Saturday, September 21, 2013

High thrust piston actuators for improved process control and increased productivity

Emerson Process Management has introduced the Fisher® 685 double acting piston actuator that provides high thrust output for short to long travel applications. The accurate and reliable operation of the actuator improves process control and increases availability - contributing to increased productivity and efficiency.

Designed for use with both medium and large Fisher sliding-stem control valves, including the easy-e™ and FB series, the 685 actuator is suitable for general, severe, and critical service applications. The range includes piston diameters from 305 to 660mm and travel from 25 to 610mm as standard, with special constructions available up to 1118mm piston diameter. The actuator has a high thrust capability, with a maximum of 351.4 kN (79,000 lbf) available at 10.3 barg supply pressure.

The actuators feature ¾" NPT supply connections, with 1" or 1¼’’ NPT supply connections available on the larger size actuators. Larger air connections reduce the complexity of instrument piping and improve actuator response to control signals giving better process control. This enables fast operating times of less than 2 seconds in critical applications such as compressor anti-surge.

Low friction piston seals and either chrome plated or Xylan coated cylinder bores, reduce sliding friction and wear - minimising deadband, reducing maintenance costs and extending operational life.

These low maintenance actuators can be specified with durable corrosion resistant paint and are suitable for operation over a wide temperature range. Standard constructions offer a temperature range of -40°C to +93°C, however higher or lower temperatures are possible. Special constructions extend this range from -54°C to +204°C making these actuators ideal for the extreme conditions found in many oil and gas onshore plants and offshore platforms.

The 685 can be used with the FIELDVUE™ DVC6200 digital valve controller for throttling applications, or with switching valves for on/off control. This actuator can also be fitted with volume boosters for fast stroking requirements.

The 685 is part of a broad range of Fisher piston actuators that provide accurate throttling or on-off operation for sliding-stem control valves.

Automation company expanding manufacturing in US

Producing, assembling and calibrating at sites throughout the world is one of Endress+Hauser’s central business strategies. “We want to move our production as close as possible to our customers,” stressed Klaus Endress, CEO of the Endress+Hauser Group, during the inauguration ceremony for two new buildings in Greenwood, Indiana. “Being close allows us to respond quickly to the special needs and requirements of market and customers.”
One important factor for this concept to work is globally uniform quality standards. “Here in the US we manufacture at the highest level,” stressed Hans-Peter Blaser, Managing Director of the flow engineering plant in Greenwood. An extension to the new building occupied only five years ago has created nearly 85,000 square feet of additional space. “This gives us the chance to increase capacity and to produce additional lines of instruments locally.” The systems for calibrating flowmeters, unique on the continent, have now grown to include the latest technology for gas calibration.

The plant for level and pressure engineering moves into a new building with more than 105,000 square feet of ground area directly next door. “After years of strong growth, this will make us fit for the future,” declares Managing Director John Schnake. The additional production areas will increase the scope of production and allow more products to be delivered directly from the Greenwood plant. The vacated facilities space will allow for a new visitor and training center for the US sales organization.

American business with Swiss roots
Over the past years Endress+Hauser has strongly grown its market share in the United States. Todd Lucey, Managing Director of the US sales center, believes that one of the keys to this success is owed to this expanded local manufacturing capability. “More than 80 percent of the measurement instruments we deliver in the USA today are now made in the USA. And we will continue to grow this share into the future. We are a proud American company – with strong Swiss roots.”

Endress+Hauser has had its own sales center in the United States since 1970; for over two decades, the company has also manufactured there – for the US market, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Flow, pressure and temperature measurement devices are produced in Greenwood, Indiana, where the US sales center also is headquartered.

Endress+Hauser manufactures sensors for liquid analysis in Anaheim, California, while the subsidiary SpectraSensors in Houston, Texas, specializing in gas analysis, operates a plant in Rancho Cucamonga, California. More than 700 people work for Endress+Hauser in the United States – while a tight network of representatives with another 350 sales engineers and service technicians supports customers nationwide.

Hydrocarbon dew point!

Increased confidence in hydrocarbon dew point measurements

Hydrocarbon Dew-Point is a critical parameter in determining the quality of natural gas. High levels of heavy hydrocarbons in natural gas present possible safety issues and may cause damage to pipeline transmission systems and jeopardise operation of gas turbines.

