Friday 30 January 2015

Connectors offer space-saving benefits.

Harting is now offering its established DIN 41612 male connectors in Type 3Q and 3R shell styles to provide space-saving benefits in applications involving high-density circuit boards using smaller components.

The density of the electronics on modern PCBs is steadily increasing, while both circuit boards and components are becoming smaller. This trend is driving the need to use smaller connectors, and so all male connectors are now available with or without flanges. The male connectors without flanges offer particular space-saving benefits - although they are just as robust as existing devices in the full and half sizes. 

The new male connectors in styles 3Q and 3R are particularly suited to use in mezzanine and cable to circuit-board applications, along with type 3B and 3C female connectors.

The connectors retain the proven robustness of the DIN 41612 connector preferred by many users. They are available for soldering technology, SMC (surface-mount-compatible) technology, or press-in technology. The connectors each offer 20 or 30 contacts in a compact 2.54 mm grid space, and can handle currents of up to 2 A per contact. 

The DIN 41612 connectors are tested in accordance with IEC 60603-2. The versions made of high-temperature material (SMC) are particularly suitable for processing in the reflow soldering process. In addition to the standard versions, Harting offers customised loading configurations.

Playing a part in pre-compliance testing of high power drives for PCS #TandM #Pauto

The Yokogawa DLM4000 8-channel mixed-signal oscilloscope is playing a key part in pre-compliance tests on high-power inverter drives produced by PCS (Power Convertor Solutions GmbH) in Berlin (D).

The company, part of the Knorr-Bremse Group, develops and manufactures modular inverter systems for power ratings from 5 kW to 7 MW. The smaller converter systems of PCS are mainly used in rail vehicles for on-board power supplies, whereas the larger systems are used in test benches and to compensate for the voltage and frequency variations encountered in power supply distribution systems and wind turbine generators. 

In test-bench applications, the inverters are capable of controlling electric motors used for driving or braking when testing engines and other components of the powertrains of motor vehicles. For example, it is possible to use a PCS-powered drive to replicate torque surges, which typically occur with every ignition in a combustion engine. Therefore it is the perfect setup for tests without requiring the original engine. Another field of application is partial discharge measurement or the determination of various physical and electrical parameters of very large transformers. 

These test benches are usually constructed by specialised system integrators for whom PCS provides the appropriate inverter adapted to the specific application.

PCS inverters are also used in wind turbines to minimise the problems caused by short voltage dips on the mains and load shedding when the wind turbine shuts down. This is a problem on large wind farms because the network is suddenly left without several megawatts of generation capacity. These problems can be avoided by using a modern power converter in parallel, and PCS inverters are now being used to upgrade earlier wind turbine systems accordingly.  A typical PCS system uses a AC mains voltage input and a DC link voltage (up to 1000 V), which in turn is converted to an AC voltage output. The advantage of this approach is that the frequency and amplitude of the output voltage correspond exactly to the requirements of the particular application. This allows optimum motor control with high dynamics. The principle can also be reversed so that, for example, the fluctuating output voltage of a generator can feed directly into the grid.

The PCS inverters are modular and can be simply scaled in terms of size and performance to the particular application. Each module incorporates several IGBTs connected in parallel to achieve the required high currents. Modules can be combined in compact configurations: something that is particularly important for wind turbines, as there is generally little space available and the inverters may have to be installed in the nacelle.

Before a new inverter can go into production, numerous measurements and tests are required. In the development department at PCS, a Yokogawa DLM4000 mixed signal oscilloscope is used to carry out these tests. This instrument was selected because of its eight channels, each with a sampling rate of 1.25 GS/s. The eighth input channel can also be used as an 8-bit digital input, optionally expandable with an additional 16 bits.

“The Yokogawa DLM4000 is used to measure currents of more than 1000 amperes and voltages up to just over 1000 volts”, says Christian Neisse, Head of Development & Construction Industry at PCS: “For these measurements, we use Rogowski coils and six high-voltage probes. The Rogowski coils are used for evaluating the current waveform and the time profiles and for locating EMC problems. These can be simply inserted round a cable, so there is no need to disconnect the circuit, which with the thick lines used would be pretty expensive.”

“Because these are 3-phase systems, we usually have to measure three voltages and three currents simultaneously, as well as monitoring the ignition signals of the IGBTs. We therefore needed an oscilloscope with eight analogue channels and some digital inputs”, adds Mirko Grimberg, developer at PCS: “What was also important in this context was the high bandwidth to allow us to look at and record the fast transient signals.” 

A further benefit was the sophisticated triggering options on the DLM4000, which allowed the PCS team to record and produce a statistical record of intermittent anomalies. “We are also currently investigating the harmonics”, says Mirko Grimberg: “To this end, we measure the fundamental frequency of 50 Hz and the harmonics up to 1 MHz. An FFT analysis is performed for pre-compliance testing, and the data is then processed with Matlab software for further calculations. With a four-channel oscilloscope these measurements would be much more time-consuming and complex”.

User guidance concept & improved device-specific design provides easy, efficient operation!

Werum IT Solutions has released the latest version of its worldwide market-leading Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. The new PAS-X V3.1.7 software offers new levels of usability, and serves to further improve overall operational efficiencies.
PAS-X KPI Operator dashboard: important performance data at a glance
Easy-to-use MES for pharma companies
"Pharmaceutical companies are pressed to make production lines increasingly efficient and agile," says Robert Welter, Head of PAS-X Product Management, Werum IT Solutions GmbH. "To meet these requirements, an MES is needed that is ideally suited, not only in terms of functionality but also in terms of usability in order to allow easy system operation. In addition to designing new and innovative functions, it is essential to ensure an unsurpassed level of usability."

New user guidance concept
With PAS-X V3.1.7, the dialog for electronic batch recording was given a new design to optimally support production plant personnel in performing their tasks. Despite the complete functional scope of PAS-X, the information is displayed in a way that allows operators to work intuitively and efficiently, allowing them to focus on the most demanding aspects of their work while still being able to find additional information at any time. Based on feedback culled directly from shop floor end users, Werum also optimized certain automatic processes to further improve the overall user experience.

Device-optimized and improved design
PAS-X comes with device-specific dialogs. Depending on the device, users are displayed a dialog that has the optimal size and can be operated easily. For instance, the KPI dialogs are optimized for large screens - frequently used, for example, on packaging lines - as well as for tablet screens often used by supervisors. All operating elements are placed in optimal on-screen positions and font sizes can be changed. This is particularly relevant for mobile devices and Asian languages, such as Chinese and Japanese.

This is what our customers say
"We tested the redesigned EBR execution in practice," says Stefan Moris, Business expert POM - INM, Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. "Everybody was impressed with the quality of the new graphical user interface."

Learn about on temperature accuracy!

Moore Industries’ upcoming “A Practical Guide to Temperature Measurement Accuracy” webinar will give end users valuable information that will help them to make smarter temperature product choices. The webinar is on February 5 at 10 a.m. Pacific (1 p.m. Eastern) and registration is currently open here .

