Friday 28 June 2019

Empowering long-distance signal strength in demanding processes and environments.

Red Lion Controls have released  their new Signal Conditioner product lineup. Their full range of signal conditioners boost signal strength while allowing for longer cable runs through industrial environments. When used as a converter, these devices can translate and incorporate signals into existing PLC architectures, eliminating the need for high-priced PLC input cards just to accommodate a unique signal input from a newly-added sensor.

Offering a slim 6 mm footprint, each of Red Lion’s signal converters can accept or convert current, voltage, thermocouples, RTDs, resistance and pulsed input signals.

These new signal conditioners are ideal for customers desiring superior signal integrity, and for industrial applications either requiring data from existing deployed equipment to be incorporated into IIoT strategies through the addition of sensors, or measurement processes involving precise sensor data requiring signals to be accurately transmitted over distance and without interference from external sources of noise such as VFDs and switching spikes. Rather than adding costly specialized I/O cards to an existing PLC system, Red Lion’s signal conditioning and conversion solutions allow plant engineers to add sensor data to current processes in existing formats, simplifying implementation and lowering costs.

These new signal conditioner products offer amplification, isolation, and conversion capabilities, ensuring signal integrity in harsh environments and across long distances, with the option to change the signal to the desired input needed dependent upon the application. A slim 6mm housing translates to added capabilities without sacrificing panel space.

• Red Lion products are marketed through Instrument Technology in Ireland.

@redlioncontrols  #PAuto @Instrum_Tech

Thursday 27 June 2019

Machine condition monitoring.

ADLINK Technology has announced an upgrade to its MCM machine condition monitoring solution, with the launch of the DataConnect Pro Remote Facility Information Dashboard, integrating sensor management, data acquisition, edge platform, and vibration analysis, via dashboard-based operability.

Users can simultaneously monitor multiple system devices, master real-time machine operation information, and create effective dynamic preventive maintenance strategies for reduced downtime, and increased production capacity.

“With the rise of the Internet of Things, manufacturers who have actively established automated monitoring systems can often end up suffering due to the large amount of resources invested, lack of software developers and system integration capabilities, and difficulty in assessing benefits.” said Tim Juan, Chief Director for ADLINK’s Smart Factory Business Center. “ADLINK aims to help enterprises break through the deadlock and build smart device monitoring applications from the end (device, sensor, gateway) to cloud (Paas, SaaS) to implement more effective equipment failure prevention.”

Based on powerful Microsoft Azure cloud platform architecture and SaaS services, ADLINK DataConnect Pro provides an expert built-in equipment monitoring system utilizing spectral features for more precise notification. With no need for additional program development or architecture modification, it is easily deployed in multiple fields. As users grow and add new system equipment, their expansion is guided by dashboard-based existing facility information rather than redeployment or reconstruction of the whole system, thus significantly reducing expansion costs.

 @ADLINK_Tech  #PAuto #IIot @ADLINK_IoT

New head at connectivity and sensors company in Italy.

TE Connectivity (TE), has appointed Nadia Iannuzzi as vice president and general manager for its Systems subvertical, effective July 1. She will report to Lars Brickenkamp, senior vice president and general manager, in TE’s Industrial business unit.

Nadia Iannuzzi
Iannuzzi takes over for Guanghua Yang, who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities. Yang will be supporting the transition until he leaves the company at the end of July.

“Nadia Iannuzzi will be responsible for driving further synergies, increasing capabilities and driving growth within our Systems organization, as we mature into a true end-to-end solution provider to our customers,” says Brickenkamp.

Iannuzzi has been with TE for more than 15 years, holding a variety of leadership roles in pricing, customer care, general management and human resources in multiple business units, including Industrial. She was most recently VP for HR Solutions, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Americas. She holds a bachelor's degree in Business and Administration and a master's degree in Business and Marketing from the University of Turin (UNITO) in Italy.

 @TEConnectivity #PAuto #Italy

Pressure in hydrogen.

For some time the research and development team at sensor manufacturer Kaufbeurer Mikrosysteme Wiedemann (KMW) has been working on the measurement of pressure in hydrogen.

As a first step, KMW designed sensing elements and pressure transmitters for the distribution infrastructure of hydrogen as an industrial gas. In the meantime, demand has emerged for hydrogen as a fuel for vehicles with electric drives based on fuel cells and longer term there is the prospect that large piston engines will burn hydrogen or low carbon synthetic fuels derived from it.

Without countermeasures, hydrogen can diffuse into metals, causing the accuracy of sensors to gradually deteriorate. It is essential to eliminate this effect and at the same time take into account strict safety regulations, especially in mobile applications. An essential requirement is, of course, the strength of materials in contact with the gas, since hydrogen permeation can lead to embrittlement.

KMW has the benefit of 25 years’ experience in the design of sensing elements with a variety of substrate materials, geometries and functional layers. "For the measurement of hydrogen, our main task was to achieve the required accuracy from new, reinforced designs of sensing element substrates," says development manager Herbert Holzheu. "This, in turn, required the development of a highly sensitive functional layer capable of delivering a suitably strong signal from reduced deformation in the sensing element diaphragm."

As well as long experience in the design of thin-film measuring cells, KMW also has quality assurance certificates covering the large range of applications implemented, including design, qualification and certification for functional safety and for compliance with industry standards such as CE, UL and E1. Automotive applications are covered by IATF 16949 certification.

Parallel with interest in pressure sensors for hydrogen in electric vehicles with fuel cells, markets are emerging for sensors as hydrogen production increases and as the supply infrastructure necessary for fuel cell vehicles grows.

There are also plans to utilise hydrogen and fuels synthesized from hydrogen in internal combustion engines. The most important motivations here are to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from both Diesel and Otto engines, and to prepare for the inevitable depletion of fossil fuel reserves. The enormous advantage of hydrogen (H2) over fossil hydrocarbons is that when it burns in air it forms only water (H2O) instead of water and CO2.

On the infrastructure side, steps are already underway to set up a network of hydrogen filling stations to cover both fuel cell and engine applications. For example, a European Union programme is examining whether existing "hydrogen hotspots" are a suitable basis for a network.

The large engine industry is also considering hydrogen as a basis for solutions to the emissions problems of large marine diesel engines that burn low-quality products from oil refineries - the socalled “power-to-fuel” strategy involves producing hydrogen from water by electrolysis exploiting surplus electricity from renewable energy sources (wind, solar). Uses include mixing the hydrogen into the gas supply infrastructure or burning it in engines. Another is to combine the gas chemically with CO2 recovered from the exhaust gases of engines, incinerators, fired boilers and other sources. The resulting fuels include methane or diesel-like synthetic liquid hydrocarbons that are nett CO2-neutral since no additional CO2 emitted to the atmosphere.

