Wednesday 31 July 2013

Short-travel test probe for direct PCB mounting

The new P694-D from Peak Test Services is a solder-tight short-travel test probe which can be soldered directly to a printed circuit board without the need for a receptacle.

Designed for testing devices at 3.5 mm centres, the probe is available with a dome head and is capable of carrying currents up to 8.0 A.

The P694-D features a nominal travel distance of 0.8 mm (1.2 mm maximum), and has a spring force of 65 cN.

A flow all-rounder for all process industries

Krohne has introduced the new OPTISONIC 3400 ultrasonic flowmeter for liquids. The 3-beam inline flowmeter is a multipurpose device that can be used for both standard and more demanding applications in terms of process temperature, pressure or high viscosities. Target industries for the OPTISONIC 3400 include oil & gas, petrochemical and chemical, as well as energy and utility applications in all industries.

In 2003, Krohne introduced the UFM 3030, the first 3-beam process ultrasonic flowmeter for liquids. Since then, this universal flowmeter has gained a proven track record with more than 25,000 devices installed worldwide. With vast experience and knowledge in ultrasonic flow technology, Krohne now unveils the OPTISONIC 3400, a new multipurpose flowmeter with versatile I/O and communication options including enhanced diagnostics.

Being an ultrasonic flowmeter, the OPTISONIC 3400 offers bi-directional flow measurement independent of conductivity, temperature, density and pressure of medium. It is based on the transit time method and has 3 parallel acoustic/ultrasonic beams. They generate a measurement independent of flow profile to deliver accuracy also under less favorable flow profile conditions, e.g. short inlets and outlets. Within a flow range of 0,3…20 m/s (1…66 ft/s), OPTISONIC 3400 features an accuracy of +/- 0,3 %. To suit a broad range of applications, the temperature range extends from -200…250˚C/ -328…482°F, and viscosities can reach as high as 1000 cSt which applies e.g. for crude oil.

Its welded full bore, unobstructed sensor presents no pressure loss and has no potential leak points. A large choice in process connections according to DIN and ASME for nominal diameters of DN25…3000 (1…120") is available. OPTISONIC 3400 is available in compact and remote versions. For demanding process temperatures such as cryogenic conditions or extended temperatures, dedicated remote designs can be supplied.

OPTISONIC 3400 features the new signal converter UFC 400 that enables single or multi-liquid applications with the same device. It includes a new user-friendly human machine interface with both push buttons and optical buttons. To simplify set-up and operation, the flowmeter complies to the general device concept of Krohne that provides the same operating concept for flow, level and analysis converters. UFC 400 provides multiple communication options e.g. HART® 7, FOUNDATION Fieldbus, PROFIBUS PA, Modbus and various I/O selections, e.g. measurement of the velocity of sound for product identification or process analysis. It also features enhanced diagnostic and status indications according to NAMUR NE 107.

The OPTISONIC 3400 adds to the ultrasonic portfolio consisting of OPTISONIC, ALTOSONIC and UFM series of inline and clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters for liquids and gases. As a main supplier for ultrasonic flowmeters worldwide, Krohne is able to cover application areas as widespread as cryogenic LNG to thermal oil in concentrated solar power plants, HVAC, biogas or process gas to custody transfer applications for crude oil and natural gas.

Feeling the heat for charity!

A team of keen runners from VEGA UK went to Germany as one of 4 British entries to compete in the WIKA relay marathon on July 26th with over 160 teams involved. Each team of 7 runners completed a 6km (3.75m) cross country course, up hill and down dale. This year the temperature was the biggest challenge, it got up to 40°C and many competitors certainly felt the heat!

As the first time of competition for VEGA UK, whilst the overall result wasn't what they hoped for, the fund raising was superb - with staff, family and friends donating over £600. They certainly hope to return and improve on it next year! Fellow competitors, JWF Instrumentation in Glasgow, who were the fastest of the UK representatives, have agreed to match the amount raised for the national Anthony Nolan Trust and a local children’s hospice charity too!

So, following a very enjoyable weekend, the VEGA UK team would like to thank all the organisers at WIKA, colleagues in VEGA Germany, fellow competitors and donators for all their help in making the event happen, support and raising money for Charity.

Software platform for embedded test & validation to support 4th generation Intel® Core™ Processors

Goepel electronic is now supporting the 4th generation Intel® Core™ processors (code-named “Haswell”) within the framework of the SYSTEM CASCON™ platform for validation and test of complex processor boards.

SYSTEM CASCON™ is an integrated software development environment with a comprehensive tool suite, uniform GUI, and graphical project development for the synchronized utilization of all ESA technologies, enabling test, programming, and debug operations without nail or probe access (noninvasive). In addition to JTAG/Boundary Scan/ IEEE 1149.x, key elements of the ESA philosophy are, in particular, Processor Emulation Test, Chip Embedded Instrumentation, Core Assisted Programming, and FPGA Assisted Test.

Support of the new Intel processors is based on the recently introduced Intel® Silicon View Technology (Intel® SVT). Intel® SVT is a proprietary method, comprised of various features integrated into Intel processors and chipsets, enabling platform debugging, electrical validation and production test. Complex 4th generation Intel Core processor-based designs with reduced physical access and high-speed signals can now be tested structurally and functionally with high-quality diagnostics. By means of processor-specific VarioTAP® models, these capabilities can be seamlessly incorporated into SYSTEM CASCON. Additional information can be found on-line here.

“For more than a decade our system solutions have enabled the utilization of Boundary Scan/IEEE 1149.x features of Intel processors for the test of complex boards. Supporting the 4th generation Intel Core processors based on the Intel Silicon View Technology is the next logical step in the exploitation of additional validation and test opportunities with our Embedded System Access philosophy", explains Heiko Ehrenberg, Technology Officer for Embedded System Access Technologies and Managing Director at Geopel electronics LLC in the US. “For designs applying the 4th generation Intel Core processors, our OEM, ODM and EMS customers can now refer to new SYSTEM CASCON tools to accelerate prototyping, shorten time frames for New Product Introduction (NPI), and ensure the quality of production test with reduced access. As quite a number of these users are also members of the Intel Intelligent System Alliance, this platform enables us to specifically address the needs of, and cooperate with, system developers, system manufacturers, and system integrators.”

In the context of the new product development, Geopel electronic has joined the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance as General Member. Intel Intelligent Systems Alliance is a global ecosystem of 200+ member companies that provide the performance, connectivity, manageability, and security developers need to create smart, connected systems. Close collaboration with Intel enables Alliance members to innovate with the latest technologies, helping developers deliver first-in-market solutions.

