Friday, September 5, 2014

FieldComm Group formation passes final hurdle!

The final step in constructing a single organization to lead process automation communications and integration technologies was completed when the members of both the HART® Communication Foundation and Fieldbus Foundation™ approved the merger proposed by their respective boards through a voting process that concluded on August 30. This completes a yearlong study and diligence period by a dedicated team of volunteers representing each of the foundations.(see our report Foundation & HART to merge? 26 Sept 2014)

Hans-Georg Kumpfmueller, Chairman (L), and
Ted Masters, President & CEO of new Group
The new corporation, called FieldComm Group, will be led by a board of directors composed of representatives of the collective companies from the current boards of each foundation. Hans-Georg Kumpfmueller has been elected as the inaugural chairman of the board. Mr. Kumpfmueller will lead the direction of the FieldComm Group and oversee the addition of FDI LLC in mid-2015.

Mr. Kumpfmueller has served as a leader in setting the course of device integration in his role as chairman of the FDI LLC board and as CEO of Sensors and Communication at Siemens. He is convinced the formation of FieldComm Group is "a major step forward for the process industries by leveraging the strengths of each industry-leading protocol and adding the value of the next-generation integration strategy."

The board has appointed Ted Masters as president and CEO of FieldComm Group. He currently serves in the same capacity with the HART Communication Foundation. Mr. Masters brings a wealth of instrumentation and controls experience to bear in addition to a deep understanding of the use of data analytics in enterprise systems.

Mr. Masters believes the creation of FieldComm Group is an unprecedented opportunity to build upon existing technologies and develop a single future vision toward harmonization of standards for the process automation industry worldwide. He said, "I am excited about the opportunity to work together with distinguished leaders and technologies around the globe to integrate valuable process intelligence from devices to improve the operations of our users."

During the transition and integration of the two organizations, Richard J. Timoney will serve as executive vice president of FieldComm Group. Mr. Timoney currently is president and CEO of the Fieldbus Foundation. He commented, "The joining of Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation will realize the automation industry's goal of a single, unified body to support advanced digital technology. The efforts of countless individuals and companies have helped us reach this milestone."

FieldComm Group will consolidate offices in Austin, Texas, and function as a single entity beginning January 1, 2015. Until that time, the HART Communication Foundation and Fieldbus Foundation will continue to operate independently.

Image sensor manufacturer appoints Director of Business Development for America!

CMOSIS has announced additional resources for America. The Belgian based company assigned Bruce Bradford as the new Director of Business Development based in Cary, (NC USA) to manage CMOSIS operations and growth in America.

Bruce Bradford
“We are extremely delighted with this important step in the further development of CMOSIS as a leading player in advanced CMOS image sensors,” said Lou Hermans, Chief Operating Officer, CMOSIS. “We are investing in establishing CMOSIS America and the assignment of Bruce Bradford to support our existing customer base and to pursue new relationships and opportunities. We are delighted to have Bruce Bradford joining our team as the newly appointed Director of Business Development. We see America as an important region with lots of opportunities for our business. Bruce’s long history with CMOS sensors, CCD’s and camera systems marketplace will bring our business in America to the next level. A local, US presence was the logical step to achieve this.”

Bruce Bradford brings in 30 years of cultivating successful business partnerships and developing sales growth in the high technology marketplace. His vast experience in the imaging market with companies such as Fairchild Imaging and e2v will be invaluable in developing new opportunities in machine vision, broadcast, industrial, biometrics, security and barcode applications served by CMOSIS’ products today.

“CMOSIS is a top notch high-tech company that has developed many high performance CMOS sensors meeting the increased demand of existing and emerging imaging applications. I am very excited to join the team and manage the new operations of CMOSIS in America. It is very motivating to see CMOSIS’ commitment to innovate new image sensor technologies that the market demands in America. The investment in the new entity shows the dedication to support the business in the region”, Bruce Bradford said.

Wireless Communications in Cork Harbour!

The Port of Cork (IRL) has become the first Irish port to bring a SeaFi wireless network service on board its support vessels MS Denis Murphy and MT Gerry O’Sullivan. It means resources such as video cameras, weather stations and feed from data buoys are now directly available to the bridge of MS Denis Murphy and MT Gerry O’Sullivan. Furthermore, the crews of all visiting commercial vessels, which are not equipped with a SeaFi ship station, can now access the internet from the quay walls in Ringaskiddy deep water berths, Cobh cruise terminal and Tivoli docks.

Arnaud Disant of SeaTech Data Communication Ltd will deliver a talk on SeaFi - the technology behind this which enables vessels to transfer data and use the internet via their onboard SeaFi ship station from up to 12km off Roche’s Point and along the entire 24km navigable distance to the Tivoli Container Terminal without the need for a satellite communication system or even access to theoretically available 3G/4G public networks.

This  talk, organised by the Ireland Section of the ISA, will take place in Cork's Rochestown Park Hotel at 7.00pm.  Attendees may register here! However if you are uable to attend in person proceedings will be webcast live on Harbour Wireless Webcast

Terrestrial broadband out to sea is a new technology globally and as such should be of great interest to those interested in the topic and the technological development of Cork Harbour in general.

Honouring top engineering and scientific innovations

European Engineers top in three award categories

Each year, NI recognizes innovative applications developed by engineers, scientists and researchers using a graphical system design approach with NI technology. Authors in 29 countries submitted 120 application papers. A judging committee of NI technical experts reviewed the papers and selected the 17 contest finalists and winners. European engineers were honored with three awards including the Functional Test and Physical Test and Monitoring categories.

  • 2014 Customer Application of the Year
  • Winner (Japan) Weather Radar: Design-to-Deployment Using the NI Platform.

