Saturday, May 10, 2014

Learn about automated testing!

National Instruments UK & Ireland will host industry experts and test professionals at the Automated Test Summit 2014 on 19th June at the Madejski Stadium, Reading (GB). This free, one day event will allow delegates to learn about the top trends and technologies influencing automated test through informative presentations, technical discussions and ten hours of hands-on training.

In his keynote address, Brendan Davis, leading industry expert and author of “The Economics of Automatic Testing”, will share his overview on the use of economic analysis to determine the optimum test strategy for electronics design, manufacturing and support. As the speed of bringing cost-effective, high-technology and high-quality products to market is of key importance in today’s competitive environment, Davis will highlight how to effectively use automatic test equipment to minimise costs, maximise productivity and improve quality.

Delegates have a choice of five dedicated tracks that are tailored to meet the needs of a test professional. One presentation track entirely focussed on RF will explore topics such as envelope tracking, testing RADAR systems and overcoming WLAN test challenges up to 160 MHz bandwidth. Meanwhile, the Automated Test track gives delegates the opportunity to discover what’s new in NI TestStand 2013 and learn top development tips and tricks for this software. In addition, topics covered in ten hours of hands-on training include acquiring wireless measurements with PXI, maximising measurement speed with FPGA-based hardware, and prototyping a software-defined radio system

Smarter, simpler, easy-to-use gas chromatograph!

High accuracy measurement with a maintainable module design that simplifies operation and reduces the total cost of ownership

Emerson Process Management has released the Danalyzer 370XA Gas Chromatograph (GC). Providing reliable measurement accuracy, minimal maintenance and greater ease-of-use, the Danalyzer 370XA is designed for continuous online analysis of natural gas for applications such as custody transfer, power generation, and burner fuel/air ratio control.

The Danalyzer 370XA provides a C6+ analysis similar to legacy Danalyzer GCs, but in a much smaller and simpler form.  New and experienced users alike will appreciate the latest advances in technology, improved diagnostics, and intuitive local operator interface (LOI), all of which come as standard.

A unique advantage of the Danalyzer 370XA is the Maintainable Module™, which incorporates the analytical components in an easily removable module. The Maintainable Module can be replaced in the field in approximately two hours (including warm-up and purge), and can be maintained at the component level for cost-effective repair. Easy-to-use software assistants on the full-colour LCD local operator interface reduce the need for specialised training by providing a step-by-step walk through of common operational and maintenance functions such as changing calibration gas, auto-valve timing and module replacement. The Danalyzer 370XA can be pole-mounted, wall-mounted or floor-mounted. No shelter is required for most environments.

“Emerson has pioneered gas measurement analysis for over 30 years,” said Shane Hale, product marketing manager for Emerson, Rosemount Analytical. “Today, we continue to develop and perfect gas chromatography with the XA Series. With the addition of the Danalyzer 370XA, Emerson addresses more of our customer’s needs by introducing a reliable, accurate, and operator friendly GC that lowers the cost of ownership.”

High-resolution CMOS cameras!

The LX series cameras further expands the Baumer portfolio with cameras featuring high-resolution CMOSIS sensors and Dual GigE interface. First models will be available as of June. They are the ideal solution for applications with demanding requirements on high-definition quality in image acquisition at high throughput. The new LX series master such tasks with 8, 12 and 20 megapixel resolutions and the 240 MB/s bandwidth of Dual GigE interface.

8 and 12 megapixel models utilise the proven CMOSIS 5.5 µm pixel design. Thus the new LX technology easily upgrades existing CCD-based systems to provide such excellent sensitivity and high frame rates. Furthermore, the upgrade eliminates cost for new optics. Besides ultrahigh resolution, the 20 MP model with 6.4 µm pixel structure and extremely low noise of only 8 e- provides a very high dynamic range of 66 dB. Such excellent image quality allows for more precise and reliable image evaluation. All models ensure outstanding sensitivity for reliable image acquisition even in high-dynamic processes.

Thanks to standard-compliant Dual GigE interface, the smallest 20 MP GigE Vision camera currently available enables cost-efficient system integration. Compared to single GigE cameras, the 240 MB/s bandwidth provides twice the frame rate or half the transmission time. In the application, this will significantly speed up reaction or inspection times. The LX series adds a big plus on flexibility thanks to HDR (High Dynamic Range), Power over Ethernet (PoE), Multi/IO and modular lens mount. The cameras are predestined for demanding inspections of PCBs, semi-conductors, surfaces or in 2D/3D measuring technology

Growing together - The perfect match!

As in past years, PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) has initiated a certified count of devices used in the market. The returned figures show that in 2013 the trend of strong growth for PROFINET and PROFIsafe continued while PROFIBUS maintained its very high level.

