Friday, November 2, 2012

3C crimp connector

Compact DIN 41612 type 3C crimp female connector with housing

Harting has introduced a compact DIN 41612 type 3C crimp female cable connector for use with smaller printed circuit boards or sub-assemblies.

The new connector is designed for ease of use. Three possible outlet ports are available which can be opened up by simply breaking through the external walls as required. The locking levers are pre-injection moulded, so that subsequent assembly is not necessary. This arrangement reduces the number of individual components.

The crimp contacts are available on reels of 500 or 5000 contacts for series production and as individual contacts for repair purposes. Crimping can be carried out with a hand crimping tool, a semi-automatic device or a fully automatic device, depending on the unit volume and level of automation.

Strain relief is ensured by a cable tie which protects the cable and attaches it directly to the housing. Straight and right-angled male connectors, which snap into the shell housing, are available as mating plugs. The new connector offers the same robustness as Harting’s established devices in the full and half sizes.

Sorting grain and beans!

Hyperspectral sensors provide data-rich feedback for the food industry

A new precision hyperspectral collaboration is to be used in grain, seed and bean sorting by QualySense (Dübendorf CH). The Hyperspec Extended VNIR sensors, from Headwell, which operate in the spectral range of 550-1650nm, will provide a higher level of precision during the analysis of seeds and grains.

The unique ability of Headwall's sensors to assess and inspect quality levels of seeds and grains based on spectral characteristics positions QualySense as an innovative leader in this important industry of crop science. Through collaboration with Headwall, the QualySense QSorter systems will be able to classify and sort grains based on nutrients and contamination levels. Waste will be minimized because hyperspectral sensing has the ability to eliminate only those seeds and grains that specific algorithms deem to be of poor quality. Foods made from those commodities will be more effectively processed, utilized, and priced based on quality parameters assessed during the high-throughput, hyperspectral inspection process.

David Bannon, Headwall CEO, noted how hyperspectral sensing is playing an innovative role in food quality and safety: "QualySense is a perfect example of how our technology can be used to deliver cost-effective innovation to processors of seeds and grains. With the QSorter instruments, quality can be determined more precisely than ever and in real time."

Dr. Francesco Dell'Endice, QualySense CEO, explained the key role that innovative technology can play. "Food producers need a highly resolved way of determining protein and oil content, color, size and other meaningful characteristics while increasing product consistency. Hyperspectral sensing represents a tremendous technical leap forward because it gives our customers a new view on quality. Headwall's Hyperspec sensor provides exceptional spectral and spatial imaging and does so with the processing power required for high-throughput food inspection."

What works and doesn't work in Automation!

Here is a new book designed to help the next generation of automation engineers steer clear of common career obstacles and reach their professional objectives. Those of our readers on twitter may have noticed these tips been shared one by one during the past year. (#ISAuto)

101 Tips for a Successful Automation Career by Gregory K. McMillan and P. Hunter Vegas consolidates career planning recommendations, guidance on technical issues and challenges, interpersonal and workplace advice, and philosophical observations.

Do you want to:
• Know more than your boss?
• Sleep like a baby before a startup (less crying in the middle of the night)?
• Get back early from startups?
• Have vendors ask what you think works best?
• Become the “Go To Person?”
• Have your CEO smile at you?
• Inspire your children to become automation engineers?
• Get a knowing twinkle in your eyes like the technologist about to retire?
• Get asked what is your key to success?
• Get invited by operators to special meals in the control room kitchen?
• Create a worldwide recognition of the value of the automation profession?
• Become famous and a regular guest on late night TV?
• Be remembered for all the right reasons?
“Through our combined 70 years of experience in management, instrumentation, electrical design, modeling and control, Hunter and I have installed hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment and managed thousands of projects,” says McMillan, a highly acclaimed automation professional and ISA Life Achievement Award recipient. “Along with our many successes have come some hard lessons learned. We wrote this book to share what works and what doesn’t in order to guide and assist younger automation engineers in their professional journeys.”

Written in an inviting, easy-to-read style, the book is aimed at automation engineers involved in controls systems and instrumentation, and engineering students approaching graduation.

“The book is an interesting mix of facts, advice and useful tips gleaned from our many years in the automation field,” remarks Vegas, senior project leader at Avid Solutions, an industrial process control system integrator based in Winston-Salem, N.C. “It’s not your typical technical resource. It provides a great deal of useful information that is simply not available anywhere else. It’s like gaining all the insights and perspectives of a life-long career in automation without experiencing the gray hair.”

Examples of topics addressed include:
• Planning a career in automation
• Surviving a control system start up and living to tell the tale
• Avoiding technical and interpersonal pitfalls
• Dealing with bosses, vendors and co-workers
• Becoming the “go to” person

“We hope that by reading this book, you’ll avoid the errors that we and others have made, and you’ll be better prepared to navigate your way to a long and successful automation career,” Vegas adds.

