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.
Enhancements

  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.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

New website for Irish instrument company!

Eurolec Instrumentation Ltd has recently updated its website  to facilitate customers to order and purchase on-line.

The new website also includes a wide range of temperature instruments manufactured/distributed from Dundalk within an ISO 9001:2008 quality system.

As the Ono Sokki distributor for both Britain & Ireland, the new website features a selection of instrumentation from Ono Sokki including the latest introductions, the NEW CT6520 universal engine tachometer and the NEW LV-1800 laser doppler vibrometer.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pumping control software!

Pump Genius process control software, from WEG, enables engineers to optimise their pumping systems, so they run more efficiently. The software is designed to reduce pumping system operation and maintenance costs while increasing process accuracy and protection.

The software works with WEG’s popular CFW11 drive to control system processes easily, providing multiple pump control and protection, as well as system monitoring. Pump Genius can be applied to any system that requires constant flow or pressure and can manage and monitor up to six pumps in a coordinated system.

Using the software with pumps in parallel increases the flexibility of the pumping system in operation and implementation, while also increasing the lifespan of the system. It provides necessary flow according to the pumping system demand, while allowing fault diagnosis and facilitating the maintenance of uninterrupted operation, thus enabling engineers to maximise system efficiency.

The software references low and high set point and run time requirements and the lead and lag pumps are cycled on and off based on motor run times. In contrast to alternative software solutions, WEG’s Pump Genius software monitors the operating hours of all the pumps in the system, adding and subtracting pumps as demand changes, all without the need for setting a cycle timer. This ensures equal pump run times without supervision.

Another key feature is the ability to have a floating master and slave rather than fixed master and slave pumps found in traditional systems. Pump Genius automatically senses if the master is not responding because of sensor loss or other fault conditions and assigns another pump as the master, maintaining operational continuity at all times during the process. The transition between master drives is seamless without disruption to the process, so engineers can be confident that their system is operating reliably and efficiently.

The CFW-11 variable speed drive with Pump Genius software also monitors and alarms system, motor and drive faults which will alert the operator to a potential problem. The drives are available in various sizes, from 1.1 to 370 kW and include proven user friendly graphic key pad HMI with large character graphics and read out.

In addition, all CFW-11’s have intelligent thermal management features that provide automatic cooling to the internal components of the drive, ensuring they provide reliable operation.

“Our new pump control software is making a real difference to the efficiency of pumping systems, whether the system is composed of single pumps, or parallel pumps,” says Daniel Griffiths, Product Manager for Automation and Low Voltage Motors at WEG. “Our customers are now able to control pumping systems simply which enables them to reduce maintenance and associated costs, eliminate costly control panels, reduce installation costs and system energy requirements while increasing productivities.”

Process safety to be examined!

The theme of Inspire 2014 is how the interaction among Culture, Safety and Technology can be used to improve safety in process plants.

ACM Facility Safety and the Institute of Hazard Prevention present the Inspire 2014 Conference on May 6-8, 2014 in Calgary, Alberta, (CDN).

This event has been cancelled!

Remote control and monitoring of a logic module via SMS!

Using the Logo! CMR2020 communications module from Siemens, users can control the Logo! 8 logic module or receive status data and alarms via text messages to their cell phones. Once a SIM card has been inserted, the communications module can be accessed as a node on the mobile network. Users can configure different commands in the Logo! 8 for remote access and then trigger them by text message via the communications module. In the other direction, Logo! CMR2020 transmits diagnostics data and alarms as message texts to cell phones previously defined as receivers.

Logo! CMR2020 has a GPS antenna connection that helps, for example, to track the current position of container freight worldwide or to monitor truck shipments. Logo! CMR2020 also enables time-of-day synchronization of the connected logic module, based on time information provided by the mobile phone provider or NTP server, or the GPS time signals. Logo! CMR2020 and Logo! 8 can be deployed, for example, in building control systems, such as for blinds, garage doors, lighting or garden watering systems. The Siemens components are also suitable for simple control tasks in industry, such as pump control or level monitoring.

The Logo! CMR2020 can be quickly and easily connected to the basic Logo! module via an Industrial Ethernet interface. As well as programming commands, the user saves a list of cell phone numbers that are authorized to control and receive process value and diagnostics data, as well as alarms. The message texts for control are password-protected. Using the two inputs and two outputs, Logo! CMR2020 can also be used for simple control tasks as stand alone unit.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Seminar & workshop on safety requirements for hazardous pipelines!

Together with ILF, ROSEN, TÜV Nord and the Dutch metrological institute NMi/NMi Euroloop, Krohne is holding a two-day seminar & workshop event entitled “Safety requirements for hazardous liquid and gas pipelines”. Supported by media partner Automatie, it takes place from June 3rd to June 4th in Dordrecht (NL).

The event is aimed at an international audience of operators, planners and engineers involved with pipelines transporting oil or natural gas as well as chemicals, refined products or any other hazardous liquids or gases.

The seminar will provide attendees with an overview of safety concepts and practical methods for performing risk assessment on pipelines. The lecture topics on day 1 address key issues such as pipeline design, risk assessment, leak detection and also protection of SCADA systems against cyber attacks. Relevant guidelines as well as protective mechanisms will be discussed to pinpoint solutions which can be implemented. Participants will also learn about a variety of methods currently being used for pipeline leak detection, how they complement each other and what options are available.

The seminar on day 2 will give an overview of pipeline design, available inspection technologies for the detection of leaks, risks and consequences of pipeline operation, and corrosion and erosion protection of pipelines. Day 2 also presents workshops on leak detection and custody transfer metering solutions and also practical trainings on this topic.

