Friday, July 6, 2012

MS sustainability partner announced!

The Microsoft Partner Awards recognize Microsoft partners who have developed and delivered exceptional Microsoft-based solutions throughout the past year.
Iconics has won the 2012 Microsoft Sustainability Partner of the Year Award. The company was honored among a global field of over 3000 top Microsoft partners for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of solutions based on Microsoft technology, that help organizations around the world reduce their impact on the environment and reduce their energy costs.

"Iconics is extremely pleased and honored to have been selected for this prestigious global award from Microsoft recognizing innovation and success at providing software solutions that help customers reduce consumption and environmental impact," said Russ Agrusa, President and CEO of Iconics. "Our Energy and Facility AnalytiXTM solutions reinforce the strength of our relationship with Microsoft, as well as our commitment to providing our customers and partners with cutting edge energy and sustainability solutions."

"For its commitment to helping customers increase the energy-efficiency of their operations, Iconics, Inc. is recognized by Microsoft as the 2012 Sustainability Partner of the Year," said Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist for Microsoft. "By using the Microsoft technology platform to harness the power of real-time data from manufacturing and facility operations, Iconics has achieved outstanding results in driving customer sustainability efforts and reducing energy costs across multiple industries."

SMT cover for Switzerland

AdoptSMT Swiss AG has been founded as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AdoptSMT Europe GmbH. The Swiss market had already been supported by them and plays a key role in the sector of pre-owned placement machines for automated assembly of PCBs. The AdoptSMT Group has always been happy to purchase pre-owned machines from its Swiss customers, knowing that they receive well maintained machines and equipment.

The step towards founding an own Swiss subsidiary has been strongly supported by AdoptSMT’s second market segment, which has been steadily growing over the last two years with the continuous business of consumables, spare parts and tools. These typically smaller but recurring dealings will highly benefit from delivery to the end customer without any customs clearing. The new Swiss subsidiary will do exactly that. The more direct support of the Swiss market will also be enjoyed by our new suppliers Count On Tools (nozzles for LEDs, connectors and standard SMD parts) and Nortec (ID solutions, especially high temperature labels), which we have added to our range of suppliers this year.

The management of AdoptSMT Swiss AG will be initially handled by Erhard Hofmann, founder and managing partner of the AdoptSMT Group. Commenting on the company foundation he explained: “Due to our new suppliers Count On Tools and Nortec, as well as an additional supplier to be announced soon, the Swiss market has reached the critical mass, which justifies the foundation of the Swiss subsidiary. Due to the direct support of our Swiss customers from within Swiss territory, we expect a significant sales increase in Switzerland, especially in the area of spare parts, consumables and tools.”

AdoptSMT will be recruiting additional sales staff who have mastered the required language skills for this important high-tech market.

Saved silver!

Hach Lange has presented the British National Laboratory Service (NLS) with a silver bar made from recycled chemical reagents, in recognition of the organisation’s achievements in waste minimisation. Accepting the ingot on behalf of the NLS laboratory in Nottingham, inorganics team leader Richard Yates said “Tiny quantities of silver are employed in the tests that we conduct for COD - chemical oxygen demand – which is one of the most important tests of wastewater strength, so it is gratifying to be provided with physical proof that our recycling strategy is effective.”

Stuart Dalrymple, Hach Lange
with Richard Yates, NLS
The ingot was forged from silver that has been reclaimed from the spent chemical reagents of approximately 10,000 COD tests that were collected by the company's dedicated recycling centre. In addition to waste reagents; bottles, cuvettes and packaging are also recycled and the facility now recycles over 75% of returned materials.

The NLS, through a national network of laboratories, has undertaken vitally important analytical work on behalf of the Environment Agency since 1996, providing test and measurement services for air, water and soil, applying the very latest techniques and ensuring the best possible levels of accuracy and data reliability.

In the past, the majority of tests at the NLS lab in Nottingham were conducted on behalf of the Agency, but Richard says “In recent years we have taken on a much greater proportion of external commercial work, providing the water industry, waste management businesses and commercial companies with regulatory monitoring services for a wide range of parameters. In addition to COD, inorganic determinands also include BOD, nutrients such as phosphates and nitrates, phenols, suspended solids and many others.”

Presenting the silver ingot, hach Lange’s Stuart Dalrymple said “The accuracy and reliability of environmental analysis is greatly enhanced when reagent quantities are controlled as tightly as possible, so the pre-filled tubes or cuvettes that we supply are ideal because they are manufactured to extremely tight specifications, bar-coded and delivered ready-for-use. This substantially removes the opportunity for human error, because each tube contains precise amounts of reagent chemicals and the bar-code on each tube is recognised by the spectrophotometer. Importantly, whilst the cuvette tests closely follow the reference methods, such as ISO 15705, the COD cuvette test uses 90% less chemical reagents.”

