Friday, September 19, 2014

Wireless standard achieves international recognition!

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has announced ANSI/ISA-100.11a-2011, "Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications," has been unanimously approved by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as an international standard and will be published by year end with the designation IEC 62734.

Since its initial approval by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 2011, ISA-100.11a-compliant devices have found wide global use, with more than 130,000 connected devices reported in 2012 and over 1 billion hours of operational service at customer sites.

ISA-100.11a was originally developed with international collaboration following ISA's open consensus process as accredited by ANSI, which requires participation and voting by experts from multiple stakeholder groups including end-users in addition to suppliers—ensuring that all views and needs are taken into account. ISA100 voting members, including those from end-user companies deploying wireless systems in real-world industrial applications, overwhelmingly voted to approve ISA-100.11a.

ISA-100.11a / IEC 62734 provides reliable and secure wireless operation for monitoring, alerting, supervisory control, open loop control and closed loop control applications. The standard defines the protocol suite, system management, gateways and security specifications for wireless connectivity with devices supporting limited power consumption requirements. The focus is to address the performance needs of process manufacturing applications, which include monitoring and process control where latencies on the order of 100 ms can be tolerated, with optional behavior for shorter latencies.

IEC 62734 utilizes Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), adheres to the OSI model and uses object technology—all necessary to support the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT). In addition, the standard fully supports the ETSI EN 300 328 v1.8.1 European Union specification taking effect in 2015.  Current industrial wireless products branded as ISA100 Wireless® already meet this requirement.

IEC 62734 is supported by the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute (ISA100 WCI) under the ISA100 Wireless® brand. ISA100 WCI conducts conformity assessment for ISA100 Wireless (IEC 62734) products, develops complementary specifications and facilitates collaboration in the ISA100 Wireless technical ecosystem.

Food safety and reliability ensured!

Festo’s MPA-C valve terminal meets IP69K requirements

Augmenting Festo’s ‘Clean Design’ portfolio, the MPA-C valve terminal sets a new industry standard by meeting the requirements for protection class IP69K and CRC4 - the highest corrosion resistance class from Festo. The MPA-C boasts many innovative valve functions and the modular sub-base design facilitates maximum flexibility to easily expand to a maximum of 32 valves or solenoid coils.

“Safety in food production is ensured by international directives and standards such as the EC Directive 2006/42/EC for Machinery and EN 1672-2 and EN ISO 14159 for hygiene requirements,” explains Jacqui Hanbury, Product Manager at Festo. “To help system builders and food producers meet these requirements as simply as possible, Festo has developed a range of automation components for use in hygienically critical environments and those subject to intensive cleaning.”

With FDA approval for all external materials and the valves being lubricated using NSF-H1 food-grade grease, the valve terminal can be used in both food and splash zones. A redundant seal system allows trouble-free, intensive cleaning with high pressure jets or foam, enabling installation in locations with harsh environmental conditions subject to cleaning in accordance with IP69k.

Offered with the electrical interface on the front or back, the MPA-C supports multi-pin, fieldbus or Ethernet communications. Individual sub-bases are combined to provide between 2 and 32 valve positions offering exactly the right amount of valves for your application and each valve can be in a separate pressure zone if required. In addition, dependant on the level of protection required, each position can be supplied with or without manual override. Valve types include a 5/2-way single solenoid valve, which for safety applications can have a mechanical spring return; a 5/2-way valve with double solenoid and a 5/3-way valve, which can be exhausted, pressurised or closed in mid-position. Dual versions of 3/2 and 2/2-way valves are also available and the MPA-C 3/2-way valve can accommodate a specific air supply connection per valve if required.

Long life peri-pump with added chemical resistance!

Blue-White® has introduced a new heavy duty pump tube, Flex-A-Prene™ available exclusively for Blue-White’s Flex-Pro® and Proseries-M® Peristaltic Metering Pumps.

Flex-A-Prene™ has been carefully engineered and designed for optimum performance and pressure capability. Because it offers unmatched tube life, precise flow rate, and high chemical resistance, this new tube design cuts down on pump maintenance and related costs.

The long lasting, dual molded tube withstands high pressures (up to 125PSI), and retro-fits onto all Flex-Flo® and Proseries-M® Model peristaltic metering pumps currently in the field.