The Authors:
In his automation career, Vegas has engineered and installed fieldbus systems across a variety of industries; designed robotics and automated gauging systems for Babcock and Wilcox, Naval Nuclear Fuel Division; developed next-generation manufacturing equipment for Bristol Myers Squibb; and held numerous instrumentation, engineering and production management positions at Cytec Industries.

He received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering at Tulane University, and a master’s degree in business administration from Wake Forest University.

McMillan is a widely honored automation professional and author. He received the ISA “Kermit Fischer Environmental” Award for pH control in 1991, and the Control magazine “Engineer of the Year” Award for the Process Industry in 1994. In 2001, McMillan was inducted into the Control “Process Automation Hall of Fame”; in 2003, he was honoured by InTech magazine as one of the most influential innovators in automation; and in 2010, he received the ISA Life Achievement Award.

He is the author of numerous books on process control, including Essentials of Modern Measurements and Final Elements for the Process Industry and Advanced Temperature Measurement and Control. He has been the monthly “Control Talk” columnist for Control magazine since 2002.

A former Senior Fellow from Solutia/Monsanto and an ISA Fellow, McMillan currently contracts in Emerson Delta R&D via CDI Process & Industrial in Austin, Texas. He earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering physics from Kansas University and a master of science degree in electrical engineering (control theory) from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

However over all these accolades there is one aspect of his personality we appreciate. He has a sense of humour and he can write humourously. A mix of attributes all to rarely found among scientific authors these days.

Software provides enterprise-wide solution!

TS3 Technology is a diverse contract manufacturer based in Southern USA. They supply a mixed product range into medical, aerospace, electro-mechanical and other applications. Increasing penetration into aerospace and medical device and other regulated markets led to customer and internal demand for improved process flow control, improved real-time actionable data collection and reporting. In 4Q2011, TS3 met this requirement by installing a complete Aegis Software suite, comprising iLaunch, iView, iTrac, iQ and iMaterials with Aegis Analytics for reporting capabilities.

A number of factors led to TS3 selecting Aegis. ‘We chose Aegis because their single code based software package provides the comprehensive enterprise-wide solution that we needed’ commented Brian Killen, TS3’s Vice President of Information Technology. ‘However we were also influenced by Aegis’ reputation as a global supplier, and their established experience in successful deployments with minimal production interference. This was borne out by the aggressive implementation of two facilities over a six month period, which was accomplished with the help of the assigned Aegis Deployment Engineer, Eric Messenger. His knowledge of the software and TS3’s manufacturing environment, together with his commitment to the success of the implementation was second to none.’

The Aegis suite is being used for process management including route control, quality data collection and alarming, material validation and internal and external reporting. This unified, enterprise-wide environment replaces a set of ad hoc systems that TS3 had developed over time. These systems had electronic documentation capability and performed their own tasks well, but lacked a comprehensive control and reporting strategy that could access their entire manufacturing process.

After several months’ operation, the software suite is now used in full production at TS3’s Stafford, Texas and Franklin (TN USA), facilities. These two sites comprise a multimillion dollar operation with a combined manufacturing footprint of 170,000 square feet and over 350 employees. Production activities include electromechanical assembly, PCB assembly, and wire harness and cable assembly.

The Aegis software is totally integrated into TS3’s production strategy, with communications links to their Juki, Fuji, Universal and Assembleon placement machines. It also interfaces at a software level with Made2Manage, which is a back-office ERP platform. The Aegis deployment across both sites is being managed by Andrew Pickard, Applications Engineer at TS3.

The NPI tools allow an electronic sign-off of new product revisions, replacing a slow paper based system. The introduction of the Aegis inForce Digital Process Attendant in the Franklin facility has enhanced TS3’s automated data capture as product flows down the SMT lines. Test and Quality reporting has greatly improved while giving access to much more granular data, with accurate and timely metrics.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Acquisition aids non linear network analysis

National Instruments has announced a joint initiative with Cardiff University to develop advanced nonlinear network analysis systems. These systems combine NI PXI RF instruments and NI LabVIEW software along with waveform engineering tools from Mesuro for dramatic improvements in measurement time compared to previous systems. NI hosted a live technology demonstration of Cardiff’s nonlinear network analysis demonstration at European Microwave Week.

“We used NI system design tools to build a research testbed taking non-linear microwave waveforms in less than four months,” said Professor Johannes Benedikt, Research Director for Cardiff University. “Early results show orders of magnitude test time improvements, enabling researchers to create non-linear circuit models in a fraction of the time than previously required.”

