Friday 30 September 2022

High-voltage connectors.

Treading the fine line between minimum installation space and maximum power transmission

Sebastian Dormeier
Electronic devices will continue to become ever smaller and lighter in future. Accordingly, product developers are required to shrink the individual components to the same extent. However, despite the fact that the components are shrinking, their electrical output will need to increase at a similar rate. This requires compliance with certain standards, a well thought-out design concept for all devices, and expertise in combining the smallest possible installation space with maximum power transmission – without compromising user safety. Sebastian Dormeier, Product Manager Circular Connectors at ODU GmbH & Co. KG discusses in this interview.

Are your customers already approaching you with these requirements?
Yes, this exact combination of minimum installation space and maximum power transmission is becoming increasingly important for our customers and is a must-have in most cases, regardless of the industry. I'll gladly explain this issue using the example of one of the new products in our high-voltage range.

What kind of connectors are we talking about and what are ODU's particular strengths?
In our plastic connector range, we have developed a new contact insert that is suitable for high voltages and ensures reliable transmission of up to 1,000 volts AC and 16 amps. All this in a connector with a diameter of 20 mm or less. In addition, we designed the contact pin layout to ensure that hot-plugging can generally be prevented in advance. We achieve this by means of lagging signal contacts, which detect the completely mated state and enable a compatible electronic system to do likewise. The transmission of current and voltage is interrupted immediately if a user attempts to plug or unplug the connector while it is under power. This special safety aspect is very important, especially with higher voltages and currents, both for our customers and ultimately for the end users themselves. It also ensures the long-term functional and operational safety of our products. On request, we also offer this connector in orange to indicate the presence of high voltages.

You mentioned the topic of safety, which standards are particularly important in this area?
Our high-voltage connectors are designed in accordance with DIN EN IEC 60664-1. This involves insulation coordination for electrical equipment. In other words: the functional insulation of components. Since our connectors are also used in many different medical technology applications, we have also designed them in compliance with IEC 60601-1 to fully support our medical customers as well.

Which features of your connectors ensure compliance with IEC 60601-1?
To achieve the highest degree of protection for medical technology devices, we increased the clearance and creepage distances between the live contacts inside the connector and the contactable parts of the enclosure. We achieved this by inserting insulating domes around the contacts. The greater the clearance and creepage distances, the higher the protection levels. In our case, we attain the highest level, or 2 MOPP, which means “Two Means of Patient Protection” for medical devices operating on 230V AC mains. Since our components comply with these two protection levels, and we have also selected matching cables for this purpose, the medical device manufacturers don't need to worry about additional integration in the power supply unit. This saves them time, effort and, of course, money. This connector is used, for example,

Besides medical technology, for which other application areas were the new high-voltage inserts developed?
We have also developed our high-voltage connector for the automotive testing sector, among others, where higher voltages are typically applied. In this particular case, pollution degree 3 was also specified to meet the harsh requirements in workshops. For example, our connector is used for a battery tester in this field. In the industrial sector, too, we have developed reversed gender variants for LED video walls to ensure that the individual screens are supplied with power, for example at concerts.

Is the high-voltage connector the only one of its kind at ODU, or are there others?
In the field of circular connectors, we also offer some customized variants for higher currents and voltages for our ODU MINI-SNAP ® series. The ODU-MAC® modules of the rectangular connector series offer solutions with up to 9.5kV in pollution degree 2 and standard solutions with 6.3 kV or 4 kV nominal voltage available at short notice. This can then be combined with other modules in a hybrid connector solution. These are then connectors without switching capacity (COC) and the partial discharge voltages have been tested. In addition to the standard portfolios, we offer many customized connectors, optionally with a high-voltage cable as a complete cable assembly. Everything from a single source, always matched to minimum installation space, maximum power transmission and maximum safety.

@ODU_Connectors @PresseBox #Electronic #PAuto #Power

Enclosure heaters on display.

STEGO Elektrotechnik will be presenting its enclosure heater with a novel loop design at this year's SPS in Nuremberg (D).* STEGO's showcase for the return of the SPS trade fair also features an update to the KTO/KTS control cabinet thermostats and new smart sensors.

LTS064 loop-heater touch-safe
Their LPS and LTS product series give an update to its PTC-based convection heaters with capacities of between 10 and 150 W. The cooler bodies in the new loop profile design absorb the heating capacity of the PTC elements better and ensure a higher stability of the device against vibration. This means the LTS series of heaters is able to comply with the standards for mobile railway applications (DIN EN 60068-2-27:2010-02 and DIN EN 60068-2:64:2009-04). STEGO consistently uses push-in terminals for electrical contacts in the LPS and LTS series. Easily accessible on the front of the devices, the push-in terminals provide time savings of up to 50% by allowing for tool-free insertion of the cables. The terminals exert constant pressure on the supply lines, which provides added security even when transporting pre-assembled control cabinets, for example. You therefore do not need to worry about the connecting cables coming loose and resulting short circuits.

New editions of their KTO/KTS fine-tune STEGO's mechanical thermostats to better meet the needs of control cabinet construction in practice. The thermostats are designed as two-point regulators with a thermobimetal sensor element. The KTO 111 is a contact breaker (NC) for controlling heaters. The KTS 111 is a contact maker (NO) for controlling filter fans, heat exchangers, coolers and switching signal devices. Push-in terminals are used for making electrical contact. They ensure that connecting the power cables is safe, tool-free and fast. Users can expect a reduction in installation time of up to 50%. STEGO engineers have also optimized the housing design so that the thermostat now literally has more air. Larger air vents in the main unit, which tapers towards the back,

The newly developed DSS 015 Distance Smart Sensor (right) measures the distance of objects using the time of flight (ToF) of ultrasound waves. The DSS 015 Distance Smart Sensor is designed for monitoring distances or fill levels in industrial applications. The DSS 015 can even detect transparent objects such as glass, films and fluids. It is also unaffected by changing light conditions, and easy to connect to higher-level control systems (eg SPS) via its IO-Link interface.

