Friday, September 14, 2012

FTIR gas analyser for hire

The new Gasmet DX4040 portable FTIR multi-gas analyser is now available for hire from Quantitech.

For each rental Quantitech’s Dr Hobson configures the instrument to meet the customer’s specific gas monitoring needs. He says: "The DX4040 has brought laboratory grade gas analysis into the field and the availability of a rental system means that even those with a limited budget or a short term requirement can have access to the best technology.”

The DX4040 is supplied with a PDA which enables the user to measure up to 25 (user defined) gases simultaneously. The FTIR sample spectrum is saved to the PDA with every measurement made; this allows post sampling analysis of additional compounds and identification of unknown gases.

Circuit board adaptor allows creation of multi-pin connector on printed circuit board

Harting has introduced a new 5-pin circuit board adaptor which, when combined with a Han® DDD module from the company’s proven Han-Modular® series, makes it possible to create a multi-pin connector on a printed circuit board.

The circuit board adapter can be pre-assembled on the PCB by following the hole pattern. A 17-pin circuit board connection is then created for the Han® DDD module through the connection of two 6-pin adaptors and the new 5-pin circuit board adaptor.

The adaptor can be assembled onto the PCB independently of the connector. After assembly of the PCB, the male or female contact of the Han® DDD module is installed in the housing and attached on the pre-assembled PCB. Simple assembly is not the only advantage: the labour involved in wiring is also kept to a minimum.

For connection to the circuit board, 17 contacts are available, with the rated values (as per the DIN EN 61984 standard) of 7.5 A for current, 160 V for voltage, and 2.5 kV rated surge voltage at pollution grade 3.

With this new development, Harting’s Han-Modular(R) series is expanded with a new variety of PCB adapter in addition to the existing Han® DD solutions and the Han(R) 40 A module.

With the open Han-Modular®connector system, users can assemble customised connectors to their own individual requirements. Over 40 different modules are available for electrical, optical and pneumatic transmission.

Exclusive alliance to expand oil analysis offerings

Alliance provides oil analysis solutions that will help users prevent costly machine repairs.

CSI 5200
Emerson Process Management and Spectro Incorporated announce an exclusive alliance to combine technical innovation and expertise to deliver expanded best-in-class oil analysis solutions. By integrating Emerson’s industry-leading oil analysis applications for the industrial process industry with Spectro’s extensive oil analysis product line and expertise, users gain more meaningful and accurate information on the health of their machinery, helping to prevent costly machine repairs.

Under the new agreement, Spectro gains rights to a suite of Emerson-developed and patent protected Intellectual Property ("IP") in the field of oil analysis for predictive machine maintenance. Included in this portfolio of IP are Emerson’s AMS Suite oil analysis software module as well as the CSI 5200 Machinery Health Oil Analyser, the multi-functional analyser that is uniquely capable of detecting most lubricant-related problems in gears, pumps, compressors, turbines, engines, hydraulics, and process machinery.

With effect from October 1, 2012, Spectro will become the exclusive, world-wide supplier of the CSI 5200 Machinery Health Oil Analyser product and services offering.

"Emerson and Spectro will work closely as we continue to develop leading technology solutions for the process industry," said Ron Martin, Vice President/General Manager of Emerson’s Asset Optimization and Lifecycle Care business. "By aligning with Spectro Inc. to deliver advanced oil analysis solutions, we can better provide our customers with predictive diagnostics to make more informed decisions about their assets."

"The relationship with Emerson opens the door for customers to expand their predictive maintenance programmes by accessing the expertise available with Spectro’s extensive oil analysis product line, industry knowledge and global distribution network," said Brian Mitchell, President and CEO of Spectro Inc. "This means that Emerson customers can now take advantage of the same long-term technology solutions and growth path currently available to Spectro customers worldwide."

New high speed torque sensor

The new type 4503A torque sensor from Kistler Instruments is designed to meet the demands of testing at high speeds in both production quality control and development. Typical applications include testing of electric motors, generators, drive performance, measurement of transmission or spindle drive friction, at a manual worksta¬tion or in networked, automated production cells.

Available in fourteen measuring ranges from 0.2 to 20 Nm with a rated speed of 50,000 rpm and 50 to 5,000 Nm at 30,000 rpm, all with an integrated speed sensor output of up to 360 pulses per revolution. Both analogue and digital outputs are provided by the integral, digital signal conditioning system making the new sensors ideal for use in laboratory, development, production or quality assurance applications.

The option of two, switchable ranges, with the second range being either 1:10 or 1:5 of the rated torque, allows very precise measurement of both peak and operating torque with the one sensor. In applications with a high peak but moderate operating torque, a sensor with only one measuring range would have to be chosen to withstand the peak torque. As a result, it would be oversized for accurately measuring the lower operating torque.

The contactless power and signal transmission between the rotating shaft and the stator, combined with precision manufacturing, low production tolerances and high grade shaft balancing, essential for reliable, high speed operation, ensure that the sensors maintain calibration over a long life.

Wireless Raspberry modules

We are becoming used to using the name of varies types of fruit as names for technical products in computing and telecomunications. Apple, Blackberry, Orange, Strawberry, Raspberry, etc are all well known names or terms which give an air of freshness and colour to the sector. This release relates the introduction of a unit which operates in we might call the Raspberry world!

LPRS has introduced the eRA-Connect2-PI, a USB module that provides a simple wireless bridge between two Raspberry Pi’s (Pi2Pi), or a Raspberry Pi and a PC or any other devices that supports USB serial communications. Both Linux and Windows drivers are provided to facilitate system development.

Utilising seamless easyRadio technology at 868/915MHz (ISM band), eRA-Connect2-PI provides considerably greater range and less power consumption than similar WiFi or Bluetooth modules operating in the overcrowded 2.4GHz bands. Frequency, bandwidth, power output and data rate can optionally be configured to allow multiple devices to communicate free from interference from each other and any other RF devices.

eRA-Connect2-PI incorporates an eRA900TRS wireless module which provides simple-to-use, out-of-the-box wireless serial communication as a COMport. eRA-Connect2-PI features include allowing users to change the radio bandwidth from 150kHz down to a remarkable 12.5kHz, providing narrow-band performance at a wide-band budget. Internal temperature compensation insures less than 1.5kHz frequency drift from ambient 20ºC over a range of -40ºC to +85ºC. This new feature may also be output as a temperature measurement for the end user equipment, accurate to within 1ºC.

No complex RF protocol software is required to create an instant bidirectional link. The low-consumption eRA-Connect2-PI can be powered directly from Raspberry Pi’s USB port. An integral SMA antenna connector allows for use of an off-board antenna. Transmit and Receive LEDs are provided to confirm communication operation.

Host devices can send and receive half duplex communications of up to 180 Bytes of data per packet, seamlessly delivered to other hosts within range. There is no need for complicated ‘bit balancing’ or elaborate coding schemes.

