Friday 29 September 2017

Optical test solutions.

Microlease has added a new manufacturer to its distribution product portfolio: SYCATUS, specialists in noise and delay measurement in optical transmission components and systems. Under the agreement Microlease will sell SYCATUS optical test solutions throughout Europe.

Commenting, George Acris, Director of Marketing - Europe at Microlease, said, “The addition of SYCATUS demonstrates how Microlease is evolving to provide customers with more options to acquire the test technology that they need. The Microlease support team works with customers to select the solution that best addresses their measurement needs, and can then offer a range of financial solutions to enable them to source the equipment on a basis that fits their situation.”

Makoto Shikata, President of SYCATUS, added, “We are excited at the opportunity to partner with Microlease, an organisation with the scale and technical expertise to make our optical and wireline test systems more accessible to the European market.”

• SYCATUS specialises in Relative Intensity Noise (RIN), optical frequency/phase noise and optical delay measurement for high speed optical transmissions and sensing applications. Its systems are aimed at laser manufacturers and optical equipment as well as system manufacturers of single-mode and multi-mode fiber. Microlease already offers new instruments as Keysight Authorised Technology Partner and Premium Distributor in Britain and Italy, as Viavi Premier Solutions Partner in the UK and Germany and as GW Instek Authorised Distributor in Britain, Ireland, Italy and Spain, among an increasing portfolio of brands.

@microlease #PAuto #SYCATUS

Handbook for temperature.

ABB has released a new in-depth handbook explaining how to maximise temperature measurement accuracy in industrial applications. Titled Industrial temperature measurement: Basics and practice, the handbook provides a detailed explanation of the key areas that users need to consider when implementing and operating temperature measurement technology.

“As one of the most widely measured parameters in any industrial application, temperature provides an invaluable indication of what’s happening in a process,” says Steve Gorvett, ABB’s DP Flow and Temperature Product Manager for Britain. “Our new handbook is absolutely essential for any technician, experienced or not, who is looking to better understand the basic principles of temperature measurement and how to select the best solution that will deliver the highest levels of accuracy and reliability in their application.”

The handbook is suitable for both novices and those with more experience in temperature measurement. Written by ABB's temperature experts, the 320-page book is divided into nine main chapters, covering a variety of topics including the principles of temperature measurement; sensor and transmitter options and how to select them; ensuring accuracy through calibration and verification; and the options available for explosive and SIL applications.

@ABBUKInst  #PAuto @ABBgroupnews

Only 1 in 20 have clear business case for IIoT.

Manufacturers are convinced the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) will help them improve operations and profitability by 10% or more, but most are struggling to develop the right plans to take advantage of the technology, according to a new IndustryWeek survey sponsored by Emerson.

The survey revealed that about 60% are exploring or investing in Industrial IoT pilot projects, but only 5% are investing against a clear business case for how to best implement the technology. The vast majority of Industrial IoT investment today is in the early stages of plan development and small-scale trials, often as part of a larger operational efficiency programme.

The survey found the biggest challenges for operational efficiency programmes are company culture (47%); lack of clear business strategy (41%); and knowing which technology will deliver measurable improvement (34%).

Infographic Industry Week
“Early Industrial IoT successes demonstrate that manufacturers can achieve operational improvements that significantly impact the bottom line, but this survey shows that adapting to advancing technology is a significant challenge,” said Mike Train, executive president of Emerson Automation Solutions. “The small percentage of companies that have already developed clear business plans for Industrial IoT are positioning themselves to realise tremendous competitive advantages. We encourage everyone else to consider two critical first steps: start small and invest in applications that enable a clear business case.”

Even with the challenges associated with Industrial IoT and operational excellence programmes, more than half (55%) of respondents indicated they see an opportunity for improved operations to enhance their business’ profitability by 10 percent or more. They cited automation (31%) and training and competency development (31%) as the biggest sources for return on investment.

Industrial IoT is well-suited for small-scale trial applications, such as monitoring equipment health or energy consumption within a facility. These smaller initial projects most often address clear business needs in a measurable way, while also giving manufacturers the opportunity to evaluate broader applications as they gain expertise. This approach was well-understood in the survey, with 61 percent saying the best business case is built by starting small, then scaling up.

For example, Denka Singapore built a business case around steam trap monitoring as a starting point for IoT-enablement of its Jurong Island polystyrene resins plant. Steam traps fail frequently, resulting in lost energy and higher costs. Rather than accept these losses, Denka worked with Emerson to install monitors to identify faulty traps. This small-scale IoT deployment – managed by Emerson via a subscription model that required no up-front investment by Denka – demonstrated returns in a matter of months with a 7 percent reduction in energy costs. It also served as a springboard for Denka to move to a more proactive approach to facility maintenance.

Emerson recently launched its expanded Plantweb™ digital ecosystem to support manufacturers as they seek to implement Industrial IoT and develop enterprise-wide business cases. The Plantweb portfolio includes asset health applications that provide quantifiable business results, as well as Plantweb Advisor software for facility-wide applications that can run on premise at a customer location, in a private company cloud network or through a third-party cloud services arrangement.

While IT departments have historically led in the implementation of new technologies, the survey found, when it comes to successful Industrial IoT implementation, operations, engineering and IT are all involved in most cases.

“Technology teams will be the first to tell you: Operations needs to be front and centre for technology plans designed to deliver operational improvements,” Train said. “Close collaboration between information technology and operations technology is key to successful implementation of Industrial IoT projects that meet clear business goals.”

In more and more cases, lack of in-house expertise on certain technologies or processes can be overcome by engaging the right technology partners. Industrial IoT and cloud services are enabling remote monitoring and management of an increasing number of facility functions by third parties with relevant expertise.

“When looking at cloud-based activities, there are certain functions such as running proprietary processes that should always remain the core function of our customers,” Train said. “However, there are other applications that can be securely monitored and managed over the Internet by third-party experts, which can result in significant savings.”

@EMR_Automation  #PAuto #IoT

Thursday 28 September 2017

Automation authors recognised!

The recipients of the 2017 author awards presented annually by ISA’s Publications Department have been announced..

“Each year, ISA is proud to recognize and thank all of the talented authors and contributors who help develop, review and deliver outstanding ISA publications and technical resources to automation and control professionals throughout the world,” says Rick Zabel, who as ISA Group Publisher manages all of ISA's publishing resources.

