Friday, May 31, 2013

New services and collaboration tools in the spotlight at symposium

The future of manufacturing, in terms of technology and the state of the workforce, will be the primary theme when Honeywell hosts many of the world’s most prominent manufacturers at its annual industrial customer conference June 16-22 in Phoenix (AZ USA).

Around 1,000 attendees – representing major oil and gas, refining, chemical, pulp and paper, and metals and mining companies, among others – will participate in the 2013 Honeywell Users Group (HUG) Americas symposium, hosted by Honeywell Process Solutions. Amid the backdrop of an evolving energy landscape, uncertain global markets, and high-profile safety incidents, attendees will see how the newest technology can help improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of their plants and help them to remain competitive.

In recent years, the conference has helped introduce manufacturers to advancements such as control system virtualization, universal input/output (I/O) technology, and smart instrumentation that have transformed the design and operations of today’s industrial processing facilities. This year’s event will highlight more than the technology that links the corporate boardroom to the plant floor. Attendees will discuss the growing importance of preventative and corrective services that keep plant automation systems running at top performance levels, while easing the burden on their workers.

“The manufacturing plant of the future will be more than just machine-to-machine connections; it will also connect data and people better and faster,” said Darius Adamczyk, President and CEOHoneywell Process Solutions. “Companies need to get to first production faster than before, they have to do more with less manpower, and they face increased safety and security threats. They need more than just our technology – they also need service consultancy, data visualization and analysis, and collaboration tools.”

Attendees will experience technologies such as Honeywell’s Experion® Collaboration Station, a large interactive display that uses video and telecommunications capabilities to remotely connect global experts. This approach centralizes operations, and helps personnel analyze events and resolve situations faster. Experion Collaboration Station was introduced at Honeywell’s global HUG conferences last year, and will be demonstrated with full capability for the first time in June.

Other technologies such as virtualization, alarm and operations management software, and cyber security will also be highlighted in a series of Honeywell- and customer-led sessions and roundtable discussions featuring topics that impact how manufacturers operate plants. Attendees will also hear details of new services designed to help customers ensure production goals are met by maximizing their automation investments and system performances.

“Turning raw data into knowledge has long been a strength of Honeywell’s process technologies, and adding more comprehensive services brings a whole new layer of understanding to the equation,” said John Rudolph, Lifecycle Solutions and Services, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Process Solutions. “More knowledge and a better understanding of how to use it will improve operations. The goal for HUG Americas 2013 is to give manufacturers tangible ideas for achieving their business objectives.”

• Automation Commentator Gary Mintchel also comments on HUG 2013: Honewell preparing for Conference!


Magnetic rotary encoders with outstanding performance

Absolute rotary encoders with magnetic detection principle from Pepperl+Fuchs combine compact designs, robustness, and service life with high resolution and accuracy, and in so doing open up new fields of application.


• Magnetic rotary encoders combine outstanding performance with regard to robustness and service life with compact designs.
• Pepperl+Fuchs also improves the accuracy of the magnetic encoder technology with continuous enhancements in the area of the electronics
.

Singleturn absolute rotary encoders from Pepperl+Fuchs are based on two-axis Hall sensors. These encoders can be turned into multiturn absolute rotary encoders through the addition of a Wiegand sensor. The big advantage of the magnetic functional principle is its compact installation dimensions and the fact that it is a non-contact sampling system. This means that there is no mechanical gear that can wear and requires maintenance and servicing.

Resolutions of 12 bits are currently possible with singleturn versions, while resolutions of up to 39 bits can theoretically be achieved with multiturn versions. The standard resolution is 12, 16, or 18 bits. Today, this design principle enables accuracies from 0.5° to 1° for magnetic absolute rotary encoders.

Magnetic rotary encoders are characterized by their compact size, which makes them ideal for use in medical technology or laboratory automation. The magnetic detection principle is also extremely robust, which means that these encoders are an appropriate solution in areas where the ambient conditions are especially adverse, such as in commercial vehicles or wind farms. As resolution and accuracy improve thanks to enhancements in terms of the electronics in particular, further fields of application will open up for absolute rotary encoders with magnetic detection principle, including in factory automation.

Frequency/pulse input Transmitters.

USB-configured transmitters with a model that provides a process current or voltage output proportional to the frequency of a pulse or waveform input signal

Acromag’s new TT339 frequency transmitter converts the rate of pulsed, sinusoidal and other periodic waveform input signals to a proportional 0-20mA, 0-10V, or ±10V DC output. This versatile signal conditioner accepts unipolar and bipolar input signals with amplitudes up to 120Vrms (±170V DC) and frequencies up to 100KHz.Setting your input/output ranges and other operating parameters is extremely easy using a PC with free configuration software and a convenient USB connection to the transmitter. Common uses involve monitoring power line frequency, flow rates, rotational speed, and periodic events. A flexible power requirement (12-32V DC), wide temperature range (-40 to 80°C), and rugged design make the TT339 ideal for many applications, even in hazardous locations (Class 1, Div 2, Zone 2).

“The TT339 is very easily tailored to satisfy your unique requirements for frequency monitoring with precise software control over input/output scaling, thresholds, sample averaging, update rates as fast as 10ms, and other settings,” asserts Don Lupo, Acromag’s sales and marketing director for process products. “By simplifying entry of your desired values, Acromag can deliver greater flexibility and better performance than competitors with limited DIP-switch settings or burdensome zero/span pots.”

Supported input types include power mains, magnetic pickups, rotary encoders, flow meters, TTL logic, NPN/PNP transistors, proximity switches, and dry contact closures. Software speeds selection of operating parameters. Picklists help choose bipolar (zero-crossing) or unipolar threshold with hysteresis levels, enable pull-ups, and activate sensor excitation. A 0Hz cutoff field sets the lowest input frequency that will produce a non-0Hz measurement. User-defined sample averaging can compensate for uneven frequencies. Output range options are ±20mA, 0-20mA, 4-20mA, ±10V, 0-10V, ±5V, and 0-5V with approximately 5% over/under-range capability built-in. For precise I/O scaling, you can directly enter min/max input frequencies for the zero and full-scale output signal levels, as well as the update rate.

Installation of this DC-powered 4-wire transmitter is fast and simple with front-facing removable terminal blocks. The slim design fits in tight spaces and enables high-density mounting. Units attach quickly to a DIN rail with a spring clip. An integrated rail power bus connector supports primary or redundant power from a shared supply across multiple units. Transmitters snap together side-by-side connecting the power bus to save time and minimize wiring.

Rugged design ensures reliable operation in hostile environments. The TT339 performs dependably with ambient temperatures ranging from -40 to 80°C (-40 to 176°F). High-voltage isolation (1500V AC peak, 250V AC continuous) between input, output and power circuits eliminates ground loops, suppresses noise, and provides surge protection. These units can also withstand shock (5g) and vibration (50g) without effect. CE certification and UL/cUL Class 1 Division 2 Zone 2 hazardous location approvals are pending. Built in the USA to AS9100 aerospace and ISO 9001 certified quality control standards and backed by a 7-year warranty, you can rely on Acromag’s TT339 transmitters for long-lasting superior performance, even under the toughest conditions.

