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Showing posts from August, 2010

Sensors For Level Monitoring In Medical Equipment

Balluff has launched Smartlevel capacitive sensors designed for reliable and repeatable level monitoring in medical equipment. The trend towards more sophisticated medical equipment and laboratory automation instruments that are expected to handle increasingly complex tasks requires reliable sensing technology. Issues of potential end-product contamination, as well as safety regulations such as exposure of personnel to potential biohazards or toxic agents, must be carefully considered.

All of these factors make it especially difficult for machine/instrument builders to acquire, in a non-invasive manner, essential real-time information about the machine or instrument's state. Balluff said its Smartlevel capacitive sensors are a reliable approach to addressing these challenges. For example, in a heart-lung bypass machine, blood is circulated through an oxygenation canister where blood levels are constantly monitored. It is of critical interest to the cardiovascular perfusionist to u…

Hardware Module Tests Liquid Density And Solids

Grace Instrument has developed a hardware module for the M7500 Ultra HPHT rheometer that provides a means for testing liquid density changes under simulated down-hole conditions. These conditions include those found in deep oil or geothermal wells. The M7500PVT Ultra HPHT densitometer module is also designed to test solid samples such as cements, cores or other solids. Both sample types can be tested without contamination by pressurisation fluid.

The M7500PVT module includes two pistons: large and small. The large piston is intended for tests involving larger changes in sample density, while the small piston is intended for tests involving smaller changes in sample density with a corresponding need for greater accuracy. These tests are created and administered by the user with the M7500 PC software, M7500DAQ. Test results are displayed within the software, and can be exported directly into Microsoft Excel, or saved as a standard .CSV text file.

CO2 Incubators Offer Space-Saving Advantages

LTE Scientific has launched the UK-made Caron range of large-capacity CO2 incubators for cell culture incubation into the UK market. Caron's IR-CO2 incubators have a capacity of 708 litres and offer space-saving advantages. Units have the ability to incorporate cell rollers and shakers where required. Models can be provided within the temperature range of 5C to 60C or Amb+10C to 60C.

Relative humidity (RH) up to 95 per cent is provided via Caron's cVapor humidity system, which delivers humidity on an as-needed basis without wasting energy or generating heat. The horizontal airflow system provides a uniform distribution and rapid recovery, even under heavy cabinet loads, according to LTE Scientific. The IR sensor maintains CO2 levels in the range of 0-20 per cent. The sensor measures only CO2, not temperature or RH, speeding up recovery times after the door has been opened.

As a result, samples will see virtually no increase in pH levels. The Caron IR-CO2 model 6024 large-capac…

Filtration Society Conference Set For October 2010

A complete technical programme for the 2010 Filtration Society annual conference and exhibition, to be held on 13 October in Chester UK, is now available online. The one-day conference is entitled 'Filter Testing 5 - Millimetre to Nanometre' and will be preceded by a short course and workshop on 12 October for those new to filter testing or those who wish to further develop their knowledge in this field.

The conference will begin with two plenary presentations, one outlining the latest ISO standards and the other covering validation methods that ensure repeatability. A number of speakers will describe novel ways of detecting and filtering out nanoparticles. A trade exhibition running alongside the conference will also feature a 'technology burst' session in which exhibitors are given the opportunity to make 5-10min presentations about their products or services.

Mitos P-Pump Suits Droplet Formation Applications

Dolomite has launched the Mitos P-Pump, which provides a pulse-less liquid flow using a precise pressure-driven pumping mechanism for microfluidic and droplet formation applications. With good response time and accuracy, the pressure-driven flow is ideal for microfluidic systems where a highly stable flow is required. This includes applications such as compartmentalised chemistry and alginate polymerisation, which necessitate the stable formation of oil-in-water or water-in-oil droplets; however, their monodispersity (size consistency) is key to obtaining accurate and repeatable results.

Dolomite has therefore carried out a number of tests to compare the size consistency of droplets formed by the Mitos P-Pump with market-leading syringe pumps. Droplets of water-in-oil were generated on a 100um-sized X-Junction, using each of the pump technologies. The droplet diameter from a continuous stream was measured using image analysis software.

The resulting data demonstrated that the Mitos P-…

Jeol SEM Can Image Magnetic Materials

Jeol has introduced a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with optics that enable ultra-high resolution imaging at low kV and high spatial resolution microanalysis in sample-imaging applications. The Through-the-Lens system (TTLS) combines objective lens and detector technologies with the Jeol in-lens Field Emission Gun. The TTLS is designed to enable imaging of a variety of samples, including magnetic materials.

The model JSM-7001FTTLS LV also features low-vacuum operation and a large specimen exchange airlock. In the TTL system, in-lens detectors with energy filtering provide both topography (SE) and Z contrast (BSE) images. Short working distance, low currents and low kV sensitivity ensure high-resolution BSE images. Gentle beam technology reduces charging and improves resolution, signal-to-noise, and beam brightness, especially at low beam voltages (down to 100V).