The upcoming webinar focuses on getting the most accurate temperature readings possible. Selecting the right sensors, transmitters and 4-wire RTDs will not only improve your accuracy but also reduce drift, which means less frequent calibrations or verifications and a decrease in operating expenses. We will also discuss eliminating errors caused by lead wires, environmental influences and measurement errors.

The webinar is hosted by Gary Prentice, Moore Industries’ National (US) Sales Manager. Mr. Prentice graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania and has 36 years of experience working in the process control industry. He will share tips on getting greater temperature accuracy.

Thursday 29 January 2015

Bolt tightening company appointment!

Andrew Brindley
Tentec Ltd has appointed of Andrew Brindley to its Internal Sales team.

Andrew has almost 30 years experience in the hydraulics industry with particular expertise in sales and purchasing. During his career, Andrew has worked throughout Europe and brings with him excellent market knowledge and first rate customer liaison skills.

Andrew’s appointment further strengthens Tentec’s sales team that is being expanded to accommodate Tentec’s increase in sales both in Britain and abroad.

PCI-programmable resistors!

Pickering Interfaces is expanding its range of PCI and PXI Programmable Resistors with the introduction of two new Programmable Resistor & Relay solutions.

These new solutions include the PCI Programmable Resistor & Relay Card (model 50-294) and the PXI Programmable Resistor & Relay Module (model 40-294). Both of these solutions feature:

  • Lower density and lower cost for simulating variable resistors. 
  • 12 resistor channel options having resolution from 0.25Ω to 2Ω and channel counts of either two or four. 
  • The option of adding eight SPST relays that can be used for extending resistance range or other switching functions within a test system. Their use potentially saves the addition of further switching products within a test system.
  • Basic accuracy is 1%± resolution
  • Each version uses high quality instrument grade reed relays to ensure long service life and fast setting times. 

The company continues to promote its test solutions in multiple platforms by offering the programmable resistors in different form factors (PXI & PCI) with the same options. This offering allows the user to choose the most appropriate platform for their test system. These new programmable resistors are functionally similar to Pickering’s current programmable resistor models 40-293 and 50-293, which are based on electromechanical relays and have pin compatible layouts.

Pickering Interfaces supports all of their manufactured products with a standard three-year warranty and guaranteed long-term product support.

Ex HMIs in sandwich design!

“Cool at heart" – that's the innovative approach to heat dissipation in the latest 4x8 HMI series developed by R. Stahl HMI Systems.

The explosion-protected Panel PCs for zones 1 / 2 consist of a front module with the bright display, a second module containing the processor unit with a fast CPU (AMD Dual Core G-T56N or Intel Core i7-3517UE), and a large heat sink with massive ribs. Due to the stack effect, display and processor module heat is dissipated via natural convection in ambient temperatures up to +65 °C. Operation of the HMIs in extremely cold environments with temperatures down to ­40 °C is also possible with an optional integrated heater – no additional enclosures or external fittings are required.

The seawater-proof sealed aluminium enclosures protect against humidity in line with IP66. The Panel PCs offer numerous state-of-the-art functions for operating and monitoring tasks on drilling platforms, including e.g. integrated cameras for video calls, RFID interface for access control systems, and various wireless communication systems (Bluetooth as well as intrinsically safe 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi capability).

Combining a bright multi-touch panel and a hardened glass screen, the HMIs feature a sunlight-readable display that remains glare-free even in very strong ambient light. An integrated brightness sensor automatically adapts the display brightness to changing natural or artificial light conditions. The HMIs come with Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows Embedded Standard 7. They are available with 15-inch, 21.5-inch and 24-inch WU format screens. The compact units can be mounted in many ways, for example on a yoke, as a Rig Floor PC or with a VESA mount inside a container.

IECEx and ATEX certificates have already been obtained. INMETRO, TR, NEC and CSA certifications are pending and due for completion in the first half of 2015.

Stahl products are marketed in Ireland through Douglas Controls & Automation.

Convection cooled power supply ofers 92% efficiency

Excelsys Technologies has announced the XS500 range of high efficiency 500W Convection cooled AC/DC power supplies.  With a typical efficiency of 92%, and exceptional efficiency performance over the entire load range the XS500 does not require any forced air cooling.

Operating from 90-264VAC, the XS500 delivers 500W output power without the need for forced air cooling, making it ideal for use in a wide range of acoustic and vibration sensitive applications as well as hi-rel applications where fans are not permitted.

Combining the use of low energy loss topologies, with low heat generation due to the high efficiency, the components temperatures within the XS500 are kept to a minimum, leading to increased reliability and service life. All this is backed by the Excelsys 5 year warranty.

Offered with nominal outputs of 24V/21A and 48V/10.5A, the wide voltage adjustment range of the models can easily accommodate non-standard system voltages via the on-board potentiometer and Vtrim functions. The XS500 standard protection features and control signals include remote on/off, power fail, remote sense, current limit adjustment, as well as over voltage, over current and over temperature protection.
The Excelsys XS500 carries dual safety certification, EN60950 2nd Edition for Industrial Applications and EN60601-1 2nd and 3rd Edition for Medical Applications, meeting the stringent creepage and clearance requirements. The series provides input to output isolation of 4KVAC, Furthermore; this can be tested on the complete power supply, simplifying system safety agency approvals.   The power supply provides also provide 2 MOPP (2 Means of Patient Protection) and <300ua and="" applications.="" b="" bf="" body="" br="" current="" floating="" for="" in="" it="" leakage="" making="" medical="" suitable="" type="" use="">

Designed to meet MIL810G, the XS500 is also compliant with SEMI F47 for voltage dips and interruptions as well as being compliant with all relevant EMC emission and immunity standards. Designed for use in hostile environments, the XS500 can withstand input surges of 4KV and has been characterised to MIL461F with an external EMI filter for Hi-Rel/Defence applications.

Optional features include I2C digital communications and OR-ing Function for N+1 redundancy. The product can also be conformal coated and ruggedised for use in harsh environments.

Typical applications for the XS500 include medical systems such as imaging and blood processing equipment. In particular, since no cooling fans are used, the units are ideal for medical systems that stipulate low audible noise specifications. The series also suit use in a wide range of industrial, laboratory and hi-rel applications.

Connector connections!

"Come hell or highly waterproof connectors!"

Industrial connector specialist Electroustic has teamed up with  environmentally-sealed component manufacturer Bulgin to supply, design, prototype and manufacture customised cable assembly and box build solutions. 

As Bulgin’s technical distributor, Electroustic will supply all the products from the connectivity expert's catalogue. Thanks to the close-knit collaboration between the two companies, Electroustic offers bespoke solutions for a multitude of applications, from industrial automation to marine, petrochemical and surveillance. 