All lectures will be held in English. It is possible to attend one or both days

Test and debug event!

The ‘ElectroTestExpo’ has announced the  dates for its regional PCB test and debug exhibitions to be held during 2014.

Now enjoying its fifth consecutive year of free-to-attend events, ElectroTestExpo will commence its unique combination of drop-in tabletop exhibition and seminar on June 18th  at one of the Britain's main electronics and research hubs – the Cambridge Science Park (the Trinity Centre).

The events will feature a program of short talks by industry experts tackling a range of topics in an easily accessible, relaxed environment. Exhibitors currently include Tektronix, MarvinTest, AmFax, JTAG Technologies, Aeroflex, Test Solutions Ltd (TSL), MAC Panel, Pico Technology, Cimbian, TestWorks and Pickering Interfaces.

Speaking on behalf of the consortium, Nick Hickford (Pickering Interfaces) commented ’Following two great events last year where we met a large number of PCB test and manufacturing professionals at some fascinating venues, this year we are returning to Cambridge – a ‘home from home’ for scientists and engineers. We expect a good attendance from the electronics community eager to learn about the industry’s latest developments’.

Each venue will include a seminar room that will allow a vendor-appointed speaker to discuss the latest trends in their industry sectors. 

Consortium member Tim Lyons says ‘The challenges in today’s test environment
require a more focussed approach than the traditional wide ranging exhibition.
ElectroTestExpo is the event that aims to address the needs of engineers looking to reduce cost and test times but maintain measurement quality. TSL is pleased to support this event.’

The event is open to all electronic engineering professionals, however the organisers

reserve the right of admission to unsuitable applicants.

Enhanced viewing angle performance for demanding applications!

A new Kyocera Advanced Wide View TFT display module has been announced by Ginsbury. The 7.0-inch T-55785GD070J-LW-AFN has been developed to provide superior image quality and wide viewing angles with maximum colour accuracy. Advanced Wide View (AWV), Kyocera's implementation of in-plane switching (IPS), achieves a viewing angle of greater than 170° (horizontal and vertical) and ensures that the colour fidelity of the display image is accurately represented when viewed from any direction.

Featuring a contrast ratio of 750:1 and the latest high-efficiency, long-life LED backlight, the 7.0-inch AWV module has a brightness level of 1000cd/m² which provides an ideal solution for many outdoor applications requiring sunlight readability. To aid usage and installation, the T-55785GD070J-LW-AFN is equipped with a built-in LED driver circuit. The integrated LED driver circuit includes a full dimming function and no further additional components are required to drive the backlight. The 70,000 hour lifetime backlight is designed to provide lower power consumption by using the latest developments in LED and light guide technology.

Neville Milward, Director, Ginsbury explained, "Many industrial and medical applications will often require the display image to be clearly visible from many viewing directions and often viewed by multiple operators at the same time. Kyocera AWV displays are inherently suitable for demanding indoor and outdoor applications where optimum viewing angle performance is required."

The transmissive 7.0-inch display features WVGA resolution (800 x 480 pixels) and a 30-pin data interface implementing a standard 20-pin LVDS interface to enable simple integration and operation. The display module has outline dimensions of 169.8mm (w) x 109.7mm (h) x 9.7mm (d) and an active display area of 152.4mm (w) x 91.44mm (h). The display supports a wide operating temperature range of -30°C to 80°C.

Kyocera Advanced Wide View technology solves the colour shifting problems inherent in traditional twisted nematic (TN) and Vertical Alignment (VA) type TFT displays. AWV offers an 85° viewing angle in all directions (left/right, up/down) due to the use of new materials and a redesigned LCD cell structure replacing the traditional twisted nematic (TN) structure.

Component control patent on metering pumps!

A U.S. Patent 8,639,363, is for a method used to control two or more positive displacement pumps in a system. The Component Control System ensures that two or more positive displacement pumps, operating in a system together, will run only if all pumps in the system are running.

Flex-Pro® A4 pump!
This can reduce costs by eliminating the need for separate pump controllers for each unit. This feature will be particularly important when failure of one pump to meter chemical could have a damaging effect on the entire process, for example; when pumping two or more chemicals into a system using multiple pumps, particularly when two or more chemicals rely on one-another to achieve desired results (i.e. Chemical reaction).

This new patented feature is currently available on Blue-White’s Flex-Pro® A3 and A4 Metering Pumps; and Proseries-M® models M-3 and M-4 Metering Pumps.

Push together piping!

Atlas Copco Compressors’ AIRnet piping system is being enhanced with the addition of the Pre Fit (PF) Series, a unique family of products that are pre-torqued for push-together assembly. The PF Series, which will be available in 20mm to 50mm sizes, does not require heavy tools and reduces installation time by up to 85 percent.

Building on the success of the existing AIRnet range, the PF Series uses the same lightweight and durable aluminium piping, together with aluminium and polymer fittings, to make installation simpler. Being five times lighter than conventional galvanised steel piping and avoiding the need to have cumbersome threading, welding and lathe machines on site for fitting, the PF Series can be installed by a single technician, reducing labour costs by as much as 20 percent.

The PF series, manufactured within Atlas Copco’s new production facility in Belgium, offers the same benefits to the end-user as the rest of the AIRnet range, being highly efficient in the way it delivers clean compressed air, as well as nitrogen gas and vacuum functions. The pipes and connections are resistant to corrosion, mechanical shocks, and thermal variations, while minimising pressure drop and leaks thanks to low-friction surfaces and seamless fittings. This ensures a longer lifespan, reduces stress upon the compressor unit itself and protects the downstream manufacturing process.

