Friday 30 June 2023

The start of digital transformation!

The technology that revolutionized gas analysis and emissions monitoring in chemical plants and refineries, the pulp, paper and metal industries, power generation, cement, and others.

URAS was created by German engineers Erwin Lehrer and Karl Friedrich Luft. In 1988, the technology was further improved by adding gas-filled calibration cells. Because it no longer needed high-pressure test gas cylinders, the cost of operation dropped significantly and increased the ease of use.

When launched 85 years ago, 1938, URAS was known as the first “ultra red absorption recorder” (in German, Ultra Rot Absorptions Schreiber), a continuous gas analyzer capable of instantly measuring the concentration of more than 100 gases through infrared spectroscopy (light absorption technology).

“This technology was truly revolutionary from the day it was invented. Today, it is a benchmark for uncompromising environmental compliance. With URAS, numerous industrial companies around the world are able to monitor emissions and safeguard the environment,” said Ben Goossens, ABB Measurement & Analytics.

URAS is used by industrial companies around the world as a key solution for ensuring environmental compliance. With its unrivaled monitoring uptime, this technology is used in the continuous monitoring of gases that come out of industrial chimneys. It also measures emissions from marine vessels, helping shipping companies comply with environmental regulations.

As a continuous gas analyzer, URAS has a wide range of applications beyond the industrial segments – from helping save lives in hospitals by measuring the CO2 levels in diagnostic breath tests to supporting the process of ripening of bananas during shipment by analyzing the concentration of ethylene.

In 1996, URAS was used as a foundation in ABB’s groundbreaking Advance Optima modular analyzer, which unified the operation for all types of gas analyzers in one single design. With this, URAS became the first network analyzer with its own IP address. This was the beginning of the digitalization of analyzer technology.

“Decades before the Internet of Things, URAS communicated digitally. Today, it’s all about the digital transformation and this is where it all started,” said Ben Goossens.

@ABBgroupnews @ABBMeasurement @abb_automation #PAuto #Gas

Thursday 29 June 2023

Versatile, accurate and stable load cells

The Redex Group is extending the offer of load cells dedicated to the tension measurement for the markets where the company is already a supplier of reference, such as composites, wire & cable, converting, packaging, labelling, battery manufacturing.

The tension control specialist offers with WAT+ series, the best of its know-how in force measurement with an innovative concept based on a very modular architecture able to handle pulley or roller for strip, wire and narrow web applications and bearing housing or coupling supporting the shaft for larger web.

To go further into details, the Redex WAT+ sensors range is made from a versatile load cell (core of the solution) on which different mounting accessories can be fixed.

Through the internal structure optimization, 3 different measurement sensibilities are available by size. The very compact size 1 is covering 50N-250N-500N ranges while the new size 2 is extending measurement range to 1000N-2500N-5000N for larger web in converting market or stronger products in cable or metal strips applications.

Among many other costs saving benefits, this unique design enables to use same accessories by size, whatever the chosen load range.

Even more, advanced research with finite elements calculation made on the internal structure of the cell enables as a remarkable result to ensure that the measurement value remains the same whatever the position of the product on a cantilever roller.

Another crucial reason for this modular solution is the flexibility offered to engineers to design their own accessories according to any of their special requirements, such as special length, special surface treatments, special pulleys shapes, etc.

@mepaxIntPR #Redex_Grp #Pauto #Manufacturing

Automation & electrification for cold rolling mill.

ABB has been appointed to provide electrification and automation systems for ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India’s (AM/NS India) advanced steel cold rolling mill (CRM) in Hazira, Gujarat (Ind). The contract at the flagship manufacturing plant comes through John Cockerill India Limited (JCIL), the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for the project.

A leading integrated flat carbon steel producer in India, AM/NS India has a crude steel capacity of 9 million metric tons per annum with state-of-the-art downstream facilities. It produces a fully diversified range of flat steel products, including value-added steel, and has a pellet capacity of 20 million metric tons.

AM/NS India, which is a joint venture between two of the world’s leading steel companies ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel, is setting up the new CRM as part of its downstream expansion plan.

ABB is providing advanced electrification and automation systems, including the ABB Ability™ System 800xA distributed control system (DCS) and associated equipment and components, to support enhanced energy efficiency, optimized zinc consumption and high levels of corrosion resistance throughout the steel production process. This will support AM/NS India in its bid to reach greater levels of sustainability at Hazira.

“Our goal is to help create smarter steels for brighter futures, brighter futures for people and the planet. To do this, we place safety, innovation, and technology at the heart of our manufacturing operations and product development and ABB’s technology will support us in this,” said Mr. Dilip Oommen, Chief Executive Officer, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India (AM/NS India). “The new processing lines are designed to produce new-age value-added steel, embedding the most demanding quality standards. This expansion will help us meet the growing demand for high-end steel, while also enhancing our portfolio of value-added, sustainable steel.”

“We are proud of having been chosen by such a first-class steelmaker for the supply of two highly automated processing lines, combining cutting-edge equipment with integrated quality control and enhanced energy efficiency,” said Frédéric Midy, Project Director, John Cockerill Industry. “The fight against climate change is part of John Cockerill’s mission. This new contract will not only enable us to accompany AM/NS India on its journey towards sustainability but will also contribute to the country’s low-carbon economy ambitions.”

“The metals industry is essential for the transition to a net-zero world. Working with JCIL on this milestone project will support AM/NS India in developing one of the most sustainable, efficient, and modern steel operations,” said Vinod C, Local Division Manager, Process Industries, ABB.

The new CRM with advanced processing lines is due to be commissioned in 2024.

@ABBgroupnews @ABBMeasurement @abb_automation #PAuto

Haptic sensers.

The measurement technology manufacturer WIKA and the mechatronics group Wittenstein have entered a joint venture to open up the future market of haptic sensors. The aim of the joint venture, Resense, is the development, production and marketing of miniaturised six-axis force-torque sensors for industry.

