Friday, October 17, 2014

Industrial UA Modbus gateway!

The Matrikon Industrial UA Modbus Gateway has been released. It is housed in a small form factor gateway that provides secure, powerful and broad connectivity to access data from RTU’s, PLCs or any other devices that use the Mobus data protocol.

Matrikon Industrial UA Modbus Gateway is well suited for challenging situations that include:
• limited power availability in remote conditions
• remote or unmanned stations that need data collection
• limited space requiring a compact solution
• operation in extreme temperatures and/or dusty environments
As a native Modbus communicator, the UA Modbus Gateway can connect to any device that uses the standard Modbus protocol both over Serial or Ethernet connections on one side and makes it securely available to OPC UA clients on the other via OPC UA over Ethernet.

Unlike Modbus, OPC UA, the next generation of OPC - the de facto standard for open standards based data connectivity, offers all the features Modbus lacks such as: security, reliability, and data modelling.  The UA Modbus Gateway allows data sharing via UA as natural next step up from using Modbus.

“The UA Modbus Gateway is a great example of the power and versatility OPC UA has to offer when embedded in a small, rugged field device. From pump stations and plants, to off-shore rigs - there is strong demand for secure, reliable data connectivity right to the data source without a PC in the middle. Matrikon OPC UA Gateway answers this demand   directly – making OPC UA data sharing as fast and easy as the Modbus protocol it interfaces with.“   said Darek Kominek, marketing manager of MatrikonOPC.

Panel feed-through housings offer sealing on both sides! #PAuto

- ideally suited to fire protection on rail vehicles -

The new Harting Han® HPR panel feed-through housings are sealed on both sides, and so meet the requirements of IP 66 and IP 68 according to IEC 60529 from both the cable side and the device side in a panel-mount installation.

With the new housings, no condensation from the device side can reach the contacts, eliminating the possibility of corrosion or even a short circuit. In addition, Han® HPR panel feed-through housings are ideally suited to fire-protection applications in rail vehicles that demand reliable sealing against fire and smoke in both directions.

The new housings also offer the possibility of factory pre-assembly of the cable sets, which can lead to additional benefits in terms of ease of handling and savings in time and money.

The Han® HPR panel feed-through housings, manufactured in robust die-cast aluminium, meet the usual requirements of the Han® HPR housing range, including protection of the contact area against corrosion, shock and vibration in harsh environments.

Variants are available for inside and outside installation for each of the sizes 6B, 10B, 16B, 24B. Han® HPR panel feed-through housings are equipped with the standard screw locking for the Han® HPR housing range.

ASTM D7345 microdistillation method for aviation fuels!

PAC’s ISL PMD 110 Complies to Newly Included Method

ISL PMD 110 from PAC, is now approved for use in the ASTM Reference Standard D1655 for Aviation Fuels. ASTM recently added ASTM D7345, the PMD Method, to the jet fuel reference standard, D1655 as an alternative to ASTM D86. ASTM D7345 is the “Standard Test Method for Distillation of Petroleum Products at Atmospheric Pressure (Micro Distillation Method)”.

Based on an innovative micro-distillation method, the PMD 110 determines the boiling range characteristics of any commercially available petroleum product, including light and middle distillates, in less than 10 minutes and using only 10 ml of sample. Thanks to its compact, robust, and portable design, the PMD 110 is easily installed in mobile or on-site laboratories.

The PMD 110 is in perfect correlation with ASTM D86 (groups 0-4), ISO 3405 (groups 0-4), IP 123, and D1160 (for Biodiesel B100). With its automated features, such as built-in calibration, automatic sample detection, and an automatic pass/fail notification makes the PMD 110 one of the easiest distillation instruments on the market.

Part of the CROWD!

As a CROWD Member, NI researches reliable high-speed data access at all points in dense networks through small cell densification.

National Instruments has announced its collaboration with CROWD, the European Union Framework Project 7 (EU FP7), to define next-generation wireless 5G communications (see also their page Paving the way for 5G Wireless). CROWD researches the combination of small- and large-density cells in a heterogeneous wireless network for an efficient architecture in which small cells meet traffic hot-spot needs while large cells offer reliable coverage for high-mobility users. 

“Current demand is barely supported by existing network infrastructure, so we need higher points of dense networks,” said James Kimery, Director of RF, Communications and Software Defined Radio for NI. “However, network densification requires advanced self-organised network techniques to manage interference. The goal of CROWD is to develop higher layer algorithms to manage increased complexity due to densification.” 

