Thursday, 24 June 2021

Agreement targets used but rarely recycled plastic.

Emerson has signed of a multi-year agreement with PureCycle Technologies, Inc. to provide advanced digital technologies and automation for a network of global facilities enabling large-scale recycling of a common – but rarely recycled – plastic.

Emerson's Mike Train, & Dustin Olson,
PureCycle Technologies, sign the agreement
to create ‘born digital’ facilities to transform
polypropylene recycling.
Emerson’s Plantweb™ digital ecosystem was chosen for its breadth of digital solutions, including intelligent sensors and control valves, advanced operations software and systems, cloud data management and analytics.

“Unlike traditional manufacturing facilities coping with transforming legacy platforms to digital, PureCycle’s progressive approach will enable all future facilities to be born digital,” said Dustin Olson, chief manufacturing officer of PureCycle Technologies. “With Emerson’s help, each PureCycle facility is expected to start up with the most advanced digital automation technologies available, allowing for faster project completion, fully integrated systems, and world-class operating performance.”

Polypropylene, identified as resin recycling code #5, is one of the world’s most frequently produced, versatile and widely used plastics. Despite more than 170 billion tons being produced each year, less than 1% is reclaimed annually for recycling and reuse. Polypropylene is commonly used in production of food and cosmetics packaging, toys, automobile parts and more.

“PureCycle’s first-of-its-kind technology purifies waste plastic to remove colour, odour and other contaminants to create a near-virgin Ultra-Pure Recycled Polypropylene suitable for nearly any application,” Olson said. “This provides a pathway to reverse low rates of global polypropylene recycling and opens new opportunities for the plastics supply into all polypropylene applications.”

“Sustainability is driving incredible innovation across the industry,” said Mike Train, chief sustainability officer of Emerson. “New policies and long-range goals for decarbonisation give us vision and direction that are important to the industry and to society. Emerson’s digital automation software and technologies are helping companies like PureCycle make practical and measurable progress toward these goals today.”

@EMR_Automation @Emerson_News @PureCycleTech @HHC_Lewis #Pauto

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Gas analysis supplier strengthens service.

Servomex has strengthened its Service capabilities in China, with the appointment of Louie Luo (Hong Luo) as Service Manager.

Louie Luo (Hong Luo)
As part of the global business strategy, Servomex is growing the Service business to enhance its customer offering and increase its customer intimacy across all geographical areas and industries in China. Reporting to Michael Xie, Business Unit Director – China, Louie’s role will support this aim, strengthening the service business in this developing region.

“Louie comes to us with a serious pedigree in instrumentation," he said. "We are looking forward to his valuable input in developing the Service business in China, where his knowledge and skills will help the Servomex team deliver a world-class service business.”

The role will include responsibilities for the successful management of the Service team in the region, working closely with Mark Calvert, Global Head of Service, to align global service goals with the regions.

Customers will benefit from Louie’s extensive instrument experience from working at PerkinElmer, Thermo Fisher, Bruker and AppTec in service, service sales and service management.

With a B.S. in Automation from Harbin Engineering University, Louie worked in Shanghai after graduation and has been married for 17 years. His favourite sport is soccer, and he enjoys reading and traveling with his family.

Louie Luo said, “I’m looking forward to bringing the expertise that I’ve gained in other companies to Servomex, working with the regional and global team, and with customers, to build on the success of the Service team so far.”

@Servomex #PAuto #China

Security Risk Assessment for Design.

The International Society of Automation (ISA) and the ISA Global Cybersecurity Alliance (ISAGCA), with contributing author Harold Thomas, have released a white paper entitled "Leveraging ISA 62443-3-2 For IACS Risk Assessment and Risk Related Strategies." *

The white paper provides the reader with an overview of ISA 62443-3-2, “Security Risk Assessment for Design,” as well as a summary of some of the methodologies that can be used to assist the execution of the industrial automation control system (IACS) cybersecurity risk assessment work process requirements, detailed in the standard.

The major steps include:
  • Identification of the System under Consideration (SuC)
  • Perform an Initial Cyber Risk Assessment
  • Partition the SuC into Zones and Conduits
  • Perform a Detailed Level Cyber Risk Assessment
  • Document Updated Cyber Security Requirements for Detailed Design

“ISAGCA’s mission is to enable and accelerate adoption of cybersecurity practices for all stakeholder groups based on the ISA/IEC 62443 family of automation cybersecurity standards,” commented Andre Ristaino, ISAGCA Managing Director. “Our member companies are working in collaboration with one another, industry partners, and regulatory/legislative bodies to secure automation that affects our everyday lives.”

*In addition to the white paper, ISAGCA and Harold Thomas have previously released a May 6th 2021 webinar on the subject, as well as a blog entitled “Getting Started With Cybersecurity Risk Assessment: When It’s Not About Information Technology” published later in the same month.

@ISA_Interchange #ISAGCA #PAuto #Cybersecurity 

Migrating to the cloud simplified.

Seeq Corporation has launched a new program, the Seeq SaaS Workshop. In collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Seeq SaaS Workshop simplifies the migration path to the cloud for Seeq’s on premise customers. Seeq SaaS on AWS benefits for manufacturing organizations include ease of deployment, added support, and faster access to new Seeq capabilities.

Eligible customers participating in the Seeq SaaS Workshop will benefit from a no-cost SaaS migration service, along with additional pricing options for Seeq subscriptions. In addition, Seeq's dedicated support team will assist in efficiently migrating on premise Seeq implementations, data connections, and workloads to the AWS cloud. Program eligibility includes current Seeq customer with on premise deployments, who can easily sign up for this limited-time program to accelerate their digitalization initiatives.

Seeq’s rapid growth is being fueled in part by its commitment to cloud-based computing. Seeq is available on AWS Marketplace, has AWS Industrial Competency status, and supports many data storage services, including Amazon Redshift, Amazon S3, plus machine learning in Amazon SageMaker, and other services.

“Customers go to AWS Marketplace to find solutions that provide advanced analytics and real-time collaboration to support their journey to the cloud,” says Mona Chadha, Director, AWS Marketplace Category Management. “We are pleased to support Seeq customers’ migration to the cloud through the Seeq SaaS Workshop.”

Allnex, a global leader in industrial coating resins, is an example of pairing secure cloud services with innovation in advanced analytics with their migration to Seeq SaaS on AWS.

“Allnex utilised Seeq as an on premise application during the pilot project,” relates Diego Gravina, IT Coordinator at Allnex. “But we decided to rollout Seeq as a cloud application due to the advantages this model brings to our business. Our cloud migration was quick, easy, and reliable.”

Seeq’s comprehensive set of applications for analyzing and sharing insights on process manufacturing data include Workbench for easy to use advanced analytics, Organizer for publishing reports and dashboards, and Data Lab for accessing Python libraries. Seeq applications empower engineers and subject matter experts to rapidly investigate, collaborate, and distribute insights to improve operations and business outcomes.

“Seeq’s advanced analytics on AWS combines flexibility and scalability,” says Dustin Johnson, Seeq’s Chief Architect. “And partnering with AWS to streamline our customers’ journey to the cloud will quickly empower each of them to unlock the value in their data.”

@SeeqCorporation @awscloud @allnexResins #PAuto #Cloud

Fully automatic cleaning control.

The range of functions of Exner Process Equipment's EXmatic 470 cleaning control for the automation of pH measuring points has been expanded.