PROFINET increased its installed base to 7.6m.
There were 3.6 million new PROFIBUS nodes in the market in 2013. This increased the number of installed PROFIBUS devices to over 47.4 million. Of these, 8.2 million are incorporated in process automation plants. With a growth rate of newly added nodes of 20%, the number of PROFINET devices installed now stands at over 7.6 million. Particularly pleasing was the above-average growth rate of PROFIsafe of 33%, bringing the total number of installed devices now to 2.95 million.

2.95 million PROFIsafe nodes installed
The trend of strong growth shared by PROFINET and PROFIsafe is not a coincidence. PROFINET is well established in the market and is currently playing a leading role in many industry sectors, such as the automotive industry. Many users are also taking advantage of the switch to Ethernet-based communication in order to implement functional safety via a bus system. That is why a disproportionately high number of PROFINET devices delivered today also include PROFIsafe functionality.

Users are also benefiting from the fact that existing PROFIsafe installations with PROFIBUS can continue to be used. PROFIsafe operates independent of the fieldbus and can be used across network boundaries. The future-proof nature of PROFIsafe and its unrivaled technical capabilities and features make it the undisputed market leader among fail-safe bus systems.

Tube and surface inspection!

Ashtead Technology, has been appointed ‘preferred rental partner’ for the Ectane® tube and surface inspection system by the Canadian instrument manufacturer Eddyfi NDT Inc.

The Ectane is a high-performance surface array and multi-technology tube inspection system employing ultrasonic, eddy current and electromagnetic technology for the detection and assessment of flaws such as cracks or corrosion in conductive materials. Ashtead’s NDT Market Manager Neil Harrap says: “As a compact, lightweight, battery-powered instrument offering high levels of accuracy and performance, the Ectane is an important addition to our portfolio.

“It is significantly more advanced than anything else on the market, which means that the Ectane delivers a better assessment of the application – enabling users to conduct faster, easier, more effective inspections and therefore to make better decisions.”

The Ectane has become hugely popular around the world, but this is the first time that it has been available to rent in Britain, and typical applications include manufacturing, power generation, oil & gas, aerospace, research and higher education.

The instrument is available from Ashtead in a variety of configurations with almost any combination of conventional eddy current (ECT), array (ECA), remote field/near field/magnetic flux leakage (RFT/NFT/MFL), and internal rotating inspection system (IRIS) techniques. By combining two or more techniques, the requirement for additional instruments is reduced or eliminated.

Each instrument is supplied with Magnifi® acquisition and analysis software for multi-technology surface and tube inspections, so the Ectane is ideal for work that demands data storage and/or advanced analysis. In common with all of Ashtead Technology’s products, technical support is available to help choose the most appropriate technology and configuration for every application.

Turning raw data into actionable information on industrial internet!

A new solution that utilises the powerful potential of the Industrial Internet to connect machines and turn masses of raw data into actionable information has been announced by GE Intelligent Platforms.

An integrated data collection and analytics appliance, Proficy Historian IPC delivers quick time-to-value for collecting real-time production and process information by simplifying purchase and installation. The high-performance IPC platform enables numerous data collection tags on a rugged form factor small enough to install with machine controls in harsh environments. Proficy Historian’s patented compression algorithms enable greater volumes of data to be stored on the IPC’s hard drive than competitive data historians, without sacrificing the data’s integrity.

Proficy Historian IPC is the beginning of a new high-performance breed of combined hardware and software solutions from GE Intelligent Platforms, designed to pave the way to leading-edge performance and the Industrial Internet. The solution integrates a set of proven products— the PACSystems RXi XP, the latest of GE Intelligent Platforms high performance IPCs, and Proficy Historian 5.5 – into a purpose-built unit that is more than the sum of its parts.

“We understand that to get higher efficiency using data from a connected machine, the interface must be easy to implement and use,” said Flor Rivas, Product Manager for GE Intelligent Platforms. “With Proficy Historian IPC we’ve made it simple to step into the future of industrial automation by combining our industry-leading data Historian software with a powerful industrial grade computer. This solution simplifies purchase, speeds implementation, and enables data collection from thousands of inputs on a rugged platform small enough to install at the machine itself.”