The company is one of seven collaborators in the CROWD consortium, leads the testbed activities within the EU FP7 CROWD research project in the domain of future communication and ICT services infrastructures. An NI PXI chassis running FlexRIO FPGA modules, NI 5791 RF front-end modules and LabVIEW system design software provides the infrastructure for an LTE/WiFi testbed for conducting experiments to showcase software defined networking concepts proposed by various partners in the project. 

Non-contacting radar transmitter for demanding solids level.

A version of the Rosemount 5400 series of non-contacting radar level transmitters is aimed specifically at demanding bulk solids level measurement applications. Their 5402 high frequency 2-wire radar uses Rosemount Radar Master software and unique algorithms to overcome the specific challenges of solids level measurement in vessels, bins and silos, such as inclining or sloping surfaces, low dielectric properties and high filling rates.

Inclining or sloping surfaces deflect energy away from the radar and can generate several small reflections. The Rosemount 5402 overcomes this by a new signal processing algorithm that has been developed to address this specific challenge. For applications involving dry solids with low dielectric properties that create very low reflections and thereby can result in an unstable level measurement, sensitivity is increased, noise cancelled out and echo strength increased. The measurement difficulties caused by high filling rates are met by increased sensitivity and echo traceability.

2-wire technology enables fast and cost effective installation by taking advantage of existing cabling, while still providing the same high levels of data and diagnostics that would normally require 4-wire connections.

Innovations such as Dual Port Technology, which ensures a strong signal back to the transmitter, advanced surface tracking and condensation-resistant antennas make the Rosemount 5402 extremely reliable, even in the most demanding applications.

User-friendly graphical interfaces with wizards and suggestions for application-specific configuration help users easily integrate the transmitter into new or existing control systems. This, in addition to reduced maintenance operation and advanced diagnostics, results in a quicker return on investment with overall improved uptime and enhanced safety.

The Rosemount 5402 offers connectivity to a range of communications protocols including HART®, FOUNDATION™ fieldbus, FISCO and Modbus. The device has ATEX, IECEx, FM, CSA, CRN, Inmetro, DIBt, GOST and NEPSI approvals.

The Rosemount 5402 non-contacting radars for solids are part of Emerson’s comprehensive range of level measurement devices for many applications across a range of industries. The non-contacting radars compliment Emerson’s existing Rosemount 5600 4-wire non-contacting radar for solids level measurement, the Rosemount 5300 Series guided wave radar for solids measurement in smaller vessels, and the recently launched Rosemount 5708 3D solids scanners, which are suitable for solids level and volume measurement applications in larger vessels and warehouses.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Operating housings!

Rittal’s new operating housings based on AE with handle strips, unveiled at this year’s Hanover Fair, have been noted for their attractive eye-catching design, based on the support arm system system CP 60/120/180.

Supplied as standard, the new operating housings with handle strips benefit from a standardised design and operation and replace the existing range of sheet steel operating housings.

Encompassing many new and enhanced features, such as rear or front access for servicing, an alumini-um front panel easily dismantled for machining, lock with integral door runners for easy locking and uniform interior installation via Rittal system accessories.

Available in 10 standard sizes, ex-stock, with protecti-on category IP55, Rittal’s new housings are elegantly fabricated, with high functionality which will stand out thanks to the modern, attractive design, one-man assembly and support arm connection.

Contact-free temperature monitoring in glass processes.

Visitors to the glasstec exhibition in Düsseldorf (D), will find temperature monitoring solutions for virtually all stages of glass production and processing at the Raytek/Ircon stand (hall 14, stand A39).

Raytek Marathon infrared pyrometers
reliably monitor glass production
processes without the risk of
contaminating the product
They offer a complete program of pyrometers and IR measuring systems for all temperature ranges. The contact-free systems ensure maximum reliability and speed without the risk of contaminating the product. Combined with high-performance software, they support automatic process control and complete quality documentation.

Raytek and Ircon share a booth with their sister company Datapaq, a leading provider of data logger systems for in-process temperature profiling. A central exhibit is a combined Raytek and Datapaq solution for glass tempering: The Raytek GS150 infrared temperature monitoring system creates thermal images of all glass panels before entering the quench chamber, while the Datapaq Furnace Tracker system is used for process configuration and control, recording the temperature curve during preheating, in the furnace, and during quenching.