STEGO is expanding its range of sensors for industrial applications that use IO-Link. Their SHC 071 Sensor Hub offers a cost-effective interface through which STEGO sensors can easily be connected to IO-Link installations. The SHC 071 Sensor Hub records measuring data on the process level from up to four external, non-IO-Link-capable STEGO sensors and transmits the data via the IO-Link Master to higher-level control units such as Edge computers, the cloud , SPS control etc. The Sensor Hub can be used to connect up to four external STEGO sensors while using only one port on the IO-Link Master, saving the IO-Link Master's connection capacity. The number of connected sensors and the allocation of sockets can be freely chosen by the user. Sensors from the SEN 073 series are available for the Sensor Hub. The sensors are pre-calibrated and are easy to connect to the Sensor Hub using a plug. Clustering IO-Link functionality in the Sensor Hub allows the sensors to take on a compact form factor. Sensors in the SEN 073 series can be used to record data in the following fields of application: temperature and relative humidity, temperature and absolute air pressure, visible light, illuminance and VOC.

*SPS - Nürnberg (D) November 8th-10th 2022

@stego_de @spsmesse @PresseBox #PAuto

Industrial PoE switch.

Supports Mission-Critical Networks With High Power Demands

Westermo has introduced a new compact industrial Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch designed to support the ever-growing networking requirements for devices, such as security cameras, wireless access points and monitors. The Lynx 3510 PoE series is capable of supporting networks with greater power demands and is ideal for handling big data, high bandwidth, mission-critical applications typically found within transportation, manufacturing, energy and smart cities.

With power and data provided over the same cable, PoE helps to reduce network complexity and offers greater installation flexibility, reliability, and time and cost savings. The Lynx 3510 PoE enhances network capability by supporting the needs of more powered devices, with eight copper ports each providing gigabit speeds and up to 30W output. This is ideal for connecting HD IP CCTV cameras in industrial settings and other power-hungry applications. The Lynx 3510 PoE also offers redundant and fast failover connectivity, with Westermo’s FRNT ring protocol ensuring rapid network recovery should a node or connection be lost.

Ensuring the security of industrial data communication networks is of paramount importance, especially with cyberattacks becoming increasingly sophisticated. To reduce risk and increase cyber resilience, the Lynx 3510 PoE has an extensive suite of advanced cybersecurity features. These can be used to build networks in compliance with the IEC 62443 standard, which defines technical security requirements for data communication network components.

“The Lynx 3510 PoE is the first product based on a new very powerful platform. Available both as switch and a router with impressive performance capable to handle the bandwidth of future networks.” said Henrik Jerregård, senior product manager at Westermo. “The Lynx 3510 PoE is extremely reliable and designed to maintain uninterrupted data communications in even the most challenging environmental conditions, and by offering a total power output of 240 W, this will help expand the capability of PoE networks.”

The DIN rail-mountable Lynx 3510 PoE has been extensively tested to meet a broad range of industry standards relating to electromagnetic compatibility, isolation, vibration and shock. With an IP40-rated fan-less all-metal housing, the ultra-robust switch has a wide operating temperature range. Superior build quality, industrial-grade components, a high level of isolation between interfaces and a redundant power supply helps to extend service life and creates an extremely reliable solution that contributes to a lower total cost of ownership.

Helping to reduce complexity, the Lynx 3510 PoE is powered by the WeOS operating system, which ensures continuous operation and support for an expanding range of communication protocols and features, and simplifies installation, operation and maintenance. WeOS provides future-proofed network solutions with high levels of resiliency and security.

@westermo @HHC_Lewis #Transportation #Manufacturing

Thursday 29 September 2022

LIMS starter systems.

Autoscribe Informatics has announced the 3Q22 release of its updated starter systems. As well as ensuring that the starter systems run on the latest Autoscribe Matrix software, improvements have been made to the Chain of Custody (CoC) module, and inventory management and batch manufacturing have been more tightly integrated.

“We regularly update our Matrix LIMS Starter Systems to incorporate the best of the new features, enhancements and modifications,” said Simon Wood, Product Manager. “This, combined with on-going development of our underlying software ensures that current and future customers can benefit from the investment we continue to make in our best of breed LIMS solutions.”


Key Matrix starter systems include:

  • Matrix Express
  • General Laboratory 
  • Regulated Pharmaceutical/Manufacturing
  • Biobank
  • Mortuary
  • Radiopharmacy
  • Veterinary
  • Water/Environmental

The CoC module is designed to track items (entities) in terms of both location and responsibility (i.e., ownership). For each sample, its location, the person responsible for it, and the overall custodian, is noted at all times. This enables a complete audit trail of where the sample has been, and under whose control, to be generated at any time. It is especially useful for labs such as those dealing with controlled substances or forensics samples, where location and responsibility must always be known.


Inventory module improvements within the manufacturing system now closely tie the inventory used in each batch with the overall inventory available. This allows organizations to better monitor stock levels.


Other updates with this release include improvements to the Corrective Action/Preventative Action (CAPA), Inventory management, Instrument Calibration and Maintenance (ICMS) and Environmental Monitoring modules in the Biobank starter system, and improved Report Versioning.


Initially released with Matrix Gemini v6.4, the starter systems are upgradeable to work with newer versions of the LIMS software as they become available. The configurations of the starter systems are held separately in the database allowing the underlying version of Matrix to be upgraded without affecting the configuration. This makes upgrades straight forward.

The end of plant shutdowns!

Digitilization taken to a new level.

Unplanned maintenance work and cost-intensive plant shutdowns are history! The potential of connecting field devices to increase plant performance, enable predictive maintenance and reduce costs should be used. #empowerthefield, the Industry 4.0 Program of Endress+Hauser, takes the digitalization project to a new level. This is a theme emphasised by Endress+Hauser at the SPS 2022 Trade Fair.*

Solution packages for digitalization.

Smart measuring devices collect a wealth of data from the field level. However, up to 97 percent of this data remain unused. Data is the fuel that powers Industry 4.0! #empowerthefield, the Industry 4.0 Program of Endress+Hauser, enables plant operators to unlock the potential of this data. With their cloud based IIoT ecosystem Netilion and Heartbeat Technology, the diagnostics and testing concept from Endress+Hauser, a digitalization project can be started easily. In addition, E+H field-proven solution packages create a digital twin of the installed base and makes it available on mobile devices. These solutions monitor device status and enable predictive maintenance.

Connect the pressure measurement to the future.

