Wednesday 31 May 2017

Analysers for petrochemical complex in Oman.

Yokogawa has received an order to supply an analyser package solution for the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex, which is being built for Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic), a company owned and operated by the Oman government.

The Liwa Plastics Industries Complex is being built in Sohar, on Oman’s northern coast. This package order is for 15 analyser houses and associated analysis systems consisting of process analysers and sampling instruments. The client is a joint venture between Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (CB&I, a major US construction company) and CTCI Corporation (a major Taiwanese engineering company) that is responsible for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of an approximately 800,000 ton per annum naphtha cracker and related utility facilities at this complex.

The analysis systems for this steam cracker and its off-site utility facilities will rely on the GC8000 process gas chromatographs to separate mixed gases and volatile liquids into their respective components and measure their concentrations.

A total of 75 GC8000 units have been ordered, and this is Yokogawa’s largest single project order to date for this product. Yokogawa Electric Korea will have overall responsibility for analyser house fabrication, system integration and site commissioning services. As both Yokogawa Electric International and Yokogawa Europe Solutions B.V. have extensive experience in constructing analyser houses, Yokogawa Electric International will manage the engineering, delivery, and commissioning of these  solutions, and Yokogawa Europe Solutions B.V. will provide project execution support. The analyser houses will be delivered by the third quarter of 2018, and the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex is scheduled to start operation in the first quarter of 2020.

It is believed that Yokogawa won this large order because the customer highly evaluated the company’s advanced knowledge of gas analysers and liquid analysers, expertise in the construction of analyser houses, and track record in supplying gas chromatographs to oil refineries and chemical plants all around the world. In recent years, there is an increasing need to improve product quality in the oil, natural gas, petrochemical, and chemical industries by using gas chromatographs for analysing gas components. Backed by this order, Yokogawa will expand sales of its GC8000 and other process analysis solutions, grow the process analyser system integration business, and help customers improve the quality of their products.

 @YokogawaIA  #PAuto #Oman

RIP: Michael B. Fedenyszen, II - a dedicated friend and colleague.

ISA members throughout the world were stunned to learn of the sudden unexpected death of Michael Fedenyszen. He had been a perennial at the ISA leaders' meeting for many years and had only recently been elected as VP Elect of the Publications Department. He was excited about his new role and indeed the committee were looking forward to his tenure in that challenging position.

Michael Fedenyszen RIP
Michael was always actively engaged as an InTech Editorial Advisory Board member, providing article reviews to the editor and publisher on each issue and indeed he wrote The Final Say column in the March April issue this year.

Michael B. Fedenyszen, II was a senior instrumentation and controls engineer at R.G. Vanderweil Engineers, LLP. He was an active life member of ISA, serving in many leadership roles and receiving numerous awards. He had a 30 years experience in integrating and optimising instrumentation and controls requirements for combined heat and power plants and central utility plants. Further details of his career and accomplishments may be found on the brief biography on the 2017 Water & Waste Symposium site.

The shocked reaction and generous tributes paid by his peers and colleagues pay tribute to his contribution to the world of automation.

"He was a kind and truly gracious friend. He will be sorely missed."

"Truly shocking. Several of us had the pleasure of enjoying a nice Pubs dinner at the last SLM that Michael arranged. For those who attended, it was a blast. (That was on Sunday 8 May 2017, just over 3 weeks ago in Raleigh, NC, USA)"

"Truly a sad day - losing someone who has contributed to all levels of our Society and society itself as well. I had the pleasure of 'working' with Michael for almost 20 years, when he started attending meetings on behalf of Boston Section and then DVP."

"That is truly sad news. Michael was so into Publications and I know that he was so looking forward to his VP-elect role going forward. We have lost another very dedicated ISA leader. I am sure that he will rest in peace."

"Wow! This is truly heart-breaking news. Michael was in great spirits at the SLM and he was truly joyous about his family, especially his grandkids. He was an advisor to so many of us. He will be greatly missed."

"Michael was a real treasure and will be missed. He was knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor."

"Sad indeed. RIP, Micheal. Condolences to his family and all who ever worked with him, at ISA and elswhere.."

"I'm so shocked and saddened by this news... Mike was one of a kind, a true gentleman, and a wonderful friend. He will be missed so much!"

"What a great guy, friend, and ISA member. He was a special person and we had a wonderful relationship. Michael was always so nice ... and a pleasure to work with"

Shari Worthington posted a short tribute on facebook which probably encapsulates what all those who knew him feel: "It's a sad day. We lost a friend and colleague, Michael B. Fedenyszen II. Thank you for everything. We will miss you. Godspeed. Your friends at International Society of Automation."

The many tributes paid to him on his facebook page  are a worthy tribute to a good and cheerful friend, colleague and mentor.

May he rest in peace and may his family be comforted and consoled.

Partners in industrial automation.

Capula has been awarded with Qualified Partner status by COPA-DATA. 

Martyn Williams and Mark Hardy
Capula has been a member of the COPA-DATA Partner Community* since 2015, however, the company’s newly achieved Qualified partner status is an official acknowledgement of Capula’s proven record of success in the energy industry.

Capula became a Registered Partner of COPA-DATA in 2015, however, the company’s professional collaboration with COPA-DATA began six years beforehand in 2009. Capula began looking for a flexible, off-the-shelf control system for its automation projects and chose COPA-DATA’s platform, zenon.

Capula’s decision to choose COPA-DATA’s software, zenon, has proven to be pivotal and is now an integral part of Capula’s offering to the power transmission industry. Capula is currently using zenon to provide the human-machine interfaces (HMIs) for substation control monitoring, as part of Capula’s IMPERIUM Substation Control System. To date the software has already been used in the first 8 substations covered under National Grid’s SCS (substation control system) framework and will continue to be deployed on numerous sites nationally, and for electrical distribution.

Moving forward to 2017, the professional relationship between COPA-DATA and Capula has gone from strength-to-strength. Since the original collaboration, several members of the Capula team have attended events hosted by COPA-DATA UK. What is more, some Capula employees have also gained official personal certification from COPA-DATA by attending technical training courses in zenon automation software.

