Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Are you sitting comfortably?

For advanced and sophisticated seat pressure mapping Interface Force Measurements announce the availability of a new range of systems from XSensor. Incorporating the new LX series of capacitive pressure sensors, these systems provide seating engineers with highly accurate, repeatable and durable testing. 

Pressure mapping is increasingly being used in seating design and test, as customers demand more comfort and safety and more options are offered. By providing customised solutions with highly sensitive and accurate sensors, the XSensor pressure mapping systems are an invaluable tool for assessing automotive and aerospace seat designs, ingress/egress testing and manufacturing quality control.

At the heart of the systems is the X3 LX sensor series, a range of pressure sensors that have been proven to be extremely accurate due to high repeatability, low hysteresis and low creep characteristics. What makes these sensors particularly suitable for pressure mapping is that they demonstrate unrivalled durability, conformability and image detail, making the ideal for engineering research and design. 

The new LX series provide accurate measurement of the interface’s true pressure by conforming to the topology of the surface and is able to minimise sensor effect, while maintaining spatial integrity – with no compromise to image quality. Cost of ownership is also reduced as the improved calibration stability leads to consistent data over thousands of cycles.

As part of the system, Interface Force offers the latest X3 Pro V7.0 software that focuses on offering more effective process and reporting tools for the test engineer. The new Pro V7 enables users to overlay pressure images on photos or graphics and adjust the pressure image size and positioning to specific h-point references, as well as a host of other features. 

@interfaceforce #Transportation #Automotive

Marketing team expanded!

Ion Science is continuing to increase headcount with a newly expanded marketing team to enhance global delivery of its occupational health and environmental gas detection monitoring instrumentation. The Cambridgeshire-based company has appointed Emily Lane and Gracia Scott as Marketing Assistants while Andrew Scott joins as Multi-media Designer.

LtoR: Emily Lane, Andrew Scott and Gracia Scott.
Long-standing Ion Science employee, Andrew Scott, joined the company in 1996 as technical, customer and sales support in the special projects department. Since then, he has enjoyed a variety of key roles including Product Manager and Project Manager for business development.

Emily joined Ion Science from ECS Global Inc where she was Account Manager responsible for the day-to-day management of global accounts. Prior to this, she was Visitor Experience overseeing the CEO’s Itinerary, internal meeting reservations and ensuring excellent customer service.

Gracia started working at Ion Science as a Trainee Marketing Assistant after finishing her A-levels at a Cambridge Sixth Form College. She progressed to Marketing Assistant shortly after a successful year’s service.

Ion Science Marketing Manager, Sam Holson, heads up the department and comments: “The newly expanded marketing team will help support our rapidly expanding business and portfolio of market-leading gas detection instrumentation over the next few years. Demonstrating a passion for marketing, Andrew, Emily and Gracia will work closely with distributors, sales and Ion Science overseas offices in Italy, Germany and the USA to help ensure continued growth both in Europe and the rest of the world."

Sam adds: “With this infusion of energy, drive and enthusiasm, we can promote the Ion Science brand and its products more effectively.”

@ionscience #PAuto @elhcomms

Monday, October 24, 2016

Boosting sugarcane delivery at Thai plant.

A Control Techniques Unidrive M600 variable speed drive is helping a major sugar plant in Thailand to guarantee the efficient delivery of sugarcane between processes.

First established in 1946, Mitr Phol Sugar Corp is the largest sugar producer in Thailand today, the biggest in Asia and the world’s fourth largest, producing 2 million tons of sugar a year from its various plants. To help produce this much sugar, Mitr Phol has to process around 20 million tons of sugarcane. At its Phulaung plant (in northeast Thailand), the company recently opted to replace the drive on its principal variable speed sugarcane conveyors to help meet demand.

“We have used various drives for this application in the past, but were attracted to the closed loop control of the Unidrive M600 with SI-Encoder module, as well as the low harmonics,” explained Mr Wanchai, the plant’s electrical & automation manager.

The SI-Encoder module features incremental encoder input to provide closed loop rotor flux control for induction motors (RFC-A) in Unidrive M600 applications.

