Friday, November 4, 2016

Just how vulnerable is the IoT?

The recent Mirai Botnet attack caused an outage in internet services for numerous large-scale internet-based companies. Could it have been stopped?.

Alan Grau
OEMs can build in protection at the device-level that will protect against a botnet attack. Building protection into the device itself provides a critical security layer. Given these new security capabilities, the devices are no longer depending on the user (in home, non-technical consumers) to update the user name and password as the sole layer of security. In addition, the security can be customized to the needs of the device.

This article from Alan Grau of Icon Labs argues that this attack didn’t have to happen.

#IoT? #IconLabs #Cybersecurity #Pauto

IO-Link sensor/actuator hub with expansion port.

IO-Link actuator/sensor hubs from Balluff feature eight ports for 16 in-/outputs. They allow for example signals from up to 16 switching sensors to be collected from a distance of up to 20 m so that they can be made available to the machine controller via IO-Link and an IO-Link master using a simple 3-conductor cable.

The versions with an expansion port are brand new in the market..

Here Slot 7 can be reconfigured as an expansion port by means of a simple parameter entry. A complete valve plug or an additional sensor hub can be connected to it. For the user this means a significant gain in flexibility and efficiency. Now it is possible not only to cost-effectively process additional in- and outputs, but also expand the range to a circle of another 20 m. Thanks to plug-and-play and the use of unshielded standard cables, the system can be started up in no time at all.

@Balluff #PAuto @BalluffSensors

Upgrade helps plants integrate their legacy instrumentation variety of systems.

EtherNet/IP capability has been added to Endress + Hauser's Memograph M RSG45 Data Manager.

This is a data acquisition system for small process control applications and it now provides a cost effective way to integrate legacy 4-20mA, RTD, thermocouple and HART-based instruments into a modern control system. It can quickly integrate up to 20 individual instruments into an EtherNet/IP environment using a single standard Cat 5 cable. The EtherNet/IP connection also allows a plant to control batch start/stop activities from the control room. The strategic alliance between Endress+Hauser and Rockwell Automation provides seamless integration to manage processes.

EtherNet/IP is one of the fastest-growing fieldbus-type digital communications systems available. Other fieldbus technologies are designed primarily for connection to distributed control systems. But EtherNet/IP can easily connect to programmable controllers (PLCs), programmable automation controllers (PACs), distributed control systems (DCSes) and PC-based control systems. Also, unlike other fieldbus protocols, EtherNet/IP does not require an expensive and complex power and I/O wiring infrastructure. These features make EtherNet/IP the most attractive communications protocol for process plants that want to upgrade their legacy instrumentation and control systems to a PLC, PAC or PC–based system—or even to a new or upgraded DCS.

The RSG45 is able to accept up to 14 discrete and 20 universal/HART analog inputs from process sensors. It can then display this sensor data on its 7-inch multicolor TFT screen, records the data internally, performs math calculations and alarm checks, and transmits the data to a PC or any control system via EtherNet/IP, Ethernet , RS232/485, Modbus, Profibus DP or PROFINET digital communication links. Data can also be stored to external memory plugged into the USB or the SD port. In case of a wiring failure, the RSG45 continues to record data on the storage device, and can download this data to the control system when communications are restored.

The unit works with all standard instruments including 4-20mA, 4-20mA with HART, voltage, RTD, thermocouple, pulse, frequency and current, allowing existing instruments to be added easily to a new control system.

The RSG45 has a HART gateway function that allows direct access from the PC configuration software to the field devices connected to the unit without the need for an additional HART modem or loop interruption. This allows configuration of the field devices to be done easily and quickly from the control room. With this feature, detailed instrument health status is available as well. This helps simplify maintenance and troubleshooting. An integrated web server provides browser-based access to the unit via laptops, PCs, smartphones, tablets, handheld maintenance devices and other remote systems.

A built-in Advanced Data Manager includes packages for mathematics, alarm functions, batch management and energy calculations. Batch management software allows users to reliably record and visualize process data. The energy package allows users to calculate the mass and energy flow in water and steam applications on the basis of the flow, pressure, temperature or temperature difference input variables. Other energy calculations are also available for glycol-based refrigerant media.

It is a panel-mounted device with an optional 316L stainless steel front panel and touchscreen. Since the touchscreen option protects against contamination, it fulfills hygienic requirements in the food & beverage and the life sciences industries.

The RSG45 has UL and ATEX approvals, meets IEC 60529 and 61010-1 requirements for protection and safety, and is available in an ATEX Ex p hazardous area version.

@Endress_Hauser #PAuto 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Digital Oxygen analyser.

Servomex, has launched the SERVOPRO MonoExact DF150E: a next generation digital trace oxygen analyser designed for accurate, stable and reliable performance across a wide range of industrial applications.

Combining Servomex’s Coulometric trace-level measurement into Servomex’s advanced next-generation industrial analyser platform, the MonoExact DF150E’s flexible and simple operation makes it ideal for use in applications as diverse as glove boxes, heat treating, solder reflow ovens, laboratory and industrial gas production.