"Working with COPA-DATA has been a positive experience,” explained Mark Hardy, Managing Director of Capula. “Being a COPA-DATA partner validates Capula’s track record of providing quality solutions and demonstrates its ability to collaboratively adapt to future requirements and employ new technical breakthroughs.”

“Appointing Capula as a Qualified Partner is a real cause for celebration,” explained Martyn Williams, Managing Director of COPA-DATA UK. “Creating long-term, successful partnerships with likeminded companies has always been crucial for us and Capula represents everything we look for in successful members of the COPA-DATA Partner Community.”

The COPA-DATA Partner Community is a global network of dedicated industrial automation experts. The Community offers interested parties three levels of Partner membership: Registered, Qualified and Expert. Registered Partner, being the entry level, requires members have a certain knowledge and experience with delivering projects using zenon. Qualified Partners are more engaged and involved with zenon in different projects and have received specialised trainings. And the highest tier of membership, Expert Partners, have considerable experience and their expertise is reflected in a consistently growing customer base and market share.
Different types of organisations can join COPA-DATA’s Partner Community, including system integrators, original equipment manufacturers, hardware manufacturers, educational institutions and research facilities. Some of the key benefits of joining are sales support, customer lead generation, joint marketing, professional training and knowledge transfer.

@copadata @CapulaLtd #PAuto

"Legal-for-trade" certified weighing.

The BLH Nobel brand of Vishay, has announced that its G5 Series panel mount measurement amplifiers (G5 PM Series) are now certified “legal-for-trade” via firmware upgrade, as per the very latest standards set forth by EN45501:2015 and the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML).

In global commercial applications where product is sold by weight, a legal requirement exists for all associated weighing equipment, whether individual scales or a full pre-pack line, to be “legal-for-trade” certified. Such certifications confirm that associated instrumentation has undergone the necessary stringent testing to ensure its total conformance to uniform global accreditation standards. This further ensures that it is sufficiently accurate for its intended commercial weighing purpose.

With the BLH Nobel “legal-for-trade” firmware upgrade, the G5 PM Series can now support all non-automatic weighing applications, in full compliance with EN 45501 and OIML R76 Class III or IIII single-interval industrial use criteria (NTEP approvals pending). The measurement amplifier offers secondary functionality as a long-term onboard data storage device, without the need for a stand-alone printer. Units can accept any traditional load cell input signal with a 0.4 μV minimum verification scale interval, and with maximum potential intervals set at 10,000. Initial device storage capacity exists for up to 50,000 individual text records, allowing for up to 500 separate files of 100 records each. Each file name is assigned a unique identification number for tracking purposes.

Other new functions afforded by the BLH Nobel G5 PM Series “legal-for-trade” firmware upgrade include full language support in both English and Swedish, along with a modern and user-friendly visual indicator, audit trail counter, legal lock function, easy calibration, remote access with common field buses (setup via browser or keyboard), and associated trade and management task functions. The firmware upgrade also allows the G5 PM Series to serve as a next generation drop-in replacement for the now-obsolete Model TAD3. Model TAD3 was the brand’s previous indicator solution for legal weighing applications, with new G5 PM Series units occupying an identical footprint to that of the legacy model. The G5 PM Series is available with a full complement of standard and custom load cells from the BLH Nobel portfolio, along with full applications engineering and troubleshooting support. To obtain a copy of the correct firmware upgrade version for “legal-for-trade” compliance, please contact BLH Nobel.

Originally launched in February 2016, the G5 Series measurement amplifier combines standard interfaces, a modular design, and onboard integral web servers. It offers streamlined commissioning and calibration; reduced operations and maintenance costs; and advanced communication protocols for optimized system efficiencies, including remote diagnostics, parameterization, backup and maintenance functions. A recently released firmware upgrade (v1.3.0) added new capabilities such as flow rate calculation, enhanced diagnostics, excitation current measurement and supervision, updated Fieldbus data mapping, and an EtherNet/IP interface. The G5 Series is just one in a family of advanced process control instruments from BLH Nobel, designed to support the measurement requirements of comprehensive weighing systems.

Typical applications for the BLH Nobel G5 PM Series include process weighing and control, weighing force measurements, high-speed dynamic measurements, and factory automation. Expanded applications now afforded by the “legal-for-trade” firmware upgrade include coil weighing; steel plate commercial weighing; offshore fish farm pellet weighing; fine-grained concentrates weighing for the mining industry; and virtually any other commercial weighing application requiring EN45501:2015 and OIML certifications. Units are also fully CE marked.

For more than 40 years, the BLH Nobel brand of VPG has specialized in the design, development and manufacture of high-quality and high-accuracy process weighing and force measurement technologies and related control systems. BLH Nobel load cells maximize accuracy and minimize the effects of mixing, agitation, and temperature changes within critical process stages. BLH Nobel products and customized solutions are designed to comply with stringent requirements in the food and beverage, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical equipment, process, mining, steel, and offshore industries. The brand further offers a wide variety of communication protocols for seamless integration within complex production lines. It also supplies system solutions, products, and services in more than 100 countries worldwide. Each BLH Nobel custom solution is derived from more than 40 years of engineering expertise, gained from across thousands of successful applications.

@BLHNobel #PAuto 

Noise & vibration testing.

Following the setting up of an acoustic calibration laboratory last year, Svantek UK – part of the AcSoft Group – is now offering in-house calibration of its wide range of high performance noise and vibration instrumentation for occupational health and environmental monitoring applications.

SV103 personal vibration meter
The company has replicated the acoustics calibration system used at Svantek’s facility in Poland meaning it can now perform a full factory calibration on all noise and vibration analysers and meters. As a result, new instruments shipped to customers have a fresh calibration certificate every time.
They have added a vibration calibration fixture using a Data Physics 16kg shaker together with Listen’s SoundCheck software and a Dytran reference accelerometer to give a wider range of capabilities. This enables it to calibrate vibration meters according to ISO 8041 and tri axial or single axis accelerometers.

Vibration analysers are calibrated by applying electrical signals to test the frequency response, linearity, overload/range limits, etc. The vibration meter is tested using mechanical excitation either with Svantek’s working standard reference accelerometer or with the customer's sensor.

