Wednesday 31 October 2012

Communications board has new member

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has been named to the The HART® Communication Foundation Board of Directors. Yokogawa has been a member of the Foundation since its inception in 1993 and actively participates and makes valuable contributions on the Foundation’s executive committee, marketing committee and technology working groups. This company one of the industry’s leading suppliers of HART-enabled devices and control systems and joins ABB, Emerson Process Measurement, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell and Siemens as a Foundation board member. Yokogawa will be represented on the Foundation board by Kimikazu Takahashi, Yokogawa Corporate Fellow.

“We are very pleased to have Yokogawa participate on our Board of Directors and contribute their valuable expertise and support to advance HART technology and Foundation programs. We are confident they will be a positive and effective member of our leadership team,” said Ron Helson, Foundation Executive Director, “Yokogawa has a long-standing commitment to HART Communication since launching their first HART-enabled product in 1993. With their extensive knowledge of field instrumentation, control and data acquisition systems, they actively support and advance the integration and communication between HART field devices and host systems. Yokogawa sees HART Communication as one of key automation technologies to help industrial facilities achieve significant increases in efficiency and cost effectiveness. ”

“HART is an important technology for the process automation industry. Yokogawa supports the HART Communication Foundation standards and technologies including WirelessHART® and appreciates the opportunity to participate on the Foundation Board of Directors,” says Takahashi. “We are pleased to take a more active leadership role to promote and advance the use of HART Communication in Japan and Asia-Pacific Region. We are also eager to participate and make positive contributions to advance the Compliance Testing and Registration program for HART host systems.”

He continued: "We also believe Yokogawa will be a good driving force to move forward Wireless Convergence by fully utilising our expertise of two technologies, WirelessHART and ISA100.11a, as we have unique experience in both developing and early adaption of these technologies in our products and recognise that both WirelessHART and ISA100.11a are important and relevant to the market".

Chiaki Itoh, Division Manager of the IA Marketing Headquarters’ Business Planning Division, added that “Being in such a responsible position in the HART Communication Foundation enables Yokogawa to further contribute to the Foundation and the HART Communication technology from both the device and host system perspective”.

Yokogawa recognizes the value and importance of HART technology to its clients and the global automation industry. Yokogawa has invested and continues to invest substantial resources to implement and support HART Communication in both its host systems and field devices. In April, 2010 they introduced wired HART 7 compliant pressure/differential pressure transmitters. Yokogawa is recognized as the second largest HART pressure/differential pressure transmitter supplier in the world.

Ethernet switching!

Red Lion Controls has announced that the company has expanded its portfolio of industrial Ethernet switching solutions with the new N-Tron 716M12 and Sixnet SLX-5EG, SLX-3EG and SLX-3ES switches and media converters.Available now, these Ethernet switches and converters provide high performance in a rugged package to meet networking requirements for industrial applications such as transportation and video surveillance.
The Red Lion N-Tron 716M12 managed switches deliver 16 Ethernet ports with M12 connectors in a rugged IP67 enclosure, which is ideal for wash down, temporary water immersion, offshore, dust proof, military, power substation, transportation and other outdoor applications that experience exposure to liquids and excessive dirt and dust. The 716M12 has UL approval for use in Class 1, Div. 2 hazardous locations and the EN50155 certification for railway applications.

The Red Lion Sixnet SLX-5EG switches provide 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports for real-time operation and high performance in industrial networking environments. With rugged packaging that offers superior reliability in extreme environments, these easy-to-use switches require no user setup and work right out of the box. Available in two models, the SLX-5E-1 offers 5 Gigabit copper ports with 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE) available on 4 ports while the SLX-5E-2SFP delivers 3 Gigabit 10/100/1000 PoE and 2 Gigabit SFP ports.

The Red Lion Sixnet SLX-3EG is a rugged 3 port Gigabit industrial Ethernet media converter that provides flexibility and fast performance in industrial settings. For additional connectivity options, Red Lion also offers SLX-3ES Ethernet copper-to-fiber media converters.

“Many transportation, video surveillance and security applications run outdoors in harsh conditions around the clock so they require reliable Ethernet connections,” said Diane Davis, director of product management, Ethernet networking at Red Lion Controls. “Our new switches provide flexible connectivity options that deliver the reliability and performance expected of industrial Ethernet to support bandwidth-intensive applications such as video traffic.”

The 716M12 and all SLX switches and media converters are available now through authorized Red Lion N-Tron and Sixnet resellers and distributors.

Hybrid/Electric battery monitor

The LTC 6804 high voltage battery monitor from Linear Technologies, is for hybrid electric and electric vehicles, and other high voltage, stacked-battery systems. An LTC6804 can measure up to 12 series connected battery cells at voltages up to 4.2V with 16 bit resolution and better than 0.04% accuracy. This high precision is maintained over time, temperature and operating conditions by a sub-surface Zener voltage reference similar to references used in precision instrumentation. When stacked in series, the LTC6804 enables the measurement of every battery cell voltage in large high voltage systems. Six operating modes are available to optimize update rate, resolution and the low pass response of the built-in 3rd order noise filter. In the fastest mode, all cells can be measured within 290µsec.

Multiple LTC6804s can be interconnected over long distances and operated simultaneously, using Linear Technology’s proprietary 2-wire isoSPI™ interface. Integrated into every LTC6804, the isoSPI interface provides high RF noise immunity up to 1Mbps and up to 100 meters of cable, using only twisted pair. Two communication options are available: with the LTC6804-1, multiple devices are connected in a daisy chain with one host processor connection for all devices; with the LTC6804-2, multiple devices are connected in parallel to the host processor with each device individually addressed.

The LTC6804 was designed to minimize power consumption, especially during long-term storage where battery drain is unacceptable. In sleep mode, the LTC6804 draws less than 4µA from the batteries. General purpose I/O pins are available to monitor analog signals, such as current and temperature, and can be captured simultaneously with the cell voltage measurements. Additional features include passive balancing for each cell with a programmable balancing timer for up to 2 hours, even when the LTC6804 is in sleep mode. The LTC6804 interfaces with external I2C devices such as temperature sensors, ADCs, DACs and EEPROM. Local EEPROM can be used to store serialization and calibration data, enabling modular systems.

The LTC6804 was designed to surpass the environmental, reliability and safety demands of automotive and industrial applications. The LTC6804 is fully specified for operation from -40°C to 125°C. It has been engineered for ISO 26262 (ASIL) compliant systems and a full set of self-tests ensure that there are no latent fault conditions. To accomplish this, the LTC6804 includes a redundant voltage reference, extensive logic test circuitry, open wire detection capability, a watchdog timer and packet error checking on the serial interface.

