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Showing posts from February, 2010

Prima Open House To Feature Sheet Metal Cutting

Prima Finn-Power's range of sheet metal cutting and processing solutions to be demonstrated at the forthcoming Mach 2010 exhibition will be showcased at a series of open house events. These events will take place at the company's technical centre in Italy on 26-27 March. Products on display will include the company's FB (Fastbend) manually loaded high-speed bender, the E5x servo electric turret punch press and the Zaphiro 2D laser cutter.

The Fastbend applies Prima Finn-Power's experience in servo electric technology to provide accuracy and productivity for manual bending operations. Developed as a replacement for traditional press brakes, the Fastbend allows more bends on each side of the component as part of an automated sequence, without the need for manual intervention or adjustment. It offers both rolling or circular bending modes, along with automatic tool change and barcode reader options.

Automatic setup and a self-learn capability are included alongside Fastbend…

Smart Camera Includes PC-Based Operating System

Matrox Imaging has announced that the Matrox Iris GT smart camera also comes pre-installed with the Microsoft Windows XP Embedded operating system. Matrox Imaging smart cameras offer a dust-proof, immersion-resistant, rugged construction. A choice of image sensors, combined with an Intel Atom embedded processor, allow the cameras to tackle a wide variety of machine vision applications.

Designed for systems integrators, machine builders and OEMs that must deploy fully custom applications, Matrox Iris GT runs Windows XP Embedded to offer a PC-like development environment. Windows XP Embedded is a pared-down version of Windows XP Professional that provides extended availability and support.

Application development is cross-platform - PC linked to smart camera - and is done using the Microsoft Visual Studio integrated development environment in conjunction with the Matrox Imaging Library (MIL).

SGS Provides Storage Tank Inspection

SGS Industrial Services has introduced remote ultrasonic testing as a service, offering inspection for corrosion on difficult-to-access tank walls and roofs. Storage tank walls and roofs must be inspected regularly for corrosion. General corrosion, corrosion around liquid levels or welds and other mechanisms can attack the integrity of a tank.

However, the inspection work can be difficult and expensive due to the enormous surface area, difficult access and obstacles. SGS Industrial Services can provide remote ultrasonic inspection for tank walls and roofs. With a motorised tank wall scanner with magnetic wheels, carbon steel tanks can be tested for corrosion and weld defects. This method enables remote line scans, remote spot measurements, remote time of flight diffraction (TOFD) inspection and remote visual inspection with a camera that can be steered.

SGS remote ultrasonic inspection does not require scaffolding or cranes and can be implemented on tank walls, even those with obstacles…

Computrace Determines Iron Content In Boiler Water

The Metrohm 797 VA Computrace is able to detect trace levels of iron in power station boiler waters. Iron in power station boiler waters can be a common problem when dark-coloured deposits are formed. Iron deposits in large amounts can inhibit the heat transfer - making the process less efficient - as well as causing corrosion problems. In the presence of dissolved oxygen any corrosion on the boiler tubing is intensified, which may necessitate the system coming offline for essential maintenance.

The iron (and its deposits) can easily and reliably be measured in boiler waters using the voltammetry technique. The 797 VA Computrace from Metrohm is a modern voltammetric measuring instrument that connects to a PC directly via a USB connection. The Windows XP-based PC software controls the measurement, records the measuring data and allows full evaluation of the recorded information. The boiler water sample and auxiliary solutions were added to the reaction vessel and the iron determined usi…

Emerson Releases DVC6200 Digital Valve Controller

Emerson Process Management has added the DVC6200 Series digital valve controller to its Fieldvue product range. The DVC6200 Series digital valve controller features linkage-less, non-contact feedback technology. The Fieldvue DVC6200 instrument was designed for applications that experience high levels of vibration, corrosion or material entrapment. The linkage-less, non-contact feedback technology improves reliability by eliminating linkage wear.

The Fieldvue DVC6200 instrument has undergone electro-magnetic compatibility (EMC) testing to meet IEC standards and will ship with the CE mark. It is available with either the Hart or Foundation Fieldbus communication protocols. Orica Mining Services put the new device to work in its Kooragang Island ammonium nitrate factory in New South Wales, Australia. Orica supplies commercial explosives and blasting systems for the mining and construction industries.

The Kooragang site has standardised on Fisher valves with Fieldvue instruments. The plant …

Objet 3D Printing Systems Use Polyjet Technology

Objet Geometries offers ultra-thin layer (0.016mm), high-resolution 3D printing systems. The company's range includes the Eden line of professional 3D printers and the Alaris range of desktop 3D printing systems, both of which are based on Objet's Polyjet technology. Top of the range is the Connex - a multi-material 3D printing system. Connex is based on Polyjet Matrix technology, which jets multiple model materials simultaneously to create composite digital materials on the fly.

All of the company's systems use Objet's Fullcure materials to produce accurate, clean, smooth and detailed 3D models. Resins within the Fullcure range includes transparent, coloured, opaque, flexible and rigid properties. Fully cured models can be handled immediately after being built, whereas other RP technologies and materials require lengthy post-processing. Objet's Polyjet technology works by jetting state-of-the-art photopolymer materials in ultra-thin layers on to a build tray layer …

Controllers Enable High-Temperature Processing

National Instruments has released two Compact RIO programmable automation controllers (PACs). These are said to offer engineers and machine builders an ideal solution for high-performance measurement and control applications operating at extended temperatures. The NI cRIO-9023 and NI cRIO-9025 real-time controllers are also available with conformal coating for additional protection of components and circuitry within harsh conditions.

