Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Customised UPS systems for offshore rig hazardous areas.

Stahl configures application-specific explosion-protected UPS systems based on an extensive modular portfolio and delivers complete package units
R. Stahl plans and implements individual, application-specific uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems for oil and gas rigs and similar applications with hazardous areas where 100% availability is imperative. On unmanned platforms in particular, these systems ensure that crucial equipment (e.g. valves, pumps, navigation and signal technology such as GPS and flashing beacons) continues to be operational for a defined period of time in case of an overall power failure. This enables users to retrieve and store data in a coordinated fashion before bringing the platform into a safe state.

Based on a versatile modular portfolio, the company designs UPS solutions exactly according to customer specifications. These systems can be delivered as turn-key package units on request. Thanks to decades of experience in the field and extensive explosion-protection know-how, R. STAHL is able to pursue a comprehensive engineering approach that starts with the choice of components. Optimal configurations can yield complex positive synergy effects in the project planning stage. Other suppliers of hazardous area solutions often only choose to put conventional UPS systems in special enclosures in order to formally safeguard explosion protection.

In a recent project, Stahl supplied a custom-engineered compact DC UPS system for Ex zone 1 that was installed on an offshore platform off the coast of Gabon in Central Africa. This system is equipped with robust, corrosion-proof CUBEx housings manufactured from copper-free cast aluminium that are designed for extreme environments. In this case, they withstand temperatures up to +50 °C. The UPS provides up to 4,000 W in operation and includes NiCd batteries with a 300 Ah capacity in an Ex e battery container, a central control module with all required specification- and standard-compliant UPS components, and a DC energy distribution board to protect the connected loads. Redundant charging technology is an integral part of the enclosed system, which achieves excellent thermal power loss management with reliable dissipation from the pressurised chamber.

The UPS features a software-free design and contains no rotating parts like fans. Temperature-compensated charging, power diodes for voltage adjustment, and Ex LEDs to display the UPS status ensure very reliable operation and excellent safety. R. STAHL’s integrated Ex UPS guard monitors the standard-compliant operation of the system according to EN 60079 ff.

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

EMF for building management energy application!

For many years now ‘Energy’ has been a hot topic. Energy prices are constantly under the spotlight, and pressure is consistently being applied to businesses and consumers alike to reduce their carbon footprint in order to help meet the government targets for reducing the effects of climate change.

For large infrastructure sites such as hospitals, large office complexes and arenas, energy management is a very important factor in optimising energy usage which in turn can reduce both utility costs and carbon emissions. Given the significant amounts of energy, including gas and water these buildings use, it is vital to have a management process in place to monitor on site usage and identify areas of high consumption. This data can then be used to look at ways of optimising energy usage.

One such example is a London based hospital that required their energy and water consumption to be monitored and evaluated against KPI’s as part of their management process. PA Energy, a London (GB) based energy and water services company with an impressive track record in assisting customers to reduce their utility demand and costs, were contacted and asked to review the metering in 3 blocks whilst identifying any problems with heat and chilled water metering and provide a resolution fix.

Heat metering requires three values; the flow rate, the temperature of the supply heat transfer fluid (usually water) and the temperature of the fluid in the return leg of the system.  These values can calculate the energy consumption which can be reviewed and savings potentially made. It was on the LTHW (low temperature hot water) system that PA Energy required a reliable flowmeter to measure the flow rate of the water up to 80C at flow rates of between 5 and 8.5 m3/h. They decided on the OPTIFLUX 2000 electromagnetic flowmeter from Krohne, the world market leaders in electromagnetic flowmeter technology.

Designed for water and wastewater applications the OPTIFLUX 2000 was the ideal choice. It provides both high accuracy and reliability and is maintenance free. It comes with a wide range of industry approvals and with a huge installed base, it gave PA Energy confidence that they were installing a meter they could trust.

Percy Albuquerque, managing director of PA Energy comments; “Installing the correct flowmeter on a project is vital. We need to be confident that it can meet the demands of the application and provide accurate and reliable data readings that can be used in calculating energy consumption.” He continues, “KROHNE offered a solution that ticked all the boxes. We have now installed a number of  OPTIFLUX 2000 flowmeters and are very happy with how they are performing.”

The systems provided by PA Energy, using the OPTIFLUX 2000 will enable the site staff to monitor utility consumption and evaluate demand whilst identifying opportunities for cost savings and carbon reduction.

• Krohne products are marketed in Ireland by DWN Instrumentation

Multi-application turbidity sensor!

Endress+Hauser introduces the Turbimax CUS52D turbidity sensor for process water filtration and other industrial process turbidity conditions. The Turbimax CUS52D performs laboratory-quality turbidity measurements without the need for extensive bypass installations, avoiding costly product or water losses.

The sensor measures turbidity from 0.000 to 4000 NTU with accuracy of 2% of measurement ±0.01 NTU at process temperatures from -4 to 185 °F with a detection limit of 0.0015 NTU.  The sensor measures turbidity in accordance with ISO 7027

The Turbimax CUS52D’s surface minimises the build-up of biofilms and particulates. The ability to operate at high pressures (up to 145 psi) makes suppressing air bubbles possible. For bypass operation an optional air bubble trap catches smaller air bubbles. In particularly challenging cases, the CYR52 ultrasonic cleaning system can be installed on a flow cell or even right on the existing pipe to prevent and remove surface contamination and bubbles without direct product contact.

The unit is available in immersion, flow cell and in-line versions. The immersion model can be installed in open channels and basins, while the stainless steel hygienic in-line model can be inserted directly into pipes. It can be used at the raw water inlet of any plant and the outlet of process filtration and clarification. The Turbimax CUS52D is well suited to filter monitoring, filter backwashing and all stages of industrial water purification.  With available 2” triclamp it is also well adapted to hygienic food and beverage processes in brewing, spirits, soft drink, dairy and others. Its fast response time of less than 1 second means it can also perform very well as a primary process variable (PV) in control applications.

The sensor uses the 90° light scattering principle in accordance with the ISO 7027 standard. The optical signals from the sensor are continuously monitored and tested for plausibility. In the case of discrepancies, an error message is sent via the transmitter.

A smart solid state reference for the Turbimax CUS52D allows the sensor to be verified and calibrated before insertion into the process without the use of liquid standards. As a result, neither employees nor processes come into contact with any harmful liquid standards such as Formazin, which are typically used for field calibration. The solid state references are matched to each sensor for maximum calibration accuracy, are simple to use, and provide consistent, reliable and clear results.

Single channel measuring amplifier for pressure sensors!

Kistler’s new single channel measuring amplifier for piezoresistive pressure sensors is suitable for a wide range of applications using high-accuracy measurements with digitally compensated sensors. 

The Type 4624AK amplifier is designed to interface with their PiezoSmart sensor identification and is ideally suited for use with digitally compensated sensors which allows the characteristic values to be automatically read out from the electronic sensor data sheet (TEDS). The new amplifier is especially suited to applications using a small number of sensors where a multi-channel amplifier would be uneconomic or difficult to accommodate as are often encountered in motor vehicle and aerospace testing.

