Friday, May 25, 2012

Vision speciality!

The Vision Specialty for NI Alliance Partner Network for members who specialise in imaging and vision systems has been announced. The Vision Specialty includes NI Alliance Partners with experience in a range of industries, including consumer goods, food and beverage, pharmaceutics, robotics, electronics, automotive, semiconductor and medical imaging.

“For almost 15 years, NI has provided software and hardware tools for vision applications to help engineers and scientists meet a diverse set of challenges,” said Tony Vento, vice president of systems assurance and partners at National Instruments. “By establishing the new Vision Specialty, we’re recognizing the expertise of our top Alliance Partners in the vision space.”

“By building on the advanced core technologies of the NI vision platform, Cyth Systems has created solutions using classifiers and neural networks, allowing us to continue innovating in the machine vision world,” said Andy Long, CEO of Cyth Systems. “We’re excited to be recognized for our capabilities in building specialized automation and inspection solutions within the NI Alliance Partner Network.”

The following Alliance Partners are inaugural members of the Vision Specialty program:
Alliance Vision – Montelimar, (F)
• Cyth Systems – San Diego, (CA USA)
Graftek Imaging, Inc. – Austin (TX USA)
Qualimatest – Plan-les-Ouates (CH)

Instrumentation & system design

New ISA Edition Provides In-Depth Description of Successful Instrumentation and Control Design Process

As automation systems, worth nearly €52 billion ($65b), near the end of their traditional life cycle, the necessity to understand the design process has never been more critical to engineers, technicians and managers. The latest edition of Successful Instrumentation and Control Systems Design,  from the ISA stable, will help to achieve that understanding.

This edition delves into the business of design engineering and describes the ideal design package. It provides a roadmap to understanding the design process, which includes elements of a successful project, what specific issues to address and the engineering products that enable a successful practical design and maintenance plan.

The second edition presents a major revision to the first by introducing the concept of Integrated Control Systems (ICS). It includes chapters on Control Systems Integrator (CSI) and Control Panel Fabricator (CPF); and describes the interplay between them and the electrical and instrumentation and controls (I&C) engineer. Several sections have been added to give the reader more tools for managing projects or for anticipating the needs of the project manager. Some of the techniques for leading and participating in project meetings are presented from the viewpoint of turning potential time-wasters into time-savers. A bonus CD-ROM is included with new updates and figures.

Michael D. Whitt's, who edits,  experience includes 15 years with Raytheon Engineers and Constructors in the I&C department, first as an I&C supervisor and later as a lead systems integrator. He spent six years with Mesa Associates, Inc., as I&C department manager where he was responsible for instrumentation engineering and design, systems integration and panel fabrication groups and, an additional five years at Mesa, as a program manager for integrated control systems.

Logging temperature in smoke houses, ovens etc...

The RFOT is a wireless meat temperature data logger from Madgetech. The product has recently been enhanced with a new rugged probe that features a 3/16” straight diameter. The new probe design increases the products’ strength and durability, making it able to withstand harsher handling.

It is specifically designed for use in the cooking, cooling and storing of meat products. The device measures, records and wirelessly transmits internal product temperature readings back to a central computer for instant real-time monitoring. The instrument never needs to be connected to a computer as it has been designed for two way wireless communication. Full communication can be performed directly from a central PC. In addition to wirelessly transmitting data, the RFOT also stores each reading to internal memory for backup.

It can be used in smoke houses, ovens and other cooking processes up to 212°F (100°C) as well as refrigerators and freezers down to -4°F (-20°C). The device is equipped with a water-tight enclosure, making it easy to clean, and allowing the data logger to withstand wash down cycles.

MadgeTech’s easy to use software features user programmable critical control points, called “cooling flags” to assist in compliance with USDA Appendix B. The “cooling flags” are automatically annotated on the graph and tabular data views. The summary tab provides the cool down duration between each critical control point. The data can also be automatically exported to Excel® for further calculations.

Accessing controllers via iPad or iPhone

Control Technology Corporation (CTC), the manufacturer of automation controllers that integrate motion control, I/O, user interfaces, and enterprise connectivity, has released CTC qMon™, a free iPhone/iPad app that provides read/write access to your CTC controller. This app can access I/O, registers, flags and motion on Model 2700 and 5000 series controllers.

