Saturday 31 December 2022

Most viewed posts during 2022

This is a list of the top stories viewed on the Read-out Instrumentation Signpost. Some of these stories date back over the years, the oldest is from 2012, but still continue to be of interest to our readers and visitors. 

Our visitors are mostly automation professionals (Processing Automation, Test & Measurement, Control and Plant Management and Instrumentation) but also management and engineers in other disciplines which connect or overlap automation technology. 

AI board instituted

@a3automate #Automation #AI

New variants in circuit board connectors


Analysis forum draws 400 attendees

@ISA_Interchange #Cybersecurity #PAuto 

On-board weighing standardised.

@CANopen #PAuto #Communications

Industry forum for Amsterdam next year! (2015 story) 

@arc_advisory #PAuto #Automation 

Forum breaks records and reports strong growth in automation company bookings in 2014

@THEMCAAorg #PAuto

New entry-level 3D camera

@IDS_Imaging @mepaxIntPR #Pauto

The Read-out Archive

@ReadoutSignpost #PAuto #TandM #Automation

Relay & switch drawings now available to download! 

@OmronEurope @OmronComponents  

COVID-19 and Automation and in Ireland. 

#coróinvíreas #COVID19 #coronavirus

Communicating VA meter! 

@krohnegroup #PAuto @FieldCommGroup

CAN board relected

@CANopen #PAuto

Wednesday 28 December 2022

USB threats disrupt industrial environments.

As industrial companies digitally transform by connecting operational technology (OT) assets and enabling remote capabilities, securing critical infrastructure becomes fundamental to protecting business continuity.

With rising cybersecurity risks, increasing regulations, and complex industrial control systems (ICS), enterprises also need a simple, centralized way to manage enterprise-wide cybersecurity.

Honeywell's Secure Media Exchange (SMX) solution is designed to analyse USB devices in industrial facilities to provide targeted insights, identify threats, and prompt responsible stakeholders to take action.

Read their annual "USB THREAT REPORT 2022".

See also: Attacks don't always start online! (Nov'2022)

@honeywell @HWusers #PAuto #Cybersecurity

Thursday 22 December 2022

Hot wear!

Industry-First Wearable and Mobile Handset Products for Commercial and Industrial Uses

Teledyne FLIR has welcomed RealWear, the pioneer in assisted reality wearable solutions, as its latest Thermal by FLIR collaborator with the recent launch of the world’s first fully hands-free, voice-controlled thermal camera module. In addition, Thermal by FLIR cohort Ulefone recently introduced its first mobile handset featuring the Lepton 3.5 thermal camera module, the Power Armor 18T 5G Android phone.

“Thermal by FLIR is a cooperative product development and marketing program that supports original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including RealWear and Ulefone, to create innovative products leveraging Teledyne FLIR thermal camera modules and expertise,” said Mike Walters, vice president, uncooled thermal imaging camera cores, Teledyne FLIR. “This program enables our partners to get to market faster, lower development costs, and accelerate business growth in collaboration with the world leader in uncooled thermal imaging technology.”

An Industry-First Wearable.
The thermal camera module for the RealWear Navigator™ 500 headset empowers frontline workers to capture high-resolution visible and thermal images to quickly locate temperature anomalies in mission-critical industrial equipment. It marks the first commercially available system where the Lepton 3.5 thermal camera module is deployed as a wearable for assisted reality diagnostics. With the module mounted to the device, the user only needs to say voice commands—even in high noise settings up to 100dBa—to change settings and modes and to capture thermal imagery.

“Empowering industrial frontline workers to capture thermal imaging data while being hands-free in hazardous environments gives workers a new superpower to complete tasks safely and productively,” said Rama Oruganti, chief product officer, RealWear. “Working through the Thermal by FLIR program not only enabled us to create the system faster with lower cost, but it also drove significant market opportunity.”

Millions of Leptons.
The rugged Ulefone Power Armor 18T Android phone marks the 13th mobile device to incorporate the Lepton family of small, lightweight, low-power, and low-cost micro thermal cameras. The mobile handset market also represents the largest OEM market for Lepton by volume. The integration of Lepton into mobile devices, other tech accessories, and wearables has propelled the camera module to become the most widely adopted thermal imaging platform in history. There are more than three million Lepton units built into a variety of products in the manufacturing, security, defense, IoT, and consumer-technology industries.

Engineering to Ecosystems.
Thermal by FLIR begins with development support from the application engineering team to assist partner organizations in optimizing the performance of the respective thermal camera systems. RealWear and Ulefone products leverage the Teledyne FLIR ecosystem, including using the patented MSX imaging capability, enhancing thermal imagery with embossed visible-light outlines, and compatibility with FLIR Thermal Studio software. This subscription software offers the advanced processing features needed to manage thousands of thermal images and videos, whether from a handheld thermal imaging camera, unmanned aircraft system (UAS), acoustic imaging camera, or optical gas imaging (OGI) camera.

@flir @mepaxIntPR #PAuto 

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Chief at workholding leaders.

Dr. Achim Feinauer has joined the top management of workholding technology manufacturer Hainbuch as CEO. He is a leading expert and a well-known face from the machine tool industry for its management team. In addition to Sylvia Rall and her father Gerhard Rall, both CEO, Dr. Achim Feinauer will mainly look after the technical area.

Dr. Achim Feinauer
Sylvia Rall stated, "Dr. Feinauer is our absolute preferred candidate. He knows about the needs of machine manufacturers, is a strategist and, among other things, he has set up a large production facility in China. He is also familiar with the challenges of digitalization, has already dealt with many aspects of sales, and brings extensive international experience as well as technical knowledge. We are delighted to have such a top-class reinforcement."

