Saturday, October 25, 2014

New extreme foot controls for ship and port technology

As a manufacturer of switchgear for extreme and complex applications, steute provides customers with its own range of offshore products especially developed for use in offshore, ship and port technology. Features of our devices include saltwater resistance, a robust construction, the necessary approvals and - where appropriate - Ex versions.Product photo: Extreme-foot switch for mooring-systems

This product portfolio contains for example the offshore version of our GFSI foot control (fig.). The metal housing of this switching device is extraordinarily robust. A protective guard prevents accidental actuation, while various switching inserts mean that the switch can be adapted to individual applications. The housing, made of saltwater-resistant aluminium with stainless steel screws and mounted parts, is designed for reliable operation at sea and/or in ports. In their Ex-protected version, these foot controls can be used in gas-Ex zones 1 and 2, as well as dust-Ex zones 21 and 22.

A typical application for this product is the electromechanical actuation of winches controlling docking lines in ports, as well as the releasing of mooring hooks. A winch reeling in the docking line can be started and stopped using one foot control; with a second foot control, the mooring hook attached to the anchor chain can be released - either to put the ship out to sea or because the chain needs to be freed quickly in a storm.

The use of highly robust foot controls, tried and tested in extreme applications, guarantees absolutely reliable operation of mooring hooks in such an application. As an alternative, wireless foot controls using radio technology, also tried and tested in many other extreme applications, are additionally available. This comparatively new technology means greater flexibility when positioning the switchgear. And it eliminates the risk of power and signal cables becoming damaged in the rough environment of a port.

Robust connector offers reduced maintenance costs for outdoor theme park installations

The promise of reduced maintenance costs for outdoor theme park cabling systems is offered by the Han-Eco® Outdoor connector from Harting.

The new connector is based on a robust high-performance lightweight plastic material which, when mated through its FPM (Fluor Polymer Rubber) flange seal, provides IP65, UV, ozone and acid-rain resistant protection.

Insert options allow simple field installations using screw-terminal monoblock assemblies with 10, 14, 20 and 28 ways at 16 A. Alternatively, mixed audio, video, communications, data and power signals can be handled in a range of four different sized housings.

This modular integrated cabling approach makes Han-Eco® ideal for exposed conditions in theme park audio-visual/multimedia installations, and reduces costs by enabling extended maintenance intervals through its ability to withstand adverse outdoor environmental conditions.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Security applications site.

Mouser Electronics, Inc. has unveiled their new Security Applications Site on offering design resources for engineers looking to develop cutting-edge security systems. As the world continues down the fast path of internet connectivity with the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) convergence, the role of security and combatting threats and vulnerabilities is becoming more important. Mouser’s new Security Application Site simplifies security design by providing access to the latest security resources all in one place.

The new Security Applications Site, available on, contains valuable resources for developers interested in developing security related systems. The Applications section provides a comprehensive overview of IP Cameras including a detailed system diagram with recommended components. Developers can learn how an IP camera captures and transmits live images over a network, with remote viewing and user control available from anywhere at any time. Clicking on a block on the IP camera diagram brings up a list of applicable components including MCUs, image sensors, and audio codecs. Also available is a block diagram of a Video Content Analytics Server that explains how this technology processes many digital images and videos simultaneously, doing the work of hundreds of people.

The Articles section of the website lists papers focusing on key topics including Applying Modern Machine Vision Technologies to Security, Silicon, Security, and the Internet of Things, and Smarter Solutions for Video Surveillance. All articles offer an area to post comments and questions to facilitate further discussions on the topic.

The Resources section lists videos and application notes that discuss device selection and application considerations for different security applications. Target applications include Authentication, Automotive, Biometrics, DVR, Embedded System Vision, Encryption, Ethernet, Industrial, IP Camera, Security ICS, Smart Grid and Surveillance.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Full wafer-level support including high voltage capacitance-voltage testing!

Keithley Instruments has introduced new enhancements to its Parametric Curve Tracer (PTC) configurations that incorporate high power SourceMeter® Source Measure Unit (SMU) instruments. For test engineers responsible for configuring high power semiconductor test systems, the new Keithley Model 8020 High Power Interface Panel improves connectivity and simplifies complex measurements like high voltage capacitance-voltage (C-V) measurements. The Model 8020 reduces set-up times, minimizes opportunities for connection errors, improves operator and test hardware protection, and increases users’ confidence in the accuracy of their results. For more information, watch Keithley’s introductory video on the topic (right).

Characterizing high power semiconductor devices like power MOSFETs, IGBTs, diodes, etc. involves several different types of measurements: on-state (high current current-voltage), off-state (high voltage current-voltage), and capacitance-voltage (C-V) at high bias voltages. However, each of these measurements requires the use of different instrumentation, cabling, connectors, and probes (for wafer-level testing) or test fixtures (for packaged device testing).

