Saturday, February 18, 2012

Factory-wide deployment of manufacturing operations software

Pactron, a preeminent supplier of board level design and contract manufacturing solutions to the semiconductor industry, has recently purchased an Aegis Manufacturing Operation Software (MOS) system to improve efficiency across their facility. This system comprises Aegis’ iLaunch, iView, iTrac, IQ and XLink software modules. Pactron turned to Aegis after enjoying excellent technical support related to a previous purchase, and their decision was further simplified when they realized that Aegis’ offering met their business needs more comprehensively than competing products.

Pactron upgraded to iLaunch from their previous paper-based system. This used a standalone Aegis CircuitCAM package together with Microsoft Word. It generated paper travelers including visual aids to handle defect collection and routing. As these travelers extended to 15 pages or more, Pactron frequently experienced document integrity issues such as missing pages or mixed revision levels.

The new MOS software eliminates these issues as well as bringing other key benefits. iLaunch transforms BOM and CAD data into rich, interactive operator support documentation, as well as auto-detecting CAD file types for process design and machine programming. iView then dispatches the complete operator documentation set automatically to each workstation under revision control, continually ensuring that each document arrives when and where it is needed.

iTrac digitally tracks all work orders and units throughout Pactron’s production area, making location and status information available to users in real time, and enforcing routing. iQ exploits the availability of interactive visual documentation, allowing operators to simply and quickly mark up defect data instead of using text input. This provides superior quality data input and therefore improved analytical results.

For Pactron, this new set of Aegis software modules enforces discipline across their four production lines and ensures that products are routed correctly during manufacturing. Together they deliver better tracking, visibility and process control.

Pactron offers reference design development, product engineering, contract manufacturing and NPI, ATE solutions, reliability engineering and ODM solutions. Some of these services call for low volume production runs. In such situations, especially for prototypes, changes occur frequently during manufacturing. Aegis’ support for rapid and easy documentation edits, for example to add parts or handle deviations, is therefore a key benefit. Additionally, Pactron considers that the consistency of the MOS xLink machine interface adapters and Aegis’ robust handling of defect collection contribute significantly to their operation’s efficiency and success.

The Aegis software is thoroughly integrated into Pactron’s manufacturing environment. It exchanges information with a software reporting tool custom developed for Pactron, and future integration with their ManEx on site ERP system is under review. Pactron’s hardware is also connected, with AOI systems from both YesTech and Mirtec being supported. Further expansion is also being considered, with particular interest in the iMaterials module for materials tracking.

Annual Marketing Budgets for Suppliers in the Power Industry

The overall size of the marketing budgets of power industry supplier companies reveals the current investment into this area by competitors. The average size of the global, annual marketing budget of power industry supplier respondents in 2009 was US$3 million (€2.3m), a figure that has declined to US$2.8 million (€2.1m) in 2011 according to this report from ICD Research. This implies that companies have a keen focus on continued cost control to adapt with lower demand and are therefore exercising caution in allocating their marketing budget.

For 2011, 75% of supplier respondents projected low marketing budgets of less than US$250,000 (€190,287). The advancement of technologies such as email and social media marketing has increased focus on these low cost and highly effective marketing channels. Companies are spending an increasingly higher proportion of their marketing budgets on more effective marketing strategies. In order to reduce their marketing expenditure, many supplier companies plan to enhance the internal alignment between sales and marketing functions, which will enable them to create consistent messaging using limited marketing resources.

This table shows the annual marketing budgets of respondents from 2009 - 2011 (©IDC Research)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Visible vision sensors!

With this new sensor, Keyence makes vision sensors accessible to everyone. Affordable, quick start-up and easy to use: no need to be an expert. This new solution is highly reliable and covers 80% of vision systems requirements, making it a beneficial alternative to one or more sensors when detection needs to follow a moving target.

The IV Series stands out as the easiest-to-start vision sensor on the market. The set-up is done via a 4 step graphic interface procedure. Typically, it takes less than a minute. Exposure time and illumination are adjusted automatically (IBA feature - Intelligent Brightness Adjust). Focusing, with the automatic focus mechanism, can now be done automatically. It is done by a unique automatic focus motor developed exclusively for the IV Series.

In addition, the IV Series is the very first vision sensor in its price range offering colour detection and the autofocus function at the same time. A flexible solution allowing many different applications: part or label presence/absence, detection of part orientation, misalignment, cable recognition according to their colour, proper assembly… Therefore one IV sensor is able to perform multiple detections on a single target, where competitors would often require multiple sensors

The technology of shape recognition makes it possible to perform reliable detections on moving targets. Compensation of the position is automatically done. The IV Series is thus more stable than laser or optical sensor, while remaining in the price range.

The Series IV vision system offers a resolution of 752x480 pixels and IP67 protection, making it perfectly suitable to industrial requirements. It is connected via Ethernet or an M12 connector. Eight sensor heads are available to match the various specifications of the application: detection range (up to 2000 mm), distance view and finally exposure time (down to 1/25000 for fast cadence).

This vision sensor offers excellent detection stability thanks to a set of new features: 4 lenses HP-Quad focus with low aberration with high light gathering power. HS-HDR feature widens the light-receiving sensitivity range when dispersion occurs in the reflection. As production runs brightness is automatically adjusted and glare from glossy surfaces is reduced by a polarising filter.

The main applications are in packaging, metal working, automotive, electronics or food and pharmaceutical industries.

Collecting remote temperature information

Mantracourt's wireless temperature acquisition module enables the remote collection and processing of temperature measurements.

The T24-TA wireless temperature module from Mantracourt, is designed for the collection and processing of temperature data as determined by an external platinum temperature sensor (Pt100). The temperature measuring device records the temperature and periodically transmits the data to a remote receiver. Between transmissions the device is optionally put in a power saving sleep mode to conserve batteries.

"The temperature acquisition module is an important addition to the T24 wireless range of instrumentation products," said Kelly Voysey, Sales and Marketing Manager at Mantracourt. "It will enable the wireless monitoring of platinum temperature sensors, whereby resistance changes with temperature. Along with our other wireless sensor modules, this device will help us provide a complete solution to engineers seeking to remotely monitor and control a given process."

UK based Mantracourt is a leading manufacturer of industrial measurement technologies and a world leader in the design and manufacture of electronics for measurement technologies, including strain gauge, temperature, resistance, pressure, voltage, current, potentiometer, rate, flow, LVDT and displacement in either analogue, digital or wireless form.

