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Eight ways to tackle rising wastewater treatment energy costs
Energy costs are rising everywhere and the wastewater treatment industry is no exception. Eight tips for reducing costs and maximizing ROI are highlighted.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: December 26 to January 1, 2023
The most-viewed content from the past week covered solar cell technology, MQTT, HMI and SCADA systems and more.
Paper-thin solar cell can turn surfaces into power source
MIT researchers develop a scalable fabrication technique to produce ultrathin solar cells that can be seamlessly added to any surface. See video.
Gaining energy intelligence at equipment, process level
Gaining vision of site-wide energy consumption – especially at an equipment and process level – can transform both energy and operational efficiency, says Jakob Gossmann.
Lithium-ion battery market expected to grow
The global Lithium-ion battery market is moving into surge mode with an increase of more than 70% in 2021.
Propulsion lab offers testing conditions for hypersonics, combustion
Purdue's High-Speed Propulsion Laboratory will feature testing capabilities for innovative research in rocket combustion and gas turbine engines.
Product advice on improving system health with a dc-to-ac power inverter
Power inverter works with battery banks, solar array, mobile power and other 24 Vdc power sources, according to a company with a Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award product.
Using sound to analyze laser-induced graphene in real time
Rice University researchers discovered that sound can be used to analyze the properties of laser-induced graphene in real time.
Lithium-ion battery production goes global
The latest research from Interact Analytics into the fast-moving lithium-Ion battery market offers a dual-track focus.
TMDs could be used for ultrathin, lightweight solar panels
Stanford University researchers have developed transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), which could be used in mobile applications such as from self-powered wearable devices and sensors.
Rubber material key fo long-lasting, safer EV batteries
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found rubber could be an alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries.
Organic-based, solid-state lithium EV battery developed with altered microstructure
University of Houston and Rice University researchers have discovered that thanol solvent boosts battery energy density, which could improve electric vehicles (EVs) and other battery-dependent machines.
Lithium battery developments step forward for electric vehicles, more
A team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has created a lithium-metal battery that lasts for 600 cycles, which brings it closer to a lithium-ion battery's lifecycle.
Mitigation, technologies for power system harmonics
Webcast teaches power system harmonics and best practices for harmonics mitigation and their relationship to IEEE 519, which guides the design of power systems with non-linear loads. The 2014 revision of IEEE 519 clarified language subject to interpretation and misinterpretation.
Metal-free, recyclable peptide battery developed
A multidisciplinary team of researchers from Texas A&M University has made a breakthrough that could lead to battery production moving away from cobalt with lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.
Leveraging the 5G network to wirelessly power IoT devices
Turning 5G networks into a wireless power grid for Internet of Things (IoT) devices that need batteries to operate could eliminate them altogether down the road.
Aluminum-anode batteries offer sustainable alternative
Aluminum-anode batteries are safer, less expensive and more sustainable than lithium-ion batteries.
Safer, fast-charging aqueous battery developed
A 3D zinc-manganese nano-alloy anode has been developed, resulting in a stable, high-performance aqueous battery that uses seawater as an electrolyte.
Lithium-metal batteries offer alternative for users
Lithium metal solid-state batteries can provide a safer, more powerful alternative to the current standard.
Manufacturing biobased electronics for sensors, batteries
Researchers are studying how plant-based inks can be used to print low-cost, biodegradable and recyclable sensors.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles Oct. 5-11
Articles about using robots to reduce risk for COVID-19 in the workplace, programming variable frequency drives (VFDs), 2021 engineers choice finalists, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from Oct. 5-11, 2020. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Using diamond as a metallic conductor
Normally an insulator, diamond becomes a metallic conductor when subjected to large strain in a theoretical model, which could improve solar cells, quantum sensors, optical devices and more.
Atomic dynamics help turn heat into electricity
An atomic mechanism that makes some thermoelectric materials efficient near high-temperature phase transition could help unlock better options for technologies reliant on transforming heat into electricity.
Mirror-like photovoltaics get more electricity out of heat
Heat-harnessing solar cells that reflect 99% of the energy they can’t convert to electricity could help bring down the price of storing renewable energy as heat and improve overall energy efficiency.
How nanomaterials are improving battery design
Graphene coating enables new electrode designs with potential for electric vehicles
Adhesive tape improves lithium batteries’ performance, lifespan
Rice University researchers turned adhesive tape into a silicon oxide film improve lithium metal technology and make them last longer.
Making plastic more transparent while adding electrical conductivity
University of Michigan researchers have made plastic conductive while also making it more transparent, which can improve large touchscreens, LED light panels and window-mounted infrared solar cells.
Spectrometry research advances could lead to safer rechargeable batteries
Researchers have found a way to advance safer rechargeable batteries with spectrometry. Their findings could improve batteries used for consumer electronics such as laptops and cellphones.
Nanoscale hollow structure formation could boost battery storage
Researchers at Georgia Tech, ETH Zurich and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered particles can change a nanoscale hollow structure formation, which could be beneficial for lithium-ion battery storage.
Transparent graphene electrodes could lead to improved solar cells
MIT researchers have developed a roll-to-roll production method could enable lightweight, flexible solar devices and a new generation of display screens.
Solar energy farms could give electric vehicle batteries new life
An MIT study shows that electrical vehicle batteries could have a useful and profitable second life as backup storage for grid-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.
Double-walled nanotubes have electro-optical advantages
Rice University calculations show double-walled nanotubes could be highly useful for solar panels and other nanoelectronics applications such as photovoltaics.
Material’s insulating properties can be tuned at will
MIT researchers have designed an electrical heat valve, which can vary the thermal conductivity on demand, and could help create controllable insulation and harvest the energy of waste heat.
Metal battery using Potassium could be alternative to Lithium-ion
Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a metal battery that relies on potassium instead of Lithium-ion, which could create more energy efficient batteries for consumers.
Engineers mix and match materials to make stretchy electronics
MIT engineers have developed a process called remote epitaxy, which helps create next-generation devices that may include electronic chips worn on the human skin for better monitoring.
Electrode design may lead to more powerful batteries
An MIT research team has devised a lithium metal anode that could improve the longevity and energy density of future batteries.
Research into next-generation rechargeable batteries supported
The National Science Foundation is supporting Texas A&M researcher Dr. Matt Pharr in his work on developing improved rechargeable batteries.
The dangers of pushing batteries too hard
Simulations by Rice University researchers shows too much stress in widely used lithium iron phosphate cathodes can open cracks and quickly degrade batteries.
Researchers receive grant to enhance solar technology
Texas A&M researchers received $4.4 million to develop and demonstrate a cyber-resilient operation for power distribution systems with massively photovoltaic (PV) generation, such as rooftop solar panels.
Polymer may help Lithium-ion batteries become self-healing, recyclable
Engineers at the University of Illinois have developed a solid polymer-based electrolyte for Lithium-ion batteries that can self-heal after damage.
Aqueous Lithium-ion battery improves safety
A team of engineers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) have found using aqueous electrolytes instead of the typical organic electrolytes for a lithium-ion battery doesn't reduce power or overall performance.
Zinc-anode batteries have high energy density, low cost
Cornell University researchers have found a way to build a zinc-anode battery that not has a high energy density, is cheap, robust, and stable, and has a life cycle that can be prolonged.
Platinum supported by graphene could enable fuel cell catalysts
Films of platinum only two atoms thick supported by graphene could enable fuel cell catalysts with unprecedented catalytic activity and longevity, according to researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Low battery self-discharge: the hidden secret to long operating life
While much media attention has been focused on extending battery operating life through the use of low-power chipsets and communication protocols, the potential energy savings gained from all of these schemes fails to compare with the energy lost to annual self-discharge.
Battery storage system launched
Honeywell announced an agreement with NRStor C&I L.P. (NRStor) to launch an energy storage system to commercial and industrial customers.
Interdisciplinary team awarded grant to research bioenergy conversion
Cornell researchers received a $2 million grant to study the combination of inorganic semiconductor nanoparticles and bacterial cells for more efficient bioenergy conversion.
Greenhouse gases transformed into liquid fuel
Rice University researchers have found a common greenhouse gas could be repurposed in an efficient and environmentally friendly way with an electrolyzer that uses renewable electricity to produce pure liquid fuels.
Hybridization as a disruptive, profitable energy strategy for manufacturers
The basic configuration of electrical power systems for industrial and commercial applications has altered little for decades, but hybridization could change this in a disruptive and positive way.
Battery developed to harness energy from mixing freshwater and seawater
Stanford University researchers have developed technology to harness energy where salt and freshwater mingle, providing a massive source of renewable power that could be valuable for wastewater treatment plants.
Reducing freshwater use by power plants
West Virginia University researchers are seeking ways to quench the thirst of the nation’s power plants in a more cost-effective, environmentally-friendly fashion.
Electrolyte developed to enhance supercapacitor performance
Researchers at MIT and several other institutions have developed an electrolyte for improving the efficiency and stability of supercapacitors while reducing their flammability.
Smart power distribution architecture benefits
To improve power management applications, smart power distribution uses a de-centralized power architecture based on multiple electronic and electrical modules.
Europe expected to be fastest-growing market for lithium-ion batteries
Interact Analysis reports Europe will be the fastest growing market for lithium-ion batteries with energy storage being the fastest growing sector.
Researchers develop device that channels heat into light
Rice University scientists are designing arrays of aligned single-wall carbon nanotubes to channel mid-infrared radiation and increase the efficiency of solar energy systems.
Perfecting power distribution data quality
Data produced by power distribution networks is critical, but so is perfecting data quality and governance.
Researchers improve power storage capabilities
Battery update: Several universities have been working on advances to improve battery technologies and make them safer and more reliable for industrial and manufacturing applications. Click on links for more information.
Flexible generators turn movement into energy
Rice University researchers have produced flexible devices that use laser-induced graphene, which are designed turn movement into electrical energy and could enable wearable, self-powered sensors and devices.
Flexible insulator developed for thermal conduction, energy storage
Researchers at Rice University have developed a nanocomposite that is designed to be a superior high-temperature dielectric material for flexible electronics, energy storage and electric devices.
Battery solutions company acquires high-voltage battery systems from manufacturer
American Battery Solutions, Inc. (ABS) has signed an agreement to acquire manufacturing and testing assets for high-voltage battery systems from Robert Bosch Battery Systems.
Unclonable digital fingerprints developed for IoT devices
Rice University integrated circuit (IC) designers have developed unclonable digital fingerprints for Internet of Things (IoT) devices that allows their PUF to be more energy efficient than previously published versions.
Technique produces longer-lasting lithium batteries
A Columbia Engineering team announced they have developed a new method for safely prolonging lithium metal battery life, which could benefit portable devices and electric vehicles.
Engineered surface developed to reduce waste, improve efficiency
MIT researchers have developed a coating to get much thicker materials to slide without sticking or deforming, which may improve the quality of products ranging from bread to pharmaceuticals, and the efficiency of flow batteries.
Hybrid cathode developed for lithium batteries
Researchers at MIT and China have developed a hybrid cathode that is designed to improve the lifespan of lithium batteries as well as making them lighter and smaller.
Efficient boiling research for power plants to improve energy efficiency
MIT research is looking to develop understanding of heat transfer in boiling water, which could lead to efficiency improvements in power plants and improved analytics.
Researchers improve solid-state battery design
Cornell University researchers have advanced the design of solid-state batteries by transforming liquid electrolytes into solid polymers inside the electrochemical cell.
Medical and industrial manufacturer acquired
TT Electronics has acquired Power Partners, a provider of medical and industrial specialist power products for the North American market.
Using artificial intelligence to engineer materials’ properties
MIT researchers, along with scientists in Russia and Singapore, have developed a system of “strain engineering," which can change a material’s optical, electrical, and thermal properties using artificial intelligence (AI).
Researchers use thermal transistor to protect electronic devices from overheating
A Stanford-led engineering team has developed a way to not only manage heat produced by electronic devices with a thermal transistor, which can conduct heat away from electronic components and insulate them against its damaging effects.
Renewable energy device developed for the grid using pump with record heat tolerance
MIT researchers have designed a system that provides solar- or wind-generated power on demand using a pump that can withstand extreme heat.
Low cost DMM meets safety spec
Everett, Wa.— Low cost 110 Series digital multimeters are designed to meet IEC safety standards for electrical measurement equipment. A poly-urethane holster disperses shock load over a greater area to protect against breakage when dropped, and a convenient battery access door allows users to change batteries without breaking the calibration seal.
Synergetic launches EC-1 system-on-chip
Nashville, Tenn.— In a press conference attended by several technology partners, Synergetic Micro Systems Inc. (Downers Grove, Ill.) introduced its first multi-function, system-on-chip device designed specifically for embedded and industrial applications.EmbeddedComm/EC-1 is expected to enable communications and help industrial and medical applications achieve the same productivity gains ...
Short of time, budget? Have a webcast ‘learn in’
Short of time or travel funds to get out to a conference or trade show? "Learn in" with Control Engineering. Via streaming video, we're offering two new opportunities to prepare for the challenges ahead. Click into Control Engineering Online—our upgraded NMW 2001 section adds dozens of short video interviews to editors' highlights of technology introductions, digital images, and on-scree...
Digital multimeter/ thermometer
Stamford, Conn.— Supermeter Model HHM290 is an all-in-one device that combines the power of a true RMS full function multimeter, noncontact infrared pyrometer with laser sighting, and a dual-input type-K thermocouple meter with differential measurement into a single handheld instrument. Additional features include built-in tripod mount and rubber boot, built-in diode and logic test, batt...
Liebert introduces ‘mini-computer room’ enclosure system
Columbus, O.—Liebert recently announced Foundation, a scalable enclosure system designed to fit requirements of a durable rack enclosure and extending to a "mini computer room." Foundation enclosures can include power monitoring and protection, integrated computer-grade air-conditioning, adjustable mounting rails, multiple door options, cable access and management, and designed-in securi...
Providing circuit protection for safety
When correctly selected and applied, circuit breakers, fuses, and other protection components can help keep workers safe from injuries and machines from damage.
Electrical connection company completes separation
nVent Electric plc announced the completion of its separation from Pentair plc and its launch as an independent, publicly-traded company.
Company to build advanced microgrid
Schneider Electric announced a project with REC Solar to build an advanced microgrid at its Foxboro, Mass., facility. It is funded by the company's microgrid-as-a-service (MaaS) business model and is the third MaaS project with Duke Energy Renewables and REC Solar.
Improve engineer safety with NFPA 70E labeling requirements
In the 2018 edition of NFPA 70E, there are updates to label requirements and information about how digital labels can enhance electrical safety.
Technique developed for rapid screening of new types of solar cells
MIT researchers and other institutions have come up with a way to bypass such expensive and time-consuming fabrication and testing for solar panels and cells, allowing for a rapid screening of far more variations than would be practical through the traditional approach.
Electronics company announces name change
Allied Electronics has changed their name, effective immediately, to Allied Electronics & Automation.
Connecting the dots
Automation is connecting variable frequency drives (VFDs) and batteries that power wireless devices with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Manufacturer acquires electric solutions company
ABB announced the acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions, GE’s global electrification solutions business, for $2.6 billion.
Automatic transfer switch company acquired
Schneider Electric announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Asco Power Technologies, which specializes in the automatic transfer switch (ATS) market, to enhance their EcoStruxure Power Platform in key markets and segments.
Global graphene battery market projected to grow over next decade
The graphene battery market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 10% over the next decade as researchers have found that they can be used to develop efficient light solutions for water desalination plants, which will further augment graphene battery market growth.
Transfer switches: Which configuration is right for your system?
When it comes to picking the right transfer switch for a facility, engineers need to consider many aspects such as system installation, operation modes, and switching mechanisms to help prevent downtime in the event of a power outage.
Flannery named CEO of GE
John Flannery, the president and CEO of GE Healthcare, has been named the CEO of GE effective Aug. 1, 2017, taking over for Jeff Immelt, who ran the company for 16 years.
Top seven 2017 NEC changes you need to know
The 2017 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) includes many changes covering traditional and alternative sources of electrical power.
Specifying industrial enclosures
Ask these 10 questions before specifying or modifying industrial enclosures to optimize your operation.
Smart devices make the difference when determining shutdown causes
Succeeding generations of technicians, and technologies, change plant-floor diagnostics.
Compact limit switch line series
AutomationDirect's AEM2G series of compact limit switch line includes four electrical connection types as well as additional options for convenient limit switch installation.
Customizing electrical enclosures
Enclosure cutouts can be made after a purchase. However, cutouts made by the manufacturer may help save time and reduce costs.
Power meter with WirelessHART technology
Emerson's WirelessHART power meter is designed to improve equipment reliability and enable energy demand and consumption monitoring with real-time monitoring of voltage, current, power, and energy.
Potting junction box for power outputs
TE Connectivity's (TE) Solarlok PV Bar is a potting junction box designed for solar crystalline panels and is approved for voltages of up to 1500 V.
Energy company using smart grids to reduce downtime
Duke Energy, a U.S.-based sustainable electric and gas company, is working to improve customer service to their roughly 7.2 million customers in the Southeast and Midwest with smart grids.
Five basic questions to ask about control panels
Take the time to ensure control panels aren’t just a commodity for projects to maximize efficiency.
Steps to ensure proper installation of monitoring and metering equipment
Following best practices for proper field device installation will help avoid performance issues and help designers realize the true return on investment (ROI). See four steps to ensure proper installation of monitoring and metering equipment and instrumentation, including proper grounding and shielding.
Voltage transducer measures circuit voltages with single sensor
NK Technologies' VTU voltage transducer is designed to measure ac or dc circuit voltages to 1200 V with a single sensor and is designed for detecting power generation issues such as brown outs and phase loss from both conventional and alternative sources.
Molded-case circuit breakers for electrical protection
Rockwell Automation's Allen-Bradley Bulletin 140G molded-case circuit breakers are designed to protect against overload, short-circuit, and ground-fault conditions.
Power supplies for measuring and communication applications
Power Sources Unlimited's AE Series (800, 1500 and 3000 W) and AEK Series (3000W) of power supplies are designed for applications such as include factory automation, off-site test and measurement and communications equipment.
EC: Universal Analog Signal Isolator and Converter
Network Integration — Signal conditioning: Universal Analog Signal Isolator and Converter is easy to configure with LED display, universal ac/dc power input, and all-purpose signal input mA/mv/V range with great accuracy all in 12.5 mm. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: Power Xpert Branch Circuit Monitor
Power — Energy, power protection: Eaton's Power Xpert Branch Circuit Monitor combines remote real-time energy monitoring capabilities down to the plug level with overload alerts to help minimize or prevent downtime. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: Quint Power supply
Power — Energy, power protection: The newest generation of Quint Power changes the way end users think about the implementation of power supplies with advanced operation, diagnostics, visual indication, and near-field communication. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: Fluke 279 FC Thermal Multimeter
Hardware — Handheld test, measurement, calibration: The Fluke 279 FC TRMS Thermal Multimeter is the first test tool to integrate a full-featured true RMS digital multimeter with a thermal camera in one device to speed troubleshooting. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
Portable cords for electrical power connections
AutomationDirect’s Type SOOW and SJOOW flexible power cables feature multiple conductors used for electrical power connections requiring flexibility and resistance to many environmental factors.
Contactor series for military, commercial aircraft applications
TE Connectivity's (TE) Hartman KD400 series contactor is designed for 28 Vdc power systems in commercial and military aircraft as well as ground vehicle applications.
New regulations will improve energy efficiency beyond existing motor efficiency standards
While motor efficiency regulations may make the news, many other energy conservation standards are involved in similar rulemaking processes. These new and updated regulations will have a strong affect on the automation industry, particularly for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end users.
Control power cable for machinery and plant construction
Helukabel's Tray X is a NFPA 79-2012 conformant flexible control power cable with cross-linked thermoset polyethylene XLPE insulation.
Challenges for industrial equipment manufacturers
Industrial equipment manufacturers (IEMs) are companies that build a specific type of industrial equipment over and over again without much customization, which can be problematic because their focus is more on mechanical issues rather than on the electrical side of things.
Converter series for gate circuits
Murata's MGJ1 1 W dc-dc converter series are designed for driving high- and low-side gate circuits such as insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) and silicon carbide metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (SiC MOSFETs) for optimal efficiency.
Current transducer series for monitoring machines, generators
NK Technologies' AT/ATR-FD current transducer series is designed for monitoring large machines, water delivery and treatment, and generators and accommodates wire sizes for loads up to 400 A.
Test system for complex switching operations
Phoenix Contact’s Fast and Modular Energy (FAME) 3 Test System is designed to complete complex switching operations and incorporates a pluggable system for testing and system maintenance for low- and medium-voltage switchgear.
Project engineering company acquired
Pieper Electric, Inc., a provider of electrical construction, automation, wastewater treatment, and other services, acquired HiTech Controls and Manufacturing Solutions, which specializes in project engineering, robotics, and machine vision.
Apps for Engineers: Mobile apps for energy applications
Energy mobile applications have potential to help engineers do their jobs better. CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. Apps are organized by category, company, and type. These are listed in the app as of June 2016.
Regulated and isolated dc/dc converters
Murata's dc/dc converters from MTC2 series of 2 W single output are available with 12 or 24 Vdc 2:1 input voltage range and output voltages of 3.3, 5, or 12 Vdc.
Contactor-based automatic transfer switch
Eaton's contactor-based Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) is rated for 2000 to 3000 A and is designed to shift power loads from a normal power source to the emergency source.
Electrical selection tool for motor-control components
Rockwell Automation's Global Short-Circuit Current Rating (SCCR) Selection Tool is designed for motor-control components and variable frequency drives (VFDs) based on common, global, motor voltages (50/60 Hz) and SCCR fault levels.
Apps for Engineers: Mobile apps for electrical applications
Electrical mobile applications have potential to help engineers do their jobs better. CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. Apps are organized by category, company, and type. These are listed in the app as of May 2016.
Ratiometric signal conditioner for LVDT and RVDTs
TE Connectivity's LVC-4500 LVDT/RVDT ratiometric signal conditioner supports both constant sum and standard ac linear variable differential transformers (LVDTs) and rotary variable differential transformers (RVDTs).
Using current-limiting devices to improve Short-Circuit Current Rating (SCCR): Your questions answered
More answers about using current-limiting devices to improve Short-Circuit Current Rating (SCCR), the topic of a May 18 Webcast, are provided by speaker Erik Barnes. Topics include single-phase circuits and power generation.
Output filters for ac motors
Schaffner's FN5060 dv/dt filters protect ac motors from destructive effects of peak voltages and inrush amps, increasing service life and system reliability.
Encapsulated dc-dc converters with chassisor DIN rail mounting
XP Power's DTE series of fully encapsulated single output dc-dc converters is comprised of three input voltage range models and are available in either a chassis mount or a DIN rail format, offering flexibility to the designer of the end-product.
Understanding enclosure cooling technology
Rittal reveals the technologies behind its latest enclosure climate control system.
Power distribution boxes for long cable runs
Phoenix Contact's M12 power distribution boxes are designed for field-based power supply voltages and are designed to eliminate voltage drop that occurs across long cable runs.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, April 25 to May 1: Hannover Messe, energy savings, Internet of Energy platform, more
Articles about Hannover Messe 2016, motor-driven system energy savings, Internet of Energy platform, combining automation and safety projects, and flow management solutions were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 25 to May 1. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Control system power and grounding forensic exam aids reliability
Before replacing an aging control system, the engineer willing to conduct a forensic examination increases the odds the new system will perform reliably. See power and grounding tips.
Harmonic filter modules and systems for industrial applications
Schaefer's Power Balance and Kxxx series of active harmonic filter modules/systems are designed for heavy industrial and military applications.
Double rails for rugged and industrial applications
Pixus Technologies' double rail extrusions with dual mounting are designed to provide modular framework for electronics enclosures.
Photoelectric amplifiers with transparent object recognition support
AutomationDirect's OPT series of photoelectric amplifiers are available with wide detection and working ranges that support transparent object recognition capability.
Well-grounded serial networking
Without proper grounding in a RS-422/485 installation, the user becomes vulnerable to common mode voltage transients that can compromise accurate data transfer and sensor measurements and damage equipment.
Enclosure series expanded for electrical, electronic and wet environments
AutomationDirect has added over 200 NEMA 4 and 4X enclosures and subpanel to their Hubbell-Wiegmann line for electrical, electronic, wet, and harsh environments with items ranging from wall mount enclosures to floor mount models.
Encapsulated DC/DC converter series
AutomationDirect’s Rhino PSE Series of encapsulated DC/DC converters are designed to provide power for sensitive loads in industrial process controls, factory automation and other industrial environments for equipment exposed to harsh conditions.
A starting point for global exposure
Hannover Messe is a big event for a small U.S. manufacturer.
Pushbuttons and selector switches for wiring applications with narrow space
AutomationDirect's Fuji Electric 22mm devices include AR22-series pushbuttons, selector switches and joysticks as well as pilot lights and buzzers. They can be wired in horizontal and vertical directions making wiring in narrow spaces easier.
Power supplies with interchangeable input blades for global use
CUI's SMI family of Level VI-compliant external ac/dc power supplies range from 5 W to 36 W and feature interchangeable ac input blades designed for use in North America, Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia and China.
Researchers developing method to make microelectromechanical systems cheaper
Researchers at MIT have been working on making microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) cheaper by developing a fabrication device that sidesteps many of the requirements that make conventional manufacturing expensive.
Transducer series for machine, instrumentation sensing
The DCV series of DC to DC linear variable different transformer (LVDT) series of transducers from RDP Electrosense is designed for a variety of applications such as specialty machines, control systems, material testing, and general purpose testing instrumentation.
Electromechanical cylinder for applications with frequent cleaning cycles
Bosch Rexroth’s electromechanical cylinder with hygienic design and IP65 protection is suitable for applications with frequent cleaning cycles in the food industry.
Researchers developing method to harness more energy from photons
A quantum process developed by MIT researchers is designed to increase the number of electrons produced when light strikes a metal-dielectric interface, which could lead to better solar cells and light detectors.
Merger completion creates new power company
GE Power & Water and Alstom Power have combined to form GE Power, which will be based in Schenectady, New York, and led by Steve Bolze.
Push-pull transformers for industrial, processing applications
TDK Corporation’s EPCOS SMD push-pull transformers are designed for electrical isolation in industrial automation and process engineering applications.
Supply chain company acquired by electrical wire and service company
Anixter International Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of the Power Solutions segment of HD Supply for $825 million. The acquisition is designed to enhance Anixter's competitive position in the electrical wire and cable business and increase their position overall in the utility sector.
Air conditioner for harsh and corrosive environments
Pentair’s Hoffman Proair air conditioners are rated to IP66 and designed for use in harsh and corrosive environments, food and beverage industries, and cooling facilities.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, October 26 to November 1: Engineers’ Choice finalists, drive software, process optimization, more
Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, control system HMI development, choosing between a PLC or a DCS, flexible digital displays, and smartphones and tablets in manufacturing were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from October 26 to November 1. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Don’t be the victim of electrical noise and EMI
Electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) in automated machinery can negatively affect operations, and there are options to reduce or remove it. Learn the consequences of electrical noise and benefits of quieting things down.
EC: Power Xpert gateway (PXG) 900
Power - Energy, power protection: By providing simplified, remote access to real-time and historical power system parameters through a Web browser, the scalable and compact electrical communication and data acquisition device helps unify equipment monitoring to simplify decisions targeting enhanced electrical reliability, efficiency and safety. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: SC9000 encapsulated powerpole (EP) arc-resistant drive
Power - Energy, power protection: Industry's first fully integrated arc-resistant medium voltage drive helps enhance personnel safety and equipment performance in harsh industrial environments. Reliable design and construction keep operations running safely and efficiently to reduce downtime and energy consumption. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: EZPPS Din-Rail Mount Power Supply
Power - Energy, power protection: EZAutomation's EZPPS series are ultra compact, din-rail mount, digitally programmable, industrial power supplies (SMPS) with built-in LED displays for diagnostics. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: PACT RCP Rogowski Coil Solution
Power - Energy, power protection: Phoenix Contact's Rogowski Coil solution, designed for rapid current transformer (CT) installation in retrofit applications, features a flexible, open-ended measurement coil and a choice between two output kits for 0 to 1 A CT and 0 to 10 V/4 to 20 mA analog applications. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
Mounting enclosure series for DIN-rail applications
Bud Industries' DMX Series of DIN-rail-mounting enclosures are an NEMA-4X/IP-66 rated enclosure and are designed for DIN-rail-powered industrial controls, test devices, controllers, and relays in power, lighting, industrial automation, and security applications.
Researchers build next-generation flexible digital displays
Professors Bernard Kippelen and Seth Marder of the Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE) at Georgia Tech are developing light-emitting diodes (LEDs) using organic elements that could replace or augment digital displays used in cell phones and TVs while also offering new methods to light a variety of objects.
Keeping enclosures conditioned
Maintaining temperatures inside enclosures protects electrical and electronic equipment. However, equipment heating and cooling options have their pros and cons.
Diagnostics increase equipment uptime
Accessing diagnostic information locally or remotely to troubleshoot filtration skids improves water/wastewater equipment uptime.
Uninterruptible power supply series with silicon carbide semiconductors
Mitsubishi Electric's Summit Series of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) incorporates SiC semiconductors that are designed for data centers, power industries, and other demanding mission-critical applications.
Three-phase power loggers for power quality, energy consumption recording
Fluke's 1736 and 1738 Three-Phase Power Loggers are designed to capture and log more than 500 power quality parameters and capture and log voltage, current, power, harmonics, and associated power quality values. It works with Fluke Connect system of software and wireless test tools.
A better way to install automation in classified areas
Instead of employing protection methods, it’s often better to move automation systems to less hazardous areas and to use components rated for use in these locations.
Low-voltage motor suppliers unsure of impact of energy efficiency regulations
With so many conflicting signs in the current economic environment, IHS reports that motor suppliers are unsure on how effective the recent and impending energy efficiency requirements will be.
Hands-free terminal block
Wago's Topjob S pivot-style fuse terminal blocks come in a 3-conductor variant and they are designed to be vibration-proof, resistant to thermal cycling, and gas tight.
Of key metrics and myth busting
The need for high-availability computing in mission critical applications and the need to understand how variable frequency drives (VFDs) really work are becoming increasingly important for manufacturers.
Surge protection devices for industrial applications
Automation Systems Interconnect's (ASI) DIN-rail mounted pluggable surge protection devices (SPD) are UL 1449 3rd Edition recognized and are designed to protect against surges that cause equipment damage, lockup, and malfunctions.
The truth about five common VFD myths
Knowing the truth about VFD operation can simplify the selection process for choose a variable frequency drive.
University receives grant to revamp engineering education program
Colorado State University (CSU) has received a five-year, $2 million, grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and will use the money to adopt a more holistic approach in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering by teaching students how various components fit together in real-world applications.
Energy monitoring platform with real-time intelligence
Eaton's Power Xpert Gateway (PXG) 900 is an electrical system communications device designed to enhance energy performance in commercial, institutional, and industrial facilities while allowing access to real-time and historical energy and power data from electrical equipment.
Apps for Engineers: Electrical reference tools
CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. We've categorized apps by category, company, and type. This month, see these electrical reference applications.
Flush mount switches for machinery, control cabinet engineering applications
EAO Corporation's Series 71 flush mount switches use a mounting system to any PCB with a contained locking pin located on each switching contact block and are designed for machinery and control cabinet engineering applications.
Industrial external power supplies have new standards
The U.S. Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) Level VI energy efficiency standards for external power supplies are due to take effect beginning February 2016. This represents more than a simple tightening of the rules; the scope of the new regulation has been extended to include the higher power adapters found in a number of industrial applications.
Circuit breaker for underground mining and metals operations
Eaton's E2VAC Mining Circuit Breaker is a low-voltage, vacuum-based breaker solution designed to improve reliability, productivity, and worker safety in power centers and other panel applications in underground mining and metals operations.
Connectors for factory automation and industrial lighting applications
Molex's Brad Micro-Push M12 Connectors are designed for factory automation and industrial lighting applications and have an IP65 rating to protect them against ingress of solids and can withstand low-pressure water streams.
Touch panel PCs and M2M HMIs for embedded machine vision, image processing
American Industrial Systems' (AIS) Industry 4.0 Touch Panel PCs and M2M HMI panels are designed for embedded machine vision applications and deliver 2D or 3D image processing and feature high performance processors, Ethernet and serial interfaces.
Power connector system for high-current applications
Molex's Super Sabre Power Connector System is designed for high-current applications where wire-to-wire and wire-to-board configurations are required and are useful for automotive and commercial vehicle applications as well as industrial control industries.
Inverter efficiencies reduce emissions, waste
With more than 10,000 high-voltage inverters running on working sites globally, the annual electric savings could reach approximately 14,467,000,000 kWh, enough to supply the world’s lighting needs for 10 hours, according to a Control Engineering China article.
Dealing with system integration issues
System integrators must satisfy the business requirements of their stakeholders while ensuring the technical integrity of the project. System integrators help with automation and control technologies, software, networking, as well as project management best practices, stakeholder engagement, and ensuring stakeholder expectations are aligned with business goals.
Apps for Engineers: Easy calculations
CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. We've categorized apps by category, company, and type. This month, see these applications for making calculations easy.
Disconnect enclosure designed for diverse manufacturing requirements
Rittal's TS 8 Flange Mount Disconnect Enclosure has features like adapter plates for high and low amperage operator handles, simplified handle interfacing hardware, and a slim flange trim door.
Test instrument designed to measure electrical components
Cal Test Electronics' LCR-600 is a high-precision test instrument used for measuring the inductance, capacitance, and resistance of an electrical component and features an operational frequency range of 100 Hz to 100 kHz and a basic measurement accuracy of 0.3%.
Power rectifier for data-hungry applications
General Electric's CP3500 rectifier is designed to provide power conversion density capabilities for data-hungry applications for data centers, telecommunications, networking and big data supercomputing.
Industrial connectors for explosion-proof applications
Harting's Han Ex industrial connector portfolio are designed for explosion proof applications and feature a series of five size 3A sets and each set is comprised of a hood, housing, and high pin count insert.
Isolated digital input module for VME
Highland Technology's V280 is a single-wide, 6U VME module that includes 48 isolated logic inputs and has independently programmable rising and falling edge response times to support contact debounce, glitch catching, and dc or ac inputs. It has built-in self test capabilities.
Solid state relay series for control panels
AutomationDirect’s 750R series of industrial relays has been expanded to include additional electromechanical and solid state relays and are designed for applications including power to sequence controls and control panels.
Insulated cables for supplying power to frequency converters
Helukabel's Topflex-EMV-UV-3 Plus 2XSLCYK-J and the Topflex-EMV-UV-2XSLCYK-J are suited for supplying power to frequency converters and are both designed for medium mechanical loads in fixed and occasional flexing installations. Uses include automotive, food and packaging industries, in environment technology, handling devices, pumps, fans, conveyor belts, air conditioning devices, and in explosive environments.
Electric vehicle batteries could benefit from paper-like material
Researchers at the Bourns College of Engineering have created silicon nanofibers 100 times thinner than human hair for potential applications in batteries for electric cars and personal electronics.
DC accelerometers for critical structural monitoring
Measurement Specialties' DC accelerometers, Model 4020 and Model 4030, are designed to provide long-term, stable measurements and are designed to deliver high-resolution measurement and long-term stability in critical structural applications.
Radio chip for the Internet of Things
Researchers at MIT have presented a transmitter design that reduces off-state leakage that provides adequate power for Bluetooth transmission and wireless communication protocols.
Solid state interface relays for DIN-rail mounting support varied wiring options
IDEC's RV8S solid state interface relays are suitable for DIN-rail mounting and support flexible wire termination options including screw terminal and spring clamp models.
Dual level power terminal blocks have high wire densities
Weidmuller's WDK 10 dual-level power terminal series is designed for use in machinery, process, and power generation applications and have high wiring densities in screw terminals for power distribution applications requiring 6AWG conductors.
Selecting and applying VFDs
Clear understanding of the application, noise sources, and configuration parameters ensures peak variable frequency drive (VFD) performance, efficiency, and reliability. VFDs also are known as inverters, ac drives, variable speed drives, or adjustable speed drives. VFD selection is easier with knowledge of loading, overhauling load, noise, and configuration.
Molded case circuit breaker for mining operations
Eaton's 310+ Mining Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCB) series is built for harsh mining environments and provide trailing cable-specific settings and configurations to cover trailing cable sizes with just three trip units to minimize panel design time.
Rocker switch designed for material handling applications
Apem's FR Series is a single axis three-position hall effect thumb control operates from a 5 V dc supply and provides an analog voltage output at each detent location.
DC power line supply series has 72 instrument settings
B&K Precision's 9200 Series is a multi-range programmable DC power supply line designed to deliver power in any combination of the rated voltage and features internal memory storage to save and recall up to 72 instrument settings.
Hole plug series for fiberglass and steel electrical enclosures
The AMHS series of enclosure hole plugs by Omega are designed to be used in plugging existing unwanted holes in fiberglass and steel electrical enclosures and come in standard hole sizes for pilot lights, push buttons and conduit fittings.
Monoblock inserts for modular connectors
Harting's monoblock E inserts for the Han-Eco and Han-Yellock modular connector series are designed to replace a bigger connector or multiple units for a device or control cabinet.
Technology from future past
The December issue of Applied Automation talks about proximity switches, PID tuning, and a case study on robotic technology helping a company that sells mowers.
Switchboard program for original equipment manufacturers
ABB’s Tmax Link OEM UL 891 Switchboard Program is designed to enable OEMs to assemble a UL 891-compliant electrical distribution switchboard by properly fabricating parts to mount molded case circuit breakers.
Selecting inductive proximity switches
Follow these guidelines to select the right inductive proximity switch for your application.
Ground fault circuit interrupters, Ethernet safety software on display
Molex's Woodhead Super-Safeway and Safeway Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) and Brad Ethernet/IP and CIP (Common Industrial Protocol) Safety Software Development Kits are designed to provide safety and flexibility for workers.
Uninterruptible power supply series for DC applications
Weidmuller’s modular Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) series is designed to offer secure and reliable protection against incoming power faults and features a control unit for status monitoring and direct switchover.
EC: New Technology Meter series
Process Control Systems: The New Technology Meter allows users to loop/signal or externally powered auto-tricolor bar-graph with signal failure alarm and isolated serial I/O controllers. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Leddar M16 multi-element sensing module
Sensors: Optimized for 0- to 50-m sensing applications, the Leddar M16 Multi-Element Sensing Module contains 16 independent active elements, providing continuous, rapid and accurate detection/ranging (including lateral discrimination) in the entire wide beam, without any moving parts. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, October 6-12: The first PLC, the PLC’s future, electrical power measurement, more
Articles about the first PLC, the PLC’s future, electrical power measurement on 3-phase motors, automating automation, and open- vs. closed-loop control were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, October 6-12. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
Multi-range DC power supply
B&K Precision's model 9111 multi-range dc power supply features constant voltage (CV) and constant current (CC) modes and is designed for a wide variety of uses in electronics manufacturing, service and repair, and engineering labs.
Wash-down cord sets for harsh conditions
Belden Inc.'s Wash-Down Cord Sets are designed to function in high-intensity cleaning processes and feature crimp contacts, high shock and vibration resistance, and IP67, IP68 and IP69K certification for ingress protection.
Quad-channel digital-to-analog converter
The LTC2645 is used for biasing, calibration, level setting, power supply adjustment, and to enable opto-isolated communications in applications such as industrial automation, 4-20 mA process control, instrumentation, test equipment and optical modules.
