Friday 29 January 2021

Networking and communications site upgrade.

The Industrial Ethernet Book has launched a new website offering "the deepest, richest content on the web covering Industrial Ethernet automation and control networking, the IIoT and Industry 4.0 eBooks provide an ability for visitors to review IEB online, or download the publication.

Founded in 1999, inspired by the emergence of Industrial Ethernet as the network backbone for automation and control, the Industrial Ethernet Book is the only publication worldwide dedicated to automation and machine control networking, and the latest technologies driving digital transformation, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0.

Periodic visits to the new website will help keep abreast of new products, technology articles, application case studies and industry news.

@IEBook #Pauto #IIoT #Industrie4

Change in leadership at automation trade association.

Steve Leech is the new president of GAMBICA and will hold office for the next 2 years. He succeeds Huw Bevan as who served as President  through the difficult period for trade incurred through BREXIT and complicated by the unanticipated pandemic.

Steve Leech
"I extend a warm welcome to Steve and my sincere thanks to Huw for helping to steer 
GAMBICA through a turbulent period," said GAMBICA Chief Executive, Steve Brambley.

Steve is the Business Manager for the Siemens DCS product business within Great Britain and Ireland. He joined Siemens in 2001 starting within the internal sales function. In 2005 he was promoted to Key Account Management within the Regional Sales team. He has been involved in Vertical Market development within the Energy from Waste sector, helping to define the Siemens market strategy. He became Product Manager for the Process Control Systems product business at Industry Automation with Product Management responsibility for the Siemens DCS platform. He now leads the Siemens Process Control Systems product business in Great Britain and Ireland, working alongside end users and solution partners within the key process market sectors of Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Energy from Waste and Oil & Gas.

He has been on the GAMBICA Management Board for some years representing Siemens on the Process Instrumentation and Control Council. The management board has been a great source of ideas and progress for the association down the years,

@gambica @Siemens #PAuto 

Thursday 28 January 2021

Monitoring conductivity in power station.

In an ideal world, continuous monitors would monitor continuously, but for some instruments downtime is necessary whilst service operations are undertaken. To overcome this, Swan Analytical Instruments has developed a new technology for power and industrial water/steam monitoring systems to enable uninterrupted operation. 

Chemists at the South Humber Bank Power Station (GB) have evaluated this innovative conductivity instrumentation, demonstrating its ability to avoid gaps in vital data streams, whilst also saving costs and lowering labour requirements. Swan’s AMI CACE (Conductivity After Cation Exchange), dispenses with the need to replenish the instrument’s cation exchange resin every month, which means that downtime is almost completely avoided.

After almost one year of uninterrupted operation with the AMI CACE, South Humber Bank Power Station Chemist Paul Kelk says: “CACE is a vitally important measurement because it amplifies conductivity readings so that we can measure the potential threat of corrosion. We have found this new Swan instrument to be extremely reliable, with a fast response time, and it has saved significant costs because it does not require manual resin replenishment every month. However, for me, the main advantage is that the instrument does not have to go off-line; as is the case with conventional resin-based CACE instruments.”

South Humber Bank Power Station 
The South Humber Bank Power Station is a 1,365 MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station, owned by EP UK Investments Ltd., a daughter company of EP Power Europe. The plant was built in two phases in 1997 and 1999. Phase 1 consists of three 166 MW gas turbines with three heat recovery steam generators, and a 255 MW steam turbine. Phase 2 consists of two 169 MW gas turbines with two heat recovery steam generators, and a 171 MW steam turbine. The plant operates once-through cooling using a deep-water intake drawn from about one mile into the River Humber estuary, at a rate of around 23m3 per second.

Why monitor conductivity?
Conductivity, in this context, is the non-specific ability of water in the water/steam cycle to carry an electrical current. This is made possible by the presence of dissolved substances – anions and cations, which may be treatment chemicals, dissolved gases or contaminants. The presence of these contaminants represents a threat to power station assets because of their ability to accumulate at points in the water/steam cycle and because they may cause corrosion in locations such as the main boiler, the steam turbine header, the condenser tubes and the hot well. Corrosion in these vital assets would necessitate remedial action, causing partial or complete plant shutdown with heavy financial consequences. Turbine blades would also be vulnerable to corrosion, and given that they travel at 3,000rpm, any damage could be catastrophic.

With the benefit of various conductivity measurements, South Humber Bank Power Station has been able to operate largely problem-free for many years. However, with an eye to the future, Paul Kelk says: “We are constantly on the lookout for new technologies that offer an opportunity to improve performance.”

Corrosion prevention
Corrosion occurs in the presence of water and oxygen, when metals revert to their oxidised, more stable state, so dissolved oxygen in cooling systems is avoided. Carbohydrazide is employed as a water treatment chemical at South Humber Bank Power Station. As a powerful oxygen scavenger Carbohydrazide promotes the formation of a protective magnetite layer without interfering with the action of other treatment chemicals. Magnetite is an iron oxide, (Fe3O4).which forms as a thin layer on steel surfaces and passivates them; thereby protecting the surfaces from corrosion.

Corrosion is an electrochemical process, and any build-up of dissolved contaminants could harm the magnetite layer and expose steel surfaces to the risk of corrosion. This risk is amplified where high pressure and temperature accelerate the corrosion process. So, the monitoring of conductivity provides the operators of steam cycle systems with early warning of potentially serious problems. However, contamination levels may be masked by the presence of alkalizing agents which have been added to protect the plant. For this reason, direct conductivity monitoring is undertaken, along with pH, as an indicator of treatment chemical levels.

In order to continuously monitor the potential threat from corrosive contaminants, it is necessary to remove the treatment chemicals from samples so that the underlying conductivity can be measured. This is achieved within the measurement instrument by passing the water sample through a cation exchange resin. 

Conductivity after Cation Exchange (CACE)
SWAN CACE Installed!

In conventional CACE instruments a resin column changes contaminants into their acid form which amplifies the conductivity, allowing early detection of low level contaminants. Alkalizing agents can mask the contaminants as the column removes them from the sample by replacing them with protons in a cation exchange step before and after conductivity is measured. This process consumes resin and therefore necessitates regular resin replacement in order to assure reliable monitoring data.

