Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bridging the Intrinsically-Safe Fieldbus Disconnect

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

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

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

Enterprise integration software ensures operations-focused business continuity

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

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

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

Friday, April 20, 2012

Firmware & workbench for building automation products!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tape extension position sensors

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

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

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

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

Supplier award from Caterpillar!

Honeywell Sensing and Control (S&C) has been awarded the Supplier Quality Excellence Process (SQEP) Platinum certification by Caterpillar Inc.

As the world’s largest manufacturer of construction machinery, Caterpillar uses a wide array of S&C sensors and switches in its equipment. The Platinum award recognizes Honeywell's service throughout 2011, including its strong technical support, 100% on-time delivery, and exceptional quality performance over the past three years.

“Caterpillar’s award recognizes Honeywell’s commitment – by all our employees around the world -- to delivering the best quality and service to our customers every day,” said Tony Sugalski, president, Sensing and Control.

Begun in 2007, the Caterpillar SQEP recognizes suppliers’ performance against its rigorous quality and service standards.

Chinese market for low voltage AC and DC motor drives

According to a recent IMS Research study, The Chinese Market for Low Voltage Motor Drives - 2012 Edition, revenue growth in this market slowed considerably in 2011 from an abnormally high 2010. Revenues from motor drives (excluding software and services) are projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.7 percent from 2010 to 2015.

Wilmer Zhou: Author
The total Chinese market for low-voltage AC & DC motor drives (including software and services) was estimated at $2.68 billion in 2010. The Chinese Government’s RMB 4000 billion stimulation policy and other domestic consumption policies enabled healthy growth in the market to continue from 2009 to 2010.

“In the first half of 2011, the markets for low-voltage drives were still growing strongly. In the second half of 2011, as the Chinese Government tightened monetary policies and imposed strict lending conditions; this caused delays in numerous large projects, such as high-speed railways, city metros, highways, and factory renovation projects. These policies are also causing financial strain for both end users and machine builders”, commented Wilmer Zhou, senior analyst and report author. In June 2011, the market went into a precipitous decline. The bad news first came from local small and medium machine builders in South and East China; many reported no new orders during the second half of the year and many small machine builders went bankrupt and closed. The low-voltage motor drive market has been more affected than that for the medium-voltage drives, because of its greater dependence on machine builders. Nevertheless, with $3.1 billion in revenues in 2011, China still accounted for 25 percent of the world market for low-voltage motor drives.

The new report found that ABB and Siemens were the market leaders in the Chinese low-voltage motor-drive market in 2011, with 16 percent and 13 percent share respectively. Market leadership is concentrated, as the top five suppliers accounted for nearly 46 percent of the total. However, there is a large tail of suppliers, each with less than 1 percent of the total revenues. Wilmer states, “Because of the Japanese earthquake, component shortages, and other reasons such as the appreciation of the Japanese Yen in 2011, European and local Chinese suppliers are taking share from several Japanese suppliers.”

Growth in the Chinese market will continue, because of implementation of policies regarding motor efficiency and energy-saving renovations in various industries. But market growth will be at a lower rate than in the past few years as investment is reduced in the near future, with concerns over high inflation in China.

High-speed, high-accuracy filling or dosing

Accuracy and speed of Micro Motion® Model FMT filling mass transmitter significantly improves system response time and reduces batch cycle times

GF S.p.A. has reduced filling times, improved accuracy and repeatability, and enabled tighter filling tolerances for its filling machines by using the latest Micro Motion® Model FMT filling mass transmitter from Emerson Process Management.

Based in Parma (I), GF S.p.A. is a leader in the design and manufacture of high technology filling equipment and quality control systems. Its filling machinery is used in the pharmaceutical, medical and food industries for the precision measurement of injectables, infusions, ophthalmic preparations, syrups and detergent solutions.

"In this highly competitive market, we are always looking for ways to improve the performance of our machines," said Marco Serventi, Sales Manager, GF S.p.A. "Emerson’s Micro Motion Coriolis technology is accurate, reliable and user-friendly, adding value for our end user customers."

GF had been using filling technologies based on time-pressure instruments, as well as piston-syringe and peristaltic (roller type) pumps, for filling machines being supplied to the pharmaceutical industry. GF wanted to improve the speed and accuracy of its machines and also enable its customers to change media without the need to replace the measuring instrument. A further requirement was to enable in-line sterilisation without disassembling the machine.

