Friday, May 30, 2014

Medically-approved plug & go PSUs.

BEC Distribution has announced that their Stontronics range of Plug & Go Power Supplies has been extended with the addition of 12 new medically-approved units within the Stontronics HPU15 Family.

The HPU15 Range of 15W Plug & Go World Traveller Power Supplies are Medical Safety Standard 3rd Rated.

They feature a Universal AC input, with UK, Euro, US & Australian Interchangeable AC heads. The design incorporates an industry-standard 2.1 DC jack plug. They have the following protections: Over Voltage, Over Temperature & Short Circuit.

They are designed to be small and compact and have the following approvals: GS, UL/cUL & CE. They are Level V ErP/EuP efficiency compliant and have an MTBF >100,000 hours.

Stontronics power Plug & Go Power Supplies come with a two-year warranty.

Bridge monitoring for Turkish tunnel!

Sentez, the Turkish distributor of Applied Measurements were asked to design a bespoke bridge monitoring system for Turkey’s new rail tunnel - The Marmaray Project. This 76.3km long tunnel is the deepest immersed tunnel in the World and is regarded as the foremost challenging infrastructure project in Turkey.

Using Applied Measurements’ AML/SGD strain gauge displacement transducers, the tunnel provides a direct link between Halkalı on the European side of Istanbul, with Gebze on the Asian side. This modernised high capacity rail tunnel will carry up to an estimated 65’000 passengers per hour in 2015, increasing to a predicted 75’000 in 2025, saving commuters a 1 hour 15 minutes of travelling time (Figures from The Marmaray Project website passenger demand and planning.)

The Marmaray development team needed to monitor the displacement on the joints within the tunnel. To do this we created a bespoke bridge monitoring system using 3 off 50mmAML/SGD displacement transducers, forming a triaxial measurement of each joint. TheAML/SGD series of displacement transducers utilise strain gauge technology to convert the linear movement of the joints within the tunnel into an analogue electrical signal. TheAML/SGD series of displacement transducers were chosen for their excellent accuracy (0.1%), coupled with their high resolution and long-term stability, making them a perfect transducer for The Marmaray Project.
Applied Measurements’ 50mm higher accuracy AML/SGD linear variable displacement transducers were wired into a custom-made IP68 die cast enclosure. This IP68 enclosure housed 3 off SGA load cell amplifiers, protecting the amplifiers from moisture ingress. This provided the Marmaray team with an amplified signal enabling them to accurately monitor the displacement of the joints within the tunnel. These SGA series of load cell amplifiers are capable of delivering highly stable, high speed, industry standard analogue outputs, such as 0-10Vdc or 4-20mA, from very low-level input signals and are available next day delivery.

"Applied Measurements are proud to have been involved in such an important project for Turkey, said a company spokesperson. We hope to continue to assist with new and existing projects through our new Turkish distributor Sentez."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ultrasonic flow.

The NEW Sonic-Pro® S4 is an inline Ultrasonic flowmeter  from Blue-White, features flow measurement technology with no moving parts, and no internal liners to wear out.

The S4 Inline pipe fittings facilitate installation of the meter. The unit is capable of measuring water flow using the Transit Time method. A special low power mode permits operation with battery for limited functions.

Optional advanced data communication protocols include Industrial Ethernet, Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP, PROFIBUS TPV1, and PROFINET. Download data logging files directly to a flash drive via USB. Dual relays for rate alarms, total alarms, or proportional feed control.

The Sonic-Pro S4 Ultrasonic flowmeter is NSF 61 Certified, the housing is NEMA 4X (IP 66) for wash-down. There is a comprehensive two year warranty.

General manager appointed for EMEA by connectivity company!

B&B Electronics has appointed technology industry veteran Gary Sheedy as the General Manager of its EMEA operations based in Galway (IRL). Mr. Sheedy will manage the EMEA sales teams and have P&L responsibility for the EMEA operation. He will also take on an international business development role for B&B Electronics, drawing from his two decades of high-tech industry experience on the international stage.

Gary Sheedy
An engineer by background, Mr. Sheedy has worked in all areas of high tech, from design and development to manufacturing and test in many international arenas including the US, Britain, Germany and Australasia/Asia. He also brings significant experience in general management, business development and technology leadership.

