Saturday, June 8, 2013

New General Managers named

Brennan Industries named new general managers at three of its distributions centers.

Michael Caliebe
Michael Caliebe was named general manager of Brennan’s Ohio distribution center, located in Solon, Ohio. Caliebe joined Brennan in 2000 as a regional sales manager and in 2007 was promoted to operations manager at the Ohio distribution center prior to becoming general manager. He has more than 20 years of experience in the hydraulic, pneumatic and construction equipment industries.

Nick Longo was named general manager of Brennan’s Washington distribution center, located in Sumner, Wash. Longo joined Brennan as an OEM manager 16 years ago and prior to his promotion to general manager, he was the operations manager for the Washington distribution center.

John Perone
John Perone was named general manager of Brennan’s California distribution center, located in Lake Forest, Calif. Perone joined Brennan in 2011 as operations manager for the California distribution center and has more than 25 years of sales, marketing and distribution experience.

“As general managers, these three individuals will help Brennan’s focus on operations,” said Bill Jarrell, vice president of operations, Brennan. “Also with their significant sales experience, they’ll not only support the sales managers but will also improve the overall experience for Brennan customers.”

Friday, June 7, 2013

New mobile communication router

The Siemens Industry Automation Division is extending its Scalance M industrial remote communication product family to include two new mobile communication routers: Scalance M874-2 and Scalance M874-3.

Mobile communication router Scalance M874-3 is used to connect Ethernetbased automation devices using the 3G mobile telecommunication network (UMTS - Universal Mobile Telecommunications System). The device supports HSPA+(High Speed Packet Access), so allowing high downlink transmission speeds to the terminal – depending on the network provider’s infrastructure – of up to 14.4 megabits per second, with uplink speeds to the telecommunication network of up to 5.76 megabits per second. The Scalance M874-2 links Ethernet-based automation devices across the 2G mobile telecommunication network (GSM - Global System for Mobile Communications) and via the GPRS(General Packet Radio Service) and EDGE(Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution).

Both variants provide secured access and communication, with integrated security functions provided by a stateful inspection firewall and VPN tunnel (end-to-end encryption of the communication link). The new mobile communication routers afford users transparent access to internet protocol-based terminals around the world.

Industrial and industry-oriented fields of application range from worldwide remote programming and maintenance, for instance using Step 7, to flexible plant access for maintenance and diagnostics. The new routers are also ideally suited for use in telecontrol systems to control and monitor remote stations from central control stations. Fields of application here include for instance water treatment plants, oil and gas supplies, district heating networks, power distribution, pumping stations and traffic management. Both devices are also suitable for condition monitoring, for instance in wind power and photovoltaic plants.

Both devices are also suitable for condition monitoring, for instance in wind power and photovoltaic plants.

Torqing wireless!

An innovative TorqSense wireless torque sensor from Sensor Technology provided an effective solution to an interesting engineering challenge when Advanced Design Innovations (ADI), a specialist supplier of custom manufacturing and testing equipment, was asked by Bristan, one of the Britain's largest and most successful manufacturers of bathroom taps and showers, to develop a new durability test rig to help optimise product performance.

Bristan prides itself on the quality and durability of its products, and backs them with a solid guarantee. In order to ensure that the products always meet its very high standards, the company regularly subjects samples to an exhaustive testing regime, an important part of which is durability testing for taps, thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) and the rotary controls on its show units.

Until recently, the company carried out these tests by continuously operating the taps and controls using a pneumatically operated test rig with fixed stop positions for the rotary motion. This arrangement was not entirely satisfactory, however, as it made little allowance for any increase in operating torque that occurred during testing and it could not accommodate the effects of wear in, for example, the rubber washers used in taps.

For help with devising a better method of testing, Bristan approached ADI, a company that it knew had wide experience in developing specialist test equipment. After carefully analysing the application requirements, ADI proposed a completely new test rig, which would be driven by servomotors rather than pneumatic cylinders, as this would allow much more accurate and consistent control to be achieved.

In addition, instead of using fixed stops for the rotary motion, the new test rig would be arranged to stop when the torque in the drive system reached a preset value. This arrangement was preferred as it would not only compensate automatically for wear in the component under test, but would also more accurately reflect the real life operation of the component, since users typically stop tightening a tap or rotating a control when a certain level of “stiffness” is reached.

While the design of the new test rig was in many respects straightforward, ADI did face one particular challenge – how to measure the torque developed by the drive system accurately and in real time, so that the stopping points could be determined.
Preliminary investigations revealed that typical torque sensors were far too bulky to accommodate in a reasonably sized test rig, and also that they were incapable of delivering accurate results over the range required – from 1.5 Nm to 3.0 Nm. In addition, most of the torque sensors had non-optional speed monitoring functions built in, which increased costs even though they were not required for this application.

After further research, however, ADI discovered the innovative TorqSense range of sensors from Sensor Technology.

“These versatile sensors were exactly what we needed,” said Jeff Lowe of ADI. “They’re tiny, so they were easy to accommodate on the test rig, they’re dependable, and they provide very accurate results in real time, even at the very low torque levels we are interested in. Also, because they’re not tied to unnecessary extras like speed monitoring, they were a very cost effective choice for this application.”

The TorqSense units are a new type of sensor based on patented technology that makes use of surface acoustic wave transducers. These transducers comprise two thin metal electrodes, in the form of interlocking “fingers”, on a piezoelectric substrate such as quartz. When an RF signal of the correct frequency is applied to the transducer, surface acoustic waves are set up, and the transducer behaves as a resonant circuit.

