Friday 28 April 2023

Importance of occupational safety equipment.

Employers have a duty of care to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees, so it is vitally important to keep workers’ occupational exposure to harmful gases within permissible limits. For businesses that handle hazardous vapours, failure to comply with this duty can have disastrous consequences, so it is extremely important to deploy trustworthy sensing technology.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) help their customers lower risk, and as such cannot utilise unproven or low-cost sensors that could increase risk. For this reason, ION Science’s mission is to provide premium quality, highly accurate sensors that are the most reliable in the world.

Risks from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
VOCs exist widely in almost every industry as key components of fuels, petrochemicals, solvents, paints, adhesives, cleaners etc. Most VOCs are flammable and potentially explosive, as well as being harmful to both health and the environment. VOCs are organic compounds that evaporate under normal conditions. Some are harmful to the skin or eyes, and can be absorbed, but their volatility means that VOCs can be inhaled, and may cause a wide variety of negative health effects ranging from minor irritation to cancer, and even death.

Generally speaking, high concentrations (% levels) are necessary for combustion or explosion risk; low concentrations (ppm) can represent a toxic risk from short-term exposure, and trace levels (ppb) can cause long-term toxic effects.

The United Nations World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28th April 2023, focuses on international attention on the magnitude of the problem, highlighting how promoting and creating a health and safety culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries. ION Science wholeheartedly supports this initiative, and believes that effective systems and risk reduction rely on accurate, reliable data.
In addition to the potentially lethal effects of inadequate industrial health and safety, organisations which fail in their duty also risk huge financial losses from prosecutions, fines, and critical damage to their brands. Investments in health and safety monitoring and personal protective equipment, such as reliable gas detectors, are therefore negligible in comparison with the consequences of failure.

Workplace risk assessments should identify the presence of potential VOC sources and enable the implementation of appropriate measures to mitigate the risks. Personal, wearable VOC detectors help protect staff that have been identified as being at the greatest risk, and routine inspections with portable VOC detectors help to identify fugitive emissions from leaks or spills from equipment, tanks, pipes, seals, valves, etc. In addition, fixed VOC monitors continuously monitor workspaces to check that levels do not approach or exceed exposure limits; raising alarms if they do.

Why monitor?
Accurate, reliable measurements are necessary for the rapid detection of risks to plant and workforces. Monitoring also informs the development of mitigation measures, and allows operators to check the performance of such measures, and to demonstrate compliance with workplace exposure regulations.

The minimum concentration of a combustible VOC necessary to support its combustion in air is defined as the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL). Importantly, toxic VOCs concentrations are orders of magnitude lower than explosive limits, so it is vitally important for detection equipment to offer a wide range with sufficient sensitivity to measure trace toxic gases.

The health effects of exposure to VOCs depend on the concentration, the length of exposure, and the VOCs present. Workplace exposure limits (WEL) therefore exist for each VOC with short-term exposure limits (STEL) typically applying to the maximum concentration over a 15-minute period, and time-weighted average levels (TWA) typically calculated over an 8-hour period.

Choosing the right VOC sensor technology.
Gas detection equipment manufacturers have three main options for the measurement of VOCs. These are (1) electrochemical (EC) sensors, (2) metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) sensors and (3) photoionisation detection (PID) sensors.

EC sensors are low-cost, but they only respond to VOCs that are electroactive; they require electronic optimisation for target VOCs, have a slow response time (minutes) and are cross-sensitive to other gases commonly found in the workplace.

MOS sensors are also low-cost but suffer from baseline drift and humidity sensitivity. Their response is non-linear, and they also suffer from cross-sensitivity to other gases commonly found in the workplace.

PIDs are the most in-demand and appropriate sensors for the measurement of VOCs for health and safety applications. This is because of their fast response (1-3 secs), and because they are the most selective technique to VOCs. In addition, with a choice of PID lamps it is possible to optimise the sensor for different applications, and known response factors enable quantitative analysis of specific VOCs.

For most PID sensor manufacturers, sensitivity to contamination and humidity is a major challenge, but these issues have been resolved within ION’s MiniPID sensor range. This is one of the main reasons behind ION’s position as the largest PID sensor manufacturer in the world. All MiniPID sensors have a patented design with a third electrode that nullifies potential humidity interference, delivering a stable signal from 0 – 99% RH.

The sensitivity of PID sensors is extremely important in many applications; particularly where the sensors are deployed in the measurement of trace VOCs. Recognising the importance of this feature, ION’s MiniPID range includes the most sensitive PID in the world.

Reliability is a critically important feature of sensors that lower health and safety risks. Uniquely, ION’s MiniPIDs incorporate an ASIC chip, which continuously monitors lamp and sensor performance, providing fail-safe assurance of sensor performance. The ASIC also manages the sensor to give exceptional temperature stability from -40 to +65oC.

In contrast with other PID manufacturers, ION designs, develops and manufactures 10.0, 10.6 and 11.7 eV lamps. This is crucially important for OEMs because it means that their measurement capabilities are not restricted to compounds with an ionisation energy lower than 10.6 eV, for example. So, for example, where OEMs require sensors for monitoring gases such as chlorocarbons, unsaturated fluorocarbons, formaldehyde, ethylene and methanol; ION’s unique 11.7 eV gas sensor is the ideal solution. Equally, ION’s 10.0 eV sensor is ideal for toxic aromatic compounds such as benzene.

Choosing the right particulate sensors.
Dust and other forms of airborne particulates represent significant risks in the workplace; both as a combustion source and a breathing hazard. Consequently, the requirement for monitoring equipment is growing rapidly alongside tightening regulations.

Responding to this growing demand, ION has added the NextPM sensor to its portfolio following recent independent testing by AQ-SPEC at South Coast AQMD in the USA. The NextPM sensors showed strong to very strong correlations for both PM1.0 and PM2.5 with reference instruments costing several hundred times the cost of the sensors.

Thanks to its patented airflow control technology, Next-PM ensures years of maintenance-free measurements, even in highly polluted environments. The sensor also incorporates patented technology to prevent humidity effects, so these sensors are ideal for inclusion in instruments and systems that monitor industrial processes or air quality; both indoors and outdoors, even in harsh conditions.

The cost of designing ION’s world-class VOC and particulate sensors into OEM instruments, processes and systems is negligible in comparison with the potential costs and risks incurred by not specifying the best available technology.

@ionscience @_Enviro_News #PAuto  #HealthSafety #AirQuality

Thermocouple or pyrometer?

Whether to use thermocouples or a portable pyrometer for temperature measurement in liquid metal applications is a decision long-debated in the industry. Now, AMETEK Land can help make the decision with its new download, ‘Thermocouples vs Cyclops L Portable Pyrometers – Frequently Asked Questions and Other Information’ (pdf)

Prasath Venkatasamy, Global Industry Manager – Metals at AMETEK Land, said: “Making the decision to use thermocouples or the Cyclops L can have significant implications for ongoing costs, operator safety, and measurement accuracy. This new FAQ document helps metal manufacturers to cut through the confusion and find the information they need to make the choice that best suits their application.”

AMETEK Land provides a detailed comparison of the two solutions, outlining their benefits and drawbacks in liquid metal temperature measurements.

For example, thermocouples are highly accurate across a wide temperature range, offer a good response time and have a low cost of ownership. However, they have limited accuracy at very high temperatures, can be affected by several factors, and require regular tip replacement, increasing the cost of consumables.

Portable pyrometers, on the other hand, use a non-contact measurement from a safe distance, deliver a faster, better response time and have a wide temperature range measurement. They need a clear line of sight to the object being measured and can be affected by dust, smoke, steam, or other gases in the environment.

