Saturday, June 2, 2012

Help electric motor engineers save time, money with HIL modelling

National Instruments has introduced the JMAG-RT add-on for NI VeriStand, which gives engineers the same fidelity provided by proven JMAG models, but in real-time for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing of electric motors. To reduce spending on field-testing physical motors, engineers can use NI VeriStand with the JMAG-RT add-on in the lab to easily create stimulus profiles and perform data logging and automated HIL testing with real-time electric motor simulation.

“When engineers use the JMAG-RT add-on for NI VeriStand, which combines NI VeriStand software and NI RIO hardware with our JMAG-RT modeling, they get the world’s most advanced platform for real-time electric motor simulation,” said Dr. Takashi Yamada, manager of electromagnetic engineering at JSOL. “The system helps expand engineers’ test coverage while saving time and money because they now can perform ECU testing without risking damage to expensive prototype motors.”

Product Features
· Xilinx FPGA-based hardware/software integration delivers high-fidelity simulations with approximately 1 microsecond step times to increase measurement speed and accuracy.
· JMAG finite element analysis (FEA) electric motor models from JSOL integrate with NI VeriStand and NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) hardware.
· NI’s complete HIL systems can be configured for most real-time motor or ECU test scenarios.

Network-based control system enhanced

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has released an enhanced version of the STARDOM™network-based control system.

This enhanced version includes new modules that enable the FCN autonomous controller to communicate directly with facilities and devices that use the PROFIBUS-DP and CANopen industrial communication protocols. An IT security setting tool is also provided to assist in the configuration of the same security models employed by Yokogawa's CENTUM® VP integrated production control system.

Development background
The STARDOM network-based control system consists of the FCN/FCJ autonomous controllers. The system is used as a main controller for equipment in small- to medium-sized manufacturing plants, facilities that are distributed over a wide area such as oil/gas wells, and wind power generation systems, which is a booming segment of the renewable energy market.

As applications grow more varied, users need to connect with devices such as programmable controllers (PLCs) and motor control centres (MCCs) from other vendors that use different communication protocols. There is thus a rising need for controllers that support a variety of communication protocols.

Also, as STARDOM is often operated and monitored as a DCS subsystem, its security measures must be equivalent to those used by the DCS to protect against cyber-attacks. And, as for the web-based SCADA software, there is the need for a more general-purpose application development environment.

Product features
1. Support of PROFIBUS-DP and CANopen protocols
PROFIBUS-DP and CANopen communication modules have been developed for the FCN autonomous controller. These modules make it possible for the FCN controller to communicate directly with devices that support these protocols, eliminating the need for a gateway. An engineering tool is also provided that helps users to configure communications with these devices.

2. Engineering tool for multiple security models
An IT security setting tool is provided to assist in the configuration of the same multiple security models used with CENTUM VP. When STARDOM is used together with a CENTUM VP system, these models provide the total system with robust protection against cyber-attacks.

Takashi Nishijima, Director, Senior Vice President of the Industrial Automation Platform at Yokogawa's Business Headquarters, says: "With field digital technologies that make effective use of plant information through the digitisation of communications between field devices and control systems, Yokogawa is helping its customers to realise the VigilantPlant concept. This new version allows customers to implement digital communication with both PA and FA devices. Digital information can be used to integrate on-site device management and maintenance, whiledevice diagnostics help to improve availability at our customers' plants. This will truly realise asset maximisation."

Major target markets for the enhanced STARDOM include widely distributed facilities such as those used in oil and gas well and water and wastewater applications, small- to medium-sized process plants in oil, chemicals, iron and steel, nonferrous metals, pulp and paper, food, pharmaceuticals, and other industries, and small- to medium-sized power generation facilities such as wind turbines, steam turbines, and hydropower generation facilities.

Applications include monitoring, operation, control, data collection, and data storage in small- to medium-sized manufacturing facilities.

World's most compact Coriolis flow solution

The new generation of Coriolis flow measurement technology from Siemens Industry Automation Division is the most compact solution in the market. The digitally based flow solution Sitrans FC430 with short build-in-length is suitable for any liquid or gas application within the process industry. The new device is capable of optimizing a wide range of processes for increased productivity in industries like Chemical and Pharmaceutical. Sitrans FC430 is ideal for multi-parameter measurement and can be used in applications like fast filling, batch control, blending and dosing as well as for measurement of gases or fluids.