Online HCDP analyzers provide peace of mind that the process is monitored continuously, however, over time even these reliable instruments need calibration and maintenance. Verifying the online HCDP measurements not only ensures gas quality, but also protects equipment, ensures maintenance is carried out in time and avoids costly penalties for non-conformance to standards.

Michell Instruments have published a white paper which takes an unbiased look at the reasons for carrying out field verifications of hydrocarbon dew point measurements, and the benefits of each of the currently available options.

Michell Instruments are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology

Taking concept to hardware faster!

National Instruments has announced LabWindows/CVI 2013, a proven ANSI C integrated development environment (IDE) that features a new industry-standard optimising compiler and the OpenMP parallel programming API. These key enhancements help developers improve application performance without rewriting their code. LabWindows/CVI is specially designed for test and measurement with built-in libraries for hardware communication and signal processing to simplify engineering application development. For more than 25 years, C developers have relied on LabWindows/CVI to create robust, high-performance applications for the military, aerospace, telecommunications and automotive industries.

LabWindows/CVI Developer Newsletter
“The LabWindows/CVI IDE has become a critical component of our automated test development, simplifying C programming with built-in engineering libraries and saving us at least one week of development for every release,” said Klaus Riedl, XOn Software GmbH. “With the LabWindows/CVI 2013 compiler upgrade, our compile time has decreased while performance increased and we have seen a big impact on our large applications.”

The new optimising compiler, based on the industry-standard low-level virtual machine (LLVM) infrastructure, generates code that runs up to 60% faster than before. With the portable and scalable OpenMP API, engineers can easily create applications that execute on multiple threads. The updated build system and debugger reduces time spent building large projects and locating hard-to-find bugs and memory leaks. LabWindows/CVI 2013 helps developers complete projects under deadline with tools that automate common tasks such as code formatting, generating callbacks and profiling execution speed.

The latest version of LabWindows/CVI also incorporates 11 feature requests from the thriving community of LabWindows/CVI users. These additions include improved function navigation in source code, virtual subfolders in the project tree and graph plot transparency.

Low profile compression load cell available ex-stock!

Their best selling range of low profile compression load cells the CDIT Series is now available ex-stock from LCM Systems. This means that customers requiring low profile, highly accurate button compression load cells for a wide range of general force measurement, process measurement and control and testing applications can be guaranteed fast delivery and low prices, particularly for bulk orders.

One of the most popular load cells in the range is the CDIT-1. Manufactured in stainless steel and offering a high level of corrosion resistance, the CDIT-1 is ideal for standard load measurement applications, particularly in harsh environments and especially where space is limited. 

These low-cost load cells are available with ranges covering 0-100kg to 0-5000kg. All load cells in the CDIT range are calibrated to national standards, are easy to install and give long term, reliable operation.

The load cells can be supplied individually or busy engineering departments can speak to LCM Systems’ technical department and have complete systems designed and delivered, saving both time and money.

European Standards Laboratory leads the way in calibration services!

Yokogawa has recently upgraded its state-of-the-art calibration laboratory which includes wideband and high accurate power-meter calibration systems as well as systems for calibrating oscilloscopes, recorders and optical products, and is therefore capable of calibrating most instruments in the test & measurement industry.

The Yokogawa European Standards Laboratory has the knowledge and expertise to carry out calibration verification to the highest standards. As a technology and market leader in the challenging sector of power measurement and analysis instruments, Yokogawa also offers a unique range of power measurement services, having the only non-governmental standards laboratory in Europe with the ability to carry out high-frequency AC power calibrations at frequencies up to 100 kHz.

Erik Kroon, Yokogawa’s European Standards Laboratory Manager, comments: “The combination of our market leading range of power meters and analysers and our unique calibration capabilities ensures that our customers can be completely confident in the validity of the power measurements that they need to perform.”

“Our comprehensive range of calibration services support the company’s business proposition of offering value-added services and support to our European customers”, he adds.

