Monday 30 June 2014

Test probe with integral position sensing system!

A new contact probe from Peak Test Services features a built-in position sensor system designed to provide an exact measurement of the distance travelled by the probe in contacting the test item.

Designed for measuring parameters such as pin lengths, component heights or the depth of drill holes in wire harnesses and connectors, the new PS 21/G Series incorporates a small integral potentiometer that is screwed together with the contact probe and the receptacle. When a voltage is applied, a 3-wire circuit acting as a potential divider provides either a voltage or a resistance that is linearly proportional to the travel of the probe and can thus be used by the test system to provide a distance measurement.

To take into account electrical and mechanical tolerances, the system needs to be calibrated to provide the exact plunger position. This can be achieved either by calculating the difference between to measurement values in relation to a reference position, or by using a special "golden device" as a reference.

Depending on the hardware and software of the test system, the measurement signal can be zeroed at user-defined positions. This method allows positive or negative deviations to be determined without the need to calculate the differences.

The sensor system has a measuring range from 0- to 5.2 mm, an accuracy of ±2% and a reproducibility of ±0.05 mm.

New GigE 3D stereo camera for 3D vision and robot vision applications!

The latest 3D stereo camera in the Ensenso range from IDS features a gigabit Ethernet interface and integrated texture projection. Equipped with two high resolution 1.3 megapixel CMOS sensors, the new Ensenso N20 camera provides a wider field of view allowing imaging of larger volumes and for working distances of up to 3 metres. A more powerful projector with blue LEDs together with the high resolution of the sensors provides a much greater level of detail and precise 3D data, even with difficult surfaces.

The new camera utilises the "projected texture stereo vision" principle. An integrated projector casts a random point pattern onto the object to be captured, enhancing structures that are either not visible or only faintly visible. Each individual shot therefore delivers a virtually flawless 3D image. The camera measures only 175 x 50 x 50 mm, despite the integrated projector and the two CMOS sensors and its robust aluminum housing and screw-in connections make it extremely suitable for industrial use. The GigE interface permits cable lengths of up to 100 m and, since is "powered over Ethernet" (PoE), there is no need for an additional cable for the power supply.

Like the earlier Ensenso N10 USB model, the Ensenso N20 is supplied with an interface to the MVTec HALCON image processing library and an extensive Software Development Kit (SDK). The software has been optimized particularly for robot vision applications as well as for multi-camera applications. The data from two or more inter-connected 3D cameras is automatically combined into one 3D dataset, allowing an object to be captured from several sides. In addition, the working area and the resulting precision can be scaled to meet virtually any requirements by adjusting the number of cameras installed. The Ensenso software also allows the easy integration of IDS uEye industrial cameras with USB 2.0, USB 3.0, or GigE connections, for example, to capture additional colour information or barcodes as well as 3D images.

The SDK also includes software-controlled subsampling and binning, which allows extremely flexible data and frame rates, e.g. up to 80 Hz, and hand-eye calibration, which makes it easier to integrate the camera in bin-picking applications, for instance. The Ensenso N20 is pre-calibrated and comes ready for immediate use. The user is provided with metric 3D data "out of the box".

Available with different focal lengths, the correct model for the application can be chosen using the camera selector on their website!

Friday 27 June 2014

RFID transponder at a station near you!

The Harting Ha-VIS RF-R500 RFID transponder has been successfully tested in accordance with the European Standard EN 50155 for deployment on railway rolling stock.

RFID (radio-frequency identification) is a technology that is rapidly gaining ground in rail applications. Its special feature is the fact that the transponder, containing the unique number and memory identifying a specific object, does not need batteries and is supplied with energy wirelessly via the RFID reader instead.

Specific benefits of RFID in rail applications include the fact that its operation is not affected by dirt or soiling, the maintenance-free characteristics of RFID transponders and readers, and the ability to link the RFID components via relays or networks with train control systems.

The EN 50155 standard lays down stringent conditions regarding electromagnetic compatibility, shock and vibration. The fact that the Ha-VIS RF-R500 RFID reader has been successfully tested against EN 50155 for application on rolling stock opens up entirely new possibilities for rail applications.

Typical applications include platform detection, train positioning systems, wagon-load recognition, and driver information systems.

Industry’s 1st Quad Core x86 smart camera!

A powerful, new generation x86 smart camera, NEON-1040 has been launched by Adlink. This camera features the quad core Intel® Atom™ processor E3845 1.9 GHz, 2048 x 2048 pixels @ 60 fps 1" monochrome CMOS global shutter image sensor, and PWM lighting control support. The quad core CPU increases computing power, and FPGA coprocessors and GPU deliver advanced image processing, both beyond the capabilities of conventional smart cameras. Rich software support and API compatibility further enable easy migration from original platforms, making it simple for system integrators to fulfill a variety of inspection application needs.

Key Features:

• Powerful: Quad core Intel® Atom™ processor E3845 1.91GHz
• Fast: 4MP, 60fps, monochrome global shutter CMOS sensor
• Rugged: IP67-rated housing and M12 connectors
• Precise: Advanced image processing support
• Cost-effective: Additional GigE Vision 1 slave camera support
• Economical: Built-in PWM lighting control
• Versatile: 4x digital inputs, 4x digital outputs, USB 2.0 and RS-232 ports
• Convenient: VGA output, max. 2560x1600 @60 Hz
• Simple deployment: Support for STEMMER Common Vision Blox, MVTec HALCON, and many others
• Open architecture: GeniCam , GenTL, Open CV and Open CL compatible

Powerful performance enables high speed complex captures
NEON-1040 provides not only high-end global shutter operation for high-speed captures, but also quad core Intel® Atom™ processors E3845 1.91GHz, dramatically improving on the performance of existing smart cameras. With FPGA coprocessor support, the NEON-1040 accelerates image pre-processing, including LUT (look up table) and ROI (region of interest), and shading correction, thereby reducing CPU loading and enabling complex acquisition at high speeds.

Easy development speeds time to market
“As the performance requirements for machine vision and industrial automation systems becoming more demanding, devices used require more synchronization and scalability. This means open architecture and simple software devolvement environments with multiple devices can greatly benefit developers, relieving them of the burdens of becoming familiar with additional application tools” said Neil Chen, product manager of Adlink’s vision product segment. “Adlink's NEON-1040 offers flexible software development support including GeniCAM, GenTL support for image acquisition, and Open CV and Open CL programming, significantly benefiting developers by easing migration from x86 platforms, and simplifying integration with motion, I/O, and other devices.”

Ruggedness, versatility, and maximum integration reduce TCO
The unit presents a minimal footprint at 68.5mm x 110mm x 52.7mm. Rugged construction, housed in a sturdy, dust-proof, washable IP-67-rated casing and M12 connectors allow it to withstand the harshest industrial environments, such as machine tooling and food/beverage packaging applications. The additional GigE port enables easy connectivity with external devices, such as GigE Vision slave cameras, and EtherCAT with I/O control modules. The built-in PMM lighting control conserves TCO while communicating with LED lighting. Versatile I/O support including 4x digital inputs, 4x digital outputs, USB 2.0 port, RS-232 ports, and VGA output, max. 2560x1600 @60 Hz, maximize convenience for factory automation users.