The USB-to-PC connection for software-driven configuration makes setting ranges and calibration easier, more accurate, and very reliable. Many competing units use DIP switches that can only offer coarse range settings, not fine adjustments. Using trim pots can allow fine tuning, but they require far more time to achieve the desirable results. With a USB port, you can digitally set the calibration gain and offset using precision D/A converters whereas DIP switches and pots can change values over time or due to temperature/shock/vibration. These changes can lead to drift and require periodic re-calibration. And once configured, the device’s settings can be archived in a file or uploaded quickly into additional units for rapid cloning in large systems. Later, a device’s USB port enables diagnostic communication using software while a unit configured with DIP switches or pots cannot. Plus, USB-configured devices use fewer mechanical parts which increases long-term reliability.

Acromag has designed and manufactured measurement and control products for more than 50 years. With a headquarters near Detroit, Michigan and a global network of sales representatives and distributors, Acromag products are sold worldwide. They offer a complete line of industrial I/O products including process instruments, signal conditioning equipment, data acquisition boards, distributed I/O modules, and network communication devices. Industries served include manufacturing, water services, power generation, mining, defense, and transportation.

Leading industrial communications experts dazzle!

A group of veritable who's who of industrial communications experts helped attendees at ISA’s 2013 Communications Division Symposium, held last week in Washington, D.C. (USA), sort out the maze of communications-related changes and challenges occurring in the marketplace.

Highlighted by a workshop on passive wireless sensor technologies, the symposium provided an opportunity to explore—and provide sought-after perspective on—new trends, equipment, software and protocols involved with transmitting, reporting and processing real-time data.

Delivering critical insight and facilitating a brisk exchange of questions, answers and ideas was a group of renowned subject matter experts and technical contributors comprised by: Peter Fuhr, Ph.D., scientist at the Measurement Science and Systems Engineering (MSSE) Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); Wayne Manges, program manager at the ORNL; Ian Verhappen, director of Industrial Automation Networks, Inc.; Larry O’Brien, Fieldbus Foundation Global Marketing manager; Dan Sexton of RF Instrumentation and Systems Laboratory at GE Global Research; George Studor, senior project engineer for technology applications in the Structural Engineering Division at the Johnson Space Center; and Penny Chen, Ph.D., of Yokogawa Corporation of America.

Specific session topics covered at the symposium, which was sponsored by the ISA Communications Division, included industrial wireless, supervisory control and data acquisition, Smart Grid, wireless backhaul networks, fieldbuses (including the latest developments in FDT and FDI), field network troubleshooting, industrial Ethernet and cybersecurity.

The symposium also served as the venue for a meeting of the ISA100 Committee, which establishes standards, recommended practices, technical reports, and related information that define technologies and procedures for implementing wireless systems in the automation and control environment.

ISA’s third Passive Wireless Sensor Workshop, which also was held in conjunction with the symposium, brought developers, manufacturers and potential end-users together to examine passive wireless sensor technologies and their practical applications. While high costs currently limit their widespread use, passive wireless sensors deliver an attractive option for reducing dependency on wired connectivity and adding functionality without wires or cables. They have no battery, no expensive electronics at the sensor site, and no need for a wired connection between the sensor and the data acquisition system.

Donald C Malocha
The keynote speaker at workshop was Donald C. Malocha, a Pegasus-Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Malocha, a member emeritus of the Electronics Industries Association (EIA) who has authored more than 200 technical publications and been awarded 12 patents, discussed his latest research initiatives in solid-state devices, surface acoustic wave (SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW) technology, sensors and wireless radio frequency identification systems.

“The workshop added significantly to the excellent set of contacts for and reference material on passive wireless sensor technology that can be used as an alternative to wired connectivity,” reports George Studor, the senior project engineer at the Johnson Space Center who specializes in in-space wireless health monitoring and inspection systems. “I believe it made all participants more aware of how wireless sensors are changing almost every aspect of our world.  We are on the verge of something very big when sensors can be ‘stamped out’ just like cell phone components, when every cell phone in the world can be used to interrogate passive sensors of all types, and when every cell phone tower can be used to collect data from tens of thousands of nodes located all over a city.”

A compilation of technical papers presented at the 2013 Communications Division Symposium will soon be available for order in CD-ROM format from ISA.

Product family grows to more

Extended I/O and FPGA access make PXI an option in advanced automated test and high-performance embedded systems that used to rely on custom solutions 

National Instruments has expanded the NI FlexRIO product family, built on FPGA-based reconfigurable I/O (RIO), to more than 20 modules. Six new adapter modules add I/O including digitiser, signal generation and IF and RF transceiver capabilities. Engineers can pair these NI FlexRIO adapter modules with user-programmable FPGAs to solve almost any test application, from real-time spectrum monitoring and RF modulation/demodulation to signal intelligence and RF communication protocol prototyping.

Because these modules benefit from the parallelism and dataflow programming of the NI LabVIEW RIO architecture, they can be easily targeted by engineers without VHDL or Verilog knowledge. The combination of NI FlexRIO, LabVIEW system design software and access to more than 600 NI PXI modular instruments gives engineers a commercial off-the-shelf solution that can be customised using FPGA technology.

“Our recent investments in user-programmable FPGA instrumentation, as illustrated not only through these new NI FlexRIO adapter modules but also with the NI PXIe-5645R vector signal transceiver, help demonstrate our empowering vision for redefining instrumentation,” said Charles Schroeder, Director of Test Systems at NI. “The NI FlexRIO platform, through the NI LabVIEW RIO architecture, enables customers to create some of the most powerful test, research and embedded systems.”

 Product Features
NI FlexRIO Adapter Module
Ideal Applications
NI 5771 – 8-bit, 3 GS/s digitiser
Pulsing, light detection and ranging (LIDAR), high-resolution edge detection
NI 5772 – 12-bit, 1.6 GS/s digitiser adapter module
Broadband IF acquisition, real-time spectrum monitoring
NI 5782 – IF transceiver
Custom modulation and demodulation, bit error rate testing, signal intelligence (SIGINT), real-time spectrum analysis 

NI 5791 – RF transceiver
AT-1120 – 14-bit, 2 GS/s signal generator
RF communications protocol prototyping, RF record and playback, SIGINT, channel emulation

AT-1212 – 2-channel signal generator

Case Study

Thursday, May 30, 2013

25 years of leadership in handheld field communicator technology

The 475 Field Communicator Silver Edition represents deep industry expertise in device diagnostics and troubleshooting in the field 

Emerson Process Management has released the Silver Edition of its industry-leading 475 Field Communicator. This represents 25 years of industry expertise in handheld communicator technology. Through the years, the 475 Field Communicator has pioneered innovative applications for performing device diagnostics and troubleshooting in the field, including the combination of HART® and FOUNDATION fieldbus protocols on a single platform, a user interface based on human-centred design principles, and advanced valve diagnostics. 

The 475 Field Communicator Silver Edition provides the same dynamic experience that current users already expect. With the release of the version 3.8 software, the 475 Field Communicator now supports both HART and FOUNDATION fieldbus digital valve controllers with its ValveLink™ Mobile application. With ValveLink Mobile, users can set up and calibrate valves and run diagnostics such as Stroke Valve, Step Response, and Valve Signature on the entire valve assembly – in the field.


Building on Emerson’s commitment to openness, the 475 Field Communicator is the de facto standard handheld interface for the instruments and valves in any application. The 475 Field Communicator enables configuration, calibration, and troubleshooting of more than 1500 HART and FOUNDATION fieldbus devices. It remains the only intrinsically safe handheld communicator to support both HART and FOUNDATION fieldbus devices from all suppliers – enabling technicians to use a single universal tool to simplify work and minimise equipment required for a trip to the field.