One special feature of the system offered by this equipment is its openness, that means the cleaning control is not tied to a specific manufacturer of pH sensors or transmitters. Operation of the EXmatic 470 is also very easy for the user thanks to a clear menu structure and the use of a touch-sensitive color display. As an alternative to this, a wireless network connection together with a mobile device can also be used for the parameterisation.

In addition to the freely programmable cleaning cycles with up to three different media, a definable pause time and operating modes as well as a switchable sealing water function, the EXmatic 470 is now available with a so-called measuring time delay. This makes it possible to delay the signal output by the control until the measured value of the sensor in the process medium has stabilized. A "Measure" signal is only output after the set time has elapsed.

The EXmatic 470 is used in a wide variety of areas. For example in water and wastewater treatment, in the paper and sugar industry and in thermal power stations.

#e-p-e @Pressebox #Pauto

Wireless connectivity test set.

The launch of a new option to extend the functions of the Anritsu's Wireless Connectivity Test Set MT8862A by supporting evaluation of IEEE 802.11ax*1 6-GHz band WLAN TRX characteristics has been announced by Company President Hirokazu Hamada.

Following FCC approval in April 2020 for unlicensed use of the 6-GHz operation band as the first new WLAN frequency band in almost 20 years, countries worldwide are starting device testing and deployment. The IEEE 802.11ax WLAN standard regulates this 6-GHz band and the Wi-Fi Alliance is starting its Wi-Fi 6E certification program for IEEE 802.11ax 6-GHz devices.

The MT8862A is designed to evaluate RF TRX performance of IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax WLAN devices. Additionally, as well as implementing all-in-one 2.4, 5, and 6-GHz band RF TRX measurements, the MT8862A also supports performance evaluations defined by IEEE 802.11 standards and Over-The-Air (OTA) performance tests defined by both CTIA*2 and the Wi-Fi Alliance.

By using this option, the MT8862A can evaluate the RF characteristics of IEEE 802.11ax 6-GHz devices using either the Network Mode*3 or Direct Mode*4. In addition to shorter evaluation time using the Direct Mode, the Network Mode facilitates evaluation under actual operation conditions using signaling messages*5.

While developing this 6-GHz band option, Anritsu also added support for 160-MHz wide channels. Since the 6-GHz band covers a 1200-MHz wide operation band, use of 160-MHz wide channels becomes practical, which is expected to facilitate streaming of higher-definition video and larger-capacity data than previously possible.

By supporting measurement and testing of 6-GHz band WLAN devices and 160-MHz wide channels, Anritsu expects its MT8862A to play a key role in development of next-generation communications devices.

Development Background
Along with the spread of IoT devices, WLAN functions are being built increasingly into more mobile products, such as tablet PCs and smartphones, as well as into home electronics, including printers and TVs, automobiles, industrial machines, sensing equipment, etc.

On the other hand, communications environments with a high density of WLAN devices are suffering from a shortage of communications resources for WLAN connections, resulting in challenges such as slower communications speeds and unstable connections.

Solving these many challenges, especially the shortage of communications resources, by using the 6-GHz band will help drive development of novel applications to promote leading-edge industrial development, which in turn, increases the urgent need for measuring instruments supporting evaluation of the RF TRX characteristics of IEEE 802.11ax 6-GHz band devices.

Anritsu has developed this option to extend the MT8862A functions by supporting performance evaluation of IEEE 802.11ax 6-GHz band devices.

*1 IEEE 802.11ax - One WLAN standard defined by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) supporting ultra-high speeds up to a theoretical maximum of 9.61 Gbps.
*2 CTIA - Abbreviation for Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association—a nonprofit international organization composed of wireless and related operators, manufacturers, and service providers.
*3 Network Mode - Also called Signaling Mode–a mode for measurement under actual operation conditions using signaling messages.
*4 Direct Mode - Also called Test Mode—a measurement mode for testing by controlling devices using special commands and requiring a physical connection using a command line.
*5 Signaling Message - Communications data defining procedure and control for connecting with device; can be used to capture information, such as device communications bandwidth and encoding method.

@AnritsuEMEA @Anritsu @NapierPR #TandM 

AC energy calibration service launched.

A new AC energy calibration service has been announced by Yokogawa. The launch of the new service follows the company's accreditation (K164) to ISO17025, allowing the calibration of AC energy measuring devices at up to 40 MWh at a maximum time of 1000 hours.

This is ideal for manufacturers of products, equipment, or appliances where the measurement of energy efficiency is critical to meet efficiency goals, for proving product specifications or meeting regulatory requirements such as energy labelling of consumer products.

It is also vital for applications for usage-based billing of electrical energy between supplier and user, not only for houses and offices but also for other applications, for example charging of electrical vehicles. Other uses include renewable energy projects such as photovoltaic and wind installations and end tests and type rating where energy is involved.

With the new service, Yokogawa’s European Standards Laboratory, based at the company’s European Headquarters in Amersfoort, Netherlands, now offers comprehensive energy and power calibration, customized to meet the needs of specific applications. Erik Kroon, Yokogawa’s European Standards Laboratory Manager, commented: “We are one of a few laboratories able to calibrate in the frequency range 40 Hz to 1 kHz.
“This makes us particularly attractive for engineers working on applications in Automotive, Aviation and Marine and who can now more easily source ISO17025 accredited energy measurements for 400 Hz systems. Using our precise and accurate energy and power calibration services ensures that their designs and instruments meet engineering and quality control requirements.”

“We are proud to be able to extend our calibration services to include AC energy,” said  Terry Marrinan, Yokogawa’s Vice President, Global Marketing. Test & Measurement, “and now also support customers that need to maintain the accuracy and trusted repeatability of their testing instruments to meet regulatory needs for their application.”

@Yokogawa_Europe @NapierPR #TandM #PAuto

Analysis sensors future-proofed and IIoT ready!

Process plants typically use a multitude of sensors, each of which is normally connected to a transmitter. Older sensor technologies use analog signals to communicate with transmitters, but more modern models employ digital technology to improve accuracy, ease calibration, simplify troubleshooting, and reduce required maintenance.

Endress+Hauser Memosens technology converts the measured value to a digital signal and transfers it inductively to the transmitter, offering safe data transfer for increased availability of the measuring point and trouble-free operation. With Memosens 2.0, liquid analysis measuring points now become completely future-proofed and ready for IIoT. This new technology is available for pH/ORP, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen sensors—and it will be extended to the complete sensor portfolio for liquid analysis.

Unlocking the potential of measurement data
Memosens 2.0 sensors store numerous relevant data points, such as operating hours, minimum and maximum temperatures, measured values, calibration histories, and load matrices. All this data can be used and processed for comprehensive analysis and more precise process management. The sensors also provide a sound basis for predictive maintenance strategies when used in conjunction with Endress+Hauser’s Heartbeat Technology, along with enhanced IIoT services via the Netilion ecosystem.

Simplifying liquid analysis
The unit combines cutting-edge technology with maximum practicability. Because the Memosens sensors are equipped with highly integrated electronics, they can be calibrated and adjusted under lab conditions that are favorable for the operator, and stable for precise results. Replacing sensors in the field is a simple process and can be performed in a timely manner thanks to the lockable bayonet connector and automatic sensor identification by the transmitter.

