Friday, January 5, 2018

Virtual Reality implementation.

Last December the Ireland Section of ISA recognised this project as worthy of their Innovation Project Award. It was adjudged to have met the criteria for this award: "To recognise a project which has made a significant contribution to the advancement of industry in Ireland through the use of Automation Technology." 

Dan Moore
The awardee was Dan Moore, a young engineer with Depuy Syntes based in Cork (Ireland).

This project was entitled: Virtual Reality implemented as a design review tool on ‘Foundry of Future Project’

New machines and production lines are designed in 3D within the 2D environment. This leads to change the asset/production line once built and the end users interact with it. This has large cost implications (time and money) to fix issues that should have been caught at detail design.

Up to now, design reviews have consisted of static reviews of 3D design documentation and 2D layouts to assess if the machine fits within the space allocated (does not account adequately for utilities/facilities).

Among the advantages that Virtual Reality implementation has shown are the following benefits:

a) Safety/ Hazard Identification
Greater evaluation of Hazard identification within the working area, prior to installation
Operators not working with untoward hazards (moving parts, live electricity or other potential hazards that exist in the everyday operation of a facility) following installation.

b) Ergonomic Evaluation
Does the operator have a well-designed work cell that allow for easy access of parts & equipment?
(e.g. able to reach all part locations without moving their feet)
Will the operator be able to complete all necessary motions to operate the machine
Is the machine HMI positioned at the correct height?
Are there openings in the guarding that allow the operator to reach in to hazardous operations?
Are the E-stop buttons within reach of the operator?
How far can an operator reach through a gap?
What maintenance access is available around the machine?

c) Customer Presentation
View what will the completed machine will look like
Evaluate how the new machine will fit next to current equipment

d) Operator Training
Inside a VR training platform, operators can learn the correct and incorrect ways of performing various tasks without posing any risk to other employees or the facility.
Learn through trial & error, making mistakes via VR; often too dangerous to perform in training.

e) Creativity
Brainstorming potential solutions to problems is not limited by cost or time constraints, and conducting a full test for an idea is as simple as changing a few lines of code.

f) Time savings
No need to wait for physical machines to be created.

g) Layouts
Laser scanning of area to capture all utilities and ancillary equipment.

h) Engagement
Engagement with review process is substantially higher with all stakeholders- across the board.

The full slate of awards with pictures may be found on here: Ireland Section Awardees 2017.

#PAuto #ISAuto #Ireland

Rugged tablet PC.

The E+H Field Xpert SMT70 works with virtually every modern field instrument with “One Click Connectivity.”

The Field Xpert SMT70 is a rugged tablet PC for commissioning and maintenance staff to manage field instruments and document the work progress just introduced by Endress+Hauser. The tablet comes preinstalled with DeviceCare device configuration software and device library —so it is ready to go, right out of the box.

The Field Xpert SMT70 supports HART, PROFIBUS DP/PA, FOUNDATION Fieldbus, Modbus, CDI and Endress+Hauser service interfaces. It can connect to field instrumentation devices directly via a USB or Bluetooth wireless modem, or via a gateway, remote I/O or multiplexer to a bus system.

The Field Xpert device library has more than 2,700 pre-installed device and communication drivers, allowing it to work with many different instruments from a wide variety of vendors. The drivers can be used to communicate with virtually all HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus devices, and additional device drivers (DTMs) can be easily installed if required. Generic HART DTM and PROFIBUS profile DTMs also enable communication with field devices using these protocols.

The Field Xpert SMT70, therefore, works with virtually every modern field instrument with “One Click Connectivity.“ To connect the Field Xpert SMT70 to a HART flowmeter, for example, the operator simply clicks on the app, which then prompts the user to select Automatic Cconnection and the app connects to the instrument, and the tablet is ready to perform diagnostics, configurations or commissioning with the built-in device configuration software. The tablet also supports Endress+Hauser Heartbeat Technology and FieldCare instrument diagnostic and monitoring functions.