More Industry 4.0. More productivity. More process-safety: The new pressure and differential pressure transmitters Cerabar and Deltabar are designed for the future. The redesigned high-end measuring devices are perfect for Industry 4.0. Heartbeat Technology ensures documented verification and forms the basis for predictive maintenance. The Bluetooth® interface makes it easy to configure and verify measuring devices using the SmartBlue app. These devices can even cope very well with extreme application conditions. Moreover, the intelligent functions and SIL ratings, which are unique on the market, ensure maximum process reliability.

Expertise in gas flow measurement.
Our product portfolio for gas flow measurement with five SIL-certified, innovative measurement technologies, such as ultrasonic or thermal mass flow measurement, enables a wide range of applications, exact measurement results and maximum process safety. From the smallest nominal diameters (DN1) tot all exhaust gas stacks (DN12000), at high process pressure (up to 400 bar) or the highest process temperatures (up to 1000°C), the robust measuring devices meet all relevant industrial requirements. The Proline device concept supports the user in various life cycle phases from planning to maintenance.

Simple, safe, connected analysis.

Memosens technology for liquid analysis has already proven its worth millions of times – with the digitalization of measured values directly in the sensor head, contactless digital signal transmission and with the diagnosis and storage of all sensor relevant data directly in the sensor. The new Memosens 2.0 sensor generation now also meets the demands of Industry 4.0. Additional process data and diagnostics information provide accurate information regarding current sensor status and future maintenance requirements. Memosens 2.0 sensors can be seamlessly integrated into existing systems using plug and play.

The new generation of 80 GHz radar sensors.
The new level transmitters of the Micropilot for liquids and bulk solids can take on any challenge. Thanks to optimized evaluation algorithms, the 80 GHz radar sensors provide reliable measurement results with no signal loss even in hard-to-reach measuring points, dusty environments and extreme process temperatures. In addition to the proven PROFIBUS and HART interfaces, a new Ethernet-APL interface provides even easier device access with minimal installation effort. The compact device with a single-chamber enclosure also occupies minimal space.

* Find the company at SPS - Nürnberg (D) November 8th-10th - in hall 4A, booth 145 and learn more about #empowerthefield, the Industry 4.0 Program of Endress+Hauser, as well as other product innovations and services.

@Endress_US @Endress_Hauser @Endress_CA @EndressUK  @spsmesse #PAuto #Smart

Wednesday 28 September 2022

Certified rackmount switches for substations.

Moxa RKS-G4028 Series Gigabit Ethernet managed switches serve as foundational building blocks in power substations with up to 28 Gigabit ports to fulfill future scalability requirements, modular interfaces for flexible connector combinations, certified IEC 62443-4-2 enterprise-grade cybersecurity, and compliance with IEC 61850-3 high EMC immunity requirements. 

Available in 22 designs, RKS-G4028 Series switches deliver maximum versatility with options that include: Layer 3 switching functionality, 24 VDC, 48 VDC, or 110/220 VDC/VAC dual isolated redundant power supplies, and PoE++ support for powering 90W field devices.

In addition to utilities, RKS-G4028 switches extend themselves to railway workloads due to their compliance with EN 50121-4 performance criteria for signaling and telecommunications equipment. Plus, by supporting Turbo Ring and Turbo Chain (recovery time < 20 ms @ 250 switches), and STP/RSTP/MSTP for network redundancy, combined with an operating temperature range of -40 to +75° C, RKS-G4028 switches are well-suited for the most demanding factory automation use cases. Hardware-based IEEE 1588 PTP (Precision Time Protocol) achieves clock accuracy in the sub-microsecond range, helping IT professionals unleash new possibilities in industrial measurement and SCADA control.

Moxa developed RKS-G4028 switches according to IEC 62443-4-1 lifecycle guidelines to ensure compliance to the IEC 62443-4-2 cybersecurity international standard. IEC 62443-4-2 describes the capabilities that industrial control system components must feature including account, identifier and authenticator management; password-based authentication; public key authentication; use control; data integrity and confidentiality; as well as backup for resource availability. As a result of this certification, RKS-G4028 switches improve the security posture of industrial networks and provide deep visibility into high-risk environments where critical services are delivered.

These switches support MXstudio software suite for easier, more visualized industrial network management. Moxa MXstudio provides all the tools necessary throughout a network's lifecycle in a single economical solution whether it is being used for configuration, monitoring, maintenance, or troubleshooting.

@MoxaInc @OConnell_PR #Communications #Transport

Heavy duty parking brake on-detection switches.

Control Products, Inc (CPI), offers many high-performance product lines developed specifically for and with OEMs in construction, off-highway, agriculture, mining, subsea, oil & gas, and other challenging markets. One application area that illustrates CPI’s capability for specialist product development and supply is that of parking brake on-detection switches used in construction equipment and agricultural machinery as well as heavy-duty vehicles. Following its recent acquisition by The Variohm Group, CPI is available throughout Europe by Variohm EuroSensor.

E-series waterproof limit switch from CPI shown as part of a complete switch assembly

Parking brake on-detection tasks can be reliably and cost-effectively fulfilled with CPI’s durable E1 series IP68 rated waterproof limit switches. With the actuator switch overmoulded with a choice of Santoprene (industrial grade) or Neoprene (military grade) boot materials, their complete resistance to water and salt spray, dirt, dust, and oils is ensured. Alternatively, for use in more demanding environments with endurance rated in millions of switching cycles, CPI’s J-series ball switches feature a patented, 100% waterproof sealing mechanism and optional extended temperature range capability.

Specifically, the E1120 series waterproof limit switch has a low simulated roller angle mount design with a narrow profile angle mount bracket for compact installation within the brake handle housing. With its all-stainless-steel construction the momentary action switch can be supplied to meet operational standards for military use or heavy-duty industrial applications where endurance is estimated to 100,00 cycles for lower current rating variants. Load ratings from 2A to 15A across 12 to 28 VDC are available as well as AC voltage rated switching versions. Like all CPI products the E1120 can be customised for mounting and switch actuator configuration to meet the application requirements. Electrical connection is via flying leads or optional Packard Weatherpak connector. The E-series waterproof switches have a high reputation in many other applications where safety is critical. These include but are not restricted to alarm back up, interlock switches, hopper door switches and valve position sensing.