To conduct a COD test, samples of water, wastewater or leachate are added to the pre-filled tubes which are then heated to form a coloured solution which is analysed by a HACH LANGE photometer. The NLS lab in Nottingham employs a HACH LANGE DR3800 spectrophotometer to perform daily COD tests ranging from 30 to 120 tests per day. However, a new DR 3900 instrument with RFID technology has recently been on trial to study the potential advantages in traceability.

Summarising, Mark Gale, NLS Nottingham Laboratory Manager said “The cuvette test for COD provides the level of accuracy and reliability that customers expect from the NLS, and our longstanding commitment to the reagent recycling service exemplifies our determination to provide a leading example of the ways in which laboratories can minimise the effects of their activities on the environment.”

Thursday, July 5, 2012

1st dedicated ZigBee RF4CE chip for set-top box and gateway!

GreenPeak’s GP510 communication controller with integrated MAC and network layer for efficient in-house data communication management

GreenPeak Technologies has announced the general availability of its GP510 communication controller chip, supporting all communication between ZigBee RF4CE enabled devices and the set-top box or gateway. The GP510 is GreenPeak’s answer to the increasing market demand for making the set-top box the ZigBee RF4CE hub for the home.

Facilitating the transition from traditional IR for the set-top box to ZigBee RF4CE communication technology, the GP510 system-on-chip has been developed as a low cost RF4CE solution designed for the new generation ZigBee set-top boxes. The GP510 combines GreenPeak’s unique competitive advantages and is optimized for low cost BOM while providing superior range and reliability.

Superior Wi-Fi interference robustness in combination with patented antenna diversity technology results in approximately twice the reliable range (compared to similar systems with only one antenna) in a crowded wireless 2.4 GHz environment, enabling full home coverage. The integrated RF filtering simplifies the RF design complexity which enables low cost single layer applications using simple PCB antennas requiring no shielding and a minimum number of external components.

The MAC and network layer are integrated for efficient data communication management and the embedded ZigBee RF4CE network layer enables fast and simple integration. The chip is fully compliant with the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, providing robust spread spectrum data communication with a highly secure encrypted data flow.

A complete suite of interfaces to the main processor is available (SPI, TWI or UART-based).

“The market for ZigBee RF4CE is ramping quickly and we see the remote control/set-top box market now growing into the millions per month. The GP510 is GreenPeak’s answer to this increasing demand and delivers an optimized architecture for the new generation set-top box. The set-top box is increasingly becoming the internet gateway into the home, combining the distribution of entertainment content as well as management data from sense and control applications for the smart home.” says Cees Links, Founder and CEO of GreenPeak Technologies.

GP510 development kits are available to assist OEMs to evaluate the GP510, to facilitate their integration and to allow a simple implementation of ZigBee RF4CE technology in the set-top box for a quick time to market.

High-accuracy current measurement to electric vehicle battery packs

Transducer specialist LEM has announced the CAB high-accuracy current transducer that enables makers of battery packs for Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) to achieve a new level of precision when measuring current flow into and out of the battery. Car makers need this data to maximise the range of the vehicle, to keep the battery in good condition, and to enable use of the optimum size of battery pack.
(State-Of-Charge (SOC) is a critical measurement function in EVs and HEVs. During the driving cycle the battery is either driving the vehicle, or current flow is reversed in regenerative braking or charging, returning energy to the battery. In these transient conditions battery voltage does not give a good indication of SOC – each unit of charge (Coulombs) delivered by, and returned to, the battery has to be accurately tracked, which demands precise current measurement.)

LEM's CAB transducer offers current measurement capability of up to ±400A, with unlimited overload capacity, and with excellent accuracy: Coulomb-counting error over the driving cycle is reduced to under 0.1%. It is galvanically-isolated and non-intrusive; no electrical connection to the power circuit is needed. This ensures safe operation and, in contrast to techniques that use a sensing resistor in the power feed, generates no waste heat or losses.

The CAB takes the form of a small panel-mounted module measuring just 71 x 52 x 21 mm, excluding mountings, that has an aperture through which the primary (battery feed to the vehicle motors) conductor passes. It operates from the vehicle's 12V power supply, and is rated for operation from -40 to +105 ºC. The CAB transducer transmits its data to the EV/HEV's control circuitry using the automotive-industry standard CAN bus; LEM can supply variants that deliver data via other bus and interface standards, on request.

In the CAB transducer, LEM chose to use its proven implementation of the fluxgate principle. Fluxgate transducers use an advanced magnetic current-measurement principle that inherently cancels or nulls many of the offset and drift errors that appear in simpler current-sensing techniques.

Water industry embraces process optimisation

Tighter discharge consents are forcing the water industry to make further investments in wastewater treatment and this will increase costs and CO2 emissions. One of the main tools with which the industry can offset this effect is process optimisation, and Andy Thornton, a wastewater treatment specialist at Hach Lange, reports outstanding levels of success from plants across Britain that have implemented the company’s real-time monitoring and control system; W.T.O.S. (Wastewater Treatment Optimisation Solution).

