Friday, November 22, 2013

South Korea’s largest refining and petrochemicals company optimises performance!

Invensys has rendered a multi-year, multi-million dollar corporate license to SK innovation.

Under the terms of the agreement, SK innovation, including its subsidiaries, will use Invensys’ SimSci® ROMeo® software to optimise and improve the performance of its refining and petrochemical operations in real time. SK Energy, one of SK Innovation’s subsidiaries, is Korea's largest oil refiner with a capacity for 1.1 million barrels-per-day of crude distillation and operating approximately 4,200 service stations across the country. Additionally, SK Global Chemical, another of SK Innovation’s subsidiaries, produces 5.5 million tons of petrochemical and polyolefin products each year and is capable of producing 860,000 tons of ethylene per year. 

“Invensys provides the true partnership we need as we execute our operational excellence program,” said Mr. Cheon, real-time optimization project manager at SK innovation. “This relationship and their SimSci solutions will allow us to apply new, consistent modeling techniques that should improve the real-time performance of our assets across the lifecycle of our refining and petrochemical operations.”

An integrated online and offline optimization solution for the refining, petrochemical and gas processing industries, SimSci ROMeo optimisation software handles equipment monitoring, utilities optimisation and material balance in open- or closed-loop mode.

“ROMeo software allows our customers to build upon and unite existing automation and IT systems with technology applications from Invensys, our ecosystem partners and other third-party providers so they function as one, holistic, real-time business optimization solution,” said Ravi Gopinath, president of Invensys’ software business. “This agreement allows us to help SK innovation achieve real-time operational excellence, as well as create more value and contribute to the wellbeing of their customers and other stakeholders.”

Multifunctional stream switching system simplifies gas & liquid control in analytical application!

A new multifunctional stream switching system for process analytical instrumentation that is capable of integrating stream selection and filtering functions into one compact, modular assembly is now available from the Instrumentation Products Division of Parker Hannifin.

Parker’s new Gen II R-max system for gas and liquid analytical applications is based on the proven technology of its popular R-max stream switching system and incorporates numerous enhancements to further improve application flexibility, process integrity and serviceability. Backward compatibility allows the features of the Gen II R-max to be installed on existing R-max units very easily and quickly.

Modules feature an enhanced position
indicator to provide easy recognition of
valve actuation
The original R-max, the predecessor to the Gen II system, has been widely adopted by the process analytical community since its introduction in 2001. The system is popular because it offers the flexibility of delivering multiple sample streams to an analytical system with a single, small footprint assembly. Other important advantages include the system’s modular design, which simplifies configuration and maintenance, and the availability of normally-closed, normally-open and single 3-way configurations. During development of the Gen II R-max Parker took the opportunity to add a number of features requested by customers, which differentiate the system from similar commercially available products. These enhancements include a captured vent that prevents cross contamination, an improved position indicator for quick recognition of valve actuation, easier removal of cartridges for maintenance, and an atmospheric reference vent module.

Designed to control both gases and liquids in analytical systems ranging from vacuum to 500 PSIG (34 bar), the Gen II R-max only requires 65 PSIG (5 bar) actuating air pressure. The new system was engineered with a focus on improved product reliability and reduced cost-of-ownership. It is designed for use in the analytical, oil and gas, petrochemical, and chemical industries.

The Gen II R-max utilises state-of-the-art surface mount technology to reduce leak paths, internal volume and dead volume. With surface mounting, system components can be easily removed and replaced without breaking process connections. In addition, the Gen II R-max system features an internal self-purging outlet header that eliminates the need for an additional outlet loop.

New features of Parker's Gen II R-max stream switching system include a captured vent that provides a low pressure header to separate the sample stream from the actuation air, thus preventing cross contamination of the sample stream. An enhanced position indicator also displays a yellow band against a black background, to provide easier recognition of valve actuation. 

The Gen II R-max stream switching system retains all the advantages of its R-max predecessor, such as the use of surface mount technology that enables users to add additional streams or functions very easily, and the modular valve design that helps to simplify field maintenance and reduce system downtime. Overall system efficiency is maximised by the system’s low internal volume and low dead volume, which reduces purge time.

The Gen II R-max, like the R-max, is also available on the Parker IntraFlow ISA/ANSI–SP-76 compliant (NeSSI) modular surface mount system. IntraFlow substrate fittings have been developed specifically for analytical, laboratory and other complex general-purpose instrumentation flow control systems. IntraFlow fittings provide maximum flexibility with minimum space requirements. All flow paths, regardless of direction, are maintained on a single plane within the system, as no lower level manifold blocks are required. Every feature of the Gen II R-max system is available within the IntraFlow product line.

Code reading systems expanded with object recognition

With the Pat-Genius license software, Siemens expands the functionality of its Simatic MV440 code readers with object recognition. After the software has been installed, the code reader can detect and verify objects with up to 2,500 checks per minute. During these checks, the edge structure of a specific object is compared with the specifications of a previously learned reference object. The software is designed for applications such as pick-and-place in robotics, quality control in production, and position detection or quantity monitoring in the feeding technology and in manufacturing. The fields of use are primarily in the automotive, pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries, as well as in medical technology and electronics.

Pat-Genius follows the uniform operating concept of the Simatic MV440, which guarantees simple installation and operation for all function packages. In addition, the license can be transferred when the code reader is replaced, regardless of the resolution capability of the new device. The tasks of Pat-Genius include object recognition, also known as classification, and position detection. The angle of rotation and scaling of the objects are also checked. Moreover, the software can detect whether certain objects are present as specified. A third area of application of Pat-Genius is character recognition using the contours of the character or symbol.

Pat-Genius can be installed on all Simatic MV440 devices as of firmware V6.0. Without the license, Pat-Genius is only available in demo mode. The license is supplied on a USB stick and can be copied to the Simatic MV440 using the Automation License Manager. After installation on the code reader, Pat-Genius can be easily integrated in the automation environment with various function blocks for a large number of Simatic and Simotion systems, and also Sinumerik systems via a configuration file. The new software can also be combined with all other function packages for the Simatic MV440 code reader, such as Text-Genius and Veri-Genius.

Simatic MV440 is an optical code reading system that has been specially designed for detecting and evaluating a variety of machine-readable codes in industrial production. The advantages of the Simatic MV440 device family are maximum read reliability, fast reading speed and flexible process connection. Furthermore, the products are robust, easy to use and have a high degree of protection.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Educational scholarships in Automation for 2014

The International Society of Automation (ISA) is accepting applications for its wide range of 2014 educational scholarships, which will be awarded to college and university students who demonstrate outstanding potential for long-range contributions in the fields of automation, instrumentation and control.