AMETEK Land’s Cyclops 055L portable pyrometer is highlighted as a solution for liquid metal measurements during the casting process to support metal quality, offering a rapid return on investment.

The Cyclops 055L model has an additional Meltmaster processing output, designed for molten metal measurements, which helps overcome variations in the radiation emitted from the metal stream, providing a valid estimation of the true temperature.

Alongside the frequently asked questions (FAQs) from customers about thermocouples and pyrometers in general, the download has full information about the Cyclops 055L, including specifications and accessories.

@landinst  #PAuto #LiquidMetal

Chief technology officer named.

Analog Devices has announced the appointment of Alan Lee to the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO). In this role, Alan will identify and work to advance the next-generation technologies that will disrupt and shape the semiconductor industry and its markets. He and his team will collaborate closely with ADI customers, universities, research organisations, and other strategic partners to incubate novel technologies and develop the ecosystems to support their market entry.

Alan Lee
“Alan is a seasoned technology executive who will help accelerate our leadership at the Intelligent Edge by working to expand our next-generation analogue, mixed signal, power, software, and artificial intelligence capabilities,” said ADI CEO and Chair Vincent Roche. “Alan’s breadth and depth of expertise and experience across both the technology and commercial domains will support our goal of delivering significant market impact for our customers through cutting-edge innovation. I look forward to working with him to continue pioneering the future of the Intelligent Edge.”

Formerly with AMD, Alan served as its Head of Research and Advanced Development. While there, his teams developed novel hardware, software, artificial intelligence, and high-performance computing technologies and were responsible for many innovations and patents over the past decade. Prior to AMD, Alan was CEO of a privately held company creating technologies for high-frequency trading and quantitative financial analysis. Previously, he developed expertise in large-scale, multinational engineering and technology projects through his work at Intel and IBM.

“I am delighted to join ADI and continue its legacy of technology leadership at the boundary between the physical and digital domains,” said Alan. “ADI has long been synonymous with innovation, and I am looking forward to working with the company’s incredible technology talent to further extend ADI’s leadership in the years and decades to come.”

Alan is a well-known industry leader, currently chairing both the CTO Committee for the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and the CTO Council for the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA). He has served on the Board of Directors for the Semiconductor Research Corporation and the Board of Trustees for the NSF Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics.

Alan will report directly to ADI’s CEO and replaces ADI’s former CTO, Dan Leibholz, who now serves as ADI’s Senior Vice President, Digital Business Unit.

@ADI_News #Pauto 

Positioning for a beautiful friendship.

When BTG needed their IRM400 range of positioning measurement systems to send real-time data over different industrial networks, they found Anybus from HMS Networks. And that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The drive to increase the efficiency of international shipping relies on high-performance cranes to transfer containerized cargo quickly and safely from ship to shore. BTG specializes in developing, producing, and installing positioning measurement systems for automated container ports. Much of the company's work is based on providing sensors to enable cranes to move cargo from ships to automated guided vehicles (AGVs). But the networking is complex and demanding. The cranes and AGVs often use different industrial networks, yet they need to transfer real-time data in harsh environments. That’s where Anybus steps in. Anybus takes care of the networking allowing BTG to focus on the position measurement systems, and together they help to increase the efficiency in automated container ports.

BTG is a Dutch company specializing in position measurement systems used in all types of cranes and vehicles in automated container terminals. BTG has over 25 years of experience and has products in all the main automated container ports around the world. One of BTG’s key products is the IRM400 range of measurement systems. It is designed to control sway, skew, and inclination and thereby provide accurate position control of the crane’s spreaders and their precious cargo.

Designed as a series of modular elements, the IRM can be configured for many different types and sizes of cranes. The system consists of an infrared transmitter and a high-resolution receiver unit. The transmitter is mounted on the spreader of the crane, and the receiver is mounted perpendicular above the transmitter. The system constantly measures the sway angle of the load in flight in all directions. It also measures the spreader skew angle and optionally the trim and list angle.

To achieve this level of dynamic control of multi-ton loads traveling in three dimensions at high speed, data must be collected from several sources in real-time and processed instantly so that the exact position and velocity are always known and can be adjusted.

“We have a lot of experience and knowledge with position measurement systems in tough industrial environments, but we are not experts in industrial networks,” explains Daan Potters, chief operating officer at BTG. “That’s why we turned to Anybus.”

Networking Requirements.
BTG required a networking technology that could be embedded into the IRM sensor, allowing the sensor to communicate over PROFIBUS, PROFINET, and CANopen networks. As BTG is a global company and different networks are dominant in different parts of the world, BTG also needed the possibility to easily cover more networks in the future. The networking solution also needed to be compatible with legacy equipment, tough enough to handle marine environments, and fast enough to process real-time data communication.

The Anybus CompactCom!
Anybus from HMS Networks is a product brand specializing in connecting industrial devices to any major industrial network. There’s a CompactCom product for the integration of any major Fieldbus or industrial Ethernet network, including PROFIBUS, PROFINET, and CANopen networks.

Embedded Design.
The CompactCom is embedded into the relevant device, in this example the sensor’s receiver. The embedded design brings several benefits. It’s simple to install and therefore reduces the time to market for new products. It’s possible to reuse legacy equipment, enabling BTG to retrofit new electronic control systems to existing cranes. The CompactCom can be embedded in an IP67-rated enclosure, ensuring that the equipment can handle the harsh conditions found in marine environments.

Real-Time Communication.
The Anybus CompactCom provides high-performance data exchange that can handle even the most demanding synchronized motion applications - up to 1448 bytes of process data in each direction.

“We chose the CompactCom B40, and we’re pleased we did”, concludes Daan Potters. “The CompactCom B40 solved all our networking needs, it’s compatible with all the required networks, and it provides real-time communication, which is essential in position measurement systems. Anybus also provided excellent support to help us to implement the CompactCom B40 as quickly as possible”.

@HMSAnybus @mepaxIntPR #KLAB #Marine

Thursday 27 April 2023

Topside and hullside electrical system automation.

ABB has won a large order from Sembcorp Marine Ltd, a global provider of innovative engineering solutions to the offshore, marine and energy industries with headquarters in Singapore, to deliver the complete electrical system automation for a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility for Brazilian oil and gas producer Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras). 
The P-82 FPSO will be one of the largest vessels to be deployed in the Búzios field, an ultra-deepwater oil and gas field covering an area of 853 square kilometers in the Santos Basin, around 180 kilometers off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Petrobras plans to deploy 18 FPSO vessels offshore Brazil in the next four years[1] – making up nearly half of all global FPSOs. These new-generation vessels, of which P-82 is one of the first, will be characterized by high production capability and emission-reduction solutions, such as carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). Collectively, these vessels are expected to have the production capacity of approximately 2.8 million barrels per day.

ABB is supplying both the topside and hullside electrical systems for P-82, providing seamless project integration. The topside systems will be installed in an ABB eHouse solution – a prefabricated, modular substation that reduces costs, risk exposure and on-site work because all components are wired, tested and commissioned before shipment to the yard.

Once operational, the facility – which receives fluids from a subsea reservoir before separating them into crude oil, natural gas and water within topside facilities onboard – will have the capacity to produce 225,000 barrels of oil per day and process 12 million cubic meters of gas per day.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Sembcorp Marine to deliver this integrated solutions order,” said Brandon Spencer, President of ABB Energy Industries. “We have a proven record in electrical and automation solutions for FPSOs both in Brazil and worldwide. This project aligns with our own commitment to reduce the emissions footprint of existing hydrocarbon infrastructures as we balance the needs of the energy transition with rising consumption demands, especially in developing economies.”

@ABBgroupnews @ABBMeasurement @abb_automation @petrobras #PAuto #Marine #Oil_Gas

Automation communication body appointments to board.