Almost every power station monitors CACE to protect itself from the potentially serious effects of corrosion caused by contaminants in cycle steam/water. Paul Kelk says: “The main threats at this site are chloride and sulphide ions, so we employ fourteen CACE monitors with sampling points at both high and low pressure locations so that we can monitor any increase in levels, and take timely action to protect the plant.”

The frequency of resin replacement for conventional instruments depends on the type, quality and volume of the resin, as well as the pH, temperature and flow rate of the sample. Nuclear power plants, for example, running on a higher pH have an increased consumption of resin and need more frequent replacement or regeneration. At the South Humber plant, Paul estimates that each of the CACE monitors requires resin replacement once every 4 weeks. “We generally pre-prepare columns to speed up the process of swapping them. Once the column is taken from the instrument, the remaining resin is removed and discarded. The column is then washed with Hydrochloric Acid, which obviously presents safety challenges. Finally, the resin is replaced and the column is returned to the instrument, after which it is necessary to flush the column.”

The column exchange process takes around 20 minutes in total and has to be undertaken for each of the plant’s 14 CACE instruments every month. “In addition to the cost of the replacement resin and the avoidance of waste resin, the creation of replacement columns and the monthly swapping of columns, represents a significant ongoing labour requirement.” Paul explains. “However, the main problem is that resin column replacement causes the instrument readings to go off-scale for one to two hours, so we were obviously very interested to learn more about a new instrument that dispensed with the need for regular column replacement.”

CACE monitoring - without resin replacement
The innovative technology employed by Swan’s AMI CACE is electro-deionisation (EDI); a process in which the ion exchange resin is regenerated in place, continuously. Ions present in the feed-water pass through ion exchange membranes to a concentrate stream, and are thereby separated from the sample. The protons and hydroxide ions needed for regeneration are generated by water electrolysis, which eliminates the requirement for regeneration chemicals, and this means that it is possible to eliminate alkalizing agent up to specific conductivities of over 40 µS cm–1 in a single exchange step.

The AMI CACE measures conductivity both before and after cation exchange, and provides automatic calculation of pH and alkalizing agent concentration.

Monitoring at South Humber Bank Power Station
Samples are collected continuously from collection drums in the feedwater and condensate systems, and delivered to the plant’s analysers by a bespoke system that includes pressure reduction valves and cooling coils.

Manual samples are also collected routinely for laboratory analysis – to conduct a wider range of tests and to check that the online monitors are operating correctly.

In addition to the CACE monitors, SHBPC also operates continuous monitors for a range of other parameters including de-gassed conductivity, pH, phosphate, dissolved oxygen and hydrazine/carbohydrazide. Paul says: “Invariably, the initial purchase cost of Swan instruments is higher than other suppliers, but we believe in thorough, often lengthy, evaluation trials, and these have shown the operational costs of Swan equipment to be lower because of better reliability and a reduced maintenance requirement.

“We particularly appreciate Swan’s willingness to allow us to operate trial instruments for extended periods. This demonstrates confidence in their instruments and helps build a long-term relationship for the benefit of both parties.”

Continuous monitors should monitor continuously
The main advantage of continuous monitoring systems is that they are able to provide a complete picture of process conditions throughout a cycle, whilst also detecting sudden peaks so that alarms can be raised. It is therefore less than ideal when an analyser has to go offline for 1-2 hours every month for resin replacement. By developing an instrument that is able to remove this step, Swan has enabled true continuous monitoring of CACE at power plants.

In recent years, continuous monitoring systems with fast response times have become more important as power plants are required to respond more rapidly to changes in demand.

Summarising, John Saxton of Swan Analytical UK says: “Effective process control demands continuous analysis, so it was inevitable that the challenges of using traditional CACE instruments would need to be resolved, and we are obviously delighted that it was our company that developed the solution.

“Even without the operational cost savings, the case for replacing conventional CACE monitors with instruments employing EDI is overwhelming; given the enormous capital and strategic value of the assets that they protect.” 

@_Enviro_News @swan_usa #PAuto #Power

Strategic alliance for Industrial IoT.

Advantech and Crosser have announced that they have initiated a strategic alliance to empower global industries with Advanced Edge Analytics.

The strategic alliance includes an initiative to have Crosser Edge Analytics software pre-installed on new Advantech IoT systems in order to reduce the complexity and speed up the time from idea to proof of value in Industrial IoT. The low-code and drag-and-drop nature of the Crosser software makes it easy, also for non-developers, to innovate. The broad connectivity support of Advantech IoT systems means that data from a long list of machines can be collected, analysed and acted upon.


“Advantech is a trusted global supplier of Industrial grade systems and the combination of highly reliable hardware and easy-to-use advanced software will create significant customer value. Together we empower customers with an Industrial IoT/Industry 4.0 vision to go from idea to realisation much faster and to a lower total cost,” says Martin Thunman, CEO and co-founder of Crosser.


“We are glad to work together with forefront software like Crosser. Together we offer a complete solution with our dedicated hardware, the Advantech EdgeLink system as backbone and Crosser Advanced Analytics on top - enabling Industry 4.0 for both brownfield and future installations.” says Rick de Vries, Head of Smart Industrial and Equipment Builders at Advantech.


The Crosser and Advantech partnership is targeting both already installed products, so-called brownfield installations, as well as new deployments in order to simplify the digitalisation journey for industrial customers.


“In our discussion with Advantech, we wanted to meet the demand for a product that radically simplifies the industry's IoT initiatives. Therefore we came up with this Advantech  Edge Solution-Ready Platform with the Low Code Crosser Platform embedded,” says Mikael Samuelsson, Director of Strategic Alliances & Partners.

@Advantech_IIoT @AdvantechEurope @crossertech #PAuto #IIoT

Seventy five years in pressure and measurement.

I made my first visit to Germany in the late sixties as a representative of Industrial Instruments Ltd (IIL).  IIL had become agents in Ireland of the company Alexander Wiegand AG after a visit to Ireland of the late Dr Konrad Wiegand (son of the founder) and his wife. This was first company I visited in the Franconian town of Klingenberg am Main and in fact I spent my first night in a hotel by the railway station called Schöne Aussicht. Thus I always have had a special memory of this place. 