Ircon presents the versatile applications of its Modline 7 series. With suitable cooling equipment, these robust point sensors can be used at ambient temperatures up to 315 °C. The Modline 77 and 78 models for the production of float glass and ultra-thin drawn glass are among the exhibition highlights.

Raytek furthermore showcases solutions for especially demanding processes such as glass molding and coating. These are based on the MP150 infrared line scanner which generates thermal images of glass products in moving processes, overseeing the correct heating of every single pane and the even temperature distribution. In addition, damages are instantly displayed. Based on the findings, users can immediately make corrections to the process configuration if required.

The Raytek Marathon series, also displayed at glasstec, is designed for rugged environments. It combines intelligent digital electronics and a modern electro-optical system with robust housings and application-specific accessories. The device range comprises IR thermometers for single and multi-channel operation (ratio pyrometer), thermometers for short wavelengths, and IR thermometers with fiber optics.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Enhanced application for virtualisation environment!

With the release of DeltaV Virtual Studio v2.3, Emerson has expanded the virtualisation capabilities in the DeltaV distributed control system (DCS) for easy implementation and management of on-line production and off-line development, test and training systems.

While many large manufacturing companies have used virtualisation for years in their IT departments, DeltaV Virtual Studio is designed specifically for process control systems, with a workflow and feature set that is intuitive and familiar to automation engineers. Prebuilt virtual machine templates enable easy virtual machine creation without software installation. Every virtual machine created comes with all standard DeltaV system operating settings and network connections pre-defined to ensure consistent, error-free configuration and implementation.

The latest DeltaV Virtual Studio release also includes enhanced high availability and disaster recovery options. Various architecture and hardware solutions let facility managers pick the level of availability their system needs in response to any possible disruptive event. Also new in DeltaV Virtual Studio v2.3 is the ability to live migrate critical applications from affected hardware to minimise downtime during system maintenance or hardware upgrades.

“Our customers recognise the benefits virtualisation offers for workstation consolidation and ease of system maintenance,” said Emerson’s chief strategic officer Peter Zornio, “but they need those benefits without added complexity and with little or no system downtime. With DeltaV Virtual Studio, they can quickly, easily create virtual DeltaV workstations without the complexity that used to require a specialist.”  

Smart device app for source measure unit (SMU) instruments!

Keithley Instruments has developed a free app for Android™-based smartphones and tablets that interacts with a Keithley Series 2600B SourceMeter SMU instrument via its front panel USB interface. IVy, which is the industry's first app developed for SMU instruments. This extends Keithley's Touch, Test, Invent® design philosophy to offer benchtop Series 2600B instrument users a fast, easy-to-use touchscreen tool for characterizing 2- and 3-terminal devices. By leveraging the power of smart mobile devices, IVy transforms the Series 2600B into a powerful instrument that enables users to visualize, interact, and share measurement results more efficiently, while helping them gain a deeper understanding of their devices behavior.

Unlike other instrument apps, IVy is more than just a tablet/smartphone version of a front panel. IVy leverages a smart device's built-in display (pan/pinch/zoom/swipe), computing (interaction with the instrument), and communication (WiFi, email, etc.) capabilities so users can visualize measurement data, interact with the instrument, and share results easily - all without programming. Like all Keithley Touch, Test, Invent solutions, the IVy app is designed to help instrument users "learn faster, work smarter, and invent easier." It helps users gain deeper insight into their device under test (DUT) performance by allowing them to toggle quickly between test modes, observe a DUT's response over time, and analyze results interactively by using fingertip control. IVy is compatible with any Android (V 4.0 or later) smartphone or tablet and the latest release (V 3.1.0) of the Series 2600B firmware 

IVy's patent-pending design provides for simultaneous control over the source level (using an on-screen slider) and monitoring of test results (on the smart device's graphical display). This unique capability makes it easy to analyze I-V characteristics, DUT stability, response time, or drift in a circuit visually. Changes in DUT performance are reflected instantly on the graphical display, and further analysis or troubleshooting is simplified by pinching, zooming, or scrolling. IVy also simplifies the process of sharing test results by utilizing built-in smart-device capabilities such as cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth, email, or other apps such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and more. This capability can be invaluable when collaborating on a task or project.