Proficy Historian IPC scales to meet a broad range of applications, since it has capacity for 100 to 5000 data collection points on a single compact device. Data collection needs exceeding 5000 points can be met by implementing multiple Proficy Historian IPCs connected via a wide area network (WAN) in a distributed data historian configuration, or forwarding to plant or central historian. This solution makes leveraging the power of industrial data easy for a wide variety of users.
  • 1) Simple implementation: The user need not spend valuable time buying the individual products and installing the software. Instead, GE Intelligent Platforms’ powerful RXi XP is preinstalled with Microsoft® Windows® 7 operating system, Proficy Historian software, and all necessary drivers. To setup, simply power the IPC and configure the data collection points. Easily add more tags by plugging in the USB dongle supplied with the tag quantity order and reboot to enable the tag licenses.
  • 2) Compact, rugged design: The IPC’s smaller, ruggedized design allows Proficy Historian IPC to be installed with the machine controls to save space and reduce wiring complexity, putting power at the point of control. The industrial grade components and fan-less operation minimizes maintenance needs, extending the life span of the machine. The user doesn’t sacrifice performance for a smaller platform with this solution.
  • 3) Lifecycle management: COM Express technology is featured in the rugged IPC. Rather than replacing the entire IPC and wiring when the computing power becomes obsolete, the user can exchange the COM Express module for a higher-powered replacement, leaving the rest of the IPC and wiring intact.

“The Industrial Internet is the next industrial revolution, and one of its core principles is monitoring machine performance to maximize profitability,” said Rivas. “The Proficy Historian IPC solution is a simple way to transition toward the Industrial Internet since it enables easy collection of equipment data within the plant network to increase performance.“

Pressure switch supply problem in Britain - solved!

Last year’s pressure, vacuum, and temperature switch supply problems have been solved as PVL Limited has become the new distributor in Britain for the Italian manufacturer, Euroswitch.

Switch against background Lake Iseo (IT)
The Euroswitch range will cover all of PVL’s existing pressure and temperature portfolio, allowing the distributor to offer proven technology that enables them to offer a solution for any pressure switch enquiry whilst facilitating a return to their previous levels of high customer service and logistical reliability.

Part of the Mont.el group, Euroswitch’s highly-skilled workforce, based in their factory located against the magnificent backdrop of Lake Iseo, will be working hand-in-hand with PVL’s in-house engineers to ensure you can be confident of buying the right switch for your application.

The ES-41/40 will immediately become our best seller. The low cost, normally open/normally closed switches provide a 0.1 to 300 bar adjustment range and can handle overpressures up to 800 bar. They come with a viton seal as standard but when used with the Nitrile, EPDM, CR, Silicon or HNBR diaphragms they can have a temperature range between -40 deg C and 120 deg C.

New man at process & packaging body!

The PPMA Group has appointed Andrew Stark as Chief Operating Officer. Andrew has a strong sales and marketing background and has spent the last nine years in the processing and packaging industry working for Multivac in several different marketing, retail account and sales roles.

Prior to this, Andrew worked in IT and outsourced professional services in London’s Docklands.

Andrew Stark
“We are very pleased that Andrew Stark has accepted the PPMA Group board’s offer to become Chief Operating Officer,” states PPMA Group Chairman, Richard Little. “Andrew has many years experience of the packaging machinery market, including in-depth knowledge of end users and the supply chain. Andrew will add value to the already excellent PPMA team and allow us to build on our rapid progress in developing our PPMA Show and related events, and also facilitate the introduction of new strategic initiatives such as the PPMA BEST (Business, Education, Skills and Training) programme.”

Commenting on his appointment, Andrew Stark says: “I am delighted to be joining the PPMA Group at this exciting time to lead our experienced Executive Team in Wallington. This is a milestone year for the Association as we bring the PPMA Show back in house again and take on the challenge of setting up our new educational charity, BEST.  I am very much looking forward to working with all the PPMA team and the Board of Directors, and to meeting many of our members throughout the rest of the year.”

Friday, May 9, 2014

Industrial mobile computer!

Android, Integrated NFC, Barcode Scanner, and Wireless Capability, Shock Resistant, Waterproof, & Dustproof, Compact & Portable for Retail, Logistics & Transportation Solutions.

ADLINK Technology has released the IMX-3000, its newest industrial mobile computer, a clear choice for a variety of industrial applications, featuring the Android 4.0 operating system and a compact housing for easy transport. Near Field Communication (NFC), a barcode scanner and 3G/WLAN wireless communication capability improve real-time information delivery and fulfill a host of industrial requirements on the application level. It is perfect for use in retail channels, logistics, on-site inspection, warehousing, transportation, and many other environments. 1.2GHz dual-core computing power, superior shock resistance, and water- and dustproof housing all increase working efficiency and reduce management costs.

Convenient Android-based Interface
IMX-3000 uses the Android 4.0 OS, which supports high-quality calls, data transmission, and a famously user-friendly interface. As well, in response to Google's accelerating development of NFC on the Android platform, the unit comprehensively supports NFC technology, with read functions having been dramatically enhanced. Built-in apps cater to a variety of commercial and industrial applications, while synchronously providing end-user API for secondary software development based on individual requirements.