Current transducer combines current transformer, signal conditioner
NK Technologies' AT/ATR-LS Current Transducer combines a current transformer and signal conditioner that is designed to monitor the current use to detect over or under current conditions for large machines.
Automated test system for modular instrumentation and system design
National Instruments' NI Semiconductor Test System (STS) series is a PXI-based automated test system for RF and mixed-signal devices by opening access to NI- and PXI modules in semiconductor production test environments.
Selecting motor measurement, analysis instruments
Measuring complex and distorted waveforms requires the right combination of devices and techniques.
Coordinating light-rail trains, traffic lights
PLCs work with traffic light controllers to help light-rail trains pass safely through intersections.
Microgrid competition announced
The Energy Department's Microgrid 2014 MVP Challenge is a competition to recognize local organizations that have adopted successful grid strategies to continue providing vital public services during power disruptions.
Field-effect rectifier diodes for battery chargers
STMicroelectronics' Field-Effect Rectifier diodes (FERD) offers a unique trade-off between low forward voltage drop (VF) and low leakage current (IR) are designed to meet stringent energy-efficiency standard requirements.
Mininature DC/DC converter series
The MG200E miniature 2W dc/dc converters from MicroPower Direct are designed for board level power applications that require small space size and all models are RoHS compliant and can operate in harsh temperature conditions.
Multi-range dc power supplies have high-resolution VFD display
The 9115-AT and 9116 multi-range programmable DC power supplies by B&K Precision are suitable for automotive as well as a variety of benchtop or ATE system applications and feature a high-resolution VFD display, a numerical keypad for direct data entry, and output power of 1200 W.
Harvest wasted power using the triboelectric effect
Beyond generating power, a new triboelectric technology can provide a new type of self-powered sensor, allowing detection of vibrations, motion, water leaks, explosions – or even rain falling.
Power switching applications to spur growth in the low-voltage contactor market
Why LV AC & DC contactors are important for industrial systems despite their low-profile.
Sniffing out an intermittent high-voltage fault
Application Update: Troubleshoot a high-voltage electrical fault and see recommended solutions.
Molded-case circuit breakers
Rockwell's Allen-Bradley Bulletin 140G molded-case circuit breaker family protect against overload, short circuit, and ground-fault conditions and enable quicker clearing of higher-level faults at higher voltage.
DC-DC converter for railway applications
Schaefer's MTQZ50 Series by Minmax is a 50W dc-dc converter designed for mission critical transit and railway solutions and features an efficiency rate of up to 92% and remote on/off control.
Understanding time current curves: Part 3
The final installment of a three-part series about time current curves (TCCs) reviews the coordination of sample curves and the importance of coordination.
Schneider Electric poised to “change the industrial landscape” after Invensys acquisition
Now that the Invensys acquisition deal is complete, Schneider Electric will combine the two firms’ unique discrete and process industrial portfolios, positioning it as a global market leader.
Understanding time current curves: Part 2
The second installment of a three-part series about time current curves (TCCs) covers short and long time settings, including their purpose and examples of such overcurrents.
Understanding time current curves: Part 1
The first installment of a three-part series about time current curves (TCCs) provides a quick overview of item identification and how to read TCC plots.
Grip assemblies feature simple installation design
The Molex Woodhead Max-Loc Plus Shielded Cord-Grip Assemblies aim to reduce EMI/RFI disruptions.
Ametek acquires power management system and UPS provider
Ametek Inc. has acquired Powervar, a provider of power management systems and uninterruptible power supply systems, for approximately $128 million.
EC: Power Xpert Insight
Software - Diagnostics: Power Xpert Insight is a monitoring software that helps customers proactively reduce energy consumption, control costs, and improve the reliability of their facilities by providing a comprehensive, real-time view into power and energy information. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: UNO POWER
Power - Energy, power protection: Phoenix Contact's UNO POWER family of power supplies offers basic functionality for 24 and 12 Vdc applications, with a meantime between failure of more than 700,000 hours. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Achieve EMC-compatibility for industrial RS485 networks
Preserve RS485 signal integrity: Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) transient protection requires matching the performance of protection components to the characteristic of transceiver component. The suggested circuits can help a designer reduce risk of project slippage due to EMC problems. See diagrams, tables.
Temperature sensors: Make the right choice, RTD vs. TC
When you need a temperature measurement, one of the most basic decisions is choosing which kind of sensor to deploy. The application should guide your decision.
5 steps to select a basic switch
A precision snap-action switch, commonly used to detect temperature, position, and liquid levels, is typically available in three models. Here are five steps to select the right basic switch for an application.
Accelerometer for turbine applications
The EX611A20 high temperature charge mode accelerometer from IMI Sensors is designed for harsh conditions like gas turbines and nuclear power plants and can survive up to 1300 F.
UPS for mission-critical facilities
GE's TLE UPS Series is a transformer-less, three-phase UPS designed to perform at high efficiencies for mission-critical facilities.
Enhanced pressure transmitter for North American market
Yokogawa releases enhanced EJA DP transmitter, manufactured in U.S. plant.
Selecting voltage-based pressure sensors
While most process instrumentation uses 4-20 mA current loops, there are situations where pressure sensors using voltage loops can operate with much lower power levels.
Wireless network: Field testing benefits
Technology Update: Before installing industrial wireless equipment, careful testing can prevent many potential problems down the road and reduce troubleshooting time following an installation.
China’s Yingli Tops PV Module Supplier Rankings in 2012; Suntech Slips to Fifth
Yingli managed to increase its merchant shipment volumes by 43 percent year-over-year to leapfrog Suntech as well as U.S.-based First Solar, the two largest suppliers of 2011.
Current loop panel readout devices
If you’re still using moving-needle analog panel meters, Otek offers more modern alternatives that don’t require external powering.
Achieve fault tolerance with a real-time software design
Data Distribution Service (DDS) specification from Object Management Group (OMG) is a data-centric publish/subscribe (DCPS) messaging standard for integrating distributed real-time applications. Here’s how process replication can increase a system’s fault tolerance.
Wireless non-contact switch for top or side sensing
Honeywell's Limitless Non-Contact Switch enables the device to actuate based on the presence of magnets and offers top sensing or side sensing for improved efficiency.
Automation: It’s a good start
Judicious use of automation can help successful organizations achieve the growth associated with productivity and profitability.
Advice for selecting a non-contact infrared temperature sensor
Solutions Direct and Raytek offer guidelines for analyzing your application in light of available solutions.
Thermal techniques in measurement and control circuitry
Circuit design: Applying thermal techniques to measurement and control circuits allows novel solutions to difficult problems, most obviously temperature control.
Industrial 2D reader
The Datalogic Matrix 450 by Multipix is designed for automated and manual material handling and can decode 1D, 2D, Stacked, and Postal symbologies at high resolutions.
Regenerative power units save energy
Spindle drives, decanter centrifuges, hoists, cranes, elevators, and torque dynamometer test rigs can save energy from frequent run and stop, deceleration with high inertia load, and overhauling torque by using a regenerative power unit. One application saves 54% of the power used, $1017 per year.
Vortex flowmeters help optimize efficiency and energy usage for arc furnaces
Rosemount vortex flowmeters help MORE s.r.l. optimize steel quality, minimize oxygen and fuel consumption in its arc furnaces.
Automotive company installing wind turbines at plant
Honda has brought in Juhl Wind, a renewable energy specialist company, to develop two utility-scale wind turbines in an $8 million project at the company's Ohio plant.
Autonomous indoor vehicle requires no facility modifications
Adept Lynx Autonomous Indoor Vehicle (AIV) is a new category of material handling automation, requiring no facility changes, saving up to 15% in deployment, the company said at the Automate and ProMat tradeshows.
‘Manufacturing renaissance’ will boost North American growth
Siemens executive projects revenue boom in next five years at ProMat
Sensor for guiding robotic vehicles
The MGS1600 by Roboteq is a magnetic guide sensor that uses signal processing to measure lateral distance with millimeter resolution and can detect and manage up to 2-way forks.
New Coriolis flowmeter presses lower limits
Yokogawa introduces low-capacity dual bent-tube Coriolis meter.
EC: SU200PR Ring Tongue Miniature Circuit Breakers
Power - Energy, power interruption: Automatically operated miniature circuit breaker that protects an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuit, with ring tongue lug connections conforming to UL 489, CSA 22.2 No. 5 and IEC/EN 60947-2 standards. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
EC: SurgePOD Modules
Power - Energy, power interruption: UL 1449 Third Edition Recognized Type 1 Surge Protective Devices for SPD Assemblies and Systems are color-coded for ease of application. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
EC: Ti125 Thermal Imager
Hardware - Handheld test, measurement, calibration: The Fluke Ti125 thermal Imager is a high-performance, fully radiometric infrared camera for troubleshooting electrical installations, electro-mechanical equipment, process equipment, HVAC/R equipment and others. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
EC: Quadron CrossLink Carrier Class J Fuseholders
Power - Energy, power interruption: It is a UL508 listed fuse holder for the Wöhner 60-mm System classic busbar power distribution system. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: DG25 Digital Pressure Gauge
Process Control - Process sensors: The new Ashcroft DG25 digital pressure gauge features a digital display along with electronic functions for easy reading and data manipulation. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
EC: Modline 7
Process Control - Process sensors: The Ircon next generation Modline 7 noncontact temperature measurement system with Modview Pro software meets a wide range of industrial applications and includes a best in class extended five year warranty. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: EZ Programmable Power Supply
Power - Energy, power protection: The EZ Programmable Power supply is an industrial 24 V dc, single phase, NEC Class 2, din-rail switched mode power supply with unique displays for voltage/current readouts and maintenance alarms. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: EnergyPAQ Energy Monitoring and Control Solution
Power - Energy, power protection: With Mitsubishi Electric Automation's EnergyPAQ, factories and plants can now measure, track, visualize, and optimize energy consumption from every piece of equipment and machinery in their facilities. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
EC: Sinumerik OP 019 Touch Panel
Hardware - HMI, operator interface, thin-client: This new 19-in. operator touch-panel with advanced technology, enables seamless design integration to the Sinumerik 840D sl CNC for use on high-end milling, turning, grinding, laser-cutting, and other machine tools. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: ECL150 Multichannel Eddy-Current Displacement Sensor
Machine and Embedded Control - Discrete sensors: High-resolution, noncontact displacement measurement in clean or hostile environments. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
Integrated energy-storage systems
Renewable energy: Uninterrupted availability of power takes on added importance with increased use of renewable energy to generate electricity. Energy storage could particularly benefit wind and solar power, which are subject to supply intermittence—due to dynamic weather changes and diurnal interruptions, respectively. New and existing storage methods offer potential solutions.
Battery storage developments
This renewable energy storage sector includes many supplier companies and active developers. Various battery technologies are advancing through process refinements, and new technologies are under development. Greater storage capacity and power density—along with system cost reduction—are targets for the developers. Power output and storage duration are relatively low compared to other energy storage methods, but continue to improve over time.
In August 2012, global power and gas company E.ON AG started construction of a pilot plant that will allow storage of wind-generated energy on Germany’s natural-gas grid. The forward-looking initiative represents an option for handling large energy-storage demands in the future.
Multi-function power and energy meter
Electro Industries releases Shark 50 electrical panel meter in the 0.5% accuracy class.
The cloud’s black lining
Server farms and data centers exposed as terrible energy wasters and polluters. Where is the efficiency strategy?
Compact drives, frequency converters, variable speed drives
Danfoss D-Frame VLT Drives can leverage back channel cooling and can be fitted optionally with semiconductor fuses. Smaller size reduces installation costs and increases flexibility.
Thermal imaging cameras find wasted energy
The OSXL-E thermal imaging camera series by Omega is designed for discovering missing insulation, faulty HVAC systems, and other issues that waste energy.
Ultrasonic level sensor features 1 mm accuracy
Sitrans LUT400 ultrasonic controller for level measurement works with liquids, solids, and slurries.
GE Acquires Presens, a Norway-based supplier of industrial sensors
Acquisition aims at expanding GE’s offerings for oil and gas customers.
What slower growth in China means for industrial small motor suppliers
China’s year-over-year GDP has slid from 9.7% in Q1 2011 to 7.6% in Q2 2012 and industrial production has slowed to 9.5% according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.
Industrial data cables
Low-capacitance data cables by AutomationDirect are designed for RS-232/422 and RS-485 communication in industrial environments.
Panelboard certified as touch-safe
The ProLine Panelboard by ABB has been rated touch-safe per IP20 standards. The rating assures that an operator is isolated from hazardous or dangerous materials during operations and maintenance.
University of British Columbia student wins prize for simulation competition
Process designed using simulation platform would convert plastic waste into liquid fuels. Video: Meet Bryan Gene, Design Challenge winner for 2012.
Motor-Driven Systems Efficiency Update
Electric motors have received predominant attention from energy-efficiency standards and regulations due their vast industrial usage and well-documented design, performance, and test specifications. Major efficiency improvements have been obtained at the motor level but are reaching diminishing returns and economic limits. Recent developments focus on the larger “driven system” connected to the motor for continued efficiency gains.
Liquid Ultrasonic Flowmeter
Emerson Daniel 3812 Liquid Ultrasonic Flow Meter: A high-precision liquid ultrasonic flowmeter applied in the petrochemical industry.
New additions to Coriolis flowmeter line
ABB introduces two new compact units to its family of direct mass flow measurement products.
Valero upgrades alkylation control at seven refineries
Invensys to deploy its HF alkylation measurement solution to improve cost control, real-time safety, and environmental performance.
Pressure transmitters for liquid and air
AutomationDirect adds stainless steel sensors for gas and liquid, and differential sensors for air.
Level sensor company changes hands
Emerson acquires ISE Magtech to fill out its offering of liquid level measurement solutions across process industries.
The evolution of the auto
Control engineers' input: In the last ten to fifteen years, cars have been changing by leaps and bounds; they may not have evolved much in the way of aesthetics, but what’s contained within them has drastically changed.
Dual-membrane pH electrode for tough chlor-alkali processes
Mettler Toledo Process Analytics announces the launch of its InPro 4850i pH electrode designed specifically for the requirements of the chlor-alkali industry.
Automation retrofit: Green energy production in southeastern Finland
Metso will increase the reliable supply of hydroelectric power at the Inkeroinen and Anjalankoski power plants owned by Kemijoki Oy in Finland by renewing the automation in their four water turbines. The deliveries will take place in the spring and autumn 2012.
Terminal fuse blocks with three jumper slots
2002 Series Topjob S Terminal Blocks from Wago now carry three jumper slots for greater control cabinet flexibility, making it ideal for process measurement applications.
Remote measurement display aims at environmental applications
Setra Systems introduces readouts for analog voltage signals used in specialized monitoring.
High voltage instrument for semiconductors
Keithley Instruments' Model 2657A High Power System Sourcemeter is designed to source up to five times as much power to a device under test as the nearest competitive system, at significantly lower cost, the company said.
Gain consideration using a shunt regulator and optocoupler feedback
The TI TL431 from Texas Instruments plus optocoupler feedback circuit is a common combination when designing power converters. Heed this advice with examples, 4 equations, and 18 figures.
Electronic scrap recycling facility being built in Sweden
ABB is working with Boliden to build a plant at the electronic scrap recycling facility Rönnskär copper smelter in northern Sweden with the intent of tripling its recycling capacity. Metal recovery from scrap takes 10-15% of the energy required to refine metal from raw ore, the company said.
Total organic carbon sensor with ISM
Mettler Toledo Process Analytics Division introduces its 5000TOCi sensor with Intelligent Sensor Management.
Nissan Plant Reduced Energy Expenditure 30% with Daily Power-Down Regimen
Industrial Energy Management: Accumulation chain conveyors, overhead lighting, and compressed air are among areas addressed.
Water utility systematizes maintenance, operational procedures
Waterford Township standardizes workflow procedures with links to data from SCADA, CMMS, DMS, and other operational systems.
Mill to receive evaporation plant and boiler upgrade
Metso will supply an evaporation plant and an upgrade to a recovery boiler in Billerud's Skärblacka mill in Sweden.
Medium voltage generators market growing
IMS Research predicts sales into the oil and natural gas, mining, and sugar industries will drive growth in the medium voltage generator market and these industries will comprise 38% of total market revenues by 2015.
Wind energy tax credit going away?
Industry experts predict new projects will slow or stall. Should subsidies continue?
Study projects major upgrade of photovoltaic power production by 2016
IMS Research predicts that struggling industry can take heart as photovoltaic producers anticipate major upgrades and replacement programs totaling 20,000 MW in next four years.
Modern nuclear technology for new plant
The NRC has approved plans for the first new nuke plant since 1978, using Generation III+ technology.
What’s happened to acid rain?
If we don’t see it in the news, does that mean it has gone away?
Monitoring critical vessel temperature
Radiometric imaging can help detect and measure uneven temperature gradients quickly and reliably.
Nanosensors for machines
Back to Basics: Lower-cost nano sensing technologies are making their way into pressure, position, and motion sensors, transmitters, and power supplies.
Measuring level in highly dynamic petroleum processes
Getting an accurate level reading where there is fluid boiling and off-gassing makes for quite a challenge. Here are two examples plus advice on bridle configurations.
Continued process automation growth predicted in 2012
ARC Advisory Group predicts continued annual growth in process automation in 2011 through the forecast period of 2015.
Capacitive accelerometer module
The 2210 series by Silicon Designs received an upgrade with 2210-005 accelerometer module, a single-axis model that incorporates MEMS capacitive sensing elements.
Top Control Engineering Articles of 2011
Think Again: Most-read articles for 2011 on the Control Engineering website, www.controleng.com, include Engineers’ Choice Awards highlighting best products, plant performance reporting, advanced motors, controllers, human-machine interfaces, control panel safety, loop drawing, a major motor acquisition, DCS screen design, and direct-drive wind turbines, among others. Links follow.
Dealing with mercury from coal-fired power plants
Where does airborne mercury come from, and how do we get rid of it?
Who should be making production decisions?
Is 'empowering operators' a good idea? When does decision making become 'too many cooks in the kitchen?'
Watertight miniature switches
The V15W Series is designed for consumer and industrial applications where spillage and water can be a factor.
Winning with engineering
National Instruments' cofounder James Truchard talks about working with engineers, how to form a successful technology company, Steve Jobs and Apple, and how to do for the embedded computing space what the PC did for the desktop.
EC: ifm Metal Face Inductive Sensors
Machine and embedded control – Discrete sensors: ifm metal face, 316 stainless steel inductive proximity sensors provide noncontact target detection in harsh applications. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Fiber Optic Absolute Position Sensor
Machine and embedded control – Discrete sensors: The Micronor MR330 Fiber Optic Absolute Position Sensor is an all-photonic rotary absolute position solution that withstands lightning, is immune to electromagnetic interference and magnetic fields, and is resistant to radiation and high temperature—all with 13-bit resolution and 0.025% accuracy. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: UHR304 Industrial Grade 4-Port USB Hub
Network integration – Network hardware: The UHR304 four-port industrial grade USB hub from B+B Electronics supports full-speed data rates of 12 Mbps while isolating upstream ports from downstream ports; it includes many ruggedized features that differentiate it from standard office-grade USB hubs. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: ACT20M Series of Signal Isolators and Converters
Network integration – Signal conditioning, diagnostics: The ACT20M Series from Weidmuller provides high-quality signal isolation and conversion functionality in a 6-mm-wide housing. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: SVR-PL Series ultra-wide temperature ac power line regulator
Power – Energy, power protection: The SVR-PL ultra-wide temperature ac power line regulator from Falcon Electric provides clean, regulated, sinewave output power in harsh temperature environments. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: Quint UPS-IQ intelligent uninterruptible power supply
Power – Energy, power protection: The Quint UPS-IQ from Phoenix Contact is an intelligent uninterruptible power supply that monitors a scalable battery solution and provides the user with critical data. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: TVA – Target Variable Area Flowmeter
Process control – Flowmeters: The TVA from Spirax Sarco is designed for use on saturated steam where there are large variations in flow rates. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: GC8000 Process Gas Chromatograph
Process control – Process sensors: The GC8000 sets new standard for a process gas chromatograph by bringing the 21st century to process gas chromatography while offering the same proven analytical hardware found in previous models of GC, said Yokogawa Corporation of America, such as the GC1000 Mark II, recognized for its reliable and precise performance. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: Fluke Ti29 Industrial-Commercial Thermal Imager
Hardware – Handheld test, measurement, calibration: The Fluke Ti29 thermal imager detects heat patterns or temperature changes in objects, allowing the user to discover problems prior to costly downtime, or to monitor developing problems so maintenance can be scheduled during a planned downtime or when budget is available. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice (EC) finalist.
EC: Fluke Ti9 Thermal Imager
Hardware – Handheld test, measurement, calibration: The Fluke Ti9 thermal imager detects heat patterns or temperature changes in objects, allowing the user to discover problems prior to costly downtime, or to monitor developing problems so maintenance can be scheduled during a planned downtime or when budget is available. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice (EC) finalist.
EC: Yokogawa CW10 Clamp-on Power Meter
Hardware – Handheld test, measurement, calibration: The Yokogawa CW10 Clamp-on Power Meter is capable of measuring up to 600 kW, 600 A, and 1,000 V, and can also measure power factor, harmonics, total harmonic distortion, frequency, and resistance in one portable test instrument. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: Nanobox IPC
Hardware – Industrial PCs (IPCs): The Nanobox PC Simatic IPC227D is a compact and flexible embedded industrial PC from Siemens featuring Intel Atom processors of the latest generation E6xx, suitable for simple control, data collection, or communication tasks. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Are consumers ready to reduce power consumption?
Survey commissioned by Rexel with Harris Interactive suggests people are ready to cut consumption, but lack information on what to do.
Major construction company installs large-scale PV generator for internal use
Granite Construction Co. aggregate and hot-mix facility adds 1 MW capacity, including inverters from Siemens.
Raising the pressure: supercritical boilers
What is a supercritical boiler, and why are their deployments growing?
Transit-time ultrasonic flow meters
Sierra Instruments announces the Innova-Sonic transit-time ultrasonic flow meters 205i and portable 210i models for release, which expands on the 203
CERN’s Large Hadron Collider boosts superconducting magnet performance
Magnetic field measurement instrument board achieves 100 times greater frequency bandwidth and resolution than previous design, contributing to ultra-high-precision beam-forming in world’s most powerful particle collider.
Leader Under 40: Wael Badawy
President, IntelliView Technologies Inc. – MS + PhD Computer Engineering, University of Louisiana; BS + MS Computer Science + Automatic Control Engineering, University of Alexandria
Leader Under 40: Tony Paine
President and CEO, Kepware Technologies – Electrical Engineering, University of Maine, Concentrations: Computer Software + Hardware Design
Inside process: System upgrade saves operating costs
Texas water utility narrows down to one platform provider for greater efficiency while keeping existing networking infrastructure.
Inductive ring sensors: 10 mm, 15 mm, 25 mm diameters
Balluff inductive ring sensors are available in 10, 20 and 25 mm diameter openings and are designed to monitor the infeed of small metal parts like nails and screws.
Thermoelectric cooler for electronic enclosures
Pentair Technical Products's McLean cooler is designed for cooling electronic components in small indoor/outdoor electronic enclosures.
Power monitoring and metering module
Eaton's new PM3 module is designed to monitor the power of branch and main circuit applications to help system reliability and reduce utility costs.
More government financing for solar power?
Hasn’t the Solyndra scandal taught us anything? What is the appeal of solar power anyway?
Biomass boiler to be delivered for energy project
A biomass boiler by Metso will be supplied for a biomass-fueled cogeneration power plant in Wisconsin
Control system installed for power generating units
The Changshu power plant in Jiangsu Province, is expanding its power generating units and is using Emerson's Ovation expert control system for automation
Non-contact inductive linear sensors for harsh environments
Turck QR14 and Q17 linear position sensors have IP67-rated housing to protect against moisture and dust for rough environments.
Remotely resettable electronic circuit breaker
The E-T-A ESX10-TC is a 12 V DC version of the 24 V ESX10-T and is designed for SCADA/RTU applications, providing protection for switch-mode power supplies and solar/battery-based systems.
Standard for smart grid established
IEEE 2030, which was recently approved and published, establishes a smart grid interoperability reference model and knowledge base for manufacturers.
Power efficiency, automation for Arizona cement company
Integrated power and automation based on ABB System 800xA will help new Drake Cement plant exceed industry standard productivity and efficiency levels, ABB said.
Industrial UPS has intelligent battery management
Phoenix Contact's Quint UPS-IQ uses IQ technology to manage battery status and inform the user on relevant data.
Dual level terminal block
Weidmuller WDK10 terminal block is designed to save space by 50% and can integrate two circuits within one terminal.
Flat-panel, touch screen computer with Intel Atom processor
Advantech's 15-inch TPC-1551H touch-panel computer has an Intel Atom processor, can operate in very low and high temperatures, and is only 58 mm thick.
Enclosures molded in custom colors
Arca JIC enclosure family from Fibox is now available for molding in custom colors with PMS (Pantone Matching System).
AS-Interface power supplies exceed 90% efficiency
Pepperl+Fuchs VAN-115/230AC-K19 AS-Interface power supplies are designed to be more than 90% efficient and limit the need for enclosure cooling.
Iran fires up nuke plant, connects to grid
If you think nuclear plant construction here is slow, Iran’s pace is glacial but after 35 years has finally come full term.
Building a safe, reliable BMS
Take the guesswork out of burner management design
Tank storage terminal in Sweden meets safety requirements
FH Tank Storage AB, using Emerson Process Management's Rosemount technology, is able to automate tank storage level monitoring and prevent spillage.
Direct current power distribution system for ITC service provider
Direct current solution in Switzerland is said to provide maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact for the green.ch data center facility. Validus DC Systems, an ABB company, will work on the project, saving up to 30%.
Product exclusive: All-in-one pushbuttons
Eaton C22 pushbuttons include operator and contact blocks in one housing. Rugged design suits high-pressure and high-temperature wash-down environments, with a broad selection of operators, functionality, and features for high-volume original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Control valves for pressurized water reactors
Emerson Process Management received an $8 million contract to supply Fisher control valves for SCANA's nuclear generating stations in South Carolina.
Redesigned motor control centers includes first arc flash resistant design
Siemens re-engineered tiastar motor control centers include its first arc resistant MCCs compliant with ANSI/IEEE C37.20.7 standards, which can be applied to multiple designs. A base model can ship in days, a smaller compact size offers high-density design, a model integrates drives for water and wastewater applications, and a smart version has advanced diagnostics, networking, and touch screen. See photos.
Energy efficiency, reduction in GHG at Texas plant
DuPont's Packaging and Industrial Polymers operations site in Texas has achieved energy efficiency and reductions in green house gases.
Nuclear plant to use monitoring technologies for turbine generators
PAKS Nuclear Power Plant in Hungary selected Emerson's CSI 6500 Machinery Health Monitor. The monitor is designed to monitor and evaluate operations for Hungary's only nuclear power plant
Irsching power plant: Incubator for high-efficiency gas turbines
Extensive engineering development, test validation, and implementation of advanced gas turbines have taken place at Irsching over recent years. In May 2011 these developments culminated in the officially certified, record-setting 60.75% net thermal efficiency mark in combined-cycle operation for Siemens’ H-class gas turbine. See aerial photos.
Spring clamp terminal block saves space
ASI's terminal block, which is only 4.2mm wide, was designed to save space by up to 30%, the company said.
Grid tie solar inverters
GE EverGold SVT series grid tie solar inverters are designed to increase solar energy harvest capability.
Technology Update: Signal reliability in wind turbine environments
Protect against electrical noise distortions in monitoring and control signals to help ensure reliable collection of wind turbine data, for safe and efficient wind turbine operation. Can cleaner signals and eliminating ground loops help your application? See online extras: photos, diagram, links, videos.
Direct-drive Wind Turbines Flex Muscles
A different drive train design that eliminates the gearbox between a turbine’s rotor and generator is attracting wind turbine manufacturers in the quest for higher power output, increased offshore reliability, and potential cost savings over the system’s lifetime. See photos, diagram, links.
Control panel design software
Working on control panel design? Software tools can help with design, documentation, bill of materials, circuit diagrams, component placement, and more.
High potential energy savings with servo technologies
By connecting servo drives via the DC bus, up to a third of kinetic energy from braking resistors can be saved. If drives can capture energy from motors used for braking applications, up to 80% energy savings can be realized. Also look at power factor.
Pressure sensor line combines display, measuring transducer, pressure switch
Balluff has released a full line of pressure sensors including a stainless steel version for harsh environments.
Stainless steel pressure transducer for industrial applications, engine test stands
Omega Engineering’s PXM309 Metric series transducers report a static accuracy of 0.25% and 1% total error band over a range of -20 to 85 C.
Guided wave radar increases plant availability, reduces energy costs
Improved level measurement increases availability of condensate receiver.
Hook-up wire is environmentally friendly, meets ROHS, WEEE requirements
Belden PPO-insulated Hook-up Wire also merits use of Belden’s GreenChoice product rating. PPO Wire does not release the type of environmental pollutants that are characteristic of traditional PVC-insulated wire. This fully recyclable product also outperforms PVC- and XLPE-insulated hook-up wire.
MAG acquires Forest Line Industries, aerospace manufacturing expertise
MAG, a machine and tool systems company, acquired Forest Line Industries Group, a French company that manufactures systems for aerospace applications, dies/molds, large parts, titanium and composites processing.
OPC server achieves UA certification
MatrikonOPC's Universal Connectivity Server has achieves the OPC Foundation's UA Certification, providing users with solid performance and interoperability.
Non-metallic enclosure protects unattended on-line monitoring unit
EnviroTech uses remote, low-power telemetry-enabled systems to protect an automated chemical measure system (Autolab), using non-metallic enclosures.
Compact modular ring lug terminals replace barrier blocks
Phoenix Contact open-style ring screw (RSC) and ring bolt (RBO) lug connection terminals are designed to replace traditional barrier blocks.
Direct current circuit breakers emphasize reliability, safety, sustainability
New sustainable solutions added to Eaton Corporation’s line of DC circuit breakers.
Innovations for safe system operation
Voltage detectors enable enhanced safe recovery in extra applications. STMicroelectronics STM1831 voltage detector has independent connections for the sense input and its own supply voltage.
Low-cost nanocontrollers, programming software target standalone machines
Allen-Bradley Micro800 controllers and Connected Components Workbench software from Rockwell Automation offer customizable solutions for nano- and micro-level controller applications. New controller family and software simplifies installation and saves acquisition costs and assembly time for machine builders, the company said. See tables, photos.
Ultracapacitor company gets $21 million investment for energy storage development
Ioxus receives $21 million investment from Northwater Capital, Energy Technology Ventures – a GE-NRG Energy-ConocoPhillips joint venture – Braemar Energy Ventures and Aster Capital to further expansion in high-tech energy storage.
M12 and 7/8-in power connectors accept larger wires
New offering from Binder-USA allows connectors to use larger wire gauge (up to 14 AWG) and conduct currents up to 8 A and 12 A per contact.
Power modules with additional low inductive current path
Parasitic inductances are a major problem with power modules, in particular in fast switching applications.
Power distribution products save energy
Eaton ePDUs help reduce power distribution costs in 400 V data center configurations, with energy savings and efficiency gains.
Power supply for wind energy equipment
Balluff has released a semi-potted device designed to serve as a power supply specifically for technology that requires wind energy.
Compact fusible switches for finger-safe circuit protection
AutomationDirect has added Gladiator compact fusible switches for circuit protection. They are also equipped with lockout/tagout capability and finger-safe construction.
NEMA Type 12 modular industrial enclosures
Hammond Manufacturing released new Modular Enclosure Series for industrial environments. Modular design enables units to be easily joined together for large scale and mixed use applications, including for industrial control, operator interface equipment and switches and circuit breakers. Many accessories are available.
Company makes technical advances made in RF technologies
ADI’s single- and dual-channel RF mixers are reportedly the first in industry to incorporate wideband LO amplifier, programmable RF balun and IF filter, and IF amplifier to support wideband operation for wireless infrastructure and software-defined radio applications.
Manufacturing company joined Offshore Technology Conference
Thomas + Betts/Kopex took part in the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston to highlight area cable management
How big can a battery get?
With cars, trucks, and other applications, what are the size limits on batteries?
Application-oriented range of current transformers provide safety, flexibility
Carlo Gavazzi's CTD Series is a range of solid core current transformers are connectable with various wiring terminals and can be installed on DIN-rail or directly to the back panel.
Retrofit steel plant transformers integrate easily with existing equipment
Pacific Crest Transformers (PCT) offers a transformer design suitable for retrofitting existing steel industry transformers. The design fits into an existing space and easily connects to high and low voltage equipment already in place, PCT said.
Low-power architecture helps wireless sensing
Powercast Lifetime Power Wireless Sensor System broadcasts RF energy to power wireless sensors without batteries or wires up to 80 ft away from the transmitters.
Time to buy that electric car?
Have we reached the tipping point where an electric car will be cheaper? Watch this video.
Power line regulators for extreme temperature environments
Falcon Electric's line of SVR-PL Series ultra-wide temperature ac power line regulators are ideal for use in variable high and low temperature applications where maintaining a constant temperature is required.
Photoelectric sensor line adds 18mm rectangular plastic DC models
AutomationDirect's photoelectric sensor offering now includes 18mm rectangular plastic DC models. The IP67 rated sensors, available in 12 models, feature an 18mm diameter threaded lens and M12 quick-disconnect.
Encapsulated transformers line expanded
AutomationDirect's Hammond line of HPS Fortress commercial encapsulated power transformers are now available in 100 VA up to 25 kVA ratings and input voltage ranges of 120 V ac to 480 V ac.
Video: The state of manufacturing, part 1
Interviews with industry leaders look ahead to manufacturing in a post-recession environment. Part 1 looks at where we are now, and regional technology gaps.
Windpower Conference to provide information for wind industry
The American Wind Energy Association produces the Windpower Conference and Exhibition, designed to provide information, networking, solutions to wind energy professionals, May 22 - 25, 2011, in Anaheim, Calif.
Industrial and Commercial Power Systems Technical Conference
The 2011 IEEE Industrial and Commercial Power Systems Technical Conference will feature various meetings, sessions for experts who work in the industrial application of electrical systems industry.
Eight-pole actuator/sensor connector range provides high contact density
Belden's eight-pole M8 actuator/sensor connector range fulfill requirements for shock and vibration resistance and provide up to eight signals of transmission with an external power supply.
Modules enable operation of 16 fast Ethernet ports per switch
Fan-free Hirschmann PoE/PoE Plus Modules are available for Belden's MACH100 Workgroup Series Switches.
Panel drive expands to 300 hp
ABB’s DCS800-EP drive provides a compact package that simplifies design and installation – now up to 300 hp.
1-inch series resolvers offers fully housed configuration
Honeywell’s Hawk 1-inch series resolvers offer a full housed configuration, shock specification of 50 g, 11 ms, vibration specification of 15 g, 10 Hz to 2000 Hz, wide operating temperature range of -50.8 °C to 93.3 °C.
Louisiana Sugar Refining selects control platform for new Gramercy plant
Siemens will supply its Simatic PCS7 DCS and other technologies for the new million-ton facility now under construction.
Still building nuclear power plants?
Will experiences in Japan kill off new nuke plant construction?
Safety door switches designed for slim spaces subject to water washdown cleaning
Omron’s D4GS-N switches are rated IP67 for water washdown, feature reversible design allowing either front, rear mounting.
Wireless battery-powered radio network device for cathodic protection remote monitoring
FreeWave Technologies announced what it calls the first wireless battery-powered proprietary radio network device for cathodic protection remote monitoring. The wireless Battery-powered Waterproof Submersible BPRM CP RMU is said to be ideal for pipe-to-soil cathodic protection applications in the water/wastewater and oil and gas industries where users only require access to the radio once every two years.
Counterfeit safety certifications discovered
Exida has found bogus certificates claiming devices are SIL-3 capable under IEC61508.
Green Automation: Thomson-RCA energy monitoring cuts energy costs
Assigning accurate costs to compressed air, chill water, and steam generation allowed more efficient use of resources at a Thomson RCA plant and annual savings of $35,000 for compressed air alone. Electrical demand, power, pressure, and flow are among measured variables.
Ethernet converters for manufacturing, processing, automation applications
Belden has added four Perle System IOLAN DS Serial Ethernet Converters to the Hirschmann product line featuring fanless cooling, suitable for discrete manufacturing, processing operations, power generation/distribution and building automation.
Cable technology design with low SCD21, high signal fidelity
W. L. Gore and Associates’ new design in cable technology for high data-rate applications features a lower SCD21 and a high level of signal fidelity, addressing degradation in performance.
Compact 6-contact guard lock safety door switch
Omron Scientific Technologies combines simple, flexible installation with robust operation to satisfy the varying safety needs of today’s door access applications.
Manufacturing and supply chain topics at ProMat 2011
ProMat 2011 offers over 700 exhibiting companies, 80 educational seminars, March 21-24, 2011, on motion control, material handling and logistics-related topics.
Load Board designed for conduction cooled chassis
Elma Bustronic’s 6U VPX Load Board comes in a conduction-cooled format, offers microcontroller-based stepped load control to 100 W maximum.
Case study video: Biometric security switch excludes unauthorized users
Mauell Corp. case study video details using biometric switch, helps keep unauthorized or untrained employees from specific areas, machinery.
White Paper: Actuator Fault Diagnosis with Robustness to Sensor Distortion
The purpose of this paper is to present a new method for actuator fault diagnosis which is robust to sensor distortion. It does not require sensor redundancy to compensate sensor distortion.
Photoelectric sensors with Clear Object Detection detect transparent, opaque objects
The GLV18 series of photoelectric sensors with Clear Object Detection, made by Pepperl+Fuchs, detect objects to a contrast as low as 18 percent.
Siemens’ newest distribution center in Mississippi
Siemens adds central distribution center to operations in efforts to reducing costs associated with distribution, split shipments.
Eaton Corporation: Tap Rules for Molded Case Circuit Breakers That Adhere to UL® Standard 508A, NEC Section 409
Learn how to apply multiple branches and multi-wire terminals in control panels using power distribution blocks, multi-wire or standard terminals.
Inverter, power supply modules for servo drives
120 kW inverter module for Acoposmulti servo drives from B&R Industrial Automation, reduces start-up current values by 60%.
Intelligent soft starters improve performance of industrial applications
RSQK Series high power intelligent soft starters from Carlo Gavazzi are designed to improve performance of industrial applications, decreasing the wear of mechanical transmission components. An automatic energy optimizing feature reportedly increases efficiency.
Powerful PAC Upgrades Wastewater Treatment Centrifuge
Advanced automation helps wastewater treatment plant improve operations, increase redundancy, and save time and money.
Fan, filter units improve ventilation, efficiency
TopTherm fan-and-filter units from Rittal use diagonal technology to improve ventilation and save energy in enclosures and buildings.
Terminal blocks, interconnects earn 100 kA short circuit current rating
Select Wago Corporation Through-Panel and Chassis-Mount Terminal blocks and Interconnect devices have earned a 100 kA (short circuit current rating (SCCR) rating with appropriate fuses.
Electronic circuit breakers, power supplies, UPSs get UL Certified
UL and cUL Certification is complete for 27 models within Wago Corporation’s Epsitron family of advanced power supplies. Certification applies to select models within the Epsitron Electronic Circuit Breaker, Pro-Power Supply, Uninterruptible Power Supply and Redundancy module lines.
