Friday 31 January 2014

Powerful test systems for test benches and vehicles!

With the FRC-EP series, which consists of the FRC-EP170 and the FRC-EP190, IXXAT offers universally usable hardware platforms for applications on the test bench or in the vehicle, attractive for their high performance, favorable prices, broad range of applications, and support for a wide variety of software solutions.

These devices have FlexRay, CAN, CAN FD, LIN, K-Line, USB, Ethernet, EtherCAT, Bluetooth, and RS232 interfaces, along with analog and digital I/O. Expansion slots make it simple to add other interfaces, including WLAN, GSM, or GPS. This makes the devices scalable, adaptable to specific applications, and ready for the future.

With the new FRC-EP170, IXXAT has now introduced a very compact, cost-effective variant of the familiar FRC-EP190. Both devices have the same processor and the same operating system, making the new variant completely software-compatible and just as powerful.

Thanks to the large number of identical interfaces and its galvanic isolation, extended scalability, and especially its optional EtherCAT slave functionality, the primary target application of the FRC-EP190 is integration with test benches in the automotive communications world.

The handy FRC-EP170 was developed for use in vehicles. Its main application areas are gateway solutions for connection to different ECU integration levels, prototype controllers, expansion of data loggers with additional interfaces, and wireless signal display using off-the-shelf mobile phones or tablet PCs.

Demanding Restbus simulation and gateway solutions can be implemented quickly and easily based on either device, using the corresponding software packages from IXXAT. There are also extensive development packages available for the development of specific solutions. Custom functions and applications can be implemented quickly and easily by customers in-house thanks to the use of the Linux operating system and the availability of a free Software Development Kit.

Still there! Multi-gas area monitor!

Oldham's popular multi-gas area monitor, the BM 25, remains in its product range after the sale of Oldham to Industrial Safety Technologies (IST) last October (2013). The BM 25 was originally designed by Oldham, has always been manufactured Oldham since its original launch, and will continue in the Oldham business under IST ownership.

Powered by a NiMH battery pack, the BM 25 offers up to 170 hours of continuous run time. Other standard features include STEL and TWA values, as well as a datalogging capacity of more than four months. Multiple units can be grouped using optional alarm transfer kits. This protects larger areas by transferring alarms from one BM 25 to the next. An intrinsically safe trickle charger is also available for long-term area monitoring in classified zones.

The BM 25 is a rugged, durable mobile monitoring system with global certifications, long run times, flexible signal options, and a wide array of applications. The device detects one to five gases for mobile or temporary work applications, team protection, area surveillance or places where fixed detection systems are not suitable.

The BM 25 has been sold in more than 60 countries and with ATEX and CSA certifications, will continue to be available globally from Oldham. Contact your local Oldham sales representative, or visit our website at for more information on the BM 25.

Crawler added to rental fleet!

Ashtead Technology has added the new Mini-Cam Proteus Crawler Camera Inspection System to its fleet of rental inspection equipment. The product features a variety of key features such as a built-in lowering device, a pan/rotate camera and a back-eye with auxiliary light, as well as a built-in digital control unit for capturing colour mpeg video and jpeg still images. Importantly, this final feature means that it is not necessary to hire an additional recording device.

In order to expand the range of pipes that the Proteus can inspect (150 to 600mm), this 6-wheel drive unit is supplied with three different sized wheels, and a novel wheel-lock mechanism enables quick and simple wheel changes. A portable cable reel is supplied as standard with a minimum of 120m cable, which can be extended to 200m or longer by prior arrangement. The system includes a cable layering mechanism, a meterage wheel, a manual winding arm and a friction brake.

With twin joysticks, intuitive hot keys and crawler cruise control, the instrument is simple to operate, and users are provided with continuous control and status information. This includes activity, speed, pressure, inclination and temperature.

Designed to meet the needs of professional pipeline inspection companies to provide comprehensive reports on pipe condition, the Proteus is supplied with a pan/rotate camera, featuring full 360° rotation and incorporating powerful LED lights.

“The addition of the Proteus to our crawler range is a good example of Ashtead Technology’s commitment to invest in state-of-the-art rental equipment,” says the company’s Key Account Manager Jay Neermul. “Data capture and a multi-frequency sonde transmitter are both built in as standard, which is more convenient and reduces rental costs for our customers.”

Temperature calibrators

Eurolec Instrumentation Ltd have extended their CS range of compact, cost effective temperature calibration sources.

Accompanying the existing combined black body/probe models, CS173, 174 & 175 calibration sources, the NEW CS350 & CS650 dry block calibrators offer users the option for in-house probe thermometer accuracy checks from 30°C up to 350°C & 650°C respectively.

Both models have a total of 12 probes holes (to the front & rear of the units) & each can display C or F.

Units will operate off 100 - 240 V. An RS232 output is standard & there is an option for USB output.

Compact and weighing no more than 6Kg, the CS350 & CS650 represents a very competitively priced option for higher temperature thermometer accuracy verification and when used in conjunction with e.g. the Eurolec RT162 precision reference thermometer, a very accurate, easy to use and cost saving alternative to external system calibration certification is provided – an ideal system to comply with quality standards such as ISO9001.

The CS350 & CS650 temperature calibration sources complement the existing Eurolec range of portable thermometers, probes, infrared thermometers and manometers.

• Established in 1998, Eurolec who are also the agents for Grant Instruments, Testo Ltd, Ono Sokki (UK & Ireland), T&D and Brainchild supply to a wide range of sectors throughout Ireland, the UK, Europe and beyond.

Remote connectivity saves time and reducies costs!

Red Lion Controls has worked with distributor Facelco S.A.S.  to provide a remote connectivity solution for Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM) in Colombia, a leading multi-utility and telco company focusing on power generation, transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, wastewater treatment, aqueducts and telecommunications. The combined Red Lion/Facelco industrial-grade remote connectivity solution provides monitoring and control throughout EPM’s power distribution network, helping to save time and reduce costs.