Bulgin’s range of circular connectors, IECs, fuseholders, battery holders and vandal­resistant switches are all designed and manufactured in house. The extremely robust, environmentally-sealed Buccaneer® series of connectors are IP66, IP68 and IP69K rated, providing an ideal solution for industrial power and data applications. 

The IP69K rating means they can withstand water from high pressure or steam cleaning, making them suitable for use in environments such as food and beverage production, where sanitation and cleanliness are cardinal requirements. This versatile connector range also includes Ethernet, USB and mini USB connectors, as well as ATEX Zone 2 and Zone 22 rated options. 

“The main reason for making Electroustic our technical partner is the company’s excellent understanding of manufacturing process and customer service,” explained David Luu, product marketing analyst at Bulgin. “Just like Bulgin, Electroustic likes to work closely with its customers and build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. We’re certain that our cooperation will result in benefits for both current and future clients.”

“Demand for high ingress protection connectors has been on the rise in recent years,” commented Amy Wells, marketing manager of Electroustic. “We were keen to broaden our offering to include Bulgin’s waterproof and IP69K connectors, which are at home in some of the harshest and most demanding industrial environments on Earth.”

CERN collaboration!

National Instruments (NI) has announced a collaboration with CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire), the intergovernmental research organisation building the world’s largest and most advanced scientific instruments. The objective is to push the standardisation of all CERN control systems to Linux 64-bit OSs, with goals to boost system performance, design cost-effective distributed control systems and enlarge opportunities for small and medium enterprises with expertise in NI and open-source technologies. 

The world wide web
One of the results of the work of CERN is The World Wide Web. This was invented at CERN in 1989 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and has grown to revolutionise communications worldwide.
NI has been working with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, more commonly known as CERN, since the early 1990s on applications that help explain what the universe is made of and how it began. Notable collaborations include the Large Hadron Collider collimation system, where applications developed with LabVIEW system design software control stepping motors on approximately 120 NI PXI systems, and the MedAustron ion beam cancer therapy centre, for which CERN received three awards at NIWeek 2013. These common developments have resulted in valuable training for engineers in the fast-growing embedded systems market, and have led to long-term maintainable systems in mission-critical applications. 

A recent collaboration between CERN and NI concentrated on CERN’s infrastructure improvement plans. Prior to the public release of LabVIEW support for 64-bit Linux, the Engineering Department (EN) Industrial Controls and Engineering (ICE) Group at CERN, acted as a lead user to help NI define and refine the software features needed to ensure CERN’s success in continuing to use NI tools. By working with CERN early on to learn about its upgrade requirements, NI was able to prioritise key deliverables and gain valuable feedback from CERN to increase the quality of support for 64-bit Linux. 

“The EN-ICE Group appreciates the engagement of NI to develop 64-bit software for CERN in a collaborative way,” said Adriaan Rijllart, Section Leader of the EN-ICE Group. “This very successful initiative is paving the way for exemplary partnerships between fundamental research organisations and industry.” 

Shelley Gretlein, Director of Platform Software at NI said “NI is pleased to have advanced lead users like CERN apply their extensive Linux experience in helping NI continue to release leading-edge products.” 

In 2014, LabVIEW 64-bit for Linux was officially released to the public. The support for this OS ensures that CERN, as well as a vast majority of other leading-edge research laboratories and projects around the world, can continue to benefit from the increased productivity of LabVIEW in an open and sustainable operational environment. 

“NI values the significance and benefits of Linux and continues to invest in R&D to ensure the compatibility of customisable commercial off-the-shelf technologies with open-source platforms,” said Stefano Concezzi, Vice President of the Scientific Research Segment at NI. 

NI and CERN are committed to accelerating scientific innovation and discovery. “The vision of NI and CERN overlap very much. That vision is to improve society with our technologies,” said Johannes Gutleber, a CERN staff member and Senior Scientist. 

Monochrome LCDs for Ireland & Britain!

Ginsbury has announced a new distribution agreement with LCD manufacturer Blaze Display Technology. Blaze specialise in the design, manufacture and supply of segment, character and graphic LCD display modules. Ginsbury will promote and distribute the full range of Blaze display products in Britain & Ireland

Ken Berry, product manager, Ginsbury said, "With over 30 years' manufacturing experience, Blaze is an established supplier of high quality monochrome displays. Blaze offers a highly cost-effective range of monochrome segment, character and graphic LCD modules that significantly strengthens Ginsbury's portfolio of display products. Blaze is also able to support full or semi-custom display solutions to meet customer defined specifications."

Established in 1982, Blaze Display Technology has extensive R&D and manufacturing facilities in Shenzhen, China producing a wide range of positive and negative mode monochrome displays with various backlight colours. A wide variety of segment, character and graphic display modules and LCD glass are supported. To meet specific customer needs, Blaze can offer additional integrated features such as contrast adjustment, temperature compensation and touchscreen control circuits.

It is a leading supplier of LCD modules to medical, metering, transportation and telecommunications OEMs and has achieved ISO9001:2000 approval for LCD design and manufacture. All Blaze displays and associated products are RoHS compliant.

Ginsbury can provide demonstration units and samples for Blaze displays to aid and assist full product appraisal. Blaze displays are ideally suited for use in handheld, portable and battery powered equipment including metering, industrial controllers, monitoring and point-of-sale devices.

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Clamping force measurement over machine control!

The Siemens Sinumerik CNC controllers have been getting the maximum productivity out of each machine for over 50 years.

Now they have another partner on their side: the Hainbuch Testit software. It is available on a data carrier for installation on Siemens CNC controllers [Sinumerik 840 D sl plus PCU50]. This means that a separate laptop is not needed anymore and manufacturing with "theoretical clamping forces" is also a thing of the past. Thanks to Testit, the operator always knows which clamping forces exist and where, and the actual maintenance status of the clamping device. And given the safety standard DIN EN 1550, it is a "must have". This means: The Testit clamping force gauge together with the Siemens CNC controller executes a target-actual comparison of the maintenance status of a clamping device. If the limit values are underranged, a warning message is output.

Trust is good, control is better
Based on his apprenticeship a machine operator or programmer has been taught to work in such a manner that a workpiece does not get destructed, e.g. when programming the manufacturing steps he builds in a lot of safety measures to minimize this risk. However, in reality, effective measurement data regarding the holding forces of a clamping device, and also in regards to the clamping forces of the clamping cylinder itself can only be obtained as vague reference values. A machine operator who knows how dependent the holding forces of a clamping device derive from its current maintenance status are, or from the centrifugal force losses while turning with jaw chucks, is extremely sceptical of such makeshift calculations and hence builds in a high safety value. Machining of easily deformable components is also extremely critical. Usually only a very small margin of holding force is available. If an item is clamped too strongly, a sensitive component will be excessively deformed. Applying to little clamping force results in an inefficient set-up for rational machining.

Safe results - even with mandrels
However, the globalization of markets requires an optimum of the machining process. Those who face stiff competition can no longer afford to manufacture just by »feeling«. Measurement data is demanded! It not only functions perfectly for outer diameters and during rotation, it also precisely measures the holding force of mandrels for inner diameters.