The Keithley Series 2600B SourceMeter SMU instruments are available in both single- and dual-channel models that combine the capabilities of a precision power supply, true current source, 6½-digit multimeter, arbitrary waveform generator, pulse generator, and electronic load in one tightly integrated instrument. They offer industry-leading resolution (up to 0.1fA) and dynamic range (up to 3A or 200V).

Best industrial wireless provider!

Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) was named the Best Industrial Wireless Provider at the 2014 Asian Manufacturing Awards (AMA) for its OneWireless™ Network, the multi-application, multi-standard industrial wireless network that extends process control networks into the field.

HPS won the top award in the category after the judges evaluated its comprehensive range of solutions that extend manufacturers’ networking reach and HPS’ world-class performance in automation and control. Winners of the AMA were chosen by an independent panel of judges from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and North America.

“Honeywell is proud to be recognized as an innovation leader in the process automation industry,” said Amitava Biswas, regional director Southeast Asia, Honeywell Process Solutions. “We work closely with customers to understand their challenges and this award is a real testament to Honeywell’s ability to consistently surpass our customers’ expectations.”

The OneWireless Network is one of Honeywell’s innovative wireless applications designed to enhance efficiency, safety and reliability in business processes.  The OneWireless Network offers flexibility and scalability, wire-like performance with superior wireless security and best-in-class data availability with a low cost of ownership.

The OneWireless Network is comprised of:
·         Honeywell OneWireless Field Device Access Point (FDAP): An industrial meshing access point for ISA100 Wireless field instruments
·         Honeywell OneWireless Wireless Device Manager: Manages the wireless field instrument network and all wireless field devices, including ISA100 Wireless field instruments, FDAPs, field instrument radios embedded in the access points and any wired field devices with an ISA100 Wireless Adapter
·         Cisco® Aironet® 1552S Access Point: An industrial meshing access point for IEEE 802.11 devices and ISA100 Wireless field instruments
·         Cisco Wireless Controller: Manages the IEEE 802.11 network and all IEEE 802.11 devices connected to the network.

“The industrial wireless network is the critical connectivity behind the operation of the multi-billion dollar chemical, oil and gas, and power plants that are built in Asia,” said Bryan Sim, regional sales manager, field products, Honeywell Process Solutions, who accepted the award on behalf of the company. “Honeywell provides real benefits for customers as loss of view or data might be considered a nuisance by business users, but is regarded as a severe incident by automation professionals.” 

• The AMA is organized by the Manufacturing Group of publications at Contineo Media to give recognition to those companies whose industrial technology solutions and value-added services enable regional manufacturers to reach and sustain the required levels of world-class performance.   The AMA awards are audited by Singapore auditors, HLB Atrede, to further guarantee a fair and transparent voting process and to maintain a high level of credibility for the awards.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Where space is tight: Speed and position feedback at shallow installation depth!

The new bearingless encoders MIR 10 by Baumer are the products to choose for position and speed feedback in limited installation space. Operating on non-contact magnetic sensing with up to 4096 ppr, the encoders are wearfree and provide virtually unlimited service life.

Compact, bearingless encoder
MIR10 is robust and wearfree
The fully encapsulated magnetic sensor with IP 66 and IP 67 as standard protection will master even harsh environments with high degree of soiling by dust, chippings or oil, but also with constant and cyclic humidity at extended temperatures ranging from -40°C…+85°C. Sized 10 mm x 15 mm x 45,5 mm, the sensor is extremely compact. The matching pole wheels provide mere 14 to 15 mm in depth and fit shafts from 6 to 43,5 mm.

The extremely shock and vibration proof sensing head withstands 500 resp. 30 g. The resilient metal housing ensures a very high electromagnetic compatibility, which is added on even further by shielded Polyurethan cable twisted in pairs for ulitmate protection against electromagnetic interference.

Bearingless encoder MIR 10 is available with 5 VDC supply and TTL / RS422-compatible line drivers and as 10….30 VDC version with pushpull. Both variants output two channels with 90° shift and inverted signals. As an option, both zero pulse and inverted channels provide magnetic encoding by reference magnet. The encoder comes with a distance gauge to ease mounting and to make sure the exact gap between pole wheel and sensing head is kept.

Strip chart recorders to record electronically!

Yokogawa has enhanced its μR10000/μR20000 series strip chart recorders with the addition of an SD card slot, giving them the ability to record data both electronically and on paper. Release of the new recorders with this hybrid recording system is scheduled for mid-February 2015.

