Monday, December 28, 2009

Datasensor has introduced US30 Ultrasonic Sensors with M30 housing to expand its measurement and detection product portfolio. All the models present radial acoustic emission and the versions can have the following features: configurable PNP/NPN NO/NC bipolar digital output; 0-10V analogue output; and 4-20mA analogue output. Models also feature a detection field of 100mm-1m or 200mm-2m.

The response time is fixed in the models with digital output (45ms for 1m models and 92ms for the 2m models) and is selectable in the models with analogue output (45ms or 105ms for 1m models and 92ms or 222ms for 2m models). Electrical connection can be carried out using standard M12 five-pole connector. The sensors can be configured using the Teach-In procedure, using the two push-buttons on the rear side of the sensor, or using the remote input present on the connector. Two signalling LEDS show the operating status. The temperature compensation function corrects the sound speed changes due to temperature variations and maintain the sensor precision in all situations, thus guaranteeing a minimum resolution of 0.5mm for the 1m models and 1mm for the 2m models.

These functions make the US30 ultrasonic sensors an alternative to other typical detection technologies in critical applications in presence of fog, dust or smoke. Datasensor claims that these sensors can contribute to improving the quality and productivity in industrial automation systems. The US30 ultrasonic sensors detect all objects independently from their sound-absorbent material, transparency and colour, making them the suitable for applications in sectors such as automotive, packaging, machine tool and material transformation processes.

Lifebatt has extended its range with the introduction of eight modules: four assembled using the X-1E 3.3V 10Ah and four using the X-2E 3.3V 15Ah high-energy cell. This module range is available in four voltages, 12V, 24V, 36V and 48V, configurations with capacity ranging from 10Ah to 180Ah and is specifically designed for high-energy applications with a maximum continuous discharge current of 30A, with peaks of 50A.

This range offers high performance, improved cost of ownership, cycle life of 2,000 cycles and lower environmental footprint when compared to other traditional batteries, according to Lifebatt. Stand-alone renewable energy sources and UPS systems are becoming increasingly popular in a wide variety of applications and require a high-quality, long-life and low-maintenance battery solution. This is a particular requirement in remote locations where uncontrolled temperature variations and sometimes erratic shallow discharges are common.

Lead acid batteries and technologies based on nickel batteries can suffer from limited life, poor reliability, sudden death and high maintenance costs when compared to a LifePO4 solution, said Lifebatt. The range of LifePO4 modules available from Lifebatt have been specifically designed and developed to reduce the cost of ownership offering a life of more than five years in mobility applications. This is due to the modules being capable of offering a cycle life of 2,000 cycles based upon a 1C charge and discharge with the capacity reducing to just 80 per cent of the batteries original nominal capacity.

The design and production of all Lifebatt modules is achieved using components with a minimal impact upon the environment containing no heavy metals such as lead, nickel, cadmium or cobalt. At end of life 100 per cent of the components used can be collected and recycled and correspondingly meet all aspects of the Directive 2006/66/EC of the European Parliament and of the council on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators. The modules have also been designed to be configured to provide multiple voltages and capacities by allowing them to be connected in series and parallel as per customer requirements.

Northwire, Technical Cable, has announced the availability of bulk cable, Coilboss Retractile Cords and complete cable solutions for the charging of electric and hybrid vehicles and equipment. All-electric vehicle (EV) cables can be designed to ship in five days with no minimum order length or quantity requirements. Northwire's EV cable exceeds industry standards for performance, is UL 62 approved and compatible with SAE J1772 connectors, UL 2594 and NEC 625 charging systems.

All EV cable options are available in standard or custom configurations. Customisation includes hybrid designs, colours, labelling and more. Northwire provides free design and prototyping services and has a team to help navigate automotive and EV standards. 'EV cable products are engineered for high performance in severe temperature extremes and harsh mechanical environments, including exposure to oil, chemicals, abrasion, crushing and more,' said Kevin DePratter, director of research and development.

EV cable solutions from Northwire include 600V EVE (TPE) and 600V EVT (PVC) cables available from 2AWG to 18AWG and 300V EVJE (TPE) and 300V EVJT (PVC) cables in 12AWG to 18AWG. Standard jacket materials are exposed-run (ER) rated TPE or PVC with nylon. These cables may contain hybrid data, signal and communication in any AWG size. All materials are RoHS compliant for EV charging stations in wet locations.

EV cables from Northwire are designed for use in electric vehicles (EV), neighbourhood electric vehicles (NEV); battery electric vehicles (BEV), hybrid vehicles, low-speed vehicles (LSV), personal electric vehicles (PEV), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVS). Cables are designed to be compatible with charging applications, whether at residences, commercial establishments, parking facilities or dedicated charging stations.

Axiomtek has introduced the ETM831, Intel Atom ETX 3.x compliant system-on-a-module with good performance-per-watt advantages for various multimedia devices. The ETM831 has compact footprint measuring 4.5 x 3.7in and integrates a high-performance, low-power 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor N270 with Intel 945GSE and ICH7M chipsets. The ETM831 supports up to 2GB of high-speed DDR2 system DRAM on a single Sodimm.

The Mobile Intel 945GSE Express chipset integrates an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 that provides CRT and single/dual-channel 18/24-bit LVDS. The low-power module is said to be ideal for communication, medical, factory automation, transportation, and surveillance applications. Measuring 114 x 95mm, the compact ETM831 embedded platform comes with advanced connectivity and expansion interfaces including two Sata, four USB 2.0, one Fast Ethernet, VGA, 18/24-bit LVDS, AC'97/HD audio, PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, 2 UARTs ports, FDD/LPT port, and Irda interface (optional).

A watchdog timer is included to keep system running smoothly. The ETM831 supports Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Embedded Standard, Windows XPe, Windows CE, Linux as well as QNX. The RoHS-compliant product will be available around the end of February 2010.

Crystek has introduced a range of low-loss RF co-axial cable assemblies featuring rugged stainless-steel solder-clamp construction and attenuation of 0.36dB/ft at 18GHz. The LL142 series cable is said to offer shielding effectiveness of greater than -110dB with an operating temperature range of -55C to +85C (extended range of -55C to +125C available through special order).

The cable offers a minimum bend radius of 0.8in and is available in stock with SMA male to SMA male connectors as well as Type N and TNC connectors. Crystek's stocking distributors also support a large variety of RG174 and RG316DS cables in a variety of configurations.

GPEG International is to bring Wacom Components' Capplus capacitive touch technology to market. Wacom Components has created an enhanced surface capacitive touch component solution for mid- to large-size flat panel applications. Using reversing ramped field capacitive (RRFC) technology, Capplus products are said to overcome many of the traditional performance barriers associated with existing surface capacitive technology.

Darren Chapman, sales manager at GPEG International, said: 'By applying RRFC across the range, all products are able to combine the advantages of capacitive features such as light and accurate touch feel, robust glass substrates, and ease of sealing, but can also be used with thin gloves for hospital and patient monitoring applications. 'The additional immunity to liquids on the touch surface is a feature of benefit to medical, industrial and outdoor kiosk manufacturers.

'Wacom has improved the surface scratch resistance of Capplus by increasing the coating thickness to be up to four times greater than traditional capacitive touch panels. 'The touch-screen controller has many features: it does not need to be sold as a matched pair with individual panels, it has good sensitivity and linearity through enhanced digital processing and offers higher immunity to ground drift and nearby metals. 'For the gaming and kiosk market this means that it is no longer necessary to re-calibrate the touch screen each time the product is powered down.

Armstrong International has launched the Flo-Eco high-efficiency water heater, a compact, condensing, storage-type heater said to delivers 95 per cent efficiency in most operational modes. When equipped with the Armstrong Brain digital re-circulating valve (DRV), the Flo-Eco delivers precise temperature control for a variety of environments including long-term healthcare facilities, hotels, schools, office buildings and apartments.

Flo-Eco offers what Armstrong International claims to be the industry's only replaceable tank liner. The Tuff-Tank liner is constructed of an industrial material rated for continuous use at temperatures up to 185F. It is said to be so effective in protecting the underlying tank substrate that sacrificial anodes rods are not required. System connectivity via Armstrong Brainscan, a digital hot water management system console optionally supplied with the Brain, offers hot water monitoring and control linked with resident BAS (Bacnet, Lonworks, Modbus), and can be web enabled.

Flo-Eco can be pre-piped and stacked horizontally on a small single footprint to save floor space, piping, venting, labour and expense. In fact, a Flo-Eco Triple can be moved through a 28 x 80in doorway. Flo-Eco water heaters carry a 10-year tank warranty and a five-year heat exchanger warranty. The Brain (DRV80) also comes with a complete five-year warranty on all component parts.

Power Jet Systems (PJS) has demonstrated its concrete scabbling techniques to a variety of customers at Nuclear Engineering Services' (NES) open days. The company supplies ultra-high-pressure water-jet cutting solutions to a number of industrial clients, but believes the very high pressure (VHP) scabbling techniques developed will have a variety of applications within the nuclear and general industrial markets.

Supported by Kuka robotics, the scabbling process can supply a fully enclosed concrete removal method suitable for pond wall and silo scabbling. Utilising a six-jet scabbling head, rotating at approximately 2,000revs/min, the equipment provides variable removal rates, with NES typically working at 6mm deep scabbling covering approximately 8m2 per hour. Driven manually or by an automated programme, the Kuka robot provides an ideal system for the VHP scabbling equipment to be mounted to. NES is developing a number of platforms to attach the PJS scabbling system to, including fixed robotic arms and crawler robots.