"qMon moves CTC's PC-based CTCmon utility to a platform that our customers have with them everywhere they go," said Tom Schermerhorn, CTC President. "It is always available to check on controller status and optimize system operation. For this reason it has already generated tremendous interest among our customers."

qMon can be used to reset counters, change setpoints, or review production data. It is available now for free download to iPhone or iPad from's App Store; a demo [] may be entered into the IP Address field to test a live controller. Visit CTC-s website for additional information on qMon set-up and operation.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bulk liquid terminals

The Syncade Logistics bulk liquid terminal application has been installed at the new Vopak fuel distribution terminal at Amsterdam Westpoort
Working in close collaboration with Vopak, Emerson Process Management has developed a software solution specifically for the management and optimisation of bulk liquid terminals. The new application is based on the Logistics module in Emerson’s Syncade™ platform, which provides intelligent links between IT and industrial automation technology. This software application has been deployed for the first time at the recently completed Vopak fuel distribution terminal at Amsterdam Westpoort (NL), where an efficiency improvement of up to 30 per cent has been achieved.

Vopak has almost 400 years of experience in storage and distribution and is the world leader in independent bulk liquid storage terminals. "For Vopak, the focus of this project was to investigate the possibility of improving service levels and increasing efficiency by deploying intelligent information technology for the management and control of our terminals," explained Ton van Dijk, Global Director ICT at Vopak. "In addition, we wanted to make improvements in other areas such as safety, speed and asset optimisation."

"We developed this new software application to meet the requirements of Vopak and have now made it available to other terminal companies," said Guido Wink, Emerson Process Management General Manager - Sales and Marketing for the Netherlands. "Vopak provided the terminal technology and logistics know-how, and we have converted this into a specific application for managing bulk liquid terminals."

The bulk liquid terminal application has been developed to support the expanding terminal market. The new application within Syncade Logistics comprises advanced planning and integrated stock management tools, order handling and auto-routing. The software is aligned with the liquids handling application within Emerson’s DeltaV™ digital automation system. Through links to Emerson’s DeltaV process automation system and to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Syncade Logistics provides savings at the administrative level.

"Using our own performance indicators, we have been able to compare the performance of the Amsterdam Westpoort terminal using the Syncade Logistics application with our other terminals," explained Ton van Dijk. "Because this was a prototype installation of Syncade Logistics, the initial handling of orders was not flawless, but the results show faster order handling and an efficiency improvement of up to 30 per cent. We also believe that safety has improved, although we will require a longer period to substantiate this. With Syncade Logistics we were able to process larger than expected order flows in a highly efficient manner. This indicated an increase in the processing capacity and speed of the new application. We are currently expanding our storage and processing capacity by constructing new facilities in other parts of the world. Emerson’s Syncade Logistics application will be used at these new facilities."

High integrity process ball valve features bolted construction for installation security

A high integrity ball valve for process applications that combines a forged body with a novel bolted construction to ensure installation security has been launched by the instrumentation products division of Parker Hannifin – the global leader in motion and control technologies. The new valve is available in a wide range of sizes and with a variety of connection schemes to help simplify installation. Designed for use with liquid or gas, the valve is suitable for diverse process isolation applications across a broad range of industries, including chemical, petrochemical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The process ball valve uses the same technology as their renowned Hi-Pro range of ball valves to maximise performance and reliability. It is available with a wide range of bore sizes, from ½ to 2 inches, and a choice of tube connection schemes, including welded and NPT (National Pipe Thread) male and female fittings. The valve is manufactured from just three principal components – the body, end plate and insert – unlike conventional valves which require two inserts. This eliminates a potential leakage path.

Parker’s valve employs a novel two-piece body construction, with the end plate secured by four bolts; this ensures that the body cannot be unscrewed accidentally in the field, when connecting or disconnecting threaded fittings on the valve or adjacent components. This preserves the valve’s integrity following installation or maintenance operations. The design also simplifies installation by minimising the risk of damage being caused by over-tightening when fitting connections – some competitive products require a separate spanner to prevent movement of the valve insert.

The valve is fully bidirectional and is actuated by a 90 degree turn for fast on/off action. The operating handle features a spring-loaded detent mechanism to provide positive positioning with tactile operator feedback, and is fitted with an ergonomically-designed protective sleeve to facilitate operation. An integral locking nut enables a padlock to be fitted to prevent unauthorised operation. The valve mechanism utilises the floating ball principle and provides 100 percent bubble tight shut-off.

The valve is fabricated from duplex stainless steel as standard, with super-duplex available as an option, and is offered in NACE (corrosion) and HCT (heat code traceable) versions. Parker goes to considerable lengths to guarantee the quality of this valve. By employing material that has been forged, instead of the bar stock used by most competitive products on the market, the valve body has a highly oriented microstructure that is inherently stronger. Furthermore, the company sources its raw materials for the valve from mills and foundries in western Europe, ensuring that only very high quality steel is used for manufacture and providing a fully traceable record for quality audit purposes.