Combatting the largest cost element of most automation projects: software

New system-wide automation development software suite delivers industrial engineering productivity

ABB has launched a new engineering development tool-suite for industrial automation projects. Automation Builder provides an integrated development environment for control and motion systems based on PLCs, safety PLCs, robotics, motion control and related automation components - reducing software complexity, and cutting time to market and cost of ownership.

Combining all of the tools required for configuring, programming, debugging and maintaining automation projects from a common intuitive interface, Automation Builder addresses the largest single cost element of most of today's industrial automation projects: software.

"Industrial automation projects are becoming much more complex, and it's leading to spiraling software development costs and project timescales," says Soenke Kock of ABB. "Automation Builder addresses this imbalance by giving automation developers and owners the means to simplify the control engineering task and standardize on a single development platform for all projects - regardless of scale. We believe it's a major milestone on the path to fully integrated engineering solutions for industrial automation."
Automation Builder builds on the success of ABB's well-known Control Builder Plus tool for programming PLCs. This provides powerful PLC development resources in the form of the standards-compliant CoDeSys IEC 61131-3 development environment and the Panel Builder tool for creating HMIs. These are now complemented by tools for configuring and programming the new generation of safety PLCs, the RobotStudio tool for simulating and programming industrial robot applications, and the Mint WorkBench tool and pre-built and tested libraries for controlling drives, and other devices connected via fieldbuses, networks or the web.

Automation Builder integrates all these capabilities into a single environment served by common data and intuitive user interface. This provides data consistency that eliminates the need to enter data multiple times, and avoids the programming effort and potential problems associated with exchanging data between the controller and all of the various devices in the automation system such as servomotor drives, robot arms, operator panels, and I/O. Third party devices can also be interfaced into the environment.

By using ABB's new tool-suite, development teams with application experts and software and hardware engineers can now focus their time and effort purely on developing the application, and not waste time on the myriad of interfacing issues that can arise when building systems using many different types of automation devices. ABB estimates that the Automation Builder environment can shorten development times substantially - by up to a third for complex systems. This new level of efficiency addresses major emerging problems in the industrial automation field, such as the trend to improve performance with more dynamic and complex control algorithms, the fast growing trend to incorporate much more sophisticated safety mechanisms, and the demand for much larger factory-scale automation networks.

In addition, ABB's Automation Builder provides the means to lower the total costs of ownership of automation systems, as it provides a common platform for ongoing management throughout the lifecycle of systems from commissioning to diagnostics, remote access and maintenance, to system expansion and upgrades.

New technology for onsite ‘lab analysis’ for Ireland & Britain

Torion Technologies (USA) has appointed  Quantitech (GB) to distribute a unique portable gas chromatograph toroidal ion trap mass spectrometer (GC-TMS), in the territories of Ireland and Britain.

The TRIDION™-9 is the world’s fastest and most portable GC-MS. Combining a high speed GC with a miniaturised TMS in a lightweight, field-portable instrument, the TRIDION™-9 is designed to rapidly detect an enormous variety of chemical compounds in the field.

The agreement provides Quantitech with exclusive rights to all non-security markets, which MD Keith Golding believes will provide opportunities in a wide variety of sectors: “The collection and distribution of environmental samples for laboratory analysis is an expensive, time-consuming activity which can incur substantial delays. So, the ability to conduct fast laboratory-grade analysis on-site, is a tremendous advantage and one which features highly in many of the new technologies that we are bringing to the market.

“In addition to environmental applications, we believe that the TRIDION™-9 will also provide unique advantages in any situation requiring fast, on-site, high quality analytical data – quality control in the food sector, for example.”

The TRIDION™-9 is able to analyse gaseous, liquid or solid samples, and a range of CUSTODION® solid phase microextraction (SPME) syringes have been developed to provide this flexibility.

Simple to operate and able to produce results in under 3 minutes, the TRIDION™-9 can be operated with the unit’s touchscreen display, and CHROMION™ operating software facilitates configuration, data display and processing.

Weighing systems expansion in Europe

Rice Lake Weighing Systems has announced that their Arnhem-based European division, Rice Lake Weighing Systems Europe B.V., has acquired the Dutch belt-scale manufacturer Master Engineering, of nearby Heteren.

Rice Lake Weighing Systems is a family-owned, ISO 9001 certified corporation based in the United States. Its headquarters, metrology laboratory and main manufacturing plant are located in Wisconsin with support facilities throughout the world including North America, South America, India and the Netherlands.
Throughout The Netherlands and Belgium, Master Engineering has grown to become a key systems and solutions provider of static and dynamic weighing, batching and dosing systems. Rice Lake plans to retain all existing Master Engineering employees and continue manufacturing as normal, while relocating their Arnhem operations to the Master Engineering facility in Heteren.

Rice Lake Weighing Systems Europe B.V. opened in 2011 with the goal of better serving Rice Lake’s existing European customer base. The acquisition works well for the company’s long-term growth and expansion plans within Europe, as it enhances Rice Lake’s core competencies and establishes a manufacturing presence within the E.U. The acquisition also expands the current distribution network for both companies. Rice Lake looks forward to continued growth and expansion within the European market.

Busbar systems design software

RiLine60, a fully shielded flexible busbar system with a wide range of busbar adaptors, provides a cost effective solution for power distribution within control cabinets.

To assist with the reduction of design and installation time, Rittal’s RPE design software has been developed for the creation of a parts list for a distribution system. The RPE software has been designed to integrate RiLine60 into standard Rittal enclosures: TS 8, SE 8, AE, CM and KS.
Reducing engineering costs, Rittal’s RPE software can produce a detailed CAD design showing the busbar system inside enclosures with the full range of accesso-ries available. Other key benefits to the RPE software include the ability to produce a bill of materials and heat losses for most leading manufacturers of control and circuit protection devices.

For a demonstration of the RPE software and further details of the RiLine60 please contact Rittal.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reference pressure gauge

The 2700G Reference Pressure Gauges from Fluke, provide best-in-class measurement performance in a rugged, easy-to-use, economical package. Improved measurement accuracy allows it to be used for a wide variety of applications. It is ideal for calibrating pressure measurement devices such as pressure gauges, transmitters, transducers, and switches. In addition, it can be used as a check standard or to provide process measurements with data logging.

• Precision pressure measurement from 100 kPa (15 psi, 1 bar) to 70 MPa (10 000 psi, 700 bar)
• Accuracy to 0.02% of full scale
• Easy-to-use, rugged construction for reliable performance
• Combine with the 700PTPK or 700HTPK pump kits for a complete portable pressure testing solution for up to 600 psi with the PTP-1 pneumatic pump and up to 10 000 psi with the HTP-2 hydraulic pump
• Combine with the P5510, P5513, P5514, or P5515 Comparison Test Pumps for a complete bench top pressure calibration solution
• Test port is 1/4 NPT Male. 1/4 BSP and M20 X 1.5 adaptors are included standard
• USB communications cable and universal power supply provided standard
• Can be used with COMPASS® for Pressure software for automated recording of pressure calibration data

• Fluke Calibration products marketed in Ireland by Irish Power & Process!

New software simplifies data logging!

National Instruments has announced Chameleon for NI CompactDAQ, a software package developed by NI Gold Alliance Partner PVI Systems and available on the LabVIEW Tools Network, to create turnkey systems for NI data acquisition hardware that are simple and intuitive to set up and operate. These scalable systems can span to a large number of channels, yet still be managed within a configuration-based environment without programming.
The combination of Chameleon and the NI CompactDAQ platform is ideal for a variety of structural test and monitoring applications, including pressure and strain measurements for jet engine testing, transportation shock load measurements, strain acquisition for vehicle-to-structure impact testing and vibration measurements for marine structures and aircraft. Chameleon has a strong track record of success with military accounts, such as Northrop Grumman Corporation and Raytheon BBN Technologies.

