Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Telemetry export appointed!

Matthew Ellison, an expert in environmental monitoring with 15 years of experience in the development, installation and management of telemetry systems and networks has been appointed to OTT Hydrometry.
OTT recently acquired the company Adcon Telemetry, a manufacturer of advanced communications technologies, and Matthew has already worked closely with the Adcon products for many years. Simon Wills, OTT MD, says "Matthew is a perfect addition to our team because, as specialists in field monitoring instrumentation, we aim to provide customers with easy, low cost access to high quality environmental data, and the Adcon products, combined with Matthew’s expertise, enable us to offer flexible communications options to suit any application.”

Matthew is delighted to be able to advance his career whilst retaining involvement with the Adcon products. He says: “The most rewarding aspect of my work is finding the most effective way to implement fast data delivery to reduce the frequency of site visits and to inform decisions that help monitor and protect the environment.”

As a telemetry specialist Matthew has been involved in the development of a wide variety of industrial, environmental and agricultural monitoring networks. Water resources is an area of particular interest, so Matthew says he is “very excited about combining the versatility of Adcon telemetry with the breadth of OTT’s monitoring technology.”

Microswitches

Pickering Interfaces is expanding its range of 3U PXI Microwave switch solutions with the introduction of the 40-784.

The 40-784 supports one or two microwave switches in just 2 slots of 3U PXI and is available in two configurations and three frequency ranges. The available configurations are un-terminated 4 way (SP4T) and 6 way (SP6T) multiplexers, each configuration is available with a 6GHz, 26.5GHz or 40GHz specified frequency range.

All versions offer excellent VSWR and insertion loss performance. The 6GHz/26.5GHz configurations feature extended life of 10 million operations per position.

The 2 slot PXI occupancy allows test system designers to provide dense solutions to solve dense microwave switching problems. The 40-784 can be supported by any PXI compliant 3U PXI chassis and is supported by Pickering Interfaces Modular LXI chassis’ for applications requiring Ethernet based control.

First ISO 21287 standard compact cylinders to incorporate air cushioning

Compact pneumatic cylinders with self-adjusting cushioning provide 'fit and forget' solution for machine builders

Festo's popular ADN family of compact pneumatic cylinders
now includes models with pneumatic end-position cushioning,
which adjusts automatically to suit the prevailing speed
and load conditions.
Many models in Festo's popular ADN compact pneumatic cylinder family are now available with a unique self-adjusting pneumatic end-position cushioning system. Innovative cushioning ports allow the air to be vented in an optimal manner and adjust automatically to suit the prevailing speed and load conditions, providing OEMs and machine builders with a true 'fit and forget' solution.

Festo first introduced a form of pneumatic self-adjusting end-position cushioning - called PPS - on its DSNU family of round cylinders. However, incorporating the option on ISO 21287-standard ADN compact cylinders involved a completely different design approach, due to their much more limited internal space. Festo has developed a unique solution, which places polymer cushioning seals either side of the main piston seal. As the cylinder rod approaches the end of its stroke, one of the cushioning seals enters a chamber in the end cap, with small ports in the seals allowing the cushioning air to escape in a controlled manner.

Festo offers PPS cushioning on five different ADN models, spanning piston diameters from 32 to 80 mm. Each of these is available with a choice of nine stroke lengths from 10 to 80 mm as standard. Stroke lengths up to 500 mm can be supplied to special order. PPS versions have exactly the same physical dimensions as their ISO standard counterparts and are completely interchangeable, providing users with considerable flexibility of design. For applications that involve twisting moments and lateral forces, Festo is also making the PPS system available on the ADNGF guided versions of the cylinder, again offering a wide choice of model sizes and stroke lengths.

ADN compact cylinders are one of market-leading Festo's biggest sellers - they are used extensively in automation applications demanding small, robust pneumatically-operated actuators. According to Steve Sands, Festo's Product Manager, "The introduction of pneumatic cushioning, which is unique on cylinders of this size, is set to increase their use even further, especially for applications where end-position shocks and vibration must be prevented, such as high speed scanners and vision-based systems involving fragile electro-optics."

Compared to standard-size ADN cylinders, which use polymer end-position cushioning, the PPS versions offer numerous advantages. The system provides highly repeatable cushioning characteristics, with up to 400 percent better energy absorption, depending on cylinder size. This leads to considerably quieter operation - a noise reduction of up to 50 percent - and as much as 80 per cent less vibration. These attributes mean that machine designers can now elect to use cylinders of the same size to handle larger loads and speeds or to obtain increased actuator life-times, or they can use smaller cylinders to secure the same dynamic performance.

Another advantage of Festo's PPS system is that it requires no adjustment, making it a safe and maintenance-free option. Virtually all pneumatic actuators on the market that offer pneumatic end-position cushioning have adjustment screws. Setting up the end-position damping on these actuators can be a potentially hazardous procedure, involving exposure to moving parts. It invariably involves operating the machine under normal load conditions but without guarding, in order that trained personnel can adjust the actuator's damping characteristics in situ. Furthermore, final adjustments are usually made just before a machine enters service, which places personnel under considerable pressure to complete the task as quickly as possible. As a consequence, pneumatic actuators are often imperfectly adjusted, with under-damping causing higher end-position impacts, higher noise levels and increased wear, or over-damping causing lengthier machine cycle times. Either way, less than optimal adjustment results in decreased operating efficiency.

Festo's ADN cylinders equipped with the PPS system are mechanically identical to the standard versions, and can be used with any of the mounting, coupling and auxiliary components that comprise this extensive family. All the cylinders feature longitudinal slots on three sides, offering very flexible mounting schemes. A proximity detector, the SMx-8M, can be inserted in any of these slots to detect the presence of an integral magnet on the cylinder's piston and provide confirmation of end-position.

Towards a more flexible cable layout!

A universal hood and a mixed adaptor frame have been added to the range of housing and insulator components for use with Harting's innovative Han-Yellock ® industrial connector system.

The new additions enhance flexibility in system designs by making cable layout more flexible and by allowing an increased number of connector configurations.

The universal hood provides enough space for a range of cable entry Hartingcombinations for layouts ranging from 3 x M20, 2 x M25, 2 x M32 to 1 x M50 cable glands. Individual cables can be fed in and fitted with separate cable connections. Standard cable connections can be used, with the added benefit that maintenance can be carried out by replacing separate individual cables.

This range of cable entry options is particularly important for use with modular insulators. The new Han-Yellock® mixed adaptor frame sets a new benchmark for potential wiring combinations. Alongside Han-Yellock® modules with bridging functionality, Han-Modular® modules can also be used to handle a wide range of transmission types from power to data. The unique functionalities of the Han-Yellock® and Han-Modular® ranges are integrated within a single compact interface, reducing the number and size of connectors on a panel and providing a quick mating operation.

Fast power quality problem resolution

Outram Research tells us that its PM7000 power quality analyser helped Southern Company, the premier energy company serving the Southeast USA, to resolve a power quality problem quickly and easily. Power quality problems are notoriously difficult to troubleshoot often occurring intermittently and as a result of a wide range of causes.

Southern Company responded to complaints of flickering lights from a residential customer and her concerns of a faulty electrical installation by installing a standard meter socket voltage recorder. This, however, failed to find anything out of the ordinary so the problem was referred to the Company’s specialist Power Quality group. A senior engineer deployed an Outram Research PM7000 power quality analyser that uses the patented Single Cycle Adaptive Store data management technique to search for and record those waveforms most likely to be the cause of power quality problems.