This exclusive clamp-less tube fitting is available with multiple connection fitting types, including ½” M/NPT, ½” barb fitting, 3/8” OD tube compression, tri-clamp and quick disconnect. Multiple patents are pending.

Certification boosts demand for FTIR multigas analyser!

Quantitech has experienced a surge in demand for the Gasmet portable FTIR emissions analyser, the DX4000. “We believe that this instrument is now the only portable FTIR with MCERTS certification, and this is driving demand for both instrument rental and sales,” says Dominic Duggan.

The Gasmet DX4000 portable FTIR gas analyser is typically used in stack emissions monitoring, comparison measurements, catalytic process control and other applications where multiple gas compounds need to be accurately monitored in a hot and humid sample gas. The corrosion resistant sample cell is heated to 180 °C, which ensures that the sample stays in the gaseous phase even with high concentrations of moisture or corrosive gases.

The DX4000 comes equipped with easy-to-use Calcmet™ software, which can display the concentration results in ppm, mg/Nm3 or Vol-%, and all measurement data can be stored for further analysis

Typical configuration for the instrument enables the simultaneous measurement of H2O, CO2, CO, NO, NO2, N2O, SO2, NH3, CH4, HCl, HF and different VOC´s. However, additional gases can be added without any hardware changes.

The instrument is often supplied with a Gasmet™ portable sampling system, which employs a hot-and-wet measurement principle (no drying or dilution), to ensure that samples are representative.

One Ethernet hardware product – any industrial Ethernet network!

New Ethernet solution from HMS Industrial Networks makes it possible for device manufacturers to download the industrial Ethernet protocol of choice to standardized Ethernet hardware from HMS.

HMS Industrial Networks now releases “Anybus CompactCom for Common Ethernet” – a communication solution which includes an Ethernet hardware that is loadable with PROFINET, EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP or Ethernet POWERLINK. This brings full flexibility to device manufacturers, who can simply download the desired industrial Ethernet protocol to a CompactCom chip, brick or module before delivery to the customer.

Comes in three different form factors

Launched as part of the Anybus CompactCom 40-series, the Common Ethernet solution is available in three different form factors depending on the required level of integration to the host device: Chip, brick or module, all loadable in the same standardized way.

“As the industrial network market moves towards industrial Ethernet, the CompactCom Common Ethernet solution instantly becomes a key component in our offering. It makes life easier for device manufacturers, since they do not have to stock finalized CompactCom products for different industrial Ethernet networks – instead they can simply download the network protocol that corresponds to customer orders to our standardized Common Ethernet hardware,” comments Leif Malmberg, Product Line Manager, for embedded products at HMS.

“Since the module is built on proven Anybus CompactCom technology powered by the Anybus NP40 network processor, customers will also get instant access to the entire CompactCom family with one implementation project. This means access to any fieldbus and industrial Ethernet network by simply plugging in another Anybus module.”

Supports IT functions

The Common Ethernet concept supports IT functions by default, meaning that it can be used as an Ethernet TCP/IP solution if the user wants to develop connectivity to a proprietary Ethernet network.

Firmware Manager included
By using the accompanying Firmware Manager software, users can easily download firmware for their network of choice. It is also possible to use FTP or the application interface for downloading firmware.

Smart field devices!

White paper shows how safety monitoring software can use data from smart field devices to improve safety system performance and operation.

ACM Facility Safety published a white paper, “Using Smart Field Devices to Improve Safety System Performance,”  shows how safety monitoring software and smart field devices can improve safety system performance and operation.

Many process plants have smart sensors, instruments and valves installed as part of their safety systems, and these smart field devices can provide a host of useful information to the safety system.

But without a plan supported by the right analytical tools, the flood of data from smart field devices can quickly overwhelm users. Safety monitoring software helps make sense of the information from smart field devices by turning their raw data into actionable information.

The safety monitoring software supplies information to operators in easy-to-understand formats. It turns raw data into graphs, charts, and diagrams that show overall safety system performance at a glance, while also allowing operators to drill down to reveal details.

This white paper describes how to use safety monitoring software to distill the data from smart field devices and other sources into easily understood and actionable information that can improve the operation of the safety system.

Plant safety & reliability with migration increased!

Emerson completes burner management system migration for Sasol

Emerson Process Management has successfully completed a DeltaV SIS burner management system migration project in Sasol’s integrated chemical plant in Sasolburg, (ZA).