The company is now more widely recognised and transformed as the WIKA Group. It is celebrating its seventy five year anniversary this year. It was founded in 1946 with a focus on the production of pressure gauges. Today the WIKA Group is a leading manufacturer of industrial and process measurement technology in the global market. 

With 11,000 employees, the company generates a turnover of around one billion euros. Thanks to its broad positioning and sustainable financial structure, WIKA has held its ground well, even during the corona crisis.

The greatly expanded company has mantained its strong presence in Klingenberg and is still run by the Wiegand family. The company is represented worldwide through 43 subsidiaries and has production sites in all key markets. In addition to the comprehensive product portfolio for the measured variables of pressure, temperature, level, flow and force, WIKA offers a wide range of services. Innovative complete IIoT solutions round off the performance spectrum.

To strengthen the market-oriented strategy of the company, WIKA is now building a central innovation centre for the entire Group at its headquarters in Klingenberg am Main. It will be inaugurated in this anniversary year.

@WIKANews #PAuto 

Recognition as IIoT partner of year.

Seeq Corporation  has named  Nukon as its 2020 Partner of the Year. Nukon was selected from among Seeq’s worldwide reselling partners for its excellence in delivering value to customers in the Australian market, its partnership in creating awareness for Seeq, including the Australian (virtual) Seeq user group meeting in November, and for its technical expertise with Seeq-certified employees and training professionals.

“We are pleased to recognize Nukon as the Seeq 2020 partner of the year,” says Will Knight, Seeq’s Head of Worldwide Partner Sales. “This award demonstrates the impact of Alec and his team in enabling advanced analytics insights to our customers and sets the standard for worldwide excellence in delivering the next generation of process manufacturing improvements.”


Seeq enables engineers and scientists in process manufacturing organizations to rapidly analyze, predict, collaborate, and share insights to improve production outcomes. Seeq customers include companies in the oil and gas, pharmaceutical, chemical, energy, mining, food and beverage, and other process industries. Investors in Seeq include Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Altira Group, Chevron Technology Ventures, Cisco Investments, and Next47, the venture group for Siemens Inc.


In 2020, Seeq was recognized by Inc Magazine as number 261 on their 2020 list of the Fastest Growing Companies, # 76 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and energy tech companies in North America, and was chosen as a 2020 Red Herring Top 100 North America Winner which recognizes the continent’s most exciting and innovative private technology companies.


Nukon provides a variety of OT and IT solutions and services to its clients in the consumer goods, infrastructure, utilities, and waste management industries. The company is Seeq’s longest running partner, and they have more than 10 Seeq customers. From the outset, Nukon has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to work with Seeq to evolve and improve their products and market approach.


“Nukon is honored to be selected as Seeq Partner of the Year and prides itself on choosing best-of-breed solutions to fit our customers' unique challenges,” says Alec Konynenburg, Nukon’s General Manager. “We believe the whole story is only as strong as the sum of its parts, which is why we partner with companies, such as Seeq, whose capability and commitment pairs with ours to provide strong value to our customers.”


Seeq’s worldwide growth is being fueled in part by its partnerships and commitment to cloud-based computing. Seeq is available in the AWS marketplace, is an AWS Industrial Competency Partner, and supports many data storage services, including Amazon Redshift, S3, plus machine learning in SageMaker, and other services.


On Azure, Seeq has been available in the Azure Marketplace since 2018 and was recently recognized as a 2020 Microsoft Energy Partner of the Year Finalist. Support for Azure services includes Azure Synapse, Azure Data Lake, Azure Data Explorer, Azure Time Series Insights, Azure Notebooks for machine learning integration, and Power Automate.


In addition to cloud partnerships, Seeq connects to an extensive set of automation vendor data storage platforms for on premise engagements including OSIsoft, Siemens, GE, Honeywell, Emerson Automation Solutions, Inductive Automation, AVEVA, AspenTech, Yokogawa, and others.

@SeeqCorporation @nukonconsulting @DeloitteUS @digitalherring @AzureMktPlace #PAuto #Australia 

Maritime decarbonization targets.

Low sulphur and nitrousoxide emission limits in the International Maritime Organization regulations became effective worldwide in January 2020.  

CEMcaptain GAA610-M is approved by all
major classification societies  (DNV GL,
ABS Group,  Lloyds Register, Bureau
Veritas, ClassNK,  Korean Register).
CEMcaptain is a powerful emissions monitoring system from ABB designed to help the maritime industry meet these new regulations and become more sustainable. Its measurement and digital capabilities increase on-board safety, provide process optimization and substantially reduce ownership costs. By consistently achieving 98 percent and more uptime, the new system not only requires less maintenance effort but also saves time otherwise spent on handling non-compliance issues. 

Designed with busy mariners and a regularly changing crew in mind, CEMcaptain is a multi-component analyzer system that continuously provides real-time data offering reliable measurement of emissions with the highest stability. Operating in even the harshest of conditions it integrates analyzer modules and sample handling components in a standalone cabinet, making installation easy.  

Equipped with ABB’s Uras26 non-dispersive IR gas analyzer, CEMcaptain simultaneously and continuously measures sulphur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in line with regulation requirements. Each analyzer has two separate gas paths to allow for continuous CO2/SO2 measurement of separate streams, with up to four different components per analyzer module.

“Our solutions are driving the evolution of sustainable shipping, paving the way to a zero-emission marine industry. ABB has more than 60,000 Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) installed in over 100 countries that help monitor our environment,” said Stephen Gibbons, ABB’s Head of Product Management in Continuous Gas Analyzers. “We draw on 60 years of experience in emissions monitoring to provide this support in concrete terms. CEMcaptain has been combined with innovations in on-site and remote digital services. The result is a solution that provides the industry with a digital toolbox that increases regulatory compliance and operational efficiency.” 

Fast fault reporting, diagnosis and repair are achieved via the on-site and remote digital services which help operators get closer to 100 percent availability for their gas analysis instrumentation. Dynamic QR codes are integrated into the ABB CEMcaptain system display panel. All relevant diagnostic information can be collected from the analyzer via a scanned code and transferred to ABB support. This means that maritime instrumentation technicians can send real-time information to an ABB service expert to get immediate guidance on appropriate maintenance. ABB Ability™ Remote Assistance with secured connectivity direct to ABB support is also offered for real-time solutions to problems. These features reduce the costly training of changing crews as well as the number of experts required on board. They also increase on-board safety by reducing crew exposure to emissions. 