The essential feature, however, is that if the substrate is deformed, the resonant frequency changes. When the transducer is attached to a drive shaft, the deformation of the substrate and hence the change in resonant frequency is related to the torque applied to the shaft. In other words, the transducer, in effect, becomes a frequency-dependent strain gauge.

Since the transducers operate at radio frequencies, it is easy to couple signals to them wirelessly. Hence, TorqSense sensors that incorporate the SAW transducer technology can be used on rotating shafts, and can provide data continuously without the need for the inherently unreliable brushes and slip rings that are often found in traditional torque measurement systems.

“At Bristan we pride ourselves on our rigorous test procedures to ensure that our taps and showers are of the highest quality,” said Adrian Lowe, Test Laboratory Manager at Bristan. “Our previous test rig, while fit for purpose, didn't allow for such thorough and accurate testing. The new rig is an invaluable tool in ensuring that we continue to maintain the high quality for which our products are known, and also for helping us develop new and groundbreaking products in the future.”

In-process temperature profiling for glass tempering furnaces

Datapaq has announced the first temperature profiling system designed specifically for glass tempering processes. It uses thermocouples to take measurements from the glass sheet while passing through the tempering furnace. The Furnace Tracker system for glass tempering furnaces accurately measures temperatures from all types of glass, including hard and soft-coated low-E glass. Thus, users can optimize cycle times and reduce energy costs.

The system includes a choice of fast response type-K thermocouples that can be cemented to the glass sheet under test. Up to four thermocouples are attached to a DQ1840 data logger, which records detailed temperature profiles. The logger is protected from the heat of the furnace by a low-height thermal barrier designed especially for glass tempering furnaces. The TB7528 thermal barrier measures a mere 1.14in/29mm in height with a 17 x 9in/430mm x 220mm footprint.

The nickel-chromium alloy and state-of-the-art welding technologies used in the construction of this thermal barrier ensure long operational life. All external surfaces have a ceramic coating that both reflects infrared heat and prevents metal contact with the furnace rollers, thereby minimizing heat absorption. Comprehensive analysis and archiving software also enables data export to other Windows® compatible programs.

Flowmeter series offers economical solutions for viscous & caustic fluids

Badger Meter has announced the latest additions to its Industrial Oval Gear (Model IOG) series of flow meters, which provide economical and versatile solutions for industries such as automotive, chemical, oil and gas, pulp and paper, metals, printing and rotating machinery. The new Model IOG 1 inch high-flow, and 1-1/2 inch, 2 inch and 3 inch meters, result in a complete line of 1/4 to 3 inch oval gear flow meters.

Badger Meter Model IOG flow meters are designed to measure very viscous (up to 1,000 cP) and caustic fluids, such as oils, coolants, fuels, lubricants, ink, paint, water solutions, and any other liquid compatible with the materials of construction. The meter line provides high accuracy (± 0.5 to ± 1 percent) and excellent repeatability (± 0.03 percent), even in low-flow environments, and measure liquid flows as low as 0.07 gallons per minute (gpm) and up to 185 gpm.

According to Peter Vander Grinten, marketing manager, Badger Meter, the Model IOG flow meters provide precision performance, even in very low-flow environments, enabling users to match the meter size to their application for optimum accuracy. "Model IOG meters deliver precise flow measurements to eliminate waste, and thanks to low pressure drop, have minimal impact on system energy requirements to move liquids. These rugged meters are compatible with a wide range of industrial liquids from general to corrosive, making them ideal for chemical dispensing, bulk filling of diesel or other petroleum products, and dispensing of industrial fuels and lubricants."

The Model IOG line features a compact size intended for either vertical or horizontal installation into confined areas where space is at a premium. The meters do not require a straight run of pipe or flow conditioning. Models are available in either aluminum or 316L stainless steel construction.

Due to their durable construction, Badger Meter Model IOG flow meters can be employed in the harshest environments where conventional flow-measuring equipment is not acceptable. This includes processes with fluid temperatures from 22 to 240° F (-30 to 120° C). The oval gear configuration offers high accuracy and dependability with a minimum number of wearable parts for long service life and easy field maintenance. Models are available with a choice of NPT or BSP threaded connections, or ANSI 150-pound or 300-pound flanges. A variety of instrumentation, both meter- and remote-mounted, is offered for control system interfacing or local monitoring.

Pilot valve terminal VTOC from Festo with flexible connections.

Playing it safe in the industries of the future

The valve terminal VTOC from Festo is reliable, compact and cost-effective. It is particularly suitable for pilot control of process valves in the semiconductor, photovoltaic, flat-panel, biotech, pharmaceutical and process industries – and can now be specified with a customised pin allocation.

The valve terminal VTOC from Festo for up to 48 3/2-way valves can be used wherever safety considerations require pilot valves with spring return. It is ideal for reliable pilot control in gas box applications thanks to its separate conductive tracks and push-in connectors. It also features double-pin actuation of each coil, which guarantees that the valves do not automatically switch through on the circuit board in the event of a short circuit. External isolation can be easily incorporated for additional interlocks.

Integrated optical isolation ensures high process reliability. The VTOC offers multi-pin plug connection with Sub-D plug or flat cable with different outlet directions. In addition, the valve terminal can be connected on IO Link via an M18 connector, or to numerous Fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet networks using Festo’s innovative modular node. The highlight, however, is the customised pin allocation which provides simple and safe configuration into critical control systems, whether you use multipin or a communications network – it's hard to get safer than this.