Rittal TopTherm inverter chiller – improved precision & efficiency

With the focus on flexibility, operation and security Rittal’s complete range of Top Therm chillers now has a reduced depth of 605mm, increasing the number of enclosures to which it may be bayed. The condenser fan, relocated to the roof of the unit, provides an optimised thermodynamic performance and an incorporated condenser protection grill minimises the risk of damage during transit and installation.

The temperature of the chilled water supplied for enclosure cooling is not as critical as that used in process cooling. Spindle cooling demands the cooling medium is supplied within a tolerance of ± 0.5 K, to guarantee the necessary accuracy in processing, otherwise the thermal expansion of the components will cause inaccuracies in the machined workpiece.

Chillers are generally governed by a two-point control system, i.e. turning the compressor on and off as the temperature of the cooling water either rises above or falls below the maximum and minimum permissible limits. However, it is not possible to control within the small hysteresis required for machine cooling using this method as the frequent switching would adversely affect component life.

Rittal’s new TopTherm Inverter Chiller incorporates a variable speed compressor powered by a brushless DC motor, the speed of which is controlled by an inverter, to deliver the cooling medium at a temperature with the required accuracy. This technology, in conjunction with other optimised components in the refrigerant circuit, an electronically controlled expansion valve and energy efficient electronically commutated (EC) fans, has culminated in a range of chillers with a capacity range of 2-19.5 kW, a chilled water temperature tolerance as low as ± 0.2 K and an impressively high energy efficiency ratio (EER) of up to 3.3.

Certification ensures a high level of expertise in the buildings management!

ControlMaestro™, the ELUTIONS’ Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition solution installed in many monitoring and control applications in the Building Management field, has been recognised as BACnet Advanced operator WorkStation (B-AWS) according to the BACnet 09 version test procedure of the BTL/WSPCert accredited laboratory.

Related to the new ControlMaestro 2013 version released this month, this Certification provides further proof of the software’s robustness and strengthens the ELUTIONS’ position in the SCADA market for building automation monitoring and control as well as their intelligent and efficient management.

In a constantly changing market more and more driven by standards and safety aspects, the ControlMaestro technological innovations enable it to provide answers in a meaningful way and to keep ahead of its competitors while providing open connectivity and supporting all common communication protocols. ControlMaestro is also compliant with the FDA21 CFR Part 11 standard for information systems security.

"Member of the BACnet Interest Group (BIG-EU), we are closely monitoring developments in the BACnet protocol that include all the features that may be encountered in the BMS space and that are constantly evolving to meet the field’s requirements.", explains Didier Pedreno, Technical Manager at ELUTIONS.

Thanks to this interoperable open protocol and to the easy configuration of all devices existing on the network(s) as well as the ability to natively access all the properties of a BACnet object without any additional tools, ControlMaestro 2013 offers maximum flexibility and optimal management of operations by enabling products and various intelligent vendor systems to exchange different data types (temperature, instructions, schedules, alerts, etc.) while increasing equipment performance. SCADA operations are easily accessible. Data sharing, scheduling, alarming and trending services are fully integrated within the SCADA system.

In this context, ControlMaestro provides valuable benefits in terms of productivity, engineering, security, user mobility and integration of third party systems.
Beyond the technical aspects, ControlMaestro also offers many economic benefits allowing Real Estate owners and operators to reduce operating costs and save on maintenance costs with the additional possibility to integrate the complementary solution for the energy management: Maestro™.

New 1/8 DIN dual-input flow rate/totalisers

Precision Digital has just announced the ProVu® PD6262 and PD6363 Dual-Input Flow Rate / Totalizers. The new 1/8 DIN panel meters feature independent programming of inputs, including separate selection of input type and scaling. The PD6262 panel meter supports dual analog inputs of 0-20 mA, 4-20 mA, 0-5 V, 1-5 V, or ±10 V. The PD6363 supports dual pulse inputs, including square wave, open collector, NPN, PNP, TTL, or switch contact signals. Both meters provide integrated math functions for rate or total flow calculations: addition, difference, summation, multiplication, division, min/max, weighted average, ratio, concentration, and more.

The PD6262 and PD6363 feature rugged NEMA 4X front panels. The optional SunBright display can be read even in direct sunlight, smoke, fog, dust, or at a distance. The meters are designed for quick and easy display of local or remote information in a variety of flow applications, such as municipal water measurement, wastewater treatment, or chemical mixing. For hazardous areas, such as oil and gas production, the meters are also available as explosion-proof, IP68, NEMA 4X ProtEX®-MAX models.

"The PD6262 and PD6363 represent a new generation of 1/8 DIN dual-input meters," said Jeffrey Peters, President, Precision Digital Corporation. "They include modern panel meter features, such as alternating dual-line displays, readable screens even in sunlight, and convenient 24 VDC transmitter power supplies. They're also easily programmed. Each input channel can display rate, total, grand total, units, math functions, whatever is needed for the application."

The ProVu flow rate / totalizers feature bright red LED displays. The upper display is 0.60 inches (15 mm) high and shows a full six digits. With the total overflow feature, up to nine digits of total flow can be displayed. The lower display is 0.46 inches (12 mm). The displays can show a combination of flow rate, total, grand total, a custom tag, and math channels. The meters are easy to read from a distance and under various lighting conditions, and the ProtEX-MAX is also designed to be seen from wide viewing angles.

The PD6262 and PD6363 are UL and CUL Listed and are CE Certified for high noise and RF immunity. The explosion-proof models, ProtEX-MAX PD8-6262 and PD8-6363, provide IP68, NEMA 4X enclosures, SafeTouch® Through-Glass button programming, and Modbus® RS-485 serial communications standard.

• Precision Digital products are marketed in Ireland by P J Boner & Company.

Partnering to comercialise NIR spectrometer system!

Bayer Technology Services (BTS) and KROHNE signed a distribution agreement to commercialise the SpectroBAY inline NIR spectrometer system. The agreement comprises the worldwide marketing and sales of the analytical system in the chemical processing industry (CPI) outside the Bayer group through KROHNE.

Dr. Klaus Sommer (L), Senior Vice President
& Head of Customer & Product Management
 Bayer Technology Services, with Stephan
Neuburger, Managing Director Krohne.
SpectroBAY is an in-line optical spectrometer system that uses near-infrared wavelengths (NIR) to determine the composition of liquids, solids and gases in real time. The information about the composition of process streams can be used for closed loop control. By knowing the composition at any time, chemical producers can operate their process at the chemical and economical optimum with as high yield as possible. Applications for the SpectroBAY range from incoming chemicals (reactants, catalysts etc.), chemicals being converted (reaction tracking) to quality/purity analysis of final products. Since its development in 2001, the system has gained a track history of more than 400 applications with over 600 measuring points in chemical plants worldwide.