@ABBgroupnews #PAuto #Marine

Wednesday 27 January 2021

Sustainable shipping.

Intelligent use of raw materials protects the environment and increases economic efficiency.

IDS products leave the dispatch area plastic-free

Plastic is one of the most serious problems of the 21st century. This is not due to the raw materials or production processes, but to the fact that 32% of plastic packaging worldwide is not recovered (whether by landfill, incineration or recycling). They end up uncontrolled in the environment. A complete decomposition of plastics takes several centuries. Previously, plastic merely disintegrates into ever smaller particles, which ultimately find their way into the human body via the food chain – the keyword being micro plastics. The best strategy to combat plastic waste, including in the oceans, is undeniably to avoid plastic products and to replace them with 100% biodegradable alternatives made from renewable raw materials, e.g. paper.

IDS Imaging Development Systems has taken up the challenge. The industrial camera manufacturer's shipping department uses only paper instead of plastic. First of all, fillers for cartons were converted from bubble wrap to paper. A specially purchased packaging machine produces creped filling material in the desired length from normal, smooth paper layers. Even delivery note envelopes can only be found in the dispatch department in paper form. An alternative to plastic adhesive tape is currently being tested in order to feed shipping cartons into the recycling cycle largely free of plastic. 

"These measures have already enabled us to replace 95 % of the original plastic materials in the logistics/shipping area," reports IDS Logistics Manager Kai Schrödter.

But it is not only plastic-free shipping that plays a role for the camera manufacturer. The topic of recycling is also very important. "For example, we reuse all fillers we receive from customers instead of simply throwing them away," explains Schrödter and adds "In the future, all used cardboard boxes will also be pressed into bales directly at our premises and then used to produce new recycled cartons". In this way, IDS makes an economic contribution to sustainability. In addition, the company makes sure that all paper materials used in shipping are already purchased as recycled products.

"This has already enabled us to save a considerable amount of plastic waste at our customers in 2019. In 2020, this is likely to rise even further," explains Sebastian Liepe – Head of IDS Quality Assurance. At the same time, the intelligent use of raw materials alone increases the profitability of the entire packaging sector.

In the near future, the industrial camera manufacturer is planning further measures to conserve resources, such as CO2-neutral shipping. Switching to a shipping service provider that relies on electric mobility on the road directly avoids CO2 emissions. If goods have to be shipped to other countries by air, newly created green spaces, for example, provide the necessary compensation. A further project already underway is the introduction of shuttle packaging, which allows shipping free of disposable packaging. On the initiative of IDS, these containers are utilised wherever suppliers or customers receive or ship large quantities of products – each in the same individually configurable boxes.

In addition, exchangeable load carriers avoid returns of empty containers and help to use the resource of transport as sparingly as possible.

IDS is convinced that the changeover to sustainable action is the only right way forward and tries to develop resource-saving solutions together with business partners. After all, relatively "small" changes can make a big difference – for the environment and for the company itself. 

@IDS_Imaging @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Environment 

Inline gas probe.

Vaisala has launched a new instrument for off-gas methane and carbon dioxide measurements in the biomethane production process. Robust, reliable, and compact, the Vaisala CARBOCAP® MGP262 multigas instrument provides continuous measurement data to help optimise and control the biogas upgrading process for greater biomethane yield, process efficiency, and environmental benefits. It will be available during the first quarter of the year (2021).

“The new Vaisala MGP262 provides high-quality data to determine greenhouse gas composition from the off-gas in biogas upgrading processes. The data can be used to optimise the process more efficiently, resulting in greater profits, lower emissions and less wasted resources,”
says Product Manager Antti Heikkilä, Industrial Measurements, Vaisala.

It provides a unique and accurate solution to measure methane and carbon dioxide in off-gas in the biomethane production process. It is the world’s first and only in situ instrument that measures off-gases optically with Vaisala’s patented CARBOCAP® technology.

When biogas is upgraded to biomethane, methane is separated from carbon dioxide and other gases that are present in the raw biogas. In the upgrading process, carbon dioxide passes into the off-gas but methane remains in the main gas stream and can be used as a renewable fuel. However, a small amount of methane slips into the off-gas stream.

Heikkilä explains further: “Methane slip is a process where methane is not captured but lost into the atmosphere. As methane is a harmful greenhouse gas, approximately 20 times worse than carbon dioxide, minimising this slip needs to be taken seriously. If methane slip is not controlled, the environmental benefits of using biomethane gas are reduced, and so is the yield. The MGP262 provides the ability to control the upgrading process and lets our customers focus on producing the best quality biomethane possible. An optimised and efficient biomethane recovery process both enables greater profits and brings greater benefits for the environment.”

The new instrument follows Vaisala’s award winning MGP261 multigas measurement instrument, which provides continuous methane, carbon dioxide, and humidity readings directly in the biogas process pipeline. The MGP262 monitors the backend of the upgrading process. Together they provide accurate and reliable in-line measurements to help optimise biogas production and biomethane upgrading end-to-end. 

“There are some key points to consider in efficient biogas production. Firstly, protecting the combined heat and power engine from excess moisture during the process to avoid corrosion and breakdowns. This is where the ground-breaking MGP261 is in a class of its own,” Heikkilä states. “Secondly, it’s important to control the whole process down to off-gassing with MGP262 to minimise the losses and negative environmental impacts caused by uncontrolled methane emissions.”

The MGP262 has high chemical resistance and its metal casing is IP66 rated. The instrument is also Ex certified up to Zone 0 inside pipes and Zone 1 outside, which makes it ideal for inline installations in explosive atmospheres.

With its auto-calibration functionality, low maintenance needs, and low lifetime costs, the MGP260 series offers an optimal way to monitor the entire biogas production process and continuously ensure its efficiency.

@VaisalaGroup @_Enviro_News #Pauto #Environment

Detecting deadly hydrogen sulphide.

Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) is a fast-acting poison that can desensitize and render the body unconscious in no time. As the human senses are not reliable indicators, wearable gas sensors are necessary for early detection. ION Science’s new ARA H2S personal single gas monitor offers 24 months’ continuous operation and robust design for use in harsh environments. It enables workers in a wide range of industrial process applications to monitor their exposure to the toxic gas and provide an alert when safe levels are exceeded.

H2S is commonly found during the drilling and production of crude oil and natural gas, plus in wastewater treatment and utility facilities and sewers. The gas is produced as a result of the microbial breakdown of organic materials in the absence of oxygen and can also be found in textile manufacturing, food processing, hot asphalt paving and mining.

Colourless, flammable, poisonous and corrosive, H2S gas is noticeable by its rotten egg smell but continuous exposure to even low levels quickly deadens olfactory desensitisation. Although the scent of H2S is a characteristic, smell is not a dependable indicator of gas presence or for indicating increasing concentrations of it.

With toxicity similar to carbon monoxide which prevents cellular respiration, monitoring and early detection of H2S could mean the difference between life and death.

The small, lightweight ARA H2S single gas detector is low maintenance, disposable and offers a continuous run time of two years as standard, whilst an additional hibernation model provides three years’ operation. The instrument help employees work safely and cost-efficiently, providing an alert to the presence of unsafe H2S levels.

The ARA H2S single gas detector is designed for use as a safety compliance device to be worn throughout daily shifts within a range of industry sectors including oil & gas, chemical, manufacturing, government & defence, water, aerospace and power generation, and across a variety of applications such as site-wide safety, confined space entry, plant shutdown processes and first response safety.

User set low and high alarms will alert the wearer and surrounding colleagues to the presence of hazardous H2S gas exposure. When an alarm occurs, the user must exit the area or put-on PPE, in line with company or local health and safety guidelines.

This low-maintenance single gas detector is easy to use and operate with one button operation. The user simply switches the instrument on, and it will operate continuously for two years displaying real-time readings and instantaneous alarms to protect the workforce within hazardous environments.* Hibernation models allow the device to be placed on standby to extend battery life up to three years**.

An additional benefit of the ARA H2S single gas detector is its lifetime remaining countdown feature that helps users to plan for future projects and site shutdowns.

ARA’s self-test feature tests the audio, visual & vibrating alarms, giving users confidence that they are in safe hands. Easy to perform in a single button press and with user-configurable reminders, the self-test reassures users that their device is in safe working condition. 

The ARA H2S single gas detectors can be connected to PC software via the ARA IR link, to set bump test and calibration reminders as well as low / high user adjustable alarms. The ARA PC allows users to download 30 recent event logs and configure user settings.

* ION Science recommends that devices are bump tested prior to each use. 
** Based on daily 1 minute alarm.

@ionscience #PAuto #Wastewater #Mining

Chemical feed skid system.

Blue-White's CHEM-FEED® Engineered Skid Systems are now shipping! 

These Skid Systems are simple to operate, easy to order, and includes everything needed for precise chemical feed. The Triplex Skid allows for a two-pump injection system, with one pump acting as a backup to eliminate downtime and reduce costs in critical applications.

They ensure no leaky plumbing causing hazardous work environments with leak free threadless connections.

Blue-White's® lightweight, chemical and UV resistant, polyethylene, triplex skids ship fully assembled to save installation time, includes a built-in drip container, wall/floor mounting brackets, and a visual flow indicator.

It is recommended that these CHEM-FEED Skid System be equipped with their Proseries® Peristaltic Dosing Pumps.

There is a short 2-week lead time for this system.

@BlueWhiteInd #Pauto #Pharma

Anti-bribery standard achieved.

Ixthus Instrumentation has recently completed the comprehensive due diligence process for TRACEcertification* and gained full approval from the world leading anti-bribery standard setting organization. Initiated through its distribution partnership with Kaman Precision Products,  TRACEcertification demonstrates Ixthus’ commitment to commercial transparency through its dealings with suppliers and customers alike.

As part of the certification process, Ixthus received TRACE’s comprehensive anti-bribery compliance training and a verified due diligence report is available from the TRACE Intermediary Directory.

Kaman Precision Products Inc., is a USA based designer and manufacturer of precision, inductive Eddy current position measurement systems that are widely applied in military and aerospace industries, and in many other challenging application areas. With ISO 9001-200 certification and Satellite Industry Association (SiA) membership, Kaman is also a leading sensor specialist for cryogenics, high-vacuum, radiation tolerance and other severe environment position measurement tasks. Ixthus Instrumentation has a long association with Kaman providing a complete UK-based, engineer-to-engineer consultancy and service across Kaman’s comprehensive product range.

Ixthus works closely with Kaman and, over several years, has developed a high level of application expertise for its non-contact displacement sensor technologies - providing comprehensive sales and support at component level or for complete instrumentation systems. Ixthus’ knowledgeable technical staff are on hand to assist with measurement solutions - from the first enquiry, to supply and to after-sales support. 

* Trace International is a global anti-bribery association.

@IxthusInst @KamanSensors @TRACE_Inc @mepaxIntPR #Pauto #Integrity

Partnership for cybersecurity in IIoT.

With the cyber threat landscape constantly evolving, Ewon, part of HMS Networks, has partnered with NVISO, an expert in cybersecurity, to bring industrial cybersecurity to the next level.
Left: Jean-Christophe Epaillard, Information Security & Technology Manager at Ewon with Tim Beyens, Offensive Security & Software Security Services at NVISO
More than ever, it is critical to protect factories from malicious attacks. HMS Networks is currently developing the next generation Ewon products which will feature market-leading, entreprise-grade security protection. A key element in this security initiative is the partnership with cybersecurity expert NVISO who will help ensuring that the Ewon offering prevents, detects and responds strongly to cyberattacks.

Instead of a yearly audit which typically focuses on the same points, HMS decided to put the bar higher by getting challenged on an ongoing basis by experts who are themselves becoming even better with time. Accordingly, NVISO will scrutinize Ewon systems on a regular basis and provide continuous feedback on how to improve. Complementing the ISO 27001 certification that Ewon renews every year, the partnership will ensure that Ewon products and services are secured to the highest level at all times for even better protection of remote access to industrial machines.