Sasol is a global energy and chemical company that produces fuel, oil, gas, polymers, chemicals, and fertilisers. The company has a large market for waxes that are used for an array of applications including adhesives, construction boards, cosmetics, packaging, pharmaceuticals, polymer processing, rubber, and tyres.

BMS Panel
A burner management system (BMS) is the last line of defence in preventing the catastrophic failure of boilers, fired heaters, and other industrial heating systems. In the Sasol plant’s wax work-up production process, the old burner management system for a distillation column furnace reached its end of life and had to be replaced. Running continuously with scheduled shutdowns occurring between two to five years apart, this furnace was very critical to the production and its failure would cause a production loss of up to $150,300 per day.

Sasol selected Emerson and its local business partner, Aveng Automation and Control Solutions (A&CS), to migrate the old system to Emerson’s DeltaV SIS for Burner Management during the plant’s annual scheduled shutdown in 2014. The solution ensured that it would be integrated seamlessly into the plant’s DeltaV distributed control system, which Sasol adopted in 2012. Moreover, it fulfilled Sasol’s objective to be in full compliance with the South African National Standards (SANS) accreditation 329, which sets the safety standards for industrial thermo processing equipment.

"Safety is a top priority and a core value at Sasol,” said Willie de Beer, Senior Control Technician from Sasol Wax. “Emerson’s demonstrated technology leadership and project expertise, together with Aveng’s excellent local support, ensured a smooth migration process that was completed quickly and ahead of schedule. Through their support, we were able to deploy an advanced system to protect our people and assets from burner hazards.”

Emerson’s Burner Management application allows the furnace to go safely through all relevant states, from start-up, to operation and shutdown when needed. It comes with IEC 61508 TÜV certified function blocks that simplify logic configuration, testing, and troubleshooting. An intuitive, graphical control environment conveys critical information in a single glance so operators can understand furnace conditions in real-time, place burners and igniters in and out of service safely and fast, and initiate other timely actions to maintain safe operating conditions.

"We are very happy that we have been able to help Sasol achieve the state of the art burner management,” said Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer for Emerson. “This project demonstrates our DeltaV SIS system's flexibility to meet BMS needs, increase visibility to plant processes involving fired equipment, and reduce engineering and complexity in system planning, design, configuration, and testing.”

Multi-database functionality ensures versatility in LIMS

The Matrix Gemini LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System), from Autoscribe Informatics is supplied complete with 3 separate databases. Since each database can have its own independent design, this versatile arrangement means that widely varying requirements can be accommodated on the same system. Typically one database is used for current/active samples, another for archived samples and the third for development and/or training purposes.

Matrix Gemini is an ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) compliant system which will operate with a number and mixture of commercial databases to suit either corporate standards or user preferences. Each database group operates independently and can have a completely different configuration. This flexibility means separate departments within the same organization can optimise screens for their purposes if required.

This scalability allows a single copy of Matrix Gemini to be used across a wide variety of operating scenarios. For example, it can be installed as a single-user workstation system, on a local network with a few users, or on a wide area network supporting multiple laboratories at different sites. Users may be assigned to specific database groups with different levels of access authority in each. Additional databases can be added with no practical limit

Machine vision resources for everyone!

A 450-page Imaging and Vision Handbook, regular training courses, mobile device apps and a dedicated video channel are just some of the comprehensive machine vision resources provided by Stemmer Imaging. As Europe’s largest independent supplier of vision technology and services to industrial and scientific OEMs, system integrators and reseller markets, the company is keen to share its wealth of industrial vision expertise with its customer base.

The Imaging and Vision Handbook is an indispensable reference guide for all users of vision technology. Available in printed versions or as an e-book for Windows, Google Android and Apple mobile devices, the handbook provides detailed explanations of the different basic technologies related to illumination, lenses, cameras, image acquisition, software, cabling and systems as well as the functionality of important accessories. Each of these categories is supplemented by a comprehensive product section containing all of the technical data needed to select the best components for a given application.

For assistance in the design of optics for machine vision systems, the LensSENSOR app is available for download from the Apple iTunes Store. This allows a number of key parameters such as focal length, object distance and object size to be calculated as well as the determination of the maximum object width and height, working distance and aperture angle after selecting the sensor size used. The app can also calculate the maximum resolution which can be achieved depending on the particular configuration.