Other innovative features available on eRA modules include, a digital RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) – no need for host to handle A/D measurement, temporary channel selection allows host to scan other channels in real time, temperature compensated crystal-controlled synthesizer for frequency accuracy < +/-1kHz over full temperature range, built-in temperature measurement output, user-configurable self-coding system for interfacing to other data modules in FSK (FM) and ASK (AM).

In addition to manufacturing the highly successful easyRadio Advanced (eRA) wireless modules in the UK, the full LPRS product range now includes, narrow band long range wireless modules from CDP, the IQRF range of wireless networking components, the IQVC range of visual control panels together with antenna, wireless key fobs and a wide range of sensor products.

New hygrometer design for climatic chambers

The new sensor design of Michell Instruments’ S8000 Remote chilled mirror hygrometer combines high-accuracy temperature control with new materials to improve reliability and avoid condensation.

The relative humidity in climatic chambers will always deviate from the set point. Even in high precision chambers this deviation is typically between 1-3% RH, which can have a considerable effect on the results of many tests. A calibrated reference instrument such as a chilled-mirror hygrometer reduces this uncertainty to just 0.5% RH, but can be difficult to install and bulky, reducing the amount of usable test space within the chamber.

To overcome these space issues, Michell Instruments has introduced an innovative sensor design with the launch of their S8000 Remote chilled mirror hygrometer. The compact remote sensor head features an open cell design, removing the need for any complex heated sampling arrangements or an external pump. Installing the sensor is simply a matter of placing it in an appropriate position within the chamber, and routing the cable externally to the instrument.

The improved design has an optional aluminium sensor head that provides a swift response to changes in temperature, preventing any risks of condensation occurring during rapid transitions between temperature set points. The field-proven sensor boasts upgraded temperature control for extremely accurate dew-point measurement, and, coupled with the standard ±0.1°C accuracy ambient temperature sensor, it provides fundamentally derived, high precision relative humidity readings necessary for validating the results of environmental tests.

Outside of the chamber, the instrument operation is easy without user intervention. The S8000 Remote features a highly visible LCD display that shows any three user-selectable parameters (typically dew point, relative humidity and temperature) in large clear text. The display also features a stability graph and displays the operational status of the unit. A powerful and easy to use menu system enables the operating parameters of the instrument to be quickly customised to suit the target application. The instrument also comes with three customisable analogue outputs and one alarm, enabling integration into an existing automated test or calibration system.

Michell Instruments are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Current monitoring relays with IO-Link

The Sirius 3RR24 current monitoring relay for IO-Link enhances the switching technology portfolio of the Siemens Industry Automation Division. The new Sirius 3RR24 monitors motors over the complete torque curve and is also dimensioned for current monitoring of the overall plant. The device detects load shedding, for example when a belt snaps, or motor overloads due to overloading of the driven conveyor belt or crane. Sirius 3RR24 also detects current imbalances, phase sequences, ground faults, as well as any cable breaks. The current data can be read off the device locally on a display. The current monitoring relay can be integrated into the load feeder without incurring wiring costs by mounting it on a Sirius 3RT2 contactor.

In addition to the autonomous monitoring function, measured values and data are transferred from the relay to the higher-level control over the IO-Link interface. This simplifies detailed troubleshooting and diagnostics. Communication over IO-Link also makes commissioning much easier. The Sirius relay can either be parameterized directly on the device, or from the PLC, which shortens commissioning especially in the case of repeated parameterization. If a device has to be replaced, the new relay will be parameterized automatically through data comparison with the parameter server. Work can then continue immediately after replacement, and no special knowledge of controllers or monitoring relays is required for replacement. This reduces the overhead involved in maintaining the plant. Sirius 3RR24 expands the current portfolio of monitoring relays for IO-Link that monitor variables such as temperature, speed, power factors and even voltages.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Versatile & cost-effective logging!

Gemini’s Tinytag Ultra 2 Thermocouple data logger is ideal for accurate temperature monitoring in a range of manufacturing/process applications. It supports type K, J, T and N thermocouples, providing fast response monitoring for ranges from -270°C to 1370°C. A built-in temperature channel allows simultaneous monitoring of process and ambient temperatures and its connection supports standard and miniature thermocouple plugs. Recorded data is downloaded to a PC via a USB cable and viewed with easy to use Tinytag Explorer software.

Lime manufacturer Singleton Birch is using the thermocouple logger as part of research and development work to monitor the temperature rise of calcium oxide when water is added. The rise in temperature indicates how reactive the lime is at different stages, which means it can then be determined for what final application the lime can be used. Continuous, accurate monitoring is required with data downloaded after every test, and the Thermocouple logger has proved an effective solution.

• Tinytag data loggers are marketed in Ireland by Manotherm.

Digital Driver/Sensor Board

Digitaltest has introduced the new HYB04 driver/sensor board with 128 pins. Therefore the Digitaltest test systems can now be equipped with twice as many hybrid pins. This is also a major extension for the MTS30 system which is limited to 10 slots. The board supports fast and accurate tests for low voltage applications. The HYB04 supplements the HYB01 and H0YB3 with 10V logic. For special applications the 24V driver/sensor board MDS is available. Our HYB04 is a supplement to the HYB01 or HOYB3 with 10V logic, for special applications we offer also the MDS board with 24 drivers/sensors.

Several key customers are already using the new board.

Key features of the new board:
• 128 hybrid pins per board
• 10 MHz burst rate
• 4M burst memory per board
• 400 mA driver current
• 20mV resolution for driver and sensor

Flow by cellphone!

This battery-powered magmeter has integrated GSM/GPRS cellphone wireless capability for data communications and configuration and is ideal for use in remote water applications!

The Proline Promag L800 battery-powered electromagnetic flowmeter, just launched by Endress + Hauser, is an ideal flow measurement device for use in remote sites in water and wastewater systems. The flowmeter has an integrated GSM/GPRS cellphone system that allows data, such as alarms or totaliser counts, to be transmitted as an email over the cellphone network. (Info page for this and Promag 400).

The flowmeter’s GSM/GPRS system (Global System for Mobile Communications and General Packet Radio Services) is a mobile communications technology that works world-wide. All the flowmeter needs is a cellphone Subscriber Identity Card (a portable memory chip, called a SIM Card) from the local cellphone provider. The flowmeter can then be configured as a point-to-point connection, or as a modem that can be openly accessed via the Internet or a company Intranet.

Once configured, an operator at a central control room can receive alarms, query totalizer readings, and change the flowmeter configuration. The flowmeter’s built-in data logger saves data on a 2GB SD card, and can be configured to send emails periodically (such as once a day), with a CSV file attached to the email. The flowmeter can be programmed to generate an alarm email only if flow deviates from setpoint, eliminating the need for continuous monitoring, and reducing cellphone charges.