As standard, the valves feature PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) packing and a PTFE valve seat. PEEK (polyetherketone) valve seat material is available as an option, and allows operation over a very wide temperature range of -54 to 232 degrees Celsius (-65 to 386 degrees Fahrenheit).

Parker’s process ball valve is additionally firesafe to API 607 and BS6755 Part 2, and is available in 800 and 2000 Class versions, suitable for operating pressures up to 6,000 psi (414 bar).

iPhone as oscilloscope

World’s first iPhone™- based mixed signal oscilloscope

Audon Electronics is now offering the iMSO-104 - the world's first mixed-signal oscilloscope that moves Apple's ubiquitous iOS devices and touch-screen interface into the test and measurement world. iMSO-104 is a revolutionary new 5MHz oscilloscope adapter for iPod touch, iPhone and iPad that is intuitive and easy to use, making it an ideal solution for field service, sales and application engineers, as well as students and hobbyists.

iMSO-104 is designed with a 5MHz bandwidth front-end and a 12MSa/s sample rate, simultaneously analyzing one analog and four digital signals for versatile, time-synchronized troubleshooting. All the usual input, trigger and math features you would expect from a high quality scope are incorporated, including cursor measurements, variable persistence, built-in 3.3V 1kHz reference signal and more. iMSO-104 also adds novel features such as computation power and instant emailing of screen captures. In addition, simple measurements of frequency, period, duty cycle, and reference signal capture are just a touch away. Timebase range is from 2uS – 1S/div, with input voltage display from 50mV – 2V/div. Maximum input voltage using a 10x probe is 40V.

iMSO-104 is based on Cypress Semiconductor’s PSoC 3, a low power, system-on-a-chip mixed-signal IC, which handles Apple's proprietary dock interface for iOS devices while simultaneously processing incoming analogue and digital signals. The result is a handy intuitive scope system that is both affordable and extremely portable. Intuitive finger movements are used to adjust trigger level, zooming, or repositioning channel displays. Captured signal screenshots can be rapidly sent as a time-saving email image for rapid reporting, Sent via other freely available Apps, current location and time can be included in the email with a link to Google Maps for uniquely logging on-the-job signal information.

Software for running iMSO-104 - including a demo package that does not require the actual iMSO-104 device - is available free at Apple™’s AppStore, and is available in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. iMSO-104 is compatible with all generations of iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad devices running iOS version 3.1.3 or higher. Setups can be customized and accessed quickly - ideal for on-the-go technicians. With these advanced features and Apple's intuitive multi-touch user interface and brilliant, high-resolution displays, iMSO-104 delivers the easiest, most intuitive scope solution on the market.

Technology conference plans announced

Early bird registration for NIWeek remains open until May 31.

Dr. James Truchard, NI CEO at NI Week'11
National Instruments has announced plans for NIWeek 2012, the company’s 18th annual technology conference, which takes place from August 6 to 9 at the Austin Convention Center. Each year this event attracts more than 3,000 engineers, educators and scientists to explore groundbreaking technologies and learn how graphical system design can improve test, measurement and automation. Attendees can participate in interactive demonstrations, roundtable discussions and keynote speeches to gain advanced technical knowledge and network with peers and NI developers.

The exhibit floor showcases interactive demonstrations from more than 75 companies, such as Averna, Cal-Bay Systems, Intel, JKI, Optimation and Xilinx. NIWeek 2012 also hosts numerous special events, including NI Alliance Day, Academic Forum, Build Your Own Embedded System workshop and The Future of System Design symposium.

“NIWeek explores the many industries using graphical system design to discover and shape the future of technology and discoveries that change our world,”
said Dr. James Truchard, NI CEO, President and Cofounder. “Engineers are using NI tools, including NI LabVIEW system design software, to create a variety of life-saving applications that improve everyday life.”

Monitoring for Carbon Dioxide and Methane

Edinburgh Sensors has launched the Guardian NG range of wall-mounted, single point gas monitors. This versatile new monitor range provides high accuracy, continuous sampling detection and measurement of either CO2 or CH4, with typical annual maintenance requirements of just 15 minutes. Improved measurement accuracy, new display capabilities, simplified set-up and enhanced external communication make the Guardian NG ideally suited to applications in a host of different industries.

Pressure and temperature-compensation have been added to proven, proprietary dual wavelength non-dispersive infrared detection technology to ensure true volume% readout of CO2 or CH4 over a wide range of temperatures and pressures. The Guardian NG’s inherent stability ensures no loss of calibration over extended periods. Models are available with detection ranges from 0-3000 ppm up to 0-100% by volume for CO2, and 0-5% to 0-100% for CH4 and an accuracy of better than ± 2% of full scale.