Machine vision education for end-users and vision integrators alike is a key part of industrial imaging support. A regular programme of product-specific training, independent machine vision theory training and best practice training is run in conjunction with the European Imaging Academy, an educational initiative from Stemmer. In addition, the co runs a Vision Technology forum, which in 2014 attracted over 350 participants and featured over 40 technical presentations covering a comprehensive range of vision technologies, as well as hands-on workshops for 2D and 3D vision systems and a mini trade show with over 30 exhibitors.

The STEMMER IMAGING website is also a valuable resource, featuring a dedicated video channel that provides a wide range of imaging and machine vision application, product and training videos. New videos are added on a regular basis. A series of useful ‘Technical Tips’ can also be downloaded.

Sensors for TOC monitoring!

Sensors from Edinburgh Sensors, are now being integrated into a number of systems for Total Organic Carbon (TOC) measurement. A number of key global players have adopted Edinburgh Sensors products into their applications and as interest continues, Edinburgh Sensors are becoming the product of choice.

Total Organic Carbon represents a measure of the amount of carbon, in a water sample, that has a biological source, this includes oil.

The Total Inorganic Carbon (TIC) is typically removed from a sample using acidification and/or purging before oxidising the remaining organic carbon in the water sample to carbon dioxide and then measuring the amount of carbon dioxide produced.

There are several methods of oxidising the organic carbon employing: - oxygen, wet chemistry, UV radiation or heat to produce the carbon dioxide. Whichever method is used, the result is carbon dioxide dissolved in a carrier gas, commonly oxygen.

The carrier gas is passed through the Edinburgh Sensors NDIR gas sensor to measure the carbon dioxide content. The higher the carbon dioxide concentration the higher the TOC level and the less clean the water sample is.

Depending on the cleanliness of the water under test and the methods used different carbon dioxide concentrations are to be expected in the carrier gas, from wastewater with mgms/l of organic carbon giving % levels of carbon dioxide to drinking water with y μgms/l giving ppm’s of carbon dioxide in the carrier gas.

Edinburgh Sensors is a division of Edinburgh Instruments, according to Mark Vosloo, CEO, “We are delighted that our high performance sensors products are delivering the speed, accuracy and reliability required by customers. Equally, our products are easy to integrate which makes it the product of choice.”

Explosion-proof moisture transmitter!

Michell Instrument’s newly launched Easidew PRO XP explosion proof dew-point transmitter is now available with an optional integral display, for improved ease of use. The local display provides engineers with readings of moisture at the point of installation, enabling them to carry out checks and make adjustments conveniently and quickly without referring to their control room.

The Easidew PRO XP with display is capable of measuring moisture in both gases and non-polar liquids. The transmitter is housed in a tough, explosion-proof epoxy coated aluminium casing as standard, however, an alternative 316 Stainless steel casing, rated to IP66/NEMA 4, is available for offshore applications.

This versatility makes it an ideal option for systems integrators as they only need to stock one dew-point transmitter for all moisture measurement applications in hazardous areas.

The Easidew PRO XP moisture transmitter 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. In 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.

As part of their continuing programme of global certifications and pattern approvals, Michell has recently gained full Canadian CRN approvals and INMETRO approval for Brazil for the Easidew PRO XP. This is in addition to the certifications from ATEX, CSA and IECEx – making it acceptable in hazardous areas world-wide. Michell is working to gain futher certifications to further enhance its global acceptance.

• Michell products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology!

Robust communications interface for rail & harsh industrial applications!

Han® Coax ETCS connector, from Harting, features robust communications interface for rail and harsh industrial applications

The Han® Coax ETCS connector is a high-performance coaxial connector designed to provide a reliable and robust interface for data transmission in railway applications and in harsh industrial environments.

The connector was originally developed for use in the European Train Control System (ETCS), in which the signal communication between the rail vehicle and the track bed is controlled by a system known as the "Eurobalise". Since this is a safety-related system, components are required that operate with high reliability over the entire product life.

Special Eurobalise coaxial cables are used on board the trains and in stationary facilities, which in turn have to be equipped with appropriate interfaces at various positions. Thanks to the Han® Coax ETCS connectors, these positions can now be equipped with a very reliable and robust interface.

A key feature of the connector is the crimp flange, which incorporates an additional crimp barrel to secure the screening braid permanently with high mechanical and electrical integrity, while at the same time providing strain relief for the cable.

