Friday, October 18, 2013

Secure connection of redundant networks!

The new security module Scalance S627-2M from the Siemens protects automation networks from unauthorised access by means of a firewall. In this way, redundant network structures, for example redundant rings, can also be securely connected for the first time according to MRP (Media Redundancy Protocol) or HRP (High Speed Redundancy).

• Security module Scalance S627-2M protects against unauthorized access, also inside redundant network structures, by means of a firewall
• Connection of electrical and optical connections to a device
• Flexible use in line and ring structures
• Fault-tolerant connections with two security modules operated in parallel
Scalance S627-2M is equipped with three fixed electrical ports, including one secure and one DMZ (Demilitarised Zone) port, as well as two slots for media modules which can be optionally connected. As an option, the user can add up to two electrical or optical ports per media module and thus integrate the security module directly in optical networks. Furthermore, fault-tolerant connections can be realized by means of two units used in parallel. As soon as one security module fails, the second device is automatically activated from standby mode and takes over data traffic.

With up to seven ports in total, Scalance S627-2M enables protection of the most varied network topologies with firewalls and therefore the flexible implementation of security concepts. For example, the security module can connect redundant rings with a backbone cable or two ring structures, as well as link individual automation cells to a higher-level network. With the help of various media modules, mixed networks can also be set up with electrical and optical connections both in long-range single-mode and in multi-mode with more bandwidth.

Low voltage PSUs

Moore Industries has added low voltage power supply options to many of its products. This addition makes these products suitable for use in remote applications such as oil and natural gas wellheads where power supplies are limited and harsh environmental conditions often exist.

Products that have recently added a 12Vdc power supply option include:
  • CPA 4-Wire PC-Programmable Alarm
  • CPT 4-Wire PC-Programmable Signal Isolator and Converter
  • ECA 4-Wire Current and Voltage Alarm
  • ECT 4-Wire Signal Isolator, Converter, Repeater and Splitter
  • TMZ 4-Wire PC-Programmable MODBUS Temperature Transmitter & Signal Converter

These products join existing Moore Industries products that offer 12Vdc or low voltage capabilities including the HCS HART® Concentrator System, the LRX 3-Wire Low-Power Temperature Transmitter and the EPX2 3-Wire Voltage-to-Pressure (E/P) Transmitter. 

Moore Industries’ line of low voltage instruments addresses a growing demand by customers with solar and battery sources as their primary means for operational power in remote areas.  All of these products are designed for harsh conditions. They are suitable for extreme ambient operating conditions and offer exceptional RFI/EMI protection against the harmful effects of radio frequency and electromagnetic interference.

Call for papers at Water/Wastewater conference

The Program Committee of the 2014 ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls (WWAC) Symposium has issued a Call for Papers, inviting authors, innovators, thought leaders and other professionals in the water and wastewater industry to submit abstracts for presentation consideration at the conference.

The symposium, which will be held 5-7 August 2014 in  Florida (USA) is aimed at helping professionals in the water and wastewater industries understand how instrumentation, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) and automatic control applications are vital to the treatment and distribution of water, and the collection and treatment of wastewater.

“Instrumentation, controls and automation professionals in the water and wastewater industry know they need to be prepared for the many changes, emerging trends and challenges, and advances in technology,” says Kevin Patel, the Vice President of Dallas-based Signature Automation and General Symposium Chair for the 2014 and 2015 WWAC Symposium. “WWAC Symposium attendees receive the information they need to stay informed and gain the critical insights and tools required to make their facilities more robust and efficient.”

Particularly in demand, he explains, are applications that can leverage and share the large amounts of data that are being collected within water and wastewater facilities. “Being able to quickly access and convert data to usable, actionable information is essential in today’s fast-moving work environment.”

In addition to these applications, other compelling and popular subject areas for abstracts include:
Presented by the ISA Water/Wastewater Industries Division, in collaboration with the Florida Section of the AWWA (FSAWWA), the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA), the WEF Automation and Info Tech Committee, and the Instrumentation Testing Association (ITA), the 2014 WWAC Symposium is expected to draw approximately 300 attendees and more than 30 speakers.
  • SCADA security, ISA99, CSET, and mitigating risks
  • Control system redundancy and robust design
  • Wireless technologies
  • New control system technologies
  • Process optimization
  • SCADA – Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition
  • Energy use modeling and optimization with SCADA
  • HMI design for operator effectiveness
  • Human factors and control room design
  • Alarm management and alarm rationalization
  • Data reporting and presentation techniques /strategies
  • Data management, historians and data retrieval
Prospective authors are invited to submit a 250-word abstract based on a 30-minute presentation, a 6-12-page paper or large-format poster. Papers for acceptance should address topics in automation within the water and wastewater industry.

All papers are peer reviewed to conform, or to be modified to conform, to ISA Water and Wastewater Industry Division and ISA format, content and quality guidelines. The submission deadline for papers, which must not be product- or company-specific in nature, is 15 December 2013. (See complete guidelines and other important Call for Papers dates and information.)

“I continue to receive feedback that this event is truly one of the best of its kind due to the fact that the attendees and exhibitors are focused on solutions to real-world challenges and what’s actually experienced in on-the-job settings,” Patel reports. “Adding to its value are the training opportunities, and the networking, professional development and continuing education credits (CEUs and PDHs).”