EPM turned to Red Lion and Facelco to enable remote connectivity capabilities for its power distribution infrastructure of reclosers. With multiple locations, the multi-utility company was looking for a flexible solution to monitor and interact with legacy equipment across its distributed network infrastructure. By using a remote connectivity solution that combines Red Lion’s Sixnet series industrial RTUs and cellular routers with a network analyzer from Facelco, EPM can seamlessly connect, monitor and control its existing recloser network. This upgrade enables EPM to lower overall total cost of ownership by extending the life of its infrastructure and preserving CAPEX expenditures for other projects.

“The primary benefit for EPM was implementing a solution that would extend the life of its existing recloser network. This remote connectivity solution allowed them to extend the life of existing legacy equipment, which can last 15-20 years, as well as increase control of the network,” said Alejandro Arango, engineering director at Facelco.By working with Red Lion and Facelco, EPM was able to cost-effectively improve network control, maximize availability and protect its network investment.”

The remote connectivity solution includes Red Lion IndustrialPro® cellular routers that deliver wireless DNP-3 connectivity to RTUs that act as a controller. This deployment enables EPM to remotely connect and communicate with its power distribution system. In addition, Facelco network analyzers provide real-time diagnostics that allow EPM to proactively respond to conditions to ensure system integrity and network uptime.

“With a number of different types of equipment deployed throughout Colombia, EPM’s power distribution system needed to be constantly monitored to ensure customers receive continuous, uninterrupted service,” said Stuart Eaton, vice president of CALA sales for Red Lion. “The combined Red Lion/Facelco solution not only ensures the network is running efficiently, it also enables EPM to save time and money by eliminating expensive truck rolls to remote locations.

Power substations and electric, gas and water utilities like EPM require high-speed, high-capacity networks that enable real-time access to critical information regardless of location. Red Lion’s industrial automation and networking solutions improve productivity and reliability by providing customers the ability to seamlessly connect, monitor and control operations. 

• Red Lion products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology

Omron goes mobile with new European website!

Fast search facility for building automation, home appliance,energy, healthcare

Omron Electronic Components Europe will be serving today’s mobile workforce with the recent launch of a new market driven website that is as easy to use from a smartphone and tablet as from a traditional PC. The new website combines specific content for key vertical markets and a greatly streamlined product tree taking customers to data in no more than three clicks.

Commenting, Leon Mordang, VP Sales and Marketing at Omron Electronic Components Europe said, “IDC is forecasting over 70% growth in smartphones and tablets over the next four years. The new Omron Electronic Components Europe website automatically detects the device being used and reformats content appropriately. Our product range is growing and becoming ever more diverse and innovative and customers can easily access this expanded range from a traditional or mobile platform. The product search tree takes them to data in just two or three clicks. For Energy, Building Automation, Home Appliance, Medical and Healthcare, we’ve identified the main application areas and brought together solutions addressing these applications. This means that customers can find for example Omron switches recommended for smart meters, sensors for respiratory devices or relays for lighting control with a single quick and convenient search.”

Other new features include product comparison allowing up to three components to be compared side by side, and a direct link to Omron’s distributor websites to source samples.

The new website covers the full electronic component range offered by Omron to its European customers. This includes the electromechanical switches, relays and connectors for which it is known around the world, as well as the full range of sensors based on its innovative MEMS technology. This sensor range includes pressure, flow, thermal and vibration sensors, as well as micro sensing components and blood pressure monitoring units.

Warning for users of breathing gas!

Dr Andrew Hobson from Quantitech is urging the users of breathing gas to check that their supplies are tested for all potential contaminants, and not just the most common compounds.

He says, “It is important to use an analytical technique such as FTIR* because this methodology provides a spectrum result in addition to concentration measurements for a wide range of parameters,” adding: “This is important because unusual peaks occur in the spectrum when unknown contaminants are present.”

The standard BS EN 12021 requires that all contaminants should be kept to as low a level as possible and shall be not greater than 10% of the UK 8­hour time weighted average exposure limits which are specified in the HSE publication EH40.

However, contamination can occur when gases or vapours are drawn into a compressor accidentally as a result of a leak or a spillage, or from a nearby chemical reaction or combustion process. As a result, any analysis of the compressed gas that only measures specific compounds is unlikely to detect any unforeseen contamination and this is the reason for FTIR being the preferred analytical technology for breathing gas analysis.

*Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)is a technique which is used to obtain an infrared spectrum of absorption, emission, photoconductivity or Raman scattering of a solid, liquid or gas.

Vision technology forum announced for Britain in May 2014

Stemmer in conjunction with the European Imaging Academy, has announced that an industrial vision technology forum will be held in Britain on 22nd May 2014. This will be based on the highly successful version held in Germany last year, which attracted more than 400 visitors.

Mark Williamson, Director – Corporate Market Development at Stemer Imaging, said: “This is likely to be the biggest event of its kind in the UK in 2014. There will be a wide range of informative talks covering all aspects of machine vision, from introductory to advanced user level, with a number of parallel sessions so that visitors can choose to attend the blend of talks that best meet their needs. The talks will focus on the latest technology and developments rather than specific products. At the same time, over 25 machine vision manufacturers are expected to exhibit, running hands-on demonstrations of hardware and software that you can dip in and out of between presentations!”

“However, we have decided to make this a real bumper event as we will also be running a number of the European Imaging Academy 1 day training courses on the 21st May. This means we will be able to offer attendees interested in a formal training course a 2-day package which will include accommodation, networking opportunities and Gala Dinner.”

“Those who attended our open day in 2012 will know the value of meeting industry experts in one UK venue to gain insights into the latest vision technology. The technology forum builds on this event and harnesses content from the successful forum in held recently in Germany. I am very excited to bring such an event to the UK.”

Thursday 30 January 2014

Melt pressure indicator/controller!

Invensys Eurotherm has launched the new piccolo™ P304i Melt Pressure Indicator and P304c Controller. Monitoring and control of the pressure in plastics manufacture leads to higher quality end product with lower scrap, and can prevent damage to machinery caused by overpressure conditions. The latest addition to Eurotherm’s range of products offers versatile solutions with advanced features and a wide range of hardware options that make them ideal for all types of plastic processing.