World’s smallest cross stack TDL monitor!

The SERVOTOUGH MiniLaser Oxy, the world’s smallest cross-stack Tunable Diode Laser (TDL) gas analyzer and only TDL analyser specifically optimised for O2 measurement has been launched by Servomex.

Dr Stephen Firth, Photometric Product Manager at Servomex, said: “Based around Servomex’s revolutionary new MiniLaser platform and developed at our UK Technical Center, the MiniLaser Oxy is a remarkable ninety per cent smaller and eighty per cent lighter than many other comparable TDL analysers. As a consequence, the MiniLaser’s revolutionary compact size and dramatically reduced footprint offers unparalleled installation flexibility and a host of cost and performance benefits.”

The advantages of the new MiniLaser are immediate. Instead of the time-intensive installation associated with traditional, bulky TDL analysers, the MiniLaser can be installed quickly by just one person. Simple installation is supported by a new built-in display, which negates the need for using a laptop for configuration and diagnostics, while improved advanced optical performance achieves a wider acceptance angle.

To ensure precision alignment from the outset, Servomex has also included a new mounting assembly for multi-direction adjustment. When combined with the new, quick-release mechanism, fast and accurate reinstallation - without the need for re-alignment - is achieved every time. The MiniLaser Oxy also includes Servomex’s new purge design, which reduces nitrogen (N2) and air purge costs by up to an impressive ninety per cent per annum; a significant return on investment when calculating lifetime operational costs.

Optimised for the fast, accurate and responsive measurement of process oxygen in hot or hazardous conditions exactly where it is needed, the MiniLaser Oxy is particularly suitable for a range of combustion and process control applications.

The MiniLaser Oxy joins the SERVOTOUGH Laser range of TDL analysers, providing the same industry-leading performance delivered by Servomex’s in-situ cross stack and extractive monitors.

Servomex Group President, Chuck Hurley said: “The SERVOTOUGH MiniLaser Oxy is a groundbreaking development in TDL technology and the direct result of Servomex’s continued investment in R&D to meet the ongoing requirements of our customers. It is a challenge to traditional thinking across the whole industry, both in terms of design and application. The MiniLaser is the next big thing in gas analysis.”

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Energy data logger!

The Tinytag Energy Logger is widely used in industrial/manufacturing plants with high-consumption equipment to accurately monitor single and three phase power usage.
  • Safe, non-invasive and simple to use
  • Compact and hand-held
  • On-screen voltage, current and power readings
  • Spot checks or longer term recording
Recorded data is used to identify times of peak load, to analyse energy profiles, and to identify power hungry or inefficient equipment.

• TinyTag products are marketed in Ireland by Manotherm.

Step-by-step measurement and control videos!

Endress+Hauser has released over 100 free, step-by-step instructional videos to the Endress+Hauser YouTube channel.

Customers looking for quick solutions to commonly asked questions will now have the opportunity to view short videos covering all of Endress+Hauser’s core product lines - flow, level, pressure, temperature and analytical. Videos covering Endress+Hauser’s recorder line and Fieldcare configuration software are also available.

 The technical support team at Endress+Hauser, which includes highly skilled engineers, product specialists and team managers, anticipate the “how-to” videos will help customers resolve issues and answer questions more quickly and efficiently. Most importantly, this extra arm of support will provide customers with an all-around better experience.

“Today our customers are looking for quick answers in order to become more efficient in their day-to-day work. Providing our customers with these quick, instructional videos not only allows us to resolve customer problems more quickly but also provides our customers with another avenue to seek our support,” says Brian Walker, Vice President of Service, Endress+Hauser.

Customers are able to access the Endress+Hauser YouTube channel 24/7 to watch short “how to” videos on a variety of topics, from “How to change 4 to 20 mA current output” to “Commissioning a pH probe on the CM44 transmitter” and much more. Endress+Hauser will continuously upload new and helpful videos to the channel.

Busbar for AC & DC applications!

Efficient drive systems, idle power loss reductions and the renewable energy sector all require safe, reliable DC solutions and while they cannot replace AC applications across the board, they are definitely growing in importance.

Rittal is the world’s first manufacturer to offer an approved busbar system with standard components, optimised for both AC and DC applications. No other products are required.

DC busbar systems are increasingly deployed in converter buses, DC power backup systems, photovoltaics, galvanics, energy storage systems and in shipbuilding. The system has a current carrying capacity of up to 1600A, a nominal voltage of up to 1500V DC and a short-circuit rating of up to 40kA. Rittal’s RiLine is approved to IEC 61439 and UL 845 in conjunction with UL 508, making it suitable for a wide range of industries.

Depending on requirements, busbar systems can be made of copper, aluminium or cuponal, a copper-clad aluminium busbar from Rittal. RiLine’s assembly parts, such as connection adapters up to 800A, OM component adaptors with tension spring clamps and CB Series compact circuit breaker adaptors up to 250A, are suitable for DC applications. The following fuse components can be deployed: size 00-3 NH bus-mounting fuse bases up to 630A and size 00 NH slimline fuse-switch disconnectors up to 160A, with corresponding DC fuses.

Basics in measurement & control!

The newly released fifth edition of the book Measurement and Control Basics has been extensively updated to reflect the latest advances in automation technologies and incorporate valuable new self-study exercises and challenge-solution examples.

“The book has always been intended to be used in classrooms and for self-study, and the new content and exercises significantly improve the book’s value in these contexts,” says Thomas A. Hughes, Ph.D., the author and a Senior Member of ISA who possesses more than 35 years of experience in the design and installation of instrumentation and control systems. “By reading the book and completing the exercises, a person can gain a clear understanding of the basic principles of instrumentation, measurement and control and build a solid foundation for more advanced study in the automation field.”

The continuing evolution in automation technologies, Dr. Hughes points out, called for adding important new sections  on computers, data communication networks and systems, programmable controllers, wireless devices and human machine interface (HMI) systems.
Specifically, the new content includes:
  • A new chapter on liquid density measurement
  • An updated and improved section on nuclear density measurement
  • An expanded and improved discussion of the general requirements of a control system
  • Coverage of decoupling control loops and selector (override) control loops
  • A revised Appendix A to cover the latest ANSI/ISA-5.1-2009 standard and the electrical and control symbols used in automation.
To make the book more suitable for classroom and self-study use, Dr. Hughes introduced new and improved exercises at the end of each chapter and numerous example problems to aid in the understanding of technical information and contexts.

“There is also an appendix at the end of the book that includes the solutions to the exercises so students can check their work and confirm their understanding of all the industrial process control principles, technologies and strategies as they go.”

Vision product manager in Ireland!

Paul Nolan has joined VisionID as the national Cognex Product Manager in Ireland.

He has over 11 years’ experience in the Automated Identification and Data Capture solution industry. During this time he has gained extensive experience working with world class solution providers such as Motorola, Zebra and Honeywell.