“The LTC6804 combines 30 years of analog experience with hard-earned lessons in automotive battery management,” says Mike Kultgen, design manager for Linear Technology. “On the bench, or on the road, this part delivers outstanding performance.”

Along with the LTC6804, Linear Technology is introducing the LTC6820 isoSPI transceiver. The LTC6820 enables bidirectional transmission of the Serial Peripheral Interface bus (SPI) across an isolated barrier up to 100 meters. With the LTC6820, the SPI data is encoded into a differential signal, which is then transmitted via twisted pair and a simple, inexpensive Ethernet transformer. The LTC6820 supports SPI data rates up to 1MHz, using matched source and sink currents to eliminate the need for a transformer center tap and to reduce EMI. The drive currents and the comparator thresholds are set with two resistors, allowing the system to be optimized for cable length and signal-to-noise performance. The LTC6820 is a companion to the LTC6804 high voltage battery monitor with its built-in isoSPI interface.  Battery management systems using the LTC6804 can interface to external components, such as microcontrollers, via the LTC6820.

World's smallest dc power relay

Omron Electronic Components Europe has the world’s smallest and lightest high capacity DC power relay, aimed specifically at hybrid and fuel cell cars and other electric vehicles. The relay is also ideal for other DC power applications in renewable energy and industrial systems.

Known as the G9EN, the new relay is half the size (28x40x50mm) and weight (140g) of previous comparable Omron relays; a breakthrough achieved using newly developed proprietary sealing technologies and new magnetic control methods. The new relay also features a non-polarized contact circuit which not only helps make it smaller and lighter, but also simplifies the wiring and mounting in vehicles and other systems.

Commenting, Mark Jones, COO of Omron Electronic Components Europe, said, “The G9EN was developed in partnership with clean energy car manufacturers and addresses their need for greater circuit design flexibility and components that enable down-sizing and weight reduction of on-board electrical equipment.”

Although the G9EN was designed for hybrid and electric vehicles, their chargers and accessories, its’ characteristics also make it ideal for a number of other applications. These include feeder circuits and condensers for fuel cell and solar power systems and in dc-powered industrial equipment such as elevators, industrial robots and testing devices.

Design features enabling the size and space reduction include changing the ceramic sealing construction from a conventional box-shaped ceramic case to a combination of ceramic plating and metal casing. The unique, non-polarized main terminal means that the G9EN is suitable for use in applications requiring two-way current flow. It also means it is not necessary to consider the mounting direction or the orientation of the device, making wiring and mounting much easier, and reducing the risk of incorrect wiring.

Bioaerosol sampler

Amidst growing concerns with the health effects of airborne particles, Air Monitors is launching a new portable air sampler which significantly enhances the ability to measure and control biological contamination.

The ‘Coriolis µ’ has a new wet-walled cyclone technology that improves bioaerosol sampling for bacteria, pollen, endotoxins, viruses and fungal spores. Traditional techniques rely on the impact of biological particles on a solid growth medium, but the Coriolis µ collects the particles in a liquid at a high flow rate (300 l/m) with validated efficiency. The liquid containing the particles is compatible with a number of the latest rapid microbiological analysis methods.

The Coriolis µ offers advantages for sampling air with a high bioaerosol burden (which would saturate traditional solid media) because the liquid can be divided into multiple agar plates. This technology is also ideal for air with a low burden, because the Coriolis µ can collect for an extended period.

Air Monitors, Managing Director Jim Mills says “This is an exciting development and I think that as scientific knowledge in this area grows, it will become a standard method very quickly. In the meantime, I can see a wide variety of research and air quality investigation applications that would greatly benefit from this technology.”

Spectrum monitoring receiver

National Instruments has announced the NI PXIe-5667 spectrum monitoring receiver to address radio monitoring, interference detection, spectrum regulation and related applications in line with ITU recommendations.

The PXIe-5667 3.6 and 7 GHz spectrum monitoring receivers feature best-in-class dynamic range of over 110 dB and distortion performance with third-order intercept (TOI) of over 17 dBm. Built on the award-winning, high-performance NI PXIe-5665 vector signal analyser (VSA) architecture, the wide-band receiver is ideal for over-the-air RF measurements. In addition to industry-leading analogue specifications, the NI PXIe-5667 allows users to perform real-time signal analysis and advanced signal processing in user-configurable FPGA hardware.

Coupled with NI FlexRIO and the NI LabVIEW FPGA Module, the NI PXIe-5667 can perform real-time analysis of RF signals such as continuous spectrum monitoring, spectrogram and advanced signal processing in the FPGA hardware without the latency of moving data to and from the host controller or PC. Available LabVIEW FPGA IP include digital downconverter channelisation, frequency hop detection and the ability to uncover spectrum mask violations.

“We are extremely pleased with the performance of the NI PXIe-5667,” said Jin Bains, Vice President of R&D for RF at National Instruments. “Its phenomenal dynamic range and scan rate, which is more than 10 times better than that of competing receivers, make it a game changer for radio monitoring applications.”

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Portable Mag Flow meter

OTT Hydrometry has launched a new portable current meter for fast accurate flow measurements in open channels. The OTT MF Pro is robust, simple to use and able to provide accurate measurements in shallow or low flow conditions, even in turbulent, high sediment or at sites where weed growth is an issue.

As an electromagnetic current meter with no moving parts, the OTT MF Pro requires almost no maintenance and never requires recalibration. The instrument’s display guides users through the cross-section measurements and velocity data are graphed in real-time, allowing trends to be visualised quickly. Users can enter depth information manually during the measurement work or an optional depth sensor is available

At the end of the measurement, the instrument automatically calculates discharge employing recognised international standards for flow monitoring. All data is logged and can be transferred to PC at a later time.

OTT’s Robin Guy, a flow monitoring specialist, says “The MF Pro will be extremely popular with hydrologists because measurements often need to be taken quickly and many rivers and streams are difficult to access, so a lightweight, robust, fast instrument is ideal.”

New head for European fieldbus council

Ulrich Turck, Managing Director – Hans Turck GmbH & Co. KG and Turck Holding GmbH, has been elected as Chairman to the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) Executive Advisory Council (EAC)of Fieldbus Foundtation for the next annual term of office.