Sitrans FC430 features market-leading compactness, very high accuracy of 0.1 per cent, low pressure loss, extremely stable zero point and best-in-class data update with 100 Hertz high-speed signal transfer. Innovative user friendly support tools provide direct access to all operational and functional data, certificates and audit trails. Sitrans FC430 is amongst the first Coriolis flowmeters to offer SIL (Safety Integrity Level) 2 and 3 approval in hardware and software respectively, enabling maximum redundancy meeting the highest standards of safety and reliability.

The highly automated production of the Sitrans FC430 ensures a flexible supply chain for rapid responses to customer inquiries. Very short lead times for tailor-made solutions are guaranteed by assembly robots guided by sophisticated 3 D vision laser systems.

Free online video training

New SCADA/HMI videos give users direct online access to training

InduSoft has announced its new online video training series for its upcoming InduSoft Web Studio 7.1 HMI/SCADA software. The video training site currently offers two training modules that provide instruction on subjects ranging from alarms to trends.

Although the company will continue its on-site training programs, the free online video training will enable users who cannot participate in on-site training to access InduSoft Web Studio instruction modules at their convenience. The training modules can be viewed via a streaming format or downloaded.

“We want to help more of our users get the best results for their projects, so we’re in the process of making our entire training course available online,” says Marcia Gadbois, vice president of business development, InduSoft.

The first module provides users instruction on installation, tags, drivers and screen groups. It is formatted in nine parts to help users easily find the area in which they need help. The second module covers in-depth instruction for active objects, animations, trends and alarms. Like the first module, it is also offers different topic segments for easy navigation.

The videos can be streamed or downloaded with iPads and Android tablets that have flash or MP4 support, and new training modules are being added on an ongoing basis.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Acquisition expands communications offering

ABB is to acquire Tropos Networks Inc., a Silicon Valley-based company that develops and markets wireless technologies and products for distribution area communication networks. The acquisition will expand ABB’s communications systems offering for customers in the power, transportation, mining and
public infrastructure sectors.

Tropos employs 55 people. The company’s wireless IP (Internet Protocol) broadband solutions focus on reliability, security and scalability, key characteristics for essential services in smart grid and other outdoor industrial applications. The Tropos portfolio extends ABB’s existing offering of communications solutions for the power distribution sector. It also reinforces ABB’s increased focus on the North American market and complements its global presence in utility and industrial communications.

As power grids and other critical infrastructure become increasingly reliant on automation, demand for cost-effective, reliable and secure communication solutions is growing. Communications play a critical role in realizing the efficiency improvements that can be achieved by automation and improved resource allocation.

“Tropos Networks’ technologies are a great fit with our own communications offering, greatly increasing our ability to supply robust and reliable private networks for use in mission-critical applications,” said Jens Birgersson, head of ABB’s Network Management business, a part of the company’s Power Systems division. “With a strong presence in North America, this acquisition will provide ABB with additional access to US markets, where we still have considerable room to grow.”

“Customers will benefit from the combination of Tropos’ wireless communications networks and ABB’s automation solutions and system design and implementation services,” said Tom Ayers, President and CEO of Tropos Networks. “For Tropos, joining ABB will accelerate our ability to reach customers in new geographies and industrial sectors.”

ABB’s comprehensive suite of communication solutions provides a strong foundation for mission-critical networks and is a key enabler for smarter grids. Solutions for fixed-wire, narrowband, broadband and wireless connections play an important role in ensuring the reliability of modern power systems. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012.

ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.

Digital panel meters

The new Junior JR/JR20-P series digital panel meters is now available from sensing & instrumentation specialists Vydas International Marketing. Manufactured by Ditel (ES) the instrument is one of the KOSMOS series of digital panel meters and carries a three year warranty.

The JR/JR20-P has the benefit of programmable multiple inputs and is designed for measuring PROCESS (±10V, ±200V and ±20mA), TEMPERATURE (Pt100, Pt1000, TC J, K, T and N), POTENTIOMETER (100 Ohm to 100 KOhm) and RESISTANCE (999.9 Ohm 9999 Ohm and 50.00 KOhm).

JR-P and JR20-P models are easy to scale into desired engineering units, directly by front panel keys or real input signal value in teach mode. A universal power supply is also a feature offering aux supply from 12V to 230V AC/DC voltage supply.

Fully configurable, they allow signal input type selection and also provide a 24V DC @ 30mA output for sensor excitation. The JR-P is a 4 digit indicator with 14mm digit and -9999 to 9999 display range and the JR20-P has a 4 digit indicator with 20mm digit and -1999 to 9999 display range.

Both model allow configurable decimal point by three front panel keys and has 2 led for set points status indication (if output 2RE option card is installed).

