Wednesday 31 May 2023

Water project target exceeded.

Endress+Hauser employees around the world are celebrating the Group’s 70th anniversary this year during a wide range of events – and at the same time committing to a good cause in a special way. As part of the Endress+Hauser Water Challenge, employees collected donations for a water project in Vietnam through running and other physical activities. The campaign is now heading into a second round.

The E+H Water Challenge was launched in 2019. With this initiative, employees cover a pre-determined distance by running, cycling, swimming or taking part in other sports activities and donate a specific amount that goes toward providing people access to clean water. The company matches each of the donated amounts. Endress+Hauser is thus extending its corporate commitment to a safe, economic and sustainable water supply to the non-profit sector.

Goal achieved, goal doubled.
The Endress+Hauser employees established a special goal for the anniversary year by endeavoring to circumnavigate the globe in 70 days through various team activities. The 40,075 kilometer mark was reached in only five weeks. “This success is a tremendous team effort. The Endress+Hauser Water Challenge is mobilizing our employees across the globe,” says CEO Matthias Altendorf. The campaign is now heading into extra time with the goal of circumnavigating the earth a second time.

Clean water for 1,000 people.
This year the Endress+Hauser Water Challenge is supporting a project in Vietnam – more precisely in Kon Tum province in the Central Highlands region near the border with Laos and Cambodia. The project will promote the availability of clean drinking water in a 90-family village with little infrastructure that is situated roughly 10 kilometers from the main road. “We can sustainably improve the lives of more than 1,000 people through this project,” emphasizes Matthias Altendorf.

Hand in hand with local partners.
The donated funds will go toward the construction of a water house in the center of the village, where ground water will be transported with pumps, then filtered and cleaned through reverse osmosis. Solar panels will generate the required electricity during the day. In addition, the village square will be redesigned and the access road renewed as part of the project. Endress+Hauser Vietnam will implement the project together with local representatives NK Engineering and Plan International Vietnam, an aid organization. The first Endress+Hauser Water Challenge project in 2020 was also completed in Vietnam.

@Endress_US @Endress_Hauser @Endress_UK #PAuto #Water 

Gas leak detection.

The new Panther gas leak detector just launched by ION Science, features a host of new features and twice the sensitivity of its predecessor, the GasCheck G.

The first ever ‘GasCheck’ was launched in 1990, offering industrial users the ability to detect leaks of gases such as hydrogen and helium. Later, more advanced versions were developed with new features such as over-range protection and audible alarms. Today, the new Panther PRO represents a quantum leap in technology, with a highly sensitive thermal conductivity sensor that is able to rapidly detect a variety of gases – the most popular applications are helium, hydrogen, ammonia and refrigerants.

The Panther PRO allows users to zero the instrument in ambient air, providing visual, audible and vibration alarms when leaks are detected. A colour LCD display and a built-in Gas-Table enables the measurement of concentration and leak rates in a variety of user-selectable units. All measurements can be logged internally and downloaded via Bluetooth or USB. The Panther also features an integrated torch and a flexible probe, which help in low light and restricted areas.

For customers with a smaller budget, a basic Panther model is available. This instrument has the same features as the PRO version, but without the data logging and Bluetooth capabilities.

Panther and Panther PRO have been designed for demanding applications and challenging environments, with an internal rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 19 hours.

Summarising the advantages, ION Science Product Manager Peter Barratt says: “We have over thirty years of experience, supplying thousands of customers in applications such as quality control, laboratory, cleanroom, medical, manufacturing, and research, so we have a very clear understanding of the features required of a professional gas leak detection instrument. We therefore know that customers will be delighted with the modern design, specification and performance of the Panther.”

@ionscience @_Enviro_News  #PAuto #Maintanence

Microswitch with big-switch attributions.

New D2LS miniature surface-mount micro switches from Omron combine tiny dimensions with a positive mechanical action comparable to larger switches, while ensuring outstanding long-term durability.

The contacts are single-pole single-throw normally open (SPST-NO) configuration. When used in applications such as game controllers, computer mice, smart-home switches, and small handheld devices, D2LS switches ensure a high-quality user experience with the feel and reliability of larger micro switches.

Designed for surface mounting, the D2LS series can easily replace larger surface-mount switches such as tactile switches. Housed in an 8.6mm x 4.8mm plastic package only 3mm high, they can be ordered with or without integral 0.6mm mounting bosses. The no-boss option allows an extremely low mounted height on substrates such as flexible printed circuit (FPC).

Additional options include selectable activation force of 0.6N or 1.2N, which allows designers to optimise the sensitivity for the needs of the application. One example is to ensure the side switches of a computer mouse or game controller are as responsive and easy to activate as the main switches.

Also, with a shorter distance to the turn-on point than typical tactile and standard rubber switches used in game controllers, the D2LS series can respond more quickly to user actions. In addition, the mechanism has a smooth snap action that minimises fatigue for improved comfort and longer gameplay. Unlike standard rubber switches, activation produces a synchronised audible click that ensures a confident user experience. The D2LS series is in production now and available in three durability grades, rated for 5 million, 10 million, and 20 million operations with stable activation force throughout the component lifetime.

@OmronEurope @OmronComponents  @NeeshamPR  #PAuto

Acoustic Imager cuts costs, reduces waste and improves pipeline.

Air Liquide, the multi-national company supplying industrial gases and services to the health and industrial sectors has cut costs, reduced waste and boosted the efficiency of pipelines in Italy through the use of advanced ultrasonic measurement devices from Fluke.

The company has benefited from the ii910 Precision Acoustic Imager, designed by Fluke to make it easier, faster and safer to carry out high-sensitivity detection of gas, corona and partial discharge (PD). Suitable for use by operators with minimal training, the point-and-shoot device can also detect compressed air, gas and vacuum leaks, making it ideal for detecting leaks in gas distribution systems.

“Because our Syracuse refinery operates on a 24-hour basis, avoiding downtime is essential," said Sebastiano Carpinteri, Process Engineer at Air Liquide Priolo. "That means tests for leaks must be carried out as easily as possible and results analysed in the shortest time. Using Fluke’s ii910 Precision Acoustic Imager, measurements over the entire pipeline can now be assessed from a static position by just one person. The intuitive device clearly identifies leakages, enables measurements to be carried out without any kind of infrastructure required and makes it easy to produce up-to-date and accurate reports on the locations of leaks.”