Ulrich Turck
Turck began his career studying at the University of Bochum (D). Specializing in electronic components, Turck graduated with a Diplom-Ingenieur (Master). He worked as an aerospace project engineer on the German Space Lab, Mission D2, and also spent time at the Kennedy Space Centre, and participated with the ground crew at the Mission Control Center during flight. For over 25 years Turck has been employed in the family company, Hans Turck GmbH & Co. KG, where he has held the position of Managing Director with responsibilities to establish global subsidiaries, in particular in East Europe, Asia and Brazil. His current role focuses on Hans Turck's Process Automation business unit. In addition to holding the position of Managing Director of both Hans Turck GmbH & Co. KG and Turck Holding GmbH, Turck is a shareholder of both companies.

Turck takes over the chairmanship from Jean-Marie Alliet of Honeywell Process Systems. Elections for the post of Vice-Chairman for the 2012/2013 term of office will be held at the council's meeting due to be held during the SPS/IPC/Drives exhibition in Nuremberg (D), in November and will be announced in due course.

The Fieldbus Foundation EMEA EAC members include: Gregor Kilian, ABB; Travis Hesketh, Emerson Process Management; Dr. Raimund Sommer, Endress+Hauser; Jean-Marie Alliet, Honeywell; Hartmut Wallraf, Invensys; Günter Pinkowski, Krohne; Rob Stockham, Moore Industries; Peter Maxwell, MTL-Cooper Crouse Hinds; Dr. Gunther Kegel, Pepperl+Fuchs; Paul Brooks, Rockwell Automation; Herbert Schober, R. Stahl; Dr. Wolfgang Trier, Softing (Treasurer); Ulrich Turck, Hans Turck (Chairman), and Henk van der Bent, Yokogawa.

Marc Van Pelt, Vice-President – Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Operations, welcomed Turck to his new role. "Firstly, I would like to thank Jean-Marie Alliet for his dedication to the role of Chairman over the last two years and I'm looking forward to working closely with Ulrich over the forthcoming year as we progress further with several FOUNDATION technology and marketing initiatives throughout the EMEA region. The marketplace is currently experiencing challenging times but it is also an exciting time in terms of the many technological advancements of FOUNDATION technology for automation infrastructures and how we meet the needs of global end users."

The Fieldbus Foundation EMEA EAC, a committee of senior executives from EMEA's leading control and instrumentation companies, was established in February 2005 in response to growing demand for FOUNDATION fieldbus in the EMEA industrial market. The advisory council is dedicated to promoting the adoption of FOUNDATION technology by automation equipment suppliers and end users and it ensures the funding and availability of human resources to support local fieldbus marketing activities across the EMEA region. Implementation of the EAC's directives and the development of regional marketing initiatives are undertaken by the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Steering Committee together with local marketing groups.

Embedded loadcell for offshore! A first!

The BLH and Nobel Weighing Systems brands of Vishay Precision Group have released the LCAMP, a new embedded load cell transmitter for offshore applications.

The ATEX Ex ia IIC rated LCAMP transmitter is embedded in BLH and Nobel load cells. It is the industry's first such device that can be serviced and replaced in the field and that allows the transmitter and load cell to be replaced independently of each other without affecting system calibration. The unit output is two-wire 4 mA to 20 mA and supports HART protocol for calibration and system diagnostics of both the load cell and transmitter.

The LCAMP features a combined error rate of less than ±1% of RO, NAMUR compliant error signaling, an input voltage range of 10.5 V to 42 V DC, and IP 68 ingress protection when mounted in a load cell.

The unit is operational within a second from power-on. Fully-redundant units as well as other customizations are available.

The LCAMP connects through an M12 connector or a fixed-cable connection and is specified for operating temperature range of -40°C to +70°C.

Good things come in small packages!

Small, accurate and reliable RH and temperature measurement probe!

The Michell PCMini52 relative humidity (RH) and temperature probe provides excellent accuracy and stability in a package that is small yet tough for harsh environments. Widely used for applications including controlled environments, precision manufacturing and meteorology, the instrument comes with a range of options to match usage requirements.

The PCMini52 utilises a thin-film capacitive sensor, designed for extremely fast response and long-term stability for repeatable measurements. The design provides a large capacitive response to small changes in humidity which, in turn, makes the sensor highly sensitive to even small changes in humidity. Digital temperature compensation further ensures excellent device linearity. The PCMini52 electronics are coated in a protective resin to ensure high reliability even in damp and harsh environmental conditions and it has the option of a stainless steel housing for added strength and robustness.

With a miniature space envelope of 80mm in length and 12mm diameter, this versatile probe has a range of output signal options and offers %RH, dew-point, absolute humidity or wet bulb along with temperature readings. The extremely low power consumption of the probe enables it to be used with a battery or for wireless operation if required – ideal for remote applications such as weather stations.

• Marketed in Ireland through Instrument Technology.

New square-bodied ISO cylinder!

The leading international supplier of automation equipment, Festo, has launched the new DSBC range of square-bodied ISO cylinders with innovative PPS self-adjusting air cushioning as standard. The DSBC offers machine builders and end users all the benefits of adjustable air cushioning but without the difficulties associated with set up and without a cost premium.

An out-of-the-box solution for most applications, the DSBC with PPS cushioning system automatically compensates and adjusts for the set speed and mass that the cylinder is moving in a safe and controlled manner. This makes it easier to comply with the safety standards and create set up instructions within the Machinery Directive.

At the core of Festo’s PPS cushioning system is an innovative cushioning boss, which features a combination of U and V-shaped grooves running along its full or partial length. This arrangement allows some of the air to escape at a proportional rate to the inertia of the cylinder as it moves into a closed chamber in the end cap enabling a smooth, reproducible de-acceleration.

“DSBC is the next generation of square-bodied ISO cylinder with economical and controlled PPS cushioning as standard,” says Steve Sands, Product Manager at Festo. “Gone are the days fitters need to manually adjust the cylinder’s air cushioning while the machine is active, or the machine suffers undue wear and tear when cylinders are incorrectly set up. Designers also benefit from this brand new range of DSBC cylinders with a large number of modular variants for adapting to specific environments and applications at a cost-effective price.”

The ISO standard cylinder is available in six diameters up to 100mm and with strokes up to two metre lengths. The wide range of application optimised seal variants include hard scraper rings for dust protection, dry running seals suitable for washdown environments, seals for temperatures down to -40°C or heat resistance up to 150°C and acid resistant seals.

Optional accessories include a square piston rod for protection against rotation; seal options for steady speeds or low friction running, clamping cartridge and end-position locking to prevent cylinder movements even in the event of air failure, as well as ATEX 2G explosion protection with relevant documentation.

