Friday, January 13, 2012

New international president for ISA

Robert E. Lindeman is the 2012 President of the International Society of Automation. Lindeman will work with ISA leaders to continue moving the Society toward meeting its strategic goals.

Bob Lindeman 2012 President ISA
Robert Lindeman is an ISA Fellow who has helped organize multiple International Instrumentation Symposia over the last 20 years. He has served in numerous Society leadership positions including director and facilitator of a technical interest division and vice president on the ISA Executive Board. He is a Certified Automation Professional® (CAP®), Project Management Professional (PMP) and a member of the Tullahoma, Tennessee Utility Board, his hometown’s provider of electricity, water, wastewater and fiber service.

He has worked in the instrumentation field since 1971. He is currently a System Engineer for Aerospace Testing Alliance working at a space environmental test facility under development at Arnold Engineering Development Center. He is also the Aerospace Testing Alliance (ATA) Center Technical Fellow for the Instrumentation, Control, Data, and Automation Center of Technical Excellence.

“As President, my main focus will be to help the Society to continue providing tangible benefits for ISA members and to be instrumental in the continued advancement of the practice of automation,” said Lindeman His focus aligns with the Society’s 2012-2015 strategic goals, which are to:

• serve students, professionals and industry by delivering knowledge resources via publications, conferences and exhibits, training and other programs
• develop globally recognized standards, publications and certifications for the automation community
attract and retain automation professionals as members and customers worldwide

“To make our goals a reality, ISA must continue to provide current, technical content to support ISA’s technical conferences and events, actively support divisions, strengthen sections and offer exceptional programs to automation professionals,” Lindeman concludes.

SI & Automation synergies in India

Driven by India’s economic growth, the demand for a wide range of industrial goods, such as automotive, consumer durables, food and beverage, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and others, is on the increase.  The mismatch between supply and demand provides the impetus for greenfield projects to come up alongside projects associated with plant upgrades and expansions.  This provides the right framework for the growth of the automation market, which in turn spurs the expansion of the system integrators’ (SI) business.

Manufacturing companies in India are increasingly turning to system integrators to implement automation projects and seamlessly integrate disparate systems.  System integrators technically bridge the gap between end users and automation suppliers.  Often, a good automation system implementation involves integration of subsystems from various suppliers, and SIs work as implementation partners.  From an end user perspective, real-time performance management, which involves collaboration among automation systems and enterprise solutions, is important.  Therefore, end users turn to SIs, having the necessary skill-set, to integrate various technology solutions.  Resulting from these developments, India has emerged as the home of good SI firms. 
According to ARC Advisory Group’s research, the country has around 250 system integrator firms whose revenues would exceed $180 million by 2015.  ARC’s latest study, Service Capabilities and Profiles of System Integrators in India  provides an in-depth analysis of the system integrator companies and their businesses in India.  In addition to market analysis and forecasts, the study also covers details relating to the skill-set and domain knowledge possessed by SIs, the industries they serve, and the human resources they have.   Additionally, the report highlights the factors that influence the system integrator’s market in India and its dynamics.
System Integrators in India Can Emerge as Global Service Providers 
According to Rajabahadur V. Arcot, Vice President and GM, ARC Advisory Group India, and co-author of this study, “India’s industrial sector gains from the country’s economic growth, which in turn spurs the demand for state-of-the-art automation and the emergence of  system integrators with good engineering capabilities and technical skills.”

Commenting on the market opportunity for system integrators he says that globally there is a demand for system integrators with good engineering and project management capabilities and technical skills.  SIs in India also have opportunities to act as global service providers, and expand beyond the country’s shores.  Becoming financially sound and creating necessary awareness about their capabilities are prerequisites to succeed both within the country and outside. < Bonding with System Integrators Would Benefit Automation Suppliers 
The country’s robust automation market outlook propels the emergence of SIs.  Sharada Prahladrao, editor and co-author of this study says, “System Integrators are playing an important role in the growth of the automation market in India.  On one hand, the growing application of automation by industries expands system integrators’ base, end users’ demand for implementation partners on the other bodes well for all stakeholders – automation suppliers, SIs, and end users.”  SIs in India have excellent understanding of end user requirements, industry domain knowledge, and automation skill set.  Automation companies entering the market in India will find it beneficial to forge relationships with the country’s SIs.

ARC’s “Service Capabilities and Profiles of System Integrators in India” study, with ample market intelligence, identifies leading SIs in various industries, market trends and challenges, and strategic recommendations.  Quantitative information and assessment apart, this study provides an insightful analysis of issues that will affect the business in the future and suggests well-researched strategies for suppliers.

Enlarged connector housing for high-current applications

The Han® HPR range of industrial connector housings from Harting now includes a enlarged version which makes it possible to assemble the 4-pole version of the Han® HC Modular 250 high-current contact system to the Han® HPR size 16 B as well as the previous size 24B.

This configuration, which involves new contact holding frames and a new Han® 16 HPR enlarged hood and bulkhead mounting housing, allows high-current applications with a rated current of 250 A and a rated voltage of 2000 V with up to four contacts to be realised in a compact design. In spite of its compact size, the "enlarged" housing version provides plenty of room for cabling.

The new Han® 16 HPR enlarged housings have the same features as the established and reliable Han® HPR housing series. The hood has four M25 cable entries. The new housings are fitted with the usual screw locking system and fulfil the IP 68 protection requirements of the IEC 60529 standard in the locked position.

No. one in HMI!

Invensys has achieved the #1 market share position as a global provider of human machine interface (HMI) software and services in a recent ARC Advisory Group market study. The report affirms the market share-leading position of the company’s Wonderware® InTouch® and ArchestrA® System Platform software products for use in HMI, supervisory and SCADA applications.

WonderWare InTouch!
As the first major HMI software offering to begin running on Microsoft Windows more than 20 years ago, the company’s Wonderware brand has been synonymous with continuous innovation and ease of use. Over this long history, the ARC Advisory Group’s HMI software and services study has consistently listed the Wonderware brand as one of the top market share leaders. In the 2011 ARC report, which covers the 2010 calendar year, Invensys Operations Management outpaced market growth to gain the #1 position in market share, increasing its percentage lead over its nearest competitor.

“We are thrilled to see the results of our accelerated focus on the HMI market, and we sincerely appreciate the recognition we have received from the ARC report. As a primary source of market data and analysis, their findings greatly validate the customer acceptance we are gaining,” said Rashesh Mody, senior vice president of software and advanced applications for Invensys Operations Management. “It should be noted, as well, that unlike other vendors, this is all organic growth as Invensys has not acquired any other HMI companies in recent history. In all, we remain committed to the HMI and supervisory control market, and our customers tell us that we provide the most scalable, open and extensible platform for HMI, ranging from offerings that fit OEM / machine builders all the way to full enterprise control visualisation. Our active installed base for HMI is approaching 700,000 licenses, and for more than two decades, many of our customers have upgraded and migrated their applications to take advantage of new capabilities with just a few simple mouse clicks. We are proud that our offerings continue to address three key efficiencies—engineering, IT and operations—that help our customers empower their people and achieve real-time operational excellence.”