ISA educational scholarships, which fund tuition, related expenses and research initiatives, are distributed annually to undergraduate students in two-year and four-year colleges and universities, and to graduate students.


Interested students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible by submitting a completed application form or by calling ISA at +1 919-549-8411. The application deadline is 15 February 2014.

ISA awards scholarships from the ISA Educational Foundation Scholarship fund; through the ISA Executive Board; through ISA technical divisions, sections and districts; and through endowments of generous gifts from supporters. More details on these various scholarships are included below.
More than $65,000 in scholarships funds are expected to be distributed in 2014. The two top undergraduate winners will receive $5,000 each. Other award amounts will vary. For answers to frequently asked questions regarding ISA educational scholarships, click

Educational Foundation Scholarship
Recipients of awards are full-time college or university students in either a graduate, undergraduate, or two-year degree program with at least an overall GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Students should be enrolled in a program in automation and control or a closely related field.

These funds are provided by past and present members of ISA's Executive Board. Preference is given to applicants with demonstrated leadership capabilities. Award amount varies.

Named Awards
Funds are provided by families or groups in honor of specific people.

ISA Technical Division Scholarships
Funds are provided by specific ISA divisions. Scholarships are given to outstanding students pursuing careers in the area pertinent to the Division’s activity. All ISA divisions, except the Chemical and Petroleum Industry Division (ChemPID) and the Food and Pharmaceutical Industries Division request that completed applications be sent to a specific person (identified on the ISA Technical Division Scholarships page).

ISA Section and District Scholarships
Funds are provided by specific ISA sections and districts.

Railway bearing quality control!

Olmec has designed a turnkey laser height system for inspecting bearings used in the railway industry. Using an LMI Gocator 3D smart camera, which includes an integrated laser source and optics and provides on-board processing of 3D data, the system measures the height of various bearings used in bogies in the rail industry. The bearing consists of a number of different components and if any part is missing the height of the bearing will differ from that which is expected.

The Gocator 2050 sensor is mounted over the existing conveyor on the OE Line and offers a field of view of 158 – 365mm and a measurement depth range of 400 mm. Bearings with a height range of 125 mm to 285 mm are measured to a tolerance of +/- 1 mm. The system provides a simple recipe selection and sensor management interface based on Olmec’s versatile, modular VP3 touch screen user interface, complete with multi-layer security so that only authorized personnel can allow adjustment of the sensor or measurement parameters.

The Gocator records profile images and measures the height of the finished product. If the height of the component is not within the expected tolerances then the conveyor belt is stopped and an audible alarm raised as well as an alarm displayed on the touch screen. Statistics such as the number of parts processed, and pass and fail criteria may be displayed on the touch screen as well as any other dimension/statistical data output from the camera.

An integrated industrial PC is connected to the Gocator for management of the overall system. Error handling and interfacing to the existing process is handled using a Programmable Logic Controller. Should an error occur, the conveyor is halted to ensure no faulty product can pass through for packing. A remote access capability allows Olmec to support the system quickly and easily.

Safe IR measurement!

More than 99 percent of all arc flash incidents occur when a panel door is open, exposing workers to potentially lethal amounts of energy. The new Fluke® ClirVu CV Series IR Windows eliminate the need to open the panel door to take infrared camera readings, and with an installation time of five minutes or less, there’s no excuse not to protect workers’ safety.

The ClirVu CV Series offers the ultimate protection for the electricians, engineers, and inspectors who work around high-energy equipment. They are Torture Tested™ to the highest arc blast test ratings and, when properly installed, maintain a panel arc test rating of up to 63 kA.

Once installed, there's no need to power down or remove panels — inspections can be conducted quickly, easily, and, most importantly, safely, often with little, if any, personal protective equipment.

Installation takes one technician five minutes or less. Simply lockout-tag out, punch one hole with a standard conduit punch without removing the panel door, attach, and secure the cover. The AutoGround™ feature instantly grounds the IR window to the metal enclosure, eliminating the need to separately ground each metal component of the window.

The hinged cover is easily opened with a quarter-turn latch or key to perform infrared inspections. It also protects the window from accidental exterior impact.

Automation contractor appointed!

Yokogawa has been selected as the Main Automation Contractor for Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP’s (Chevron Phillips Chemical) USGC Petrochemicals Project. The project was first announced in March 2011 and will include a 1.5 million metric tons/year (3.3 billion pounds/year) ethane cracker and two new polyethylene facilities, each with an annual capacity of 500,000 metric tons (1.1 billion pounds).

The ethane cracker will be built at Chevron Phillips Chemical’s Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown (TX USA), and two polyethylene units will be built at a site in Old Ocean, TX near Chevron Phillips Chemical’s Sweeny plant. The USGC Petrochemicals Project is expected to commence construction in early 2014 and create approximately 400 long-term direct jobs and 10,000 engineering and construction jobs.

“We are proud to be part of one of the first grass roots ethylene and polyethylene plants to be built in the U.S. in a very long time,” says Chet Mroz, President and CEO of Yokogawa Corporation of America.

As the Main Automation Contractor for the project, Yokogawa will supply the control systems, safety systems, remote instrument enclosures, and the analyzer shelters and analytical systems. The control system platform will be based on Yokogawa’s highly reliable CENTUM® VP integrated production control system. While CENTUM VP is classified as a distributed control system (DCS), it goes beyond a traditional DCS by offering a more intuitive human machine interface and a large-capacity field control station to process data faster while maintaining exceedingly high reliability. The dual-redundant configuration of processor cards combined with pairing each processor card with two CPUs (pair & spare configuration) ensures uninterrupted operations and high availability.

Remote management of industrial equipment

The Netbiter EC350, from HMS Industrial Networks is a new communication gateway which makes it easier to monitor and control industrial equipment remotely. The gateway comes with enhanced performance and connectivity making it ideal for remote management and configuration of power generators, cooling systems, UPSs, wind turbines or other industrial machinery.

Enhanced connectivity.
The Netbiter EC350 is the first in a new generation of Netbiter gateways. It connects to industrial machinery via Modbus (serial or Ethernet), SNMP, EtherNet/IP or I/O and sends data to the cloud-based Netbiter Argos server via Ethernet or cellular communications.
3G Communication
While previous generations of Netbiter gateways have been able to communicate via GSM/GPRS, the new Netbiter EC350 is enhanced to also communicate over 3G networks. The 3G communication provides increased performance compared to GPRS and also increases the geographical cellular coverage as it is possible to install the gateway where 3G is the only available network. With support for 5 different 3G bands, the Netbiter EC350 is a product suitable for the global market.