National Instruments also announced the acquisition of NMDG, a company with more than 20 years of experience and technology in high-frequency stimulus-response and large-scale network analysis measurements. Located at the NI facility in Brussels (B), this group will actively support NI partners and leading research groups, such as Cardiff University, who use the NI platform for non-linear network analysis and behavioural modeling. The NMDG acquisition is part of a continued NI vision to provide RF and microwave design engineers with access to NI technology from initial design through production test.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Communications board has new member

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has been named to the The HART® Communication Foundation Board of Directors. Yokogawa has been a member of the Foundation since its inception in 1993 and actively participates and makes valuable contributions on the Foundation’s executive committee, marketing committee and technology working groups. This company one of the industry’s leading suppliers of HART-enabled devices and control systems and joins ABB, Emerson Process Measurement, Endress+Hauser, Honeywell and Siemens as a Foundation board member. Yokogawa will be represented on the Foundation board by Kimikazu Takahashi, Yokogawa Corporate Fellow.

“We are very pleased to have Yokogawa participate on our Board of Directors and contribute their valuable expertise and support to advance HART technology and Foundation programs. We are confident they will be a positive and effective member of our leadership team,” said Ron Helson, Foundation Executive Director, “Yokogawa has a long-standing commitment to HART Communication since launching their first HART-enabled product in 1993. With their extensive knowledge of field instrumentation, control and data acquisition systems, they actively support and advance the integration and communication between HART field devices and host systems. Yokogawa sees HART Communication as one of key automation technologies to help industrial facilities achieve significant increases in efficiency and cost effectiveness. ”

“HART is an important technology for the process automation industry. Yokogawa supports the HART Communication Foundation standards and technologies including WirelessHART® and appreciates the opportunity to participate on the Foundation Board of Directors,” says Takahashi. “We are pleased to take a more active leadership role to promote and advance the use of HART Communication in Japan and Asia-Pacific Region. We are also eager to participate and make positive contributions to advance the Compliance Testing and Registration program for HART host systems.”

He continued: "We also believe Yokogawa will be a good driving force to move forward Wireless Convergence by fully utilising our expertise of two technologies, WirelessHART and ISA100.11a, as we have unique experience in both developing and early adaption of these technologies in our products and recognise that both WirelessHART and ISA100.11a are important and relevant to the market".

Chiaki Itoh, Division Manager of the IA Marketing Headquarters’ Business Planning Division, added that “Being in such a responsible position in the HART Communication Foundation enables Yokogawa to further contribute to the Foundation and the HART Communication technology from both the device and host system perspective”.

Yokogawa recognizes the value and importance of HART technology to its clients and the global automation industry. Yokogawa has invested and continues to invest substantial resources to implement and support HART Communication in both its host systems and field devices. In April, 2010 they introduced wired HART 7 compliant pressure/differential pressure transmitters. Yokogawa is recognized as the second largest HART pressure/differential pressure transmitter supplier in the world.

Ethernet switching!

Red Lion Controls has announced that the company has expanded its portfolio of industrial Ethernet switching solutions with the new N-Tron 716M12 and Sixnet SLX-5EG, SLX-3EG and SLX-3ES switches and media converters.Available now, these Ethernet switches and converters provide high performance in a rugged package to meet networking requirements for industrial applications such as transportation and video surveillance.
The Red Lion N-Tron 716M12 managed switches deliver 16 Ethernet ports with M12 connectors in a rugged IP67 enclosure, which is ideal for wash down, temporary water immersion, offshore, dust proof, military, power substation, transportation and other outdoor applications that experience exposure to liquids and excessive dirt and dust. The 716M12 has UL approval for use in Class 1, Div. 2 hazardous locations and the EN50155 certification for railway applications.

The Red Lion Sixnet SLX-5EG switches provide 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports for real-time operation and high performance in industrial networking environments. With rugged packaging that offers superior reliability in extreme environments, these easy-to-use switches require no user setup and work right out of the box. Available in two models, the SLX-5E-1 offers 5 Gigabit copper ports with 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE) available on 4 ports while the SLX-5E-2SFP delivers 3 Gigabit 10/100/1000 PoE and 2 Gigabit SFP ports.

The Red Lion Sixnet SLX-3EG is a rugged 3 port Gigabit industrial Ethernet media converter that provides flexibility and fast performance in industrial settings. For additional connectivity options, Red Lion also offers SLX-3ES Ethernet copper-to-fiber media converters.

“Many transportation, video surveillance and security applications run outdoors in harsh conditions around the clock so they require reliable Ethernet connections,” said Diane Davis, director of product management, Ethernet networking at Red Lion Controls. “Our new switches provide flexible connectivity options that deliver the reliability and performance expected of industrial Ethernet to support bandwidth-intensive applications such as video traffic.”

The 716M12 and all SLX switches and media converters are available now through authorized Red Lion N-Tron and Sixnet resellers and distributors.