The ARC report said in part that to further its real-time enterprise control strategy, Invensys has released several extensible HMI components for supervisory and SCADA users, as well as a number of industry-focused solutions, including ArchestrA Workflow, that enable systems designers to implement prototypes and real-world applications. These and a number of other key aspects of the ArchestrA technology architecture differentiate Invensys Operations Management. The ability to configure a complete level-2 (control visualisation) and level-3 (production visualisation) solution with a single namespace means that intercommunication is intrinsic and integration with higher-level systems is simplified. And because they are open and extensible, the company’s external systems can be rapidly integrated into practically any other application.

According to Craig Resnick, research director for ARC Advisory Group and author of the recent study, “Invensys Operations Management has a multi-faceted strategy to enhance its market position, as well as to further its InFusion® enterprise control system concept. The company continues to update its Wonderware InTouch and ArchestrA System Platform product lines and is placing strategic emphasis on the SCADA and geo-SCADA arena, which is reflected in the functionality delivered by the latest release of its software products.”

“By being object–oriented, ArchestrA System Platform enables end users to pilot applications, and due to the scalability of its architecture, they can grow these pilots into large-scale implementations with minimal re-engineering. Managing standards and change is also inherent to the architecture, so an HMI software application, or even just an element of the application, can be changed once and rolled out to multiple end users, helping end users achieve real-time business optimisation,” Resnick said.

Intelligence by phone!

ARC Industry News and Intelligence Now Available from Mobile Devices – Smart Phones and Tablets

The ARC Advisory Group website, which delivers news and market intelligence, is now optimised for iPhone, iPad, and other smart mobile devices.

ARC specialises in news, analysis, best practices, custom research, reports, and market studies.  With over 60 employees in client support and analyst roles, they deliver a dynamic and wide range of market intelligence through its website and client portals.  Now a subset of this information, formatted specifically for mobile devices is available.  Current information includes:

• Market intelligence in English, Japanese, and Chinese
• Upcoming events
• Research report listings
• Market study listings
• Social media

“We have been a proponent and early adopter of leading edge technologies for many years.  Our website, customer portals, and collaboration tools are all based on Microsoft SharePoint.  This has enabled us to quickly adopt new technologies such as Mobile Entrée to deliver existing content in new formats,” stated Andy Chatha, President of ARC Advisory Group.

Mr Chatha received a significent honour in the Automation ft=raternity when he was made an Honoury Member of the International Society of Automation. This the highest honour bestowed by the Society is reserved to recognize special individuals for support of, and/or contributions to the advancement of the arts and sciences of instrumentation, systems, and automation.

Modular, configurable and safe

The new modular and configurable SAFEMASTER PRO safety system from DOLD monitors all safety circuits of your machines and equipment. The number of inputs and outputs of the main control unit can be expanded at any time using expansion modules. This allows the system to be adapted optimally to individual applications. SAFEMASTER PRO fulfils all safety requirements up to PL e / Cat 4 or SIL CL3 and is TÜV certified.

The main control unit, with an installed width of just 22.5 mm, has 8 safe inputs, 2 safe two-channel outputs and 4 test outputs and can be used as a stand-alone module. Up to seven expansion modules can be connected to the main control unit, giving the SAFEMASTER PRO a total of 72 safe inputs and 8 safety-oriented two-channel semiconductor outputs in the maximum configuration.

The safety system monitors safety functions such as emergency stop, guard doors, light barriers, two-hand controls and much more. The TÜV-certified system is configured using the free SAFEMASTER PRO Designer software. This software features an intuitive user interface and enables easy, low-cost module configuration using drag & drop. Memory card support simplifies transferring configuration data to other systems. This allows users to implement a wide variety of automation tasks with a single safety system, ranging from very simple machines to networked equipment and highly complex systems.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

SIL approval!

To what extend can a process be expected to perform safely? And in the event of a failure, to what extend can the process be expected to fail safely? These questions are answered through the assignment of a target Safety Integrity Level. SIL ratings measure the safety risk of a given process.

The higher the SIL level, the greater the impact of a failure and the lower the failure rate that is acceptable. Assigning a SIL level is thus based on the amount of risk reduction that is necessary and/or requested to maintain risk at an acceptable level.

To determine SIL in the process industry, one needs to consider the entire control loop. In order to be able to do so each device in this loop needs to have a safe failure fraction, one of the important device factors that needs to be calculated. It will be the total of all these different values that determines the obtained SIL level.

More than thirteen years ago, Magnetrol® was the first to introduce the two-wire guided wave radar to the marketplace. Now Eclipse®705 has received the exida certificate for a “SIL 3 Capable” device according to the IEC61508 : 2000 Parts 1-7. This means in practice that combining two devices in a 1oo2 set-up is in line with SIL 3 loop requirements. We like to put emphasis on” loop requirements” since it has to do with an entire installation, not only one device.

In addition to this SIL rating Magnetrol also have several agency approvals (e.g. ATEX, Lloyds, TÜV, FM/CSA,…) for Magnetrol’s Eclipse®705.

IS electronic marshalling

Electronic Marshalling technology now available for cost-saving, flexible automation in hazardous locations

IS CHARMs extends DeltaV
Electronic Marshalling
to hazardous areas
Building on its innovative Electronic Marshalling and single-channel characterisation module (CHARM) technology, Emerson Process Management's latest offering is intrinsically safe (IS) CHARMs. Electronic Marshalling with CHARMs is a key component of Emerson’s "I/O on Demand" strategy, which provides solutions for all types of I/O interconnection: point-to-point, bussed and wireless.

DeltaV™ Electronic Marshalling delivers a new level of control system I/O performance with unprecedented flexibility and ease of use. The addition of IS CHARMs provides significant savings in system design, installation cost and ease of maintenance expected with Electronic Marshalling, with the added intrinsically safe circuitry for field wiring into hazardous areas, including Zone 1, Zone 0 or Class 1 Div1.

I/O in hazardous areas traditionally requires explosion-proof mounting or isolation barriers. These approaches are costly, require space for additional barrier and termination cabinets, and need on-going maintenance to ensure safety requirements continue to be met. IS CHARMs deliver a reduced footprint and eliminate the need for separate barriers and the associated inter-cabinet wiring. A smaller footprint and fewer connections improves the reliability of the installation and delivers significant cost savings.

The DeltaV CHARM I/O Card (CIOC) supports both conventional and IS CHARMs, providing unprecedented flexibility in control system I/O topology. I/O can be added anywhere it is needed using standard Ethernet infrastructure hardware. Each I/O channel has a dedicated CHARM that provides both signal characterisation and galvanic isolation for intrinsically safe applications. IS barriers are integrated inside the CHARM to provide single channel fault isolation as well as electrical isolation and energy limiting circuitry that meets IEC Ex ia ratings. IS CHARMs signal types include: IS AI 4-20 mA HART®, IS AO 4-20 mA HART, IS DI Namur, and IS DO 24 VDC.