The TTLS operates at low magnification (10x) with no distortion of the image or the EBSD pattern, allowing collection o…

Enhanced Security With Selectaglaze Systems

Selectaglaze has developed a range of secondary glazing systems to enhance levels of protection, which are Secured by Design accredited. Windows are seen as 'soft targets' for intruders and, if subjected to a blast attack, glass will shatter into shards leading to personal injury and destruction of equipment and services. Critical buildings such as hospitals and healthcare establishments are encouraged to improve protection levels, and retrofitted secondary glazing can provide this without altering the windows.

It is discrete, applied only to areas at risk, and being demountable is acceptable to heritage consultants. Purpose made secondary windows installed independently to the inside of the existing window frame can provide enhanced protection whether to a single vulnerable window or to a complete building. Protection is available from simple low level deterrence to significant resistance against a determined attack. Selectaglaze's systems have undergone rigorous indepen…

SKF Backup Rollers Launched For Levelling Machines

Bronx Engineering has partnered with SKF to launch a range of energy-efficient replacement back-up rollers for use with all existing Bronx precision-levelling machines. Featuring SKF bearing technology, the replacement rollers have been developed for use in levelling systems for ferrous and non-ferrous strip or sheet materials, offering high levels of performance and long-term reliability.

Bronx levelling machines are used to level hot and cold rolled steel, coated steel, stainless steel and aluminium, with the strip or sheet materials being passed through a series of precision work rolls to remove shape imperfections produced during the initial steel manufacturing process. The Backup rollers play a crucial role in this process by supporting and guiding the work rolls. Over time, these rollers can gradually wear and require replacement, to avoid defects being induced in the finished steel products.

The newly launched range of replacement energy efficient Backup rollers has been develo…

Breaking Torque Wrench Targets Automotive Market

Torqueleader has launched the TBN 200 Breaking Torque Wrench for applications in the automotive, aerospace, military and consumer product markets. It utilises a 20deg breaking action that reduces the possibility of overtightening by clearly indicating to the operator when the preset torque has been achieved. Access to more awkward places is allowed by having the breaking action further down the TBN 200 wrench.

The TBN's precision mechanism ensures that the set torque is applied consistently, delivering repeatability to meet customers' quality objectives. The robust construction built to withstand the harshest industrial environment, ensuring long service. The TBN 200 models can be supplied with a 16mm spigot or 14 x 18 carrier rectangular fitting drive that allows the use of current end fittings. The TBN 200 and 200 G models are part of Torqueleader's TBN Breaking Torque Wrench range, which covers 0.2-2Nm up to 40-200Nm.

The TBN has a repeatability of +/-4 per cent of sett…

Weldability-Sif Provides Gas Inspection Courses

Weldability-Sif is running a series of two-day gas inspection training courses to help operatives with a basic understanding of the oxy-fuel gas process to become gas equipment inspectors. The fee-based courses take place every other month at the company's training centre in Letchworth Garden City, with the next available course scheduled for October 2010.

At the end of the course, each successful attendee will receive an EAL Certificate of Verified Achievement, which holds a three-year period of validity, an identity card and an inspection pack. This certificate allows the holder to inspect portable oxy-fuel cutting and welding equipment and installations in accordance with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) Code of Practice 7.

Each attendee will learn how to test equipment for functionality and safety, how to identify and safely replace non-compliant equipment, how to diagnose and prevent equipment problem…

GF Agiecharmilles To Host Micromachining Seminar

GF Agiecharmilles will host a half-day dissemination seminar on micromachining - used within the biomedical, aerospace, electronics, micromechanics and automotive sectors - on 9 September 2010. The company is hosting the seminar in conjunction with Manchester University and technical partners Microsystems UK, Rolls-Royce, Rainford Precision Machines, Teer Coatings and WLR Prototype Engineers. The seminar, entitled 'Extended Life Micro-tooling by Advanced Coating Technology' (Elmact), follows the completion of a three-year micromachining research project, jointly funded by the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The project specifically assessed the use of high-precision micro-tooling and different cutting tool coatings for micro-milling and micro-drilling applications. The Elmact event, targeted at precision manufacturers currently involved (or who wish to get involved) in micromachining, provides an opportunity for manufacture…

Vibratory Bowl Feeder Ideal For Spring Washers

Elscint Automation has developed a special vibratory bowl feeder for the feeding of spring washers. Spring washers have a tendency to get entangled and to get jammed in the chute when the outlet is stopped. However, Elscint's new design is said to resolve both of these problems, enabling the spring washers to be fed in a smooth manner.

In addition, for the M3 springs washer, the company has even provided an escapement or singular to release one spring washer at a time. The standard Elscint escapement with a slight modification was used in order to ensure smooth, uncomplicated operation.

Vibratory Bowl Feeder Ideal For Spring Washers

Elscint Automation has developed a special vibratory bowl feeder for the feeding of spring washers. Spring washers have a tendency to get entangled and to get jammed in the chute when the outlet is stopped. However, Elscint's new design is said to resolve both of these problems, enabling the spring washers to be fed in a smooth manner.

In addition, for the M3 springs washer, the company has even provided an escapement or singular to release one spring washer at a time. The standard Elscint escapement with a slight modification was used in order to ensure smooth, uncomplicated operation.