Winners are recognized for their editorial contributions to a wide range of ISA publications, including ISA books; InTech, ISA’s bi-monthly magazine for automation and control professionals; and ISA Transactions, ISA’s bi-monthly professional journaldedicated to the science and engineering of measurement and automation.

Winners will be honored at an awards ceremony held on 30th October during the ISA’s 2017 Fall Leaders Meeting in Tampa (FL USA).


The Keith Otto Award
Martin Berutti, Mynah
The Keith Otto Awardrecognizes the author or authors of the best article in InTech magazine. The award category was established in honor of Keith Otto, an ISA member who served the Society for many years, particularly as the Chair of the InTech Editorial Advisory Board.
The recipient of this year’s Keith Otto Award is Martin Berutti, for his article, Process Automation: Improving plant operations with life-cycle dynamic simulation,which was published in the January/February 2016 issue. Berutti is the president and COO of MYNAH Technologies LLC, (recently acquired by Emerson).

The Nels Tyring Award
The Nels Tyring Award recognizes the author or authors of the best published article in one of the Society’s journals. The award category was established in honor of Nels Tyring, an ISA member who served the Society for many years, particularly as the Chair of the Journals Editorial Advisory and Oversight Committee.
The recipient of this year’s Nels Tyring Award is Mark Coughran for his Special Section article, “Know when to look outside the PID tuning,” published in the July/August 2016 issue of InTech. Coughran is a Senior Process Control Consultant at Emerson Process Management.

InTech is the ISA magazine (distributed free to members), which provides thought-provoking and authoritative coverage of automation technologies, applications, and strategies to enhance automation professionals' on-the-job success.

The Raymond D. Molloy Award
Best seller!
The Raymond D. Molloy Award is presented annually in honor of Raymond D. Molloy’s contributions to the automation profession. Molloy was dedicated to the ISA publications program for more than 20 years, maintaining a keen interest in developing high-quality publications that met the needs of measurement and control professionals.
This year’s award recipient is Bill Battikha for his book, The Condensed Handbook of Measurement and Control, Third Edition (Fourth edition now on sale.), which outsold all other ISA books published in 2016. Battikha is a registered professional engineer with more than 30 years of experience in the field of process instrumentation and control.

ISA Transactions Best Paper Award
ISA Transactions Best Paper Award recognizes the best technical paper published in ISA Transactions, the ISA professional journal dedicated to the science and engineering of measurement and automation, during the previous year.
The recipients of the ISA Transactions Best Paper Award are Marcin Mrugalski, Marcel Luzar, Marcin Pazera, Marcin Witczak and Christophe Aubrun. The review committee recognized their paper, “Neural network-based robust actuator fault diagnosis for a non-linear multi-tank system,” published in ISA Transactions, Vol. 61, Issue 1, pages 318-328, March 2016.
ISA Transactions
Mrugalski has served as an assistant professor of automatic control and robotics at the Institute of Control and Computation Engineering, University of Zielona Góra in Poland, since 2004.
Luzar serves as a University Assistant at the Institute of Control and Computational Engineering, University of University of Zielona Góra.
Pazera is a doctoral student at the Institute of Control and Computational Engineering, University of University of Zielona Góra.
Witczak has served as an associate professor of automatic control and robotics at the Institute of Control and Computation Engineering, University of Zielona Góra, since 2008.
Aubrun has served as a full professor at the University Henri Poincaré (Nancy1) in Nancy, France, since 2003. He teaches automatic control.

By showcasing advances that bridge the theory and practice gap, ISA Transactions plays an important role in enhancing the visibility and reputation of automation and control professionals. ISA members have free online access to ISA Transactions. Non-ISA members can learn more about the journal by clicking here.

#PAuto #ISAuto

No more fumbling in the dark!

CompactPCI Serial Diagnostic Board with Front Display

The G233 is a 3U CompactPCI serial card from Men Mikro Elektronik, with a 3.12" OLED display on the front, which enables the immediate display of diagnostics status and error messages. The card is connected via a backplane Ethernet interface to a web server on the main CPU. The I/O card provides an easy-to-use, interactive diagnostic interface that helps maintenance personnel during troubleshooting, or performing routine service checks.

The displayed data is controlled by HTML files. Two control buttons at the front panel can be used for user interactions, such as scrolling or setup. In addition, eight programmable LEDs are available for user-defined functions. Thus, any status or fault message visible to the main CPU can be sent to the G233 and shown on the display or represented by the LEDs.

The G233 is designed for use in harsh and mobile environments with an operating temperature of -40 to +85°C, and is coated to protect against external influences.

@MEN_Germany #PAuto 

New premises in Lyon.

Endress+Hauser has invested €4.9 million in a new building in Lyon (F). As well as 25 sales and service employees from Endress+Hauser, nine employees from the European headquarters of Kaiser Optical Systems will move into the new facility.
LtoR: Bruno Lenain (MD Kaiser Optical Systems Europe), Laurent Mulley (MD Endress+Hauser France), Gilles Gascon (Mayor of Saint-Priest), Klaus Endress (Supervisory Board President of the Endress+Hauser Group), Matthias Altendorf (CEO Endress+Hauser Group), Tim Harrison (CEO Optical Systems) and Serge Cheynel (Director, Regional Sales, Endress+Hauser France).
“The new building offers modern offices for our employees and abundant space for customer training,” says Laurent Mulley, Managing Director of Endress+Hauser France, who is delighted with the new facility. “At the same time we are bringing together Endress+Hauser's process control technology and the advanced analysis processes of Kaiser Optical Systems under a single roof. We are thus laying a foundation that will allow us to strengthen our presence in the French market over the long term,” added Laurent Mulley during the dedication ceremony that was attended by customers, as well as guests from business and government.

Close collaboration
“One of the cornerstones of our strategy is to one day support our customers' lab and process control applications,” explained Matthias Altendorf, CEO of the Endress+Hauser Group. “Having Endress+Hauser and Kaiser Optical Systems in proximity in Lyon illustrates the progress we are making in carrying out this strategy.” Expanding the business in the area of process control and laboratory analysis reflects the wishes of many customers for enhanced quality parameter measurements.
The new energy-efficient office building is located near Lyon–Bron airport, in one of the fastest-growing business regions in France. The building houses 1,500 square meters of office space, warehouse facilities, a training center and a presentation room for customer training. With a total of around 7,000 square meters of space, the campus offers sufficient room to grow the location further.