Due to the large success as a compact optical analysis system which can even be applied in explosive areas, BTS decided to make SpectroBAY available outside the Bayer group. Out of an assessment that included 30 companies, KROHNE was chosen to become the exclusive sales partner in the CPI.

“We have been working with KROHNE on many projects for quite some time. With KROHNE we have chosen a partner with a very good fit of company cultures, a strong track record of bringing technologies into the market and very good access to customers in Europe, NAFTA and China which we will be focusing on first” says Dr. Klaus Sommer, Senior Vice President and Head of Customer and Product Management at Bayer Technology Services.

Stephan Neuburger, Managing Director KROHNE Group, adds: “Efficiency is the key-word of our times, hence plant owners and operators desperately need real-time measurement and control. They cannot afford to not exploit the full and entire plant capacity. So large plants are increasingly upgraded with NIR spectrometer systems. SpectroBAY represents a new flagship product in our analysis portfolio for this market. In addition, BTS will benefit from our proven experience as well as from our well-established and diversified customer relationships worldwide.”

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Improved speed for machine vision camera range

New high speed 2 Mpixel and 4 Mpixel CMOSIS monochrome sensors have been added to the popular Genie TS range of industrial vision cameras available from Stemmer Imaging to provide extremely high sustained GigE Vision bandwidth. With Power over Ethernet for reduced cable complexity, the Genie TS camera platform delivers the widest, most powerful feature set available for GigE Vision cameras.

Teledyne DALSA’s "Burst Mode" feature allows for high image capture rates with a true global shutter while maintaining exceptional image quality. The 2 Mpixel (2048 x 1088) HD format version has a frame rate of 70 fps, with 37.5 fps for the 4 Mpixel (2048 x 2048) version.

The Genie TS offers two image transfer schemes to make the most of the sensor capabilities. In automatic mode, data is output to the PC as fast as the incoming sensor data up to GigE speed. There is also a manual mode in which the Genie supports a set of features to control the data coming out of the camera, allowing flow control and buffering of a large sequence of images within the camera.

The extraordinarily rich feature set includes a wide dynamic range, achieved by combining multiple images at different exposures using the host computer within the user’s own application. Also built into the tough compact body of only (49 x 49 x 54)  mm are motorised lens control with image-to-image aperture, zoom and focus functionality, auto iris, image compression, RS-485 and RS-232 ports and much more.

Ideally suited to a wide-range of industrial applications including semiconductor, electronics, food, packaging and other manufacturing and assembly processes, the Genie TS was also the first machine vision camera platform engineered for Intelligent Traffic/Transportation System applications.

Expanded service capability to meet critical customer needs!

Smart project and support service connections bridge critical gaps in customer resources

Emerson Process Management has added more than 4000 service personnel since 2005 and plans to increase its global service staff at approximately twice the industry growth rate for the next four years. The rapid growth is part of a strategic expansion of project and support services to meet customers’ growing needs.

Today’s economics require that most process manufacturers have only the staff necessary to maintain efficient operations. This leads to a "capabilities gap" when substantial new capital investments are undertaken or when maintenance requirements spike, as during a plant turnaround. Emerson’s expanded service capabilities help customers meet the challenges of both situations.
Slide shared at Emerson European Press Event in June 2013
"The number of large automation projects for which we’ve been chosen – increasingly as Main Automation Contractor – has dramatically increased in the past two years," explained Steve Sonnenberg, President of Emerson Process Management. "Many of these projects are in emerging markets, often focused on meeting critical infrastructure needs or developing natural resources. Not only do they require large amounts of engineering effort for design, commissioning and start-up, but once they’re up and running they need prompt, dependable support services to stay at peak efficiency."

Process manufacturers also realise that achieving best-in-class operations often requires adopting new technology, but they are not necessarily staffed to implement major technology initiatives. Emerson can also help them bridge this gap by providing contract personnel to do initial set-up of new technology approaches and assist with on-going support programmes.

"We are very pleased that our customers are opting to meet their project and service needs by partnering with Emerson Process Management," said Sonnenberg. "It’s our goal to address the gaps in our customers’ in-house capabilities with our quality services. The aggressive investment programme we’ve put in place will help us meet those needs."

• See also Reports from Europe: Emerson raises the Baar and Move to promote support services and work ever closer to customers!

Joint LED lighting development partnership

Marl International has started a bilateral engineering partnership with California-based LED lighting manufacturer Bivar Inc. under which the two companies will combine design resources and share IP to bring innovative LED lighting and indicators to the market more quickly. The announcement marks a further stage in the strategic alliance between Marl and Bivar which was announced in January 2013.

Under the agreement, Marl and Bivar will share expertise, tools and teams to bring products to market jointly. The two companies will market and support these products to customers around the world through a global network of agents and distributors. The two companies have manufacturing locations on three continents. Marl has recently invested £250,000 in new automated production equipment and prototyping tools for its Ulverston, Cumbria site.

Tom Silber, CEO of Bivar & Adrian Rawlinson, 
Managing Director of Marl initiate LED 
lighting development partnership
Commenting, Adrian Rawlinson, Managing Director of Marl International said, “Our new agreement allows the two companies to combine their strengths to the benefit of both sets of existing and potential customers. Both companies fully recognise the importance of becoming a global player, and the agreement is a new phase of an exciting joint strategic plan.”

Commenting on the relationship, Tom Silber, CEO of Bivar said, “Together, we will be creating innovative new lighting and indication solutions that the two companies between them can offer to the world. In addition, the dynamic nature of our collaboration also enables both organisations to encourage enquiries for custom solutions in niche product applications.”

The partnership includes an engineer exchange program, giving staff from both companies the opportunity to work on the other side of the Atlantic and broaden their experience. The benefit to customers is increased speed, design efficiency, and lighting project success.

Bivar Inc. and Marl International announced an international partnership in January, creating an organisation with manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia and a portfolio of approximately 24,000 high performance LED indication and light pipe products. Before making the January announcement, the CEOs of the two companies spent the past several years looking at how they can most effectively work together to address the growing market demand for LED –related products and solutions.

A Practical Guide to LXI

Pickering Interfaces has released the third edition of its book; "LXImate" – A Practical Guide to the LXI Standard and Getting Started with LXI Devices.

LXImate is an overview of the LXI Standard—an open, accessible standard identifying specifications and solutions relating to the functional test, measurement and data acquisition industry (LXI=LAN eXtensions for Instrumentation). This new edition has been updated to reflect the change in how products are offered, moving away from a class structure to a structure describing a Core Specification and a set of optional Extended Functions. This change has enabled the LXI Consortium to respond quickly to support enhancements like IPv6 and to adopt HiSLIP, a standard created by the IVI Foundation, without disruption to the Core Specification.

