Tuesday 27 February 2024

Communication gateways for industry.

The latest Industrial Communication Gateway series by Advantech has been announced. They are tailored to meet the evolving needs of the green energy market. This groundbreaking series featuring the new models, ECU-1370 and ECU-1260, represents years of continuous development and innovation and reflects Advantech's commitment to sustainable energy solutions.

The ECU-1370 and ECU-1260 models are the highlights of this series, embodying cutting-edge technology and robust features tailored for green energy applications.

The ECU-1370 is designed with a Cortex®-A53 Quad core 1.3GHz processor, 4GB DDR4, and 32GB eMMC, making it ideal for demanding applications. It offers multiple communication interfaces including 1 x CAN, 1 x RS-232/485, and 3 x GbE, along with 24 DI and 6 Relay outputs. This model operates efficiently in a wide temperature range of -40 to 80°C, ensuring reliability in various environmental conditions.

The ECU-1260 is equipped with a Cortex®-A35 Dual Core 1GHz processor, 2GB DDR3L, and 16GB eMMC. It provides 1 x CAN, 3 x RS-232/485, and 2 x GbE interfaces. This model also features a durable design, capable of operating in temperatures ranging from -40 to 70°C, making it suitable for diverse industrial settings.

Enhanced connectivity with innovative software bundles.
The Industrial Communication Gateway series stands out with its robust and versatile features, including multi-protocol support, high-performance IoT capabilities, and an industrial-grade design ensuring reliability in challenging environments. Most of the gateways are equipped with EdgeLink software, supporting over 200 OT drivers to connect to various devices, and enable smooth data flow across diverse protocols like IEC 61850, IEC 60870, OCPP, DNP3, and more. Also, leveraging the power of Advantech’s EdgeHub SaaS, the gateways in the large-scale infrastructures can be remotely monitored and managed on the single platform, saving 30% on setup and maintenance. The comprehensive gateway solutions facilitate seamless edge-to-cloud integration and simplifies the management of renewable energy systems like solar and wind power.

Continuously fulfilling commitment to sustainability.
Advantech's Industrial Communication Gateway series is not just a technological advancement but also a significant contribution to environmental sustainability. By focusing on the green energy market, the company contributes to global efforts in reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy sources. The series is expected to play a pivotal role in the management of solar, wind, and other renewable energy systems, offering enhanced efficiency and reliability.

@Advantech_IIoT @AdvantechIA @proactivefleet #PAuto #Environment #Energy

Monday 26 February 2024

Undisturbed power.

The MF 320 IEC inlet EMC filter available now from EMIS improves EMI immunity of electronic equipment while adding a safety isolating dual pole switch and dual fusing. 
Designed to supress any undesirable incoming disturbances present on power lines the MF 320 also reduces any system noise being reflected on to the mains supply.

The EMIS MF 320 meets the increasing demands of industrial, medical and ITE equipment to meet EMC regulations. Applications include Automation, Robotics, Motor drives, White Goods, Monitors, Clinical, Cosmetic and Patient Use medical equipment and Energy Meter Test Systems.

Key features include:
• Input Voltage - 250/260 VAC @ 50, 60, 400Hz.
• Power rating – available in 1A, 3A, 6A, 10A versions.
• Operating temperature range - 25°C to +85°C.
• Designed to meet – UL 60939-3, CSA 22.2 No. 8-13, IEC 60939-1&2.
• Custom designed versions available.

EMIS aims to offer an end-to-end solution to meet industry’s ongoing EMI Challenges. Customers are supported by a very experienced consulting team, a fully equipped Pre-Compliance Lab and a huge safety certified standard product offering of over 2500 part numbers produced in their own very efficient plant.

@proactivefleet #EMIS #PAuto #Electronics

Heavy duty high temp connections.

Inelco Hunter has announced the availability of the Amphenol M12, heavy-duty HDM12 high-temperature connector. It has been engineered for harsh applications with elevated vibration and challenging environmental conditions.

The HDM12 excels in harsh and heavy-duty surroundings. Applications will include Heavy Equipment, Heavy-Duty Automotive, Railway Mass Transit, Factory Automation, High-Temperature Manufacturing and any wet environment, including exposure to sea and spray. In fact, any application where an ultra-rugged connector is needed.

The temperature range is -40 °C ~ 125°C, the current rating is 4A and the voltage rating is 50 VAC, 60 VDC. The HDM12 is IP68 Waterproof Rated at 1M for 24 hours when in a mated condition. It is also salt spray rated for 240h in a mated condition. The HDM12 can withstand very harsh vibration conditions - it has a Vibration Resistance of 20G as per SAE J2839.

The Mechanical Shock rating is 50G as per SAE J2839. Approvals include UL1977 and IEC 61076-2-101.

Inelco Hunter's in-depth engineering support ensures rapid implementation and speeding up the customer’s time-to-market. Inelco Hunter’s engineers will work with the SME engineers. This added-value support is at the core of Inelco Hunter’s philosophy, and has been for the last 30 years, setting them apart from the "stock & ship" distributors.

@InelcoHunter @amphenol #PAuto 

Friday 23 February 2024

Combined PLC+HMI increases display size and options.

A large 7” vivid multi-touch display, with an integrated controller and expandable I/O, enables handling more applications than ever before.

IDEC Corporation has expanded its SmartAXIS touch family with the new FT2J Series  combined PLC+HMI. A compact all-in-one form factor combines built-in full function controller features and functions, both onboard and expandable I/O, and an advanced technology 7” touchscreen display, providing many advantages for a wide variety of industries.