Ruland Shaft Collars Provide High Holding Power

Ruland Manufacturing offers shaft collars that can be used in equipment such as motors, gearboxes, linear actuators, packaging equipment, printing presses, medical devices and precision instruments. The company's shaft collars, which provide controlled face tolerances and high holding power, are single-point faced during the boring process to ensure a high level of face-to-bore perpendicularity. This results in a face run-out of TIR less than 0.05mm (0.002in) on standard collars, with even tighter tolerances on bearing locknuts and special designs.

The face-to-bore relationship is important for many applications where components such as bearings need to be properly aligned on the shaft. It also creates even pressure on the interfaced components, prolonging their life, and reduces the likelihood that the shaft collar will shift when it is subjected to shock loads. A circular groove on the shaft collar indicates that it has been single-point faced. Ruland collars should be installed…

Whitelegg Equipment aids traction motor repairs

Key equipment supplied by Whitelegg Machines is enabling the Anstee and Ware Group to repair and service traction motors. The Anstee and Ware Group provides electrical and mechanical engineering services and can service the needs of industries such as steel, aerospace, oil and gas, utilities, paper and quarrying. Recently, however, the company identified a market opportunity to specialise in the servicing and repair of traction motors for the rail and mass transit industry.

Anstee and Ware agreed to commit GBP300,000 to the latest technology to enable rapid and high-quality repairs to traction motors, with the focus of the investment to be at its Castle Donnington site adjacent to the motor-racing circuit. The company prepared specification documents for open tendering and, based on a competitive quote, Whitelegg was asked to supply key pieces of equipment to realise the project. Anstee and Ware specified that certain key pieces of equipment were essential to its new Traction Motor se…

Mettler Toledo Unveils High-Precision Weigh Module

Mettler Toledo has launched a high-precision weigh module, which is suitable for the fast and precise filling of pharmaceuticals and for the checkweighing of parts or quantities. The WMS is said to be simple to integrate in automated processes in laboratories and production environments. It is available in capacities up to 400g and features a readability of 0,0001g. The module is tailored to the needs of machine and equipment manufacturers to facilitate mechanical integration.

Its width of 59mm corresponds with the commonly used space for parallel arrays used in multi-line applications. The off-centre weighing platform offers the flexibility to install the weigh module alongside filling or other processing devices inside a machine. The weighing platform can be easily changed, according to the company; this enables fast changeover for different package formats in using weighing platforms with different adapters. A stainless-steel design, built-in overload protection and the internal ca…

Virtual-reality system installed at CNH facility

Agricultural and construction equipment company CNH is using an Activewall HD immersive visualisation suite from Virtalis at its facility in Zedelgem, Belgium, to conduct collaborative design reviews. Virtalis has also previously installed virtual-reality systems at the company's offices in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in Burr Ridge, Illinois, and in Modena, Italy. Kezhun Li, head of digital prototyping and simulation at CNH, said: 'We use our virtual-reality systems on a daily basis to conduct collaborative design reviews.

'In Belgium, the focus is on the development of forage harvesters, large hay balers and European combines. 'The fact that we've now managed to link up our team in Belgium with their international colleagues, especially those in Lancaster where similar product lines are developed, has led to a great deal less international travel and accelerated development schedules,' added Li. The Virtalis Activewall HD configuration in CNH Zedelgem's custo…

YSI To Exhibit Hydrologic Profiling Technology

YSI has announced that it will launch its Castaway CTD technology - designed to provide fast, accurate hydrologic profiling - at the Wastewater and Environmental Monitoring (WWEM) 2010 conference. The Castaway device, which is simply thrown into water and retrieved manually, automatically records conductivity and temperature profile data, depth and GPS position, meaning that no field notes or computers are necessary.

The company, which will be found on Stand 79, will also showcase its new Pro Quatro water-quality monitoring system as well as a fast-response pH sensor. The Quatro is an attachment option for the Pro Plus series of portable meters that provides four ports to measure temperature/conductivity, DO and any two ISEs from pH, ORP, ammonium, chloride or nitrate.

In the hydrology sector, YSI Hydrodata will demonstrate a new version of the Riversurveyor M9, a nine-beam acoustic Doppler profiler offering multiple acoustic frequencies that adjust automatically to provide accurate m…

Mobile Exhibitions On Future Of Process Technology

Parker Hannifin, a provider of technologies for motion and control tasks, is to present a series of mobile exhibitions on the future of process instrumentation, touring Europe until December 2010. A range of valves, manifolds and tube fittings for minimising potential leak paths will be displayed in a purpose-designed 16m-long trailer by the Instrumentation Products Division of Parker Hannifin.

The exhibition will tour Finland, Poland and Switzerland in September, Germany, Holland and France in October and Portugal and Italy in November, before concluding in December with visits to Austria and the UK. Solutions for all standard connectivity and functional requirements from the process line to the instrument are available from Parker Hannifin.

