Friday, July 12, 2019

Software successfully caps a problem!

TorqSense transducers are playing a vital role in packing leading edge medical test kits at Axis-Shield in Dundee (Scotland), which develops new diagnostic compounds that help with the early identification and management of critical illnesses.
Axis-Shield is a world leader in inventing new markers for identifying cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, sepsis, vitamin deficiencies and diabetes. Spotting early signs of such conditions during routine medical check-ups means treatment can be started in a timely manner, which leads to improved patient management, either curing or managing the problem.
The compounds it develops are initially produced in low volumes, where automated processes are not appropriate. This moves to medium volume production once the product has been proven, approved and certified and the medical fraternity begin using it.

Some compounds later move into high volume production, but it is in the very nature of medical advancement that in other cases Axis-Shield will keep on improving the formulations and developing new products fairly quickly. Thus Axis-Shield has a need for highly efficient medium volume packaging solutions that guarantee accurate and consistent adherence to performance parameters.

This led the company to commission a bespoke packaging line that could handle multiple products in a variety of different packaging formats at a rate of around 500-2500 units per hour. The line fills bottles or other forms of container with the compounds, caps them, labels them, groups them into multi-packs, applies outer wrappers and overprints key data such as production date, use-by date, storage, handling and usage instructions, etc.

“Capping the bottles is a critical part of the process,” explains Dean Harper of the company. “Our line can work with two sizes of cap and each one must be tightened to just the right level of torque to within pretty tight tolerances.”

A cap that is too loose may lead to spillage of the marker, which is usually very expensive, during transit or handling. A cap that is fitted too tightly may cause upset to the patient or medical staff, who are both likely to feel stressed if smooth medical procedures are upset. Equally, forcing open an overly tight cap could result in spillage.

“Our packaging line has four capping stations and each one is fitted with a TorqSense transducer,” explains Dean. “These work in conjunction with a computer to ensure the correct level of tightness and record the data for traceability records.”

TorqSense is unlike any other sensor in that it does not rely on delicate slip rings to transmit torque readings. It does this wirelessly using radio signals transmitted from a pick-up located near to, but not actually contacting the rotating drive shaft of the capping mechanism.

“The capping process is essentially simple,” says Dean, “but you have to allow for a fast cycle time and the need to guarantee torque while ensuring total sterility.”

TorqSense met the design criteria of robustness, simple high speed operation and non-contact for sterility.

Mark Ingham of Sensor Technology gives the details: “TorqSense was ideal for this application; we just needed to work out mounting arrangements. We supplied the sensor with our standard TorqView software which both displays readings in real time and archives them should analysis or track and trace be an application requirement.

Being wireless, TorqSense does not need to physically contact the bottle caps or shaft of the torque head it is monitoring. Instead, sensing is achieved through a radio frequency link using Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) sensors. A shaft twists very slightly when it rotates, the amount of deformation being proportional to the torque. TorqSense measures the deformation so that it can calculate torque. To do this two tiny piezoelectric combs (SAW sensors) are glued to the surface of the shaft at right angles to one another; shaft deformation will expand one comb and compress the other. A radio frequency signal emitted by the TorqSense is reflected back by the combs, with its frequency changed in proportion to the combs' deformation."

For Axis-Shield, the software was required to do two things: run the torque up to a set level within tolerances, and record the actual value achieved. This secures the cap to the bottle at a level of tightness that will ensure security and sterility, yet is at a level that can be opened relatively easily by an adult. The logged values are saved to a hard drive to provide a permanent record for traceability purposes.

Dean explains: “Diagnostic fluids are distributed widely, often globally, so they may be stored for months before use. Tracing each bottle’s origin would be practically impossible without full records being automatically produced and saved to a central location. TorqSense provided a solution to this complex but critical problem using an out of the box technology.”

@sensortech  #Medical

Sense like a bat!

Toposens recently announced the release of their current flag-ship product TS3, a 3D ultrasonic sensor suitable for a wide range of applications in the autonomous systems market that require a strong need for reliable object detection and situational awareness.