GF met these objectives by using the Model FMT filling mass transmitter with Micro Motion ELITE® and H-Series flowmeters. For example, GF was able to significantly improve system response time and reduce batch cycle times by taking advantage of integrated valve control from the transmitter, rather than the traditional pulse output set up through a programmable logic controller (PLC).

In addition, the rangeability of the Coriolis flowmeter allows different media to be dispensed without changing any mechanical components of the machine. For example, fillings can be in the range from 0.5g to 5Kg.

"The high reliability and accurate results provided by the Micro Motion instruments have now been validated by GF customers over a number of successful applications," continued Serventi. "Based on this successful collaboration with Emerson, our company has adopted Micro Motion meters on a range of filling machinery."

The Micro Motion Model FMT transmitter is designed for any process that requires high-speed, high-accuracy filling or dosing. The Filling Mass Transmitter is compact and light, minimising space requirements and reducing installation cost and effort. Easy to integrate into almost any filling machine, the slim profile and compact dimensions reduce the footprint and allow for the maximum number of fill heads.

The electronics are immune to temperature shocks from CIP/SIP procedures, and the sensors feature a hygienic drainable design. They are 3A-authorised and EHEDG certified for hygienic use, and designed for fast and easy cleaning with rounded corners, polished exterior surfaces, and no internal crevices.

Data from the flowmeter is logged as part of a data management system to help meet the requirements of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s 21 CFR Part 11 rules for electronic records. Any filling errors or drift away from the set-point can be used to generate alarms for the operator so that corrective action can be taken.

In addition, the temperature measurement integrated into the Micro Motion ELITE Coriolis flowmeter enables the operator to check that critical parts of the machine have been correctly sterilised by recording that temperatures up to 160ºC have been reached.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Updated software improves tank farm and terminal operations

Invensys Operations Management has released a new version of its Off-Sites software suite, featuring a completely revised integration structure between its Blend Optimization Supervisory System, Order and Movement Manager and Movement Automation System. Additional improvements and new capabilities are new user access options to manage permissions and to support single sign on; new management capability for Certificates of Quality (COQ) and handling of movement deviation alarms in the Tank Information System; support for industrial handheld devices for lineup management as part of the Movement Automation System; extended analyzer management functions in the Blend Optimization Supervisory System, and a new graphical pipeline system configurator in the Batch Tracking Manager Module.

Product overview:
Invensys offers a powerful DCS-independent off-sites and terminal operation solution that addresses inventory management and product blending-- two of the key areas contributing to overall refinery, petrochemical and chemical plant performance improvements. The Invensys Off-Sites Solution includes consulting, implementation, integration, training and support services in combination with the feature rich, modular, scalable and configurable Off-Sites Software Suite. Consistent and accurate refinery inventory information is important in optimal planning, scheduling and material loss management. Increased automation and operational performance reduces the cost of operation, while at the same time improves safety compliance and business performance.

Key capabilities:
Accurate tank inventory, order and movement management;
• Off-line blend setup, validation, pre-blend and online optimization;
• Automated and precise tank emissions monitoring and reporting;
• Quality analysis, analyzer management and validation, which address operational quality procedures such as EPA 40CFR80 requirements;
• Modular, scalable, platform independent and sustainable standard software application with integration to existing DCS or PLC systems through open industry standards.

Bipolar Hall-effect switch offers excellent repeatability

General-purpose device offers temperature stability and stress resistance -

New from Allegro MicroSystems Europe, the A1250 is a bipolar Hall-effect switch IC incorporating a high-speed chopping circuit which cancels out offsets and dramatically improves switching repeatability through enhanced temperature stability and stress resistance.

The new device is especially suited for operation over extended temperature ranges to +150 °C. This superior high-temperature performance is made possible through dynamic offset cancellation, which reduces the residual offset voltage normally resulting from device overmoulding, temperature dependencies, and thermal stress.

The A1250 includes, on a single silicon chip, a voltage regulator, Hall voltage generator, small-signal amplifier, chopper stabilisation, Schmitt trigger, and a short-circuit-protected, open-collector output. Advanced BiCMOS wafer fabrication processing takes advantage of low-voltage requirements, component matching, very low input-offset errors, and small component geometries.

The device can act as a latch, with a south pole of sufficient strength turning the output on, and a north pole turning the output off. It can also act as a switch because there is no switch point symmetry around zero Gauss.

An on-board regulator permits operation with supply voltages from 3.0 to 24 V. The advantage of operating at 3.0 V is that the device can either be used in 3 V applications or, with additional external resistance in series with the supply pin for added protection, in applications that can supply higher voltages.