"Electronic Marshalling allows process manufacturers to shorten project schedules, accommodate late project changes, eliminate equipment and cabinets, and dramatically simplify the I/O and marshalling design process," said Peter Zornio, Emerson Process Management’s chief strategic officer. "With the addition of IS CHARMs, we bring that flexibility and savings to some of the most challenging process environments where, arguably, flexibility and reliability are needed most."
Electronic Marshalling can eliminate two-thirds of the wiring and connections needed in conventional marshalling cabinets. Single channel integrity improves plant uptime and makes projects simpler and easier to engineer and implement. The CHARMs technology greatly increases flexibility in assigning I/O types, whether for late project changes, or during start-up, operation or temporary installations. Similarly, it adds flexibility in deciding the best location for I/O– whether in a rack room, remote locations, hazardous areas, or harsh environments.

Sensing to be highlighted at show!

WWEM 2012, the Water Wastewater & Environmental Monitoring event (Telford, GB, 7/8th November 2012) has announced a partnership with SWIG to help accelerate the sharing of knowledge between academia and industry at this year's event.

SWIG (Sensors for Water Interest Group) is a not for profit information exchange and networking group with a diverse UK-wide membership drawn from the water and process industries, sensor manufacturers and their distributors, academic institutions involved in sensor research, regulatory bodies and consultants working in the field of water management.

The group focuses on the use of sensor and associated technologies for measurement and control in water and wastewater treatment processes and infrastructure, as well as in natural environments and waters.

Their Programme Manager Linda Smith says: "WWEM 2012 will be a great opportunity for everyone involved with water quality and flow to come together and exchange ideas during an event that will be entirely focused on testing and monitoring. We therefore welcome this opportunity to encourage collaboration between parties interested in research, development and sensor deployment, and we anticipate strong participation from our members."

WWEM 2012 organiser Marcus Pattison says he is "delighted with SWIG's involvement because partnerships will be a central theme for this year's event."

Technology award

Excelsys Technologies Ltd achieves Deloitte FAST 50 Technology Award
(L to R) Seamus Devitt, Director of Excelsys Technologies Ltd, Dermot Flynn, Director of Sales at Excelsys Technologies Ltd, David O'Flanagan, Partner in Deloitte Corporate Finance and Gary Duffy, CEO of Excelsys Technologies
Excelsys Technologies has been recognised by Deloitte as one of the top Irish Technology companies in Ireland today.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50, now in its twelfth year in Ireland, is an awards programme honouring business growth, technological innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. The programme ranks the 50 fastest-growing technology companies in Ireland based on percentage revenue growth over a five-year period. Announcing the winners of the Technology Fast 50 programme, David O’Flanagan, Partner with Deloitte, Dublin said: “Looking at the list of Deloitte Fast 50 winners in 2011, it becomes clear that we are witnessing the second wave of Irish technology companies starting to mature.”

After receiving the award at the Dublin Convention Centre, Dermot Flynn, Director of Sales at Excelsys Technologies Ltd commented: “This award provides a great opportunity for us to gain recognition for our successes and achievements to date. We are honoured to be awarded the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 award.
• Excelsys Technologies design and manufacture electronic power solutions for the leading global manufacturers of Medical, Industrial, Military, Communications and Lighting equipment. Excelsys products are available from an extensive network of the world’s leading Electronic Distribution companies.

Seeking tantalising particles!

Neutrinos, the tiny particles unrecognized by man until the past century, are tantalising in their elusiveness and promise. Scientists are constructing huge, elaborate traps in the race to observe the sub-atomic particles that may unlock secrets of our universe. (Neutrinos are the particles that were observed travelling faster than the speed of light at the European CERN facility, and announced in September 2011 - see Wikipedia article "Faster-than-light neutrino anomaly!")

Tiger Optics is contributing its expertise to the effort. Electrically neutral, a tiny neutrino can travel great distances, and at great speed, through ordinary matter. Scientists are keen to use neutrinos to explore environments - such as the Sun’s core, to name one - that cannot be probed by light or radio waves. Indeed, scientists hope to use neutrinos to deepen understanding of the fundamental laws of physics. Several particle physics laboratories, including the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois (USA), are using Tiger Optics’ LaserTrace and Halo instruments to monitor the level of oxygen and moisture in the detector medium that such labs employ to study the ghost-like neutrino particles.

One detection method involves the use of a huge vessel containing a network of detector wires surrounded by an electric field, submerged in vast quantities of liquid argon. These liquid argon timeprojection chambers (LArTPC) may be located deep beneath the earth’s surface, with the intention of reducing interference from cosmic rays and background radiation. If - as a neutrino passes through the liquid argon—an interaction with an argon nucleus occurs, the interaction produces charged particles. Those particles spawn electrons that drift with the electric field until they are received by the wire network, whereupon the signals they produce can be used to produce an image and detailed 3D reconstruction of the interaction. In that process, the unwelcome presence of trace electronegative impurities - such as water and oxygen in the liquid argon, even at extremely low concentrations - has an adverse effect by intercepting the electrons before they reach the detector wires. For this reason, Tiger’s instruments are being pressed into service.

Fermilab uses the company’s Halo and LaserTrace instruments to monitor the gaseous release of water from detector elements in the vapor space above the liquid argon. LaserTrace instruments are also used to monitor the oxygen level in both the argon vapour and liquid. “We have always taken pride in blazing the frontiers of science,” said Lisa Bergson, Tiger Optics’ founder and chief executive. “The neutrino chase exemplifies that mission.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New position to focus on security business

Byres Security, now part of of Belden, has strengthened its organisation with the appointment of Frank Williams as Senior Product Manager. Williams has 30 years of senior management experience in bringing new technologies to market in the process automation industries. In his new role, Williams will focus on strategy, platforms and sales channels for growing the Byres’ Tofino Security line of business.

During his career, Williams has been a key player in taking new technologies like industrial computers, industrial-grade human machine interface (HMI), fieldbus devices and industrial wireless from early to mainstream adoption in the automation industries. His most recent positions were chief executive officer of ELPRO Technologies Pty Ltd., a world leader in industrial wireless products (ELPRO is now part of Cooper Bussmann Wireless) and president and chief executive officer of Action Instruments, a global supplier of single conditioners, measurement and data acquisition solutions for industrial and process businesses (Action Instruments is now part of Eurotherm, a division of Invensys). Williams also brings his extensive industry network to Byres Security.

“Industrial cyber security is the next major impactful technology to hit the automation and process control industries,”
he said. “Realising this, I reviewed and searched the security landscape and decided to put my energy behind the Tofino Security suite of solutions. I believe it has the best technology available for protecting industrial networks from the rapidly growing threat of industrially-focused malware.”

“We are very excited to have Frank join our team,”
commented Joann Byres, vice president and general manager of Byres Security. “He adds a wealth of automation industry business and management experience into our group, and he will be invaluable as we ramp up development and sales channels as part of Belden.”

• See Frank Williams first contribution on the Tofino Blog Site: Industrial Data Compromise – the New Business Risk (11/1/2012)

A first in MES in India!

The pharmaceutical major Dr. Reddy’s is the first Indian company to improve its manufacturing processes by installing an electronic PAS-X Manufacturing Execution System (MES). Dr. Reddy’s opted for Werum’s MES PAS-X to help enhance the quality and compliance and to optimize the efficiency and productivity of its pharmaceutical shop floor processes.