Detection, saving, later recalling and resetting of maximum and minimum values reached by the input signal since last reset activation. Reset function sets automatically memorized value to current input signal value when maximum or minimum value are displayed. Maximum and minimum values recalling to display and reset functions are directly available through frontal keys.

The instrument is capable of measuring 3-wire Pt100 and 2-wire Pt1000 (IEC 60751) and Thermocouple (IEC 60584-1), 3-wire Potentiometer, 2-wire Resistance and Process input signals.

Remote monitoring of instrumentation over GPRS

Wireless remote unit collects data from instrumentation and transmits reports worldwide

Mantracourt has announced the release of the T24-RDC Wireless Remote Data Collector.

Expanding on their T24 range of wireless instrumentation, the T24-RDC is a remote data acquisition system that has been developed to utilise the existing GPRS network, enabling the remote monitoring of sensors and instrumentation. Using a Quad band GPRS modem, the wireless data collector allows users to log and report data to multiple destinations including servers, email addresses and mobile phones via text messaging, allowing for worldwide access to data for recording and monitoring.

“The T24-RDC is a well thought out and very intelligent piece of equipment,” said Kelly Voysey, Sales and Marketing Manager at Mantracourt. “Its design has been driven by certain key customers that had very demanding requirements. The result is a powerful and robust unit that will enable engineers to reliably monitor instrumentation remotely, and in considerable detail.”

The remote data logging system can accept data from multiple inputs including: mV/V strain measurement, 4-20mA, 0-10V, temperature, pulse and potentiometer. All data is time and date stamped and sent to destinations at regular intervals. Measurements are also compared to user-defined limits that can trigger alert messages allowing real time monitoring of an entire system.

“During its development, we have had a number of working systems out in the field,” said Kelly. “For example, they have been used to monitor the performance of the loads exerted on hydraulic struts used in shoring construction pits, with the data being collated on a website for viewing. The T24-RDC has also been used to help monitor vibration levels during a construction project, enabling the sending of text messages to the phones of key personnel when vibration levels were above set limits.”

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

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

Engineering products provider joins wireless body

John Crane, the world-leading provider of engineered products and services for the major process industries, has joined ISA100 WCI as a supplier member.

Since being established over 95 years ago, John Crane has become the acknowledged global leader in its field. Today it provides the most complete selection of engineered mechanical seals, sealing support systems, engineered bearings, filters and power transmission couplings for use in pumps, compressors and other rotating equipment, all of which are supported by the global John Crane sales and service network.

John Crane is a globally recognised and trusted name. The John Crane business has 20 manufacturing sites and more than 6,800 employees, located in over 50 countries.

“We are committed to promoting the benefits of wireless technology and providing advancements in the wireless monitoring of various equipment to help our customers,” said Jim Malcolm, Director, John Crane Asset Management Solutions. “We see the new market potential beyond just providing more data wirelessly and look forward to offering new solutions that wireless enables like personnel tracking, equipment health monitoring, safety applications and many others – helping our customers realize the interoperability, scalability and universal nature that the ISA100 standard provides.”

“John Crane is well-recognized in the industry and we are thrilled to have the company join the growing ISA100 WCI team, as we continue to expand and promote the benefits of ISA100 technology and showcase the ISA100.11a flexibility in supporting a wide range of industrial applications,” said Andre Ristaino, managing director of ISA100 WCI.

ZigBee, Wifi and Bluetooth sensors or actuators

Libelium's new multiprotocol router allows the connection of any sensor or actuator to the Cloud by accessing high speed 3G networks, opening a wide range of possibilities for the Internet of Things development.

The new multiprotocol router by Libelium allows the connection of any sensor or actuator to the Cloud via high speed 3G networks, opening a wide range of possibilities for the Internet of Things development.

Meshlium Xtreme is the new multiprotocol router for wireless sensor networks designed to connect ZigBee, Wifi and Bluetooth sensors to the Internet through 3G connectivity. The new line launched today allows the sending of information gathered by hundreds of sensor nodes at the same time, as it counts with an unprecedented "upload to the Cloud" bandwidth of 5.5 Mb/s -more than 10 times faster than compared with traditional GPRS gateways.

The 3G interface in Meshlium Xtreme connects Worldwide to WCDMA and HSPA networks as it uses different frequency bands (850/900/1800/1900/2100MHz) depending on the carrier and country regulations, allowing a massive transfer of all the data acquired by the sensors of the network.

“Meshlium may communicate with ZigBee, Wifi and Bluetooth sensor nodes and then send the information collected to the Cloud by either 3G or Ethernet interfaces depending on the communication available at any time" says David Gascón, Libelium's CTO. "Its’ modular architecture allows customers to choose only the needed communication radios to ensure a cost-effective solution for each Internet of Things project."