Supporting the scabbling and robotic systems is a 37kW vacuum pump extracting the wastes from the concrete surface at the point of scabbling. The 2,750m3 per hour capacity extraction unit is capable of separating solid from wet wastes. The vacuum system can also be run through a filtration system allowing the air and water to be free released. Through the utilisation of VHP, the volumes of water required for this process are reduced from that of high-pressure water jetting. The scabbling system uses approximately 15litres per minute, at a pressure of 30,000lb/in2.

Supplying the VHP water to this system is a 100hp pump unit powered by either diesel or electric, certified for use in hazardous environments. The Triplex piston pump unit is capable of delivering up to 30litres per minute at a pressure of 45,000lb/in2. PJS has also recently carried out underwater scabbling techniques on concrete. This technique will allow pond walls to be scabbled with the water remaining. This holds advantages over an empty pond as the water can be used as a natural barrier to the radiation.

Deritend HandK has installed a washing and de-stoning plant at McCain's potato specialities production plant at Wombourne, West Midlands. The plant's peeling and processing line has also been updated, and re-installed in a more flexible and efficient layout. Moving food production equipment requires a host of organisational skills, as well as planning, purchasing, fabrication, pipework, wiring, installation and commissioning expertise. It is not an everyday operation at large food-processing sites so, when faced with a project of some magnitude, McCain chose to outsource the task to a specialist company.

Skilled personnel from Deritend HandK form a permanent part of the maintenance team at the Wombourne plant. The majority of Deritend HandK's operational personnel have been working on this site for several years, and consequently they know the people and the equipment inside-out. The Wombourne plant is responsible for manufacturing ranges of McCain's frozen potato products, such as Smiles and Hash Browns. The objective of the production update at the plant was twofold: to increase the efficiency of the entire preparation operation and add flexibility, enabling faster changeovers and a leaner production flow.

The potato preparation process starts with potatoes arriving either from local farms - direct from the field, when in season; or at other times of the year, from McCain's own local warehouse. The potatoes arrive at the new washing plant having been graded and most of the loose soil removed; some stones still remain, however.

The first part of the process is a pre-wash, which feeds into the de-stoning section where the potatoes are floated around a slow moving water centrifuge that allows the stones to sink, removing them from the process. The potatoes are then scrubbed clean and fed into bunkers, which in-turn feed the processing line. The machinery that performs this entire operation was installed, wired and piped by Deritend HandK. Deritend HandK used a permanent on-site workshop for wiring and structural fabrication, such as walkways and pipework in anodised steel and stainless.

The rest of the engineering work was completed at the specially equipped Deritend HandK workshop in West Bromwich. The machine-moving aspect of the job was also undertaken by the Deritend HandK team. The team took ultimate responsibility for completion of the work, on schedule, and for ensuring that it did not disrupt the ongoing operation of the plant during the three- month changeover period. The cleaning process is a closed system, and is efficient at minimising water usage. The overall control of the system is based upon a factory PLC system interfaced to the washing plant by Deritend HandK, which also sourced and installed all the valve assemblies, pumps and conveyors, and completed all the associated cabling and commissioning.

The second stage of potato preparation involves the potatoes being pumped from the bunkers into the peeling and steaming room. All the equipment in this large area was moved by Deritend HandK, working with the McCain project team set-up to manage the suppliers and the final integration. Discussions were also held with the management team to keep the overall goals and objectives of the project at the forefront of the work being undertaken. The machine movement carried out within the plant required the fabrication of walkways, and the moving and installation of pumps, augers, conveyors and pipework, in addition to all the cabling requirements. All of the work was completed to food- grade wash-down specifications.

Two other aspects of the project that were essential to smooth and efficient running were safety and training. Deritend HandK took on the role of principle contractor with responsibility for the co-ordination of CDM safety regulation criteria, in conjunction with the McCain Group safety engineer. This required strict protocols to be applied to the physical conditions on the site, and the process of informing and updating associated contractors; these included civil engineers, construction companies and other involved parties. Regular safety briefings were carried out throughout the project at key intervals where plant layout and conditions were changed.

Autonnic has announced the launch of a range of waterproof, non-contact interaction devices, designated the A3300 lever control module. A requirement of the marine sector is that conducting, corrosive seawater must not encounter electronic circuits - however, switches, controls and buttons must be placed where a wet mariner can reach and touch them. Autonnic said it has applied the latest version of its three-axis fluxgate technology to its solution to this interface problem.

The company's solution is magnetic and therefore non-contact, which solves the problem of how to keep the sea out of the electronics behind knobs, levers and buttons. The first of the series to launch is the A3300 set of OEM modules to provide the basis of non-contact engine lever controls for either one or two engines. Originally based on cables, lever controls are the electrical means to communicate between the bridge and engine room.

Fundamental to the operation is a method to convert a hand movement into an electrical signal. While a potentiometer is often used it has a number of disadvantages and Autonnic's challenge has been to solve these while remaining cost-effective. First, potentiometers are not non-contact. The electrical part is mechanically connected and a rotary seal is therefore needed to keep the water out. Second, potentiometers use sliding parts that wear and give rise to electrical noise, which could lead to unreliable operation.

Third, the potentiometer is itself a mechanical turning part and its own movement has to be rigidly accommodated within the final lever product design. Autonnic's solution is based on its low-cost magnetic technology. At its simplest, the company applies a magnet on a lever externally and a sealed internal fluxgate will indicate to what angle the lever has been turned. For adjacent controls, such as a twin-engine lever control, something else has to be put in place - Autonnic's switched magnet technology (SMT).

By using asymmetric passive cores on the lever shafts a common fluxgate can be shared between the two, keeping all the advantages. Because SMT is a vector magnetic method the background field is always being removed from the reading, leaving it unaffected by stray magnetic fields. For the highest precision applications - higher even than lever controls - Autonnic can replace the passive cores with excited symmetric cores so that the movement of one shaft does not distort the field due to the other in even the slightest way so that cross-talk is eliminated.

BP Norge has awarded Aker Solutions an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for a tie-back from Oselvar to the Ula platform. The scope of work includes engineering, procurement, fabrication of module and other minor components, installation offshore and commissioning assistance. The execution phase is based on a front-end engineering design study performed by Aker Solutions.

The object of the tie-back operation is to transport oil and gas 24km from the Dong-operated Oselvar field to BP's Ula platform for processing. The oil will be processed at the platform. The gas will either be re-injected or exported via pipeline to Gyda and Ekofisk facilities. Work under the contract starts immediately and the project will be completed in November 2011. The project will be managed out of Aker Solutions' location in Stavanger.

PIDtutor has released a book covering all aspects of split-range control, designed to help technicians and engineers implement and troubleshoot split-range control applications. The book was written by George Buckbee, president of PIDtutor. It covers all aspects of the use of split-range control.

Starting with the basics, the book discusses when to use split-range and when not to, costs and benefits, how to configure the control strategy, how to calibrate the valves, how to tune the loops, and even how to train operators and troubleshoot problems. Colour pictures illustrate the key concepts. Split-range control uses a single controller with two control valves to maintain a single process variable. It can be used for a variety of applications, such as heating and cooling of a tank or a room. Split-range control is widely used in the process industries, such as pulp and paper, oil and petrochemicals, and mining.

The Resmix reservoir mixing system installed in a Scottish reservoir earlier in 2009 has completed its first summer with encouraging results, according to Gurney Environmental. The Resmix technology, developed by Water Engineering and Research Solutions, uses a slowly rotating impeller to skim a layer of water from the surface of the reservoir and then 'push' it down to the bottom. The advantage of top-to-bottom exchange is that dissolved oxygen (DO), which is plentiful at the surface, can be made available where it is required at the bottom.

As a result the quality of water is improved and maintained. The Resmix system is claimed to have proven its effectiveness in some of the harshest conditions imaginable. In its first UK application, a Resmix 3000 was installed to reduce the levels of manganese and other metals arriving at the reservoir's treatment works. Using approximately 1kW of energy the Resmix system has been designed to maintain uniform conditions in the 3,700 mega litre reservoir reducing summer peaks of manganese to levels treatable by the existing treatment works and therefore negating the need for an expensive upgrade.

David Orme of Gurney Environmental said: 'Manganese release occurs in reservoirs and water impoundments due to the natural process of stratification occurring during the summer months. 'The surface layer of the reservoir is warmed by sunlight and becomes more buoyant than the water below, preventing the underlying water from reaching the surface. 'Trapped beneath the warm surface layer, the main body of water becomes depleted of DO. 'The resulting low concentration of DO causes iron, manganese and other metal salts to leach from sediments leading to discolouration, odour and bad taste. 'Stagnation of the water also encourages the growth of algae in the surface layer.

Traditional methods of mixing reservoirs, typically either compressed air diffuser systems or mechanical mixers, bring poor quality water from the bottom, and mix it into the entire water column. This requires large amounts of electrical energy and can in some cases even exacerbate water quality problems. Andy Muir from Scottish Water Solutions added: 'We have had the Resmix unit in service now for the best part of a year. 'During this time we have monitored both the manganese levels in the raw water and the reservoir oxygen levels and temperature. 'Owing to some technical difficulties with, among other things our temporary power supply, the Resmix unit was not operating for an extended period at the hottest part of the year.

'During this period our monitors showed that reservoir stratification occurred and with it an increase in soluble manganese levels in the raw water. 'Stratification was evident from temperature and oxygen differentials from top to bottom of the water column. 'With the Resmix system back in service there was a marked drop in soluble manganese and the reservoir temperature and oxygen differentials decreased. 'This is a favourable outcome as the cost of running this unit is a fraction of the cost of running a filtration removal plant.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Particle-Into-Liquid Sampler (Pils) from Metrohm UK is said to be an effective way of producing real-time measurements for assessing air quality. The Pils system can measure particulate pollutants several times an hour and when used in combination with a Metrohm ion chromatography system, inorganic ions such as ammonium, nitrate, sulphate and chloride can be detected and quantified with a cycle time between five and 20 minutes depending upon application.

