Saturday, April 5, 2014

New website is an immeasurable resource for automation professionals!

Improving ease of use are enhanced search and filtering capabilities site wide, a new design with mega-menus that allow users to browse three levels of content deep in the site by hovering over navigation buttons, and an easy, intuitive and fast check-out process for e-commerce.

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has officially launched its brand-new website, a state-of-the-art, customer- and member-centric portal that delivers a more personalized and satisfying experience in showcasing ISA's products, services, resources and technical information.

Reflecting valuable input from ISA customers, members and partners and involving months of detailed planning and software development, the new is all-new from the ground up, outfitted with the most advanced technologies, tools, features and capabilities.

Behind the new website is a new best-in-class association management system-similar in purpose to a for-profit company's customer relationship management system-and a new learning management system that enables ISA's training and certification customers to easily register for, participate in, and track progress of their professional development activities.

Improving ease of use are enhanced search and filtering capabilities site wide, a new design with mega-menus that allow users to browse three levels of content deep in the site by hovering over navigation buttons, and an easy, intuitive and fast check-out process for e-commerce.

"At its essence, the new ISA website is all about providing a more valuable, satisfying experience for everyone who visits," says Jennifer Infantino, ISA's Manager of Marketing, Communications, and Corporate Partnerships. "Our former website, while housing a tremendous amount of useful information, didn't make it easy for our customers and members to quickly find what they needed or do what they wanted to do.

"We've designed the new so that-whether you are an ISA member, customer or partner, another automation industry professional, or a new visitor to the site-your individualized needs, preferences and expectations will be met…quickly and consistently."

Customized microsites: A great benefit for ISA members
Members of ISA sections, technical divisions and committees are now able to build and maintain their own microsites, and their content can be publicised on the main site to increase attendance at local section meetings and division symposia events and to keep other members updated on their latest news. Each microsite can host document management services (checking in and checking out shared documents in a password-protected environment), blogs, event calendars, social media feeds, and promotional calls-to-action to engage visitors. ISA sections and committees will be working on developing their microsites over the next several months.

New ways to interact and communicate on the new home page
The new ISA home page design features a range of new elements, including:

  • The latest news, trending stories and industry happenings
  • Quick links to content, resources, products and publications aggregated around a technical topic of interest
  • Access to the ISA Members Corner, a new section that provides a variety of useful tools. An ISA member or customer can edit his or her profile, set communication preferences, access digital content items, view meeting registrations and transaction history, and more.
  • ISA's social media icons, inviting visitors to connect with ISA on its social channels.
  • A section called "Welcome to ISA" that gives a more in-depth introduction to the Society and its mission.
  • A news hub with ISA news as well as articles and stories from across industry in the "global news" tab.
  • An events center showcasing upcoming ISA events on one tab, and upcoming section and industry events on the "global events" tab.
  • An InTech features section, providing easy access to feature stories from the most recent issue of ISA's flagship publication, InTech magazine.
  • A direct link to the most recent postings on the ISA Jobs website.
  • A recent video from ISA or one of its sponsoring companies, bringing a multi-media flavor to the home page layout.

"For decades, ISA has worked hard to establish itself as the leader in automation and control standards, training and educational resources, events, and networking and professional development opportunities," says Infantino. "Now we have a website that's worthy of our reputation and our capabilities. We encourage everyone to take some time to visit and rely on it as your destination for all that's automation."

Friday, April 4, 2014

Electronic device description! #PAuto

System designers normally use configuration tools to integrate device in a CANopen network. Such tools require a machine-readable device description. In CANopen, there are two formats of Electronic Data Sheets (EDS): one is ASCII character based and the other uses XML. The ASCII format is specified in CiA 306-1, which has been updated recently.

In addition, the CAN in Automation (CiA) users’ and manufacturers’ group has released the CiA 306-2 profile database specification. It is used to teach the CANopen conformance test tool to proof the implemented CANopen services and profile parameters. The profile database is a machine-readable CANopen object dictionary specification.

The third part of this specification series (CiA 306-3) describes the network variable handling and the integration into programming tools. Network variables are used for example in controller compliant with IEC 61131, also known as PLCopen. This part was originally in the CiA 405 specification, which has been withdrawn. Other CiA 405 content was moved to CiA 302-4 (network variables and process image) as well as CiA 314 (PLCopen function blocks for CANopen).