The connector incorporates a screened coaxial Han-E® crimp contact with an impedance of 50 ohms, and is optimised for large conductor diameters up to 12 mm.

The Han® Coax can be fitted compactly into the established Han® 3A and Han® 3 HPR housing - making it ideally suited for robust coaxial data interfaces.

DC calibrator combines precision performance with ease of operation!

The 2553A, a precision DC calibrator from Yokogawa, combines precision performance and ease of use for the calibration of measuring instruments including analogue meters, thermometers, temperature transmitters and data loggers.

The new unit features high accuracy, high stability, low noise, and high resolution. Intuitive operation is aided by the provision of dials for each digit and switch and a clear display using traditional 7-segment LEDs.

The 2553A is the successor to Yokogawa’s earlier 2553 model, but offers higher performance in terms of range and accuracy, additional temperature measurement options, resistance generation, and a choice of communications interfaces as well as being much lighter. The 2553A can be used with existing 2553 programs, allowing its integration in a system containing a mixture of 2553As and 2553s.

The heart of the instrument is a DC current/voltage generator with five voltage ranges from 10 mV to 30 V, four current ranges from 1 mA to 100 mA, ten different types of thermocouple (as specified in IEC standards) as well as Pt100 RTDs (resistive temperature detectors), and a 400-ohm resistance generation range.

By setting temperature value, the 2553A generates thermocouple electromotive power and can therefore be used to calibrate temperature controllers. It also generates temperature-related resistance values for RTD measurements. Settings can be made by resistance value as well as temperature, making it possible to calibrate using the resistance value.

The 2553A also offers RJC (reference junction compensation) at the output terminals, with a choice of three modes: internal, external and manual.

User defined temperature calibration can be achieved by copying text files including relationship parameters between temperature and voltage or between temperature and resistance, allowing calibration curves to be generated for various types of thermocouple and RTD.

Text files can be easily created by text editor or Excel on a PC. Files can be easily transferred by “drag & drop” operations when the 2553A is connected to a PC via a USB cable, letting the PC recognise the 2553A’s internal memory as a mass storage drive.

The 2553A can also be used to calibrate sensor transformers and transmitters for pressure, volume flow and temperature as well as environmental parameters such as pH, ORP (oxidation reduction potential), conductivity or dissolved oxygen. It can also simulate 2-wire transmitters for 4-20 mA signals.

The 2553A measures 132(H) x 213(W) x 300(D) mm, and weighs approximately 3 kg. It comes complete with USB, Ethernet and GP-IB communication interfaces.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Motor repair equipment brochure!

This new 20 page brochure from Whitelegg Machines of Crawley (GB) comprehensively covers all instruments, tools and accessories for the repair and servicing of motors, coils and armatures.

As well as including their existing range and with new additions in the testing category, the brochure covers all operations from dismantling and cleaning through coil winding, impregnation curing and finally testing.

The brochure is available as hard copy and as a web download/turning page book.

Established over 80 years Whitelegg have built up strong worldwide as well as UK markets specialising in electric motor equipment. Sales engineers are always on hand for advice.

Consummables & Spare parts supplier in France

AdoptSMT France Sarl was set up in summer 2014 in order to be closer to the existing customers of AdoptSMT group and to win additional customers.

Frédéric Doré
Frédéric Doré is the field sales engineer bringing AdoptSMT’s complete range of consumables, spare parts, service, feeders and overhauled machines for the PCB Assembly process to the French customers. Mr. Doré has been working in the PCB Assembly Industry for many years, including a long period for an American leading manufacturer of PCB Assembly equipment. He is therefore well skilled in understanding the needs of his French customers – and also in translating this to international suppliers which AdoptSMT now represents in France.

He works from his home office in Normandy and gets supported from the office by Gaëlle Badufle.

Brilliant LCD displays.

Transonics plc has signed a distribution franchise agreement for Great Britain with Zettler (Xiamen Zettler Electronic Co, Ltd.), the China based manufacturer of leading-edge LCD displays. Zettler established the DISPLAYTRONIC brand in 1998 to develop and sell a wide range of LCD Displays including digital TFT panels, character modules, graphic modules, custom glass and BTN (black twisted nematic) and complete custom designed displays.