The Pils system uses small quantities of steam to form water droplets on individual aerosol particles. The water droplets containing the dissolved aerosols can then be captured and analysed by ion chromatography. The instrument can be operated unattended for up to 20 days depending upon the volume of reagents and size of denuder and can take samples every five minutes. The current method used for analysing airborne particulates is filter sampling.

The filters collect the aerosol particles usually over a 24-hour period and the results are reported as daily averages. High time resolution means more information can be gathered and trends and cycles can be observed. Applications where the Pils system can be used include indoor air quality monitoring, ambient air quality monitoring, tunnel monitoring, waste transfer and landfill site monitoring, stack emissions monitoring, and emission protection for employees.

Metrohm UK offers a direct online on-site analysis using well-established techniques and no manual sample preparation is needed. In combination with an ion chromatograph it is possible to determine the following species: cations (Na+, NH4+, K+, Ca++, Mg++), anions (Cl-, NO3-, NO2-, SO4--), organic acids (acetate, formate, oxalate), LOD (depending on ion) from 5-100 ng/m3. Full installation and training by a Metrohm applications chemist is included in the price of the system.

Wonderware United Kingdom has announced the launch of the Wonderware Intelligence Software 1.0 solution. The enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) solution enables customers to contextualise, aggregate and report both historian and operational data using role-based dashboards, presenting key performance indicators (KPIs) and real-time operational business metrics that are used to monitor, tune and optimise operations and supply chains.

Wonderware Intelligence software transforms data and information from multiple sources into business intelligence by aggregating process and production data in real time and adding contextual elements, such as equipment, product, work orders, material and personnel. This information context enables end users to gain insights into the root causes of problems and understand how production events are related.

The formatted information is saved and optimised for fast reporting and analysis, allowing end users to create and publish dashboards using the Wonderware Intelligence Analytics Client into a variety of web portals. Users can also configure customised metrics without programming. The software acquires data not only from the Wonderware family of products, including MES, Inbatch and Historian, but also from external systems such as ERP, Lims, PDM or even other execution systems and historians, to provide plant, multi-plant and corporate-wide views of operations and performance.

Invensys has formed a global relationship with RWD that will see RWD create training programmes for Invensys's operator training simulators (OTS) for clients in the hydrocarbon processing industries.

The initial offering will encompass several Invensys Simsci-Esscor products, including Dynsim software for operator training, utilising a simulator modelling platform, and the Eyesim 3-D virtual reality field-operator training solution. By including professional training services, clients can maximise the benefits they experience from an OTS alone.

Rittal has built a range of outdoor enclosures around a central stainless-steel frame. This provides stability, and because it is made from the company's standard TS8 punched section profile it also offers an optimal mounting for any internal fitments.

Examples of easily added parts include mounting plates for heavy equipment, contractors, DIN rails for component and interconnection mounting, thermostats and cabinet heaters for climate control, and 19in profiles for standard electronic equipment.

Shelving can be fastened directly to the frame, as can telescopic slides and static slide rails to allow access to the rear of installed equipment and make installation simple. Many different 'Meccano'-style sections are available.

Quality Systems International (QSI) has revealed that its Winlims Rental scheme has been developed to give organisations a tax-efficient option for investing in its Winlims system. Winlims is a laboratory information management system (Lims).

Clive Collier, managing director at QSI, said: 'If your company is making profits and paying corporation tax, you can offset the rental fees for your Lims, which will reduce your tax burden by the amount of the fees. 'This means your Lims is paid for by the government and effectively costs your company nothing.

Weightron Bilanciai has launched the low-profile SPF light-vehicle weigher. The robust, weights-and-measures approved SPF is said to provide a cost- and space-effective solution for weighing vehicles up to 10 tonne capacity, making it ideal for vans, forklift trucks, skip lorries and agricultural vehicles. The scale features adjustable levelling feet and a 6mm durbar deck plate measuring 4.7m by 2.4m.

The optional steel pit frame facilitates ground-level installation, while the optional steel ramps complete the surface-mount version. The SPF can be used with a range of Weightron Bilanciai weight terminals, software packages and printers. Additional operational peripherals, including driver-operated terminals, control barriers and automatic number plate recognition systems are also available.

Endress+Hauser has launched the ATT12A thermal air flowmeter, designed for compressed air applications. The ATT12A airflow trend meter is said to be ideal for use in air distribution, compressed air monitoring and air leakage detection.

The meter features an IP66 stainless-steel housing and all-stainless-steel construction. It can be installed in any location. Covering a range of line sizes and flow rates, the ATT12A t-trend can achieve substantial savings by monitoring compressed air usage and leakage, according to Endress+Hauser.

It features a push-button function offering user-friendly menu navigation and device configuration. Its illuminated LED switch point flashes in the event of any programming failure, meaning users are informed of the error immediately. The LCD display allows simple programming of the device through a guided menu and shows the measured values as well as the percentage of maximum flow rate and error codes providing information about the current status.

RDP Electronics has announced that it has a range of transducers available for high line pressure applications where it is important to measure the differential pressure between two pressure ports.

Applications such as measuring the pressure across hydraulic cylinders, very high pressure filter measurement, or test applications where a very high line pressure or very high overload pressure is called for, can all be addressed with true wet/wet differential transducers.

Versions can allow differential pressure of 4,000lb/in2, for example, even where the line pressure may already be 5,000lb/in2. They are designed for the minimum possible error caused by variations in line pressure. Transducers are manufactured from stainless steel and versions are compatible with a range of fluids and gases.

Malvern Instruments is to present three papers at Isranalytica 2010, the 13th Annual Meeting of the Israel Analytical Chemistry Society, which takes place on 19-20 January in Tel Aviv. Through a series of plenary and invited lectures, poster presentations and a professional exhibition, the conference covers a variety of topics in analytical chemistry.

Mark Pothecary will talk about 'Tetra Detection for the Advanced Characterisation of Proteins, Polysaccharides and DNA', and consider some of the applications of Malvern's gas permeation chromatography/size exclusion chromatography (GPC/SEC) systems.

Stuart Wakefield will make two presentations, the first describing 'Morphologically Directed Chemical Imaging' and the second discussing the 'Links between Rheology, Particle Size and Zeta Potential'. Malvern systems will be displayed on the Dr Golik booth at the Isranalytica 2010 exhibition.

Bluewater Bio International has announced that its Hybacs process is continuing to show high performance in independent pilot trials carried out by Severn Trent Water in the UK and Aqualia in Spain. Both pilot trials are ongoing but at different stages. The collaboration with Severn Trent Water, which began the trial earlier, is now progressing with consideration being given to the potential of a full-scale installation.

Results from pilot plants installed at operational sites managed by Severn Trent Water and Aqualia verify that the Hybacs (hybrid bacillus activated sludge) process can remove nutrients from municipal-type wastewaters to comply with European regulations. More specifically, the plans have demonstrated Hybacs' efficacy in removing ammonia, nitrogen and phosphorus (key indicators of nutrient levels) to levels that comply with the general requirements of the sensitive area regulations in the European Union Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.

Severn Trent Water sewage treatment works in Coleshill, near Birmingham, treats municipal wastewater containing discharges from a light industry park. Over the course of 10 weeks from June to August 2009, the Hybacs plant removed more than 97 per cent of ammonia and more than 70 per cent of TN (total nitrogen), with TN removal levels in the final week peaking at an average of 93 per cent.

Similarly, the Aqualia plant has demonstrated more than 90 per cent removal of TP (total phosphorous) over recent weeks. Hybacs plants can achieve this performance while reducing power consumption by at least 40 per cent, according to Bluewater Bio International. In addition to power savings, the Hybacs process offers Capex reductions of up to 30 per cent, and a land-area footprint reduction of up to 40 per cent compared with conventional treatment technologies. Hybacs' modular format is said to be ideal for upgrading existing plants since generally all of the existing infrastructure can be leveraged for use in the Hybacs plant.

In most circumstances, Hybacs eliminates the need for water companies to construct large additional tanks of the type needed to upgrade conventional treatment plants to deliver nutrient removal performance. Hybacs can also be used to upgrade the general treatment capacity of conventional plants. Following the trials, Bluewater Bio is undertaking feasibility work with Severn Trent regarding the potential implementation of the Hybacs process within its region.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Diodes Incorporated has introduced 0.5A single-channel power switches optimised for USB-port protection and other 3-5V hot-swap interconnects. The AP2145 (active low enable) and AP2155 (active high enable) provide complete protection solutions for consumer, computing and communication applications subject to the possibility of heavy capacitive loads and short circuits. The power switches are fully compliant with USB standards and are available in industry-standard SOP-8L and exposed-pad MSOP-8L-EP packages.

Their 10us transient response time prevents unnecessary system shutdown or restart, while their accurate 1A current limiting capability helps reduce system rail current requirements and related component costs. Offering reverse current blocking, over-current, over-temperature and short-circuit protection, as well as controlled rise time and under-voltage lockout, the AP21X5 parts are said to significantly improve the robustness of USB ports.

In addition, an inbuilt 7ms deglitch period on the flag output will prevent erroneous over-current reporting, without the need for any external components. UL and IEC60950-1CB scheme certified, the power switches are said to meet industry's most rigorous safety standards. Operating temperature rating is -40 to 85C and current consumption in shutdown mode is a maximum of 1uA.

