Friday, January 15, 2016

Integrating biometrics with operations management software.

By integrating Emerson’s Syncade Smart Operations Management Suite with Xyntek’s Biometrics Solution, users can simplify authentication, ensure the identity of the signer and the integrity of documents, and minimise the risk of credential theft. Biometric authentication such as iris, fingerprint, palm-vein, or voice scanning leverages the uniqueness of the individual to deliver faster sign-offs and better documentation while maintaining tight security.

“Users in the pharmaceutical manufacturing and other regulated industries need solutions that minimise the time personnel are spending on compliance activities but ensure they are still in compliance,” said Michalle Adkins, life sciences consultant with Emerson’s Industry Solutions Group. “Using the Xyntek biometrics solution with Syncade, companies can focus on their core manufacturing operations rather than paperwork.”

When a user needs to confirm a process step, an authentication window automatically opens in Syncade. If biometric scans are enabled, the Xyntek Biometric Solution compares the physical user biometric scan against stored biometrics data. Once the authentication is completed, the confirmation is added to the electronic record. Users can provide the required authentication without removing protective equipment or compromising quality. The solution also eliminates the risks and expenses associated with lost or stolen identification cards or passwords.

“Integrating biometrics into a manufacturing process makes it easier for the plant to ensure completion and traceability of regulated activities without disrupting operational workflow,” said Elliot Abreu, senior vice-president, Xyntek. “With this solution, meeting regulatory requirements such as 21 CFR Part 11 compliance for system security, user access, and electronic signatures is now a matter of ‘who you are’ versus ‘what you know’ and ‘what you have’. Companies that have implemented biometrics in their manufacturing processes have realised cost savings by replacing typical username and password entries with a quick and simple scan, reducing the level of IT support required.”

 @EmersonProcess #PAuto

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Certification to communication standard.

The automation software zenon from COPA-DATA has been certified in accordance with the international energy systems standard IEC 61850 Edition 2. zenon thus proves its conformity with the most recent additions to the standard. The certificate was issued by TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH.

Standards and communication protocols in the energy sector are regularly renewed. The international standard IEC 61850 regulates, among other things, communication between different components in automated power stations and transformers. The current test bed for Edition 2 checks new functions and additions to the standard. It is usually the server providing data that is certified to the IEC 61850 standard. zenon acts as a client however, and was one of the first worldwide to be successfully tested with the new Edition 2 of the standard.

In Edition 2 of the IEC 61850 standard, apart from additions to the object model, it was the functional constraints permitted in spontaneous communication that were enhanced in particular. As a result, the standard offers more flexibility when designing efficient network communication. The most significant enhancement concerns service tracking. This allows queries on the current device status and detailed information on completed actions.

Albi Kospiri, Communication Protocol Engineer at TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH in Munich, explains: “COPA-DATA came to our laboratories with clear ideas and the implementation of the Edition 2 of IEC 61850 standard seemed to be carried out by knowledgeable people with hands-on experience of the standard. The testing process didn’t bring up significant issues. The application being tested was a comprehensive SCADA application, which gave us the best chance to examine all the applicable test cases required by the test procedure.”

Jürgen Resch, Energy Industry Manager at COPA-DATA, adds: “The demand for comprehensive Edition 2 certification in the energy market is increasing – not just for hardware, but also software. It is expected that it will even become a benchmark in international tenders in the future. This new certification from TÜV SÜD is a further important building block for our international competitiveness.”

 @copadata  #PAuto @TUVSUD

The hottest flow studies!

New schedule of flow studies, Coriolis, magnetic, ultrasonic, Volume X etc.

Dr Jesse Yoder founder Flow Research
Flow Research is continuing their work in this area through the industry group called Flow Recalibration Working Group they started building last year. This group’s membership continues to grow.  The goal is to formulate criteria for determining when a flowmeter should be recalibrated. The formation of the group is in direct response to requests made by end-users in the Middle East who want help in determining when their ultrasonic and turbine meters should be recalibrated.
In addition they have completed two flow calibration studies, Worldwide Gas Flow Calibration Facilities and Markets and Worldwide Liquid Flow Calibration Facilities and Markets. The reception for these studies has been extremely positive, and it is believed that they will make a significant contribution to companies who are concerned with the subject of flowmeter calibration.

Their schedule of studies for 2016. is also available on the website.


Advanced quotation module for contract labs.

A new, advanced quotation module for the Matrix Gemini Laboratory Information System (LIMS) will greatly benefit contract laboratories by simplifying the process of producing customer quotations. The new module, from Autoscribe,  seamlessly interacts with the laboratory sample testing components of the LIMS and can create customer specific pricing, manage discounts, automatically handle the whole process of generating quotations, work orders and invoicing.

Matrix Gemini’s advanced pricing module allows prices to be allocated to individual tests and groups of tests. This greatly reduces the time and complexity of producing quotations, particularly in product testing, which can involve testing many types of materials from individual product components to the packaging.

Other capabilities include the allocation of discounts per customer or per individual job, or the setting of inter company or inter departmental pricing structures. In addition surcharges for carrying out tests within a certain time frame can be added. With this degree of flexibility it is possible to not only create generic price lists, but price lists for individual customers, if required. When pricing reviews are due, a revised price list can be set up which will automatically supersede the current list on a user-defined date.