Versatile Mobile Communication Support Enables Uninterrupted Data Transmission
ADLINK's IMX-3000 features a high-performance 1D/2D barcode scanner that provides an input interface for reader utility software, and background applications can easily transfer data to specified locations. Also integrated are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS and AGPS protocols, further enhancing the IMX-3000's exceptional wireless capabilities.

Industrial Tested for Reliability
Every unit undergoes numerous strict performance tests, including IP54 waterproof and dustproof testing and a 1.5 meter drop (with protective cover) test, which guarantee shock resistance and water and dust proofing.

Superior Design Satisfies Practical Requirements
A 3.8" capacitive touch screen provides ample visibility, even in direct sunlight, and the built-in 5-megapixel camera features auto focus and flash, and coordinates with wireless broadband for timely transmission and monitoring. In addition, the Secure Access Module

(SAM) slot handles core system cryptography and NFC encryption for robust system security, with memory expandable with a microSD or microSDHC card. Powered by a 3.7V 2600mAh or optional 3.7V 3900mAh rechargeable lithium battery for prolonged usage, the IMX-3000 also provides a dedicated charger, significantly improving ease of use.

Absorbing radiation!

Mouser Electronics, Inc. is now shipping the HOZOX™ EMI absorption sheets and tape manufactured by Molex. While only 0.1mm thick, these flexible sheets suppress most unwanted electromagnetic interference (EMI) while meeting government EMC regulations worldwide. The unique dual-layer structure of the HOZOX allows the sheeting to efficiently absorb both megahertz and gigahertz electromagnetic energy, providing a wide range of EMI protection for a variety of applications.

The Molex HOZOX EMI absorption sheets available from Mouser Electronics provide excellent EMI noise reduction for many electronics systems. Electromagnetic interference can interfere with the proper operation of many electronic systems by inducing electric currents into wiring and PC board traces, resulting in difficult to diagnose equipment malfunctions. In addition, EMI can cause self-heating in magnetically conductive metals, resulting in overheating problems that can result in equipment failure from thermal damage to components.

The HOZOX EMI absorption sheets inhibit stray EMI by using a unique two-layer design. The magnetic layer is composed of a sendust powder that efficiently absorbs low frequency electromagnetic noise. The much thinner conductive layer is composed of ferrite powder mixed with nano-carbon wires that mitigate high-frequency electromagnetic energy. Together these dual layers provide excellent EMI protection over a broad range of frequencies. A layer of adhesive is applied to the conductive layer and allows the sheets to be pressed firmly into place. Optionally, the adhesive can be applied to the magnetic layer. Once properly applied, the sheeting keeps stray electromagnetic fields safely contained.

These sheets are ideal for compact electronic devices such as medical equipment, Wi-Fi and other RF modules, power supplies, and low power consumer electronics.

The HOZOX is available both in sheets, or in 10 or 20mm tape.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New input connection options extend flexibility power supplies!

Excelsys Technologies, specialists in high efficiency user configurable power supplies, has further increased the flexibility of their market leading UltiMod and Xgen series with the introduction of a wide range of input connector options. This new range of Input connection options provides system designers with increased ease in system design-in and continues to make Excelsys products "The World’s Most Flexible Power Supplies."
The UltiMod and Xgen series of modular power supplies have been designed into a wide range of applications in medical, industrial, hi-rel and communications applications. To facilitate ease of system integration Excelsys have now developed and characterised a range of input connector options as follows;

Option 0: Standard IEC320 inlet: This is the most commonly used input connector for the UltiMod and Xgen. No Minimum Order Quantities.

Option D: 3 Wire Flying lead input: 500mm, L, N and E input cable option that allows customers to use their own preferred input connectors. No Minimum Order

XE1: IEC to Screw Adaptor: A simple plug in adaptor connector that provides Screw terminal input connections. See UltiMod and Xgen Catalogues for details.

In addition to the above, there are also commercially accessories that can be used with the standard IEC320 input connector, for example;

Locking IEC Power Cords: There are now a range of lockable IEC Power Cords suitable for use in applications that can be subject to vibration. Excelsys recommends the use of Schaffner IL13 or equivalent.

IEC to Spade Terminal Adaptor: For applications where Spade input terminals are preferred, Excelsys recommends the use of Schurter IEC Appliance plug 4787.

Custom Solutions
They  can also create custom application/customer specific cable and connector solutions. Details of all possible connector options, including drawings and design assistance are available from Excelsys Technologies

Dermot Flynn, European Sales Director for Excelsys Technologies comments; “All versions of our latest UltiMod series and the very successful Xgen configurable power supply family can now be supplied with the best-fit input connection to make the job of system designers as simple as possible. Combined with our exceptional user configuration options and our global sales channels our UltiMod and Xgen power supply families really are world beaters.”