The Mantracourt T24 wireless telemetry range is a flexible low power radio system designed to enable the transmission of high accuracy measurement data from load cells, inclinometers, accelerometers, temperature, displacement and pressure sensors. With a combination of transmitter and receiver technologies, engineers are able to remotely monitor instrumentation readings.

"Wireless instrumentation is enabling engineers to undertake measurement and control in ways that were not possible before," said Kelly Voysey. "Whether it is rotating machinery, or equipment located in a hazardous area such as a construction site, or perhaps a temporary installation that would not justify permanent wiring, or maybe even difficult to access locations, our T24 range is enabling engineers around the world to take a new approach to how they can use instrumentation in the field."

The device transmits on license-free 2.4Ghz, avoiding local radio interference to ensure data integrity and security.

The module can transmit to a range of receivers including handheld indicators, digital displays, analogue and serial outputs, PC display and wireless printer and it has various powering options.
Data is provided in real time at variable speeds with a direct line of sight range of 100 or 200 meters, which can be extended with the use of high gain antenna’s and repeaters.

The T24-TA wireless temperature-measuring device is also available in a PCB version for OEM integration.

Power module design concept!

Downloadable paper describes the different types of power module assemblies and topologies

Vincotech produces highly efficient power modules with various housings designed for a wide range of power and other applications.

Flow module with three levels
& a parallel switch
The offering extends beyond standard motor drive topologies such as CIB / PIM, PACK, and half-bridge modules to encompass products designed specifically for PFC, welding, solar, and UPS applications. This paper describes the underlying design concepts for Vincotech’s flow 0, flow 1 and flow 2 families, as well as flowSCREW 2s and the new flowSCREW w housings. It also discusses the pros and cons of Press-fit pins, DBC substrates, and stress-relief zones. The different types of power module assemblies and topologies are described using a module with three levels as an example.

Designers in search of utmost efficiency and reliability for their applications will find the features and benefits they seek in Vincotech modules. Designed for a power range from 500 to 1700 V and from 4 to 600 A, these power modules feature a variety of topologies and technologies to satisfy the needs of the most diverse applications.

Food processing temperature application

Infrared temperature sensor for food applications with right angled sensing head and protective plastic window

Calex has been approached by a leading manufacturer of food processing equipment with a specific requirement for non-contact infrared temperature measurement.

The CI5234, a special sensor based on the existing two-piece PyroCouple M, is designed specifically for this customer's requirements. It has features that also make it ideal for many other applications.

The long, cylindrical stainless steel section of the right-angled sensing head is designed to be mounted in a gland or seal in the wall of a vessel, eliminating the requirement for an additional flange or window. The right angle allows the surface of the material in the vessel to be monitored from above.

A protective plastic window is fitted to the nose of the sensor inside a stainless steel holder. This protects the sensor's lens from damage and helps contain lens fragments in case damage occurs.

The sensing head is aimed at the surface of the food. Its narrow 15:1 field of view helps ensure that it cannot "see" the vessel walls.

The separate electronics box amplifies the signal from the sensing head and converts it to a linear 4-20 mA output. The sensor may be supplied with a cable of up to 3 m between the sensing head and the electronics box. Screw terminals in the electronics box allow easy connection to a four-core shielded copper cable.

If mixing paddles or blades are present in the vessel, then output processing should be applied to the 4-20 mA signal to ignore fluctuations in measured temperature when the paddle or blade is visible to the sensor.

The fixed emissivity setting of the CI5234 gives good results on almost all foods, and is also ideal for measuring other high-emissivity surfaces, such as wood, paper, fabric, thick plastics, asphalt and painted surfaces.

Like all infrared temperature sensors, readings can be affected by steam or contamination on the lens, so both of these should be minimised for maximum accuracy.

The sensor can withstand temperatures of up to 70°C in the vessel.

The protective plastic window in stainless steel holder can be supplied separately for use with adjustable-emissivity sensors, such as the PyroEpsilon, which has emissivity adjustment via 4-20 mA input, the PyroBus, which is equipped with an RS485 Modbus RTU interface, or the PyroUSB, which has USB communications as well as a 4-20 mA output.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Improving human reliability

New application improves human reliability by identifying safe operating limits
inBound™ from PAS improves vigilance of plant safe operating limits and exposes process safety risks 

PAS has released inBound, an application that makes plant operators continually aware of safe operating limits.

Boundry hierarchy example
Safe operating limit information is maintained by various groups within the plant and is not readily available to operators.  As such operators are generally unaware of the design and safety limitations of the processes they operate.  PAS has addressed this shortcoming with inBound, a layered application for PAS’ market-leading PlantState Suite© alarm management software. 

InBound aggregates, validates, and displays physical constraints such as a vessel’s Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP), design constraints such as relief valve settings, and safe operating limits.  These constraints may be manually entered, calculated, or imported into the software from engineering applications and databases.   

The application enables engineers to develop a boundary hierarchy and automatically detects and reports deviations from that hierarchy, such as an alarm setting that is higher than a pressure-relief valve setting.   This capability provides assurance that configuration parameter changes such as alarm limits and instrument ranges remain within the safe operating envelope of the plant.  

By displaying safe operating limits in real time and in context within the plant’s existing control system graphics, inBound enables operators to proactively monitor measurements and take action as needed to prevent violation of limits.  “A compelling use for inBound is the monitoring of environmental limits.” said Eddie Habibi, Founder and CEO of PAS.  “Exposing these limits in context enables operators to visualize the process’s proximity to boundaries in real time, and take action before an excursion occurs”. 

Safe audible and visual signalling devices.

R. Stahl has a wide range of warning systems for worldwide use. By means of audible and visual signals, these devices alert users to malfunctions in time, thereby ensuring optimal safety e.g. in fire protection systems and other monitoring facilities.
Horn, combination unit and beacons from the Yodalex series
The industrial product program covers a wide range of applications, which include shipbuilding, process and materials handling, logistics, cranes, railways, storage facilities, factories, hotels, office and public buildings in addition to hospitals and airports.

The portfolio for hazardous areas contains Xenon and LED signal beacons with “Ex d” ignition protection (flameproof enclosure), intrinsically safe LED status beacons and traffic lights, flashing beacons, horns and robust manual call points that are available in Break Glass and Push Button versions.

Audible and visual signalling device
from the Yodalarm/Yodalight series
The Yodalex (great name!) series for instance includes the YA60 horn, the FL60 beacon and the innovative YL60 combination unit, which integrates a sounder and beacon in a uniquely designed single enclosure. The YA60 horn has a maximum sound output of 110 dB at one meter, with a two stage audible facility that can be chosen from a sound selection consisting of 32 internationally recognised tones. The patented acoustic hood of the YA60 & YL60 ensures an omnidirectional sound emission, unique to the Yodalex range. In case of danger, the FL60 beacon activates a high-intensity flash ranging from 5 through to 20 Joules, at a frequency of one per second. Made from flame-retardant polycarbonate, the beacon lenses are available in seven different colours and feature a steel guard, as standard.