Two optional training courses will be offered in conjunction with the 2014 WWAC Symposium:
  • Troubleshooting Instrumentation and Control Systems, a two-day training class providing instruction on typical control system architectures and troubleshooting these systems for technicians.
  • Introduction to Industrial Automation Security and the ANSI/ISA99 Standards, an eight-hour introductory training class introducing automation security and ISA99.

The last three WWAC symposiums have attracted increasingly greater numbers of attendees.

“Our secret is our focus,”
says Robert Lindeman, the past-President of ISA who provided the opening remarks at the 2013 WWAC symposium. “The symposium caters specifically to professionals involved with automation, instrumentation and SCADA in the municipal water and wastewater sectors. There is no other event like it in North America.”

"One Stop Shop” for power connectors

Cliff Electronics manufactures a wide and versatile range of AC and DC power connectors for OEM, production-line testing, product burn-in and service applications.

For portable and rechargeable products their unique, patented and highly successful DC-10L dual socket accepts both 2.1mm and 2.5mm diameter plugs, is rated at Rated 12V/5A, is available with solder tag, PCB or SMT mounting options and has an on-board switch. Being able to accept two of the most common power connector plug sizes simplifies system design and manufacture and offers OEMs reductions in inventory and suppliers.

They are using Productronica (12/15 Nov 2013) to launch a new range of locking 2.1mm and 2.5mm DC plugs and sockets which have been introduced in response to increased market demand for secure power connections.

For rugged AC power connections the multi-pin CliffCon® range offers 20A per contact with new models offering from 1 to 9 connection pins waterproofed to IP68. Intended for any application where a high quality, reliable, locking connector system is required the CliffCon® range of connectors are tough and durable multi-pole plugs and sockets. Designed for high power applications, contacts are touch-proof and meet the safety requirements of IEC 65/348. Features include a simple, fool-proof locking mechanism, high reliability wiping contacts, safety “leading” ground pin which makes first and breaks last to prevent damage from arcing if disconnected under load and a built in cable clamp to secure cables from 6 to 15mm diameter.

Their Quicktest® connection block has for many years been an overwhelming success in repair, test and manufacturing facilities worldwide where quick and safe temporary un-terminated connections are required to mains supplies. The success of the original single phase Quicktest® has created a demand from customers for a 3 Phase version. To meet this demand a new 3 Phase Quicktest® will be on show for the first time at Productronica extending the applications for the Quicktest® into the electrical engineering, drives and controls markets.

John Hall, General Manager of Cliff Electronics, comments; “We are market leaders in the design, development and manufacture of connectors for power and audio markets and supply major international OEMs. As a UK manufacturer we are able to respond quickly to our customer’s needs and can supply custom over-moulded or discrete cable assemblies utilising our wide range of power connectors.”

Cliff Electronics manufactures audio, optical and power connectors and accessories, general industrial connectors, foot pedals, lighting connectors, terminal posts and connection blocks, motors, fans and assembly aids. Cliff can also provide a wide range of leads including audio, instrument and power.

Irish conference to focus on jobs & competitiveness

The National Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition will be held at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin (IRL) on the 21st of November. The speaker lineup includes key government agencies responsible for creating the environment for manufacturing growth in exports and senior management from leading food, pharmaceutical, medical and chemical manufacturing sectors.

Historic home of Irish Rugby!
Scene of many internationals in Soccer & Rugby
Participating organizations include Enterprise Ireland, IDA, IBEC, Irish Exporters Association, key universities, Genzyme, Moy Park, Mondelez and the Process Packaging Machinery Association.

In addition to the keynote addresses delegates can visit an exhibition showcasing key suppliers of technology and services offering cutting edge solutions to help manufacturers achieve greater manufacturing efficiencies and improve competitiveness.

Speaking about the event, Colin Murphy, Managing Director, National Manufacturing Conference commented, “Irish manufacturing companies have the potential to create long term sustainable jobs. Today Ireland employs 205,000 people directly and 400,000 people when indirect employment is taken into account. Forfas is targeting an additional 43,000 new jobs by 2020 which offers huge opportunities for Irish industry.”

This event offers delegates the opportunity to hear from senior management operating world class lean manufacturing facilities and also the chance to network and debate with industry peers from a broad range of production facilities.

AC voltage/current standard for calibrating measuring instruments from Yokogawa!

The Yokogawa 2558A is a new precision AC voltage/current standard that offers a simple stand-alone solution for the calibration of measuring instruments and power sensing devices including power meters, clamp meters and current transformers.

The 2558A offers exceptionally high accuracy – 0.04% on AC voltage and 0.05% on AC current – and a choice of wide output ranges from 1.00 mV to 1200.0 V AC and 1.00 mA to 60.00 A AC (expandable to 120 A by using two units in parallel).

Operation is intuitive, with front-panel rotary dials and switches for each function and each digit of the 4½-digit display. A sweep function, output divider and internal phase shifter are incorporated, and a range of computer interfaces enables the 2558A to be incorporated in an automatic test system in a production environment.

The instrument operates over a wide frequency range from 40 to 1000 Hz with a frequency accuracy of: ±50 ppm, including the provision of fixed frequencies of 50/60 Hz (commercial) and 400 Hz (marine and aviation). The high frequency accuracy also enables it to be used to calibrate frequency meters.

Multiple 2558As can be synchronised using the internal phase shifter, allowing two instruments to be used as accurate sources of voltage and current for calibrating power meters. An output divider enables linearity tests to be carried out efficiently.