  • Advanced Research
  • Examples in this category include how research institutions and laboratories investigate and validate the viability of conceptual technologies using graphical system design techniques.
    Finalist (UK): Using CompactRIO and LabVIEW to Monitor and Control a Compact Spherical Tokamak for Plasma Research 

  • Energy
  • Applications in this category discuss how engineers effectively integrate dynamic measurements and advanced analysis as well as embedded control and monitoring systems into their energy applications to ensure safe, optimized operation.
    Winner (United States): Developing a High-Speed Electrical Analysis for Facility-Wide Energy Research, also Intel Internet of Things Award recipient
    Finalist (United States): Controlling a Hardware-in-the-Loop Grid Simulator for the World’s Most Powerful Renewable Energy Test Facility

    German Winning Project!
    A Portion of the NI PXI System
    "With the help of the NOFFZ UTP 9065 and the NI platform, we solved the multidevice testing challenge within the climate chamber application for our customers even better. We reduced test times with the NI VST and have reached our highest test depth. Overall we, and our customers, are satisfied with the NOFFZ and NI solution."
    - Dipl.-Ing. Markus Solbach, NOFFZ ComputerTechnik GmbH

  • Functional Test
  • Applications in this category exhibit innovation in test system design with software-defined instrumentation and address challenges such as increasing efficiency, maximizing throughput, and/or ensuring production or verification quality.
    Winner (Germany): Testing eCall Emergency Call Systems With the NI Platform
    Finalist (Italy): Developing the Elektra Test System, a New End-of-Line Test Bench for Hybrid Inverters 

  • Machine Control
  • Applications in this category discuss how engineers effectively integrate dynamic measurements and advanced analysis into their machines and facilities to ensure safe, optimized operation; industrial robotics manipulation; unmanned systems design; and other applications taking advantage of advanced control tactics.
    Winner (United States): Developing a Portable 3D Vision-Guided Medical Robot for Autonomous Venipuncture, also Humanitarian Award and NI Community’s Choice Award recipient
    Finalist (UK): Controlling a Robotic Manipulator for Nuclear Decommissioning With CompactRIO and the LabVIEW Robotics Module 

  • Physical Test and Monitoring
  • Examples in this category demonstrate how engineers are using NI hardware and software to quickly develop and custom systems to perform any test on any structure.
    Winner (Netherlands): Characterizing Sound Profiles for a New Airbus Aircraft Using NI PXI
    Finalist (Korea): Hyundai Uses a Portable Sound Camera for Buzz, Squeak, and Rattle Studies Based on LabVIEW and FPGA 

    • RF and Communications
    Examples in this category highlight how engineers are testing the RF/wireless capabilities of their products or developing next-generation algorithms for deployed wireless systems using a software-defined platform
    Winner (Japan): Weather Radar: Design-to-Deployment Using the NI Platform, also Application of the Year Award recipient
    Finalist (France): Building a Satellite Navigation Test Platform Using the NI Vector Signal Transceive

  • Transportation
  • Applications in this category use NI hardware and software for design, test, and control for planes, trains, and automobiles. Some of these applications include rapid engine control unit (ECU) prototyping, machine condition monitoring of vehicle components, hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation, and in-vehicle logging.
    Winner (Japan): Advancing Subaru Hybrid Vehicle Testing Through Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation, Engineering Grand Challenges Award recipient.
    Finalist (UK): Remote Condition Monitoring of London Underground Track Circuits, also Xilinx All Programmable Innovation Award recipient

  • Student Design Showcase

  • Examples in this category feature student projects that use LabVIEW and graphical system design tools. Topics include student senior design and capstone design projects.
     Winner (Switzerland): Sepios: The Omnidirectional Cuttlefish Robot
    Finalist (Korea): EureCar: KAIST Self-Driving Car
    Finalist (United States): NASA Student Launch Project 

    “I’m proud to see three groundbreaking applications from Europe – covering the areas of functional test, physical test and monitoring as well as student senior design – win the Engineering Impact Awards,” said Rahman Jamal, Technical and Marketing Director, NI Europe.

    DC power relay!

    To address the growing market for high voltage DC battery powered systems and renewable energy applications, Omron Electronic Components Europe (OCB-EU) has added an efficient new DC power relay suitable for bicycle and scooter charging stations, UPSs, battery management systems, elevators, industrial robots, solar / wind generation systems and other applications.

    The new Omron G9EJ-1-E is capable of interrupting 15A at 400VDC yet draws only 1.2W while switching. In order to allow the relay to interrupt high currents without the contacts deteriorating, the device features a proprietary high efficiency magnetic circuit that suppresses arcing. The G9EJ-1-E also benefits from Omron’s proprietary contact driving system, which improves inrush current withstand performance and enhances component life.

    Sized at just 31mm x 27mm x 44mm, the new relay weighs just 50g and offers a compact, efficient solution for switching in high voltage DC powered systems. Features include a high insulation of 1000 MegaOhms between contacts and a sealed housing. A wide contact gap gives a high dielectric strength of 2500 VAC. The mounting brackets allow the application designer to secure the relay in any position. The relay is supplied with spade terminals allowing quick connection with industry standard connectors. The relay carries UL/CSA and VDE approval to support international applications.

    ATE and mass interconnect systems on display!

    At the Embedded Design Show (22/23 Oct 2014 Coventry GB), the Peak Group is featuring its latest developments in automated test systems as well as test solutions using mass interconnect products from Virginia Panel Corporation (VPC).

    Peak is a proven provider of automated test and measurement solutions, supporting every stage of the assembly process from component testing to highly complex functional solutions. The company has over 25 years' experience of providing innovative test solutions in the military, aerospace, rail, automotive, power generation and industrial electronics markets.

    Peak offers intelligent integration of COTS (commercial "off-the-shelf") equipment with custom-designed mechanical, electronic and system software elements. Comprehensive installation and commissioning procedures are deployed to merge Peak's test systems with customers' processes, followed up with hands-on training and the provision of detailed documentation.

    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.

    Simplicity AI, based in Farnborough, Hants., provides a range of advanced technical products and engineering services for test, measurement, control and automation, with a particular emphasis on developing automatic test and measurement software built around industry-standard platforms. The company's Tequra software suite aims to reduce the cost and risk involved with test software development, deployment and maintenance. The software also provides detailed insight into manufacturing processes and product quality.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

    Cost-efficient Enclosures.

    Efficiency is a top priority in panel building and switch-gear design and savings can be made by increasing productivity. Using an engineering solution to draw up electrical plans and documentation, in an essentially automated process, customers can benefit from a fully integrated data workflow.
    There is also a need for enclosures that are based on a uniform system platform to suit various applications. It is advantageous when switchgear projects (across all industry sectors with very different requirements) can be implemented with one single enclosure system platform.