J-series ball switch
J4 series ball switches can fulfil parking brake on-detection and other applications where a lever actuator is utilised with completely submersible performance as well as optional features which include long life endurance ratings as high as five million cycles and temperature ratings from -55 to 205 ⁰C. For maximum operational reliability, the J4’s patented ball carrier design prevents contaminate materials from jamming the ball mechanism. 

Originally designed for demanding military vehicle applications and well suited to real heavy-duty industrial and commercial machinery use, these switches offer 28 VDC, 5A electrical ratings and optional SPST, normally open or normally closed contact configuration. Along with demanding end of travel and safety lock applications across industrial and military systems and equipment, CPI’s J4 ball switches are also used in critical vehicle applications as the main sensor for neutral safety systems in industrial vehicles where the primary purpose of the switch is to detect that the vehicle is in a neutral gear before starting.

@Variohm @MStuhler #Automotive #Construction #Agriculture

Accurately measure and log dew point data.

The Extech RH600 Dew Point Meter for accurate and fast dew point temperature measurement primarily positioned to prevent problems associated with water vapor in compressed air systems has been announced by Teledyne Flir.

As part of a predictive maintenance program in manufacturing environments, the Extech RH600 provides measurement down to -50°C (-58°F) with an accuracy of ±2 °C (±3.6 °F) over the entire range pressure, up to 20 bar. The instrument is ideal for monitoring dew point across long periods of time, including for monitoring switch behavior within the drying process and better optimizing energy consumption.

“For inspectors who require the convenience and freedom to inspect multiple positions within a compressed air system, the Extech RH600 provides the ideal form factor at a competitive price to capture accurate readings and then data log that information as part of an integrated predictive maintenance program,” said Rob Milner, director of business development, Teledyne FLIR. “The Extech RH600 is also optimal for low-humidity measurement with high accuracy, but should the sensor get wet, it can withstand the condensation and fully recover for future use.”

The included RH601 dew point probe provides accuracy and long-term stability. Users can directly insert the probe sensor into the compressed air system through a G half-inch thread, ensuring reliable readings with increased peace of mind, knowing the probe will dry quickly after moisture contact. The highly sensitive probe provides inspectors the ability to measure relative humidity at less than 5 percent and with high accuracy (±0.025 percent).

Data Logging for Predictive Maintenance.
Users can easily monitor dew point on the built-in color graphical display with a menu-based user interface. They can program high/low set points for temperature as well as relatively humidity and dew point with visual and audible alarms. The device also enables logging and transferring up to 32,000 datasets to a PC in CVS format via a USB cable connection. The easy data transfer provides inspectors all key datapoints to create inspection reports for colleagues and clients, as well as to integrate the data into broader predictive maintenance initiatives that consolidate and analyze data across multiple inspection types and equipment.

The Extech RH600 consists of the RH601 dew point probe, AC adapter, micro-USB-to-USB-A cable, a 3.7 V Li-ion battery, and a hard case for storage.

@flir @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Manufacturing

Tuesday 27 September 2022

Equipment investment strategies put to the test!

Electro Rent outlines how companies can combat the impacts of the current economic challenges and mitigate risks set out in several recent reports from prominent industry commentators

In light of current economic conditions predicted by numerous recent reports, electronic test equipment specialist Electro Rent has advice for any companies looking to mitigate this financial pressure when sourcing the equipment they need. The argument in favour of test equipment rental is already compelling and growing in favour across the industry spectrum, but in uncertain economic times, there arises even more need to replace legacy-based purchasing strategies with a smarter way forward.

With economic headwinds driven by factors such as higher costs, inflation and geopolitical uncertainty, the EU’s recent forecast report outlines the potential impact on new investment: “Heightened uncertainty around the unfolding of the geopolitical situation and its impact on the demand outlook are set to weigh on companies’ investment decisions and delay the realisation of investment plans.”

A May 2022 report by Deloitte Insights already warned that “the negative effect is particularly pronounced for companies’ operating margins, which are under pressure from a higher cost base due to rising energy and commodity prices”. In June 2022, the OECD’s Economic Outlook said that growth is set to be markedly weaker than expected in almost all economies. Many of the hardest-hit countries are in Europe, which is highly exposed to current market challenges, including the impacts of the energy crisis and inflation. All of this could impact on accessing the electronic test equipment that companies require, on time and on budget.

More and more companies are therefore turning to rental test equipment as a cost-effective yet reliable means of meeting the requirements of budget-conscious, lead-time restricted projects. Renting not only provides immediate access to the latest test equipment technologies from all major brands, but it also keeps projects on track and avoids the typical risks associated with capital expenditure, such as a large hit to balance sheet liquidity, asset depreciation and slow return-on-investment. Renting also allows companies to easily ramp up and down in line with demand. Moreover, those renting can change their test equipment whenever necessary, providing the flexibility to support an ever-evolving industrial and economic landscape.

Electro Rent has extensive experience in advising customers on solutions that help them navigate different financial situations in a safe and effective way. Based on over half a century of managing test equipment investments - amid a broad spread of economic trading conditions - the company knows how to supply this equipment in a flexible manner, minimising the potential consequences of an economic downturn and keeping test schedules going without the need for capital investment.

“The key is maintaining business agility and ensuring sufficient flexibility to deal with fluctuating economic conditions,” explains George Acris, Vice President Marketing EMEA at Electro Rent. “High-end electronic test equipment is available that many are not even aware can be procured on a rental basis. For example, by using Electro Rent, customers can deploy the latest spectrum or network analyser for a high-frequency test just for the period required. No more, no less.”

Companies can achieve this ambition simply by paying as they go from their operating budget. As a point of note, it is possible to rent equipment of this type for periods as short as one week. Moreover, the equipment is available immediately, which is a huge advantage in the current climate of long lead times, avoiding any frustrating project delays that can derail product launch dates.

“Many companies in defence and electronic goods development, as well as those in telecom installation and maintenance, for example, are already using this concept effectively and saving an average of 25% on their equipment costs while being able to deploy as needed,” says Acris. “This strategy is a proven way of keeping pace with the latest test equipment technologies, retaining total flexibility to adapt and react in line with economic uncertainty.”