New members offer wireless Solutions for oil & gas & safety & security

Honeywell has announced three new member companies of the PKS Advantage™ program for its OneWireless™ Network and industrial wireless products and solutions: GasSecure, Redline Communications and Purelink. The new members add support for wireless hydrocarbon leak detection, broadband wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, and real-time location solutions to the wireless platform.

“The collaboration enabled by these new brands will allow wireless users to integrate a range of solutions that boost their operation’s safety and efficiency,” said Ray Rogowski, director of wireless marketing, Honeywell Process Solutions. “The PKS Advantage program delivers constantly evolving, industry-beating wireless solutions for our OneWireless customers.”
Knut Sandven, chief executive officer of GasSecure, said the program was working for better integration with automation and wireless systems.
“Honeywell is one of the biggest process systems suppliers in the world in the automation space, so this is an important step in that direction.”

GasSecure offers its ISA100 wireless gas detector for hydrocarbon leakage monitoring. The GS01 is the world’s first wireless infrared detector. It is based on innovative microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technology to reduce power consumption and has two years of battery life with continuous monitoring.

The other new members are wireless M2M communications specialists Redline Communications and Purelink, manufacturers of real-time location systems (RTLS), long range tracking badges, tags and software.

Redline’s RDL-3000 Elte-MT solution is the first ruggedized and M2M-optimized wide-area wireless system to be PKS-compliance certified. Providing M2M connectivity to link sensors and security cameras over widely dispersed areas for “digital oil fields” with central automation and management systems, it will be first of a number of systems made available to Honeywell wireless users.

“Oil and gas producers can now combine our rugged, reliable and high performance broadband wireless solutions with Honeywell’s extensive product offerings with complete confidence of seamless interoperability,” said Leigh Chang, Redline’s associate vice president of product management. “The move should help speed the deployment of specialized M2M solutions.”

Purelink, meanwhile, uses its Core Technology DILS (Digital Impulse Location System) to engineer RTLS systems and software used by customers worldwide to locate people and equipment in buildings, airports, manufacturing plants and other industries. It will enable its products to seamlessly integrate with Honeywell’s OneWireless Network to deliver location-based, context-aware applications for process optimization, security and safety.

“This collaboration will expand the range of customers to whom we can offer cost effective, high quality and high performance geolocation products,” said Emerson Nerat, president and CEO, Purelink.

Using Honeywell’s wireless solutions, customers connect easily with a range of products from PKS Advantage members, as well as Honeywell’s own portfolio, for secure solutions with much lower installed costs than using conventional hard wiring. The PKS Advantage program already includes leading solutions from Beamex, Cape Software Inc., Flowserve Corporation, Flow Control Division, Metso Automation, Pepperl+Fuchs and Turck Inc., among others.

New Orleans event leads in LDAR and fugitive emissions

We have included a number of reports on the seminars and/or symposia organised so well be the International Society of Instrumentation both in the USA and in other locations. They are of course unrivalled in providing this sort of service in their almost seventy years of being.

More than 200 plant and refinery professionals responsible for maintaining leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs and complying with government regulations to reduce air emissions attended ISA’s 13th annual Fugitive Emissions-LDAR Symposium - organised by ISA's Fugitive Emissions LDAR Group - held last month in New Orleans, (LA USA)

Attendees gathered to meet with and learn from leading air emission experts and government regulators in the LDAR field so they could take proactive steps in preventing leaks from occurring--not just improve leak detection and repair—and fully comply with all government mandates.

A highlight of the event was an interactive discussion--involving a panel of LDAR experts, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials, and audience participants—on applying best-practice methodologies, optimizing use of training, in-house and contract resources, and avoiding common mistakes and problems that can lead to major equipment failure.

“The ISA meeting for LDAR professions is my annual must-attend event,” states Frankie Wood-Black, Ph.D., REM, MBA, of Trihydro Corporation. “It helps to keep LDAR coordinators current on the changes in the regulations, and focused on the most critical issues. It provides strategies that allow an LDAR program to work for you rather than you working for it."

In all, 17 technical sessions were conducted on critical industry issues, such as LDAR design and validation, consent decree updates, MACT Cooling Tower Rule, low-leak technologies and long-term seal ability. More than 30 vendors and equipment manufacturers displayed their latest products and services, such as sealing materials and assembly devices and techniques.

Key presentations were delivered by Tanya Jackson of Avanti Environmental (“LDAR Programs with Low-Leak Standard: No Big Deal”), and Brian K. Whitley of EMSI (“Thinking Outside the Junction Box”).

“ISA’s LDAR Symposium was highly informative and valuable for our company,” says Kevin Moses, director of Operations at LDARtools. “The premier leaders in LDAR hardware and software were present, and the schedule was packed with relevant presentations by industry experts. I look forward to attending next year!”

An evening networking event, a must have and attractive feature in any ISA event, ,hosted by Avanti Environmental and featuring New Orleans-style cuisine and a local band, enabled session presenters, panel experts and attendees to interact in a casual setting.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New product innovation award

The Anybus NP40 network processor from HMS rated best in class by Frost & Sullivan.

The independent research company Frost & Sullivan has presented HMS Industrial Networks with the “2013 European Industrial Communication Processors New Product Innovation Award.” The award recognizes HMS’s new network processor, the Anybus NP40, as best in class in a global comparison. High functionality, flexibility and easy integration were some of the features acknowledged by the research team at Frost & Sullivan.