Gas concentration and pressure in the sampling cell are displayed on a new 5 digit LCD, which also allows simple menu setting of all monitor operating parameters including the independent high and low alarm settings. Gas concentration history over a period of up to 2 hours can be displayed graphically. The Guardian NG also includes password protection to prevent unauthorised adjustment of the monitor set up and calibration.

Built-in audible and visual alarm and fault indicators are complemented by volt-free relay contacts, as well as analogue outputs for connection to external indication, control or data logging devices. True RS232 output is provided, with optional LAN support.

Housed in an IP54-rated enclosure, the Guardian NG features an integral pump to allow gases to be sampled from distances up to 30 metres. The measurement cell is protected by a low flow gas sensor and an easily replaceable particle filter.

The Guardian NG can be used in high concentration applications such as biogas and landfill gas, low concentration applications such as horticulture and many others such as process control, indoor air quality, brewing and food processing.

End users and manufacturers encouraged to enter a plant for recognition

Nominees sought for 2012 HART Plant of the Year Award!

The HART® Communication Foundation is actively seeking qualified nominees for the 11th annual HART Plant of the Year Award. End users and manufacturers from all world areas are encouraged to enter their plant or customer’s plant for recognition. The HART Plant of the Year is the only international award presented to end user companies in the process automation industry to recognise the exceptional application of HART Communication technology. Nominations (forms are downloadable from their website!) will be accepted through 15 July 2012.

“Selection of the HART Plant of the Year is based on a plant’s use of HART Communication not on the size of the installation. We are seeking a plant that has taken the capabilities of HART instruments beyond configuration and calibration,” says Ron Helson, HART Communication Foundation Executive Director. “Or, the plant that is using real-time diagnostics and process variables in HART-enabled devices integrated with control, information, asset management, or safety systems.”

Previous recipients include Shell (Canada), MOL (Hungary), Mitsubishi Chemical (Japan), PDVSA (Venezuela), Statoil (Norway), Sasol (South Africa), Clariant (Germany), and DuPont (USA).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

W&WW keynote & programme

The keynote speaker and technical program for the 2012 ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls (WWAC) Symposium have been announced. Now in its seventh year, the annual symposium offers a unique opportunity for automation professionals from the water and wastewater sectors to come together to share ideas, network and earn continuing education credits.

Taking place 7–9 August in Orlando (FL USA), the 2012 ISA WWAC Symposium is a three-day event that focuses on the challenges associated with automation and instrumentation in the water and wastewater sectors. It features two full days of technical speakers/presentations, a tour of a local water treatment plant, a general reception, networking events, a poster session and a supplier showcase. This highly focused symposium has a long tradition as an event that caters to the needs of automation professionals in the water and wastewater sectors.

Asset Management Keynote
Celine Hyer: Keynote Speaker
This year’s keynote speaker will be Celine Hyer, a long-time American Water Works Association (AWWA) member, who will present a keynote address entitled “Facing Utility Challenges: Managing Risk and Addressing Aging Infrastructure Needs.” Hyer is a principal consultant with Red Oak Division of Malcolm Pirnie/ARCADIS in Tampa, (FL USA), where she leads the asset management practice for the South.

Tom DeLaura, Water Environment Federation (WEF) Automation and Info Tech Committee chair, will also give a guest presentation on automation technology trends in the wastewater sector. DeLaura, vice president of Eramosa Engineering International, is a long-time member of both the International Society of Automation (ISA) and WEF and has a career in the wastewater sector that spans over 38 years.

“The 2012 ISA WWAC symposium offers a full program of over 25 technical papers and presentations that will be of interest to the water/wastewater automation professional,” says ISA Executive Director and CEO Pat Gouhin. “The symposium offers a focused event that caters to the needs of individuals who are involved with SCADA, automation and instrumentation technologies as part of their daily jobs in this important sector of our municipal infrastructure.”

“This year’s WWAC symposium program is a fascinating mix of instrumentation, SCADA, cybersecurity and human factor topics. The program offers great insight to anyone who works in either the water or wastewater sector,” says symposium Program Chair Joe Provenzano, who has been active in the industry for over 40 years.

WEF and Florida AWWA Partner to offer CEUs/PDHs
The Florida Section of the American Water Works Association (FSAWWA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Automation and Info Tech Committee have joined forces for this year’s symposium as technical co-sponsors. We reported this in an earlier story Collaboration in water & waste event.

Symposium attendees can receive up to 2.0 CEUs or 20 professional development hours (PDHs) for participating in the symposium. For Florida-based attendees, FDEP CEUs and PDHs will be provided through the FSAWWA. ISA members and out of state attendees can receive PDHs through ISA. The optional short course on Automation & SCADA Security offers an additional 0.7 CEUs for attendance. More information can be found on the symposium website.