Mr. Sheedy’s previous work experience includes engineering and engineering management positions with Infineon AG (Formerly Siemens AG) as director of tools and software, and with Advantest Europe GmbH as EMEA SAE Manager. He has also served in commercial sales and marketing positions with Dynamic Controls (a subdivision of Invacare Corp.) as GM of product development, and with Invenco Group Ltd. as the global head – OEM business development.

“Gary has a strong track record in solutions-based business development, and we are lucky to have him,” said Jerry O’Gorman, B&B’s CEO. “He understands the processes, procedures and actions that are necessary to grow a profitable business with sustainable growth, and to deliver unique products to customers worldwide.”

Mr. Sheedy holds a B. Eng (Hons) Engineering from the University of Ulster, as well as a diploma in Industrial Studies. He speaks fluent German and elementary Spanish.

ATE and mass interconnect systems for British event!

At the NI Automatic Test Summit (19/6/2014 - Reading GB), the Peak Group which is a National Instruments Alliance Partner, is featuring its latest developments in automated test systems as well as test solutions using mass interconnect products from Virginia Panel Corporation (VPC).

New at the event is a range of VTAC high-speed data (HSD) connectors for the VPC mass interconnect systems. Designed for use in high-speed testing, the new connectors offer data transfer rates of over 10 Gbit/s per differential pair. Rapid data transfer is ensured when the connectors are installed in VPC's 90 Series Module, which can support up to 34 VTAC HSD connectors with two differential pairs or four single-ended connections.

The HSD contacts are gold-plated for signal integrity and maximum reliability and are compatible with several industry standard connectors including USB 3.0, Serial ATA, HDMI, DVI & DVI-1, RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet, QSFP and Infiniband.

The Peak Group is also featuring its recently announced partnership with Simplicity AI to provide integrated test solutions based on National Instruments industry-standard platforms along with Peak's test hardware and fixturing technology and Simplicity AI's advanced test & measurement software.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Test instruments form heart of semiconductor test rig!

Test instruments supplied by Yokogawa form the heart of an automated test rig developed by a major European semiconductor manufacturer for evaluating the company’s latest generation of power management chips.

These semiconductors are typically used in energy-efficient power supplies for applications such as LED lighting, motor control and ballasts for energy-saving lamps. A typical 8-pin power management device contains a controller with firmware to control the overall circuit, numerous protection functions and a PWM (pulse width modulation) circuit to control the power switch.
To ease the development of end products using these devices, the semiconductor manufacturer offers its customers “evaluation maps” for a number of standard applications. These not only demonstrate the capabilities of a semiconductor device: they also serve as a basis for customers developing their own applications. The company also uses these maps as an aid to the design and evaluation of the semiconductors: in particular, the various tests that are needed to specify the hardware and software functions of the controller ICs.

Because of the increasing complexity of the controller and the ever shorter development cycles, these tests have to be specified during the actual development of the semiconductor device. In the further phases of the development process, the tests have to be repeated as the hardware or firmware changes in order to verify the correct functioning of the chip.

The company needed to develop tests that could be carried out as automatically as possible – while also creating individual test procedures that could be used over and over again for a variety of projects, applications and components. Depending on the end requirements, these individual tests could then be combined in different configurations.

“As part of a pilot project, we are developing a set of universal individual tests, a multi-purpose test and a higher-level framework with software tools, workflows, and a repository. Later we want to transfer this concept to other applications”, says the Project Manager for the automated test framework.

The individual tests are mainly created in LabView, with each section checking a function or performing specific measurements. The test cases are designed to be as generic as possible, so that the developer only has to specify the parameters for the test. The tests are usually structured to produce only “pass” or “fail” results. For a voltage measurement, for example, the user has to ensure that there is only one test point, and then specify a date and an upper and lower voltage value as a parameter. How and what this measurement consists of is defined in the test case. This not only leads to ease of use: it also means that there is a high degree of reusability of the various test modules involved.

The actual tests are carried out on a “universal” test rig using largely standardised test procedures. Since the test objects are usually relatively simple, the test set-up consists of only a few components. These include a Yokogawa DLM4000 8-channel oscilloscope, a Yokogawa WT3000 power analyser, an AC source and a load. The devices are connected via a USB bus, GPIB interface or Ethernet network to a controller.