The Compact RIO controllers provide even more processing for advanced measurement and control applications ranging in temperatures between -40 and 70C. The NI cRIO-9023 controller has a 533MHz Power PC processor and the NI cRIO-9025 controller has an 800MHz Power PC processor, as well as dual Ethernet ports for network programming, communication and expansion I/O.

Both controllers work with the existing Compact RIO reconfigurable chassis, which include field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) that are programmed using the NI Labview 2009 graphical system desi…

Lubriserv Offers Vanishing Forming Lubricant

The Evolution range of vanishing fluids can be used in fin forming or drawing and magnetic sheet pressing as it removes the need for cleaning prior to the next operation of brazing or welding. The vanishing fluid dissociates without smokes, flames and residue. During the brazing phase, it does not form aldehydes. Other features include increased die and punch life, seizing up elimination, less down time, clean fin or worked sheets, eliminating washing operations.

Vanishing lubricants disappear after the forming/pressing operation. These compounds leave a light coating of lubricant on the part during pressing and then evaporate shortly afterwards. In most cases, the vanishing lubricants can completely eliminate the need for cleaning operations. Lubriserv claims its vanishing oils do not turn tacky, have mild or no odour and are designed to always remain as fluid.

Vanishing lubricants can be used both on ferrous and nonferrous metals. Low viscosity vanishing lubricants are suitable for li…

Walter Reduces Cost Of Thread Machining Tools

Walter GB is offering the Twin Force combination of Titex drilling and Prototyp tapping as a tooling package for thread generation at a specially reduced price. The Walter Titex X-Treme Plus drill provides machining of up to five times diameter on steel, cast iron, stainless and non-ferrous materials, with an internal coolant supply coupled with Walter Titex's Double Performance Line (DPL) double coating.

Comprising a basic coating to protect the tool and to optimise the adhesion of the special tip coating, the DPL technology enables the tool to operate at greater cutting speeds than usual while offering extended tool life at conventional cutting parameters. This is complemented by any one of three Walter Prototyp taps. The Prototyp Eco-HT tap is a universal HSS-E-PM tap with THL coating and surface treatment, capable of operation at three times diameter for use in both short and long chipping materials.

It offers process reliability without bird nesting and long tool life even at m…

Brown And Holmes Website Details Forkardt Chucks

As the sole UK agent for Forkardt, Brown and Holmes has extended its website to include more detailed information on Forkardt chucks, plus installation and support offered by the company. Visitors to the website can now find in-depth information on the full selection of Forkardt standard and special rotary power chucks, expanding mandrels and steady rest packages available.

The website now includes information on the technical support and installation services on offer to help with incorporation or retrofitting of any of the components. Kevin Ward, joint managing director of Brown and Holmes (Tamworth), said: 'The changes to our website reflect the fact that we don't just supply Forkardt chucks, we specialise in delivering the right Forkardt workholding solution for end-user requirements.

'So, as well as providing more in-depth product information, we also wanted to show how we can work with customers to design, machine, deliver and install to their exact specifications and …

Kerry Ultrasonic Baths Enable Workshop Cleaning

Guyson International is now offering a broad range of Kerry-branded bench-top ultrasonic cleaning baths, all manufactured at its facility in Skipton in the north of England. Typical usage for these ultrasonic baths include providing an affordable way to deliver precision cleaning in optical, electronics, jewellery, horological, medical and dental cleaning applications.

The Pulsatron MKC baths can thoroughly clean laboratory glassware and syringes, as well as those specimens requiring cleaning prior to microscopic examination. They will also remove residue from the sampling components of analytical equipment. Kerry MKC ultrasonic baths are available in capacities of six, 14 and 22 litres to suit different workloads, and can be supplied with a Pyrex beaker and beaker holder, allowing the bath to be used with all solvents.

The beaker containing solvent is suspended in the bath, which should be filled with water and a small amount of wetting agent. Operating temperatures from 20 to 80C can …

APP System Connects DC Devices To A Micro Grid

Anderson Power Products (APP) has launched the Saf-D-Grid connector system for use in the direct connection of DC electronic devices to a DC micro grid. The connector system is suitable for use in DC servers or any device connecting directly to renewable-energy sources such as solar or wind power. The Saf-D-Grid connector system meets international safety requirements for low-voltage applications to 400VDC, including UL950 and IEC60950.

The low-profile panel receptacle is designed to fit the standard panel cut-out for IEC320 C14 outlets, while providing touch-safe connections up to 20A at 600VDC. The connectors are hot-plug rated up to 700A in-rush current at 400V and shield the user from arc flash during unmating. Additional safety features include a first-mate, last-break contact to provide ground and an integral latch to prevent connectors from accidental unmating.

