Friday, January 25, 2013

IS (Ex i) direct acting solenoid valves

ASCO Numatics introduces intrinsically safe (Ex i) direct acting solenoid valves for use in harsh environments

Two intrinsically safe solenoid valves with Ex ia IIC T6 certification have been introduced by ASCO Numatics. The solenoid operators are designed for use on the 327 range of direct operated solenoid valves and are available in epoxy coated aluminium or stainless steel. The solenoids are certified to ATEX, Category 1G/2D and Equipment Protection Level (EPL) Ga/Db. Both operators are IECEx approved and certified to IEC 61508 Functional Safety (SIL 3 capable).

The polarity insensitive solenoid operators have a power consumption of only 0.5W at 24V DC and feature a newly developed electronic booster coil and stainless steel core for optimum performance. Available with either an epoxy coated aluminium or 316L stainless steel enclosure rated to IP66 and IP67. The operator can be rotated 360° and locked into position to select the best position for cable entry. Electrical connection is via a cable gland (M20x1.5) or cable connection 1/2” NPT and easy access screw terminals.

The 327 series solenoid valves feature a brass, stainless steel or aluminium (NAMUR) body. These valves have a large flow rate (Kv 0.45 m³/h), operate from 0 to 10 bar and require no minimum operating pressure.

The solenoid valves are suitable for use in ambient temperatures from -40°C to +60°C, and are rated to ll 1/2G Ex ia IIC T6 Ga / II 2D Ex tb lllC T85°C IP66/67 Db, Certification: ATEX and IECEx EN 60079-0, EN 60079-11, 60079-31, EN 61241-0 and EN 61241-11.
The introduction of the new solenoid valve means that ASCO can now offer a universal intrinsically safe valve for 3/2 and 2/2 normally open and normally closed applications in aggressive environments across the process industry.

The latest in test, control and design!

Discover the latest in test, control and design at the 2013 National Instruments Technical Symposium at five locations in Ireland and Britain.

Commencing in February, National Instruments Technical Symposium is a one-day conference aimed at engineers and scientists interested in designing measurement, test and control systems. In-depth technical content and hands-on training is drawn from the most popular sessions at NIDays 2012, the annual graphical system design conference, to provide the most interesting and topical sessions possible.

This free one-day event hosts both a presentation and a hands-on track, which include a variety of topics on data acquisition, automated test systems and embedded systems. The hands-on sessions are ideal for delegates who have limited experience with National Instruments technology, giving them practical training in NI tools and the opportunity to ask questions to NI engineers.

Ten presentations will run throughout the day including the morning keynote, “System Design for the 21st Century” at 9:15am. The LabVIEW User Presentation will feature guest speakers and their dynamic case studies showing graphical system design in practice, such as Karol O’Donovan of Shimmer Research who will be present his wearable wireless sensors for real-time motion data at the Dublin Symposium. The “Smartphones and Tablets for Measurement and Control” session will educate delegates on the advantages of mobile computing devices for measurement and control applications.

Delegates who are proficient in LabVIEW will have the opportunity to take a Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer Exam, free of charge. There will also be a Certified LabVIEW Developer Exam preparation class, giving delegates the chance to interact with NI engineers and ask questions.

Custom servo drive business extended

Metronix, has expanded the customisation capability it offers, and launched a new fast-track service.

Metronix is one of the largest designers and manufacturers of custom servo drives. Around 35,000 servo drives a year - over half of Metronix's annual output - are sold under other companies' labels or produced for specific OEM applications. Today, the company is typically working on about 30 adaptation or customization projects at any one time.

The opportunity for custom drives continues to grow strongly, and Metronix has just expanded the size of its R&D department by a third to meet demand. The company has also streamlined the way it handles custom design or private-label branding projects, to offer what it believes is the fastest-turnaround service in the European market.

A team of just two staff are responsible for reviewing new projects with clients and initiating development and manufacturing orders. This efficient arrangement makes Metronix exceptionally agile, allowing it to react very rapidly to customer requests and to 'green-light' new projects within days if required. Using lean manufacturing, the company is able to get new projects into trial production within months of initial customer enquiries, and ramp to volume production quantities in less than a year.

Growth in demand for custom servo drives is increasing strongly. This stems from numerous factors, including the continuing growth in demand for precision servo control, demands for lower power consumption, the increasing desire to reduce physical size or for drives to fit into specific spaces, and from the sheer added value that strong brand identity delivers.

"Many industrial companies are currently realising that they can increase their market share and improve their margins with the aid of better drives and controls," says Jan Koch, CEO of Metronix. "Metronix has the resources and structure to partner with them and accelerate their time to market in such situations."

"Our new investment is targeted at satisfying the strong growth in demand for branding in our segment of the industrial automation marketplace, while also capitalizing on the core strengths of Metronix," adds Jan Koch. "These strengths are a drives business that is large enough to allow us to offer best-in-class manufacturing quality at a very competitive price point; but with a company size that is also small enough to react very quickly."

Metronix, headquartered in northern Germany, has a flexible structure, with a headquarters facility that handles core activities such as engineering and final assembly of drives and controls products, and a number of high quality subcontract partners who manufacture most of the electronic and electro-mechanical component parts and sub-assemblies.

The company's agility and responsiveness is illustrated by a recent survey of its custom product clients which showed that Metronix achieved an on-time delivery score of more than 95%, rated against the deadlines that the customers themselves had asked for - which included many urgent requests for service that fell outside of agreed normal schedules.

Most of the custom requests that Metronix deals with fall into two categories. One is full-custom design, producing application-specific drives to help OEMs optimize performance and/or reduce the bill-of-materials costs of their industrial equipment.

The second main form of request is for 'private label' products - coming from automation suppliers and motion control system builders who typically need a drive to fill a gap in their range. Often, the private label drives that Metronix supplies will also have a number of minor adaptations, such as custom firmware and connectivity, to suit the client's particular target applications and marketplaces. For many of these companies a key target is to get their application solution firmly designed in by OEM customers. By partnering with Metronix, they are able to broaden their product range quickly and competitively, to help differentiate their service from other automation competitors.