The filter characteristics of the meters are also tested in accordance with the applicable standard either electrically or vibrationally using the Svantek reference sensor.

For accelerometers, the vibration test system allows the company to measure both sensitivity at the reference frequency and the frequency response of the sensor. This is completed by performing the back to back calibration method.

@Svantek_UK @PAuto #Calibration #Britain @elhcomms

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Microscope objective and optics positioning.

Aerotech’s QFOCUS® QF-50 piezo nanopositioning stage is designed for high-performance microscope objective and optics positioning. It offers 400 μm closed loop and 450 μm open loop travel, high speed, 0.01% linearity, sub-nanometer resolution, and 4 nm bidirectional repeatability. The QF-50 accommodates optical instruments and next-generation laser micromachining applications. Due to a high-stiffness mechanical design, the QF-50 can outperform competitive piezo scanner offerings with larger, higher numerical aperture (NA) objectives. The QF-50 is ideal for optical positioning applications requiring high precision and throughput coupled with long travels.

The QFOCUS QF-50 is guided by precision flexures optimized using finite element analysis for outstanding stiffness and resonant frequency to enable high process throughput and fast closed-loop response. Meticulous care was taken in the QF-50 flexure bearing design to ensure unrivaled geometric performance with straightness errors to 40 nm throughout the entire travel range.

Optional closed-loop feedback using a unique capacitive sensor design allows for sub-nanometer resolution and high linearity. Unlike foil strain gages or piezoresistive sensors, capacitive sensors provide a direct measurement of the positioning carriage for superior accuracy and repeatability

When coupled with Aerotech’s Q-series controllers and drives, the QF-50 demonstrates sub-nanometer positioning resolution and in-position stability (jitter) while maintaining high positioning bandwidth. Advanced software options, such as Dynamic Controls Toolbox and Motion Designer, provide a variety of highly-effective, easy-to-use tools including Iterative Learning Control, Harmonic Cancellation, and Command Shaping, providing improved tracking errors and faster step-and-settle times. OEM drive options are also available.

The QF-50 is available with threaded adapters to fit most microscopes and objectives. The microscope turret mounting allows fast and simple positioning at any desired orientation. In addition, tapped holes on the stage body provide alternative mounting for custom interfaces in machines or other optical instruments. The QF-50 is available with a clear aperture of 29 mm as standard. Custom stage designs, travels, and threaded adapters are available.

@aerotechmotion #PAuto

Capturing temperature measurements while unattended.

Temperature events rarely occur while technicians are around to capture them, complicating the troubleshooting of electrical, HVAC, and industrial equipment. Fluke's new 64 MAX IR Thermometer features Auto Capture, allowing technicians set time and intervals to record up to 99 data points unattended so it can capture elusive temperature events. The thermometer can be mounted on a standard tripod using its included tripod mount accessory for unattended measurements.

The lightweight, compact, and rugged Fluke 64 MAX also features:
  • Precise laser technology for more accurate (up to ±1° C or ±1% of reading whichever is greater) and repeatable measurements
  • 30 hours of battery life to capture measurements over a long period of time
  • IP54 rated for extra protection against airborne contaminants in harsh, dirty environments
  • A flashlight and large, easy-to-read backlit LCD display for easy viewing even in dark settings.
The Fluke 64 MAX displays minimum, maximum, or average temperature, or the difference between two measurements, and features Hi and Lo alarms for rapid display of measurements outside set limits. It is designed to survive a three-metre drop and continue to operate, making it ideal for industrial and field environments.

@FlukeCorp  #PAuto #TandM

Innovative solutions for datacentres.

Datacloud Europe (MC: 6 -8 June 2017) is one of the leading events for modern datacenters in Europe.  Rittal, involved as a sponsor, is participating in the accompanying exhibition and is will be providing presentations on state-of-the-art technologies related to “Modular to Hyperscale Datacenter Cooling and Energy Efficiency”. Solutions being presented include the Lefdal Mine Datacentre project, a highly efficient datacenter that uses regenerative energies.

Energy efficiency, scalability and safety are among the central requirements for modern datacenters. Rittal will be presenting a variety of solutions, such as the Lefdal Mine Datacentre (LMD), at the Datacloud Europe congress in Monaco.

Very high energy efficiency: The Lefdal Mine Datacenter
The datacenter, which runs solely on renewable energies, is located over an area of 120,000 square meters on Norway’s west coast. With the LMD, Rittal offers a unique location – it is one of Europe’s most efficient, cleanest and most secure datacenters. Customers can create their own private cloud from different platforms (SAP Hana as a Service, and HPC as a Service), which they operate themselves or can have run as managed services. Benefits include the scalability of the system, its high energy efficiency, as well as the variety of operating models, from colocation to private cloud and through to DCaaS (Datacenter as a Service).

Quick and easy: Edge datacenters
Visitors to the Rittal stand (39) can also find out about turnkey edge datacenters. The solutions, with their standardised, preconfigured IT infrastructure, can also be used with high availability rooms and so ensure the protection needed against heat, dust and dirt in industrial manufacturing environments. This way, companies can quickly and easily create new IT environments for digital processes in order to adapt their IT to the new challenges.

@Rittal #PAuto 

Monday 29 May 2017

Takeover strengthens IIoT and Industrie 4.0 offering.

The Taiwanese company Etherwan System Inc has been acquired by Phoenix Contact The company which is located in New-Taipei is a manufacturer for Ethernet communication technology in automation.

YT Yang, CEO of Axiomtek, with
Roland Bent, CTO Phoenix Contact
The takeover enriches the position of the Phoenix Contact Group in the area of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0, which was already strengthened by the take over of the Canadian Perle Systems  last Autumn (2016).

Etherwan was founded in California in 1996. The main site has been in New-Taipei in Taiwan for 20 years. Here, hardware components such as media converters and Ethernet switches for so-called “hardened Ethernet solutions” are developed, manufactured and sold by around 170 employees. Software is also included in the portfolio of the company. The US headquarters is located in Anaheim, (CA USA), where more than 20 people are employed.