Strong sustainability agenda to drive energy efficiency.
Driven by a strong sustainability agenda, Air Liquide wanted to increase energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint by tackling costly leaks of air and nitrogen at its dual mixed refrigerant (DMR) refinery in Syracuse (I). The company chose to carry out measurements every two years on all pipelines around the refinery – 7,000m for compressed air and 9,435m for nitrogen – as well as 5km of interconnecting pipelines. Leak detection and repair (LDAR) checks are also required every 12 months by Italy’s environmental regulator ISPRA.

With a frequency range of 2kHz to 100kHz and 64 digital MEMS microphones, the ii910 makes it possible to locate leaks rapidly, detecting a 0.005 cubic feet per minute (CFM) leak at 100PSI from up to 32.8 feet (a 2.5cm3/sec leak at 7 bar from up to 10m). The acoustic imager also incorporates a 1280 x 800 resolution (1,024,000 pixels) LCD display and offers a battery life of more than six hours in the field. Finally, by eliminating the need for secondary cables or other devices, the ii910 gives operators the ability to swap easily between detecting the leak or PD and fixing them.

Several leaks rapidly identified.
Air Liquide called on the services of Belgium-based Intero – The Sniffers who carried out all the required measurements using the ii910 acoustic imager. Thanks to highly sensitive sensors on the device that work with Fluke’s SoundSight technology, the imager’s ultrasonic signals quickly revealed several leaks on the refinery’s air pipeline and multiple leaks on the nitrogen system. This enabled Air Liquide’s engineers to take immediate action to minimise the leaks and achieve instant efficiency gains.

@FlukeCorp @NapierPR #TandM #PAuto #Italy 

Near field communication replacing cables & boxes.

During the development of a machine, there comes a time when the individual sensors need to be fine-tuned. Uncertainty often arises about the number of pulses required for optimum application. Effort and frustration are therefore inevitable. Choosing the right adaptors, tools and parameterization boxes for sensor adjustment usually doesn't go as smoothly as expected. The problems continue when the required cable is unavailable. Without the right cable, the set configuration can't be changed or adapted. To facilitate this development phase, Wachendorff Automation has developed an intelligent and simple solution. Instead of relying on the usual adapter cables and parameterization boxes, the company decided to use NFC - Near Field Communication - as the configuration interface when developing the new incremental encoder.
Wachendorff is a medium-sized, owner-managed company with headquarters near Frankfurt am Main (D). The company, which specializes in the development and production of encoders has developed the world's first incremental encoder that can be individually configured using a smartphone. The individual characteristics can be created and saved to a smartphone application. These settings can now be uploaded to the encoder via NFC. NFC is a powerless and contactless transmission technology. The WDGN series has been equipped with an NFC chip to transfer this established communication technology to the encoder.

"The aim of our WDGN series is to offer our customers new options for their encoder configuration," says Robert Wachendorff.

A reliable and high pulse rate is generated by the specially developed encoder sensor technology. At the same time, it is so flexible that any pulse rate down to one pulse per revolution can be set. The devices are based on patented magnetic sensor technology with high accuracy and resolution. Highly accurate measurements can be realized in a small installation space with up to 16384 pulses per revolution and a compact design starting from 36 mm.

The flexible parameter setting via the app allows the customer to configure the device on site by himself. This provides greater flexibility in machine development and commissioning. Different controllers or frequency converters can be tested variably. The exchange of the devices on the machine is possible in a very flexible way. This reduces storage and transport costs as less stock is required. Incorrect ordering is reduced to a minimum. Different encoder configurations can be stored directly in the application.

The generic software, specially developed by Wachendorff, can be used regardless of the sensor type. Functionality can be adapted to other sensor and actuator systems, such as enabling features or exchanging data.

The Flutter software, which is compatible with both Apple and Android, was used as the basis for the app's technology.

NFC technology has been successfully adapted for harsh industrial conditions. The encoder series, with typical diameters of 36 mm and 58 mm, consists of shaft encoders and hollow shaft encoders. Depending on the product type, a shaft load of up to 300N is possible. Reverse polarity and short-circuit protection are provided for the full voltage range from DC 4.75V to DC 32V. All common industry mounting options are available. The encoders can be supplied with an M12 connector or cable outlet, in both radial and axial versions. The robust stainless-steel housing provides IP67 and IP69K protection, depending on type, and IP65 or up to IP67 at the shaft input. High resistance to vibration and shock is available, as well as an operating temperature range of -40°C to 85°C, making them well suited to use in very harsh industrial environments. The new alloy used for the cover provides better shielding against magnetic influences and makes production even more environmentally friendly.

Data transmission security is also guaranteed. Configuration of the encoder is only possible with the correct password. The communication of the encoder is encrypted, and the different levels of access rights are protected by PINs for the end user. There are several memories in the encoder. The current configuration is stored in the microcontroller's internal memory and in the NFC memory.

If the values are valid, the configuration in the NFC memory can be overwritten with the desired one and will be transferred to the internal memory after a power reset. If the data in the NFC memory is invalid, it is reset to the last valid values in the internal memory. By using the NFC memory, configuration data can be read and sent even when the device is switched off. This is essential for easy and secure deployment. All data is protected and encrypted by the PIN, even when the device is switched off.

Compared to Bluetooth and WLAN, NFC has a shorter range and communicates in the near field. The longer range of WLAN and Bluetooth makes them more susceptible to interference and potentially easier to attack. Both are active radio standards where transmission can only take place when power is applied. With NFC, parameter configuration can be performed directly on the machine, ensuring limited access. As the NFC module communicates passively, there is no interference during operation. NFC allows wireless and voltage-free parameterization directly on the machine, making it safer and less complicated to use.

The antenna design has been tested with several functional prototypes. For further testing and optimization, several antenna designs were created and procured in production quantities. These were tested for reception quality, distance between smartphone and antenna, and robustness of communication. The best possible ratio between range and space requirement of the antenna was identified.

The solution developed provides sufficient memory for current requirements and sufficient reserves for future expansion. The antenna layout has been optimized to fit on a 20mm x 17mm circuit board while still providing reliable transmission over the maximum distance.