Operation is simple, with the MonoExact DF150E’s touchscreen graphical interface giving users immediate and intuitive control of all control and reporting parameters. The MonoExact DF150E’s measurement performance is optimized through Servomex’s tried and tested Coulometric sensor – delivering the same accurate oxygen measurement as its predecessor in a even more user-friendly platform.

The MonoExact DF150E is also fully backward-compatible with its forerunner, the DF-150E, offering full connectivity with existing hardware wiring inputs and gas inlets, ensuring full compliance with existing standards and customer agreements. Integration into existing systems is equally simple, with optional built-in 4-20mA output and alarm outputs supported by added Relay I/O.

Jim Belanger, Global Market Sector Manager at Servomex, explains: “The MonoExact DF150E advances and standardises a complete, integrated analysis capability through the latest innovations in software and hardware. This delivers what our customers want: effective functionality, ease of use, low maintenance and a low cost of ownership.”

@Servomex #PAuto 

Innovative scopes!

The Rohde & Schwarz 2 minutes competition to find the most innovative use for its recently announced R&S Scope Rider enters its second phase, as eight videos submitted by finalists are posted onto the 2 minutes competition website  and subjected to a public vote. Voting will close on 30 November, and the overall winner will be named on 15 December.

Steven Edwards, Marketing Director at Rohde & Schwarz UK Ltd. said, “We had a great response with entries from 30 different countries. We knew that the R&S Scope Rider can be used in a host of innovative and unusual ways, but we’ve been stunned by the diversity of entries that we’ve seen. We’ve had submissions from around the world, and the R&S Scope Rider is being used in the garden, on the road and even on the high seas. The ruggedness, robustness and performance of R&S Scope Rider make it a truly go anywhere instrument.”

A panel of Rohde & Schwarz judges reviewed the written submissions received and selected the eight most unusual or innovative entries. Each of these entrants has been given a GoPro Hero4 silver camera as a runner up prize and loaned a R&S Scope Rider, and been invited to make a video demonstrating their idea. These videos have now been posted online on the competition website. One lucky winner will be selected based on a combination of audience votes and the judges’ final opinion. The winner will be presented with the star prize of a R&S Scope Rider.
Scopes in Space!
To start the event, Rohde & Schwarz launched a R&S Scope Rider into space (10 minute video!). After a flight of two and a half hours at up to 32km in temperatures of -60°C, the instrument was still fully operational.

The Rohde & Schwarz Scope Rider is the first handheld oscilloscope with the functionality and touch and feel of a state‑of‑the‑art lab oscilloscope. It is equally impressive in the lab and in the field. With an acquisition rate of 50,000 waveforms per second, a 10‑bit A/D converter developed by Rohde & Schwarz and a maximum bandwidth of 500 MHz for the analogue input channels, it outperforms comparable bench instruments. R&S Scope Rider is based on a high‑performance oscilloscope featuring a precise digital trigger system, 33 automatic measurement functions, mask test and XY diagram mode. In addition, it integrates four further instrument functions: a logic analyser with eight additional digital channels, a protocol analyser with trigger and decoding capability, a data logger and a digital multimeter.

@RohdeSchwarz #Laboratory #PAuto #TandM

Humidity &temp transmitter with heated sensing probe.

Continuous high relative humidity (RH) can impair the long-term stability and accuracy of humidity sensors. Therefore, the new EE211 humidity transmitter from the Austrian sensor specialist E+E Elektronik features a heated sensing probe. This leads to best accuracy and long-term stability in high-humidity (>85% RH) and even in condensing environment.

The EE211 is designed for accurate humidity and temperature measurement under continuous high-humidity or condensing conditions. The device is ideal for climate control in fruit and vegetable storage, in greenhouses, incubators, ripening processes or in mushroom growing.

Heated humidity probe
In order to avoid drift effects due to long-term exposure of the sensing elements to high humidity, the sensor head of the EE211 humidity probe is continuously heated. The permanent over-temperature leads to max. 80% RH at the sensor. Condensation-related dirt deposits as well as corrosion of the sensor are thereby prevented.

Furthermore, the unique E+E protective coating also protects the active sensor surface from contamination and corrosive influences.

The combination of these features results in considerably improved long-term stability and increases both the service life and the measuring performance of the sensor.

Measured values and interfaces
The EE211 calculates the dew point temperature (Td) based on the RH and temperature values measured by the heated humidity probe. A separate, interchangeable temperature probe measures the ambient temperature (T). From Td and T the EE211 calculates back the ambient relative humidity as well as additional physical quantities like absolute humidity, mixing ratio, wet-bulb temperature or specific enthalpy.

The measured values are available on the Modbus RTU interface or on two analogue current or voltage outputs. The optional backlit display can show up to three measurands simultaneously.

Easy configuration and adjustment
The Modbus RTU parameters, the scaling of the analogue outputs and the display layout can be set with the free configuration software. The user can also carry out one or two-point humidity and temperature adjustment. The temperature probe can also be calibrated separately.