In the past, no standardized solutions for combining high power instruments, interconnects, and probers/test fixtures suitable for all three test types in the same test station were commercially available. When changing from one measurement type to another, high power test system users once had to change the type of cables used manually, as well as critical hardware in the signal path between the device under test and the test instrumentation. High voltage C-V testing was particularly complicated because no standard or reliable measurement setups and methods were established. Test engineers often had to develop their own connection solutions through trial and error, which is not only expensive and time-consuming but can create an unsafe work environment, given the high outputs involved in testing power devices.

The configurable Model 8020 High Power Interface Panel allows test engineers to select the options that match their system’s probe station, positioners, or fixture. It also improves safety for both users and any low power SMU instruments in the system, simplifies incorporating different combinations of instruments, as well as taking the confusion out of adding elements like series resistors and bias tees to the signal path.

The Model 8020 simplifies changing from one measurement type to the next by allowing test engineers to connect all measurement instruments to it at once, making further connection changes unnecessary. When the Model 8020 is configured with optional C-V bias tees on the system’s 3kV and 200V channels, it acts as a high performance I-V/C-V switch, allowing users to perform both I-V and C-V testing without re-cabling.

The Model 8020 provides input connections for Keithley Model 2657A (3kV) and 2651A (50A) High Power SourceMeter SMU instruments, Model 2636B and 2612B SourceMeter SMU instruments, and Model PCT-CVU Multi-frequency C-V Meter. Various user-configurable output connectors are available to accommodate almost any probe station.

The Model PCT-CVU Multi-frequency C-V Meter, which supports C-V measurements from 10kHz to 2MHz, can be used to upgrade any Keithley PCT configuration to include 2- and 3-terminal capacitance measurements. It is designed for use with the new Model CVU-200-KIT bias tee kit to extend the voltage bias to 200V or the Model CVU-3K-KIT bias tee kit to extend it to 3kV to support both AC and DC testing in the Model 8010 or other high power test fixture.

The latest version (V 2.1) of Keithley’s ACS Basic Edition Component Test Software expands the package’s support for I-V and C-V measurements on devices like power MOSFETS, IGBTs, diodes, etc. It complements the advanced C‑V measurements the Model 8020 and new bias tee kits make possible.

Alliance for development of ISA100 Wireless™ communication modules!

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Yokogawa have announced that they have reached an agreement whereby they will cooperate in the development of communication modules for field wireless devices used in plants. Under the terms of this agreement, Yokogawa will license its technology to Murata and Murata will develop the communication modules.

Through this alliance, Murata will be able to expand its communication module business to wireless devices for use in plants and Yokogawa will be able to promote wider acceptance of its field wireless systems based on the ISA100 Wireless™ standard.

ISA100 Wireless, or ISA100.11a, is an industrial wireless networking technology standard developed by the International Society of Automation (ISA). ISA100 Wireless features high reliability, diverse applications, network extendibility, and high compatibility with wired communications standards such as FOUNDATION™ fieldbus, HART®, and PROFIBUS. This standard will be published as IEC62734 by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) within this year.

Background /overview 
Plants use all kinds of field devices to measure items such as temperature, pressure, liquid level, gas concentration, and vibration. With a field wireless system, communication between field devices and host monitoring and control systems is done wirelessly. To boost productivity and make plants safer, there is a growing need for the collection of more data on plant operations; this in turn is driving up demand for field wireless devices, which can be placed in locations that cannot be accessed by conventional wired devices and cost less to install.

Field wireless devices require communication modules that can convert sensor data into signals that conform with specific field wireless protocols, for transmission to field wireless networks. Through this alliance, Yokogawa will license its ISA100 Wireless communication module technology to Murata for use in the development of wireless communication modules and driver software.

Murata has a solid track record in developing wireless communication modules for use in mobile phones, PCs, and other devices, and Yokogawa has developed a number of leading-edge technologies for use with ISA100 Wireless devices and systems. By making combined use of these technologies, the two companies aim to quickly develop and provide new communication modules to field wireless device manufacturers and sensor manufacturers around the world.

Murata's approach to the communication module business
Murata provides Wi-Fi modules, Bluetooth® Smart modules, and other types of wireless communication modules for use in smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices and for use in automotive applications.

Murata is also developing and providing other types of wireless communication modules as connectivity solutions, in line with the Internet of Things (IoT) initiative. Developing ISA100 Wireless communication modules is one such solution since ISA Wireless has been specified to reflect the requirements of industrial users.

Yokogawa's approach to field wireless communications
Yokogawa released the world's first ISA100 Wireless system devices and wireless pressure and temperature transmitters in July 2010. In addition to enabling sophisticated control techniques in continuous processes, this gives customers a wider range of devices to choose from. In line with the Wireless Anywhere concept, Yokogawa continues to provide new best-in-class ISA100 Wireless solutions and promote the use of field wireless technologies.