The Anybus NP40 is the new network processor from HMS Industrial Networks and the core component in the upcoming Anybus CompactCom 40-series. Anybus CompactCom is a line of communication interfaces in chip, brick or module formats which are embedded into industrial devices to enable communication with an industrial network.

Enabling multi-network connectivity for demanding industrial applications
The Anybus CompactCom 40-series, based on the Anybus NP40 network processor, supports all major industrial networks but is especially suitable for high-end industrial Ethernet and fieldbus applications. Since the NP40 processor practically offers ”zero delay” between the device and the network, the 40-series is ideal for high-performance applications with fast network cycles and synchronization demands such as servo drive systems.

The Anybus NP40 processor makes life easier for device manufacturers since they can use the same CompactCom hardware to support several networks. For example, it is possible to install the CompactCom 40-series Ethernet hardware into an industrial device and simply download ready-made firmware to connect to the desired network (for example EtherNet/IP, PROFINET IRT or Modbus-TCP).

9.4 out of 10

After a thorough benchmark of the available industrial communication processors on the market, Frost & Sullivan has deemed the Anybus NP40 to be the best available industrial communication processor. The key criteria used in the benchmark were:
Innovative Element of the Product
Leverage of Leading-Edge Technologies
Value Added Features/Benefits
Increased Customer ROI
Customer Acquisition/Penetration Potential

Each of the five criteria was graded on a scale of 1-10 and the Anybus NP40 reached an average score of 9.4 while the closest competitor reached 6.6.

Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Emil Lazarski states: “Features such as an innovative design and high functionality, combined with the ability to support various industrial networks in a user-friendly and cost-effective manner, make these chips very attractive to diverse end users, such as equipment manufacturers who will have the possibility to offer universal communication interfaces to their customers. In addition, compared to competing alternatives, all solutions based on the NP40 can gain from having a highly integrated design and being more compact. This beneficial for customers because they can easily integrate HMS Industrial Networks’ solution into their final product with a minimal physical footprint.”

“We are very proud to receive this award,” comments Christian Bergdahl, Product Marketing Manager at HMS Industrial Networks. “We have worked with industrial networking for a long time and the Anybus NP40 incorporates this experience into a very competent processor. This award recognizes that we are on the right track for taking this technology even further and that we have the best solution on the market.”

Certification for power plant applications!

Yokogawa’s CENTUM VP R5.02 production control system has been successful in gaining VGB-R170C requirements from VGB PowerTech e.V.: the independent technical association representing the interests of power plant operators and manufacturers.

These requirements and rules have been consistently implemented into the CENTUM VP R5.02 system, and were checked and certified by TÜV NORD in May 2013 for compliance.

VGB PowerTech e.V. is a non-profit voluntary organisation representing power plant operators and manufacturers. Members currently include 466 operators, manufacturers and institutions involved in the power business. Membership covers 33 countries and represents an installed capacity of 520,000 MW.

VGB PowerTech e.V. has created rules and regulations in the form of directive VGB-R170C, where the demands to comply with a key technology standards with high availability and reliability are described. The rules outline complementary measures to prevent key technology failures and define function-related documentation of power-plant control and instrumentation in line with operating requirements.

New VGB-R170C features in the CENTUM VP R5.02 control system include segregation of process technology sections, implementation of the KKS identification system and the VGB control function hierarchy, symbolic representation of functions, and document interlinking.
Systematic documentation requires the process installation to be divided into various sections based on their functions. The process sections are divided hierarchically into process control, group control and individual control sections in line with their functions in the operation of the plant.

A hierarchical identification system is necessary to represent a functionally segregated structure. Such a functionally segregated representation system also needs to have a hierarchical identification system to enable clear process and document designations. CENTUM VP R5.02 achieves this by using the KKS identification system developed by VGB.

VGB-R170C requires a process control system to have a hierarchical representation of the control functions into overview, area and individual levels. Accordingly, control system functions are represented and documented in a 3-level hierarchical structure (functional diagrams) to enable rapid and efficient familiarisation of control functions.

Control functions in functional diagrams are represented graphically using standard symbols for function blocks and standard process technology symbols. At higher levels, related functions are bundled together and represented symbolically. The depth of representation expands as we move down vertically from the overview level to the area and individual levels.
All diagrams of a functional unit are grouped together into one document. The documentation follows the control hierarchy by starting from the overview level and progressing to more detailed levels, for each type of control task.

Diagrams contained in a functional unit are interlinked with one another. This can be by vertical interlinking - navigation between functional diagrams of different levels of functional hierarchy where a functional relation exists – or horizontal interlinking: navigation between functional diagrams at the same levels where signal exchanges occur.

"This recognition for our CENTUM VP product is a major boost to our progress in the global power generation market”, says Franz Jesche, COE Power & Energy Europe, Yokogawa GesmbH: “VGB has recognised the technical excellence of our system, which continues to achieve significant market penetration in the global power sector.”

Three new families of ultrasonic sensors

Their robust yet accurate measuring method makes ultrasonic sensors ideal for a wide variety of applications says this relaese from Pepperl + Fuchs. Simple parameterisation - if the application requires it - coupled with measuring ranges extending from a few centimeters to 10 m turn ultrasonic sensors from problem solvers into sensors for every application.