With optional Microsoft® Embedded Standard 7, support for 64-bit instruction, onboard 2 GB RAM and up to 32 GB storage, the camera embodies a stable, high performance software operating environment for high-speed machine vision applications. The NEON-1040 starter kit, including the Adlink x86 smart camera, LED lighting, lens, cable set, and terminal board, will be available in early July 2014. Their NEON-1020, 2MP @ 120 fps x86 smart camera will also be released at the same time.

Thursday 26 June 2014

A family of annular load cells!

Applied Measurements have introduced the CCG family of annular load cells. These annular or donut load cells have been designed for the measurement of compressive forces, both continually and periodically, and are often used in critical bolted installations to monitor bolt tension. One major benefit is that the CCG annular load cells can be entirely customised to suit your specific application.

The CCG annular load cell is flexible in:
  • All dimensions – Fits into spaces which limit the use of other load cells. Our lowest height to date standing at a tiny 5mm tall!
  • IP rating – IP66 as standard, can be enhanced to IP68 for submersible applications.
  • Temperature range – Special options to suit up to 200˚C.
  • Capacity – Standard 0-12kN to 0-540kN, with ranges from 10kg up to 1000tonnes possible.
  • Application – Extreme heat, submersible, restricted space, marine, corrosive.
  • Accuracy – From 1.5% typical to 0.1% FSO (size and design dependent).
  • Electrical connection: Cable length, cable type, connectors, TEDS capability.

Instrumentation and amplifiers:
That’s not all, the superb adaptability of the CCG annular load cell enables them to be used with a wide variety of our instrumentation and amplifiers. When space is limited, the ICA miniature amplifier makes a perfect choice to use with the CCG low profile annular load cell. Both our SGA amplifiers and miniature ICA amplifiers can be supplied fully wired and calibrated.

Applied Measurements’ DSC-USB load cell interface can be supplied with the annular load cell. This interface converts the load cell’s signal into a digital USB input direct to your PC. By using the DSC-USB toolkit software, the data can be viewed and logged to excel for later analysis. Alternatively, Applied Measurements’ TR150 high resolution handheld indicator is suitable for monitoring high accuracy reference standards and allows for calibration of the CCG annular load cell in 2 different engineering units, with the added option of a RS232 serial data output.

Calibration services:
The CCG annular load cell and accompanying instrumentation can be supplied with a UKAS traceable calibration service within 6-8 weeks. If a full UKAS certification is required, this can be provided through our association with the appropriate UKAS-accredited laboratories.
This series of CCG annular load cells really do stand at the forefront of flexibility in design. So call us now to speak to our knowledgeable and friendly technical sales team on +44 (0) 118 981 7339 or email us at to begin your customisation.

Pneumatic safety for design engineers!

A new training course, Pneumatic Safety for Design Engineers, from Festo, is offered to design engineers and managers who require a deeper understanding of the safe application of pneumatics in relation to the requirements for the Machinery Directive (DIN EN ISO 13849-1) and associated standards.

Design engineers and managers who need to
understand pneumatic safety can attend one
of Festo’s upcoming Pneumatic Safety
Bob Jackson, Safety Applications Manager at Festo, who is running the two-day workshops, comments: “Generally courses about safety and the Machinery Directive tend to look more into the electrical and electronic issues that can arise and neglect the pneumatics element. Plugging this skills gap, this course addresses good practise and safety standards relating to pneumatic and mechanical systems, focussing on specific safety areas around actuator systems and the options available for compliance under the Machinery Directive.”

The first day looks at good and safe practise with pneumatics as covered by ISO 4414:2010, with the second day working through practical examples of how to apply this knowledge, understand the risks and limitations of different pneumatic solutions, while paying particular attention to the challenges of ensuring the safe and reliable operation of vertical axes.

Topics covered include air supply, control valves and circuits, as well as actuators; stopping and holding a cylinder using mechanical and pneumatic methods, behaviours of actuators in safety solutions, clamping devices, circuitry and their usage.

Jackson adds: “I believe this course will prove hugely beneficial for engineers wishing to ensure their compliance with the relevant directives by developing their knowledge of this topic through both theory and practical workshops.”

• Upcoming workshop dates scheduled at Festo’s training centre in Northampton (GB) are: 16th-17th July, 16th-17th September and 25th-26th November. 

Further dates are planned and the workshop can also be delivered in-house upon request.

Adding sensing intelligence to your product!

LeddarTech has  released its Leddar™One Sensing Module, a more compact and low-cost alternative that brings valuable sensing intelligence to a whole new range of finished products.

This single-element sensing module is particularly suitable for applications such as level sensing, security and surveillance and proximity detection, just to name a few. The Leddar™One’s focused, yet conic beam offers excellent overall range and performance.

Moreover, the module’s small form factor, adaptability, easy integration, low power consumption and high accuracy give developers and integrators great flexibility to enhance their own branded products, bringing a new dimension to their innovations.
As with all Leddar™ sensing modules, the Leddar™One comes with dedicated configuration software (Leddar™Configurator) and a development kit (Leddar™ Enabler SDK) containing libraries and examples. The code can be easily ported to any system, resulting in fast integration of the sensor in the final application.

“The Leddar™One simplifies sensing and integration, thereby facilitating our customers’ innovation process, regardless of their final application,” mentioned Sonia Bélanger, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at LeddarTech. “And with its low price point, it’s a great way to add a lucrative feature to OEM products.” 

Integrators and distributors recognised!

Matrikon International celebrated the success of its key distributors in the Americas at the annual Channel Partner of the Year awards ceremony earlier this month.  The awards ceremony, part of Matrikon‘s Distribution Channel Partner Conference held in San Antonio (TX USA), recognizes customer service, innovation and excellence among companies supplying and integrating Matrikon solutions in the Americas.

The top honors were given to ISS Connectivity and DUX Diligens.  ISS Connectivity, headquartered in Bothell, (WA USA) received the award for Americas 2013 Channel Partner of the Year. DUX Diligens, headquartered in Mexico City, received the award for Americas 2013 System Integrator of the Year.

“I am very pleased to see ISS Connectivity in North America receive the MatrikonOPC Americas Distributor of the year award and for DUX in Mexico to receive our Americas System Integrator of the year award.” said Jeff Gould, general manager of MatrikonOPC. “Both ISS and DUX exemplify MatrikonOPC’s channel network. With their high degree of competence in OPC technology and our products, they consistently provide the right guidance, implementation expertise, and continued support. It is very exciting to see that we are able to extend our best practices through to our channels in a standardize manner that allows our customers to benefit from this locally.”