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Method of analysing autmotive fuel!

PAC’s AC Analytical Controls Reformulyzer M4 fully complies with the recently released revision of the multi-dimensional GC method EN ISO 22854 method, “Liquid petroleum products — Determination of hydrocarbon types and oxygenates in automotive-motor gasoline and in ethanol (E85) automotive fuel -- Multidimensional gas chromatography method”, from CEN and ISO.

The main changes in this new method from the previous version are the addition of nitrogen as alternative carrier gas to helium, an update of the response factors for ethanol and ETBE, and an inclusion of a 2nd procedure that enables operators to analyze high ethanol fuels (E85) by using a dilution step. This allows the reporting of ethanol, ethers, and higher alcohols in fuels containing between 50% and 85% ethanol as this may be requested in future E85 specifications. The method is fully harmonized with the latest version of ASTM D6839, which was published in 2013.

PAC released the Reformulyzer M4, which determines full group type analysis of gasoline and gasoline blend streams using multi-dimensional gas chromatography, in September of last year. It is the fastest and most flexible analyzer on the market to combine analysis for Paraffins, Olefins, Naphthenes, Oxygenates, and Aromatics in one instrument.

“With the latest release of this method, the Reformulyzer M4 ensures our client’s compliance while also offering unique benefits. The M4 significantly reduces the total cost of ownership and increases the instrument uptime through the improved trap performance,” says David Tran, PAC Vice-President of Product Management and Marketing. “In addition, the M4 reduces analysis time by ~50% to 39 minutes while other group type analysis instruments take 75 minutes to run. This enables refineries to make timely decisions to keep their products on spec and optimize their operations. This same advantage allows independent labs to improve their capacity by almost doubling the number of samples they can process.”

Sensor performs accurate online measurements of film & sheet thickness.

Yokogawa has included its WEBFREX3ES online sensor to Faustel’s Technology Center. The sensor performs accurate online measurements of film and sheet thickness. It produces graphs (profiles) that give a quick grasp of the distribution, which can be used to control thickness and ensure that all films and sheets coming off the production line have a uniform thickness.

The sensors were added to both the 300 mm Labmaster Pilot Coater and the 600 mm Production-Level Pilot Coating Line. Both lines are capable of aqueous and solvent-based coating using a wide variety of methods including slot die, comma roll, knife-over roll, gravure, and hot-melt coating

“We don’t have to stop and start the line,” said Jay Totten, Technology Center Manager at Faustel. “We make coat-weight adjustments on the run.”

Faustel’s Technology Center is a modern process and product development resource available to converters and to coating and adhesive formulators. The Center features a 610m/min., 600mm (2000 fpm, 24″) wide pilot line that incorporates all major coating and curing/drying capabilities. The Technology Center allows converters to closely emulate processes used on their production lines.

WEBFREX3ES consists of up to five frames, which accommodate a Beta-ray type sensor, a measurement manager station to generate coat weight profiles, operator stations, and a profile stack server. The system is equipped with various functions provided for the battery electrode process, including high-speed and high-precision synchronization scanning, automatic identification of coated or non-coated parts, zone trend panel, profile data tracking and a material coefficient window. All major components are originally developed and manufactured at Yokogawa factories under the high quality control policy proven by their highly reliable DCS and field instruments.

Faustel’s Technology Center assists converters in developing processes for new products or improves existing web products from initial laboratory coating to full-scale manufacturing. UV and EB curing and thermal drying in roller support or floatation configurations are available. More than 40 coating methods provide a full range of application possibilities. Four unwinds and three rewinds allow a wide variety of web paths, putting numerous combinations of coating and laminating capabilities at the user’s disposal.

Diaphragm metering pump for water & wastewater.

The CHEM-PRO M™ series metering pump, from Blue-White,  has the features and attributes industry pros have wanted, but couldn’t find in Diaphragm Metering Pumps currently on the market.

These features include: NSF 61 listing – a must in municipal water systems; 200:1 turndown; a large, easy to read LCD screen that displays the pumps’ output rate; a 4-20mA output is standard on all models; a robust #316 Stainless Steel pump head cover for added strength; and a comprehensive 3 year warranty.

The pump also features Blue-White’s exclusive DiaFlex™ Diaphragm. The single piece DiaFlex is manufactured 100% in house of molded Kynar. There is zero delamination or breakdown with DiaFlex.