@Sensor_Technik #PAuto #kmwmicrosystems

Power product of year!

Yokogawa’s WT5000 Precision Power Analyzer* has won the prestigious “Power Product of the Year” trophy at the second annual Electronics Industry awards.

Kelvin Hagebeuk, European Marketing Manager, 
Yokogawa T+M  with Tracy Annandale, 
TKO Marketing Consultants.
The award was presented on the 21st June at a ceremony in London (GB) in the presence of an audience of leading industry professionals. The event has become a highlight of the industry calendar since its inception in 2018, where leading figures from the electronics field gather to celebrate their achievements and reward the market leaders from across the blossoming sector.

Commenting on the win, editor of CIE magazine, Niamh Marriot, said: “Ensuring your product is safe with great efficacy is paramount for our industry. Testing equipment and products and ensuring their accurate readings and measurements is vitally important, as it can be dangerous if not done correctly, and the precision of the product guarantees this level of accuracy and thereby enhances safety. The Yokogawa product is precise and well thought-out, and all round is an excellent design that works! Congratulations to Yokogawa!”.

Kelvin Hagebeuk, European Marketing Manager, Yokogawa Europe Test & Measurement, said “The Yokogawa community of precision makers is very excited and most of all honoured to win this prestigious award. For us at Yokogawa the WT5000 Precision Power Analyzer is the leading building block in our mission to enable customers to develop zero emission technologies. A mission which ultimately provides a sustainable future for generations to come.
“The electronic industry is best equipped and positioned to directly influence a sustainable usage of energy resources. The awards scheme recognises good work, which is inspiring and energising to all involved especially the innovative and highly skilled precision engineering team.”

The event was organised by Datateam Business Media and was hosted by comedian Ian Moore and household favourite Alan Dedicoat.

* About the WT5000 Precision Power Analyzer
The new Yokogawa WT5000 is the first of a new generation of Precision Power Analyzer that offers exceptional measurement accuracy of ± 0.03% combined with stability, noise immunity and plug-in modular flexibility to meet the measurement needs of today’s developers of energy-efficient systems.
In rapidly evolving industry sectors like electric vehicles, renewable energy and energy efficient technologies, the need for reliability in testing to enhance safety, efficiency and performance has never been greater. Changing application needs and evolving international standards call for custom measurements and consistent accuracy, and in the WT5000 Precision Power Analyzer, engineers have a versatile platform that not only delivers reliable measurements today, but is ready for the challenges of tomorrow.

@Yokogawa_Europe  #TandM #Power @irishpwrprocess 

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Enhanced stability testing.

A new stability analytics capability has been introduced for the Matrix Gemini LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) from Autoscribe Informatics. A fully integrated charting module provides early indications of shelf-life performance for each product or batch of product under test.

Simon Wood, Product Manager at Autoscribe Informatics, says: “The new software module further extends the Stability functionality present in Matrix Gemini. It closes the loop from set up and management of stability studies to the full reporting of the outcomes. Matrix Gemini manages the full lifecycle of stability studies and provides the support required to meet regulatory requirements including GMP and the FDA 21 CFR Part 11 regulations.”

Stability studies are used to assess the shelf life of a product by storing samples under differing conditions, typically as defined by regulatory authorities, and then testing samples taken from storage at pre-determined intervals. Running and managing multiple studies can be complex and time consuming; but Matrix Gemini LIMS helps to simplify the whole study management process. The in-built stability study management functionality is designed to automate and control the entire operation of the stability study including: protocol creation, study initiation and management, inventory management, sample pull points, future workload reporting and stability study reporting.

Matrix Gemini helps to optimize the number of samples stored for a study, therefore avoiding shortages and eliminating waste. Samples to be pulled are automatically registered with relevant tests and test limits assigned, and users are automatically alerted that the samples need to be removed from the storage environments. This increases laboratory efficiency, as does the ability to define and manage the stability chambers and track their contents. However, understanding that no two organizations are likely to work in the same way, the unique configuration tools provided with Matrix Gemini allow specific workflows to be modified while maintaining the underlying stability functionality.

The new stability analytics module provides an integrated system for analyzing stability studies that often involve multiple batches, users, and data transfers. The statistics and charting capabilities include ANCOVA statistics, tests for poolability, out of trend detection and residuals analysis. Predictions can be made using pooled data, pooled slope and worst case.

@AutoscribeLtd #LIMS, #Laboratory #TandM

Complete system visibility.

Crowcon has developed an HMI solution that creates complete system visibility. The solution can run alongside existing DCS/SCADA/PLC systems or mimic panels which are used to monitor wider system views, often incorporating other sensors including security, flow, smoke and fire.

Their product manager William Allum explains, “This solution enables our customers to view data from multiple panels from one central screen. Due to the system having the ability to store alarm and event logs, users can quickly understand the symptoms of a problem as they view the information and identify the exact location.

Vortex & Gasmaster HMI employs license activated software operated from a dedicated touchscreen panel. As the system is modular, users specify the required number of input converters to link the number of controllers in their system. It monitors up to six Vortex panels or racks, or up to 10 Gasmaster controllers operating on one system, so either Vortex or Gasmaster.”

The display shows gas levels from all detectors from the chosen panel simultaneously and enables the user to easily adjust or test a system. It is now possible to see the details of each controller within a system, including alarm indications, as well as the complete configuration and location of each gas detector.

Users can also see possible trends within the alerts. For example, an alarm in a specific location may be triggered on a regular basis. This is due to the development of a one-hour ‘trend visibility by gas’ function.

Crowcon HMI can be configured in various different setups:
• Connection locally
• Connection via network
• Connected directly via HMI enclosure

The Crowcon HMI can connect with the controller via RS-485 MODBUS or ethernet cable which are capable of long distance connectivity.

The large multi-lingual display shows gas levels from all detectors simultaneously and enables you to easily adjust and test the system. It operates stand-alone or can interface with any alarm device and control system using a selection of outputs. All the information you need about your gas and fire detectors is available, at a glance on Gasmaster’s compact, versatile and powerful gas detection control pane. Simple to operate with a comprehensive selection of input and output functions.

Vortex’s flexible control package can be customised to meet site requirements without the need for extensive cabling. The rack and panel comprise the essential input, output and controller modules which are mounted on a DIN rail. An optional display module is available in panel-mounting and 19" Rack formats. This configuration can be incorporated into a variety of specialist enclosures, such as 19" format or those with high ingress protection.

@Crowcon #PAuto #HMI

Half a tonne of ocean plastic!

Thanks to the efforts of one company from Berlin (D), there is now half a ton less plastic waste floating in our oceans. Family-owned Knick Elektronische Messgeräte has contributed to the funding of a worldwide ocean clean-up campaign by purchasing 1,000 recycled bracelets.