Bringing diagnostic capabilities into the field.

Intelligent Fieldbus from Pepperl+Fuchs is synonymous with a generation of components that brings diagnostic capabilities into the field. The new FieldConnex® FieldBarrier is the perfect addition to this concept of uncompromising availability. It includes twelve outputs with diagnostics and monitoring. The FieldBarrier comes with innovative technical features that offer reliable protection against typical fault scenarios to ensure maximum reliability.

An intelligent component is an ideal component: FieldConnex® FieldBarriers can detect the special dynamics of faults, such as loose contacts or contact bounces. As a result, faults can be identified and isolated both quickly and reliably.

The new component is the first to allow monitoring of the physical layer at each FieldBarrier output. This enables gradual changes in the installation and faults in the control room to be reported. This monitoring function ensures an even higher degree of transparency and covers a significant gap in the monitoring process as it proactively identifies maintenance requirements. Another feature is the sophisticated load management. The twelve outputs start sequentially, reducing the load on the power supply from the inrush current. What's more, if the segment current reaches critical levels, automatic load-shedding of less critical nodes is activated in order to safeguard against failure of the entire segment.

This package of integrated intelligence is completed by the FieldBarrier self-monitoring function, which can transmit alarm signals to the control room. These innovative features do not require any engineering. The FieldConnex FieldBarrier is the perfect addition to diagnostics-enabled intelligent fieldbus components and is another key step toward achieving the goal of 100 % availability.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Small Data versus Big data!

GreenPeak Technologies, has produced a new white paper, "Sentrollers, and the World of Small Data" (pdf), that details how Small Data, the tiny bits of information collected from billions of small sentrollers (sensors, controllers and actuators) in homes, offices, factories, cars, in all corners of the environment, will create a repository of information that will transform lives and generate entire new business sectors. Unlike Big Data, mostly generated for or from web search, advertising and marketing decisions, Small Data is collected from real life: where people are, what they are doing and how they are doing it.

“It is not just the smart home – it is becoming a smart world,” says Cees Links, CEO of GreenPeak. “Currently, with about ten internet-connected devices in each home, we are now in the Internet of People. As the web truly becomes the Internet of Things, it will be machines talking to machines – guided by human intelligence and algorithms – all living in the cloud – making our lives easier. As our homes become smarter, we can expect upwards of hundred different affordably priced sentrollers in each house that will provide actionable intelligence that help make our environments safer and more ecological, controlling power consumption, as well as monitoring our health and customizing our homes to our needs and preferences.”

“Small Data will control our businesses, homes, and even our cars and robots – all of which will define the world of tomorrow. Focusing on Small Data now could help to keep us from being overwhelmed by it later and assure we will benefit from the massive rush to the Internet of Things,” says Rob Enderle, Principal Analyst, Enderle Group. “With all of the focus on Big Data, much of which is unstructured, we’ve forgotten about the Internet of Things problem of Small Data which has far more files, uses a variety of structures, and requires just as much analysis.”

As the current Internet of People transforms into the much larger, more omniscient Internet of Things, the number of connected devices will explode exponentially, generating large databases of information about the daily lives of people worldwide. This data explosion will create a wide range of benefits for health monitoring, for efficiency, for comfort, but at the same time, will create serious challenges in the areas of privacy, security and commercial/government intrusion.

According to Cees Links, “Smart devices are an important step towards a world where machines watch over us and make our lives better, while improving the way we are using the earth’s energy and precious resources. Yes, it is a bit scary, with Big Brother seemingly around the corner, but with the right controls and policies in place to protect the individual’s Small Data, the benefits will greatly override the paranoia.”

EMEA director appointed to help "tame that ocean of data!"

Stefan Haugseth has joined Ocean Data Systems in the role of Director of Sales for Europe, Middle East and Northern Africa.

Stefan Haugseth 
He brings over 10 years' experience working with distributors and system integrators of high tech software products. His background includes working in a sales role with Wonderware Scandinavia, a channel management role with Invensys Operations Management, and as a regional manager in working with Precast FZCO (a Wonderware distributor for the Middle East and Northern Africa). Stefan will be responsible for all Ocean Data Systems channel and system integrator management for the EMEA region.

"We are extremely lucky to have brought Stefan on board," Roy Kok, vice president of sales and marketing for Ocean Data Systems told us. "Stefan has been working with Dream Report for a number of years in his previous roles and we will benefit from his strong background with one of our most significant Dream Report OEMs, Wonderware (now Schneider Electric). Stefan will come aboard and deliver immediate success."

"I have watched Ocean Data Systems improve their product and grow their business over the years," explained Stefan Haugseth, the new director of EMEA Sales. "Dream Report is an exceptional product and I am looking forward to working with our channel partners and SIs, enabling them to benefit from Dream Report sales and improve their customers' businesses through their broad deployment of Dream Report."

HMI software for machines and embedded systems!

Schneider Electric releases Wonderware InTouch Machine Edition!
A powerful new HMI software product has been released by Schneider as part of its market-leading Wonderware® InTouch® portfolio. Designed to run with modest hardware requirements and operable on embedded versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems, InTouch Machine Edition software is tailored to meet the needs of end users, OEMs and machine and system builders while giving them scalability and tight integration with Wonderware Historian and Wonderware System Platform. Because it can directly connect to industrial data sources, the new software enables users to access the information they need to improve plant operations and lower total cost of ownership in real time.

“Schneider Electric has always invested in new technology and product development, and Wonderware InTouch Machine Edition software continues that approach,” said Ravi Gopinath, executive vice president, software, Global Solutions Business, Schneider Electric. “The Wonderware brand has long been associated with easy-to-use software solutions that can be integrated with any controller and run on any computer. The new Machine Edition HMI software maintains that tradition and represents ongoing investment and commitment to one of our core offerings. At Schneider Electric we look forward to developing and delivering innovative software solutions that bring greater value to our customers more quickly.”

InTouch Machine Edition software has comprehensive features that make it easier for customers to integrate their information and automation systems. For example, it can directly replace a traditional panel-computer HMI while providing the functionality normally found in larger PC-based HMI systems; it offers more than 240 native communication drivers with connectivity to almost any control hardware; and its rich visualization, scripting, security, alarming, trending and recipe management functionality empowers plant operators to make better business decisions using real-time data. Additionally, customers in regulated industries will benefit from features that are powerful enough to be used as part of a 21 CFR part-11 compliant solution. 