One of the methods employed to demonstrate these technologies on the trailer will be a long process pipeline equipped with common plant instrumentation but interfaced using components based on next-generation principles. A range of technical sem…

CO2 Analysers Aid 13C Isotope Content Analysis

The Macaulay Institute, a land-use research centre in Aberdeen, has purchased two Picarro isotopic CO2 analysers from Enviro Technology for its worldwide research programme. The analysers are being used for the institute's field campaigns, which look at the 13C isotope content of CO2 that leaves the soil surface. By measuring the 13C content, researchers can tell more about where the CO2 comes from and whether it is new carbon respired by plant roots or older carbon associated with the turnover of soil organic matter - this distinction can have important implications for the global carbon cycle.

The use of these analysers has improved the way that the institute has collected, stored and analysed data during these campaigns. Dr Andy Midwood from the Macaulay Institute said: 'During previous campaigns, we collected literally hundreds of gas samples in small vials, then shipped them back to Aberdeen for analysis. 'On more than one occasion, there have been problems and we los…

Interlocks Installed At Ethylene Cracking Facility

Some 1,600 safety interlocking devices from Netherlocks have been installed at Shell Eastern Petroleum's Ethylene Cracker Complex in Pular Ular, Singapore. The main applications for the interlocks are for the decoking process and on isolation valves for pressure safety valves. The interlocks use a linear key transfer system to ensure that processes can only be carried out in the correct order, guaranteeing that each part has been safely completed before the next can be started.

Safely completing the previous step in the process sequence will release a unique key that then unlocks the next step; only when a mistake is made will the operator be prevented from proceeding by a key that does not fit or a valve locked in position. This simple principle can be propagated to more complex procedures, but in every case it physically ensures that safety protocols and work orders are followed exactly, leaving no scope for human error.

Projected to produce 800kt/a of ethylene, 450kt/a of propy…

Hach Lange To Unveil Water Monitoring Technologies

Hach Lange will demonstrate a range of technologies for monitoring raw water, process water and wastewater at the upcoming Water, Wastewater and Environmental Monitoring (WWEM) event. According to the company, which will be found on stands 93 and 94, experts will be available to discuss the efficiency and cost savings that can be achieved with the new wastewater treatment optimisation system (WTOS). Information on the new Hach Biotector total organic compound (TOC) analysers will also be available on the stands.

These instruments are said to provide maximum uptime and reliability thanks to a patented self-cleaning oxidation technology that handles difficult samples and reduces maintenance. Unlike traditional TOC analysers, the Biotector eliminates the build-up of salts, particulates, fats, oils and greases that can lead to drift and high maintenance. Visitors from manufacturing and processing industries will be able to see the new Orbisphere 3100 portable DO analyser that employs opti…

RTS Extends Tube Auditor Software Functionality

RTS Life Science has announced that a series of new software features have been added to the RTS Tube Auditor, a volume measurement solution for drug discovery and biobanking applications. The RTS Tube Auditor, a high-speed non-contact solution for volume measurement and precipitate detection, improves screening quality, reduces costs and saves time, enabling screening and sample management groups to increase efficiency and improve their understanding of the quality of their samples.

New software features added to the system include the introduction of a four-step wizard-based calibration process that not only makes calibration easier and quicker but also improves the visibility of the resultant calibration and accuracy; additional user configurability options to improve audit traceability and to ease LIMS integration; and improved tube type auditing, enabling discrimination between empty or missing tubes and providing support for tubes containing mixing beads. The RTS Tube Auditor is…

Guide Focuses On Wind Turbine Sensing Technologies

Pepperl and Fuchs has published an application guide on its wind turbine sensing technologies, which are ideal for use in tough environments that experience wide temperature variations and vibration. According to the company, the most important characteristic of any wind turbine sensor solution is reliability, especially given that the turbine could be located 50m in the air, on a remote hill or out at sea.

Developing reliable solutions for these applications often involves exploring new sensing methods, such as yaw position control using an inductive encoder that is impervious to dirt or pitch control using a non-contact magnetic encoder that is shock and vibration resistant. The new application guide highlights the application of a number of new and existing technologies in the wind energy sector.

Roller Bearings Operate In Heavy-Duty Environments

Schaeffler's X-life E1 spherical roller bearings are ideal for applications such as continuous casting machines used in steel processing, paper mills, wind turbine rotor shafts and vibrating screens. The bearings are intended for use in heavy-duty operating environments and in situations where there is a need to compensate for shaft alignment. The X-life E1 spherical roller bearings offer a long operating life, excellent machine performance and high reliability in harsh operating environments, according to the company.

The E1 range - which has now been expanded to include eight bearing series with bore diameters from 20mm up to 1,220mm - is suitable for applications where very high load carrying capacities and reliability are key design criteria. Thanks to their robust design and high load carrying capacity, the E1 spherical roller bearings in Schaeffler's X-life rating are said to offer excellent solutions for vibrating screens. The low friction of the X-life E1 bearings not …

Pressure regulators enhance machinery performance

Parker Hannifin has launched a series of remote-controlled electro-pneumatic pressure regulators designed to provide flexibility, precision and energy savings in a range of manufacturing applications. The new EPP4 Comfort models have been designed to enhance the performance and reliability of machinery within the production environment, including welding, paper and printing and machine tool robots, as well as on trucks and trains for the control of adaptive suspensions.