Dials and switches are provided for each digit and function, and traditional 7-segment LEDs provide clear visibility. When the deviation dials are adjusted to check the full scale value on the meter, the deviation from the main output setting is displayed as a percentage of full scale.

With the sweep function, the output (voltage, current or frequency) can be swept from 0% to 120% of the main set value with sweep times of 16, 32 or 64 seconds. This function is particularly useful for carrying out “sticking” tests on analogue meters and indicating instruments. Using the internal phase shifter, a complete power calibration system can be assembled using two 2558A units and one power meter.

Typical users include calibration laboratories as well as suppliers of panel meters, indicating instruments, analogue testers, clamp meters, protection relays and current and power transducers.

The Yokogawa 2558A is a compact bench unit measuring 132 high × 426 mm wide × 400 mm deep and weighing approximately 20 kg.

BroadR-Reach PHY automated compliance test!

Tektronix has announced a "one-box" solution for BroadR-Reach® PHY compliance testing. The new Option BRR  for Tektronix oscilloscopes automates the full range of tests required for BroadR-Reach compliance testing and can save users up to 90 percent on testing time compared to manual testing.

Backed by the OPEN Alliance (One-Pair Ether-Net) Special Interest Group (SIG), BroadR-Reach Ethernet technology enables 100Mbps connections over unshielded single twisted pair cable. It is expected to gain widespread adoption within the automotive industry over the next few years, helping to improve in-vehicle safety, comfort and infotainment, while significantly reducing network complexity and cabling costs. As this market expands, automated compliance testing will be critical to ensuring that BroadR-Reach compatible products interoperate and deliver expected performance.

"Tektronix is the ideal test partner for any company developing or implementing BroadR-Reach products today or in the future," said Brian Reich, general manager, Performance Oscilloscopes, Tektronix. "We are a leader in Ethernet compliance testing and have a long-history of supporting emerging standards with best-in-class compliance test solutions. For BroadR-Reach PHY testing, we offer the industry's only "one-box" test solution and currently have the
only automated solution for the specification."

To help engineers test BroadR-Reach products quickly and efficiently, Option BRR allows the use of a single Tektronix oscilloscope for the full range of tests required by the specification including power spectral density (PSD) and return loss measurements. Until now, engineers have been required to use a spectrum analyzer and a network analyzer respectively for these tests. Tektronix has filed unique IP for performing these tests with an oscilloscope. This "one-box" solution simplifies setup complexity and reduces equipment expense.

The Option BRR solution recommends a test fixture that provides a mechanism to add a "disturbing" signal which is needed to perform the distortion measurement, one of the most important measurements recommended by the specification. Competitive offerings do not currently offer disturber support.

"The transition to BroadR-Reach Ethernet in automotive is moving at full speed," said Dr. Ali Abaye, Senior Director of Automotive at Broadcom. "An important factor in the success of a new networking standard is the support of leading test and measurement providers to ensure that devices are compliant with the specification. We are encouraged that Tektronix has stepped up to deliver an innovative BroadR-Reach compliance and automation test solution and believe it will help drive adoption of Ethernet technology throughout the automotive industry."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Compact wireless gateway to increase asset & production monitoring in remote operations

Eliminating manual readings in remote locations, and delivers real-time information to help operators make better production and maintenance decisions

With the introduction of the Smart Wireless Gateway 1410, Emerson is making it easier for process industry customers with remote operations to set up and run wireless networks. Remote operations such as oil and gas wellheads often have challenges with difficult installations, high costs and insufficient field personnel to keep pace with aggressive schedules. As a result, they are constantly one step behind – juggling equipment, crews, schedules and data, with limited insight into what is really needed where.

The Smart Wireless Gateway 1410 is a simple, cost-effective remote monitoring solution that helps integrate the critical insights into the production data while significantly reducing the need to send personnel to the field. The Smart Wireless Gateway connects WirelessHART® self-organising networks with host systems and data applications. Because the Smart Wireless Gateway manages the network automatically, there is no need to configure communication paths. This means that additional data points can easily be added to remote operations. The added insight provided with a wireless network using this gateway can also help reduce environmental and safety issues, such as tank overfills and wellhead integrity.

The Smart Wireless Gateway 1410 was specifically designed to meet the needs of smaller networks (up to 25 devices) required for remote applications, without giving up the security and flexibility inherent with the existing higher volume Smart Wireless Gateway 1420. The smaller size and DIN Rail mount capability means the Smart Wireless Gateway 1410 is ideal for the limited cabinet space requirements of most remote operations. Built-in layered security functionality ensures that the network stays protected at all times. Additional devices can be added quickly and easily without the need to configure the communication paths. The Smart Wireless Gateway 1410 manages the network automatically and delivers greater than 99.9% data reliability.

Wireless solution to monitor overhead cranes.

Crane maintenance is “simplified“ at KIA Motors plant with ProSoft Technology wireless solution.

Sleek and luxurious are two words that could be used to describe the new 2013 SUV KIA Sportage. The KIA cee’d, on the other hand, could be best described as sporty yet economical, with Diesel models achieving more than 60 MPG (less than 4 litres/100km) in fuel economy.

But before any these new shiny, sparkling new automobiles shows up on your auto dealer’s showroom floor, the cars, like any car out there on the road, has gone through a series of processes at its factory of origin.