In both cases, by selling third-party drive products under their own name, clients typically increase the value of their own brand in terms of enhancing customer recognition, and extending their market reach. Metronix is a complementary partner for such companies, because as a pure drives specialist it does not compete in the higher-level motion control and systems automation engineering parts of the market.

One unusual aspect of Metronix's services in this custom engineering area is its willingness to transfer intellectual property rights to clients. Users can be assigned full rights to manufacture the drives themselves if they wish, typically after a certain initial production figure has been achieved. Metronix also has no minimum batch size for orders, it will even produce quantities of just one item if that is what's needed.

Metronix has been producing motion control technology for industrial machines and automotive applications for over 30 years. Its product range includes smart servo drives with integrated positioning capability, plus motion controllers and accessories that provide cost-effective solutions for multi-axis motion control and automation, and decentralized machine control requirements. A key feature of Metronix's motion products is their rich networking and encoder interfacing capability, which ensures that drives can be integrated easily into virtually any industrial system or machine - even if an OEM has custom PLC or control hardware. This feature is highly valued by many OEMs as it allows them to create and continue developing innovative brands of machine offering unique features. Metronix complements this capability with what is probably the most sophisticated and capable custom drive engineering service on the market today. Motion control products designed by Metronix are marketed under its own brand, and in custom forms by a number of well known industrial OEMs.

• The company additionally makes geophysical instruments and customer-specific digital controls for measurement and control applications. Metronix is part of the Apex Tool Group, headquartered in Sparks, Maryland, USA. The Apex Tool Group has more than 7,600 employees in over 30 countries. 

"The better remote I/O system!"

Multi-functional, more diagnostics options, increased availability

The introduction of IS1+ is a key innovation for the leading explosion-protected remote I/O system IS1 from R Stahl. IS1+ now provides various additional features to address current and future requirements.

In recent years, IS1 has maintained technology leadership in hazardous areas through many innovative new functions, including Fast Ethernet connection, PROFIBUS redundancy, DTM support, integration of optical rings and modules with integrated magnetic valves. While it surpasses these features already at its market introduction, IS1+ also places high priority on protecting previous investments in existing plants and machinery. The new I/O modules are fully downward compatible to their predecessors, allowing users to exchange or upgrade legacy devices without any changes to project planning and wiring.

New mixed modules enable efficient solutions even at a low signal density and reduce the number of module types by 50%, which minimises expenses for spare parts storage. The IS1+ module range includes an eight channel analog I/O module with HART, a 16 channel digital I/O module and an eight channel temperature module for resistance thermometers and thermocouples. The signals can be individually parameterised for each channel. Moreover, R. STAHL also supplies digital output modules with an increased output power suitable for most intrinsically safe magnetic valves. Designed for installations in zone 2 for connecting intrinsically safe field devices from zones 0 or 1, the IS1+ series also comprises cost-optimised zone 2 I/O modules with an identical functional range. In addition, a new Low Power technology has been developed especially for the new IS1+ I/O level, which makes the modules suitable for an extended temperature range from -40 ... +75 °C and considerably extends their lifespan to up to 15 years.

Diagnostics options have been considerably extended as well: all zone 1 modules are now equipped with one or two LEDs per channel. Analog modules signal line faults via a red LED, while digital modules additionally display the switching status via a yellow LED. This makes it much easier to locate errors directly on site. All modules feature additional self-diagnostic functions according to NAMUR NE 107, enabling them to send a “maintenance required” alert in time before an actual failure comes to pass. On top of that, the need for maintenance is clearly signalled by means of a blue LED at the module. The status bit for process signals which characterises the quality of values as “good” or “bad” just like in fieldbuses is another new feature. As established by IS1, the new IS1+ generation is versatile and cost-efficient. Thanks to a consistently intrinsically safe structure with an intrinsically safe fieldbus, changes and extensions to the installed system are easily possible without shut-downs in hazardous areas (hot work / hot swap). R. STAHL draws on more than 30 years of experience in the systems business, know-how about all automation systems and corresponding bus protocols as well as international explosion protection and ship building certifications. Based on this comprehensive expertise, R. STAHL is fully capable of devising suitable IS1+ remote I/O solutions for installations anywhere in the world.

Paperless recorders

The first components of the SMARTDAC+™ next-generation data acquisition and control system -

Yokogawa has released two new product series, the GX panel-mounted paperless recorders and the GP portable paperless recorders. These are components of SMARTDAC+™, a newly developed next-generation data acquisition and control system with excellent operability and expandability. The GX20 is available now, and the GX10, GP20, and GP10 will be available in late January 2013.

Development background
Recorders are used on production lines and in R&D units in a variety of industries to acquire, display and record data such as temperature, voltage, current, flow rate and pressure. Yokogawa has long been one of the world’s leading recorder vendors. Two major trends in the recorder market are a shift from paper to digital recording systems and the proliferation of computer networks, allowing all the data stored in recording devices to be centrally managed and monitored, no matter where they may be located.

With the recent significant improvements in the user interfaces of tablets, smartphones, and other mobile terminals, users have been calling for similar enhancements to be made with recorders and other industrial instruments to improve ease of use. There is also a need for I/O modules that will enable the flexible configuration of recorders for different applications, and a need to improve network connectivity.

The GX series panel-mounted paperless recorders and GP series portable paperless recorders for Yokogawa’s SMARTDAC+ data acquisition and control system meet all these needs, with features such as an easy-to-use operator interface like those found in the latest handheld terminals, flexible configuration, and excellent system expandability. The GX and GP series devices are the first products to be released for the SMARTDAC+ system.

Smart features
Key features of the new recorders include a smart user interface, smart architecture and smart functionality.