Eurotherm of course has decades of knowledge and understanding of the needs of plastics producers and machinery builders, combining this insight with its leading control and automation expertise, the company has developed products, solutions and services for precision control in plastics processing.

This new, innovative Melt Pressure Indicator and Controller is ideal for extrusion and injection moulding in plastics processing as Tim Linnell, Product Portfolio Manager at Invensys Eurotherm explains: “Compatible with industry standard probes and strain gauges including Dynisco, the P304 uses automatic standard shunt calibration procedures making it ideal for new installations and retrofit. It has been designed to monitor and automate the pressure of molten plastic being forced through a die or into a mould. Usually a screen is used to filter out impurities, and as these build up on the screen, the pressure needed to push plastic through increases. If not carefully monitored and controlled, this pressure can cause damage to equipment.

“P304 combines the most advanced features for management of melt pressure of any instrument in its class with simplicity of use and a high speed 50ms cycle time so that rapid changes in pressure can be monitored and dealt with.”

Key features aimed at improving operational efficiency include:

  • Easy to integrate and use in new and legacy applications
  • Fast-acting alarms to protect against overpressure
  • Responsive, precision PID control with overshoot inhibit
  • Easy, effective auto-tune
  • Universal + strain gauge inputs
  • Second input for differential pressure indication / control
  • Analogue retransmission
  • Easy and flexible configuration via PC software or front panel
  • Modbus RTU digital communications
  • High visibility three colour LED display
  • Wipedown, customizable front fascia
  • High reliability and quality
  • Three year warranty
  • Global expert support available

The P304 is the latest from Eurotherm’s piccolo range which has been designed for plastics and small furnace applications and provides advanced precision PID control in an easy to use and very cost effective format. Plastics extrusion applications benefit from specialised algorithms designed to optimise use of water, fan or oil cooling, and the fast reacting overshoot free control assures continuous high quality production without waste. The units are quick to commission and apply with industry standard connections to sensors and actuators and a quick code guided configuration.

Tim concluded: “Continuing a thread of Eurotherm product innovation that spans 50 years, 2014 will see an ambitious product release schedule. Our philosophy is to package advanced control and automation algorithms in cost effective ways so that our industrial customers benefit from the latest advances but with products that are easy to use and apply.”

Accessing the inaccessible - fast connection option!

Michell Instruments has added a new fast connection option to its Easidew PRO I.S. dew-point transmitter to make commissioning and maintenance in locations that are difficult to access as simple as possible – saving companies both time and money.

The option was added to the range after Michell had worked with a customer in the Middle East to provide a solution where the Easidew PRO I.S. had to be fitted in an inaccessible, dark location. Under these circumstances, the standard conduit connection would have been difficult to work with. 

Michell’s solution – to adapt the standard Easidew PRO I.S. to include a fast connection – enabled the company to quickly and easily fit the dew-point transmitter in the required location, saving time and money on the commissioning and future maintenance of the system. Because it is so easy to work with, the fast connection also improves on safety when working in locations that are difficult to access. The connector is IP65 rated and suitable for installation in hazardous, process locations.

The Easidew PRO I.S. provides fast, accurate dew point measurements from -100 to +20°C dew point, and is capable of measuring moisture in hydrocarbon liquids as well as in gases. It is certified by ATEX for use in hazardous area zone 0, as well as for use with galvanic isolators.

The Easidew PRO I.S. is just one product in Michell’s fast-growing family of sensors for the process industry. A new explosion-proof version of the Easidew PRO is soon to be launched and this will meet requirements for Exd rather than Instrinsically Safe certification.

Michell products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Enhanced energy management information system!

Real-time monitoring and analysis tools will help industrial users improve energy utilisation

Emerson Process Management and Canada-based software firm RtTech Software are to jointly develop an Emerson Energy Management Information System that will provide real-time monitoring, analysis and detection of excessive plant energy consumption.

This collaborative development initiative is the next step in Emerson’s commitment to improving industrial energy utilisation globally, known as Smart Energy Management.

Leveraging RtTech’s RtEMIS platform, the two organisations will work together to enhance the platform to accommodate Emerson’s rigorous, first-principles models for key energy equipment. With the combination of RtEMIS and Emerson’s process models, users will be able to analyse and compare three critical data points: the amount of energy a system is designed to use, what it has used over time, and what it’s consuming in the moment.

Peter Zornio Chief Strategic Officer,
Emerson Process Management
“From Emerson’s perspective, teaming with RtTech Software made great strategic sense,”
said Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer for Emerson. “Their field-proven RtEMIS product already offers a lot of the functionality we were looking for in an Emerson Energy Management Information System and is built on top of the OSIsoft PI System, the enterprise historian of choice for a majority of our customers.”

Many energy management systems are designed to allocate energy costs at the end of the month. Few systems monitor energy in real time, compare usage against a theoretical benchmark, and analyse system performance by unit, area, and across an entire plant. Emerson’s Energy Management Information System dashboards and reports will increase the visibility of site energy metrics, providing performance-improvement tools to users from field operators to plant management.

“Emerson’s broad measurement portfolio, leading wireless platform, worldwide engineering resources and experienced consultant network make them an ideal company to implement these systems for large sites,” said Pablo Asiron, chief executive officer of RtTech. “We are extremely excited and proud to be working with Emerson, and the new modelling capability will be a unique advantage of the Emerson Energy Management Information System.”

Deloitte named RtTech one of the Technology Fast 50 Companies-to-Watch in 2013. Emerson expects to launch Emerson EMIS in the spring of 2014.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

New Rittal Catalogue 34

Rittal’s new Catalogue 34 provides the essential product guide for industrial and IT solutions. Over 700 pages outline latest developments and acts as a comprehensive information resource about available product types, sizes, specifications, software and services, as well as a source of advice and support for customers.

Providing the complete solution for enclosures and enclosure systems, power distribution, climate control and IT Infrastructure across industry and IT applications, Rittal’s latest edition of the Catalogue turns the spotlight onto added value for customers.

Crystal clear navigation allows users to track down the right product in minimal time, make their final selection with ease, find out straight away what accessories are available and then place an order

Modular CO2 transmitter for demanding OEM applications!