    Rittal has “docked” their SE 8 enclosure system to its’ existing TS 8 platform, which now offers the same configuration options as traditional baying systems. Users are no longer forced to fall back on an enclosure system different from baying suites when preferring to use free-standing enclosures as stand-alone solutions. Rittal’s SE 8 enclosures use the same accessories for standalone applications as with the TS 8 bayed enclosures.

    Another advantage is the expertise available from system manufacturers relating to the planning and installation of the TS 8 system can be directly transferred to the new enclosures. Since the SE 8 and TS 8’s modular systems for interior installation are identical, planning can be started immediately. Decisions an be made at a later stage whether a free-standing or a bayed enclosure is needed.
    Rittal’s SE 8 is a one piece monobloc, consisting of two side panels and a roof, all made from one piece of sheet steel. This makes handling easier, as there is no need to mount the side panels. The rear panel can be unscrewed for easy access to the enclosure. Cable entry solutions can be employed on the integrated base frame, as in the TS 8 bayed system. Doors and base/plinth of the SE 8 have also been adopted from the TS 8 programme.

    These design options are interesting for switchgear and control system manufacturers. For instance, the SE 8 free-standing system enclosure now features automatic potential equalisation of the enclosure body with the rear panel and gland plates. Special contact elements, pushed into the surface coating during the assembly procedure, provide a secure and conductive electrical connection. This solution significantly reduces costs and assembly times.

    Rittal’s SE 8 offers better possibilities for interior installation than its predecessor (the ES 5000) as expansion on two mounting levels is possible. This increases flexibility and provides additional space. The SE 8 offers major potential savings because larger enclosure widths of up to 1800 mm are possible. Free-standing enclosures do not have to use two bayed enclosures.

    Both Rittal’s TS 8 and the SE 8 share the same climate control platform, from fan and filter unit to chiller, allowing simpler ordering and assembly due to cross-platform common mounting dimensions and output categories. The TS 8 modular climate control concept can be used without any limitations.
    Economical alternatives with the same technology are possible when there is certainty that a particular unit is not going to be expanded and that a free-standing enclosure is sufficient. Rittal’s SE 8, using the same technology, is a reasonably priced alternative to a baying system.

    Process automation for ambitious water treatment project at Nuremberg Zoo.

    A water treatment plant with state-of-the-art process automation technology is improving the living conditions of dolphins.

    The new dolphin lagoon at Nuremberg Zoo is setting new standards for the care of sea mammals. Large outdoor pools provide more space and variety than any previous European dolphinarium. The water treatment plant with state-of-the-art process automation technology is critical to the wellbeing and living conditions of the animals.

    Anyone who owns an aquarium knows how difficult it is to maintain water quality at a consistently high level. The principle “the larger the tank, the more stable the water values” depends on the number and size of its inhabitants. When they are dolphins, like at Nuremberg Zoo, the water treatment requirements are particularly challenging.
    Nuremberg dolphin lagoon: State-of-the-art filter plants with Festo automation technology ensure maximum water quality. (Photo: Tiergarten Nürnberg) 
    Cleaner than a swimming pool!
    “The water in the Nuremberg Zoo dolphin lagoon is cleaner than that of any swimming pool,” says Klaus Held from engineering firm Sixt, Heiß & Partner, specialists in complex water treatment installations. “In terms of the durability and corrosion resistance of process valves and actuators, saltwater poses much greater challenges than the chlorinated fresh water used in swimming pools.” 

    Nuremberg Zoo has its very own water treatment plant, where 2,000 cubic metres of fresh water are treated every hour. This enormous volume of water is essential for the health of its marine mammals. The plant also has to process out vegetation and animal excrement. To ensure that even in cold weather, temperatures in the outdoor pools never fall below 17 °C, the water is pre-heated to 30 °C. If outdoor air temperatures drop below –5 °C, an air dome prevents the two pools from becoming too cold.

    Pneumatics reduces noise stress
    The pneumatics used in the new system significantly reduces noise pollution for the dolphins. “The electric drives that we used before transmitted noise through the piping to the pools. This meant constant noise stress for the dolphins, which has been virtually eliminated with the pneumatic actuators from Festo,” says Held.

    The lagoon water runs through a total of six closed multi-layer filters, which are flushed out at regular intervals. To do this, the inlet and outlet are closed and the cleaning air and rinsing water are opened. The contamination exits the system via a sludge discharge and the water filters then work at full capacity again. Quarter turn actuators [DAPS] from Festo operate the main butterfly valves. They are controlled using a total of seven control cabinets supplied completely ready-to-install – equipped with valve terminals type CPX-VTSA providing the pilot operation signals – at management level.

    Everything from a single source
    The decision to use Festo as the process automation supplier was made during the planning phase on the basis of Festo's extensive product portfolio.

    “Plant manufacturer WTA Plauen quickly came to the conclusion that we could supply all their process products,” explains Festo’s Tobias Brucker, responsible for the water and wastewater industry in Germany, and Jürgen Zeiträg from the project engineering process automation team at Festo.

    Supporting seniors' independance!

    The Dutch company, Sensara, which specialises in intelligent sensor network technology, has entered into a strategic partnership with GreenPeak Technologies to provide integrated solutions of contactless, self-learning monitoring technology for the Senior Lifestyle System, Sensara’s first Family Lifestyle Solution.

    The Senior Lifestyle System App with notifications on iPhone - children and their elderly parents are automatically sharing lifestyle information, enabling seniors to feel safe and live longer at home independently, while their children feel secure that their parents are well.
    GreenPeak Technologies has announced a family of new, ground-breaking sensor and cloud based intelligent systems for Family Lifestyle integrated with Social Media.

    The first release is a Senior Lifestyle System creating a Social Media environment with applications on tablets and smart phones, where children and their elderly parents are automatically sharing lifestyle information, enabling seniors to feel safe and live longer at home independently, while their children feel secure that their parents are well.