FDT Group™ has announced that Paul Brooks, manager, technology business development, strategic development for Rockwell Automation; and Rolf Birkhofer, managing director for Endress+Hauser digital solutions have been voted in by the FDT Group member community to serve in leadership roles on the FDT Board of Directors.

Paul Brooks - Rockwell
The FDT Group Board of Directors sets the executive strategy for the organization and provides governance over the open FDT standard, which directly benefits the global manufacturing automation industries with a unified environment for industrial device management and IT/OT data-driven operations for the process and discrete markets supporting smart manufacturing, efficiency, and sustainability initiatives.

Mr. Brooks and Mr. Birkhofer replaced board members Lee Lane, Rockwell Automation; and Francois Ichtertz, Endress+Hauser, respectively, due to their departure to new roles. They join existing board members including Andre Uhl, Schneider Electric; Michael Kessler, PACTware; Shinji Oda, Yokogawa; and Ed Silva, Flowserve Corporation.

Rolf Birkhofer - Endress+Hauser

FDT Group Managing Director Steve Biegacki congratulated the newest board members. “We appreciate the service Lee Lane and Francois Ichtertz provided to our organization. Paul Brooks and Rolf Birkhofer bring a wealth of process and factory automation industry experience to their new posts on our board. They will play an important role in guiding the FDT Group organization and FDT/DTM technology roadmap through collaborative initiatives focused on innovation and differentiation that deliver new value to customers.”

Mr. Brooks has over 30 years of experience in the industrial market and currently leads the commercial & technical teams responsible for the strategy around open aspects of the Rockwell Automation System Architecture. This includes Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA) and Field Xchange (FX) strategy, EtherNet/IP development, network architecture, 5G direction, and application orchestration. He was a member of FDT Joint Interest Group (JIG) in 2003, recognizes the importance of FDT in the market as the preferred integration standard for UAFX, and is committed to fostering market insights and relationships to allow FDT to develop in parallel with communication technologies to enable innovation.

Mr. Birkhofer’s near 20-year career in industrial automation stems from his Electrical Engineering background and managing director roles at CodeWrights and Endress+Hauser. Currently overseeing digital solutions for process applications at Endress+Hauser, he is deeply involved with technology standards groups including Advanced Physical Layer (APL), Device Descriptions (DD), Field Device Integration (FDI) and Field Device Tool / Device Type Manager (FDT/DTM). He is committed to prioritizing FDT technology investments that expand end-to-end interoperability and data harmonization, granting new business and service models for industrial markets.

@FDTGroup @ROKAutomation @Endress_Hauser #PAuto #IIoT 

Industrial panel PC.

A new range of fanless multi-touch Panel PCs from Axiomtek have been announced by Impulse Embedded. These industrial quality devices feature the Intel Elkhart Lake Celeron J6412 processor, a 10W quad core 2.0GHz processor with 2.6GHz boost and full HD 1080 resolutions. These Panel PCs are perfect for digital signage, self-service, POS systems and light factory automation applications.

The Axiomtek industrial wide-screen touch panel PCs are available in three sizes: 15.6, 18.5 and 21.5 inch and support Full HD 1080 resolutions with a projected capacitive (PCAP) touchscreen with a 3H anti scratch touch surface.

Other key features of the GOT Series of panel PCs include:
• 1x superfast 2.5G Ethernet port
• 1x Gigabit Ethernet port
• 4x 10Gbps superspeed+ USB3.2 Gen 2 ports
• 1x RS-232/422/485 port for control purposes
A flexible I/O port can also be fitted with more application specific I/O options to further tailor the system to customer’s specific needs.

This new range of panel PCs all feature the Intel Elkhart Lake Celeron J6412 which offers many advanced features, such as:
• CPU: Intel Elkhart Lake Celeron J6412 2.00GHz quad-core processor
• System Memory: 1x 260-pin DDR4 3200 SO-DIMM, up to 32GB
• Resolution: 1920x1080 (FHD)
• Brightness: 350cd/m
• Aspect Ratio: 16:9

@ImpulseEmbedded @Axiomtek @proactivefleet #PAuto

Reducing cybersecurity risk to critical infrastructure examined.

Over 800 cyber security delegates attended ABB’s Ransom-Aware OT Defense Summit on April 19 2023, organized in partnership with the global technology advisory board Industry IoT. The event focused on strategies to reduce risk of ransomware attacks and identify security threats to critical infrastructure.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Cyber Security Outlook 2022 reveals that 80 percent of cyber leaders believe ransomware is a dangerous and evolving threat – with 50 percent indicating it is one of their greatest concerns when it comes to cyber threats.

“The likelihood of being attacked is no longer a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. Being complacent when it comes to cyber security can be as dangerous as an attack itself, and not being prepared is no longer an option,” said Ragnar Schierholz, Global Cyber Security Portfolio Manager at ABB.

During the event, ABB launched its “Defense in Depth” playbook which includes a recommended risk reduction roadmap for customers and outlines strategies that leverage multiple security measures and defensive mechanisms to protect systems and data from vulnerabilities.

“Defense in depth is a tried and tested strategy that can be universally applied to reduce cyber risk,” said Joseph Catanese, Cyber Security Practice Lead at ABB and author of the playbook. “We have created a guide that shares examples of best practice, with a focus on reducing the surface area of vulnerability. To explain it better, let’s visualize a dartboard which represents all the openings an attacker can use to access a machine or system. Each dart that lands on the dartboard is a successful attack. The larger the dartboard, the higher the probability that a dart will stick to the board. However, reducing the surface area will make it more difficult to successfully land on the board.”

The efficacy of the defense in depth methodology has been widely acknowledged. The USA National Institute of Technology (NIST) recommends using it from the very start through to the design of security and privacy architectures. The International Society of Automation (ISA) refers to it as a superior approach to achieving security objectives.

“This methodology will help organizations find the best approach to industrial cyber security, to successfully reduce risk of cyber attacks, and therefore downtime, while enabling digitalization,” said Curt Dukes, Executive Vice President and General Manager at the Center for Internet Security (CIS).

ABB’s summit brought together industrial cyber experts and technology leaders from companies including IBM, Cisco, Boston Consulting Group, Johnson Matthey, BASF Digital Solutions, Norsk Hydro and Boliden.

“Our research shows we still have a lot of work to do to secure our modern connected society, but also that we can’t ‘do it all’ and so need to choose wisely where our focus goes. What is clear is that everybody has the same fear, uncertainty and doubt around what we do not know, and about which doors and windows of their technology castle have been left open,” said Derek Harp, Founder and Chairman of The Control System Cyber Security Association International (CS2AI), who attended to unveil the second annual Control System Cyber Security Report.

@ABBgroupnews @ABBMeasurement @abb_automation @wef @cs2ai @ISA_Interchange #Cybersecurity #PAuto

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Sturdy portable printer.

Inelco Hunter has announced the availability of a new Fujitsu 3” mobile printer for use in environments where a regular mobile printer just doesn’t cut it. With a rugged design, the FTP-638WSL201 printer is exceptionally strong, durable, hard-wearing and shock-resistant, making it suitable for use in harsh environments, inside or outdoor.

Warehouse, maintenance and logistic areas are not the best environments for delicate equipment. The same goes for hospitality areas. Fujitsu’s FTP-638WSL201 printer has been designed for mobile use in locations like these where knocks and drops are liable to happen.

The rugged Fujitsu printer is able to withstand a drop from a height of 2.1 meters, and has a water resistance rating of IP54. This means it will be protected against contamination from limited amounts of dust and other particles and as well as remaining operational when exposed to splashes of water.