An all-in-one PLC+HMI is compact and consumes far less panel space than separate units. Because the PLC and HMI are internally connected, require only one power supply, and share the same network connection, installation is simplified. The FT2J is ready to use and communicate right out of the box, and end users perform configuration with an intuitive and easy-to-use integrated development environment for both PLC and HMI functions, cutting configuration and programming time.

The integrated PLC and HMI each have their own dedicated CPU and user memory for optimized scan time performance, and they communicate natively with each other. Built-in I/O includes 14 points of DC discrete inputs (5 of them configurable as high-speed counters), and 4 points of analog inputs (configurable as 0-10VDC or 4-20mA). A relay version provides 8 points of relay outputs, while transistor versions provide 6 points sinking or 6 points sourcing of discrete outputs (4 of them configurable as pulse outputs) and 2 points of 0-10VDC or 4-20mA analog outputs.

The FT2J supports up to two expansion cartridges of discrete or analog I/O, with a number of options offered including a 2-point RTD/thermocouple analog input version. All analog inputs and outputs are 12-bit resolution.

The HMI’s projected capacitive touch panel (PCAP) advanced technology—similar to what is used for smartphones and tablets—saves space and improves performance. Besides being water- and scratch-resistant, PCAP is responsive and provides a high tolerance to resist false signals when dirt or water droplets are present on the face of the HMI. Fewer layers and better light transmission ratings mean less backlight power is needed, and the display provides an industry-leading 500 cd/m² brightness level and 50,000-hour backlight life. A small bezel provides the greatest possible display area compared with the installation footprint, and the entire package requires only a shallow mounting depth clearance. In addition to being multi-touch, users can interact with the touch HMI while using thin gloves.

The glass-top design is wear resistant and delivers a long life, even in harsh environments. A battery-free design using a hyper-capacitor, and a long 50,000 hour rated backlight life, makes these units low maintenance. Ratings for extreme temperatures from -20 to 55˚C, IP66 and IP67 for wash-down areas, IP66F and IP67F for oil resistance, UL60101, UL Type 4X/12/13, and Class I Div 2 mean the FT2J PLC+HMI can be used in a wide range of applications and locations.

All PLC and HMI configuration is accessed through IDEC’s standard WindOI-NV4 software, which is easy-to-use and intuitive, with a drag-and-drop interface and extensive image library. Projects can automatically be converted from one HMI size to another within seconds. Script programming, PIDD loop control, multilingual capabilities, security, trend charts, data logs, alarm logs, and other functions and features are supported for both the

Two USB-A ports support flash drives for data logging, recipes, and program transfer—along with dongles for speakers, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. The embedded Ethernet port provides users with easy access for remote maintenance and communication as well as Modbus TCP protocols and other intelligent devices. The built-in RS232C and RS422/485 serial communication ports support Modbus RTU and also allow the FT2J to communicate to other serial devices like barcode readers or temperature controllers.

Many communication options are available for users to create automation and IIoT solutions incorporating multiple industrial protocols, the FTP protocol, remote monitoring and control, email/text messaging, iOS and Android apps, and custom web pages.

The IDEC FT2J 7” touchscreen PLC+HMI uses modern technologies, an optimal display size, and an efficiently sized form factor, making it the ideal solution for industrial applications that simply don’t have available space or I/O content to justify larger and more complex individual HMI and PLC installations. The FT2J is ideal for many laboratory, commercial, and industrial applications throughout industries like food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, oil and gas, and agriculture. Designers of test equipment, HVAC systems, pump controls, remote wells and booster stations, and other OEM machines and process skids are finding the FT2J to be the best fit as a control and visualization solution.


Thursday 22 February 2024

A secret weapon against leaks.

"Customers have been asking us to make sure that we can prove something that's completely leak-free."

Jason Sewell
Air Power East, a family-run business with over 30 years of experience as a premier distributor of Atlas Copco, specializes in providing high-quality compressed air systems to various industries across East Anglia. Under the leadership of Jason Sewell, the company has established a strong reputation for delivering reliable and efficient solutions.

However, they faced a significant challenge in ensuring their systems were completely leak-free, a concern shared by their clients, including an agricultural manufacturer managed by Paul Musgrove. Jason highlighted the issue, stating, "Customers have been asking us to make sure that we can prove something that's completely leak-free."

Concurrently, Paul Musgrove was seeking an effective way to manage and maintain their compressed air systems, with a specific focus on reducing energy waste and operational costs, emphasizing the need to "save money where we can, especially with energy prices as they are."

This dual challenge called for an innovative approach to maintain Air Power East's commitment to quality and efficiency while addressing the specific needs of their clients.

To address the intertwined challenges, Jason reached out to Baseline-RTS, an independent supplier of training and predictive maintenance equipment. They introduced Air Power East to the FLIR Si124 camera, an advanced acoustic imaging tool, capable of accurately detecting air leaks. Jason explains, "We sat down and did a bit of market research on a few different models and then came to the top. So, we contacted FLIR to come along and show us the Si124, and we've loved it ever since."

The Si124 is a lightweight, one-handed tool designed to quickly locate pressurized leaks in compressed air systems or detect partial discharge from high-voltage electrical systems. It is equipped with 124 microphones to produce a precise acoustic image that visually displays ultrasonic information. This image is transposed in real time on top of a digital camera picture, allowing users to accurately pinpoint the source of sound. The Si124 camera can detect issues up to 10 times faster than traditional methods, even in loud industrial environments. Additionally, it is compatible with FLIR Thermal Studio suite for offline editing, analysis, and advanced report creation, and it can help facilities save money on utility bills and delay the expense of installing new compressors.