Fidessa, which supplies financial trading solutions, is using AMP Netconnect's advanced network cabling system in an internal communications system at a new data centre. The system, designed and installed by Maxima, an approved AMP Netconnect partner, includes Category 6 UTP (unshielded twisted pair) copper and OM3 multimode 50/125 fibre-optic cabling.

It is housed in a new purpose-built facility known as Sentrum IV on the outskirts of Woking, Surrey. Fidessa supplies multi-asset trading, portfolio analysis, decision support, compliance, market data and connectivity solutions for firms involved in financial trading. One of the specific requirements for the Sentrum IV data centre relates to the fact that Fidessa will use it as a showcase facility for existing and potential clients. This meant the 'public' areas needed to be as clean and tidy as possible, with any cabling hidden away beneath floors or in purpose-designed cabinets.

Maxima designed the sub-floor cable-support system to ensure cable capacity was not compromised. The installation proposed and implemented by Maxima includes a total of 125 APC servers, communications and switch cabinets incorporating 250 intelligent power units, along with 16 AMP Netconnect cross-connect central-patch frames. The fully ISO/IEC 11801 compliant Category 6 copper and OM3 fibre cabling system includes more than 9500 Category 6 AMP SL connections and more than 6300 OM3 LC AMP connections. The system carries Tyco Electronics' 25-year warranty, which will allow Fidessa to accommodate the growing bandwidth needs of IP convergence, reduce expenses associated with download, upload and backup time, and reduce costs associated with future upgrades.

An important feature of the installation is the use of the recently introduced AMP Netconnect Hi-D (high-density) network cabling system to provide a centralised high-density cross-connect patching system. The Hi-D network cabling system is positioned at the heart of the data-centre facility to allow for all the server, communications and switch cabinets to connect with the copper and fibre cabling through a centrally located cross-connect facility. The Class E/Category 6 UTP copper cabling system uses low-smoke zero-halogen sheathing, along with 24-port Hi-D angled patch panels with SL jacks to provide full RJ45 connectivity.

To provide a degree of resilience, copper cabling is routed from each panel in groups of 12 cables and follows diverse cable routes. The copper cabling is housed in a containment system under a false floor. The use of pre-manufactured Tyco Electronics harness assemblies between the network switch cabinets and the Hi-D angled patch panels is an important factor in ensuring warranty compliance. The OM3 fibre-cabling system also uses low-smoke zero-halogen sheathing and takes the form of individual 12- or 24-core cables linking 24- or 12-way duplex panels. As with the copper cabling, the fibre cables are diversely routed between cabinets.

Intersil has introduced the ISL80102 and ISL80103, a pair of low-voltage, high-current, low dropout linear regulators (LDOs), specified at 2A and 3A output current respectively. The parts utilise Bicmos technology, providing a fast transient response, which ensures that the output voltage is properly regulated under varying load current changes. They also feature 120mV dropout at 3A and 81mV dropout at 2A.

Operating from input voltages of 2.2V to 6V, the ISL80102 and ISL80103 are capable of providing supply output voltages of 0.8V to 5V on the adjustable versions. Fixed output voltages of 0.8V, 1.2V, 1.8V, 2.5V, 3.3V and 5V are also available, along with custom voltage options. Initial VOUT accuracy is +/- 0.5 per cent, and the devices provide +/- 1.8 per cent guaranteed VOUT accuracy for the junction temperature range of -40C to +125C, assuring point-of-load voltage regulation in critical applications.

Shutdown current is less than 1microA, and PSRR is 60dB over full-rated load current. The two LDOs also include an enable feature, so they can be placed into a low quiescent current shutdown mode. Additional capabilities, including 'power good' status indicator, soft-start, over-current protection and thermal shutdown, ensure the LDOs are reliable and customisable for various applications.

This combination of features are said to make the ISL80102 and ISL80103 ideal for a range of applications including core power supplies for microprocessors, DSPs and FPGAs, as well as instrumentation applications, industrial medical equipment, servers and networking equipment. The devices are manufactured using a Bicmos process, meaning that they consume lower quiescent current as a function of load, compared with LDOs manufactured using older bipolar processes. The ISL80102 and ISL80103 are available in compact 3 x 3 10-lead DFN packages.

Anritsu has introduced a Bluetooth low-energy testing option that allows designers and manufacturers of Bluetooth products to conduct radio layer testing in compliance with Core Specification 4.0. With this option, engineers can use the MT8852B to complete a test script covering Bluetooth basic rate, enhanced data rate and low-energy measurements in These test cases can be run as part of a test script to simplify creation of test programs and reduce test times. Bluetooth low-energy measurements are performed directly on the MT8852B, which controls the DUT using defined HCI or two-wire control commands. For development applications, the MT8852B low-energy measurement option is supplied with a PC application that displays low-energy reference test packets in graphical format, as well as providing clear pass/fail status for all supported measurements against the specified limits.

This facilitates the identification of the causes of any device failure during the critical design and development stages. Bluetooth low energy is ideal for applications that require occasional data transfer from devices that run for over a year from a single-button cell battery. Typical applications include sports and fitness devices such as heart-rate monitors, as well as medical products such as blood glucose meters and industrial sensors.

Cavium's energy efficient Econa CNS3XXX ARM-based SoC processors are now available from Ismosys. The single- and dual-core ARM SoC processors are said to enable high performance, while reducing power and cost for next-generation gateways, storage and consumer electronics devices. The integrated Econa CNS3XXX processors are said to feature a rich set of integrated hardware accelerators and a range of I/Os for glueless voice, video and data connectivity.

Power-management techniques enable the devices to deliver low-power operation starting at less than 1W. The devices target applications including FTTH broadband gateways, network attached storage appliances, multimedia picture frames, media and print servers, IP cameras and wireless access points. At the heart of the Econa CNS3XXX devices is an integrated power-management unit that enables a total of six different power-saving modes during operation, including: wake-on-LAN support; dynamic control of CPU power-per-core; and automatic shutdown of non-operational logic.

On-chip voltage regulators enhance the effectiveness of this PMU, enabling power consumption figures ranging from less than 1W for the single-core version to less than 2.5W for the highest-end dual-core version. Devices in the Cavium Econa CNS3XXX family are built around high-performance ARM11 MPcore processors and caches including Superscalar, ARM11 MPcore processors operating at up to 700MHz, each with 32KB I-cache, 32KB D-cache and a large 256KB L2 cache to provide more than 1,400 Dhrystone MIPS (DMIPS). Each ARM11 MPcore processor comes with instruction set extensions for digital signal processing (DSP) and media processing, and integrates a vector floating point unit (VFP) and memory management unit (MMU).

The cores also incorporate ARM's Jazelle technology, which enhances the performance of Java applets running on the CNS3XXX family. The high-performance cores combined with large caches deliver non-blocking, wire-speed performance for voice, video and data applications. DSP extensions on the ARM11 MPcore processors drive enhanced voice applications including support for wideband codecs, DECT and advanced call-control features such as conferencing.

Additional features of the SoC processors include: advanced acceleration engines, which include a packet switch for wire-speed switching; hardware-based NAT and QoS engine; TCP offload; packet processing engine (PPE) for wire-speed packet processing; content inspection engine for L7 application processing and filtering, Raid 5/6 XOR engine, 2D graphics engine with an integrated LCD controller, and a security engine for high-performance IPSec, SSL, intrusion prevention and anti-virus processing. The devices also support acceleration for the popular standards-compliant video codecs.

High-bandwidth, low-latency integrated memory, system and networking interfaces provided by the Econa CNS3XXX family include: intelligent x16/x32-bit, 800MHz DDR2 memory controller; three Ethernet MAC interfaces supporting RGMII/GMII/MII, Dual USB2.0/SATA2/PCIe - all with integrated PHYs; TDM/PCM LCD interface; SDIO camera interface and system interfaces including GPIO, SPI, UART, I2S and I2C. The Econa CNS3XXX software development kit (SDK) builds upon Cavium's existing Octeon and Octeon Plus SDK and includes: Linux SMP; GNU Toolchain; Simple Executive for fast path applications; performance tools; simulator; feature rich APIs for hardware acceleration; and reference applications.

ITT Interconnect Solutions has developed the APD one-way finger-protective connector designed for use in high voltage and maximum power applications. The connector is said to ensure maximum user safety as well as providing sealing up to IP69k.

The APD one-way finger-protective connector is said to be easy to use and features a plastic cap that protects the user's fingers. The connector receptacles mate with standard APD one-way plugs and incorporate ITT ICS's APD contact, crimp and coupling nut system. Pin contacts are available with standard crimp and additional screw or bolt terminations.

The connectors suit cable cross-sections from 16mm up to 50mm. Electrical specifications include voltage rating up to 400VDC in mated condition with an upgrade to 630VDC possible based on normative regulations (connectors must not be mated or unmated under load). Current rating is up to 245A at 25C.

RDP Electronics has announced a range of LVDTs that can be used to measure the piston position of hydraulic cylinders. For situations where it is not possible to fit RDP Temposonics magnetostrictive-type transducers within the cylinder, an alternative approach is to attach an LVDT externally, in parallel with the piston.

Fitted in this way the LVDT can follow and measure the displacement of the piston. RDP said that these LVDTs are durable, reliable and accurate in a wide range of operating environments. Appropriately specified LVDTs can be used submerged and even tolerate exposure to corrosive liquids.