The bracelets are made and sold by 4Ocean, an US company that plays a leading role in the protection of marine life and that carries out extensive, regular clean-ups through the sale of its bracelets. For every bracelet sold, about 500g of plastic waste can be removed from oceans and coastlines. With the help of 150 employees and countless volunteers, the company has been able to remove more than 1.8 million kilograms of waste in the past two years.

With the purchase of 1,000 bracelets, Knick has made sure that in future clean-ups about 500kg of plastic waste can be removed from our oceans and then recycled into new bracelets.

Knick CEO and President Marcus Knick says: “The protection of our oceans is very important to me. In our work we try to avoid plastic as much as possible. With our measuring instruments the quality of industrial wastewater can be monitored before it gets back into circulation. But the challenge of protecting our oceans does not end there. We can and want to do more. That’s why we support projects that pick up where we leave off – projects such as 4Ocean’s Ocean Plastic Recovery campaign.”

The bracelets are distributed as giveaways to Knick employees, customers and trade show visitors.

 #KnickElektronischeMessgeräte #Environment #Plastics @4oceanBracelets

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Dealing with a bett noir!

An innovative torque sensor is helping to reduce engine emissions and improve economy as part of a project to develop an intelligent lubrication system. With engine efficiency under the spotlight like never before, automotive companies are exploring all avenues for improving performance. And because engines have a rotating power output, torque is the key measurement.

Car engines are the bett noir of the environmental lobby. There is no doubt that they are major contributors to carbon build up. But equally they are fundamental to modern life. A true replacement is decades away, so we have to make them as efficient as possible.

Engine lubrication systems are essentially dumb. They have a simple mechanical pump which has been sized to ensure an adequate supply of oil in the worst operating condition. This is typically a hot engine at idle. The pump is thus hugely oversized for most of the rest of the speed range and, as a consequence, nearly 60% of its output is dumped straight back into the sump via the relief valve. It will also deliver the same amount of oil to every part of the engine regardless of what that system might actually need. The pump is also insensitive to engine load and thus the bearings will receive the same oil supply at a given speed regardless of the load. This is a very inefficient system.

In addition the pump forces nearly a ton of oil per hour through the filter, and when the oil is cold this takes a huge amount of energy.

With this in mind a major British company asked Powertrain Technologies to design an intelligent lubrication system and to analyse its effects on engine friction and parasitic losses. They built a highly specialised test rig for the project and since accuracy in measuring small changes in drive torque reliably and repeatably was a critical requirement a key part of the rig is a TorqSense transducer from Sensor Technology in Banbury.

The engine being tested was a current production Diesel and the test bed was configured for motored friction tests with a 6,000rpm 32kW electric motor driving the engine.

Andrew Barnes, a director at Powertrain explains: “We completely re-designed the engine lubrication system and installed a bank of five computer controlled oil pumps (to our own design). Each is capable of supplying individual parts of the engine with oil under conditions unique to that part of the engine and sensitive to the engine operating conditions (for example we can supply the head with oil at pressures different to the block and supply the bearings with more oil when the engine is under high load).”

The idea is to completely profile the performance of the engine under various lubrication conditions and to derive optimum configurations of the intelligent systems for best performance.

“Both petrol and Diesel engines run far cleaner than they did 20 or 30 years ago,” says Andrew. “However the need to operate efficiently under a wide range speeds and loads and environmental conditions from -40 degrees C to + 40 degrees C remains the Achilles Heel. Intelligent lubrication has the potential to improve performance no end, although quantifying the best configuration is painstaking work.”

He goes on to explain that the torque sensor is critical to the project since the object of the exercise is to measure the effect on friction of a range of different oil supply strategies and oil types. Thus the changes in friction are represented by a change in the motored drive torque of the engine.

TorqSense sensors are particularly appropriate for development work because they are wireless. “It’s a fit-and-forget, non-contact, digital sensor,” says Tony Ingham of Sensor Technology, “meaning you don’t have to fiddle around wiring up slip rings for each new measurement and together with digital outputs good accuracies can be obtained. The adjacent RF pickup emits radio waves towards the SAW’s as well as collecting the reflected resonant changes and it this change in frequency of the reflected waves that identifies the applied torqueed.”

TorqSense effectively senses and measures the radio frequency, RF, waves generated by two Surface Acoustic Wave devices or SAW’s fixed onto a rotating shaft and converts them to a torque measurement using two tiny SAW’s made of ceramic piezoelectric material with frequency resonating combs laid down on their surface. The SAW’s are fixed onto the drive shaft at 90degrees to one another. As the torque increases the combs expand or contract proportionally to the torque being applied. In effect the combs act similarly to strain gauges but instead measure changes in resonant frequency. The adjacent RF pickup emits radio waves towards the SAW’s as well as collecting the reflected resonant changes and its this change in frequency of the reflected waves that identifies the applied torque.

Powertrain's research has now progressed to the next stage in which the test rig is forsaken and the engine installed in a car to quantify the effect on fuel economy. “It’s now a matter of driving it under all sorts of conditions on a mixture of test tracks and rolling roads to build up profiles of fuel consumption,” says Andrew.

Low differential pressure.

E+E Elektronik has a new sensor for low differential pressure up to ±100 Pa with an accuracy of ±0.5 Pa. Due to selectable measuring ranges and versatile configuration options, the EE610 is suitable for a variety of applications in air as well as in non-flammable and non-aggressive gases.

The EE610 is dedicated for medical, pharmaceutical and clean room applications. For instance, the sensor can measure the differential pressure between clean rooms, surgery rooms or isolation chambers. The non-flow through design excludes cross-contamination.

It enables unidirectional or bidirectional differential pressure measurement within a selectable measuring range of 0...100 Pa or ±25, ±50 and ±100 Pa. The long-term stable, piezo-resistive pressure sensing element provides a high accuracy of ±0.5 Pa

The measured data is simultaneously available as current and voltage signals at the spring loaded terminals. The illuminated graphic display shows the reading in Pa, mbar, inch water column or mm H2O.

The EE610 can be easily configured on site. Pressure range, time constant, output signal, display units and backlight can be set via DIP switches on the electronics board. The zero and span point adjustment can be performed with push buttons.

The functional IP65 / NEMA 4 enclosure facilitates mounting the sensor with closed cover. This saves time and also protects the electronics from construction site pollution and mechanical damage during installation. For wiring the unit features both a cable gland and a knockout opening for a ½”conduit adapter.

• E+E products are marketed in Ireland through Instrument Technology.

#EplusE #PAuto @Instrum_Tech

Improved chilling!