The amplifier may also be used with pressure sensors that are not equipped with sensor identification. The characteristic values of the sensor (sensitivity, zero point) being entered manually via an Ethernet connection and a web browser . Saved on non-volatile memory, the sensor data is protected in the event of power loss.

The measuring chain is ready for use once automatic or manual amplifier configuration has been completed. Correction of the zero point of the sensor (e.g. for adjusting to barometric pressure) may be set using pushbuttons on the housing of the amplifier or via the Ethernet on the web browser.

The amplifier is suitable for signal processing for most common piezoresistive pressure sensors and the easy-to-use single channel measuring system is particularly recommended where maximum precision is required such as on-board measurement in motor vehicles or for demanding measurement tasks in testing laboratories.

Always the right connection!

More than 15 Years of Connector Expertise from Pepperl+Fuchs.

For more than 15 years, Pepperl+Fuchs has been offering exactly the right connection technology for your automation solution. Whether in the field of mechanical engineering, welding, material handling, mobile applications, or in the process industry - they supply connection technology tailored perfectly to industrial and other applications.

M8 and M12 round plug connectors, as well as valve connector cordsets, multichannel junction blocks, and Y splitters, are standard components in the automation sector. With over 500 employees, Pepperl+Fuchs has been producing connection technology in all conceivable variations to the highest quality standards for more than 15 years. In their Competence Center in Hungary, the company houses the entire injection molding technology arm of the corporate group, producing customer-specific solutions and ready-made plugs too in highly competitive conditions.

With perfectly connected global logistics, all connectivity products are produced at the site in Hungary in LEAN optimized processes. Gold-plated and gas-tight crimped contact pins ensure the highest vibration resistance and durability of products. The automated 100% inline functional check and the use of high-quality materials and lines from renowned German and European manufacturers guarantee their familiar quality.

With distribution centers in Mannheim, Singapore, and the United States, they stock a wide range of connectors for customers worldwide, delivered quickly and dependably, within Europe for instance in just 48 hours. They are able to produce and deliver non-stock variants within two weeks.

Validate rugged computers by joining partnership!

JLT Mobile Computers has announced it has joined the Navis Ready partner program and will initiate validation of its rugged vehicle-mount computers against the Navis N4 terminal operating system. Validation of JLT hardware is expected to be completed soon and will underline that the JLT products deliver the best possible performance and reliability in the most challenging working environments. 

"We are experiencing an acceleration in the number of customers within the port segment using our rugged computers," said Per Holmberg, CEO, JLT Mobile Computers. "By collaborating with Navis, whose terminal operating system is used by the world's leading container terminal operators, we can demonstrate that our solutions comply with Navis Ready requirements, providing an extra level of confidence to our customers." 

The Navis Ready Program is a validation program for suppliers of different technologies designed to operate within a marine container terminal operating environment. All devices designated Navis Ready have been tested in a simulated environment to ensure that specific messages have integrated effectively with a specific release of Navis N4 terminal operating system (TOS).

JLT mobile computers are already used extensively in this environment and by becoming validated under Navis Ready, both existing and future customers will be assured that the hardware and software have not only been designed to work together but have been validated to provide an optimal customer experience. 

Confidence boost
Validation is an important endorsement of quality and reliability. Shipping ports and terminals win and maintain business based on their up-time and their efficiency in moving containers from ship to shore and then onto their final destination. Reliable and efficient IT equipment is a critical element in the overall communication infrastructure, and instrumental in delivering quality of service. 

Whether tracking cargo through a port or enabling the automation of processes or equipment, the demands on computer hardware and wireless connectivity in ports are substantially higher than in the average operating environment. Validation and acceptance into the Navis Ready Program will demonstrate that JLT mobile computers meet and exceed these demands. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Display provides consistent images from all viewing angles!

A new high performance 3.5" TFT display has been introduced by KOE. The Rugged+ TX09D200VM0BAA features a 3:4 aspect ratio, QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) resolution and IPS (in-plane switching) technology to provide highly consistent colour and image performance from all viewing angles.

KOE's Rugged+ modules provide reliable and consistent operation under the severe and rigorous conditions found in harsh environment and industrial applications yet deliver exceptional optical performance. The use of IPS technology enables excellent colour saturation, deep black levels and viewing angles of up to 170° degrees in all directions (left/right, up/down).

A contrast ratio of 900:1 and a backlight brightness rating of 600cd/m² ensure high quality and consistent colour image reproduction. The white LED backlight provides a specified 70K hours to 50% brightness lifetime. A 50-pin CMOS interface supports 8-bit RGB data which enables a colour palette of up to 16.7 million colours.

Mark Stephenson, technical marketing manager, KOE Europe said, "The new 3.5-inch Rugged+ portrait mode display is the ideal solution for a wide range of applications. Static or handheld electronic systems and equipment can benefit from the strong optical performance of the display module. The display panel, can if required, be used in either landscape or portrait mode which creates opportunities for new design implementations."

Featuring a fully enclosed metal bezel with integrated mounting fixtures, the 3.5-inch display module has mechanical outline dimensions of 65.7mm (w) x 88.8mm (h) x 9.95mm (d) and an active display area of 53.28mm (w) x 71.04mm (h). Operation in extreme temperature environments is guaranteed with an operating temperature range of -30°C to +85°C and storage  temperature range of -40°C to +90°C. The Rugged+ module has also been designed to be highly resistant to ESD, mechanical shock and vibration. The compact 3.5-inch display module weighs just 72g.

KOE's Rugged+ 3.5-inch TFT display module is targeted for use in high reliability industrial, medical, marine, automotive and aerospace applications where consistent and guaranteed operation under extreme temperature, mechanical shock and vibration is a necessity. The new TX09D200VM0BAA display is available immediately from KOE's European distribution sales channel.


PCI fault insertion card!

Pickering Interfaces is expanding its range of PCI based switching solutions with the introduction of its first PCI Fault Insertion Card.

This new PCI Fault Insertion Card (model 50-190) is available as either a one or two slot short PCI card with the following features:

  • 75, 64 or 36 channels of fault insertion
  • One or two fault insertion busses, each of which can select from three fault sources
  • The ability to introduce open circuit paths, shorts between paths or shorts to fault connections such as battery or ground
  • 2 Amp hot switch capacity for powers up to 60W and voltages to 165VDC/115VAC
  • High bandwidth suited for use on Can and FlexRay bus systems

Pickering Interfaces continues to promote its test solutions in multiple platforms by offering fault insertion in different form factors (PXI and PCI) with the same options. This offering allows the user to choose the most appropriate platform for their test system. The 50-190 PCI Fault Insertion Card has the same functionality as their widely used 40-190 PXI Fault Insertion Module.