The PM7000 allowed the engineer to zoom in on the exact times that the flickering occurred, and to identify sags in the voltage that were followed surprisingly by very short periods of oscillation to even lower voltages. This detail illuminated the very small anomalies in an otherwise normal looking recording that enabled him to identify the cause as a nearby sewage treatment plant. This plant was using a solid state starter to apply waves of reverse power to gradually bring to a stop a large pump motor, preventing water hammer – pressure surges that can cause noise, vibration and even failure of pipes - when they closed a valve. Once the problem was identified, the resident was assured that her electrical installations were safe and corrective action could be taken.


“A conventional recorder would have to be set on cycle store to get this level of detail, and we only set them to cycle store when we already suspect something like this is happening,” Patrick Coleman of Southern Company told Outram. “Starting from scratch, we would have spent weeks zeroing in on something like this with a conventional recorder, but the PM7000 caught it on the first try, with no special setup.”

“Even other recorders meeting the full rigour of IEC61000-4-30 would not have captured this detail,” commented John Outram. “The standard requires you to record over 200msecs and the voltage excursions seen here are much too small to constitute a dip. The evaluation method fundamental to IEC61000-4-30 would unfortunately have filtered out and eliminated the very effect you need to see.”

Adaptive Store is the patented technology from Outram Research that automatically records the chosen parameters in great detail and at high sampling rates when anomalies and deviations from the predicted trend occur. By automatically adjusting the thresholds distinguishing the anomalies from the trend as signal dynamics change or the available memory becomes full, the PM7000 ensures that less significant phenomena can be summarised and greater detail recorded for abnormal behaviour. It can record this level of detail over long periods, indefinitely if set in ‘First In First Out’ mode and the recording sessions are automatically downloaded to a USB stick. Using Adaptive Store is considerably faster and simpler than setting and adjusting trigger levels as required by other power quality monitors: a process that can lead to an operator taking weeks to ‘zero in’ on the problem as the Southern Company Engineer observed, as well as needing to wade through much unnecessary data.

“Adaptive Store is a technology we developed to reduce the time and cost associated with troubleshooting power quality problems,” explained John. “By taking quick action using the PM7000, Southern Company was able to identify the cause and resolve the problem in a short time frame, minimising the inconvenience to its customer.”

The PM7000 is widely used by companies wanting to troubleshoot, identify and resolve power quality problems quickly and efficiently.

30% energy saving potential: White Paper

"Potential of PROFIenergy” - white paper describes how to save 30% energy in production applications

A new white paper from PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) concerning PROFIenergy describes the results of measurements in real-world applications and highlights the potential benefits for manufacturers, OEMs, and – in particular – plant operators. The data acquired confirm that the use of PROFIenergy in the studied production applications enables energy savings of 30 %.

The well-founded statements regarding the potential for energy savings are based on targeted measurements at various points in the energy distribution and at defined time intervals as a function of the plant status. The potential for energy savings – and thus cost savings – can be determined directly based on the duration of pauses and the energy consumption by loads that are not switched off.

The new white paper also describes the operating principle behind the PROFINET profile developed specially for energy-saving automation systems along with possible applications and optimum use of this profile. Target markets include production lines used for discrete production that feature high-performance machines, such as robots and laser-based components. In addition to the obvious cost savings, PROFIenergy provides competitive advantages to users, for example, in the form of longer machine life due to fewer operating hours. Not the least of the advantages is the environmental benefit resulting from the improved CO2 balance.

New alarm service from wastewater and contaminated soil labs

ALcontrol  has launched a new version of its @mis online analytical data reporting tool that features an 'Alarms and Triggers' module. This means that in addition to access to live laboratory results, users will also be able to set alarms so that they are warned when wastewater or soil samples reach a pre-specified level for any analyte.

When @mis was first developed, it provided users with direct online access to their laboratory results. This became very popular in the market because it meant that users anywhere in the world would be able to follow test results live, which is important because many different management decisions hinge on the availability of such data. For example, the manager of a remediation project needs fast lab results to provide verification that either treated soils meet with the required specification or that treated water complies with a site's discharge permit.

Fast online lab data from @mis also enables users to view partial results as they are created. So, if the first soil test result is high for hydrocarbons, it is clear that the sample is contaminated and further tests may be redundant or the choice of test refined, so the cost of lab testing can be reduced. This feature is a greater benefit when alarms can be triggered as soon as a threshold is reached.

Explaining the benefit of alarms, ALcontrol Commercial Director Simon Turner says: “Advance knowledge that samples have reached a threshold provides our clients with time to react. So, if a soil sample exceeds a threshold, decisions can be taken immediately regarding further treatment or stopping treatment. Similarly, alarms from wastewater samples can provide a timely warning that effluent is approaching its discharge consent value."

Failure to comply with a site permit can be extremely costly. However, @mis is an integral part of ALcontrol’s service and with the new alarm capability, it represents a significant opportunity to reduce risks, lower costs and improve efficiency.

River of automation content!

One of the leading American automation publications is Automation World. Because we on the Read-out Signpost have limited resources we use publications like theirs to keep up to date and often link to articles which we think our visitors will find useful. They have just updated their website and the following comments from their Digital Managing Editor, Grant Gerke gives the thinking behind this redesign.


"Like most successful electronic products, usability and design are paramount in ensuring an engaging user experience. For us, a good user experience pointed to a two-column design that runs throughout the site, offering solid readability for articles and allowing readers to find videos, news, white papers and sponsored links in the second column (aka “right rail”) running alongside the article.
"Our next design choice was to create a "river" of content in the main column for the navigation landing pages, affording readers the ability to sift through newly added content in an easy, streaming fashion, aided by large headlines and images. Each article, video or white paper in the river has a taxonomy category that helps readers identify specific automation strategies.

 

"The new navigation does away with numerous categories from the older site and simplifies the world of automation with five, major navigation buckets: Control; Operations; Information Management; Safety; Security and Energy. Sub-categories from these five disciplines are shown on the landing pages and allow a deeper dive into a particular discipline. 

 

"Along with a new navigation, the site employs a new taxonomy. Taxonomy terms provide a more granular experience within the site and each piece of content provides an opportunity to click on an automation strategy term, for example, “asset management,” or, an Industry term, such as Oil and Gas. On each page, look for multiple terms in the FILED IN section, click, and land on a page devoted to that topic."
Take a look at the site and see what you think!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

First participant in developer programme announced

First Participant In FOUNDATION™ Development Services Provider Program

Softing Industrial Automation is the first company qualified under the  FOUNDATION™ Development Services Provider (DSP) program of the Fieldbus Foundation. This program helps automation vendors get started with FOUNDATION product development by making it faster-and easier-to bring fieldbus equipment to market.

The Fieldbus Foundation launched the FOUNDATION DSP program to assist automation equipment suppliers preparing to design and manufacture products employing FOUNDATION fieldbus technology. The program is intended to provide access to qualified development services providers with the know-how to make fieldbus solutions a reality. Qualified DSP participants have been evaluated to ensure they have the tools, training and experience necessary to support a wide range of FOUNDATION fieldbus development projects. Services that can be qualified in the FOUNDATION DSP program include H1 and High Speed Ethernet fieldbus device development services, as well as host system services.