Development background
Recorders are used in many different industrial and test & measurement applications in a large variety of industries to acquire, display, and record process data such as temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, and pressure. Although recorders today are shifting from paper to digital recording systems, there is still a strong demand for chart recorders that can record data on paper, especially in countries such as China, South Korea, and Japan.

In the 1950s, Yokogawa was the first company to release recorders in Japan, and it introduced the world's first microprocessor-based multipoint recorder in the 1980s. Since then, the company has continued to release innovative new products, and is now one of the world's largest suppliers in this market. The SD card slot enhancement brings the convenience of electronic data recording to paper-based recording systems.

The hybrid μR10000/μR20000 series recorders now come with an SD card slot, enabling them to record data electronically as well as on paper. This new function offers the following advantages:

  1. Backup: In the event of an interruption to the recording to paper due to a paper jam or ink running, data can still be recorded electronically, ensuring data integrity.
  2. Extended recording period: The new recorders can accept SD cards with a storage capacity of up to 32 Gbyte, which is ideal for recording data for long periods of time. This gives Yokogawa's customers the choice of recording all data to paper or to the SD card.
  3. Saving configuration settings: Configuration settings for the recorder can be saved to the SD card, should it be necessary to load the recorder settings onto another unit.

Major target markets
Industries such as iron and steel, petrochemicals, chemicals, pulp and paper, foods, pharmaceuticals, water and wastewater, electrical equipment, and electronics

Collection, display, and recording of temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, pressure etc.

The future!
The recorder market, mainly for paperless recorders, is expected to expand. In addition to enhancing its chart recorders, Yokogawa will upgrade its paperless recorders to improve both data processing and network connectivity. As a leading manufacturer of recorders, Yokogawa will continue to release innovative new products that meet its customers' needs.

Distributor for industrial security system for Britain!

"The industry has come a long way since StuxNet."

Electroustic now distributes Tofino's Xenon industrial firewall. Manufactured by Hirschmann, the Tofino Xenon security system is the latest addition to the Tofino family and is purpose built to provide comprehensive network protection for production systems.

The Tofino Xenon security system is both versatile and rugged, allowing it to withstand the harshest of environments, making it ideal for any industry in which maximum data security is required. This includes plant and process engineering, the transportation sector, oil and gas, power transmission and renewable energy applications such as wind farms.

Security in industry has become of paramount importance in recent years. The cost of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure is now measured in billions of dollars worth of damage.   

With Tofino's Plug-n-Protect technology, Xenon is incredibly simple to implement. The application can be installed in a live network with no special training, pre-configuration or changes to the network itself, eradicating expensive downtime.  

The industrial firewall's security stems from stateful packet inspection (SPI) that not only examines a packet based on its header, as with traditional static filtering, but rather packet contents, to establish more information than simply source and destination. SPI tracks each connection - traversing all interfaces of the firewall and ensuring its validity. 

Furthermore, as an added security measure against port scanning, the SPI closes off ports until connection to a specific one is requested.

"Here at Electroustic we provide industrial Ethernet solutions to a variety of industries," reported Paul Carr, managing director and owner. "Security is currently a very pertinent and prominent issue for nearly all the sectors we supply to.

“That's why we recommend Tofino products that help customers meet and exceed NERC CIP (North American Electric Reliability Corporation Critical Infrastructure Protection) requirements and ISA/IEC-62443 Standards. The Xenon firewall delivers peace of mind, which is essential – the industry has come a long way since StuxNet." 

In addition to the Xenon's in built features, optional deep packet inspection (DPI) is available. This feature allows the user to implement detailed filters within their system. Tofino’s flexible architecture goes beyond traditional firewall security by providing tailored protection zones to protect critical system components.   

Power Supplies meet CE101 and CE102 emission stds!

Excelsys Technologies, have recently released Xsolo and XF power supply ranges now meet CE101 and CE102 conducted emission standards by combining with the LCR F19374 High Performance Single Stage Power Line Filter.  The LCR F19374 Filter is designed to bring the complete Excelsys XF Modular Power Supply Platform and the Excelsys Xsolo Platform to com­pliance with MIL-STD 461F, CE101 and CE102 conducted emissions under various loads.