In addition to describing the standard and how to connect to LXI Devices, the new version of the LXImate also describes how Pickering Interfaces has adopted the LXI Standard to address its core markets in switching.

“The LXI Standard has been incredibly successful across a range of different applications and markets. The third edition of the LXImate brings the publication up-to-date to show how the LXI Consortium has evolved the standard to ensure that it can respond to technology changes and market demand,” said David Owen, Business Development Manager for Pickering Interfaces and Chair of the LXI Consortium’s Technical Committee. “LXI has allowed Pickering to create and control switching systems that would be difficult in alternative platforms; it also provides robustness against changes in operating systems. In products such as our 65-110 Wideband Modular Matrix, chosen by CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), LXI has allowed us to present a user scalable solution that behaves as a single coherent entity rather than individual modules. Pickering has been involved in the LXI Standard since the early days of its creation. We have always believed that LXI is complementary to our PXI switching business and that belief is supported by the unique switching products we have created using the LXI Standard”.

Representative in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas (USA) appointed

Moore Industries-International has signed TechStar as a manufacturer’s representative for Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas (USA). The expertise of the Texas-based company is a valuable asset to Moore Industries as it looks to continue its growth with key markets in a region dominated by the oil and gas industry.

TechStar has strong roots in the oil and gas industry, with headquarters in Deer Park, Texas near the Houston Ship Channel and offices near Dallas and Corpus Christi, Texas. They have a broad range of customers involved in downstream, midstream and upstream markets as well as the offshore industry. Customers trust TechStar to provide them with support and technical solutions for all facets of process control, monitoring and data acquisition applications.

“TechStar is a well-managed rep organization serving our core markets and customers,” said Gary Prentice, National Sales Manager for Moore Industries-International, Inc. “Their territory managers are experienced and successful solutions providers and are strategically positioned geographically. Moore Industries’ product lines balance their current portfolio and allow them to provide more complete solutions.”

Moore Industries provides TechStar with a product line that compliments their existing offerings. Product categories including Temperature Transmitters and Assemblies, Alarm Trips, Signal Isolators and Converters, Field and Rack Mount I/P Transmitters, Wireless Radios, and Distributed and Remote I/O. Moore Industries’ products further enable TechStar to supply their customers with the industry’s most rugged and reliable solutions. Additionally, Moore Industries addresses the Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) needs of TechStar’s customers by adding a family of IEC 61508 Functional Safety products to TechStar’s offerings.

“TechStar strives to only represent quality companies that serve a wide variety of industries and markets,” said TechStar President Kyle Kuhlow. “The addition of Moore Industries is consistent with this strategy and will allow us to continue to provide the best product offerings to our customers in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.”

Drives and motors achieve spectacular energy savings at exhibition venue

An iconic conference and exhibition venue based in central Manchester is one of Britain's first major venues to achieve the new ISO 20121 standard for sustainability.  Part of this goal has been achieved with the decision to replace the ventilation fan drive system for the large venue with a new and far more efficient solution supplied by WEG.

When combined with an intelligent interactive building management system (BMS), the new installation has provided significant savings, amounting to a 30% annual reduction in the energy costs for the venue and an ROI of less than nine months.
Located in the heart of Manchester's city centre, the iconic venue was originally a train station, which underwent a transformation in 1986 to become an exhibition and conference centre. Now, nearly 25 years on, the original plant and equipment is under review with a determined effort to reduce energy consumption and improve overall efficiency. This process recently focussed on the ventilation system for the main hall, covering 10,000m2.

Projected savings
The first stage of the project was to define the scope and to calculate projected savings to ensure that the venture would provide the expected returns. The original system comprised a number of fans, fixed speed motors and dampers which controlled the air flow; however, the motors had reached the end of their operating life and the dampers had become ineffective and were adversely affecting the performance of the system as a whole. It was decided the motors and dampers should be replaced with modern equivalents, fitted with controls connected to a new BMS.

An independent assessment was carried out by one of the country’s leading specialist MRO product and service providers to benchmark the energy consumption and costs of the ventilation system and then compare them to projected figures using replacement dampers and a downsized drive system, with matched inverters and higher efficiency IE3 motors, supplied by WEG. These calculations led to a predicted return on investment of less than 12 months and with that, the project was given the green light.

Due to the power and efficiency of the WEG inverter / motor package the entire system could be downsized significantly, reducing both installation and operating costs. The impact of the replacement system however was magnified by the change from Direct-on-Line (DOL) motors operating at fixed speeds to inverter driven motors that could operate at variable speeds, which can have a massive effect on energy consumption.

The original system ran either at full power, or not at all, using the dampers to control the air flow. The inverters now allow three set speeds and a smooth transition between each speed. To put the saving into context, using the cube law - a 25 percent reduction in speed equates to a 50 percent reduction in energy usage. A pump or fan running at 50 percent of the original speed for example; will use only 25 percent of the energy it would have used at full speed, so the savings are compounded.

The 1980s system comprised of 75kW motors for the supply fans and 18.5kW motors for the extraction fans, all of which were controlled by DOL starters. As such, all of these ageing motors ran at full speed when switched on, there was no capability for speed control. In addition, the drive coupling to the fan shaft consisted of an old v-belt arrangement, which could mean a delay of several minutes before the fan speed matched the motor speed on start-up.

The replacement WEG W22 IE3
high efficiency motors are rated at 
between 94.4% and 95% efficient
The engineers at WEG designed a new drive system which comprised 55kW supply motors and 15kW extraction motors from its W22 Premium Efficiency IE3 range and these were powered by matched WEG CFW-11 Frequency Inverters. The drive couplings were also addressed and new synchronous drive belts were installed with corresponding sprockets, which accounted for an additional three percent energy saving alone.

Drive technology
Housed in a rugged, powder-coated, IP54 metal enclosure, the CFW-11, which is available in ratings up to 370kW, is designed to operate in open conditions, i.e. without the need for a costly panel or cabinet.

Daniel Griffiths, Technical Area Sales for WEG comments, “This project really shows what is possible when a complete system, which has been designed and optimised for a specific application and uses matched equipment, is installed. The CFW-11 has been developed with this sort of fan application in mind and by using the adaptable nature of the design, real savings can be achieved, providing short ROI and a positive contribution to the bottom line on operating costs.”

The new generation of inverters from WEG contain state-of-the-art technology for three-phase induction motor control as well as many innovations which help the customer to maximise the benefits available. A clean sheet design, the CFW-11 development was based on the Plug & Play principle, which offers simplicity in installation and operation. The ability to accept FLASH memory, I/O cards and a whole range of communication protocols makes this new drive extremely versatile.

