Friday, May 28, 2010

TTE Systems has launched a range of SafeTTYT Wrappers to maximise the reliability of embedded systems based on COTS processors and stand-alone operating systems such as Linux. When creating embedded systems used in safety-related or safety-critical systems, some form of protection mechanism is usually required to handle situations in which the main processor or operating system fails to operate as expected.

Such failures can arise due to software errors (in code or in the operating system), the impact of electromagnetic interference or 'single-event upsets', or from various forms of hardware damage. If intending to use an off-the-shelf processor running Linux or another standard OS in the embedded system, it can be challenging to ensure that the system will operate safely at all times. In these circumstances, a SafeTTYT Wrapper from TTE Systems can help to guarantee that the system operates as required and can also simplify the certification process.

A SafeTTYT Wrapper helps to ensure that the system will continue to operate safely no matter what happens to target processors and associated OS. This means that even systems based on a standard OS can be used in medical devices and similar high-reliability systems. TTE Systems offers licences for SafeTTYT Wrapper technology and can provide full design support for customers adopting the technology.

The A8512 from Allegro Microsystems is a multi-output white LED RGB driver IC for the LED backlighting of large-area LCD monitors and television screens. The device integrates a scalable-output boost controller operating in constant-frequency current mode control - adjustable between 300kHz and 1MHz - driving an external Mosfet. It integrates six internal current sinks, each capable of sinking up to 80mA, which can be combined together to achieve even higher currents.

PWM dimming allows LED currents to be precisely controlled over a 500:1 ratio as a percentage of the maximum setpoint determined by the user. Multiple A8512 devices can be connected in parallel, with one master controller governing the boost stage and up to five slave controllers acting as LED sinks. This configuration allows up to 36 LED strings to be powered by a single boost converter, reducing the number of external components required. Other features include controlled start-up using enable, PWM signal or battery voltage ramp and active current sharing between LED strings with +/-0.6 per cent accuracy and matching.

There is no audible MLCC noise during PWM dimming. The A8512 operates from a single supply of 8-24V. It provides protection against over voltage, open or short-circuited LED string and over temperature. A dual-level cycle-by-cycle current-limit function provides soft start and protects against overloads. The A8512 is available in a 28-contact 5mm x 5mm QFN package (ET), with an exposed thermal pad for enhanced thermal dissipation. For single-sided PCB manufacturing capability, the device is also available in a 24-pin SOICW package (LB), with internally fused pins for enhanced thermal dissipation. Both packages are lead free, with 100 per cent matt tin lead-frame plating.

AEG Power Solutions has launched its Combination Architecture standby power solutions for mission-critical facilities such as data centres and building control systems. The power systems will utilise low-impact, cost-efficient technologies as sources of power or energy storage in order to increase system efficiency and reduce carbon footprint. These technologies include ultra capacitors, fuel cells, solar cells and wind power energy.

One example of the application of Combination Architecture is a Supercaps UPS, which the company previewed at Cebit on 2 March 2010. The product allows the whole or partial replacement of traditional lead-acid battery banks with a more environmentally friendly solution that requires less maintenance, offers faster recycling and eliminates the need for additional cooling. Typical IT applications for Combination Architecture include data centres, networks, workstations, internet servers and telecommunication applications.

They may also find use in host computers, file servers and computer centres, as well as in complex networks in industry, banks and insurance companies. Combination Architecture standby power systems are also suitable for building control systems, equipment and systems for air traffic control, petrochemical installations offshore, onshore and pipelines, power generation, transmission, distribution, desalination treatment and industrial processes in chemicals, mining, steel and paper. AEG believes that the launch of Combination Architecture will provide the basis for a new generation of standby power systems capable of harnessing renewable and alternative energy sources.

2001 Electronic Components has announced the expansion of its Transcend Flash card product line with units that can provide maximum performance when used with high-resolution imaging equipment. The company has introduced high-capacity 400X Compactflash (CF) cards that feature high-speed transfer rates up to 90MB/s read and 60MB/s write. With storage capacities ranging from 16GB to 64GB, Transcend's 400X CF cards allow designers to maximise performance with minimum space requirements and low cost.

Media files and operating systems can also utilise the ultra-fast, large-density range. Fully compliant with Compactflash 4.1 specifications, Transcend's 400X Compactflash cards deliver transfer speeds up to 90MB/s with support for Ultra DMA (UDMA) mode 6. These high-speed cards are designed to offer instant storage of high-resolution image data files generated by high-end systems.

Nexcom has brought out the PICMG 1.0 full-size single board computer (SBC), which supports Intel 45nm Core 2 Duo/Quad technology and is equipped with the G41 chipset. The Intel G41 + ICH7 chipset ensures high-quality video performance without deployment of additional cards or decoders. In addition to improved video performance, scalability and responsiveness, the Intel G41 Express GPU can deliver 3D graphics capability. For increased versatility, PEAK 777VL2 includes the Intel Core 2 Quad/Core 2 Duo/Pentium 4/Pentium D/Celeron D with front side bus frequencies ranging from 800 to 1333MHz.

For high-performance applications, PEAK 777VL2 can support up to 4GB DDR RAM. It supports a multitude of other I/O interfaces, including two serial ports, six USB ports and two PCI Express Gbit LAN ports. PEAK 777VL2 will find applications within graphics-intensive applications that require flexibility and performance, therefore digital signage is one potential market for this product. PEAK 777VL2 is the latest addition to Nexcom's range of PICMG 1.0 and 1.3 rated single board computers and passive backplanes.

NDK's COTS frequency-control modules are ideal for demanding environments such as defence communications, aerospace, down hole and maritime applications. The COTS range features crystals, TCXOs, VCXOs, SAW devices and FCXO modules. NDK's facilities have been qualified per MIL-STD-790 and they also have QPL status. The crystals are available in operating temperature ranges of -40C to +150C (less demanding temperatures are available) and frequencies up to 50MHz.

They feature high shock and vibration resistance and have proven themselves in on-engine automotive applications for many years. They are all SMD with packaging as small as 3.2 x 2.5mm, making them some of the smallest COTS crystals available. The world's smallest COTS, GPS grade TCXO (temperature compensated crystal oscillator) product features a tight frequency stability of +/-0.5ppm. The NT2016S measures just 2.0 x 1.6mm and includes an enable/disable function that allows for deactivation of the oscillator circuit, thus conserving power, making it suitable for battery-powered applications.

It operates in a -30C to +85C temperature range on as low as 1.8VD supply voltage. The VCXOs (voltage controlled crystal oscillators) are available in frequencies up to 700MHz. They have a frequency stability of +/-50ppm and with a frequency control range of +/-100ppm/+1.65 +/-1.5V.

They operate in a temperature range of -30C to +85C with a supply voltage of +3.3V DC, providing an LVCMOS, LVPECL, or LVDS output. The SAW (surface acoustic wave) filter is a miniature 3.8 x 3.8 SMD that has proven itself in RKE (remote keyless entry) applications. Centre frequencies are 315 and 433.92MHZ (others are available) featuring low insertion loss and excellent out-of-band rejection while operating in a temperature range of -30C to +105C. Two FCXO (frequency controlled crystal oscillator) modules are available.

The NW34M25WA is a translation/synthesizer device that has a reference input HCMOS 19.44MHz (others are available), with output frequencies of LVPECL of 155.52MHz, 77.75MHz, Hi-Z and HCMOS of 77.75MHz (others are available). Free-run accuracy is +/-20ppm on this SMD module. The NW36M25LA is an FCXO advanced Stratum 3 module. It allows up to four HCMOS inputs and HCMOS outputs of 12.96 to 77.75MHz, M/S8kHz, and a BITS_Clk of 1.544 or 2.048MHz.

Isabellenhuette has unveiled its precision current sensor with analogue voltage output, suitable for automotive applications, energy management systems and general current-sensing applications. The IAS sensor does not require a digital interface or digital converter. The choice of used shunts ranges from 0.1 to 1mohm, meaning the measurement area and the dynamic range can be set for up to 100dB; with a 500uohm, for example, pulse current of 800A can be measured for 100ms at a resolution of more than 20mA.

The IAS is an alternative to magnetic converters and has advantages such as shunt-based measurement with long-term stability of more than 0.5 per cent. It offers good linearity coupled with high dynamic response and compact dimensions to the point, according to Isabellenhuette. The IAS is also a suitable alternative to DIN shunts. Here, the main benefits lie in the lower losses coupled with greater resolution caused by the use of low-resistance shunts. The sensor also offers high-side measurement, meaning no separate supply voltage is needed.

The typical offset for unidirectional operation is less than 3uV. The operating temperature range can be adjusted within a range of -40 to +125C, depending on the application. The use of a controller enables customers to read out or process the 0-5V output signals.