Optimally protected electronics
The IP65/NEMA 4 enclosure offers optimal protection for the EE211 electronics. Additionally, for best performance even in aggressive environment, the measuring electronics inside the humidity probe are fully encapsulated.

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

#PAuto #EPulse

Designing keyboards.

Designed by Engineers for Engineers, Multitron’s new MENTOR Keypad Components Microsite provides logical, easy-to-follow routes to help develop the ideal keypad design solution, accompanied by a host of essential explanatory and technical data. A one-minute video overview is provided on the Microsite.

The Microsite explains how MENTOR’s light guide competency delivers a homogenously-lit switch-face from just two customer-supplied SMD LEDs. Versions for use with tactile switches both under overlays and via apertures in painted enclosures are available. There are also shallow versions for use with MICON 5 and dome switches on membrane keypads. Ranges of status indicators are available to match the sizes and dimensions of the switch caps.

Versions are available with Integrated "Spot" Status Indication - individual secondary and tertiary status indication built into the switch face. Other versions incorporate miniature light guides which can be individual or grouped, to signal various switch or activation modes or they can function as traditional ON/OFF or Caps Lock indicators.

The range also includes unique light-guide based 7-segment displays, utilising separate SMD LEDs for each element of the 7 segments. This results in an infinite choice of colours. Infinite size variations is also achievable. Traditional 7 Segment displays are tall, and the difference in height between the display and other PCB components has to be overcome using mechanical methods. MENTOR has solved this problem – MENTOR tooling can be height-adjustable continuously between 4.5mm and 23.5mm at no cost.

The information on the Microsite includes dimensioned drawings, simple selection charts and information on ex-stock availability, MOQs for non-stocked parts etc. Rather than presenting long lists of tables, the Microsite uses graphical icons with “instant on hover” explanatory information.

With substantial and invaluable help from MENTOR, the new Microsite is arguably the web’s most comprehensive resource and obvious first port-of-call for specialist engineers seeking the optimum keypad component solution.

@multitronUK #Pauto

Breaking ground in Towchester.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the expansion of the Abaco Systems headquarters in Britain took place earlier this week.

From left: Jeremy Welch, Facilities 
Manager;  Andy MacCaig, UK Managing
Director; Simon Gowler, Manufacturing 
Manager Abaco

The expansion will see Abaco’s existing manufacturing facility relocate from Milton Keynes to the Towcester, Northamptonshire site - a distance of some 12 miles - bringing with it almost 100 employees. The new facility will complement the manufacturing capability already present in Towcester. When the move is complete, Abaco will have some 350 people on this site – around 40 of whom have been recruited in the past 12 months - which will grow from 75,000 square feet to over 100,000 square feet.

Planning permission from the local authority was given in September, and work will start immediately. It is expected that the project will complete my mid-July, 2017.

“We have been planning this move for some time,” said Andy MacCaig, CIO and UK managing director, Abaco. “It will allow us to serve our customers better by substantially improving our efficiency – eliminating transit time, for example - and will create new synergies between our design/development teams and our manufacturing teams that will lead to better communication and real opportunities to innovate. The net result will be the ability to deliver even better products to our customers more quickly. Those benefits will also be felt by the customers to whom we provide contract manufacturing services.”

Earlier in the year, Abaco invested significantly in state-of-the-art equipment for the Milton Keynes site, and this will be relocated to the new site.

“Over the past year, we have grown from 600 people to over 800 people worldwide as we look to put in place the resources and capacity to handle an increasing number of customer programs – and this consolidation and expansion of our manufacturing capability will further support that goal,” said Bernie Anger, CEO, Abaco Systems. “Our customers will benefit from this because it will improve our ability to create the innovative solutions they need, while allowing us to deliver on even shorter lead-times.”

@AbacoSys #PAuto #Britain

New chair for manufacturing event!

The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) has appointed a new Chair for its Exhibition Committee, which oversees the organisation of MACH, Britain's premier manufacturing technologies event. Chris Pockett, Head of Communications at Renishaw, who has been a committee member for eight years, was appointed Chair of the Exhibition Committee due to his extensive knowledge and experience of international trade shows and event management. The new position also sees Pockett join the Board of the MTA where he will contribute his additional knowledge of communications and international marketing.

Chris Pockett
The MTA is a trade association that represents Britain’s engineering-based manufacturing sector including companies involved in machine tools, cutting tools, metrology and CAD/CAM software. It is also the organiser of the biennial MACH exhibition which is being held from April 9th to 13th, 2018, at the NEC in Birmingham. The Exhibition Committee consists of MTA staff and industry representatives from exhibiting member companies of the association and is responsible for overseeing decisions concerning the exhibition.

He brings a wealth of experience of global exhibitions from his role as Head of Communications at Renishaw. He was involved with Renishaw’s first stand in China in 1993 and has organised and taken part in trade shows across all continents. He has been an MTA Exhibition Committee member since 2008, serving the association through a number of MACH events. As part of his new role, Pockett will be responsible for overseeing MACH 2018, the first event to be located in the NEC’s newer Atrium halls.