Broadcom has announced that its latest-generation Bluetooth combination chip is compliant with the ratified Bluetooth low-energy version of the Bluetooth technology specification. The Bluetooth low-energy specification enables an ultra-low-power implementation of Bluetooth technology, making the technology increasingly applicable for wireless medical and fitness monitoring devices that necessitate long battery life.

With Broadcom's dual-mode implementation, OEMs can extend these new Bluetooth low-energy applications to smartphones and other devices while also enabling an array of existing Bluetooth functions with a single chip.

Austriamicrosystems has launched two in-vehicle-network ICs, the AS8520 and AS8530. The AS8520 is dedicated to LIN slaves, which can be found in car doors, car roof modules, seat modules or similar applications providing the transceiver, diagnosis and backup register access, as well as two relay drivers and a resistive attenuator.

The AS8530 is a general-purpose companion IC for LIN slaves providing the transceiver, a LDO and a shared pin microcontroller interface with window watchdog inside an eight-pin package. The AS8520 provides a LIN 2.1 transceiver with more than 6kV ESD IEC61000-4-2 capability on bus pin, a low drop out linear voltage regulator, for up to 60mA load, from a nominal 6-18V supply voltage with over-voltage capability up to 42V.

It also features two low side relay drivers and a resistive attenuator with disable switch for power saving. A four-wire microcontroller serial interface for device configuration, window watchdog trigger, diagnosis read out and read/write of eight continuously supplied backup registers are additional features of the AS8520.

The AS8530 is a stripped-down version of the AS8520 without the application-specific relay driver and attenuator, providing two-wire shared-pin microcontroller interfaces to provide the same digital features as the AS8520 in an eight-pin package. Both circuits are designed for very low quiescent current of typically 36uA in standby mode.

These LIN companion ICs are claimed to provide good diagnosis capability through the microcontroller interfaces. Continuously powered 64-bit backup memory and highly secure non-latching ESD clamp structure on the bus pin are additional highlights. Both devices are available with 5V or 3.3V regulated output voltage. The AS8520 is available in a 24-pin 6 x 6mm QFN package and the AS8530 is available in an eight-pin epSOIC package. Both ICs are suitable for operating environments from -40C to +125C.

Korenix has launched the Jetbox 9533G, a four-port Gigabit Embedded networking VPN router computer designed to provide extended high-bandwidth data transmission in industrial networks. In addition to its interface of LAN, WAN, DIO, Serial Console and USB ports, the RISC-based computer is designed with four PoE ports for delivering power along with data to higher-resolution cameras and other high-performance PoE enabled devices.

The computer has a complete Layer3 routing and VPN functionality to expand networking capabilities and reduce system costs by managing dynamic long-distance and secure overlay gigabit network groups. Combined with IP-31 rugged fanless, anti-vibration/shock design and -25C to +70C operating temperature, Jetbox 9533G is said to ensure the reliability and high performance of large network infrastructures in severe industrial environments. The Jetbox 9533G features four integrated Gigabit RJ45 ports.

With the Giga ports, the VPN computer works as a backbone networking device to connect up to 4 gigabit switches in extended networks for delivering maximum throughput for high performance, high density and reliable connection. The Jetbox 9533G is compliant with the IEEE802.3af PoE standard and operates as power-sourcing equipment to provide 15.4W power per port to higher resolution IP cameras, VoIP phones, wireless access points and other PoE-enabled devices. IPC providers can benefit from the 4 Giga PoE ports of the computer to deliver hundreds of megapixel video streams with reduced construction, maintenance time and costs.

In addition to the PoE interface, the Jetbox 9533G provides eight DIO channels, RS232 console, USB port for connecting and reading the status of RFID readers, I/O devices and other data-enriched products in remote locations. Jetbox 9533G supports VPN functionality and therefore can expand high-bandwidth networking capabilities and reduce system costs by establishing long-distance and secured network connections over WAN. The complete Layer3 routing capabilities of Jetbox 9533G, including the OSPF, IPv6, and DVMRP are claimed to help users efficiently manage extended gigabit network groups in industrial environments.

Jetbox 9533G is an embedded Linux system for front-end industrial control applications. It can execute customised Linux programs or Java programs via the built-in JavaVM. In addition, it provides a user-friendly web UI - Webmin - for Linux beginners to easily manipulate the network or device-related settings. For users' specific applications, Jetbox 9533G supports the Korenix Auto-Run customisation setting on SD card, allowing them to develop customised industrial control applications while making the industrial network management easier and more flexible.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Compete IT has modernised Fullex Locks' infrastructure and integrated a production-control system throughout the organisation on the recommendation of production systems manager Paul Head. Head said: 'During the selection process the people from Compete IT demonstrated their manufacturing software several times to me, the departmental heads and to all the people on the shop floor that it would affect. 'As we had hundreds of finished parts and thousands upon thousands of component parts and multi-level assemblies/bill of materials with often 80 to 200 component parts in, the perceived success of such a project was initially doubted by many of the people involved,' he added.

There were four main problems with this project: all data (part numbers, bill of materials, customer and supplier information) was in the old Pegasus system; there was too much data to be able to manually input it into a new system; a lot of the data within the current system was obsolete or required amendments; and the stock count needed to be entered into the system from day one. Compete IT's manufacturing software allowed Fullex Locks to import from an MS Excel spreadsheet the following data: customer information, supplier information, part numbers, assemblies / bill of materials, stock take quantities and values.

This was achieved by exporting information from Pegasus to MS Excel and then, where necessary, the data was 'cleaned up'. Using the standard import facilities within Factory-Master, the data was then pulled through, removing the need to re-key data, saving time, money and hassle. 'I have been involved in similar projects of this nature many times before and had expected it to take six to 12 months to be fully utilising the system without any glitches. 'To my delight and surprise we were fully live and up and running on the whole system within only two months,' Head concluded.

Banner Engineering has introduced an IVU barcode reader that is easily configured from the touch-screen. It reads Datamatrix and all standard linear barcodes and can read multiple codes of different types in the same image. Information is output by serial port. An intuitive multi-language user interface allows for easy configuration without the need for a PC.

The reader's extensive capabilities make it appropriate for a wide range of identification and verification applications. These include packaging, component tracking for automotive and other assembly operations, pharmaceutical and medical products, material handling and distribution, food and beverage and electronics. The unit's compact IP67 rated housing withstands harsh industrial environments.

The menu-driven interface and colour LCD touch-screen controls allow easy setup and changes to inspection parameters. A software emulator lets users optimise their applications offline. Image processing expertise is not required. The interface and emulator are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Japanese, simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese. A USB 2.0 interface is provided for easy updating and diagnostics.

In addition to Datamatrix, the IVU BCR reads the following linear codes: Code 128, Code39, Codabar, Interleaved 2 of 5, EAN13, EAN8, UPCE, Postnet, IMB and Pharmacode. A 68.5mm LCD screen displaying 320 x 240 pixels displays all necessary information. An adjustable focus lens makes image acquisition fast and easy. Cables, mounting brackets, lenses, filters and external light rings (red, blue, green and infrared) are available to support all applications.

Schott Solar Thin Film, a manufacturer of thin-film solar-power modules, is using non-contact measurement systems from Micro-Epsilon to inspect the quality of solar glass panels. The measurement system has helped to reduce the cost of processing defective parts. Thin-film technology is the manufacturing technology used to produce thin solar cells, which are deposited directly onto a low-cost carrier material, typically glass, metal foil or plastic film.

The advantages of using thin-film technology are the material and energy savings made during the production process, good conductivity and the ability to produce large-area solar cells. Schott Solar Thin Film delivers glass panes with a conductive layer (electrode). To optimise the production yield of the thin-film solar cells, all incoming glass panes are measured and inspected on delivery. Here, one of the most important criteria is the evenness or flatness of the glass panes.

This must be accurate to just a few millimetres across the complete surface of the glass, which means they need to be measured to an accuracy/repeatability of hundredths of a millimetre. Other inspection criteria are thickness, length, width and squareness of the glass. The edge must also be inspected for cracks, shell defects or breakouts. The QA station Schott uses comprises several stages. Loading is carried out by a robot that places the glass panes onto a conveying unit. The panes are then automatically inspected for their length, width, squareness, edge damage, thickness and evenness.

These tasks are performed using a measurement system supplied by Micro-Epsilon. For these inspection tasks, Micro-Epsilon employs two different optical-measurement methods: confocal chromatic sensors and the light intersection method. The glass pane, which is lifted onto the conveyor belt by a robot, is placed on a solid block of granite in order to have a defined, flat reference surface. Six OptoNCDT 2401 confocal chromatic sensors are positioned on a traversing beam directly above the pane and measure the thickness and planarity in six planes. In this way, the glass pane can show a target thickness of 2 - 4mm.

The required flatness and thickness must be accurate to within millimetres or tenths of a millimetre, which means that the measurements must be precise, down to hundredths of a millimetre. The desired distance or thickness information for the confocal principle is obtained from polychromatic white light. A conventional LED provides the light source. The sensors have a measuring range of 10mm and only measure the thickness from one side. During the traversing process, a Micro-Epsilon Scancontrol laser scanner circumnavigates the glass pane. Therefore, the edge of the pane is simultaneously inspected for damage and its geometric values (length, width and squareness) are measured.

A maximum deviation of +/- 1mm is permitted for a length of 1,300mm and a width of 1,100mm. For this, a laser line is projected onto the pane and the diffuse reflected light is received by a CMOS matrix. In this way, the surface profile of the edge of the pane can be accurately reproduced. Next, the film resistance and the transmission of the pane are measured. If the pane is defect-free, it is then channelled into the production process by another robot. Another QA station is located at goods despatch for edge inspection of the flat glass panes refined by the production process.