 “Using Chameleon turnkey software based on LabVIEW and DAQ software, we can measure more than 32 channels of pressure data from our sensors with expansion capabilities while maintaining time-synchronised data from transient shot events on the firing range,” said Jeff Mazurek, Director of Sales Engineering at Raytheon BBN.

Chameleon Features
• Support for voltage, IEPE, temperature, bridge and current sensors
• Data visualisation with multiple traces and graphs, using pre-recorded or live data
• Data stored locally to technical data management streaming files for simple integration with LabVIEW or NI DIAdem
• 
Calculated virtual channels with alarms on virtual or real channels
• On-the-fly update of virtual channel equations and data-logging rate
• Customisation and integration with LabVIEW for additional flexibility 

Certified in Functional Safety Management

MTL is now certified as a Functional Safety Management (FSM) Company. The International standard IEC 61508:2010 mandates that everyone involved in the safety systems lifecycle must demonstrate Functional Safety Management.

Assessed through an external certifying body (SIRA) which is audited by an accredited national body (UKAS), MTL demonstrates its competence to design and market products in accordance to the standard. This gives customers confidence and assurance of quality process management when using MTL products in safety instrumented systems (SIS) without the need for further verification of documentation.

MTL’s FSM is certified to cover a range of Signal interfaces, IS barriers, Isolators, Fieldbus Instruments, Alarm systems, Communication devices and Instrument Power Supplies. MTL continues to expand their FSM product offering with the latest additions to include the MTL4500 and MTL5500 series Isolators, which can now be now used in functional safety applications. Alongside this, the previously introduced MTL4850 Hart Multiplexer can now be used for connection to instrument loops performing safety functions up to and including Safety Integrity Level SIL3.

MTL currently shares its knowledge and expertise on hazardous areas and the relevant standards with its ATEX and Flammable Facts pocket posters. Following this accreditation MTL complements this with a Functional Safety poster which provides detailed information about the concepts of FSM and the standards that demand it.

Virtualised platforms highlighted at sports venues in Ireland & England

Roadshow guides Irish and British businesses through availability on virtualised platforms

Leaders from some of the biggest names in industry turned out in force to learn more about maximising uptime in virtualised environments, at a series of events organised by SolutionsPT.



Among the iconic sports venues hosting the road show were(top) Croke Park, 
home of Gaelic Games and Old Trafford home of Manchester United FC.
In response to the increasing demand for virtualised environments, SolutionsPT hosted the ‘Availability Virtualised in Automation’ roadshow to address the advantages of virtualisation and how to deal with the challenges these technologies present. Representatives from several household names were among those present to hear how they could still ensure the optimum level of uptime, whilst enjoying the benefits of a virtualised architecture.

The panel of experts gave an overview of the growing trend towards virtualised models, how the industrial IT world had a specific set of needs different from its thin client architecture, and the challenges of running these technologies on the shop floor. This was followed by a practical demonstration of the Stratus technology currently ensuring that some of the world’s biggest companies enjoy 24/7 uptime.

Rob Dinsmore, Product Manager for the hardware division of SolutionsPT, commented; “Manufacturing and utility companies are becoming ever more reliant on the availability of their IT systems and replacing physical infrastructure with virtual machines. We wanted to illustrate how manufacturers can ensure application availability on virtualised platforms in today’s world.

“This technology is already making a huge difference to many operations worldwide. For example, it is currently playing a crucial role ensuring that the deployment and prioritisation of ambulances and other emergency services in Europe are constantly up and running with no risk of downtime. “We thought it was important to share our knowledge with other businesses, and we were amazed at the number of people who attended and the kind of world-renowned, international companies they came from.”

The events were held at prestigious locations across England and Ireland including Manchester United Football Club, Silverstone Race Circuit and Croke Park in Dublin.

Package aids pain therapeutics process plant

Software product ensures transparent management of starting materials in pharmaceuticals development at Grünenthal (D).

Grünenthal bundles all research
and development activities at 

its campus in Aachen (D).
The research-based international pharmaceutical company Grünenthal will deploy the PAS-X process development package. The group is leading in the field of pain therapies and invests more than a quarter of its revenues in research and development. Operating Werum's PAS-X process development, pharmaceutical and biotech companies can simplify and accelerate the modeling of manufacturing processes for pre-clinical and clinical studies. Grünenthal will initially install the package for substance tracking of clinical batches at its plant in Aachen, Germany.

"With PAS-X process development we are capable of tracking the use and consumption of all raw materials in pharmaceutical development," says Dr. Martin Lueck, Vice President Head of Pharmaceutical Development & Drug Delivery at Grünenthal. "This enables us to further increase the efficiency of our development activities."

In addition to PAS-X process development, Grünenthal will also deploy the PAS-X business functions master batch records, warehouse management and weighing & dispensing.

New high speed belt axis delivers excellent performance

Festo has introduced a new cost-effective belt drive ELGA-RF with increased speed and load capacities that sets a new high standard in industry. The compact axis enables machine builders and engineers to increase their machine throughput and efficiencies, while benefiting from low maintenance and reduced operational costs.
Increased speed and load capacities set a new high standard in industry
This drive has robust roller bearings, which enables it to move at a faster speed of up to 10 m/s compared with alternative belt drives that use ball bearing guides. It can also handle almost double the payload capacity of previous roller bearings. As a result, users can position heavier loads, faster and more accurately.

The drive is robust and suitable for use in harsh operating conditions. It incorporates a stainless steel corrosion-resistant cover strip making it suited to dusty environments, and a magnetic attachment ensures the strip protects the bearings and belt even when inverted.

The ELGA-RF axis is available in three sizes (70, 80 and 120 mm) and with stroke lengths from 50 mm up to 7,400 mm. It includes oil impregnated felt which ensures a maintenance free lifetime of over five million metres of travel. This reduces maintenance costs and downtime, therefore enabling the user to increase efficiencies.

The sturdy ELGA-RF has been designed with a low, flat profile and the bearings are spaced wide apart, meaning it can accurately handle and position loads of up to 160 kgs – 100 kgs more than previously possible with the roller bearing – all without taking up additional space on the machine.

Motor mounting is simple and space saving. The axis features flexible mountings on all four corners as standard, so the drive can be best set up for individual applications.

The ELGA-RF features a lightweight aluminium carriage, providing low inertia. However, as it is capable of carrying high loads, users should ensure that the mountings are secure. Festo helicoil all mounting threads to increase the reliability and robustness of the drive further. All Festo’s drives have centering rings on all mounting faces to reduce shear stress in the bolts, and as a result, offer excellent accuracy.

“Ball bearing guides provide reliable and robust linear movement, however they have limited speed,” says Nigel Dawson, Product Manager for electric drives at Festo. “Now with Festo’s roller bearing ELGA-RF, machine builders can achieve higher speeds of up to 10 m/s, and at no extra cost. Delivered ready-to-install, the ELGA-RF is easy to use and fit, making it is suitable for handling, feeding and conveying automation applications in the electronics and packaging industries.”

The ELGA-RF linear drives are simple to size and order using Festo’s free Positioning Drives software. The software can be downloaded from Festo’s website and users enter their requirements, such as load and stroke length etc, to efficiently size electric drives, motors and gearboxes easily. Axes are built and delivered ready to install in 7-10 working days.