Increasing process safety
Non-contact digital data transmission eliminates the effects of moisture, corrosion, and salt bridges—with alert messaging if the signal transmission is disturbed by other factors. Galvanic isolation ensures accurate measurement in the presence of electromagnetic interference and other electrical noise. Memobase Plus software provides full traceability of all sensors used, supporting operation according to the strict guidelines applicable to various regulated industries. Memosens 2.0 offers error-free flexibility for measuring points in hazardous areas because all explosion proof sensors can be connected to all Endress+Hauser transmitters with the same ratings.

Field replacement is simple and quick because Memosens 2.0 sensors are pre-calibrated in the lab, reducing process downtime. Unlike conventional analog sensors, these digital models store calibration data internally, and regular regeneration extends sensor lifetime.

@Endress_Hauser @Endress_US @Endress_UK @Endress_CA #PAuto #IIoT

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

3D USB camera.

Crowd Supply now supplies the Onion Tau LiDAR Camera, a USB-based plug-and-play 3D depth camera. The Tau LiDAR Camera brings the functionality of an everyday webcam to 3D depth data, as it begins sending data immediately upon being plugged into a computer with a USB cable.

Onion’s Tau LiDAR Camera

Users can interact with their data through the Tau Studio Web App or through the Python API; both tools are open source, allowing developers to tailor them to their specific needs and applications. The Tau LiDAR Camera supports a range of applications including augmented reality, environment mapping, as well as computer vision applications such as object detection and robotics.

This camera outputs 160 x 60 pixels of depth data in real time, with a range for depth sensing of 0.1 m to 4.5 m. The camera’s frames can be realized as 2D depth maps, regular 2D images, 3D point clouds, and array or matrix objects within programs. The Tau Camera works independently of ambient light and supports key functions including detection of thin objects, panning around a room, and detection of moving objects. The highly versatile Tau LiDAR Camera can be integrated with other sensors and cameras to support expanded use cases.

@crowd_supply @TechWireIntl #PAuto

Monday, 21 June 2021

Fibre-optic connectors.

Cliff Electronics have introduced a new addition to their market leading FeedThrough connector range. The MTP®/MTO (multi-fibre push on) FT connector allows fast and reliable through-panel connection of standard 12-72 multimode optical fibre cables.

John Hall
, Managing Director of Cliff Electronics, comments, “The latest data processing technologies require the fastest transfer speeds and interconnects that can be relied on for trouble-free operation. Our new fibre-optic FeedThrough connector gives system builders an ideal solution for control and patch panel assembly and may be mounted on rack panels alongside other connectors from our wide FT range.”

Demand for MTP®/MTO connectivity is being driven by the development of 40G and 100G transceivers with MPO ports commonly used for data transmission over short distances to connect ports in switches in data centres, and to connect multimode transceivers added to existing networks to other 10G host equipment such as routers, switchers, servers and storage.

To ensure reliable connectivity the connector body is made from black nickel-plated die-cast metal and the insert made from ABS/PC rated to UL94-VO, and features a restraining clamp for secure cable connection. For system security a dust cover is available for when the connector is not in use.

The standard range of FeedThrough connectors from Cliff mount into an industry standard XLR, 23mm, cutout allowing 16 connectors, from a wide range of variants, to be conveniently mounted on 19” rack panels which Cliff can supply pre-assembled. Applications include audio, broadcast, AV and communications installations, medical, education and research and industrial control.

The recently introduced space saving DualSLIM FeedThrough connector series is just 19mm wide allowing 20 connectors to be assembled on a 19” rack panel. In addition to the applications above the DualSLIM is commonly used for NUC computers and mini-PCs, such as Raspberry Pi.

@proactivefleet #CliffElectronics #Communications

Din mounted PSU with indication.

The latest addition to PULS Power's CP20 series of high efficiency and compact 24V, 20A 1-phase DIN-Rail power supplies is now available. The new CP20.248 extends their portfolio by adding a power supply with an integrated display. The LED display means a reliable and inexpensive condition monitoring feature can be integrated into almost any system allowing users to benefit immediately from faster fault diagnosis and increased system availability.

Marco van der Linden, UK Country Manager for PULS Power, comments, "The display on our new CP20 20A DIN-Rail power supply provides panel builders, system designers and integrators with a unique system monitoring tool without having to find extra space to add additional measuring or monitoring equipment to a system. Secure power for the data store ensures all measurements are available in the event of a system failure. A further model in the series, a 24V, 10A version will also be available soon."

The display shows important status information about the power supply for commissioning and maintenance and can display real-time information and recorded data. The real-time data supplied by the CP20.248 includes the input and output voltage, output current, operating hours and temperature inside the device. The recorded data gives users insight into the number of transients on the input side as well as minimum and maximum voltage and temperature values fand more. This information can help the system engineer optimise an entire application in terms of reliability and to identify the cause of faults or errors more efficiently. The display and data storage have an independent power source ensuring that all the information is still available, even if the power supply fails.

For remote status monitoring two relay contacts for DC-OK and alarm signals are provided. Two additional inputs allow the power supply to be put into an energy-saving standby mode using the remote ON / OFF function and automatic load sharing in parallel operation for greater power output can be realised. Parallel operation ensures an optimised temperature balance between the connected power supplies, prolonging the service life of the devices.

All CP20 versions share the same compact housing with dimensions of 48x124x127mm (WxHxD) which includes the space required for the integrated display. This is made possible by a very high efficiency of 95.6%. As a result of the low power losses, less heat is generated in the housing and the clearance and creepage distances can be reduced.

The PULS CP20has an operating temperature range from -25°C to +70°C, 50% extra output power for up to 5s, has fully international safety agency approvals and a 3-year warranty.

Applications for the PULS CP20 include industrial systems and machine building, SMART buildings and factories, Industry 4.0, security and CCTV, instrumentation and measuring systems.

@PULSPowerSupply @proactivefleet #PAuto 

Smart device communicator software.

ProComSol has announced the release of its new Windows based Smart Device Communicator Software for Foundation Fieldbus (FF). The software uses the Device Descriptor (DD) for the connected FF device so the user has full access to every Parameter and Method. According to Jeffrey Dobos, President of ProComSol, Ltd, “DevComFF offers an alternative to the traditional high cost FF Communicators. With the Windows Explorer interface, and larger screen of most Windows devices, the user has unprecedented access to the FF instrument data - easy to find and easy to read.”

The Windows program (DevComFF.Win), in combination with the Softing mobiLink multi-protocol communicator (our PN: MOBI-FF), is a full functioned FF Communicator. The entire DD Library for FF devices from the FieldComm Group is included. New DD’s can be added very easily by the user. A FF communicator that uses DD’s can perform full configurations of Valves, Multi-Variable devices, and complex devices such as Radar Level and Coriolis Flow meters.

DevComFF.Win allows the user to view and edit device parameters and even save all the device parameters as a PDF file. The PDF file can then be shared with anyone in the world via the mobile network connections in a Windows device. Saving and sharing FF device configuration documentation is is now faster and more convenient. 

ProComSol may be contacted for a free 10 day trial.

@ProComSol @FieldbusEvents #PAuto #Fieldbus

Portfolios of external and embedded antennas added to component range.

A new partnership with Taoglas, a leading provider of next-generation IoT solutions has been announced by Anglia Components. The partnership broadens Anglia’s range of existing IoT components including RF, antenna, cables and connectors. Using the latest in high-performance RF antenna design, Taoglas has one of the most comprehensive portfolios of external and embedded antennas covering Cellular, GPS/GNSS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, UWB, NFC/RFID, LPWA, ISM band and Satcom applications. This is complemented with a range of filters, cables and connectors which can be customized to the customer’s requirement.