Here, damage to the edge of the pane is inspected. The test rig is an identical design to the system in goods inwards. An optical laser scanner on a traversing beam carries out the quality inspection by circumnavigating the glass pane. Micro-Epsilon's measuring system enables rapid, 100 per cent inspection at goods inwards and despatch. The system, which was specially developed for these inspection tasks, reduces the cost of processing defective parts.

Mazak has showcased its CNC machine tools, turning centres and control systems at an open day at its European Technology Centre in Worcester. The centre houses 16 machine tools, which were all in action providing live cutting demonstrations. The Megaturn Nexus 900 and Slant Turn Nexus turning centres made their UK debut, as did the VTC-800 30/SR machining centre. Visitors to the open day also saw live demonstrations of the Mazatrol Matrix and Mazatrol Smart control systems.

Physik Instrumente (PI) has launched the M-228 and M-229 linear drives, which feature travel ranges of 10mm/25mm and use classic stepper motors as drives, with either compact or cubic configuration.

The drives feature mechanical position display, a non-rotating spindle and safety limit switches. PI said the low-cost drives are ideal for tasks such as setting valves, adjusting components for further processing, and pick-and-place.

Geometric has announced the release of Geomcaliper 2.4, supported and integrated with the PTC Pro/Engineer Granite Interoperability Kernel to provide improved accuracy. Version 2.4 is said to offer more accurate and improved thickness analysis results for Pro/Engineer CAD models, and support for Windows Vista OS (32-bit and 64-bit). Geomcaliper facilitates measurement and checking of wall thickness of 3D CAD models.

It is claimed to accelerate the design review process for manufacturability, enabling faster prototyping and production of designs and reducing overall design cycle time. A preview of the new feature and free 15-day trial version of Geomcaliper for Pro/Engineer and Catia V5 platforms can be downloaded from the Geometric website.

Flir will be showing its infrared cameras at Maintec 2010, each with added-value features to provide access to new applications. The programme applies to 40 different infrared camera models, from the low-cost compact range to the flagship professional units. The mid-range T-Series includes new features such as IR video streaming, periodic storage and new lenses, and can also be used for basic analysis and mainstream predictive-maintenance work.

The Flir T-Series comprises 10 models, with three appearing for the first time at Maintec 2010. These cameras are designed for those who need advanced functionality but not the sophistication of the Flir P-Series. Their thermal sensitivity is 0.05C across a wide temperature measurement range. To tailor temperature-measurement readings to the application, this addition offers a range of measurement modes. The Flir T365 and the T425 have been introduced to reduce energy consumption through highly efficient electrical and mechanical infrared faultfinding.

Features such as autofocus and zoom lens enhance the flexibility of these models. Ergonomic design combined with low-weight, picture-in-picture fusion, touch-screen, tiltable lens unit, laser pointer and interchangeable optics complete the package. Flir will also be showing its gas-detection cameras. The models can also see, measure and visualise temperature. In addition to gas and VOC leak detection, these fully radiometric cameras can be used to detect electrical and mechanical faults, and for building inspection.

IFM Electronic has released safety light curtains that feature 14mm resolution, fine enough to detect a finger. Designed for areas of machine access where an operator's fingers could become trapped, the latest additions to the OY range of light curtains meet Type 4 to IEC 61496, SIL3 to IEC 61508 and PLe to ISO 13849. Ten versions of the 14mm resolution types make up this additional selection, with protected area heights ranging from 160 up to 1510mm in 150mm increments.

Each of the 10 types will protect an area up to 6m wide and combinations are possible to cover areas on adjoining planes. The OY series light curtains and grids are available as Type 2 or Type 4 to IEC 61496 in heights from 160 to 1510mm covering distances up to 20m with resolutions from 14 to 90mm. On all products the beams are incorporated right up to the end of the 28 x 30mm housing, allowing installation without deadband.

National Instruments (NI) has introduced the NI Measurement Suite for Mobile Wimax, a software suite that can be used with modular RF instrumentation for automated testing of Mobile Wimax devices. Using the software, engineers can perform Mobile Wimax (IEEE 802.16e-2005) component and device testing faster and with accuracy and flexibility. Based on PXI Express instrumentation powered by multicore technology, the suite is claimed to be able to perform error vector magnitude (EVM), power and spectral measurements three to five times faster than traditional instruments.

National Instruments said PXI Wimax systems also provide a low-cost research-and-development grade instrumentation alternative to traditional instruments. With a typical residual EVM accuracy of -46dB at 3.5GHz (-10dBm), the company claimed the test system can perform more accurate measurements than alternative production test-grade instruments. Additionally, the suite provides engineers enhanced flexibility with the same equipment used for testing Mobile Wimax devices to test hardware that complies with other standards such as Fixed Wimax, wireless local area network (WLAN), GPS, and GSM/Edge/WCDMA cellular standards.

The Measurement Suite for Mobile Wimax supports channel bandwidths from 1.25 to 28 MHz and fast Fourier transform (FFT) sizes 128, 256, 1,024 and 2,048, as well as all Mobile Wimax modulation types with both convolution coding and turbo convolution coding. The Measurement Suite for Mobile Wimax can also generate or analyse signals with up to eight zones and 16 bursts. Combined with the NI PXIe-5663E RF vector signal analyser and NI PXIe-5673 RF vector signal generator, the measurement suite also provides continuous frequency coverage from 85MHz to 6.6GHz.

By including the NI Signal Analysis Toolkit for Mobile Wimax and the NI Signal Generation Toolkit for Mobile Wimax, the suite offers programming APIs and virtual instrument panels for signal generation and analysis in programming environments including the NI Labview graphical system design platform. In addition to a Labview API, the toolkits install with an equivalent C-style API for engineers using C, C++, .Net, or similar programming language. The Measurement Suite for Mobile Wimax supports multiple PXI hardware configurations to meet different application needs.

A standard NI test bundle for Mobile Wimax includes an NI PXIe-5663 6.6 GHz vector signal analyser, NI PXIe-5673 6.6GHz vector signal generator, NI PXIe-1075 18-slot high-bandwidth chassis and a NI PXIe-8108 dual-core controller to provide high-performance flexibility to a variety of automated test systems.

Emerson's Smart Wireless network using the Wirelesshart communications standard is contributing to process improvements at the Calgon Carbon plant in Blue Lake, California. The network provides continuous temperature measurements from a rotating catalyst kiln, where spent carbon particles are reactivated. Six Rosemount wireless temperature transmitters were installed to monitor temperatures in the kiln and transmit a steady stream of data, giving operators more information for controlling heat levels in each zone.

The wireless transmitters mounted on raised platforms on the surface of the kiln were connected to the existing thermocouples and the Wirelesshart self-organising mesh network was set up with a single Smart Wireless gateway. The six transmitters monitor temperatures in five zones of the kiln and at the outlet, communicating data reliably from the rotating kiln to the gateway, which then integrates the measurements in a host PLC.

Emerson offers a range of wireless field-instrumentation and plant-operations equipment, including Fisher position monitors, Rosemount Analytical and Machinery Health Management devices, and native wireless interfaces to AMS Suite predictive maintenance software, DeltaV digital-automation systems and Smartstart services.

Inertial Aerosystems (IA) has introduced a solution to monitoring and measuring movement of multiple structures and machinery. The system consists of a portable tiltmeter (Model 800P) and a hand-held, battery-powered readout module. The 800P has no moving parts, so needs no maintenance and virtually no calibration. When continuous monitoring is not required, the 800P can be used to make scheduled measurements at an unlimited number of points.

Applications include the long-term movement of structures, foundations and machinery, measuring mechanical response to applied loads, as well as surface levels. Angular position measured with the 800P is referenced to the unchanging vertical gravity vector. The system can operate primarily in two modes; the first is the Tilt Plate Option, where measurements are taken from tilt plates that have been attached to any horizontal or vertical surface. The second mode is the Metrology Option, where the instrument can be manually leveled, enabling the continuous monitoring of any horizontal or vertical surface. Software is available to convert a set of inclination measurements into a contour map of surface relief.

The tiltmeter has an angular range of + or - 5deg from null position with linearity of one per cent of full scale and a resolution of .36 arc/sec. Operating temperature range is -25 to 70C. Measuring 143 x 102 x 127mm, it weighs 2.7kg and is constructed from stainless steel with plastic sensor housing. The readout module powers the tiltmeter and switches the tiltmeter output to the digital display. It measures 111 x 62 x 32mm and weighs 285g. A single 9V battery provides up to 24hrs of continuos tiltmeter operation. This system can be used for surveying surface flatness, settlement, retaining walls, bridges, columns, roofs, tunnels, tanks and machinery.

Ceratizit has revealed how its machining inserts and cutting tools are being put to use in the renewable energy sector. The company said it is working with many wind-turbine manufacturers and delivering improvements in productivity through the performance of its range of cutting tools. For example, a manufacturer of drive shafts for wind turbines, which are manufactured from steel forgings with high chrome and nickel contents, has seen cycle times reduce by 20 per cent and tool life increase by 15 per cent.

Ceratizit said these figures have been achieved through a combination of its experience and the development of carbide grades such as CTC1125, which have the properties required to satisfy these arduous applications. Using an SNMM 250724 square insert, this particular customer was able to run at 55m.min surface speed (up from 45m/min) at a feed rate of up to 1.5mm/rev and depth of cut to 18mm.

In another application, the customer was experiencing poor swarf control when machining large flanges for use in wind turbines. By switching to Ceratizit's CTC1135 grade and a CNMG 190624 insert with its RWX chipbreaker, the swarf problem has been overcome and tool life has doubled. In addition to turning, Ceratizit has a range of milling cutters that are proving productive when machining some of the larger components found in wind turbines. A recent example is the manufacture of yaw plates from flame-cut St52-3 tool steel.