The quotation process is fully automated. The number and type of samples are entered into the system, together with the test combinations for each sample and an e-mailable PDF quotation is automatically created, complete with the date period it is valid for. There is provision to add specific comments to the quotation and to configure the format to suit the particular organization.

Once a quotation has been accepted, the module can also automatically convert the quotation into a job/project, subject to receipt of a purchase order, confirmation of funds or even pre-payment if required, eliminating the need for duplicate data entry.

The software also supports a variety of billing options. Specific work can be marked as non-billable and partial billing of work orders/jobs/projects is supported. For added flexibility, monthly billing is also supported. Billing can be made by department as well as cross-charging between laboratories and/or sites. Invoices can be produced directly or by exporting data to a 3rd party accounts package.

Colour digital panel meter.

The Micra-M, is a programmable color digital panel meter with the update technology, which accepts input signals for: Process (mA, V), Temperature (sensor Pt100, thermocouples), or Load Cells (mV/V, mV). The MICRA-M we are supplying now is an updated and improved version of our successful digital panel meter.

New features include:
Firmware version M2.00, fully compatible with Ethernet option (ETH) which allows access to embedded web server to visualize process variables; extended Thermocouple J and K ranges, additional type N; Top display range up to +39999 points (versus 19999 before) and extended adjustment offset range (-19.9 to 99.9 degrees).

  • New 'Eco' function for energy saving. New 'Input Error' function for overflow, sensor break or zero input detection.
  • New added logic functions and commands.
  • New definition of relay contact status by default (NO/NC) to make its use compatible with FAIL SAFE function.
  • Time response for analog output has been reduced to 10ms and it is possible to select over range indication ('Hi' or 'Lo') level.
#Vydas #PAuto

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Automation & reliability provider selected for massive Egyptian petrochem plant.

Automation and reliability programmes for world’s largest naphtha cracker plant will support efficient, high-availability production of plastics and related materials for local and export markets.

Emerson Process Management has been selected to provide automation and reliability technologies and services for Carbon Holdings’ Tahrir Petrochemicals Project at Ain Sokhna, Egypt. Emerson's initial scope of work is estimated at US$150 million.

David Farr, CEO Emerson
When completed, the approximately US$6.9 billion Tahrir project will be the largest petrochemical plant in Egypt and the largest naphtha cracker plant in the world. It will produce 1.5 million tonnes per year of ethylene that will then be further processed into polyethylene. Other major products will include propylene, polypropylene, hexene, butadiene, benzene, and styrene. Construction and operation of the Tahrir Petrochemicals complex is expected to generate thousands of direct and indirect permanent and construction jobs in Egypt.

As Main Automation Contractor, Emerson will apply best practice technologies and services to help ensure the facility is completed on time and within budget. Engineering services include designing the plant for optimum availability, and Emerson will also provide a robust reliability programme that includes consulting services, equipment health monitoring, and a reliability service centre for ongoing local support and expertise.

The announcement was made at Emerson’s Middle East headquarters in Dubai where David Farr, chairman and CEO of Emerson, met with Basil El-Baz, chairman and CEO of Carbon Holdings, for the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding the contract award.

“Investments of this size require us to select partners that have a long history of handling large, complex projects and the expertise to produce a reliable plant with dependable output,” said Carbon Holdings’ El-Baz. “We chose Emerson for its proven ability to deliver a successful automation project that results in an efficient, high-availability operation.”

Designed to serve both local and export markets, the Tahrir Petrochemicals complex will be constructed in Egypt’s Suez Special Economic Development Zone, with raw materials received and products shipped from the Gulf of Suez. Financing for the mega-project is expected to come from the export credit agencies of the United States, Korea, Italy and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, as well as direct investors. Under the memorandum of understanding, Emerson will also make a preferred equity investment in Tahrir Petrochemicals.

“We are excited to help Carbon Holdings realise its vision of creating a world-class petrochemical complex that can be a catalyst for economic development in Egypt,” said Farr. “With Emerson’s technologies, experience, and expertise, Carbon Holdings has positioned itself for top quartile performance – not only in project execution, but ongoing operations as well.”

#petrochem  @EmersonProcess #PAuto #Egypt @Emerson_News

Intelligent Networking Business Unit finalised.

Taiwanese industrial computing manufacturer Advantech has completed its acquisition of privately-held industrial intelligent networking specialist B+B SmartWorx for the US$99.85 million agreement announced late last year. Ottawa, IL-based B+B will continue to be led by its current management team, operating as Advantech B+B SmartWorx, and will lead Advantech’s new Intelligent Networking Business Sector in developing smart networking products as part of the company’s Global Industrial IoT Business Group.

The two companies’ complementary product lines brought them together often over the last decade to collaborate on industrial connectivity projects, so the combination of the two companies felt natural. The merger creates a $1.3 billion company with approximately 7,600 employees worldwide.

“B+B has undergone a transformation over recent years, acquiring several companies itself and developing technologies that bring ‘intelligence to the network edge’ to address evolving needs in the Industrial IoT (IIoT) market,” said B+B CEO Jerry O’Gorman. “We are pleased to join forces with Advantech, a global leader who shares our strategic view of the future.”