Evidence is building from expert commentators that economic challenges continue to lay ahead for some time to come, so now has never been a better time for companies to look again at how they procure equipment. Electro Rent has some very effective options available to help mitigate any challenges that the economy may present moving forward.

@ElectroRentEMEA @mepaxIntPR #Automation #Rental

Sensing element series for humidity and temperature.

E+E Elektronik is expanding its digital sensing element portfolio to include two new product variants. The HTE301 humidity and temperature sensing element and the TEE301 temperature sensing element offer excellent measurement accuracy and a wide application temperature range from -40 °C to 125 °C (-40 °F to 257 °F). The small 8-pin DFN package with its I2C interface and four individually configurable I2C addresses is ideal for state-of-the-art, demanding designs.

The HTE and TEE301 sensing elements are part of the new sensing element generation by E+E Elektronik. Offering the same accuracy values, they are cost-optimised variants of the HTE and TEE501 sensing elements introduced earlier this year. With a different data format (16-bit unsigned integer) and pin assignment compared to the 501 series, the 301 series allows easy upgrade of existing applications with minimal integration effort.

The HTE301 sensing element impresses with a measurement accuracy of up to ±1.8% RH (incl. hysteresis) and ±0.2 °C. It features an integrated constant current heater which keeps the element at approx. 2-3 °C over-temperature and prevents condensation forming on the sensing element. This results in excellent measurement performance and fast response time even in conditions with high humidity. On top of this, the proprietary E+E sensor coating protects the active sensor surface of the HTE301 against contamination and corrosive deposits.

The TEE301 sensing element measures the temperature with an accuracy of up to ±0.2 °C. Thanks to its wide temperature range, the sensing element is versatile, providing a reliable and cost-effective solution for demanding temperature measurement tasks.

Both sensing elements are available as an 8-pin DFN package with dimensions of just 2.5 x 2.5 x 0.9 mm3 to support easy integration into existing applications. The I2C interface enables robust data communication, supporting communication speeds up to 1,000 kHz. The sensing elements offer four selectable I2C addresses as well as alert and reset functions.

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

 #EplusE #Calibration #Pauto

Security knowledge transfer agreement for Spain and EU markets.

IKERLAN, a knowledge transfer technology center based in the Basque Country (ES), has signed an agreement with the ISASecure program to conduct ISASecure certification assessments of off-the-shelf industrial automation and control (IAC) devices.

Ion Etxeberria, Managing Director of IKERLAN, says, “This strategic collaboration leverages IKERLAN's capabilities in evaluating cybersecurity of industrial control systems and brings our ecosystem a step forward as to be the reference in Spain and Southern Europe in this field.”

The ISASecure certification program assures that products conform to the ISA/IEC 62443 series of internationally adopted industrial cybersecurity standards. It assesses IAC products and systems to ensure they are robust against network attacks, free from known vulnerabilities, and meet the security capabilities defined in the ISA/IEC 62443 standards.

All ISASecure certification testing is conducted by accredited, independent assessment organizations. Once IKERLAN has completed its ISASecure accreditation process, it will be able to accept product submissions for certification to the ISASecure ISA/IEC 62443 conformity assessment scheme.

The addition of IKERLAN expands the ISASecure program’s global reach into the local Spain and EU markets. The International Society of Automation’s (ISA) Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) has ISASecure-accredited certification bodies in the USA, Japan, Germany, Canada, Singapore, Italy, and Taiwan, as well as several other certification bodies actively seeking accreditation in other countries.

Andre Ristaino, Managing Director of the ISASecure Program, says, “IKERLAN has a stellar reputation in its field of research on security of automation and control systems. We are pleased to add a great company like IKERLAN to the ISASecure ecosystem.”

@ISA_Interchange @IKERLANofficial #Pauto #Security #Spain

Appointments to developer of open architecture software solutions.

Lynx Software Technologies has appointed experienced industry executives Michel Genard and Ed Dolanski to its Board of Directors.

Michel Genard
Genard brings over three decades of experience working with embedded software companies, most recently serving as Vice President of Product Management at Wind River, an established provider of embedded safety and security solutions. As a member of Wind River's executive leadership team, Genard oversaw product strategy under Intel’s ownership and following the sale of the company to TPG in 2018. Earlier in his tenure at Wind River he held leadership positions, including Vice President and General Manager of the Industrial IoT and Aerospace and Defense business unit and management of the company’s first European research and development center. Genard has also held leadership roles at Virtutech, a provider of simulation software tools, which was acquired by Intel in 2010, at TimeSys, a provider of Linux-based security solutions for the embedded market, and at Integrated Systems, a provider of embedded and computer-aided engineering software, which was acquired by Wind River in 2000.

“Lynx’s success with the selection of its LYNX MOSA.ic™ software framework to support the upgrade of the mission system avionics for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program represents an exciting and critical turning point in the Company’s trajectory and in how the industry deploys mission critical edge applications. Customers are increasingly looking for collaborative partners who can help them more efficiently design, deploy, and maintain mission-critical systems, and I look forward to working with the Lynx team to evolve the Company’s product strategy to further align with these evolving requirements and to accelerate the Company’s growth,” said Genard.

Ed Dolanski
Dolanski brings over thirty years of experience within the aerospace and defense end markets, recently serving as President of Boeing’s U.S. Government Services business. In this role, Dolanski oversaw all aspects of the business, including growth, operations, and technology strategy. Previously, Dolanski held leadership positions across multiple Boeing business units, including President of the $10 billion Global Services & Support unit within Boeing Defense, Space & Security and President and CEO of Aviall, and he also served as the Vice President of Raytheon’s Mission Support & Cyber Engagement and Services business units. Dolanski serves on the Board of Directors of VSE Corporation and as the Chairman of the Board of MD Helicopters.

“Technology evolution has not only expanded the capabilities of customers but also increased the risks tied to the interoperability of related systems and cybersecurity. My time with Raytheon and Boeing helped me understand the evolving needs of both commercial and government customers, and I believe Lynx’s differentiated products and strategy can help to address these important challenges. I’m thrilled to work with the Lynx and OceanSound teams to support the Company's growth,” stated Dolanski.

“We are thrilled to welcome Michel and Ed as members of our Board of Directors as they each bring decades of relevant experience and leadership to Lynx,” commented Tim Reed, Chief Executive Office of Lynx. “Their track records overseeing growth and operational excellence and their vast network of industry relationships make them ideally suited to join our Board to support the company as we enact our value creation strategy.”