Featuring a compact and lightweight construction, the new 1in (2.5cm) and 2in EPP4 Comfort models have been specifically developed for quick and easy installation and low inertia on moving robots. Using an integrated electronic control system and pulse-width-modulated solenoid valves, the new units control the output pressure proportionally to an analogue electrical signal, while high precision is achieved by an internal feedback through an integral pressure sensor.

As a result, control systems can be simplified throug…

Low-Cost Hexapod For Complex Motion Applications

Newport's new low-cost hexapod is a parallel kinematic motion device suitable for complex motion applications that demand high-load capacities and accuracy in up to six independent axes. The hexapod provides six degrees of freedom: X, Y, Z, pitch, roll and yaw.The Newport hexapod is driven by six enhanced versions of the company's high-performance DC servomotor-driven LTA actuators.

The quality of the actuators has a strong impact on the overall motion performance of a hexapod, but of almost equal importance are the joints with which the actuators are attached to the base and the moving top plate, according to the company. Newport's engineers came up with a design of special anti-friction-coated spherical joints that are not only simple but that also provide higher rigidity than ordinary universal joints. The company claims that the result is a hexapod that provides more than five times higher rigidity and twice the load capacity of other hexapods of a similar size.

The Ne…

DAC Suits Automotive Systems And Test Equipment

Linear Technology has introduced the LTC2654, a quad voltage output 16- and 12-bit digital-to-analogue converter for applications in mobile communication, process control and industrial automation. The LTC2654 digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) has an internal reference and SPI interface. LTC2654 DACs achieve 16-bit performance of +/-4LSB INL maximum over temperature, a factor of two better than the nearest 16-bit quad competitor with internal reference, according to Linear Technology.

LTC2654 has a low offset error +/-2mV (max) and low gain error 0.1 per cent (max), a combination that ensures that the LTC2654 remains accurate near the supply rails and provides users with a wider effective output range. LTC2654's precision specifications make it ideal for multichannel, open-loop and closed-loop systems. Applications include mobile communication, process control and industrial automation, automated test equipment (ATE) and automotive systems. The LTC2654's integrated reference…

Mono OLED For Commercial and industrial tasks

GTK has added a monochrome organic light-emitting diode (OLED) for data loggers, compact consumer devices, Bluetooth car kits and DAB radios to its range of optoelectronics displays. Available in a variety of display sizes and resolutions, the technology has a contrast ratio of 2,000:1, a viewing angle of 16-deg, response time of 10ms and brightness of 100cd/m2. This product is available in a variety of sizes and colours, with some variants offered in multiple colour options enabling OEMs to differentiate products within a family.

Colour options include white, yellow, green, amber and blue. This module is ultra-thin, requires no backlight and has low power consumption, making it ideal for design into compact consumer devices. The simple-to-configure product is suitable for commercial and industrial applications including data loggers, audio products, Bluetooth car kits and DAB radios.

Electrolube Offers Conformal Coatings And Cleaners

Electrolube will showcase high-performance chemical products for the electronics, automotive and industrial manufacturing industries to the Asian market at Globaltronics in Singapore this September. The company will introduce a number of new ranges, including the environmentally-friendly non-VOC (volatile organic compound) conformal coating range, which is designed to meet the high performance of solvent-based coatings with minimal changes to processing parameters.

Also on display will be the fast-drying DCA-FD, a modified silicone conformal coating, which offers increased solid content, giving 35 per cent greater coverage per litre, resulting in waste and cost savings per substrate. The Safewash Total aqueous cleaning product will also be featured. Safewash is said to provide superior cleaning performance to meet military and commercial standards. Safewash Total is a specially formulated blend of non-flammable solvents, which form a micro-emulsion when mixed with water.

Designed for …

Indicator For Construction And Military Vehicles

LED technology specialist Dialight has partnered with Peerless Electronics to offer a flat and domed version of the 657 series panel-mount indicator for outdoor applications. The indicators feature a fully-sealed and potted design, making them impervious to dust and water intrusion and in compliance with IP67/Nema 4x standards. Using the same high-impact, UV-stabilised lens material as the right-angle version, the indicators are available with tinted, diffused lenses in red, green, yellow, blue and orange, in addition to a white diffused style.

These rugged indicators are engineered for outdoor applications such as lane control and signage, as well as construction, transit and military vehicles; anywhere that a vibration resistant light source is required. The energy-efficient LEDs used in these indicators provide up to 100,000 hours of operation, exceeding the typical life of traditional light sources.

Torex LDO ideal for space-conscious applications

The XC6503 series LDO from Torex Semiconductor integrates internal phase compensation circuitry, removing the need for output capacitors and reducing the necessary PCB layout area. Even with no capacitor, the XC6503 can deliver output currents up to 500mA and is available with fixed output voltages from 1.2V to 5.0V in 0.05V increments. It is said to offer fast transient response and high PSRR (55dB at 1kHz) while consuming 15uA in operation and less than 0.1uA in standby mode.

The voltage drop is also optimised to maximise battery life with only 300mV required at 500mA. The XC6503 is also safe, with integrated short-circuit protection, thermal shutdown and built-in current limiter. The LDO can also work with an output capacitor if required and includes an optional CL discharge function to immediately discharge of the output capacitor, ensuring that the Vout pin drops down to ground quickly should the XC6503 be turned off via the CE pin.