    This Senior Lifestyle Solution uses small and unobtrusive wireless sensors to help informal caregivers to keep a caring eye on elderly family members or friends who live independently. It was developed for every family that wants to support and stimulate their parents’ independence – while keeping an unobtrusive eye on their health and welfare.

    When elderly people live alone and something happens, it can sometimes take a while before somebody notices.
In contrast, intelligent algorithms can be always on watch to inform family and friends when something might be wrong. For example when someone fails to return home in the evening, or when unusual inactivity occurs which could be caused by an accident, stroke, or illness.

    Long term changes in senior behavior can be hard to detect, because they often evolve slowly, without warnings or big events. The patented intelligence of the Senior Lifestyle Solution keeps track of the senior person’s lifestyle trends and detects unusual behavior in time to act before anything life threatening occurs. With the Sensara algorithms, up to 6 separate life trends can be monitored, based on the privacy settings that users define. The user remains fully in charge of what activities the system monitors and what it does not.

    Appointments at bolt tighteners!

    Tentec Ltd, the manufacturer and supplier of bolt tightening equipment is pleased to announce the appointment two new members of their sales team. Based at the company’s HQ in West Bromwich (GB), Rob Humphreys and Alan Hodgetts will complement existing team members to support both potential and existing customers as well as Tentec’s global distributor network.
    Rob Humphreys

    Rob Humphreys has over 30 years’ experience in bolt tensioning and will be responsible for sales in the South of England. Rob is well known in the bolting industry and is a valuable addition to the Tentec team.  

    Alan Hodgetts started his career as Mechanical Draughtsman and moved into the bolting industry as Design Engineer with global engineering group, GKN.  Since then, he has travelled the world working on numerous bolting projects in both sales and service. 

    Energy performance analytics software!

    Yokogawa is to release Energy Performance Analytics (EP-Analytics) in November. This is a software tool that uses energy performance indicators (EnPI) to track how energy is being consumed in a plant, identifies gaps between EnPI targets and actual performance, and helps to identify countermeasures to improve energy performance. The EP-Analytics software is powered by the Visual MESA™ energy management and optimisation solution.
    Typical display from the Yokogawa Energy Performance Analytics 9EP-Analytics) software tool.
    Development background
    Manufacturers around the world are working hard to improve their energy performance and protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Released in 2011, the ISO50001 standard provides a framework of requirements that help companies in the process industries effectively manage their energy performance and achieve regulatory compliance.
    Yokogawa is a leading supplier of advanced solutions and control instrumentation to the process industry, and excels in helping manufacturers conserve energy by optimising their plant operations. In 2013, Yokogawa took a significant stake in Soteica Visual MESA, a world leading supplier of energy management systems with a solid track record in providing solutions for the utility facilities at large industrial complexes. Through this partnership with Soteica, Yokogawa is able to offer the Visual MESA solution to its customers.
    The EP-Analytics plant energy performance visualisation software is based on Yokogawa’s knowhow in production processes and operations, and is powered by Soteica’s Visual MESA energy management and optimisation technology.
    Product features
    To improve plant energy performance, it is necessary to first grasp how energy is being used by each process unit. By visualising and tracking the energy consumption in each unit, inefficiencies can be easily identified and located. The EP-Analytics software runs on a workstation that is connected via an OPC interface to the control system, giving it access to pressure, temperature, flow rate, and other plant data. Based on the Visual MESA simulation engine, the EP-Analytics software uses rigorous “first principle” models to track energy flows throughout the plant and calculate the energy performance for each individual process unit and piece of equipment. This software also compares actual performance against expected energy performance to pinpoint underperforming units and equipment, and this information can be used by plant personnel to plan specific countermeasures.
    EP-Analytics’ rigorous calculation engine uses “first principle” modelling to precisely calculate how much energy is being consumed by turbines, boilers, and other plant systems and equipment. It also calculates the mass balance of the steam and other forms of energy that are supplied to the production processes, and thus can quantify energy losses and other imbalances in the overall system.
    EP-Analytics is designed to support manufacturers’ roll-out of ISO50001. The EP-Analytics software supports ISO50001 methodologies such as the “plan-do-check-act” (PDCA) cycle as well as activities such as management reviews. The British Standards Institution (BSI) has assessed the EP-Analytics software scope and functionality with regard to the key requirements of the ISO50001:2011E standard. BSI confirms that it is faithfully represented in a Yokogawa report elaborating the functionalities of EP-Analytics and that it can be used to reliably visualise data and achieve conformity with ISO50001:2011E.
    As EP-Analytics uses the same energy calculation engine as Visual MESA, it is possible to upgrade from EP-Analytics to Visual MESA, which is capable of optimising a plant’s power consumption in real time, while systems and equipment are all operating. This is a task that Visual MESA is designed for, and major energy companies all around the world use it for this purpose. In the event that a production process needs to be made more energy efficient, Yokogawa also offers a number of advanced process control and operation management solutions.
    Regarding this new Yokogawa offering, Kim Hock Teo, head of Yokogawa’s Solutions Service Business Headquarters’ Advanced Solutions Business Division, says, “Energy regulations are growing ever stricter, and this is driving up energy costs. It is clear that our customers are looking for ways to make more effective use of sensors and controllers to improve their energy performance. With its holistic solutions, Yokogawa has much to offer in this respect. I am pleased that we can now add EP-Analytics to our solutions, in partnership with Soteica. Our Advanced Solutions Business Division will continue to deliver the advanced solutions needed to improve energy performance.”

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

    New president announced for supplier of engine component measuring devices!

    Adcole Corporation has appointed Brook Reece as its new President & CEO.
    Brook Reece

    Mr. Reece previously served as Vice President Sales at Adcole Corporation for 20 years and is uniquely qualified to lead the company.

    “Our heritage is one of innovation and trusted accuracy and our vision is to be the most trusted and valued name in the space and industrial metrology industries. We are presently on an extremely fast product development track in response to the rapid technological changes in engine development. Innovation is our heritage and central to our future business strategy,” he said.