The tablet PC has Windows 10 Pro software installed. It comes with an 11.6 inch Multitouch HD display, a 5MP auto focus camera, a 2MP front facing camera, and up to 256 GB storage. Communication ports and supported networks include USB, Ethernet, HDMI, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—with 4G LTE and GPS available as an option. The battery runtime is 14 hours. The tablet comes in a general purpose configuration as well hazardous area configuration for Class 1, Division 2 Groups A,B,C,D, T4 and Class 1, Zone 2, Groups IIC, T4.

@Endress_Hauser  #PAuto 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

SIS inspections & tests.

The International Society of Automation (ISA) and its promotional partner, Beamex, Inc., will co-host a free webinar 31 January 2018 on documenting safety instrumented system (SIS) inspections and tests.

Paul Gruhn, President Elect/Secretary ISA 2018
The webinar, which will be held from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, will feature three automation experts: Paul Gruhn, Global Functional Safety Consultant at aeSolutions; Ned Espy, Technical Director at Beamex; and Roy Tomalino, Calibration Engineer at Beamex.

Calibration professionals are very often asked to perform inspections on instrumentation. This webinar will review the best practices of inspecting, testing and documenting a SIS, and will explore how to apply these practices in the field to not only SIS, but also to simpler instruments, such as valves.

As Tomalino, the Beamex engineer explains, “Safety instrumented systems are a high priority and get a significant amount of visibility from inside and outside organizations. Documenting results is often a daunting challenge that we tend to shy away from, but it doesn’t need to be. Performing SIS inspections and documenting them can be a minimal additional effort. Join the webinar to watch us demystify this process. We also invite you to share your hot issues, live on the webinar. We will answer and discuss as much as possible in the time allotted. This isn’t just about us, it’s about collaborating with you and sharing. Even as a technical instructor, I learn something new every time I present in a webinar or teach a class. Join us and add to the knowledge base.”

“Today’s modern plants require optimal SIS performance in order to safeguard personnel, the environment and production assets, and at the same time, maximize uptime and minimize operational disruptions,” says Jennifer Infantino Halsey, ISA’s Director of Marketing & Communications. “Therefore, it’s essential that SIS inspection, testing, and documentation best practices be followed. ISA is pleased to join with its Beamex partner in offering this important informational webinar.”

The Speakers

Paul Gruhn is a Global Functional Safety Consultant at aeSolutions in Houston, Texas. Gruhn has specialized in safety systems for 30 years. He is an ISA Life Fellow, co-chair of the ISA 84 standards committee, the developer and instructor of ISA courses on SIS, and the primary author of the ISA book on the subject. Gruhn developed the first commercial control and safety system modeling software more than 25 years ago. He received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from IIT in Chicago, IL.

Gruhn is a professional engineer (P.E.) licensed in Texas, a certified functional safety expert (CFSE), a member of the control system engineer P.E. exam team, and an ISA 84 expert. He is the 2018 ISA President-elect/Secretary.

Ned Espy, Technical Director at Beamex, possesses more than 27 years of direct field experience in instrumentation measurement applications. He has been concentrating on calibration management at Beamex for more than 20 years.

Espy is a recognized expert in developing best practices for calibration, with a particular focus on temperature, pressure and multi-variable instruments. A consistent editorial contributor to leading industry publications, Espy has received significant acclaim within the automation industry. Each day, Espy teaches calibration best practices and provides technical support to end users and to the Beamex sales team in North America.

Roy Tomalino, a Beamex Engineer, possesses more than 16 years of technical training experience. He has served as a trainer, certified developer and technical advisor on four continents to people from more than 40 countries.

Tomalino was a key player at Honeywell at its Fort Collins, Colorado office, where he supported the “DocuMint” Calibration Management Software and numerous calibrators as a trainer, certified developer and technical advisor. He also served as a worldwide trainer at Hewlett Packard. Today, Tomalino serves as a Beamex “evangelist,” supporting customers and the Beamex team in North America.
Click button to register!