The use of the Si124 camera brought about transformative results. Jason explained the camera's effectiveness: "We've managed to walk around with the customer, showing them exactly what we're finding on our screen. And if we do find any small leaks, we can rectify them and then we can prove to the customer that their system is leak-free." This approach not only heightened the efficiency of the compressed air systems but also solidified customer trust in Air Power East's services.

Quantitative results underscore the Si124's impact. The camera enabled the detection of leaks amounting to approximately 100 cubic feet per minute (CFM), which is roughly 50 liters per second. This translates to about 18.5 kilowatts of compressor power, leading to substantial energy and cost savings, particularly in light of rising energy prices.

Air Power East's adoption of the FLIR Si124 camera to address the complex challenges in compressed air systems illustrates the power of innovative technology in industrial settings. The successful detection and rectification of air leaks not only enhanced operational efficiency but also led to considerable energy and cost savings for the agricultural manufacturer. This case study demonstrates the effectiveness of advanced tools in solving intricate industrial problems and highlights the importance of technology-driven solutions in optimizing industrial processes.

@flir @airpowereast @mepaxIntPR #PAUTO

Rugged PC connects industrial floor to cloud.

Delivers high-performance computing for industrial edge data visualization applications

The new PACSystems™ IPC 2010 Compact Industrial PC (IPC) has been announced by Emerson. This is a rugged industrial computer designed to handle a wide range of machine and discrete part manufacturing automation applications. The new solution is designed to serve manufacturing sites and OEM machine builders who need a ruggedized, compact, durable IPC to cost-effectively support their Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and other digital transformation initiatives.

The IPC 2010 addresses this by pre-loading the PACEdge™ industrial edge platform and elements of Movicon.NExT™ SCADA software, helping users run applications quickly using browser-based configuration. Provisions are included for keeping the software platform current and passively maintained, minimizing user effort, while maximizing reliability.

Running an industrial version of Linux, and including serial and Ethernet connectivity, the IPC 2010 can be used as a communications gateway in a variety of topologies, and simultaneously or separately as an edge computing device. Users can implement the IPC 2010 as a flexible protocol converter—and for many other computing functions—in many IIoT, edge, OT/IT convergence, HMI visualization, SCADA connectivity, and digital transformation roles.

Both the hardware and software are designed to be adaptable, universal, and scalable, providing a standardized and unified user experience that is easy-to-use, powerful, and supported by Emerson’s lifecycle services. The compact form factor IPC 2010 features the widest operating temperature range of any passively cooled IPC, with a low power consumption of just four watts, and tough packaging so it can be installed virtually anywhere.

The IPC 2010 offers an advantageous price/performance ratio, with no ongoing annual licensing costs, or charges for general and cybersecurity updates. Additional features, such as Movicon Connext© or WebHMI, can be activated or added at any time.

“Many customers undergoing a digital transformation want to start small and earn trust as they seek out value from edge-enabled applications,” said William Paczkowski, product manager for the IPC 2010 for Emerson’s discrete automation business. “The IPC 2010 is specifically designed as a pre-packaged and economical solution so they can get running quickly and cost effectively.”

Emerson is already building the IPC 2010 into a range of larger offerings for leak detection, compressed air monitoring, batching systems, cloud enablement services, and other packaged solutions. This flexible industrial technology will enable customers of all types to benefit from their advanced capabilities.

The EMEA Emerson User Group meeting is scheduled for next week (February 27-29 2024) in Duesseldorf (D).

@EMR_Automation @EmersonExchange @mepaxIntPR #Pauto 

Cable assemblies & interconnect components from acquisition.

TTI, Inc. - Europe has announced the acquisition of Raffenday Ltd, a specialist manufacturer and distributor of low and high-voltage cable assemblies and interconnect component solutions for the automotive and transportation markets. 

With production and a distribution center in Britain and with facilities in Slovakia, Raffenday’s high-quality, technical resources and value-added services complement TTI’s capabilities. Their specialization in connectivity solutions continues to add versatility and flexibility to support customers’ requirements.
LtoR: Simon Carter, Technical Director, and Simon Blincow, General Manager and Sales Director, Raffenday, Geoff Breed, Vice President Marketing TTI-Europe, Karl Garner, Operations Director, Raffenday.

Raffenday will continue to run independently as part of the TTI Family of Specialists using its 37 years of extensive experience to work alongside the TTI IP&E business to develop a comprehensive go-to-market strategy.

“We are delighted to be bringing Raffenday into the TTI Family of IP&E Specialists, and excited about working closely with the Raffenday team,” says Geoff Breed, Vice President Marketing TTI, Inc. – Europe. “There are many synergies between our two companies, including shared ideas on core distribution values and a strong focus on quality and customer service, thus making this acquisition a perfect fit. With a focus on TE Connectivity and Aptiv, two of our main product lines, Raffenday is renowned in the UK for its low- and high-voltage cable assembly solutions as well as interconnect distribution in the automotive and transportation sectors. With a TTI world-class broad and deep inventory, Raffenday now has off-the-shelf access to our complete portfolio to better respond to customers’ specific needs. It’s an exciting time with high-voltage applications growing fast, especially with the accelerated rollout of EV and associated infrastructure, battery energy storage systems (BESS) for renewable energy storage and grid stability enhancements.”

Simon Blincow, General Manager and Sales Director, Raffenday commented: “With a legacy spanning 37 years in the specialised automotive and transportation sectors, Raffenday Ltd proudly joins the TTI family. With TTI’s extensive inventory and renowned expertise as a leading IP&E distributor, we anticipate accelerated growth in the upcoming years. Catering to diverse industries including specialist vehicles, industrial machinery, marine, and the evolving high-voltage and electric vehicle sectors, our alignment with TTI signifies a seamless synergy for Raffenday’s journey ahead.”