The KIA Motors plant in Slovakia, which produces the cee’d, KIA Venga and Sportage, decided to install industrial wireless solutions at its automobile stamping and press operations to further improve safety at the plant for employees. Cranes transfer stamping dies to the main press lines. Here is where parts such as doors, fenders and hoods are produced.

“It was necessary to connect the overhead cranes to one network to be able to access the PLC from any maintenance computer in the Auto Press shop," said Tomas Potocar, Engineer with KIA Motors.

The purpose of the project was to communicate from the maintenance room to the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix Controllers.

Before the plant chose ProSoft Technology’s 802.11n industrial radios, maintenance on the overhead cranes was a tedious process. “The overhead cranes were separate devices without any connection to computers used by the maintenance department”, Tomas Potocar said.

Because of this, engineers had to climb up 14 meters of stairs or a ladder to access the crane controller to connect it directly to a processor for diagnostics.

“Only if the crane is in ‘home’ position near the step, then the maintenance guy could get to its cabinet in 10 minutes. Now it’s possible to get an access from the maintenance room immediately”, said Josef Nekvinda, engineer with Rockwell Automation. Cranes now can be accessed from the maintenance computer at any stage with the ProSoft Technology wireless solution. This results in much less downtime.

With ProSoft Technology’s wireless solution, one 802.11n radio is on each of the 5 cranes, and with a radio in the maintenance room.

Tomas Potocar and his team were at Rockwell Automation University in Podbanske, Slovakia, where they heard a ProSoft Technology portfolio. “Shortly after hearing this presentation, a discussion about KIA Motors needs had started”, Tomas Potocar said. In choosing ProSoft Technology wireless solutions, KIA Motors wanted to ensure there was a constant, reliable connection between the PLC and the maintenance computer antenna.

“I had already received all necessary information, and I found that ProSoft Technology knew the tools we needed. Installation was rather simple”. Implementing a wireless solution took much less time to commission than a possible wired solution.

KIA Motors is satisfied with the solution. “It helps us diagnose overhead cranes and monitor signals during the production from a safe position.”

The ProSoft Technology 802.11n Industrial Hotspot series offer highly reliable wireless networking to KIA Motors. These radios are optimized for rugged industrial performance and easy deployment in the field. Furthermore, they support IEEE 802.11n standard and MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology, which are key to industrial installations. Features of these radios include high data throughput, hazardous location certifications (UL Class I Div 2, ATEX Zone 2), extended operating temperature range, high vibration/shock resistance, DIN-rail mounting, Power over Ethernet…

Tool coding using Industrial RFID!

Tool identification using Balluff Industrial RFID increases efficiency, as it makes incorrect tool allocation or missing tools a thing of the past. All the tool-relevant data are stored without contact on a data carrier embedded in the tool holder. Automatic loading into the system memory means all the data are always correct and up-to-date. Because the data are continuously updated when the tool is loaded and unloaded. In modern production facilities this ensures maximum tool utilization and high machine uptime.

The established basis for tool identification systems is state-of-the-art RFID technology. Balluff identification systems are suitable for industrial use and designed for extreme loads from shock and vibrations and electromagnetic, thermal or chemical effects.

BIS C was the first RFID-based identification solution that ensures reliable data transfer, even in the area surrounding metallic materials. As part of tool management systems, it enables automatic transfer of the tool parameters, which substantially reduces non-productive time at the machine. This does not include the time and personnel savings for provision of tools and equipment and optimal utilization of the tool life. Scrap and rework due to excessive use of tools are virtually eliminated. Additional rationalization effects include easier organization of tools and equipment, greater production assurance and avoidance of errors, for example due to incorrect inputs or mixed-up tools.

The core components of the Balluff identification systems BIS are robust data carriers in miniature design, a read/write head and a processor unit. In complex tool management solutions, they are also used in configuration and measurement devices, where, according to current practice, the first programming of the data carrier with identification and geometric data takes place.

Balluff identification systems are available in a wide variety of versions Experience has shown that the investment pays for itself within a year or two.

Reducing delivery times!

Fulfilling market needs for faster up and running

More than ever “time is money”. Process interruptions are costly and must be reduced or eliminated when possible, especially in today’s fierce competitive and difficult market conditions throughout the world. Getting a production line operational one day or even a few hours earlier than scheduled generates increased customer satisfaction and profits. Recognising this need for faster deliveries, Fluidwell has now considerably reduced production lead times to fulfill orders in less than 10 working days (completely made to order).

Hurry! Hurry!
“Our customers already welcomed our fast shipping performance of less than 3 weeks lead times. However, in recent times we noticed that the opportunity for rush orders as fast as 3 and 10 working days at a surcharge had increased. Surcharges were never a problem for most customers, considering the advantages of being operational faster”, says Eric Rath, General Manager of the Fluidwell Group.

“Therefore it was a logical move to adapt our production processes for an even faster standard delivery schedule. Everything is still made to order rather than from stock, a serious challenge when you have over 200,000 different combinations. Tailor-made products result in great advantages in cost and simplicity for installation and programming for our customers. Or, to put it simply, we eliminate the trade-off between speed, simplicity and functionality”.

Exclusive single layer injection molded PVDF diaphragm!

Blue-White Industries tells us that they are proud to introduce the world’s first Single Layer Injection Molded PVDF Diaphragm for the Chem-Pro® Series C2 and C3 Metering Pumps.