The webinar will take place 31 January 2018, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.

#PAuto #ISAuto @BeamexGlobal 

Connectors aid fast panel assembly!

Cliff Electronics is now offering system integrators a new option of their range of FeedThough (FT) connectors. All models of their metal housed connector can be ordered with M3 threaded mounting holes facilitating simple panel assembly without the need for securing nuts and washers.

John Hall, Managing Director of Cliff Electronics, tells us that; “Our FT connector range continues to grow and find new applications. Our new threaded versions offer system builders simplicity of assembly and time savings."

Cliff’s FT connectors fit in the industry standard XLR connector format 16 x 24mm mounting holes, simplify panel design and improve product aesthetics. Available in silver or black finishes the rugged metal housed connectors may now be mounted to the rear of panels with just an M3 screw and without any hardware at the rear of the panel.

The Cliff range of XLR Format Feedthrough connectors allows designers to simply integrate audio, video, digital, optical, networking and data feeds into professional equipment for broadcast, lighting, audio, instrumentation and industrial applications.

Versions available include GJ45, HDMI, BNC and USB3.0 compliant single and dual USB versions in addition to the existing range which provides Analogue, Digital and Optical Feed-Through connectivity in formats including Firewire, HDMI A-A and 50 ohm BNC versions, USB2 A-to-B and B-to-A “gender change” sockets high speed USB Type – C, USB3 to USB3 in all gender changing configurations - A-A, A-B and B-A. Also available are all popular data and Ethernet connectors including USB 2.0 and 3.0, LC and SC fibre (Duplex & Simplex), UTP and FTP RJ45s in both Cat6 and Cat5e (shielded and unshielded), Toslink, RCA Phono and HDMI and blanking plates.

Cliff threaded metal FT connectors are available black finished and silver anodized. The standard through-hole mounting versions are also available in plastic housings. Bezels are available in 7 colours to identify the function of FT connectors when fitted to a control panel.

1U, 19” rack panels pre-assembled with up to 16 FT connectors are now available to order from Cliff offering systems integrators simple system assembly, reduced manufacturing time, component count and cost.

#CliffElectronics #PAuto

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Strip to measure level!

This self-adhesive, capacitive sensor head with IP 64 protection for non-contact, continuous level detection on non-conductive vessel or pipe outer walls made of glass, plastic or ceramic is a useful instrument from Balluf.

The flexible sensor head with a maximum detection range of up to 850 mm in length can be individually trimmed to length (minimum 108 mm) and easily attached to container walls without additional accessories using the integrated adhesive surface. For polar, aqueous media the wall thickness may be between 2 and 6 mm, or up to 2 mm for non-conductive media such as oil or bulk materials.

The sensor is designed for use with type BAE sensor amplifiers from Balluff. The optional amplifier allows levels to be continually detected over the entire measuring range as analog values (0...10 V, 4...20 mA) or via IO-Link or as minimum or maximum value exceeding. Both the IO-Link and the analog convenience amplifier feature versatile setting possibilities.

@Balluff #PAuto

Capacitive encoders as alternative for stepper motor stall detection.

Applied Motion Products Inc. (AMP) has recently announced an alternative encoder technology for microstepping motor position verification. Available from Mclennan, AMP’s European distribution partner, capacitive encoder technology offers advantages for applications where increased durability or space savings are required.

Whilst stepper motor based motion control systems are inherently open loop, more and more applications require the added security and peace of mind provided by encoder position feedback where lost motion might be problematical. Mclennan addresses this need through a wide range of microstepping drives and compatible motor systems from AMP that provide position verification and/or eradicate stall problems for improved performance. Up until now optical encoders have been available as the feedback components of choice but AMP has recently announced this new range of competitively priced capacitive encoders for use on its NEMA 17, 23, and 24 frame stepper motors.