Keith Moore, Managing Director of Pickering, explained “Over the last year or so, we have been expanding our PCI product family in response to market demands. One would think that PCI is nearly obsolete, given that it is no longer available on desktop PCs. However, we have found that the industrial PC market, which is a larger market than PXI, still embraces PCI cards and expects to support them for many more years. As PCI products are electrically similar to standard PXI devices, it is a natural migration for Pickering to re-layout many of our popular PXI switch modules, thus supporting a greater portion of the test market.”

Rugged multi wheel rotary encoder.

Rotary Switches Online   (part of Foremost Electronics) is now stocking the compact and multi-function Elma Multi Wheel rotary switch. The Multi Wheel is a miniature encoder with 8+1 joystick function for one-finger control. This advanced HMI product is a Hall Effect sensed encoder with magnetic indexing over 12 detents and has a centre button with 8 joystick directions and centre push function.
Sealed to IP66 for rugged applications other standard features include, LED backlit illumination (RGB) which can be programmed to change colour with each switch activation, 3VDC operation, UART output, LED control interface, 6 positions ZIF or solder pads connection and a full metal front-end in clear or black. Options available include custom front-end shape and colour, alternative connectors, cabling and pinning and IP67 or IP68 sealing.

The ELMA Multi Wheel rotary encoder has an operating temperature range of -20 to +70°C and working life of 1,000,000 encoder revolutions and 500,000 joystick actuations and can be mounted to the front or rear of control panels.


Typical applications for the Multi Wheel rotary switch include medical equipment, test and measurement instrumentation for outdoor environments, aviation, transport and construction vehicle cockpits, industrial controls and building automation.

Video highlighting the removable electronics capability of I/P transmitter!

The IPX2 Current-to-Pressure (I/P) Transmitter is approved to work with either instrument air or natural gas as a supply medium. When an I/P transmitter is installed on a natural gas line and used for the supply medium, liquid slugs can often enter the supply line and the transmitter itself. Depending on the size and duration of the slug, the I/P transmitter’s electronics may need to be removed for cleaning and draining or completely replaced.

A new video produced by Moore Industries shows how the IPX2 reduces production interruptions caused by liquid slugs. Available for viewing at the Interface Solution Video Library, the video shows how a field engineer or technician can quickly remove or replace the electronics module in the IPX2 with some simple tools. Within a few minutes, an electronics module can be removed for maintenance or replaced entirely by a new unit.

The video features a step-by-step walkthrough of how to remove the electronics module of the IPX2 using a 3mm Allen wrench and a small Phillips head screwdriver. The video presents easy-to-follow steps for safely removing the electronics module without damaging any elements.


Along with showing how to remove the electronics module, the video also shows how the IPX2 minimizes the risks of debris entering the unit. It has been designed to be clog-resistant, with a large orifice and an easily replaceable internal filter protects against clogging caused by debris.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Temperature calibration source!

Eurolec Instrumentation Ltd has extended their range of temperature calibration sources with the introduction of the CS174-IN & CS175-IN.
Recognising the need to accommodate custom built or non-standard sized probes, these two new instruments extend user options and provide increased flexibility by providing two removable inserts for probes.

One insert is predrilled with 7 holes of various dimensions and the other insert is a solid non-drilled “blank” block to be configured by the user as required.

Both inserts can be quickly and easily removed with the assistance of a simple tool which is provided with the instrument.

Both the CS174-IN & CS175-IN also feature a “black body” for infrared thermometers and feature a range of 40C below ambient to +85C. The CS175-IN features increased accuracy and 0.01C resolution. Both units are supplied complete with calibration certificate.

The CS174/175-IN provide a simple to use, cost effective system for the on site/laboratory calibration of both contact and infrared thermometers, to adhere to quality standards such as ISO9000 and HACCP.

Are drive users breaking the law?

New legislation covering the export of high frequency (HF) drives could result in hefty penalties, including potential prison sentences, for machine builders and system integrators. EU Regulation No. 428/2009 and subsequent amendments covers the export of goods, software and technology normally used for civilian purposes but which may have military applications, or may contribute to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. With this in mind, the EU controls the export, transit and brokering of these items as a key instrument contributing to international peace and security.

The amended legislation came into force in the EU in December last year and, among other things, concerns the supply of HF capable drives, e.g. drives capable of producing an output frequency of greater than 600 Hz.  Regulations controlling the export of high frequency drives are already in force in the United States, and similar regulations were introduced to China earlier this year.

In order to comply with the new legislation, businesses which export goods or machines that incorporate goods that are controlled under the terms of the EU regulation to locations outside the EU must apply for the relevant export licences from their respective governments. The changes also have an effect on the documentation required in any transaction, as well as the measures which are taken to securely store the controlled goods.

Potential sanctions for failing to comply with the legislation range from financial penalties through to trade restrictions and even prison sentences for individuals.  Exporting controlled goods without suitable authorisation is a customs offence.

High frequency drives are used in a number of applications, including automotive testing, turbine test benches, grinding, where speeds in excess of those which can be achieved by a ´standard´ variable speed drive are required. However, as well as civilian applications, drives operating at higher output frequencies can also be used in the process of refining nuclear materials, hence the stricter export controls brought in with the amended legislation.

Emerson Industrial Automation is keen to advise OEMs and machine builders which incorporate HF drives in their designs that it is they, not the drives manufacturer, who are responsible for checking and evaluating whether or not their machines comply with, or contravene, the relevant legislation. It is also important for businesses to identify whether any existing machines and systems are affected by the directive, as it could affect their ability to export their machines.

Emerson is keen to help and will inform its customers if the drives they purchase appear on the controlled list, but is still advising people to educate themselves on the changes to the export regulations and the ways in which their businesses may be impacted.

The business took the step of limiting the frequency of the majority of its drives in anticipation of the new legislation. The Control Techniques Unidrive M range was limited to 550 Hz since its introduction in 2012, and older drive models were revised to be limited to 550 Hz. Servo and DC drives are not affected.

In anticipation of the new legislation, Control Techniques has specifically developed a range of HF drives to meet the requirements of the civilian applications that are an important part of its business.

Enrique Minarro Viseras, president of Control Techniques, added: "It is crucial businesses are aware of the amendments to the dual use legislation. We pride ourselves on our ability to make things as easy and trouble-free as possible for our customers, and have worked hard to ensure our products and processes comply with the new legislation.


"We would urge other businesses to investigate the extent to which they are liable and take the appropriate steps to ensure full compliance."

Move to larger facility!

Interpro have relocated to a larger facility to accommodate increased sales in Europe and additional power test product ranges.

"Welcome to our new premises!"
The new 222m² facility is some 2½ times the size of their original one and will provide increased support to sales with a fully kitted-out demonstration suite for both customer presentations and training. Additional space is another benefit as the Sandhurst (GB) facility is the worldwide hub for customer support, service and calibration of Interpro power test and ATE products.

The move has been in part prompted by their appointment as distributor for Europe and the USA by Preen, specialist manufacturers of test and measurement power sources. These new product lines complement and widen Interpro’s existing portfolio and will deliver new business with established customers as well as taking them into the new, fast-growing, Green Energy industries.