This board is connected to the sensor board via a ribbon cable and special locking connectors. This locking is necessary for high mechanical robustness.

The WDGN is an optimal and simple alternative for customers where the otherwise widely used IO-Link communication standard is not suitable.

The newly developed WDGN series is available in two versions. The Basic version has the standard channels of an incremental encoder (A, B, N) and the inverted channels. The Advanced version is more advanced. Here, four channels can be configured independently.

The new technology easily saves costs and time and increases sustainability.

@mepaxIntPR #wachendorff-automation #PAuto #Communication

IIoT smart valve technology.

Trillium Flow Technologies (Trillium) has launched its Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Smart Valve Technology.

Trillium is positioned to capitalize on the worldwide IIoT digital transformation permeating industrial markets. The new Smart Valve Technology is an innovative solution leveraging the power of big data to provide unprecedented insights. Designed with meticulous precision, their Smart Valve Technology provides real-time monitoring capabilities coupled with a comprehensive care solution that empowers businesses to engage proactively in planned preventive maintenance.

The key benefit of this approach is a significant reduction in system downtime. This advanced IIoT solution facilitates more efficient operations, leading to a marked increase in productivity. Trillium is setting a new standard in proactive system management in the industrial sector by transforming raw data into actionable intelligence.  

Paired with their Smart Pump Technology, Cyclops2, offered under their Termomeccanica Pompe brand, Trillium now offers a comprehensive predictive maintenance platform across both pumps and valves for its flow control product range.

@Trilliumflow #PAuto #IIoT

Tuesday 30 May 2023

Gigabit industrial switches.

The Red Lion NT5000 switches and their gigabit speed are designed to improve network security and reliability for industrial organizations of all sizes and environments. They maximize operating performance and system uptime through seamless integration, offer advanced management and diagnostic capabilities as well as network redundancy and layered security, and help organizations to meet with information technology and operational technology needs for dependable communication.

The N-Tron® Series NT5000 switches are available in 6, 8, 10, 16 and 18 port configurations in all copper or a mix of copper and fiber options that can meet specific installation requirements. With a durable, metal enclosure and wide temperature range, the NT5000 is a compact solution for reliable operation in harsh, industrial environments, including factory automation, robotics, food and beverage, oil and gas, marine and rail.

Streamlined Setup.
Configuring switches can be a confusing and time-consuming process. The NT5000 is engineered for fast and easy deployment right out of the box. Its modern, graphical user interface includes a configuration wizard that walks users through initial setup.

Layered Security.
Today’s cybersecurity threats can result in severe consequences. Not all switches have the layered network security to help prevent unauthorized access. The NT5000 features password encryption, multilevel user access and MAC security, IEEE 802.1X with RADIUS remote authentication and more. Administrators can view the event and syslog to clearly see the state of the network in real time and receive notifications about access attempts or configuration changes. The switch can be set to automatically disable user or port credentials after failed access attempts.

Sophisticated Diagnostics and Management.

The NT5000 also features:
• Graphical dashboards
• N-RingTM auto-member
• Port mirroring
• Cable diagnostics
• IGMP v1/v2/v3
• SNMP v1/v2/v3
• Fast boot allowing traffic to pass in less than 20 sec 
• Wide shock and vibration tolerance

Extensive compliance certifications, include Product Safety: (UL/CUL) Ordinary and Hazardous locations, Emissions/Immunity: FCC/ICES/CE, ATEX/IECEx, Marine: ABS, Rail: EN 50155, EN 50121, EN 61373, UKCA.

Red Lion products are marketed by Instrument Technology in Ireland.

@redlioncontrols #PAuto #Cybersecurity

Management team at chiller manufacturer.

German chiller manufacturer Efficient Energy GmbH, which enables water as a natural refrigerant, is reorganising its management team. As of May, Matthias Adler will be responsible as new Chief Sales Officer (CSO). Adler succeeds Thomas Bartmann, who will assume the strategic representation of interests in politics and society as Market Transformation Executive.

Top: Matthias Adler
Below: Thomas Bartmann
"We would like to thank Thomas for his excellent work in the successful market introduction of water as a refrigerant, as well as in the development of our European distribution partner network. Thanks to many years of experience and his strong network, we are sure that we will establish a valuable link between politics, society and manufacturers of sustainable refrigeration solutions. We wish him all the best in his new role," says Georg Dietrich, CEO of Efficient Energy.

The new Chief Sales Officer Matthias Adler, who also heads the Marketing and Service departments in this role, has more than 20 years of international management experience in Sales and Marketing, ranging from key account management to the development of new business areas.

"We welcome Matthias Adler and wish him every success and enjoyment in his new position," CEO Georg Dietrich continued. "Thanks to his many years of decisive experience in the international sales environment, he is the perfect fit to secure the current market dynamics and market requirements for sustainable cooling and heating solutions for a further growth leap of Efficient Energy."

Most recently, Matthias Adler was Chief Sales Officer at SolydEra Group. Prior to that, he held senior sales positions for many years, such as at Meusburger Georg GmbH & Co. KG and Alfred Kärcher GmbH.

@efficient_EE #PAuto 

MES integration certified.

The Körber Ecosystem Partner program has been joined by COPA-DATA and receives the "PAS-X MSI Plug & Produce Ready" certification for its zenon software platform.

Giuseppe Menin
"With Körber we are cooperating for several years as a member of the ISPE Pharma 4.0 working group, addressing digitalization challenges in life sciences manufacturing. We are very pleased to be part of the Körber Ecosystem Partner program and happy to provide a comprehensive solution for pharmaceutical companies with our PAS-X MSI interface in zenon," 
says Giuseppe Menin, Life Sciences & Process Industry Manager at COPA-DATA.

zenon is a software platform that helps pharmaceutical manufacturers automate their manufacturing facilities and manage data more effectively. COPA-DATA has developed strong functionality as well as comprehensive connectivity that makes it easy to integrate shop floor machines into higher systems, such as a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) - for greater efficiency, better control and comprehensive documentation of manufacturing processes.