Phoenix Contact and Etherwan have already been cooperating successfully for 15 years. The cooperation started with the development of a portfolio of products for the use of Ethernet in industrial communication. This successful cooperation will now be intensified in the joint undertaking in order to launch further product ranges acc. to the requirements of Industrie 4.0 and to develop the competence center of network technology of the Phoenix Contact Group together.

“Industrial communication is a key technology for the digitalization”, says Roland Bent, CTO of Phoenix Contact. “Etherwan and Phoenix Contact complement each other perfectly with their different strengths in different markets and different industrial industries. Now, we have achieved a global appearance and product portfolio to effectively conquer further markets.”

The corporate name remains unchanged; the same applies to the sites. In Taiwan, the close proximity to chip manufacturers, technology suppliers and other manufacturers is a great advantage.

The transaction is subject to approval by the local Investment Commission Taiwan.

@PhoenixContact  #PAuto @EtherWANSystems

System testing of advanced 3D chips wins award.

Imec has announced the successful development of a fully-automatic system for pre-bond testing of advanced 3D chips. Pre-bond testing is important to increase the yield of 3D stacked chips. The new system enables probing and hence testing of chips with large arrays of 40µm-pitch micro-bumps, on 300mm wafers. The relevance of this new tool is underlined by winning the 2017 National Instruments Engineering Impact Award at a ceremony in Austin (TX USA)

The test system as installed in imec’s Fab-2
As an emerging technology, 3D IC stacking still has many open options and technical challenges. One of these challenges is probing of the individual chips, before being stacked, to ensure a good yield of the 3D stacked ICs. The inter-chip connections of 3D stacked ICs are made by large arrays of fine-pitch micro-bumps which makes probing these bumps a challenge. Until today, the probing solution is to add dedicated pre-bond probe pads to the to-be-stacked dies, but this requires extra space and design effort and increases test time.

Imec and Cascade Microtech have now developed a fully automatic test cell that can provide test access by probing large arrays of fine-pitch micro-bumps. The system is based on a Cascade Microtech CM300 probe station and National Instruments PXI test instrumentation, complemented by in-house developed software for automatic test generation, data analysis, and visualization. The system allows testing of wafers up to 300mm diameter, including thinned wafers on tape frame with exposed through-silicon vias. After several years of intense collaboration between imec and Cascade Microtech, partly supported by the EU-funded FP7 SEA4KET project, good results were achieved with Cascade Microtech’s Pyramid Probe® prototype RBI probe cards on imec’s 300mm wafers with 40µm-pitch micro-bumped chips.
--> At the heart of the test system is this probe core with MEMS-based probe tips that contact the large arrays of fine-pitch micro-bumps.  “Imec provided us with unique early insights into the test requirements for 3D ICs, which drove the development of this system,” said Jörg Kiesewetter, director of engineering at Cascade Microtech Dresden (D). “Also the availability of imec’s dedicated micro-bump test wafers has helped us to fine-tune both the probe station and the probe cards for this application.”

“At imec, we are using the system now on a routine basis to test our 40µm-pitch micro-bumped wafers,” stated Erik Jan Marinissen, principal scientist at imec. “As everything in the semiconductor realm, also micro-bumps are subject to downscaling. Hence, with Cascade, we have started experiments to also probe our 20µm-pitch micro-bump arrays, and those look promising.”

@imec_int #NIweek @FormFactorInc #TandM

Friday 26 May 2017

New automation controls engineer.

Mike Cafferkey
The latest member of the Mitsubishi Electric Team is Michael Cafferkey. With a background in Controls and SCADA, Mike has joined the team as an Automation Controls Engineer. He will focus mainly on software and project support for their Controls, HMI, SCADA and Robot solutions.

@MEIrishbranch #PAuto #Ireland

Field reader.

Harting has expanded its UHF RFID product range for demanding industrial and rail sector applications with the addition of a new version of the 4 Field Reader, featuring built-in M8 and M12 connectors to complement its excellent range of RFID solutions.

In addition to the existing features of the compact, robust Ha-VIS RF-R3x0 reader – notably the two antenna connections, 500 mW power output and comprehensive software functions - the new Ha-VIS RF-R400 RFID Reader provides concentrated RFID performance and robust connectors at an attractive price.

The built-in circular connectors now provide interfaces for networking, power supply, RS232, two digital trigger signal inputs and four digital signal outlets. The four antenna connections, each with a maximum power output of 2 W, remain in the usual SMA format.
The standard Harting RFID reader functions such as “action on EPC” (Electronic Product Code), where the reader can process scanning results autonomously and respond by switching outlets, are also included in the reader’s comprehensive software provision.

In terms of software, the RF-R400 is fully compatible with the powerful GS1® ALE 1.1 based Harting middleware. The new reader is supported as usual by the server version, Ha-VIS Middleware and the embedded version for the RF-R350, enabling easy processing of raw data and saving unnecessary expense in the back-end system.

The new reader meets the requirements of the industrial and rail markets, which Harting verifies by monitoring in its own independent and accredited test laboratory. It is particularly suited to rail applications such as track section recognition.

@HARTING ‏ #PAuto 

Accelerating design and build of automated test systems.

National Instruments have announced new ATE Core Configurations which deliver core mechanical, power and safety infrastructure to help users accelerate the design and build of automated test systems in industries ranging from semiconductor and consumer electronics to aerospace and automotive.

ATE Core Configurations help simplify the design, procurement, assembly, and deployment of smarter test systems at a lower cost and shorter time to market by empowering test organizations with a platform for standardization. These 19-in., rack-based configurations are available in various rack-unit heights, and offer scalable power profiles to match the needs of nearly any application and geography. Test organizations can benefit from highly integrated safety features such as thermal shutoff, emergency power off (EPO), optional uninterruptible power supplies and IEC 61010 certification.