    Adcole is a leading manufacturer of special purpose machines for measuring engine components such as camshafts, crankshafts, and pistons, as well as sun angle sensors for space satellites. The company was founded in 1957 by Addison D. Cole who was President & CEO for 57 years, retired at Age 95, and sold the business to Artemis Capital Partners. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed on the announcement release!

    EN50155-compliant 3U CompactPCI® processor blade delivers high reliability for railway services!

    ADLINK Technology has announced availability of its new 3U CompactPCI® processor blade, the cPCI-3620, which runs on a low power, quad-core Intel® Atom™ System-on-Chip (SoC) carrying up to 4GB DDR3L-1333 ECC soldered memory and providing ample computing power with a thermal envelope of less than 10W. A fanless system compliant with EN50155, the cPCI-3620 features outstanding anti-vibration capabilities, excellent reliability and is well-suited for rolling stock applications, such as Automatic Train Control (ATC) for both wayside and onboard scenarios.

    ATC system examples include Automatic Train Protection (ATP), Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) and Automatic Train Operation (ATO). ATO systems use an onboard controller to collect wayside signals and compute optimised speed curves and braking profiles to enable automated travel between stations with appropriate speed and smooth stops at the correct location in each station. To create an intelligent, automated control process, the ATO system requires adequate computing power, networking functionality, reliability, and remote monitoring and management capabilities.

    The cPCI-3620 has been fully tested for the railway operating environment in order to support EN50155 compliance. Other features, such as a fanless design, extra-wide operating temperature range from -40 °C to +70 °C (-40 °C to +85 °C with airflow), EMC/EMI protection, hot-swappability, MIL-STD M12 connectors for GbE ports and DB-9 USB ports, further reinforce the product’s reliability and longevity and make it ideal for railway applications which are prone to shock, vibration and electromagnetic interference.

    The cPCI-3620 Series is available in several SKUs to meet a wide range of application requirements. For instance, the cPCI-3620N is designed as a non-front-panel-I/O processor blade; it’s front panel LEDs display the status of rear LAN and SATA drive activity for operators, allowing them to inspect the system from the front without obstruction from cabling. Fewer cables also increase reliability and ease of management.

    ADLINK cPCI-3620 supports an ADLINK-developed intelligent middleware called SEMA (Smart Embedded Management Agent), which allows system operators to monitor system health status and handle management tasks. It helps prevent system failure, enabling diagnosis and troubleshooting to minimise system downtime.

    Compact, robust, green and intelligent, ADLINK’s cPCI-3620 is not only ideal for developing smart and safe railway systems, but is also suitable for other vertical markets, such as aerospace and industrial communications.

    Harsh but fair connector range!

    Electroustic is now a franchised distributor for Amphenol Industrial, one of the undisputed leaders in interconnect systems for harsh environments. Electroustic stocks a variety of Amphenol Industrial connector products, including Ecomate and the RT360 and AT series. The products are specifically designed for rugged applications in harsh environments and can withstand extreme temperatures and vibrations.  

    The partnership allows Electroustic to offer complete Amphenol solutions, by working alongside several of the company’s divisions. From electrical, electronic and fibre-optic connectors, to interconnect systems and coaxial and speciality cable, Electroustic can guide its clients from the earliest stages of a project through to completion and post-purchase servicing.

    Ecomate circular industrial connectors come with 3+PE (Protective Earth) or 6+PE contacts and can be used for measuring and controlling applications, as well as power supply. Ecomate connectors come in a wide selection of shapes and housings made from premium moulding materials. Different models come with screw, solder and crimp termination, as well as a fastening for the protective caps of the receptacle housing. Ecomate products were designed for plant construction and machine building, which is why they have a particularly high ingress protection (IP) rating of 65/67.

    Similarly, the versatile RT360 series includes multi-way circular industrial connectors available in six shell and 22 insert arrangements with a variety of wire gauge options. The series is designed to be compatible with other industrial connector families. Due to their high average current, small package size and proven robust design, RT360 connectors are a perfect match for the most demanding industrial and transport applications.

    The high-performance AT series of connectors for automotive, heavy equipment, alternative energy, agricultural and other demanding interconnect architectures will also be distributed by Electroustic. The rectangular connectors come with superior environmental seals and are compatible with all existing standard products. 

    “Amphenol Industrial’s 80 years of experience combined with Electroustic’s 50 year history in the electronics market, makes for a unique three-pronged partnership based on expertise, quality and performance,” explained Amy Wells, Electroustic’s business development manager. “Harsh environment work is a burgeoning market for us and a growing demand, which is why we’ve chosen to partner with another market leading business.”  

    New deal for independent automation contractors and business owners!

    A new benefit to International Society of Automation (ISA) members who serve as independent contractors and business owners offers comprehensive professional/errors & omissions and general liability insurance coverage at below-market rates.

    At this time, the insurance program is only available to US members.

    For more information on the plan, including a Q&A section, visit the insurance information page on the ISA website

    However, to get specifics on coverage options, compare those options, and gain a quotation, you must be an ISA member (and submit your ISA username and password). Since only ISA members can qualify for this below-market-rate coverage plan, automation professionals who are not ISA members are encouraged to join the Society. 

    Click here to select your desired membership option and initiate the application process.
    As part of its ongoing commitment to continually enhance membership value and respond to the needs of all automation professionals, ISA now enables its members to purchase comprehensive professional/errors and omissions and general liability insurance through Lloyds of London at significant discounts to regular market rates.

    This new benefit—which applies solely to ISA members who serve as independent contractors and operate as independent business owners—addresses a significant marketplace trend. Organizations that hire automation professionals as independent contractors are increasingly mandating that these contractors possess sufficient professional/errors and omissions and general liability insurance. And, until now, it’s been difficult for independent contractors in the automation field to afford adequate coverage as prices typically range between $3,000 and $8,000 per year.

    Under this new program, ISA members can purchase this type of insurance between $1,600 and $2,400 a year, depending on the coverage option selected. Moreover, ISA members who hold current ISA certification, such as Certified Automation Professional® (CAP®) and Certified Control Systems Technician® (CCST®) status, can gain an additional 10 percent discount off the negotiated rate.