He was also heavily involved with the specification and implementation of Automatic Labelling systems which included fixed mount barcode scanning/verification.

Launch of Wonderware R2 in Britain & Ireland!

Wonderware UK and Ireland, is supporting the launch of the ground-breaking Wonderware 2014 R2 with a series of free webinars and Wonderware in Practice demo events.

• 2014 R2 system overview: 28th January at 12.30
• 2014 R2 InTouch overview: 3rd February at 12.30
• 2014 R2 System Platform overview: 10th February at 12.30
• 2014 R2 Historian: 17th February at 12.30
Register here: click here

Wonderware in Practice Demo Event:
• 19th February at Wonderware UK, Cheadle

Register here: Click here
Wonderware 2014 R2, available exclusively via Wonderware UK and Ireland and represents a leap forward in the product’s evolution, delivering improvements to InTouch, System Platform and Historian.

Paul Alcock, Systems Architect at Wonderware UK and Ireland, said: “The latest Wonderware solutions deliver enhanced insight into real-time operations, whilst also providing new engineering efficiencies and best practice design, protecting customers’ investments now and into the future. The 2014 R2 release enables customers to have full control of operations whilst supporting continuous improvement and efficiencies.”

An exclusive first look at the product, which will push the boundaries of visualisation and operational intelligence, will be available to those who register for a series of free webinars and ‘Wonderware in Practice’ demo events.

The programme of events kicks off with a Wonderware 2014 R2 System Overview webinar on 28th January. The webinar will discuss the key development areas within the new release, including improved best practice in HMI Design and fresh out-of-the box content, further advancements to Situational Awareness tools, enhanced engineering usability and the introduction of comprehensive, system-wide standards for ultimate efficiency.

On 3rd February 2015, Wonderware will offer a live webinar on InTouch, detailing the further visualisation advancements that have been made to the product, including new ‘InTouch Modern Applications’ functionality, which allows for ArchestrA graphics to be produced within Windowmaker, eliminating the need to change environments, as well as enabling traditional InTouch windows to be converted into ArchestrA graphics. This will be followed by an overview of System Platform 2014 R2 on 10th February detailing its improved alarm management features and superior engineering workflow functionality.

The programme of webinars will conclude on 17th February with an overview of Historian 2014 R2 which delivers a five-fold improvement in storage performance over classic SQL server based storage and the capacity to store more than two million tags.

Monday 26 January 2015

Industrial networking - platform share!

PROFIBUS remains the most widely used industrial network globally but several networks are closing up. PROFINET and EtherNet/IP compete for first place within industrial Ethernet and no network consolidation is in sight. These are some of the conclusions from HMS Industrial Networks as they present their view of the industrial network market in 2015.
Anders Hansson
More and more devices are getting connected
“With more than 25 years of experience in industrial communication, we have a very good insight in the industrial network market,” says Anders Hansson, Marketing Director at HMS Industrial Networks. “The figures we present are based on insights from colleagues in the industry, our own sales statistics and overall perception of the market. On a general note, we see a shift towards industrial Ethernet but the migration to Industrial Ethernet is taking longer time than first expected. We still get a lot of requests for connectivity to both fieldbus and industrial Ethernet.

“What is completely evident, however, is that the network market remains fragmented and that industrial devices are getting more and more connected. This is accentuated by trends such as Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. With our long-term motto ‘Connecting Devices,’ HMS is well-suited to grow with these trends.”
Both fieldbus and industrial Ethernet networks are growing, but Ethernet is growing faster!

Looking at new installed nodes within factory automation globally, fieldbuses are still the most widely used type of network with 66% of the market. An interesting fact is that HMS sees fieldbuses still growing by approximately 7% per year. The main drivers for fieldbus growth is simplicity, tradition and reliability. The dominant fieldbus is PROFIBUS (18% of the total world market including industrial Ethernet) followed by Modbus (7%), DeviceNet (6%) and CC-Link (6%).

Industrial Ethernet networks make up for 34% of the market and are increasing faster than fieldbuses (17% per year), but HMS concludes that it will take some time before Industrial Ethernet outgrows fieldbuses. The main drivers for Ethernet growth are higher performance and office network integration. PROFINET and EtherNet/IP are the two biggest Ethernet networks with 8% of the total network market each. Runners-up are EtherCAT, Modbus-TCP and POWERLINK.

Regional variations
• In Europe and the Middle East (EMEA), PROFIBUS is the dominant network while PROFINET has the fastest growth rate. Runners up are Modbus and EtherCAT.

• The US market is dominated by the CIP networks where EtherNet/IP is overtaking DeviceNet in terms of market shares. Runners-up are PROFIBUS and EtherCAT. Furthermore, PROFINET gains market shares and Modbus is still popular.

• In Asia, no network stands out as truly market-leading, but PROFIBUS, DeviceNet and Modbus are widely used. CC-Link is dominating in Japan, and EtherCAT is also gaining traction.

EDSA certification for field control processor!

The Schneider Electric Field Control Processor 280  has been certified to the ISASecure® Embedded Device Security Assurance (EDSA) certification.

“Schneider Electric is a founding strategic member of ISCI and a valued contributor to the ISASecure certification scheme,” stated Andre Ristaino, ISCI Managing Director. “We are pleased to congratulate Schneider Electric on its first ISASecure certification.”

The Field Control Processor 280 is Schneider Electric’s first product to be certified to the ISASecure Conformance Scheme. Schneider Electric now joins the growing list of industry leaders committed to the ISASecure control system certification scheme.

The Field Control Processor 280 is a distributed, optionally fault-tolerant, field-mounted process controller with alarming functions for Schneider Electric’s Foxboro Evo process automation system. As Schneider Electric’s latest-generation Foxboro controller, it contains a number of enhancements that reduce engineering effort, cost and footprint. The ISASecure® Embedded Device Security Assurance (EDSA) certification is a demonstrable indicator to Schneider Electric’s  customers that the company is committed to safety and security in their products. ISASecure assures that the Field Control Processor 280 is free of known cybersecurity vulnerabilities and robust against network attacks.

Easy mounting/dismounting of data acquisition modules & Bluetooth support gives improved efficiency!

The SMARTDAC+ GM data acquisition system from Yokogawa,  improves operational efficiency due to its modular design, which facilitates the mounting and removal of modules. In addition, the SMARTDAC+ GM system supports Bluetooth wireless communications for use with handheld mobile devices.

The SMARTDAC+ GM system is expected to comply with 21 CFR Part 11 regulations in 2015.

Development background
Data acquisition systems are widely used in many industrial and test & measurement applications in a large variety of industries to acquire and record process data such as temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, and pressure. In 1951 Yokogawa became the first company in Japan to bring an electronic self-balancing recorder to market, and in 1986 introduced a multipoint data acquisition and recording system. Yokogawa currently offers a wide variety of data acquisition systems.