Festo’s new axis is part of the company’s family of reliable and cost-effective ELGA linear drives, which are available as individual axes, complete kits consisting of axis, motor controller and systems for multi-axis setups, or as complete solutions involving assemblies and control panel packages.

New video highlights wireless I/O solutions

Moore Industries has released a new video showing the advantages of wireless I/O solutions in industrial facilities. In the video now available at the Moore Industries Interface Solution Video Library (or below), journalist and industry expert Peter Welander relays several reasons engineers are increasingly integrating wireless I/O as part of their process control solution and steps through ways they benefit from it.

More industrial facilities are realizing substantial benefits from implementing wireless I/O solutions as part of their overall process control strategy. By moving away from cable and embracing a wireless I/O solution, engineers gain flexibility and safety while reducing the costs of equipment replacement and maintenance. Moore Industries brings additional wireless I/O tools to the engineer’s toolbox with new products that facilitate wireless communications between remote field instruments and control rooms.

Moore Industries’ wireless I/O product line includes the WNM Wireless Network Module, which works with distributed I/O systems such as the NCS NET Concentrator System® from Moore Industries to extend the reach of a facility’s digital communications structure to a virtually limitless range. In the video, Welander shows how the WNM works:

• In a Point-to-Point System to send wireless signals from a Remote to a Master
• In a Point-to-Multipoint System with multiple WNM units configured as repeaters to relay signals when a direct line of sight does not exist between a Master and Remote module or to significantly extend the transmission distance allowable within a WNM network

Through the use of animated diagrams, Welander shows how the WNM can extend a plant’s control and monitoring system. In addition, wireless I/O solutions help engineers significantly reduce installation and maintenance costs related to traditional wiring along with creating a system that is easily expanded as plant specifications change.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hose continuity tester

New easy to use hose continuity tester ensures hoses do not pose an electrostatic ignition risk in potentially combustible atmospheres.

During hazardous area tank cleaning, spill recovery and product delivery operations vacuum trucks and bulk road tanker trucks are regularly exposed to the ignition hazards of static electricity. While it is vitally important to ground the vehicles used in the transfer operation, it is also important to ensure the hoses used to transfer product into, or out of, the vehicle cannot accumulate static electricity. Electrically isolated metal components, like hose couplings and wire helixes, have the potential to accumulate enough static electricity to discharge a high energy spark into a combustible atmosphere.

The OhmGuard® Hose Continuity Tester, manufactured by Newson Gale, is a device designed to ensure that a string of assembled hoses have good electrical continuity with a grounded truck. Good continuity with the grounded truck ensures that electrostatic charges cannot accumulate on the metal components of the hoses being used in the transfer operation.

The tester is an easy to use device that operates on the principal of a “PASS or FAIL” test procedure. To operate the device, the driver will first ground the truck and then assemble the required number of hose sections to the truck. The driver will then connect the OhmGuard® clamp to the free coupling or nozzle of the last hose (see illustration). If the electrical resistance through the string of hoses to the grounded truck is “good”, a green LED mounted in the OhmGuard® clamp will pulse continuously informing the driver that the hoses are bonded to the truck and are safe to use. If there is a break in continuity, the LED will not pulse and the driver may carry out a quick visual inspection of the hoses to ensure parts like wire helixes have not suffered broken connections with components like end couplings. The driver may also elect to test each hose individually.

The OhmGuard® carries cCSAus, ATEX and IECEx approvals for operation in the highest combustible gas, vapour and dust atmospheres.

Benefits:
• Ensures faulty hoses are detected prior to each transfer operation and eliminates the potential for unsafe hoses to be used in between scheduled testing periods.
• Easy to operate and does not require the training costs and expertise associated with Multimeters.
• Unlike many Multimeters, the universal approvals for the OhmGuard® ensure it is safe to use in hazardous locations.
• Rugged stainless steel construction designed for the toughest operating environments.

World land speed record attempt!

Stemmer Imaging has become a sponsor of the exciting ‘Bloodhound SSC’ project which will be attempting to set a new world land speed record in 2015. Bloodhound SSC is a British project to build a jet and rocket powered car designed to travel at 1,000 mph. Stemmer’s sponsorship involves the supply and integration of up to 11 cameras at strategic points on the car.
The Bloodhound project’s objective of reaching 1000 mph will smash the current world land speed record of 763.035 mph (mach 1.02) set by ThrustSSC in 1997. The project, which began in 2008, is described as an incredible engineering adventure that will ‘confront the impossible and overcome it using science, engineering, technology and mathematics’.

Mark Williamson, Director – Corporate Market Development at Stemmer Imaging said: “This is a really exciting project and the engineering team at Stemmer Imaging will be working closely with the Bloodhound development team to produce and record video data for both engineering and broadcast purposes. Not surprisingly, high-speed imaging is a critical component of this. To put it into context, Bloodhound will travel faster than a bullet fired from a Magnum 357 gun, covering the length of four and a half football pitches in just 1 second! Video data will need to be date stamped and linked into the on-board control electronics so that individual frames can be related back to control events. We are relishing the challenge as many of Bloodhound’s systems are working at the edge of physics.”

Cameras will have various roles to play. Forward facing cameras will deliver live streamed video for broadcast purposes, while rear-facing cameras will be looking at the output from the rocket and jet engine exhausts. Other cameras will monitor critical engineering parameters such as the wheel-ground interface. In-cockpit cameras will monitor controls and driver actions.

Bloodhound will be 12 metres long and video data will be managed through an Ethernet data communication bus. STEMMER IMAGING is currently working with the Bloodhound team to define the detailed supply specification and will be providing further news on how the system will work and be deployed as the project develops.

SNMP-manageable Ethernet media converters

B&B Electronics has released its iMcV-Giga FiberLinX-III gigabit intelligent Ethernet media converter. This highly anticipated third generation of the company’s successful FiberLinX family is a 10/100/1000Mbps copper to 1000Mbps fiber device, converting existing copper wiring-based networks to fiber optics. It securely transmits data from end to end over fiber (up to 100Km), well beyond copper’s distance limitation (328 ft., 100 m). A new single-wide module replaces the previous dual-wide module, now occupying only one slot to reduce the cost-per-slot in a multi-port chassis. New network management and troubleshooting capabilities also provide functionality similar to that of a Layer 2/3 switch, offering Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and large campuses a less expensive alternative to these traditional fiber switches.

The iMcV-Giga FiberLinX-III is geared towards gigabit networking applications where there is a need to securely move large amounts of data over long distances of fiber with remote management, to reduce onsite visits for troubleshooting equipment. Such geographically dispersed applications include ISPs, large campuses (universities), enterprises with global locations, security (IP cameras for surveillance), and transportation (digital signage and traffic signals).

Beyond the previous generation’s role as an edge device only, the iMcV-Giga FiberLinX-III can now operate similar to a switch and serve as a central office infrastructure connection, including meeting the current 802.3ah IEEE standards for OAM (Operation, Administration and Management) expected by large Ethernet network administrators.  The new model features Data Analysis, a software feature for performing Channel line rate tests and Round-trip delay tests. Support for 802.1Q Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) Tagging and 802.1ad Q-in-Q Extra Tagging allows administrators to assign VLAN Tag Ethertypes, so they may route and segregate VLANs with more granularity, and control them to ensure customer traffic from different sources do not mix.