Excelsys recently introduced the XFN, which is designed to deliver 1000W at –40°C extending the standard XF range which operate to -55°C.  Standard features within the XF range include 47-440Hz input frequency, 1.5V to 58V standard output voltages, individual output control, completely field configurable with option to factory fix, all outputs fully floating allowing series/parallel connection of all multiple outputs for non-standard voltages or higher output current, paralleling of powerPacs for higher system power and ultra-high efficiency, up to 91%. The XF range carries full safety agency approvals including UL 606950 and is EMC characterised to MIL-STD-461F.

The Xsolo is a family of 1U high, ultra-compact single output power supplies available in two package types. The high efficiency Xsolo delivers a market leading convection cooled 504W in an open-frame U-channel form-factor and up to 1008W in an enclosed fan cooled chassis. Both models carry a 5 year warranty. The XSolo platform offers system integrators a host of features including; variable fan speed, 12V/300mA isolated bias supply, remote ON/OFF, output voltage control and parallel operation for higher power applications.  Nominal output voltages are 24V and 48V with wide adjustment ranges and user defined set-points. Maximum dimensions are 1U x 238mm x 128mm.

This improved conducted emission capability will assist designers develop products to meet all requirements and achieve mission success in the most demanding applications

Explosion-proof modbus scanners!

The ProtEx® PD6830X Modbus Scanner has just been announced by Precision Digital Corporation. The PD6830X is a rugged, explosion-proof, NEMA 4X / IP68 Modbus master, slave, or snooper (sniffer). A multi-purpose meter, it is designed for accurate display and quick access of information, locally or remotely, in hazardous areas or in the harshest safe area applications.

It can accept up to 16 individually programmed process variables (PVs) from multiple devices; four math channels allow for calculations on multiple PVs. The unique SafeTouch® through-glass buttons allow operation without removing the cover. The pulse input accepts a wide range of flow transmitter signals, including mV input from a magnetic flowmeter, as well as high frequency signals. The PD6830X includes backlighting, two open collector outputs, and an analog output as standard. The scanner has FM, ATEX, CSA, IECEx, and CE approvals, enabling it to be installed almost anywhere. The PD6830X is housed in a durable, epoxy coated, cast aluminum enclosure.

"The versatile ProtEX PD6830X is loaded with features plant operators can appreciate," said Jeffrey Peters, President, Precision Digital Corporation. "The meter is simple to program using our FREE ScanView EX software, displays critical information about their process, and can be seen from wide angles and a distance. Other meter manufacturers have lost sight of the fact that users need to be able to see the data, even in hazardous areas."

The PD6830X is designed for readability and ease of use, from large character and Feet & Inches displays to automatic rate conversions and data logging. In addition, it integrates easily into existing Modbus networks.

The PD6830X Decimal Display models feature an upper display that is 0.7 inches high and shows five digits of information; the Feet & Inches models feature a level display that reads up to 399 feet, 11 and 15/16 inches and contains a 20-segment tank level indicator. The lower display for both models is 0.4 inches high, with seven alphanumeric characters for Process Variables, Custom Units, or Tags. The bright LCD display is easily read under various lighting conditions and from viewing angles of up to +/- 40 degrees (twice that of competitive models); it can also be rotated in 90 degree increments for increased readability.

Four sensors in the PD6830X operate as through-glass buttons for programming and operation without removing the cover in hazardous areas. These SafeTouch® buttons include an energy saving mode to save power, extend battery life, and prevent unintended triggers.

The PD6830X provides flexible power options, including battery, DC with battery backup, DC only, output-loop, or output loop with battery backup. Its element-resistant enclosure provides three threaded conduit holes and integrated pipe or wall mounting holes. Operating temperatures range from -40 to 75 degrees C.

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

Major news in the world of automation publishing!

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has acquired, a media company currently owned by Minnesota-based Automation Resources, Inc.

Automation Resources, Inc. was founded by Alan Carty in March of 2000. The company originally launched as a job board focused on automation careers. Based on positive feedback from advertising clients as well as site visitors, the website evolved into a full-featured online resource by publishing articles, news and much more. At the same time, the job board evolved into a full-service recruiting and contract staffing business.
ISA's 2015 Combined Offering!
• Access to 140,000 e-newsletter subscribers worldwide
• 6 times per year publication of InTech print magazine
• 4 times per year publication of PULSE digital magazine
• 4 times per year publication of InTech Plus, digital automation basics app
• 120,000 combined website visitors per month, and growing (InTech Online &
• Custom publishing opportunities include print, electronic, and more

Rick Zabel joined Automation Resources in June of 2000 and focused his efforts on managing and growing the website business, while Carty focused on the recruiting and contract staffing business. In 2004, the company purchased the domain name and ported all content from to The automation techies name and website is used for the recruiting and contract staffing business.