Depending on the application, most data acquisition systems utilise a variety of modules to acquire a wide range of data. Historically, many of these systems were equipped with a base plate for the mounting of modules. Base plates are now less common, as users prefer designs that allow the easy mounting and removal of modules. The data acquisition systems in use today can be classified into two types: those that are equipped with a monitor, and those that are not. In the latter case, the systems must be hooked up to a PC and operated using its screen and keyboard. To better accommodate the needs of its customers, Yokogawa developed the SMARTDAC+ GM modular data acquisition system. With modular I/O, users can scale their data acquisition system based on their process requirement, with the ability to upgrade as their needs evolve. In addition, wireless Bluetooth connection allows wireless communication with mobile devices.

Enhancements incorporated in the system include the following:
1. Module base
Yokogawa has developed a new module base that eliminates the need for a base plate and enables the mounting and dismounting of single modules. With earlier non-base-plate designs, modules were connected in a row. To dismount a module in the centre of the row, users would have to disconnect all the modules to the left or the right. Yokogawa’s SMARTDAC+ GM system’s modular design uses interconnected module bases. To replace a module, users only need to pull out the module from the module base and insert another. This greatly improves efficiency. The module bases can be easily secured to each other with a sliding lock. When the system is used in a set configuration for longer periods of time, the module bases can be fastened together with screws.

2. Bluetooth support
The SMARTDAC+ GM system supports Bluetooth connectivity to tablets running the Android OS. From a handheld device, users can wirelessly monitor and operate the system and perform settings other than those done at initial system setup, which requires the use of a PC and an Ethernet or USB connection. An Android tablet can be used to start or stop data acquisition, change settings, or monitor acquired process values.

3. Accurate power measurement
The SMARTDAC+ GM system can be connected with an Ethernet cable to a Yokogawa WT300/500/1800 power analyser, which is used to perform the simultaneous measurements of temperature and power that are often required to test the performance of devices such as home appliances. The digital transfer of measurement data to this system enables the highly accurate acquisition of measurement data.

Main target markets include company R&D units engaged in the development of home appliances, automobiles, semiconductors and new energy applications; universities; research institutes; laboratories; and manufacturing operations in industries such as iron and steel, petrochemicals, chemicals, pulp and paper, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, water and wastewater, electrical equipment, and electronics.

Applications include acquisition and recording of data such as temperature, voltage, current, flow rate, and pressure for the evaluation testing of products, monitoring of plant equipment, and environmental monitoring.

Keeping food fresh!

A major manufacturer of climate-controlled food storage systems incorporates Michell’s I7000 humidity and temperature modules within their products to ensure the reliable temperature and humidity control.

Consumers’ demands for fine wines and for imported foods, such as out-of-season fruit or unusual cheeses, has given suppliers the challenge of storing and transporting perishable items effectively and with the minimum of wastage.

The I7000 Hygrosmart Relative Humidity and Temperature sensor provides highly reliable and accurate measurements of the key parameters for ensuring food is kept fresh and in good condition. The sensor is accurate to ±2%RH and to ±0.2°C and is gives long-term stability with less than 1% RH drift over a year to maintain the ideal storage conditions over time. The robust sensor’s small size makes it easily interchangeable. It has a simple ‘plug and play’ system, which means that users can maintain the accuracy of their RH and temperature measurements in the storage units themselves. The easy procedure, which is comparable to changing a lightbulb, takes only few minutes and is extremely cost efficient.

The customer saves time and money through using the I7000. All the I7000 modules are supplied from Michell fully calibrated, with a traceable calibration certificate. Previously the manufacturer’s staff performed calibrations and adjustments as part of the manufacturing process.

• Michell products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology

High density switching matrix!

Pickering Interfaces is expanding its range of LXI switching matrices with the introduction of new high-density matrix modules.
High-Density LXI Switching Matrix (60-553) is a 1024x4 dual bus 1-pole matrix in a compact 1U full rack width enclosure. The product has been designed specifically to support high relay closure counts to optimize its use with a digital multimeter (DMM) or source meter for checking for insulation problems between a single contact and all other contacts in the unit under test (UUT), requiring the closure of up to 1024 crosspoint relays.

The 60-553 LXI switching matrix is designed with a dual bus arrangement that allows the matrix to be divided into two smaller independent matrices, for example, two matrices of 512x4. The dual bus design features isolation relays; this also allows sub-matrices to be isolated from the main matrix when there are no closures on that sub-matrix, minimizing capacitive loading and maximizing bandwidth of the matrix. They can also be linked together to form larger matrices by cables and can be supplied as partially populated matrices from 256x4 in increments of 128x4.

User connections are provided on a 160-way DIN41612 connector that is fully supported by Pickering Interfaces range of connector accessories. Control is via an Ethernet connection that is fully compliant to Version 1.4 of the LXI standard.

Also available on the 60-553 LXI matrix is Pickering’s diagnostic test tool BIRST™ (Built-in Relay Self-Test). BIRST provides a quick and simple way of finding relay failures within the matrices.
Pickering Interfaces stands behind all of their manufactured products with a standard three-year warranty and guaranteed long-term product support.

Sunday 25 January 2015

Industrial cybersecurity seminar at forum!

The Automation Federation is scheduled to conduct a high-profile seminar on industrial cybersecurity at the  19th Annual ARC Industry Forum, which will take place 9-12 February 2015 in Orlando (FL USA)
9 February 2015.

• 9 a.m. – 9:05 a.m.
Peggie Koon, Ph.D., Chair, Automation Federation; 2014 ISA President
• 9:05 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.
Introduction of White House Speaker
Mike Marlowe, Managing Director and Director of Government Relations at the Automation Federation
• 9:10 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.
White House Executive Order
Jeanette Manfra, Director of Cybersecurity Critical Infrastructure Protection at the White House (scheduled)
• 9:25 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Introduction of NIST Speaker
Mike Marlowe
• 9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
NIST Cybersecurity Framework Presentation
Adam Sedgewick, Senior Policy Advisor, NIST
• 9:45 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.
Introduction of IEC-62443 Speaker
Mike Marlowe
• 9:50 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.
IEC-62443 Standard Presentation
Eric Cosman, Co-Chair, ISA99 Security Standards Committee; and Automation Federation Cybersecurity Framework Team Member

• 10:05 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. 