Synergies for optimal customer management
The primary beneficiaries of the collaboration between Endress+Hauser and Kaiser Optical Systems are customers in the life sciences, chemical, water & wastewater, food & beverage and oil & gas industries. American-based Kaiser Optical Systems was acquired by Endress+Hauser in 2013. The company's Raman spectroscopy analyzers are designed for examining the composition and properties of liquid, gas and solid materials.

@Endress_Hauser  #PAuto #France @Endress_FR

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Connect to CIP Safety .

The IXXAT Safe T100 safety module from HMS now supports the CIP Safety protocol according to CIP Volume 5 V2.14. Previously available for PROFIsafe, the new IXXAT Safe T100/CS, enables easy, module-based implementation of secure IOs for CIP Safety.

IXXAT Safe T100 is an all-in-one safety solution allowing users to implement configurable, safe inputs and outputs in applications up to SIL 3 and PLe Cat.4. The Safe T100 module is integrated into an industrial device used together with the Anybus CompactCom multi-network communication products. CompactCom handles communication between the host device and an industrial network (such as PROFINET or EtherNet/IP), while the Safe T100 handles the safe signals.

By using the new IXXAT SafeT100/CS, users can implement safety standards faster and easier compared to in-house development.

The new IXXAT Safe T100/CS
The module has three inputs (dual-channel) – with a detection functionality for external cabling errors – as well as one output (also dual-channel). All inputs and outputs operate with 24 V signals.

The IXXAT Safe T100 can be used to, for example, implement a safe emergency stop function for drives or process controls (within applications for welding, gluing, riveting, etc.). Hereby, the end user gets a device which handles secure and non-secure communication via one single communication interface. This simplifies both the configuration and the development of the entire system.

Pre-certified and conformance tested
The combination of IXXAT Safe T100 safety hardware and software as well as the pre-certification by TÜV Rheinland makes the development of secure devices and systems faster and easier resulting in reduced development time, costs and risks. The CIP Volume 5 compliance of the IXXAT Safe T100 has been tested and confirmed in the ODVA test laboratory.

Modular concept for CIP Safety and PROFIsafe
The CIP Safety version of the module (IXXAT Safe T100/CS) is used together with the well-known Anybus CompactCom products from HMS. CompactCom handles the communication with the non-secure EtherNet/IP network and the secure communication is handled by Safe T100 according to the "black-channel" principle. Switching between the two supported protocols (CIP Safety and PROFIsafe) can be done on the same IXXAT Safe T100 hardware using the firmware upload option.

All modifications of the EtherNet/IP layer – necessary for CIP Safety operation – are already implemented within the Anybus CompactCom module, like e.g. control of the network and status LEDs, transmission of the secure configuration data, and more.

As an additional safety feature, the interface between the Anybus CompactCom module and the IXXAT Safe T100/CS is galvanically isolated.

Other internal safety features include integrated temperature monitoring and switch-off to a safe state, channel-based error signaling and error handling as well as optional automatic or manual reset of channel errors.

The IXXAT Safe T100 stores the configuration data within a non-volatile memory, which results in very short start-up times. The module also supports a manual and DHCP-based IP address setting.

Customized implementation or OEM solutions
Thanks to the comprehensive implementation guidelines and user, the module can be implemented by the device manufacturers themselves. However, HMS also supports customers with implementation, porting and certification services. As an alternative, parts of the development or the entire project can be performed by the HMS Safety Development Team on behalf of the customer.
For specific requirements regarding form factor, plugs or number of IOs, customer-specific versions of the IXXAT Safe T100 can also be customized by HMS.

IXXAT Safe is more...
For applications where the integration of the IXXAT Safe T100 is not possible (e.g. due to limited space within safety decoders or a limited flexibility due to already existing safety hardware) HMS also offers pre-certified protocol stacks for Functional Safety over EtherCAT (FSoE), CIP Safety over EtherNet/IP and CIP Safety over Sercos.

@HMSIxxat #PAuto

Sliding frame connector.

Harting’s new Han-Modular® Sliding Frame is a docking connector designed for use with motor control centres that incorporates a test position in addition to the normal mated and unmated positions.

Up to now, docking connectors have only featured the “plugged in” and “not plugged in” states. The Han-Modular® Sliding Frame now allows three different plug-in states using to achieve a mechanically simple solution to ensure easy and safe assembly.

In the unplugged position, the signal connector and the power connector are both unplugged, and the drawer is not in the switch cabinet. In the testing position, the drawer is pushed into the switch cabinet and the signal connector is mated in the sliding frame. Between both sides of the power connector, which is located next to the signal connector, a distance of about 35 mm remains so that there is no “live” power transmission. The system is in a safe state and can be checked via the inserted signal connector.

After the test has been performed, the drawer - including the power connector - is pushed completely into the working position inside the switch cabinet. Here, the signal connector in the Han-Modular® Sliding Frame moves in the direction of the cabinet’s rear panel along with the drawer – until the power connector is also in the working position. The system can now safely be put into operation.

Using this type of docking connector with an integrated test position facilitates the cost-effective mechanical design of drawer systems for applications in motor control centres. It also offers a high degree of flexibility in the electrical design due to the wide range of options offered by the Han-Modular® series with over 100 different connector modules.

Bus systems such as Profibus or Ethernet can also be easily integrated or retrofitted.

@Harting #PAuto

IR temperature sensor with IO-Link.

Balluff has developed a new BTS infrared temperature sensor with IO-Link interface and two switching outputs. It can monitor temperatures between 250 and 1250 °C even in inaccessible or hazardous areas, detect hot objects in motion and record temperature values - all without contact.

This pyrometer in the rugged M30 stainless steel housing with IP67 protection is the first in this form factor to offer a multi-function display with plain text information and automatic display orientation like with a smartphone.

In addition to two switching outputs this pyrometer provides an IO-Link interface for remote parameter setting and direct data exchange with the controller or control panel. An analog 4...20 mA output is available as an option.

A variety of setting possibilities and functions open up a wide range of applications for the user. Steelworks, foundries, forging, the ceramics industry and glassworks are perfect examples of applications.

@Balluff @BalluffSensors #PAuto 

Modular safety system (SIL3).

Following its recent certification as Ireland’s first and only Siemens Factory Safety Specialist, (see our story "Unique recognition in Ireland" May 2017), Douglas Control and Automation are showcasing the Siemens safety PLC range.