Dr Reddy's dosage facility
Bachupally, Hyderabad
Implementing PAS-X forms part of Dr. Reddy’s expansion strategy. The first step, now successfully completed, involved installing PAS-X at one of the company's FDA and MHRA approved production facilities at Bachupally in Hyderabad.

In its first step, the PAS-X handles and controls the Warehouse Management System, such as receiving, sampling and storing of materials. It also carries out Weighing & Dispensing and Equipment Management operations.

Using mobile terminals, PAS-X coordinates the barcode-controlled process for material tracking and tracing of containers as they travel from the warehouse to the dispensing area. An automated interface allows PAS-X to communicate directly with Dr. Reddy’s ERP (SAP).

The project is being carried out by a team of experienced experts at Werum’s Asia Support Centre with Dr. Reddy’s Internal Core Team.

New president takes office

Described as a ‘true Earth scientist’, Lord Ernest Ronald Oxburgh, Fellow of The Royal Society and former Chairman of the House of Lords (British Upper House of Parliament) Science and Technology Select Committee, is the new President of the Institute of Measurement and Control from January 2012.

Lord Oxburgh, President InstMC (Pic Guardian)
Lord Oxburgh, or ‘Ron’ as he likes to be called, is widely recognised as being one of the Britain’s most influential scientists. He was knighted (KBE) in 1992 for services to science and was made a life peer (crossbench = non-party) as Baron Oxburgh of Liverpool in the Queen’s birthday honours of 1999. He served for four years as Chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology until retiring in 2005 but remains involved as a co-opted member. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Foreign Member of the US and Australian Academies of Science. He was President of Queens’ College, Cambridge from 1982 to 1989, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence from 1987 to 1993 and Rector of Imperial College, London, from 1993 to 2001.

Born in Liverpool in 1934, Ron attended a school which was devoted to the Classics which, under pressure, he pursued for a while. However, he always held a passionate interest in how things worked and followed his desire to become a scientist by switching to geology in which he graduated at the University of Oxford in 1957 before heading for Princeton University in the US to research for his PhD. He has since become an eminent geologist and geophysicist who has taught at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and has been a visiting professor at Stanford University, the California Institute of Technology and Cornell University.

Public advocate
His main laboratory is undoubtedly ‘the great outdoors.’ His passion for the environment, climate change and energy resources has earned him widespread recognition as a public advocate in both academia and the business world in addressing the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and develop alternative energy sources. When he was Professor of Mineralogy and Petrology at Cambridge he was famous for uniting the previously warring factions of mineralogists, geophysicists and geologists to create and head up what was to become one of the most powerful Earth Sciences departments in the world. During conferment of his honorary degree of Doctor of Science at the University of Leeds in 2009, Ron was described as being “a true Earth scientist” citing his championing the need for multi-national companies to recognise their social responsibilities. His focus on the impact of science on society and his active engagement in debates on climate change, radioactive waste disposal, water resources, global development and green energy were of particular note.

Business Acumen
Outside the debating chamber, Lord Oxburgh has always strived to put his declarations on the environment into practice. While Chairman of Shell Transport and Trading Company plc his ‘fears for the planet’ and his call on the global community to reduce carbon dioxide emissions reflected his chairmanship of the organisation’s ‘Social Responsibilities Committee.’ As well as his prowess as a scientist, Ron’s business acumen is also much in demand, his biggest large-scale challenge being the unification of Shell Transport and Trading with Royal Dutch Petroleum. He retired from Shell in 2005 and went on in 2007 to win the prestigious Platts Global Life Time Achievement Award for outstanding achievement and vision in the global energy industry. He has worked as an adviser for several major national and multi-national business enterprises which currently include Deutsche Bank and the global management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. He has for many years advised the Government of Singapore on energy, environment, water, science policy and higher education.

Although enjoying his ‘sequential retirement’ (“I have retired many times,” he says), Ron’s involvement in environmental issues continues apace. In the House of Lords he is involved in energy and environment legislation; he is Honorary President of Carbon Capture and Storage Association; Chairman of 2OC – a leading new generation greentech startup – and an adviser to Climate Change Capital.

Importance of measurement
As President of The InstMC, Ron intends to promote the standing of the Institute and to enhance recognition of the importance of measurement in almost every aspect of modern life. “Science depends on the ability to conduct accurate measurements, as does running a business enterprise. With modern technologies providing high-accuracy monitoring of environmental phenomena the importance of the role of measurement in environmental situations has increased enormously,” he declares.

When he is not engrossed in science Ron likes to keep fit through cycling and the outdoor sport of orienteering. Mountains and their formation continue to evoke a passionate interest and there are many tales from Ron’s field trips being shared among colleagues. For example, it is said that he danced a ‘mean polka’ with Austrian lasses in the Alps and is apparently a dab-hand at cooking spaghetti bolognese in the back of a Land Rover. Truly, a President of many talents.
Byan Richardson, InstMC Consultant

Control Systems Engineer Technical Reference Handbook, by Chuck Cornell, PE, CAP®, PMP, has been published by the International Society of Automation (ISA).

This is a technical reference guide for the control systems professional, as well as a study aid for the Control Systems Engineering (CSE) Professional Engineer (PE) Exam. It provides a detailed, insightful view into the fields of:

final control elements
signals, transmission and networking
automation and control systems
relief devices
codes and standards such as NEC (National Electrical Code), NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency 70E)
hazardous areas
safety instrumented systems
basic electrical (motors and uninterruptible power supply [UPS] topologies)

It additionally includes sample problems and solutions for use in preparation for the CSE PE Exam.

Sample problems presented in this book are not meant to influence the reader on specific problems that may be on the exam, but rather to reinforce the technical material that has been presented to the reader.

Chuck Cornell is a senior process control systems engineering manager with more than 30 years of engineering experience in automation, instrumentation and electrical. He is a licensed professional engineer in the state of North Carolina in both control systems and electrical power. He is also an ISA Certified Automation Professional® (CAP®), as well as a Project Management Institute® (PMI) certified Project Management Professional® (PMP)

Divisional marketing appointment!

Anglia Embedded has expanded its team with the appointment of Paul Senior as Divisional Marketing Manager - M2M & Embedded. He takes responsibility for key franchises represented by the distributor in Britain and Ireland including Cinterion, Hitachi, connectBlue and Fastrax.

According to Steve Rawlins, CEO at Anglia, “Anglia Embedded is going from strength to strength on the back of a strong portfolio of market leading suppliers. Paul Senior brings ten years sales and marketing experience to the business, and will be able to add a new dimension to our relationship with these suppliers and our M2M and embedded customers.”

Paul Senior: "An irresistible opportunity!"

Paul Senior responded saying, “Anglia offered me an irresistible opportunity to take up an exciting role at a company on the up. The Embedded market is growing rapidly, Anglia is in the right place and looks set to do exceptionally well. I look forward to the new challenges that my new position will present.”