@ttiinc @TEConnectivity@RaffendayLtd @Publitek #PAuto #transport #Automotive

Wednesday 21 February 2024

International co-operation for Data science and ICT education.

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science in Ireland, Simon Harris TD, together with U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Director, Sethuraman Panchanathan, have announced parallel programmes aimed at fostering student mobility and research collaboration between the United States and Ireland. 

NSF's ethuraman Panchanathan (left)
with Irish Minister Harris TD.
These initiatives, funded by the NSF and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) respectively, aim to facilitate the exchange of PhD students in the areas of data science and ICT. This collaboration signifies the commitment of both agencies to promoting international collaborations and fostering a global research community.

“This is a real and tangible outcome of our recent trip to the United States, where we sought to solidify and strengthen relationships between our two great countries," said Minister Harris at a recent meeting at the NSF in Washington (DC USA). "Student mobility partnership is a launching pad for lifelong connections, collaborations, and mutual learning. By nurturing strong ties between the scientific communities of the United States and Ireland, discoveries and advancements across various academic disciplines will undoubtedly flourish. By immersing themselves in diverse research environments, talented students will be uniquely positioned to address the complex challenges of the modern world.”

“The National Science Foundation Research Traineeship US-Ireland Student Mobility program has had a tremendous impact on students in its first year,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “The program has provided a unique opportunity for U.S. and Irish students to receive professional development training and experience cross-cultural exchange. We are delighted to renew the program for a second year in alignment with our goal of supporting a more globally engaged U.S. STEM workforce.”

Prof Philip Nolan, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, welcoming the news said, “SFI is very pleased to be renewing its partnership with the NSF on this student mobility programme, building upon the success of last year’s cohort, which marked the start of this initiative. Feedback from participants has been extremely positive, with the programme’s facilitation of rich collaborations notably highlighted.”

The programme links PhD students from the six SFI-funded Centres for Research Training (CRT) with universities participating in the prestigious NSF Research Traineeship Program (NRT). SFI will provide the support for 20 CRT students to travel to the NRTs in the US for between 4 to 12 weeks. The NSF will support the travel of NRT students to the CRTs in Ireland. Students will travel between June to October 2024.

@scienceirel @NSF @DeptofFHed @SimonHarrisTD #Education

Testing for ultrafast, large-capacity 5G communications.

Anritsu Corporation and MediaTek have verified Advanced three uplink transmission (3TX) Technology featured in MediaTek's M80 5G Modem by using Anritsu's MT8000A all-in-one Radio Communication Test Station, providing a flexible test platform for ultrafast, large-capacity 5G communications. The MT8000A supports sub-6 GHz and mmWave RF tests, as well as protocol tests for development of advanced 5G technologies.

The demands on uplink performance are increasing with the rise of live streaming, sharing videos by SMS, multi-player gaming and video conferences. As more consumers are looking to record their experiences and share them with the world in real time, this 3TX approach dramatically improves upload times for users.

3TX technology consists of a combination of one uplink transmission of 1CC with FDD SISO and two uplink transmissions of 1CC with TDD 2x2MIMO in 5G sub-6 GHz Standalone to reach top uplink speeds, marking a breakthrough achievement in mobile wireless capabilities.

This advanced 3TX technology will be demonstrated at MediaTek’s booth at MWC2024, where visitors will see how 3TX technology improves user upload and streaming experiences as a result of the faster uplink speeds versus 2TX. Anritsu will provide its industry-leading MT8000A 5G Tester as a working Base-station Emulator to establish call connection in 3TX, and MediaTek will test its T830 platform.

@Anritsu @AnritsuEMEA @MediaTek @NapierPR #TandM #Telecommunications

Carbon Dioxide derived concrete - an answer>

CO2-Derived Concrete Can Build a Net-Negative Future writes Eve Pope, Technology Analyst at IDTechEx.

In a world with a growing population and a rapidly expanding construction sector to match, how do we prevent building homes from damaging our climate? Concrete is the second most consumed material on Earth, but its key ingredient, cement, is responsible for 7% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. The answer could come from thin air - CO2-derived building materials.

The new IDTechEx report "Carbon Dioxide Utilization 2024-2044: Technologies, Market Forecasts, and Playersexplores many ways to valorize captured carbon dioxide to create useful products. Among these, CO2-derived building materials showed particular promise due to performance improvements and cost-competitiveness, as well as sustainability benefits. IDTechEx forecasts over 170 million tonnes of captured CO2 will be utilized in building materials by 2044.

Carbon dioxide can be utilized in concrete production in three different ways: injection of CO2 during curing of precast concrete, injection of CO2 during mixing of ready-mixed concrete, and formation of carbonate aggregates/additives.

Stages of concrete production with utilization (CO2U) and carbon capture (CC) opportunities labeled
Unlike some other carbon dioxide utilization pathways, such as the conversion to e-fuels, which requires large amounts of energy and green hydrogen (often prohibitively expensive), the basic mineralization chemistry underpinning the uptake of CO2 during concrete manufacturing is thermodynamically favored and less energy-intensive because stable metal carbonates are formed. These carbonates represent effectively permanent sequestration of CO2, so CO2-derived building materials double up as simultaneous carbon dioxide utilization and carbon dioxide storage. The process is compatible with many different sources of CO2.