Safety PLC (CPU 1512SP F-1 PN) fully modular safety 
system delivered by Douglas Control and Automation.
There are Fail-safe controllers in all the Siemens PLC ranges that provide flexibility and compatibility with existing installations. These are capable of complying with safety standards, IEC 62061 up to SIL 3 and EN ISO 13849-1 up to PL e.

Siemens Fail-Safe PLC models
The S7-300F and S7-400F are programmed with Distributed Safety on the SIMATIC Manager platform. The latest S7-1200F, S7-1500F and ET200F CPUs are programmed with Step7 Safety integrated in the TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) environment.

Douglas provides full functional safety design, configuration and testing services for both the Process and Machine sectors. Engineers certified by TÜV as Functional Safety Professionals (FSP) in accordance with both IEC 61511 (Process) and IEC 620161/ISO13849 (Machinery) can deliver proven solutions from the simplest emergency stop system using safety relays to fully integrated safety PLC systems.

@DouglasControl  #PAuto #Safety @siemensindustry 

Gas leak detectors.

Ashtead Technology has been appointed as the preferred distributor and rental partner for the GES Gas-Tec (Mk4 & Mk5) FID Hydrocarbon Gas Detectors.

We are delighted with this partnership agreement,” says Matthew Herrick, General Manager at GES. “Ashtead Technology selects the best products for its instrumentation fleet and has a reputation for the highest levels of service, so we believe that Ashtead is the ideal company to sell and rent the Gas-Tec products.”

Incorporating an FID, the Gas-Tec instruments respond to almost all volatile hydrocarbons which makes them ideal for leak detection including natural gas surveys, landfill surveys, contaminated land, environmental surveys and methane sniffing.

Lightweight, rugged and portable, the Mk5 has an internal battery that will run for 22 hours from a single charge, and the unit’s small 400ml hydrogen bottle is sufficient for 45 hours of operation. With the ability to log 21 million entries over a 700 day period combined with satellite GPS, the Mk5 is able to automatically assign latitude, longitude and sea level to all data readings enabling the user to pinpoint any areas requiring further investigation – in addition to demonstrating traceability, confirming that the survey has been conducted.

“The Mk5 is the latest in a line of FIDs that have dominated the market for many years,” comments Ashtead Technology’s Josh Thomas. “By incorporating GPS and datalogging, results are automatically linked with the monitoring location when they are transferred to a PC and viewed in Google Maps. Both versions are available for purchase, but renting would be the better solution for anyone with an occasional or project-specific requirement for methane or VOC monitoring. This is because the instruments are easy to use and delivered pre-calibrated, so they can be deployed immediately after delivery.

“The addition of the Gas-Tec FID range to our product portfolio is yet another example of our determination to offer customers a flexible choice of technologies and financial packages to meet their specific needs.”

EMI in fieldbusses.

Electromagnetic compatibility specialist EMC Standards invites bookings to a one-day training course about maintaining PROFIBUS and PROFINET reliability in modern industrial environments. The event is scheduled for the offices of Endress + Hauser in Manchester (GB) on November 22, 2017 and is targeted at installers, systems integrators and the wider industrial datacomms community.

The training course will be delivered by global EMC expert Keith Armstrong, of EMC Standards, and by PROFIBUS and PROFINET expert Peter Thomas, of Control Specialists Ltd.

The topics covered include an introduction to electromagnetic interference (EMI) problems in PROFIBUS, PROFINET and similar fieldbus applications, followed by detailed practical EMI-reduction guidance on power distribution systems, galvanic isolation, cable routing, EM zoning, RF bonding, cable shielding, filtering, enclosure shielding and surge/lightning protection.

"Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is becoming a major problem in modern industrial environments," explains Keith Armstrong. "This is due to the increased use of high-efficiency switching power conversion in DC power supplies, motor drives, HVAC and lighting.

"As we increase the use of automation in sectors such as automotive, food and beverage, packaging and pharmaceuticals, we need to ensure that Fieldbusses such as PROFIBUS and PROFINET continue to operate reliably. This course provides practical techniques for installers, systems integrators and anyone in the wider industrial datacomms community to deal with EMI."

A digital copy of the course material will be provided, and participants will also be able to take away specialist guides developed in collaboration with power quality specialist REO UK, including Good EMC Engineering Practices for Panel Builders, Good EMC Engineering Practices in the Installation of Power Drive Systems and Good EMC Engineering Practices for Fixed Installations.

Click button for registration details:

 @emcstandards #PAuto @Endress_Hauser @control_spec #Britain

Tuesday 26 September 2017

3GHz coaxial contact.

Lemo has launched a new 3GHz coaxial contact (75 ohm) designed for RG 179 B/U type cable, that can be used in various insulator types, providing an alternative solution to HD – BNC in the broadcast market (HDTV, 4K, 8K).

This coaxial contact can be used in various insulator configurations: 3 x coaxial, 4x coaxial, 10 x coaxial, as well as in combinations of coaxial and low voltage signal contacts.

Finally, these new contacts can be built into watertight connectors (IP 68) such as the LEMO Push-Pull connectors of the K, T or even W series.

#Lemo #Pauto

3-wire differential speed sensor IC.

Allegro MicroSystems has announced a new optimised Hall-effect three-wire differential speed sensor integrated circuit (IC) and permanent magnet pellet combination.

Their ATS668 has integrated EMC protection components to provide a user-friendly solution for true zero-speed digital gear tooth sensing. It is offered in a small single over-mould package that can be easily assembled and used in conjunction with a wide variety of gear tooth sensing applications. The ATS668 is designed for automotive transmission systems making it ideal for non-automotive applications such as recreational vehicles, industrial equipment, white goods, and exercise equipment.

The device incorporates a dual element Hall IC that switches in response to differential magnetic signals created by a ferromagnetic target. The IC contains a sophisticated compensating circuit designed to eliminate the detrimental effects of magnet and system offsets. Digital processing of the analogue signal provides zero-speed performance independent of air gap and dynamic adaptation of device performance to the typical operating conditions found in automotive applications (i.e. vibration and runout). High-resolution peak detecting DACs are used to set the adaptive switching thresholds of the device. Hysteresis in the thresholds reduces the negative effects of any anomalies in the magnetic signal associated with system or target anomalies typically seen in many automotive applications.