AIRnet’s low-friction surfaces and seamless fittings significantly reduce the total cost of ownership by delivering air more efficiently. For example, a 1 bar pressure drop within a piping system forces the compressor to consume 7 percent more energy.


James Houseman, Product Specialist at Atlas Copco Compressors, said: “Piping is often overlooked as a component but can have a huge influence on the efficiency, performance and lifespan of an air system. A company may have a highly efficient compressor, but its performance can be undermined without a strong system of piping. For example, a pressure drop of just one bar requires the compressor to use seven percent more energy. That’s why we urge customers to consider not just the compressor but the complete system. The new AIRnet range is designed and manufactured to remove any concerns about corrosion, leakages or loss of pressure. Yet having such an advanced solution does not mean extra work for installers; in fact, it is quite the opposite because AIRnet has unique features to speed up and simplify the installation process. There’s no need for the threading and welding machines that had to be carried around in the past. In this way, both end-users and installers can benefit from the new AIRnet range.”

Installers follow a simple five-step process to assemble the PF Series: cut; debur; mark; lubricate; and push. Once the piping is connected, there are torque indicators to provide a visible assurance of accuracy and safety.
Included in the PF series are the 40mm and 50mm diameter sizes, with the 20mm and 25mm due to have PF fittings by mid-2014. The 63mm, 80mm, 100mm and proposed 158mm sizes will retain a classic fitting.

An advantage of the AIRnet range is that the classic and PF fittings are interchangeable, while the new Adaptor Union kit allows connectivity with an existing BSP/NPT threaded system. Additionally the breadth of pressures the PF series allows has been expanded, from a minimum of 0.013 bar to 16 bar, compared with 0.13 to 13 bar in the classic range. Similarly, the temperature range has been expanded in the PF series, which means the piping can be operational from -20°C to 80°C, compared with -4°C to 70°C.

The wide scope of requirements that can be met by the PF series is further extended with the availability of an optional conductivity strip for ATEX applications in hazardous environments, which is the first of its kind in the market.

To help with design and quoting for a new system, the AIRnet support tools provide calculations of pressure drop and an automated list of required products.

The reliability of the AIRnet range is backed by a 10-year guarantee.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Manager for Drive sales!

Markus Weber is the new Sales Manager of the WEG subsidiary Watt Drive Antriebstechnik GmbH (Watt Drive). Markus’ remit involves steering all sales activities, including field sales, internal sales and exports. As the new department head, he is responsible for approximately 20 sales staff in Austria. However, his role is not limited to the Austrian market, it also includes worldwide sales of Watt Drive products.

Markus Weber
A key task is to further integrate WEG's extensive motor and automation portfolio for the Austrian market into Watt Drive’s sales structure and to boost sales of the geared motor specialist’s products at WEG's international branches.

Weber brings 20 years of sales experience to his new position and is very familiar with the Austrian market and drive technology. With a background in mechanical engineering, he joined WEG as Key Account Manager in Austria in 2009. Three years later, after Watt Drive was acquired by WEG in 2011, Weber assumed the position of Field Sales Manager at Watt Drive. Prior to his time at WEG, Weber spent three years as Motors Sales Manager for Austria and Eastern Europe at Lenze Antriebstechnik. He also worked at Rosenbauer International for many years as Area Manager of South America.

Weber is based at Watt Drive headquarters in Markt Piesting, (A), and reports to Wolfgang Meyer, Managing Director at Watt Drive. His successor in his previous position as Field Sales Manager is Thomas Listmayr, formerly Acting Sales Manager Austria.

"We are positioned in the market as an internationally active full-spectrum drive technology provider. We therefore want to reinforce the combined Watt Drive and WEG sales organisations at an international level. Weber is the perfect choice for the General Sales Manager position because he knows both organisations and technology portfolios very well having worked in sales at both Watt Drive and WEG. He also combines extensive knowledge of the Austrian market with international sales experience," comments Meyer.

Coal/Oil Co-processing Pilot Plant and Coal Tar Hydrogenation Plant Projects in China!

Yokogawa has received orders from Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum (Group) Co., Ltd. (Yanchang Petro) to supply Yokogawa control systems for two groundbreaking oil plant construction projects in China. Both of these plants will employ KBR’s Veba Combi-Cracking (VCC) process, an advanced technology that is capable of converting petroleum residues into high quality gasoline and diesel oil products.

The first of these project orders is for Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum (Group) Co., Ltd. Oil-coal New Technology Corporation, a Yanchang Petro subsidiary that is constructing an advanced coal/oil co-processing pilot plant. This plant will convert coal and refining residues into diesel oil and other high value-added products, and will have an annual production capacity of 450,000 tons. The second order is for phase 1 of a project by Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Anyuan Chemical Co., Ltd., also a Yanchang Petro subsidiary, that involves the construction of a coal tar hydrogenation plant. This plant will produce light and heavy paraffin oil from coal tar. When completed, this plant will have an annual production capacity of 1 million tons, making it one of the largest plants of its type in China.

Under the terms of its contract with Yanchang Petro, Yokogawa China will provide the CENTUM® VP integrated control system for both projects as well as engineering and commissioning services. The two plants are scheduled to start operation in June 2014.