Electro-hydraulic operator for remote valve emergency shutdown applications!

Emerson Process Management has added a robust electro-hydraulic operator to its broad valve automation capabilities with the release of the Bettis™ EHO actuator. The EHO actuator couples proven technologies from Emerson’s Valve Automation offering of actuation and controls to handle critical shutdown situations where dependability is a must.  
This unit is ideal for a diverse range of applications, from topsides valve automation on offshore platforms to remote pipelines where operational upsets can cause safety and environmental hazards, as well as costly production losses. To help operators counteract these challenges, the EHO provides a compact design with actuator and control components from Emerson that have been field proven for decades in critical service and features that combine more than 200 years of experience in valve actuation, electric motor, and hydraulic control technology.

It is available in either spring-return or double-acting configurations. Torque outputs can handle valve sizes from 150mm to 1500mm (6” to 60”). The EHO operates on utility electrical power or optional solar power for remote areas where electric power is not available or not reliable. The EHO is operable in temperatures ranging from -40°C to +60°C. Its fail safe capability is reliable with fast close or open stroke times, suitable for emergency shutdown in oil or gas service.  

Latest generation of industrial robots!

The world is at the dawn of a new age in industrial robotics. While industrial robots are mostly still large, heavy items of plant designed to rapidly process repetitive tasks from behind safety barriers in big factories, they are now also making their way into smaller factories, where they are more compact and versatile and are able to work alongside their human “co-workers” without any safety barriers. This proliferation of new application areas, coupled with burgeoning worldwide demand, is driving strong growth in robotics sales. The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) reports that its members sold around 170,000 industrial robots in 2013, an increase of 12 percent on 2012, and that 2014 is headed for similar growth.

With such a lot happening in the robotics industry, it is imperative that factory owners keep up to date with the latest developments. And there’s no better place to do this than in Hannover, Germany. Marc Siemering, Deutsche Meße’s Senior Vice-President responsible for Hannover Meße: “At Hannover Meße 2015, the world’s leading robot manufacturers will demonstrate that robotics is the key to enhanced competitiveness and flexibility in industrial production. Big names like Fanuc, Güdel and Kuka will be showcasing the latest generation of robots and highlighting the key role played by robotics in the fourth industrial revolution.”

Fanuc will be presenting its latest robotics and control/servo-drive solutions in what will be its first appearance at Hannover Meße since 2003. “We will make extensive use of the fair to profile our multidisciplinary robotics and factory automation technologies,” said Fanuc Germany CEO Olaf Kramm.

Fanuc, Güdel and Kuka will be presenting their products and solutions at Hannover Meße’s Industrial Automation show, as will Comau, Kawasaki, Stäubli, Mitsubishi, Epson, IBG, ABB and several other leading providers of robot-assisted automation technology. Among the innovations on show will be robots that are wonderfully simple to program and feature intuitive touchpad control technology. There will be robots that are capable of taking on a much greater range of tasks than conventional machines thanks to the latest sensor technology. ABB, of instance, will be launching YuMi, a two-armed collaborative assembly assistant that can see and feel its way around. Its soft, padded arms ensure that it can interact safely with its human counterparts. “These latest robots give factories the flexibility to accommodate today’s steadily growing demand for customer individualization in series production. They are also much more affordable and simpler to program, which puts them within reach of small and medium enterprises,” continued Siemering.

The exhibition area at Industrial Automation will be supported by an array of amazing special displays and shows. At the Robotics, Automation & Vision display area, for example, system integrators will demonstrate their applications and solutions for robot-assisted automation in a range of industries. Mobile Robots & Autonomous Systems is another must-see special display. It will feature the latest technologies and innovations in mobile industrial and service robotics.

2015 will also be the fifth time that the Robotics Award is offered by the organizers of Hannover Meße. The Award honors companies that develop products, projects and technological advancements that make an innovative contribution to robotics-based solutions in the areas of industrial automation, mobile robots and autonomous systems. Olaf Lies, the Lower Saxony Minister for Economics, Labor and Transportation, with present the winners with their prizes at a special ceremony at the Automation Forum on 14 April 2015.

But before then, there’s the 4th Robotics Congress, which will be held in Hannover on Tuesday 9 December 2014 and will explore current trends in applied robotics. Among the discussion topics will be the move towards robots which are easy to operate and integrate and hence open up new areas of application. One such area is human-machine collaboration – as reflected in the congress’s lead theme of “Human-Robot Collaboration.” The program includes technical presentations and discussions, not to mention keynotes from such notables as Dr. Norbert Elkmann, Director Robot Systems, Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation (Fraunhofer IFF). Dr. Elkmann’s address is titled “Safe Human-Machine Collaboration – Current Developments and Projects.” The congress will be held in the Convention Center (CC) at the Hannover Exhibition Center.