Festo’s common parts strategy reduces logistics and manufacturing costs with the end result for the customer of a short leadtime and competitive price. In addition, Festo holds a large number of standard stroke cylinders on the shelf for next day delivery, with special stoke lengths available to order. Costs are held down through the use of a patented piston design utilising an innovative three shot moulding technique which produces the sealing, bearing and magnetic sensor ring into a single high performance piston.

Cavity pressure monitoring system

New firmware for the Kistler CoMo Injection cavity pressure monitoring system introduces mould recognition and automatic loading of mould data making mould connection and setting easier and faster during mould changes. New connectors, with mould ID Chips, simplify loading of mould and product data sets and indicate connection errors on the CoMo Injection touch screen display or PC. Connection errors are detected quickly and can be corrected before they can cause any problems. Synchronized processing of uniform evaluation objects for pressure monitoring multi-cavity moulds is now significantly easier.

The CoMo Injection output channels for controlling reject gates or removal robots can now be easily tested via One Touch check. This function ensures the reliable separation of rejects and allows network-based data management.

In combination with the CoMo DataCenter (management information system) and integral Curve Viewer module, the CoMo Injection system offers sensor, connection system, process control and monitoring through to process data storage, documentation and analysis. As a complete system for zero-defect production, CoMo Injection allows users to progress towards 100% quality during injection moulding.

Vector network analyser

The NI PXIe-5632 VNA, just announced by National Instruments, is optimised to help engineers meet increasingly complex RF test requirements at a fraction of the cost, size and time compared to traditional rack-and-stack solutions. The new PXIe VNA is built on an innovative dual-source architecture with frequency range covering 300 kHz to 8.5 GHz, independently tuned sources and source access loops to cover a diverse set of measurement applications

The vector network analyser (VNA) reduces the cost of test through fast automated measurements, a feature-rich instrument architecture and simplified test system development. The PXI Express module integrates advanced VNA measurement capabilities to complete PXI-based test systems incorporating precision DC, high-speed analogue and digital measurements, and more

“NI continues its strong investment in RF and microwave instrumentation expanding the adoption of PXI into high-end applications,” said Jin Bains, Vice President of RF Research and Development at National Instruments. “The extensive feature set of the NI PXIe-5632 VNA significantly reduces the cost of network measurements, especially in high-volume automated test applications that require highly accurate measurements, a fast measurement speed and a small footprint.”

Hungarian valve plant expanded

Emerson Process Management has expanded its valve automation manufacturing capability with the opening of a new state-of-the-art facility in Székesfehérvár (H). The plant, opened officially in September 2012,  will help address Emerson’s customers’ key requirements of fast delivery and a high level of service and support. Emerson expects that the increased production capacity will help reduce delivery times for customers in Europe by as much as 25%.
The official opening of the new state-of-the-art Székesfehérvár facility in September 2012.
The new 6,000 m2 site is dedicated to the manufacture of Emerson’s valve automation products for distribution in Europe. The plant will specifically produce Emerson’s Bettis™ range of medium and large size scotch yoke actuators, including both double acting and spring return models. The new facility was officially opened in September 2012 and has a flexible production capacity to meet demand.

"Demand for our actuator products has grown significantly," said Eric Saussaye, vice president, Emerson Process Management Valve Automation, Europe. "The new facility and the increased capacity offered will ensure we meet our customers’ needs and help them get their operations running more quickly."

The new ISO 9001:2008 and PED (Pressure Equipment Directive) certified facility will provide a world-class manufacturing capability and strengthen Emerson’s local presence, improving responsiveness and market competitiveness by streamlining material sourcing, optimising inventory management, and reducing lead time. This new production facility will provide greater support to major energy and industrial projects across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Emerson has operated in Székesfehérvár since 1996 and currently has 550 employees servicing the requirements of the thriving oil, chemical and energy industries in the region. Emerson will add 50 additional employees and with on-going developments at the facility, this number is expected to double over the next 12 months.

Quality station inspection systems

Vision systems integrator, Olmec, has introduced the QS and QS+ turnkey, self-contained vision inspection systems as part of the ‘Quality Station’ range. With a footprint of just 1.2 m x 0.7 m, they are easily added to the manufacturing environment to provide in-line inspection. Featuring an integral transport and reject mechanism, they can be used in conjunction with other quality inspection tools such as checkweighers or on their own.

Both the QS and QS+ can accommodate product up to 300 x 300 x 500 mm size and 6 kg weight at rates up to 60 m/minute. The QS is designed to inspect product either from the top or the sides, while the QS+ also allows inspection of the underside of the product. QS and QS+ systems are delivered fully configured and tested for the particular application. Vision experts will discuss the application in detail, then choose the most appropriate camera(s), lighting and reject mechanism and set up all the inspection tools needed before carrying out a rigorous and fully documented off-line testing and acceptance programme prior to installation.

Typical applications for the QS include checking for product assembly completeness, colour or defect analysis, as well as label inspection. Label inspection includes full code reading capabilities including 1D and 2D codes with character verification and even the ability to make calculations from data read from the label to, for example, check that for a given unit price and the weight or volume displayed on the label that the package price is correct.

The QS+ is capable of all of the above inspections, but can also inspect product from below as well, allowing, for example, labels on the bottom of a product to be read and checked for conformity with other labels on the product.

Comprehensive communication links allow easy integration into customers’ production lines as well as providing remote connectivity for fast diagnostics. An intuitive user interface makes it very easy to operate.

Olmec Technical Director, Robert Pounder, commented: “The Quality Station range offers a fresh approach to in-line vision inspection. We’ve utilised our considerable vision systems expertise gained from years of implementing traditional in-line inspection systems to produce a standard product. By thoroughly testing that the Quality Station meets the required inspection criteria before delivery, risk is mitigated for the user.”

Monday 29 October 2012

High pressure transducers!

From components to contraceptives - high pressure transducers are up to the job

Burst pressure testing to the point of destruction to determine the design limits of components used in many situations is a common aplication for RDP pressure transducers.
Certain components may be critical to the performance of equipment used in industries including aerospace, nuclear, chemical and oil & gas industries where failure can be catastrophic. But components subjected to burst testing regimes can include anything from very high pressure hydraulic hoses through to contraceptive devices, all of which need to be tested using applied pressures to ensure that they meet specification and do not leak. Burst pressure testing is typically performed to determine how much overload a part or system can endure before failure and to determine component design limits. RDP pressure transducers can be combined with E725 digital indicator units to form a system which will allow monitoring of pressure testing to destruction

Power warranty!