Displaytronic displays available from Transonics.
They design and manufacture LCD displays using fluids from TN/HTN/STN/FSTN/TFT incorporated in COB, TAB, COG or COF packages. DISPLAYTRONIC LCD displays are ideally suited to industrial applications due to their long term product availability (typically 5-10 years), long operational lifetime, excellent quality and high reliability.

Typical applications for these LCD Displays include industrial HMI applications such as motor controls, heating and ventilation equipment, lighting controls, building management, security and hand held terminals. The range includes many standard displays with customer specific options for backlight colour and interfaces this allows customers to match the display colour to their product or corporate image.

The  displays are manufactured in their ISO9001 certified factory in Xiamen China using highly automated equipment. This results in short lead times and very competitive prices.

DISPLAYTRONIC have recently launched a new 7” TFT colour display with built in TFT controller and driver. Featuring 800*RGB*480 resolution, built in cache memory, optional built in touch screen and an operating temperature range up to 85ºC, this display is ideal for demanding HMI applications.

Other recent product introductions include an I²C bus character module for industrial systems, a low cost, low power 128 x 64 COG module and a new 240 x 128 graphic module with an integrated touch panel controller

Daniel French, Managing Director of Transonics plc, comments; “Transonics is proud to represent DISPLAYTRONIC in the UK. This leading Chinese manufacturer offers a very extensive range of LCD displays for industrial HMI applications at competitive prices and short lead times. Nothing improves the look of a product more than a clear, crisp, bright display. So if it’s to refresh an existing product or to add ‘wow factor‘ to a new design, contact Transonics today to discuss your LCD display requirements”.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hygienic level measurement!

Siemens has developed a new hygienic encapsulated antenna with a measuring range of up to 20 meters for the Sitrans LR250 radar level transmitter. Its lens is made of TFM PTFE (next- generation polytetrafluoroethylene), a special feature that makes the antenna fit for use in hygiene-sensitive applications. The user benefits from minimal maintenance and easy cleaning.

Sitrans LR 250
The encapsulated antenna comes with a TFM 1600 PTFE lens which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and certified in accordance with the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) Class VI. It also complies with the 3-A sanitary standard and has been approved by the European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG) for use in hygienic applications.

A selection of 17 standard hygienic process connections is available for linking the antenna with the Sitrans LR250 radar level transmitter, making it fit for use in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries. Users will appreciate the antenna’s minimal maintenance requirement and ease of cleaning as the flushmounted lens antenna does not need to be removed for clean-in-place cycles.
Sitrans LR250 for use in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries

Semiconductor Data Book!

The latest Diotec Semiconductor Data Book and Selection Guide is now available from Transonics plc.

The Diotec Data Book Edition 24 covers the full range of semiconductors available from Diotec and many new products including;

  • Schottky Diodes with 150V reverse voltage withstand and up to 175°C junction temperature
  • TVS Diodes having 3000W peak pulse power
  • Axial Diodes offering 25A capability at up to 2000V
  • Schottky Diodes in a Power SMD package rated at 5, 10 and 15A at up to 100V
  • Superfast-Efficient Rectifier having rated at 1, 4 and 8A and up to 600V

Diotec Semiconductor AG is a specialist manufacturer of diodes and rectifiers with their HQ in Heitersheim, Germany and with additional manufacturing facilities in Europe, China and India. Applications for Diotec products include rectifiers in power supplies, diodes for signal processing and circuit protection devices; all critical components in modern electronic products.

The new Diotec semiconductor selection guide includes diodes and rectifiers, bridge rectifiers, diacs and HV-diodes, diodes and rectifiers in power packages and SMT mounting options, transistors and small signal diodes. The guide also includes a useful case cross-reference guide.

Daniel French, Managing Director of Transonics, comments, “Diotec is a high quality source for semiconductors and a very important franchise for Transonics. It forms a major part of our very wide component offering for the power conversion market which included microcontrollers, inductors and transformers, connectors and PCBs."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Automation in enclosure assembly!

Kiesling Maschinentechnik, a member of the internationally successful Friedhelm Loh Group, is a specialist for automation solutions in switchgear manufacture. After a five-year development period, the Averex, the world’s first robotic wiring centre is production-ready. But first, two real-world field tests will be conducted in the second half of 2014.

Averex has been specially developed for wiring enclosure mounting plates. The system cuts the wires to the correct length before stripping and crimping with wire ferrules, feeding the wires through the cable duct and attaching them to components such as terminal blocks, contactors and motor circuit breakers.