Electronic packaging products manufacturer Elma Electronic is offering standing light guides for the transportation of light from a PCB to the front of a panel. The company's standing light guides are typically used in applications where the PCB stands parallel to the light emitters and front panel. This includes complex indication systems that transmit the operating status or the representation of bar graphs for a device. The standing light guides feature indicators with a planar surface with a 3mm diameter.

The indicators have electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection of 8kV to 12kV within a defined ambient temperature of -40C to 85C. Elma's standing light guides have a length that ranges from 9.6mm to 45mm. This allows a range of standard sizes to be made available for variable PCB to front panel distances. The guides also feature press-in pins that provide a stable connection to the PCB.

An optional black sleeve can prevent over-emission to neighbouring light guides. The vertical light guides are designed for use with surface mount design (SMD) LEDs. They come in single-guide versions up to an array of 10 guides. Elma also offers flexible and lying light guides in addition to various SMD and panel-mount LEDs.

Powersolve has launched the WM series of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) designed for industrial and commercial applications requiring dust and moisture resistance. WM series units provide up to 1.5kVA of constant, reliable power from an input voltage of 115 or 230VAC and offer a range of selectable outputs from 100 to 240VAC. Powersolve has used an online double-conversion topology to provide a high-integrity AC power source with zero transfer time to battery on mains-failure conditions.

The design also protects the load against noise and transients, according to the company. Up to four battery strings can be incorporated, giving 43mins hold up at 1.5kVA and more than two hours at 600VA. Batteries with a life of 10 years are also available as an option. WM series units incorporate many standard and optional features designed to make them easy to use 'out of the box'. Remote emergency power-off is incorporated, making the WM series units ideal for hazardous environments. A backlit LCD display provides information on a number of parameters including input voltage, output voltage and frequency, battery voltage and load.

As standard, each unit is supplied with Xprotect software and covers all Windows-based platforms. Xprotect offers all of the functionality of standard shutdown packages with some additional features for remote monitoring and control. Monitoring is achieved locally via RS232 or remotely via a connected network. WM1500 systems are specified for use over the operating temperature range of -10C to 40C. They meet all current and appropriate EMC and safety requirements.

Z-Communications has launched a RoHS-compliant phase-locked loop (PLL) model PCA1292B in L-band for fixed wireless and microwave radio applications that require ultra-low phase-noise performance. The PCA1292B-LF operates from 1,292-1,298MHz and features a typical phase noise of -105dBc/Hz at 10KHz offset and typical sideband spurs of -70dBc. The PLL is designed to deliver a typical output power of 0.5dBm at 3.3VDC while drawing 23mA (typical) over the temperature range of -40C to 85C.

It features typical second harmonic suppression of -15dBc and comes in Z-Communications' cPLL standard package measuring 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.13in. It is available in tape and reel packaging for production requirements. The PCA1292B-LF is also ideal for automated surface mount assembly and reflow.

Microchip Technology has launched mTouch Projected Capacitive Touch-Screen Sensing Technology for applications including mobile handheld units, global positioning systems and thermostats. The release supports projected capacitive touch-screen solutions across the company's portfolio of 8-, 16- and 32-bit PIC MCUs. The launch is supported by the mTouch Projected Capacitive Development Kit, featuring the 8-bit PIC16F707.

Projected capacitive touch-sensing extends resistive and existing capacitive touch-sensing technology to include multi-touch and gesture sensing, enabling users to implement robust glass-front user interfaces that simplify user interaction. The technology is available via a royalty-free source code license from Microchip's online Touch Sensing Design Centre. The mTouch Projected Capacitive Development Kit includes a 3.5in sensor mounted on a sensor board, a projected capacitive board with the PIC16F707 MCU and fully functional firmware.

The open source code supports sensors with up to 32 channels and the kit includes a graphical user interface tool that enables easy parameter adjustment. The PIC16F707 features two 16-channel capacitive sensing modules that can run in parallel for increased sampling speed, and operates from a wide input voltage range of 1.8-5.5V, with a typical projected capacitive sensor application operating current of 1.5mA at 5V.

Toshiba Electronics Europe has introduced the SSM3K318T, a 60V semi-power Mosfet that is ideally suited for battery voltage boosting in white light-emitting diode (LED) backlight applications. The common load-switching application in portable devices can be operated from the battery voltage with low-voltage Mosfets of 20V maximum rating. However, for LED backlighting applications with series connection of white LEDs voltages need to be boosted to higher levels, leading to maximum drain-source voltage requirements of 60V.

With maximum drain current rating of 2.5A, the small-size Toshiba SSM3K318T n-channel power Mosfet is well suited to boost a battery voltage to the level needed to turn on LED arrays, with both high-speed switching and high efficiency. The SSM3K318T features an ON-resistance of 83.5mW (typical) at VGS = 10V, and low capacitance of 235pF at VDS = 30V. Lower RDS(ON) and capacitance increase switching speed and efficiency resulting in longer battery life for portable applications.

In addition, the 60V rating makes this Mosfet an ideal solution for industrial and telecommunication applications. Toshiba's broad selection of low ON-resistance semi-power Mosfets is suitable for load switch and DC voltage conversion in portable electronics equipment. The Mosfets are designed to save space while meeting designers' requirements. The SSM3K318T is available in a compact TSM package that measures 2.9 x 2.8 x 0.7mm.

Anritsu has introduced the MG3690C series of RF/microwave signal generators for testing microwave components, subsystems as well as verifying radar and communications systems. The company said the signal generators combine good phase noise and broad frequency generation to allow engineers to conduct highly accurate tests on subsystems, especially those in local oscillator substitution and clock-generation applications.

The overall performance of the MG3690C signal generators is said to make them suitable to test microwave components, subsystems, and systems during design and manufacturing, as well as for signal stimulation to test and verify radar and communications systems. The MG3690C is the latest member of the company's synthesiser family that generates signals from 0.1Hz to 70GHz. Baseband, IF, RF, and microwave signal can be produced from a single instrument to maximise equipment use and reduce cost of test.

Options set a new level for low phase noise of -115dB/Hz at 20GHz and 10kHz offset. This means that devices under test (DUT) are stimulated with known good signals, therefore enhancing the integrity of the measurement and reducing time tracking down test-equipment-induced measurement problems. The series is also said to be ideal for digital datacom applications, as the low phase noise minimises instrument-induced clock jitter. The MG3690C can generate narrow pulses down to 10ns to emulate a variety of signals.

Amplitude-levelled pulses down to 100ns can be generated to minimise amplitude drift over time and temperature for tight test margins. Amplitude-levelled pulses also eliminate the need for a CW mode during frequency change and minimise the chances of the DUT becoming damaged. The MG3690C series can generate doublet, triplet and quadruplet pulses with independently set spacing and pulse width, making the signal generators well suited to emulate a range of radar returns. The signal generators also deliver high measurement speed, as their fast switching speed of 5ms reduces test time.

BVM has released the LP-170 single-board computer (SBC) to reduce the size of the embedded computer at the heart of kiosks, media centres, PoS terminals, information points and similar equipment. The LP-170 SBC is designed for embedded applications and conforms to the Pico-ITX form factor. It measures 100mm x 72mm and enables powerful embedded computing to be implemented in physically small enclosures.

The LP-170 supports the Intel Atom N450, D410 or D510 processors, running at 1.66GHz and addressing either 2GB (N450) or 4GB of SDRAM, all options run in fanless mode. The integrated Intel extreme GMA3150 graphics processor shares up to 384MB of the system memory, supporting an external 1,400 x 1,050 display; HD video up to 720 pixels is also supported. Integrated audio is managed by the ICH8M system chipset with a Realtek ALC888 Codec that supports HD 7.1+2 output.

A Gigabit LAN socket, four USB2.0 ports, a SATAII interface for bulk storage, a Compactflash Type II socket, an 18-bit single-channel LVDS interface and a PCIE mini-card socket enable a wide range of peripherals to be interfaced to the motherboard. Power is supplied from an external 12V DC PSU.

Crystek has announced a line of low pass filters, the CLPFL Series, designed for test equipment and general lab use. Encased in a rugged SMA housing, the CLPFL filter range consists of five models with frequency ranges from DC to 100 through 500MHz.

Crystek said that the CLPFL low pass filter line has excellent out-of-band rejection and features 7th Order Butterworth response and 50ohm SMA connectors. All filters in the CLPFL range are rated at +36dBm (4W), with an operating temperature of -40C to 85C and storage temperature of -55C to 100C.

Crydom, a solid-state relay technology specialist, introduces the CTR Series of 90mm-wide three-phase Din-rail-mounted AC output SSRs. The Crydom CTR series offers UL-approved AC output ratings of 25A per channel at 600V AC, AC or DC input control, zero voltage or random turn on, as well as IP20 touch-safe construction with integral heat sink.

Mounting to industry-standard 35mm Din rail, the CTR Series also includes compliance to the IEC CISPR 11 Class A emissions requirements, IEC61000-4-2 through -6, level 3, transient susceptibility standards, RoHS compliance and CE Certification to the Low Voltage Directive.