The printer is designed from a user and programmer point-of-view, making the printer easy to operate and also easy to integrate. The FTP-638WSL201 offers ESCPOS, CPCL and ZPL emulation. This will enable setting-up for any application with minimum effort.

Featuring a built-in LCD screen, the FTP-638WSL201 printer provides a high level of information and potential customisation, enabling direct control of the communications interface and set-gap or blackmark positions while allowing closer monitoring of the printer status and battery levels.

Using an innovative design, the printer can accommodate a larger than commonly-used paper roll, providing a paper width of 50-80mm on non-fixed positions. This helps to reduce downtime for the user when it comes to replacing the paper roll as well adding flexibility in the field.

The FTP-638WSL201 offers a variety of different connectivity options, including USB, Bluetooth, WLAN, and NFC. Battery life of the printer will depend on the communication protocol used. However, users can expect the standard battery to print a paper length per battery charge of 200m, which equals 4170 tickets of 48mm length depending on several variables.

It comes with a range of industry-standard accessories, including a carrying belt, AC adapter, USB cable, and battery.

@InelcoHunter @Fujitsu_Global #PAuto #Manufacturing

Motion control leader moves!

Thomson Industries is moving its Kristianstad (S), operations into a larger space to meet growing demand for its motion control technology. The Kristianstad plant has been a steadily growing supplier of Thomson electric linear actuators and linear motion systems to European customers and is on track for further growth. The new facility is larger, more advanced and will effectively support future business growth.
“Strict adherence to safety, quality, delivery, inventory management and productivity excellence has fuelled our success, so much so that we have outgrown our facilities. It would have been impossible to add new product lines or production capacity in our original location without jeopardizing the fundamentals that got us here,” said Peter Swahn, Site Manager, Thomson Industries.

Thomson's business in Kristianstad has experienced steady growth since its inception in 1985 with 25 employees. The company’s growth has been driven by increasing adoption of its cleaner and smarter electric actuators by industrial users transitioning away from hydraulic cylinders as well as the overarching trends toward automation to improve human lives.

Located about one kilometer northeast of the original site, the brand new, cutting-edge production plant spans over 10,200 m2. This footprint will enable Thomson to consolidate operations that it had previously housed in three separate buildings.

“We can now configure goods receiving, production, packing and shipping in an optimized, streamlined workflow, including warehouse, maintenance, technical lab, and offices all in the same building. We can also integrate better vertically, having room to bring in machinery for operations we have previously outsourced,” said Swahn.

In addition to being able to handle more business, the new facility will offer improved amenities for employees, including electric charger-equipped parking, and expanded areas for dining and personal lockers. The move has begun in April with full production expected to be in the new space by summer of 2023.

@Thomson_Ind @bcm_pr #Pauto #Sweden

Small Form-factor Pluggable.

Article by Henry Martel, field application engineer, Antaira Technologies

In reviewing today's industrial network switches, one of the features that stand out are built-in SFP slots accompanying the standard RJ45 ports. SFP is short for Small Form-factor Pluggable, and it's been an industry workhorse for nearly two decades.

As a standardized network interface, SFP technology enables switches with SFP module slots and ports to connect to network components, either optically or electrically, at distances up to 160km (99.4 miles). This is done by simply inserting the correct SFP module (transceiver) into the switch’s SFP port which, in turn, is connected to either an Ethernet or fiber optic cable. Connecting an industrial switch, server, industrial router, network card, or PC to the other end of the cable establishes the high-speed data communications connection.

First introduced in 2001, SFP has basically replaced GBIC (Gigabit Interface Converter) since it is only half GBIC’s size, allowing it to be used in very tight, dense spaces while providing faster, long-distance communication links between industrial switches, routers, and other networking devices and components. In modern networks, small form factors are a constant necessity.

Besides its size, another advantage is SFP’s hot-swapability functionality module. This makes it easier for network administrators to build onto existing networks without the hassles of redesigning the entire copper cable infrastructure. Most SFPs also feature Digital Diagnostic Monitor (DDM/DOM) providing real-time monitoring of parameters such as voltage, temperature, power, and laser bias.

Yet another check in the plus column is that SFP allows users to link aggregate multiple SFP ports. By connecting a single fiber to multiple industrial switches, the result is more bandwidth, redundancy, and load balancing that ensures that if one link fails, it will immediately go on the secondary available link with higher speed and little to no packet loss. Just before that both industrial Ethernet switches for link aggregation should be configured otherwise a network loop will occur.

How to choose.
Deploying SFP links on the network goes far beyond inserting a single fiber transceiver into the Ethernet switch port. To optimize network performance, specify the right single-mode fiber transceiver type for the industrial switch application. Although there are many types of SFP modules on the market, the list can be narrowed down to five form factors: SFP, SFP+, SFP28, QSFP+, and QSFP28. But before those are addressed, look at some basic information needed to know before purchase.

• Operating temperature: In a production environment a rugged transceiver with an industrial-grade temperature range (-40 to 85° C) is needed, not a commercial-grade one with a more limited range (0 to 70° C). If not, the transceiver may fail in extreme heat or cold, taking the signal and network connection with it.
• Cable types: Match the transceiver to the two-mode fiber or cable planned to use, whether the fiber, copper cable, multimode fiber (MMF), or single, multi-mode fiber (SMF).
• Port speed: This should be obvious but bears repeating. Always match the transmission speed of the transceiver to the port-supported speed. Transceiver speeds range from 100Mbps (SFP) all the way to 112Gbps (QSFP28).
• Link distance: Choose a transceiver that supports the distance between the switch and interface of the device to connect to the switch. Transceiver distances are broken down into: “T” for 100m on Cat5, “SX” for 550m on MMF, “LX” for 10km on SMF, “EX” for 40km on SFM, and “ZX” for 80km on SFM.
• Compatibility: Some manufacturers participate in “vendor lock-in” practices that intentionally prevent third-party SFP transceiver modules from working in their devices. Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) standards have helped to create an open market for SFP transceiver modules. 

Here are the five SFP types mentioned already. These categories may look overwhelming, and this is not even an exhaustive list. However, the good news is that plenty of options are available depending on distance, environmental, and speed requirements.

  1. SFP is widely used for 100BASE or 1000BASE applications running over copper or fiber. Depending on the module configuration, the SFP module data rates can range from 155Mbps to 4.25Gbps with a maximum distance of 160km over copper, fiber or SMF. SFP is based on the SFP MSA standard.
  2. SFP+ modules are the identical size as an SFP module but sport 10G speed. While an SFP+ transceiver module is not compatible with a standard SFP port interface, an SFP+ port will accept an SFP module at reduced speeds. SFP+ can transmit data up to 120km over SMF, and is based on the IEE802.3ae, SFF-8431, and SFF-8432 standards.
  3. QSDP+ is short for “Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable”. QSFP+ has four independent channels of 10Gbps data lines in each direction to support 40Gbps speed. A single QSFP+ effectively replaces 4 standard SFP+ transceivers, resulting in improved port density and cost savings, but it has a shorter working distance, approximately 40km. QSFP+ is widely used in 40GBASE-X Ethernet, data center aggregation, and datacom switch and router connections. Note that there are nine different types of QSFP+ transceivers currently available so it is important that the one that suits the particular needs are identified. Standards for QSFP+ are IEEE 802.3ba, QSFP+ MSA, SFF-8436 and SFF-8636, InfiniBand, and 40G QDR. InfiniBand is an open standard network interconnection technology with high bandwidth, low delay and high reliability. InfiniBand today is considered by many to be a niche alternative to Ethernet in distributed computing systems.
  4. SFP28 is designed for 25G performance per the IEEE 802.3by standard and uses a single lane, rather than four, to support 25Gb/s. As the third generation of the SFP interconnect, SFP28 has the same form factor and appearance as SFP+, plus is mating compatible and backwards compatible to 10G. Besides increased bandwidth, SFP28 offers better impedance control and less crosstalk than its predecessor. Because of this, and its energy efficiency, SFP28 is a popular choice in data center networks upgrading from 10G.
  5. QSFP28 supports fibre channel in 4 separate lanes like QSFP+, yet each single fiber per mode is 25 Gb/s (potentially up to 40 Gb/s) for use in 100G Ethernet networks, 32G Fiber Channel and EDR InfiniBand as interconnections between racks, switches, data centers, campus networks, or long-distance telecom. A QSFP28 module can break out fibre channel into 4x 25G or 4x 10G lanes, depending on the transceiver used, so while QSFP+ can be used on a QSFP28 port at a lower 40G speed, QSFP28 modules cannot be used on QSFP+ ports.
Antaira ERPS Ring
As leaders in industrial networking, Antaira eliminates much of the guesswork of utilizing SFP modules and transceivers to optimize networks. Antaira's managed and unmanaged SFP module-enabled network switches, combined with its SFP modules and cables, give a competitive edge while ensuring reliable performance in adverse industrial and environmental conditions. For instance, Their