High-current panel feed-through terminal blocks feature multiple mounting and connection options
Phoenix Contact’s high-current panel feed-through terminal blocks offer multiple mounting and connection options.
Application Update: A/C controls handle the heat of a growing shop floor
YH America Inc. cuts HVAC energy consumption using A/C control system, while adding 600 hp of growth, for energy savings and feedback expected to help machine maintenance.
Upgrades to circuit breaker combination starters
Schneider Electric has upgraded its range of Square D Circuit Breaker Combination Starters to include energy efficient, longer lasting LED pilot lights, enhanced door seals, and PowerPact eMCP circuit breakers.
Control Engineering Chinese edition announced in Shanghai
Control Engineering China is relaunching in cooperation with Control Engineering. On Nov. 9, 2010, the official ceremony announcing the Control Engineering Chinese edition was held in Shanghai, China. Steve Rourke, the CEO of CFE Media LLC announced the partnership with Beijing Control Engineering IT Co., Ltd., which will include content sharing, global customer sales coordination, and technology sharing between the two organizations.
Advancing Technology: High-efficiency gas turbines
General Electric and Siemens are among companies pushing the frontiers of large high-efficiency gas turbines for electricity generation. Target is more than 60% thermal efficiency for combined-cycle power plants.
Call light for manufacturing environments
Banner Engineering Corp.’s EZ-LIGHT K80 Call Light is designed to optimize productivity in flexible manufacturing environments, keeping parts bins stocked and the assembly line productive.
Moving to the next biofuel generation
This week, The Economist has a survey of the future of the biofuels industry, headlined “The Post-Alcohol World.” The opening premise of the discussion is that ethanol as fuel has become passé due to its many drawbacks, e.g., low energy content relative to gasoline, tendency to absorb water, corrosiveness, etc. The real promise lies in so called “drop-in” fuels that are chemical equivalents to existing hydrocarbons and can be added to conventional fuels with nobody noticing the difference. The discussion points out that much is happening with this newer approach, and it is pulling the limelight away from plain old corn ethanol and the hugely disappointing efforts to create economically viable cellulosic ethanol. The assumption is that sugar will still likely be the main feedstock, but the product will be a hydrocarbon that can be blended with conventional fuels.
EC: Harmony Biometric Switch
Safety sensor: Schneider Electric Harmony Biometric Switch. A Switch using fingerprint recognition technology to increase access control. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
EC: TP Series Temperature Transmitter
Process sensors, other: ifm efector inc., TP Series Temperature Transmitter. The TP3237 temperature transmitter module turns any RTD into a programmable transmitter. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: SSG-RP Series Ultra-Wide Temperature UPS
Power - monitoring, protection - Falcon Electric Inc. - SSG-RP Series Ultra-Wide Temperature UPS. This rugged UPS gives users the ability to maintain their UPS once every 4-10 years. Users now get ~1 yr of life (esp hi-temp environments like control panels). This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
EC: D-Size powerfast
Network Integration - wire, cable, cordsets, connectors - Turck Incorporated - D-Size powerfast. D-Size (1 3/8 inch) powerfast modular wiring systems handle high current applications for machine power distribution and motor control. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: EcoPower HFFR Cables, Power Cords and Retractile Cables
Network Integration - wire, cable, cordsets, connectors - Northwire's EcoPower Halogen Free Flame Retardant (HFFR) Cables, Power Cords and Retractile Cables are the industry's first halogen free flame retardant products that are UL 62-rated 105 °C and CSA-recognized. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
EC: Electronic Marshalling
Network Integration - I/O systems - Emerson Process Management - Electronic Marshalling enables I/O field wiring to land wherever you want, regardless of signal type or control strategy - eliminating the need for cross-wiring in marshalling cabinets. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: HD Bus Terminals
Network Integration - I/O systems - Beckhoff Automation HD Bus Terminals -Space-saving 'High Density' Bus Terminals feature 16 digital I/O channels in the housing of a 12 mm electronic terminal block. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
Mount outlet boxes provide control cabinets power for equipment
Wago Corporation’s CPO Series DIN-rail Mount Outlet Boxes provide control cabinets with power for common tools including laptops and testing equipment.
Managing energy aboard largest solar-powered boat
Wago 758 Series IPCs are managing solar energy for Turanor PlanetSolar, the world’s largest solar-powered boat. It has 11 tons of batteries (with chassis), including the 388 V lithium ion (NCA) battery. The IPCs control charging for three batteries and 10 Drivetek Maximum Power Pick Trackers (MPPT) via 13 CAN buscouplers. These high-end dc/dc converters improve the PV panels’ solar absorption — vital for the fixed, deck-mounted PV panels.
Energy efficient electrical transformers have NEMA approval
The Square D Premium 30 energy efficient transformers are designed to help reduce lost energy, exceed minimum efficiency program standards, and provide optimal performance and superior quality.
Panel feedthrough terminal block uprated to 600V
Initially developed for alternative energy inverter systems, the 828 Series aids the separation of field-wired power input connections from sensitive electronics by simplifying the passing of conductors through enclosure walls.
Terminal blocks pass insulation testing for photovoltaic applications
Testing ensures that terminals can withstand a continuous voltage of 1000 V dc under all climatic conditions. Specialized insulation testing is required for solar photovoltaic (PV) applications because standard insulation tests do not detect low-energy (partial) discharges, which are common in PV applications.
Dave Harvey, former Control Engineering publisher, dies
David A. Harvey, former Control Engineering publisher, died Sept. 22, 2010, at 54 years of age.
Mining control system drawings made easy
Electrical and instrumentation drawing software, rather than traditional CAD drafting methods, provides mining project engineers with major efficiency gains. Control Engineering Inside Machines, October 2010
Sizing software ensures proper thermal management of enclosures
The Java-based PSS application for server room cooling units, enclosure blowers, cabinet heaters, and outdoor cooling units guides users through the sizing process, step-by-step.
NEMA: Electrical Equipment Manufacturers, August outlook
Manufacturers of electrical equipment tell NEMA their outlook is less confident in August. Despite the decrease in confidence, more than half of panelists participating in the survey expect an improved business environment over the next six months, NEMA said.
Is smaller better for nuclear power plants?
Nuclear power plants 1/10 the size of current utility-scale plants may become reality some years from now. Faster construction, modular design, and easier financing are behind their development
Transformerless medium-voltage drives perspective
Some drive manufacturers do not agree on the merits of medium-voltage (MV) drive operation without an input transformer. The following pro and con comments come from companies with and without a transformerless MV drive on the market.
Inverter topologies: Voltage-source or current-source
In very basic terms, a variable-frequency drive (VFD) consists of three sections, moving from the drive’s input to output. A rectifier (or converter) changes ac input to dc, followed by a dc link that serves as an energy storage circuit, and then an inverter switches dc back to variable frequency ac output.
How much oil was lost in the gulf?
Dear Control Engineering: Please help me understand how much oil was spilled in the Gulf of Mexico. We’ll never know exactly how much oil was released from the blown-out Deepwater Horizon well over the past few months, but it is safe to say that it was the largest oil spill ever. One estimate that seems to be gaining acceptance is that roughly 5 million barrels (206 million gallons) were spewed into the gulf. How can you get a grip on that number? If you were to dig a pit 100 ft.
DC electrical transmission growing
Dear Control Engineering: It seems that using dc for electrical distribution is growing. How is this practical? You shouldn’t expect to have your residential electrical service converted to dc anytime soon. The considerations that made utilities adopt ac almost universally over the last century continue to apply for most uses.
ATS Systems Oregon: 2010 Control Panel Contest Finalist
Control Engineering 2010 Control Panel Design Contest Tutorial Video Finalist: Flash suppression panel and power distribution, ATS Systems Oregon
Control Panel Design Contest Tutorial Videos: 2010 Finalists, Winner
These are the Control Engineering 2010 Control Panel Design Contest finalists and winner, as chosen by visitors to the Control Engineering website.
Omega Engineering DIN rail thermocouple terminal blocks have audit capable female connector
Omega Engineering DRTB Series thermocouple terminal blocks are manufactured with thermocouple alloys to guarantee accurate readings, the company says. A built-in SMP compatible female receptacle accepts a miniature thermocouple connector.
ABB completes acquisition of K-TEK
Integration of instrumentation maker aims to boost instrumentation portfolio and improve offerings for oil and gas, water markets.
ABB enables shore-to-ship power in Gothenburg to reduce local emissions
During 10 hours in port, one cruise ship’s diesel generators ship can burn 20 metric tons of fuel and produce 60 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to annual emissions of 25 average-sized European cars. ABB electrical infrastructure will mitigate these emissions.
Courses include: energy efficiency tips and tricks, using automation to save energy and materials costs, and more... Welcome to the Engineering Education Center course site devoted to Sustainable Engineering topics. Click on any of the topic areas below to register for and access the course. Coming Soon! Watch this site for more education modules addressing automation, control, and instrumentation coming soon.
Murata Power Solutions adds frequency reading to 4-function ac power meters
ACM20 Series of Datel Digital Panel Meters from Murata Power Solutions provide Hertz reading capability plus true-rms Volts, Amps, and Watts.
Data integration appliance: Wave TTA, Universal Transmitter Trip-Amplifier from Weidmuller
Weidmuller says its Wave TTA, Universal Transmitter Trip-Amplifier, a signal processor space, offers high performance and exceptional configurability.
Frame, wire management: Save 25% on electrical panel designs
Satie Proclip and Prolight modular electrical panel frame and wire management systems shrink space requirements, cut material costs, increase productivity and reduce weight.
A motor manufacturer, Baldor Electric Co., has been upgrading its offerings to comply with the Dec. 19, 2010, round of U.S. motor efficiency mandates. Baldor also is gaining efficiency in how it manufactures those motors as it integrates multiple acquisitions (including Dodge-Reliance). Control Engineering "Think Again," April 2010.
Feed through terminal blocks
Omega Engineering YBK feed through terminal blocks have tension clamp connections for fast wire termination and reliable secure connection. The DIN rail mountable blocks are available in gray, blue, red, yellow, beige, and green. The tension clamp can be opened with a small screwdriver inserted next to the wire entry; no wire pre-treatment is needed, even with stranded wire, Omega says.
How to choose air conditioners for industrial enclosures: Rittal
Rittal white paper discusses selection criteria for industrial enclosure air conditioners.
Energy efficient glass manufacturing supported by DOE and IRS tax credits
$100+ million in DOE funding and IRS green manufacturing tax credits enable construction of new energy-saving glass manufacturing facility.
Omega Engineering YBK feed through terminal blocks
Omega Engineering YBK series of feed-through terminal blocks are tension clamp connection style for fast wire termination and reliable secure connection. The DIN rail mountable YBK series terminal blocks, rated at 600 V, are available in gray, blue, red, yellow, beige, and green, and are good for control panel and electrical panel wiring.
Video: Industry executives reflect on business outlook survey
Automation industry leaders offer their thoughts on the results of Control Engineering and Morgan Stanley's global research project.
Siemens and Metrus offer pay-for-performance energy efficiency plan
BAE Systems' deal with Siemens and Metrus requires it to only pay for energy savings realized from the program's comprehensive energy efficiency improvements.
New ABB inverter to feed photovoltaic power into the grid
ABB's first solar inverter, the PVS800 is designed to connect photovoltaic arrays to medium- or low-voltage grids via transformers and switchgear.
Multi-spectrum infrared flame detector for easy installation
New configuration device from General Monitors simplifies installation at refineries, fuel loading facilities, and pipelines.
New ultrasonic flowmeter family for process applications
Clark Solutions sensor family uses spool-section configuration for permanent mounting.
Saelig introduces USB embedded development tool, customizable USB 2.0 module
Embedded system engineers gain quicker system design, development, testing.
Mining and processing OEM selects control system supplier
Baogang Group company chooses Proficy Process Systems for APC applications in its mining and metallurgical processing projects.
Beckhoff space-saving HD Bus Terminals
Beckhoff Automation expanded its Bus Terminal I/O system with the new, ultra-compact HD Bus Terminals for manufacturers and machine builders. The space-saving 'High Density’ Bus Terminals have 16 digital I/O channels in the housing of a 12 mm electronic terminal block. This is a March 2010 Control Engineering North American print edition Product Exclusive.
Associated Electric Cooperative selects control platform for Chouteau 2 power plant
Electric utility known for its high efficiency awards contract to Siemens Energy to supply SPPA-T3000 control system.
Digital thermometer for RTD sensors: Omega Engineering DTG-RTD100
Omega Engineering's new DTG-RTD100 Series of digital thermometers is designed for use with RTD sensors. Large backlit display has digits that can be read at 35 ft away.
N-Tron: new line of isolated serial media converters, repeaters for industrial networks
N-Tron Isolated Serial to Fiber Converter, RS-232 to RS-422/485 Converter, and RS-422/485 Repeater are designed for use in rugged industrial environments, operate in a wide temperature range, provide triple isolation and are approved for use in UL Class I Division 2 locations.
Phoenix Contact engineers teach science for National Engineers Week
Phoenix Contact engineers in Pennsylvania and Michigan share enthusiasm for science with local students for National Engineers Week.
New Pro-M series industrial power supplies from Weidmuller
Weidmuller Pro-M series power supplies have been optimized for use in most dc power applications, with many ac/dc inputs over -25 °C to +70 °C.
SIS-Tech automated independent backup system meets SIL3
SIS-Tech Diamond-SIS system meets SIL3 requirements and is less costly than a safety PLC, company says.
MapleSim Connector for LabVIEW, NI VeriStand modeling software released
Maplesoft product upgrade extends connectivity to key NI hardware-in-the-loop products.
Dataforth DSCA DIN-rail mount isolated analog signal conditioners
More than 370 models of Dataforth DSCA isolated analog DIN rail mount signal conditioning modules are said to provide Dataforth Instrument Class performance, outstanding accuracy, 3-way isolation, and pluggable screw terminal disconnects to simplify wiring and maintenance.
Fluke Ti32 Thermal Imager
Fluke Electronics Fluke Ti32 Thermal Imager makes thermal imaging affordable and effective in many applications for plant maintenance professionals, production engineers, electricians, HVAC/R technicians and others. It’s designed and priced to deliver unprecedented performance for troubleshooting and preventive maintenance of electrical installations, electro-mechanical equipment, process...
Stealth WPC-500F Harsh Environment Computer
Stealth.Com Inc. (Stealth Computer) The WPC-500F from Stealth Computer Corp. is an environmentally sealed, rugged, fan-less industrial computer for harsh environments. It meets NEMA 6/IP67 standards. Stealth says this computer offers an excellent return on investment. It can be connected directly to machines, control panels, operator stations, etc.
3D Image Sensor
ifm efector inc. The ifm efector 3D Image Sensor measures the size, shape and volume of objects in industrial automation applications. The 3D sensor provides critical information in applications such as palletizing and de-palletizing, bulk level of materials, level of food products, level of product on conveyors, material handling, logistics, and intelligent routing/sorting.
Wago 4-Channel Electronic Circuit Breakers
Wago Corporation Wago Corp. 787 Series DIN-rail mount, 4-channel Electronic Circuit Breakers (ECBs) separately protect up to four current paths (up to 10 A at 24 V dc max each) for power supplies without a “top boost” feature. Wago has deemed this line of ECBs as ideal for multiple loads distributed from a single power supply.
Wind power control systems go to (temperature) extremes
High-temperature uninterruptible power supply helps Danish control system designers handle Mongolian temperatures up to 55 ºC (131 ºF).
Intel embedded: Advantech Embedded Board Series has new Intel Core i7 processor
Intel Core i7 processor-based platforms by Advantech range from computer-on-modules and single board computers to industrial motherboards.
Manufacturing has grown for the past 5 months: Institute for Supply Management
ISM says new orders, production, and employment are growing while inventories are contracting.
Allen-Bradley 6186M Performance Monitors (1200M, 1500M, 1700M, 1900M)
Allen-Bradley 6186M Performance Monitors were designed with the latest in flat-panel LCD technology. The monitors integrate seamlessly with any Rockwell Automation non-display industrial computer to create a powerful visualization, maintenance, control or information computing solution, company says.
These ultra-flat devices simplify position sensing, coming close to the motion area of the device without requiring a lot of installation space.
Pressure sensor family is modular for flexibility
With its new PB series, Baumer has introduced a new pressure transmitter family based on a modular system which can be adjusted individually to customers' needs. While there are many choices, the company says a common element is high accuracy of up to ±0.1% full scale over a large compensated temperature range of -40 to 85 °C (-40 to 185 °F).
Self-powered wireless current sensor
Functional Devices has released what it says is the world’s first completely EnOcean-based self-powered wireless current sensor. Current sensors monitor the status of electrical current flowing through a power line. Functional Devices’ solution wirelessly transmits this status and enables remote monitoring or linking the operation of one machine with another.
Schneider Electric: Harmony Biometric Switch
As biometric technology grows more popular and proven, Schneider Electric reportedly is the first automation manufacturer to introduce a fingerprint reading device designed for industrial environments. The Schneider Electric Harmony Biometric Switch is a more effective tool for security than passwords or swipe cards that can be lost, shared or stolen. This is a January 2010 Control Engineering North American print edition Product Exclusive.
Photovoltaic solar arrays generate excitement at Illinois headquarters of Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, announced the unveiling of the largest corporate solar array installation in Illinois history. The array will reduce electric usage at its North America headquarters facility by an estimated 2%-3% annually, company officials said, as they powered up the installation on a below-freezing Dec.
Compact 90 W power supplies
Carlo Gavazzi SPD24901L is said to be one of the industry’s most compact, 90 W switch-mode power supplies. Switch-mode technology means high efficiency, and installation is quick, simple, and highly secure via DIN rail, according to Carlo Gavazzi. Two diagnostic LEDs, one for output “Good,” and another for Output “Low,” provide an instant visual indication of dc o...
GE Sensing: Unik 5000 pressure sensors
Unik 5000, a unique pressure sensing platform from GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies, has a modular design allowing users to customize pressure measurement parameters to cost effectively meet application requirements. This is a January 2010 Control Engineering North American print edition Product Exclusive.
Refinery upgrades electrical and process control infrastructure
ABB to provide integrated electrical and automation solutions to optimize production at Elefsina refinery in Greece.
Green Energy Resources to buy pellet mill
Biomass provider planning purchase of wood pellet manufacturer as part of domestic and international growth strategy.
Avocent purchase augments Emerson Network Power’s data center management
Emerson Network Power's Avocent acquisition strengthened its data center infrastructure management portfolio.
Carlo Gavazzi: compact 90 W power supplies
Carlo Gavazzi SPD24901L is one of the industry's most compact, 90 Watt switch-mode power supplies, providing high efficiency, and easy DIN-rail installation, the company says.
Odyssey Logistics & Technology Offers Chemical Customers Differentiated Service with Management Dynamics’ Transportation Management Solution
Leading Logistics Provider Automates Ocean Contract Management to Grow its International Business
Photo gallery: Photovoltaic solar array project at Schneider Electric Palatine headquarters
Photos of Schneider Electric photovoltaic (PV) solar farm project show the 29 poles with 232 modules that produce 60.5 kW. Link to related story with PV project tips from the project manager along with more details from Schneider Electric.
Photovoltaic solar arrays generate excitement at Schneider Electric’s Palatine headquarters
Photovoltaic solar implementation tips: Schneider Electric installed and flipped the switch on PVs with rated dc output of 60.5 kW; 232 modules are mounted on 29 unique "flower" pole arrays. See photos, diagrams.
Electromagnetic Interference: What Drive Users Need to Know
Fast switching of power transistors and pulse-width modulated (PWM) output of variable-frequency drives (VFDs) produce large, rapid voltage swings—generating electrical noise, or electromagnetic interference. EMI refers to any disturbance to normal operation of electric equipment (and drives). Its two main forms are conducted EMI (150 kHz-30 MHz range), due to abnormal energy passing alon...
High temperature UPS includes 10-year-rated batteries
Falcon Electric’s new long-life battery and the unique design of its SSG Series Industrial-Grade UPS Plus product line combine to address a pain point of uninterruptible power supply use: battery maintenance. For environments with temperatures that typically exceed 40 °C — like a factory floor, a desert setting or any computer rack — the batteries are rated to last at lea...
Focus on avoidance, not on the risk itself
When riding my bicycle, wearing my bright yellow jersey, most drivers will make sure that they pass safely, but some will focus on my yellow jersey and slowly drift into my lane. These people are focusing on the risk, not focusing on the actions needed to avoid the risk. The advice to focus on the actions of avoidance and not the risk also applies to manufacturing and automation systems.
Lattice Technology Releases Chapter 13 of its New Lean Manufacturing Book, Available Free of Charge
Final Chapter Delivers Common Keys to Successfully Adopting 3D in Manufacturing
Drop-in pressure sensor for depth measurement
Submersible pressure transmitter from Turck inserts from the tank top, and is suitable for difficult environments, including oil and gasoline.
It’s only cost reduction, and other Lean myths
A former Dell manufacturing executive shares lessons from years on the change-to-survive front lines. Newly appointed chief operating officer of MFG.com Stephen Cook says now is the time to lead Lean initiatives.
Flowmeter for critical volumetric dosing applications
SQ Series from ifm efector measures small volumes of aqueous solutions for critical chemical additive and dosing applications.
IBM consulting service tracks environmental standards, safety, cost, performance
New IBM Sustainable Supplier Information Management services seek to eliminate waste.
Photo gallery: Belden industrial cables, switches for Ethernet, fieldbus, wireless
Belden and its Hirschman business introduced Ethernet cordsets, patch cords, fast Ethernet managed switched, wireless access points, solar cables, shield cables and VFD cables. See photos of each.
Quaker Oats installs new fuel efficient boilers
As part of its compliance with a PepsiCo corporate mandate on resource conservation, the Quaker Oats Bridgeview Division food manufacturing plant has installed two Miura Boiler LX200 gas-fired steam boilers to reduce fuel and water consumption, increase energy efficiency, and cut emissions. The 400,000-sq-ft facility, located just west of Chicago, is where Pasta Roni and Rice-a-Roni are made.
Where in the world is Control Engineering?
Just about everywhere! In July we put out the call to our readers to show us how and where they read Control Engineering. Many were eager to not only take us up on the offer, but inject more than a little humor into the process as well. We received dozens of entries, the best six of which we chose to highlight on our cover this month.
Texas Instruments opens advanced manufacturing facility
Texas Instruments Inc. has announced the opening of its new manufacturing facility in Richardson, TX. Known as RFab (“R” for Richardson, “Fab” for fabrication), the fab is said to be the world's only production facility to use 300-mm (12-in.) silicon wafers to manufacture analog chips, which are essential components in virtually all electronics.
System integration: Improve processes, then update, integrate new automation technologies
Upgrading processes sometimes can be the best course of action prior to applying the latest in automation. S&C Electric explains how it improved workflow, quality, attitudes, and safety.
How to manufacture a 5S program for your facility
Changing processes in a lean, consistent way can improve workflow, quality, attitudes, and safety, according to S&C Electric Co. experiences.
Manufacturers seek supply chain sustainability, carbon use reductions
Transplace: Efficient strategies help customers and suppliers establish sustainable operations practices.
Drive actively eliminates harmonic disturbances
Like industrial strength noise-cancelling headphones, Danfoss drive quiets the supply grid.
Manufacturers call for federal strategy to transform factories
A group of manufacturing industry representatives—including the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), American National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the Manufacturers Alliance, and Rockwell Automation—has gone on record noting that a federal strategy and support is critical if American manufacturers are to thrive in the post-recession global economy.
Diffuse photoelectric sensor with background suppression
Carlo Gavazzi launches a new long range diffuse photoelectric sensor with background suppression technology. The Carlo Gavazzi PD112 will detect black objects up to 2 m away, and white and gray objects up to 2.5 m away. Using triangulation technology, the PD112 can be easily and precisely adjusted, with a 28 turn potentiometer, company says; the user can fine tune the sensor to detect the targe...
Economical power monitoring devices
Siemens Industry's new line of Siemens Sentron PAC power monitoring meters ranges from traditional basic monitoring to intermediate power quality monitoring capabilities. They have bright LCD screens and can be configured through menus on the front or using free software for remote configuration. This is an October Control Engineering North American edition Product Exclusive.
Monitoring Pressure in Milk Processing
Nestlé's R&D center in Konolfingen, Switzerland, develops milk-based foodproducts and designs manufacturing processes. Monitoring pressure in heat exchangers provided some particular challenges.
Rise of the PM machines
Permanent magnet brushless synchronous motors have moved beyond traditional applications with higher efficiency than induction machines.
NEMA announces completion of advanced electric metering standard
Standard forges first link in smart grid standard chain, defining smart meter upgradeability, NEMA says.
XUM Optimum Miniature Photoelectric Sensor from Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric XUM Optimum Miniature Photoelectric Sensor has same familiar dimensions as other sensors, resists interference, and has long sensing distances.
Invention Machine takes another step in quest to make innovation standard procedure
Goldfire 5.5, released September 22, contains a "knowledge navigator" capability that Invention Machine contends will foster improved collaboration among product developers by accurately reconstructing the thought processes and research methods that lead users to develop specific designs.
Eaton cube, pancake style inductive sensors are easily installed, durable
Eaton cube and pancake style inductive sensors are designed for easy installation and durability. The E52Q cube and E56 pancake sensors come in industry-standard sizes, feature extended sensing ranges, and are features designed to simplify installation and maintenance.
Flue gas analyzer gets close to the source
Sensor design allows placement in high-temperature zone for accurate readings while maintaining long operational life with minimal maintenance.
Pragma sponsors PowerShell Community
Pragma Systems Inc. sponsored the PowerShell Community organization, a group founded in part to provide user forums, blogs, and information for Microsoft Windows PowerShell.
Fluke Ti32 Thermal Imager delivers 320×240 resolution
Fluke Ti32 is the first imager with a 320x240 sensor to provide strikingly crisp, detailed images for under $9,000. Field-changeable batteries and optional lenses add versatility.
Improve system reliability with SEL trip coil, lockout relay monitoring
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. (SEL) offers the SEL-2652 Trip Coil Monitor, which proactively monitors connections and circuit continuity of the circuit breaker trip coil and lockout relay. See wiring diagram.
Is energy efficiency an effective deficit offset?
A new report from McKinsey & Co. concludes that elevating energy efficiency to a national priority could save American consumers $1.2 trillion by 2020—about the same amount as the projected 2009 Federal deficit (calculated on data from Congressional Budget Office, Annual Budget and Economic Outlook, 1/7/09.
After the Explosion…
A renewable-energy power plant has a chance to improve its technology after an electrical explosion wipes out much of the control network infrastructure.
Illuminated square keys
Machine builders now have the option of illuminated square keys from B&R Automation. Made of a short-stroke key, a light fixture and high-performance LEDs on a circuit board, the illuminated square keys can withstand up to 1 million actuations and are said to provide excellent tactile characteristics via a choice of embossing options.
Lanxess selects Hima for ESD system upgrades
Lanxess hexane oxidation plant will use Hima HiQuad safety controller to upgrade emergency shut down system.
Winds of Change for Power and Control
Drives and controls aspect of wind power technology provides new engineering challenges and lessons as more multi-megawatt, utility-scale wind turbines come online. Most critical, costliest parts of the system are the turbine blades, which must be controlled and protected. Blade-pitch control regulates the amount of power and torque extracted from the wind by optimally orienting blades to the air flow, while yaw control keeps the nacelle pointing into the wind-or out of the wind in case of need.
Making sure the price is right
Pricing software vendors say their products can transform the art of pricing from what amounts to a guessing game into a disciplined, fact-based process that contributes directly to the corporate bottom line.
Wago 4-channel electronic circuit breakers: Program trip characteristics, current monitoring
Wago DIN-rail mount 787-860, 787-861 and 787-862 Electronic Circuit Breakers protect up to four current paths (up to 10 A at 24 V dc max each), with independent programming of channel- or circuit-specific ratings and trip times via free configuration software.
Companies falling short on environmental impact reductions
Report indicates greater awareness of need for green and efficiency initiatives across supply chains, but lack of leadership and standardized sustainability metrics hamper efforts.
ABB Robotics: 10 reasons to buy a robot now; see photos, videos
Think you shouldn't be spending money on a robot now? These 10 reasons may prove why lean times could be the best time to invest in robotics. See photos. Link to robot videos.
Dataforth 8B33 signal conditioning module measures true RMS, signal power
Dataforth 8B33 signal conditioning module measures true RMS (root mean square) a key measurement of an ac signal, relating to signal power.
Harting Han-Quick Lock terminals: Reliable, space saving
Harting Han-Quick Lock is optimally designed for high contact densities and saves applied cost by reducing wiring time compared to screw terminals by 20%.
Whitepaper: Windmill applications, signal conditioning tips
Windmills can operate for six months or more without any maintenance or supervision in rugged locations. Dataforth whitepaper offers advice on signal conditioning and what I/O connections need to be monitored in extreme environments.
Stryker selects SigmaQuest for FDA-level quality assurance
Stryker's Endoscopy Division selects SigmaQuest SaaS for supplier quality management.
Analog differential pressure gage for tough applications
Handles low D/P with high static pressures and harsh process environments.
Insertion-style magnetic flowmeter
Provides high accuracy and low cost, especially for large diameter pipes.
Semiconductor manufacturer partners with energy industry solution providers to meet smart meter demand
Increasing adoption of smart grid metering technologies expected to create a $2 billion market by 2012.
Cost-effective dc/dc universal isolator
Weidmuller introduces the new WavePak dc/dc isolator, a cost-effective, adjustable conditioning solution for applications with high-level signals, such as flow transmitters in process applications. It is an interface between field equipment and control systems, accurately converting and isolating signals. This is a Control Engineering North American print edition Product Exclusive.
Redundant power supply with high noise immunity
Pepperl+Fuchs PS3500 N+1 High Integrity Power Supply is designed for maximum efficiency and reliability in mission critical and continuous process applications. Up to 91% efficient, modular, with selectable wiring configurations, they can be configured in N+1 redundant mode. This is a Control Engineering North American print edition Product Exclusive.
Wind power show
Control Engineering editor Peter Welander visits the AWEA Wind Power 2009 show in Chicago, focusing on the various automation and control technologies being used and adapted for this growing energy industry. To see the video, follow this link: http://budurl.com/vsam.
Software: Making sure the price is right
Though he can't divulge actual numbers, Robert Smith, director of corporate pricing at Eastman Chemical Company, says his organization has seen significant financial benefit from the adoption of pricing software. And Michael Dunne, a research VP at industry analyst firm Gartner, says Smith is likely speaking the truth.
Cool hot machines with vortex tube technology
Machine builder cools enclosures with a compressed-air system that also creates positive pressure to eliminate airborne contaminants.
Honeywell to acquire RMG Regel+Messtechnik with its natural gas measurement and control technology
$400 million purchase aims at expanding Honeywell’s solution portfolio and market penetration in clean-energy industries.
Orders for smart grid-enabled power systems increase
Power Secure International reports a jump in orders for its Interactive Distributed Generation systems designed for municipal infrastructure and manufacturing facilities.
U.S. DOT proposes new tire fuel efficiency ratings
In a move that would impact tire manufacturer requirements for sale of their products, proposals from U.S. DOT and NHTSA would require details about the impact of a tire on fuel economy and CO2 emissions reduction.
Manufacturing innovations: Wireless power transfer, micro-laser-assisted machining, high-speed sintering
Greater competitiveness for manufacturers can result by using top innovations, such as high-speed sintering, Buckypaper, Synthetic Gecko Tape, micro-laser-assisted machining, wireless power transfer, and personal fabrication, say SME Manufacturing Enterprise Council members.
Turbine flowmeter offers low-cost solution
Series 380 and 735 flowmeters from Badger for metal and plastic-pipe applications.
Smart factories create jobs in U.S. manufacturing, says Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation CEO proposes new U.S. industrial policy that focuses on innovation, investment, and education to support smart factories. Keith Nosbusch says smart factories are the best way to create jobs.
Terminal blocks line expands: AutomationDirect Dinnector
AutomationDirect has added to its Dinnector line of terminal blocks and accessories. Among the products added are supplementary circuit breaker terminal blocks and sockets.
NEMA publishes 2 cable standards for installing armored cable, underground circuit cable
NEMA has published RV 1-2008 Application and Installation Guidelines for Armored Cable (AC) and Metal-Clad (MC) Cable and RV 2-2008 Application and Installation Guidelines for Nonmetallic-Sheathed (NM-B) Cable and Underground Feeder and Branch (UF-B) Circuit Cable.
12 control engineering benefits of QBS, qualifications-based selection, for services
The fee for technical skills and experience provided by a high quality engineering firm amounts to approximately 1% of the total cost of the project. Yet these services are critical to determining the other 99% of the project's life-cycle costs, as well as the quality of the completed project. Qualifications-based selection (QBS) can help.
Protect GM suppliers, asks Association for Manufacturing Technology
GM's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing causes AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology to ask Congress and the Administration to protect the U.S. manufacturing technology supplier base.
Siemens weld-free compact starter
Siemens Energy & Automation Sirius 3RA6 compact starter is a new "one-stop" motor starter product for three-phase ac standard motors up to 32 amps. This represents a new generation of weld-free starters that offer the combined functionality of a circuit breaker, contactor and electronic overload overlay to reduce engineering and assembly costs while simplifying commissioning.
Whirlpool to make electronically controlled appliances smart grid compatible
At the 2009 EE Global Forum & Exhibition in Paris, Whirlpool Corporation announced its commitment to making all of its electronically controlled appliances smart grid compatible by 2015. According to Bracken Darrell, president of Whirlpool Europe, and executive vice president of Whirlpool Corporation, this means that all Whirlpool electronically controlled appliances will be capable of rece...
Caterpillar receives EPA’s Clean Air Excellence Award
The Caterpillar D7E electric drive track-type tractor is recognized for its emission reductions, efficiency gains, and overall innovative technology.
Chip measures data center and appliance energy use
New system-on-a-chip by Teridian Semiconductor is aimed at manufacturers of data center equipment and home automation technologies.
Cyber security: Safety instrumented systems, 5 incidents
Look inside five cyber security incidents and learn. Building a strong defense in integrated control and safety systems is an investment in ensuring business continuity. Here's what to consider with your existing or future safety instrumented system (SIS).
Control Engineering editorial director launches Twitter coverage
Focus of communication is on sustainable/efficient technologies and products.
Industrial AP/VPN/router with 3.5G cellular support
Aaxeon Technologies’ AP/VPN/router with 3.5G cellular support is a 802.11b/g WLAN access point/router with two 10/100TX ports. It can be configured to operate in three modes of routing functions: Dynamic/Static IP route, PPPoE authentication, and modem (56K/GPRS/3G/3.5G Modem) dial-up. In modem dial-up mode, it supports traditional 56K modems and GPRS/3G/3.
Why do 50 Hz transformers cost more than 60 Hz transformers?
The “Ask Control Engineering” blog recently received the following question from a reader: Most of the projects our company builds are used in North America, but we sometimes have to adapt equipment for overseas applications. Why is it that transformers capable of operating in a 50 Hz environment cost more than those for domestic 60 Hz operation? Is this a marketing ploy or is there...
Photoelectric sensor reflectors for washdown environments
Pepperl+Fuchs has introduced two new models of rectangular reflectors designed to work with photoelectric sensors in food and beverage applications. The H20X40F and H60F reflectors feature IP69K protection to withstand severe high pressure and high temperature washdown, with Ecolab certification for compatibility with common caustic cleaning agents and disinfectants.
Addressing SIS Cyber Security: First or Last?
When considering integrated control and safety systems, building a strong defense is an investment in ensuring business continuity. What's needed in your safety instrumented system (SIS)?
Intelligent partnership: SAP and Teradata create comprehensive BI solution
Vendors say partnership stems from requests from their many mutual customers.
Utilities capitalize on versatile hybrid, conventional, solar plants
Algerian project will use combined-cycle gas turbine, steam turbine, and solar steam generation, all under ABB control, to produce 150 MW.
24 V dc power supplies, 0.75-40 A
Balluff has introduced a new line of power supplies designed to meet the needs of automation control suites. Ten models in the line include a wide range of 24 V dc units with single and three phase inputs.
Invensys joins biofuels consortium
Optfuel is a European consortium researching the feasibility of using second-generation biofuels to power automobiles.
EPA verifies Exelon greenhouse gas emissions reduction
Thirty-five percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by Exelon, compared to its 2001 levels, translates to a decrease of nearly 6 million metric tons in carbon emissions.
Leading global corporations announce 50 million tons of emissions reductions
Announced goals include an estimated 50 million tons of voluntary emissions reductions by 2010.
Terminal blocks provide safe disconnect when current transformer short
New Phoenix Contact ME test disconnect terminal blocks are said to provide safe disconnect capability between measuring transducers and safety equipment in current transformer (CT) shorting applications.
UPS meets green initiatives
Eaton says it continues to advance the greening of power with its Eaton 9130 UPS system that helps implement green initiatives without compromising power availability. New 700 to 3,000 VA 9130 UPS models were introduced. Link to other UPS reading.
Harder-ware: New agreement yields all-in-one source for rugged mobile computing solutions
Mobile computing solutions vendor Psion Teklogix has a new distribution agreement with Ingram Micro to deliver high-performance mobile computing technology.
Toyota reduces air emissions with bio-oxidation technology
As shown in Toyota's 2008 North America Environmental Report, Toyota's aluminum wheel plant in Delta, British Columbia, recently added a third paint booth to meet growing demand. As a result, VOC emissions were expected to increase. To alleviate the VOC increase, the plant needed to implement new emission reduction technology.
Recycling matters: Dell is leading green brand among IT buyers
The global "green" enterprise IT study released by Strategic Oxygen Cohn & Wolfe finds Dell is the No. 1 green technology brand, recognized for its extensive recycling program—the top-ranked attribute sought by IT buyers. Hewlett-Packard (HP), IBM , and Microsoft were noted for their energy-efficient products and use of sustainable materials, while Apple held its position in the top five for designing products perceived to have a green look and feel.For this survey Strategic Oxygen surveyed more than 3,500 enterprise IT decision makers—including CEOs, CIOs, IT managers, and line of business managers—in 11 countries.
Ultrahigh voltage switchgear commissioned, over 1 million Volts
ABB commissions switchgear rated at more than 1million volts, seen as a key component of safe and reliable ultrahigh-voltage ac transmission. See photo.
PLM is vital for today’s systems engineering
Developing highly complex products requires contributions from specialists in multiple technical disciplines. This report tells how state-of-the-art product life-cycle management (PLM) software helps diverse engineering teams focus on the single goal of developing the best possible product in the shortest amount of time.
Digital pressure gage adds digit, features
New unit provides large characters and five digits to large range family.
Heat and power your home with a fuel cell
Commercial unit designed for home use nears market launch in Europe. Will the public respond? Would you consider buying one? Use the TalkBack tool below to respond.
Redesigned photoelectric sensors improve operation, installation
Baumer redesigned its Series 14 line to improve sensor installation, adjustment and operation.
Variable speed drives improve mining’s high-pressure grinding rolls
Variable speed drives are adding to the energy efficiency and productivity of HPGRs, as one plant in Mexico has discovered.
3-phase power monitoring module
Analog input module from Opto 22 measures three-phase ac voltage and current, helping companies manage power quality and energy consumption.
3-phase switch mode power supplies
Carlo Gavazzi expanded its line of three-phase power supplies with the SPD Series 3-Phase Switch-Mode Power Supplies, in 120 W, 240 W, 480 W, and 960 W outputs, with an adjustable 24 V dc output voltage.