The polycarbonate housings are UL94 V-0 rated and plug power cords; they are over-moulded to provide strain relief durin…

Powerpax Launches Mini RGB Remote Controller

Powerpax has launched a mini red-green-blue (RGB) remote controller to drive low-voltage RGB light-emitting-diode (LED) products. The PRGB4138 controller stores 12 different pre-programmed colour patterns. It adopts pulse-width-modulation (PWM) technology at 315KHz and enables the user to manage the colour pattern or speed remotely.

The unit measures 115 x 58 x 35mm and weighs 80g, making it simple to install, according to the company. It operates from an input voltage of 12VDC or 24VDC, with an output load current of 2A per line for three lines. The output power of the PRGB4138 is 60W (12VDC) and 120W (24VDC).

AMP Launches Multi-Format Video Encoder

Advanced Micro Peripherals (AMP) has unveiled a multi-format video encoder that combines graphics overlay, motion detection and enhanced watermark authentication on a PC/104-Plus module. The MPEG4000WA captures and compresses up to four concurrent live analogue video inputs to full D1 resolution using either MPEG-4, MPEG-2 or M-JPEG encoding standards.

The board can also encode audio for each video channel. It can decompress and play back recordings from storage to display and offers an additional incoming live video path for a simultaneous preview on the host screen. Digital watermark authentication technology assures users that the recorded data is protected from unauthorised tampering, modification or editing. It uses a patented digital watermarking algorithm, which is classed as sensitive, making any attempted interference with the data immediately evident during playback.

The algorithm is sensitive to most image manipulation operations, including scaling, cropping, frame removal an…

Search Tool For Power-Supply Designers Launched

Power Integrations has launched the EuP Standards Finder, an online tool for power-supply designers. Providing access to the specific requirements of the European Commission's EuP Ecodesign Directive, this tool eliminates the need for designers to search through volumes of data to figure out what is relevant to them, according to the company.

Hosted on Power Integrations' website, the EuP Standards Finder allows users to select an application from an A-to-Z listing and then immediately view the tier-one and tier-two limits for standby, active-mode and no-load power consumption. Links to relevant Power Integrations reference designs are also displayed in the search results. Commentary from energy-efficiency standards specialist Mr Green provides an additional insight into how the Ecodesign Directive applies to the specified product.

AVX Expands TPM Range Of Tantalum Capacitors

AVX has expanded its TPM series of multi-anode mirror-design tantalum capacitors, offering improved robustness and featuring very low ESR. The D-sized TPM 47uF/25V part offers an ESR of 55mohm. In comparison, a single-anode part in the same package has an ESR of 100mohm. For the E-case device (which has the same footprint but a bigger case size), the minimum ESR is 80mohm.

By reducing ESR by 30 per cent, the new capacitors offer an improvement in filtering capabilities, even to the extent that one part can sometimes replace two standard single-anode devices. Also new in the TPM range, the company has released mirror-design multi-anode parts rated at 35V. The TPM D 22uF/35V is suitable for use in circuits with high currents and voltage spikes where the profiles are limited to 3mm.

It is particularly suitable for automotive battery applications running on 12/14V with very low impedance, where it also offers greater robustness and a lower ESR than single-anode capacitors. Since D- and E-ca…

RF Connector Uses Deep-Drawn Manufacturing Process

Quadrant has teamed up with IMS Connector Systems to develop a radio-frequency (RF) connector that uses a deep-drawn manufacturing process to conform to strict technical and price specifications. Sold under the IMS Part No 3951.11.1412.231, the new connector is a 75ohm SMZ (BT43) bulkhead cable-mount connector designed for TZC75024 coaxial cable.

The connector was developed to meet the specific demands of a European telecommunications company for use on digital distribution frames. The new design uses the deep-drawn process, a method in which a sheet-metal blank is radially drawn into a forming die by the mechanical action of a punch to reduce the process time and component count. Rather than having three parts - the body, the spigot and the ferrule - the deep-drawn process reduces this to just two.

The result is a connector that has been designed to comply with the IEC 169-28 (Type SMB 75), that has been tested to IEC 60068-2 environmental influences and that meets the tight cost targe…

Tyco Adds CU Series To Power-Entry Module Range

Tyco Electronics has added the CU series to its collection of Corcom power-entry modules. The new series includes smaller versions of switched filtered and unfiltered power inlets, which are suitable for applications with panel space constraints, particularly systems designed for the 1U (1 3/4in) height equipment racks.

The CU series offers 15 filtered and eight unfiltered versions to cover a variety of applications. Shrouded quick-connect terminals eliminate the need for soldered connections, which helps reduce installation time. The series allows higher system efficiency by contributing less heat, making it suitable for applications with power or cooling limitations. The modules offer three different mounting styles: flush-mount, flange and snap-in.

Current ratings range from 1-15A and the product is UL recognised, CSA certified and VDE approved. The 15A versions tested by Underwriters Laboratories to US and Canadian standards are VDE approved for a 10A rating. The CU series power ent…

ITT Fibre-Optic Connectors Suit Harsh Environments

ITT Interconnect Solutions has launched the PHD 38999 range of fibre-optic connectors. According to the company, this interconnect system is suitable for harsh environments that could group multiple fibre-optic terminations in a rugged circular connector profile with precision alignment and optical performance features. Initially developed for high-speed backplane systems for telecommunications switching, the PHD termination and connector system delivers a high-density package with good optical signal transmission performance, according to the company.