Valorizing waste.
In addition to waste CO2, solid waste streams can also be repurposed into new concrete using CO2 mineralization chemistry to form carbonates. For example, CO2-derived concrete players include Swiss company neustark, who uses the reaction of CO2 with demolished concrete to store carbon dioxide and produce concrete aggregate. Another aggregate producer, O.C.O Technology, instead uses CO2 and waste materials from industrial thermal processes. Meanwhile, building materials giant Heidelberg Materials has ongoing R&D into recycling concrete using CO2 to form a cement substitute. Steel slag is being explored by companies including Carbonaide and CarbiCrete as a cement replacement during CO2-aided curing. Additional revenue can be generated through waste disposal fees, with some CO2-derived concrete players reporting to having already achieved price parity with incumbents.

Accelerating adoption.

Concrete production is typically low-margin, and willingness to pay a green premium is low. Therefore, widespread deployment of CO2-derived concrete will rely on CO2 utilization technology players, creating easy-to-adopt solutions that are minimally disruptive to existing manufacturing processes. In CO2-aided curing, some players have targeted retrofittable curing chambers. Elsewhere, plug-and-play and mobile unit solutions are also being commercialized.

2023 saw the release of several ASTM standards around CO2-aided curing, improving confidence in the safety and quality of CO2-derived precast concrete. While many CO2-derived building materials have yet to achieve price parity with conventional concrete, some customers are willing to pay a premium due to enhanced performance (such as higher strength and improved aesthetics).

Going beyond net-zero.

The direct uptake of CO2 into concrete can be a net-zero process if the carbon dioxide is sourced from a fossil point source (such as a coal power station) or a net-negative process if biogenic or direct air-captured CO2 is used. In 2023, a collaboration between direct air capture (DAC) company Heirloom and CO2-derived concrete player CarbonCure stored CO2 captured from the ambient air into concrete for the first time.

But is CO2-derived concrete still net-negative when considering the CO2 released during cement production? The formation of metal carbonates during CO2 mineralization can increase concrete strength and reduce the amount of cement needed. Alternatively, some carbonate additives can act as supplementary cementitious materials and replace cement. Therefore, according to IDTechEx?s analysis of players, several can produce carbon-negative concrete products. The permanent storage of CO2 into concrete enables players to sell high-value carbon dioxide removal credits on the voluntary carbon market.

Carbon footprint data from 12 CO2-derived concrete players.

The way forward.

Although the production of CO2-derived concrete is more expensive than conventional concrete, revenue can be generated through waste disposal fees and carbon credit sales, with some players already reporting to achieve price parity. In the future, stronger regulatory support (for example, increased carbon pricing) will accelerate uptake further, with IDTechEx forecasting over 170 million tonnes of captured CO2 will be utilized in building materials by 2044. With carbon capture solutions for cement kilns continuing to develop, CO2 could be sourced from cement production, creating a circular solution.

For more information on IDTechEx's CCUS (carbon capture, utilization, and storage) market research portfolio, please refer to the IDTechEx "Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) Markets 2023-2043" and "Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Markets 2023-2040: Technologies, Players, and Forecasts" reports.

• See also Concrete carbon solution.(19/2/2024) 

@IDTechEx #PAuto #IoT

Device management for mobile and OPC UA applications.

The FDT Group™ has announced certification of its first Device Specific DTM based on the latest FDT 3.0 standard supporting the HART protocol from Flowserve Corporation. The newest certified Logix 3820 Series DTM is deployable using their positioners supporting HART 6 / 7, tackling flow control challenges designed for modern IIoT architectures.

FDT DTM certification to the FDT 3.0 specification and webUI is a process whereby rigorous compliance testing using dtmINSPECTOR5 ensures the viability of the states of the DTM; its correct installation, de-installation, and multi-user environment capability; mandatory and optional user interface functionality and robustness; network scanning communication performance and the ability to import and export the topology; and the audit trail capability.

“Flowserve is proud to be the first vendor to offer a software-based webUI DTM based on FDT 3.0.” Says Manjunath Atchutanna, global digital technology manager at Flowserve Corporation. “The industry is transformative with flow control applications designated as critical control. Our new DTM* meets modern use case challenges that extend standardized device management for valve control to mobile solutions and other higher-level applications using OPC UA, enabling service-oriented maintenance scenarios.”

FDT 3.0 DTMs are crucial to unlocking universal device integration with essential advantages such as platform independence, mobility solutions, and a contemporary development environment to reduce costs and expedite the DTM certification process. Users can use secure and seamless data exchange/interrogation from the sensor to the cloud and achieve new levels of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) integration.

“This certification is a milestone in market penetration and technology development,” says Steve Biegacki, FDT Group managing director. “Flowserve has always been a leader in flow control using DTM technology and now offers the first flow control management DTM standardized for IIoT architectures based on FDT 3.0 for HART applications. HART users can deploy this new DTM and reap the benefits by using an FDT 3.0-based device management tool, such as PACTware 6.1, and can enjoy an IT/OT data-centric model by deploying an FDT Server, extending the data reach to mobile applications and the enterprise.”

* The DTM can be downloaded from Flowserve’s website.

@FDTGroup @Flowserve #PAuto 

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Strain Gauge Modules and J1939 and CAN Protocol Sleds.

New strain gauge modules and J1939 and CAN protocol sleds designed to enhance and scale its FlexEdge® Intelligent Edge Automation Platform have been announced by Red Lion®.

The new strain gauge modules are easily installable and configurable and come in both SSR output and relay output options. Both offer single loop PID capabilities to monitor, measure, and control equipment. Designed to thrive in harsh environments, the modules accept signals from load cell, pressure, and torque bridge transducers. With a software-selectable 5 VDC or 10 VDC stable bridge excitation voltage, each strain gauge module can drive up to four 350W bridges. The inputs are also software selectable for low level inputs at ±20 mV, ±33 mV, and ±200 mV full scale.