The fully integrated package and industry proven algorithm performance makes the ATS668LSM an ideal solution for a wide range of speed sensing needs. This device is available in a lead (Pb) free 3-pin SIP package (SM) with matt-tin leadframe plating.

@allegromicro #PAuto

Higher exit power by combining several multimode lasers.

Laser Components has extended its product range with fibre optic pump combiners by Lightel. With these passive components, pump signals of up to 36 laser sources can be bundled to achieve higher exit powers in high-energy fiber lasers.

This special air-clad technology from Lightel allows power input coupling with efficiencies of 90% or higher. Depending on the application, these combiners can be delivered with various fibre types and combinations, as well as polarisation-maintaining configurations.

This technology is not only used in fiber lasers but also in erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFA).

@LaserComponents #PAuto 

Monday 25 September 2017

MP visits scottish instrument company.

Edinburgh Instruments welcomed Hannah Bardell, their local MP at Westminster (GB), and the SNP spokesperson for Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation recently. This was a follow up visit after their office expansion in 2015.

Dr Fenske, Chief Executive Officer of Edinburgh Instruments said, “It was a pleasure to welcome our local MP, Hannah Bardell at Edinburgh Instruments again. We look forward to work around stimulating business growth and economic activity in the area, generating more jobs and employment in the next few years.” .

The new building now houses two of Edinburgh Instruments’ sister companies – Techcomp Research & Engineering Centre (TREC) and SCION Instruments, a leading supplier of Gas Chromatography instrumentation. As planned, the company expansion has led to the creation of over 20 new jobs and further employment growth is planned for the next two years.

Building on the success of the Techcomp Group, Edinburgh Instruments launched the new FLS1000 Photoluminescence Spectrometer in April 2017. A spokesman told Read-out, "We were delighted to showcase to Hannah Bardell our continuing commitment to satisfy the most demanding needs of the scientific market."

Since its launch, the first installation of the instrument took place at the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF) in Liverpool. Dr Alexander Ciupa, a Technical Officer at MIF said, “We are delighted with the new FLS1000 spectrometer and the support we’ve received from the Operations team at Edinburgh Instruments”.

The MP made a short video following her visit! 

 @Edinst #PAuto @HannahB4LiviMP

80 GHz – Allrounder or Overrated?

A webinar "80 GHz – Allrounder or Overrated? Radar level measurement: a practical comparison” is being presented by Krohne on October 18, 2017 at 4PM (CEST). It will present a general overview about the current situation with 80 GHz transmitters as there have been many statements and articles circulating on this topic lately.

Click for information & free registration 
After a brief introduction, this hands-on webinar will show the differences and characteristics of radar frequencies (6, 10, 24 and 80 GHz), and a detailed comparison of a 24 GHz and 80 GHz radar transmitter. This is followed by typical areas of applications for the different radar devices.

Date and Time for international participants: October 18th, 2017
• Berlin: 4PM (CEST)
• Dublin: 3PM (IST - same as London)
• New York: 10AM (EDT)

The presenter will be Lucas Bellotti, Project Manager Radar Portfolio, who has been with for Krohne since 2007, initially as a local Product Promoter and later as International Product Manager Level for Europe South, Britain and Balkans area.

@krohnegroup #PAuto 

Friday 22 September 2017

Moisture management manufacturer acquired.

The IMKO Micromodultechnik GmbH, a manufacturer of innovative moisture measurement systems has been acquired by the Endress+Hauser Group. IMKO’s headquarters are  remain in Ettlingen (D), and the company’s 19 employees have been retained.

SONO Moisture probes
“The area of moisture measurement developed by IMKO further enhances our existing offering for process instrumentation with an additional key quality parameter,” says Dr Andreas Mayr, Managing Director of Endress+Hauser GmbH+Co KG, whose portfolio will be complemented by the new company. “Additionally, the technology that IMKO employs is very similar to technologies we use for level measurement.”

Innovative technology
The IMKO systems measure moisture with time domain reflectrometry (TDR), a technology based on the time of flight of reflected radar waves. This provides information regarding the dielectric constant of a material which in turn relates directly to the material’s moisture. “This innovative technology offers major advantages over other technologies,” emphasizes Andreas Mayr. “The measurement is not influenced by the material’s conductivity. IMKO’s systems are precise, reliable and cost-efficient.”

Today, IMKO’s systems are used to measure moisture in buildings and soil, for environmental monitoring and also in process engineering applications for the food & beverage, chemical and life sciences industries. “With this acquisition, we are pursuing our strategy to support customers in future from the laboratory to the process,” says Andreas Mayr, who is also responsible for Technology and Marketing within the Executive Board of the Endress+Hauser Group.

Long-term perspective
IMKO was founded in 1984 by Kurt Köhler. The 67-year-old innovator was looking to place his company in capable hands to ensure its continued success. “Endress+Hauser is in a position to address new customer segments for our products and open up international markets. As a family-owned company, Endress+Hauser furthermore represents the same values that mark the corporate culture at IMKO.”

@Endress_Hauser  #PAuto

Connectivity solution wins security certification. @ewonrouters #PAuto @isecom #Security

The remote connectivity solution, eWON Talk2M, from HMS Industrial Networks, is now ISECOM STAR security certified.

The eWON Talk2M remote connectivity service is a key element in the eWON remote solutions from HMS Industrial Networks. Talk2M offers users a secure remote connection to industrial equipment via eWON industrial routers. Accordingly, Talk2M is regularly tested by independent companies to maintain a high security level in today’s fast-evolving technology environment.

HMS now announces that Talk2M has become ISECOM STAR certified after passing an assessment performed by the company admeritia GmbH, a vendor-independent German cybersecurity company specialized in IT Security assessment (ethical hacking) and KPI-based security measurement. The assessment was done through an OSSTMM 3.0 and OWASP audit process which included penetration tests of Talk2M targeting the cloud based infrastructure.

eWON solutions Security Manager Geoffrey Gobert comments: “The assessment was performed through a number of tests from the perspective of a malicious actor, and we got a snapshot of the overall security posture of the eWON Talk2M remote connectivity service. We are very satisfied to have successfully passed the ISECOM STAR security certification, and are committed to continue with regular security assessments to ensure that we provide secure connectivity for our customers. We always aim to identify any technical risk can translate into business risk.”