The modular CO2 transmitter EE870 from E+E Elektronik is designed for maintenance-free use in demanding OEM applications. It offers various analogue outputs, Modbus interface, and a wide range of AC and DC supply voltage ranges.

Advantages at a glance:
• Excellent long-term stability via auto-calibration
• Highest measurement accuracy due to temperature compensation
• High resistance to pollution thanks to the IP65 housing and replaceable filter
• Easy installation and service due to modular design

The compact, interchangeable probe measures CO2 concentrations up to 10,000 ppm and can be replaced within seconds without the need of calibration or adjustment. The user can change the measuring range of EE870 by simply plugging in another probe.

The probe is based on infrared technology (NDIR) and uses a dual wavelength auto-calibration procedure. Thus, it is completely maintenance free and highly resistant to environmental influences.

Thanks to the factory multipoint CO2 and temperature adjustment, temperature compensation ensures excellent measurement accuracy over the entire operating range of -40... 60°C.

Due to the probe’s very high resistance to pollution, the EE870 is particularly suitable for use in harsh conditions, such as greenhouses, stables, fruit and vegetable storage facilities, hatchers and incubators.

E+E Elektronik is marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology

Speakers announced for international emissions conference.

The organisers of CEM 2014 have published the titles of the Conference presentations that will take place from 14th to 16th May in Istanbul, Turkey. The selected presentations will be given by speakers from 13 different countries covering a wide variety of subjects within the event’s emissions monitoring theme.

The control of emissions to air can only be effective when accurate, reliable monitoring systems are in place. The Conference will therefore address all of the most topical issues relating to emissions monitoring and will contain four main themes:

  1. Regulation - international and industrial
  2. Standards, quality assurance and control
  3. Equipment innovation
  4. Case studies

Within these themes there will be presentations covering the latest regulatory changes in both Europe and the USA, in addition to a range of papers that will provide an update on relevant standards such as Quality Assurance EN14181. In addition to standards relating to industrial emissions, there will also be a paper on particulate emissions from residential heating appliances and boilers burning solid fuels.

All of the most important pollutants will be covered by the presentations, but there will be specific papers on mercury, particulates, VOCs, ammonia, dioxins, furans, formaldehyde, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen chloride, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The presentations will address process and emissions monitoring issues for all types of regulated processes including power stations, steelworks, industrial processes, biogas plants, combined heat and power plants, energy from waste systems and carbon capture.

I/O module & enhanced RTU firmware!

Red Lion Controls has announced a new EtherTRAK-2 I/O module (E2-MIX20884-D) and enhanced firmware for its Sixnet series RTUs. Red Lion’s new Sixnet EtherTRAK-2 I/O module is ideal for both distributed and local I/O applications that require a high density of mixed I/O types.

The E2-MIX20884-D module offers dual Ethernet ports that allow it to be used in fault-tolerant ring topologies, and provides the following inputs and outputs:

  • Discrete: up to 20 inputs, including four isolated high-speed counters, and eight outputs
  • Analog: eight 4-20mA inputs and four 0-20mA, 4-20mA, 0-5V outputs

This high-density of mixed I/O allows customers to reduce costs versus traditional single-function I/O. The module’s four isolated, high-speed counter inputs can be used for metering and flow rate applications such as those in oil and gas and water/wastewater applications.

“The rugged design of our Sixnet RTUs and EtherTRAK-2 I/O modules allow them to be used in virtually any harsh, remote application,” said Jacob Colegrove, product manager at Red Lion Controls. “Furthermore, recent firmware enhancements provide several capabilities to increase system reliability, and to simplify remote management of our RTUs.”

With enhanced firmware, Red Lion’s RTUs provide a simple yet powerful means to reliably monitor and control remote sites around the clock in extreme environments. The new firmware, which applies to Sixnet series ST-IPm-6350, VT-mIPm-245-D, VT-mIPm-135-D, VT-IPm2m-213-D and VT-IPm2m-113-D RTUs, provides functionality that includes:
  • Atomic Configuration Loading: automates the remote configuration process to help customers save time by batch loading hundreds of RTUs. Either manually or through command line, users can create a configuration and load it to the RTU.
  • UDR-A Protocol: authenticated protocol that enables customers to better protect assets by limiting RTU access based on user-specific credentials.
  • Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) Synch Bit: indicates when the SNTP time synchronization is successful. Monitors connected RTUs against a time server to ensure system clocks are synchronized.
  • Datalog Status Bits: increases diagnostics by indicating when datalog configurations have been loaded to the RTU.
Red Lion products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Reports & labels content Packages significantly reduce MES implementation times.

By providing "PAS-X Reports & Labels" Content Packages, Werum Software & Systems now offers an even broader range of pre-configured reports and labels along with the associated comprehensive consulting services to its customers.

Pic: Werum
These packages are based on best practices of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. They comprise GMP-compliant templates for reports and labels which are specifically tailored to pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies such as chemical and biopharmaceutical production of active ingredients, production of solids and liquids as well as filling and packaging processes. All necessary consulting services to configure the industry-specific templates required by the customer's business processes are also included in the "PAS-X Reports & Labels" Content Packages.

"Together with the customer our experienced PAS-X consultants generate the final reports and labels within a few days", says Torsten Isenberg, Director Head of Department Consulting & Training, Werum Software & Systems AG. "The customer's administration efforts will be significantly reduced. Using the mature and reliable PAS-X Content Packages contributes to accelerating the PAS-X implementation." 

Top trends to help engineers optimise applications across diverse industries!

National Instruments has released the NI Trend Watch 2014, which summarises the latest technology trends to help engineers meet evolving demands and integrate the ever-increasing power of technology into their work. The inaugural report examines a range of topics—from cyber-physical systems to the “SDR-ification” of RF instruments.

“Because engineers use NI tools in so many different industries and applications, we are in a position to examine trends in measurement, sensors, networks, test and more—as they happen,” said Eric Starkloff, NI Senior Vice President of Marketing. “NI compiled what we learned in this report to help engineers take advantage of the latest technological breakthroughs and stay ahead of the competition.”

