Friday, January 9, 2015

IR temperature sensor for semiconductors & metals.

It is now possible to measure the temperature of reflective metals and semiconductors, as low as 350°C, at low cost and without contact.

The new PyroMini 0.9 infrared pyrometer, from Calex, can view into a vacuum chamber through a quartz or glass window, and measure the temperature of the surface of the silicon wafer. Temperature ranges from 350°C to 2000°C are available, and the low-temperature 350°C to 800°C model opens up new opportunities for temperature monitoring and control in silicon wafer processing.

Stable and repeatable measurements can be taken continuously for long periods, with a fast response time of just 240 milliseconds. With the optional MicroSD Card installed, over a year of data can be logged, even at the fastest sample rate of one reading per second.

The highest possible accuracy is provided by the PyroMini 0.9’s short-wavelength detector, which ensures that any error in emissivity setting or change in emissivity has the minimum effect on the measurement.

Miniature sensing head:
-         Dimensions 18 x 45 mm, stainless steel 316, sealed to IP65
-         Cable length of up to 30 m available

Electronics module with optional touch screen:
-         Large, bright temperature display
-         Visual alarm indication
-         Scrolling temperature graph
-         Full sensor configuration
-         Basic models available without a screen
-         Choice of 4-20 mA or RS485 Modbus output
-         2 x alarm relays on touch screen models that could be connected to alarm equipment directly, without a separate trip amplifier

Accessories are available including mounting brackets, air purging and laser sighting.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Connecting Modbus/TCP devices with smartphones & tablets!

Opto 22 has announced groov 2.3, a major update adding Modbus/TCP communication to the company’s groov web-based mobile interface software. With groov’s new Modbus/TCP support, thousands of industrial devices can now be monitored and managed using effective, scalable operator interfaces on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. 

Modbus/TCP is a widely adopted, TCP/IP-based communications protocol used in level sensors, rotary encoders, drives, meters, and industrial controllers and I/O, plus thousands of other devices deployed in diverse industries. Industrial automation end-users, system integrators, machine OEMs, or any authorized person can quickly and securely monitor and control these devices, as well as automation, building, and other control systems, all from a mobile device.

Acting as a Modbus/TCP master, groov communicates directly with Modbus/TCP slave devices over standard, non-proprietary Ethernet networks. No intermediary servers, protocol converters, or communications interfaces are required. This simplifies hardware planning, reduces initial hardware cost and ongoing maintenance, and streamlines device setup and configuration. 

Highest-density module for connector family!

The new Han DD® Quad module from Harting is the highest-density module available in the company’s Han-Modular® industrial connector family.

The new module incorporates space for 42 Han D® contacts with crimp termination, allowing users to place around 25% more contacts in the same space. As a result, complete connector configurations can be realised in a smaller volume and more cost effectively than was previously possible.

The Han DD® Quad module is primarily designed as a signal interface, and features 10 A and 150 V electrical design characteristics. Since the UL working voltage can reach 250 V, the module may also be used in power supplies for industrial applications in conjunction with Harting’s Han® IP 65 connectors.

The new module’s use of high-quality LCP plastic gives it excellent fire protection properties and also makes it an ideal space-saving solution for applications in the transport sector.

With the Harting Han-Modular® series, users can assemble their own customised connector configurations to meet their individual application requirements. The Han-Modular® series is continually being expanded, and there are currently over 40 modules for electrical, optical and gaseous signals for a multitude of applications.

Dual display digital indicator.

NOSHOK have added a new addition to their “Smart System” offering of digital indicators – the 2200 Series Dual Display Digital Indicator.

This  digital indicator accepts a wide variety of input signals including thermocouples or RTDs, current, voltage, resistance and process signals, and features a dual display with tri-color and variable intensity digits.

It has a universal power input accepting either AC or DC voltage and 24 Vdc sensor excitation, a meter update rate of up to 160/second, and a built-in USB port for configuring with a computer. Plug-in option cards are available for field upgrading, and interface software is available on request.

Applications include pump control and monitoring, liquid level measurement, heating and cooling, force measurement, cycle counting, and flow rate measurement.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Appointment highlights IoT gateways.

One of Europe’s leading technology experts in machine-to-machine (M2M) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications, Tim Taberner, has joined B&B Electronics as the global product manager for the company’s advanced IoT cellular gateways.  Since B&B acquired Czech Republic-based Conel and their industrial cellular gateways in 2012, B&B has invested intensive engineering effort to develop the cellular gateways beyond passive conduits for raw data into true IoT aggregators that transform data into useful information for analytics and other applications.