The analogue characteristics of the capacitive-reactance technology used in these new encoders is converted into digital pulses for speed and position feedback and as such offer the same electrical output as their optical counterparts, so that no difference is required for matched microstepping drives. With 2000 pulses per rev available as standard and with a nominal 5V signal level and A+B & Z channels, the encoder is easily integrated across all of the AMP intelligent microstepping drives that offer stall detection or position verification.

In applications where dust, oil, and other contaminants may be present optical encoders can be susceptible to signal level degradation or signal loss whereas capacitive sensors are generally more robust and unaffected in these environments. AMP’s capacitive sensors are pre-assembled onto rear shaft of the motor and with a thinner profile than the optical encoder equivalents a small amount of axial length saving can be achieved in very space restricted installations.

#Mclennan #PAuto @ampmotion 

A good steer for shipping!

Camille Bauer Metrawatt AG introduces KINAX WT720, an angular position transducer for capturing the position of ships' rudders or propellers. The absolute encoder is impressively robust and ideal for use in harsh environments.

In contrast to potentiometric encoders, Camille Bauer Metrawatt AG uses a contactless and maintenance-free capacitive measurement technique. It converts the angular position of the rudder or propeller into an electric signal (4 .. 20 mA). This simple but very effective technology ensures optimum signal quality and extremely high reproducibility. The overall robustness of the angular position sensor ensures long service life. This has been confirmed by independent test institution which calculated the MTBF according to EN/IEC 61709 / SN29500 as almost 3 million hours.

The KINAX WT720 angular position sensor is very easy to install. It is connected to the rudder drive directly by means of rods and a coupling system and the electrical connection uses 2-wire technology. The rudder's midpoint or neutral position can be accurately referenced by the encoder. Parametrisation of the rudder angle positions is easy and is done directly on board using the built-in pushbutton. All this makes the installation of the mechanical parts and signal interface in the stern of the ship very straightforward. In almost no time, with "just a few screws" the encoder is ready and correct for immediate operation.

The WT720 encoder is virtually maintenance-free and so no extra product maintenance are incurred during the operational lifetime. Thanks to in-house manufacturing and a high degree of vertical integration, product delivery is guaranteed 5 days after order confirmation. On customer request, the encoder can be shipped directly to its final address. This helps keep stock levels to a minimum and allows secure management of spare parts when there are revisions.

• Camille Bauer Metrawatt products are marketed in Ireland through Irish Power & Process.

#PAuto #CamilleBauer @irishpwrprocess

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Serving New England & Up-state New York.

TriNova Inc. is to be exclusive Sales Representative and Authorized Service Provider for Endress+Hauser in New England and Upstate New York (USA). This region includes the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Upstate New York.

TriNova Inc. is a long-time representative and business partner of Endress+Hauser. The company is the automation supplier’s Sales Representative and Authorized Service Provider in the southeast and has now expanded its operations in New England and Upstate New York from new offices in Ballston Spa, (NY USA).

"We are excited to expand TriNova's area of representation with Endress+Hauser,” said Robbie Watson, Chief Executive Officer, TriNova. “We will be working hard to earn the respect and loyalty of customers within our new region.  Our plans are to bring unparalleled service, training and product support to the Northeast."

The two companies have spent the last three months preparing for a smooth transition by staffing the new office and training personnel. Teams have been established and are ready to provide customers in the new territory dedicated support and services in all markets and industries.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to expand our partnership with TriNova in the New England and Upstate New York region,” said Chris English, Vice President of Sales, Endress+Hauser. “TriNova has been a leader in innovation when it comes to providing service and support for our customers. The unwavering confidence I have in our partnership and TriNova’s northeast leadership team stems from their commitment, expertise and dedication to help our customers reach their goals and overcome challenges. We look forward to working alongside them, helping to improve our customers’ processes sustainably and efficiently.”

TriNova Inc. has been helping customers with measurement and process challenges for more than 50 years.

@Endress_US @TriNovaInc1 #PAuto #USA