NI Trend Watch 2014 covers trends in these areas:
  • Cyber-Physical Systems: Developing systems that continuously and dynamically interact with their environment through the coupling of distributed computational and physical components
  • Big Analog Data™ Solutions: Connecting IT infrastructures and analytic tools, such as the cloud, with data acquisition systems to make faster decisions on test data
  • RF/Wireless: Revolutionising the wireless industry by integrating a range of technologies from software defined radio into RF test equipment
  • Models of Computation: Integrating multiple programming approaches into a single environment to simplify complex distributed and real-time applications
  • Mobile Communication: Using mobile devices as user interfaces in measurement and control systems
  • STEM Education: Preparing students with cross-disciplinary approaches to engineering

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Commercial backdrop for Cambridge University students!

Servomex has provided the commercial backdrop for Manufacturing Engineering Tripos (MET) students from Cambridge University to complete final year projects at its  Technical Centre in Crowborough (GB).

Project Host and Servomex Operations Director, Jim McFarlane explains: “This is the second year we have worked with Cambridge University to provide a commercial environment for students to complete their final year projects for this course. Working with Professor David Probert from the University’s Department of Engineering, our teams design relevant project briefs to meet the curriculum. The students spent two weeks at Servomex at the end of October and beginning of November, working as independently as possible, with the aim of presenting their findings to a broad spectrum of the Servomex workforce, including the senior management team.”

Back (left to right) Talal Al-Nawab, Chad Sharp, Thomas Sutton. 
Front (left to right) Lawrence Baker, Paul Gaterell and Helen Woodley.
MET is an option for the final two years of the Cambridge Engineering degree that develops and applies engineering knowledge in a business context, providing a thorough grounding in management and manufacturing technologies. The course teaches an understanding of the full range of industrial activities, from product design, component manufacture, industrial engineering, factory and business management, through to how firms work in the economy.

Students Lawrence Baker and Talal Al-Nawab completed a Test Strategy Project lead by Servomex Technical Leader Operations, Paul Gaterell. Its aim was to define an optimal test strategy to meet Servomex business needs now and in the future, enabling Servomex to increase product value offering through the focused development of core competence test and calibration activities.

Thomas Sutton and Helen Woodley worked on a Transducer Sustainability Project, led by Servomex Senior Manufacturing Engineer, Chad Sharp. It asked the students to analyse the transducer production lines and product variants, along with their position on their respective product lifecycles and assessing the risk associated with equipment failure. They were tasked with delivering a strategy for prioritising engineering activity to address any business risk.

Before embarking on their respective projects the students were briefed on the full spectrum of the business, receiving a technology presentation from a Lead Scientist and product overviews from Product Managers, as well as information on process flow maps, finance and sales figures. All four were actively encouraged to engage with as many people across the business as possible.

McFarlane continues: “Welcoming students to our Technical Centre gives them a great opportunity to be involved in a real life working manufacturing facility of world-class calibre and apply some of the theory and concepts they have been taught. We have found it useful as an organisation to be able to focus on a number of important development areas for Servomex without day-to-day distraction and enjoy having fresh young minds working within the business. The students are highly motivated and focused and with guidance, they can cover a lot of ground very quickly. Their final presentations were excellent, with good audience interaction.”

Strategic partnership!

To become best in class and lead the field in fibre optic sensing technology, it has become customary for FBGS to build collaborations with those companies that excel in their chosen discipline. This is no less true of their latest coup as FBGS announce that they have entered into a strategic partnership with 4DSP LLC, the premium manufacturer of fibre optic strain, temperature and 3D shape sensing technology.

Hugo Mertens, CEO of FBGS commented "Aligning with 4DSP gives our customers unique access to a cutting edge technology that perfectly complements our All Grating Fiber (AGF). We are providing the engineering community with a technology which for the first time impacts every facet of product development and deployment including design, test, implementation and monitoring. These two technologies complement one another perfectly to provide our customers the opportunity to multiplex thousands of sensors for accurate strain or temperature measurements and shape sensing”.

4DSP’s Fiber Optic Sensing System (FOSS) was developed in conjunction with NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and acknowledged with R&D Magazine’s prestigious 2013 R&D 100 Award. The Fibre Optic Sensing System is now used in many different industries to revolutionise structural health monitoring, where very high density sensor networks are required on a single optical fibre.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to expand our sales and marketing efforts in Europe by partnering with a leader in sensing fibers, said Mike Pochkowski, Director of Sales and Marketing for 4DSP. The collaboration between 4DSP and FBGS solidifies 4DSP’s position as the one of the most admired fiber optic sensing solutions in the world. The collaboration between FBGS and 4DSP provides us with the opportunity to solve real-world problems in structural and environmental monitoring.”

Although developed to serve the aerospace industry, applications in automotive, oil and gas, medical devices and wind energy have been established. This new technology offers real-time knowledge of the behavior of the component or entire structure, giving engineers the ability to optimise designs following FEA and other software tools used in the evaluation of new materials for longer, safer in-service life.

Skid systems for water treatment applications!

CHEM-FEED® Dual Pump Engineered Skid Systems are tough and efficient. They are well suited for use in water treatment applications, when paired with Blue-White’s ProSeries® line of Peristaltic Metering Pumps.

These Skid Systems were designed and engineered using solid modeling tools for superior piping installation and easy component maintenance. Custom engineered universal mounting blocks, and pre-machined mounting slots, provide for easy component servicing and replacement. Units are lightweight for wall or floor mounting.

CHEM-FEED Skids are constructed of 6061-T6 powder coated welded aluminum. Additional features include: An exclusive flow indicator which visually indicates pump is delivering solution; Self-filling calibration cylinder (flooded suction not required); proven components, Plast-O-Matic® ball valves; Pressure Relief Valve protects the system from over-pressurization; gauge guards; Metal-free check valve protects operator from back-flow during maintenance; and a drip containment tray, removable for easy cleaning.
Each unit is factory built and rigorously tested.

First team supplier award for Red Lion!