High speed data connector #PAuto

The Peak Group now supply a range of VTAC High Speed Data (HSD) Connectors in Britain.
These are for the Mass InterConnect systems produced by Virginia Panel Corporation (VPC)

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.

The 90 Series Module can support up to 34 VTAC HSD Connectors with two differential pairs or four single-ended connections.

VTAC’s 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 and DVI-1, RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet, QSFP and Infiniband for all high-speed testing requirements.

Applications include high-speed testing in industries such as telecommunications, military and medical electronics.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Automation on the android platform.

"It’s not only educational and informative, but a lot of fun, too!"

The Android version of ISA's award-winning new mobile app, InTech Plus has been launched. The release significantly broadens automation and control professionals’ access to a diverse range of technical and educational content and interactive tools.

After its initial launch in March of this year for the Apple iPad, InTech Plus is now able to reach a much wider audience. A recent survey revealed that nearly 80 percent of the world’s mobile phone users rely on the Android platform.

“It’s always been our goal to offer InTech Plus on the Android platform, given its widespread global use and acceptance,” says Susan Colwell, Manager of ISA Publications, who oversees the development of InTech Plus. “We’re excited that so many more automation and control professionals will be able to use our free, fun and really cool interactive app that delivers the content and tools needed to enhance their careers.”

From the latest technology news, trends, best-practice overviews and ‘how-to’ videos featuring ISA subject matter experts to captivating success stories, Q&As, quizzes, conversion tables and calculators, InTech Plus offers a fresh new way to rapidly access, scan and digest automation-related information. Highly colorful and visual in approach, the pages feature intuitive navigation that engages the reader with “quick-read” call-out boxes and sliders.

InTech Plus content, updated on a regular basis, is derived through a variety of authoritative sources, most significantly through the insights and perspectives of ISA’s world-renowned subject matter experts. It leverages the established track record and expertise of InTech magazine, ISA’s bi-monthly print and digital magazine that covers the critical challenges facing automation and control professionals and latest technologies, applications and strategies designed to solve them.

The entire spectrum of ISA’s products and services—including its automation standards; education, training and certification programs; technical symposia; publishing resources and leadership development capabilities—is represented within the application.

“Because it provides access—whenever and wherever—to an extensive array of automation content and functionality, InTech Plus supports the ISA mission of better connecting automation and control professionals to the information they need and want,” says Peggie W. Koon, Ph.D., ISA President. “It also represents ISA’s commitment to innovation, and to pursuing the ongoing development of new tools, products and programs with the ‘coolest delivery’ available to our members and the automation community at large.”
Since its introduction, InTech Plus has received considerable attention for the quality of its content and how its content is presented.

For instance, last month, Graphic Design USA awarded ISA a Certificate of Excellence award in its 2014 American Graphic Design Awards competition for the design of InTech Plus. Only 15 percent of the entries in the 2014 American Graphic Design Awards competition—which this year attracted more than 8,000 applications—received Certificate of Excellence Awards.

Tribute Inc., a developer of enterprise software to distributors and fabricators, recently tweeted that InTech Plus provides a valuable service to its customers.

And in an email to ISA headquarters in Research Triangle Park, NC, Clifford D. Wuertz, a Senior Instrumentation Engineer at AMEC Oil & Gas Americas and a former president of ISA’s Houston Section, applauded ISA for developing InTech Plus. “You have created a marvelous, interactive multi-media tool for automation professionals to utilize on the go. It’s not only educational and informative, but a lot of fun, too!”

• Download InTech Plus for free through the Google Play app store or the Apple App Store

“Measuring Molasses with a WORM!”

Moore Industries has released a case study, “Measuring Molasses with a WORM,”  highlighting the use of the WORM Flexible Temperature Sensor by American Crystal Sugar Company, the largest beet sugar provider in the United States. American Crystal was able to use a custom WORM thermowell to more accurately measure temperatures and increase the efficiency of their sugar molasses production.

During the final steps of production of beet sugar, a mixture of sugar crystal and syrup called massecuite is centrifugally spun in a perforated cylindrical basket. This separates the molasses syrup and any non-sugar elements from the sugar. American Crystal was having difficulty accurately measuring the temperature of the molasses using a standard thermowell with a rigid sensor for two main reasons:

Only the tip of the thermowell could be inserted into the molasses, which runs about 1½-inches deep at the bottom of a horizontal pipe. A large amount of steam from the molasses surrounded the thermowell, reducing its responsiveness to a change in temperature.
The steam essentially acted as a conductor that heated the rigid stainless steel sensor inside of the thermowell. This meant that the thermowell was measuring the temperature of the steam more than the temperature of the molasses.

American Crystal was able to solve the problem with custom thermowell with a WORM sensor inserted into it. The end of the thermowell is bent at an angle, allowing the one-inch long WORM sensor to lie directly in the molasses. A spring keeps the WORM sensor firmly in place inside the thermowell.