 XFP module line of 10G optical transceivers is fully compliant with 802.3ae standards, making them ideal for SONET OC-192, SDH STM-64, 10 Gbit/s Optical Transport Network (OTN) OTU-2, and parallel optics links.

Antaira also gives a choice of 46 different SFP modules and various types of SFP+ transceivers to match precise network requirements, with many Antaira models compatible with HP, Cisco, Dell, Brocade, Juniper and of course, Antaira’s own award-winning line of industrial Ethernet switches.

@AntairaTech @OConnell_PR #PAuto #Communications

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Documentation and Industrie 4.0.

Many areas benefit from digital documentation: maintenance, troubleshooting, large-scale revisions, project-related documentation, loop checks and the management of assets, the integration of package units, and know-how transfer.

Specialist articles on Industry 4.0 generally emphasise the feasibility of consistent, intelligent networking of machines, processes and personnel. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is that digitalised plants can only be reliably managed if available documentation reflects the current status of the production processes.

Plant data can be administered, searched and corrected in real time – from planning to operation, anytime, anywhere via LiveDOK.
(Copyright: Rösberg)
Manufacturing processes are continually adapted and optimised: failed components are replaced, software patches and updates are installed, process optimisation programs are developed, and much more. As-built documentation – meaning documentation that reflects the actual state of a new plant – has always been required for commissioning, but the time and resources involved in preparing the relevant documents is always immense. The bigger and more complex the plant, the greater this challenge. Plant Documentation 4.0 can make a vital contribution, especially if a system is also able to simplify the management of changes.

Current status of all built-in components – and much more.
In sectors such as petrochemicals, chemicals, logistics, manufacturing, energy, and plant construction, production processes are generally complex, and plants often assume gigantic proportions. These sectors of industry have had to rely on digital documentation for a long time now to keep track of the as-built status of their plants and manage the relevant interrelated processes. Rösberg Engineering GmbH from Karlsruhe – already active in these sectors for decades – developed digital solutions many years ago in order to keep an overview of the flood of information in these types of plants. 

Christian Stolz, Account Manager Plant Solutions at RÖSBERG Engineering GmbH comments: “With our I&C-CAE system ProDOK we primarily document the planning and construction of plants. However, it is also important to know the current status and components built in during the operational phase. Our software tool LiveDOK (right) helps with the administration and documentation of changes. A main focus of the tool is to find documentation updates, enabling the changes to be made available to everyone quickly and easily.”

Various use cases benefit from Plant Documentation 4.0.
When envisaging Plant Documentation 4.0 probably the first aspect to be considered is the advantages for maintenance. Here, of course, it is extremely useful to know the current state of the plant and be able to easily document the changes. “To do this, maintenance crews can simply enter the change on a tablet with a stylus (Fig. 4), and it is saved together with the information about who made the change, when, and explanation if necessary”, says Stolz. “Workflows built into the system then ensure that the original documentation is reviewed regularly and thus stays clear and up-to-date.”

Troubleshooting, large-scale revisions and loop checks.
When something goes wrong, every minute counts. In a situation of this kind, valuable time is lost if the current documentation status of the plant first has to be assembled. In the worst case, inability to react fast enough may result in damage or danger to people and the environment. In large-scale revisions, too, time is usually tight. Numerous employees need to be coordinated and very many changes made to the documentation simultaneously. This makes it all the more important to ensure that everyone involved in the process has access to the current documentation at all times. Loop checks also involve the coordination of large numbers of employees and the structured execution of various tasks.

Managing assets and package units.
Digital documentation is also beneficial for effective asset management – for instance, when a manufacturer discontinues an asset, making it necessary to know how many of the relevant components are built into the plant and where; or when compiling an overview of components that will no longer receive support in the near future. Only a company managing its assets effectively can keep production running reliably. Another aspect that necessitates digital documentation is the trend in the process industry towards integrating Package Units, meaning the distribution of large plants into smaller units.

Project-related documentation and know-how transfer When engaging in extensive plant retrofit or extensions, or for inspection purposes, many project-related documents also have to be immediately available as and when required. If these documents only exist in paper form, or are only available from different sources and in assorted file formats, compiling them is effort-intensive and not overly efficient. Another advantage of consistent digital documentation is that know-how can be preserved, because the knowledge no longer exists solely in the minds of experienced employees. This substantially facilitates knowledge transfer to new employees.

In all these and many other use cases, LiveDOK has been proving its worth for decades now” Stolz says, and adds: “With digitalization the focus was on the PC, but with Industry 4.0 the focus is on the Internet. This also applies to Plant Documentation 4.0. We have been creating digital documentation for a long time now, but we have consistently developed our concepts further, for instance regarding cloud enablement, in order to stay with the pulse of the times. Our customers get a tried and tested product that uses today’s state-of-the-art technologies to fulfill the technical and legal requirements of tomorrow.” 

In the use cases described above, the documentation tool enables documents to be found fast and provides a realistic overview of the components built into the plant while helping to keep documentation up-to-date. It also ensures standardization in documentation in line with current legal requirements and gives all involved in a project access to the documentation without media discontinuity.

Companies who wish to consistently implement Industry 4.0 cannot do so without digital, cloud capable plant documentation, especially where large plants are concerned.

@mepaxIntPR  #Rösberg #LiveDok #PAuto #Industrie4

The most talented innovators in Europe are coming to the Donegal.

A group of young innovators from all over Europe will gather in Gaoth Dobhair next month for the the MIT Innovators U-35 Festival, with many of the events being hosted by Páirc Ghnó (Industrial Estate) Ghaoth Dobhair and gteic @Gaoth Dobhair. The conference will take place on the 11-12 May 2023, with these young innovators giving an insight into their areas of interest and demonstrating the ways in which their work is helping to improve society, through the use of cutting-edge technology.

Tomás Ó Síocháin, Chief Executive of Údarás na Gaeltachta, which administers the Páirc Gnó and the GTeic facility, commented: “Údarás na Gaeltachta are very happy that the Donegal Gaeltacht was chosen for a second year to host this festival, in which innovation and creativity are recognised and celebrated. We are very lucky to have such facilities as gteic @Gaoth Dobhair to host this conference, a digital hub which is on a par with any such facility in Ireland or in Europe. We are delighted that Údarás na Gaeltachta can support this event and we are greatly looking forward to welcoming these innovators from all over Europe for an important and inspiring conference which will benefit the Gaeltacht (Irish Speaking Area), the northwest region, and the country.”