Preen are a major manufacturer of Power Sources and Frequency Converters and is one of only three manufactures of “Regenerative” AC Power Sources. Preen is considered to be the world leading manufacturer of large capacity power sources as used by Green Energy equipment suppliers.

Simon Tanner, Sales Manager of INTEPRO SYSTEMS comments, “We have an aggressive new product introduction plan running from last year which has seen the introduction of a number of new electronic load products. We have also just launched a completely new 64 Bit version of our market leading PowerStar automated power test software and our new training suite will be an excellent new resource for us to support this. The addition of Preen to our portfolio is a very exciting development for 2015, their products can be very large which a major contributing factor to our move was.”

Handheld photoionisation instruments for investigation & remediation of hydrocarbon contamination!

An increase in demand for its oil spill consultancy and remediation services has prompted SpillAssist Limited to recently order a second handheld Tiger volatile organic compound (VOC) detector instrument from Ion Science British distributor, Shawcity. The high performance photoionisation (PID) instrument is being used for the investigation and remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contamination.

SpillAssist specialises in the consultancy and remediation services associated with petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites such as residential properties, commercial facilities or rivers and lakes. After it has identified the extent of the damage, the company will design, implement and manage the remedial works programme and conduct the final validation surveys to confirm that the site has been fully restored.

Trevor Duffy, Operations Director at SpillAssist comments: “We needed to boost our stock of PID instruments due to an increase in project numbers. We originally approached Ion Science as we had seen how well the Tiger performed for another company.

“We record hydrocarbon VOCs as they enable us to plot the extent of the contamination. The readings from the Ion Science Tiger VOC detectors allow us to determine which samples are independently analysed and also enable us to monitor the hydrocarbon degradation rates whilst we are remediating a contaminated site.”

SpillAssist is using the Tiger instruments to record kerosene, diesel and petrol VOCs from soil and from the indoor air of contaminated properties. Readings are taken on a daily basis due to the number of sites the company is currently investigating, monitoring and remediating. The information is collected from each sample point and then recorded onto a VOC record data sheet.

The robust, handheld Ion Science Tiger VOC detector offers market-leading humidity and contamination resistant PID technology. It was the best performing when tested against competing instruments in humid and contaminated environments where it provided the most stable, repeatable readings.

Trevor adds: “We had no hesitation in purchasing additional Tiger PIDs. We find this particular instrument to be sensitive, robust, reliable, accurate and easy to operate and maintain. As a result, we would highly recommend Ion Science, which also services and calibrates the units, and its products to other businesses.”

Providing a dynamic detection range of 1 parts per billion (ppb) to 20,000 parts per million (ppm), the Tiger offers the widest measurement range of any other VOC instrument on the market.
Ready to use, straight out of the box, the instrument requires no complex set up procedures via a PC to perform basic functions and provides the best available VOC detection and software features available.

Ion Science’s Tiger also has the fastest response time on the market of just two seconds and can be connected directly to a PC via the USB offering extremely fast data download capabilities.
It has been designed for the safe replacement of batteries in hazardous environments and is intrinsically safe (IS) - meeting ATEX, IECEx, UL and CSA standards.

Monitoring and control of multiple applications on single display!

Red Lion Controls has announced the integration of FlexBus™ technology to its PAX®2C proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller portfolio. By inserting field installable FlexCard™ modules, users can now populate PAX2C PID controllers in more than 150 configurations to monitor and control multiple application processes on a single display.

Red Lion’s advanced PAX2C modular platform provides an easy upgrade path that enables integrators and panel builders to reduce inventory requirements while increasing application support. The solution is ideal for temperature, flow and pressure control in industries such as packaging, plastic welding, extrusion and food and beverage.

“Our PAX2C controllers are designed for end users who want to address a wide range of PID control requirements,” said Jeff Thornton, director of product management at Red Lion Controls. “By using option cards with the PAX2C, organizations no longer have to maintain an inventory of application-specific controllers. This reduces inventory costs while also allowing organizations to more quickly meet any PID application requirements.”

The new FlexCard modules include:

  • Process Input/Remote Setpoint Cards: support input of 0/4 to 20 mA to enable cascade control loops where tighter control is required
  • Heater Current Monitor Cards: provide heater current input and can signal when the heater or heater control devices have failed before damage occurs

Red Lion’s Crimson® programmed PAX2C PID controllers are dual-line displays that change color based on process status, alerting when a value is out of a specified range. With universal process inputs and AC/DC power input, PAX2C controllers accept DC current, DC voltages, process signals, thermocouples and RTD inputs to provide an all-in-one platform that eases integration. Additional features include a large LCD display with easy-to-read bar graphs, programmable annunciators, up to 16 alarms and a built-in USB programming port.

• Red Lion products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

Control systems for floating LNG facility!

Yokogawa in Malaysia, has received an order from a consortium comprising JGC Corporation (J) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SK) that will supply control systems and safety instrumented systems for PETRONAS’s second floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility, PFLNG2.

Under the terms of the contract, Yokogawa Kontrol (Malaysia) will deliver an integrated control & safety system (ICSS) for the monitoring and control of the liquefaction facilities and storage tanks on PFLNG2. The ICSS will consist of a Yokogawa CENTUM® VP integrated production control system, a ProSafe®-RS safety instrumented system, a Plant Resource Manager (PRM®) package, a plant information management system, and other components. Yokogawa Kontrol will also be responsible for engineering, and the support of installation, commissioning, and training.

The PFLNG2 facility will be moored offshore off Sabah, Malaysia, and is designed to produce 1.5 million tons of LNG a year, with production scheduled to start in early 2018.

An FLNG facility is a new type of LNG plant that performs all operations at sea, starting with the routing of natural gas from offshore gas fields and including the refining, liquefaction, storage, and transfer of this resource onto LNG carriers. FLNG is attractive because the technology does not require the acquisition of land or laying of pipelines, making it suitable for small to medium-sized offshore gas fields that are deemed economically unfeasible to develop.

Since its establishment in Malaysia in 1989, Yokogawa Kontrol (Malaysia) has developed a solid global track record and extensive know-how of LNG processing plants, LNG carriers, FPSO vessels, and other types of offshore facilities. It has delivered numerous control systems to PETRONAS production facilities.  


In 2013, Yokogawa set up an organisation dedicated to the growing marine resource business as part of its efforts to expand its control business in this sector and offer the latest technology solutions to its customers.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Appointment adds strength and experience!

Electroustic has added a new technical manager to its growing team of experienced specialists. The appointment of Steve Brown comes during a period of growth that saw the company become a technical distributor of the renowned component manufacturers Bulgin and Amphenol Industrial, as well as expand its portfolio to include Hirschmann's industrial Ethernet range. 

Steve Brown
Electroustic has over 50 years experience supplying top brand industrial connectors, leads and electromechanical components to a variety of sectors.

To add to this, Steve's appointment brings 30 years worth of experience with both analogue and digital electronics. Electroustic's new technical manager previously worked as principal test engineer for a leader in road safety systems and traffic data collection. Here, he developed a strong working knowledge of local area network (LAN) and wireless local area network (WLAN) systems.