Endicott Research Group (ERG) is offering two LED driver boards that are suitable for high-power, high-brightness LED BLUs used in LCDs in the 10.4in-24in diagonal range. The SFDK Series is a high-efficiency, dual-output driver board with connectors on both sides of the PCB. It provides a plug-and-play solution for powering LED BLUs in LCDs up to 22in diagonal. The SFDK offers FPC (flat panel compatible) headers in addition to the standard wire-to-board connections, with the interface between the driver and panel consisting of 0.5mm flat-flex cable (FFC) with six, eight, 10 or 12 positions, depending on the display.

It has a maximum current of 320mA and can power up to eight LED strings with a maximum of four on each side. The SFDK has a profile of less than 8mm and measures 1.15in (29.2mm) x 4.59in (116.5mm). It provides brightness stability over a wide input voltage (10-20V, with 5V available), external PWM dimming to 500:1 and is compatible with a number of OEM LED-backlit panels. ERG's SFD2E LED driver is a version of ERG's compact SFDE driver (E for economical) that packs high power into a compact board.

It can efficiently drive up to eight LED strings from one output at a maximum current of 480mA. It features a wide input voltage design (8-20V), external PWM dimming to 500:1 and onboard dimming to 255:1.

The SFD2E measures 1.115in (28.32mm) wide by 4.585in (116.5mm) long and has a profile of less than 10mm. It is available with a J12 output connector that is FFC/FPC compatible. The SFD2E is designed for compatibility with a variety of OEM LCD panels. Both the SFDK and SFD2E Series driver boards are supplied with a one-year warranty and are designed, manufactured and supported in the US.

Global Lighting Technologies (GLT) has used its edge-lit LED light-guide technology to create a troffer downlight that is slim, light, efficient and can be mass produced cost effectively. The troffer backlight utilises advanced technologies to extract light precisely where needed, providing bright, uniform light in a thinner form factor without hot spots or dark areas. The LEDs are spaced along the edge of the troffer assembly against the light guide to create an assembly measuring 23.5in x 23.5in, with a thickness of only 0.35in and a weight of less than 3kg (6.6lb).

GLT's edge-lighting approach achieves maximum efficiency in light dispersion, with a product now in production offering a brightness of 24 lumens at an output of 400 +/-30 lux at 2m, a colour temperature of 4,000K/6,000K and power consumption of 45W. Future production modules will be even more efficient. 'Illuminating this troffer with the traditional fluorescent tube technology would have resulted in an assembly up to 5in thick,' said Brett Shriver, GLT's director of sales. 'Our approach yields a much slimmer, more lightweight, higher-intensity backlight with an LED lifetime of about 30,000 hours.

'Plus, with three production facilities in China and Taiwan, we can offer mass production. 'We can make them in the thousands with no differentiation from troffer to troffer,' he added. As LEDs contain no mercury, the edge-lit troffer is also an environmentally friendly solution. t can reduce maintenance and power consumption and, when compared to a direct backlighting approach using LED arrays minimises thermal management issues as well as the number of LEDs required for efficient, uniform light dispersion. Pricing for GLT edge-lit troffer backlights varies according to size, application, number of LEDs and quantity.

Z-Communications has announced the RoHS-compliant fixed-frequency synthesiser model SFS3900A-LF in S-band, which is suitable for applications such as satellite communication and microwave radio. The SFS3900A-LF single-frequency synthesiser operates at 3,900MHz. It features a typical phase noise of -88dBc/Hz at 10KHz offset and typical sideband spurs of -65dBc.

The SFS3900A-LF is designed to deliver a typical output power of 3dBm with a VCO voltage supply of 5V DC, while drawing 33mA (typical) and a phase-locked loop voltage of 3V DC and drawing 15mA (typical) over the temperature range of -40C to 85C. This fixed-frequency synthesiser features typical second harmonic suppression of -20dBc and comes in Z-Comm's industry-standard PLL-V12N package measuring 0.60in x 0.60in x 0.13in. It is available in tape and reel packaging for production requirements. The SFS3900A-LF is also suitable for automated surface-mount assembly and reflow.

ARM has utilised Magma Design Automation's Siliconsmart characterisation and modelling software suite to enhance and expand ARM's production characterisation system for Physical IP products. This characterisation system will assist ARM in delivering standard cell and I/O libraries. ARM Physical IP products provide a wide range of building blocks to create optimised system-on-chip (SoC) designs without compromising silicon area and performance.

To enable designers to incorporate this IP into today's implementation and sign-off flows, ARM must provide qualified, accurate electrical models such as composite current source (CCS) and effective current source models (ECSM) for timing, power and noise. Accurate IBIS models for I/Os are also required to support board-level electrical analysis. To ensure these libraries work across a wide range of applications and SoC design flows, these models must be generated across numerous process points, supply voltages and junction temperatures.

Siliconsmart is a fast and accurate component of the ARM characterisation system that generates and validates these models, increasing predictability of silicon and improving designer productivity. 'The Physical IP solutions made available via our process-optimised, high-performance and high-density standard-cell libraries and general-purpose and specialty I/Os provide our customers with the ability to meet the most demanding design requirements,' said Brent Dichter, ARM vice-president of design automation, Physical IP division.

'Our customers' requirements continually evolve over time and Siliconsmart has helped us develop the automation, performance and reliability we need to rapidly characterise our standard-cell and I/O products,' he added. 'There are significant challenges associated with designing IP libraries for a wide range of design applications, as well as setting up a process for generating accurate timing, power and noise model libraries that will work in different EDA flows,' said Anirudh Devgan, general manager of Magma's custom design business unit.

'Given the volume of characterisation ARM requires, setting up a process and generating the necessary models in a timely fashion is enhanced by the characterisation flow based on Magma's Siliconsmart,' he added. Siliconsmart provides standard cell and I/O characterisation and modelling for all popular design flows and supports advanced timing and power modelling. It is a comprehensive library characterisation system that produces production-ready models with minimal setup effort, according to Magma.

Cast has developed a reference design system targeted at electronic system design engineers who need to understand and evaluate H.264 video encoding quickly and cost effectively. Cast's H.264 video encoding reference design system combines multiple hardware functions and essential software in a pre-integrated, documented package. It is available now, running in either Altera or XIlinx FPGAs on commercial prototyping boards.

At the heart of the system is the H264-E Encoder Core developed by Alma Technologies. This core produces high-quality compressed video at up to 1080p resolution and 30 frames per second. It uses an efficient baseline profile architecture and processes video with less latency and fewer hardware resources than many competing cores, said Cast. The H264-REF system also includes a PCI Express Endpoint Controller Core, an H.264 Multimedia Interface Core and an appropriate DDR Memory Controller Core.

Custom H264-REF software offers a graphical user interface (GUI) that can be used to control H.264 encoding parameters such as the target quality level or a constant bit rate requirement. The GUI also helps manage workflow details such as input and output clip specification. The system includes additional drivers and other software to make it ready to run as delivered.

The cores are implemented in either Altera or Xilinx FPGA systems: the Altera Stratix IV GX FPGA development kit includes a fast-grade Stratix IV silicon device and the V5 TAI Logic Module Virtual FPGA prototyping system from S2C includes a fast Virtex-5 device. A Jpeg 2000 reference design system will soon join the H264-REF, using the same platform to bring similar evaluation and analysis benefits to this complex image compression standard. To see a live demonstration of the H264-REF system, visit Cast on booth 521 at the Design Automation Conference in Anaheim, California, from 13-15 June 2010.

Axiomtek has announced the SBC81207 PICMG 1.0 full-size CPU card for embedded applications such as IP-PBX automation. The SBC81207 is based on the new generation of Intel Atom processors - N450, D410 and D510. The single-core Intel Atom processors N450 and D410 and the dual-core Intel Atom processor D510 are all clocked at 1.66GHz. Having integrated graphics and memory controllers on the CPU itself creates the benefits of smaller footprint, higher performance per watt and lower power consumption than previous Intel Atom processor solutions.

The SBC81207 has paired the processor with the Intel 82801HM I/O controller to deliver system performance, full I/O functions and support for full DDR2 memory and legacy PCI and ISA operation environments. The SBC81207 full-size single-board computer serves a wide range of applications where flexibility, low-power consumption and thermal efficiency are important. As for power usage, the N450, D410 and D510 have TDPs of 5W, 10W and 13W, respectively. The power saving allows the SBC81207 to achieve a low total cost of ownership.

The SBC also meets current requirements for the Windows 7 environment. The SBC81207 single-board computer includes six USB 2.0 ports and three serial ATA ports with transfer rates up to 3GB/s. Other onboard I/O features include two COM ports, dual Gigabit LAN, FDD, PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, HD audio and Compactflash for SSD storage devices. With LPC I/O integrated, the SBC81207 provides reliable operation and non-stop capability with watchdog timer, as well as the Smart Fan feature that controls the fan speed to keep temperature within a specified range.