Red Lion Controls has been named a “First Team Supplier” by the readers of Automation World magazine, a leading US magazine serving automation professionals. For the third consecutive year, Red Lion received awards in the Data Acquisition Hardware and Networking Components – Ethernet categories. This year, Red Lion also received an award in the HMI Hardware category.

The Automation World “Leadership in Automation 2013” program recognises companies that represent a wide variety of automation technologies, software and products used in the manufacturing industry. Automation professionals were invited to vote for their favorite providers in unaided-recall surveys.

“Chosen by their customers, the First Team Supplier honorees offer outstanding examples of innovation and service,” said Jim Chrzan, publisher of Automation World. “Congratulations to Red Lion and all First Team Suppliers, and a special thanks to all the end users who lent their voice to this program throughout the year.”

Over the course of 2013, Red Lion released a vast array of innovative automation and networking products. Highlights include:

·       NT24k modular switch series: managed Gigabit Ethernet industrial switches designed to handle the most challenging industrial environments with high reliability and wire-speed performance

·       Graphite HMI series: the industry’s first rugged HMI solution to combine flexible plug-in modules with protocol conversion, data logging and web-based monitoring

·       RAM 6021 routers: compact, all-in-one routers that offer industrial and manufacturing site operators a secure, flexible way to remotely connect, monitor and control assets

“We are honoured to be recognized by automation professionals for the third year in a row,” said Mike Granby, president of Red Lion Controls. “These awards underscore how the successful integration of Red Lion, Sixnet and N-Tron into a single, unified company further enables us to innovate and provide high-quality products that meet end user requirements.”

UV-Vis and atomic absorption spectrometry demo videos!

Product demonstration videos on Analytik Jena website

A set of product demonstration videos has been posted on the Analytik Jena  website as well as the company’s YouTube channel. These videos show a variety of products in action, covering UV-Vis and atomic absorption spectrometry, TOC analysers and elemental analysis. They provide a really useful introduction to the instruments, highlighting their range of capabilities and ease of use.

UV-Vis instruments covered are the versatile SPECORD® 600 and SPECORD® PLUS. With Analytik Jena celebrating 50 years of SPECORD® manufacture, these videos highlight the range of capabilities from the SPECORD® 600 diode array instrument to the SPECORD® PLUS range of double beam spectrophotometers.
Three videos showcase the wide range of atomic absorption spectrophotometers from the novAA400P with its unique transverse graphite furnace design to the contra series of high resolution continuum source AA spectrometers for flame, hydride and furnace analysis which closes the gap between ICP and AAS. The contrAA series provide innovative analysis options since the continuum source provides immediate access to all elemental lines. Direct solid sampling is an important technique for both traditional and contra instruments and there is also a video showing how this can be used.
For TOC analysis, there is a video showing how the versatile multi N/C series of analysers can be used to determine bound carbon content (TIC/TOC, TC, NPOC, POC) and/or total nitrogen (TNb). They are characterised by patented innovative solutions for reliable automation to cope with the most diverse sample matrices.

Analysis of C, S and Cl in samples such as organic and inorganic solids, soil samples, sediments etc, is illustrated in the EA4000 product video. TS, TC, TX, TOC, TIC, EC and AOC parameters can be determined from sample weights up to 3g using high temperature ceramic technology..

Stemmer Imaging in Ireland!

Stemmer Imaging has opened a new office in Ireland. This new office is based in County Clare and is the latest addition to the Stemmer network of European offices that provide local industrial vision expertise and technical support.

Mark Williamson, Director,
Corporate Market Development
Mark Williamson, Director – Corporate Market Development at Stemmer, said: “Stemmer Imaging is Europe’s largest independent supplier of vision technology and services to industrial and scientific OEMs, system integrators and reseller markets, and we recognize the importance of providing local support and expertise for our customers. Ireland has been an increasingly important market area for us so we felt that now was the right time to establish a dedicated office there.”

The new office means that STEMMER IMAGING has increased its local presence to 8 countries of the 10 we currently serve. This new office is supported by their British centre of excellence and further backed up by their industry experts from our head office in Germany. “Not only will we be in a position to offer enhanced local support in Ireland,” concluded Williamson, “but our Irish customers will enjoy dealing with Irish team with many years experience in the Irish machine vision market."

Monday 27 January 2014

Yokogawa breaking new ground in the USA

Yokogawa Corporation of America is expanding its North American presence in direct response to increased demand for its product, solution and service offerings. The groundbreaking ceremony was held last week (Jan 22 2014) at the site in Newnan (GA USA)  which is located just south of Atlanta.
Yokogawa Executive Team digging in! From left: Sebastien Chambert,VP Finance & Business Services; Stan Mizuki, Executive VP; Chet Mroz, President & CEO; Brad Byrum, VP Sales & Marketing; Richard Westerfield, VP Measurement & Control.
“In the more than 20 years I have worked for Yokogawa here in North America I have never seen such strong demand for our growing portfolio of products, solutions and services. While we have grown consistently over these 20 years, the current economic growth directly and indirectly related to Shale Energy, and Unconventional Oil and Gas in general with the accompanying growth of downstream chemical investment, has fueled demand from both our loyal existing customers, as well as, many new customers who are just now discovering the high quality and performance of our portfolio,” said Brad Byrum, North American Vice President of Sales & Marketing.

In addition to expanding their facility in Newnan, GA, the company expects to increase its fulltime North American headcount to more than 1,000 by 2015.

“We have been manufacturing, calibrating and servicing our instrumentation lines here in Georgia for more than 30 years. Over the years we have continuously improved our capacity and capabilities with one overriding objective in mind at all times- to delivery state-of-the-art products, with uncompromising quality, on time to our customers at a value that optimizes their ROI This current facility expansion here in Georgia will give us the capacity to continue our proud heritage of continuous improvement for our rapidly growing list of customers,” said Richard Westerfield, North American Vice President of the Measurement & Control Business Unit.

Active promotional partners!

The FDT Group is now an active  ISA Promotional Partner.

This new relationship extends previous efforts between the two organizations. FDT Technology, which is also known as IEC 62453, ANSI/ISA103 and China GB/T 29618, began ISA committee activities in 2006 with approval of the ISA 103 standard by the ISA membership in 2011. As an ISA Promotional Partner, the FDT Group will provide the ISA community access to device maintenance and management strategies through a range of ISA media and direct marketing opportunities.