Under the W.T.O.S. umbrella, the company has developed a range of Real Time Control (RTC) modules that can be applied to many of the most common treatment techniques. These currently include nitrification control in activated sludge, denitrification control, BAFF process control and cell management, sludge age control, chemical dosing control for phosphate removal, sludge thickening/polymer dosing control and dewatering control.

Each RTC is implemented on an industrial PC which communicates with a controller (sc1000) network and the local PLC. The W.T.O.S. RTC modules continuously deliver set points to the PLC, which applies them to the process and ensures that response to changing conditions is immediate.

Several of the initial W.T.O.S. systems have been operational for over two years and Andrew Thornton says “All of them are reporting very significant savings – 25% reduction in energy (electricity) consumption is not uncommon. This represents an enormous cost saving, whilst also helping to meet tighter consents and lower the plants’ carbon footprint.”

Multi-colour backlighting panels

IGT Industries now offers innovative thin-film back-lighting on its range of scalable, vandal and water resistant custom capacitive touch panels.

IGT Capacitive switching with tri-colour
LED illumination
Capacitive touchscreens have many advantages in both consumer and industrial MMI/HMl interfaces and are widely used in applications including mobile phones, MP3 players, PDAS, home entertainment, home automation systems and brown and white goods. Their use in industrial applications has been limited until recently due to screen size limitations, low screen resolution and a lack of visual clarity.

The most recent IGT development combines, in one thin layer, capacitive switching and multi-colour area-specific backlighting provided by use of remote LEDs and thin light guides embedded into the capacitive sensing flexible layer. By successfully combining these two leading-edge technologies, secret-until-lit areas, colour changes on key operation and colour-coded visual directions including simple animation effects can communicate the end system’s operating mode.

Terry Moss, Sales and Marketing Manager of IGT Industries, comments, “IGT Industries is a market leader in the design and manufacture of user interface systems. Our market leading capacitive switching solutions offer tri-colour LED thin film illumination with selective area backlighting. Our ability to integrate other styles of operator interfaces into our keyboards, including joysticks, rollerballs, glide pads, touchscreens and conventional tactile and non-tactile keypads, allows us to offer our customers very flexible solutions to their control needs.”

ln style-driven applications where appearance and functionality are equally important, this versatile innovative technology from IGT provides a new, user-friendly product interface that offers a sleek, bezel-free appearance and outstanding user feedback combined with excellent reliability and long life due to the absence of moving parts.

Capacitive touchscreen technology combined with selective thin-film backlighting from IGT offers users numerous advantages over other forms of MMI including increased security. The touchscreen will work behind a protective overlay and when mounted to the rear face of a glass, polycarbonate or acrylic front panel HMI units are resistant to both accidental and deliberate damage, enabling them to be used in public-facing applications such as information kiosks and self-service ticketing machines. The control surface does not have to be flat, so the MMI/HMl assembly can be embedded into more ergonomic and aesthetically attractive units.

IGT capacitive switching solutions can be sealed to lP66 or greater against the ingress of dust or water, enabling them to be installed and used outdoors or in dusty industrial applications where the screens can be successfully operated while wearing a thick glove.

Customers can specify the sensitivity of their IGT capacitive keyboard and to prevent operator errors adjacent key suppression can be enabled, a particular advantage in very high sensitivity units.

lGT are happy to develop a custom software interface to suit the end equipment to be controlled and units with USB, l2C, SPl, UART and other standard interfaces have been developed.

Light blocking features can be included to give high optical isolation and good contrast between segments. Conductive pads or tracking for capacitive and other switch technologies can be printed within the light guide structure and a top graphic or diffusing material is then added.

IGT Industries offers its customers a time and cost saving single source for complete in house control panel design and manufacture. IGT-Industries HMI products may be specified for use in environmentally hostile conditions and are suitable for use in Marine, Aviation, Railway, Medical, MIL, Industrial, Fire, Security, Telecom and most other electronics applications.

Submersible pressure transducer

PVL has extended its range of pressure transducers with the TDH80 submersible device from Transducers Direct, providing a low cost yet industrial grade solution for accurate pressure measurement.

Manufactured in stainless steel for assured long-life operation in a wide range of applications, the TDH80 employs advanced piezeoresistance technology to deliver an accuracy of ±0.5% with excellent long term stability. Pressure ranges of 0-5 PSIG, 0-10 PSIG and 0-15 PSIG are available as standard, with custom ranges available on request. The TDH80 provides an industry standard 4-20mA output.

• Rated for > 4m pressure cycles
• Temperature range from -20°C to +80°C
• 316 stainless steel diaphragm material
• Fluorosilicone sealing material
• Bullet nose or 1/4 NPT pressure connection

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Connection for connectors!

SOURIAU relaunches its industrial website with a new intuitive e-catalogue. This catalogue covers the broad range of metal, plastic, circular and rectangular connectors used extensively in industrial, medical, instrumentation and renewable energy where robust interconnects are required.

A new section is dedicated to custom overmolded cable assemblies.