The small USP-4 package measures 1.2 x 1.6 x 0.…

Leica Launches Auto-Collimating Theodolites

Leica Geosystems has introduced a new generation of industrial theodolites for aerospace applications such as satellite alignment and for boresight and heads-up display alignment for combat aircraft. The Leica TM6100A, which will be released by Hexagon Metrology during the fourth quarter of 2010, uses piezo direct-drive technology. These new motorised drives offer the stability of manual drives and the flexibility of fully automated motorised drives, yet they can still be used submicron-level fine positioning tasks, according to the company.

The fine positioning drives on the Leica TM6100A auto-collimating theodolites have been repositioned to simplify the task of measuring in difficult situations. The piezo technology also delivers very low power consumption, which enables the newly designed battery to last longer. The new colour touch screen remains clearly visible at all times, allowing operators to take the theodolite to any location. The simple user interface means that users onl…

Portable hardware targeted at engineering students

National Instruments (NI) has released the NI MyDAQ portable instrumentation device, which is targeted at students taking university engineering courses. MyDAQ advances engineering education by making it possible for students to experience engineering outside of the laboratory, in their dorm room or anywhere they choose, at any time. The device is designed by NI and features analogue circuits from Texas Instruments, including data converters, amplifiers and interface and power management components.

MyDAQ hardware integrates with the NI Labview graphical development software to help reverse the trend of rising educational costs by giving students hands-on interaction with real analogue circuits, sensor measurements and signal processing for around the price of an engineering textbook. Dr Tony Ambler, chairman of electrical and computer engineering at Texas University in Austin, said: 'Students need exposure to real circuits and hardware, but the problem for engineering professors …

Insertion Press Ensures Correct Use Of Fasteners

The Haeger 824 Windowtouch-3 insertion press, available via Shear-Form Machine Tools, ensures that the correct fastener is used every time, thus improving insertion productivity and component quality. Whether a company's fabrication shop is new to hardware insertions or already inserts millions of fasteners every year, the press is intended to make life easier for the operator by ensuring that the right insertion is used in the right place. This eliminates damage to parts during the insertion process with no rejected components owing to missing fasteners.

At the same time, fast ram speeds will increase productivity. If a fabrication shop is equipped with laser punching and cutting equipment, it is sensible to have an insertion press to maintain product quality throughout the manufacturing process, according to Shear-Form. The insertion press is claimed to produce a fast payback time on the initial investment. A laser-part-locating light uses a red cross hair laser to show the oper…

DeltaV System Chosen For Chemical Processing Plant

Emerson Process Management's DeltaV digital automation system has been selected by speciality chemicals group Perstorp for a control system upgrade at its pentaerythritol processing plant in Sweden. The existing distributed control system will be replaced as part of a plant lifecycle management programme to ensure years of continued high product quality and operational efficiency. The Perstorp plant uses a chemical batch process to make pentaerythritol (penta), an additive in paint and lubricants.

The existing Emerson RS3 distributed control system, one of more than 50 RS3 and DeltaV systems installed at Perstorp plants worldwide, has provided flexible and reliable control of the process since 1984. However, the need to run the plant continuously with continued high product quality and reduced downtime prompted Perstorp to plan for the time when spares for the existing system would no longer be available. Jorgen Annell, engineering manager at Perstorp, said: 'Perstorp has deci…

Compensation Units Help Robots Avoid Malfunctions

Schunk is offering a range of compensation units to help robots to avoid malfunctions and damages to the tooling or part and to ensure improved efficiency and process reliability. Depending on the size of the AGE-F compensation unit, it can balance planar offsets between +/-1.5mm and +/-5mm without twisting or tilting the workpiece. By means of three different springs per size, the flexibility of the unit is defined. With an adjustment screw, the springs are preloaded and forces are fine-tuned.

This enables the unit to be adjusted to the various applications - a benefit for pneumatic compensation units, which can usually be adjusted as 'soft' or 'rigid'. Since the AGE-F works mechanically without any pneumatic elements, it is very flat and particularly suitable for applications in narrow machining areas. Instead of sliding guides, it is equipped with smoothly running roll guides. This allows the use of longer gripper fingers and an assembly that is almost twice as high…

ICAM To Launch NC Post-Processing Software At IMTS

ICAM Technologies will release CAM-Post V19, the latest version of its NC post-processing development software targeted at companies in the aerospace and automotive sectors, at IMTS 2010. According to the company, which will be found in Booth E-3917, CAM-Post V19 is an interactive NC post-processing development and management software that interfaces with the most CAD/CAM/PLM systems, CNC controllers and machine tools.

CAM-Post V19 forms an integral part of ICAM's Integrated PSE suite of products that provides an environment for post-processing, simulation and emulation inside a single software platform. Integrated PSE also provides the means to compute in-process stock geometry to identify, list and display surface gouges, excess material, inaccessible areas and rapid-motion collisions at any time during the post-processing and verification phase.