Commenting on the partnership, David Pearson, Technical Director at Anglia, said, “We’re delighted to offer an expanded range of antenna components that meet real design challenges with Taoglas. Anglia have invested in an inventory profile covering the most popular standard antenna and cable assembly products. Taoglas also has an innovative configuration tool that allows creation of custom cable assemblies and antenna solutions to meet exact application requirements. These bespoke products can typically be shipped in as little as 48 hours depending on the quantity and complexity. In addition, Anglia’s engineering teams have been fully trained on the Taoglas portfolio and are available to assist customers with their IoT design needs.”

Taylor Kimmerle, VP of Global Distribution Sales for Taoglas, said, “Anglia’s design-in service and exceptional customer relationships single them out as a supplier determined to go above and beyond to meet customers' engineering needs. Our extensive portfolio and customization options also allow Anglia’s customers to order highly customized antenna and cable assembly via our Antenna and Cable Builder. This web-based tool enables clients to configure the cable and connectors exactly as needed, as well as providing best-in-class technical drawings and documentation.”

@angliaComponent @Taoglas @NeeshamPR #IoT #Components

Electronic flow switch.

The new model FSD-4 electronic flow switch from WIKA offers full flexibility in monitoring and controlling flow based on the velocities of liquid media.

The switch points of the model FSD-4 can be freely configured very easily via the 3-button operation directly on the instrument or optionally via IO-Link.

The model FSD-4 can output both absolute values in various units and relative flow values and display them on the digital indicator. While a flow rate value is assigned to the first switch point, it can be defined at the second switching output whether the switch should switch at a second flow value or at a specific temperature value for the medium.

In addition, the FSD-4 can be fitted with an analogue output for flow or temperature values. The wide range of parameterisation options makes the model FSD-4, with only three basic variants, an economical flow switch for a wide variety of applications and installation situations.

@WIKANews #PAuto  

Friday, 18 June 2021

Safety monitoring.

3D safety systems are a good option for reliably monitoring danger zones. They present a safe alternative, even in harsh environments where e.g. sparks, dirt and dust occur. They are therefore also a solution for applications where previously optical sensors were unable to provide a reliable answer. For over 50 years, Leuze as a high tech company and pioneer in the field of optical sensors has repeatedly set new technological milestones and standards on the market.

3D system with radar technology

LBK reliably differentiates between static & dynamic objects.
Particularly in the area of safety technology, Leuze's optical safety components, services and solutions can be used for a wide variety of different applications. With the LBK safety radar system, Leuze has now added a new, innovative sensor system to its product range. This system implements an operating principle new to safety technology. As a result, it is also able to provide a solution for applications that previously could not be solved reliably using optical sensors. Even in harsh environments where e.g. sparks, dirt and dust occur. The LBK safeguards danger zones close to machinery and systems using radar technology.

Detection of objects using radar waves
The LBK system operates in a frequency range of 24 GHz. This means that the electromagnetic waves are much shorter than sound or light waves. Unlike light, the radar waves can penetrate non metallic objects. The compact sensors with their integrated antennas emit electromagnetic waves. These waves are reflected off objects. The sensors receive these reflections and then evaluate them. The electromagnetic waves of the LBK radar system are completely harmless to personnel.

New applications solved using LBK
Utilizing the properties of the radar frequency electromagnetic waves in sensors provides a solution for applications where optical sensors have so far proven unreliable. Even non metallic objects such as dust, welding sparks or chips are penetrated without the sensor being influenced. As a result, the LBK system is particularly suitable for applications in harsh environments. For example in wood or plastic processing. Such applications typically produce a large quantity of particles that are then suspended in the air. However, these particles do not prevent the LBK from performing its task of reliably detecting and protecting persons. Even if radar waves penetrate the particles, the latter still reflect a small proportion of the waves. As the quantity of radar waves reflected by a person is significantly different to that reflected by wood chips or moisture, the LBK can detect whether the reflection comes from a person or from non metallic particles. In other words, particles in the air are not detected whereas a person is. The LBK therefore switches off reliably when a person is located in the danger zone. The LBK sensor emits its radar waves in three dimensional space so that not only the surface area but also the volume of this space is monitored. This allows the LBK to detect persons who enter a hazardous area or who are located in this area, regardless of whether they are standing, kneeling or lying.

Detecting human movements
The LBK 3D radar system not only operates in a wavelength range new to safety technology. It also uses FMCW, an operating principle which is also new to safety technology. FMCW stands for Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave. Here, the transmission frequency changes within a defined bandwidth. Starting at a fundamental frequency, it increases continuously up to a maximum frequency and then returns to the fundamental frequency again. If a person reflects this signal, it reaches the receiver with a time delay. Subtraction of the reception signal from the transmission signal produces a difference frequency. If the distance between the LBK sensor and the person remains constant, the difference frequency also retains its value. However, if the person moves, the time delay between the transmitted and received signal changes, and therefore also the difference frequency. The faster the person moves, the greater the change in difference frequency will be. In this way, the LBK sensor is able to determine the speed at which the person is moving.

Precise determination of movements
This method is also referred to as radar Doppler. It allows movements to be determined with a very high degree of accuracy. The LBK sensor therefore detects not only a moving person, but also a person who is currently standing still, even if the movement is extremely slight. Even if a person is standing still, they are never absolutely motionless – there is always some movement, e.g. from their pulse or heartbeat, etc. The LBK sensor utilizes this to reliably distinguish a person in a danger zone from a static object, e.g. a pallet or material container. The slight movements of a person are sufficient to generate a reliable switch off signal for the machine. As a result, the LBK system interrupts the operating process only if somebody is actually located inside the danger zone. For example, completely static, motionless material containers can be left inside the protected area without them leading to interruption of the operating process. In this way, the LBK system prevents unnecessary downtimes and thereby increases the availability and cost effectiveness of the system. On the other hand, it ensures that the machine only starts to run again when all persons have left the danger zone, and therefore contributes to reliable personnel protection.

Flexible in use, easy to install
In addition to use in harsh environments, the LBK safety radar system is used primarily for preventing unwanted restarts and for monitoring hidden areas. Users can adapt it to their individual requirements. The system consists of a controller to which up to 6 radar sensors can be connected. The positioning of the sensors, the adjustable operating range and the selectable opening angle allow flexible adaptation of the monitored area to the danger zone. This also allows areas on steps or pedestals to be monitored reliably. The user can define the system parameters using the easy to operate configuration software. Certified safety experts from Leuze are available to assist with configuration and commissioning if required.

@TheSensorPeople @mepaxIntPR #Pauto #Safety

LiDAR authority appointed as Manager & COO.

Laser Components USA has appointed Matt Robinson as their new General Manager and COO. Robinson came to Laser Components in 2006, supporting the growth of the company over the past 14 years, including his tenure as Sales Director since 2016. He has over 30 years of experience in fiber optics and photonics, working for Corning Inc. and Schott AG.

Matt Robinson
Laser Components was founded in 1982, as a home run business and has developed over thirty years into a global company with a network of suppliers and distributors, Laser Components USA, Inc. positioned itself as a base of operations for the sales, marketing, and distribution of photonic products for North America in 2000. Tradition is paramount in our company and innovation is key to our success. We offer several different products that include IR, APD/PLD, Photodiodes, Laser Diodes and Laser Modules, Optics, and Fiber Optics. Every component we make is customizable to our customers specific needs. We pride ourselves on innovation, outstanding customer service and high-quality products.