Products for safe areas include the Clifford & Snell range of electronic sounders and beacons such as the FL40 Xenon strobes and LED flashing and status beacons, as well as the Yodalarm and Yodalight sounders, beacons and combination units. These combine a sounder with a maximum output of 120 dB at one meter with a strobe that is available in a range of Joule outputs, voltage options and lens colours.

Integrated control & safety system offshore!

Yokogawa has been awarded a contract for the supply of an Integrated Control and Safety System (ICSS) for the Golden Eagle Area Development (GEAD) Project operated by Nexen Petroleum.

The Golden Eagle area, which is home to one of the largest oil and gas discoveries in the British North Sea in the past ten years, comprises the Golden Eagle and Peregrine fields, and is operated by Nexen with Maersk Oil, Suncor Energy Inc, and Edinburgh Oil and Gas as partners.

This is Yokogawa's first major contract with Nexen Petroleum U.K. Limited, and sees Yokogawa further develop its significant installation base in the North Sea, continuing the company's strong commitment to the industry.

The ICSS package utilises Yokogawa's flagship CENTUM VP for the process control system and operator environment. The SIL-rated process shutdown systems and main fire & gas detection systems are based on Yokogawa's ProSafe-RS safety system with diverse ProSafe-SLS solid-state safety system technology deployed for the emergency shutdown system.

Other systems included within the ICSS package include the operational data system utilising Yokogawa's Exaquantum historian and asset management using Yokogawa's PRM package.

The CENTUM VP process control system provides a fully integrated operator environment with advanced alarm management facilities for all the ICSS systems and associated third-party packages.

The ICSS will be installed across the new GEAD complex, comprising the process utilities and living quarters platform and a bridge-linked wellhead platform.

Expansion east!

Pickering Interfaces has reorganised its sales region for Eastern Europe. The sales office, located in Třinec/CZ, which supported the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Poland, will expand its sales region to support Romania, Hungary, the Republic of Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Serbia. Jaroslav Pyszko, who joined Pickering Interfaces s.r.o in 2005 as a software engineer, became sales engineer in 2010 and will now expand and support the Eastern European sales region. Jaroslav is integrated into the German Sales organisation of Pickering.

Matthias von Bassenheim, managing director of Pickering Interfaces GmbH in Munich noted: “A strongly increased interest in our products throughout the entire Eastern European region made this step possible – indeed necessary. In 2011 we experienced strong growth rates in these countries. For 2012 we are planning to further expand the sales team of Pickering Interfaces. Jaroslav has an excellent track record with our Eastern European customers. We look forward to continued growth in the region”.

Recalling data from wind turbines!

MatrikonOPC helps operators keep wind farms efficient, profitable with OPC Server for Siemens Wind Turbine Controllers

Wind farm operators can now access key performance and maintenance data from their Siemens wind turbines without relying on proprietary drivers. By using the newly released OPC Server for Siemens Wind Turbine Controllers from MatrikonOPC ™, users throughout an enterprise can put this data to work to help maximize their wind farms’ return on investment.

The OPC Server for Siemens Wind Turbine Controllers transfers data between the turbine controllers and HMIs, historians, and ERP systems directly – eliminating the need to rely on the iBox, a proprietary connector. This enables wind farm owners and operators to get status updates from the wind farms to make crucial decisions in their day-to-day wind farm maintenance and operations.

"Easy, reliable access to wind turbine data is crucial for successful wind farm operation and management. Secure on-demand visibility into turbine conditions gives owners and operators a clear picture of what is happening on each of their turbines – allowing them to take corrective actions before systems start to fail. The OPC Server for Siemens Turbine Controllers provides this visibility – making profitable wind farm operation a lot easier to achieve," said Darek Kominek, Marketing Manager at MatrikonOPC.

Key features and benefits of the OPC Server for Siemens Wind Turbine Controllers:
• Ability to connect to a hand-held port
• Communicates directly to the KK controller
• Tag level security to manage access to tags based on users’ login information.

High performance pressure sensor

Omega Engineering manufactures a wide range of pressure measurement devices from printed circuit board (PCB) mounted pressure sensors to high temperature & pressure sensors. The new PXM309 series pressure transducer is the latest to be introduced into the Omega pressure sensor range.

The PXM309 series is a high performance industrial pressure sensor, suitable for most hydraulic and pneumatic systems, with a fast 1 millisecond response time. The wetted parts are fully welded stainless steel for good compatibility with industrial fluids or gases. The process connection is a G1/4A (1/4”BSPP male) stainless steel fitting. There are three electrical terminations: 2 metre flying lead, mini DIN or M12 connectors. The electrical outputs available are either 0-10 Vdc or 4-20 mA, suitable for most PLC and control applications. There are 25 Pressure ranges available from 0-70 mbar up to 0-700 bar.

The complete range is available ex-stock for next day delivery and is supplied with a 5 point traceable calibration, produced in our factory during final inspection. All the PXM309 series are RoHS compliant and meet the current CE regulations.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Industrial PCB connectors with built-in transformers

Harting has extended its RJ Industrial® RJ45 connector family by introducing a range of PCB jacks with built-in transformers.

The highly compact dimensions of these RJ45 connectors enable convenient and simple integration into all established IP 65/67 interface types, from PushPull to Han® 3A.

The reduced height of the new devices is also an advantage in scenarios involving plug-in cards, allowing the realisation of very low-profile assemblies and modules. The first products to be introduced are versions for 10/100 Mbit/s and 1 Gbit/s transmission speeds, while versions for PoE as well as individual adaptations to specific customer wishes are planned and can be rapidly executed.

For designs incorporating surface-mount LEDs on the printed circuit board, integrated light pipes enable signalling of the port status.

These industry standard female connectors can be processed by all standard soldering methods such as wave soldering or SMT reflow.

New types of membership for automation people!

The International Society of Automation (ISA) now has two new membership grades, Automation Community Member and Automation Affiliate Member.

New membership grades for ISA
“We think these new member grades are a great way for automation professionals to take advantage of the many technical and professional-development benefits that ISA offers. As our new members grow in their careers, we hope they will come to appreciate the contribution that the Society can make to their lives and their businesses, and that they might one day become volunteers and contributors to ISA,” said ISA President, Robert E. Lindeman.