With B+B SmartWorx now a part of its portfolio, Advantech said it aims to accelerate its growth in industrial network connectivity-related products. The company will leverage B+B’s established branding, product lines, engineering teams and sales channels in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, and it will also begin selling B+B’s device connectivity products, cellular routers, gateways and the Wzzard wireless sensing platform into Asia. Products will retain B+B branding, bolstered by Advantech’s name recognition, and sold as “B+B SmartWorx powered by Advantech.”

Advantech chairman KC Liu explained that Advantech views this acquisition more as a merger, seeing value in all of B+B’s networking products from wired networking and fiber infrastructure to wireless connectivity. “B+B has in particular struck a nerve with its Wzzard wireless sensing system which satisfies enterprise IT’s desire to receive data from the field, and overcomes field OT’s (operational technology) fear of disruption, by creating ‘overlay networks’ that leave existing programming, processes and people in place,” said Liu.

B+B’s Wzzard together with its routers and gateways complement Advantech’s own WISE wireless sensing platform, and company engineers will be developing solutions leveraging the strength of both platforms.

@smartworxbb #PAuto

Multi-core power for explosion-protected HMI.

R. Stahl HMI Systems is now fitting explosion-protected touchscreen operating devices with new, fast processors. The highly efficient quad-core Atom E3845 of the Intel Bay Trail family is ideally suited for fanless systems.

The company is the first manufacturer to use this multi-core processor in Panel PCs for zone 1 hazardous areas. With the Atom E3845, which integrates the CPU cores, graphics unit, memory and I/O interfaces on a single chip, Series 400 HMIs take performance in this HMI device segment to a whole new level. Four CPU cores provide full 64-bit support; DDR3L-RAM provides much greater memory bandwidth than that of older interfaces, and the Atom’s integrated HD graphics supports DirectX 11.1.

The operating and monitoring systems are already certified worldwide for zone 1, 2, 21 and 22 hazardous areas. The new faster systems can therefore also immediately be operated worldwide. The HMIs are usually provided with Windows Embedded Standard 7 64-bit (WES7 64-bit). Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit is also available as an alternative option.

They offer different versions with display sizes ranging from 10’’ to 24’’ widescreens, available with glass or foil touchscreens, and with additional input panels or a complete keyboard. Some models feature a sunlight-readable display that can be easily read outdoors, regardless of lighting conditions. All models are suitable for a wide ambient temperature range from -20 °C to +55 °C and can also be operated in cleanrooms without requiring any additional certification.

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


Swimming pool flowmeter!

Blue-White’s engineers have taken the iconic F-300 Series flowmeters, for pipe sizes 1 ½” and 2”, and enhanced both the features and accuracy.

In addition to improved accuracy (+/- 5%) , these F-300 models now require far shorter pipe runs, making them more suited to installation in cramped equipment rooms. Also, Float “bounce” has been eliminated. New, high contrast red float comes standard with a magnet for use with alarm accessory, which detects flow/ no flow.

The NSF listing is in progress.

Additional F-300 features include: Easy to read dual scale (SCH40 GPM / SCH80 GPM for US PVC models), screen printed on both sides of the meter body; Acceptable for outdoor installations (direct sunlight okay); One piece, machined acrylic meter body, annealed for added strength and chemical resistance; ships with Stainless Steel clamps and gasket seal.

@BlueWhiteInd #PAuto

Ellipsometer launched.

A revolutionary ellipsometric jet fuel thermal oxidation heater tube scanner has been launched by PAC. The new OptiReader provides pass/fail results with a full 2D and 3D thickness map defining maximum deposit thickness and volume.

Results are not only fast, but also highly precise and accurate. The user interface is so simple it doesn’t require any training which saves time and money.

The numerical heater tube scan provides a unified test report with results from JFTOT & OptiReader. Its high-end design includes a 10.8 inch color touchscreen for an easy one-touch button operation. The testing method is proven to be better than the ASTM D3241 requirements.

The full mapping is completed in less than 10 minutes which saves the operator valuable time in the lab while minimizing the possibility for human errors.

OptiReader's accurate fast results, and data integration capabilities make it the best in its class.

Robotics first again...

The rules and game-playing details for its 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) have been announced by FIRST®, a not-for-profit public charity designed to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.
Picture captures some of the excitement at a FIRST Robotics event in Canada in 2011!
This year’s FRC, titled FIRST STRONGHOLDSM (watch video of game rules!), is expected to involve nearly 80,000 high school students on more than 3,100 participating teams throughout the world. Working with adult mentors, students have six weeks to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season’s engineering challenge.

Saturday’s kickoff event, held in Manchester, (NH USA), was broadcast live to the participating teams at more than 114 venues around the globe. (For a replay of the Kickoff broadcast, click here.) Teams received a Kickoff Kit comprised of donated items and components worth tens of thousands of dollars—but only limited instructions. Once these young inventors develop their robots, their teams will participate in one or more of the regional and district events that measure the robots’ effectiveness and students’ determination and collaborative capabilities. Qualifying FRC teams will compete for top honors at the 2016 FIRST Championship, which will take place 27-30 April in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

• As strategic alliance partners of FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), ISA and its umbrella organization, the Automation Federation, actively support FIRST’s multi-faceted educational programs that help young people discover and develop a passion for STEM learning and career pathways.