“Many machines are delivered from the machine builder with a minimally functional HMI or an HMI that is tightly tied to a single PLC brand,” said Craig Resnick, vice president, consulting, ARC Advisory Group. “The problem with this approach is that, due to cost restrictions, these embedded HMIs do not always have the features operators need to leverage and maximize the full potential of the machine as an integral part of the whole production system.
Wonderware InTouch Machine Edition software reverses this trend, first because users do not have to standardize on a single hardware offering. And secondly, by enabling users to quickly create intuitive and highly maintainable HMI applications, it makes machine information more accessible to operators and managers. Furthermore, the software can feed information to a larger supervisory system and provide a common control room environment for high-level operations management. Providing this level of information in a compact footprint gives users greater control, faster response times, higher operating efficiencies and lower total cost of ownership, as well as a broader understanding of the health of the entire business.”

Wonderware InTouch Machine Edition strengthens and broadens the company’s software solutions portfolio for a broad range of end users and OEM customers in the embedded HMI segment. The solution provides integration with Wonderware Historian software so that data can be securely and reliably saved, retrieved, analyzed and interpreted for greater insight into the business. This includes store-and-forward capabilities that will save the information locally if the connection to the historian is interrupted and then subsequently forward that data to the historian when the connection is reestablished. Live data can be communicated to desktop versions of Wonderware InTouch, Wonderware System Platform and Wonderware InBatch software. Data can be used in scripts, alarms, history, recipes and graphics to enable monitoring of machine status and performance information such as OMAC PackML data and overall equipment effectiveness. This level of integration with the Wonderware software portfolio makes it easier than ever before to integrate machine-level information in production-line and plant-level solutions.

Mobile operator interfaces!

Industrial automation manufacturer Opto 22 has announced a new groov Box (GROOV-AR1) that hosts groov mobile operator interfaces for virtually any automation system. Users simply connect their automation system to groov, and then connect authorized mobile devices to groov via either a web browser or an app interface. This allows each mobile device to interact with the automation system in a secure and predefined manner.

This new industrially hardened web-serving appliance sports a wide 0-70 °C (32-158 °F) operating temperature range, compact footprint, complete solid-state fanless design with no moving parts, high-performance quad-core processing, gigabit Ethernet interfaces, and USB expansion for wireless LAN interfaces. Measuring just 4.2 (W) x 6.8 (L) x 1.4 (D) inches (106 x 171 x 33 mm), the compact size and rugged design of the groov Box make it perfectly suited for deployment in harsh industrial environments. The groov Box is manufactured in and supported from the U.S.A., and Opto 22 product support is free.

What’s groov?
The groov Box industrial appliance runs groov, a zero-programming, web-based way to build, deploy, and view effective, scalable operator interfaces to monitor and control automation systems and associated components, equipment, and processes. These operator interfaces can be viewed on almost any mobile device or computer regardless of its manufacturer, operating system, or screen size, and two-way communication allows remote control for authorized and authenticated users. Supported devices for groov include smartphones, tablets, computers, and even smart high-definition televisions. groov augments existing human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems by making important information available at any time and in any location.

groov uses a standard method of securely communicating with devices on the plant floor—including PLCs, DCSs, PACs, databases, and OPC-DA servers—called OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA). As an OPC-UA client, groov can quickly and easily browse system tags from an OPC-UA server. OPC-UA servers are available from several companies. Also, because HMI and SCADA systems from automation manufacturers like Allen-Bradley, GE, and Siemens often include OPC-UA support, you may already have an OPC-UA server installed and running.

To demonstrate the power of groov, a fully functional trial version of the software-only groov Server for Windows is available to download and try so you can see your own system’s data on a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device. You can operate groov for up to two hours without a license, and restart if more time is required. Any projects you build with this free trial version of groov Server for Windows can be run on the new groov Box with no configuration or changes required.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Keeping a cool head!

Water cooling for infrared miniature temperature sensors
A water-cooled sensor head housing extends the
application range for MI3 infrared temperature
measurement systems in hot environments
with ambient temperatures up to 180 °C

With the latest system expansion, MI3100 pyrometers from Raytek keep a cool head even in high-temperature applications. The new water-cooled stainless steel housing extends the ambient temperature tolerance to 180 °C. Delivery includes an air purge collar. With 35 mm in diameter and 73 mm in length, the housing can be easily integrated even in applications where space is limited.

The sensor series provides high versatility and precision. Two spectral models each cover a wide temperature range of 500 - 1,800 °C (1 μm) and 250 °C - 1,400 °C (1.6 μm). An integrated laser sighting facilitates positioning and aiming. Modbus, Profibus, Ethernet, und Profinet communication boxes are available for connection to the control level, as well as a model with four galvanically isolated analog outputs. Up to eight measuring heads can be connected to a single MI3 communication box. Digital communication between sensor and box and the patented automatic head detection enables plug and play. The shortwave MI3100 pyrometers are particularly suitable for use in secondary metal working and processing, and for manufacturers of ovens and heating systems.

Indian integrator evaluates market and joins wireless body!

Agiliad, an India-based integrator focused on collaborative innovation, has joined the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute.

Agiliad Technologies is a highly focused R&D and Product Engineering Services Company lead by seasoned industry professionals. The company is collaborating with some of the leading global technology and engineering companies in contributing to their product roadmaps. The company’s differentiation emanates from the core tenets of its strategy built on high impact experienced teams, innovation from and for new markets, flexible collaboration frameworks and importantly, its passionate and self-driven engineers. Agiliad specializes in industrial and medical product and software engineering and design services and offers turnkey solutions involving complex electronics and software design.
Agiliad helps product companies succeed by enabling collaborative innovation across the boundaries of domain, geography, and expertise. Agiliad’s team of engineers and scientists have vast experience working on and designing complex Industrial automation systems and bring expertise from a cross section of industries to build a strong, collaborative, innovation-driven engineering services outsourcing company.

“Agiliad’s focus is on engineering innovation,” said Deepak Handoo, Vice President Strategy and Marketing at Agiliad. “ISA100 Wireless provides the foundation to broaden the technology base of our customers’ products to include wireless offerings.”

“We are excited to add a global technology integrator to the ISA100 Wireless supplier ecosystem,”
said Andre Ristaino, Managing Director, ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute. “We welcome Agiliad and look forward to working with them in industrial automation.”

Gas analyser supports carbon capture research!

Quantitech has commissioned an advanced Gasmet FTIR multiparameter gas analyser at the British Carbon Capture & Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC) facility near Sheffield (GB). This Pilot-scale Advanced Capture Technology (PACT) facility was created to catalyse and support both industrial and academic research.

PACT Business Development Manager Dr Kris Milkowski, from the University of Leeds, says: “FTIR gas analysis performs a vital role in our work with all carbon capture methods; enabling us to monitor CO2 levels in addition to almost any other gas from the Gasmet library of over 5,000 compounds.”

The Gasmet DX4000 FTIR analyser was supplied and configured by Quantitech. “The system was delivered with a sampling system and heated sample lines so that hot, wet and even corrosive gases can be measured,” says Sales Director Dominic Duggan.