He rejoins Anglia from EPCOS, where he spent nearly 8 years as Account Manager and took responsibility for EPCOS’ global relationship with a blue-chip automotive company. Prior to EPCOS, he spent over two years at Anglia as Account Manager. He started his career at Inline Electronics as Production Engineer, where he was part of the team establishing the production facility when the company was formed in 1995.

Anglia Embedded brings together the product portfolios and support available from Anglia Displays and Anglia M2M together with Avalue, a world leading supplier of single board computers (SBCs).

Scheduler improves efficiency!

Reduces lead time by 30%, planning time by 50%; improves efficiency by 20%

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced the availability of Proficy® Scheduler Release 4.1 for Finite Capacity Scheduling. Proficy Scheduler provides planners with a standardized tool to develop production viable schedules using commercial off-the-shelf software rather than homemade spreadsheets. It also complements existing Advanced Planning Systems (APS), where it delivers the additional real-time granularity needed to produce shop-floor- executable schedules from the APS master plan, easily adaptable to dynamic manufacturing needs. Proficy Scheduler links plant data in real-time providing the ability to run multiple what-if scenarios and to quickly accommodate changing situations in production execution.

Production planners need a visual interactive way to plan production orders for production equipment. Proficy Finite Capacity Scheduling takes the APS plan (usually based on an infinite capacity assumption) and considers the impact on the schedule based on instantaneous material availability, asset capability, labor, and delivery time. Proficy Scheduler enables greater confidence to make delivery promises to customers and their customers and reduces the cost to do this at the same time.

“Manufacturers are increasingly required to produce products faster, better and at a lower cost,” said Rich Breuning, Product General Manager, Manufacturing Software for GE Intelligent Platforms. “Missing delivery targets can mean that they may lose customers. It’s much better to negotiate a realistic delivery date than to make an unrealistic one that may be missed.”

Proficy Scheduler simplifies and makes visible very complex tasks with many parts to allow the planner to balance the resources and simulate what-if scenarios. It has already shown great results for customers: lead time reduced 30%, efficiency improved 20%, time spent on planning reduced 50%, response time from days to minutes, bottlenecks and material shortages detected in advance and avoided / not caused. In addition, they have been able to achieve greater than 99 adherences to plan consistently and with 50% less effort.

“EKA Chemicals use Proficy Scheduler every day to schedule production for customers across the world,” said Stefan Malmsten, Global IT Leader for AkzoNobel Eka, the world’s largest paint and coatings provider and a world-leading chemicals producer headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. “This solution allows us to make informed decisions from a single consolidated view of our business updated minute by minute. This way we can provide the best possible service to our customers locally across 19 countries in Europe, Americas and Asia Pacific.”

Proficy Scheduler offers customers valid schedules checked against finite capacity and material availability, schedule down to minutes to facilitate a leaner manufacturing operation, and reliable delivery dates across multiple sites, allowing companies to improve productivity, work-in-progress, inventory and due date performance. In addition, Proficy Scheduler can add significant value to ERP, MES and T&A (time and attendance) solutions.

New features in Proficy Scheduler 4.1 include Tool Operations, Alternate Routes and Sequencer.
Tool Operations: Proficy Scheduler includes a new feature for tool operations which is particularly relevant for manufacturers who need specific tools to run specific products. An example of this would be in the manufacture of plastic components (plastic injection molding) where different shaped moldings need different tools to manufacture the end product.
Alternate Routes: The new Alternate Routes facility in Proficy Scheduler V4.1 gives manufacturers greater control and accuracy when using different equipment or plant to make the same product. One example of alternate routes is when a company has two different production facilities, e.g. one facility in Denmark and another facility in Poland. The routes between Denmark and Poland are completely different with different setup and cycle times to produce the same product.
Sequencer: This feature provides better operational and fiscal control of the plant. It enables advanced control of the calculation of individual work time steps of an operation (setup, workload, switchover, etc.) and how to calculate the operation capacity (production rate). In short the above values can depend either on the resource they run on or they can depend on previous or next product planned on the same resource.
Proficy Scheduler is the latest example of how GE’s $2.5 billion-a-year software and solutions services businesses are helping customers improve productivity.

Ergnomatic and for harsh conditions.

Small footprint wireless USB keyboard offers improved functionality

Sometimes we include stuff not strictly automation on to our sites. This is one such animal and we include it because we liked the look of it! It may also have an application for us because it is designed for harsh areas!

Bytec Embedded has launched the next generation of its small footprint, wireless, USB keyboard designed for harsh environments. The second generation Indi-KeyTM keyboard offers wipe clean surfaces, improved key response and feel, a wider touchpad and an optional numeric keypad.

Designed for use where space and reliability is critical, the wipe-clean IP65-rated Indi-Key has been constructed with a Silver Ion antibacterial agent acting as a secondary defence to address increasing awareness of the spread of infection and cross contamination.

The addition of a PC based application enables the keyboard to be reprogrammed for easy on-site upgrades without the need of special programming equipment, ideal for changing keycodes or adding hidden functionality for example – enabling application specific customisation of the Indi-Key.

The ergonomic keyboard has a lighter feel with a more tactile response, and the option of an integrated numeric pad for faster data input. The addition of a 29% larger touchpad provides a familiar interface that is easy to use and clean, with no grooves or dirt traps.

With a typical operating life of 6 hours, battery life is further preserved with a 15 minute sleep mode. 3 levels of red backlit illumination enable the keys to be visible in all light conditions.

Configuration & dignostics for Coriolis flow & density

Improved, easy-to-use device intelligence and diagnostics for a range of products and protocols

The Micro Motion® ProLink III®, a Microsoft® Windows-based configuration and service tool for Micro Motion Coriolis flow and density transmitters has just been releases by Emerson Process Management. ProLink III is an intuitive configuration, data-logging, and troubleshooting tool for the range of Micro Motion Coriolis flow and density products.

The Micro Motion ProLink III Configuration Tool utilises Emerson’s Human Centered Design approach for an intuitive interface that improves overall functionality and ease of use. Customers looking to streamline work practices, improve process control, trend and remotely troubleshoot meters in the field will benefit from this latest version of ProLink. Once connected, process variables and alerts are immediately seen through a single, user-friendly, full diagnostics display. To better interrogate field issues, ProLink III identifies fault conditions that are then separated by severity, allowing the user to prioritise alerts. Additionally, the guided connection wizard, the simulated device feature and the offline configuration tool, all help to decrease commissioning time and reduce start-up costs by limiting the opportunity for mistakes. The response time of this software tool is unmatched by anything else previously offered.

Designed with servicing in mind, additional Micro Motion ProLink III benefits include the ability to simultaneously connect to multiple devices and monitor system performance through trending and data logging, allowing the user to easily view and improve process conditions across more than one transmitter at a time. When considering changing a transmitter, device simulation and offline configuration offers configuration confirmation prior to actually implementing a change. This capability provides less room for error and can eliminate expensive downtime having to troubleshoot transmitter behaviour. Advanced transmitter functionality such as Smart Meter Verification, concentration measurement, petroleum measurement, Net Oil Computer (NOTC), discrete batching, or filling and dosing application software can all be easily configured using ProLink III.