Package to power quality measurement in just 15 minutes!

Outram Research has launched its new PM7000 kit, to enable package to power quality measurement in just 15 minutes. The kit includes new guides that allow systems to be configured and connected more quickly and easily than before: it takes less than 15 minutes from unpacking the analyser to starting to log real data. It enables power engineers to set up their power quality analyser and begin recording 470 general parameters and up to 32 detailed channels of power quality data, including transient waveforms, in less time than was previously possible.

Power analysers can be configured in several different ways, and getting the correct physical set up of leads and software can be difficult. The new Outram PM7000 Hook-Up Checklist and Guide to Factory Configurations help engineers set up the analyser in less time, whilst also helping to prevent configuration errors. Vector diagrams in the checklist explain how to interpret the readings from the analyser, whilst an LED “traffic light” system gives clear indication that the system has been set up correctly.

“Power engineers are very busy people who can’t afford to spend large amounts of time setting up and configuring analysers,” said John Outram, managing director of Outram Research. “By shipping direct to site, and cutting the time from receiving the package to recording data to less than 15 minutes, we free them to concentrate on the higher-value tasks of identifying and resolving the cause of power quality problems.”

Outram power analysers have always offered some of the shortest set-up times due to their Single Cycle Adaptive Store™ technology, which eliminates the need to set trigger levels. This unique storage regime records down to a single cycle those disturbances that are most likely to show the cause of power quality issues, no matter how long the recording period. In addition, the powerful auto-ranking waveform capture feature automatically stores the waveforms of the greatest disturbances or abnormalities during a recording, and presents only the most severe, making identification of the periods when power quality problems have occurred fast and straightforward.

The Outram power analyser kits contain everything required, including fully-fused voltage leads and Rogowski coils accurate to 1%, to record power quality data and detect disturbances that could indicate the cause of power quality problems. The systems also ship with a netbook or windows compatible mobile phone, which has been configured to communicate with the analyser “straight out of the bag”.

The Outram PM7000 power quality analyser is now supplied in these “ready-to-go” kits and can be ordered with a mobile phone or netbook that is factory configured for immediate communication with the analyser.

Rugged high-speed, multi-channel serial FPDP recorders

The Talon™ family of high-speed, multi-channel Serial FPDP turnkey recording systems has been introduced by Pentek. These are the Model RTS 2716 commercial rackmount, the Model RTR 2736 rugged portable, and the Model RTR 2756 rugged rackmount recorders. Using state-of-the-art disk storage technology, these systems are highly flexible and achieve aggregate recording rates up to 2 Gbytes per second.

As complete recording systems, they are ideal for capturing any type of streaming sources including live transfers from sensors or data from other computers. The built-in Windows 7 Professional workstation with an Intel Core i7 processor gives the user total flexibility in routing data to various drives, networks, and I/O channels. Plus it allows the user to install post-processing and analysis tools to operate on the recorded data.

“These recorders exploit the latest storage technology to deliver the industry’s fastest recording rates and deepest capacities,” said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek. “Our SystemFlow recording software simplifies user operation and the application programming interface (API) allows system integrators to add the recorder as a peripheral to a larger system. We offer these recorders in many different configurations for operation not only in the lab, but also in the field and on board vehicles, ships, and aircraft. The SSDs (solid state drives) we use in the ruggedized recorders are immune to shock and vibration and are ideal for severe environments.”

Data files include time stamping as well as recording parameters and optional GPS (global positioning system) information. They are stored in the native Windows NTFS (new technology file system) format, allowing drive units to be read by personal computers eliminating the need for file conversion. Files can also be downloaded from the system through gigabit Ethernet, USB ports, eSATA3 ports or written to optical disks using the built-in 8X double layer DVD±R/RW drive.

Talon recorders are able to move data at a very high rate to the latest generation of high-capacity disk drives. The rugged portable (Model 2736) and rugged rack-mount (Model 2756) recorders are configured with SSDs while the commercial rack-mount (Model 2716) recorder is configured with HDDs (hard disk drives). The drives are hot-swappable and can be easily removed or exchanged during or after a mission to retrieve recorded data.

About Serial FPDP Compatibility
The recorders are fully compatible with the VITA 17.1 Serial FPDP specification in all modes and operational features. Supporting 1.0625, 2.125 and 2.5 Gbaud link rates and options for multi-mode and single-mode optical interfaces, the modules can work in virtually any system. Programmable modes include flow control in both receive and transmit directions, cyclical redundant checks (CRC) support and copy/loop modes. The recorders can be ordered with either four or eight bidirectional Serial FPDP ports and with copper or optical interconnect options. The Serial FPDP interface provides an ideal light-weight protocol that is able to connect system-to-system and system-to-peripheral to enable recording in nearly any situation.