Manufactured 100% in-house, this new single piece, longer lasting diaphragm design does not consist of multiple layers like traditional diaphragms. With zero breakdown or delamination, field maintenance and down time is decreased. With the introduction of a single material diaphragm, the pump head is now entirely PVDF material, reducing chemical compatibility issues of the only wetted parts.

The Exclusive, highly efficient, Patent Pending design is available in three various sizes. New PVDF Diaphragms retro-fit onto current ProSeries® Chem-Pro® pumps, making this a simple, in-field upgrade. The PVDF diaphragm is just one of many new upgrades to the Chem-Pro®. New featrures include: Serial and Ethernet communications, Increased feed rate resolution from 1% to 0.1%, field upgradeable firmware, protective LCD snap-on cover, as well as 4-20mA output capabilities.

Next-generation gas density meter!

Emerson has released the Micro Motion Gas Density Meter, the next generation of the Micro Motion 7812 gas density meter designed for natural gas custody transfer, refinery/fuel gas measurement, hydrogen purity monitoring and many other process gas applications.

In applications where the ultimate in real-world measurement performance is required, the Micro Motion Gas Density Meter is the ideal choice to solve problems that users confront on a daily basis such as reducing custody transfer gain/loss errors, inefficient hydrogen cooling of turbines or reduced steam heat and reliability from fired heaters.

This meter raises the standard in online density metering by using proven Ni Span C® vibrating cylinder technology that is optimised to ensure outstanding performance under varying process and environmental conditions.

The Gas Density Meter provides unparalleled measurement quality that is complemented by a new, state-of-the-art, world-class, automated calibration facility. Calibrations are traceable to national standards with an optional IEC/ISO17025 accreditation that ensures compliance to the most stringent custody transfer requirements.  

The Micro Motion Gas Density Meter now incorporates a head-mounted transmitter that has the flexibility to digitally connect to distributed control systems as well as the ability to output raw sensor signals to flow computers - conforming to custody transfer best practices. This innovative new transmitter module has the unique capability of being able to output sensor data in four formats simultaneously - sensor frequency (time period), 4-20mA, HART® and RS485 Modbus. This allows the user to view meter health and performance indicators in applications where this information was previously unavailable, such as in custody transfer.  

The Gas Density Meter incorporates a new diagnostic capability called Known Density Verification that checks the meter for measurement alarm conditions, sensor integrity and the presence of coating, erosion or corrosion. This expands the availability of diagnostics information in critical density measurement applications and can result in significant reductions in maintenance costs and cycle times.

Torque sensor for supercharger research!

“Ultra Boost”, a three year project, partially funded by the Technology Strategy Board, is aiming to develop a supercharged petrol engine with the same power output and only 35% of the exhaust emissions as a current 5L V8 engine but only of half the size.

With the number of cars, vans and light trucks on the roads expected to double in the next 25 years, there is considerable research in progress aimed at developing new techniques to increase the efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of existing low carbon vehicles (LCV). Currently, less than one in every thousand of the vehicles on the British roads are pure electric or hybrid with the other nine hundred and ninety nine being powered by an internal combustion engines (ICE), petrol or diesel.

As part of the “Ultra Boost” project, a research team at Imperial College London is developing a new supercharger test rig with the aim of assessing the performance of boosting components to allow smaller, more fuel efficient engines to replace larger, less environmentally friendly types. A key component of the system monitoring the efficiency of the supercharger is a Kistler Smart torque sensor which is able to operate precisely and reliably at high speed.

The key to obtaining accurate, repeatable data is the precise monitoring of all the parameters relating to rig performance. Dr Alessandro Romagnoli explains, “To measure the supercharger performance, we needed to replicate the same layout as the engine. The supercharger is driven by an electric motor which, by a system of gears with different ratios, runs the supercharger up to 24,000 rpm providing up to 50Nm. The Kistler Smart torque sensor is located in one shaft (replicating the engine crankshaft) and by measuring the power supplied by the electric motor and the power consumed by the supercharger it is possible to calculate the supercharger efficiency. There being little point in developing a system that absorbs a significant proportion of the total power output of the engine, especially when the system is running light.”

With its long established expertise in using torque measuring technology in demanding applications, Kistler sensors are widely used whenever precision and long life are demanded.

SPICE simulation environment!

National Instruments has introduced Multisim 13.0, a best-in-class SPICE simulation environment used by educators, students and engineers worldwide to explore, design and prototype circuits.

Multisim 13.0 offers comprehensive circuit analysis tools for analogue, digital and power electronics. The graphical, interactive environment helps educators reinforce circuit theory and bridge the gap between the classroom and hands-on laboratory learning. The same advanced Multisim analysis capabilities are also used in various industries to explore design decisions and optimise circuit behaviour with mixed-mode simulation.

Multisim 13.0 benefits include:
· Circuit parameter and parameter sweep analysis
· Digital circuits education with NI myRIO and Digilent FPGA targets
· Power electronics analysis with IGBT and MOSFET thermal models
· Device library of 26,000+ components
· Design automation with the Multisim API Toolkit for LabVIEW system design software

Multisim, a complete education solution for multiple courses, takes students from basic electronics comprehension to complex final-year design projects through courseware and laboratory hardware integration to NI myDAQ, NI Educational Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite (NI ELVIS), NI myRIO and digital products from Digilent. Multisim 13.0 also boasts ready-to-use daughterboard templates to speed design time for NI Single-Board RIO hardware and more.

