Monday 30 April 2012

Pneumatic swivel....

A new guided pneumatic swivel module for manufacturing automation that provides a versatile rotating drive solution for larger and difficult loads has been launched by Festo.

The new DSM-HD swivel module combines a high performance semi-rotary vane drive with a precision heavy duty bearing to rotate larger loads through adjustable angles up to 270 degrees - accurately and without any need for additional bearings or guidance systems.

They have also simplified application matching. When selecting a swivel module and deciding how to mount it, machine designers need to evaluate a number of application-specific factors. These include the axial and radial forces acting on the module, the torque required to start the load moving, the mass moment of inertia (which is particularly critical for the stops and cushioning of rotating masses), and the required end-position accuracy. It can be hard to visualise or estimate mass moment of inertia and time-consuming to calculate manually, so Festo has developed a handy software program to help designers tackle this task quickly and easily. Available free of charge, the inertia calculation software can be downloaded from the engineering tools support portal on Festo's website.

Capable of generating significant torque output from a standard (1.5 to 10 bar) compressed air supply, Festo's DSM-HD swivel module can accommodate high axial and radial forces, as well as higher moments of inertia, making it ideal for demanding applications with large or offset loads. The module is especially suitable for use in fully- or semi-automatic manufacturing handling and assembly automation, where additional force might be applied to its flange during the operational cycle. Typically, this could be after the module has swivelled a workpiece holder into position on an insertion machine.

For applications flexibility, the company offers a choice of six DSM-HD swivel modules, spanning 12 to 63 frame sizes and with significantly higher load capability than alternative products, enabling a smaller module to be selected with significant space- and cost-saving benefits. All six modules have a compact form factor to facilitate machine integration - the 25 frame size model measures just 83 x 83 x 99 mm, for example.

The DSM-HD swivel modules feature a caged precision ball bearing race on their periphery, which is preloaded to eliminate backlash and maximise rigidity. The bearing system is designed specifically to maintain running accuracy when subjected to high thrust and cantilevered forces; radial and axial eccentricity are both held to less than 0.02 mm on the 12, 16 and 25 frame size modules, and to less than 0.04 mm on the larger modules, under maximum load conditions.

The semi-rotary vane drive in the DSM-HD employs the same proven technology as Festo's successful DSM series swivel modules. A novel design of the rotary vane chamber seal maximises power output and efficiency by reducing air leakage to an absolute minimum. The design also ensures that the actuator has a smooth, uniform speed characteristic throughout its range of movement, even when operating near its upper or lower pressure limit. A dual vane version of the drive is available for applications that demand very high torque output.

Unlike many swivel modules on the market, which only offer fixed angular displacement, Festo's DSM-HD modules are freely adjustable, and the swivel angle can be as much as 270 degrees, depending upon the particular model and the type of end-position cushioning that is employed. Setting the start and stop angles is extremely easy; the two end-position cushioning mounts are simply clamped at the desired positions in a circular slot on the rear face of the module, and finely adjusted using an Allen key.

Users can choose between hydraulic shock absorbers for maximum energy absorption or adjustable elastomer cushioning for fast cycle times - both types can be used to secure a very high end-position repetition accuracy of better than 0.1 degrees. DSM-HD swivel modules are also available without end stops, for users who wish to implement these functions externally. The vane drive's stop lever incorporates a magnet, enabling users to implement end-position sensing simply by fitting Festo SMx proximity switches in alignment slots on the cushioning mounts.

The DSM-HD is designed to be easier to integrate than comparable swivel modules. The shaft of the vane drive is hollow, allowing electrical cables or air tubes to be routed through the body of the drive, for controlling attachments such as clamp or gripper units. Both the flange and the module body incorporate threaded mounting holes and use centering rings for quicker and more accurate alignment. For extra versatility the body has mounting holes on three sides, as well as on its front and rear faces, providing a very flexible mounting arrangement that allows the module to be fitted securely in any desired orientation.

Festo's swivel and rotary actuators provide a versatile tool in designers' armouries for the development of multi-axis handling units, with standardised interfaces to the company's electric and pneumatic linear slide units, and to its extensive range of mechanical and vacuum end effectors.

Top trends influencing the automated test industry

The biennial Automated Test Summit, hosted by National Instruments returns to the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre at Madejski Stadium in Reading (GB) on Thursday 21st June 2012. Featuring technical training, demonstrations, industry experts, product developers and system integrators, this free, full-day conference and exhibition gives attendees the opportunity to learn more about the top trends currently influencing the automated test industry.

Through technical presentations, attendees will explore the latest technologies for virtual and synthetic instrumentation, including new hardware technologies for RF and wireless; real-time and hardware-in-the-loop test; and the benefits of a flexible, software-defined approach to automated test.   

Presentations from industry experts include Fernando Solorzano, Automation Hardware Test Engineer from BSkyB, who will talk about the system he has implemented to test BSkyB’s set-top boxes. Using National Instruments PXI-based modular instruments and open software, such as NI LabVIEW, NI TestStand, NI Audio Master and the NI Video Measurements Suite, he has dramatically reduced the test time by a factor of three, from man days to only a few hours. This also provides the flexibility to concurrently test multiple set-top boxes.

In his Keynote presentation, Luke Schreier, National Instruments Senior Group Manager for Automated Test, will highlight each of the 5 trends in the 2012 Automated Test Outlook, a comprehensive view of key technologies and methodologies that are impacting the test and measurement industry.

The Summit offers a choice of 10 hours of hands-on sessions, giving attendees the chance to experience RF systems on PXI and build an automated test system with PXI and NI TestStand.  The accompanying exhibition is to showcase 11 systems integrators and sensors manufacturers, providing an excellent networking opportunity. 

RF Connectors

Intelliconnect  offers one of the widest ranges of connectors available to designers. Standard connectors include; N,C,TNC, 7/16, SMA, SMB, MCX, Triax, 3.5mm, 2.92mm, 2.4mm, 1.85mm millimetre-wave (“mmwave”) products and Triax and Quadrax types. Intelliconnect can also provide waterproof versions, to IP68 when connectors are unmated, of all of their products if required and fast turnaround custom designs.

Roy Philips, Managing Director of Intelliconnect, believes their success is a direct result of keeping their product design and manufacture in Britain. "Some of the advantages of keeping all of our processes in the UK are self-evident and much appreciated by our customers." He says “we are on the same time zone as all of Europe, speak the “common language” of technology and hold extensive stock in our UK facility.”

Other benefits may not always be factored into customer’s design programmes; availability of Intelliconnect’s engineering support for customer visits and support. Competitive pricing with low or no freight costs, which continue to rise on imported components. Fast, flexible and reliable delivery times from local stock, proven to be 97.8% in Britain in 2011, short manufacturing lead-times and lower inventory costs with Kanban and JIT available. A low carbon footprint is maintained as all components are sourced locally.