Automation Community Member: 
ISA established this grade for professionals in the automation community who would like to be associated with the Society and learn more about it, while enjoying some popular benefits. Individuals may join as Automation Community Members at no charge, by visiting
Automation Community Member benefits include:
  • Free access to a library of more than 40 online, pre-recorded web seminars
  • Free subscription to InTech magazine (digital) and Automation Weekly e-newsletter
  • Membership in ISA technical divisions for $10 per division
  • Participation in ISA’s mentoring program
  • Access to the ISA LISTSERV for email discussions
Current AF Members
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
The National Council For Advanced Manufacturing (NACFAM)
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation
The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA)
The Control Systems Integrators Association (CSIA)
The American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC)
The National Career Development Association (NCDA)
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
Wireless Industrial Networking Alliance (WINA)
The Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC)
Automation Affiliate Member: 

This membership grade is offered to individual members of organizations that are members of the Automation Federation, of which ISA is the founding organisation. Membership is also offered to employees of companies that are members of organizations that are members of the Automation Federation.

These individuals can join ISA as Automation Affiliate Members for $50 US per year, by visiting the "Join Page!". This membership grade provides a well-rounded selection of benefits and gives these individuals the opportunity to learn and grow in ISA. 

A sample of benefits includes:
  • Free online viewing of ISA standards, a 10% discount on the cost of ISA standards, and a $50 credit towards the purchase of an ISA standard
  • Free access to a library of more than 40 online, pre-recorded web seminars
  • Free subscription to InTech magazine (digital) and Automation Weekly e-newsletter
  • Membership in ISA technical divisions for $10 per division
  • A 10% discount on ISA books
  • Participation in ISA’s mentoring program
  • Access to the ISA LISTSERV email discussion lists

    New heavy duty transducers

    Configurable pressure measurement devices (7 bar to 34 bar) provide reliable performance in moderately harsh media environments

    Honeywell is expanding its Heavy Duty Pressure product portfolio with the PX2 Series Heavy Duty Pressure Transducer. These new highly configurable, stainless steel pressure measurement solutions are engineered to be resistant to moderately harsh media such as refrigerants, brake and hydraulic fluids, engine oil, tap water, and compressed air.

    The PX2 Series is designed to monitor performance and efficiency in a wide range of potential industrial applications including HVAC/R equipment, air compressors, system pressure, factory automation, pneumatics, valves, pumps, packaging/laminating equipment, sprayers, lasers, foam dispensing, solar energy, and emissions monitoring. Potential transportation (heavy equipment, alternative fuel vehicles) applications include system pressure, pneumatics, light hydraulics, brake and engine oil pressure, transmissions, and truck/trailer air braking.

    “With the PX2 Series, our customers can truly have it their way,” said AJ Smith, director of global product marketing for Honeywell Sensing and Control. “We designed the PX2 Series to be highly configurable and durable, with a wide pressure range, so customers can select the form factor and functionality they want to help them reduce their design and implementation costs while still meeting challenging application requirements.”

    The PX2 Series use piezoresistive sensing technology with ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) signal conditioning. Their compatibility with varied media, combined with up to IP69K protection and CE compliance, allow for reliable performance in tough environments.
    Designed for configurability, the PX2 Series’ numerous standard or custom connectors, ports, pressure types and ranges, and output options allow customers the ability to configure devices to meet their specific application needs, and to obtain product samples quickly. By configuring the transducer to meet system requirements, the PX2 Series reduces the design and implementation costs of the end product. New standard configurations are regularly being added to the Series.

    The PX2 Series is fully calibrated and compensated for transducer offset, sensitivity, temperature effects, and non-linearity using an on-board ASIC. The industry-leading Total Error Band of ±2% over the compensated temperature range of -40 ºC to 125 ºC [-40 °F to 257 °F] provides excellent interchangeability due to minimal part-to-part variation in accuracy, eliminates individual transducer testing and calibration, and supports customer system accuracy and warranty requirements.

    These transducers measure absolute or sealed gage pressure. The absolute versions have an internal vacuum reference and an output value proportional to absolute pressure. The sealed gage versions have an internal pressure reference of one atmosphere at sea level. They are available in 7 bar to 34 bar [100 psi to 500 psi] pressure ranges with additional pressure ranges coming soon. Good EMC protection means that the transducer will not be damaged by environmental electromagnetic interference.

    The PX2 Series is designed to Six Sigma standards, providing the highest level of product quality, performance, and consistency. Honeywell’s knowledgeable application engineers are available to answer customers’ specific design questions during the development, launch, and production of this product. Honeywell’s global presence offers customers immediate product and application support throughout the development cycle from design to global manufacturing.

    Control head for hygienic process valves!

    New universally adaptable control heads are designed for hygenic process valves in decentralised automation systems.

    Bürkert’s new 8681 control head has been developed specially for use with pneumatically controlled hygienic process valves in decentralised automation applications. The Type 8681 compliments their clean line ELEMENT series of control heads, digital positioners and process controllers, for diaphragm, angle seat, globe, ball and butterfly valves, effectively expanding Burkert’s extensive hygienic processing range for the food/beverage and pharmaceutical industries.

    A key feature of the Type 8681 control head is that it is universally adaptable, enabling it to be combined with all commercially available valve types, such as butterfly valves, ball valves and single and double-seat valves. In addition, the control head is manufactured from chemical-resistant materials, benefits from a high IP rating, and is very easy to clean, features that make it ideal for use in hygienic applications.

    As well as universal adaptability, the Type 8681 is characterised by its ease of installation and operation and the level of interactive status control that it provides. These features enhance the 8681’s role as the centralised element in decentralised automation systems, performing all pneumatic actuation, feedback and diagnostic functions, as well as bus communication. Moreover, depending on process valve type, the 8681 is able to control up to three pneumatic actuator chambers separately.

    Once the 8681 control head is installed on the valve actuator, the switching positions are automatically determined by a fast and reliable teach-in function that eliminates the requirement for manual configuration. The three integrated switching positions are measured by the control head via an inductive analogue position sensor and transmitted to a PLC. A fourth switching position can also be provided, if required, via an externally mounted inductive proximity switch

    Complementing the feedback facility to a PLC, a highly visible colour-illuminated status display signals the respective switching position of the process valve. Diagnostic functions such as required maintenance or errors are also signalled visually and can be read out in detail via a service interface.