Initially the e-catalogue will provide easily accessible information on the popular UTS series and will be gradually expanded to cover all industrial-style interconnect solutions from SOURIAU.

Attractive features of the e-catalogue include search by:

- Part number
- Number of contacts
- Power requirements

Users can also compare features between connector types.

Simple animations describe how parts are assembled for use. PDF and 3D models will be available for all popular series as the e-catalogue expands. UTS models are available right now.

The e-catalogue will also feature typical applications drawn from actual experience.

Users will be able to conclude transaction by checking real time availability and ordering directly through SOURIAU’s extensive global distribution network.

Extended wireless coverage

New active repeater for T24 wireless telemetr system extends range and coverage

LCM Systems has launched the latest addition to the T24 wireless telemetry system for multiple data acquisition in real time. The T24-AR is a wireless active repeater designed to increase the range and overall coverage of the system, the major benefit being its ability to enable T24 modules to transmit around obstructions.

The T24 itself is a versatile set of products, based around proprietary acquisition devices that can be mixed and matched to provide high quality remote readings for critical applications. The acquisition modules can provide data to multiple output devices and the new T24-AR can effectively double the radio range as the messages are repeated once. Without the use of the repeater, the T24 has a range of up to 200m (650ft) and although the use of multiple repeaters will not increase the range beyond 400m (1300ft), the area of coverage can be extended by combining multiple acquisition modules in strategic positions. The T24-AR acts as a transparent link between these modules and the base station or handheld display.

A number of acquisition modules are available. For strain gauges, there is a five-wire measurement device - the T24-SA, while the T24-VA voltage acquisition accepts 0-10V, and the T24-IA accepts 0-20mA, suitable for a wide range of sensors with a 4-20mA output. This means that a wide range of sensors can be wirelessly monitored including load cells, inclinometers, accelerometers, displacement LVDT, pressure, temperature, humidity, pH and shock.

The Repeater is powered either by alkaline ‘D’ cells or an external power supply and is rated to IP65 and NEMA4 protected. As with all modules in the T24 system, the T24-AR is easy to configure via a PC and the user-friendly Windows package T24 toolkit software.

LCM Systems can offer a fully integrated system solution comprising of load cells and wireless telemetry products, packaged into a fully functional bespoke solution to meet customers’ specific requirements.

Webcasts to help speed the development of all M & C systems

Father of Labview to introduce summer web seminar

Engineers and scientists are invited to join National Instruments UK & Ireland throughout the month of August to explore the world of NI LabVIEW and the graphical system design approach, through the Summer of LabVIEW webcasts.  Beginning with a Keynote presentation from the “Father of LabVIEW” Jeff Kodosky, the series of 16 interactive webcasts will highlight how LabVIEW speeds the development of any measurement or control system. 

Jeff Kodosky
Taking place from 7th to 31st August, every webcast in the series will be broadcast twice each day, at 10am and 2pm, giving participants the opportunity to interact and chat with presenters and fellow attendees.   Webcasts will also be available on demand after the series is complete.  For more details and to register for the webcasts please go to 

Whether attendees are considering using LabVIEW, or experts in its use, there will be sessions to cover the full range of expertise.  With presentations including “Taking Measurements with LabVIEW” and “Tips and Tricks from a LabVIEW Architect” the month long series will provide many valuable time-saving tips and expert programming techniques.  The full programme for the Summer of LabVIEW webcast series is follows:

• Week 1: Explaining the Fundamentals 

Keynote: Why LabVIEW? Presented by Jeff Kodosky, the “Father of LabVIEW”   
Tuesday 7th August: 10am & 2pm. 
Hear about the core principles which have driven LabVIEW development for the past twenty-five years and which will continue to drive the vision for graphical system design. Learn from one of the cofounders of NI about the software and engineering trends to impact our lives in the future. 

What is LabVIEW? 
Wednesday 8th August: 10am & 2pm.
LabVIEW is a comprehensive development environment that contains all the tools engineers and scientists need to design and deploy measurement and control systems. In this webcast, learn the fundamentals of graphical system design and discover how LabVIEW can benefit applications by providing diverse real-world measurements, signal processing and analysis, advanced control and desktop, embedded and industrial deployment. 

Taking Measurements with LabVIEW 
Thursday 9th August: 10am & 2pm. 
Learn how to use LabVIEW graphical system design software to accelerate productivity and create custom applications for data acquisition and instrument control. LabVIEW provides tight integration with hardware, simplifying the process of automating measurement acquisition from a wide variety of sensors and 3rd party instruments over any bus. 

Explore the LabVIEW Ecosystem 
Friday 10th August: 10am & 2pm. 
Find out about a host of useful resources to support system development and the infrastructure that surrounds LabVIEW. 

• Week 2: Summer School for LabVIEW Developers

What's New in LabVIEW 2012
Tuesday 14th August: 10am & 2pm.

In this webcast, learn how LabVIEW 2012 stands firm as the ultimate system design software. With over 25 years success, LabVIEW has enabled engineers worldwide to innovate with confidence. Learn how LabVIEW continues to enhance the integrity and efficiency of system design.