Meshlium Xtreme includes a friendly Open Source web application that can be controlled from any browser or Smartphone and can be configured in just 3 simple steps, deciding even data destination, either locally or in a Cloud data base. Developers have also the opportunity to run their own applications in Meshlium which runs a Linux distribution including the main runtime libraries to execute C++, Java or PHP.

A robust aluminium waterproof enclosure protects the router in case of outdoor projects where sensors are placed outside such as Smart Parking or Smart Cities applications.

Efficient access to device data via online configurator

The Siemens Industry Automation Division is expanding the functional scope of its Comos 10.0 engineering software solution to include the selection and configuration of field instruments and analytical products. The PIA Selector online configurator makes it easy to select and arrange correctly the order numbers of devices. It provides efficient access at all times to device data, no matter whether it is required for detailed engineering, plant operation or modernization work.

The integration of the Comos engineering software solution with the Simatic PCS 7 process control system helps to organize engineering activities along just one electronic workflow throughout all phases of a project. An interface ensures consistent, bidirectional exchange of information between Comos 10.0 and PCS 7. Every change in Comos is transferred directly to the control logic of the PCS 7, and vice versa. This allows serial engineering processes to be run in parallel to an even greater extent, starting with the development process, and continuing with the engineering of the mechanical and electrical systems right through to the automation level. The user has all the data and documents available at all times, not only from the engineering phase of a plant but also from the actual plant, and can use them for maintenance and service purposes, including the scheduling of shutdowns.

The user connects to the web via a link implemented in Comos 10.0, which takes him to the homepage of the PIA Selector. The engineering data stored in Comos is automatically transferred to the PIA Selector. The measured data can be specified even further in the configurator in order to narrow down the selection of the field devices. The user is shown a list of devices to match his inputs and he selects the one he requires accordingly. The data of the selected product is transferred automatically from the configuration tool to Comos 10.0, where it remains available throughout the entire life cycle of a plant. This enables the data to be used in the next steps of the engineering, for example to create a bill of materials (BOM) and the order list.

Terminal binding post and recess plate availability!

Cliff Electronics has expanded its manufacturing capacity for Terminal Binding Posts and Recess Plates,  with manufacturing industrial, pro-audio and safety versions available

Melvyn French, Sales Manager at Cliff Electronics, comments, "As a long standing UK manufacturer of interconnect and switching components we are pleased to have increased our manufacturing capacity in Britain to meet the increasing demands from our domestic customers and continued export growth.”

Cliff Terminal Posts are available in a range of styles & sizes suitable for a wide variety of applications including Professional and Consumer Audio, Test and Measurement, Power Supplies, Laboratory and Industrial systems. All terminals are supplied with mounting hardware.

The range now consists of a number of standard versions. TP/1, rated at 15A, can accept a 4mm “Banana Plug” in the top hole and/or a 2mm plug in the cross-hole. The TP/2 is rated 15A, is a compact style requiring minimal panel space and can accept a 4mm ‘Banana Plug” in the top hole and and/or a 2mm plug in the cross hole. The TP/6 range is rated to 30A and incorporates a wide range of styles including the TP/6ML all metal gold plated versions.. The TP/60 is rated to 60A and features extra-large cross holes for heavy duty connectors and features the CLIFF® castellated knob for tightening with a screwdriver or coin.

The company now offer a wide range of standard dual and quad Terminal Post Assemblies mounted on plates. Semi-custom and full custom versions are available to meet customer’s individual specifications. Cliff can produce terminal assemblies that will accommodate spade terminals and 4mm plugs. Such assemblies can be PCB mounting with vertical or right angle options and a choice of 2BA or 10x32 UNF spindle threads as required.

For Premium Audio applications Cliff manufactures the TP/6ML binding post which is rated at 30A and supplied with gold plated brass knobs and spindles, the mounting fixtures are the same as TP/6

For safety critical applications the Cliff range of Touch-Proof terminals are supplied with mounting hardware and customers can choose spindle length and nickel or gold plating. Two versions are available, the TP/44, rated at 30A and supplied in standard colours of red and black, with 10 x 32 UNF thread spindles. Typical applications for the TP/44 are Test Instruments. The second type is the TP/60, rated at 60A and available in standard colours of red and black, with ¼” UNF threaded spindles. The TP60 can be supplied with clear plastic knobs with coloured indents and can accommodate up to 6 gauge speaker wire. The most common application for the TP/60 is high end audio equipment.