    “ISA is very pleased to offer this new benefit as it gives our members who work as independent contractors and business owners the opportunity to obtain the coverage they need at much more affordable costs,” says Patrick Gouhin, ISA’s Executive Director & CEO. “The program also enables automation companies to ensure that their subcontractors gain the coverage they need.”

    Underwritten by Lloyds of London, a global insurance market with a 325-year history and track record, the coverage includes contractual liability, cyber liability, pollution liability, and hired and non-owned auto liability, and is available for individuals as well as small corporations. AHM Insurance Group (an AssuredPartners Company) in St. Louis, Missouri, USA is the insurance broker selected to design the plan.

    Three coverage plans are offered: a plan that offers only professional/errors and omissions coverage and two plans that include both professional/errors and omissions coverage and general liability insurance with different limits.

    Fluorescence & gas laser company strengthens position in US.

    Edinburgh Instruments is expanding its US presence with the addition of direct sales support within the USA which compliments the existing technical support which was established. This will help serve the growing demand for its range of fluorescence spectrometers that include the FLS980 research grade fluorescence spectrometer, the new FS5 spectrofluorometer and high performance Laser Flash Photolysis product range. 

    US sales and support enquiries:
    T: +1-800-323-6115
    Mark Vosloo, CEO of Edinburgh Instruments commented, “Our FS5 Spectrofluorometer is taking the market by storm across Asia, and we are seeing more traction on the ground in the USA than ever before. Increased demand for high performance fluorescence spectrometers continues, in fact, we don’t anticipate this slowing down. Our customers value both our high quality products and our highly skilled in-house technical sales and operations team. Providing the right technical information before a customer decides to purchase our products and on-going support after purchase is just a part of what we offer our customers.”

    Edinburgh Instruments was formed in 1971 and has since grown from strength to strength. The company has built an enviable reputation across Europe and Asia as one of the best suppliers of high performance, high quality fluorescence spectrometers and gas lasers. The marked increase in interest across the USA in both academic and commercial markets has now led the company to recruit a growing team within the territory to work closely with customers and ensure its local support both technically and commercially.

    Pre owned test & measurement instruments!

    Microlease Certified Pre-Owned, a comprehensive programme to address growing customer demand for quality test instruments with guarantees and calibration has just been launched by Microlease. This programme will include instruments from leading manufacturers including Keysight Technologies, Anritsu, Rohde & Schwarz and Tektronix.

    “Microlease Certified Pre-Owned is central to our mission to help customers acquire, use and dispose of their test assets with maximum financial efficiency,” says George Acris, Director of Marketing, Europe at Microlease. “Through this programme, Microlease selects, refurbishes and guarantees quality instruments, sourced from our rental fleet as well as the growing number of blue-chip companies whose test assets we manage.
    A small number of quality instruments that we have taken in part exchange are also included. The Microlease Certified Pre-Owned programme creates the opportunity for sellers to realise a return on surplus equipment and for buyers to acquire instruments at a reduced cost.”

    He continued, “Microlease Certified Pre-Owned is one of the industry’s most comprehensive test instrument re-ownership programmes in terms of its breadth and scope. For buyers, this creates a much broader and deeper range of quality used instruments to select from and delivers a risk-free financial saving. By going beyond resale of surplus rental instruments, Microlease is also delivering an effort-free financial return for our asset management customers with surplus equipment. Microlease Certified Pre-Owned represents a significant expansion of our used channel, which will become a much more significant part of our business alongside our rental and new sales channels. Each Certified Pre-Owned instrument carries a comprehensive Microlease warranty, ensuring quality, reliability, and customer confidence.”

    Instruments accepted on the Microlease Certified Pre-Owned programme are inspected and refurbished according to a 23-step certification programme. All instruments undergo electrical and functional tests, validation and full refurbishment. This includes updating firmware and other software, a full internal and external clean and rectifying cosmetic issues such as damaged controls and feet. Prior to shipment the instrument is calibrated and configured to order. This includes adding options and accessories to suit the receiving customer and where possible configuring the user interface language and time zone set to the destination country. Instruments are supplied with all the standard accessories originally included by the manufacturer, including any leads, manuals and disks, as well as the correct power lead for the destination country where applicable.

    • Microlease was presented with the highly prestigious Company of the Year award for Best Practise in Global Test and Measurement Rental and Leasing Services at Frost & Sullivan’s annual Growth, Innovation and Leadership awards ceremony in London in May 2014.

    Keeping on track for World Cup success

    With video analysis an essential part of professional football, all clubs in the first and second divisions in Germany used VIS.TRACK tracking system during the seasons 2011/12 and 2012/13. In addition, trainers of FIFA World Cup winners, Germany, used parts of this system (VT.PanoramicView) during the tournament preparations. VIS.TRACK was jointly developed by deltatre (formerly known as IMPIRE) and Stemmer Imaging.

    VIS.TRACK monitors position coordinates for every player, the ball and the referees at all times during the game to allow calculation of players’ total running performance including average and maximum speeds, number and intensity of sprints and the distance covered. The system can provide statistics for the entire team for immediate analysis, so that at half-time tactics can be set by understanding both the team and the opponent’s performance during the first half.

    An enormous volume of data is generated during each match. The system records the X/Y coordinates of every player 25 times per second and stores them, yielding approximately 4 million position logs by the end of a match. Data can be presented graphically, for example as speed graphs for each player which can document a player's willingness to run over the course of a game. The extent of a player’s coverage of the pitch can be represented by a ‘heat map’. Tactical analyses can be made using 2D and 3D animations.

    VIS.TRACK can either be installed permanently at a stadium or provided as a mobile system. Two HD cameras, supplied by Stemmer and housed in a specially designed weatherproof housing are positioned at the centre line to give views of each half of the pitch. The image data are transmitted in parallel to four high-performance image processing PCs using the CVB GigE Vision server, with each PC performing a different processing function. Their Common Vision Blox (CVB) imaging toolkit was used by IMPIRE to develop the dedicated software package for tracking the players.

    VIS.TRACK products can also be used for analysing training sessions. The resulting analyses provide the opportunity of adapting the training intensity for individual players, i.e. following injury, or to improve their current performance levels. For training sessions, the use of additional camera pairs on a computer system allows activities on several pitches to be recorded and analysed at the same time

    Turn-Key Engineered solutions for industrial water using innovative modular technology!