Cooling technology for machines and enclosures has significantly improved with Rittal's new “Blue e” chillers in the 11 to 25 kW output class range. Using 40 percent less refrigerant, the devices are making an important contribution to sustainable environmental protection. At the same time, users are benefiting from precise temperature control, simplified operation and installation, as well as from new safety functions.

Pre-configured option packages that are quickly available from stock can meet almost any need: for precision control systems, with higher pressure requirements or for robust outdoor applications in cold zones.

The recooling of liquids by means of chillers is one of the basic requirements for smooth operation in many industrial manufacturing processes. For example, enclosures and especially machine tools must have an exact temperature control feature for the precise machining of metal. Besides that, solutions are called for that are easy to operate and install and which offer maximum safety. Users are also no longer willing and ready to accept long delivery times. Customised technical solutions must be quickly available off the shelf and as standard. And finally, customers increasing focus on sustainability and environmental friendliness.

With the development of its new Blue e chiller, Rittal can offer a mature solution package that meets all these needs. As well as the Blue e+ chillers with 1.5 to 6 kW, the chillers are now available in the robust industrial standard (IP 44, electrical) in four output classes ranging from 11 to 25 kW and in the two enclosure sizes of 660 x 1265 x 1315 mm and 760 x 1265 x 1515 mm (Wx Hx D) – in addition to Blue e+ chillers from 1,5 to 6 kW. Thanks to the use of micro-channel technology and the resulting very high fin efficiency of the heat exchangers (extruded aluminium profile with small channels and with a diameter of around 1 mm), the devices require 40 percent less refrigerant than before. Since the heat exchangers are 100 percent made of aluminium, galvanic corrosion cannot occur.

The fan and compressor are regulated centrally via a digital controller. This way, the temperature of the cooling medium can be precisely regulated: By default, the hysteresis is ± 2 K; however, a precision control (hot gas bypass) of ± 0.25 K is also possible as an option. This prevents temperature fluctuations that cause inaccuracies on the machined workpiece, and also ensures consistent quality.

The multilingual and industrial-grade touch display on the front of the chiller and the intelligent communication interfaces make both operation and analysis easy. Consequently, the parameterisation of the devices, as well as the read-out of the data and system messages are performed clearly and quickly and shown in plain text. Error messages are prioritised and displayed in three escalation levels (note, error and maintenance).

Blue e Chillers are wired ready for connection and can be quickly put into operation via plug-and-play. Lifting eyebolts make transport easy, as does the base/plinth, which is suitable for transport by forklift truck. Uniform water connections, an adjustable overflow valve (bypass valve) and ideal accessibility to all the components make it easier for fitters and service staff to work on the units.

Integrated overflow valves ensure a constant circulation of cooling water when the consumer is closed and the pump is running. This protects the coolant pump from overload. The valve is pre-set for the pump being used and for 50-Hz operation but it can also be set for 60-Hz operation. A filling level monitoring system ensures maximum reliability and improved availability. Besides this, optional flow monitors emit an alarm if the flow rate is too low and they can detect hydraulic errors such as contamination and blockages in the system at an early stage.

As an extra service, Rittal also offers pre-configured option packages that are available quickly from stock and which offer a suitable solution for almost any demand. For example, performance enhanced pumps (4 and 6 bar) are available for multi-circuit systems. If necessary, a precision control system (hot gas bypass) can be used to improve control accuracy from ± 2 K to ± 0.25 K. In addition, the Blue e chillers can be prepared for cold zones of down to -20°C, as well as for laser applications, and they can also be fitted with a water-cooled condenser or with heating, and customised with special paint.

@Rittal #PAuto

Pressure measurement for safety critical applications.

The SMO3100 series pressure sensors are now available with SIL 2/ PLd functional safety from Variohm EuroSensor. Aimed at safety-critical pressure measurement tasks for gas and liquids compatible with stainless steel or titanium wetted parts, the new SMO3100 PLd will allow user’s the ability to meet SIL2 functional safety levels on machines and systems. The robust and durable sensor series is available in twenty pressure range versions from 0.5 to 5000 bar and with best accuracy to 0.5% F.S.

Based on a piezo resistive sensing element and latest ASIC circuitry and providing high precision linearity and repeatability, the SMO3100 PLd features a 4…20 mA output from a 10 to 32 VDC supply. Its high strength 304 stainless steel housing offers excellent durability in demanding industrial machinery applications. Standard environmental protection meets IP67, and IP69K is optionally available. With the standard version’s well proven use in demanding environments such as motorsports, off-road vehicles, construction equipment and agricultural machinery, the sensor boasts a high shock and vibration resistance together with a generous over-range and burst pressure specification of 2x and 5x respectively. Rated life is 10 million pressure cycles and an impressive 100 year MTTFd factor demonstrates its excellent endurance. The SMO3100 PLd includes a measuring medium temperature range of -40 to +125 °C with a compensated range from -20 to +85 °C.

The SMO3100 PLd version brings DIN EN ISO 13849-1 Performance Level d (PLd), enabling ECU and other safety controlled systems to meet IEC 61508, 61511 and 62061 standards for Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 2 functional safety on machines and system. The sensor detects internal failures within a predefined diagnostic range for its output signal. Internal failures include broken bond wires, internal EEPROM errors and internal watchdog errors.

As with the standard SMO3100, the PLd version is available for absolute, gauge and vacuum pressure measurement. Port configuration options include most commonly required types in NPT, UNF and metric thread sizes with the electrical interfacing covering cable and connectors for DIN EN175301-803, M12 and Packard Metripac.

@Variohm #PAuto #safety

Vibration alarm switch for machine monitoring.

The Metrix ST5484E-SW series configurable seismic vibration switch has been launched recently. It is now available with full support  in Britain from its distribution partner Ixthus Instrumentation. The compact 24 V DC loop-powered electronic switch will setpoint two programmable and independent alarms through solid state contacts with time-adjustable delays, as well as monitor continuous vibration through a control system.

The new configurable vibration switch is based on the well proven ST5484ST vibration transmitter which is used across a wide range of seismic vibration measurement applications on rotating and reciprocating machinery. Aimed at demanding machine monitoring tasks where built-in alarm protection is additionally required, the ST5484E-SW integrates a piezoelectric accelerometer, signal integrator and amplifier, RMS or peak detector, a 4-20 mA signal conditioner and a digital microcontroller into a single package. Two indepen¬dently configurable alarm setpoints with time delays and corresponding discrete outputs allow implementation of ALERT (pre-shutdown) and DANGER (shutdown) levels by a machine control system. Additionally the units’ 4-20 mA proportional velocity output enables interfacing with PLCs, DCSs, strip chart recorders, or other process monitoring systems where real-time vibration levels can be monitored.