In China, Yokogawa has a strong track record in providing control systems for use in large-scale chemical and petrochemical plants and has supplied Yanchang Petro with numerous control systems, field instruments, and analyzers. Yokogawa’s success in winning this order from Yanchang Petro can be attributed to the reputation of our control systems for being highly reliable and our rich engineering experience and ability to provide appropriate engineering services on time.

Naoto Kousaka, vice president of Yokogawa China, had the following to say about these orders:
In China, ever greater attention is being paid to the need for the highly efficient and comprehensive utilization of hydrocarbons. KBR’s VCC process plays a very important role in this. Yokogawa’s proven technology and strong track record in providing solutions to Yanchang Petro were key factors in the winning of these control system orders. With our highly reliable control systems and field instruments as well as our ability to provide quality engineering and other services, I believe that Yokogawa is well positioned to make a significant contribution in enhancing China’s production of high quality diesel products.”

* Headquartered in Yan’an city, Shaanxi province, Yanchang Petro is China’s fourth largest energy and chemical company. Founded in 1905, the company is committed to the integrated and efficient development, conversion, and utilization of oil, natural gas, coal, rock salt, and other resources. In 2013, it became the first enterprise from Western China to make it onto the Fortune Global 500 Companies list.

Multiplexer range expanded!

Pickering Interfaces is expanding its range of PXI 10A multiplexers with the introduction of a new 10A power multiplexer.

This new PXI 10A power multiplexer (model 40-661) is available in a variety of configurations ranging from 8 off 4:1 multiplexers to 1 off 32:1 multiplexer. Each multiplexer is capable of hot switching up to 10A at 30VDC and has a maximum DC hot switch rating of 125VDC. AC signals up to 250VAC at 10A can be switched. For cold switching applications the 40-661 is capable of withstanding 400VDC.

The 40-661 uses high quality high power electromechanical relays and user signals are carried on 20 way GMCT connectors. Options for partially loaded configurations are available to minimize user cost for smaller test system applications.

Careful attention to the switch designs ensures that all multiplexers can carry the full 10A current simultaneously over the full operating temperature range.

Pickering also provides a full range of supporting cable and connector solutions for all of their LXI and PXI switching modules including the new 10A power multiplexer. They can also create custom cable solutions to suit every user requirement.

Pickering Interfaces stands behind all of their manufactured products with a standard three-year warranty and guaranteed long-term product support.

International calibration software partnership initiated!

CompuCal Calibration Solutions has announced a new partnership in the United States.  As the companies North American partner Evolution Distributors LLC will help to accelerate CompuCal’s ambitious growth targets.  They will distribute CompuCal’s Calibration Management software to North American markets as well as implement the software into the quality system of their sister company Evolution Scientific.  This expansion will see the company expanding its technical team over the next two years to support this growing market.

Matthew Dornan (l) & Joseph Morwald at Interphex
Since the early 1990s CompuCal has provided world class calibration solutions to its multi-national regulated customers in the pharmaceutical, medical device & oil & gas sectors. By implementing innovative technological solutions CompuCal delivers savings in operational expenditure leading to improved quality & compliance for its customers.

Jackie Dornan, Managing Director, CompuCal Calibration Solutions said “In a deal worth more than $350,000 (€255,000 ca) over the next three years this partnership will secure new life science customers for CompuCal’s calibration management software & ensure success in the US market.  We are embarking on an exciting new journey with Evolution Distributors which will strengthen our position in the US market. CompuCal is proof that Irish companies continue to expand, create new job opportunities in Cork and bring positive news to the global stage.”

“As a partner in CompuCal Calibration Solutions, we see great market potential in CompuCal’s ability to manage multiple sites in multiple locations and the ability to provide the client’s management team with real-time information on the performance of all assets in all locations.  At Evolution Scientific we are always looking for ways to improve; through the use of CompuCal’s KPI system, we look forward to having the capability to measure improvements with real-time metrics,” said Joseph Morwald, CEO, Evolution Distributors.

Signing the partnership deal at Interphex last week, Matthew Dornan, CompuCal’s Technical Director said “Our main area of expertise is in the provision of Calibration Management Software, configured to integrate into other systems and thereby offering a complete solution for our clients.  CompuCal is a web based application which allows us to supply solutions that can be provided as a local server solution (intranet) or as a hosted solution (internet), this partnership with Evolution Scientific offers significant opportunity for growth in the North American market.”

Impressions of ARC European Forum!

"May you live in interesting times!" says the ancient Chinese blessing but of course this presents us with an unforeseen number of challenges, but it also can be perceived as the source of an array of opportunities for the industry. The last decade has seen technological development accelerating at a rate that leaves us breathless. So this could be the time to take a step back and evaluate.

Working session at ARC Forum
On March 5th and 6th 2014 experts, users and suppliers from all areas of industry came together at ARC’s European Industry Forum in Amsterdam. The platform offered the unique chance to participate in a variety of workshops, hear about cutting-edge findings as well as to gain insights in real-life applications, which already utilize the newest technologies.

The discussions in the plenary sessions, workshops as well as in the network breaks and even on the boat-trip through picturesque Amsterdam, revolved around the opportunities and challenges the industry faces. Modern communication technology offers us access to everything, everywhere, every minute of the day. Modern production demands flexibility in the production processes as well as in development and engineering. Rising energy prices and stricter regulations force the industry to look for alternatives, from energy-efficient devices to full-blown energy-management systems.

The quantity of data produced by industrial devices and control systems has risen exponentially over recent years, to the point where its treatment and analysis has become an arduous task and its usability proves to be a challenge in itself, yet Big Data holds the promise of insights which were previously inconceivable.