“Because our new “Bat Vision” TS3 sensor is compact, affordable and integration-ready,” explains Tobias Bahnemann, Managing Director of Toposens. “Engineers can easily add it to their sensor stacks to replace or complement their existing optical sensing systems, providing both redundancy and an improved level of accuracy compared to standard ultrasonic sensors in various autonomous navigation applications.”

In comparison to common ultrasonic sensors, which usually measure the distance only to the closest reflecting surface, Toposens’ new 3D sensors achieve a wide field of view of up to 160° and provide simultaneous 3D measurements for multiple objects within the scanning area. The operation thus mimics the echolocation techniques used by bats and dolphins for navigation and orientation in the wild.

The new TS3 sensor combines carefully selected hardware components with proprietary signal processing algorithms. It is ideally suited for indoor robotic navigation and object avoidance. Systems benefit from its real-time processing capabilities while keeping data transmission bandwidth and power consumption low, which is especially important for battery powered robots.

Exemplary use cases include home cleaning robots and delivery/service robots. The TS3 sensor enables them to reliably map an environment with minimal processing power and to localize themselves in predefined maps to execute complex path planning algorithms. TS3 sensors perform independently of ambient light conditions and are even capable of detecting mirroring and transparent surfaces; adding an additional layer of safety where optical sensors tend to fail. For even higher reliability the generated 3D point cloud can easily be fused with data from other system-relevant sensors.

The new TS3 sensor is an embedded sensor system that sends out ultrasound waves in a frequency range inaudible by humans. An array of microphones subsequently records the echoes from all objects in the sensor’s vicinity and computes their location in a 3-dimensional space. It therefore creates an entirely new way of ultrasonic sensing for autonomous systems.

The core technology is based on the Toposens’ SoundVision1TM chip making the sensor system easily adaptable to a variety of product designs. This qualifies the TS3 as the perfect technology platform for developing next-level mass market vehicles in robotic and even automotive use cases like automated parking and next-level ADAS functionality.

Technical specifications include a detection range of up to 5 meters and a scan rate of approximately 28 Hz. The TS3 returns up to 200 points per second with each 3D point corresponding to the cartesian coordinates and an additional volume measurement of the ultrasound wave’s echo returned by an object’s surface.

Along with the TS3 sensor, Toposens offers a feature rich toolkit for the Robotics Operating System (ROS) middleware making the sensor easy to integrate into preexisting systems and enabling fast prototyping for high-level navigation capabilities. The team is currently working on adding advanced decision-making algorithms to their software and complimentary tutorial stack.

@Toposens #PAuto #Ultrasonics #Robotics

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Partnership to develop a “vein-to-vein” digital supply chain solution.

Werum IT Solutions has announced a strategic partnership with Blood Centers of America (BCA) to provide a standardized, scalable and compliant platform for the cell and gene therapy market. BCA is a member-owned organization comprised of over 50 independent blood centers throughout North America, representing nearly 40% of the U.S. blood supply.

Dr. Andreas Fischer (left), Werum &
Charles Mooney, Blood Centers of America,
closing the agreement.
The two partners will jointly develop a seamless digital supply chain solution suite for cell and gene therapy. It will integrate manufacturing and supply chain logistics as well as the collection of autologous/allogenic cell-based raw material in the manufacture of cell and gene therapies. The cell and gene market will benefit from standardized processes, scalability of their products, full control of the chain of compliance (CoI, CoC) and electronic batch recording.

“We are excited to partner with Werum IT Solutions, the leading MES supplier in FDA approved cell and gene therapies,” says Charles Mooney, VP Bio-Development & Quality Management at the Oklahoma Blood Institute and BCA Cell Therapy Committee Chair. “To efficiently manage cell and gene therapies the market needs a comprehensive ‘vein-to-vein’ IT solution that we will create together with Werum – a novelty and important milestone in the cell and gene business.”