As an integral part of Laser Components USA, Inc. he has made a name for himself as an expert in pulsed laser diodes, avalanche photodiodes and IR components. He is highly respected in the industry, and an authority on LiDAR technologies. He holds a BSME from University of Massachusetts and an MBA from University of New Hampshire. When he is not at work, Matt enjoys skiing, golf, woodworking, and spending time with his family.

“Matt has been and will continue to be an excellent leader as we continue on in 2021 and beyond," stated Patrick Paul, CEO of the mother company Laser Components GmbH. "I have the utmost confidence in Matt and his exceptional leadership abilities to take Laser Components, USA, Inc. in a forward direction”.

@LCUSA_News @LaserComponents @PresseBox #Pauto #Photonics

Celebrating clean air!

Clean Air Day (17th June) was marked by hundreds of events across Great Britain. For example, Fife Council and sustainability consultancy, Ricardo, have provided three Scottish classes with education packs that enable children to conduct air quality monitoring in order to better understand the issue. Each pack contains a nitrogen dioxide monitoring device that has been developed by Alphasense.

EDT with Bracket
Alphasense’s electronic diffusion tube (EDT) was designed to enable a rapid rollout of air quality monitoring in the places that matter most. So, the EDT is an ideal tool to support the theme for this year’s Clean Air Day: protecting children's health from air pollution.

Ricardo is responsible for auditing the air quality monitoring of councils, on behalf of the Scottish Government, but Senior Consultant Susannah Telfer says: “This work extends to assistance with the provision of educational programmes and resources such as those provided by Fife Council and the Air Quality in Scotland website.”

In addition to the Alphasense EDT, each pack also contains a handheld tablet for communication with the EDT via Bluetooth, as well as a personal air quality monitor, a clipboard, some high vis vests, and a range of Ricardo items that have been assembled for educational purposes, such as bicycle bells and luminous bands. The pack is therefore designed to enable students to conduct lichen or traffic surveys for example, so that, in combination with the monitoring, they will better understand the factors affecting air quality. The EDT’s have therefore been installed to monitor in locations close to the schools’ drop off and collection points.

Explaining the importance of the EDT’s development, Alphasense’s CTO John Saffell says: “Diffusion tubes have been a popular low-cost air quality monitoring tool for decades, but they have a number of important limitations. They can be conveniently located almost anywhere, but they only provide an average reading over several weeks, and results are delayed until after laboratory analysis can be undertaken.

“The EDT resolves these issues whilst retaining the advantages of flexibility, convenience and low cost. This is because the EDT contains an advanced electrochemical sensor that logs readings and transmits data to a tablet or mobile phone running the EDT App. Nitrogen dioxide is the most popular parameter for air quality studies, but many of our other electrochemical cells can also be deployed in an EDT.”

Susannah Telfer says: “The EDTs have been set to log one minute averages and will collect continuous air quality data for up to three weeks. This will enable us to provide the schools with air quality graphs that will hopefully demonstrate the effects of vehicle movements.

“With the benefit of this project, the pupils will gain a better understanding of the causes and effects of pollution, so that they can choose to cycle and walk more and lobby their parents to use vehicles less often. We also hope that this will inspire the children and help to create the next generation of scientists.”

@RicardoMedia @FifeCouncil @_Enviro_News #Alphasense #Environment #Scotland

Assure power quality!

Power quality assurance is now available in small format in Camille Bauer's LINAX PQ1000 which measures power quality for industrial requirements according to class S

Demands for power quality assurance are growing stronger and louder. This is confirmed by utilities, industrial companies, but also by many electricians who are increasingly confronted by this issue when dealing with their customers. Very often questions then arise as to which measuring instrument should be used, the level of skill and the size of the budget required.

Power quality assurance for industrial needs. Power quality assessment according to IEC61000-4-30 class S is now provided by the LINAX PQ1000 power analyser series, whereby the measuring instrument is especially designed for analysing demand side power quality. The power quality assurance process on the demand side (after the PCC as per IEC TR 63191) is described here: "Demand Side Power Quality" (DSPQ)”.

But why class S and not class A?
Measuring instruments according to IEC 61000-4-30 Class A, basically provide measured values that are comparable across measuring instruments and manufacturers. In case of legal disputes, class A is mandatory and is especially relevant for distribution system operators.

Power quality analysers according to IEC 61000-4-30 class S are intended for basic/advanced power quality analysis and provide useful monitoring data. Instruments that meet Class S performance requirements are used for statistical power quality surveys and other applications and measurement services. There is no potential for disputes. This also means that no mandatory requirement for comparative measurements. The performance requirements for Class S are less stringent than for Class A. This results among other things, in a lower price. In industrial and utility applications, they are often used in the IPC (according to IEC [TR] 63191, this is the power distribution network after the Point of Common Coupling (PCC)). Even in data centres, they are strongly recommended within the infrastructure, according to EN50600-2-2:2019-08 [Chapter 6.2.3 Voltage Quality].

Power quality assurance certification also for class S
For accurate and precisely repeatable power quality measurements, it is especially important that the measurements comply with measurement procedure standards. These should not be confused with the standards for power quality compliance. For this reason, class S measuring instruments should also be certified. For the LINAX PQ1000, this is ensured by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS), based on its big brothers LINAX PQ3000 & PQ5000. With Swiss precision.

Power quality assurance with the highest cybersecurity standards
The issue of cybersecurity is also growing more and more important as devices are increasingly networked. Especially in the energy distribution sector, for both public and private grids. Due to the threat situation, effective cybersecurity is essential. Like its big brothers, the LINAX PQ1000 offers many effective IT security features. These include role-based access rights (RBAC), encrypted transfer of web pages (https), client whitelist to limit access to end devices, audit log for seamless monitoring of changes and operations, certified firmware updates, redundant data logger outside the IT system.

LINAX PQ1000 configurations

Front panel or DIN rail mounting,
with or without TFT display
This measuring instrument, also referred to as a PQI or Power Quality Instrument as defined by IEC 62586-1/2 Power Quality Measurement in Power Supply Systems, is available in various options. The commonly used 96 x 96 mm form factor, allows the instrument to be easily fitted anywhere, either with TFT display for panel mounting or for DIN rail mounting with or without TFT display. All variants are possible, for complete flexibility. In addition, operation and communication are ultra-simple, thanks to the integrated web browser. No need for any additional software: operation, parameterization and monitoring are as easy as child's play. 

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

@irishpwrprocess #CamilleBauer #Power #PAuto

Food grade pushbuttons.

The popular Series 82 family of pushbutton switches has been expanded by EAO Ltd with the introduction of a new 22mm mount device manufactured in food grade SUS 316L stainless steel and Tritan light-grade plastic.

The new attractively designed illuminated Series 82 pushbutton devices feature TPE overmoulding that is highly resistant to damage from vibration or impact. It also provides the switch mechanism with reliable protection against cleaning agents and environmental contaminants. The chemical resistant Tritan plastic used for the button and lens ensures consistent clarity of the ring illumination.

The new Series 82 switches feature a built-in industry standard M12 connector at the rear of the unit. Connecting any suitable pre-wired M12 cable to this connector makes the new switches all round IP67 compliant.