Terms like Big Data, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Internet of Everything, cyber-physical systems and self-organizing factories were omnipresent on the forum. The German Industrie 4.0 concept combines these ideas and predicts the fourth industrial revolution. After the mechanical, electrical, and digital revolution, the Smart Factory could be our next step.

As Nicolaas Smit, director at Cisco Systems said: “If humanity had stalled in front of every risk, we would never have reached the moon”. Humanity, and by extension the industrial world, has faced many challenges over the years. Technologically, sky seems the limit: “Many of the visions implied in Industrie 4.0 could already be realized today” informed us Marion Horstmann, Head of Strategy at Siemens Industry Sector.

But as always, when faced with visionary goals, we are forced to take a hard look at reality too. Our industrial reality contains brownfield installations with a host of legacy systems in need of updating. Resources are limited, whether it concerns basic commodities, energy, personnel or finances. Energy prices and environmental regulations oblige us to rethink our strategies. We feel the necessity for cyber-security systems to protect our plants from malicious attacks or cyber-espionage. The obvious choice would be to close off our processes to separate them from the risks, yet remote control, maintenance and automation are moving into the opposite direction. All these subjects were covered on ARC’s European Industry Forum, leading to informative sessions followed by often controversial debates.

But the one factor that it all comes down to is the most important: the human behind all this. Systems and solutions need to cater to the needs of the people relying on them, the operators using them, and offer security and information for those responsible. Technology can offer invaluable help in countless situations. But human interaction is what yields the most important results and progress, even in our technology-ruled world, making meetings like the ARC’s European Industry Forum so vital for all of us concerned with the industrial world.

A look at the Industrial Internet of Things at the METAV 2014 in DusseldorfStefan Miksch

Working Towards a More Profitable Model-Based Control TechnologyValentijn de Leeuw

ARC's European Industry Form 2014: Energy Management WorkshopFlorian Gueldner

ARC's European Industry Form 2014: Uslaender from Fraunhofer On The Impact of the Internet of Things and Services to Industrial ApplicationsValentijn de Leeuw

ARC's European Industry Forum Amsterdam 2014: J. Lario and G. Ferranti to Present Concepts and Usage of An Automation Engineering FrameworkValentijn de Leeuw

European Industry Forum Amsterdam 2014: Prof. Backx on Increasing Profitability of Model-based Control Applications, Results of Autoprofit project and OutlookValentijn de Leeuw

ARC's European Industry Forum Amsterdam 2014: S. Fabio Agnello About Open-source Technology for Reducing Compressed Air Leakage to Lower Energy Consumption and Increase ProfitabilityValentijn de Leeuw

ARC European Industry Forum Amsterdam 2014: Arjen Meijer (ISA) to Speak About Fighting Cyber EspionageValentijn de Leeuw

Prices and Energy Management - Why European Users take the LeadFlorian Gueldner

ARC European Industry Forum Amsterdam 2014: Bianca Scholten Will Report On Research About Ownership and Organization of Control and ITValentijn de Leeuw

ARC European Industry Forum Amsterdam 2014: W. Hazenberg speaking About Replacement Strategy and Aging Factors of Control SystemsValentijn de Leeuw

ARC European Industry Forum Amsterdam 2014: CO2-Savings in Over Fifty Bayer Plants Using Energy Management SystemValentijn de Leeuw

ARC European Industry Forum Amsterdam 2014: Maurice Wilkins on Decision Support During A CrisisValentijn de Leeuw

ARC EIF Amsterdam 5-6/Mar/2014: Clariant to Report On Global Energy Efficiency ProgramFlorian Gueldner, Valentijn de Leeuw

ARC EIF Amsterdam 2014: Workshop on Cloud Computing and VirtualizationValentijn de Leeuw

These papers and earlier ones may be found on the ARC website.


The Top 10 things you need to know about steam!