“Being the leading player on the market with more than 300,000 connected machines comes with a lot of responsibility, and this is something that we do not take lightly. It begins with promising and ensuring the security and privacy of our customers’ data and equipment.”, says Francis Vander Ghinst, General Manager of HMS Networks’ Business Unit Ewon,

To help customers maximize the power of their data, Ewon products has established a comprehensive and global ecosystem of more than 2000 experienced partners, ready to quickly create efficient and integrated solutions based upon customer needs.

@ewonrouters @NVISOsecurity #PAuto #Cybersecurity #IIoT

Surge protection.

The introduction of several upgraded versions of Emerson's SolaHD™ surge protective devices and power filters gives users more ways to prevent damage to mission-critical electronics driving the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) within their facilities.

Each of the new SolaHD devices has been redesigned to provide protection against the full spectrum of voltage transients and surges that may impair operation of distribution and control panels, factory automation systems, PLCs, and other industrial and machine tool equipment. Offering simple and rugged designs with fewer points of failure, the surge protective devices and power filters combine the strongest aspects of SolaHD legacy designs with entirely new designs and features tailored to the needs of today’s processes. This was achieved through a transformation of the line that includes:

  • The SolaHD STFE Elite filter combines SolaHD Tracking technology with UL Listed surge protection and the convenience of DIN mounting. It continuously tracks the input AC power line responding instantly into action upon detecting extraneous high frequency noise and high voltage transients caused by everyday events such as turning on machinery, motors, or equipment.
  • To compliment the traditional STV100K (UL Type 2) metal only options, SolaHD is now offering a new smaller footprint tri-mount option, the SPD50K Surge Protective Device (UL Type 1) for branch panel and critical load applications. It can be installed via 3/4-inch NPT, DIN-Rail or bracket mount anywhere in an electrical distribution system for added design flexibility.
  • In place of the discontinued STV200K surge protector, SolaHD has introduced a smaller version of its SPD200K that will now include an internal and rotary disconnect and event counter standard. It utilizes enhanced circuitry to better monitor the status of all protection modes, including neutral to ground.
  • To replace the phased-out STV400K model, SolaHD has launched a new smaller version of its SPD300K that also includes an internal rotary disconnect and event counter standard. Both the SPD300K and SPD200K deliver continuous protection from damaging voltage transients and electrical noise commonly found at the service entrance or distribution panel.
  • To support the water and wastewater processing industries, SolaHD has unveiled three surge protection devices or filters housed in either a NEMA 4X polycarbonate case, standalone housing or encapsulated in stainless steel pipe suitable for severe environments. The STCSLAC12036 replaces the SLAC12036LC control and signal surge, while the STCHSP121BT1RU takes the place of the HSP121BT1RU AC replacement module which can be used standalone in control applications, and the STCSS640362 supersedes the SS64036 surge suppressor.
  • Finally, SolaHD has introduced 600V surge options for its SPD200K/300K and SPD50K surge protectors targeting the Canadian market applications.

Machine downtime is the single largest source of lost production, typically accounting for almost 5 percent of factory losses—although many manufacturers lose more. For example, when the cost of equipment replacement and parts, labor, maintenance, delays, sales, and production are added up, downtime can exceed $10,000 per hour. SolaHD surge protectors and power filters help maximize machinery efficiency, productivity, and longevity. Their engineering ideally compliments SolaHD's comprehensive line of power protection and power conversion solutions.

Condition monitoring for CNC tools.

NUM has launched innovative artificial intelligence software that provides CNC machine tool users with highly cost-effective condition monitoring capabilities.

Compatible with all of NUM’s latest-generation Flexium+ CNC systems, the NUMai software package is a complete, fully integrated solution for CNC machine tools – it does not require any additional sensors, and runs on the same industrial PC as the CNC system’s HMI (human-machine interface).

NUMai software can be utilised as soon as a machine tool has been commissioned and is ready to start production, or on a machine that is already being employed for production purposes. The software initially acquires all pertinent operating data over a period of time, typically a number of hours, while the machine is being used for normal production tasks. Ideally, a diversity of part programs is run, involving a variety of different machining conditions, in order to ensure that the data is as comprehensive and reliable as possible.

The collected data is used to teach a neural network so that any deviation from the ‘good’ machine behaviour and performance can then be detected and predicted; a suitable PC program for subsequent online performance monitoring and diagnostic purposes is generated automatically.

During the software’s development, NUM beta tested the technology on a CNC milling machine equipped with three axes and a spindle, which required a neural network comprising 36 neurons with three hidden layers. In this particular instance, 396 parameters needed their values to be accurately defined; this required the acquisition of more than 2 million ‘known good’ data points and 300 iterations of the teaching phase, which took about four hours per axis.

NUMai condition monitoring software capitalises on the inherent flexibility of NUM’s latest-generation Flexium+ CNC platform. As standard, every Flexium+ CNC system includes a PC which can handle data from the servo drives’ measurement points, a PLC that has direct access to machine parameters, and an NCK oscilloscope feature capable of reading values in real-time. All system communications are handled by FXServer, using fast real-time Ethernet (RTE) networking.

During everyday use in the production environment, NUMai software runs in the background on the industrial PC that forms part of the machine tool’s CNC system, continuously monitoring and evaluating the machine’s performance. Any discrepancy or deviation beyond user-defined thresholds is notified to the PLC, which decides what action should be taken – from a simple advisory message to an emergency disengagement.

The new NUMai condition monitoring software option can be installed and used on any Flexium+ CNC system running NUM’s Flexium software version or higher. 

@NUM_CNC #Pauto #CNC

Sockets with push-in technology.

Safe, simple, and smart push-in wiring provides high reliability and saves installation time to improve operation efficiency.

IDEC Corporation has enhanced their popular HW series of 22mm switches and pilot lights, as well as the SJ/SU series of relay sockets, with new options for push-in wiring technology, continuing the company’s goal of delivering safe, simple, and smart solutions.

The IDEC HW series of panel-mount pilot devices already features innovations such as the industry-first ability to illuminate six different colors with a single high-visibility LED. Similarly, IDEC SJ/SU relay sockets work with IDEC and other relays, and are available with convenient accessories and many form factors. Adding push-in wiring connections gives users extra design options, provides even safer and more reliable installation, and minimizes labor costs.