The Werum PAS-X MES Suite from Körber controls, monitors and documents manufacturing processes digitally and in real time. With just a few mouse clicks, customers can seamlessly integrate Körber's best-of-breed ecosystem solutions from partner companies with PAS-X MSI Plug & Produce. This no-code integration uses standardized message-based communication between MES and shop floor equipment as outlined in the ISPE Plug & Produce Working Group's Concept Paper. The partnership between Körber and COPA-DATA makes it possible to implement out-of-the-box projects with zenon as a configurable interface to PAS-X MES.

"COPA-DATA's zenon software platform is a strong solution for the pharmaceutical industry particularly regarding the integration of filling lines into MES. In addition, the COPA-DATA team has already built up the required skill set for both, technology and business processes. We are pleased to have them join the PAS-X MSI Plug & Produce partner program," says Lars Hornung, Senior Principal Alliances & Technology Partners Software, Körber Business Area Pharma.

@WerumKarriere @copadata #Koerber #PAuto #Pharma #MES

Monday 29 May 2023

Infrared multimeter and clamp meters.

Multimeter empowers utility, manufacturing, building electricians, and industrial mechanics to troubleshoot electrical system components and identify hazards.

The DM286 Infrared Guided Measurement (IGM™) Multimeter, and two new clamp meters, the CM57-2 and the CM85-2 have been announced by Teledyne FLIR. The reimagined multimeter and clamp meters replace the predecessor DM285, CM57, and CM85, respectively, providing technicians with upgraded tools to perform safe and accurate electrical inspections and to identify hazards before contact is made.

“The FLIR DM285 IGM multimeter and the CM57 and CM85 clamp meters have proven to be enormously popular for electrical inspection, and we are thrilled to reintroduce these flagship products with even more compelling features,” said Rob Milner, business development director, Teledyne FLIR. “The redesigned FLIR DM286 Industrial Imaging Multimeter with IGM now features FLIR-patented multispectral dynamic imaging (MSX®) that adds visible light details to thermal images in real-time for greater clarity. It also includes video recording, longer run time, and compatibility with the new FLIR METERLiNK app.”

The DM286 is designed to enable electricians to pinpoint hot spots and other problem areas faster, safer, and more efficiently. It features 160 × 120 thermal resolution from the embedded Lepton thermal micro-camera along with an embedded visible-light camera and bright LED work light to operate MSX in low light. MSX is additive in that the visible light edge details are displayed on top of the thermal image without sacrificing any thermal detail or resolution.

The multimeter can also store up to 30,000 radiometric thermal images and log files and includes longer battery life for inspectors to capture images and log files all day long. For those using other FLIR test and measurement tools alongside the DM286, the new FLIR METERLiNK app, which replaced the FLIR Tools app, can work independently or in concert with compatible FLIR devices.

It is also effective for complying with the updated National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70B 2023 rules released in April, which changed the use of thermography for electrical equipment maintenance from “recommended” to “required.”

New Era of Clamp Meters.
Compatible clamp meter tools provide access to difficult-to-reach areas and adapt to operating condition-specific voltage measurement needs. The CM85-2 Clamp Meter is an industrial power clamp meter with advanced power analysis and variable frequency drive (VFD) filtering functions required by electrical troubleshooters for full-scale equipment. Technicians can accurately analyze voltage in complex machinery by including harmonics, inrush, current, and phase-rotation testing.

The CM57-2 Clamp Meter is designed to simplify difficult current measurements. Its narrow, 18-inch (45.72 cm) flexible coil clamp lets users easily take measurements in awkward and tight spots and it is ideal for multiple conductor measurements and double-wrap requirements. Like the CM85-2 and the DM286, the CM57-2 is also compatible with the FLIR METERLiNK app.

@flir @mepaxIntPR  #TandM #PAuto

AI-powered industrial digitalization and automated inspection.

Innodisk has been deeply engaged in the embedded and industrial market for years, accompanying the industry's transformation from IoT to IIoT and AIoT, assisting customers in integrating AI and IoT technologies into their applications. Not only to fulfill customers' increasing demand for AI, but Innodisk is also proactively planning to integrate AI intelligence into its manufacturing center. This strategic move aims to enhance the overall efficiency of its manufacturing workflow in its upcoming new factory.

Aetina, a subsidiary of Innodisk, holds a prominent position as a leading edge AI solution provider and maintains a strong collaboration with NVIDIA. Leveraging the power of the NVIDIA Metropolis for Factories platform, in combination with Aetina's GPU-powered SuperEdge AI Training Platforms, presents an ideal synergy that enables Innodisk to develop, deploy, and manage tailored AI-enabled solutions that enhance throughput, production quality, and cost savings within its innovative factory automation workflow. This approach enables Innodisk to achieve superior quality and production efficiency in its AIoT solutions while seamlessly integrating hardware and software technologies.

AOI technology is widely used in modern manufacturing sites. However, the traditional approach of AOI, relying on optical analysis for object detection, can sometimes lead to misjudgments. This, in turn, increases the time and labor costs associated with manual re-inspection. Nevertheless, in today's era of rapid AI development, there is a strong potential for significant improvements in these outcomes.

NVIDIA Metropolis for Factories is a collection of factory automation AI workflows that enable industrial solution providers and manufacturers to develop, deploy, and manage customized quality-control solutions that save cost and improve production throughput. NVIDIA Metropolis integrates tightly with the NVIDIA Omniverse platform and can be used for AI training to build physically accurate digital twins and simulations to aid in the creation of massive, synthetically generated training datasets.

As one of the world’s prominent industrial manufacturers with extensive experience in AIoT solutions, the company is uniquely positioned to collaborate with NVIDIA on factory digitalization and automation. Innodisk is deploying both platforms, from NVIDIA and Aetina, for vision AI to enhance the steps of factory workflows. It provides an efficient re-inspection process within production line AOI systems to automate the inspection and optimize the operation.

They expect that after adopting this solution into its new factory, it will allow Innodisk to introduce the next wave of industrial automation and bring additional value to Innodisk’s customers and partners across a wide range of industries. With such a collaboration among Innodisk, NVIDIA, and Aetina, Innodisk is looking forward to more collaborations and is confident that AI-enabled businesses will flourish in different ways very soon.

@Innodisk_Corp @AetinaCorp @mepaxIntPR #Manufacturing #IIoT #AI

Complete robot training to prepare students for the future of work.