Tim Taberner
Taberner is a frequent speaker and widely-published author on IoT topics, having been involved in this space since before the phrase ‘Internet of Things’ was coined. Previously, Taberner has held engineering, sales and marketing positions at Transmitton, Arcom Control Systems, and most recently at Eurotech. While still with Eurotech, Taberner’s 2014 speaking engagements included M2M World Forum in London, ZDNet CVISION in Seoul, and the opening of Intel’s IoT Lab in the Britain. 

A Chartered Engineer, Taberner has extensive experience in hardware and software engineering, engineering management, technical sales and management, SCADA, cloud-based computing and analytics. He is based at B&B’s EMEA headquarters in Galway (IRL).

“Tim’s industrial IoT expertise will be critical in managing our cellular gateways as they become smart connectivity and data aggregation assets in our customers’ IoT applications, able to deliver relevant information leading to actionable intelligence for cost cutting or increased revenue,” said Jerry O’Gorman, CEO of B&B Electronics.

Taberner explained that he joined B&B because of its promising product portfolio for the IIoT edge, including the new Wzzard Intelligent Sensing Platform which enables integrators to wirelessly add user sensors into an IoT architecture. He said he was impressed with the company’s vision and initiatives to bring intelligence to the edge in more scalable and cost effective ways than currently exist. “B&B’s edge gateway devices will be the first to use SWARM intelligenceTM to significantly increase the user’s return on investment over the lifetime of an installation, while also offering a powerful and flexible edge processing architecture on which to build solutions,”

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.

Key advantages:
► Clamping force measurement for O.D. and I.D. clamping
► Can be used rotating [under RPM] and for stationary applications
► Direct input onto the Siemens CNC controller
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. Perfect, don’t you think?

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.

Pre-charged relay!

Omron Electronic Components Europe (OCB-EU) has launched a new pre-charge relay aimed specifically at electric and hybrid vehicles and other heavy duty battery powered systems.

The new Omron G9EJ-1 is specifically designed for use in pre-charge circuits used in electric vehicles and other battery systems to reduce the very high inrush currents on start-up. Before the vehicle or system is fully started, the pre-charge circuit is switched on briefly to charge capacitors in the controller and inverter through a current-limiting resistor. The G9EJ-1 is specifically designed to switch in this circuit, and is a cost-effective solution that can support up to 25A at 400VDC.

Omron has designed the G9EJ with a proprietary contact driving system that enhances the inrush current performance and ensures a long service life under these conditions. The G9EJ also features a high efficiency magnetic circuit which helps extinguish magnetic arcs which can damage the contact surface. The relay is amongst the smallest solutions of its type in the industry, sized at just 30mm x 27mm x 31mm and weighs around 50g.

The new Omron G9EJ-1 complements the Omron range of power relays for the electric vehicle main power relays, which switch in the full motor circuit once the pre-charge phase is complete. These include the G9EC which can switch up to 200A at 400VDC.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Lockout/Tagout solutions by request for EMEA applications.

The Lockout/Tagout procedure, including lockout devices, padlocks and keys to increase safety during maintenance operations, is gradually becoming standard equipment in many European, Middle Eastern and African production sites. More and more EMEA customisation requests are implemented in next generation Lockout/Tagout solutions such as Brady's transparent Twist and Secure™ Push Button cover, Perma-Mount™ Ball Valve, Safelex™ Universal and the Safety Redbox™.

A maintenance life-saver
Perma-Mount Ball Valve
The Lockout/Tagout procedure prevents injuries connected with maintenance such as fractures, lacerations, amputations, burns and shocks. It is a planned safety procedure which involves the isolation and inoperability of the energy supply of industrial machinery during maintenance. The procedure protects workers from the risks posed by live machinery driven by various energy sources and includes the use of lockout devices, personal padlocks and keys. Based on requests by various industries, Brady has included new additions to its extensive Lockout/Tagout solutions product range.

Visual confirmation
Based on requests from the Automotive industry in Sweden, Brady is now offering a line extension of its succesfull Lockout/Tagout Twist and Secure™ Push Button and Emergency Stop Safety Covers. Just like the original red covers, the transparent Twist and Secure™ is a convenient lockout tool at the point of need, with the extra advantage of providing an obvious visual indication of the ON/OFF status of control buttons.

Flexible portability
Both the Steel industry in Poland and the Mining industry in South Africa requested a next generation Lockout/Tagout keybox. The new Safety Redbox™ Group Lockout Box can be placed or mounted in various contexts while its quick release mechanism offers great flexibility and portability. At the same time, the new lockbox can be locked in place, denying any possibility to retrieve a key outside the lockout procedure by purposely shaking the box for example.