Providing industry leading power density of 17W/in3 and incredible efficiencies of 90% in a 1U package the Excelsys UltiMod and Xgen series provides power solutions from 200W-1450W and sets the standard for highest performance in the smallest package size.

These power supplies are available with high temperature ratings, -20ºC to +70ºC, low operating noise versions, medical approvals and can be ruggedized and conformally coated for Military and COTS applications.

Output voltages may be specified from a very wide number of PowerMods including nominal output voltages of 2.5V, 5.0V, 12.0V, 24.0V, 48.0V, and 24/24V. As all modules are isolated polarity is user selectable and modules may be configured in series or parallel for higher output voltages or current. All Excelsys power supplies have a universal input range, 85-264VAC and over voltage protection. All possible configurations carry full safety agency approvals, UL60950, EN60950 and are CE marked.

Remote I/Os for hazardous areas face endurance tests in tough conditions.

Tried-and-tested IS1+ system now features triple warranty

While other remote I/O solutions on the market usually have a one-year warranty, R. Stahl has voluntarily extended the warranty for its robust hazardous area IS1+ system to three years – without any extra charge. The explosion protection expert takes this step in the wake of extremely successful lab trials as well as very positive experiences garnered from extensive practical tests. Even under very rugged conditions and strained to the limit of their resilience, e.g. in continuous operation at temperatures up to +90 °C and exposed to repeated temperature changes from -40 to +95 °C, IS1+ modules proved virtually indestructible: no defects or failures occurred.

Due to a new low power design for the modules that ensures minimal power loss and effective heat dissipation via the housing, IS1+ allows for an extended ambient temperature specification covering a wide range from ­40 to +75 °C. This also means that the modules will reach an extraordinary lifespan of up to 15 years in applications with more moderate conditions. In addition, since the modules’ power consumption has been reduced by up to 50%, energy costs for the operation of process plants are decreased as well.

IS1+ offers outstanding functions and features, such as mixed modules with I/O parameterisation as well as diagnoses and maintenance alerts according to the NAMUR NE107 scheme. The versatile Remote I/O system supports hot work and hot swapping, which makes it very cost-efficient: thanks to its consistently intrinsically safe structure with an intrinsically safe fieldbus based on either PROFIBUS DP or an Industrial Ethernet implementation with Modbus TCP, EtherNet/IP, or PROFINET, the system can be easily extended or reconfigured in hazardous areas.

In addition to international explosion protection certificates for all major and medium-sized markets, IS1+ also features several shipbuilding approvals, which makes the system suitable for virtually universal use worldwide. Offering more than 30 years of experience in the systems business and know-how regarding all standard automation systems as well as corresponding bus protocols, R. Stahl is capable of customising IS1+ setups to user requirements and delivering turnkey solutions.

Driving M2M sales in Europe!

New appointment brings 2G, 3G and GNSS module technology

Avnet Memec has been appointed as European distributor for Quectel, experts in M2M wireless modules. Quectel is expanding its sales channel network in Europe to drive growth of its M2M and Internet of Things business in the region.

Patrick Qian, CEO of Quectel said, “At Quectel we believe there is a huge growth potential in the M2M module market throughout Europe and Avnet Memec has demonstrated that it can make a significant contribution to driving that growth.”

He continued, “The whole team at Avnet Memec has shown they have a real understanding of the wireless modules market, particularly in M2M applications. Their strong relationships with European customers together with their impressive applications engineering support will enable us to increase market share and ensure our goals are achieved.”

Steve Haynes, president of Avnet Memec EMEA, responded, “Quectel is a pioneer in the wireless module industry and their state-of-the-art technology meets both current and future industry demands. This appointment gives us an outstanding portfolio of wireless technologies and enables us to support sophisticated wireless design including advancing M2M and Internet of Things applications.”

He added, “In addition to our usual first rate design support, our European partnership with Quectel brings the ability to offer comprehensive additional support to developers at all stages of the design process. These include, review and optimization of PCB/RF layout design, in-depth support on testing and analysis of the end-product to ensure on-time market entry for our customers.”

High-speed inspection of broken biscuits.

Nutrition & Santé is Europe's leading maker of organic and health foods. Biscuits roll off its production lines in stacks of 4 or 5 units that are then wrapped in packs and inserted in their cardboard packaging at high speed."For us, broken biscuits are a critical defect. Not only did we want to increase our customers' perception of the quality of our products, we also wanted to eliminate the risks of packs being incorrectly sealed due to biscuit bits getting in the way," explains Fabien Ployon, Production Manager at Nutrition & Santé's production site in Annonay (F)

"We looked at the vision systems on the market and contacted a number of companies. All but Keyence declined on account of our speed requirements, which allows for a window of just 150 ms for inspecting each stack.