Excelsys Technologies have increased the warranty on their market leading configurable Xgen power supply range to 3 years. Since its launch in 2006 this very flexible power supply family has demonstrated its field reliability in industrial, medical, scientific and hi-rel applications worldwide.
Dermot Flynn, European Sales Director, comments, “We have been able to offer our customers this increased warranty on our Xgen power supplies after observing six years of field demonstrated reliability since launching in 2006. The proven in the field reliability in a wide range of mission critical systems such as medical equipment communications electronics and 24/7 industrial applications, coupled with the high MTBF figures and extensive HALT (highly accelerated life test) report data, enable us to offer the longest warranty in this market segment.”

Excelsys Technologies are a progressive world-class power supply manufacturer providing quality products to OEM equipment manufacturers around the world and are market leaders in high efficiency, low profile, customer configurable modular power supplies.

Typical applications for Excelsys products include industrial and automation systems, medical, communications, lighting and Hi-Rel COTS applications, telecoms, instrumentation, n+1 and redundant power systems, test and measurement equipment, printing and IT power.

Operations APP

A free app which provides mobile access to information such as operating instructions and technical details, from a smart phone and other mobile devices.

Endress+Hauser has announced an Operations App for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad mobile devices. An Android version will be released soon. The free App lets instrument engineers and maintenance technicians quickly download specific documentation such as operating instructions and technical information for Endress+Hauser instruments and analysers, and data from their Life Cycle Management program.

With Operations App and a smart phone, users can access data wherever they are, and whenever they need it.

The app provides quick and easy access to up-to-date product information and device details such as order code, configuration information, date of production, product status and availability, manuals, and spare part information including exploded view drawings, compatibility and mounting advice.
With the app, a user simply enters the serial number or scans the data matrix code on the device with the phone, and immediately gains access to the information. A user can share information and documents with colleagues by email.

Calibration certificates are also available to registered users.

Life Cycle Management Tools
From a mobile phone, Operations App allows users to access features of the Endress+Hauser Life Cycle Management web-based tools. These tools apply to different life cycles of an instrument installation, and help manage technical and operational information needed by a plant and its maintenance people.

Information in Life Cycle Management simplifies planning for engineering, procurement, installation, monitoring and maintenance. The Operations App allows mobile access to information functions, such as:
• Applicator for selection and sizing of suitable Endress+Hauser instruments
• Installed Base Assistant for management of plant assets
• Automatic documentation handling for Endress+Hauser equipment
• Task Scheduler for scheduling maintenance tasks or managing the installed base
• Logbook for traceability of calibration, repair and maintenance events
• Product status for Endress+Hauser devices for easier migration strategies

TheThe app can be downloaded for free at iTunes.

Friday 26 October 2012

RFID systems in industry

RFID box provides pre-installed system to customers’ requirements

The new Harting RFID box makes it easy and quick to implement RFID systems in industrial environments by providing a complete solution which can be deployed immediately.

The box contains all the necessary components, from the RFID reader, power supply and fuse protection to a network switch. In the past, these individual sub-assemblies entailed labour-intensive selection and installation.

Particular features of the box are its robust design (2 mm vanadium steel), the optimum match of the installed components, and ease of installation. Thanks to its very high protection classification (IP 65), the RFID box is ideally suited to open-air applications, and is designed so that the installed components can be very easily adapted to individual customer requirements – ensuring maximum flexibility.

The RFID box is fully pre-installed and tested so that it only needs to be connected to the power supply, network and RFID aerials.

The unit is particularly suitable for applications in port areas (vehicle recognition), in the construction industry where trucks are loaded with building materials and need to be identified, or in construction environments. The fully integrated, powerful and rapid RFID readers make the box ideally suited for detecting passing trains and carriages in rail applications.

Tiny switch!

Binary-switching, magnetic-field sensitive, electronic cylinder switches of the BMF series from Balluff impress with precise and bounce-free switching response, simple handling and universal use. With the BMF 243, the sensor specialist has now rounded off its product line with magnetic field sensors for space-critical applications.

The new compact sensor offers high performance reserves for cylinders with both weak as well as with strong magnets and con-vinces with high repeat accuracy and small hysteresis. Thanks to its small dimensions of 3,8 x 24 mm 3,0, it is the ideal choice for particularly small grippers and cylinders with C-slots. The bracket is already integrated in the sensor. As a result, no additional mounting bracket is necessary: because it is simply inserted into the slot from above, it can be simply mounted anywhere the insertion point for the slot is obstructed or, for example, is covered by weld splatter and dirt. It fits completely into the cylinder slot without protruding. The switch point is adjusted in seconds using a screwdriver. The BMF 243 is supplied with a cable clip that guarantees optimum strain relief and secure cable routing.

With the miniature sensors of the BMF series from Balluff, designers can implement highly dynamic application concepts in pneumatics that can only be realized with low-weight components that have small space requirements. The BMF 243 compact sensor ideally comple-ments two other Balluff miniature sensors: the BMF 103 and the BMF 303. Now the user can freely select from two mounting concepts, the integrated bracket or mounting by means of an angle bracket in C-slots.

BMF sensors query individual positions, e.g., the end positions of pneumatic cylinders, wear-free and precisely and detect the perma-nent magnet mounted on the piston rod through the non-magnetic cylinder wall. As soon as the piston nears, the output signal switches to the other state.

Load cells for high capacity loads

Where very high capacity load cells are called for, then the Series RSL0960 tension / compression canister style load cells from RDP Electronics are up to the job.

The Series RSL0960 is designed specifically for high capacity and high accuracy test and measurement applications including lifting, testing machines and rocket motor testing for loads up to 2,000K lbf. Typically requiring long fatigue life combined with high resistance to the effects of extraneous bending and off-axis loading, the uniquely engineered RSL0960 Series load cells have a minimum deflection resulting in fast frequency response. Constructed of nickel-plated carbon steel, all RSL0960 load cells are manufactured to be shock and vibration resistant. Load cells can also be provided with high environmental protections for outdoor applications. They can be readily coupled to indicators to display test forces such as for on site checks and for lifting loads.


The FTIR-based Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS) from Gasmet Technologies, has received approval from TÜV, the international certification body, for the EN 15267-3 standard, which is more recent and more stringent than the existing German Type Approval and QAL1 certificate, EN14181. This means that the Gasmet CEMS is approved for additional calibration ranges and an increased H2O range up to 40%.

Highlighting the importance of this certificate, Gasmet’s Antti Heikkilä says “The ranges for CO, NO, SO2, H2O have been increased and this certificate demonstrates the low, fully compliant, measurement uncertainties that we can achieve. This is a good indicator of the high quality of the analyser, but it also offers practical advantages. For example, the low measurement uncertainties for N2O and CO2 (5% of measuring range or less) mean that the CEMS system can now be used to monitor Greenhouse gases for emissions trading in addition to measuring pollutants for compliance monitoring purposes.”