These parts are produced in relatively large volumes (>10,000 per year) by the customer, which was reporting poor tool life from the existing milling cutter. After reviewing the application Ceratizit proposed its close-pitched A251 series milling cutter along with the free-cutting M31 geometry on some CTC5235 grade inserts. The result was an increase in tool life of 50 per cent and an overall improvement in productivity of 33 per cent.

The Abrasive Engineering Society has released the 6th edition of the 'Abrasives Industry in Europe and North America: A Market/Technology Report'. The 2009 update offers an analysis of the two largest markets for bonded abrasives (including superabrasives), coated abrasives, and loose abrasives (blasting media, etc) industry sectors. The 550-page publication provides the latest data on production, trade, and technologies for abrasive products and raw materials.

Details within the 300-plus tables, charts and graphs show a USD4.8bn (GBP2.9bn) business in the US, where coated and related products hold a share of USD2.1bn followed by bonded products (including superabrasives) at USD1.3bn. The sharp decline in markets in 2008 was replaced by a slow recovery beginning in the second half of 2009. An analysis of major end-use sectors shows the recovery will continue through 2012.

The total abrasives market in the European Union (EU) was valued at EUR3.4bn (GBP3bn) in 2008 and is expected to decline to EUR2.9bn by 2010 before entering positive but slow growth again. The European bonded abrasives market, excluding superabrasives, was valued at EUR850m in 2008 and is projected to continue shrinking until 2010, when positive growth will resume. The coated abrasives business in Europe, which was valued at EUR950m in 2008, is forecast to shrink to EUR836m by 2010 followed by growth around three per cent per year.

Superabrasives accounted for EUR1.3bn in 2008. The report includes details of production, markets, and trends for base materials such as silicon carbide, fused aluminium oxide, industrial diamond and CBN, which have a combined value of EUR220m, excluding single-point cutting tools and large stones. Manufacturers in the EU consumed around 400 million carats of diamond and CBN in 2008.

Jones and Shipman has revealed that the first order for its Ultragrind CNC cylindrical grinding machine has been despatched to a precision component manufacturer based in France. The machine features a modular wheelhead design and multiple wheel spindles, allowing the high-precision mould and mechanical component manufacturer to perform both internal and external grinding operations to fine tolerances in one grinding cycle.

Jones and Shipman said overall, the Ultragrind will provide reductions in set-up time and machining costs. The Ultragrind CNC is said to be ideal for precision production environments including aerospace, defence, medical, tool room, Formula One motorsport, automotive volume production and engineering applications. Built on a one-piece bed design, the machine combines rigidity, stability and stock removal rates while maintaining high precision.

It incorporates many mechanical, electrical and software features, including the Easy handset control, which provides the precision of a full CNC with the practicality of a handheld indexing wheel and trigger controls, ensuring it is easy to operate and changeover in demanding production environments. An intelligent layout ensures there is a larger working area around each wheel, improving flexibility for all workpieces while enabling improved coolant flow and operator access. Jones and Shipman said the modular wheelhead design ensures customers have a wide choice of external and internal grinding-spindle combinations, effectively creating a custom machine, but without the cost and build time associated with it.

The modular wheelhead design gives wheel sizes up to AE500 x 100mm and wheel spindle power up to 15kW. Angular wheelhead positional accuracy and repeatability are ensured via a high-precision 1deg Hirth coupling. An optional true 'B' axis programmable to 0.0001deg utilising feedback from a high-accuracy encoder mounted directly to the rotational spindle axis enables infinitely variable positional resolution to be achieved. The machine offers 1000mm or 2000mm between centres and centre heights of 180mm, 200mm and 250mm.

The increased diameter capacity (of up to 500mm) means there are options to cater for larger mass components up to 450kg, and odd-shaped components, which can result in high rotational inertia. The Ultragrind incorporates Fanuc's flagship 320i touch-screen CNC control with a Windows XP embedded system. The machine uses Jones and Shipman's proprietary Windows-based graphical programming software suite, which removes the requirement for operators to input code, although ISO programming is fully supported and codes can be viewed and used if that is the customer's preference.

This reduces the time needed for operator training, machining set-up and changeover times. A full suite of dressing and grinding programs are available for the operator. Easy-to-follow Jones and Shipman set-up pages allow the operator to digitise diamond and wheel positions by means of a user-friendly touch-screen interface. A range of additional options, including diameter gauging, shoulder probing, auto loading and wheel balancing, are also available.

Schuler has installed a new production line for ZF, on which the transmission specialist manufactures various parts for its eight-speed automatic gearbox. The automated line consists of a hydraulic cutting press supplied by Schuler with a cutting force of 3150kN (315tonf), as well as a mechanical knuckle-joint press from Grabener Pressensysteme, a Schuler subsidiary.

The latter offers a press force of 12MN (1200tonf). It also includes a coil line, supplied by Schuler Automation, for maximum coil widths of 650mm and maximum coil thicknesses of 6mm, as well as an integrated 3D transfer system. The two presses are linked by a shuttle system. Tools are changed with the aid of a corresponding cart at two set-up facilities. The performance of the machines was a key factor for ZF in awarding the contract to Schuler.

ZF's bid specification included the production of enclosure plates, connecting plates, disk drivers, cover plates and various clutch parts. Important for all parts is their near-net-shape production. In addition to Grabener Pressensysteme as the general contractor, the project involved Schuler Hydrap, Schuler Automation in Hessdorf and Schuler's manufacturing facility in Erfurt.

Sierra Instruments has introduced a line of mass flowmeters certified by Sierra for greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting. The company said that all Sierra GHG meters now conform to the new EPA rule (40 CFR Part 98), which mandates that as of 2 January 2010, companies in the US that emit more than 25,000 tons/year of CO2 equivalent must report GHG emissions.

Sierra claimed its GHG certified mass flowmeters provide an economical way to totalise methane or natural gas burned, enabling the calculation of CO2-equivalent emissions. Sierra has experience in producing accurate and repeatable mass flowmeters for methane (CH4) as well as N20, SF6, HFCs, PFCs and CO2. The three GHG certified thermal mass flowmeters are the Boiler-Trak, model 640S and model 780S.

Sierra Boiler-Trak is a thermal mass flowmeter designed for stationary combustion applications (commercial boilers, kilns and heaters), which are among the largest emitters of CO2. Sierra model 640S has been optimised for landfill gas, the second largest source of CO2. Landfill gas is very humid, at low pressure (20-40mbar/g) and about 40C to 60C when it leaves the landfill.

The 640S has 100:1 turndown, no moving parts, and generates nominal pressure drop across the immersible sensor probe, and so it is ideal for this application, Sierra said. The Sierra model 780S was designed for gas and electricity producers, the third largest category of CO2 emitters. This flowmeter is routinely used by gas and power plants to measure methane to compressors, pre-heaters, boilers and other process equipment.

The IDS Ueye XS camera from Stemmer Imaging measures 22 x 24 x 24mm and offers an 8megapixel sensor with an auto-focus lens and an USB 2.0 interface. The Ueye XS also offers electronic image stabilisation, automatic image control, backlight compensation and a complete SDK featuring face detection and tracking.

The built-in face-tracking facility can detect and track up to four different faces in real time and also provides the viewing angle of every face it detects. The electronic image stabiliser is said to minimise image blur caused by camera motion and vibration. The Ueye XS also comes with automatic image controls, such as auto exposure and auto white balance, which allow the user to achieve optimum image quality under varying lighting conditions.

The auto-focus system has a horizontal viewing angle of 53deg and has a minimum focusing distance of 100mm. Auto focus is also tracked even during live image acquisition at a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels and a 15fps frame rate. Both uncompressed and MJPEG format are supported for data transfer and single images can be read out with the full 8megapixel resolution.

Ferrocut has installed Konecranes CXT overhead cranes at its factory and warehouse complex, located in the Techport Australia industry hub near Adelaide. Ferrocut is supplying cut-steel plate from its facility to a range of industry customers, including engineering, infrastructure and mining groups, as well as processing ship plate for the ASC. The company's six CXT cranes are being used to lift and transport steel plates and cut-steel parts.

Some of the cranes have anti-sway controls and two are fitted with Trunninger plate magnets, allowing easy lifting and moving of large loads. Emile Ellens, equipment manager for Ferrocut, said: 'The dual hoists on the production cranes allow us to lift the steel plates from two points instead of one, which prevents the plates from rotating. 'We're able to keep them all lined up the same way in the warehouse, resulting in safer and more efficient handling.

'The anti-sway feature, which we hadn't experienced before, prevents the load from swaying during travel, which is a big safety issue. 'Anti-sway takes some of the pressure off the crane operators, who don't have to be so experienced. 'Two of the cranes have electromagnets fitted, which make the cranes more efficient and increase our productivity, because chains are not needed to lift the plates. CXT cranes with individual hoist capacities up to 80 tons are designed to provide easy and effective load handling and optimum dimensions for maximising the hook travel.

They have hook approaches at both ends of the crane and the headroom requirement is minimal. CXT cranes are designed to eliminate unused or under-utilised square meters because the crane can operate closer to the walls and lift the load higher. Inverter controls deliver smooth starts, acceleration and deceleration, which minimises load swing and enables fast and accurate load positioning. Konecranes Dynafamily inverter controls and pole-changing controls are standard options for CXT cranes.