Hybrid/Electric battery monitor

The LTC 6804 high voltage battery monitor from Linear Technologies, is for hybrid electric and electric vehicles, and other high voltage, stacked-battery systems. An LTC6804 can measure up to 12 series connected battery cells at voltages up to 4.2V with 16 bit resolution and better than 0.04% accuracy. This high precision is maintained over time, temperature and operating conditions by a sub-surface Zener voltage reference similar to references used in precision instrumentation. When stacked in series, the LTC6804 enables the measurement of every battery cell voltage in large high voltage systems. Six operating modes are available to optimize update rate, resolution and the low pass response of the built-in 3rd order noise filter. In the fastest mode, all cells can be measured within 290µsec.

Multiple LTC6804s can be interconnected over long distances and operated simultaneously, using Linear Technology’s proprietary 2-wire isoSPI™ interface. Integrated into every LTC6804, the isoSPI interface provides high RF noise immunity up to 1Mbps and up to 100 meters of cable, using only twisted pair. Two communication options are available: with the LTC6804-1, multiple devices are connected in a daisy chain with one host processor connection for all devices; with the LTC6804-2, multiple devices are connected in parallel to the host processor with each device individually addressed.

The LTC6804 was designed to minimize power consumption, especially during long-term storage where battery drain is unacceptable. In sleep mode, the LTC6804 draws less than 4µA from the batteries. General purpose I/O pins are available to monitor analog signals, such as current and temperature, and can be captured simultaneously with the cell voltage measurements. Additional features include passive balancing for each cell with a programmable balancing timer for up to 2 hours, even when the LTC6804 is in sleep mode. The LTC6804 interfaces with external I2C devices such as temperature sensors, ADCs, DACs and EEPROM. Local EEPROM can be used to store serialization and calibration data, enabling modular systems.

The LTC6804 was designed to surpass the environmental, reliability and safety demands of automotive and industrial applications. The LTC6804 is fully specified for operation from -40°C to 125°C. It has been engineered for ISO 26262 (ASIL) compliant systems and a full set of self-tests ensure that there are no latent fault conditions. To accomplish this, the LTC6804 includes a redundant voltage reference, extensive logic test circuitry, open wire detection capability, a watchdog timer and packet error checking on the serial interface.

“The LTC6804 combines 30 years of analog experience with hard-earned lessons in automotive battery management,” says Mike Kultgen, design manager for Linear Technology. “On the bench, or on the road, this part delivers outstanding performance.”

Along with the LTC6804, Linear Technology is introducing the LTC6820 isoSPI transceiver. The LTC6820 enables bidirectional transmission of the Serial Peripheral Interface bus (SPI) across an isolated barrier up to 100 meters. With the LTC6820, the SPI data is encoded into a differential signal, which is then transmitted via twisted pair and a simple, inexpensive Ethernet transformer. The LTC6820 supports SPI data rates up to 1MHz, using matched source and sink currents to eliminate the need for a transformer center tap and to reduce EMI. The drive currents and the comparator thresholds are set with two resistors, allowing the system to be optimized for cable length and signal-to-noise performance. The LTC6820 is a companion to the LTC6804 high voltage battery monitor with its built-in isoSPI interface.  Battery management systems using the LTC6804 can interface to external components, such as microcontrollers, via the LTC6820.

World's smallest dc power relay

Omron Electronic Components Europe has the world’s smallest and lightest high capacity DC power relay, aimed specifically at hybrid and fuel cell cars and other electric vehicles. The relay is also ideal for other DC power applications in renewable energy and industrial systems.

Known as the G9EN, the new relay is half the size (28x40x50mm) and weight (140g) of previous comparable Omron relays; a breakthrough achieved using newly developed proprietary sealing technologies and new magnetic control methods. The new relay also features a non-polarized contact circuit which not only helps make it smaller and lighter, but also simplifies the wiring and mounting in vehicles and other systems.

Commenting, Mark Jones, COO of Omron Electronic Components Europe, said, “The G9EN was developed in partnership with clean energy car manufacturers and addresses their need for greater circuit design flexibility and components that enable down-sizing and weight reduction of on-board electrical equipment.”

Although the G9EN was designed for hybrid and electric vehicles, their chargers and accessories, its’ characteristics also make it ideal for a number of other applications. These include feeder circuits and condensers for fuel cell and solar power systems and in dc-powered industrial equipment such as elevators, industrial robots and testing devices.

Design features enabling the size and space reduction include changing the ceramic sealing construction from a conventional box-shaped ceramic case to a combination of ceramic plating and metal casing. The unique, non-polarized main terminal means that the G9EN is suitable for use in applications requiring two-way current flow. It also means it is not necessary to consider the mounting direction or the orientation of the device, making wiring and mounting much easier, and reducing the risk of incorrect wiring.

Bioaerosol sampler

Amidst growing concerns with the health effects of airborne particles, Air Monitors is launching a new portable air sampler which significantly enhances the ability to measure and control biological contamination.