“We are delighted that such an experienced communicator as Chris has agreed to take up the Chairmanship of the Exhibition Committee,” explained James Selka, CEO of the MTA. “Chris has made a huge contribution during his time on the Committee and I’m looking forward to working with him to make sure that MACH builds on its position as the UK’s leading manufacturing technologies exhibition and becomes an even more important date in the manufacturing calendar.”

“MACH 2016 saw an almost ten per cent increase in visitors from 2014, giving us confidence that the exhibition and the advanced engineering sector are moving in the right direction,” explained Chris Pockett. “We aim to increase engagement in the event further in order to highlight new opportunities that are impacting the sector, including additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0.”

Pockett joins Stewart Lane, Renishaw’s Group Sales Development Director, who is also a board member of the MTA, where he is responsible for learning and development. Renishaw is committed to supporting the wider industry through active membership of trade bodies, advisory panels and professional groups.

@MACHexhibition @mta_uk #Pauto @renishawplc

Remote management rebranded.

The Netbiter Remote Management solution is now ofered by HMS Industrial Networks under the newly acquired brand name eWON®. Alongside eWON Cosy and Flexy, Netbiter will be one of the three main product lines within the eWON Remote Solutions offering.

Further to the rebranding, all the elements of Netbiter (gateways, Argos cloud service etc) get an updated eWON look but from a technical point of view, the Netbiter solution itself remains unchanged, providing users with an out-of-the-box solution for remote management of field equipment.

With Netbiter as part of eWON Remote Solutions, HMS is able to present a complete offering for remote access, data and management of industrial equipment:

  • Remote Access with Cosy, an industrial VPN router providing a fast and easy way to open a remote tunnel to do remote commissioning and programming of PLCs.
  • Remote Data with Flexy, a modular and flexible router which can be customized for remote access and data collection.
  • Remote Management with Netbiter, an out-of-the-box solution for remote management of field equipment.

“The Netbiter Remote Management solution has been growing rapidly in the last few years with a sales increase of 57% in the first half of 2016. We see a steadily growing demand for remote solutions in the marketplace, which is also the reason why we acquired eWON earlier this year," says Staffan Dahlström, CEO of HMS Industrial Networks. "eWON is a very well-known brand within remote access and remote data, featuring Cosy and Flexy respectively, and with the addition of Netbiter Remote Management, we have a very strong and complete remote solutions offering.”

@ewonrouters #PAuto

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Helping performing layout tasks fast.

Fluke has introduced Fluke Laser Levels, a new line of professional-grade, precision tools that are designed to survive a one metre drop and keep working. The Laser Levels feature a fast settling, self-levelling gimbal that quickly delivers accurate reference points, expediting electrical and HVAC layouts.

All laser level models include magnetic wall brackets for easy, stable mounting.

The Fluke Laser Level family

Fluke-3PR (red laser) and Fluke-3PG (green laser) Point Laser Levels— self-levelling, three-point laser levels for fast, accurate layout of reference points. Accurate to 6mm at 30 metres, it includes a floor stand for fast, easy overhang and centreline measurements. The green laser (Fluke-3PG) is up to three times brighter for improved visibility in outdoor and long-range applications.

Fluke-180LR and Fluke-180LG Line Laser Levels— self-levelling, horizontal- and vertical-cross line laser levels for rapid, accurate (3mm at 10 metres) levelling and layout.

Fluke-LDR and Fluke-LDG Laser Line Detectors — laser line detectors for use in high ambient light settings with visual and audible indicators for ease of use. The detectors are compatible with Fluke-180LR (Fluke-LDR) or Fluke-180LG (Fluke-LDG) models and include mounting bracket for quick, steady positioning.

Fluke-180LR System and Fluke-180LG Systems — comprehensive self-levelling, horizontal- and vertical-cross line laser level systems that include laser line detector and detector bracket for use in high ambient light settings.

Switch-on to the “Smart Factory!"

The Han-Modular® Switch US4 connector is a strategic part of Harting's Industry 4.0 portfolio. This connector is designed to save control cabinet space, reduce wiring and improve distributed networking, specifically in support of Industry 4.0 modernisation programmes.

Howard Forryan, Product Market Specialist at Harting Ltd, said; “One of the key Industry 4.0 principles is the ‘Smart Factory’ which is focused on enhanced interoperability and flexibility, cell modularisation, miniaturisation and increased decentralisation. However, many established manufacturers face barriers of physical space. This clever connector design helps save space by integrating multiple components and connections into a single unit.”

To achieve this, the company has integrated a very compact but fully functioning ‘store and forwarding’ 4-port Ethernet active switch device into its market leading Han-Modular® I/O mixed connector design concept. This means that network devices can be deployed closer to the field while reducing the effort of retrofitting when integrating new Ethernet modules. As a result, system integrators and production machinery OEMs can achieve simpler networking of typical cabinet control systems (including I/O´s, PLCs, HMIs etc.), easier extension of an existing IP based image processing vision system and more straightforward distributed cabling for interlinked production cells.