“We chose Multisim for the breadth it provides us, allowing first year undergraduate students to understand fundamental analogue and digital electronics, but also the depth so that final year masters students can use it in their projects,”
said Danielle George, Faculty Member of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Manchester.

Aerospace, energy and life science engineers use device simulation models from leading semiconductor manufacturers in an interactive analysis environment to evaluate, optimise and design applications to meet specifications on time.

Additionally, the Multisim API Toolkit for LabVIEW defines countless applications to correlate measurements, sweep domain specific conditions and analyse performance with flexibility unavailable in conventional simulation environments. 

Control system order for geothermal power plant in Indonesia

Yokogawa has received an order from PT. PLN, a government-owned utility in Indonesia, to supply the control system for a project that will renovate the first of four 20 MW power generation units at the Lahendong geothermal power plant, which is located in the Lahendong district on Sulawesi Island.

As part of this renovation project, the system used to monitor and control the steam turbine auxiliary facilities in unit No. 1 will be replaced with the CENTUM® VP integrated production control system. Yokogawa Indonesia will be responsible for engineering, installing, and commissioning the new system. This project is scheduled to be completed by February 2014, whereupon unit No. 1 will be returned to service.

Geothermal energy can generate a stable supply of electricity day and night and in all weather conditions. Since no carbon dioxide is emitted, it is regarded as an attractive alternative to fossil fuels. However, the systems and instruments used in geothermal power plants must be robust and capable of operating in the presence of corrosive substances and gases. For such applications, Yokogawa provides highly reliable systems that support the remote monitoring, diagnosis, and adjustment of devices in the field as well as a range of products that are suitable for use in corrosive gas environments.

CENTUM VP systems have already been operating for some time in units No. 3 and No. 4. The solid performance of these systems, combined with Yokogawa’s superior technical expertise in geothermal power generation, the quality of its products, and its extensive engineering and service network in Indonesia, were primary considerations in PT. PLN’s decision to go with the CENTUM VP solution in unit No.1.

To further grow its industrial automation and control business and contribute to the realization of a sustainable society, Yokogawa is targeting renewable energy fields such as geothermal power. As such, the company will be seeking to expand the provision of its solutions in Indonesia and other geothermal resource-rich countries.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Integration key to optimising performance in batch processing

An integrated solution to optimise real-time performance, specifically designed for complex batch processes is now available through SolutionsPT, the automation and IT solutions provider for manufacturing and industrial clients.

Wonderware InBatch 2012 R2 is a new version of its already established InBatch software which incorporates System Platform to provide a unified answer to the complexities of batch processes, while still maintaining maximum flexibility.

InBatch 2012 R2 Batch process overview
Batches often have to endure handovers to other self-contained processes such as filling and packaging. The use of InBatch 2012 R2 removes the need to integrate these separate applications making production more time efficient.

By eliminating these islands of automation and replacing with this integrated set of manufacturing operations management, it is possible to lower costs and increase operational efficiency.

Sue Roche, Business Manager, Wonderware UK and Ireland, comments “Incorporating System Platform with existing InBatch technology to create this new software provides a unified application and information environment across the complete manufacturing process. By making batch management data available to users and systems throughout the plant, the software increases operational effectiveness and enables better levels of business optimisation in real time.”

SolutionsPT client, Akzo Nobel, has implemented InBatch at its plant in Birmingham - which produces packaging coatings primarily for the food and beverage industry - as part of an overhaul of its industrial IT technology.

InBatch has enabled this company to deliver accurate, consistent recipes time after time, with the flexibility to add new recipes and production lines. Standardising the production process in this way ensures customer satisfaction with an end product which is of consistent quality and reduces the costs associated with the disposal of hazardous waste, which cannot be simply sent to landfill and is subject to stringent regulations and substantial disposal costs.

InBatch has also proved invaluable in being able to trace the exact provenance of every single batch which leaves the site, recording exactly what went into it and how it was created.

Multi-format, multi-standard portable waveform monitor wins award!

Tektronix has announced its new WFM5250 has received an outstanding 4.5 Diamond rating in the Broadband Technology Report's Diamond Technology Reviews, marking the sixth year a Tektronix product has received 4 or more Diamonds in this highly regarded product reviews program.

In its ninth year, the Diamond Technology Reviews (commonly referred to as "the Diamonds") are determined by unbiased evaluations by a distinguished and independent panel of Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) national board members and cable engineering experts, including senior executives from the largest U.S. cable operators.

"Receiving such a high score in the Diamond Technology Reviews for a newly released product is recognition of Tektronix' dedication to developing measurement tools that the market wants and needs," said Eben Jenkins, general manager, video product line, Tektronix. "With HDMI connectivity and the ability to decode HDCP protected content, the WFM5250 can make objective measurement directly from the output of set-top boxes and the 3G-SDI interfaces allow it to be used in traditional monitoring applications. Tektronix remains dedicated to developing products, features and technologies to help operators deliver high quality video and audio to television and mobile receivers."

The latest addition to the Tektronix award-winning line of waveform monitors, the WFM5250, meets the increasing need to truly verify the quality of video the subscriber is viewing. Being the first waveform monitor capable of HDMI with HDCP, the WFM5250 enables monitoring video and audio outputs of set-top boxes, allowing operators to get the complete view of picture quality and gain the ability to determine exactly where issues impacting service.