    Also aiding operational flexibility with the Type 8681 is a feature that allows the switching speed of each driver chamber to be set individually for both directions of movement, by means of a restrictor function integrated into the pilot valve. In addition, a non-return valve prevents faulty switching of the process valves due to back pressure. Independently of the power supply, each pilot valve can be switched manually by means of a mechanical hand control. This patented magnetically- coded manual operation allows switching of the main actuator from outside a completely enclosed device – ensuring full IP protection also during maintenance on the process valve.

    Commenting upon the launch of the Type 8681, Neil Saunders, Burkert’s UK Sales Manager, said that: “Decentralised automation of process valves, provides fast, economical and cost effective control, and delivers a clearly structured and easy-to-monitor system design that increases operational reliability. Compared to actuation by pilot valves in a central switching cabinet, control heads mounted directly on the actuator offer clear advantages in terms of planning, installation, start-up, maintenance and plant consistency. This is because the design is simplified and switching times for the process valves and the consumption of control air are minimised by the extremely short connections between the pilot valve in the control head and the pneumatic actuator.”

    • Bürkert are represented in Ireland by Petrochem Pipeline Supply.

    Onboard railway comms!

    Next generation Westermo Ethernet switches improve onboard railway communication network reliability
    Compact, rugged and reliable EN 50155 approved industrial Ethernet switches simplify onboard communications applications.

    To meet the growing demand for reliable onboard railway communications networks, Westermo has introduced a new generation of industrial Ethernet switches that provide highly robust networks and long term field operation. Specifically designed for onboard applications around the “Westermo IP train concept”, the new Viper-212, Viper-112 and Viper 012 twelve-port switches, deliver a complete solution for onboard control systems, including improved levels of reliability and simplified network design, installation and maintenance.

    The Westermo IP train concept provides a complete EN50155 Ethernet switch and routing solution providing an ultra-reliable network backbone for the creation of intelligent trains. This concept has been developed in answer to the many unique requirements of the rail industry which can be solved using a suite of IP protocols delivered by the Westermo Operating System - WeOS.

    Onboard rolling stock applications present one of the toughest environments for any electronic device. The Viper series exceeds the EN 50155 onboard railway standard for electronic equipment, which encompasses not only EMC requirements, but also shock, vibration, extended temperature range and humidity. The switches have also been designed to achieve the highest mean time between failures of up to 900,000 hours, ensuring the extremely long-term and reliable field operation that is expected within the railway industry.

    The Viper 212 is a managed layer 3 routing switch, The Viper 112 offers managed layer 2 switching functionality and the Viper 012 is an unmanaged solution. These different levels of software functionality allow users to select the most appropriate level of functionality for their network whilst still having hardware that meets the toughest environmental challenges.

    The new Viper series incorporates M12 connectors that are integrated into the housing to reduce size and further protect against vibration. With an ultra-robust design, sealed to IP65 and vibration resistant to military standards, these units are ideal for situations where mechanical stress, moisture, condensation; dirt or continuous vibrations (such as those produced by engine) could adversely affect the function of standard Ethernet switches. A unique Gore-Tex membrane is used to prevent condensation build up by normal climatic day/night cycling. The Viper-212 is also very compact and ultra-thin, enabling installation within the confined spaces of railcar panels.

    The WeOS operating system of the Viper and RedFox switches is able to balance data traffic on the network to maintain maximum throughout 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.

    For easy configuration, the Ethernet switches can be safely accessed from anywhere in the network, or directly via a console port on the Viper switch or an Ethernet or USB port on the RedFox switch. The configuration can be backed up and restored in seconds using a using a special M12 USB memory stick. An easy to use, secure web configuration interface simplifies the setting up of a redundant ring network.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Refinery spent caustic treatment

    Wet air oxidation system by Siemens selected for refinery spent caustic treatment

    Siemens Industry Automation Division is providing Takreer (Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Co.) with a Zimpro wet air oxidation (WAO) system to treat refinery spent caustic as part of the company's expansion of its refinery in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, UAE. One of the advanced technologies that will help TAKREER meet environmental regulations, the WAO system will treat odorous sulfides and produce biodegradable effluent for discharge to the facility's effluent treatment plant. The expansion project is scheduled to be complete by late 2013.

    The refinery expansion project will increase crude oil refining capacity by 417,000 barrels per day using the latest advanced technology for downstream processing units to produce higher quality products and to comply with UAE and international environmental standards. The Zimpro wet air oxidation system will be part of the new downstream units.

    Wet oxidation is the oxidation of soluble or suspended components in an aqueous environment, using oxygen as the oxidizing agent. When air is used as the source of oxygen, the process is referred to as wet air oxidation (WAO). The process will oxidize odorous reduced sulfur species such as sulfides and mercaptides. WAO can pretreat difficult wastewater streams like refinery spent caustic, making them amenable for discharge to a conventional biological treatment plant for polishing. (see also the Siemens pages on Water & Wastewater Technologies.)

    Siemens Industry Automation Division is working closely with Siemens in Seoul, Korea and EPC firm SK Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd on the Takreer contract.

    The Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (TAKREER) is a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). A leader in the UAE refining industry, Takreer has been responsible for such refining operations as the crude oil, condensate refining, and supply of petroleum products since 1999.

    Multifunction generator

    Teseq has designed the CDN 3043 3-phase coupling/decoupling network series as a competitively priced, high performance extension to the NSG 3040 multifunction generator series.

    6 different models are available to provide customers with an optimum price/performance solution. All models feature a high level of user comfort and common safety functions, they range from a single function 16A unit up to a combined version rated at 32A. Higher current ratings are covered by the CDN 3063 series.

    Dedicated EUT (Equipment Under Test) terminals allow direct and easy EUT connection and no specific adapter plugs are required. A safety isolated terminal key is supplied as standard. High value shielded high voltage safety plugs are used to interconnect the high voltage pulse output from a NSG 3040 multifunction generator to the CDN input.

    The CDN 3043 series features a dynamic cooling system with all internal elements which increase in temperature under load equipped with thermal sensors. At standby or with lower EUT currents, when there is no need for cooling, the internal cooling fans will turn at a very low speed, generating very little audible noise. Fan speed will increase as required when the CDN is in use. In the event of intentional or unintentional overload, when maximum internal cooling becomes insufficient, the CDN 3043 will remove power to the EUT using the built in EUT power contactor, preventing damage to the instrument and removing the risk of fire. In the event of over temperature shutdown the CDN 3043 control electronics will also send a signal to the NSG 3040, immediately stopping the firing of pulses. This advanced thermal control provides the CDN 3043 series with large overload capabilities allowing up to 1.5 nominal current loading for 10 to 20 minutes, as well as high inrush currents or peak loads.