The DLM4000 oscilloscope features eight analogue channels in addition to over 24 digital channels, allowing the input and output voltages to be detected and displayed alongside the output current and some digital signals. As a result, the various signals can be checked for faults and parameters can be measured in the time domain.

“Yokogawa has a long history of producing oscilloscopes with features that lead to rapid results, such as cursor measurements with pulse width modulation”, says the manufacturer: “With the WT3000 power analyser, the input and output power, harmonics and flicker are measured and a pre-compliance test is performed. This gives the developer a first insight into whether the circuit complies with standards and regulations in areas such as noise emission.”

Enabling prompt, reliable, 4G failover for wireless networking in Europe.

Conel s.r.o., a subsidiary of B&B Electronics, a developer of mission-critical network connectivity solutions, has expanded its family of wireless routers to include the new Conel Bivias v2 industrial cellular router which will be available throughout Europe.

Featuring dual, independent communications modules, the router can connect to two different cellular carriers at the same time. The router can also support two different mobile technologies at the same time, such as UMTS/HSPA+, LTE, or CDMA. If one cellular connection should fail, the router will connect to the alternate cellular carrier in a matter of seconds, providing swift, automatic network backup in a single device.

The Conel Bivias v2 router takes advantage of the fast 4G LTE network data transfer speeds; up to 100Mbit/s for download and 50 Mbit/s for upload. It is specifically built for industrial M2M applications that demand speed, security and the ability to handle large data loads. With its 4G LTE capabilities it can serve as the main communications system or as a backup for fixed lines.

Designed for plug-and-play simplicity with extensive remote management, deployment and customization options, the Conel Bivias v2 router is used to wirelessly connect Ethernet equipment and other devices to the Internet or intranet. Self-diagnostics, a watchdog capability and the ability to easily create VPN tunnels ensure secure, consistent operation and extremely reliable wireless connections.

The router aggregates multiple data networking protocols. Its standard configuration includes a 10/100 Ethernet port, USB host port, binary input/output (I/O) port and dual SIM card holders for network redundancy. The Conel Bivias v2 cellular router also has 2 auxiliary ports for connecting to other types of networks such as additional Ethernet switch ports, serial RS-232/422/485 interfaces and additional Digital/Analog I/O. The Conel Bivias v2 cellular router is also available with integrated 802.11b/g/n Wi- Fi technology, which allows the Conel Bivias v2 cellular router to serve as a Wi-Fi access Point (AP) or “Hotspot”.

Facilitating communications between OPC-enabled client software!

MatrikonOPC™ has released the enhanced MatrikonOPC Server for Foxboro I/A, which now includes support for Foxboro I/A Series systems version 8.8. The MatrikonOPC Server for Foxboro I/A securely facilitates communication between OPC-enabled client software, such as HMI’s, historian’s and reporting software, and Foxboro I/A devices.

Recently, Invensys announced the deprecation of FoxAPI beginning in version 8.8 of Foxboro I/A. This update allows users of Foxboro I/A 8.8 and above to continue to utilise OPC-based communication by leveraging the AIM* API.

“At Invensys, we place a lot of emphasis in supporting the lifecycle of our systems and our installed base customers. For customers who use MatrikonOPC products as part of their existing systems, we acknowledge that Matrikon have ported their products to the preferred APIs (Application Programming Interface) in support of I/A Series systems version 8.8 and the migration of those systems to Microsoft Windows 7 & Microsoft Server 2008 R2 operating systems," said a senior spokesperson with control and safety software of Invensys.

Key features of the MatrikonOPC Server for Foxboro I/A include:

  • Support for FoxAPI, Object Manager and AIM* API;
  • Integrated OPC security;
  • Real-time (DA) and Historical (HDA) OPC data access;
  • Built-in alias configuration.

President appointed to automation leader!

Vimal Kapur has been named president of Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) the Honeywell business that supplies automation control, instrumentation and services to process manufacturers in industries such as oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, petrochemicals, and metals, minerals and mining.

Vimal Kapur
A near-30-year veteran of the process automation industry, Kapur has been with Honeywell for more than 25 years. He has held a number of key strategic business positions within Honeywell including vice president of Global Marketing and Strategy for HPS, and managing director for Honeywell Automation India Limited (HAIL). Prior to this appointment, he was vice president/general manager of the Advanced Solutions line of business for HPS.