“Michel and Ed bring a deep, complementary understanding of Lynx’s core markets, and specifically the evolution of the software architectures needed to optimize functionality, scalability, security, speed, and costs to better serve and grow customer relationships. Their insights, experiences, and networks will be invaluable to the Company, its customers, and partners. We look forward to working with each of them, Tim, and the Lynx management team to execute on our shared vision,” said Joe Benavides, Managing Partner of OceanSound.

@LynxSoftware @NeeshamPR #Embeddedsystems

Straightforward CW/CCW throttle position sensing.

Variohm EuroSensor’s VTP11 series rotary position sensor continues to impress for affordable throttle position sensing throughout motorsports. Its thoroughly proven resistive element technology, based on a conductive plastic track and multiple fingered wiper assembly, enables the durability to maintain full sensing contact even in the most arduous shock and vibration conditions as well as providing an operational life of 5 million cycles.

VTP11 installed as a throttle position sensor.
(pic courtesy of EFI Hardware - Australia)

The VTP11’s IP66 rated, fully sealed and encapsulated glass-filled PBT housing features simple 32.5 mm PCD flange mounting and combines with its 8 mm through-hole D-shaft drive to allow front- or rear-side installation for convenient CW/CCW measurement set-up.

Variohm’s VTP11 installed as a throttle position sensor - courtesy of EFI Hardware - Australia

Firmly aimed at throttle position sensing although suitable for other motorsports position measurement tasks such as steering angle, suspension, and gear selection, the VTP11 has a wide, 97⁰, measurement range and a generous 112⁰ mechanical rotation. Linearity is specified at +/- 1% and resistance value is 5 kΩ +/- 20% with a 5 … 24V DC supply voltage. Electrical connection is via 208 mm long insulated leadwires as standard with optional connectors on request. To withstand the arduous engine conditions in motorsports, the position sensor has a temperature rating of -25 to +125⁰ C with short term peaks to 150⁰ C for 15 mins.

@Variohm @mepaxIntPR  #PAuto #Position

Camera in six different housing variants.

Anyone who needs quickly available industrial cameras for image processing projects is not faced with an easy task due to the worldwide chip shortage. IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH has therefore been pushing the development of alternative USB3 hardware generations with available, advanced semiconductor technology in recent months and has consistently acquired components for this purpose. Series production of new industrial cameras with USB3 interface and Vision Standard compatibility has recently started. In the CP and LE camera series of the uEye+ product line, customers can choose the right model for their applications from a total of six housing variants and numerous CMOS sensors.

The models of the uEye CP family are particularly suitable for space-critical applications thanks to their distinctive, compact magnesium housing with dimensions of only 29 x 29 x 29 millimetres and a weight of around 50 grams. Customers can choose from global and rolling shutter sensors from 0.5 to 20 MP in this product line. Those who prefer a board-level camera instead should take a look at the versatile uEye LE series. These cameras are available with coated plastic housings and C-/CS-mount lens flanges as well as board versions with or without C-/CS-mount or S-mount lens connections. They are therefore particularly suitable for projects in small device construction and integration in embedded vision systems. IDS initially offers the global shutter Sony sensors IMX273 (1.6 MP) and IMX265 (3.2 MP) as well as the rolling shutter sensors IMX290 (2.1 MP) and IMX178 (6.4 MP). Other sensors will follow.

The USB3 cameras are perfectly suited for use with IDS peak thanks to the vision standard transport protocol USB3 Vision®. The Software Development Kit includes programming interfaces in C, C++, C# with .NET and Python as well as tools that simplify the programming and operation of IDS cameras while optimising factors such as compatibility, reproducible behaviour and stable data transmission. Special convenience features reduce application code and provide an intuitive programming experience, enabling quick and easy commissioning of the cameras.

@IDS_Imaging @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Manufacturing

Four ways to make your vacuum system more efficient.

Martina Höller, Electrical technology product manager CEE, SMC Austria, here outlines four simple ways that can reduce the energy consumption of the vacuum system, based on decades of experience and know-how. Using less energy per lift/transfer provides a direct contribution to bottom-line profitability while simultaneously supporting industry’s drive to net-zero carbon emissions.

With energy prices surging across Europe, efficiency has become a high priority for all manufacturing and process plants using vacuum handling systems.

The latest energy-saving technology and process engineering can make a genuine difference to vacuum handling applications, whether the sector is packaging, metalworking, automotive, healthcare or any other. Simply follow these four steps to see a notable improvement in your system’s efficiency.

It’s possible to generate vacuum centrally by means of a vacuum pump or de-centrally (directly on the machine) using vacuum ejectors. SMC’s extensive range of vacuum ejectors – from super compact inline ejectors up to ultra-high efficiency multi-stage ejectors with high-performance silencers – are suitable for vacuum flows up to 600 Nl/min, thus meeting the needs of almost any industrial application.

Every type of ejector has its specific parameters, which are dependent on one another. These include: standard supply pressure (the amount of compressed air you need to achieve the highest possible vacuum pressure); maximum suction flow rate (volume of air taken in by the ejector); maximum vacuum pressure (maximum value of the vacuum pressure generated by the ejector); and air consumption (the amount of air consumed by the ejector when operating with the standard supply pressure).

SMC´s Multistage Ejector – ZL Series
A light efficient push to your suction
4 bar: the optimal supply pressure (on average) for SMC ejectors.
Ask yourself, do you really need the maximum vacuum pressure to handle your workpiece? You need to pose this question because the level of vacuum pressure will relate directly to your air consumption and your costs. By way of example, if you use of 0.5 MPa (5 bar) main line supply pressure to operate our ZL112A ejector (with valves), your air consumption will total around 78 l/min (4680 l/hour) to achieve a maximum vacuum pressure of -84 kPa. However, by choosing to operate the ejector at a reduced 0.35 MPa (the standard supply pressure for this type of ejector), you can cut air consumption to 57 l/min (3420 l/hour) and still achieve the same maximum vacuum pressure (-84 kPa). A significant 27% energy saving.