The intuitive smart user interface is engineered for ease of use via two-point touch screen technology similar to that found in the latest tablets and smartphones. This provides easy navigation, allowing users to scroll through a waveform image to view past data, just as if they were scrolling through a roll of recording paper. To read the digital values for a specific location on a waveform image, users only need to drag a scale to that position. And, with a “spreading” or “pinching” multi-touch gesture, users can zoom in or out on a waveform image. The resistive touch screen can even be operated while wearing gloves. Users can also write freehand messages and monitor multiple screens simultaneously on the multi-panel display.

The new units feature a highly flexible and scalable smart architecture with expandable modular construction. By selecting the appropriate input/output modules, users can easily configure I/O segments for a specific measurement task. The GX20 and GP20, each of which comes with a large touch panel, can accommodate up to ten modules or 100 I/O channels; the GX10 and GP10, which have a smaller touch panel, can accommodate up to three modules or 30 channels. An easy-to-read large display (12.1-inch TFT colour LCD) provides a resolution of 800 x 600 dots.

Smart functionality includes advanced data-logging and communication functions. The high-capacity internal memory supports continuous recording of many input channels. The external memory slot accepts the use of SD memory cards of up to 32 Gbyte capacity, offering local backup facility of data files for months or years.

Future product development
SMARTDAC+ stands for smart data acquisition and control. In addition to the GX series and GP series of paperless recorders, the introduction of other product series as well as input modules for a variety of signal sources and output modules for control applications is planned for the SMARTDAC+ system, thereby supporting a wide range of data-gathering control applications such as production process monitoring and performance evaluation.

The recorder market is expected to continue expanding, with this growth centered on paperless recorders. As the leading company in the recorder market, Yokogawa will continue to respond to a wide variety of needs with the release of new products for the SMARTDAC+ system.

All company names and product names appearing in this document are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.
The GX and GP recorders support the Ethernet international LAN standard, enabling both monitoring and configuration to be carried out from Internet Explorer. In addition, FTP support enables all recorder data to be managed through a file server. A printer output function enables direct printing of reports and “snapshots” from the GX and GP recorders. These recorders also support Modbus communications, so data can be shared with Modbus-compliant devices.

Further details about the functions and features of the new SMARTDAC+ series are available at a dedicated web site:

Major target markets
GX series: Production plants in industries such as iron and steel, petrochemicals, chemicals, pulp and paper, food, pharmaceuticals, water supply and wastewater treatment, and electrical equipment and electronics.
GP series: R&D units in industries such as consumer electronics, automobiles, semiconductors, and new energy; universities; and research institutes.

Acquiring, displaying, and logging data such as temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, and pressure.

Spectrum analyser series performance boosted!

New 26.5 and 15 GHz RSA5000 Models Deliver Class-Leading Performance, Feature Set at Lowest Cost, Add 110 MHz Bandwidth Option

Tektronix now has the lowest cost real-time spectrum analyzer for mid-range performance, featuring the industry’s most advanced signal discovery and triggering capabilities. Included in the expansion of the RSA5000 Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer Series are new 26.5 GHz and 15 GHz models along with the recently-announced 110 MHz bandwidth option that is now available on all Tektronix Real-Time Spectrum Analyzers.

The growth of digital RF across a crowded wireless spectrum has led to the need for signal analyzers able to capture the briefest of spectrum occurrences to ensure proper operation and to avoid interference issues. At the same time, economic pressures have led customers to require a single instrument that can meet their demanding spectrum analyzer needs and be able to troubleshoot the problems unique to today’s transient, hopping signals. The new 26.5 GHz and 15 GHz RSA5000 Series models meet these needs with a leading balance of high-end performance and mid-range pricing.

“Now more than ever, RF engineers need spectrum analyzers with the frequency coverage required for today’s radios,” said Jim McGillivary, general manager of the Source Analyzer Product Line, Tektronix. “The RSA5000 Series hits the mark with a significant performance boost, a powerful real-time feature set and new 110 MHz bandwidth options that offer faster time to insight.”

Available for the first time in a mid-range spectrum analyzer, the 110 MHz bandwidth option is especially important because many of today’s wireless communications standards require engineers to see a wider frequency range. The wider bandwidth also enables uninterrupted signal monitoring or surveillance of frequency bands of interest.

Fast discovery of signal problems with DPX toolset
The revolutionary DPX spectrum display used in the RSA5000 Series offers an intuitive live color view of signal transients as they change over time in the frequency domain. This live display of transients is impossible with other signal analyzers. A number of advanced DPX features including swept DPX, gap-free DPX spectrograms, and DPX zero span with real-time amplitude, frequency, or phase make it easy to find troublesome signals under a variety of conditions.

Quick capture of anomalies enabled by unique triggering
The RSA5000 Series provides a comprehensive set of triggers essential for troubleshooting modern digitally implemented RF systems. These include time-qualified power, runt, density, frequency, and frequency mask triggers. Also included are a number of DPX triggers including the DPX density trigger that works on the measured frequency of occurrence and “trigger on this” that allows the user to point at the signal of interest on the DPX display.

Faster time to insight with correlation across multiple domains
The RSA5000 Series accelerates troubleshooting and analysis by pinpointing the root cause of problems in multiple domains. Engineers can analyze captured data across domains at any time using correlated markers. Time-correlated measurements can be made across frequency, phase, amplitude, and modulation domains. This is ideal for signal analysis that includes frequency hopping, pulse characteristics, modulation switching, settling time, bandwidth changes, and intermittent signals.

For deep troubleshooting and analysis, RSA5000 data captures can be used with SignalVu-PC software for offline analysis helping to free up test resources. Like the RSA5000, SignalVu-PC offers extensive vector signal analysis functionality spanning spectrum, spectrogram, and RF measurements including analog modulation analysis, adjacent channel power, CCDF, occupied bandwidth plus amplitude, frequency and phase vs. time. Options for more advanced analysis functions are also available including modulation, pulse, settling time, audio and flexible OFDM measurements.

Brazil's oil giant to host first remote operations management solution demo!