The integrated data logger records time, date, totaliser counter readings, positive and negative totals and partials, flow, measuring cycles per hour, state of battery charge and temperature of the electronics board. Data is saved daily on the micro SD card and can be loaded into a PC or laptop for evaluation, or it can be transmitted by the GSM/GPRS modem.

The Proline Promag L800 uses three sets of size D Lithium-thionyl chloride high-power batteries that last for 15 years. If the voltage in one set of batteries becomes too low, the flowmeter will send an alarm message and switch to a backup set of batteries. The flowmeter can also be powered by an external electrical supply.

The flowmeter is available in sizes from 2-24 in., operates at pressures up to 232 psi, and works with liquids having a minimum conductivity ≥50 µS/cm. Maximum flow rate is 33 ft/sec. The transmitter housing is made from polycarbonate with a choice of HR, PU or PTFE lining—and has KTW, WRAS, NSF and ACS international drinking water approvals.

Accuracy is 0.5% of reading, with repeatability of 0.2%. The electromagnetic measuring principle is not affected by pressure or temperature, and the flow profile has only a marginal effect on accuracy.

The Promag 800 flowmeter is available in two models—the Promag 800, where the flowmeter and transmitter are one unit, and the Promag 800L, where the transmitter is located remotely from the flow
sensing unit.

• Promag flowmeters are built and calibrated at the Endress+Hauser factory in Greenwood, Indiana. Endress+Hauser supports the flowmeters with calibration, startup  and a 24-hour Help Desk.

Partnership for cybersecurity water, electric, transportation, and oil & gas sectors

Partnership will leverage comprehensive, real-time data to unify cyber security, compliance and change management activities
Telvent GIT has partnered with Industrial Defender to expand its cybersecurity capabilities within Telvent's key utility and critical infrastructure solutions. 

Brian Ahern
President & CEO,
Industrial Defender

Industrial Defender's flagship product, Automation Systems Manager (ASM), will leverage the data collected and analysed by Telvent technologies to provide a single, unified view that allows critical infrastructure sectors to better monitor, manage and protect their control systems. The integration of the two solutions will help to improve the speed of decision making and problem detection, while maximizing uptime and improving maintenance planning.
Telvent's partnership with Industrial Defender will allow customers to improve operational effectiveness. Specifically, operators now will have the ability to determine changes to the system, who made them and why. ASM automatically detects new devices connecting to the network, allowing for faster decision-making as to whether a change is planned or potentially malicious. Furthermore, ASM generates reports to meet regulatory requirements, such as NERC CIP, eliminating the need for additional staffing resources. The platform is compatible across multiple vendor systems, including legacy systems, providing a flexible, adaptable tool to meet operational needs. Telvent's highly-secure data and distribution management solutions will be certified and fully integrated with Industrial Defender's offering.
According to Telvent Chairman and CEO, Ignacio Gonzalez, "Through this partnership, our customers will gain a fully customisable solution of operational and cybersecurity capabilities. Customers will be able to rely on the most efficient and comprehensive solution on the market to help address the issues around heterogeneous networks, interconnectivity, field devices and regulations."

"Industrial Defender is proud to have been selected by Telvent to provide innovative solutions for security, compliance and change management to their customers and prospects," said Brian Ahern, CEO of Industrial Defender. "With ever-increasing threats against critical infrastructure and operational technologies, an increasingly changing regulatory environment, and anticipated exponential growth in intelligent field devices, our combined strengths will give Telvent's customers the advanced technologies and expertise they need to improve their operational effectiveness quickly, safely and securely."

Specifically, operators now will have the ability to accurately identify changes that have been made to the system, who made the changes, and why they were made. ASM automatically detects new devices connecting to the network; allowing for faster decision making as to whether a change is planned and properly authorized, or potentially malicious. Furthermore, ASM generates reports to meet regulatory requirements, such as NERC CIP, eliminating the need for additional staffing resources. The platform is compatible across multiple vendor systems, including legacy systems, providing a flexible, adaptable tool to meet operational needs. Telvent's highly-secure data and distribution management solutions will be certified and fully integrated with Industrial Defender's ASM solution.

The new solution is especially suited for Telvent customers that operate in the infrastructure sectors, such as water, electric, transportation, and oil & gas. The single view of real-time data on the network combined with the enhanced security detection capabilities provides a solution unique to the market and critical for a 21st century enterprise.

1st all-hybrid PXI express chassis features 8 Links to Every Slot

National Instruments has introduced the industry’s first all-hybrid PXI Express chassis featuring PCI Express 2.0 x8 links to every slot for increased data throughput resulting in lower test times and reduced cost of test. The hybrid slot connectors deliver maximum flexibility in PXI and PXI Express module slot replacement, while the addition of hot-swappable fans and an easily replaceable power supply improves system availability in high-performance applications.

“With the release of the NI PXIe-1085 all-hybrid-slot chassis, NI continues to demonstrate its leadership in PXI, offering unrivaled performance, flexibility and value” said Eric Starkloff, NI Vice President of Product Marketing for Systems Platforms. “This chassis expands the reach of PXI into even more demanding high-performance streaming applications such as RF record and playback while preserving backward compatibility with PXI modules released in the past 15 years.” 

Product Features 
• PCI Express 2.0 x8 links to every slot for best-in-class bandwidth of 4 GB/s/slot and 12 GB/s system
• All-hybrid-slot backplane accommodates both PXI and PXI Express modules
• Remote system health monitoring improves system manageability
• Hot-swappable fans and a toolless, easily replaceable power supply improve total system availability

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Courses in Ireland

Mitsubishi are holding a basic and advanced training course in the Mitsubishi Electric PLC Programming tool GX Works.

The aim of this course is to demonstrate the features of GX Works. This is a very powerful software development tool and it has been specially developed to allow for monitoring and diagnostics of PLC systems. This tool will allow for faster fault finding and repair of faulty automated processes and systems. The software also has the ability to interface easily to networks using graphical icons to facilitate the use of advanced features of the software.

Training dates:
24th -25th October; GX Works Basic Training Course
14th-15th November; GX Works Advanced Training Course

For booking/booking information contact: Rachel O'Brien

Location: Mitsubishi Head Office, Westgate Business Park, Ballymount , Dublin 24.

Modular PXI test rack

A modular PXI test rack providing 13U of full-depth instrumentation space and a further 6U of depth for rear-mounted instrumentation space is now available from the Peak Group. The new system is ergonomically designed for use in production test environments, and includes an integrated VPC (Virginia Panel Corporation) mass interface receiver adaptor, allowing large numbers of different contact types to be quickly and easily connected in a single one operation.

The Peak modular PXI test rack features an internal 19-inch instrument rack with slides, and is height adaptable to accept up to 42U of test instrumentation. It incorporates built-in service panels, large doors on the sides and rear and rack cooling, with a wide body allowing for cooling fans on both sides of the main chassis. It is specifically designed to fit through a standard single-width door. Also incorporated are full emergency stop and door interlock safety circuitry, a mains distribution and safety circuit box, and an internal integrated keyboard and mouse.