Key benefits include:
• Highly customizable – Choose what is included in the system, and where within the rack, including PXI instrumentation, signal conditioning, kW power supplies, cooling and more
• Streamlined procurement – Simplify bill of materials management with consolidated part numbers and fewer vendor transactions
• Readily deployable – Benefit from IEC 61010 certified systems which are backed by more than 1,500 NI sales, system and support engineers worldwide
• Expansive ecosystem – Work directly with NI Alliance Partners to specify a turn-key system, including mass interconnect and fixturing, test software development, system maintenance, lifecycle support and more

“Building a test system is a difficult job – one that even the best organizations spend many months accomplishing purely because of the number of components, suppliers and interoperability challenges present,” said Luke Schreier, director of automated test product marketing at NI. “The new ATE Core Configurations can help users dramatically simplify the purchasing process for a common set of requirements and reduce the time and cost of building a system. And when you ultimately want a turn-key system, they form a great bridge to the integration expertise of our Alliance Partner Network.”

ATE Core Configurations also benefit from NI’s high-performance PXI instrumentation and extensive test software portfolio. This includes more than 600 PXI instruments ranging from DC to mmWave featuring high-throughput data movement using PCI Express Gen 3 bus interfaces and sub-nanosecond synchronization with integrated timing and triggering. ATE Core Configurations can also include TestStand test management software and LabVIEW code module development software, extensive API and example program support for PXI instruments, and more than 13,000 instrument drivers for third-party box instruments.

 @niukie #PAuto #NIWeek  #TandM

Support of Irish engineering community rewarded!

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has awarded Lilly Kinsale with Gold Corporate Partner status. Lilly was awarded with gold for demonstrating an ongoing commitment to supporting Irish undergraduate engineering students through its Kinsale manufacturing operation.

At the presentation L to R: Eoin McManus, Professor Jonathan Seville, David Sternasty, Sam Moursy
Jonathan Seville, president of IChem said: “It’s a pleasure to award Lilly Kinsale with IChemE’s Gold Corporate Partner Award. I’m hugely impressed by the enthusiasm of their engineers, who have given up their own time to share their knowledge and experiences with schoolchildren and chemical engineering undergraduates here in Cork.

“Lilly’s engineers have set a great example of what chemical engineering can contribute to the pharmaceutical sector, and they help to manufacture products that enable us to live longer, healthier lives. It’s a great example of why chemical engineering matters.”

The company has been a long term supporter of IChemE’s whynotchemeng campaign, which looks to improve schoolchildren understanding of careers in chemical engineering. It has held several events for post-primary school students in Ireland, and encourages its engineers to take part in mentoring activities as part of their Continued Professional Development (CPD).

Lilly Kinsale has strong ties with local Universities, and runs a successful undergraduate programme for up to 6 students each year, offering them practical work experience in conjunction with their area of study. The organisation also subsidises IChemE membership fees for all chemical engineering undergraduate students in Irish 3rd level institutions, north and south.

The upgrade to Gold Partnership will see Lilly Kinsale join a select number of companies in the top tier of IChemE’s Corporate Partner programme.

The presentation took place this month at the Blue Haven Hotel in Cork, Ireland. Lilly’s Vice President of Corporate Engineering and Global Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) was present,  as were David Sternasty, Lilly Kinsale Director of Engineering, Eoin McManus, Consultant Process Engineer, as well as Sam Moursy, IChemE’s Director of Qualifications, Neil Atkinson, and President Jonathan Seville.

Lilly Kinsale's Director of engineering, David Sternasty, said: “Our ultimate goal is to hire the brightest engineers and then continually engage, challenge and develop them professionally to become the very best they can be, engineers who are capable of delivering innovative manufacturing solutions for making the medicines of today and tomorrow. Our partnership with IChemE is helping us to achieve that.

“As part of this partnership, we have developed relationships with all levels of the education system locally; from primary school to post-graduate level and employees have greatly enjoyed mentoring students in the study of science, engineering, technology and maths.”

Lilly employs over 42,000 people worldwide, conducting clinical research in more than 55 countries with manufacturing plants in 13 countries including Ireland.

The Kinsale site employs approximately 80 chemical engineers, working in diverse functions across the site and has a reputation for technical excellence in chemistry and biotechnology to bring the next generation of innovative medicines to patients around the world.

 @IChemE @LillyPad #PAuto #Pharma

Thursday 25 May 2017

Multislot Ethernet chasses.

National Instruments (NI) have announced the release of two new multislot Ethernet chassis at their annual NI Week in Austin (TX USA) . The cDAQ-9185 and cDAQ-9189 introduce new time-based synchronization built on the latest Ethernet standards, furthering NI’s efforts in Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) and rugged CompactDAQ hardware for distributed measurements.
The nature of physical systems test is rapidly changing as measurement systems migrate from the control room to closer to the device under test. While this shortens installation time, reduces the cost of sensor wiring and improves measurement accuracy, it creates challenges with synchronization and systems management, especially using today’s industrial networking technologies. NI is actively working to help define TSN, the next evolution of the IEEE 802.1 Ethernet standard, to deliver distributed time synchronization, low latency and convergence of time critical and general networking traffic. The cDAQ-9185 and cDAQ-9189 provide tight time synchronization with TSN to simplify and improve scalability of synchronized, distributed systems.

Features and benefits include:
• Precise synchronized timing over the network, which eliminates the need for lengthy, physical timing cables and ensures tightly synchronized measurements for accurate analysis.
• Simple daisy chaining through an integrated network switch for quick setup and expansion in distributed applications.
• Reliable operation in harsh environments with -40° to 70° C operating temperature range, shock resistance up to 50 g and vibration resistance up to 5 g.
• Software abstraction through the NI-DAQmx driver that automatically synchronizes multiple chassis for simple programming.

“These new chassis automatically synchronize measurement data using network-based time. This allows accurate synchronization over long distances, which greatly simplifies customer setup and systems management of high-channel-count and distributed systems,” said Todd Walter, chief marketing manager of the DAQ and embedded lead user team at NI. “This new, innovative method of synchronization combined with the signal processing libraries in LabVIEW system design software helps engineers quickly collect and analyze results, which drives faster test completion and higher efficiency.”

For more than a decade, engineers have used CompactDAQ with LabVIEW to quickly customize DAQ systems to meet their application needs. With NI’s investment in the latest technologies for synchronization and communication, the new CompactDAQ chassis are equipped to meet the current and emerging needs of distributed test and measurement applications, delivering high-performance, rugged DAQ systems that can acquire data from highly distributed sensors.

@niukie #PAuto #NIWeek  #TandM

Metal-seated ball valves.