Philips continues. “Having all of our processes in the UK gives us an agility which our customers appreciate. We have a transparent and accessible supply chain with no “middle men” and can maintain the highest quality, demonstrated by zero customer returns in the UK in 2011. We are proud that our products are beautifully engineered and British”.

Typical applications for Intelliconnect RF connectors include medical, telecoms, satcoms, military, aerospace, space, general microwave communications, rail traction, oil and gas and marine. Intelliconnect also manufacture the market leading Pisces range of waterproof RF connectors, coaxial adaptors to facilitate inter-series connection and gender change etc. dust-caps and offer value added services including custom cable assemblies.

In the event that customers are unable to find a suitable standard connector for their application Intelliconnect are happy to provide custom designed solutions with low NRE and very short lead-times, typically 7 weeks from design acceptance.

Hydrogen monitoring improves Syngas efficiency

Syngas (synthesis gas) is manufactured from feedstocks containing carbon, such as coal, heavy oil, natural gas or biomass, to produce a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The production process involves a number of phases that start with gasification of the feedstock, and efficiency is greatly improved when hydrogen levels are monitored using a new sensor technology that is able to measure continuously without interference from other gases.

Syngas is used in the production of synthetic petroleum, lubricants, fuels for internal combustion engines and as an intermediate in the production of other chemicals.

The gasification phase requires very high temperatures, depending on feedstock and process, which are obtained from an external heat source or by partial oxidation of part of the feedstock to release heat. A purification process then removes impurities such as carbon dioxide, water vapour, methane, sulphur compounds, tar and ash. After which, the proportion of hydrogen and carbon monoxide is adjusted depending on the intended use of the syngas.

Continuous hydrogen measurement provides an opportunity for real-time control of the production process by enabling the operator to make adjustments to ensure maximum efficiency. For example, water may be added to increase levels of hydrogen, or water might be removed to increase the carbon monoxide level. As a result, the operator is able to produce a final product with the correct ratio and to then check that this has been achieved. In the absence of hydrogen measurement, the end product ratio can only be an estimation.

Quantitech has supplied innovative H₂scan hydrogen-specific analysers to the British market for the last four years. These analysers employ a solid-state hydrogen specific technology based on palladium/nickel alloy that requires no sample gas, reference cell or routine calibration. The sensing material is inherently specific to hydrogen and has the capability to operate in a variety of multi-component and varying-component gas compositions, including tolerance to % levels of hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide. Custom conditioning and calibration in contaminant gas streams along with a very precise on-board temperature control loop provides high accuracy and long-term stability. The analysers are also adaptable to conventional or NeSSI type sample systems.

Summarising, Quantitech’s Managing Director Keith Golding says: “The H₂scan technology removes guesswork from the syngas production process and adds new levels of efficiency to an established process, ensuring that the process is able to respond quickly to variables. This is a further example of the many applications in which hydrogen-specific gas measurement has delivered tremendous benefits. Other examples include health and safety, and process control applications such as oil and gas, nuclear power/waste, lead acid battery monitoring, chlorine manufacture, chrome plating, research, semiconductor and electronics manufacture, abatement exhausts, transformer oil, fuel cell technologies and hydrogen production.”

Friday 27 April 2012

Multi-year framework agreement for fiscal metering systems

Emerson to supply Daniel® fiscal metering systems for Statoil’s Valemon (N) platform

Emerson Process Management has been awarded a five year Framework Agreement by Statoil to provide a range of its Daniel® fiscal metering systems, as well as related products and support services. The agreement also covers on-going maintenance of existing systems, plus the supply of new systems for all current and future developments.

“Since opening our Larbert facility in Scotland in 1974, we have supplied a significant number of systems for major North Sea projects such as Troll, Heidrun and Draupner,” said Mark Dutton, Vice President & General Manager for Emerson Process Management’s Daniel Measurement and Control in Europe. “This framework agreement recognises the excellent relationship we have with Statoil, and offers Emerson an exciting opportunity to provide Statoil with fiscal measurement systems and solutions for many years to come.”

Statoil's Valemon Platform (N)
In one of the first projects covered by the framework agreement, Emerson will provide a range of integrated fiscal metering systems for Statoil’s new Valemon gas and condensate platform. Located in the North Sea at the Norwegian Continental Shelf, the Valemon development will include ultrasonic metering systems with fully automated controls for the condensate, gas, and HP and LP flare gas. The unmanned platform, which is controlled from the neighbouring Kvitebjørn platform, will begin production in 2014.

To enhance its support for North Sea customers, Emerson is currently renovating its Daniel facility in Stirling, Scotland. Enhancements include a new state-of-the-art training facility, a design development and control panel facility, a service area and a UKAS calibration laboratory for its fiscal metering products. Emerson will also be investing in local resources, which includes hiring local service engineers to improve the range of its Daniel fiscal measurement services available to the Norwegian market.

New option for pumping viscous fluids

The Chem-Pro® C2 and C3 Metering Pump, from Blue-White, are now offered with ½ inch ball check valve in the PVDF pump head for pumping viscous fluids. Other features include a rugged DC gear motor enclosed in a chemical resistant housing of polyester powder coated metal for wash-down applications (NEMA 4X – IP 66). The Chem-Pro also includes a built-in controller with remote speed control via 4-20mA pulse inputs; 100:1 turndown ratio; DFD, Built-in Leak Detection System senses chemical in the pump head and shuts off the pump; and alarm output, as well as Flow Verification System. Maximum output is 42.0 U.S. gallons per hour/159 liters per hour. Maximum pressure is 175 psi / 12 bar, suction lift 15 feet of water. Operator friendly digital touch pad and easy to read back lit LCD display that displays percentage of motor speed and diaphragm failure alarm.

Award not a distraction!

Recognition as a leader in developing new wireless technologies for consumer electronics & residential applications and demonstrating rapid growth and adoption by major customers

GreenPeak Technologies has announced that it has been named a winner in the 2012 Red Herring Top 100 Europe award, a prestigious award honoring the most promising technology innovation companies throughout Europe.

The Red Herring editorial team uses a competitive process to select the most innovative companies from a pool of several hundred from across Europe. The nominees were evaluated on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as technological innovation, quality of management, execution of strategy, customer acquisition, market size and integration into their respective industries.

Cees Links, Founder and CEO of GreenPeak technologies says: “It's an honor to be selected among this year’s impressive group and to receive this prestigious award and the recognition of the Red Herring editorial team. Winning the Red Herring Top 100 award is both recognition of market success and a motivation for us to continue focusing on providing best in class RF solutions for consumer electronics and residential applications.”