Providing a common solution for all fibre sizes, ITT-ICS also designed the PHD system for packaging flexibility, making it suitable for many Mil Spec and standard connector envelopes - both circular and rectangular. The PHD product range is available as complete, custom, fibre-optic cable assemblies. Suitable for demanding harsh-environment applications, including defence, avionics and tactical communications, PHD metal connectors are co…

Avalue Enhances EPS-AT270 For Harsh Conditions

Avalue has released the EPS-AT270-2PCI rugged box PC. The EPS-AT270-2PCI has two extra PCI card slots, satisfies all demands in industrial fields and is suitable for use in extreme environments. The fanless structure is based on air-flow theory; cold air entering the computer pushes the hot air generated by the system through an outlet. The top part of the chassis contains passive aluminium heat-dissipation fins, reducing material wastage and prolonging product lifetime.

The EPS-AT270-2PCI can withstand industrial operation environments of -15C and +60C temperatures. It can also withstand extreme environment conditions and drastic temperature variations depending on the location or region it is placed or used in. The EPS-AT270-2PCI features USB, COM, Express Card, GPIO and especially added PCI slots. These features meet an array of multi-equipment industrial-control connectivity usages.

The sufficient expansions can cope with the versatile connections demanded in industrial fields and m…

Telegan Launches Flue-Gas Analysis Package

Telegan, part of Crowcon, has launched a range comprising a flue-gas analyser, a differential thermometer, a differential manometer, a gas escape detector and a carbon-monoxide room-safety monitor. The Sprint V range, which consists of the five instruments in one small, handheld unit, is designed to assist heating engineers in the safe installation, commissioning and servicing of boilers and combustion systems.

The instruments are manufactured and distributed by Telegan Gas Monitoring and are distributed in the UK through the company's exclusive industry partner, Anton Industrial Services. The package includes the basic Sprint V2 unit with the features already mentioned; the Sprint V3, which has all the functions of the V2 but is also Bluetooth enabled for rapid data transfer; the Sprint V4, which is similar to the V2 but has additional nitric-oxide (NO and NOx) capabilities; and the Sprint V5, which has all the functions of the V4 while also being Bluetooth enabled.

The entire Spri…

AMS Device Manager Features Usability Enhancements

Emerson's AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager Version 10.5 features usability enhancements and further extends the predictive intelligence capabilities of the Plantweb digital plant architecture. AMS Device Manager broadens the support for the Wirelesshart standard by adding connectivity to the new Smart Wireless Thum Adaptor, allowing users to extend their wireless networks to access stranded diagnostics in existing Hart devices.

Developed from Human Centered Design practices and in conjunction with Emerson's Human Centered Design Institute, intuitive device dashboards in AMS Device Manager v10.5 are claimed to provide a simple-to-navigate interface with a clear indication of device health and process-variable status to simplify maintenance tasks. AMS Device Manager v10.5 delivers a complete wireless diagnostics solution - from planning to maintaining networks - to ensure that users receive tangible benefits from their wireless solution.

The Smart Wireless Thum Adapter allows…

Wellbore Transducer Works In Harsh Subsea Settings

Stellar Technology's Model PT36XX subsea wellbore pressure and temperature transducer delivers long-term performance in harsh subsea oil-and-gas exploration environments. It has a total error band of +/-1 per cent of full-scale output and is designed for working pressures to 15,000psi and seawater depths to 17,000ft (5,200m). Both temperature and pressure sensors are located at the flush end of the wellbore probe - a design feature that improves dynamic response and alleviates clogging, according to the company.

This wellbore sensor includes dual-pressure containment to increase reliability. The PT36XX is constructed with no external load-bearing welds, thus increasing service life and improving field serviceability. The transducer is made of Inconel and 316 stainless steel. It can be configured as a pressure-only or temperature-only unit. The standard unit incorporates a 3 1/16in API flange, although customers can specify their flange of choice. Probe lengths are available in leng…

OSIL System Measures Sound Velocity At 50km2 Site

Geotechnical Engineering and Marine Surveys (GEMS) has purchased an OSIL Minibat system to carry out sound-velocity (SV) measurements at a 50km2 site in Asia. The towed system provided continuous measurement without the need to stop the vessel.

The Minibat system was fitted with the AML Minos SVP, which directly measures the time of flight of an acoustic ping. Its compact size is suitable for the portable Minibat frame. The OSIL Minibat FC60 is a lightweight, remotely controlled instrument platform designed for use with a range of sensors.

Process Line Offers Full Black-Oxide Capabilities

Birchwood Casey is offering a seven-tank process line with full black-oxide capabilities. According to the company, manufacturers can now benefit from an in-house black-oxide process line for about half the cost of earlier systems. Priced at less than USD8,900 (GBP5,800), the new BC-40E Tru Temp system is pre-engineered for a quick setup and safe operation. It utilises seven individual tanks, each measuring 16 x 24 x 24in (21 x 61 x 61cm) in depth, and occupies a footprint of 3 x 12ft (1 x 3.7m).

Birchwood Casey claims that the tanks are rugged and unbreakable. They are rotomolded of heavyweight, high-density polyethylene or polypropylene and are supplied with all the necessary components: heaters, plumbing connections, tank lids and chemical products. Mark Ruhland, vice-president of the company, said: 'Manufacturers and fabricators now have another low-cost method available for reducing black-oxide production costs.