    Wunderlich-Malec Engineering Inc. (WM) Industrial Water Business Unit announces innovative turn-key engineered water solutions using new technology from design through maintenance and operations delivered at the client’s lowest Total Cost of Ownership.

     WM supplies custom engineered, modular clean water solutions from a single source to meet the increasing demand for clean water. The Industrial Water Business will be based in Green Bay (WI USA) and focus on servicing water and wastewater customers in the United States, Latin America, Middle East, and Asia and utilize its extensive twenty-two (22) offices, 250 plus employee engineering resources.

    “We are very excited about the business opportunities presented by utilizing our strong automation expertise as the core of a turn-key industrial water solution,” says Neal Wunderlich, President WM. “WM offers a turn-key water solution using our electrical, mechanical and automation design capabilities. Built in our modern modular skid fabrication facility in Winslow, Maine, we have immediate access to roads, ocean and air delivery services.”

    Wunderlich-Malec’s Industrial Water team will deliver a complete, modular integrated water solution that is pre-assembled and factory tested meeting the client’s functional requirements. Combined with the latest technology and innovative services of its water expert partners, WM delivers a more cost-effective, higher quality, with reduced field labor and a faster delivery solution at a lower risk by utilizing its innovative modular technology solution.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    Charge amplifier module!

    The new charge amplifier module from Kistler Instruments allows a wide variety of force, pressure, torque and acceleration piezoelectric sensors to be used directly with National Instruments (NI) flexible CompactRIO platform without the use of external amplifiers. The charge signals from the sensors are directly digitized, using Delta-Sigma ADC, for processing by the FPGA and the real-time operating system. For the best possible resolution, four hardware measuring ranges have been implemented and innovations in the analog front-end allow impressively low drift values.

    One and four channel versions are available, both with 24-bit analog-to-digital conversion up to 52.7 kSps per channel, providing direct integration into CompactRIOTM systems. Configuration, control & operation, including reset/measure signal, range selection and data transfer, are programmed using the graphical programming tools LabVIEW™, LabVIEW Real-Time™ and LabVIEW FPGA™. Example ”Virtual Instruments” are supplied as standard to facilitate quick integration into LabVIEW™ projects.

    Wherever piezoelectric force, pressure, acceleration or torque signals need to be measured and processed in real-time, the new Kistler Charge Amplifier Module in combination with the NI CompactRIO™ provides an easy to implement and use system. The rugged design makes the system equally suitable for use in production environments, mobile data-acquisition applications and the laboratory.

    Awards for distribution in Europe!

    KOE Europe presented its third annual sales channel awards to three of its distribution partners for their contributions in delivering sales growth and developing design-in opportunities in the European electronics market. The awards were made at KOE Europe's distribution sales conference held at Lake Maggiore (I).
    (L to R) Raymond Sun - KOE Europe with Manuela Landsiedel, Guido Jäger, Judith Böhm, Klaus Hagenacker - MSC Technologies

    During the conference, MSC Technologies was awarded best overall distributor for strong sales performance and design-in achievement, and great enthusiasm during a period of business transition. Arrow OCS was presented with the award for best new design win performance and Eurocomposant (France) received the best new 'Start Up' distributor award. In addition, MSC Technologies also received the accolade as the best distributor for design-in activity.

    Accepting the award for Distributor of the Year, Judith Böhm, Product Marketing Manager, MSC Technologies said, "In what has been a period of change for MSC, it is reassuring to receive recognition of MSC's strong relationship with KOE and our customers. We pride ourselves in our ability to offer customers the right display products and provide value added solutions. KOE's display portfolio, commercial, logistic and technical support help to ensure we can achieve design-in success in a tough marketplace. We are very happy to accept this award as appreciation of MSC's performance promoting KOE displays."

    Mark Stanley, General Manager, KOE Europe said, "Over the last year our leading distributors have excelled in finding new design-in opportunities and developing sales. Our European distributors provide an indispensable and valuable sales channel for KOE." He continued, "It is imperative that our distribution partners are motivated and committed to grow our market share and promote our industrial LCD line-up. MSC Technologies have consistently shown strong performance and the ability to find and convert new design-in opportunities.”

    Arrow OCS was presented with the award for Best New Design Win. Commenting on Arrow's achievement in Europe, Susan Liu, Visual Brand Manager at Arrow OCS, said, "KOE has developed a strong reputation as a leading supplier of displays for the industrial market. We believe that the support offered by Arrow's team is making a significant impact on their success. Arrow is proud to be recognised for its achievement in KOE Europe’s distribution network."

    French distributor Eurocomposant was awarded Best New Distributor. Julien Berger, Chief Executive Officer at Eurocomposant, commented, "Our French team has been extremely busy in driving KOE business in the region, pro-actively working on new design opportunities with our customers. I am delighted that KOE Europe has recognised our hard work with this award."
    KOE Europe awards for 2013/14:
    - MSC Technologies - distributor of the year
    - MSC Technologies - best design focused distributor
    - Eurocomposant - best new distributor
    - Arrow OCS - best new design win

    Adapter & Fieldbus power supply module for hazardous area applications!

    Power management company Eaton has an Ex ic adapter and fieldbus power supply module, the latest addition to its Crouse-Hinds division’s MTL line of FoundationTM fieldbus physical layer components. The new MTL F30 Ex ic adapter and MTL 9192-FP fieldbus power supply module provide users with a straightforward, dependable and convenient way of connecting field instruments to FoundationTM fieldbus networks in hazardous area applications.

    “Our solutions help meet the growing and rapidly changing demands of customers working in Zone 2 hazardous areas,” said Roger Highton, MTL Product Line Manager, Eaton’s Crouse-Hinds Division. “By providing compatibility with Ex ic standards, our new line allows customers to maintain intrinsically safe practices when working on live, suitably certified field instruments in hazardous areas.”