Fieldbus Foundation Manager-Fieldbus Products, Stephen Mitschke, commented, "A growing number of Fieldbus Foundation members want to enter the expanding FOUNDATION fieldbus technology market. However, some organizations may view fieldbus device development as a daunting task when they have little experience or knowledge of digital bus technology. Due to limited resources, they may be required to outsource a portion of the development process. This is where the FOUNDATION DSP solution steps in."

Mitschke added, "From small developers looking for assistance on a few key components, to multi-million dollar companies seeking a partner to develop an entire FOUNDATION-ready device, FOUNDATION DSP can help streamline product R&D. Best of all, the program can ensure a strong ROI by reducing staffed man-hours and maximizing the efficiency of product development."

Dr. Ernst Flemming, business development manager at Softing, said, "For Softing, as the leading provider of fieldbus-enabled products, it is key to be known to manufacturers who are interested in utilizing FOUNDATION technology. The Fieldbus Foundation's development services provider program is an excellent platform to increase our visibility in this market. The stringent rules that apply to the program ensure that only high-quality technology providers participate in the program. We very much appreciate the recognition at such a high quality level and look forward to seeing the first results shortly."
FOUNDATION DSP program participants and their development tools/services will be featured in a special section of the Fieldbus Foundation's website. Participants are also authorized to display the official FOUNDATION DSP logo in their marketing materials.

Burglar resistant enclosures!

Developed especially for high MTBF applications requiring protection against vandalism, a new double-walled WK 4 outdoor enclosure is now available from Rittal. Giving optimum protection against unauthorised access to DIN EN V 1630:1999-04, the new CS outdoor stainless steel enclosure meets the requirements of burglar resistance class WK 4.

Corrosion protection and a high-quality surface coating that uses pure polyester powder are among the familiar standard features of Rittal outdoor enclosures. The product range is rounded off by a concealed climate control solution with a heat exchanger or cooling system and temperature monitoring, plus a range of system accessories for interior installation.

Built into the Rittal WK 4 CS outdoor enclosure, the heat exchanger or climate control unit is concealed from the outside, with no integrated louvres. This heat exchanger (100 W/K) or climate control unit (1600W) is equipped with a highly efficient, covered air duct inside the interior door. This means that unauthorized access from outside is impossible.

Rittal offer an extensive range of system accessories, allowing the interior installation of the enclosure to be arranged very flexibly: from 482.6 mm (19") or metric mounting angles, to mounting plates, through to shelves.

Rugged, portable, multiband recording and playback system

This new instrument  is a complete workstation, data acquisition, and solid-state RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) recording system in a box for the capture and playback of signals up to 700 MHz in shock- and vibration-prone environments such as vehicles, ships, and aircraft.

The RTR 2726 is Pentek’s second-generation in portable recording devices, but the first to use the popular Cobalt™ series of software radio modules. “Customers with our first-generation RTS 2721 were using it in flight applications and asked for an upgrade to solid-state disk drives for tougher environments,” said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek. “We went much further, increasing signal frequency and bandwidth, and nearly tripling the recording speeds.”
The system includes built-in digital up- and down-converters, with record channels offering 16-bit, 200 MHz ADCs and playback channels offering 16-bit, 800 MHz DACs. It can stream data to and from storage at sustained data rates of 1600 Mbytes/second, allowing the RTR 2726 to support four channels of record and/or playback in a variety of configurations. Storage consists of eight hot-swappable solid-state disk drives in a RAID configuration with up to 4 TB in total capacity.

Data files include time stamping as well as recording parameters and optional GPS (global positioning system) information. They are stored in the native Windows NTFS (new technology file system) format, allowing drive units to be read by other PCs without the need for extensive file conversion. Files can also be downloaded from the system through Ethernet, USB ports, eSATA ports or written to optical disks using the built-in 8X double layer DVD±R/RW drive.

Rugged Portable Operation

The RTR 2726 is housed in a steel enclosure with carry handle, measuring 16.9” W x 9.5” D x 13.4” H and weighing just 30 pounds. A fold-down front panel holds a full keyboard and touchpad and exposes the unit’s built-in 17” LCD monitor. The system can also be closed and operated remotely using a built-in Ethernet port. Connections are made through the unit’s side panel and include analog signal inputs and outputs, six USB ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two eSATA ports, PS2 ports for external keyboard and mouse, and a VGA output for connection to an external monitor.

The cooling system in the RTR 2726 includes built-in temperature monitoring. A temperature monitor display is included underneath the system’s LCD and built-in temperature alarms provide users with early alerts when operating in very hot environments.

Turnkey System

Like all of Pentek’s recording and playback instruments, the RTR 2726 is a full Windows-based workstation. It includes a quad-core Intel Xeon® processor, a high-resolution 17” LCD monitor, keyboard, and a high-performance SATA RAID controller along with Cobalt modules for the data acquisition, signal conditioning and playback.

Software built into the RTR 2726 includes the Windows 7 Professional operating system and Pentek’s SystemFlow Recording software. SystemFlow features a GUI for setup and control of the record and playback operations and is able to store configuration profiles for later one-click set-up. In addition, the SystemFlow software includes signal viewing and analysis tools that allow the user to monitor the signal prior to, and during, recording as well as examining the signal during playback. The tools include a virtual oscilloscope and virtual spectrum analyzer, eliminating the need for additional equipment during a data collection session.

Limit controller


The newest addition to the Yokogawa UTAdvanced family, the UT35A-L Limit Controller has been introduced by Yokogawy US.

The 1/4 DIN sized Limit Controller is an FM approved instrument ideal for oven, furnace and kiln applications. The UT35A-L can be configured as a high or low limit. It comes standard with universal input, three alarm outputs and retransmission output. Also there is a timer for exceeded duration and a display for maximum temperature. RS485 and Ethernet communications are available as an option.

New high-res camera

High resolution imaging with no compromise on speed

Stemmer Imaging can now offer the new Prosilica GX3300 camera from AVT. The GX3300 combines 8 Mpixel resolution with high speed (240MB/s) data transfer and a frame rate of 17 fps at full resolution, meaning that it is no longer necessary to compromise resolution for speed. Supplied complete with a rich set of smart features, the GX3300 is ideally suited to a range of machine vision applications.

The GX3300 features the new quad-tap Kodak KAI-08050 CCD progressive scan sensor which provides exceptional image quality, high sensitivity and dynamic range, improved anti-blooming and reduced smear.   Dividing the sensor into a four quadrant parallel readout allows this device to support an impressive 17 fps at 8 MP.  The GX3300 is equipped with an F-mount to make full use of the 4/3” optical format and is compatible with a wide-range of high quality commercial and industrial lenses. 

The GX3300 is the latest camera in the Prosilica range to feature Link Aggregate Groups (LAG), or IEEE 802.3ad, a well-established computer networking technology. This links two Ethernet ports to provide data transfer of 240 MB/s, twice that achieved using a conventional GigE Vision configuration.

The camera is supplied in a compact, ribbed camera housing, specially designed for heat dissipation. With its rugged enclosure and optimized thermal management, the GX3300 delivers high quality images even in tough environments with temperatures up to 50°C.

The elegance of climate monitoring

New data logger for humidity, temperature, CO2 and air pressure

The new HUMLOG20 data logger from E+E Elektronik does not need to hide in any application. The state-of-the-art, elegant housing and the large display make the data logger a real attention-grabber. The current measurement values can be read off easily thanks to the large display, even from a distance of several metres.