ABB Robotics continues its work to close the global education gap in automation and prepare students for the future of work with the launch of a ready-to-use education package. Comprising a GoFa collaborative robot (cobot), teaching materials and a globally recognized technical qualification, the package is part of ABB Robotics global campaign to help workers thrive in a new era of automation.

The ABB Robotics Education Package has been created to ensure educational establishments can provide highly skilled young people for companies looking to benefit from robotic automation. Although some 80 percent of global educators see automation shaping employment in the next 10 years, only one in four education institutes incorporate robotics into their curriculum *. Barriers include the lack of teachers trained in robotics and automation and the difficulty in incorporating robotics training into the curriculum seamlessly.

“With robotic automation increasingly embraced by multiple sectors, from manufacturing and distribution to retail and healthcare, companies are looking for people with the skills needed to handle robots and automation,” said Andrea Cassoni, MD, General Industries Business Line for ABB Robotics. “By enabling schools, colleges and universities to easily create and run robotics training courses that are recognized by industry, ABB’s Robotics Education Package is closing the technology skills gap by preparing students for the automated workplace.”

The heart of the package is the Education Cell, which features a fully functional ABB GoFa collaborative robot. Mounted on a compact tabletop, the award-winning ABB GoFa is an easy-to-use cobot that helps students learn real-life industrial applications such as pick and place and 3D printing. Students as young as 15 can use the robot, with no need for any prior engineering knowledge thanks to ABB Robotics’ lead-through and ABB’s Wizard Easy Programing.

A comprehensive suite of material gives teachers everything they need to guide students through 12 lessons at basic and advanced levels, taking them from the fundamentals of robotics to more advanced applications and programming. Indus-trial level training material has been adapted by teachers into a student-friendly format, enabling them to easily grasp robotics concepts. A total of 56 hours of content is provided, including videos, interactive online exercises, 400 test questions, and lab exercises with ABB’s RobotStudio® offline programming tool, which is used by companies worldwide to plan, simulate and develop real-life robotic solutions in a virtual environment.

The third part of the package is a unique, globally recognized STEM certification for both teachers and students supported and authenticated by educational research and credentialing organization This allows teachers to be certified by ABB and then certify their students as competent to use robots. It also provides students with an accepted qualification that can be shown to employers in over 80 countries as proof of their ability to work with robotic automation.

The launch of the Education Package marks the latest step in ABB’s ongoing drive to help students develop the skills they need to thrive in a world where robots will be as common as laptops in the workplace. ABB currently works with educational institutions in over 40 countries to ensure that students are able to learn the fundamentals of robot program-ming and operation.

*Source: ABB education survey, 2022, based on global sample of 2,301 respondents

@ABBRobotics @ABBgroupnews @ABBMeasurement @abb_automation @stemdotorg @NapierPR  #PAuto #Robotics 

Automation technology & software to help climatetech start-ups commercialise & scale innovations.

Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech incubator in North America, has announced Emerson as its newest Terawatt Partner – the highest level of engagement with the incubator.


Global technology and software company Emerson provides innovative solutions for the world’s essential industries to help manufacturers and energy providers optimise operations, protect personnel, reduce emissions, and achieve sustainability goals. Through the agreement, Emerson’s industry-leading automation portfolio of intelligent sensors, final control devices, software and analytics, combined with deep domain expertise, are now available to Greentown members to help them commercialise and scale their innovations.


Peter Zornio
“Emerson is actively developing our own sustainable automation technologies and bringing our engineering and domain expertise to our customers,” said Peter Zornio, Emerson’s chief technology officer. “We look forward to collaborating with the Greentown Labs ecosystem of climate champions to uncover and evaluate new technologies that will help manufacturers reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate new energy industries.”


Through its partnership with Greentown, Emerson will forge connections with the incubator’s community of climatetech start-ups, gain access to curated and customised events, and participate on Greentown’s Industry Leadership Council, which provides strategic guidance to the incubator. Denka Wangdi, Emerson’s Gulf Coast director of growth and sustainability sales, will serve on the Industry Leadership Council.

“Greentown is proud to work with Emerson, which has made impressive, science-based climate commitments,” said Kevin T. Taylor, Greentown’s interim CEO and CFO. “Greentown start-ups are working across nearly all of Emerson’s focus industries, and we look forward to connecting our members with Emerson to drive sector-spanning decarbonisation.” 

@EmersonExchange @EMR_Automation @Emerson_News @HHC_Lewis @GreentownLabs #Automation #Climate

Friday 26 May 2023

"Sensors, the senses of digitalisation!"

With “Smart in sensing” the WIKA Group underlines its corporate strategy for the coming years. This takes in the megatrends of digitalisation, decarbonisation and demographic change, which pose major challenges for many industry sectors, but at the same time offer promising growth potential such as the networking of systems and processes, the expansion of renewable energies, sustainable mobility solutions and a secure supply of food and medicine.

On this path, as the claim expresses, WIKA supports its customers with high-precision and smart sensing technology. 

“Sensors are the senses of digitalisation,” says CEO, Alexander Wiegand. “Smart in sensing” not only reflects the technological expertise, but also the innovative strength of a world market leader for measurement technology: WIKA perceives the global market needs of tomorrow “with all senses” and develops pioneering products, solutions and services that contribute to the success of its customers.

It was presented to the public for the first time at the Hannover Messe.

WIKA products are marketed in Ireland through Instrument Technology.

@WIKANews  #PAuto #Smart

Major application areas driving the solid oxide fuel cell market.

by Dr Conor O’Brien, Technology Analyst at IDTechEx

The desire for zero-emission power generation has seen solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) touted as a possible solution. SOFC’s capability to run on hydrogen and at a higher efficiency than alternative fuel cells when providing combined heat and power (CHP) is an enticing prospect, while fuel flexibility allows for a transition from hydrocarbons towards zero emission power generation as part of the hydrogen economy. The real question, though, is that with many opportunities for stationary power sources, which applications are key to the success of the solid oxide fuel cell industry?

The new IDTechEx report, "Solid Oxide Fuel Cells 2023-2033: Technology, Applications and Market Forecasts", provides a comprehensive overview of the solid oxide fuel cell market, including an assessment of the key technology trends, major players and also includes granular 10-year market forecasts for solid oxide fuel cell demand (MW) and market value (US$), segmented by application areas. IDTechEx projects the market value to reach US$6.8 billion (€6.34b) by 2033.