WIKA is participating in the joint venture with its extensive expertise in the high-tech production of sensor and chip components. The latest silicon bonding technology comes to the fore here.

Wittenstein is contributing with its patented concept, with which the smallest six-axis hollow-shaft sensors currently available can be realised. This innovation enables high-precision measurement of forces and torques in the tight installation environments of robotics. 

Both companies each hold 50 percent of the shares in the new Resense GmbH is headquartered in Klingenberg am Main (D), location of the WIKA headquarters.

• WIKA products are marketed in Ireland through Instrument Technology.


Wednesday 28 June 2023

Advances in asset management software.

Data Server technology to improve digital transformation outcomes, expand intelligent field device data accessibility and integration for analytics.

Emerson is helping process manufacturers improve performance and sustainability by breaking down the data silos that make it difficult to digitally transform their reliability and maintenance strategies. AMS Device Manager Data Server securely extends intelligent field device data to outside systems to make it easier for reliability and maintenance teams to further capitalise on modern advanced analytics software, providing a step change in operational efficiency and smart manufacturing.


For decades, process manufacturers have relied on asset management software to carefully deploy and monitor plant production assets – like measurement and analytical instrumentation, digital valve controllers, wireless gateways, and others – both within a single plant and across the enterprise. As plants have evolved, they have grown their technology stack to adopt a wide range of analytics, historians, machine learning and advanced modelling to exploit and benefit from historically under-used or inaccessible datasets from around the plant. 

AMS Device Manager Data Server publishes intelligent field device data nearly instantaneously to industrial software analytics solutions already in use by customers, eliminating the need for complex custom data integration and manual workarounds that often cause delayed results and siloed data. This data is relayed via secure industry protocols.


"To accelerate sustainability and profitability, today’s manufacturers are transforming via analytics – seeking to aggregate disparate, under-used data, and further exploit it for positive business impact around the organisation,” said Erik Lindhjem, vice president of Emerson’s reliability solutions business. “AMS Device Manager Data Server makes intelligent field device information such as configuration parameters, alerts, calibration data and others available, in near real-time, for advanced use in other software and applications our customers already use.”

AMS Device Manager Data Server makes it easy to import critical instrument and valve data into common dashboarding tools and applications like Microsoft PowerBI, Emerson software tools such as the Plantweb™ Optics platform, Plantweb Insight, Aspen MTell® and AspenTech Inmation™, plant historians and others.

@Emerson_News @EMR_Automation @EmersonExchange @HHC_Lewis #PAuto #Environmen 

Tuesday 27 June 2023

Sustainable connectivity for IT infrastructure.

The global demand for digitalisation infrastructure is growing rapidly. Businesses and consumers have increased their reliance on remote computing, apps, and the Internet of Things (IoT) at a remarkable speed and society has become significantly more dependent on tasks which require data centres. As data centres now form the backbone to everyday operations, it’s essential that their IT infrastructure works efficiently and any system failures are repaired quickly.

Advantages of Han® ORV3:
Uses up to 50% less installation space in comparison with traditional rack system solutions
- Fast scalability of data centres through the modularisation of rack systems
- Easy servicing for the large numbers of components used in data centres
- Reduction in complexity by minimising part numbers (SKUs) thanks to OCP conformity (Open Source System)
- Fast configuration for different current and voltage requirements
- Safe installation thanks to electric shock-protected contacts
- Increased flexibility during installation because of different termination technologies: PCB and Crimp
- Available as a pre-assembled cabling solution for power distribution from one single source.

Open Compute Project (OCP).
The Open Compute Project (OCP) focuses on redesigning hardware for IT infrastructures. The goal of the working group is to make data centres more efficient, more flexible, and more quickly scalable. The project is based on an open exchange of ideas, specifications, and other intellectual property to push innovation to its limits and reduce the complexity of technical components.

In a data centre, rack Power Distribution Units (rPDUs) provide power to IT equipment. One OCP initiative is focusing on the standardisation of these racks and their easy integration into the infrastructure of data centres. Joint specifications for ‘power shelf’ input connectors represent an important step. As part of standardisation, Harting has invested significant know-how in the specification of the ‘ORV3 OCP Input Power Connector’.

Improving scalability, lowering total cost of ownership (TCO).
Harting offers for the first time offers an OCP-compliant AC connector with the Han® ORV3, which is also available as complete power shelf v3 rack cable assemblies. Shallower rack systems enable a more compact design for the entire infrastructure, meaning data centres can significantly increase their productivity within a given footprint. As a result, their solution supports the Open Compute Project’s goal of optimising efficiency in the construction and scaling of data centres.

The Han® ORV3 for rack systems strikes a balance between standardisation requirements and the goal of achieving maximum flexibility in the configuration of cable assemblies for different current and voltage levels. Thanks to the open standard, the Han® ORV3 reduces complexity as it consists of only a few part numbers, enabling high availability and, in cases of rack unit failures, low average repair times. Total cost of ownership (TCO) is also reduced.


Monday 26 June 2023

IIoT Systems and Devices for a wide range of applications and industries.

Advantech has published a comprehensive overview of their edge-to-edge-cloud solutions in the 2023 edition of their Industrial Systems and Devices Star Product Guide. The free to download 28 page brochure is a complete guide to their market leading IIoT product range, providing customers with everything they need to know to stay ahead of the curve with IIoT deployment; from IIoT hardware to innovative software for intelligent factories to industrial automation and their IoTMart/AOnline direct sales channels.

The product guide includes:

  • Vertical Market Solutions
  • Edge Computing
  • Edge AI Technology
  • Automation Control
  • Intelligent Connectivity
  • Edge Data Acquisition
  • Wireless Sensing and Fleet Networking

The companies innovative IIoT Edge to Cloud Technologies include EtherCAT Control and I/O Systems, Advanced Computer Vision devices, Serial / USB Communications, Wireless I/O and Sensors, IIoT Gateways and RTUs, Connectivity and TSN as well as DAQ and Remote I/O and Domain Platforms suitable for Oil and Gas, Railway and Utility and Energy applications.