“We are proud to work together with Blood Centers of America and its members on this live-saving initiative,” says Dr. Andreas Fischer, Senior Head of Business Unit SafeCell at Werum IT Solutions. “We will share knowledge and resources in order to develop an end-to-end supply chain management solution of cell and gene therapies integrating manufacturing and logistics for the complex process of delivering such therapies to the patient.”

In this context, Werum’s PAS-X MES will play a decisive role through its capabilities to track and control patient’s material. There are thousands of data points between patient, donor, raw material and material management. PAS-X provides one GMP compliant electronic batch record allowing real-time data access and analysis, increasing data quality and reducing per batch execution effort and risk of human error.

@Werum #Medical @BCAbloodcenters

Radar level transmitter for the water and wastewater.

The OPTIWAVE 1400 FMCW radar level transmitter for the water and wastewater industry has been introduced by Krohne. The new 24 GHz device offers the benefits associated with FMCW radar technology – high accuracy, reliability and measurement stability – at a competitive price.

OPTIWAVE 1400 aims at liquid level measurement applications in the water industry, for example in extraction, transport, storage and distribution of water from springs, rivers, lakes or the sea, as well as in rainwater basins. Typical applications in the wastewater industry include level measurement of wastewater, sludge or other liquids in storage applications or pumping stations. It can also be used for level measurement through plastic tanks (e.g. IBC), as well as open channel flow measurement, or floodwater alarm.

OPTIWAVE 1400 features the proven polypropylene (PP) Drop antenna with the smallest beam angle (8°) on the market. The 2-wire 4...20 mA (HART 7) transmitter provides accurate and reliable level measurement up to 20 m/ 66 ft despite condensation, turbulent surfaces or foam. It comes with a robust stainless steel housing and IP68/ NEMA 4X/6 rating. OPTIWAVE 1400 is maintenance-free and designed for simple and safe installation and operation. Delivered with reinforced cable gland and 10 m/ 33 ft cable, the new water radar offers thread as well as low-pressure flange connections and various other accessories. Thus OPTIWAVE 1400 is a powerful and cost-effective alternative to pulse radar and ultrasonic level transmitters.

@krohnegroup #PAuto 

Miniature programmable Hall Effect angle sensor.

With a diminutive 10 mm diameter housing, M8 threaded mounting and a 3.175 mm diameter flatted shaft, Variohm EuroSensor’s new Euro-CMRT series Hall Effect angle sensors extend its recently launched CMRx range of miniature programmable non-contacting sensors. The durable and robust CMRT series has an IP68 rating and is particularly aimed at long life, high duty-cycle precision angle measurement tasks where space is at a real premium or where its design flexibility allows straightforward mechanical and electrical adaptation to exactly match the customer’s requirements. A choice of single or dual redundant output, with CW or CCW direction, includes ratiometric or PWM signal levels from an industry standard 5 VDC input.

Variohm’s Hall Effect sensor technology has been adapted and improved over many angle sensor design iterations and is well-proven for use in arduous position feedback measurement applications that include motorsports, industrial automation, agricultural vehicles and construction machinery. And now the new Euro-CMRT series is available in its smallest package size to date. The M8 mounting and small envelope will facilitate mounting in the smallest spaces as well as allow custom flange adaptations for form-fit replacements for competitor products and application upgrades for existing Variohm applications.

The high grade anodised aluminium housing supports the 316 stainless steel shaft in a durable phosphor bronze sleeve bearing and with no sensor contact, long life – in excess of 50 million movements - is specified. A vibration rating that meets IEC 600068-2-6 and temperature range from -40° C to +125° C, with short term operation to 150° C, further ensures performance for the most demanding environments.

The Euro-CMRT complements the new 18 mm PCD flange mounting Euro-CMRS and the puck-and-magnet design of the Euro-CMRK. Thanks to their innovative and modular design, with encapsulated sensor electronics, all Euro-CMRx series products boast the same impressive environmental and electrical specifications with independent linearity to 0.5% of each signal range, and programmable angles from 30⁰ to 360⁰ in 1⁰ increments. Electrical connection for the 3-wire single-channel and 6-wire dual-channel versions is 500 mm long Raychem 55 cable with connectors and other options on request. Across the new CMRx micro sensor range, whilst the dimensions are the smallest currently available, the modular design offers straightforward mechanical and electrical customisation. This scalability helps to ensure the customer’s installation requirements are both matched and simplified.