Alongside the new strain gauge capabilities, Red Lion launched two field-installable sleds, serving either the J1939 or CAN protocol. Providing a seamless interface between industrial equipment and the controller environment, the protocol sleds can be powered and configured directly from the FlexEdge® DA50 or DA70 controller using Red Lion’s Crimson software.

The new modules make critical performance data easier to gather, more accurate, and actionable in real time. This lets equipment operators and business leaders drive more value out of industrial data. Easy-to-use installation and configuration save time, boost operational performance, improve plant efficiency, and minimize downtime.

Red Lion products are marketed in Ireland through Instrument Technology Ltd.

@redlioncontrols @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Communcations

Product offering expansion to meet evolving market demands.

LEMO has launched its enhanced product family portfolio aimed at simplifying the selection process for customers.

Designed to streamline the presentation of LEMO's extensive range of solutions, the new product family portfolio highlights core series organized into six distinct families based on shared functionality and specific market applications.

“We used basically two concepts: the first one was really to focus on the series that sell most; the second was to regroup those series that share similar features and that share similar needs in the market” explained Wim Vanheertum, Head of Product Marketing.

The six product families include:

  • ORIGINALS: Configurable solutions tailored to individual needs.
  • REDEL: Medical preferred solutions designed for reliability and performance.
  • OPTIMA: Optimized solutions engineered for efficiency.
  • SUPREME: Extreme solutions built to withstand harsh environments.
  • SPECIALTIES: Specialized solutions catering to unique requirements.
  • CABLE SOLUTIONS: Unique cable solutions offering comprehensive connectivity.

This classification system enables customers to swiftly identify the most suitable series for their applications, ensuring a seamless selection process.

In addition to their product families, LEMO emphasizes its commitment to providing customized and comprehensive connectivity solutions through a range of complementary services.

@LEMOConnectors @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Communications

Lifecycle services for industrial data networks.

Global support services to enhance the design, maintenance and security of critical data communications networks

A range of pre-packaged service agreements has been launched by Westermo.  These are to help manufacturers, utilities, transportation and other industries to maintain, secure and improve data communications networks over their lifecycle. The increasing reliance on data communications to operate critical applications places greater emphasis on reliability and security. By utilising the extensive experience and expertise within Westermo, organisations will be able to improve network performance and maximise the availability of operations.

Peter Ahlström
“Westermo has a deserved reputation for developing extremely reliable, energy efficient and secure industrial networking technology that is suitable for mission-critical applications,” said Peter Ahlström, services product manager at Westermo. “The need for more robust and reliable data communications continues to grow, but achieving this requires more than just state-of-the-art products. It is also essential to have a reliable and accessible partner with the right expertise to support companies throughout the lifecycle of their networks."

Extensive industry knowledge, including specific requirements and regulations, enables Westermo engineers to design, implement and manage network solutions for any mission-critical application, regardless of project size and complexity. Experienced domain experts will provide end-to-end solutions, ensuring networks are designed to provide the highest level of performance, security, reliability and scalability.

The service agreements, which can cover a specific installation, facility or geographic region, include comprehensive technical support, with prioritised fast response units available to diagnose issues and help minimise network downtime. To combat cyber threats, Westermo will identify network vulnerabilities and provide correctional actions. Continuous cybersecurity advisories are provided and a security incident response team is available to give immediate support, if required. Online and in-person certified training courses are designed to increase the efficiency of commissioning, maintenance and troubleshooting, and ultimately to enhance network performance and reliability.

Alice Frykberg
“Many organisations lack the necessary in-house expertise to implement and maintain critical data networks. Westermo has a wealth of experience, which enables us to provide essential advice on implementation, operation and maintenance,” said Alice Frykberg, services and support manager at Westermo. “The new service agreements allow our customers to leverage our expertise, enabling them to reduce the complexity of network design and ensure continued high levels of availability and performance over the lifecycle of the network.”

The service agreements are backed by extended warranties for Westermo hardware, which is designed and built to ensure a long lifecycle. This helps to maximise network availability, reduce total cost of ownership and improve sustainability through increased materials resource efficiency. Firmware updates improve the performance, functionality and security features of the Westermo WeOS operating system.

Complementing the new service agreements is the Westermo online service portal that supports improved asset management. Easy access to consolidated information about installed products helps to increase the efficiency of firmware updates and spare parts handling. The portal also provides notifications about security vulnerabilities before they become available to the public and new releases of firmware. This helps to maximise network performance and combat the growing threat of cyberattacks.

@WestermoUK @westermo @HHC_Lewis #PAuto #Power

Monday 19 February 2024

Before you jump into Cloud hosted LIMS.

Autoscribe Informatics (A Xybion Company) took the opportunity in a recent webinar to discuss the much-misunderstood subject of cloud hosted laboratory software solutions. Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) are the heart of any modern laboratory, recording and storing all sample and associated meta data, as well as inventory, quality, staff training, and instrumentation information in one place. 

The choice of whether to keep the application and its associated data local to the laboratory and on-premise, or remotely in the cloud, is a more complex choice than it may seem. Considerations should go well beyond the resource needed to maintain the software and data and the costs of doing so, but often do not.

This webinar gave senior managers in organizations with laboratories, the knowledge to ask the tough questions and uncover which is the right choice for them.*

Developed using Autoscribe’s many years of industry experience, it provided a balanced view of the benefits and limitations of on-premise and cloud solutions. Presented by Samuel Clark, Technical Sales Manager for North America at Autoscribe Informatics, it drew on recent experience in implementing laboratory informatics solutions across multiple industries from pharmaceutical and medical devices, to environmental, food and drink.