The MIT Innovators Under 35 has been celebrating young changemakers for more than 20 years and will also feature some of the world’s leading technologists, with biomolecular physicist Georgios Nounesis, Director of the Greek National Centre for Scientific Research, ‘Demokratis’, delivering a keynote to the final list of Young Innovators.

Georgios and the young innovators will also be joined by distinguished leaders in innovation and tech from Italy, Andorra, the USA, Sweden, and the Netherlands including Vanesa Aroyo, Head of the Innovation Agency in Andorra and author Nicklas Bergman who sits on the Investment Committee of the European Innovation Council Fund.

Notable alumni of MIT’s Innovators Under 35 include Google Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, CRISPR Technology Pioneer Feng Zhang and Tesla Motors Co-Founder JB Straubel.

The festival is sponsored by Údarás na Gaeltachta, the Northwest City Region Councils of Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council, University of Galway, Catalyst, Randox, Optum, Ulster University, Unosquare and Atlantic Technological University.

The focus of this year’s festival will look at how technology can make society a better place and help generate economic growth in areas including biotechnology and medicine, computer and electronics, hardware, software, Internet, artificial intelligence, robotics, telecommunications, nanotechnology and materials, energy and transportation.

There will also be a special emphasis on young people and gteic@ Gaoth Dobhair will host an Education Day on the morning of 11th May, when students from the schools in the Donegal Gaeltacht  can visit the gteic to participate in a series of business challenges which they will solve with the assistance of representatives of local Gaeltacht businesses. The festival will also showcase the Gaeltacht region and the way in which remote areas can be as connected as any major city, thanks to advances in modern technology.

Connla McCann, Director of Aisling Events which is hosting the festival said: “Gaoth Dobhair is an area of rich heritage and culture right at the heart of the Gaeltacht. Despite being located on the Atlantic’s Edge the area can now also boast some of the strongest broadband connectivity on the island of Ireland and a range of European-class companies at its business park. It’s digital gteic hub provides accommodation for tech workers and entrepreneurs who can deliver services for global companies while still living under the shadow of Errigal. It’s a treat to be bringing the most brilliant young innovators across Europe to a region which is demonstrating that innovation can happen on the road less-travelled.”

• Leagan Gaeilge

@UdarasnaG @EUeic @techreview_es @aislingevents #innovatorsunder35 #innovation

Nuálaithe is cumasai teacht le chéile.

• English Language Version

Chruinneoidh grúpa idirnáisiúnta de núalaithe óga le chéile do chomhdháil MIT Nuálaithe Faoi 35, agus formhór na comhdhála á óstáil ar Pháirc Ghnó Ghaoth Dobhair agus gteic@Gaoth Dobhair. Is i nGaoth Dobhair ar an 11-12 Bealtaine 2023 a bheidh an comhdháil ar siúl, agus na núalaithe óga seo ag tabhairt léargais ar na réimsí ina bhfuil siad ag obair agus ag taispeáint na bealaí ina bhfuil a gcuid oibre ag cuidiú le feabhas a chur ar an saol, tríd úsaid cheannródaíoch na teicneolaíochta.

“Ta an-áthas ar Údarás na Gaeltachta go bhfuil Gaeltacht Thír Chonaill roghnaithe don dara bliain as a chéile don fhéile seo, a dhéanann comóradh agus ceiliúradh ar an nuálaíocht agus ar an gcruthaitheacht. Is iontach an rud é go bhfuil áis ar nós gteic Ghaoth Dobhair againn leis an gcomhdháil seo a óstáil, áis atá ar aon dul le aon mhol digiteach in aon áit sa tír nó go deimhin san Eoraip. Tá lúcháir orainn go bhfuil Údarás na Gaeltachta ábalta tacú leis an ócáid seo agus ta muid ag dúil go mór le fáilte a chur roimh na nuálaithe seo ó ar fud na hEorpa do chomhdháil thábhachtach, spreagúil a bheas chun leasa na Gaeltachta, an chontae agus na tíre." a dúirt Tomás Ó Síocháin, Príomhfheidhmeannach Údarás na Gaeltachta (gur leo na haichmhannai @GTeic mar aon le Páirc Ghnó Ghaoth Dobhair).

MIT Nuálaithe Faoi 35 ag ceiliúradh na ndaoine óga seo le breis agus fiche bliain agus beidh siad ag teacht chuig an nGaeltacht i dteannta chuid de na teicneolaithe is fearr aithne ar domhan, ina measc an fisiceoir, Georgios Nounesis, stiúrthóir Ionad Naisúnta na Gréige do Thaighde Eolaíoch “Demokratis”, a bheas ag tabhairt na heochair-chainte do na Nuálaithe Óga a tháinig tríd an bpróiseas roghnúcháin.

Beidh Georgios agus na nuálaithe i dteannta ceannairí nualaíochta agus teicneolaíochta as an Iodáil, Andorra, na Stáit Aontaithe, an tSualainn agus an Ísiltír– ina measc Vanesa Aroyo, Ceannasaí na hÁisíneachta Nualaíochta in Andorra agus an t-údar Nicklas Bergman atá ar Choiste Infheistíochta Chiste Chomhairle Nualaíochta na hEorpa.

I measc na ndaoine a tháinig as an gclár MIT Nuálaithe Faoi 35 roimhe seo, tá bunaitheoirí Google, Sergey Brin agus Larrry Page, an ceannródaí teicneolaíochta Feng Zhang ó CRISPR agus comhbhunaitheoir TESLA, JB Straubel.

Chomh maith leis an urraíocht atá á déanamh ag Údarás na Gaeltachta ar an fhéile, tá tacaíocht á thabhairt don fhéile freisin ag Comhairle Dhoire, Comhairle Áitiúil an tSrath Bháin, Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, Catalyst, Randox, Optum, Ollscoil Ulaidh, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus Ollscoil Theicneolaíochta an Atlantaigh.

Tá an fhéile ag díriú i mbliana ar an mbealach is fearr leis an sochaí a fheabhsú agus fás eacnamúil a chumasú i réimsí ar nós nós na bitheicneolaíochta agus leigheas, ríomhaireacht agus leictreonacht, crua-earraí, bogearraí, an idirlíon, intleacht shaorga, róbataic, teilechumarsáid, nanotheicneolaíocht, agus ábhar fuinnimh agus iompair.

Beidh béim ar leith freisin ar óige an cheantair le linn na féile agus reáchtálfar Lá Oideachais ar mhaidin an 11 Bealtaine nuair a bheas deis ag micléinn ó mheánscoileanna Gaeltachta na contae teacht isteach chuig gteic Ghaoth Dobhiar, áit a mbeidh dúshláin ghnó a gcur faoina mbráid agus na daoine óga á réiteach le cabhair ó ionadaithe na gcomhlachtaí Gaeltachta.

Beidh an fhéile ag tabhairt léargais chomh maith ar an gceantar Gaeltachta agus ar an mbealach, a bhuíochas don teicneolaíocht, gur féidir le ceantar ata i bhfad ó aon ionad uirbeach a bheith chomh forbartha agus chomhceangailte le aon chathair mhór dhomhanda.  Dúirt Connla Mac Cann ón gcomhlacht Aisling Events, atá ag reáchtáil na féile: “Tá oidhreacht shaibhir chultúrtha ag ceantar Ghaoth Dobhair i gcroílár na Gaeltachta. Cé go bhfuil an ceantar seo ar bhruach an Atlantaigh, tá cuid den cheangal leathanbhanda is láidre ar an oileán acu agus comhlachtaí Eorpach d’ardchaighdeán lonnaithe ar Pháirc Gnó Ghaoth Dobhair. Tá an Mol Digiteach, gteic@Gaobh Dobhair ag cur áiseanna d’ardchaighdeán ar fáil do oibrithe san earnáil teicneolaíochta agus d’fhiontraithe, faoi scáth na hEaragaile. Tá muid ríméadach gur féidir linn cuid de na nualaithe is cumasaí san Eoraip a thabhairt chuig réigiún ata ag taispeáint don domhan mór gur féidir leis an teicneolaíocht a bheith neadaithe i gceantar tuaithe, maraon le aon cheantar uirbeach.”