Customers also have access to advanced software solutions from Advantech such as:

  • WebAccess/SCADA – IIoT application software.
  • WISE-EdgeLink – powerful edge-to-cloud middleware for intelligent gateway solutions.
  • WISE-DataConnect – IIoT device, platform, application and data management software.

The new catalogue illustrates how Advantech are leading the way with investment in key market areas including:

  • Intelligent Factory Solutions to improve energy sustainability, equipment effectiveness and operation optimisation.
  • Energy and Environment Solutions accelerating Cloud-Enabled IIoT and Smart Cities.
  • Utility and Energy power Conversion Solutions for maximum energy transition.
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems for modern infrastructures.
  • Intelligent Systems and Platform Infrastructure for the IIoT.
  • Embedded Automation Computers providing seamless connection and transmission for Edge IoT applications.
  • Intelligent HMI and Industrial Monitors offering leading HMI Innovations for Smart Factories.
  • Industrial Tablet Solutions supporting on-site management, manufacturing and patrol inspection.
  • Edge AI Platforms and Industrial Servers delivering industrial AI Platforms at The Edge.
  • Edge DAQ Devices, boosters for equipment manufacturers, rental services, and end users.
  • EtherCAT Control and I/O Solutions offering integrated CODESYS solutions for real-time machine control and data acquisition.
  • Industrial Communication providing seamless data connectivity from the network edge to the core.
  • Data Acquisition and Control in diverse form factors to satisfy DAQ requirements.
  • Serial and USB Communication Solutions improving legacy serial devices with IIoT.
  • IoT-ready Remote I/O and Intelligent I/O Gateways providing transformation for the IIoT’s wider and larger applications.
  • Wireless I/O and Sensors Industrial Wireless I/O and Sensor Modules for machine condition monitoring and cloud integration.
  • Wireless Fleet and Industrial Networking for remote device management and data collection.
@AdvantechIA @Advantech_IIoT @proactivefleet #IIoT #PAuto

Thermocouple module.

The thermocouple module was specially developed as an interface for high-temperature measurement chains. It is ideally suited for use in demanding environments such as blast furnaces in steel production as well as in large industrial plants and test cabinets. In addition to the ODU-MAC® White-Line and Silver-Line, it is now also available in the Blue-Line and thus in all modular connectors.

The operation of the high temperature measuring module is simple and effective. It creates a voltage between two wires made of different materials called a thermocouple. When temperatures are applied to the temperature sensor, the voltage generated varies due to the thermoelectric effect. These voltage changes enable extremely accurate temperature determination.

Compact and flexible.
An outstanding feature of the new 6 contacts ODU-MAC® module is its versatile configurability. It can be flexibly combined with other media in the connector. Despite its compact design, it can be equipped with up to three thermocouples. Customers benefit from a reliable solution designed for at least 5,000 mating cycles.

Quickly ready for use.
The thermocouple pin and socket crimp contacts of the ODU-MAC® module are available in K and T types. The stamped contacts are mounted as usual using the clip principle and are further facilitated by the coloured marking. If the thermocouple module is integrated into the connector together with the thermoelectric cables, you get a ready-to-use solution.

@PresseBox #ODU #PAuto 

Friday 23 June 2023

Mobile pressure measurement.

The model CPG1200 digital pressure gauge from WIKA,  enables convenient and flexible setting of operating pressures, readjusting pressure switches and carrying out pressure monitoring – for example leak testing during transport.

The battery-operated CPG1200 has been designed specifically for use in mobile applications. Thanks to the durable plastic case and optional protective case cap, the instrument is robust and easily withstands vibrations and shocks in use.

The proven measurement technology covers all common ranges up to -1 ... 1,000 bar [-14.5 … 15,000 psi] (gauge pressure) with an accuracy of down to 0.25 % FS. Depending on requirements, the measuring rate can be set to 1, 3, 4 or 10 measurements per second.

The CPG1200 also has an energy-saving mode. In practice, operating times of up to 4,000 hours are possible without changing the battery. A data logger for up to 1 million data points can be integrated as an option. The stored measured data is read via the integrated USB interface, which also supplies the instrument with power. Alternatively, the values can also be transmitted wirelessly via Bluetooth®.

• WIKA products are marketed in Ireland through Instrument Technology.

@WIKANews  #PAuto  #Transport

A new generation of robust, ultra-small tactile switches.

RAFI expands MICON 5 micro-switch series

The extremely compact RAFI micro-switches measure just 5.1 x 6.4 x 3.85 mm. Their optimized sealing system ensures that they achieve IP67 degree of protection and can therefore be installed on PCBs protected by casting, painting, or nanocoating. The extreme temperature resistance from -40°C to +125°C meets current automotive industry standards.

High-quality gold contacts ensure permanent switching reliability.

The micro-switches are available for operating forces of 1.5 N to 7 N as well as in the extremely long-life MICON 5 SL version. With an operating life of up to ten million actuation cycles, the SL switches are designed for tough applications, e.g. in joysticks and other control devices subject to high stress.

The third option in the range is an enhanced-safety version. With identical dimensions, the MICON 5 SAFETY series incorporates two potential-free, separate NC and NO contacts. Due to the two-channel contact system, these models are ideal for safety-critical applications that meet the functional safety requirements of IEC 61508, DIN EN ISO 13849, IEC 62061, IEC 60601, DIN EN ISO 25119, DIN EN 50128, or ISO 26262. Characteristic of all MICON 5 variants is their distinctive tactile feedback. The model series are available with SMT and in some versions THT.

Their media-resistant design makes them ideal for automated PCB assembly and sealing. There is also an extensive range of accessories with compatible plungers, keycaps, and illumination solutions for all use cases.