The Peak Group is an Alliance Member with National Instruments (NI), the leading developers of PXI test interface technology, and is also the British distributor for Virginia Panel Corporation, the top international suppliers of mass interconnect technology for automatic test systems.

New flowmeter for compressed air and gases

Only with precise knowledge of compressed air and process gas costs can saving potential be understood. The new thermal flowmeters from E+E Elektronik record the mass flow or corrected volume flow in your supply network with the highest possible precision, regardless of pressure or temperature. For example, consumption of compressed air, nitrogen, helium, CO2 or oxygen can be measured.

The EE771, EE772 and EE776 flowmeters enable extremely precise evaluation throughout the pipe network from the compressor through to the end consumer. Even the smallest volume flows are recorded accurately, which is a prerequisite for charging consumers exactly or locating leaks. Measurements can be carried out in pipes of DN15 (1/2“) to DN300 (12“) and with an operating pressure of 16 or 40 bar.

During development, special attention was paid to simple, cost-effective and, above all, safe assembly of the flowmeters. In this respect, the patented non-return protection device of the EE776 sets new standards for safety. The hot tap valve of the EE772 and the ball valve mounting fitting of the EE771 ensure that the flowmeters can be installed and removed very quickly in their operational state. This is a useful feature for periodic quality control and calibration. For pipes from DN40 (1 ½“) this can even be done without interrupting the flow in the supply pipeline.

It is easy for the customer to adapt the flowmeter perfectly to its measurement task using the configuration software included in the delivery.

Two signal outputs are available to output the measured values. Depending on the application, these can be configured as an analogue output (current or voltage), switching output or pulse output for consumption measuring. The flowmeters are also optionally available with an integrated bus output, M-bus or Modbus RTU

• E+E Elektronik is marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Comunications protocol enhancements

5 new enhancements enable improved functionality to deliver valuable device status and information

"We listened!" Ron Helson, HART
The HART® Communication Foundation has five important new enhancements to the HART Communication Protocol standard. When implemented in new HART-enabled products, these enhancements will give users a simple device status notification and easy access to WirelessHART® network performance. The enhancements also provide a basis for future device and system supplier innovation.

The new enhancements are: Condensed Device Status Indicators; Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for wireless networks; HART Communication over Internet Protocol standardization; Discrete “on/off” functionality for devices; and an Infrared device communication option.

“Industry users requested a simple ‘green light-red light’ status report capability as well as key health and reliability indicators for WirelessHART networks. We listened and have added these important enhancements,” says Ron Helson, Foundation Executive Director. “The Foundation, with the support of our member companies, works to help users maximize the value of their HART-enabled instrumentation investments by enhancing the HART Protocol to meet industry needs now and in the future.”

New enhancements to the HART Protocol described:
    •Condensed Device Status Indicators – provides new commands and standardized support for NAMUR NE107 diagnostics for clear and simple operator notification of device status – Failure, Out of Specification, Function Check or Maintenance Required.
    •Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) - additional standardized commands to support NAMUR NE124 for host access to WirelessHART networks performance indicators including network health and reliability data.
    •HART Over Internet Protocol – specifies and standardizes the protocol between remote I/O systems, multiplexers and gateways and host systems.
    •Discrete Functionality - new commands enable enhanced support of several types of discrete and “on/off” type devices with diagnostics.
    •Infrared Device Access – new wireless interface option for device configuration and maintenance that eliminates the need to open the device housing in hazardous areas.

Hyperspectral imaging

Headwall Photonics Simplifies Hyperspectral Imaging with its new Hyperspec UV Starter Kit

Headwall Photonics has introduced its simple-to-use Hyperspec UV Starter Kit that provides everything needed to evaluate and categorize the spectral composition of materials and samples within the UV spectral region. The new hyperspectral imaging system is designed for laboratory researchers in a wide range of application areas including forensics, document examination, and biotechnology analysis.

Each Hyperspec UV Starter Kit comes complete with a high-performance Hyperspec UV imaging spectrometer optimized for the 250nm-600nm UV-VIS spectral range. A gantry assembly, specially calibrated power-stabilized lighting, linear stage and controller, and a processor engine loaded with Headwall's Hyperspec software completes the system. Headwall's available Hyperspec Data Processing Unit manages the incoming hyperspectral data, while an optional enclosure eliminates the effect of stray light. Both are available as accessories for the Starter Kit.

"The Hyperspec UV imaging configuration is designed specifically for the >analysis of materials such as forensic evidence or biological samples where optimized spectral and spatial resolution is needed," offered David Bannon, CEO of Headwall Photonics. >Document and currency verification, forensics, food andpharmaceutical inspection, and chemical analysis are just a few of the areas where hyperspectral UV imaging can deliver a wealth of valuable data. "Headwall developed the Hyperspec Starter Kit a number of years ago as a means to get our customers up and running very quickly with hyperspectral technology. We continue to invest in this platform and the Hyperspec UV Starter Kit is a response to customer demand for chemical imaging instruments optimized for the UV spectral region."

Headwall Photonics is a recognized pioneer in the field of hyperspectral imaging. Its Hyperspec and Micro-Hyperspec sensors have been successfully deployed for end-users and OEMs in applications includingmilitary/defense, airborne and ground surveillance, and food safety, and pharmaceutical inspection. Key to delivering outstanding spatial and spectral resolution as well as high signal-to-noise (SNR) performance is Headwall's focus on diffractive optics and aberration-corrected holographic gratings. This award-winning technology is complemented by the Company's ISO-9001:2008 certification and vertically-integrated manufacturing capabilities.

Product lifecycle management offering enhanced

Siemens to acquire Perfect Costing Solutions GmbH, specialist in product cost management software

Siemens Industry Automation Division is extending its leading position in the field of product lifecycle management software. For more than ten years, Perfect Costing Solutions GmbH has been developing and distributing product cost management and estimation software solutions focusing on the discrete manufacturing industry in general and automotive industries in particular. It will be assigned to the PLM Software Business Unit. Information on the price will not be disclosed.

Perfect Costing Solutions GmbH is a provider of product cost management solutions, headquartered in Goeppingen (D). Their some 50 world-wide employees are focused on providing solutions for product cost calculation, methods and estimation tools. Several international corporations and medium-sized businesses have licensed their software Perfect ProCalc in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their business processes in calculating, controlling and optimizing their product costs.

“By acquiring Perfect Costing Solutions GmbH we are adding a key ingredient to our PLM portfolio to help our customers make more informed decisions about their products beginning in the early stages of design and extending across the lifecycle. This acquisition demonstrates how we are continuing to execute our strategy of building our leading position in Industry software supporting the discrete manufacturing and automotive industry in their fierce competitive landscapes. We will be gaining a team of specialists which already enjoys an excellent reputation as a sound, dependable partner and preferred supplier of product cost management solutions”, says Chuck Grindstaff, CEO of Siemens’ PLM Software Business Unit.