With the sole purpose of providing information to automation and controls professionals, content and traffic continued to grow quickly.

Today, is a leading online publisher of automation-related content, and attracts nearly 100,000 users per month. The website features 45 topic-specific portals, providing an efficient and organized way to present collections of articles, news, products, white papers and other resources.

In October 2009, ISA selected as exclusive supplier and distributor of ISA’s electronic newsletters. As a result, produces the now co-branded Automation Weekly and other topic-specific e-newsletters. Today these co-branded e-newsletters are distributed to subscribers, ISA members and customers, and InTech subscribers, creating a combined distribution of more than 140,000 automation professionals worldwide. In addition, ISA also selected to be their sales representative for InTech’s print, digital and online publications.

Rick Zabel MD of
Under the acquisition agreement, ISA will own, including its website, intellectual property and all associated products, trademarks and copyrights. ISA will incorporate a new wholly-owned subsidiary called, and Rick Zabel will remain the Publisher and Managing Director. and the recruiting business built by Carty will remain part of Automation Resources, Inc.

“The recruiting side of our business,, has really taken off in the last several years and we anticipate even more growth as the industry enters a period of unprecedented hiring and staffing challenges,” said Carty. “It makes sense to focus on the recruiting side of the business, and ISA will be uniquely positioned to leverage the successful model we’ve built with”

“The partnership that our organizations forged in 2009 has given us the opportunity to learn more about each of our strengths,” explained ISA CEO and Executive Director Patrick Gouhin.’s strength is in content delivery and offering exciting, effective advertising opportunities in digital channels. ISA’s strength has always been in generating world-renowned technical content, bringing the expertise of more than 30,000 members around the world to bear on the industry’s most pressing challenges and trends.”

“Our readers and marketing partners will benefit from our combined strengths,” added Vice President and Publisher Rick Zabel. “We’ll be able to leverage ISA’s technical assets with’s proven digital expertise to give the marketplace an unmatched, robust and integrated media offering.”

“Rick and his team have worked closely with our InTech advisory board for several years now, and we think this partnership holds great promise for InTech and the rest of ISA’s products and services,” said Susan Colwell, InTech magazine publisher. “Soon, we’ll be able to offer the supplier community unparalleled options for getting their brand in front of target audiences in all of our combined channels, both digital and print. Our readers will continue to benefit from the top-notch technical content that has always been ISA’s core mission.”

“We are excited to join two powerhouse teams in the world of automation and leverage each other’s strengths in the coming months and years,” said Gouhin. “This is great news for ISA’s members, customers, corporate partners and advertisers – and it is great news for the profession as a whole.”

• Read what Walt Boyes, one of the automation industries leading commentators, has to say: ISA changes the face of automation publishing

Bench mount oxygen analyser provides cost savings!

The XZR400BM oxygen analyser is a small and light transportable instrument, capable of taking readings of both trace and percentage oxygen levels. It has been introduced to meet the demands of companies that wish to take routine readings from multiple sample points, and is a highly cost-effective solution. The instrument is capable of taking readings on a low flow rate – just 2 l/h – which means less waste of the sample gas from the process.

Based on Michell’s MSRS Zirconia oxygen sensor, the XZR400BM gives fast readings – 11 seconds for T90 – saving the operator working time when collecting field readings. As with all Michell’s XZR range, the instrument is highly stable giving reliable results over a long time. A key benefit of the instrument is its low cost of ownership: unlike electro-chemical sensors, which require regular replacement, the MSRS sensor of the XZR400BM should last in excess of 7 years. Calibration is not needed as frequently either (every 3 – 6 months) and can be carried out with just one calibration gas saving time and money.  

The instrument also features an intuitive touch-screen interface to enable fast and easy operation without the need to invest in extensive training. This is useful when multiple operators work with the instrument.  It also has a switch-mode power supply, operating from mains power between 90 and 264 V AC with an IEC cable. At just 6 kg, and with a small foot print, the XZR400BM is both easy to move and also takes up minimal bench space.