@FIRSTweets #PAuto #ISAuto 

Wireless steam trap monitor certified!

The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute announced today that wireless steam trap monitor has successfully achieved ISA100 Wireless certification.

The SmartWatchWeb™Radio Frequency (SWWRF40) Steam Trap Monitor is the wireless interface designed by BiTherm to provide an ISA100 Wireless compliant solution for the monitoring of gas and steam leaks, temperature, pressure and other relevant information related to valves and the steam system.

The SWWRF40 wirelessly transmits temperature, pressure and ultrasound data, which is analysed to determine the status of steam valves. The SWWRF40 enables fast response to undesirable events such as steam leaks. Paired with Bitherm’s Intensive Maintenance systems, the SWWRF40 significantly improves plant efficiency and reduces emissions of CO2 and other harmful gases.

Using ISA100 Wireless networks assures robust, secure and reliable transmission of critical asset condition information. ISA100 Wireless was purpose-built for industrial applications and includes support for high scalability, making it the perfect technology for replacing wired versions of the SWW monitoring system when scattered or isolated devices need to be monitored.

The ISA100 Wireless certification provides assurance that the SWWRF40 products interoperate in any ISA100 Wireless compliant network. View the ISA100 Wireless certification here.

“Adapting our products to ISA100 Wireless demonstrated to our customers that using a robust wireless infrastructure can only bring benefits to them,” said Roberto Paramo, who heads the Research and Development Department at BiThem SL. “Using ISA100 Wireless will also help us compete in this market, giving our products an extra boost and positioning them among the best available.”

“We are pleased to include SWWRF40 in the portfolio of certified ISA100 Wireless products and congratulate Bitherm for its release of another elegant steam and condensate network product,” remarked Andre Ristaino, ISA100 WCI Managing Director.

@bithermgroup @ISA100WCI #PAuto

Success with MES.

Aegis was chosen over a number of other MES providers, both local and international, as Huabel’s MES provider after a lengthy and detailed selection process. Huabel chose Aegis for their professional service, mature technology and clear delivery terms, providing them with the lowest risk solution.

Huabel previous experience with MES had been unsuccessful and this, combined with their own in-house software reaching the limit of its capabilities, led them to embark on a detailed search for the right MES provider. This decision is part of a lean manufacturing philosophy that will help Huabel reduce waste and improve efficiency. 

“We found that Aegis is very strong in process control and management” said Vice President of Huabel’s Engineering Centre Division, adding, “During the bid, the whole Aegis team acted very professionally, boosting our confidence in choosing Aegis as our MES provider.”

Huabel will deploy FactoryLogix across their entire facility, which includes 31 SMT lines. Data will be collected via xLink, enabling reliable and efficient data processing. Huabel will roll out FactoryLogix throughout the enterprise including NPI, Material Logistics, Production, SMT Lines Management, Analytics, Dashboard Monitoring, and Integration with xLink and xTend, as well as inForce line terminals and scanners for fail-safe process interlocking and alarming.

The vast library of Aegis xLink adapters for leading machines transforms real-time and disparate data types into streams of standards-based data that Aegis servers inherently understand. Aegis xTend provides data exchange to ERP, PLM, time and attendance systems, workflow automation systems, and more.

The Project has an aggressive installation schedule that will deliver the benefits of FactoryLogix and return on investment quickly.

@FactoryLogix #PAuto

Major Food and Pharma event in Ireland looks exciting. #FPID16 #PAuto #ISAuto

Attendance at a previous FPID Symposium
We reported last year that the 3rd International Society of Automation's Food and Pharmaceutical Symposium (#FPID16) was scheduled to be held in Ireland in March 2016.  It is the first time that the event has been staged outside of North America and already a formidable line-up of speakers have agreed to present. This is the principle event of the ISA's Food & Pharmaceutical Division.

One of the keynote speakers is Dr Peter G. Martin, the world-renowned and acclaimed expert in automation and control, having held executive and technical positions in engineering, product and strategic planning, marketing and training throughout his career and is a Senior. He is VP and Edison Master with Schneider Electric Company.Dr Martin is a recipient of the ISA Life Achievement Award, and has been named as one of the 50 most influential innovators of all time in instrumentation and controls. He is also an ISA Fellow.
An invigorating and knowledgeable speaker, he will address the topic of Innovation and a Future Perspective on Automation and Control. 

Dr Paul McKenzie, the second keynote speaker is the Vice President of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices, Ethicon Research & Development (R&D). As a member of the Ethicon Global Management Board and the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Research & Development Leadership Team, Paul is a trusted leader, responsible for R&D’s global strategy, portfolio prioritization and execution, resource strategy & development, and advancement of R&D talent.
Dr McKenzie will adress Using Data to Optimize the Product Life Cycle.

Other speakers, users and developers, and there are around forty listed, will address topic such as (to name a few):

  • Benefits of Serialization Track & Trace; 
  • Industry Engagement and Solutions; 
  • Preparing your laboratory for a data integrity audit; 
  • The Application of Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) in the form of The Connected Enterprise;
  • Cybersecurity; 
  • Alarm Management; and many others.