“Choosing the companies with the strongest potential was by no means a small feat,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “After rigorous contemplation and discussion, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of candidates from across Europe to the Top 100 Winners. We believe GreenPeak embodies the vision, drive and innovation that define a successful entrepreneurial venture. GreenPeak should be proud of its accomplishment, as the competition was the strongest it has ever been.”

High-voltage impulse testing

The DL850 ScopeCorder, from Yokogawa, is at the heart of a test set-up created by SP -Technical Research Institute of Sweden - to offer an impulse-voltage calibration and testing service based on the international IEC60060 standard for high-voltage testing.
High-voltage equipment in the power grid runs a high risk of being subject to transient overvoltages caused by lightning strikes. In order to test the ability of electrical equipment to survive these harsh conditions, standards such as IEC60060 prescribe testing with a standardised simulated lightning overvoltage. This voltage is defined in IEC60060 as an ideal double-exponential waveshape with a front time of 1.2 µs and a time to half-value of 50 µs.

In actual testing, the impulse generator will often create a waveshape distorted with front oscillations at a higher frequency. Research has shown that these oscillations have a small impact on the electrical withstand of the test object, and IEC60060 specifies a standardised filter that conforms to the experimental results. The filter is defined as a digital filter to be applied on digitised measured data.

There are three major parameters to measure on a lightning impulse: peak voltage, front time and time to half-value. These need to be measured at very high voltages of 1000 kV and higher. The test object and the high-voltage divider are of considerable size - up to 10 or 20 m tall - and this, together with the requirement for a flat frequency response from DC into the megahertz range, presents significant challenges to both the design and calibration of the measurement equipment.

IEC60060 requires that the tests are performed with measuring equipment that has a traceable calibration. With equipment for these voltage levels, it is not generally feasible to transport it to a calibration laboratory, and so SP has developed a test set-up, with the DL850 as an integral part, to bring the calibration laboratory to the customer.

By bringing a high-accuracy reference measuring system for voltage levels up to 500 kV to the customer, SP provides traceability to internationally recognised standards of measurement. Above 500 kV, the linearity of the system is proven by other methods that are recognised in the standard.

The first stage of the test system is a resistive voltage divider. The scale factor is determined by measuring DC resistance, and is then extended to the megahertz range by measuring the step response using a special 200 V step generator and applying convolution methods. The cables, attenuators and termination resistor are also part of the measuring system, and the resistance values of these are used when determining the scale factor. The frequency response of this set-up is flat to at least 500 MHz, providing excellent performance.

The digitiser previously used at SP was aging, and the accuracy was no longer good enough. The minimum requirements for the digitiser according to IEC61083-1 are a sampling rate of 60 MS/s and 9 bits of resolution. These values may seem modest for most applications, where the usual choice is between high sampling rate or high resolution. The combination of medium/high sampling rate and medium/high resolution found in this application is rare.

When the SP team were searching for a new replacement, one of the candidates was the Yokogawa DL850 ScopeCorder, and SP eventually selected an instrument configured for optimum lightning impulse accuracy. A key benefit of this instrument was the ability to control all pertinent operating parameters using a computer.

The DL850 ScopeCorder was calibrated using a calculable impulse voltage calibrator developed at Helsinki University by Dr. Jari Hällström, resulting in errors for peak voltage below 0.4% and for time parameters below 1.5% for a 0.84/50 µs standard lightning impulse. This is well below the requirement for the application, where the specification is for the reference measuring system to measure with an expanded uncertainty of <=1% for peak voltage and <=5% for time parameters.

SP have developed their own software for measuring impulse voltages, which is used for both controlling the DL850 ScopeCorder and analysing the results. The analysis part is freely accessible here.

SP takes part in standardisation work and this software has formed a key part of the "round robin" tests used to establish the reference values in the upcoming revision of IEC61083-2: requirements for software for impulse tests. It is important for SP to be able control all aspects of the software in order to be able to vouchsafe for the quality, making it even more important to use a test instrument that can efficiently access the raw measured data. The fact that the Yokogawa DL850 communicates using the standard VISA protocol was therefore a further strong point in its favour.

The Yokogawa DL850 ScopeCorder is a versatile instrument that combines the benefits of a high-speed oscilloscope and those of a traditional data acquisition recorder in a single, portable instrument.

The instrument features high-speed acquisition - up to 100 megasamples per second - over up to 128 channels, the ability to carry out real-time recording, a powerful user interface, and a comprehensive range of PC interfacing capabilities for wider functionality and ease of use. A key feature for electrical measurements is the isolated input module which, when combined with the 100 MS/s acquisition speed and the 12-bit resolution, makes the DL850 ideally suited to measurements such as high-voltage impulse testing.

Through the hole sensors!

The WAS range of load cells from LCM Systems has been designed specifically for engineers who need the force application component to pass through the centre of the load cell. Examples where they are used include bolt tension monitoring, press tool force measurement, forklift truck overload protection and failsafe cable tension monitoring. These ‘through the hole’ sensors can be also referred to as annular load cells, force washers or donut load cells.

Manufactured in stainless steel and environmentally sealed to IP66, the standard WAS cells range from 12.5kN to 540kN. However, LCM Systems specialise in the design of custom load cells and have answered the specific needs of many companies who require non-standard products. One such project involved the manufacture of a high temperature, stainless steel annular load cell for use in paper machinery. The challenge here was to design a through the hole sensor that was not only gave accurate load measurements but could work in both wet and dry conditions, in temperatures that varied from 10 – 100 degrees, yet was less that 30mm high. The final product was produced to the customer’s exacting requirement and was delivered with calibration certificates showing accuracy less than +/- 0.20%.

All these load cells can be supplied as stand alone products or can be incorporated into specific instrumentation packages.

Electrolyser system for water disinfection

The Siemens Industry Automation Division has added four tubular cell electrolyser systems to its water disinfection portfolio. The new Osec B-Pak™products have an enhanced, compact construction and a newly designed electrolyser cell. This systems from Siemens generates a 0.8 percent sodium hypochlorite solution from water and salt for disinfecting drinking, process and swimming pool water.

Available in four new capacities, Osec B-Pak tubular cell electrolyzer systems from the Siemens Industry Automation Division extend the output range of the company's water disinfection portfolio. The largest model, the OSEC B-Pak 260 system, can produce up to five kilograms of chlorine per hour or 120 kilograms of chlorine per day. Producing the sodium hypochlorite as-needed and on-site eliminates the dangers involved in storing and transporting chlorine gas or commercially available sodium hypochlorite solution. As it is also cheaper to operate an OSEC B-Pak system than to buy sodium hypochlorite, the initial capital cost pays off quickly.