Beyond application of the newest technology, Diamond rankings are determined based on innovation, ease-of-use, efficiency, reliability and contribution to profitability. This year's Diamond judges recognised the newly released WFM5250 for its abilities to monitor the HDMI/HDCP output
from STBs to ensure quality of experience (QoE) that contributes to subscriber's satisfaction and operator's profitability.

The WFM5250's unique monitoring features can also be used to measure and
report loudness compliance to EBU R128.

New president accepts!

ProSoft Technology has announced that Thomas Crone has accepted the position of President and CEO effective immediately.

“Our search for ProSoft’s next CEO began this past spring,” said Gary Joke, Chairman of the Board of Directors for ProSoft Technology. “With the help and guidance of an executive search team from Korn/Ferry International, we were looking for a candidate with experience and expertise in leading global businesses, industrial automation technology, global sales and marketing and general business management. Most importantly, we were looking for someone who would be a strong fit within the ProSoft culture. Tom fits all of our criteria.”

Tom comes with a vast array of experiences that will help take ProSoft Technology to the next level. Most recently he served in the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Valin Corporation, a provider of process control and automation solutions.

While at Valin, he was responsible for a US-based global distribution business with five divisions, 15 operations, and 250 employees. Tom’s leadership helped guide the company through organic sales growth and multiple acquisitions creating one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing companies in America and among Business Journal’s largest and fastest growing private companies in Silicon Valley.

“I have been following the progress of ProSoft Technology for some time now and I am honored to be asked to represent this strong brand of extraordinary products,” said Tom. “One of the things that attracted me to ProSoft was the fact that they are a company that thinks globally but acts locally. This philosophy extends throughout every part of the business. Sales and support are handled locally, with real people in your time zone who speak your language.
The other attribute of ProSoft Technology I found irresistible is the can-do, get-it-done, larger-than-life attitude that is present in all facets of the company. I look forward to being part of this dynamic group for many years.”

A range of open frame and chassis LCD monitors

All-in-one monitors simplify system integration

Ginsbury have announced the introduction of a new range of open frame and chassis LCD monitors. Ginsbury's open frame LCD monitors have been designed for simple and easy system integration, negating the need to source individual display and peripheral components. All of Ginsbury's open frame monitors are mounted on durable metal frames incorporating the LCD panel, an analogue to digital interface board, a backlight driver and any associated cables and connectors. Construction includes a main chassis with an EMI cover plate and VESA compliant mounting holes.

Paul Constable, Product Manager, Ginsbury said, "Ginsbury's open frame and chassis monitors provide robust and well integrated subassemblies for use where high performance display systems are required."

Ginsbury's Chassis LCD monitors are fitted with an integrated front bezel but are otherwise of similar construction to their Open Frame counterparts.

Touchscreen integration is supported with options for projected or surface capacitive, 4 or 5-wire resistive, surface acoustic wave (SAW) and infra red (IR). The integrated touchscreen controller supports either a USB or RS232 serial interface. Digital and analogue video inputs are supported.
Available sizes!
The Ginsbury open frame and chassis LCD monitors are ideally suited for use in applications such as public information terminals, industrial process equipment, ticketing and vending machines, gaming, digital signage and are available immediately.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Father of Tribology recognised by Britain's Royal Academy of Engineering

The Academy’s Sustained Achievement Award, one of its highest honours, is to go to Dr Peter Jost for his ground-breaking work in tribology, the science and engineering of interacting moving surfaces.

Tribology includes the study of the principles of friction, lubrication and wear, and its application has huge implications on efficiency and cost in the manufacturing industry and far beyond.

Dr Peter Jost.
Dr Jost, a member of IPlantE (Institution of Plant Engineers) and its umbrella organisation SOE (Society of Operations Engineers), brought tribology into the public sphere when his 1966 study, the Jost Report, demonstrated that substantial financial losses were incurred as a result of friction, wear and corrosion.

The early focus of tribological principles and practices was on improving operation and extending the lifecycle of machinery; today, however, tribology has huge implications in a variety of modern applications such as biomedicine, nanotechnology, alternative energies, and green methodologies.

Dr Jost was elected an Honorary Member of IPlantE in 1969, and was awarded Companionship of SOE after IPlantE merged with IRTE (Institute of Road Transport Engineers) to form the Society in 2000.  Dr Jost says: “The Honorary Membership of IPlantE was the very first of many, but I valued it highly and still do. The SOE is performing an important function for industry and I am proud to have been associated with it for all these years.”

Dr Jost will receive the award on 29 October at the Academy's annual Hinton Lecture. SOE Chief Executive, Peter Walsh, says: “In founding the discipline of tribology Dr Jost quite simply revolutionised the scientific basis of maintenance. His sustained efforts over the years have professionalised plant engineering, and we are delighted he has been formally honoured in this manner.”

Achieving 100% quality injection moulding even faster with Kistler's CoMo #PAuto

The new firmware upgrade V2.4 for Kistler's CoMo Injection process monitoring system offers better functionality and new features that will help processors achieve zero-defect production even faster.

The integrated, automatic mould recognition function of the CoMo Injection system makes mould connection and setting easier and faster with automatic loading of mould data during mould changes. Connection errors are detected quickly and can be remedied before they can cause any damage. Kistler has made the synchronized processing of uniform evaluation objects for pressure monitoring of multi-cavity moulds significantly easier. Evaluation objects of the same type can be selected across channels and processed synchronously afterwards.