Kapur graduated from Thapar Institute of Engineering in Patiala, India, as an electronics engineer with a specialization in instrumentation. He is Six Sigma certified for DMAIC and Growth.

He will be located in Houston, (TX USA).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

dP transmitters that connect their two sensors electronically!

The Deltabar FMD71 level transmitter, from Endress + Hauser,  uses two pressure sensor modules, each connected electronically to a single transmitter. Using a Ceraphire ceramic sensor in the pressure sensor modules, the transmitter calculates the differential pressure from both sensors and transmits the level, volume or mass via 4-20 mA with HART as a standard two-wire loop-powered device.

One sensor module measures the hydrostatic pressure (HP) and the other one the head pressure (LP). Each sensor sends a digital signal corresponding to temperature compensated measured pressure to the transmitter. This electronic system eliminates issues of traditional differential pressure measurements by doing away with impulse lines or capillaries and their related issues of icing, clogging, leaks, condensation and changing ambient temperatures.

The sensors connect to the transmitter module via industry standard, color-coded twisted pair cable and have NEMA 4X/6P (IP66/IP68) watertight housings and connections. The transmitter can be located away from the sensors in areas safe and convenient for personnel. The system meets ATEX, IEC Ex, CSA and FM specifications for use in hazardous areas including Zones 0, 1 and 2; and Division 1 and 2.

The Ceraphire ceramic cell is vacuum, corrosion and abrasion resistant, eliminating traditional mechanical issues with corrosive and abrasive media. The Ceraphire ceramic cell can be used in absolute vacuum and has excellent chemical resistance properties, similar to Alloy C.

For applications where heavy environmental wash-down is a concern, the FMD71 automatically incorporates Endress+Hauser’s dehydration module when a hygienic process connection is utilized. The dehydration module draws moisture from the ambient air inside the cell before it affects the sensor.

The FMD71 offers a standard 4-20mA HART capable output. The dP level measurement is the default 4-20mA signal while dP level, head pressure and sensor temperature can all be assigned as HART variables. Each sensor in the FMD71 system has 0.075% reference accuracy, maximum nominal pressure measurement of -15 to 600 psig, and a -40°F to 302°F process temperature capability.

The system has built-in diagnostics for continuous health indication via HART. Operators can access HART data via Endress+Hauser’s FieldCare software or Field Xpert PDA.

Improving maintenance efficiency by using device management systems!

Yokogawa has released Plant Resource Manager (PRM) R3.12, a software package that is capable of centrally managing large amounts of data from plant monitoring and control devices and manufacturing equipment, thereby allowing their status to be monitored and diagnosed online. With PRM R3.12, self-diagnostic information is now displayed in a more intuitive, easy-to-understand format based on the NAMUR NE107 recommendations, and network functions have been enhanced for upstream oil and gas applications. With this new release of its PRM package, Yokogawa aims to expand its share of the maintenance market.

Development background
Plant Resource Manager (PRM) is a software package that centrally manages field device information. With PRM, users can monitor the status of their devices and perform online diagnosis via a network. In addition, PRM centrally manages database ledgers for individual devices as well as device maintenance information that can be accessed by maintenance staff.
Manufacturers in the process industry are constantly working to improve maintenance efficiency by using device management systems such as PRM that can centrally manage large amounts of data from plant monitoring and control devices and manufacturing equipment in order to monitor their status and identify maintenance needs.

When a device management system detects multiple problems in more than one device, maintenance personnel must quickly assess the severity of each problem and prioritise their actions. Equipment failures in plants must be dealt with quickly, and so appropriate responses are required when it appears likely that a failure will soon occur. To satisfy these needs, this information is now displayed in an easier-to-understand format with PRM R3.12, allowing maintenance personnel to quickly judge which actions will receive top priority.

This new version of PRM also offers enhanced network functionality, including improved support of wireless and satellite communications for upstream oil and gas applications.