The newly developed systems are compact and mounted on a skid to save space, easy to operate, and designed for a long service life. The core component is a newly designed, especially robust electrolyzer cell in a clear acrylic enclosure that produces a stable disinfectant solution. The low-concentration solution minimizes corrosion and degradation - loss of available chlorine during storage - which occurs with highly concentrated solutions containing 10 to 15 percent sodium hypochlorite. Operational safety is enhanced thanks to the fully automated control system. Components are readily accessible and easy to clean. The systems are supplied completely pre-assembled, electrically connected and tested, and can be quickly installed and commissioned on-site.

Catalogue relaunches website

Souriau has relaunched its industrial website  with a new intuitive e-catalogue. This catalogue will cover the broad range of metal, plastic, circular and rectangular connectors used extensively in industrial, medical, instrumentation and renewable energy where robust interconnects are required.
A new section will be dedicated to custom overmolded cable assemblies.

Initially the e-catalogue will provide easily accessible information on the popular UTS series and will be gradually expanded to cover all industrial-style interconnect solutions from the company.

Attractive features of the e-catalogue include search by:
• Part number
• Number of contacts
• Power requirements

Users can also compare features between connector types.

Simple animations describe how parts are assembled for use. PDF and 3D models will be available for all popular series as the e-catalogue expands. UTS models are available right now.

The e-catalogue will also feature typical applications drawn from actual experience.

Users will be able to conclude transaction by checking real time availability and ordering directly through their extensive global distribution network.

Thursday 26 April 2012

Three promotions

Brennan Industries recently announced the promotion of three employees.

Patrick DeCapua Jr. was promoted to director of quality and engineering from his previous position as operations manager. DeCapua has 32 years of industry experience and had founded and owned a manufacturing facility prior to joining Brennan.

Nick Longo was promoted to operations manager of Brennan’s Seattle distribution center from his previous position as regional sales manager for the Southeast and East Coast. Longo has 15 years of experience with Brennan.

Jesse Spencer was promoted to territory sales manager from his previous position in inside sales. Spencer has eight years of experience with Brennan. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the Atlanta College of Art and pursued post baccalaureate studies at Georgia State University.

Distribution area increased!

Fluke has announced an agreement with test equipment sourcing specialist, Livingston, adding new territories. This will see rental support in Britain and Ireland complementing the Fluke support services Livingston already offers across Germany and Benelux. It will cover Fluke’s entire industrial products portfolio, including power quality and energy monitoring, vibration testing and thermal imaging.

Fluke 810 Vibration Tester from Livingston!
Commenting on the new agreement, Mel Porter, Livingston’s CEO, stated, “Fluke is one of the world’s most recognised test equipment brands. All of us at Livingston are very pleased to see the relationship we have built with Fluke progress further, to include both British and Irish markets. This deal will allow potential Fluke customers to fully realise the benefits of equipment rental, giving them the option to easily upgrade their equipment as new technologies develop, as well as offering rapid access to more items of equipment if there is a sudden surge in test activity. Other operational costs and concerns that normally have to be factored in, such as insurance, calibration, maintenance, down time cover, etc, are negated, as they are all covered by our service.”

Steve Taylor, Fluke IG Regional Sales Manager – Britain & Ireland, added, “We are delighted to expand our partnership with Livingston. Among our latest products available for rent for industrial maintenance from Livingston in these countries are the handheld Fluke 810 Vibration Tester, designed and programmed to diagnose the most common mechanical problems of imbalance, looseness, misalignment and bearing failures in a wide variety of mechanical equipment; the latest, rugged Fluke Ti100, Ti110 and Ti125 Thermal Imagers, designed for plant technicians, HVAC/R professionals and electricians who need to maintain and inspect electrical and mechanical equipment and components; and the new Fluke 430 Series II three-phase Power Quality Analysers, the first tools to use a patented algorithm to measure electrical energy waste and quantify its cost.

Best student honoured!

Mr John Downey, President, ISA Ireland Section, presents a Silver Medal to Michael Greene the 2011-12 Best First Year Student in of BSc in Applied Physics & Instrumentation & BSc (Honours) in Instrument Engineering at the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), with, left, Dr Liam McDonnell, Head, Department of Applied Physics & Instrumentation and Mr Michael Loftus, Head, Faculty of Engineering & Science (right).

2013 environment show almost full

With nearly a year to go before the doors open at  Air Quality and Emissions 2013 (AQE 2013) the organisers tell us that 75% of the exhibition stands have already been sold as companies jostle for the best positions. Participants in the Conferences, Exhibition and Workshops already include many of the sector’s leading names including organisations such as the Environment Agency, UKAS, NPL and the STA, and leading companies including Horiba, Siemens, Sick and Quantitech.

AQE 2013 will take place at the Telford International Centre (GB) on 13th and 14th March and will be the seventh in a series of specialist air monitoring events, previously known as MCERTS; the new name is a reflection of the fact that the format has been considerably expanded.

European leaders are aiming to make 2013 the “Year of Air” to highlight the problems of pollution and air quality, so AQE 2013 presents an ideal opportunity for everyone with an interest in air quality to come together, exchange ideas and learn about the latest technologies, standards and regulations relating to air quality and emissions monitoring.

The AQE2013 exhibition will provide visitors with a great opportunity to inspect the latest testing and monitoring equipment and a large new demonstration area has been created to facilitate this

New distributor appointed

Left to right; Steve Rawlins, CEO, Anglia; Shalini Palmer, Regional Sales Director, Analog Devices Inc.; John Bowman, Marketing Director – Semiconductors, Anglia; Dr Carsten Suckrow, Vice President – European Sales, Analog Devices Inc.; David Pearson, Technical Director, Anglia; Pascal Cerruti, Marketing Communications and PR Director, Analog Devices Inc.
Analog Devices has appointed Anglia as a Britain & Ireland distributor. Analog Devices is expanding its sales channel network in Europe to achieve double-digit growth of its semiconductor business in the region over three years.

Carsten Suckrow, Analog Devices VP of Sales for EMEA said, “Analog Devices believes it has a substantial opportunity to increase its share of the European semiconductor market, and Anglia has convincingly demonstrated that as a channel partner they can make a real and substantial contribution towards achieving this objective.

"Anglia has shown that they have a real and deep understanding of Analog Devices’ key focus markets including industrial process control, metering systems and instrumentation. They have exceptionally strong relationships with  their customers in these and other sectors. Anglia’s technical support is particularly impressive. Their strong team of Field Applications Engineers work closely alongside customers’ design teams to ensure that their design goals are achieved.”

Commenting on the announcement, Steve Rawlins, CEO of Anglia said, “Analog Devices is a true world leader and their technology dominates key areas such as data converters. This appointment gives us a full portfolio of analog and power components to take to our customers.

“Anglia will invest substantially to ensure that we continue to exceed the expectations of our customers and suppliers in the context of this substantial expansion in our portfolio. This investment will include doubling our team of Field Application Engineers, who will all be trained by Analog Devices to an exceptional standard to ensure that they understand the portfolio fully and in depth, providing world class design support for our customers. We will also be putting in a very substantial profile of stock at our British Distribution Centre to support demand on the franchise.