The ‘Coriolis µ’ has a new wet-walled cyclone technology that improves bioaerosol sampling for bacteria, pollen, endotoxins, viruses and fungal spores. Traditional techniques rely on the impact of biological particles on a solid growth medium, but the Coriolis µ collects the particles in a liquid at a high flow rate (300 l/m) with validated efficiency. The liquid containing the particles is compatible with a number of the latest rapid microbiological analysis methods.

The Coriolis µ offers advantages for sampling air with a high bioaerosol burden (which would saturate traditional solid media) because the liquid can be divided into multiple agar plates. This technology is also ideal for air with a low burden, because the Coriolis µ can collect for an extended period.

Air Monitors, Managing Director Jim Mills says “This is an exciting development and I think that as scientific knowledge in this area grows, it will become a standard method very quickly. In the meantime, I can see a wide variety of research and air quality investigation applications that would greatly benefit from this technology.”

Spectrum monitoring receiver

National Instruments has announced the NI PXIe-5667 spectrum monitoring receiver to address radio monitoring, interference detection, spectrum regulation and related applications in line with ITU recommendations.

The PXIe-5667 3.6 and 7 GHz spectrum monitoring receivers feature best-in-class dynamic range of over 110 dB and distortion performance with third-order intercept (TOI) of over 17 dBm. Built on the award-winning, high-performance NI PXIe-5665 vector signal analyser (VSA) architecture, the wide-band receiver is ideal for over-the-air RF measurements. In addition to industry-leading analogue specifications, the NI PXIe-5667 allows users to perform real-time signal analysis and advanced signal processing in user-configurable FPGA hardware.

Coupled with NI FlexRIO and the NI LabVIEW FPGA Module, the NI PXIe-5667 can perform real-time analysis of RF signals such as continuous spectrum monitoring, spectrogram and advanced signal processing in the FPGA hardware without the latency of moving data to and from the host controller or PC. Available LabVIEW FPGA IP include digital downconverter channelisation, frequency hop detection and the ability to uncover spectrum mask violations.

“We are extremely pleased with the performance of the NI PXIe-5667,” said Jin Bains, Vice President of R&D for RF at National Instruments. “Its phenomenal dynamic range and scan rate, which is more than 10 times better than that of competing receivers, make it a game changer for radio monitoring applications.”

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Portable Mag Flow meter

OTT Hydrometry has launched a new portable current meter for fast accurate flow measurements in open channels. The OTT MF Pro is robust, simple to use and able to provide accurate measurements in shallow or low flow conditions, even in turbulent, high sediment or at sites where weed growth is an issue.

As an electromagnetic current meter with no moving parts, the OTT MF Pro requires almost no maintenance and never requires recalibration. The instrument’s display guides users through the cross-section measurements and velocity data are graphed in real-time, allowing trends to be visualised quickly. Users can enter depth information manually during the measurement work or an optional depth sensor is available

At the end of the measurement, the instrument automatically calculates discharge employing recognised international standards for flow monitoring. All data is logged and can be transferred to PC at a later time.

OTT’s Robin Guy, a flow monitoring specialist, says “The MF Pro will be extremely popular with hydrologists because measurements often need to be taken quickly and many rivers and streams are difficult to access, so a lightweight, robust, fast instrument is ideal.”

New head for European fieldbus council

Ulrich Turck, Managing Director – Hans Turck GmbH & Co. KG and Turck Holding GmbH, has been elected as Chairman to the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) Executive Advisory Council (EAC)of Fieldbus Foundtation for the next annual term of office.

Ulrich Turck
Turck began his career studying at the University of Bochum (D). Specializing in electronic components, Turck graduated with a Diplom-Ingenieur (Master). He worked as an aerospace project engineer on the German Space Lab, Mission D2, and also spent time at the Kennedy Space Centre, and participated with the ground crew at the Mission Control Center during flight. For over 25 years Turck has been employed in the family company, Hans Turck GmbH & Co. KG, where he has held the position of Managing Director with responsibilities to establish global subsidiaries, in particular in East Europe, Asia and Brazil. His current role focuses on Hans Turck's Process Automation business unit. In addition to holding the position of Managing Director of both Hans Turck GmbH & Co. KG and Turck Holding GmbH, Turck is a shareholder of both companies.

Turck takes over the chairmanship from Jean-Marie Alliet of Honeywell Process Systems. Elections for the post of Vice-Chairman for the 2012/2013 term of office will be held at the council's meeting due to be held during the SPS/IPC/Drives exhibition in Nuremberg (D), in November and will be announced in due course.

The Fieldbus Foundation EMEA EAC members include: Gregor Kilian, ABB; Travis Hesketh, Emerson Process Management; Dr. Raimund Sommer, Endress+Hauser; Jean-Marie Alliet, Honeywell; Hartmut Wallraf, Invensys; Günter Pinkowski, Krohne; Rob Stockham, Moore Industries; Peter Maxwell, MTL-Cooper Crouse Hinds; Dr. Gunther Kegel, Pepperl+Fuchs; Paul Brooks, Rockwell Automation; Herbert Schober, R. Stahl; Dr. Wolfgang Trier, Softing (Treasurer); Ulrich Turck, Hans Turck (Chairman), and Henk van der Bent, Yokogawa.