“Dr Milkowski’s work with the Gasmet DX4000 analyser has clearly demonstrated the suitability of multiparameter FTIR for monitoring CCS plants. In most applications we would recommend a fixed continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) for such applications, however, as a research site, the PACT facility requires maximum flexibility in its resources, so the portability of this system is ideal for PACT’s work.”

Proven protection for data centres!

Rittal has updated the DET-AC III product family, comprising the DET-AC III Master fire alarm and extinguisher system, the complementary DET-AC III Slave unit and the EFD III early fire detection solution. All three are available in the form of 19’’ slide-in racks.

Significant enhancements have been made to the DET-AC III Master. The system now features a CAN bus interface for direct integration with the Rittal CMC (Computer Multi Control) III monitoring solution. This provides administrators with much more detailed information on the status of installations and incoming alerts.

A new USB interface greatly simplifies service and maintenance of the DET-AC III. This allows service technicians to view information on operational status and events, modify configurations, reset service intervals, or install new firmware from a laptop, without opening the enclosure.

Taking up one U in a 19’’ rack featuring a two-stage smoke extraction system, two highly sensitive optical sensors detect even the smallest smoke particles at very early stages and can sound an alarm from 0.25 per cent obscuration per meter. If the first sensor detects smoke aerosols, a pre-alarm is issued. If the second sensor also detects smoke, the main alarm is triggered and the extinguisher is activated.

Using the 3M NOVEC™ 1230 fire suppression solution, the system was the first in its class to successfully pass comprehensive VdS testing. It is environmentally friendly, does not conduct electricity and does not damage IT equipment.

All systems are available for immediate shipment and replace previous versions.

Monday 23 June 2014

Simplify Wireless Smart HART® temperature readings!

Moore Industries-International, Inc. has a new way to get accurate temperature readings in remote locations while accessing valuable Smart HART® data. The THZ WirelessHART Temperature solution combines our THZ Smart HART Temperature Transmitter and the BULLET WirelessHART Adapter by MACTek into one reliable and affordable self-powered package.

The new WL housing includes a battery case utilizing off-the-shelf D-type lithium batteries wired to the transmitter and the BULLET. This means that the package can be installed without the need for potentially expensive signal wiring or additional power. This saves on long-term maintenance and repair costs associated with wiring along with eliminating the need to stock or purchase special batteries. It also reduces replacement battery costs by cycling the THZ’s power and taking periodic readings to optimize the balance between power needs and wireless communication update rates. This and other features allow the lithium batteries to last up to four to five years.

The THZ WirelessHART assembly allows the THZ to transmit critical temperature and HART diagnostic information to a WirelessHART gateway in situations where power is not readily available. Examples of this include a remote pumping station or monitoring locations where access to power is limited. By utilizing the THZ WirelessHART solution, engineers can take full advantage of critical temperature readings and HART diagnostics without needing solar panels or other power sources.

Along with providing significant cost savings over similar packages offered by competitors, the THZ WirelessHART solution is also extremely dependable and easy to use. It features:

  • Industry-leading 20-bit input resolution and long-term stability specifications, with up to five years of service between scheduled calibrations.
  • The BULLET prevents the loss of critical temperature readings by monitoring the battery voltage and setting a HART alarm bit when it nears critical levels.
  • The ability to either be factory configured or field configured using standard HART handheld communicators or HART-capable host systems. The BULLET also supports programming via a DTM with an FDT-compliant host.
  • A weatherproof IP66 NEMA Type 4X dual compartment housing that is available for installation in rugged field areas.
  • Easy access to HART handheld connections and battery voltage monitoring terminals and a large, easy-to-read display.

The WL enclosure is a modified version of the DH housing and is available as an option when purchasing the THZ Smart HART Temperature Transmitter.

Accurate inspections from safer distances!

Fluke has expanded the Fluke Connect™ system with the new Ti90 and Ti95 Thermal Cameras with wireless connectivity making them ideal for maintenance, troubleshooting, and HVAC/R technicians, electricians, and facility managers who need to collaborate and share measurements with others in their team.

The Fluke® Ti90 and Ti95 Thermal Cameras feature a spatial resolution of 5.6mRad allowing technicians to conduct infrared inspections from a safer distance without compromising accuracy. The 3.5-inch colour LCD screen is up to 32% larger than other competitive models, with adjustable brightness for easy viewing in most conditions.

The thermal cameras come with an extensive SD memory system, including a removable 8GB SD memory card or 8GB wireless SD Card (where available), allowing technicians who share cameras to simply swap SD cards at the end of their shift instead of needing to download images onto their PC before turning the camera over to the next technician.
For easier identification and reporting of problems the Ti95 features Fluke IR-Fusion® technology with Picture-in-Picture mode, while full visible is available on both cameras for easier identification and reporting of problems. AutoBlend™ and Picture-in-Picture modes are available in the included SmartView® reporting software with both models, to easily perform analysis and image adjustments/enhancements.

Fluke Connect System
The Fluke Connect system allows maintenance technicians to wirelessly transmit measurement data from their test tools to their smart phones for secure storage on the cloud and universal team access from the field. More than 20 Fluke tools connect wirelessly with the app, including digital multimeters, thermal cameras, insulation testers, process meters, and specific voltage, current and temperature models. Fluke Connect ShareLive™ video call allows technicians to collaborate with others, letting them see the same images and measurements, and get approvals for repairs without leaving the field. The Fluke Connect app can be downloaded free from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Heavy-duty position switches for heavy-duty applications!

Heavy rocking lever, robust housing for tough conditions! 

It is immediately obvious that the .steute ES/EM 91 DL position switch was developed especially for heavy duty applications, for example in the mining and recycling industries.

Here the ES/EM 91 DL has to function reliably and in the long term, even in very adverse conditions – e.g. changing temperatures, dusty and dirty surroundings, as well as corrosive atmospheres. It is designed to perform more than a million switching cycles.

The heavy-duty position switch can withstand temperatures of -40 to +85 °C. Its high protection class (IP 66/ IP 67) means that it can also be used in wet and outdoor areas. The switching device is also incredibly robust, as comprehensive mechanical wear and tear tests in the steute laboratories can testify.

Users can choose from different variants with four or six contacts. The steute range of heavy-duty switchgear includes not only the ES 91 series with slow action, but also the EM 91 series with snap action. Belt alignment switch and emergency pull wire switch variants are also available.

Convenient, cost-effective way to extend connectivity to fieldbus networks!

Emerson Process Management has released Version 3 of the USB Fieldbus Interface, providing users with an easy way to configure, monitor and troubleshoot FOUNDATION fieldbus devices in the field or the instrument shop.

With this interface, there are multiple options for commissioning and configuring FOUNDATION fieldbus devices. Fieldbus devices are easily commissioned, decommissioned and assigned device tags using a simple solution. The USB Fieldbus Interface’s Communication DTM enables configuration of devices using third-party FDT Frame Applications and a library of Emerson Device DTMs. Additional Device DTMs from other suppliers are available on the web.