The International President of ISA, Mr Jim Keaveney will also be in attendance and it is hoped to have a member of the Government in attendance though of course pending the result of the Irish General Election scheduled for February.

 #FPID16 #PAuto #ISAuto

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Recognising Irish automation expertise and service!

The 34th annual Honours and Awards Ceremony of the Ireland Section of the International Society of Instrumentation (ISA) was held last month (Dec 2015). This event is held to acknowledge recognise and encourage excellence for those training or working in the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation sector.
LtoR-Front; Lord Mayor Cork  Chris O’Leary, John Power, Alan Bateman, President ISA Ireland
Back: Colin Levis, Aoife Monahan, Grzegorz Perka,
Niall Cahalane,(H&A Chair), 
Rodger Condon & Liam O'Brien.
There were seven awards presented, four of which were submitted by Third Level institutions and three industry awards.

The event was held in the elegant and historic Common Room of University College Cork by kind permission.

The Awards
• Craft Person Award
The Craft Person Award is awarded, on the nomination of Cork Training Centers and/or Carlow Institute of Technology, to the best final year instrumentation Apprentice for notable academic and practical achievements in instrumentation.
Rodger Condon
This year Mr. Rodger Condon of Cork Training Centre was the recipient and was nominated by Mr. Pat Mc Carthy & Jim Doyle, Cork Educational and Training Board.
"Rodger is completing his apprenticeship as an Electrical Instrumentation craftsperson and took his studies very seriously. He has achieved practically all credits in every subject for phase 2,4, and 6. He took advise easily and is attending college by night to complete a degree in Applied Physics and Instrumentation.
Rodger has also completed other in-house and external courses. He is currently serving his apprenticeship with Dornan Engineering on several of their projects around Cork while studying by night."

• Degree Award
Ms. Aoife Monahan was the recipient of the Degree Award which is awarded, on any nomination, to the best final year Degree student specialising in any area of Automation Instrumentation or Control. She was Nominated by: Mr. Gareth Roe of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).
Aoife Monahan
"Aoife Monahan has been an outstanding student on the degree course in Physics & Instrumentation at GMIT. This is evidenced by her results from 1st year and 2nd year where she achieved overall results of 85.5% (GPA) and 90.2% (GPA) respectively and is further supported by her 3rd year degree results. In 3rd year Aoife’s overall average was 80% with all her individual module results, bar one at 69%!, being at distinction level or well above and this in subjects ranging from Computerized Instrument Systems (79%) to Robotics & Automation(80%) to Physics (77%). She displays a natural aptitude and enthusiasm combined with a determined persistence in her studies of both the theoretical and practical aspects of instrumentation and applied physics. Through her coursework and experience to date Aoife has a proven impressive ability in both the theory and then the practical implementation of instrument systems .
Aoife has also demonstrated a distinct ability for both individual project work and collaborative work as part of a team.
In her 2nd year individual project she took on the challenging task of building a working transmittance heart rate monitoring system. This involved constructing the sensor system and associated signal conditioning, interfacing the processed signal to a PC and then developing and using a LabViewTM program to interpret and display the incoming signal in terms of heart rate. The end result was a system that was not only fully functioning but was also delivered with significant attention to detail."

• Honour’s Degree Award
The Honour’s Degree Award was achieved by Mr Colin Levis on the nomination of Mr. Gerard Geaney of the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Cork Institute of Technology.
Colin Levis
"Colin displayed the ability to analyse and develop a process. The process consisted of a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Generator simulating a wind turbine. The model emulated modern wind turbines used to reduce losses and provide a more efficient system. This model incorporated automation consisting of hardware such as Siemens S7-1200 PLC, Analog Input module, Analog output signal board, Siemens Sentron PAC 4200 energy meter, Allen Bradley Power flex 4M VFD, LEM current transducers, Kubler incremental encoder, Voltage rectifiers, 1 kW PMSG and a 2 kW induction motor. In order to obtain data and determine the capabilities of the PMSG the following software is used Simatic Step 7 V12, Kepware, Simulink/Matlab, Wonderware ArchestrA, MS Excel and MS Access.
To control the speed of the motor a PI controller was designed using the Root Locus method. The controller designed has a conservative response to eliminate any system overshoot and have a stable response. This entailed deriving a transfer function for the motor within Simulink and Matlab from real time data. The designed controller and actual response were verified to show an accurate model was created. To visually display the results and effects of operating conditions by the use of SCADA software developed by Wonderware."