    The phase rotation detector visible at the back off the CDN units shows clearly if a phase is connected and if the rotation of L1, L2 and L3 are correctly set. This important feature ensures correct coupling which is especially important in synchronous mode.

    Busses connect!

    Profinet-IO to CANopen gateway

    The Profibus user organisation (PNO) and CAN in Automation (CiA) have released version 1.0 of the Amendment 7 to the Fieldbus Integration into Profinet-IO specification. This document describes the integration of CANopen networks into a Profinet-IO backbone network. 

    Besides the mapping to PDO and SDO services, this specification standardizes also the data type mapping and representation. The jointly developed amendment deals also with the decoupling of the cyclic Profinet-IO communication and the event-driven PDO communication in CANopen. This means, the system designer can easily integrate a CANopen sub-network as it is into a higher hierarchical Profinet-IO network. CiA has released internally the document as CiA 309-4. 

    CANopen sub-networks link low-cost sensors and motion control units to machines using a Profinet-IO backbone network. The CANopen networks often operate semi-autonomously. This allows the design of modular machines.

    Robot component!

    CANopen and robot technology component

    CiA (CAN in Automation) members have developed the CiA 460 CANopen service robot controller profile and the CiA 318 specification describing the integration of CANopen networks into a Robot Technology Component (RTC) environment.

    RTC, a general framework for distributed robot control system, specified by the nonprofit OMG group, has been chosen by several Japanese service robot research projects. In order to make use of low-price CANopen products such as sensors and servo controllers, the above-mentioned specifications have been developed. The CANopen service robot controller implements all complementary profiles of the CANopen connected devices. This approach allows an easy integration into a more complex RTC system comprising different sub-systems.

    In many service robot applications, there are several only loosely coupled sub-systems installed. In a typical example, there are the movement controller and the handling controller for dedicated services.

    Global support!

    Remote support for software and diagnosis from LCM Systems

    LCM Systems is now able to offer its global clients remote support for its comprehensive range of software, used as part of sophisticated sensor systems. Thanks to propriety software, LCM’s in-house design engineers will be able to quickly, securely and efficiently access customers systems to directly resolve customer support issues, including initial calibration and remote diagnosis.

    “Until now, our engineers have been advising our overseas customers either via the telephone or email.” explains Steve Sargeant, Managing Director at LCM Systems. “Although this has worked well, sometimes it can cause confusion as we can’t actually see the problem and explaining it can sometimes be difficult. Now, our engineers can directly access the system, resulting in any problems being quickly resolved, enabling the customer to concentrate on their particular application.”

    New concept in awards introduced by automation society!

    This time of year our attention is focussed on the many awards ceremonies especially in the entertainment, the Grammys, BAFTA, IFTA and the daddy of the all the Oscars! The Automation industry also has a system of recognising the imagination, innovation, pioneering and sheer hard work of automation professionals.

    Recently the International Society of Instrumentation (ISA) conducted a major revision of their honours and awards programme. Peer recognition of outstanding achievement has always been valued by ISA’s membership both internationally and in the individual sections. Indeed we recently reported on such a ceremony at the Ireland Section.

    ISA has a long-standing tradition of honoring those who have made significant technical contributions to the automation community and those who have given dedicated service to advance the mission of the Society. It recognises that to be meaningful, recognition must be relevant. Following an in-depth analysis of the Society’s awards, the ISA Executive Board approved a major revision to ISA’s awards program last year.

    Thus they are now introducing Celebrating Excellence - ISA's awards program that recognises excellence in leadership, excellence in Society service, excellence in corporate and individual technical innovation, and excellence in education.

    Nelson Ninan, former ISA President and this years's Chair of their H&A Committee advises, "In addition to the traditional process of nomination and committee review process, Celebrating Excellence  introduces the Member's Choice Awards, a concept very different from anything that has been done previously within ISA’s awards program. In Member's Choice, members control the process from nomination to selection of the honoree.  Intrigued?  We hope so."

    Members are now invited to review the Celebrating Excellence award categories. "We are confident your thoughts will turn toward individuals who deserve consideration for one or more of these prestigious recognitions." The 2012 Celebrating Excellence nomination window will be opening in a few days.

    "Get ready to begin Celebrating Excellence!" concludes Chair Ninan!

    The awards will be presented at Automation Week in Orlando in September 2012.

    New US national sales engineer

    Domenic DiRenzo has joined Control Technology Corp (CTC) as US National Sales Engineer. He  brings 20 years of experience in technical sales, marketing and customer service to CTC, successfully expanding business from roles at all levels of sales management. "Domenic's positive energy, technical experience and communication skills will strengthen the relationships we have with our existing customers and distributors," said Karl Chambers, CTC National Sales Manager. "We look forward to using these same skills to increase CTC business as well in new markets."

    Domenic comes to CTC from KBA, the oldest and second largest press manufacturer worldwide, where he increased sales and negotiated multi-million dollar contracts for printing press equipment. Prior to his tenure at KBA, Domenic held positions of National Sales Director, VP of Sales & Marketing, and Technical Sales Manager at companies providing automation equipment to industrial and graphic arts applications.

    Domenic has a BSEE from Wentworth Institute and has completed additional programs in sales and PLC programming.

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Rugged waterproof connector for industrial sensor applications

    Intelliconnect (Europe) offers a range of multi-pin waterproof connectors available with from 4 to 14 connecting pins. The 4 way connector compliments, in performance and dimensions, the commonly used TNC waterproof coaxial RF connector.

    Remote sensing and monitoring of equipment and pipelines in industrial, water and petrochemical installations is becoming increasingly popular. Remote monitoring eliminates the need for constant manual measurement and enables planned intervention and correction to take place, reducing costly failures and emergency shut-downs of plant. Remote sensing systems typically use a range of permanently installed wireless enabled sensors which can measure the thickness of pipes for signs of corrosion, flow direction, flow rates and other critical parameters as part of a control and monitoring system.

    Many such systems use readily available TNC waterproof coaxial connectors for RF signals which Intelliconnect offer as a standard product. Intelliconnect became aware of a growing requirement from their TNC connector customers for a matching multi-pin connector for control signals. This new connector would simplify equipment design and manufacture and improve the design, functionality and appearance of the final control panel or equipment.

    Intelliconnect has developed a range of multi-pin connectors capable of handling 3 amps of signal current and rated to IP68 in its unmated condition. In order for the connector to be fitted alongside waterproof TNC connectors used for RF antennas and provide a uniform panel design the 4 contact pins required were installed into the same style connector shell. The insert design is keyed to ensure positive mating and eliminate the possibility of damage by miss-mating.