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Portable Power Cell for machine & process analysis

Vydas International Marketing has a new unique portable power monitor manufactured by Load Controls Inc.

The PPC-3 portable power cell, offers accurate and extremely fast (15mS) true power measurement which is ideal for machine analysis or process development, allowing process engineers the flexibility to assess the performance of individual machines and product processes.

The instrument has been designed to complement the innovative range of Power Cell transducers, which are now firmly established with process control customers who require the very best possible motor load "process end point" monitoring signal under the most difficult industrial conditions.

Using three clip on "Hall Effect" current sensors, the instrument has a wide frequency response, is not affected by poor wave shape or frequency and is suitable for use on the OUTPUT of variable frequency or inverter drives. Many other power monitors use current transformers (CT's) and can not provide accurate measurements under such conditions.

The PPC3 power monitor is mounted in a rugged easy to carry waterproof case. A bright digital true power display calibrated in Horsepower or Kilowatts is included, with peak emphasis allowing fast moving events to be monitored. Selection switches provide flexible ranges and both 0-10V and 4-20mA isolated analogue outputs allow measurements to be transferred to remote instrumentation, chart recorders, data loggers and computers.

Many industrial process machines such as grinders, mills, mixers, rollers, pumps, compressors, extruders etc may be improved by sensing power instead of just current. Applications include monitoring optimum feed rates, tool condition, mixture viscosity, pump or fan flow, obstructions or overloads.

The PPC-3 Portable Power Monitor and Power Cell transducers are particularly suited to mixer "process end point detection" where by measuring the true power drawn by stirrer or paddle drives, it is sensitive enough to detect minute viscosity changes.

Making a splash in Florida!

The Florida Section of the American Water Works Association (FSAWWA) has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the International Society of Automation (ISA) to co-promote ISA’s 2012 Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls (WWAC) Symposium.

Traditionally held in the Orlando, Florida, USA area, the WWAC Symposium offers a unique opportunity for automation professionals from the municipal water sector to come together and share ideas. As a technical co-sponsor of the 2012 WWAC Symposium, the FSAWWA is helping ensure that the symposium continues to meet the needs of water specialists in the Florida area and abroad.

“The FSAWWA is dedicated to ensuring Florida's present and future generations a sufficient supply of high-quality drinking water by providing critical information and opportunities to more than 2,500 members,” says Richard Ratcliffe, chair of the FSAWWA. “Automation is an important part of the infrastructure for providing clean and safe drinking water. We are pleased to have partnered with the ISA so we can jointly co-promote the 2012 WWAC Symposium as an excellent continuing-education opportunity for our members.”

Slated for 7-9 August, the 2012 ISA WWAC Symposium is a three-day event that focuses on the challenges associated with automation and instrumentation in the water and wastewater sectors. It features two full days of technical speakers and presentations, a tour of a local water treatment plant, a general reception, networking events, a poster session and a supplier showcase.

“Automation has a growing and important role in the municipal drinking water sector,” mantains ISA Executive Director and CEO Pat Gouhin. “ISA has a wealth of expertise and resources in all areas of automation, and we are pleased to share this with members of the Florida Section of the AWWA. Through the partnership between the FSAWWA and ISA, we are able to bring together professionals from both associations focusing on the convergence of automation technologies and applications in the water sector.”

As a result of the memorandum of understanding, this year’s symposium is able to offer discounted pricing to both AWWA and ISA members. This is a first for the symposium, and underlines the mutual benefit the symposium brings to both associations.

ISA and the FSAWWA are also working to certify the hours that attendees spend at the symposium as approved continuing education credits for the state-licensed water operators and engineers in the state of Florida. This process requires several levels of approvals, but once it is completed it will enable the symposium to fill an important need for Florida automation professionals in the water sector. An announcement will be made once this process is complete.

With the help of the FSAWWA, this year’s WWAC Symposium keynote speaker will be Celine Hyer, a long-time AWWA member, who will present a keynote address entitled “Facility Utility Challenges: Managing Risk and Addressing Aging Infrastructure Needs.” Celine is a principal consultant with Red Oak Division of Malcolm Pirnie/ARCADIS in Tampa, Florida, where she leads the asset management practice for the South. Currently, she leads asset management projects throughout the United States for medium and large utilities including New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Dallas Water Utility, Lee County Utilities and Toho Water Authority.

In addition to the keynote presentation, the symposium will feature more than 25 technical presentations on a wide variety of automation, cybersecurity, instrumentation, plant optimization and system-integration topics. Two major themes this year are creating high-performance human machine interfaces (HMIs) to improve operational effectiveness, and developing supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and automation cybersecurity best practices. The symposium also continues with its traditional strength of sharing new ideas and lessons learned from recent plant upgrades and new-builds.

“The symposium is targeted at anyone involved with automation, instrumentation, and/or control systems in water and wastewater sectors. Attendees typically range from plant operators, maintenance and technical personnel to engineers, programmers and system integrators,” says General Symposium Chair, Graham Nasby of Eramosa Engineering Inc., who was the driving force that facilitated the newly signed agreement between the two organizations. "We are delighted to welcome the FSAWWA aboard as a technical co-sponsor for the 2012 WWAC Symposium.”

ATEX & IECEx approved sensors

The Deeter Group has attained ATEX and IECEx approval on a wide range of sensor products enabling them to be used in hazardous environments.

ATEX Directive 94/9/EC is the mandatory requirement for all equipment intended for use in a potentially explosive atmosphere to conform to specific safety standards. Many manufacturing processes, including biodiesel production, generate potentially explosive atmospheres. European Directive 137 – The protection of workers from potentially explosive atmospheres – makes it mandatory under European law to assess for an explosion risk and classify the area accordingly.

ATEX approval is now available on Deeter’s market-leading LVCS range of continuous output stainless steel vertical liquid level sensors. Available with digital and a number of different analogue output options, including 4-20mA current loop, the LVCS range may be specified with an 8 or 12mm sensor tube diameter, 1” or 2” ball float and from 100 to 4000mm tube length with optional thread mounting. The ATEX approval has been granted on both the standard Deeter LVCS and the optional Hall-Effect sensor versions.

Also now ATEX approved are the Deeter Group’s flexile range of vertical float switches which may be specified with up to 7 floats at 1” or 2” diameter, 8 or 12mm diameter tube, with lengths between 60 to 4000mm and optional thread mounting. Low and high voltage switch options are available in either SPDT or SPST contact forms.

IECEx Certification is a system intended to facilitate international trade in equipment and services for use in explosive atmospheres, while maintaining the required level of safety. Conformance to IECEx offers manufacturers reduced testing and certification costs, faster time to market, one international database listing and international confidence in the product assessment process.