• Innovation Project Award
Recognising a project which has made a significant contribution to the advancement of industry in Ireland through the use of Automation Technology is the purpose of the Innovation Project Award.
The recipients were Mr Grzegorz Perka and Mr Adam Sikorzynski of Vistakon in Limerick on the nomination of  Mr. Declan Fagan also of Vistakon.
Grzegorz Perka
"Their contribution recognised that extracting data from a complex process with no measurement systems built in was very difficult until they developed their replica pallet.
Using a very clever solution Grzegorz and Adam designed a process monitoring system built into a replica process pallet that could be used to navigate through the production line collecting information throughout its movement path. The replica process pallet used the same physical dimensions as a typical pallet however it had a purpose built PC board designed into the pallet to monitor and store process critical data.
Grzegorz then developed custom software to upload the data from the process pallet which could then be analysed offline to make critical process improvement changes.
The outcome from the project was a self-contained intelligent module which had the ability to Collect 10 measures per second (temperature and 3 axis acceleration)
Measure acceleration 50 times per 100ms and store max value
Time stamp for each record.
Can show real-time data on the PC screen
This was truly a revolutionary step in that it was now possible the monitor and measure data in real time throughout the entire process which was previously impossible. Information such as forces applied to the product as well as temperature monitoring is extremely useful in processes."

• Automation Champion Award
Mr. Liam O’Brien was awarded the Automation Champion Award "in recognition of his contribution to the advancement of instrumentation, automation, IT or industrial system and / or technology in Ireland." He was nominated by Mr. Dermot O’Callaghan of Enterprise System Partners (ESP).
Liam O'Brien
"Liam has more than 25 years experience managing IT/Automation companies supplying solutions to the life science sector. Over his career, the automation industry has benefited from his technical insights and execution & management of solutions, coupled with an unrivalled entrepreneurial flair to grow two world-class service companies in this field.
In 1994, Liam co-founded and managed ProsCon (now a Rockwell owned company), as the original automation integration company supporting life sciences in Ireland. Under his leadership, the company grew from zero to over 200 resources within a 5 year timeframe with an annual turnover greater than 15M euro per annum. He oversaw the development of a management team, project management team, quality system, infrastructure and premises including system build facility to provide full turnkey solutions for PLC/SCADA and DCS systems. The customer base included all the major pharmaceutical manufacturers primarily in Ireland, but also had begun development in the UK and Singapore. Today, the business has a global reach as a Rockwell automation company.
In 2003, Liam co-founded ESP and continues to act as Managing Director today. Liam identified the trend towards MES in the early 2000s and was involved in managing the first EBR implementation for Pfizer worldwide. During this project, ESP was born. Under his guidance, the company has grown to be one of largest system integrator of MES in the life science industry worldwide, headquartered in Cork Ireland, with active projects throughout Europe, North America and Asia.

In addition, Liam has and continues to provide consulting support for some of the companies global clients including Pfizer, Genzyme (Sanofi) and AstraZeneca. Liam provides a unique blend of technical and commercial skills to support such clients in visualisation, planning and commercial management of global system programs for these corporations requiring roll-out of multi-site manufacturing systems and their integration with the automation layer."

• Pioneer Award
This award recognises a lifetime devoted to Instrumentation/Automation in Ireland.
This year Mr John Power, of the Power Group and fourth President of the Section (1981-1983) was nominated by Senior Members Mr Bob Shine and Mr Billy Walsh.
John Power
"John Power is founder and President of “The Power Group” and was one of the early presidents of ISA Ireland in the 1981 and 82. A native of Old Parish in County Waterford, John has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the control and automation sector going back longer than he would care to mention.
Having gained significant expertise and knowledge in Electrical Engineering and automation control with a variety of engineering and chemical companies in his early career John soon established several companies of his own to serve the sector. By 1982 he had established The Power Group of companies, comprising; Powerflow Electronics, an Electronic design and manufacturing company, and Power Engineering, an Electrical engineering/automation company.
One of the pivotal moments in John’s career was the invention and successful worldwide patenting of a range of electronic timers for switching and controlling solenoid valves. These original products proved to be highly successful, revolutionising the compressed air condensate market, and paved the way for the development of a comprehensive range of control and automation equipment. Powerflow continue to develop and manufacture at their headquarters in Waterford, supplying many of the world’s leading automation companies and exporting to more than sixty countries Worldwide.
As well as the company’s own range of branded products, designed and manufactured in house, the group also work in conjunction with global leaders in the field of instrumentation and process control, to develop and integrate cutting edge solutions for today’s modern manufacturing and process control environment.
John’s formative years involved a keen interest in electrical engineering and automation, which eventually led to him joining MF Kent Electrical contractors of Clonmel. During this time he worked on the installation and commissioning of large scale industrial plants throughout Ireland, proving valuable experience for the years ahead.
Following his time with MF Kent John was employed by Pfizer’s Quigley Magnesite division for 13 years as Electrical and Automation Engineering Manager at their facility in Dungarvan, and also covering the Tivoli plant in Cork and the mining / quarrying facility in Kilkenny. During his period with Pfizer-Quigley Magnesite, which was a unique plant in Ireland, producing synthetic magnesia, John and his team pioneered many new methods and technologies, including the measurement of mass flow density and inline rock weighing systems, using nuclear radiation sources, magnetic flow meters and speed encoders. Some of those developments revolutionised the efficiency of the plant, and subsequently went on to be used widely in the industry. John describes the plant “as a wonderful place to work. You could nearly class it as a production laboratory and test facility, with a new challenge to overcome every day, in power distribution and automation. The facility encompassed almost every aspect of measurement and control”. It proved to be a fabulous environment to develop his analytical and problem solving skills, which he would go on to use throughout his career.
Following the closure of the Pfizer-Quigley plant in Ireland, John was keen to utilise the skills and knowledge acquired so began work as a Consultant Engineer and was instrumental in the design and construction of several high-tech multinational manufacturing facilities in the Cork area, in the early eighties. It was also during this period that the Power Groups’ Electrical and Automation division Power Engineering was founded. Now with more than three decades of experience John is proud to say that his company has designed and manufactured Power Distribution systems, automation control panels and SCADA solutions for most of the larger manufacturing plants in Ireland, such as, Boston Scientific, GSK, Lake Region, The Dawn Group, Glanbia, as well as projects in the U.K. and France.
Today the Power Group remain at the forefront of technology and John continues to head up a dedicated team, developing and patenting several new products