If a more comprehensive asset management capability is required, the interface connects seamlessly to AMS Suite. In addition to full configuration functionality, predictive diagnostics for fast decision-making and automated documentation that keeps an accurate audit trail of device activities is also available.

The USB Fieldbus Interface is designed to work under a variety of maintenance conditions. When used in the field, the USB Fieldbus Interface can work on a powered segment without disrupting the operation of the segment. For use in situations when no power is available, such as on the bench or during start-ups, the USB Fieldbus Interface can provide up to 85mA of power to the fieldbus

End of Line packaging inspection & collation system for China!

Olmec has designed and integrated a sophisticated high-speed End of Line (EOL) vision inspection and collation system for products sealed in paper-based pouches prior to human transfer into cartons. With the production line located in China, the calibration, validation and documentation for the system are of critical importance and the provision of remote VPN access allows effective local support to be provided. A full Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) was carried out as part of the design process. 

The paper pouches are transferred from the conversion process into the EOL system. Here the Olmec system handles the entire passage of the product from triggering the camera for inspection to initiating the reject mechanism if required, through to the custom-designed shingled collation system. With product arriving at a rate of 330/minute, the collation machine has been designed to issue 25 pouches per shingled batch to the human packers who transfer the pouches to cartons. Cartons are each packed with 100 pouches, and the system delivers 13 shingled batches of 25 pouches each minute.

The vision inspection system utilises Olmec’s well-established infrared line scan imaging configuration which allows the product to be imaged through the paper pouch. The system checks the outer packaging and product dimensions as well as checking for defects such as product trapped in the pouch seals, dirt, debris and dust, with 80 µm resolution.

The high sample throughput means a low takt time. Every aspect of the system design takes that into consideration, from the very precise triggering of the camera frame to ensure that the entire product is within the field of view, to human factors and ergonomic design of the system, including positioning of emergency stops, shelving, displays etc. The FMEA ensures that there is no possibility of defective product getting through the system, since in the event of any actions needing to be taken on the collator, no access is allowed until it has been completely purged.

WLAN access point for harsh environments in industry & transportation!

Siemens has added the new Scalance W774-1 M12 EEC to the company's industrial wireless LAN portfolio. This compact WLAN access point allows the realization of reliable indoor and outdoor wireless networks. Thanks to its rugged design, it is not only suitable for use in automation systems but also in harsh environments like those found in the field of transportation. This device meets the relevant requirements of the EN 50155 standard for railway applications as well as those for E1 certification
for use in motor vehicles.

Its resilient aluminum housing makes the new access point highly resistant to malfunctions even in harsh environments (dirt, shock and vibration). Conformal coating of the printed circuit boards (PCBs) and electronic components provide the module with additional moisture protection. M12 connectors ensure a stable connection to the network. The device’s extended temperature range from -30 °C to +65 °C means it is able to provide a reliable wireless connection and high availability even under
extreme conditions. Being so compact, the Scalance W774-1 M12 EEC access Point is also particularly suitable for installation in small spaces, for example in vehicles or in control cabinets. Furthermore, the Simatic design allows fast and flush mounting, for example directly adjacent to the Siemens Simatic S7-1500 controllers.

The new IWLAN access point represents an extension to Siemens' Scalance W770 product line launched in fall 2013. Like all the products in this Scalance W range, the Siemens AG new Scalance W774-1 M12 EEC also supports transmission rates of up to 300 Mbit/s. It also contains MIMO antenna technology (multiple-input, multiple-output) in accordance with the IEEE 802.11n standard, which ensures a high level of reliability in data transmission. Thanks to the optional Key-Plug W780 iFeatures swap medium, special supplementary features (so-called iFeatures) can be added to the access point, for example to enable use of wireless Profinet IO real-time communication.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Much ado about .... ? #PAuto @PASGlobal #Cybersecurity ?

You may think that but we cannot possibly comment!

The June issue of Industrial Automation Insider just out has this intriguing report. It is embedded in a larger and more informative report on the PAS Technology Conference 2014  - which was a major celibration of their 20th birthday this year.

"If I Tell You I Have to Kill You!
FBI Special Agent Angela Haun gave another keynote, but she insisted on no interviews, no photographs, and posted the talk she gave as FOUO, the lowest rung in the top secret ladder. So, I can’t tell you what she said. I CAN tell you that everything she said was easily available in the public domain, so the purpose of the cloak and daggery remains unclear."

Funnily enough Pas themselves  did indicate that she was going to speak in a release in April and even hinted on her subject as "..initiatives on cyber security protection for the industrial infrastructure..," but, as the IAI report on her keynote says, in so many words "You may think that but we cannot possibly comment!"

One wonders is this more of the Edward Snowden effect!

The front page of the current issue of Insider!

Saturday 21 June 2014

Simulate circuit designs anywhere, anytime!

National Instruments  has announced that students, hobbyists and engineers can use the new Multisim Touch app for iPad to design and simulate circuits using high-fidelity SPICE simulation results identical to the desktop. The fully interactive Multisim Touch is a new addition to the world-class Multisim simulation solution that extends powerful circuit analysis tools to the iPad so users can quickly prove new ideas, design when inspired or complete homework assignments.

Multisim Touch offers powerful analysis tools in a tablet environment with a specialised library of RLC components, transistors, operational amplifiers and other foundational electronic devices using SPICE simulation models. Users can innovate wherever they are by building circuits easily with multitouch gestures and verifying them with DC, AC, transient and interactive simulation. With the portability of the iPad, users can work from virtually anywhere and the completely native app means no need for a WiFi connection.

As part of the complete Multisim circuits solution, users can explore on the tablet then export via DropboxTM or email back to the desktop version of Multisim to share or incorporate into designs with others. This connectivity means Multisim Touch files can be used for further analysis or printed circuit board design, with verification techniques powered by the complete Multisim solution.

At an introductory price of $4.99 USD, the new Multisim Touch app is an innovative, convenient and inexpensive option for designers who want the accuracy of SPICE simulation on their mobile device with an easy path to collaboration or comprehensive desktop design capabilities.

Statistical process control charts!

The Matrix Gemini Laboratory Information System (LIMS) from Autoscribe can be readily configured to display Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts using its unique One Time Configuration tools. These charts and their associated statistics can be placed on to any Matrix screen using the screen editor. They can be used to monitor the processes involved in manufacturing and product development to reveal trends, identify areas for potential improvement and detect serious problems. Matrix Gemini allows Trend, Histograms, R-Charts and X-Charts to be generated.

Trend charts include user-specified upper and lower limits. If these levels are not set, the upper and lower control limits are automatically set using the 95% confidence rule. Trend charts are particularly useful as they can reveal if a process is moving towards one of the limits, allowing remedial action to be taken in good time. Trending can be based on date, name or index. Histogram charts display the frequency distribution of sample data. An overlay can also be displayed showing the expected random distribution based on the mean and variance of the data.