Their calibration offering is especially strong in the power measurement sector. The demand for lower uncertainty in power measurements is increasing, largely because of the recent liberalisation of energy markets throughout Europe which has given an extra emphasis on developments in this field, especially at low power factors. As well as the high-frequency AC calibration described above, Yokogawa also offers calibration of external current transducers at currents of up to 1200 A with very precise phase calibration to cater for the measurement of power as well as current. It also has the capability to carry out calibration at low power factors down to 0.001.

The Yokogawa European Standards Laboratory has also developed a high-accuracy power measurement system based on two sampling voltmeters and synchronisation devices using two-stage inductive voltage dividers and electronic current compensated transformers with an AC shunt resistor. The measurement uncertainty of this low-frequency sampling wattmeter is less than 20 parts per million (106) for active, reactive and apparent power for frequencies between 45 and 60 Hz.

The Yokogawa European Standards Laboratory is traceable to international standards including ISO9001.

Readers’ Choice Award for 13th consecutive year!

Survey Respondents Name Red Lion Industry-Leading Panel Meter Provider

Red Lion Controls has been recognised for its industry-leading panel meters by Control Design Readers' Choice Awards 2013. This is the 13th consecutive year that the readers of Control Design have selected Red Lion as the top provider of panel meters in the industry.

“Being recognised by our customers for the 13th time in a row in the face of fierce market competition reaffirms our determination to continually develop the best industrial automation solutions in the industry,” said Jesse Benefiel, vice president of product management at Red Lion Controls. “We believe this accolade was earned by providing customers and partners with innovative technology, high-quality products and responsive technical service.” 

To determine this year’s winners, Control Design sent questionnaires to approximately 15,000 magazine subscribers who work directly with industrial automation and control products. The questionnaire included an unaided ballot in which participants were asked to identify the vendors that came to mind in response to the questions. Respondents had to pull Red Lion’s name from memory or experience, further validating the company’s products and services. Only companies that received at least five percent of the category vote were recognized. Since the survey began in 2001, Red Lion has consistently dominated the panel meter category.

“There are dozens of top-notch suppliers in the automation and control space that are constantly seeking affirmation for their product designs and offerings,” says Joe Feeley, editor-in-chief of Control Design. “Our Readers’ Choice Awards recognize the market leaders that have been able to differentiate themselves by delivering truly innovative and cutting-edge products to the marketplace.”

With more than 3.5 million panel meters sold since the company’s inception, Red Lion’s digital and analog offerings are the most comprehensive in the industry. Red Lion panel meters easily accommodate a wide range of applications through varying models, inputs, sizes and other capabilities. From compact CUB indicators to versatile PAX process meters, Red Lion provides flexibility that allows customers to seamlessly add or change capabilities with plug-and-play field installable option cards. The end result delivers real-time visibility that drives productivity.

Red Lion products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Electropneumatic controller series

The TESCOM™ ER5000 Series of electropneumatic controllers that bring precise closed-loop pressure control to a wide range of applications across many industries has been introduced by Emerson.

The ER5000 is a microprocessor-based PID (Proportional, Integral, Derivative) controller, providing localised control and automation, with exceptional accuracy (0.1% FS) and rapid response time (25 msec), to ensure the desired pressure, even as system process parameters change. Eliminating the deficiencies of mechanical pressure regulators, such as droop and decaying inlet effect, this easy-step toward automation also reduces human error and fatigue, and provides remote control and data acquisition capabilities.
The ER5000 can be used as a standalone unit to control the pressure of clean, dry inert gases from 0-6.9 bar (0-100 psig), or be connected to any pneumatically actuated regulator or valve. Used with TESCOM regulators, the ER5000 provides pressure control of gases and liquids from vacuum to 2068 bar (30,000 psig), with a Cv of up to 12, and can be used in a wide range of applications across many industries, including oil and gas, petrochemical and refining, aerospace and industrial manufacturing and testing.

Designed exclusively for the ER5000, the intuitive ERTune™ software offers easy set-up, tuning and operation.The software also enables users to save and download profiles, monitor and optimise system performance, take advantage of data acquisition and conditional control capabilities, set input/output signals, and easily troubleshoot with the automated diagnostic tests.

As a standalone controller or part of a distributed control system, ten different configurations are offered to satisfy all levels of control and automation requirements.