As a point of note, while many manufacturers have yet to transition from 7 bar standard shop pressure, optimal vacuum operation takes place at an average of 4 bar, so reducing from 7 bar to 4 bar not only benefits your bottom line and the future of the planet, it will have no impact on the effectiveness of your operations.

Extract from ZL´s catalogue
Returning to the example, if you can safely handle the workpiece with a maximum vacuum pressure of -65 kPa, you can reduce the supply pressure even further, to 0.25 MPa (2.5 bar). This would cut your air consumption to 45 l/min (2700 l/hour), delivering an impressive 43% energy saving.

Use a bigger pad diameter, not higher supply pressure.
Some engineers make the mistake of increasing supply pressure to achieve a higher holding force, but this leads to more energy consumption and more cost. In fact, it’s directly proportional, so doubling the vacuum pressure will double your holding force and double your energy costs.

Instead, it may be possible to increase the diameter of your vacuum pads in certain applications. When doubling pad diameter, your holding force quadruples, while your energy costs remain the same as there is no increase in supply pressure. The price difference between a 20 mm and 40 mm diameter vacuum pad is typically less than €5.

Vacuum ejectors with energy-saving function.
Some vacuum ejectors feature a vacuum pressure switch with an energy-saving function that can reduce energy consumption by up to 93%. So how do they work? Well, you first define the pressure range within which you can securely hold the workpiece, for example from -65 to -55 kPa. The integration of pressure switch with energy-saving function serves to cut off the air supply upon reaching the desired vacuum level. Vacuum only generates again when the pressure falls below the lower range, in this case -55 kPa.

Take a vacuum handling application involving a conventional ejector that operates at 450 cycles per hour, 10 hours a day, for 250 days a year. Such a system will consume around 9350 m3 of compressed air every year. However, using a vacuum ejector with an energy-saving function will reduce air consumption to just 638 m3 per year, delivering the aforementioned 93% saving. The potential savings are higher in short-cycle applications.

Smart management.
To maximise the use of an energy-efficient vacuum handling system, SMC recommends that you adopt ‘smart’ ejector systems. A serial transmitted ejector manifold requires no separate input/output units to operate and avoids complex electrical wiring of the valves and sensors.

Field devices can connect directly to the PLC. Via the PLC, it is possible to set and monitor the pressure values, suction or release verification, the energy-saving function and the valve protection function. This concept leads to better control of your application, more valuable data, simple set-up and on-board product diagnostics, as well as easy monitoring.

If you’ve ever dealt with a vacuum-based system you’ll be aware that vacuum can be unpredictable as the interaction and the behaviour between workpiece and pad differs depending on the application. The only real way to be certain of the results is to take advantage of an expert technology supplier such as SMC, which can conduct tests at customer sites or at its laboratories located across Europe. Vacuum is frequently about trial and error regarding pressure, flow, pad size, number of pads and more, particularly if it involves special workpiece materials, so why not let the experts work it out.

With energy costs rising rapidly around the globe, few can afford to ignore the energy-saving possibilities that a correctly specified and configured vacuum handling system can bring. It’s time to get a grip on efficiency.

@SMCPneumaticsUK @SMCPneumatics @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Energy

Supporting environmental goals.

AMETEK Land is supporting customers in their environmental goals by providing a range of solutions for measuring the products of combustion.

To protect public health and the environment, the industrial emissions of smoke and toxic gases are regulated, and plant operators must monitor and report these emissions to demonstrate compliance with regulations.

The company offers a range of solutions to fit different process needs, including periodic flue gas measurements, cross-stack monitoring, extractive sampling, and continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS).

These solutions include portable and fixed emissions monitors as well as non-contact thermometers, delivering measurements that can improve the efficiency and environmental performance of many industrial processes.

For example, the Lancom 4 portable flue gas analyser is a rugged, versatile analyser that measures up to eight flue gases simultaneously, and is ideal for periodic checks to demonstrate compliance, and for performing quick checks before stack testing. While it has limited functionality compared to a CEMS, it offers an inexpensive alternative for smaller processes where using a CEMS would be uneconomical.

At the other end of the scale, AMETEK Land offers the FGA900 Series multigas analyser, a compact, self-contained CEMS that measures carbon monoxide, nitric oxide and oxygen. Cross-stack opacity monitors, such as the reliable Model 4500 MkIII, are also available for measuring particulate matter in flue gases.

Additionally, AMETEK Land has decades of experience in non-contact temperature measurements for industrial applications, with an extensive range of fixed and portable spot measurement pyrometers. These can provide measurements that optimise many industrial processes to reduce the output of harmful emissions.

“Accurate flue gas measurements are the key to reducing pollutant emissions, reducing fuel cost and minimizing the production of carbon dioxide,” said Derek Stuart, AMETEK Land Product Manager.

@landinst #PAuto #Environment

Can you really trust your GPS position?

GPS/GNSS integrity and why it is important to users, especially to those using high-accuracy GPS on robotic devices, autonomous applications, and other automated systems is discussed here by Septentrio's Maria Simsky. 

A French vineyard in the Loire valley is a beautiful sight, but the farm has trouble recruiting workers to weed their organically grown grapes. The young generation has moved to the cities leaving urban communities short on workforce. 

Solution: a fully autonomous tractor, developed by a French-based company Sitia, working tirelessly to weed the narrow rows between the grape vines. After a full month of weeding and hundreds of kilometers covered, Sitia approached the farmer to review the work done, and reimburse 2 grape vines, which were damaged during the month of operation. They were surprised to hear the farmer exclaim, “When I use my manual tractor to get the same job done, I damage at least two vines a day! How did your robot manage to be so careful?”. A high level of accuracy and integrity ensures high quality of autonomous operation.  


But what exactly is integrity of positioning and how does it affect the performance and reliability of robots and other autonomous machines? Integrity is the truthfulness of positioning and positioning accuracy informationeven if it means showing that the current position information is not as accurate as desired in a certain challenging environment. A part of delivering high integrity positioning is a statistical analysis called RAIM or RAIM+, where the latter takes this analysis to the next level as part of a larger positioning protection package.  


Why is integrity critical for automation? 