Using LabVIEW Templates to Accelerate and Simplify Software Development
Wednesday 15th August: 10am & 2pm.
LabVIEW 2012 features new templates and sample projects that reduce development time and complexity by providing strong foundations for new applications. This webcast discusses the value of the LabVIEW design patterns, such as state machines and queued message handlers, and how to select an appropriate core architecture for your software.

Make Your Application More Stable: Handle Those Errors
Thursday 16th August: 10am & 2pm
Find out how to handle errors that occur in mission critical applications to minimise their effects. From simple applications to multi-target and multi-loop applications, understand some of the best methodologies for managing errors.

Producing Intuitive and Professional User Interfaces
Friday 17th August: 10am & 2pm.

Modern software users expect style as well as substance, and creating intuitive, engaging graphical user interfaces (GUI) has become a real challenge. GUIs are required to display increasing complex information in an intuitive, professional and easy to interpret format. This webcast provides simple, practical techniques for maximising the usability and professionalism of LabVIEW front panels.

• Week 3: LabVIEW Beyond the Desktop

Introduction to LabVIEW Real-Time and FPGA
Tuesday 21st August: 10am & 2pm.

Learn how to use LabVIEW FPGA and LabVIEW Real-Time to take advantage of NI stand alone reconfigurable embedded systems. Gain information on FPGA hardware, real-time operating systems and embedded design application examples

Mobile Technology for Measurement Applications
Wednesday 22nd August: 10am & 2pm.  

Smartphones and tablets are everywhere and have great possibilities for viewing data. Find out how NI is helping engineers and scientists to take advantage of mobile technology for measurement and control applications.

High Throughput FPGA for Test with NI FlexRIO
Thursday 23rd August: 10am & 2pm.

The NI FlexRIO product line introduced significant new capabilities to the PXI platform, but efficiently utilising them requires a thorough understanding of LabVIEW FPGA. Learn how to maximise success and minimise development time by following the NI-recommended design methodology. This webcast will explore key features of LabVIEW which enable high performance FPGA design, by following an in-depth case study of a typical application.

Designing Vision Systems including 3D Vision and the Microsoft Kinect
Friday 24th August: 10am & 2pm.

Watch as we examine the functionality of the Kinect to divulge how stereovision works. Learn how this 3D technique has become prevalent for industrial inspection, autonomous robotics and consumer electronics. Examine the considerations when working with 3D vision, including calibration and sensor setup with NI software.

• Week 4: Taking the Next Steps with LabVIEW
Best Practices for Software Development and Configuration Management
Tuesday 28th August: 10am & 2pm.

Whether an individual developer or working in a large team, the use of software development best practices can help engineers and scientists to ensure the quality and reliability of their LabVIEW applications. Learn how to manage source code using the LabVIEW Project and configuration management tools, enforce good coding practices and ways to test code to help find bugs earlier.

How and Why to use LabVIEW Object Oriented Programming
Wednesday 29th August: 10am & 2pm.

Object Oriented Programming (OOP) allows us to maximise the extensibility and reuse of application code. This session introduces the fundamentals of OOP in LabVIEW and how design patterns map from traditional LabVIEW programming through to maintainable OOP implementations and hardware abstract layers.

The Power of LabVIEW Scripting
Thursday 30th August: 10am & 2pm.

Ever wished you could enable LabVIEW to create, move and wire block diagram functions, edit connector panes and create new VIs on the fly? This session will show you how to programmatically generate, modify and inspect G code. A familiarity with VI Server is recommended but certainly not required.

Tips and Tricks from a LabVIEW Architect
Friday 31st August: 10am & 2pm.

This webcast is hosted by a highly skilled Certified LabVIEW architect, who will introduce tips, tricks and best practices for programming in LabVIEW.

A pragmatic visionary engineer!

"An entrepreneur must always be restless," is the motto that characterises the entire life's work of Dietmar Harting. Thanks to his determination to make things happen, matched by stoic composure and the right instincts for new technologies the Harting Technology Group has advanced to the position of a worldwide market leader for electrical and electronic connection technology - with Dietmar Harting at the helm.

Dietmar Harting
For 45 years the 72-year old has headed the family business his parents founded in 1945. In 1973 Dietmar Harting took up the position of managing partner at Harting Elektronik GmbH, and since 1996 the father of two and grandfather of six has been active as president and partner of the Harting Technology Group. In the same year, the company's vision was formulated, which states, among others, "We want to shape the future with technologies for people." This statement aptly outlines what has shaped and determined Dietmar Harting as an entrepreneur: visionary ideas for new products and technologies and a consistently sharp look to the future, which never leaves the human factor out of the picture - whether customers, employees, and naturally also his own family. Together with his wife Margrit and their children Philip and Maresa, Dietmar Harting heads the Harting Technology Group. Generating sales of €481 million (ca$610m) and employing a workforce of some 3,400 members of staff in 36 countries, the company ranks among the global players in connection technology.