Complementing Cliff Terminal Binding Posts is a range of recess plates that can be supplied as plain or populated with a choice of Cliff Binding Posts. Standard recess plates are manufactured with specific “knock-out” sections that can house binding posts, jack sockets and XLR sockets and customer specific requirements are welcome.

User group for the Big Easy!

Online registration is now open for the 2012 Yokogawa Corporation of America Users Group Conference and Exhibition to be held Oct 30 - Nov 1, 2012 in New Orleans (LA USA) at the newly renovated Hyatt Hotel just across from the Superdome. The program and exhibition areas are being put together around the theme of “Integrated Solutions for a Sustainable Future”. All Yokogawa users and potential users are invited to join in this 2012 event.

“The Users Conference and Exhibition is a unique opportunity to network with fellow users, industry and business leaders, and Yokogawa product and solutions experts to gain in-depth, quantified insight into how peers are using automation technologies to deliver industry-leading results,” said Chet Mroz, President and CEO of Yokogawa Corporation of America.

Led by users for users, the 2012 conference will provide valuable exchange of information among process manufacturers and end-users. This year’s event will feature a comprehensive collection of user-driven presentations and workshops on technology selection and application, and automation strategy. In addition, an exhibition area is featured that offers some truly unique opportunities to learn more about Yokogawa solutions and how they can assist in achieving safe, reliable, profitable operations in your facility.

Individuals involved in the Upstream Oil & Gas, Chemical, Refining, and other industries who want to learn and share ideas and best practices with product and industry specialists, and fellow users are encouraged to attend. The conference and exhibition is being designed to help you find ways to increase quality and efficiency and lower operating costs through proven methods and use of Yokogawa products. It will also provide attendees with the opportunity to attend hands-on workshops and seminars that will earn them Professional Development Hours (PDH) certificates.

Embedded computing co-operation!

A group of embedded computing manufacturers have formed a registered association to drive standardization of embedded computing technologies called The Standardization Group for Embedded Technologies (SGET) e.V. The proclaimed aim of the association is to speed up the development of new standards for embedded hardware and software. 23 companies signed up to support the founding principles during the inaugural meeting, among them Advantech, congatec, Data Modul, Kontron, MSC and Seco.

"While there are many board manufacturers among the founding members, SGET also has a clear focus on tackling related issues such as software," points out SGET chairman Engelbert Hörmannsdorfer. Software plays a key role in enabling board compatibility and interchangeability and its impact on system decisions has been increasing for years. Once a group of at least three members, no matter in what area, feels the need for action, they can set up a standardization working group. SGET supports this group by providing the appropriate infrastructure that will facilitate the efficient implementation of the standardization idea.

The SGET statutes and objectives as well as the working group regulations and voting rules (SDT Rules, Standard Development Club) are now available for download on the SGET website. "The first two working groups have in principle been established," said Hörmannsdorfer. "The working groups will convene before the end of June 2012 and start to work." Communication channels include the SGET website as well as blogs, newsletters and social networks.

Other companies from the embedded computing industry are invited to join the association and contribute their ideas. In addition to embedded computer manufacturers at board and system level the invitation also extends to chip and connector manufacturers, research and educational institutions, embedded system integrators, OEM solution providers and industrial users.

Collaboration on Fifth-Generation (5G) mobile network research

National Instruments has announced its collaboration with TU-Dresden on the exploration of new technologies for 5G wireless systems using NI LabVIEW system design software. Research on 5G wireless systems is in its infancy as 3.5G and 4G systems are still largely in development. TU-Dresden previously pioneered 3G systems research in conjunction with the Vodafone Chair Mobile Communications Systems, which is dedicated to cutting-edge research in wireless communication technology.

“National Instruments RF and communications tools will enable us to design OFDM prototyping systems within a single software design flow,” said Dr. Gerhard Fettweis, Head of the Vodafone Chair Mobile Communications Systems. “With the modular NI PXI system, we can start with a SISO link and expand to complex MIMO configuration with limited modifications to the code, exceeding an 8x8 setup, as our research evolves.”

“TU-Dresden is one of the world’s top research universities, and they’re leading the way in groundbreaking research to prototype next-generation wireless communication systems,” said Dr. James Truchard, President, CEO and Cofounder of National Instruments. “We are proud to accelerate the development of future technologies that will ultimately impact anyone who uses a cellphone.” 

• More about 5G on 5Ginfo Blogspot!