    The connector is designed to handle power as well as low voltage signals enabling switching and actuation of electro-mechanical devices. The maximum space between the contacts in a TNC body allows for an operating voltage of 300v RMS with a dielectric withstanding voltage (DWV) of 1000v RMS. The Insulation resistance of the connector is 5000MΩ to ensure reliable operation in high altitude or high humidity applications and the durability rating is specified at 500 insertion cycles minimum.

    To allow for all possible environmental conditions in use, from sub-zero arctic like conditions in places such as Russia and Alaska through to the heat of Texas or Saudi Arabia an operating range of -65⁰C to + 165⁰C is standard. All metal components are standard nickel plating over a brass body to meet TNC specification Mil-prf 39012 enabling both the Intelliconnect 4 way quadraxial connector and RF TNC connector to be fitted into equipment and offer a uniform design both aesthetically and functionally.

    Intelliconnect have extended this new waterproof multi-pin connector range from 2 up to 14 way connectors. All models are rated to IP68, waterproof in their unmated condition to a depth of 20m for a period of 4 hours minimum. Typical applications include MIL, marine, oil and gas, communications and rail traction

    New capabilities for 3D smart camera

    The latest version of the Gocator series of 3D smart cameras from LMI Technologies, marketed by Stemmer Imaging, has introduced a host of new features to further enhance its performance in machine vision applications. These include whole part measurement including volumetric measurements, 2D surface inspection, Modbus TCP support and a number of triggering enhancements.

    The new whole part feature makes factory automation easier and less expensive by eliminating the multiple components and software engineering required for automated part scanning and detection. By automatically detecting the start and end point of a single or multiple components traveling along a conveyor, the whole part can be scanned and measured. With discrete parts segmented into 3D cloud datasets, Gocator can now perform volumetric measurements such as volume, centroid, orientation, etc to provide information on dimensions, location, and orientation.

    Support for record/playback is also provided and it is possible access whole part data using a Software Development Kit. This new mode offers comprehensive 3D displays including pseudo color visualization of each part as well as data export for off-line analysis.

    2D Imaging is now possible by extracting laser intensity information to build a 2D image for use with standard 2D processing tools, giving the benefit of 2D visual inspection. Using laser intensity to produce a grey scale image calibrated to actual dimensions, this Intensity Output data can be combined with 2D image processing libraries to easily identify surface defects and patterns including barcodes, enabling Gocator to inspect surface features in the same way as a traditional 2D camera system.

    Gocator sensors can now also “plug in” to the factory floor via Ethernet communication over Modbus TCP protocol. PLC connected Gocators integrate more easily and cost effectively into existing factory automation systems. In addition, multi-language communication has been introduced for ease of use. The system can also automatically indicate if there is any data loss due to incorrect set-up of the camera

    Gocator now also supports gated triggering and various encoder tracking methods. This provides great flexibility when using Gocator on a robotic arm (to control when 3D scans are acquired) or when using a conveyor with an encoder. Bi-directional encoder triggering allows Gocator to scan an object while it is moving in either direction on a conveyor, thus reducing production time when an item needs to be scanned multiple times or in different directions. Gated Triggering allows Gocator to easily integrate into systems that use a PLC or photocell to trigger a scan sequence.

    Effective approach with intelligent links!

    EPLAN and Rittal both specialise in offering effective approaches with intelligent links between software based tools and processes.

    EPLAN is the solution for all your electrical documentation. Whether designing single line diagrams, electrical schematics, wiring diagram, block diagrams, fluid (hydraulic or pneumatic) connection diagrams, EPLAN handles on-line repetitive tasks, even when multiple users work simultaneously on a project.

    Rittal Therm, the software calculation programme for the climate control of enclosures, eliminates laborious calculation of climate control requirements. An easy to use interface leads the user to the appropriate and correctly dimensioned cooling solution. This allows ultimate design for the most efficient system cooling solutions available to the market today. A direct link to Rittal Therm software has been added to EPLAN Platform 2.1 to facilitate even more efficient planning options, together with high-quality heating, cooling and air conditioning component product data by Rittal.

    Many of EPLAN’s 25,000 customers have already taken the next decisive step towards consistent engineering by updating to the new EPLAN Platform 2.1 software, which can now be downloaded from the support domain of the EPLAN homepage for all software service customers. Benefits include faster results in electrical, fluid and EI&C engineering with improved quality in machines and plant documentation.
    EPLAN and Rittal both specialise in offering effective approaches with intelligent links between software based tools and processes.

    EPLAN is the solution for all your electrical documentation. Whether designing single line diagrams, electrical schematics, wiring diagram, block diagrams, fluid (hydraulic or pneumatic) connection diagrams, EPLAN handles on-line repetitive tasks, even when multiple users work simultaneously on a project.

    Rittal Therm, the software calculation programme for the climate control of enclosures, eliminates laborious calculation of climate control requirements. An easy to use interface leads the user to the appropriate and correctly dimensioned cooling solution. This allows ultimate design for the most efficient system cooling solutions available to the market today. A direct link to Rittal Therm software has been added to EPLAN Platform 2.1 to facilitate even more efficient planning options, together with high-quality heating, cooling and air conditioning component product data by Rittal.

    Many of EPLAN’s 25,000 customers have already taken the next decisive step towards consistent engineering by updating to the new EPLAN Platform 2.1 software, which can now be downloaded from the support domain of the EPLAN homepage for all software service customers. Benefits include faster results in electrical, fluid and EI&C engineering with improved quality in machines and plant documentation.

    MMI for marine applications

    IGT Industries have a long history of providing custom made MMI products to the Marine Industry. Their control panels are used by manufacturers of Dynamic Positioning (DP) and Bridge Navigational Watch Systems (BNWAS), Propulsion Control, Docking Systems and Communication Systems. Designed and manufactured in the UK all IGT products meet IEC 60945

    With 25 Years of experience in all forms of MMI, IGT offer design, prototype and volume manufacture of custom made plug-in control panels. These may incorporate keyboard, touch screen and joystick control elements as well as displays and various Illumination options including the latest ‘Thin-Film’ Lighting Technology. IGT’s very latest Capacitive Touch Panels with optional back-lighting may also be incorporated.

    Terry Moss, Sales and Marketing Manager at IGT Industries, comments; “IGT Industries is one of the UK’s longest established Human Machine Interface Solutions providers and we can offer our customers a high quality 'build to print' sub-assembly production service or a cost saving single source for complete control panel design and manufacture. Supplying a complete assembly simplifies our customers system integration, reduces complex testing and multi-vendor liaison in the event of any functional problems.”