Ultrasonic sensor in miniature housing
Parameterizing an ultrasonic sensor for level measurement 
Main features 
• Miniature sensor for space-restricted installations
• Adjustment using teach-in buttons or potentiometer
• IO-Link interface
Handling machines usually have a very compact design. As a result, there is hardly any space available to install the sensors. The UB…F77 series is well equipped for these applications. The complete transmitter and receiver electronics, ultrasonic transducer, signal indicators, and connector are packed tightly in a sealed plastic enclosure with dimensions equivalent to approximately two cubes of sugar.

Simple parameterisation of an ultrasonic sensor
The switching distance of sensors from the UC…30GM70 series can be adjusted extremely easily and intuitively via the potentiometer. The sensor can also be easily adapted to the application using a high-speed, bidirectional infrared interface. In the same way, multiple echoes with distance and reception amplitude can be displayed to allow optimum alignment of the sensor and suppression of interfering objects.

Ultrasonic sensors easily integrated in the control system
With the UC…30GM-IO series, it is possible to adapt the basic parameters without using external tools. The switching distance can be adjusted at the press of a button. The projection cone as well as the function of the switching output can be adapted in further steps. The IO-Link interface and the PACTware parameterization software together enable optimum adaptation of the sensor to the application. IO-Link also provides an easy way of integrating the sensor into a control system. An object's distance from the sensor can then be immediately called up in the control system.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Springtime on the Necker "Breakthrough to Excellence"

We recently tweeted about the North American Emerson users group meeting scheduled for the autumn in the pleasantly named Grapevine in the Great State of Texas. Now we have learned of the next EMEA dates and this is scheduled for the spring on the banks of the Necker - the charming hill surrounded capital of  Baden-Württemberg - Stuttgart. 

Stuttgart is surrounded by wooded hills
and the first TV tower in Germany
The 2014 Emerson Global Users Exchange, Europe, Middle East and Africa, will be held on 1-3 April at the International Congress Centre in Stuttgart (D). Themed ‘Breakthrough to Excellence’, the event will again be tailored to meet the needs of users from the three regions. Delegates will learn how their peers are competing in challenging economic times – from using technology to compensate for the shortage of people and skills, to maximising the life cycle value of investments.

"We were delighted with the positive feedback from delegates that attended the Emerson Global Users Exchange in Düsseldorf in 2012," said Roel Van Doren, president, Emerson Process Management, Europe. "In today’s changing world, with its fast moving markets and technologies, the Emerson Global Users Exchange provides a unique opportunity for delegates to share their successes, to help our community get the best out of their automation investments." 

Continuing the tradition of a high quality, user-driven conference, the Emerson Global Users Exchange organisation is again looking for excellent presentations that support the ‘Breakthrough to Excellence’ theme. Users can share their experiences and expertise with their process automation peers by giving a presentation at the event. Presenting at the Global Users Exchange provides a unique opportunity for users to showcase their company and its successful operational practices.
The sleek lines of the conference centre

The 2014 programme will follow the same popular format as previous Global Users Exchange events by offering presentations, industry forums, solutions exhibition and product roadmaps. Delegates will be able to choose from themed presentations in English, German and Russian. 

An important element of the Global Users Exchange is the opportunity it provides to network with other delegates and industry leaders to make the right connections, gain new perspectives, and discover how others are making the most of their resources in these dynamic times. Delegates will also be able to meet with the experts behind the technologies and learn how innovative technologies can be put to work.

See our report on the 2012 event also in Germany: Automation returns to Düsseldorf!

New role focuses on Industrial Comms

SolutionsPT has created a new position in response to emerging trends in the automation industry.

Wayne Ashworth has been appointed to the newly created role of Product Manager, with particular responsibility for industrial communications, encompassing industrial IT security and mobile.

SolutionsPT has created this new position for Wayne, formerly a SolutionsPT Software Account Manager, to allow the business to focus on working with customers to improve their communication infrastructures, increase security, mobile computing, wireless computing and HMI (Human Machine Interface).

He will provide specialist customer advice in these areas and recommend solutions and products, tailored for the particular needs of each client, in order to resolve their issues and achieve their goals.

“We are keen to keep abreast of how trends that are emerging in general IT are crossing over into the world of industrial automation, and just as the way people interact in the office environment has changed, so too has interaction in the plant environment," says Wayne.

“Having spent the last six years working closely with our customers and sharing with them first-hand the issues they face, I am well positioned to respond to their needs by providing specialist support, and focussing on the topics which matter to them the most.

“For example, security in SCADA Systems is a subject we are consistently receiving communication and feedback about. Therefore, we are facing up to the challenge of educating businesses that the threat to our industry is very real, and our control systems and architecture can be vulnerable to attack. 

“We believe that understanding our customers and their requirements is absolutely key to moving our business forward.”

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Quick, simple and accurate calculation of climate control requirements (Rittal)

Available now, Rittal’s latest RiTherm 6.2 software is an updated version that allows climate control requirements to be quickly and easily calculated.

RiTherm 6.2 includes generic component heat loss data and a heat loss calculator for busbars; an option to divide the required cooling output between several devices; a detailed breakdown of bayed enclosure suites; a saved project library that can be sorted and allows individual projects to be copied and an integrated chiller configurator.

Enclosures can be selected from Rittal ranges or alternatively, the dimensions of bespoke cabinets can be entered manually. The heat dissipated by installed equipment can be input directly, calculated using actual measured enclosure internal and ambient temperatures or selected from a database of standard components.