Model variants include an 8-pin sealed connectorised version as a 10 m submersible/water resistant model. The connector version is also available with an optional non-incendive rating (Class1/Div2) that may be used with barriers for special installations. An alternative version with flying leads, wired directly to conduit fittings, is available for hazardous area installations and includes Metrix’s 8200 explosion-proof elbow. The corrosion and water resistant switch is housed in 316 stainless steel with a nominal diameter and length around 38 x 62 mm for the connector version, and overall length of 136 mm for the explosion-proof model.

A wide choice of scale-range options and mounting studs provide application and installation flexibility. The setpoints are set at the factory at one half (1/2) and two thirds (2/3) of the full scale range, but may be adjusted through Metrix software with the delay time programmable up to 300 seconds. Users can choose twelve standard full-scale peak or true RMS range models from 25.4 mm/s to 76.2 mm/sec. Stud interfacing covers all common metric and imperial dimensions through NPT, UNF, UNC and M8/M10. Hazardous area certification includes CSA, INMETRO, and ATEX/IECx and KOSHA -conforming to explosion proof and non-incendive option variants. The ST5484E-SW is also available with a wide choice of low- and high-pass filters or can be customised to exactly suit the user filter requirements.

@IxthusInst  #PAuto @MetrixVibration

Monday 24 June 2019

Industrial thermal imager baseline!

"'Give the customer more than they expect!' is the philosophy that John Fluke built his company on - and that still drives it today." 

In that spirit, Fluke's Ti400 PRO and TiX500 series Thermal Cameras bring accessible 640 x 480 resolution, establishing the new baseline for today’s professional industrial imagers. The cameras are optimally engineered to enable industrial professionals to safely, quickly, and easily find, assess, and solve mission-critical problems before they result in downtime, become costly, or even disastrous.

The new 640 x 480 resolution models include the Fluke Ti401 PRO Thermal Camera, which offers the ruggedness and ease of use professionals expect from Fluke, plus sharper, crisper images and the highest resolution in its price range, and the Fluke TiX501 Thermal Camera, which is a high-definition camera for exacting reliability inspections, industrial maintenance, building diagnostics, and troubleshooting, with 240 degree articulation for tight or difficult to reach spaces.

New pricing on 640 x 480 resolution cameras include the Fluke Ti480 PRO Thermal Camera, a leading edge visual infrared professional camera with intuitive touchscreen interface, and the Fluke TiX580 Thermal Camera, a high resolution camera with a 5.7inch responsive touch screen, 240 degree articulation, MultiSharp™ focus and LaserSharp™ focus.

The Fluke Ti400 PRO and TiX500 series of thermal cameras include many of the features needed for obtaining professional quality images:

  • MultiSharp Focus - captures a clear, accurate image focused throughout the field of view to easily inspect multiple complex targets or targets from varying distances by automatically processing a stack of images focused near and far (available in the Ti480 PRO and TiX580)
  • LaserSharp Auto Focus - enables in-focus images in a matter of seconds using a built-in laser distance meter that calculates and displays the distance from the designated target and immediately adjusts the focus
  • Interchangeable Smart Lenses - no calibration is required, offering the versatility and image quality needed to conduct inspections in almost any environment
  • Quality optics - to transmit energy and produce high-quality infrared images with 100 percent diamond-turned germanium lenses that have specialty coatings
  • Patented IR-Fusion™ technology – to see more details by adjusting the level of infrared and visible light
  • On-camera image editing and analysis – to enable the user to edit emissivity, enable colour alarms and markers, and adjust IR-Fusion®
  • Advanced thermal sensitivity - to find subtle temperature differences easily
  • Process monitoring - offers video recording, live video streaming, remote control, or auto capture
  • Fluke Connect™ software - helps manage data, capture multiple measurements (mechanical, electrical and thermal), and organise them by piece of equipment.

Fluke has revamped its entire line of industrial thermal cameras with more premium features packed into every model, providing higher value for the customer and allowing the company to reduce the number of cameras it offers to simplify the buying process.

@FlukeCorp #Pauto #TandM

Friday 21 June 2019

Irish automation body reports progress.

The Ireland Section of the International Society of Automation held its AGM recently in Cork. The Section Secretary Billy Walsh report on the highlights of a very busy year during which eleven committee meetings were held.
Some of the delegates at the ISA Ireland AGM 2019
Technical Programme:
During the year several evening technical talks were held in Cork and occasionally in Dublin on topics such as Digital Transformation and Industrie 4.

Ed Cuffe, Section President 
congratulates Rory Moloney on 
his election as President-Elect.
Perhaps one of the most significant developments for the section was a series of training courses on Cybersecurity, based on the international ISA standards, jointly organised by the section and ISA Europe, the training arm of the Society based in the Netherlands. After the first set of courses the demand was found to be very robust and has led to nine courses to date in both Dublin and Cork. More courses are planned for the next year.

Honours & Awards:
The annual Honours and Awards ceremony was held in December and awards were presented to the following.

  • Craftsperson: Paul Meers, CETB & IT Carlow
  • Degree: Paul Casey, GMIT
  • Honours Degree: Emma Branigan, DCU
  • Postgraduate: Ciara O’Hara, CIT
  • Automation Champion: Dr Hassan Kaghazchi, UL
  • Pioneer: Malachy Hanley, Hanley Automation
  • Innovative Project: Alan Shefflin, BMS Biologics

An important outreach of the section (and indeed the ISA as a whole) is to students in the discipline. Members of the section visited the School of Physical Sciences in CIT on ivitation from the school head Dr Donagh O’Mahony and college lecturer Dr Natalia Rebrova. Presentations were made to staff and students within the school about the benefits of ISA membership. Two CIT students Tadgh Gilroy and Owen O’Brien made up half of the District 12 (EMEA) team at the ISA Student Games in Calgary (CDN) in March. The remaining two in the team were from the San Juan Bosco student section in Spain. Brian Curtis, a member of the Section, Global President of the Society, opened the student games.

The section is furthering co-operations with other organisations. A joint ISA/ISPE half day conference of presentations under the title: “Lifesciences 4.0 – Unfolding the Future of Manufacturing for Lifesciences” was held at Limerick in October 2018. The afternoon session allowed the attendees to visit a number of industrial sites (plants) within the radius of Limerick city.

An inaugural meeting that was held between personnel from the IChemE and ISA. They have started to share flyers about forthcoming technical talks within their respective areas of operations.
Billy Walsh, Rory Moloney, Ed Cuffe and Brian Curtis
Global participation.
Internationally the society continued its impressive participation in the governance of the Global Society. Brian Curtis, completed his term as Society President in December. Billy Walsh, who has served in several distinguished positions in the Society was recognised for the excellence of his service to the Society at the annual Honours & Awards function held in Montreál (CDN) in October.