ProLink III is available in two editions, Basic and Professional. The Basic edition covers basic configuration and alarm functionality, while the Professional edition also includes simultaneous multi-transmitter connectivity, trending and data logging, device simulation, offline configuration management, Modbus communications over Ethernet and Smart Meter Verification reports.

ProLink III connects to all Micro Motion Coriolis transmitters and supports HART® Modbus RS-485, and Modbus/TCP communications.

Video distribution

 VDS enables users to distribute high-definition video across structured cabling systems

TE Connectivity has introduced a new Video Distribution System (VDS) that enables network managers to deliver true high-definition RF and IP video over an existing Category 6 or 7 cabling infrastructure without the need for coaxial cabling or any RF tuning.

VDS enables the delivery of video signals such as cable television, satellite, in-house video, digital signage, electronic bulletin boards or any other service normally delivered over coaxial systems - but over a Category 6 or Category 7 twisted-pair infrastructure. The VDS eliminates the need for a separate coaxial infrastructure or the need for an RF technician to install it.

"We all want more - more often!" commented Luca Rozzoni, business line manager for LAN solutions at TE Enterprise Networks. "High speed broadband has raised our expectations for the delivery of content and now, wherever we are, we expect easy access to richer content"

Delivering rich content in the form of high-definition video has been a challenge for network managers as it typically means overlaying their twisted-pair infrastructure with an additional, coaxial infrastructure.

Rozzoni continued: "Now, with TE's Video Distribution System, we have removed these challenges, and whether you are the network manager at a hotel, a bank, a hospital or a university, you can easily inject true high-definition RF or IP video into your structured cabling system and display it wherever you have a network outlet."

VDS is a TIA-568/ISO 11801 compliant solution for delivering broadband RF signals over an existing structured cabling infrastructure. It supports full-spectrum video (862 MHz) for up to 90 metres or 550 MHz for up to 100 metres. TE's VDS is a true "plug & play" system with automatic gain control. Using self-adjusting baluns to provide amplification and equalisation, output and input levels are adjusted to provide perfect HD video at the TV set. The system automatically adjusts the head-end signal for proper system operation and thereby eliminates the need for manual tuning by solving the issues of equalisation and balancing traditionally associated with coaxial systems.

Rozzoni continued: "This is a significant addition to TE Connectivity's Enterprise Networks solutions. It solves one of the biggest headaches for network managers who are trying to integrate video distribution across an existing twisted pair infrastructure - and it provides a future-proofed solution for the longer-term migration to IPTV".

Empowering energy solutions for Russia!

Boiler plant of Yamburgskoye gas field.
West Siberia
Russia relies a great deal on localised heat and power generation. For Impuls Industrial Boiler Plants, the opportunities for building or rebuilding large boiler houses that provide heat and power to communities, including remote industrial installations, represents a major growth market. Founded in 2002, the company has pioneered development of modular, fully automated industrial boiler houses that don’t require a human operator. A key reason for choosing EPLAN as the new design tool was the ability of the software to support electrical, process control and enclosure design on a shared platform. As a result, projects that typically took three months or more are now being completed in 5-6 weeks.

Design plays a crucial role at Impuls; over half the 100 staff are engineers. The company recognised that its old software tools were too constraining. Engineers were using AutoCAD to design power equipment, automated heating systems and instrument and control (I&C) systems, and using MS Excel to draw up bills of materials and other lists and tables. Engineers had to connect assemblies and control devices manually. There was no way for the different engineering disciplines to share content or work collaboratively and no way to archive commonly used content. “With so much manual processing, it wasn’t unusual for major errors to creep into projects that were a challenge to fix, especially when projects were to deadline” says Alexey Soloviev, head of the engineering department at Impuls

Designed by Impuls
Attracted by the concept
“Seeking to optimise design productivity, Impuls selected EPLAN for its vast automation features, and because its database-driven suite of products was unique – it being the only computer aided engineering product that supported electrical, process control and enclosure design on a shared platform. That meant data generated by one discipline could be shared by all” comments Soloviev.

Major time-savings
“This was a capability the company wanted. Before we decided to use EPLAN for our engineering, working in AutoCAD and MS Office meant all product stages were executed by the same engineer, because functions like cross-discipline designing and multiple users sharing data were lacking. Now, with EPLAN, the electrical and process control engineers have the chance to collaborate together on projects."

With the switch to the EPLAN Platform – Impuls acquired EPLAN Electric P8, EPLAN PPE and the 3D mounting panel layout module. Projects that typically took three months or more are now being completed in 5-6 weeks, and that was achieved within six months of switching to EPLAN. “Engineers are making the maximum use of EPLAN’s vast automation functionality, like automated error-checking and cross-referencing. Error rates are down, and it’s not unusual to have projects that are completely error-free” remarks Soloviev. An archive was created in EPLAN and now contains over 1,500 component macros and 2,000 function macros shared by all disciplines. Impuls expects that over time it can accelerate projects further by increasing the number of archived macros and recognising more ways to take advantage of EPLAN functionality during project development.

Customers benefit from results
“With EPLAN, there should be a maintenance benefit over time for both Impuls and customers since the documentation generated by EPLAN for each installation is a high quality. We have noticed that our customers now have far fewer questions with regard to completed projects and tend to grade the ones done in EPLAN very well.”

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

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

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

The HUMLOG20 data logger offers multiple customer benefits.

Seamless data logging over a period of more than a year is possible thanks to the long battery life and a memory capacity of 3.2 million measurement values.
The current measurement data are always available in the network, as the data logger is compliant with the network thanks to the integrated Ethernet interface. The data can be queried, displayed and saved on a PC in real time.
A simple analysis and visualisation of the measurement data is possible with the SmartGraph3 software included in the scope of delivery.
A fast response to possible deviations is supported by a visual and acoustic alarm function.

The unit is marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology and Peter Keane there is waiting for your order!

Interior installation made easy

Mounting equipment to the inside of an enclosure, without using the mounting plate or drilling holes into the wall of the enclosure, is not an easy task.

Light & door switch from Rittal
Rittal’s Interior rails have been designed to fit within a range of enclosures, with various depths, to eliminate the need for drilling holes in the sides, base or top of the enclosure, which could affect water ingress or corrosion resistance. Rails are simply fitted by locating them between the rear wall and the door jamb of the enclosure and friction screws are then tightened to create a strong mechanical fixing point for a number of accessories.

Rails are punched with the standard hole pattern to accept a wide range of available products. These range from lights, door switches and door stays, through to mounting fails in various lengths together with cable conduit holders to make fit-out of the enclosures easier and more professional without the need to drill holes.

Hall-effect sensor IC

Customer-programmable linear Hall-effect sensor IC with pulse-width-modulated two-wire output

The new A1357 from Allegro MicroSystems is a high-precision, customer-programmable, linear Hall-effect sensor IC with a pulse-width-modulated current-sourced two-wire output.

Featuring a wide ambient temperature range of -40°C to +150°C, the A1357 device is targeted at the automotive and industrial sectors, particularly in applications where signals have to travel over relatively long distances in noisy environments.