The custom thermowell eliminated the steam from influencing the temperature readings. This meant more accurate readings that respond quickly to changes in temperature. For American Crystal, this has translated to more precise control of the water and steam used in the centrifuge and the ability to separate more sugar from the molasses.

The paper is available on their White Papers' & Technical Articles' page. (It's down the page a bit!)

Intermediate position module with through-travel!

Freely positionable along the entire stroke length, the Festo intermediate position module, DADM, brings new flexibility and efficiency to pneumatic guided slides, rodless cylinders and ‘self-built’ drives. The module can be positioned anywhere along the actuator’s stroke length enabling stops to be created where they are required and the unique follow-through travel feature enables faster cycle times after an intermediate stop.

Saving machine builders time and money, the DADM module is targeted at handling, assembly and pick & place applications that require an intermediate stop. Easy-to-install, this off-the-shelf module is more compact and cheaper than the alternative methods to create a mid-position; either to ‘piggy back’ two cylinders on top of one another, which is expensive and bulky, or possibly choosing an electric drive, which may be more complex and expensive than required.
Cam design allows onward, through travel from a mid-position stop
“The travel-through feature of the DADM is unique, eliminating the need to ‘back-off’ to continue along the stroke,” says Steve Sands, product manager, Festo. “For high-speed production machinery, where the aggregation of marginal gains is a key focus, each fraction of a second saved makes a significant impact on the overall cycle time. Previous intermediate stops required the thrust of the cylinder to be reduced to enable the stop mechanism to be retracted before the movement could be completed. Through careful design of the geometry, we have been able to provide a robust stop cam that can be retracted under load, saving valuable cycle time and simplifying the controls and programming.”

Using the inherently simple technology of pneumatics, the DADM can be mounted at any position within the stroke and features position detection for safety and process reliability. The module is also very precise; shock absorbers cushion the stop with a metal to metal final position, assuring repetition accuracy to within ±0.02mm. Initially available in two sizes, 10mm and 16mm with a corresponding maximum impact force of 500N and 1000N, the DADM is reversible so it can be used for either the out or return-stroke.

“The intermediate position module has been designed and exhaustedly tested for an operating life in excess of 20 million operating cycles,” adds Sands. “This convenient, off-the shelf item has often been requested as it saves machine builders a phenomenal amount of design effort and expense, engineering bespoke mid-stop solutions. Now there is a ready-tested solution with guaranteed reliability.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hand-held meter for moisture content of industrial oils!

The new hand-held meter OILPORT 30 from E+E Elektronik accurately measures the water activity (aw) and temperature (T), and calculates the absolute water content x (ppm) of industrial oils. The user can store up to ten sets of oil specific parameters in the hand-held to be used for correct calculations of the water content in various oils.

The large touch screen display and intuitive navigation menu ensure comfortable operation of the OILPORT 30. With the data logging function, the measured values can be stored in the device and are available through the USB interface for further processing. The user can easily perform 1 or 2 point adjustments of aw and T, and use the OILPORT 30 as a reference for checking other measurement devices in the field.

The short oil probe with OILPORT 30 is ideal for measurements in oil samples, while in-line monitoring can be carried out with the pressure-tight probe (up to 20 bar/300 psi). Together with the optional ball valve, the pressure-tight oil probe can be installed and removed without interruption of the oil flow.

The OILPORT 30 is delivered in a hard shell carrying case which accommodates the hand-held device, probe, an optional humidity calibration kit, and accessories.

E+E Elektronik products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Small but powerful!

The miniaturized MICROmote® photoelectric sensors from Balluff with separate electronic processor unit provide a large amount of optical performance in a tiny amount of space thanks to the miniaturized LEDs, photodiodes and phototransistors. Balluff specially developed a new, patented manufacturing process for its production. This provides the micro-optical components with high optical precision.

The MICROmote® sensors are ideal in small installation spaces and on moving machine parts and robot grippers, where low weight is necessary.

The robust sensors integrated into the metal housing are operated with a separate amplifier, which can be positioned outside of the action area. Highly flexible electrical cables provide secure transmission of the sensor signals between the sensor head and the amplifier. In this way, the sensors are also a technical alternative to fiber optics. An additional plus: The amplifier features ergonomic indicators and operating elements.

The photoelectric sensor heads with dimensions of just a few millimeters not only have impressive technical characteristic values, but also numerous other unique selling points. Thanks to a sophisticated modular system, users can find the ideal solution quickly and cost-effectively. It does not matter if the application involves position detection of small parts, identification and counting of objects or detecting the filling levels of foaming liquids.

Available products include, diffuse sensors, through-beam sensors, high-vacuum sensors, fork sensors, but also precision hose sensors used, for example, in the detection of liquids and bubbles.

Complete net oil solution with Coriolis flowmeters!