Fieldbus Foundation continues support of ISA100.11a

Foundation issues FOUNDATION Fieldbus preliminary specification (PS) addressing fieldbus transducer blocks for ISA100 wireless devices

The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute has announced that the Fieldbus Foundation recently issued a preliminary specification for transducer blocks supporting ISA100.11a wireless devices. The  specification issued in August demonstrates the commitment of the growing number of organizations supporting the ISA100 Wireless standard. Developed by the International Society of Automation (ISA), ISA100.11a is an international, industrial wireless networking standard built to serve the needs of process industries.

Fieldbus Foundation news, “As part of the FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM) solution implementing wireless and remote I/O, the new technical specification defines a fieldbus transducer block used within FOUNDATION for ROM devices to communicate with ISA100.11a instruments. In addition, it describes the method for configuring tools and asset-managing hosts to access ISA100.11a devices, as well as structures to identify and maintain device status in ISA100.11a networks connected to FOUNDATION for ROM devices. The new transducer block specification will enable automation end users to interface ISA100.11a devices to FOUNDATION fieldbus for better integration with a control system or with FOUNDATION devices. The technology also supports a networked method for asset-managing hosts to access an installed base of ISA100.11a devices for configuration and maintenance purposes.”

“The recent announcement and development by the Fieldbus Foundation further validates the object-based approach of ISA100 Wireless,” said Andre Ristaino, Managing Director, ISA100 WCI. “We are thrilled to see the specification released. Users will benefit from the added integration between ISA100 Wireless and Fieldbus Foundation technology.”
Access to the Foundation technical specifications is a key benefit of the Fieldbus Foundation membership and a review of the preliminary specification is available for free by Foundation members.  See the Preliminary Specifications area of Fieldbus Forums.
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Industrial rack PC with performance boost!

The Siemens Industry Automation Division has equipped its new 19-inch industrial rack PC, Simatic IPC547E, with powerful fourth generation Intel Core processors and the latest PC technology. Core i7 four-core processor, HD onboard graphics and fast work memory reduce the power loss by one third as compared to the previous version and offer 30% higher computing performance and almost three times better graphics performance. Raid hard disk configuration with additional hot spare hard disk and automatic restore in the event of a fault guarantee high system availability and data security.

Up to five monitors/displays can be connected for control centers and multi-monitoring applications. The new industrial PC is particularly suitable for use as a compact workstation or server for the fast acquisition and processing of large data volumes, for example in industrial image processing and process visualisation.

The new rack PC Simatic IPC547E is compatible with its predecessor model in terms of installation, interfacing and software. The minimal housing depth of 446 millimeters allows for space-saving installation in 19-inch control cabinets with depths from 500 millimeters. A version with a housing depth of 356 millimeters will be available soon for control cabinets from 400 millimeters. Thanks to the many integrated interfaces, such as DisplayPort V1.2, PCIe 3.0 or USB 3.0, the industrial PC is particularly flexible. For efficient diagnostics, the device features status LEDs on the front for fan, temperature and hard disks in the raid network, as well as diagnostics software included in the scope of supply. The user can utilize the Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT 9.0) already integrated in the processors for password-protected remote access, to facilitate remote diagnostics or maintenance, for example.

On request, the rack PC can be supplied with the pre-installed and activated Windows 7 Ultimate (32 and 64-bit) operating system or Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit). Versions with Windows 8 (64-bit) are currently in development. Supplementary software packages for control and visualisation solutions with server and SCADA functionality are available

Friday, September 20, 2013

Managing industrial control groups and projects

A new reference book outlines how to establish and manage industrial control groups, and how to initiate and execute industrial control projects.

“The book, Managing Industrial Controls, is designed to fill the void in the marketplace for essential reference information dedicated to managers of industrial control groups,” says the book’s author, Nabil (Bill) E. Battikha, P.E., a widely recognized expert in process instrumentation and control engineering, and president of BergoTech, Inc., a firm specializing in online engineering courses. “Up to this point, there has been very little guidance available to industrial control managers. More often than not, these people have been getting promoted to these positions with no or very limited training.”
Industrial control groups, Battikha explains, exist principally in three business areas: manufacturers of industrial control equipment; organizations that implement control systems in plants (such as engineering consultants); and plants (the end users) that rely on control systems to operate efficiently.