On average it takes around 180 seconds to complete this wiring process manually but Averex finishes the same task in approximately 40 seconds. Exceptionally reliable, Averex uses lasers to identify parts and check their dimensions against the assembly tolerances. Automation reduces the number of required working hours by approximately15 per enclosure compared to manual wiring (based on 300 wires).

Control software, with routing module, is particularly simple to use, featuring an intuitive graphics-based operator interface and can be integrated conveniently with electronic wiring lists and CAD layout tools. The solution’s stand-out technical feature is its’ patented machine head, which can be rotated by 270 degrees and includes cable routing, cutting, stripping and crimping units, torque-controlled screwing and, pre-punched holes are provided in the reinforcing plate.

Battery analysers simplify maintenance and performance testing of stationary batteries and battery banks!

Fluke has introduced a range of battery analysers for simplified maintenance, troubleshooting and performance testing of individual storage batteries and battery banks used in critical battery back-up applications. The compact and rugged Fluke 500 Series Battery Analysers cover a broad range of battery test functions, ranging from manual DC voltage and resistance tests, to full condition testing using an automated string function testing, and a test probe integrated infra-red temperature measurement system. They have been specifically designed for measurements on stationary batteries including GEL, AGM (Absorbed Glass MAT) and float open cells.

The entry-level Fluke BT510 Basic Battery Analyser features an intuitive user interface for manual and automated sequence testing of battery strings with automatic storage of readings including voltage and resistance. The Fluke BT520 Battery Analyser and Fluke BT521 Advanced Battery Analyser come with an enhanced interactive test probe set, featuring an LCD display and verbal audio feedback, which increases throughput by allowing the user to perform all necessary test functions from the test probe itself. The BT520 and BT521 also come with an attachable LED flashlight.

The Fluke BT521 test probe features an additional sensor for temperature measurement of the negative battery post, and the BT521 comes with a current clamp and measurement capability for DC and AC currents and frequencies. The BT521 also features Bluetooth wireless communication to provide data to an iPhone app.
FlukeView® Battery Management software included with each model provides enhanced data analysis, with fast data download from the battery analyser via a USB port. The software enables quick trend comparisons, results analysis and creation of graphics and tabular reports. The rugged mainframe construction and rugged probes with replaceable probe tips have been designed to meet the demands of repeated testing; decreasing failure rates and reducing cost of ownership

When test before you sell beats try before you buy!

The saying "try before you buy" must be as old as time itself. But at Cressall they pride themselves on being different, so they’ve created another saying: 100% test before you sell. In fact, they tell us that they believe all electrical manufacturers should apply this one!

Applying their 100 per cent test before you sell motto,  they have recently equipped their headquarters with an impulse test facility, which the carrying out of impulse tests of up to an impressive 400,000 

Their  impulse voltage unit is a 10kJ, four stage generator with up to 100kV per stage. In order to ensure the safety of  the testing team and other members of staff, they've created a purpose built test area. The area is fully secured, interlocked, boasts bright warning lights and an alarm sounder, all of which prevent unauthorised personnel from entering.

The equipment is used in conjunction with a four channel digital oscilloscope. Their oscilloscope has a sample rate of five Gs/s and a nine bit vertical resolution, which helps us produce and save the required wave shapes.

Much of the equipment we manufacture is for use in high voltage applications and safety critical systems. "Customers specify the fault voltage that our equipment must withstand, and - although we ensure all of the components we use meet and exceed these demands - in order to prove designs and test prototypes, we always 100% test and inspect our equipment in our fully equipped test bay. The impulse test facility helps us take that to another level in a totally separate and secure area.

"For instance, this week we are testing a standard high voltage mesh bank construction. We know it is suitable for 50kV per bank, but we've never had the opportunity to see if it could operate at higher voltages. The tests we've conducted so far indicate that the mesh would be suitable for at least 70kV per bank, so now we know without shadow of a doubt, this bank operating at 50kV is well within its limits. "

Knowing by exactly how much an application has been over-specified is very important; it enables them increase their competitiveness as a supplier of high voltage load banks or filter resistors.

"Having a high tech in-house testing facility is beneficial for the products we manufacture, but it also gives us an additional edge in our sector. We are now able to offer complete testing services to other equipment manufacturers. ‘100% test before you sell.’ "