Rittal producing UL Type 4X stainless steel air conditioners in USA
Rittal Corp., in response to the market demand for UL Type 4X Stainless Steel Air Conditioners, began producing 115V, 230V and 400/460 V 3-phase units at its Urbana, OH, facility at the end of 2008, reducing costs for customers by....
Lighten up: Recessionary times call for business intelligence-based insight to lean supply chain performance
Maintaining a lean supply chain during flush economic times isn't exactly easy, but staying lean during a recession times is tougher by far. In recent years, many companies could count on steadily growing demand, but the downturn has sent demand patterns plummeting in many industries, necessitating nimble short-term balancing of the supply picture against current demand in an effort to stay lean.
Print hard copy of analysis screen or summary report on the spot
Larson Davis, a div of PCB Piezotronics, has introduced new firmware for its SoundTrack LxT sound level meter that supports a portable USB thermal printer. This new feature allows the user to print a screenshot of any analysis screen, as well as a summary report detailing the overall sound measurement.
Tutorial: Capacitive pressure sensors
Measure pressure: Capacitive sensing offers a broad range of advantages for process instrumentation. See diagram.
Saving energy with NEMA enclosures
A member of the Control Engineering Automation & Control Facebook site highlights energy considerations related to NEMA cabinets.
RTOS: NASA benefits from real-time digital video system
RocketCam Digital Video System uses Integrity RTOS to manage command and telemetry functions.
Portable dataloggers monitor analog I/O connections
Units monitor analog I/O connections without interrupting the process loop. Avoid ground loops.
2008 New Product Compendium: Networks and Communications Protocols
The following products were introduced in 2008, and participated in the Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Awards competition.
Single device provides solid-state motor protection, control, monitoring
Motor Insight from Eaton has an IP20 rated terminal block and configurable protection levels.
Hoover Dam mapboard replaces old, expensive video-projection HMI
A mapboard can provide more than is typically viewable on a video screen, allowing operators to see everything they need at a glance. Monitor Mapboard Systems and Red Lion Controls helped the Bureau of Reclamation.
Never overbuy again: Five tips for reducing your company’s printing costs
Find out how best practices can help your organization better optimize printer hardware investments in a declining economy.
EPRI to study methods to retrofit carbon capture to existing power plants
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) project will evaluate practicality of upgrading five coal-fired plants under vastly different conditions.
Emerson bets on continued growth in Middle East, opens new facility in Dubai
Regional headquarters spans several Emerson divisions and illustrates strong connection to the energy industry.
Carbon trading market requires improved infrastructure to curb greenhouse gas emissions
The Bank of New York Mellon report claims the development of a successful global carbon trading market that delivers real and cost-efficient greenhouse gas emission reductions will require an improved market infrastructure to succeed.
Energy efficiency expected to gain prominence across industries
The early part of 2009 may see renewable energy projects suffer because of the death of debt financing, but such projects are expected pick up in the latter part of the year due to anticipated government support in form of affirmative policy and tax credits,
New agency seeks to be global voice of renewables
International Renewable Energy Agency is said to be the first worldwide agency solely dedicated to promoting renewable energy.
Midwest Lumination enables end user energy reduction through Orion Energy Systems partnership
The company has recently been involved in a retrofit project involving nearly 1,900 of Orion's Compact Modular high intensity fluorescent fixtures at a Central Steel and Wire Company facility in Chicago. The project decreased Central Steel and Wire's energy consumption by more than 2.7 million kilowatt-hours -- a reduction of approximately 60%.
System 800xA integrates process, electrical automation
Users can optimize the design and performance of their electrical and automation systems, and see additional benefits.
Enhanced FlexNet Global Process Manager covers multiple locations
An upgrade to the Apriso FlexNet Global Process Manager application lets manufacturers more efficiently create, manage and retire business processes while governing standardized best practices across multiple physical locations.
Software pinpoints process interactions
Platform indicates where and how process loops interact in real time.
AIC Series presents new high energy storage chokes
The Premo series of high-energy storage chokes for the renewable energy sector are offered in two versions: single- and three-phase, with an operation frequency from 2.5 kVA to 100 kVA.
Wall-mount power supply for high shock
Siemens Energy & Automation has released the SITOP Wall Mount 24 V dc/10 A power supply designed to operate in high-shock and -vibration conditions. Wall-mount design said to eliminate danger from spring effect of a DIN-rail clip. Built with heavy-duty components securely mounted with high temperature-resistant silicon glue.
Offshore wind farms sparked by HVDC
A unit of E.ON, Germany’s largest utility, is working on a project to link the world’s largest offshore wind farm to the German power grid at minimal impact to the environment. The 400-megawatt (MW) wind farm, located 130 kilometers from the coast in the North Sea, is expected to save carbon dioxide emissions of 1.
Dow Corning evaluates waste reduction efforts; reports 80% cut in process scrap
Dow Corning has reported significant progress in waste reduction, including a cut of up to 80% in process scrap at one of its manufacturing sites. The reductions have been achieved in part through the company’s materials conversion program, which converts or recycles its waste, scrap, and off-spec silicone materials instead of sending them to landfill or incineration.
Autodesk to buy Algor, analysis and simulation software
Autodesk Inc. signed a definitive agreement to acquire Algor Inc., a provider of analysis and simulation software, for approximately $34 million. The move adds adds additional simulation capabilities to Autodesk design software.
Honeywell Process Solutions recognized for “green” innovation
Based on its recent analysis of the process automation industry, Frost & Sullivan has recognized Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) with its 2008 North American Frost & Sullivan Green Excellence of the Year Award.
Dow Corning evaluates waste reduction efforts
Dow Corning has reported significant progress in waste reduction, including a cut of up to 80% in process scrap at one of its manufacturing sites.
Power management software for production and process industries
Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. introduced two Simatic power management software solutions to the Simatic WinCC visualization family and Simatic PCS 7 control family: Simatic WinCC powerrate and Simatic PCS 7 powerrate are the latest additions.
Maker’s Mark fuels operations with bourbon waste
Marker's Mark has turned on a new treatment system at its distillery here, turning waste into energy for the facility.
Three new enclosure sizes added to ARCA Series
Fibox Enclosures added three new sizes to its ARCA enclosure product line, expanding the product family to 10 standard interior enclosure sizes.
Falcon Electric introduces secure UPS power monitoring and management system
Falcon Electric internal USHA SNMP/HTTP agent supports TCP/IP-based remote UPS monitoring.
Controller, software evolution eases integration, helps operations, says ABB
ABB products and services, including advanced controllers, collaborative production management, and state-based control, help customers integrate and operate more quickly, efficiently, and economically, ABB representatives told Control Engineering on Dec. 3. They also reviewed process and electrical integration, system evolution, advances in the AC 700F controller, and customer examples. See photos and 5 tips to enhance plant performance.
Focus on PRODUCTS: Three-level inverter improves motor/drive performance
Unique architecture reduces electromagnetic interference, extends insulation life and reduces bearing damage.
Advanced metering, power monitoring for U.S. Marines, Navy
The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps selected Schneider Electric as one of three firms awarded a firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract in support of the Advance Metering Infrastructure Program. The work includes design, procurement, installation, and testing of building-level, advanced metering solutions related to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 for Navy and...
NEMA offers free download of interactive standards and products guide
Electrical standards will get easier to find, says National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), since it has published an online interactive version of the 2008-09 Electrical Standards and Products Guide (ESPG) for free download. NEMA president and CEO Evan R. Gaddis said the format integrates the visual appeal of traditional media with interactive possibilities only available electro...
CERN accident findings released
On Sept. 19, 2008, only nine days after proton beams were first circulated at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), a fault occurred resulting in mechanical damage and release of helium. A recently released investigators’ report confirmed the incident was caused by a faulty electrical connection between two of the accelerator’s mag...
Embedded control: Webcast discusses using FPGAs manage performance and power
Differentiating embedded control products calls for FPGAs with greater functionality, maximum performance, and minimum power consumption.
Embedded control: Companies team to develop energy-saving regenerative braking technology
Freescale and McLaren Electronic Systems have agreed to combine expertise to develop next-generation kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS)
Sage advice: MAS communities connect customers, partners with business experts
Sage North America has launched Sage MAS Online Community, a new resource for Sage MAS ERP solutions users, business partners, and developers to connect, exchange ideas, and share insight. The community houses interactive forums and expert blogs, and offers networking opportunities and best practices tips.
Annunciator with optional integrated event recorder
The 725B combined annunciator and event recorder uses CANbus communication technology.
New instrument troubleshoots ground loops
Loop Slooth determines which cables are involved in a ground loop without the need to disconnect anything.
Pack Expo: Better software code for controls
Better control software is the goal, and PLCopen says it helps with control software standards that improve control engineering quality and productivity.
Learning incentives: Scholarships awarded for industrial automation engineering
Winners have been announced for the Asco Numatics 2008 Industrial Automation Engineering Scholarships, $12,000 in donations.
Components: Power distribution blocks, terminal blocks, short-circuit current rated
AutomationDirect offers a line of Edison power distribution blocks and terminal blocks. Distinctly different styles of short-circuit current rated (SCCR) power distribution blocks and terminal blocks are designed to support varied applications. See photo.
Release your inner geek
Unless you are paying close attention to the actual statistics, it is possible to believe that manufacturing in the U.S. is in decline and that manufacturing professionals should start looking elsewhere for employment. The actual numbers show something different, however: U.S. manufacturing output is increasing at almost 3% per year and producing over 20% of the world's manufactured products, d...
OptoAcoustic gas leak detector
OptoAcoustic gas detection determines gas content via the measurement of acoustic pressure waves that are propagated as a gas is irradiated under an appropriately tuned light. A gaseous mixture sample passes through a membrane into a measurement cell, which contains an optical light source and a microphone.
Step-change innovation: P&G agreement with SAP will drive global IT transformation
Procter and Gamble Company (P&G) now has a global enterprise agreement (GEA) in place with SAP to create a tighter relationship for collaboration on solution innovation, development, and standardization. The expected outcome is a scalable and standardized global IT landscape.By entering a GEA, SAP will focus on:• Leveraging SAP products to drive business process innovation and enable P&G growth.• Partnering with P&G to lower the total cost of P&G’s IT landscape.• Creating a more standardized and integrated IT landscape.• Improving the scalability and predictability of core SAP• Driving value across the P&G business network.A P&G software partner since 1989, SAP has supported core business processes such as finance and supply chain for the company. The new GEA includes software, software maintenance, strategic software developments,‘maximum attention’ support and high-profile consulting services.“We are looking forward to leveraging the global enterprise agreement with SAP to step-change innovation in business services and to enhance the efficiency of our core business operations,” said Filippo Passerini, president of Global Business Services and CIO, P&G.
Engineering projects for Halloween from Design News’ Gadget Freak
Design News, another RBI publication, provides some Halloween fun with its "Gadget Freak" feature, showing how engineers are "Cutting Pumpkins the Tesla Way" along with other freakish projects, including...
TopTenWholesale and Manufacturer.com connect the dots for a global marketplace
TopTenWholesale , the information superhighway for wholesale suppliers and distributors, is partnering with Manufacturer.com , an e-commerce provider that delivers business information search services for the international trade. Both organizations will combine their resources to form a truly unique global marketplace that connects the wholesale entire supply chain. “This marks a significant movement for the industry towards an efficient, transparent, global commerce,” says Jian Deng, founder and CEO of Manufacturer.com. “Sourcing merchandise has historically been one of the more challenging obstacles facing wholesalers, importers, and merchandise resellers.
Automated, self-healing goal: NC State University smart grid research center
North Carolina State University (NCSU) received formal endorsement on its Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center from ABB. More than 65 entities provide support.
Rugged instruments withstand seawater, other extreme conditions
Parylene coating on Baumer pressure transmitters protects against corrosion in seawater or with aggressive media and increases the life cycle of the measuring devices. RDP Electrosense has released its S Series Submersible LVDT Displacement Transducers for long-term underwater applications.
Troubleshoot ground loops quickly without disconnecting anything
Loop Slooth from Circuit Insights LLC enables the user to quickly determine which cable or cables are involved in a ground loop without disconnecting anything, turning hours or days of frustration to minutes, by...
High-performance COM Express computer-on-modules
Kontron ETXexpress-PC COM Express Computer-on-Module provides new performance-per-Watt standards for embedded applications with high demands on data processing and/or multimedia conversion and output. Based around the high-performance, low-power 45 nm Intel Core 2 Duo processor SP9300 and Intel GS45 chipset, the COM Express module outperforms previous 65 nm dual-core processor offerings, enabli...
Modular tachometer with dual display
Carlo Gavazzi has enhanced its modular digital panel meter family with backward compatibility of new TF1 (DC signals) and TF2 (AC signals) tachometer modules. The UDM60 tachometer measures and processes two independent pulse signals, and features a dual 6-digit, backlit LCD display and dual analog indicator.
Rules for software success
There are many new information technologies that can be effectively used in manufacturing environments. It is difficult to keep up with all of the new choices, and even harder to run effective projects that integrate new technologies with existing systems. The sad fact is that a lot of new-technology manufacturing IT projects fail to meet their goals. Some simple rules to apply to software projects that significantly reduce the risk of failure. Here they are.
UPS with multi-position power distribution unit
Pulsar M uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) from Eaton Corp. reportedly maximize energy efficiency and minimize excess heat when installed in a network rack. According to the company, the unit is the first on-line double-conversion UPS in its class with an adaptable, multi-position, hot-swappable power distribution unit (FlexPDU) for adding receptacles to the back, side, or top of the UPS.
Printing practices: Five tips to reduce carbon footprint
Printing is a critical function for a variety of businesses, but there are some simple things that organizations can do to remain productive while implementing environmentally friendly processes. To increase awareness of environmental impact and seek ways to foster “green” business organizations, TallyGenicom , a supplier of business-class printers, offers five printing best practices that can reduce carbon footprint.1. Remanufactured cartridges.
Terminal blocks: 125 A, 1,000 V, 15 mm pitch; 100 kA short circuit current rating
Industrial terminal blocks allow higher currents and voltages and others have a 100 kA short circuit current rating.
Power: Digital converter growth; fuses, harvesting, supplies, transformers, UPS
Nine summaries follow on fuses, power harvesting, power supplies, power transformers, safety disconnect switches, power design training, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). See photos. Market for power supplies with digital loop control is expected to grow about 45% per year for...
What’s holding up use of hydrogen as a fuel?
In a recent “Ask Charlie” blog posting at www.controleng.com, Senior Editor Charlie Masi addressed one of the burning questions on many minds: With everyone touting the detractions of ethanol production, what’s delaying our use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel? According to Masi, the problem is that hydrogen is simply not a fuel.
Rising material, energy costs concern North American manufacturers
Five hundred and forty-one mass layoff events in the U.S. manufacturing sector in June 2008 resulted in 76,514 initial claims for unemployment insurance, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. In spite of that, the North American midsized manufacturing sector seems “cautiously optimistic,” according to Prime Advantage, a buying co...
Benchtop wire cutter, stripper
Eraser’s Model CS800 Wire Cut & Strip is a fully programmable, fully electric benchtop wire cutter and stripper. The unit can process wire from 10 AWG to 30 AWG and can quickly and precisely cut and partial strip 6,150 pieces per hour at 2.5-in. lengths (63.5 mmø), and 5,700 pieces per hour at 4-in.
New version of CATIA helps satellite maker meet strict project deadline
Nearly every software implementation project starts with the same question: How will this new system improve the business?
New Phasec 3 Series eddy current flaw detectors
Three members of the new Phasec 3 family of eddy current flaw detectors from GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies offer a large color display, and color coding of each channel to enhance signal interpretation. Eddy current inspection can be used for crack and corrosion detection, conductivity, and coating thickness measurement in difficult inspection environments for aerospace, power genera...
Acoustic measurements: Tutorial on decibels, microphones
The decibel is widely misunderstood. Fortunately, stating the sensitivity of microphones in V/Pa (volts/pascal) is gaining popularity. Article demystifies acoustic measurements. See equation.
New EZ Jump terminal blocks from ASI
Automation Systems Interconnect offers a new line of DIN-rail mounted IEC terminal blocks. EZ Jump Terminal Blocks are designed around the easy-to-install plug-in circuit jumper PTC.
Listen in tutorial: Electromechanical level sensor / switches
Vibrating / rotating probe level sensors still good choices in the right applications.
Fluke introduces Laser Distance Meters, for up to 200 ft
Fluke Corp. announced the new Fluke 416D and 411D Laser Distance Meters, said to precisely and quickly measure distances up to 200 ft using advanced laser technology.
Take 5: Five critical economic indicators for manufacturers
Manufacturers ought to monitor five key indicators to enhance their companies’ growth strategies, says an industry expert, explaining what to use and what serves to confuse.
Business: Rising material, energy costs concern North American manufacturers
In spite of recent economic news, North American midsized manufacturers seem “cautiously optimistic,” says survey.
‘Cool’ design for power supplies
Modern mains power supplies are extremely compact, but dissipate a substantial amount of power as heat while operating. This very often leads to overheating of internal components, which in turn has an adverse effect on reliability and the lifetime of the power supply. Typically, the heat dissipation is so high that, to keep the power supply components at a safe operating temperature, the desi...
Packaging Automation Benchmark Study: It’s a small world for OEMs
Packaging equipment manufacturers are a relatively small group doing highly specialized work. Almost every product has different requirements for packaging and the equipment used to manufacture, fill , seal and convey it, and this process is becoming increasingly automated. According to the Confederation of Packaging Machinery Associations, there are about 5,400 OEMs in the world's major ...
NEMA, EEI offer energy efficiency help to utilities
Meeting the energy efficiency requirements of the year 2010 starts now. Electric utilities can now more quickly incorporate energy-efficient electric transformers into their distribution grids because of a new program from Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).
Industrial USB to serial adapters
Sealevel Systems has released two additions to the SeaLINK USB to serial product line—the SeaLINK+4M.SC and SeaLINK+8M.SC. The units’ four or eight serial ports are software-configurable for RS-232, RS-422, or RS-485 without the need to open the enclosure to change jumper settings or dipswitches.
Data deletion, or letting go is hard to do
The July 2008 column discussed the advantages of creating a manufacturing operations cloud, a set of servers that provide common services for manufacturing operations. These services include manufacturing execution systems (MES), laboratory management systems (LIMS), maintenance management, warehouse management, receiving, material tracking, equipment logs, and training logs.
A true upgrade: New version of CATIA helps satellite maker meet project deadlines
Nearly every software implementation project starts with the same question: How will this new system improve the business?At the recent European PLM Summit hosted by the World Trade Group in Toulouse, France, Jerôme Molliex, a project methodology and training manager for satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space , Dassault Systemes is making it easier to meet a stringent project deadline.The company has just 24 months from contract signing to launch a six-ton spacecraft containing 40,000 parts and 12 kilometers of electrical wire into operational orbit, where it will be required to perform flawlessly for 15 years—without after-sales maintenance.The upgrade from CATIA 4 to CATIA 5 is reducing development times while enhancing product quality by providing access to 3D data throughout the company, Molliex says.CATIA 5's Power copy feature, for example, speeded development time and cut errors. The use of 3D mock-ups aided operator familiarization during manufacturing and assembly, and kinetic simulation of assembly processesTargeting specific business functions within the company, the long-term goal is to marry revised business and design processes to the capabilities offered by the new CATIA 5 tool. Ultimately, most of the company’s 7,200 worldwide employees and.
Fast, flexible terminal blocks
Avoiding the need for hard wiring, the latest terminal blocks provide safe, secure connections with greater ease. Terminal block designs also offer more flexibility, space savings, accessory options, and integrated intelligence compared to prior designs. Although they are often overlooked, terminal blocks are a critical part of the electrical control system. See more photos and helpful terminal block resources.
Green Engineering – Improving the Environment and the Bottom Line, by National Instruments
Over the past year, the mainstream media has dramatically increased its emphasis on all things “green.” Concerns about global climate change, soaring energy prices, and increased government legislation are driving new priorities and expectations – from consumer products to corporate responsibility and sustainability plans. To meet these new demands, companies, big and small, around the world are scrambling to not only create products and technologies that address these concerns.
Familiar face: Selectica configurator tracks, validates supply chain and design changes
The Selectica Configurator 9.2 sales configuration engine is a next-generation automated configuration modeling environment based on the Selectica Knowledgebase Development Environment (KDE). It seeks to automate the tedious and error-ridden process of manually modeling product configurations. In fact, Selectica customers report that automated configuration modeling using the MDE infrastructure shortens time-to-model new products or implement part or supply chain changes, and uplevels the modeling structure to give product managers more control. MDE, as an automated modeling system, enables auto-generation of product models without human intervention, and enables product managers to consolidate modeling data from multiple sources, such as Web forms, bills of material, Excel spreadsheets, and databases to create an automated process to generate product models. The result is a “touch-less” product modeling process that can automatically track and validate part and design changes, allowing managers to update the sales configuration system as often as needed without having to manually build individual product models. By abstracting product details using MDE, product managers can save hundreds of hours normally required for manual product modeling.
Level switch: Two-wire, loop-power device for tank monitoring, interface control
Can often replace mechanical flow and paddle switches without wiring changes.
ABB to buy Kuhlman Electric Corp., broaden transformer offerings
ABB agreed to acquire U.S. transformer company Kuhlman Electric Corp. for an undisclosed amount from global private equity firm The Carlyle Group to expand its offering of transformers for the industrial and electric utility sectors.
Webcast tutorial: Barcode scanners are a mechatronics marvel
Few things today would disrupt society more than if barcode scanners stopped working. But what is a barcode and how does a barcode scanner work? Tutorial Webcasts explain.
Siemens to cut 16,750 jobs
As Siemens continues its restructuring, it announced plans to cut 16,750 jobs to reduce costs by $1.9 billion by 2010.
Analog signal conditioners: New transmitter interface modules
Dafaforth modules provide power; isolate, filter, and amplify the input signal; and deliver an analog voltage output. And they're small (see photo).
Expansions: Drive technology, testing services, OMAC
A new drives technologies plant is under construction in Elgin, IL, adding 300 jobs (see photo); TÜVRheinland acquires Unified Testing Services of Woodstock, IL; and OMAC changed its name to expand.
Panel redesign: Switching from ac to dc controls
Those involved in control systems design may remember when dc power was no where to be found in a control panel. If you're considering a switch from ac to dc, here are some considerations.
Security: To defend your control system perimeter, find it first
Is your control system integrated with IT networks more than you realize? Don't find out the hard way.
MCUs with low power consumption
Ultra-low power MSP430 microcontrollers (MCU) from Texas Instruments offer low power consumption for devices that can provide up to 25 MHz peak performance, increased Flash and RAM memory, and integrated peripherals such as radio frequency (RF), USB, encryption, and LCD interfaces. With as low as 160 µA/MHz active power consumption and 1.
Power supply reduces footprint
A new, modular 3-phase 24 V dc / 20 A power supply is designed for applications demanding small footprints, it is less than half the width of previous models. Footprint size has become one of the most important purchasing criteria for automation and controls components; by reducing the width from 6.3 in. to 2.76 in., the new switched mode unit is among the most compact power supplies available.
Expertise wanted: Playing the IT Green card may require niche specialists
Most Software and IT Services (SITS) companies see the need to "go green," but in some areas, and for some companies, the approach is still very cautious. To get market recognition, SITS players need to attend to all parts of their operations—i.e., address internal energy and environmental issues, ensure products and services are green, and also have the offerings in place to help their customers achieve their own energy-reduction and environmental targets.Hesitation exists about committing to the range of services and offerings that customers need. One reason for this is the lack of know-how within SITS companies.
Listen in: Can a vibration energy harvester replace batteries?
Micro generators promise a supply of free energy to power instrumentation devices. Are they practical?
Economic Outlook Study
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscriber’s opinions regarding the impact of current economic conditions on their respective businesses.
Green: Automation, power connections help wind power applications
Automation-related products from ABB, Onset Computer, and Tyco Electronics are helping wind power electricity generation applications, including...
The right move: Siemens PLM achieves strong first-year gains
Siemens’ $3.5-billion acquisition of UGS in May 2007 was viewed by some as a potential reordering of the product life-cycle management (PLM) market. At the same time, it raised speculation about how well the newly created Siemens PLM software unit would fair inside a traditional industrial hardware company. One year later, consensus at the recent Siemens PLM media and analyst briefing, held in Boston May 20-21, strongly validated the move.
Spending survey: IT departments slow to invest in systems that create customer value
While 72 percent of information technology (IT) managers at build-to-order and engineer-to-order manufacturers rank becoming customer value-driven as their highest priority, only 25 percent have plans to evaluate the front-office infrastructure and processes often crucial to creating customer value. This is according to a research report recently released by software maker Cincom Systems.
New project: New control platform to increase production efficiency, flexibility
Delivery includes cpmPlus Enterprise Connectivity for ERP integration.
Shared services: Metastorm enhances BPM suite
Version 7.6 of Metastorm's business process management (BPM) software suite expands to a shared services platform, including extended support for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.
SmartSignal, General Physics deal focuses on expertise exchange
Improved predictive maintenance efforts, along with enhanced business performance, for power generation companies are the goals of a recent agreement between SmartSignal Corp. and General Physics (GP). “We will share equipment mechanical, electrical, efficiency, and thermal cycle performance results between our product lines,” said Joe Nasal, General Physics senior vice president.
Your personal downturn plan
Ups and downs in manufacturing are inevitable. Having a plan to survive a downturn is critical to support organizations such as manufacturing IT. They are often the first to suffer in a downturn because it's hard to tie their performance to overall productivity. You can find many examples of maintenance, training, and technical support organizations that are cut back in downturns, only to see o...
Beyond spreadsheets: Price management needs dedicated tools; market space still being defined
Despite the importance of price as the determinator of revenue and profit, many companies remain baffled by the complexity of managing the pricing process, and fail to dedicate the necessary resources to the issue. While the outlines of the fledgling pricing software space are somewhat murky, many organizations are ready to improve their pricing programs.
See the unseen: Power data diagnostics
Using reports from relay events can help diagnose power system problems, increase system reliability, lower maintenance costs, and reduce potential for system damage and outages. Today's microprocessor-based relays collect and save event reports during faults and other problematic conditions. The event report and sequential events recorder (SER) capability of advanced relays enable protection e...
NEMA: North American business conditions rebound in May
NEMA reported that its Electroindustry Business Confidence Indexes for current and future North American conditions rebounded in May after a sharp drop in April.
Listen in: Ultrasonic technology offers versatility, economy
New electronic capabilities make for economy, simpler operation.
Freudenberg first: ARAS delivers enterprise open source on Microsoft to EMEA PLM market
At Freudenberg FDS, a multinational rollout within FDS for advanced product quality planning (APQP) using the Aras enterprise PLM solution is the first time a companywide standard system has been implemented so quickly and easily.
Automotive SOA exchanges live information between plant floor, enterprise solutions
The sticking point when trying to connect the top floor with the shop floor is they usually aren't on the same common platform or infrastructure, claims Fred Yentz, COO, ILS Technology LLC. “What makes matters worse,” he says, “is manufacturers don't want custom middleware.” But for some companies in the automotive industry, that's changing due to collaboration starting ...
NetFlow-infused systems watch for trending, traffic patterns, network abnormalities
Supply chain visibility systems are essential for companies looking to do more than just track movement of supplies from point A to point B. The same can be said of network behavior analysis (NBA) systems, as they not only monitor IT network activity point to point, but allow users to identify and quickly resolve traffic issues.
Vietnamese thirst for knowledge
With nano-thin margins in many electronics segments, it is only natural that OEMs are looking for the next low-cost place to build. Vietnam, which pops up on most radar screens, might be that place — or might not. The Asian low-cost leader has an upside and a downside. At Technology Forecasters’ Quarterly Forum in April, TFI senior economist Matthew Chanoff shared recommendations o...
What business can learn from manufacturing
These columns usually describe how Business IT can be applied to Manufacturing IT problems. However, there are many lessons that well-run manufacturing IT organizations can teach business IT organizations. Manufacturing has had many requirements that are only now becoming general-purpose business IT requirements.
Hydrogen flowmeter for hazardous areas
With a precision thermal mass flow sensor, no-moving parts construction, and space-saving design, the ST75V Hydrogen Flowmeter from Fluid Components International provides accurate and repeatable gas flow measurement in hazardous small line gas process applications where agency safety approvals are required.
Earnings reports: SAP, Siemens suffer first-quarter profit slump
Software giant SAP and automation and electrical products maker Siemens both reported unexpected dips in earnings for the first quarter of 2008. Economic conditions, including rising raw material costs and the weak dollar, were cited as contributing factors.
Enterprise integration: webMethods SOA solutions driving growth at Software AG
Robust sales of the webMethods service-oriented architecture (SOA)-based based enterprise integration products drove strong earnings growth for Software AG in the first quarter of 2008.
Green drives: Energy-efficient drive systems boost copper mine productivity
Gearless mill drive systems will maximize productivity and energy efficiency at a new copper mine in northern Brazil. The mine will have estimated capacity of 100,000 tons of copper per year.
GFDM Energy Monitoring Package from Festo
Compressed air is one of the most expensive sources of energy on the plant floor of a modern manufacturing facility. Surprisingly, this is generally not a well-known or accepted fact among manufacturers. However, there are certain steps that can be taken by manufacturers to significantly increase the efficiency and economy of their facilities. If compressed air usage is closely monitored, this could not only result in substantial cost savings but could also reduce machine downtime and improve the life expec
Software upgrade: Power management, energy meters
Advanced power quality capabilities, improved trending and forecasting, and support for faster communications are among new features that Schneider Electric put in its Square D PowerLogic power and energy meters, firmware, and upgraded power management software. Other features....
PCB power: 20 W ac-dc power supply on printed circuit boards
Compact PCB-mountable 20-watt ac-dc power supply has one output series, accepts a wide input voltage range, has a low profile (0.79-in.), and industry standard footprint (2-in. x 3.5-in.).
Going Green Again…
Concerns about energy efficiency and environmental practices are back and gaining momentum, so automation vendors and their customers are helping ensure that manufacturing is one of the greenest sectors of the economy.
Transpara, OSIsoft partner to deliver time series capabilities in Visual KPI
Calculate KPI status trends when back-end data source is not time series-based.
SCADA module for RTU product line
Semaphore, a CSE Global company, has added a 32-bit CPU SCADA software module to its T-BOX line of RTU SCADA system products. MS-CPU32 is compatible with the T-BOX MS Modular System and offers up to 100 times the performance of current T-BOX processors. Based on a 505 MIPS PowerPC processor, MS-CPU32 uses a Linux core, includes two Ethernet ports, and supports up to 16 serial ports in a T-BOX M...
Flat panel monitors for marine conditions
Computer Dynamics, a GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms company, has announced the SeaBrite family of flat panel monitors. Resistant to shock and vibration, they fulfill the requirements of the marine industry with a wide operating temperature range and durable anti-corrosion mechanical design. The monitors are available in a range of nine screen sizes from 8.
Rugged handheld data terminal
The Guardian 135, a military-grade (MIL-STD-810F), rugged handheld data terminal, combines Windows CE 5.0 OS and Intel’s high performance RISC CPU PXA270 to create a powerful handheld data collection computer. Wireless connectivity by 802.11b/g WLAN and Bluetooth permit connection to a main computer without cables.
UPS: Double conversion uninterruptible power supplies
Power quality, protection with advanced double-conversion, on-line UPS system.
Customer application: China petroleum selects enterprise software platform
China's two largest petro producers select same environmental, health, and safety software platform.
More certification: Tüv Rheinland Holding AG, Tüv Süd AG to merge
A merger will combine technical services with testing, inspection, certification, and training by year end 2008.
Industrial control shipments finish strong in ’07
According to a report issued by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the Primary Control Index grew by 8.3% in the fourth quarter of 2007 relative to the third quarter. When compared to the same quarter in the previous year, the index increased by 10.6% Growth for the full calendar year of 2007 was 6.
When we were putting together the cover feature for the January issue (“Closing the Skills Gap), our research told us that this was a hot topic for our readers, their employers and the industry in general. However, we had no idea that it would strike such an emotional chord. Several readers responded to our call to share stories about how they became interested in engineering and there we...
Japanese research satellite to use magnetic read only memory (MRAM) to hunt sprites in the upper-atmosphere
Sprites, the somewhat whimsical name given to complex upper-atmosphere optical flashes known as transient luminous events (TLE), were first photographed by Space Shuttle astronauts on Oct. 21, 1989, although apocryphal sightings by military and commercial pilots had been reported earlier. Scientific understanding of these short-lived electrical phenomena, however, is practically nil.
SAP ties together transportation management with xApp from Neoris
Neoris, a Latin American business and IT consulting firm and an SAP partner, recently redeveloped its Active Suite logistics execution applications as a composite xApp powered by SAP NetWeaver. It also added ActiveTrac, a new module for monitoring and enforcing logistics execution by enabling real-time tracking of vehicles and cargo while in transit.
Billing accuracy: New WMS module allocates costs to individual customers
HighJump Software, a provider of supply chain execution solutions, has unveiled an application that allows third-party logistics providers (3PL) to improve billing accuracy by capturing charges on a client-by-client basis.
Enterprise data historian supports management of power distribution
Midwest ISO has implemented OSIsoft's PI system for monitoring and managing Midwest Energy Market, one of the world’s largest regional bulk power transmission organizations.
Reliable sources: Business Objects says new BI platform offers access to all pertinent information
Business Objects claims the latest version of its software suite is the first and only business intelligence platform that allows the thoughts and opinions of customers and other people found in unstructured sources such as the Web, notes fields, and emails to be easily incorporated into corporate decision making processes.
Rittal launches Ri4Power power management system
Rittal Corp. launched Ri4Power, a modular power management system, that uses the flexibility of Rittal’s TS8 modular enclosure platform to create compartment-based load isolation from low-voltage switchgear components.
Design-to-cost tool raises dividends for aerial platform maker JLG
JLG Industries is a global manufacturer of design-to-order forklifts and mobile aerial work platforms. No longer relying on complete vertical integration of its design/production process, the McConnellsburg, Pa.-based company sources parts from multiple suppliers for assembly of orders to customer requirements.
Integrating Enterprise and Plant IT Functions
The same changes in information technologies that have transformed the way we live have affected manufacturing systems. In all areas of manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies particularly, adopting new information technologies has become serious business. Collaboration, real-time, agility and visibility are words used to describe the desired end results and how production and business proce...
Winners: Instrumentation & Control Components
Components & connectors: Fluke 771 Milliamp Process Clamp Meter Fluke Corporation The Fluke 771 is designed for use in environments where it is impractical to shut down processes or put systems into “safe” mode to break the loop and place a meter in series with the circuit. It features a unique detachable clamp that can be used docked or detached via extension cable to facilitate measurement in tight spaces. A measurement spotlight illuminates wires in dark enclosures, and the Fluke 771 also has a dual backlit display that shows both mA measurement and percent of 4-20 mA span, plus a “hold” function to capture and display changing measurements for convenient viewing.
Potential Power Picks
Choosing power options for an embedded system is a bit like ordering from a Chinese menu: “One from column A, one from column B, and one from column C.” Instead of being labeled “appetizer,” “soup,” and “main course,” the columns are labeled “primary,” “recharge,” and “backup.
Network acceleration cures congestion for pharma supplier
Palo Alto, Calif.-based Affymax—a former division of Philadelphia-based pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline—faced critical network congestion when it moved to a network-attached storage architecture. The network, recalls Affymax Engineer Ben Maulis, had neither the speed nor the capacity to handle the volume of traffic the move entailed.
Vibration: Software suite, data acquisition helps machine analysis, monitoring, health
Austin, TX – National Instruments has introduced NI Sound and Vibration Measurement Suite Version 6.0 and the newest 16-channel data acquisition module for sound and vibration, the NI PXI-4495. A comprehensive NI collection of analysis and signal processing tools for noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH), machine condition monitoring (MCM), and audio test applications, the new suite includes NI Sound and Vibration Assistant 6.0.
Software automatically ports Simulink models into Green Hills IDE
The MathWorks and Green Hills Software announced Embedded IDE Link MU, a new product from The MathWorks for model-based design that automatically deploys code generated from Simulink models into Green Hills’ MULTI integrated development environment (IDE). The software enables seamless execution on a wide range of embedded microprocessors, including the Freescale Power Architecture (formerly called PowerPC).
Presenters wanted for Siemens Automation Summit
Siemens Energy & Automation reminds all parties interested in presenting their work at the 2008 Siemens Energy & Automation Summit that they have until Jan. 30, 2008 to submit papers highlighting innovative uses of technology, addressing unique applications, or dealing with business challenges. Paper acceptance will be announced March 1, 2008, and final presentations are due May 18, 2008.
Gravimetric feeder line features Allen-Bradley controls
Rockwell Automation announced that feeder and meter manufacturer Schenck AccuRate is now incorporating Allen-Bradley products from Rockwell Automation into its line of Mechatron gravimetric feeders, claiming end users can achieve increased levels of accuracy. The company says its customers have consistently specified Rockwell Automation controls for their machines, and both companies share an interest in the growing development of mechatronic design principles.
Mechatronics: OEM adds accuracy for feeder, meter
Milwaukee, WI – Looking at mechanical engineering and control engineering together, Rockwell Automation and feeder and meter manufacturer Schenck AccuRate applied mechatronic design principles in applying Rockwell’s Allen-Bradley products into the Schenck Accurate line of Mechatron gravimetric feeders.
Rockets or cars: Who, what was your engineering spark?
Oak Brook, IL – Help us inspire others, with your stories. Ask engineers over the age of 40 about initial engineering interest and the "Space Race" will likely appear at or near the top of the list. Today’s youth live in a world with space stations, robotic vehicles on and video game consoles that are more powerful than the computers previous generations used to put a man on the moon. Tell Control Engineering who or what got you interested in engineering.
Grade 1 automotive F-RAM memory devices
Ramtron International Corp. has added a 4K F-RAM (ferroelectric random access memory) device to its Grade 1 AEC-Q100-qualified automotive product line, increasing its number of +125 °C parts to five. The FM25040A-GA, a 4Kb, 5 V F-RAM with a high-speed serial peripheral interface (SPI), is specified to operate at +125 °C and is guaranteed to retain data for 9,000 hours at that temperature.
Eaton agrees to acquire Moeller Group; launches tender offer for Phoenixtec
Cleveland, OH — Eaton Corp. plans two acquire two electrical companies, in Europe and Asia Pacific, The Moeller Group and Phoenixtec Power Co. Ltd. Combined estimated sales of the acquisitions for the year ending Dec. 31, 2007, are approximately $2.0 billion.
Yokogawa claims largest Coriolis mass flowmeter
ROTAMASS XR Coriolis mass flowmeter is reportedly the largest product of its type
Best sales practices: Manufacturers must enlighten customers, partners about custom products
Some manufacturers may be harming their own sales efforts—particularly their ability to sell through indirect channels—by not properly educating customers and partners about the many options for customizing products.
Purchase: Ametek buys California Instruments Corp., broadens power business
Paoli, PA – Ametek Inc. has acquired California Instruments Corp. Based in San Diego, California Instruments, a privately held company, posts annual sales of approximately $22 million, and deals in programmable alternating current (ac) power sources used to test electrical and electronic products.