Yokogawa is releasing its patent pending solution for Advanced Net Oil and Real Time Gas Void Fraction measurement for use in upstream oil and gas. This solution is the only type of its kind where both measurements can be made in the same device, seamlessly switching between oil/water measurements and oil/gas measurements. This will ensure a repeatable and accurate net oil measurement.

Development Background

Major Target Markets
• Oil and gas well sites
• Oil wells, tank batteries, custody transfer stations, lease allocation well sites, 2-phase and 3-phase separators
• Water disposal wells and treatment centers
• Transportation trucks of oil and water disposal
With the rapid advance in oil and gas well drilling over the past few years, pipelines have not kept pace with new drilling sites. Much of the oil that is removed from the wells is unfortunately never pure; in most cases the oil will contain water or gas in some form. With traditional measurement methods, these impurities often lead to inaccurate measurement of oil from the wells. Some of the common issues associated with this, as reported by customers, are:

  • Unreliable net oil measurements from the separators

  • Inability to account for entrained gas, leading to inaccurate net oil measurements

  • Costly variations when measuring oil from lease allocation well sites, causing financial and legal issues

  • Operating on the assumption that the oil and water (saline) is at a fixed consistency, not allowing for change in values as the well matures

    Yokogawa Corporation of America carefully examined the customers’ needs and designed a reliable solution that meets industry needs.

    Their patent pending Complete Net Oil solution encompasses both the net oil and gas void fraction functionality. The ROTAMASS Coriolis meter switches seamlessly between the two functions with no disruption to production or the measurement. The Complete Net Oil solution is adapted to each unique well site and is adjustable as the well changes and the field matures. This reduces inaccurate readings of oil from separators and leads to a more real time net oil measurement in the one device.

    Product Features
    1. Advanced net oil/water cut measurement: Yokogawa’s Net Oil measurement delivers real-time values of oil from the separator by utilizing precise mass flow and density measurements from the ROTAMASS. The oil/water ratios are determined by combining internal algorithms with API oil density curves and the well’s unique produced water properties.
    2. Real Time Gas Void Fraction: When the measured density is lower than the known density value for the oil at the specific operating temperature, the internal algorithms generate an operating density based on API density calculations, allowing for a corrected volumetric flow, negating the volume error generated by the gas.
    3. Further, the ROTAMASS is the only flow meter that yields continuous water cut measurement and gas void fraction measurement, switching seamlessly in the same meter.
    4. In addition to the standard ROTAMASS Coriolis outputs (mass, volume, density, temperature), the following information can be provided by the unit:
    - Total net oil values
    - API barrels correct to 60F
    - Water cut values
    - Gas void fraction value
    - Total gross volume (oil)
    - Total mass (oil)

    5. Available in MODBUS communication for easy integration into already existing control, PLC, SCADA systems

  • Track & trace!

    Octapharma, one of the largest independent manufacturers of human protein products worldwide, has added the PAS-X Track & Trace Serialization Aggregation solution to Werum's PAS-X at their production site in Vienna. (A)
    Production facility in Vienna, Austria. Source: Octapharma 
    Octapharma has been committed to patient care and medical innovation for over 30 years. Its core business is the development, production and sale of human proteins from human plasma and human cell-lines. Patients in over 100 countries are treated with products in the areas of haematology, immunotherapy and critical care. Octapharma owns five state-of-the-art production facilities in Austria, France, Germany, Sweden and Mexico.

    Octapharma employs strict in-process quality control systems to ensure traceability, providing the complete documentation of the origin of all plasma donations, their processing and distribution to countries worldwide. The company requires a flexible and stringently validated system for marking, identifying and tracking their products.

    In a first step, PAS-X Track & Trace will be operated in the packaging area for the Chinese market. The serialization data provided by the Chinese authorities are loaded and the used data are reported back. PAS-X Track & Trace is interfaced to the existing PAS-X and exchanges order and stock data with the MES.

    It is intended to install Werum's PAS-X Track & Trace at further packaging lines for different target countries in the Vienna site.

    FTIR analysers enhanced and website launched!

    Gasmet Technologies has announced a wide range of developments that further improve its range of FTIR analysers. At the same time, the company launched a completely new website
    The launch took place during September at a beach-side hotel in Helsinki, Finland, and invited guests included key staff from Gasmet’s European subsidiaries and distributors
    Rami Vuorinen outlined the developments that have enhanced Gasmet’s FTIR analyser, which forms the core of many of the company’s stack emissions analysers, process analysers and ambient air quality monitoring instruments. “Work to increase analytical performance by optimizing various parts of the measurement process has been extremely successful,” he explained, “by identifying the bottlenecks in previous design, we have been able to improve sensitivity a great deal.”

    Further improvements have also been made to the Gasmet stationary sampling system for hot wet gases in stack emissions and industrial processes. These improvements have improved serviceability and extended reliability.

    Several new process applications were presented during the meeting, and a new photocatalyst measurement system for pigment and paint applications was launched.