 @ewonrouters #PAuto @isecom #Security

Cloud based SHM packages!

HBM has announced its capabilities of offering complete customised, end to end cloud-based structural health monitoring (SHM) packages. The packages include all associated hardware, software, installation, and monitoring requirements, along with cloud-based data access for each customer.

Listed as one of the top 5 key players in the structural health monitoring market for North America and Europe, in a report published by the world’s largest market research store, ‘Research and Markets’, HBM offers cloud-based SHM packages which ensures around the clock wireless access to data relevant to the structural health of transport infrastructures such as bridges and tunnels. All transport structures can experience wear due to a number of factors including deterioration, incorrect construction processes, lack of quality control, accidents or even the environmental load. Observing, recording, processing and then evaluating measurements recorded via HBM’s SHM solution can detect structural changes, damage and critical stress conditions at an early stage. Early detection allows the customer to react in a proper way thereby guaranteeing the functional capability and continued safe operations of these structures before any serious damage is caused.

Customized packages include sensors, measuring amplifiers, the data acquisition software, data transmission and analysis reports. This complete package of consulting, delivery and project management, installation and integration, maintenance and operation of the measuring system, as well as the provision of information, is indispensible to ensuring the successful use of a structural health monitoring system. HBM’s expertise in the test and measurement industry naturally complements their new SHM package, allowing users to freely select technologies that best fit their respective measurement tasks.

All data collected is available wirelessly to customers accessed via the HBM Cloud. Depending on the project and customer requirements, information like dynamic variables such as natural frequencies, attenuation levels or traffic loads, axle loads, as well as static parameters such as misalignment, change in deflection, stresses and limit values are all recorded and stored. Cloud storage eliminates the need for a dedicated server for data collection and analysis. Furthermore through the use of Microsoft Azure, HBM’s cloud partner, the highest security is ensured.

Measurement data alone is not sufficient in today’s market. Data transmission, automatic alarms and analysis, comprehensive logs as well as remote diagnostics and control are indispensible for operating monitoring systems. Whether it is a complex company network or a stand-alone solution, HBM is able to provide a customised SHM package, designed to suit individual customer requirements.

@HBMmeasurement #Safety

Radar level instrument.

The 80 GHz Micropilot FMR6x free space radar level instrument for process applications has been introduced Endress+Hauser. It is suitable for use in tanks or silos with complex geometries, obstacles, baffles and/or nozzles. Its small beam angle of only 3 degrees provides level measurement at distances up to 410 feet with accuracy to ±1mm. Outputs include 4-20mA with HART and an optional open collector switch output or two 4-20mA outputs.

The Micropilot FMR6x 80 GHz device features reduced tank wall effects, less interference from obstacles, and the ability to measure lower dielectric media. The FMR6x’s process connection, as small as 3/4 inch, allows for installation in tanks with small process connections, in tall nozzles, and through ball valves. The instrument’s antenna is designed to resist sticky buildup and condensation. Built-in mapping performs false echo suppression, easing commissioning.

Developed in accordance with IEC 61508 and with international XP approvals, the FMR6x is suitable for use in SIL 2 and SIL 3 hazardous locations. Additionally, the FMR6x utilizes Heartbeat Technology for on demand verification without process interruption, Heartbeat SIL proof test complete with a proof test report, and Heartbeat Monitoring with fast and easy wizards for foam or buildup detection.

If problems occur, the instrument provides standardized diagnostic messages developed according to NE 107 with clear instructions for action. Optionally, Heartbeat Technology can generate a verification protocol providing a report that may be required for compliance with regulations, laws and standards.

The FMR6x has an integrated HistoROM® data memory and management modules to enable fast and easy commissioning, maintenance and diagnostics. Intuitive, menu-guided operating wizards at the instrument—via free DeviceCare or FTD compliant software, or remotely at the control system—reduce setup and field maintenance costs.

The FMR6x is part of the FMR family of free space radar level sensors ranging from 1 GHz to 80 GHz, all with Heartbeat Technology and HistoROM data memory.

@Endress_Hauser #PAuto

Inspiring more females into the industry.

SolutionsPT hosted local primary and secondary school pupils at their Cheadle (GB) HQ, as part of a ‘Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) for Girls’ day, designed to encourage more girls to pursue STEM subjects and careers.

A picture of concentration
Twenty girls from Years 4 to 10 from local schools, including Marple Hall, St Mary’s and Bradshaw Hall Primary, took part in a series of fun challenges, using engineering concepts to build freestanding structures and even designing and building their own Batak machines which they later competed on.

The girls were introduced to female engineers working at SolutionsPT and shown the types of careers and salaries they could pursue with STEM qualifications. The pupils were also introduced to concepts such as cloud computing and control system architectures.

SolutionsPT plans to run further STEM days with local schools and colleges throughout the year.

Sue Roche, General Manager at SolutionsPT, said: “Engineering and technology plays a vital role in our economy and there’s increasing demand for highly skilled STEM candidates. Despite this, only 2% of A levels last year were in subjects such as Computing or ICT. This figure is even lower amongst girls and there remains a view that engineering and technology roles are only for boys. We want to challenge this outdated view and show girls the range of interesting, well paid and fulfilling careers they could have access to if they pursue STEM subjects.”

@SolutionsPT  #PAuto #STEM

Capturing and transmitting process automation knowledge.

The retirement of experienced engineers has long been of concern across the industrial sectors as companies have tried to find effective ways to capture and transmit vital knowledge to new generations of automation professionals.

The work of the ISA106 standards committee, Procedure Automation for Continuous Process Operations, is intended to provide a framework for building some of that knowledge into automated procedures. This is especially important for such plant procedures as startup, shutdown, product grade change and the like – as studies have shown that plants are particularly vulnerable to safety incidents caused by inexperienced operators performing unfamiliar manual functions during such key operations. This and all other ISA standards are available for download here- ISA Standards: Numerical Order.

ISA106 has completed a new technical report that describes work processes involved with automating procedures that monitor and control continuous processes. ISA-TR106.00.02-2017, Procedure Automation for Continuous Process Operations – Work Processes, applies to new process facilities as well as to control upgrades to existing facilities.

The technical report is not intended to instruct organizations on how to identify and justify projects or to provide the details of work processes, but rather to set forth a generic set of work processes that provides guidance for procedure automation project execution phases.