Supporting Features and Products
Pentek SystemFlow recording software features a Windows-based GUI (Graphical User Interface) that provides a simple and intuitive means to configure and control the system.

“Customers praise this easy-to-use interface for fast setup of their recording systems right out-of-the-box,” Rodger concluded.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Improving safety, reliability and environmental performance of refineries!

Innovative HF Alkylation measurement solution supports cost control, real-time safety and environmental excellence

Invensys Operations Management has signed a multi-year licensing agreement with Valero Energy Corporation, allowing use of Invensys Operations Management’s patented ACA.HF Advanced Alkylation Measurement Solution. In the first phase, Valero will implement the solution at seven refineries globally. The Invensys solution monitors and measures hydrofluoric acid levels in real time by analysing differential responses from online sensors, helping to improve the safety, reliability and environmental performance of the refinery and creating new opportunities to reduce operating costs.

Commonly used in petroleum processing, hydrofluoric acid is a highly toxic catalyst that must be carefully managed and controlled. Accurately analysing how much HF is re-circulating within the process contributes significantly to increasing the efficiency of the refinery because it can improve crude stock yield and associated costs. Early approaches to HF monitoring involved taking manual samples and analysing them in a laboratory. This approach however, even when carefully executed, potentially exposed lab workers to severe toxins, and its accuracy was limited. And while more recent techniques can produce more accurate readings, their adaptation for real-time online monitoring is complex and costly.

Invensys Operations Management’s advanced measurement solution, however, brings new levels of simplicity, cost effectiveness and employee safety to that task. By using real-time online sensors instead of people, it significantly reduces the possibility of accidental exposure, thereby diminishing the risk to employees and curtailing the potential for environmental hazards. And because it replaces conventional manual laboratory sampling and other types of analysis, it can drastically improve the efficiency of the operation while lowering costs.

“We are committed to developing and delivering innovative solutions that help our clients, including Valero, increase the safety and reliability of their operations,” said Maxie Williams, vice president and enterprise client executive, Invensys Operations Management. “An integral component of our InFusion™ Enterprise Control System, our HF alkylation measurement solution can openly communicate with a larger refinery and enterprise-wide control, information and decision-support system to provide real-time data and analysis. And because it is built from rugged materials long proven in industrial HF applications, implementing it costs about half that of other systems and requires little maintenance, with estimated mean time between failures exceeding 29 years. It is a perfect example of how we are combining advanced control and instrumentation to improve and optimise the real-time safety and performance of the operation.”

Earthing clamp approved!

Self-testing grounding clamp receives IECEX approval

The Bond-Rite Intrinsically Safe Self-Testing Static Grounding Clamp from Newson Gale is designed for verifying safe low-resistance static grounding and bonding conditions in many operations involving flammable liquid vapour, gas and combustible dust handling environments. The original model was launched in 2001 and there are now over 10,000 units in use in the worldwide chemical processing industries. The unit is commonly used for hazardous area static earth/grounding and bonding applications where there is a need for positive confirmation during drumming, filling, mixing and other transfer and handling operations involving solvents and/or combustible powdered materials. A pulsing green LED indicator provides the user with reassurance when a low-resistance bond to earth/ground has been established even in the presence of insulating coatings, oxidisation, corrosion or excessive contact resistance, as well as continuously monitoring the condition of the bonding cable.

While retaining the original innovative patented design features, the Bond-Rite Clamp has recently achieved upgraded hazardous area certification to the latest applicable sections of IEC 60079, enabling it to be used in global markets where the IECEX scheme is recognized, in addition to its existing approvals according to ATEX (European) and NEC (North American) hazardous area standards. As part of the updated certification, the unit has now been tested and approved for a wider ambient temperature range from – 40 deg C to + 60 deg C. This enhanced rating, coupled with its IP65 and NEMA4X ingress and environmental protection increases the range of applications where the Bond-Rite clamp may be put into use, both indoors and outdoors, while the long-life lithium battery power source means that installation is simple and cost effective, requiring no mains/line voltage power supply.

The Bond-Rite Clamp is suitable for use in all IEC/ATEX Gas and Dust Zones (0, 1, 2 and 20, 21, 22) as well as NEC Hazardous Location Classes I, II, III and Divisions 1 and 2. The standard unit is supplied complete with 5 metre/16ft retractable (coiled) hytrel static-dissipative cable, earth/ground connection junction box and stowage point for the clamp, and models are available where the clamp is fitted to alternative cable lengths or self-rewind cable reels. Another popular option is the Bond-Rite EZ which is a totally portable bonding and verification system for use in temporary or mobile applications, or wherever there is a requirement to continuously monitor an equipotential bond between two conductive items or earth/ground.