Steve also worked as an engineer manager at Holden Manufacturing, an electrical and electronics manufacturer.

His background in both engineering and manufacturing places him in great stead to use his technical expertise to help Electroustic's customers fulfill their requirements.

The appointment is set to improve the company's technical prowess and boost its industrial Ethernet knowledge.

"In my nine years at Golden River traffic management systems, I was fortunate enough to get hands on experience using cutting edge equipment," explained Steve. "Electronic engineering is something that's always fascinated me and I've sought out roles whereby I can use the technical knowledge and know-how I've amassed over the years on a daily basis.

"Because Electrousic is a franchised distributor for big industry names like Amphenol, Hirschmann, Lumberg Automation and Bulgin, I'm able to give our customers insightful technical advice when it comes to things like putting together the best quality loom for the job."

Put a handle on it!

The selection of a suitable handle is often left to the very end of the product design cycle, but Multitron aims to change that by offering a very wide range of MENTOR handles which will enhance and transform a run-of-the-mill-looking end product into something stylish and even funky, but never forgetting everyday practicality and functionality.

Multitron, the exclusive British & Irish agent for MENTOR, has announced the availability of their extended handle range which now includes aluminium; steel; stainless-steel; plastic and mixed-material options. In terms of design and shape, MENTOR aims to add style with many different designs: D-shape; bow; square; recessed; folding; finger-tip, hand-moulded; strap-style and many more.

Many different finishes and colours are available as standard, including black; grey (or custom-coloured) plastic; natural-anodised or black-anodised aluminium; brushed aluminium; chromium-plated; shiny-matt stainless steel; silver powder-coat; black powder-coat; silver-enamel; ground and polished; plastic-coated; etc. Each handle style is designed to be ergonomic and comfortable to hold, and many different dimensions are offered in every range.

A range of heat-resistant plastic handles is also available, manufactured from highly-durable Duroplastic Type FS31, rated for use up to 100⁰C. Rack systems are also supported with handles designed for standard 19" rack systems - these handles are suitable for handling higher loads using a variety of pulling, pushing and lifting actions.

MENTOR has also developed a Modular Handle System so that a custom handle can be configured to meet any dimension required by the application. The handle components are supplied un-assembled, ready for customisation

IS personal noise dosimeter!

Svantek has launched the new ATEX and IECEx Intrinsically Safe (IS) SV104 personal noise dosimeter for use in potentially explosive work environments. To support this high performance instrument, the company is offering free octave band and audio record until the end of the year.
Svantek’s IS SV104 is a cable-free personal noise dosimeter and can be easily attached to the user’s shoulder, close to the ear using assorted mounting clips. It sets a new benchmark in personal noise measurement by offering a wide range of unrivalled features including octave band analysis for helping to select hearing protection and audio recording.

The full colour OLED screen displays information in both text and graphical form plus offers excellent visibility even in full daylight. Svantek’s SV104 also incorporates a virtually indestructible MEMS microphone enabling easy calibration using most commonly available acoustic calibrators and inbuilt tri-axial accelerometer for vibration shock detection.

Measurement data is safely stored in the large eight GB memory and the instrument works with Svantek’s specialist Supervisor health and safety software package. It is powered using built-in rechargeable batteries or through the USB interface which also enables easy connection between the SV104 and a PC.

John Shelton, Managing Director at Svantek commented: “The original SV104 was a revolutionary new approach to occupational health and safety noise monitoring offering voice comments and audio events recording functions which were a new concept in an instrument of this size. It has been a tremendous success with customers quick to recognise its superior functionality, value for money and accurate and reliable measurement capability.

“Getting ATEX and IECEx approval for the SV104 was the obvious next step and will help open up previously untapped business in global markets such as petrochemical, oil and gas and mining.”

Wireless gas detection!

After introducing the wireless BM 25 work site system, Oldham is expanding its product range and has introduced the new MX 40 gas detection controller.

The MX 40 controller was designed to centralise the information transmitted by the BM 25 over a wireless network and can display up to 32 measurements in real time. When a BM 25 signals an alarm, the MX 40 also goes into alarm mode and can, for example, control internal relays and order other monitors to transmit the alarm as well.

The MX 40 can connect to up to 16 BM 25 units on the same wireless network and up to 16 different networks can be used independently.

The wireless technology used allows for fast, easy and safe deployment, in addition to easy upgrades for coverage and high fault tolerance, significantly reducing network installation and operation costs.


Using the Sitewatch option, the MX 40 can be accessed remotely via Ethernet or GSM. A web page displays measurements and channel statuses in real time, and is accessible from any computer or wireless phone connected to the internet. This option also allows you to have SMS or email messages sent in the case of an alarm.

Innovative features for monitoring and controlling distributed assets and IP networks.

PcVue 11.1 is the latest release of PcVue SCADA solution created by ARC Informatique. It now features the monitoring of geographically distributed assets and IP network devices. The innovative design improves operator effectiveness with powerful data analysis tools and developer productivity with advanced automation of configuration.

GEO Map Control, a built-in component for GIS decision making, provides live interactive maps from popular mapping services such as Google and Microsoft. Maps are interactive and dynamic; supporting both off-line and on-line maps access. PcVue graphical objects (Symbols) may be used as markers including animations and display of real-time asset status and alarms. No scripting or programming is required to configure the Map Control.
PcVue’s communication driver pack, CIMWay, has been expanded to support SNMP for monitoring and controlling devices on IP networks. This native capability not only allows PcVue applications to monitor the health of the network, but provides access to an ever increasing number of IED’s and other equipment with IP interfaces. Designed for optimization of large IP networks in mind, the PcVue SNMP solution capability supports the growing Internet of Industrial Things (IoIT).

Data Analysis for operator decision-making support is an increasing requirement in a modern SCADA application. PcVue 11.1 provides powerful analysis, with a few clicks operators may move from real-time to analysis mode and back. The resulting visualization may be with dashboard KPI displays or the powerful new X-Y charting control for correlation and statistical analysis.

Enhancements to BACnet® Scheduling and new SMART Generators for BACnet® and TwinCAT® - Beckhoff for automated configuration are some of the many additional new features and improvements to PcVue Solutions with PcVue 11.1.

Other additions are worth to be noted: the implement of a new license utility, a unique tool for license management, and improved client drivers for Energy management such as DNP3, our DNV Kema certified IEC 61850, IEC 60870-5-104, etc.

To preserve the SCADA investment and ensure its longevity, PcVue has been maintaining backward compatibility for 20 years. This new version is compatible with the latest technologies (Windows 8.1, Microsoft SQL Server 2014, etc.) including virtual environments.

Manufacturing operations solutions software for show!

Aegis Software will demonstrate their FactoryLogix manufacturing operations solution at booth 7A-219 during the SMT show in Nürnberg (D, 5th-7th. May 2015). Visitors to the stand will see how the platform enables manufacturers to accelerate the delivery of complex, configured-to-order electronic assemblies and box-builds, while ensuring high quality standards, and providing total product and process traceability.