'Setting up an in-house blackening line is now more economical…

Comark Introduces 17in Industrial Computer

Comark has released a 17in (43cm) version of its Induview NEMA 12 industrial computer line. The Induview is a rugged, lightweight, all-in-one computer that can withstand circulating dust, falling dirt and dripping non-corrosive liquids. Improved features include an operating temperature range of 0-50C, Pentium M, Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad processing options, 160Gb or more hard drives and up to 32Gb of compact flash.

This 17in workstation can be configured with an infrared touch screen, a resistive touch screen or standard safety glass and can also be mounted in a variety of ways, with or without a keyboard and tray. The enclosure's front bezel hinges down, simplifying access to the internal computer components if needed. According to Tom Burke, industrial automation sales manager, the NEMA 12 design is suitable for any application needing a ruggedised solution where dust, dirt and moisture are a problem.

Autotech Invests In Robot Simulation Service

Autotech is investing more than GBP150,000 to launch a robot simulation service for its clients. The company has purchased Tecnomatix Robcad software to provide a service that will prove robot solutions fully before delivery to site. Autotech is already a solution partner with Siemens, which supplies the Technomatix Robcad software. Andrew Robinson, Autotech's managing director, said: 'We have been providing Automod and Robot Studio simulation for some time, allowing us to test PLC code and develop robot paths prior to onsite work.

'The Technomatix software products will allow us to prove entire integrated systems and generate fully optimised robot paths and PLC code,' he added. The scalable Robcad workcell simulation tool will allow Autotech to develop, simulate, optimise, validate and offline-programme multi-device robotic and automated manufacturing processes. These include spot welding, arc welding, laserjet and waterjet cutting, drilling, riveting and painting.

Mark…

ODA Opens Public Registration For World Conference

The Open Design Alliance (ODA) has opened public registration for the ODA World Conference in Orlando, Florida, on 4-5 May 2010. The agenda of the conference focuses on the new ODA Technology Exchange, which provides workshop-like offerings from the ODA development team, ODA members and others, and is designed for collaboration, education and cooperation to address the specific requirements of conference attendees.

The agenda also includes presentations on the latest developments in the technical graphics industry, such as SaaS and advancements in the ODA platform technology. Arnold van der Weide, president of the ODA, said: 'This year's addition of the ODA Technology Exchange is designed to stimulate interaction between the attendees, allow further education on the ODA platform by the ODA development team and exhibit the growing number of third-party components.

'This will benefit ODA members as well as people interested in building technical graphic applications with a one…

Libelium To Attend Three Wireless Events In 2010

Libelium has announced it will exhibit at the Cebit 2010, Sensor and Test 2010 and Sensors Expo and Conference 2010 wireless technology industry events. Cebit 2010 will take place in Hannover, Germany from 2-6 March; Sensor and Test 2010 will take place in Nuremberg, Germany from 18-20 May; and Sensors Expo and Conference 2010 will take place in Rosemont, Illinois from 7-9 June.

At these events, Libelium will demonstrate the Waspmote wireless sensor platform and the Meshlium wireless, Linux-based, multiprotocol mesh router. The Waspmote wireless sensing platform is used for environmental monitoring, fire and flood detection and logistics. The platform includes a range of radio Zigbee modules with a choice of protocol versions, radio frequency and range (up to 40km) as well as a module for GPRS that can connect a sensor network to the outside world.

The Waspmote main board contains an in-built accelerometer and when combined with the GPS module, the device can be used to measure speed, d…

Kaman Selects Fibersim Engineering Software

Vistagy has entered an agreement to license Fibersim composites-engineering software to Kaman Helicopters. The software will be used to streamline the design-to-manufacturing process for large composite helicopter blades by providing early visibility into production challenges and facilitating smooth communication of composite manufacturing data to the shop floor.

Based upon an extensive evaluation, Kaman estimates that Fibersim will enable the firm to reduce ply development time from 180 to 40 hours, a saving of 78 per cent, and average part layup time from 32 to 20 hours, a saving of 38 per cent. Kaman Helicopters will leverage Vistagy's composites expertise by employing its professional-services organisation to help develop and implement best practices for standardising composites-development processes.

Kaman Helicopters is using Fibersim within its Siemens NX computer-aided-design (CAD) system. Fibersim is completely integrated into major 3D commercial CAD systems to provide pow…

Digital Surf Offers Free Surface Analysis Report

Digital Surf, the provider of the Mountainsmap surface analysis software, has announced that visitors to its website can request a free surface analysis report based on their own measurement data. The report will give users of 2D and 3D profilometers, optical microscopes and scanning probe microscopes who are not familiar with Mountainsmap the opportunity to get acquainted with its features for visualising measurement data, analysing this data and generating a detailed visual analysis report.

Francois Blateyron, chief operations officer of Digital Surf, said: 'We understand that some of these users do not have the time, at least initially, to evaluate the software directly. 'This is why we are offering to prepare a surface analysis report that is not only based upon their measurement data but also customised to contain a set of requested analytical studies that illustrate the potential of Mountainsmap,' he added.