The book is organised into three components:

  1. A foundational component that includes an overview of industrial control systems, organizational, training and human resources issues; the tools for business development; and the corporate standards that guide implementation and ongoing execution.
  2. A central component that covers three essential topics: (a) learning how to assess plant needs and a take a quantified approach to decision making; (b) selecting the management tools to justify the budgets needed to implement industrial control systems; and (c) defining what constitutes the active management of industrial control projects, from project definition and scheduling to front-end and detailed engineering.
  3. The final component encompasses the post-engineering phases, including equipment installation, check out, commissioning, start-up and ongoing maintenance activities. (The last two chapters in this section focus on auditing, a key process that managers need to identify control system implementation problems and to measure compliance with plant needs.)
The book, Battikha emphasizes, is a valuable resource for:

  • All managers of industrial control groups, especially those seeking a handy manual that covers the key matters relating to industrial controls from a management perspective
  • Professionals working in industrial controls who intend to become industrial controls group managers or supervisors.

New cable assembly move completed

Intelliconnect (Europe) Ltd. has successfully completed the move of its Cable Assembly Division into new premises at the brand new, state-of-the-art Corby in England.

Former Rhophase Production Manager, Arden Lawson, who is heading up the Intelliconnect project commented, "This is a truly excellent facility which will enable us to continue producing our affordable, high quality cables."

As well as producing high frequency microwave cables, the Corby plant will be focused on producing High Spec. Triaxial assemblies and semi-rigids as well as the standard RG/LMR type products.

Intelliconnect’s Cable Assembly Division is staffed by an experienced cable assembly manufacturing team ensuring the supply of high-quality, quick-turnaround, cable assemblies for existing and new customers.

Intelliconnect’s Sales Director, Gavin Mintern has been surprised at the level of demand, which has “surpassed our expectations from all sectors of the market.” He continues, “This significant investment has greatly expanded our capability and brings us closer to our goal of becoming a major player in this market. The new cable assembly facility will maintain the high levels of customer service our connector customer’s value so highly.”

The new cable assembly facility will be able to offer waterproofing to IP68, triaxial cable assemblies and special features including phase matching, high frequency operation and ruggedised assemblies for use in harsh environments.

New additives facility completed in China

Emerson Process Management and The Lubrizol Corporation have completed on-schedule, on-budget factory acceptance of Emerson’s integrated automation solution for Lubrizol’s greenfield additives manufacturing facility in Zhuhai, China. Emerson is the Main Automation Contractor for the plant, which will offer select additive component manufacturing as well as additive package blending.
Photo courtesy of Lubrizol
The Zhuhai plant is the cornerstone of Lubrizol’s 10-year investment plan to upgrade operations and increase global capacity in additives. Lubrizol will phase-in select capacity additions at the facility to meet market demand.

Emerson has collaborated with Lubrizol since the 2002 installation of a DeltaV™ digital automation system at a facility in Lanzhou, China. Since then, Lubrizol has expanded use of the DeltaV system into its largest base of production in Deer Park, Texas, USA, as well as other sites. The two companies have worked to further improve operational excellence at Lubrizol plants.

At Zhuhai, Emerson’s Main Automation Contractor role includes collaborating with the Lubrizol team to engineer, project-manage, install and commission a complete automation solution for the new additives plant. The Emerson solution is based on a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study done previously at Lubrizol’s facility in Deer Park, Texas.

Emerson’s DeltaV system will manage more than 2900 inputs and outputs, including Rosemount® measurement and analytical instruments, Micro Motion® Coriolis meters, Fisher® control valves and regulators, and on-off valves with FieldQ™ actuators – a total of almost 1900 Emerson measurement and control devices.

The system and devices are digitally integrated using IEC 62591 (WirelessHART®), FOUNDATION fieldbus, and Profibus communications. Emerson’s DeltaV Electronic Marshalling with CHARMs technology helps simplify engineering and installation by eliminating many of the wires and connections required by traditional marshalling.

"We are excited about joining Lubrizol in the successful digital integration and automation of the Zhuhai plant," commented Sabee Mitra, president of Emerson Process Management Asia Pacific. "The project combines our innovation in digital process automation with Lubrizol’s innovation in additives and technology. We are honoured to help them meet the region’s growing demand for their advanced products."