The excellent price-performance ratio and the corresponding optics make the HUMLOG20 the optimal choice for numerous applications. Typical fields of application include the monitoring and recording of humidity, temperature, CO2 and air pressure in museums, conference rooms or classrooms as well as climate monitoring in clean rooms, greenhouses, storage rooms or calibration laboratories.

The HUMLOG20 data logger offers multiple customer benefits.
Seamless data logging over a period of more than a year is possible thanks to the long battery life and a memory capacity of 3.2 million measurement values.
The current measurement data are always available in the network, as the data logger is compliant with the network thanks to the integrated Ethernet interface. The data can be queried, displayed and saved on a PC in real time.

A simple analysis and visualisation of the measurement data is possible with the SmartGraph3 software included in the scope of delivery.

A fast response to possible deviations is supported by a visual and acoustic alarm function.

E+E are reprresented in Ireland by Instrument Technology!


Building automation

A new Technical Division, the Building Automation Systems Division was approved at the ISA's annual Fall Leaders Meeting in October in association with Automation Week. The new BAS technical division will launch January 2012.

Pic: CPL CONCORDIA Soc. Coop.
The Building Automation Systems Division was organized for building automation professionals who design, build, install, troubleshoot, operate and manage building automation systems, and who seek to adhere to best practices to ensure optimum system operation and performance. The division was formed to aid these professionals as they apply available standards and technology to building control systems.

Technical divisions are ISA membership groups that offer networking and educational activities to members around the world who work in the same industries or who have similar technical interests. Networking can be done via email discussions lists, in person at events and via newsletters. Technical division members are encouraged to write, review, and present technical papers at ISA symposia and ISA Automation Week; and to publish technical papers. Division members also plan and conduct ISA’s annual symposia. ISA has 16 other Technical Divisions that are divided between two departments, the Automation and Technology Department and the Industries and Sciences Department.

Monday, November 28, 2011

RIO technology platform extended

NI CompactRIO Module Development Kit and RIO Mezzanine Card Expand Possibilities for Custom I/O  

National Instruments has announced a new version of the NI CompactRIO Module Development Kit (MDK) and the introduction of the RIO Mezzanine Card (RMC) specification for NI Single-Board RIO. These additions expand the options for adding specialized or custom I/O to packaged and board-level embedded control and monitoring systems. With these technologies, system integrators and OEMs now can fully integrate custom electronics with the proven and reliable NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) hardware systems and provide their users with the same experience that scientists and engineers expect from NI products.

“The new CompactRIO Module Development Kit improves our ability to create complementary embedded modules to serve our customers and build our business,” said Wolfram Koerver, program manager for CompactRIO modules at S.E.A. Datentechnik GmbH, a company that provides advanced products and solutions in the field of industrial automation and measuring technology. “We designed a RIO Mezzanine Card and NI Single-Board RIO into our BMX Embedded Measurement and Control Platform in a much shorter timeframe than a full-custom solution. With the RIO Mezzanine Card feature, we now can provide cost-effective solutions for higher volume applications which require specialty I/O and communication features.”

Incorporating updates based on customer feedback, version 2.0 of the CompactRIO MDK provides engineers and scientists additional time-saving resources that simplify the processes of creating any custom module. The 2.0 version features a new field-programmable gate array (FPGA) communication core that automatically implements NI technology best practices and low-level housekeeping tasks including module detection, identification, data transfer and other common functions. By starting with the NI communication core, engineers can access years of NI research, development and optimization to accelerate their design process and maximize compatibility of custom modules within the RIO ecosystem. The new MDK also includes slot-agnostic code generation and an elemental I/O node paradigm, making it possible for module designers to provide the same user experience whether engineers and scientists use third-party modules or NI modules.

Additionally, NI Single-Board RIO devices now feature an expansion connector for an RMC. The RMC connector provides a method for adding application-specific custom circuitry to NI Single-Board RIO, including a combination of analog or digital I/O or processor-based peripheral ports, including CAN, UART and USB. The high-density, high-bandwidth RMC connector exposes up to 96 digital I/O lines from the reconfigurable FPGA, making it an ideal platform for building high-speed electronics applications.

An integral part of the NI graphical system design approach, NI RIO technology combines NI LabVIEW system design software with commercial off-the-shelf hardware to simplify development and shorten time to market when designing advanced control, monitoring and test systems. NI RIO hardware, which includes CompactRIO, NI Single-Board RIO, R Series boards and PXI-based NI FlexRIO, features an architecture with powerful floating-point processors, reconfigurable FPGAs and modular I/O. All NI RIO hardware components are programmed with LabVIEW to give engineers the ability to rapidly create custom timing, signal processing and control for I/O without requiring expertise in low-level hardware description languages or board-level design.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Eighty years young!

Carlo Gavazzi is celebrating its 80th anniversary with new platforms for energy management, industrial and building automation, along with the strengthening of its research & development activities, all underpinned by continued cautious financial growth.

Carlo Gavazzi Milestones

1931
Carlo Gavazzi registers the company in Milan having as its prime activities the distribution of Johnson oil burners and Honeywell instrumentation.
 

1953
Start of control panel manufacturing. Carlo Gavazzi begins to offers turnkey projects in engineering, instrument supply and panel installation.
 

1959
Carlo Gavazzi develops its activities supplying centralised remote control instrumentation for the propulsion of an Italian Navy m/s as well as cruise ships and merchant vessels.
 

1960
Installation of the first control-rod-drive hydraulic system for power plant. Foundation of Reactor Controls (CA, USA) leader in boiling water reactors control systems.
 

1965
Carlo Gavazzi (through a JVC) becomes a qualified manufacturer and international supplier of automation components. Sales companies throughout Europe are founded.
1984
The company goes public, with shares traded on the Zurich Stock Exchange.
 

1988
Strengthening of the industrial base and product offering by the acquisition of Electromatic (control components) and Feme (relays and switches).
 

Today
Carlo Gavazzi Automation Components operates worldwide through 21 wholly-owned sales companies and selected representatives in more than 65 countries.
The company opened its doors in 1931, establishing a Milan headquarters for distribution of Johnson oil burners and Honeywell instrumentation. 1953 saw the start of control panel manufacturing, with Carlo Gavazzi also offering turnkey project capability for engineering, instrument supply and panel installation. Manufacturing expanded in the 1960s through joint ventures in electromechanical components and electronic control devices.

During 1965 sales and service companies were established in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and The Netherlands: expanding to France, Belgium and Spain two years later. Today, Carlo Gavazzi Automation Components operates through 21 wholly-owned sales companies and selected representatives in more than 65 countries from the Pacific Rim to the United States.

Today's strengths in renewable energy and industrial automation are spearheading the company through its next eighty years, as CEO Vittorio Rossi explained: "We are focused today on clearly defined sectors such as building automation, industrial automation and control, and renewable as well as conventional energy. Our 80th year has amply demonstrated the effectiveness of this strategy and the development initiatives that support it."

During the 2010/2011 financial year, sales to the industrial automation segment recorded a 50percent growth year-on- year, thanks to the introduction of new products such as solid state relays, capacitive and inductive sensors.  Meanwhile, growth in building automation markets reached 12percent and an exceptional sales increase of around 150percent was achieved in the renewable energy market.

"We expect to achieve similar results for the current business year", predicted Rossi. "Our growth will be supported by continuous efforts to strengthen and enlarge both our R&D activities worldwide and product management in Asia, in order to improve time- to-market and better fulfil regional requirements."