    The new adaptor is designed for use in conjunction with MTL F300 series Megablock wiring hubs. This product release makes it easier for users to demonstrate that their solutions fully comply with Ex ic requirements, while eliminating the need to declare host H1 systems as safety extra-low voltage/protected extra-low voltage (SELV/PELV) compliant. The new line also serves as the only available solution to use the same simple fieldbus input/output (I/O) and power supply cabinet design in general-purpose installations, reducing the number of cabinets required and helping to enhance safety.

    The flexibility of the MTL F30 adaptor solution supports Ex nA, Ex d and Ex i devices on the same segment. The MTL F30 adaptors also provide a single solution for Fieldbus Intrinsically Safe Concept (FISCO) and Entity spur applications and eliminate the severe restrictions on segment length that are often associated with alternative solutions in FISCO applications. The new products are ideal for Zone 2 hazardous areas where gas, mist or vapours may be present.

    MTL products, part of Eaton’s Crouse-Hinds portfolio, provide leading electronic instrumentation and protection capabilities for the process control industries. Key applications include intrinsic safety, fieldbus, industrial networking, surge protection, HMI and visualisation, gas analysis and alarm management.

    Laser shaft alignment tool

    Fluke has introduced an easy-to-use Laser Shaft Alignment tool that provides fast, accurate and actionable answers to keep plants up and running.

    The Fluke 830 features
    • Single Laser Measurement Technology which reduces errors from backlash, resulting in better data accuracy
    • Compass Measurement Mode which enables flexible, reliable and repeatable measurements using an activated electronic inclinometer
    • Dynamic Machine Tolerance Check which provides continuous evaluation of alignment adjustments so the user knows when the machine is in the acceptable range, and,
    • Unique Extend Mode which offers unlimited measurement ranges to handle gross misalignment scenarios
    The new Fluke 830 performs the complicated alignment calculations automatically and provides the answers needed to quickly align a machine. This eliminates difficult calculations and guesswork associated with traditional alignment methods and reduces unnecessary replacement parts, repair time and unplanned downtime.

    The Fluke 830 Laser Shaft Alignment tool has been designed to simplify shaft alignment with an intuitive guided user interface and step-by-step machine set up process. All the user has to do is set-up, measure and diagnose. The 4-level severity scale compares the machine to industry accepted machine tolerances and provides specific, actionable repair recommendations.

    Unlike using the straight-edge method or dial indicators, the Fluke 830 performs the complicated alignment calculations, providing the answers needed to quickly align a machine and get the plant up and running again fast. An enhanced user interface provides easy to understand results that do not require extensive alignment knowledge and the unique “All-in-One” result screen shows both coupling results and feet corrections (vertical and horizontal) in real terms making it easy to take corrective action.

    DC:DC Converters

    Ideal Power are now offering a wide range of DC/DC converters from Glary Power Technology, one of the leading innovators of small footprint board mounted power conversion. Glary are renowned worldwide for producing extremely reliable power converters that exceed 90% efficiency, are thermally efficient and have an impressive power density to size ratio. These innovative DC/DC converters are available in industry-standard encapsulated and “brick” form factors ranging from 40W to 2KW and are ready to be fully customised to meet individual project requirements.

    Established in 1998, Glary have proved to be a reliable source for electronic design engineers seeking uncompromising PCB mounted power solutions. Glary offer a unique combination of industry-leading design, immense reliability and superior technical knowledge. The Glary business model is built on patents pushing the boundaries of technology by exceeding expectations for the design and manufacture of DC/DC converters.

    Patented Buck Reset Forward Technology exclusive to Glary, improves synchronous rectification (SR) operation by reducing the amount of components required. Achieved through a technique which improves the efficiency of rectification by replacing diodes with actively controlled switches, usually power MOSFETs or power BJTs, this innovative and unique topology design reduces heat generation, improves thermal efficiency through equal heat distribution and allows an incredible amount of power to be available.

    Reducing the footprint required by the power supply on a PCB provides a major benefit for system hardware design as other system and application critical components can reclaim the saved space.

    Glary’s Continuous improvement of designs to produce market-leading products provides an impressive feature-rich product with fewer components on system board, faster transient response, lower ripple and lower RFI noise, no Tantalum capacitors are used increasing reliability, high power density in a small form factor, along with extremely low heat generation and power loss. Single-sided component layout allows for easy mounting on the base-plate, Sink-Plate options eliminate the need for extra heat-sinks, vertical or horizontal heat-sink fins may be specified to increase compatibility with system air-flow and smooth and precise edges of the base plate allow for compact assembly.

    When a new design is commissioned or a modification to an existing product is required, the UK based IP Support Engineering Team at Ideal Power work together with Glary Technology. Ideal Power become a technical partner to the customer’s in-house design engineers to match the exact application power requirements. The IP Support team has over 40 years of experience in the power supply industry and provides local assistance throughout the whole design process from concept, design, quotations, samples and testing to approvals and standards compliance, shipping, stock-holding and after-sales service.

    New sales manager for embedded computer modules, single board computers and ODM designs in Britain & Ireland!

    congatec AG has appointed Neil Wood as Regional Sales Manager for Britain & Ireland. In his new role, Neil Wood is responsible for developing congatec's direct and indirect sales channels across these regions. In close cooperation with the regional distribution partners AMC, Avnet Embedded and Data Modul, he will focus on growing business in key markets such as medical technology, digital signage, traffic management, transportation and industrial controls.

    Neil Wood
    Neil is a qualified ONC, HNC & HND electronics engineer with first-hand experience in product development and production management. He started his sales career almost 30 years ago and spent the last 18 years selling embedded and industrial computer systems for major British companies such as Bluechip Technology, Steatite, Diamond Point International, Review Display Systems, Captec and Portwell.

    "My goal for the next 5 years is simple," states Neil. "I plan to establish congatec as the number one supplier of computer-on-modules (COMs) in the UK & Ireland, while the international team is working towards making congatec the No 1 COM supplier worldwide. I also see myself as a bit of an educator and want to explain the benefits and long term sustainability of COM-based systems to existing industrial & embedded SBC customers."

    "I am pleased that we have been able to add such an experienced player to our team," says Bernd Hacker, VP Sales & Marketing at congatec. "Neil's sales drive, contacts and knowledge of the major growth markets will significantly strengthen our position in the UK and Ireland."