Building on its advanced features such as path planning and rotary-axes pre-positioning/winding and developed to enhance the machinin…

CTS System Suitable For Deep-Hole Drilling

The new Cyclo Blast coolant-through-spindle (CTS) system from MAG enables owners of Fadal vertical machining centres (VMCs) to maximise machine efficiency and extend tool life. Available from MAG as a retrofit on Fadal's line of small VMCs, Cyclo Blast is performance rated for 15,000rev/min and up to 1,000psi (68.9bar) fluid pressure, meeting or exceeding CTS tooling requirements for most applications including deep-hole drilling. The retrofit is available for all 40-taper Fadal VMCs, including the 3016 and 4020 models, regardless of the machine's original CTS setup.

The retrofit can be installed in as little as two hours and the simple design eliminates the need for an extended drawbar post, making servicing the system as quick and simple as non-CTS systems. Complete systems are available for machines not previously fitted with CTS. The Cyclo Blast system is mechanically concise and designed using rotary union technology for reliability and extended seal life. Dan Cooper, pro…

Seminar To Focus On Practical Aspects Of Profibus

The Profibus in Process seminar on 6 October will address the practical issues arising from the use of digital fieldbus communications technologies in process and hybrid industries. The event, which will be held at Endress and Hauser's Manchester facility, will cover the use of Profibus PA in key application areas such as pulp and paper, chemical, utilities, pharmaceutical and oil and gas. It will focus on the practical aspects of using Profibus in process industry applications ranging from system design and hazardous-area considerations through to maintenance and fault finding.

With 50 per cent of the seminar time dedicated to live demonstrations and most of the remainder taken up with practical advice based on actual experience, the programme will be beneficial to instrument technicians/engineers, C and I engineers and system engineers involved in the design, operation and maintenance of modern process plant. Standardised in IEC 61158, Profibus PA is a digital fieldbus designed …

Intellitect To Show Floating Water Quality Monitor

Intellitect Water will exhibit a new version of its tiny multi-parameter water quality monitor, the Intellisonde, at this year's Water, Wastewater and Environmental Monitoring (WWEM) event. The new monitor will float on rivers, lakes and reservoirs, providing continuous water quality monitoring data. Tony Halker, chief executive of Intellitect Water, said: 'The new floating monitor is a logical extension to the Intellisonde range, which includes a number of in-pipe versions and a final effluent model.

'The new floating monitor will be battery powered and provide long periods of unattended monitoring,' he added. Intellitect's technology will be on display on Stand 71 during WWEM 2010 and the company will run a workshop entitled 'Final Effluent Monitoring in Real-Time' at 12:00 in Room 4 on 10 November 2010.

Quick Quote Tool Aimed At Tri-Rated Cable Buyers

Eland Cables has launched a quick quote tool aimed at speeding up and simplifying the tri-rated cable-buying experience. The company's dedicated tri-rated website hosts the new tool alongside a variety of other information for tri-rated cable buyers. The quick quote tool guides customers through a simple three-step selection process using an interactive table displaying Eland's range of tri-rated cable sizes and colours.

Landia pumps aid manufacture of pork scratchings

Landia's Chopper Pumps have eliminated a time-consuming clogging problem at OK Snacks, where fats and pieces of pig skin used to manufacture pork scratchings were causing equipment to break down. Landia's consultancy advice resulted in the installation of a reception tank where an external Chopper Pump was placed near the bottom. A recirculation system was also introduced, which allows the Landia pump to chop and then re-circulate the difficult-to-handle medium through a nozzle in the tank.

After recirculation and chopping, the homogenous mixture is pumped to a tanker truck. Since the installation by Landia, there have not been any breakdowns. This is thanks to a specially designed knife system that is clearly separated from the pump casing and the impeller. As chopping takes place before the pork-scratching medium enters the pump, the piping, casing, impeller and sealing system remains unworn and undamaged.

Verder Pumps Improve Precious-Metal Production

Verder Pumps South Africa (VPSA) has upgraded the thickener transfer pumps as part of a concentrator upgrade project for a precious-metal producer near Rustenburg. The company supplied its VF125 pumps, which are able to pump slurry with 1,7 specific gravity and at a flow rate of 60m3/hr over a distance of 690m, with a height of 30m.The VF125 thickener pumps resulted in cost savings and increased production capacity, according to VPSA consultant Daan Louw.

Process engineering company DRA (then Vhumbanani) was appointed as project engineer on the project and approached VPSA to assist in the design of six thickener transfer pumps. According to Thys de Beer, DRA project engineer, the VPSA pumps are able to transfer slurry without the need for a second pump station - something that would come at a significant cost to the mine and would probably take more time to process. There are currently 24 VF125 pumps operating at 37kWh at the platinum processing plant. The design for these pumps inclu…

Security Is 'Priority' For Network Buyers In China

Security is the most important factor for customers in China when choosing an industrial network, according to the results of a recent user survey by IMS Research. Market analyst Alex Hong said: 'In high-risk industries, such as chemicals or gas stations, the security of network connection is always the highest priority. 'Any small delay or mishandling of data can potentially lead to disastrous accidents, apart from increasing maintenance costs,' added Hong.