“This is vital as the equipment is conveying sugarcane to each process station, including the crushing station,” said Mr Wanchai. “We need to run at full capacity, particularly during September to March, which is when the sugarcane comes into season. Any downtimes during these months can very damaging to the supply of sugar in the off-season.”

Another principal reason for selecting Unidrive M was its task-based commissioning, diagnostics and maintenance, which in turn helps minimise downtime at high-volume plants such as Mitr Phol.

“Unidrive M600 allows us to greatly enhance performance. For instance, we now have better overload torque (180% for 3 seconds) in RFC-A mode. Moreover, we reduced downtime from 1-1½ hours to just 30 minutes by using Control Techniques’ commissioning software tool Unidrive M Connect.”

Unidrive M Connect is the latest drive configuration tool from Control Techniques for commissioning, optimising and monitoring drive/system performance. It uses graphical tools that enhance and simplify user experience, although, for experienced users, dynamic drive logic diagrams and enhanced searchable listings are also present.

“We received highly responsive technical support during of pre-sales and after-sales from Control Techniques and local partner Contrologic throughout the process,” concluded Mr Wanchai. “We certainly plan to incorporate additional products from Control Techniques into our business moving forwards.”

@EmersonIndAuto  #Pauto @Emerson_News #Food

Hygienic conductivity sensor.

The Memosens CLS82D conductivity sensor for production, process development and laboratory applications in the pharmaceutical, food, life sciences and other industries has been . The four-electrode sensor measures conductivity from 1 µS/cm to 500 mS/cm and temperature from 23 to 248 °F (-5 to 120 °C) with accuracy of ≤4% and repeatability of 0.2%.

For hygienic applications, the CLS82D has 316L stainless steel construction, electropolished surfaces that are easy to clean, hygienic process connections and IP68 protection, and it can be sterilized in place (SIP) at temperatures up to 284 °F (140 °C) for clean-in-place (CIP) operations. The CLS82D is certified for EHEDG, FDA, 3-A and pharmaceutical applications. Typical applications include phase separations, chromatography, fermentation, CIP, monitoring and ultrafiltration.

The sensor is available in a standard PG13.5 thread size, with 1.5 and 2 inch Tri-Clamp sanitary fittings, or with an NPT fitting, making it suitable for a variety of applications.

The conductivity measuring cell has four platinum electrodes housed in a ceramic sensor element. Similar temperature expansion behaviors of the materials ensure the material bond stays tight even during extreme temperature changes, allowing cleanability and aseptic hygiene.

During operation, an alternating current is applied to the outer electrode pair. At the same time, the voltage applied is measured at the two inner electrodes. The electrolytic conductivity between the electrodes can be reliably established based on the measured voltage and the current flow caused by the liquid's resistance. The advantage of this technology compared to traditional two-electrode sensors is that electrochemical effects at the live electrodes are suppressed by the two additional voltage measuring electrodes.

The sensor connects to an Endress+Hauser Liquiline transmitter that sends conductivity and temperature information to a process control, SCADA or monitoring system via 4-20mA HART, Profibus DP, Modbus RTU or EtherNet/IP. Liquiline transmitters also have a web server that allows the CLS82D’s output, status, diagnostics, logbooks and calibration information to be viewed on a handheld tablet, smartphone or laptop PC via a Wi-Fi or internet connection via any web browser.

The CLS82D is a digital sensor, so it can stores a variety of data in the sensor itself including serial number, data of manufacture, calibration date, number of calibrations, conductivity application range, cell constant, hours of operation at high temperatures, and other data quantifying operating history. These features allow “plug and play” compatibility with the Liquiline transmitter to simplify commissioning, maintenance and replacement—while also improving improves reliability.

For example, an existing sensor can be quickly replaced with a pre-calibrated sensor which automatically connects to the Liquiline transmitter via a non-contact digital connection, eliminating problems with moisture and corrosion. Maintenance intervals can be more efficiently determined based on stored sensor load and calibration data instead of simply on a calendar basis.

@Endress_Hauser #PAuto #Pharma

Friday, October 21, 2016

Automated temp monitoring!