Initiatives announced recently include: new platforms of inductive and photoelectric sensors offering improved measurement accuracy and repeatability. In addition, a new modular Universal Web Platform UWP - with integrated management, data logging and web communication features – is poised to drive further growth in the areas of energy efficiency and building automation.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

New 515 nm picosecond pulsed diode laser

The Photonics Division of Edinburgh Instruments, has announced the availability of the EPL 515 picosecond pulsed diode laser. Emitting at a nominal 512 nm wavelength, this is the latest addition to the comprehensive range of EPL diode lasers which are optimised for Time Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC).

The EPL 515 is a compact, robust, maintenance free, fully integrated system. It is pre-adjusted for an optimum pulse width of 150 ps at 10 MHz, and features 10 pre-set repetition frequencies from 20KHz to 20MHz.

EPL diode lasers provide a cost-effective and reliable alternative to nanosecond flashlamps and expensive mode locked Titanium Sapphire femtosecond lasers. The new EPL 515 brings an additional wavelength into the range, allowing more fluorescent dyes to be excited and further extending the range of applications, which include fluorescence lifetime measurements that use TCSPC as the measurement technique.

Typical instrumentation in which the EPL 515 may be used are fluorescence lifetime spectrometers and fluorescence lifetime multiwell plate readers for spectroscopy applications in biochemistry, biology, photophysics, semiconductor physics, bio-chemical assays etc. Customised versions of the diode laser can be also supplied for integration within various types of analytical instrumentation.

Outdoor equipment enclosures for perfectionists!

Application-specific sizes to millimetre accuracy now available

A new range of insulated outdoor enclosures from field equipment protection specialist Intertec significantly extends users' choice of environmental protection solutions. The company's Multibox Vario enclosures are produced using an advanced patented CNC manufacturing process, capable of accommodating a wide variety of custom sized enclosures. This means that instead of having to select a standard size of enclosure, or commission a special hand-built model, instrumentation and control engineers are now free to specify the precise dimensions they need for their particular application.

The advantages of this approach are considerable for field-based equipment operators in sectors such as oil, gas, chemical and petrochemical processing, power generation and transportation infrastructure. By optimising the size and form factor of the enclosure to precisely match the instrumentation content and layout, engineers can minimise its surface area and thereby secure optimum thermal performance. Until now, due to lack of form factor options, they have often been forced to use an unnecessarily large standard enclosure or even a cabinet, leading to wasted space and excessive energy use for heating or cooling.

Intertec's Multibox Vario enclosures can be specified to millimetre accuracy and cover an extremely wide range of potential sizes. These span dimensions from about 100 x 100 x 100 mm with 20 mm thick walls, through to models that are 2000 mm high, 1200 mm wide and 800 mm deep, with a wall thickness of 102 mm. This flexibility simplifies containment of awkwardly shaped components, such as process valves or analyser equipment. It also allows the enclosures to be fitted in locations where there may not be enough space for standard sized units, contributing to ease of installation and maintenance access.

The range of dimensions offered expands upon Intertec's existing enclosure sizes and also encompasses those of some of the company's smaller cabinets, enabling users to choose a more cost-effective and thermally efficient form of environmental protection.

To help instrumentation engineers accelerate their design process, Intertec has developed a web-based configurator specifically for Multibox Vario enclosures. Backed by Autodesk Inventor 3D mechanical design software on Intertec's CAD server, the configurator is free to use and does not cause any software to be downloaded to the user's computer. It merely requires that the user has access to Intertec's website, via a standard web browser. After inputting the required enclosure dimensions, users are emailed a fully-dimensioned PDF schematic completely automatically, together with a STEP file and a DXF file for direct import into their 3D or 2D CAD system. They are then able to progress their design, optimising internal layout to make best use of available space. The same data is subsequently used by Intertec to control the CNC manufacturing process, with production samples available within very short timescales.

All Multibox Vario enclosures employ an energy efficient sandwich type construction, based on UV-resistant GRP (glass-fibre reinforced plastic) skins and an internal core of highly insulative foam. The internal and external GRP skins are 4 mm thick to provide a very high degree of rigidity. Depending on the particular model, the overall wall thickness with its insulation core is 20 mm, 55 mm, 85 mm or 102 mm. This type of construction has an exceptionally low heat transfer coefficient, or 'k' value, of just 1.2, 0.43, 0.27 or 0.2 W/m²K respectively (corresponding to insulation, or R values, of 4.3, 13, 21 or 28 h ft² ˚F/Btu), which helps minimise heat loss or gain and thereby reduces the amount of energy required for heating or cooling. The enclosures are far more thermally efficient than types constructed from sheet metal with added insulation.

One other major advantage of Intertec's non-metal GRP and foam construction materials is that the new enclosures provide a benign environment for housing the new generations of wireless-enabled field instrumentation that are starting to become popular - extending their applications potential in outdoor locations. Intertec enclosures don't cause any damping of electromagnetic signals.

Multibox Vario enclosures are based on a two-part design with external hinges and clasps; the female half incorporates neoprene edge seals, which are compressed when the male half is clamped shut. The enclosures have an ingress protection rating of IP65 as standard, with IEC 60079 compliant versions available for use in hazardous atmospheres. Instrumentation is usually mounted on C-rails, although lightweight equipment can be secured direct to the internal walls, with tubes and electrical connections brought in via the bottom edge. The enclosures feature a wide range of options, including clasps, hinges and prop-stays in galvanised and stainless steel, acrylic and safety glass viewing windows, and free-standing and wall-mounting brackets.

Compared to most cabinets, which necessarily incorporate features such as metal door frames that act as thermal short cuts between the interior and exterior, Multibox Vario enclosures provide a much more efficient and stable thermal environment, making it easier to maintain equipment at the correct temperature. The design avoids heat short cuts by using GRP as a construction material - this has a thermal conductivity which is 250 times lower than steel and 1000 times lower than aluminium. All access holes for tubes and cables can be plugged with hard foam moulding accessories from Intertec.

The form of GRP used for Multibox Vario enclosures, as with other Intertec field protection products, provides numerous advantages over traditional enclosure fabrication materials. Its strength virtually matches that of stainless steel, yet it weighs 75 percent less and is several orders of magnitude more stable than non-reinforced plastic. It is also fire resistant and inherently immune to salt spray and harsh corrosive media, making the enclosures ideal for applications in the offshore oil, petrochemical and gas industries.

Flow measurement in safety-critical applications

The new RAGN Glass Rotameter® from Yokogawa is designed for the continuous flow measurement of liquids and gases in safety-critical applications where extended operating life and virtually maintenance-free operation are required.

With an FMEDA (Failure Modes, Effects & Diagnostics Analysis) report available for SIL (Safety Integrity Level) loop applications, the new unit has been assessed to SIL 1 according to the reworked IEC 61508:2010 standard and also complies with the Machinery Directive ISO 13849-1 standard.
The RAGN Glass Rotameter® resists highly corrosive media, comes in an all-stainless-steel housing, and offers measuring ranges from 2 ml/h to 10 m³/h of water and 0.1 l/h to 160 m³/h of air. The measuring glass tube is equipped with an easy-to-read scale highlighted by a yellow background and protected by a rotating splinter shield preventing glass splinters or aggressive media from escaping to the front in the event of glass breakage.

The modular design allows limit switches to be easily retrofitted to initiate minimum or maximum flow alarms when the magnetic float has reached or exceeded the limit switch position. Ease of wiring is ensured by an optional cable connection box which accommodates different process connections and sizes.