The (individual) X-Chart displays the numerical values of the supplied data, while the moving R-Chart displays a moving range corresponding to each of the individual numeric values of the (individual) X-Chart. For each chart type, upper and lower control limits are calculated and divided into six zones. Any unnatural variation within the numeric values is determined using the ‘Nelson Rules’ approach and can be automatically highlighted on the control chart by circling them in red.

A number of important statistics, many of them common to all of the charts, can be displayed. Statistical values available include: specification limits, control limits, average value, average range, standard deviation, variance and capability indices (Cp and Cpk).

Friday 20 June 2014

"Sorry for the delay but who can blame us...."

The following e-mail from PVL Ltd plopped into our in-box the other day and we just had to share it with you!

Dear Customer

Our factory on the shores of the beautiful Lake Iseo traditionally closes for the summer break in August and, judging by the setting, who can blame them!

Deliveries on July orders will consequently get longer so please, if you feel there’s any chance you’ll need more pressure switches in August and early September, consider ordering them now.
We do, of course, hold considerable stock and many products can be shipped overnight but, to be on the safe side, it may well be worth erring on the side of caution.

All orders placed before July 3rd will still have a maximum of four weeks delivery.

And don’t forget, if you fancy a “business trip” to see the products being made, the factory will be glad to accommodate you! (Just not in August as they’ll all be on the lake)

Best regards
David Almond
Sales and Marketing Director

If you go on the trip please send us the pictures, we WILL publish them!

DNV type approval for Ultrasonic leak detector!

Emerson's Rosemount Analytical GDU-Incus ultrasonic leak detector has received the highly respected Det Norske Veritas (DNV) type approval. This DNV certificate further confirms the device is suitable for use onboard marine vessels including LNG and LPG carriers, crude oil tankers, and floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) units, all of which can suffer loss of production, or worse, in the event of a gas leak not being detected quickly.

“Detecting gas leaks in marine environments is challenging for traditional detectors which require the accumulation of a gas cloud in order to alarm,” said Eliot Sizeland, Emerson’s head of sales and marketing for the GDU-Incus. “Extreme weather and wind on vessels and platforms may prevent a gas leak from being rapidly detected, potentially allowing the incident to escalate when a quick maintenance repair may have been possible without loss of production. Since the GDU-Incus responds to the ultrasound produced by the leak, however, its performance is unaffected by these conditions. That makes it ideal for marine applications. We’re very proud that the detector withstood the rigorous testing required for the DNV certification, which further demonstrates the quality and robustness of the ultrasonic gas leak detector.”

The GDU-Incus is an advanced leak detection system using four sensitive acoustic sensors that constantly monitor wide areas for ultrasound generated from the release of pressurised gas. The GDU-Incus is suited for monitoring ventilated outdoor applications, and is engineered to withstand extreme conditions. Performance is unaffected by inclement weather, wind direction, leak direction or any potential gas dilution, with an instantaneous response to methane, hydrogen and other low molecular weight gases.

The reliable, easy-to-use GDU Incus advanced gas sensing technology does not require calibration or replacement for the life of the instrument. An integrated self-test ensures fail-safe operation, and innovative sensors with no moving parts mitigate the need for maintenance.

The DNV type approval assures potential users that the GDU-Incus has undergone rigorous testing and has been determined to meet the highest quality standards. The DNV assessment process is built upon scientific research and recognised by regulators, insurers, and major clients throughout the world.

Self-contained binary gas analyser for fine control of hydrogen in heat treatment furnaces! #PAuto

Michell Instruments’ XTC601 binary gas analyzer ensures accurate control of levels of hydrogen in heat treatment furnaces during production of metal. With its small footprint, integrated display and interface, the XTC601 thermal conductivity analyzer is convenient to install and simple to use.

Unlike many similar analyzers, which act as blind transmitters and require a separate display to be installed, the XTC601’s built-in interface not only allows users to interrogate, configure and even calibrate the unit in situ, but offers this at a price which is comparable to a typical blind analyzer.

The heat treatment process involves controlling levels of hydrogen in a background of nitrogen at temperatures up to 980°C, with typical H2 ranges of 0-10%, 0-25% & 0-100%. The XTC601 has two mA output ranges available, one fixed over the maximum span and the other user configurable, for maximum flexibility.

The analyzer’s thermal conductivity sensor is non-depleting making the XTC601 highly cost-effective over its lifetime as it doesn’t need replacement sensors. With no consumables or moving parts to change, maintenance is minimal which also helps to keep costs down.

The XTC601 can be calibrated for many different gases, giving it a wide range of uses beyond heat treatment. The measured gases currently available are: carbon dioxide, methane, argon, helium, nitrogen, hydrogen and air, as either target or background gases. Other typical applications include industrial gas production, helium recovery and food processing.

• Mintchell products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

24 hour multi-lingual international assistance!

Consisting of products, engineering tools and customer support, ‘Rittal – The System’ is completed with Rittal International Service. A total of 64 subsidiaries, more than 150 service partners and over 1,000 service technicians guarantee a local service and fast response times.
Rittal International Service now offer tailored service agreements to protect production processes and safeguard productivity that will maintain the value of equipment and systems, minimise downtime and allow costs to be managed over the long-term.

Select from a wide-range of available service packages, including Basic, Comfort, Advanced, Full and Customised. The packages offer various options for availability of Rittal support, response time, spare parts availability, maintenenace visits and extended warranty.

Rittal’s cooling products situated in harsh industrial environments consistently demonstrate high quality and reliability. Regular preventative maintenance leads to longer product service life for increased equipment profitability. Also available Rittal’s warranty extensions between one and three years will provide reassurance for a total warranty period of up to five years

New medium-voltage and low-voltage products plant in Bulgaria!

ABB has just inaugurated a new facility for producing low and medium voltage products in Bulgaria in the presence of the country’s President Rosen Plevneliev.

ABB facilty in Rakovski, Bulgaria
The facility is located in the town of Rakovski about 25 kilometers to the northeast of Bulgaria's second largest city Plovdiv and is expected to generate around 600 jobs once fully operational. It is part of a $23-million investment to expand production capacity to serve growing demand in Europe and Asia and will manufacture low-voltage control products and medium-voltage power products.

“This new unit further strengthens our manufacturing footprint in the region and enables us to deliver solutions across Europe, faster and more efficiently” said Bruno Melles, head of ABB’s Medium Voltage products business, a part of the company’s Power Products division.

Morten Wierod, head of ABB’s Control Products business, within the Low Voltage Products division, added: “This represents an opportunity to build on an excellent team in this region. We are committed to develop our footprint in Bulgaria to support our growing business.”

The new unit covering an area of about 15,000 square meters represents the second major investment by ABB in the Plovdiv region. The first greenfield factory manufacturing low-voltage products was built in 2009 and now employs over 1,000 people.