Steam is used in a wide range of industries for a variety of processes, from a basic small heating circuit to large scale hygienic steam production. Greg Sutcliffe, Global Segment Manager at Bürkert looks at some of the basic principles that should be understood by maintenance engineers and facilities managers in order to achieve a safe and efficient process.
Modern production environments require the maintenance team to be experts in a vast range of fields and while many areas may be adequately covered, steam equipment can sometimes be overlooked. This can lead to costly breakdowns or repairs which could have been avoided if some basic principles were better understood.
1. Velocity – Steam should be dry, and only minimal water content should be the target, but it is often present as entrained water and condensate. These phenomena can be damaging and wearing to the steam system – particularly at high velocities. As a general rule of thumb, pipe sizes are typically calculated using 25m/sec as the reference speed. This forms a crucial part of the design, to reduce the impact of water hammer, pitting and wear.
2. Water Hammer – Poor condensate management can lead to water hammer; a condition that should never be tolerated. As the steam travels over condensate in a steam line, it drags a 'slug' of condensate along with it. Due to the mass and velocity of the 'slug' it can contain large amounts of kinetic energy, which is dissipated when it hits an obstacle such as a valve or pipe elbow. The results can be mechanically destructive to plan and extremely dangerous to personnel, so every effort should be made to design and maintain an excellent condensate management regime and eliminate water hammer.
3. Installation of Strainers – Y-type strainers are needed to protect expensive and process-essential equipment from damage and faults due to debris in the steam. However, installed incorrectly they are a potential source of condensate pooling and water hammer. When installed in the steam line, y-type strainers should be installed NOT in the 'belly-down' position, but with the “belly” of the strainer in the horizontal plane – an issue Bürkert has seen on several occasions while fault finding on systems it has been called in to assess.
4. Pipe reducers – It may be necessary to reduce the pipe diameter as part of the steam system design. On steam systems, it is essential that eccentric reducers are used, rather than concentric parts, with the flat side at the bottom. Concentric reducers have a funnel-like profile and are sometimes installed by less informed Engineers or when costs are being cut; however this will lead to pooling of condensate and can be a prime source of water hammer.
5. Equal T's – As a general rule, when installing a drain pocket, it should be of the same pipe diameter as the steam main – forming “equal T’s”, up to a size of DN100. If a smaller bore drain pipe is fitted then the velocity of the condensate will allow it to skip over the drain pipe connection. In addition, the reduced volume of the drain pipe may cause it to overflow, thereby becoming another source of water hammer.
6. Steam system materials – Particularly in legacy installations, cast iron (gg25) pipework and equipment was used as the standard material, which has been shown to offer certain weaknesses to impact (including water hammer) when compared to other affordable materials;– which could result in catastrophic failure. We recommend as a best practice, to use spherical graphite iron (SG Iron) or stainless steel (eg 316L), that can be up to 20-25 times more resistant to impact than standard cast iron.
7. Isolation valves – A crucial part of the safety of the steam installation is the isolation valve, which should be installed both sides of steam trap sets to allow maintenance to be carried out safely. More recently, industry has migrated to the use of double isolation valves either side of the various pieces of equipment to account for possible leakage past one of the valves and to ensure the absolute safety of maintenance engineers.
8. Pressure gauges – These are crucial for providing information required to understand the conditions inside the steam system and they should be installed before and after a control valve to ensure that the valve is performing as required. In addition, fitting them periodically throughout the steam system will give early indications of process change. This is crucial as variations in pressure, and hence temperature, can lead to reduced plant productivity and product quality.
9. Energy efficiency – Producing steam requires large amounts of energy so reducing losses wherever possible helps to improve the overall efficiency and reduce the operating costs of the system. In poor examples up to 40 percent of the energy used to produce the steam is lost, with failed steam traps accounting for 18 percent of these losses. Regular testing and maintenance is crucial to ensure that the steam traps function correctly. Further losses can come from the pipework itself and this should be lagged properly, including pipe flanges and all unused pipe-sections need to be isolated and lagged or better still removed.
10. Above all else – RESPECT steam. As an odourless, invisible, high temperature gas, steam can be extremely dangerous and as such should be treated with great respect.
As part of its product offering, Bürkert has developed a range of process control valves which can be equipped with the ELEMENT control head as part of an intelligent, decentralised control system. In addition, the experts at Bürkert can offer specific advice on selecting the correct components for most steam process designs.

• Buerkert products are marketed in Ireland by Petrochem!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Asset management software update reduces fieldbus device commissioning time by up to 80%

Emerson Process Management’s AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager is now capable of commissioning FOUNDATION™ fieldbus devices faster with the new version 12.5 software. Users can bring devices on-line with the features, options and alerts they select – in a fraction of the time it would normally take. With AMS Suite’s new functionality, Emerson anticipates reduced commissioning time on smart devices by almost 80 per cent compared to existing work practices. In addition to faster start-up, users can now make on-line changes to many devices simultaneously.

Emerson worked with Shell to develop a more efficient configuration solution for Shell’s Prelude floating natural gas (FLNG) production vessel project. With over 5,000 FOUNDATION fieldbus devices at the Prelude site, many with more than 100 configurable parameters, Shell was concerned about the time it would take to complete commissioning tasks. Configuring the devices one at a time is error-prone and laborious – configuring a single device may take up to 60 minutes. Then configuration for each individual device must be verified.

Featured at Emerson Exchange Stuttgart Apl'14
“We expect to reduce commissioning time and loop testing for FOUNDATION fieldbus devices by 10,000 to 20,000 man-hours for mid-size to large projects with this new functionality,” said Rong Gul, Shell’s corporate subject matter expert on smart instrumentation and instrument asset management.

The AMS Device Manager User Configurations tool enables users to standardise asset configuration and eliminate configuration errors. Users have the option to apply configuration templates to device placeholders or live devices. The devices can be commissioned one-by-one as field engineers are wiring the segments or automatically in groups. Built-in reporting allows users to quickly validate that parameters have been applied correctly.

“By working closely with Shell, we developed this innovative technology that helps reduce the time it takes to accurately configure smart field devices,” said Duncan Schleiss, vice president of business development for Emerson’s Process Systems and Solutions business. “This provides our users with a win in their quest to improve engineering efficiency by simplifying their processes.”

AC powered electro-mechanical actuators!

The Exlar Tritex II™ Series electric actuators, from Olsen, offer up 1500 Watt, AC powered operation and digital position control within a single, space-saving housing. These actuators combine a brushless servomotor with either rotary or linear (output) actuation, assembling all elements into a compact, sealed housing for demanding environments. With their built-in mechanical converters, Tritex II actuators eliminate the need for traditional ball screw or gear reducer mechanisms—they incorporate all the required position control and power electronics into the actuator itself, providing a complete system solution. This design additionally eliminates the inconvenience and expense of an external servo amplifier and cables, which are often required with typical servo systems.

Tritex AC Powered Linear Actuator
Tritex AC Powered Rotary Actuator
These actuators operate from 100-240 VAC, allowing direct connection to factory power sources. Enhanced software features include 16 programmable indexes, linked moves and firmware flash upgrade capability via the actuator's Modbus port. This port, via a RS/485 protocol, allows complete control, programming and monitoring of all aspects of the Tritex II actuator as it performs an application. Planned communications options include Modbus, Ethernet/IP™, HART, Modbus TCP/IP, CANopen, and CAN J1939 protocols.