“Our products support our customers within the supply chain, for example with purchase price analysis as well as in their own value added process with quotation costing and calculations during the development phase. The management decision making is enhanced through transparent and fact based consistent data capture, project history as well as key economic data. This customer benefit will considerably grow within the PLM environment of Siemens”, says Andreas Tsetinis, CEO of Perfect Costing Solutions.

• Recent years have seen the Siemens Industry Automation Division extend its leading position in the industrial software market with the acquisition of UGS in the United States (2007), innotec in Germany (2008), Elan Software Systems in France (2009), the Brazilian company Active Tecnologia em Sistemas de Automação and Vistagy in the US (2011) as well as the German IBS AG in 2012, all of them leading industrial software suppliers in
their respective fields.

Automating world's largest iron ore mine

True “mine of the future” will be truckless to save around 77% of diesel annually; fully automated for personnel safety

ABB, the leading power and power technology group, has won orders totaling $140 million (€108.75m) from Vale S.A. (Vale) to supply automation and electrical equipment for the world’s largest iron ore project investment, which comprises in the development of a mine and a processing plant located in Brazil. The orders were booked during the first quarter.

Located in the Amazon region in northern Brazil, the Carajás Serra Sul S11D project, comprising the mine and processing plant, represents an $8 billion (€6.22b) investment. The project is expected to be delivered in the second half of 2016 and Vale is expecting the issuance of the project’s implementation license in the first half of 2013.

The project will use shiftable conveyor belts instead of off-highway trucks to transport the iron ore from the mine to the processing plant. This is the first time a “truckless” solution will be used on a large scale at an iron ore mine. Truckless systems significantly reduce operating costs and produce lower carbon emissions. If the S11D mine were to be operated using trucks, it would need around 100 off-highway trucks and consume 77% more diesel per year.

For comparison, Vale’s Northern system, located in Carajás, produced 110 million tons in 2011; S11D will have an estimated nominal capacity of 90 million tons per year after the ramp up phase is concluded.

Increased development of mineral resources and mining technologies across the globe represent a key global mega-trend that is an important focus area for ABB’s long-term growth. This project profits from ABB’s deep understanding of advanced solutions for the mining industry.

“This unprecedented project will use the latest ABB automation technologies to truly create the mine of the future, a benchmark in terms of productivity, safety and sustainability,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division.

ABB will provide the automation and electrification to transport the ore into the processing plant, and will completely automate all plant processes. The order includes a centralized 800xA control system for processing operations, so that personnel can be located away from the site, for improved safety and continued production. ABB’s solution also enables the automatic recovery and piling of iron ore by controlling and positioning equipment through satellite signal and via GPS, and by using 3D scanning for field screening.

ABB will also provide electrical infrastructure for the new processing plant, related energy distribution equipment for reliable and consistent power supply, and engineering and installation services. The delivery includes medium and low voltage motors for use with frequency converters, the primary power transmission stations, duplication of the telecom system for the railroad and 37 secondary substations in self-contained E-Houses (electrical houses).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

High speed Ethernet tool kit

Latest additions include transducer block test profiles for both wired and WirelessHART® devices

The Fieldbus Foundation has updated its High Speed Ethernet Interoperability Test Kit (HSE ITK), including the addition of transducer block test profiles for both wired and WirelessHART® devices. The transducer blocks bring information from both wired and WirelessHART devices into the FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure, and are a key element of FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology.

Updated to Version 6.1, the HSE ITK is used for interoperability testing of HSE capable field devices. The kit will verify the functionality of a device and its conformity to the FOUNDATION fieldbus function block specifications, before it is submitted to the Fieldbus Foundation for official registration and testing.

HSE ITK Version 6.1 is especially beneficial for automation equipment manufacturers looking to develop FOUNDATION for ROM devices due to its added support for recently released wired and WirelessHART device specifications. Other test kit updates include: Pressure Transducer Block 2, Temperature Transducer Block 2, Flow Transducer Block and Flow Totalizer Transducer Block.

The Fieldbus Foundation's FOUNDATION for ROM solution offers a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in a wide range of remote applications, ranging from oil and gas pipelines to tank farms and offshore platforms, and even Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) skid-mounted equipment. The technology enables fieldbus connectivity to remote I/O and the leading industrial wireless protocols, including WirelessHART and ISA100.11a. It provides an interface to these wireless technologies and uses Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and function blocks to ensure interoperability with FOUNDATION for ROM devices. The remote I/O portion of the specification was released in April 2011 and allows for connectivity of large point-count remote I/O to FOUNDATION fieldbus.

FOUNDATION for ROM is the first example of the capability of integrating ISA 100.11a, WirelessHART, wired HART, and wired H1 protocols into a single standard environment, without sacrificing the diagnostic capabilities of the existing wireless devices. Those capabilities are mapped into the block structure to provide a standard environment for data management, quality, and more, eliminating today's solutions, which are highly customized and much more costly to maintain throughout the plant lifecycle. With FOUNDATION for ROM, industrial operations can implement a true predictive and proactive maintenance strategy for remote assets that could not previously support one. Data from devices on multiple networks, both wired and wireless, are tightly integrated into the FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure, providing a single environment for management of diagnostic data, alarms and alerts, data quality, control in the field capability, and object oriented block structure.
FOUNDATION fieldbus provides an all-digital communication infrastructure for process automation, with powerful multivariable measurement capabilities, powerful device diagnostics, and the ability to integrate wireless devices across multiple networks. The block structure of FOUNDATION fieldbus is unique, and provides true distributed functionality for implementing control in the field, improved data management, and alarm and alert management.

Within the FOUNDATION automation architecture, the H1 (31.25 kbit/s) and HSE (100 Mbit/s) fieldbus networks provide a distributed function block capability with HSE serving as a larger pipeline with increased speed and throughput. The FOUNDATION for ROM solution expands these capabilities by establishing open, non-proprietary specifications for an interface to wireless field device networks, a wired HSE backhaul, and a wireless HSE backhaul integrating various wireless sensor networks such as WiFi, satellite, cellular, etc. As part of this solution, FOUNDATION for ROM provides a way to bring large concentrations of discrete and analog field I/O back to the control room using HSE communication. This is key to improved integration of critical functional areas, including machinery health monitoring, safety interlocks, fire & gas detection systems, and video surveillance.

Hydraulic v Electromechanical actuation

New video discusses the benefits of replacing hydraulics with electromechanical actuation

Al Wroblaski  in video tutorial
Thomson Industries, a manufacturer of innovative linear and rotary mechanical motion control components, has published a video tutorial with electromechanical expert Al Wroblaski on the engineering choices involved in replacing hydraulic actuation with electromechanical actuators.