Let us take a closer look at GNSS receiver integrity in the sense of truthful reporting of possible positioning inaccuracies, and how overly optimistic reporting can result in hazardous autonomous operation. Reporting of receiver accuracy is done through positioning uncertainty, which is the maximum possible error on the calculated position. It gives a sense of risk of a positioning error especially necessary in challenging GNSS environments where the receiver “sees” only a limited number of GNSS satellites or where GNSS signals are degraded. Such error reporting is important for all autonomous machines, but especially for assured PNT applications and mission critical operations. Keep in mind that a consistent position may look accurate but could still be incorrect. The positioning uncertainty gives an indication to which extent you can rely on the positioning accuracy at any given moment.   


The blue line on the diagram below shows position uncertainty estimated by a GNSS receiver under favorable conditions, when the view of the sky is unobstructed, and the receiver has a direct line-of-sight to many satellites. The receiver operator can set an alarm limit (shown in red), so that the receiver can flag situations when positioning uncertainty becomes too large.  

Figure 1: Under good GNSS conditions, the position uncertainty, shown by the blue lines is well within the alarm limits, indicating safe operation. The actual position of the receiver should always remain within the blue uncertainty boundaries.  ©Septentrio

During favorable conditions the positioning uncertainty stays well below the alarm limit because the calculated position is almost the same as the actual position of the robot. However, in challenging environments the truthfulness of positioning uncertainty becomes most critical (see Figure 2). For instance, when the view of the sky is partially obstructed by buildings or foliage, the receiver has access to only a limited number of GNSS satellites, making it harder to calculate accurate position. In such cases the receiver must report a higher positioning uncertainty, so that the system can take adequate action such as switching to lower speeds, staying further away from predefined boundaries, or stopping.  


Figure 2: In challenging environments receivers with high integrity report large positioning uncertainty, flagging possible inaccuracies to the system. If the receiver is too optimistic about its accuracy, the operation becomes hazardous.  ©Septentrio
A low integrity receiver may keep reporting an optimistic positioning uncertainty, that stays below the preset alarm limit even when the calculated position is way off from the actual position. The number may look fine, but effectively it becomes a “robot on the loose”, no longer on its planned path with a risk of damaging itself and its surroundings.    

Let us look at uncertainty limits in action during a GNSS car test in an urban canyon, where the view of the sky is partially obstructed by houses. The orange lines are the positioning and its uncertainty boundaries reported by the mosaic GNSS module in the car, while the red lines are the positioning and its uncertainty boundaries reported by another popular GNSS receiver. The white line shows the actual position of the car as it drives along the road. The orange uncertainty boundaries of the mosaic receiver are truthful and somewhat wider in this challenging environment, and you can see that the actual position always remains within these boundaries. On the other hand, the red trajectory jumps off course in a certain challenging spot on the road, with the actual position no more within the uncertainty boundaries, which remain too optimistic. In this case the competitor’s receiver gives a false sense of security and the system is unaware of its hazardous operation.  

Figure 3: In an urban canyon car test the Septentrio receiver reports truthful position uncertainty. A competitor receiver seems to be more accurate, while the actual position is not even within the reported uncertainty boundaries, resulting in hazardous operation.   ©Septentrio

If the receiver depicted by the red line would provide navigational information for an ADAS automotive system, for example, this could mislead the system into thinking that the car switched lanes. If the system would then attempt to correct the trajectory by switching back to the “correct lane” this would result in taking the car off course and potentially hitting the sidewalk or even another car.  



The underlying mechanism behind truthful positioning uncertainty reporting is RAIM (Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring), which ensures truthful positioning calculation based on statistical analysis and exclusion of any outlier satellites or signals. Septentrio receivers are designed for high integrity and take RAIM to the next level with RAIM+, guaranteeing truthfulness of positioning with a high degree of confidence. In Septentrio receivers RAIM+ is actually a component of a comprehensive receiver protection suite called GNSS+ comprising positioning protection on various levels including AIM+ anti-jamming and anti-spoofing, IONO+ resilience to ionospheric scintillations and APME+ multipath mitigation.  

Figure 4 (right): In Septentrio receivers RAIM+ is a component of a complete GNSS+ protection suite, with other components including the AIM+ anti-jamming anti-spoofing technology, IONO+ protection against ionospheric activity, and APME+ multipath mitigation.  ©Septentrio

The Septentrio RAIM+ statistical model has been fine-tuned with over 50 terrabytes of field data collected over 20 years. It removes satellites and signals which may give errors due to multipath reflection, solar ionospheric activity, jamming and spoofing, while working together with the GNSS+ components mentioned above. Because of this multi-component protection architecture, it achieves a very high level of positioning accuracy and reliability which goes well beyond the standard RAIM. The RAIM+ statistical model is adaptive, highly detailed and complete, taking advantage of all available GNSS constellations and signals. The full RAIM+ functionality is even available in Septentrio’s GNSS/INS receiver line. User controlled parameters allow it to be tuned to specific requirements.  


The diagram below shows RAIM+ in action during a jamming and spoofing attack on a Septentrio GNSS receiver. While AIM+ removes the effects of GNSS jamming, both AIM+ and RAIM+ work together to block the spoofing attack. Satellites with high distance errors, shown on the middle graph, are removed by RAIM+ since they do not conform to the expected satellite distance.  


Figure 5: In this scenario jamming gives satellite distance errors but is countered by AIM+ technology. During spoofing AIM+ eliminates some of the spoofed satellites, while other satellites that have wrong distances are dismissed by RAIM+ algorithms.  ©Septentrio

This example shows that even in the case of jamming and spoofing, Septentrio’s high integrity receiver technology delivers truthful and reliable positioning that any autonomous system can count on.  


GNSS design around reliability 

GNSS receivers designed to be reliable strive for high integrity in both reporting of the positioning uncertainty as well as in RAIM+ advanced statistical modelling. This ensures that these receivers provide truthful and timely warning messages and are resilient in various challenging environments. Other technologies such as INS (Inertial Navigation System) can also be coupled to the GNSS receiver to extend positioning availability even during short GNSS outages. Quality indicators for satellite signals, CPU status, base-station quality and overall quality allow monitoring of positioning reliability at any given time. High-integrity GNSS receivers provide truthful positioning in autonomous machines such as the Sitia weeding tractor. They are also crucial components in safety-critical applications, assured PNT and any other application where accuracy and reliability matters.  

@Septentrio #Robotics