Topics covered included:

  • Why use the Cloud?
  • What does “Cloud” even mean?
  • How secure is a cloud system?
  • What happens to your data?
  • How can you integrate instruments and other systems?
  • What are the disaster recovery options

As a learning aid, this webinar is essential viewing for those making the hard choices of where to keep the main corporate asset – data. It recognizes there are trade-offs to make, and often no perfect answers, yet arms the audience with the facts to drive the right decision for their organization. After this webinar viewers will be able to decide which choice is right for their organization. 

Autoscribe supports both on-premise and cloud deployments with their Matrix Gemini LIMS, the choice entirely up to the needs of each client.

* View the webinar here

@AutoscribeLtd @AutoscribeCorp #LIMS #Laboratory

Concrete carbon solution.

As the climate continues to warm, so does the demand for technologies that can reduce CO2 emissions and/or efficiently remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Proposed solutions for sequestering CO2 are plentiful, but there are serious issues around how to verify the claims made by the promoters of these innovations. Accurately measuring the veracity of claims has become a key issue in the private sector’s Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM)*, which is increasingly emphasising the need to monitor, verify, and report the amount of CO2 that is actually captured and stored.

Jonne Hirvonen & Tapio Vehmas
Carbonaide, a Finnish company serving the concrete industry, has a clear answer to this challenge – and it’s market-ready. Their technology utilises CO2 to produce a carbonate mineral. With support and cooperation from the measurement technology company Vaisala, Carbonaide’s solution is practical and straightforward, and underpinned by accurate monitoring.

Big challenges call for smart solutions.
Climate changing CO2 emissions come from many sources, but the concrete industry alone emits 8% of global CO2, mostly in the form of emissions from standard Portland cement manufacturing. As a major global contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, the concrete industry is under enormous pressure to lower its carbon footprint. A single ton of Portland cement creates an astounding 800–900 kilograms of CO2 emissions, and with regulations increasingly tightening around concrete production emissions, efficient technologies to reduce the CO2 emissions from concrete are in high demand. The challenges are several-fold: How to remove CO2? Where to store it? How to do this affordably? And – just as importantly – how to accurately measure performance?

Simply stated, Carbonaide’s expertise is in the transformation of concrete from a large emission source into a carbon storage sink. The company’s CEO is Tapio Vehmas, an analytical chemist by training with more than 20 years of experience in the concrete sector. He is one of the co-founders of Carbonaide, alongside COO Jonne Hirvonen. As Vehmas puts it, “Our goal is quite focused – to create a more sustainable future with cutting-edge tech that doesn’t just reduce the carbon emissions of concrete, but also stores more CO2 than it emits throughout its lifetime.”

Explaining the Carbonaide proposition, Vehmas says, “As experts in both carbon curing and sustainable carbon dioxide value chains, we offer an effective and robust decarbonisation technology for pre-cast concrete manufacturers. With our technology, a concrete manufacturer can reduce cement consumption in daily production and also decrease the carbon footprint of its products by mineralising CO2 into concrete.”

Carbonation is traditionally considered as a degradation mechanism of hardened concrete. In Carbonaide technology, carbonation is reversed into beneficial mineral formation during the concrete hardening process. Carbonate mineral formation enables the utilisation of CO2 as a supplementary cementitious material and provides permanent storage of gaseous CO2.

Carbonaide COO Jonne Hirvonen is eager to talk about the advantages of their production-ready innovation and the ways his team has benefitted from Vaisala’s advanced measurement tools. “Our unique advantage is that we accurately measure and control the carbon-curing process. Just as importantly, we have pushed our product to be as easy as possible to install and start using. The majority of our measurements are CO2 levels – and the quality of online measurement data is a top priority for us.”

Hirvonen continues, “Unlike many, our carbonation can be efficiently and accurately verified by process measurements, without the need to constantly sample the concrete products. One early challenge we faced was that CO2 is usually measured in either ppm levels or for workplace safety purposes – but our range requirement is very wide. For this reason, we needed new solutions that did not impose risks on the quality of our measurements. At this point it became clear that Vaisala could play an important role in our solution.”

Carbonaide’s initial requirements were quite simple. As they developed their process, they understood that significant measurement needs would arise, so they were eager to go with a partner who really understood this. Hirvonen is also keen to emphasise that partnering with Vaisala was not only useful in the initial development stages. “If your business is expected to grow, you should only work with partners that are able to help at both the early stages, and also later, during implementation on a larger scale.”

*Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM)

@CarbonCredits @VaisalaGroup@_Enviro_News #PAuto #Environment #Finnland 

Friday 16 February 2024

Enhanced security and connectivity for server.

The Secure Integration Server (SIS) from Softing Industrial now supports the MQTT* protocol. This improves connectivity and security for data integration in IT/OT cloud applications.

The SIS offers a structured solution for complex server architectures. It combines various OPC UA servers at the automation level with their associated address spaces. This enables a standardized mapping of these address spaces in accordance with the OPC UA Companion Specification. The data provided in this way is then available for IoT cloud applications via a standardized OPC UA interface.

The latest version of the SIS, V1.30, integrates the MQTT protocol (versions 3 and 5), making data integration more secure and flexible. 

The most significant benefits include:
• MQTT Publisher & Subscriber: enables bi-directional data traffic for efficient communication.
• MQTT Authentication Settings: Ensure security and identification between clients and brokers through various authentication methods such as anonymous, username or certificates.
• MQTT Store&Forward Function: Protects against data loss.
• Various Publishing Modes and "Dynamic Payload": Guarantee high flexibility for different data requirements.
• Up to 25 MQTT Connections: Ensure seamless communication and provide a scalable solution.