Peter Whiteaker, Managing Director of Deeter Group, comments; "ATEX approval opens up a large new market for our sensor products where we are sure our wide range of standard products and fast turnaround custom designs will be very successful.”

New test set

Comprehensive, detailed testing essential to achieve real interoperability between HART DD host products

The HART® Communication Foundation has released the new enhanced HART DDL/ EDDL (Electronic Device Description Language) Host Test Suite v.2.0. The test suite is used by suppliers and developers of host products to test compliance of their HART implementation and is used by the Foundation to verify and validate compliance of host products submitted for HART Registration.

“The Host Test Suite v.2.0 is a critical part of the validation and registration process to verify automation system products comply with the DDL/ EDDL standard and fully interoperate with HART devices,” says HART Communication Foundation Executive Director Ron Helson. “The rigorous test suite automates and standardizes the host testing process to verify proper functionality, behavior and interoperability with all HART products.”

The new HART DDL/EDDL Host Test Suite v.2.0 includes:
• improved Encoded Test DDs updated to align with the current Test Specifications;
• test report spreadsheets for documenting test results;
• preliminary DD Host Test and Registration Procedure;
• new and improved Xmtr-MV v2.5; and
• other ancillary files needed to facilitate HART DDL/EDDL host testing.

The HART DDL/ EDDL Host Test Suite is one of the most extensive and rigorous host test programs in the process industry using 950 automated test cases and 8300 individual verification points. The new test suite should be used by all DD Host Application manufacturers (whether the DD-enabled host application is PC-based, handheld or calibrator).

The Host Test Suite includes test libraries, specifications and adaptable Device Simulator to stimulate and verify proper host functionality and behavior for all HART protocol versions. The Test Suite extensively exercises the host product application to verify compliant operation and functioning with respect to DDL/EDDL Operation, User Interface, Data Modeling and Method execution.

Products submitted for HART registration are tested by the Foundation to independently verify test results and validate product implementions to HART Protocol requirements. The HART Registration Program is a rigorous quality assurance program to ensure the proper functioning and interoperability of products produced to the HART Communication Standard regardless of the manufacturer.

Wireless I/O

National Instruments has announced a new wireless gateway and two new measurement nodes that extend the capabilities of the NI wireless sensor network (WSN) platform and illustrate the company’s commitment to wireless measurement technology. With NI LabVIEW system design software, engineers can easily integrate wired and wireless measurement and control systems and deploy autonomous programs to WSN nodes that perform local control, data analysis and event-based alarming or notification.

 “Some of the world’s most challenging applications require a solution that combines both wired and wireless measurement and control systems,” said Jamie Smith, director of embedded systems product marketing for NI. “With the new WSN C Series gateway, NI is one of the only companies that can offer a complete, reconfigurable platform for these hybrid systems.”

Product Features
NI 9795 C Series Gateway
• Aggregates measurement data from distributed WSN nodes, making data available within deployed LabVIEW Real-Time applications running on CompactRIO
•  Adds to existing programmable and nonprogrammable WSN gateways to offer choices for cost and flexibility

NI WSN-3230 (1-port RS232) and NI WSN-3231 (1-port RS485) Serial Nodes
•  Features one serial port and two digital I/O channels for discrete inputs, event detection and programmatic control
• Embeds query and parse algorithms directly on WSN node with LabVIEW WSN Module to create autonomous programmable interface to a variety of serial-based instruments, sensors and control boards

LVDT arrays help measure structural floor deflection

RDP Electronics are often called on to supply arrays of LVDTs for situations where it is important to measure the structural strength of floors.

A common requirement is for the strength of the floor to be determined when a indication of loading is required. Alternatively, for otherwise routine testing of structural floors inside buildings, or for concrete beams and structures inside railway stations for example, where it is necessary to measure how much the floor structure moves when a load is applied. The systems supplied by RDP involve an array of LVDT's and usually measure the frame above the floor before the floor is loaded, and the deflection is then monitored at various points. RDP has a comprehensive range of LVDTS which employ an operating principle that requires no electrical contact across the transducer position sensing element which for the user of the sensor means clean data, infinite resolution and a very long life. RDP has several decades of experience in the research, development and manufacture of LVDTs to internationally recognised quality standards.

Batch recording in pharma plant!

One of the leading Japanese pharma groups chooses Werum again!
Astellas plant in Killorglin
Astellas Ireland has decided to implement Werum´s PAS-X MES at its production facility in Killorglin, County Kerry (IRL). The MES will introduce efficient and state-of-the-art paperless Electronic Batch Recording functionality supporting compliant, efficient and lean production processes. The MES will be fully integrated with the SAP ERP system, the shop floor equipment and process control systems. Astellas intends to roll out the MES to all production processes in a phased approach.

Astellas is the second largest pharmaceutical group in Japan with three European production sites. Werum’s PAS-X is already installed in the Astellas site in Meppel (NL)

The Ireland Section of the International Society of Automation are holding a Seminar on Alternative Energy Sources and Plant Tour at Astellas in Killorglin, Co. Kerry on Tuesday 15 May 2012 @ 13.45P.M. sharp. Places limited!

Total plant automation system

New control products add functionalities and enhance connectivity to meet present and future distributed control needs of power plants and water networks

ABB has released several new products as part of its Symphony™ Plus total plant automation platform for the power generation and water industries.

The new products include a new high-performance process controller named Symphony Plus Control HPC800 and three interface modules that expand the connectivity of the controller to intelligent electronic devices using the PROFIBUS DP and HART communication protocols.

HPC800 joins existing Symphony Plus Rack controllers and is suitable for applications that require modular DIN rail packaging. It also features a fast ethernet-based plant network that makes it ideal for geographically distributed control applications in conventional or renewable power plants and water networks.

The new controller combined with PROFIBUS and HART enables integration of intelligent devices such as smart transmitters, actuators, motor control centers, flame scanners and other electronic products. By using the same function code algorithms as Symphony Plus, Harmony, and INFI 90, the HPC800 controller enables customers to effectively reuse their extensive library of ABB control solutions.

“These new products are designed to provide maximum system flexibility, reliability and efficiency” said Franz-Josef Mengede, head of ABB’s Power Generation business, a part of the company’s Power systems division. “The initiative supports ABB’s continued commitment to Symphony Plus and is part of our ‘evolution without obsolescence' approach of introducing new technology while protecting the long-term investment of customers by ensuring compatibility with preceding generations.”

The products add to ABB’s comprehensive suite of new functionalities and enhancements introduced in all areas of the Symphony Plus platform. These range from electrical integration and alarm management to engineering efficiency and cyber security.