Enabling Remote Access
The Netbiter EC350 will support “Remote Access” functionality. This means that users can open up a secure connection to remote machinery and configure or operate it from any location using standard software applications. Remote access provides a secure data tunnel to the remotely located equipment. For example, with a Netbiter connected to a PLC, it is possible to perform remote debugging or programming of the PLC from any location, using the same PLC configuration software as usual. Remote access functionality will be available as of Q1, 2014.

“Netbiter is one of the pioneering solutions on the remote management market and we have taken advantage of our long experience when developing the EC350,” says Henrik Arleving, Product Line Manager, Remote Management at HMS. “With more connectivity options and increased performance, Netbiter definitely takes the lead as one of the most versatile and powerful remote management solutions on the market.”

Technical enhancements
From a technical point-of-view, the new gateway has about 20 times more processing power than the previous gateways and an extended memory capacity supporting up to 512 MB Flash and 1024 MB RAM. Two fully separated Ethernet Interfaces (WAN and LAN) makes it possible to provide secure communication to the field installation. A built-in GPS receiver makes it suitable for mobile fleet management applications and the increased number of analog and digital I/Os allow signals and sensors to be directly connected to the Netbiter gateway. Six status LEDs also provide detailed diagnostics.

Large display strain gauge (LDSG) for more accurate weight measurement!

Red Lion Controls has launched new Large Display Strain Gauge (LDSG). The LDSG is the latest addition to their popular Large Display portfolio for advanced control and communication of weight measurement in environments such as food processing, truck and crane scales, cement mixing and transport, and other weight monitoring scenarios. Its advanced functionality and larger display screen gives plant engineers and maintenance staff the reliability and ease of use required to improve efficiency and reduce costs by increasing weight measurement accuracy.

Available in both a 2-1/4-inch and 4-inch display size, Red Lion’s LDSG accepts most load cell and strain gauge inputs and communicates real-time weight information to a database or management system for accurate monitoring, storage and reporting. This type of information is important for applications such as food processing, where weight monitoring and controlling of each ingredient is essential to accurately following recipes in batch production. By using alarming setpoints and a display that is readable from distances up to 180 feet away, operators are automatically alerted and can easily see when weight limits are being approached or exceeded.

“The larger display size and flexible input design of our new LDSG provide the features industrial customers need to enhance the safety of process control,” said Jeff Thornton, director of product management for Red Lion Controls. “By reliably communicating and saving weight values to a connected database, LDSG helps customers address various regulations.”

With easy, push-button setup and NEMA4X/IP64 sealed enclosure design, LDSG implementation is simple. Once installed, weight values can be collected in real time and used later via its RS232/RS485 serial communication ports. This is especially significant for the crane industry, where insurance mandates are starting to require operators to verify that cranes are not picking up more weight than designed to hold.

The LDSG is supported by Red Lion’s award-winning Crimson® 2.0 software. Crimson makes it fast and easy to configure the display, enable setpoints and more.

• Red Lion products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology Ltd.

Interactive on water!

To further support customers involved in the water sector, VEGA have launched an application based, interactive website about their innovative solutions for the water industry.
Aimed at both experienced and inexperienced water instrumentation users alike, it covers aspects of sewage system monitoring, main treatment plant processes and open water gauging. It features their latest innovation: VEGAPULS WL61 non contact water radar level transmitter.

The applications shown across the site are a perfect demonstration of the versatility of the radar level technology, along with other innovative techniques for process control solutions. Process animations feature alongside their written descriptions, application challenges, user benefits and click-through access to detailed product information, application data sheets and all related manuals and certificates.

Partnership dramatically to improve energy-efficient indoor wireless comms capacity!

National Instruments and the University of Edinburgh have partnered to develop a test bed to dramatically improve indoor wireless communications capacity. Professor Harald Haas, lead researcher at Edinburgh and featured NIDays speaker, has pioneered a next-generation massive multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) technique, referred to asspatial modulation, to power a highly energy efficient capacity increase in another step on the path toward fifth-generation (5G) wireless communications.
Professor Haas at NIDays Ireland & UK in London 20th November 2013 (pic shared on twitter!)
Haas and Professor Cheng-Xiang Wang, head of the Advanced Wireless Technologies Lab at Heriot-Watt University, recently used NI PXI Express hardware and NI LabVIEW system design software to create the first working prototype showing spatial modulation techniques over a wireless RF channel. In a live TED Talk in 2011, Haas demonstrated a concept, nicknamed LiFi, using visible light communication over a single-channel, point-to-point link. He now plans to combine these technologies to create even higher density optical wireless networks—called optical attocell networks—that will harness massive MIMO gains in both the optical and RF domains for energy-efficient indoor wireless communications.

“We’ve known for a long time that decreasing cell size can significantly increase cellular capacity and user data rates, but it’s not been clear how we could facilitate that given current spectrum, energy and interference limitations,” said Haas. “RF wireless and optical wireless networks that work together using spatial modulation and massive MIMO approaches could allow us to effectively mitigate interference and significantly increase energy efficiency, coverage and capacity using existing infrastructure.”

The Edinburgh team is extending its research capabilities with the LabVIEW reconfigurable I/O (RIO) architecture for rapid prototyping. Using the NI FlexRIO Software Defined Radio Bundle with reconfigurable FPGAs and interchangeable I/O adapter modules, the team is building prototypes that operate beyond the rates of a commercial RF wireless system. The team recently achieved 3.5 Gbit/s from a single colour LED, allowing them to create an ultra-realistic test bed.

“We are excited to collaborate with Professor Haas, who has been pioneering visible light communications and spatial modulation for nearly a decade,” said Erik Luther, Wireless Communications Group Manager at NI. “Through the LabVIEW RIO architecture, Haas can rapidly prototype a first-of-its-kind wireless test bed.”

Wide range of EMC Filters available from Stadium Power Online!

Stadium Power has increased the range of products available for customers to purchase from stock online to include a wide range of EMC Filters. They are rated from 6A to 60A and including 3 Phase and DIN Rail types.

Two models are available for 3-phase applications. The Stadium Power TNS series offers a 1-stage filter design housed in a plastic case/safety cover and has an optional DIN-Rail mounting kit and the TMS filter series is a 2-stage unit with a steel enclosure. Both models have a current range from 6 to 60A at up to 500V max.

Two families of DIN-Rail mounted EMC filters are also available from Stadium Power. Designed for single phase applications and rated at 6 to 30A at up to 250V the RNS series of EMC Filters are a 1-stage design and the RMS series meet 2-stage filter requirements. Both models are low leakage current designs and are supplied complete with a safety cover

All Stadium Power EMC Filters offer high attenuation characteristics over the range 150KHz to 1MHz, are supplied with easy push-down terminal blocks to provide simple and fast connection and operate over the temperature range -25 to +85ᵒC and have full international safety agency approvals.