The Euro-CMRx range is produced at Variohm’s ISO 9001:2015 quality-certified UK manufacturing facility along with many other precision sensor components and measurement sub-systems for position, force, pressure, load, and temperature measurement. Variohm is also a distributor for several other leading sensor component suppliers as well as a supply chain partner for major manufacturers. The specialist provides complete sales and application support across its comprehensive range of sensor technologies for demanding measurement applications in industry, construction, agriculture, motorsports, research and more.

@Variohm  #PAuto

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Improved machinery health visibility.

Emerson has improved its AMS Machinery Manager predictive maintenance and analysis software with new visibility tools and mobile access to help users more quickly identify and act on machinery health issues anytime and anywhere. New integration between AMS Machinery Manager and the Plantweb™ Optics asset performance platform enables automated workflows – helping maintenance and operations teams focus on exceptions to make better decisions faster.

The number of devices and sensors that organisations employ to ensure continuous, safe operation has grown significantly. When data from these devices is unprioritised, it can obscure problems, making it hard for operators to quickly determine pressing issues. A new AMS Machinery Manager dashboard helps solve this challenge by automatically filtering critical data and passing it to users’ mobile devices via Plantweb Optics. With instant mobile alerts, users can more quickly identify and analyse machines with potential defects.

The new AMS Machinery Manager dashboard is also more interactive, allowing users to delve in and quickly discover root causes for asset alarms. Users can click on problem assets to drill down to health data with analytics tools – such as Emerson’s PeakVue technology for early indication of equipment defect development – to receive a clear indicator of overall asset health. A new analysis bookmarks feature helps users easily monitor critical issues. Upon identifying an alert or status that needs further review or action, users can flag items for second opinions or as a reminder to take action or revisit specific assets.

“Today’s manufacturing leaders know that it is essential to get machine health data to the right people quickly, no matter where they are,” said Sean Key, product manager for AMS Machinery Manager. “Plantweb Optics integration allows AMS Machinery Manager to deliver that targeted data to mobile devices to help build proactive, automated workflows – speeding response times and helping reduce downtime and improve operations.”

Plants depend on regular maintenance routes to ensure equipment performs properly. Often, ensuring these routes have been completed promptly and properly means creating and analysing detailed reports. AMS Machinery Manager now simplifies route management by making detailed information available on the operator dashboard in human-centred graphic displays. Users can identify overdue or incomplete routes at a glance – without the need to run a report.

AMS Machinery Manager and Plantweb Optics are part of the Plantweb digital ecosystem, which equips plant operators and technicians with new insight into the health and performance of their assets and processes to help them shift from a reactive maintenance culture to a proactive approach that results in less downtime and lower maintenance costs.

AMS Machinery Manager can now be installed on-premises or in the cloud, reducing the need for on-site information technology to manage software installations. Emerson has also expanded the AMS Machinery Manager database to support up to 32GB, helping users consolidate all their asset data into a single installation.

@EMR_Automation #PAuto @Emerson_News @HHC_Lewis 

Components application centre.

Omron Electronic Components Europe has launched a new Application Centre in Europe, as the next step in its long term Customer Value Generation Strategy.

Tomonori Morimura
Located in Hoofddorp (NL), the Application Centre is led by Tomonori Morimura, who has relocated from Japan to Europe to take up the position of Application Centre General Manager. Commenting, he said, “The goal of Omron Electronic Components Europe is to maximize customer’s value through our component business. Our new Application Centre will help achieve this goal. First, it enables our development teams to deeply understand our local customers’ current and future business and product needs and align our road maps effectively. Second, it will bring a higher level of engineering support to Europe enabling faster response to customer needs and requests. Our approach is to partner closely with customers through design in activity, and to provide solutions with devices and modules based on Omron’s technology.”