“The work processes used by end users are critical for the successful completion of capital projects and projects funded out of operating expenses,” points out Dave Emerson of Yokogawa, who serves as ISA106 editor. “The new technical report provides a guide to how end users’ work processes can be designed to account for the automation of continuous process operations.

“The report reflects the combined knowledge and foresight of engineers from many different end users, automation suppliers, and consultants. That knowledge can and should be used by owner-operators to improve their own work processes, by automation suppliers to improve products and services, and by consultants to help improve end users and automation suppliers to make the process industries safer and more efficient.”

To date, ISA106 has focused on the current state of the continuous process industries. The committee will now begin work on a requirements-based standard that will draw on the information developed it its earlier work.

•  One of the many benefits of ISA membership is free viewing of most ISA standards. Visit the Member Access to ISA Standards page for more information.

 #ISAuto #PAuto

Thursday 21 September 2017

Distribution blocks: Simply unpack, connect, and you're done!

The new PTFIX distribution blocks from Phoenix Contact can be used straight away without manual bridging, enabling space savings of up to 80%.

The 1.5 mm² and 2.5 mm² distribution blocks are available with various numbers of positions and can be arranged in series without loss of pitch, and they can be flexibly extended as needed.

The distribution blocks are also available with DIN-rail, direct or adhesive mounting, allowing you to flexibly build any application. Pre-treated or rigid conductors are connected quickly with the tool-free push-in direct connection technology. Transverse installation on the DIN rail and the compact design achieves space savings of up to 50%.

Distribution and power blocks with 6, 12, and 18 terminal points are available in eleven colours for clear, intuitive, and safe installation. The marking of all terminal points ensures a very clear wiring layout. The PTFIX distribution blocks therefore ensure flexible and cost-effective load and control current distribution.

@PhoenixContact #PAuto

Miniature Sensors for force, displacement, pressure, strain and acceleration.

The Micro-Measurements® brand of Vishay Precision Group, industry experts in the design, development, and manufacture of resistive-foil sensors for high-precision strain measurements, has introduced a new range of miniature, lightweight hybrid sensors, offering cost-effective force, displacement, pressure, strain and acceleration measurements within high-volume OEM and test applications.

Design of the new Micro-Measurements hybrid sensor range incorporates the brand’s own renowned precision foil strain gages, adhesively bonded to flat substrates, constructed of either metal, composite, or polymer. Hybrid sensors are manufactured by VPG using the same high-volume production equipment as those used to create its precision strain gages. The result is a cost-effective family of strain-gage based hybrid sensors with consistent batch-to-batch performance characteristics. Customers may further incorporate an optional miniature signal amplifier, as either a stand-alone component or attached to the sensor. Hybrid sensors may be attached via mounting holes with choice of screws, spot welding, or clamping, thereby eliminating adhesive bonding requirements. The hybrid sensors are further optionally available with pre-attached lead wires and connectors, for simplified customer handling without soldering requirements.

New hybrid sensors can effectively support a variety of high-volume OEM consumer product, process control, automotive testing, non-critical medical device, educational research, and industrial requirements. Typical consumer product applications include appliances, sporting equipment, hand tools, and lawn and garden equipment. Process control applications include HVAC, liquid-level sensing, motor control, and vibration monitoring. Automotive testing applications include passenger weighing, foot-pedal pressure, seatbelt tension, emergency braking, suspension control, and engine monitoring. Medical applications include pumps, respirators, and other non-critical devices. Industrial applications include elevators, tank monitoring, bearing insertion, safety systems, gas and liquid cylinder pressures, and load monitoring.

@Strain_Gage @VishayIndust #PAuto 

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Motion controller ideal for robots.

Aerotech’s HEX RC is a 6-axis motion controller ideal for controlling robotic systems like hexapods. The HEX RC is 4U rack-mountable and compatible with the Automation 3200 (A3200) motion platform.
  • - 4U high, rack-mount, six-axis controller for brush, brushless, and stepper motors
  • - Ideal for controlling six-axis robotic systems like hexapods
  • - Real-time A3200 distributed control architecture allows synchronized motion on up to 32 axes
  • - FireWire® or ASCII command interface via TCP/IP
  • - Program in native RS-274 G-code, AeroBasic command set, C, C++/CLI, .NET, MATLAB®, or LabVIEW® for the ultimate in programming flexibility
A high-performance processor provides the intense computing power needed to run up to 32 axes, perform complex, synchronized motion trajectories, manipulate I/O, and collect data at high speeds.

Powerful Control Architecture
The HEX RC features 6-axes of drives capable of controlling any combination of brush, brushless, or stepper motors. It digitally performs both current loop and servo loop closures to ensure the highest level of positioning accuracy and performance. The HEX RC connects and controls up to 26 additional axes of servo, stepper, or piezo-driven stages using the A3200 distributed control architecture.

Interface and Design Options
The HEX RC is designed with an ASCII command interface over TCP/IP for control in applications such as beamlines. Alternatively, it can act as a master controller to control other A3200 external drives via the FireWire® interface.

The HEX RC accepts amplified-sine or digital encoders. Optional integrated encoder multipliers, up to X4096, ensure high-resolution positioning.

An optional 6-axis jog pendant permits easy, manual control of the positioning system. In safety critical applications, an emergency stop option with redundant safety relays can be added.

Flexible Programming Environment
Aerotech’s A3200 focuses on ease of use for the programmer, shortens development time compared with other tools, and provides the flexibility to use the tools or controller most familiar to programmers. A complete Integrated Development Environment and a comprehensive .NET motion library provide classes for motion, I/O, status, and diagnostic information. You can program in Visual Studio and use the .NET library, or use the Motion Composer (IDE) to develop code with AeroBasic™ commands or G code. A LabVIEW® VI library is available for NI users, while a complete C library is available for those using Visual Basic, C++, or C.

@aerotechmotion #PAuto 

Safe switching for surgical equipment.

Herga Technology is supplying 6448 bellows footswitch and 6763 airswitches to Cipher Surgical Ltd for its OpClear® laparoscope lens cleaning system. The innovative medical device delivers saline and CO2 via a disposable sheath procedure kit to maintain continuous and intraoperative clear vision for keyhole surgery.

Laparoscopy involves examination and surgical procedures within the abdominal and pelvic areas of the body. A form of keyhole surgery, the practise uses a hand held laparoscope, or endoscope, to allow the surgeon to macroscopically view the area to be treated, and given the correct conditions offers substantial benefits of time, safety and patient wellbeing over open surgery techniques. The laparoscope is a tubular instrument that integrates a powerful camera and lens system with lighting to provide a very high definition viewing area.