The A1250 is targeted at the automotive, industrial and consumer markets.

Two package styles provide a magnetically optimised package for most applications. Package type LH is a modified SOT-23W surface-mount package, while the UA package is a three-lead, ultra-miniature single-inline package for through-hole mounting. Each package type is available only as lead (Pb) free with a 100% matt tin-plated lead frame.

Earthing & bonding handbook

A newly updated and expanded 32-page earthing & bonding applications hand-book from Newson Gale provides a wide range of information on controlling static electricity in hazardous areas. Information sections include a general introduction to the hazards and methods of control of industrial static hazards, 17 illustrated application drawings, a guide to hazardous area equipment selection, a comparison of International, European and North American approval codes, a plant operator’s maintenance guide and a safety checklist.

The extensive general introduction to electrostatic hazards and control includes a review of the source and nature of static electricity, the harmful effects it imposes in various types of flammable or combustible atmospheres, common means of control including relevant technical standards and a discussion of the equipment available for hazardous area applications.

The illustrated arrangements are based on Newson Gale’s innovative range of static earthing and bonding equipment. The applications include those involving drums and containers, mobile vessels and equipment, bulk storage containers, tankers, drums in storage, fluidized bed and drying equipment, rotating vessels, pipes/ducting systems and personnel/footwear. One of the new inclusions in the handbook is the growing area of mobile/field earthing including vacuum tanker transfers and trans-loading. Each application is described in some detail and clearly illustrated, along with summarized guidance from the main international technical standards.

The guide to hazardous area equipment approvals and comparison of IECEX, European and North American certification systems covers the main international codes with thumbnail descriptions of each, while the maintenance guide and safety checklist are must reading for even experienced plant operators. The hand-book is available in printed or PDF format and is free on request from the publishers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Papers call and keynoter announced

A call for papers for the 7th Annual ISA Marketing & Sales Summit, which takes place 15–17 August 2012 in Austin (TX USA) has been issued.

The Summit offers keynote presentations and a variety of sessions focused on sales and marketing topics, including public relations, search engine optimization and product management. The program is divided into two conference tracks, Marketing and Sales. Papers should address the following topics:

• strategy and business development
• integrated strategies for marketing and sales
• digital marketing and social media
• complex sales best practices
• strategies in vertical markets

Sample topic areas include best practices in social media, guerilla marketing, brand marketing, winning complex accounts, market-driven product development, business development and engineering, product marketing management versus product management, sales versus marketing, redefining advertising in the digital age and more.

In a further comunique it has been announced that Jane Lansing, VP of Marketing at Emerson Process Management will be keynote speaker.

Jane has been leading Emerson Process Management’s Marketing efforts for several years. Jane keynoted the very first ISA Marketing & Sales Summit back in 2005. "She is  personable and had some great insights about the industry and common challenges around marketing technical products. We look forward to having her back." said a spokesman.

Floor standing cabinet

Rittal’s new SE 8 is a one piece monobloc, single construction floor standing enclosure, with an integrated TS 8 frame. A direct replacement for Rittal’s ES 5000 freestanding monobloc enclosure, the SE 8 has a removable rear panel which is secured from the inside and shares many design features with Rittal’s TS 8 bayable enclosure.

Design features include a door and locking mechanism, along with a welded base construction, punched frame sections, offering two installation levels, which provide more internal space and gland plates in the base.

Sharing the same accessories as Rittal’s TS 8 makes accessories more available, cost effective and will reduce stock inventory due to its common product platform.

It is available in the following sizes: Width: 600mm to 1800mm, Height: 1800mm to 2000mm and Depth: 400mm to 600mm. It is also available in single or double door, sheet steel or stainless steel in 304L and 316L. Offering the ideal platform for your application, the cabinet will ensure maximum availability and can be used in all industries.

Low-cost pneumatic valve terminals and digital I/O modules

Festo has launched a series of low-cost modular pneumatic valves, together with a complementary series of low-cost digital I/O modules, for its successful CPX automation platform. These latest additions further extend the platform's suitability for diverse automation control applications, bringing a new level of system configuration flexibility to OEMs and machine builders. The new MPA-L valve terminals feature sub-bases manufactured from polymer instead of metal to save cost and weight, and can be configured - and retrofitted in the field - one valve at a time. The terminals are intended primarily for cost-sensitive applications where configuration flexibility and expandability are key demands, such as in factory automation, biotechnology and the food processing industry. The new CPX-L digital I/O modules are cost-optimised, high channel density units, which are ideal for I/O intensive automation control systems.