He studied mechanical engineering and business administration and holds a doctorate in high-speed milling. He knows the machine and automotive industry inside out, having worked for many years in the management of well-known machine manufacturers and technology companies. He previously held positions at Ex-Cell-O, Stama and most recently Emag. 

His successes include the decisive development of solutions for flexible manufacturing systems and the implementation of modern assembly concepts. The internationalization of Europe-oriented companies resulting in globally present organizational units and value chains are some of his other achievements. At Hainbuch, he will dedicate himself to the internationally networked production processes in order to continue the path of profitable growth. He will further drive digitalization and automation both internally and externally, but also sustainability in product creation process.

@HainbuchUK @HAINBUCHAmerica #PAuto #Manufacturing

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Medium bandwidth signal chain platform.

Analog Devices (ADI), has introduced a precision medium bandwidth signal chain platform improving system performance for signal bandwidths of DC to approximately 500kHz towards industrial and instrumentation applications.

The new platform offers a host of complete signal chains with customisable solution options and a curated suite of development tools, such as LTspice® simulations, to simplify the design journey. These robust signal chains, designed for both time and frequency measurement precision, allow for end systems that can accept inputs from the widest array of sensor and measurement modalities from IEPE vibration and acceleration to temperature and pressure. The signal chains also support engineers in designing with confidence and tackling the most demanding precision instrumentation challenges in areas such as Condition Based Monitoring (CbM), large channel count or distributed data acquisition systems (DAQ), position and motor control, and sonar.

The signal chains included within the platform feature precision and power component selections that prioritise combined AC and DC accuracy design requirements, with options for single or multichannel systems as well as higher channel density for the largest channel count systems. Examples of precision medium bandwidth signal chain options provided with the platform include those that allow scaling of AC precision versus power for instrumentation, low latency options for motor control and position sensing, and highest density options using signal chain µModule SIP solutions or multichannel converters. Large channel count system designers can choose from signal chains where channel synchronisation is a priority, whether in channel-isolated or non-isolated systems.

Precision Medium Bandwidth Key Features:
  • Optimising signal chain resolution and gain delivers the 16-bit to 24-bit accuracy required, across the widest range of sensor bandwidths, for amplitudes both small and large
  • Flexibility to prioritise between noise performance, signal bandwidth, and power enables reuse of optimum layout and multiple use cases of the circuitry with simple software updates
  • Options for higher channel densities give the ability to scale the precision measurements to distributed or centralised large channel count scenarios.
@ADI_News #Pauto #Communications

Protection against DC inrush.

The new BE-DCEB10A from Bicker Elektronik reliably protects against high currents that occur when capacitive DC loads are switched on and can damage the power supply or trigger fuse elements. 

With input voltages of 10 to 30VDC, the compact PCB module limits the inrush current to approx. 12A during the inrush torque. The maximum load current in rated operation is 10A. The BE-DCEB10A can thus significantly increase the functional safety and system availability of the application. Additional safety is provided by integrated overcurrent and short-circuit protection.

Equipped with practical screw terminals and mounting holes, the high-quality FR4 board with a footprint of only 63.9 x 40.3 mm can be flexibly integrated and connected in a variety of applications in a space-saving manner. In addition to the long-term availability of at least 5 years, Bicker Elektronik grants a warranty of 3 years on the BE-DCEB10A.

 @bicker_de @PresseBox #power #PAuto

Friday 16 December 2022

DCS leadership position maintained.

In a Distributed Control System market worth more than $15 billion (€14.12b), the official ARC Advisory Group report confirms that ABB has maintained its number one position with a leading share of 19%, as it continues to support the acceleration of digital transformation across industry.

The report highlights energy transition and sustainability as key growth drivers for ABB. Growth also came for ABB thanks to the upturn in DCS segments across the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology which was generated by continued external investment in vaccines and medications.

The ABB DCS has one of the largest installed bases in the world allowing them to support their customers on their digital journey through Innovation with Continuity. This in combination with a focus on customer initiatives such as OPAS, Namur and OPC Foundation have contributed to ABB’s on-going authority and agility within the DCS marketplace. A strong presence in the Asian growth market and across Europe have also helped ABB to remain number one.

Their DCS enables safe, smart and sustainable goods production, power generation and water purification to enhance the lives of people around the world. In the process and hybrid industries, ABB’s DCS is the heart of plant-level digitalization, helping producers to become more productive and profitable. Automatically controlling production processes, they assure high production availability, maximum asset utilization, increased process efficiency and optimum product quality.

ABB’s DCS is also a collaboration tool that integrates electrification, instrumentation, automation, telecommunications and safety. Supplementing its production role, data is gleaned from DCS to derive improvement actions that customer and ABB experts employ to drive plant and enterprise operations. An example of the best-in-class technology that producers turn to is ABB’s single-channel Select I/O. With its digital marshalling capability, Select I/O allows users to engineer large capital projects with maximum flexibility and resilience to late changes, thus reducing cost, schedule and footprint.

@ABBgroupnews @abb_automation @arc_advisory #PAuto

Proportional flow control valves.

Offering superior precision, flow and power consumption for medical devices, hydrogen fuel pumps, food equipment and more

The ASCO™Series 209 proportional flow control valves have been introduced by Emerson. They offer the highest standards of precision, pressure ratings, flow characteristics and energy efficiency available in a purpose-built, compact architecture. With this combination of size and performance, Series 209 valves allow users to precisely regulate the flow of fluid in a wide range of devices that require exacting performance, like those found in the medical equipment, food and beverage, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industries.

“Proportional valves are key components that can significantly impact equipment performance and efficiency,” said Shivam Chauhan, commercial product marketing manager, Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Emerson’s discrete automation business. “We designed the ASCO Series 209 valves to deliver the highest level of performance in a small footprint, giving our customers the flexibility and confidence to engineer products that drive innovation, foster sustainability, lower costs and improve people’s lives.”