Due to high operating temperatures, ramp up/down times can be long for solid oxide fuel cells, while the associated large change in temperature can lead to degradation of ceramic components, specifically is there is a mismatch of thermal expansion coefficient between neighbouring components. As such, SOFCs are best suited to applications where continuous power output is required, and utility-scale power generation is one such market sector. Use of the generated thermal energy to provide heat and hot water to nearby facilities adds to the appeal of the overall system. The IDTechEx report details OEMs providing SOFC systems for zero emission utility scale power generation, partnerships that have been established with utility providers and key examples of case studies.

Similar to power generation for utility companies, SOFCs are well suited for utilization in commercial and industrial (C&I) applications where continuous operation is likely. Grid independence allows companies to operate with reliable power generation, even during power outages. A clear example of this ability can be seen with Walmart utilizing SOFCs provided by Bloom Energy to ensure supermarkets can remain open at all times, 24/7. An advantage for SOFCs in C&I applications is the ability to operate in CHP mode, enhancing efficiency with respect to competing alternative fuel cell technologies and providing heat directly to the commercial or industrial space. On the other hand, another energy-intensive application is data centers and telecommunication networks, but in these cases, CHP is not required as overheating of the servers is the main cause for concern with respect to temperature control. For this reason, several players have stated to IDTechEx that they will not pursue power generation for data centers as a viable application area for their SOFCs.

For on-grid residential applications, a suitable choice for backup power would be lithium-ion batteries charged from the grid. Batteries are more readily available and at a cheaper price point than low-power SOFCs. A drawback is the longer start-up time and few possible cycles for solid oxide fuel cells. With connection to the gas network, SOFCs can supply CHP on a continuous basis. Pairing with batteries allows a buffer to intermittent demand in residential applications. Japan is the most mature, and largest, market for residential CHP SOFCs. Off-grid operation, with on-site gas storage coupled with a SOFC can provide continuous power. The possibility of running the fuel cell in reverse (rSOC), powered by renewables such as solar, and producing hydrogen on site is an intriguing concept – allowing the fuel cell to then run on this generated fuel. However, the hydrogen must be stored on-site, a much less convenient fuel than a hydrocarbon. Off-grid applications are a small market with approximately 0.1% of people in high income countries living off-grid.

So, what is the future of the solid oxide fuel cell market? Partnerships have been announced for high volume manufacturing, due to come online within the next five years, with different companies targeting varied applications. In other cases, such as vehicles (including marine), limited success for SOFCs is expected, with alternative fuel cell technology (PEM) set to dominate. IDTechEx has produced granular 10-year market forecasts for the global SOFC demand (MW) and market value (US$) segmented by application area based on historical data and first-hand company interviews.

 @IDTechEx  #PAuto #Power #Emissions

Interactive and customisable in-person event.

Tackle Key Challenges Facing Industries in 2023, empowering customers to transform operations and meet sustainability goals.

Registration is now open for Emerson’s Innovation Days, a series of in-person events designed to demonstrate how its latest automation technologies and software can help industrial organisations meet their key operational and environmental sustainability goals.

Being held across Europe throughout 2023, the Innovation Days will be both interactive and customisable, with delegates able to select a programme applicable to their own industry and specific company challenges. Delegates will be able to learn how the latest Emerson solutions help to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency, transition to renewable energy, optimise process performance, reduce downtime, manage corrosion, remotely monitor equipment health, increase operational safety, perform data analysis at the network edge, and optimise control system performance.

Emerson experts will present deep-dive discussions, Q&A sessions and a series of technology demonstrations that explain ways of increasing energy efficiency that provide a quick return on investment; understanding and reducing fugitive emissions; how data integration and digital transformation supports automated predictive maintenance; and strategies for the digitalisation of decarbonisation projects. Additional demonstrations will focus on specific technologies, including intelligent valves, advanced control systems and software applications, and intelligent field devices, with Emerson product specialists describing current and future developments. Delegates will also have the opportunity to share their experiences, network with their peers and discuss their application challenges.

“Industrial organisations have a shared responsibility to help create a more environmentally responsible planet, and that requires them to not only meet consumer demand as safely and efficiently as possible, but also ensure that they do so in the most sustainable manner,” said John Nita, president of Emerson’s Europe business. “Emerson’s Innovation Days are designed to help delegates discover ways that automation solutions can help them improve their energy management and reduce emissions, while also ensuring continued safe, reliable and compliant operations.”

The Innovation Days are aimed at plant management, operations and maintenance personnel in a range of industries, including energy, life sciences, mining, power, water, chemical, and food and beverage. The events will be held in more than a dozen countries and presented in the local language. 

The first Innovation Day in Britain will be held in Harrogate on June 27th 2023. Register here.

Also in the following venues (more venues later)

31. May - 1. June 2023, Vinařství u Kapličky, Zaječí 

8 June 2023, Cantina Bersi Serlini, Franciacorta

 @EmersonExchange @EMR_Automation @Emerson_News @HHC_Lewis  #PAuto  #Britain

Thursday 25 May 2023

Next-generation gateways.

The Anybus® Communicator™ EtherCAT Main Device has been launched by HMS. This is a high-performance gateway that provides an easy and reliable way to connect EtherCAT subordinate devices to different industrial networks and control systems.

"We are delighted to add the Anybus Communicator EtherCAT Main Device Gateways to our list of next-generation gateways”,
explains Fredrik Brynolf, Product Manager for Anybus gateways at HMS Networks. “With the effortless scanning for EtherCAT devices, the intuitive user interface, and the advanced technology, these EtherCAT gateways offer the easiest and most reliable way to connect EtherCAT subordinate devices to other leading industrial networks and control systems”.

Rapidly growing EtherCAT market
In recent years, EtherCAT has rapidly gained popularity and is now the third most widely installed industrial network in factory automation globally, according to HMS' own research, and the preferred choice in the semiconductor industry. As the number of subordinate devices utilizing EtherCAT continues to increase, there is a growing demand for high-performance gateways that can seamlessly connect these devices to other major industrial networks. The Anybus Communicator EtherCAT Main Device addresses this demand by providing a reliable solution for connecting EtherCAT subordinate devices to PROFIBUS, EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, or Modbus-TCP control systems.