Fieldbus Foundation Announces First Field Demonstration of FOUNDATION™ for ROM Technology at Petrobras

The Fieldbus Foundation is to conduct a series of live field demonstrations showcasing its FOUNDATION™ for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology. The first live demo of FOUNDATION for ROM is scheduled for April 30, 2013, at the Petrobras research and development facility (Cenpes) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Petrobras company executives and automation industry media will attend the event.

Fieldbus Foundation supplier members sponsoring the FOUNDATION for ROM demonstrations include: APA Technologies, 
Beka Associates Ltd., 
Buerkert Werke, 
Emerson Process Management, 
Festo Brazil, 
Fuji Electric, 
Invensys Operations Management, 
Phoenix Contact, 
Westlock, and 
Yokogawa Electric Corporation.
The first development of its kind integrating remote input/output (I/O), ISA 100.11a, WirelessHART®, wired HART, and H1 fieldbus protocols into a single standard data management environment, FOUNDATION for ROM extends the capabilities of FOUNDATION fieldbus to countless wired and wireless devices installed in some of the world's harshest and most remote locations. This open, non-proprietary solution provides a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in applications ranging from tank farms and terminals to pipelines, offshore platforms, and even original equipment manufacturer (OEM) skids. Whether operating on a wired or wireless High Speed Ethernet (HSE) backhaul network, end users can pull device data into the FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure, which provides a single source of data management, diagnostics, alarms and alerts, data quality control, control-in-the-field capability, and object-oriented block structure.

Petrobras is interested in specifying FOUNDATION for ROM technology for the ambitious projects it is undertaking in the upstream and downstream hydrocarbon industry. The company has a record-setting $224 billion capital spending plan through 2015, with most of the investments targeted at the upstream sector on the highly publicized Pre-Salt area of the Santos Basin.

The Petrobras Centro de Pesquisas Leopoldo Américo Miguez de Mello, also known as Cenpes, is the largest oil and gas research center in the Southern Hemisphere. At the facility, a series of tests will be conducted with a FOUNDATION for ROM system installed on a distillation process pilot plant to evaluate the use of fieldbus-based ROM devices with wireless protocols for remote applications.

Miguel Borges, who is employed at the Cenpes facility, believes FOUNDATION for ROM can be an enabling technology for remote applications on Petrobras' offshore platforms. "The Fieldbus Foundation's ROM solution is attractive to us, since we want to gain access to diagnostic information from devices installed at our remote sites," Borges said. "Petrobras is committed to investing in this type of technology, and is seeking the most effective solutions available in the marketplace."

Reliance Industries (India) has also agreed to host FOUNDATION for ROM field demonstrations and additional end user demonstrations in Japan, the Middle East and Europe are being planned.

According to Fieldbus Foundation Director of Technology Development Dave Glanzer, the Petrobras field demonstration will offer a look at the full functionality of FOUNDATION for ROM, including wireless device integration, remote I/O integration, and wireless backhaul capabilities.

"This demonstration is the first step to show the capabilities of FOUNDATION for ROM before it is specified for commercial projects," said Glanzer. "The ROM solution enables end users to diagnose, either locally or remotely, the condition of their automation assets and then optimize predictive and preventive maintenance strategies."

He added, "While industrial organizations deal with shrinking operations and maintenance personnel and assets being deployed in remote locations, remote operations management is quickly becoming a critical application. Experience has shown that a comprehensive remote operations management solution enables manufacturers to respond faster to market conditions, increase efficiency, reduce downtime, and achieve higher production availability."

Fieldbus Foundation supplier members sponsoring the FOUNDATION for ROM demonstrations include: APA Technologies, AUMA, Azbil, Beka Associates Ltd., Belden, Biffi, Buerkert Werke, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Festo Brazil, Fuji Electric, Honeywell, Invensys Operations Management, Leoni-Kerpen, Magnetrol, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, R. STAHL, Rotork, Smar, StoneL, Turck, Westlock, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation.

High-accuracy 130A and 150A current transducers

LEM has introduced the LA 130-150 series of current transducers for use in motor drives, inverters, power supplies and general industrial applications. These printed-circuit board (PCB) mounted devices share a common, compact case outline, and are available to measure nominal full-scale currents of 130 and 150 ARMS. Thanks to the application of LEM's established expertise in Closed-Loop Hall Effect transducer technology, the LA 130-150 series offers high-accuracy, extremely linear measurements at a very competitive price.

The new series series measures DC, AC, and pulsed currents, providing an output in the form of a current signal proportional to the measured (primary) current. Two conversion ranges – a factor of 1000 or 2000 – are offered, with two mounting styles; the transducers can be supplied with an open aperture through which the current carrying the primary current is routed: or they can be supplied ready-fitted with a primary conductor that will connect direct to the host PCB. Within the 33.5(H) x 37(W) x 16(D)mm outline, the conductor aperture is a generous 13.5 x 10 mm. In form, footprint and function the LA 130-150 series is backward-compatible with LEM's prior-generation devices.

These transducers feature a wide maximum bandwidth of DC to 150 kHz (-1dB point) and an accuracy of better than 0.5% at the primary nominal RMS current and at ambient temperature. Typical linearity error is ±0.1% at nominal current and the maximum offset temperature drift is ±0.46% of nominal current from -40 to +85˚C. The Closed-Loop Hall-effect technology results in zero insertion losses and a fast response time of less than 500 nsec.

The LA 130-150 series will find application at multiple points within variable-speed AC motor and servo motor drives; in static converters for DC motor drives; monitoring currents in battery-supply installations, and in uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs); in specialist power supplies, for example, welding PSUs; and in switch-mode power supplies in general, together with a wide range of other industrial, domestic-appliance and HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) applications.

Safety has been addressed as a primary design objective by LEM's engineers. Large creepage and clearance distances of 8 mm, together with a high CTI (Comparative Tracking Index) of 600 provide a high level of safety insulation with an isolation test voltage of 4.3 kVRMS at 50Hz for 1minute.