Dynamic data: Fujitsu Siemens Computers to launch Solutions Center for SAP apps
Fujitsu Siemens Computers says its EMC Velocity Signature Solution Center will focus on enabling customers to accelerate the analysis of large business intelligence data sets using SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence Accelerator software as well as the dynamic infrastructure solution FlexFrame for SAP, running on Fujitsu Siemens Computers PRIMERGY servers and the NetWorker Backup Suite back-up and recovery solution.
Closing the Skills Gap
The U.S. industrial sector has seen its fair share of changes and challenges during the past several decades. Throughout it all, however, manufacturers have been able to rely on a steady supply of fresh talent — particularly in the engineering sector — to fuel innovation and hone our competitive edge.
Zebra changes stripes, extending technology reach, market scope
As a global leader in bar-code printing, Zebra Technologies startled some market watchers in January 2007 with its $126-million cash acquisition of WhereNet, one of the largest and best-known suppliers of real-time location systems, or RTLS. “When the WhereNet acquisition was announced, we got calls from people who couldn't understand what Zebra was doing,” says Drew Nathanson, dire...
Westinghouse, Emerson join for nuclear plants
Nuclear power plants (and many conventional power plants as well) are not known for their cutting-edge automation technology. Nuke plants have been particularly slow to modernize due to strict controls from regulating bodies such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Emerson Process Management and Westinghouse Electric hope to do their part by partnering on future plant design.
Manufacturing confidence: NEMA index reports choppy North American business conditions
Rosslyn, VA — The Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American conditions decreased from 52.2 to 47.8 in December. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) report shows a reversal in conditions from November, when survey results revealed the first month-to-month improvement since April. News from the future conditions index for North America was better.
Fewer losses: Controls help high-voltage projects in China, Nambia
High-voltage automation technologies are helping projects in China and Nambia, with help from ABB. ABB won orders worth $440 million from the State Grid Corporation of China and other partners to provide new ultrahigh-voltage technology for the world’s longest power transmission link, at more than double the highest power rating at present. In separate, related news, ABB won an order worth $180 million from Namibian national power utility, NamPower, adding to grid stability in that region.
Nanocomposite: High pressure, high temperature, insulating
Rock Hill, S.C. – 3D Systems Corp. offers Accura Greystone Material, a new engineered nanocomposite material for its Stereolithography (SLA) Systems. The material is said to deliver exceptional accuracy, stiffness, thermal performance as well as long-term stability.
Ozone sensor: Monitor water in critical processes
With the growing use of water sanitizing processes using ozone treatment, Mettler Toledo Thornton has released a new dissolved ozone sensor family for monitoring water for pharmaceutical and semiconductor applications. The new sensors interface with the Thornton M300 transmitter platform that includes conductivity/resistivity, dissolved oxygen, flowrate, pH, ORP and temperature measurements. The company says the M300 transmitter is positioned to be the first choice for applications in the semiconductor, pharmaceutical, power, and ultrapure water treatment industries. Procedures for these industries include application-specific high-purity temperature compensation of conductivity and pH, pharmaceutical water set points for USP, EP and JP requirements, and include power industry computations of pH and CO2 from conductivity measurements. The ozone sensor reportedly provides reliable and accurate response and requires only infrequent, simple maintenance.
No alternative: Process automation will grow fast, report predicts
Dedham, MA — Process industry automation continues to experience strong worldwide growth, according to a new report from ARC Advisory Group, “Automation Systems for Process Industries Worldwide Outlook.” In many cases, those involved have little choice but to invest. Find out why.
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Innovating to Succeed
Optimize processes, enhance accountability and streamline operations — these are common goals shared by many organizations, particularly those conducting business within medical, pharmaceutical and other regulated industries. To this end, OnSite Sterilization LLC had an idea to radically improve the most common sterilization process employed by most medical waste processing facilities.
ILS links up OPC-UA and native connectivity from industry-standard servers
deviceWISE Enterprise Edition enables real-time, intelligent data transfers between production controls and the enterprise.
Uninterruptible power supplies: scalable, 3-24 kVA or 8-40 kVA
Falcon Electric Inc. expanded its compact and scalable FN Series UPS Plus. Designed for industrial and process control applications, the FN Series now offers users the choice of scaling from 3 kVA to 24 kVA or now scaling from 8 kVA to 40 kVA.
Inductive conductivity transmitter: 3A approval for hygienic applications
Aarhus, Denmark; Staffanstorp, Sweden; Swindon, UK—Baumer’s Process Instrumentation product segment has released ISL 05x, an inductive conductivity sensor with compact stainless steel design for installation in pipes from DN40 and upwards. With 3A-approved process connection, it is suitable for hygienic applications.
Six Ways Machinery OEM’s can Improve Profitability with Electrical Controls
A brighter New Year’s Eve, courtesy of Lapp USA
Lapp USA will supply the cable to help light up the New Year’s Eve sky in New York City in the upgraded lighted globe that descends during the final countdown to 2008. On its 100th birthday, the New Year’s Eve globe received a high-tech renovation, touting energy efficient, multi-colored light emitting diodes (LEDs).
Advanced Energy boosts hybrid vehicle efficiency
Thanks to the “greening of America” and skyrocketing fuel costs, the Toyota Prius has become something of a phenomenon in recent years. With a city/highway/combined fuel economy of 48/45/46 miles per gallon respectively, the vehicle already posts some impressive statistics. However, Advanced Energy - a Raleigh, NC-based non-profit organization dedicated to creating “a future i...
BAM! Axcess offers micro-wireless for Business Activity Monitoring
“The wireless era of ‘people talking’ has given way to the era of ‘things talking.’ Micro-wireless technology makes all assets, materials, people, sensors—even vehicles—wireless,” says Allan Griebenow, CEO, Axcess International.
Wind farms: Power-related investments in Asia, U.S.
Zurich, Switzerland and Westborough, MA—ABB wind products survived a natural disaster in China’s largest wind farm. Separately, American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC) received a multimillion-dollar order from a major U.S. utility for AMSC’s Static VAR Compensator (SVC), technology that helps with wind-related investments.
Siemens releases universal remote displays
Sitrans RD100 and RD200 universal remote digital displays from Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. enable users to view and access measurement data from a remote location. They can be used with all types of field instruments in varying process conditions. Sitrans RD100 is a 2-wire, loop-powered remote digital display.
The SAK puts the clutch on business-critical communication using Neverfail exchange
Anytime the power goes out or a server goes down, it reminds people just how much they rely on email in the workplace. That's why more manufacturers are looking for high-availability solutions. “They realize that uninterrupted email is mission-critical, and the goal is to keep users connected no matter what,” says Rhoda Phillips, research manager for storage software at Framingham, ...
Training: When popcorn is enough
In today’s business world of reduced personnel, 24 hour/365 day per year service calls, increasing productivity levels and business on the upswing, time is at a premium. It has never been more evident that “time is money,” and it is becoming more difficult for a company to justify reserving time to train employees.
1-in. diameter pressure transducers
The design of the 3100/3200 Series from Gems is all stainless-steel, 32 grams and less than 1-in. in diameter. The compact pressure transducers deliver pressure sensing ranges from 0 to 30,000 psi (2,200 bar), different outputs and pressure ports, and high shock and vibration specifications. Temperature compensation at source technology delivers excellent temperature stability, according to the...
3-phase 480 W power supplies
Carlo Gavazzi has added 480 W 3-phase switching power supplies to its SPD Series to meet increasing power demands of the automatic machinery market.
’Tis the season!
Ah, the tradeshow season. That period of time between Labor Day and Thanksgiving when we criss-cross the country and meet with solution providers, end users and the professional organizations who serve us all. By the time this issue has found its way into your hands, the editorial team will have logged thousands of air miles, eaten more airport meals than we care to remember, and attended nearl...
Roper Industries acquires Hardy Instruments
Hardy Instruments, a San Diego-based manufacturer of process weighing, vibration monitoring and tension control solutions, announces its acquisition by Roper Industries Inc. Hardy provides precision weighing, tension control and vibration monitoring equipment. Roper Industries describes itself as a market-driven, diversified growth company with trailing 12 month revenues of $1.
Steelmaker in India gets help from ABB
JSW, one of India’s leading metal producers, expects to increase capacity at its steel mills, in part resulting from $127 million in project orders to ABB. ABB will supply turnkey power and automation solutions for two power plants that will generate electricity needed by the mills and sell any surplus to utilities.
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Tutorial: Thermal mass flowmeters (insertion type) for gas applications
In our last issue, we began considering the problems of gas flow measurement, given the problems associated with its compressibility. Mass flow measurement approaches for gas are immune to this problem, and there are two main options: thermal and Coriolis. Thermal mass flowmeters are based on the understanding that a given mass of fluid will remove a known amount of heat from a given body.
The power of two: vendors join forces to attack global transportation costs
Two software vendors—a global trade management specialist and a supplier of e-sourcing applications—collaborated on a solution that could help manufacturers better manage the costs associated with shipping goods around the world.
Flowmeter: Thermal mass device includes self calibrating capability
While thermal mass flowmeters have many useful capabilities, (see tutorial above) calibrating them in-plant is challenging. Like many other types of instruments, they normally have to be taken out of service and sent to the manufacturer or a lab for precise calibration. FCI now offers an in-situ calibration feature for its GF90 air/gas flowmeter that allows calibration in the plant, and often without removing the unit at all. The VeriCal in-situ calibration verification system for the GF90 flowmeter is reportedly an easy, fast, and low cost way to confirm gas flow calibration accuracy to meet process validation, safety and environmental regulation requirements. The VeriCal system is a specially manufactured and plumbed GF90 flow element with additional electronics to feed and measure a precise flow of gas from a nitrogen source.
Massively parallel multicore processors hit the street
ClearSpeed Technology, a developer of massively parallel monolithic processors, announced agreements that bring this technology within reach of ordinary control engineers. The company provides a license to BAE to use the design of ClearSpeed’s next generation processor in satellite systems. In addition, BAE Systems will gain access to ClearSpeed’s software development kit (SDK) for the purpose of adding new libraries.
PLM throughout: Lean engineering environment spurs innovative high-tech machinery
Optima Group says it will use CoCreate OneSpace Model Manager on a worldwide basis, coupled with its SAP enterprise system for an integrated product life-cycle management (PLM) environment.
Offshore wind farm sets records for size, remoteness
German utility company, E.ON Netz GmbH, is pushing the envelope for wind power generation with its new Borkum-2 offshore wind farm, scheduled to begin operation in 2009. With total capacity of 400 MW, this will be the largest offshore installation, as well as the remotest, located more than 60 miles (100 km) off the coast in the North Sea. E.ON Netz GmbH operates a large portion of Western Europe’s electrical distribution grid, stretching from Scandinavia to Austria.
Small space storage of up to 8 GB
SiliconDrive USB CF products from SiliconSystems are part of a storage solution combining the performance and compatibility of USB with the industry-standard CF form factor. Available in capacities ranging from 1- to 8-gigabytes, the platform offers protection from host system voltage and power anomalies to prevent data and drive corruption.
Dustproof and water resistant pushbutton switch
Pushbutton switch from Phaseda is rated IP54 with protection against dust and water without an external PVC cap thanks to its internal design. Its high electrical rating up to 20A, 125 Vac with UL approval is ideal for many power applications such as power tools, battery powered toy cars, vacuum cleaners, and other home appliances.
Getting Control of Electric Power
There is a temptation for control engineers to simply assume that facilities managers will magically provide electric power in sufficient quantity and of sufficient quality to feed the automated systems they create. These systems, however, have appetites large enough to disrupt finely balanced electric distribution systems, degrading power quality.
Tiny ac current sensors
Silicon Laboratories’ low-loss high-accuracy ac current sensors for power applications are reportedly the world’s smallest of its kind. The Si85000 integrates the functional equivalent of a current transformer circuit into a 4 x 4 x 1 mm QFN package, including the current transformer, blocking diode, burden resistor, and output RC filter.
Recovering Energy from Gas Distribution
Long-distance interstate natural gas pipelines typically operate at pressures between 700 and 1,000 psi to get the greatest efficiency and volume through a given pipe size. However, this pressure is not suitable for local distribution to individual homes and businesses. Gate stations take high-pressure gas from the transmission lines and reduce it to 160 to 180 psi for distribution, with additi...
Electrical panel design application
Moeller Electric’s M@x is a software application for designing electrical panels dedicated to power distribution developed with IGE+XAO, a computer aided design specialist. Application gives quotation of an electrical installation, panel mounting schematics, and the list of components of any installation up to 4,000 amps.
NMW: APEM IPP Series pushbutton switches unveiled
APEM Components Inc., a manufacturer of miniature and industrial switches, featured an expanded line of IP sealed pushbutton switches with the addition of a flat top plunger switch series at National Manufacturing Week last week in Rosemont, IL. See below for more on this and other NMW developments.
High temperature data acquisition system for instrumentation
C&D Technologies’ ADS-939 sampling A/D converter is designed for use in medical imaging, radar, sonar, communications, and instrumentation applications. It is a fully integrated data acquisition system that gives true 16-bit resolution performance at a 10 MHz sampling rate over the entire operating temperature range, up to military.
Opportunity knocks: European midsize manufacturers power ‘Tier 3′ ERP growth
The European market for small and midsize business (SMB) ERP suites has a projected growth rate significantly higher than that experienced by Tier 1 and Tier 2 systems aimed at larger businesses—and one that represents a significant opportunity for both manufacturers and vendors.
Service-oriented storage: Hitachi strategy puts midrange power savings front and center
Hitachi's Services-Oriented Storage Solutions address "green" business concerns surrounding energy use, costs, and surcharges; and data-center and floor-space consumption.
Efficiency: Silicon-on-insulator wafers enable lower-power devices
Soitec, said to be the world's leading supplier of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers and other engineered substrates, has taken a number of steps to increasing SOI adoption to “enable new devices that are more environmentally friendly, consume less energy and have longer battery lives.”
3PL supports customers with RFID tagging
Megatrux is offering RFID tagging of shipments it handles as a part of its extended portfolio of logistics services.
Analog integrated circuit market grows 12% per year, whitepaper says
Reno, NV—A whitepaper about the worldwide analog market from Databeans Inc. shows that it is growing at a compound annual rate of 12% and outperforming many other integrated circuit (IC) markets.
Gas standards generating station moves easily
The Span Lab Cal Cart from Kin-Tek Laboratories combines the elements of a gas standards generating system to create complex, trace concentration mixtures into a rolling unit easily moved between analyzer stations. A system with up to six modules can be installed in the cart along with supporting dilution gas cylinders.
On the road: Eaton shows power system diagnostic benefits
Power delivery used to be good enough, but value has been added with advanced metering, power quality monitoring, and more. Diagnostics and predictive controls estimate when system level equipment may fail to prevent surprise downtime. These are among points discussed in a U.S.-based touring tractor-trailer full of Eaton Corp.
Small manufacturer finds QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions a better fit than ERP
SVP Manufacturing, a Phoenix-based automotive accessories supplier, is a small enterprise. It has 25 employees in two locations, but recent growth prompted the company to move from a DOS-based accounting package to a full-blown ERP system. The original accounting package “didn't give us the flexibility to extract information the way we wanted to,” says Rick Hirsch, co-owner of SVP ...
PCB connectors address high voltage applications
Phoenix Contact’s newest PCB terminal blocks and plug connectors/headers from the company’s Combicon power line are appropriate for increased voltage in power applications. The GMSTB(A) 2.5 HC(V), a high-voltage header and plug with screw connection for wire-to-board applications, features a space-saving 7.
Relay product family enhancements
GE Multilin’s family of Universal Relay (UR) protection and control products covers a range of applications that include bus, distance, generator, motor, and transformer protection. The products feature new enhanced front panels to provide more visibility to power system events and control additional substation equipment.
Green is good for business: panel will reveal how IT is leading the way
New York-based Frost & Sullivan will hold a panel discussion, Techno-Green: The ICT Fabric Underlying Environmental Innovations, at its third annual Growth Innovation and Leadership 2007 event.
Omega introduces wireless thermocouple connector series
The UWTC Series offers programming versatility. Omega Engineering’s new wireless thermocouple connectors/converters, the Smart Connector UWTC Series, provides stand-alone, compact, battery-powered thermocouple connectors that transmit linearized, cold junction compensated measurements back to a USB-powered receiver connected to a PC. Each connector unit is programmable in the field to work as a type J, K, T, E, R, S, B, N, or C calibration connector. A patented universal input accepts standard and miniature size mating connectors. The connector will transmit data continuously at different user-selectable time intervals. Up to 12 wireless connectors can be used with a single receiver.
Test, measurement software: Drag-and-drop add-on speeds configurations
Instrument Pak for Measure Foundry from Data Translation provides what is described as the first drag-and-drop graphical software for LXI test and measurement applications.
Display products: LCD monitors offer durability, touchscreen capability
The next generation of rugged, 10.4-in. LCD monitor from Datalux Corp. is offered in two models:XG10 and SG10. Both feature compact, all-metal enclosures to be applicable in a wide range of uses and industries.
PC-based workstation: LCD, multiple slots boost flexibility
AWS-8129H PC-based industrial workstation from the eAutomation Group of Advantech features a 12.1-in. color TFT LCD.
LCD monitors: Industrial units have TFT flat panels, heavy-duty housings
Atlas line of industrial grade LCD color monitors are the latest addition to AutomationDirect’s list of products.
EPCglobal ratifies product code standard
The Electronic Product Code Information Services standard that focuses on secure, real-time exchange of RFID data between trading partners.
Checkpoint selected for “Tag It Easy” pilot
Checkpoint Systemsis involved in a “Tag It Easy” pilot conducted by Metro Group, a major European retailer. Checkpoint is furnishing pre-commissioned RFID tags to 30 key Asian suppliers.
New project: Power plant in Germany will be among world’s most efficient
Datteln Unit 4, a new power plant under construction in Germany’s Rhein-Ruhr region, will be one of the most fuel-efficient coal-fired plants in the world, says owner E.ON-Kraftwerke GmbH . The 1,100 MW facility will be equipped with control systems and instrumentation provided by ABB as part of an order worth more than $62 million from the German utility. Unit 4 is expected to begin operation in 2011 and will replace the less efficient units at the site. The hard-coal-fired facility boasts thermal efficiency over 45%, putting it near numbers normally only available with more costly combined cycle gas turbine units.
Paper mill combines ac and dc drives to reach upgrade goals
According to The Federal Network for Sustainability, a voluntary, collaborative network of Federal agencies in the Western United States focused on fostering and furthering the concept of sustainability within the government through individual programs and group initiatives, the United States uses approximately 4 million tons of office paper annually, enough to build a wall 10 ft high and 6,815...
EXCLUSIVE: Kepware delivers WeatherBug for automation
Kepware Technologies under exclusive license from WeatherBug, a brand of AWS Convergence Technologies, now can deliver live, streaming real-time weather information through the KepServerEx OPC Server. WeatherBug, sole proprietor of the world’s largest weather network, has granted an exclusive license to Kepware for weather information delivery into industrial automation applications via a...
Stylized enclosures with rugged construction
ARCA enclosures from Fibox are designed with a rugged construction and stylized covers featuring an overlapping design providing protection of the formed-in-place polyurethane gasket. Manufactured using injection molded polycarbonate, a high performance plastic, the electrical enclosures offer ease of customization, robustness, chemical resistance, and wide temperature range.
New SCADA for Power Grid
Moving electric power from the generating plants to individual customers is among operations that remains invisible until something goes wrong, and the power goes off. Maintaining control of the distribution network requires a major control network of its own to monitor consumption, current loading, switching, and problems, right down to individual homes and businesses.
Intermodal tracking system to expand nationwide
Horizon Services Group wants to expand the RFID intermodal tracking system it created inAlaska, thereby lending visibility to containers once they leave shipment terminals.
Shaw Industries extends RFID beyond mandates
A RFID Master Bill of Lading tracking and visibility system originally piloted in 2006 achieved 100 percent read rates; and will be extended now to seven primary and 30 regional distribution centers.
Dell to protect customer privacy using Ingrian security platform
Dell has deployed Ingrian DataSecure Platforms to help protect its brand and ensure customer privacy. The enterprisewide encryption initiative was implemented across more than 10 applications in less than six months and significantly simplifies and streamlines the process of encrypting millions of customer credit card transactions on Dell.com
Launch of Archive Management.org signals new phase of regulatory compliance, “Green” IT operations
Electronic data archiving has become a "must-have" information management strategy for public and private organizations.
Protect motors: Electronic overload device
Pittsburgh, PA—The C396 Electronic Overload motor protective device from Eaton Corp. measures motor current, enabling it to model a motor’s thermal condition. The C396 identifies excessive current or “loss of phase” more accurately than traditional bi-metallic overloads, company says, reacting to the motor stress conditions with greater speed and reliability.
Control Engineering’s Weekly News Tech Tips of the Week
Touchscreen mechanics A touchscreen is a computer input device that enables users to make a selection by touching the screen, rather than typing on a keyboard or pointing with a mouse. Computers with touchscreens have a smaller footprint, can be mounted in smaller spaces, have fewer movable parts, and can be sealed. Touching a screen is more intuitive than using a keyboard or mouse, which translates into lower training costs. Three common components All touchscreen systems have three components.
ABB North America: Santacana named head of ABB U.S.
ABB has appointed Enrique Santacana as region manager, ABB North America, as well as president and CEO of ABB Inc. USA, effective July 1, 2007.
Power: Hot-swap front end for distributed systems
San Diego, CA – Lambda has launched a 12 V output version of its FPS1000 front-end power supplies for driving non-isolated point-of-load dc-dc converters in distributed power systems without the need for intermediate bus converters. The 12 V output can be adjusted from 10.5 to 13.2 V. The new 864 W model FPS1000-12 complements Lambda’s existing line of 24-, 32- and 48-V output models. FPS1000-12 supplies–each measuring 1.61 x 5 x 11.4 in.–can be used individually, or as many as three can be mounted in an optional 1U-high 19-in.
SOA architecture lends itself to profitable partnerships for plant-level information
Kevin Roach, VP of software, Rockwell Automation, is on something of a roll. “It's been a great year for growth and market share,” he enthuses. “We've continued to deliver double-digit growth in a market that's growing a lot more slowly than that.” Expressed as simply as possible, Rockwell has two product lines: its Logix control platform and FactoryTalk, an integrated s...
Exclusive: Wireless solutions for remote locations
FlexPower nodes from Banner Engineering Corp. provide a versatile wireless solution by allowing a SureCross node to operate using 10 to 30V dc line power, solar panels, or a FlexPower battery module in remote or difficult-to-access locations. A FlexPower battery module can power a wireless node and a connected sensor for up to five years depending on the application and individual power require...
Power: Ultracapacitor module eases system integration
Morrisville, NC—Raycap Inc., a leader in transient voltage surge suppression technology, has developed a 40 mm version of its Strikesorb module that the company says can be easily integrated inside OEM equipment, panelboards, cabinets, and switchgear equipment.
Power: standards push DC-DC converter use
Worldwide shipments of dc-dc converters for the merchant market continue to grow, according to a recent study by Venture Development Corp.
Energy: 2 MW generator
The Energy sector—one of 12 trade shows in one at Hannover Fair 2007—assembled some 880 companies to display their developments and innovations for efficient production and transmission of renewable and conventional energy. In wind energy generation, Enercon showed its 2,000-kW rated E82 unit housed in a huge nacelle (now in production) that drives 82 m (269 ft) diameter wind turbin...
Object-oriented databases the next wave in complex data management
“Manufacturers want to connect their factory-floor operations and their production systems up to the top of the enterprise, into their upper business systems,” says Dick Slansky, senior analyst, product life-cycle management (PLM) & discrete industries for Dedham, Mass.-based ARC Advisory Group .
Battery-powered options are now available for all 16 of the 6000 Series digital storage oscilloscopes and mixed signal oscilloscopes from Agilent Technologies Inc.
Exclusive: Compact photoelectric sensors
Series 31 Opti-Vue photoelectric sensors from Pepperl+Fuchs feature a compact, 35 x 62 mm footprint.
Energy: 880 companies showcase energy developments
Hannover, Germany —The Energy sector fair—one of 12 trade shows co-located at Hannover Fair 2007—assembled some 880 companies to display their developments and innovations for efficient production and transmission of renewable and conventional energy. Innovation was everywhere. One highlight was the 13thannual group exhibit “Hydrogen + Fuel Cells,” which has grown to 133 companies. Amidst overall optimism for alternate energy sources, exhibit speakers predicted a less than immediate upsurge for these technologies. Jochen Straub, sales account manager for Ballard Power Systems , sees a long road ahead for fuel cells, especially in the automotive sector.
Positioning slides offer flexibility, value
MS46 Series positioning slides from the Thomson brand of Danaher Motion, available in virtually any length, let users optimize machine design at a fraction of the cost of competitive products.
Low-profile power supplies
RSP-1000 Series of low profile, 1,000 W switching power supplies from PowerGate LLC measure only 5 x 11.61 x 1.61 in. and are said to be an ideal solution for industrial, ATE, datacom, and telecom applications where high-density and high-power are required.
Media control cables
New series of media control cables for the structured wiring industry from Coleman Cable Inc. are engineered meet or exceed the protocols from the AMX, AMX AXLink, Crestron, Cresnet, Elan systems, and VIA! touchscreens.
Model LPB (Loop Powered Bargraph) from Otek Corp. is a 51 LED unicolor or multi-color bargraph that can be configured for 1, 3, or 5 pointers, or full bars
Kevin Parker: ERP and SOA at The Coca Cola Company
They said there were 15,000 people at SAP's Sapphire user conference this year, and that the exhibition floor was equal to eight-and-a-half football fields. There was every reason to believe them. The show was huge, and the keynote auditorium had grandstands to accommodate those who wished a view of what was perhaps the largest stage this editor has ever seen.
Control Harmonic Distortion
While variable frequency drives (VFDs) offer many advantages for critical motor speed control and optimizing energy consumption, they are known for producing significant levels of harmonic distortion in adjacent power distribution systems. Utility systems can absorb some of that distortion, but when VFDs are on a circuit driven by a generator, the disturbances can threaten reliable operation.
Hydraulic driven 68-story Ferris wheel begun for ’08 Olympics
The Great Wheel Corp. recently awarded Bosch Rexroth the contract to supply the automation systems for the world’s largest look-out wheel in Beijing, China. The hydraulic-powered wheel is slated to begin in time for the 2008 Olympic Games, Bosch said in statement. Great Wheel says it will open Aug.
Reduced maintenance bearings have long life
Sealmaster reduced maintenance bearings from Emerson Power Transmission have efficient lubricant circulation to eliminate the need for regular service intervals.
Electrical connections: Reducing air pollution from ship engines
U.S.and European ports enjoy higher air quality now that cruise ships connect to the local grid for power, much as airplanes do at major airports.
Instrumentation mixups: Call out the bomb squad!
Be careful what you leave in the trunk of a rental car. A simple instrumentation device could get you arrested and give cause to call out the bomb squad, as one university hydrology researcher found out the hard way. It began innocently enough. Dr.
Instrument readout: Bargraph display conveys data at a glance
The LPB provides local readout from a 4-20 mA signal and can trigger user-set alarms. In some situations, an analog display that indicates a percentage of a total value is more useful than a numerical representation of the same value. When you want just such an analog display, the LPB (loop powered bargraph) from Otek provides a 51 segment display with single or multicolors. The circular arrangement of the display segments provides a familiar appearance for users that makes information easy to see and compare visually, particularly when used in groups.
RFID: Integrated tower of technology
Grapevine, TX —RFID PathMinder, an integrated tower of radio frequency identification technologies is the result of collaboration between Siemens Energy & Automation and URS / EG&G . Displayed and demonstrated at the RFID World meeting here last month, product attributes include an integrated control architecture. The integrated control architecture of the RFID PathMinder includes system engineering, data management, information sharing via wireless networking, and run-time diagnostics, as well as control, information processing, trigger event management, application tailoring, and power conditioning, all built in. Product advantages include flexibility in design to fit application needs. Applications might include manufacturing, warehousing, logistics services for better workflow, more accurate inventory, and contractual compliance. In other RFID news, see Intel on RFID: Lessons learned, benefits earned . —Edited by Mark T.
Application: Steady power improves testing, enables EPA compliance
A Falcon Electric SG Series 3kVA UPS and related monitoring software ensure gas chromatographs run reliable tests without "frying" any boards. Gas chromatography instrumentation is expensive, so it's good to keep it operating on schedule. Fluctuations or interruptions in heat disrupt the exact temperatures required for environmental testing, and a power surge can destroy onboard microprocessors.
PDM Series power display meters measure energy, power
Ohio Semitronics Inc. PDM series is a versatile instrument for metering and controlling power and energy measurements. The PDM can be supplied as a 1-, 2-, or 3-element models with up to 8 analog inputs, where 3 inputs are typically used for voltage or current representing amps, 3 inputs are for voltage representing volts, 2 additional inputs may be used for a voltage representing temperature o...
Extreme Machine: Compact Precision Robotics
What's extreme? According to Control Engineering subscribers, a robotic packaging machine that's small, nimble, and easy to use and adapt, while ensuring safety. When Rockwell Automation wanted to highlight the creativity of its machine-building customers, it asked Control Engineering, Control Engineering Europe, and Design News readers to select the ultimate “extreme machines.
PanelMax corner wiring duct
Panduit Corp. Panduit PanelMax corner wiring duct makes more efficient use of space inside enclosures, speeds installation and reduces control panel assembly costs. Corner wiring duct fits in the unused space in vertical corners of medium to large electrical control panels to route, conceal, and protect electrical wiring.
By the Numbers – 2007-04-01
1 lb of honey requires 2 million bee-to-flower visits, according to the Canadian Honey Council. Bee counters can use photoelectric and capacitance sensors, CHC says. Capacitance sensors allow detection of direction (arriving or exiting) as well as mass (pollen load or empty). Wax and hive debris do not interfere with the measurements.
MSS Series gearheads improve torque handling, precision
Baldor Electric Co. Baldor’s stainless steel gearheads provide higher torque handling capacity and lower backlash compared to standard servo rated gearheads. They exhibit very low backlash (10 arc-min maximum over the life of the product) for greater positional accuracy and reduced shock loads, and integrated self-locating pinion to ease mounting.
AWI-P wireless pressure transmitter
Adalet Wireless The Adalet Wireless AWI-P wireless pressure transmitter is a fully integrated, self-contained wireless pressure transmitter designed for industrial applications. Available in battery and ac powered versions, the AWI-P includes wireless transmitter, pressure sensor, and self-contained power source in one lightweight, rugged, enclosure.
New power generation: Advanced control boosts performance
Advanced systems from Emerson and ABB are providing critical monitoring and control capabilities for two power plants using new generation technologies. The installations include Emerson Process Management’s Ovation control system being implemented at China’s first 1,000 MW ultra-supercritical power generation units and an ABB distributed control system being applied at a Kentucky p...
Maintenance bearings have long life
Sealmaster reduced maintenance bearings from Emerson Power Transmission have efficient lubricant circulation to eliminate the need for regular service intervals. Intended for inaccessible locations, the bearings feature a surface tapered in a radial direction toward the bearing race so that lubricant is redirected easily back to the raceway.
Collaboration: ABB users discover new products, each other
Orlando, FL —Showing off the results of its 2006 R&D and order-related development spending of $1.1 billion, ABB gathered a record number of customers and partners here last week and demonstrated the power of collaboration. Its fourth annual Automation World customer conference presented user success stories and showcased a range of new products, including wireless remote I/O and a palm-size electronic trip circuit breaker. More than 2,500 registered attendees from 38 countries—representing a 28% increase in customers and channel partners—chose from 350 technical sessions and walked the floor of the exhibit area. Many of ABB's 6,000 researchers and developers worldwide were on-hand to talk to users about energy efficiency (related to advanced transmission systems, and high-efficiency motors and drives), flexibility, productivity, and return on investment.
Transformer oil coolers
ForZair line of transformer oil coolers from Unifin are designed for new transformers and for replacement in existing installations.
Tech Tips June 2005
JUNE 28, 2005 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: When to use RTDs or thermocouples. Quick selection guidelinesRTDs Offer stable output within broad temperature ranges; Can be recalibrated for verifiable accuracy; Are stable over the long term; Follow a more linear curve than thermocouples; Have high sensitivity; and Provide accurate reading over narrow temperature spans. Thermocouples: Operate at temperatures over 1,200°F (648.88°C); Perform in extremely rugged applications; Offer very fast response to temperature changes; Are small in physical size; and May have a lower initial cost in some applications. The two most common ways of measuring industrial temperatures are with resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) and thermocouples. But when should control engineers use a thermocouple and when should they use an RTD? The answer is usually determined by four factors: temperature, time, size, and overall accuracy requirements. What are the temperature requirements? If process temperatures fall from -328 to 932°F (-200 to 500°C), then an industrial RTD is an option.
Tech Tips April 2005
APRIL 26, 2005 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Systems possibly subject to FDA 21 CFR Part 11. Systems possibly subject to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) 21 CFR Part 11 regulations include: Laboratory Stability systemsToxicology systemsLaboratory robotic systemsEnvironmental monitoring systemsLaboratory instruments with data acquisition capabilityLaboratory information systemsOther data acquisition systems Clinical Case report form systemsClinical data management systemsRemote data entry systemsRemote data capture systemsAdverse event reporting systemsOther data acquisition systems Manufacturing Manufacturing execution systemsMaintenance management systemsCalibration management systemsBuilding management systemsEnterprise resource planning systemsControl and automation systemsOther data acquisition systems Quality Document management systemsGood practices and other product tracking systemsStandard operating procedure systemsOther data acquisition systems Dave Harrold, contributing editor Source: Dave Harrold, 'I'm from the Government and I'm Here to Help You,' Control Engineering, April '02, p.
Tech Tips November-December 2005
December 27, 2005 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Make use of schematic design software—Part 2 As mentioned, advantages of using electrical schematic or panel design software include faster and more efficient wiring layouts, lower design and development costs, and less training time for users. Some of the software integrates with Autodesk AutoCAD; others are stand alone. The following is a continuation of reasons for using this type of software. (The first five guidelines appeared in last week's 'Tip of the Week'): Add features or libraries to scale/expand layout as needed.
Two Powerful Lean Electrical Control Papers
Question of the Week Q306
September 26, 2006 QUESTION: When should I use a motor multidrive and why? Adjustable speed drives are useful for any application with mechanical equipment powered by motors. These drives provide extremely precise electrical motor control, allowing motor speeds to ramp up and down or maintain a required speed. Since motors consume a majority of the power needed for most electromechanical applications, controlling motors based on load demands minimizes energy costs.
Panel instruments for hazardous areas
Loop Leader full-featured, loop-powered panel indicator and Rate/Totalizer from Precision Digital Corp. are said to be easily added to 4-20 mA loops with a loop-drop of only 2 V @ 20 mA (without backlight).
Radar level transmitter for solids applications
Sitrans LR 460 radar level transmitter from Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. for measurements in difficult solids level applications features 24 GHz frequency-modulated continuous wave technology and the company’s Process Intelligence echo processing software.
Ultra-miniature dc/dc converters
LF200S series 2W dc/dc converters from MicroPower Direct come in an ultra-miniature SMT case.
Flexible cable for hazardous areas
Olflex Power Class 1 Div 1 flexible cable from Lapp Group is NEC Class I Div.1 UL TC-ER & Stow hard service rated cordage for hazardous areas.
Manufacturing: Engine OF U.S. Innovation
The many wonderful products that make our liveseasier and more productive did not just happenby chance. Someone invented them and someonefound a way to produce them at a price most of uscould afford. Overwhelmingly, these inventions are a product ofU.S. innovation and the engine of that innovation is manufacturing.
Crush-resistant flexible cable
Olflex Power Class 1 Div 1 flexible cable from Lapp Group is NEC Class I Div.1 UL TC-ER & Stow hard service rated cordage for hazardous areas. Product is a multi-conductor, 600 V, 90 °C, UL Type TC-ER, c(UL) Type TC/CIC and an oil resistant, flexible power and control cable with exposed run approval.
Higher voltage: NEMA expands standard to cover 230-1,200 V
The new upper limit is 1,200 V for National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s newly revised standard, (NEMA) ANSI C84.1-2006, American National Standard for Electric Power Systems and Equipment—Voltage Ratings (60 Hz). Revisions established nominal voltage ratings and operating tolerances for 60-Hz electric power systems above 100 V and expanded to cover voltages from 230-1,200 V.
Engineers’ Choice 2006 – Networks
Engineers Choice CompetitionNew Products for 2006: Networks, Communications Hardware/Software Control Engineering — February 15, 2007The annual Control Engineering Engineers Choice Awards highlight significant new products from the previous year as selected by readers of Control Engineering print publications and electronic newsletters. The following new products are nominees for that competition. To be eligible, a new product must have been introduced to the U.S.
Battery charger features modular design
Equinox Switchmode rapid battery charger from Ametek Prestolite Power is intended for electric vehicle and material handling environments.
Handheld spectrum analyzer
MS2720B spectrum analyzer series from Anritsu Corp. supports Japanese regulation test items for installation and maintenance of W-CDMA base stations.
Plug-and-play wiring system
Linkosity power distribution system from Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems features a modular plug-and-play wiring method developed by Lockheed Martin for fast installation and high performance for 20- and 30-A circuits up to 600 V.
Bird in the hand: Robotics, vision systems aid search for rare woodpecker
Berkeley, CA —A high-resolution, intelligent robotic video system developed by researchers at three major universities is finding applicability for tasks beyond automation and control. The equipment, developed by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and Texas A&M University, hangs in the bayous of eastern Arkansas, amidst ancient trees and swamp creatures, patiently waiting to capture video of an elusive bird once thought to be extinct. The high-resolution intelligent robotic video system, installed in the Bayou DeView area of the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas, is part of a major effort to locate the ivory-billed woodpecker in its historic habitat. The new robotic video system is also providing detailed video sequences of other birds, suggesting a new high-tech approach to doing field biology work.
Bluetooth modules for industrial use
OEM serial port adapter 310 is the sixth version in connectBlue’s series of Bluetooth modules for industrial use.
LVDT sensors in 2- or 3-wire configurations
Family of rugged, hermetically sealed LVDT (linear variable differential transformer) sensors provides 4-20 mA input/output for easy field integration with PLCs, digital indicators, host computer-based data processing, and QC data collection systems.
Tutorial: Radar level detectors
Measuring the level of liquids and solids in tanks has been a challenge for as long as there have been tanks. Most traditional solutions involve complicated plumbing or mechanical devices that introduce their own problems. Radar level detectors have been on the scene for more than 25 years, but have grown in popularity recently as their capabilities improve and costs decline. In the past, their steep price kept them in the most critical applications, but now they are used in an increasing variety of situations. Radar measurement has many advantages: There is no contact with the product; There are no moving parts; They work equally well with liquids and bulk solids; Liquid characteristics (density, dielectric constant, conductivity, etc.) aren't an issue; Everything is mounted from the vessel top, eliminating connections below liquid level; They are unaffected by temperature and pressure; They can "see through" vapors, foam, dust, etc.; They can be taught to "see around" mixer paddles, baffles, etc.; and, When configured properly, they are very precise. These comments are deliberately general and apply to most manufacturers.
Switching power supply for machinery market
SPD series switching power supplies from Carlo Gavazzi expands with the addition of Model 480W.
Optic switch with multiple features
QuickSwitch Model 4294 from Electro Standards Laboratories is a 4-way all-optic simplex fiber switch with threaded FC connectors, 100/140 graded index fiber, and UPC.