The Han-Modular® Switch US4 module makes it possible to network 4 EtherNet/IP or PROFINET nodes with transmission speeds of up to 1000 Mbit/s. Integrated LEDs provide quick and easy power and network diagnostics for individual ports, displaying both the presence of the Ethernet connection as well as ongoing data exchange and the associated speed.

The module automatically detects the send/receive lines of connected devices, and automatically finds the correct setting for the lines (Auto MDI/MDIX function).

In connection with the 10Base-T and 100Base-Tx interfaces, the module autonomously corrects polarity errors in wire pairs and reverses the polarity of data signals (Auto Polarity). It also allows two connected Ethernet nodes to Auto-Negotiation and configure the maximum data transfer rate – up to 1000 Mbit/s incrementally – as well as the type of transmission, i.e. half-duplex or full duplex.
Other features of the Han-Modular® Switch US4 include: the option for prioritisation of data packets (Quality of Service function); integrated reverse polarity and overvoltage protection; high data throughput (Jumbo Frame Support), and power supply adapter (10-30V DC).

Commenting on his company's approach to introducing Industry 4.0, Howard Forryan concluded; “Harting has provided another very effective option to support Industry 4.0. This connector supports the trend of integrating more intelligent hardware at the field connectivity level of machine modules within the production process. It does this by routing data through a Han-Modular® Switch US4 module and combining it with the other Industry 4.0 main lifelines of power and signal in a single, compact, space-saving Han-Modular® housing.”

 #PAuto @harting

Burner valves!

Emerson Automation Solutions has released the Fisher Type 119EZ and 119EZS main burner valves for burner systems used in oil and gas production. The new 119 Series can help improve oil and gas burner performance, increase reliability and reduce capital and operational expense.

The 119EZ provides an adjustable opening speed for pneumatically controlled burners while the 119EZS incorporates a solenoid valve enabling it to be used with automated burner systems. The 119EZ and 119EZS are designed with a built-in speed controller allowing the unit’s opening speed to be tuned to meet the burner design. Tuning the opening speed of the main burner valve to match the burner design, helps ensure proper ignition of the main burner. The opening speed can be adjusted from 3 seconds for smaller burners to 12 seconds for larger burners.

The units are designed to close in less than 3 seconds and provide Class VI shutoff. The integrated speed controller reduces installation cost associated with using an external speed controller. The 119EZ and 119EZS are retrofitable to existing burner systems in the field.

The Fisher Type 119EZ and 119EZS are based on the compact, field-proven, and reliable Fisher Type 119 control valve platform. The new main burner valve shares the same internals (diaphragm, disk, orifice, and springs) as the Fisher Type 119, which has been used for more than 25 years on burners in the oil and gas industry.

“The design requirements of burner systems provided a great opportunity for the engineering team to develop new technology that improves the tuning process and helps simplify customer installation,” said Thomas Weyer, director of upstream business, regulator technologies, Emerson Automation Solutions. “By integrating an adjustable orifice to our valve we allow our customers to precisely tune the valve opening speed. Utilising feedback from the field, we were able to optimise the performance to create a product that meets all of our customers’ needs.”

White Paper: The Significance of Reliable Pressure Control in Oilfield Burner Systems (pdf)

@EmersonProcess  #PAuto #Oil #Gas @Emerson_News

Submersible level probe.

The OPTIBAR LC 1010 submersible level probe with ceramic diaphragm has been launched by Krohne. Aimed at water and wastewater, environmental engineering and OEM applications, it provides a simple and continuous hydrostatic level measurement solution for water wells, rainwater retaining / overflow basins, or tanks.

OPTIBAR LC 1010 features a robust 316L stainless steel housing and a high overload-proof ceramic diaphragm for long operating life. For safe and easy cleaning on site, the diaphragm is flush mounted. With a diameter of 22 mm / 1", OPTIBAR LC 1010 can be used also in small vessels. It comes with pre-configured measuring ranges from 100 mbar / 10 kPa / 1.5 psi to up 10 bar / 1 MPa / 150 psi, customer-specific ranges are available on request.

For versatile use from water to wastewater applications, OPTIBAR LC 1010 features ATEX and IECEx certification and a corrosion-resistant TPE cable that is also approved for use with potable water. Next to the electrical lines for the 4…20mA output, the TPE cable houses an air hose to be used for differential pressure level measurement with closed vessels. With open vessels, the air hose can be capped for absolute pressure measurement. As options, OPTIBAR LC 1010 can be provided with an integrated 3-wire Pt100 temperature sensor, alternatively with HART 7 communication for convenient configuration.

• Krohne products are marketed in Ireland through DWN Instrumentation.

 #PAuto @KROHNE_USA #Water

Spatial projection display.

Omron Electronic Components Europe is launching Aerial Imaging technology in Europe, allowing directions and other images to appear floating in the air in shopping malls, transport terminals and other locations.

Omron believes that Spatial Projection Displays are the future for signage
Commenting, Gabriele Fulco, European Product Marketing Manager Sensors of Omron said, “This is the future of signage. We believe that aerial imaging will become a commonly used feature of our cities and public spaces. For example, easy-to-understand signs can be placed floating in the air by exits making it easier for visitors to find their way. Aerial imaging can also project information in front of products on display in a showcase.”