What does it mean!
ISA’s Corporate Partnerships Program offers companies customized packages, combining ISA products and services with marketing opportunities across all channels, and providing a streamlined approach to corporate sponsorship.

Collaboration with the FDT Group will include webinars, web-based articles and podcasts promoted through ISA’s social media channels, topic-focused email blasts and the posting of whitepapers in the online version of ISA’s InTech magazine.
The primary objective of the FDT Group is to provide an open, non- proprietary interface for integrating networks and field devices with engineering, automation and asset management systems. FDT Technology, with its well-known Device Type Managers (DTMs), enable field devices to be configured, operated and maintained through the standardized user interface—regardless of supplier, device type or communication protocol. “ISA welcomes the FDT Group as an ISA Promotional Partner,” states Jennifer Infantino, ISA’s Manager of Marketing, Communications, and Corporate Partnerships. “ISA members and the automation and control community at large will be able to learn more about the value and benefits of FDT Technology. It is part of our mission to share resources and information that have the potential to positively impact productivity and the profitability of industry.” Shannon Foos, Director of Marketing for FDT North America, adds, “Our goal with the promotional partnership is to keep the automation and control community current with network and device integration strategies. We will build upon our standards-setting collaboration with ISA to focus on sharing best practices that can help the automation community streamline device and network management efforts. FDT’s universal platform for standardizing the communication and configuration interface between all field devices and host systems has broad applicability across brownfield and greenfield applications in the process, hybrid and discrete industries. The diverse ISA community is ideal for discussing the broad applicability of FDT Technology.”

Friday 24 January 2014

Fieldbus Foundation for Netherlands!

Click for details of postponement

The 2014 General Assembly of the The Fieldbus Foundation is to be held in Rotterdam (NL) on March 25-28. This annual event is open to Fieldbus Foundation members and non-members, and will be attended by leading FOUNDATION fieldbus suppliers, end users and other industry participants from around the world.

This year's General Assembly will be hosted by STC-Group, a leading provider of educational services to the shipping, transport and process industries worldwide, and a partner in the Fieldbus Foundation's FOUNDATION Certified Training Program (FCTP). STC-Group's Brielle facility was one of the first educational institutions worldwide to offer fieldbus training courses certified under FCTP. This program establishes uniform standards for fieldbus educational curriculum around the globe, and defines acceptable levels of learning for students of the technology.

The General Assembly will offer an overview of Fieldbus Foundation developments across the globe. It will include updates by leading fieldbus experts on the latest advancements in FOUNDATION technology, as well as presentations by major end users who have installed FOUNDATION fieldbus in their industrial operations.

"FOUNDATION fieldbus is a technology that's driving efficiency in the delivery of the world?s energy resources, so it only makes sense that our 2014 General Assembly would be held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands – one of the key centers of the global oil & gas and petrochemical industries," said Rich Timoney, Fieldbus Foundation president and CEO. "The Port of Rotterdam is home to more than 45 chemical companies and five refineries, and our annual meeting will attract a wide spectrum of the fieldbus community throughout the region. We strongly encourage all end users of FOUNDATION technology, and those looking to become users, to actively participate in this event."

2014 President announced!

Peggie W. Koon, Ph.D.,  is the 2014 President of the International Society of Automation (ISA).

In this position, Dr. Koon will work with Society leaders and staff to increase awareness of the value and relevance of the ISA brand and build on ISA’s proven range of capabilities and resources for automation professionals, which includes standards development, education, training, certification, publications, and technical symposia and conferences.

Peggie W. Koon, Ph.D., ISA President 2014
She is vice president of Audience at Chronicle Media and The Augusta Chronicle, which are part of Morris Publishing Group, LLC, a privately held media company based in Augusta, Georgia, USA.

“I am extremely honored to serve as 2014 President of ISA, an organization which has contributed so much to both my professional and personal growth,” says Dr. Koon. “This is an exciting time for ISA; the Society is well positioned to secure new opportunities amid a highly changing world economy and global automation community.

“New and emerging technologies not only have facilitated the ability to offer automation solutions around the world, but have also changed many of the roles, responsibilities and needs of the automation professional,” she indicates. “ISA is committed to staying on the leading edge of these technological advances and global changes—to be a critical enabler—both for automation professionals to meet professional requirements and achieve career goals, and for manufacturers and other industry organizations to improve operational reliability, profitability, safety and security.”

Dr. Koon assumed her first leadership position (Membership Chair of ISA’s Management Division) within ISA in 1996. Since that time, she has held a variety of prominent roles in the Society, including:
  • Director, ISA Management Division
  • Vice President, ISA Industries & Sciences Department
  • Vice Chair, ISA Board of Department Vice Presidents
  • Society-level Committee Member, ISA Finance and Conference & Exhibit Global Oversight
  • Society-level Committee Member, Honors & Awards
  • ISA Executive Board and Executive Committee Member
Dr. Koon’s media career began in 2006 at Morris Digital Works (MDW), where she worked on strategic audience and revenue initiatives. She became deputy chief operating officer of the delivery division for MDW and also served as the corporate director of strategy, partnership development and management for Morris Communications and Morris Publishing Group.

Prior to joining Morris, she spent more than 25 years leading the development of IT systems for process automation and process control in a variety of industries--automotive, nuclear defense, aerospace, nuclear reprocessing, thermal ceramics and textiles.

Dr. Koon earned a bachelor of arts in mathematics from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA. She completed graduate studies in industrial and systems engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia and received a doctorate degree in management information systems from Kennedy Western University in Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA.

Full spectrum of metal analysis techniques!

The need for material verification is an increasingly important issue across a range of industries like aerospace, energy, rail and general engineering, since meeting the correct specifications can be critical to product performance, even public safety. The chemical analysis of metallic materials is one such procedure and it involves determining the precise elemental constituents of a test piece, to establish that it meets the required specification, to overcheck bought-in stock, to identify unknown material or to provide evidence in a product failure investigation.