Festo's new MPA-L low-cost modular valve terminals are based on the company's high functionality MPA-S terminals, but provide increased design granularity and a wider range of electrical connection options to simplify system integration. All MPA valve terminals, which include the MPA-S, the new MPA-L and the high flow rate MPA-F, are specifically designed to facilitate condition monitoring and diagnostics. As well as being compatible with Festo's CPX modular automation platform, which offers an exceptionally wide choice of electrical control options, MPA-L terminals are available with a number of hard-wired control schemes.

MPA-L valve terminals are especially easy to assemble. The required number of valve sub-bases are simply clamped together between two aluminium end-plates, and secured by three tie rods of the appropriate length. This arrangement results in a very robust and stable terminal, needs no special tools for assembly, and can be expanded at any time - up to 32 valve modules can be accommodated in a single block. The complete terminal can be mounted on a DIN rail, but this is not mandatory; wall and panel mount options are also available.

The valve terminal sub-base can be connected directly to a CPX terminal, providing access to a wide range of fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet products, as well as analogue and technology modules and powerful controllers such as Festo's CoDeSys-based CPX-CEC. Alternatively, the valve terminal can be hard-wired; all electrical connections are made via a multi-pin connector on one of the end-plates, which can be ordered in various IP40-rated sub-D type or flat cable configurations, or with a cage clamp for individual wires. An IP65-rated front or side entry cable connector is also available.

All MPA-L valve terminals feature generously proportioned air ducts to maximise flow and ensure reliable switching of multiple valves. Isolated ducting accommodates different pressure zones, and for high or low pressure applications, a simple selector mechanism enables the valves' pilot air supply to be derived internally or externally. Exhaust air can either be fed via a high efficiency surface silencer or ducted to an external outlet, allowing the terminal to be located in a clean environment such as a food processing area.

Festo's new CPX-L low cost digital I/O modules are designed for integration with the CPX electrical terminal - they are fully compatible with all standard CPX modules and fieldbus nodes that have polymer sub-bases - and can also be combined with MPA and VTSA valve terminals to create highly cost-effective electro-pneumatic control solutions. Featuring an IP20 rating, the modules are optimised for cabinet installation. A new type of connection block that uses novel push-in spring connections simplifies system wiring and provides a compact, high channel density interface. CPX-L modules are available with 16 digital inputs, or 8 digital inputs and 8 digital outputs; each channel offers a 3-wire connection scheme for maximum signal integrity. The modules are likely to prove especially popular with designers of control systems featuring a large number of I/O channels; compared to standard CPX digital I/O modules, they can help lower implementation costs by as much as 30 percent.

Mobile control....

Key improvements in the area of security and infrastructure

Invensys Operations Management has released version 4.2 of its Wonderware IntelaTrac mobile workforce and decision support system. The newest version addresses security and infrastructure functionality to support users’ IT requirements.

Now all IntelaTrac system management applications are launched and contained within the IntelaTrac Management Center (IMC). This new security functionality also enables the use of Microsoft Active Directory (AD) and “single sign on” capability. Users will also be able to upgrade to full 64-bit operating systems and, based on customer demand, IntelaTrac 4.2 will provide the capability to use images as a part of data collection capabilities. With IntelaTrac 4.2, mobile
users can capture an image as a ‘Note’ and it will appear in Auditor Plus.

Product overview:
Wonderware IntelaTrac 4.2 continues to deliver enhancements to the core set of IntelaTrac functionality and provides for the changing needs of the market. IntelaTrac is the industry-leading mobile workforce and decision support system. It includes configurable software and ruggedized mobile hardware solutions that enable workflow, data collection and general task management for plant operations, maintenance management, production tracking and compliance applications. IntelaTrac provides out-of-the-box integration with ArchestrA System Platform, Wonderware Historian and other third-party historians and enterprise asset management systems.

Key capabilities of IntelaTrac 4.2:
• Enhanced security features;
• Administration user interface improvements;
• Integrated use of images;
• Microsoft Active Directory support;
• Windows 64-bit operating system support.

Water resistant Pt100 surface temperature sensor

OMEGA’s New range of Pt100 surface temperature sensors, feature a water resistant flexible silicon patch and moulded lead wire.

The patch has a strong silicon adhesive backing for easy and secure mounting on flat or curved surfaces. The aluminium strip also ensures a fast temperature response. Simply peel off the backing and stick to a clean, dry surface. One hour after application the sensor and adhesive will resist moisture to IP67 standards, making it suitable for many outdoor or wet environments.