Mountainsmap supports numerous surface metrology instrument da…

Shell Reselects Verdermag Global Seal-Less Pumps

Verdermag Global's Norwegian distributor, Turoteknikk, benefited from the company's customer service when resupplying a long-standing customer, Shell, on the Draugen field development. Anthony Beckwith, product manager at Verdermag Global, said: 'Shell had been using one of our centrifugal pumps previously and had been pleased with its performance for the past 16 years.

'We re-quoted for the system and as a result of our competitive quote and quick lead times we won the order once more. 'Verdermag Global is the perfect solution for Shell because it consists of metallic centrifugal, synchronous magnet-driven seal-less pumps. 'Magnetic-driven pumps are ideally suited to modern and heavy-duty requirements that multinational companies such as Shell require,' he added.

Virtis Lyophilisers Process Biotech Products

Available from SP Scientific, the Virtis Benchmark Series Lyophilizer has been engineered to reproducibly process a range of pharmaceutical and biotech products. Benchmark Series freeze dryers comprise numerous options that allow customers to configure them to fit into any facility and address any pharmaceutical application.

SP Scientific also provides after-sale support. SP's technical staff and field service engineers will provide installation assistance, validation, IQ/OQ and support documentation, designed to make the validation process faster, easier and less harrowing. Control-system-qualification packages are available on the Allen Bradley PLC-based control systems. Steam-in-place sterilisation and clean-in-place cleaning options are also available.

Preparing Mixes For Determining Octane And Cetane

PC-controlled automatic dosing devices from Metrohm can automate preparation of surrogate mixtures for determining octane and cetane numbers. Commercially available fuels are complex mixtures of hundreds of different hydrocarbons. For the calibration of the test engines or advanced experimental and computational research they are modelled by means of multi-component surrogate mixtures that adequately represent the desired physical and chemical characteristics.

By definition, every octane and cetane number corresponds to a specific mixing ratio of primary reference fuels (PRFs). Based on this information, the tiamo-controlled automatic dosing device prepares the surrogate mixtures. The setup drastically minimises time-consuming and error-prone manual-preparation steps and contact with hazardous solvents. Additionally, precise and accurate results are displayed on customisable reports that fully comply with all current GLP and GMP requirements. The octane rating of gasoline is a paramete…

Hach Lange Instruments Enable De-Sludging Trial

Severn Trent Water (STW) has initiated a de-sludging trial to reduce costs and energy consumption by producing thicker sludge in the Primary Settlement Tank (PST). Advanced monitoring instrumentation from Hach Lange played a key role in the trial. STW's Mark Bryan summarised the objective of the trial: 'We believed that if we could monitor and control the settlement process through a real-time control mechanism, we would be able to produce thicker sludge, reduce operational intervention and save the energy and costs involved with further sludge thickening prior to the sludge-digestion process.

The trial took place at STW's Stoke Bardolph Sewage Treatment Works. Monitoring and control instrumentation was provided by Hach Lange and a hydraulically operated ram pump with an adaptive control system was provided by EMS Industries. A Sonatax SC probe was deployed for the measurement of sludge blanket level and a Solitax SC probe provided suspended solids and turbidity values. All…

I-meter V2 Delivers Tanker Information To HQ

Alpeco is offering Dreamtec's I-meter V2, a tracking device that tracks tankers, and monitors and reports all meter and delivery information back to HQ in real time. The device can be mounted onto any Alpeco Lectrocount or TE550 meter system quickly and easily.

A web-based, password-protected 'Dashboard Viewer' allows the fleet controller to view the position and route for each tanker, as well as receive PDF copies of the meter ticket immediately after each delivery.

The system also provides statistical reports, such as volumes delivered by grade, truck or depot, over a given period, which can all be used to evaluate and optimise fleet efficiency.

Application Note Explores NIR Chemical Imaging

Chemical imaging specialists at Malvern Instruments have published an application note. The note demonstrates that, by reverse engineering pharmaceutical tablets using data from the Synirgi near-infrared chemical-imaging (NIR-CI) system, they could determine extensive and detailed information about the formulations and processing techniques used to create each dosage.

This is said to have valuable applications in troubleshooting product failures. The application note, entitled 'NIR chemical imaging for tablet deconstruction: A case study for solid dosage forms', can be downloaded from the Malvern knowledge database on the website. While high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) can provide basic information about a product makeup, the application of NIR-CI adds novel information relating to its manufacture.

Using Malvern Isys chemical-imaging analysis software to evaluate the size, shape and proximity of chemical components, the Synirgi global imaging approach provides a vis…

Dynsim Gives Medium-Fidelity Simulation Solution

Invensys Operations Management has announced the availability of its Simsci-Esscor medium-fidelity simulation solution, Dynsim Checkout. Available as part of the Dynsim 4.5 software release, the solution provides the industry with a way to quickly identify, validate and resolve control- and safety-application design errors throughout the project life cycle, while addressing plant-operator process-familiarisation needs and clearing obstacles such as late-arriving design information.

Medium-fidelity simulation provides a library of unit-operation models (valves, pumps, conveyers, reactors) similar to high-fidelity models, but requires far fewer engineering hours and less specialised expertise to configure and tune. The models can be auto-generated using plant life-cycle management software that features intelligent piping and instrumentation diagrams (PandID), shortening the time it takes to construct the model.