The LA 130-150-P series, is CE marked, comes with a five-year warranty, and conforms to the EN50178 standard.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

TFT Indicators

Display implements industry standard resolution and interface

KOE Europe has announced the addition of a new high performance 15” TFT to its range of Lite+ LCD display modules. The TX38D18VM2BAA is a transmissive mode display with XGA (1024 x 768 pixels) resolution. KOE’s recently introduced range of Lite+ modules are designed and constructed using the latest display technology, components and materials to ensure a cost effective display solution is achieved.

The 15" display has a high brightness rating of 1200cd/m² which is achieved with a white LED backlight that provides 50K hours of operation to half brightness lifetime. A contrast ratio of 700:1 ensures clear, concise image reproduction.

Mark Stephenson, Technical Product Manager, KOE Europe commented, “The new Lite+ product range provides customers with displays featuring exceptional optical performance and product quality while ensuring a commercially viable display solution. Our strategy is to offer technology leading display products that are ideally suited to operation in many varied applications including high ambient light environments.” He continued, “Some of the key features of Lite+ displays are high brightness, long life LED backlights and high contrast ratios that enable display images that are bright with excellent colour definition. Lite+ display modules also implement industry standard display resolutions and data interfaces to aid and simplify the design in and integration process.”

The TX38D18VM2BAA supports a 20-pin, single channel LVDS interface which offers a user selectable option of 6-bit or 8-bit RGB data to provide a 262K or 16.7M colour palette respectively. The display module has mechanical outline dimensions of 326.5mm (w) x 253.5mm (h) x 11.5mm (d). An extended operating temperature range of -30°C to +80°C enables the TX38D18VM2BAA to be used in harsh environment applications.

Suitable for digital signage, point of sale, ticketing, check-in and kiosk applications the new 15.0” Lite+ TFT display module is supplied through KOE Europe’s distribution partners and is available across Europe immediately.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Critical industrial power systems are now doubly protected

Emerson Network Power has announced that its industrial uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) now generate and broadcast self-diagnostic data for acquisition by Emerson Process Management’s AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager asset management software. This new capability enables the continuous monitoring of critical systems required for predictive maintenance in process industry plants, as well as offshore facilities, oil and gas terminals and power generation systems. With continuous visibility to UPS performance, plant managers can prevent possible downtime from UPS component wear or in the unlikely event of failure.

The Emerson Network Power solution provides information on UPS performance via the PROFIBUS DP protocol to a plant’s distributed control system (DCS) and AMS Device Manager software. Integration of the field-generated data is seamless, and alerts are issued when the performance of any specific asset falls below established norms. Managers instantly have the information they need to determine where, and how soon, maintenance should be performed, providing the predictive maintenance critical to efficient industrial maintenance. Additionally, the graphic interface is intuitive, easy-to-understand, and has a look and feel consistent with all other assets in the facility.

Emerson Process Management’s AMS Device Manager displays clearly show which assets need attention using consistent terminology to classify alerts categorised by severity. The most severe alerts require immediate attention by a maintenance technician, with the possibility of receiving remote support from Emerson experts worldwide. In all cases, detailed instructions are given for troubleshooting and repair procedures.

"UPS systems are extremely durable – built to back up industrial power systems reliably for up to 60 years. Plant maintenance personnel feel very secure about these systems and don’t get much chance to practice troubleshooting or making repairs," said David Vasselin, Vice President of Business Development at Emerson Network Power’s Chloride Industrial Power business. "This can create a situation if a component part does degrade or fail. However, our AMS Device Manager solution keeps track of the UPS for them and issues alerts with step-by-step guidance on how to solve the issue. This adds another layer of value to these backup power supplies."

Vasselin said the integration of Chloride’s industrial UPS with AMS Device Manager provides users with real-time condition monitoring, packaged with the maintenance information they need. "It is cost-effective insurance against an unexpected power outage where losses can run into the millions of dollars per day."

High pressure switches

Premium high pressure switch for industrial, drilling, transportation, HVAC and manufacturing applications

Honeywell has introduced its Pressure Switches, High Pressure Premium, HPS Series, the only pressure switches available in the industry with a two million life cycle rating, IP67 environmental sealing, and multiple port and termination options that improve equipment uptime, simplify rapid design and assembly, and reduce total production costs for Honeywell’s OEM customers. The HPS Series are durable, reliable electromechanical gauge pressure on/off switches that are available with either single pole single throw (SPST) normally open or normally closed circuitry, or single pole double throw (SPDT) circuitry. They are designed for use in rugged transportation and industrial applications that require the making or breaking of an electrical connection in response to a pressure change of the system media., configurable pressure switch.

“The High Pressure Premium is the first in a new portfolio of configurable pressure switches that are designed utilizing a building block approach that enables easy, rapid assembly,” said Wade Tollison, senior global product marketing manager for Honeywell Sensing and Control. “This method allows Honeywell to quickly provide sample and production units to our customers, meet our customers’ design requirements without incremental tooling charges, reduce our customers’ production costs, and reduce design and implementation costs of our customers’ end product. Additionally, the HPS Series’ reliability and durability allow our customers to increase productivity while reducing field failures and service costs.”

These switches offer several features that make them well-suited for use in rugged industrial and transportation applications, including:
• Wide pressure switching point range of 150 psi to 4500 psi [10.34 bar to 310.26 bar]
• Outstanding proof pressure rating of 10000 psi [689.48 bar] and burst pressure rating of 20000 psi [1378.95 bar] reduce field failures
• Industry-leading IP67 sealing rating ensures media ingress will not create switch failure—useful in applications where the switch is splashed with fluid or is temporarily immersed, enhancing reliability and durability
• Compatibility with a variety of media including petroleum-based hydraulic fluids (engine oil, gasoline, diesel, transmission fluid, etc.), pressurized air, water, mineral oil-based brake fluid, and more enhance durability in tough environments
• A wide selection of terminations including spade terminals, screw terminals, Deutsch DT04-3P, AMP Superseal 1.5, cable, cable with Deutsch DT04-3P, cable with AMP Superseal 1.5, cable with Packard Metripak 150, cable with DIN 4365D-C, cable with M12 x 1, and 150 mm cable with Packard weatherpack male terminal, as well as numerous port types including 1/2-20 UNF, M14 x 1.5, 9/16-18 UNF, and 3/4-16 UNF allow customers the ability to configure the switch to meet their application needs
• An operating temperature range of -40 °C to 120 °C [-40 °F to 248 °F] allows for use in a variety of environments

Potential transportation applications include heavy duty construction machinery, agricultural machinery, and material handling machinery. Potential industrial applications include CNC machines, compressors, boilers, fracking equipment, mud pumps, presses, punches, pressure washers, trash compactors, water jet cutting machines, and any machinery that use high pressure hydraulic fluids.