@mepaxIntPR #RAFI #Electronics #PAuto

DC energy meter for EVs.

LEM will use PCIM 2023 to give the global e-mobility market advance notice of its new DC energy meter for DC wallbox chargers of electric vehicles (EVs). Offering compliance to the latest metrology regulations, the DCBM 100 energy meter will be introduced to the EU market in Q3 this year.

Florent Balboni
“Rapid deployment of new products and technologies is crucial to meet the diverse demands of EV charging applications,"
says Florent Balboni, LEM Global Product Manager for energy metering solutions. "Ensuring fairness and transparency for all users, kWh-based billing is essential for technology acceptance. DC meters must therefore be tailored to EV charging applications such as DC wallboxes which will play a significant role in charging infrastructure and the development of advanced V2G services.”
With the continuous growth at a rapid rate of the e-mobility sector, the new DC energy meter is expected to be of particular interest to manufacturers of EV chargers to enable kWh-based billing when charging in public or semi-public areas. To allow for kWh-based billing of charging sessions, energy metering solutions must be integrated into destination DC chargers, following calibration laws. kWh-based payment is increasingly required and enforced because it promotes accessibility, fairness and transparency of prices for all users during the charging process of electric vehicles.

EVs have the option of being charged using either AC or DC power. DC charging through a wallbox offers several advantages over AC charging because it overcomes the power limitation of the on-board charger used in AC charging. This results in shorter charging times and enables easier access to services like vehicle-to-grid (V2G).

With destination charging applications, where the charging time is typically between one to two hours, an average charging power in DC in the range of 30kW is usually adequate to recharge most EVs. To meet this demand, DC wallboxes are a crucial component of the charging infrastructure and provide reasonable charging times at an acceptable cost for charging point operators (CPOs). 

With its powerful bi-directional energy metering enabling V2G, the DCBM 100 DC energy meter is designed to ensure full transparency and enable end-users to have confidence in the fairness of their kWh-based charging experience. The future-ready DCBM 100 has been developed specifically for 11kW to 30kW DC wallbox applications, delivering Class B accuracy and 1000V DC and 80A rating in temperatures from -40°C to +80°C. Charging cables can be directly connected to the new meter.

Also, the DCBM 100 provides in real time additional data (voltage, current, power, temperature) that will be essential to developing the kinds of predictive maintenance tools needed to minimise EV charger downtime. As part of LEM’s larger family of direct current billing meters, the DCBM 100 also ensures easy software integration and secure data handling using the latest Open Charge Metering Format (OCMF).

@LEM_Inc @NapierPR #PAuto #Electrical #Automotive

Easy-to-operate level measuring devices.

A new generation of Micropilot 80 GHz radar sensors: FMR60B, FMR62B, FMR63B, FMR66B and FMR67B has been launched by Endress+Hauser. The new generation provides solutions across all industries and applications. The sensors are suited for challenges when measuring points aren’t easily accessible, located in dusty areas and harsh environments with extreme process temperatures and process conditions.

The new generation of sensors come equipped with wizards which operate via multiple HMI formats, including the SmartBlue app, and make the sensors easier to use. Besides tried-and-tested digital communication protocols like HART, other digital protocols such as Profibus and Ethernet/APL will be included in the near future. The exceptional measurement performance of the new radar chip combined with the smart Heartbeat Technology monitoring function helps to increase productivity. The new Micropilot generation offers solutions that make individual customer processes simpler, safer and more productive.

Simple in every respect.
The range of new-generation 80 GHz radar sensors for level measurement provides solutions for virtually any radar application. Thanks to the compact device design, it can be used in confined installation situations. Suitable versions are also available for challenging process conditions such as aggressive media or extreme temperatures.

Commissioning and operation of the radar devices are straightforward and intuitive. Users are guided through the process by integrated assistants (wizards), thus preventing errors and enabling the devices to be successfully commissioned with limited experience or training. Thanks to a Bluetooth interface, the devices can be conveniently controlled remotely via the SmartBlue app from Endress+Hauser. In conjunction with Heartbeat Technology, processes can thus be monitored continuously, and verifications performed in less than three minutes while the process is running.

The HistoROM mobile data memory transfers measuring point parameters without error when the electronics are replaced. The device is repaired quickly and smoothly without requiring specialized user knowledge.

Maximum safety for staff, plants and processes.
Systematic errors, unintentional operating errors and process anomalies all pose risks to plant safety. The new Micropilot radar family meets all safety requirements. It has been developed following IEC 61508 using Endress+Hauser's 20 years of SIL expertise and can be used in SIL2 or SIL3 applications with homogeneous redundancy.

Instrument-led sequences also guide the user step by step through commissioning, parameter configuration or SIL proof testing, thus preventing systematic errors and increasing safety. As a result of the existing Buetooth interface, function checks or changes to settings can always be performed remotely from outside the danger zone via the SmartBlue app. The innovative communication option, Ethernet-APL, also allows the device to be monitored and operated for the first time via an integrated web server. The new color display also ensures safety at a glance by changing from green to red in the event of an error, thus providing a quick status overview.

Another function that eliminates systematic errors is the automatically generated checksum (CRC), generated from all the safety-related parameters and noted in the test report. Changes to an individual parameter can thus be identified from the checksum, making it possible to see immediately if a parameter has been changed and thus significantly speeding up inspections.

Increased efficiency and exceptional measurement performance.
The new 80 GHz electronics utilized in the FMR6xB was developed in-house and provides exceptional measurement performance. In addition to the measurement performance, Heartbeat Technology developed by Endress+Hauser enables productivity gains. It provides reliable diagnostic and monitoring data and enables predictive maintenance thanks to its constant monitoring of anomalies such as foam or buildup.