Optional advanced communications include: Industrial Ethernet, Modbus TCP, ProfiNet, Modbus, and Profibus.

CHEM-PRO M is sold and serviced exclusively by highly skilled, factory authorised technicians.

I/P transmitter!

Moore Industries has released a new version of its IPH²/IPX² Current-to-Pressure (I/P) Transmitter. Along with updated certifications, the IPH²/IPX² features 22 direct and reverse output ranges, with switch-selectable reverse output standard on the IPX².

Another new feature on the IPX² is a removable electronics module. In certain abnormal conditions, a liquid “slug” can enter the air or gas supply of the IPX². The removable electronics module speeds the recovery process by allowing the liquid to drain more efficiently. When the removable electronics module is combined with the clog-resistant filtered nozzle and orifice that protects against clogging caused by internal debris, the result is a product that is easier to maintain and less prone to malfunctions caused by unwanted material entering into the system.

The two-wire (loop-powered) IPH² and IPX² accept a current signal from a DCS, PLC or other control system and converts it into a pneumatic signal to provide precise, proportional control of valves, actuators and other pneumatically-controlled devices. Both products meet NEMA Type 4X requirements, and the IPX2 can be installed in explosion-proof environments, making it a popular choice for oil and gas applications in hazardous settings.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bench tests instruments for Ireland & Britain!

Anglia Components has signed a distribution agreement for Britain and Ireland with Teledyne LeCroy, the world leading manufacturer of bench test instruments.

This is the first time that Anglia has offered test instruments, and the first time Teledyne LeCroy has appointed a component specialist to its network. Both companies believe that the relationship will add value for customers, and strengthen their businesses by identifying new opportunities.
Frank McCoubrey, Distribution Sales Manager, Tony Minchell, Applications Engineer and Nicola Gomiero, EMEA Indirect Channel Manager all with Teledyne LeCroy; and Anglia's Sarah Porter, Marketing Manager, and David Pearson, Technical Director.
According to Nicola Gomiero, EMEA Indirect Channel Manager for Teledyne LeCroy, Anglia’s Field Application Engineers are already working closely with many potential Teledyne LeCroy customers, and have the skills to help them choose bench test equipment. He said, “Anglia offers Teledyne LeCroy a unique combination of a highly effective, technical sales team and a strong online sales channel. Adding Anglia to our distribution network improves our service to our customers and provides them with a new and easier way of doing business with Teledyne LeCroy. They now have the opportunity to discuss their test needs with a team that they already know and trust, and place orders online for next day delivery through Anglia Live.”

Steve Rawlins, Anglia CEO added, “Teledyne LeCroy is recognized as one of the world leaders in bench test instruments, and we can now give our customers access to an outstanding and competitive product range based on market leading technology. Our Field Applications Team will take a pro-active approach, identifying customers who could benefit from using the equipment. Adding a test instrument line is an innovation for Anglia, and we believe that this new relationship will enable us to bring more value to our customers and introduce new opportunities to Teledyne LeCroy.”

Under the agreement, Anglia will stock and sell the Teledyne LeCroy distribution range of oscilloscopes and waveform generators along with the associated probes and accessories. A range of instruments will be held at Anglia’s warehouse ready for same day shipment, and be offered online through Anglia Live. Anglia’s Field Applications Engineering team will be trained by Teledyne LeCroy, and will be offer customer demonstrations and technical support.

Safety product viewed as exceptional by Czech automation professionals.

The Invensys Triconex® Safety View solution has been named the 2013 Product of the Year in the Process Control and Advanced Control category by Control Engineering, Czech Republic.

Control Engineering subscribers identified the products they felt were the most exceptional based on technological progress, value, benefit and impact on the automation market. The Product of the Year Awards covered 10 industrial automation categories in 2013. Invensys has won this accolade for the past three years, with products such as its Foxboro® Intelligent Marshalling smart I/O solution, its SimSci® DYNSIM® dynamic process simulation software and now Triconex Safety View. 

“The Process Control and Advanced Control category is always popular for producers and readers alike, with fierce competition for the Product of the Year award,” said Lukas Smelik, editor in chief, Control Engineering. “Every year, Invensys brings strong products to the category, and this year’s win for Triconex Safety View highlights the strong level of innovation within Invensys, further showcased by products such as its Foxboro Evo™ process automation system. For that reason, I was not surprised that, like last year, Invensys won Product of the Year.”