The Application Centre will focus on four major and growing markets: energy, automation, healthcare and mobility and will offer trend setting and innovative technologies. The Application Centre integrates Business Development, Product Marketing, Field Application Engineering and Marketing Communications functions and co-ordinates application-driven sales activities and marketing strategy. The Application Centre will reinforce Omron’s focus on high quality and contribute to improving logistics and delivery time by providing flexibility in production. It will also help strengthen and improve Omron’s core technologies and ensure that they are applicable to the market.

@OmronEurope  #Electronics #Europe

SCADA offering strengthened by acquisition.

Emerson has completed the purchase of Zedi’s software and automation businesses. The addition of Zedi’s cloud supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) platform will further enable Emerson, to help oil and gas producers increase production and lower operating costs through cloud-based monitoring, control and optimisation.

Zedi’s software and automation businesses are based in Calgary, Canada, with approximately 155 employees in North America.

“As world energy demand continues to grow, helping our vital oil and gas market customers maximise their resources is a top priority,” said Lal Karsanbhai, executive president of Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “Through our vast portfolio of automation technologies, we are helping the industry navigate ever-changing market dynamics and operational challenges. The addition of Zedi strengthens our ability to help customers leverage the latest advances from the field to the refinery.”

Zedi’s technology is currently enabling customers to monitor more than 2 million sensors and thousands of devices and applications. By combining Zedi’s scalable cloud platform and applications expertise with Emerson’s extensive applications, controller, instrumentation and flow metering portfolio, this acquisition expands opportunities for Emerson across the global oil and gas production market.

“Oil and gas producers today are challenged to meet production targets while controlling costs, and they are looking for opportunities to transform operations and make their teams more effective through digital solutions like analytics and mobility,” said Jim Nyquist, group president of Emerson’s systems and solutions business. “This important investment bolsters our portfolio and ability to help Emerson’s customers achieve Top Quartile performance through emerging Industrial Internet of Things technologies.”

Emerson and Zedi’s software and automation businesses share a common vision of automating the production process through edge and cloud analytics and machine learning. The combined software and expertise of the two companies will provide producers with scalable and easily deployable end-to-end connected solutions to optimise and manage their operations.

@EMR_Automation  #PAuto #SCADA @Emerson_News @HHC_Lewis 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

High-Performance Series HMI Family.

IDEC Corporation announces the release of its newly upgraded HG2G-V5 5.7”, HG3G-V8 8.4”, HG3G-VA 10.4” and HG4G-VC 12.1” human-machine interface (HMI) touchscreen models. These new HMIs offer industry leading performance, making them a great fit for both new and retrofit applications.

For retrofit applications, these High-Performance Series HMIs are direct replacements for previous models, offering a seamless upgrade path and fitting into the exact same panel cutouts. All HMI programming can be converted from existing to these new models, so no new programming is required.

All updated models use TFT-LCD screens displaying a wide range of vivid colors, with the three larger-sized HMIs improving the resolution to 1024x768 pixels, while the 5.7” model remains at 640x480 pixels. The entire range of HMIs in the series offers top-performing brightness, in this case ranging from 600 to 800 cd/m2, to deliver greater visibility, even in high-glare locations such as direct sunlight. Best-in-class backlight life ratings are 100,000 hours minimum, far exceeding the competition.

An already wide operating temperature range has now been extended to cover -20DegC to +60DegC. This combined with IP66F, IP67F, Type 4X, 12, 13, Class I Division 2 hazardous location and UL 61010 approval ratings assures reliable operation in the toughest environments. These HMIs are built for endurance and backed by an industry leading three-year warranty.

In addition to common and previously supported industrial protocols such as Modbus TCP and Modbus RTU, these new HMIs support BACnet/IP, a widely used protocol in building automation and HVAC applications. Support is included for over 100 other serial and networking industrial protocols such as Modbus RTU Master/Slave and Modbus TCP/IP. Up to four protocols can be used simultaneously, allowing these HMIs to exchange data with many sources and systems.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) functionality allows users to configure these HMIs as an FTP Client or Server for transferring programs—and for copying or moving files between local memory, an external memory device or a cloud-based file, database or data storage platform. This provides a convenient and effective remote file transfer method.