• 10:15 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

Introduction of ISA Cybersecurity Resources Speaker
Mike Marlowe
• 10:20 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.
ISA Cybersecurity Resources Presentation
Steve Huffman, Chair of Automation Federation Government Relations Committee; and Former Automation Federation Chair/ISA President
10:35 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.
Introduction of Exelon Cybersecurity Presentation
Mike Marlowe
• 10:40 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.
Exelon Cybersecurity Presentation
Samara Moore, Senior Manager, Critical Infrastructure Security and Compliance, Exelon Corporate & Information Security Services
• 10:55 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Introduction of FBI Infragard Presentation
Mike Marlowe
• 11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
FBI Infragard Presentation
FBI Special Agent David Nelson
• 11:15 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.
Introduction of Mission Critical Operations Presentation
Mike Marlowe
• 11:20 a.m. – 11:35 a.m.
Mission Critical Operations Presentation
Mitchell Sepaugh, Project Manager, Industrial Systems National Consortium for Mission Critical Operations
• 11:35 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.
Introduction of Manufacturing Extension Partnership Presentation
Mike Marlowe
• 11:40 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.
Manufacturing Extension Partnership Presentation
John Dorris and Phil Mintz, NC Industrial Extension Service

The seminar—to be conducted from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, 9 February—will feature many of the world’s foremost experts in industrial cybersecurity, including officials from the White House, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the National Consortium for Mission Critical Operations (NCMCO), ISA, the Automation Federation and other select organizations. (View the agenda toward the end of this press release.)

The title of the forum, “Industry in Transition: The Information-Driven Enterprise for the Connected World,” reflects the recognition that leading companies must embrace new information and automation technologies to maintain a competitive edge and protect their critical assets.
A vital step manufacturers and owners and operators of critical infrastructure can take to safeguard their critical assets and better protect themselves from cyberattack is the adoption of industrial cybersecurity standards, guidelines and compliance testing.

As a leading authority on industrial automation control systems (IACS) security standards, the Automation Federation and its founding association, ISA, have worked closely with US government officials and lawmakers in Washington to build support for a national commitment to more rigorous cybersecurity as well as federal cybersecurity legislation.

The Automation Federation will play an active role in the implementation of The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014, which was recently passed by Congress and signed into law by US President Obama.

The bipartisan bill is designed to strengthen and protect the nation’s economic and national security through public-private partnerships to improve cybersecurity and a greater reliance on cybersecurity standards; research and development; workforce development and education; and public awareness and preparedness.

IACS security standards developed by ISA (IEC-62443) are integral components of the federal government’s plans to combat cyberattack because they’re designed to prevent and offset potentially devastating cyber damage to industrial plant systems and networks—commonly used in transportation grids, power plants, water treatment facilities, and other vital industrial settings.
In addition to cybersecurity, other programs comprising the ARC Industry Forum include:
  • Analytics for Operational Excellence
  • Asset Performance Management
  • Cloud Computing Solutions
  • Energy Management Solutions
  • Industrial Internet of Things
  • Innovations in Automation Systems
  • Workforce Development and Training

To register for the conference, and gain more details about all forum workshops, seminars and sessions, download the conference program.

Friday 23 January 2015

No oil to trouble water!

A portable oil in water monitor has proved extremely popular in the oil sector. It ought also be ideal for other industries where oil contamination is an issue.

Quantitech first launched the InfraCal 2, a portable oil in water analyser, in 2013 and the company’s Dr Andrew Hobson says: “There has been a heavy demand for this instrument in the oil sector because of the new functionality that now comes as standard. The InfraCal 2 can now be operated from an internal battery and also provides lower detection limits. However, the original InfraCal was not able to store multiple calibrations or to log readings, so the latest instrument can be more independent, making it better suited to remote operation. We are therefore hoping that it will also become popular in a wider range of other manufacturing and processing industries, including wastewater and fracking.”

The original InfraCal is still available, but with a touch-screen display, the InfraCal 2 is easier to use and delivers superior performance for sub-ppm detection of oil in water.

Measurements can be undertaken very quickly, and with no moving parts and a rugged metal case, the InfraCal 2 has a very low maintenance requirement. “Over 3000 InfraCal instruments have been sold worldwide, so the technology is well-proven,” says Dr Hobson. “However, the ability to produce accurate readings onsite offers a number of important benefits including faster results, lower costs per test and the avoidance of problems associated with preserving samples during transport. Costs are also lower in comparison with a laboratory FTIR Spectrometer, and because there are no sample transport costs.”

The world’s first 7''wide screen HMIs for ATEX zone 1.

The world’s first operating devices with a 7" wide screen suitable for use in ATEX zone 1 from R. STAHL HMI Systems combine state-of-the-art, user-friendly equipment with a highly robust design. The virtually indestructible devices are ideally suited for visualisation close to machines in drilling rigs or in the vicinity of compressors, mixers, and centrifuges in machine building applications.

Their wide 15:9 format display provides an 800 x 480 pixel resolution. Powerful processors and a bright display technology ensure high-contrast, glare-free display of process information. A modern capacitive touchscreen allows for easy, comfortable control of all process sequences. The HMI systems are designed to provide high reliability during continuous operation even under extreme conditions: they can be operated around the clock for years at ambient temperatures between -40 °C and +65 °C, and nearly all over the globe. The vibration-resistant interfaces feature a hardened glass front and a seawater-proof metal housing that ensures IP66 protection.

Even during outdoor use with strong incident daylight, the full-colour 7ʺ displays remain easy to read, since an anti-reflection coating minimises glare and overexposed areas.

By default, the new SERIES 200 operator interfaces are equipped with the Windows Embedded Compact 7 operating system. Alternatively, they are available as OPEN VERSIONS, allowing for the use of third-party software and enabling customers to easily install their own programs. Moreover, mechanical engineers can continue to use the comfortable Windows project engineering software SPSPlusWIN to create and edit screens as well as process connections and messages. Projects from existing devices can be imported and adapted for further use.

Integration into virtually all major automation systems is supported. The units are connected via explosion-proof Ethernet ports for copper or fibre optic cables, standard serial interfaces, or an optional WLAN module. Apart from Ex zones 1 and 21, the multilingual devices are of course also suitable for use in zones 2 and 22. Standard regional certifications (such as NEC, TR, CSA, KCC, INMETRO) will follow soon.

Additionally, the SERIES 200 provides excellent compatibility with units from the widely established, proven FALCON series (ET-/MT-65, ET-75, and ET-125). The new line is mechanically compatible to the dimensions of the predecessor generation – either directly or with an adapter frame. This also applies to units with additional application-specific stainless steel or plastic push buttons. Users can therefore easily exchange previous models with monochrome displays for modern colour wide screen displays.

• Stahl products are marketed in Ireland by Douglas Control & Automation.

Electric rod style linear actuator!

The FT Series roller screw driven actuators from Curtis Wright, offer high thrust, high speed, and high robustness in a compact form factor, making them an ideal alternative to hydraulic cylinders. With continuous force rating to 40,000 lbf (178 kN), speed to 60 in/sec (1,500mm/sec) and stroke lengths from 6 inches (150mm) to 8 feet (2,400mm) the FT Series can be applied across a wide range of linear motion applications.

The new FT45 has a continuous force rating of 10,000 lbf (44.5 kN), filling the gap between the existing FT35 and FT60 models. The FT45 features the following key enhancements over the existing FT Series frame size designs, including the largest FT80 model:

  • IP65 (min.) environmental protection standard on all mounting configurations
  • Idler pulley design greatly simplifies motor installation and belt tensioning / maintenance
  • Grease zerk fitting allows re-greasing of nut assembly without having to disassemble the unit
  • Removable front seal bushing design greatly simplifies front seal maintenance / replacement

New man at helm of Automation body!