The meeting gratefully acknowledged the support of eighteen key Corporate Sponsors whose generousity allows the Section to offer such an extensive programme to automation professionals in Ireland and beyond.

Co-operation for SPE solutions.

Harting is cooperating with TE Connectivity (TE) to set Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) as the de-facto infrastructure solution to enable the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The two companies together will drive solutions which will define the infrastructure for SPE.
LtoR: Frank Welzel, Director Global Product Management, Harting Electronics; Monika Kuklok, Director Communication & Power, TE Connectivity; Ralf Klein, Managing Director, Harting Electronics; and Eric Leijtens, Global Product Manager of Industrial Communication, TE Connectivity.
There are several SPE standards in IEEE 802.3 covering wired Ethernet technology for LANs and WANs. The latest, 802.3cg 10Base-T1, for distances up to 1 km, will be released in 2019. SPE allows for a single open, scalable Ethernet-based network within the automation system. This significantly reduces complexity, costs and enables the technology to go beyond existing borders.

Harting and TE Connectivity are inviting companies to partner up to drive Single Pair Ethernet as the infrastructure solution for the fast-growing IIoT market.

“Single Pair Ethernet is the technology on which we will build the road to the future success of the IIoT,” said Eric Leijtens, Global Product Manager Industrial Communication, TE Connectivity.

“With the new interconnection standard IEC 63171-6, we have an outstanding opportunity to reap the full potential of the Industrial Internet of Things,” added Frank Welzel, Director Global Product Management, Harting Electronics.

@HARTING  #Pauto @HARTING_Group @TEConnectivity

Thursday 20 June 2019

Frightening levels of pollution on morning trip to school!

Supporting the aims of Clean Air Day (20th June 2019), the British news organ, The Guardian, has published a short film demonstrating the changing levels of pollution that children are exposed to as they walk to school in London. The latest monitoring technology from Air Monitors was mounted on a pram and a child, and live air quality data was synced with a video of the walk to school. This produced an informative video. The film can be viewed here.

Documentary producer Anetta Jones, said: “Air quality is a vitally important issue for the health and wellbeing of city dwellers, but the main pollution threats are invisible, so we hope that initiatives such as this will help residents and visitors to better understand the threat that they face.”

Kitted up!
The Guardian Cities team worked closely with their colleagues in multimedia to create a film showing real-time air quality data as a mother takes her young children to school in north London. The video features mother-of-two Natasa pushing a pram and walking her daughter along Marylebone Road, with a Particles Plus instrument attached to the pram and an AQMesh pod on her daughter’s backpack.

The most important air quality parameters are displayed on-screen during the walk, with data including PM10, PM2.5 and Nitrogen Dioxide. The film producers have cleverly integrated the European yearly mean limits for these parameters into the display, with readings changing from blue to red when they exceed the limit, (which for PM10 and NO2 was most of the time!).

The monitoring equipment was supplied by Air Monitors Limited. Their David Green said: “We have recently installed large numbers of AQMesh pods all over London as part of the Breathe London project, and data from these pods will be displayed on the project website. However, video is an enormously popular medium, and it is really exciting to see what can be achieved when the latest technologies in multimedia and air quality monitoring combine.”

Dangerous (and illegal) levels of pollution
@airmonitors #Environment @AQMesh @guardian @_Enviro_News 

Innovations facilitate pharma & biotech production processes.

Many innovations are been added to Werum's PAS-X Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for the pharma and biotech industries which provides advanced user options and better performance. This includes, for example, biometric alternatives to the usual authentication process, an integrated solution for detailed scheduling and optimized operation on mobile terminals.

Robert Welter
“We are continually enhancing PAS-X. On one hand, we aim to address new production processes, regulations and customer requirements in an optimal way. On the other hand, it is our goal to stimulate innovation and to quickly pave the way for the pharmaceutical industry to the digital factory of the future,” says Robert Welter, Senior Head of PAS-X Product Management, Werum IT Solutions GmbH.

Biometric authentication
The current authentication process requires entering a username and password, pincode or ID – and is thus time-consuming. With K.Me-In (ki mi ɪn) Werum now offers an innovative biometric authentication product to simplify log-in and signing processes. In the future, various user-specific biometric parameters such as fingerprint, iris, face recognition or a combination of those will be used. Additionally, PAS-X logs off the user automatically when he or she leaves the application – an important aspect to ensure data integrity. Werum’s new biometric authentication product allows users on the shop floor to authenticate more quickly so they can concentrate on their main tasks.

Seamless integration of detailed scheduling
Moreover, Werum has further enhanced the functionality of its PAS-X MES by integrating a detailed scheduling solution based on sedApta’s Factory Scheduler. Through PAS-X, this scheduling solution can directly access all necessary data, such as master data, MBRs or order data for the shop floor. PAS-X provides the data in real time and with a higher quality than any ERP. Thus, there is no more need for an interface between the scheduling solution and the ERP.

Easier mobile operation
PAS-X is increasingly being used on mobile terminals on the shop floor. For this reason, Werum has further optimized the use of its MES software on hand-held scanners and tablets. For instance, this allows tablet users to benefit from an improved touch operation. PAS-X now has a new browser-based user interface specifically designed for the operation on hand-held terminals which supports current hardware and software platforms. In industrial environments, the improved usability allows for increased performance, stable operation and safety.

@Werum  #MES #Pharma

Life sciences technology leader acquired.

Zenith Technologies, the life sciences manufacturing technology services company headquartered in Cork (IRL) is to be acquired by Cognizant. Their more than 800 people will become part of Cognizant’s Life Sciences business unit.

Joe Haugh
Zenith's CEO
“In joining Cognizant, we are bringing together two respected life sciences service provider brands with complementary technology and manufacturing operations expertise,” said Joe Haugh, Chief Executive Officer, Zenith Technologies. “It’s an exciting time for us, with the life sciences industry embracing digital transformation to enable more flexible and efficient manufacturing facilities to bring new treatments to market faster. Our combined business will drive process excellence through tighter integration of manufacturing processes and systems, the efficient harnessing of information and analytics across the manufacturing value chain, and the adoption of IoT technologies delivering manufacturing 4.0. Together, we are well-positioned to help clients more efficiently produce the life-changing medicines and medical devices for patients who need them most.”

The acquisition extends Cognizant’s capabilities for designing, implementing and managing end-to-end operational and information technology systems for connected biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. Interconnected “smart factories” have become a strategic priority for the industry, with production systems and processes becoming more complex because of research advances and increased demand for large-molecule biologics.