Typical applications include industrial equipment, computer and IT systems, and digitally controlled systems

All online orders will be available for fast delivery from stocks held in Britain and discounts of up to 50% are possible on high volume orders placed for online stock.

Other products available via the Stadium Power online include; plug-top and open frame medical power supplies for portable and system use, DC-DC converters, AC-DC power supplies from 5-1500W, battery chargers, LED drivers from 10-300W and EN54 Fire and Security power supplies offering the industry standard 13.8Vdc and 27.6Vdc outputs.

Stadium Power has over 30 years of experience in the manufacture of custom, standard and medical switch mode power supplies, programmable power supplies and converters, LED drivers and EMC Filters to international standards including EN, IEC, CSA and UL.

The company can offer a complete design and build custom power supply service including in-house Design, Engineering, NPI, PCB assembly and box build services. Offshore manufacturing for high volume products can be provided through their wholly owned facility in Asia.

Economical remote connection of controls using a communication module!

Siemens is introducing three new communication modules for Simatic S7-1200 and two matching industrial routers with which remote terminal units (RTUs) can be economically implemented. The communication modules CP 1243-1, CP 1243-1 DNP3, and CP 1243-1 IEC connect the Siemens control via the Telecontrol Basic and Telecontrol Professional telecontrol systems to higher-level systems or a control center. Siemens is also expanding its industrial communication portfolio for telecontrol and teleservice applications with two mobile wireless routers, Scalance M874-2 and Scalance M874-3.

The CP 1243-1 module is based on the Telecontrol Basic telecontrol system, which is designed for simple applications and small data volumes. The CP 1243-1 DNP3 and CP 1243-1 IEC communication modules can establish the connections according to the DNP3 and IEC 60870-5-104 telecontrol protocols. They use the comprehensive Telecontrol Professional telecontrol system for demanding monitoring and control tasks. Due to their compact design, the communication modules can be seamlessly installed alongside the Simatic S7-1200 controller. To connect new modules to second-generation mobile wireless networks (GSM, GPRS, and EDGE), Siemens offers the Scalance M874-2 industrial router. The Scalance M874-3 variant establishes links over third-generation networks (UMTS). The user can optionally also connect routers and modules for LTE mobile wireless networks, the Internet, or serial point-to-point links to the new communication modules. Industrial routers or modems are connected to the new communication modules via an Ethernet interface. The new communication modules are configured and parameterized in Step 7 Basic, an engineering tool within the TIA Portal. Users can set parameters for setpoints and alarms quickly and simply in Step 7 Basic.

The modular structure comprising the control, communication module, and industrial router and modem enables users to implement economical and space-saving RTUs designed for the specific application. All variants of the new communication module for Simatic S7-1200 transmit measured values, setpoints, and alarms between the RTUs and control center both cyclically and under event control. The devices also notify maintenance personnel by email about previously defined events, for example, exceeded threshold values. The communication modules buffer acquired values with a time stamp, preventing data loss if a communication link fails. As soon as the link is up again, the buffered values are automatically transmitted to the control center in the right time sequence.

In addition to use for remote access, CP 1243-1 can also be used for security applications to protect automation cells. The module protects in the an automation cell the connected Simatic S7-1200, for example, by authentication of the network nodes, data encryption within a virtual private network (VPN) and checking data integrity.

Fieldbus test kit released!

The Fieldbus Foundation has released the FOUNDATION™ fieldbus H1 Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) 6.1.1. The H1 ITK is an advanced testing solution benefitting both developers and end users of FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 devices.

The latest version of the Interoperability test kit reflects the increased focus of the Fieldbus Foundation on usability. The Fieldbus Foundation has already made enhancements to its Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) that make it easier for end users to replace "Like for Like" devices. In other words, the procedure for replacing a device with a newer revision level of the same make and model of device is automated to allow the configuration in an existing field instrument to be restored in a newer version of that instrument without manual intervention.

ITK Version 6.1.1, a maintenance release, is yet another example of the Fieldbus Foundation's commitment to this usability-focused continuous improvement process. This latest release includes 64-bit Microsoft® Windows support. The full H1 suite of testing tools, including the Automation Toolkit, is now compatible with modern 64-bit testing systems. Utilizing the Automation Toolkit alongside the H1 ITK allows device suppliers to develop and enhance their products easily and rapidly. Updated test cases for various function blocks and transducer blocks are available to maintain compatibility and fix bugs.

The H1 ITK consists of a test engine, communication stack and function block interface card. An excellent tool for troubleshooting and debugging FOUNDATION fieldbus instruments, it includes all hardware and software required to ensure complete device interoperability. By using the H1 ITK, instrument manufacturers can thoroughly test their devices prior to submitting their product for official registration with the Fieldbus Foundation. By ensuring conformance with the FOUNDATION fieldbus specification, developers are able to deliver robust products and enhancements to their users.

The H1 ITK 6.1.1 is available immediately to Fieldbus Foundation members holding active maintenance agreements and for new purchases.

New member for #wireless Institute! #PAuto #ISA100 #ISAuto

Integrator focused on advancing ‘Internet of Things’ to support ISA100 Wireless™

Centero, the networking technology integrator, has joined the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute .

Centero offers product integration services to process control device suppliers who are adding ISA100 Wireless capability to products in their portfolios. The Centero team includes wireless communication experts with stack and application layer experience who participated in the ISA100 Standards Committee process.

"The Internet of Things!"
Centero is the authorized channel distributor for Nivis communication modules, gateways and related products for the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions; providing engineering services and product support for the same.

“Centero is an active member of the ISA100 Wireless family, as well as a perpetual innovator and promoter of new wireless industrial technologies,” said Robert Assimiti, co-founder and CTO of Centero. “With its IPv6 foundation, we view ISA100 Wireless technology as an integral component in the emerging ‘Internet of Things.’”

“Centero recognizes that ISA100 Wireless provides a solid technical foundation for ‘The Internet of Things’ in industrial computing,” said Andre Ristaino, Managing Director, ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute. “The addition of Centero builds on this year’s strategy to establish a credible technical support ecosystem for ISA100 Wireless device suppliers.”