Device verifications can be performed in less than three minutes without removing the device or interrupting the process. The patented radar accuracy index (RAI) combined with Heartbeat Verification now enables traceable verification according to DIN ISO 9001 for the first time, resulting in a considerable reduction in the effort and costs associated with calibration and documentation and significantly extending calibration cycles.

Thanks to easy integration into asset management systems and smart self-diagnostics, unplanned plant shutdowns are largely avoided and production output increases.

@Endress_US @Endress_Hauser @Endress_UK #PAuto

Thursday 22 June 2023

To guarantee valve actuator performance.

Rotork Controls has established a global reputation for robust and reliable valve actuators, operating in some of the world’s most demanding and critical applications. Thorough testing of the motors used in the actuators is one of the keys to this assured performance, with TorqSense transducers from Sensor Technology playing a vital role in the test process.

Rotork is the world’s leading manufacturer of electric, pneumatic and hydraulic valve actuators and associated control systems, valve gearboxes and valve accessories. The company’s electric valve actuator division offers an electrical solution to industrial valve control and actuation applications of virtually any size, description and complexity.

Its capabilities encompass actuators and control systems for new plants, plant extensions and upgrades, together with life-of-plant support. The division’s unrivalled range of products offers a robust and economic solution for every valve duty and operating environment.

Rotork Controls chief development engineer Geoff Beeho comments: “If you look at something like an oil line, then any failure of the valve actuator could potentially be costing millions of dollars a day. We have to be able to guarantee the performance of the actuators in the most demanding conditions, so testing is vital. TorqSense torque transducers from Sensor Technology are a key element of our test rigs.”

Companies and businesses around the world rely on Rotork actuators, in applications as diverse as power generation, water and sewage, industrial processes, subsea, marine, HVAC, incinerators and cement plants. Common features in many of these applications are challenging environmental conditions, extremes of temperatures, and high costs associated with any downtime. Because of this, absolute reliability of the valve actuators is vital.

The company designs custom actuator designs built around motorised gearboxes, using non-standard open frame motors. “We use a variety of motors depending on the particular application, including DC motors, single-phase motors and three-phase motors, but we don’t rely on off-the-shelf products. Instead, we use open frame motors that we integrate directly into our own systems.

“Performance testing is very important,” he continues. “The duty cycle is atypical – our motors are not in continuous use, only running intermittently and for short period. What is important to us is the short term ratings, and this data isn’t always readily available. We have to have performance data that will tell us exactly what we need to know about the motors in these most demanding applications.”

They designed their own rig to test the motors, with Sensor Technology TorqSense transducers at its heart. “We needed non-contact torque sensors in the rig. The early design used magnetically coupled torque sensors but we were never completely happy with these. So when we upgraded the rig to be able to perform a wider range of tests, we took the opportunity to look around the market and we found the TorqSense transducers.” 

“The TorqSense transducers immediately struck us as being a much more robust solution, better suited to handling the torques we were subjecting them to,” comments Beeho. The common practices of over-specifying a motor that guarantee reliable operation in standard applications simply don’t apply in valve actuation. “Motor sizing is critical,” he continues. “If we put in a motor that is too big, then we can risk damaging the valve. We can use motors that appear to be under-rated, but because our duty-cycle is so short we can get better performance from the motor. But the performance data to support this sort of motor use isn’t always available, or isn’t always reliable, so we need to perform our own tests. We also need to know how our motors will handle extremes of temperature in given applications so that reliability is never compromised. The TorqSense transducers allow us to make all the required tests.”

An advantage of the TorqSense transducers in the Rotork test rig is that they provide both analogue and digital outputs. “This has proved to be a real bonus,” says Beeho. “Not only can we use one output to check the calibration of the other, but it also means we have the flexibility to use both outputs performing different tests. For example, we might use the analogue output to feed torque and speed data into the power analyser during a performance test, and then use the digital output for a temperature test. Here, we run the motor for 15 minutes at constant torque and see how hot it gets. The output from the TorqSense transducer allows us to close the loop so that we can keep the torque constant.”

In any application, the fundamental considerations are the actuator’s ability to overcome the resistive forces of the valve, and the dynamic performance requirements to enable the valve to adequately meet the process demands. With its comprehensive testing procedures built around the TorqSense transducers, Rotork Controls has the confidence that its electrically operated valve actuators will always meet the application requirements.

@sensortech @rotork #PAuto  #TandM

Display kit.

A rugged, industrial-grade steel case for Inelco Hunter's 10.1 inch PCAP Touch Screen Kit, has been developed to work with the Raspberry Pi™. This cost-effective, pre-assembled display Kit with the new steel enclosure realises the potential of the Raspberry Pi, turning it into a complete industrial system with minimal effort.

The potential commercial and industrial uses include factory automation, medical devices, home technology, IoT products, communication systems, payment terminals etc.

The kit comes pre-assembled to take the Raspberry Pi which is simply mounted onto the rear of the interface PCB using the supplied pillars and screws. The display provides a resolution up to WXGA.

Connection is via an onboard HDMI interface PCB which provides all power, signal and backlight conversion for the TFT display. The Kit requires 12V at 2A to drive the TFT display, touch panel and backlight, and 5V at 2A to power the Pi.

Features include a multi-touch input PCAP touch screen, which can be either USB or I2C connected, a wide angle of view IPS display and a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. The screen dimensions are 255mm x 174mm x 9mm (including the touch panel) and the screen view area is 218mm x 137mm.

The Kit includes: a 10.1 inch Touch Screen display; an HDMI to LVDS interface PCB (pre-assembled); an HDMI to HDMI interface cable; a Micro USB to USB interface cable; plus 4xM2.5 Screws and Pillars to mount the Pi.

@InelcoHunter @Raspberry_Pi #PAuto #Manufacturing

Motion control from from 4 to 64 axes.