Håkan Persson, Product Line Manager Thomson Actuators commented: “We hope that this short video will provide an introduction to the merits of replacing hydraulics with electromechanical linear actuators, and their potential to save money and improve conditions for both machine operators and the environment by reducing contamination and energy consumption.”

Mr. Wroblaski also discusses the relative design envelope of the two technologies, and how system complexity can be reduced by using a single-part electromechanical actuator. Thomson linear actuators incorporate a motor, drive screw and gearhead providing a portable, rugged source of linear thrust. Because they are electrically powered and are available with standard encoders, they can be easily integrated into control systems. He also explains how a ball, or lead - screw drive can provide more precise positioning than a hydraulic system with zero maintenance.

Thomson linear actuators are used in more than 10,000 applications throughout the world, from mobile off-highway vehicle applications where rugged portable actuation is paramount, to clean actuation in a food packaging environment or wind farm applications with sub-zero temperatures. The video also shows how actuators are tested to ensure that they meet customer’s specific application requirements such as load, life or repeatability.

Thomson’s website offers a range of additional free educational resources and design tools to help OEMs make informed mechanical and electromechanical motion control decisions, including webinars and technical articles on a wide array of motion control topics. Its online Linear MOTIONEERING® tool also aids engineers in the sizing and selection of linear systems and components.

Controlling climate!

Rittal’s new self-adhesive thermal labels allow the internal maximum temperature of an enclosure to be quickly and accurately ascertained at a simple glance.

Generally, the life expectancy of a simple capacitor doubles for each 10°C lower operating temperature. By utilising the self-adhesive labels the internal temperature of the enclosure can be both easily and accurately measured thereby ascertaining whether a climate control solution is necessary.

Rittal’s climate control products are specifically designed to maintain electrical components at their optimum temperature and ambient conditions within an enclosed space. As well as preventing equipment from overheating they also protect the contents against hot or cold temperatures, condensation, dust dirt and corrosive substances.

Utilising their specialist equipment and knowledge, Rittal are also able to undertake thermographic surveys to identify areas in which equipment may be at risk, due to high temperatures, in a written report supported with thermal images.

Global framework agreement for terminal automation systems

Bulk liquid terminal operator standardises on Emerson’s DeltaV™ digital automation system

Netherlands-based Vopak has awarded Emerson Process Management, a three-year Global Framework Agreement to become one of the providers of process automation systems and services for Vopak’s 80-plus storage and bulk liquid terminal facilities around the world.

Standardising on Emerson’s DeltaV™ digital automation system will help Vopak meet growing demand for reliable liquid oil, gas, and chemical storage and terminal services – demand driven by increasing global energy usage and geographic imbalances between production and consumption.

Terminal automation contributes greatly to operational success in safety, health and the environment, effectiveness and efficiency. The process control systems will help Vopak reduce project lead time, improve strategic planning and project execution, and operate terminals more efficiently.

Under the agreement, Emerson will design, configure, and implement digital automation systems for all new automation projects at Vopak terminals, as well as provide on-going support services for new and existing automation systems.

Vopak recognises standardisation, repeatability, and knowledge management as the key enablers for improving performance of terminal automation initiatives. Implementing Emerson’s DeltaV system and integrating it with additional terminal logistic and safety systems will help Vopak optimise operations, reduce field work and time-consuming paperwork, and improve terminal effectiveness and customer satisfaction.

Steve Sonnenberg, President of Emerson Process Management, added, "This Global Framework Agreement recognises the excellent relationship we have with Vopak and offers Emerson an exciting opportunity to provide Vopak terminals with automation technology for many years to come."

• Vopak is the world’s largest independent tank storage provider with 83 terminals in 31 countries. Emerson’s selection builds on a long-term relationship that also includes the implementation of its Syncade Logistics software at Vopak’s fuel distribution terminal at Amsterdam Westpoort in the Netherlands.

Graphical system design achievement recognised!

“Over the past five years, the Graphical System Design Achievement Awards has become more than an awards ceremony; it’s a forum for those who are changing the world,” said Dave Wilson, NI Director of Academic and Proficiency Programs.  “NI helps engineers and scientists find solutions for some of the world’s toughest challenges, ranging from improving medical device development to bringing mobile phone coverage to rural areas, and we want to take the time to honour them.”

NI's Dave Wilson
The 11th annual National Instruments Graphical System Design Achievement Awards honours engineers, scientists and researchers for developing solutions that address critical challenges. The award ceremony, held during the annual NIWeek conference and exhibition, recognised the following winning applications:

• Application of the Year, Life Sciences and Humanitarian Awards: Controlling a Heart Simulator With CompactRIO and LabVIEW, University of Leeds, UK
• Energy: Bringing Mobile Phone Coverage to Rural Areas With a Green, Off-Grid Energy Solution, Diverse Energy Ltd. UK
• Green Engineering Award: Automated Dynamometer Testing of an Advanced In-Wheel Electric Drive System for Electric Vehicles, Protean Electric Ltd. UK
• Student Design Award: Kinesthesia - A Kinect Based Rehabilitation and Surgical Analysis System, University of Leeds, UK
• Advanced Control Systems: Building a Nanomeasuring Machine Using NI LabVIEW and NI PXI, Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany
• Advanced Research and Editor’s Choice Award: Developing an EMI Desktop Evaluation System Using a New Measurement Technique, PERITEC Inc. Japan
• Automated Test: Using LabVIEW, NI TestStand and PXI to Test a Medical Glucose Meter and Insulin Delivery System Within a Regulated Manufacturing Environment, Advanced Instrument Technologies and TestPro Systems, USA
• Education and NI Community’s Choice Award: Creating a Real-Time Simulator for Power Quality Signals, University of the Andes, Colombia
• Structural and Physical Test and Monitoring: University of Nevada Researchers Use LabVIEW, PXI and NI CompactRIO to Measure the Effects of Earthquakes on Bridges, University of Nevada, Reno, USA
• Transportation: Siemens Uses CompactRIO, LabVIEW, and NI DIAdem to Determine the Root-Cause of Damaging High-Voltage Transients, Siemens, USA
• Multicore Award presented by Intel: Using NI PXI Modular Instruments and LabVIEW to Build UHF RFID Development Platforms, University of the Philippines, Diliman
• NI LabVIEW FPGA Innovation Award presented by Xilinx: Developing a Fracturing Pump Controller Using LabVIEW, NI Compact FieldPoint and CompactRIO, Data Science Automation, USA

The UK & Ireland’s prestigious Graphical System Design Achievement Awards will take place on 19th November at Savoy Place, London, the day before NIDays Conference and Exhibition, held at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, London.