Using Omron’s Spatial Projection Display (SPD) technology, images can be projected anywhere and appear to be floating in the air. Earlier space projection technologies have required a large number of distinct components and are relatively large systems requiring substantial space to install. Omron has used its light directivity and micro-fabrication technology developed through the LCD display and backlighting businesses to allow images to be projected into empty space with just one sheet of plate and a single LED. The sheets themselves are transparent, so are unobtrusive, thin and light for attaching to glass and other surfaces.

Omron is initially supporting 2D and 3D images with SPD technology. In future, it will introduce curved plexiglass panels that can be adapted to objects with shaped surfaces.

#PAuto @OmronEurope

Standards in Automation recognised!

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has announced the recipients of its annual Standards & Practices (S&P) Department awards.

ISA’s S&P Department publishes 15 to 20 new or revised standards and technical reports annually that improve the safety, cybersecurity and efficiency of industrial processes.

Each year the department’s governing body, the ISA S&P Board, selects and presents department-level awards in recognition of outstanding efforts that have resulted in ISA standards or technical reports, or significant outcomes for an ISA standards committee.

This year, five individuals were presented with awards at the recent ISA Leaders Meeting by Nicholas P. Sands of DuPont, the 2015-16 Vice President of ISA’s S&P Department. The 2016 winners are:

Darwin E. Logerot, ProSys, Inc., and David Strobhar, Beville Engineering, for their leadership and technical contributions as co-working group chairs in the development of ISA-TR18.2.2-2016, Alarm Identification and Rationalization.

Johan B. Nye, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, and Kevin P. Staggs, Honeywell Connected Systems Technology Center, for their leadership, technical contributions and efforts to promote the advancement and adoption of the ISA/IEC 62443 security standards.

Michael Medoff, exida, for his leadership and technical expertise as Chairman of ISA99 Working Group 4, Task Group 6 in the development of ISA-62443-4-1, Security for Industrial Automation and Control Systems - Secure Product Development Lifecycle Requirements.

#PAuto #ISAuto

Strengthening cybersecurity.

Bedrock Automation has extended cyber security to serial communications with a new SIOS.5 Serial I/O module for its BedrockTM Open Secure Automation (OSA™) control system. The SIOS.5 has five channels, each supported by an independent cyber secure 32-bit ARM processor.

Each channel is software-defined for RS-232, RS-485 or RS-422 communications, extending the range of industrial edge devices that can be secured by users of the Bedrock OSA. Combined with other software-defined I/O modules, Bedrock OSA is the only system that delivers analog, discrete, digital, pulse, Ethernet and Serial data as intrinsically secure I/O.

"We connect every signal type to the Bedrock controller as software-defined I/O,with intrinsic cyber security. The SIOS.5I/O module provides users tight and effortless serial data integration. Extending Bedrock intrinsic cyber to serial communications delivers authentication of the firmware and drivers. The SIOS.5 will be valuable for users and necessary for building a secure IIoT,”" says Bedrock CTO and Engineering VP, Albert Rooyakkers.

Extending cyber security to serial communications results in improved reliability on a wide range of applications:

  • RS-232 support enables secure communication with modems, gateways, printers, barcode readers, programmable devices and PC peripherals.
  • RS-422 support with a single bus master for process automation (chemicals, brewing, paper mills), factory automation (autos, metal fabrication), HVAC, security, motor control, and motion control.
  • RS-485 support for multi master bus/drivers.
  • Mainstream protocols such as Modbus and ProfiBusDP.

Each of the SIOS.5 channels is independently configurable to support independent concurrent drivers. Five independent 32 bit ARM™ processors enable real-time performance of communications and control.

“"Edge devices that can be leveraged maliciously are coming into focus as a point of cyber vulnerability. By offering a secure serial module, however, Bedrock Automation has anticipated, and potentially closed, this additional point of entry into the industrial network,”" said ARC Research Group analyst Mark Sen Gupta.

 @BedrockAuto #PAuto 

50% alternative power saves $$$s for automation & control manufacturer!

IDEC, manufacturer of industrial automation and control products, the has a corporate mandate to reduce carbon footprint and increase the use of renewable energy sources at its facilities world-wide. In order to meet this mandate, cut costs and improve the environment, the U.S. headquarters in Silicon Valley uses a combination of roof-mounted solar panels and wind turbines to provide about 50% of its power.

Due to these and other energy saving measures, such as converting from metal halide to LED lamps in the warehouse and changing to LED external lighting, IDEC is saving more than $100,000/year on its electric bill, with more savings to come.

Before the solar system was installed in 2008, IDEC was using about 1.1 million kWh/year. With solar panels, LED lights and other energy-saving measures, annual power usage is down to about 600,000 kWh/year. The wind turbines coupled with a future battery system to store solar and wind power are expected to provide another 100,000 kWh/year in power savings and demand reductions, cutting energy use from 1.1 million kWh/year in 2007 to a projected usage of about 500,000 kWh/year in 2017, which equates to an annual savings of approximately $150,000.