Triconex Safety View is an online tool that draws the plant operator’s attention to critical changes in process conditions that require immediate action. It also provides clear indication to operators, maintenance engineers and shift supervisors of Priority Level 1 alarms and all other safety-critical devices that have been placed in bypass, thus reducing the risk levels for which they were designed.

“Triconex Safety View provides the highest levels of safety integrity for critical alarm management applications,” said Mary Beth Connolly, vice president of marketing for Invensys’ systems business.

“Safety View gives operators, maintenance engineers and shift personnel better visibility into the process so they can take actions that reduce risk, optimize total cost of ownership and increase overall asset performance,” she continued. “We are extremely honored to be recognized by Control Engineering magazine and its subscribers because the award acknowledges the quality of our products and the value we continue to deliver for our customers and the automation market at large."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Patient leaflet inspection system!

Olmec has designed and installed an end of line patient leaflet inspection system to be used with a new OTC decongestant product. The patient leaflets are hand-inserted into the product carton and Olmec has worked in close collaboration with the supplier to develop an extremely simple user-interface. 

Patient leaflets are dispensed from a friction feeder and a simple code-reading system reads the pharmacode and compares it to the code in a database to confirm that it is the correct leaflet. An interface with the leaflet feeder ensures that incorrect leaflets are automatically rejected and do not reach the packer. 

The user interface is designed so that the operator simply has to select the correct recipe for the product and the system does the rest. The packing line has several operators working together and great care has been taken to optimise the read-rate of the leaflets to ensure that there is no delay in their delivery to the operators.   

Self-contained dew-point instrument for easy installation

The DryCheck from Michell is an accurate and stable dew-point instrument, which includes a built-in simple sampling system. Its compact size allows the instrument to be easily installed in a number of dew point measurement applications, such as compressed air dryers, ozone generators, plastic moulding machines and industrial gas manufacture. Designed for quick and easy maintenance, the DryCheck is a good choice where ease of use and simple installation are important.

All components are housed in a rugged IP65 rated polycarbonate case. This can be wall mounted at a convenient point close to the gas sample. A clear cover protects the display and the sample flowmeter. Gas connection (gas in and gas out) is provided using “quick connect” push-fittings, suitable for use with 6 mm OD Teflon tubing. Mains power input, and connection to the 4-20 mA analogue output, and the two user programmable voltage free relay contacts are all easily accessible behind the lower panel. 

The DryCheck uses the Michell Instruments Easidew On-Line to measure dew point in the range –100 to +20C dew point, or moisture content in the range 0-3000 ppm. This well-proven instrument is based on Michell’s advanced Ceramic Moisture Sensor, providing accurate and stable measurement. The calibration data for each sensor is stored within the transmitter’s flash memory and this allows Michell Instruments to offer their unique sensor exchange scheme, keeping calibration costs and downtime to an absolute minimum.

The DryCheck sampling system includes a 0.3 micron particulate filter element, a monolithic sampling block to house the Easidew Transmitter, as well as a valve and flowmeter for setting the sample flow. The filter element is easily replaceable to ensure that the sensor is protected. All components are rated to 10 Barg and the DryCheck can be configured for measurement of dew point at either system or atmospheric pressure.

The DryCheck features a clear 20 mm red LED display, which can be programmed to display dew point, in C or F or moisture content in ppmV. The instrument also provides a 4-20 mA output and 2-off alarm relays. All these features are easily configurable by the user via the front panel of the display.

• Michell instruments are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Embedded computer!

ADLINK Technology has released the new Extreme Rugged™ HPERC-IBR system. The HPERC™ (High Performance Extreme Rugged Computer) Series offers a compact, highly reliable and efficient processing unit to meet challenging SWaP (Size, Weight and Power) requirements for modern ground and aerial vehicle applications. HPERC offers one of the first product implementations of the VITA-75 standard to address commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) requirements for Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) applications.

“The HPERC system offers intense capabilities in a VITA-75 footprint, leveraging Intel® Core™ i7 processing power coupled with a GPGPU and a wealth of I/O support for camera and vehicle data busses,” said Jeff Munch, Director of ADLINK's Small Form Factor Product Center. “This solution can readily provide the necessary image processing and I/O required for UGV applications both today and in the future.”