For use in temperature ranges from -30 to 150°C with a 4 wire construction and precision 100Ω class A platinum element.

Available off the shelf in standard lengths from 1 to 5 metres or contact us for custom availability. Self-adhesive cable ties are also available for long cable runs.

Flameproof pressure switches

Fit it - set it - forget it!

The FC series of ATEX pressure switches from Orion are probably the easiest to maintain explosion-proof pressure switches in the world. As well as ATEX, the new range of pressure switches is certified for IECEx by BASEEFA and include hydraulic, PD (Pressure Difference), high pressure and low pressure versions, all of which feature easily wired terminal blocks, stainless steel wetted parts and options including hermetically sealed micro-switches.

• 2 mbar to 400 bar ranges
• Minimal moving parts
• All stainless steel construction

These switches are available from PVL  in England.

Energy meters up-dated

Carlo Gavazzi has updated its popular family of easy-to-install DIN three phase energy meters to meet the requirements of the Measuring Instruments Directive (MID). The EM23-DIN energy meter and EM24-DIN energy analyser are available with immediate effect and will be closely followed by the EM21 meter with detachable display and EM26 meter with pulse output and MODBUS. Suited to both active and reactive energy metering and cost allocation, the meters are ideal for use in smart building and building automation applications.

The self-powered EM23 energy meter offers direct three-phase connection up to 65A and is now available with 2V or 9V rating and an autorange function up to 1kWh. Just four DIN modules wide, the meter requires no programming and simple configuration is achieved via a built in joy stick. An LCD display shows both active and reactive measurements and a pulse output is provided for easy transmission of energy values to PLCs. The meter is mounted in an IP50 housing (front face) to protect against dust and moisture ingress.

Featuring a built in joystick and LCD display, the EM24 three-phase Energy Analyser has two digital outputs for either dual pulse, dual alarm or one pulse/one alarm, and the pulse output duration can be set at Ton of 30 or 100ms. Alternative input options are for a RS485 communication port or Dupline port, both with three digital inputs for connection to up to three energy meters such as gas, hot/cold water or kWh. In addition, the prescaler decimal point can be selected by the user from 0.001 to 999.9 (m3/pulse or kWh/pulse).

The EM24 is now available with full integrated power for easy installation or just positive power integration, and the CT ratio can be selected when switched on for the first time. When used in conjunction with the VMU-B RS485 to M-BUS converter, EM24 outputs can be read by a secondary address programmed at the calibration stage.

New housings for connectors

Harting is extending its tough and cost-effective Han-Eco® industrial connector family with new socket housings and covers.

The fibreglass-reinforced high-performance plastic housings, which deliver customer benefits in terms of light weight and cost-effectiveness, are now available in sizes 6B, 10B, 16B and 24B in addition to the established sleeve, bulkhead and coupling housings.

The new socket housings are available in various sizes and with one or two cable inlets. The appropriate M 32 cable fittings for sizes 6B and 10B and M 40 for sizes 16B and 24B are supplied with socket housings as standard.

Han-Eco® series covers can be selected with or without an integral seal, as required. This means that they can be used individually for sleeve or bulkhead housing applications.

Innovative smart panel series

ADLINK Technology has announced the availability of its first ARM-based solution, the SP-860 Smart Panel. The SP-860 is a powerful and richly featured system-on-display, combining an LCD panel, CPU, and touch screen in a single compact unit. The major advantages include low power consumption; OS flexibility, with support for WinCE, Linux, or Android; and strong development and customization support from ADLINK.

“The SP-860 can easily be configured for a wide range of applications, including POS, stationary display, and outdoor/ruggedized operation,” explained BenKen Huang, product manager for ADLINK. “A connector reserved on SP-860 allows easy I/O and feature expansion, and the structure has been designed to reduce the number of necessary parts, improving product reliability, simplifying maintenance, and keeping individual unit cost lower.”

The SP-860 features an all-in-one-design with 4:3 TFT-LCD Display and TI® Cortex™ A8 Processor. The latest Smart Panel includes built-in Wi-Fi+ BT SIP module, stackable expansion capability, and supports two LAN ports. Optional items include four wire resistive touch sensor, and a high brightness, sunlight readable display version. The SP-860 supports Linux 2.6.32, WinCE 6.0, and Android 2.3.4 operating systems.