Multiple gigabit fiber types are available, including Multi-Mode, Single-Mode and Single-Strand Fiber (SSF). SSF can effectively double the capacity of installed fiber and allow the network to utilize precious bundles of fiber and provide connectivity to multiple subscribers. Standard features such as bandwidth scalability and host/remote management over fiber are still available. The company has also redesigned the software to include three Modes of Operation, compared to seven in the previous generation, easing configuration.

B&B Electronics’ free SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) iView² software allows administrators to monitor remote network nodes from a central management host, reducing onsite visits to troubleshoot equipment.  Now available as a robust Web-server version, iView² is ideal for handling hundreds of modules and multi-users.

“The iMcV-Giga FiberLinX-III is a cost-effective solution for ISPs and other large networks that require a high level of management and security for both the central office and at the customer premises,” said Shane Duffy, fibre and telecoms product manager for B&B Electronics. “Large network administrators require equipment that will provide more monitoring, management and testing capabilities to reduce truck rolls, and it’s a plus if they can avoid significant investment in traditional fiber switches.”


The iMcV-Giga FiberLinX-III may be installed as a pair (Host/Remote) or as a standalone unit, connected to another gigabit device. It carries a 6-year warranty.

Pressure/DP transmitter released in Nth America

The enhanced version of Yokogawa's DPharp EJA series pressure/differential pressure transmitters, one of its core sensor products was released earlier this month (May 2013). The release included local manufacturing capabilities in their Newnan (GA USA) facility to support the North American market.

Chet Mroz, CEO of Yokogawa Corporation of America, says, “The enhanced EJA provides great value to customers through its improved performance, longer stability period, fast response and built-in SIL safety capabilities while maintaining the same price of the original EJA design. We are proud to say Yokogawa still remains the only manufacturer to offer a digital pressure sensor which creates the foundation for the technological benefits our EJA and EJX series of pressure transmitters offer to users.”

While remaining in the same price range, the enhanced DPharp EJA series transmitters will now offer significantly improved performance and functionality, bringing great cost benefits to our customers. As standard features, they will have the same high-speed response and multi-sensing functionality available with the high-end DPharp EJX series.

Development Background
Pressure/differential pressure transmitters are typically used in the oil, petrochemical, and chemical industries to measure liquid, gas, and steam flow rates as well as liquid levels in tanks.

DPharp EJA series transmitters are compact, multipurpose sensors with a large installed base -five million units have been sold since this series was launched in 1994. The DPharp EJX is Yokogawa’s high-end transmitter series and has self-diagnostics and other advanced functions that help plants to reduce workload and improve maintenance efficiency.

Yokogawa has enhanced its DPharp EJA series transmitters to give them the same high response speed and multi-sensing functionality found in the DPharp EJX series. These enhanced transmitters retain the high measurement precision that is characteristic of all DPharp series products.

Yokogawa will continue to make enhancements to its sensor and analyzer lineup with the aim of strengthening sales and capturing the No.1 share of the global sensor market.

Product Features and Benefits
1. Multi-sensing
The enhanced EJA series transmitters will be able to simultaneously measure differential and static pressure. A single enhanced EJA transmitter will thus be able to measure both the liquid level and the pressure in a tank. Previously, this could only be done with two EJA transmitters.

2. High-speed response
The response time has been brought down to 90 ms, which equals the capability of the EJX series transmitters. Specifically, this is the time from the detection of pressure to the output of an electric signal. The faster response time will now allow the enhanced EJA series transmitters to be used in high-speed applications such as turbine steam volume control.

3. Compact/lightweight design with a larger indicator
The improved EJA series transmitters weigh 30% less and have indicators that are nearly twice the size of those on the non-enhanced version. Additionally, the optional ultra-low copper aluminum housing can provide much improved corrosion resistance over standard aluminum housings making it a suitable alternative to 316SS for offshore environments, but with more than 3 pounds of weight savings per device.

4. Safety standard compliance/certification
The enhanced DPharp EJA series transmitters now comply with the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) IEC61508 international safety standard on the functional safety of electrical/electronic devices and are certified for use in safety integrity level (SIL) 2 applications as stipulated by the IEC. The enhanced EJA offers SIL capability as a standard feature offering users with mixed SIL and non-safety related applications lower CAPEX and OPEX costs through reduced spares inventory, simplified application engineering and device selection.

Major Target Markets
Process manufacturing industries including oil and natural gas, petrochemicals, chemicals, iron and steel, pulp and paper, power, and water treatment

Applications
Measurement of pressure and flow rate of liquid, gas, and steam; measurement of liquid level, including hydrostatic tank gauging

Monday, May 27, 2013

New industrial connector series from Harting!

New industrial connector series combines large number of mating cycles with protection against harsh environments

The new Han® HMC industrial connector series from Harting combines the capability for more than 10,000 mating cycles with protection against harsh environmental conditions.

The new connector family is designed for use in applications - in the medical, laboratory and test engineering sectors, for example - where equipment may be employed in different locations and can often be connected and disconnected several times a day. Similar situations occur in the automation environment, where the trend to modular and interchangeable machine tools and control systems also requires connectors that can handle a large number of mating cycles.

Harting’s Han® HMC connectors are based on the Han® industrial connectors that have been tried and tested for decades, offering the additional benefit that all existing processing tools can also be used for the Han® HMC. The complete Han® HMC series consists of Han® B HMC housings, Han® HMC connector inserts with crimp connection in four different versions, Han® HMC crimp contacts in two sizes, a range of Han-Modular® modules together with the Han® HMC crimp contacts, and two different docking frames.

The Han® B HMC housings are equipped with durable locking levers in order to continue to provide the connector with IP 65 protection against dust and water after more than 10,000 locking cycles.

Han® HMC connector inserts contain high-performance grounding contacts, while the crimp contacts are equipped with a special HMC gold surface and constant spring force. These special properties guarantee the complete connector’s flawless function - even after 10,000 mating cycles.

Record sales

Mantracourt Electronics Ltd is celebrating a record sales performance for April 2013. This achievement comes on the back of its ongoing development of new products and expansion of its overseas network of technical partners.

Mantracourt is a world leader in the design and manufacture of electronics for measurement technologies, including strain gauge, temperature, resistance, pressure, voltage, current, potentiometer, rate, flow, LVDT and displacement in either analogue, digital or wireless form.
"Things are looking very good for Mantracourt at this time," said Jonathan Purdue, Business Development Manager at Mantracourt.

"In recent years we have been working closely with engineers around the world and this has helped us develop many innovative and effective new instrumentation products. In this respect the Mantracourt brand has become established and recognised for the quality of its products and the high level of technical support that the company is able to provide."

Mantracourt is established as a global leader in the development of wireless instrumentation, enabling engineers to collect data in difficult to access locations or moving, rotating equipment or where only a temporary installation is required. Its T24 range of wireless sensors and data logging software is enabling new applications of load sensing and similar types of remote data acquisition.

Working with carefully chosen technical partners around the world, Mantracourt has been developing distribution channels through which it can sell its technology whilst ensuring that overseas customers experience the high level of sales and technical support that has become such an important aspect of Mantracourt's reputation.

"Demand for our products comes from many diverse sectors," said Jonathan. "Every project is different, and each sales opportunity requires a good understanding of sensor technology and electronics. Having experienced and knowledgeable sales people at a local level has been very important to us. I am very pleased with the progress that we have made on this front."