Brendan O'Regan, 
Zenith's Founder
The combined Cognizant-Zenith Technologies expertise will deliver a range of Industry 4.0 capabilities, from factory design consultation, machine sensor and controller instrumentation, supervisory control, and data acquisition, to manufacturing execution systems, batch automation, enterprise resource planning integration and managed services. The company’s operating hubs in Ireland, Germany, India, Singapore, the United States and other sites around the world are located near manufacturing facilities of many Cognizant clients. Cognizant is a leading services provider to the life sciences industry, working with all of the world’s top 30 life sciences companies.

“Industry 4.0 solutions, encompassing Internet of Things (IoT), automation and analytics, are a strategic focus area for Cognizant,” said Brian Humphries, Chief Executive Officer, Cognizant. “In acquiring Zenith Technologies, we expand Cognizant’s IoT portfolio and extend our life sciences domain expertise by becoming a single-source provider of end-to-end smart factory capabilities. Together, we are better positioned to help clients realize information and operational technology convergence in their manufacturing operations, and advance the development of life-saving drugs, biologics, specialized pharmaceuticals and medical devices. We look forward to welcoming Zenith Technologies’ employees to Cognizant.”

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, subject to satisfaction of closing conditions, including regulatory review. Financial details were not disclosed.

Founded in 1998, Zenith Technologies operates on five continents, with 16 locations around the globe. Zenith Technologies works with nine of the world’s 10 largest biopharmaceutical manufacturers, implementing and supporting their manufacturing lifecycle software through its Consultancy, Manufacturing Digital and Automation Systems Integration, and Manufacturing Site Services business lines.

A recognized industry leader, Zenith Technologies was named “Pharma Supplier of the Year” at the 2018 Pharma Industry Awards, which acknowledge companies demonstrating innovation and excellence in the Irish biopharma industry.
The Zenith story to date!

@ZT_Global @Cognizant #PAuto #Pharma #Ireland @CognizantNews

Chlorine measurement in water.

The Memosens CCS51D amperometric sensors have been launched by Endress + Hauser. This is used for measuring free chlorine measurement in process water, drinking water, water & wastewater treatment, cooling water, and all utilities and processes requiring clean, treated water.

Free chlorine is the most important disinfectant in water treatment due to its easy handling, the strong disinfecting effect and the residual effect. A precise dosing control of free chlorine can only be achieved by a fast and sensitive free chlorine measurement. Memosens CCS51D features a special membrane design providing an extremely fast response time. It helps plant operators run their disinfection processes on tight limits and save on chemicals.

The sensor's convex membrane made of dense, dirt-repellent material prevents soiling and makes it extremely resistant to biofouling. Ultrasonic welding of the membrane to the sensor cap ensures its integrity, preventing dilution of the electrolyte and thus a drift of the measuring signal. This guarantees long-term stable measurements and gives water plant managers the security that the disinfection process is running smoothly, and the required disinfection results are achieved.

The free chlorine sensor is equipped with proven Memosens technology. Memosens allows for direct commissioning of new sensors without further calibration. During on-going operation, plant operators can pre-calibrate sensors in the lab, swap them into the process with plug & play, and thus continue measuring faster. Finally, non-contact data transmission eliminates all measurement errors or even failures caused by humidity or corrosion.

The disinfection effectivity of free chlorine is strongly dependent on the pH value. To compensate for this dependency, it is important to integrate a pH measurement into all disinfection processes with free chlorine. Memosens CCS51D is connected to the Liquiline multiparameter transmitter that can serve up to eight sensors simultaneously, and the Flowfit CCA250 flow assembly offers mounting space for a simple installation of the additional pH sensor.

 @Endress_Hauser  #PAuto #Water

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Improving odour treatment plant efficiency.

With environmental legislation in relation to odour management becoming increasingly more stringent, Italy-based Technologia & Ambiente (T&A) has purchased a Falco fixed, continuous photoionisation detector (PID) from Ion Science Italia – leading manufacturer of gas detection instrumentation for environmental and occupational health monitoring applications – as a key component of its newly developed Online System for Monitoring Odours Treatment Efficiency (OSMOTREFF).

T&A was established in 2010 as a division of the Polytechnic of Bari (I). The company offers a wide range of environmental services including waste management, reclamation of polluted sites and treatment of waste water and emissions. Backed by highly qualified staff including industrial chemists and environmental engineers, T&A can offer tailor-made solutions for complex applications in chemistry and environmental engineering applications.

T&A’s OSMOTREFF is a pilot system specially designed to analyse odour treatment facilities. Once connected to odour treatment plant using physical chemical absorption, such as chemical scrubbing and activated carbon filtration, the innovative OSMOTREFF provides on line monitoring of treatment efficiency and can conduct pilot tests on effluent gases to help further improve the process.

The odorous compounds contained in conveyed gaseous flows are difficult to monitor continuously because of their multiplicity, the peculiarity of the specific application and the sampling and analysis methodology.

Ion Science’s Falco PID is installed on T&A’s OSMOTREFF and represents one of the key components of the system. It provides continuous, online measurement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in both inlet and outlet conveyed gas streams that have odour problems.

T&A’s Roberto Pisconti comments: “Odorous molecules are typically found in VOCs with a market tendency to be present in the vapour phase. Many VOCs contained in gas streams generate odours and, for a given process, in most cases there is a direct correlation between the concentration of VOCs and amount of odorimetric units in accordance with European Standard EN13725, Air quality – determination of odour concentration by dynamic olfactometry.

“Once this correlation has been determined, a Falco PID can be useful for easy online monitoring of VOCs and indirectly of odorimetric units on outlet conveyed gas streams.

“In Italy, a new legislation with specific odour limit thresholds has also been recently introduced making it ever more important for companies that have treatment in their processes to monitor and improve the treatment efficiency of their systems in line with regulatory requirements.

“Ion Science and its products are well known across our business so we were confident in the Falco’s ability to reliably and accurately measure VOCs in both inlet and outlet gas streams,” he adds.

Most gas streams cause condensation. Although T&A’s OSMOTREFF incorporates a feature that can dilute the gas sample in order to avoid condensation, it can still occur making it essential to have an instrument with condensation resistant design.

A 0-3000 parts per million (ppm) detection range can cover most petrochemical applications. For other applications, 0-1000 ppm may be suitable.

The Falco PID operates in conjunction with T&A’s OSMOTREFF system with a pilot test on conveyed gas streams taking from two hours up to several days, depending on the application requirements.

Roberto Pisconti concludes: “Since Ion Science Italia provided training, we have found the Falco very easy to use and operate, and it has been excellent in terms of accuracy and reliability. The service has also been very good and they were quick to respond when we needed assistance with calibration. 

 @ionscience #Environment #Health  @elhcomms #Italy

Troubleshooting power in your pocket.