Power usage monitoring made easy

Gemini Data Loggers has developed an Energy Logger, a safe and non-invasive tool for monitoring power usage of individual devices and complete premises/installations. It provides the level of performance required by experts with the simplicity of use required by energy management novices, and is suitable for assessment of energy efficiency of both single and three phase power supplies.

The Energy Logger enables clear assessment of energy efficiency for rapid identification of power hungry or inefficient equipment, peak load and unnecessary idling times – in turn allowing significant cost savings to be made through implementation of new equipment and processes.

The Tinytag Energy Logger can be used as both a hand-held unit for spot checks and as a data logger for longer term monitoring. Operation is deliberately easy; logging can be initiated by the touch of a button, so users do not need a laptop to operate the device on site. In common with all Tinytag products, the logger is configured with Tinytag Explorer software that does not require user training and which has been developed for flexibility and simplicity.

Lightweight, portable and self-configuring, the device does not require the exposure of any live wires or terminals so it is also safe. Non-invasive flexible coils are used to monitor the current in each phase of a three phase supply while the voltage information may be obtained via a standard 13A wall socket. As a result, novice users are able to quickly and simply record energy usage information, whilst expert users can use the unit to record more detailed information about the supply. For example, the instrument provides 'Power Factor' (PF) data which is a measure of power transmission efficiency. The PF is significant because of the way power companies bill their customers; they will usually charge a higher rate for industrial or commercial customers with a low PF.

The Energy Logger will prove an essential tool for organisations aiming for a reduction in their energy consumption and assist them with their objectives for achieving or maintaining the ISO 14001 environmental standard. In such cases the Energy Logger provides straightforward, detailed and accurate assessment of energy usage, enabling the necessary steps to be made for improved performance.

Nigel Palmer, Sales Manager at Gemini Data Loggers, is delighted with the Tinytag Energy Logger. He says "Cost reduction is obviously a major benefit of this device; not just in terms of lower electricity bills, but also, for many organisations, in compliance with the CRC EES regulations. Electricity consumption is also a significant component of a company's carbon footprint and as such the effective evaluation of energy efficiency is an important part of environmental or sustainability policy.”

The Energy Logger is the latest in a series of data loggers that have been developed by Gemini for a wide range of applications over the last 19 years. It joins a range of conventional stand-alone data loggers and a radio data logging system designed to support a range of energy efficiency applications, by monitoring temperature, humidity and other environmental parameters.

• Tiny Tag products are marketed in Ireland by Manotherm!

Is your equipment warm and dry?

Rittal enclosure heaters provide a high level of energy efficiency due to the incorporation of self-regulating positive temperature coefficient (PTC) technology. Developed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), the heaters provide superior heating performance whilst maintaining the physical dimensions of previous models.

Fitting is by either snap-fastening onto 35mm support rails or direct screw-fixing onto the mounting plate and the quick and easy assembly is completed using clamp-type wiring terminals.
Precise temperature control is achieved simply by including a thermostat in the supply to the heater. Alternatively, where low air temperatures inside the enclosure are to be avoided to prevent the formation of condensation, control may be effected by connect-ing a hygrostat in the same manner. Both a thermo-stat and hygrostat can be integrated so that the heater is controlled on both temperature and relative humidity.

The operating temperature range of electrical equip-ment tends to have a lower limit as well as an upper one and therefore providing heating in either indoor or outdoor enclosures may be as crucial as supplying cooling, particularly in changeable climates.

With thermal outputs in the range of 10W to 800W, either a single Rittal enclosure heater, or multiples thereof, can maintain a warm and dry environment for electrical equipment, whatever the size of enclosure.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

New fieldbus wiring hubs to reduce network costs

MTL Instruments, now part of Cooper Crouse-Hinds, has released the new F300 Series of Megablock wiring hubs for fieldbus applications. The F300 Megablock is designed for general purpose, Zone 2 and Division 2 hazardous area applications where the high energy trunk can be powered by a wide range of fieldbus power supplies and the ability to conduct live maintenance - such as replacement of field devices in hazardous areas is desirable. Live connection and disconnection of fieldbus spurs without a gas clearance certificate is allowed with Ex ic and non-incendive field devices but where live-working of the spurs is not required, Ex d (flameproof) or Ex nA (normally non-sparking) field devices may be selected.

The new F300 Series features a pluggable Trunk In/Out connector allowing replacement of a Megablock without breaking the trunk connection to other devices on the fieldbus segment. The compact F97 terminator may be mounted in the Trunk out connection to provide termination when the Megablock is located at the end of the fieldbus segment. It can be removed when the segment is extended, thus ensuring correct termination.