The low-power SBC supports Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP embedded and Linux. The SBC81207 is fully compatible with Axiomtek's PICMG 1.0 full-size backplanes and the company offers various industrial housing enclosures and can assist with any customer's industrial integration needs. This CPU board will be available around the end of June 2010.

Sunon is to display mini fans, LED thermal modules for applications in the automotive and IT industries, and more at Computex Tapei 2010. The company will showcase its Mighty Mini Fan and Blower, Super Green Fan and One-module LED thermal modules at the event. Sunon will also display its full thermal product lines, including thermal modules used in applications such as automotive, IT industry, home applications and projectors. Since 2000, Sunon said it has invested a lot of time and money in the development of technology for precision mini-fans.

This culminated in the 2007 release of the Mighty Mini Fan and Blower, a series of products featuring a small and thin size and low electricity consumption. Sunon has also assisted its clients in the development of thermal solutions for various portable mini electronic products such as mini projectors, MID, air pollution detectors, intelligent mobile phones and so on. The company's LED thermal modules are designed with three innovations: a bidirectional fan design to prevent dust deposition; a patented blocking-ring to prevent recirculation of hot air; and a quieter, high-quality thermal design.

Sunon's LED thermal products are developed with a simplified design philosophy featuring the 'One-module' concept. A thermal module developed with this design philosophy can be used in many models of LED light fittings, therefore simplifying the design process at the client's end. It is expected that three thermal module models - 7-15W, 10-25W and 25-40W - will be on display at the exhibition, each of which can be flexibly used as a thermal solution for various LED products including LED bulbs, LED tubes, MR16 projectors and LED lamps. The Super Green Fan is an ultra stable thermal solution for servers.

Of all requirements set by clients in the telecom and server markets, stability is always the primary one. In this regard, an optimum heat-dissipation performance is a critical factor in the maintenance of high system operation stability. The Super Green Fan's electricity consumption is almost half of conventional products due to the application of an energy-saving three-phase internal rotor motor, with fan blades optimised for air-flow concentration and passage. Moreover, the operational vibration amplitude of the fan is reduced by 38 per cent and the air flow is increased by 10 per cent. Two 60 x 60 x 38mm Super Green Fans will be put into operation back-to-back at the event for visitors to witness the high static pressure of the product.

Meanwhile, Sunon's strength in designing products that can meet the advanced heat-dissipation requirements set by high-density, multi-group servers and telecommunication equipment is demonstrated by Fan Tray. Fan Tray is an intelligent software simulation control system developed by Sunon. Sunon released its Maglev Motor Fan in 1999. Towards the end of 2009, the company released a DR Maglev (dust resistance Maglev) design that features good oil leakage prevention and dust resistance, higher reliability, and longer service life in addition to delivering better performance. Sunon has also been acknowledged for its ability to design thermal modules for notebook computers.

With the introduction of the patented automatic dust removing design, Sunon's thermal solutions can meet the heat-dissipation requirements of next-generation products that feature lighter weight and thinner size, such as mini notebook computers, desktop computers, AIO netbooks and so on. Also planned for the exhibition are four major application fields of thermal products: automobile electronics thermal modules demanding rigorous quality requirements; high air-flow, high-efficiency fan series specially designed for the telecommunication industry; ultra-silent fan series for the best sound quality; and projector fans that can withstand high temperatures.

Linear Technology has launched the H-grade version of the LT3972 3.5A, 33V step-down switching regulator that is said to be ideal for automotive applications. The LT3972 is a 3.5A step-down switching regulator with burst mode operation to keep quiescent current under 75uA. It operates within a VIN range of 3.6V to 33V, with overvoltage lockout protection against transients as high as 62V, making it ideal for load-dump and cold-crank conditions found in automotive applications.

Its internal 4.6A switch can deliver up to 3.5A of continuous output current to voltages as low as 0.79V. The LT3972's burst mode operation offers ultra-low quiescent current well suited for applications such as automotive or telecom systems, which demand always-on operation and optimum battery life. Switching frequency is user-programmable from 200kHz to 2.4MHz, enabling the designer to optimise efficiency while avoiding critical noise-sensitivity frequency bands.

The combination of its thermally enhanced MSOP-10E package and high switching frequency, which keeps external inductors and capacitors small, provides a compact, thermally efficient footprint. The H-grade version operates up to a junction temperature of 150C, compared with the 125C maximum junction temperature of the E- and I-grade versions. All electrical specifications are identical for the E-, I- and H-grade versions. H-grade parts are tested and guaranteed to a maximum junction temperature of 150C and are ideal for automotive and industrial applications that are subjected to high ambient temperatures.

Ecopac Power has introduced a new range of Mean Well power supplies with the launch of the ELP-75 series - a 75W AC/DC open-frame power supply for factory automation applications and industry. With high efficiency, low no-load power consumption and cost-effective, these PCB-type power supplies are designed to install directly into system chassis. Compared with the first generation LPS-75 series, the efficiency of the ELP-75 series has been increased by up to 11 per cent.

With advanced, high-efficiency circuit design, the ELP-75 series has 90-264VAC universal AC input with up to 90 per cent of high efficiency. The working temperature range operates from -30C to +70C ambient temperature. Incorporating built-in active PFC function, the ELP-75 series meets the requirements of EN61000-3-2 for harmonic current, reducing the interference caused by AC mains to the end system. Protections include short circuit, overload and over voltage with low no-load power consumption of less than 0.5W.

This allows designers to conform to the requirements of Energy-related Products for end-user systems. The ELP-75 series also complies with UL/CUL/TUV/CB/CE. Suitable applications include factory automation, electrical and mechanical industry, and all applications that require low no-load power consumption and high operating efficiency.

Spectrum is offering a new option for the complete M3i range of PCI/PCI-X and PCI Express cards with professional screwed SMA connections for OEM and industrial users. Fast signal sources are preferably connected by shielded co-axial cables and connectors with matching impedance to digitisers to obtain best signal quality. Only with this type of connection can one avoid crosstalk and signal reflections with signals that have frequencies in the upper several hundred MHz area.

When using PC-based digitisers with their limited free space on the front plate and when also taking the standard demand for additional digital signals such as clock, trigger or digital inputs into account, there are only a few connector solutions on the market that are suitable. SMB and MMCX connections are an easy-to-use and space-saving solution used by many manufacturers, including Spectrum. All M3i series cards of Spectrum are equipped with these connectors offering one or two analogue channels and sampling rates between 1 GS/s at 8-bit resolution up 400MS/s at 14-bit resolution.

In addition, there are five connectors for supporting digital signals. Spectrum now offers a new option for the complete M3i range of PCI/PCI-X and PCI Express cards with professional screwed SMA connections. This option is primarily intended for OEM and industrial users but can be helpful also in the area of research and development, the company said. This international standard connection with a stable screw-type coupling and good shielding allows a reliable connection of high-frequency signals even in rough industry environments or vibrating installations.

Customers that order the SMA option decide with their order which of the digital connections have to be soldered to the two available SMA connectors. The standard signals clock in, clock out, trigger in, trigger out and multi-purpose I/O are available for these connections. This choice can be made to match the requested application setup exactly. The fast digitisers are available in different versions with one or two channels, sampling rates from 100MS/s up to 1GS/s and resolutions between 8-bit and 14-bit. The standard version is already equipped with 256Mbyte of on-board memory, which can be extended up to 4Gbyte.

Each installed analogue channel has its own pre-amplifier offering a variety of input ranges between 50mV and 10V and several software-switchable settings such as 50ohm/1 mohm or AC/DC coupling. The cards are delivered with drivers for Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7 as well as several Linux installations such as Opensuse, Fedora or Debian. Thirty-two-bit and 64-bit versions of all operating systems are natively supported by the Spectrum drivers.

Zytronic has launched the ZXY100 controllers for PCT-based touch-sensor products, aimed at adding value to human-machine interfaces (HMI) in kiosks, industrial PCs and medical displays. The new controller architecture is said to increase speed and accuracy, streamline system integration, save 55 per cent of PCB space and provide a platform for innovative touch features. The ZXY100 controllers are fully compatible with all of Zytronic's PCT touch sensors, including all sizes of Zypos, Zybrid, Zytouch and the flexible Zyfilm and Zyprofilm sensors.

PCT touch-sensing comprises an array of micro-fine capacitive sensing elements, which are embedded within a toughened laminated glass substrate that protects the sensing element. PCT can also operate behind thick protective glass overlays, enabling reliable, functional and versatile HMIs in applications including information kiosks, ticketing terminals, interactive digital signage, medical displays, industrial PCs and ATMs. Driving the ZXY100 controller's increased performance is a 32-bit ARM microprocessor, enabling faster touch detection and enhanced responsiveness in both direct touch and through-glass sensing.