Security compliance in Japan

The Japan Information-technology Promotion Agency (IPA) entered into a formal collaboration agreement with the ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) to facilitate adoption of the ISASecure™ industrial automation controls (IAC) certification program as a component of Japan’s initiative to secure critical infrastructure.

As part of the agreement, the IPA is translating the published ISASecure certification program specification into Japanese and will maintain future updates to the Japanese language ISASecure specification. The translated ISASecure specification will be posted to a Japanese language section of the SCI website for use by stakeholders in the Japanese IAC cyber security community. Adoption of the ISASecure certification scheme by Japan IPA expands the ISCI stakeholder community from suppliers and asset owners to government entities.

The ISASecure Embedded Device Security Assurance (EDSA) certification is the first ISCI security certification to be translated as part of the collaboration agreement between IPA and ISCI. Additional ISASecure certifications developed by ISCI will be translated by the IPA when they become available.

The IPA joined ISCI as a Government member in July 2012 to participate in the specification development of future ISASecure certification offerings including the System Security Assurance (SSA) certification planned for launch at the end of 2012. The SSA certification expands the scope of ISASecure certifications beyond embedded devices and will include entire control systems such as DCS and SCADA systems.

“We welcome the support and input from IPA and their team of distinguished IAC cyber security professionals,” said Andre Ristaino, managing director of ISCI “and look forward to supporting IPA’s initiatives for securing Japan’s critical infrastructure.”

To provide local support for ISASecure certification activity, the IPA is facilitating the establishment of ISO/IEC accredited ISASecure certification testing facilities in Japan.

“With ISCI, we are going to accelerate our global certification and make a contribution to the establishment and improvement of the secure society as well as of secure Japan,” said Kobayashi Hideaki, laboratory director of IPA security center.

ISASecure certification specifications are based on international standards such as ISO/IEC 15408, ISO/IEC 2700x, ISA99 / IEC 62443 and industry accepted cyber security practices for IAC systems development and integration methodologies with the intent to establish a single, globally recognized certification.

Gas analysers for the food sector

AGC Instruments has introduced the Map-Pak family of Gas Analysers. The O2 Series and the Combi Series are the first in its new product line of Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) Analysers.

Designed specifically for the Food Industry, Map-Pak O2 measures the Oxygen content within gas flushed food packages. The measurement range is from 0% to 100% with an accuracy of ±1%, and a resolution of 0.1%. This lightweight portable analyzer has a wide variety of features which make it both efficient and easy to use.

The Map-Pak Combi unit provides more flexibility in that it will measure O2, CO2 & N2 (as a balance). Oxygen levels are measured by an electrochemical sensor and the Carbon Dioxide levels are measured by a nondispersive infrared sensor (NDIR). These sophisticated measurement systems allow fast and accurate readings with the inclusion of Nitrogen as a balance gas reading. The Combi gives the user greater flexibility in terms of analysis and offers more in-depth reporting of data for today’s stringent gas flushed food packaging measures.

Sample measurements and results are achieved within seconds and there is a storage capacity of up to 5,000 measurements. Both units can operate for seven hours on one charge and utilize a Power Saver function that shuts down after two minutes of non-use. Alternatively it can be operated whilst running off the Mains AC power. The user can select from and edit five Operator titles and 25 Product titles. These rugged analyzers are manufactured in a water resistant and wipe clean material, as hygiene is of paramount importance.

AGC Instruments has over 45 years of experience within the gas analysis industry and quality and reliability are assured.

AGC Instruments is looking for distributors for this product.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Control system for Korean power plant!

Yokogawa has won a control system order for first IGCC power plant in South Korea

Taean IGCC plant!
Yokogawa has won an order from Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction to supply a control system for an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant. This is the first IGCC plant in South Korea and it is being constructed in Taean, South Chungcheong Province, by Korea Western Power Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

This IGCC power plant will have a total output of 300 MW. Following a commissioning period that will commence in December 2015, the plant will begin commercial operation. This order is for the CENTUM® VP integrated production control system, which will control the gasification section, a core plant facility. This order also includes the ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system, which will be used to shut down the gasification section safely in the event of an emergency. Both systems will be delivered in December 2013.

IGCC is a promising next-generation power technology that relies on high temperature and pressure to convert coal to synthesis gas (syngas) for use in gas turbine generators. The exhaust from the turbines is sent to boilers to generate steam, and additional power is generated by steam turbines. This type of plant is thus more efficient than a conventional coal-fired power plant.

Yokogawa Electric Korea was able to win this order because of the high reliability of Yokogawa’s control systems and its excellent engineering capabilities. Founded in 1978, Yokogawa Electric Korea has been offering highly reliable solutions to customers for over 30 years, and has become a top manufacturer of control systems and sensors in its home market. It established a power plant department in 2008 that has been actively promoting sales in the power market. Encouraged by the success in winning this order, Yokogawa will expand this business by offering appropriate solutions to developers of innovative technologies that generate power more efficiently and have less of an impact on the environment.

True-rms Clamp Meters,

Fluke has introduced the new Fluke 320 Series true-rms Clamp Meters, a complete line of tools engineered to produce noise-free, reliable measurements in the toughest environments. Designed to be long-lasting and easy to use, the new Fluke 323, 324 and 325 clamps meters are ideal for rugged, all-purpose use in residential, commercial, HVAC/R and light industrial electrical applications. The Fluke 320 Series features a slim, ergonomic design for comfortable all-day use with large, easy-to-read displays and with CAT III 600V/CAT IV 300V safety ratings. All models measure true-rms AC voltage to 600V and true-rms AC current to 400A for accurate measurement of non-linear signals.

The Fluke 324 and 325 models additionally feature a backlit display, for easy viewing in any setting, and capacitance measurements from 100 to 1000 microfarads. The 325 model further offers DC current measurements up to 400A, as well as frequency and resistance measurements for motor testing, and also provides a Min/Max function.

Almost unlimited configuration flexibility for machine tool manufacturers

A new generation of its CNC platform has been introduced by NUM, providing machine tool manufacturers with an exceptionally flexible and scalable solution for safe control of machine tools.

NUM's new multi-processor
touch-sensitive operator panel
supports a fully customisable HMI
and virtual keyboard
Known as Flexium+, the modular safety-equipped platform enables OEMs to standardise on a single cost- and performance-optimised CNC architecture for a vast spectrum of machine types - from small machines with a few axes to large multi-cell manufacturing equipment with over 200 axes and spindles. In this way, the open architecture of the CNC platform can dramatically lower development and support costs, and speed time to market.

Flexium+ builds on the architecture of NUM's Flexium CNC - the fastest-growing and most successful CNC kernel in NUM's 50 year history. To provide even greater versatility, dynamic performance and accuracy, the platform's hardware includes new digital servodrive modules with integrated safety, a safety PLC module, safe input and output modules, and a multi-processor operator panel with touch-sensitive screen. New support software includes a precision operating system and soft automation PLC, complete with a fully customisable human-machine interface (HMI) that recognises touch gestures, an extensive suite of optional machining functions, and a powerful 3D simulator for part program verification and visualisation of machining processes.