The mechanical design of the Rotameter® offers a number of benefits in terms of optimum productivity and reduced energy consumption. The relatively low pressure loss results in low pumping costs and energy savings. Moreover, Rotameters work without power, and under normal operating conditions they are maintenance free and have a virtually unlimited lifetime.

Yokogawa has placed great significance on the future sustainability of this product at every stage of the product lifecycle. The new RAGN can be completely disassembled and uses only recyclable materials only. The design also uses a large number of standard components from other Yokogawa flow products, leading to synergy in production and to resource and energy conservation.

Linear actuation

All new electric linear actuators for applications where compact size, maintenance-free and quiet operation are paramount requirements

A new version of Thomson's Linear MOTIONEERING®, their powerful, free of charge web-based sizing and selection tool has been released. Linear MOTIONEERING® calculates safety factors that help direct customers to an optimised linear motion system for their machine in just minutes by entering a few key application parameters. 

The new version includes a number of market leading innovations to simplify this process even further. A new sort and filter feature allows users to organise all the solutions that fit their individual requirements quickly and easily, while an upgraded graphics and user-interface makes it easier to get to preferred solutions. The revised version also now includes global product offerings from Thomson such as its linear units. Outputs include application parameters such as linear bearing load/life, ball screw critical speed, specific movement profiles and radial/axial forces. The tool then produces a set of product solutions tailored precisely to the application requirements. Once a product solution is selected, a wide assortment of accessories, motors and motor mounts can be selected. In addition to this, the program offers interactive 3D models, list prices, delivery times and ordering information.

Also available on the website are the new and improved interactive 3D models offering a three-dimensional representation of every Thomson product, which can be observed from all angles. The dimensions and all other essential data are also displayed. Graphics can be downloaded in all common image and CAD formats.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

System partners!

HMS partner program enables system partners to leverage on HMS gateway and remote management solutions

HMS Industrial Networks announces the launch of a new partner program. The program targets system integrators, machine builders and other companies wishing to include Anybus gateways and Netbiter remote management solutions in their offering.

Partners joining the program will be able to leverage on some of the most capable network connectivity products on the market and benefit from lead sharing, project management and joint marketing with HMS and HMS distributors, as well as free technical support and training via the HMS Academy.

“System integrators and machine builders have been key to our success within gateways and remote management. To support the steadily growing demand for Anybus and Netbiter solutions, and to further strengthen the relationship with our partners, we are now launching a formal partner program,” says Anders Hansson, Marketing Director at HMS. “Besides being able to make money on HMS products within their solutions, partners joining the program will also gain a strong competitive edge by adding HMS's powerful industrial networking and remote management solutions to their offering.”

Two levels of partnership, GOLD and SILVER, are designed to recognize and reward partner efforts. All signed partners get the right to offer and promote HMS gateways and remote management products with full assistance from HMS, but GOLD partners get more extensive product training and better discounts.
HMS's Martin Hoffert explains the green automation concept at SPS/IPC/Drives 2011 (Pic IEbook)

Energy efficient enclosure climate control

Rittal continue to improve the energy efficiency of enclosure climate control solutions by incorporating ever more innovative technologies into their cooling products.

The Eco-mode control system from Rittal employs an intelligent strategy to effectively target the use of energy by disabling the internal fan when the temperature inside the enclosure falls to 10° K below the setpoint temperature. The fan is then enabled for a period of 30 seconds every 10 minutes to ensure the accuracy of the sensed temperature. When the temperature rises above 10° K below the setpoint, the fan is permanently enabled.

Rittal TopTherm air/water heat exchangers are equipped with the innovative Eco-mode control system in order to minimise their energy consumption.

TopTherm Generation ‘Blue e’ cooling units also benefit from the Eco-mode control system, which together with the use of energy efficient EC fan technology, provides increased energy savings up to 45 percent, reduced costs and helps to conserve the environment.

Rittal TopTherm fan-and-filter units make use of innovative diagonal fan technology to provide improved performance against increased static pressure difference, which in turn, offers greater energy efficiency and a more constant air throughput, effectively minimising the occurrence of hot spots.

"Rest assured that by using Rittal climate control products not only is the service life and reliability of electrical components increased, the impact on the environment is also reduced."

Reproducible emissions measurements

Teseq has introduced a new line termination clamp as required by CISPR test methods.

Reproducible emissions measurements require a defined line termination for the frequency range where connected lines provide a significant influence on the emissions. The key parameter is the asymmetrical impedance (common-mode impedance) which can be seen as the common-mode impedance to the reference ground.

Line impedance stabilisation networks (LISNs) are commonly used for conducted emission measurements. As well as providing the coupling function for the measurement receiver LISNs provide the line termination and decouple the equipment under test (EUT) from the mains or auxiliary equipment.

In the past a suitable line termination was not available for radiated emissions measurements above 30 MHz. LISNs are typically used for this application but they are undefined above 30 MHz.

The new TESEQ CMAD (Common Mode Absorption Device) is specified in CISPR 16-1-4 and its use will be defined in the forthcoming version of CISPR 16-2-3. It improves the asymmetrical line termination in the frequency range 30 MHz to 200 MHz and improves measurement reproducibility. The CMAD needs to be clipped on lines leaving the test chamber. No more than three CMADs should be used for one setup.

Teseq’s CMAD 20A conforms to the new requirements of CISPR 16-1-4. It replaces the existing CMAD 20 series, which were developed for CISPR 22 Edition 4.0 2033, but do not conform to CISPR 16-1-4.

Current transducers

LEM has announced the ITC series of transducers for galvanically-isolated, high-precision current measurements in rail-traction applications, setting new standards in measurement accuracy for DC, AC and Pulsed currents.

This new transducer series comprises three models, ITC 1000-S, 2000-S and 4000-S, with corresponding nominal current measurement ratings of 1000, 2000 and 4000 ARMS. LEM designed the ITC series for the rail-traction industry sector, reaching the Class 0.5R measurement accuracy when Class 1R is required by the prEN 50463 standard for on-board energy monitoring. The ITC series features linearity error of under 0.05% with offset currents of less than +/- 20µA.

The rail-traction industry requires unprecedented accuracy necessary of course to maintain optimum control of traction motors, but mainly in energy metering to log energy usage for fiscal purposes, for example in billing power costs for trains that cross regional borders. The industry is working to a provisional (“pr”) standard designated prEN 50463.

Precise energy metering depends on accurate current and voltage measurements, and LEM has a complete offering for prEN 50463. Used together with highly-accurate voltage transducers such as the LEM DV series (available in Class 1R or Class 0.75R certified accuracy), and an energy meter such as LEM's EM4T, ITC-series current transducers bring the necessary class accuracy.

LEM's measurement specialists determined that Hall-Effect-based measurement techniques could not provide the required accuracy, and instead used its expertise with the closed-loop fluxgate, resulting in a design with excellent accuracy and linearity, low thermal drifts and which also eliminates insertion losses. ITC transducers are insensitive to the position of the primary conductor within their large measurement aperture, offer high insulation test voltage of up to 14 kVRMS/50 Hz/1 min, and have excellent immunity to transient overloads (100kA for 100msec) and to external interferences (such as magnetic fields typical of the rail environment).

Current consumption varies from less than 80 mA to under +/-340 mA across the measurement range, from a +/- 24VDC supply. Bandwidth for the ITC 4000-S is 82 kHz (3 dB) and the transducers’ apertures allow the insertion of large conductors: 102 mm diameter (for the ITC 4000-S) or 63 mm diameter (for the ITC 2000-S). A test winding allows the operation of the ITC transducers to be easily checked with no primary current flowing.