Absolutely free: A major process control resource just a few clicks away
If you pay close attention to the Inside Process section of our printed magazine (and you should), you might have noticed that we just finished an 11-part series on process control strategies that has been going on since early 2005. The series was written by Lew Gordon from Invensys and represents a project no less impressive than producing a textbook. Best of all, you can have this resource free with just a few mouse clicks, as all the articles are available on the Control Engineering Website.
Standards compliance: Instruments help validate display designs
Beaverton, OR — Parade Technologies has validated its new DP501 DisplayPort transmitter for compliance with the emerging DisplayPort standard, with help from Tektronix test equipment. The DisplayPort digital display interface specification, approved in May 2006 and developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), defines a new license-free, state-of-the-art digital audio/video interconnect, intended primarily for use between a computer and its display. DisplayPort allows for standardized connections between source devices and display devices such as LCD panels without the need for signal translation.
Software tool boosts analytical productivity
Maple 11, the latest release of Maplesoft’s flagship software, features enhancements to its smart document interface, computation engine, and connectivity capabilities that are said to provide the technology for reducing errors and increasing analytical productivity.
Instrumentation majors buy specialist technologies
Two large instrumentation and technology companies started the new year announcing acquisitions of smaller specialist technologies: Emerson Process Management will take Damcos as one of its brands, expanding its capabilities for offshore and maritime markets. “We are excited about the addition of Damcos' marine tank management products and systems expertise,” said John Berra, divisi...
Expanding RoHS? Uniform U.S. standard favored, one survey says
Congress should enact an RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) law to create one compliance standard for the U.S., a recent poll by a major electronics distributor indicates. California enacted a RoHS-like law in January; other states may follow with variations. Newark InOne conducted the survey on its Website over a three-month period during fall 2006.
Asia Pacific: Region gains Singapore-based ABB support center
Opening ceremonies at the new center included (left to right) guest of honor Kenneth Tan, director of services cluster for the Economic Development Board of Singapore; James Foo, president and country manager for ABB Singapore; and Michael Zhang, head of control systems and products for Asia, ABB. Singapore —With reportedly the largest installed base of power generation products and systems in the Philippines and Indonesia, and contracts to provide new systems for oil platforms in the region, ABB announced the opening of a dedicated Control Systems and Products Regional Action Center (RAC) in Singapore. The RAC will provide technical and training support for automation customers, as well as regional sales support, marketing, and business development functions throughout the region. ABB is focusing on a high-growth region with "power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact," said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB's Process Automation division. Demand for electricity is reportedly increasing between 6 and 9% a year in the Philippines and Indonesia, and these countries are expanding their power generating capacity.
Digital sensors: Sensor technology provides digital output
Inprox Sensors has been developing a technology they call 'linear direct sensor platforms' for use in aerospace-industry speed and linear position measurement. The company has been working actively and quietly for the last 2 years with some of the largest automotive, aerospace and appliance makers in the world to adapt the technology to their critical applications They've applied the technology specifically to advanced linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) replacements, and as speed-measurement devices for high temperature runout and material deformation sensing. The devices Inprox has developed so far provide micron resolution precision distance measurement with both ferrous and non-ferrous targets coupled with error-free data communications. They have also applied the technology in the automotive market for advanced steering, various position and brake-wear sensors, and in the appliance markets for low cost, high volume applications among laundry and cooking manufacturers. What makes this sensor technology unique is an innovative integrated circuit to interface between the sensor itself and the measurement system front end, and the design of a tuned oscillator for encoding the analog signal in digital form.
Lean Electrical Controls: Reduce Waste, Add Value
Power current sense resistors
OAR-TP series open air sense resistor from TT electronics IRC Wire and Film Technologies Div. is designed to transfer heat from circuits and solder joints.
Protection from surges, transients
TP-Pipe Series surge protection network from MTL Surge Technologies guards against surges and transients from field cabling without requiring additional wiring or conduit modifications.
Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (Feb. 15th, 2006)
We are still awaiting a written recommendation from the data center regarding how best to avoid a repeat of the problem described last week of an unauthorized party causing excessive bandwidth use and running up our fees. It appears this was an attempt by the third party to use our server as a pass-thru and conceal their identity. There was no evidence of any attempts to access data within any of the applications on the server, which are also password protected.
2-wire hydrogen sulfide gas sensor
Model 4501-05 2-wire hydrogen sulfide gas sensor module from Sierra Monitor Corp. eliminates the need for separate power runs and associated power distribution and circuit protection for each device.
Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System – 2007-01-10 – 2007-01-10
To read prior 2005-06 entrees click here. January 15, 2007 We are still awaiting a written recommendation from the data center regarding how best to avoid a repeat of the problem described last week of an unauthorized party causing excessive bandwidth use and running up our fees. It appears this was an attempt by the third party to use our server as a pass-thru and conceal their identity.
Power supplies: Pemex uses clean UPS; governments push digital; 600 W 1U form
Power-related developments include use of a clean uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for Mexican state-owned refinery Pemex Refinacion, government policies that promote use of digital power, and a new 1U-sized 600 W power supply with 12-48 dc output. Details of each can help end-users, original equipment manufacturers, and system integrators make more informed choices about selections of power technologies and other control components now and in the future. Protecting sensitive equipment from voltage sags, surges, and interruptions helps keep oil flowing in Northern Mexico, according to Active Power, inventor and manufacturer of energy-efficient critical power systems. Pemex Refinacion, subsidiary of Pemex, Mexico's national oil company, said to be the world's largest oil producing entity outside of the Middle East, has deployed the Active Power 900 kVA CleanSource UPS system protect operations at a northern Mexico re-pumping station.
Electrical safety: When good grounds go bad
With electrical equipment, there's often high confidence in good, solid, earth grounding for protection. In some situations unexpected "ground voltages" can cause serious instrumentation errors, not to mention safety concerns, warns Dataforth . Fortunately, there are ways to protect personnel and control components from unexpected ground or neutral-wire voltages. Protection for power-hungry equipment includes circuit breakers with ground-fault detection built-in, surge protectors, lightning arrestors, uninterruptible power supplies with voltage regulation built-in, and other like devices. Recommended protection for instrumentation includes isolating channels from one another and from ground.
Power Gen 2006: Electric utilities go digital
Growing popularity of digital plant architecture in the electric utility industry is reflected in contracts announced by Emerson Process Management at Power Gen 2006. Orders for seven such systems slated for installation at new U.S. coal-fired power plants were received by the company in 2006. The information was released at Power Gen 2006 held Nov.
Flowmeter: New ultrasonic design uses batteries or mains power
The Sitrans FUS/E 380 series is mounted on a spool-section of pipe, ready to be inserted into existing process piping. With the advances in wireless technology for communicating with remote instrumentation, it's no surprise that more devices are coming out that don't require mains power. Siemens has now released its first ultrasonic flowmeter with a "two-track" power scheme: one version operates just on batteries and the other uses mains power but can have an external battery pack for backup.
Tutorial: Corrosion monitoring in real time
Corrosion in process plants and water distribution is a perpetual problem that costs industry hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Monitoring corrosion has traditionally been a slow and imprecise process, only yielding answers after the fact. New types of instrumentation offer the ability to watch conditions that cause corrosion in real time. Several manufacturers now offer corrosion monitoring probes and transmitters that use LPR (linear polarization resistance) analysis combined with other methods to determine how corrosive the process is at any given time.
Powering up: Steel plant contracts to boost performance, efficiency
Zurich, Switzerland —A new steel plant in Brazil is installing engineering and power equipment to ensure its operation achieves high productivity and energy efficiency. ThyssenKrupp Steel AG , one of Europe's largest steelmakers, has contracted with ABB to do the work, worth $36 million, at the facility under construction southeast of Rio de Janeiro. The steel plant is a joint venture between ThyssenKrupp and Brazilian ore producer Companhia Vale do Rio Doce , reported to be the largest iron ore and pellet producer in the world. ABB will perform the engineering work and supply power equipment, including a 138 kV substation, high- and medium-voltage switchgear, transformers, and power cables.
Exclusive: Combination starter cuts mounting space in half
Duo Series combination starter from Fuji Electric Corp. of America, composed of the BM3 series manual motor starters and SC-E series magnetic contactors, is said to save space and reduce wiring requirements.
Flywheel: Energy storage gains velocity
More power, price, and certifications have increased interest in the VSS+DC flywheel-based uninterruptible power supply system, says Pentadyne Power Corp. Pentadyne Power Corp . received more than 100 orders for the VSS+DC flywheel-based power system.
Improved: Online calculator for UL508A SCCR
Online software helps speed UL-required calculations for short-circuit current rating of panels, says Cooper Bussmann.. The previously introduced, industry first online short-circuit current rating (SCCR) software (OSCAR) has been upgraded with initial user input, according to Cooper Bussmann . The compliance software helps eliminate guesswork commonly associated with calculating the total SCCR of all individual components in a panel, and reduces non-compliance issues that can result in costly shutdowns and delays. Electrical industry standards (Underwriter's Laboratories' UL508A and the 2005 National Electrical Code article 409) require all electrical panels and assemblies to prominently display nameplates with SCCR totals.
Driver ICs for high temperatures
Three driver ICs for high temperature applications (AECQ100, Grade 0) are available from Atmel Corp. ATA6824, AA6827, and ATA6832 are designed using the company’s high-voltage Smartis technology, said to enable extremely high chip temperatures of up to 200 °C.
Rack-mount power distribution
T982F3 Series rack-mount power distribution unit (PDU) with current monitoring from Pulizzi Engineering Inc. is configured for 208 V, 30 A power input.
Transmitter eliminates blind spots in valve stroke
D-Epic control transmitter from Westlock Controls is a 4-20 mA, HART-enabled non-contact device that reportedly eliminates position blind spots during the stroke of a valve by supplying continuous feedback of rotary or linear valve position. Transmitter features an integrated, low-power solenoid to control and monitor discrete valves and integrated PST functionality.
Digital multimeter family
Fluke 117 electricians’ multimeter has non-contact voltage detection, and the Fluke 116 HVAC multimeter has temperature and microamps capability.
Planetary gears: Energy sector fuels demand
IMS Research , a specialist supplier of market research and consultancy services on global electronics markets, predicts that markets for planetary gearboxes in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and in the Americas are forecast to experience an annual growth of almost 8% by 2009, reaching $1.8 billion and $459 million respectively. One of the main drivers for this growth is the increasing demand within the wind energy sector for high torque planetary gearboxes used in wind turbines. This increase in demand is the direct result of the recent high levels of investment into this sector as an alternative energy source to oil, fuelled by rising oil prices and sustained concerns of global warming. The energy sector accounted for over 40% of the total EMEA planetary gearbox market, and over a quarter of the Americas planetary market in 2005.
Increasing demand: Energy use fueling need for planetary gears
Wellingborough, UK —Expect significant growth in the market for planetary gearboxes in the Americas and EMEA (Europe, the Middle-East, and Africa) over the next several years, a recent study from IMS Research shows. By 2009, these areas are expected to experience 8% growth rates, with the markets reaching $1.8 billion and half a billion dollars respectively. Primary driver of this growth is rising demand in the wind energy sector for high torque planetary gearboxes used in wind turbines. The increase is the direct result of growing investment in this sector as high oil prices and concern about global warming influence the use of wind as an alternative energy source. Wind energy is a significant portion of the energy sector, which accounted for more than 40% of the total EMEA planetary gearbox market and more than a quarter of the Americans market in 2005.
Narrow profile dc-dc converter
Narrow profile dc-dc converter from Acopian is intended for test equipment, mobile systems, and ground support equipment.
Exclusive: High-performance controller
The latest in the UNO-3000 Series of controllers from Advantech is the high-performance Model UNO-3072, which features a fanless ultra-low voltage Intel Pentium M/ Celeron M CPU and is equipped with two PCI extensions.
Wi-Fi measurement system
Wireless Wizard 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz Wi-Fi measurement system from Bantam Instruments includes a handheld spectrum analyzer and directional and omni-directional antennas in a small, lightweight carrying case.
Rugged notebook computer, hot-swap battery
DA-138 ruggedized notebook computer from Dewetron Inc. includes the company’s proprietary SideHand battery power system to allow the unit to run indefinitely without an external power source.
Geothermal energy: Asia harnesses volcanic heat to generate electricity
Although tectonic activity can produce earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes, it can also be used for more positive purposes, among them providing steam to run power plants. The Philippines and Indonesia are Asia's largest producers of geothermal power, tapping underground sources to generate 1,900 mW and 600 mW respectively. ABB automation provides equipment and control systems to both countries and is encouraging the effort to develop additional production sites. Geothermal power is practical where there is high-temperature ground water at shallow depths trapped by beneficial rock structures.
Utility savings: Verizon ensures power supply with sophisticated energy management system
Verizon Communications has created its "central office of the future" in Garden City, Long Island using a combination of fuel cells, engine-generator sets, waste heat capture, and utility supplied power. This combination of supply technologies is managed using a sophisticated system designed by Marine Interface and using equipment and software from Opto 22 . Since Verizon uses 5.1 billion kWh annually to run its central offices, they are understandably concerned about finding sources of energy that are reliable, cost effective, and minimize environmental impact. Central offices house critical electronic switching and backup power equipment for Verizon's wireline communications.
By the Numbers – 2006-11-01
6 categories of RSS feeds are available at www.controleng.com for instant access to Control Engineering headlines. Learn how it works and connect now. www.controleng.com/LearnRSS 4,761 lightning discharges to ground were detected in the U.S. on 10/16/06 from 15:00:00 to 17:00:00 GMT, according to the Vaisala Lightning Explorer with data from Vaisala's U.
LED power chip
EZBright 1000 LED power chip from Cree Inc. offers twice the brightness of the company’s current offerings.
Power cables, accessories
Power cables and accessories from Pulizzi Engineering Inc. come in a variety of plug types and lengths.
More open standards: LynuxWorks supports Xilinx processor-based FPGAs
LynuxWorks now supports the full range of Xilinx 32-bit embedded processors. According to the company, this makes LynuxWorks the first embedded real-time operating system (RTOS) company to offer both open-source and open-standards-based operating systems for all Xilinx 32-bit hard and soft processor cores, including the PowerPC and MicroBlaze processor-based field programmable gate array (FPGA) platforms. LynuxWorks' embedded support and services group will help get PowerPC and MicroBlaze developers up and running. The Xilinx MicroBlaze solution is a scalable processor system that enables embedded developers to tune performance to match the requirements of target applications.
Licensing agreement: Joint effort seeks to develop, market white LED products
Two LED manufacturers have agreed to a licensing arrangement that will help both companies develop and market white LED-based products for backlighting laptop computer displays. The arrangement includes a license for Cree Inc .'s white LED patent (U.S. patent # 6,600,175) authorizing Lite-On Technology Corp .
Online current-rating software
Oscar compliance software from Cooper Bussmann is designed to help facilities comply with new electrical industry standards for determining the short-circuit current rating (SCCR) of industrial control panel assemblies.
Webcasts: Intelligent power supply design; integrating measurements, simulations in circuits
Those involved in designing power supplies or circuit design might appreciate several sponsored, archived Webcasts available from Design News, another Reed Business Information publication. "Designing Intelligent Power Supplies" is sponsored by Microchip. Increased use of digital controls provide more ways design power supplies. Understanding the four levels of microcontroller integration possible in a power supply design, and the features and functions possible with each level can simplify the decision process.
Power policy: NEMA Updates transformer efficiency; getting paid for spares
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) in separate actions asked the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to consider using newer data in the economic analysis of efficiency levels in certain electrical transformers, and praised federal regulators who recently allowed electric utilities to recoup the cost of keeping spare transformers in inventory. That last move could boost utility spending on electrical equipment by more than $50 million, NEMA says. On the efficiency issue, Kyle Pitsor, NEMA vice president of government relations, said, "The rise over the past several years in materials prices, for instance, for copper and steel, is not reflected in the prices used by DOE to calculate energy efficiency levels in these transformers.
Networking hardware: Avoid process shutdowns from FOUNDATION fieldbus segment faults
A failure in a fieldbus can shut down a major process causing loss of product and production time. However, with the right switching equipment, the system can reroute itself in the event of a segment fault and avoid shutdowns. Trunksafe from MooreHawke reportedly provides a cost-effective and reliable method for maintaining continuous communications on a FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 segment. In the event of a failure on a fieldbus segment, Trunksafe makes it possible for the control system to switch immediately and automatically to a redundant path.
Actuant Corp. acquires Actown Electrocoil
Actuant Corp., parent company of Acme Electric Corp., acquired Actown Electrocoil, a manufacturer of power and high voltage transformers, custom-built coils, high-frequency ferrite applications, and PCB surface mount transformers with tape and reel packaging. Actuant is a global company with sales in excess of $1 billion and with operations in more than 30 countries, and Actown Electrocoil has...
Small dynamometers help test rotary devices
MicroDyne small motoring dynamometers help test rotary devices. Sakor Technologies ' MicroDyne series small motoring dynamometers are ideal for testing all types of small rotary devices, such as motors, pumps, generators and compressors, in a wide range of automotive, military and aerospace testing applications. The units are fully functional, four-quadrant dynamometers engineered for low power applications. Versions are available in sizes from 100 W to 5 kW.MicroDyne offers the most precise speed and torque control available-especially for low speed applications where full torque can be applied all the way to stall (zero speed).
Low power, secure remote access control
AVR remote access control (RAC) system from Atmel Corp. features more than 10 years of battery life for its license-free, secure RAC for remote keyless entry and other wireless control applications.
Transformers meet energy requirements
E version transformers from Sola/Hevi-Duty are low voltage, general-purpose products that comply with the energy requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
LFT electronics chassis
Liquid flow-through (LFT) electronics chassis for high-power embedded electronics applications from Parker Hannifin supports manufacturers and users of open-system architectures.
High-density power resistors to 600 W
BHPR Series resistors from BI Technologies are available in a TO-227 style, RoHS-compliant package in power ratings of 100, 150, 250, 300, and 600 W.
Miniature molded case circuit breakers
UL489 ac and dc miniature molded case circuit breakers from Altech are suitable for a wide range of applications, including low inrush motors, appliances, lighting, wiring protection, transformers, power supplies, and industrial controls.
Extreme temperature Coriolis meters
High-temperature Coriolis meters from Micro Motion are designed for tough applications. Rated to 800 °F (427 °C), they are equipped with heat-tolerant components throughout the sensor body.
New production facility in Singapore will help meet SOI wafer demand
Bernin, France— Soitec broke ground last week for a new production facility in Singapore to manufacture silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers. The plant, designated Fab 3, is expected to start supplying 300-mm SOI wafers by mid-2008. Eventual production capacity of the operation is a million wafers a year. Fab 3 is Soitec Group's first fab in Asia and part of its strategy to expand worldwide production capacity, enhance R&D efforts, and forge closer relationships with customers.
Harmonic Mitigation in AC Drives
Adjustable speed drives inherently create harmonic currents as they take three-phase ac sinusoidal power and convert it to dc power as part of ac induction motor control. With ac drive-related harmonics and mitigation, remember: 1) Whether the power converter is made up of diodes, silicon control rectifiers (SCRs), or insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) with free-wheeling diodes, they al...
Spectrum analyzers span 3 Hz to 26.5 GHz
Aeroflex 3280 line of 3 Hz to 26.5 GHz spectrum analyzers are said to feature high accuracy, „b0.15 dB to 3 GHz, excellent local oscillator phase noise, &-115 dBm/Hz at 10 kHz offset from 1 GHz, and +18 dBm third-order intermodulation performance.
ABB buys power distribution centers, expands Canadian presence
Calgary , Alberta — ABB has acquired assets of the manufacturing and industrial contracting units of Canadian-based Raffin Electric Co. Ltd. Raffin makes custom pre-manufactured power distribution centers and other electrical distribution equipment used primarily in harsh outdoor environments. The acquisition will be integrated into ABB’s power products for medium voltage business and will continue to operate as a dedicated site in Calgary.
Marine LCD monitors
Expanded line of PowerVue rugged, marine LCD monitors from VarTech Systems now includes daylight readable, optically bonded models of NEMA 4X panel and pedestal mounts.
Hybrid pressure gage/transducer
Ashcroft’s new Xmitr product family combines its PowerFlex mechanical pressure gage technology with a transducer in a single enclosure. The new dual-function instrument reads like a standard analog pressure gage while also providing electronic 4-20 mA or voltage output. For applications where a transducer only is used, the Xmitr is a cost-effective replacement to provide analog local indication for startup, emergencies, and maintenance situations. Xmitr features include: 1% BFSL includes non-linearity, hysteresis, and non-repeatability; Three dial diameters: 2, 2.5 and 3.5 in.; Meets CE heavy industrial; Ranges: vacuum to 5,000 psi; Temperature performance of 1.4% per 100 °F error typical; and, Vibration dampening FlutterGuard exclusive option. —Control Engineering Daily News Desk Peter Welander , process industries editor.
Measure high temperature liquid flows with Coriolis accuracy
New Micro Motion product family pushes temperature limits with Coriolis measuring technology. The series reports rugged construction with heat-tolerant components to withstand operating temperatures to 800 °F (427 °C) possibly making it the highest rated temperature Coriolis flowmeters available. High temperature process fluids limit the options for flow sensor technology, generally eliminating the most precise methods. These new models extend the availability of Coriolis-based systems, with their typically high accuracy, into applications that were not previously possible, including: High-temperature custody transfer applications.
Isolated dc/dc converters
C&D Technologies has added 5-V and 12-V input voltage versions of its NDTS and NDTD Series isolated dc/dc converters.
Reports module for PowerLogic software
Palatine , IL — System Manager Advanced Reports from Schneider Electric North American Operating Division is software designed for energy-intensive businesses and power-sensitive processes. This reports module for Schneider’s PowerLogic System Manager Software (SMS) Professional Version 4.0 lets users create and manage their reports through Microsoft Internet Explorer. The integrated Crystal Reports platform reportedly provides a powerful tool for creating, storing and more efficiently managing energy and power information, helping to maximize power quality and control energy-related costs. Designed for intermediate to large systems, the software also provides wizard-driven report creation, on-demand report templates and pre-defined energy analysis reports. Specific energy efficiency reports can be categorized by shift, per circuit, multiple locations, time of use, or summarized by cost for water, air, gas, electric or steam.
Flywheel-based energy storage system
Second-generation flywheel-based clean energy storage system from Pentadyne Power delivers 50% more power than the previous version with the same footprint (5 sq ft) and cost.
Enclosure cooling system
The Vortec/ITW Air Management Vortex A/C cooling system for electrical enclosures is a quiet (62 dBA) alternative to air-conditioning.
UPS usage agreement provides power, cooling
Active Power CoolAir UPS provides cool air during discharge. The equipment can be purchased or leased. Austin, TX — Active Power Inc.
Connect logically with ‘Innovation in Automation Tour’
Germantown , WI —Control system integration is like assembling a puzzle. The pieces need to match electrically, functionally, safely, and within budget. “The Innovation in Automation Tour” is a mobile marketing vehicle that Wago Corp.
New software helps pinpoint root causes of plant upsets
ExperTune’s color-coded process interaction map helps identify potential plant upset sources. ExperTune’s PlantTriage software, combined with a simple color-coded interaction map, helps users locate root causes of plant upsets by analyzing critical process interaction points. Once these are identified, the process of stabilizing the plant and optimizing production is said to be much simpler. PlantTriage continually monitors and performs 60 assessments of performance for every control loop in the plant.
Wind farm gets touchscreens
Relay Application Innovation Inc. (RAI) for a wind farm electric power protection and integration project chose graphic operator interface terminals from QSI. RAI provides electric power system protection and is based in Pullman, WA. Qterm-G75 touchscreen terminals display information about the electrical grid interconnection of the wind farm.
AEP to pilot new KPI software
American Electric Power (AEP) has chosen Visual KPI software for a pilot test of a new key performance indicator (KPI) program. Running from May through fall 2006, the program is designed to deliver critical performance data to two main groups of AEP management. The first group, operating management, monitors plant operations, generating levels, and external factors, such a...
Battery-powered UPS market poised for robust growth
Natick, MA — Combined global consumption of battery-powered uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) is expected to grow at a robust pace, increasing from $5.1 billion in 2005 to approximately $6.6 billion by 2008, according to a recently released study from Venture Development Corp. (VDC). The increase reflects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.5%. In general, says the report, growth will be driven by four factors: An ever-increasing awareness among end-users of the need for power protection; the 0.5 to 3.0 kVA-segment of the market accounts for the largest share of UPS shipments globally; Continuation of conditions driving the need for power protection, primarily grid reliability and power quality, with demand stimulated by a growing number of enterprises whose performance is affected by these issues; Need for power protection becoming an essential cost of operations in a 24/7 global marketplace heavily dependent on networks to function; and UPS technology becoming a likely choice to ensure clean power and reliable backup as loads become more efficient and require cleaner power, and more enterprise segments systems are deemed “mission critical.” Products with a power rating of 5 kVA or less accounted for more than half of all battery-powered shipments in the global UPS market, says the study, continuing a trend from 2002.
Genderless connector system
APP Powerpole 15/45 connector system provides a simple, low-cost solution for power interconnection.
Next-generation flywheel technology delivers more power
Second-generation flywheel-based clean energy storage system from Pentadyne Power Corp. delivers up to 190 kW of power and 2,7000 kW/s of energy. Chatsworth, CA— Second-generation flywheel-based clean energy storage system from Pentadyne Power Corp.
Wrist-worn PC said to ‘revolutionize’ computer use
Zypad wrist-worn computer from Eurotech can read barcodes and process data on the spot, eliminating the need to transfer information to another computer for processing. Amaro (Udine), Italy — A wrist-worn computer from Eurotech reportedly promises to “revolutionize the way millions of people work.” Zypad combines circuit miniaturization, a range of hardware functions, optimized power consumption, and ergonomic criteria in a unit that weighs around 290 g. Its manufacturer, a company dedicated to the research, development, production, and marketing of miniature computers (nano PCs) and high-processing-capacity computers, says in the long term the tiny device “could become a day-to-day object as common as the mobile phone or the palmtop.” “The idea behind the wrist-worn computer project,” says Roberto Siagri, Eurotech president and CEO, “was to leave the user’s hands free.
Molex to acquire Woodhead Industries
Molex Inc. and Woodhead Industries Inc. plan to merge.
RAI wind farm project chooses touchscreen technology
Graphic operator interface terminals from QSI have been chosen by Relay Application Innovation Inc. (RAI) for a wind farm electric power protection and integration Project. RAI provides electric power system protection and is based in Pullman, WA. Qterm-G75 touchscreen terminals display information about the electrical grid interconnection of the wind farm.
ABB, Dow Chemical ink switchgear, motor controls agreement
Zurich, Switzerland— ABB signed an agreement with The Dow Chemical Co. to be a preferred supplier for IEC switchgear and motor controls. The three-year pact, covering a variety of electrical switchgear and control products, complements an existing strategic agreement with Dow for ABB Industrial IT control systems. The agreement “combines high-reliability ABB products working in a systems environment with other key elements of our power and automation offering,” explains Tom Sjoekvist, head of ABB’s Automation Products division.
U.S. competitiveness needs addressed, funds not yet OK’d
Manufacturing technologies contributing to control engineering have an opportunity to expand as part of the American Competitive Initiative (ACI), according to President George W. Bush near Chicago on July 7. The U.S.
Network system advances meter infrastructure in New South Wales
Echelon Corp. ’s Networked Energy Services (NES) System has been selected for an advanced metering project in the Australian market by Integral Energy , one of the largest utilities in New South Wales. The project, which will initially serve 3,000 residential customers in Sydney with a possible option to extend to 7,000, marks an important step in the Australian marketplace where various governmental agencies at the state and national level are considering regulations mandating some level of advanced electricity metering infrastructure, Echelon says. The project is expected to bring approximately $300,000-$800,000 of revenue to Echelon, a networking company providing technology for controls, smart metering, and energy and environment management. Demand for electricity in Integral Energy’s area is expected to grow 45% over the next decade, with customer base anticipated to increase by 29% in the same period.
Lead acid battery design gets technology upgrade
Firefly Energy says it has developed an innovative graphite foam lead-acid battery poised to cause disruptive changes in the $30-billion global lead-acid battery market. The lead acid cell, a technology born in the 1850s, is reliable, safe, inexpensive, and can also handle large surges in current, which makes it attractive to automobile manufacturers. However, the lead acid cell realizes little of its theoretical power density and has a relatively short battery life. “While somewhat newer battery technologies like lithium ion and nickel-metal hydride offer alternatives to traditional lead acid cells, they have their own set of issues, including higher costs,” says Frost & Sullivan research analyst Sivam Sabesan.
Lead-free 40 W dc/dc converters
Power Sources Unlimited’s Cincon EC7C Series of 40 W dc/dc converters have remote on/off, remote sense, and protection circuitry. Power Sources Unlimited introduced the Cincon EC7C Series of 40 W dc/dc converters compliant to the RoHS Directive. An ultra wide 2:1 input allows operation in a variety of mobile, battery-powered, or dc power system applications. Units deliver tightly regulated, adjustable single outputs in a compact, industry standard 2 x 2 x 0.4-in.
Energy saved by using dc flywheel power for servers
A demonstration project is underway to show how dc power and flywheels can save huge amounts of power in server-based applications; tours are available by appointment. Pentadyne Power Corp. , manufacturer of clean energy storage systems using advanced composite flywheel technology, announced participation in a project at the Sun Microsystems’ campus in Silicon Valley to prove that data centers can conserve massive amounts of energy and drastically reduce utility bills by using direct current (dc) architecture to run power-hungry servers connected to the Internet. Those involved include researchers and system engineers at the U.S.
Intelligent systems drive European pump industry
Intelligent pump systems and similar technologies are the main drivers for growth in the European pump industry, a recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan indicates. Demand for “smart” pumps is increasing across many end-user segments, such as water and wastewater treatment, building automation, and food and beverage. “European Intelligent Pump Systems Markets” reveals that this mature market generated revenues of $68.5 million in 2005. The total is likely to reach $230.3 million in 2012.
Programmable MEMS gyroscope
ADIS16250 gyroscope is the newest addition to the iSensor family of highly integrated intelligent sensors.
Compact power meter detects disturbance, captures waveforms
Schneider Electric ’s North American Operating Division, under the Square D brand, recently introduced PowerLogic PM870 power meter, the newest addition to the Series 800 PowerLogic power meter family. Designed for electrical installations with power-sensitive processes, the PM870 is said to combine accurate energy and power measurement with power-quality capabilities not typically found in a compact power meter. The power meter can help facility managers establish and maintain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design; U.S. Green Building Council) certification through measurement, verification, and reduction of energy consumption.
Embedded wireless module
Wi.USB-DTS embedded wireless module is an FCC-approved desktop version of the company’s Wi.232DTS module that allows quick PC connectivity to a WI.232DTS network.
Temperature sensing systems
Thermal Vial temperature sensing systems provide accurate measurement and documentation of freezing, process, and storage methodology. Designed for building automation markets, the system builds on existing Minco sensors, adding such options as vial size, multiple thermowell configurations, loop-powered indication, and three levels of calibration accuracy.
Intelligent controllers, indicators
Digital controllers and indicators can be used in nearly any industrial measurement and control application in the petrochemical, power generation, laboratory, and manufacturing industries.
Electrical market strength continues; confidence dips slightly
National Electrical Manufacturers Association says it’s Electroindustry Business Confidence Index for current North American conditions stood at 55.8 in May, down from the high 60s in February, March, and April. Even so, results remain strong, NEMA says, and they reinforced a spate of recent data indicating that market conditions for electrical equipment manufacturers are robust. Indeed, the index has now topped the 50-point growth threshold for 37 consecutive months. By contrast, the index for future North American conditions fell sharply to 26.9, reflecting the now widespread view that business conditions at year-end will be weaker to at least some degree than currently, NEMA says. The Electroindustry Business Confidence Index gauges the business confidence of the electroindustry in Asia, Europe, North America, and Latin America, and is based on the results of a monthly survey of senior managers at NEMA member companies, representing more than 80% of the electroindustry. Click here for more on the May 2006 index, including charts and a list of participating companies. For Control Engineering ’s quarterly index of automation firms, go to www.controleng.com and search on FTN. —Edited by Mark T.
Sensors Expo 2006: Reflective sensor matches, sorts by color
Rosemont, IL and Carrollton, TX·A reflective sensor that sorts or matches surfaces by color is among latest offerings from TT electronics Optek Technology. Introduced at Sensors Expo 2006 last week in Rosemont (Chicago), IL, OPB780 reflective color sensing assembly is designed for photometric applications.
Power distribution blocks – 2006-06-12
PDB Series power distribution blocks have SCCRs to 200 kA rating and are listed to UL 1953 to replace low-rated power distribution blocks and achieve higher assembly short-circuit current ratings.
8-segment fieldbus power system
F800 Series fieldbus power system is a high-density, redundant power supply designed to achieve low per-segment cost and high packing density in large fieldbus installations.
NEMA releases panelboard, switchboard standards
Rosslyn, VA—Two revised standards on panelboards and distribution switchboards are available from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).
U.S. DOE awards CyboSoft grant
A U.S. Department of Energy grant goes to CyboSoft for research and development of "Intelligent Control of Advanced Power Generation Systems Using Model-Free Adaptive Control Technology" (MFA), the company says. The work aims to deliver an intelligent control system for "controlling boilers in future energy plants that can deliver maximum energy efficiency, near-zero em...
Siemens buys Controlotron
Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. agreed to acquire the assets and business of Controlotron Corp. for an undisclosed amount. Controlotron manufactures non-intrusive ultrasonic flow measurement devices. Siemens says it expects to operate the business from Controlotron's Hauppauge, NY-location, and make it a center for ultrasonic flow measurement.
Power distribution blocks – 2006-06-01
PDB Series power distribution blocks have SCCRs to 200 kA rating and are listed to UL 1953 to replace low-rated power distribution blocks and achieve higher assembly short-circuit current ratings. The 2005 NEC requires industrial control panels and some HVAC equipment and other assemblies to be marked with their assembly short-circuit current ratings.
Ash Grove Cement selects predictive software
Pavilion Technologies announced that Ash Grove Cement Co. will deploy Pavilion’s cement control solution on a single dry kiln at its Durkee, OR. This award marks Pavilion’s 43rd control project in the cement, metals and minerals industry, the company says.
How to select a magnetic switch technology
Because no magnetic switch technology best fits every application, Hermetic Switch Inc. and technology consulting firm TekMark Growth Partners analyzed four magnetic switch technologies. Reed (electromechanical) switches do not consume power in the off mode, have hermetically sealed contacts, and are highly resistant to electrostatic discharge (ESD).
ABB conference: Inspiration from space mission
Discussions of computer failures in space were part of the ABB Automation World 2006 Users' Conference & Exhibition here, May 8-11. Attendance exceeded prior event numbers by more than 45%, totaling more than 2,500. Customers attended workshops, training sessions, and exhibits, and talked with technical experts to get individual questions answered.
Energy Efficiency-The Other Alternative Fuel by ABB
Proven methods for industry to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact are already at hand. These cost-effective solutions promise substantial return-on-investment now and in the future, without sacrificing performance or quality.
Safety instrumented systems help modernize refinery
Triconex triple-modular redundant (TMR) technology from Invensys Process Systems is helping to modernize the burner management systems in the power plant at a Colombian refinery. Ecopetrol S.A.'s Cartagena refinery, located in the Mamonal industrial area on Colombia's north coast, has a capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and produces gasoline, middle distillates, propane, and fuel oil.
Pen-sized scope probe
PicoScope 2105 USB pen scope incorporates the features of many high-performance bench-top oscilloscopes into a small, lightweight, ergonomic probe that fits in the hand.
Wireless WAN router family expands
Digi International introduced the Digi Connect WAN IA , a new wireless WAN cellular router tailored for industrial automation applications, providing secure cellular GSM or CDMA connections for reliable primary and backup network connectivity to industrial automation devices, such as SCADA devices, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and remote terminal units (RTUs). The product creates a 'TCP/IP connection to remote sites and devices for applications in utilities, water/wastewater, oil and gas, metering or any other industrial application,' says Larry Kraft, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Digi International. 'Wireless can be a more cost effective solution than traditional landline connections and provides a broader coverage to remote locations.
Fan-cooled power supplies
Series of 200-W peak power supplies includes an integral, variable-speed temperature-controlled fan.
European integrator selects SCADA software
M ansfield, MA — Verano Inc., provider of security and SCADA solutions for mission-critical industries, announced that a system integrator specializing in power, transportation and security in Lithuania, has selected Verano’s Real-Time Application Platform (RTAP) as its SCADA platform of choice. Verano says RTAP is a proven supervisory control platform running in thousands of installations worldwide, including companies such as British Energy, California Water Service Co., Enbridge Pipelines, RWE, and Shell. Supporting more than half of the largest Lithuanian companies, FIMA needed software to monitor and control large and vastly complex real-time applications. Availability and reliability of intricate control applications such as those found in airports, electricity grids and power generators, border control, government buildings, and railways are crucial to the operation of Lithuanian business and society.
Web-based performance management software
SuiteVoyager 2.6 provides access to real-time production and performance management information.
Cable assemblies transmit high-speed signals
Eye-Opener DensiShield cable assemblies are said to be designed to transmit high-speed differential signals while reducing size and weight by 40% over similar products currently on the market.
Four levels offered in Gigabit Ethernet switching
SMC Networks Inc. announced a line of gigabit Ethernet switches with four levels of features and functionality to better suit user needs and market applications. SMC Networks, based in Irvine, CA, says it is the only company to offer switches in all of the four levels to meet the varying needs of many network environments, according to Tom Rizol, SMC general manager, Americas.
Module helps machines talk wirelessly
AC75, a new EDGE (enhanced data rates for GSM evolution) wireless module, was announced recently by Siemens Communications for use in the expanding machine-to-machine communication market. Rugged design is said to withstand extreme temperatures, -30 to +85 °C. Quadruple band-capable frequencies of 850/900/1800/1900 MHz for potential use in all GSM wireless networks worldwide.
Kuka Controls’ partnership with Wind River
Tustin, CA — Kuka Controls , a developer of real-time operating system software, announced its designation as a Wind River Platform Partner. Partnership status identifies Kuka as a key provider of device software optimization (DSO) solutions for real-time applications that integrate seamlessly with Wind River products. Wind River selectively reviews and appoints only those companies whose solutions are proven compatible with Wind River products, provide superior technical advantages to the end user and are supported effectively in the worldwide market. Kuka’s software-only technology enables the coexistence of Microsoft Windows XP and a real-time operating system (RTOS) on a single computer system without either inhibiting the functionality or performance of either operating system or modifying either OS.
Measure More…Without Wires
Salt air slowly corrodes the internal cooling passages of a U.S. nuclear plant's 2,500-hp water-circulation pumps. Corrosion leads to clogging and inefficient heat transfer, and, if undetected, will ultimately result in equipment failure. As the temperatures of water-circulation pump stator-coils increase, efficiencies and effective operation decrease.
Test facility opens for solar-powered water treatment
Monroeville, PA—Cardinal Resources LLC is opening a new test facility for developing a solar-powered water treatment system.
Software firm expands headquarters
Mission Viejo, CA—Vigilistics, a developer of real-time operations analysis software for the dairy and food processing industries, is expanding its headquarters facility.
Georgia paper mill installs machine drives system
Atlanta, GA—Interstate paper LLC, Riceboro, GA, installed an integrated Sinamics paper machine drives system from Siemens Energy & Automation during a short plant shutdown.