Field wireless systems partnership

Yokogawa has announced that its subsidiary Yokogawa America do Sul Ltda. has signed a partnership agreement with Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) on the evaluation of field wireless technology based on ISA100.11a: a wireless communication standard for the industrial automation industry established in September 2009 by the ISA100 Committee of the International Society of Automation (ISA)

Through this partnership, Yokogawa will provide Petrobras technical support on the use of field wireless communications and have the opportunity to demonstrate its field wireless products at this company’s test plant. Building on its strong global track record in delivering control systems, sensors, and advanced field wireless technology, Yokogawa will utilise this partnership with Petrobras, a major oil company, to expand its provision of field wireless technology solutions to production plant operators around the world.

Background information
A wireless network can be used to connect a control system with field devices that are distributed throughout a plant. Such networks have many advantages that include reducing cabling and other installation costs and allowing the installation of equipment in difficult to wire locations.

To broaden the use of ISA100.11a-compliant products and related services in plant-wide wireless communications applications, Yokogawa is aggressively promoting its “Wireless Anywhere” business concept. Petrobras, on the other hand, wishes to gather more data about the use of this technology in its production processes with the aim of assessing wireless communication robustness and performance. In so doing, it will be able to properly apply this technology and fully explore its benefits.

By being the first to introduce such wireless communications technology, Petrobras seeks to reduce complexity at its plants and accelerate instrumentation project implementation at certain production facilities, improving productivity. To ensure the maximum effective use of this field wireless technology, the two companies have concluded a partnership agreement so that they can fully collaborate in the field testing process and engage in an exchange of experience and knowledge in order to better understand and apply it.

Partnership overview
Yokogawa will provide Petrobras technical support in the area of field wireless communications. Yokogawa’s wealth of knowledge and experience in this field will allow Petrobras to accelerate the introduction of this technology at its facilities.

Yokogawa will also support the Petrobras technology development and application group in the conduct of large scale tests of field wireless systems at a Petrobras test plant. Data on device installation conditions and system configuration as well as insights into user needs that are acquired through these tests will be used to advance Yokogawa’s development and promotion of field wireless products.

Features of the Yokogawa field wireless systems
The ISA100.11a standard ensures high reliability, application flexibility, network expandability, and compatibility with a variety of wired communication standards such as FOUNDATION™fieldbus, HART®, and PROFIBUS. “ISA100.11a full functional” field wireless network systems and devices make use of state-of-the-art dual redundant technologies that enable a much higher level of reliability, and allow massive scalability and long-range communications. Such systems ensure responses in real time by making use of state-of-the-art dual redundant technologies and can be quite large in scale, supporting connections to up to 500 field wireless devices. The data update time is 5 seconds when the system consists of a host system and 500 field wireless devices, and 1 second with a host system and 200 field wireless devices. As such, these systems are the fastest in their class. The field wireless devices are proven to be able to communicate over distances up to 10 km with a high-gain antenna , which is 20 times the range of conventional systems. (Local regulations may restrict the use of such antennas with field wireless devices.)

Making fieldbus experience easier, more application-centered!

The Fieldbus Foundation has announced a new technology development initiative—Project Gemstone—intended to make the digital fieldbus automation experience easier than conventional analog control systems in every conceivable way, from device setup to device replacement and daily maintenance practices.

Encompassing a wide range of FOUNDATION™ fieldbus development efforts, Project Gemstone covers many of the initiatives the Fieldbus Foundation is already working on today. This includes FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM), Field Device Integration (FDI) Cooperation, and ISA108 intelligent device management.

FOUNDATION for ROM technology allows users to integrate their WirelessHART®, wired HART®, ISA 100.11a devices, remote I/O, and Modbus communication into the FOUNDATION fieldbus managed infrastructure. FDI is working towards a single device integration package that will provide all the benefits of Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and FDT/DTM technology. The ISA108 standards effort is defining recommended work processes for intelligent device management, regardless of communication protocol. The foundation's new usability team is also focusing on how to make fieldbus devices easier to specify, set up, configure and maintain.

Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney commented, "Our goal at the Fieldbus Foundation has always been to listen to the industrial marketplace and provide a managed infrastructure for process automation that allows end users to focus on their processes and their plants, not the technology tying everything together behind the scenes. For this reason, we have undertaken a number of key projects centered on making fieldbus automation solutions more user-friendly and compatible with other technologies."

According to Timoney, today's control technology should be easy to use and interoperable, and allow results to be achieved quickly, but end users need the right work processes to guide them in its successful application. For example, plant engineers want to be able to combine devices from different networks and manage them effectively, with minimal effort.

"Experienced automation professionals in the process industries have taught us a lot about the implementation of fieldbus and how to make it better," said Timoney. "As an end-user-driven organization, we are taking all of this feedback from our dedicated end user customers, suppliers and engineering partners and driving it into a continuous improvement process to make the technology easier to use in a wide range of applications."

Timoney added, "Many of the recent advancements we have made in our specification are geared not just toward the user. They allow process automation suppliers to create more effective applications as well. If you are a small supplier just starting out today, you can really use the FOUNDATION fieldbus specification to create an entire control system offering."

Project Gemstone will drive an innovation strategy enabling plant owners to focus more on what technology can do for them and their business, versus how they manage the technology itself. The project's focus on standards-based solutions will also make it easier for automation suppliers to develop new fieldbus-based products and applications. In addition, the Fieldbus Foundation's testing and registration process is designed to ensure FOUNDATION fieldbus devices, systems and components all work together as they should.

Navigating the maze of customer connections


The International Society of Automation (ISA) announces today that early-bird registration is open for its 8th Marketing and Sales Summit, which will be held 11-13 September 2013 at the W New Orleans hotel, just steps from the famed French Quarter.

Early Birds Save!
By registering by 15 June 2013, ISA members will save $110 on registration costs ($445 early-bird rate versus full rate of $555), and Automation Community members and the general public will save $100 ($595 early-bird rate versus full rate of $695). To register now, click here
The theme of this year’s summit, “Innovation in Automation: Navigating the Maze of Customer Connections,” focuses on giving marketing and sales professionals the tools, strategies and insights needed to successfully negotiate their way through today’s fast-changing automation and control marketplace. Key topic areas include: best practices in social media, guerilla marketing, brand marketing, market-driven product development, winning complex accounts, business development, advertising in the digital age, and more.
Steps from the French Quarter!

Attendees will:
  • Discover practical, proven strategies to improve their customer relationships, and boost their marketing and sales results.
  • Participate in a variety of expert-led workshops, panel discussions, and tutorials.
  • Discover how to leverage social networks to their advantage.
  • Learn to influence prospects’ and customers’ perceptions of cost, value and benefits in complex sales.
  • Recognize the most effective marketing tools and processes in a rapidly evolving environment.
  • Master how to generate reliable ROI data.
  • Come away with solutions and ideas they can immediately put to work.
  • Secure valuable new contacts.