B&B Electronics launches Gigabit speed PoE, PoE+ media converters

Powers remote Ethernet devices such as IP security cameras at 1000Mbps over existing CAT5 cable

B&B Electronics Manufacturing Company, following its acquisition of IMC Networks last year fas now  launched the next generation of its PoE (Power over Ethernet) and PoE+ media converters featuring gigabit (1000Mbps) speed. As PSE (Power Source Equipment) devices, the new PoE and PoE+ converters can power remote, high-bandwidth devices that require gigabit speed, but lack a nearby power outlet, over existing copper wire infrastructure (CAT5 cable or better), concurrently with the Ethernet data stream.
Such high-bandwidth Powered Devices (PD) include PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) IP surveillance cameras, plant equipment, VoIP phones and RFID readers.  B&B offers two product lines that support both PoE and PoE+ standards: the compact Giga-MiniMc (.8h x 3.64w x 3.82d in; 2.03h x 9.25w x 9.70d cm) is a standalone converter with an  external power supply, while the Giga-McBasic (1.46h x 4.76w x 7.32d in; 3.71h x 12.09w x 18.59d cm) is a 1U high, standalone chassis with an internal power supply. Both product lines are unmanaged and include plug-and-play features for easy installation.

Previously limited to 100Mbps, B&B’s next generation Giga-MiniMc and Giga-McBasic families were developed to meet the growing demand for PoE and PoE+ functionality in a gigabit form, where remote PD devices require power, and the ability to transmit large amounts of data. These high-bandwidth devices are typically deployed for security, kiosks, in offices, and other environments that require power for Ethernet devices.

All models offer three ports: two 10/100/1000Base-T copper UTP Ethernet ports and one fiber port, available as a fixed fiber transceiver or the flexible new SFP (small form pluggable) port capability. The PoE models (15.4W) can power one PD device over one of the Ethernet ports while delivering data over the other port; the PoE+ models (25.5W) can power two PD devices over both copper ports while also delivering data.

Diagnostic features such as Link Fault Pass Through (LFPT) and a PoE reset are available via DIP Switches. LFPT troubleshoots link loss conditions on a network segment. When LFPT is enabled, if a fault condition occurs on the copper segment, the fiber interface will shut down.  PoE reset is an advanced function that will force the PSE output power (on the PSE copper port) to shut down if the LINK state is lost on the fiber port.

Full compatibility with the IEEE 802.3af (PoE) and 802.3at (PoE+) standards ensures seamless integration into networks, and Auto Negotiation technology enables Plug-and-Play operation. The converters are store-and-forward devices, supporting a frame size of up to 10240 bytes, as well as the Autocross feature for connectivity on the copper ports.

Multi-Mode, Single-Mode, Single-Strand and CWDM fiber types up to 80Km are available. Constructed of solid sheet metal, the compact Giga-MiniMc series is DIN Rail or wall mountable, while the 1U high Giga-McBasic series with an internal power supply is generally rack-mounted.

Taking wireless beyond tank gauging

Honeywell's new OneWireless™ Terminal Solution, brings together a portfolio of wireless-enabled products, services and productivity tools tailored for terminal operators. This was announced as the International Liquid Terminals Association’s (ITLA) 33rd annual conference and trade show opened in Houston, (TX USA).

Honeywell’s new OneWireless Terminal Solution enables operators of oil and gas terminals to increase their productivity while also complying with stringent health, safety and environment (HSE) regulations, all at significantly lower cost than wired technology.

“There is constant pressure on terminal operators and owners to improve productivity, efficiency, safety and security with limited capital and operating budgets. The OneWireless Terminal Solution helps enable customers to achieve these goals within their budgets,” said Ray Rogowski, global marketing director, Honeywell Process Solutions. “In a competitive industry, terminal operators are investing in tank automation to meet new safety regulations as well as continuously looking for ways to manage costs. Wireless-enabled tank gauging is less expensive, at about half the cost of the wired alternative.”

Unique in the industry, OneWireless Terminal Solution includes ISA100-compatible Honeywell Enraf SmartRadar FlexLine, the highest-precision wireless radar gauge available. Requiring no external wireless module, the FlexLine’s integrated radio sends tank level measurements securely and wirelessly to the central control room. The Flexline is also used as a data concentrator, collecting data from local tank instruments and sending the data wirelessly through the same ISA100 network.

Taking the solution beyond tank gauging, the OneWireless Terminal Solution includes additional applications such as Honeywell’s mobile productivity tools (Field Advisor, Mobile Station and Experion® Mobile Access), helping with the adoption of operator driven reliability (ODR) programs and enabling operators to complete activities more efficiently and safely. Other applications include wireless fixed and portable gas detectors and wireless video, including Honeywell’s Digital Video Manager to enhance plant security and process monitoring. For a mid-size petrochemical facility, ODR and these wireless applications could generate more than $1 million in annual cost savings.

Honeywell’s OneWireless Network enables all of these applications, which can be tailored to offer either ISA100-only coverage or ISA100 and Wi-Fi coverage.  Unlike competitive offerings, the OneWireless Network can implement Wi-Fi and ISA100 instrumentation coverage in a single network, realizing an additional 25% cost savings in material, installation and maintenance costs over other wireless solutions. OneWireless Terminal Solution also includes Honeywell’s industry-leading engineering and after-market services. 