    Gasmet’s new website has been designed to offer customers faster, easier access to a more comprehensive knowledge base. Users will find it much easier to find product information and application specific advice.

    Monday, October 20, 2014

    2,800 Flow and level instruments for Columbia.

    The main instrument vendor (MIV) by Refineria de Cartagena (Reficar) in Cartagena, Colombia is Endress+Hauser. They have supplied more than 2,800 flow and level measurement devices to support a $3.8 billion refinery expansion and modernisation project.

    The Reficar expansion project added twelve new process units, increasing refining capacity and production from 80 KBD to 165 KBD. The upgraded facility will produce ultra-low sulfur gasoline and diesel from heavy crude oil slate.

    Because of the large scale of the project, Reficar wanted a MIV with a global presence, project execution capabilities, and the skills needed to handle this huge expansion and modernisation project. Reficar was also in search of a global partner that could easily meet their wide range of measurement technology needs and act as a single source supplier.

    As the MIV, Endress+Hauser was able to:
    •      Perform sizing and selection of Endress+Hauser and third-party instrumentation
    •      Produce and manage all technical, commercial and logistics documentation
    •      Coordinate all inspections, calibrations and logistics-related activities

    Endress+Hauser’s local partner in Colombia (Colsein Ltda), provided additional support to Reficar through local training, calibration services and site supervision during installation, commissioning and startup.

    Colsein Ltda delivered a series of training programs to Reficar using an Endress+Hauser PTU® (Process Training Unit) located in Tocancipa, Cundinamarca Colombia (approximately 16 miles north of Bogotá). The PTU is a full-scale working mini-process plant with on-line instrumentation and controls. The PTU allowed Reficar personnel to gain hands-on experience with the types of operations, diagnostics and troubleshooting used in the new and updated units.

    Reficar shifted much of the logistics and invoicing responsibilities to Endress+Hauser by engaging the company as the MIV. All activities involving third-party technical inquiries and orders were routed through a single point of contact at Endress+Hauser. And by engaging Endress+Hauser as the MIV at an early stage in engineering, Reficar was able to include supplier features and part numbers in the initial version of the specification sheets, and ultimately reduce required engineering rework.

    Overall, this resulted in significant cost savings and reduced engineering rework, time savings for Reficar’s procurement department, and a substantial reduction in the total number of purchase orders, quotations and invoices.

    Control system for combined cycle power plant!

    Yokogawa  (Korea) has won an order from Samsung C&T Corporation to supply control systems for the Rabigh 2 combined cycle power plant, which is being built in Rabigh on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast. Plants of this type rely on both gas and steam turbines to generate electricity. The exhaust heat from a gas turbine is used to generate steam, which is sent to a steam turbine to generate additional electricity.

    This power plant will have three 700 MW combined cycle power units with gas turbines, giving it a total capacity of 2,100 MW. The plant is being built for Al Mourjan For Electricity Production Company, whose shareholders are the Saudi Electricity Company (50%) and a consortium (50%) consisting of Samsung C&T Corporation and ACWA Power International, an independent power producer. The plant is scheduled to start operation in June 2017.

    For this project, Yokogawa will deliver a CENTUM® VP integrated production control system for the monitoring and operation of all plant facilities, including the gas turbines, exhaust-heat-recovery boilers, and steam turbines, and for the control of the exhaust-heat-recovery boilers. The company will be responsible for engineering, and will also provide support for installation, commissioning, and operator training. This system is scheduled to be delivered by the middle of next year.

    The winning of this control system order can be attributed to Yokogawa's solid track record in providing control systems to the power industry, including over 100 systems for combined cycle power plants, and to the strong engineering capabilities of Yokogawa Electric Korea. An additional contributing factor was the company's excellent customer support network in Saudi Arabia.

    Combined cycle power plants generate power more efficiently and emit fewer greenhouse gases than conventional thermal power plants that use only gas or steam turbines. Power utilities all over the world are planning to construct plants of this type at sites that have ready access to natural gas. Encouraged by its success in winning this order, Yokogawa plans to expand its control business in the power sector, including the combined cycle power plant segment.

    Upgrades in Test Instrumentation Software necessitated by advances in technology!

    With the rapid emergence of new technologies, the demand for simple and easy-to-use solutions has grown in the global instrumentation software market. Acknowledging this need, instrumentation software companies are focusing on simplifying complicated technical tasks and processes as well as adding new functionalities.

    Frost & Sullivan's recent study,"It’s All About Software—Analysis of the Market for Global Instrumentation Software and Software Solutions for General Purpose Test Instrument", finds that the market earned revenues of $1.52 billion in 2013 and estimates this to reach $2.21 billion in 2018.

    The functionality of instrumentation software has evolved throughout the last decade, with many software developers employing powerful formulas, advanced rendering, and intuitive user interfaces.