The wind turbines are a new addition as they were recently installed in September 2016. IDEC was the first company in the Sunnyvale, CA area to install wind turbines at its facility, and other companies in the area are following suit.

There are six Windspire Series IV 2000 model turbines total, with a combined maximum power output of 8.4 kW. The wind turbines augment the existing solar panels by providing additional power, particularly on cloudy days. In addition, unlike solar panels that depend upon the sun, the wind turbines can operate up to 24 hours a day.

The peak power of the solar system depends upon the month of the year, with September and October being the best months for solar since it is quite sunny but cooler than the summer months, and the panels are more efficient when cool. The solar panels produce dc power which is converted to ac power by inverters with a maximum output of 284.6 kW.

In the next six months, IDEC will install a large storage battery system to capture wind and solar energy and release it into the grid during peak power times. This will help reduce the peak demand charges assessed by PG&E, the local electric utility. It will also benefit the utility and its customers by reducing total peak system demand.

These green power installations not only save money for IDEC, but also reduce the company’s carbon footprint. “We are committed to green energy, with the ultimate goal of getting completely off the grid. We’re considering additional solar arrays for our parking lot to further increase our solar power generating capacity,” says Lanny Schuberg, the Engineering and Compliance manager at IDEC.

IDEC’s efforts put the company at the forefront of the green energy movement in Silicon Valley. Their collaboration with the City of Sunnyvale will not only reduce their carbon footprint, but is also helping to spur other companies in the area to follow along, ultimately benefiting the entire Sunnyvale community and the Silicon Valley area.

@IDECUSA #PAuto #Environment 

World's longest lasting 9V battery!

Battery specialist re-energises commercial market!

Ultralife Corporation, has built on the success of its original 9V battery by offering the next generation of the world’s longest lasting lithium 9V battery (pdf), the U9VL-J-P. With key improvements to its energy density and cell technology, the battery is designed for applications including smoke detectors, security sensors and medical telemetry as well as test and instrumentation.

Launched in 1991, the original battery has sold over 100m units worldwide. The next generation battery builds on this success, using a lithium-manganese dioxide chemistry, which delivers a stable discharge and high energy density.

The U9VL-J-P weighs just 37g and conforms to the dimensions of ANSI 1604 – the same size as a standard 9V battery. Thanks to the use of Ultralife ThinCell™ technology, where three individual thin foil cased cells are combined to create a 9V battery, it achieves a capacity of 1200mAh. That is 50 per cent more energy than the 800mAh capacity boasted by the leading brand-named lithium competitors and five times the energy of leading alkaline 9V batteries.

"As we've seen from recent reports in the media, high energy lithium batteries can pose a risk of fire when things go wrong," explained Bernd Rosati, European Sales Manager at Ultralife Corporation. "To make it the safest battery possible, the U9VL-J-P is constructed with a shutdown separator and a temperature and current (PTC) safety device.

"We've also reduced the battery's internal impedance by enhancing its design. This means that it can supply a higher power output with a stable voltage. This is great for demanding applications such as security systems, telemetry products, smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, test and instrumentation and medical devices where a high-pulse current improves operation."

The Ultralife lithium 9V battery offers a shelf life of up to ten years, even in tough environments. The battery has an operational discharge temperature between -40 and +60 degrees Celsius, making it the perfect long-life battery for indoor and outdoor use – perhaps the last 9V you will ever need.

The U9VL-J-P complies with Underwriters Laboratories' UL1642, UL2054 and UL217 specifications, features a non-magnetic structure and qualifies for several exceptions under Class 9 shipping regulations. The battery is also available in various packaging including a blister pack, a bulk pack and a foil pouch as well as a version for contractors.

 @UltralifeCorp #PAuto

Polymer metering pump.

FLEXFLO® A-100N Polymer Pump handles high viscosity polymers used in water and wastewater treatment. These peristaltic metering pumps are equipped with Blue-White’s exclusive, built-in Tube Failure Detection system (TFD).

If TFD senses tube failure, the pump will automatically shut off and energize a relay or switch, permitting communication with external equipment, such as a back-up pump or alarm. This eliminates costly polymer spills and clean up. No false triggering is caused by condensation and wash down procedures.

Additional FLEXFLO features: Self-Priming; Tube assemblies are stamped with clearly visible part numbers for simple reorder; Precise chemical feed to 124 GPH / 8.45 LPH;
Max working pressure 100 PSI / 6.9 bar;

Two Polymer Pump models are offered:
A-100NFP with variable speed motor, dial knob control, and ON/OFF switch.
A-100NVP equipped with variable speed motor, digital control with remote and local control.

@BlueWhiteInd #PAuto #Water #WasteWater

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Compact chilled mirror hygrometer.