annually, and he continues to combine his passion for instrumentation, innovation and entrepreneurship. John is immensely proud to be a long standing member of the ISA and the work the organisation carries out to promote the principals of excellence in engineering and instrumentation."

The President thanks the sponsors of the event who also sent representatives to the event.

Some of the sponsors
The Ireland Section of ISA, which is voluntary body with a membership of over 160, received its charter in 1978. Its purpose is to bring together all personnel involved in the instrumentation and related disciplines in order to enhance their capabilities in instrumentation design, manufacture and use. It one of the most successful sections world wide and a number of members have assumed leadership responsibilities both in the Europe, Middle East & African District,  and in the Global governance of the Society down the years.

@IrelandISA #PAuto #ISAuto @ISA_Interchange 

Set Polarisation in Single-mode Fibres in a Targeted Manner.

In optical telecommunications and fibre sensor technology, it is often necessary to determine the polarisation of light in a fiber and influence it in a targeted manner in order to minimize polarisation-dependent effects, for example.

Laser Components offers the deterministic polarization controller PSY-201 PolaFlex™ from General Photonics that makes it possible to adjust the polarization of light in 9/125 μm single-mode fibres in a targeted manner. This is achieved through the combination of a polarisation controller and an inline polarimeter with sophisticated control algorithms. The PolaFlex™ modulates fluctuations in the input polarisation to achieve the desired and stabilised polarisation state at the instrument’s output.

It can also be used as a polarimeter to determine the current state of polarisation (SOP) and measure the degree of polarisation (DOP). As a polarisation synthesiser, it produces any state desired or runs preprogrammed polarisation traces on the Poincaré sphere. Alternatively, the PolaFlex™ can also be used as a polarisation scrambler.

The PolaFlex™ is used in optical transmission technology or fibre sensor technology to characterise the polarisation properties of optical components and receivers, to monitor the current state of polarisation, or to measure the polarisation extinction ratio.

@LaserComponents #TandM 

Demonstrating a greater perspective.

Technology manufacturer welcome visitors to view their extensive range of low voltage assemblies

Boulting Technology has built a new demonstration area for its extensive range of low voltage switchboards. Based at their Warrington (GB) site, the new area is an extension to its existing workshop.
Created to demonstrate its extensive range of low voltage assemblies and switchboards, both existing and potential clients of Boulting Technology can now view the extensive range of equipment that the company supplies. The new equipment ranges from small 400Amp distribution boards to 6300Amp, up to 100kA fault rated, low voltage switchboards.

The new demonstration area has been designed to offer visitors a full view of the inside of the switchboards with the demonstration assemblies having their outer panels replaced with Perspex. This allows the client to gain an insight into the design of the assembly to comply with the BS EN 61439 standard and also the assembly’s innovative non forced heat dissipation capability.

“Initially, these switchboards were part of a testing process we conducted in collaboration with ABB,” explained Ian McWha, key account manager at Boulting Technology. “Many of our existing customers are unaware of the work we do beyond a standard MCC, so the ability to view the Boulting Power Centre range of low voltage switchboards showcases our broad spectrum of products manufactured here in the U.K.

“It’s beneficial for customers to be able to spend time in the demonstration area to gain valuable knowledge of the switchboards. Knowledge that would be difficult to gain from drawings and the outside view of the assembly. So far, visitors have been very impressed with the area, specifically with the attention to detail that is involved in the copper busbars and supports and the heat dissipation techniques.”

Since opening in September 2015, the demonstration area has welcomed a number of existing and potential customers to view the low voltage switchboards and assemblies. Visits can be arranged by contacting the Boulting Technology team.

@BoultingTech #PAuto 

Intelligent building technologies event.

The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), an association dedicated to the advancement of intelligent home and intelligent building technologies and a member organization of the Automation Federation, will conduct the CABA Intelligent Buildings & Digital Home Forum 26-28 April 2016 at the Handlery Hotel in San Diego, (CA USA).

This year’s event is expected to draw a diverse range of professionals seeking the latest trends and solutions spanning the Internet of Things (IoT), connected homes, M2M and intelligent building.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Wire-mounted photo micro sensors.

Omron Electronic Components Europe has launched a new range of wire-mounted photo micro sensors, specifically designed for the many applications where the detector needs to be installed in the appliance away from the main circuit board. The new styles greatly increase the flexibility of installation and reduce assembly costs.