Fluke has introduced a pocket-sized thermal imager as the first line of defence for easy troubleshooting for electricians and industrial maintenance personnel. 

The professional-grade Fluke PTi120 Pocket Thermal Imager offers quick temperature scans of electrical panels and equipment, pumps and motors building systems, HVAC and process control equipment for hot spots and cold spots that can indicate early signs of trouble. The 3.5inch touchscreen features IR-Fusion™ technology to blend a visible image with an infrared image to more easily locate problems.

The Fluke PTi120 offers simple point-and-shoot technology. With fully radiometric measurement, it provides 120 x 90 infrared resolution. The pocket-sized and the industrial rugged form factor paired with Fluke Connect Asset Tagging and IR-Fusion™ technology offer a powerful combination. Fluke Connect Asset Tagging eliminates the sorting and organising of infrared images by simply scanning the asset’s QR code or barcode. The 3.5inch LCD touchscreen display enables simple adjustment of blending of the infrared image with a visible image by the sliding of a finger across the screen. It provides a temperature measurement range from -20°C to +150°C.

Designed to withstand a 1metre drop and mounted in an IP54-rated enclosure to provide protection against dirt and moisture, the PTi120 also comes with a lanyard and USB lead, all fitting in a soft case.

@FlukeCorp  #PAuto #TandM

Innovative recordng of live power requirements and thermal conditions.

PULS Power believes that system availability, cost efficiency and scheduled maintenance are the key criteria for most industrial and building automation system (BAS) designers and installers.

During the system design process PULS works closely with its customers to provide detailed advice on selecting the optimum power supply for their specific applications. To enhance this service, PULS has developed the unique SmartFab Box.

The SmartFab Box is an innovative diagnostics tool, which makes the power requirements and thermal conditions in systems and installations transparent. It allows users to check and specify their power budgets directly on their own systems, live and completely securely.

The SmartFab Box is available to PULS customers free of charge for a limited period of time or it may be leased for longer term analysis of the effects of changes or improvements to power systems. This unique user service provides assistance in selecting the right power supply and avoiding over specifying excessively large power reserves.

Customers can analyse an application's data live at any time via the online dashboard. For answers to questions or recommendations on the results, the PULS application engineering team is always ready and willing to offer support.

The SmartFab Box measures voltage and current (input and output), power (primary and secondary), transients, power factor and temperature (ambient and inside enclosure).

Installation and operation of the SmartFab Box is simple. All that is required is an AC mains connection and an LTE / 3G cell signal. The sensors of the SmartFab Box are then connected to the application and the setup is ready to start the analysis.

The non-invasive measurements use a VPN connection to the SmartFab Box saving all application data securely and anonymously to a cloud server in Germany. The data is exchanged over the LTE / 3G cellular network and there is no requirement to connect the SmartFab Box to the local corporate network. The SmartFab Box is designed to be non-invasive at all times and will not affect the application during the installation or when taking measurements. This assures absolute safety and integrity of the customer's process.

The web-based user interface, which provides live analysis of measurement data, can be displayed on a PC or notebook and is very intuitive and simple to use. The operator can access data via the online dashboard. The dashboard is password-protected and accessible only to authorised users and a qualified PULS support team.

Marco van der Linden comments, "We recently installed a number of DIN rail power supplies in a large warehouse with a SmartFab Box connected. This gave the customer an excellent overview of the utilization and efficiency of their conveyor system, the running costs and CO2 savings the company has achieved by installing our high efficiency power supplies. This free service was very much appreciated by our customer."

@PULSPowerSupply #BAS #PAuto 

Partners discuss how sharing benifits digitalization.

Thirty five Open Integration partners gathered together at Endress+Hauser in Reinach (CH), to share their experiences and thoughts for the first time. A highlight of the event was a presentation from representatives of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries outlining how they benefit from the partner program during digitalization of their processes – and what they would like to see in the future.

The goal of the Open Integration program initiated by Endress+Hauser can be summed up quickly: the simple, fast and manufacturer-independent integration of components and devices into various automation systems. And, almost more importantly, satisfied customers.

While it sounds simple in theory, when it comes to day-to-day system operation, it’s far from that. Even the most experienced automation specialists have great respect for multi-vendor systems. That also applies to complete solutions “from a single source.” After all, digital communications – a precondition for the extensive use of existing intelligence in field devices and systems – places serious demands on integration.

With its Open Integration partner program, Endress+Hauser is inviting providers of control technology, fieldbus infrastructure, measurement technology and actuator systems to test and document the interaction of their products even more extensively in the interests of their customers. The cooperation partners include Auma Riester, Bürkert, Festo, Flowserve, Hima Paul Hildebrandt, Honeywell Process Solutions, Mitsubishi Electric, Pepperl + Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric and Turck.

Open standards as a basis
The foundation of this effort is open communication standards (Hart, Profibus, Foundation Fieldbus, EtherNet/IP or Profinet), as well as open integration standards (FDT, EDD, FDI). With a nearly unlimited selection of options, the reference topologies represent practical combinations suitable for applications in the chemical, life sciences, food & beverage, oil & gas, power & energy, primaries & metal and water & wastewater industries.

The reference topologies take into account industry-typical requirements such as explosion protection, availability and redundancy. Each topology is thoroughly tested and documented in their lab in Reinach in conjunction with the partners, after which the recommendations are published.

Interoperability tests create added value
And how do customers benefit from the Open Integration partner program? Every problem that the integration experts discover prior to commissioning can be resolved at a much lower cost compared to fixing the issue in the field at some later point. Customers receive concrete, validated recommendations for automating their systems, which go well beyond established conformity and interoperability testing while ensuring seamless integration. Last but not least, they save time and money.

With developments such as IIoT and APL, users will face new challenges, plus integration testing will be given added weight. This makes it even more important for the Open Integration partners to work together over the long term. The participating customer and provider representatives were in full agreement on this point. Cyber security, in addition to the issue of connectivity, will play a key role in the future. They furthermore agreed that effective strategies need to be developed to counter new entrants in the automation industry such as IBM or Amazon.

Customer-driven developments
One thing was clear during the get-together in Reinach in early June: the process control industry wants open, interoperable systems instead of proprietary solutions. One of the users wants uniform, structured access to static information via QR- and RFID-supported type plates in accordance with DIN 91406. Standardized diagnostics in line with NE 107 is also at the top of the wish list.

In the near term, Endress+Hauser wants to work with its partners to address these and other open issues with the aim of utilizing Open Integration to offer customers even more value-add during digitalization of their processes. The common goal: satisfied customers who can extensively utilize the opportunities that digitalization brings with little risk.

@Endress_Hauser  #PAuto