FactoryLogix is an integrated suite of modules and devices designed to improve every aspect of manufacturing operations. System functionality spans new product introductions, factory-wide material management, paperless shop floor, real-time operational dashboards, and historical reporting.

Aegis’ flagship software seamlessly connects with existing ERP and other third-party systems, and the solution’s deep integration with product design data, provides process engineers, line operators, and quality managers with a CAD-driven visualization of each part or component used in production and testing.

This rich, granular manufacturing detail allows FactoryLogix to deliver a level of end-to-end traceability not possible in other enterprise MES systems – helping electronics assemblers meet burdensome regulatory requirements commonly seen in the medical, military, automotive and aerospace industries.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Report on virtualisation in IACS.


The Automation Federation has released a public report—commissioned on behalf of the Linking Oil and Gas Industry to Improve Cybersecurity (LOGIIC)—that examines the use of virtualization technology in industrial automation and control system (IACS) environments.

Virtualization allows for the implementation of environments via a software-based solution rather than with the introduction of additional hardware. Like other industries, interest is high on any opportunities that can reduce the hardware footprint, address challenges of finding hardware for unsupported operating systems, and provide flexibility in creating training and testing environments.

The LOGIIC virtualization report—accessible on the LOGIIC website—outlines the critical factors that should be weighed when considering virtualization in an IACS environment; and evaluates and tests current automation system vendor practices to generate guidelines and reference architectures for securing virtual environments spanning multiple process control network layers.
The report also is designed to prompt and support an ongoing dialogue between critical infrastructure asset owners and operators and automation system vendors.

The LOGIIC Consortium, now celebrating its 10-year anniversary, was established by members of the oil and gas industry in partnership with the Cybersecurity Research and Development Center (CSRDC) of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate to study cybersecurity issues in IACS that impact safety and business performance as they pertain to the oil and gas sector.

LOGIIC’s objective is to promote the interests of the sector while maintaining impartiality, the independence of the participants, and vendor neutrality. Current members of LOGIIC include BP, Chevron, Shell, Total, and other large oil and gas companies that operate significant global energy infrastructure.

The Automation Federation serves as the LOGIIC host organization and has entered into agreements with the LOGIIC member companies and all other LOGIIC project participants.

LOGIIC regularly sponsors research initiatives that involve the interests of oil and gas sector stakeholders. Member companies contribute financially and technically, provide personnel who meet regularly to define projects of common interest, and provide staff to serve on the LOGIIC Executive Committee.

The US Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate has contracted with the scientific research organization SRI International to provide scientific and technical guidance for LOGIIC.

Industrial control, automation, package, security and other related vendors have made LOGIIC projects possible by volunteering their time, knowledge, equipment and test environments. Subject-matter experts work with SRI International to refine the evaluation strategy, perform the system evaluations and develop project reports.

Half a million industrial cameras!

Almost exactly ten years after releasing its first industrial camera, IDS Imaging Development Systems has shipped its 500,000th camera. The milestone camera was from the completely re-designed second generation series of the USB 3 uEye CP cameras, featuring the latest 2.3 MP Sony IMX174 CMOS sensor. This camera sets a new standard in terms of light sensitivity, dynamic range and colour reproduction and provides excellent image quality with extraordinarily low-noise performance.

IDS was founded as a two-man business In 1997 and since 2004 the company has been developing and producing digital cameras for industrial use. Today IDS is the global market leader in USB industrial cameras and offers a wide range of models with USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet interface. The unique IDS Software Suite supplied with every camera provides an extremely easy integration is one of the company’s key success factors.

IDS now has more than 170 employees worldwide in subsidiaries in USA and Japan, offices in France and United Kingdom as well as distribution partners almost everywhere in the world.


"In the next months, IDS will expand its production capacities. There is a new building on the company site being built, which will double our production area. So we will see the millionth camera soon", says Torsten Wiesinger, CEO of IDS. His short video statement regarding the 500,000th camera’s shipment can be found here on their website.

Survey response shows customer satisfaction improvement

A new customer survey published early in 2015 by Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) specialist, Autoscribe, has shown an across-the-board increase in customer satisfaction levels compared to a similar survey carried out in 2013. In addition response levels to the survey, which was conducted in both the USA and Britain, was up nearly fourfold.

The survey contains a number of questions which allow customers to rate some aspect of the Matrix LIMS products or the service provided by Autoscribe on a scale of 1-10. Every survey question with this metric showed an improvement.

Autoscribe Managing Director, John Boother, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the results. The purchase of a LIMS and ongoing customer support requires a good deal of interaction between customers and our staff, and we are constantly striving to ensure that our personnel are knowledgeable, helpful and personable to make this experience as positive as possible. It is therefore a great compliment to our sales and support staff in both countries that the biggest increases in the score ratings came in the ‘assistance given by the sales team’ and ‘assistance given by the support team’ categories.”


“It is also encouraging that these improvements have all been achieved against a respectably high baseline (generally over 7/10) achieved in 2013”, he continued. “We are also pleased to report that even more people would be prepared to recommend Autoscribe to another potential user. However, we must not rest on our laurels. There is still room for further improvement and that must always be our objective.”

Acquisition consoladates leadership towards 5G commercialisation.

National Instruments (NI) has announced its acquisition of BEEcube, a technology innovator and leading supplier of high-performance FPGA prototyping and deployment products for advanced wireless research, wireless infrastructure and military/defence applications. 

“As the Internet of Things (IoT) drives greater demand for data and an increasing number of connected devices, NI is excited to be at the forefront of research and prototyping tools for next-generation 5G wireless technology,” said Charles Schroeder, NI Director of RF Communications. “NI and BEEcube share a common philosophy and vision of platform-based design, and we believe the combination of the two companies will strengthen our leadership position as 5G progresses toward commercialisation.” 

Chen Chang, BEEcube’s Founder and CEO, added, “For many years, BEEcube has been at the forefront of technology innovation in telecommunications applications. By joining NI, we will have the resources to continue to drive 5G research and provide our customers solutions which enable infrastructure deployment on a global scale.” 


BEEcube will operate as a wholly-owned NI subsidiary under the leadership of Chang and continue to sell and support its products under the BEEcube brand through its direct and distributor channels. 

8-channel Arbitrary Waveform Generator.

Teseq has an eight-channel arbitrary waveform generator designed for automotive testing.  The ARB 5500 fits inside the transient generator and features memory for over 64,000 standard waveform segments as well as 1 GB of Clone memory for user-defined shapes.  This is enough memory for several thousand hours of simulations.

Now available  for both new systems, or as an upgrade for existing NSG 5500 units, the ARB 5500 provides the necessary control for all battery simulation tests and advanced functions including power magnetics and continuous wave (ripple) simulations. 

According to Teseq, the ARB 5500 supports waveforms that may be difficult to describe and real-world events that need to be simulated. All vital waveforms can be created from the built-in wave shapes or by loading a Clone™, a memory map of user-identified or prerecorded wave shapes, from an external application.