Accuracy, response time and repeatability are critical in high-precision flow control applications, such as controlling tool speed in dental chairs, the flow of steam in coffee makers, water flow in cooling systems and hydrogen flow in fuel cells. Series 209 valves have low hysteresis (less than or equal to 5%), excellent repeatability (less than or equal to 1%) and high sensitivity (less than or equal to 0.2%) that contribute to their precision.

The low power consumption and fast response time (less than or equal to 15 milliseconds) of Series 209 can extend battery life in devices powered by them and optimize system performance and efficiency. An improved internal design prevents metal-on-metal contact that causes clicking, which allows valves to operate at extremely low sound levels that are crucial for occupant comfort and well-being in medical, commercial building and food service and hospitality environments.

Series 209 valves meet global approvals, including Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL), United Kingdom Conformity Assessed (UKCA) and European Conformity (CE) and include a range of options that tailor valves for specific applications. For instance, Series 209 valves can be cleaned for critical applications like oxygen therapy devices and come in different coil configurations that add flexibility and simplify installation. And a selection of elastomers ensures compatibility with various media, including elastomers free of silicone that can withstand alcohol and sulfur in demanding applications like painting and powder coating as well as elastomers approved by the United States Food and Drug Association (FDA) for food and beverage applications.

@EMR_Automation @Emerson_News @EmersonExchange @ASCOValve @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #medical #ƒood

Couplings aid data centre cooling efficiency.

Danfoss Power Solutions has launched a portfolio of quick-disconnect couplings for data center liquid cooling applications. Danfoss Hansen FD83 series quick-disconnect couplings, now available in a 2-inch size and additional configurations of the popular 1-inch size, are known globally for their performance, efficiency, and reliability.

With higher flow rates and a lower pressure drop, the new 2-inch coupling improves liquid cooling system efficiency, reducing power consumption and operating costs. In testing, the 2-inch FD83 series coupling reduced pressure drop by 98% compared to standard 2¼-inch ball-locking couplings, according to ISO 7241-1 B.

“With more powerful chips, denser racks, and heavier workloads, today’s data centers are running hotter than ever, increasing the demand for larger, more efficient liquid cooling solutions,” said Christian Kuenstel, global product management leader, Connectors, Danfoss Power Solutions. “With our FD83 series and our new 2-inch coupling, in particular, we’ve engineered a full-flow design that enables more customers to benefit from greater liquid cooling performance, efficiency, and cost savings.”

The FD83 series’ turn-to-connect feature enables simpler, faster, and less costly coupling installation. The feature allows connections to be made without the risk of hose torsion or the need for additional adapters, which also prevents leaks due to incorrect assembly. Designed to ensure reliable, leak-free operation and easier maintenance, FD83 couplings feature a patented dual interlock safety mechanism that eliminates the risk of accidental disconnection or spills.

Stainless steel construction and an EPDM rubber seal offer broad fluid compatibility and high corrosion resistance, enabling long life and low maintenance costs in cooling applications using water glycol or other liquids. Alternative seal materials and color-coded bumper seals are also available. A portfolio of end connections enables use in a variety of space configurations. Options include a new sanitary flange terminal end, as well as threaded port and hose barb connectors in various sizes. These broad configuration options enable the coupling to be used in many other fluid transfer applications where safety and low pressure drop are critical.

Featuring identical halves, FD83 couplings require only one part number, enabling customers to simplify stocking and inventory management.

Danfoss Hansen FD83 series quick-disconnect couplings are compliant with PED 2014/68/EU §4.3. They offer 10 bar maximum working pressure and are suitable for operating temperatures between 3°C and 60°C.

@danfoss @Danfoss_NA @NapierPR #PAuto #Datacenter

Thursday 15 December 2022

Snapping in space!

Thanks to the efforts of engineers at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, the Teledyne FLIR Boson thermal camera module is ready to venture beyond the atmosphere.
The miniature Boson thermal imaging system sees thermal energy and provides accurate stand-off temperature measurements. NASA’s packaging features clever modifications that enable it to survive in the most extreme conditions imaginable, from the intense vibrations at liftoff, to the vacuum of space, and then the temperatures reached during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

NASA chose the Boson as it fits many of its stringent engineering requirements already, including the need for a small, lightweight, passively cooled infrared camera with 640x480 thermal resolution. The platform also lends itself well to customization and repackaging for surviving the rigors of space travel.

The Boson and package assembly developed by NASA has been fully tested and qualified at technology readiness level (TRL) 8 for operation in conditions including high vibration, shock, vacuum, high radiation, and temperature cycling from extreme cold to extreme heat. The modified Boson packaging could also serve as a potential option for use in the harshest of terrestrial conditions as well, including for aerospace and unmanned industrial machinery.

Inflatable Re-Entry Heat Shield Test.

For its first mission, the space-grade Boson will be used as part of the NASA Low Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID/IHAD), essentially a test of the effectiveness of an inflatable heat shield during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

The Boson will rest behind the heat shield, with the goal of monitoring the heat generated in the infrared spectrum as the shield descends back to Earth. An inflatable, lighter-weight heat shield could provide significant benefits for future missions, whether that’s returning to Earth or entering the atmosphere of neighboring celestial objects within the solar system. The modified Boson could also be used as part of imaging systems for future low-Earth orbit satellites and spacecraft.

The initial test is expected to commence imminently. Successful testing will increase the TRL to level 9 for the Boson and packing assembly, which is available for license from NASA Technology Transfer Program.

@flir @NASAsolutions @mepaxIntPR #Aerospace #Automation

Life science competency.