When Dietmar Harting started his career at the company in 1967 Harting was still manufacturing items of daily everyday use such as lamps and irons. At the time, however, the product portfolio also included the first "electromechanical and electromagnetic components" which were later to be followed by today's worldwide known brand article, the Han(R) connector, that formed the cornerstone of the company's success story. Five years after the death of his father, Dietmar Harting - who graduated in electrical engineering and economic sciences in Munich, Hannover and in Cologne with a degree in business administration - joined his mother Marie Harting at the helm of the company. Thanks to his technical know-how and his far-sightedness driving the consistent internationalization of the Technology Group, the company has charted a steady growth course. In 1987 the family owned and managed business gained additional momentum and dedicated support when Dietmar's wife Margret joined the company and committed herself with heart and soul to advancing the corporate culture. Following the death of Marie Harting in the year 1989 the second generation couple has been standing alone at the helm. The pragmatic, yet visionary technician and the creative powerhouse make the perfect, dynamic duo. In 2005 their son Philip joined the company, followed by his sister Maresa in 2007. At present the entire family is active in managing the company, a viable concept in which "we all respect each other and each of us has their own scope of responsibility." The two children agree, however, "it is our father who still has the last word."

This word not only has weight within the company. Frequently referred to as the "standards pundit" the focus of Dietmar Harting's activities in organizations and associations has focused strongly on standardisation issues. As the first president from a Mittelstand company, Dietmar Harting headed the Central Association of the German Electrical and Electronics Industry (Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e.V. (ZVEI)) from 1998 to 2004. At the end of his tenure he was appointed honorary president in acknowledgement of his accomplishments. As Chairman of the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (DKE) of the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN) and the Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies (VDE) Dietmar Harting, now an honorary member, has always been particularly passionate in advocating and advancing standardisation issues. The DIN ring of honor bestowed in 2009 and the gold pin awarded by DKE in 2010 impressively underscore this outstanding commitment.

Apart from these highly diverse activities Dietmar Harting - who is always perceived by his employees as the perfect gentleman - has always kept a keen eye on "his own front door!" In spite of all the consistent activities geared to internationalisation, this native of Berlin has always remained clearly and firmly committed to the Espelkamp location and the region of East-Westphalia-Lippe. What started as a small production site in 1950 in Espelkamp now spreads out over five manufacturing locations and two company headquarters in Minden and Rahden. The company employs more than 1,900 staff in Germany, who benefit from the company owners' strong commitment to the region in which the enterprise is rooted. "Creating an environment with a high quality of life" is the declared aim of Dietmar and Margret Harting. The couple actively support cultural, societal and sports activities, comprising a wide range of initiatives, ranging from the Neues Theater, in Espelkamp, to the handball club GWD Minden. "The success story of their company is also the success story of this city," declared Heinrich Vieker, mayor of the municipality of Espelkamp, on awarding the honorary citizenship to Margret and Dietmar Harting in 2009. Acknowledgements were also forthcoming from further afield. In recognition of his professional achievements, whether in standardisation, his commitment to Deutsche Messe AG, as well as the Hartings' many cultural and societal contributions, Dietmar and Margret Harting were awarded the Federal Order of Merit First Class in the year 2009.

Apart from his numerous entrepreneurial and honorary activities Dietmar Harting dedicates the remaining time to his particular passions of agriculture and hunting - and to his family. With six grandchildren, the course is set for the fourth generation of Harting family entrepreneurs. They have every reason to be proud of their grandfather and extend their heartfelt congratulations on this special occasion of 45 years of service, which is certainly more than impressive, not only in terms of its duration.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rack mounted PSU

The A3600 series of power supplies from Powerstax (formerly APC), offers system builders a convenient and compact power source for applications including communications, industrial, instrumentation and test and measurement. Offering up to 3600 watts of output power in a 1U high and 350mm deep 19“ rack mount package the Powerstax A3600 can provide single and very flexible multiple output solutions.
All outputs are isolated and may be connected in series or parallel to provide many thousands of possible output configurations or up to 36 individually adjustable single outputs. Input voltage range is nominal 115VAC or 230VAC

The design and topology of the Powerstax A3600 makes it possible to individually adjust, enable, parallel or stack the outputs to provide literally thousands of power solutions and allows rapid mainstream production turnaround of CE marked configured units in a matter of weeks.

Rob Hill, Director of Sales - EMEA for Powerstax, comments: “The Powerstax A3600 series offers designers a low profile, ultra-flexible, cost effective solution which may be configured to meet application specific exact power architecture requirements without undertaking a custom design. The A3600 offers a cost effective and fast time to market solution to many power supply requirements where no apparent solution exists.”