Symphony Plus was launched as the latest generation of ABB’s highly successful Symphony family of control systems. With more than 6,000 systems installed over the past 30 years, many of them in the power generation and water sectors, this represents one of the largest installed bases of distributed control systems (DCS) in the world.

Monday 23 April 2012

Dispose of the cost of disposal!

Supplying an improved cooling solution is only half of the battle. There is also the question of how do clients dispose of the old cooling units? Rittal can solve this problem if the cooling units are old, inefficient, require frequent maintenance or are not working at all then. A new Rittal cooling system may help to save both time and energy.

Rittal’s new ‘Blue e’ cooling units    
Regardless of whether or not old cooling units are operational or even manufactured by Rittal, return them within 4 weeks of receiving the replacement Rittal equipment and Rittal will arrange for their disposal, saving the cost and inconvenience of having to make your own arrangements.

Rittal has a vast range of robust and reliable cooling solutions, including the recently introduced TopTherm Generation ‘Blue e’ cooling units. These units utilise revised refrigeration components, EC fan technology and Rittal’s Eco-mode control system to deliver energy savings of up to 45%. Not only are they energy efficient, they are also equipped with nano-coated condenser coils, which negate the need for filters in the majority of applications. An integrated electric condensate evapora-tor maintains an efficient supply of cooling for longer periods of time and increases maintenance intervals.

Help with installation of new units is available if required and for complete confidence, all of Rittal products are supported by a global service capability.

Contact Rittal to arrange a visit for an assessment of your needs and in the selection of cooling products that best satisfy your company’s requirements.

Students under water!

RDP Electronics, in conjunction with MTS are providing magnetostrictive displacement transducers for Bath University’s entry in the inaugural European International Submarine Races.

The first time the event has been staged outside the USA, teams are challenged to build and race human-powered submarines which will test the engineering expertise and stamina of enterprising university students from three continents. They will compete at Gosport, (Hants GB), during the week of 25 June 2012 using QinetiQ’s Ocean Basin, the largest freshwater tank in Europe. Here the teams from Canada, France, Oman, UK, and USA who have designed and built their own submarines will then race them flooded, piloted and pedalled by a scuba diver.

The transducers donated by RDP Electronics and MTS to Bath Universtity’s team. utilise a magnetostrictive principle that permits absolute, contact free position measurement combining various magneto-mechanical effects with precise speed measurement of a sound pulse in a wave guide.

Dr William Megill, FIMarEST, Director of the Ocean Technologies Lab in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Bath, who has taken teams to the USA races on three occasions, explained, “The Races combine an engineering design challenge with the technical skill development, and sets them in a unique and exciting sporting competition. There are very real applications for the science and technology employed in these craft as we seek to find ever more effective ways of exploring the waters of the world using autonomous underwater vehicles.”

RDP Electronics offers a range of transducers suitable for submersible applications including DCW and ACW submersible displacement transducers.

Major award for manufacturer of optical scientific instrumentation

Edinburgh Instruments has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – International Trade, one of the most coveted awards in British industry. These awards are made by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of the Prime Minister, assisted by an Advisory Committee and recognise the winners for being among the most successful companies in Britain and for their outstanding achievement in international trade.

Gaining the Queens Award for Enterprise is a great honour for the company, which currently employs around 70 people, and recognises the sustained international growth that the company has achieved, keeping the company firmly on target to increase turnover by £1.3 million (€1.6m)  to £9.5 million (€11.6m) this year, such is the international demand for its wide ranging instrumentation product portfolio.

Commenting on the award, Alan Faichney, Chief Executive Officer, Edinburgh Instruments said: “We are deeply honoured to have won the Queens Award for Enterprise. Our success can be attributed to the specialised skills and commitment from the entire team at Edinburgh Instruments who have the vision to design and create our wide range of photonic and sensor products used in research and industrial facilities across the globe. This Queens Award belongs to them. Our thanks also go to Scottish Enterprise who have assisted us very effectively in many ways over the past two years."

Calibration service for EMC test products

Teseq has UKAS accreditation for on-site calibration of all EFT, PQT, Surge, pulse generators, Harmonic & Flickers analysers and offers “no down time” antenna calibration in its new purpose built chamber, avoiding delays caused by weather on open-field test sites.

Accreditation underwrites the competence of a calibration laboratory and provides confidence in all certificates and reports issued due to the implementation of widely accepted criteria set by the European (CEN) or international (ISO) standardisation bodies. These standards address issues such as impartiality, competence and reliability ensuring confidence in the compatibility of certificates and reports across national borders.

Subscribing to calibration services from EMC experts, who develop and manufacture EMC instruments, offers a unique level of service. The friendly and reliable TESEQ team has extensive product knowledge and many years of experience of calibration and repair of their own equipment and that of other major suppliers.

EMC calibration services provided by TESEQ include; harmonic and flicker calibration, magnetic field immunity generator calibration and a complete solution for EMC/RF calibration. For customer convenience they provide a door-to-door collection and delivery service of equipment for calibration.

TESEQ own 7 calibration laboratories around the world, 6 of which have National and International accreditations. They offer on-site calibration, fast-turnaround laboratory services of all types of EMC equipment from any manufacturer. Maintenance contracts are available as is an automatic calibration reminder service

Five of the seven TESEQ calibration laboratories are accredited by the following national accreditation authorities to EN ISO/IEC 17025 which is the latest international standard specifically addressing the performance of calibration laboratories

Plant safety, reliability and profitability improved

Improvements to market-leading dynamic simulation software drive operational excellence
Invensys Operations Management has issued the newest release of its SimSci-Esscor® dynamic simulation software. Version 5.0 of the company’s DYNSIM® software contains many additional features that expand its capabilities, improve its performance, lower total cost of ownership, extend usage and greatly reduce the time required to engineer and build process models.

“DYNSIM 5.0 offers functionality far beyond traditional simulation software, including new patent-pending code to handle start-up and shutdown sequences robustly and efficiently,” said Tobias Scheele, Ph.D., vice president, advanced applications at Invensys Operations Management. “The new code greatly improves the performance of our DYNSIM software and realistically depicts plant conditions while maintaining full rigorous modeling. Simply stated, the software helps manufacturers meet the dynamic challenges of designing, commissioning, controlling and operating a process plant safely, reliably and profitably.”

DYNSIM software is a rigorous, first-principle dynamic simulator that predicts the time-dependent behavior of industrial processes. A well designed DYNSIM model accurately depicts the same hydraulic, heat transfer and other equipment constraints as the actual plant and provides a single scalable application that can help companies reduce capital costs, improve plant design, trim commissioning time, increase asset availability and train and certify control room and field operators in a safe environment.

Dynamic simulation studies that are commonly performed with DYNSIM software include distillation column relief load reduction, compressor startup and surge analysis, de-pressuring analysis, refinery steam control and flare system analysis. To accelerate the learning curve, version 5.0 also adds functionality from its DYNSIM Power software offering, such as an enhanced compressor and expander models, as well as pipeline models from its PIPEPHASE® software, including two-phase flow modeling, acceleration pressure drop modeling and a global pipeline database.