Advantages of overmoulded Series 82 switches
• Rugged 316L stainless steel switch housing
• High resistance to vibration and impact
• 24VDC ring illuminated versions for status indication
• Durable Tritan plastic illumination ring resistant to cleaning agents
• 24VDC ring illuminated versions ideal for status indication
• All round IP67 protection
• Integrated M12 connector for fast and reliable mounting

According to Robert Davies, Marketing Manager with EAO Ltd., pushbutton HMIs are often exposed to extremely harsh external factors: In the food & beverage industry and medical applications for instance, the actuators in pushbutton HMIs are often suffer from corrosion due to their exposure to harsh cleaning agents, leading to reduced reliability: “Corrosion from alkaline cleaning agents joins other external factors found in in-cab driver/operator controls in special vehicle - hard-to-remove dirt, fine dust, severe vibrations and blunt impact - in shortening the lifetime of pushbutton HMIs”, Davies said. “The TPE overmoulding, 316L stainless-steel and Tritan plastic used in EAO’s new Series 82 switches all but eliminate these risk factors”.

#EAO #PAuto #Food

Machine learning features expanded.

The R52 software with new features to support the use of machine learning innovation in process manufacturing organizations has been announced by Seeq Corporation. These features enable organizations to deploy their own or third-party machine learning algorithms into the advanced analytics applications used by front line process engineers and subject matter experts, thus scaling the efforts of a single data scientist to many front-line OT employees.

New Seeq capabilities include Add-on Tools, Display Panes, and User-defined Functions, each of which extend Seeq’s predictive, diagnostic, and descriptive analytics. The result is faster development and deployment of easy-to-use algorithms and visualizations for process engineers. With R52, end users will also be able to schedule Seeq Data Lab notebooks to run in the background, fulfilling a top customer request.

Seeq customers include companies in the oil and gas, pharmaceutical, chemical, energy, mining, food and beverage, and other process industries. Investors in Seeq—which has raised over $100M to date—include Insight Ventures, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Altira Group, Chevron Technology Ventures, Cisco Investments, and Next47, the venture group for Siemens.

As a compliment to the new extensibility features, Seeq data scientists are working with customers to develop and deploy machine learning algorithms tailored to the industrial process domain. Current areas of focus include automatically detecting performance changes in monitored assets, identifying causal relationships among process variables, and improved diagnostics by identifying and labeling patterns within a data set. For example, a super-major oil & gas company is using Seeq extensibility features to enable easy access by process engineers to a neural-network algorithm created by their data science team, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Analytics software for manufacturing organizations is an area overdue for innovation,” says Steve Sliwa, CEO and Co-Founder of Seeq. “Spreadsheets replaced pen and paper 30 years ago for analytics and haven’t changed much since. By leveraging big data, machine learning and computer science innovations, Seeq is enabling a new generation of software-led insights.”

Seeq first shipped easy to use machine learning-enabled features in 2017 in Seeq Workbench, and then in 2020 introduced Seeq Data Lab for Python scripting and access to any machine learning algorithm. This support for multiple audiences—with no code/low code features for process engineers and a scripting environment for data scientists engaged in feature engineering and data reduction efforts—democratized access to machine learning innovation.

Seeq’s approach to integrating machine learning features in its applications addresses many of the reasons data science initiative fail in manufacturing organizations.

• Seeq connects to all underlying data sources—historian, contextual, manufacturing applications, or other data sources—for data cleansing and modeling.
• Seeq supports the connected, two-way, interaction of plant data and process engineering expertise in OT departments with the data science and algorithm expertise in IT departments.
• Seeq provides a complete solution for algorithm development, updating and improving algorithms over time, employee collaboration and knowledge capture, and publishing insights for faster decision making.

In addition to Seeq Data Lab support for machine learning code and libraries, Seeq also enables access to the Seeq/Python library by third-party machine learning solutions including Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, Amazon SageMaker, and open source offerings such as Apache Anaconda. For example, a manufacturer using Amazon SageMaker is evaluating their machine learning insights with Seeq to create work orders in their SAP system.

@SeeqCorporation #PAuto 

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Pressure sensing hydrogen processing and storage systems.

Variohm EuroSensor’s recently launched SMO31H2 series pressure sensors, designed for critical measurement and monitoring tasks in hydrogen processing and logistics, are now available with a variant with Performance Level ‘d’ certification. For pressures to 1000 bar and with EC79 (up to 700 bar) and EC406 type approvals for hydrogen generation, storage and transportation systems, the new SMO31H2-PL:d sensor offers ECU and other safety-controlled applications compliance with the DIN EN ISO 13849-1 machinery safety and IEC 61508 functional safety standards in addition to many other recognised safety accreditations.

The SMO31H2-PL:d features stainless steel construction with IP67 protection class as standard or optional IP69K. Its high resistance to shock and vibration and a temperature range spanning -40 to +125°C contribute, along with additional EMI/RFI protection, low static and thermal errors, to exceptional endurance and long-life against harsh environment use. The PL:d variant is available in 20 range options from 1.0 bar up to 1000 bar with a choice of M16 or ¼ NPT pressure port configurations (NPT limited to 500 bar). Its 4...20 mA output from a 10 to 32 V DC supply has defined safety limits which can be read into the safety system or ECU to detect faults and there is also internal failure detection within the sensor’s signal conditioner for broken bond wires, internal EEPROM errors and Watchdog etc., that cause an output signal outside of the safety limits. Electrical interfacing is a 600 mm cable with free ends, or optionally with a Metri-Pack connector or M12x1 round connector. The complete specification for the SMO31H2-PL:d version is available in this datasheet. The SMO31H2 series also includes a variant with European E1 automotive type-approval making conformance straightforward for pressure monitoring on mobile applications for cars, buses and trucks etc.

Variohm’s SMO series pressure sensors have been developed over several years and like their range counterparts, the EPT series, continue to provide high accuracy and reliable pressure measurement across demanding applications ranging from motorsports to medical equipment and from harsh industrial use to mobile agricultural and construction machinery. SMO and EPT series pressure sensors are based upon well-proven piezo-resistive measurement technology with ASIC circuitry that is fully protected in hermetically sealed stainless-steel housings. The silicon-free design has no internal O-rings and generous burst and overpressure specifications mean maximum reliability is assured. Pressure measurement range availability is up to 5000 bar with an abundance of pressure port and output options for utmost installation flexibility. The SMO and EPT series pressure sensors offer many other specialist variants such as a CANopen/SAE-J1939 output, titanium construction, aggressive gas/liquid compatibility, and more.

@Variohm @mepaxIntPR  #PAuto #Transport

Resolving electric versus pneumatic dilemma in linear motion tasks.

Machine builders can resolve the age-old dilemma of whether to deploy electric or pneumatic technology for linear motion tasks by adopting a more application-led approach and deploying hybrid solutions claims Warren Harvard of Festo.

Warren Harvard
He explains: “Many machine builders think they need to make a decision between electric automation and pneumatic drives. Some claim that electric actuation is cheaper, more energy efficient and easier to work with. Others feel pneumatic technology is far more rugged, simpler and has a higher power density. But this ‘one or the other’ approach isn’t always helpful in meeting the needs of the application. It’s clearly better to have an efficient overall system rather than to focus on the efficiency of individual components.”

This principle is driving new advances in linear motion, with product manufacturers seeking to combine the advantages of both pneumatic and electric drives in a single solution. For example, the Simplified Motion Series (SMS) from Festo offers an affordable option that is easy to install and operate. There is no need for external servo drives installed in control cabinets because the whole device is mounted directly on the machine.