Among the summit’s program features include an evening plenary on Wednesday, 11 September titled, “Social Media Marketing during a Crisis: Boston Marathon Bombing Revisited;” and a keynote lunch presentation, on Friday, 13 September, by Richard E. “Dick” Morley, a leading visionary in advanced technology development as well as an inventor, entrepreneur, author, consultant and engineer.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Noncontact temperature measurement system

Raytek has introduced the Equipment Monitoring System (EMS), a noncontact temperature measurement system that enables round-the-clock condition monitoring of actively powered components or operating machinery, supporting predictive and preventive maintenance. Detecting temperature rises or spikes on the surface of equipment, the Raytek multiple head solution acts as an early warning device for critical assets, including switchgear and electrical cabinets, electrical motors, pumps, furnace controls and heating elements. It gives operators notice of thermal issues as they begin to occur, as well as recording data for trend analysis. Early detection of heat-related faults and failures, along with maintenance performed as needed and not when estimated, result in reduced maintenance costs, less waste from unexpected downtime and higher safety. Temperatures are displayed on the system's LCD control module and/or remotely through the PC-based, Windows 7-compatible DataTemp Multidrop software.Figure: Raytek Equipment Monitoring System

The "plug and play" EMS consists of a control box with circuit breaker, power supply and controller; a connection box with a cable; and sensors with adjustable mounting brackets. It utilizes the field-proven technology of the Raytek MI3 sensors with up to eight sensor heads that can be connected to an MI3 electronics box. The compact system fits in hard-to-reach or enclosed locations and monitors temperature ranges of -40 to +600 °C. The control box and sensors are IP65 rated to ensure long life in harsh environments. Developed with personnel safety in mind, the Raytek solution allows temperatures to be read from a safe location by anyone on active systems without additional equipment or special training.

Users can manually program audible alarm settings through the integrated push button panel on the control module or easily communicate remotely via the RS485 serial interface and DataTemp software. For full factory or machine control, an ASCII protocol allows the system to communicate with an internal control network. The DataTemp Multidrop software enables the simultaneous viewing of multiple points and can be set to monitor up to 32 EMS-systems, providing the ability to see the temperature of, and set early warning alarms on a total of 256 individual monitor points. The software allows operators to easily record and store data; remotely adjust sensor parameters; customize screen views; change sensors from reading object temperature to ambient temperature; change emissivity; and turn filters on/off to scale the range, graph or average.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mercury emissions monitor

Gasmet has a new continuous mercury monitoring system (CMM).

Gasmet Europe’s Antti Heikkilä says “The CMM employs cold vapour atomic fluorescence (CVAF) to deliver very low detection limits at a significantly lower cost than other comparable mercury monitoring instruments.


“We have already installed systems in Finland and Poland, and initial users have been delighted with the CMM’s ability to measure low Mercury levels without cross-interference from gases such as Sulfur Dioxide. No separate chemicals, gold amalgamation concentrators, air scrubbers or additional gases are required, so operational costs are also very low.”

Legislation to limit mercury emissions from combustion processes is progressing quickly in many parts of the world, but process managers have already started to implement mercury monitoring programs. Antti says “We have received enquiries from companies that need to prepare for compliance by better understanding their mercury emissions. However, we are also being contacted by process managers, for example from Sulfuric Acid manufacturing plants, who wish to control Mercury; not just in their emissions, but also in the end-product, by measuring directly in the process stream itself.”

The CVAF spectrometer has an integrated high temperature converter to effectively transform mercury compounds to atomic mercury without any chemicals or vulnerable catalyst materials. The close coupling of converter and fluorescence cell also ensures that Mercury does not recombine to, for example, Mercury Chloride between the converter and the Mercury Analyser. Sample gas dilution with synthetic nitrogen generated within the CMM system is an effective tool to promote sample transportation whilst decreasing the loss of Hg0 fluorescence signal to interactions with O2, CO2, and H2O. The fluorescence cell is specially designed to eliminate stray reflections and background light so that even with sample dilution the CMM system is capable of monitoring low levels of mercury as required in the forthcoming US Clean Air Mercury Rule.

The system is controlled through a touch screen control panel, which is integrated with the analyser and calibrator inside an air-conditioned cabinet, and calibration is maintained with regular automatic zero and span calibrations using Hg0 and HgCl2 calibration gases generated within the CMM system - typically every 24 hours. Periodic linearity checks with atomic mercury or mercury chloride are also possible.

The Gasmet CMM is now available from a worldwide network of subsidiaries and distributors; however visitors to Mercury 2013 will be able to meet some of the Gasmet staff that have been involved in the development of this technology at stand No. 24.

Optimise Automated Test Systems

National Instruments has announced its newest general-purpose programmable power supplies, which offer the highest power density available in PXI and form the foundation of automated test systems. The PXIe-4112 and PXIe-4113 modules provide high power density that saves rack space while simplifying design by eliminating the need to mix multiple instrumentation form factors. When programmed with NI LabVIEW software and paired with a range of PXI hardware instrumentation, the new power supplies can help engineers create a complete, customised test solution. 
New programmable power supplies from NI
offer highest power density to save rack
space while simplifying design

“With the capability of these new programmable power supplies, PXI demonstrates yet again its unique value in building automated test and benchtop validation systems,” said Charles Schroeder, NI Director of Test Systems. “When engineers combine NI PXI hardware with LabVIEW, they simplify their programming experience and quickly gain access to the latest technology – all within a thriving ecosystem. Engineers incorporating these latest technologies into their automated test systems have technical and time-to-market advantages over those using legacy box instrument approaches.”

The new programmable power supplies are ideal for a range of applications from aerospace and defence to automotive and component test. These modules feature two 60 W power supply channels in a single PXI Express slot. The NI PXIe-4112 power supply features 60 V at 1 A per channel and the NI PXIe-4113 power supply offers 10 V at 6 A per channel. The two channels can be combined to create a single 120 W channel. To easily synchronise measurements, engineers can combine the power supplies with more than 1,500 PXI modular instruments ranging from digital multimeters to RF analysers and generators, and simply trigger the instruments across the PXI chassis backplane.

Engineers can quickly take measurements using soft front panels with an interactive user interface or build fully automated applications using the LabVIEW example programs that come with the power supplies. There are example programs to perform voltage sweeps, source DC current and source DC power. With seamless LabVIEW integration, engineers dramatically reduce development time while improving system scalability for a range of applications.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New embedded vision system

Adlink Technology has released its new EOS-1220 GigE Vision-compliant embedded vision system, featuring 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 quad core processors, four independent PoE (power over Ethernet) ports, full compatibility with GigE Vision cameras and support for smart PoE APIs, allowing remote switching of PoE status. With high-end CPUs and multi-channel connectivity in a compact housing, the EOS-1220 is ideally suited to multi-camera imaging applications such as 3D robot guidance.

Combining PoE and IEEE 1588 support, enabling single-cable transmission of power, signal, and data synchronization, Adlink's EOS-1220 dramatically cuts cabling requirements by as much as 60%, significantly reducing maintenance burdens. In addition, the EOS-1220 further provides smart PoE APIs allowing remote switching of PoE status. With this feature, camera power consumption is more easily monitored and controlled, stabilizing camera temperature and significantly extending system lifetime.

“Since accuracy and speed of 3D robot guidance performance improve proportionately with the quantity and quality of collected 3D data, enhanced computing power is essential. Commensurately, vision inspection, a critical asset on the production line, is more efficiently provided in multi-camera systems that also lower system costs. The use of PoE technology dramatically improves flexibility in optimizing system configuration.” stated Neil Chen, Product Manager of digital imaging at ADLINK. “4-CH gigabit PoE ports, superior multicore processing performance, rich I/O functions all make the EOS-1220 an ideal solution for 3D vision robotic guidance.”

Additionally, the EOS-1220’s rich I/O interface, including four RS-232/422/485 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, 32 PNP/NPN isolation digital I/Os, dual storage (two SATA interface, and one CFAST slot), an internal USB port, and 1 kbit programmable EEPROM, make the EOS-1220 simple to integrate and deploy, providing management of copy protection and software license authentication for system development. Driver support includes Windows 8/7/XP and Windows Embedded Standard 7, and File-Based Write Filter (FBWF), providing a stable, secure, and high performance software operating environment.