In conjunction with the extra processing power of the ARM, Zytronic will be releasing new firmware that will generate one or two simultaneous touch points, enabling customers to develop dual-touch or gesture recognition applications. The firmware has been developed to be compatible with Windows 7, allowing customers using this operating system to choose between downloading Zytronic's fully configurable driver (UPDD) and using the basic in-built Microsoft touch-screen driver (HID). In addition, for customers wanting to write their own application-specific touch drivers, Zytronic can release the controller Output Protocol.

Other benefits of the controller will include in-field firmware upgrade capability via onboard Flash memory. In addition to the ARM microprocessor, the controller will incorporate an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) which has been custom designed to consolidate a number of key analogue components into a single 7 x 7mm chip. This enables a reduction in controller dimensions and, if required, facilitating the supply of the controller in chipset form to allow integration of the PCT touch-sensor controller onto a customer motherboard in higher-volume and small form-factor applications.

There are three ZXY100 controllers in the range. The smallest - a 32-channel unit (to be used with 5-20in sensors) measures 54 x 34mm; a larger 64-channel controller (for 20-50in sensors) is also being released, and Zytronic is also releasing a 128-channel device (for ultra large +50in sensors), which is expected to be available by summer 2010. Each will be available with either USB or serial connectivity.

3M has announced the availability of the M2256PW multi-touch display for applications including computer-aided design, digital signage, computer gaming and security monitoring systems. With its ultra-fast, 20-plus finger multi-touch input and a high-definition, wide viewing angle LCD, the display delivers high performance for demanding multi-finger or multi-user interactive applications. Based on 3M Projected Capacitive Technology (3M PCT), the M2256PW display offers application developers full multi-touch capabilities with less than 6ms response time for 20 simultaneous touches.

Windows Touch AQ-tested for 20-plus fingers, the M2256PW display offers fast and accurate multi-touch response for professional and commercial applications. Palm accommodation allows interface manipulation with one or more hands resting on screen, and 3,358 touch points enable precise draw and edge accuracy for full-screen interactivity. In addition, the anti-stiction touch surface provides users with smooth and natural draw response.

The M2256PW features a high-definition 1,680 x 1,050 LCD screen, DVI and VGA video input, audio input, USB and RS232 (serial) dual-mode communication protocol and a durable, anti-glare front surface. The M2256PW display is compatible with Windows 7 so additional drivers are not required when using Windows 7. For Linux and Windows XP/Vista/7 operating systems, 3M offers a multi-touch driver and software utility.

Rohde and Schwarz has introduced the RandS FSC spectrum analyser, said to be ideal for applications that require a high-quality basic instrument, such as simple development tasks and test systems. The RandS FSC handles all basic functions such as RF spectrum measurement and power measurement. With a frequency range starting at 9kHz and extending to a maximum of 6GHz, the analyser is ideal for applications including research and instruction, service and production. The compact design and low power consumption of the analyser also make it suitable for use in small test systems and in vehicles.

The RandS FSC has a maximum sensitivity of <-161dBm (1Hz) and therefore can capture even weak signals. Its low level measurement uncertainty of <1dB ensures accurate results. The RandS FSC covers a frequency range from 9kHz to either 3GHz or 6GHz. It is an ideal instrument for users that need basic functions such as noise market, frequency counter, modulation depth measurement of AM modulated signals, or power measurement of pulsed signals. In both frequency ranges, the RandS FSC is available with an internal tracking generator that provides additional functionality such as cable loss measurements and simple determination of the transmission characteristics of DUTs such as filters or amplifiers.

The 3HU, 1/2 19in RandS FSC analyser is suitable for installation in small and mobile test systems. Depending on the application, one RandS FSC and one RandS SMC100A signal generator or two RandS FSC analysers can be mounted next to each other in a 19in rack. The energy efficient spectrum analyser consumes only 12W.

Users benefit from the compact design and the high efficiency of the economical analyser. It can be installed in vehicles to perform field measurements such as monitoring satellite communications links. Using the RandS FSC is easy and straightforward - all frequently used functions can be quickly accessed via hardkeys or rotary knob. The user interface is available in 11 languages. Results can be managed, evaluated and documented with the RandS FSCview software supplied with the unit.

The RandS FSC is compatible with all other instruments in the Rohde and Schwarz spectrum analyser family. It will also support the company's RandS NRP power sensors in the near future. The user can integrate this function into the RandS FSC with a firmware update, effectively eliminating the need for an additional power meter base unit for this application. The RandS FSC spectrum analyser is available in four models (up to 3GHz or 6GHz, with or without a tracking generator).

Analog Devices has unveiled a 16-bit digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) with onboard power management circuitry designed for loop-powered smart transmitter applications used in industrial equipment. The AD5421 DAC is said to drive system efficiency by reducing total component count and internal power consumption to allow greater functionality at the remote site. Smart transmitters are intelligent microprocessor-based field instruments that monitor process control variables, including temperature, mass flow rate, and pressure.

They are typically located in hazardous or remote areas and enable two-way communication via the 4-to-20mA analogue loop by using additional communication protocols. Power consumption is a primary consideration when selecting electronic circuitry for smart transmitter designs because these field instruments must be powered directly from the 4-to-20mA loop due to their location. Analog Devices' AD5421 is a complete, loop-powered, digital to 4-to-20mA transmitter that is claimed to consume 50 per cent less power and offers a 55 per cent footprint saving over competing offers.

Incorporating programmable voltage regulation circuitry, the AD5421 generates the low-voltage supply required to power the peripheral components within the smart transmitter. By conserving the system power budget, the AD5421 DAC enables systems engineers to select more accurate, higher-power sensor electronics or include supplementary functionality, such as extra communication protocols to enhance network connectivity and display screens to improve system interfacing. The DAC provides on-chip diagnostics that increase uptime of process control systems located in large plants, such as oil refineries.

The hard linearity and low-drift performance offered by the AD5421 DAC eliminate the need for multiple, costly calibration routines required by traditional discrete solutions to obtain high-end system performance specifications. The AD5421 includes a voltage regulator, which is commonly used to power itself and other devices in the smart transmitter. The regulator provides a programmable 1.8V to 12V output voltage. The device also contains precision 1.25V and 2.5V references, eliminating the need for a discrete regulator and voltage reference.

Consuming 250uA of quiescent current, the AD5421 offers 0.05 per cent maximum total unadjusted error and 5ppm drift performance. The AD5421 can be used with standard Hart protocol circuitry and offers Namur-compliant output ranges. The device is specified over the extended industrial temperature range of -40C to +105C and incorporates a standard serial peripheral interface (SPI) compatible interface.

The NRS6010 and NRS5012 wire-wound power inductors from Taiyo Yuden are designed for use as choke coils in DC/DC converters for slim, compact digital devices. The NRS6010 measures 6 x 6mm with a maximum height of 1.0mm and NRS5012 measures 5 x 5mm with a maximum height of 1.2mm. The NRS6010's rated current 1.0A (DC bias allowed current at an inductance of 10uH) and the NRS5012's rated current of 3.1A (DC bias allowed current at an inductance of 2.2uH) can manage high currents, achieving good DC bias characteristics.

The NRS6010 is ideal for LED backlighting for notebook and netbook PCs, while the smaller NRS5012 is suitable for devices such as hard disk drives smaller than 2.5in and for compact digital still cameras.

ON Semiconductor has introduced an integrated passive device (IPD) process technology for RF system-in-package applications in portable electronics equipment. The IPD2 process is an enhancement of the company's existing HighQ copper (Cu) on silicon (Si) IPD technology. It features a second 5um copper layer that increases inductor performance, allows greater flexibility and supports the design of precise, cost-effective IPDs. The HighQ IPD2 process utilises advanced 8in wafer technology.

Typical designs include baluns, low pass filters, band pass filters and diplexers used in portable and wireless applications. Here, IPD2-based designs provide benefits for circuit designers including reduced cost, reduced thickness, small footprint and higher performance that equates to longer battery life. ON Semiconductor offers fully featured design tools and design support plus rapid prototyping capabilities for its IPD2 process technology.

These enable potential users to quickly and cost-effectively assess whether their less sophisticated discrete or integrated PCB solutions, thicker and more costly ceramic solutions, or more expensive Gold (Au) on Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) based IPDs are suitable for conversion.

Molex has expanded its Mini-Fit terminal and header family with the addition of two products that are ideal for telecommunications, medical, industrial equipment, PCs and power supplies. The Mini-Fit Plus HCS terminals allow customers to increase their current loads by an additional 3.0A per circuit. With an elliptical contact simple designed to increase durability and gold plate terminals, which allow for an increased number of mating cycles and are suitable for hot-pluggable applications, this family extension allows for increased performance without changing footprint layout or existing tooling.

These terminals are designed to be used with all existing Mini-Fit receptacle housings. Mini-Fit reflow temperature compatible (RTC) headers are designed with a high-temperature LCP housing and can withstand solder-reflow temperatures of up to 265C, and are therefore compatible with lead-free reflow processes. The headers mate with standard Mini-Fit receptacles and incorporate a standard polarisation design.