Seeq Corporation has achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) Life Sciences Competency status. This designation recognizes Seeq for providing deep expertise in building life sciences solutions on AWS to help customers conduct drug discovery, manage clinical trials, engage in manufacturing and distribution activities, and conduct research and development of novel genetic-based treatments and companion diagnostics.
Achieving the AWS Life Sciences Competency differentiates Seeq as an AWS Partner that has demonstrated relevant technical proficiency and proven customer success, delivering solutions seamlessly on AWS. To receive the designation, AWS Partners must possess deep AWS expertise and undergo an assessment of the security, performance, and reliability of their solutions.

“Seeq is proud to be among the first AWS Partners to achieve AWS Life Sciences Competency status,” says Dr. Lisa J. Graham, CEO at Seeq. “By choosing Seeq on AWS, life sciences companies can leverage the big data, machine learning, and computer science innovations they need to accelerate positive production and business outcomes.”

AWS is enabling scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solutions from startups to global enterprises. To support the seamless integration and deployment of these solutions, AWS established the AWS Competency Program to help customers identify AWS Partners with deep industry experience and expertise. Seeq also achieved the AWS Industrial Software Competency in 2019 and the AWS Energy Competency in 2021.

Seeq advanced analytics SaaS software is a preferred solution for life sciences production optimization in the AWS Marketplace, enabling customers to rapidly find, share, and operationalize insights from process data stored on premise or in the cloud. Examples of use cases for life sciences customers using Seeq on AWS include operational equipment effectiveness (OEE), batch monitoring, and continuous manufacturing.

“Bristol Myers Squibb leverages Seeq hosted on the AWS cloud with AWS Glue to analyze R&D and manufacturing data across sites and provide additional context to the data lake in AWS Redshift,” says Bradley Keigwin, Data Scientist at Bristol Myers Squibb. “As a result, Bristol Myers Squibb has seen standardization of upstream process monitoring for numerous products across multiple sites, resulting in a significant reduction in engineering hours.”

Seeq on AWS can be procured in the AWS Marketplace, which simplifies the procurement process and provides incentives for enterprise customers through the AWS Enterprise Discount Program. In addition, all AWS Marketplace sellers are verified as ‘ready-to-run’ on AWS, expediting the purchase process. This streamlined approach to technology deployment enables companies using Seeq to quickly and easily realize the benefits of advanced analytics.

In addition to AWS data services, Seeq connects to an extensive set of data storage platforms from vendors including AspenTech, AVEVA, Siemens, GE, Honeywell, Inductive Automation, InfluxDB, Snowflake, and others.

@SeeqCorporation @awscloud @bmsnews #PAuto 

Sensor-free implementation of condition monitoring.

Condition monitoring solutions allow operators to keep track of the condition of many machines on a regular basis. They make it possible to detect wear on motors in due time and help avoid machine downtimes. However, if this function is performed via sensor, it can quickly get very costly, depending on the type of machine and the number of motors used, such as in a textile machine.

Baumüller has now developed a new software solution allowing a completely sensor-free implementation of condition monitoring. The Drive-Based Condition Monitoring software is integrated directly into the servo controller and can therefore be easily retrofitted. The drive-based software solution is another intelligent function from their SmartValue modular software system. It helps to improve the energy balance in production and lower manufacturing costs. With  SmartValue, Baumüller offers numerous drive-integrated solutions, such as for recording, documenting, and optimizing the energy consumption of the drive system.

Sensor-free monitoring function in the drive.
The new function uses previously recorded and analyzed process parameters from the current and speed signal as reference values ​​for monitoring the mechanics, such as the motor, fan and hydraulic pump. FFT analysis can then be used to detect changes in the vibration spectrum. These vibrations are attributable, for example, to imbalance or faulty alignment.

If a significant deviation from the reference value is detected during operation, an error signal can be output in good time. This allows planned maintenance for the motor and prevents further damage to or the failure of the machine. The comparison measurements can be timed to take place at fixed intervals or on demand, depending on the customer's requirements and the application. Monitoring is based on adjustable warning and error thresholds. Machine builders can use the measurements for new business models in the area of ​​data-driven additional services.

Drive-integrated PLC enables condition monitoring.
The converters of the b maXX 5000/6000 family are equipped with the integrated high-performance b maXX softdrivePLC control platform. This enables control functionalities and a customized API to be installed directly in the drive. This way, programs can be executed so they are highly synchronous with the controller cycle. Baumüller has also used this intelligence in the drive for its new condition monitoring solution and allows the function to run in the firmware. The intelligence thus migrates into the drive. Depending on the application, an external sensor is not strictly necessary. This saves the effort required for separate wiring and reduces costs.

Readable characteristic values.
​​The new Drive-Based Condition Monitoring software can be integrated in different variants. In a simple version, the converter provides a collective value from the temperature, power and vibration analysis of the motor. This can be clarified in the visualization, for example in the form of a red/green display.

For more in-depth information, the software can provide further values, such as the historical progression, the crest factor (ratio of peak to effective value) as well as the kurtosis factor for the number of transients/outliers in the vibration signal and standard deviation. Upon a change in the current oscillations, the exact value that has deviated from the reference value is then output. The range of functions can also be extended to include the evaluation of an external acceleration sensor. This can be freely positioned on a mechanical system and the measured values ​​can be additionally analyzed.

The damage characteristics can also be optionally output on a clearly organized dashboard.

@be_in_motion @PresseBox #Automation

Meeting Ecodesign requirements.

For the last 20 years, Powrmatic a leading British manufacturer of HVAC equipment, has been using Signal Group analysers to check the regulatory compliance of its products, which include gas burning warm air heaters, radiant heaters and ventilation equipment.