Saturday 21 April 2012

Bridging the Intrinsically-Safe Fieldbus Disconnect

MooreHawke, a division of Moore Industries has released a new white paper highlighting the various methods of connecting fieldbus devices in hazardous areas without compromising safety. “Bridging the Intrinsically-Safe Fieldbus Disconnect” (pdf), presents an overview of different ways to safely implement PROFIBUS PA or FOUNDATION fieldbus H1™ networks in hazardous areas while maintaining cost control and the inherent advantages of fieldbus.

The white paper highlights different methods of designing and installing fieldbus in hazardous areas including Entity, FISCO and High-Powered Trunk with field barriers. It also explores the High Power Intrinsically-Safe Trunk concept pioneered by MooreHawke. This method allows users to get up to 350mA of I.S. power into a hazardous area by utilizing a patented split-architecture design.

Readers of the white paper will have a better understanding of the complexities of Intrinsically-Safe fieldbus designs along with the history of innovations that have led to the latest industry advances. The white paper also includes a full-page chart highlighting key data points and installation advantages unique to each method.

Enterprise integration software ensures operations-focused business continuity

The new version of its Wonderware Enterprise Integrator software, built on the Invensys ArchestrA System Platform 2012 supports the latest operating systems and technology, including Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and new versions of Internet Explorer for its web-based user interface.

Product overview:
Wonderware Enterprise Integrator offers powerful site-to-enterprise integration capabilities. It links several of the company’s ArchestrA System Platform-based applications (Wonderware MES Software, InBatch and Intelligence), as well as other third-party software applications, with ERP, PLM, SCM, LIMS or other enterprise systems. The software facilitates automatic exchange and transformation of production-related data. It helps to manage abnormal situations, including interrupted connections or loss of data, using automatic store and forward, and allows manual operator intervention to resend or adjust transactions based on a full detailed message history. The software removes point-to-point application integration, leveraging a flexible, reusable, standards-based integration methodology to support corporate standards, reduce IT burden and maintain uptime and productivity.

Key capabilities:
• Reliable message transportation and persistence;
• Message store and forward, history and contingency;
• Extensibility to adopt project-specific functionality, such as system connectivity, message transformation and translation;
• Supports B2MML message definitions based upon ISA-S95 standards;
• Configuration, administration, status monitoring and manual operator intervention via a secure web-based user interface menu.

Friday 20 April 2012

Firmware & workbench for building automation products!

ISaGRAF has released ISaGRAF version 6.1. ISaGRAF is the industry-leading IEC 61131-3 and IEC 61499 compliant firmware and workbench for building industrial automation products. ISaGRAF 6.1 is a major release, consisting of a new workbench, and the new version 5.3 of the C5 firmware. Now based on the powerful Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010, it offers improved speed, a new and improved user interface, and enhanced windows docking and package management.

Version 6.1 includes plug-ins for new features as well as plug-ins to implement some of the features that made the award-winning ISaGRAF 5 so popular with customers worldwide. Amongst the features reintroduced in the ISaGRAF 6.1 Workbench is the addition of an IEC 61499 editor. Other available languages include: LD, FBD, ST, SFC, and SAMA.

Another important feature now available with this latest release is Version Source Control, which provides a means for multiple users to work on the same elements (e.g. Device, Resource, POU) by performing a check-out/check-in. It also allows users to manage multiple versions of a project, back-up and restore entire projects or certain elements of a project, and compare files between different versions.

Other new ISaGRAF 6.1 features include User Interrupts, Failover, Dependency Tree, Block Library, Variable Lock Monitor, and Controller Status.

Since different types of applications require different types of Interrupts (e.g. time, pulse, I/O…), ISaGRAF’s implementation of Interrupts provides a toolkit that allows OEMs to define and map their interrupts to an ISaGRAF application. It also includes a plug-in for end-users to configure and program the interrupts.

Failover is a back-up operational mode in which the functions of a control system are assumed by a secondary control system when the primary system becomes unavailable due to equipment failure or scheduled down time. It is used to make control systems more fault-tolerant. The ISaGRAF 6.1 Failover feature allows the user to modify control decisions and change the conditions under which a controller gains or loses control.

The Dependency Tree plug-in provides users with a complete overview of all related elements in an application so that they can see all variable dependencies, as well as ascendant and descendant dependencies for each variable.

The Block Library is a user interface improvement that allows users to drag and drop any function or function block into a program instead of making a selection from the block selector. Functions and function blocks are contextual to the selected project, device or resource, they are grouped by scope or category, and users can also search by block name.

The Variable Lock Monitor displays a list of all locked variables.

The Controller Status feature provides users with key information about their controller, including the version of the project they are running, as well as the cycle time and the number of locked variables.

The new C5 Firmware version 5.3 has several new templates, including Microsoft Windows and Linux templates for the new User Interrupts and Failover features. Other new features include SFC priorities for simultaneous transition in the event of OR divergence.

ISaGRAF 6.1 still includes a free version consisting of the ISaGRAF Free Firmware running on XP Embedded, 32- and 64-bit Windows XP®, Windows Vista® & Windows 7®, and a fully functioning version of the ISaGRAF 6.1 workbench, with which developers can create complete applications. The ISaGRAF Free Firmware includes a Modbus TCP Client, as well as a Modbus TCP Server.

Tape extension position sensors

ASM Sensors has expanded its newest product line of tape extension position sensors, POSITAPE® with the introduction of the WB25 series. The POSITAPE® family was developed for applications that require the use of cable pulleys due space limitations. The measurement ranges of the WB25 series are 12m, 15m, 20m and 25m all in very compact housings.

The highly flexible measurement tape is constructed out of a high-tech stainless steel material that is 10 mm wide with only a 0.08 mm thickness. Due to its very smooth surface, the risk of icing is reduced. An integral tape dust wiper automatically cleans the tape each time that it is being retracted into the housing.

The WB25 series has a standard IP64 enclosure rating with an option for an IP67 rating and is available with the typical analog outputs: 0.5-10V, 0.5-4.5 and 4-20 mA. For the digital output versions, CANopen, CAN SAE J1939 and SSI protocols are available. The linearity of WB25 series sensor is +/- 0.05% of full scale.

The angular sensing element consists of a magnetic encoder which translates the linear motion into an electrical signal. This highly reliable magnetic encoder is very shock and vibration resistant which allows it to function in demanding environmental conditions. The rugged construction of the WB25 series provides for a long-life even under harsh operating conditions such as those found in off-highway vehicles and construction equipment. The space saving stainless tape design provides a small housing foot print with long measurement ranges.