They also share the same design features with the rest of the Mini-Fit family, ensuring compatibility and reliability. The products are UL recognised, CSA approved, TUV licensed, lead-free and RoHS compliant.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Banner Engineering's 2010 Catalog provides a user-friendly guide to the company's five product divisions: sensors, vision and vision lighting, wireless, indicators and machine safety. The full-colour catalogue includes more than 800 pages of product features, application images, model numbers and accessories.

The sensors division features photoelectric, fibre optic, special purpose, ultrasonic and measuring array sensors; the vision and vision-lighting section features Banner's IVU Integrated Touch Screen Image Sensors and the IVU Image Sensors with Remote Display; the wireless section features Surecross Wireless Network devices and Flexpower power supplies; the indicators division details the company's highly visible and versatile EZ-Light range; and the machine-safety section illustrates products such as the SC22-3 Safety Controller and EZ-Screen LP low-profile safety light screen.

This catalogue features multiple navigation options for enhanced usability, including colour-coded tabs that correspond with product divisions listed in the table of contents. The catalogue's 'What's New' section introduces users to Banner's new products, such as the IVU Touch Screen Image Sensors, the Surecross Ethernet Data Radio and expansions to Banner's popular World-Beam QS18, Q20 and QS30 photoelectric-sensor lines.

Users can then compare product features and performance using the catalogue's convenient selection guide. Banner's 2010 catalogue features detailed illustrations of how these products can be applied in myriad industrial applications, with page references that efficiently guide users to further information on each product demonstrated. This resource also contains more than 100 pages of accessories, including mounting brackets, cordsets, retro-reflectors and enclosures.

CEMB Hofmann, specialists in balancing technology, has announced that it will be exhibiting its range range of products and services at Mach 2010. The company's range of balanced components include crankshafts, transmission shafts, flywheels, armatures, brake discs, brake drums, and spindles. Motion systems range from fans, electric motors and impellors in components for the aerospace sector to automatic systems handling road wheels for EOM's and commercial operators.

Correction benefits can include increased performance, longer life components, reduced noise levels and preventative maintenance problems. For example, the company will demonstrate the ZB100-TCGV horizontal balancing machine, which is equipped with a touch-screen measuring unit that provides analysis, correction data and print-out records.

In addition, the N300 for portable balancing and vibration monitoring will also be on display. Unbalanced rotating bodies cause vibration and mechanical stress that can affect the machine's entire structure, reducing performance, producing stress, increasing wear and energy consumption and affecting operating costs. On-site analysis can tackle the problem and eliminate the need for costly dismantling and downtime.

CEMB Hofmann has designed the N300 to meet the needs of engineering companies and maintenance personnel that require a compact and ergonomic balance monitor to measure the overall vibration value (ISO10816-3), take synchronous measurements (1rpm) and for field balancing of rotating bodies on one or two planes. The N300 has a backlit graphic display and step-by-step software so that even occasional operators can use it. The data can be transferred to a PC via the mini USB port. CEMB Hofmann will be located on stand 5 in hall 5 at Mach.

The SV-500 is ideal for low- to mid-volume machining of oil-and-gas industry components, such as gas compressors, liner hangers, telemetry units, valves, pump liners and similar parts. It also provides capabilities such as custom bore profiles for diesel-cylinder liners. Sunnen claims the SV-500 series produces the industry's highest accuracy and surface-finish specs, using patented technology that allows creation of whole-bore, constant crosshatch, as well as custom profiled or tapered bores.

The machine is ideal for profile machining of diesel cylinder-liner bores to manufacturers' specifications, while eliminating the 'flattening' of the crosshatch angle at stroke-reversal points, sometimes required for Milspec parts. Bore profile display and tool-control technology allow the operator to achieve the desired bore shape, surface crosshatch angle, or near-elimination of crosshatch. Available with a stroke length up to 1524mm (60in), the SV-500 Series' 15kW (20HP) spindle is ideal for bores up to 300mm (12in) diameter or larger, depending on the application.

Its powerful spindle permits high stock-removal rates on exotic materials, such as titanium and compacted-graphite iron. Standard spindle speed is 0-300rev/min, with options of 0-600 and 0-1200rev/min, and a maximum stroke rate of 27.4m/min (90ft/min). It is capable of using legacy tooling from Sunnen GH-210 and SV-3/SV-4 machines. An electromechanical design, the SV-500 delivers servo-accurate performance that remains consistent over time, eliminating the drift inherent to hydraulic machines. Its patented servo-stroking system brings a new level of automation and simplicity to honing complex parts, such as those with interrupted, tandem, blind or geometrically flawed bores.

New capabilities include custom bore profiles, automatic geometry correction and auto-dwell for bore straightness, ideal for blind bores. Vertical spindle orientation produces superior results with interrupted bores, where the weight of the tool and drive shaft on a horizontal hone increases the potential for washout around ports. Equipped with the fastest, most precise linear tool feed on the market, the SV-500 series can be configured as a single-spindle, manually loaded machine or a fully automated multi-spindle system.

Sunnen system-engineers each SV-500 machine as an optimised processing package, complete with custom guarding, custom risers and fixturing, tooling, abrasives, gaging and coolants. The platform is available with a malleable-iron base or T-slot table just above floor level, or with various workholding and table options at waist height. Part-indexing options include in-line shuttles for transfer lines, as well as 2- and 32-position rotary tables or (fourth axis) servo-index table with infinite positioning. The open-base design allows easy pass-through of large parts and makes the machine adaptable for parallel manufacturing in a lean environment.

Stainless-steel guarding is maintenance free. To realise highest unmanned processing efficiencies, the SV-500 can be equipped for in-process air gaging with Sunnen's PH hone head - or with post-process air gaging. PH tools are designed to produce optimum straightness and roundness with multiple stone configurations. They are available with conventional, diamond or CBN metal-bond abrasives, specifically engineered for a given application. A plug-gauge shutoff is also available for processes that do not require the feed back or precision of air gauging.

Setup is fast and easy, all handled from the front of the machine without raising a cover. An intuitive interface and advanced PC-based control simplify the honing process to allow anyone with multi-axis experience to run the machine like an expert. The SV-500 Series provides great cost, size and flexibility advantages over hydraulic honing systems of comparable capacities. Vertical design conserves shop-floor space.

At Mach 2010, Wenzel UK will introduce its Mobilescan3D portable measuring and scanning system for reverse engineering, CAD comparison inspection and first article inspection services. Mach 2010 is being held at the NEC in Birmingham from 7 to 11 June. It can provide automatic non-contact scanning with full CNC control using a simple user interface. Mobilescan3D has full three-axis CNC capability that scans many millions of points using a red laser stripe at unrivalled speed and precision.

Three different sensors are available, with accuracy from the 100mm sensor of +/-10um. Mobilescan can be used on both small- and large-scale components. Mobilescan3D is ideal for reverse engineering, CAD comparison inspection and first article inspection services. Wenzel UK will introduce a new range of non-contact scanning services at Mach 2010. Wenzel UK is offering two new non-contact scanning services using the latest Wenzel Technology in the Mobilescan3D and the industrial CT machine from Wenzel called Exact.

Customers can now send components for non-contact scanning or CT analysis, and in the case of Mobilescan have this service performed at their own location if required.

MAG vertical turning centres are ideal for finishing large bearings and gearboxes used in machinery for the mining, construction, marine and energy industries. A new grinding attachment adds surface finishing to the one-stop processing capabilities of MAG's vertical turning centres (VTC), allowing finishing of ID, OD and plane surfaces on parts up to 4700mm (185in) diameter. The machine is ideal for large bearings and gearboxes used in machinery for the mining, construction, marine and energy industries.

The system will be exhibited at IMTS on a MAG VTC 2500. VTCs equipped with the new 22/33kW (29.5/44HP) grinding attachment can produce better than 10 micro-inch finishes and roundness of less than 60 micro inches, with diameter-size control of 0.025mm (0.001in). The grinding attachment can utilise wheel sizes up to 400mm (15.75in) and produces 400Nm (295ft.lb) torque and a maximum speed of 3000rev/min. Equipped for grinding work, VTCs are enhanced with a modified coolant and filtration system, hand-held wash wand, stainless-steel bowl enclosure with extra side flush, covers over the column ways, and a heavy-duty chip conveyor to handle grinding swarf.

Full X-axis travel on MAG's VTCs provides room for a rigid dressing tool outside the work zone, allowing the machine to accept its maximum part size without restriction. Normally stored in an off-line tool drawer, the grinding attachment joins live spindles, right-angle heads, horizontal adapters and other attachments that can be changed automatically on the VTCs for maximum machine uptime and single-setup part completion. One of the most versatile turning systems for large parts, MAG's VTCs in table size 1000 to 4500mm (39.4 - 177in) can already perform standard and hard turning, as well as live-spindle machining, contouring and part-probing operations on multiple sides and the full diameter of a part.