Marc Van Pelt, Vice-President – Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Operations, welcomed Turck to his new role. "Firstly, I would like to thank Jean-Marie Alliet for his dedication to the role of Chairman over the last two years and I'm looking forward to working closely with Ulrich over the forthcoming year as we progress further with several FOUNDATION technology and marketing initiatives throughout the EMEA region. The marketplace is currently experiencing challenging times but it is also an exciting time in terms of the many technological advancements of FOUNDATION technology for automation infrastructures and how we meet the needs of global end users."

The Fieldbus Foundation EMEA EAC, a committee of senior executives from EMEA's leading control and instrumentation companies, was established in February 2005 in response to growing demand for FOUNDATION fieldbus in the EMEA industrial market. The advisory council is dedicated to promoting the adoption of FOUNDATION technology by automation equipment suppliers and end users and it ensures the funding and availability of human resources to support local fieldbus marketing activities across the EMEA region. Implementation of the EAC's directives and the development of regional marketing initiatives are undertaken by the Fieldbus Foundation EMEA Steering Committee together with local marketing groups.

Embedded loadcell for offshore! A first!

The BLH and Nobel Weighing Systems brands of Vishay Precision Group have released the LCAMP, a new embedded load cell transmitter for offshore applications.

The ATEX Ex ia IIC rated LCAMP transmitter is embedded in BLH and Nobel load cells. It is the industry's first such device that can be serviced and replaced in the field and that allows the transmitter and load cell to be replaced independently of each other without affecting system calibration. The unit output is two-wire 4 mA to 20 mA and supports HART protocol for calibration and system diagnostics of both the load cell and transmitter.

The LCAMP features a combined error rate of less than ±1% of RO, NAMUR compliant error signaling, an input voltage range of 10.5 V to 42 V DC, and IP 68 ingress protection when mounted in a load cell.

The unit is operational within a second from power-on. Fully-redundant units as well as other customizations are available.

The LCAMP connects through an M12 connector or a fixed-cable connection and is specified for operating temperature range of -40°C to +70°C.

Good things come in small packages!

Small, accurate and reliable RH and temperature measurement probe!

The Michell PCMini52 relative humidity (RH) and temperature probe provides excellent accuracy and stability in a package that is small yet tough for harsh environments. Widely used for applications including controlled environments, precision manufacturing and meteorology, the instrument comes with a range of options to match usage requirements.

The PCMini52 utilises a thin-film capacitive sensor, designed for extremely fast response and long-term stability for repeatable measurements. The design provides a large capacitive response to small changes in humidity which, in turn, makes the sensor highly sensitive to even small changes in humidity. Digital temperature compensation further ensures excellent device linearity. The PCMini52 electronics are coated in a protective resin to ensure high reliability even in damp and harsh environmental conditions and it has the option of a stainless steel housing for added strength and robustness.

With a miniature space envelope of 80mm in length and 12mm diameter, this versatile probe has a range of output signal options and offers %RH, dew-point, absolute humidity or wet bulb along with temperature readings. The extremely low power consumption of the probe enables it to be used with a battery or for wireless operation if required – ideal for remote applications such as weather stations.

• Marketed in Ireland through Instrument Technology.

New square-bodied ISO cylinder!

The leading international supplier of automation equipment, Festo, has launched the new DSBC range of square-bodied ISO cylinders with innovative PPS self-adjusting air cushioning as standard. The DSBC offers machine builders and end users all the benefits of adjustable air cushioning but without the difficulties associated with set up and without a cost premium.

An out-of-the-box solution for most applications, the DSBC with PPS cushioning system automatically compensates and adjusts for the set speed and mass that the cylinder is moving in a safe and controlled manner. This makes it easier to comply with the safety standards and create set up instructions within the Machinery Directive.

At the core of Festo’s PPS cushioning system is an innovative cushioning boss, which features a combination of U and V-shaped grooves running along its full or partial length. This arrangement allows some of the air to escape at a proportional rate to the inertia of the cylinder as it moves into a closed chamber in the end cap enabling a smooth, reproducible de-acceleration.

“DSBC is the next generation of square-bodied ISO cylinder with economical and controlled PPS cushioning as standard,” says Steve Sands, Product Manager at Festo. “Gone are the days fitters need to manually adjust the cylinder’s air cushioning while the machine is active, or the machine suffers undue wear and tear when cylinders are incorrectly set up. Designers also benefit from this brand new range of DSBC cylinders with a large number of modular variants for adapting to specific environments and applications at a cost-effective price.”