Software radio transceiver
7140-430 software radio transceiver blends Pentek’s GateFlow 4954-430 high-density, narrowband digital downconverter (DDC) FPGA IP core with its 7140 software radio transceiver PMC module.
Precision compact imaging
Remote RadEye HR high-resolution detachable x-ray sensitive camera head is intended for very small space radiation imaging applications.
High brightness, compact package
Visible LED unit combines high brightness LEDs with 3-D packaging technology into a single-source assembly.
Two companies join forces to develop OLED-related systems
Two companies have signed a joint venture agreement to develop OLED- (organic light emitting diode) related systems, according to a Business Wire release. Global-Tech Appliances Inc. said its wholly owned subsidiary, Consortium Investment (BVI) Ltd. (CIBL) and Anwell Technologies Ltd., a publicly listed company in Singapore, have agreed to form a joint venture company, Lite Array Holdings Ltd.
Plant design market tops $700 million; 11% growth forecast for 2006
Cambridge, MA —Plant design software and services can expect robust growth of 11%, moving to $800 million in 2006, according to a recent forecast from Daratech Inc., market research and technology assessment firm. In 2005, market for this area topped $700 million. Partly as a result of robust demand for oil and other forms of energy, process and power owners and operators and EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) firms are expected to step up investments in IT solutions that enable the quickest time to product, and to control the total lifecycle cost of the asset, said the report. It pointed to heightened demand for such technologies as 3-D plant design and 2-D conceptual layout, evident at the firm’s annual process and power IT conference, held in Houston in January.
Weld QC monitoring system
PSQ 6000 ultrasonic and current/voltage adaptive control quality monitoring system provides non-destructive testing for medium-frequency applications, such as automotive welding and assembly lines.
Software for manufacturing/business issues
Informance 7 portfolio of manufacturing intelligence software addresses business issues for manufacturing efficiency and supply-chain performance.
Water Contamination and Water Removal in Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration Systems by Hansen Technologies Corp.
Effects of Water Contamination Water contamination in an industrial ammonia refrigeration system can lower system efficiency, and increase the electrical costs required to run the system’s refrigeration compressors.
SEL expands again with new headquarters
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. (SEL), a provider of protection, automation, and control equipment for electric power systems, is building a new five-story, 90,000 sq ft headquarters in Pullman, WA, near existing facilities.
ExperTune patents Loop Health Metrics
The U.S. Patent Office has issued patent #6,993,396 for Control Loop Performance to John Gerry, president and founder of ExperTune Inc. The company has invented methods and programs to calculate overall Control Loop Performance based on process, control, and economic measures.
Dual-core, dual-processor host boards
SLT system host board is one of two new SHBs from Trenton Technology featuring a dual-core Intel Xeon processor LV 2.0 GHz and E7520 chipset. Atlanta, GA —SLT and SLI system host boards from Trenton Technology feature dual-core Intel Xeon processor LV 2.0 GHz and E7520 chipset.SLT is a dual processor, server-class system host board (SHB), the latest in the company’s line of SHB Express or PICMG 1.3 compatible products. SLI is a single dual-core processor version of the SLT.
Wireless base station radio card
TC8201 jointly developed radio card increases power amplifier (PA) efficiency compared to analog feed-forward-based systems.
Display executives, astronaut, highlight SID 2006 program
Executives from three major display-industry companies and an astronaut are among those on the docket for the upcoming Society for Information Display (SID) international symposium, seminar, and exhibition. Representatives from LG.Philips LCD, Matsushita, and Qualcomm will give keynote addresses. Dr.
Low-voltage, switch-mode power; power-factor corrected ac/dc supplies
Recent product introductions include HTK Series of single-output, low-voltage, switch-mode power supplies from HiTek Power and Cotek Electronics 1K5U Series of 1,500 W ac/dc power supplies from Power Sources Unlimited . HTK Series power supplies offer a wide choice of case types, output connectivity, and front panels, with 11 output voltages, 3.3-54 V. HTK Series power supplies are power-factor corrected, offering a wide choice of case types, output connectivity, and front panels, with a choice of 11 output voltages, 3.3-54 V. HTK300 units offer a maximum output power of 198 W for the 3.3-V variant and 300 W for other variants.
ITC/PLTC includes cable for exposed runs
ITC/PLTC (instrumentation tray cable and power-limited tray cable) for industrial control and instrumentation circuit applications includes exposed-run-rated product platforms. Three new offerings are custom configurable to fit most specifications, including paired or triad instrument cable, non-paired control cable, with or without ground wires, insulation and shield options, and conduction co...
€425-million digitally controlled plant
Alstom has won a 425-million euro (about $521 million, as of Jan. 27, 2006) turnkey contract from Sohar Aluminium Co. It will construct a digitally controlled, 1,000 MW, gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Sohar, Oman. Contract scope covers engineering, supply, construction, and commissioning; as well as a 15-year service agreement—for gas turbines, generators, ...
Siemens invests in G2 Microsystems
Intent of Siemens Venture Capital's (SVC) investment in G2 Microsystems Inc. is to further the development of Wi-Fi Active RFID (radio-frequency identification) for the mobile resource management market. It will boost G2 Microsystems Inc.'s, research and development efforts in the design of ultra low-power, active MRM chips for asset tracking.
Roland S. Boreham, Jr. passes
Roland S. Boreham, Jr., Baldor Electric Co.'s CEO from 1978-1981 and chairman from 1981-2004, passed away on February 5. Beginning with Baldor in 1947, working for his father—a grinder representative in Los Angeles—he then moved to corporate headquarters in 1961, becoming vice president of sales in 1962.
High-density gigabit switch
Model 9741 high-density 40-channel RJ45 A/B, 1000Base-T, Cat5e gigabit switch can be selected according to the number of channels populated: 8, 16, 24, 32, or 40.
Network-enabled flat-panel displays
High-performance business-class LCD and plasma displays have MotionDSC II video processors for advanced video processing capabilities and TrueBlack technology for outstanding contrast ratios.
Portable DAQ instrument with color touchscreen
Handheld DAQ instrument from Daytronic Corp. collects, monitors, and displays multiple sensor inputs. Lightweight unit has a color touchscreen and interchangeable memory cards.
Growth of European test, measurement equipment market hinges on awareness
The economic slowdown in Europe is urging customers in automotive, aerospace and defense, electronics, and telecommunications industries to purchase used test and measurement devices, reports Frost & Sullivan (F&S). The global consultant says the availability of good-quality equipment for a fraction of the cost of new items is subsequently fueling growth in the European used test and measurement equipment market. According to F&S, the test and measurement equipment market remains highly fragmented, with a number of local participants, brokers, OEMs, traders, and re-sellers catering to customers’ demands. At the same time, the market will benefit from OEMs striving to provide warranties and terms similar to those offered with new test and measurement equipment.
Intergraph adds piping design software firm to its stable
Huntsville, AL —Spatial information management software firm Intergraph Corp . has acquired Alias Ltd ., a provider of piping design automation software. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Aker Kvaerner to sell pulping, power businesses to Metso
Lysaker, Norway —After years of efforts to build a strong pulp-and-power business, Aker Kvaerner ASA (AK) has signed a letter of intent to sell those businesses to Finland-based Metso Corp. The transaction is valued at some NOK 3 billion (about $447 million as of Feb.9), subject to due diligence by Metso and closing adjustments. Final agreement is expected by mid-April 2006.
Sasol, CEF jointly study feasibility of biodiesel production
Johannesburg, South Africa — Sasol Ltd. and the Central Energy Fund (CEF) are considering building a 100,000 metric-ton-per-year soybean-based biodiesel plant in partnership with an empowerment consortium group. Over 500,000 metric tons of soybean feed to the proposed biodiesel plant will yield the projected 100,000 metric tons of biodiesel. The two parties have a memorandum of understanding to conduct a feasibility study, which will also consider production facility locations.
Source driver with high-speed interface developed for HD LCDs
MT3100 13-bit digital source driver developed by Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd. is said to be a key component in high-definition LCD systems.
Emerson Technology maintains “the flame”
Turin, Italy — Emerson Process Management will be at the base of the 25-m-high Olympic Flame—from ignition on February 10 and the beginning of the 20th Winter Olympic Games to the close of competition on Feb. 26. Emerson is providing the technology to ignite and maintain the iconic flame. Emerson designed and manufactured the natural-gas pressure-regulating system that will ignite and keep the Olympic Games’ flame burning up to 25 m high.
New plate mill in Inner Mongolia, 10 Asian mills in implementation phase
Erlangen, Germany — Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services Group has an order—valued at some€11 million ($13.2 million as of Feb. 8)—for a new plate mill under construction by Baotou Iron & Steel Co. (BSC).
Remote monitoring, alarm notification systems
Model 1400 remote monitor and alarm notification system from Sensaphone is designed for multiple applications. It can sense and alarm on ultra-low temperatures to–85 °C. Aston, PA — Sensaphone ’s 1400 remote monitor and alarm notification system has the ability to sense and alarm on ultra-low temperatures to–85 °C.
Low profile ac/dc power supplies
Cotek Electronics 1K5U-Series, 1,500 W, ac/dc power supplies are housed in compact, low profile 8 x 11 x 2.5-in. enclosures and are suited for communications, instrumentation, and industrial-control applications.
New dc fuses protect ac/dc applications
Varied holders and mounting options are available for the Cooper Bussmann Limitron DCM fuse. A series of Cooper Bussmann midget fuses is designed to meet a full range of ac or dc applications, including dc control circuits. Limitron DCM fuse is UL listed up to 600 V ac/dc and has in-terrupt ratings of 100,000 A for ac applications and 50,000 A for dc. The fuse can be used to comply with NEC 690.9(D), which requires that photovoltaic source circuits that use overcurrent devices listed for dc circuits and have the appropriate voltage and interrupting ratings.
120 V, 15 A ac voltage regulation, power distribution
Pulizzi Engineering’s VR120-15 voltage regulation system is priced at $899. Pulizzi Engineering Inc . offers the VR120-15 voltage regulation and power distribution system to monitor and stabilize ac power.
€425-million, digitally controlled smelter power
France-based Alstom has won a€425-million (about $511 million, as of Dec. 21, 2005) turnkey contract from Sohar Aluminium Co. It will construct a digitally controlled, 1,000 MW, gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Sohar, Oman. Contract scope covers engineering, supply, construction, and commissioning; as well as a 15-year service agreement—for the gas turbines, generators, and auxiliaries.
CC2430ZDK-Pro development platform is now ZigBee compliant. Two hardware platforms are offered; both use CC2430 system-on-chip (SoC) and the Chipcon Z-stack. Kit is said to enable development of low-cost, low-power ZigBee certified products. Second-generation platform combines a 2.4 GHz transceiver with a compact, efficient 8051 microcontroller.
Sensorless Washer Motors Simplify Design
Motors in fans, pumps, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, elevators, conveyors, and other rotating applications consume over half of the world's electricity, according to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Most use wasteful electromechanical drives that only turn a motor on or off.
Chemical processing industry finishes year on a strong note
Houston, TX —The Chemical processing industry (CPI) ended 2005 in a strong way, with more active projects than in 2004 and fewer project cancellations, research by Industrial Information Resources (IIR), a marketing information service company, shows. North American CPI appears poised for a stable year, with favorable economic conditions supporting a spending increase in 2006. Number of active projects in 2005 rose 18%, or 136 projects, over 2004, the study shows. Much of the increase is attributed to CPI plant owners’ successfully continuing to pass along price increases that equal or outweigh increased energy and feedstock costs over the past several years.
Tips for better pressure, temperature, flow
Proper application of sensing elements can improve efficiencies and reduce costs, according to a Emerson Global Users Exchange session offering advice on selecting, applying, and maintaining pressure, temperature, and flow sensors. Suggested best practices include the following. In capital expenditures look at how to reduce overall instrumentation capital costs, then how to realize savings once instrumentation is installed. Look at critical versus noncritical instrumentation, monitoring applications, and single-point and high-density points, critical controls and safety—be aware of application requirements and the portfolio of products available. Multi-input temperature transmitters can reduce installation costs, reducing wiring. With differential pressure level applications, using a packaged system can save 20% overall in labor with easier mounting and in reduced materials. In-line direct-mount orifice or vortex flowmeters can save more than a thousand dollars in labor, engineering, and materials, compared to a traditional orifice meter. More accurate measurements allow moving the setpoint closer to actual process requirements, which reduces scrap, increases throughput, adds quality, and reduces energy costs. With temperature measurement, the biggest source of error is the sensor. Using sensor matching an application can realize 50-75% accuracy improvement through tighter sensor calibration. Use tuned seal systems to improve differential pressure level performance and reduce costs.
Calibrators for field use
MC2 hand-held calibrators from Beamex are designed for field use and include temperature/electrical, multifunction, and pressure models. MC2 hand-held calibrators for field use from Beamex include temperature/electrical and multifunction models, bringing the number of devices in the MC2 family to three. Pressure calibrator was introduced last year.
Major Singaporean refinery expansion
Hamilton, Bermuda —Shell Eastern Petroleum Ltd. (SEP) has awarded contracts to U.K.-based Foster Wheeler Energy Ltd. (FW) for two design engineering projects in Singapore for its new ethylene-oxide/mono-ethylene-glycol plant (EO/MEG) on Jurong Island together with significant modifications for its Pulau Bukom refinery on a nearby island. SEP said that, after completion of the design phase, FW is expected to be named as the manager of engineering, procurement, and construction for the implementation stage in late-2006, when SEP makes its investment decisions.
Integrated mobile computer, digital camera
Jett-eye from Two Technologies is an integrated multi-megapixel digital camera and rugged mobile computer featuring a bar code imager and wireless connectivity. Horsham, PA —Jett-eye from Two Technologies is claimed to be the “first and most powerful” integrated multi-megapixel (MP) digital camera and rugged mobile computer featuring a bar code imager and wireless connectivity. Called advanced and affordable, the device lets users capture color digital images and data in any remote location and seamlessly transmit them to a manufacturing facility or any centralized location.Features include a 5-MP (4-MP processed) digital camera with an ultra-bright LED light source for photography in low-light areas; a wide, sunlight-readable display for easy viewing; and adjustable infrared (IR) coated-glass optics for crisp, clear images.
Siemens enhances presence in oil, gas with purchase of Berwanger
Atlanta, GA — Siemens Energy and Automation has completed its acquisition of Houston-based Berwanger Inc. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Berwanger will become part of the oil and gas business of Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services Group , a leader in process automation and systems integration. The purchase strengthens Siemens position in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries.
High-speed analog signal switches
High-speed, low-voltage, dual, single-pole/single-throw (SPST) analog switches offer switching time 40% better than existing products while maintaining low on-resistance (Ron) flatness and channel matching.
$5 billion spending tops 2006’s industrial projects list
Houston, TX —According to Industrial Information Resources Inc. (IIR) , two massive semiconductor manufacturing facilities planned for Travis County, Texas, have elevated the area to the top of the list of U.S. counties in industrial project spending.
New enclosures introduced; reader input requested
Bud Industries heavy-duty die cast aluminum NEMA 4X boxes have a hinged cover for easy access without risk of cover damage. Below are three enclosures for industrial use, but before (or after) you read those, I'd like to hear your views. Have you ever felt you didn't need to enclose automation for a particular application, but did anyway, only because that's the way it's always been done? Or did you choose not to enclose, and the equipment didn't last as long as you thought it should? I'm doing an article for March 2006 on enclosures.
RoHS compliance continues: Contemporary Controls
Contemporary Controls is among companies shifting to lead-free manufacturing, for its sites in the U.S., Europe, and China. The European Union says that member states shall restrict use of hazardous substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment by July 2006. A second directive, WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), seeks to reduce disposal of related waste and encourage reuse, recycling, and other forms of recovery. All of its new-product development efforts result in lead-free products, Contemporary Controls says.
Find plant-performance impacts of cyclic upsets
PlantTriage's new "oscillation significance" (OS) capability identifies cycling problems in a plant, and ranks them according to importance. Oscillatory upsets cause energy losses, lower product quality, and reduced equipment life. OS reportedly combines statistical and frequency-domain information to calculate a single, meaningful measure of significance for each process parameter.
Intermec embeds IBM RFID software
Intermec says it has embedded IBM's WebSphere Device Infrastructure (WRDI) into the Intermec IF5 RFID reader to create an intelligent RFID reader that automates routing and managing incoming data from RFID tags, even from remote locations. The new WRDI capabilities, available immediately, are claimed to give IF5 readers edge-server capabilities, including ability to perform on-board decision-making, reducing network traffic by filtering incoming data from external RFID tags and sending only the most pertinent information upstream to a company's application server. WRDI reportedly also provides the readers with a platform to integrate and reconcile RFID information with data used in other parts of the business. WRDI was developed for RFID device manufacturers needing an embedded, open-standards-based software platform to provide automatic RFID data-collection and reporting from remote locations where on-site IT services are not available. For more information visit: www.controleng.com www.ibm.com www.intermec.com —Richard Phelps, senior editor, Control Engineering, email@example.com.
Packaged drives with disconnects
Compact packaged drives from ABB Inc. (left) can be mounted on machines or columns. Field installation of additional components into the enclosure units (right) is simple and easy.
Global electromechanical switch market to grow 3 to 5%
Natick, MA —The global market for electromechanical switch products is expected to reach $4.2 billion by 2008, according to a recent study by Venture Development Corp . (VDC). After showing a decline for several years due to financial crises, the switch products groups covered in the study finally are showing growth.
Maritza power-plant awards $11-million contract
Bulgaria's largest thermal power-plant, Maritza East 2 electric utility—near Stara Zagora, awarded an $11-million contract to Honeywell International Inc. The upgrade will completely refurbish the controls for three units that produce 178 MW each. The upgrade will improve efficiency, safety, technology, and business applications.
IBM controls light speed
Light's speed can be slowed in dispersive materials. IBM scientists have successfully slowed light to 3.3% of its normal 186,000-miles/sec speed with a bit of silicon called a crystal waveguide. Researchers created waveguides with conventional chip-manufacturing processes by fabricating 200-mm silicon-on-insulator wafers with 2-µm-thick buried-oxide and 220-nm-thick silicon layer.
High-performance ultra-miniature solenoid valve
The Lee Co.'s Technical Centers in Essex and Westbrook, CT, have developed the Series 120 solenoid valve, said to be the "world's smallest." Magnetically latched solenoid-valve features high-performance flow-switching characteristics and is said to be ideal for compact battery powered pneumatic applications, such as air piloting, lab automation (lab-on-a-chip), and other power-sensitive, OEM fl...
Predictive models for product, process
Process Modeler is a software tool for creating predictive models of product properties, production, and process events. Models are typically used as "virtual sensors," property predictors, and as a foundation for model-based closed-loop industrial process optimization. The BioComp Systems tool reportedly cuts modeling effort by 70% and is said to be easy for any process- or product-engineer to...
New chip-making technology to boost processor performance
Washington, DC — Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and IBM unveiled new, 65–nm (nanometer) process technologies expected to lead to higher-performance, more power-efficient future microprocessors. In papers presented at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) last week, the two companies announced they have successfully combined embedded silicon germanium (e-SiGe) with dual stress liner (DSL) and stress memorization technology (SMT) on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers to achieve a 40% increase in transistor performance compared to similar chips produced without stress technology, while controlling power consumption and heat dissipation. The new process technologies reduce interconnect delay through the use of lower dielectric constant insulators, which can improve overall product performance and lower power consumption. The technologies can be manufactured at the 65-nm generation and are scalable for use in future generations. Said Gary Patton, vice president, technology development at IBM’s Semiconductor Research Development Center, the joint development partnership “is key to overcoming power and heat challenges as the industry reaches near-atomic scales.” Third-generation strain technology was developed as part of the AMD and IBM joint-development alliance at AMD’s fabrication facilities in Dresden, Germany and the IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center in East Fishkill, NY. —Control Engineering Daily News DeskJeanine Katzel, senior editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Test, measurement platform
FlexPac PCI-X platform is intended for critical applications and is said to provide next generation solutions for OEMs, end-users, and integrators.
Mansfield, MA —Industrial Defender V2.0 security appliance suite from Verano Inc . now has enhanced security agents, customizable reporting and analysis, and increased scalability intended specifically for power transmission and distribution, water distribution and treatment, gas and liquid pipelines, power generation companies, and mass transit systems. Verano’s cybersecurity program, first introduced in 2003, protects a control environment against such cyber attacks as viruses, worms, Trojans, hackers, application exploits, rogue systems, resource starvation, and unauthorized use. Software uses a layered approach that consists of security monitoring of multi-vendor control system metrics and perimeter protection as well as network monitoring to detect and prevent internal and external threats.
NEMA 4x enclosures can expand, maintain UL 3R
Modular Rittal TS8 Type 3R enclosure is said to offer outstanding design flexibility and environmental protection. Rittal Corp . offers TS8 Type 3R enclosures as standard off-the-shelf, economical means for indoor and outdoor protective needs.
Standard changes for measuring distribution transformer loss
After considerable input from the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Electrical Manufacturing Association (NEMA) has revised its standard for measuring distribution transformer loss. TP 2-2005, "Standard test method for measuring the energy consumption of distribution transformers," provides a unified means to measure distribution transformer loss to achieve energy effici...
Advanced microscope installed for materials analysis
Ohio State University's Center for Accelerated Maturation of Materials (CAMM) has begun using the FEI Titan 80-300 microscope, reported to be the world's highest-resolution, commercially available, scanning/transmission electron microscope (S/TEM). The system, the first to be installed at a North American site, yields sub-angstrom (atomic scale) imaging and analysis capabili...
IBM controls light speed; faster computers possible
Light’s speed can be slowed in dispersive materials; and prior laboratory efforts aimed at decelerating light employed “cooled” light, using billows of ultra-cold atoms, and requiring extensive infrastructure. Now, IBM scientists have successfully slowed light to 3.3% of its normal 186,000-miles/sec speed with a bit of silicon called a crystal waveguide. Researchers created waveguides with conventional chip-manufacturing processes: fabricated 200-mm silicon-on-insulator wafers with 2-seconds. The light was slowed additionally applying an electric field to the waveguide. Pulses of “slow” light could carry data efficiently for all-optical storage and switching.
Flywheel power system
VSS+ next-generation advanced voltage support solution flywheel power system is designed to improve overall uninterruptible power system (UPS) reliability by replacing or extending the life of lead-acid batteries. System reportedly provides cost savings in parallel system applications up to 1,000 kVA.
PC-Based Control Delivers for Manufacturing
Influences of personal computer (PC) technology are all around us. Penetration of PC control into industrial communication, operator interfaces, production monitoring, and so on is enormous. PCs also have spawned a host of application software and tools that help streamline diagnostics, data management, and other plant functions.
Metso joins PKS Advantage program
Concerning Neles Product Line, Metso Automation has joined Honeywell's PKS Advantage Program—a collaborative effort that integrates automation suppliers' products with Honeywell's Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS). Metso's participation expands the program's options for integrated control valves for petrochemical, refining, LNG and other process industries. It also expands integrated safety instrumented system offerings for users in all industries. The companies will integrate the Neles ND9000 intelligent valve controller with Honeywell's Experion system.
Support for Microsoft SQL Server grows
Charlottesville, VA; Lake Forest, CA —Two major companies announced support for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 last week. GE Fanuc Automation plans to use the product along with BizTalk Server 2006 as core components in its new Proficy Enterprise Connector. Wonderware , a business unit of Invensys Systems Inc., announced support for SQL Server 2005 data management and analysis software. Using BizTalk Server and SQL Server as enhanced components to providing Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) gives Proficy integrated suite of products a flexible approach to connecting information from Proficy plant floor applications to a wide variety of higher-level systems.
Water level recorder
Level-2000 water-level recorder for tanks, vessels, and ponds operates by measuring pressure and is atmospheric pressure compensated to ensure 0.02-in. resolution.
Power supply with undervoltage alarm
S8VM power supply features an undervoltage alarm that signals when voltage falls and indicates the cause, allowing operators to troubleshoot the source of the problem quickly.
Toshiba to license Honeywell technology for LCD products
Honeywell is granting a license to Toshiba Corp. and Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co. Ltd.
Quantum Research Group has released an enhanced version of its QWheel chip, the QT511. It features low power consumption, enhanced operation under difficult sensing conditions and the ability to place a mechanical button in the center of the scroll wheel without experiencing false detects on operation. QWheel touch wheel technology is effectively a 'capacitive potentiometer', where the wiper is a finger. The electrode consists of a simple resistive ring element placed behind the plastic panel; three capacitive QT sensing channels are connected to this ring, and the signals processed to 7-bits of absolute position.
Enhanced-color control displays
SuperBlue single/dual-digit seven-segment and dot-matrix displays feature enhanced color and continuously uniform brightness to improve information display qualities in life support and critical control applications, including instrumentation and industrial controls.
Ethernet has the juice
Only two years have passed since the Power over Ethernet (PoE) standard was ratified. Venture Development Corp.’s new report, "PoE: Global Market Opportunity Analysis," estimates the four-year compound annual growth rate for PoE-enabled PSE (power sourcing equipment) will reach 33% by 2008. Today, 10% of the revenues in the Ethernet switch market are attributed to these PSE infrastructures. The report also predicts that global revenues for PoE powered devices (PD) will exceed $5.2 billion in 2008, representing a 38% compound annual growth rate.
MGE offers new power distribution units
MGE Switched Power Distribution Units with amp metering allows network administrators to conveniently turn on and off up to 16 outlets, reboot individual equipment, and monitor current and voltage remotely. MGE UPS Systems Inc. , provider of power protection to industrial operations, announced launch of its new Switched Power Distribution Units (PDUs), with amp metering that allows network administrators to conveniently turn on and off up to 16 outlets, reboot individual equipment, and monitor current and voltage remotely. This, MGE says, greatly maximizes uptime of connected servers and equipment. The new PDUs are ideal for optimizing power consumption and forecasting, the company says.
Single, dual, triple-output power supplies
Lambda’s ZP series power supplies meet EN61000-4-X immunity and Class B EMI standards. Lambda announced a new family of power supplies in the industry-standard 2 x 4-in. format.
Smart Remote Automation extends Emerson’s PlantWeb
Emerson Process Management introduced Smart Remote Automation, an extension of its PlantWeb digital architecture intended to improve businesses with processes beyond the typical plant. Smart Remote technology enables continuous diagnostics to run at remote sites and connect in real-time to centralized operations centers where they allow predictive operations and maintenance,...
Energy markets due for seismic shift
"Energy markets are about to experience a seismic shift," Worldwatch Institute president Christopher Flavin told attendees at the 18th World Petroleum Congress. Speaking to 5,000 delegates at the event, Flavin said, "Global energy markets are at a tipping point, with new energy sources ready to begin replacing oil and other fossil fuels.
Resistance Temperature Detectors
Of the many ways to measure temperature, one of the most accurate is a resistance temperature detector, usually referred to as an RTD. In an RTD, the resistance of the device is proportional to temperature. The most common resistive material for RTDs is platinum, though some RTDs are made from nickel or copper.
Clamp-on hybrid flowmeter
Duosonics ultrasonic flowmeter is a non-invasive, clamp-on device that automatically switches between pulse Doppler and transit-time technologies depending on the fluid conditions in the pipe. Flowmeter can measure ultra-pure water, sludges and slurries, even different fluids flowing through the same pipe.
Power entry modules
IEC-60320, filtered C20 inlet power-entry modules are intended for computer, medical, general purpose, and custom indoor type equipment applications that would benefit from a combination of filtering and ac power entry for detachable C19 cordsets in one component. Unit is configured with an IEC 60320-1-1 C20-inlet and a filter and has a maximum rating of 20 A at 250 V ac.
Dual-homing Ethernet switch for device redundancy
As the importance of security and uptime becomes more prominent across industry, the need for effective redundancy strategies in industrial applications has increased. "Older industrial connectivity options, such as serial lines, did not support redundancy," said Frank Madren, GarrettCom's president.
HTS wire development update
High-temperature superconductor (HTS) technology holds the promise to make electric equipment optimally efficient compared to products using conventional copper wire. Key to the development process is HTS wire, with so-called second generation (2G) HTS wire increasingly in the news. American Superconductor Corp (AMSC) , a leading electricity solutions company, announced in mid-October 2005 that it has been awarded three new government contracts for 2G HTS wire and applications development. Funded under U.S.
Power supplies for automation applications
New power supplies for automation applications include S8VM power supply from Omron (left) and SPD Series switching power supplies from Carlo Gavazzi. Schaumburg, IL; Buffalo Grove, IL —New power supplies for automation applications have been introduced by two major manufacturers. S8VM power supply from Omron includes an undervoltage alarm that signals when voltage falls and indicates the cause so that operators can troubleshoot the problem quickly onsite. The feature eliminates the need for time-consuming and costly searches for power loss causes.
Smart handheld calibrator
DPI 880 four-in-one handheld calibrator has been enhanced to provide multi-level cross-parameter measurements that let users record measurements accurately and 15-50% faster than before.
Power quality problems can damage plants; Webcast aims help
As if electrical costs weren’t enough of a problem for plant managers, the quality of the current is a serious issue for many manufacturers. What can plant managers do to ensure power quality, whether from their own generation or from utilities, and what are some related issues every plant engineer needs to know. Plant Engineering moderates a panel of thought-leading plant managers and power quality experts through a discussion of options available for plant managers faced with the issues of power generation and electrical costs for their plants. Topics of discussion include: harmonics, transients, surges, voltage sags and swells, return on investment, power quality improvement strategies, detection and measurement, mitigation, and grounding. Register at www.plantengineering.com.
Dynamic Web analysis, reporting
SuiteVoyager 2.5 Web-based analysis software helps improve production and performance through dynamic analysis and reporting of key performance and production indicators to enable proactive decisions that improve profitability and efficiency.
Fluke to acquire thermographic equipment provider
Fluke Electronics Corp. announced it intends to acquire Infrared Solutions, a provider of portable thermography products. Fluke expects the transaction to close during 4Q2005, following the satisfaction of certain closing conditions. Infrared Solutions applies infrared (IR) technology for commercial and industrial use.
Indicator lights extend sensor status view
Sensors generally are smaller and can be located, in many cases, closer to the process. Indicator lights on the sensors may be hidden from view as a result. Banner Engineering’s EZ-Ligh t indicator lights can be used for remotely indicating sensor status where placement or distance of a sensor on or in a machine or on a production line can limit sensor visibility.
How a Well-Planned Strategy Can Help the Food Industry More Effectively Manage Its Energy-Related Costs, by Rockwell Automation
As energy costs continue to rise, foodmanufacturers are taking greater controlover these expenses and gaining a criticalcompetitive advantage. The key toreducing energy-related expenses isunderstanding where, when and howmuch is being consumed. Armed with thisinformation, companies can proactivelymanage load requirements, improvesystem performance and reduce costs.This paper highlights the primary areas ofenergy consumption in food productionand details actions manufacturers cantak
Substrate eliminates heat sinks
Anotherm substrate, thermally conductive aluminum alloy material lets design engineers mount visible LEDs and other components directly to it, eliminating the need for attached heat sinks, mounting hardware, and associated assembly costs.
Modular PC/104 board
OrbiTrak GSM modular PC/104 computer board is designed for intelligent vehicle and airborne computing systems requiring worldwide GSM/GPRS roaming combined with precise GPS positioning.
DC/DC switching regulators exceed $350 million in American market
DC/DC switching regulator shipments in the Americas exceeded $350 million in 2004, according to a market study by Venture Development Corporation (VDC) . Industrial control and instrumentation account for more than 9% of the total. DC/DC POLs are the fastest-growing product category, driven by the increased use of distributed power and intermediate bus architectures, VDC says. According to Peter Walsh, senior analyst at VDC, "DC/DC manufacturers are addressing the need for higher efficiency by raising the switching frequency, powering only to meet the load requirements, and integrating the FETs more closely." IC switching regulators major applications in Americas, % of dollars, based on $350.8 million total in 2004: Computer and office automation: 30.2% Consumer electronics: 28.2% Telecom/datacom: 22.6% Industrial control: 5.0% Auto electronics: 4.6% Instrumentation: 4.3% Merchant power supply: 4.2% MIL/aerospace: 0.8% General automation: 0.1% Other: 0.2% —Mark T.
Wireless USB protocol-analyzer with air interface
Wireless USB-Explorer-300 protocol-analyzer with air interface can record and decode WiMedia-ultra-wideband and Certified-Wireless USB-protocols from wireless or direct connection, according to Ellisys , a European supplier of USB test solutions. Explorer can record traffic exchanged over the air between devices through its external omni-directional antenna. Alternatively, it can capture traffic between a MAC and a PHY from boards during their design phase. Commercial products based on the Certified Wireless USB-protocol are expected to appear early in 2006.
New 600-W switch-mode 1U power supply
Taiyo Yuden (U.S.A.) Inc. announced the AAD600S 1U-high switch-mode power supply. The device provides a single, isolated (floating) output of up to 600-W continuous power, correcting the input current waveform to better than 99% power factor at the supply's full rated load. The user may select several factory-set output voltages/currents, including 12 V/42 A, 15 V/36 A, 24 V/22 A, 28 V/20 A, 36 V/16 A, and 48 V/12.5 A.
Upcoming Webcasts analyze manufacturing issues
Oak Brook, IL —Two upcoming Executive Broadcasts from Manufacturing Business Technology present high-level analyst discussions and real-life user case studies on critical manufacturing topics. Hear “The value of good partnerships,” featuring IBM, at noon EST on Oct. 5, 2005.
‘World’s smallest’ solenoid valve
Series 120 solenoid valve, said to be the “world’s smallest,” is an ultra-miniature, magnetically latched solenoid valve featuring high performance flow switching characteristics.
Small footprint for dc/dc converter
THD-15 Series isolated, high-performance dc/dc converters with 15-W output power are fully encapsulated with dimensions of 1.0 x 1.0 x 0.4-in. (25.4 x 25.4 x 10.0 mm) and conform to industry standard pin assignments of the common 1 x 2 in. platform. Series offers input ranges of 18-36 V dc or 36-75 V dc with single outputs of 3.
PXI Express: more data, faster
Data acquisition has a powerful new tool—PXI Express. What does the new platform mean for PXI, and other board-level form factors, like VME? PXI Express is the logical next step for PXI. PCI Express was touted as a bus architecture that would converge with a platform like PXI, and this has finally happened, a testimony of how commercial computing technology is put to its best use in the i...
Touchscreen uses dispersive signal technology
Methuen, MA —A new 40-in. TFT touchscreen monitor from Richardson Electronics’ Pixelink Div. makes use of 3M Touch Systems Inc.
Energy efficiency may be best ‘alternate fuel’
Norwalk,CT —Forces driving energy prices now and into the future are among the topics addressed in a white paper from ABB —“Energy Efficiency—The Other Fuel Alternative.” The paper also explains why waiting for a solution to be developed later could prove very expensive for industry. The answers to maintaining a competitive edge in an era of rising energy costs are readily available, ABB contends. By applying a suite of cost-effective power and automation solutions, facilities can achieve substantial energy savings without waiting for future alternative fuels. Proven methods for industry to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact are already at hand, the company says. Click here to download a copy of the free white paper, which also discusses efficiency in asset use, efficiency of motion, and energy efficiency as an energy solution. —Control Engineering Daily News DeskJeanine Katzel, senior editor, email@example.com.
ABB outlines new strategy
Zurich, Switzerland — ABB ’s new mid-term targets for 2005-2009 include a strategy that emphasizes improved business execution and a broader approach to value creation, the company announced last week. Growth, operating margin, use of capital, and cash generation, in particular, will be emphasized. The move will eliminate a layer of management and replace two core divisions with their respective five business areas.
Kuka Controls’ RT device manager simplifies dual-OS applications
Kuka Controls' real-time extension software enables Microsoft Windows XP and an RTOS to co-exist on one CPU without modification to either operating system for an open and stable solution. Specializing in real-time extension software that allows combining the latest versions of Wind River VxWorks or Microsoft Windows CE and XP on the same processor, Kuka Controls has recently announced availability of Real-Time Device Manager (RTDM) with CeWin V3.3 and VxWin V3.1 real-time extension technology. RTDM simplifies device allocation in dual operating system applications.RTDM is a utility designed to analyze and isolate interrupt request (IRQ) resources for real-time hardware.
PICMG approves new CompactPCI Express spec
PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG) —a consortium of 400-plus companies collaboratively developing open specifications for high-performance telecom and industrial computing applications—has recently released the CompactPCI Express Specification denoted EXP.0. [PCI, in turn, stands for peripheral component interconnect.] The new spec brings PCI Express technology to the popular PICMG 2.0 CompactPCI (cPCI) form factor, while maintaining compatibility with cPCI hardware and software, according to the consortium. More than 40 companies participated in developing CompactPCI Express specification. Objective of the specification is to meet future needs of the CompactPCI, PXI, military, and aerospace markets.
Clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter
UTX878 loop-powered, clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter is reportedly accurate, easy to install, causes no pressure drop, does not require calibration, and needs virtually no maintenance.
Programming pipe cutting, laser cutting
Mazak Optonics will feature skilled instructors to demonstrate Mazak FG CAD/CAM Software in live presentations on a projection system in a real-time software theater, at its Fabtech 2005 booth in November. Visitors also will have an opportunity to program a pipe part, then see it cut live on a 3D-rotary laser. FG CAD/CAM is used for multi-axis fabrication on Mazak's FabriGear and Space Gear lasers.
Ultrasonic flowmeter for custody-transfer applications
Sentinel ultrasonic flowmeter from GE Infrastructure Sensing is intended for natural gas applications where high accuracy is required. Sentinel high-accuracy, multi-path ultrasonic flowmeter from GE Infrastructure Sensing is geared for fiscal custody-transfer of natural gas. System can be used for natural gas applications, including transmission, distribution, and storage, and for any measurement point where high accuracy is needed. Available in pipe sizes from 6-24 in., device meets AGA9 criteria and uses a two-diametrical-path, single-traverse meter body design with a 10-in. dia upstream pipe run and a flow conditioning plate.
Fault indicators, voltage-sensing products get SEL logo
EOS Manufacturing is selling its indicators and sensors under the SEL logo. E.O. Schweitzer Manufacturing Co., LLC, (EOS) owned by Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc.
Flowmeter for high-volume water use
Mc Propeller Model MO300 flowmeter is intended for applications requiring high-volume water use, including industrial and municipal water and wastewater, agriculture, horticulture, and irrigation. Bolt-on saddle type instrument provides an instantaneous indication and totalized liquid flow without electric power.
Electric globe control valve
Compact electric globe valve designed for precise flow control is available in plastic body materials of PVC, PP, PVDF, and PTFE in sizes from ½-2 in. Modulating control valve features a self-diagnostic actuator, a number of field selectable parameters including cycle time and signal (0-10 V dc or 4-20 mA), lightweight construction, and various plug and seat arrangements within a given size.
Intrinsically safe IR thermometer
Non-contact infrared thermometer, designed for measuring surface temperature in potentially explosive or flammable environments, is Factory Mutual approved as an intrinsically safe device. Applicable in such industries as petrochemical, chemical, pharmaceutical, oil exploration and refining, hazardous waste, and other hostile environments, thermometer is designed to limit release of thermal or ...
5,000 W, 3U/5U plug-in dc/dc, ac/dc converters modules
Schaefer Inc. has introduced C5100 Series of 5,000 W, 3U and 5U plug-in dc/dc and ac/dc converter modules, available in various input voltage ranges. Single outputs are available in six standard ranges, 23-200 V dc.