Faster & correct lockout
The new Perma-Mount™ Ball Valve Lockout (see pic) stays in place indefinitely without hampering machinery. This not only allows for faster lockout operations, but also ensures the correct lockout device is used at all times. A lockable hook-mechanism blocks the ball valve’s handle in the off-position before maintenance operations start. After unlocking the padlock, a maintenance professional simply releases the handle from the hook, allowing machinery to resume operations.

Versatile group lockout
The Safelex™ Universal Cable Lockout Device uses a tough steel cable and a lockable safety hasp to lockout any equipment not supporting a dedicated lockout device. Its cable length varies from 1 to 5 metres and can be tightened, but not loosened, after the device is locked with up to 6 padlocks.

Hi Tech to hand presses!

Many thousands of hand presses are used in industry for a wide range of operations from assembly, bending and crimping to joining, press-fit, punching, and riveting where a relatively small number of products are being manufactured. Generally, hand pressing has been limited to operations where high precision is not needed. This is about to change.

Kistler Instruments and Toolex Limited, British agent for Mäder presses, have joined forces to apply the latest process control technology to a range of German made hand presses, which brings a previously unattainable level of precision and repeatability to manual pressing operations. The system uses the Kistler maXYmos monitoring and control concept, as used in Kistler’s high level NC Servo Press electromechanical systems, to provide “zero defect” production in high volume environments. The application of maXYmos X-Y monitoring to hand press operations means that precision monitoring of the whole operation can now be applied economically to low volume manufacturing. In addition to in-process monitoring, the Kistler maXYmos system also allows data to be stored for future QA analysis.

The system being applied to the Mäder hand presses is the maXYmos BL, a single channel X-Y monitor for use with force sensors to monitor for OK/NOK evaluation of X-Y curves. The Kistler piezoelectric sensors, used to provide data to the system, are especially suited to industrial applications due to the precision and long life characteristics, well proven in both production and R&D operations. Typical evaluation curves are force against displacement. The curve, derived from the sensors mounted on the press, is displayed in real time on a compact LCD colour screen monitor mounted on the hand press which displays a clear OK/NOK visual notification in clear view of the operator as soon as the operation is completed.. This ensures that any bad assemblies are removed from the production process before being passed to the next operation.

The result of the cooperation between Kistler Instruments and Toolex is a range of hand press systems up to 30kN capacity which bring the same benefits of precision and repeatability, combined with process monitoring and QA capability, as enjoyed by volume production facilities, to low volume manufacturing all at a very affordable cost.

Intelligent buildings & digital home

The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), an association dedicated to the advancement of intelligent home and intelligent building technologies and a member of the Automation Federation, will conduct the CABA Intelligent Buildings & Digital Home Forum 14-16 April 2015 at the Renaissance Austin Hotel in Austin, (TX USA)

The event, which will be co-located with the Broadband Communities Summit, is dedicated to the advancement of connected home and intelligent buildings technologies. More than 1,000 attendees are expected to enjoy the planned tours, keynote presentations, workshops and various networking events and receptions.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Why choose Fluke?

Fluke has developed a new ‘Solution Centre’ portal on its British web site featuring Why Professionals Choose Fluke tools. This company produces some of the safest, most rugged, intuitive and accurate measurement tools in the world, and the portal illustrates why today’s professionals should choose to buy these products. The portal is frequently updated with new information, so users are recommended to add the link to their favourites list.

Broken down into 5 sub-sections, the Why Professionals Choose Fluke portal links to 4 video clips which provide detail under the following titles:
  • 1. Safe. Accurate. Reliable. The video discusses the importance of carefully choosing an instrument that will actually give the correct accuracy that the user needs.
  • 2. Designed by you. Fluke channels a lot of research and customer feed-back into the design of new products. The video illustrates how important it is to build in the features the customer wants.
  • 3. Increase your efficiency. This video provides insight into Fluke Connect, the innovative new wireless system which is featured on a wide range of Fluke tools. This enables professionals to save time and increase productivity by referencing and sharing equipment measurements, securely and privately from anywhere, using the Fluke Connect app.
  • 4. Prevent major problems. The clip explains how a Fluke thermal camera will identify hot spots in electrical equipment controlling, for example, industrial processes. The camera makes visible where future problems may occur, so they can be rectified before the system comes to a halt or a fire occurs.
  • 5. Dedicated training. This section offers registration with Fluke, who provide training and seminars to help professionals get more out of their Fluke tools. These sessions, held throughout the year around the country and Ireland, bring in-depth knowledge to provide greater success when using the tools, explain best practices and provide tips on facing today’s testing times for industries.

Other portals on this web site include Energy Efficiency and Preventive Maintenance.