For the application in Manchester, the new installation has brought a host of improvements, not least being the huge energy savings. Using variable speed operation and run times agreed with the independent energy assessors, the projected savings in energy costs will allow for the drive system to have paid for itself within nine months. Even this figure may be conservative since the exact efficiencies of the original motors were unknown and were generously assumed to be equivalent to IE1 class equipment.

Daniel Griffiths continues, “To enable clients to understand the return on investment for any project such as this, it is essential to know the performance and cost of the original equipment. In this case, an independent consultant was used to perform the bench-marking calculations.
“The original equipment, having been installed in 1986 was assumed to be classed as IE1, which is particularly generous since the classification was only introduced in 2005. The efficiency figures for a 75KW IE1 motor operating at 50Hz was assumed to be 89 percent, which, bearing in mind the age and technology employed, was generous as this is what a new IE1 motor is expected to deliver now.
“The replacement WEG W22 IE3 high efficiency motors are rated at between 94.4 and 95 percent efficient, over and above what qualifies them for the IE3 efficiency standard. The difference is, being inverter driven, they can also operate at a different frequency range, (20 – 40Hz in this case), allowing efficiency to be maximised.”

Understanding the function and usage of the motors is also crucial for applying the correct annual hours running time. Using performance information provided by the facilities manager, combined with the British average electricity charge allows a final energy cost to be produced for each motor.

This can then be compared to the efficiency figures for the new equipment with the revised running time based on improvements to the control philosophy and using the same electricity price. Costs were presented per annum with the difference being the annual cost saving.

Building automation - system integration
The ability to integrate the ventilation system into the BMS was a huge improvement and provides peace of mind with the ability to check the whole system over the internet, so the organisers can be sure that the hall will be ready for the next exhibition. In combination with the Wi-Fi network within the venue, the maintenance team are able to control the entire BMS, including the ventilation system, remotely with the use of a tablet computer.

The site maintenance engineers responsible for the running of the venue no longer have to worry about whether the main hall will be up to temperature in the morning, they can pre-set the air temperature and take the tablet computer home to monitor the live system and its operation remotely via Wi-Fi and the internet.

The drive for environmental standards
This project, in conjunction with a number of others undertaken at the venue, has resulted in it being one of the first to achieve ISO 20121 in Britain., This is the industry's most sought after sustainability credential.

ISO 20121 is a management system standard that has been designed to help organisations in the events industry improve on the sustainability of their event related activities, products and services. ISO 20121 is based on the earlier British Standard called ‘BS 8901 Specification for a Sustainability Management System for Events’ which led to an international version of the standard to coincide with the London 2012 Olympics.

The results of participation are intended to include becoming more socially responsible and reducing the environmental footprint of a business while continuing to be financially successful.

Automation contractor for major integrated gas-to-liquids & ethane cracker complex

Comprehensive, long-term automation programme based on its PlantWeb™ architecture is one of Emerson’s largest, valued at hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of the project

Sasol, an international integrated energy and chemical company, has chosen Emerson Process Management, for a comprehensive programme to automate its planned integrated gas-to-liquids (GTL) and world-scale ethane cracker complex in Lake Charles, (LA USA).

The automation programme’s overall scope – including dozens of integrated process units and more than 100,000 measurement and control points – makes it one of the largest Emerson has been awarded.

Sasol anticipates a total investment of $16 billion to $21 billion in the two facilities. When completed, the GTL plant will transform the region’s abundant low-cost shale gas into high-performance, low-emissions diesel and other transportation fuels. The adjacent ethane cracker and derivatives plant will convert ethane to ethylene and other downstream derivatives.

As main automation contractor, Emerson will provide the majority of the process automation technologies, engineering, and on-going support services for the operations under a long-term agreement. The two companies will work closely together to chart on-going automation activities shaped by the facilities’ performance.

"We were seeking a trusted partner to execute the key automation portion of this programme," said Johan du Preez, Executive Vice President of Sasol US Mega Projects. "Emerson has the expertise, technologies, and experience – particularly on large, complex projects, to help us optimise the return on these investments for years to come."

Emerson’s automation solution for the Sasol plants is based on its PlantWeb™ digital plant architecture, which includes its industry-recognised control and safety systems, control valves, and measurement and analytical instruments. Initial automation planning and engineering work begins immediately.

"We are excited to work with Sasol to bring these facilities online," said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. "This project will tap natural gas supplies to generate high-value products and help grow the economy. We will work hard to maintain the trust that Sasol has shown in our people, processes and technologies."

Emerson has added more than 2,500 engineers and is extending its services programme to provide rapid and comprehensive support that can help keep plants running at peak efficiency and reliability. Emerson plans a significant service facilities and personnel expansion in Louisiana with the development of a global service centre in Gonzales, (LA USA).

Monday 29 July 2013

Intelligent inspection system for selective solder joints features new camera!

Goepel electronic offers an internally developed camera and illumination system for optical inspection of selective solder joints to be integrated into external test cells. The integration package contains a specifically designed 4 Megapixel BUZZARD camera with GigE interface, multispectral illumination, a PC and respective software. The camera and illumination system concept, which has been successfully utilized in Goepel electronic’s well-proven OptiCon AOI systems for mounted PCBs, can be configured to the specific optical test demands of each inspection system.

The 4 Megapixel camera BUZZARD with integrated Power PC provides excellent images, and provides functionalities for image pre-processing, e.g. equalization, shading corrections, filter functions and many more. Another highlight is the multispectral illumination incl. control, coverage of light spectrum from UV to IR and guaranteed high-contrast images of inspected solder joints and components. The BUZZARD camera is the first in a line of newly developed camera systems based on several CCD sensors.

An integral part of the integration package is the easy-to-use TOM Line software for industrial applications. It features an extensive range of test functions, for example to evaluate THT solder joints, shorts or solder splashes. The software can be operated and controlled by means of a remote interface.

This integration package consists exclusively of components developed and produced in GOEPEL electronic’s facilities. Consequently, inquiries concerning system integration, service and support can be processed fast and qualified.

Scottish technology and art to unite against climate change at Edinburgh Festival

Two companies producing leading edge technology in Scotland have joined forces with environmental artists to measure CO2 during this year's Edinburgh Festival (1st August t0 1st September 2013).

The project, called Spirit in the Air: CO2 Edenburgh, aims to fuel debate on how art can change the political and social climate and how the arts sector can cut its own greenhouse gas emissions.
It is led by renowned international environmental artists Tim Collins, Reiko Goto and Chris Malcolm who will use Scottish technology to measure how much CO2 is generated as audiences pack into theatres and galleries and traffic clogs the city’s streets during the Festival period.