Mathcad 13 streamlines tasks
Mathcad 13, newest version of Mathsoft Engineering & Education's calculation management software, captures and reuses knowledge locked in engineering calculations. It allows engineers to document and capture calculations, design intent, analyses, and engineering-critical values while they create them.
IR thermometer approved as intrinsically safe device
Intrinsically safe IR thermometer from Fluke Corp. is intended for use in potentially explosive or flammable environments. Everett, WA —Fluke 681S non-contact infrared thermometer from Fluke Corp. , designed for measuring surface temperature in potentially explosive or flammable environments, is Factory Mutual approved as an intrinsically safe device.
Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System, August 29, 2005
August 29, 2005 A difficult week in Louisiana. As I am writing this, a Category 5 hurricane is passing by and we are without utility power. This appears to be the worst storm in more than 25 years to hit the gulf coast.
Single, dual output dc/dc converters
B1000ERW Series of single and dual output 10 W dc/dc converters is part of the ''budget saver'' family of power products.
No heat sink calculations
CoolTech Series DIN rail solid-state relay is based on GN SSR technology and has a ''true'' 40 °C load-current rating. Other features include epoxy-free design and direct-bond copper (DBC) substrate.
FPGAs, sound algorithms, and Arnold
Austin, TX — “One thing I have been working on is an audio-enhanced PA system, so I took a CompactRIO system, connected an IEPE Measurement Microphone, and connected a channel from an output module so that this microphone gets inserted into the sound system right here in this auditorium,” explained Alain Moriat, who is also a professional sound engineer. A principal Architect at National Instruments he prepared to demonstrate to the crowd at NIWeek 2005’s keynote address how easy it is to use CompactRIO to develop sound processing algorithms on-the-fly. In this case, it is also known as having lots of fun playing around with FPGAs. Powered by reconfigurable FPGA technology, CompactRIO, NI’s lower-cost control and acquisition system is targeted at apps that require high system performance and reliability. To “enhance” Keynote Host Tim Dehne’s voice—which isn’t all that bad to begin with--Moriat explained that he was going to change the characteristics of several filters that run on the CompactRIO FPGA. In the first voice-altering experiment, Moriat enhanced the reverberation characteristics of the auditorium, using a handful of delay lines and making the sound more diffuse. The end effect? Dehne sounded like George Burns playing God. “How about making my voice deeper, maybe a more filling sound?” Dehne asked hopefully. To produce a lower pitch, Moriat took the signal from the mike, resampled it to get more samples per unit time, then chopped the signal into chunks of approximately 50 ms.
Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System, August 17, 2005
August 17, 2005 I spent most of the past week meeting with the city's appointed project engineer. During our initial meeting it was noted that a study for restructuring of the city engineering department has been completed. There will soon be someone permanently appointed as the city engineer (the current city engineer is serving as the interim). A site visit was made with the city project engineer to NTG (Network Technologies Group), the owner and operator of two local data centers.
FEI Co. ships electron microscope for nanotechnology R&D, releases new software
FEI Co. has begun shipping its recently introduced scanning/transmission electron microscope (S/TEM), the Titan 80-300.
Ingersoll-Rand marks 100th anniversary
Ingersoll-Rand marked on June 1 the 100-year anniversary of the merger of Ingersoll-Sergeant Drill Company and Rand Drill Company, which formed Ingersoll-Rand. “Among business mergers of the past century, the combination of the predecessor companies of Ingersoll-Rand 100 years ago today is notable for its enduring success and legacy of achievement,” said Herbert L. Henkel, chairman, president and chief executive officer. 'For the past 100 years, Ingersoll-Rand people and products have contributed mightily to the advancement of global industry and commerce and, as a result, have played a vital role in worldwide economic development and social progress.' In connection with the company's annual general meeting, held in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, Henkel reflected on the company's contributions to industry and society, and prospects for future growth.
DIN-rail power supplies: Redundant, battery control, brown-out protection
Tracopower announces TSP series of DIN Rail Mount power supplies designed for harsh environments with high immunity to vibrations and electrical disturbances, complying with the latest EMC standards for industrial power supplies.
Dresser-Rand agrees to acquire Tuthill assets
Dresser-Rand Co. announced that a wholly owned subsidiary has entered into an agreement with Tuthill Corp. of Burr Ridge, IL, to acquire certain assets of its Tuthill Energy Systems (TES) division.
NEMA hails passage of U.S. comprehensive energy bill
Rosslyn, VA—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is applauding the U.S. Congress for its recent passage of comprehensive energy legislation by bipartisan votes.
Powell Industries buys Switchgear & Instrumentation for $18.4 million
Powell Industries Inc. reports that it has completed its acquisition of U.K.-based Switchgear & Instrumentation (S&I) Ltd., a division of NG Bailey Organisation (NGBO) Ltd. for $18.4 million in cash. The purchase includes S&I's fixed assets and select working capital. The transaction is being financed with a portion of Powell's existing cash and bank debt.
Eaton purchasing Hayward’s industrial filtration business
Eaton Corp. reports that it's agreed to buy Hayward Industries Inc.'s industrial filtration business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in 2005's third quarter. Hayward Filtration produces filtration systems for industrial and commercial settings.
Advent selling Moeller to Doughty for 1.1 billion euros
Advent International reports that it's selling Moeller Group to U.K.-based Doughty Hanson & Co. for 1.1 billion euros, including pension liability and financial debt. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in August 2005. Advent and Doughty Hanson are private equity firms.
Emerson’s valve diagnostics aid Dow Corning’s efficiency, reduce maintenance costs
Emerson Process Management reports it reduced the number of valves removed for service at a Dow Corning plant after implementing its valve diagnostic services to predict impending problems and initiate efficient repairs. Emerson has a three-year contract with Dow Corning for control valve monitoring services at its plant in Barry, South Wales, Australia.
ABB plans to restructure transformer business
ABB reports that it's planning to restructure its North American transformer business unit. The company adds these efforts are part of its global effort to realign its transformer business to increase profitability and customer service. Several North American operations will be affected by the changes.
Whirlpool upgrades with servo motor/drive retrofit
A retrofit kit helps upgrade a production line and get things moving quickly, says Michael J. Smith, engineering supervisor of Whirlpool Corp.'s Plastics Operations in Evansville, IN, commenting on a recent retrofit project. Facing obsolescence, the Evansville division's three thermoforming lines were in need of electrical and mechanical power transmission work, including shaft and motor adapt...
AS-interface analog modules
Actuator Sensor (AS) Interface G4 analog modules have two 0-20mA current outputs, two 4-20mA current inputs, two 0-10V outputs, or two 0-10V inputs. Units are field mountable and suited for rough conditions. Connection to the outputs or measured value transmitters is established through PG cable glands and cage tension spring terminals.
Common standards to help integrate digital devices in substations
Palo Alto, CA—Increasing adoption of standard communication protocols will likely fuel the North American substation automation market, which is expected to increase by more than 64% in total from $350.5 million in 2004 to $576.2 million in 2011, according to a new report, “North American Substation Automation Markets,” by Frost & Sullivan.
Emerson’s valve diagnostics aid Dow Corning’s efficiency, reduce maintenance costs
Austin, TX—Emerson Process Management reports it reduced the number of valves removed for service at a Dow Corning plant after implementing its valve diagnostic services to predict impending problems and initiate efficient repairs.
Continual temperature monitoring
Model TNC-TM 166 easy-to-read, panel mount digital thermometer provides continual monitoring of temperature in critical environments and equipment.
Portable corrosion monitoring
Checkmate Corrosometer portable instrument uses state-of-the-art surface-mount integrated circuits to provide higher resolution and measurement accuracy of Corrosometer (electrical resistance) corrosion probes.
Ametek acquires Spectro Analytical Instruments
Ametek Inc. expands its high-end analytical instrument platform with purchase of Spectro Beteiligungs GmbH, the holding company of Spectro Analytical Instruments GmbH & Co. KG and its affiliates.
Gauges for high line pressure applications
Differential pressure gauges from Orange Research are designed for use where line pressures are elevated.
Overload, overheat protection
Model EP42P self-hold motor protector and thermal cut-out is designed to provide overload and overheat protection in a variety of applications, including fractional motors, lighting equipment, transformers, solenoids, battery chargers, power tools, and electronic systems.
Fanless multimedia PC
Ventrix-mini 25F fanless compact PC system with rugged aluminum construction and radiator design for efficient cooling runs from a 12 V supply and is particularly suited for auto applications.
MTS Systems selling engine test division to Tokyo-based A&D
Eden Prairie, MN—MTS Systems Corp. reports that it has agreed to sell its Powertrain Tech-nology division to A&D Co., Ltd., located in Tokyo, Japan.
ZigBee-ready wireless modules
Xbee family of 2.4 GHz ZigBee-ready modules lets OEMs and integrators design a wireless network that incorporates interchangeable long-range and low-cost wireless modules.
Measure performance in real time
Equation Builder, latest addition to PlantTriage, lets users develop real-time profit and performance measures from process plant operating data.
Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System – 2005-07-11
To read the blog for 2007 click here. December 18, 2006 With the holiday season upon us, we are once again reminded that we have so much to be grateful for: our health, our families, and our friends, and we at QDS Systems would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our readers, coworkers, and associates a joyful holiday season and a very successful and prosperous new year. Our next entry will be in the New Year when we will be renewed, hopeful, and excited at the prospects of a brighter tomorrow. The system integration blog update will take a brief hiatus from its regular weekly updates during the upcoming holidays.
GE joins Algerian government to build desalination plant, supply fresh drinking water
A joint effort between General Electric Co. and the Algerian government is aimed at bringing desperately needed drinking water to the country.
Process points: organization name change; simulation software, electronic catalogs, flow expo in China
A potpourri of items and events dot the process industry landscape this month.
Model, simulate electrical systems
SimPowerSystems 4 helps engineers use model-based design to model and simulate electrical circuits and power systems within Simulink.
ZigBee in real time
ZMN2400DK developer kit lets network designers evaluate the ZigBee wireless standard in industrial application environments.
High-voltage cable analyzer
Fusion high-voltage cable analyzer is a fully integrated system that tests wires, cables, and harnesses for electrical conditions such as opens, shorts, miswires, and components within a cable assembly.
Sensors Expo 2005: Xsens launches miniature attitude, heading sensor
Chicago, IL—Xsens Technologies B.V. is launching what it reports is the world’s smallest attitude and heading reference system (AHRS/IMU) this week at Sensors Expo 2005, June 6-9, at McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center.
Intrinsically safe condition monitoring
A new intrinsically safe condition-monitoring data collector—Entek Enpac Ex from Rockwell Automation—allows data collection from mechanical equipment operating in Class 1 Div. 1 environments, while helping manufacturers and industrial users meet ATEX petrochemical certification requirements.
New, low-cost, high-throughput production line IC test system
ProductionLine Testers Inc. (PLT) has announced availability of an affordable, general-purpose integrated circuit (IC) test system, in the form of its newest, smallest footprint product, IC-100. PLT attributes IC-100’s “very low” initial price to “architecture and features designed to provide only those functions required for production testing of low pin-count integrated circuits.
Protect sensitive equipment
Membrane Vents Series HAP (Higher Airflow and Protection) provides higher airflow and enhanced oleophobic qualities.
New products: Fuses, cooled enclosure, heaters, phase/rotation tester, UPS
Innovations in control components include fuses for industrial control applications, mini-computer-room enclosures for 36 or 42U of equipment, DIN-rail-mounted convection or fan heaters, a combination phase sequence and motor rotation tester, and a double-conversion uninterruptible power supply.
Faster Prototyping, Simulation
New systems allow prototype electronics components to be tested in real time using a simulated environment, reducing the need for expensive or destructive tests. Early prototype systems enabled engineers to test new designs to prove algorithms and test integration of the hardware and software earlier in the design process.
CNC system uses graphical programming
Axium Power CNC system addresses all aspects of the cylindrical and surface grinding process.
Exclusive: Power supplies in metal, plastic housings
Rhino PSM Series industrial grade switching dc output power supplies have a sturdy steel case to withstand harsh environments and are applicable worldwide with autoselect inputs for 115 V ac or 230 V ac and international agency approvals.
Instrumental to the workplace: ISA updates hazardous locations standards, releases calibration guide
ISA, the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society, is updating several of its standards on electrical equipment for hazardous locations, and has also released a new calibration guide.
Emerson’s Coriolis flowmeter aids colored ceramics blending
Austin, TX—Emerson Process Management is using its Micro Motion Coriolis technology to help Euroelettra Sistemi SpA design and implement a skid-mounted blending system for ceramic slip and coloring materials.
NEMA’S industrial control indexes show economic rebound
Rosslyn, VA—Sales of industrial control products and systems increased slightly in 2005’s first quarter (1Q05), which reflected a 1.4% gain in the National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s (NEMA) Primary Industrial Control Index.
Power distribution blocks – 2005-05-16
Power distribution blocks are DIN-rail mountable to distribute power, manage large wire sizes, and maintain finger-safe connections.
Sensor with 25°-wide measuring angle
New 5-beam wide-angle sensor features wide area triangulation sensing capability.
IEEE-USA reports gigabit networks should be U.S. priority
The U.S. should make it a national priority to deploy widespread wired and wireless gigabit networks, according to a new white paper from the IEEE-USA’s Committee on Communications and Information Policy (CCIP). IEEE-USA is a division of the international Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
10% off book: ‘Demystifying Switching Power Supplies’
Need to understand how a switching power supply works? This book seems to serve appropriately. ''Demystifying Switching Power Supplies,'' by Raymond A. Mack Jr., ISBN 0750674458, Newness, an imprint of Elsevier Science (2005), covers the basics of switching power supplies, starting with a brief comparison of linear and switching supplies.
Power distribution blocks – 2005-05-01
Power distribution blocks are DIN-rail mountable to distribute power, manage large wire sizes, and maintain finger-safe connections. They allow for multi-pole assembly, easily accommodating single, two, and three-phase power feeds in a compact footprint. IP 20 feed-through application terminals unify power connections to the control cabinet to a single bus module.
Hannover Fair 2005: ‘less is more’ = successful formula
Visitors have voted with their feet. Despite changing to a five-day fair format (one day shorter than last year), Hannover Fair 2005 reversed a recent trend of falling attendance, while exhibiting an air of confidence and enthusiasm. More than 205,000 visitors—20% over 2004—were drawn to the city's fairgrounds on April 11-15, 2005, to examine technologies and ...
Level sensors for viscous liquids
NLS pneumatic level sensors feature a minimum number of moving parts and are designed for operational reliability and long life (more than 50,000 switch operations). Engineered for use in high viscosity liquids, they are suited for process applications where electric power is not available or hazardous locations exist.
Dynisco buys Viatran from Invensys
Dynisco LLC recently reported that it's acquiring Viatran Corp. from Invensys plc. Viatran supplies pressure transducers and transmitters to the oil and gas, test stand, fluid power, and food and beverage industries. Terms of the transaction weren't disclosed. Using its partnership with Audax Group, an equity management firm, Dynisco also recently acquired Alpha Technologies.
Change: The New Normal
It's often said, though first by Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky, that people can get used to anything. Control and automation engineers and other technical professionals are no exception, despite their conservative, if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it reputation. The recent economic turnaround and their own maturing survival instinct may be why the 1,846 respondents to Control Engineering's "Nor...
Micro-Cal Model 869 ultra-low-pressure calibrator is designed for air handling processes that require portable, high-accuracy, and low-pressure documenting calibration to certify pressure needs. Portable, compact, lightweight unit is suitable for cramped and remote locations.
ABB white paper – Avoid the 4 Biggest Mistakes in Instrumentation
Avoid the 4 Biggest Mistakes in InstrumentationDear Reader,You have been selected to receive a complimentary copy of the ABB and Control Engineering whitepaper, "The Four Biggest Mistakes In Instrumentation and How to Avoid Them ."This powerful tool is designed to help you avoid costly mistakes already made by many of your peers.By helping you analyze your instrumentation selections and showing how you can avoid wasting money on inefficient processes , this paper will illustrate how to: Lower your Operational Cost: Drive down the costs of operations by properly instrumenting your processes Improve production: Learn how choosing the wrong instrument can significantly impact your production capabilities Cut maintenance costs: Leverage new capabilities to lower the maintenance costs of your instrumentation Reduce Downtime: Keep instruments up and running even in the harshest environments To receive your copy of the "The Four Biggest Mistakes In Instrumentation and How to Avoid Them," follow this link . www.lean-electrical-controls.com.
APC, Rockwell launch uninterruptible power system for industrial control
West Kingston, RI—American Power Conversion (APC) and Rockwell Automation have introduced a jointly developed, uninterruptible power system (UPS), Allen Bradley Bulletin 1609 Industrial AC UPS, which is designed for use in factory environments.
Hannover Fair 2005: Mitsubishi Electric demonstrates complex process visualization
Hannover, Germany—Mitsubishi Electric reported at Hannover Fair 2005 that its new IPC2000 series industrial personal computers (IPCs) are geared to the needs of industrial automation applications, and provide control, operation and process visualization functionality for plant and machinery.
Non-isolated point-of-load converters
Volant family of point-of-load products now includes three new non-isolated NFA series dc-dc converters.
UPS wall/panel mount kit
S1K wall/panel mount kit for S1K Series off-line uninterruptible power system (UPS) offers safety, stability, and support unavailable from off-the-shelf brackets.
QNX Software Systems marks 25 anniversary
A quarter century of innovations in the tough environments of software computing and computer operating systems is no small accomplishment. QNX Software Systems has recently reached that significant milestone.
Power, data delivery to machinery
Energy Chain Systems use modular separators to safely deliver data and power to automated machinery in many configurations, including side-mounted applications.
Achieving Pacesetter Status in the Power Industry by Matrikon
The power industry is experiencing increasing pressure to improve plant performance and deliver power reliably. The challenge is to reduce operations and maintaince costs, reduce down time, and reduce spare parts inventroy while simultaneously increasing performanc, asset life, and asset availablitiy, and all while complying with a wide variety of environmenta, safety and secuity regulations.
Fuel cells get small enough to power hand-held electronics
Toshiba announced that Guinness World Records certified its compact direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC), with 100 milliwatts power output, as the world's smallest DMFC.
PMBus digital power management protocol specification released; special interest group established
Artesyn Technologies Inc., Astec Power,and six semiconductor firms recently released their open-standard, digital power management protocol, Power Management Bus (PMBus), Revision 1.0.
RTU suited for field, industrial relay-based use
R302 Modbus mixed signal remote terminal unit (RTU) from R2 Controls is intended for demanding field and industrial relay-based applications requiring remote sensing relay configuration, monitoring, and control with a high degree of input and output isolation and high current output control capabilities.
Wireless hazardous-location monitoring
Explosion-proof wireless monitoring systems are designed for hazardous locations.
NAM survey finds exports increasingly crucial, qualified workers lacking
Thanks partly to expanding exports and despite a shortage of qualified workers, the U.S. manufacturing sector will likely grow as fast or faster than the nation's overall economy in 2005, according to two thirds of 976 respondents to the National Manufacturing Week (NMW) 2005 Survey by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
Production execution, management software
Proficy Plant Applications 4.1 is a major revision of the company's efficiency, quality, production, and batch analysis software. Package is designed to help managers in process, discrete, and hybrid industries gain insight into operations and more efficiently manage to peak performance. New version features enhanced reporting, improved connectivity and extensibility, and more expansive schedul...
Chromalox survey projects more control systems with built-in diagnostics, predictive maintenance
Most active users of temperature and power control systems are planning to integrate digital control systems that include built-in diagnostic and predictive maintenance functions along with remote PC access, according to 150 respondents to Chromalox's annual market trend study.
Circular process recorder
CT7300 2-pen circular process chart recorder measures and records up to two process variables from a variety of inputs. Record and optional alarm settings can be configured to multiple recording applications. Battery back-up continuously records up to 48 hr in the event of power loss. www.omega.com Omega Engineering Inc.
OSIsoft supports Microsoft’s Digital Pharma framework
San Leandro, CA—To drive operational efficiency and real-time collaboration for pharmaceutical and biotechnology users, OSIsoft Inc. reports that it’s supporting Microsoft Digital Pharma, an open standards-based vision and solutions framework.
Electrical, mechanical design software upgraded
San Rafael, CA—Autodesk Inc. recently released new versions of its Inventor Series 10, AutoCAD Mechanical 2006, AutoCAD Electrical 2006, Vault 4, Productstream 4, Streamline 7 and DWF software products.
NEMA’S electro-industry confidence index for March shows worldwide growth
Rosslyn, VA—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) says the March 2005 edition of its Electro-industry Business Confidence Index showed significant growth in all four of the worldwide regions included in NEMA’s monthly Business Confidence survey.
General Cable’s union workers strike in Lincoln, RI
Lincoln, RI—General Cable Corp. reports that union workers went on strike last week at its Rhode Island-based plant.
Triconex earns controls contract from Nebraska Public Power District
Triconex, a unit of Invensys Process Systems, has won a contract from Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) to retrofit and upgrade critical controls at NPPD’s Sheldon Station, a coal-fired generating plant. The company will provide the mechanical retrofit and controls upgrade for a Westinghouse reheat turbine generator.
DIN-rail-mounted wireless system
DIN-rail-mounted wireless system provides interference free, accurate link for monitoring and transmitting critical data.
Harmonic attenuator module doubles power density, cuts components
Vicor Corp. recently introduced its high-boost VI-HAM (Harmonic Attenuator Module), a universal ac input, PFC front-end module optimized for use with the company’s V375 Series dc-dc converters.
Honeywell and Intergraph partner on automation project engineering
Honeywell has signed an agreement to standardize its automation project engineering on SmartPlant Instrumentation, an instrumentation engineering solution powered by INtools from Intergraph Process, Power & Marine.
NMW 2005: Carlo Gavazzi demos modular panel meters with three-color displays
Chicago, IL—Carlo Gavazzi reports that its new 48 x 96 mm UDM Series panel meters are TRMS modular instruments for advanced applications. UDM consists of UDM35, which are 3.5-digit instruments and UDM40, which are 4-digit instruments.
NMW 2005: ifm efector introduces inspection sensor for shapes, contours
Chicago, IL—ifm efector reports that its new inspection sensor, efector dualis, monitors error-proofing applications to provide 100% inspection testing throughout the assembly automation process.
NMW 2005: NAM survey finds exports more crucial; qualified workers lacking
Chicago, IL—Thanks partly to expanding exports and despite a shortage of qualified workers, the U.S. manufacturing sector will likely grow as fast or faster than the nation’s overall economy in 2005, according to the National Manufacturing Week (NMW) 2005 Survey by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
Space-saving board/harness connector system
Harness-to-PCB connector system is said to cut installed costs and save board space compared to conventional pin and socket designs.
Quatech introduces embedded, USB serial adapters
Quatech reports that its new, embedded, USB serial adapters connect multiple serial peripherals via one USB port.
Components: Enclosure, barcode products
A new batch of control component products include a barcode reader, a barcode printer, and enclosures with and interior mounting grid and on a rugged pendant arm.
ABB wins $8 million order to support Gulf of Mexico oil project
A contract totaling some $80 million has been awarded to ABB for outfitting and automating a new offshore oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the company announced recently.
Internal serial adapters
Internal USB to EIA-232 serial adapters are available in one- and two-port models. Devices are intended for mounting on a PC chassis, eliminating the need for external converters. All models are USB powered, capable of data rates to 460 kbps, and install inside the computer in a spare bracket location.
Troubleshoot RS-485 networks
In spite of the proliferation of more modern alternatives, RS-485 technology remains the mainstay of myriad communication networks. Here's an eight-step recipe for checking common failures and making troublesome RS-485 networks work. 1.RS-485 uses an unbalanced differential pair, which means that every device on the network must be connected to ground through a signal return to minimize noise...
Ferroresonant transformers provide a stable power output (typically ±3%) for input voltages that vary as much as ±15%. Models are available for 50 Hz, 60 Hz, and 50/60 Hz, with output ratings from 50 VA to 5.0 kVA. Standard square wave output requires less filtering than linear transformers for dc applications.
Whirlpool upgrades thermoforming lines with servo motor/drive retrofit
The important thing is how fast we started this up,” notes Michael J. Smith, engineering supervisor of Whirlpool Corp.’s Plastics Operations in Evansville, IN, commenting on a retrofit project the division did, early winter, 2003.
COMING SPRING 2005
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NEMA’s industrial control index increases 10% in 4Q04
Rosslyn, VA—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) reports that its Primary Industrial Control Index gained almost 10% to reach 87.3 points in 2004’s fourth quarter (4Q4) compared to a year earlier (4Q03), even though it slipped nearly 4% from the previous quarter (3Q04).
Rugged digital indicator
Maxum III third-generation digital indicator incorporates all the features of previous Maxum and Maxum Plus lines.
Model V730 6-channel optical-to-electrical converter provides fast, low-jitter, EMI-proof distribution of pulses, triggers, and precision timing signals when used with a compatible optical transmitter module from the manufacturer such as the V720.
Wire-to-board terminal blocks
ELMP high current, wire-to-printed board terminal blocks are rated at 75 A, and will accept two power cables up to AWG #4 in size, as well as a small sensor or audio cable.
Grounding: Things not working right, don’t know why?
Grounding: Ensure your next power project is well grounded. Improper grounding often is the source of signal integrity problems, line trips, and other concerns.
Components: Relays, transformers, ‘light engine,’ power
Recent products in the component area include relays that can switch two or three phases, low-voltage transformers, “light engines” to increase brightness with fewer LEDs, UPSs, inductors, and a smart label encoder-applicator.
Power and design at National Manufacturing Week conference
National Manufacturing Week incorporates the Industrial Automation Show and related conference sessions of interest to component-minded people interested in power and design.
Color-display panel meters
UDM Series panel meters are a family of TRMS modular instruments for advanced applications. Included are UDM35, which are 3.5-digit instruments, and UDM40, which are 4-digit devices. Among features of the 48 x 96 mm meters are powerful scaling and filtering capabilities, wide measurement range using only four input modules, cold junction compensation, excitation output, time integration, and qu...
Portable notebook computer
MobileForce M220 rugged portable notebook computer runs on an Intel 1.4 GHz Dothan LV processor. Features include low power consumption, large storage capacity, and lightweight design. Bay 1 can accommodate an optical drive or a second battery. Removable HDD (hard disk drive) bay lets users share the device but not the HDD, secure the unit by removing the HDD, or swap out the HDD into another l...
Self-powered, resettable counter timers
Panel-mounted 1/32-DIN DP-CH counters and DP-TH timers incorporate a large 0.3 in. (8 mm) high, liquid crystal display for easy viewing. Powered by an internal battery, they have a data retention life of at least 10 years, with no connection to any external power source. Components are applicable in portable or remote devices, machines where wiring may be difficult, or in low-voltage systems, a...
Rackmount, bench-top computers
AE Series of rackmount PCs come in 1U, 2U, and 4U heights. Design permits easy upgrade of on-board components with the front-panel controls and indicators secured behind a locking front-door panel.
Ember, Mototech to jointly offer services for ZigBee developers
Ember Corp. and Mototech have formed a partnership to give developers design and manufacturing capabilities, and help them tap into the ZigBee market for wireless control and monitoring products.
Intermec releases Generation 2 UHF RFID technology
Intermec Technologies Corp. has introduced Intellitag Generation 2 UHF radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, which reportedly increases system performance, and provides levels of reliability and functionality not found in older UHF RFID technologies.
Danaher buying LEM Instruments
Washington, DC—Danaher Corp. reports that it has agreed to buy LEM Instruments, a division of Swiss-based LEM Group, for approximately $57 million in cash, including transaction costs and net of cash acquired.
Intrinsically safe PDA
Ecom Instruments reports that its i.roc x 10-Ex industrial PDA is lightweight, rugged, and ergonomic. It comes in three versions, including ruggedized; gas zone 2/dust zone 22; and gas zone 1/dust zone 21. With compact external dimensions based on Windows Mobile, i.roc x10-Ex has integrated WLAN 802.
Enterprise software enhancements
RtBaseline from OSIsoft gathers relevant data from multiple sources and delivers data in a specific context for any user who needs it. Powered by PI, OSIsoft's real-time event management and data historian system, RtBaseline unifies all data across the enterprise and adds context, converting data into meaningful information accessible inside and outside an organization.
UPS for continuous operation of 24-V devices
Quint Buffer and DC-UPS uninterruptible power supplies ensure continuous operation of all 24-V devices in electrical installations during power interruptions. For brief outages lasting up to four seconds, Quint Buffer module supplies required current from maintenance-free electrolytic capacitors. Quint DC-UPS module responds to longer outages with durable, hybrid, lead-acid storage batteries.
ZigBee Alliance finalizes specification for global, interoperable wireless standard
The ZigBee Alliance reports that it has ratified the first ZigBee wireless specification (IEEE 802.11g), which it says will help users develop and deploy powerful, efficient, cost-effective, low data-rate monitoring, control, and sensing networks. This on-time delivery of the specification concludes two years of worldwide development and interoperability testing by more than...
Coriolis flowmeter independent of fluid properties
Proline Promass 40E Coriolis mass flow measuring system from Endress+Hauser is compact, flexible, and insensitive to changes in operating environment. No upstream filters are necessary because solid particles reportedly can't damage the meter, which has no moving parts to wear out. The unit also is independent of fluid properties, and isn't sensitive to changes in viscosity, temperature, and pr...
VHV ac synchronous motor needs no transformer
Based on earlier work that led to development of a generator product for producing high voltage for direct transmission to the grid, ABB Inc. has introduced a novel "very high voltage" (VHV) ac synchronous motor product able to operate with inputs in the 20-70 kV range. VHV "Motorformer," an ABB-trademarked name, combines motor and transformer functions, eliminating the need for an intermediate...
Wireless transmitters go where hardwiring can’t
To facilitate automated monitoring in remote, hazardous, or hard-to-access locations, XYR 5000 wireless transmitters from Honeywell Process Solutions can measure and communicate process variables online without requiring wiring or external power. The firm reports that XYR 5000 gives users the flexibility to gather information about process and assets in places where traditional hardwired transm...
Substation computing platforms
SEL-3351 substation computing platform is designed to replace office-grade PCs in substation environments. SEL-3301 Protocol Gateway is intended for connecting older and newer equipment. Rugged computing products are designed to improve reliability and decrease maintenance in electrical substations and plants.
ABB’s productive robot facility in Sweden
Nearly 10,000 industrial robots will be produced in 2004 by ABB at its manufacturing facility in Västerås, Sweden, as revealed during "Technology Day 2004" media tour in November 2004.
Regulated dc power supplies
Regulated 24 V dc power supplies include four new offerings: a single-phase input at 20 A and three, 3-phase input models at 10, 20, and 40 A.
Exclusive: Air/gas flowmeter for small-line measurement
ST75 Series flowmeter from Fluid Components International (FCI) measures and monitors air or gas flows in line sizes from 0.25 in. to 2.0 in. (6-51 mm) with a single instrument and provides three outputs of mass flow rate, totalized flow, and media temperature.
General Cable to acquire Draka’s specialty electronics assets
Highland Heights, KY—General Cable Corp. reports that it has agreed to acquire certain assets of Draka Holding's Comteq business in North America for approximately $5 million to $10 million.
Looking back on 2004 in embedded control
With your busy schedules, you might have missed some of our coverage in the past year. Here are items from 2004 Control Engineering relating to embedded control that you might want to catch up on or revisit.
Power: kit, connectors, supplies, UPS, regulator
Following is a round-up of recently released power-related products from American Superconductor, Interpower, Lascar Electronics, MGE, Phoenix Contact, and Vishay Siliconix.
I/O modules on continuous improvement path
To read the original printed article click here. I/O modules on continuous improvement path Input and output (I/O) module manufacturers are not resting on their laurels. The unsung devices that are tucked away in enclosures and scattered about the plant floor are seeing steady improvement in communications, integration ease, and density, among other areas. Not only do I/O modules provide the necessary connections between sensors or actuation devices and the site of control logic, thereby closing the control loop, they also are adaptable to a wide variety of communication protocols, physical constraints, and physical-layer connections.
Wireless LCD panel computer
ARP-2015 ruggedized, wireless LCD panel computer is suited for a wide array of applications, including material handling, warehousing, and manufacturing automation. Front bezel is NEMA 4/12 rated and IP65 compliant. Strengthened glass or resistive touchscreen protects panel from scratching. Aluminum bezel features a heavy-duty reinforced steel chassis.
NEMA’s industrial control business index up 14% from 2003
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) reports that its Primary Industrial Control Index improved by nearly 14% in the third quarter of 2004 (3Q04) from the same period a year earlier. The 3Q04 index level of 84.4 marks the highest the primary index has reached since 1Q01.
Cooper buys emergency equipment manufacturer
Houston, TX—Cooper Industries Ltd. has acquired U.K.-based, privately held MEDC Ltd., which manufactures manual, visual, and audible alarms and public address speakers.
Rockwell works with SuperPower on high-efficiency motors, generators
Greenville, SC; Schenectady, NY—Rockwell Automation Inc. has agreed with SuperPower Inc. to work together to design, develop, build, and install high-temperature superconducting (HTS) electric motors and generators for high-horsepower commercial, industrial and military applications.
GE to acquire Ionics to expand water, process treatment capabilities
Wilton, CT—To grow its water and process treatment platform, and add desalination, water reuse, and industrial, ultra-pure water services, General Electric Co.’s GE Infrastructure unit has agreed to acquire Ionics Inc. for about $1.1 billion in cash, plus assumption of existing debt.
Current Modules Measure Power Factor by Dataforth
The “power factor” of AC systems or components is thecosine of the angle by which the AC current leads or lagsthe applied AC excitation voltage....
‘Real’ high-voltage motors
Large, high power ac induction and synchronous motors top out at 15 kV electrical input. My November 2004 article looks at innovation in this technology sector.
Technology Enabling Live Manufacturing by Advantech
Through integrating the WebLink-2059 with B2D software, an automotive supplier was able to use live information from 35 different pieces of production equipment at their plant in Mexico to improve throughput and quality.
NEMA’s industrial control business index up 14% from 2003
Rosslyn, VA—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) reports that its Primary Industrial Control Index improved by nearly 14% in the third quarter of 2004 (3Q04) from the same period a year earlier.
6.2-mm wide analog signal conditioner
Phoenix Contact Mini MCR signal conditioning product family is said to revolutionize isolation, conversion, and amplification.
Phoenix Contact launches fiber-optic converter system
Phoenix Contact reports that its new fiber-optic converter system enables users to transmit fiber-optic data for the most popular serial communication interfaces and bus systems.
Enclosures: Fibox, Hoffman, ITS, Rose+Bopla, Rittal, Schroff
Recent enclosure products from Fibox, Hoffman, ITS, Rose+Bopla, Rittal, and Schroff include easier NEMA 4X doors, high-temperature capabilities, flat-panel enclosures, and a flexible busbar power system.
Conolog talks merger/acquisition with Princeton Technology Group
Somerville, NJ—Conolog Corp. reports that it has started merger/acquisition talks with Princeton Technology Group (PTG).
MS Windows CE to SQL
Web Studio V6.0 SP3 adds an embedded, easy-to-configure interface to SQL relational databases, such as SQL Server, Oracle, MS Access, MySQL, and others directly from Microsoft Windows CE devices.
‘Real’ High-Voltage Motors Are Here
Imagine electric motors operating with input directly from a utility distribution line. Just think about the energy savings, drastic reduction of heat and power losses, and elimination of the costly, maintenance-prone transformer plus related switching equipment. Higher voltage also allows operation at lower current for the same power output.
AB Fair 2004: Sola/Hevi Duty’s power conditioner protects inductive loads
Orlando, FL—To improve power quality in factory automation and commercial equipment, Sola/Hevi-Duty introduced its Solartron Plus three-phase power conditioner at Rockwell Automation's AB Automation Fair 2004, Oct. 27-28, at the Orange County Convention Center.
AB Fair 2004: Leviton expands automation solutions
Orlando, FL—Leviton Manufacturing Co. has expanded its products that are part of Rockwell Automation's Encompass program to include surge protection and wiring device products, and is exhibiting them at Allen-Bradley Automation Fair 2004, Sept. 27-28, at the Orange County Convention Center.
Wyatt launches next-generation viscometer
ViscoStar viscometer is called an "innovative new instrument" by its manufacturer, Wyatt Technology.
IEEE-USA backs center to give Congress technological expertise
Washington, D.C.—IEEE-USA has joined a coalition of engineering societies in supporting a bipartisan bill recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would establish a Center for Scientific and Technical Assessment (CSTA) to provide Congress with technological expertise.
Portable, clamp-on ultrasonic gas flowmeter
TransPort PT878GC, shown at ISA 2004, was said to be the only clamp-on portable flow-meter for ultrasonic gas-flow measurement at the time of April introduction.
10 tips for better grounding
Proper grounding keeps the gremlins out of automation and controls, when appropriate installation practices are followed. Here are 10 tips for better grounding.
ISA Expo 2004: Micronor shows totally passive rotary encoder
Houston, TX—Micronor is exhibiting its patent-pending, incremental rotary encoder, MR312 ZapFree at ISA Expo 2004, Oct. 5-7, at the Reliant Center.
PowerLogic System Manager software version 4.0 features an entirely redesigned and more intuitive user interface. It also includes standard Web-enabled capabilities for each member of the SMS product family. Because Web-enabled capabilities are standard, users can access the system from anywhere within a facility as long as they have security clearance and access to the company's intranet.
Linear XY stepper
20-mil pitch XY linear stepper improves accuracy and cycle time over existing technology used in wafer probers. With microstep resolutions of approximately 1 µm, the air bearing stage is suited for high-accuracy semiconductor manufacturing and test. Stepper does not exhibit oscillations so that secondary operations such as trimming, test, or inspection can be carried out rapidly on a stabl...
Schneider Electric reorganizes U.S. automation, control sales group
Schneider Electric's operating division in North America has created 65 new positions in its Industrial Automation and Control (IAC) business to improve accountability and performance to better pursue emerging market opportunities. Besides implementing these "business development specialist" positions, Schneider has added new services and channels to support each of its five U.
Energy storage system converts heat to backup power
A new energy storage technology that provides extended runtimes of lead-acid batteries without the typical shortcomings of these cells has been developed by Active Power, Inc.
ISM says manufacturing growth slows, but orders, production, employment, inventories up
Tempe, AZ—Despite increasing at a slower rate, economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew for the 15th consecutive month in August, while the overall economy grew for the 34th consecutive month, according to U.S. supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).
Past, Present, and Future of Control Engineering
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Control Engineering, the editors wanted to look back at control, automation, and instrumentation advances over the past 50 years, and assess where we are now in consideration of what's to come in the next 50 years. To do that, we spent a great deal of time interviewing experienced automation and controls engineers from Boeing, Case Western Reserve Unive...
Microkernel for scalable routing system
Ottawa, ON, Canada—QNX Software Systems reports that Cisco Systems is using an optimized version of QNX’s Neutrino microkernel in Cisco’s recently announced IOS XR software.
Minifast B and C size cordsets and receptacles are industry-standard connectors built to meet SAE H1738-2 specification.
Pistol-grip IR thermometers
Infrared thermometer family adds three new models to meet the needs of electrical, maintenance, HVAC/R, and automotive applications.
Scanner market growth predicted, imagers lead the way
Global market for handheld bar code scanners should reach $974 million by the end of 2008, a recent study from Venture Development Corp. shows.
ProfessorDAQ add-in now available for free
Previously sold for $195, the ProfessorDAQ add-in f