Embedded vision system

Adlink Technology has released its new EOS-4000, the industry’s first compact Camera Link embedded vision system to feature a powerful 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7/i5 quad core processor, two independent PoCL (Power over Camera Link) ports, and rich I/O capability. The Intel 3rd gen quad-core processor delivers maximum computing power, and Camera Link connectivity provides image transmission with no CPU loading, making, along with DMA (Direct Memory Access), the EOS-4000 ideal for speedy and accurate high-res performance supporting industrial automation and medical imaging environments.

The EOS-4000 streams raw image data over dedicated point-to-point link topology, with no network latency or protocol overhead, and implements direct memory access (DMA) solutions, rearranging data for efficiency. Transmission of image data from cameras to the system memory is executed without utilizing any CPU resources, and the EOS-4000 supports 64-bit memory addressing and RAID technology (dual SATA interface), benefiting vision applications with large address space.

Rich I/O capability includes one encoder input, two trigger inputs, four RS-232/422/485 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, dual storage (two SATA interface, and one CFAST slot), an internal USB port, and 1 kbit programmable EEPROM, all ideally enabling the EOS-4000 to integrate and deploy, providing management of copy protection and software license authentication for system development, further accelerating time-to-market.

The EOS-4000 additionally offers 64 optocoupler isolated digital I/Os, and supports software configurable digital filter function (0.25 μs-131 ms) securing recognition of input signals carrying noise or chatter, ideally suiting demanding industrial environments.

With optional Microsoft® Embedded Standard 7, File-Based Write Filter (FBWF), and thread-safe I/O function, the EOS-4000 provides a stable, secure, high performance software operating environment. The included CamCreator® utility enables setup, configuration, testing, and system debugging with no software programming requirement. Combining increased computing power with multi-channel connectivity and a ready-to-deploy application platform, the EOS-4000 delivers embedded vision ideally suited for high-speed and large image machine vision applications.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New member for OPC!

Ocean Data Systems is now a member of the OPC Foundation, an organisation dedicated to ensuring interoperability in automation by creating and maintaining open specifications that standardize the communication to multi-vendor systems, from plant floor sensors and controls, to enterprise business solutions.

Joining the OPC Foundation will provide Ocean Data Systems with access to the latest technology and domain experts, ensuring that Dream Report will continue to deliver excellent support for this standard. Dream Report currently offers OPC Real-time data connectivity through OPC DA, Alarm and event message connectivity through OPC AE and Historic Data connectivity through OPC HDA, in addition to its vast array of both business standard and proprietary interfaces.

"The OPC Foundation continues to expand and be the community for OPC experts," says Thomas Burke - President of the OPC Foundation. "And we are excited to have Ocean Data Systems as a new member."

"I have a long history with the OPC Foundation, spanning much of my career," says Roy Kok - VP of Sales and Marketing for Ocean Data Systems Ltd. "OPC Technology is critical for connectivity to a major segment of the automation market and this tighter relationship will ensure we continue to deliver leading connectivity, and it gives ODS an opportunity to uniquely market to this important segment."

Wall mounted distribution enclosures!

Rittal’s ISV wall mounted distribution enclosures based around Rittal‘s robust AE enclosure, offer the flexibility to assemble enclosures that will accept DIN rail mounted devices, such as miniature circuit breakers, relays, contactors and meters.

To accommodate incoming protection devices there is a circuit breaker module suitable for standard moulded case circuit breakers from ABB, Eaton, Schneider Electric and Siemens, with ratings up to 630 amperes.

Selection of Rittal’s AE ISV enclosure, in sheet or stainless steel together with mounting kit, support rail, din rail mounted device modules and circuit breaker module is made easy by following a simple series of steps and options.

Design can be achieved by using Rittal Innovation 2012 catalogue or Rittal Power Engineering Software.

Triple output linear PSU provides up to 8 amps

Aim-TTi has extended its PL series of linear regulated laboratory power supplies to include a triple output model, the PL303QMT.

Unlike most triple output PSUs, all three outputs are full performance with CV/CI modes, simultaneous voltage/current metering, and switchable remote sense. Total power is 228 watts.

The PL303QMT has two identical 30V/3A outputs with quad-mode switching which provides independent, tracking and true parallel modes, the latter providing 30V/6A from a single output.

The third output offers 0 to 6V at 0 to 8A, an unusually high current for a linear regulated unit. The resolution for this output is increased from 10mV to 1mV and current resolution of 1mA is maintained up to 8A with a selectable low-current range with 0.1mA resolution.

The unit is compact being 3/4 rack width (320mm) by 3U high (130mm). A rack mount kit is available which can accommodate the PL303QMT alone or in combination with any single output PL or PLH model.

The PL303QMT-P has identical front panel control but adds a full range of digital remote control interfaces including USB, RS232, GPIB and LAN, the latter being LXI compliant.

Benchtop SDSI launched!

RADX® Technologies in collaboration with National Instruments, has introduced the RADX LibertyGT™ Model 1200B (“1200B”) COTS Benchtop SDSI. Designed to address high-performance, high-throughput wireless communications, RF and microwave test and measurement applications, the 1200B is a turnkey, multifunction, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), benchtop Software Defined Synthetic Instrument (SDSI) that is uniquely modular, programmable, upgradable, reconfigurable and cost-effective. The 1200B’s modular architecture combines an extensive library of RADX COTS Realtime Measurement Science Software and Firmware modules with a powerful collection of advanced, COTS NI PXI modules and LabVIEW® system design software—all housed in an integrated, field-service-optimized benchtop enclosure equipped with a comprehensive RF Interface Unit (RFIU) and High-Definition (HD) touchscreen display.

“The LibertyGT 1200B couples the unmatched quality and performance of NI PXI modules with RADX patented Realtime Measurement Science Software and Firmware—tightly integrated in a turnkey COTS benchtop instrument,” said Ross Q. Smith, RADX co-founder and CEO. “With industry leading realtime stimulus and measurement capabilities that deliver previously unachievable levels of performance and throughput, coupled with the system’s inherent flexibility, modularity, supportability, upgradability, programmability and reduced life-cycle-costs, the 1200B represents a new benchmark in value for benchtop RF and wireless test and measurement instruments.”

RADX and NI are demonstrating the 1200B in the NI booth (No. 1503) at MILCOM 2013. In addition, RADX will also be demonstrating the LibertyGT 1200B in the Core Systems booth (No. 1316).