Rick Roop is the 2015 President of the International Society of Automation (ISA).

In this position, Roop will work with Society leaders and staff to increase awareness of the value and relevance of the ISA brand and build on ISA’s proven range of capabilities and resources for automation professionals, which includes standards development, education, training, certification, certificate programs, publications, and technical symposia and conferences.

President Rick Roop
Roop brings a distinguished track record as a financial management executive, an instrument and electrical engineer, and a power plant manager as well as three decades of ISA membership and involvement to his new role as Society president.

2012, Roop has served as Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager and owner of Donaldson Capital Management, an Evansville, Indiana-based SEC-registered investment advisory firm with $1 billion in assets under management.

“I am blessed to be serving as 2015 President of ISA, an organization in which I strongly believe and one that I have been associated with for over 30 years,” says Roop. “Through the years, I served in many capacities within ISA—from establishing local sections in the early 80s to working on the operations side, to writing standards while serving on a divisional board, to eventually becoming an ISA board member—all of which have prepared me for the upcoming presidency.

“As we move into 2015, ISA will continue to work toward achieving its strategic goals and to strengthen its global brand recognition. Adding to our momentum in the new year and beyond is our new, wholly owned-subsidiary,  As we have learned throughout our history, the key to success is getting the ‘big things’ right, innovating accordingly, and sharpening our organizational and operational focus. Every generation of ISA membership has the opportunity and, I believe, the responsibility to improve ISA—to move us forward in the world of automation. This is our time.”

Shortly after joining ISA in 1983, Roop became actively involved in the Society. In 1984, he established the ISA Evansville Section, serving as its president as well as show chair, and section delegate and secretary. In 1986, he started the ISA Terre Haute (Wabash Valley) Section, serving as its president and in other key leadership positions.

Over the years, he has served: as District Vice President and Chairman of the Council of District Vice Presidents; as Power Industry Division (POWID) board member; and in a wide range of Society-level leadership positions, most notably as Chairman of the Finance Committee (2009-2013) and Chairman of the Investment Committee (2003-2013).

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering technology from Murray State University in 1980, Roop accepted a position as a senior instrumentation engineer at Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company (now Vectren). He then joined Hoosier Energy, REC, first serving as an instrument and electrical engineer at the company from 1986 to 1995, and later serving as General Manager at the company’s Frank E. Ratts Generating Station from 1995 to 2001.

He launched his career as a financial management executive in 2001, assuming dual positions as Director of Research & Portfolio Manager at Donaldson Capital Management. He became Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at the firm in 2006, before also becoming owner in 2012.

In addition to his bachelor’s degree, Roop earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with an emphasis in finance from Indiana State University in 1994. Over the years, he has served as an adjunct professor to three Indiana colleges, teaching math and engineering courses. He currently serves on the Indiana State University Engineering and Technology Advisory Board and is actively involved on the Committee for the Warrick County Young Life Christian ministry for high school youth.

Thursday 22 January 2015

Cool measurement in Antartica!

"We know we can provide sensors and instruments to work in freezing temperatures. Now let us prove it to you. The successful drilling of a 763m deep ice core from Antarctica using Applied Measurement sensors demonstrates beyond doubt the reliability of our products in sub-zero temperatures." (Applied Measurements)

Project Aim: To Extract a 750m Deep Ice Core From Roosevelt Island in the Antarctic
In 2009, Applied Measurements were contacted by Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) to provide reliable and accurate equipment that could operate in the sub-zero temperatures of the Antarctic, for the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) Project.  This global project aimed to extract a 750m deep ice core from Roosevelt Island to determine the effects of increasing air and ocean temperatures on West Antarctica and the Ross Ice Shelf.[1]

Using Applied Measurements’ two customised DBEP shear pin load cells, a WS12 draw wire sensor and four intuitive2 displays, the RICE team were able to successfully extract a 763m deep ice core from an ice cap on Roosevelt Island over the austral summer of 2011/2012 and 2012/2013.[2]  This core will provide an ice record for the last 20,000 years, determining the stability of the Ross Ice Shelf (the main drainage route of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet).

“The most critical element of the control system is the load transducer pin, it performed flawlessly”

Customised DBEP Series of Shear Pin Load Cells
DBEP Sensor
The 2 customised DBEP load transducer pins designed and supplied by Applied Measurements, were able to compensate for the extreme Antarctic conditions by using a high stability temperature compensated strain gauge bridge to minimise the effects of temperature.  This enabled them to operate accurately in temperatures as low as -30˚C.  The customisation of the DBEP shear pin load cells enabled them to perform brilliantly within the extreme Antarctic environment.  As Field and Operations Engineer Darcy Mandeno confirms, “The most critical element of the control system is the load transducer pin, it performed flawlessly, with the 1kg resolution we are able to “feel” what is happening in the ice with the drill, this feedback is an important element for the drillers confidence in what is happening down the hole.”[3]

To monitor the drilling forces the load pins used a built-in miniature ICA4S amplifier giving an output of 4-20mA.  The ICA series of miniature amplifiers were ideal in this application as they can operate in temperatures as low as -40˚C.  Their miniature design allowed them to fit inside the load pins where other larger amplifiers cannot.

WS12 Heavy Duty Industrial Draw Wire Sensor
WS12 Sensor
To monitor the extension movement of the drill mast we supplied the team with a WS12 draw wire sensor.  The WS12 draw wire sensor is designed for harsh environments and heavy duty industrial applications as standard, due to its IP67 aluminium and stainless steel housing and its ability to operate at temperatures as low as -20˚C.  Its ability to operate in tough conditions proved invaluable for the RICE team providing “very accurate and repeatable control with the mast position being known to within 1-2 mm.” Darcy Mandeno.[3]

Intuitive2 Indicators
Applied Measurements’ adaptable INT2-P indicators used with the 2 DBEP load pins and WS12 draw wire sensor and the INT2-C indicator used with the rotary encoder (supplied by another) were used to give the same RS485 output.  The intuitive2 indicators are simple to install and calibrate and their modular construction meant the RICE team could take less spare parts to the remote location as many of the parts are inter-changeable.

The successful drilling of the ice core demonstrates the reliability of our products in sub-zero temperatures.  “The displays and instruments worked well in what was quite arduous conditions” Darcy Mandeno.[3] 

1, (2014). RICE – Antarctic Research Centre – Victoria University of Wellington. [online] Available at [Accessed 27 Nov. 2014].
2 Victoria University of Wellington. Bedrock breakthrough in Antarctic [Press Release]. Retrieved from
3 Darcy Mandeno, Field and Operations Engineer, Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington (personal communication, November 09, 2014)

In this video Nancy Bertler describes an ice core drilling expedition to the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica for the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) project