CXT features include high-performance hoisting motors with 60 per cent ED rating, which combine extra power with superior cooling characteristics. The hoisting motors also have the power and flexibility for temporary peak-usage situations. Smooth starts and stops reduce wear and mechanical stress on structures and minimise the load sway. Improved productivity is achieved because moving and positioning the load is faster, easier and safer.

This performance is combined with accurate gears with hardened and ground helical gearwheels, semi-fluid lubrication and corrosion-proof housing. Fast and accurate load positioning with True Lift as standard means that the hook moves horizontally at 5mm during a 1m lift. The horizontal travel of the hook during lowering is minimal, which makes rigging of the load safer, while the rope-drum-to-rope diameter ratio is more than double that of conventional designs. Durable adjustment-free and dust-proof high-performance brakes provide safety and reliability.

For special demanding applications the hoists can be equipped with a second brake. To meet specific load-handling capacity and factory-size requirements, CXT cranes are available in single- and double-girder construction with profile or box-girder design. Top connections and underhung main-girder connections are available for different building heights and constructions. Duty classification, speeds, control methods and a range of available additional features are used to tailor the CXT crane to meet exact operational and environmental application requirements.

Howard Leight by Sperian has introduced Quietdose, a personal dosimeter that measures and records a worker's actual in-ear exposure to noise over an entire work shift. The Quietdose system consists of a small Exposure Smart Protector (ESP) Dosimeter that's worn by employees in a shirt pocket or on the back of a hardhat; earplugs or an earmuff with integrated microphones that record real-time in-ear noise levels; and a connecting harness.

An infrared reader enables safety managers to retrieve data from the ESP Dosimeter at the end of each shift or work week and analyse the results on a personal computer. Quietdose enables safety managers and employees to: track, document and address the potential of occupational hearing loss and Standard Threshold Shift (STS) in real time; select appropriate hearing protectors for each employee's noise environment; train and monitor employees as to the correct use of earplugs or earmuffs; streamline worker deployment by more accurately matching shift hours with correct protection; identify potential opportunities to eliminate dual protection (the use of earplugs and earmuffs); compare the benefit of monitoring employee noise dose versus making capital investments in engineering controls to reduce specific noise levels.

An additional benefit of the system is that workers can personally monitor and control their noise exposure in real time. Flashing alerts indicate when noise exposure reaches or exceeds prescribed limits. If an earplug has not been inserted properly, Quietdose will alert the worker that they are not receiving adequate protection. If a worker removes their earplug for any length of time, Quietdose will assess that additional exposure and alert them should they exceed their allowable dose.

William Hughes is using new methods in rapid prototyping for bent wire forms and assemblies, lowering costs and lead times in the process. With prototype quantities of 10-200 in increasing demand, the use of traditional metal jigs featuring go/no-go checks is often prohibitive as they can take four to six weeks to design and manufacture, with costs as high as GBP3,000.

While simple 2D wire forms can often be checked visually against a printed CAD drawing, the industry has long sought a way of effectively checking 3D bent wire forms and assemblies without the lead times and costs associated with conventional metal fixtures. To meet these needs, William Hughes is using specially designed and manufactured MDF gauges. These can typically be produced in a matter of days and cost around a tenth of the figure - GBP300 - commanded by their metal counterparts.

With CAD/CAM capability available at William Hughes in the form of CATIA V5 R19, customers requiring rapid prototypes need only send a CAD file of the wire product or assembly, from which a suitable MDF jig can be designed and machined. Emma Burgon, design director at William Hughes, said: 'We recently had a customer who wanted a small number of prototypes so he could build some sample assemblies for his client. 'His client, however, was somewhat tardy in producing the purchase order. 'Regardless of this, we worked concurrently so that the prototypes were ready in less than seven days, by which time our customer had received his order and was able to place a PO with William Hughes.

'Had we waited for the paperwork, a whole week would have been lost, which could have compromised the whole project,' she added. William Hughes has also developed a technique to weld spring steel wire without the resulting brittleness associated typically with this process. The joining technique is being used to create welded and annealed spring steel wire frames for assembly at a major UK car plant.

Monday, December 14, 2009

TDK-Lambda has expanded its DC-DC converter line with the introduction of the CN-A Series that has a wide 60-160V DC input range, which is widely used in railway applications. Available with nominal output voltages from 5V to 24V (adjustable +/-10 per cent) and power ratings up to 100W, these wide input range isolated power supplies are fully-regulated.

The CN-A DC-DC modules are suitable for both rolling stock and fixed installations, enabling customers to design cost-effective EN50155 compliant systems without the risks associated with custom product designs and in a much shorter timescale. TDK-Lambda also offers a design and manufacture service for customers preferring to buy in complete systems meeting exact electrical and mechanical requirements. Designed for harsh environments, the CN-A Series meets the stringent shock and vibration requirements of IEC61373 Category 1 Class B, as well as the Japanese equivalent standard JIS E 4031.

In addition, all models accept the wide-range DC input commonly found in railway applications, which allows operation from any voltage between 60 and 160V. These baseplate-cooled power supplies, with industry-standard quarter-brick pinout, provide high, true useable power from -40 to +100C, without derating. The CN100A110-24 model, for example, offers up to 88 per cent power conversion efficiency, 60.5W/in3 power density and delivers up to 4.2A useable output current in a package measuring 57.9mm (L) x 36.8mm (W) x 12.7mm (H).

As standard, they are equipped with remote sense, remote on/off and input-to-output isolation of 3,000V AC, as well as overvoltage and overcurrent protection circuitry. All CN-A models are delivered with TDK-Lambda's five-year warranty, are safety approved to UL/CSA/EN60950-1 and carry the CE mark, according to the LV Directive.

Basler Electric produces a number of 'equivalent' time overcurrent relays designed to replace existing GE-type IAC and Westinghouse-type CO time overcurrent relays. The BE1-50/51B relays provide a combination of connections, time overcurrent ranges, time characteristic and instantaneous overcurrent ranges.

Basler's latest application note, PC-5051B02, explains how to select the appropriate BE1-50/51B model for IAC or CO replacement. It includes a table of the most popular IAC and CO characteristics and their equivalent BE1-50/51B characteristic switch selection position, as well as information on time overcurrent settings, reset characteristics, instantaneous overcurrent settings, connections and case sizes.

HBM has developed a digital amplifier that securely and permanently protects warehouse storage areas from overloading. The VKIA405 amplifier ensures the long-term stability of a storage system because it enables the monitoring of loads during operations and prevents any possibility of overloading in the storage area. Up to four analogue load cells can be connected to the new amplifier.

Storage lifts and automatic warehouses require special considerations for measurement technology, which is intended to minimise maintenance downtime. Maintenance interrupts continuous operations such as the removal and storage of goods, leading to high costs. It is important that long-term stability is a main criterion in the selection of measurement and weighing technology for these applications. The VKIA enables digital measured value processing with long-term stable supply voltage for the analogue load cells.

An HBM-tested off-centre load compensation network is integrated into the VKIA405 that simplifies installation as no additional wiring connection boxes for the load cells are needed. The VKIA405 is fitted with a serial RS485 interface, ensuring integration with the control and data processing system of a warehouse. A typical use of the VKIA405 is to integrate the amplifier and corresponding load cells at the charging station so they are part of the material flow. It is also suitable for simple weighing and monitoring tasks beyond legal-for-trade requirements.

Nexans is to supply a high-voltage underground cable link that will power an Australian seawater desalination plant, which is currently under construction in the state of Victoria. The contract covers the supply of around 260km of 220kV XLPE cable, made and tested as a 275kV cable, to Thiess Degremont, which is contracted to design and construct the EUR2.2bn (GBP2bn) Victorian Desalination Project to deliver up to 150 billion litres of water a year to Melbourne and regional communities.

The Victorian Desalination Project includes an 84km underground pipeline to connect the reverse-osmosis plant to a transfer main and then back to the reservoir. The electric power required by the new plant will be supplied by the 87km-long underground cables co-located with the pipeline, creating the world's longest high-voltage AC underground link operating at this power level.

An underground link was the preferred option for the project since it is both more energy efficient and secure than overhead lines and will also have the least impact on landowners, farmers and other people living and working in the area. Olex, a Nexans company serving the Australian and Asia-Pacific markets, will produce 225km of the underground cable locally at its Tottenham facility in Victoria.

It will be manufactured on equipment recently installed as part of a EUR12.5m upgrade that now enables Tottenham to produce XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) cables up to 500kV. The remaining length of cable will be supplied by the Nexans factory located in Charleroi, Belgium. The cable will be supplied progressively throughout 2010.

Maxon Motor has unveiled a compact DC motor with a 200W power output. The RE 50 delivers high levels of nominal torque - up to 0.38Nm - from a drive measuring 50 x 108mm. This is achieved using a two-pole neodymium permanent magnet, combined with four different versions of the company's patented winding technology.

The heart of the RE 50, as with all mechanically communicated Maxon drives, is the ironless rotor, which is claimed to provide smooth running thanks to its minimal inertia. Low nominal voltage (24-70VDC), an operating efficiency of more than 90 per cent and good power density make the RE 50 suitable for advanced battery-powered applications such as electric tools, transport and logistics equipment, mobile systems and robotics.

Thanks to the Maxon modular system, the versatile new drive is compatible with the company's gearhead, encoder and control systems, creating compact, high-performance drives suitable for applications in automation, mechanical engineering or medical technology. The motor, combined with its integral graphite brushes, contains pre-loaded bearings that reduce vibration and offer quieter running for a longer service life. A heavy-duty version of the RE 50 is also scheduled for release. It has been designed for harsh environmental conditions, meeting protection class IP54 (dust and splash water protected), and will come with an additional brake.