In addition to individual trigger outputs and programmable current limits, each of the ARB 5500’s eight channels supports 16-bit output with a 10 MS/s playback for true stepless operation.  The channels can be perfectly synchronized with an advanced parameter-ramping function when paired with Teseq’s redesigned AutoStar 7 software.  This intuitive software offers drag and drop programming for a “what you see is what you get” operation.  All channels are individually calibrated with values stored right on the ARB 5500.

Every segment in the new arbitrary waveform generator features its own trigger, advanced rectification, phase angle and duty cycle programming to effortlessly meet even the most complex standards’ requirements.


The ARB 5500 has an output voltage range of -10V to +10V, a frequency range up to 500kHz with isolated output.  With the addition of transient modules and a new dropout switch, nearly all automotive tests can be performed using a single 19in generator.

New sales manager appointed.

Gresham Power Electronics has appointed Dave Wellman as their new Sales Manager. Dave will be responsible for sales of Gresham’s wide range of commercial power supply products and will run their European distribution network.

Dave Wellman
Having been in the power industry for 14 years, working for both manufacturing and distribution companies Dave has extensive experience of customer requirements in both  standard and custom designed products covering a wide range of markets including industrial, defence, medical and rail.

In addition to his electronic and mechanical engineering background Dave also holds an MBA Degree in Business Strategy and Change Management.

Jake Moir, Managing Director of Gresham Power, comments, “We are very pleased to welcome Dave to Gresham Power. He joins us at a time when our Defence order book is in very good shape and he will be leading our efforts to increase our sales of commercial products. He will not only be developing our OEM sales of standard and custom designed products but growing our distribution business and looking to introduce a range of appropriate complimentary products.”

Students! Consider the process control industry as a future career.

MCAA’s annual Industry Forum is scheduled for April 19-21, 2015 in Scottsdale (AZ USA). Over 200 attendees are expected experience an educational event featuring expert speakers, breakout sessions, roundtables, and peer networking opportunities.

As the trade association for providers of instrumentation used in industrial process control and factory automation, MCAA’s members are particularly affected by a “brain drain” as older, knowledgeable workers begin to retire. Therefore, Workforce Development is a critical issue that MCAA’s members are addressing in a variety of ways. Area college and university students have been invited to attend this meeting free of charge. Students will take part in topical discussions and meet with corporate leaders to discover more about the varied and exciting career opportunities within the automation industry. MCAA is planning an even bigger outreach to students at the 2016 Industry Forum in Nashville.

The theme of this year’s Forum is “Work”. The keynote address will be delivered by Brian Hayes, Global Business Development Manager for ABB, Inc. With over three decades in the instrumentation industry, he will discuss the changing nature of customer requirements and examine ideas for opening future markets.

Inventor, author, and entrepreneur Doug Hall, founder of the Eureka! Ranch, will inspire and educate participants with his original strategies for increasing innovation and creativity.

Respected economist Jeffrey Dietrich from ITR Economics will bring an intelligent and insightful perspective to his market forecast that goes beyond the “lead and bleed” headlines.

Technological trends and their impact on management is the focus of a presentation by venture investor and technology expert, Dave Berkus.

Breakout and roundtable sessions led by industry experts will focus on specific industry sectors and highlight issues critical to success in the 21st-century workplace. Attendees will have an opportunity to delve into the oil & gas markets, social media, negotiating techniques, digital communications, sales and marketing, manufacturing, and workforce development.

MCAA exists to help the management teams of process and factory automation product and solution providers run and grow successful businesses by offering timely, unique and highly specialized resources acquired from shared management benchmarks where proprietary company information is secure—with opportunities for industry peers to learn and network at events such as the Industry Forum.

Control system integrator industry’s digital marketing performance.

Authentia has published an important and comprehensive study of the control system integrator industry’s digital marketing performance. Many industrial/manufacturing industries lag behind in their adoption of modern digital marketing practices, largely due to target demographics that have been slow to embrace social media and mobile computing. This has especially been the case in the control system integrator industry. However, with digital trends accelerating and workforce demographics rapidly changing, businesses are being forced to adapt quickly.
Click image to download report
Authentia randomly selected 100 North American control system integrators and assessed their digital marketing effectiveness against 32 separate criteria. The results indicate areas of opportunity for control system integrators to take advantage of industry-wide latencies. Owners, business developers, and marketing professionals will find this information valuable in assessing their own efforts and opportunities against their peers and competitors.

Is Industrial Automation and Manufacturing Behind the Digital Marketing Curve?
A
rticle on International Society of Automation's Interchange blog where Joel Don talks about this report. (8th June 2015)
“With my background in industrial controls and leadership positions in the International Society of Automation (ISA), control system integrators are near and dear to my heart,” said Authentia Strategic Marketing Consultant Jon DiPietro. “I have many friends and colleagues who work in that industry. Over the past few years, I’ve conducted dozens of digital marketing assessments for control system integrators and other automation companies. I thought it would be interesting to conduct an industry-wide assessment and see how the industry as a whole is adapting to digital marketing trends.”

Key findings from the report include:
  • Websites are outdated in terms of messaging and technology:
  • 79% of CSI websites we analyzed make site visits from a mobile device difficult or impossible, alienating nearly half of their web visitors.
  • 48% of the website cannot easily change site content or even enable blogging, as they do not use a Content Management System (CMS).
  • 45% of all sites studied make no attempt to establish trust with site visitors through the use of social proof, such as testimonials, awards, certifications, memberships, etc.
Search engine marketing is nearly non-existent in the industry:
  • 3% of websites surveyed were determined to be paying for advertisements on search engines.
  • 85% of CSI websites had a Domain Authority below 40, which is a measure of how much clout a website carries with search engines.
  • 42% of websites did not have any analytics operating which track their performance.
The industry has not yet adopted content marketing as a strategy:
  • 67% of those studied do not list or promote social media accounts, such as Facebook or LinkedIn
  • 65% of websites have no blog or news feed.
  • 12% had a blog and published industry-focused content (as opposed to company news).
  • 88% of websites surveyed did not incorporate social sharing buttons, making their content difficult to find and share.
There are very few mechanisms in place to interact with prospects:
  • 2% of websites were connected to a marketing automation tool.
  • 84% of websites surveyed did not utilize visible call-to-action buttons.
  • 95% of websites failed to use landing pages, which contain an offer designed to collect information from prospects.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

High Mating Cycle (HMC) connectors!

Harting Han-Modular® hinged frame allows integration with High Mating Cycle connectors

Harting has added a new hinged frame to the Han-Modular® range of industrial connectors. The new frame allows Han-Modular® components to be integrated with the company's family of High Mating Cycle (HMC) connectors, which are designed to handle more than 10,000 mating cycles.

The new Han-Modular® Hinged Frame HMC incorporates a specially plated PE (Protective Earth) contact with enhanced mechanical stability. These modifications enable the frame to be used in scenarios where the number of mating cycles exceeds 10,000, with no loss in performance.