    These HMI products are suitable for use in Marine, Aviation, Railway, Medical, MIL, Industrial, Fire, Security, Telecom and many other electronic control system applications.

    IGT Industries HMI assemblies may be specified for use in environmentally hostile conditions in military and industrial control applications, including use on ships and oil rigs. IGT control panels offer PS/2 USB compatibility, may be waterproof to IP67, RFI/EMC compliant and specified to meet approvals of Lloyds Register for Equipment used in shipping and American Bureau of Shipping. IGT Industries is also a signatory to 21st Century Supply Chains (SC-21).

    • See IGT at Seawork International Commercial Marine Exhibition and Conference 2012 (Southampton GB 22/24 May 2012)

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    New Hygrometer aids environmental monitoring

    The S8000 Remote Hygrometer from Michell Instruments, provides highly flexible, drift-free moisture measurements for climatic chambers and industrial applications. The instrument offers the best RH accuracy on the market today, when compared to similar remote-sensor hygrometers.

    This latest addition to their high-precision range of dew-point hygrometers, the S8000 Remote, uses the chilled mirror measurement technique to make highly accurate and repeatable measurements of dew-point. Its remote sensor allows for easy measurements to be made directly in the area of interest, eliminating the need for a complex and costly sampling system for many applications where the sensor can be placed directly in the environment.

    Where direct insertion is not possible, the sensor is easily mounted in a sample block and included in a sampling system, while the instrument itself can be located in a convenient place for operation and readings.

    A key use for the S8000 Remote is as a reference for climatic chambers, but it is also ideal for automotive engine tests, HVAC control and performance verification - such as is required in the manufacture of Lithium Ion batteries as well as in the pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries.

    As with other instruments in Michell's Chilled Mirror Range, the S8000 Remote is highly accurate. Its new sensor design incorporates a high-precision 1/10 DIN PT100 to provide ±0.1°C dew-point accuracy. In combination with the temperature sensor, which also has an accuracy of ±0.1°C, the S8000 provides unrivalled RH measurement accuracy.

    Data collection is also convenient - the S8000 Remote has a high-contrast LCD display to provide an indication of the measured values, along with a trend graph and fault warnings. All parameters can be logged either to a PC via a USB connection, or directly to an SD card.

    Michell instruments are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology, consistent advertisers with Read-out

    Ex ia intrinsically safe solenoid operated pilot

    Low power, intrinsically safe solenoid operator for use with ASCO Numatics spool valves, is compatible with all intrinsic safety isolation barriers

    ASCO Numatics has introduced an intrinsically safe (Ex ia) solenoid operated pilot that is suitable for all hazardous areas, regardless of the gas zone and temperature class. The LISC solenoid operator is compatible with ASCO Numatics spool valves and has a low power consumption. Rated to IP67 it is approved for use in dusty atmospheres.

    Ex ia protection enables the valve to be installed in explosive atmospheres up to zone 0-20. This makes it ideally suited to applications in the chemical, oil and pharmaceutical industries, or in processing and packaging plants for flammable products.

    Compatible with all intrinsic safety isolated zener barriers, the solenoid features an aluminium body with an FPM seal and has a power rating of 0.46W at 12/24V DC. The pilot has a pressure rating of 2 to 10 bar and can be used in temperatures from -40°C to +65°C. The device is certified to IECEx/ATEX II 1G Ex ia IIC T6 Ga and II 2D Ex ib IIIC T85°C Db IP67.

    Wireless at Singapore show!

    Several major process automation manufacturers joined the HART® Communication Foundation at the CIA2011 exhibition in Singapore (Nov 2011) to display a wide range of interoperable WirelessHART® products—a move that demonstrates united manufacturer support for the HART Communication Protocol and the IEC 62591 WirelessHART standard.

    The venue in Singapore!
    “Users worldwide are sending a clear message for industry suppliers to address their critical need for reliable, robust and secure wireless communication in real world industrial plant applications,” says Ron Helson, HCF Executive Director. “Suppliers are responding by manufacturing and shipping an ever-increasing range of WirelessHART products and solutions that meet user requirements.”

    IEC 62591 WirelessHART, the first international, interoperable wireless communication standard for the process industry, builds on the solid foundation of HART technology used in more than 32 million installed devices worldwide—enabling users to quickly and easily gain the benefits of wireless technology while maintaining compatibility with existing devices, tools, and systems.

    The HART booth at CIA2011 displayed WirelessHART products and solutions from ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, MACTek, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, ProComSol, Rohrback Cosasco Systems (RCS), R. Stahl, and Siemens. Live demonstrations showed the interoperability between transmitters, gateways and wireless adapters from multiple manufacturers made possible by the single WirelessHART standard.

    “WirelessHART transmitters are able to support a full multi-hop mesh topology networking which eliminates the need for multiple backbone routers, and the cost and risk to run power and wired networking in the field,” says Helson. “This means wireless can be deployed even in a running plant. A self-organizing mesh topology establishes multiple paths between devices and is therefore very reliable without single points of failure.”

    Plants around the world are already relying on WirelessHART transmitters in applications such as annulus pressure monitoring, filter/strainer plugging, heat exchanger efficiency, pump health monitoring, safety shower/eye wash monitoring, tank farm inventory and leaks, temperature profiling, turbine performance, and others.

    New test & measurement catalogue!

    Keithley Instruments has published its 2012 Test & Measurement Product Catalogue. The catalog,
    which is provided on a CD, offers details and technical specifications on Keithley's general-purpose and sensitive sourcing and measurement products, DC switching, and semiconductor test systems and low leakage switch solutions. Useful selector guides and technical tutorials simplify choosing the right solutions for specific applications.

    The catalog is arranged by test and measurement product category:
    • Source Measurement Unit (SMU) instruments
    • Semiconductor test solutions
    • Low level measurements and sourcing
    •  Switching and control
    • Digital multimeters (DMMs) and systems
    • DC power supplies
    • Optoelectronics test
    • Accessories

    It highlights a variety of Keithley's most technically advanced test solutions:
    • Low level measurement and sourcing products, including current sources, picoammeters, nanovoltmeters, electrometers, and a system configured for Hall effect testing.
    • Semiconductor test solutions, including the S530 Parametric Test System, the latest options for and enhancements to the company's Model 4200-SCS parameter analyzer (including support for nonvolatile
    memory characterisation and other emerging pulse testing applications), and the latest low leakage semiconductor switch systems.
    • The company's expanding lines of source measurement unit (SMU) instruments, including the new Model 2651A High Power System SourceMeter® instrument and Model 2401 20V SourceMeter instrument.