The A1357 converts an analogue signal from its internal Hall sensor element to a digitally encoded PWM output signal with a frequency of 1 kHz and a duty cycle that is proportional to an applied magnetic field. The coupled noise immunity of the digitally encoded PWM output is far superior to the noise immunity of an analogue output signal.

The monolithic BiCMOS circuit in the A1357 integrates a Hall element, precision temperature-compensating circuitry to reduce the intrinsic sensitivity and offset drift of the Hall element, a small-signal high-gain amplifier, proprietary dynamic offset cancellation circuits, and PWM conversion circuitry. The dynamic offset cancellation circuits reduce the residual offset voltage of the Hall element, which is normally caused by device overmoulding, temperature dependencies, and thermal stress.

The high-frequency offset cancellation (chopping) clock allows for a greater sampling rate, which increases the accuracy of the output signal and results in faster signal processing capability.

The A1357 sensor IC is supplied in a lead (Pb) free 3-pin single inline package (KB suffix), with 100% matt tin lead-frame plating.

Unlimited overvoltage protection

Linear Technology Corporation has introduced the LTC4366, an overvoltage protection controller for electronic systems. Operating from 9V to greater than 500V, the LTC4366 floating surge stopper utilizes an adjustable floating topology to enable very high voltage operation independent of the voltage rating of the LTC4366’s internal circuitry.  Two internal shunt regulators coupled with the external voltage-dropping resistors generate the LTC4366’s internal supply rails. The maximum operating voltage is set by the breakdown of the external resistors and MOSFETS. The LTC4366 is the first product of its kind to protect, for example, a 12V circuit from a 500V transient without the need for additional protection components.
The LTC4366 monitors the voltage at its output and reacts quickly to input supply overvoltage by controlling the gate of an N-channel MOSFET.  The LTC4366 regulates the output to a user-defined voltage during an overvoltage transient allowing the load to remain operational while the overvoltage is dropped across a MOSFET. An adjustable fault timer ensures safe shutdown if the fault persists.
It is ideal for harsh industrial, automotive and avionic applications where systems must continue operating reliably through severe overvoltage events. High voltage applications include protecting from motor transients, coupled overvoltage, incorrect input supplies or power supply failures. While traditional protection circuitry relies on bulky inductors, capacitors, fuses and transient voltage suppressors to clamp the transient, the LTC4366 protects by series regulating the transient. It is packaged in a tiny 8-lead TSOT-23 and 3mm x 2mm DFN packages. During operation, the entire circuit consumes only a few milliamperes, and the device may be shut down to less than 20µA.
The LTC4366 is available in two options; the LTC4366-1 latches off after a fault, while the LTC4366-2 will retry after a 9-second cool down period.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Plastic joining machines

Servo-motion control accelerates throughput of plastic joining machines

Phasa has enhanced the performance of its specialist plastic component joining machines with high performance new versions employing a key servo-based motion control system in place of a pneumatic actuator. The servo enables several seconds to be shaved off the assembly time of complex car door panels, increasing productivity significantly. The slight additional cost of a machine fitted with servo technology will typically repay its investment after just a couple of months.

A typical assembly task on a Phasa 40/80 machine - a complex car door panel comprises various components which are welded into position.

The main assembly nest platen on Phasa's 40/80 machine is moved by a Festo servomotor and toothed belt axis.

Festo pneumatic drives are used extensively on all of Phasa's joining machines.
Phasa takes its name from the process it has pioneered – Plastic Hot Air Stake Assembly. Essentially, the process involves selectively heating parts of thermoplastic mouldings using super-hot air, and then using cold tools to form, clamp and chill the parts into their required shapes. The fixings often take the form of rivets or ‘roll overs’, and the non-contact heating method ensures that the process is clean – without marking the ‘A’ face surface – and fast, and the resultant assemblies are strong, tight and stable. Applications for these fixings are diverse and include the automotive, electrical/electronics and white goods industries.

Phasa manufactures standard and custom machines to automate the entire assembly process – from inserting the thermoplastic mouldings into the components being joined, to selectively heating, forming and cooling them. Until relatively recently, all of Phasa’s standard machines used only pneumatically-powered motion control, with all control valves and actuators supplied by various suppliers. However, when the company started to experience supplier product changes for the machines’ rodless cylinders, it approached Festo for help. After investigating the application, Festo recommended using its DGC pneumatic cylinders to provide the machines’ main platen movement. These rodless linear actuators feature a unique sealing mechanism which ensures efficient operation by virtually eliminating air leakage, and have proved a very reliable replacement. Since then, Phasa has progressively re-designed its range of standard machines to incorporate Festo pneumatic automation components for many of their motion axes.

The company recently expanded its standard machine range to include models that use a servo system in place of a pneumatic cylinder to provide the main movement of assembly nests. The principal advantage of the servo approach is that by using closed-loop control it is capable of fully programmable multi-stop positioning, compared to the end-to-end positioning of standard pneumatic cylinders. This results in faster and more accurate placement of the assembly nest, reducing the overall processing time.

In this particular case, Phasa chose a complete Festo assembly comprising of a toothed belt axis, servomotor, gearbox and servo motor controller to provide the horizontal movement of the assembly nest platen on its large 40/80 machine. This combination, together with the power supply and mechanical connecting kit, is supplied by Festo as a turnkey solution. The servo controller is networked to the 40/80 machine’s host PLC. Compared to the all-pneumatic version of the machine, the electric servo based model accomplishes the same assembly operation in 33 seconds, improving throughput by nearly 6 percent.

During the development of the servo system, Phasa found Festo’s positioning drives software particularly helpful. This PC-based software tool assists machine designers with the task of selecting the optimum components for a complete, high-efficiency positioning system. After entering a few application details, designers are presented with the ideal combination of electric linear axes, motors, gear units, controllers and software, together with the load characteristics of their selected drive. The software enables designers to evaluate the performance of a system very quickly, turning what can often be a highly iterative procedure into a quick and simple process.

In addition to providing excellent programming flexibility, the CMM-AS servo controller offers a particular benefit for this application, as Terry Elvidge, Phasa’s Operations Director, points out: “A further advantage of using Festo servo drives is that they facilitate the capture of timed process parameters for every part made. This is vital to our customers’ quality management procedures, enabling the data to be networked to a central server system and logged against the bar code for that particular part, providing a complete manufacturing record. This is especially important in the automotive sector, where products need to be traceable throughout their lifecycle.”

Phasa is now looking at incorporating electric servos in a number of its smaller machines. The technology is especially suitable for applications involving fast, highly repeatable movement, and Terry Elvidge is keen to capitalise on its potential, “Although we make extensive use of Festo pneumatic cylinders primarily because of their suitability and function, they have also proved to be cost-efficient for us as we are continually seeking ways of improving the performance of our machines. We are also very customer-driven and aware of market needs – consequently we are currently investigating the use of Festo electric servos in a number of application areas, including automated loading and unloading systems.”