The HMIs’ built-in web server can be used to create web pages developed using a browser-based web page editor. This functionality provides remote monitoring and control, and it can be accessed using any device capable of hosting a web browser including a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Accessing the HMI using this method gives a remote user the same functionality as if standing in front of the local screen. Troubleshooting and maintenance of a system is possible any time and from anywhere, saving travel time and expense. The built-in web server also supports industrial internet of things (IIoT) operation, and it can be configured to generate emails.

In addition to browser-based access, users can employ the WindEDIT Lite app on any iOS or Android device over Wi-Fi for two-way communications with these HMIs. As with smartphones and tablets used in commercial applications, this app provides very fast access and is extremely easy to use.

Direct control by these HMIs is enabled by adding IDEC MicroSmart FC6A discrete or analog I/O expansion modules. The 5.7” model accepts up to two modules, while the 8.4”, 10.4” and 12.1” models accept up to four modules. Programming to sense inputs and drive outputs is accomplished within the HMI software, providing a space saving all-in-one automation solution.

USB, Ethernet and SD memory card ports deliver comprehensive connectivity, while two unique video-in and audio-out ports on all but the 5.7” model enable offer additional flexibility. Increased memory, now at 56MB, and a CPU that is 2.3 times faster than the previous generation deliver the performance required for even the most demanding applications.

With High-Performance Series HMIs sizes now ranging from 5.7” all the way up to the recently introduced 15” model, users have options for applications on any size equipment. This new generation includes useful improvements to line charts, bar charts, trending and security. All HMIs in the product line are configured using the same simple, intuitive WindO/I-NV4 screen creation software, so users only need to be familiar with one inexpensive software package for development within the entire series. Another advantage is projects can automatically be converted from one HMI size to another within seconds using the same software. Communication cables between the HMIs and PLCs remain the same.

Industries particularly well suited for these HMIs are wastewater treatment, machine tool, packaging equipment, oil & gas, food & beverage, elevator control, power utilities, traffic control and transportation, building automation and others. With extensive communication and IIoT capabilities combined with expanded I/O, the High-Performance Series HMIs can control and connect to many types of systems, provide superior local visualization and enable convenient remote access.


Water testing.

SES Water has chosen the Matrix Gemini LIMS from Autoscribe Informatics to manage water testing results in its UKAS-accredited laboratory. SES Water is a water-only company and supplies residents in East Surrey, parts of West Sussex, West Kent and South London in Britain. The laboratory annually performs approximately 120,000 tests on around 13,000 samples taken from every point in the supply chain, including water sources, treatment works, storage reservoirs and randomly selected customer premises.

SES Water’s Quality & Compliance Director Nicola Houlahan said: “As a company we are always looking at how we can improve the way we work, especially with the volume of sampling we need to undertake to ensure our water continues to fully comply with the regulatory standards in place. The new Matrix Gemini LIMS will bring significant benefits for our laboratory and sampling teams - working directly on tablets reduces our reliance on paper processes and access to digital calibration and training records will make us more effective too. We’re looking forward to fully launching the new solution next year and all the new features it will bring.”

For this application, the Matrix Gemini starter system for water laboratories has been supplemented with chemical inventory management, competency tracking, bulk sample registration capabilities and ICMS (Instrument Calibration and Maintenance System). The built-in Matrix configuration tools will allow the system to be configured to meet the precise needs of SES Water. Not only will Matrix Gemini be directly connected to several laboratory instruments but it will also be linked to an industry-standard 3rd party software which manages the planning and scheduling of water sample collections and produces output for sample pre-registration.