The HPS Series switches feature a switching point accuracy of up to ±2%, providing efficient operation of equipment. Their switching capability of 5 mA to 5 A allows for potential use in a wide range of applications, from heavy loads to those connected to an electronic control unit. Additionally, Honeywell’s global presence offers customers immediate product and application support throughout the development cycle, from design to global manufacturing.

Process automation training on line

Krohne now offers a free online training tool focusing on various elements within the area of industrial process measurement. Published on the ILIAS learning platform, the Krohne Academy online consists of electronic learning content with full audio.
Project Manager, Steffen Brauers, explains "The Krohne Academy online is not intended to replace the "normal" Krohne Academy seminars, but rather to supplement them. The learning content on the online platform can be accessed anytime anywhere, so learning becomes more flexible for the participant and nothing has to wait until the on-site seminar."

As with the seminars, the content of the online Academy is commercial-free and allows for discussion and interaction with our experts on specific issues. There are key courses on technology for suspended materials, vortex frequencies, ultrasound and mass flow, and there are also courses on basic principles in the area of gas measurement or leak detection in pipelines. The courses stand out for their clear structure, starting with the measuring principles themselves and moving on to interpretations, advantages and limitations, then applications and industries where the measuring principle is applied - each course covers all the relevant areas. After a short evaluation, the participant can even request a certificate. No previous knowledge is required for the web-based training, however a certain level of technical understanding is helpful.

The learning material is free, with unlimited use, and is available in four languages: English, German, French and Chinese.

The Krohne Academy Online is aimed both at staff in practical roles, who come into contact with a wide variety of measuring principles daily, and at students or anyone else with an interest in the subject, wanting to ensure they are up to date with measuring processes and applications in technical facilities. Registration is free.

Cost-effective motion control with its optimised motion series

Festo has launched a new compact electric cylinder (EPCO) and controller (CMMO), which form part of its optimised motion series positioning system. This offers all the advantages of full servo motion, but at a fraction of the cost, enabling machine builders and end users to improve motion control and profit margins, as well as make significant cost savings on integration.

Traditionally, electrically operated actuators in many automation applications provide excellent positioning. However, as they are driven by servo motors, they are typically only commercially viable for the most arduous demands on accuracy and load.

CMMO is a new compact controller specially designed for the new range of actuators, and is based on Festo’s popular servo light controller, but with improved performance, reduced size, cost and power consumption. It includes features such as safe torque off, integrated inputs for referencing and Ethernet diagnostics, to help users save time and money.

Commissioning is easy as there is no need to buy or download specialist software. The CMMO controller carries its own web server, allowing users to parameterise it with any web browser on any type of computer. The system can also connect to Festo’s cloud parameter server automatically to ensure it has the latest parameters for motor, axis and controller. As a result, the tuning is optimised for the application.

The EPCO cylinder combines the advantages of pneumatic drives with those of electric drives: it is as simple as a pneumatic cylinder, but with the precision and speed of an electric drive. The ball screw actuators come in three sizes (16, 25 and 40), a variety of pitches and stroke lengths, and can achieve speeds of up to 500 mm/s. The motor is integrated, which not only saves cost, but reduces the overall length of the assembly, allowing access to applications with small footprints.

The electric cylinder benefits from lifetime lubrication, an IP40 rating, and the piston rod is protected against rotating, meaning it is robust and reliable over a long service life. It includes cushioning to absorb energy and noise in the final positions, and with smooth surfaces it is easy to clean.

It can be mounted in various ways, to best suit user requirements, including ground, flange and trunnion mounting. It can also be assembled directly on to the machine frame or cabinet with flat back or spine mounting, or with DIN rail.

“At Festo we are dedicated to making motion simple and affordable,” says Nigel Dawson, product manager at Festo. “With the new compact electric drive and controller, complex positioning using closed loop motion is now cost-effective for many automation applications. The system is quick to select and easy to connect and commission.”

Vector signal transceiver

• Hardware power servoing for RF amplifier test
• RF channel impairments including fading, noise, multipath and Doppler effects
• Digital device under test control
• Contiguous I/Q waveform streaming to and from disk
National Instruments has announced 10 pieces of new application IP that enable engineers and scientists to use NI LabVIEW system design software to build their own custom RF instruments. This IP integrates with PXI FPGA targets such as the NI PXIe-5644R vector signal transceiver (VST) and extends their default capabilities by adding new features or enhancing performance in specific applications.

Each piece of IP is available in a stand-alone package so that users can add it to one of the default VST personalities and mix and match the relevant components for their applications. The IP is also prebuilt into examples to provide immediate access to its functionality. This eliminates the need for the user to compile the code and subsequently reduces development time. In addition to VST IP from National Instruments, NI Alliance Partners and third-party developers are creating IP and developing software add-ons for the VST.

“We use the VST to give our DOCSIS Channel Emulator multiple ‘personalities.’ This means we can test both mainstream features and unique corner cases,” said Andy Brown, Principal Technology Engineer at NI Platinum Alliance Partner Averna. “With the power, flexibility and compact sise of the VST, we can deliver easy-to-use tools that help our customers test and troubleshoot their products faster.”

Sales engineer for Switzerland

Harry Dizdar is the new sales engineer at AdaptSMT for a large region of Switzerland.