About the LibertyGT 1200B

With advanced RF stimulus and measurement capabilities, the LibertyGT 1200B is optimized for high-throughput, multifunction parametric testing of commercial and military digital and analog radios, avionics, smart phones, tablets, data links and other wireless communications systems with transmit and/or receive frequencies under 6 GHz and where the combination of programmability, flexibility, performance, throughput and long life cycle support and total cost of ownership is of paramount importance. The LibertyGT Model 1200B features a RADX and Core Systems designed aluminum enclosure that includes an innovative, hinged, front panel HD touchscreen that supports field-level repairs, upgrades and reconfiguration, an intuitive GUI and LabVIEW based software framework, a comprehensive RFIU for readily testing a wide range of RF systems, and NI PXI modules, including the NI PXIe-5644 vector signal transceiver and LabVIEW software— all tightly integrated with a comprehensive suite of RADX Realtime Measurement Science Software and Firmware modules.

Open Architecture, Programmable and 3rd Party Friendly
With its LabVIEW software framework, multicore Intel® Core™ i7-based embedded controller and multiple Xilinx® FPGA processing capabilities, the 1200B features an open architecture that is ideal for user and integrator programming. The 1200B supports the ready integration of user Test Procedure Sets (TPS), user programs and scripts via industry standard APIs and languages such as LabVIEW, IVI, Python, XML, etc., that leverage RADX Measurement Science Modules and NI LabVIEW Workbenches and Virtual Instruments. In addition, the 1200B supports 3rd party measurement science modules based on popular programming environments including LabVIEW, C, C++, C#, Java and others. For seamless development and quick time to market, the 1200B is binary compatible with and functionally equivalent to the LibertyGT 1000R Test and Development Reference Platform and its associated RFIU.

“With support for stimulus and measurement to 6 GHz, benchtop enclosure and integrated HD touch screen display, the LibertyGT 1200B has the range of functionality, performance, programmability and precision required for comprehensive radio, wireless networking and RF system testing where ease-of-use and repeatable, reproducible test results and high throughput is essential,” added Wade Lowdermilk, RADX co-founder and CTO. “Accordingly, the 1200B is uniquely well suited for multifunction R&D and production commercial wireless test programs as well as DoD communications, avionics/vetronics and weapon systems test applications that have often been beyond the reach of COTS systems.”

Comprehensive RADX Measurement Science Software and Firmware
The 1200B includes the LibertyGT Base Measurement Science Software and Firmware Bundle, which features Spectrum Analysis, 2-Channel Digital Storage Oscilloscope, Standard Calibration/Alignment, Remote Interface and Test Procedure Set & User Programming/Scripting Module (both with IVI support).

In addition, the 1200B also includes the LibertyGT Advanced Measurement Science Software Bundle which contains the following modules: Stimulus Control, Realtime Vector Signal Generator, Realtime RF Receiver Chain, 2-Channel Digitizer, Realtime Digital and Analog Internal and External Waveform Modulation and Demodulation, Advanced Calibration/Alignment, Realtime User Digital I/O, Realtime Bit Error Rate Tester and RF Power Meter. Future options for the 1200B include the User Measurement Science API which enables users and integrators to add third party or their own measurement science software to the system using popular programming environments and a range of modulation and demodulation modules including QAM, PSK, MSK and OFDM with support for various specific standards such as IEEE 802.11 and LTE. In addition, RADX offers NRE-based customer services for developing customer specific modulation/demodulation capabilities and specific automated tests for particular radios or communications systems.

Modular for Reduced TCO
For substantially reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), the LibertyGT 1200B employs a highly modular, NI PXIe-based architecture and an innovative hinged front panel design that intrinsically supports module and subsystem replacement, upgrades and technology insertion—in the field. This unique approach dramatically reduces spares, repairs and shipping costs, improves up time and mitigates obsolescence issues and life-time-buys-- all while simultaneously enabling the 1200B to address future requirements, including support for frequencies up to 26.5 GHz, with a simple change of modules.

“The LibertyGT 1200B represents an outstanding value for radio test and similar applications where performance, flexibility, throughput, life cycle and programmability are important,” said Christer Ljungdahl, director of aerospace and defense for the Americas at NI. “By combining NI modular instrumentation with RADX advanced measurement science RADX has created a compelling turnkey, future-proof benchtop instrument. We believe that with the 1200B, system integrators and end users alike will be able to deploy wireless communications system test capabilities in record time and at previously unattainable price points.”

Optimising metrological inspection processes!

La Pierrette SA has been a supplier to the most prestigious watchmakers since 1914. Quality, precision and reliability are the three "key watchwords" of this Swiss company, which meets the highest standards in gemstones for movements in fine timepieces, particularly those bearing the Geneva Seal stamp. The main purpose of jewel bearings is to reduce metal-on-metal friction, that in short time, can ultimately result in bearing seizure and vastly reduced contact surfaces. La Pierrette SA produces a broad range of synthetic sapphires and rubies, from the simplest to the most complex, for luxury watch movements at its home base in the heart of Switzerland's Joux Valley, the cradle of fine watchmaking. It is a key player in the luxury watch industry and employs a workforce of more than 100.

"The manufacturing of jewel bearings is a complex process because diamond is the only mineral harder than the gems that we cut. As a result, diamond machining is the only possibility, which makes for very tight manufacturing tolerances. Depending on the target characteristics, the tolerance intervals are between 2 and 8 µ, meaning that production is possible only with specially engineered machines. All this also requires many metrology operations," explains Romain Conti of La Pierrette's R&D department.

"Before, we performed all our inspections using manually operated stands. Because many dimensions have to be characterised repeatedly on each bearing, this process was long. With the Keyance IM Series, this process is much more automated and faster. Not only can we inspect a series of pieces at the same time, but our measurements are more complete because we can now also check for flaws in shape."

"The system is really easy to set up and it was up and running in virtually no time. We decided to put it through a probationary period in order to qualify the measurements obtained with it and make sure that they met our accuracy requirements. We "empowered" the system with the measurements we had obtained with our manually operated stands and calibrated gemstones qualified by METAS, the Swiss national metrology institute. That enabled us to optimise some settings. Nonetheless, and very quickly after putting the IM Series into actual service, we saw that it made the inspection process five times faster," adds Mr Conti.

This time saving is essential at La Pierrette SA, which turns out several million pieces each year. "We have to inspect every visible piece both in terms of conformity and appearance. However, our production volume allows us to inspect only a small fraction of the other pieces. The IM Series enables us to increase the number of inspections and thus improve the quality of our products. That, coupled with the fact that the IM Series allows us to directly view measurement statistics, helps us to identify production deviations much faster," explains Mr Conti.

"The IM Series was an immediate success with the members of our inspection department and is used regularly by 5 or 6 people," says Mr Conti. The IM Series image dimension measurement system makes it possible to obtain high-accuracy, reliable measurements in a minimum of time. Simply place a target on the stage and press the button. Up to 99 points are measured in a matter of seconds with a high degree of accuracy. Its automatic operation and repeatability of ± 1 µm eliminate inter-operator variability problems.