Delta has  launched the AX-304EL, AX-316E, and AX-364EL motion controllers to complement the existing AX-308E motion controller. AX-3 series motion controllers offer a CODESYS development environment to enable intelligent industrial automation applications. Compatibility with Delta AS Series IO products and support for major industrial communication protocols including EtherCAT and MODBUS.

They released the AX-308E as the first CODESYS-based motion controller in the AX-3 series, which was an immediate success. To fulfill the need for controllers that could handle more than 8 axes as well as a more cost-efficient model beneath it, the new AX-3 series models are now being introduced. Alongside the AX-8 series, Delta now offers extremely cost-competitive solutions across a broad range of automation scenarios.

Flexible usability, high performance and seamless communication.
The new controllers expand Delta’s motion portfolio and enable single-axis movements as well as synchronous multi-axis motion such as gearing, ECAMs, and interpolation. IO capabilities are integrated into the motion controller but can also be implemented using external Delta AS-series modules for remote input/output setups.

The AX-304EL, AX-316E, and AX-364EL support up to 4, 16 and 64 axes respectively and offer an EtherCAT master, 2 Ethernet ports, serial ports, 16 built-in digital inputs, and 8 digital outputs. The AX-3 series motion controllers are compatible with the common communication protocols OPC UA, Modbus and Ethernet/IP. As the CODESYS AX-3 Series is an evolving and growing product series, the goal is to offer more communication protocols as well as more advanced product.

Faster time-to-market with DIADesigner-AX.
DIADesigner-AX software integrates CODESYS into Delta’s DIAStudio software platform. The environment provides support from the planning stage through execution and commissioning, easing the implementation of both simple and complex motion control, including single- and multi-axis movements, gearing, ECAMs and interpolation. It also helps ensure compliance with international standards such as IEC 61131-3 and PLCopen. Software developers will benefit from integrated tools including an oscilloscope, simulator, and CAM design editor.

@DeltaEMEA @Delta_Americas @mepaxIntPR #deltaww #PAuto

Wednesday 21 June 2023

CEO appointed for drives innovator.

Adrian Ellam has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Invertek Drives Ltd.

Adrian Ellam
Adrian will take on the role from his current position as Finance and Operations Director, further strengthening the company's management team with an internal promotion, ensuring continuity in the company’s next phase of growth.

The appointment comes at a significant time for the company as it celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2023 having reported a 45% year-on-year sales growth in 2022, with a total turnover of £79.3 million.

Adrian has been an integral part of Invertek Drives since 2010 and has worked closely with the existing directors, including three of the founding members of the business. His extensive experience and deep understanding of the company underscore its commitment to maintaining continuity and building on its success.

Based at the company's global headquarters at Welshpool (CYM), Adrian takes on the position from current CEO, Shaun Dean, who is Senior Vice President of Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd and CEO of PTC EMEIA Group. Shaun held the role of CEO since Invertek Drives was acquired by Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd in 2019 to ensure a smooth integration into the group.

Shaun will continue to assume the role of Chairman of Invertek Drives Ltd in conjunction with his existing senior roles with Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd and PTC EMEIA.

Rhydian Welson, Sales and Marketing Director; Glyn Jones, Technical Director; David Jones, R&D Director; and Tommy Tighe, Business Development Director, continue to focus on their key areas, including the development of next-generation products, and future management structure enhancements

Commenting on Adrian's appointment, Shaun said: "I'm delighted that Adrian has accepted the position of CEO as part of our continued investment and growth plans. Our management team is robust, with two of the original founders still actively involved. Their combined experience, cohesion and expertise are invaluable to Invertek Drives."

He added: "Invertek is a strong brand in the drives and controls sector and a significant employer in Mid Wales. We are proud to have acquired Invertek as part of the Power, Transmission, and Controls Group at Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. We anticipate exciting times ahead as we significantly expand our business globally."

Adrian, who will retain his responsibilities for finance and operations, said: "I am honoured to take on the position of CEO at Invertek during this exciting phase of the company's growth, ensuring we continue the long standing internal spirit and business dynamics

“We are at a pivotal point in our long-term strategy, with the ongoing expansion of our global manufacturing and distribution facility, enabling us to increase production to 1.2 million units per year.”

He added: “We have a great and loyal team at Invertek which is one reason why we’ve been so successful. As we enter the next growth phase, we will be increasing recruitment in all areas of the business to support increased production, innovation, and sales.”

Adrian further highlighted the company's expanding global presence and collaborations this with partners in the PTC EMEIA Group to develop integrated solutions. He emphasised Invertek Drives' commitment to working closely with existing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and customers to unlock new opportunities.

The company currently employs 380 people and has sales and service partners in 80 countries throughout the world.

Shaun Dean (front, left) with Adrian Ellam (front, right), and fellow directors Rhydian Welson (back, left), Dr Dvaid Jones, Glyn Jones, and Tommy Tighe.

@Invertek_Drives #PAuto #Manufacturing

Papers on CAN sought!

The program committee of the 18th international CAN Conference (iCC) chaired by Holger Zeltwanger, CiA Managing Director, is now seeking papers. The conference organized by the nonprofit CAN in Automation (CiA) association will take place in Baden-Baden, (D May 14 and 15, 2024).

The two-days event covers all three CAN protocol generations: Classical CAN, CAN FD, and CAN XL. Conference topics include device and network design aspects as well as research results and application experiences. This unique conference is the place to exchange in-depth knowledge about CAN-related solutions in automotive and non-automotive applications.

“We expect, in particular, papers about CAN FD experiences and new developments regarding the CAN XL ecosystem,” said Zeltwanger. “Of course, this includes also higher-layer protocols and add-on functions, especially cybersecurity.”

@CANopen #PAuto #Communications.

Safe, convenient and obvious!