These machines are ideal for grinding applications. They are FEA-designed for maximum strength-to-weight ratio, stiffness and rigidity, with heavily ribbed cast-iron or robust steel weldments used for major components, such as base, column and cross slide, depending on the machine size. The adjustable cross slide, with MAG's levelling technique and patented rail-clamping system, allows ram extension to be minimised during grinding for maximum system stiffness. A wedge-lock tooling system with hydraulic clamping force of 150,000N (33,000lb) allows the use of tools up to 700mm (27.5in) long.

The 250mm-square (10in) hydrostatic ram resists torsion and vibration to produce superior surface finishes, and allows downward feed thrust up to 34,000N (7,600lb). Cross-rail levelling with dual linear scales ensures parallelism between table and rail, with levelling accuracy of 10 microns (0.0004in).

Pre-loaded roller guideways enhance system stiffness and reduce friction for excellent contouring accuracy. Tables are extensively supported with a combination of tapered roller and flat-thrust bearings to handle constant use at maximum load ratings. The table design resists tipping with unbalanced loads, and superior accuracy is ensured with factory-specified maximum 0.005mm (0.0002in) table runout. Table drives are rated 84kW (112HP) to 108kW (145HP), and capable of producing maximum torque of 17,113Nm (12,623ft.lb) to 111,116Nm (81,955ft.lb).

Full contouring with the table C-axis enables drilling, tapping or mill turning of features anywhere on the workpiece with contouring/positioning by 360,000-position table. A standard 26-position tool changer accommodates six wedge locks and 20 modular tools. Various options for the VTC line include expanded tool capacity, part and tool probing systems, pallet changer and fourth axis. Fanuc 310i or Siemens 480D controls are standard.

Mitsui Seiki's HU100 series is a range of configurable machining centres aimed at a variety of heavier applications in manufacturing industries. Mitsui Seiki will introduce these machines to North America at IMTS 2010. Configurable machines are based on a set of standard modular components that can be arranged to suit specific customers' needs, easily and affordably. Mitsui Seiki's approach to providing customers with the ideal technical solution has just become easier.

For example, users can choose axis travels from 1300 to 2500mm; four, five or six axes of continuous motion; and a choice of a rotary table, trunnion table, or table on table. There's also a variety of spindle choices, including fixed spindles from 6000rev/min (50HP, 2000ft.lb torque) for heavy milling up to 25,000rev/min for high-speed applications.

Tilt or swivel-spindle choices are available from 6000rev/min (800ft.lb torque) for heavy milling up to 12,000rev/min for high-speed machining. Mitsui Seiki also offers quill-type spindles for precision boring with shorter tools. Mitsui Seiki applications engineers help customers to select the optimum component choices to meet their needs and objectives, now and in the future. The HU100 series is ideal for larger aerospace and power-generation parts with a work-zone capacity of up to 2500mm diameter x 2000mm height.

The machines accommodate weights from 4,400lb (2,000kg) to 17,500lb (8,000kg). These machines can be equipped with simple pallet changers to fully integrated FMS systems for work and raw-material handling. Likewise, tool-handling systems range from on-board magazines to central systems for more than 2,500 tools. The HU100 line is already one of Mitsui Seiki's most popular products and has been sold to industries as diverse as aerospace, refrigeration compressor, mould and die, heavy equipment and energy.

All of these industries have fundamental common requirements: machine rigidity/stiffness and high accuracy. As with all Mitsui Seiki's machine tools, high accuracy and ultra rigidity come from the builder's attention to the basic structure, 3D FEM design, hand scraping of all castings for geometry and frequency tuning, plus hardened and ground steel box ways.

JJS possesses a special proficiency in non-electronics based precision mechanical assembly techniques, known as mechatronics. Added to PCB, cable, electrical and system assembly, this activity represents an integrated manufacturing service beyond basic PCB assembly. JJS Electronics Business is focused on diverse prototype through to medium-volume assembly work. Naturally, complex mechanical assemblies demand high levels of skill.

At JJS, this is the product of a lean process that includes the continuous breakdown of all build procedures with the objective to 'de-skill' each element to boost the scalability and consistency with which complex electro-mechanical systems can be produced. In the context of line balancing, this includes time trials and the analysis of work content present in each process step. NPI and short-run manufacturing projects demand a special balance of set-up and production skills and are not conducive to extensive and potentially unreliable assembly documentation.

JJS has developed a training process that promotes step-by-step analysis supported by pictorial guidance, ideal for assembly operations involving mixed model lines. JJS also rewrites customer documentation as standard, incorporating BoM analysis to process map and balance workflow. Other lean practices include an integrated closed-loop test strategy focused on fault prevention rather than repair.

Haas software engineers have designed into the Haas Control a facility called Maximum Rounding, which allows the user to define the machining accuracy of rounded corners within a selected tolerance. The default value is 0.05in (1.27mm) but it can be set to zero, in which case the machine will treat all corners as if an exact stop is required. Setting 85 is only a default value and the user can override this figure using a programmed command with the G187 code and specifying an E value.

For example, G187 E0.5 would set the maximum corner-rounding value to 0.5mm for the duration of the program and will be cancelled when either 'reset' is pressed, M30 or M02 is executed, the end of program is reached, or E-stop is pressed. Most CAM-system post processors can be adjusted to automatically output a G187 for a roughing cycle and then alter the value again when the finishing cycle is run. The result is a shorter cycle time, more accurate and consistent parts and extended cutting-tool life.

Anca has introduced a cost-effective, entry-level CNC grinding machine that is suitable for re-sharpening and small-batch manufacturing. Built on the platform of the Anca RX7, the only significant differences between the two machines are spindle power and appearance. Illustrating the comprehensive nature of the Anca Fastgrind 'package', the new grinder includes all Anca innovations, such as direct-drive technology, polymer concrete base, MPG feed and Cim3D.

Most importantly, Anca's Toolroom suite gives users unlimited access to a full range of powerful and user-friendly tool and cutter-grinding software. By removing unnecessary high-production orientated options, such as auto loading and automated clamping, Anca has substantially reduced build costs and delivered its most affordable CNC grinding machine to date. The elimination of superfluous accessories has allowed the Fastgrind to meet the specific requirements of re-sharpening or small-batch manufacturing and to deliver an unbeatable price/performance ratio.

Designed with regrinding capability in mind, the Fastgrind's 3.7kW/5HP (8kW/10HP peak) offers sufficient power for re-sharpening tasks as well as a range of light-manufacturing tasks. The Fastgrind's appeal is not only limited to first time or small-scale CNC users. Larger machine shops and manufacturing companies that experience high tool consumption can also realise significant cost savings by using the Fastgrind to provide a practical, in-house resharpening capability.

The company 3M has added five new products to its range of personal protective equipment (PPE), including the 3M Noise Indicator NI-100, which provides a guide to noise-hazard levels. The company has developed three stylish additions to the 3M Premium Eye Protection range: 3M1200E Premium Eyewear, which is a lightweight half-frame style that combines safety eyewear with edgy styling and a solid performance; 3M Fuel X2 Premium Eyewear, which blends bold new grooved styling with comfort features for improved fit; and 3M Refine 300 Premium Eyewear, which has been designed specifically to suit the smaller facial profiles of women.

The 3M Noise Indicator NI-100 is a lightweight clip-on product that provides health and safety managers with a quick and simple guide to potential noise-hazard levels - with an LED light that flashes green when exposed to ambient noise levels below 85db(A) and red for noise levels above 85dB(A), when hearing protective equipment must be worn.

The final new introduction completes the 3M S-Series hoods and headcovers range, designed for use with 3M powered and supplied air respirators. The S-855E hood offers head, face, neck and shoulder coverage with increased chemical resistance. It also provides eye and face protection to EN166, liquid splash and low-energy impact (grade F).

Designed for protection and comfort, this range can be a highly cost-effective choice for some high disposal-rate environments. Just the soiled-hood fabric is replaced when required, while the head harness and air ducting can be re-used. Benefits of the range include excellent field of vision, improved air-flow distribution, comfort and coverage combined with eye and face protection and an Assigned Protection Factor (APF) of 40.

PSL will exhibit its Datatrack business administration and production software and the Status Board display system at Mach 2010, where the company is exhibiting alongside Star Micronics GB. New Datatrack editions include Evolution, Precision, Contract and Ultimate modules. First time investors can consider the entry level Evolution system, which provides the functionality to manage essential sales and purchasing functions, from estimate to invoice, together with component and material stock control.

The Precision module is ideal for larger businesses where scheduling, shop-floor data collection and job costing are more critical, together with more sophisticated production analysis. Contract is designed for companies involved in large and small and simple and complex assemblies, such as producers of special-purpose equipment, test rigs and electronic products, including PCBs. Ultimate meets the requirements of companies with the most demanding and varied types of manufacture.