"What's more, it eliminates repeatability problems inherent to our measurement stands, such as button wear and stage alignment."

The IM Series also allows simultaneous measurement of several dimensions as well as geometry inspections.

PAT tester!

Robin, one of the most famous brands within the British electrical testing arena and now partnered with Amprobe, is offering a new, lightweight Portable Appliance (PAT) Tester. The easy-to-use Robin-Amprobe GT-400-UK PAT Tester has been developed for the commercial electrician or facilities maintenance technician to carry out a wide variety of safety measurements of electrical appliances in accordance with the IET Code of Practice and EN 61010 Safety Standards.

This rugged GT-400-UK PAT Tester, recently released,  is designed to be intuitive to use with no training required. Rugged, yet easily portable for on-the-go testing, the high quality construction and German manufacture offers years of service. The GT-400-UK instantly measures the safety and integrity of electrical appliances and IEC cables. It also measures earth ground resistance, and insulation resistance measurements at 500V.

This company offers a wide range of cost-effective, innovative test equipment specifically designed to make the electrician’s job faster and easier. This also includes a range of single, dual and multifunction 17th Edition Installation Testers specifically designed for the British electrical market. Robin Amprobe products are sold and supported by a wide range of dealers and are backed up by a professional support service.

12V dc vibrating fork level switch for overfill protection & level monitoring in remote tank installations!

Enables automated level monitoring for improved safety at remote sites where power is only available from batteries or solar charged systems

A 12V dc DPDT relay version of the Rosemount® 2120 vibrating fork level switch for automated level monitoring and overspill protection of tanks or vessels in remote locations has been launched by Emerson. The new switch is the first low power switch to provide a built-in relay output - eliminating the need for a separate switching relay.

The 12V switch is ideally suited to installations where there is no access to normal 24V power supplies and the only power available is from batteries or solar charged systems. The new switch has all the features of the standard versions, including built-in instrument health/self-checking diagnostics, but is uniquely designed for use in 12V low power circuits.

To improve safety and maximise operational efficiency, there is an increasing need for automated level monitoring technology to provide overspill protection on tanks and vessels. These installations are often in remote locations where there is no access to normal power supplies. Installing power cabling is often difficult and costly so batteries and solar power provide a convenient and cost effective alternative.

Based on vibrating short fork technology, the 12V 2120 is suitable for virtually all liquid applications and is unaffected by flow, turbulence, bubbles, foam, vibration, or product variations. The unique `Fast Drip’ fork design provides quicker and more reliable detection, especially in high density liquids. Electronic self-checking and condition monitoring with Heartbeat LED, gives status and health information on the fork and sensor. 

An adjustable switching delay virtually eliminates the risk for false switching in turbulent or splashing applications and the range includes various housings and wetted parts materials, with a complete range of process connections, extended fork lengths, and overfill approvals.  

The optional 2" NPT thread eliminates the need to adapt existing fittings to fit smaller connections and with no moving parts to wear or stick, the Rosemount 2120 provides a low maintenance alternative for applications previously using float switches, conductive, capacitive, and optical sensors. With a temperature range up to 150°C (302°F) and pressures up to 100 bar-g (1450 psig), the 2120 is ideally suited to harsh process conditions including hazardous area installations. 

In addition, the Rosemount 2120 has been TÜV tested and approved for overfill protection according to the German DiBt/ WHG regulations. It is certified under safety devices for tanks and piping related to water pollution control.

The 2120 is part of a complete range of vibrating fork level switches for industrial applications. The range also includes the 2130 extreme temperature version and 2160 wireless enabled level switch which has all the features of Emerson’s wired level switches but without the complication and cost of wiring.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Industrial wireless LAN for cabinets and field level!

Siemens is expanding the applications of wireless data transmission in cabinets and in equipment at the field level with two new product lines for industrial wireless LAN (WLAN). With the especially compact Scalance W761-1 RJ45 access point and the Scalance W721-1 RJ45 client module, users can implement wireless machine networking out of the cabinet, with cost and space savings, for example, in conjunction with the Simatic ET 200SP distributed I/Os. The components are designed with degree of protection IP20 and support transmission rates of up to 150 Mbit/s.

The second product line comprises the Scalance W774-1 RJ45 access point and the Scalance W734-1 RJ45 client module and is designed for transmission rates up to 300 Mbit/s. These devices are enclosed in a compact and robust aluminum housing, provide a slot for the Key-Plug W700 iFeatures swap medium and support Power-over-Ethernet (PoE). Additional functions, known as iFeatures, such as iPCF, can be activated via key-plug in a later delivery stage. The design, based on Simatic S7-1500, permits fast and flush installation directly adjacent to the new Siemens controls or the powerful Simatic ET 200MP distributed I/Os.

With these two new product lines, Siemens is expanding its comprehensive portfolio in industrial wireless LAN, which is specially designed for safe and reliable use in production. Alongside access points and client modules, Siemens also offers a WLAN controller, with which wide radio coverage can be achieved with up to 96 controller-based access points. The offering is rounded off by a comprehensive portfolio of antennas. The MIMO antenna technology (Multiple Input Multiple Output) according to the IEEE 802.11n standard that is used provides a high level of data transmission reliability. Industrial wireless networks are used both indoors and outdoors and in harsh environments. Typical applications include high-bay warehouses and transportation systems in internal logistics, assembly-line production, mobile equipment such as cranes or amusement park rides, and railroad applications.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Automation representative outlines cybersecurity policy before US high level body

ISA leader advocates two-part approach to industrial cybersecurity

Protecting industry and critical infrastructure from cyberattack requires the implementation of comprehensive industrial automation and control systems (IACS) cybersecurity standards as well as the use of IACS components that have been certified to conform to these standards, said Patrick Gouhin, Executive Director and CEO of the International Society of Automation (ISA), at a US government cybersecurity meeting held recently in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

In addition to having industry-consensus IACS cybersecurity standards in place, asset owners need to utilize IACS product suppliers and components that have been tested and certified to be cybersecure,” emphasised Gouhin, speaking at a workshop sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the US Department of Commerce.

The workshop, the fifth in a series, was conducted at the North Carolina State University and attracted more than 400 attendees. The gathering drew leading cybersecurity experts across America and the world—as well as other key stakeholders in industry, academia, and government—to weigh in on the merits of a national Cybersecurity Framework called for by US President Barack Obama.

The purpose of the workshop was to elicit further stakeholder input on the preliminary draft of the Cybersecurity Framework, consider any changes to the draft, and to discuss strategies for the plan’s implementation.