Powrmatic’s Engineering Manager, Dr Lee Herbert, says: “It’s incredible that the same analyser rack has delivered consistently reliable measurements over such a long period of time, but we attribute this longevity to the quality of the analysers themselves and to the excellent service that Signal Group delivers.
“Under our agreement with Signal, they visit the factory twice a year for routine maintenance, and provide a rapid call-out service if necessary.”

Many types of energy-related products (ErP) are regulated to ensure that they meet specific criteria relating to their energy usage. This reduces their environmental impact, improves their energy efficiency, and cuts greenhouse gas emissions. All products must have supporting technical documentation to demonstrate compliance, as well as a Declaration of Conformity, and they must display the appropriate conformity marking.

During 2021 the Ecodesign requirements in the ErP regulation reduced the maximum levels of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emissions allowable for space heaters. This regulation also raised the efficiency requirements for this type of equipment. Powrmatic’s products are therefore tested with the Signal analysers, and supplied with a BSI verified Declaration of Conformity with ErP 2021.

In addition to NOx, the Signal analysers also measure carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, and are used by both the production team and the R&D department, where they help develop new HVAC products with lower emissions and even better efficiency.

Looking forward, Dr Herbert says: “I have seen Signal’s latest analysers, and would very much like to benefit from their new technologies, but with 20 years under their belt, our current analysers are still going strong, so for the time being, we’ll just have to wait for the day when they can be upgraded.”

@GasAnalysers @powrmatic @_Enviro_News #PAuto #Environment 

More efficiency with LIMS.

Matrix Gemini version 6.6 has been released by Autoscribe Informatics. The December 2022 release includes a number of enhancements designed to improve the user experience even further.

“The release of version 6.6 of Matrix Gemini LIMS provides further productivity enhancements that our customers have been asking for,” said Simon Wood, Product Manager. “Our product roadmap continues to move forward at pace, driving laboratory integration, reducing manual touchpoints, and continuously improving return on investment for our clients. Our philosophy is to use our ability to rapidly evolve the software to meet our clients’ needs to outpace the development of rival solutions. Combined with the ability to upgrade the underlying software without affecting the configured systems, our customers can rapidly incorporate the latest technology and ideas into their Laboratory Informatics solution.”

The ability to split and freeze columns and rows in a complex grid mirrors the Excel Freeze Panes function. The function allows users to easily navigate large or complex layout grids by maintaining the position of column and/or row headings and/or key fields.

To further improve result entry grids, used to input results to the LIMS, Autoscribe has implemented the use of drop-down lists and the direct entry of textual notes within the grid. Drop down lists allow a value for a result cell to be selected directly from a predefined set of values for that specific result. Again, this provides functionality similar to that available in Excel and which is so familiar to many users. Finally, where textual notes previously had to be entered into a separate screen, they can now be entered directly into a notes cell in the result entry grid. As well as providing a familiar user interface, these enhancements improve efficiency by reducing the number of clicks required to perform these actions.

The new Matrix Gemini LIMS Web Application introduced in v6.5 now supports multiple screens across multiple tabs. Enabling users to see multiple screens more easily in the workflow allows greater flexibility in the way users can interact with Matrix Gemini and improves productivity. For example, users may show work allocation, instrument management and sample management screens simultaneously to more efficiently allocate resources and available instruments to samples that require testing.

Within Matrix Gemini there is a clear separation of the underlying software and the configuration layer that determines the user interfaces including workflows and screens. Separating the underlying technology layer and the business layer enables users to take advantage of developments in the underlying software, such as those described here, while maintaining their own specific configurations. On average a new software upgrade is released quarterly. Autoscribe prides itself on having customers who have been using Matrix LIMS since 1990, and who continue to upgrade their systems taking advantage of new features and improved performance capabilities as they become available.

@AutoscribeLtd @AutoscribeCorp #Laboratory #LIMS #TandM

Wednesday 14 December 2022

Combustion pyrometer.

AMETEK Land helps boiler operators achieve highly accurate gas temperature measurements with the upgraded CDB combustion pyrometer.

Derek Stuart, Global Product Manager - Power said: “The CDB combines AMETEK Land’s expertise in temperature measurement and spectroscopy to make a difficult but essential measurement in a combustion process. Accurate measurements of FEGT allow boiler operators to optimize combustion conditions whilst maximizing boiler lifetime.”

Measuring furnace exit-gas temperature (FEGT) is difficult because boiler conditions are inhospitable - the heat combined with corrosive gases and a high particulate concentration means taking temperatures can be dangerous, inefficient and unreliable.

Non-contact pyrometers such as AMETEK Land’s CDB pyrometer are ideal for this sort of application, providing true gas temperature measurements efficiently in a proven design. Improving boiler control leads to improved efficiency, reduced maintenance and increased safety for operators.

This System 4 pyrometer provides operators with essential information for boiler control including FEGT. Using a special infrared wavelength that is emitted by hot carbon dioxide (CO2) allows the CDB to see through the cold gases outside the furnace and measure the average temperature along its line of sight within the region of interest.

The CDB pyrometer also measures gas temperatures at the boiler exit, where it passes to the air preheater, and in municipal waste incinerators where sufficiently high furnace temperature and long enough residence time are required to ensure complete burnup of the waste materials.

It is installed on the boiler using a permanent mount via a flange adaptor. Air purge protects the optics from hot, corrosive combustion gases.

@landinst @codacomms #PAuto 

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Pressure relief valves reinvented!