Their simplified set-up and operation makes SMS electric drives perfect for simple motions between two mechanical end positions, without having to sacrifice electric drive motion characteristics such as pre-defined speed, gently cushioned movement into end positions and selectable force for pressing or clamping functions. They can be simply and securely combined mechanically with other SMS actuators using more advanced electric axes from Festo, or the vast range of pneumatically-driven guided actuators using standardised interfaces and centring rings for accurate positioning and load transfer.

Festo’s free online sizing tool gives added assurance, not only enabling users to select and size their linear motion solutions quickly and accurately, but also to generate the required documentation and drawings for incorporation in their overall machine design.

Furthermore, these drives are equipped with IO-Link® as standard so they can be integrated seamlessly into fully digitalised environments: supporting predictive maintenance regimes and smart air consumption to make a full contribution to optimising production and energy efficiency. 

In conclusion Warren Harvard says, “Each industrial application has its specific requirements with regards to technical criteria: such as speed, acceleration, load capacity and force required, cycle time, holding duration, power to weight ratio, accuracy, control behaviour, torsional rigidity, efficiency or robustness. Pneumatic and electric drive solutions have traditionally offered specific advantages and disadvantages, but the advent of improved solutions such as the SMS Series mean that machine builders can opt for an alternative, more application-led, approach to finding a solution.”

@festo_global @Publitek #PAuto

Innovators honoured in virtual space!

More than 500 inventors gathered virtually for Endress+Hauser’s 21st Innovators’ Meeting. Because last year’s anniversary event had to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, two innovator cohorts were invited in 2021 to honor the creativity and inventive spirit of the Group of companies.

CEO Matthias Altendorf
Endress+Hauser filed 276 new developments for patent for the first time in 2020, 42 less than the previous year. Nevertheless, the overall balance is impressive: The number of patents granted worldwide reached a new high of 738, which is 61 more than in 2019. The intellectual property portfolio is also more extensive than ever. More than 8,900 patents and patent applications protect the intellectual property behind Endress+Hauser’s products, solutions and services.

Innovation as a success factor
“The fact that all this was achieved during the coronavirus pandemic, despite particular strain and additional tasks, is a huge achievement,” underlined Angelika Andres, Corporate Director of Intellectual Property Rights and head of the Group’s intellectual property division. Department head Dr Christine Koslowski added: “There was tinkering and testing with and without masks, while working from home and in the workshop, with team spirit and digital tools.”

“Innovations drive Endress+Hauser’s growth,” emphasized CEO Matthias Altendorf (pic). If nothing else, digital tools helped bridge the physical distance during the pandemic, he said. “But people need other people.” Virtual exchange cannot replace face-to-face encounters in the long run; relationships and trust are only built through direct contact. That’s why the CEO is convinced that “cooperation, collaboration and creativity need physical proximity.”

Progress in many areas
For 20 years, Endress+Hauser has been promoting the protection of intellectual property with its Patent Rights Incentive Program. In this context, the annual Innovators’ Meeting offers the global Group’s inventors a platform for meeting and exchanging ideas. Economically significant patents and particularly creative inventors are awarded prizes. Around 50 employees stood virtually on the winners’ podium for this event.

“At its heart, innovation is always about customer benefit,” explained Chief Operating Officer Dr Andreas Mayr. This benefit can be created by new products and technologies, but also by smoother cooperation or accelerated development projects. For this reason, Endress+Hauser has also been presenting awards for the improvement of processes and the reuse of previously developed solutions for a number of years. Dozens of employees were honored for this at the 2021 Innovators’ Meeting.

@Endress_Hauser @Endress_US @Endress_UK #PAuto

"Most important interoperability technology in industry!" - report.

The OPC Foundation has announced that the ARC Advisory Group published a report entitled “OPC UA Momentum Continues to Build” (pdf). This eleven-page executive overview provides timely insights into what makes OPC UA the global standard of choice for industrial data communications in process and discrete manufacturing industries. In addition, the report provides a list of ARC recommendations for process manufacturers considering adopting OPC UA.

Stefan Hoppe, President and Executive Director of the OPC Foundation, commented, “This ARC report serves an excellent independent overview of the role OPC UA plays in the IIoT era. Packed with facts about OPC UA, ARC’s expert industry insights, and practical recommendations, the report provides a great starting point for those considering adopting OPC UA as the core of their data interoperability infrastructure.”

Set against the backdrop of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0, the report examines OPC UA from multiple perspectives including how it differs from other connectivity technologies and standards. Topics examined include the technology OPC UA is based on and the OPC Foundation’s initiatives, collaborations, and governance. The report provides a well-rounded view of why OPC UA is so popular today and why OPC UA will continue to grow in relevance for years to come.

Key take-aways the report offers include:

• OPC Foundation is run independently and transparently, the OPC UA standard is open and vendor agnostic, and the standard and Companion Specifications are freely available to everyone. All of these factors help maximize OPC UA adoption.
• OPC UA is an enabler for next-generation automation standards that will, according to ARC, potentially change the industry structure of process automation eg. Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer (Ethernet APL), NAMUR Open Architecture, and the Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF)
• OPC UA is arguably the most extensive ecosystem for secured industrial interoperability
• OPC UA is independent of underlying transport layers. As such, it uses the most suitable transports for the right applications (ex. TCP, UDP, MQTT, and 5G)
• OPC UA is highly extensible via its Information Modeling (IM) capabilities. This makes OPC UA an excellent fit for use by automation vendors and other standards organizations wishing to express and share semantic data seamlessly across all verticals.
• The OPC Foundation Field Level Communications (FLC) Initiative is defining a new OPC UA Field eXchange (OPC UA FX) standard that is supported by virtually all leading process automation suppliers.
• OPC UA FX will extend OPC UA to the field level to enable open, unified, and standards-based communications between sensors, actuators, controllers, and the cloud.
• Forward-looking companies should make OPC UA a crucial part of their long-term strategies today because the changes this technology brings will become a necessity faster than most people anticipate

“Industry faces issues today as result of the post-pandemic new normal. Those are e.g. maintaining supply chain integrity, the ability to shift to remote operations, the need for operational resilience and sustainability, and maximizing cybersecurity protection. That require a single framework for secure interoperability and information exchange as well as a common interoperability technology from cloud service providers to process field devices. Today this is mandatory for processors and manufacturers to grow and remain viable” according to Craig Resnick, Vice President, ARC Advisory Group. “OPC UA is the standard that solves these interoperability challenges, and acts as an ecosystem enabler to ensure that multiple open standards, such as Industry 4.0, NAMUR NOA, OPAF, and Ethernet APL can seamlessly work together. The goal is to ensure that all business and control information is based on a single version of the truth so companies can maximize their growth, productivity, and profitability.”

@OPCFoundation @arc_advisory @ARCWorldForum #PAuto #IIoT

Diaphragm pressure gauge with vent valve.

The model PG43SA-S diaphragm pressure gauge for sanitary applications, from WIKA, can now be supplied with an optional vent valve. With the valve closed (ingress protection IP68), the inside of the instrument is permanently protected against penetration by extremely aggressive substances such as those used for external cleaning in certain pharmaceutical processes.

While the instrument is actually performing its duty, pressure measurement (gauge pressure), the valve must be open. This also applies to sterilisation in an autoclave, to prevent internal pressure having negative effects.