The TÜV certificate confirms that, following rigorous QAL1 testing, the Gasmet CEMS fully complies with EN15267-1:2009, EN15267-2:2009, EN15267-3:2009 and EN14181:2004. Covering CO, NO, NO2, N2O, SO2, HCl, HF, NH3, CO2, H2O and O2, the certificate confirms the additional calibration ranges for which the Gasmet CEMS is now approved. Gasmet’s corresponding MCERTS certificate will be updated accordingly in the near future.

Improving LIMS

The latest version of Autoscribe’s Matrix Gemini Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) provides the flexibility needed by LIMS users within a software framework that will satisfy IT Managers.

From an IT perspective, Matrix Gemini is an advanced software application for 32 or 64 bit platforms, designed specifically for the Windows environment and based on the Microsoft .NET framework. It continues Autoscribe’s unique product migration path by always ensuring compatibility with previous versions of Matrix and easy upgrades for existing customers. All maintenance releases and upgrades are provided as part of Autoscribe’s standard software support and maintenance agreement.

For users there are a host of benefits. The unique ‘OneTime configuration tools’ allow Matrix Gemini to be configured without the use of custom programming or esoteric basic scripting tools. These easy to use configuration tools include a "configuration wizard" to allow free choice of screens, workflows and menu designs, customer specific tables/modules, multiple screens for the same function (e.g. registration screens optimised for each sample category), multiple sample numbering systems and much more.

With a web browser user interface provided as standard as well as the desktop user interface, Matrix Gemini can be deployed globally via Citrix or the Web. From single user, single PC systems to multiple concurrent users connected via multiple sites, Matrix Gemini is equally suitable for both global organisations and small individual laboratories.

Matrix Gemini is designed for use in both highly regulated and unregulated laboratories. It has the tools and design to help with compliance to cGLP and cGMP and FDA 21 CFR Part 11 in pharmaceutical companies, NELAC and ISO 17025 in water testing laboratories or food testing or NAMAS / UKAS regulations. Matrix products are developed and produced in an ISO 9001:2008 certified environment with full documentation available.

Matrix Gemini also features the powerful Crystal Reports reporting tool that provides easy access to organisational data, and allows it to be formatted it with stunning visuals and delivered as interactive content within the user’s applications and via the web. Reports can readily be created, modified viewed, exported and printed.

Fieldbus training in Eastern Europe!

The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting a press conference at the University of Miskolc, (H), has announced that the university has been successful in the rigorous certification process required to become a training site that offers fieldbus training courses certified under the FOUNDATION Certified Training Program (FCTP). This program establishes uniform standards for fieldbus educational curriculum around the globe, and defines acceptable levels of learning for students of the technology.

Fieldbus Foundation's  Director, Larry O'Brien
The University of Miskolc is now the preferred site for certified FOUNDATION fieldbus training in the Central & Eastern Europe region.

There are rigorous procedures that educational institutions must follow in order to gain certified training site status, and for certifying course instructors and curriculum. Certified training centers are required to maintain multiple hosts and devices onsite in order to demonstrate competence with fieldbus technology. They are also audited to ensure their course material adheres to set instructional standards covering fieldbus segment limits; device replacements; commands, icons, menus and screen designs of different software packages; and communication, scheduling and function block assignments enabling configuration.

In addition, certified instructors are audited to see if they have achieved specified Fieldbus Foundation training goals. Instructors must demonstrate expertise in areas such as Human-Machine Interface (HMI) tools, fieldbus troubleshooting, simple device configuration, and device deployment and functionality across a fieldbus network.

FCTP is intended to raise the visibility and prestige of institutions offering certified FOUNDATION fieldbus training and ensure that the instructors delivering the courses are skilled, knowledgeable and technically competent. Through certification, the program demonstrates to prospective end user students that fieldbus training centers, and their instructors, have been thoroughly evaluated based on strict criteria, and have the necessary qualifications to provide the very best training available. Only certified institutions are permitted to use the official FCTP logo.

The Fieldbus Foundation's Global Marketing Director, Larry O'Brien, welcomed the addition of another certified establishment. He commented, "Effective and standardized training of plant personnel is the key to successful design and overall project implementation of an advanced technology such as FOUNDATION fieldbus."

He continued, "This certification program ensures a very comprehensive, vendor-neutral approach to training. The user then has the knowledge required to make an informed decision in system design; host, device and component selection; and implementing that design to ensure certainty of outcome of the project. Process end users want to maximize the benefits of their fieldbus instrumentation and control system investments–and experience has shown that training of operators, engineers and technicians is essential to getting the most out of the technology."

The FOUNDATION Certified Training Program currently offers three levels of certification, and others may be added in the future. The current certifications include FOUNDATION Certified Professional, FOUNDATION Certified Support Specialist, and FOUNDATION Certified Technical Specialist.

For many years, the University of Miskolc, Research Institute of Applied Earth Sciences – Department of Research Instrumentation and Informatics, has been actively involved with several research projects to use, develop, and teach industrial communication systems. Throughout this time, it became apparent that both users and manufacturers within the process automation industry had a fundamental lack of theoretical knowledge and practical experience of new industrial communication systems and their functionality. This inadequate knowledge was seen to have a significant and negative impact on the returns and scheduling of investment projects. In response to this, the Research Institute, with the support from several sponsoring manufacturers, established a dedicated Industrial Communication Research and Training Laboratory in 2000.

Three instructors at the University of Miskolc have been certified to conduct FOUNDATION training courses. József Subert, Viktor Füvesi and Ildikó Bölkény are all members of the Research Institute of Applied Earth Sciences – Department of Research Instrumentation and Informatics and, in addition to their teaching and research roles, are key members of the program and organizing committees of the annual Distributed Control Systems (DCS) meeting, a key event in Hungary for control engineers.

The University of Miskolc will be offering the FOUNDATION Certified Support Specialist course. Registrations can be made via the Education/End User Certified Training Section of the Fieldbus Foundation website and Certified Training Center – Miskolc website.

Dr. Károly Jónap, Head of Department of Research Instrumentation and Informatics, commented, "Certification is important for the University of Miskolc because we are formally recognized by the foundation as a high quality training center. This will give our customers a guarantee that the content of our courses, the course materials and the knowledge of our trainers are up to date. We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with the Fieldbus Foundation."