• Michell products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Reporting and analysis software!

A new version of its reporting and analysis software, zenon Analyzer 2.20 has been announced by Copa-Data. The new product offers enhanced evaluation possibilities thanks to the connection to third-party databases, comprehensive presentation and display possibilities, as well as improvements in usability.

zenon Analyzer supports production engineers in identifying potential for improvement, minimising downtime and reducing energy consumption.

In the development of the new version of zenon Analyzer, the focus was on three issues: close interaction with other database systems, which means simple integration into existing infrastructures, additional display options for the analysed data, and the intuitive use of software, which allows more efficient working.

"Consistent use and analysis of the data generated during the production process offers great optimisation potential for companies", explains Thomas Lehrer, zenon Analyzer product manager at Copa-Data. "With the zenon Analyzer, our customers can exploit this potential for optimisation in a targeted manner more easily than ever."

Advanced analysis
For a comprehensive analysis of production, operating or energy data, companies must often combine information from different sources. With the SQL connector for third-party databases, zenon Analyzer 2.20 users can connect databases from third parties very easily and use the respective data for reporting and analysis.

New display options
zenon Analyzer 2.20 offers four new report templates that expand the possibilities for display and presentation considerably.

The Sankey diagram is a requirement for energy data management systems in accordance with ISO 50001 and is particularly well-suited to the display of resource flows. Companies can get an overview of their energy consumption and uncover savings potential in the process.

The annual load duration curve displays consumption over the whole year as a line or area chart.
In addition to this, the carpet plot report shows measured values, such as resource consumption, making it easier for companies to identify trends and tendencies in usage.

Finally, the Gantt diagram report provides insight into the performance and availability of equipment. Users can get an overview of the efficiency of their production processes on the basis of this analysis.

Improved user-friendliness
COPA-DATA places great value on ergonomics with each product from the zenon Product Family. zenon Analyzer also offers numerous new features in version 2.20, which make working with the reporting and analysis software simple and more efficient.

Device management wizard enhanced!

Useful functions added for routine patrol, maintenance reporting, and work handover!
The enhanced FieldMate™ Versatile Device Management Wizard R3.01 to be released at the end of the week (October 17, 2014) by Yokogawa. FieldMate is a versatile software program for configuring, adjusting, and managing a wide variety of field devices used in factories and other production sites. A trial version of R3.01 is available on their website now.

In addition to the device configuration, adjustment, and management functionality provided in earlier FieldMate releases, FieldMate R3.01 comes with new functions that facilitate the management of memos, photos, and videos as well as the automatic generation of reports, making it ideal for routine maintenance tasks.

Development Background
Digital communications standards are playing an increasingly important role in communications between central control systems and field devices such as transmitters and analyzers. However, as the devices provided by different vendors rely on a variety of digital communications standards, there is a need for a versatile configuration, adjustment, and management tool that can support all the major industry-standard communications protocols. The FieldMate PC software has been developed to meet this very need.

Highly portable devices such as tablets and notebook PCs are now available that facilitate maintenance work in the field. To facilitate such routine tasks as device patrol and maintenance, this new release of the FieldMate PC-based software comes with a variety of new functions.

FieldMate R3.01 runs on PCs (including tablet PCs) that have either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Its key new features are as follows:

1. Centralised management of various types of device-related information
In addition to being able to manage configuration data for a large number of plant devices, FieldMate now supports the use of photo, video, audio, and document files. Field maintenance personnel can write memos and link them to specific devices to facilitate processes such as work handover. They can also use photos, video, and audio to, for example, keep a record of installation conditions, work procedures, or any unusual sounds produced by a device. FieldMate R3.01 thus offers improved versatility for routine device patrol and maintenance work.

2. Automatic generation of device reports
The new FieldMate can now automatically generate device configuration reports in a variety of data formats. Previously, FieldMate only had the ability to output such data as a text or HTML file, which could then be used in a general-purpose spreadsheet or word processing program to create a report. Typically, manual reporting was very time-consuming because of the large amounts of data involved, with individual devices having anywhere from a few hundred to up to one thousand settings.

Major target markets include process industries such as oil, petrochemicals, chemicals, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, foods, and iron and steel which require the configuration, adjustment, and troubleshooting of transmitters, analyzers, and other types of field devices in plants, and the management of information on these devices

• FieldMate Lite, a trial version of FieldMate R3.01, is available for download here.