He has many years’ experience working as a SMT Production Manager at renowned Swiss OEM und EMS companies. From his home office in Flawil (St. Gallen), he will be looking after AdoptSMT‘s existing and future customers in German-speaking Switzerland and the canton of Ticino. Christian Metzger, who has been working for AdoptSMT Swiss AG since October 2012, will in future be concentrating on providing customer advisory services in western Switzerland.

Erhard Hofmann, founder and CEO of AdoptSMT Europe GmbH and AdoptSMT Swiss AG, explains: "We have known Harry Dizdar for many years, and we value his professional network in the Swiss electronics industry and his profound knowledge of production planning as well as production and process optimisation. We are extremely fortunate that Harry will be consolidating our team so soon after the launch of our Swiss subsidiary. This means that the Swiss team with its two very experienced sales engineers in the west and east of Switzerland will be able to directly support our customers throughout the country without having to travel long distances. Our large product range means that they will both still be kept well occupied. Alongside our globally available range of consumables and spare parts, as well as overhauled machinery for assembling circuit boards, in Switzerland we are also a distributor for the extremely consulting-intensive and comprehensive range of PCB assembly products from Indium Corporation. Our two Swiss colleagues’ process experience in soldering technology will be hugely beneficial here.”

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Water in oil?

PVL now has a solution to the problem of monitoring water in oil, in the form of the WIO200 water-in-oil sensor. While conventional approaches require taking a small sample of the oil and then analysing it, the WIO200 provides continuous monitoring of the entire lubricant oil volume, providing early warning of high levels of water content that could damage the machine.

In applications such as marine engines or other machinery where water might be present, problems associated with water include corrosion of machine parts, a reduction in the oil’s ability to -withstand pressure, emulsification, and leaching of oil additives. Conventional sampling often only picks up the problem after damage has occurred. But when water in the lubricating oil is detected early, maintenance personnel can intervene before any damage is done, preventing expensive accidents.

The WIO200 water-in-oil sensor measures water in oil, moisture in oil, relative humidity and water activity. It provides a 4-20mA analogue output and two relay alarm outputs. The sensor is calibrated for lubrication oil and performs continual oil analysis rather than discrete samples. As well as providing advance warnings of problems, it can also be used to ensure that separators, filters and driers are only running when actually needed.

Simple to install and easy to connect, the WIO200 provides a measurement range of 0.01-1.00aw, with accuracy to ±0.03aw and resolution of better than 0.004aw. The relay alarm contacts are rated for 250V AC, with the default alarm settings being 0.50aw and 0.90aw. The sensor works with oils at up to 40 bar pressure and up to 85°C.

The sensor was developed for monitoring marine engines, and meets the standards of MAN Diesel & Turbo Copenhagen. It is also Germanischer Lloyd Type approved. But there will be applications in any condition monitoring system where there is the potential for water to contaminate lubricating oil, hydraulic oil, diesel, etc.

The WIO200 sensor is available with an associated terminal box. The terminal box provides power to the sensor, links the sensor to any external condition monitoring system, and provides a local visual indication of the water level in the oil.

System integrators to meet

The Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) invites all control system integrators and industry partners to its 2013 Executive Conference, May 1 – 4, in St. Pete Beach, near St. Petersburg, Fla., U.S.

Keynote speakers include Alan Beaulieu, president of the Institute for Trend Research, who will give a preview of the economic developments affecting control system integrators, and Ted Garnett, president of Performance Resources Consulting, who will speak about improving team performance.

More than 20 breakout sessions feature experts and members speaking on a wide range of topics chosen to help registrants improve their independent control system integration businesses. Also planned is an industry expo with more than 50 companies showcasing new products and applications.

The 2013 Executive Conference is expected to draw more than 400 control system integrators and their associates from the United States, Canada, Latin America and abroad, making it the premier event for control system integrators.

Digital downconverter

The industry's first digital downconverter capable of digitizing one 12-bit channel at 3.6 GHz, or two channels at 1.8 GHz.

Pentek has announced an enhancement to its fastest-ever data acquisition XMC module for the popular Cobalt® family. The Model 71641, capable of digitizing one 12-bit channel at 3.6 GHz, or two channels at 1.8 GHz, comes preconfigured with a programmable one- or two-channel digital downconverter (DDC) loaded into the onboard Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA. The new module is ideal for wideband radar and software defined radio (SDR) applications.

“The Model 71641 is designed to acquire very wide bandwidth radar and communications signals so they can be efficiently delivered and processed,” said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek. “An extraordinary amount of Pentek engineering went into making this DDC IP core easy to use, even at these extreme data rates,” he added. The complex DDC IP core of the 71641 is preconfigured and characterized for a turn-key, out-of-the-box solution.

Within the Virtex-6 FPGA is a powerful Pentek designed DDC IP core. The core supports single and dual channel modes, accepting data samples from the analog to digital (A/D) converter at the full 3.6 GHz rate in single-channel mode or 1.8 GHz in two-channel operation.

Each DDC has an independent 32-bit tuning frequency programmable from DC to ƒs, where ƒs is the A/D sampling frequency. In single channel mode, DDC decimation can be programmed to 8x, 16x or 32x. In dual channel mode, both channels share the same decimation rate, programmable to 4x, 8x or 16x.