"We needed a detection solution that could handle the huge quantities of biscuits that are processed each minute and operate around the clock. We installed and programmed the CV-5000 vision system with the assistance of Keyence's technical department. Edge detection/position is performed by two cameras placed about 20 centimeters above the biscuits on each line. A different program has to be set for each of the thirty-odd shapes and sizes conveyed on each line.

"Edge detection/position is just one of the 19 inspection tools available with Keyence's CV-5000 vision systems. Each of the inspection tools makes it possible to setup a detection application simply and quickly. Despite not having any previous experience in vision systems, the CV-5000 was easy to set up and use. It took a little time to optimize it to our needs, but now we're familiar with it and we've since embarked on a process of continual improvement," adds Ployon.

This biscuit-inspection application was made possible by the processing speed of Keyence's CV-5000 system, one of the most powerful self-contained vision systems on the market. For example, it allows 1 million pixels to be processed in 20.5 ms. This processing power also makes it possible to perform multiple inspections and further enhance the reliability of in-process inspections thanks to its unparalleled repeatability (seven times higher than that of current standards) and image-processing tasks that optimize inspection accuracy. The CV-5000 Series are controlled by a high-speed color image processing engine and a high-speed RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) CPU. Both are supplemented by two DSPs (Digital Signal Processors) designed specifically for image processing. All CV-5000 Series models use these four processors to achieve parallel processing and attain the fastest processing speed possible - around twice that of the leading models available on the market. The system is also equipped with a double-buffer memory that allows it to accept the next trigger input while an image is being processed.

"Because the CV-5000 vision system works faster than our lines, it gives us definite leeway. It runs seven days a week and we're very satisfied with its detection reliability and stability," concludes Ployon.

For more than 30 years, Nutrition & Santé has been guided by the very simple idea that what we eat affects our health. What was held by very few in the past has since become virtually mainstream now that 'naturally correct' is ubiquitous. The Nutrition & Santé Group is present in all distribution channels and key organic and health-foods segments. It can count on Gerblé, Isostar, Gerlinéa, Milical, Modifast, Pesoforma, Céréal Bio, Soy and other high-profile brands to increase its exports. These strengths have established the group as a key player in five segments - everyday health foods, nutritional weight-loss products, sports nutrition, organic foods and plant alternatives. In 2011 it employed 1,100 people at its four specialized production sites and operated a distribution network in more than 40 countries.

Monitoring and Diagnosing PROFIBUS networks using COMbricks.

PROFIBUS Ireland in association with International Society of Automation ISA Ireland held an evening technical talk on “Continuous Monitoring and diagnosing PROFIBUS network using COMbricks” in April 2014.

COMbricks Demo by Hassan Kaghazchi
Hassan Kaghazchi presented the basics of PROFIBUS technology, and the benefits of continuous monitoring of these networks using COMbricks. A live demonstration of diagnosing PROFIBUS DP networks, as well as access to PROFIBUS PA network using COMbricks was given. The seminar attracted over 20 participants from local industry which mainly included chemical and pharmaceutical companies.

From participant feed back the talk was well received, and more talks are planned for Dublin and Limerick in 2014.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Rugged vehicle computers!

JLT Mobile Computers has launched the VERSO+ 10 computer with QuickLock, a new class of rugged vehicle terminals. Equipped with an Intel® Core(tm) i5 processor, the VERSO+ 10 computer provides leading performance in the industry's smallest rugged form factor, making it a perfect choice for installations in tight cabins or other small areas.

With a quick-mount feature, QuickLock, the computer can easily be attached and detached in a vehicle to simplify service, being moved between vehicles or prevent theft by removing it at the end of the working day. With a 10 inch sunlight readable XGA display and scratch resistant multi-point touch, the VERSO+ 10 computer becomes an extension of the heavy-duty JLT VERSO series that also includes 12 inch and 15 inch computers. It provides the same high reliability as the rest of the VERSO series when used within very tough environments such as mining, ports, yard-logistics, freezer storage, forestry, and agriculture.

The VERSO series launched in the first quarter of 2013 and has since ramped quickly and been adopted by customers around the world with high demand for performance, ruggedness and reliability. With the new VERSO+ 10 computer, with QuickLock feature and a smaller form factor, customers now have a more flexible and compact alternative, but with the same outstanding performance and ruggedness.