Standard features of the Powerstax A3600 include 1 to 36 isolated outputs with full user configurability, 1.5V to 58VDC standard output voltages, up to 3600W of output power, fully floating outputs providing series and parallel output capability, zero load operation, bias supply voltage 5V @ 250mA, Class B conducted emissions, designed for EN61000-3-2 compliance, universal input, individual control signals and operating temperature range of 0 to +50ºC

Powerstax designs and manufactures an extensive range of standard, value-added and custom AC & DC power solutions for a broad range of fixed and mobile applications including hot swap front- end AC-DC bulk power, DC-DC converter bricks and modules and programmable, modular rack mounted power supplies.

Software centre in Genoa consolodates

Siemens is pooling its Genoese (I) activities at the Technological District in Erzelli and establishing an Industry Software Center which is to host about 600 jobs from 2014 on. They have entered into a long term leasing agreement with the Genova Hightech S.P.A. which will cover 9 years with a 6 year extension option. The overall investment by Siemens will be above 20 million EUR. Signing of the leasing agreement, Siegfried Russwurm, Siemens Board Member and CEO of the Industry Sector, said: "Expanding our industrial software portfolio is one of our strategic levers for the Siemens Industry Sector. Pooling main parts of our activities in Erzelli, Genoa, provides proof of our ongoing commitment to Italy and the expertise of our Siemens Software engineers in the Region of Liguria."

Erzelli Technological District, Genoa (I)
Today, Genoa serves as the worldwide excellence center for Manufacturing Operation Management (MOM) which covers software categories like HMI (Human Machine Interface), MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems), quality systems, plant asset management and others. The new Siemens offices in Erzelli will have about 8.500 m² and host a training center, a data room and around 600 workplaces. After opening, the offices will be used by Siemens employees and external software partners working for Siemens in Genoa. Relocation of the employees is planned after the finalization of the construction in 2014.

Siemens is successfully developing industrial software in Genoa since the company acquired the Italian software firm ORSI Automazione in 2001. Genoa became the headquarter for the development and marketing of SIMATIC IT, the Siemens suite of products for the management of manufacturing operations. In the following years, Siemens has continuously strengthened its portfolio for this growth market.

The latest companies, Siemens has acquired in industrial software are Active Tecnologia em Sistemas de Automação (pharmaceutical and biotech production), Vistagy Inc. (composite material design), IBS AG (quality and production management) and Innotec do Brasil (holistic plant management).

Controlling solar gain

Rittal have a range of cooling units specifically designed for outdoor enclosure applications. If you want your electronic equipment to remain useful for longer when situated outdoors, then give it some air!

Any outdoor enclosure will suffer from solar gain on long and hot summer days and as a result the internal temperature will rise above the ambient. It is well known that the life expectancy of most electronics will fall dramatically with a temperature increase above 30-35° Celsius. Electronics sealed in an outdoor enclosure will effectively cook unless there are some simple measures taken to both remove any generated heat and reduce or eliminate the effect of the sun.

Rittal’s range include several standard outdoor enclosures with twin walls, separated by a 25mm air gap, that provide a suitable home for sensitive equipment. In addition, Rittal are able to supply either built into the enclosure, or as separate “after-market” items, a range of air conditioning units which maintain the IP55 rating of the enclosure.

Designs specifically for use in roof mounting, side wall, rear panel or door mounting applications are available, with cooling capacities ranging between 650W and 1750W and providing from 345m3/hour of cooling air through to over 1090m3/hour to cater for a wide range of circumstances.

If you intend to maintain and provide a reliable environment for your equipment then choose proven outdoor enclosure products from the market leader that will suit your needs and protect your investment.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Catalogue on fluid control products

The new Select Catalogue from Burkert is a short form publication covering premier, fast moving products in their extensive range of fluid control products. The free publication provides a quick and easy aid for selecting valves and sensors for use in the food processing, pharmaceutical, water, petrochemical, medical, bio-medical, beverage and general process control industries.

Ideal for use by customers, distributors, OEMs, contractors and systems integrators, the Select Catalogue is a single source for fluid control products and a key platform in Burkert’s pledge to provide faster deliveries to the British & Irish market.

The Select Catalogue is a complement to Burkert’s main fluid control products catalogue. Covering what is essentially these markets' preferred range, it integrates mainstream products in an easy to read format. To assist product choice, quick selection charts are provided, and product data is listed in a logical format, with tables containing the product function, description and part number.

Burkert’s range of fluid control products is one of the largest and most diverse available, (28,000 types) and this is reflected in the new catalogue. Divided into four main sections: Solenoid Valves, Process Actuation and Networking, Process Valves and Sensors, Transmitters and Controllers, the catalogue includes valve products for use at high pressures, for use with steam and hot media, aggressive chemicals and contaminated fluids, in addition to ATEX rated valves, NAMUR valves, and valves for use with clean water.

Complementing the valve and control products are flow, level, pressure, temperature, conductivity and ph/ORP transmitters. The controllers include batch and PID alongside digital valve positioners from Burkert’s market leading ELEMENT range.

A new concept that sets a higher benchmark in process measurement and control, the ELEMENT system provides a complete systems approach, linking clean line valves, sensors, positioners and valve actuators in a simple architecture to solve total control loop processes.