Jürgen George, Chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation Central & Eastern Europe Marketing Committee (FFCEEMC), is delighted that the University of Miskolc has gained its accreditation. "One of the key objectives of the FFCEEMC is to provide technical training, support and information about FOUNDATION technology and its applications to users and potential users throughout the CEE region at a local venue and, where possible, in a local language. To have a certified training center here in Hungary that can support the CEE region's technical training needs is a great achievement for all those involved."

Around the world, institutions currently certified under the FCTP program include: Fieldbus Center at Lee College, United States; Trine University, United States; SAIT Polytechnic, Canada; STC Group – Brielle, The Netherlands, University of Miskolc, Hungary; Waseda University, Japan; and King Mongkut's Institute of Technology, Thailand. Other training centers participating in the program include: Sinopec Yanshan, China.

Pipe-clamp sensor

A simple, fast solution for adding temperature measurements and increased process visibility in areas where intrusive sensors are not possible

Emerson Process Management announces the release of its Rosemount® 0085 non-intrusive Pipe Clamp Sensor, a simple, fast solution for adding reliable temperature measurements and increased process visibility.

Plant operators need accurate temperature measurements that provide critical insight into their operation. This innovative temperature measurement solution allows efficient data capture in applications where intrusive measurements are not possible due to excessive stress placed on sensors with thermowells.

The Pipe Clamp Sensor is optimised for ideal sensor-pipe contact and heat transfer, with a spring-loaded sensor and a highly conductive flat nickel or silver sensor tip. Its robust design was built to hold a transmitter in its assembly, and when paired with the Rosemount 648 wireless transmitter, the sensor gives operators immediate access to reliable temperature measurements, with no process intrusion.

With the 0085 non-intrusive Pipe Clamp Sensor, process manufacturers will have enhanced visibility across their operation, and be better positioned to resolve issues proactively, improve operations, and meet quality and production targets while lowering costs. The Pipe Clamp Sensor is easy to configure and maintain, and its simple two-bolt design makes it easy to install.

Ethernet switches

Gigabit Ethernet switches manage increasing demand for high-speed communication networks on-board rail vehicles

Westermo has further enhanced its Viper range of compact, managed Ethernet switches with the introduction of four new twelve-port devices designed to manage Gigabit networks. The Ethernet and Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) devices help meet the growing demand for communication networks with higher data rates on-board railway rolling stock to support video, LCDs and wireless LAN access points. The new devices are part of Westermo’s innovative IP Train concept that delivers a complete Ethernet switch and routing solution to provide a robust network infrastructure for the creation of intelligent trains.

The four new models provide a range of standard Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, and PoE port options as well as additional routing functionality. The Viper-112-T3G has three Gigabit Ethernet ports and nine standard Ethernet ports. The Viper 212-T3G provides the same port configuration, but with additional routing capability to enable the connection of subnets and improved overall network performance.

The Viper-112-T3-P8 offers three Gigabit ports, a single standard Ethernet port and eight Power-over-Ethernet ports that support the IEEE 802.3at `plug-and-play' PoE communications standard. PoE enables both power and data to be transmitted on a single multi-core cable, especially useful for camera applications, reducing overall wiring and enabling faster installation. The Viper 212-T3G-P8 provides the same port configuration, but extends the functionality by offering routing capability. The Viper PoE switches deliver up to 66W of power across their eight PoE ports and are able to isolate the input DC voltage from the connected devices, to protect them from power surges. Power distribution is managed, with ports `tuned’ to maximise distribution efficiency.

Specifically designed to provide highly robust networks and long term field operation, the Viper range exceeds the EN 50155 on-board railway standard for electronic equipment, which encompasses not only EMC requirements, but also shock, vibration, extended temperature range and humidity. The Viper switches achieve high mean time between failures, ensuring the extremely long-term and reliable field operation that is expected within the railway industry.

As well as high levels of reliability, the switches offer unique functionality that simplifies the creation, installation and maintenance of networks. The Viper switches’ WeOS operating system provides an extensive suite of IP networking standards allowing resilient and flexible networks to be created. The operating system is able to detect any rail car position changes, rotations and additions, and then compensate for such changes in the network without any manual reconfiguration. To ease installation and maintenance, Viper switches and any connecting devices can be configured with identical IP addresses in each carriage. This simplifies the overall IP plan and standardises configurations.

WeOS is also able to balance data traffic on the network to maintain maximum throughput and stability. The introduction of increased traffic from new cameras or video stream will therefore not affect the stability of the entire network. In the event of any link or hardware failure Westermo’s unique FRNT technology is able to re-configure a large network in 20ms.

New member for wireless standards group

The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI) has announced that Forbes Marshall, an India-based steam engineering and control instrumentation company, has joined ISA100 WCI as a supplier member.

For over half a century, Forbes Marshall has been building steam engineering and control instrumentation solutions for the process industry. Forbes Marshall's goal is to deliver solutions in energy, efficiency and process automation, using the best technology the world has to offer.

“We are excited to join the growing membership of the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute and promote the benefits of ISA-100.11a, while simultaneously working to certify our wireless products as ISA-100.11.a conformant,” said Vinod Joshi, manager of research and development at Forbes Marshall. “Forbes Marshall has demonstrated leadership in process efficiency and energy conservation through technology tie-ups and focused investments in manufacturing and research. ISA-100.11a represents best-in-class wireless technology for the process industries and aligns with our corporate philosophy to be recognized as a trusted partner who provides innovative solutions.”

“We welcome Forbes Marshall as a new member and applaud their enthusiasm in promoting and building products based on ISA-100.11a wireless technology,” said Andre Ristaino, managing director of ISA100 WCI. “Customers around the globe are taking notice of the expanding portfolio of ISA-100.11a wireless products and realizing the benefits of the flexible, open wireless networking technology.”

Supplier selection service

Simplifies supplier selection process, creates consensus, and helps ensure fact-based decisions

ARC Advisory Group has released ARC STAR (Solutions That Accelerate Results), a domain-specific supplier selection service. This on-line, cloud-based, hosted solution provides easy-to-use tools that define a process and selection criteria for making strategic supplier selections. ARC clients can now make use of ARC’s proven supplier selection process, in an on-line, hosted, and guided environment. ARC STAR will be available for most key enterprise, automation, and manufacturing software application areas. At this release, ARC STAR is available for Advanced Process Control (APC), Analytics for Operational Excellence, Batch Control Systems, Collaborative Production Management/MES (for Discrete and Process Industries), and Distributed Control Systems (DCS).