“We are delighted that SES Water has chosen Matrix Gemini to meet their LIMS needs,” said Steve Boother, Managing Director at Autoscribe Informatics. “This system will provide a high level of automation in data handling from sample collection through to reporting analytical test results. Monitoring and managing staff competencies and proactively scheduling the calibration and maintenance of every piece of laboratory equipment in a timely manner allows highly efficient use of laboratory resources. In addition, direct linking of laboratory equipment into Matrix will both streamline workflows and eliminate test result transcription errors.”

As part of the overall solution, staff from SES Water will be trained on the administration and configuration of the system. This will enable them to make further changes to the system themselves as their needs evolve.

@AutoscribeLtd  #LIMS #Water #Britain @SESWater

DIN-Rail Fanless Embedded Box PC.

The latest addition to its ARK-1000 series: the ARK-1220, a compact DIN-Rail fanless embedded box PC for industrial and/or outdoor environments has been announced by Advantech. The ARK-1220 adopts Intel Atom® E3940 QC processors with front accessible I/O ports on single bezel—targeting applications such as machine automation, intelligent factories, in-cabinet equipment integration, and IoT gateways.

To enable effective device management, the ARK-1220 comes pre-loaded with Advantech’s new IoT device management App: WISE-PaaS/DeviceOn. This App includes hardware security certification and parameter settings required by the relevant application domain to help simplify the initial deployment phase and subsequent management.

Intelligent Management and Security Support for Industrial Environments
WISE-PaaS/DeviceOn was the first to adopt the zero–touch technology connection for software and hardware integration, allowing users to monitor real-time health status and send software and firmware updates over-the-air (OTA) on-site. For system security, the ARK-1220 utilizes the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 function by request and supports BitLocker under Windows 10 IoT. Moreover, McAfee and Acronis are integrated into WISE-PaaS/DeviceOn for anti-virus protection and invaluable data recovery and backup. Our hardware and software solutions help users simplify equipment management via an easy, efficient, and secure systematic method that fits different industrial and/or outdoor environments.

Ruggedized and Compact DIN-Rail Fanless Design
The ARK-1220 is powered by Intel Atom® E3940 Quad Core SoC, with up to 1.8 GHz with turbo burst on. The dual channel memory sockets support a maximum of up to 8GB DDR3L 1866 MHz SO-DIMM. Designed for rugged environments, the ARK-1220 supports a -30 ~70°C operating temperature range with 0.7 m/s air flow that is ideal for working outdoors. Its wide ranging power input of 12V - 28V DC-in is suitable for use in environments with fluctuating or unstable power supply. The ARK-1220 supports an array of functional I/O ports, including 4x USB 3.0, 2x LAN, and 2x COM ports placed on front panel. Its compact dimensions are appropriate for applications installed in limited space but requiring I/O flexibility and enhanced performance.

Dual 4K Display with Immersive Graphics and Media Performance
ARK-1220 offers dual 4K ultra HD independent displays with a resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 pixels at 30 Hz. The Gen9 graphics engine runs on low power while enhancing media processing capability with video encoding and playback performance that offers a 40% improvement compared to the previous generation. The ARK-1220 empowers manufacturers to access clearer analysis and management via panel displays or interactive displays in intelligent factories and machine automation processes.

 @Advantech_eIoT #PAuto @Advantech_USA

Acquisition expands WLAN penitration.

Westermo, part of the Beijer Group, has acquired 100% of the Swiss company Neratec Solutions AG, a technology company specialized in WLAN products with a high focus on reliable and robust wireless communication solutions for the train and trackside sector.
“The acquisition of Neratec will strengthen Westermo’s offering to the Railway industry to include a strong wireless portfolio that we can channel via our worldwide sales network. Neratec in Switzerland will be our technology centre for industrial WLAN products within Westermo” according to Jenny Sjödahl, CEO of Westermo.

Neratec has about 25 employees and a Sales of approximately 6,5 MCHF (62 MSEK) in 2018 with a good profitability and its operations is in Bubikon in Switzerland.

“We are excited to join Westermo and Beijer Group. Our complementary technologies will create a very strong offering to the industry and Westermo’s worldwide sales organization will ensure a global market access” says Jussi Harju, Managing Director of Neratec Solutions.