Among the topics covered at the workshop included:
  • Considerations for small- and medium-size businesses
  • How to use the framework
  • Voluntary critical infrastructure cybersecurity program
  • Research and development
  • Framework ecosystem development
  • Privacy and civil liberties
At NIST’s request, both ISA and its sister organization, the Automation Federation, have served as advisors to the US government in the development of the Cybersecurity Framework draft and have actively participated in all workshops. The Automation Federation, in fact, played a key role in organizing yesterday’s workshop.

Through the work of the ISA Committee on Security for Industrial Automation & Control Systems (ISA99), ISA has developed the ANSI/ISA99, Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security standards (known internationally as ISA/IEC 62443).

Developed by a cross-section of international cybersecurity subject-matter experts from industry, government and academia, the series of ISA/IEC 62443 standards apply to all key industry sectors and critical infrastructure, and, as a result, provide the flexibility to address and mitigate current and future vulnerabilities in IACS.

Director Gouhin warned that a cyberattack on industrial automation and control systems—commonly used in transportation grids, power plants, water treatment facilities, and other industrial settings—could have potentially devastating results that include:
  • endangerment of public or employee safety
  • environmental damage
  • erosion of public confidence
  • violation of regulatory requirements
  • loss of proprietary or confidential information
  • economic loss
  • weakened entity, local, state, or national security
“Implementing widespread cybersecurity standards is essential because many industrial production settings and infrastructure environments throughout the world are inadequately prepared for cyberwarfare,” he said. “The other piece is ensuring that industrial automation suppliers and supplier practices and products are cybersecure as well.”

The ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI), an affiliate of ISA, has developed a widely recognized compliance and testing program called ISASecure™ that ensures that industrial automation and control devices and equipment conform to the ISA/IEC 62443 cybersecurity standards.

“The combination of the ISA/IEC 62443 industrial automation and control systems standards and ISASecure certification provide a critical, two-fold layer of cybersecurity,” Gouhin asserts. “In addition to implementing vital IACS cybersecurity standards, asset owners would know that the IACS products and components they purchase are capable of defending against network attacks and are free from security vulnerabilities.”

New Power Systems Boss!

ABB has appointed Claudio Facchin as Executive Committee member responsible for the Power Systems division, effective Dec. 1, 2013.

For the past four years, Facchin has led ABB’s business activities in the major markets China, Japan and South Korea as Chairman and President, North Asia. During this time, he delivered solid profitable growth by penetrating existing and new customer segments, and developing products tailored to local market needs. He has been instrumental in successfully growing ABB’s service business and leading collaboration across ABB’s entire portfolio in this important growth region. A successor for his role in Asia will be announced in due course.

Claudio Facchin
Prior to moving to China in 2010, Facchin led the global Substations systems business unit in the Power Systems division from 2004 to 2009, and the global service unit in the power business from 2002 to 2004. Facchin, an Italian national, joined ABB in 1995 in Italy, where he held management roles in sales, project management and service for the power business.

“Claudio is an experienced leader with an impressive global track record, and a true team player,” said Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer. “In his roles in Asia and the global Substations systems business, he has demonstrated his ability to drive profitable growth building on collaboration and strong relationships with customers, while successfully executing many large-scale power projects. With these skills and his proven intercultural sensitivity, he is well placed to take over the Power Systems business.”

Facchin graduated in industrial engineering from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, in 1989. From 1990 to 1994, he worked in France for Trane Co. and then Valeo SA, holding various positions in operations as well as in marketing and sales.

Ginsbury expands PCAP touch panel line-up from Ocular!

Display specialist Ginsbury have announced the addition of a 18.5-inch projected capacitive (PCAP) touch panel from leading industrial touch panel supplier Ocular. The new touch panel is part of Ocular's Crystal Touch: TRUE Multi-Touch PLUS standard product line.

Crystal Touch: TRUE Multi-Touch PLUS panels provide a true multi-touch interface with a pre-integrated, optically bonded, soda-lime cover glass with a decorative black border. The additional layer of glass adds durability and is ready to be integrated into touch driven devices. Customers also have the option of adding their logo, or product name, to the black border on the pre-bonded cover glass.

“The demand for larger size PCAP touch panels is rapidly increasing,” said Paul Massey, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Ocular. “Customers want to leverage our PCAP technology in their devices because of the increased durability and enhanced optical clarity our Crystal Touch products provide. Adding an 18.5-inch touch panel to our standard product line provides another size option that is ready to be incorporated into customer devices. Medical, Point-of-Sale and many other industries will benefit from this new standard size offering.”

The 18.5-inch PCAP touch panel allows for up to 16 simultaneous touches and features the Atmel maXTouch™ mXT1664S controller. The combination of Ocular’s Crystal Touch technology and Atmel’s maXTouch line of touchscreen controllers provide a robust and sophisticated touch solution that can identify and disregard unintentional touches. Atmel's maXTouch series is ideal for larger touch panels with key features that include unparalleled noise suppression, high responsiveness and precision which help provide an enhanced user experience.

Flashing beacons for rugged conditions in hazardous areas

R. Stahl is introducing a new signalling solution that withstands extreme environmental conditions, e.g. a wide operating temperature range of +70 °C down to ­-55 °C. FX15 beacons feature an enclosure manufactured from corrosion-resistant glass-reinforced polyester (GRP) that is designed to provide IP66/IP67 protection. All fixings are stainless steel. While the standard finish is natural black, painted units with epoxy coatings in red, yellow and blue are also available.

Robust flashing beacons from Stahl's
FX15 series are suitable for rugged

 conditions in Ex zone 1/21 or 

2/22 environments
The beacons are supplied with a robust stainless steel lens guard as standard to protect the flame-retardant polycarbonate lens. The light source is a xenon tube providing a high light output. FX15 beacons flash at a rate of one per second. Lenses are available in seven colours (red, amber, green, clear, blue, yellow, magenta). The Fresnel lens that covers the well glass and houses the xenon tube produces a flash energy of 5 Joules, which ensures an excellent luminous intensity of 49 cd for the clear version. The beacons are suitable for use in a variety of onshore and offshore applications and environments, notably including marine use, the oil and gas sector, and skid packages.

Operating voltages range from 24 and 48 VDC to 115 and 230 VAC. All units feature 3 x M20 cable entries that enable a variety of wiring and mounting options. FX15 flashing beacons are ATEX- and IECEx-certified, with other relevant approvals (GOST, PESO, Inmetro and North American listing) to follow soon. Essential installation material such as mounting brackets, straps, glands, tag and duty labels, along with replacement parts are also available at launch.

Stahl products are marketed in Ireland by Douglas Controls & Automation.