The SP-860 starter kit includes NAND flash with Linux inside, and can also be booted from a micro-SD card. The Linux installation can be configured using a hyper-terminal to issue commands through the RS232 port, and if the NAND flash storage is erased, the OS can be restored quickly from a micro-SD backup.

Smart Panel products comprise highly integrated, ultrathin, and flexible designs ready for development. Benefits of this series of products include a quicker time-to-market of your end products, reduced development risks and costs, and simplified material management. This is the first series of products in the marketplace to integrate the CPU, networking capability, and a display into a single panel device. The Smart Panel incorporates the main board and is designed for minimal size and thickness, which gives greater flexibility to the case design of the target application. The Smart Panel completely integrates three key components of a system design: an LCD panel, a touch screen, and a main board. This allows designers to focus on the I/O board design needed for their application. Use of the Smart Panel not only reduces design risks, but also cuts system development time by at least half.

ADLINK also provides system customization services to enable our customers to provide a completely customized panel computing system quickly, through co-design and co-development opportunities. Theycan also provide the reference design of standard cases based on application requirements, allowing means for quicker assembly of the Smart Panel and I/O control module into the case.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shine a brighter light!

Lightweight portable LED light for hazardous areas provides eight hours of operation

New portable LED light provides up to eight hours of operation with one battery charge. Coloured filters can be comfortably carried along

With a maximum luminous intensity of 24,000 Candela and a range of up to 155 m at a 1 lx illuminance, R. STAHL's portable LED light for hazardous areas outshines conventional lights with similar designs. Weighing just under 1.5 kg, the completely revised 6148 series is now also lighter than previous models on the market. After up to eight hours of operation, the light's VRLA battery is fully recharged after a maximum charging time of twelve hours. The 4.5 Ah battery has a service life of up to four years even under intensive use. The long lighting duration per battery charge is achieved through LED technology: the main LED, which generates cold white light with a colour temperature of 6,000 K, requires only 3 W.

The ergonomically designed light can be easily operated with one hand. The IP66-protected units are suitable for rugged environments and ambient temperatures between -20 and +50 °C. In addition to IEC Ex and ATEX certifications, the portable light comes with the automotive certificate E1. A dim function allows users to quickly and easily adjust the luminous intensity of the portable light. Furthermore, the unit features a blinking mode which is also available when the light is dimmed, and an integrated emergency light function. The portable light is delivered with a charger that supports input voltages of 12...30 V DC as well as 100...240 V AC. Accessories include a connection cable that enables operation of the charger in a vehicle, and an adapter for other chargers. If the battery is charged in a vehicle, the charger monitors the input voltage and stops the charging process when the vehicle battery is put under too much stress. Optionally, the new portable light can be equipped with yellow and red colour filters and a diffuser lens. Moreover, a belt clip and a shoulder strap are available for comfortable carrying and hands-free operation.

• In Ireland, Stahl is represented by Douglas Control & Automation.

New Chairman appointment!

Edinburgh Instruments has announced the appointment of its new Chairman. Dr Derek Shepherd becomes Chairman at a pivotal time for the company as it continues to build on its spectacular growth surge across all its divisions.

Dr Shepherd spent over 25 years with Aggreko plc, the renowned leader in the supply of temporary power and temperature control products rising to become Executive Director and overseeing expansion across Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. His international markets knowledge and experience will compliment Edinburgh Instruments’ own international aspirations.

“Derek Shepherd is a proven leader who has demonstrated his value to the energy and construction industries,” said Alan Faichney Chief Executive Officer of Edinburgh Instruments. "The Board believes that Derek can assimilate his experience and skills required to further assist our exponential growth internationally. Our global vision remains core to our continual success.”

Commenting on his appointment as Chairman, Dr Shepherd said; “It is an honour for me to be appointed chairman of one of the most innovative high-end scientific instrumentation companies in Scotland. I am delighted to take on this role. Under Alan Faichney’s management, the company is well placed to leverage further global opportunities and my broad international experience aligns perfectly with his own aspirations for the company. Moreover, I want to help build momentum through the organisation, ensuring we can attract the next generation of scientific engineers to help extend our R&D capability.”

Dr Shepherd, who holds an honorary doctorate in engineering from Heriot Watt University, is chairman and founder director of University of Edinburgh spin-out company NGenTec Limited, which developed a permanent magnet generator for wind turbines. Other non-executive directorships include Ashtead Technology Rentals in Aberdeen, Houston and Singapore, Avalon Aviation Services in Dubai and Libertine FPE (a free piston engine start-up) and he is an Advisor to KarPower International, a Turkish company who convert ships into floating power stations.