Other ABB production units in the country are located in Petrich for low-voltage products, Sevlievo for high-voltage products and transformers and a turbocharger service station in Varna.

Appointment to help in providing high accuracy energy audits!

Atlas Copco Compressors appoints Keith Findlay as AIRScan Manager.

Keith Findlay
Atlas Copco Compressors has announced the appointment of Keith Findlay as AIRScan Manager within its Compressor Technique Service division in Britain. Commenting on his new position in the company, Keith Findlay said: “My goal is to increase the profile of AIRScan among our UK customer base by providing highly accurate energy audit reports which can help customers save money by highlighting the benefits of VSD and energy recovery technology, in addition to enabling them to rectify downstream issues such as pressure drops, process leaks and pipe work improvements. I therefore believe AIRScan has the potential to become a good practice guide, as well as an energy audit.”

After completing his apprenticeship with City and Guilds and J.I.B Achievement Measurement qualifications in electrical engineering, Keith moved into the field of compressed air and for six years worked as an Industrial Air sales engineer with Atlas Copco, winning the Salesman of the Year award in 2004. After two subsequent career moves he went on to set up his own business in air energy management, gaining the expertise which after four years lead to his re-joining Atlas Copco Compressors in this specialist role.

AIRScan is Atlas Copco’s highly accurate, non-intrusive, independent survey report system which is designed to pinpoint any compressed air system energy drains so action can be taken to achieve peak efficiency, with consequent savings in energy costs. In his new position, Keith plans to build an AIRScan team of the company’s own specialist service engineers and energy consultants to assist existing customers and new clients to achieve the ISO50001 standard, which includes ISO11011 compressed air energy audit compliance.

A native of Sunderland, Keith’s leisure activities are shared between playing golf, supporting Sunderland AFC, encouraging his two sons at football and pursuing his love of world travel.

High-integrity interface for mass interconnect systems!

A new JTAG*/boundary-scan hardware interface is now available for the Peak Group's production family of PXI test systems. The JT 2147/VPC from JTAG Technologies is a signal-conditional module that allows “ideal world” connections from JTAG Technologies PXI and PXIe DataBlaster high-speed boundary-scan controllers to the VPC (Virginia Panel Corporation) mass interconnect system supplied and used in Peak’s configurable PXI-based functional testers.

Based on the highly successful QuadPod(TM) architecture from JTAG Technologies, the JT 2147/VPC has been specifically designed for connection into VPC’s G20x or G14x 192-pin ‘QuadraPaddle’ connectors, and is fully compatible with the Peak system design.

The JT2147/VPC features four independent JTAG test access ports (TAPs) along with 16 static DIO (digital input/output) channels and 64 dynamic DIOS (digital input/output scan) channels. Adding boundary-scan capabilities to any board or system tester will increase fault coverage of interconnections, logic parts and in-signal passives. It will also frequently reduce fixture costs due to test-point reduction and will allow in-system programming of memories and programmable logic parts.

JTAG/boundary-scan applications prepared using JTAG Technologies ProVision ATPG software tools may be executed on the PXI platform with driver packages that are available for NI LabView, TestStand and LabWindows alongside Geotest ATEasy and a number of generic language compilers including .NET framework, C++ and VB.

The VPC adaptors utilise standard QuadraPaddle connector modules, providing a wide variety of contact types. The connection between the PXI instrument and receiver module is accomplished using a passive printed circuit board, an active signal-conditioning module (as with the JT 2147/VPC) or a flexible circuit, with each providing optimum connectivity performance while reducing wiring cost.

*JTAG - Joint Test Action Group, the common name for the IEEE 1149.1 Standard Test Access Port and Boundary-Scan Architecture.

Thursday 19 June 2014

Measurement technologies increase plant efficiency and reduce costs for Romanian plant.

Flowmeters solve measurement problems and enable annual savings of €1 million

CAROM Onesti has improved mass balance, increased boiler efficiency, and reduced tanker turnaround times at its petrochemical production and distribution facility in Romania. Vortex and Coriolis flow measurement technologies from Emerson Process Management enabled more-accurate and reliable measurements that reduced product loss in the MTBE plant by 150 metric tons per month, improved boiler efficiency by 3 per cent, and eliminated the need to rework tanker filling operations in its distribution terminal. These improvements together have provided savings of €1 million per year.

Mass balance is vital for complex processes within reactors and distillation columns, and achieving that balance requires accurate and reliable flow measurement. However, the differential pressure (DP) flowmeters CAROM used previously required frequent maintenance because process fluids sometimes polymerised inside the meter − clogging impulse lines and leading to bad measurements.

To solve this problem, CAROM installed Micro Motion Coriolis flowmeters from Emerson. The new meters’ reliable accuracy enabled the required mass balance to be achieved, reducing product loss by 150 metric tons per month for savings of €700,000 per year. Based on current production figures, this saving translates into a 2 per cent increase in overall plant efficiency. In addition, because Micro Motion flowmeters have no moving parts, maintenance costs have been significantly reduced.

Emerson’s measurement technology also helped CAROM improve the performance of nine boilers that provide superheated steam to the site’s production units. Impulse lines for the three orifice flow meters previously used to measure the flow of superheated steam suffered a number of leakage problems, requiring on average around 300 hours of maintenance a year. In addition, the loss of up to two tonnes of steam per hour meant that more fuel was being used to meet the production demands.

“Following the installation of Emerson’s Rosemount 8800D Vortex flowmeters with integral temperature sensors for each line, the improvements were immediately evident,” said Marian Stancu, chief energy engineer for CAROM Onesti. “Maintenance requirements were reduced to almost nothing, and because steam loss was eliminated, boiler efficiency improved by 3 per cent, saving more than €200,000 per year in fuel. This meant that our initial investment was recovered in just 25 days of operation.”

Within the fuel distribution terminal, tankers leaving the facility by road or rail are weighed to ensure they have been correctly filled. If the filling is not accurate, the tankers have to return to the terminal − extending the time and cost for loading. Additional personnel and labour hours are required, and vehicles and locomotives are left standing idle.

“CAROM needed a measurement technology that is suitable for our diesel and petroleum products, and is accurate, reliable and easy to use and install,” continued Stancu. “Having successfully used Emerson’s Micro Motion Coriolis technology for mass measurement in other areas of our plant, we extended the use of this technology to diesel truck loading.”

The Micro Motion flowmeters improved measurement accuracy and enabled CAROM to optimise truck loading. With a typical train comprising 10 tanks, the loading process that used to take at least two days can now be completed in less than one day. The optimised loading has enabled savings of over €90,000 per year, and the faster train turnaround is also saving over 300 labour hours a year.

“Combining the process knowledge of our local team with Emerson’s product and application knowledge has provided the best solutions to our measurement problems,” added Stancu. “Emerson has become a trusted partner, and its Rosemount and Micro Motion measurement technologies have enabled savings of €1 million per year.”