Megablocks minimize hand wiring and allow individual devices to be added to and removed from the segment without disrupting network communication. The pluggable connectors are screw secured ensuring reliable connections even in high vibration environments. Attention to detail includes the +/S/- fieldbus connections to prevent intermittent connection to an adjacent terminal causing fieldbus failure. A green power LED on each unit indicates whether at least 10V of DC power is present and pluggable surge protection components for the fieldbus trunk and individual spurs are available as an option, reducing the installed cost of providing surge protection on fieldbus networks.

The F300 Series Megablocks are part of the recently created FieldPlus™ brand initiative from MTL that is designed to make fieldbus component selection as easy as possible based on the network architecture being employed. By visiting, system integrators, specifiers and engineers alike can benefit from MTL’s range of differentiated fieldbus solutions, providing assistance in selecting the optimum architecture to deliver customer value. The FieldPlus™ brand brings together MTL’s range of fieldbus products enabling you to easily recognise a suite of products designed with the Industrial Networks values of Intelligence, Flexibility, Safety and Control.

Miniature dust-proof detection switch

Unique and cost effective solution for electrical systems exposed to dry environments

Omron Electronic Components Europe unique new dust proof switch provides a very cost effective solution for the great many domestic and commercial electrical systems that don’t need a fully waterproof solution. Priced lower than typical fully sealed alternatives, the new Omron D2FD ultra-sub miniature dust proof detection switch is sealed to IP6x, and complements the fully sealed switches in Omron’s range such as the D2QW.

By using rubber packing, Omron has created a low cost switch that is very effectively protected against dust and other dry contaminants with a J-size case of 6.5 x 12.8 x 6mm. The switch is based on a single leaf moving spring design, and is available in a total of 12 versions, with solder or PCB terminals, pin plunger, hinge lever or simulated roller lever actuators, rated at 2A or 0.1A. The D2FD is protected against dust to IP6 standards but provides no protection against liquids.

For applications exposed to wet or damp environments, they offer a number of fully sealed solutions including the D2QW, that conforms to IP67 standards in the same J-size case. Featuring Omron’s high reliability slide contact technology, the D2QW-series offers a silent ON/OFF operation with an extra-long stroke even without levers. This large over travel allows the manufacturer of the application to use tooling with a wider tolerance to save costs.

Suitable for use at temperatures between -40°C and +85°C, the drip-proof structure make this the ideal switch to use in harsh environmental conditions, such as in automotive, industrial and machinery applications as well as energy, home appliance and building automation applications where exposure to moisture is experienced.

Connectors now online!

Intelliconnect (Europe) has been renowned for fast turnaround custom connector design. Now, to speed up the buying process for customer’s requiring standard products, new pages have been added to their website showing stock levels of their wide range of standard products.

Intelliconnect manufacture one of the widest ranges of connectors available to designers including; N,C,TNC, 7/16, SMA, SMB, MCX, Triax, 3.5mm, 2.92mm, 2.4mm, 1.85mm millimetre-wave (“mmwave”) products and Triax and Quadrax types. Intelliconnect also offers waterproof versions of all connectors with protection to IP68 when connectors are unmated.

If the required connecter is not in stock most connector, adapter, cable assembly solutions are available within a maximum of 6 to 8 weeks with quotations and drawings confirmed within 24 hours of enquiry.

The new stock index pages will be available from links on the Intelliconnect homepage as well as from all product pages. Each product family has an individual stock page and links to data-sheet PDFs

Roy Philips, Managing Director of Intelliconnect, comments. "Adding the availability of standard product stock to our website is a direct response to customer requests. We operate in a global market with buyers needing stock information 24/7 and we hope this information will assist our customers with their design, planning and purchasing activities. Sourcing all of our own components and manufacturing in the UK improves our production processes and ensures our lead-times are the best in the industry for any size of order.”

Intelliconnect offer fast, flexible and reliable delivery times from local stock, short manufacturing lead-times and lower inventory costs with Kanban and JIT available. A low carbon footprint is maintained as all components are sourced in Britain.

Typical applications for Intelliconnect RF connectors include medical, telecoms, satcoms, military, aerospace, space, general microwave communications, rail traction, oil and gas and marine. Intelliconnect also manufacture the market leading Pisces range of waterproof RF connectors, coaxial adaptors to facilitate inter-series connection and gender change etc. dust-caps and offer value added services including custom cable assemblies.

In the event that customers are unable to find a suitable standard connector for their application Intelliconnect are happy to provide custom designed solutions with low NRE and very short lead-times, typically 7 weeks from design acceptance.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Basic analog function generator offers high waveform quality

Aim-TTi has extended their TG300 series of low cost analog function generators by adding a model with vernier-dial setting of frequency. The TG310 is the most basic generator in the range and lacks the digital display of frequency and level that is included on other models.

