping today. The firmware upgrade is FREE, and easy to install from a PC. Simply log onto their website , and select Firmware Upgrades from the Downloads menu. Click on the ETR101A Firmware Upgrade, and download the .zip file. Follow the instructions provided in the Installation Tech Note to upgrade each device.

The new firmware revision requires MadgeTech Software 2.05 or higher. The software can be downloaded FREE from the MadgeTech website.

Smart weather sensors

Specialist hydrometeorological instrumentation company OTT Hydrometry has a long history in the development of leading edge sensor technology and the latest additions to the company's family of weather monitoring instruments exemplify the company's focus on high levels of performance combined with both simplicity of use and minimal maintenance.
The newest version of the Pluvio2 offers the most advanced method for monitoring precipitation. Employing a highly accurate weighing mechanism, the device is able to monitor all types of precipitation up to 3000 mm/hour, so the main advantage of this technology is its ability to provide highly accurate data during high intensity rainfall. OTT has also launched a new version of the company's optical disdrometer the Parsivel2, which is a laser-based system that differentiates and classifies precipitation particles as drizzle, rain, sleet, hail, snow or mixed precipitation.

They have also launched new technologies for the measurement of wind speed and direction, air temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. Employing sonic anemometry, the wind sensor does not have any moving parts and as such offers high levels of reliability and low levels of maintenance. This sensor is available in two formats; the OTT SWS (Sonic Weather Sensor) for wind speed and direction and the OTT CWS (Compact Weather Sensor) which is a single unit with SDI-12 or RS-485 output for temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction and barometric pressure.

Commenting on the launch of the new smart sensors, OTT's UK Managing Director Simon Wills said:"Meteorological sensors are often deployed in remote locations and exposed to the most extreme weather. Our product development activity is therefore focused on finding technologies that are able to maintain high levels of performance with a low power requirement, but without a need for frequent maintenance or calibration. Our latest smart sensors reflect this strategy and provide us with even greater options for the remote monitoring systems and networks that we provide."