Emerson introduces the Fisher™ Z500 line of metal-seated ball valves to its severe service portfolio.

Fisher Z500 metal-seated valves from Emerson, are engineered to withstand higher temperatures, pressures, and more erosive conditions than a standard on/off ball valve, providing increased reliability and protection of critical assets in demanding applications. A patented, bi-directional sealing design offers a unique solution to process back pressure and shutoff requirements in both flow directions, safeguarding control valves and other equipment in the line.

Fisher Z500 valves are designed with an integral metal seat and self-energised metal body gasket to help eliminate leak paths and withstand extreme temperature changes. Live-loaded packing, side-mounted brackets, and fixed centrelines help reduce side loads on the packing and decrease overall wear for a longer service life. This addition of on/off valves to the Fisher portfolio complements the existing control valve offering and helps ensure seamless integration between products.

“The combination of isolation valves and control valves gives our customers the opportunity to work with a single solution-provider to achieve the process protection and reliability they need for their critical applications,” said Kevin Meyer, president of Emerson’s Fisher Valves & Instruments business. “We feel that adding another quality product to our wide-reaching network of Emerson sales offices and service centres around the world will not only give our customers a comprehensive valve assembly, but the local support to go with it.”

@FisherValves #PAuto @EMR_Automation @HHC_Lewis

Angular position sensors.

ZF Switches & Sensors can now offer designers a complete range of angular position sensors based on Hall Effect technology which responds to magnetic fields generated by a (rare-earth) magnet. The sensors provide a linear change in voltage output corresponding to the rotation of the actuator.
Mark Mills, Distribution Sales Manager for ZF Switches & Sensors, comments, "ZF has vast experience of supplying sensors to the automotive market and our range of industrial sensors provide cost effective, high reliability sensing solutions for the growing industrial sensing market."

The ANG series of sensors are non-contact angular position sensors which provide a linear change in the voltage output corresponding to an angular rotation of the input shaft. One or two independent (non- or semi-redundant) outputs are available. The sensors offer rotation up to 360°, can replace potentiometers and have a 12 bit resolution. Custom programming is available for angle range, slope and PWM output. ANG sensors are waterproof to IP68, have a temperature range from -40 to +140° and have wire termination. The compact design has no mechanical interface ensuring there are no parts to wear out or jam.

Typical applications include position sensing, throttle-by-wire, steering, gear selection, and outboard trim sensing on industrial vehicles, fork lift trucks and agricultural trailer hitching.

The ZF AN1 sensors family are angular position sensors with an integral magnet with sensor housing and mate with a Delphi Metri-Pak 150 connector. They offer a nominal rotational range of 120° with counter-clockwise rotation. The sensors are mechanically tested to 10 million cycles, meet IP67 have an electrical operating range 5°to 85°C and operating temperature range from -40 to +125°.
The completely encapsulated assembly is suitable for printing equipment and rough terrain applications including farming machinery

The AN8 sensor is available with wire termination or Delphi Metri-Pak 150 connector. The IP67 rated device has an operating temperature range of -40 to +125°C, an angular rotation up to 360° and can be used to replace potentiometers. Having no mechanical interface ensures high reliability as there are no parts to wear out or jam.

Applications include fork lift truck position sensing, steering-by-wire and foot pedal control of throttle and brake for golf and utility carts

The final model in the ZF angular position sensor range is the AN9 which offers redundancy for safety-critical applications an angular rotation of up to 360°, wire termination, IP67 rating and an operating temperature range of -40 to +125°C.

An example of a design requiring redundancy for safety purposes is the steering column of forklifts where the rotation angle of the steering column needs to be detected to justify the wheel position of the vehicle. Other applications include steer-by-wire, position sensing and foot pedals for throttle and brake control.

@cherryswitches #PAuto

Heated humidity sensors.

The HMC03M humidity sensor from E+E Elektronik is dedicated for use in radiosondes and weather balloons. The sensor is characterized by a short response time even at low temperature. An integrated heating resistor ensures an excellent measuring performance under condensation and icing conditions. This makes the sensor ideal for weather observations in the upper atmosphere.

The sensor combines on a silicon substrate a capacitive relative humidity (RH) sensor and a heating resistor. By heating, the sensor quickly recovers after condensation or icing, which leads to a very good measuring performance even under extreme weather conditions. Another key feature of the HMC03M is the short response time at very low temperature. As a result, the HMC03M is ideal for use in radiosondes to measure humidity in the upper atmosphere.

The 5.85 x 2.85 mm small SMD sensor is appropriate for automatic assembling with subsequent reflow soldering. HMC03M is available on tape and reel of 500, 1000 or 2500 pcs.

E+E Elektronik’s product range for meteorology also includes probes and transmitters for highly accurate humidity and temperature measurement. The sensing elements of these devices are well protected from pollution and corrosion by the proprietary E+E coating. This leads to improved long-term stability and a longer lifetime, two essential criteria for long-term use in weather stations.

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

#Epulse #Environment #PAuto

Wednesday 24 May 2017

The secret is better control.

Over the last fifty years, almost none of the productivity gains in manufacturing have come from better chemistry or better design, or even better management and financial controls. Rather, those gains have come from better automation and control of the processes: continuous, batch, hybrid , and discrete. The secret to making manufacturing sustainable is better control.

So, why aren't the theories that have led to enormous gains in productivity being used above the plant level? This book, Real-Time Control of the Industrial Enterprise*, from the authoritive pens of Peter Martin and Walt Boyes,  explains both why not and how better controls can be applied to the supply chain, and to enterprise financial management.

This book provides engineering and technology managers the insight and tools for achieving a fully integrated automated manufacturing enterprise, from the technical and engineering side to the business management side. It is particularly helpful to readers seeking to bring the non-technical parts of a manufacturing operation - customer service, cost and financial management - in line with the already-automated production, inventory management, and plant management.

The reader will learn: how to use the principles of real-time process control to manage and measure your manufacturing business more effectively; how to achieve much greater speed of information transfer for improved control over supply chain and distribution; and how totally integrated inventory control, automated manufacturing, automated customer service, and smart pricing control - and ultimately lead to higher profits.