Envirologger wireless CO2 node
Festival-goers will encounter two uniformed “Carbon Catchers” roving the Scottish capital with state-of the-art detectors to find carbon hotspots. Monitoring stations will be set up in venues such as The Lyceum and the National Galleries and parks like Princes Street Gardens and Arthur’s Seat.

Spirit in the Air: CO2 Edenburgh will be based at the Tent Gallery, in Edinburgh College of Art, where the artists will gather real-time data streaming in from across the city to their studio-lab. Mini computers will use LED displays and sound synthesis to express the data and reveal how it changes through the days and weeks.

Glasgow-based Gas Sensing Solutions is providing Spirit in the Air: CO2 Edenburgh with its revolutionary CO2 detectors which use solid state technology to make them small, efficient portable and ultra low-energy.

Envirologger Ltd, with offices in Tewkesbury and design and manufacturing in Dundee and Cumbernauld, is supplying the wireless data collection and management system which allows the artists to simultaneously receive data in real-time from the sensors across the city.
Ben Twist, Director of Creative Carbon Scotland which is co-producing Spirit in the Air, said: “It’s tremendous to see Scotland’s arts, science and technology sectors taking a lead by coming together at the Edinburgh Festival to vividly demonstrate how human behaviour is damaging the environment.
“Spirit in the Air is only possible because of the advanced technology available from Gas Sensing Solutions and Envirologger. Companies like these are transforming our ability to monitor CO2 emissions.
“The festival is a superb opportunity to encourage debate on how artists, arts organisations and the public can reduce their emissions and make a more sustainable Scotland. It’s also a chance to discuss the ways in which the arts and science can collaborate to take messages about climate change to a wider audience.”

CO2 monitoring might also have benefits for performers and venues which wonder why audiences sometimes doze off even during the best quality shows.

Alan Henderson, Director of Glasgow-based Gas Sensing Solutions which is providing Spirit in the Air with its revolutionary new portable CO2 detectors, said: “This is an excellent project and shows how technology companies can work with the arts to combat climate change.
“There are other potential benefits too. When audiences start to yawn and nod off, it’s not that they are bored, but because the CO2 levels are too high. If theatres monitor the levels they can stop it happening – and they can also save around 25% on their energy bills, which is good for the environment and saves money.”

Tiredness brought on by high CO2 levels can be a problem in offices, classrooms, lecture theatres and even cars. Connecting the monitors to on-demand ventilation systems can keep people mentally alert, reduce heating bills and thereby reduce emissions.

A major challenge for the project is to get the data to the Tent Gallery in real-time from all over the city. This has been solved using Envirologger’s wireless technology. Each sensor will be connected to an Envirologger wireless node which, in this application, will transmit the data via licence-free radio to a central gateway/transceiver that will feed the data to a ‘cloud’ server which, in turn, will transmit live CO2 readings to the environmental artists.

Jim Mills, Managing Director of Envirologger, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this project because it will help to raise awareness about both indoor and outdoor air quality.
“The Envirologger technology was developed to radically improve the availability and accessibility of monitoring data. All of our customers have one thing in common – they need quick, low cost, easy access to their data. For many, this means a web page on their PC, iPad or Smartphone, but in this project it will be music to the ears of Fringe visitors.”

Both companies are supplying equipment to Spirit in the Air for free.

The artists believe that partnerships with science and technology provide a powerful way to show people how their behaviour raises CO2 levels.

Tim said: “Art can start debate and this is what we aim to do by using the latest scientific tools to reveal the source and form of CO2. We will be trying to see the environment, and present it to people, in a new way – like one of the early experiments by the Impressionists and Futurists.”

• Spirit in the Air is part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. It opens on 2 August and takes place daily from noon to 5pm at the Tent Gallery on Westport, Edinburgh EH3 9DF.

Onshore gas storage facilities contract

Yokogawa has been awarded a multi-million pound contract by SSE Hornsea Ltd for the upgrade of one of Britain's largest onshore underground gas storage facilities, located at Atwick, East Yorkshire.

Yokogawa United Kingdom will supply an integrated control and safety system, together with a metering solution. The order includes the supply and installation of Yokogawa’s flagship CENTUM® VP integrated production control system to control the gas compressors. Also included in the project is the ProSafe® RS integrated safety instrumented system, which will contribute to ensuring process safety at the facility.

The Atwick gas storage facility comprises nine man-made salt cavities that have been leached into a salt layer 1.8 kilometers underground, creating around 325 million cubic meters of gas storage space. Gas is imported to the site and injected into the cavities for storage. When needed, the gas is then withdrawn from the cavities, dried, and exported to the National Transmission System. According to the British Geological Survey: “When compared to above ground storage tank facilities, underground gas storage provides the significantly greater and cheaper storage volumes required and, when carefully constructed and monitored, added levels of safety.”

This contract is part of an SSE project to extend the life of the site and allow its use for both peak shaving and longer term storage by improving control, compression, and metering. It is the project’s aim to ensure the viability of the asset’s control systems and the commercial availability of the facility for the future by replacing the obsolete control systems with modern, maintainable, and supportable control and safety systems.

“This is a significant order win for Yokogawa,” says David Clough, Sales Director at Yokogawa United Kingdom. “It was the quality of our products and their technical superiority, together with the experience and dedication of our engineers that were recognized by the customer. We are committed to achieve the project’s aim, enhancement of the operational life, while maintaining safety.”

Herman van den Berg, President, Yokogawa Europe B.V: “In Europe and North America, gas is often stored in underground facilities, and many projects for the construction and upgrade of such facilities are in the planning stage, spurred by such developments as the surge in shale gas production. Yokogawa is targeting the natural gas industry, and we believe that this project will allow us to gain further expertise in gas storage control and safety applications that we intend to share with the entire Group.”

Workflow management!

Invensys has released its ArchestrA Workflow 2012 R2 software, the latest version of its workflow management solution for the global industrial enterprise. The latest version adds technology support for Microsoft Windows 8 tablets; VMware’s vSphere virtualisation environment; push notifications to the Work Tasks mobile app; enhanced work form functionality; and improved support for standardised workflows.

Product overview:

ArchestrA Workflow from Invensys helps
plant personnel execute & track
 manual and automated work tasks.
ArchestrA Workflow software is an advanced workflow management solution that helps industrial companies better execute and track work processes involving both manual and automated work tasks. With broad connectivity to plant floor and corporate systems, ArchestrA Workflow can model, execute, analyse and improve any workflow process. ArchestrA Workflow software can also be integrated with a wide range of plant automation and other plant systems so workers can participate in a workflow using the industrial applications they are familiar with, enhancing collaboration and reducing training and implementation costs.