LEM offers the ITC series in either a one-piece housing (ITC 4000-S model), or a split construction (ITC 1000 and 2000-S models) with the measurement head in a case, and the measurement circuitry mounted remotely in a metal enclosure, to facilitate locating the measurement head in confined spaces such as the train roof space.

ITC transducers operate over the range –40 to +85°C, and meet or exceed all relevant standards for safety and for the railway operating environment, such as EN 50124-1 and EN 50155.

Their high accuracy also makes the ITC transducers ideal for use in a broad array of differential current-measurement applications where 0.5% accuracy, over 5 to 150% of nominal current, is required.

ITC models are CE marked and, in common with all LEM industrial transducers, carry a five-year warranty.

Efficient and economic front-end engineering and design

Design plants faster and more reliably with the Comos software solution

The Siemens Industry Automation has expanded Comos, the software solution for complete plant management throughout the entire lifecycle of an industrial plant, with functions for productive front-end engineering and design (FEED). Comos FEED supports the user in the early planning of a plant.

Comos FEED supports the user in the early
design of a plan
As reported by the market analysts ARC Advisory Group, even at the very early planning stage of an industrial plant project, some 80% of the total costs are defined in the front-end engineering and design phase. "With the new FEED functionality in Comos, plant designers can work more quickly and more flexibly and also improve the quality of their work. This allows, for example, a more precise cost calculation for a plant", said Marcus Elo, product manager Comos Process, Siemens Industry Automation Division.

New import functions in Comos FEED for data from simulation programs support the user and help to speed up planning and make it more reliable. This allows the batch import data from multiple simulations to be integrated in Comos at the same time. Other functions such as the partial import also save time allowing previously defined data from simulations to be applied. An additional interface has also been developed, that now allows the application of data from ProMax. This means that as of now, the data from seven process simulators can be imported and further processed. This underlines the open system architecture of Comos and provides users with even greater flexibility. To continue planning, the data can be taken from the simulation programs and is then available for further processing for flowcharts and block diagrams in Comos.

The Comos software solution is modular and its integrated data management allows effective, holistic development in a system over the entire lifecycle. The data is both consistent and transparent in all planning phases. This also applies to the early stages of plant design and ensures high quality in the design of the process. Here, the integrated data and document revision mechanisms provided by the Comos FEED software module allow a controlled and efficient design procedure.

New release PACTware

PACTware Release 4.1 is now available for download free of charge. Using the new Topology Scan Addin of this release it is possible to automaticly build a project of a given plant for the first time. Even communication structures consisting of e.g. Profibus lines with remote I/O systems can be scanned. In order to get a complet project of a plant all device type managers (DTMs) of the used devices must be included in the device catalog of PACTware.

If there are DTMs missing for some Profibus or HART devices or if you want to work with a minimum of DTMs it is a good idea to use generic DTMs provided by ICS. Using Generic HART DTM 5 and Profibus PA Profile 3 DTM only a plant can be parameterized and observed in a wide range. All Profibus PA devices must be switched to " profile mode" then.


The following new features are included in PACTware 4.1:
  • the Diagnostic Scan Add-In (called "Device State Manager Add-In" in release 4.0), that shows and logs NAMUR status information of devices, is now implemented non-modal. Actions with DTMs can now be executed while a basic condition monitoring is running in the background.
  • online help and manuals are provided now in 5 languages: German, English, French, Spanish and Russian
  • in addition the graphical user interface can be displayed in Nederlands and Japanese language
  • a DTM can now be easily replaced by another DTM within the project tree

Space observation for climate monitoring

We have reported recently on a number of climate/polar initiatives (see New monitoring technology helps reveal Arctic secrets and Gases trapped in High Arctic could tip climate scales!)and here is another.


ABB is to develop key applications for an instrument designed for meteorological observations onboard satellites for the Canadian Space Agency’s Polar Communications and Weather (PCW) mission.

This R&D contract for an imaging spectroradiometer, a device designed to measure the wavelengths of individual colors of light, is worth $5.5 million and was awarded by the Canadian Space Agency through the Space Technologies Development Program (STDP). The technologies that ABB will develop are similar to those currently under development for the next generation of geostationary weather satellites.

Currently there are limitations to the short-term weather forecasts, long-term climatological predictions, and other services offered in the high Arctic by existing satellites, particularly with respect to mobile communications for ships, planes and unmanned aerial vehicles. To help improve these services the PCW mission aims to place two satellites into a highly elliptical orbit approximately 39,900 km above the North Pole to provide reliable and continuous communication services and to monitor weather and climate changes throughout the Arctic region.

“Space-based and ground-based atmospheric instrumentation is a core business at ABB, and this contract will strengthen our position within this market,” said Marc-Andre Soucy, Manager of ABB's Remote Sensing division. “Backed by its rich heritage in the space industry, ABB will use its expertise to the benefit of the Canadian Space Agency in connection with this major project.”

ABB already has a number of space-related projects to its credit, including the interferometer module that is at the heart of the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) instrument, which is a key component of the American National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project (NPP) meteorological satellite that was launched on October 28, 2011.

Control knobs!

Cliff Electronics have made some new introductions to their wide range of control knobs.

The new K88 range of space saving skirt-less knobs is suitable for use with rotary switches, potentiometers and encoders. Standard colours available are black and grey with opaque caps available with or without a marker-line - in standard colours of black, white, red, grey, yellow, blue and green. The cost effective Cliff K88 knobs are available to fit 4, 6 and 6.35mm D fit shafts and 6 and 6.35mm splined shafts. Typical applications include audio mixing and lighting desks and instrumentation panels.

To accommodate the growing use of rotary encoders Cliff has introduced the K18 encoder knob series which fit a standard 6mm splined shaft. These knobs feature ergonomic inner and outer finger dimples for fast and slow rotations, are available with a choice of 35 or 50gm weights for desired ‘feel’ to suit the application and may be supplied in either black or grey.

The new Cliff K3 and K4 “chicken head” knobs are available in Bakelite or phenolic material and fit a 6.35mm screw-fit shaft. These vintage-look knobs are designed to match original designs for guitars, amplifiers and foot-pedals and are available with or without a marker line on the “Beak”.

Melvyn French, Sales Manager at Cliff Electronics comments; “The pro-audio and broadcast markets are very important to Cliff Electronics and within that the music industry continues to grow. Our new K88 range of skirt-less knobs offers a value-for money, space saving control knob for mixing desk and lighting control system manufacturers. Aesthetics play an important part in the design of musical instruments and amplifiers and our retro-looking “chicken-head” knobs are being welcomed by our customers worldwide.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Security assurance recognition!

Honeywell is the first industry vendor to earn the ISASecure Embedded Device Security Assurance (EDSA) certification, by the ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI), for an industrial control systems product. The award recognizes Honeywell’s commitment to stringent cyber security standards and the security of Honeywell’s control systems products. 

The formal announcement was made during the Honeywell HUG event this summer. Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) is the first process industry vendor to be certified. The award recognizes the integrity of both the embedded Safety Manager device and its production lifecycle, and follows rigorous testing against communication robustness, functional security and software development security. 

Safety Manager delivers safety assurance for operators who oversee industrial processes. The solution helps lower the cost of safety and improves performance by reducing the risk of incidents, maximizing production uptime, reducing the cost of compliance and providing productivity tools that help manage safety in industrial plants. 