It includes management of tooling, quality, EDI and more functions. The advantage of the new editions is that businesses from any industrial sector from sub-contract manufacturing to any form of assembly or product build can now purchase the edition they need to help manage their business and reduce costs. Upgrading to other editions is simple, as is integrating other modules at a later date when requirements change and business expands. Starting at less than GBP3,000, PSL Datatrack is an affordable and essential tool for every kind of manufacturing business.

All PSL Datatrack editions can be specified to run real-time Status Boards, connect to external systems such as accounting, tooling and material storage systems and can provide EDI links where necessary. The latest version of Status Board is the Boardroom version, which can display any relevant information for a business, giving directors instant real-time updates of key business operating parameters from the moment they arrive in the office. Boardroom Status Board's multi-layer charting facility displays information on any aspect of the manufacturing process, combining production data with KPIs.

Typical displays include: delivery and current WIP values versus budgets; delivery performance specific and by period average; achieved delivery promises; supplier delivery performance and overdue purchases; non-conformance analysis and quality results; and stock-value statistics. The benefits of these displays will be specific to individual company circumstances, but will include tighter financial control, rigid control of inventory, precise analysis of delivery performance, prediction of potential problems and real-time monitoring of production. MACH 2010 will be held at the NEC Birmingham from 7-11 June 2010.

Confectioner Thorntons has chosen a Schubert automated packaging line to pack a wide variety of its assorted chocolates. The versatile system packs up to 73 trays a minute in the 24/7 operation and is designed to handle a large range of carton sizes from 100 to 685g. Up to 20 chocolate varieties can be accommodated as the line comprises 20 product in-feed conveyor belts and 10 high-performance robotic arms that rapidly perform up to 110 picks a minute.

Trays are transported along the line's chain conveyor and fed into a series of five TLM-F44 sub machines that each comprise four product in-feed belts. The chocolates are located via Schubert's vision system and then filled by the F4 robot units, which each feature a pair of in-feed belts. 'This new line, the second Schubert system in use at Thorntons' factory in Alfreton, was produced to fulfil the project's requirements of not only damage-free handling of various hand-finished appearance chocolates, but also high-accuracy placement into the packaging trays,' explained Mark Jocelyn, Schubert UK's sales account manager.

Thorntons previously packed the products by hand, which required three manual lines to produce the equivalent quantity now achieved by the Schubert equipment. 'The new Schubert line has improved productivity and reduced the requirement for temporary labour,' said factory manager Joanne Talbot. 'We now have two Schubert machines working 24/7 and improvements from the first machine are obvious in the operating speed and the simplicity of programming,' she added.

Visibility.net 7.3 provides additional methods for ERP users to magnify enterprise-wide visibility and improve financial stability. Visibility.net 7.3 was introduced at the 2010 Visibility International Enterprise Conference (VIEC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was designed to increase accessibility of information and boost efficiency for manufacturing companies.

The new release incorporates hundreds of enhancements and additional reports that expand areas such as quoting and estimating, MRP and project accounting. Visibility.net 7.3 includes enhancements to the already progressive Kanban automated inventory functionality, as well as the multi-entity and multi-currency reporting features of the Financial Consolidator. One-click purchase-order supply-creation complements the already easy to use MRP functions, and additional override capabilities put more control into the hands of the user.

Visibility.net offers comprehensive end-to-end business functionality, integrated reporting, business intelligence and workflow and is cost effectively delivered utilising the power of the Microsoft.NET development environment. The software can operate using either a Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle database.

Lanemark has completed the installation of a second oven retrofit heating system at powder-coating subcontractor B G Penny. The facility builds on a previous Lanemark installation at the Coventry site and is centred on burner replacement on an existing 'box oven'. 'The larger capacity second oven sits alongside the previous installation and, similarly, handles an overhead conveyor rail from which parts are suspended,' said Malcolm Penny, works manager at B G Penny. He explained that the latest oven is closely linked to a powder-coating process line and handles a variety of materials, ranging in thickness from 1mm to 15cm.

This wide variation calls for precise temperature parameters to be specified and maintained depending upon the job in question. 'The heating requirement can range from 50 to 220C and, in some cases, calls for a temperature variation of only +/- 3C,' Penny continued. 'This target has been met every time to date, even with very temperature-sensitive products, and we have found on a number of occasions that the temperature has actually held within just 1C. 'Heat up times of 25min to 190C help with process scheduling and throughput rates,' he added.

At the heart of the Lanemark installation is the company's FD15-C (GA), which synchronises gas and air mixture to ensure that no excess air is produced. In turn this minimises emissions and, at the same time, delivers heated air sufficiently clean to enable direct firing of the burner into the combustion chamber. The installation now means that all box ovens at the site are fitted with Lanemark burners, which have been installed on a retrofit basis. Both systems also benefit from Lanemark Burnercare, which supplies maintenance and servicing plans alongside 24hr emergency call out if ever required.

PFW Aerospace has ordered a high-specification tube bender from Unison to support its production contract for the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft - which is scheduled to enter service in 2013. The precision bending machine will be employed by the aerospace supplier to manufacture the fuel and bleed air tubing systems for the wings and fuselage. The machine, which will be delivered in the third quarter of 2010, will extend the tube-fabrication capabilities of PFW Aerospace's manufacturing facility in Farnborough, UK.

Its all-electric architecture will support the company's lean-manufacturing strategy and save costs by reducing material waste, lowering energy consumption and speeding machine setup. The Unison machine will provide additional features to support the A350 project work. Among the advanced capabilities made possible by the machine's servomotor-based architecture is precision bending at extremely slow speeds. This attribute will be used in particular on titanium tubing parts, to exert fine control over material flow and the finished wall thickness.

Slow bending also helps titanium tubing to be bent with small radii - down to a single diameter of the tubing. Cutting waste of costly materials such as titanium was a further selection criterion. With the batch sizes at PFW - typically 10 to 15 parts - this approach can result in significant scrap costs. The exact repeatability of setup offered by the closed-loop servomotor architecture of the all-electric machine means that parts will almost invariably be produced right first time, according to Unison.

One other factor in the selection process is the lifecycle support, which includes remote diagnostics. The A350 tubing systems are being developed at PFW Aerospace facilities in Speyer and Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany, Filton in the UK and Xi'an in China. The production phase of the contract will take place at PFW Aerospace's manufacturing facilities in Farnborough and Speyer. The machine being built by Unison is a single-stack tube bender from the company's Breeze range that can handle tubing of up to 25mm in diameter. It features a very high specification to give fine control over bending.

Key features include the ability to dynamically control the carriage boost and pressure die during the bending cycle - to allow operators to optimise bending programs for difficult materials such as thin-wall titanium tubing. The energy consumption of the Breeze machine is very low, as the servomotors that control the motion only consume any significant amount of energy when actually performing a bend. A conventional hydraulically powered bender, by contrast, typically consumes energy continually as the system's fluid has to be maintained at pressure. A comparison made by Unison of two similarly rated tube bending machines showed that an all-electric machine reduced power consumption by around 90 per cent.

Eplan Electric P8 software can assist with the design of schematics for enclosure manufacturing. Complete parts data, such as enclosures and devices, can be selected rapidly from the Eplan Data Portal, or via product configurators. The system automatically generates corresponding device, terminal and wiring lists, providing information about components, connection points or wiring cross-sections. This electrical engineering documentation, taking into account existing manufacturer data and the housing with all its accessory parts, is configured in Eplan Cabinet as a 3D prototype.

The 3D model allows enclosures to be dimensioned, set up and checked, virtually instead of physically, long before the enclosure is manufactured. This ensures correct design data, exact planning and rapid implementation of the projects. Information about cut-outs and recesses, as well as for holes and threads, is transferred from the 3D model and fed through corresponding NC interfaces directly into the machining centre.

Optimised cutting lists for NC-supported cutting technologies can be generated simply from the 3D data, and will ensure precise fitting cable ducts and mounting rails. In addition all the advantages of automated wire preassembly take effect. An integrated 3D routing function determines the best possible routing, as well as the required conductor lengths within the enclosure. Completely preassembled conductors can then be rapidly installed.

Baldor has released a catalogue that features an overview of its range of industrial motors, drives, power transmission and motion-control products for automation builders and maintainers. The 120-page guide details hundreds of the most commonly required DC and AC motors, drives, gearmotors, Baldor-Dodge gearboxes and Baldor-Dodge bearings. The catalogue also details the company's range of servomotors, drives and controllers for precision motion-control applications.

The motor selection includes Baldor's energy-efficient motors, available in IEC frame and NEMA frame variants, for companies who build for international markets or maintain equipment manufactured overseas. Also included are details of special-purpose motors for severe, hazardous and washdown-duty operating environments, as well as inverter- and commercial-duty motors. The catalogue concludes with reference material, including quick-reference sections on IEC and NEMA frame sizes, and imperial/metric conversions.

It provides a reference for engineers who are building or maintaining machinery and industrial automation, and is available in electronic or paper forms on Baldor's website.