    “The close integration of electronic test equipment and software is resulting in improved efficiency of the overall system,” said Frost & Sullivan Measurement & Instrumentation Industry Analyst Prathima Bommakanti. “The faster changeover, enhanced accuracy, and higher placement rates will all help deliver greater production yields to customers.”

    Investments in R&D will give a significant boost to the participants at a time when market maturity and the economic downturn are limiting the sales of associated software. However, superior customer awareness and competitive prices are generating interest in add on and turnkey software.

    Another important trend in the test instrumentation software market is the increasing heterogeneity in product/application mix at customer locations. Due to the resulting need for several types of software/products, customers tend to gravitate towards single-source suppliers that can provide the packages/services by themselves or through partnerships.

    End users' preference for a one-stop-shop drives equipment vendors to provide the equipment in a manner that eliminates the need to procure software individually. They also tend to offer free updates of the software if there is no revision in its version.

    “With the increase in complexity of DUT, customers in the global instrumentation software market are in a constant search for simple and easy-to-use solutions. ,” noted Bommakanti. “Identifying this need, market participants are striving to ensure that their software offer high ease-of-use to their customers”

    Calibration accelerometer!

    The new Type 8080 back-to-back vibration calibration standard accelerometer from Kistler,  uses an innovative PiezoStar® based sensing element, first of its kind for a back to back sensor, which combines very good transient response with very low case/base strain sensitivity and a 50g range. The accelerometer is designed specifically for use as a transfer standard for calibrating accelerometers and is equally suited to laboratory and field applications.

    The new accelerometer is the company's most accurate and repeatable low impedance, back-to-back, vibration calibration standard and features low base strain, long-term and thermal stability and high frequency response. Due to its unique shear design, it offers minimum sensitivity to shaker lateral rotation (rocking motion). A beryllium mounting base, lapped optically flat, provides optimum coupling between Type 8080 and the accelerometer being calibrated. Contained within the housing is a piezoelectric system consisting of a seismic mass preloaded to a PiezoStar element and miniature hybrid electronics. This combination yields a high level, low impedance voltage output signal proportional to the accelerating stimulus.

    This PiezoStar® based sensing element offers long-term thermal stability from −65oC to 120oC, and is superior to quartz in terms of voltage gain/noise. The high rigidity provides a frequency response flat to within ±5 % from 1 Hz up to 10 kHz. The shear design, first of its kind for back-to-back sensors, combines an excellent transient response with very low case/base strain sensitivity and a ground isolated interface to shaker. Both signal and DC excitation power are connected through a single coaxial cable.

    Ergonomic software for the brewing industry!

    Copa-Data has prepared live demonstrations to prove the advantages of Multi-Touch technology in the industrial environment. The main benefits include intuitive handling, a minimal amount of training and induction, as well as increased operating safety, thanks to two-handed operation and gesture-based login.

    Copa-Data is showcasing solutions for ergonomic production at the BrauBeviale, the international beverage industry fair (Nuremberg, 11-13 Nov'14)
    BrauBeviale is one of the most important international exhibitions for the beverage industry, featuring raw materials, technologies, logistics and marketing for the production of beer and non-alcoholic drinks.

    From the brewing process and line management, to monitoring overall equipment effectiveness and optimising energy supply, COPA-DATA’s industrial automation software is essential for the brewing industry. The zenon Product Family allows beverage manufacturers to gain full visualization, intuitive handling, efficient control and continuous optimisation of complex equipment.

    "Competitive pressure, stringent compliance requirements and increasing raw material and energy costs are forcing companies in the beverage industry to react more flexibly and economise more efficiently", explains Emilian Axinia, industry manager for food and beverage at COPA-DATA GmbH. "zenon is the key to continuous and ergonomic production, filling and packaging processes, increased line flexibility, maximum equipment availability and reduced Total Cost of Ownership."

    Line management and OEE
    Companies that implement zenon for line management can guarantee a continuous information flow – from the machine to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and back. They can ensure the efficient use of raw materials and equipment, the fulfilment of quality and time standards for all production orders and the reduction of costs in the long term. COPA-DATA’s zenon offers a universal, flexible and open platform that is geared to contribute to an increase of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

    Management of brewing processes
    Breweries that implement the zenon Product Family can fully display, comprehensively monitor and efficiently control their beverage production. zenon’s Batch Control Module allows processes in batch-based production to be optimally controlled, as well as ensuring an unchanging high quality. With Batch Control, brew masters can create and manage master recipes themselves, which then serve as templates - or so-called control recipes - used in beverage production.

    Energy management
    zenon allows companies from the beverage industry to set up a comprehensive solution for energy management. The software records and clearly presents energy consumption, the use of resources and the production data. It also identifies the possibilities for optimising energy efficiency and saving potential. The software thereby meets important criteria set out by the international energy standard ISO 50001. The certification body of TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH confirmed that zenon meets the defined requirements of the Certified Energy Data Management standard.