Scottish show

Now in its tenth year, the biennial Instrumentation Scotland and Offshore Systems exhibition to be held in Aberdeen on 5th and 6th September 2012 will be offering a series of free workshops to be given by leading industry companies including Honeywell and the Profibus Group.

Tony Alexander from Honeywell Control Systems Ltd. will be presenting his workshop entitled 'Becoming Wireless'. Their OneWireless™ Solutions help sites tackle critical industrial challenges in the areas of reliability, safety and process efficiency. The solutions comprise Honeywell’s distributed control system, wireless field instruments, mobile computing devices, wireless networks, advanced applications and facility management applications. The solutions also include Honeywell’s engineering services such as consulting, design, installation, commissioning and support that play a key role in ensuring a turnkey experience that protects users wireless investment.

The Profibus Group's workshop will address the key issues arising from the use of digital fieldbus communications technologies in process and hybrid industries.

With 50% of the seminar time dedicated to live demonstrations and most of the remainder taken up with practical advice based on actual experience, the programme will be of great value to Instrument Technicians/Engineers, C&I Engineers and System Engineers involved in design, operation and maintenance of modern process plant.

Located in the heart of the Offshore industry in Aberdeen, the exhibition brings together the many companies who supply products and services specific to the offshore industry in addition to others representing processing, power generation, paper, distilling, water and waste, and marine engineering in north east Scotland.

Show for Silverstone

The Motorsport Industry Association will be giving full support to the Sensors + Systems Show for Control & Instrumentation which this year is being held on 24th and 25th October 2012 in the impressive new Silverstone Wing pit and paddock complex (Hall 1) at Silverstone Circuit, the home of the British F1 Race.

The Motorsport Industry Association is a worldwide association which now provides a network that reaches into every corner of the motorsport business community. The community of MIA members spans the whole spectrum of international motorsport business, from the largest companies to the smallest private firms.

The show is already receiving strong support from exhibitors, well-known publications and distinguished engineering institutions, including The Profibus Group, the Institute of Measurement & Control, magazines Industrial Technology, Industrial Plant & Equipment and the new Controls, Drives & Automation publication, DP&A, and IEN together with the website

The show is the perfect place to display and discuss products, services and other material to engineers from such industries as the automotive, aerospace, rail, power generation, process industries, medical, motorsport, and R&D. Both Bartec and Impress Sensors & Systems will be using the show to promote their products.

Bartec will be showing their ANTARESplus, a remote I/O System for potentially explosive areas which can be connected to any current control with various bus systems (PROFIBUS-DP, Profi Net, Ethernet IP, Modbus TCP). There are nine different I/O modules available in the form of digital and analog inputs and outputs.

From Impress Sensors & Systems will be a range of submersible gauging level transmitters which are ideal for small tanks and containers. The new IMTG range of transmitters is designed for continuous submersion in liquids such as water, oils and fuels. The transmitters are ideally suited to applications in small (0 to 10 metre depth) tanks or containers, where conventional mechanical level switches and sensors are not suitable because of reliability issues and a higher degree of level 'control' and measurement is required.

The exhibition will again feature free workshops hosted by leading companies. Full details will be announced at a later date and will be available on the show website.

Redefining vibration screening

Best-in-class repeatability and accuracy for checking overall health of motors and other rotating equipment

The 805 Vibration Meter from Fluke, is a portable multifunction vibration screening tool that provides quantifiable information on a bearing and the overall health of motors and other rotating equipment. It is ideal for frontline mechanical troubleshooting teams that need reliable and repeatable measurements of rotating equipment to make imperative go/no-go maintenance decisions.

The instrument measures overall vibration from 10 to 1,000Hz, providing a four-level severity assessment for overall vibration and bearing condition; identifies bearing condition (Crest factor Plus, CF+) by detecting peaks in the vibration signal readings of roller bearings from 4,000Hz to 20,000Hz, and using a proprietary algorithm to interpret severity to determine if the bearing is going bad; and measures surface temperature using an infrared sensor which automatically measures contact temperature and displays it along with the vibration reading for a broader understanding of machine health.

The Fluke 805 Handheld Vibration Meter has a unique sensor tip design that minimises measurement variations caused by device angle or contact pressure. This reduces operator error and improves the accuracy and repeatability of quick vibration screening. The meter also provides a severity scale for both overall vibration and bearing condition readings, delivering more information than comparable vibration pens. Logged data can be easily uploaded into Excel to create trending reports.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Warehouse & office lighting

New energy efficient LED lighting provides 1-2 year payback
Bay Range of efficient industrial and office lights uses latest LED technology

Marl International has just released its most efficient ever range of high performance white LED lights, providing energy savings of 20% to 60% against conventional lighting technologies in applications like industrial, office and warehouse internal lighting, security and event floodlighting, street lighting and other applications.