Two new-to-the-world technologies for the Crosby™ J-Series pressure relief valve (PRV) product line have been announced by Emerson. The first is a Balanced Diaphragm, which eliminates the need for bellows in PRVs, while providing balanced operation against backpressure to lower cost of ownership and enhance performance. The second technology is Bellows Leak Detection, enabling remote detection of bellows ruptures in PRVs, with the capability to reduce and accurately calculate volumetric emissions in real-time.

Top: Bellows Leak Detection;
Below: Balanced Diaphragm
“With the growing global emphasis on sustainability, an increasing number of PRVs that currently vent to the atmosphere will require connections to flare systems to curb emissions. The resulting higher backpressures will push the limits of existing PRV designs, and the Balanced Diaphragm and Bellows Leak Detection breakthrough innovations will help our customers address this need,” said Judson Duncan, president of Emerson’s pressure management business.

Where backpressure is present, spring-loaded PRVs often utilise bellows to ensure balanced operation. Data analysis from 30,000 PRV service records across different industries and valve brands shows a bellows failure rate between 2% and 6%. In other words, a plant with 1,000 bellows PRVs may have between 20 and 60 PRVs continuously operating with damaged bellows. The most common causes of bellows failures are excessive backpressure and rapid cycling. Ruptured bellows will cause fugitive emissions and may prevent valve operation at the designed set pressure, with the risk of overpressure events.

The Crosby Balanced Diaphragm can replace bellows in PRV applications to address these and other issues. Its innovative design extends the backpressure limits from 60% to 80% and increases the Kb backpressure correction factor by up to 15%, expanding the application range of spring-loaded PRVs. The Kb factor is used to size PRVs when they are installed in closed systems subject to backpressure. Extending the backpressure limit and increasing the Kb factor often permits the use of smaller valves. In addition, diaphragms are inherently more resilient than bellows for higher backpressures and rapid cycling applications. Upgrading to a Balanced Diaphragm therefore lowers maintenance costs, improves reliability and increases stability.

The second technology, Bellows Leak Detection, addresses the problem of bellows failures, which are challenging to detect and often remain unnoticed for years until removal of the valve for periodic service. Leak detection and repair (LDAR) programmes may include PRVs, but their target sources for leakage detection are flanges or valve seats, so bellows ruptures will generate fugitive emissions through the PRV bonnet vent that may not be in the LDAR scope. In addition, PRV installations are often difficult to access and in hazardous locations, making leak detection difficult.

The Bellows Leak Detection solution is a safer and more efficient method for detecting bellows failures and emissions. It consists of a back-up piston and a Rosemount™ wireless or wired pressure transmitter. The back-up piston can reduce emissions by over 90% in the event of a bellows rupture because it has a much smaller clearance than a standard bonnet vent, and it ensures balanced operation. The pressure transmitter provides instant timestamped notification of bellows failure and emissions volume data in real-time.

Upgrade kits for existing Crosby J-Series PRVs are available for both new technologies, and new PRVs can be purchased with these features pre-installed.

@EMR_Automation @Emerson_News @EmersonExchange @HHC_Lewis  #Pauto

Management change!

In autumn 2009, Tetyana Hammel became managing director and shareholder of ARJES GmbH. A mechanical engineering company for recycling technology, which initially had just 19 employees when it was founded two years earlier, but experienced rapid growth in a very short time.

Due to her roots and family ties to the mechanical engineering industry within Ukraine, she was able to take the first significant steps in the economic strategy of ARJES and thus made vital contributions to the ultimate growth and success of the company.

In addition to her personal connections with their two partner plants in Ukraine, Mrs. Hammel has also been involved in event planning, organization and implementation of international trade fairs such as IFAT and Bauma in recent years. But the personal well-being of her employees at the Leimbach (D) site was also close to her heart, which is why she always showed great dedication to the ARJES team, which now numbers more than 160.

Tetyana Hammel and Thomas Hayn

Now, 15 years after the foundation of ARJES GmbH, Tetyana Hammel is saying goodbye as managing director and shareholder, with Thomas Hayn now continuing on at the company as sole managing director. In a comment the company said. "We would like to thank Tetyana Hammel for her time of service and wish her all the best going forward."

@PresseBox #arjes #PAuto #Recycling

FPGA machine vision.

Innodisk has announced its latest step into the AI market, with the launch of EXMU-X261, an FPGA Machine Vision Platform. Powered by AMD’s Xilinx Kria K26 SOM, which was designed to enable smart city and smart factory applications, Innodisk’s FPGA Machine Vision Platform is set to lead the way for industrial system integrators looking to develop machine vision applications.
Automated defect inspection, a key machine vision application, is an essential technology in modern manufacturing. Automated visual inspection guarantees that the product works as expected and meets specifications. In these cases, it is vital that a fast and highly accurate inspection system is used. Without AI, operators must manually inspect each product, taking an average of three seconds per item. Now, with the help of AI solutions such as Innodisk’s FPGA Machine Vision Platform, product inspection in factories can be automated, and the end result is not only faster and cheaper, but can be completely free of human error.

Innodisk’s FPGA Machine Vision Platform comes with 1GbE LAN, 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, 2 M.2 slots, and a series of other expansion and connectivity options. Thanks to the platform’s 0° to 70 °C operational temperature support, and optional industrial temperature support from -40° to +85°C, EXMU-X261 is tough enough for the harshest of industrial environments. In addition, EXMU-X261 features support for Innodisk’s InnoAgent out-of-band remote management module, allowing the platform to be remotely managed from anywhere, even during a system crash or an in-band network failure. This is important for any automated system, as it allows for it to be completely unmanned, which further reduces manpower and maintenance costs.