In addition to the 3rd Generation Intel Core processor and optional GPGPU, the HPERC-IBR also offers DDR3L-1333 ECC soldered down memory up to 16GB, dual removable solid state drives with available RAID 0/1, as well as 4 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, 4 Ethernet, 7 Serial, 8 GPIO, and 3 HDMI/DisplayPort/DVI interfaces. The HPERC-IBR also has expansion options to support fast and easy integration of additional interface cards such as PCI/104-Express and Mini PCI Express.

To endure harsh environments, the HPERC-IBR was developed using ADLINK’s Rugged by Design methodology to withstand extreme shock, corrosion and galvanic oxidation. The HPERC-IBR offers flexible cooling options: the HPERC-IBR-MC (-40°C to + 85°C) for cold-plate cooling and the HPERC-IBR-MH (-40°C to + 75°C) designed for natural convection cooling.
The ADLINK HPERC Series is compliant to VITA-75 20/21/22 small form factor mounting and provides a wide array of fast I/O via MIL-DTL-38999 connectors. Additional expansion interfaces to meet the demands of various sensor suites are easily added with user-defined I/O pins.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Recorders comply with FDA 21 CFR Part 11!

Yokogawa has announced release 2 of the SMARTDAC+(R) GX and GP series paperless recorders. With these new versions, which are to be released next month (April 2014), all GX series panel-mounted recorders and GP series portable recorders will comply with the FDA 21 CFR Part 11 guidelines, and accommodate an increased number of inputs. In addition, a new graphics display function is available as an option.

Development background
Recorders are used on production lines and by R&D personnel in various industries to acquire, display, and record data such as temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, and pressure. Today, Yokogawa is one of the world’s top suppliers of recorders.

A shift from paper recording systems to digital recording systems is currently underway, and these digital devices are often used on networks. There is also an increased demand for touch-panel user interfaces like those found on mobile devices and the capability to centrally handle a larger number of inputs from devices spread out over a wide area. To accommodate such needs, Yokogawa announced the release of its GX and GP series recorders in October 2012.

With the functions that are included in release 2, the GX and GP series recorders now comply with the FDA 21 CFR Part 11 guidelines that are widely followed within the pharmaceutical industry, are capable of handling an even larger number of device inputs, and are easier to use.

  1. Compliance with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 - In response to requests from US pharmaceutical companies, the FDA 21 CFR Part 11 guidelines were issued in 1997. These stipulate what is required for electronic records and electronic signatures to have the same validity as paper-based records and signatures. With release 2, the GX and GP series recorders now comply with the FDA guidelines on the use of electronic records and electronic signatures in production operations. It is expected that the Yokogawa recorders will also comply with similar regulations that have been established in countries other than the United States.
  2. Accommodation for up to 450 inputs - With release 2, the GX and GP series recorders can now be used with up to six expansion units, each of which can accommodate up to 60 inputs. Including direct inputs, this gives each recorder the ability to handle a combined total of up to 450 inputs. The cables connecting the expansion units and the recorders can be up to 100 metres in length, which allows the expansion units to be installed closer to sensors and thereby reduces cabling costs.
  3. Custom-designed graphics display function (optional) - A new display function is now available that allows users to supplement the recorder’s standard figure and chart templates by uploading graphics that can be created using a separate image editing program. For example, a graphic of a water tank or some other facility can be prepared that can be displayed together with temperature and pressure values on the recorder screen. With this function, a recorder can also function as a process display unit or console panel, in addition to its main data recording function.

Major markets for the GX series include production plants in industries such as iron and steel, petrochemicals, chemicals, pulp and paper, food, pharmaceuticals, water supply and wastewater treatment, and electrical equipment and electronics. For the GP series, they include R&D units in industries such as consumer electronics, automobiles, semiconductors, and new energy; universities; and research institutes

Applications include acquiring, displaying, and logging data such as temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, and pressure.

Future product development
SMARTDAC+ stands for smart data acquisition and control. In addition to the GX series and GP series paperless recorders, the introduction of other products series as well as input modules for a variety of signal sources and output modules for control applications is planned for the SMARTDAC+ system, thereby supporting a wide range of data-gathering control applications such as production process monitoring and performance evaluation. As a leading company in the recorder market, Yokogawa will continue to respond to a wide variety of needs with the release of new products for the SMARTDAC+ system.