*Real-Time Control of the Industrial Enterprise, by Peter Martin & Walt Boyes; Publisher: Momentum Press;  
Print ISBN: 9781606503591; E-book ISBN: 9781606503614

@MomentumPress #PAuto 

Serving Russia & Spain.

Full information about the Michell Instruments’ ranges of humidity and oxygen sensors and analysers is now available in Russian and Spanish via two new language websites.

The new sites have been added to portfolio in recognition of Michell’s growing business in Eastern Europe, South America and Spain. Making the information available online in these languages will help customers to more easily find essential information about products and services.

As well as Spanish and Russian, Michell offer information in English (US and GB), Dutch, French, German, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese.

• Michell Instruments are represented in Ireland through Instrument Technology.

#Michell #PAuto

Miniature triaxial accelerometer.

The new Type 8766A lightweight, triaxial accelerometer from Kistler Instruments uses the, patented PiezoStar® crystal developed by Kistler to provide ultra-stable performance with very little sensitivity deviation with temperature changes. Over a temperature range of -50°C to +165°C a PiezoStar® sensor has a sensitivity deviation with temperature which is over thirty times better than a similar quartz sensor. The Temperature Coefficient of Sensitivity of a quartz triaxial accelerometer is 0.18 %/°C, compared with only 0.005 %/°C for a 250g measurement range for the new PiezoStar triaxial accelerometer.

The new accelerometer has been designed specifically to bring these unique properties to applications demanding high accuracy measurements in varying temperature up to 165°C. The small cubical, hermetic titanium housing has threaded mounting holes on each of three sides to facilitate calibration and simplify installation for tests whilst the low mass of only 4g reduces any influence on the test structure. The Kistler PiezoStar® shear element design provides a flat frequency response over a wide operating frequency range and extremely low sensitivity to temperature changes.

The IEPE sensor combines the PiezoStar® crystal with high gain, integral, hybrid microelectronics to achieve very low sensitivity variation over the wide operating temperature range, compared to other sensing element designs, and high immunity to base strain errors. The Transducer Electronic Datasheet (TEDS), embedded in the chips integrated within the IEPE sensor, enable data acquisition systems to automatically recognize the sensor specification and so reduce set up time, minimise risk of human errors and eliminate the need for manual point-to-point connection identification.

Five variants cover the measurement range from ±50g to ±1,000g all with a 100% overload capability plus a high temperature option for temperatures of up to 165°C. In contrast to ceramic and quartz, the extremely stiff piezoelectric crystal sensing element offers a flat frequency response with no slope across the entire useable frequency range of 0.5 to 20,000 Hz.

The accelerometer uses a welded titanium construction for low mass and an industry standard 4 pin connector, as well as a mini 4 pin connector option for lower mass and wider frequency operation. All variations provide reliable measurements and long-term stability, especially at higher operating temperatures. The miniaturized light-weight measuring element in a hermetic titanium housing which has threaded mounting holes on each of the three axes to simplify cable connection and minimise unwanted cable loops. A range of ground isolated mounting bases are available with adhesive, threaded and magnetic mounting options and an integral silicone cable variant is available for underwater vibration testing at up to 10 bars (150 psi).

With its extremely wide and flat frequency response, the unique Type 8766A accelerometer from Kistler instruments is ideal for use in modal and durability testing applications at widely varying temperatures.

#Kistler #PAuto 

Next generation system design software.

National Instruments (NI) has announced LabVIEW NXG 1.0, the first release of the next generation of LabVIEW engineering system design software. LabVIEW NXG bridges the gap between configuration-based software and custom programming languages with an innovative new approach to measurement automation that empowers domain experts to focus on what matters most – the problem, not the tool.

Jeff Kodosky - Father of Labview
“Thirty years ago, we released the original version of LabVIEW, designed to help engineers automate their measurement systems without having to learn the esoterica of traditional programming languages. LabVIEW was the ‘nonprogramming’ way to automate a measurement system,” said Jeff Kodosky, NI cofounder and business and technology fellow, known as the ‘Father of LabVIEW.’ “For a long time we focused on making additional things possible with LabVIEW, rather than furthering the goal of helping engineers automate measurements quickly and easily. Now we are squarely addressing this with the introduction of LabVIEW NXG, which we designed from the ground up to embrace a streamlined workflow. Common applications can use a simple configuration-based approach, while more complex applications can use the full open-ended graphical programming capability of the LabVIEW language, G.”

The 1.0 release of LabVIEW NXG helps engineers performing benchtop measurements drastically increase their productivity with new nonprogramming workflows to acquire and iteratively analyze measurement data. These nonprogramming workflows simplify automation by building the necessary code behind the scenes. For instance, engineers can drag and drop a section of code equivalent to 50 lines of text-based code. This is just one of the many ways LabVIEW NXG helps engineers focus on innovation rather than implementation.

“As business has increased, the NI platform has allowed our software to scale up to meet the rising demand,” said Casey Lamers, senior controls engineer at Phoenix Nuclear Labs, which provides the world’s strongest commercial neutron generators for industries such as medicine, energy and material processing. “Developing custom software for a new accelerator used for the medical imaging isotope industry has gone from taking months to weeks, and software build times have gone from hours to just 30 minutes. As a participant in NI’s lead user program, we’ve been using early versions of LabVIEW NXG over the last year and are confident it will further reduce our development time and improve our ability to deliver new features faster.”

LabVIEW NXG introduces a re-engineered editor with functionality that experienced LabVIEW users often request, but it still offers a user experience similar to complementary software in the market. The refreshed editor further extends the openness of LabVIEW to integrate with a broader set of languages. The modernized editor improves programming productivity by streamlining the editor micro-interactions, user interface objects based on vector graphics and zooming capabilities.

As LabVIEW NXG 1.0 revolutionizes benchtop measurements, new capabilities in LabVIEW 2017 target the development, deployment and management of large, complex and distributed test and embedded applications. These include features that enhance interoperability with standard IP and standard communications protocols such as IEC 61131-3, OPC UA and the secure DDS messaging standard.

International interoperable wireless!