 “The viability and acceptance of wireless technology in our industry is now reaching a tipping point,” said Richard Thompson, general manager-Honeywell Enraf. “Honeywell invested early on in the OneWireless product suite to allow customers to focus on their primary business, rather than the technology. With Honeywell OneWireless we can seamlessly manage the data traffic across multiple solutions and multiple wireless standards.”

• The OneWireless Terminal Solution will be available in the third quarter of 2013, along with the ISA100 compatible version of SmartRadar FlexLine and OneWireless™ Network R220.

Oxygen Analyser at crematoria in Australia

A key operator of cremators in Australia has installed Michell Oxygen Analysers at their sites around the country, helping to reduce their consumption of natural gas by 40%.

With its fast reaction to changes in conditions in the chamber, the XZR500 enables the process to be run as efficiently as possible, with the minimum of emissions. In Australia no smoke is allowed to issue from a crematorium, and the reduction in emissions makes it easier for the company to comply with this legislation. Although all the exhaust from the cremation chambers is filtered before being released into the atmosphere, minimal emissions eases this process once again saving costs.

There are two reasons for using oxygen analyzers to control oxygen in cremators: the first is to reduce fuel consumption and the second is to keep emissions to a minimum. Cremators often operate up to 15 hours a day, reaching temperatures of up to 1150°C, so fuel efficiency is a crucial part of keeping costs down. Australia’s Carbon Tax is an added tax on fuel use to further encourage businesses to be fuel efficient for the sake of the environment and to conserve natural resources. The 40% reduction in fuel used by the operator means that the cost of cremations can be kept to affordable levels.

The Michell XZR500 analyzers ensure that the level of oxygen in the chamber is kept at the optimum level for combustion. Too little oxygen means that more fuel is needed, while too much oxygen results in a fast burn, but a high level of emissions such as mono-nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx), carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO).

The atmosphere with a cremation chamber is highly aggressive so a sensor that is capable of withstanding not only high temperatures but also harsh conditions is important. At the start of the cremation process, there is a lot of moisture present in the chamber. Many chemicals are also released including from clothing, replacement joints and mercury fillings. The Zirconia Metallic Sealed Reference Senor (MSRS) in the XZR500 is designed to withstand these conditions for long periods of time. The semi-insitu design allows non-conditioned (or representative) sampling with minimal installation. The Pitot effect in the sampling probe – where the gas is drawn along the probe as through a chimney – negates the need for aspirator air which is a further saving. The Iconel probe is particularly suitable for the aggressive environment. The sensor has a built-in porous ceramic filter to further protect and prolong the life of the sample cell.

• Michell Instruments is marketed in Ireland through Instrument Technology Ltd.

Mercury conference to confront contentious topics!

One of the panel sessions at the Mercury 2013 International Conference in Edinburgh (28th July – 2nd Aug) “will be highly contentious and should result in a heated debate,” says Prof. K. Clive Thompson who will be chairing the session with Eric Uram from SafeMinds.

Prof K C Thompson
Taking place on Tuesday 30th July at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, the panel session will explore topical public concerns about mercury and health. Experts in this field will discuss the toxicological significance of mercury exposure from dental amalgams, vaccines and fish consumption for vulnerable groups, and will debate whether current concerns are scientifically justified.

The continued use of thiomersal to preserve vaccines is the subject of much debate. It has been used for over 80 years and some passionately believe that it causes harm to the newly born (e.g. Autism) when used in certain vaccines, whilst others would dispute this. The recent 32 deaths from the tragic fungal meningitis outbreak associated with compounded methylprednisolone acetate (MPA), a steroid injectable product, highlights a potential risk from not using a suitable preservative in vaccines See also FDA statement to the US Congress, The Fungal Meningitis Outbreak: Could It Have Been Prevented? (14 Nov 2012).

The benefits of eating a diet high in oily fish will be weighed against the risk from ingesting elevated amounts of methylmercury. A large number of comprehensive studies has been carried out and to-date there is no agreed consensus.

Finally, the panel will discuss whether mercury amalgam fillings cause harm. Alternative, tooth-coloured materials are being used to replace mercury amalgam fillings. These vary in composition and properties, and include composites, cements, and sealants. The panel will examine the degree of assessment that has been undertaken on these replacement fillings, and whether mercury fillings should be withdrawn.

Temperature measurement system has Profinet & Ethernet interfaces

Raytek® has enhanced its modular MI3 system by adding new communication boxes for integrating the digital temperature sensors into the control level. In addition to Profibus and Modbus units, and a version with four galvanically isolated analog outputs, new options include a robust die-cast zinc housing and 6TE DIN rail housing.

The new Profinet boxes are suitable for time-critical applications as they can transmit data to a higher-level PLC in real time. The Ethernet version features a 64 MB data logger that can store up to 24 days of recorded data at a 1 s saving interval. It supports TCP/IP4 and, based on an integrated HTTP server, provides its own landing page with direct access to the temperature data, as well as product information and manuals via any standard internet browser. A user-friendly control panel and a large LCD display facilitate on-the-spot configuration of functions, such as peak and valley hold, as well as intelligent averaging.

The Datatemp® Multidrop software for remote operation and configuration is available free of charge. The MI3 system entails minimum commissioning costs per measurement point since up to eight sensors can be connected to one communication box. Users can choose freely from the whole MI3 program: all sensors and boxes are compatible. Automatic head detection enables comfortable plug and play. Various spectral models, high data quality, and the wide temperature range from -40 to 1800°C/3272°F make the MI3 system an excellent solution for many applications, especially in process monitoring.