@UdarasnaG @EUeic @techreview_es @aislingevents #innovatorsunder35 #innovation

Gas monitoring fleet!

Responding to a demand for short-term monitoring, Signal Group has established a fleet of gas measurement instruments that are available for hire. 

“Some of our customers only need the equipment for a specific project or for a short-term investigation,”
explains MD James Clements. “In these circumstances it would not be sensible to purchase the equipment, because it may not be required at the end of the project, and the capital cost may be preclusive. We have therefore established a small range of our more popular instruments, which are now available for rent.”

The rental equipment includes Signal analysers employing FID for VOC and non-methane hydrocarbons; chemiluminescent analysers for NO/NOx; NDIR for multiple species such as CO, CO2, CH4, NO, N2O, SO2 and HCl. 

In addition to reference method gas analysers, Signal Group also manufactures a comprehensive range of ancillary instruments including heated lines, sample conditioners, filters, cooler/dryers, methane cutters, NOx converters, sample dividers and calibration equipment. These instruments are all available for hire on a first-come, first-served basis.

@GasAnalysers @_Enviro_News #PAuto #Environment

Monday 24 April 2023

Identifying orphan well.

ABB’s emissions monitoring technology which is typically used for gas leak detection by oil and gas companies and natural gas utilities is now employed to identify and monitor orphan wells in the United States.

With the help of ABB technology, organizations such as The Well Done Foundation, the nonprofit organization that works to plug orphan oil and gas wells in the country, can detect leaking wells and, once the wells are capped, continue to monitor the sites to ensure they no longer emit harmful greenhouse gases.

Orphan wells are oil or gas wells that have been deactivated and no longer have legal owners responsible for their care. Due to their age and deteriorated condition, the wells can leak methane and other harmful greenhouse gases through their “plugs”.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that methane emissions from over 2 million inactive, unplugged wells, of which orphan wells are a subset, range from a CO2 equivalent of 7 to 20 million metric tons per year (approximately the emissions of 2 to 5 million cars). Methane has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere, according to the Environment Defense Fund.

Many wells are situated on farmland, and could contaminate land, air and water, potentially harming ecosystems, wildlife, livestock, and people.

In some parts of the United States where towns are growing, housing has been built where oil and gas wells once stood. The Environment Defense Fund estimates that 14 million Americans live within a mile of an orphan well.

“It is extremely rewarding to see our technologies employed in the endeavor of fixing such a pressing environmental problem. We remain focused on accelerating the pace of environmental programs that reduce emissions, especially in the oil and gas industry. Our work on this initiative is a great example of how technology can benefit the environment and help countries achieve their sustainability goals,” says Jacques Mulbert, Division President, ABB Measurement & Analytics.

What can be measured can be improved.

Together with channel partner Winn-Marion, ABB worked to create a comprehensive approach that enables the identification, on-site qualification, and monitoring of orphan wells. At the heart of the solution are ABB’s gas leak detection products as well as a suite of flow computers, both used in tens of thousands of industrial plants worldwide to measure and report on emissions.

Initially, ABB’s gas leak detection system is used to find the orphan wells. Depending on their location, the high sensitivity analyzers using OA-ICOS™ technology are transported by vehicle (using ABB Ability™ MobileGuard™), drone (HoverGuard™), or backpack (MicroGuard™) to the site. The system can detect methane emissions down to 1 part per billion (ppb).

Once on-site, it measures methane concentration and flow with a measuring range as low as 180kg/h. The flow from the thermal mass is logged and visualized on ABB’s gas flow computers, the control devices known in the industry for their extreme accuracy and reliability. In the post-plugging phase, methane emissions continue to be monitored.

A key advantage of ABB’s emissions monitoring technology is that it is fully audited by the Bureau of Land Management, which manages the Federal government’s onshore oil and gas program in the United States.

@ABBgroupnews @ABBMeasurement @abb_automation @EPA  #PAuto #Oil_Gas 

The right angle for connection.

Cliff Electronics have introduced the new RAMP - Right Angle Multi-Position - version of industry standard XLR Connectors to their connectivity product range. Key applications include audio, broadcast, control and instrumentation systems for studios, concert venues, public buildings, schools and offices as well as laboratories and industrial installations.

Nick Leppard, Technical Sales Manager of Cliff Electronics, says "Our new RAMP XLR connector range offers designers, systems integrators and installers greater flexibility and convenience while facilitating more compact system design."

Manufactured in durable metal the right-angled cable mounted RAMP XLR connectors are available in male with 3, 4 or 5 poles and female 3 and 5 pole versions. The slim design allows for mounting a number of connectors in confined conditions such as compact control panels and wall boxes. RAMP connectors are rated at <50v 10a="" 15a="" 3="" 4="" 5="" 7.5a="" and="" current="" for="" loads="" of="" p="" pin="" versions.="" with=""> The new RAMP XLR connector range can accommodate cable diameters from 3.5 to 8mm. Each connector is supplied with a black rear boot which provides strain relief. Nine other colour options (white, grey, green, yellow, red, blue, brown and orange) allow for panel coding and cable identification that saves users time during installation - now all those XLR leads don’t look the same!

RAMP XLR right-angle connectors can be mounted in the conventional down facing position or at 8 other positions/angles to allow for easier, tangle free, cable drops on the same panel.

The positions and colours may be selected on site during commissioning to reduce part numbers, inventory and ordering MOQs. Coloured boot/strain reliefs are available in single colour packs or convenient rainbow packs, avoiding wastage of unused colours.

Leaders in the design and manufacture of standard and FeedThrough connectors, Cliff’s wide range of XLR, DualSLIMS and RAFT form factor types allows designers to integrate audio, video, digital, optical, networking and data feeds into professional equipment for broadcast (studio and mobile), lighting, audio, medical diagnostic and treatment equipment, PoE and industrial applications, instrumentation and control connectivity.

Cliff’s FeedThrough connector range may be mounted on 19” rack panels with up to 16 standard XLR connectors or 20 of the DualSLIMS. Blank and pre-assembled panels are available direct from Cliff.

@proactivefleet #CliffElectronics #PAuto #Electronic

Friday 21 April 2023

Compact positioning system.

The AMS 100i from Leuze is one of the smallest laser positioning systems available on the market. This makes it the perfect solution for tight installation spaces.

Whether on the stacker crane, automated guided vehicle, or lifting system: In automated intralogistics, the sensors used for positioning applications must be able to operate on a small footprint in many cases. The new AMS 100i from Leuze masters this challenge without sacrificing performance. With its small dimensions of 105 x 68 X 75 mm, it is one of the most compact laser positioning systems on the market. This makes it the perfect solution for use in tight spaces.

The sensor works with very high accuracy: With the AMS 100i, users are able to position with millimeter accuracy for up to 120 meters.

Positioning right up to the sensor:  The Sensor People have developed the AMS 100i with a minimum blind zone of only 100 mm. This enables positioning applications right up to the sensor. The available space is used efficiently. Useful : Modular assembly options and easy alignment facilitate a flexible and quick installation.

Reliable in heat and icy cold:  The modular laser positioning system is also available in the AMS 300i version. This device model offers an operating range of up to 300 meters. Both variants meet the high requirements of degree of protection IP65. Optionally, the AMS 100i and the AMS 300i are also available with integrated device and window heating. With this variant, the sensors can be used for low-temperature applications down to -30°C (without heating down to -5°C). In hot ambient conditions, the AMS 100i is designed for temperatures of up to +60°C.