The MultiFlow, the automatic hot-runner balancing function of the CoMo Injection system, now offers more options. Tip temperatures can now be controlled with higher precision with Smooth Control mode. This enhancement allows injection moulding processes involving polymers with a viscosity that is significantly affected by temperature changes to be controlled more accurately. These improvements will be of particular benefit to operators of multi-cavity moulds for thermoplastic elastomers and other temperature-sensitive polymers. Individual process variations are detected reliably and their effect on process control is eliminated. MultiFlow now also offers an automatic start-up function, which is triggered automatically during production start-up and after production downtimes.

The CoMo Injection system's output channels for controlling reject gates or removal robots are now easily tested via One Touch check. This function ensures the reliable separation of rejects and allows network-based data management for easier data handling.

As an industrial process monitoring system, CoMo Injection is equipped with connectors for multichannel technology as standard. However, in some cases the use of sensory equipment for testing purposes may require a higher level of connective versatility. Fitted with modules of the new Lab Conversion Kit (LabKit), CoMo Injection can now offer more connection versatility which allows the direct connection and exchange of individual sensors as required. Modules for individual charge and voltage signals and modules with integrated amplifiers for thermocouples Type K or J are also available. Easy assembly and disassembly allows operators easy switchover and full use of the benefits of multichannel cable technology or separate connections versatility. The modular design of the CoMo LabKit allows easy adaptation and enhancement as needed.

Efficiency – It’s not just about operating energy consumption says Rittal #BIS

Rittal’s new TopTherm fan-and-filter unit makes installation and servicing simpler and quicker as mounting on the enclosure, electrical connection, reversal of the direction of airflow and replacement of the filter mat are all possible without the use of any tools.

The changeover to Rittal’s TopTherm fan-and-filter unit has been made as simple as possible by maintaining the air throughputs and cut-out dimensions of the previous product range. Original equipment manufacturers, panel builders and end users alike may upgrade to the new fan-and-filter without any change to the metalwork in which it is to be installed. The same may be said of Rittal’s TopTherm Blue e cooling unit, as the cooling outputs, mounting cut-outs and dimensions of the series that it replaces, have been maintained.

Improved performance against increased static pressure difference results in an extended filter service life that not only reduces running costs but also saves time due to longer maintenance intervals.

RiDiag II is a useful software tool for the TopTherm Blue e cooling unit, allowing the parameters of cooling units to be changed quickly and easily, as well as stored remotely.
The RiNano coated condenser in Rittal’s cooling units extends servicing intervals by minimising the adhesion of water, dirt and oil, ensuring a more consistent cooling output for a longer period of time.

Robust oxygen analyser for combustion control monitors its own “heartbeat”

The XZR200 Oxygen Analyzer from Michell Instruments offers users added peace of mind with a built-in early warning system that alerts operators of any faults with the unit. A 3.3 V DC logic output acts as a ‘heartbeat’ and enables operators to check on the health of the sensor preventing incorrect measurements. False oxygen measurements may result in a faulty combustion process causing higher fuel costs, and leading to loss of revenue or penalties.

The XZR200 sensor is highly reliable with up to 7 years life expectancy in clean gases and up to 1 year in very aggressive conditions such as coal fired combustion.

The performance of the XZR200 is paired with an affordable price. It is capable of measuring percentage oxygen to better than 1% of span (or 0.5% O2) with ranges of 0-25% and 0-100% available. The easy-to-install analyzer offers four configuration options, with two choices of probe length and two temperature ranges (+250°C/+400°C). The lower temperature range (up to +250°C) is suitable for low-temperature applications such as food and drink packaging, while the higher temperature range of up to +400°C serves combustion control.

The product has been designed to integrate seamlessly into existing systems, as no specialist software is required and the RS232 output can be accessed via a PC.

• Michell Instruments are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Controllers for extreme environmental conditions in mid-level & high-end automation

Siemens has developed a new controller for extreme environmental conditions. Siplus S7-1500 has the same performance characteristics as the newest standard controller family Simatic S7-1500 for mid-level and high-end machine and plant automation. Other outstanding features of the new controller Siplus S7-1500 are reliable operation under extreme medial loads such as humidity, corrosive vapors, salts or dusts.

• Protection from condensation, aggressive environments, and corrosive gasses
• Safe cold start and continuous operation in an extended temperature range
• Additional air conditioning not necessary
      In an extended temperature range, the unit functions reliably during cold starts as well as in continual operation. This saves energy costs for the user because no additional air conditioning is necessary.

      Robust, enhanced modules make it possible to safely use the system everywhere from offshore plants and harsh industrial environments up to applications at extreme altitudes. The new device is protected against condensation and corrosive gasses, as well as aggressive and saline atmospheres. The Siplus S7-1500 controller has the same performance and efficiency characteristics as the Simatic S7-1500, the new standard controller generation from Siemens. Its characteristic features include outstanding system performance and a host of functions integrated as standard, including Motion Control, Security for maximum possible plant security, and Safety for safety applications that are easy to implement. Greater efficiency is represented in particular by the innovative design for simple commissioning and safe operation, the configurable diagnostic functions for the plant status and the integration into the TIA Portal for simple engineering and low project costs.