Effortless scan for EtherCAT devices
With the Anybus Communicator, users can quickly and effortlessly scan the EtherCAT network for devices directly from its web user interface. The Communicator automatically identifies each device and maps its data to the control system, eliminating the need to manually search for and import device description files (ESI).

Next-generation technology
Like all Anybus next-generation gateways, the Anybus Communicator EtherCAT Main Device provides reliable, secure, and user-friendly technology:

Proven and fast communication using Anybus NP40 technology
The award-winning Anybus NP40 industrial network processor ensures that the Communicators meet demanding requirements in terms of industrial performance, reliability, and security. Featuring new hardware and software, the gateways enable instant data transfer – up to 10 times faster than their predecessors. Users can also exchange significantly more data between the networks as the gateways transfer up to 1 500 bytes to and from connected PLCs.

Robust and secure communication
Built using carefully selected industrial components and verified against the CE and UL industry standards, the gateways are designed to handle harsh industrial environments.

To protect users from cyberattacks, the gateways have an onboard physical security switch that prevents unauthorized configuration changes and secure boot functionality to resist attacks and infections from malware.

Fast installation and intuitive configuration
Fast installation and smooth configuration procedures are guaranteed thanks to an optimized housing design, an intuitive User Interface, and easy-to-understand documentation.

Installation is simplified thanks to the compact gateway design with forward-facing ports and DIN-rail mounting, which allows gateway installation close to connected devices, reducing the amount of required wiring.

Users can configure the gateways using drag-and-drop functionality in the web-based user interface, which is accessible via a dedicated Ethernet port on the gateways. In the user interface, users can also monitor network traffic and diagnose issues before they become problems.

Hands-on assistance is also available, as a QR code in the user interface provides a step-by-step installation and configuration guide.

Anybus Communicators are available off the shelf as stand-alone ready-to-install units. Users can personalize the Communicators to meet OEM and brand labeling requirements. The gateways can also be pre-configured and locked to be used as tightly integrated communication components of an automation device or a machine.

@hmsnetworks @mepaxIntPR #PAuto  #Communications

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Precise distance measurement.

Pulsed Laser Diodes with Micro-optics

The highest efficiency and accuracy in distance measurement may be guaranteed with integrated micro-optics, pulsed laser diodes (PLDs) from Laser Components. So-called fast axis collimation (FAC) lenses compensate for the astigmatism that occurs with edge-emitting PLDs and thus ensures that as many photons as possible reach the target. The optics and laser diode are precisely fitted into a hermetically sealed TO package, and the window is only slightly higher. The overall beam quality is improved without additional optical or mechanical components, which can result in lower operating costs.

The PLDs with integrated FAC lenses are available for 905nm and 1550nm wavelengths. The divergence on the “fast axis” is reduced to 3.8mrad at 1550nm and 33mrad at 905nm. It can be further adjusted upon customer request.

PLDs from Laser Components are primarily used in laser rangefinders (LRFs). The accuracy of these systems depends on as many photons as possible reaching the target and being reflected back to the detector – an avalanche photodiode (APD). A beam focused by an FAC lens requires a lower output power for this purpose. This makes it possible to develop smaller LRFs that are more energy efficient without compromising the reliability of the measurement.

“Laser Components does not just manufacture standard components,” says Éric Desfonds, product manager at Laser Components Canada. “Our greatest strength is the rapid and cost-effective development of customized products. Together with our customers, we can analyze the entire optical chain with PLD and APD subsystems and then deliver a product that exactly meets their requirements.”

@LCGermany @lasercomp_uk @PresseBox #Automation #PAuto

Competitive edge with scalable cloud based capabilities.

Test & Lab Management, Data Collection and Customizable Analysis. 

NI, (formerly known as National Instruments) has introduced the widespread availability of SystemLink Enterprise. Revolutionizing how companies use test insights and data to drive product and business performance, SystemLink Enterprise allows companies to manage test systems, data collection, and reporting from a central location and to use product-centric analytics for actionable insights.

Created in partnership with GM, SystemLink Enterprise, built on Kubernetes, centralizes the way test systems and data are managed. This standardization enables increased visibility and control of test processes across an entire organization simultaneously, giving companies more time to focus on data insights and to increase their production.

“By harnessing the power of test insights and data, companies gain competitive advantages through increasing product and business performance,” said Thomas Benjamin, Chief Technology Officer at NI. “SystemLink Enterprise connects test workflows to business performance through linking people, processes and technology across the enterprise, and gives engineers a smarter way to interact with their data, bringing high-quality products to market more quickly.”

Companies can ensure they are maximizing their use of test equipment through SystemLink Enterprise’s following capabilities:

● Systems management: Perform operations such as managing system health, comparing systems, and deploying software to multiple systems at once. 
● Asset management: Track utilization, calibration information, and locate assets. 
● Test Insights: Applications to ingest test data and monitor performance and status. 
● Data tables: Standardize data from multiple formats allowing analysis on all data in a common format. 
● Dashboards: Monitor live systems and display key performance indicators. 
● Jupyter notebooks & Routines: Automate analysis, HTML, and PDF report generation. 
● Role-based access control: Simplify user management and data access in a large organization. 
● Kubernetes: A cloud-ready architecture that enables seamless integration with modern IT architectures for better reliability and horizontal scaling with Helm charts to simplify installation.

@niukie @NIglobal @Publitek #TandM

Tuesday 23 May 2023

Major green hydrogen complex.

The Bair Energy Green Hydrogen and Technology Alliance has been joined by ABB to provide expertise on turnkey automation, electrification and digitalization solutions that support the optimization of low-cost green hydrogen production at the 1 GW Clear Fork (TX USA) facility.

“Our collaboration with ABB, and their expertise in automation, electrification and digitalization solutions, will help us to bring the Clear Fork Texas Project one major step closer to success,” said Nicholas Bair, Chief Executive Officer of Bair Energy. “The deployment of ABB Adaptive Execution™ will also enable us to both reduce our CAPEX by 20 percent and speed up our delivery time of the facility by 10 to 20 percent, which is a game changer for a project of this scale.”