Customers can take advantage of AMD’s Xilinx Kria K26 SOM’s ability to quickly get applications to market thanks to EXMU-X261’s full support for Innodisk’s AI Suite SDK. The suite includes an FPGA Model Zoo, as well as Innodisk’s in-house software solutions, such as iCAP (Innodisk Cloud Administration Platform), and iVIT (Innodisk Vision Intelligence Toolkit). iVIT for example, provides a deep learning environment for efficient development and deployment of “no-code-operation” solutions.

@Innodisk_Corp @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Smart

Monday 12 December 2022

Industrial use CNT.

Recently, bda connectivity GmbH and Conyar BV started cooperation on the development, production and sale of cables made of Conyar fibers made of Carbon NanoTubes (CNT).

Cables made of Carbon NanoTube fibers have several advantages over conventional cables. While they transfer information just like copper cables, due to their carbonic structure, they weigh only a small percentage of a conventional cable. Therefore, they are the perfect choice for usage in aeronautics and astronautics as well as in Formula 1 and e-mobility, where removing every gram can be crucial for the success of a project.

In the past, many companies had tried to work on cables made of Carbon NanoTubes. "However, until today, we did not find any success story in the industrial usage of CNT in the conductor of a cable. Only until now…"

In the last few months, bda connectivity GmbH and Conyar BV, have successfully developed a process to bring the CNT yarn into a cable and thus make it available for practical use. Along with its low weight the cable construction provides enhanced resilience to fatigue. The CNT cable can be used in commercially available lengths, eg for fitting out aircrafts. Therefore, it can be used in high frequency technology, as a switching wire or electrical conductor.

The cable has several features that make it easily to implement in projects:

  • The conductor can be easily contacted by crimping or with a conductive adhesive.
  • The conductor is safely anchored in the cable without the danger of slipping out.
  • The polymer insulation can be easily removed by detaching the sheath and insulation layer without sticking to the CNT material.
  • Consequently, the bda-Conyar cable can be installed in the same way as a conventional cable.

The aim of the collaboration is to make a revolutionary technology available for practical use. Mr. Marcin Otto, CEO of Conyar BV, says about the cooperation: "Having this energetic and resourceful partner, bda connectivity GmbH, is for us a long awaited step in marketing Conyar™."

Through the innovative process it is now possible to convert high-tech products and use them where weight plays a critical role. The companies wanting to decrease weight of their product can order ready-to-use cables. The further spread of the CNT cabling will reduce the production costs and make the technology available to a broader public.

Eike Barczynski, owner and managing director of bda connectivity, says that “the reduction of weight is a big issue in many industries. Thanks to the bda-Conyar technology we now have passed a new milestone in reducing the cable weight. This will lead to new dimensions in the usage of CNT.”

Just as the development of fiber optic cables has become a successful alternative to copper wires in the field of data technology, CNT cables can be used as a preferred alternative to switching wires or high-frequency lines. Less weight results in less energy consumption and thus can help to make products more energy-efficient and more environmentally compatible as well.

@BdaGmbh @PresseBox #PAuto #Communications #ConyarBV

Optical inspection.

For fast, high-precision scanning of manufactured materials.

The LMI Photon™ Optical Inspection System has been released by LMI Technologies. This non-contact system provides surface characterization of multi-layered, textured, mixed, and a wide range of other manufactured materials. The system is CE and FCC certified.
This system leverages Line Confocal and Laser Profiler sensor technology to provide out-of-the-box surface characterisation and reporting of multi-layered, textured, mixed and other precision-manufactured materials.

Photon™ leverages LMI's Line Confocal and Laser Profiler sensor technology to scan material surfaces with submicron precision, and at a level of quality and speed that outperforms competing technologies.

The system uses high-precision encoders, vibration-free movement, and automated stitching software to scan challenging materials--over large fields of view--in a variety of offline and at-line quality inspection applications, as well as laboratory and R&D processes.

Every Photon™ Optical Inspection System includes vacuum table, industrial PC (with onboard motion path planning and standard inspection software), display, keyboard, mouse, joystick, and calibration block. It's surface characterization capabilities include part alignment, automatic feature detection and profile extraction, multi-coordinate measurement, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T), surface roughness analysis, and more.

Photon™ can be used to perform surface characterization and reporting of some of the most difficult applications including:

  • Multi-layered cell phone display glass
  • Curved-edge cell phone display glass
  • Glue bead volume & position (transparent/translucent)
  • Medical seal integrity
  • PCB to chip solder ball / ball grid arrays
  • Battery weld seam integrity
  • Non-contact surface roughness on practically any material

“ Photon provides manufacturers with a versatile, high-speed scanning system that can be used in a wide variety of offline and at-line quality inspection, lab metrology, and R&D applications, where challenging material surfaces need to be characterized and reported on. And, this system comes in at a significantly lower cost than competing technologies such as optical microscopes and CMMs, while still delivering the high-precision measurement results production engineers demand,” said Len Chamberlain, Chief Commercial Officer with LMI.

The Photon™ Optical Inspection System is now available for order in limited stock.

@lmi3d @PresseBox #PAuto #Manufacturing

One billion euro for connectors.

"We have achieved our goals, we delivered."

The Harting Technology Group has achieved a milestone in its corporate history by exceeding the billion Euro revenue mark for the first time. Despite adverse conditions, turnover jumped by 21.8% (€190 million) to €1,059 million, compared to €869 million in the previous year. Growth emanated from all regions and markets.

In Germany, turnover was up by 12% to € 270 million, whilst the EMEA region grew by 17% to €373 million. The Asia/Pacific region put in even stronger growth of 25% to €269 million and the Americas by an impressive 57% to €147 million. The number of employees was up by 256 to 6446, mainly due to the expansion of the plants in Mexico, Romania and the USA.

The Harting family and the Executive Board of the Harting Technology Group are pleased with the strong revenue growth despite difficult circumstances.