As with all JLT computers, the VERSO+ 10 computer is built from the ground up to deliver maximum reliability and function in very demanding environments. It comes with an Intel Core processor or an Intel dual-core Atom D2550 processor. Built-in features include a 9-36 VDC power supply, a backup battery to ensure uninterrupted operation during power drops, WLAN communication with built-in highly sensitive PIFA antennas, custom-made for reliable Wi-Fi connectivity in environments with poor coverage. New with the VERSO+ 10 computer are Bluetooth PIFA antennas with a resulting reliable communication with low-power hand carried peripherals, and the option of external antennas for both WLAN and Bluetooth for very demanding environments such as ports and other wide areas. The VERSO+ 10 can also be equipped with 3G WWAN communication. The VERSO+ 10 computer can be ordered with Windows 7 Pro or Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Embedded 8 Standard operating systems.

"With the new VERSO+ 10 computer, we build on the success of the VERSO series of heavy-duty vehicle computers that, since its launch in January last year, is being selected by customers within mining, sawing mills, off-shore, ports and other demanding applications," said Per Holmberg, CEO at JLT. "With the VERSO+ 10 computer, we reinforce our leading position within the high-end of the market by providing the smallest form factor and greater flexibility with the same high performance."

More and more customers also go for the JLT:Care Service Level Agreement. With this "No-Questions-Asked" service added, customers are guaranteed a high support level and short repair times to maximize the up-time of the computer at predictable cost.

The VERSO+ 10 computer is available now with a dual-core Intel Atom processor D2550 and can be ordered from JLT Sales Partners. The Core processor option will start shipping in the second half of 2014.

Airborne sensors covers broad spectral range of 400-2500nm

Headwall has released the Hyperspec® VNIR-SWIR sensor for general availability. The high-performance airborne sensor is versatile and covers the broad 400-2500nm spectral range. Precise, high-resolution imaging is achieved through co-registered pixels utilising a single fore-optic input for outstanding spectral fidelity across the entire spectral range.

Designed for remote sensing applications such as environmental monitoring and mineral exploration, the sensor is optimised for size, weight, and reduced power consumption. With a weight less than 30 pounds and a small form factor package (approximately 15" x 15" x 8"), the sensor is designed for use aboard a wide range of airborne platforms. Adding to high image quality is the sensor's very wide field of view and high signal-to-noise (SNR) performance. Headwall has accomplished this by combining the high diffraction ef­ficiency for the VNIR and SWIR spectral regions coupled with very high quantum efficiency of the electronic subsystems.

Pixel co-registration plus aberration-cor­rected optics yields very high spectral and spatial resolution with repeatable measurement accuracy - unparalleled in the industry. With diffractive optics spe­cifically designed and manufactured by Headwall, the patented hyperspectral sensor eliminates image aberrations such as keystone, smile, or stray light and thermal variation that is typically observed with transmissive-based sensors containing prisms and gratings.

"Our remote-sensing customers often need to cover both the VNIR and SWIR spectral ranges but until now, there has not been a hyperspectral sensor capable of reliably providing both VNIR & SWIR data," said Headwall CEO David Bannon. "We developed this co-boresighted and co-registered VNIR-SWIR sensor to avoid the complexities of multi-sensor deployments while keeping the sensor size, weight, and power consumption very low."

Headwall's Hyperspec VNIR-SWIR sensor is also sold with a complete airborne configuration including GPS/INS, high-speed processor and storage, and airborne Hyperspec III software for sensor control and data acquisition.

Headwall's VNIR-SWIR sensor is available for delivery approximately 8 weeks after receipt of order. Headwall's application engineering team is available to assist customers with airborne integration and training.

Family upgraded to make industrial networking even easier!

Anybus X-gateways are used in thousands of industrial applications all over the world to enable communication between two industrial networks (fieldbus or industrial Ethernet). These popular “network translators” are now modernized as HMS Industrial Networks has introduced a new version of Anybus X-gateways, designed to meet the future of the automation industry. The new version contains several new features, but is fully backwards compatible meaning that existing users can easily upgrade to the new version without hassle.

What is an X-gateway?
Anybus X-gateways help system integrators to easily interconnect any two networks, enabling consistent information flow throughout the entire plant. In today’s industrial installations, one common problem is that there is often more than one control system and industrial network. Most new factory upgrades need to integrate Fieldbus with Industrial Ethernet. Connecting these similar or dissimilar control systems and networks can be a challenge. With over hundreds of individual Master/Slave and Slave/Slave versions, Anybus X-gateways allows users to connect almost any possible combination of industrial networks.
USB interface and new configuration software
The new X-gateway comes with a USB interface, enabling the users to easily connect the gateway to a PC and configure the network communication via the Windows-based tool “Anybus Configuration Manager.” No programming is necessary.

New design for easier installation
The new housing with upright design requires less rack space and enables easier installation in the switching cabinet. The flexible design also allows mounting on the side (flat) similar to the previous version of the X-gateway. Additionally, X-gateway now offers even lower power consumption.