This new PRM version uses easy-to-understand NAMUR NE107-compliant symbols for the four primary device diagnostic categories: namely, failure, check function, out of specification, and maintenance required. While previous PRM versions were capable of indicating the severity of a device malfunction based on the self-diagnostic data, R3.12 makes clear at a glance what kind of response is required. NAMUR NE107 is a series of device diagnostics recommendations defined by NAMUR, a process automation user group based in Germany.

The network function has been expanded to incorporate support for narrow-band wireless and satellite communications. Consequently, both PRM and Yokogawa’s SCADA software (FAST/TOOLS) installed at a central control facility enjoy improved connectivity with the ProSafe(R)-RS safety instrumented systems that perform monitoring and control functions at widely distributed remote sites such as wellheads and pipeline pump stations. The centralised monitoring of device status at such remote locations meets customers’ need for improved maintenance efficiency. With this new functionality, Yokogawa anticipates that it will be able to expand its maintenance business in the oil and gas industries.

Globally certified explosion proof moisture transmitter provides universal solution.

Michell Instruments has announced the launch of the latest addition to its Easidew range of dew-point transmitters: the Easidew PRO XP. This explosion-proof moisture transmitter has been introduced to meet the requirements of markets where explosion-proof or flame-proof rather than intrinsically-safe certification is needed.

The transmitter is housed in a tough, explosion-proof casing, which is rated to IP66/NEMA 4. The instrument is certified for ATEX, CSA and IECEx – making it acceptable in hazardous areas world-wide. As with its sister product, the Easidew PRO I.S., the Easidew PRO XP is capable of measuring moisture in both gases and liquids. This versatility makes it an ideal option for systems integrators as they only need to stock one moisture meter or hygrometer for all moisture measurement applications in hazardous areas.

Typical applications for the Easidew PRO XP include water dew point of natural gas during processing and transmission, biomethane production, hydrocarbon refinery processing, polymer production and moisture in compressed natural gas.

The Easidew PRO XP uses the latest ceramic moisture sensing technology from Michell, and is capable of measuring dew points in gases from -110°C to +20°C and 0-3000 pppmV. For water liquids the measurement range is from 0-3000 ppmW. With a 450 bar (6527 psi) pressure rating, EN10204 3.1 material certified parts and NPL/NIST 13-point calibration certificate, it meets all the current demand of the process industry.

The Easidew PRO XP is part of Michell’s service exchange programme, which ensures that your process is never offline.

• Michell products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Smallest servo drive makes tweet on market!

Gold Twitter Nano Drive Delivers Ultra High Power – 4000 W in Any Industrial Environment

Elmo Motion Control has announced a major record-setting advance with the release of its flagship Gold Twitter product, the smallest, high-power servo drive available on the market today.

At just 18 grams (less than 1 ounce) in weight, and less than 13 cm3, the Gold Twitter delivers up to 4000 W of qualitative power, ultra high current such as 50 A / 100 V with the most advanced servo capabilities and support for EtherCAT and CANopen field-bus communication standards for deployment in a variety of application configurations, compliant with international safety, EMC standards and STO certification.

»At a record-setting power density while delivering ultra high power of 4000 W, we improved the efficiency by 200%, reduced the volume by 75% and increased the power density by more than 400%.

The GOLD Twitter is an excellent solution for applications that require very high servo performance but are very limited with space. In addition, the GOLD Twitter is rugged to meet the growing needs to mount the drives »on the motor», »next to the motor», or »on the moving mechanical load», thus ensuring the high servo performance and saving huge costs in hardware and cabling.

We´re not aware of anything in the industry that approaches this power and size density,» Haim Monhait, Elmo CEO concluded.

The Gold Twitter runs optimally on any servo motor and operates in current, velocity, and advanced position modes.

The Gold Twitter supports "any feedback" sensor in single, dual and gantry loop configurations.

Based on the premise that "the best way to dissipate heat is not to generate it in the first place," the Gold Twitter incorporates Elmo´s proprietary FASST (Fast and Soft Switching Technology) resulting in >99% efficiency with negligible EMI.

Easily set up and tuned using the Windows® based Elmo Application Studio II (EASII) software,
Gold Twitter servo drive can operate as a single-axis control solution or as part of a multi-axis control system in a distributed configuration real-time network. Among its expanded features, the Gold Twitter incorporates a powerful internal breaking shunt resistor and multi extended I/O interface.