They have ample I/O capability: 8 digital inputs, 4 digital outputs, plus one analog input and output. Feedback choices include analog hall effect (standard), incremental encoder for higher positioning resolution and an absolute feedback option that eliminates the need for performing home routines after power loss. The new Tritex II design offers excellent connectivity with internal terminals accessible through the actuator's removable cover. Tritex II also offers a provision for Imperial or metric threaded ports for cable sealing glands, optional M23/M16 connectors for power and I/O, with an M8 connector for the RS485 port.

Tritex II linear actuators provide the same form factor as hydraulic and pneumatic actuators and provide for simple, clean all-electric retrofits in what were formerly fluid power applications. They are available with many different mounting options (metric or imperial) such as front flange, rear clevis mount, side mount, trunnion mount, extended tie rod, and rear flange.

Tritex II rotary actuators are available in standard IEC metric dimensions. Direct drive units, as well as units with integral planetary gearing, provide compact, powerful solutions for most rotary applications. Custom mounting and options for both rotary and linear actuators are available to meet a wide range of installation requirements.

Istanbul welcomes international emissions monitoring event!


CEM 2014 is the 11th in a series of international conferences and exhibitions focusing on emissions monitoring. Taking place at the Renaissance Polat Istanbul Hotel in Turkey from 14th to 16th May, CEM 2014 provides an international focus for anyone involved with emissions to air, and registration is now open.

The CEM Conference will feature speakers from 13 different countries covering a wide variety of subjects within the event’s emissions monitoring theme.

The opening presentation and welcome speech will be given by Mr Soner Olgun, Head of the Laboratory, Measurement and Monitoring Department at the Turkish Ministry of Environment. The Conference will address all of the most topical issues relating to emissions monitoring and will contain four main themes:

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

All of the most important pollutants will be covered by the presentations which will also address process and emissions monitoring issues for all types of regulated processes including power stations, steelworks, industrial processes, combined heat and power plants, energy from waste systems and carbon capture. For example, one of the speakers will describe the application of FTIR monitoring technology to emissions from Germany’s vast biogas industry.

The CEM Exhibition is 15% larger than the previous event and registered Conference delegates are able to visit the Exhibition without further charge,

Temperature & pressure calibration!

New Fluke temperature calibrators and pressure calibration modules

Fluke has introduced two new high-accuracy Temperature Calibrators, the Fluke 712B and 714B, plus the new Fluke 750P series of Pressure Calibration Modules. The 712B RTD Temperature Calibrator offers simulation and measurement of 13 different RTD sensor types plus resistance, the 714B TC Temperature Calibrator offers simulation and measurement of 17 different thermocouple sensor types plus mV, while the 750P Series offers 48 pressure calibration modules.

The rugged 712B and 714B Temperature Calibrators are designed as easy-to-use, high accuracy instruments and come with a magnetic hanging strap, to free up both hands during testing, as well as a 3 year warranty. They can source/simulate temperature sensors to apply to process instruments, indicators, chart recorders and other devices. Offering dual inputs and bright, dual-reading, backlit displays, they provide easy interpretation of measurements. The temperature calibrators measure 4mA to 20mA signals while simultaneously sourcing a temperature signal. They offer configurable 0% and 100% source settings for quick 25% linearity checks, and a linear output ramp and 25% step auto ramp based on 0% and 100% settings. Power-down settings are remembered at power-up for easy restart of tests.

The 750P Pressure Calibration Modules offer a complete family of 48 pressure modules covering gauge, differential or absolute pressure calibrations from 2.5mBar to 690Bar, ideal for use with Fluke 750x / 74x Series Documenting Process Calibrators or Fluke 725 / 726 Multifunction Process Calibrators to measure pressure. Each module is clearly labeled for range, overpressure and media compatibility. All modules include NPT, metric (BSP) and M20

Biogas always under control!

OPTISONIC 7300 Biogas is a dedicated flowmeter for biogas applications from Krohne. The device is a specialised version of the OPTISONIC 7300 ultrasonic gas flowmeter for process gas applications.

Biogas presents a number of challenges to flow measurement such as low pressure and low flow rates and changes in gas composition: it contains 50-70 vol% of methane depending on the bio feedstock and process. The remaining part is CO2 (30-50 vol%) and small amounts of H2S, O2 and N2. While further downstream the gas may be compressed to 100 mbarg, the pressure is typically only 50-60 mbarg when measuring raw biogas e.g. directly after the fermentation. Here, biogas is also saturated with water and when the gas cools down, 5-6 vol% of free liquid water may appear in the pipeline. Temperature typically ranges from little over ambient temperature up to 50°C / 122°F. Backflow may appear in this applications, also scaling of bacteria can occur in the flowmeter. Also, process conditions are variable, e.g. when measurement is done directly after the fermentation, sudden temperature drops can occur when new sludge is fed into the fermentation tank.

Various flow measurement principles have been tested in these applications: while DP flowmeters (orifice plates) are not used due to the high pressure drop provided, Vortex flowmeters struggle with very low pressures and flow velocities, and thermal mass flowmeters are limited when water is present in the gas. Although ultrasonic is the only principle that is able to measure backflow, ultrasonic flowmeters are challenged by high damping of the acoustic signals by CO2 and high water content. In combination with a high price in relation to the other principles this has limited their use for biogas so far.