Ethernet focus
As part of the new release, HMS introduces connectivity to CC-Link IE Field in the X-gateway family. Furthermore, several of the industrial Ethernet versions now include integrated dual-port Ethernet interfaces with an integrated switch, removing the need for external switches.

Making system integration easier

“This new version of the Anybus X-gateway will provide machine builders, system integrators, OEMs and end users with a modern communication gateway that is very easy to use when it comes to configuration and integration,” comments Markus Bladh, Product Manager at HMS. “The X-gateway product family is a proven and trusted solution already in place in thousands of industrial automation plants. For these existing users, HMS ensures backwards compatibility within their industrial automation systems – keeping the same high performance, reliability and low latency.“

Pluggable feed-through housing eases cable installation in industrial environments

Harting has introduced a robust pluggable feed-through connector housing to its Han-Yellock® connector family that eases the laying of cable through different rooms in industrial environments. The new panel feed-through not only facilitates handling, but also offers considerable robustness along with an IP 67 degree of protection in the plugged-in condition.

As well as being pluggable, the Han-Yellock® feed-through systems features a bulkhead-mounted housing which has been complemented by the addition of a metal housing whose shape is similar to the upper part of the housing of the standard Han-Yellock® connector.

Ease of handling results from the fact that cable sets can be completely pre-assembled and installed with the flange at the point of penetration. The robustness achieved by this arrangement means that the housings are impact-resistant on both sides of the connector and provide IP 65 and 67 degrees of protection for inserts when mated.

The Han-Yellock® feed-through housing is ideal for use in modular production lines consisting of machines in multiple rooms. The high IP protection class also makes this type of feed-through particularly suited for harsh environments where connections are exposed to fluids or dust.

HART functionality added.

ProComSol has released Rev. 4.9c of their popular DevCom2000 Smart Device Communicator Software for HART instrumentation. This revision adds HART-IP functionality to the software. 

According to Jeffrey Dobos, President of ProComSol, Ltd, “The addition of HART-IP provides a quick and easy way to configure and monitor HART devices on WirelessHART networks without leaving the office. Full DD access means the user does not need to go into the plant to view or change the configuration of a device connected to the WirelessHART network. The time and cost savings will be huge.”

HART-IP is simply the HART protocol rendered over Ethernet. To access the WirelessHART network, the user only needs the IP Address of the WirelessHART Gateway. A click of a button then provides a list of all the devices on the network including adapters, repeaters, and instruments. The user then double clicks on the device of interest. From there the entire device menu structure is displayed as defined in the device DD and the user can quickly get to the parameter of interest. No modem is required, just Ethernet access to the WirelessHART Gateway.

Robot Systems Integrator of the Year recognised!

As one of Japans foremost technology companies and one of the worlds leading manufacturers, Mitsubishi Electric know all about the challenges faced by world class manufacturing companies. They have developed a whole suite of Automation products and solutions, such as their innovative robots, to address these challenges.

Mitsubishi Electric work closely with the top integrators across Europe, and indeed the world, to deliver these innovative solutions across multiple industries. It is in recognition of these integrators’ ingenuity, skill and hard work that Mitsubishi Electric Ireland Branch has launched their Inaugural European “Robot Systems Integrator of the Year” Award. This award recognises the best-in-class Mitsubishi Electric Robot Integrators.

Modular Automation Ltd. have been awarded this prestigious title.
From Left: Shane Quilligan Operations Manager Modular Automation, Ciaran Moody General Manager Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. Ireland Branch, Mike Lane General Manager Modular Automation and Martin Dolan Business Development manager Modular Automation.
Ciarán Moody, General Manager, Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. Ireland Branch says, “It is with great personal pleasure we recognize an indigenous Irish company as one of the top Mitsubishi Electric European Integration partners. Modular Automation have set a benchmark by bringing first class manufacturing solutions to the toughest of manufacturing environments to our mutual customers.”

Modular Automation was established in 1986 in Shannon, Co. Clare. Initially the company began designing and manufacturing tools and fixtures. It quickly grew to developing larger machines for industry - due to a strong emphasis on design and advanced CAD capabilities.

Every machine developed by Modular Automation is designed, built and tested under the strictest environments. Modular Automation continuously invest in new technologies, training and the development of their facilities to ensure the products and solutions they provide are both world class and technologically advanced.

“I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of our team at Modular Automation. Mitsubishi Electric have a vast range of robots to suit our broad field of applications. Speed and reliability are the key factors for success in any robot transfer system running 24/7. Mitsubishi Electric have helped us deliver this winning combination for more than 10 years,” Mike Lane, General Manager, Modular Automation Ltd.