The hygienically designed vent valve is easily accessible on top of the case. It is adjusted, without tools, using a wing nut; a locking ring prevents it from unscrewing. Open and closed positions, as well as the direction of rotation, are clearly marked.

• WIKA products are marketed in Ireland through Instrument Technology.

@WIKANews #PAuto #Pharma

Gas chromatograph in pipeline.

Qmicro by Sensirion supports MeterQ Solutions GmbH with its microGC technology. MeterQ, a solution provider in the natural gas industry, recently completed the world’s first installation of a process gas chromatograph directly in a natural gas pipeline. This achievement was realised thanks to Qmicro’s microGC technology, which is at the heart of the MeterQ solution.

MeterQ successfully installed the first ever process gas chromatograph (PGC) in a pipeline in a compressor station of one of its project partners near the German/Dutch border in northern Germany. The PGC measures 13 components of natural gas including C6+, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, with each separated by only one carrier gas (helium) in only 45 seconds. Thanks to the innovative microGC technology, the system could be designed without requiring a bypass channel. This means that natural gas emissions to the atmosphere are reduced by over approx. 95 % compared to conventional systems.

In addition to the ability to measure a wide range of gases at an ultra-fast measurement time, Qmicro’s microGC analysers offer long-term autonomy thanks to their low carrier gas consumption and automated re-calibration. The ultra-compact form and explosion-proof housing means they can be installed at virtually any location. In addition, the innovative cartridge system ensures that the replacement of consumables is fast and easy. All of these aspects make Qmicro products an ideal solution for applications where natural gas properties need to be analyzed, such as custody transfer, bio-methane injection, hydrogen blend stations, etc.

“Qmicro’s GC analyzers are ideal for us due to their compact form and fast measurement time. In addition, the use of only one carrier gas reduces the complexity of our system and simplifies maintenance,” says Achim Zajc, General Manager at MeterQ. He further adds: “Qmicro’s analyzer allows for a design where no bypass is required. This means that natural gas emissions to the atmosphere are reduced for the most part. This is relevant, as natural gas has a 21-times larger effect on the climate than CO2.”

@sensirion #PAuto #Gas #Europe

Industrial smart switch.

Moxa has added the SDS-3016 Series to their Red Dot award-winning product family. The new addition includes Gigabit uplink, eight additional ports, and an easy-to-configure Industrial Automation (IA)-profile that allows automation engineers to quickly process the increasing amounts of data within the smart manufacturing industry. Moxa always strives to ensure network interoperability and integration immediately.

SDS-3016 Series Features
√ 14+2G-port Gigabit smart Ethernet switches
√ 3 industrial protocols including EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, and Modbus/TCP
√ 2 installation methods with DIN-rail and rack-mounting options
√ 1-page dashboard GUI for easy device configuration and port diagnostics reports
√ One-step configuration to enable seamless SCADA/HMI/NMS integration
√ Supports RSTP/STP/MRP(Client) network redundancy
√ Compact size to fit in confined spaces
Automation engineers are increasingly putting more emphasis on the underlying health of their networks to ensure they can maintain reliable plant operations. This is often achieved by monitoring data and the network status from SCADA/HMIs, allowing automation engineers to prevent network downtime.

"We decided to develop the SDS-3000 Series industrial smart switches with the 3-2-1 design to simplify industrial communications. There are 3 pre-configured IA protocols, 2 installation methods, and a 1-page dashboard for easy configuration. The new SDS-3016 Series includes an additional rotary-coded DIP-switch, which is located on the bottom of the device, to allow engineers to perform profile-based settings quickly without using a web browser,” noted Elsa Liu, Product Manager at Moxa.

The smart switch was specifically designed for IA engineers and automation machine builders. The switch only includes the functions IA engineers and automation machine builders need, and importantly, does not require them to have IT-based network management skills. We believe the smart switch is the ideal product for the manufacturing industry, especially for machine builders who are embracing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0.

@MoxaInc @reddot @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Industrie4

Cool cows!

Livestock production is a challenging business. Farmers are under continuous pressure to sustainably deliver quality fresh produce while meeting aggressive pricing demands. Simultaneously, consumers are increasingly concerned about the welfare of the animals they consume. Animal welfare is important for dairy farmers too, but their key challenge is satisfying those needs in a manner that is affordable at acquisition and during operation.
The Cyclone 360 from Bioret-Agri provides a unique, energy efficient ventilation approach for dairy farmer’s barns.
Cows in barns require proper ventilation to support their well-being and avoid illness. Large fans hung from the roof help to dry the floor and lower humidity while also removing odors and gases produced by the livestock’s urine, manure, and breathing. This reduces hoof and udder hygiene issues, even in the winter months. During summer, excessive heat can result in cow discomfort, leading to lower reproduction efficiency and reduced milk quality and production. Ventilation systems increase airflow over the cows, reducing the risk of heat stress.

The established supplier Bioret-Agri has been supplying farmers with innovative animal comfort products since 1983, with a particular focus on dairy cows. When mounted in the barn’s rafters, their ventilation system is unique in delivering 360° of airflow, reducing the heat stress on cows (pic above). To further improve the product and reduce power consumption, they were looking to move from an induction motor (IM) to a permanent magnet (PM) type. This required a suitable motor inverter.

The original IM-based solution only offered a simple on/off control. The move to a PM motor provided a chance to add variable speed control that responded to the temperature in the barn. This would ensure that energy consumption was kept to a minimum and ventilation noise would be held at the lowest possible volume. With barns reaching up to one hundred meters in length, multiple ventilators can be installed along the roof’s length. Therefore, the motor inverter solution selected would need to be capable of communicating with the other ventilators to ensure a uniform airflow throughout the building.

Having reviewed the application requirements, Delta’s team of engineers proposed the ME300 Series from its broad portfolio of motor inverters. It was ideally suited to the 2.2 kW electrically commutated PM motor selected, supporting the maximum target speed of 1,800 RPM. This compact vector control drive has been reduced by 60% in volume over previous generation drives, enabling it to be easily integrated into the Bioret-Agri Cyclone 360 ventilator. The screwless design of the terminal blocks simplifies manufacturing, while its built-in Class A (C2/C3) EMC filter saves both space and the procurement of additional parts. Thanks to its optimized hardware layout and anti-pollution design, it was also ideal for resisting the dust and fibers prevalent in barns.

“This has been an exciting project, much different from the typical industrial applications we usually address,” said Jean-Charles Cuzin, Field Application Engineer at Delta Electronics. “Covid added to the development challenges, but resourcefulness and dedication by the team ensured we overcame them.” 

Yannick Daubelcour, R&D Manager at Bioret-Agri said, “The professional support provided by Delta Electronics and the local partner, allowed us to meet our design goals. The Cyclone 360 remains an innovation leader in barn ventilation systems, and this latest design improves animal welfare by being quieter in operation and lower in energy cost.”

Like many recent projects, Bioret-Agri and Delta faced challenges during the development of the Cyclone 360 due to restrictions imposed by Covid. The ME300 can be parameterized to match the motor being driven. However, without direct access to the motor on-site, the Delta team was forced to remotely undertake the required system optimization. User control is implemented with a simple on/off signal, while a single output indicates any system errors. Ventilator speed across multiple Cyclone 360s is synchronized via an analog output that links to each subsequent ME300 motor inverter.

@DeltaEMEA @Delta_Americas @mepaxIntPR #Bioret #Agriculture