The new frame now permits the integration of the Han-Modular® system into applications involving modular structured production facilities. These connectors are subject to ever-increasing demands because of more frequent intervals between retooling and machinery changeovers, with users demanding identical performance and reliability despite a higher number of mating cycles. Mobile equipment and medical technology present similar application challenges.

Variable speed drives improves the quality of glass ovens.

A leading manufacturer of glass tempering ovens has turned to the Unidrive M family of variable speed drives from Emerson Industrial Automation to greatly improve the quality of its products. Glaston America, (NJ USA), has established a strong reputation for excellence serving both the commercial and residential glass markets. The company´s biggest customer is Cardinal IG, a market leader in the manufacture of residential glass. To ensure its glass tempering ovens meet the demanding requirements of high profile customers, every effort is made by Glaston to maximize quality.

A recent case in point saw the company address the issue of tiny scratches that can occur as a result of the glass being tempered without precise speed control on the oven´s drives. To overcome the challenge, Glaston researched the market for an alternative to its existing drives supplier.

"The solution arrived initially in the shape of Control Techniques' Unidrive SP drive because of the flexibility of programming and option cards for feedback and communications," explains Cliff Matukonis of Glaston America. "However, we soon migrated to the Unidrive M701 as its new features and functionality better suited our needs. The integration of PROFIBUS communications and application modules for increasing the drives' flexibility was also crucial in our decision."

Led by the results of extensive customer-driven market research, and designed specifically for manufacturing automation applications (Emerson Industrial Automation's traditional area of expertise), each Unidrive M model suits specific application needs. For instance, the Unidrive M701 series drives now preferred by Glaston offer benefits specific to sectors such as ovens and heat treatment equipment.

A total of 14 Unidrive M701 drives with SI-PROFIBUS are now deployed in the company´s glass tempering ovens, one for each roll section. Rollers pass glass through various oven sections to be treated and then through a cooling section prior to packaging. Glaston also uses 14 Unimotor HD - highly dynamic brushless servo motors from Control Techniques, one for each drive.

"The main benefit of the Unidrive M701 is the precise speed control we can now exert on the oven rolls which greatly reduces scratches and imperfections on the glass," states Mr. Matukonis. "Furthermore, we now have more capability and flexibility, and found integration to the control system extremely straightforward. The system´s design and interfaces, along with its extensive diagnostics capability, also ensure ease-of-use for the machine´s operator."

The Unidrive M family of drives offer class-leading induction and permanent magnet servo motor performance with real-time Ethernet. Each drive delivers maximum machine throughput through greater control with single and multi-axis network synchronization. On-board real-time Ethernet (IEEE 1588 V2), advanced motion control and high speed I/O for position capture has made it easier than ever for machine builders to create more sophisticated and flexible machines.

"The new line-up of Unidrive M701 with SI-PROFIBUS is now integral to all our new and upgraded installations," said Mr. Matukonis. "The option cards give these drives incredible flexibility. For example, we are able to bring two encoder signals from other motors into a single drive. With minimal programming, we have been able to have the drives follow either of these encoders with smooth ramps between the two different encoder speeds. I could only find this option in significantly more expensive servo solutions.

"As well as this, we are impressed at how the system deals with any issues. If a drive fails, all the parameters are kept on a magnetic card that can easily be used to program the new drive. It was much easier for the maintenance department to simply put in the card and program the new drive.

"Between the Unidrive SP and Unidrive M series, we have to date installed over 100 servo drives at our production facility and we couldn´t be happier with the results we´re seeing."

Switching system test tools!

Pickering Interfaces is lowering the cost of ownership of switching systems with the introduction of their latest diagnostic test tools—eBIRST Switching System Test Tools.

The eBIRST tools, designed specifically for Pickering Interfaces PXI, PCI or LXI (Ethernet) products, simplify switching system fault finding by quickly testing the system and identifying the faulty relays. Once identified, the tools then display a graphical representation of the switching system’s PCB assembly, highlighting the relays that need to be replaced. The eBIRST tools achieve this task by measuring the path resistance between different pins on the switching system connector and controlling the path through the system to allow it to test any of the relays in the system. Systems that use separate input and output connections can be tested by use of two eBIRST tools in a master/slave configuration.


“In 2009 we introduced an embedded test tool, BIRST™ (Built-In Relay Self-Test). This tool gave our customers the ability to find defective relays in matrix products and was very well received,” states David Owen, Business Development Manager for Pickering Interfaces. “The new eBIRST tools build on that experience by introducing external tools that can support any switching system architecture, not just matrices, with 100% relay coverage. These tools can be applied to low or medium power Pickering Interfaces switching systems using any of our primary control interfaces – PXI, PCI or LXI. For a modest investment, the tools offer our customers a quick and efficient method of identifying faults and a simple means of determining what needs to be repaired and what does not. Once a user has tools covering their primary connector use, they have an investment that can save its cost many times over in reduced repair times and lower system down times. No other switching system vendor offers this level of support for its designs.”

The eBIRST tools consist of three different tools that support 200-way LFH, 78-way D and 50-way D connectors and a set of adaptors that allow connection to other connector types. A supplied application program controls the eBIRST tools via a USB2 connection that also provides the tool power and controls the switching system using a Test Definition File to define the test sequence. The tool dimensions allow eBIRST to be used to test PXI, PCI or LXI (Ethernet) controlled switching systems.

The application program, which is free to download from the Pickering Interfaces website, is regularly updated to include support for a growing range of Pickering Interfaces switching products.

Monday, March 23, 2015

New ultrasonic flowmeter for superheated steam.

A dedicated ultrasonic flowmeter, OPTISONIC 8300,  for the measurement of superheated steam is presented by Krohne. The 2-beam flowmeter stands out with a measuring accuracy of 1 %, high repeatability, and a large dynamic measuring range. Typical applications include boiler and plant efficiency monitoring in (power) plants, energy balancing or inter-company steam billing.

As downtime of steam pipes is very costly and must be avoided, the unit was build for long term use: it features a full bore flow sensor without moving parts or obstructions, and an overall sturdy and robust construction with no cables or sensitive parts exposed. Therefore, it can uphold its measuring accuracy without maintenance or subsequent calibration for up to 20 years, while keeping operating costs at a minimum. If verification of the measuring accuracy should become necessary, it can be provided by using the flowmeter diagnostics, without removing the flowmeter.

With nominal sizes ranging from DN 100...1000 / 4…40", OPTISONIC 8300 is particularly suited to high flow rates. Pressure rating up to 200 bar / 3625 psi and temperature rating up to 540 °C / 1004 °F are available, higher requirements on request. With temperature and pressure sensors connected to the device, the integrated flow computer can calculate steam mass flow.

OThis instrument adds to Krohne's portfolio of ultrasonic process and custody transfer meters for liquids and gases, ranging from compressed air to liquid natural gas (LNG).

• Krohne products are marketed by DWN Instrumentation in Ireland.