Power over Ethernet industrial GigE Vision cameras

A new range of rugged, Power over Ethernet (PoE) industrial GigE Vision cameras with resolutions from WVGA to 10 megapixels are ideally equipped to handle tough ambient conditions. With a single cable for data transmission and power supply they can be easily integrated into small spaces.

Fourteen PoE models have been added to the IDS uEye RE range of GigE Vision cameras and are available from STEMMER IMAGING. PoE versions provide power and data transfer over a single cable, using a lockable, dust-tight, spray-resistant and water-resistant M12 circular connector. With the housing, lens barrels, and lockable connectors compliant with the requirements of IP 65 and IP 67 protection classes, together with optically decoupled digital inputs and outputs, these splashproof and dustproof cameras are designed for demanding industrial applications in a wide range of harsh industrial environments.

The range features a variety of the latest CMOS or CCD sensors, offering an extensive choice of resolution, frame speed and low light level sensitivities. This allows the most appropriate camera to be matched to the specific application. The PoE cameras also benefit from two general purpose I/Os, which are particularly suitable for applications in foundries, automotive production and automation engineering.

The unique IDS Software Suite supplied with the cameras provides genuine plug & play capability with automatic detection of any camera in the system so it is ready for use immediately. The software is available in Windows and Linux in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

New design options for connectors

Harting has introduced a number of new devices in its har-flex family of compact, versatile and rugged board-to-board and board-to-cable 1.27 mm pitch connectors.

Straight and angled connectors are now available as PCB models which, when combined with the connectors for flat ribbon connection, allow PCBs to be combined into complex systems perfectly adapted to their surroundings. All har-flex® connectors are available with from six to 100 contacts, in increments of two. Fully assembled cables are also available.

The compact but rugged design of the har-flex® connectors also guarantees reliable operation under adverse conditions. Two large holders ensure that the connectors are firmly held in place after soldering. A low-wear insertion and withdrawal procedure is achieved by a very smooth contact point between the male and female contacts.

These connectors are delivered in packaging compatible with production machines, and can be processed in the SMT solder process. In spite of the rugged design, har-flex® connectors are also suitable for high data rates, which means that they can handle modern transfer protocols such as Gigabit Ethernet or PCI Express.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Acquisition to improve software offering

Industry software portfolio in the area of production planning extended by acquisition!

The British Preactor Group has been acquired by Siemens to further expand its international lead in the industry software market. Preactor's APS software solutions will add significant new components to the Siemens Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) portfolio. The group has been developing software solutions for efficient automated production planning processes for over 20 years. Once the deal is complete, the company will be assigned to the Siemens Industry Automation Division. The relevant agreement was signed has just been signed but the purchase price was not disclosed.

The Preactor Group was founded in 1992, and currently employs a workforce of 70. Alongside its base in Britain, the company is also represented in North America, India, France, Spain and China. Preactor's APS planning software has been installed by over 4,500 small, medium and large multinational companies in 75 countries, and is used to drive down production costs, boost productivity and improve adherence to delivery deadlines.

Anton S Huber,
CEO Siemens Automation Industry
"By acquiring the Preactor Group, we are further extending our position as an industry software supplier in the field of production and logistics", according to Anton S. Huber, CEO of the Siemens Division Industry Automation. "The solutions supplied by Preactor ideally complement our MES product portfolio. We will be extending our industry software offering to include APS as a key component in the field of Manufacturing Operations Management. With the Preactor Group, we are gaining a team of specialists with a proven track record as a preferred supplier and service provider for APS solutions the world over".

The Preactor Group's President and CEO Mike Novels adds: "We have no plans to divert from our existing successful course. With our highly qualified workforce and Siemens behind us, we will be in a position to supply our future-oriented APS software solutions as a global partner backed by worldwide presence and support. We will be making a major contribution to the ability of companies the world over to fully utilize their resources and adhere to confirmed deadlines."

• Since the end of 2011, Siemens has acquired industrial software providers across every branch of industry, including: Active Tecnologia em Sistemas de Automação Ltda. (pharmaceutical and biotech production), Vistagy Inc. (design of composite materials), IBS AG (quality and production management), Innotec do Brasil Ltda. (holistic plant management), Perfect Costing Solutions GmbH (cost management), VRcontext International S.A. (3D plant visualization) and LMS International (mechatronic simulation).

Online instrument store

Web site simplifies ordering of instrumentation products for measurement and control.

Endress+Hauser launched E-direct, an online store to allow customers easily and securely to order high quality measurement products at competitive prices.

Customers can find pressure transducers and switches, temperature switches and thermometers, paperless recorders, digital displays, level switches and flowmeters; and also pH, conductivity, oxygen analytical transmitters, and more. Instruments are available for purchase around the clock.

The web site provides general application, function and approval information; along with details on available electrical connections, process connections, accessories, temperature and pressure tolerance, etc. for each configuration of the selected instrument or analyzer.

E-direct is meant to complement the traditional range of sales and services from Endress+Hauser. For products that do not require a substantial amount of consultation in terms of application specifics, the online shop can serve as a fast and effective direct purchase channel.

End users, OEMs, skid builders, electrical distributors, resellers and more can also access detailed product information, technical specifications, dimensional drawings, 360-degree rotating views of products and complete pricing. Additionally, E-direct offers volume discounts to customers that buy in bulk.

As with Endress+Hauser’s traditional product portfolio, a comprehensive network of sales and service personnel are available throughout the U.S. to provide technical support and answer questions regarding E-direct products and applications.