The Chemical Analysis department of Keighley Labs offers an independent, bespoke service to aerospace manufacturers, the energy sector, rail industry, foundries, plating companies, galvanisers, component importers and general engineers, providing a fast turnaround and precise material verification. In addition to classic wet chemistry, it employs advanced Inductively Coupled Plasma, Atomic Absorption and Glow Discharge spectroscopy to ensure the optimum method for a particular application, as well as industry standard techniques for carbon, sulphur, oxygen and nitrogen analysis.

Part of Keighley Labs’ UKAS-accredited Metallurgical Laboratory Services capability, the chemistry department’s scope of accreditation covers an extensive range of ferrous and non-ferrous metallic materials, including iron, steel, stainless steel, aluminium and aluminium alloys, copper, cobalt, lead, nickel, tin and zinc alloys. Non UKAS accreditation also covers plating solutions, air quality filters and foundry consumables. It works in tandem with the company’s in-house Mechanical Testing, Metallography, Weld Testing, Problem & Failure Investigation and Heat Treatment departments to provide an all-encompassing technical service, housed on one site.

Headed by Chief Chemist, John Whitaker, and his senior colleague Graham Woodward, each with almost 40 years’ industry experience, the department combines in-depth scientific knowledge and practical expertise. Submitted specimens range in size from a minute speck of material, to a test bar or finished component of virtually any size; the team then determines the appropriate testing technique, according to material type, sample size, required turnaround time and complexity of analysis.

Inductively Coupled Plasma spectroscopy is a very sensitive technique for identification and quantification of elements in a test piece. It is an ideal tool for major and trace detection of a wide range of elements in solution, in which a dissolved sample is injected into argon gas plasma, and it enables analysis down to parts per million detection limits, across a wide range of metals and alloys. The technique can also be used for measuring impurity levels in plating solutions and galvanising systems.

Atomic Absorption spectroscopy is a highly sensitive analytical technique that can measure down to parts per million. It relies on the atomic absorption process for determining the concentration of elements of interest, by measuring the amount of light absorbed, and is particularly suitable for bespoke analysis applications.

When dealing with solid pieces of metal down to 15mm in diameter, the Glow Discharge spectrometer is often the instrument of choice, a typical application being the analysis of foundry discs. It enables rapid elemental determination in most ferrous materials and is an excellent technique for many routine applications. The characteristic ‘sputter’ pattern of glow discharge instrumentation ensures uniform material removal from the sample surface.

The Chemical Analysis team accepts commissions from anywhere in the world, providing samples can be delivered safely, and is able to analyse virtually any metallic or metal-related material. With today’s engineers working to ever-tighter technical specifications and the quality control of manufactured and bought-in parts always high on the agenda, the department’s services are in growing demand.

Lots of products and solutions at Farnborough!

AdoptSMT is to present many new products for the European PCB Assembly Industry at Southern Manufacturing 2014 (Farnborough GB 12/13 Feb 2014). The supplies, services and consultancy offered by AdoptSMT Group are focused around the aim to keep the customers production running. The main process supported by AdoptSMT with consumables, spares, service and pre-owned equipment is the automatic PCB Assembly including stencil printing, reflow soldering and AOI. Two related areas covered by AdoptSMT are identification and hand soldering with JBC stations and cartridges, Purex fume extraction, ESD products and de-soldering and cleaning tools from ITW - Techspray.

LED Nozzles at Farnborough!
New additions to the AdoptSMT Premium Parts range include SIPLACE compatible ceramic nozzles which are already supplied to many of AdoptSMT Groups repeat buyers of Premium Valve Plungers and Cleaning Sticks as these nozzles are used on the same machines as the well proven other parts. AdoptSMT Premium Parts are tested and qualified. With the same or better quality they also offer price advantages compared to original parts.

The range of splicing products to join SMD tapes and of stencil cleaning rolls and environmentally friendly cleaning agents was further widened to also meet special requirements.

Feeder Service
Discuss with AdoptSMT your feeder service or feeder spares requirements. AdoptSMT recently added an original Fuji calibration station for Fuji NXT series feeders in addition to the calibration systems for many other feeders including SIPLACE S and X, Assembleon, Juki, Mydata and others.

Hover-Davis – The Feeder Company
Hover-Davis will show at AdoptSMTs booth their new Panasonic(r) compatible tape feeder offering many advantages including faster tape loading, easier cover tape handling and a reverse gear. Also the SIPLACE S compatible SSF series feeders will be shown. The SSF05-08 3x8mm feeder is now the only new feeder on the market which is available with a pick point location compatible to the discontinued SIPLACE “silver” and “gold” 3x8mm feeders. Hover-Davis label feeders shown at the stand are the industry standard for supplying labels automatically to standard SMT pick and place machines, eliminating all the hassles of manual application and also not requiring additional floor space as an extra label cell would do.

New High Temperature Laser Markable Label from Nortec AMI
The new Nortec LML fills the gap between laser marking and label application: it can get placed onto small batches, in cases of bad surfaces or for re-marking and then be sent through the standard laser marking process.
Nortec is a leading supplier of ID solutions for harsh environments, with an approach of innovation in ID management, offering total solutions for the whole ID process. Nortec’s high quality polyimide (high temperature) labels for automatic application fit perfectly with AdoptSMT’s sales and service of Hover-Davis label feeders and experience with pre-owned label applicators from manufacturers like CAB or Asys. Suitable colour ribbons for thermal transfer printers are also available.
Masking dots and masking labels are available for automatic as well as for manual application. High-temperature masking dots can be applied for wave soldering and the use of the new masking labels for conformal coating will produce smooth boundaries after peeling off.

Mydata feeder repair service offered by Count On Tools
See the feeders which were sent to COT for repair with broken plows and springs – these are back with AdoptSMT like new, saving lots of costs compared to replacing complete feeders.
Besides some of COT’s wide range of LED nozzles and standard pick and place nozzles AdoptSMT will also show the StripFeeder.mod which can easily be adjusted to feed different size components supplied in short strips of tapes and the ezLOAD board support system.

• See  Barry Clark and his Team on stand no J45and say that Read-out sent you!