The Simsci-Esscor medium-fidelity simulation solution also requires less desi…

Cogent Urges Employers To Shape Vocational Future

Cogent Sector Skills Council has called on employers in the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, nuclear, oil and gas, petroleum and polymer industries to shape the future of vocational qualifications. Cogent urged employers to visit a website launched to raise awareness of a large-scale overhaul of sector-based qualifications. The site is part of a joint project with Business Link and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, designed to ensure that businesses are at the heart of the changes.

Joanna Woolf, Cogent chief executive officer, said: 'Cogent has already been involved in the development of over 50 qualifications for the new qualifications framework; the new system offers more freedom, choice and flexibility. 'It also enables employers to get in-house training recognised which is ideal for our sector. She added: 'This new framework presents qualifications in a way that's much easier to understand and to measure.

The design of the qualifications will enable prov…

Weighing Technology Reduces Product Giveaway

Weighing technology and software from Avery Weightronix has reduced product giveaway and improved the yield from a batch of chemicals for Schlotter by five per cent. Schlotter blends chemicals for a variety of industries, including automative, microelectronics, metal finishing and medical devices. The cost of blended chemicals varies but can be up to EUR50/kg, so process efficiency was a key driver in the company's lean manufacturing programme.

Schlotter would normally fill 25kg to 1,000kg containers but would also offer product in 1kg to 10kg bottles of the blended chemical, depending upon customer requirements. Previously the operator would place the drum or other container on to a floor scale and then fill it manually to the required level. In order never to short ship, the operator would overfill these containers so, for example, a 25kg drum could receive 1kg extra and sometimes as much as 2kg.

Giveaway was even more extreme on the smaller 4l bottles - often up to 10 per cent ex…

Ondrives Releases Commercial/Precision Gear Range

A commercial and precision gear range is the latest addition to Ondrives' product portfolio, enhancing the company's transmission series. The range of products offered consists of bevel gears, worms and wheels, anti-backlash wormwheels, internal gears, anti-backlash gears, parallel and crossed helical gears, spur gears, pinion shafts, timing pulleys and belts, and sprockets and chains.

These are all contained within a separate gears and gearboxes catalogue, released for the first time at Total Processing and Packaging. A choice of MOD sizes is available, ranging from 0.5 to 8 MOD, along with various material types to suit different applications and environments. 214M15/045M10 steel is said to be the most popular, with Delrin also available to order. Standards are mainly stocked on the shelf for gears and gearboxes. There is a range of sizes, ratios, torques and materials available.

Orbit3 System Networks All Industrial Sensor Types

Solartron Metrology's high-speed Orbit3 networking system is a fast and simple way to network industrial sensors of all types, including dimensional and position-measuring transducers. It builds on the Orbit2 system, offering substantial improvements and enhancements. Among the new enhancements are greater accuracy, which has been halved to 0.05 per cent of reading, and improved diagnostics, with local LED diagnosis displayed for each unit.

The sensors are now hot-swappable - an advantage where a large number of sensors are employed, such as in the manufacture of automotive windscreens. Up to 200 probes can be connected in a single network. Orbit3 is a means of building large, flexible sensors and gauging systems with a single common interface, regardless of sensor technology. Its high data-transfer rates provide dynamic and synchronisation capabilities for the measurement of moving parts.

In addition to Solartron digital transducers, the network allows a range of third-party sensor…

Renishaw To Show Resolute Absolute Encoder At MTEC

Renishaw will display its latest range of optical incremental encoders at MTEC, which will take place at the NEC, Birmingham from 27-28 April. Demonstrations will include a 1nm resolution version of Renishaw's Tonic incremental encoder, a magnetic chip encoder and an absolute optical encoder capable of 10 atoms resolution at 220mph and suitable for rotary and linear applications. Renishaw's Resolute absolute optical encoder system gives a 1nm resolution at 100 metres per second for both linear encoder and angle-encoder applications, yet still offers excellent dirt immunity.

Absolute position is acquired immediately at system switch-on, so the exact orientation of axis and motor commutation angle are known without the need for a reference (datum) return. Large set-up tolerances also enable easy installation and high reliability, while low jitter and SDE (sub-divisional error) meet the demands of high-precision stages. The Tonic range of incremental optical linear and rotary enc…

Paine Enhances Digital True Pressure Series

Paine Electronics has announced that its Digital True Pressure Series is now rated to +350F (+176C). The Digital True Pressure Series is compact and can perform in corrosive environments. It is designed for pressure ranges of 0-5,000 to 0-30,000 PSIA and now temperature measurement from -40F to +350F (-40C to +176C).

It features memory-based user access: (instantaneous temperature values, manufacturer, serial number, model number, full-scale pressure, calibrated units, original calibration date and last calibration date); programmable temperature output in Kelvin, Fahrenheit or Celsius; digital pressure and temperature output with end-user requests or programmed timing; RS-232, RS-485, I2C (inter-IC) or SPI (serial peripheral interface); the ability to request digital formats in text, Ascii or Hex; and all-welded Inconel construction.