The Managing Director of Signal Group, James Clements believes that it should be possible to remove the screens of all gas analysers, and connect with them wirelessly. “It no longer makes sense to fix the screen into the analyser,” he explains. “Everyone is completely comfortable with portable keypads and screens, and analysers are often in inconvenient or even unsafe locations, so we have designed detachable screens into all of our latest instruments.
For decades, the users of gas analysers have become accustomed to managing them and viewing readings on a fixed screen, but with the technology that is now available, that doesn’t make sense – why not just grab the screen and take it somewhere safer and more convenient?
Seems obvious when you think about it!?

“For many of our customers, it was either inconvenient or impossible to be physically next to their analysers to view readings and manage their instruments, so we integrated detachable tablets into the designs, and have been delighted with how popular this has been.”

The detachable tablets in Signal’s analysers are rugged with an IP67 rating, which means that they can even be used outdoors. Typically, customers find them most useful when it is necessary to install the analyser in a location with difficult access – such as: in vehicle exhaust gas test cells; in an ATEX enclosure; with a raised gantry on a stack; in a combustion test rig, or on any site where the location of analysis is not an ideal or safe working space.

With inbuilt 802.11 Wi-Fi, Signal’s tablet connects wirelessly to the analyser from a distance of up to 50 metres. This provides users with the ability to view live data in a different location, and even manage datalogging, alarms and calibration from a distance.

In addition to wireless connectivity between the analyser and the display, all Series IV instruments have their own IP address, and are compatible with 3G, 4G, 5G, GPRS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and satellite communications. This provides users with simple and secure access to their analysers at any time, from anywhere.

The removable tablets are supplied as standard with all Series IV gas analysers, including the new SOLAR XPLORE, and James says: “The most exciting thing about this new technology is that it all comes at no extra cost!”

@GasAnalysers @_Enviro_News #PAuto 

Robots saving the rainforest.

A pilot project between ABB Robotics and US non-profit organization Junglekeepers is demonstrating the role Cloud technology can play in making reforestation faster, more efficient and scalable.

ABB Robotics is supporting Junglekeepers in their mission to protect 55,000 acres of Amazon rainforest and reverse deforestation. In a first-of-its-kind demonstration, ABB’s cobot YuMi is automating planting tasks in a jungle laboratory, speeding the process and allowing Junglekeepers’ volunteers to focus their valuable time and resources on more impactful work.

Through ABB RobotStudio Cloud technology, ABB experts simulate, refine and deploy the programming required for YuMi’s tasks in the jungle from 12,000 kms (7,460 miles) away Västerås, Sweden – enabling the world’s most remote robot.

“ABB’s collaboration with Junglekeepers demonstrates how robotics and Cloud technology can play a central role in fighting deforestation as one of the major contributors to climate change”, said Sami Atiya, President of ABB Robotics and Discrete Automation. “Our pilot program with the world’s most remote robot is helping automate highly repetitive tasks, freeing up rangers to undertake more important work out in the rainforest and helping them to conserve the land they live on.”

In a jungle lab, located in a remote region of the Peruvian Amazon, a YuMi cobot has been installed to automate essential tasks in the seed planting process, usually an entirely manual effort. The cobot digs a hole in the soil, drops the seed in, compacts the soil on top and marks it with a color-coded tag. YuMi enables Junglekeepers to replant an area the size of two soccer fields every day in zones requiring reforestation.

At the same time, by automating this task, Junglekeepers’ volunteers are able to focus their valuable time and resources on more impactful work, such as patrolling the area to deter illegal loggers, educating locals on the preservation of the rainforest and planting mature saplings.

Creating a fully remote and autonomous cobot installation also overcomes the difficulty of finding people willing to stay and work in the distant jungle location. After its initial installation, YuMi can carry out its tasks autonomously, with only trouble shooting as needed.

“As of right now, we have lost 20 percent of the total area of Amazon rainforest; without using technology today, conservation will be at a standstill,” said Moshin Kazmi, Co-Founder of Junglekeepers. “Having Yumi at our base is a great way to expose our rangers to new ways of doing things. It accelerates and expands our operations and advances our mission.”

The destruction of the Amazon rainforest through human activities such as logging and burning to clear land for agriculture are contributing to the devastating effects of climate change. It is estimated that more than 870,000 km² of the Amazon rainforest have been cleared since 1985, an area larger than France, United Kingdom and Belgium combined. With tens of billions of trees already being gone, the region is warming fast.

“The Amazon is in danger. That’s why we need technology, science and local knowledge to work together in order to save it. Otherwise, we will be too late. The rainforest can be saved, but we must bring together all these elements to make a difference,” said Dennis del Castillo Torres, Director of Forest Management Research at the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute. “It is very important to have a combination of high technology and conservation. There are many technologies that we can use to preserve the forest, and this robot can help a lot to reforest faster, but we have to be very selective. We have to use it in areas of high deforestation to speed up the process of replanting.”

The pilot project is supported by ABB’s RobotStudio Cloud technology, enabling teams all over the world to collaborate in real time. This remote new way of programming enables new levels of flexibility and instant refinement, resulting in greater efficiency and resilience, and no loss of planting time. With more than 25 years of offline programming experience, RobotStudio offers best-in-class digital technology, enabling 99 percent accuracy between simulation and reality. This allows users to reduce time for testing robotic solutions by 50 percent and takes production downtimes to zero.

ABB Robotics’ pilot project in the Amazon furthers its objective to contribute to sustainable transformation through intelligent robotics and automation solutions, supporting businesses to increase productivity, reduce waste and maximize efficiency. In 2022, ABB Robotics collaborated with the Parley Global Cleanup network, a non-profit organization collecting marine plastic waste, to create personalized designer items such as recycled furniture, using 3D additive printing. In accordance with the wishes of Junglekeepers, the pilot scheme in the rainforest with RobotStudio Cloud and YuMi will last for approximately six weeks (across May and June 2023). Following the conclusion of the pilot program, ABB will explore opportunities to assist Junglekeepers on a more extended basis as well as exploring further opportunities for its robotic solutions and cloud technologies to play a central role in driving sustainable transformation.