The ISASecure™ EDSA certification provides Honeywell’s customers–and their procurement teams–the extra reassurance that Safety Manager can deliver on its promises. 

“Honeywell continues to demonstrate leadership for ensuring cyber security of industrial automation and control systems,” commented Andre Ristaino, ISCI managing director. “Being the first supplier to submit products for the ISASecure EDSA certification was courageous and demonstrates Honeywell’s commitment to security.” 

Greater Safety

Profinet and Profibus offer greater safety with fault-tolerant high-performance controllers
Siemens Industry Automation division has improved its fault tolerant Simatic S7-400H high-performance controllers and equipped them with new functions. In addition, the range of controllers has been extended with the new CPU 416-5H. All CPUs now have a Profinet interface with a 2-port switch, larger memory and an expanded quantity structure for data and function block as well as function calls. One of the new functions concerns the master-reserve switchover that can now be programmed by the user. The performance has also been improved with extended resources for communication, for example. The Profinet interface with a 2-port switch is used for plant communication and supports fault tolerant H-connections via TCP/IP (ISO on TCP). In combination with the integrated MPI/DP and Profibus DP interfaces, the new Profinet interface permits the system-redundant connection of IO devices. Using fiber-optic cables, data synchronization is possible at distances of up to ten kilometers. In terms of performance, the new CPU 416-5H controller with 16 MB RAM is positioned between the 412-5H CPU with 1 MB, 414-5H with 4 MB and the 417-5H with 32 MB RAM. The controllers are programmed and configured using the Simatic Step 7 engineering tool. Start of delivery is planned for the first quarter of 2012.

Monday, November 21, 2011

French & Spanish markets strengthened!

Hitachi Display Products Group (DPG) has strengthened its sales management team to enable continued sales growth in Southern Europe. Vincent Levigoureux has been appointed to the position of French and Spanish account manager and will provide sales support to key OEM and distribution accounts.

Vincent Levigoureux
Vincent joins Hitachi DPG from NEC Electronics where he spent 4 years as French distribution account manager supporting displays, semiconductor and RF products. Previous positions within the electronic components industry include 3 years as a field applications engineer with distributor Eurocomposant and 3 years with NEC Electronics Smart Card application centre. Vincent will support and promote Hitachi’s full LCD product portfolio and will be based near Paris.

Mark Stanley
, Sales and Marketing Manager, Hitachi DPG commented, “We are very pleased to have Vincent join the Display Products Group. He brings with him a wealth of valuable industry knowledge and experience. He will be a strong asset to the European sales team.”

A further appointment for Hitachi DPG is that of Jason Tsai as European technical liaison engineer. Jason has been with Hitachi’s LCD design and development department in Kaohsiung, Taiwan for 11 years as a design engineer. He will provide technical support for OEM and distribution customers and will be based in Maidenhead.

Wireless distributor

LPRS appoints new distributor for ASPAC region

LPRS has appointed Veloxity Components  as their distributor for the Asia/Pacific region. Veloxity will principally sell the LPRS market leading easyRadio Advanced (eRA) industrial wireless communications modules as well as development kits and accessories.
(LtoR) Sandie Sharples LPRS Client Services Director, David Schmider, LPRS Technical Director and from Veloxity; Alex Khoo Account Manager, Tan Shu Qi Sales Executive and Tan Chia Boon Sales Manager
John Sharples, Managing Director of LPRS comments; “We see the Asian and New World markets as key to the continued sales growth of our products. We are confident that our British designed and manufactured wireless modules can not only compete on price in Asia but that their unique feature sets offer all system builders the shortest time to market for any industrial project requiring wireless communication.”
Based in Singapore, Veloxity Components is an independent distributor of electronic components with sales offices also in Malaysia and Thailand. Veloxity also offer a number of value-added services including supplier base consolidation, worldwide sourcing, excess inventory management, minimal MOQ restrictions, 3rd party programming , stocking and kitting, re-packing, taping, vacuum packing, baking, in-house visual/microscopic inspection and solderability testing, low volume PCB assembly and 3rd party testing.                                                                                 

In addition to its own easyRadio Advanced (eRA) wireless modules the LPRS product range now includes, narrow band long range wireless modules from CDP, the IQRF range of wireless networking components, the IQVC range of visual control panels together with antenna, wireless key fobs and a wide range of sensor products.

Machine monitoring system

Machine monitoring system increases availability and productivity in manufacturing and process industries

The Siplus CMS2000 from Siemens is a system for monitoring machines which helps companies to increase the availability of their plants and selectively plan maintenance work. The modular condition monitoring system (CMS) is suitable for monitoring and analyzing mechanical components in individual machines and complex drive trains.

The Siemens Industry Automation Division is expanding its range of plant monitoring systems with the Siplus CMS2000. The system can monitor and analyze mechanical components like motors, generators, pumps or fans by recording vibrations, rotational speeds and temperature. This makes it possible to detect and remedy potential defects in machines before they occur, enabling maintenance work to be planned reliably. The result is increased plant availability and productivity, and reduced repair and maintenance costs.

It offers two standard IEPE interfaces for connecting vibration sensors as well as one speed input, two analog inputs, two digital inputs, and three digital outputs. The modular system can also be expanded by temperature modules from the Simocode family. Further modules will be available soon. The integral diagnostics software means users can evaluate characteristic values of the bearing and vibration monitoring system and perform a frequency-selective analysis of the recorded data as well as a trend analysis.

The monitoring system can be visualized and parameterized easily by using a web browser without additional software. This allows service personnel problem-free local access even with remote operation. In addition, the system informs personnel by e-mail of the status of the plant and, if required, it can provide the raw data. Internet access is password-protected. The internet-connected company server should be equipped with a firewall to provide additional protection. Alternatively, online access is possible via the secure cRSP platform from Siemens within the scope of a service agreement.

With the combined functionality of monitoring and analysis, Siplus CMS2000 supplements the Siplus CMS product range that until now encompassed the Siplus CMS1000 system for simple machine monitoring and the powerful Siplus CMS4000 system for complex analysis and measuring tasks.
Siemens has developed the Siplus CMS monitoring systems specifically for monitoring plants and machines. The aim is to enlist the help of condition monitoring systems to increase plant availability as the most powerful lever for boosting productivity. The Siplus CMS helps to detect fault sources at an early stage and scheduled maintenance work can be carried out at suitable points in the production cycle. After extended periods of fault-free operation, any significant irregularities resulting from wear and tear or other damage-related causes can be detected at the outset using the documented trend curves. Predictable problems can thus be corrected as they arise – before more significant damage, cost-intensive consequential damage, or even total failure results. Condition monitoring systems from Siemens are used worldwide in a host of production plants and in different sectors such as mechanical equipment manufacture, pulp and paper, renewable energy, metals and mining, oil and gas, and the automotive industry.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Management changes

Brennan Industries recently announced changes to its management team including staff additions in operations, customer service and sales.
LtoR: Jones, Perone & Stahr
Al Jones joins Brennan Industries as regional sales manager for Minnesota. He has 10 years of industry experience in both sales and account management. Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in production management from the University of Minnesota.

John Perone joins Brennan Industries as operations manager for the California distribution center. He has 25 years of experience in sales, marketing and distribution. Perone earned a bachelor’s degree in business from California State University, Long Beach. He also completed the executive program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Matt Stahr joins the management team as customer service manager. Stahr previously worked as a procurement specialist and has been with Brennan Industries for four years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kent State University.