The unit has been specially designed to overcome the limitations of the ultrasonic principle here: while its signal transducers provide a stronger ultrasonic signal into the gas, its specialised signal processing allows for a better detection of small, strongly dampened acoustic signals. This and the mechanical design of transducers and transducer pockets makes the measurement insensitive to liquid water and biological scaling.

OPTISONIC 7300 Biogas features a maintenance-free full bore flow sensor without any moving parts. As H2S provides a corrosive solution when dissolved in water, the measuring tube is made of stainless steel 1.4404/316L and transducers are made of NACE-approved grade 29 Titanium for maximum corrosion resistance. OPTISONIC 7300 Biogas is equipped with lap joint flanges to lower its overall weight as biogas does not present high pressures and sometimes only plastic piping is used. The measurement accuracy is specified at 1% of actual measured flow rate, when calibrated with air, starting from 1 m/s / 3.28 ft/s flow velocity. When 2 % accuracy is sufficient, dry calibration can be selected as alternative at a significantly lower price.

Since the methane content of biogas may vary, it may be required for the operation of the biogas facility to know the exact methane content, e.g. when used as fuel for gas engines in a CHP unit. It features a built-in temperature sensor that in combination with the measured velocity of sound, enables direct measurement of methane content via calculation of the molar mass. OPTISONIC 7300 Biogas can also provide calculation of gas flow volume to standard conditions by using an additional pressure sensor. The electronics also include diagnostics to validate the functions of the flowmeter and the process. For output of the measured values, 4…20mA and pulse outputs are available. HART and Modbus (optional) are included for field communication.

OPTISONIC 7300 Biogas is certified for use in explosive areas (zone 1). As in general no pressure drop is allowed in biogas pipelines, the device is available in common line sizes DN50, 80, 100, 150, 200 / 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8".

• Krohne products are marketed in Ireland by DWN Instrumentation.

Real-time data export via OPC and enhanced usability!

Datapaq has released its Insight Software version 7.3 with enhanced features for temperature profiling and analysis in all kinds of industrial heating processes. Insight now supports the real-time export of data via OPC ("Open Platform Communications"). OPC is an industrial automation standard that allows communication between a data source (the OPC server) and a software application (the OPC client). The data may include process data and records of alarms and events.
Responding to customer feedback, Datapaq adds many new features that make thermal profiling easier and more efficient.
With Insight acting as an OPC server, data can be passed directly from the logger to a user's own preferred OPC-client process-management application, thereby assisting with live process control and enhancing productivity. The software update furthermore introduces user-friendly tools to the industry-specific Food Insight and Oven Insight versions that support process optimization, helping users set up heating and cooling processes and adapt parameters without repeated trial runs.

Monday, March 24, 2014

EX programming software for flow meters!

Precision Digital Corporation has announced MeterView EX Programming Software for the Vantageview PD6730 and ProtEX PD6830 Pulse Input Flow Rate / Totalizers. MeterView EX provides plant operators with full control of the meter configuration process using an intuitive layout and an easy-to-understand interface. Clearly labeled menus enable quick programming of the powerful functions provided in the PD6730 and PD6830 meters. The software is available at no cost from their website!

MeterView EX features tabs that present the logical location of specifically related functions and programming elements. Tabs include K-Factor, Display, Pulse Output, 4-20 mA Output, Data Logging, and more. Within each tab, the features are organized by related item. Drop-down menus help to avoid confusion when selecting settings. Copying one meter configuration to another, as well as saving or retrieving meter configurations, is a straightforward process. Configurations can also be printed in list form.

An on-board meter data log holds up to 1024 records and can be downloaded to the PC. Each logged record contains the date, time, rate, total, grand total, and log number.

MeterView EX eliminates a lot of button pushing and minimizes confusion when setting up a Vantageview PD6730 or ProtEX PD6830 Explosion-Proof rate / totalizer. A PDA8068 meter-to-USB adapter is available for quick & easy connection to a PC for programming the meter. RS-485 to RS-232 or USB adapters are also available for those meters with the on-board RS-485 option installed.

• Precision Digital products are marketed in Ireland by P J Boner & Co.


Top-selling generators extend to two channels!

Aim-TTi have now launched two channel versions of their best-selling TG2511 and TG5011 function/arbitrary/pulse generators.
The new TG2512A and TG5012A have a maximum frequency of 25MHz and 50MHz respectively and represent excellent value for money when compared to purchasing two generators.

Unlike some other two channel generators, both channels provide the full performance and specification, along with entirely independent operation when required.

The graphic LCD can be switched between the two outputs or can be set to show the parameters or waveforms for both channels simultaneously.

The two channels can be operated completely independently as if they were two separate generators. Alternatively the frequencies of the two channels can be coupled such that if frequency of one channel is changed the frequency of the other channel also changes either by a fixed ratio or fixed offset.

Amplitudes (and DC offsets) of the two channels can be coupled such that changing the amplitude and offset on one channel changes the amplitude and offset of both channels.
Outputs of the two channels can be coupled such that switching the output on/off on one channel switches the output on/off of both channels.

When in tracking mode both channels behave as one channel. If inverse tracking is selected, both channel still behave as one channel except that the output of channel 2 is inverted.

The relative phase can be set from -360 degrees to +360 degrees with 0.1 degree resolution. Pressing the ‘align’ key phase synchronises the two channels with the specified phase offset. Either channel can be triggered by the other channel to set up a complex and versatile inter channel trigger scheme.