Dr Shepherd is also a mentor for the Princes Trust in Scotland and as part of the GlobalScot network works as an advisor to Scottish companies wishing to work in the Arabian Gulf and Africa.

Software system enhanced!

Invensys Operations Management has released its Foxboro PAC Software System. A part of the company’s InFusion Enterprise Control System, the new software extends its powerful programmable automation controller system leveraging proven ArchestrA open technology.

Product overview:
Integrated into the company’s Foxboro PAC System, the new software provides advanced, flexible and easy-to-use operator interface, reporting and plant modeling. Its primary components-- Operations Server and Viewer HMI-- are based on the company’s Wonderware InTouch and the Wonderware PAC Software so that it can be integrated with the company’s wide portfolio of ArchestrA System Platform products. A rich library of ArchestrA symbols is provided to facilitate on-time and right-the-first-time project delivery, helping to achieve operational excellence. The software also provides strong investment protection because it provides the benefits of the latest operating system and cyber security improvements without re-engineering costs.

Key capabilities:
• Fully open and scalable;
• Allows incremental, expandable deployment within a common architecture, helping to ensure rapid ROI and TCO;
• Integrated Foxboro PAC System redundancy improves reliability and cost effectiveness;
• Reuses individual process cells, equipment and unit objects;
• Meets ISA S88 batch standard specifications;

Monday, April 16, 2012

Controller symplifies measuring & loading liquids into transporting vessels

Features an expanded set of keypad configuration commands and recognises ethanol for volume correction

Emerson Process Management has released significant updates to the DL8000 Preset Controller. New features on the unit simplify and enhance its capability to perform the blending, measurement, control and monitoring needed to provide highly productive and rapid operations for the most common loading configurations.

The DL8000 now features an expanded set of configuration commands that can be entered directly from the keypad. Operators can easily change Meter Factor, K Factor, perform a meter prove and read and change other process parameters.

It now provides support for ethanol volume correction based on either the OIML-R22 (1973) or ABNT NBR 5992 standards. Configuring a unit for ethanol product measurement is simple, requiring only the selection of ethanol fluid type, the selection of the preferred standard volume correction and a user-entered mass percentage of ethanol for the ethanol/water mixture.

The instrument features a straightforward, fill-in-the-blanks approach to configuration and covers a wide variety of liquids including crude oil, refined products, special application products, lubricating oils and light hydrocarbons. The DL8000 is packaged in a Class 1 Division 1 explosion proof enclosure or a Class 1 Division 2 enclosure. The DL8000 carries approvals from the NTEP National Test and Evaluation Program under the US National Council on Weights and Measures, and CSA/UL approval.

Partners in Ireland for automation!

John Downey, ISA Ireland President and Liam O'Brien of ESP
The very active ISA Ireland Section has recently started a partnership and sponsorship programme with automation companies active in Ireland. This is a method of supporting ISA Ireland in promoting Automation and also benefiting participating companies by introducing them to ISA membership and giving them exposure at ISA Ireland events.

The first company to enter into this agreement was Enterprise Systems Partners (ESP), a global project engineering company, with offices in Europe and North America.

The section and the partner confirm and agree that no operational, technical or commercial alliance exists, or does ISA Ireland endorse any product or service. The collaborating organisation supports the mission and objectives of the society.

To “Become the standard for automation globally by certifying industry professionals, providing education and training - publishing books and technical articles, hosting conferences and exhibitions for automation professionals and developing standards for industry”

However the section will ensure that sponsor companies' names/logos will appears on publicity material and at ISA events and they have the opportunity to give one technical presentation to ISA members each year.

• Picture shows ISA Ireland President John Downey and Liam O'Brien of Enterprise System Partners (ESP) recently as they became the first ISA Ireland Partners.

Nutrient analyser

New compact discrete nutrient analyser saves lab time, space & money

The 'AQ1' discrete analyser, from  SEAL Analytical, automatically tests multiple samples in discrete reaction vessels and is ideal for laboratories with moderate workloads requiring varied tests on different samples and for those that need fast individual results.

The AQ1 is supplied with standard methods to USEPA, ASTM, ISO and other internationally recognised standards for the analysis of a wide variety of parameters including alkalinity, ammonia, chloride, cyanides, nitrate/nitrite, nitrite, phenolics, ortho phosphate, total phosphorus, silicate, sulfate and total Kjeldahl nitrogen.