ARC STAR – Supplier Selection Service guides users through a step-by-step process selecting and evaluating suppliers and their products against specific application and cultural requirements. The process guides the user through the project and team definition, reviewing and editing ARC-provided selection criteria and supplier questions, weighing selection criteria, developing a supplier Request for Information (RFI) list, evaluating supplier responses, and developing a final ranking of RFI results. ARC STAR then fully documents the process and results for management review and approval. ARC STAR helps ensure inclusive, fact-based, impartial supplier evaluations and selections, free of the user bias issues that typically hamper these activities. In addition, ARC estimates that ARC STAR can reduce the cost and effort of a supplier selection process by well over 50 percent.

“ARC STAR is a new area of value for ARC end user clients. We have been involved in many custom supplier selection processes over the past 25 years and have used this expertise to create a simple, cost-effective service, for others to use,” says ARC President Andy Chatha. “The ARC STAR of-fering will expand from the current six domains to over a dozen in the coming months.”

Dispensing water hot or chilled or sparkling

IGT Industries has supplied an innovative control solution to the advanced water systems supplier Vivreau for their Vi Tap which dispenses chilled still and sparkling water, plus boiling water from a single tap.

Established in the late 1980’s, Vivreau has grown to become a global leader in the development and manufacture of purified drinking water systems. Vivreau believe that water systems are more than just a vending machine and should be designed to suit individual environments.

The new Vivreau Vi Tap replaces older technology tap head units with a new and innovative user interface proving customers with extra features which needed an HMI interface to match. The sleek and modern tap head control unit design imposed severe space constraints and required a solution from IGT including both capacitive switching and their proprietary thin film backlighting.

IGT were selected by Vivreau as they had the ability to turn the design concepts into a working end product, providing, in-house, all the design, manufacturing, assembly and control software. IGT has many years of experience in manufacturing such complex parts and ensuring the right materials are selected for reliable long term operation...

Their capacitive switching was the chosen HMI solution as it has no moving parts, requires zero maintenance, has an easily cleaned surface and is a familiar interface for those already used to using touch sensitive technology. IGT’s thin film backlighting provides a control surface less than 1.5mm thick, creates bright, clear and even illumination with no light spill between buttons and can be animated if required. Colour options are infinite and include tricolour LED’s providing very clear and positive feedback to user input with low power consumption.

The combination of capacitive switching and thin film backlighting enables environmental sealing to a high level which can be used in many sectors, both consumer and industrial, with a range of control interface protocols including I²C, UART, USB and more.

Sales and Marketing Director for IGT, Terry Moss, says that “The new Vivreau Vi Tap is an excellent example of what IGT does best. Working closely with a customer to provide an innovative human machine interface which not only fulfils the technical and environmental requirements of a design but provides an outstanding aesthetic solution.”

IGT-Industries have been at the forefront of Man Machine Interface technology for more than twenty years and have been responsible for many technological innovations now in common use. These include numerous backlighting techniques, integral RFI screening and most recently the development of capacitive switching systems, both touch screen based and single press control panels with optional back-lighting. IGT products are widely used in rail, marine, aviation, industrial and medical markets.


The ISA Ireland Section partnership and sponsorship programme with automation companies active in Ireland is a recent innovation with this very active section. It is a method of supporting ISA Ireland in promoting Automation and also benefiting participating companies by introducing them to ISA membership and giving them exposure at ISA Ireland events.

The latest company to sign up as an ISA Ieland Partner is Rockwell Automation.
Picture shows: ISA Ireland Membership Chairman Billy Walsh, Trish Kelly – Rockwell Automation, HR Manager, Denis Gorey – Rockwell Automation, Ireland Team Lead and John Downey as Past President of ISA Ireland.

Thursday 25 October 2012

Tracking modules!

Vehicle tracking modules deliver high application performance and reliability plus direct manufacturer support for best cost-of-ownership

Astra Telematics has launched its latest generation of modules, using state-of-the-art GPS and processing technologies to support cutting-edge capabilities and benchmark power efficiency.

The AT240 and AT110 modules combine the highly accurate and sensitive SiRFStar IV GPS module with a high-performance low-power ARM® Cortex™-M3 processor and the Telit GE865 GSM/GPRS modem. Ultra-efficient power management, designed in-house by Astra, enables the modules to remain awake continuously without imposing excessive drain on the vehicle battery.

“Our new modules provide up to the minute features and are designed, built and directly supported by Astra allowing customers to achieve outstanding performance, reliability and competitive cost of ownership,” said Phil Vella, managing director, Astra Telematics.

The modules support a wide variety of telematics functions. External interfaces include CAN2.0B plus digital and analogue I/Os for connecting devices such as temperature sensors. The CANBus interface supports FMS2.0 which provides a variety of useful data such as fuel consumption, and OBD2, which is mainly for vehicle service/diagnostics information. An embedded MEMS accelerometer to allow monitoring of driver behaviour (acceleration, braking, cornering), collision detection, tow alarm and “wake on motion” power management. Users can also optimise settings such as SMS limits, GSM roaming and reporting intervals, and set device-based geo-fencing for applications such as tracking high-value goods. The modules also support convenient iButton operator authentication, and offer schedule based immobilisation, based on a 7 day hourly schedule. The unit features five digital outputs or external load switches.

The AT240 is a self-contained module featuring an integrated antenna and a moulded IP67-sealed enclosure designed for easy mounting in automotive applications. The AT110 is a miniaturised module for use with external GSM and GPS antennas, housed in a sturdy aluminium enclosure and ideal for use as part of a larger in-vehicle system. The modules are supplied with full documentation and backed by manufacturer support, enabling Application Service Providers (ASPs) and system integrators to deliver turnkey solutions quickly and ensure low cost of ownership for end users.

PXI programmable resistors

NI Adds PXI Programmable Resistor Modules to Embedded Software Validation and Hardware-in-the-Loop Platforms

National Instruments has announced a new family of PXI and PXI Express programmable resistor modules that replicate the behaviour of resistance-based devices such as potentiometers, resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) and resistive loads. The modules include a range of five to 18 channels, so engineers can choose the best module that scales to meet requirements for applications ranging from single unit validation of an automotive engine control unit to system integration testing for an entire network of airplane control systems.

Four new PXI and PXI Express programmable resistor modules extend the NI hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) platform to meet custom requirements in a variety of HIL testing applications for embedded software validation. It includes example programs and reference VIs to help engineers easily create custom NI LabVIEW applications and NI VeriStand plug-ins to meet their requirements.

“The new PXI programmable resistor modules add to our broad offering of hardware and software for hardware-in-the-loop testing,” said Ian Fountain, Director of HIL and Real-Time test for NI. “NI continues to add unique value for engineers solving rapidly changing embedded software validation problems with easy-to-use, commercially available tools based on our graphical system design approach.”