In a typical application involving the Phasa 40/80, the parts for a car door panel comprise about six components, such as a map pocket, switch panel and various clasps. These are fitted into the carcass of the panel and then loaded into a preformed nest on the machine by the operator. All subsequent operations are completely automated, with full light guard protection to ensure operator safety. The machine progressively moves the nest through the various process stages, bringing the heater, forming and cooling tools down into close proximity or contact with the plastic stakes. Typically, each plastic stake is heated to 260 degrees Celsius for 6 seconds before the part is moved to the forming stage. The entire process, from loading to unloading, normally takes 35 seconds on the all-pneumatic version of the machine. As soon as the door panel assembly is complete, the nest is returned to the front of the machine and raised at an angle by a small pneumatic cylinder, so that it is easily accessible to the operator.

According to Terry Elvidge, “We export over 80 percent of our machines – many of our customers are first tier suppliers to the automotive industry in central Europe and Asia – which means that worldwide support is a critical factor to our success. The global nature of Festo's operations assists us in this area by providing highly responsive technical support and spares services wherever we do business. We have also found that moving to a single source of supply for our principal automation components has made ordering and parts tracking much easier.”

Environmental monitor family!

Wireless Sensors has introduced its Rack Sentry family of environmental monitors. 

This all new family from Wireless Sensors, expands the SensiNet product line with features developed specifically for the needs of Data Center operations and includes multi-point nodes for determination of rack temperature gradients. These new designs allow for granular measurements within racks, under floor grates, in return plenums and other strategic locations without the complexity of wiring. The ease of installation and reliability of the field proven SensiNet wireless network allows users to quickly deploy sensors with minimal IT footprint and no security exposure. The SensiNet wireless strategy also allows rapid redeployment to explore hot spots and qualify adds, moves and changes and is especially useful in determining compliance with ASHRAE TC9.9 2011 Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments.

The Rack Sentry line consists of 3 new sensor configurations for measurement of temperature and humidity and complements the range of SensiNet products with existing capability for AC and DC current, DC voltage, contact closures and 4-20mA inputs from third party sensor systems. The SensiNet system also includes a powerful gateway providing a rich suite of communication protocols such as Modbus TCP, OPC, SNMP and ODBC for integration with legacy systems or the system can be operated stand-alone with access to its on board database available through a standard browser. The system will also post data to any URL selected by the user in .CSV format compatible with Excel and other programs.

The products employ a custom designed housing and mounting system to ease installation with the flexibility to mix and match sensors to suit any need. The new designs include the TEHU-2120 integrated temperature transmitter, the TEHU-2121 Integral Temperature and Humidity Transmitter,  and the TEHU 2123 Tethered Temperature Transmitter featuring 3 sensors for rack level gradient measurements.

We are delighted to introduce this all new family of products whose design is based on years of experience and customer feedback" says Paul Richards, Wireless Sensors' CEO. "Our customers told us they needed flexible systems, easy to own, deploy and operate in order to optimize operations, prevent downtime, plan for capacity expansions and validate compliance with the latest ASHRAE guidelines. SensiNet was the perfect platform to build upon and the Rack Sentry line continues our commitment to supply cutting edge products for critical environmental monitoring".

Impact safety!

Magnetostrictive displacement transducers prove popular for impact testing
Impact testing of safety products such as crash helmets, calls for accurate measurement of displacement which is achieved by using transducers such as LVDTs and magnetostrictive devices.

An impact test determines the energy absorbed in fracturing a test piece at high velocity and this usually involves a large range of displacement. Sometimes LVDT's are used, but more usually MTS Temposonics transducers are recommended because of their much larger measurement range. MTS Temposonics are the original developers of the magnetostrictive technology and recognised world leaders for quality and service for this very rugged type of sensor. Based on the magnetostrictive principle displacement sensors are extremely accurate, highly reliable, offer absolute position measurement, can easily be installed and enjoy long trouble-free performance.

Window frame deflection!

LVDTs and load cells used to check window frame deflections 

A combination of Linear Variable Displacement Transducers (LVDTs) and load cells can be employed to measure deflection in various components of window frames.

RDP Electronics Ltd offers a comprehensive range of both LVDTs and load cells that are used to obtain force versus displacement data for various parts of the frame structure. Analysis of this data provides information enabling the window manufacturer to be sure that both during the installation of the frame, as well as when it is in application, does not cause the aperture to change shape significantly. This is important to avoid exerting pressure on the glazing, which could result in the glass shattering.

Call for papers for #ISAutoWK 2012

The Program Committee of ISA Automation Week 2012: Technology and Solutions Event (#ISAutowk) has issued a Call for Papers inviting authors, experts, innovators, thought leaders and automation professionals to submit abstracts for presentation consideration at the conference, to be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, USA, 24–27 September 2012.

The Call for Papers for the event solicits abstracts that cover topics for the following tracks, as they relate to automation:

Operational Excellence:

Control Performance
Asset Performance
Human Performance
Safety/Environmental Performance

Technology Excellence:

Abstracts may be submitted for various presentation opportunities, including:
Paper Session
Panel Session
Tutorial Session
Poster Session

"Take this opportunity to present your findings, work, success stories or research at one of industry’s most highly regarded technical conferences. In addition to its traditional technical program, the business side of operations—how to optimize and increase the efficiency and profitability of operations—will also be covered,” said Peter Martin of Invensys and ISA Automation Week 2012 program committee chair.

“In a downturn or recovering economy, looking at optimizing operations should be at the top of every executive’s list. Knowing that a loop-tuning process can reduce operational cost, or maximize up-time can be the difference between profit and closing down. From a hands-on perspective, it’s equally important to understand ‘why’ it’s important to calibrate a certain way,” Martin continued.

The ISA Automation Week 2012 technical program is building upon its initial success and will continue to be a knowledge-focused event that will bring top professionals in automation and control together for an intensive technical conference and networking opportunity with key industry suppliers. Sessions will be educational and applications-based, rich in content, and delivered by subject-matter experts in each field. Returning in 2012 is Technician Day, a program that offers content relevant to technicians and that ranges from basic to advanced topics.

An integrated solutions provider showcase floor and increased supplier participation will complement the technical program. Two 400-square-foot Technology Solutions Theaters on the showcase floor will integrate technical content via standards briefings, solutions provider technical presentations, and more.

The ISA Automation Week 2012 Program Committee represents ISA members, industry experts, academia and published authors, across industry.

General Chair
Ken Baker, former ISA president

Program Chair
Peter Martin, Invensys

Vice Program Chair
Alison Smith, Aspen Technologies

Program Committee Members
Jeff Arbogast, Air Liquide
Gerald Cockrell, Indiana State University
Barry Young, ARC Advisory Group
Dean Ford, Glenmount Global Solutions

International marketing manager

The Froude Hofmann Group, a global manufacturer and supplier of engine testing systems is pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Drain as International Marketing Manager. Based at the company’s HQ in Worcester, (GB), Simon will be responsible for worldwide marketing activities for the Group. Simon has a PhD in Chemical Engineering and his experience in both product development and technical marketing makes him a valuable addition to the Froude Hofmann team.

Commenting on his appointment, John Harris, Chairman of the Froude Hofmann Group said, “We are delighted to have Simon on board. Now is an important time in Froude Hofmann’s future development and we need an experienced pair of hands to help drive our initiatives forward and generate a higher profile for Froude Hofmann worldwide. We warmly welcome Simon to the team.”