"We have achieved our goals," said Philip Harting, CEO of the Harting Technology Group. A year ago, he had thought double-digit growth was possible. "We delivered."

In addition to catch-up effects resulting from the Corona pandemic, the main growth drivers were industrial transformation, advancing digitalisation and the development of energy-efficient production technologies and products.

"We want to develop new high-performance technologies and solutions for the connectivity of the future to meet the challenges of decarbonisation, demographic change and energy efficiency," added Harting, outlining the technology group's aspirations.

Philip Harting sees the company as well positioned. "We will continue to focus on strengthening our global footprint." The group invested in the expansion of its plants in Romania, the USA, Mexico and India, as well as in digitalisation and additional development capacities geared to strengthening its core business. Record investments of around €80 million are also planned for 2022/23.

In order to develop new connectivity solutions, the company is also relying on strategic partnerships. For example, with Studer Cables AG, which the Harting family acquired in the summer. The expansion and strengthening of the solutions portfolio as well as the development of new connectivity solutions for transportation, machinery, energy infrastructure and renewable energies are other focus areas.

Philip Harting also emphasised the particular significance of sustainability at the company: "The expansion of renewable energy production has been an obligation for us, not only since the energy bottlenecks due to the Ukraine war. We have been consistently taking steps towards climate-neutral production for more than 30 years.” The company has reduced C02 emissions from 19,203 t to 1,556 t in Germany since 2010/11 through a variety of measures.

"We are taking responsibility for our environment and future generations. By 2030, we want to be climate-neutral at all production sites worldwide and reduce the carbon footprint for all upstream and downstream processes by 50%," added Harting. Sustainability not only comprises products, processes and production at Harting, but all areas of the company, for example, in training and employee development, in the expansion of our health platform for employees and in the extensive and far-reaching commitment to culture, education and sport.

Growth expectations for the 2022-23 business year are considerably more subdued in view of the inflationary-recessionary economic developments and material and energy shortages. The development of energy and material prices will be decisive. "We expect sideways movement and will also have to work hard to confirm the result we achieved this year," added Philip Harting.


Friday 9 December 2022

Tested but not touched.

TorqSense, a non-contact digital torque monitoring system that could guarantee an infinite lightness of touch has proven to be the only way to test the seals of super high performance vacuum systems.

The ultimate fields of precision manufacture, such as electronics, biophysics and thin film deposition where tolerances are measured in atoms, are often conducted in hard vacuum to remove airborne contaminants and avoid the performance reducing effects of tiny air movements.

However the vast majority of vacuum chamber designs require seals for rotary drive shafts (called rotary feedthroughs) and ‘feedthroughs’ for the passage of materials, components, tools and finished products. In high vacuum applications conventional seals are unlikely to be able to achieve the performance specifications required, so magnetic fluid seals are used.

A ferrofluid is a stable colloidal suspension of sub-domain magnetic nano particles in a liquid carrier. The particles, which have an average size of about 100Å (10 nm), are coated with a stabilising dispersing agent (surfactant), which prevents particle agglomeration even when a strong magnetic field gradient is applied to the ferrofluid. With over thirty years of experience producing seals for the world's most demanding applications, Ferrotec of Woolwich in London is able to optimise ferrofluid materials for the most extreme performance requirements and incorporate them into bespoke vacuum system designs.

“About half of our work is to bespoke design,” says Jeff Lewcock of Ferrotec, “and we have to test every seal to the nth degree to meet out customers specifications. To test the feedthrough it is mounted onto a vacuum chamber that is connected to a helium leak detector. Helium is then spayed onto the feedthrough and the leak rate observed during static and dynamic running.

As part of the test the starting and running torque of the seal are measured and the power loss through the seal is calculated. These readings allow Ferrotec to troubleshoot the individual seal, analyse the design’s performance and add to their knowledge base. “With the sort of tolerances we work to we needed a torque sensor that didn’t add any extra drag to the whole seal mechanism, so we were delighted to discover Sensor Technology’s non-contact TorqSense,” says Jeff.

@sensortech  #PAuto #Torque #Vacuum

Gas sensing and analysis equipment manufacturer acquired.

ION Science has announced the acquisition of Analox Group, a gas sensing and analysis manufacturer based in Stokesley, North Yorkshire.

Analox M.D., Emma Harbottle
Analox, established in 1981, specialises in the research, develop-ment and manufacturing of gas sensing technology. The company is based Britain, with an office in California. Delivering innovative life-supporting gas measurement products, services and solutions, the Analox gas monitors and sensors are used in diverse markets such as food, beverage and hospitality, space exp-loration, healthcare, laboratories, commercial diving and defence applications.
Ion Science M.D. Duncan Johns

“This is a major step on our strategic growth journey,” explains ION Science Group Managing Director, Duncan Johns. “With strong brands in global markets, ION and Analox will continue to operate separately. However, both companies invest heavily in research and development, so by working together, we are really excited by the opportunities this acquisition presents for accelerating future growth.

“Importantly, both companies share a common focus on customers’ needs, and especially product quality and reliability. We also both supply OEM sensors and engineered solutions, so customers can expect a broader range of solutions in the future. From an ION Science perspective, this move will expand the range of measurement technologies that we will be able to offer, which means that in addition to VOCs, we will also offer detection and measurement solutions for a wide range of other gases.”

Analox Managing Director, Emma Harbottle says: “Over the last 40 years we have designed and developed innovative gas sensing solutions that truly solve our customers' challenges. We are extremely proud of the reputation we have built, especially in the defence, beverage & hospitality and laboratory sectors. By working closely with ION we can continue to build on the success of both companies and I am excited to see what the future holds.”

@ionscience @AnaloxGroup @_Enviro_News #PAuto #Analysis