Ferrules and stripped solid wires can be connected by simply pushing them in, without the need for any tools. Some other vendors may offer variations of push-in connections which require tools, but the IDEC HW and SJ/SU series uses true tool-less push-in technology. There are no screws to torque or tighten. Wires can be removed by pushing down a small orange release pin with a screwdriver. Wiring can be performed by workers of any skill level, and wiring time is reduced by about 55% compared with conventional screw terminal connections.
Constant spring-loaded tension on the wire maintains a reliable connection and improves vibration resistance. The entire push-in structure is designed as finger-safe so workers never touch the conductors.

Push-in contact blocks are compact, taking less depth than traditional versions. This improves working space inside a panel and potentially enables enclosures to be downsized. Connections are angled to facilitate wire entry, and the contact blocks feature a handy test point for insertion of a multimeter probe. Both switch contact block and relay socket electrical connections are rated IP20 finger-safe. All other panel design considerations, product functions, features, and ratings remain at the same high level of quality and performance.

For control panel fabricators, machine OEMs, end users, and maintenance personnel, the push-in technology in the IDEC HW series of switches and lights and SJ/SU relay sockets provides a safer, simpler, and smarter approach for making connections.

@IDECUSA #Pauto #Electrics

Tuesday 26 January 2021

Gas detection & monitoring in the fight against the pandemic!

Teledyne Gas & Flame Detection is very active in the fight against COVID-19, using its class-leading gas detection and monitoring technologies to not only support vaccination programmes, but prevent the potential for virus propagation.

Gas detection can play a major role in the deployment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is manufactured in locations including the US, Germany and Belgium. This vaccine requires storage and transportation at -70°C in sealed containers due to its mRNA (Messenger RNA) molecule technology. Such a low temperature is maintained using dry ice.

Dry ice is solid, frozen carbon dioxide (CO2). However, at temperatures above -78°C, CO2 sublimates, which is when it becomes gaseous and potentially dangerous. CO2 can act as an asphyxiant and a toxicant as it is heavier than air and tends to take the place of oxygen, leading to a risk of anoxia. These dangers can present issues for factory, logistics and healthcare workers unfamiliar with handling and manipulating dry ice. Clearly, there is a global need for vaccine urgency, but this should not be at the expense of worker health and safety.

CO2 detection solutions are deployable at all stages of the deep-freeze delivery chain. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine makes use of a specially developed transport box that contains dry ice and is fitted with GPS trackers. Each reusable box can keep up to 5000 doses of vaccine at the right temperature for 10 days, if it remains unopened. In addition, destination countries can choose to store the vaccine in a freezer farm for up to six months at -70°C. For manufacturing sites, logistics centres, transport hubs and healthcare facilities, effective CO2 detection can provide high levels of site and personnel protection.

Teledyne Gas & Flame Detection understands the day-to-day dangers that can arise when using gases such as CO2. For this reason, the company offers a number of optimised solutions, including Easy Duo. The cost-effective Easy Duo package pairs the innovative MX 16 digital/analogue controller with the proven OLCT 10N fixed digital gas detector to ensure a complete solution designed with ease-of-use and installation in mind. Easy Duo requires little more than a power connection and a cable between the control unit and detector (supplied as standard). No configuration software is necessary.

Alternatively, Teledyne Gas & Flame Detection can supply its renowned CTX 300 gas detector, which uses a dedicated sensor for CO2 detection over three different ranges: 0-5000 ppm, 0-5% vol. and 0-100% vol. Users can pair the CTX 300 with the MX 16 controller (single channel, single detector), or the MX 32 (one or two channels and up to eight detectors).

As well as supporting vaccination programmes, fixed CO2 detection solutions from Teledyne Gas & Flame Detection can also serve as a weapon against the propagation of COVID-19. For instance, CO2 sensors can determine the quality of air in a room and thus identify areas that may pose COVID transmission risks. By detecting higher levels of CO2 it is possible to assume that the room has poor ventilation or too many individuals present.

Such a solution can even form part of a ‘smart system’. Here, connection to sensors can alert individuals to the risk, perhaps via a system of red/green (stop/go) safety lights, or activate environmental controls that allow outside air to access the space.

@teledynegas @mepaxIntPR #Pauto #Medical #coróinvíreas #COVID19 #coronavirus

Measuring high pressure safely.

With the launch of its new EPT31H2 and SMO31H2 series pressure sensors, Variohm EuroSensor has attained the European type-approval standards required for safe measurement and monitoring on high-pressure hydrogen generation, storage and transportation systems up to 700 bar - as well as fulfil automotive industry approval for the lower pressure ranges required for hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicles. 

Both new H2 model lines meet the EC79/2009 and EC406/2010 type-approvals for hydrogen processing and storage systems whilst the SMO31H2 also has European E1 automotive type-approval making it suitable for mobile pressure monitoring applications on cars, buses and trucks etc.

The EPT31H2 and SMO31H2 pressure sensors are based upon well-proven measurement technology with a piezo-resistive sensing element and ASIC circuitry encased in a fully sealed all-stainless steel housing. They feature IP67 protection class or optional IP69K for maximum durability in a silicon-free design with no internal O-rings. With additional EMI/RFI protection, low static and thermal errors and high resistance to shock and vibration across an operational temperature range up to up to 125°C , the H2 models deliver high accuracy, linearity and repeatability through several pressure range options from 1.0 bar to 1000 bar for gauge or optionally vacuum measurement (EC79 approval is limited to 700 bar for both model lines).

Output options available are 4…20 mA or 0.5…4.5 V from a 5 V DC supply. A choice of pressure port configurations match various pressure range options. Electrical interfacing is a 600 mm cable with free ends, Metri-Pack connector or M12x1 round connector.

@Variohm @mepaxIntPR #PAuto 

Automation in Western USA.

Rust Automation & Controls is  exclusive Sales Representative for Endress+Hauser  in portions of the West region in the USA. This includes California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and portions of Idaho and North Dakota. Rust Automation now serves as Endress+Hauser’s exclusive Authorized Service Provider for CA, HI, NV, UT, and WY, and effective February 25th for CO, MT, and portions of ND.