With unattended operation including the ability to run overnight, the AQ1 has all the advantages of discrete analysis – automatic standard preparation, automatic dilution, automatic method changeover, and low reagent consumption.

Interchangeable 60 or 78 position sample trays improve flexibility and with easy-to-use software, users are able to schedule tests (up to 60 per hour) and specify QC types, limits and corrective actions upon a QC failure. It is also possible to add further samples after a test run has begun. Highly accurate colorimetric analysis is achieved with 100% optical glass no-flow cuvettes and the maximum consumption of combined reagents and sample is 500 – 600 µL per test.

The reaction times are user programmable from seconds to minutes and all methods have been optimised to ensure that the chemical reaction is brought to full completion and steady state, which maximises sensitivity and emulates both the Manual and the Segmented Flow Methods. Once the absorbance is read, the cuvette is thoroughly cleaned, eliminating any carry over or cross contamination.

The AQ1 was designed specifically for the automated analysis of nutrients in water, wastewater, soils, extracts and digests. However, SEAL's Stuart Smith says "The instrument is extremely flexible and reflects our intention to deliver analytical technology that meets every customer's individual needs."

• This and other instruments are scheduled to be displayed at Analytica (17-20 Apl - Munich D)

Ultra-small panel printer minimises maintenance time and cuts costs

A new thermal panel printer from Able Systems offers a number of unique features which deliver real benefits in applications such as test & measurement and fire & security panels. These benefits include significantly lower maintenance requirements, lower development and consumables costs and easier design-in and production.

Designed to complement Able Systems’ proven range of highly reliable panel mount printers, the Ap1400 range is extremely small, yet it provides a massive 12m of paper from a single 36mm (di.) roll, thus significantly reducing maintenance downtime and the cost of consumables. Ease of maintenance is further enhanced by the product’s unique (patent pending) and intuitive touch-activated opening system, which is complemented by an easy-load paper roll replacement that will reduce service calls by providing right-first-time operation.

Another important aspect of the unit, believed to be unique in the current marketplace, is the product’s availability as a complete development kit. This, in addition to the printer itself, includes all commonly required components for testing and evaluation purposes, such as cables, mounting brackets and accessories, resulting in faster design-in with fewer errors. Options of vertical or horizontal mounting will also help to decrease design-in time, as will backwards-compatible mounting points. The kits also offer many benefits within the manufacturing environment, such as reduced time for component sourcing and improved inventory management. The kit is available either with or without a power supply, and can be supplied with Windows or LINUX drivers as required.

Robust, stylish and extremely economical, it features a linerless label capability that extends the printer’s range of uses, including applications in harsh environments. With a massive 10kB buffer for better-than-ever host compatibility, and both 'head up' and 'paper out' sensors as standard, the product is currently available as a standard 3.5V to 8.5Vdc unit, though a wide voltage input module (9-36Vdc) is also planned. The product offers USB (2.0, full speed) or RS232 (up to 115200 baud) data communication.

The Ap1400 is ideal for a very wide range of applications, including auto ID, labeling, telemetry, mobile applications, mobile messaging equipment, data logging, vehicle-based systems, healthcare and ticketing.

Improved image quality first, system update later

Step-by-step change-over, first step: process images for the standard resolution of current 19“ systems are displayed 1:1 centered on the 22“/24“ wide-screens

For upcoming replacements of visualisation stations with 19" screens in the conventional 5:4 format, R. STAHL offers a solution that allows users to modernise in two steps and in their own time. Modern 22" or 24" devices of the T-IND or T-EX series on the one hand immediately improve user-friendliness compared to older systems, since LED backlights ensure a more brilliant display and thus a better readability of the images. On the other hand, the purchase of these wide-screen devices not only represents mere maintenance, but also a future-proof investment. Displays of this generation already pave the way for a future upgrade of operating and process control systems, all of which are designed with distinctly higher resolutions and in 16:9 or 16:10 formats.

To ensure a comfortable change-over, all 22" and 24" devices of the T-series have been optimised for such a step-by-step migration. Process images of existing systems are displayed 1:1 on the new devices, without any need for additional project engineering or configuration. At a later upgrade of the operating system and the process control system, the large wide-screens already provide the space and opportunity for the effective display of new process images. By upgrading to new displays already today, with a system upgrade planned for a later date, users also benefit from the current lower prices and divide their investments in operating technology at their process plant in two, with a positive impact on current liquidity.

In Ireland, Stahl is represented by Douglas Control & Automation.