Product Manager Andreas Röck commented on this development: "The integration of the MQTT protocol into our Secure Integration Server underlines our commitment to advanced solutions in industrial data integration. The enhanced security and connectivity features open up new possibilities for efficient and reliable data transmission for our customers."

* Message Queue Telemetry Transport (TechTarget IoT Agenda)

@SoftingIA @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Communications

Speakers at cybersecurity summit announced.

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has announced two keynote speakers for the 2024 OT Cyber Security Summit in London (GB) from 18-19 June 2023. Sarah Fluchs, CTO, admeritia GmBH, and Simon Hodgkinson, former BP CISO will present at this year's event.

Sarah Fluchs is the CTO of admeritia, which specializes in security consulting for the process industry, manufacturing, and critical infrastructures. Sarah leads the government-funded research project IDEAS (Integrated Data Models for the Engineering of Automation Security) and has taken a side role as a scientific researcher at Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg since 2021. Sarah is a board member and active contributor to ISA and IEC standards regarding automation security.

Simon Hodgkinson is an experienced technology leader who has worked in the software sector, financial services, and energy sector. Simon spent 18 years working for BP in a variety of global roles, the last being CISO, and transformed cyber security with a strategy of embedding security to simplify and accelerate adoption. Simon advised the BP board and has shared his expertise on numerous technology and diversity forums.

The OT Cyber Summit will focus on the leading international standards and conformance systems that are being used to keep operational technology (OT) safe and secure in industries such as energy, manufacturing, building automation, and more.

New developments within the ISA/IEC 62443 standards series will be highlighted and technical training and certification programs designed to help implement standards into workforce and business operations. Professionals involved in the security process should attend this event to learn more about workforce development strategies, hardware and software protection practices, and ways to improve infrastructure and data security measures. 

@ISA_Interchange @automation_com #PAuto #Cybersecurity #Britain

Security management certification.

Sensirion Connected Solutions has successfully obtained the ISO 27001 certification, the internationally recognized standard for information security management systems (ISMS).

The company, by achieving the ISO 27001 certification, the company demonstrates its commitment to protecting the data of its customers, partners and employees, as well as complying with all relevant laws and regulations. The certification also validates the effectiveness and efficiency of the company’s security processes and controls.

Two innovative solutions are offered for the industrial sector: AiSight and Nubo Sphere. AiSight is a cloud-based platform that uses advanced analytics to provide actionable insights for predictive maintenance. Nubo Sphere is a continuous emissions monitoring solution that uses advanced sensor technology and algorithms to detect, localize and quantify methane emissions from oil and gas facilities.

Both solutions require a high level of data security and reliability, as they deal with sensitive and critical information. By obtaining the ISO 27001 certification, Sensirion assures its customers that their data is handled with the utmost care and respect, and that the company follows the highest security standards. This is part of Sensirion Connected Solutions dedication towards the highest quality standards for its solutions and services, as already shown with its ISO 9001 certified production facilities.

Felix Hoehne, General Manager at Sensirion Connected Solutions says: “I’m delighted to share this achievement with our global stakeholders. It underscores our goal to deliver high quality and secure solutions for the energy and industrial sector. I would like to thank our dedicated team for their hard work and contribution to this milestone”.

Difference between ISO 27001 and SOC 2 The ISO 27001 certification is different from the SOC 2 attestation, which is a common security framework in the US market. While both frameworks aim to ensure data security, they have slightly different scopes and approaches.

The ISO 27001 certification covers the entire ISMS of an organization, while the SOC 2 attestation focuses on specific security controls relevant to the services provided by an organization. The ISO 27001 certification is more rigorous and comprehensive, as it requires an organization to implement and maintain an ISMS that meets the universal standards for every industry and geographic location. The SOC 2 attestation is more flexible and tailored, as it allows an organization to choose the security controls that suit its individual industry standards and needs. Both frameworks are valuable and respected in the market, but the ISO 27001 certification is more widely recognized and accepted internationally.

@sensirion #Energy #PAuto

Thursday 15 February 2024

IEC 62443-4-1 certification progress achieved.

HMS Networks has announced that its Anybus brand has successfully attained Maturity Level 3 (ML3) certification in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 62443-4-1: Secure product development lifecycle requirements, an industrial cybersecurity standard.

The IEC 62443-4-1 certification has become integral to the entire Anybus operation.

Key individuals involved in this certification.
LtoR: Björn Mattson, Project Manager; Joakim Wiberg, Head of Technology; Erik Asp, Development Process Manager; and Bartek S. Candell, Senior Vice President, Control Centric.

Independently audited by TÜV Rheinland, a globally recognized testing service provider, this achievement signifies Anybus' dedication to robust cybersecurity practices.

Maturity Level 3 represents a significant milestone in Anybus' cybersecurity journey, demonstrating heightened maturity and sophistication. It highlights Anybus' ability to integrate cybersecurity measures across its operations and products, further solidifying its position as a trusted partner in industrial automation. Anybus received the certificate after demonstrating that its product development and life cycle management processes met the stringent criteria throughout the development of two new products.

Bartek Candell, Senior Vice President Control Centric, commented on this significant achievement: “In today’s interconnected industry, every component of a network must be fortified against cybersecurity threats. At Anybus, we are unwavering in our commitment to providing the best and most secure products, assisting our customers in protecting their critical infrastructure. Achieving IEC 62443-4-1 certification at Maturity Level 3 is a testament to our dedication and the seriousness with which we approach cybersecurity. It marks the next step in our commitment to providing cutting-edge solutions for mission-critical industrial needs.”

@hmsnetworks @HMSAnybus @mepaxIntPR #Pauto