“First, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our previous rep organizations for their partnership and support of our customers,”
said Todd Lucey, GM, Endress+Hauser USA. “Looking to the future, we are excited to begin a new partnership with Rust Automation & Controls as they join the Endress+Hauser representative network. Success includes collaboration, innovation, investments, and excellence in our combined resources, allowing us to deliver best-in-class solutions for our customers.”

Rust Automation & Controls is based out of Salt Lake City, Utah and provides a wide range of the world’s finest process control and industrial solutions to customers throughout the Western U.S. The company was established in 1976 and has more than 45 years of experience supporting and providing responsive and professional support to their customers.

“My team at Rust Automation & Controls is very excited to be joining the Endress+Hauser Representative Network,” said Grant Rust, President/CEO, Rust Automation & Controls. “This significant alignment of People, Products, and Services in the Western U.S. will allow our organizations to have a greater impact solving important safety, environmental, and process control issues for our clients in all industries.”

@RustAutomation @Endress_US @Endress_Hauser #PAuto #USA

Monday 25 January 2021

Security at Farrenfore.

Rohde & Schwarz has installed Ireland’s first Quick Personnel Security (QPS) scanner at Kerry Airport, Farranfore, (IRL), delivering state-of-the-art technology that enables a high throughput, enhanced security, and increased safety for airport customers and staff. The airport has chosen the latest model, the latest generation R&S QPS201 launched earlier in 2020, becoming the first Rohde & Schwarz security scanner installation in Ireland. 

The R&S QPS201 security scanner by Rohde & Schwarz features enhanced second-generation algorithms that increase sensitivity to further boost threat detection while minimizing false alarms and reducing processing time. In addition to strengthening security, these performance gains reduce post-alarm manual checks and so help avoid physical contact to ensure social distancing.

Moreover, a more efficient scanning time with R&S QPS201 balances the effects of incoming new X-ray inspection systems, which scan items inside baggage that previously had to be removed, such as laptops. The security scanner restores parity to baggage- and personnel-scanning times, helping security staff manage throughput at checkpoints and avoid excessive queueing.

“The Rohde & Schwarz QPS scanners are highly regarded by the air travel industry worldwide and the latest technology takes performance to an even higher level,” said Gary Walker of Rohde & Schwarz. “I am confident that Kerry Airport and its customers will appreciate the enhancements to service, security, and safety, and that others in Ireland will follow their lead.”

Tom O’Driscoll, Chief Security Officer of Kerry Airport, commented: “Now is the right time for this investment in the future of Kerry Airport, to meet the heightened expectations for safety and security within our industry. Having recently installed explosives detection systems for cabin baggage (EDS CB), we are proud to now also adopt this state-of-the-art technology in Ireland, which will set new standards for service and wellbeing.”

R&S QPS201 was installed and setup at Kerry Airport with minimal disruption to daily activities. The system is designed to be easy to use, with intuitive graphical displays that require minimal training and let operators quickly achieve full proficiency.

Leveraging Rohde & Schwarz expertise in millimeter-wave technology, and utilizing machine-trained software algorithms, R&S QPS201 detects all types of potentially dangerous objects whether metal, ceramic, plastic, or liquid. The harmless low-energy millimeter-waves enable personal privacy to be maintained while capturing high-resolution data that enhances threat detection. The system allows an easy, hands-down posture for scanning, which is comfortable while at the same time ensuring effective screening for safety and security. 

@RohdeSchwarz @KerryAirport @NeeshamPR #Ireland #Security

Detecting greenhouse gas emissions from space!

ABB sensor onboard SpaceX rocket to detect greenhouse gas emissions.

An optical sensor manufactured by ABB has just been deployed with the successful launch of satellite Hugo from GHGSat, the emerging leader in greenhouse gas sensing services in space.

The ABB supplied optical sensor can map methane emissions from space at a resolution that is 100 times higher than any other sensors. Whilst previously only larger regions could be surveyed, for the first time the new greater granularity now allows the identification of the source of emissions. An additional nine units are currently under manufacture at ABB to be launched by the end of 2022 ready to be on-board across the first private satellite constellation dedicated to emission measurement.

Space offers the ideal location to freely monitor emissions across jurisdictions and quantitatively report on improvements. The ABB sensors will provide valuable insights which will enable governments and industries around the world to meet their emission reduction targets and reduce the negative impact on global warming.

“We selected ABB for its ability to deliver world-class instruments while meeting the challenges of a new space company like ours,” said Stephane Germain, CEO of GHGSat. “We strive to innovate for the needs of the future, and we’re excited to work with ABB to achieve that.”

“ABB shares GHGSat’s goal of reducing emissions through the creation of their greenhouse gas sensing constellation. Our selection as the manufacturer for these advanced sensors demonstrates our competitiveness and strong fit with the private space sector requirements.” said Marc Corriveau, General Manager ABB Measurement & Analytics Canada.  “The space revolution is well underway and ABB with its heritage of unique space instruments and serial production of advanced measurement sensors for industrial applications is extremely well positioned to serve this emerging sector.” 

GHGSat announced the constellation contract award with ABB in October 2020, with first deliveries in 2021. The unit launched by SpaceX was a single unit procured by GHGSat from ABB two years ago ahead of a selection for the constellation. 

@ABBgroupnews @ghgsat #Environment

Extended pressure for turbidity sensor.

As a result of the optimisations carried out and extensive series of tests, the tried and tested EXspect 271 turbidity sensor can now be approved for an extended pressure range.

The NIR backscatter sensor EXspect 271 from EXNER is not only characterised by its economic use, but also by its compact and at the same time robust design. It is mainly used in the food and beverage industry as well as in many other applications where it is necessary to determine turbidity in medium and high measuring ranges. Cleaning and sterilization using CIP and SIP processes are of course possible. Another advantage of the sensor is the spherical design of the measuring optics. This minimizes the adhesion of air bubbles and the formation of deposits.

The compact sensor EXspect 271 has not only successfully completed extensive test series, but has also established itself in practical use. Thanks to the optimisations that have now been carried out, it is possible to use the sensor not only in applications with a process pressure of up to 20 bar (290 psi), but also in vacuum applications.

@PresseBox #EXner #E-P-E #PAuto