A choice of three CNC kernels, Flexium+ 6, Flexium+ 8 and Flexium+ 68, enables machine designers to deploy technically and economically optimised solutions for different machine tool applications. Flexium+ 6 and Flexium+ 8 will control up to four interpolated axes and a spindle, where Flexium+ 8 is dedicated to machines which need a higher degree of flexibility. Flexium+ 68 supports larger and more complex machine control applications and provides up to eight CNC channels, each accommodating up to nine interpolated axes and as many as 32 spindles. In total, a single Flexium+ 68 CNC kernel can accommodate 32 connected devices, any of which can be interpolated axes or spindles. This universal control approach simplifies spindle/C-axis commutation and provides an excellent foundation for multi-spindle applications such as transfer machines.

"Being able to use one CNC architecture across a complete range of machines gives a very large payback, especially for the many small to medium sized machine tool builders that support a broad range of applications using limited design resources", says NUM's CEO Peter von Rueti.

An enhanced part program structure enables machine designers to take full advantage of the new CNC hardware's versatility. Each channel runs its own part program asynchronously and operates autonomously, much as if it had a dedicated CNC kernel, or it can be synchronised to other channels. Control of one or more axes or spindles can be passed from one channel to another on-the-fly to maximise use of available hardware resources.

In each channel, four spindles can be operated in a master/auxiliary arrangement, with real-time control of their speed, direction and indexing. This simplifies implementation of complex machining operations. The master handles advanced CNC functions such as maintaining CSS (constant surface speed) while the workpiece changes diameter during processing, or continuously tracking angular position during thread cutting, with the three auxiliary spindles handling associated higher speed machining.

Multiple Flexium+ 68 CNC kernels can be interconnected via real-time Ethernet, which enables the realisation of control systems with more than 200 interpolating axes. The ability to drive multiple CNC kernels and control this number of axes with a single automation PLC is a unique advantage of NUM's CNC architecture.

To help OEMs implement rigorous machine safety schemes, Flexium+ introduces a comprehensive system-wide safety architecture known as NUMSafe. All critical system operations are overseen by a new safety PLC module. In conjunction with new NUM safe I/O modules and servodrives - which incorporate safe motion monitoring circuitry - the safety PLC enables machine designers to implement high integrity safety functions with very few additional components.

NUMSafe is inherently scalable, requires minimal extra wiring and uses a Fail Safe over EtherCAT (FSoE) protocol to ensure integrity of all safety-related data. The architecture complies with the EN ISO 13849-1 machinery safety standard up to PLe, and with the EN 61800-5-2 functional safety standard for variable speed drives, up to SIL 3.

Available in single- and dual-axis versions, the new digital servodrives - NUMDrive X - offer a choice of two performance levels, with outputs from a few amps to 200 Arms. Their high degree of functional integration makes them one of the smallest drives of their type on the market. To further simplify design-in, the drives' safe motion monitoring board is available in a basic version with Safe Torque Off functionality, and in an extended version which adds Safe Operating Stop, Safe Stop 1, Safe Stop 2, Safely­Limited Speed and Safely-Limited Position functions.

NUMDrive X servodrives are significantly faster than NUM's earlier-generation NUMDrive C products. Advanced DSP control increases CNC-drive servobus speed by 100 percent. Together with improvements to the drives' bandwidth - by as much as 25 percent - and enhanced acceleration algorithms, this means machine designers do not need to sacrifice resolution during extended axis travel, or trade traverse rate against positioning accuracy. Overall CNC resolution and accuracy are further improved by a numerical processor in the CNC kernel; the software has been enhanced to utilise high precision format, allowing for finer interpolation and speed control.

To speed development of part programs, Flexium+ provides a unified suite of software tools with a consistent look and feel. All CNC, servodrive, I/O, automation PLC and safety PLC functions are set up and programmed using a single tool; the automation PLC offers a choice of IEC 61131-3 compliant graphical and textual programming languages, while the safety PLC is programmed using simple function blocks and Boolean operators. Unlike competitive CNC platforms, Flexium+ also offers a fully customisable HMI, allowing OEMs to add value to their machines through improved ergonomics. Dual touch gestures such as 'wipe', 'expand' and 'rotate' can be incorporated to capitalise on NUM's new touch-sensitive operator panel, while virtual keys can replace physical keys to further simplify machine operation and reduce build costs.

Manually-written or CAM-generated part programs can be verified and optimised easily and quickly using NUM's powerful Flexium 3D graphical simulation software on an offline PC. Alternatively, the software runs on the new operator panel, taking full advantage of its multi-core processor PC and 19-inch screen, and interacting with the machine's CNC unit, to simulate part programs either before they are run, or simultaneously with part processing. Users can visualise the path of the tool centre point, simulate material removal and check for collisions. As standard, the software can simulate a wide variety of machining functions including grooving, thread cutting and tapping on 3- to 5-axis turning machines, milling and drilling on 3-axis machines, and contour cutting.

An exceptionally diverse range of application support software covers machining functions such as grinding, turning, milling and cutting, as well as gear hobbing, shaping and finishing. The latest additions include new functions for water-jet and plasma cutting machines, using innovative 'tilted nozzle management' algorithms to prevent under- or over-cut edges by automatically compensating for the conical shape of the beam.

The Flexium+ CNC platform is backed by NUM's extensive portfolio of motors. NUM is also introducing two new ranges of brushless axis motors designed specifically for use with the new NUMDrive X servodrives. These drives incorporate an innovative digital encoder interface which dispenses with the need for a separate cable by carrying encoder power and data on a two-wire link embedded into the motor cable. The new SHX and SPX brushless axis motors have a single connector and cable, simplifying installation and reducing wiring costs significantly.

Ideal T+M aid for engineers in highly regulated industries

National Instruments has announced LabWindows/CVI 2012, the latest version of its proven ANSI C IDE for test and measurement software programmers.

 “In today’s competitive environment,  companies struggle to maintain high quality and reliability in complex systems as development cycles continue to shorten,” said Ray Almgren, Vice President of Core Platforms Product Marketing at National Instruments. “LabWindows/CVI 2012 shows our continued commitment to longevity and innovation, providing engineers with the most productive software tools for building complex test and measurement systems.

Product Features

  • Side-by-Side Run-Time Engine feature for regulated industries helps developers protect validated code from unwanted updates by binding applications to a run-time engine version
  • Execution Profiler provides a graphical profile of time spent in individual threads and functions during run time to identify code bottlenecks
  • Over 100 new advanced analysis functions for RF applications, including signal noise generation, windowing functions, filter design and analysis functions, signal operation functions and more
  • Upgrades to the LabWindows/CVI Real-Time Module for improved timing and control of real-time targetsSeries