Testo has supplied its latest temperature and humidity data logging system, Saveris 2, to Stansted Laboratories’ facility in Barking (GB).

Stansted Laboratories is a highly successful UKAS accredited laboratory of 20 staff analysing over 50,000 samples a year in a purpose built facility. It specialises in microbiological analysis of water and air, with its main income derived from Legionella testing of water and drinking water bacteriological analysis.

Maintaining precise temperatures within its devices - incubators, fridges, freezers and water baths – and cold room is essential to ensure accuracy and for compliance with UKAS’ stringent requirements, as is maintaining a detailed record. Stansted Laboratories had been monitoring and recording equipment temperatures manually, but as the company grew this became a time consuming, labour intensive activity.

Following a site visit, Testo recommended its Saveris 2 system, a highly cost-effective, flexible temperature and humidity data logging solution specifically for small to medium sized applications, which still provides the accuracy and reliability of its larger ‘parent’ system, Saveris 1.

15 Saveris 2 wireless temperature data loggers are now in use at Stansted Laboratories. The majority of the loggers are T2 which are being used to monitor temperatures in fridges, fridge freezers and incubators from -25°C to + 50°C, with T3 loggers with specialist flexible probes used for the 50°C water baths and a T1 logger with internal NTC temperature sensor in the cold room. The T2 data loggers are being used with a Testo Penetration probe NTC with ribbon cable (2 metre length) which is exceptionally flat allowing it to be pushed through narrow openings, such as the door seal of the fridges and incubators without impacting the performance of those units.

The measured temperature values from all the data loggers are automatically recorded by the Saveris 2 system and sent directly over a wireless LAN to the Testo cloud (online storage), requiring no manual intervention. The information is formatted into an easy to read graphic based report for each data logger and available as a pdf or csv file which can be emailed daily, weekly or monthly. Stansted Laboratories has opted for a daily report. Furthermore, authorised personnel can access data logger information at any time and from any location with an internet-enabled smartphone, tablet or PC, for maximum convenience.

For Stansted Laboratories, a key benefit of the Saveris 2 system is the automation. Anu Tavarasa, Laboratory Manager explains: “we were doing the readings manually, which took us half hour in the morning and another half hour in the afternoon. We wanted to automate this to save time. We tried several data loggers but they didn’t work for us as they were taking a long time to download. The Testo system is very fast. Not only has it freed up an hour every day for us to do analysis, but it’s very user friendly. I like the way we can look at the data online whenever we want; we do this regularly – three times a day at least. The alerts are also very useful, which come direct to the lab.” Saveris 2 provides free email alerts, plus up to 25 free SMS alerts a year (per logger), with alert parameters configured by the customer.

Whilst accuracy is clearly essential, for Stansted Laboratories the ease of use and flexibility of Saveris 2 has been a winning combination. The entire system is automated, needs no maintenance except for yearly recalibration (as standard with all test and measurement equipment), staff do not require training, and is both easily expandable and simple to install; so much so that when Stansted Laboratories recently expanded into adjacent premises, staff simply picked up the data loggers and moved them with the equipment without any need for Testo’s assistance.

@TestoLimited #PAuto #Laboratory @HamiltonGasProd

Cybersecurity under scrutiny at conference!

Security and automation professionals from various industries will gather next week in Atlanta, Georgia at the 2016 edition of SecurityWeek’s ICS Cyber Security Conference, the longest-running event of its kind. The International Society of Automation (ISA) serves as an alliance partner of the event, which takes place on 24-27 October.

The event kicks off on Monday, 24 October with a series of open and advanced workshops focusing on operational technology (OT), critical infrastructure, SCADA systems, and management. Participants will have the opportunity to learn not only how an organization can be protected against attacks, but also how attackers think and operate when targeting industrial control systems (ICS).
On Tuesday, 25 October, Admiral Michael S. Rogers, Director of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, will deliver the keynote address. Immediately following his keynote presentation, Admiral Rogers will take part in a discussion and question-and-answer session.