Key capabilities:
• Enforces best practices and standard operating procedures;
• Supports regulatory compliance and audits;
• Helps ensure the correct response to abnormal events, minimizing the impact to operations;
• Tracks workflow execution performance for later analysis and optimization efforts;
• Links to the latest mobile devices from Microsoft and Apple;
• Broad connectivity to plant automation, manufacturing execution and other plant/business systems.

Friday 26 July 2013

Reliable RH measurement in ultra-harsh conditions

When a European OEM customer needed a reliable RH and temperature probe that would stand up to highly challenging and corrosive conditions, they contacted Michell Instruments for a solution.

Michell’s PCMini52 RH and temperature probe is designed specifically for harsh environments. Its electronics are potted to provide protection from the surrounding atmosphere which means it can survive for longer in aggressive atmospheres than comparable products. However, the OEM customer wanted to provide extra reliability and low-maintenance for its customers so they asked Michell to adapt the measuring element filter of the PCMini52 to meet its specifications.

While the calibrated performance of a sensor is important, in practical factory-floor applications, mechanical protection and strength of the humidity filter around the measuring elements also play a vital role in successful measurements, and this is what Michell’s team of custom-build engineers focused their attention on. They designed a simple, mechanical protection system to enable the PCMini52 to withstand the ultra-harsh conditions demanded by the OEM.

The application involved high levels of condensate surrounding the probe, so the main challenge was to prevent ingress into the probe at the joint of the filter assembly. The solution was deceptively simple: an alternative filter guard for the sensing head was engineered to reduce the possible points of ingress for condensate and provide extra strength and protection. The filter protection cap was also designed to visually indicate contamination, which acts as an additional fail-safe for the process.

The new filter is now available as an option on the RH probes from Michell Instruments.

• Mitchell Instruments are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

British robot sales much improved in half year to date.

Despite slower sales of robots in quarter one compared to an outstanding record year last year, robot sales for quarter two of 2013 have accelerated and almost matched the level for the entire year of 2011. David Manby, Managing Director of Aylesbury Automation commented ‘we are pleased to see that the sales of non-automotive sector robots are double what they were in 2009’.

In the first quarter of 2013, robot sales of 374 units were recorded compared to 912 in the second. The half year figures were 1286 robots sold compared with a phenomenal 2000 robots in the record year of 2012. However, automotive and automotive component orders contributed 79% of the orders compared with 87% for the first two quarters of the year in 2012. Whilst in most other sectors robot sales are increasing, the growth still remains much more conservative and in some sectors even declining.

Mike Wilson, British Automation and Robot Association Chairman said "whilst we welcome the level of robot orders from the automotive sector largely driven by product demand in global emerging markets, it is an on-going concern that some sectors are still not understanding the potential implications of not automating. Other countries such as China, Germany and most of the major European manufacturing nations, even countries that are not original equipment manufacturers, are investing heavily in automation to create competitive advantage.
“Part of the problem in the UK is a short term approach and the perception that the pay back period is considerably longer than it often is”.

Automating British manufacturing:
The government’s recent drive to automate British manufacturing under the automating manufacturing programme is nearing completion. According to Grant Collier, Head of Marketing for the PPMA Group of Associations, managing the programme "this has been a tremendous success with over 360 manufacturers around the UK taking up the Government funded Automating Manufacturing Programme which shows manufacturers how they can benefit from automation. Applications to date have come from a wide range of industries, including over one third from the food sector which is surprising since this has traditionally been an area very slow to adopt automation". He added, “it is frustrating to hear time and again, that many of the food sector companies are reluctant to automate due to the shortness of contracts and the ability to withdraw them with little notice from the major supermarkets. Hopefully this will improve with the recent appointment of the groceries code of conduct adjudicator – a regulator that will monitor relationships and practices within the grocery supply chain”.

Inspection camera adapted for anaerobic digestion tank

When a British local utility company needed to conduct a routine surveillance check on one of its anaerobic sludge digesters, the specialist company Hayes GFS  contacted Ashtead Technology in its search for an intrinsically safe-rated inspection camera. Following discussions with Ashtead Technology’s engineers a suitably certified push-rod camera was deployed from a customised access point that enabled the Hayes’ staff to produce comprehensive images and videos showing the condition of the digester’s roof and walls.

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is becoming increasingly popular in Britain because it diverts biodegradable wastes from landfill, reduces emissions of greenhouse gases and generates biogas, which can be used as an energy source. This has resulted in a significant growth in business for Hayes GFS Ltd, a specialist provider of Glass-Fused-to-Steel Tanks and ancillary items.

GFS is a unique tank finish that has been used widely in the agriculture and water industries for decades. The two materials are fused together to achieve the best properties of both – the strength of flexibility of steel combined with the corrosion resistance of glass. GFS is therefore ideal for aggressive environments such as those inside anaerobic digesters with high temperature, high humidity, methane and hydrogen sulphide. However, this also presents a significant challenge for internal inspection.

Most of Ashtead Technology’s push-rod cameras and remote-control crawlers are employed for the inspection of drains, culverts and pipes. However, these environments can also be potentially explosive due to the accumulation of methane, so Ashtead also stocks intrinsically safe instruments and a Pearpoint P374 camera system in conjunction with a digital video recorder, was recommended for the AD application.

Commenting on the success of the project, Hayes GFS Managing Director Stephen Skinner said: “The camera which Ashtead Technology recommended proved to be ideal for this job. We built a customised ‘launch tube’ on one of the purge points on the roof and attached nylon to the camera tip so that we could video every surface once the probe was lowered into the ‘live’ digester.

“We were delighted with the results of the survey because we were able to demonstrate the condition of the tank very effectively, without having to decommission the digester.

“We were very impressed with Ashtead Technology because they ensured that we utilised exactly the right kit, and it was delivered and collected very quickly, which helped to keep our costs to a minimum.”

Festo is headline sponsor of Appetite for Engineering #PAuto #Food

Festo is the headline sponsor of Appetite for Engineering (A4E), the major food and drink manufacturing conference taking place in Kenilworth (GB) on 25 September 2013.

Andy McPherson
“Food and drink manufacturing and processing is a key industry for Festo and it is important to see the sector thriving in automation and building trust from farm to fork,” says Andy Macpherson, Industry Sector Manager – Food and Beverage at Festo. “We are proud to be supporting the event and building the skills in the sector to use the latest automation methods.”

The event will provide lively debate on food and drink manufacturing within Britain and beyond, around the three key themes of integrity, efficiency and responsibility. Festo’s involvement shows the company’s commitment to maximising productivity and improving efficiency in food processing.