@ABBRobotics @ABBgroupnews @ABBMeasurement @abb_automation @junglekeepers33 @NapierPR  #Environment #Robotics

Low contact resistance relays.

Omron Electronic Components Europe has expanded its high-power switching capability with the addition of a low contact resistance model for the successful 2 pole contact type G7L-2A-X series relays. With a 6.0mm contact gap, the new G7L-2A-X-SI relay provides low contact resistance of maximum 10mΩ and a rated load of 30A at 600V DC, or 25A at 1000V DC. The G7L-X series conforms to British and IEC solar inverter standards, as well as applicable UL and VDE electrical standards.

Features of their design include an assisting magnetism circuit, to help achieve a very quick switchover. The relay contacts have been specifically designed to handle very high DC loads that are a feature of this application. Contact forms is 2 pole DPST and its 6.0mm contact gap ensures improved safety.

Driven by the trends for higher capacity and increasing heat generation issues, the G7L-X series enables reduced charging time for vehicle charging and offers high capacity for residential energy storage systems and battery storage management.

In comparison with similar level competitive relays, the G7L- 2A- X-SI has a larger contact gap, low contact resistance, and bidirectional switching ability. Capable of 6,000 operations at 600V DC, or 100 operations at 1000V DC, the relays provide higher capacity and low heat generation. The device is compact for a relay with this capacity: it measures just 52.5 x 35.5 x 41.0 mm.

@OmronEurope @OmronComponents  @NeeshamPR  #PAuto #Automotive

Drug manufacturing and storage protection.

The quality of manufactured or processed products at cleanroom facilities are protected by applicable good manufacturing practices (GMP) that specify stringent environmental monitoring requirements. The Swedish drug manufacturer APL (Apotek Produktion & Laboratorier) recently installed Vaisala’s viewLinc Continuous Monitoring system at its manufacturing plant, and has been delighted with the reliability and peace of mind that the system delivers.
Moustapha Ismail was employed by APL as an external consultant in the qualification and replacement of an older monitoring system at the site. He says: “The previous monitors had been in place for around fifteen years, so we took this as an opportunity to evaluate the latest technology on the market before making any decisions.”

With more than 500 employees and five manufacturing units in Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Umeå (S), APL is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of extemporaneous drugs and stock preparations, as well as a contract manufacturer in the life sciences sector.

One of the key requirements for the new monitoring system was ease of use, because this was regarded as a weakness in the existing system. “Naturally, we were looking for monitors that could offer the highest levels of uptime and reliability, but conscious of the benefits of smart technology, we were keen to take advantage of the latest developments,” Moustapha explains. “Members of the team had previously used Vaisala sensors, so we were already aware of their accuracy and long-term reliability, so Vaisala was invited, along with others, to quote for our user requirement specifications.”

To demonstrate viewLinc’s capabilities, Vaisala staff ran a virtual demonstration of the system in operation at Vaisala’s manufacturing facility in Helsinki (FIN). “This provided an opportunity for the APL team to learn how easy it would be to setup a viewLinc system using Vaisala’s VaiNet wireless temperature and humidity loggers,” explains Vaisala Sales Manager Janne Halonen.

The VaiNet data loggers use low frequency communications to provide long-range signal strength without the need for amplifiers, even in locations with obstacles such as metal or concrete structures. The low frequency also means that it does not interfere with other network traffic. If necessary, it is also possible to connect data loggers, transmitters, or other devices to the viewLinc system using Ethernet, PoE and USB connections.

The VaiNet AP10 network access points transfer data from the data loggers to the viewLinc Enterprise Server, and both the access point and the software verify that data have been received correctly. Data are then stored in viewLinc's secure database to protect data integrity and security. Data redundancy is achieved through load distribution between different VaiNet access points, which share multiple in-range loggers. The onboard memory of each logger, and viewLinc’s database, complete the audit trail.

The probes in the data loggers use Vaisala HUMICAP® humidity technology and platinum RTD sensors to provide best-in-class levels of measurement stability. HUMICAP® sensors employ a capacitive thin-film polymer technology that is resistant to contamination by dust and condensation.

Following the viewLinc demonstration, and after a full evaluation of reference customers and Vaisala’s technical and pricing proposal, APL selected the viewLinc Continuous Monitoring System, which was installed in 2022. The system comprises over sixty VaiNet wireless RFL100 temperature & humidity data loggers, supported by multiple VaiNet AP10 wireless access points. While the data loggers are equipped with sensors designed for long-term stability, they must be calibrated to maintain accuracy and compliance. Vaisala offers a yearly calibration service, however APL chose instead to use Vaisala’s training and tools to manage calibrations in-house.

Summarising, Moustapha says: “From an operational perspective, we have been delighted with the ease of use of the system, and we have built a high level of trust in viewLinc. Our team can log in and view readings at any time of day or night, and we know that the VaiNet loggers are accurate and reliable, so we can rest assured that the system will protect our vital indoor facilities and issue an alarm if any monitoring point approaches a threshold value.”

@VaisalaGroup @_Enviro_News #APL-SE #PAuto #Environment #Sweden

Tuesday 20 June 2023

EV charging.

LEM has announced that its DCBM 400/600 direct current billing meter is the first of its kind to be certified in France by Laboratoire national de métrologie et d'essais (LNE), the country’s national laboratory for metrology and testing.

As Europe continues to develop extensive public charging infrastructure for EVs, the importance of fair and transparent billing based on energy usage (kWh) becomes crucial. The DCBM 400/600 facilitates kWh billing integration into the EV market, accelerating the time to market for rapid charging station manufacturers.

With its LCD display, industry standard data protocols, and compliance with metrology regulations, the DCBM 400/600 is suitable for both retrofit and new DC rapid charging stations, offering secure communication, authentic billing, and easy connectivity to Cloud services.

@LEM_Inc @LNE_fr @NapierPR  #Electrical #Automotive #France