Later the same day, Yokogawa’s Jeff Melrose will detail drone attacks on industrial sites, and ICS cybersecurity expert Mille Gandelsman will disclose new vulnerabilities in popular SCADA systems.
In addition to an attack demonstration targeting a Schweitzer SEL-751A feeder protection relay, the day will feature several highly focused breakout sessions and a panel discussion on risk management and insurance implications.

The third day of the event, Wednesday, 26 November, includes presentations on PLC vulnerabilities, attacks against air-gapped systems, cyberattack readiness exercises, and management issues.
Also on Wednesday, ExxonMobil Chief Engineer Don Bartusiak will detail the company’s initiative to build a next-generation process control architecture. Breakout sessions will focus on risk management, incident response, safety and cybersecurity programs, emerging technologies, and the benefits of outside cybersecurity services in the automation industry.

On Thursday, the last day of the ICS Cyber Security Conference, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the implications of the Ukrainian energy hack on the US power grid, practical attacks on the oil and gas industries, and how technologies designed for video game development and engineering can be used to simulate cyberattacks and evaluate their impact.

Speakers will also detail the status of ICS in developing countries, the need for physical security, the implications associated with the use of cloud technologies in industrial environments, and the implementation of a publicly accessible database covering critical infrastructure incidents.  

Produced by SecurityWeek, the ICS Cyber Security Conference is the conference where ICS users, ICS vendors, system security providers and government representatives meet to discuss the latest cyber-incidents, analyze their causes and cooperate on solutions. Since its first edition in 2002, the conference has attracted a continually rising interest as both the stakes of critical infrastructure protection and the distinctiveness of securing ICSs become increasingly apparent.

@SecurityWeek #Pauto 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Platform combines communication and control.

The rugged Graphite® platform has been expanded by Red Lion Controls, to include a new Graphite Core Controller and Graphite Crimson® Control Module that combine communication and control capabilities to reduce cost and ease operations. Both hardware offerings leverage an enhanced version of Red Lion’s powerful Crimson 3.0 software with added Crimson Control functionality to provide a single programming solution for control, networking and data visualization.

Crimson Control enables customers to use IEC 61131 programming languages – such as Ladder Logic, Function Block, Structured Text and Instruction List – to solve specific application needs by developing logic control much like a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) or Remote Telemetry Unit (RTU) without the added expense. This control functionality is now available as part of:

• Graphite Core Controller: rugged standalone industrial controller that features all-metal construction and works with a variety of I/O modules to combine IEC 61131 control capabilities with networking and data visualization alongside the core functionality – protocol conversion, data logging and web serving – of a Graphite seven inch HMI minus the graphical display.
• Graphite Crimson Control Module: control module that plugs into Graphite HMIs to form an all-in-one industrial solution that adds IEC 61131 control functionality without requiring additional panel space or a separate programming package.

“Adding control and expansion options to our Graphite platform enables organizations to take communication and control capabilities even further to enhance factory automation and process control applications,” said Paul Bunnell, director of product management at Red Lion Controls. “Customers can easily reduce equipment cost and complexity by using our new IEC 61131 control functionality to program logic control code without the need for additional software or hardware.”

To support this extended functionality, Red Lion now offers rugged Graphite expansion racks that work with the Graphite platform to provide a scalable solution enabling organizations to remotely mount up to twelve plug-in modules to the back of a cabinet without extensive wiring. Each rack supports up to three plug-in modules and can be installed for a maximum of twenty modules per tethered Graphite connection.

Red Lion’s Graphite platform includes a built-in web server that enables users to monitor and control applications via PCs, tablets or smartphones. SMS text-messaging and email alerts provide early warning of process issues, which helps avoid costly downtime or site visits. In addition, protocol conversion lets customers select from more than 300 industrial protocols to seamlessly integrate disparate devices such as PLCs, drives, cameras, barcode readers and panel meters.

The Graphite platform is ideal for factory automation and process control environments that may include manufacturing, oil & gas, water/wastewater, power, utility transportation and maritime. Applications include tank batteries, pipelines, salt water disposal, pump stations, lift stations, substation controls, solar array positioning and railroad trackside controls.

• Red Lion products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology

 @redlioncontrols  #PAuto