“I am pleased that we today announce this first complementary acquisition to the business entity Westermo. Since the new strategy put in place 2016, we have proven our ability with high profitable organic growth and now we start to add on with acquisitions” says Per Samuelsson, President and CEO of Beijer.

@westermo #Transport @HHC_Lewis 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Safe wireless toxic gas sensors.

Emerson has introduced two new Rosemount™ 628 Universal Gas Sensors to measure carbon monoxide and oxygen depletion in addition to the existing capability to monitor hydrogen sulphide. These additions to the series enable a broader range of hazardous situations to be monitored using the Rosemount 928 Wireless Gas Monitor platform.

“Hydrogen sulphide monitoring is vital to personnel safety, leading many facilities to install Rosemount 928 Wireless Gas Monitors. Having the ability to monitor for oxygen depletion and carbon monoxide is a major step forward in wireless gas monitoring,” said Joshua Hernandez, global product manager, flame and gas detection, Emerson Automation Solutions. “Companies can now solve a long-time challenging safety issue simply and cost-effectively, which shows the power of wireless network technologies. Current wireless network users can benefit from the new gas sensing types which greatly increase toxic gas safety at their sites.”

The Rosemount 928 Wireless Gas Monitor is a highly versatile platform for monitoring hazardous conditions in process plants, remote wellheads, pipelines, storage terminals and other facilities. It can be easily deployed using a WirelessHART® network in areas considered too impractical or expensive for the installation of conventional wired infrastructure. Once monitors are integrated into the wireless network, personnel can simply check the status of the remote monitoring system gas levels.

To simplify installation and maintenance, the Rosemount 928 Gas Monitor has hot-swappable main components, including the power module and the Rosemount 628 toxic gas sensor. Both are intrinsically safe and can be replaced in the field in minutes without the need for tools. The Rosemount 628 sensor’s calibration information is stored within the sensor, not the transmitter. This allows users to calibrate the sensor in a non-hazardous location and take it to the field for quick exchanges with installed sensors. This further enhances personnel safety by minimising their time spent in potentially hazardous locations.

The first Rosemount 628 Universal Gas Sensor was designed for hydrogen sulphide detection, given the ubiquity of this gas in the process industries. Rosemount 928 Wireless Gas Monitors have been installed around the world for this purpose. With the addition of sensors for carbon monoxide and oxygen depletion detection, these monitors can now be used for other applications, or additional gas monitors can be deployed. When and if process conditions change, monitors can be moved as necessary, so long as they are placed within the coverage area of the WirelessHART network.

Carbon monoxide can be released by a variety of combustion processes, and concentration above 1,500 ppm is immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH). Processes able to consume oxygen can reduce atmospheric content in given areas, and any situation where oxygen drops below 19.5% is also IDLH. In many cases, more than one condition may exist at a given time, compounding the hazard.

@EMR_Automation  #Pauto  #Safety @Emerson_News @HHC_Lewis 

CAN gateway standardised!

CAN in Automation (CiA) association has released the CiA 463 series standardizing the gateway between CANopen resp. CANopen FD networks and I/O-Link.

Holger Zeltwanger
“After first implementation experiences, CiA will review the profile specification and make it available also to CiA 400 series subscribers,” explained Holger Zeltwanger, CiA Managing Director.

Gateways compliant to this interface profile specification may host multiple IO-Link connections. The process data can be transmitted bidirectional from CANopen (FD) networks to the IO-Link connections and vice versa. On the CANopen (FD) network the process data is mapped to PDOs (process data objects).

The CiA 463 series is applicable for gateways, extendable bus coupler with an internal backbone (e.g. sliced I/Os), multi-axis servo drives (physical modules) with each axis having independent operation modes (logic modules), etc. CiA 463-B specifies the object dictionary. CiA 463-C standardizes the mapping to Classic CANopen and CiA 463-F describes the mapping to CANopen FD. The documents are available only for CiA members.

@CANopen #Automation