The generator can produce sine, square, triangle, pulse and ramp waveforms from 0.03Hz up to 3MHz. Variable bi-directional symmetry with constant frequency is provided over a ten to one range. An external sweep input allows the frequency on each range to be varied by at least 1000:1.

The TG310 provides a main output with a maximum emf of 20V pk-pk from a 50 Ohms or 600 Ohms source. An amplitude vernier with a range of 20dB is combined with two switched attenuators of -20dB and -40dB to provide levels down to 2mV pk-pk un-terminated.
Unlike some other lower cost function generators, high waveform quality is maintained down to very low levels with minimal noise and waveform aberrations.

Variable DC offset of +/-10V is available via a centre detent control. An auxiliary output provides a fixed 0V to +5V level suitable for driving both TTL and CMOS loads

Monday, May 28, 2012

Best ever robot sales in Britain...but

Sales of robots from January to March 2012 have outstripped sales in any other quarter to date. Unfortunately the picture is not as good as it seems. The continuing success of the automotive industry in Britain is leading to record orders for robots. However, other sectors are not yet realising the benefits that increased use of robots do provide.

Staeubli Robot
In the first quarter robot sales of 923 units were recorded which is larger than the annual total for many of the previous years. Automotive orders contributed 85% of this figure. Mike Wilson, British Automation and Robot Association Chairman said "these large investments show the commitment of the automotive companies to their UK manufacturing facilities, however, robot sales in some other sectors, such as food and drink, are not keeping up with the increasing use of robots worldwide. Automotive continuing to buy robots is not a particular surprise – they recognise the benefits to their manufacturing. Our concern is the broader picture and the risk to competitiveness that will result from lack of investment in automation technologies”.

Grant Collier, Head of Marketing for the PPMA Group of Associations added "The free Government backed Automating Manufacturing Programme is starting to address these issues, showing manufacturers how they can benefit from automation and providing assistance on the first steps towards implementing automation.” Applications to date have come from a wide range of industries, including a significant number from the food sector. He continued, “the initial review is funded by the UK government, the application process is simple, all companies should be looking at this as a route to improve their manufacturing operations”.

Secure panel feed-throughs for industrial PROFINET device interfaces

Harting has introduced a range of new panel feed-throughs in extremely robust metal housings for use with its Han® PushPull (variant 14 to IEC 61076-3-117): the standardised RJ45 connector to protection type IP 65/67 for industrial PROFINET cabling.

The new feed-throughs are available for circular and square panel cut-outs for integration into industrial devices and switch cabinets.

A key feature of these new devices is their significantly improved electromagnetic compatibility. The category 6 performance of the RJ45 female module offers system reserves that are high enough to carry not only standard Industrial Ethernet but also 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet signals.

The RJ45 socket inserts have a 360° shield to increase electromagnetic compatibility and ensure interference immunity for the transmission path. Even at burst interference levels greater than 4 kV, stable and secure industrial Ethernet transmission is guaranteed. The flexible grounding concept also provides users with a greater number of options.

The feed-throughs allow rapid and easy fitting into devices and switch cabinets as well as retrofitting existing housings with a PROFINET interface to protection type IP 65/67. Users can choose from two RJ45 inserts. The RJ45 female model RJ Industrial® Bulkhead Cat.6 (with two RJ45 connectors) makes it possible to route the Ethernet signal inside the device or switch cabinet with simple IP 20 patch cables. The RJ45 cable socket Ha-VIS preLink® (with one RJ45 connector and eight IDC connections) allows easy and rapid build - pre-assembled or on site in the field - with an insulation displacement connection for connecting data cables to AWG 22/7 - AWG 23/1 cross sections.

Electromagnetic compatibility - and particularly protection against bursts - is critical in terms of the interference immunity of field devices in automation environments. Bursts consist of low-energy but transient interference that can couple capacitively with Ethernet data signals in applications such as welding equipment, and can compromises reliable communication with affected bus slaves.

To enable users to decide on the grounding concept for their equipment, RJ45 female connectors lock into the metal panel feed-through, making it potential free and therefore electrically insulated. This ensures that the RJ45 shield potential and the chassis ground are not connected by accident.

Users wishing to ground the RJ45 shield potential can clamp it to the metal panel feed-through or the RJ45 female connector via a blade connector. This effectively diverts electromagnetic interference coupling to the data shield and prevents it from entering the device.