A ‘workhorse’ in many calibration laboratories and industrial settings.
The S8000 RS Precision Chilled Mirror Hygrometer from Michell Instruments, measures dew points down to -90°C (0.1ppmV) with an accuracy of ±0.1°C. However, unlike many other chilled mirror hygrometers in this class, no additional external cooling equipment is needed to accurately reach these dry dew points. Designed to fit into a standard 19” rack, the S8000 is the most compact, convenient and – because it doesn’t need extra equipment to work – the most cost effective hygrometer in its class.

This compact design was possible because of a sophisticated new optical system that detects very small changes in moisture condensed on the mirror surface. This guarantees high sensitivity and fast response when measuring low dew points.

Although referred to as ‘dew-point temperature’, chilled mirror hygrometers most often measure the frost point because the temperatures are below freezing. However, in some conditions, liquid water can exist as ‘super-cooled water’ in temperatures as low as -40°C. Because the difference in condensing temperature between water and ice can be as much as 10% of the reading, it’s essential to know which phase you are measuring. The S8000RS uses Frost Assurance Technology (FAsT) to ensure that ice, not liquid water, is present on the mirror surface at low temperatures to ensure that your measurements are always a known quantity.

• Michell Instruments products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology.

 @Michell_Inst #PAuto #Laboratory 

Analyser is all-in-one USB3.1 receiver test solution!

Anritsu's MP1800A Signal Quality Analyzer now supports the newest USB3.1 Gen2 receiver test standards. The USB3.1 Receiver Test Solution uses the G0373A Adapter and MX183000A High-Speed Serial Data Test Software to support both USB3.1 Gen1 (5 Gbit/s) and Gen2 (10 Gbit/s) receiver Jitter Tolerance tests.

With digital equipment interfaces speeding up and switching to serial technology to handle the high-speed transmission of large data traffic, the performance of the USB interface is coming under increased pressure. Fixed transmission path loss, jitter, equipment compatibility and signal integrity assurance are just some of the requirements that are driving the need for testers with high-quality reference test signals, as well as the ability to communicate with multiple interfaces.

The Signal Quality Analyzer MP1800A is a plug-in modular Bit Error Rate Tester (BERT) supporting measurement of multi-channel wideband interfaces up to 32 Gbit/s. Additionally, high-reproducibility USB3.1 Gen2 receiver tests are implemented using optimized high-quality output waveforms to measure high-speed interfaces.

Combining the G0373A and MP1800A supports generation of signals required by USB3.1 receiver tests as well as BER measurements. The MX183000A software controls the combined MP1800A and G0373A measurement system to set and control the receiver test signals and display the BER measurement results. The combination of the MP1800A, G0373A, and MX183000A offers an all-in-one USB3.1 receiver test solution for assured high-reproducibility. And automated measurement using the Granite River Labs automation software helps lighten test workloads.

@Anritsu #TandM @AnritsuEMEA

Monday, October 31, 2016

Co-operation with clamp-on feature enhances flow offering!

Proper flow consulting and selection reduce piping, design and installation costs!

Emerson and FLEXIM are collaborating to help process customers optimise their flow process design, flow meter selection and flow meter installation on capital projects to reduce execution risk and costs.

 Flexim portable clamp-on flow meter
With customers under severe pressure to reduce schedule and cost targets on capital projects, Emerson’s project teams, using FLEXIM’s clamp-on, ultrasonic flow metering portfolio in combination with Emerson’s broad, in-line flow metering offering, are able to consult early and throughout the project cycle to reduce engineering, piping and installation costs as well as schedule risk.

FLEXIM’s non-intrusive flow metering offering is the leader in the clamp-on, ultrasonic marketplace and provides the best reliability and the most advanced capability when addressing difficult applications with a non-intrusive flow solution. This joint cooperation will improve delivery of the exact flow solution needed by clients while supporting Emerson’s Project Certainty – a transformational approach to enabling top-quartile performance in capital projects.

By empowering project teams with flow expertise to work with clients early in project phases, Emerson has consistently eliminated cost, accommodated change and reduced complexity on capital projects. The non-intrusive nature of FLEXIM’s ultrasonic flow meters makes this product a powerful contributor to reduced engineering, piping and installation costs as well as schedule risk, given that it can be installed after piping is fabricated. Emerson and FLEXIM will collaborate to ensure less time is spent on engineering and installation through the selection of the optimal flow solution for a given application by leveraging the most comprehensive flow portfolio available.

“In today’s market, we are seeing that our customers are looking for us to advise them early in their project cycle on technology to ensure streamlined and cost-effective project execution,” said Bret Shanahan, vice president of flow solutions, Emerson Automation Solutions. “We are pleased to be working with FLEXIM to provide our clients with the most appropriate flow solution that can be applied and support greater capital efficiency.”

“FLEXIM is excited to partner with Emerson on capital projects; our flexible, world-class, non-invasive meters are a perfect fit with Emerson’s experienced project teams,” said Guido Schwanekamp, managing director sales and marketing of FLEXIM. “Together we will be able to offer fully customised solutions that are tailor made for a wide variety of capital projects aimed at reducing capital expenditures while increasing efficiency for our clients and reducing total cost of ownership at the same time.”

@EmersonProcess #Flexim #PAuto @Emerson_News