According to the survey, the next most important factors are the speed of the network and good diagnostics. This is mainly a result of demand from manufacturers to increase production efficiency and reduce the frequency of maintenance. The survey also revealed that a large proportion of people will design, install and maintain industrial networks themselves rather than choose an external company for support. This is particularly true for network maintenance.

Nearly three quarters of respondents chose this option becaus…

Portable Hardware Targeted At Engineering Students

National Instruments (NI) has released the NI MyDAQ portable instrumentation device, which is targeted at students taking university engineering courses. MyDAQ advances engineering education by making it possible for students to experience engineering outside of the laboratory, in their dorm room or anywhere they choose, at any time. The device is designed by NI and features analogue circuits from Texas Instruments, including data converters, amplifiers and interface and power management components.

MyDAQ hardware integrates with the NI Labview graphical development software to help reverse the trend of rising educational costs by giving students hands-on interaction with real analogue circuits, sensor measurements and signal processing for around the price of an engineering textbook. Dr Tony Ambler, chairman of electrical and computer engineering at Texas University in Austin, said: 'Students need exposure to real circuits and hardware, but the problem for engineering professors …

Sensor Enables Continuous Monitoring Of Machinery

Rotalign Ultra Live Trend, a short-term continuous monitoring concept from Ludeca, helps manufacturers to determine the relative positional changes between coupled machines during run-up or shutdown. It utilises the Rotalign five-axis sensor to monitor continuously, in real time and simultaneously, both the vertical and horizontal parallel and angular displacement of rotating machinery, from cold to hot condition or vice versa. By applying these measured values, the machines can be precisely aligned to reflect normal operating conditions.

This is claimed to result in lower energy costs through reduced power consumption; the increased mechanical life of bearings, seals, shafts and couplings; reduced bearing and coupling temperatures; the ability to avoid the breaking or cracking of shafts; reduced vibration; and an increased mean time between failures.

Wireless Control Receivers For Automotive Systems

Rutronik is offering three wireless control receivers from Infineon Technologies that are ideal for automotive applications such as remote keyless entry systems and tyre pressure monitoring systems. The TDA5240, TDA5235 and TDA5225 devices provide multi-band support (315MHz, 434MHz, 868MHz and 915MHz) for worldwide coverage and are also suitable for use in automotive remote-start, control, status and alarm functions. Industrial and consumer systems will also benefit from the highly integrated wireless control devices.

The TDA5240, TDA5235 and TDA5225 are successors to the TDA5230/31 receiver range. Two of the devices include the powerful digital data processing introduced with the TDA5230/31, with overall performance and feature set enhancements. Functionalities such as infrared filter (the optional usage of an external filter is possible) and level shifters are now integrated. Only a few external components are needed, leading to a reduce bill of materials. An integrated low-noise am…

Paper Describes How To Achieve Measurable Results

Mesa International has released a white paper that illustrates a systematic approach for achieving the measurable business results required by plant managers. The white paper, entitled 'Harnessing the Power of Metrics to Diagnose and Solve Business Problems', provides both a conceptual framework and real-world best practices, enabling manufacturers to achieve - and demonstrate - performance improvements.

Steve Kaplan, global MES administrator for Murata Power Solutions and co-leader of the Mesa Metrics Working Group, said: 'Management often demands that operating groups or plant managers demonstrate performance improvements in terms of business improvements. 'There are so many nuances to the process of diagnosing and solving problems. 'For example, a supplier might think its shipping process is running smoothly when it is really triggering customer problems. 'Mutual supplier/customer metrics' analysis can enable corrective action.

'The team that assembl…

ABB To Showcase Analytical Equipment At WWEM 2010

ABB will showcase instrumentation and analytical equipment at the Water, Wastewater and Environmental Monitoring (WWEM) 2010 exhibition on 10-11 November at the International Centre in Telford. The company, which will be found on stands 107 and 108, will exhibit a range of products, including the new Aztec series of analysers designed for potable water treatment. Built on ABB's new analytical instrument platform, the Aztec 600 aluminium, iron, manganese, phosphate and ammonia colorimetric monitors offer enhanced accuracy with simple operation and maintenance.

The Aztec range incorporates features such as automatic two-point calibration, a self-cleaning functionality and automatic sample dilution. The inherent product design and auto-calibrating features mean that maintenance is typically only required annually, compared with every three months for some units. Also on display will be ABB's Mcertified Watermaster flowmeter. Designed specifically for the water and wastewater mark…

Wastewater Treatment Optimisation Saves Costs

Optimising wastewater treatment can result in significant cost savings, according to Dr Michael Haeck of Hach Lange. The operators of wastewater treatment plants constantly seek new opportunities to improve plant efficiency and environmental performance. In order to achieve this, they need to be able to maintain the effectiveness of the treatment process, producing a consistent discharge within consent limits while minimising inputs such as energy, labour and raw materials.

As technology advances, new opportunities materialise and considerable benefits can be obtained from the latest sensors coupled with real-time controllers. Improvements in the accuracy and reliability of sensors, coupled with a new facility providing information about the sensors' performance, in addition to the measurement itself, means that real-time control (RTC) has become very reliable. This, in turn, means that it has become an attractive option in a number of applications.

Hach Lange has developed a set …