The ISO standard cylinder is available in six diameters up to 100mm and with strokes up to two metre lengths. The wide range of application optimised seal variants include hard scraper rings for dust protection, dry running seals suitable for washdown environments, seals for temperatures down to -40°C or heat resistance up to 150°C and acid resistant seals.

Optional accessories include a square piston rod for protection against rotation; seal options for steady speeds or low friction running, clamping cartridge and end-position locking to prevent cylinder movements even in the event of air failure, as well as ATEX 2G explosion protection with relevant documentation.

Festo’s common parts strategy reduces logistics and manufacturing costs with the end result for the customer of a short leadtime and competitive price. In addition, Festo holds a large number of standard stroke cylinders on the shelf for next day delivery, with special stoke lengths available to order. Costs are held down through the use of a patented piston design utilising an innovative three shot moulding technique which produces the sealing, bearing and magnetic sensor ring into a single high performance piston.

Cavity pressure monitoring system

New firmware for the Kistler CoMo Injection cavity pressure monitoring system introduces mould recognition and automatic loading of mould data making mould connection and setting easier and faster during mould changes. New connectors, with mould ID Chips, simplify loading of mould and product data sets and indicate connection errors on the CoMo Injection touch screen display or PC. Connection errors are detected quickly and can be corrected before they can cause any problems. Synchronized processing of uniform evaluation objects for pressure monitoring multi-cavity moulds is now significantly easier.

The CoMo Injection output channels for controlling reject gates or removal robots can now be easily tested via One Touch check. This function ensures the reliable separation of rejects and allows network-based data management.

In combination with the CoMo DataCenter (management information system) and integral Curve Viewer module, the CoMo Injection system offers sensor, connection system, process control and monitoring through to process data storage, documentation and analysis. As a complete system for zero-defect production, CoMo Injection allows users to progress towards 100% quality during injection moulding.

Vector network analyser

The NI PXIe-5632 VNA, just announced by National Instruments, is optimised to help engineers meet increasingly complex RF test requirements at a fraction of the cost, size and time compared to traditional rack-and-stack solutions. The new PXIe VNA is built on an innovative dual-source architecture with frequency range covering 300 kHz to 8.5 GHz, independently tuned sources and source access loops to cover a diverse set of measurement applications

The vector network analyser (VNA) reduces the cost of test through fast automated measurements, a feature-rich instrument architecture and simplified test system development. The PXI Express module integrates advanced VNA measurement capabilities to complete PXI-based test systems incorporating precision DC, high-speed analogue and digital measurements, and more

“NI continues its strong investment in RF and microwave instrumentation expanding the adoption of PXI into high-end applications,” said Jin Bains, Vice President of RF Research and Development at National Instruments. “The extensive feature set of the NI PXIe-5632 VNA significantly reduces the cost of network measurements, especially in high-volume automated test applications that require highly accurate measurements, a fast measurement speed and a small footprint.”

Hungarian valve plant expanded

Emerson Process Management has expanded its valve automation manufacturing capability with the opening of a new state-of-the-art facility in Székesfehérvár (H). The plant, opened officially in September 2012,  will help address Emerson’s customers’ key requirements of fast delivery and a high level of service and support. Emerson expects that the increased production capacity will help reduce delivery times for customers in Europe by as much as 25%.
The official opening of the new state-of-the-art Székesfehérvár facility in September 2012.
The new 6,000 m2 site is dedicated to the manufacture of Emerson’s valve automation products for distribution in Europe. The plant will specifically produce Emerson’s Bettis™ range of medium and large size scotch yoke actuators, including both double acting and spring return models. The new facility was officially opened in September 2012 and has a flexible production capacity to meet demand.

"Demand for our actuator products has grown significantly," said Eric Saussaye, vice president, Emerson Process Management Valve Automation, Europe. "The new facility and the increased capacity offered will ensure we meet our customers’ needs and help them get their operations running more quickly."

The new ISO 9001:2008 and PED (Pressure Equipment Directive) certified facility will provide a world-class manufacturing capability and strengthen Emerson’s local presence, improving responsiveness and market competitiveness by streamlining material sourcing, optimising inventory management, and reducing lead time. This new production facility will provide greater support to major energy and industrial projects across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Emerson has operated in Székesfehérvár since 1996 and currently has 550 employees servicing the requirements of the thriving oil, chemical and energy industries in the region. Emerson will add 50 additional employees and with on-going developments at the facility, this number is expected to double over the next 12 months.

Quality station inspection systems

Vision systems integrator, Olmec, has introduced the QS and QS+ turnkey, self-contained vision inspection systems as part of the ‘Quality Station’ range. With a footprint of just 1.2 m x 0.7 m, they are easily added to the manufacturing environment to provide in-line inspection. Featuring an integral transport and reject mechanism, they can be used in conjunction with other quality inspection tools such as checkweighers or on their own.