Misumi Releases New Stand Posts And Strut Clamps

Misumi's new range of stand posts and strut clamps speed up and simplify the mounting of photoelectric sensors and CCD cameras. The GSSTN stand posts are made of 304 stainless steel. Laser metric-scale markings enable precise positioning of mounted devices, which, with the help of a Misumi strut clamp, can be adjusted or repositioned for quick and easy changeover. Diameters range from 10 to 25mm, while overall length ranges from 100 to 300mm.

The KSYK, KSYM and KSYS strut clamps are suitable for mounting photoelectric sensors. They are directly mountable to commonly specified photoelectric sensors, with pitches corresponding to sensors supplied by Omron (E3Z), Keyence (PZ) and Sunx (CX). Material choices include 304 stainless steel or 1018 carbon steel with either black oxide or electroless nickel plating. The turning-prevention vertical tapped post clamps are suitable for camera mounting.

They have a turning-prevention feature that allows adjustments in the Z direction with a sim…

Proton Concept Uses Lotus Hybrid Drivetrain

The Proton Concept car, to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, features an advanced hybrid drivetrain designed and developed by Lotus Engineering. The hybrid drivetrain includes the Lotus Range Extender engine, designed specifically for series hybrid vehicles. The Proton Concept, a plug-in series hybrid city car, has been styled by Italdesign and will be unveiled on the Italdesign stand at the Geneva Motor Show.

Lotus Engineering has designed and integrated the complete drivetrain, including the electrical drive system with single-speed transmission, which delivers low emissions, optimised performance and acceptable electric-only operating range for city use. For longer journeys, when the battery charge-level falls, the three-cylinder, 1.2-litre Lotus Range Extender engine is used to replenish the charge in the battery and provide electrical power for the drive motors. The battery can also be recharged via an AC mains domestic outlet to achieve initial electric-only operation.

From Printed Design To Moulded Parts In 10 Days

Rubber Industries' Protofast service can mould parts from printed designs in just 10 working days. This Protofast service utilises production-grade tooling and dedicated moulding equipment. It allows faster and more accurate evaluations of the component design. All of this takes place at production speed and with specified colour.

Bruce Nelson, sales manager of Rubber Industries, said: 'Using our Protofast service, designers can evaluate and test various rubber formulations simultaneously. 'We provide complete in-house elastomer testing facilities and formulation monitoring systems to assure materials meet customer quality requirements.

'These include specific industry performance requirements, including contamination, UV and chemical resistance, plus other features such as insulation, bonding and sealing,' he added. Rubber Industries has the staff and ISO 9001:2000-certified facilities to handle most rubber-moulding challenges, from product development and tooling d…

Tacom Selects Sturman Digital Injector For Engines

Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (Tacom) has contracted Sturman Industries to execute the objective of SBIR A09-199 'Ultra High Pressure Jet Propellant-8 (JP-8) Fuel Injection'. This objective is: 'To examine, develop and demonstrate a hydraulically intensified, ultra-high pressure fuel-injection system that will be durable, increase power density relative to volume and or weight, increase fuel economy and reduce specific heat rejection of high-output military diesel engines that are required to operate on heavy-hydrocarbon fuels, including Jet-A1, Jet-A, JP-5, JP-8 and DF-2.

Eddie Sturman, co-founder and chief technology officer of Sturman Industries, is well versed on the current and future fuel-system requirements of the US military. 'Fuel-injection technology from Sturman Industries is currently utilised on MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles in the battlefield. 'Tardec has provided us the opportunity to build upon the success of the hydraulic i…

Barden Cuts Bearing Costs On Hippag Air Generator

Barden has helped Ultra Electronics Precision Air Systems to reduce bearing costs and assembly times on its high-pressure pure air generator by 40-50 per cent. Ultra produces a range of mini-compressors known as Hippag (High Pressure Pure Air Generators). These are compact, lightweight, electrically powered air compressors that are carried on-board various military platforms. The Hippag airborne compressor provides a continuous source of high-pressure pure air to cool the infrared seekers of an aircraft's defensive missiles, keeping them ready for action.

Hippag also provides a controllable energy source for the pneumatic ejection of aircraft munitions, while meeting the emerging requirement for launching increased quantities of smaller, smart munitions. More than 5,600 Hippags have been delivered for defence applications around the world. Hippag has been developed for the F-35 JSF aircraft and is being supplied for Boeing's Small Diameter Bomb programme, the Eurofighter Typhoo…

Rockwell Unveils Ethernet/IP Indexing Servo Drive

The new Allen-Bradley Kinetix 300 Ethernet/IP indexing servo drive from Rockwell Automation enables machine builders and end users to standardise on a single communication network. This is intended to facilitate commissioning, configuration and start-up. With the new drive, the entire control solution - including the human-machine interface, programmable automation controllers, input/output and motion - can be connected over a standard Ethernet/IP network.

According to James Grosskreuz, product manager at Rockwell Automation, the Kinetix 300 servo drive can eliminate the need for a dedicated motion network while maintaining high-speed connectivity with excellent reliability. With the ability to support up to five indexing types and 32 indices, the Kinetix 300 servo drive is suitable for indexing tables, intermittent horizontal and vertical form/fill/seal machines and simple sleevers, case packers and erectors.

By combining the Kinetix 300 servo drive with the Allen-Bradley MP-Series or …