“The event is an excellent opportunity for food and beverage industry leaders to get together to discuss innovation, automation, engineering, production and skills for the future of the sector,” continues Andy. “Manufacturers need flexible, versatile automation machinery to operate more efficiently and maximise profits, and this means applying the latest technology to solve today’s production challenges.”

• The A4E event is expected to be attended by Britain’s leading food manufacturers, brands, supermarkets, academics, government bodies and researchers and is taking place at Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth on 25 September 2013.

KPI’s on the move!

SolutionsPT has announced it is now the sole distributer of the Smartglance mobile reporting product in Great Britain and Ireland, which is now wholly owned by Invensys.

SmartGlance, is an industrial mobile reporting business tool delivering secure, on-demand access to rich, graphical KPI’s from any operations data source via mobile devices, allowing industrial personnel to make smarter, faster decisions.

Providing connectors to access data from different manufacturing sources, including both Wonderware and non-Wonderware systems, it offers users access to important business data alerts and notifications. This information is available in a native mobile application optimised for any mobile device.

This new technology supports quick and more accurate decisions, the ability to take prompt action, and to share data with colleagues. Additionally, it can push data from virtually any source, including popular process historians and any SQL database. As well as its fast and simple implementation, it has only a small installation footprint and no additional hardware is required.

Sue Roche, Business Manager, Wonderware UK and Ireland, SolutionsPT, explains: “Mobile industrial data reporting is an emerging trend in industrial IT and we wanted to ensure our customers have the option to keep up with the latest advances in technology and be able to access to their information, analytics and KPI’s to the mobile device of their choice. Having access to the right information at the right time, means customers will be able to assign resources and resolve issues quickly”.

Cybersecurity assessment service

Invensys has a new cyber security assessment service to help its customers understand the risks that might impact the safety and reliability of their operations. The assessment is a key part of any security best practice program, helping to ensure critical infrastructure protection and compliance with corporate, industry and/or government mandates. Performed on-site, the control system assessment provides a baseline of the user’s current security position, and it can be used as the starting point to develop a strategy to meet the challenges of reducing and managing security risks.

The assessment, which includes the following service elements, allows Invensys to develop a unique and customized approach to addressing security issues:
Site and system assessment: A site review and system-specific vulnerabilities. The results of the assessment are provided in a conclusive report highlighting critical assets, vulnerabilities and risks.
Compliance assessment: Invensys addresses compliance status by reviewing operations and processes against required corporate compliance standards.
Establish security baseline: A security baseline allows customers to gauge progress against current status and operating models for security.

Invensys is at the forefront of automation and information systems and their intricate integration. The company has been in the controls industry for over 100 years and has pioneered many of the technology shifts that have allowed the modern control system to be so diverse, flexible, and open.

Service Overview:
• Comprehensive approach is the vital first step in determining your security requirements;
• Baseline and benchmark the security of your critical assets;
• Appropriate and applicable industry standards, government regulations and mandates;
• Identification and assessment of the risks that could impact your control system operation;
• Gap analysis highlights and recommends mitigation necessary to improve security;
• Assess policies, procedures and technical measures;
• Vendor-neutral and applicable to all control systems and their interconnections.

Thursday 25 July 2013

Electric vehicle charging stations at US automation vendor facilities

Yokogawa US is now offering electric vehicle charging stations to employees at its Newnan, GA USA facility. ECOtality -  a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies– has installed two Blink® Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at Yokogawa Newnan as part of its Electric Vehicle Project. The EV Project is a public-private partnership with the Department of Energy that evaluates the effectiveness of EV charger infrastructure. Yokogawa Newnan is the first in the area to participate in the program and install EV charging stations.

“This is an advantage to me and future EV owners because it extends the range of our cars,” says Jimmy Newman, Engineering Manager for Yokogawa Corporation of America, who owns a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle.

The charging stations installed at Yokogawa are part of ECOtality’s nationwide Blink Network. They are Level 2 stations (240 volt AC input) and will charge any vehicle that uses a standard SAE J1772 connector. Some examples of vehicles using this standard are the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Ford Focus Electric, Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid, Tesla, Mitsubishi I MiEV, and Fisker Karma. Level 2 stations can fully charge a vehicle like the Nissan Leaf, which has a range of about 75 miles, in about 4 to 5 hours.

The installation supports Yokogawa’s “Go Green Initiative” and enhances the Newnan facility’s ISO1401 requirements. Based on the Yokogawa philosophy which states, “Our goal is to contribute to society through broad-ranging activities in the areas of measurement, control, and information,” one of the Group Green Promotion Committee’s role is to promote environmental conservation and monitor environment data related to CO2 emission and promote CO2 emission reduction."

Equipment effectiveness software designed to speed continuous Improvement initiatives for manufacturers!

Out-of-the-box solution speeds deployment and lowers total cost of ownership

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced the immediate availability of Proficy® OEE, a software solution that provides a critical link between measurement and improvement of manufacturing processes. This scalable solution is designed to continuously monitor and improve equipment performance, providing manufacturers an analysis tool which can increase efficiency and productivity on the shop floor. And, because Proficy OEE is completely turnkey, companies can implement it quickly so as to maximize its return on investment and minimize total cost of ownership (TCO).

“Manufacturers are being asked to do more with fewer resources,” said Don Busiek, General Manager Manufacturing Software for GE Intelligent Platforms. Overall equipment effectiveness, OEE, provides a way for these manufacturers to make the most of what they already have by ensuring their equipment is running at top levels of performance.”

OEE quantifies how well a manufacturing unit performs relative to its designed capacity, during the periods when it is scheduled to run. A well-understood tool to support continuous improvement and a commonly used key performance indicator (KPI) in conjunction with lean manufacturing efforts, OEE breaks performance into three separate but measurable components: Availability, Performance and Quality. Each component points to an aspect of the process that can be targeted for improvement. OEE may be applied to any individual Work Center or rolled up to the department or plant levels. This tool allows for drilling down for very specific analysis such as particular part number, shirt or any of several other parameters.

Proficy OEE is an “out-of-the-box” software package powered by GE’s award-winning Proficy Software, for a competitive, yet scalable solution to address efficiency needs. Proficy OEE leverages a number of Proficy Software applications designed to provide a manufacturing intelligence layer for every day operations by transforming plant data into meaningful information. OEE information is delivered through a powerful operational dashboard that provides a role-based environment simplifying real-time decision making.

“Measuring makes it easier to improve, and improving productivity by eliminating waste is a core objective of lean manufacturing,” continued Busiek. “This is a common practice at GE, and this package has proven itself effective in the company’s world-class manufacturing operations, as well as those of other global manufacturers who have reported upwards of 10% increases in efficiency by utilizing OEE solutions."