Aimed at office equipment, home appliances, vending machines, arcade games and medical applications, the new photo micro sensors are pre-soldered to a connecting cable. They can be directly wired to a remote PCB and bolted onto the equipment housing. This reduces cost by eliminating the need to create a specific separate PCB assembly for the sensor, and increases reliability.

Omron has introduced a range of 12 new wire-mounted devices. The general purpose EE-SX1088 series features a 0.5mm vertical aperture for the detection of objects moving horizontally into the sensor. A horizontal aperture version (EE-SX1096 series) is also available to detect objects moving vertically through the sensor, as well as an extra wide style with a 9.5mm slot (EE-SX1160 series). The EE-SX1161 series is a dust proof version with a sensing distance of 3.2mm.

All styles are available in Dark-On and Dark-Off formats. Dark-On photo micro sensors switch on when no object is present in the aperture, whilst Dark-Off devices are activated when object is present. All these new products are available with two different output configurations: phototransistor and photo-IC.

@OmronEurope  #PAuto 

Into the cloud!

Yokogawa has acquired Industrial Evolution Inc., a provider of cloud-based plant data sharing services, to strengthen its provision of advanced solutions to the process industries.

Expansion of the advanced solutions business in the industrial automation and control field is one of the main strategies set out in Yokogawa’s Transformation 2017 mid-term business plan. Based on Industrial Evolution’s cloud business environment, Yokogawa will provide Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), their cloud-based service for the provision of data that facilitates its use as a management asset. This advanced solution that will generate new value for its global customer base.

Industrial Evolution’s DaaS Business
Using its cloud-based DaaS technology, Industrial Evolution collects real-time process data from devices and systems at a variety of industrial facilities, and provides this in a direct or customized form to the companies that operate such facilities as well as their customers and vendors. Industrial Evolution’s service is capable of collecting data from firewall protected systems and securely shares this with authorized users via website or mobile access.

Industrial Evolution is a pioneer in this field and its data collection and sharing service is used by a wide range of companies, including a number of Fortune 100 companies. This service can be used in a broad variety of applications such as the sharing of data on oil and gas field operations among authorized users at multiple companies and the real-time sharing of data with investors on facilities that are operated by third parties. Industrial Evolution’s customers have a high regard for the company’s engineering and other services that facilitate the provision of this data in an easy-to-use form.

Future Development
Yokogawa has been in the business of offering advanced packaged software solutions that enable mainly industrial customers to improve productivity, safety, and energy efficiency and optimize the utilization of facilities. With Industrial Evolution’s cloud-based service as a core offering, Yokogawa will now be able to enhance its advanced solutions business by providing new value to its customers.

Commenting on this acquisition, Satoru Kurosu, a Yokogawa director and executive vice president who heads the Solutions Service Business Headquarters, said, “At Yokogawa, we are committed to sustaining growth with our customers by identifying the challenges that they face in their businesses and working with them to present solutions that add new value. In the industrial segment, Industrial Evolution is a pioneer in the utilization of IoT, and their technology will allow us to expand our range of solutions and provide new value to our customers.’’

Simon Wright, chief executive officer of Industrial Evolution, said, “Industrial Evolution’s customers will benefit tremendously from Yokogawa, including its global reach and expanded capabilities. We share Yokogawa’s devotion to complete customer satisfaction. By continuing to improve this technology, we seek to become a leading provider of cloud-based advanced solutions.

A new development in the processing publishing business in Britain.

ProcessingTalk – the Process Business Review

Nick Denbow
ProcessingTalk  is the new identity for the Nick Denbow blog which he intends to strengthen now that he has retired as European Correspondent of the Industrial Automation & Process Insider (INSIDER).

For most of his career Nick Denbow was in Marketing roles dealing with novel techniques for liquid level and flow measurement instrumentation, also developing specialisms in ultrasonics, electrostatics, VA flowmeters, water industry and nuclear applications. He served also as a PR writer (primarily for one of the major suppliers) and then a website publisher, Editor, and, as we have indicated, a newsletter producer.

His work on the INSIDER, the restricted circulation newsletter sold on annual contracts, started in 2010 when he took over the editing role for the Industrial Automation + Process Control INSIDER newsletter from Andrew Bond, who had run the newsletter for about 15 years.

The INSIDER newsletter was transferred to Spitzer and Boyes in the USA as from the end of 2013 and Nick continued as the European Correspondent for a period of two years.

Why Processintalk?
Historically the Processingtalk website was in fact a innovative first generation internet based website, publishing news releases relevant to the process instrumentation and automation industry.

As always happens, the success of the group of sites known as the ProTalk sites led to the sale of the business to a powerful publishing house, which promptly killed them off. They were magazine publishers who possibly did not really understand this new fangled internet thing. Fortunately, the new blog carries a collection of the editorial articles, newsletters and reviews published by Nick Denbow, originally as editor of the Processingtalk and published during its lifetime between 2002 and 2010. As such a retrospective, the entries carry a date showing the original publication date however some of the links may be inoperative after such a long time on line.

We wish Nick, who has been a friend to Read-out for many years, every success in this new development. We know that his unique experience will be of benefit to the automation and processing sector into the future.

He has been welcoming stories since the 1st January 2016.

 @processingtalk #PAuto