@LeuzeUK @LeuzeUSA @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Manufacturing

Cybersecurity systems.

More and more companies are considering the deployment of cyber security systems as a crucial part of their business operations. To withstand any possible cybercrime, a Dutch organization issued a tender for supplying the purchase of cyber security systems.
In close cooperation with their long-term Dutch distributor Arcobel, MPL AG completed an extensive design process that resulted in a cyber security system which offers an optimal solution for the requirements and needs of the customer. As a result, MPL and Arcobel have been awarded the contract for the high-tech security hardware. The contract will operate for a four-year period.

Due to confidentiality reasons, we are not allowed to publish the name of the organization and the specific requirements of the cyber security systems.

Remy Loertscher, Key Account Manager former CEO of MPL AG: “We deliver rugged embedded hardware to the various sectors where reliable systems are needed. The Swiss produced and designed quality products support security systems for hospitals, airports, transportation system and defense application with both, standard and custom-made products. We are pleased to offer this contractor a future-proof solution for their specific cyber security needs. The contractor can trust that any possible digital vulnerability is reduced to a minimum, and they are therefore free to focus on their core business."

@MPL_AG @PresseBox @Arcobel_bv #OAuto #Netherlands

Historical textiles in focus.

New approaches to investigate damage due to environmental fluctuation on textile artefacts by image processing.

Preventive conservation plays an important role in the preservation of art and cultural assets. In order to preserve their condition for as long as possible, it is essential to slow down ageing processes and evaluate factors that alter materials. To do this, it is necessary to grasp and have a holistic understanding of the artefact. Cultural heritage science and engineering methods for understanding material behaviour require an interdisciplinary approach. Textiles are among the most sensitive art and cultural heritage objects. In the course of their production and handling, their presentation and storage, they are often exposed to influences that can have a damaging effect.

The French start-up company S-MA-C-H has studied the Bayeux Tapestry* as part of a research project and, with the help of IDS cameras, has developed a system that provides valuable insights for the conservation-optimised storage and presentation of this delicate and extraordinary artefact. The expertise of conservators, combined with state-of-the-art technology, helps to identify potentially damaging factors at an early stage, to minimise them or, at best, to exclude them altogether.

The system was designed for a comprehensive study looking at the mechanical behaviour of the Bayeux Tapestry - commissioned and funded by the Normandy Regional Office for Cultural Affairs. "We contributed our expertise in mechanical engineering by fully monitoring the stress and strain on the tapestry. In addition to monitoring, we helped to devise conservation solutions. This involved classifying and assessing the degree of risk and sensitivity of the tapestry in its surrounding indoor climate," explains Cécilia Gauvin, co-founder and managing director of S-MA-C-H.

A multidisciplinary team of textile and preventive conservators as well as heritage conservation scientists characterised the artefact's response to appropriate environmental fluctuations. "The project addressed two main questions: what are the optimal parameters for a presentation on sloping supports and how does the tapestry react to its microclimate?"

To be able to answer these questions, the tapestry was monitored by temperature and humidity sensors as well as by force sensors to record the gravity pressure. The heart and brain of the system: a non-contact 2D full-field Digital Image Correlation (DIC), consisting of an IDS camera and specially developed software for digital image correlation.

"Digital image correlation is an image processing technique that can be used to analyse movements and deformations of objects. For this purpose, high-resolution images of the object's surface are captured and then evaluated with the help of software algorithms to detect changes in the shape, position or size of the object," explains Patrick Schick, IDS Product Marketing Manager. In the search for the right camera model for the system, parameters such as interface, sensor and price-performance ratio were the main deciding factors. "For the analysis of the tapestry, extremely high-resolution images with low image noise are required to capture the smallest details.” The USB 3 uEye CP meets these requirements thanks to the particularly light-sensitive IMX183 rolling shutter CMOS sensor from Sony's STARVIS series. With BSI technology ("back-side illumination"), this sensor ensures outstanding image quality even under difficult lighting conditions. "The camera is thus ideally suited for demanding image evaluations such as this monitoring, which takes place in low light for conservation reasons. The USB3 Vision camera records high-resolution images at a very low frequency over a longer period of time," adds Patrick Schick. For the research project, for example, the monitoring ran around the clock for a month, with only one image capture per hour.

"The Python interface of the IDS peak API allowed us to quickly and easily develop software to parameterise the camera and capture images," explains Cécilia Gauvin. The images are then processed with DEFTAC3D, a software developed by the French Pprime Institute specifically for digital image correlation. This results in full-surface measurement data of the object's surface based on thousands of 2D or 3D coordinates with very high resolution. The displacement of the image points within the examination period is interpreted as a deformation that is due to a mechanical load or stress on the object. Based on the results, full-field strain maps as well as deformation maps are generated. Full-field strain maps illustrate the strains in a material over the entire surface. They therefore show whether and how the tapestry has deformed as a whole. Deformation maps, on the other hand, provide information about the local deformations in a material. They provide S-MA-CH staff with information on whether and how the tapestry has deformed at specific points.

The full-field strain maps are processed together with the environmental variation findings to understand the hygromechanical behaviour of the Bayeux Tapestry. Hygromechanical behaviour refers to the interplay between moisture and the mechanical properties of the textile. This can be influenced by a number of factors, including the type of yarn used to make the fabric and the type of weaving or embroidery technique used to make the tapestry, which adds to the complexity of the study. In order to incorporate scientific data into the decision-making process, tests were carried out on both facsimiles and the tapestry itself. On the facsimiles, the full-field strain maps were combined with the stress results from the force sensor measurement and the climate measurements (temperature and humidity). The results allow conclusions to be drawn about the climate regulation for optimal storage of the artefact.

The data collected by the sensors and camera system was documented in real time to analyse long-term trends. With the help of the information provided, it can be ensured that the climatic conditions in the Bayeux Museum are within the optimal limits to avoid damage to sensitive art objects or historical exhibits, such as the Bayeux Tapestry.


The market for the protection and preservation of cultural heritage is slowly opening up to structural diagnostic procedures. "Our goal is to develop appropriate systems for conservators in a plug-and-play system," explains Cécilia Gauvin. In addition, the French start-up wants to use vision systems to monitor structural damage to paintings in museum galleries and historical monuments in the future. This approach across disciplines makes it possible to assess the condition of exhibits so comprehensively that the appropriate conservation measures can be taken.

"Our knowledge of mechanical engineering, combined with industrial image processing, opens up new approaches, expands the range of actions and produces innovative solutions."

An elaboration of the conservation conditions for handling, storage or presentation of artefacts based on these interdisciplinary research results offers protection against further damage. Historical as well as modern products of textile art can thus be preserved in the best possible way for the future. Image processing components make a valuable contribution to this.

The Tapestry
• 68 metres long
• 52 cm high
• 9 panels of woven linen fabric
• 4 seams
• 10 colours of woollen yarn
• 58 individual scenes
• 623 people
• 202 horses
• 55 dogs
• 505 other animals
• 27 buildings
• 41 ships and boats
• 49 trees
* The Bayeux Tapestry, is an embroidered work created in the second half of the 11th century on a strip of cloth about 52 centimetres high. Depicted in images and text over 68 metres in 58 individual scenes, the Conquest of England is considered one of the most remarkable pictorial monuments of the High Middle Ages because of its abundance of detailed individual depictions, well thought-out iconography and quality of craftsmanship. Despite its name, the Bayeux Tapestry is not actually a tapestry but a narrative embroidery. It consists of images and text inscriptions and comprises nine interconnected linen panels.

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