Both the QS and QS+ can accommodate product up to 300 x 300 x 500 mm size and 6 kg weight at rates up to 60 m/minute. The QS is designed to inspect product either from the top or the sides, while the QS+ also allows inspection of the underside of the product. QS and QS+ systems are delivered fully configured and tested for the particular application. Vision experts will discuss the application in detail, then choose the most appropriate camera(s), lighting and reject mechanism and set up all the inspection tools needed before carrying out a rigorous and fully documented off-line testing and acceptance programme prior to installation.

Typical applications for the QS include checking for product assembly completeness, colour or defect analysis, as well as label inspection. Label inspection includes full code reading capabilities including 1D and 2D codes with character verification and even the ability to make calculations from data read from the label to, for example, check that for a given unit price and the weight or volume displayed on the label that the package price is correct.

The QS+ is capable of all of the above inspections, but can also inspect product from below as well, allowing, for example, labels on the bottom of a product to be read and checked for conformity with other labels on the product.

Comprehensive communication links allow easy integration into customers’ production lines as well as providing remote connectivity for fast diagnostics. An intuitive user interface makes it very easy to operate.

Olmec Technical Director, Robert Pounder, commented: “The Quality Station range offers a fresh approach to in-line vision inspection. We’ve utilised our considerable vision systems expertise gained from years of implementing traditional in-line inspection systems to produce a standard product. By thoroughly testing that the Quality Station meets the required inspection criteria before delivery, risk is mitigated for the user.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

High pressure transducers!

From components to contraceptives - high pressure transducers are up to the job

Burst pressure testing to the point of destruction to determine the design limits of components used in many situations is a common aplication for RDP pressure transducers.
Certain components may be critical to the performance of equipment used in industries including aerospace, nuclear, chemical and oil & gas industries where failure can be catastrophic. But components subjected to burst testing regimes can include anything from very high pressure hydraulic hoses through to contraceptive devices, all of which need to be tested using applied pressures to ensure that they meet specification and do not leak. Burst pressure testing is typically performed to determine how much overload a part or system can endure before failure and to determine component design limits. RDP pressure transducers can be combined with E725 digital indicator units to form a system which will allow monitoring of pressure testing to destruction

Power warranty!

Excelsys Technologies have increased the warranty on their market leading configurable Xgen power supply range to 3 years. Since its launch in 2006 this very flexible power supply family has demonstrated its field reliability in industrial, medical, scientific and hi-rel applications worldwide.
Dermot Flynn, European Sales Director, comments, “We have been able to offer our customers this increased warranty on our Xgen power supplies after observing six years of field demonstrated reliability since launching in 2006. The proven in the field reliability in a wide range of mission critical systems such as medical equipment communications electronics and 24/7 industrial applications, coupled with the high MTBF figures and extensive HALT (highly accelerated life test) report data, enable us to offer the longest warranty in this market segment.”

Excelsys Technologies are a progressive world-class power supply manufacturer providing quality products to OEM equipment manufacturers around the world and are market leaders in high efficiency, low profile, customer configurable modular power supplies.

Typical applications for Excelsys products include industrial and automation systems, medical, communications, lighting and Hi-Rel COTS applications, telecoms, instrumentation, n+1 and redundant power systems, test and measurement equipment, printing and IT power.

Operations APP

A free app which provides mobile access to information such as operating instructions and technical details, from a smart phone and other mobile devices.

Endress+Hauser has announced an Operations App for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad mobile devices. An Android version will be released soon. The free App lets instrument engineers and maintenance technicians quickly download specific documentation such as operating instructions and technical information for Endress+Hauser instruments and analysers, and data from their Life Cycle Management program.

With Operations App and a smart phone, users can access data wherever they are, and whenever they need it.

The app provides quick and easy access to up-to-date product information and device details such as order code, configuration information, date of production, product status and availability, manuals, and spare part information including exploded view drawings, compatibility and mounting advice.
With the app, a user simply enters the serial number or scans the data matrix code on the device with the phone, and immediately gains access to the information. A user can share information and documents with colleagues by email.

Calibration certificates are also available to registered users.

Life Cycle Management Tools
From a mobile phone, Operations App allows users to access features of the Endress+Hauser Life Cycle Management web-based tools. These tools apply to different life cycles of an instrument installation, and help manage technical and operational information needed by a plant and its maintenance people.

Information in Life Cycle Management simplifies planning for engineering, procurement, installation, monitoring and maintenance. The Operations App allows mobile access to information functions, such as:
• Applicator for selection and sizing of suitable Endress+Hauser instruments
• Installed Base Assistant for management of plant assets
• Automatic documentation handling for Endress+Hauser equipment
• Task Scheduler for scheduling maintenance tasks or managing the installed base
• Logbook for traceability of calibration, repair and maintenance events
• Product status for Endress+Hauser devices for easier migration strategies

TheThe app can be downloaded for free at iTunes.