Phase one of the project will utilize renewable power to produce up to 33,000 kg of green hydrogen per day initially, with daily capacity designed to increase to 132,000 kg by 2028. The green hydrogen, which emits zero carbon when used as an energy source, will be liquefied on site, stored and transported to customers to help establish hydrogen networks in the mobility and transportation industry.

ABB Adaptive Execution™, a project methodology from design through to operations, will be employed to integrate expert teams, new technologies, agile processes and shared learnings. Using a portfolio of ABB products this helps customers reduce capital costs, while delivering projects ahead of schedule.

The Memorandum of Understanding between ABB and Bair Energy provides scope to explore deploying digital twin technology enabled by the ABB Ability™ 800xA Simulator and ABB Ability™ Process Power Simulator. These solutions will integrate electrical and process controls with dynamic simulation to provide a virtual representation of how the plant is designed, operated and maintained. This enables a shorter new plant start-up period, helps train operators and tests changes in a realistic but disconnected environment.

With transportation the number one cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, the project aims to provide a significant step in the decarbonization of the US transport industry. Due to start operating in 2025, the Clear Fork Texas Project will be one of the largest locally produced green hydrogen facilities.

“We are particularly pleased to be part of this project to support low-cost hydrogen production, and sustainable transport in the US and globally,” said Brandon Spencer, President of ABB Energy Industries. “It is an exciting time for hydrogen in the US following the Inflation Reduction Act incentives passed last year, which coupled with alliance formations such as this, support projections of reducing the cost of green hydrogen production to under $0/kg by 2030.”

@ABBgroupnews @ABBMeasurement @abb_automation #PAuto #Environment #USA

Monday 22 May 2023

Enhanced product safety for Pharma manufacturers.

"Changing the mindsets of all pharma manufacturers!"

Mettler Toledo Product Inspection has launched the X2 Series of high-performing x-ray systems to help enhance product safety at an incredible price point for all pharma manufacturers. With two x-ray systems currently in the X2 Series, x-ray inspection is now accessible for all budgets, offering manufacturers software that is designed to last longer and perform better.

The design of the X2 Series helps enhance brand protection and product safety while also increasing product quality. Helping manufacturers to meet pharma safety compliance requirements, while also offering enhanced productivity, the X2 Series, delivers outstanding reliability with a smart industrial design.

“We are hoping to change the mindsets of all pharma manufacturers with our new X2 Series that they can now install a high-end x-ray inspection solution at an affordable price point for all,” said Mike Pipe, Head of Global Sales & Product Management, Mettler Toledo Safeline X-ray. “By utilizing global service hubs and reducing spare parts, we are confident we have created an innovative solution that is easy to install, environmentally more sustainable and suitable for any budget. With a current 14-day lead time, we can work with manufacturers to install one of our new X2 Series x-ray systems quickly and efficiently, helping them to increase product quality and protect their brand reputation”.

This Series helps prevent product recalls with outstanding contamination detection capabilities that go beyond detecting just metal. The x-ray inspection technology detects a wide range of contaminants, including glass, metal, mineral stone, dense plastic and rubber compounds whilst simultaneously completing a number of quality control and integrity checks. The X2 Series offers significant benefits both in-line and at end-of-line inspection by using innovative technology all designed for optimum performance and output.

The X2 Series consists of two models – the X12 and X32, both are available in multiple line configurations 800, 1300, 1800 and 2000 mm line lengths: 
X12 High Performance X-ray System: This high performing single-lane x-ray inspection system comes as standard and is available at an incredible price point, featuring the HiGain detector, which generates sharper images to deliver outstanding contaminant detection. 
X32 Advanced X-ray Solution: Offering enhanced sensitivity and product integrity performance, this x-ray inspection solution features the HiGain+ detector and is available in standard and custom configurations, with single or multi-lane capabilities.
Intelligent Software.
State-of-the-art ContamPlus™ software is an innovative inspection process which scans products for every kind of contaminant and not just the ones optimized during the initial automatic product set-up. The automatic set-up detects the most hard-to-find foreign bodies and rejects only the contaminated products, reducing production waste and protecting productivity. This is especially crucial for pharma manufacturers, where product integrity and completeness is key, as missing information or products can lead to costly recalls, and sometimes, dangerous results.

ContamPlus™ facilitates new product set-up with just a few passes and without the need for complicated programming or extensive training. Product details are stored and easily recalled for smooth and fast product changeovers to help minimize downtime and boost productivity.

Smart Industrial Design.
Every detail of the X2 Series technology is optimized to offer superior performance. At the heart of the design is a new product inspection chamber and a revolutionary modular mechanical design which allows full frontal access to all the most common operations. It offers a range of new features to improve operations such as product handling, cleaning and service routines. The X2 Series’ range of standard length and height configurations is complemented by bespoke designs to allow total customization to meet exact customer needs.

Pharma manufacturers can significantly reduce cleaning output and maintenance routines as well as the need for complex operator training with the X2 Series’ front-opening hygienic design. Designed for efficient cleaning, the solution makes it easy for operators to perform regular maintenance routines. The conveyor belt can be removed swiftly and without tools by releasing the tension with the handle situated on the infeed roller. The lead-free, low friction curtains also allow smooth product transition through the machine, with the presence of curtains constantly monitored to help keep the operator safe.

The new multi-fit reject device option is suitable for most common applications, with other options available on request. With reliable rejection and due diligence of products, the design enhances brand protection and helps ensure all end products are the optimum quality when they reach the customer.

With the X2 Series, manufacturers are easily able to comply with industry standards and regulations such as CFR21 Part II by providing full traceability through an audit trail and recorded image database. A review of contaminated products is also easily managed with the new stainless steel reject bin, which safely collects substandard products to avoid production line contamination, allowing manufacturers to review the product and its contamination.

Improved Total Cost of Ownership.
The X2 Series combines superior industrial design with simplified cleaning routines. Its intuitive user interface and a highly reliable set of state-of-the-art subsystems such as the generator and detectors, helps to improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness and lower Total Cost of Ownership. With extensive service solutions and a five-year generator warranty, manufacturers can feel confident in keeping their systems running at optimal capacity for longer periods of time.

@mettlertoledo #PAuto #Pharma