The ISA100 Wireless™ Compliance Institute (WCI) recently conducted a successful interoperability event that featured more than 20 devices from 13 different suppliers.

The April 2017 event was a part of a regular schedule of interoperability events. These events—important components of WCI's technical program—provide ISA100 WCI member organizations an opportunity to validate the ISA100 Wireless brand promise of assured interoperability.

The interoperability event program, part of WCI’s quality assurance processes, ensures functional tests conducted within ISA100 Wireless certification testing provide proper coverage for the ISA100 Wireless Implementation Specification, and delivers real-world evidence that certified devices from any supplier will interoperate in any system supplier’s network.

“These events provide ongoing validation of the ISA100 Wireless certifications, identify areas for new test coverage as new categories of devices are added to the ISA100 Wireless portfolio, and provide input for improving the usability of the ISA100 Wireless certification test platform,” says Jay Werb, WCI Technical Director.

“Participants who attended the event at our RTP, North Carolina headquarters in April were extremely enthusiastic. In addition to performing a critical QA role for our technical program, the event served to build bonds among members of the ISA100 Wireless technical community,” notes Andre Ristaino, WCI Managing Director. “We hosted participants from the UK, Norway, Romania, Taiwan, Japan, the US and other countries. One of the week’s highlights was the evening social, hosted at a converted 1800’s-era cotton mill overlooking the scenic Haw River in Saxapahaw, North Carolina.”

@isa100wci  #PAuto #ISAuto #Training #Wireless

Seeking to represent process engineering.

The Annual General Meeting of Engineers Ireland will be held on Wednesday 31 May 2017, at 6:30pm in the theatre at Engineers Ireland, Dublin HQ. Like most organisations this meeting will inaugurate the president for the following year and the results of the ballot for the Governing Council will be announced. This year there are four vacancies for Chartered Engineers on the council.

President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins
at 2016 Annual Conference
Last year the Annual conference of the society the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins remarked “Engineering interacts with all other forms of life. The future of the profession will see engineers at the centre of planning, not simply asked to join in the execution of particular tasks, but in designing transformation.”

The Engineers Ireland Council is made up of elected members representing the regional and divisional spread of the organisation. Although the organisation has perhaps an unfair reputation as being primarily for Civil, Structural and Local Government engineers it does in fact cater to all branches of the profession, manufacturing and processing and all the myriad of associated sub-groups and allied sectors.

There are two excellent candidates whose names are before the membership and who represent the processing and automation disciplines. These are John O'Sullivan  and Kieran Fallon.

John O’Sullivan is Engineering Director of Douglas Control and Automation, delivering automation and functional safety solutions to the pharmaceutical, medical device, food and beverage and transport sectors. A lifelong space enthusiast, last year he published “In the Footsteps of Columbus, European Missions to the International Space Station” and has given talks on the subject during Science week, Space week and Engineers week.

Kieran Fallon is an Electrical Engineer and Manager of Electrical and Instrumentation at DPS Engineering, Dublin. He has 30 years’ experience in engineering design including projects in pharmaceuticals, chemical and water treatment industries. He is well placed to be an advocate for the ‘working engineer’ on the Council .

Voting to fill these vacancies is in progress at present. All votes are cast electronically.

@EngineerIreland #PAuto #Ireland

Tuesday 23 May 2017

The inspiration of the parabolic curve!

Parabolic flow curves were the inspiration for the new logo for the Measurement, Control & Automation Association which was debuted at the MCAA Industry Forum last month in Atlanta. As well, a completely redesigned website,, was rolled out to the more than 240 attendees at the meeting.

Bharat Naik (President, Reotemp Instruments), Chairman of the Planning Committee for the meeting and Vice Chairman of MCAA, introduced the new branding and website to the attendees saying that the more modern look and ease of use of the website better reflect the dynamic Association.

Mr. Naik mentioned the four unique value propositions that have a prominent place on the home page of the website:

  • Networking: The ability to meet face-to-face with leaders in the same industry—beyond your own company—and sharing ideas and experiences is a key reason why companies send their senior executives to the Industry Forum every year. Seventy-five percent of MCAA’s member companies were represented in Atlanta and attendees came from six different countries (US, Canada, Australia, Finland, Germany and Mexico). There are additional opportunities to network through the Association as well, using the website to find people and create or solidify business relationships.

  • Data: According to Naik, MCAA offers its members the most affordable source of unbiased data. While the very low cost is important, possibly more essential is that the data is unbiased—reported anonymously in aggregate so that no one has a reason to skew the numbers. He noted that his company derives essential management value from analyzing the data against their own performance.

  • Insights: MCAA meetings and its website offer critical best practices, future trends and new technology ideas not just for members but also to our industry as a whole. The assemblage of speakers at the Forum covered a broad range of topics designed to drill down on subjects related to our Interconnected World.

  • Workforce Development: As baby boomers leave our workforce, the industry has a challenging and ongoing issue of backfilling these positions with educated and trained personnel. As Vice Chairman of MCAA, Mr. Naik confirmed that MCAA has a key role to play in this arena moving forward and is an important element of the organization as the voice of the industry, a likely new tagline for MCAA.

  • Members sign into a Member Portal to retrieve reports and information available based on their company’s participation. They can also see their company profile which is an excellent opportunity to promote the company and its products. More functionality is coming to personalize the Portal. Member representatives can reach the Member Portal through or directly at

    @MeasControl  #PAuto

    Back in harness...

    "Everything has consequences, and nothing is ever simple."

    Back Again
    The sharp eyed among you will have noticed that the Industrial Automation Insider (IAI) taster that we usually put on our home page had not been changed since April. This was the unintended consequence of the unplanned absence of Editor Walt Boyes from his typewriter for health reasons.

    And of course there is a message to be gleaned from all this. "This is a lesson," he says,  "that any automation company needs to keep in mind. Everything has consequences, and nothing is ever simple."

    His absence was itself the unintended consequence of some corrective medical treatment he had had some years previously. However we are delighted that he is now back in harness and the latest Industrial Automation Insider is now back in a super two month bumper issue.

    If you don't get it you can hardly be said to be up to date on happening in the automation sector.

    Welcome back Walt and welcome back Insider!

    #PAuto #IAI