The key feature of the new Marl Bay Range is its efficiency of 83-94 lumens/watt from a 110V-277V AC mains supply. For example, the 770 series light generates up to 8,800 lumens from a 94W supply, making it amongst the most efficient light sources available. Bay Range LED lighting is very directional, so that all of the light created illuminates the target area and there are no UV emissions, further enhancing efficiency. Bay range lights are offered with a choice of narrow (23°) or wide (50°) beam angles.

Commenting on the release of the Bay Range, Marl Managing Director, Adrian Rawlinson, said, “LED technology has moved forward rapidly even in the last few months, and more efficient light engines allow the creation of much brighter luminaires without excessive heat generation. Marl’s designers have exploited these characteristics to the full, creating a range that makes energy efficient LED lighting a viable option for the most intense illumination applications such as street lighting, flood lighting and even photographic studio lighting as well as more standard interior or exterior industrial and office lighting applications.”

He continued, “The new Bay Range is amongst the most energy efficient lighting available for industrial and office premises, and provides an instant, convenient and highly controllable source of light.

The first products in the Bay Range to be released are the 770, 771 and 778 series. The 770 series are square units with 2 or 3 LED modules offered in Cool White, Neutral White or Warm White form. For high bay applications, Marl is offering the 778 series, featuring six LED modules as well as the 771 series for long bay applications. All three offer the same exceptional efficiency and operate direct from a standard European or US mains electrical supply. The Marl Bay Range has been built using the latest high efficiency, high brightness Cree and LumiLEDS LED light engines.

Colour renditioning for all lights is very good, and each product is offered in a choice of cool or natural white colour temperatures. The lights can be readily integrated with dusk to dawn and motion sensors, and are offered with optional 1 to 10 volt dimming control lines. Most are sealed to IP67 standards, rendering them suitable for most indoor and outdoor applications.

Following the launch of the new range, Marl is offering customers the opportunity of a free lighting survey of their premises by a professional lighting engineer, who would produce a report detailing the energy savings available by adopting Marl’s class leading technology. Its team is nationwide, and can provide local support on upgrading customer’s lighting installations.

More load cells!

LCM Systems increases its range of stocked load cells for faster delivery.

Now with increased factory space, load cell manufacturer LCM Systems has expanded its existing range of stocked products. This means that customers can expect faster delivery and lower prices on a larger range of load cells. Recently added products include the SGA analogue stain gauge amplifier, the TR150 handheld load indicator and the renowned STA series of S-Type tension/compression load cells. All three products are commonly purchased together to provide a complete load monitoring system.

The SGA range of high specification, analogue strain gauge amplifiers has been designed for universal use and offers a degree of flexibility that makes these amplifiers perfect for use in a multitude of configurations, ideal for OEM customers. Similarly, the STA series is ideal for a wide range of applications specifically where high accuracy measurements are required. Typical applications include hanging scales, material test machines and general force measurement. And, added to these load cells and amplifiers, the TR150 is a versatile and intuitive precision load indicator ideal for use by both OEMs and end users alike. The portable, environmentally sealed unit has been specifically designed for accuracy and versatility. It can be used with the full range of sensor technology from LCM Systems as part of portable load cell and calibration systems or as a shackle, link load or hire fleet load display.

Customers can place their orders with an easy credit card payment system via email, phone or fax for same day despatch. Other products available from stock include the DCE load cells, small and versatile sensors for design engineers and systems integrators who are working on applications for tensile strength, tension measurement and general force

New SCADA/HMI software.

The new Pulse V 1.52, from AFCON Software and Electronics, includes improvements for quality, stability, and functionality of the product. The 1.52 version is the result of over 6 months of intense work carried out by the Afcon R&D group. Great attention has been paid to guaranteeing greater stability functionality, both in runtime and design mode.

With this new version Afcon extends its offering with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. Pulse customers can now purchase a professional package which includes Pulse 1.52 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2.

New features and enhancements:
• Tool Bar Instrument - static image support
• Crystal Report support from Pulse client Improvements and fixes:
• Alarm Counters
• Redundancy
• Alarm acknowledge by double click,
• Alarm Explorer present milliseconds format for SER support
• Context menu support for system localization
• Zoom-in/out
• Find and replace improvement and more

Technical details of the new features and improvements can be viewed in the Pulse Release Notes available on Afcon website. Pulse 1.52 can be downloaded from the Pulse section on the Afcon website and available on a new Afcon DVD upon request.