All of the fluid control products listed in the Select Catalogue are available from Burkert's 14 strong distributor network, covering England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. (In Ireland: Petrochem Pipeline Supply Limited!)

Accurate & efficient reliability analysis..

Emerson Process Management has announced the latest release of its industry-leading asset management software, AMS Suite: Machinery Health Manager. Version 5.5 of AMS Machinery Manager augments the analysis of predictive diagnostics from mechanical assets by delivering advanced plot capabilities, including shaft animation and audio waveform, interactive reporting, and online collaboration. Through analysis of critical machinery health information, maintenance and operations personnel can identify and resolve machinery issues before equipment damage and process interruptions occur.

This new version aids reliability and maintenance professionals in diagnostic and root cause analysis and provides early identification of issues that are typically difficult to diagnose. Using the new shaft animation plot tool, users can see the actual motion of the shaft around the average shaft position. During the animation replay, users can view detailed graphs for easier identification of key orbit characteristics and full machine movement. Users can also replay an audio recording of waveforms to hear audible indications of a problem.

Enhanced reporting capabilities enable users to design customised reports by specifying parameters and fields, with robust sorting and filtering capabilities. Reports can be exported, so that information is easy to share with key stakeholders. A new collaboration tool enables users to share information regarding problem assets. Through better collaboration, facilities can easily expand pockets of expertise and extend best practices to all areas of the plant.

Recognising the importance of thermal image analysis in reliability programmes, AMS Machinery Manager has expanded its thermal image support to Flir cameras. Users can now easily integrate images from both Flir and Fluke infrared cameras. The import function includes palette types and annotation classes to support the various cameras.

Doubling LED output!

Manufacturing investment allows Marl to enter electromechanical assembly market
Alan Otway, Engineering Manager, Joanna Braithwaite, Supervisor & David Moorhouse, Operations Director, Marl International with Mark Huggins, UK Sales Manager, DEK International & Don Ewan, DEK Customer Support Engineer
Marl International has invested £150,000 (ca €187,000) to double its manufacturing output at its site in Cumbria (GB), putting it in a prime position to benefit from the rapid growth of an emerging ‘green’ lighting technology. The line has been specially modified to handle PCB boards of up to 600mm long, much more than the standard length. Such boards are commonly required to replace conventional lighting products. The announcement brings the investment made by Marl in its British manufacturing facility to £270,000 (ca€333,000) altogether.

Marl is not only ramping up its output of LED lighting modules that act as a direct replacement for much less efficient lighting technologies, but will also enter the electro-mechanical module assembly business aiming to match offshore pricing with quality products. Existing customers include the Formula 1 Association, British Energy and the British Waterways Board.

According to Marl Managing Director, Adrian Rawlinson, “LED lighting can be 20-60% more efficient than standard lighting technologies, lasting up to ten times longer and providing an instant, controllable source of illumination. Marl is unique in being able to design and manufacture LED lighting modules entirely under one roof in Ulverston, where most competitors outsource parts of the design or manufacturing process. This gives Marl a short leadtime, and the ability to bring to market the latest, most efficient LED lighting technologies ahead of competitors. We can offer fast turn-around and competitive pricing on small volumes, but with our sourcing and logistics expertise we can match offshore manufactured price levels on much higher volumes as well.”

Marl Operations Director, David Moorhouse added, “We can see many customers in the UK who would like to use LED lighting in place of less efficient technologies, but they lack the capability to assemble these very specialist devices and the associated circuits. Marl can fill this gap, often providing a bespoke product that is a direct drop-in replacement for the less efficient solution – speeding up the adoption of efficient LED lighting technology. Customers like the quality and the service they receive from Marl and often come back to us and ask us to build other electromechanical modules as well. With this investment, we have the capacity to offer this service too.”

The new line has been accommodated at Marl’s existing premises, which have been extensively refurbished to accommodate the equipment. A team from Marl’s 120 Ulverston staff has been retrained to operate the new line, which is fully automated, and will run on a 24 hour shift basis. Marl has experienced rapid, profitable growth over the last two years and has funded the investment from the cash that it has generated.

Pharma backgrounder

A new backgrounder has been published containing up-to-date information and interesting facts about Siemens products, systems, solutions and services for the pharmaceutical industry.

Expiring patents, rapidly changing consumer needs, the rising cost of research and development against a backdrop of constantly changing regulations are placing the pharmaceutical and life science industry under growing cost and competitive pressure. The company provides a unique portfolio in support of pharmaceutical corporations aiming to assert their position in this dynamic market environment. As a supplier to industry, it marries innovative technologies with the benefit of decades of industry-specific experience and interdisciplinary process expertise. Products, systems, solutions and services from Siemens enable pharmaceutical companies to significantly enhance their innovative capacity, their flexibility and their efficiency.

The new backgrounder describing the Siemens offering for the pharmaceutical industry will continue to be updated and revised in the future, and is available as a pdf download here on their website.