The decimating filter for each DDC accepts a unique set of user-supplied 16-bit coefficients. The 80% default filters deliver an output bandwidth of 0.8*ƒs/N, where N is the decimation setting. In single channel mode the maximum output bandwidth is 360 MHz. Rejection of adjacent-band components within the 80% output bandwidth is better than 100 dB. Each DDC delivers a complex output stream consisting of 24-bit I + 24-bit Q or 16-bit I + 16-bit Q samples at a rate of ƒs/N

Supporting Features and Products
Pentek’s ReadyFlow Board Support package for Windows, Linux or VxWorks operating systems includes C-callable libraries, drivers and example code for easy access to all of the Model 71641 features.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Master distributors

Pictured above (L to R) John Cremmins (Director Hanley Controls Clonmel) Pat Walsh (Director Hanley Controls Clonmel) Mike White (Honeywell Field products) Kevin Corbett (Director Hanley Controls Clonmel) Kees Bakker (Honeywell Area Sales Manager) Chris Wadle (Honeywell Sales Channel Leader EMEA) Paddy O’ Mahony (Technical Sales Hanley Controls Clonmel) Guy Betts (Honeywell Field Products)
Hanley Controls Clonmel Ltd. have recently being appointed as the Master Distributor for Honeywell Process Instruments, Field Instrumentation, Liquid Analytical Instruments, Modular Systems and Wireless Products & Services for The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“We are delighted to announce our partnership with Honeywell, a world leader in field instrumentation and control systems." said Pat Walsh of Hanley Controls. "Honeywell is a perfect fit for Hanley controls Clonmel as it compliments our existing portfolio, enabling us to offer completes solution for all instrument and control applications. Timing couldn't be better as Honeywell has broadened their range to now include Flow, level and analytical as well the traditional pressure & temperature transmitters, controllers, recorders and control systems”

Laminated copper bars.

Rittal has recognised a rise in the popularity of laminated copper bars in the OEM and panel builder market and produced a technical guide, which shows how to calculate fault rating capacities of their laminated copper bar.

When engineers design systems using the laminated copper bar consideration must be given to the installation in regard to fault rating and the mounting. One advantage of the laminated bar is its flexibility and the ability to be connected direct to circuit breakers, control gear and busbar systems. The laminated insulation offers protection against indirect contact to live copper conductors.

Securing the mounting of the bar can be achieved using Rittal’s universal supports. The supports, both single and multi-stacked, are made from fibreglass- reinforced, thermoplastic polyester, which has the strength and flexibility to be securely mounted on support rails.

Telecom surge testing

Ideal for testing on unshielded symmetrical high speed telecommunication lines

Teseq has designed a new CDN (coupling/decoupling network) for surge testing on unshielded symmetrical high speed telecommunication lines including Ethernet. The CDN HSS-2 enables convenient surge testing with 1.2/50 µs pulses on active telecom lines.

Ideal for use in laboratories, Teseq’s CDN HSS-2 is compliant with IEC 61000-4-5 and is compatible with all industry standard surge generators. It can be used for surge testing on lines with up to 8-wire unshielded twisted pair (UTP), with integrated service digital networks (ISDN) as well as with 10/100 BaseT and 1000 BaseT.

Teseq’s CDN HSS-2 is compact, relatively lightweight and easy-to-use. It features selectable common mode coupling to 1, 2 or 4 pairs depending on the jumper settings on the CDN, and is coupled with 40 Ω in series with a coupling capacitor.

The new network features a maximum surge test voltage of 2 kV with a maximum peak surge test current of up to 50 A and a maximum residual voltage at the auxiliary equipment (AE) of only 65 V.

The device has a maximum operating speed of 1000 BaseT, maximum operating voltage of 100 VDC between pairs and maximum operating current of 1 A that is rated for power over Ethernet (PoE). Additional decoupling elements are not required to protect the AE. The unit’s high decoupling provides the AE independent pulse shape for the EUT.

Britains electronic engineering event for PCB test and debug

Pickering Interfaces to attend PCB Test Exhibition & Seminar

The dates for the ‘ElectroTestExpo’ consortium's regional PCB test and debug exhibitions in 2013 have been announced.

Now enjoying its fourth consecutive year of free-to-attend events, ElectroTestExpo will commence its unique combination of drop-in tabletop exhibition and seminar on March 26th at the home of Hampshire County Cricket - the prestigious Rose Bowl (aka Ageas Bowl) in Southampton (England - where else!). A second venue for the Home Counties (Counties around London!) event scheduled for September 19th will be announced shortly.

The events will feature a program of short talks by industry experts tackling a range of topics in an easily accessible, relaxed environment. Exhibitors currently include Tektronix, GeoTest, AmFax, JTAG, Aeroflex, National Instruments, MACPanel, Pico Technology, Cimbian, TestWorks and Pickering Interfaces.

Speaking on behalf of the consortium, James Stanbridge commented ’Following another successful year where we met a large number of PCB test and manufacturing professionals, this year we are visiting two new locations and are especially pleased to be making the trip to the south coast. We expect a good attendance from engineers eager to learn about the industry’s latest developments’.

Each venue will include a seminar room that will allow the vendor-appointed speaker to discuss the latest trends in their industry sectors. A schedule for the 30 minute talks will be posted on the event web-site.

Consortium member Gary Clayton says ‘The challenges in today’s test environment
necessitate a more focussed approach than the traditional wide ranging exhibition.
ElectroTestExpo is the event that aims to address the needs of engineers looking to reduce cost and test times but maintain measurement quality. MAC Panel is pleased to support this event.’

The event is open to all electronic engineering professionals, however the organisers
reserve the right of admission to unsuitable applicants.

New VP for the Americas

The new Vice President of Sales for the Americas at Digitaltest is Paul R. Groome.

Paul Groome
Mr. Groome brings more than 20 years of experience in test, inspection, sales and product management. This addition to the Digitaltest team puts the company in a position to continue its accelerated growth in the North American Markets.

He commented, "The array of test solutions provided by Digitaltest, from the Condor Flying probe system, to the MTS 30, a multi-purpose test system to our high-speed Sigma and Omega In-Circuit Test Systems, allow Digitaltest to offer the cost and performance required in our markets. When coupled with its quality and flexibility, Digitaltest is clearly positioned to increase the market share."

He most recently held the position of Sales and Marketing Manager at MVP. Prior to MVP, he held Business Unit Management positions at both Teradyne and GenRad.

“Paul has an excellent record in the Test and Inspection markets and brings strong experience to Digitaltest. He will be a huge asset in further strengthening Digitaltest’s position in the Americas,” states Mrs. Boctor, Digitaltest President and CEO.