Inevitably during use, the instrument’s visibility is impaired by various debris and condensation gathering at the distal optical face and until now removal and external cleaning has been the usual method to combat this situation. It is reported that an average operation requires 13 removals as well as significant time spent with sub optimal vision, which prolong operation timescales and increased cost as well as potentially impairing patient comfort and safety.

However, the innovative OpClear system significantly mitigates the need for removal by dispensing saline to wash the lens face and CO2 to clear debris. This is achieved by Cipher Surgical’s advanced control system delivering the cleaning mediums through a special disposable sheath that clips on the laparoscope. The Herga bellows footswitch is simply tapped by the surgeon when cleaning is required.

Cipher Surgical are based at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Venture Centre (GB) and through investment funding began development of the OpClear in 2010 after proof of principle was established through its close links with the university. Now in its second generation to allow use with more types of laparoscopes, the patented system is cleared for sale in Europe and selected markets. ISO 13485 accredited manufacturing is outsourced within Britain.

Air actuation for such instruments is well proven in the medical equipment field, providing intrinsic safety and high durability in the operating theatre environment. Herga is well versed in medical applications with product technologies covering air, electrical and wireless switching – many with UL and IEC 60601 medical approvals. The Herga 6448 bellows footswitch is a robust design that finds applications across medical as well as demanding industrial markets. The low profile footswitch includes a flexible polymer bellows with a rigid polymer baseplate and is supplied with an optional base for convenient mounting. The 6763 PCB mounting airswitch is aimed at low pressure momentary action switching and features a silicon diaphragm and a choice of back or side tube entry positions. For the OpClear version UL 508 approval is included to comply with North American and global standards for such equipment.

Herga has worked closely with Cipher Surgical through the various stages of development and is proud have supported the company to its present level of success and looks forward to many years of close cooperation in the future.

@HergaTechnology #Medical

All-round industrial camera.

A newly developed generation of their successful uEye SE industrial camera family is being launched by IDS. The camera will be available as both a GigE and USB 3.1 Type-C connection – in each case screw-on – as a housing version or as a board stack version, and with a broad range of CMOS sensors with rolling or global shutter. In conjunction with a comprehensive range of accessories (lenses, cables, etc.) this is an industrial camera suitable for a huge number of applications.

The first 25 models that IDS will launch next month (October 2017) are versions with CMOS sensors from Sony (including Pregius IMX253, IMX304, IMX255, and IMX267 sensors with 8.9 and 12.3 mega pixel resolution), ON Semiconductor and e2v with rolling or global shutter.

The housing with a C-mount lens connection has a robust design and is equipped with a special dust-proof sensor seal. The cameras have a screw-on 8-pin Hirose connector for trigger and flash – both opto-isolated – and two GPIOs, which allow numerous additional application functions in an industrial setting. All camera models are also supplied as an unhoused board stack version with C-mount front or with no lens holder. An integrated 128 MB memory decouples image acquisition from transmission, making the uEye SE particularly interesting for multi-camera applications.

These versatile cameras are available with a screw-on Gigabit Ethernet connection or with a – also screw-on – USB 3.1 Type-C connector. The GigE models support single cable operation with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) up to a length of 100 m. Instead of via PoE, the camera can be supplied with power using a 12-24 V power supply. The GigE uEye SE is available with a choice of GigE Vision firmware or the IDS Software Suite.

In conjunction with IDS's proprietary driver package, the USB 3.1 Gen 1 version of this camera family also allows USB Power Delivery (PD). This enables an LED light to be operated using the USB cable, with the camera requesting the necessary power for itself and the light from the host PC via the USB Type-C interface as a PD consumer.

The IDS Software Suite is identical for all lDS cameras, regardless of whether they have a USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1, or GigE connection. This enables optimum use of the camera and sensor features.

 #IDS-Imaging #PAuto

Monitoring of mercury emissions.

Gasmet Technologies  has published a new White Paper on the monitoring of mercury emissions to air from industrial processes.

The Paper (downloadable free here) provides an overview of current initiatives to reduce mercury emissions and explains how continuous mercury emissions monitoring can help inform process control and the efficient operation of pollution abatement equipment, whilst also demonstrating compliance with mercury emission limits.

The advantages of Cold Vapour Atomic Fluorescence (CVAF) are discussed and the answers to common questions are provided, addressing issues such as detection limits, interferences, quenching and calibration.

The Paper also describes the development of Gasmet’s Continuous Mercury Monitoring system (CMM) which employs CVAF to provide a monitor that is simple and low cost to operate, and delivers high levels of sensitivity without interferences. The CMM measures total mercury, and is able to do so in industrial emissions containing high levels of dust.

@Gasmet_Tech #PAuto

Testing low frequency sensors.

Accelerometers and velocity meters are used to measure a wide range of frequencies, including low frequency vibrations found in building maintenance. They occur at less than 2Hz, and can also be useful in monitoring bearing wear in cooling tower fans and gearboxes for example.

To characterise the performance of its low frequency sensors in that range, which is too low for most test shakers, Monitran has developed a new high displacement test rig that can generate oscillations accurately at frequencies as low as 0.2 Hz. The system allows real-time back to back testing between different devices and its own inbuilt, calibrated MEMS sensors.

“The new oscillating beam rig gives us accurate extreme low frequency data and is a highly useful addition to our accelerometer test and calibration capabilities,” said Andy Anthony, Monitran’s managing director.

The horizontal linear beam oscillator has a powerful motion control system that incorporates a precision AC servo with 17 bit encoder feedback. Running on two precision rails, it uses magnetic springs and magnetic damping to ensure smooth operation.

Its software produces fast code, at 1.7 milliradians per step, which generates fine sinusoidal motion for the linear track driven by a rotary motor.

The intelligent shuttle, which can carry a sensor payload of up to 0.5 kg, incorporates seven MEMS accelerometers, signal processing and a microcontroller to monitor its motion. It also includes a mechanical low pass filter and has an operating distance of up to 1000mm, exerting up to 8g acceleration to the devices under test. That amounts over 35 kilometres per hour peak velocity, down to nearly 1/20th of walking speed.

 @MonitranLtd #Pauto